Borderline Personality Disorder and Invocations
This will be my first in a series on Borderline Personality Disorder and its intersectionality with occult topics. We will discuss how this disorder affects the magician in her work and ways to cope. I am not a professional, but I am someone who suffers from BPD. I am writing from my own experiences in an effort to perhaps give you some insight as to what works for me. If you are in need of help, please seek medical attention.
First, we must discuss the nature of the disorder. BPD is commonly described as someone who has an extreme fear of abandonment, chronic feelings of emptiness, dangerous behavior, and unstable relationships with other people. They suffer from feelings of extremes, usually manifesting in idealization and devaluation of a person—going from adoring a person to hating them in a split second. It is also seen in a trait called ‘splitting’ in which the person exhibits black and white thinking. They have an intense fear of rejection, and frantically seek to avoid it, leading to dangerous behavior.
There is a little more to it than that, but the general idea is that of extremes, and severe lack of identity. Today we will be discussing lack of identity how it confers to the efficacy of invocations performed in ceremonial magick.
I experience a severe lack of identity. I feel like I don’t exist. Not in an attention-seeking “please pay attention to me” effect, but rather in a “I feel like I am not real.” This is called depersonalization. It is a detachment of self. I feel floaty, like I am having an out of body experience all day every day. I also suffer from derealization which is the same thing, but for the external world. These two disorders can appear outside of Borderline Personality Disorder, but are one of many symptoms of the disorder.
Due to feeling like this, I’d argue I’m a relatively blank slate. I am easy to manipulate and highly suggestable. Hypnosis is effective on me, although I haven’t experimented with anything meaningful. I have, however, experimented with ritual magic.
Most of my experience are invocations of elemental and planetary energies. I have worked with a number of Angels in my Enochian workings as well, but for the purposes of this article I will be leaving out intelligences and talking primarily about energies. (Spirits are generally evocations, to that end.)
The general rule of thumb is to start out with a banishing ritual. We do it because we’re taught to. Because it actually is a good idea to clear your mind and the area around you of lingering thoughts. It is especially important for someone who is Borderline banish regularly. While you may feel extremes, it is important to strive towards balance.
If magick is the science and art of creating change in accordance with one’s will, what does one do who feels like they have no “will” and they just “are?” You create magick anyways. You extend your will out into the universe, and you do it fervently because you can’t help it. You don’t have to strive to create a psychodrama, your disorder does that for you. Feeling empty, means you can be filled. You are the proverbial Cup. Although you might argue that the cup doesn’t exist.
I feel like because I feel like I don’t exist, I can draw energies into myself more efficiently. This isn’t on purpose, this is because my brain just fills the role I create for it. I am not some esteemed wise sage, my brain chemistry is just different and better suited for self manipulation.
Because I feel things in extremes, I can be that cup and I can fill that cup without any reservation. What I do once I’m filled is a different story. I feel ritual magick can be dangerous territory for anyone who does not understand themselves and who is not in control of their mental faculties. What I’m doing is relatively dangerous for me, but I do it anyways. It lets me feel things that I created, and it is tangible. I’ve rarely done a ritual and just been, “Gee, I didn’t feel anything.”
It can be dangerous for anyone, really. However, if you are Borderline and want to work with magick I would advise you to try to become familiar with your behaviour. The impulsivity will make it difficult to control yourself. I know I got carried away, and I got hurt. You’ll want to tackle all these rituals at once because you want to feel all these things so intensely. You will feel the energy pulsing through your veins. Set a schedule, or set a limit. Only work with so many energies every six months. Don’t try to stay up all day doing a Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram of each planet for every hour twice. I mean, do as you will, but I wouldn’t advise it.
It all comes back to balance, which Borderline people definitely struggle with. Suffering from this disorder might make it easy for you to invoke spirits and paint a divine canvas upon your consciousness, but try not to let it put you in a tougher spot. Self-care is important, and balance is the first step. I ended up in the hospital with suicidal ideations from doing Liber Samekh every day for two weeks. I read “invoke often” my Borderline brain took it to mean “do it as often as possible.”
Ritual magick can really mess with your head if you let it. Individuals with Borderline are already susceptible. Be careful. Balance.