Summoning Spirits: Invocation, Evocation And How To Cut A Deal

Mastering Evocation: Omnipotence

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Looking to chat up the 72 daemons of the Goetia? Want to summon your favorite egregore -- or better yet, invoke him? Occult author Michelle Belanger offers insight into the often-marginalized art of spirit summoning. Learn how to draw spirits out, how to aid in their manifestation, and how to keep them happy to be working with you. Just be certain you know who you're really dealing with, and don't forget to read the fine print.

Calling up spirits can be a controversial topic. This is largely because the majority of people who dabble in such work are in no ways ready to attempt such a thing, and half of the rest of them have all the wrong reasons to try. The few folk who have had honest and productive dealings with spirits usually avoid talking about this because of the stigma established by all the idiots out there.

I've not often talked openly about my experience with summoning spirits. But I've done both invocation and evocation. I've worked with a number of the entities whose sigils appear in the Solomonic work (Greater and Lesser Keys, etc.,), though I've certainly not limited myself to them alone.

What I have found is that at the very least an offering must be made and typically some bargain should be struck if you really want to work productively with an entity. (I know this is going to sound a little like dealing with the Devil, but it's probably where the idea of pacts actually arose from -- and no, there's no selling of your soul involved in this.)

In order for some of the entities to want to have anything to do with you, it has to be worth their while. They're just like people in that respect. Unless they know you really well, you don't get favors for free. Typically you need to have something they want, which they probably couldn't easily get elsewhere.

A hard and fast rule on making offerings: never offer anything that's not yours to give. Now, if someone wishes to donate something with the full knowledge of what it is being used for, that's all right. But otherwise never promise anything that you do not hold full and total personal rights to.

Fortunately, all spirits feed on energy. Most people have an abundance of this, and it's not that big of a deal to give some of it away. The highly refined energy of a magickal worker tends to be particularly yummy to most of the entities you might find yourself dealing with.

The key here is not to simply say, 'Hey, I'm free lunch!' That opens the door to all manner of problems (having said, 'take what you need to heal yourself' to a forest spirit once, let me say it can be more than you expect). Much like dealings with demons or djinn as outlined in popular literature, you have to be a real rules lawyer about the agreement and make certain that every loophole is observed. Spirits are very literal. They also like to get what they want. If they can find a way around the limits that you've set, they will do so -- happily.

Thus, if you're offering energy in exchange for a favor (be it a chat or something that requires more involved activity on the part of the spirit) be certain that you set a limit on how much energy can be taken. Don't let the entity take directly from you, as that encourages it to make a connection that might turn into a parasitic attachment later (and those are pesky to get rid of).

Instead, try gathering energy into your hands. Make it a real offering, something that you set down, apart from you, so it is fixed and finite. Having a particular bowl or other object that you've consecrated ahead of time for the purpose, where you specifically leave the energy helps psychologically to make the break between the energy and you.

And here is one of the few places that I have made use of blood, because a blood offering is replete with energy. However, by its very physical nature, it is a fixed amount and can be very visibly placed in a vessel and made separate from you. Shedding two or three drops of blood to help give a spirit the energy it needs to manifest is not much of a sacrifice, and the blood, if handled correctly, does not produce an immediate and unbroken connection to you.

Furthermore, I have learned that blood provides a good deal of power to a spirit -- it has that extra oomph that energy does not, probably also because of its very physical nature. Given that a physical manifestation is what a spirit lacks, this makes a good deal of sense when you think about it.

Offering of yourself to a spirit is dangerous, however, and something I do not recommend for any but the most advanced workers. You really have to know the spirit and know that it will abide by the rules if you want to go this route, and while most otherworldly entities abide by some set of laws, sometimes the fact that laws exist and actually knowing how they apply to all given situations are two entirely different things.

Another offering I've found that Solomonic entities especially appreciate is the opportunity to interact with the world of flesh. You see something of this with related entities -- the Loas and Orishas of Voodoo and Santeria. They are higher level entities, a couple of steps up on the ladder from humanity, but typically they cannot incarnate. At some point in time, it may be that they were incarnated entities. Most of them remember the world of flesh, and many of them miss it.

So this is where invocation comes in. Invocation is when an entity is called into a person, as opposed to being asked to manifest outside, on its own, through evocation.

I typically evoke an entity first and, if I have a particularly demanding task for it to carry out, I sweeten the deal by offering it a chance for invocation, so it can ride along with someone.

Sitri, one of the 72 Goetics, and Marbas, one of the same, especially like this arrangement. Marbas likes playing games and indulging in other amusements, is fascinated by modern technology, and has this strange penchant for taking off his shoes and walking barefoot so he can feel his flesh against the earth. Sitri is more of a hedonist and just likes to dance and eat sweets. She also has a tendency to run around half-clothed, which is why it's always been a good idea to invoke her into a boy.

Now the trick here is to lay out the rules of engagement ahead of time. The 'ride' will not be a possession. The person being ridden will be aware at all times and in control of their own actions. The entity is allowed to suggest activities, but cannot force the ridden to do anything he or she does not want to. A specific time limit is set out -- an hour, until sundown, a full day. And the entity must leave at the end of its free ride in the physical world. No hooks are to be left in the ridden, no work done to make them more prone to possession by that or other entities in future.

For invocation I have always used a technique which (unsurprisingly) has a correspondent technique in ancient Egyptian magic (if curious, see the Leyden Papyrus). As the one doing the invoking, I am not the one ridden (there's too much of me in me anyway to share space with another higher frequency entity). The old Egyptian technique summons the entity into a virgin boy or girl (generally just getting into puberty and usually for the purpose of divining something). I've always used one of our Counselors, drawn from a certain set of them that was trained in this work a long time ago.

At this point, it should be noted that in all cases, the person into whom the entity is invoked should be a willing participant in the procedure, aware of what the procedure entails, consulted on the terms of the agreement and trained in such interactions with spirits. Randomly invoking spirits into the unsuspecting is a no-no. (I will admit to having done this in the past, when I wasn't quite so considerate, which is how I know it's a bad idea).

When I've done workings like this, the typical arrangement has been, 'Go do this for me, and you get to come dance at the club with us later.' And let me tell you that it's interesting when otherworldly entities start offering their opinions on Goth music.

Most of the vessels I've employed for this work have been more than happy to participate and have even enjoyed the experience. They learned a good deal from the being they hosted, and often developed an amicable relationship with that entity after the terms of the agreement were up.

Again, I don't suggest that anyone but an advanced practitioner attempt such invocations.

Furthermore, the person who is offering their services as a host should have a good deal of training as well. They especially need to have a solid sense of self and be able to discern between their emotions / desires and those of something not them. This is also why Counselors make good invokers, as due to their natural empathy, they have had to learn how to draw these lines and block the feelings of others all their lives.

If you are going to play with spirits you absolutely need to know how to protect against them, how to remove them from someone if they get out of hand, and how to banish them from your presence if they refuse to go away. Additionally, it helps to be able to communicate clearly with spirits and to have a well-developed ability to perceive them. This is crucial in such dealings because you need to know who and what you are dealing with. You need to be able to tell the difference between one spirit and another, especially because it is a favorite game of spirits to pass themselves off as someone you've called strictly for the attention and energy that working with you will gain them.

If you can reliably distinguish a spirit you know from one that's trying to pull something over on you, and you can kick ass and take names if things do happen to go awry, then you can consider engaging in such advanced activities. But also, make sure you have a good reason to call up a Goetic or some other being.

Having a spirit's sigil is like having the phone number of someone you don't really know all that well. You can pick up the phone and call them and chances are, they will answer. But then you'd best start explaining why you just got them out of bed and how you're going to compensate them for their trouble if they go out of their way for you.

And, to continue the phonebook analogy, be aware that some spirits have moved and left no forwarding address. So having a sigil does not guarantee flawless contact. Sometimes there's no connection. Sometimes you get a busy signal. And sometimes, just sometimes, you wind up calling someone you had no business to disturb.




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