Evocation (An Introduction)
by Slim the frequently possessed
The cover picture from a thousand fantasy novels; a robed mage standing in the confines of a chalk circle replete with arcane seals, waving his staff in the air to command the obedience of a sinister spirit, usually accompanied by sulphurous smoke and perhaps a rift in the floor that leads into the bowels of Hell. A little dramatic perhaps, but it is a delightful idea. Well, I doubt you will open any portals into the Nether hells, but it is quite possible for one to summon spirits of various kinds, and persuade them to act on your behalf. I’ll be going into the details further on, but first I would suggest that you become proficient in the basic methods before attempting this. It is more complex and can become rather tricky if you do not treat the work with respect.

Let’s consider the nature of the beast before we try to tame it. In the “Lemegeton”, the “Lesser Key Of Solomon”, there is a list of seventy two spirits that were (according to the story) bound by King Solomon to serve him, and when the work was done they were sealed up in a brass bottle. The bottle was broken after a while, and these beings became free to act in the world. They can now be conjured up by budding sorcerers to serve in any way imaginable. Do you believe that? If not, try the Jungian approach.

According to the pioneering psychoanalyst C.G. Jung there exists a “Collective Unconscious”, a layer of mind that is inaccessible to conscious thought, and that which is shared by every human. This contains archetypes, that is instinctual processes that have existed for so long in the evolution of the brain that they can be regarded as actual people, of a sort. We all share these archetypes, although their action varies with the individual. The closest to the surface of the mind is the “Shadow”, a sub-personality formed from all of the aspects of ourselves that we cannot accept and thus repress. This is made stronger by denial, and can become powerful enough to “irrupt” and possess one, which can bee seen as a psychotic break with reality. There are many archetypes, although the Shadow and the “Anima” (the personal romantic ideal) are the ones most commonly dealt with. Jung also came up with the concept of “Synchronicity”, or meaningful coincidence. This becomes more likely to occur when the archetypes are active, which is when one is overwhelmed by emotion…

This is not a treatise on psychology or self-analysis, and there excellent books on the subject if you are interested. I would recommend Jung’s own “Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle”. Instead of dwelling on the mind, perhaps you would prefer to deal with angelic hierarchies? The qabalistic magick of the Golden Dawn involves contacting a range of angels and archangels, on down to the lowest elemental spirits. By invoking the higher powers, you gain the authority to command the lower.

What is the point of presenting you with all these conflicting perspectives on the magick that deals with conjuration and command of spirits? Just to show that there are any number of ways of viewing what you are doing. The one thing they all agree on is that this is a viable path of action. However you care to define them, spirits are real beings, often with an independent existence and agenda. It is worth remembering that.

Now you have some idea of the theory, let’s go to work on the practical side of the affair. The first step is to decide what kind of spirit one wishes to summon; what area of influence it will need to have in order to achieve your objective. There exist entire volumes packed with orders of spirits to govern everything from itching to thunderstorms. However, if you have some imagination, it is unnecessary to work through such texts. Consider the world in which we live; there are innumerable companies that deal with every area of life. Rather than deciphering the title of an Enochian spirit, why not use the name of an appropriate organization to develop a spirit? Making anagrams of Bank names for financial matters, Phone companies for communication or a popular brand of chocolate to facilitate a love affair can be both amusing and useful. It is even simpler to make up the spirit completely. I find that I can write a little story about a character to embed it in my mind, then perform a successful evocation of that character. This may sound like self-delusion, but remember, as mentioned previously, it is not important why it works, as long as it does. If this method were ineffective, I would not keep using it.

You may not wish to create new spirits from scratch. It may even seem rather odd. An alternative is to pick characters from works of fiction. If there is someone in a TV show that you think embodies the qualities that you require in your spirit, use that character. This can be applied to novels and other fictional media. I would not recommend using real people, historical or living. This is touching on necromancy, which is a more difficult subject.

Assuming that you have picked a ‘spirit’ to summon, it is first helpful to make a list of their qualities and attributes. From this list you will create a series of associations which will help to concentrate your attention during the working. For example, if you have chosen to summon the spirit of a character that always wears green, or whose home is predominantly green, then you might like to arrange the place of operation to have a green theme. If there is theme music from a show you use, play it. You will want a single item that will serve as the base of the spirit itself. This is an object that ‘houses’ the spirit so you can carry it with you, or otherwise provides a link between you and the spirit. This can be as simple as the name written on a piece of card, or a photograph of the appropriate actor, to a full carving or painting made to fully portray the being.

With your basis made and your area of working cleaned and laid out, you are ready to begin. It is good to start with a banishing. This is particularly important when working with entities of all kinds, as there may be a few already hanging around, and you would not like it if one of them impersonated your target and absorbed the power of the procedure. It would feed the being, but not set it to do the work. Instead, it would probably try to make you give it more energy. This is something to be avoided, and the best way is to fully banish the space beforehand. It is OK to banish twice if you do not feel right after the first. It is important to have a positive emotional state at the beginning of any working. It's normal to feel nervous in the beginning, but a bit of experience will remedy that.

The method of summoning can be worked out from the methods described earlier on. However, I will here provide the necessary information to carry out an example of this kind of operation. By reading this part in conjunction with the primary section, a better understanding will hopefully be gained.

The orthodox method of achieving an appropriate mental state is to perform a preliminary invocation, calling on the power of a deity that has authority over the spirit to be evoked. This is effective for two reasons: One, the experience of identifying with a deity is itself powerful. Two, the litanies and chants themselves function to produce an exalted state of mind in which one can access the necessary power. Invocation is a deep subject in itself, and will be dealt with later. For now we will concentrate upon the chanting method, which should be quite sufficient for basic evocations.

A chant need not be composed of archaic god-names for it to have a profound result on consciousness. In fact, the best kind of chants are those that have a simple, strong rhythm. Look at the writing of Blake for examples of poems that are simple in design yet extremely powerful when read aloud. The best of these is “The Tyger”. If you have any poetic ability (and it doesn’t have to be great stuff) you might like to try your hand at writing your own chants. List the important features of your spirit in simple, rhythmical stanzas. Emphasize the name of the being, for this is an important object of focus. The message is that you want the spirit to appear and agree to perform certain actions. The resulting text should be memorized if possible, or written on a handy piece of paper and when read it should be as loud and as deep as you can make it. Your chest should vibrate with the sound of the words, and your whole body should feel pretty ‘fired up’ when you get going. Of course, if you cannot get some space to yourself, it will be difficult to do this as suggested. It can also work to speak the words in your head, imagining it as loud and deep as you can. This can work better, as there are no limits on your actions. However, it is also rather easy to get carried away by flights of fancy and fail to achieve anything except a nice daydream.

The climax of the operation should be a point when you lose all sense of yourself. You keep chanting away, or you stop and just say the name of the spirit. There may be a sensation of presence, the temperature may fluctuate and you may be able to see the spirit. It is difficult to qualify the events before they occur, as it varies every time. It also depends upon whether you are a person with a visual bias, or an auditory bias, and so forth. You are most likely to perceive something with the sense that is your strongest, even to the point of smelling the spirit! When it occurs, do not be too shocked. You can save that for afterwards. At the time, it is important to retain a calm feeling of control. If you do not feel confident, try acting confident. This can be enough to do what is necessary. Greet the spirit politely, and inform it in clear terms what you want it to do. Make sure that your words are simple and not too susceptible to creative interpretation. You may wish to retain a sense of drama and mystery, but it is best to play it straight, especially when dealing with a literal minded or sneaky entity. Just like normal folks, spirits have individual personalities, and while a lot are dull and limited, some are subtle, well-rounded people. This is cause for another potential problem; do not get carried away in conversation with the entity, nor enter into negotiation. Tell it what you want and be done. This is not the case if you have summoned it for the purpose of obtaining information, of course, but even then you should beware of getting carried away.

When you have finished instructing the spirit, give it the standard disclaimer (AKA the license to depart) and let it go. This is a statement that tells it to go and do its assigned tasks in a swift fashion, without causing or allowing harm to come to yourself or your loved ones. This should be kept simple and spoken in a calm manner. After, wait for the spirit to leave. If it appears to remain, tell it to go in peace. If it refuses to leave, banish it harshly. Even if all goes well, you should perform a full banishing after you have finished.

Once your procedure has been carried out, relax and note down the event. It is best to clean up and forget about what you have done, giving the spirit a chance to accomplish its job. If you spend the next fortnight on edge, watching your back and biting your nails, it is likely to detract from the effectiveness of the spirit. Let yourself get on with other interests.

Now you have the basics of evocation. There are more details that can be useful, but those will be dealt with later. 

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