Archive for the ‘magick’ Tag
I’ll be making two lecture appearances this fall – and the first will be this Saturday at GreenSong Grove’s Samhain Festival. Make sure to click the link to register! Or you can write to them at Council@greensonggrove.org. Or give them a call at (727) 804-9370.
This year, I’ll be giving two lectures:
1) Secrets of the Girmoires:
Explore the history of the “Old Magick”, from anceint shamanic traditions, to the medieval Solomonic grimoires and into the modern occult revival. The Old Magick – a line separate from the Golden Dawn, Thelema and much of the modern Neopagan movement – has been a lost art in the West for hundreds of years. But now it’s coming back, and this lecture will explore how it got from its primordial origins to those of us following the same path today.
We will cover topics associated with famous grimoires such as the Key of Solomon the King, the Goetia, the Heptameron and the Book of Abramelin. We will disucss related systems of folk magick such as Witchcraft, Hexcraft and Hoodoo – as well as various African Traditional Religions. We will talk about the people and places that gave rise to the Solomonic grimoires, and we will talk about how the Old Magick is enjoying a massive resurgance in today’s occult communities.
Bring your thoughts, as this will be an open discussion!
2) The Old Magick in Today’s World (or ‘How to Make Your Magick Really Kick!’):
The term “Old Magick” is a blanket term to describe ancient and indigenous forms of occultism and folk magick around the world. Many cultures, such as those in the East, the Mid-East, Africa and South America preserved their old folk traditions even after Christiainity moved in. But here in the West, we lost touch with the Old Magick sometime around the Age of Enlightenment.
But the Old Magick isn’t gone from the West! It has survived in writings on tablets and parchment and early books. It has continued in New World folk practices like Hexcraft and Hoodoo. And it is currently enjoying a revival in today’s movements of Solomonic practice, conjuring, sorcery, etc.
Most students of magick are well versed in the material descended from the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner. But it has become more important than ever for us to look beyond these uniquely modern forms of occultism and revisit what the ancients knew. This class will talk about some aspects of the Old Magick that are sorely lacking in most modern traditions, and how we can incorporate the ancient secrets into what we are doing today. Take this class to heart, and watch your magickal results increase significantly!
At the moment I am unsure what times these lectures will be held, but they will both be given this Saturday, October 12. Come on out and enjoy a day of Samhain fun, and we can have a chat!
Stay tuned for the announcement of my next appearance (at Florida Pagan Gathering), in just a couple of weeks!
Great news for Abramelin aspirants!
Over the years, many students have privately emailed me to ask questions about magick – and one of the most common questions I am asked is “How do I use the talismans at the end of the Book of Abramelin?”
Unfortunately, that is not a question that can be answered so easily in a simple email or forum post. The Book of Abramelin contains a rather sophisticated system of goety – most of it scattered and hidden throughout the text so as to discourage dabblers. In order to explain it all in detail, it would be necessary to write a rather lengthy essay on the subject.
So, in 2009, that is exactly what I did. I wrote an essay entitled The Spirit-Magick of Abramelin that outlines the entire system – including how to summon and work with the spirits, how to create new word-square talismans and how to use them once they are made. I published it in an anthology from Scarlet Imprint called Diabolical – which focused on various traditions of working with demons. (My essay might have been the only one from the perspective of an angel-worker who also works with chthonic spirits.)
The only problem was that the hard-bound Diabolical – though an absolute must-have book – was a bit obscure and somewhat on the expensive side. Students continued to ask me about the Abramelin word-squares and spirits – and I’m not sure how many of them were willing (or able) to purchase the book just to get my essay from it…
Now we are fast approaching the year 2014, and I felt it was time to let the genie out of the bottle, so to speak, and release The Spirit-Magick of Abramelin in a more easily accessible format. Therefore, I have re-published the essay in the Autumnal Equinox 2013 edition of Hermetic Virtues Magazine (subscription info here.).
Hermetic Virtues Magazine
It is an electronic-format magazine, coming in PDF form directly to your in-box. If you don’t want to subscribe to the magazine (but, really, why wouldn’t you??), I’m pretty sure HV Magazine is willing to sell single-issue copies. So if you desire to learn how to properly work with the talismans and spirits of the Abramelin tradition, you now have an affordable and accessible source for my essay. Enjoy!
Special thanks to Jayne Gibson over at HV, who worked tirelessly to get the word-squares and other formatting issues with this essay exactly right. It was no easy task!
Also see my (free) essay on Abramlein’s Magickal Word Squares: Compiled and Corrected for the First Time. (This is just a taste of the work I’ve done on the existing word-squares, the bulk of which I will later publish in book form.)
Also see this blog post on Abramelin’s system of Mixed Qabalah. As well as this follow-up post on the same subject.
Finally, in the near future, keep an eye out for my latest essay that tackles the angelic side of Abramelin’s magick: After Abramelin: Working with the Holy Guardian Angel – to be published in Nephilim Press’ Walking with the Angel.
Greetings, Faithful Readers!
Since I got caught up in the blogosphere, I’m afraid I’ve been sorely neglecting my old Writings webpage. (How old is it, you ask? Check the link below and you’ll see the URL is called “indexaol.html” – because it was originally my old AOL homepage! LOL Now it’s on Tripod, where it has been for what seems like eons…) That is where you can read most of my published essays and book reviews, listen to/read my interviews, find links to my books, etc.
Today, I finally took the time to do a massive update to the page – bringing the list of published material pretty much up to date. I think I included everything that has been lacking – but if you know of anything I’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to let me know!
Greetings, Dear Readers!
The Four Philosophical Elements
Most of you are likely familiar with the four Elements and their association with the four cardinal points of the compass. The usual pattern in most modern traditions places Air in the east, Fire in the south, Water in the west and Earth in the north – an arrangement often attributed to the “four winds” of the earth-plane. A more stellar arrangement (based on astrology) places Fire in the east, Earth in the south, Air in the west and Water in the North. (See later in this post for more on that.)
I just had Ravin Digitalis ask me if I was aware of any tradition that assigns Air to the north and Earth to the east – and if such a tradition could be traced back to 5000 BCE. In my response, I cover many different associations of Elements to directions and where they (or where they likely) came from. I think you might find it interesting:
To my knowledge, there are no systems of correspondences of Elements to directions that go back to 5000 BCE. The earliest such correspondences could have arisen would have been in cultures that developed astrology – likely going back no further than Babylon. Not even Egypt had such correspondences that I know of – though they did have the four Sons of Horus as the pillars of the four directions (associated with the arms and legs of Nut), I’ve never seen any Egyptian text that associates them directly with four Elements.
From astrology we have Fire in the East (Aries), Earth in the South (Capricorn), Air in the West (Libra) and Water in the North (Cancer) – an arrangement that still existed when Agrippa wrote his work (see Three Books of Occult Philosophy – Scale of the Number Four). Another, perhaps sidereal, version would use the fixed signs: Leo in the East, Taurus in the South, Aquarius in the West and Scorpius in the North.
I’ve never found anything definitive on where the Air in the East arrangement – common in the Golden Dawn, Thelema and thus Wicca – came from. However, the GD was very into Ezekiel’s vision – which shows God’s Throne supported by the four Kherubs whose faces are Man (Aquarius) in the front, Eagle (Scorpius) behind, Lion (Leo) to the right and Bull (Taurus) to the left. If you face the Throne Eastward, and assume that “right” and “left” are from the perspective of the Throne itself, that gives the usual arrangement of Elements to the directions: Air-East, Water-West, Fire-South, Earth-North.
However, there is some ambiguity here. In Ezekiel’s vision (approximately 600 BCE), the Throne is not facing the East – he describes it as coming out of the North and facing/moving Southward. That would put the Man (Air) facing South and the Eagle (Water) facing North. If we still assume Ezekiel’s mention of “right” and “left” are from the perspective of the Throne, that would put the Lion (Fire) facing the West and the Ox (Bull) facing East. That would give you Earth in the East, but not Air in the North.
BUT – if we assume Ezekiel was referring to his *own* right and left, the two Kherubs would be reversed so the Lion would face East and the Bull would face West. But that doesn’t give you Air in the North or Earth in the East…
The only other example I know of (off the top of my head at least) is from the Key of Solomon, where directions are given for the construction of a magick carpet. There, one is told that Michael (Fire) is in the East, Raphael (Air) is in the North, Gabriel (Water) is in the West and Muriel (Earth) is in the South. This one gives you Air in the North, but not Earth in the East. lol
So I don’t see any traditional source for the arrangement [you mention] – and sure as hell nothing going back as far as 5000 BCE! lol Good luck!
If anyone knows of other associations and their origins, feel free to reply below and share with us.
UPDATE: Looks like Alex Sumner can tell us where the Golden Dawn got its “Four Winds” (aka Seasonal) attribution of the Elements to their directions. In the same blog, he reveals something fascinating: the “ADNI Formula” (as opposed to the better-known “YHVH Formula”). Awesome!
Greetings Subjects of Solomon!
Seal of the Angel of Jupiter from Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis (Book 5)
The Studies on Magic blog has just posted some of the material from the Leiptzig University collection of magickal manuscripts that I posted about previously. The subject is the Seven Planetary Seals of King Solomon – the very same seals found in Scheible’s Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis.
Apparently, the older manuscript in the Leiptzig collection (compiled in the 1700s) shows some noteable differences from what Scheible published in the 1800s. The Studies on Magic blog displays both versions side-by-side for easy comparison. So if you plan to use these Seals, you will certainly want to take a look at the older versions:
Click here for the Seven Planetary Seals of King Solomon on the Studies of Magic blog.
Greetings Ye Seekers of Gold!
So my last couple of blog posts have been about magicians facing (and dealing with) various hardships that life on Earth naturally brings about. And one of the primary examples was poverty – especially since many occultists prefer to remain relatively poor (as compared to, say, a corporate/criminal CEO), and because so many who just “don’t get it” view poverty as some kind of proof that magick isn’t worth the wood the wands are made from.
So, perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me that the discussion has turned specifically toward money magick. Don Kraig talked about it a bit on his blog, Morgan Eckstein referred to it as well. (See my previous post for links.) Even Nick Farrell has weighed in – so don’t miss out on his insightful post.
Meanwhile, it was the recent contribution on Alex Sumner’s blog that has inspired me to make this post on the subject. In Alex’s post, he relates an anecdote I have come to call the Tale of the Lottery Enthusiast – wherein he makes some vitally important points on the subject of money magick and how it really works. I find it to be more than worth repeating here in full:
It so happened that I was having a good-natured discussion with fellow members of the Illuminati in a pub about whether it was possible to use our combined magickal skills to collectively win the Lottery. Or more to the point, the other people at the table were having a discussion, whilst I was trying to eat my dinner.
The discussion was getting quite heated between one person who insisted that we try it, and just about all the rest who were saying “No, it’s not possible,” etc. I finally finished off my food. “I have made a study of people who have cast successful money spells,” I said.
The Lottery-enthusiast was arguing so enthusiastically that it was several seconds before someone realised that I had said something interesting. “Go on, Alex! What is the result of your study?” they said.
“Well,” I said, as everyone became silent, “I’ve collected examples of people who have successfully used magic to make money. They include:
- Professional people, getting an idea how to find themselves a new job;
- Having been invited to interview, using magick to boost their confidence and help them say and do the right thing at the interview;
- Businessmen seeking inspiration for how to bring new customers to their business;
- Inventors, ‘dreaming up’ a new invention;
- Songwriters coming up with the idea for a new hit song;
- Novelists coming up with the plot for a new story.
“In short: none of these people invoked Money itself, they invoked a Money-making opportunity. The point being that when the said Money-making opportunity appeared seemingly miraculously in their lives, they converted it into actual money in a conventional manner, to wit: hard work. This, incidentally, is why there are so many ‘arty’ people in the Occult or people with artistic flair - painters, writers, musicians, self-employed professionals, and so forth – because magick is all about drawing upon ones inner creativity.
“The one thing I have never heard of is people using magick to win the lottery. Therefore, if we were to use our magick skills to think up a money-making scheme, I’m certain that we would actually succeed! Whether we would be able to put the scheme into practice, however, would be another matter entirely. So my best advice would be to concentrate on the opportunity first, and forget the Lottery altogether.”
“But playing the Lottery is a money-making opportunity!” the gambling addict cried. At this point the argument erupted again. I immediately got the impression that no further good would come from trying to press my point, so I just let them get on with it.
Damn good points! And I couldn’t help but offer the following reply:
Alex, I think anyone who ever wishes to use magick to make money should read your tale of the lottery enthusiast. It hits the nail directly between the eyes. :) Magick can certainly be used to bring in money – either by bringing about a money making opportunity (Jupiter and/or Mercury) or even by bringing in a one-time windfall of some kind (Sol). But, either way, once it arrives it is then up to the magician to know what to DO with it.
Especially in the case of a windfall, if you don’t know how to work to make that money grow, then it will simply drain away – and fast. Anyone in the world who has money will tell you the same. You have to work for your money – not just to GET it, but also to KEEP it. If you want to be rich, then managing your money will become a full time job in its own right.
This is why so many occultists who have done money magick will tell you that you usually get just what you need and then it goes away again. It is because most of us don’t desire to do “money” as a full time job. Instead, we tend to ask for what we need and then go on with our lives until the next need arises.
Yet, there are times when magick is used to get a better-paying job. Or to attain money to invest in a new business, etc. In those cases, yeah, you get money that sticks around as long as you keep doing the work to make it stay.
But to my knowledge, no one has ever achieved the creation of the magick purse that has fresh gold coins in it every day.
Greetings Seekers of Magick!
As I have said in previous posts, the first rule of writing is that if someone can take something you’ve written the wrong way, they will. And the second rule is that someone will always take what you’ve written the wrong way. ;) And, of course, that has happened in the case of my most recent blog post about magick and life’s hardships.
This time, it was no one less than Donald Michael Kraig himself! Now, before I go on, let me stress that I consider Don to be a friend. That is, in real life and not just someone with whom I’ve had an exchange or two over the internet. So please, dear reader, take everything you are about to read in the spirit of one brother confronting the other.
That being said, I’m afraid Don really missed the boat on my last blog. If you want to update your score card, you can go read his post before going on with this one. But I’ll also sum up the issue briefly here:
My previous blog was intended to address a specifically Western (and I dare say capitalist) misconception of magick and magicians. That is, if magick really worked (or if a particular wizard were really any good at it), then certainly one should be rich, never sick, never harmed, never psychologically off-balance, etc, etc. He should, in effect, be immune to all the down sides of life here on Earth, able to deflect all hardships with a simple wave of his wand and a hearty wingardium leviosa!
The point of my post was to say that this isn’t how reality works. Magick doesn’t stop bad things from happening. Cast all the spells you want, and I promise you hardships are going to come your way. In fact, I would go so far as to say, as one who walks the magickal path, you’re probably going to have more than your fair share of shit to deal with.
Sadly, Don seems to have taken that a step further and into a direction I never intended. He rebuts as follows:
I have to respectfully disagree with the implication here. It may not be the intent, but the idea I get from this is that [Aaron] is saying if things are bad, tough. Just deal with it. Don’t do magick to improve your situation. Instead, do magick to mentally and emotionally deal with hardship. To me that sounds like a sort of religious approach: “We can’t help you, but if you pray to our God[s] He [they] will give you courage.”
No, no, no and emphatically no! My post merely addressed the fact that bad things are just plain going to happen in life – and that this fact neither proves that magick is false nor that any given magician is a fraud. Never did I say, or even imply, that one should not use magick when those hardships arise!
Quite the contrary – I stated that “magick exists because bad things happen.” And that “when bad shit happens, you inovke the magick to get through it.” Magick is a toolkit that mankind has developed over thousands of years, intended to help us through the hard times. Magick can allow you to live where you might have died. It can allow you to eat where you might have starved. It can even allow you to achieve things in life where you might have otherwise failed or faded away into obscurity.
My stance is exactly the opposite of what Don has suggested. Here is the response I made on his blog:
I think you misunderstood my post entirely. I was not at all suggesting that magick should be only for the spiritual, and that one should just allow bad life situations to continue. In fact, if you look at the rest of my blog, it is chock-full of uncrossings, exorcisms, cleansings, defense spells and angelic invocations all geared toward dealing with real-world practical problems.
My post was addressing a specifically Western concept that, if one were truly a powerful magician, then one should be rich, never be sick, have a perfectly balanced psychology, etc. In effect, the concept is that a true wizard should glide through the world like Dumbledore or Neo, having hacked reality and therefore risen entirely above the hardships that life can bring.
Yet in the real world, magicians are as prone to hardship as anyone else. For example, I’m a wizard – but I still got into a nasty car accident a couple of years ago. There was no “invisible wall of force” around me to repel the oncoming car so that my car remained untouched. The car was totaled, and all the legal and financial hassles and hardships that followed were the same for me as they would have been for anyone else.
*However*, I firmly believe that my practice of magick is what allowed me to walk away from that car accident relatively untouched. There is just no logical reason at all for me to have lived through it. I believe without a doubt that my Guardians intervened in that situation, and tweaked reality just enough so the oncoming car hit mine just *in front* of where I was sitting, instead of t-boning directly into me. In fact, I have reason to believe that either some kind of time-travel took place, or that I was yanked out of one reality (where I died) and into a nearby reality (where I walked away).
Magick saved my life that day in a *very* real sense. It didn’t “magickally” make the bad thing “not happen.” But, where it *really* counted, it kicked in and saw to it that I made it through in one piece. And it’s not the first or last time that has happened either.
To say that I believe practical magick just shouldn’t be done is frankly ridiculous. Yet, I feel it is equally ridiculous to suggest that magick should make one 100% impervious to any and all hardships in life. It just doesn’t work that way.
Of course you should use magick to improve your situation! That’s what it is for. Whether it is to rectify your soul and allow you to better serve humanity (see Peregrin Wildoak’s blog on this discussion), or to just keep the proverbial wolves away from your front door (see Morgan Eckstein’s blog), or to advance your social station in life or any combination of these things – magick should indeed be used to improve your life.
I’m a big advocate of down-to-earth practical nuts-and-bolts magick (aka witchcraft) that makes things happen! Even my pursuit of the high magickal arts intended to elevate my soul closer to God is undertaken to obtain the spiritual authority necessary to direct the forces of nature right here in the material realm. (That, and to give me a choice over where I go after I pass on – but that’s a concern for later. Much later, I hope! lol)
On the other hand, one cannot point to a wizard (or even an entire culture) and say “well they aren’t rich” or “things aren’t so great in their lives” and assume that means their magick is worthless. Magick proliferates in situations where people need it to survive. And the existence of poverty or other hardships in the lives of those who use or rely upon magick is no proof the magick isn’t working. The fact that they are still alive, still eating and still making it year after year might just be evidence that their magick is working pretty damn well.
Greetings Faithful Readers!
A subject has recently come up on the Solomonic Yahoo Group that I’ve been wanting to address for some time. All too often, I see folks (specifically Western folks) point out issues of poverty, sickness or other hardships faced by either individual magicians or cultures where magick is prevalent, and suggest that it is proof their magick doesn’t work. How many times have you heard that some magician “died penniless” as proof that they weren’t much of a magician after all?
Here is a quote from the original post on Solomonic, and my response to it:
Re: So everybody is a Sorcerer. What then?
— In firstname.lastname@example.org, Julian <belfire1@…> wrote:
> However, there might be some who look at social conditions in places
> like Brazil and Mexico and Cuba, and wonder in what way their magical
> culture has made then happier, healthier, safer, more prosperous, and
> more free—such that we might benefit from emulating them.
As I see it, this is one of the fundamental misunderstandings about magick in the Western world. Magick does not exist to *stop* bad things from happening, magick exists *because* bad things happen.
I think we’ve been conditioned by our fiction and Hollywood fantasy to see magick as a “cure all.” If a person is truly a powerful wizard or sorcerer, then surely their lives will reflect it in that they will never want for food or money, never be sick, never have bad things happen to them, etc. Why, because a *true* wizard should be able to wave his wand at any problem and make it vanish in a puff of smoke and a flash of light. If he doesn’t live up to the Harry Potter standard, then surely he’s a fraud…
Then we look at the real world and see just what you’ve described above. We see that magick is more widespread in cultures that don’t have it so good. We see that magicians don’t come from lives of happiness and comfort. And so we think: then what good is the magick?
But magick doesn’t make you immune to hardship. It doesn’t make your problems vanish. It exists to be invoked in times of hardship, to make the hardship something we can overcome. It is, in this way, synonymous with medicine. Medicine doesn’t stop all disease or suffering from happening. And when you do get sick and miserable, you don’t expect to be completely cured the moment you walk out of the doctor’s office. You take the medicine he prescribes to you, hoping that it will eleviate soem of the suffering and possibly aid you in returning to a state of health.
And so it is with magick. When bad shit happens, you inovke the magick to get through it. And that is why we see more widespread magick use in cultures that don’t have it so great. If they were all fat and happy, then why would they seek magick in the first place?
Believe me, it took me many years to come to grips with what I say above. I spent plenty of time angry at my Guardian Angel, Patron Gods, familiars and spiritual helpers for “letting bad things happen to me.” Until they finally drove it into my head that they weren’t there to make me some kind of superhuman, impervious to any hardship. They were there to make sure I made it through the bad things.
There is a great illustration of this in that old Nick Cage movie “City of Angels.” In the opening scene, we meet Nick and his buddy in a convenience store in a bad part of town. At first, it doesn’t make a lot of sense why these two angels would be hanging out in some random gas-n-go. But then a man comes in and pulls a gun on the store owner.
Do our heroic angels spring into action to subdue the evildoer? Nope. Instead each angel stands behind one of the humans involved and places a hand on his shoulder. This calms the humans slightly, and the robbery goes down without anyone getting killed. The angels didn’t seem to consider the morality of the robbery of much concern. They just influenced the situation enough to get the humans through it in one piece.
And if you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you might know why I find something a bit personal in that scene. ;) And though that case is a bit on the extreme side, I have found much the same to be true of my entire magickal career. Whatever I learn about magick, it doesn’t remove me from this physical realm full of hardship and danger. It sure as hell doesn’t make me rich. And, to be frank, I’ve found that my guardians are much more likely to shove me into the pitfalls of life than to steer me around them. (Angels don’t let wimps hang around with them.)
But I am still here, and I’m in a position in life that is a damn sight better than it would have been without magick. In complete honesty, I really don’t have to worry much about a place to live, or lack of money or a thousand other things that could afflict me. Yet I got here by paying serious dues along the way.
All Magic comes with a price, Dearie!
As it is said in the Golden Dawn’s 5=6 initiation ceremony: Hate not suffering, it was but the purification of the Gold.
So the Ceremonial Magick course is over until the fall. I’m *very* proud of all my students, as we seemed to have a pretty powerful and synched group of people by the end of it all. :) It was awesome seeing you guys go from the very basics (this is the Tree of Life… this is the Hebrew alphabet…) all the way to consecrating talismans and finally calling down angels. And several of us will definitely be doing more work together in the future.
I am heartened to learn that everyone seems to have gotten something worthwhile from the Jupiter talismans we consecrated last week. Given that I had simplified a few things for the sake of the class and time restrictions, I was prepared to be satisfied just to have shown you how to do that kind of work. I think the fact that those talismans appear to have brought real results for each student (and all within a single week, no less) says a lot of good things about you guys.
As for yesterday’s evocation of Gabriel: WOW what an experience! The last time we did this, the class just had a nice skrying session with Gabriel. That is not to say it wasn’t a powerful and moving experience, but this time around was especially intense for everyone. I suspect it had much to do with the fact that Carrie and I made sure more of the students took an active role in the invocations – where the previous group had been more content to just let me and Carrie do the rituals. So this time, the students were much less passive observers.
Some present experienced a kind of waking “sleep paralysis” coupled with a rush of images that will take some time and meditation to decipher. All very Lunar. Others were taken on astral journeys into the sphere of Yesod. And then, even I was shocked when Gabriel *physically* stepped in and kicked some ass. lol That, my friends, is REAL magick.
I’m no stranger to being “ridden” by angels, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to happen during a class like that. To be honest, Carrie is usually the one more likely to be ridden. Regardless, I’m sure everyone benefited from the experience. :) I hope you will all stay in touch with me and let me know what unfolds for each of you over the coming days, weeks or months.
To everyone who couldn’t attend the course this round, we will be doing it all over again in the fall. Plus, for those of you who are long distance, we are still working on converting the classes into a Skype format so we can include you as well. :) Stay tuned!
Greetings Seekers of Magick!
I decided to check in on Brother Moloch’s Evocational Magics forum tonight, and I came across an interesting post that asked a very good question: Why Evocation? I think you folks might be interested in my response, so I’m posting it here as well.
First, here are the relevant parts of the original post:
I’ve never actually seen the need to evoke anything though. Simpler methods (sigils, natural magic, improvisations using familiar tools/symbols, etc) have always sufficed to solve the problems I’ve faced. I’m now looking at workings that will probably involve entities…
So, I guess I’m asking whether you’re working with these entities because:
- You’re called to do so
- It’s part of your basic toolkit, like rootwork might be in someone else’s toolkit
- There are some things that require spiritwork, like RO talking about how his sphere resonates with the sphere of the entities he evokes, which leads to personal change and growth.
So why do you evoke? Or, perhaps a more interesting question: why should someone like me, who’s never performed an evocation, seriously consider it?
And here is my response:
Historically, “magick” was all about working with spiritual entities. (You had Astrology, Alchemy and Magick respectively.) Even simple spells, incantations, rootwork, etc all involed the participation of one’s familiars or patron gods/spirits, etc. Going all the way back to tribal shamanism, the initiation into magick was focused upon introducing you to your familiars and patrons – then it was the spiritual entities who taught you the real magick. All the spells and incantations you use today (or even the art of using them) were delivered originally to shamans by the spirits.
The idea that magick can work without the direct involvemnt of spirits is a modern one, and in my personal opinion it is a step down.
The art of spirit work is the art of knowing how to interact with spiritual entities and get them to work wirh/for you. How to contact them, how to make proper offerings to them, how to secure their cooperation. Even the Keys of Solomon are focused primarily on teching one how to contact the spirits, then the real magick is left up to you and them.
Also don’t make the all-too-common mistake of thinking evocational magick is just “another option” of magickal practice. What I mean is that students often think that one can use spells, talismans, incantations, etc OR evoke spirits. And, in that vein, the way one works magick with spirits is to simply call them up and request what you want. That’s not how it works.
Instead, one evokes a spirit to ask HOW to get what you need. In response, the entity may give you instructions for a talisman, a ritual, rootwork, an offering, an incantation etc, etc. Then you perform the given spell (or whatever you were instructed to do) with the assistance of the entity to achieve your results.
Why evocation? Because it is how magick really works.