The Truth about Evocation   11 comments

Greetings walkers with spirits!

I’ve noticed people tend to have a general misunderstanding of what evocation is and for what it is intended. So many people seem to believe evocation is what Solomonic Magick is all about. It isn’t.

I understand why this view exists. In occult and fantasy fiction, it is necessary to make things look interesting – so the default is to always show a mage standing within his protective Circle, surrounded by incense smoke, wand or sword in hand, chanting in arcane tongues, calling forth frightening or awe-inspiring creatures from the astral mists. It’s no different than – for example – a cop show that only shows you the exciting chases and impressive sleuth techniques, but never shows you the hours of paperwork and waiting that actually make up most of the job. So it is with the popular depiction of grimoire magick. And, because you only ever see the mage doing that one thing – evocation – it tends to become what you picture when you think of the subject.

Another culprit, believe it or not, is the grimoires themselves. Or, I should say, the popular misinterpretation of the grimoires. As I explain in both Secrets of the Magical Grimoires and my online beginners’ course, the grimoires do not in fact present the whole of the Solomonic tradition. They are just the starter manuals (which is why they are called “grammars”), giving you instructions on how to establish first contact with the angels and spirits of the tradition. And how you do that is (to a large extent) by performing the evocations. Once you’ve established that contact, it is not necessary to perform the evocation over and over again. From there, the spirits take over and teach you the real magick – and it’s not just more evocation.

Evocation has two primary purposes:

1) to establish contact with a spiritual being (or group of beings). Once you have that contact, you never need to perform the evocation for that being again. Of course, you’ll need to perform it again for any new entities you want to meet. So I am by no means suggesting you’ll never perform another evocation! However, you will not need to repeat it for the spirit(s) you’ve already contacted. That is, as long as you bind that being to a Talisman, Ring, Tablet, Altar, etc and have a means to continue working with it.

2) For important matters that require directly questioning a spiritual being. Most specifically when you have a series of questions that need to be asked. This is why the grimoires often use evocation for the purposes of discovering hidden information, finding lost or stolen items or people, receiving specific instructions for something, to find buried treasure, etc, etc. I have said in the past that evocation – meaning its use for this specific purpose – is in itself a form of divination. You’re talking to the spirit in order to learn something you didn’t previously know. Otherwise – why are you calling it?

Therefore, evocation is something that is done MUCH more rarely than other aspects of the Tradition. For most purposes, you can make a petition to an angel, or create a Talisman for whatever you need, without going through the weeks- or months-long process of full evocation. If, that is, you have previously done the work of evoking the spirits you are working with and taken the time and effort to build a working relationship with them. In our house, we have altars to all seven Planetary Archangels (same guys you see in the Heptameron), not to mention to my HGA and Familiars, Carrie’s Prenda, her Ancestor Altar, and a few others as well. We don’t have to spend months performing full evocations of them when we need to ask for something – because we already did that and now they live here! We only have to evoke them to visible/audible appearance when we need to ask them specific questions and get their direct answers.

Another thing to consider, as well: there is NO need to evoke dozens of spirits! I’ve seen people who brag about summoning all 72 spirits of the Goetia. Or that they’ve evoked all the Shem haMephoresh and/or Tree of Life Angels. But, folks, that isn’t how this tradition works! You could be a successful Solomonic magus through your entire life and only contact one or two spirits. You have to find a spirit who works well with you, who likes you, and gets results – and keep working with that spirit. That spirit may or may not be able to do everything you need – and, if not, it can direct you to (or even introduce you to) another spirit who can, and now that spirit becomes part of your crew. The Angels and spirits of the grimoires aren’t Pokemon! You don’t have to collect ’em all. Your spiritual army should be something you build up very slowly and deliberately over years, and not treated like a call list at a phone sales company.

Yes, we have a LOT of altars in our home – mostly because we do this professionally. But, even with us, there are a smaller number of entities we go to for most things. For me it is first my HGA, then my Familiars. If directed to do so, I can take an issue to one of the Seven Archangels – and that often tends to be Sachiel and Iophiel, because somewhere along the way I became a Jupiter wizard. For Carrie, she’ll often go to Anael or Samael because she has a special relationship with them. That is not to say we never go to the other Archangels, only that it is a more rare occurrence in relation to the ones we work with the most.

And it is even rarer for us to perform full evocations for them. Instead, we spend our time tending to their Altars and Icons, making offerings to them, burning dressed candles and making petitions to them, and conversing with them either directly or via one form of divination or another. Sorry if that sounds more like work than the awesome fantasy of being a wizard – but it is the truth. And now you have it.

Posted January 13, 2021 by kheph777 in grimoires, magick, solomonic, students

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11 responses to “The Truth about Evocation

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  1. This is a really great post! Really helps to elucidate how evocation is supposed to be. I always thought you needed to summon them each time you needed them! I tried evoking before, but I didn’t know what I was doing and just winged it, so I don’t know if I actually made any type of contact lol

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    • One you summon them, you have to either bind them to something physical – like a talisman, ring, book, vessel, altar, statue or other icon, etc. Then they will be with you always. Otherwise, you can ask them how best to call them at a later time, and they’ll give you an easier way than the full-fledged cold-contact evocation ritual. 🙂

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      • Yea, thank you! I’ll be honest, the information I find online (other than your’s) is kinda wack when it comes to evocation, especially when what I primarily found was satanistic sources (and just plain edgy). They basically said binding was rude or something idk. It was a while ago, it’s behind me.

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      • The internet is a terrible place to learn about magick, that’s for sure. There are some worthwhile things out there, for sure – I even like to think I’m one of them. LOL But the bad material is frankly overwhelming and so easy to find. Especially from those who are just trying to be Darque and Skarry and get you to cough up money for literally nothing. 😦 Glad you left all of that behind! 🙂

        I think the idea that binding is “rude” comes from the misunderstanding that “binding a spirit” means to enslave it. It doesn’t. It means to enter into an agreement with them – as in binding them to a contract. The spirit should be agreeable to the deal and benefit from it just as you do. Which means, of course, taking care of that spirit and not just calling upon it when YOU need something. 😉

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      • Lol! Yes, exactly!

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  2. Pingback: The Truth about Evocation – ⭐💫Traduction de cette petite mise au point💫⭐ – Divines énergies & magie

  3. I had some questions like, “Do you ask for the spirit’s consent before binding them? Let them choose what they’re bound to?” But I scrolled down after typing them and saw your answer, haha. (Total newb here who hasn’t summoned anyone yet.) Also, gotta gush: I adore you! Your interviews on Glitch Bottle are my favorites, and I get excited whenever I see your name pop up. (I love the ones with Carrie too.) That said, I’ve heard guys like Stephen Skinner talk about binding spirits on that podcast, and his disposition towards them rubs me the wrong way. He likens it to taming wild animals. Is it really? Anyway, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

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    • Glad you enjoy my material! And both Carrie and I will be on Glitch Bottle again very soon. 🙂

      To be fair, I also described working with chthonic spirits as akin to taming wild animals in “Secrets of the Magical Grimoires.” And sometimes that comparison is useful – but only to a point. Also in “Secrets…” I insisted the grimoire demons cannot be the ancient Pagan gods – but they turned out to be exactly that. So there are several things in “Secrets…” that could stand some updating after 20 years have passed and so much more has been learned. Now I describe working with spirits – even chthonic ones – as more like working with a contractor. Or, even better, the kind of work an ambassador does. You have to approach the practice with a sense of mutual respect, not as if you are commanding a lowly creature or slave.

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      • Yea, personally, I’ve always thought of solomonic spirits as the fallen angels of Christianity, and that they’re evil and all… But I never did an actual evocation ritual so I can’t be certain. If that’s the case, then I definitely got to be more cautious lol!

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      • It’s not really that simple. According to the grimoires the demons (as opposed to the angels) are fallen angels, etc, etc just like Church doctrine says. However, the Church considered ALL Pagan deities to be “fallen angels” – which they weren’t. And the demons of the grimoires are, largely, chthonic forms of the ancient Pagan deities.

        Of course, you STILL have to be cautious – because while the demons of the grimoires are in fact the ancient Pagan gods, they are in fact the chthonic (underworld) forms of those gods, and that makes them particularly dangerous to work with. Much akin to the “wrathful deities” of the Eastern faiths.

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  4. Yea for sure. I’m still on the fence about Pagan deities, being Catholic myself. Reading Agrippa is what really makes me think lol! Because he mentions Jove, and other gods, and saying these gods deserve their own form of veneration, but he does also mention false gods for the demonic hierarchy. I guess through interaction, prayer, and contemplation I’ll come to a right understanding!

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