Sunday, June 5, 2011

Evocation - Art of Spirit Exteriorization

We have already covered the three tier methodology for performing an initial invocation in the Order of the Gnostic Star. I recently gave an outline for this procedure, introducing my readers to the ritual called the Gate of Revealing. I had said that there were four tracks to be followed in that rite once the preliminary operations were complete. I then elucidated one of those four tracks, which was the primary invocation of a spirit and a necessary precursor to the other three tracks. In this article, I want to go over the track of Evocation, also known as Spirit Exteriorization because it brings the spirit from its domain into the world of the magician. This is done for a specific task to be accomplished in a specific time frame, which is analogous (but not the same) as a pact. While I might perform a number of invocations, I will rarely perform an evocation, because most of what I am seeking is in the form of insights and intuitive wisdom (gnosis).

Also, so I will not cause any confusion, my definitions of invocation and evocation are quire different than how they are popularly used in the ceremonial magical community. I have chosen to use these terms in an operant manner, which represents the functional techniques of invocation and evocation. For the record, invocation is not the summoning of angelic spirits and evocation, not the summoning and coercing of demonic spirits. Just to ensure that we are on the same page in regards to invocation and evocation, let me repeat what I have stated previously.

Essentially, there are two functional processes that are necessary for spiritual magick; these ritual processes summon the target spirit and cause its manifestation and focus its essence so that it may be projected into the mundane world.  Specifically, the first function assists the magician to make a connection with the spirit and develop its image, ideal form and characteristics; thus giving the entity a manifested body of light through which it may interact only with the magician inside his magick circle.  The second process is where the energy and personality of the spirit is sealed to a specific purpose and exteriorized into the mundane plane from the Inner Planes, thereby actualizing the transforming potency of the spiritual contact. The first function is an internal summoning or invocation (invocare: to call in), and the second function is an external projection or evocation (exvocare: to call out).”

Now that we have gotten the definitions squared away, we can continue with the discussion on the methodology of evocation. It is important to note that the invocation ritual has already been successfully performed before one ever considers to perform the evocation of that same spirit.

Preliminary Operations

The preliminary operations consist of performing the macro-rite that re-establishes the invoking vortex of the target spirit. These actions are performed within an already fully consecrated magick circle. The operator performs the following four magickal executions to arrive at the point where the evocation track may be attempted.

  • Unseal the four Watchtowers and the four Angles with an unsealing spiral. This operation should be done in a widdershins vector so as to keep the vortex quality intact. (N - W - S - E and NE, NW, SW and SE).
  • Reset the stack of two trigons in the center of the circle, charge with an invoking spiral and a violet colored energy.
  • Charge the eight points of the magick circle with the crystal of transformation (control crystal).
  • Perform the ritual section “Opening the Threshold of the Mystikon” in the Gate of Revealing rite. (This is always done in its full form, thus establishing the invoking vortex and western gateway.)

Evocation and Exteriorization of the Spirit

The preliminary action of evocation consists of a technique of imagery and prana-yama induced self-empowerment. The magician imagines in his mind a cloud of white etheric energy and draws it into himself through the cool-breathing technique. The magician then aligns his body chakric system through a special trance method and causes his body's energy alignment to assume the shape of a pentagram of radiant etheric fire.

Then the magician performs the chakric projection technique by first placing the staff against her spine and holding it there with one hand, (the magician can be standing or seated, but it is recommended that she should be seated), then proceeds to stimulate her third eye chakra with a fragment of consecrated host held in her other hand. While she is stimulating her third eye chakra, she begins to project an aetheric energy through it, visualizing this force while imprinting upon it her intention or true-will. The process of chakric stimulation and projection is continued until the magick circle is filled with this imprinted energy.

Setting aside the host fragment (or simply eating it), and still holding the staff to his spine, the magician takes the crystal of transformation and places it against his forehead, continuing the process of projecting his energized intent. At this point, the magician performs the Lotus 7-Breath technique, which is a method of prana-yama. This is a breathing technique where the magician  hyperventilates, beginning at first to slowly and fully breathe in the scent of Lotus oil, and then proceeding to breathe more rapidly until  a climax reached. He then holds in his breath with one arm encircling his chest while simultaneously attempting to forcefully exhale. When he has achieved the greatest degree of tension in holding the breath and attempting to exhale, the magician violently exhales and experiences a profound altered state of awareness. This occurs because a large and sudden volume of oxidated blood rushes to his brain, momentarily lowering the pulse and blood pressure. In this state the magician will witness the energies of the invoked spirit becoming exteriorized.

The magician then performs a form of the Qabbalistic Cross, using the Rose-Ankh device to charge the chakras of her body and intoning a word formula at each point. The heart chakra is the final point, and therein the magician exclaims that the Gate of manifestation is opened and the mysteries of evocation may now be consummated. This ritual action is accomplished, of course, when the magician has returned to a somewhat stabilized mind-state, and the staff is put aside. She now causes the evocation vortex to be completed, sealing the content of her intention into the crystal of transformation, by holding and staring into it in a fixed manner for a time. She then takes the crystal and anoints it in some consecrated wine (conveniently held in a nearby chalice), and then touches it to her forehead, activating the Ajna chakra and establishing a link with the evocation vortex.

The next stage of the evocation working consists of what is called “Walking the Pattern.” This is where the magician holds the crystal of transformation in his right hand, and beginning with the first Tarot trump of the pattern of the initiation cycle located in the first quadrant of the previously established inner magick circle, he begins to slowly circumambulate it counter-clockwise. At each quadrant, he carefully meditates upon the Tarot trumps placed therein, and passes his right hand holding the crystal over them. In this fashion, the magician slowly transcribes that inner circle, actualizing the initiation pattern, which assists in the process of  the evocation of the spirit bound up with the magician’s overall intention.

The final stage of evocation uses the double gate ritual pattern of the Iron Cross Vortex ritual to allow the invoked spiritual entity to be given passage from the domain of the magick circle to the outer world of material existence. This ritual must be performed immediately following the evocation working so that the evoked intensity of energies can find a pathway or channel into the magician’s reality. This process is explained in the next section.

A final note on evocation concerns certain precautions that the magician adopts when dealing with evoked entities, and also the method for contacting them and projecting their energies and influences when needed.  First, it should be understood that to evoke a spirit is to send it and its influences, aligned with the magician's intent, into the normal consciousness of the magician. This requires the magician to maintain a grounded stability while simultaneously integrating her mind with the spirit's qualities and energies. The periodic saying of a mass for the spirit will ensure that it is continually present and energized. But a spirit which no longer receives the blessings of the sacrament and the attentions of the magician will become dormant and inactive on the physical plane. It requires the focused saying of a mass to revive the connection with the invoked quality of the spirit, but after a certain time (from seventy-two days to three months) the connection disappears completely, and cannot be re-established, even with re-performing the evocation working.

One would assume that the stated intention that the magician has developed for the purpose of this evocation would also stipulate a duration or deadline for the desired outcome to occur. The magician who elects to perform an evocation should write down the stated desire on parchment in a clear and concise manner, and also state when this agreement or pact should end. The spirit is given a reasonable amount of time (as far as probabilities go) to achieve the stated goal, but no longer. When the time limit is achieved, the magician should burn the pact and give the spirit an internalized license to depart. If the stated objective is not achieved, then there are obviously mitigating circumstances or issues that have prevented it from being realized. Divination and soul searching should help the magician to discover why the evocation failed, however, continual divination from the beginning of the operation to its conclusion will help the magician know exactly what is occurring, and this my recommended approach to magickal evocation.

It should be well understood that because the evoked spirit exists in the magician’s psychic reality, contacting and channeling it requires no greater effort than adopting a momentary meditative state and then summoning the spirit. A more elaborate procedure would involve three actions, performed in a semi-meditative mind state. These actions consist of lighting a candle, ringing a bell, and opening the grimoire where the parchment sigil of the spirit is kept. While pointing at this sigil with the transmutar wand, the magician summons the spirit, chanting its name only three times.

The evoked spirit is always bonded to the intention and will of the magician and cannot act upon its own desires. The intention of the evocation functions as a pact between the magician and the spirit. The spirit therefore cannot function outside the boundary of the magician's intention, which was forged during the evocation working. The spirit is also unable to endanger the magician or to possess him because of the restriction imposed by the bonded intention. However, when the spirit has fulfilled the purpose of the intention, it is automatically released from the bond and is no longer held in the state of evocation. A released spirit must be re-evoked with a new intent in order to be accessed within the material world.

Iron Cross Vortex Ritual

The Iron Cross ritual is used to complete the evocation working, although it is not part of the Gate of Revealing ritual. Whereas the evocation working has up to this point generated a body and an intention for evocation, the actual process of exteriorization is performed as part of the double gates of the Iron Cross ritual. This ritual uses the properties of the double-gate West-East ritual structure to transfer a spirit from the world of magick into the magician’s world. The magician’s intention is imprinted upon the energies released from the evocation vortex and becomes the bond that limits and controls the extent of the powers of the evoked spirit. The Iron Cross ritual has four sections: the Crossing of the Gate of Darkness, the Vortex of the Black Sun, the Crossing of the Gate of Light, and the Vortex of the Solar Goddess.

In the section Crossing of the Gate of Darkness, the crystal of transformation is  fastened  around the magician's neck and three talismanic Gate Keys are set up in the format of the Western Gate of the underworld. The three letter Gate formula that is used for the Gate of Darkness, begins with the Hebrew letter Tzaddi in the Southeast, Daleth in the West and Tav in the Northeast. The Southeast Gate node represents those forces which assist the Gate Crossing, so with Tzaddi occupying this position it signifies that the primordial spiritual source has opened itself for the magician’s use.

The Western Gate node represents the issue which must be overcome, and with Daleth occupying this position it signifies that the primary issue is one of translating the symbolic essence of spirituality into the dynamic matrix of living consciousness. The Northeast Gate node represents the ordeal itself, and with Tav occupying this position it represents the process by which ideals influence matter and also, how matter alters ideals. The entire Gate formula can be expressed as the process by which spiritual experiences are expressed and communicated so that they may aid in the progression of evolving consciousness.

The second section of the ritual, the Vortex of the Black Sun, is where the magician builds a negative vortex of the darkened (eclisped) sun using the inverted swastika, drawing and charging this device  to each of the four Watchtowers. Then, the magician draws the Watchtowers together through the Iron Cross trigon that is occupying the center of the circle. The formula of the letters H. B. S. P. (Hebseph) represent the combined powers that are generated when the light and darkness of one’s soul merge through the force and wisdom of one’s magickal will This nihilistic quality is further compared to the Qabbalistic Negative Veils, giving it a profoundly trans-personal quality. These veils are also characterized as the veils of the Black Goddess who is the source of the collective cosmic unconscious mind. By summoning her symbolic imago, the Black Goddess functions as the mediatrix of both the magickal and mundane worlds, since these two worlds are connected by wormhole-like conduits residing at the deepest strata of being.

The third section of the ritual, the Crossing of the Gate of Light, is where the magician erects the Eastern Gate of light in the place of the rising sun. The three points of the Eastern Gate are reversed from that of the Gate of Darkness and are positioned in the Southwest, East and Northwest, respectively. The magician places the three talismanic Gate Keys to the new Gate nodes and then erects the Gate of Light using the same formula as used for the Gate of Darkness, with the exception being that each point of the Gate has the opposite context, i.e., that of ascension into the Light. So the Southwestern Gate node would represent the Symbolic Concept, the East would represent the Medium of Communication and the Northwest would represent the Process of Expression. The Eastern Gate formula indicates that the invoked spirit experiences transformation (death) in order to be reborn through the intervention of the Absolute Spirit, which is connected to everything.

The fourth and final section, the Vortex of the Solar Goddess, is where the magician creates the solar vortex by drawing and charging the Iron Cross device in each of the four Angles and the Infra-point, proceeding in a widdershins circuit, thereby generating a powerful vortex in the center of the circle. The subsequent Iron Cross vortex is  the final structure in this ritual. It is joined with the completed Double Gate structure (the Gate of Night, and the Gate of Light) and the vortex of the Black Sun, to create a potent etheric energy container that will sustain the evoked spirit after its emergence into the mundane sphere. To the formula of Tzaddi and Daleth is added Mim (Spiritual Transformation), and Nun (Physical Transformation). The magician then bows profoundly in the center of the circle and directs the energies of the fused vortices, resonating and fusing them into the Ultra-point.

The final magickal action is the sword dance that exteriorizes a focused cone of power or a yod into the magician's normal conscious reality, thus projecting the essence of the evoked spirit into the magician’s mundane sphere. This dance is performed with the magician pivoting in the center of the circle in a clockwise circuit, turning the sword over his head in a anti-clockwise circuit so that the energy is sent in all directions from the center of the circle. (This is, of course not as easy as it sounds, but some approximation should be done, even it is far more simplistic.)

Such a magickal dance begins slowly and then increases in tempo, until it is a frantic but controlled sword dance, with both the magician and the sword spinning around in a circle. The climax of the dance is where the magician sends out a blazing bolt of power from the tip of the sword like a lightening bolt (a “yod” of energy) and then falls prostrate upon the floor of the magick circle, having expended every ounce of energy. The premise is that the profoundly exteriorized magickal power will assist the evoked spirit to enter this world and speedily proceed to its target and begin its work.

This completes the analysis of the evocation working and the articles on magickal invocation and evocation. I hope that by sharing with you how I have uniquely developed this methodology, it might well assist you with developing or refining your own techniques.

Frater Barrabbas


  1. It's good to see the functional definition of invocation and evocation getting out there. While it's true that invoking hostile spirits such as demons is generally a bad idea, I evoke angelic spirits all the time to perform particular tasks.

    It sounds like my personal approach to evocation is a little different than yours, in that I think magicians should always work from both mystical and magical perspectives at the same time. In other words, rather than performing most of your rituals towards gnosis, I think you should also work at transforming the world in which you live and work in such a way that it becomes more and more conducive to that realization by providing you with more time, resources, and overall fulfillment.

    The technical method outlined here is much more elaborate than mine. In general it follows the same basic steps, but there are a couple of points that are at odds with my experience.

    (1) I've found that the influence of the spirit does not necessarily transmit through the personal consciousness of the magician. It may also be sent along a magical link to an external target. This is the one of the main reasons one uses a containment structure such as the Sigillum Dei Aemeth or Goetic triangle.

    (2) I've never needed to perform additional magical work such as masses for the spirits I summon in order to keep them working and on task.

    (3) I give the License to Depart at the conclusion of my ceremonies and then close with a microcosmic banishing only. This allows the spell to work without my needing to pay constant attention to it until the specified time limit has been reached.

    Some of these points are probably due to specific technical differences between our methods, and without more involved analysis and empirical experimentation it's hard to say what those key differences might be. Regardless, it's good to see such a detailed breakdown of what you've found to work well in your own practice.

  2. @Ananael Qaa - Thanks for your comments. We do have different approaches for doing this kind of work. Keep in mind that I work through a foundational process of immersion, which doesn't allow me to easily isolate whatever I happen to invoke or evoke.

    As for making things happen in the material world, I have found that elementals and planetary magick are much more effective, even if a spirit is involved in that working. I don't consider those kinds of workings to be analogous to the working of invoking and evoking a high level spirit (or even a demon, for that matter). Gnosis and inner psychological changes, as well as a mental form of learning and realization, seem to be what I reserve invocation and evocation workings for my magick. For the most part, invocations appear to give everything that I am seeking from these workings.

  3. So you would consider working with the planetary intelligences and spirits planetary magick rather than evocation? I guess we must be using the term more differently than I thought. As I see it, calling an Intelligence and Spirit into a containment structure and then sending them out to accomplish a particular task is both planetary magick and evocation.

    If you're confining your definitions to mystical work, I would agree with you that invocation is a more efficient method for obtaining realization. There's not much point in evoking a spirit and then charging it to act upon your consciousness when you can just invoke it and have it do the same thing. My usual method of working is to invoke for mystical results and evoke for magical ones.

  4. @Ananael Qaa - I guess I am differentiating between an implicit and an explicit evocation. An implicit evocation occurs whenever I work element or planetary magick.

    The Gate of Revealing ritual is set up for an explicit evocation - one that deliberately extracts a spirit from its domain and funnels it into the domain of the magician for a specific purpose.

    I have found that the Angelic Ruler of the Decan is best used for this process of explicit evocation, not to mention all of its associated spirit servitors, such as the ha-Shem angels and the goetic demons.

    We should talk more about this when next we meet. I think much would be learned and revealed by discussing our different methods and approaches.