“It is only by working the rituals, that any significant degree of understanding can develop. If you wait until you are positive you understand all aspects of the ceremony before beginning to work, you will never begin to work.”
Lon Milo DuQuette
This blog is in response to a question posed by a fellow Witch: “Do you have any tips, advice, knowledge or resources for invocation and evocation? I learned tonight that I am a channel and want to dive into developing this gift.”
From my stance, there are three topics to be addressed; channeling, evocation and invocation.
Each of these topics separately is deep and advanced on their own so I am merely going to skim the surface, give some basics, my opinion on the whole matter and allow discussions to come from that.
At another time, I will go into further detail of each practice on its own.
I must first put this disclaimer out there like I always do when giving advice: I am no expert, I don’t claim to be, either.
My way is not the only way, and there is no right way (though there are some wrong ones).
If you read what I write here and it resonates, awesome; if not, that’s cool, too.
If you want to tweak it to make it your own, do so.
We are individuals, and thus our Magick and workings will be and should be, too.
This is not a pissing contest of who knows more, and who practices what and how; use this blog, if nothing else, as a learning tool and glimpse into how I view the inner workings of Occult practice.
I have steered away from these types of blogs over the last 18 months; when I first started out, I would discuss my philosophy and personal Magickal experiences in depth. When people began to attack me though (both Magickally, and verbally for what I spoke about) I withdrew from sharing so much.
Slowly I am starting to open up once again, mostly because I don’t give a fuck about the opinions of the peanut gallery anymore but also because being thrust into this position has caused me, forced me, to grow a thick skin.
In my opinion, there needs to be a space like my blog and page, and others like it, that allow people an opportunity to learn, ask questions without judgment, and advance as a practitioner while advancing as a person.
I learn something new from my readership every single day; I hope to return the favor, tenfold.
I do not view these topics in a traditional sense, I am just throwing that out there now.
Invocation: This is the act of inviting through ritual a deity, energy or Spirit into your body and Soul; in most cases this is to obtain power, or specific Gnosis.
Evocation: This is the act of bringing forth an aspect of yourself, a deity, energy or Spirit (think summoning) to assist you in Magickal workings, healing, hexing, or other forms of ritual.
Channel: To be a Channel is the idea that you are a vessel to the Spirit world, this does not necessarily or automatically make you psychic, or a medium, it just means that for whatever reason Spirit can send (and in many cases, receive) messages through you.
For example, in Vodou it is considered a blessing to become possessed by a Spirit; these Witches are (considered by many) touched by God.
The concept of being a channel or vessel is seen across all cultures, and traditions; varying only slightly.
After the Crusades, however, anyone who showed this gift was automatically considered “insane” or suffering from “hysteria” and thus the intertwining of Magick and Mental Illness began; the two have been associated ever since (and before, as shown by history, but the numbers took off at the beginning of the 14th Century).
A Channel does not usually have any control over their body when Spirit decides to take over, and unlike a Seer or Psychic, they do not have the ability to communicate with Spirits; their individual consciousness is not present. The Spirit layers (for lack of a better term) themselves over the body and Soul of the Channel/Vessel, causing the person’s consciousness to fall back.
Now that the definitions are out of the way, let me go on to make a few points.
Being a Channel has nothing to do with Invocation or Evocation.
One is a natural gift and the other two are practices.
If you are a Channel, there is not much you can do in the way of honing your gift because, as you are aware, you do not have control. I have had one seizure from a Spirit possession, and a few bumps and bruises but nothing else overly severe.
Through the years I have learned the signs to look for within myself when a Spirit wishes to possess and rip me open as their Channel.
I notice changes in Aura, a high-pitched deafening ringing in both ears followed by utter *silence* and my vision becomes almost tunneled. I have been thoroughly checked out by medical professionals; if you experience any of these symptoms suddenly, please see a Doctor. You must rule out anything mundane before jumping to the Magickal conclusion.
The entire process is grueling and trying on the body which is why meditation is a must.
Your mind is your most powerful tool, weapon and ally but it is a weapon that can be used against you; meditation allows us to understand our weapon and become one with it.
Meditation is a practice a lot of people “can’t do”, so they give up.
Thing is, they *are* doing it, they just don’t think they are.
Meditation is not always about silencing the mind, sometimes it is about learning to listen through the chaos. I encourage people to let their mind’s wonder, let their thoughts drift, don’t silence the chatter, put your ear closer and listen!
When silence is meant for you, you will find it.
Stillness is not always the end goal; for even in stillness there is motion, even in calm there is chaos.
As far as Invocation goes, I do not incorporate that as part of my Magickal workings.
I know that many, many fellow practitioners do not and will not agree with me, and that’s fine; it goes back to the whole “we are individuals” thing.
I respect you, and you respect me.
The most influential mentor I ever had the privilege of working with told me that there “should never come a time when I need to hand over my body and Soul to a Spirit or deity to reap the benefits of their Gnosis”.
His words have stuck with me ever since.
Plus, I believe all the power we ever need is already inside of us just waiting to be tapped into.
We are Gods in our own right; Creators and Destroyers.
Monsters among men.
I do not judge others for wanting to practice Invocation Magick, to each their own. I just urge everyone to fully understand what they are doing and make sure their intentions are clear.
You should not jump into Invocation, it should be a practice that you build up to.
Evocation is a topic I have taken on before in a blog, I regularly include this form of ritual into my Magickal workings.
I enjoy, honor and cherish my connections to Spirits and the Spirit world in general; I am forever in awe of the knowledge and power possessed by Spirits and Daemons I work with and their graciousness to share that knowledge and power with me.
Magick is as vast and deep as the Great Void itself, the opportunities to learn, grow, and evolve are endless.
I guess, I viewed invocation as tapping into spirit within yourself more than turning yourself over to that spirit. There are times I have felt possessed, but not out totally out of control of control of myself. I do admit I find vocabulary limiting sometimes…I really enjoyed this article, I always preface things with the whole this is my experience and necessarily yours statement, too. Thank you for honoring all of us with a glimpse into your journey.
Hello, loved your perspective..I am an alchemist. …especially intrigued by your understanding of personal connotations of words, also found some more insight into my questioning of the invocation and evocation with our Concious and subconscious