LESSONS IN MAGICK: Invocation, Evocation and Channeling

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“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.

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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.

Make sense?

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.

Scythe

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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.

Lessons in Magick: Evocation

Michael Pisano

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“Tis the witching hour of night,

Orbed is the moon and bright,

And the stars they glisten, glisten,

Seeming with bright eyes to listen

For what they listen?”

John Keats

It has been over one month since I have sat down to write a blog, usually by this point I would be going mad because of the built up creative energy, this time was a bit different; a lot can change in a month.

The death of my Grandmother has hit me pretty hard, and I am dealing with the waves of emotions that come with grief. I have also developed Carpal Tunnel in my left wrist due to the excessive amount of writing, and strain from the intricate beading and jewelry that I have been doing. Ah, the Universe sure does have a sense of humor.

Find a hobby, they said, it will be good for you, they said. This is further proof that I am the epitome of Murphy’s Law, and that if something will happen, it will happen to me. No victimizing myself, just speaking truth. I have learned to dance in the rain, and most importantly I have learned that the show, eventually, must go on.

So, here we are.

This particular blog post was supposed to be written in conjuction with my last piece about the unethical practice of Spirit Binding. It has been on my mind for over 4 weeks, and I have been debating with myself if I want to open this can of worms, or leave it shut. I even consulted with my Sister to get a muggle’s perspective; I refer to non-Witches as muggles from a place of endearment.

Needless to say, even with her lack of understanding of what exactly I was asking her, her response was, “well someone has to talk about it, right?”

I am going to discuss Evocation Magick.

When I started to learn of the existence of people selling Bound Vessels I posted a little rant on my personal Fb page and one of my very own friends said she owned a Bound Vessel. It was only through a discussion with her, and another Witch friend on the thread that I learned they both had their reservations about the topic; one not knowing where to begin, and the other not wanting the responsibility of teaching such Practical techniques.

I am not suggesting that my techniques given here are guarantees, or even the best way to go about Evoking a Spirit, or your own personal power; I am only giving my opinion based on my experience. I think it is important for my personal journey that I continue to push the boundaries of what is accepted and what is taboo to talk about within our community.

I could make a total ass of myself, but at least I started the discussion.

Here’s the deal before we get started, I am writing this under the impression that you know how to cast a Circle of Protection, I am also under the impression that Evocation is not the first form of Magick you are trying.

Circles of Protection can be formal, or something as simple as a word or gesture, it is completely up to the Witch to decide what is most effective for her or his self. I believe we should have multiple methods or ways to cast a Circle because some occasions call for formalities whereas others do not allow for such intricacies. Ie. You are under attack and physical harm is eminent.

Personally, I use the Latin command “Ignis Draconis, Redimio” to protect myself during ritual or I will call upon Spirits to watch the corners; the latter obviously being something that took practice, and lots of trial and error. I believe that how we protect ourselves should be just as personal as our Magick itself.

Before venturing into Evocation you should be proficient in casting a circle, if you aren’t you will quickly learn where the gaps in your shielding are.

I think when Evocation Magick is brought up there is first and foremost confusion on what it is exactly, and then there is fear, which comes from the confusion. Evocation Magick is the act of bringing forth Spirits, Daemons, Entities, Gods, etc. or an aspect of yourself.

This can be for the sole purpose of communicating with them, or asking their assistance in your personal practice or casting.

Another reason people are scared of Evocation Magick is because they psych themselves out into thinking it is way harder than it actually is.

Drop the fear, there is no place for it when dealing with Spirits and there is no place for it on the Magickal path because it will be used against you. Magick itself is scary, that is half the reason why most of us are drawn to the Craft to begin with.

In most cases the only items you need to Evoke a Spirit or bring forth your own Power are a Sigil or other item personal to the Spirit you wish you work with and your intentions.

Yes, it really is that simple.

If it is an aspect of yourself that you wish to call upon, say you want to bring forth your Shadow, you could use blood, semen or vaginal secretions. Obviously I would not suggest using bodily fluids when working with Spirits until you are well seasoned and have established a relationship with the Spirit(s).

My preference is to use Sigils. I have had two boards made for me; one for healing, one for charging. I have learned the charging board is good for Evocation, this board has 2 Lucifer Sigils and 2 Lilith Sigils etched into it.

By meditating over the board and using it as a conduit I am able to communicate with ease. I add in my preferred form of divination, and it pretty much is as simple as that. You can use Tarot cards, pendulum, tea leaves, water, fire, automatic writing or any other form of scrying. I suggest learning more than one method.

I have 2 mirrors that I use for Evocation as well: one a regular mirror, and one a black mirror. The regular mirror is used when calling upon what I refer to as “higher vibrational beings” such as Archangels, certain Gods and/or Goddesses. The black mirror is used for human Spirits (both unknown and Ancestral) and “lower vibrational beings” such as Daemons, or Trickster God Archetypes; Gods, and Goddesses of Sex, and Death, too.

You can use Doves Blood Ink, Dragons Blood Ink, Bats Blood Ink, actual blood, or chalk (on the black mirror) to write the Sigil of your choosing, or creation.

After drawing the Sigils on the mirror or board you encircle it with 4 candles; 1 black at the top (North), and 3 white surrounding it. You can switch up the candle color to make it more Spirit specific: Black and Red for Papa Legba or Lilith, and Blue for Lucifer are just a few examples. Your Spirits will let you know if they have a preference.

You also should have a place for an offering of some sort. This is where I get into arguments with my fellow Left Hand Pathers because they confuse offering with worship. Just because I am offering something as a thank you does mean that suddenly I worship whatever Deity or Spirit I am working with.

In fact, there have been many occasions where I have worked with a Spirit only one time and even a few occasions where I didn’t get along with the Spirit I called upon. Respect and offerings were still given though.

So, you have your circle of protection, you have your medium (mirror or board) and you have your Spirit of choice.

Now, it is time for your incantation. This is a chant, or Spell that is spoken to bring forth the Spirit, it can be in your native tongue, or in Latin, Hebrew or if you’re feeling frisky Sumerian ; goes back to personal preference.

The incantation is where you set your intentions for why you are calling forth the Spirits, what you are offering them, and what exactly you would like them to do. The more detailed and personal the wording, the better the result.

Then, you wait—sometimes you are waiting much longer than others so make sure you have your Scrying method ready to go. The Spirits will let you know when they are present usually by knocking, producing strange smells or temperature changes. Once you know you are in the presence of Spirit you light an incense, and begin your session. This is the part where anything goes and it is you and the Spirit(s). You can read all the books in the world but nothing will prepare you for the first (deliberate) contact with the other side.

When the communication has ended, and you wish to part ways with the Spirit you simply release them by saying, “Honored Guests of my Temple the window to our communion is now closing, go forth onto your habitations and abodes in peace. Forever acting as friends and helpers. My words are firm so it shall be, this is my will, so mote it be.” I have loosely based this portion off of Jason Miller’s book Protection and Reversal Magick. I highly recommend it, link at the bottom.

You close your circle, and cleanse your space. I personally always set intentions of gratitude at this point as well because these Spirits didn’t have to work with me but they chose to.

Evocation Magick is an essential part of the Craft and it is essential for personal growth as a Witch to know how to work with Spirits without fear.

It is only when we release the fear that we can unlock the full potential of Magick that is hidden deep within ourselves.

Resources:

Jason Miller: Protection and Reversal Magick