These notes are based largely on a workshop I gave during this year's Summer Camp near Wrexham, and are designed for people who want a simple 'way in' to this sort of magical technique. They are not intended to be comprehensive but to be a relatively easy way in for magicians just getting started. Use them as you will, try out evocations, have a few goes at it and don't sweat about getting it perfect on the first try. Fat chance. So you're off the hook.
To keep it simple, I'll stick to a spirit model here, as we seem hardwired to treat things as people.
Evocation means ‘calling out’ a presence. It implies that we can experience a presence:
- a ‘self’ like unto our own sense of self
- but also different and separate from that
- which we can communicate in some way.
Applies to elementals, fairies, tree and rock spirits, wights, angels, demons and deities, servitors, thoughtforms, fictional characters, even your own impression of living persons. Can apply to talismans and magical tools, spaces and places, even aspects of your own character or other abstractions such as ‘love’ or ‘the spirit of the ancestors.’
Practical rule 1: Whatever you wish to evoke, you treat it as though it has an identity.
Practical rule 2: In evocation (not invocation), yourself is in control of ‘you.’
Practical rule 3: Stay in a state of attentiveness to what’s going on. Instead of internal noise such as ‘is it working yet?’ you should relax into the procedure itself. Lose any anxieties in the feeling of just getting on with it.
A simple pattern of evocation: Evocation of 'Entity X.'
Preparation: firstly, think about 'Entity X' for a bit. Get clear about what you mean by contacting 'Entity X' as though it was a person. Imagine what that might be like. In other words, clarify your intent here.
Secondly, if you find it helpful to have a physical focus for your evocation, find it or make it. A picture, object, sigil, mark on the floor, anything. If some sounds or music help you to visualise your chosen presence, use them. Most of all, if there's a smell associated with it in your own mind, use that.
The ritual itself:
1. STOP and PAY ATTENTION to the space and environment in which you are expecting Entity X to manifest, including your imagination. Just shut up and use your senses. See, hear, smell, touch, even taste anything in the space, including prepared artefacts, and observe the pictures and voices in your mind.
2. ADDRESS Entity X – call for and expect attention back. Treating like a person, yes? Chanting its name can help.
3. PAY ATTENTION to any impressions you get. Your imagination is the means here.
4. RESPOND in turn.
5. Cycle 3 and 4 until you’ve had enough.
6. Close. ‘Thank you and goodbye’ might be sufficient.
Some further notes:
As with human communication, evocation should have:
1. A reason. What is your intent behind evoking? What’s it for?
2. Norms, agreement with the presence on:
a. Context (where and under what circumstances to manifest)
b. Relationship (stranger, friend, hierarchical, hostile etc)
c. Etiquette (behavioural standards, expected correspondences etc).
Generally, the structure and language of your evocation presupposes most of this information.
3. Ways of dealing with the unexpected:
a. Sticking with your reason for the evocation. Stick to the point of your intent. When it's done, end.
b. Protection (banishing, physically enclosing the presence’s space, insisting on the norms agreed above, big sword, big deity etc.)
c. Discernment (testing the spirit, common sense)
There you go. Any questions, just ask. Good conjuring.