Evocations 1 – Classical Methods Explained

“Not all evocations are how the media and movies portray them. They are not to be feared as long as they are performed correctly and the warnings are heeded. In fact, the rituals themselves, and the appearance of the spirit conjured can be very beautiful. Also, I would not advise a novice practitioner to perform this complex of a ritual on their own. Learn all that you can about it first, and seek further guidance.”  ~ lovegodbob

Written by: Rob ( Rob’s Magick Blog )

When we look at classical ceremonial magic, the basic evocation ritual involves a circle and a triangle. Likewise the ritual is split into four parts: preparing the area, evoking the being, conversing with the being, and dismissing the being. None of these methods are native to ceremonial magic. There have always been evocations, even long before ceremonial magic came into vogue, and all evocations attempt to manipulate the same basic principles to bring about results. If we knew the exact evocation rituals of early man we would no doubt find similarities to modern ceremonial rituals, not because there has been a clear line of influence, but because both rituals attempt the same thing, and there is only so much room for variation. Even the rituals in this book, which are advertised as an alternative to the predominate ceremonial methods, have clear similarities. Once again this isn’t because of a direct influence, but because there is only so much room for variation.

Constructing the Magic Circle

The most important part of the classical method is the magic circle. There is no one way to make a magic circle, or even a best way. In fact the best way for you to make a magic circle would be based on your own spiritual beliefs and knowledge. In its most basic form a magic circle is just a circle. It can be drawn onto the ground with chalk, etched into dirt, drawn into the air with a wand, knife, or finger, or it can be drawn on a piece of cloth that is laid on the floor. The circle serves several purposes. It creates an area which exists outside of space-time, it connects the magician to the divine, it empowers the magician, and it protects the magician. Let’s go over each of these four purposes individually and how each is derived.

First off, in order to maximize our success with evocations, we need to be within an area outside of space and time. Not everything will be able to manifest into the available space. The area may be too small for it, or it may be a small creature and the area may be too big for you to see it. It may be of a vibration that cannot enter this world through normal means, or the environment of this world may be too foreign to it for it to manifest here. Likewise the entity’s normal movement through time may not be conductive to communication. It may be moving backwards through time, or stagnant in a single moment of time, or it may be moving too quickly or too slowly through time relative to the magician to make communication possible. It may also, for whatever reason, not be available at the exact moment of evocation.

A circle represents infinity. It has no beginning or end. It encompasses all space and time. When we are inside the magic circle, we enter into a space that is outside of space and time. Inside the circle, space and time may move exactly the same as directly outside the circle. In fact this is how it will most likely be moving when the magician first enters the circle. However once the evocation begins the circle will shift its place in time and space as needed to be conductive to communication. It should be noted that the area directly surrounding the circle may also be affected by these shifts in space and time. A person standing directly outside of the circle may not notice any change (such as the magician moving slowly or rapidly through time, for instance) because they are being affected by the same shifts. However inconsistencies in time can sometimes be sensed between the ritual area and an area that is far enough away.

Secondly we want a connection to the divine, or at least some sort of higher power. And in the next two steps we will talk about why we need that connection. A circle is generally seen as a symbol of the divine, or God, or the gods because it is infinite and all encompassing. Exactly which higher power you wish to draw upon is going to be dependent on your own personal beliefs. Christian mystics will usually draw upon the power of the Christian God or Christ, because they see him as being the highest power in the universe. Others will call upon something called the All or the Is, which is simply the sentient form of the accumulation of all things in the universe, seen to some as the supreme god or creator. Others will use a god or gods from various pantheons. And still others may call upon the power of the angels. Which one you decide to use isn’t that important. What is important is that what you’re using is real, that it is very powerful, and that you’ll be able to draw its power down and access it.

Thirdly the magic circle empowers the magician. In the classical method of evocation power is provided by an external source, and this source is accessed through the magic circle. Your connection to the divine is your source of power. It is important that the magician understand that their connection to the divine is their power source, and also that this power is absolute. They also have to have faith that the power they draw upon is absolute. If the magician does not have an understanding of and a faith in the power, they are projecting weakness instead of strength, and this in turn creates a weakness which can be exploited by the evoked spirit.

Lastly the circle provides protection for the magician. The circle is a source of absolute power, or at least a power far greater than what is being evoked, and this power cannot in any way be breached. The circle is not only there to protect the magician from a direct attack, but also to protect them from more subtle influences that the spirit may have upon the magician. Within the classical method of evocation this protection is essential, because from the beginning the magician attempts to control and exploit the evoked spirit through force which creates a hostile relationship between the two. The magician does this with borrowed power, which only goes to illustrate how weak the magician is without his protections.

The Triangle

The other part of the classical ritual is the triangle. Much like the magical circle, there is no correct way to make a triangle. It can be drawn in the air, on the floor, in the dirt, or on a cloth. Usually the triangle is much less elaborate than the circle. The triangle is often seen as much less important than the circle.

The triangle is the space in which we wish to evoke our entity. Where as we wish ourselves, standing into the circle, to be connected into the highest power and a part of all times and all places, we want the exact opposite for what we evoke. We want the spirit to appear in a specific time and place. Ideally we want it to have a spiritual presence which can be channeled into, an astral presence which can be felt, and a physical manifestation which can be seen and heard. We also want the entity to be contained, so that it can only affect the world in the ways we command it to, and we want it to be weaker than us so we can control it.

It should be noted that the importance of the triangle in the ritual varies between magicians and rituals. Some magicians prefer to always use a triangle, and only evoke spirits into the triangle, so that they always have the greatest amount of power and leverage throughout the entire evocation. Other magicians evoke spirits outside of the triangle, and only use the triangle when necessary to control the spirit, or when they feel they need the added protection. These magicians can use the triangle as a threat, forcing disobedient spirits into the triangle. Some magicians, meanwhile, omit the triangle all together, and instead only make use of the protections provided by the circle.

So why a triangle?

The representation of the triangle is multifaceted. First and foremost, three is the number of the universe. 1 (singularity), 2 (duality), and 3 (triplicity) are the three most powerful numbers in existence.

Three also represents the three realms into which we can evoke spirits. The first realm is the mental realm. Spirits in this realm can be channeled by experienced practitioners in order to communicate and share knowledge. The second realm is the astral or spiritual realm. Spirits in this realm have a presence that can be felt. They are able to move and manipulate energy and affect the astral realm. They can be seen by and communicate with practitioners who are sensitive enough to see and hear ghosts. Finally there is the physical realm. Spirits in this realm can physically affect the world. They can move objects. They can be seen and heard by anyone.

Three is also a number of incompleteness and separation from the divine or complete power. Remember there are five elements. These five elements are represented by the five points of the pentagram. Combined these five elements are considered to be absolute power, which is why the pentagram is such a common and powerful magical symbol. However the number four has the same power. Spirit is often time looked at as the combination of the other four elements, or that the other four elements all spring forth from spirit. Therefor a representation of all four elements also represents spirit. Because it does lack spirit though, four is sometimes seen as being absolute power in the realm of the physical world where as five is absolute power in all realms.

Three however is one less than four. It only represents three of the elements. Anything evoked into the triangle is only allowed to be made up of three elements at once. At any given moment, whatever is in the triangle is missing one of the four basic elements from its being. This means it is within a very weakened state, a state through which it cannot make a true divine connection. This is essential because it guarantees that the practitioner, in the circle, is more powerful than the spirit, that the practitioner has access to a power that the spirit is denied access to, and that the protections provided by the ritual cannot be breached.

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The Four Steps of the Ritual

Step 1 – Preparing the area

Adequate preparations need to be made prior to the evocation. Some practitioners prefer to perform a banishing ritual prior to the evocation so they can work within a clean space. Others prefer to use the existing energy of the area.

Most importantly the circle and triangle need to be constructed. Special care needs to be taken with the placement of the triangle. The triangle needs to be placed in an area that is free from any belongings. Likewise the area needs to be thoroughly cleaned and care needs to be taken that any skin follicles, nail clippings, hair, and blood, of both humans and pets, are not present. These things will provide a link to the practitioner and those close to him and can be used by a malicious spirit to exact revenge.

Likewise all reflective surfaces, including black mirrors like your computer monitor and TV, need to be covered, since they can give the spirit access to areas outside your control.

Energy also has to be raised in order to fuel the evocation. Spirits may need large amounts of energy to manifest, and having large amounts of energy available in the room will help with that. In addition to raising energy you may also attempt to burn candles and use incense to provide additional energy.

With this method, even if a spirit can manifest on its own, it’s considered poor form to be dependent on the powers of the spirit. The practitioner should provide ample energy for manifestation. In fact the practitioner should do everything they can to accommodate the spirit for the purposes of the evocation. A failure to do so shows weakness, and the practitioner needs to be careful to always come from a position of absolute power.

Any tools being used in the ritual also need to be put in their place. If a mirror is being used for communication it needs to go into the triangle. If sigils or rings are being used those need to go into their proper place. All magical tools at the ritual should be placed inside the circle unless there is a specific reason not to. Lastly the practitioner and anyone else attending the ritual needs to be inside the circle and needs to remain in the circle for the duration of the ritual.

Step 2 – The Evocation

Step 2 is the actual evocation. Here the practitioner needs to call forth the spirit by name and command him to come forward. If the spirit does not respond, the practitioner should become more and more threatening, until finally they use the power of the circle, if need be, to pull the spirit forward. During this stage the practitioner should also command the spirit to manifest within the realm of the practitioner’s choosing (either mentally, astrally, or physically). They should also make the spirit appear in a form that is pleasing to the practitioner. Everything in this stage needs to be a command, and everything needs to be done exactly to the practitioner’s wishes. The key here is to establish a position of power and control from the beginning.

Step 3 – Communion

During this stage the practitioner talks with and commands the spirit. If the practitioner has evoked the spirit just for knowledge, then the practitioner should engage the spirit in conversation for that knowledge. If the practitioner has a task for the spirit, they should give the spirit this task. The instructions given to the spirit need to be clear and concise with no room for independent thought or action, and the spirit must be given clear guidelines that this task is the only way they are allowed to affect the world outside the triangle. The practitioner should not bargain with the spirit, agree to repay the spirit in any way, and if necessary the practitioner should force the spirit to perform the task. The task should be performed immediately taking no longer than the duration of the ritual for the spirit to perform its part.

Step 4 – Banishing

The last step is for the practitioner to use the power of the circle to completely banish the spirit from the triangle. This is of utmost importance. The practitioner cannot leave the circle, nor should the triangle be broken, until after the spirit has been completely banished. To fail this step is to put the practitioner at the mercy of the spirit which he has abused and exploited with no power other than his own to protect him.

Pros and Cons

Advantages to using this method

1. With the classical method the practitioner is able to fully exploit the powers of the spirit. Instead of the spirit only doing what it wants to do or is willing to do it is forced to do what the practitioner wants it to do.

2. The practitioner is able to command the spirit and take from the spirit what he wants. The practitioner does not need to bargain with the spirit, to pay back the spirit, or depend on the charity of the spirit.

3. If done correctly and successfully, this method provides the practitioner the greatest amount of protection from not only direct harm, but also more subtle attacks such as being negatively influenced by the spirit.

Disadvantages to using this method

1. This entire method is a hostile act against the evoked spirit. Many normally non-aggressive spirits may become vengeful and violent and look for any opportunity to harm the practitioner. At the very least this method will create an adversitile relationship with most spirits where the spirit is not acting in the interests of the practitioner because it wants to, but is instead doing what it has to do.

2. The practitioner is dependent upon borrowed power for the evocation, control of the spirit, and his protection from the spirit. Although commanding from a position of power, the use of borrowed power shows the weakness of the practitioner. The spirit is controlled by, and possibly afraid of, the source of the power, not the practitioner.

3. All things considered, this method is probably the most dangerous. Although this method uses very powerful protections, it does so because it also creates such a dangerous position for a practitioner to be in. It creates a hostile situation while the practitioner’s reliance on external power advertises his weakness. If everything is done correctly the method is entirely safe. However the smallest error (be it in the preparation, the ritual, the banishing, or even the wording of commands) can prove disastrous.

4. Many people have ethical and moral issues with this method. Many people see commanding and exploiting another, even if it is a spirit, for no other reason than because you can as unjust. Many different religions and spiritual beliefs take issue with this method.

#Note: I may be a bit biased because I am not a fan of this method. I believe that the only reason why this method is so popular is because many people believe it is the only method. My goal in writing this book was to not only explain evocations, but also to provide alternate methods for evocations. I’ve explained this method in such detail because I wish to give a complete overview of evocations in this book, and also because understanding this method explains a good deal of the theory behind evocations and how they work in practical use, and this will also show what has been changed in the ‘alternative’ methods and why.

Additional sources:

The Occult Scrivener

Rob’s Magick Blog


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