Is Evocation disrespectful to spirits?

Posted on December 31, 2012
Filed Under entities, Magic | 2 Comments

demonolatry

I’m reading The Complete Book of Demonolatry by S. Connolly. One of the points the author makes is that demonolatry finds the practice of evocation to be disrespectful to demons and as a result doesn’t use it. Their perspective is that evocation involves summoning a demon against its will to perform a task, while threatening it with Angels and other sundry threats in order to induce it to do said task. And I agree that when evocation is done that particular way it is disrespectful. That particular approach to evocation can be found in a variety of grimoires that are based off hermetic Christian practices that ironically enough rarely involved doing the practice of magic, but loved to focus on the theory, as well as provide the occasional homage to the church to avoid being burned. Sadly that hasn’t stopped people in more contemporary times from utilizing those practices.

I’ve never agreed with the class approach to evocation, and I also disagree with Joseph Lisiewski’s assertion that if you don’t do evocation the way it was classically done, its not effective. I think there is a respectful way to do evocation that doesn’t force an entity to work for you, but instead involves working with the entity cooperatively. I’ve discussed such approaches in more depth in Multi-Media Magic, but it’s worth conversing on it here as well.

When I do initial work with a given entity, I do an invocation to make contact and establish whether or not a working relationship can be developed. Once that initial contact is made I ask the entity’s permission to evoke it. If it is open to being evoked it provides me a personalized sigil or symbol that I can use to evoke it. I usually integrate that sigil into a painting of my own design, which is used as an offering to the entity and a gateway to its home plane of existence. When the evocation is done, it is done by opening the gateway and allowing the entity through to do whatever it will end up doing. And even then I don’t command it to do something. I make a deal, where I provide something in return for it doing something for me. There is an equivalent exchange, so to speak.

I have found this approach to be respectful, and from what I can tell the entities I evoke also find it respectful. I get where demonolaters are coming from and why they’d view the practice of evocation to be disrespectful, especially in regards to the classic approach to evocation, but I think an approach to evocation which is structured around creating a relationship of respect isn’t disrespectful. The misuse of a technique shouldn’t determine if the technique is in and of itself an inherently wrong technique and if a given technique is done in a way that a person considers wrong, there’s always the option of changing the technique.That’s my take on it, but others might disagree and that’s fine. I do know that my evocations have always worked and I’ve yet to have an unhappy or angry entity as a result of doing said evocations.

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  1. […] Tradition. In part I am referring to my response to Taylor Ellwood’s article “Is Evocation disrespectful to spirits?” but in part I am also referring to my own spirit […]