Evocation is a method of summoning an entity into a physical manifestation through the means of ritual, concentrated prayer, or by spiritual invocation. Methods of evocation can be found in grimoires, and manuals for magick and summoning. It is compared to invocation an inner manifestation of a spirit or deity within the consciousness of the summoner.
The physical appearance of an evoked spirit can take on several different forms. The presence can be felt through the physical senses, such as through peripheral vision, sounds that are heard, or through smells that appear in the summoner's environment. The appearance of an entity in physical form is sometimes manipulated through the summoner's tools of manifestation, such as smoke from burning incense, or through crystal scrying or gazing. It is said that it takes a great amount of energy or will of the magician to make an entity manifest into physical form.
Evocation is also described as the act of summoning a spirit or deity for the purpose of commanding or bidding it to perform a task. In this method, the spirit is evoked and manifests into the physical realm which causes certain reactions or events according to the nature and purpose of the request.
The 'Laws of Evocation' written by Isaac Bonewits describes evocation as a method of internal and external experience with an entity. This method uses identification and communication with a spirit through the means of physical manifestation.
In another system of magic the experience of evocation is compared to the contact and command with lower entities that the magician controls through will. The author W.E. Butler, in the book 'Magic, Its Ritual, Power, and Purpose' describes evoked entities as spirits or forces of lower influences that the magician manifests into physical appearance. By comparison, Butler describes invocation as the method of inviting or calling to an external and supreme entity or force, which is experienced as an internal manifestation.
Methods of Evocation
Evocation in ritual magick is a process of internally identifying with a deity or entity through the use of ritual tools that invoke states of awareness or focus. In the book 'Techniques of High Magick' by Stephen Skinner, evocation is described as the "Formulae of the Wand" which represents the experience of externally manifesting an entity into visible appearance, and controlling this entity through the force of will.
This is compared to the "Formulae of the Cup", which is a method of invocation and internal identification with an entity. The use of the Magick Circle is a focus for contact with an entity and the magic cup or chalice is symbolic of the vessel that the magician becomes when the entity is invoked. In some ritual magick methods the magician uses ritual tools such as a magick circle, the Triangle of Manifestation, and a Magic Mirror to make an entity or force take on a visible and physical appearance. These items invoke states of consciousness that enable the physical evocation of a spirit or demon.
In the book 'Aspects of Evocation', Phil Hine explains that invoking a deity or energy into the psyche creates the means by which evocation of an entity can manifest. This method is achieved through means of identifying with concepts, subconscious emotions, or symbols that are related to the entity that is being invoked. The evoked entity reacts to a physical environment according to the nature of the entity, and according to the request of the one who is evoking.
In the book 'Liber Kaos' by Peter Carroll, his method of evocation is described as "implantation of the entity into the subconscious, the empowerment of the entity and the direction of the entity to various tasks". This method is achieved through means such as fantasy or imagination, or by mental effort. Some ritual methods include the use of sigils, mantras or glyphs that are symbolically related to the entity being invoked.
The magician Aleister_Crowley attempted an evocation of the Dee and Kelly Enochian version of Satan, known as Choronzon. This deity whom Crowley named the “Dweller of the Abyss”, was the guardian and guide to the Adept magician’s task of crossing the Abyss. While many authors theorize the different methods that Crowley used to evoke the demon, it is under great suspicion that the evocation was attempted but it was a complete failure. The theory remains that the account of the evocation of Choronzon was fabricated in order to satisfy Crowley's need to include Choronzon into his pantheon and to explain the process of crossing the conceptual world that Crowley named “The Abyss”.