Spirit Summoning yahoo group, I've decided to write a quick, down and dirty introduction to spirit conjuration. You won't be a pro after reading this, but you will know enough to start asking the right questions, and maybe conjure a spirit or two. No promises on it not eating you though. Especially if you're not a Christian.
That was a joke.
To conjure a spirit, you have to know a couple of things. Who are you to conjure a spirit anyway? Why should they answer you when you call them? What are you going to tell them to do? How can you be sure of success?
If you know those things, you're ready. If not, read Agrippa's Third Book of Occult Philosophy. Skim the bits that don't make sense yet. Go back and re-read those parts some other time. Get familiar with the basics of magical conjuration.
To conjure a spirit, you need its seal and/or its name. You'll need some method of communicating with it. You'll need to know what its native pantheon is, and who it answers to in that pantheon. Here's a hint: If you're not in the pantheon somewhere, don't work with that spirit. In traditional grimoires written from a Christian perspective, we get to conjure spirits because we are the "angels" of the Earth, and we have a place in the hierarchy. In Pagan stuff, if you weren't an initiate into the Mysteries, your place in the pantheon was "target."
Once you've got the spirit's name and/or seal, draw it out on paper and wear it on your chest. You can engrave it in the appropriate metal, or color it according to the spirits' favorite color scheme, or whatever details you want to add to make it more effective, but at least start with the Name/Seal on paper on your chest.
Now you'll need to know its superior in the hierarchy. If you don't have this, have a damned good reason to call the spirit anyway. Like, "Tezcatlipoca, I conjure you as God of Sorcerors to aid me in my sorcerous warfare against Magician X! You, oh God of Sorcerors, alone have the power to destroy him" and so forth. Convince them that they need to be here, or that they'll get something out of the deal.
If you've got the name of their superior, use it to conjure them. "In the name of God IHVH Tzabaoth I conjure you, Archangel of Venus ANAEL to appear before me in this crystal..." and so on.
Then you talk to the spirit. Tell it what you want. Check to see if it's who you expected (make it say "Jesus is Lord" if you're a Christian). See if it can do what you want it to do, or if there's another spirit that's better suited. Get a personal seal and/or name.
When you're done, tell it goodbye. "Thanks ANAEL forstopping in, I had a great time, come back when I call you by the name you gave me and the seal, and if I even imagine the seal and say your name, be with me immediately. In the name of IHVH Tzabaoth, go in peace."
Do something physical to ground yourself out. Hold a hunk of Iron Pyrite, Hematite, or go outside and stand barefoot in some dirt. Take a bath. Imagine you're a piece of rock, molten in the earth's core, oozing up through a crack in the ocean and then hardening as the sea water sizzles against your skin. Whatever works for you.
That's a spirit conjuring overview. Most of the rest is details, and you'll pick them up in researching each grimoire's internal structure. After a while, you won't use the grimoires because you'll already have made contact with the spirits, and they'll be guiding you directly. It's neat.