Thursday, February 05, 2009

How to Conjure Spirits

Agrippa is a great resource for all things magical. Using the tables of the scales of the numbers in the 2nd Book of Occult Philosophy, you will be able to put together whatever type of ritual you could possibly need.

However, the details on how to conjure spirits aren't in the Three Books. Instead, you find a basic outline in the spurious "Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy." This ritual can be used to conjure any of the spirits listed in the Tables of Book 2.

What you need:

  • Something to trace a large magic Circle with on your floor around your ritual area. This can be anything pointy or something that can make a circular shape. This includes a finger, wand, rope, salt, or spray paint. Please note, spraypaint fumes are nasty, and it's hard to explain to your landlord later. Salt vacuums right up, and if you use your finger or wand, there's no physical residue to clean up.
  • Pencil and Paper (You can also use a "pen".)
  • A compass (the kind you draw circles with, not a North-pointing magnetic thingy), or something you can trace to make concentric circles (different sized coins if you can write small enough, or lids, or different sized canned goods, bottles, etc.)
What you don't need, but they're nice to have:
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Scrying crystals or a bowl of water, a pendulum, or IMAGINATION
Some people would say imagination is a necessary thing, and I agree. However, most people don't know their imagination well enough to understand how to use it in magic. Most people think it's just something you use to make pretty mind pictures. Which it is. But there's more to it. And the magic works regardless of your ability to see it in your mind's pretty-picture-maker, so I'm counting it as optional.

Now what I'm about to tell you is the bare-bones basics of how to conjure a spirit. It's not complicated, and the main intention is to get people to realize how easy spirit conjuration REALLY IS. I have clients that want to know the details of how to consecrate their wands. That's great! Empower your tools! (I anoint mine with holy water once in a while, and say, "Be thou cleansed of all uncleanliness, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" while making crosses over it. Sort of a baptism. It works great.

But not necessary for Spirit work.

All you need is love.

Oh wait, that's a Beatles song. I get that confused.

Here's the process:


Most of the spirits in the Tables of Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy can be found with a little research on the internet. The Heptameron and the Magical Calendar are EXCELLENT resources for the seals of the spirits. If you can't find the seal of the spirit, you can use its NAME. Written out in some script that you consider holy is good, but they also work in English. Somewhere some time, someone got the notion that some languages are holy by being themselves, and others aren't. Whatever.

You'll need to draw the spirit's symbol inside a hexagram, underneath it's name. A Hexagram is a Star of David, made of two triangles, one pointing up and one pointing down. Each little triangle formed by the points should be the same size.

Around this hexagram, draw FIVE Pentragrams (five-pointed stars). Four of these stars represent the four Angels of the Corners of the Earth. The Fifth represents the Spirit you are conjuring.

Next write the spirit's name above these stars. In the Fourth Book, you write them in Hebrew.

Next, draw an equilateral triangle around everything you've drawn so far.

Next, draw a circle around the Triangle. It should touch the three points of the triangle.

Draw another circle around that circle, about a half-inch or so out from the first circle. In the border you have created, write the Names of God. These Names will vary depending on your source. If you've studied the Golden Dawn version of the Tree of Life, and have performed the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram a time or two, and the Middle Pillar on occasion, then you should probably use the Names of God that are assigned to the ten Sephiroth.

In my opinion, you can write IAO, LOGOS, Chronos, Zeus, Apollo, Aries, Aphrodite, Hermes, Artemis, and Hephaestus. You can throw in Hecate instead of Hepaestus too, but I'd keep Hephaestus in there anyhow. Now these are Greek manifestations of the faces of God that were revealed to a set of people that were not given the Law the way God gave it to the Jews. Instead, they were given the Logos in the form of Philosophy and other weirdness.*

Either way, or any other way, you're representing in the outermost circle the manifestations of God that represent the different phases He went through in his emanation of the physical world. By listing these secret names, you the magician are pointing out to the servants of the Most High that you're in on the secret, you understand the way things work, and that you're an initiate. It's like a badge that a sheriff wears. There's no magic in the star of the cop, it's what it represents that makes a criminal have to listen.

You know, like in Practical Magic. With the witches. And the dude with one green eye that flipped pancakes. And the Romanian cowboy. From Hell.

Cut out the circle. That's your "LAMEN." Wear it over your heart whilst you conjure Ye Olde Spirit.

Congratulations! You're ready to conjure. Yes, it is that easy. You won't get the really awesome mind-blowing results that you get with a fully detailed rite that incorporates all the things that empower and attract and resonate with the spirit, creating a physical space that is so closely in tune with the spirit's own sphere that manifesting is a simple matter of stepping through a kleenex-veil. You will, however, get the spirit's attention, and the more you do it, the more you'll be able to see him/her.

Now, first thing you're going to do is draw out the big ol' Magical Circle. Look at the Goetia for a nifty idea of what a perfect magical circle should include. You'll note that it's basically EVERYTHING that is a God or Angel or Sphere listed in Heinrich Agrippa's Scale of the Number Ten. These fellows were REALLY covering their bases.

In the Circle you've got candles in each of the four corners of the world for the Angels Michael-Gabriel-Uriel-Raphael. I base that interpretation on the Adonai written around the hexagrams (Adonai is Lord) and the Greek Tau cross in the center (representing the Earth, according to Crowley). Put those together and you've got the "Lord of the Earth" in each Quarter, and that, according to the Scale of the Number Four, refers to the Four Angels of the Corners of the Earth. It could be the Four Princes too, Oriens-Paimon-Egyn-Amaymon, but I'm more inclined to think Angels because "Lord" isn't the same as "Prince."

You've got the Alpha and the Omega listed, referencing the Logos. Then there's a square in the center in which the magician stands/sits. Around the square is written El (God name of Chesed/Jupiter) and Jah (God name of Chokmah/Sphere of the Zodiak). You've got Vav (Nail) and Hod (Sphere of Mercury) too. Put those together, and you've got the representation of the "Powers of the Sphere of the Zodiak being brought down by God's Grace to his Messenger, the magician, who Nails it to the physical realm." Inside the circle is the Tetragrammaton, IHVH, with the letters drawn and the names of the letters written below for good measure.

In the center of it all stands the Magician.

Can you see all the things represented in the Magical Circle? You're standing in the center, where I would place the Divine Darkness from which emanates the infinite Light of the Ain Soph Aur. You're directing the powers of the spheres of the Zodiac outward through the Logos and then to the Four Lords of the Corners of the Earth. You're surrounded by the Ten Names of God and the Ten Names of the Archangels of each Sphere. And then outside that circle, you've got the Spirit you're conjuring, compelled by Michael and the additional names of God to appear within the Triangle of Art.

Potent stuff there, eh?

Well, here's a Secret for working with Spirits. It applies to all of them, even the spirits of the Goetia. The Circle that is all drawn out and detailed is not something that has to be physically represented. It is the image of what you already ARE as a human being. You were created in the Image of God. You took on Flesh to manifest in this world out of LOVE of this world. The Archangels of the Spheres surround you and empower you, because they took one look at you when God made you and fell in LOVE with you. You're the Image of their creator. they respect you, and honor God by honoring you. They compel the spirits you conjure to come when you call, but even those Spirits LOVE you.

But they have jobs to do, and if you don't know what the circle represents, if you're not consciously aware of being the Image of God, then no amount of paint, ink, or imagination arranged in any appropriate lines and circles and letters will save you from the performance of their duty: to drive you mad with desire for things of the world, until in desperation you return to your Source for salvation.

Now, I know for a fact that I am made in the Image of God. I've had visions and experiences and transformations that have made the Circle of the Goetia become ingrained into my own sphere. I'm aware that I walk in the loving Grace of God and all that he has made.

I try not to take it for granted.

When I trace a Circle, I say, "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I consecrate this ground for our defense!" You can say, IAO, LOGOS, and Spiritus Mundi/Spiritus Sancti if you're not feeling particularly comfortable with the names of God from the Christian tradition. I strongly urge you to stick with the neoplatonic system though. You'll need a representative of the Monad, the Intercessor, and the Spirit that maintains everything in your world, like the name of your Nativity Angel, Genius, Agathadaimon, or HGA. By touching on these three things, you're retracing your path up through the spheres, and acknowledging who you are and what your status is. You're affirming that you are indeed the magician in the center square of the Circle of the Goetia with these simple words.

Well, I am anyway. If you're not aware of Who you are, of What you are, and Why you are, you'd better go back and meditate on the Circle for a while, and get to know that everything I've said here is as true for you as it is for me. Or don't. If you don't, you'll learn sooner or later the same thing, because all things work together for the good of those who serve God. And everyone serves God. Because everyone is, in a way, God. So there.

Ok, so you've got the LAMEN, and you've got the CIRCLE, you're ready to CONJURE the SPIRIT.

Most Spirits have a Sphere that they are related to. Messenger spirits, spirits of knowledge, spirits of intellect, wit, and healing are related to Mercury. Spirits of Love, beauty, hearth and home are related to Venus. Spirits of visions of past and future, of gain and loss, of ebbings and flows are of the Moon. Spirits of boundaries and time are of Saturn. Spirits of enlightenment are of the Sun, spirits of mercy, grace, abundance are of Jupiter, and spirits of war, wrath, and justice are of Mars. You can find associations of spirits to elements as well, if you're looking for things to happen on a mundane level without a lot of spiritual gnosis involved. Identify the traits of the Spirit, and you'll have access to the Name of God that manifests the highest form of that particular class of Spirit.

In the Scales of the Numbers, Agrippa lists the names of God for each planet, as well as the Archangels and the ranks of angels. With these three things, you can conjure any spirit of the planets. In the Scale of the Number Four, Agrippa lists the names of the four Princes of the Earth, and in their names you can conjure the elemental spirits. You've got all the information you need in those tables to come up with a decent ritual.

To conjure the Spirit, the basic formula is a statment: "Oh [Spirit Name], I conjure you in the name of [God Name of the Sphere that rules the spirit] and in the name of [Archangel that rules the sphere] and by the powers of the [Rank of the Angels of the sphere] I conjure you; appear now before me." You can say it a couple of times until you feel the Spirit's presence.

Next you simply state what you called the spirit for. Remember, it's a person. It's smarter than you, older than you, and much more aware of its place in the universe than you are, no matter how much we think er know. But also remember that it LOVES you, to the fullest extent of its abilities. So don't just tell it "I want to win the lotto this Friday at 11:20" and then say goodbye. There may be some reason it can't or won't do so, and if you don't listen for an answer, and actually have a conversation, bi-directional communication with the spirit, you're not going to get anywhere.

Undsal Sufy, author of the La Croix Petite blog notes that there should always be an exchange of "energy" when you Work with a Spirit. The way I see it, he's talking about something similar to what I mean by a conversation. I dont' make a habit of offering things to spirits. Most of my Work is done for knowledge, wisdom, and peace of mind over something that is troubling me. But when I want a THING to happen, or to manifest, I usually provide some form of offering for the spirit, not in an idolatrous way, but as a means of getting what I want done. when I want a spirit to show up, I'll pour a libation, or run some current through their seal using The Box. I think it makes things easier for them to show up. So maybe he's right, and every time you light the candles around your crystal ball, you're making an offering to the spirits, I don't know. But it's something to take into account when you conjure the spirits.

Now once you've talked with the spirit, you're almost done. I ask if there's anything I need to know from the spirit. I "hear" the voices of the spirits in visions, the pretty-mind-pictures that move by themselves, or as thoughts that originate from outside my head. Sometimes I use a pendulum, and as I hold it, I feel my heart open up, and I just know the answer to my question, without hearing anything. The same thing happens as I scry into a crystal. Sometimes I see a face or a swirl in the occlusions within the crystal, other times I don't, but I always feel like something inside me has "opened" when the spirits are near. However you learn to communicate with the spirits will likely be different than I describe it. I am sort of stuck with the words I have to represent what I do. You will have your own words that you're stuck with.

Finally, I thank the Spirit for coming. If it's the first time I've worked with the spirit, I say something like, in the [Names I conjured in], come again when I call your name, returning in peace and in power. Go now as you came. When I'm done I sometimes ground out by picturing myself sinking into the earth and then returning back to myself (I'm an Earth Sign, I like that), or I just let the mood dissipate on its own.

That's it. That's how you conjure a spirit. It's not hard. This being a blog post, I'm sure I missed some details. If you have questions about things I should have mentioned, let me know.

* I'm fine with this because Jesus says, "I am the Good Shepherd," and "I have sheep in other pens who recognise my Voice." In John, it says, "No man comes to the Father but by me." A friend pointed that out and asked me how I reconcile my belief that God is in the Greek Gods, and I had to explain that to understand John 14, you have to understand John 1. Jesus is the Word, the Logos. The First Father spoke, and that speech is Christ. Jesus was the Word made flesh. His Father is "the Good" of the neoplatonists. One cannot get to the Father unless you go by way of the Logos. That doesn't mean that you've got to be a Christian. It means Jesus is going to call you as the Logos in whatever way he sees fit, and if you're a sheep in another pen, or a believer of religions other than Christianity, then you'll still be getting to the Father through the Logos when you hear his voice and respond to it. However that manifests to you.


  1. Please note, spraypaint fumes are nasty, and it's hard to explain to your landlord later. Salt vacuums right up, and if you use your finger or wand, there's no physical residue to clean up.

    Another low-maintenance material that works well for making circles is the colored crepe paper that they sell in those little rolls as party streamers. All you need is a little tape to secure it to the floor in a circular shape and you're good to go. It will work on both carpeted and hardwood floors without leaving behind any residue as long as you use the right kind of tape.

    In addition, it's inexpensive, you can find it at most party stores, and you can get it in a variety of colors, one of which is probably at least somewhat suited to the nature of your operation. You can also write names or words of power on it with a regular marker if you are so inclined.

  2. Great post Rufus. I really like the way you describe the communication/inspiration of visions and thoughts. I've been struggling to try to explain and understand it for years. We've got these stereotypes and fixed ideas floating around about what "psychic" means and what is or isn't a "legitimate" way to communicate with the spirits.

    My own methods have always been unorthodox and it bothered me for years that I couldn't "see" or "hear" the way others could. Yet my "psychic" friends always insisted to me I had the ability. I think I'm starting to figure out that, for me at least, its very mental and really doesn't require a flashing show or a big booming voice. There are so many different ways to communicate across the void between two entities.

    Anyway, thanks for that. I'm hopeful we'll see a greater understanding and more elucidation of the many kinds of psychic abilities over the next few years :)

  3. I was going to make fun of you for giving an example from Practical Magic but your little proactive sacrcasm defender got there first.
    ...... - fag.

  4. Practical Magic rocks! Some day, D, you'll totally get married and have to watch it. For hours. Days even. And you will learn to appreciate Stevie Nicks.

  5. Thanks for the vivid steps you gave however I am a novice and so will like you to send me a copy of the drawings to my email with the seal of archangel Michael for instance as example for me.


Thanks for your comments, your opinions are valued, even if I disagree with them. Please feel free to criticize my ideas and arguments, question my observations, and push back if you disagree.