Invocation is a magical practice in which a practitioner invites or calls upon spiritual beings, energies, or forces to enter their own consciousness or being. Unlike evocation, which involves summoning external entities for communication or assistance, invocation seeks to embody or internalize the qualities, wisdom, or power associated with a particular spiritual being or energy. Invocations can be used for personal transformation, spiritual growth, or to connect with divine energies or archetypes.
The history of invocation spans various cultures, belief systems, and historical periods. In ancient Greece, for instance, invocations were a common aspect of religious and magical practices, with practitioners calling upon gods and goddesses to embody their wisdom or power. Similarly, in Hinduism, mantras and prayers are used to invoke the presence of deities, with the goal of attaining spiritual realization or blessings.
In the Western magical tradition, invocation has been a key aspect of ceremonial magic and mysticism. Renaissance magicians, such as Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, employed invocations to access divine knowledge and inspiration by drawing upon Neoplatonic and Hermetic philosophies. Christian mystics, too, used invocation as a means of connecting with divine energies and seeking spiritual transformation.
In more recent times, well-known authors and practitioners such as Israel Regardie, Aleister Crowley, and Dion Fortune have written extensively about the practice of invocation. Regardie’s work, especially in his books “The Tree of Life” and “The Middle Pillar,” discussed the use of invocation within the context of Qabalistic and ceremonial magic. Aleister Crowley, the founder of Thelema, advocated for the use of invocation to connect with one’s “Holy Guardian Angel” or higher self, as described in his book “Magick in Theory and Practice.” Dion Fortune, a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and a prominent occultist, wrote about the practical aspects of invoking divine energies in her book “The Mystical Qabalah.”
Today, invocation remains an essential aspect of modern magical traditions, such as Wicca, Thelema, and various forms of ceremonial magic. Practitioners continue to explore diverse approaches and techniques for invoking spiritual beings and energies to enhance their personal growth, spiritual development, and connection with the divine.
Invocation practice is very similar to evocation practice, but please note the subtleties in differences and intent.
As with any lesson in this academy, it will up to you to apply what you learn here in this lesson on invocation. The information provided below is enough to get you started. Take what you learn here, do further research, and apply it in routine practice.
Choose your intention: Determine the purpose of your invocation, whether it’s for personal growth, guidance, protection, or connection with a specific spiritual being or energy.
Select the spiritual being or energy: Identify the deity, spirit, angel, or energy you wish to invoke based on your intention and personal beliefs or preferences.
Research and gather information: Learn about the chosen spiritual being or energy, their attributes, correspondences, symbols, and any traditional methods of invocation.
Choose the tools and objects: Select the appropriate tools, objects, incense, symbols, candles, and other items that resonate with the spiritual being or energy you intend to invoke.
Create your ritual space: Set up a clean and quiet area where you can perform the invocation without distractions. This may include setting up an altar, arranging the chosen tools and objects, and cleansing the space with incense or other methods.
Plan the invocation ritual: Outline the steps of the ritual, including any prayers, chants, or visualizations you’ll use during the invocation. Consider incorporating the tools and objects you’ve selected into your ritual plan.
Prepare yourself: Ensure you are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready for the invocation. This may involve meditation, grounding, or performing a ritual bath to cleanse and purify yourself.
Techniques for Performing Invocation:
Ground and center: Begin by grounding yourself and centering your energy, so you are fully present and focused for the invocation.
Cast a circle or create sacred space: Establish a protective and sacred space for your invocation, which may involve casting a circle, calling upon the elements, or invoking guardian spirits.
Call upon the spiritual being or energy: Use prayers, chants, mantras, or visualizations to invoke the presence of the spiritual being or energy you wish to connect with. Speak clearly and confidently, expressing your intention and desire for connection.
Visualize and embody the energy: Visualize the spiritual being or energy entering your body or surrounding you with its presence. Feel its qualities and attributes merging with your own, and allow yourself to embody its wisdom, power, or guidance.
Work with the energy: Engage with the invoked energy or spiritual being, asking for guidance, insights, or assistance related to your intention. Listen for any messages, feelings, or insights that may arise during the invocation.
Express gratitude: Offer thanks to the spiritual being or energy for their presence and assistance. This may involve verbal expressions of gratitude, offerings, or other gestures of appreciation.
Release the energy and close the ritual: When you feel the invocation is complete, release the energy or spiritual being, allowing them to return to their realm. Close the ritual by grounding yourself, closing the circle or sacred space, and clearing away any remaining energy.
Reflect and journal: After the invocation, take some time to reflect on your experience and any insights or messages you received. Write down your observations, thoughts, and feelings in a journal or Book of Shadows to remember and learn from the experience.
Remember that these steps can be adapted and customized to suit your personal beliefs, practices, and preferences. The effectiveness of the invocation depends on your intention, focus, and ability to connect with and embody the spiritual energies or beings you wish to invoke.
Here is a list of common tools, objects, incense, symbols, candles, etc., used in invocation rites, along with their specific purposes for invocation:
Wand or Scepter: Used to channel and direct energy, the wand or scepter represents the power of will and intention. It is employed in invocation to draw in and embody the energy or presence of a spiritual being or force.
Incense: Different types of incense can be burned to create a specific atmosphere, promote a meditative state, or facilitate connection with the spiritual being or energy being invoked. For example, frankincense is often used for spiritual growth and meditation, while myrrh is associated with protection and purification.
Candles: Selected in specific colors or inscribed with symbols, candles serve as a source of light and energy, and can represent the spiritual being or force being invoked. For example, a white candle might be used for purification and spiritual growth, while a green candle could represent abundance and prosperity.
Anointing Oils: Used to anoint the practitioner or ritual tools, anointing oils help to attune and align with the energy or spiritual being being invoked. For instance, rose oil may be used for love and compassion, while sandalwood oil is associated with spiritual growth and meditation.
Symbols, Sigils, or Images: Visual representations of the spiritual being or energy being invoked can be drawn, inscribed, or displayed to facilitate connection and embodiment. These symbols or images can be placed on the altar, worn as a talisman, or traced in the air with the wand or fingers.
Chants, Mantras, or Prayers: Spoken or sung words can be used to invoke the presence of a spiritual being or energy, and to align the practitioner’s consciousness and intention with the desired force. These words may be drawn from traditional prayers, sacred texts, or created by the practitioner.
Altar: A dedicated space for the ritual, the altar can hold tools, symbols, candles, and offerings related to the spiritual being or energy being invoked. The altar serves as a focal point for the invocation and a place to honor and connect with the desired force.
Robes or Ritual Clothing: Worn to symbolize the transition from the mundane world to the sacred space of the ritual, robes or ritual clothing may be chosen in specific colors or adorned with symbols that represent the spiritual being or energy being invoked.
Crystals or Gemstones: Crystals or gemstones can be selected based on their energetic properties and associations with the spiritual being or force being invoked. They can be placed on the altar, held during the invocation, or worn as jewelry to enhance the connection with the desired energy.
Offerings: Items or substances offered to the spiritual being or energy being invoked, as a sign of respect, gratitude, or devotion. Offerings may include food, drink, incense, flowers, or other items that hold significance for the practitioner or the being being invoked.
These tools and objects can be adapted and customized to suit your personal practice and beliefs. When incorporating them into your invocation rites, remember that the power and effectiveness of these tools come from your intention, focus, and ability to connect with and embody the spiritual energies or beings you wish to invoke.