Calling a demon to physical manifestation

—Image from cover of ‘Hallowed Ground’ by Death Dealer—I love this “dark academia” portrayal of evocation. The parchment spell is seen floating downward from the magician’s open hand. I don’t expect my first demon evocation to full manifestation to be quite this dramatic.—

Calling Upon Hell, by E.A. Koetting 

An excerpt from "Works of Darkness: A Guide to Advanced Black Magick" (2007). 

As the fledgling Black Magician grows in his power and ability, he looks towards his Magickal future and sees as a highlight rather than a sidenote the evocation of demons. The power of having armies of unseen spirits materialize before him, hear his command, and then vanish into the night to bring it to pass makes him reel with anticipation. 

There is more work ahead for him than the memorization of cacophonic incantations and the drawing of elaborate designs on the ground. Often, when the Dabbler performs his first ritual of evocation, the demon will rise up before him, but the solidity of its shape and the attunement of the Operator’s senses will not coincide, leaving the Magician feeling as if he is standing alone waiting for an absent guest. 

Two great faculties need to be developed fully before the ritual of evocation can be performed with absolute success. The first of these is the ability to call the demon forth. When the name of the demon is called and its symbol is opened as a gateway between the worlds, it will come near and it will be present. In this, the Operator has called the demon - but he has not called it forth . 

A rumor has been circulating in the occult world and in metaphysical teachings that the spirit does not need to be brought fully into this plane in order to use its power. While this is partially true, anything less than the full presence of the demon on this physical world is not evocation, but is rather a type of sigil magick or even worse, a type of supplication. 

Using sigils to call upon the influence of the demons, or even “praying” to demons and asking for their assistance does indeed produce results, but when examined next to having the demon standing on the dusty earth conversing with the Magician and scheming together on the fate of the matters at hand. The art of actual evocation, of bringing the entity into this world is beginning to be overshadowed by a preference for the simpler and less effective arts of sigil magick and supplication. 

Another replacement for evocation that I have noticed recently is astral magick and summoning. After I had learned to evoke entities to alarming degrees of manifestation, I found myself at a gathering of pagans and occultists where I became engaged in conversation with a man whose reputation for working with demons far preceded him. We talked about several grimoires and the various powers of the demons therein, as well as the similarities between several of the traditional Judaic angels and the various demons. He made the comment that he has spoken with “every one of God’s angels and every demon in hell.” I found this claim to be unbelievable, especially considering his use of a vocabulary reflecting a belief in absolute duality. Nevertheless, his reputation for success persuaded me to continue in the conversation, so I obliged. 

“So, you do use evocation to bring the spirits to you?” He chuckled as if a child had just asked him if the moon is indeed just a ball of cheese. “If you want to talk with demons, you have to go to where they are. You can’t expect them to come to you.” At that point, I was finished with the conversation. 

While there is definitely power in, and skill required for astral projection to the vicinity of an entity, I had called spirits before me in beholdable form, and they had answered my calls. The experiences that I had had on the astral plane up to that point were without doubt amazing, when the spirits were brought before me in my Temple, their power over the physical world was instantly recognized, the elements combining to form the bodies that they held, the molecules of the area seeming to realign to facilitate the presence of the entity, and the final result which has always exceeded that which was requested. 

The second faculty that needs to be cultivated in the Black Magician in order to successfully evoke a nonphysical entity is the ability to communicate with the demon once it is present. With the Hollywood image of swirling smoke and a demon with painted skin and possibly horns, a tail, or jagged teeth appearing in the room, those who have not experienced a demonic evocation may not understand why it would be necessary to develop the ability to communicate with such a creature. 

The entities which are called forth in evocation exist in realms beyond the physical. Although this often misconveys the idea that they are somewhere else in the universe, or outside of the universe altogether, the demonic abode is more appropriately described in terms of alternate dimensions or levels of reality. 

This can be visualized as several sheets of paper stacked on top of one another. While they all touch and they all interact, each plane or sheet of paper is unique and separate. Various religions and disciplines count and name these planes differently, but the most commonly accepted “interplanar” map in occultism places the physical plane at the base of the “paper stack,” having the astral plain laid on top of it, the mental plane above that, and the causal plane at the top. Beyond these are the planes or dimensions of soul, spirit, or God, separated from the four lower planes by an abyss, which is the original chaos from which all things sprang. 

Most entities that can be evoked in ritual exist in various areas of the astral plane, and the ritual of evocation “pulls” them from their separate dimension into this one entirely, whereas other forms of magick and ritual will instead send the will of the magician to the astral plane, to the specific entity, who will then work from that plane upon this one. The ritual of evocation, the calling forth of the spiritual entity into physical reality allows the spirit to construct a body which will anchor it in this alien world, similar to the method that must be used when projecting yourself into the astral plane, first forming and solidifying an Astral Body of Light which will allow you to travel and interact in that realm. 

It is the nature of this assumed body, however, that is the subject of great contention between occultists and metaphysicians. While there are those who insist that, if the ritual is performed correctly, the spirit will automatically assume a body that is visible to all, and in some extreme cases, a form that is even photographable, the majority of experienced occultists maintain that the body is not one of flesh, but rather an ethereal form, one that is indeed physical, but is not immediately perceived by the mundane senses. This ethereal body can then be strengthened through various ritual Operations until it is indeed visible, but often the visibility of it is limited to eyes that have been disciplined to observe beyond the physical. 

So, while a spirit, or as is presented in this text, a demon may be successfully called/ort/i, it may not necessarily stand before the Operator in a body of flesh. It is then the task of attuning the senses with that which is but which cannot be seen that is necessary before attempting the ritual of evocation. 

Calling the Demons Forth
Before an evocation can be performed, the Evocator must have a specific purpose for the summoning, rather than a vague will to power. Once a goal has been established, a suitable demon must be chosen. While demons exist in numbers dwarfing the supposed overpopulation of the earth, and while any of these may be summoned to manifestation, it is best to begin with those that have been evoked on numerous occasions by many different Magicians, and on whom the most information has been collected. Although all that is really needed for demonic evocation is the name of the demon, it would be foolish and often counterproductive to call forth beings who the Sorcerer knows nothing of. 

The moderm Student of Black Magick is fortunate in that it is no longer necessary to travel by foot across desert and up mountain ranges to the Temples or libraries where the great grimoires are guarded, convince its keeper that he is a worthy disciple, translate the work from a dead tongue into a language that very few are lucky to have learned, and to study the text for years under the tutelage of its keeper in order to use its power and summon the demons therein. While such guarded grimoires do exist today, those are usually released only to the members of the Order of the guardians, and the Initiate will access them all in due time. 

Being the cornerstones and the immortality of the Works of Darkness, most of the ancient tomes have been preserved in print, translated into the most commonly used languages, and are now easily come by. Most can be purchased and delivered without the Black Magician ever having to leave his home, if he so chooses. Other more rare texts, in their original printed editions, may be rather costly and difficult to come by, although a majority of these are the guilty pleasures of book collectors and can easily be done without. 

Search the text of the classic and modem grimoires thoroughly, reading and rereading the attributes of each demon, gazing at their sigils, and pronouncing their names. Often, through this method, one particular demon may come to life on the page, calling to you, tempting you to evoke him and no other. Yield to the temptation. Take down the demon’s name or highlight it in the grimoire. If no such automatic selection occurs, simply find the demon that is best equipped to accomplish your specific goal. 

When you have found a demon with which you will work, you are left with the task of preparing for the ritual itself. The most difficult part of successfully evoking an astral entity is in the communication between the Black Magician and the demon. 

In many first-time evocation attempts, this is where the Summoning fails. The initial meditations generate and imbue the area with enough energy for the feat, the conjuration is recited, and the demon answers by presenting himself before the Sorcerer. Once he is there, however, his presence will either go completely unnoticed by the Evocator, who does not know what a demon’s presence feels like nor possesses the faculties to look beneath the layers of illusion to see what is truly there; or the Evocator does feel the demon coming into manifestation, but lacks the knowledge or ability to bring it fully into being. The demon then lingers in the nearby astral plane waiting, and eventually returns to the place of Darkness from whence it came. 

The Dabbler described above has one goal in mind: the evocation of the demon. While it is true that the demon needs to be evoked, such is only a means to an end. The first goal of evocation is to hold communication with the demon, such communication being the means by which information can be gathered, desires be laid out, methods be exacted, and changes be made. The second goal should be the final achievement of the will of the Sorcerer. With both of these requisites firmly in place, every evocation is guaranteed to be successful. Without them, the Dabbler is trying to achieve nothing, and he will succeed. 

Taking into account your personal clairvoyant abilities as you have been able to consciously access them, decide by what means or through which type of medium communication with the demon should be held. If you have become the Initiate of the Art of scrying, having mastered all of the exercises given in the eighth chapter of this book, you should need no medium whatsoever, but simply should be able to shut out the lights, open your Vision, and begin the evocation. 

It is rare, however, for the Practitioner to wait patiently until he has perfected his Art before attempting evocation and diverse other rituals. Such is the driving spirit of the Black Magician: he wants it all, and he must have it now. Rather than dissuading this line of thinking, it is to be encouraged. Patience is a virtue in hunting and chess, but persistence is usually the key that opens the door. 

If you are able to scry with any usable efficiency, the demon will need to be evoked in a manner that will facilitate this type of communication. In most disciplines, the rituals of evocation vary slightly for the summoning of a demon when scrying than when you will be able to interact with the demon directly. 

Unfortunately, the demon manifests in lesser power and solidity when different methods are used. The evocation itself does not need to change when the only real alteration is how communication is held. The demon can be summoned into full manifestation on the physical plane even if the Sorcerer needs the use of devices to see, hear, and speak with it. This will guarantee that the full power and presence of the demon is focused on the Black Magician and on his goal, will give no room for doubt as to whether the demon was actually “here,” and will pave the way with each evocation to the fulfillment of the Sorcerer’s abilities. 

Preparing the Way for the Demon

Special Temple preparations are needed for the ritual of evocation. It is often a good idea to draw, trace, or otherwise lay down a physical representation of the Circle on the ground, so that at all times you can see without doubt the boundary between yourself and the Summoned. This Circle is not meant as a device by which the magician may keep the horrible fiends with which he is working at bay, but firmly establishes for the self and for the demon that one place is set aside for you, and the other for it. More importantly, the Circle is made to be the metaphysical center of the universe, the axis of all existence. 

To the south of the Circle, a triangle should be drawn: the Triangle of Manifestation. This is the space that is set aside for the demon. Despite the claims of Kabbalists, the Triangle does not constrain the entity within it like some astral prison, but gives it a definite area in which it is to materialize. 

A good number of Evocators prefer to construct a permanent Triangle of Manifestation from plywood or particle board. The Triangle should be equilateral, each edge being at least two feet long. If a permanent Triangle is desired, it should be painted flat black with a red border along the edges and a perfect circle within it also bordered in red. 

While traditionally words of power or names of God were inscribed along the sides in the black spaces between the edges of the Triangle and the inner Circle, supposedly further constraining the evoked entity, such words of power are merely a mockery of the beings that you are asking assistance of. If it is desired, the phrases, “Ex Rhombus in Triangularum,” “Ex Regnum Spiritus in Manifestus,” “Tuam es Eliciat,” may be written, one on each edge of the Triangle, in red. “From the Circle to the Triangle, from the Realm of Spirits into Manifestation, you are licensed.” The simple declaration establishes the function of the Triangle, more for the benefit of the Evocator than the evoked. 

The Triangle of Manifestation, either made from wood or drawn on the ground, should be in the southern position, one of the vertices of the Triangle pointing south away from the Circle and the Operator. If a permanent Triangle was constructed, with the above incantation inscribed, the vertex connecting the lines “Ex Spiritus Regnum in Manifestus,” and “Ex Rhombus in Triangularum,” should be pointed away from the Circle, the line “Tuam Es Eliciat,” being closest to the Circle, and running parallel to its diameter. 

Most Hermetic occult disciplines require the color of the light in the Temple to coincide with the sphere or original province of the evoked entity, suggesting that it is already difficult enough for the entity to travel from its home to the physical plane, and to construct a temporary body by which it may make itself seen to the Operator; the Magician should therefore accommodate the evoked entity by making the Temple appear like unto the spirit’s home. In actuality, this preparation is more for the subjugation of the Evocator’s mind than for facilitation of the entity’s materialization. It allows the Evocator to constantly be aware of the type of entity he is calling, and why he is doing such. It keeps him focused. 

The natural residence of demons is an abysmal realm of chaos. Their color is the absence of color, their light is the absence of light. It cannot be recreated by any lamp filter or tinted bulb. They have the power to blacken suns and destroy civilizations; manifesting inside the Triangle is a minor feat, and the absence of light that they require without question accompanies their presence. 

A tapered black candle should be placed at each point of the Triangle. In more advanced forms of evocation, inside the circle which is within the Triangle may be placed a censor filled with incense or other materials. Occult theory states that as astral entities have astral bodies, in order to manifest themselves they need dense particles that they can manipulate into a visible body. There is some truth and some fallacy to this theory. 

While specific mixtures, incenses, oils, and other fluids may provide a certain heightened energy to the ritual in general and to the area of the Triangle in particular, the demon is not building a physical body in the evocation in order to appear. It is gathering a critical mass of energy into a confined space, such energy being its manifested body, which the Sorcerer, with his senses attuned to that plane, may behold. The substance within the Triangle, if any, only serves to strengthen the link between the physical and the spiritual. For this reason, blood is always the best substance - spirit in fluid form, liquid power - an art that is explained later in this text. For the purposes of these initial experimentations with evocation, however, such a catalyst is not necessary, although a simple incense may be used there if desired, otherwise the circle within the Triangle should remain empty until the demon occupies it. 

The altar should hold the ritual dagger, chalice, and the sigil of the demon to be summoned. Two black candles may be used on the altar if the three surrounding the Triangle do not provide enough light to clearly see the sigil and to read the conjuration. 

If you are using a scrying mirror, it should be placed in the center of the altar, and care should be taken to keep the candlelight and ritual items from casting a glaring reflection in it. This book may also be on the altar or near it, opened to the pages containing the formula of evocation and the conjuration of the demon. A notebook and pen should be near the altar as well, to take written note of important points and to journal the ritual once it is finished. 

Although in some evocations it is better to stand, and in others sitting cross- legged on the ground is preferred, in most Operations of evocation sitting in a chair facing the altar and the Triangle wherein the demon will manifest is the most comfortable and effective position, especially when using a scrying device such as a mirror. 

Formula of Evocation

1. Meditate and focus your mind upon the Work that you are about to perform. Approach the evocation with awe and respect. Light the candles around the Triangle. Before drawing a Circle around the altar and yourself, stand immediately outside of the Triangle of Manifestation, the ritual dagger in your right hand. Placing the point of the dagger to the vertex closest the altar, visualize the dagger and the spot that it touches glowing red. Trace the entire Triangle, leaving a glowing red imprint as its astral double. It is this energetic imprint that the demon will see and will recognize as the space that has been set aside for it. State: “Triangle of the Art, by the Powers of Darkness I seal you up as the platform for the manifestation of the demon (name and title of demon) .” 

2. Return to your place behind the altar. Draw the fiery blue Circle around yourself and the altar, the edge of it meeting the closest point of the Triangle before you. Often in the Practitioner’s first evocations, before he has grown more comfortable in the presence of demons than his own friends, an inevitable anxiety will creep up inside him once the Circle and the Triangle are drawn. He can feel the power of his Working swaying in the air and can all but hear the demon rustling at the gates of reality. It is therefore a good idea to sit and clear yourself once more before proceeding, regaining your composure and focus before calling the demon into manifestation. 

3. Trace the sigil of the demon to be evoked with the point of the ritual dagger, visualizing each line glowing darkly as it is touched by the blade. Place the palms of your hands on the altar the sigil of the demon between them. Gaze into it until it flashes and opens, signaling that the demon is aware of you and the ritual you are performing, and his attention and power are focused in your direction. 

4. Eyes locked with the flashing sigil, clearly and firmly recite the following conjuration: 

“(Name of demon) , I call you forth into this Triangle, to take form before me and to speak in a voice which I understand. (N.) , by the Powers of Darkness, I call you here. (N.) „ come!” 

If it is made unmistakably clear in the grimoire wherein the demon’s name was found that it is subject to another demon, it’s Superior Spirit, you may choose to insert such a line as, “In the name of, (Superior Spirit) , appear before me,” although such demonic name-dropping is never absolutely necessary and may be entered or omitted at the Evocator’s wish. 

5. When the final words of the conjuration are spoken, “ (N.) , come!” move your eyes to the Triangle. Even if you are using a scrying mirror to communicate with the demon, it will not be materializing in the mirror itself, but inside of the Triangle. The mirror is only a window through which you can see the demon, a remote device that will allow you to view that which has materialized outside of the Circle. Using the same relaxed gaze as with the charging of the sigil, look into the Triangle. You should have felt a definite connection with the energy signature of the demon when its sigil was opened. Silently, calmly search your feelings deeper, gaining full awareness of all that is occurring most subtly within you. With your mind still connected to the demon’s specific energy signature and your eyes still focused within the Triangle, call the words, “ (N.) , come,” repeatedly. Without too many repetitions having to be made, you will begin to feel the presence of the demon coalescing in the Temple, streaming up from the abyss into the Triangle of Manifestation. 

6. If you are using a scrying mirror, gaze into it as the demon materializes in the Triangle, otherwise continue to allow your greater vision to open until you can view the demon standing before you. Most often, this experience induces an utter loss of words, a phenomenon for which the Sorcerer needs to be prepared. 

It is unusual for the demon to speak first, and even if it does, not one portion of the miniscule power you have over this situation should be jeopardized. Whether the demon speaks or waits, greet him respectfully, yet in the same firmness with which the conjuration was given. 

“ (N.) , I welcome you to my Temple, and I thank you for coming. I am (your name) .” 

7. While a large body of modern Magicians demand that the Evocator ask the evoked to sign its name in the mirror or on a piece of parchment, claiming that it is infallible astral Law that a spirit cannot sign any name but its own, it is rare for any but the Summoned to appear when the simple steps above are adhered to. Although you may ask the demon to give its signature if you desire, it is well enough to ask its name. Most often, if indeed a falsifier is present, it will over¬ exaggerate its supposed title and description, lying poorly like men do. In such a minor instance, the entity should be dismissed immediately and the entire process of the Working should be restarted. Otherwise, continue with the proposition. 

8. It is necessary to state to the demon your specific desires, as concisely as possible. No commands are to be made, but a simple proposal of what you desire. 

“ (N.) , I have Summoned you forth so that I may...“ 

If it is knowledge you seek, ask the demon specific questions, having prepared them beforehand. 

If instead you desire a certain change to take effect in your life, let that be known. Do not skirt around words, stutter, or find yourself confounded with bashfulness. The demon most likely already knows your desire, and is waiting for you to spell it out. 

9. Once the demon has offered the information which you seek, or you have come to an agreement on the course of future events, thank the demon again for coming, and respectfully dismiss it. 

“ (N.) , I thank you for coming and for sharing your knowledge and power with me, your brother and comrade in Darkness. Return now to your domain and begin the Work that lies ahead. By the Powers of Darkness, you are dismissed.” 

Performing a banishing ritual following the evocation is unnecessary and counterproductive, ridding the Temple of the energy and power by which the Works of Darkness reign. 

Before closing the ritual entirely, journal the Operation in your notebook, citing anything that is of importance or that stands out in your mind. This journal entry is to be put away from sight for at least three days following the evocation, allowing the mind to return to its inert state without psychically interfering with the demon’s work. 

When you have finished writing, stand and blow out the candles. Visualize the blue Circle around you fading, as well as the red Triangle before you. When all has returned to its previous state, you may leave the Temple more a god than before. 

Copyright E.A. Koetting, 2007. All emphases mine. Permission for reprint pending.
E.A. Koetting

Twilight in the Underworld

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