My First Conjuration
This was originally posted on my blog “Glory of the Stars” but I have slightly cleaned it up and reposted it here because I think it expresses some stuff which might be useful for people nervous about trying grimoiric magic.
I was planning on doing a post about this sometime in the near future, but with some discussion tonight about the idea of methods of evocation, results, and visible appearance, I guess I'll do it now.
When I was a kid I really wanted to learn to conjure spirits. I'd gotten good at other forms of magic, but, mostly coming at it from a NeoPagan Witchcraft angle at first, no one talked about conjuration. As I got more into traditional Paganism and traditional witchcraft, and began studying ceremonial magic and hermetic Kabbalah I still wasn't really finding anything on it. People would direct me to things like the LBRP, but I knew it wasn't what I wanted. Eventually I downloaded copies of the Keys of Solomon, and started exploring a few grimoires. Early on I saw enough of them to realize that there were several different methods.
I started exploring more deeply into ceremonial magic and the Kabbalah and began working with my teacher, and made friends with some people who while they weren't the super traditional and semi-academic grimoiric magicians of today, they were pretty practiced in demonology and utilized a few basic grimoires along with some modern magic. So I started to develop a view of the grimoiric system, and what I needed to do to develop myself towards to begin safely and successfully using it. I frequently debated with friends who were also studying but hadn't tried the systems in the grimoires how strictly we needed to follow them. My view was that it was like a radio receiver. You could make a workable one with a few basic parts, but adding more pieces of better quality made a significantly more effective one.
So, as I continued my development and got to the point in my training where methods of conjuration started to be on the table I had a lot of options and a lot of ideas on what I should and should not be doing. I started out with some stuff based in GD influenced stuff, looked at some Levi and Crowley based ideas, and after a couple years of playing with those methods I decided to try something more directly grimoiric.
I worked with Mathers's edition of the Greater Key. This was 2007 and it was just before I began collecting all the Golden Horde stuff. I had a privately published edition of the Lemegeton as well as the Mathers, a few books on Grimoiric magic, and a couple other grimoires and grimoire based books. The Greater Key seemed like the most straight forward starting place. Oddly, Trithemius' material was my favorite and I'd originally looked at his method years earlier in high school. But it's simplicity made me feel like I should perfectly gather all the pieces to use it which is ironic since it's one of the most low impact systems in regards to tools. But I also felt like doing more thorough evocations first would set up the relationship with the spirits to allow for me to work the Trithemian system. In any case, that was all wrong thinking, if you want to get started, draw some spirits into some crystals, it is the easiest method for getting your feet wet.
But I did not do that, I did the Greater Key. I had my white robe, worn by a priest celebrating Mass (as per the Heptameron), I had my magic sword, instead of a crown I had Abramelin oil, I had my censers of incense, and I had my seal and some candles. I also had the magic circle painted onto a sheet to lay out beneath me, and my bible opened up to psalms. I was ready to go.
I decided to work with Bariel, a spirit of Jupiter, and of course I requested bunches and bunches of money. I was used to working in a Mercurial milieu so I wanted to win money. That didn't happen, but I got really good results all the same.
I began with some ritual cleansing, did a bit from the GKOS, then the Headless Invocation, and then more GKOS material. What my pattern eventually developed into can be found here.
the time I'd been out of college for about a year and a half, and so
I was, as most millenials do, living at home. I had five burners of
incense going. I'm conjuring
like a madman when suddenly I hear a voice from above...
pause, I think, “Oh shit, Lisiewski made it sound like you'd
basically die or at least never be able to do magic if your
conjuration gets interrupted midstream, what horrors await!”
I respond: “Yes, Mom?”
Mom: “BJ, put out that incense, you know I don't like incense, what're you even doing?”
BJ: “Nothing mom, it's ok, don't worry about it, sure thing.”
She goes away, and I think “what do you do now? Finish like a beast I guess.”
So I finished my conjuration. I definitely felt the presence of the spirit, now, 8 years later, I still very vividly remember it, but the whole time I was thinking “No, I got interrupted, it very clearly feels like the spirit is here, the space even seems sort of ripply and charged with presence over in that direction over there where it feels like he is, but this is clearly BS, I got interrupted, Lisiewski said there would be no success, only horrors would await me now.”
I guess I didn't mention I'd also read that book the Power of Ceremonial Evocation as part of my final preparations.
So I told Bariel what I wanted, polished everything off and wiped up, and moved along certain I'd failed despite everything seeming successful.
I didn't win any money. Instead, I had much more Jupiterian results. Which was good, since in addition to asking to win money, I'd asked for financial stability and a promotion and raise and for things to just have a general financial fecundity.
So within a couple weeks I had been told at work that while they couldn't promote me right away, because our staffing compliment didn't include a second person in the position they wanted to move me to, that I would get a smaller promotion and a bonus. They'd also be giving me a raise to max me out for what was my current job grade...and they were working on adjusting the staffing compliment to promote me. At this point I'd been in my role for about a year, and had been trained for the job to which I wanted to be promoted for about 8 months, but there were no openings anywhere. Within a couple of weeks, I interviewed for the position at two other locations, was told that if I waited awhile longer they'd probably fire someone at a third location and give me his spot, and in the end I was given the job at a fourth location with no interview or anything, I just got a call offering it and all I had to do was say I wanted it. My managers gave me my year end performance increase, and then gave me the increase for the promotion afterwards so that I ended up with a higher salary than they told me I would.
All in all within the period of about a month, I achieved a 33% increase in my income in addition to an extra $500 bonus, and being told that I had been short listed for the next round of management school.
During this same time, I was expecting to have to give my mom some money for things, which she ended up telling me I didn't have to do because my parents discovered they were paid ahead on a bunch of stuff and the addition they were putting on their house was way cheaper than expected.
A couple months later I ended up conjuring Bariel again using the same method, and I told him I wanted a new job with a salary that was about an 18% increase above where I was and I wanted it to include some better growth opportunity. Within a couple weeks I got a call inviting me to apply for a job which would include training and licenses that I wanted but couldn't get at my then current company. I ended up taking the new job, and while the initial offer was only about 9% above where I was I ended up making about 26% more in the first year than I did at the previous job, getting training which has led to a job that was originally intended as an interim thing becoming a career and giving me a fair amount of stability.
So, I would say those first two evocations were unquestionable successes.
Neither one had what I envision when the bad asses of magic describe evocation to visible appearance. Neither one was a hundred percent a pure execution of the material described in the grimoire. It was a faithful execution of the system described in the grimoire definitely. It was a workable execution, and it was a successful execution.
In posting this, my point is two fold pretty much...maybe three or four fold, we'll see as I type.
1. Your execution can have mistakes and still work
2. You can create a ritual based in the grimoires which earnestly follows the system without slavishly following the book
3. You can get results without a lot of the crazy claims people get intense about, just stay chill and do what makes sense
4. You don't need perfect or beautiful tools or even everything that's there. Study a bunch of grimoires, look for what consistently seems important use that.
5. Get off your butt and do it, because magic is awesome, you're awesome, and results are real...especially when the spirits are not just imaginary friends.
I should also note that this was before I achieved K&C, so it was not an instance of the spirits being super anxious to help me because I was an adept. I was a Dominius Liminis, or more accurately within the A.'.A.'. system an Adeptus Minor Without (preparing for K&C but not having done it yet). So, while some methods of evocation are better suited to people who've done K&C, if you are properly prepared to do the work you can still do the work prior to that. But stick with angels and spirits under the sway of angels in that case, and with systems that involve invoking grace first.