Evocation

Evocation is the act of calling upon or summoning a spirit, demon, god or other supernatural agent, in the Western mystery tradition. Comparable practices exist in many religions and magical traditions and may employ the use of mind-altering substances with and without uttered word formulas.

In the Western mystery tradition

A Magician by Edward Kelly
John Dee and Edward Kelley evoking a spirit

The Latin word evocatio was the "calling forth" or "summoning away" of a city's tutelary deity. The ritual was conducted in a military setting either as a threat during a siege or as a result of surrender, and aimed at diverting the god's favor from the opposing city to the Roman side, customarily with a promise of a better-endowed cult or a more lavish temple.[1] Evocatio was thus a kind of ritual dodge to mitigate looting of sacred objects or images from shrines that would otherwise be sacrilegious or impious.[2]

The calling forth of spirits was a relatively common practice in Neoplatonism, theurgy and other esoteric systems of antiquity. In contemporary western esotericism, the magic of the grimoires is frequently seen as the classical example of this idea. Manuals such as the Greater Key of Solomon the King, The Lesser Key of Solomon (or Lemegeton), the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage and many others provided instructions that combined intense devotion to the divine with the summoning of a personal cadre of spiritual advisers and familiars.

The grimoires provided a variety of methods of evocation. The spirits are, in many cases, commanded in the name of God - most commonly using cabalistic and Hellenic 'barbarous names' added together to form long litanies. The magician used wands, staves, incense and fire, daggers and complex diagrams drawn on parchment or upon the ground. In Enochian magic, spirits are evoked into a crystal ball or mirror, in which a human volunteer (a 'seer') is expected to be able to see the spirit and hear its voice, passing the words on to the evoker. Sometimes such a seer might be an actual medium, speaking as the spirit, not just for it. In other cases the spirit might be 'housed' in a symbolic image, or conjured into a diagram from which it cannot escape without the magician's permission.

While many later, corrupt and commercialized grimoires include elements of 'diabolism' and one (The Grand Grimoire) even offers a method for making a pact with the devil, in general the art of evocation of spirits is said to be done entirely under the power of the divine. The magician is thought to gain authority among the spirits only by purity, worship and personal devotion and study.

In more recent usage, evocation refers to the calling out of lesser spirits (beneath the deific or archangelic level), sometimes conceived of as arising from the self. This sort of evocation is contrasted with invocation, in which spiritual powers are called into the self from a divine source.

Important contributors to the concept of evocation include Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Francis Barrett, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, Aleister Crowley, Franz Bardon and Kenneth Grant. The work of all of these authors can be seen as attempts to systematize and modernize the grimoiric procedure of evocation. Many modern authors, such as Peter Carroll and Konstantinos, have attempted to describe evocation in a way independent enough from the grimoiric tradition to fit similar methods of interaction with alleged supernatural agents in other traditions.

White indian conjuror
Native American "conjuror" in a 1590 engraving

Conjuration in traditional and most contemporary usage refers to a magical act of invoking spirits or using incantations or charms to cast magical spells. In the context of legerdemain, it may also refer to the performance of illusion or magic tricks for show. This article discusses mainly the original and primary usage, describing acts of a supernatural or paranormal nature.[3][4]

The word conjuration (from Latin conjure, conjurare, to "swear together") can be interpreted in several different ways: as an invocation or evocation (the latter in the sense of binding by a vow); as an exorcism; and as an act of producing effects by magical means.

The word is often used synonymously with terms such as "invocation" or "evocation" or "summoning", although many authors find it useful to maintain some distinction between these terms. The term "conjuring" is also used as a general term for casting spells in some magical traditions, such as Hoodoo. In that context, amulets and talismans are often kept in a "conjure bag" and "conjuring oils" may be used to anoint candles and other magical supplies and thus imbue them with specific magical powers.

Alternatively, the term "conjuration" may be used refer to an act of illusionism or legerdemain, as in the performance of magic tricks for entertainment.

One who performs conjurations is called a conjurer or conjuror. The word (as conjuration or conjurison) was formerly used in its Latin meaning of "conspiracy".[5]

Texts and language

The text of the charms to be recited to conjure the spirit varies considerably from simple sentences to complex paragraphs with plenty of magic words. The language usually is that of the conjurer's, but since the Middle Ages in Western tradition, Latin was the most common (although many texts have been translated into other languages).

Objectives of conjuration

The conjuration of the ghosts or souls of the dead for the purpose of divination is called necromancy.

When it is said that a person is calling upon or conjuring misfortune or disease, it is due to the ancient belief that personified diseases and misfortune as evil deities, spirits or demons that could enter a human or bestial body; see demon possession.

Religious views

A conjuration is traditionally linked to repelling negative spirits away, and protecting an individual, space or collective. However, it is also believed by some, particularly in Christianity and Islam, that magic and conjuration is an inherently evil practice. Conjurers summon demons or other evil spirits to cause harm to people or things, to obtain favors from them, or simply to enter their servitude. The belief in similarly-minded conjurers also exists in belief systems in which magic is not inherently evil, although in these cultures these "black magicians" are not the rule and have opposition among more traditional magicians.

Conjuration in Mid-West Asia

Conjuration is a very common mystical practice in Mid-West Asia, most commonly found in Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq. Many practice it to settle personal grudges or for healing, personal enhancement, or foretelling the future. There are also those who will sell their services as conjurers to others.

Islam strongly forbids the use of conjuration, because it is seen as an unholy procedure, and therefore to perform it is to give an insult to Allah. It is also considered to, in the end, harm people more than help them: those who regularly contact demons are believed to go mad through overdosing on power, or being possessed (since demons are thought to be short-tempered entities, and given the opportunity might overpower and enslave the one who summoned them).

Contemporary references

Within some magical traditions today, such as contemporary witchcraft, hoodoo and Hermeticism or ceremonial magic, conjuration may refer specifically to an act of calling or invoking deities and other spirits; or it may refer more generally to the casting of magic spells by a variety of techniques.[6] Used in the sense of invoking or evoking deities and other spirits, conjuration can be regarded as one aspect of religious magic.

In the context of illusionist magic practiced today as entertainment only, "conjurer" or "conjuror" is still a common term used by practitioners. In times past, illusionist conjurors were suspected of using magic power to create their entertaining illusions and even suspected of casting spells. They were regarded as "magicians" by the general public, who were often not cognizant of the techniques and tricks used to create their illusions.

In other beliefs

Evocation is the magical art of calling forth spirits, angels or demons to bring spiritual inspiration, do the bidding of the magician or provide information. Methods of this exist in many cultures that feature a belief in spirits, such as the shamanic traditions. Daoism, Shintoism, Spiritism and the African-American religions (Santería, Umbanda etc.), have particular systems of evocation.

See also

References

  1. ^ Mary Beard, J.A. North, and S.R.F. Price, Religions of Rome: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 41.
  2. ^ Nicholas Purcell, "On the Sacking of Corinth and Carthage", in Ethics and Rhetoric: Classical Essays for Donald Russell on His Seventy (Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 140–142.
  3. ^ "Conjure | Define Conjure at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
  4. ^ "Conjuration | Define Conjuration at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
  5. ^ Ex. gr. Chaucer, Wycliffe, Caxton; see OED s.v.
  6. ^ Houdini, Harry (1926). "Conjuring". Encyclopædia Britannica (13th ed.). Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  • Kocku von Stuckrad: Western Esotericism: A Brief History of Secret Knowledge. Translated and with a Foreword by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. London: Equinox. XII, 167 pp.

Further reading

Apocalyptic

Apocalyptic is from the word apocalypse, referring to the end of the world.

Apocalyptic may also refer to:

Apocalypticism, the belief that the end of time is near

Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, a subgenre of science fiction, science fantasy or horror fiction involving global catastrophic risk

Apocalyptic (album), a 2010 album by the Swedish death metal band Evocation

"Apocalyptic" (song), a 2015 song by the American hard rock band Halestorm

Beth Sholom Congregation (Elkins Park, Pennsylvania)

Beth Sholom Congregation is a Conservative synagogue located at 8231 Old York Road in the Philadelphia suburb of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. It is the only synagogue designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Beth Sholom is Hebrew for House of Peace. Completed in 1959, it has been called a "startling, translucent, modernist evocation of an ancient temple, transposed to a Philadelphia suburb by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007 for its architecture.

Certificate revocation list

In cryptography, a certificate revocation list (or CRL) is "a list of digital certificates that have been revoked by the issuing certificate authority (CA) before their scheduled expiration date and should no longer be trusted".

David Cain (professor)

David William Cain (born November 5, 1941) is a professor emeritus of religion at the University of Mary Washington and past president of the Søren Kierkegaard Society of North America. He has chaired plenary sessions on and authored books about Søren Kierkegaard. He lectures in Christian theology and has edited, compiled, and preserved the work of the late Harvard theologian Arthur Chute McGill, three volumes of which are available in new editions. He is also an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ.

Eluveitie

Eluveitie ( el-VAY-ti) is a Swiss folk metal band from Winterthur, Zurich, founded in 2002 by Chrigel Glanzmann. The project's first EP, Vên, was released in 2003. Vên was a studio project of Glanzmann's, but its success led to the recruitment of a full band. The band then released a full-length album, Spirit, in June 2006. In November 2007, Eluveitie was signed by Nuclear Blast. The group rose to fame following the release of their first major-label album, Slania, in February 2008. The album peaked at number 35 in the Swiss charts and number 72 in the German charts.Eluveitie describe themselves as "[t]he new wave of folk metal". The band's style incorporates characteristics of melodic death metal combined with the melodies of traditional Celtic music. They use traditional European instruments, including the hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes, amidst guitars and both clean and harsh vocals. Their lyrics include references to Celtic mythology, particularly of Celtic Gaul. The lyrics are often in a reconstructed form of the extinct ancient language Gaulish. The name of the band comes from graffiti on a vessel from Mantua (c. 300 BC). The inscription in Etruscan letters reads eluveitie, which has been interpreted as the Etruscan form of the Celtic *(h)elvetios (“the Helvetian”), presumably referring to a man of Helvetian descent living in Mantua.

Evocation (band)

Evocation are a death metal band from Borås, Sweden.

Goetia

Goetia or Goëtia is a practice that includes the conjuration of demons, specifically the ones summoned by the Biblical figure, King Solomon. The use of the term in English largely derives from the 17th-century grimoire Lesser Key of Solomon, which features an Ars Goetia as its first section. It contains descriptions of the evocation, or "calling out", of seventy-two demons, famously translated from Latin into English by S. L. MacGregor Mathers and published by Aleister Crowley in 1904 as The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King.

Goetic Theurgy, another practice described in the Lesser Key of Solomon, is similar to the book's description of Goetia, but is used to invoke aerial spirits.

Grand Canyon Suite

The Grand Canyon Suite is a suite for orchestra by Ferde Grofé, composed between 1929 and 1931. It was initially titled Five Pictures of the Grand Canyon.

It consists of five movements, each an evocation in tone of a particular scene typical of the Grand Canyon. Paul Whiteman and his orchestra gave the first public performance of the work, in concert at the Studebaker Theatre in Chicago on November 22, 1931.

K.F.C. Verbroedering Geel

K.F.C. Verbroedering Geel was a Belgian association football club, from the city of Geel in Antwerp (province).

Magick (Thelema)

Magick, in the context of Aleister Crowley's Thelema, is a term used to show and differentiate the occult from performance magic and is defined as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will", including both "mundane" acts of will as well as ritual magic. Crowley wrote that "it is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which that object is capable by nature". John Symonds and Kenneth Grant attach a deeper occult significance to this preference.Crowley saw Magick as the essential method for a person to reach true understanding of the self and to act according to one's true will, which he saw as the reconciliation "between freewill and destiny." Crowley describes this process in his Magick, Book 4:

One must find out for oneself, and make sure beyond doubt, who one is, what one is, why one is ...Being thus conscious of the proper course to pursue, the next thing is to understand the conditions necessary to following it out. After that, one must eliminate from oneself every element alien or hostile to success, and develop those parts of oneself which are specially needed to control the aforesaid conditions. (Crowley, Magick, Book 4 p.134)

Man lebt nur einmal!

Man lebt nur einmal! (German pronunciation: [man ˈleːpt nuːɐ̯ ˈʔaɪnmaːl], You Only Live Once!) is a waltz by Johann Strauss II written in 1855. The piece was marked as im Ländlerstyle which in other words means "in the same style as the Ländler", which is an Austrian folk dance. The title was a quotation from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1774 play Clavigo, but it raised a few eyebrows at that time as Vienna was just recovering from a disastrous cholera epidemic and many of the stricken populace may have been superstitious of such a title. Nonetheless, Strauss performed it at the Sperl Ballroom to great acclaim and this waltz has endured lasting appeal even in a simple string arrangement for a quintet consisting of two violins, one viola, one cello, and a double bass.

The introduction is a rustic Austrian countryside evocation, with flutes announcing the first bars. The first waltz section is undoubtedly Viennese in character however, with a similar mood second part of the first section. The sections 2 to 4 are genial and unsurprisingly cheerful whereas the fifth section is an excellent landler adaptation. The coda is short with the first waltz theme making a quiet reentry. As the waltz proceeds to its close, a short snatch from the introduction melody comes in again before its anticipated ending.

Mycenaean Revival architecture

Mycenaean Revival is a rare revival architectural style developed as part of the 20th century neoclassicist architectural revival in Greece.The National Bank of Greece in Nafplio, built near the heart of the Mycenaean civilization in the 1930s by the architect Zouboulidis, is built in Mycenaean Revival, or neo-Mycenaean style. The door of the bank is an evocation of the form of the Lion Gate and the Tomb of Clytemnestra at Mycenae. The form of the columns is copied from the column on the Lion Gate, and the building is painted in colors used at Mycenae.

On the Torment of Saints, the Casting of Spells and the Evocation of Spirits

On the Torment of Saints, the Casting of Spells and the Evocation of Spirits is an album of contemporary classical music by John Zorn, written in 2012, recorded in New York City in March & July 2013, and released on the Tzadik label in November 2013. The album features compositions inspired by William Shakespeare, Halloween and Anthony the Great and the cover art features paintings by Salvador Dali, Goya and Michelangelo.

Pentacle

A pentacle (also spelled and pronounced as pantacle in Thelema, following Aleister Crowley, though that spelling ultimately derived from Éliphas Lévi) is a talisman that is used in magical evocation, and is usually made of parchment, paper, cloth, or metal (although it can be of other materials), upon which a magical design is drawn. Protective symbols may also be included (sometimes on the reverse), a common one being the six-point form of the Seal of Solomon.

Pentacles may be sewn to the chest of one's garment, or may be flat objects that hang from one's neck or are placed flat upon the ground or altar. Pentacles are almost always shaped as disks or flat circles. In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, though, a pentacle is placed within the triangle of evocation.

Many varieties of pentacle can be found in the grimoire called the Key of Solomon. Pentacles are also used in the neopagan magical religion called Wicca, alongside other magical tools. In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Wicca, pentacles symbolize the classical element earth. In the 1909 Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck (the pentacles of which were designed by Arthur Edward Waite), and subsequent tarot decks that are based upon it, and in Wicca, pentacles prominently incorporate a pentagram in their design. This form of pentacle is formed upon a disk which may be used either upon an altar or as a sacred space of its own.

Slania/Evocation I – The Arcane Metal Hammer Edition

Slania/Evocation I – The Arcane Metal Hammer Edition is an album by the Swiss folk metal band Eluveitie.

Sleep Dirt (instrumental)

Sleep Dirt is an acoustic guitar duet featuring Frank Zappa and James Youman on Zappa's album Sleep Dirt that pursues the close-up intimacy of Zoot Allures as an insistent peaceful motif with conventional evocation. The song as well as the album was named after the secretion that accumulates in the corner of the eye during sleep.

The song's tone is described as intimate as Frank Zappa's sliding left hand gives it a special flavor. Zappa played a fast paced solo, while Youman played the accompaniment. The track has some of the dreamy intensity of half-conscious perception as Youman falters at the end and Zappa asks, "you getting tired?"; "no, my fingers got stuck."

The Devil's Notebook

The Devil's Notebook is the fourth book by Anton LaVey, published in 1992 by Feral House. It includes a foreword by Adam Parfrey and design by Sean Tejaratchi. The book contains forty-one essays in which LaVey provides commentary on such topics as nonconformity, occult faddism, Nazism, terrorism, cannibalism, erotic politics, the “Goodguy badge”, demoralization and the construction of artificial human companions. Included are instructions for the creation of what LaVey terms "total environments", or places of magical evocation, where the enlightened may escape the deleterious effects of contemporary existence.

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Major historic treatises

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