Goetic Evocation – The New Fad

Goetic Evocation - The New Fad

A few years ago occult students and practicing magicians became enamored of the old grimoires and began to purchase newly translated and annotated copies of them. This may be due in part to published books written by Steve Savedow, Joseph C. Lisiewski and Aaron Leitch. All three authors recommended using the old grimoires in a literal fashion, and seemed to encourage the evocation of Goetic demons. Chaos magic has also lately latched on to Goetic demons, as if the faux gods of H.P. Lovecraft weren’t enough to keep them occupied. So now it’s quite stylish to use the Goetic demons in various workings, and everyone seems to be getting on the bandwagon to engage in this kind of magical working.

I have no intention of engaging this new fad, since my system of magic always had the evocation of Goetic demons as an included part of its overall strategy for magical theurgy and evocation. However, where I differ from the crowd is that I don’t work with these entities individually and in isolation. In a word, I don’t conjure anything without using a very tried and true context. This is because I believe that spirits don’t exist in a vacuum, that they have a very specific hierarchy and I use that hierarchy to work with spirits in combination. So that means that I don’t evoke Goetic demons in isolation, as seems to be the fad out there — instead I work with them as part of a hierarchy that includes the archangels of the 12 zodiacal signs, the angelic rulers of the 36 decans and the 72 angels of the ha-Shem. So if I sought to evoke one of the Goetic demons, it would only be after a series of theurgic workings that would include the archangels and angels that are part of its hierarchy.

The 72 demons of the Goetia have their counter-part in the 72 angels of the ha-Shem, and I would never evoke one of the demons without also invoking the matching angel of the ha-Shem. In this fashion the evocation would be controlled and balanced between light and darkness, which would protect me from potential demonic obsession and allow the dark aspects of my inner self and the inner planes to be worked out through the powers and the intercession of the ha-Shem angel. Pairing Goetic demons with angels of the ha-Shem isn’t new, since we have a record of this methodology found in the book, The Goetia of Dr Rudd. Where I part with tradition is that I choose to build a complete spiritual context using the angelic rulers of the decans and the archangels of the twelve signs as part of the hierarchy of spirits that I engage when working theurgy and goetic evocation. It’s my understanding that the Golden Dawn had proposed this kind of hierarcy, Aleister Crowley hints at it in his The Book of Thoth, and Carroll “Poke” Runyon uses a variation close to what I use. So there is some precedence for this hierarchy — but it’s likely to be recent and is not to be found in the tradition of the old grimoires, as far as I can tell.

If one were to perform the evocation of Goetic demons without use of the above hierarchy, then another hierarchy would implicitly come into play, and that would be the Infernal Hierarchy of Satan and the organization of Hell. This hierarchy is also part of the tradition of the old grimoires, but the demonic hierarchy would not be approached without the power and wisdom of the Holy Guardian Angel to aid and protect the magician. One would assume that because the magicians of the previous epoch would not have attempted to invoke a demon servitor without first going through the infernal hierarchy, then we shouldn’t consider these spirits in isolation either. However, because I am not a Christian or a Satanist, I believe that the infernal hierarchy is kind of contrived and represents a dualistic spiritual philosophy, which I don’t think is workable as a witch and pagan. I also don’t have a deity in my pantheon who is like the devil, even though the Horned God does come close — except that he continually dies and is reborn, which is not a good quality for an angelic adversary. I do believe that the concept of demons does work in a pagan and Wiccan spiritual environment, and I will attempt to explain this theory.

So exactly what are demons, anyway? If they are merely personifications and agents of evil, why would anyone want to traffic with them? One could assume that either magicians want to control the chaotic forces in their lives and apply them in a constructive fashion or they have a perverse desire to engage in malignancy and the exaltation of their own darkness. Others who traffic with them may be doing it out of curiosity, boredom, or because they are jaded and want some kind of new kick in their lives.

I see demons as spiritually negative, but more like a natural negativity — the dark Yin to the light Yang. Angels are like the agents of control who maintain the spiritual status quo, and demons are the agents of chaos who break up the status quo and counteract the laws of nature, including, perhaps, even the physical laws of nature. Where one could see angels as a kind of masculine force, demons would be feminine. They symbolize the archetypal opposition of light and darkness in nature, but without the connotation of good and evil. Angels represent the perfect mathematics of Euclidean space and Newtonian/ Einsteinian physical laws, and demons would represent the curved and distorted intricacies of Non-Euclidean space and the convolutions of Quantum mechanics. One can see by this comparison that demons are an integral part of the natural spiritual world, and that if one works with angels, one should also ultimately work with demons as well — to maintain a holistic approach to magic and spiritual mechanics.

Since demons of any kind represent the opposite quality of angels, then we could assume that they would represent chaotic, disruptive and even stochastic spiritual forces and intelligences. Obviously, we would want to engage such forces and intelligences in a very controlled environment, but conversely, such entities would be useful in breaking through old patterns and dealing with internal flaws within the psyche, or even engaging in processes that would be considered outside of the normal space time continuum. Such a controlled use would require either the assistance of the Holy Guardian Angel, a hierarchy of archangels and angels, or a combination of both.

I have used demons in the past to specifically address my spiritual dark side, to realize myself as a being of light and darkness, and to learn to harness and empower my dark side so that I might be able to master myself. I believe that this is relevant because the physical and social worlds that we live in are neither light nor dark, but rather a balanced gray. Demons help me to determine my limitations, flaws and weaknesses — something that angels would not be capable of doing since they are programmed to aid and assist humanity. Sometimes things need to be broken or even destroyed in order to ensure continued spiritual growth. Magicians, like everyone else, can allow habits and limiting opinions trap them. These habits can carve deep ruts in their lives that seem almost insurmountable. Drastic measures may be required to eliminate them. I believe that demons can do this quite adequately. Similarly, demons can also allow for the incursion of the impossible, assisting one in attracting totally new and completely unrealized possibilities into one’s life.

In the magician’s search for wisdom and power, no stone should be left unturned, and this is also true for the evocation of demons. However, I maintain my argument that one should never evoke demons without also working through the hierarchy and also, hopefully, having a powerful guide such as the Holy Guardian Angel to assist.

©2009 Frater Barrabbas
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Frater Barrabbas is a writer and practitioner of witchcraft and ritual magick. He has published two books — Disciple’s Guide to Ritual Magick, and the two volumes of a trilogy, entitled Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick — Foundation and Mastering the Art of Ritual Magic — Grimoire. The third volume in this series, Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick — Greater Key will be published soon. You can contact him at the email address tiresius@gnosticstar.org and his website is at www.fraterbarrabbas.com.

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7 Responses to “Goetic Evocation – The New Fad”

  1. Wow. You are almost completely ignorant on this subject. Almost everything you have said is a complete misunderstanding. Grammar magic is among the most traditional monotheistic magic in the world. Modern witchcraft and ritual magic are the real fads by comparison.

    Come over to one of our Yahoo groups sometime. We’ll set you straight.

    .-= David Stolowitz´s last blog ..Taylor Ellwood – The Role of Identity within Magic =-.

  2. David –

    How interesting. You invite me to attend your Yahoo groups and then say that I am completely ignorant and that everything that I have said in this article is totally wrong. If you think that I am so misinformed, why bother to invite me, since I would undoubtedly have nothing to offer you or your group, and would pain you with my obvious ignorance? Perhaps that’s a back-handed compliment, so I’ll take it as such.

    First of all, I want to let you know that I haven’t said anything disrespectful to those who are seriously following a magical path, whether it be ceremonial, grimoire based or ritual based. My comment is that some are engaged in an almost whimsical approach to the evocation of goetic demons. If that’s not your approach and if you are a serious practitioner, then you need not feel that I am being critical of you or your path.

    Since I am also a practicing ritual magician and I have actually performed goetic magick, I doubt that what I have said in this article is based on pure supposition or ignorance. I may have a different opinion than you, that’s all. So there’s no reason to have to “set me straight” as you say. What I do read in your remarks is a belief that your way is the only correct way. That’s not very inclusive of you. I believe that we just don’t agree about the details, and I certainly don’t think that my way is the only way, either.

    Also, considering that Wicca has been around for fifty years and it’s recognized as a valid religion by the military and the U.S. tax code, that goes quite contrary to your argument that it’s a fad. As for ritual magick, it’s also been around for quite while, too. The version of ritual magic that I work with was actually started by Aleister Crowley in the early 1900’s, so I don’t see how that’s a fad, either.

    However, despite our differences of opinion, I invite you to examine the articles in my blog and perhaps we may actually be able to share some ideas and thoughts, since all of this is really based on experimentation and personal opinion, and not on a fixed or orthodox tradition.

    In the practice of ritual or ceremonial magick, there are all too few absolute truths.

    My blog is http://www.fraterbarrabas.blogspot.com

  3. Grey Glamer says:

    You missed one of the b’s in your blog address, but I was able to find it without too much trouble. (And in the unlikely event I’m giving away a blind, you have my apologies.)

    It’s interesting that you place demons as forces which potentially can break up old or stagnant patterns. Thorn Coyle makes what is ostensibly the reverse argument in her *Rending the Veil*, suggesting that demons *are* the worn ruts and psychological complexes which keep us from deploying our personal power in constructive ways. On the other hand, she suggests sitting with these internal forces and inviting them to participate in one’s own Great Work, allowing the energy bound up in the demon (which is really part and parcel of the self in Coyle’s paradigm) to flow in life-affirming ways. All of which dovetails pretty well with your suggestion that we must come to terms with the dark and chaotic aspects of our own natures in order to realize our Great Works.

    Different perspectives and articulations of the same thing, I should think. My own spiritual path isn’t nearly so structured or detailed as your own, yet I do think that all spirits, including those like ourselves who favor their material sides, contain both Seelie and Unseelie aspects which must be integrated into a life-affirming whole. I am most intrigued by your approach to spiritual balance, and thank you for sharing your perspective here. I should be most interested to read your blog.

    Blessed Be! A very happy Samhain to you and yours!
    .-= Grey Glamer´s last blog ..The Virtues of Magic: Desire =-.

  4. Yes – you are correct, the blog ID is http://www.fraterbarrabbas.blogspot.com – there are two b’s in Barrabbas. My mistake. No blind, just bad typing.

  5. stacey says:

    send me learning stuff of magick that works

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