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Beginning Conjuration and Spirit

Magic pt 1: Books
As mentioned in yesterday's post, this week will kick off a
special series of posts. This is the beginning of an eight part
series of posts giving instruction in how to get started with spirit
conjuration. Please like and follow us on Facebook so that you
won't miss any of the action, and please share the series so
others you know can also enjoy it.
Beginning Conjuration and Spirit Magic pt 1: Books

A few months back a brother from a neighboring body reached out to ask for recommendations
for people looking to get into conjuring spirits and grimoire magic. Rather than give a simple
quick answer I figured it would make more sense to put together a list of book recommendations
and post them because others might benefit from it too. Unfortunately for the
last couple monthssome stuff has gotten in the way of blogging for the most part, so I'm a little
behind, but we're going to get started...with that book list. In thinking on it though, there's other
stuff we can talk about than just books. So we'll do a few posts going over some practices and
skills as well.
In thinking about what books to read you probably want to also think about what kinds of spirits
you want to conjure as well as what skills you'll need to develop to work with them. A lot of
basic beginner magic books don't really teach traditional magic or the worldview or practices
involved therein. Instead they teach stuff like developing mental awareness, capability scrying,
an understanding of correspondences, the elements, talisman construction, and basic ritual
techniques. While a lot of elements of modern magic are used for different purposes and in
different contexts than in traditional magic, a grounding in modern magic can be useful.

Israel Regardie's Tree of Life, and The Golden Dawn, along with Crowley's Liber E, and Liber O
will provide a lot of the basic modern foundation that you'll find useful. Norman Kraft's
Ogdoadic Magic will give a bit more accessible approach to describing modern magic. More to
the end of developing as a ritual magician, and one which I enjoyed as a teenager, is Steve
Savedow's Magician's Workbook. Steve also wrote a book on modern Goetia based on working
with the Goetia of Solomon, and released an edition of Sepher Raziel HeMalach. So his
approach to Golden Dawn style magic was at least focused towards the kind of ritual magic that
fit a Golden Dawn interpretation of the grimoires, even if some of his interpretations of spirit
work aren't perfectly aligned with traditional magic.
As for actually looking into spirit conjure work or the grimoires...
Angel Magic by Geoffrey James (who also released Enochian Evocation of Dr. John Dee) was a
significant influence on me as a teenager. His book is a survey of ideas and history surrounding
the conjuration of angels. It introduced me to understanding some of the mechanics of talismanic
work that I later found described more fully in alchemical philosophy and the work of St.
Thomas Aquinas. This book won't teach you to conjure spirits but it will introduce some useful
ideas and stories.
For more on gaining a grounding in the ideas and ideological context of grimoire work, the
books in the Magic in History Series are incredibly useful. With these it really depends on how
deep you want to get into exploring grimoire tradition and the history of magic as to how many
of these you should read. If you mostly want to get into practice, I'd recommend checking one of
these out, preferably one containing a grimoire, but you probably don't need more than that. If
you want to develop a full sense of how grimoire magic developed and various forms of
traditional magic, exploring as many of these history books as you can would make sense.

Some options for Magic in History books...

Forbidden Rites by Richard Kieckhefer
Ritual Magic by Elizabeth Butler
Conjuring Spirits by Claire Fanger et al
Invoking Angels by Claire Fanger et al

For books for actually developing as a grimoire magician...

1. 4th Book of Occult Philosophy by Agrippa et al, edited by Stephen Skinner

The book is not actually a sequel to three books of occult philosophy. Most of it is not written by
Agrippa. On Magical Ceremonies may have been written by him and is largely a practical
summation of the information provided in Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Three Books of
Occult Philosophy essentially presents the system of magical thought from the grimoire period,
but it is a pretty large book and takes a lot to get through. If you want to get started, On Magical
Ceremonies is a lot more accessible.
The collection also contains The Heptameron and The Arbatel. I definitely would recommend the
Heptameron as a baseline for looking at the grimoires. It contains a lot of the grimoire orations
and conjurations which appear in other popular grimoires. It presents a lot of important
correspondences for spirit magic which also show up in later texts.
The Arbatel is one of the simplest approaches to spirit magic. The Olympic Spirits are powerful
and interesting spirits. They also are very eager to work with magicians who approach them
correctly. There really isn't ritual or tools or a ton of correspondences involved. Work with the
Olympic spirits could be one of the easiest ways to get started.

2. The Magical Calendar

The Magical Calendar includes a lot of correspondences used in the grimoire tradition broken
down into numerical tables. Three Books of Occult Philosophy contains similar tables, which are
more extensive, in Book Two. These correspondences can help you with picking spirits with
which to work, or determining how the various spirits relate to each other and to various
situations and times and locations.

3. A Treatise on Angel Magic by Dr. Rudd edited by Adam MacLean or The Keys to the Gateway
of Magic by Dr. Rudd edited by Skinner and Rankine
These texts collect together manuscripts by the somewhat mysterious Dr. Rudd. Rudd most
likely was around a generation or so after Dr. John Dee. Like Agrippa and the Magical Calendar

Rudd's work explains many correspondences useful in medieval/renaissance spirit magic. It also
has Rudd explaining various concepts of magic such as talismans and image magic, explaining
various types of spirits, various symbols of astrological magic and other similar topics. Rudd also
presents info on spirits less commonly addressed in modern approaches to spirit magic, and he is
a good example of linking Scholastic Image Magic with Grimoiric Ritual Magic. Rudd's work
also includes Rudd's own grimoire and his approach to blending Enochian material into grimoire

4. Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals by Johannes Trithemius

This is a pretty short text which you can get online. This presents a very simply form of
crystallomancy or conjuring a spirit into a crystal. It's based on working with the seven planetary
spirits but the system can be used for any sort of spirits. It uses very few tools, and not a lot of
rituals, just a few simple prayers. In particular it is a very good introduction to how an altar has
specific elements for manifesting spirits in grimoire magic. For a lot of magicians this work
inspires their standard means of working with spirits.
5. The Clavis or Key to the Magic of Solomon by Sibley and Hockley edited by Peterson
This book is pretty big and expensive. But it is fricken beautiful. It has images of the original
manuscript pages, and these take up the bulk of the book. The manuscript pages have beautiful
illustrations of the talismans and the book is printed on a really nice glossy paper. On the
negative end, the actual critical edition of the text is only a very small portion of the otherwise
huge book. That said, the book is essentially a pair of grimoires, with a handful of spirit conjure
rituals sandwiched between them. The section by Sibley is very useful because unlike most
grimoires which just collect prayers and descriptions of tools, Sibley is writing something
halfway between a grimoire and a book about grimoire magic. Sibley was writing only a few
generations before the occult revival that produced the Golden Dawn, so by this point books
about magic, as opposed to simply books of magic, were starting to appear so Sibley gives a
much more accessible series of instructions than we find in a lot of grimoires.
6. The Key of Solomon the King edited by S.L. MacGregor Mathers
This isn't the best version of the Key of Solomon available but it was the standard version
everyone had for a long time. This was what I used for my first formal approach to spirit
conjuration. It provides talismans for a lot of different purposes, and clear instructions for
making tools and putting together your ritual. This is kind of the baseline of Solomonic

7. The Veritable Key of Solomon edited by Skinner and Rankine
This is probably the best version of the Key of Solomon currently available. This collects several
different variants of the Key of Solomon. In addition to providing a full exposition of how to
create the tools and how to do Solomonic Magic, but more importantly it provides several ritual
instructions aside from the main conjuration method, and provides several different purposes for
the system far beyond what one might generally connect with Solomonic magic at first
consideration. It shows the breadth of Solomonic magic as a system.
So, in addition to these, again, I would recommend Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy.
But don't let that slow you down in getting started. Read a handful of these, especially the ones
that are easily accessible, and then start doing the work. As you do the work, keep studying and
reading and expanding on how you work. Look into other traditional forms of magic like the
Papyri Graeco-Magicae. Traditional Witchcraft, and traditional forms of European and Caribbean
syncretic sorcery because these can also present ideas that are useful for consideration in spirit
conjure and sorcery.

Beginning Conjuration and Spirit

Magic pt. 2: Devotion
Yesterday's post kicked off this week's special series of posts
giving an introduction to various elements of spirit magic and
conjuration. This is post 2 out of 8. Please like and follow us
onFacebook so that you won't miss any of the action, and
please share the series so others you know can also enjoy it.
Beginning Conjuration and Spirit Magic pt. 2: Devotion

So this topic was actually one I was planning to post about on its own initially but it
definitely has it's place within our discussion of beginning conjuration. I had a
conversation with a friend recently about the importance of devotional work in magic.
The A.'.A.'. system assigns Devotion to the work of the Philosophus and it is with this
work that initial elements that could lead to spirit conjuration start to pop up. Aside from

that though, devotional work with spirits and divine figures helps with conjuration work,
and also, with life in general. It has a lot of elements which overlap with magical practice
without necessarily being magical practice, so it can also be a good practical starting
So what do I mean by devotional work? Devotion, for many people, would imply some
sort of religious commitment to some deity or saint. In our context it could mean this but
it does not have to. All we're talking about here is creating an on going relationship with
a spirit or spirits who will act as allies for you, both in life and magic. This borders on
religious practice and can look like religious practice.

Some theorists on Indo-European religion talk about the guest-host principle as a basic
ordering concept of the universe and society. This suggests that at times an individual
may be a guest or a host, and that as a guest he must act in a certain way out of
respect for his host, and the host must therefore provide him hospitality, and further in
the future he will at times act as the host, and his former host is therefore deserving of
being welcomed and treated well as a guest. This does not necessarily mean a literal
house guest scenario, but rather, if you help your neighbor it should be expected that
your neighbor will appreciate the help, and also make efforts to help you later, and that
you will show the same appreciation and seek later to again help your neighbor;
creating then a cycle of mutual appreciation and aid. Devotional work with spirits works
much the same way.

So if it is a God or Saint that you select, you are not necessarily selecting them as an
object of worship. You're selecting them as a guide, or source of inspiration, perhaps, or
more simply as a benefactor who will help and protect you. The God or Saint receives
the offerings you make, the benefit of any prayers you make as part of your devotion,
and at times perhaps public recognition. It does not necessarily receive you as a
devoted worshiper, but rather a devoted friend. You make routine offerings, spend time
in prayer or meditation for them, maintain objects for your devotional work such as an
altar, or perhaps simply a statue, an offering bowl and some candles. The means of
outfitting your devotional efforts can be between you and the spirit. But having some
physical central focus is both helpful in bringing your focus onto the spirit, but also it can
provide faster means of connecting with the spirit. If there is a space dedicated for the
spirit to take up as a residence, or some tool used as a conduit for contact with the spirit
you may be able to more easily reach out and communicate with spirits with whom you
have some alliance.

Other than Gods or Saints, the ancestors or the dead are common, and very good,
choices for devotional work. Again, you're not entering into this as some kind of religious
self subjugation or some deification of your ancestors. You're keeping open channels of
communication, and maintaining, strengthening, and creating connections with spirits
who can be powerful allies. I've spoken before about the benefits of work with the dead
including the fact that they were once alive, and because they were alive they are aware
of and ready to work towards the concerns of average people. It's also easy because
we see this kind of relationship in historical magic as well as in folk customs and
practices. It's a lot easier to sit down having prepared a deceased relative's favorite
food, and then leaving out a plate of it for them while telling them all about what's
happening in your life and your families' lives than it would be to do really
hardcore necromancy. Fortunately you're probably not conjuring a deceased person to
bind them in a pact. All your devotion with your relatives needs to be is routine contact
to maintain the relationship, and the offering of food, drinks, or gifts periodically to not
simply assure their favor but also to assure their strength and their connection to this

Both with the dead, and with Gods and Saints, our devotional work will often involve
meditating at an altar or before some devotional object or picture. Frequently you'll give
gifts and talk about what's happening with you. There may be prayers involved for the
benefit of the spirit, or simply generally for your blessing. Otherwise most of your
devotional sessions don't need to involve you asking for something. A lot of modern
society associates all prayer with asking for something. Sometimes it's just about
pausing to connect. Other times you might be thanking the spirit, or you may have
discovered the spirit just likes certain poems or prayers and so they become part of your

So by in large the basic devotional work of a magician can be pretty simple, or it can get
more complex. It doesn't need to be tool heavy, but it can be if that's how you're called
to approach your spirits.

Your spirits. In this case it means those spirits with whom you have a relationship. But it
could also mean a familiar spirit, or a spirit given to your charge by a higher spirit. Some

people build living vessels for their familiars and so work with the familiar may be very
much like devotion work. For now I want to treat them as separate. Devotion work can
be a little more casual, than other spiritual work. You don't have to seek to control the
spirits, or move them from some far off place. For this, you're largely working with spirits
that already have some overlap or connection with the world. But you're strengthening it
by inviting them in and making gifts to them. You're asking them to work in this world
and you're feeding them substances of this world. You're not just strengthening their
spiritual capability by feeding it more spiritual substance; you are linking the spirits to
the world by stirring up memories and desire.

So why go through this trouble, why not just get to the magic? Well, this is part of the
magic. It's not just the act of magic, but also the preparatory acts which make us
ready for magic which are a big part of success. When you have allies in the spirit world
they become a spiritual currency for you, or spiritual street cred. Your ability to call upon
and command spirits should increase as you strengthen the spirits who work with you
and they are able to help provide you with authority in the spirit world. They can also
help with controlling unruly spirits and keeping them to task. Another benefit though is
the sort of invisible hand effect. They want to help you and they want to keep enriching
your relationship with them. So as things happen in your life your spirits, especially
those who have been alive previously, may recognize issues you encounter and help
you with them prior to you asking because your spirits know you, they know what you
need. So those little catastrophes in life might get smaller, or they might bring about less
extreme problems, or problems from fewer converging sources than what we might
expect with no one helping. With these things in mind, it's a good idea to keep your
household or personal spirits in happy conditions.

So what does a devotional practice look like?

Let's say you have three ancestors you're working with as your personal spirits. You do
your initial rituals to set up a connection and awareness. Then after that maybe you
keep an altar with a picture of the three ancestors, a candle for each of them, and an
offering bowl, or maybe one for each. Basically simple things. Maybe small possessions
belonging to the departed. Perhaps once a week you light the candles, make a small
offering of whatever their favorite drink was and say a prayer or two or simply tell them
about your life. You might mark special occasions like birthdays,and other
holidays, particularly May's Eve, and November's Eve with extra ritual work or prayer

work or special gifts. For saints you might use their prayer candles and cards and other
Catholic resources. Similarly for Gods obtaining a statue or image and other devotional
gifts can be simple. But all in all this model can work fairly easily regardless of which
type of spirit, though for Gods and Saints it's useful to draw on the traditions to which
they are native and accustomed.

As you put together this part of your practice sometimes there is a tendency to pick one
spirit, usually a God or Saint, and think of them singularly as your patron. Or conversely
some people grab on to every God, Saint, and Ancestor they can find and try to juggle
two dozen at once. Start small. I started with one ancestral spirit, and then selected a
few others who felt significant. Then, and this can be an interesting devotional task in
ancestor work, began exploring stories of my family's past to flesh out my sense of my
pleroma of ancestors. Now your ancestral practice does not need to involve setting up
devotional shrines for each ancestor or markers to remember all of them. Your personal
maiores (great ones), the handful to whom either you or your work are most connected
maybe two or three early on, those should have objects set for interacting, others can
be considered and acknowledged more generally. If you're working with a God, don't
jump to tie yourself down to a patronage but note two or three who might help with your
work, similarly you don't need to set altars for a whole pantheon of deities, the same is
true for Saints.
Beginning Conjuration and Spirit Magic pt 3: Scrying
Presenting part 3 of 8 of our series on Conjuration and Spirit magic for beginners. Today we'll
talk about scrying. Last week we posted the a series of book recommendations and information
on setting up a devotional practice to develop support in the spirit world. Today we're
introducing scrying. Tomorrow we'll begin with more and more exciting topics more directly
reflecting the work itself. So please like us on Facebook, and share the post with your friends so
that can enjoy it as well.
Beginning Conjuration and Spirit Magic pt 3: Scrying

A few months back while Rufus Opus was visiting I was giving a class on spirit magic at William Blake
Lodge. Rufus attended and he got to to see my approach to working with Trithemius in the ritual which
followed the lecture. In addition to Rufus being there, one of my friends who has an interest in magic but
as of that time no real experience, also came along. After the ritual everyone was a-buzz with their
excitement over things they saw in the crystal and the new information and insights they received.
Everyone except my friend who tagged along. He clearly felt awkward over the fact that he got nothing.
Not because of inability to connect with spirits, but because he not only didn't know how to scry, he didn't
know what it is. Scrying is one of the things magicians think of as a very basic skill, and so you don't see it
treated thoroughly all the time. It is however a very diverse skill with many applications and it is essential

when one chooses to work in crystallomancy. So I figured we'd talk about the basic idea, and some
resources and exercises.

Scrying relates to many elements of contemporary magical training as well as to many elements of
mentalism or psychic activity. People most often define scrying as gazing and discuss it as an act in
which one looks into something such that they lose focus in their eyes and eventually open up to seeing
with the third eye. This is not a completely inaccurate description, it is a part of it, but it also might imply
that it's like looking at a magic eye book, in which we relax our focus and allow our eyes to see things in
an unconventional manner so that we can trick ourselves or see secondary images hidden in things.
Scrying isn't an optical illusion. Scrying is about a connection beyond sensory and temporal-spatial
modalities. The act of gazing allows the mind to settle and subdues visual focus, but it also creates a
mental focus on the object being scryed. The scrying device becomes a means for creating a connection
between the magician and the actual object of his observation.

Consider common scrying devices, a crystal ball, a mirror, a bowl of water, a vessel of ink, a candle flame,
or steam smoke or mist. They might not seem exceptionally similar but there are certain similarities. For
one several of them are things with clear elemental links, a bowl of water, a stone, fire, and cloudy air.
The mirror and the ink are essentially alternatives to the stone and the water. When we consider the
crystal, the water, and the mirror they all have physical properties which impact light, these properties
have to do with the structures of the materials in question, which all have their own particular specialness.
Water's molecules are set up to make it the perfect solvent, the ability to dissolve implies this ability to
connect various things into a singular interconnected moment. Crystals have a very ordered structure
which allows for multiple ordered connections within the crystal, again reflecting the ability to create
connections. The flame is literally light and energy being released from matter in a way which
interconnects the four elements. Clouded air similarly overlaps elemental states, either air and water,
potentially by way of fire, or air and earth by way of fire. Common scrying devices are therefore objects
which reflect states of being in between and states of connection, these are of course the basic
mechanisms of scrying.

Scrying is a shift in the locus of consciousness. The Golden Dawn teaches the individual to scry in a
manner which is similar too, and in fact connected to, their instructions in astral projection. The key
differences seem to be the level to which the magician's locus is shifted. In astral projection some piece of
the magician's being is moved into his astrally constructed body so that it may travel through that plane
and carry the magician throughout. In scrying the magician likewise extends a ray from himself into the
object of his scrying and transfers some element of his awareness along that ray. The magician remains
chiefly seated in himself, not merging his being with the scrying device or with the spirits or places being
viewed through the device, but rather he moves his focus, his attention, the centrality of his perceptive
faculties into communion with the device, so that the device, now Essentially (in the Aquinian sense) the
same as the object of the magician's observation, becomes a bridge by which he and the observed may

In preparing to learn to scry one needs to develop a certain level of mental control. The ability to focus
and to reduce or shut out distraction or wandering thoughts is helpful if not necessary. Crowley's A.'.A.'.
system is useful for this. This is not to say that you should go join the A.'.A.'. but check out the yoga
described in Crowley's works such as Mysticism, within Liber ABA, or the Libers presented in the Equinox
which deal with instructions on meditation, yoga, and mental discipline. Prior to working with these an
understanding of, and awareness of your own mind might be helpful. Crowley talks a lot about eliminating
or destroying un-willed throught, but apprehending and either integrating or resolving the source of un-

willed thoughts can be a more complete approach. Exploring some basic forms of Vipasana can help
dramatically with this, particular for people dealing with simply the normal distractions and distress of day
to day life. If deeper issues are dramatically disturbing your ability to focus, it may make sense to talk with
someone who can help with that resolution prior to plumbing deeper into your mind and soul.

As one develops mental control a vivid set of mental sensory abilities is helpful. Ben Rowe advocated
working in successively more complete mental temples to build these faculties. Entering the active
imagination and constructing a temple or a world and working to explore its sensations until it becomes a
more and more complete reality. This mental temple may be useful for a lot of things, but for our purposes
it is primarily a means of getting your mind comfortable with fully perceiving constructs of mental

The ability to transition awareness is a significant, perhaps the most significant skill needed by a scryer. In
general our experience of the world is based on an awareness focused around our eyes and ears. We
know the world from the perspective of our heads, both in terms of it interpreting what we sense, but also
in that we feel our thoughts as if they are in our heads; we interpret the world primarily from sensations
which are tied to our heads. This is where our focus and awareness is. But could our thoughts, and our
main locus of awareness take the perspective of coming from our hands, or our feet, or some other part of
our bodies? Can we focus on those parts to the point where our experience is from that perspective? Yes.
This is one of the simplest means of transferring perspective because it is still our own perspective we're
dealing with. Can we then expand our perceptions of ourselves to encompass objects with which we are
in contact or with which we are interacting? Can we hold a ball and feel our self image as if the ball is a
part of it and as if we are aware of how we are moving or experiencing things as if the ball is part of what
we're doing? Again, yes. Here our awareness isn't leaving us, we're not throwing all our being into the
ball. We're just expanding our self awareness to include the ball. This is a little harder, but still not too
hard. This is a significant part of most training with regularly used sporting equipment. The next and final
phase is more difficult, could we move our awareness to the perspective of the ball even if it may not
always be in physical contact with us? Again, yes we could. We can make that same move we make with
scrying devices and let a ray of awareness enter into the object. This is the actual act of scrying, moving
your awareness into the device being scryed, and allowing your awareness to inhabit it such that it
perceives that world.

From there practice is important, but so is refining your understanding of what you're doing. Explore
various spirits and spiritual powers, but make sure also to test your visions and the powers you encounter.
Check out more resources that give you insight into the nature of scrying and the nature of the tools
involved. As you develop more insight you may also refine your approach to gain better results. In
addition to the texts mentioned above I would also recommend Fr. Achad's Crystal Vision through Crystal
Gazing, and materials by Florence Farr on the subject. The Golden Dawn knowledge lectures also
present good material on this.

So to summarize, build up your capabilities with preparatory exercises:

1. Develop mental focus through meditation
2. Develop awareness of your mental focus by recognizing your perspective and being mindful of your
3. Shift your mental focus by moving your awareness to different parts of your body
4. Shift your mental focus by adjusting what objects are encompassed within your mental self image

5. Shift your mental focus into objects foreign to yourself and occupy the perspective of that separate

For actual scrying. Relax. Set up your device, a bowl of water will do for the beginning. If you have some
means to consecrate the device. Use some symbol or statement to define what you intend to observe
through the device. Collect your awareness, and visualize a ray of light moving from your head into the
scrying device. Move your center of awareness along the ray of light into the device. Then, and this is
important but often forgotten in descriptions. Let go. Don't force the vision, don't desire the vision, don't
question your capability. All of these things are distractions. Just breathe, relax, and dissolve. Let your
awareness become diffuse within the scrying device. Let your focus stay within your work but relax it to a
somewhat passive focus and allow yourself to be receptive and receive the connection. Test your visions.
Record the results.