Chapter XVI

This chapter should be read after Part I but before Part II of Chapter XV.

Of the Invocation


In the straightforward or "Protestant" system of Magick there is very little to add to what has already been said. The Magician addresses a direct petition to the Being invoked. But the secret of success in invocation has not hitherto been disclosed. It is an exceedingly simple one. It is practically of no importance whatever that the invocation should be "right". There are a thousand different ways of compassing the end proposed, so far as external things are concerned. The whole secret may be summarised in these four words: "Enflame thyself in praying."[1]

The mind must be exalted until it loses consciousness of self. The Magician must be carried forward blindly by a force which, though in him and of him, is by no means that which he in his normal state of consciousness calls I. Just as the poet, the lover, the artist, is carried out of himself in a creative frenzy, so must it be for the Magician.

It is impossible to lay down rules for the obtaining of this special stimulus. To one the mystery of the whole ceremony may appeal; another may be moved by the strangeness of the words, even by the fact that the "barbarous names" are unintelligible to him. Some times in the course of a ceremony the true meaning of some barbarous name that has hitherto baffled his analysis may flash upon him, luminous and splendid, so that he is caught up unto orgasm. The smell of a particular incense may excite him effectively, or perhaps the physical ecstasy of the magick dance.

Every Magician must compose his ceremony in such a manner as to produce a dramatic climax. At the moment when the excitement becomes ungovernable, when then the whole conscious being of the Magician undergoes a spiritual spasm, at that moment must he utter the supreme adjuration.

One very effective method is to stop short, by a supreme effort of will, again and again, on the very brink of that spasm, until a time arrives when the idea of exercising that will fails to occur.[2] Inhibition is no longer possible or even thinkable, and the whole being of the Magician, no minutest atom saying nay, is irresistibly flung forth. In blinding light, amid the roar of ten thousand thunders, the Union of God and man is consummated.

If the Magician is still seen standing in the Circle, quietly pursuing his invocations, it is that all the conscious part of him has become detached from the true ego which lies behind that normal consciousness. But the circle is wholly filled with that divine essence; all else is but an accident and an illusion.

The subsequent invocations, the gradual development and materialization of the force, require no effort. It is one great mistake of the beginner to concentrate his force upon the actual stated purpose of the ceremony. This mistake is the most frequent cause of failures in invocation.

A corollary of this Theorem is that the Magician soon discards evocation almost altogether — only rare circumstances demand any action what ever on the material plane. The Magician devotes himself entirely to the invocation of a god; and as soon as his balance approaches perfection he ceases to invoke any partial god; only that god vertically above him is in his path. And so a man who perhaps took up Magick merely with the idea of acquiring knowledge, love, or wealth, finds himself irrevocably committed to the performance of The Great Work.

It will now be apparent that there is no distinction between magick and meditation except of the most arbitrary and accidental kind.[3]


Beside these open methods thee are also a number of mental methods of Invocation, of which we may give three.

The first method concerns the so-called astral body. The Magician should practise the formation of this body as recommended in Liber O, and learn to rise on the planes according to the instruction given in the same book, though limiting his "rising" to the particular symbol whose God he wishes to invoke.

The second is to recite a mantra suitable to the God.

The third is the assumption of the form of the God — by transmuting the astral body into His shape. This last method is really essential to all proper invocation, and cannot be too sedulously practised.

There are many other devices to aid invocation, so many that it is impossible to enumerate them; and the Magician will be wise to busy himself in inventing new ones.

We will give one example.

Suppose the Supreme Invocation to consist of 20 to 30 barbarous names, let him imagine these names to occupy sections of a vertical column, each double the length of the preceding one; and let him imagine that his consciousness ascends the column with each name. The mere multiplication will then produce a feeling of awe and bewilderment which is the proper forerunner of ecstasy.

In the essay "Energized Enthusiasm" in No. IX, Vol. I of The Equinox[4] is given a concise account of one of the classical methods of arousing Kundalini. This essay should be studied with care and determination.

1This is Qabalistically expressed in the old Formula: Domine noster, audi tuo servo! kyrie Christe! O Christe! [O our Lord, hear thy servant! O lord Christ! O Christ!]

2This forgetfulness must be complete; it is fatal to try to "let oneself go" consciously.

3There is the general metaphysical antithesis that Magick is the Art of the Will-to-Live, Mysticism of the Will-to-Die; but — "Truth comes bubbling to my brim; Life and Death are one to Him!".

4The earliest and truest Christians used what is in all essentials this method. See Fragments of a Faith Forgotten by G.R.S.Mead, Esq. B. A., pp. 80-81.

There is a real connexion between what the vulgar call blasphemy and what they call immorality, in the fact that the Christian legend is an echo of a Phallic rite. There is also a true and positive connexion between the Creative force of the Macrocosm, and that of the Microcosm. For this reason the latter must be made a pure and consecrated as the former. The puzzle for most people is how to do this. The study of Nature is the Key to that Gate.

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