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Experiments in Spirit Evocation

By Frater Ananael 252

First Published 5 January 2020

‘If there is no God or Devil, no Heaven or Hell, and if the place we go to when we forsake our physical bodies is merely a ‘sea of memory’ in constant flux, then would it not be better to ‘make a deal’ and know exactly what you’ll become and where you will go when you die, or persist with the constant fear and anxiety of an uncertain fate..(?)’ Denerah Erzebet (The Rites of Astaroth, Draco Press)

Over the last year I made several attempts at spirit evocation using a Goetia type formula with mixed success. I tend to take the position that the demons listed in the grimoires are neither ‘evil’ nor ‘good’. The rituals were performed by myself as well as in group settings. Some of the summonings seemed to set off a series of events whilst others seemed to not culminate when they were supposed to with the most intense visual experiences occurring at unscheduled times. The format I used was to summon the demon into a cauldron that would be placed at the centre of a circle of magicians with a triangle of art around it and a protective circle around that: cleansings would precede and follow each ritual. Incense was burnt inside the vessel in an incense burner placed over the sigil.

The first temple summoning of a Goetia entity was Ashtaroth. I like to use very unorthodox methods in my magic with a particular leaning towards the trappings of traditional witchcraft. So in this ritual I used a small dutch-pot with Ashtaroth’s sigil in chalk at the base. The dutch pot is a particularly useful tool in witchcraft, lending itself to all sorts of sorcery; it appears very much like a traditional cauldron but with a flat floor it lends itself well to having sigils drawn inside it.

We had another magician present who did a brilliant Lesser Banishing RItual of the Pentagram and after a relatively short summoning we did some connected breath-work: breathing deeply we chanted ‘Ashtaroth’ on our outbreath. We kept this up for 20 minutes. This ritual was reasonably intense but without any major effects during the summoning.

I myself have experience of Ashtaroth through my work with Exu Rei das sete Encruzilhadas, a powerful spirit who will intervene on the physical plane especially if etiquette is not properly observed, with a penchant for cigars and rum. A series of synchronicities did unfold in parallel with a Soror who was making offerings at the Crossroads for Lucifer in identical fashion to how I did for Exu: both entities being associated with Venus as the Morning Star. A Tarot ritual preceding this did point out to me that paths would cross with this person in no uncertain terms- it did in the familiar challenging ways that I have come to expect when working with Exu.

The second conjuration was out in the country with a group of magicians and it was Asmodeus this time. I brought my dutch pot and the ritual was preceded by a thorough cleansing ritual performed by a very competent magician and he did it in the manner as set out in the grimoires. I used the Asmodeus prayer from Spare’s Grimoire of Zos, bowdlerising it somewhat as I could not imagine this temple indulging in an evening of fornication. This time we used the connected breath-work again chanting ‘Asmoday’ on the outbreath. This was followed by the ‘spontaneous path-working’ method that we devised where a vision would be passed around the circle with a squeeze of the hand, each participant adding to it. The ritual completed at exactly the stroke of midnight and we had some insightful visions.

For my third demonic conjuration I would break-away from traditional goetia-type work altogether and loosely follow the ritual as outlined in a book called The Rites of Astaroth. This would be considered a dangerous rite which culminates in trading one’s soul to gain favour with this demon. In principle I would have no objections to trading my soul to Astaroth: is it not the case that practically every religion requires its adherents to dedicate their soul to the object of their adoration anyway but dressed up in different words?

I made a few adjustments but the rite is performed from the full moon to the new moon in a very left-hand path fashion. I made offerings of my own blood on each day of the rite and made a point of learning the conjuration from Grimorium Verum off by heart: mastering it by the day of the actual rite. The blood offerings were astoundingly powerful! I had ordered a sigil that was laser-branded onto wood and that I was wearing around my neck. I pricked my finger each day that I conjured Astaroth using sterile diabetic lances and anointed this talisman. There is something very primal and potent about letting your own blood, even if it is only such a tiny amount. The discomfort, the psychic link and the vital energy all help strengthen the magic. This was a revelation to me!

I did want to get in touch with the author to have some insight on the magician’s state of sanity after having completed the rite and by a strange coincidence I made her acquaintance on Facebook! I timed it so that I could have the weekend off on a river-boat. The climax of the ritual would be to summon Astaroth as a demoness or entity of the opposite gender and to consummate the ceremony sexually. Astaroth is historically associated with Astarte and Ishtar and mentioned in the Bible as such, so it makes perfect sense in this context. My feeling throughout was that Astaroth is female or at least gender-fluid.

I do much of my magic whilst working at my job as a gardener. Michael Bertiaux discussed the fact that many of the African slaves would do their sorcery whilst labouring in the fields in his Voudon Gnostic Workbook and I took my inspiration from this. I use the time that I do monotonous work to also do magic or to learn lines off by heart. During the time that led up to the ritual when I was learning the conjuration, Ashtaroth seemed to manifest very intensely. This would in retrospect have been the correct time to have consummated the ritual as outlined in the book but I wanted to keep to the schedule. I had intense visions and instructions on how to draw up a pact and what should be included.

The encounter had a very erotic flavour of the type associated with incubus/succubus phenomena documented in the witchcraft trials. I also had an intense dream that I had impregnated a black woman who would have our baby and it was going to be called Cressida. I had no idea what the significance of the name was until I researched it. Cressida was the daughter of the seer Calchas in Greek mythology. The book has a ritual for creating a magical child and it seemed that I was on my way of having done so already. The name has become a word of power for me with some weird effects when I intone it. When I say the name I feel like a female spirit superimposes its body astrally over mine.

When the actual day of the ritual arrived I headed out of London with my shamanic drum and a sacrament expecting a night of drumming and conjuring. I did actually draw up a pact with clauses to ensure that I get to know Astaroth a lot better before commending my soul to her. The ritual itself ended up being unspectacular. I was not ready for an all night session of drumming so I decided to keep the sacrament for another day in the future – maybe after my nine-month pact comes round. I intoned the conjuration that I had learnt 108 times and did a good amount of drumming. Astaroth did hear me and I have come away from this rite with a new method of magic that I will be experimenting with based on my experience with The Rites of Astaroth.


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