This is an approach to Invocation I've been working on recently. In the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, the pilots have to enter an Entry Plug before they can actually get into the Evangelions. Evangelions incidentally are mecha, but also replicated from the angel Adam, so that essentially they are a combination of flesh and machine. The entry plugs are termed as thrones of the soul in the series. In other words the pilots are actually souls and the entry plugs serve as the housing for the soul within the Evangelion. For the Evangelion to operate, the pilot and the Eva must synchronize. This synchronization is achieved partially through technology; specifically the pilot's neural signals become the central nervous system for the Evangelion. But sometimes this is also achieved by the pilot's will power, so that the soul of the pilot is essential for the Eva to work. The soul of the pilot is invoked into the Evangelion. And the synchronization of Eva and pilot creates a god that cannot only fight the angels in the series, but can also serve as a medium of evolution for humanity. And all of this is achieved through the pilot being invoked into the Eva, as opposed to a more traditional approach toward invocation.
Invocation is traditionally treated within magickal workings. Donald Micheal Kraig defines invocation as, "The magickal act wherein you allow your body to be temporarily shared by another entity" (377). In other words, when you invoke an entity, you invite that entity into yourself. Depending on how strict you are with the invocation, the entity can even use your body as a medium, or can simply be in the ritual to provide presence within a flesh body, as opposed to evocation, which is an external summoning of the entity. An invocation allows the entity to "ride" in your body. The benefits of an invocation as a magickal method are that it can be used as a way of communing with the entity in question or establishing a bond between you and the entity. Also such workings can grant you an intimacy with the entity, and if you're working with a particular group of people can establish rapport between the people and the entity. But as with anything else invocation can be a two-edged sword. The entity you invoke may not be as friendly as you'd like. Obviously then an awareness of what the entity actually is, the attributes you perceive it to have, and your own skill in working magick is key to doing effective invocation, if only to insure that the entity you invoke is an entity you can handle.
Another definition of invocation is William G. Gray's definition:
To "invoke" means literally to "voice inside" or call inwardly, and that is precisely what we must do if we are aiming to make contact with higher Intelligences through the Great Consciousness. There is no use our shouting through Outer Space instead of Inner Space. External wordage and sounds are only useful as material to be converted to Inner Sonic Energy, which alone is capable of reaching the contacts we seek. Invocation does not mean bawling our heads off before some altar. It means using our Inner Voices to reach those able to hear them in ourselves and other human beings when we are speaking spiritually rather than physically. (179)
This definition of invocation is one that closely resonates with how I approach invocation, namely using invocation as a way of connecting or strengthening existing connections between myself and others, be they entities, god forms, or people. The ultimate idea of an invocation is to build up a resonance of energy between yourself and what is invoked so that you not only channel the force you're calling, but in fact share energy with that force. In fact, I would argue that invocation is a synthesis or synchronization of the person and the entity being invoked, so that the energy created by the connection is a melding of the caller and the called. Gray also takes invocation a step further, "The job of the utterer, is to aim sonically at whatever Inner contact is sought via the hearers, whose function is to link themselves with that particular contact and no other. It means that while a skilled Invocant is emitting meaningful sonic energies directed to some category of the Universal Consciousness, those hearing them physically are acting as receptive relays sending the message backwards through themselves along their Inner linkage with the Contact they are all trying to reach" (177). It's not just a single person doing the invocation, but ideally the group of people. A truly effective invocation creates a synthesis of energy between all the participants and the entities called. Nonetheless even Gray's approach is still traditional, relying upon the entity being invoked within you as opposed to other ways of doing invocation.
And you might ask, what other ways are there? Above I used the example of the Eva. In that example the invocation that is achieved is manifested through a merging of the Eva and the pilot, but the merging occurs as a result of the pilot being invoked into the Eva as opposed to invoking the Eva in him/her self. In other words the process of invocation is reversed. For the god form to be effective the invoker has to actually be invoked into it. So what ends up happening is that the invoker "rides" the invoked god form, a reversal of the usual process. Or actually in the case of Eva, meets the godform halfway so that the invocation is mutual. After all, within Eva, the pilot has to have some degree of ability to synchronize with the Eva, to actually make it move and work. So even if the pilot is inside the Eva, the actual invocation won't occur until the conjoining of the pilot's soul with the Eva's essence occurs. Nonetheless it is possible within magick to do such invocations and more. Up until now, however, most people have not considered invocation in the way I'm about to propose.
I would argue first that you can, in fact, invoke yourself into godforms, entities, or for that matter, people. Consider, for instance, pathworking, which people use in magick as a way of exploring a god form or entity. Pathworking is a form of invocation, but instead of the invocant calling the god form to him or her, s/he goes to the godform, essentially invoking him/her self into the god form as a way of knowing it better. The pathworking is simply a reversal of energy flow, or if you will linkage.
When a person does invocation s/he is creating a connection of energy for the entity to travel through or for him/her to travel through. The key aspect of invocation is the connection itself. How much do you value the connection you make with something else? The value shows in the relationship you establish with others, be they human, entity, or otherwise. And the value shows even with the connection you establish with yourself. How does the value of the self establish itself for a person? Through the interactions we have with others, through the way those others consider us and treat us, and how a person treats him or herself.
These interactions you have with people everyday are a form of invocation. You invoke the reality of the people you interact with. You even have a version of that person inside of you (i.e. you have a perception of who that person is, how s/he acts) and so every time you see or hear from that person, you invoke the reality you know. And by extension the people you know also have a version of you within themselves. You even have your own version of yourself within you, the observer observing the person who acts. All of these versions contain something of a truth about you and so the invocation of you, achieved through ordinary everyday reality, nonetheless relies upon the rapport and connection you build between yourself and a person and even between yourself and the version of yourself within that person.
We use invocation in our lives with the way we navigate through life. For instance when I teach my students, I invoke a persona of myself that is an effective teacher. I essentially invoke a role, one expected of me that is a synthesis of myself and the role of a teacher. Likewise the various other functions I'm engaged in inform the invocation of the various roles I adopt to fit the expectations of the people. For instance when I do a workshop on magick, obviously I am being myself, but I am expected to be at least somewhat knowledgeable on the subject I'm discussing. As such when I'm doing my workshop I'm invoking into myself the various magickal experiences and knowledge that I have so that I can provide all of that in the workshop.
It may seem that I'm blowing invocation all out of proportion, but it's important to understand that a magickal concept/tool such as invocation is used everyday by us in ways we don't expect and that if we are aware of invocation in this way, we can begin to appreciate how it can be used outside of the formal settings that we are traditionally inclined to perceive it as being part of. We can make invocation into a very practical form of magick. But we have to apply it beyond how it's normally considered.
Part of this application is the invocation of the self into the god form, entity, or other person. By learning to work with the connection we have manifested we can come to a greater understanding of the forces we work with and how the interaction effects us and them. Invoking yourself into a god form works in that instead of the god form "riding you," you ride it. You become the god form. When I do this I vocalize (a vibrating utterance) the following: "I invoke myself into Set." Now instead of Set coming and "riding" my body, I go to him. The connection I have established with him is, after all, a two-way connection. There is no reason not to go to him and become him. The benefits I find, beyond pathworking with a god form, is that you also get a sense of its perspective, how it perceives and understands you. The limitation however is that you are visiting where Set or what ever god form you work with exists so the invocation into them isn't here, but somewhere else.
Another way I do invocation into a god form is to actually come up with a costume that represents the god form. This works particularly well with pop culture personas, though with enough creativity and research you can likely come up with a costume that represents the godform of your choice. Now when you put on the costume, which represents your connection to the godform, invoke yourself into the godform. What you'll be doing is using the costume as the medium for the godform, if you will, the shell or housing for it. And when you wear it, you'll become that godform, as opposed to the godform becoming you. I find this particularly useful for conventions, as it allows you to also tap into the energy directed toward the god form that you're invoking. Even the attention you receive for your costume is a form of energy that boosts the connection between you and the god form you have invoked yourself into. Doing an invocation this way allows you and the god form to meet half way. Neither of you go entirely one way or the other down the connection you have, but instead have your synthesis in between. Advantages of this kind of invocation is that neither one of you is ?riding? the other, and both of you are able to exist in the physical material reality, but in a manner where the space between the souls is respected. You have invoked the god form, are a part of it, but nonetheless have a separate identity and taking off the costume ends the invocation. When I do invocations this way I visualize that as I'm putting on the costume I'm calling the god form to it and invoking myself into that god form. And likewise when I take off the costume I end the invocation and let the entity depart from the costume.
Another aspect of invocation that can be useful with god forms is exploring the various other godforms associated with the god form you're invoking. Many ancient cultures have appropriated godforms into their culture as a way of assimilating a conquered culture. Even today in our modern society we can use pop culture god forms such as Bugs Bunny and tap through him into the trickster energies of Coyote or Loki. The god forms we invoke sometimes have other god forms in them, so to speak and it?s worth exploring those god forms, and exploring how the energy of the god form you work with is strengthened by the appropriation of one god into another. As an example of this in Egypt the Islamic fourteen day holiday for Mohammed actually falls on the fourteen day original holiday for Osiris. On some level Mohammed has appropriated the energy of Osiris. An exploration of either being would yield a synthesis of the energies, I think. What makes invocation fascinating on this level is how you can take the attributes of the various god forms now associated with other and create a new god form out of that! It is both the symbiosis and synthesis of all that has come before it, but it is even more as it evolves beyond how they've been characterized, becoming an entity in itself, even as encapsulates the energy of the prior god forms.
I mentioned earlier that sometimes I invoke myself into a person. This kind of invocation happens due to the connection you have to the person and specifically to the version of you that exists within that person?s conceptual mind. I have done this kind of invocation with two people. One person lives in the U.K. and she and I are doing magickal workings with a system of magick called Dehara. Because I live in the U.S. it is naturally hard to meet in person. So sometimes when we have synchronized rituals, both she and I have invoked each other. We've both noted the strength of presence we feel in doing this technique as well as how intimate such invocation becomes, as in one sense, you are sharing your soul with the person you invoke yourself into. The phrasing I have used when invoking myself into this person is Astale (name of person). Astale can mean I invoke the person into myself or I invoke myself into the person or both. I do this invocation at the beginning of the ritual and then end the invocation at the end of the ritual.
More recently I have begun to work this technique of invoking myself into another person who was one of my lovers. Because she and I live some distance from each other and I saw her rarely, I used this technique to close the gap, as well as a gain a better appreciation and knowing of her. However my invocation with her was different from that of the person in the U.K. For one thing I am not actually involved in ritual when I do this invocation of myself in to her. Instead I do this invocation through a meditative trance, using one hundred breaths to synchronize myself and then saying: "I invoke myself into (name of the person)." When I'm in the meditative state I have found it usually takes a little, but eventually I find myself in the place that I equivocate with her essence. These journeys into her psyche have been intriguing, giving me glimpses of magickal workings she's done, entities she's worked with, and even past lives she's lived. In one journey I even found myself in a place where I looked into file cabinets and saw various ritual tools in the cabinets. I have also noted in these journeys that there are walls or partitions. I think that these walls/partitions are the mental boundaries that she has in place. I have wisely respected those boundaries. When I have told her of the journeys she has verified the details I give her. Since we broke up I don't do the invocations into her anymore, beyond one last one I did, which I used as a way of closing the connection and saying farewell. I think that this kind of invocation goes past the surface of the soul and into the true essence of the person you work with and that the encounters that you can have with god forms or people represent the combination of energy worked with and energy that is.
This kind of invocation can easily be expanded upon. For instance if you and a person you trust with you can yourselves into each other at the same time and then report to each other what you find. Similar experiments in hypnosis have been done as Talbot notes in The Holographic Universe when he tells the tale of two individuals. One person hypnotized the other person and then the hypnotized person likewise put the first person into a hypnotic trance. Both people, now under hypnosis experienced the same reality with each other (143). It stands to reason that likewise if two people were to go into meditative trances and then each person invoked him/herself into the other person, each would likely have experiences of each other as well as perhaps of each other visiting the other person's essence. Something that has helped me in doing this meditation is an object I used that reminded me of my former lover. I have a ring of Khepher, an Egyptian God. She and the group of magickians she works with strongly associate with Khepher and the scarab. For me the ring had come to symbolize the connection between us. I often rubbed the ring and thought of her when I did my invocations into her. When I did my meditation I placed the ring on my belly and held it between my thumbs, using it as a focus for both my feelings for her and the connection we had between us.
I've also since used this invocation as a way of doing energy work with a person, meshing my energy with the other person's energy and even making the other person into a power spot that I can draw on. This, obviously, should be done with the person's permission. When I do an invocation in this what I do is create, in my mind, sigils that represent the intent of the invocation. The idea is to mesh the energy of the person with your own energy so the sigils are designed to strengthen the connection between you and the other person as well as creating the means to draw on the person's energy. This ideally goes both ways though. As this person is a power spot for you, so too are you a power spot for him or her. You are amplifying the linkage, allowing for more than just the usual connection between you and this person. You are becoming power conduits for each other.
Another way to work with invocation of this kind is to use it to surf the space/time probabilities for yourself or another person. By invoking yourself into another person or even yourself, you are getting access to not merely the present, but all the probable pasts and futures of that person. And you can verify the information you find with that person. Even if it's a future event simply have the person tell you if something happens, which resembles what you've described. The actual way to do this involves first invoking yourself into the person and then going where you are allowed to go. In the case of my ex-lover I was lead to an open field and encountered her at a table by a train station and proceeded to talk with her at length. This had occurred in her past and she verified the details I gave her. Another time I was lead to a file cabinet that held different objects that had meaning to her. This technique can also be used visit specific moments in the past or view the probabilities of the future. It does help if you know the circumstances a person currently exists in, as them ore variables you know about, the more you are able to factor them into the probable future you're exploring. Generally when I do this kind of working I'll say show me the probable future of this person in regards to this matter. This kind of future working involves being as specific as possible, examining one situation. But although you are examining just one situation, you can look at all the probable outcomes of the situation and this can involve a lot of probabilities. The specific situation directs you toward the multiple probabilities you examine. Again it's important in the circumstances of the person's life, particularly those relevant to the situation, but also even those circumstances, which don't, on the surface, seem relevant.
Recently two friends of mine used my invocation technique to help each other. They invoked themselves into each other and then went on a vision quest to find the aspect of each other that sabotaged their success at writing. The goal was to identify this sabotage chip in each other and then help each other get rid of the sabotage chip. Of course doing this demanded complete honesty from both people. They had to examine all the situations in their lives where they'd let themselves be sabotaged and missed out on an opportunity. Also both of them picked out a physical object to represent the sabotage chip. Both friends put into or onto that object sigils that represented each moment they'd sabotaged an opportunity in their life. Then they invoked themselves into each other and found the sabotage chip within and destroyed it. After the meditation the two people took the objects and destroyed those. This kind of invocation can be used as a healing technique by doing what I've described above or even traveling through the person's body/psyche to find what needs to be healed.
I hope that it is obvious that invocation, as a form of magick, can be taken much further than the traditional way it has and is still used. Whether we invoke god forms or another person there is no reason that we cannot use this technique of magick to not only achieve synthesis and symbiosis with others, but also greater awareness of the connections of energy we have with others and how those connections can be strengthened or modified through an awareness of how to expand upon invocation. Whatever you do with invocation, do so with the goal being to expand beyond how we have previously considered it as technique for magick work.
Gray, William G. Magical Ritual Methods. York Beach: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1980.
Kraig, Donald Michael. Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. St.
Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1988.
Talbot, Michael. The Holographic Universe. New York: Harper Perrenial, 1991.
Author Bio: Taylor Ellwood is currently pursuing his PH.D in Literacy, Rhetoric, and Social Practice at Kent State University. He is the author of 'Pop Culture Magick' and co-author of Creating Magickal Entities. Taylor is currently writing his third book 'Space/Time Magick' as well as more articles. Check out Taylor's webpage at http://taylorellwood.chaosmagic.com or his livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/teriel. Taylor can also be contacted at email@example.com.