Aleister Crowley’s Illustrated Goetia: Sexual Evocation, by Lon Milo DuQuette and Christopher S. Hyatt, illustrated by David P. Wilson
New Falcon Publications, 1561840483, 236 pp., 1992, 2000
‘What Goetia is – is the releasing of yourself from your won fears and illusions by direct confrontation.’
According to tradition, the Goetia is the first book in the Lemegaton attributed to Solomon the King, though likely compiled by a host of authors. Goetic evocation deals with the summoning of the seventy-two lesser spirits and demons. In this edition, based on Crowley’s Goetia, DuQuette and Hyatt strip away all unnecessary trappings and cut through most of the ‘fooltraps’ designed to dissuade less astute practitioners.
Traditionally, Goetic evocation calls for strict observance of many details, such as the correct ritual hours, lengthy calls, and an inordinate amount of ceremonial trappings. The authors tell the reader what one can safely do away with, and what can be altered as preference dictates. However, there are some items that the authors do believe are required for the successful (and safer) evocation of the Goetic spirits, including a list of ‘must haves’ with detailed explanations and personal anecdotes as to why they are necessary. Noting ‘that there is absolutely no necessity (nor particular advantage) to blindly conforming with the Conjuration scripts of the ancient texts. The Spirits are no more impressed of you say “thee” and “thine” than they are if you say “you” and “yours”.’
Goetic spirits ‘will work for anyone who knows how to use them. This is one of the horrors people attribute to Goetic workings. You “don’t have to be respectable” for Goetia to work for you. Unlike other magical workings there is no implication that the operator has to be “good” and “holy” to achieve results. This idea in itself violates our model of “right” and “wrong”, “just” and “unjust”. In the Goetic world like in the real world the “bad” can and do prosper. Thus our belief in the moral orders of the Universe appears violated by the simple existence of Spirits who will do the bidding of anyone.’
Though they will work for anyone, the authors caution that one ‘must be completely convinced that your demands are absolutely justified. (And don’t think we are invoking the great demon “morality” here. An unnecessary motive is an unworthy motive – pure and simple). When you are truly justified in your demands then you have the momentum of the entire universe behind you.’
Further cautioning and confirming that ‘yes, they are dangerous,’ DuQuette and Hyatt explain that ‘while they remain unmastered they can surface unbidden and wreak all havoc modern psychology blames on “things hidden in the subconscious mind”.’ As well as a few delightfully thrilling personal anecdotes.
There are a few changes, namely the elimination of lengthy calls in preference for Thelemic invocations from Liber Samech by Crowley, Enochian calls, etc. As well, ‘for the convenience of the modern reader’ the authors have translated information regarding each of the seventy-two Goetic spirits into modern understanding and Crowleyan associations, and ‘where obvious, returned certain Spirits to their original gender.’
Sketches accompany each of the seventy-two spirits, illustrated by artist-clairvoyant David P. Wilson, a practicing Goetic magickian. ‘Over a period of 15 years, he has evoked each of the Spirits at least once…But it is very important for you to remember that, because no two people have the same visual-emotional “vocabulary”, the images of the Goetic universe will be unique to each of us.’ The authors caution the reader not to ‘think that these sketches are what you must see when evoking any particular Spirit,’ instead explaining that ‘they are intended to serve only as springboards to your imagination.’
Though with such a short section on sex magick, I don’t know that it really deserves the ‘Sexual Evocation’ subtitle as there are really only a few pages on it at the rear of the text.
Aimed at those actually interested in actually practicing magick rather than simply reading about it, it gives unambiguous description of what tools are required and the methods of evocation and, briefly, of sexual invocation, cutting through the superfluous and get right to what is necessary. An excellent introduction to Goetic magick as Crowley practiced it.
From: email@example.com (Rowan Fairgrove)
Subject: Spirits (Pt 1) (was Re: Philosophical discussion of Gaea)
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1993 23:00:48 +0000
<< How about a discussion about the spirits you work with? How do you determine who the spirits of a place are? >>
First a disclaimer: I wrote this out of my head without any of my books nearby. If I spelled something wrong in your trad, please don’t flame me. This is a first articulation of my practice — I’m not a very introspective person. I work with many levels of the spirit world but I agonize over whether it is “real” ™. It works.
Each individual has access to a personal source of guidance, strength and luck. Some call this “the higher self” or guardian angel. The ancient Romans held that every man had his < Genius > and every woman her < Juno >. The Norse called this spirit < hamingja >. I generally just call it my Luck or Guardian. I reinforce my Luck by lighting incense in the temple and opening myself to any messages I might need to hear.
Many families/clans had spirits that look out for them. The Romans called these the < Lares > and usually saw them as twins. The Celts generally held the hearth to be the family shrine and there is evidence that non-family members were barred from the kitchen since it might sour the luck. Some famous clan spirits include banshees, the Faery Wife who gave Clan McLeod its Faery Flag (which still hangs in Dunvegan Castle), etc. Family spirits often are concerned with women and children and help with birthing and tending children as well as bringing prosperity and safety to the house. I generally work with both a spirit of the house and with ancestral spirits. We renew the house spirit each year at Beltaine by putting in a new coin, flower, salt crystals and other items to symbolize what we want for the year. (Our house spirit lives in an Etruscan figure plaque which has a hollow for offerings.) I remember my ancestors several times a year and my most direct ancestors have an altar in the temple at which I regularly burn a red candle.
The Romans called these < genii loci >, the Celts depiected them as hooded figures called by the Roman’s . Brownies, Tomtes and other such spirits in folklore are generally of this type. Natural features often have a spirit associated with them. Standing stones, old trees, solitary hills and natural springs are good places to look. Get to know the natural features of your area. Leave offerings at likely spots, do divination, ask for prophetic or helpful dreams. Land spirits often will bring extra prosperity and luck to those they favor. Consider the type of offering for the type of spirit. Flowers and food are always acceptable. Clearing away an obstruction on a spring can win you favor. Remember that wishing wells are a remainder of the practice of leaving offerings in water. Smoke, either incense or tobacco, can be acceptable. Don’t forget that some spirits like alcohol, offer a libation.
You may also want to study the land spirits of the people who lived in this area before you. The spirits may appreciate offerings based on those of their earlier folk.
Some of my local land spirits are those that live in the redwoods; the spirits of Mt. Diablo and Mt. Tamalpais; the spirit of a cave in the Berkeley hills and many others.
Many individuals, clans and families have totemic animals associated with them. The Norse word is < fylgja >. You can do divination if you don’t know what kind of animal is your spirit-kin. Most people have some idea though because they feel a special affinity for some animal. You may be able to communicate with your fetch and get insights into future events.
You may have a special ability to communicate with the kin of your fetch. My totem animal is the owl. When I lived on the land there came an owl who was eating one chicken a night. I did a ritual and told the owl that s/he was welcome to have my chickens if s/he was really hungry, but that they were not he/r lawful prey. I asked, by the bond we share, that the unlawful predation stop. It did.
These spirits, rather than being bound to a certain place or family, are the essence of the essential properties of the world. A sylph is not merely a spirit of air, but may be the essence of air, sometimes called Air of Air. When you invoke an elemental you are aligning yourself with that power of nature. Elemental guardians are much used in Paganism today, so I won’t belabor the obvious.
As there are spirits who have an essential nature of the elements, so are there beings who live on other planes which have certain essential properties and who often play a role in the life of humans. Otherworldly figures often appear at crucial moments in a person’s life to show the path and at death to lead the released soul. Guide and helper, psychopomp and guardian. Some of the family and clan spirits mentioned above are otherworldly beings who have a tie with a particular clan. Otherworldly being are best invoked in the between places, the strand between the sea and the shore, the shadows between the forest and the meadow, etc. Those numinous places where the Otherworld touches and it is easier to pass.
Just as otherworldly guides can come to our world, we can journey to other planes. We can bring back insights into our own actions and glimpses of the future. We can meet and consult otherworlders and sometimes help them with their concerns. Shamanic techniques such as drumming, trance induction such as at a Norse < seidr >, sensory deprivation as in the wattles of knowledge or guided meditation, can bring you into the otherworld.
Culture hero/ines and Ancestors
These are the humans who provide the models for the folk. Culture heros like Cu Chulainn or Erik the Red, Sequoya or Chaka Zulu, Ghandi or Martin Luther King. Those who found clans, forge new ideas, define the culture they live in. They can also be ancestors. Direct ancestors watch over those who come after them, some with more diligence than others. Much of what you are, the configuration of your bones, the color of your eyes, you owe to an ancestor, you carry a pattern down through the ages. It is good to remember that lineage. If you don’t know your own ancestors, or if you follow a different path, choose culture hero/ines whom your admire. We are creatures of time as well as space and it is well to be in harmony with the cycles of time.
And then, of course, we get into deities – cosmogenic deities, tribal deities, deities who control natural forces, deities who turn the seasons, deities of hunt and herds, of tree and herb, of crops and wildlands. But I think I have gone on quite enough for one post. :-)
Enchanted Gypsy Tarot
Spirits of the Earth, by Jaq D. Hawkins
Capall Bann Publishing, 1861630026, 133 (+1) pp. (incl. appendix and index), 1998
Jaq D. Hawkins, noted author on chaos magick came out a few years ago with a series on the spirits, broken down by the elements they were represented by (or, depending on how you think about it, themselves represent); the first being this book, The Spirits of the Earth.
Many different ‘types’ of Earth spirits are briefly covered, as well as several tables of correspondences covering different colours, stones, crystals, planets, etc. and how they relate and can be used to gain the favour of the Earth spirits and elementals.
Several methods of meeting garden and Earth spirits are discussed, in their natural habitat and connecting with Nature as a whole. How to obtain and observe spontaneous sightings, and even attune to them from your own home using potted plants and Earth.
Hawkins presents some unique and thought provoking ideas about ‘computer gremlins’, robotic elementals, combining Earth energies to form newer, more modern spirit models. She notes a difference between these and ‘thought-forms’ which I find questionable, but she explains her position well.
Hawkins has advice for newbies as well as suggestions for more experienced practitioners. She warns against novices trying more advanced operations, but doesn’t give any details or specifics that would likely cause any serious threat, and so are somewhat unnecessary.
This book covers ground that’s been covered before, but I’ve not come across one that’s contained all this information specific to Earth spirits in a single volume. Overall, not a bad book for a beginner interested in getting closer to Nature and experimenting with various methods of contact with natural Earth elementals.
Re: Net Shoggoths?
PARKER RYAN (parker[at]mhd1[dot]moorhead[dot]msus[dot]edu)
Tue, 11 Oct 1994 10:03:48 -0500 (CDT)
This is a short essay on a rite I developed. It seems quite effective. Indeed it was MUCH more effective than I anticipated. It rapidly showed itself to be a powerful but potentially dangerous magickal working. Unfortunately it is written entirely in a male context. I did not wish to speculate on how to adapt this rite for use by female mages. I’m sure that they are very capable of doing this themselves and would almost certainly do a better job.
According to HPL Shoggoths were (originally) mindless creatures created as servants/slaves by the Great Old Ones. They could assume whatever form their master wished in order to perform their task. Shoggoths are unruly servants becoming more intelligent and rebellious the longer the are employed. Eventually they may attempt to destroy their masters. HPL also wrote that Shoggoths are sometimes seen in visions from hallucinogenic plants.
Magickal traditions from around the world contain formula for creating magickal creatures as slaves/servants. These creatures can be created in what ever shape is needed or desired by the magician. These magickal creatures are called “Tulpas” or “thought-forms” by the Tibetans. In “Mystery and Magic in Tibet” Alexandra David-Neal tells how she created such a Tupla as an experiment. The Tupla became more and more independent and troublesome as time went on. Eventually Ms. David-Neal had to discontinue the experiment because of the Tulpa’s growing power. Mr. G.H. Estabrooks in his book “Hypnotism” writes of his attempts to create a self-hypnotic pet polar bear. “The technique of autosuggestion is difficult, but it can be mastered. Once the subject has obtained this mastery he will find that not only can he produce, say, hallucinations in the trance itself but can actually suggest posthypnotic hallucinations to himself. It does sound weird but it can be done. . . . Auto suggestion gives us an excellent device with which to study many strange things. The writer had a ‘pet’ polar bear which he was able to call up merely be counting to five. This animal would parade around the hospital ward in most convincing fashion, over and under the beds, kiss the nurses and bit the doctors. It was very curious to note how obedient he was to ‘mental’ commands, even jumping off a three story window on demand.
But auto suggestion has a certain menace which this phantom bear illustrated. He became so familiar that he refused to go away. He would turn up in the most unexpected places and without being sent for. The writer was playing bridge one evening and almost through his hosts into hysterics by suddenly remarking, ‘There’s that damn bear again. I wish someone would shoot the beast.’ He also had a nasty habit of turning up in dark corners at night, all very well when one realized he was just made of ghoststuff but rather hard on ones’ nerves for all that. So he was banished and told never to return. It was fully a month before the writer felt quit sure that his ghostly form would not be grinning at him over the foot of his bed during a thunderstorm.”
The magickal and shamanic writings of the world also record the way in which magickally created entities can become independent and troublesome. Sometimes even dangerously rebellious. Tibetan Buddhists and shamans from around the globe say that these “thought forms” or magickal creatures can be seen when in the gnostic state caused by entheogenic plants. Thus we can see that these Tulpas (sometimes called egregors in western traditions) are closely related to HPL’s Shoggoths. Both Shoggoths and Tulpas are created entities. Both are servants or slaves and can assume any form needed by their masters. They both can become rebellious. Shoggoths as well as Tulpas are sometimes seen after ingesting entheogenic plants. Thus I think that there is a fairly firm link between HPL’s Shoggoths and the thought-form entities of Magick and Shamanism.
Creating a Shoggoth
In this section we’ll look at some practical considerations related to creating a Shoggoth (thought-form entity). There were many techniques for creating thought-forms throughout the history of magick and shamanism. We must consider which of this multitude of techniques is most appropriate for magickally creating a Lovecraftian Shoggoth.
The word Shoggoth is, according to Kenneth Grant, related to the Chaldean word “shaggathai”. Shaggathai translates as “fornication” and provides a significant clue as to what methodology should be employed. “Beth Shaggathai” which means “House of Fornication” may be related to or even a progenitor of HPL’s “Pit of Shoggoths”. The idea of a link between “Shaggathai” (fornication) and Shoggoth is not as strange as it might first seem. The use of sexual energy in creating thought-form entities is a particularly old and powerful technique.
This technique is particularly suited for creating violently powerful and unpredictable entities such a Shoggoths. Indeed poltergeist phenomena are almost without fail associated with to pubescent children. The upheaval and dynamic release of sexual energy at puberty can, especially in the emotionally disturbed or repressed, result in a “poltergeist”. Thus it might seem that techniques using sexual energy are, perhaps, the most suited for creating a Shoggoth. The classical technique involves direct manipulation the sexual fluids to create the thought-form entity. HPL’s description of a formless Shoggoth as a viscous mass of protoplasm seems reminiscent of this technique. Some of the formula for creating a Homunculus are particularly potent forms of this methodology. A medieval prescription for making a homunculus was to place manure in a vessel to which the magician would add his sperm three times accompanied with the appropriate word formula and visualizations. This process would begin the entity’s existence. Next the magician would place drops of his own blood in the vessel each day for forty days. At the end of these forty days the Homunculus would be mature and allowed to exit the vessel. This technique is particularly powerful and dangerous because of the use of blood. The magician must always use only his own blood. This is because the blood of others can be very difficult to control. However, this technique is still dangerous and difficult to control even when using one’s own blood. The escaping energy from the blood can be directly manipulated to incarnate the entity. Indeed HPL in “The Dunwich Horror” says that certain entities “can not take body without human blood.” The use of ones own blood is a dangerous technique that should not be attempted by novices. The above formula for creating a Homunculus will be adapted below as a method for generating a Shoggoth.
You must first decide the function that the Shoggoth will serve. Once you have determined what the task of the Shoggoth will be you must create a sigil that represents this purpose.
Prepare a container with the Sign of the Elders on the outside of the lid and the talisman of Yhe on the inside surface of the lid. Place the sigil on the bottom surface of the container.
You must choose a form for the Shoggoth to assume that is both consistent with its task and with the nature of Shoggoths in general. (H. R. Giger’s works are a good source for Shoggothic images.)
Place the container on an altar dedicated to Shub-Niggurath. (Shub-Niggurath is chosen because of the Black Goat’s association with fertility and thus creating new life.) The working space should also be set up with the colors (black and brown), symbols (goat, tree, inverse pentagram, etc.), and sounds (a recording of a goat baying and drumming work very well), etc., associated with Shub-Niggurath.
The magician begins the Rite thus:
Facing the altar he takes up his dagger and inscribes his circle (normally a magick circle is not used in Cthulhu oriented magick. However, in rite we must endeavor to keep any unwanted influences from removing energy from the Shoggoth or swaying the direction of the rite) He then returns the dagger to its place on the altar. He faces the physical representation of Shub-Niggurath and declares:
“Shub-Niggurath is the Lord of the Woods. From the Wells of Night to the Gulfs of Space, and from the Gulfs of Space to the Wells of Night, ever the praises of Great Cthulhu, of Tsathogguau, and of Him Who is not to be Named. Ever their praises and abundance to the Black Goat of the Woods. Ia! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat with a Thousand Young!”
“Shub-Niggurath, Great Lord of the Woods, giver of Life, bestow your productivity to this rite. Confer your fertility. The portents of your fecundity are rejoiced. Ever praises to Shub-Niggurath the Black Goat of the Woods. Ia! Shub-Niggurath.”
The Magician now removes his (black) robes and opens the container and begins to stimulate himself as he faces the sigil of the Shoggoth. He should carefully visualize the form chosen for the Shoggoth in the container. As the energy builds he should envision the energy going into the Shoggoth vivifying it. Deliberate over-breathing can be used to strengthen the ASC and energy of the rite. As the point of orgasm approaches the magician calls forth:
“(Name chosen for the Shoggoth)! Come forth!”
As he climaxes he should allow his mind to be overwhelmed by the sensations, eliminating completely (as possible) conscious thought. In this blank state of mind the Sigil (which the magician should be looking at) is the UNconscious focus and directs the energy. The magician allows his sexual fluids to land on the Sigil energizing it and incarnating the Shoggoth.
After this the container is shut and the magician says:
“Thanks and praises to Shub-Niggurath The Black Goat.”
He then makes the Sign of Koth followed by the Elder Sign. He then closes this portion of the rite in his customary fashion.
The above process should be repeated three times on three days (the may or may not be consecutive). The next stage of the rite is “feeding” the Shoggoth. Again, a magick-circle is advisable. The magician should enter whatever form of excitatory gnosis he feels suitable. Next, the magician opens the container with his left hand and makes the Elder Sign with his right hand. He then takes up his dagger and draws a small amount of blood. As the blood drops on the Sigil he calls forth:
“(Shoggoth’s name)!, I command you to feed and grow powerful so that you may serve my will!”
“I command you to feed and grow powerful so that you may serve my will!”
“I command you to feed and grow powerful so that you may serve my will!”
“(Name)! Drink my blood and take body!”
As he does this he VERY INTENSELY visualizes the form of the Shoggoth. If he wishes he can envision the Shoggoth growing slightly. “Imagining” the Shoggoths form clearly is VERY important to the success of this rite.
Each time this is repeated the image of the Shoggoth should become more and more clear and independent. As the days pass the Shoggoth should seem to appear as soon as the container is opened before the magician even tries to visualize it. This process is repeated every day for 37 more days. The entire rite takes forty days to complete. On the last day, after “feeding” it, the magician commands the Shoggoth thus:
“(Name)!, I command you to leave your receptacle. Enter the world and perform your task as I will. Go forth and (state the task assigned to the Shoggoth). SO I COMMAND!”
He then makes the Voorish Sign and destroys the talisman of Yhe and the Sign of the Elders on the lid of the container. If the function of the Shoggoth is fairly permanent (i.e., a Guardian of a location or object) the Shoggoth may need periodic “recharging” This can be done with either sexual energy or any other method of imparting magickal energy the mage deems fit.
The Shoggoth should be VERY powerful as thought-form entities go. It should also be (or rapidly become) fairly independent and capable of autonomous action. With continued existence and use the Shoggoth will seem to develop its own “personality” and can become troublesome. If the Shoggoth becomes rebellious it may be necessary for the magician to destroy the Shoggoth. A standard but thorough banishing and the destruction of the Sigil should suffice.
Any comments or suggestions welcomed.
This rite should not be attempted by novices!
Please post or e-mail me with any results if you attempt this rite.
------------------------------------------------------------------------ firstname.lastname@example.org | Multa renascentur quae iam cecidere... Ryan Parker | Ia! Yak-SetThoth 2411 Brookdale Rd #3 | Ia! Asa-Thoth Moorhead MN 56560 | Ia! Nyharluthotep (218) 236-8370 | The Ancient Gods Awake! ------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Witch’s Guide to Ghosts and the Supernatural, by Gerina Dunwich
New Page Books, 1564146162, 2002
Gerina Dunwich is a prolific author who has written on a variety of topics. My daughter wasn’t terribly thrilled with her book on love spells, although she does agree with Ms. Dunwich about the hauntings at the House of Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts
The resource list at the back of the book is, for those individuals who are really interested in ghosts, almost worth the price of the book, and contains listings from around the country, as well as a few international listings.
It isn’t a book which would make my “must read” list, by any means, but it was entertaining and, if you are looking for some light reading, by all means pick up a copy. Don’t expect great things from this book, it isn’t that kind of book. But, if it is your area of interest, or you want to give a book as a gift to someone who doesn’t have a background in the mystical arts, go for it.