The place: darkest East London, Bethnal Green, the closest place you can get to Shoreditch which has not been gentrified… yet. The time: December 2015. I assumed the form of a human being and bravely entered the local working men’s club, where there was being held a Satanic Flea Market. It was full of hellish tattooed freaks and pierced weirdos, bizarre fetishists, cross-dressing denizens, straight(ish) dressing goths, Torture Garden clientèle, metalheads, witches, daemonolators, and whole host of others generally up to no-good. The kind of people who don’t have to change out of their normal clothes to go to a performance of The Rocky Horror Show.
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people I knew there!
Anywho… the main reason for me being there – apart of course from meeting up with old friends, and buying Christmas presents for my friends and family – was to attend a talk on Goetic evocation, hosted by Astrid Haszprunarova. The gist of it was that Astrid had developed her own system for working with the spirits of the Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon. Her method retained the use of a circle and triangle, but apart from that bore little resemblance to anything in the original grimoire. For example, she eschewed the use of traditional divine and angelic names, did not use the “Preliminary Invocation” (otherwise known as the Bornless Ritual), did not use any of the traditional conjurations (instead relying on “Demonic Enns”), and had her own methods of invoking power and opening a portal to hell as part of the ritual. I believe she had adopted this eclectic / experimental approach because of her prior interest in chaos magick. Yet: despite her methods being completely unlike anything which could be remotely called “traditional,” she claimed that they worked for her. (Incidentally, whilst we all had a good old chuckle over Rufus Opus’ experience with Bune, she claimed that she had worked with the same spirit several times and not had anywhere near as much trouble as he had done).
Speaking personally, whilst I am far closer to conventional grimoire usage than Ms Haszprunarova, I can hardly claim to be a purist myself. I was originally inspired in my practice by Lon Milo Duquette’s account of his evocation of Orobas in his autobiography. Since then, however, I myself came to the conclusion that the conjurations from the Lesser Key can largely be dispensed with in favour of the Enns, which simplify the evocation process greatly. A typical ceremony for me would consist of the Lesser banishing rituals of the pentagram and hexagram, the Bornless Ritual, the invocation of the Qabalistic names which make up the magic circle and the triangle of art, the Invoking Pentagram and Hexagram ritual of Spirit which corresponds to its Zodiacal sign and its rank (e.g. Duke = Venus, etc), the versicle of the corresponding Shem Ha Mephoresh Angel, the Enn itself, the Welcome unto the Spirit, followed by the actual negotium, and finally the Licence to Depart (polished off with further banishing rituals if necessary). A full evocation done this way takes between half an hour and an hour.
What I find fascinating though is that the use of Demonic Enns – short phrases purportedly written in a demonic language – represent a revolutionary innovation in modern Goetic evocation. The story behind them is that one of the associates of the daemonalator Richard Dukante, who was active in the 1970s/80s, claimed to be in possession of a family grimoire written by his ancestor, one Abraham Willit, in the mid 16th century. These contained a series of “Enns” which (it was claimed) the demons themselves had dictated to Willit. As far as I know, no-one outside Dukante’s circle has seen this 16th century grimoire, if it ever existed at all, so it is impossible to check the historicity of this story. However, that is not the important thing: what is though, is that despite their provenance, demonic Enns actually work.
In other words, to evoke, e.g. the spirit Andromalius, this –
I DO invocate and conjure thee, O Spirit, Andromalius; and being with power armed from the SUPREME MAJESTY, I do strongly command thee, by BERALANENSIS, BALDACHIENSIS, PAUMACHIA, and APOLOGIAE SEDES; by the most Powerful Princes, Genii, Liachidæ, and Ministers of the Tartarean Abode; and by the Chief Prince of the Seat of Apologia in the Ninth Legion, I do invoke thee, and by invocating conjure thee. And being armed with power from the SUPREME MAJESTY, I do strongly command thee, by Him Who spake and it was done, and unto whom all creatures be obedient. Also I, being made after the image of GOD, endued with power from GOD and created according unto His will, do exorcise thee by that most mighty and powerful name of GOD, EL, strong and wonderful; O thou Spirit Andromalius. And I command thee and Him who spake the Word and His FIAT was accomplished, and by all the names of God. Also by the names ADONAI, EL, ELOHIM, ELOHI, EHYEH, ASHER EHYEH, ZABAOTH, ELION, IAH, TETRAGRAMMATON, SHADDAI, LORD GOD MOST HIGH, I do exorcise thee and do powerfully command thee, O thou Spirit Andromalius, that thou dost forthwith appear unto me here before this Circle in a fair human shape, without any deformity or tortuosity. And by this ineffable name, TETRAGRAMMATON IEHOVAH, do I command thee, at the which being heard the elements are overthrown, the air is shaken, the sea runneth back, the fire is quenched, the earth trembleth, and all the hosts of the celestials, terrestrials, and infernals, do tremble together, and are troubled and confounded. Wherefore come thou, O Spirit Andromalius, forthwith, and without delay, from any or all parts of the world wherever thou mayest be, and make rational answers unto all things that I shall demand of thee. Come thou peaceably, visibly, and affably, now, and without delay, manifesting that which I shall desire. For thou art conjured by the name of the LIVING and TRUE GOD, HELIOREN, wherefore fulfil thou my commands, and persist thou therein unto the end, and according unto mine interest, visibly and affably speaking unto me with a voice clear and intelligible without any ambiguity.
can, as indeed can the half dozen other conjurations to call forth the spirit with increasing desperation, be replaced entirely with
Tasa fubin Andromalius on ca.
I find it works best repeated mantra-like, until I feel a definite “presence,” at which point I continue with the “Welcome to the spirit.” For me the preceding rites, when done conscientiously, serve to elevate my mind into a magical state of consciousness which ensures success for the whole ceremony.
In conclusion, I am wary about people being dogmatic when it comes to “tradition” in Ceremonial Magick. Strictly speaking, unless you are part of a chain in which teachings have been handed down from teacher to student, you are not part of a “tradition” at all! Even so-called Grimoire magick is a living practice, subject to modernistic re-interpretation, depending of course on whether what is actually proposed works or not.