S connolly

Is Evocation disrespectful to spirits?


I'm reading The Complete Book of Demonolatry by S. Connolly. One of the points the author makes is that demonolatry finds the practice of evocation to be disrespectful to demons and as a result doesn't use it. Their perspective is that evocation involves summoning a demon against its will to perform a task, while threatening it with Angels and other sundry threats in order to induce it to do said task. And I agree that when evocation is done that particular way it is disrespectful. That particular approach to evocation can be found in a variety of grimoires that are based off hermetic Christian practices that ironically enough rarely involved doing the practice of magic, but loved to focus on the theory, as well as provide the occasional homage to the church to avoid being burned. Sadly that hasn't stopped people in more contemporary times from utilizing those practices.

I've never agreed with the class approach to evocation, and I also disagree with Joseph Lisiewski's assertion that if you don't do evocation the way it was classically done, its not effective. I think there is a respectful way to do evocation that doesn't force an entity to work for you, but instead involves working with the entity cooperatively. I've discussed such approaches in more depth in Multi-Media Magic, but it's worth conversing on it here as well.

When I do initial work with a given entity, I do an invocation to make contact and establish whether or not a working relationship can be developed. Once that initial contact is made I ask the entity's permission to evoke it. If it is open to being evoked it provides me a personalized sigil or symbol that I can use to evoke it. I usually integrate that sigil into a painting of my own design, which is used as an offering to the entity and a gateway to its home plane of existence. When the evocation is done, it is done by opening the gateway and allowing the entity through to do whatever it will end up doing. And even then I don't command it to do something. I make a deal, where I provide something in return for it doing something for me. There is an equivalent exchange, so to speak.

I have found this approach to be respectful, and from what I can tell the entities I evoke also find it respectful. I get where demonolaters are coming from and why they'd view the practice of evocation to be disrespectful, especially in regards to the classic approach to evocation, but I think an approach to evocation which is structured around creating a relationship of respect isn't disrespectful. The misuse of a technique shouldn't determine if the technique is in and of itself an inherently wrong technique and if a given technique is done in a way that a person considers wrong, there's always the option of changing the technique.That's my take on it, but others might disagree and that's fine. I do know that my evocations have always worked and I've yet to have an unhappy or angry entity as a result of doing said evocations.

My Experiences with Demonolatry

I'm reading Honoring Death: the Arte of Daemonolatry Necromancy by S. Connolly. Reading it has reminded me of my early experiences with Demonolatry, in particular with Euronymous. I've written a bit about that work in Space/Time Magic, but that only touches on it a bit. I first found out about Demonolatry, in the later 1990's, when I stumbled across an e-list on the topic. I joined the e-list and learned some about demonolatry and also tried out some of the ritual work as well as adapting it to my own practices. I even have a limited edition of the Book Modern Demonolatry, which has since been expanded and changed (or so I've been told). I still refer to that original copy and it is much loved. I stayed involved on the e-list until the early 2000's and then drifted off thanks to Graduate school, but I continued my work with Euronymous after I'd disconnected from the demonolaters. I'd have to say that Demonolatry has heavily influenced my approach to working with entities in general, and Daemons specifically. Thanks to that tradition I learned to work with Daemons from a place of respect. Instead of doing traditional evocations which involve a lot of coercion and commanding, I have always approached Daemons with respect and an eye toward how we can help each other. This practice has served me well and I'm thankful that my time spent learning about Demonolatry taught me those perspectives.

My work with Euronymous has always focused around death and rebirth, which is appropriate given that he is a Daemon of Death. In that work, there is an element of sex magic included, which makes perfect sense to me as sex can be both an act of life and death all rolled up in one. Euronymous has appeared to me as a skeleton and as a lord clothed in fine clothes, with pallid skin. He has guided me through several death-rebirth rituals and although I'm at a point where I suspect I won't do such for quite a while, he nonetheless is a presence I continue to honor to this day. He has taught me that death is a transformation and a lover and nothing to fear so much as to recognize it for the potential it offers.

I have also worked with Verrier and Verine, Daemonolatric spirits of healing. They have helped me in some of the healing work I've done with others, in particular with some DNA healing, which I think is appropriate given how they represented themselves as serpents. They've made think of Aesculapius and his staff.

I've recounted elsewhere my work with the goetic spirits Bune, Marchosias, and Purson. My work with them has always been informed by Demonolatry and I think its greatly enhanced the relationship I have with them.

I'll admit that I don't incorporate the ceremonial approach that is written about in Demonolatry. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I'm more concerned about the underlying principles of a given magical act. I figure if the spirits I work with want me to work a particular way they'll tell me, but they've never really seemed to care. What has mattered to them is the sincerity of my desire to connect and work with them, as well as honor them. They in turn have honored me with their presence and work on my behalf.

Book Review: Honoring Death by S. Connolly

This book focuses on Necromancy from the perspective of Demonolatry. I'd have to say that out of all the books I've read on necromancy, I've liked this one the best, especially because of how the author suggests working with spirits and the dead, in a manner that is respectful, much like you would work with a daemon. She also offers suggestions for particular daemons a practitioner can work with when doing necromantic work. If you are interested in learning more about demonolatry, you will also learn a bit about that topic with suggested further reading also offered. Overall all this is a solid, focus book, and the author has done an excellent job presenting the topic and providing methods for working with spirits.