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Goetia and Theurgia: a Simple Method of Conjuring by Neres Wane — copyright 2015 —
Introduction The subject tonight is the Goetia—and, with it, Theurgic summoning. The Goetia is the more popular form, however, and this book will deal primarily with this form of magic, though the methods described here apply to both. I believe it is necessary to give a careful introduction to any who would peruse this book. In writing it, I assume you are already familiar with the Lemegeton of King Solomon. If not, you should still read this book, but get a copy of the Lemegeton to refer to. I also mention a few other works in this book and you should acquire these as well. I do not translate these books nor do I quote them, though I do discuss the contents. Though this is a practical book, the practices described are heavily coated in historical analysis, magical thought, criticism and speculation. This is not a book of magic recipes—enough of those have been written. Rather, you can look upon it as a manifesto of sorts, the aim of which is to both simplify ancient magic as well as to treat it with a greater degree of respect than it has in some circles. When I first began my study of magic, I always wished that there was more careful analysis of what actually occurred in the process of magic, and I always longed for someone to write intelligently about the practice as a whole. Many of the books I read were foolish—cartoonish, even—and they seemed to rely upon a smug and inarguable position of authority, dictating what must and must not be done as if the author had access to some rulebook that none of us plebeians could afford. Yet these rules did not follow the rules of the old grimoires—why? And where did these grimoires come from in the first place? We know Solomon did not write them. We know that they are written as historical fiction. We also know that they are filled with strangeness and absurdities—is it not possible that the writers did all this intentionally? The Lemegeton is an especially good example of a beautifully written and comprehensive grimoire which may, nonetheless, be far more than it seems at face value. The author includes much that is grotesque and much that appears to be designed to keep dilettantes and dabblers from
pissing on such a sacred thing, but the author also does this while maintaining a deep and beautiful fidelity to genuine magical processes. In this regard, the work is absolutely genius—as are many other grimoires. Yet few recognize this genius and prefer to forgo genuine magic in order to titillate their imaginations. This book is just the opposite: I want to know if magic works, I want to know how to do it with the least amount of unnecessary accoutrements and I want to know what it means. Therefore, in addition to finding a simple method of Goetic and Theurgic magic, you will also find a greater simplicity of purpose outlined and advocated in regard to how magic ought to be treated and practiced. It is not only the method that is simple and direct, but the entire frame of mind: we go to the practice of magic as explorers going into a new land, taking the crabbed and at times illegible maps of our ancestors and seeing if perhaps a clear path cannot be found within them. I know magic does work and I know how it may be simplified, but I confess I still do not know what it ultimately means. But a discovery of its meaning is part of this journeys beauty, I believe. And to further that, I offer my speculations when they seem appropriate. If you have read this far into the introduction you should be well prepared for what you are getting into here. With all that being said, I hope you enjoy the book and find it useful. I am going to write many more in this vein and though I am certain not all will find them to their liking, I do believe there is an audience out there for them. I know this is sort of book I wanted to read when I first began practice magic. And I am careful not to criticize any other magicians, by the way: this is never helpful, in my estimation. Though my language may be a bit venomous at times to certain dilettantes and dabblers, I acknowledge that sometimes a dilettante may encounter something which changes them into a genuine magician. My first magical experiment were foolish beyond recounting, and I did them for foolish reasons. I got older, however, and found something more than former foolishness. To make myself clear: you might be a dabbler yourself, and you are more interested in being able to honestly say you have worked magic then and actually getting results. That is fine: try anyway. Magic has a nasty way of proving itself and once it does, there is no turning back to the life of a dabbler. Do yourself a favor, though, and do not take anything you read here as Gospel truth. That applies any book. Find out for yourself, always.
The Goetics and the Lemegeton Everyone familiar with European forms of magic will come in contact with the demons of the Goetia at some point in their journey. They are by far the most popular set of demon/spirits in the literature and their description forms the first part of the famous Lemegeton of King Solomon—a grimoire supposedly penned by King Solomon himself, outlining his own preferred methods of sorcery. The term Goetia is Greek for witchcraft, and was later used as a term to contrast it to Theurgy. Whereas Theurgy aims at conjuring angels and Gods for spiritual purposes, the Goetic arts are confined to demons and material aims. This distinction is nowhere near as clear-cut as some make it out to be, however. Ancient grimoires indiscriminately ask the same repetitive tasks from both angels and demons. It matters little what spirit is or where it comes from: it is always expected to fulfill a certain task and acquire certain things for the magician. As you will see, the Goetics are not necessarily demonic, despite their portrayal. They are spirits like any others, and the grimoires are not always as helpful as one might like. Like alchemical texts, they require a degree of experience and the ability to discern codes or symbolism, and without such one can easily find themselves lost. According to the Lemegeton there are a total of 72 Goetic spirits—an obvious parallel to the 72 names of God in the Kabbalah and their corresponding angels. Whereas the 72 angels are holy, pure and eminently righteous in description, the Goetics are quite obviously described as netherworldly and dangerous, putting the magician in grave peril unless he obeys the necessary precautions to the letter. Of course, those who actually conjure up Goetics in the modern day rarely follow the Lemegeton's instructions perfectly, for to do such would require an almost superhuman feat of ingenuity and resource gathering. Like many old grimoires, the Lemegeton is excessively difficult to actually perform, and thus the only magicians who would venture into it are those foolhardy enough to disobey its express commands. And they have apparently done so with no small degree of success, indicating that the majority of the Lemegeton's
prescriptions are unnecessary. If that is the case, why were such prescriptions written? Perhaps to keep the book and its contents away from the undisciplined? That may have been the reason. Or, they may have been other reasons quite inconceivable to us in the modern day. Whatever the case, it is clear that most of the instructions are not necessary and that the Goetics can be safely conjured through far easier methods. That they are even classified as "demons" in the Judeo-Christian sense is quite absurd and false when we consider that Judeo-Christianity is demonstrably false itself, and therefore no one is intellectually required to believe anything it has to say about the nature of the spirit world—or the physical world, for that matter. Also, many of the names of the Goetics are in fact names of ancient and forgotten Gods and goddesses, often cold from the Canaanite, Egyptian, Babylonian and Persian pantheons, angelologies or demonologies. Bael, for example, is clearly none other than the Canaanite Baal. Amon is the Egpytian Amon. Ipos is the Arabic Iblis. Barbatos is the Gnostic Barbelo. Phenex is the fabled Phoenix of Greco-Egyptian legend. Orobas is the Gnostic Ouroboros. Astaroth is the Babylonian Ishtar or Astarte. Perhaps Raum and Aim even correspond to the Hindu Ram and Om—although Aim could just as well be the Egyptian On. Buer is apparently derived from the Geomantic figure Puer. And I am quite sure if we studied the rest in even greater depth, we would find their correspondences to other ancient and otherwise supernatural beings. Thus the Lemegeton quite clearly is a means by which heathen gods would still have some sort of currency in Christianized Europe, even after they were proscribed by Church officials. It is telling, however, that these spirits come primarily from the Middle East rather than Europe. Though I cannot rule out that some of the Goetics do not have obvious parallels in European heathen lore, I have not yet seen evidence of this. Is there a conclusion to be drawn from such? Perhaps. It is not the point of this present book to dive too deeply into the scholarship of the Lemegeton, however, but rather to outline a simple and easy way by which any magician can effectively and safely conjure up Goetic spirits. Books like this already exist, of course, but most of these works are based upon the authors innovations rather than fealty to legitimately ancient technique. There is nothing wrong with this—not that I can see, anyway—but it always struck me as odd that the most obvious and direct way of conjuring up these beings described in antiquity has been so often overlooked. Could it be that the type of magician who would conjure up a Goetic is naturally addicted to pomp and circumstance, desiring an
elaborate ritual over simple one? I am sure this is part of it. However, the Goetics described in the Lemegeton were found in earlier grimoires—some of which were attributed to Solomon as some of which weren't. The Lemegeton is not viewed by scholars as being legitimately penned by Solomon and it is almost certain that it was composed after some of these earlier grimoires. (The most popular alternative accounts of the Goetics are the 69 demons found in Johan Weyer's Pseudomonarchia Daemonum— though Weyer also makes it clear that his own work was derived from earlier sources.) After describing the 72 Goetics, the Lemegeton then describes 31 "aerial spirits"—spirits which are often overlooked in modern accounts, as well as various other angelic beings. It would seem that most magical authors are content to rely upon the sensationalism surrounding the Goetics, treating the Lemegeton as if it ends there and providing little to no information about the 31 aerial spirits or those spirits mentioned in the latter two books of the Lemegeton. These spirits are, however, just as interesting and beneficial as the Goetics—if not more so—and they represent the Theurgic aspect of Solomonic magic. If one were looking at this practice as pure psychology, the Goetics would represent the unconscious and shadow elements of the mind which must be summoned to manifestation —summoned, that is, to conscious awareness—then brutally put down and confined in order to be of any use. They are the primitive and wild forces within the psyche which only know the language of force—representing, perhaps, the past. However, once one has traversed their path and gotten beyond them, then it is possible to focus on the Theurgic spirits who are trustworthy, all goodness, and perfectly spiritual and lovely. They represent the future. The Goetics were the strange and hideous entities worshiped by the heathens, whereas the aerial spirits are nothing less than God's own good angels, wedded to him in divine matrimony and at the service of the magician because they were first the servants of God, performing their designated tasks through his power and at his good pleasure. But this may not be at all the case—perhaps it is not psychological. Perhaps something else is going on entirely. I will speculate on this further towards the end of the work but at least we now have a basic grounding and what will be looking at. The method of conjuring is much the same for both: a Goetic can be called just like an aerial spirit. The Goetic arts and the Theurgic arts are much the same in principle and the distinction between them, in fact, is ultimately false.
Conjuration The most simple and concise method of conjuring up spirits is the method as outlined by Johann Weyer in the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum. It is a method of upmost elegance and simplicity, requiring none of the strange and elaborate trappings of the Lemegeton or other more difficult grimoires. Anyone with a suitable taste for discipline and precision—not to mention sincerity, bravery and imagination—can make use of the method outlined by Johann Weyer on even the thinnest of budgets. It is true that Johann Weyer prefaces his outline of the Goetics by saying that he had omitted certain details in order to render the work useless to any rash individuals who might be willing to try it. If that were true, however, then why include instructions for conjuration at all? As with many works of its time, this was clearly a subtle and subversive tactic by which to convey to particularly astute readers a simple means of actually conjuring such spirits without, however, incurring the wrath of any church authorities who might otherwise proscribe the book. Though many grimoire's were written all throughout the entire history of Europe, it was only after the liberalizing trends of the Renaissance that most of our complete grimoires come down to us. Johann Weyer's method requires only the following: The name of the Goetic and his office. A ring. A circle. A companion. Johann Weyer then adds a Judeo-Christian litany, common for his times. The only stand-out portions of it are the special God names he includes—God names which, I must confess, I suspect do have some genuine occult power to them, though ultimately unnecessary. Yet Johann Weyer was a rather sly devil, and he did indeed cloak the instructions somewhat. The "companion" necessary is none other than the spirit's seal. Two human beings are never
required for a conjuring—the "other" is always the spirit in question. This would be quite obvious to any astute reader of the times, though it may be lost on modern readers. I cannot fault them for such: we are accustomed in the modern day to occult instructions being quite easy and explicit. Difficulty is frowned upon and rightly so—in a free world such as ours, it is difficult enough to manifest slight magical effects without having to wade through page after page of encoded symbolism. This is why Johan Weyer's method is so refreshing compared to the vast majority of occult instructions given in the medieval world: he presents a method of rare simplicity which most any magician can achieve. And I say "most" quite intentionally, for the occult epigram is still true, "A magician is born so from his mother's womb. Otherwise he shall be unhappy"—which is to say that any who would presume to practice magic without having a natural inclination for it will meet only with failure at best or, at worst, the very destruction of their soul. Enough about this—to perform the method according to Johann Weyer specification, you must do the following, and do it on your own: First, discipline yourself in a 3 to 4 day fast. But do not be foolish or unhealthy about it: fasting does not mean total abstinence from food, but rather fasting from meat or other expensive and delicious foods, as well as fasting from sexual release. You can sustain yourself on mere bread and vegetables during these days, and eat quite sparingly. This will qualify for your fast. If you want to try not eating at all, and can do so without any significant damage to your health, then all the better. But this degree of extremity is not required. Second, in an obscure place designated for the conjuring, write the seal of the spirit upon virgin parchment—that is, parchment which hasn't been written on already. Do so as accurately as possible, leaving nothing out. Make sure that this seal is encased in a circle also. You may want to place it within an even larger circle, in fact. Multiple circles in these matters are always a decent idea—not to keep the Goetic out, of course, but rather to concentrate its energy in a particular and well-defined place. If a Goetic really had the power the text says it does, a mere circle with special God names would be inefficient to protect the magician. Such strange requirements are an example of video game logic prior to the advent of the video game. Third, recite a prayer. First address it to the powers of the cosmos, then to the
Goetic. This is not perfectly necessary, but many will find it quite helpful. The prayer given by Johann Weyer is representative of the intrinsically canine nature of Christianity: groveling, slobbering, weeping for forgiveness. It is rather humorous to think of a brave and noble sorcerer saying such nonsense before he communes with a forgotten divinity. You can easily acquire a copy of the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum—or any other Solomonic or quasi-Solomonic Goetic grimoire—to peruse the grisly details. The only truly necessary parts of any of these books, however, is their list of Goetics or other spirits, the nature of these creatures, their seals and the barest outlines of how they may be conjured. Truthfully, every magician finds their own method in time, perfecting it over many years of trial and error. A "grimoire" is a "grammar", remember. Words can be taught and grammatical rules can be taught, but it is only the human being who speaks. Once this is all been accomplished, the magician will have a a sense of the presence of the Goetic. At this point, requests or demands can be made if requests or demands are necessary. The descriptions of the Goetics are also not entirely accurate—but I will wisely leave it to discerning readers to experiment on their own to find this out. There are many things one can do to add to the intensity of such rituals. Incense is beneficial, for it stimulates centers of the brain often having to deal with nostalgia, mystical activity and sublime emotions. Colored candles were often used by those who could afford them, and since everyone can afford them today there is no reason not to use them. A cup of water can be offered, as can a cup of salt or earth. In fact, one ought to devise their own ritual details over time, finding which things best instill the proper state of mind. Once the proper state of mind is known, it is simply a matter of repeating it over and over, diving oneself deeper and deeper into its corridors, beholding the myriad strange and phantasmal visions that streak across its surface. This is a very brief and simple method, as you can see. However, the question of setting has not yet been addressed. Where should such a ritual be performed? It can be performed in a cordoned off area set aside for purposes of magic alone. If you do not have access to such, a simple table can be used. It does not matter whether you are standing or sitting during the conjuration —neither you nor the Goetic truly care about such matters. Although, if you find sitting or standing to be uncomfortable, try something else. I am of the opinion that even a bedridden invalid could eventually train themselves to
perform such conjurations, needing nothing more than a clear sight of the Goetic seal, knowledge of the Goetic's name and a firm intention to see it. Yet, if you are in a hospital performing these conjurations—or bedridden in the safety of your own home—it is best to do so after dark, when everyone else is asleep, or immediately prior to dawn. The same is true for all conjurations, fact: prior to sunrise or well after sunset are the best times. This has more to do with you than it does with the Goetics: your mind is naturally attuned to stranger things at these times. It is less concerned with the mundane tasks of the day and finds itself more willing to ponder realities outside of life entirely. Such realities of the very warp and woof of magical ability and perception, and darkness is therefore their natural domain. It is also worthwhile to attempt these experiments outdoors. There is something quite striking about the presence of the Goetic when you are alone in the wilderness at night, with only the Moon above you and only the wind by your side. Perhaps there are things they may tell you in the wilderness, away from one and all, that they would not say in a darkened room. . . The ring described is nothing more than a miniature circle which is placed on one's finger. There is a subtle resonance between the ring held in one's hand in the ring around the Goetic seal. Symbolically, it states to the Goetic that it is in the power or hands of the magician and must do as the magician says. Or that is one interpretation, at least. It may mean something else entirely. Perhaps it is even a symbol of solidarity. Whatever it means, Johann Weyer insisted upon it and considering how easy rings are to acquire I see no reason why it should be left out of the ritual. Yet it is also not entirely necessary.
Motivations of the Spirits Aside from the witch hunting manuals of the medieval period, there is very little information as to why a spirit—whether angelic, Goetic or otherwise— should even want to make itself known to a human being, much less to improve that human being's life through wish granting. Many of the grimoire seem to assume that there are simply legions of unworldly creatures waiting lethargically in the spaces between moments for the right man to summon them and give them a decent job. Even then, it is rare that these spirits are ever given a suitable payment. No, the grimoire writers seem to assume that the spirits will help and make themselves present simply because the crude technology of spell-craft compels them to, or because God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost have all been prayed to and will force the spirits to appear. The idea that the spirit may have his own motivations isn't often addressed. The witch hunting manuals and church affiliated scholarly writings of these errors do make it clear that spirits are almost always negative and wish to lead souls into hell. In such case, it makes sense that they would do anything for anyone, so long as it led away from worship of the one true God and into the path of iniquity. The spirits are often portrayed as making pacts with humans, receiving animal sacrifices, engaging in romantic congress, etc.—all elements which are not quite as prominent in the older European grimoires. Oh, such things do make their presence known now and then in the old grimoires, but it is the later and specifically diabolical grimoires of the 1700s and 1800s— most all of them written in French, initially—which focus on such details. The earlier grimoires state no such motivations and the spirit in question received no such gifts. According to the Lemegeton, here is the primary motivating factor. The poor Goetic demons are summoned against their will, held in chains and then threatened by the sorcerer until they give up the goods. While this may be a cathartic psychological experience—and one which finds support in the Gospels, insofar as the disciples of Christ are given dominion over the demon kingdom—it is not an attitude which stands up to analysis. Nor is it especially polite.
In my experience, a spirit's primary motivating factor—whether Goetic, angelic or otherwise—is the actual encounter with the mind and body of a human being. A spirit enjoys to be spoken to, to be communed with and, at times, to enter the body and mind. This is especially true when we consider the phenomenon of incubi and succubi, of which I will write about elsewhere. To summarize my conclusions, romantic congress with a spirit is an intense pleasure for them, and one which bestows upon them a particular grace and light which they find themselves unable to resist once the opportunity is placed before them. They want to know the human mind and the human body from the inside, to know what it is to be a limited, material conscious beings such as ourselves. There is something unique about the human experience which they have a taste for, and any spiritual encounter is quite reciprocal in this regard. They enjoy to be near us and in us, just as we, in time, begin to have a taste for their company also. Magicians are often recluses and hermits, possessing only a small circle of friends—if they have any friends at all. They are not social butterflies or darlings by any means. If you find a magician who seems particularly gregarious and interested in social activities, take a close look at him again. See if there is any weakness or lack in him. So many walk the path of magic merely to say they did, and the entire affair for them is all for show. This is especially true of those who attracted specifically to demonic magic. If they were interested in actual results, real changes and direct communion with spirits, they would be much more inclined to the practice of Theurgy, for the angelic beings as outlined by most all grimoires at least sound far more awe-inspiring than their relatively nasty demon cousins. And that is exactly what happens with most who seek specifically to conjure up demonic entities: if an entity is hostile, and more powerful than the magician, then there is no amount of threats, circles, lamens, consecrated swords, sheep's blood, or severed bat wings, that is going to keep the entity at bay. No, if the entity wants to do damage he will do it, and if he makes a promise in order commit much damage you can be sure he won't keep it. Rather, most who dabble purely in the demonic for the demonic's sake do nothing more than spark their own imagination—if that. They are like a Pentecostal who suddenly receives the gift of tongues, blabbers in a vaguely Latin or Norwegian style, then imagines they have been touched by an angel. The truth is that they have done nothing more than loosened some of their mental inhibitions and engaged in a form of imaginative play, very similar to what they did as a young child. No, the magicians who insist upon wearing
their craft on their sleeve are not true magicians, but dilettantes. This is also why real spirits do not come to them, for entering into their body and mind is like entering into a sewer. There is nothing of substance there, save for raw sensation—and there are many easier ways to acquire raw sensation without humoring a deceived and self-professed "occultist". Spirits wish to enter and feel those who are worth feeling. But there is something even deeper at work in this regard, and I'm not entirely clear on what it is. It seems as though these encounters are pointing the way to a higher form of life, perhaps. I hesitate to use the word evolution, but I can find no better term: encounters with spirits have an uncanny ability to force evolution upon the magician, making them more than what they were. Does the spirit become more, through this? I doubt it. But let us consider for a moment how odd the modern world would seem to a woman or man living 1,000 years ago. They would be quite shocked to see our technology, and even more shocked to know by what process such technology came about. I have a sneaking suspicion that research into psychic phenomena will at some point gain more currency among scientists, and the old materialistic paradigm will become as outdated as the Judeo-Christian one. When this occurs, it is inevitable that the question of sorcery will be looked at carefully through precise scientific methods and once this occurs, we may find that the world has indeed been contacted by extraterrestrials for a long time, and that these beings were always available and in contact with select portion of humanity. Could that be so? Could it be that the entirety of the magical tradition—when it is legitimate, performed by serious individuals—is simply an elaborate means of contact with extraterrestrials? We're often in the habit of viewing extraterrestrials as another biological entity like us, but that may not be the case: they may be composed of something far more ethereal and intangible, which can only be encountered through mental sight. And if we do make public and scientifically verifiable contact, we may then experience the next leap in our technological evolution. Perhaps the spirits will explain how we can possess bodies similar to their own, interact with the world in the same way that they do, and become as they are—strange and wonderful, of incomprehensible depth and energy. You may take this as mere fantasizing, and that may be what it is. Still, it is enjoyable to think about it. If such does indeed happen as I speculate it may, we will likely be dead by such times, having some other form. The lucky
ones may reincarnate in human form to be alive during that time, but if the Buddhists are to be believed a human body is very rare and difficult to acquire, and it is far more easier to reincarnate in one of the hells, as an animal or as a ghost. I do not know what will happen, myself. For now, I content my investigations with what I can find out about who I am, what spirits are, and what magic is—in addition to what can be done with all of these. I hope you found my speculations interesting. I know I found it interesting to write them. Thank you.