object:3.15 - Of the Invocation
author class:Aleister Crowley
book class:Liber ABA
Of the Invocation
In the straightforward or Protestant system of Magick there is
very little to add to what has already been said. The Magician
addresses a direct petition to the Being invoked. But the secret of
success in invocation has not been hitherto disclosed. It is an
exceedingly simple one. It is of practically no importance whatever
that the invocation should be right. There are a thousand different
ways of compassing the end proposed, so far as external things are
concerned. The whole secret may be summarised in these four
words: Enflame thyself in praying.1
The mind must be exalted until it loses consciousness of self. The
Magician must be carried forward blindly by a force which, though
in him and of him, is by no means that which he in his normal state
of consciousness calls I. Just as the poet, the lover, the artist, is
carried out of himself in a creative frenzy, so must it be for the
It is impossible to lay down rules to the obtaining of this special
stimulus. To one the mystery of the whole ceremony may appeal;
another may be moved by the strangeness of the words, even by the
fact that the barbarous names are unintelligible to him. Sometimes in the course of a ceremony the true meaning of some
barbarous name that has hitherto baffled his analysis may flash
upon him, luminous and splendid, so that he is caught up into
The smell of a particular incense may excite him
effectively, or perhaps the physical ecstasy of the magick dance.
Every Magician must compose his ceremony in such a manner
as to produce a dramatic climax. At the moment when the
excitement becomes ungovernable, when the whole conscious
1. This is Qabalistically expressed in the old Formula: Domine noster, audi tuo
servo! kyrie Christe! O Christe!
XV: OF THE INVOCATION
being of the Magician undergoes a spiritual spasm, at that
moment must he utter the supreme adjuration.
One very effective method is to stop short, by a supreme effort of
will, again and again, on the very brink of that spasm, until a time
arrives when the idea of exercising that will fails to occur.1
Inhibition is no longer possible or even thinkable, and the whole
being of the Magician, no minutest atom saying nay, is irresistibly
flung forth. In blinding light, amid the roar of ten thousand
thunders, the Union of God and man is consummated.
If the Magician is still standing in the Circle, quietly pursuing his
invocations, it is that the conscious part of him has become detached
from the true ego which lies behind that normal consciousness. But
the circle is wholly filled with that divine essence; all else is but an
accident and an illusion.
The subsequent invocations, the gradual development and
materialization of the force, require no effort. It is one great
mistake of the beginner to concentrate his force upon the actual
stated purpose of the ceremony. This mistake is the most frequent
cause of failure in invocation.
A corollary of this Theorem is that the Magician soon discards
evocation altogetheronly rare circumstances demand any action
whatever on the material plane. The Magician devotes himself
entirely to the invocation of a god; and as soon as his balance
approaches perfection he ceases to invoke any partial god; only that
god vertically above him is in his path. And so a man who perhaps
took up Magick merely with the idea of acquiring knowledge, love,
or wealth, find himself irrevocably committed to the performance of
The Great Work.
It will now be apparent that there is no distinction between 
magick and meditation except of the most arbitrary and accidental
Besides these open methods there are also a number of mental
methods of Invocation, of which we may give three.
1. This forgetfulness must be complete; it is fatal to try to let oneself go
2. There is the general metaphysical antithesis that Magick is the Art of the Willto-Live, Mysticism of the Will-to-Die; butTruth comes bubbling to my brim; Life
and Death are one to Him! [Crowley, The Scorpion, Equinox I (6).]
MAGICK IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
The first method concerns the so-called astral body. The Magician
should practice the formation of this body as recommended in
Liber O,1 and learn to rise on the planes according to the instruction
given in the same book, though limiting his rising to the
particular symbol whose God he wishes to invoke.
Another method is to recite the name of the god as a mantra, or
to recite a mantra suitable to the God.
The third method is the assumption of the form of the Godby
transmuting the astral body into His shape. This last method is
really essential to all proper invocation, and cannot be too
There are many other devices to aid invocation, so many that it is
impossible to enumerate them; and the Magician will be wise to
busy himself in inventing new ones.
We will give one example.
Suppose the Supreme Invocation to consist of 20 or 30 barbarous
names, let him imagine these names to occupy sections of a vertical
column, each double the length of the preceding one; and let him
imagine that his consciousness ascends the column with each name.
The mere multiplication will then produce a feeling of awe and
bewilderment which is the proper forerunner of ecstasy.
In the essay Energised Enthusiasm in No. 9, Vol. I of the
Equinox2 is given a concise account of one of the classical methods of
arousing kundalin. This essay should be studied with care and
1. [Appendix VII, p. 350 of this book.]
2. The earliest and truest Christians used in what is in all eseentials this method.
See Fragments of a Faith Forgotten by G.R.S. Mead, Esq. B.A., pp. 80-81.
There is a real connection between what the vulgar call blasphemy and what
they call immorality, in the fact that the Christian legend is merely an echo of a
Phallic rite. There is also a true and positive connection between the Creative Force
of the Macrocosm, and that of the Microcosm. For this reason the latter must be
made as pure and consecrated as the former. The puzzle for most people is how to
do this. The study of Nature is the Key to that Gate.