This weekend I had the distinct pleasure of working with a young man who has been ardently pursuing mastery of Evocation and who, despite having made several dozen attempts, has had no luck whatsoever and was quite perturbed at the universe's complete ambivalence to his adjurations. (his words, not mine). Having read some posts on various fora indicating that for Evocation, I was the man to see, he decided to reach out and find out just why MY calls are answered when his are not.
After the preliminary stuff, i.e. finding out where he learned his methods from and if he was practicing from a manuscript then which, I dug into the matter at hand directly and asked him to describe his ceremony and from start to finish how he performed his rite.
As it turns out, while he had very good intentions and was sincere in his desire, his actual practice was inspired by something found online that purported to be a failed ceremonial evocation. He found a video on Youtube which, he thought, was a recording of a genuine evocation; albeit one that failed and left the evocateur angry and impotent. In keeping with what he saw there, he had googled "evocation of demons", printed out what he believed to be the most authentic "seance", and replicated what he had seen in the video. Intrigued by the idea of an actual evocation on film, I asked him to find it and send me the link.
This is what he had been watching.
DON'T. DO. THIS. EVER.
Even the most inexperienced reader of this blog will, I'm sure, be able to point out any number of issues with this "seance", but I figured it would give everyone a bit of chuckle so I decided to share it along with this post. The full video can be found on Youtube, including all manner of preparations and "aftermath" videos where the subject of the video describes in detail how his life has gone down the drain since this ceremony and all of the horrible things he sees in his dreams since "selling his soul to the devil". Quite the conundrum this poor gent finds himself in.
Anyway, to the point, while almost comedic, this video does demonstrate one of the behaviors that prevents aspiring evocateurs from succeeding, and that is the "matter of factly" way he carries himself, reading the script of his conjuration as if he was reading a cookie recipe, wearing the clothes he had on all day and just a lackadaisical manner. While the above video can be ruled out as an obvious gag and not at all a serious attempt to summon Lucifer, many are the times I have encountered students who mirror his halfhearted effort when engaged in ceremonial magick, condemning their rite before even completing it.
While we needn't carry ourselves with the stodgy, stick-up-the-rear up-tightness of say an AE Waite (as portrayed in Moonchild anyway), we DO need to keep in mind that we aren't hanging out with friends watching Sunday Football. One way I tend to illustrate the point is to tell the aspirant to recall how they behave when they are in their manager's office at work, discussing a possible raise. Then, imagine how they'd carry themselves if the vice president of the company walked in that office, and then the CEO. Well behaved, focused and on task, right? So why give less than that when addressing angels and deities?