DuQuette on Practicing Goetia “by the book.”

This month, I am giving private lessons in Goetic evocation.  Whenever I teach this (or, really, discuss it at any length with serious grimoire magicians), the question arises as to how strictly one should adhere to the methods given in the medieval grimoires.  Lon Milo DuQuette, in Aleister Crowley’s Illustrated Goetia, expresses my views exactly:

There exist today, Goetic magicians (both solitary practitioners and organized groups) who operate strictly ‘by the book.’ The Circle, the Triangle and all the diagrams are constructed exactly as illustrated in the Goetia. They recite (or most often read) the conjurations, constraints and curses exactly as written in the 1687 text. Ceremonies of some of these magicians are a thrill to behold and, without a doubt, the Art will forever be perpetuated in its classic form because of their dedicated labor.

It must be pointed out, however, that there is absolutely no necessity (nor particular advantage) to blindly conforming with the Conjuration scripts of the ancient texts. The Spirits are no more impressed if you say ‘thee’ and ‘thine’ than they are if you say ‘you’ and ‘yours.’ Aleister Crowley was aware of this and crafted several versions of his own conjurations. In fact, as we shall see later, in his own copy of the Goetia he simply hand copied the Second Key of the Enochian system. It is our opinion (and that of other Crowley scholars) that for personal Goetic conjurations Crowley most likely in his later years discarded the traditional conjurations and simply recited the First and Second Enochian Calls.

It is also our opinion that the most effective conjurations are of the magician’s own design. We encourage the reader, once the fundamentals of the system are thoroughly grasped, to create your own conjuration which, like your Temple, equipment, and procedures, is uniquely yours.