This image, “Man in the Moon” © Carol Heyer
I realize now that preparing to do evocations is like preparing for anything else, in the sense that it takes much longer the first time and once you get some experience, it takes less and less time and effort. For this first evocation it took weeks to think through what I was going to do, to make lists, to write a script, and to prepare things.
The props and materials were not the only thing. Getting myself prepared mentally also took time. This was a transition in my life. Up to now any kind of ritual I had done was more or less self-contained. Perhaps it was a way of magnifying a visualization I was projecting into the universe. Or maybe some sort of ritual drama representing what I willed to happen. Or maybe tapping into or attuning to some archetypal energy (state of mind, universal quality) through a symbol, tarot card, etc. But I had never before expressly set out to conjure a spirit. This was a new chapter in my spiritual life.
Among the things I did to prepare was practice scrying. I had made a scrying mirror (which you can read all about here) and spent some time each morning scrying after setting up the space with the LBRP. I tried scrying the Cherubs of the elements at the cardinal points of the circle using the mirror. My success with this method was considerably less than scrying through pathworking by projecting myself through a chosen pentagram. Because Trithmius’s book is called The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, I had second thoughts about the mirror (for various other reasons as well), and only a few days before the ritual I switched to practicing with a crystal ball that I’d owned for many years. Probably a mistake. I should have stuck with the mirror.

Evocation of Phul
The night of July 6th 2009 was bloody hot in Budapest, and the outward walls of our apartment were still radiating long after dark. All windows were open. Any questions regarding ritual clothing were answered by the weather. I didn’t wear anything but a pair of dark blue cotton Bermuda shorts. When I lit the nine purple candles on the altar, the heat they gave off made me sweat. Whatever. I started with an LBRP, and then followed the protocol from Frater RO’s Modern Angelic Grimoire. I’d printed out the ritual script in 14-point type that I could read under just about any conditions, and formatted it as a small booklet that could easily be held in one hand.
After drawing the circle with the wand and calling the spirit to appear I looked into the crystal. In a sense, this was the moment I’d been building up in my mind for over two months. Nothing to speak of. I persisted, but somehow all the candle light and the sweat in my eyes just made the crystal a mass of reflections.
I abandoned the crystal and simply closed my eyes. I had a short list of questions ready for interviewing Phul. I asked the question silently, and waited for any sort of response. To the first few I didn’t feel any response at all. To the question, “Can you help me master the art of lucid dreaming?” I felt I got a “yes”. So I asked the spirit to help me with that. To the question of whether he could help me develop better dream recall, I felt the response was, “No. Memory and recall is a Mercury thing. Ask Mercury.” I asked other questions, but did not feel I got answers.
Before I closed the ritual, I asked again for help in mastering lucid dreaming, and also asked for a definite sign within the next 24 hours to show that we had been in contact. I told Phul he could tell me what offering I could make for these boons.
Depressed might be slightly too strong a word to describe how I felt the following day. But I’ll admit I was deeply disappointed. I kept my eyes (and other senses) peeled for any sign that might come from Phul, but didn’t notice anything. The next entry in my dream journal is a week later, so no dream signs either. A complete bust, by any objective measures. I questioned whether I was really cut out for this sort of thing. I questioned whether I should even continue with the project. OK. I guess I was depressed. For a few days I intentionally forgot about ritual magic and just threw myself into work and family obligations.
I decided to consult with Frater RO, who very graciously answered my e-mail. His advice: Just move on to the next conjuration. He counselled me to put less weight on what I perceived during the ritual, to make my charges to the spirits, and then to note what the results were. Perception should improve with experience, he said.
After that exchange with RO, I came across more sources that advocated a lower-key approach to the Olympics; some of them stripping the technique down to the point of only using the sigils as objects of meditation. I decided to simplify my ritual to the very basics: I abandoned the Trithemius ritual, the Table of Art, and the crystal. The central act would be establishing contact with the spirit by concentrating on its sigil, and then delivering my charge. All other elements of the ritual would be built around that, but I’d be vigilant not to let it get too complicated.