Magic, Invocations, and Prayers with Angels
The concept of harnessing the power of the angels through ceremonial magic, invocations, and prayers have long been used by magicians. Here, we look at casting a circle, directional angels, and angel invocation during circle casting. Angel conjurations and prayers are also touched upon.
Directional Angels and Casting a Circle
The casting of circles is an ancient practice used for protection and keeping negative entities at bay. For example, during the Western medieval period, circles were drawn on the floor around the ill and around newborn children and their mothers to protect them from demonic forces.
Invoking angels that correspond to directional powers are standard to casting a circle. Traditionally, the four principal archangels were associated with the four directions. Raphael rules the East, Archangel Michael rules the South, Archangel Gabriel the West, and Archangel Uriel the North. When the practitioner casts the circle, the four angelic powers are invoked from each of the four directions. Invoking the directional energies may take place while the circle is being drawn, or as a separate step in the operation.
As the practitioner begins casting the circle, he or she faces one of the cardinal directions, usually the East. At the parameter of the circle, the practitioner then extends a ritual instrument such as a wand or sword and begins to draw an imaginary circle in the air. As they are doing this, they then move to the right. Next, the magician continues slowly around the perimeter in a clockwise direction until reaching the starting point. This then completes the closing of the circle.
Angel Invocation during Circle Casting
The directional angels are invoked during this ritual. The practitioner pauses at each of the cardinal points and invokes the directional angels in the following order – the archangel of the East, the archangel of the South, the archangel of the West, and the archangel of the North. The invocation can range from simple to complex. At the end of the ceremony, the casting process is reversed. Each of the directional powers is banished as the magician moves counterclockwise.
Angel Conjurations and Prayers
Some conjurations sound more like prayers than magic. An example can be found in “Conjurations of the Good Spirits” found in Gustav Davidson’s Dictionary of Angels:
O you glorious and benevolent angels, Urzla, Zlar, Larzod, Artal, who are the four angels of the East, I invocate you, adjure and call you forth to visible apparition. (p.357).
By way of contrast, Davidson also includes spells with less socially desirable ends, such as the “Death Incantation” :
I call thee, Evil Spirit, Cruel Spirit, Merciless Spirit; I call thee who sittest in the cemetery and takest away healing from man. Go and place a knot in (N…’s) head, in his eyes, in his tongue, in his windpipe, and put poisonous water in his belly. If you do not go and put water in his belly, I shall send against you the evil angels Puziel, Guziel, Psdiel, Prsiel…..(p. 358).
This kind of magical angel lore is often dismissed by contemporary angel enthusiasts who view angels as helping spirits who should not be manipulated. While perhaps still a living tradition to practitioners of ceremonial magic, it has all but disappeared at the level of popular folklore.