>> In light of the thread on Enochian evocation, I was wondering if anyone is interested in sharing their experiences with Bardonian evocation. I am ( personally ) not so interested in the voyeuristic "what happened" part, as I am in specific benefits / detriments resulting from the experiences. <<
I very much appreciate the nature of your question! It is by far one of the most relevant queries concerning PME that has appeared on this list in some time. You ask the most important question -- "Why?" -- instead of the usual "How?".
Here then are a few of my thoughts about the 'why' of Bardonian evocation. :)
Within its context of Step Nine of IIH, evocation pertains to the exploration phase that precedes the actual Abyss crossing. During this phase, the initiate must expand their *experiential* definition of Self.
In the Step Eight work, the initiate is exploring the planes with their mental body through the practice of mental wandering. The experiences encountered during these mental explorations significantly transform the initiate's understanding, especially as to the nature of Self. Through this process, the initiate's experience of Self becomes more encompassing, and the awareness of Self expands.
This is followed by evocation which involves the integrating of the forces/entities one meets during mental wandering, into the mundane realm. One begins by condensing the evoked being to an astral density and thus integrates those energies into their own astral body. Eventually, these forces are brought into a physical density and are thus integrated into the initiate's physical life circumstance.
Evocation is the finest tool for this process of integrating the expanded Self into the initiate's mundane life. And this integration is a crucial factor to a successful crossing of the Abyss. The awareness of Self during the Abyssal crossing must be steadfast and must rest on the firmest of foundations, lest it lose its balance and topple over . .
In other words, the awareness of the expanded Self *must* already be a manifest part of the initiate's mundane existence -- it *must* reach ALL the way "down" and touch the soil and take root before it can grow upwards. Without this rooting, so well provided through Bardonian evocation, the crossing *might* succeed (though most likely not) but there would, without a doubt, be *no* chance of surviving the subsequent "dark night of the soul".
With Step Nine, the initiate begins both evocation (PME), *and* astral wandering. Evocation relies upon mental wandering (Step Eight), yet your first goal is to achieve an astral density of presence of the evoked entity. Simultaneously (with the IIH Step Nine work) you are learning how to separate your own astral body and to travel to the planes that you formerly were reaching with your solitary mental body. So, in your evocations, you are, in effect, creating within the triangle the ingredients necessary for an astral body suitable for the entity you're evoking. This ability to create the appropriate astral substance ("atmosphere" in PME) is strengthened by your simultaneous exercises in astral wandering. The direct *experiences* with your own astral body and with the astral realm *while within the true astral body*, teach you things that can be learned in no other way, and with this growing body of in-your-bones understanding, it becomes easier and easier to create an appropriate astral density. So, the work of evocation potentiates the Step Nine work and vise versa.
Hand-in-hand, these two levels of working are what integrate the forces of the planes that these evoked entities represent, into your astral body initially, and ultimately, into your physical life circumstance. The expansion of Self that precedes the Abyssal crossing *must* be integrated into *every* aspect of the initiate's being -- this is the only basis upon which that quantum expansion of the Abyssal crossing can spring forth. This is the Fertile Soil that supports the Strong Root of the Tallest Flower.
Ideally, evocation and the exploration of the Universe during this phase engenders a sense of being in-love-with the Universe. The labor of astral and mental exploration and evocation must be a labor of love. It must be your gift of Fertile Soil . . . Your passion upthrusting that Tallest Flower . . . And the scent of *your* Flower is your gift to the divine . . .
Sorry to wax so mystical, but seriously, only a mystic can cross the Abyss and survive with their sanity intact. The astral and mental exploration and evocation are all meant to teach the initiate this mysticism and worshipful attitude in no uncertain terms.
I think the most commonly held conception of evocation is that its primary importance has to do with the gaining of power. The image we have all been fed is of the powerful magician with his hoards of servant spirits, right? He's always depicted over-powering some mega-demon with important sounding words, uttered in an important sounding way, etc., etc. ;-) And that is probably what the majority of folks want out of evocation -- greater power.
The average evocationist will likely try to force an entity or cajole an entity into serving their needs. It is possible to get some results by these means but it *always!* comes at a cost to the evocationist, because they are demanding something which they have not truly merited. It is not something *freely* given by the entity, thus an indebtedness results.
With Bardonian evocation, the point is entirely different. However, this does *not* mean that the Bardonian evocationist would not have hoards of entities eager to help. In fact, it's quite the contrary. The Bardonian evocationist creates positive relationships (friendships) with the entities they evoke. The result of this simple fact is that these friends *give* their aid with *love* (THE most powerful force). The Bardonian evocationist has absolutely no need for coercion and therefore, no lack of friends in an hour of need.
At the root of all this is the fact that consciousness doesn't expand ItSelf through conquest. It expands through love, through empathy with 'other', through becoming-at-one-with 'other'. 'Other' then becomes a part of Self and Self has expanded ItSelf. The evocationist who hopes to conquer, has no chance of achieving this expansion of Self. Ultimately this sort of evocation is a dead end.
I've written before (in an exchange with Jonathan, I believe) about how evocation has a higher "creative" aspect to it as well. This has to do with the direct creative expression of legality through symbol. The work of evocation proper, is part of what teaches the initiate the recognition of the legality underlying any symbolic form. As the initiate progresses in their expansion of Self, the symbol-forms of the forces they've incorporated into themselves, become a part of Self that can then be wielded, projected, used to express, etc. In other words, the evocationist becomes a master of symbols, but his mastery is attained through loving assimilation, not through conquest. The symbols that one ultimately has mastery over are those that one has become. All of which serves as a step toward the higher direct work with the divine legality or Causality.
With the Bardon system, you must also consider PME in the context of KTQ, since work with both ideally begins during the Step Nine, IIH work. I think an entire book could be written about the connections between these three! ;-) Engaging in all three simultaneously reveals just how integrated they are. The early KTQ work supports the Step Nine *and* PME work. The PME *and* Step Nine work support the KTQ work, and so on, in thousands of ways.
Most grimoires present a hierarchy of entities within a specific plane. This is usually expressed through some sort of title like 'baron' or 'lord', etc. The higher sounding the rank, the more subordinates they supposedly have for the magician to gain the use of. I imagine that for most evocationists, the highest ranking entity is the one they go for, thinking that they will then be able to tap the greatest power, have the most servant spirits, etc.
There is however, a kernel of wisdom hidden within this ranking system. Within each plane there are a wide variety of beings. Some are very limited while others are very inclusive and express a broader spectrum of their plane's essential force. There are a few within each plane who have evolved to express the wholeness of their plane. These entities are deserving of great respect and when an evocationist tries to force such an entity into their triangle, there can be no integration of their wholeness into the initiate's consciousness -- only a small part can make it through the veil of disrespect that the evocationist has erected.
But if the evocationist introduces themselves to the plane gradually and respectfully, with the desire to meet this great being, then in due time it will come to pass. In the interim, the initiate will have expanded their Self sufficiently to merit the friendship of this great being, and the two will meet as *friends*. As a friend, this great being will gladly visit the magician's Circle and in this way bless the magician with the integration of the *whole* of that plane's force into their astral and physical levels. Such an exchange greatly advances the magician along their ascent.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
09 Sep 2002