Invoke Often

Invoke Often August 22, 2019

“Invoke often.”

This simple advice has been offered by Robert Anton Wilson and Aleister Crowley as a key magical practice.

But we knew it instinctively as kids, as we hung posters on our walls — posters of musicians whose creativity we wished to call into our lives, or of sports heroes whose prowess we wished to invoke. Being a weird kid, I printed out song lyrics (on the printer/plotter hooked up to my TRS-80 Color Computer — good techie times) to pin up on the wall. When we got older and went off to college we hung posters of sex symbols on the walls of our dorm rooms, simple sympathetic magic.

Somewhere along the way most of us got out of that habit. It wasn’t “adult” to decorate our spaces with such direct magical invocations. Maybe a sports poster in a “man cave”, but only if it were suitable framed and fancified; maybe a album collection arranged to show cover art. If one belongs to a mainstream religion, one small plaque or a crucifix or something along those lines may be permitted.

But somehow society convinced most of us to tone it down from the exuberant invocations of youth.

Except, of course, for us malcontent magicians.

On the back of my bedroom door, I have a copy of Charles Bukowski’s poem “The Laughing Heart”, so that every day its message that “the gods wait to delight/in you” will enter my eyeballs. Next to it is a copy of a calligraphy by Shunryu Suzuki reading “Do Not Say Too Late,” a reminder that gets more and more important as my hair gets greyer and greyer.

Little figurines — gods and goddesses, Buddhas and bodhisattvas, maneki neko good luck cats and weeble-like Darumas — sit on shelves and on top of the piano and on the altar in the corner of my shiatsu room. Another corner is an ancestor altar, with numerous family photos and the guitar that belonged first to my father and then to my uncle. (Powerful talisman, that.)

A Star Wars poster dominates the living room, invoking the energy of the Jedi that captured me as a seven-year-old, and left me asking “What would Luke Skywalker do?” (All us martial arts instructors want to be Yoda when we grow up.)

Recently I’ve decided to take it a bit further, with framed magical sigils on the walls, and sigils and veves drawn with sharpie on the inside of the storm door. Of course few visitors recognize them for what they are, which is fine — I can let them pass as abstract art, or explain, as appropriate.

I highly recommend this practice. Find a way to place around your home invocations of the energies and deities you wish to be present in your life — posters, photos, statues, subtle magic marker graffiti, whatever.

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