The conjuration of spirits is an aspect of occultism that has been somewhat in decline over the past few decades. Once the core activity in many arcane practices it no longer features as heavily as it once did in the ritual workings of occultists — even to the degree that there is risk of us losing so much of the once deeply revered knowledge and understanding of this aspect of magic.
Frater Barrabas is a practicing ritual magician who has studied Magick and the occult for over thirty-five years. He is also an elder in the Alexandrian strain of Witchcraft as well as the founder of a magickal order known as the Order of the Gnostic Star.
In addition he is also highly skilled in the art of conjuration and in his book Spirit Conjuring for Witches he shares his system of Witchcraft-based magick along with specialised techniques for working with sigils, handling fallen spirits, and working with Goetic demons.
A Loss of Tradition?
Barrabas begins his work with an open question — one that is specifically directed at today’s modern Witchcraft movement.
He asks whether as a result of its haste to progress and develop, and as a consequence by its failing to maintain the important practice of spirit conjuration, modern Witchcraft might not have lost a degree of connection to its early tradition.
The author clearly believes this to be the case and through his practical work as well as this publication he strives to reinstate the tradition by introducing the art to a generation of Witches who might find the traditional forms of invocation, evocation and conjuring too dry or overly complex.
From covering the basic components of these skills in his book he then drills down into the core of the practice along with the techniques required to ‘fully immerse yourself into the spirit world and to call, summon, and communicate with spirits and deities.’ — all whilst knowing that you are protected at all times by your Higher-self godhead as your familiar spirit.
Both Old and New
Having explored the primary conjuration tools needed by the practising Witch the author then offers specific conjuration practices using a number of various techniques. Some of these reference medieval occult practices whilst others are more contemporary in style.
Here the author extols his readers to rethink established ideas regarding the role that spirits play. He states that the basic belief that ‘Angels are good — demons are bad’ simply has no place in practical occult work and bears little relevance to the workings of the inner worlds.
Towards the end of Spirit Conjuring for Witches Frater Barrabas continues with his somewhat contentious ideas — this time by proposing that spirit invocation is essentially a sole and not group practice.
This might not sit well with many covens but as the author makes clear throughout his book he is a staunch advocate of the process of personal self-empowerment.
Spirit Conjuring for Witches closes with a detailed category of various angels and demons, an overview of grimoires, bibliography and index.
Our Review of Spirit Conjuring for Witches by Frater Barrabas
In a publishing world that is awash with titles that cover every conceivable approach to modern Witchcraft it is somewhat challenging, as an occultist, to determine those books which are of value from those that are simply regurgitations of tired and irrelevant dogma.
When a book on the subject comes along that offers something radically different — one that is stimulatingly fresh and which despite its modernity still manages to draw upon core Wiccan values, it is clearly a time to sit up and take note.
Spirit Conjuring for Witches by Frater Barrabas is one of those books — a rarity in a saturated market.
This is not a ritual workbook — though it does play host to the better aspects of magickal working; nor is it a tired treatise on ancient occult theory. Instead it avoids their limitations and challenges the very central premises behind much of today’s Wiccan practice.
Like a spade turning over old soil in order to prepare it for new growth and vibrant life the author prepares the ground whilst leaving the rest up to the reader to decide for themselves what seeds to plant.
The result is a publication that Is not, as its title suggests, limited in its scope to just Witches but which will also be of profound interest to every ritual occultist no matter which tradition they choose to work in.
Some of the material in this book is instantly recognisable as having been drawn from grimoires of old but most of it was completely new to me. Furthermore the superb way in which the author presents his ideas leaves you simply feeling that he is deeply engaged with this aspect of the occult and has an understanding of it that few others have genuinely had — even historically.
Spirit Conjuring for Witches by Frater Barrabas is an exceptional publication. It never fails to fascinate, excite and stimulate as well as breathe some much-needed fresh life into a noble, but increasingly stagnant, occult tradition.
Book of the Month – May 2017