Most grimoires and other books dealing with the magic of evocation often talk of serving spirits, the so-called spiritus familiaris. According to these books serving spirits are put at the magician’s personal disposal by high beings, especially by the principals of demQns with the idea that the magician need not bother personally with the principals of demons, that is their masters, on each occasion and for every trivial matter. The books further state that such serving spirits usually are delivered to the magician, or, as is more likely, to the sorcerer by that head or principal of demons with whom he has concluded a contract. By means of an ankhur the serving spirit is provided by its head with the same kind of force, power and faculties etc. that the head possesses. The magician does not care by whom the effect he wants is caused; whether it is by the head himself or by any of the spirits serving him. One thing, however, is important: the Karmic responsibility always lies with the magician, or with the sorcerer. As already mentioned in the chapter dealing with the various kinds of contracts, the magician must, after the contract has expired in the physical world, follow the principal of demons into his sphere and there pay back in full measure for the work done by it. This repayment, of course, is not a material repayment, but a spiritual one.

From the hermetic point of view, the serving spirit must not be taken for the so-called family spirits of the primitive peoples of antiquity. These family spirits were, in most cases, the deceased of a tribe, its ancestors and pre-ancestors, heroes etc. with whom a type of necromancy was practised similar to a more primitive kind of fetish-worsphip by keeping up a permanent contact with these deceased. This kind of necromancy may be compared with the spiritism of our own days. Since every initiate knows about the practices, cult operation etc. necessary for getting into contact with an ancestor, with a family spirit, I will desist from writing again about this matter. Not only had each family their family or house ghost; there were also numerous tribes having their own genius, as is known from history. The true magician is able to tell the difference, from the hermetic standpoint, between an actual spiritus familiaris and a family or ancestral spirit.

The attitude a genuine magician takes towards getting into contact with a head, i. e. a higher being, a higher intelligence, is quite different to that of a sorcerer or black-magician. The latter wants to get beings under his power without any special effort and without the appropriate preparatory operations and magical development, in order to make these being serve him and help him to realize all his desires. Unfortunately, a sorcerer is likely to forget that by doing so he is debiting his Karma and that he is doing this at the costs of his evolution, and above all, to the costs of his magical development. Beings serving a sorcerer never work without reward. From the material point of view such services may only be regarded as loans. Actually, the sorcerer becomes the slave of the relevant being, for after their contract has expired, the sorcerer must, as already pointed ‘out before, pay back everything. The beings are fully aware of this fact, and their devotion towards the magician, which is to ensure him that they are always willing to serve him and to fulfill any of his desires, often delude a sorcerer to the erroneous opinion that he has become master over the beings. His desires, his claims towards these beings increase during the course of the alliance, and the sorcerer eventually develops into a glutton. Only shortly before the expiration date of the contract, the sorcerer realizes what he has done and what Karmic responsibilities he has taken upon his shoulders. But at that point it is usually too late, and all advice and instructions to shake off the bondages of such a contract are, from the hermetic point of view, useless and impracticable, andin the eyes of a true magician – sheer ridiculous. Negative effects that have once been set at work, no matter in which way, must, due to the law of cause and effect, have their due clear off and adjustment. One might oppose that Divine Providence, in its aspects of love and charity, could, in some cases, make an exception.

However, the genuine magician knows that causes are always followed up by the relevant effects, otherwise the Law of Karma, the law of retaliation, the rule of law of the whole universe, would be untrue, that is illusory. That this is not so, but that, on the contrary, everything takes place due to the most genuine laws with a most admirable precision need not be stressed here. Divine love and charity with all their other aspects such as benevolence etc. work up to the point where man realizes that he himself is the cause of the sorrows that have overcome him, and this knowledge enables him to carry his burden more easily. From the correct universal point of view Providence, in its aspects of love, benevolence etc., cannot further intervene. Every experienced magician, knowing the universal laws, finds this in order. Every genuine magician should therefore take heed not to conclude a contract which would entirely halt his personal magical development and evolution. A true initiate will not even be tempted to conclude contacts with high and good heads, no matter how great the advantages might be. To bind oneself to spirit beings and their spheres means losing the freedom of one’s own thoughts and doings.

Why then, one might ask, is it necessary to deal with the magic of evocation; is it not better to work for one’s personal development and to leave the beings where they are? The answer to this question is that the genuine magician may, if he likes, get into contact with any beings, positive ones or negative ones, and that he should even regard it as his duty to practise the true magic of evocation, but he must never be tempted to bind himself to any being. He can use his connections to enlarge his knowledge about the various spheres, to learn about the laws of such spheres, and to demonstrate his magical authority to those beings with which he operates during his evocations. No doubt, such beings will not only be prepared to give him any information he wants, but they will be quite pleased to serve him, for to them the genuine magician is their master, is the true initiate to whom they owe obedience and loyalty. They would not even dare to approach a genuine magician, who has been truly initiated into magic and has therefore reached perfection in it, with a contract in mind. The magician may, if he thinks it necessary, employ serving spirits from one sphere or the other, but he knows quite well that he does not owe them anything, for anything that a being might be doing for him he can do out of his own powers as the result of his systematic magical development. The magician may employ beings firstly to help his fellow men, not himself, and secondly to use the valuable time saved for his own development. This is the right attitude to take and it cannot be compared with the attitude of a sorcerer, as one can easily see. The magician need not practise the magic of evocation all the time, but he must be able to carry out successfully such practices whenever it should be necessary. Exact knowledge of the true magic of evocation will increase his wisdom, will increase his power over beings of the universe, and, in this manner, strengthen his magic authority. A true magician must therefore be perfect in every respect. During his magical evocations he will pay attention to the exact hierarchy of the beings and will:

1. get into contact with the heads of the elements and their beings; if necessary, also with their serving spirits, their subjects

2. have regard to the earth-zone with all its heads and subjects

3. change over to the beings of the Moon according to the hierarchy

4. have regard to the heads of the zone of Mercury

5. then he will pay his attention to the Venus-zone

6. the Sun-zone

7. the Mars-zone

8. the Jupiter-zone

9. the zone of Saturn.

Franz Bardon