U.S. O.T.O. Grand Lodge
Other U.S. O.T.O. bodies
The Scarlet Letter
Volume II, Number 1 | August 1994
Book Review


The Practice of Magical Evocation
by Franz Bardon
Merkur Pub Co; 5th edition, 2001 (Originally published 1967)
[Find it at Amazon]

Reviewed by Fr. Aquarius

The magical universe abounds in various books, grimoires, and manuals of instruction concerning magical evocation. Yet, few of them compare to the depth and scope of Franz Bardon's second work, The Practice of Magical Evocation. Let the reader be warned this is not an elementary book. It is highly advanced and very practical in its explanations of the symbolism of the magical implements and paraphernalia. For an individual who has been practicing magic for a period of time regardless of what system they follow (i.e. Golden Dawn, Thelema, etc...) this book is a splendid addition to any magician's library.

The book is split into two sections which discuss theory and practice. In the theoretical part, Master Bardon gives a brief view of magic and its practices from the ancient to the present. He also gives an in-depth description of pacts and what they imply in their usage. Afterward, there is a thorough discussion on the use of magical implements and the symbolism connected with each. The theoretical part of the book ends with an actual evocation done in steps for the reader to follow.

The second part of the book gives a description of the Spiritual Hierarchy that is presented by Bardon. In the introduction to this part of the book, he states the following: "...a description will be given only of those spirits which I contacted personally a long time ago either by evocation or mental wandering to the various planes and spheres..." Bardon tells the student that he/she is not bound to use his hierarchy, but that there are many books that give descriptions of different spirit-beings.

The most amicable things about this book is that it is divided in sections that are in Qabalistic order from the Earth zone up to Saturn zone. Bardon gives a description of the particular spirit and its proper function. Bardon refuses to disclose any names of demons or negative entities because he does not wish this sacred science to be abused from the start. The Hierarchy that he gives is quite impressive and is very effective. Bardon guides the reader from the Elemental realm, to the Astral zone of the Earth. Then he describes the spirits of the 360 degrees of the Zodiac. Next, we are introduced to the 28 spirits of the Moon, the spirits of Mercury, then of Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and finally Saturn. Bardon then briefly mentions the spirits of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The book ends with a description of talismanic magic and its various methods.

Bardon's book has two difficulties. First, as with any translation from a foreign language, it tends to be a bit wordy. The student who is prudent and diligent with the information will get the expected rewards from studying such a marvelous book. Secondly, the price is slightly expensive (presently $40). This should not stop the earnest student from procuring this masterpiece of magic.

One will wish to inquire as to the effectiveness of the hierarchy that is contained in this work. From personal and practical experience, I will say that the spirits in this work are very effective and favorable. At one time I asked a so-called initiate what he thought of this book. He answered enigmatically, "Don't use it, it works too good." With that said, I was convinced more than ever of the effectiveness of these benevolent spirit beings.

Overall, any magician should not fail to get a copy of this work because of its immense value. Even if a person were to not use the spiritual hierarchy, the information contained in the theoretical part alone is well worth the money. This book has been a constant companion and guide that I will treasure for many years to come.

< Back to Vol. II, No. 1 Cover