Be Nice – An approach to Goetia

“I want you to be nice until its time not to be nice”. 
– Dalton, from the movie Roadhouse.

Someone recently wrote me asking some questions about evocation and prefaced it with “I know you don’t approve of working with the spirits of the Goetia…”.

I think perhaps because I listed the Goetia as one of the five things that modern occultism needs to escape the gravity of (Bune is the Katy Perry of wealth magic) or that I have suggested that trusting them blindly is a mistake, that I may have come off as against the practice totally. This is of course not the case, and in fact I myself have contributed to Bune’s pop star status by including a spell invoking him in The Sorcerer’s Secrets.


I have worked successfully and unsuccessfully with the spirits in the Goetia. The first time I ever evoked a spirit from the Goetia was by using the method given for summoning Vassago in Paul Huson’s Mastering Witchcraft. I was 18 years old. It totally blew me away. Previous to that I had done astral traveling and spoke to spirits on their own turf. I had also communicated via devices and mental communication during invocation. Evocation gave me the experience that was literally like fusing two worlds together. Transvocation is almost a better term. I could see Vassago in the crystal quite clearly, but the room around the circle was also awash with activity. So much so that my sister woke up screaming about the spirits in her mirror in the next room.

In later years I performed Goetia according to the instructions in Modern Magic and had similar effects, but a more argumentative and classical experience of dealing with the spirit.

A few years after that I performed a series of evocations in Philadelphia sticking as close to the grimoire as I could. I had the proper floor circle. I had the triangle on the floor and moved it according to the correct direction. I had the proper seals and such. I did not go as far as Mr Garner does, but it was certainly as far as anyone was going at the time (1997) in sticking to the Grimoire proper.  I got more potent manifestations, including some physical movement of objects and blown out lights (every bulb in the room and hallway at the same time), but funny enough the results of what I asked for were sub-par.

It was during these experiments that I realized three important things.

1. The spirits in the Goetia do not all have similar natures (the book itself says as much and is correct).  In fact, I shut down my Asmodeus evocation as soon as he manifested because the smell and feeling of just pure nefariousness was so terrible. While many of the Goets may be old pagan gods that have been demonized by Christianity, a couple of those were considered explicitly evil the Pagans also.

2. The results I was getting were spectacular in terms of presence during evocation, but the results of things asked for were manifesting in the worst possible way, as if even the calm spirits were kind of bugged by being evoked.


Eventually I came to the conclusion that no matter how I felt about the demons – viewing them as just spirits, or Pagan Gods, or whatever – as long as I was using a ritual that treated them like they were the enemy and was designed to coerce them into service, I would get results similar to coercing someone into service.

On the other hand, I wanted to avoid the other extreme: people that think the spirits and gods are all OK, are infinitely wise, and have our best interests at heart. Experience has taught me that spirits can indeed be harmful – some react to unintended offences, some are naughty by nature, and occasionally it’s not really anyones fault – shit just happens.

I started approaching spirits of western magic in the way that I was learning to approach spirits in Tibetan Buddhism. Sort of like meeting new people in a town that you move to. You make some offerings, invite them over for lunch, learn what they are all about. If you want to see them again then you do. If not then you politely keep your distance. In the rare case that someone gets violent or starts acting mischievous in an unwanted fashion – you maintain the right to kick their ass.

In short: Be Nice, until it’s time not to be nice.


These days I don’t work with the spirits of the Goetia all that often, but when I do I follow a few simple rules.

1. I avoid the ones that have given me crap, haven’t performed, or just seem to have overly wrathful natures.

2. I give them short term, well defined tasks. If they cannot perform these tasks within the time allotted then that is OK.  I just don’t use them again, unless I look back and see how my request was actually unmanageable or unreasonable.

3. I don’t go for the full monty every time. I have a scale of manifestation that I teach in the SS COURSE and I only shoot for as much manifestation as necessary. The level of presence needed to make a request during a spell is relatively small vs. the level of manifestation needed to have a Q and A session. Supernatural phenomena just is not the goal for me anymore. If anything, since the kids came along, I try to limit it as much as possible.

4. While I use the names and sigils from the Goetia, I do not use the evocations and avoid the entire style of pushy “get in here or else” type of evocation. I approach them with evocations that are tailor made for each spirit. I am nice. Unless it is time not to be nice…

GOETIA T-SHIRT!!! If you love the shirt in the image above you can get it HERE


About Inominandum

Author. Sorcerer. Consultant. I have 30 plus years of experience making magic a reality for myself, my clients, and my students. For a complete background go to
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48 Responses to Be Nice – An approach to Goetia

  1. Mark says:

    This blog entry about being nice to the Goetic spirits is both timely and spot-on accurate. There is another gentleman in the UK — Paul Hughes-Barlow — who works closely with the Goetia and takes the same approach, resulting in a very positive working relationship with them. From my own personal experience I’ve found that, if one treats another being with respect (be they spirits, humans, or other entity), one typically is offered respect in return. While exceptions may occur, that seems to be consistent, overall.

  2. This is atually how we approach the djinn in North African and Near Eastern sorcery. We treat them like strangers we met, often using a liason to hook us up. Respectful, but cautious. Extremes of either end can be really messy. Treat them all like they are monsters and they will be just that, give them free reign and they will take you for a ride. Respectful caution is the way to go.

    Interesting, this approach is likely more in line with the traditional roots of goetia as part of the necromantic and shamanic practices of the Mediterranean region.

  3. Harry Potter says:

    This is in line with the tantric approach to spirits like nagas and unenlightened dharmapalas as well which Jason knows of course. JSK writes a lot about the early historical context of Goetia but the period stretching from the fall of Rome until medoe al times hasn’t received much attention. It is this period that really gave the fo4m of Renaissance goetia IMO and there are clear influences from Arab magic and even some tantric influences filtered first through the Arabs. The al-mandal is the most obvoous example of this, but possibly even the idea of a circle itself comes from tantric protective rites.

  4. B.Friendly says:

    One magician I know referred to the approach as “Business Casual”. Not too formal and stiff, not overly friendly.

    And- Roadhouse!

  5. Ananael Qaa says:

    This is right on the mark. The most successful Goetic magicians I’ve met all have their own variations on the “be nice” idea, whereas the ones who never seem to get decent results, or at least the results they want, tend to take the “get your ass in the triangle” approach. It seems pretty logical to me that spirits are not going to be positively disposed towards you if all you do is threaten them, but there are a surprising number of folks out there who don’t seem to get it.

  6. Anonymous N says:

    This is a great post. I’d like to know, have you ever had a spirit agree to do something, agree to the terms, and then immediately come back and tell you they aren’t “allowed” to do what was asked?

  7. Pingback: Mysteria Misc. Maxima: August 31st, 2012 « Invocatio

  8. Drew says:

    Jason, you wrote:

    “While many of the Goets may be old pagan gods that have been demonized by Christianity, a couple of those were considered explicitly evil the Pagans also.”

    Can you give an example of that? I have yet to find a pagan deity who was viewed as *evil* in the context of his original worship. Human sacrifice, death associations, even scary – sure. But evil? That seems reserved for titans or their equivalent.

    I really like your take though. This is very similar to my approach to spirits in general. Pardon the plug, but I wrote about this as part of my series on familiars a while back; you may find it interesting:

    Thanks for continuing to write such great stuff.

  9. Michael says:

    I’ve worked with the Goetia perhaps longer than any other grimoire and I should note that in my experience, the “Be Nice” approach is the best. The times I have used the traditional approaches without modification (calling the “as written” approach traditional, even though I agree with Leitch and posters here that the essence of grimoire magic is basically shamanic), I have gotten either manifestation and weak results or no manifestation or kaboom.

  10. Jacovo says:

    I have invoked various Goetic spirits simply by silently vibrating their name in my mind
    and mentally visualizing what I would like them to do and with great success. Sometimes
    I would vibrate their name aloud 40-50 times and then visualize my desires. Success about 90% of the time. Once they did what I wanted I would thank them and dismiss
    them. Usually perform the LBRP afterwards for safety but not always. I would not do
    this for some of the more nefarious Goetic spirits, as I do not consider it safe. I have used this technique for years with no ill effects. For fun I would invoke a spirit put it on my shoulder and go to someones house that was psychic and they would often remark about the spirit on my shoulder! Great fun!

    • obinna madukife says:

      i like the you envoke the goetia spirits can you pls outline your method to me,and also which goetia spirit could aid you to finding a new job

      • azazon says:

        If you can’t find this information yourself you are better off avoiding it alltogether. This art probably isn’t for you.

  11. Pingback: Be Nice – An Approach to Goetia « WiccanWeb

  12. Shaman says:

    Good post – I am finding that the more respectful approach is better.

  13. mortal says:

    Do you have a single blog entry that is like a word-for-word entry of a single invocation? At 11:03PM X happened, It looked exactly like X, it said X and I quote “XXX”, etc? If not I must say it’s impossible to take your supposed invocations seriously. I could write a million page novel with supposed theoretical information based on a make believe invocation, but those that have had successful invocations would be able to call me on it and likely know it was bogus based on how the word-for-word entry with quotes and detailed descriptions of the atmosphere and appearance of the entity was written. So far the John King guy seems to be the only person alive that has written such a journal, yet even he leaves out the description of the entities on some entries which I find suspicious. Why leave out the most important info? Why sum it up as if you are reviewing a new frozen yogurt stand? When it’s summed up that casually a big red flag tells me it’s likely all bogus, this subject is the exact opposite of casual.

    • Inominandum says:

      Number of things wrong with your assumptions:

      1. That posting the details of my or anyones magical journals would “prove” anything at all, or that anyone would call anyone that got a different experience than they did.

      2. That I am writing to “prove” anything to anyone. I am writing for people that are actively doing the work and those that are considering doing it. I am not trying to convince people that it is real or they should do it.

      3. John King is NOT the only person alive who has written such a thing, which again, is irrelevant.

      4. The details of what goes on between me and a spirit are between me and the spirit or me and the client unless for some reason I am making it public.

      • mortal says:

        I’ll take that as a no, hahahaha. When a yes or no question is answered with a plethora of gibberish it’s another red flag, you sir are a liar, there I said it. I don’t care about proof, I already believe so I need not be swayed to believe, what I don’t believe is anyone who doesn’t take a somewhat realistic stance on the subject and takes the microscopic effort involved in making a journal of the incident. You don’t have a journal on the incident? Then it apparently was so un-eventful that there wasn’t the need to write one. I understand some people despise the concept of journaling, but the scammer will despise the concept because it isn’t as easy to fake a journal entry as it is to generally talk about something with an encyclopedic knowledge, you speak with an encyclopedic knowledge, not a first hand knowledge.

  14. Inominandum says:

    Ummm. It is not as easy to fake a journal entry as it is to have encyclopedic knowledge? Yeah, ok. Nothing could be easier than faking a journal entry.

    I did not say I did not have a journal, I said that was not the point of the post and that the journal was private.

    Anyway, thank you for providing my monthly visit from the loony bin.

    • mortal says:

      Let’s get this straight, I’m the loony because I don’t believe you summon spirits and have conversations with them? Haha, good one.

      Attempt to look at it from an objective perspective, you claim to do the extraordinary yet you have posted no record of even an excerpt of such an event, only a vague ‘how to’. Anyone can write a how to, anyone can write a do’s and don’t, anyone.

      • Inominandum says:

        No, you are not loony for that. You are loony because you show up on a blog post, complain that it is not a journal entry instead of the article that it is, and demand a journal entry which in your mind will somehow constitute evidence. Why not go on a recipe site and complain that they didn’t talk about their experience eating the sandwich? Why not go on a site that talks about advice for mountain climbers and bitch that it is not a journal entry about climbing mountains?

        You are loony because even though I have three books by a major publisher, and have written hundreds of articles, you are looking at this one post as the only thing I have ever written. You seem to think that everything exists within the span of a single google search.

        You are loony because after being told that I have no interest in swaying anyone and that this post is for people who are already swayed, you took that as firm evidence that I am somehow lying. The world does not owe you an argument just because you want one.

        You are loony because you somehow think that a journal entry would constitute proof, even though basically such a story could be concocted by anyone who wanted to write a short piece of fiction, yet believe that absolutely anyone could write a how-to explanation, or a “do’s and don’ts” piece on something like evocation, even though such a piece would at minimum require significant study and practice to be taken seriously by the community at large. In other words, exactly the opposite is true from what you suggest.

        • cybermage says:

          I think its just a trolling skeptic Jason, that person named mortal. An atheist skeptic most of them are like that.

        • cybermage says:

          Hi , its me again Jason. I have a question please from one of your books strategic sorcery. In it , there are certain names mentioned for bune, I have a copy of DR. Rudds goetia and only some of it is there. E.g angel haajah, vehrin and sagan- the 30 legions is already in the goetia. I found a couple for gremory but not all and I am looking for asmoday, can you please help me out?

          • cybermage says:

            PS – it made a – not major – but noticable difference in my gremory working- just worked with bune recently

  15. Brittany says:


  16. This is a topic stop to my center cheers, where by are your get hold of facts while?

  17. Grey Wolf says:

    I have had positive workings with these spirits, specifically Sitri and Paimon. Family members have worked with Bune. None of these times did we ever treat them with contempt. We bring them offerings, and cautiously make our requests as detail oriented as possible. Never, I mean Never treat them with contempt. Forgiveness is not in their nature, and once offended disaster can strike.

  18. Athena says:

    Of course you would treat any spirits you work with respect; yet one is always a little cautious around any complete stranger, whether they be human or daemon. The folks who threaten to burn their seal, I just hope they don’t end up in upper management anytime ;).

  19. miyamoto musashi says:

    Jason, Hi fan of your work. I work with the goetia and evocations and I want to know more about offerings. I do have liber 777, but its to limited. I know I could ask the spirit and I do that, however I would like some more traditional correspondences. A few of my favorites, gremory, bune and orabas. Some things in liber 777 are difficult to get. Lastly modern fire detectors in a lot of apts. in Canada severally limit , incence. In what methods would you also suggest, burying? Like fruit?seeds nuts?

  20. community says:

    I could possibly be beating a dead horse, but thank you for posting this!

  21. KA says:

    I was given a copy of the Goetia as a gift… As I began exploring it I became obsessed with it…I stopped short if asking for anything or trying to contact the names I was reading about …I do not doubt anything I’ve read here.

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  25. ARF says:

    I would like to know if you ever worked with the spirits of Theurgia Goetia, and what are the material that it is needed to do so. While reading it looks like that it does not use a triangle, and while using the crystal and the table you do not use the circle. In addition, I would like to know any other thoughts you might have on the subject.

  26. Pingback: GOETIC T-SHIRTS | Strategic Sorcery Blog

  27. Someone (I just not want to say name) says:

    Hello. I have created one non traditional tool for summoning goetic daemon Dantalion.
    It can be viewed here:
    I will be interested for opinions about the tool.

  28. Mae says:

    Recently i have tried to summon Bune using Joy of Satans methods. Mostly because they say its the correct and respectful way to summon a goetia demon but the two times i have tried summoning have given me no results thus far. I currently am stuck living with my christian grandma and her sister and dont have the privacy need to do something like making a circle and idk blood sacrifice if that is needed. Since i dont have a job ( because getting a job nowadays is super tough) i am very low on money so i was only able to attain the items for joy of satans methods from money i got from my mom. I am stuck and hope to find the correct way to summon a goetia that might be something i can do in my situation. Please Respond to my tumblr or email me at

  29. Phil says:

    When you first summoned vassago what tools did you use?

  30. Mil says:

    I prefer working with/asking the spirit. Coming from a place of respect seems to put the spirit at ease with you. I am in the middle of a petition with Bune. I was respectful and asked/work with him. The influence had been there, working for me. I am greatful for it and show my appriciation.

  31. paul says:

    Mae are you here? I’ve got an answer to your question, jos methods are less or perhaps not effective at all, I can only continue typing if I get some response from u 1st, but I think I can help.

  32. Mae says:

    Yes , sorry i did not think anyone would respond to my question . Thanks for offering to help me.

    • Mae says:

      I would like a guaranteed method that is friendly to the demon and if possible discreet. The guy who wrote this article says he uses a form of evocation that is friendly towards the demon that is tailor made for each spirit. And not a pushy get in here or else type of evocation. And i have searched google for methods of evocation that are friendly and actually work and i can’t find any. I don’t want to use names of gods or deities , but otherwise be as friendly as possible. And i don’t want to have to call upon 4 other demons to speak to one. I might be alright with binding them so long as i can offer a gift to them.

  33. paul says:

    I’ll get to you pretty soon. Been waiting for the response though.

  34. paul says:

    Have you ever seen E.A Koetting’s mastering evocation program, he charges for it but its truly worth a deal. And he’s got a lot of videos on YouTube that still have the proper methods and techniques.”Why do sorcerers fail at evocative and to do about it with Nate Bales” and “Physical Evocation of Spirits with Nate Bales.” Mostly people fail because they do not attain the right emotional and mental states. The Holy Grail of evocation is the transfiguration of consciousness, getting at really low brainwave state called theta-gamma sync. This information is not there in grimoires but for a start try seeing what you can learn from E.A Koetting. But I’ll still be here to answer your questions.

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  36. Astrapaios says:

    Great post, and very true at least from my subjective experience with Orobas. I approached the entire experience with a non dual ( Advaita Vedanta) approach, and the Spirit even gifted me something. Your eastern philosophic perspective on all if it is right on. Again, great post. – Namaskar

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