Goetic Magic: Conjuring Spirits in Ancient Sorcery

Goetic magic named after the most popular grimoire, Greek «sorcery» or «witchcraft,» is employed for conjuring spirits, elementals, and demons (see History of the Goetia). The purpose of goetic magic is dependent on the entity being summoned. The tasks of the conjured entities may vary from curing diseases to destroying a person’s personality, love, or fame, all depending upon the intention of the one who summons. The temperament of the entities can vary from fawning and obedient to fierce and defiant.

Special tools and garments are required for practicing goetic magic. Their construction and consecration are described in the Lemegeton. Although goetic operation requires no period of preparation, the Gotes must observe the age of the moon for their working. Only during even-numbered days of the waxing moon are suitable for operating according to the Goetia.

The Goetia, the primary source of goetic magic, is the book one of the Lemegeton, a collection of five books devoted entirely to the summoning of entities (see Goetia Spirits). The other four books the Theurgia Goetia, the Art Pauline, the Art Almadel, and the Artem Novem all describe various goetic magic operations, and provide a complete system of spirit communication.

Among the practice of goetic magic is the summoning of angels, a particular purpose is for one to act as a guardian angel. This is particularly important when associated with a related grimoire or the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. If the person succeeds in attaining a Guardian Angel, according to Aleister Crowley, and has conversations with this angel he learns, from this divine knowledge, his true purpose in life. Any other pursuit in the use of magic is black magic.

Other works associated with goetic magic are the Grimorium Verum, the Nigromancy of Roger Bacon, the Grand Grimoire, and the Grimoire of Almadel. Some are still obscure but others are reprinted and widely available. A.G.H.


Grimassi, Raven. Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft. St. Paul, MN, Llewellyn Publications. 2000. pp. 156-157
Suster, Gerald. The Legacy of the Beast: The Life, Work and Influence of Aleister Crowley. York Beach, ME. Samuel Weiser. 1989. p.36