Weekly Topic: Invoke vs. evoke

So I’m confused :thinking: surprise surprise :laughing::exploding_head:

What is the difference between invoke and evoke? I’ve read the definitions but I’m still confused :face_with_spiral_eyes: I have some cognitive issues, so things that may seem simple confuse me sometimes or I just need it explained differently, need examples or need visuals! Thank you :blush::smiley:


Great question @Sivonnah

Invoking is asking a deity to enter one’s body or become part of one’s self. Evoking is inviting a deity to join you in your circle or sacred space for ritual.

It’s funny you just asked this question because I literally asked myself the same thing yesterday and had to look it up. :grin::heartpulse::heartpulse:

I actually have trouble understanding things and I stay confused that should be my middle name :laughing: I learn things differently too so you can always ask me for help and if you still don’t understand it let me know sister :grin::hibiscus:


I would agree with @crystal59. It’s interesting in some of my demonolatry books on ones that practice high magic, they render evoke as commanding and controlling a demon, whereas demonolators that practice so called low magic (thats me :person_shrugging:), would invoke meaning ask nicely if said demon would like to join me for tea. I get the two words mixed, but invoke/evoke as long as we approach with love and respect, they won’t blast me into the abyss :rofl:


“Invocation” and “evocation” are related concepts, often used in different contexts, especially in spiritual or ritualistic settings. Here’s how they differ:

  1. Invocation:
  • Definition: An invocation is a formal request, prayer, or summoning, typically directed towards a deity, spirit, or higher power, asking for their presence, guidance, blessing, or assistance.
  • Usage: Invocations are commonly performed in ceremonies, rituals, or spiritual practices. They can be used to seek protection, wisdom, healing, or other forms of divine intervention. For example, in a ritual, someone might deliver an invocation asking for blessings on the event or seeking divine guidance.
  1. Evocation:
  • Definition: An evocation is the act of bringing forth or summoning something, such as a feeling, memory, image, or concept. Unlike an invocation, which often involves calling upon external forces, an evocation typically focuses on bringing forth internal experiences or responses.
  • Usage: Unlike invocation, which typically involves summoning spiritual entities or higher powers, evocation is more broadly used in creative or artistic contexts. It can refer to the creation of a mood, atmosphere, or emotional response through literature, music, visual arts, or other forms of expression. For example, a poet might use words to evoke the beauty of nature.

Just my $.02


I get the same kind of vibe, but I’ve been reading some of the more high magick stuff and sometimes it just sounds like a semantic jumble. Here’s a snippet from S. Connolly in The Complete Book of Demonolatry which as the more “low” magick interpretation:

Now for a few definitions. I’ve recently learned that Ceremonial and Goetic Magician’s use their own definitions of invoke and evoke. I was told that to Ceremonial Magicians, evoke is the external manifestation and invoke is the internal manifestation (which they also sometimes call possession, which is also strange, but it’s their lingo).

It drives me nuts because that is not what those words mean according to the dictionary, but I totally respect the Ceremonial Magician’s specialized definitions and their right to use them. After all, I have no issue with evocation used to bring parts of the psyche to the forefront for “Self” work, which is really how most CM’s see Demons (as negative/evil aspects of the human psyche, so to speak, as opposed to actual neutral entities).

It’s just that Demonolators use the dictionary definitions for these same words - not the CM definitions. If you’re unsure, just look in a dictionary.

Invocation- The act of calling on (a higher power) for assistance, support, or inspiration.

CM’s say this is the internal, but by definition this would technically be external because the actual definition suggests a power outside the self. However, since we are each a part of the divine and all that is I can see where they get their “internal” definition. Invocation is what we Demonolators do.

We do not evoke Demons under any circumstance.

Evocation - The act of summoning (like you might a servant or subordinate) an entity (implied: against its will. Also implied: Demons are servants.)

CM’s say this is the external, but by definition the implication of evoke is both internal and external and suggests something the magician creates from or evokes from himself or forces from another source.

NOTE: Demonolators find evocation VERY disrespectful.

Now, I’d like to discuss another aspect. That of possession vs. channeling. Demonolators are never Possessed by Demons. Possession, by its very definition means against the individual’s will. Demonolators believe that Demons have no need for possession.

Possessed - Controlled (implied against one’s will) by a spirit or other force.

CM’s have often used this word in front of me to describe what Demonolators would call channeling. Possession means the magician has no will to stop it and the wording of the definition implies the same. We do, however, believe in Channeling Demons. There are methods to do this.

Channeling - The medium through which a spirit-guide purportedly communicates with the physical world. (This is with the person’s consent because they have to physically open themselves up for the experience.)

CM’s don’t seem to use this word.

She comes off a bit judgy, but she’s just trying to help clarify things. :black_heart:


@starborn S Connolly’s books, I think, show a good way of looking at how to nicely contact demons, or any entity, but I do agree with

Sometimes it’s like that’s the only right way. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m gradually leaning towards a more earthy based way of working with the demons, at the end of the day, I feel invoke/evoke, treat them as I’d like to be treated and we should both have a good experience. If they don’t want to talk to me, work with me, that is their right, I’m definitely not going to try to bind an off this world entity against their will, goodness me, they’ll send an army of night demons to my house (I can just about handle one :flushed::rofl:).

I think just say hello, offer something nice and see what happens. Good old fashioned hospitality :drinking_horn:


Same, I’m right there with you. Whatever words we use don’t matter as much as our behaviour. “Don’t be an asshole, and things will work out fine with the spirits.” :laughing: :black_heart:


That’s a great title for a book :rofl:


Beautifully said @starborn :grin:


Hah! Maybe that will be the title of my first book on my experiences with the spirits. :laughing:


I think it really depends on the context of the two words. There are different definitions depending on the people who use them but they’re not all used interchangeably.

This is generally how I see it in terms of rituals and working with deities.

This is also how I see the two words used outside of ritual spaces and working directly with deities.

For me, this is where the context comes in. If I am invoking someone, I am inviting them within to speak through me. This is sort of like possession, but it’s more like… sharing the same space with a spiritual entity. For me, the difference between invocation and possession is consent.


:laughing::crazy_face: Great minds! Thank you :blush:

Makes good sense to me! :blue_heart:

:laughing: Thank you for the detailed definitions. Very helpful! :purple_heart:

Yes a jumbly definition, but helpful. Sometimes reading different points of view and definitions helps to clarify things. :two_hearts::blush:

I concur :blush::grin:

Yes. I just want to invite spirits/deities into my space with their consent.

I was just curious. I heard invoke was inviting someone and evoke is demanding. I think instead of needing a specific term to use, I’m just going invite with whatever help I need and ask permission.

Thanks everyone! :blue_heart::purple_heart::two_hearts::heart:


This got us thinking… when we invite a being into our internal space (invoke) we’re showing vulnerability, we’re trusting them to respect our boundaries and consent. What we’d classify as possession would be them tapping into our sensory-motor system, speech, memories etc., whether consensually or not, being able to interact with our external environment through us.

When we’re inviting them into our space (evoke), we’re imposing on them to show some kind of a physical form. It could be a drain on them, and they could also make themselves vulnerable that way, which would be a show of trust from them, definitely not something for us to “demand”. Add to it being bound to a circle or something like that, especially if they can’t go before they’re released… that’s like binding someone to a chair or something, definitely not polite :sweat_smile:

We don’t have personal experience with evocation, but we wouldn’t classify it as “never do this”… rather ask for permission beforehand, and don’t be disappointed if they aren’t up for it on your first date :smile: :revolving_hearts:


Let’s add a little bit of etymology fun… :smile_cat:


I… well, my understanding of the 2 got caught up in the jumble of definitions & uses with some (A LOT) overthinking the 2 terms, so… I don’t tend to use either one because in my head, I can’t sort them out. (I have this information organization thing sometimes & it’s strong with certain things) I speak or ask for help, whether from within, for help or guidance, so I specify which I am asking for while doing any spells, rituals, or ceremonies. I don’t use those particular words because of my worry that I will use them (for lack of a better term right now) wrong & don’t want to offend or do something wrong to or with anyone or anything I am working with… if that makes sense :thinking: :green_salad:

After reading everyone’s responses, I think I have a better understanding & of course, @CelestiaMoon :heart: adding in the etymology helps. Still, now I have too many things for calling :laughing: So I may or may not wind up overthinking & overanalyzing this later today :rofl: I’ll have to come back to this one & reread the responses from everyone.

I’ve also always had trouble with the terms & their differences & similarities as far as my practice is concerned. :smiling_face:


So glad you added this it’s the perfect addition to this topic :smiley_cat::purple_heart:


@crystal59 Awww I’m happy to hear! :smile_cat: :purple_heart:

Oops, didn’t mean to do that! :laughing:

I like to use this approach too, if something is too messy to be useful, I’ll keep it as “understand but don’t use myself” and talk about the things I do my way :sparkling_heart: Sometimes words get loaded with all kinds of meaning that make them hard to use. Here’s some salad of my own :smile_cat: :green_salad:


@Susurrus To keep it simple for my head, I just invite all for tea and cake, they either come or they don’t. I have a simple rule, tidy up after you leave, and don’t scare the family. Apart from that, we’re all good. To date I’ve only let Loki channel through me. (Probably not the safest of deity’s to allow this, but hey ho, I trust him :rofl:) :green_heart:


Yes, I too get caught up in definitions, when the words aren’t necessary. I think just treating deities with kindness and respect is really the goal!

Yes. I get too caught up in worrying about the “proper” way to do things when it’s not really about that! Thank you for the vocabulary lesson! :blush::grin: (I hope that doesn’t sound snarky.

Very lovely :two_hearts: