Summoning a person is usually straight-forward. Call them on the telephone, drop them a note. Faxes and e-mails are instantaneous. If you’re patient, you could show up on their doorstep and await their inevitable arrival home. But how do you summon a spirit?
Straightforward methods exist as well as more complex ones. There are a lot of ways. Ancient theurgists used to call spirits with spinning tops. Some spirits respond if their name is called while others only respond to elaborate spells and rituals. It’s possible to summon generic “benevolent” spirits or summon a specific one by name. It is usually wisest to know exactly whom you’re summoning.
Some traditions consider that it’s safest or necessary to contact a gatekeeper spirit who will then summon the actual spirit for you. Essentially you are summoning a spirit to summon spirits for you. Although whether you choose to do this depends largely upon the tradition you follow, it is a wise practice if you are in the habit of summoning “generic” spirits. Summoning spirits without being very familiar with their identity and personality is a little like living in a very busy metropolis, throwing your front door open and inviting just anyone to enter. Always remember that, as with any guest, it’s easier to invite them in than to ask them to leave.
Gate guardian spirits may be petitioned to only permit benevolent or kind spirits through and bar the gate to malicious spirits. These gate guardians include:
Maria Padilha Pomga Gira
These spirits guard the crossroads, permitting and denying access as they deem fit.
Spirits are summoned via:
*Fragrance: In ancient Egypt, it was believed that every spirit possessed it own characteristic scent, sort of like the ghost in the move “The Uninvited.” The sudden appearance of the fragrance signaled the spirit’s presence. This fragrance becomes a summoning device: when you introduce the fragrance to atmosphere, you’re effectively extending an invitation. General magickal wisdom suggests that beautiful, aromatic fragrance (gardenia, frankincense, sandalwood) summon beautiful, powerful, benevolent spirits. Likewise offensive, foul, malodorous fragrances summon malicious, mean-spirited, malignant, destructive spirit forces.
*Altars on which they recognize themselves: Every spirit has one or more attribute: objects, emblems, birds, animal, minerals or things that represent their power or whose essence they share manipulating these objects like a tableau extends visual invitations. Hence a glass of spring water and a dish of honey beckons Oshun; she is sweet water and honey, each shares the same essence.
*Offerings: In general, spirits are not above bribery but rather consider it their due. Attract their attention and lure them to your side by offering whatever they love, whatever most attracts them and invigorates them.
Element Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells
by Judika Illes