Review of Goetic Evocation by Steve Savedow
Hardback price: £30.00
The new hardback edition of Steve Savedow’s Goetic Evocation by Hadean Press is a welcome re-presentation of a great occult work. Besides being a beautiful hardback book in red cloth binding, containing gold stamp on front and spine, and being printed on quality paper, this edition certainly does justice to an in-depth exploration of the Goetia; presenting its practice, its history and Savedow’s own experiences, which are meticulously detailed. These experiences give a valuable insight into the practical aspects of Goetia, its dangers and its outcomes, and the resulting descriptions of the Demonic Universe make for a fascinating section to the book.
The appendices include a transcript of the Testament of Solomon, taken from the 1898 translated version by Frederick Conybeare, and the work also details the more visual elements of the Goetia such as the individual Sigils of the Goetic Demons and Savedow also includes their respective offices. The book also presents charts and diagrams to instruct the reader, introducing the preparations needed for the performance. The work also offers a guide to each Demon, both in a historical context and in the context of potential practice.
The book references such occultists and practitioners as Aleister Crowley, Samuel MacGregor Mathers, William Wynn Westcott and Arthur Edward Waite, drawing on their historical roles in relation to the history of the Goetia, though its history as part of the Key of Solomon, stretches back further.
The most captivating aspect of the book for me were the experiments, detailing the author’s attempts to invoke certain demons, and after successfully summoning a number of demons, the author gives a description of their world. Perhaps some of us would find this world familiar, having seen it in our dreams or nightmares, but I was curiously drawn to this section of the book and read it numerous times. The book also reminds us of the difficulties of this work; the author conducted 24 experiments over a period of five years, and of these experiments, only ‘on eight occasions, the designated spirits manifested in full form…’
This work is indeed a must read for all interested in the Goetia, if it is just to study its history or to learn its practice. Savedow takes the reader on a journey, acting as guide and teacher, reminding us that ‘The practice of Goetic evocation, however, is a precise and strenuous art.’