A few days back I got an ask about how to contact demons or spirits and where to start. This is a slightly annotated version of that ask’s answer.
Just a head’s up, this is long.
Ah… Book-wise you might want to look into the Seals of Solomon. I don’t tend to deal too much with that sort of thing. There is a list of demon summoning sigils you can look at. Try typing in “sigil summonings” and it’s the first image that pops up in google images. That’s more of the Judeo-Christian slant of things. That’s not really my thing.
No, really guys. If you’ve come here looking for Judeo-Christian demons or what people think of when they think “demon!” I’m not your girl. I’m pretty sure you’ll know more than I will. Head on over to blacktieblackmagick.tumblr.com. Last I checked the blog hadn’t updated but go through the archives. It’s fucking amazing.
As for dealing with more spirit-y demons… Best thing to do is start leaving an offering out when when you do so ask to speak with a spirit/demon/genus loci, etc. Eventually one will make contact. Generally speaking offerings of a spoiled pie or cake (one baked with rotting fruit for instance), honey (clove or raw although wildflower honey attract fae and more herbivorous animal spirits/demons), alcohol (natural is better, like mead, fruit wine, gin, etc), milk (whole is better but whatever you have on hand. Cream or half-and-half is good too), meat, or any combination thereof will garner some attention. You’ll get even more attention at a crossroads or a body of moving water (river, creek, etc.)
Spoiled cake/pie thing I learned from Ginandjack. I remember reading about spoiled cake/pie but he’s the one who recommended I try it last summer. Works like a dream if you’re baking and mischief is running about.
Notice how I always recommended honey and alcohol? Yeah. Fucking nom nom nom. I love me some honey. I buy it in bulk.
Also, there is no way to guarantee a demon or spirit will talk to you. They do what they want.
As a side-bar, I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll say it again. I don’t often differentiate between spirit and demon. Shit, I barely differentiate between fae and spirit. These definitions are far too fluid to be of any serious use for me. Check out my answer to this question for my opinions on this.
It’s a good idea to start thinking what or who you want to work with. There are as many types of spirits or demons are there are stars in the sky. (I’ve even had some things I’d consider fae identify as demon). Certain demons may be attracted to things others wouldn’t be. Fox spirits/demons like puzzles, wine, and playing games, cat spirits/demons like doorways, feathers, and bells. Both are notoriously hard to work with because they don’t stay still. Fox spirits/demons may travel in groups so you might get more than one. Cat spirits/demons are terrific at gathering information but aren’t reliable. At all.
I have fun stories. Also, there are really that many spirits, demons, gods, fae, and other woo~ beings out there. I cannot be convinced otherwise.
There’s a bunch of different techniques I use. Sometimes I use a sword smeared with mugwort oil to see spirits (Agrippa recommends this). Chinese tradition has a bamboo flute carved with the spirit’s name (I personally use a particular tune I wrote to summon certain spirits. My brother had a goblin-esque being come to him when he whistled a particular tune.)
Some of these have been pulled from random knowledge but I remembering seeing at least one of them in Judika Illes’ Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells and Scott Cunningham had something similar to the bamboo one in Magical Household. Either way, these ones are really well know which is why I didn’t source them.
I think my brother named the goblin “Blaze” or “Flame”. I don’t remember. Nice little goblin too. Liked to trip folks.
Mirrors are big gateways. Rubbing blood (a droplet from a scab will do) over a mirror may summon any demons. You can tell if they are near if your pupils turn black. Be careful though, if your house or mirrors aren’t protected they can show up in any reflective surface. Lavender and sandalwood together has been known to attract spirits (I can attest to this. I’ve never run across a spirit that hasn’t liked lavender or sandalwood except ghosts.) Willow trees are attractive to spirits and demons. Mastic and Dittany of Crete are fairly renown for their abilities to summon spirits although these plants might summon ghosts.
My brother and I have fun stories of mirrors. And by fun I mean terrifying.
These are just some of the plants that draw spirits. There’s a fuck-ton out there.
Stay away from iron (some find it distasteful), betony wood (cures water elf-sickness and makes a lot of spirits and demons cringe).
Iron’s a hit or miss. Sometimes it pisses demons and spirits off and sometimes it doesn’t.
Betony wood is pretty much a guarantee in my book to piss off demons and spirits.
I’ve noticed most demons and spirits won’t really reveal themselves to know in the way that’s concrete. They won’t stand up and say “I’m a demon!” They will side-step the question every time. There is some hierarchy. Watch for that. If it introduces itself as a lord or king or something similar get away. These are powerful spirits and demons and can brings greats amount of influence into your life - to the point of destroying everything you hold dear. Sometimes these “ranked” demons are just throwing out the title to sound impressive. It’s better safe then sorry.
This is kind of weirdly stated. By this I mean that a lot of spirits won’t tell you shit. Oh, they talk but they don’t say anything meaningful.
Demons (by my definition) have this kinda hierarchy. By hierarchy I mean some demons will introduce themselves as “lord” or “king” but really they just own some territory and will fuck you up if you get in their way. Like a mamma bear or a honey badger. I don’t also think they say “lord” or “king”. I think our brains come up wit those words on their own.
It’s hard to describe. I’ll keep working on making it make sense.
Many demons and spirits have a certain criteria they are looking for when summoned. Each demon and spirit will be different. Bargaining with them is interesting. Be very careful and think of every loophole you can before making any deals (even something like giving your name). Demons have a tendency to find a loophole and slip out of a deal just to be contrary.
Pretend you owe a whole army of lawyers money. And they really want it back. It’s something like that.
And they really do love fucking with you. It’s a game. Check out the movie Lo on Netflix if you want to see how working with spirits and demons is like.
Typically influence will start with just feeling that something’s around and you’re being watched, studied. Then they’ll test the boundaries - what they can get away with before you banish them. Expect things being misplaced, being knocked over, or broken.
Don’t confuse this with the fae. They feel different. It’s a subtle difference but there.
Carry some sea salt around. If you’re feeling pursued like prey, throw some in the direction of your pursuer, tell them to go away, or cast a circle of salt around you. Magic circles work the same way.
Fucking my advice on everything, ever.
Some links for y’all from my blog:
A Meet in the Woods and wandering spirits. Talking about spirits having get-togethers and happening across them. Perhaps related to the Wild Hunt or Gazu Hyakki Yagyō (The Illustrated Night Parade of a Hundred Demons).
There’s more. Check about amongst all the rubbish I post.
Hope this helps. Let me know if anything interesting happens or if nothing happens.
This stands. If anyone has something interesting happens and wants to talk, let me know.