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Invisibility in Ritual Magic

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...the experts in these things prove, is a consistent system, which has principles known to very few.

Origen (to Celsus) in Against Celsus 1.24


Is It Possible to Become Invisible?

Siddhis, or Magical Powers

The Purpose of Invisibility

Eastern Magic

Ancient Greek Magical Invocations

Gnostic Magic

European Magic

Aleister Crowley's Magic Ritual


Enochian Magic


Is It Possible to Become Invisible?

I am not a magician, so I have no idea if it possible to become invisible with ritual magic. When I was researching the power to become invisible in folklore, I found that a lot of common recipes were actually watered-down version of earlier magical rituals. So I decided to have a look there were rituals for invisibility in ancient and present texts.

Is it possible to become invisible? As I have shown in my article of Human Spontaneous Involuntary Invisibility, there are plenty of cases of people who spontaneously became fully invisible. So we do have an inherent potential, in our subconscious, to evoke an invisibility around us. It is not always easy to figure out if those people remained physical, or if the frequency of their body was raised to such a degree that they were not physical anymore, but were still present in our physical world. This is an area that is still shrouded in mystery.

Throughout the ages and cultures we find different forms of ritual magic used to obtain the power of invisibility. Are they effective? That probably depends on the intention, as the power to become invisible, in one way or another, is present in each one of us.


Siddhis, or Magical Powers

Buddhism, Hinduism and yogic teachings have practices and meditation that eventually leads to enlightenment. The path to enlightenment consist primarily to control oneself, one's inner energies. On this path one also achieves certain capabilities, or magical powers, called Siddhis.

Although they appear to be supernatural, they are actually accessible to all humans. They arise naturally when, through spiritual practices, when the emptiness and openness of the mind is realized. One could also say that a yogin obtains the power of manipulating the energy that underlies reality.

For example, the Ākankheyya Sutta, which is the 6th sutta of the Majjhima Nikāya (in Theravada Buddhism, 3rd to 2nd century BCE)), mentions invisibility as one of the powers gained, in verse 14:

If a Bhikkhu (fully ordained male Buddhist monastic) should desire, Brethren, to exercise one by one each of the different Siddhis, being one to become multiform, being multiform to become one; to become visible, or to become invisible; to go without being stopped to the further side of a wall, or a fence, or a mountain, as if through air; to penetrate up and down through solid ground, as if through water; to walk on the water without dividing it, as if on solid ground; to travel cross-legged through the sky, like the birds on wing; to touch and feel with the hand even the sun and the moon, mighty and powerful though they be; and to reach in the body even up to the heaven of Brahmâ...

We find the mention of the power of invisibility in the Upanishads. The Upanishads are late Vedic Sanskrit texts that supplied the basis of later Hindu philosophy. They are the most recent part of the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, and deal with meditation, philosophy, consciousness, and knowledge about the essence or the nature of being.

The Indian scripture Yoga Tattva Upanishad (approx. from the 12th century) gives instructions for the yogin about different practices. Verses 21-22 tells us that:

One should practice the Mantra along with its Matrikas (proper intonations of the sounds) and others for a period of twelve years;

Then he gradually obtains wisdom along with the Siddhis.

In verse 73-74 we find a reference to invisibility:

Then various wonderful powers are attained by the Yogin, such as clairvoyance, Clair-audience, ability to transport himself to great distances within a moment, great power of speech, ability to take any form, ability to become invisible and the transmutation of iron into gold when the former is smeared over with his excretion.

Real yogis or practitioners on the path to enlightenment do not take slightest pleasure in displaying the siddhis and do not exhibit them in public. So it may appear that such powers are not existing in the world. However, there is enough evidence that people have witnessed or experienced such powers, because sometimes they happen by accident. Those who have mastered a siddhi(s) usually only display them to a trusted disciple.

Siddhis can also be developed without a strive to enlightenment. Because they are inherent to the human being, they can manifest in other ways. Some people possess these abilities by birth, genetically inherited or by way of their karma. In the West we call those people psychic. The ingestion of hallucinogenic plants can also spontaneously trigger a siddhi. Then the power might not be under the control of the individual. Desiring complete control over a siddhi can be gained by the use of magical rituals with the use of mantras or other spiritual disciplines.

Throughout history we see a lot of magical formulas to bring out invisibility.


The Purpose of Invisibility

Why would anyone want to be invisible? To the ordinary person it seems to be an attractive idea. If they would be able to do it, they will, because a non-spiritual person is governed by by his lower emotions. He would like to move among other people unnoticed and hear what they have to say, maybe even enter a house as a voyeur. Criminal people will use such a skill to steal or murder. However, if one remains physical, other people might feel his presence, hear him moving around, even hear his breathing, and even bump into him. Being invisible but still physical, doesn't offer much advantage, unless for committing a murder, as was claimed in some historical accounts or legends. In those day one could get away with it, but nowadays you will always leave some traces that can be picked up by forensics.

It could be used positively to gain some information or to help someone. Even in those cases, if people would know that one can become invisible, one would become shunned. Nobody would trust such a person.

When we look at texts from the ancient world, invisibility was invoked for different purposes:

  • Gods and goddesses gave invisibility when it was not called for by humans.

  • By intention with the use of magic, to make others belief that one has attained the state of divinity.

  • To become or partake in the divine, because divine beings, spirits or gods are themselves invisible.

  • For criminal intent

  • For escape

  • To avoid the perception of people

  • To protect the practitioner from robbers

  • To use in hunting

  • To discover answers to the questions of life

An example of different purposes we find in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri XLVIII (=a group of papyri from 3rd century BC to 640 AD):

... it is possible for him to steal whatever he wanted from the marketplace with impunity, and entering houses to lie with whomever he wanted, as well as to murder and release from bonds whomever he wanted, and to do other things among people, being equal to god.


Eastern Magic

In Eastern Magic the ritual usually consist of a the repetition of a mantra to evoke a spiritual being or the power desired, along with the preparation of a substance. The mantra is essential as it is a powerful sound or vibration that is used to enter a deep state of meditation, and maintain concentration of the object of desire. Mantras amplify one's intention, and they are used in many different religions or cultures around the world.

Neel N., the founder of the website, gives several rare and secret ancient Indian recipes for turning invisible, quoted directly from Indian texts.

The commonality in these practices is ritual to invoke a certain spiritual being who will grant the practitioner the power to become invisible. In some rituals only the use of a mantra and the preparation of a herbal recipe is mentioned. The herbal remedy is then intended to produce a powder to be used as an eyeliner. The eye-liner powder is infused with the energy brought forth by chanting the mantra over a length of time. When applied to the eyes, it makes the person invisible.

Why the use of an eye-liner? Because it makes a connection with the eyes, and thus what is visible or invisible. In magic it is the evoked energy that is important, whatever else is used is a way to focus intent, or to be a carrier of the evoked energy. That is why in magical rituals a wide variety of animals, plants, stones and powder are used, as you will see below.

Neel N. explains that in the Rudrayamala Tantra, a Yaksini appears. Yakshinis are said to be feminine energies that are the custodians of a particular form of energy. A Yaksini can also give the eye-liner to the practitioner, or give another magical object to be used.

Some practices require the ritual to be performed under certain astrological aspects. This is not unusual in magical practices, in order to enhance the energies required.

There is an interesting practice in the Vanaspati Tantra, which is a work on the uses of plants and herbs in Tantric, Medicinal and Magical Experiments, because it involves the use of a parasitic plant that grows on a Bilva tree. After the ritual a shoot of this plant is wound around the right wrist, making the wearer invisible. In the West, parasitic plants, such the mistletoe, were also used for magical purposes, aside from their medicinal properties. Western magical rituals also often invoke spiritual beings, good or evil, and use various objects in the ritual.

True magical ritual, from the east or West, invoke a spiritual being who will bestow the invisibility upon the magician. There are two ways to interpret this. One way is to regard the being as a real being that can transfer an energy or power to the magician. The other way is to regard the being as a personification of an energy or power itself that the magician evokes from the spiritual realms. The spiritual realms in this sense can be regarded as the human collective unconscious in which the power for invisibility (and any other siddhi) is present as a potential. It just needs to be awakened and applied with the right intention and concentration.


Ancient Greek Magical Invocations

The Greek Magical Papyri, as it is commonly known, is an extensive collection of ancient Greco-Roman Egypt magical spells, rituals, remedies, hymns, and myth. Scholars have placed its origin between the 2nd BC and 5th century AC during Roman occupation of Egypt. The diversity in the texts indicates several centuries worth of accumulated magic, written by a variety of magical practitioners. Among its pages are a plethora of love spells, divination spells, protection spells, victory charms, invocations of the gods, revenge spells, and so on. It is good to keep in mind that these texts, were based or derived from Egyptian papyri, reflecting Egyptian practices.

Hans Dieter Betz, the English translator of the Greek Magical Papyri, claims that the texts form a fraction of the magical books that must have existed in antiquity. Many of these pieces of papyrus are pages or fragmentary extracts from spell books, repositories of arcane knowledge and mystical secrets. As far as they have been reconstructed, these books appear to fall into two broad categories: some are compilations of spells and magical writings, gathered by scholarly collectors either out of academic interest or for some kind of study of magic; others may have been the working manuals of travelling magicians, containing their repertoire of spells, formulae for all occasions.

Some of the rituals are designed to evoke a spirit or god, with the use of magical words. These were probably based on real magical rituals. Others only require the preparation of substance. There are a total of ten invisibility spells in the collection.

It is important to understand that the Egyptians regarded magic as a positive action. It was only in later times that magic gained a negative reputation. Magic in ancient Egypt referred to the force and god Heka, who was the god for magic and medicine. The force Heka was a primary and necessary element of creation, used naturally by the gods, and granted as a divine benefit to mankind. The hieroglyphic symbol of Heka means power.

The rituals in the Greek Magical Papyri, are a typical combination of ritual action along with spoken prayers. The rituals often contains 'magical words', a kind of non-human language, that needs to be spoken in the course of the ritual.

The invisibility spells reveal that invisibility is attainable by materially altering the body, or by invoking darkness, or by physically affecting the eyes or perceptions of other people.

Although the original Egyptian priests were skilled magicians, their recipes eventually became distorted when they enter the Greek culture. In his introduction to the Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, Betz tells us: "One must be cautious, however, in making generalizing statements in regard to the figure of the magician in the Greek Magical Papyri. Some of the magicians writing and using spells may have been associated with the temples of Egyptian and Greek deities. According to Egyptian practice, the magician was a resident member of the temple priesthood. Genuine understanding of the older Egyptian and Greek languages and traditions can be assumed in some of the material, but by no means in all instances. There are texts reflecting perhaps a different type of magician, a type we know from the Greek religious milieu. This type of wandering craftsman seems keen to adapt every religious tradition that appeared useful to him, while the knowledge and understanding of what he adopted was characterized by a certain superficiality. This type of magician no longer understood the old languages, although he used remnants of them in transcription. He recited and used what must at one time have been metrically composed hymns; but he no longer recognized the meter, and he spoiled it when he inserted his own material. In the hands of the magicians of this type of this type, the gods of various cults gradually merged, and as their natures became blurred, they often changed into completely different deities. For these magicians there was no longer any cultural difference between the Egyptian and the Greek gods, or between them and the Jewish god and the Jewish angels; and even Jesus was occasionally assimilated into this truly ‘ecumenical’ religious syncretism of the Hellenistic world."


The rituals below are taken from The Greek Magical Papyri In Translation by Hanz Dieter Betz, 1986:

PGM I. 222-31: This is a ritual with spoken words, and instructions for the practitioner to anoint his body. Helios, the sun-god is addressed. The invisibility lasts until the setting of the sun:

 Indispensable invisibility spell: Take fat or an eye of a small nightowl and a ball of dung rolled by a scarab beetle and oil of an unripe olive and grind them all together until smooth, and smear your whole body with it and say to Helios: “I adjure you by your great name, BORKÊ PHOIOUR IÕ ZIZIA APARXEOUCH THTHE LALIAM AAAAAA IIIII OOOO IEÕ IEÕ IEÕ IEÕ IEÕ IEÕ IEÕ NAUNAX AI AI AEÕ AEÕ EAÕ,” and moisten it and say in addition: “Make me invisible, lord Helios, AEÕ ÕAÊ EIÊ ÊAÕ, in the presence of any man until sunset, IÕ IÕ Õ PHRIXRIZÕ EÕA.”

PGM I. 247-62: Ritual with spoken words, but here an infernal daimon is summoned. A balm is to be prepared to anoint the forehead. Here the practitioner will be invisible for as long as he wishes.

Tested spell for invisibility: A great work. Take an eye of an ape or of a corpse that has died a violent death and grind it with oil of lily and some aglaophatis plant, ie. the rose. Rub these with oil of lily, and as you are rubbing them from the right to the left, say the spell as follows: “I am ANUBIS, I am OSIRIS-RE, I am O SOT SORONOUIER, I am OSIRIS whom SETH destroyed. Rise up infernal daimon, IÕ ERBETH IÕ PHOBETH IÕ PAKERBETH IÕ APOMPS; whatever I, NN, order you to do be obedient to me.” And if you wish to become invisible, rub just your face with the concoction, and you will be invisible for as long as you wish. And if you wish to be visible again, move from west to east and say this name, and you will be obvious and visible to all men. The name is: MARMARIAÕTH MARMARIPHENGE, make me, NN, visible to all men on this day, immediately, immediately; quickly, quickly!” This works very well.

PGM V. 459-89: An invocations of a daimon that provides invisibility among other requests:

 Another way: "I call upon you who created I earth and bones and all flesh and all spirit and who established the sea and suspended (?) the heavens, who separated the light from the darkness, the Supreme Intelligence" l who lawfully administrates all things. Eternal Eye, Daimon of daimons, god of gods, the lord of the spirits, the invariable AION IAO OYEI, hear my voice. I "I call upon you, master of the gods, high-thundering Zeus, sovereign Zeus, ADONAI, lord IAO 0YEE; I am he who calls upon you, great god in Syrian: 'ZAA LAERIPHPHOU, and you must not ignore my voice (in Hebrew: 'ABLANATHANALBA ABRASILOA'); for I am S1LTHACHOOUCH LAILAM BLASALOTH IAO IEO 480 NEBOUTH SABIOTH ARROTH ARBATHIAO IAOTH SABAOTH PA/TOURE ZAGOURE BAROUCH ADONAI ELOAI ABRAAM BARBARAUO NAUSIPH, high-minded one, Immortal, who possess the crown of the whole [world], SIEPE SAKTIETE BIOU BIOU SPHE SPHE NOUSI NOUSI / SIETHO SIETHO CHTHETHONI RIGCH OEA E EOA AOE IAO ASIAL SARAPI OLSO ETHMOURESINI SEM LAU LOU LOURIGCH." It loosens shackles, makes invisible, sends dreams; [it is] a spell for gaining favor. 

PGM VII.619-27: This is a short spell said to have come from a book entitled The Diadem of Moses. It is comprised of ritual acts but no invokaction a spirit of god. It can also be used as a love spell:

 From “The Diadem of Moses” Take the Plant Snapdragon (also called dog flower) and hold it under your Tongue while lying asleep. And rise early and before you speak to Anyone recite the Names, and you will be Invisible to Everyone. But when you say them over Drinking Cups and give them to a Woman, she will love you, since this Spell has Power over Everything: “ARESKILLIOUS THOUDALESAI KRAMMASI CHAMMAR MOULABO'TH LAUABAR CHOUPHAR PHOR PHO'RBAO' SACHI HARBACH MACHIMASO' IAO' SABAO'TH ADO'NAI.” For what you wish, say: “Get her, NN, for me, NN”.

PGM XIII. 1-343: This particular spell provides directions for an invisibility amulet, an amulet to be made from a gilded falcon’s egg smeared with cinnabar. Wearing it, the practitioner is said to be made invisible after saying an unstated sacred name that has already been revealed to the practitioner:

 GOD/GODS. A sacred book called "Unique"' or "Eighth Book of Moses," concerning the holy Name ...The first, then, [of these uses] is the marvelous [spell for] invisibility: Taking the egg of a falcon, gild half of it and smear the other half with cinnabar. Wearing this you will be invisible when you say the Name.

PGM XIII. 267-269: A short spell:

And (a spell) of invisibility (is) as follows: “Come to me, first-appearing darkness, and hide me by order of the one who is self-begotten in heaven, the sun disk.” Say the name.

Here is an invisibility spell from the Oxyrhynchus Papyri XLVIII.3931 (=a group of papyri from 3rd century BC to 640 AD) in which the practitioner is targeting the eyes of others in order to go unnoticed. The spell is directed to an unnamed deity:

To make a person invisible: I call upon the spirit that pervades from earth to heaven, almighty god of the spirit gods(?). Assesouo. Dim every eye of man or woman. I shall press hard until I do all that I want, and I say (to you?), Choreith(?), listen to me, (you?) who are in charge of the universe. Alcme. Ruler of the sea, you who are in charge of the night.


Gnostic Magic

Manichaeism was a major religion founded in the 3rd century AD by the prophet Mani (216–274 AD), in the Iranian Empire. Its beliefs were based on local Mesopotamian religious movements and Gnosticism. Manichaeism was strongly against magic rituals, but surviving Manichaean magical ritual texts show that it was well practiced among its members.

The Kephalaia are a genre of Manichaean literature represented mainly by two large papyrus codices containing Coptic translations from 5th century Roman Egypt. In the Kephalaia there are two references to spells for invisibility.

One needs to understand that in Manichaeism the invisibility spell is one of the abilities the King of Darkness has, and thus whoever uses such a spell will bind himself to him. The King of Darkness rules the World of Darkness as opposed to the the father of Greatness who rules over the Kingdom of Light. Magic was seen as having its source in the King of Darkness, and thus it was regarded as a forbidden practice. The text applies to both the King of Darkness (being invisible to his dark companions) and to the human magician (being invisible to his human companions).

[ ... ] refers to missing words in the original text.

The second, that he wounds and kills by the word of his magic arts. His recitation and hearing, all his foolish instruction, make magic and invocations for him. When it pleases him, he can make an invocation over himself, and by his magic arts be hidden from his companions. Again, when it pleases him, he can be manifested over his powers and appear to them; so that these enchantments nowadays, which people utilise (?) [ ... ] this world, are the mysteries of the King of Darkness. Concerning this, I command you all the time: Keep away from the magic arts and enchantments of darkness! For any person who will be taught them, and who does and accomplishes them; at the last, in the place where will be bound the King of the realms of Darkness with his powers, there they will bind that one also, the soul of whoever has lived freely among them and walked in the magic arts of error. Whether it is a man or a woman, this is the sentence given, cut [ ...] from God's judgement, that whoever will [ ...] with their King. (part 6)

Again a reference to the King of Darkness. Here the term 'his powers' refer to his companions:

The second: Shall a [ ... ] his magic arts. When he wishes, he shall make an invocation over himself, and hide from his powers. When he wants, he shall show himself to them and strike a death-blow by his magic arts. Any word he might utter at that moment, he shall wreak magic by it. (part 27)


European Magic

Necromancy is the use of black magic. It varies from the mundane to the grotesque. Rituals could be quite elaborate, involving magic circles, wands, talismans, and incantations. In the Middle Ages, it was regarded as conjuring demons who took the appearance of spirits. Necromancers were supposed to have a basic knowledge of Latin, ritual and doctrine.

The Munich Manual of Demonic Magic or Liber incantationum, exorcismorum et fascinationum variarum) in Clm 849 of the Bavarian State Library, Munich. This Latin manuscript is from the first half of the 15th century, of unknown provenance.

The Munich Manual of Demonic Magic contains a rather elaborate ritual to gain invisibility by conjuring spirits and obtaining a Cap of Invisibility from them.

(I translated the original Latin text with Google-Translate; original Latin text came from Richard Kieckhefer's book A Necromancer’s Manual of the Fifteenth Century, 1998):

No. 11. For invisibility (fols 28r–29v)

I will also discuss the art of invisibility, which today seems to be unknown to everyone. When therefore you wish to be seen in all things, both reasonable and not, invisible and insensible, first, when the moon is waxing on Wednesday, in the first hour of the day, having been chaste for three days before, and having shaved your hair and beard, and wearing white, outside the village in a secret place, in the clear sky, on the plain ground, with the most splendid sword make a circle that appears here, writing these names [and] everything appears there with them. When this is done, draw towards the west over Firiel's said sword. And when you have fixed it, you must have a vessel in which there is fire with frankincense, myrrh, and other incense, and with their smoke go round the circle, infusing it, beginning at Fyriel and ending there. When this is done, have blessed water and sprinkle yourself and the circle, saying, Sprinkle me, sir, with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I shall be white over the snow [Ps. 50:9 Vulg.]. When this is done, willingly bending your knees towards the west, in a loud voice, say thus:

I, such, conjure you, O Fyriel, Mememil, Berith, [and] Taraor, powerful, magnificent, and illustrious spirits, in whom I trust completely,

through the one, inseparable, and individual trinity, that is, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit
• and by God alone, living, and true, who formed all things out of nothing, and to whom they are subject
are all things, heavenly, terrestrial, and infernal,
• through heaven and earth, sea and hell, and all things in them,
• and through all your princes, kings, and masters
• and through that god whom you fear and adore,
• and by all that they have [the power] to terrify, constrain, and bind you, and whose You must fulfill the commandment completely, inasmuch as you must all come here with the greatest humility, bound, constrained, and sworn to command the execution of whatever I ask of you. Come without delay; come, because I am calling you from the Father, I am calling you from the Son, I am calling you from the Holy Spirit.

With this invocation said four times, namely once towards Firiel, once towards Melemil and towards Berith and Tarator, 4 or spirits will suddenly appear in a circle, saying to you, 'Tell us what you want, and we will obey you fully.' , that it should be thin and incorruptible, so that when I am clothed, no one will be able to see or feel me.' They will answer that they cannot give you if you do not first give them your list of clothes; to whom you give, and when you give to them, they themselves will give you a cap. One of them will immediately put on the clothes given to them; in the same way you immediately put on the cap. When you are clothed, you will say to those spirits, 'Depart in peace,' and they will immediately depart. And when they are gone, you must release the circle by striking the sword. Thirdly, by God, return thither with the cap, and you will find your clothes, which you will receive. For remember, if you do not return on the third day itself, or if you do not receive your clothing that was left there, you will not find any on the fourth day, but you will die in seven days. For on the third day after receiving it, you shall burn it in the same place. And know that when you burn it yourself you will hear the loudest cries and complaints. And when you burn, sprinkle the ashes through the air, saying thus:

I conspire with you, Firiel, Melemil, Berith, [and] Taraor,
• through your strength and power,
• and through all that they have power against you,
for you have neither the courage nor the power to hurt me with this cap, but
May Jesus Christ protect and defend me forever and ever. Amen.

Having said this, you should have blessed water and sprinkle the said cap, yes

I conjure you, cap,
• through the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
• and through this water,
for whenever I am clothed with you, no one will be able to feel or see me, through our Lord Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, who lived and reigns throughout all ages of ages. Amen.


The Lesser Key of Solomon, also known as Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis, or simply Lemegeton, is an anonymous grimoire on demonology. It was compiled in the mid 17th century, mostly from materials a couple of centuries older. It contains five books. The first Book of Ars Goetia contains the name of demons with descriptions. There are four demons that can be summoned to become invisible (text from 1916 edition):

(1.) Bael. — The First Principal Spirit is a King ruling in the East, called Bael. He maketh thee to go Invisible. He ruleth over 66 Legions of Infernal Spirits. He appeareth in divers shapes, sometimes like a Cat, sometimes like a Toad, and sometimes like a Man, and sometimes all these forms at once. He speaketh hoarsely. This is his character which is used to be worn as a Lamen before him who calleth him forth, or else he will not do thee homage.

(25.) Glasya-Labolas.—The Twenty-fifth Spirit is Glasya-Labolas. He is a Mighty President and Earl, and showeth himself in the form of a Dog with Wings like a Gryphon. He teacheth all Arts and Sciences in an instant, and is an Author of Bloodshed and Manslaughter. He teacheth all things Past, and to Come. If desired he causeth the love both of Friends and of Foes. He can make a Man to go Invisible. And he hath under his command 36 Legions of Spirits.

(31.) Foras.—The Thirty-first Spirit is Foras. He is a Mighty President, and appeareth in the Form of a Strong Man in Human Shape. He can give the understanding to Men how they may know the Virtues of all Herbs and Precious Stones. He teacheth the Arts of Logic and Ethics in all their parts. If desired he maketh men invisible,1 and to live long, and to be eloquent. He can discover Treasures and recover things Lost. He ruleth over 29 Legions of Spirits.

(51.) Balam. — The Fifty-first Spirit is Balam or Balaam. He is a Terrible, Great, and Powerful King. He appeareth with three Heads : the first is like that of a Bull ; the second is like that of a Man ; the third is like that of a Ram. He hath the Tail of a Serpent, and Flaming Eyes. He rideth upon a furious Bear, and carrieth a Boshawk upon his Fist. He speaketh with a hoarse Voice, giving True Answers of Things Past, Present, and to Come. He maketh men to go Invisible, and also to be Witty. He governeth 40 Legions of Spirits.


Grimoirium Verum or The True Grimoire, The Most Approved Keys, of Solomon, The Hebrew Rabbi, is also a grimoire, originally published in the 18th century, but was claimed to have been published for the first time in 1517. The material shows influences from Lemegeton. It also includes the Admirable Secrets of the pseudo-Albertus Magnus, or Little Albert, which appear in other later grimoires. The Grimorium Verum has its own set of demons, Demons, who number 30 and who report to three leaders, Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Astaroth.

The Second Book in the grimorium gives a list of names of daemons and a short description. Two of them can give invisibility:

MORAIL can make anything invisible.

PENTAGNONY, who is a subordinate of Sergulath, gives the two benefits of attaining invisibility and the love of great lords.

Under the chapter of Rare & Surprising Magical Secrets, we find a ritual for invisibility:

To Make oneself Invisible.

Collect seven black beans. Start the rite on a Wednesday, before sunrise. Then take the head of a dead man, and put one of the black beans in his mouth, two in his eyes and two in his ears. Then make upon his head the character of Morail.

When you have done this, bury the head, with the face upwards, and for nine days, before
sunrise, water it each morning with excellent brandy. On the eighth day you will find the spirit mentioned, who will say to you: "What wilt thou?"

You will reply: "I am watering my plant." Then the spirit will say: "Give me the bottle, I desire to water it myself." In answer, refuse him this, even though he will ask you again.

Then he will reach out with his hand, and will display to you that same figure which you have drawn upon the head. Now you can be sure that it is the right spirit, the spirit of the head. There is a danger that another one might try to trick you, which would have evil
consequences—and in that case your operation would not succeed.

Then you may give him the bottle, and he will water the head and leave. On the next day -- which is the ninth-- when you return, you will find the beans that are germinating. Take them and put them in your mouth, and look at yourself in the mirror. If you can see nothing, it is well. Test the others in the same way, either in your own mouth, or in that of a child. Those which do not confer invisibility are to be reburied with the head.


The Key of Solomon (Clavicula Salomonis, also known as The Greater Key of Solomon) is a grimoire attributed to King Solomon. It probably dates back to the 14th or 15th century Italian Renaissance. It presents a typical example of Renaissance magic. Several versions of the Key of Solomon exist, in various translations, with minor to significant differences.

One such variation is in the Bibliothéque de Arsenal. It is an 18th century manuscript (No. 2350) entitled Le Secret des secrets, autrement la Clavicule de Salomon ou le veritable Grimoire. Chapter 5 of this work expounds a secret of invisibility. Grillot de Givry (1874–1929), a French occultist and writer, gives us the secret in his book Witchcraft Magic and Alchemy:

Armed with this, sorcerers could join gatherings or enter houses without any suspecting their presence. No doubt many of my readers will be eager to know this secret; here it is—just the repetition of the following prayer:

Athal, Bathel, Nothe, Jhoram, Asey, Cleyungit, Gabellin, Semeney, Mencheno, Bal, Labenenten, Nero, Meclap, Helateroy, Palcin, Timgimiel, Plegas, Peneme, Fruora, Hean, Ha, Ararna, Avira, Ayla, Seye, Peremies, Seney, Levesso, Huay, Baruchalu, Acuth, Tural, Buchard, Caratim, per misericordiam abibit ergo mortale perficiat qua hoc opus ut invisibiliter ire possim.

The manuscript tells us that at this point, if it is considered opportune, certain characters may be written in bat’s blood and a conjuration performed, but this is quite discretionary; the essential thing is to continue the prayer thus:

O tu Pontation, Magister invisibilitatis cum Magistris tuis, Tenem, Musach, Motagren, Bries vel Brys, Domedis, Ugemal, Abdita, Patribisib, Tangadentet, Ciclap, Clinet, Z, Succentat, Colleig, Bereith et Plintia, Gastaril, Oletel, conjuro te Pontation, et ipsos Ministros invisibilitatis per illum qui contremere facit orbem per Ccelum et terram, Cherubim et Seraphim et per illum qui generare fecit in virgine et Deus est cum homine, ut hoc experimentum perfecte perficiam, est in quecumque hora voluero, sim invisibilis; Iterum conjuro te et tuos Ministros, pro Stabuches et Mecherom, Ulrich Molitor, De Laniis et phitonicis mulieribus. Esey Enitgiga, Bellis, Semonei, ut Statim venias cum dictis ministris tuis et perficias hoc opus sicut scitis, et hoc experimentum me invisibilem faciat, ut nemo me videat. Amen.

The manuscript rightly adds: “Note that it is absolutely necessary to know the above principles!” It does not say—but it goes without saying—that these prayers are not efficacious unless said in Latin. A version in the vulgar tongue would have no influence over the occult powers surrounding us. I give a translation of this beautiful conjuration all the same, in case some of my readers should not get the sense of it quite easily :

O thou, Pontation! master of invisibility, with thy masters [here follow the names of the masters], I conjure thee, Pontation, and these same masters of invisibility, by Him Who makes the universe tremble, by Heaven and Earth, Cherubim and Seraphim, and by Him Who made the Virgin conceive and Who is God and Man, that I may accomplish this experiment in perfectibility, in such sort that at any hour I desire I may be invisible; again I conjure thee and thy ministers also, by Stabuches and Mecherom, Esey, Enitgiga, Bellis, and Semonei, that thou come straightway with thy said ministers and that thou perform this work as you all know how, and that this experiment may make me invisible, in such wise that no one may see me. Amen.

It is also very easy, according to several Black-books, to become invisible by carrying the heart of a bat, a black hen, or a frog under the right arm. A more elegant method is to wear the Ring of Gyges on your finger; you can then become visible or invisible at will simply by turning the stone inward or outward. This ring must be made of fixed mercury; it must be set with a little stone to be found in a lapwing’s nest, and round the stone must be engraved the words, “Jésus passant & par le milieu d’eux & s’en allait.” (Jesus, passing through the midst of them, went his way. (Luke iv, 30)) You must put the ring on your finger, and if you look at yourself in a mirror and cannot see the ring it is a sure sign that it has been successfully manufactured.

The last part is Givry's own comment and reflect the existing folklore of his time. The ring of Gyges is based on a story in Plato's Republic. The fixed mercury composition of the ring, engraving and the use of a stone, is a later invention.


Aleister Crowley's Magic Ritual

Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and even a mountaineer. In 1898, he joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in ceremonial magic. He was a a prolific author of poetry, novels, and occult literature. 1912 he was initiated into another esoteric order, the German-based Ordo Templi Orientis.

Crowley was an experienced magician. He was not a Satanist as some people claim. He did get a lot of controversy because of his open minded ideas and practices that were in conflict with the societal norms and rules of his time. Ronald Edmund Hutton, an English historian, said that: "To [Crowley] the greatest aim of the magician was to merge with a higher power connected to the wellsprings of the universe, but he did not trouble himself too much to define that power consistently; sometimes it was God, sometimes the One, sometimes a goddess, and sometimes one's own Holy Guardian Angel or higher self. In the last analysis he was content for the nature of divinity to remain a mystery."

In his book Confessions of Aleister Crowley, An Autobiography, (1929), on page 203, he talks briefly about an experiment he conducted for becoming invisible:

I worked also at acquiring the power of invisibility. (See The Equinox, vol. I, no. III, p. 272 for the ritual.) I reached a point when my physical reflection in a mirror became faint and flickering. It gave very much the effect of the interrupted images of the cinematograph in its early days. But the real secret of invisibility is not concerned with the laws of optics at all; the trick is to prevent people noticing you when they would normally do so. In this I was quite successful. For example, I was able to take a walk in the street in a golden crown and a scarlet robe without attracting attention.

As he mentioned in this paragraph, the ritual appears in his magazine The Equinox, vol. I, no. III. It was also published in the book The Golden Dawn (1941) by Israel Regardie, page 389:




A. The shroud of Concealment.

B. The Magician.

C. The guards of concealment.

D. The astral light to be moulded into the Shroud.

E. The equation of the symbols in the sphere of sensation.

F. The Invocation of the Higher: the placing of a Barrier without the Astral Form: the clothing of the same with obscurity through the proper invocation.

G. Formulating clearly the idea of becoming invisible: the formulation of the exact distance at which the shroud should surround the physical body; the consecration with water and fire so that their vapour may begin to form a basis for the shroud. {157}

H. The beginning to formulate mentally a shroud of concealment about the operator. The affirmation aloud of the reason and object of the working.

I. Announcement that all is ready for the commencement of the operation. Operator stands in the place of the Hierophant at this stage: placing his left hand in the centre of the triangle, and holding in his right the Lotus Wand by the black end, in readiness to concentrate around him the Shroud of Darkness and Mystery. (N.B. — In this operation as in the two others under the dominion of ש a pantacle or Telesma, suitable to the matter in hand, may be made use of: the which is treated as is directed for Telesmata.)

J. The operator now recites an exorcism of a shroud of Darkness to surround him and render him invisible, and holding the wand by the black end, let him, turning round thrice completely, describe a triple circle around him, saying: “In the name of the Lord of the Universe,” &c. “I conjure thee, O Shroud of Darkness and of Mystery, that thou encirclest me, so that I may become Invisible: so that, seeing me, men may see not, neither understand; but that they may see the thing that they see not, and comprehend not the thing that they behold! So mote it be!”

K. Now move to the North, face East, and say: “I have set my feet in the North, and have said, 'I will shroud myself in Mystery and in Concealment.'” Then repeat the oration: “The voice of my Higher soul,” &c., and command the Mystic Circumambulation.

L. Move round as usual to the South, and halt, formulating thyself as shrouded in Darkness: on the right hand the pillar of fire, on the left the pillar of cloud: both reaching from darkness to the glory of the Heavens.

M. Now move from between these pillars which thou hast formulated to the West, and say: “Invisible I cannot pass by the Gate of the Invisible save by virtue of the name of 'Darkness.'” Then formulate forcibly about thee the shroud of Darkness, and say: “Darkness is my name, and concealment: I am the Great One Invisible of the paths of the Shades. I am without fear, though veiled in Darkness; for within me though unseen is the Magic of the Light!”

N. Repeat processes in L.

O. Repeat processes in M, but say: “I am Light shrouded in Darkness, I am the wielder of the forces of the Balance.”

P. Now concentrating mentally about thee the shroud of concealment pass to the West of the altar in the place of the Neophyte, face East, remain standing, and rehearse a conjuration by suitable names for the formulation of a shroud of Invisibility around and about thee.

Q. Now address the Shroud of Darkness thus: “Shroud of Concealment, long hast thou dwelt concealed! quit the light; that thou mayest conceal me before men!” Then carefully formulate the shroud of concealment around thee and say, “I receive thee as a covering and as a guard.”

Then the Mystic Words.

R. Still formulating the shroud say: “Before all magical manifestation cometh the knowledge of the Hidden Light.” Then move to the Pillars and give the signs and steps, words, &c. With the Sign Enterer project now thy whole will in one great effort to realise thyself actually fading out and becoming invisible to mortal eyes: and in doing this must thou obtain the effect of thy physical body actually, gradually becoming partially invisible to thy natural eyes: as though a veil or cloud were formulating between it and thee. (And be very careful not to lose self-control at this point.) But also at this point is there a certain Divine Extasis and an exaltation desirable: for herein is a sensation of an exalted strength.

S. Again formulate the shroud as concealing thee and enveloping thee, and thus wrapped up therein circumambulate the circle thrice.

T. Intensely formulating the shroud, stand at the East and proclaim, “Thus have I formulated unto myself this Shroud of Darkness and of Mystery, as a concealment and a guard.”

U. Now rehearse an invocation of all the Divine Names of Binah; that thou mayest retain the Shroud of Darkness under thy own proper control and guidance.

V. Now state clearly to the shroud what it is thy desire to perform therewith.

W. Having obtained the desired effect, and gone about invisible, it is requisite that thou shouldst conjure the forces of the Light to act against that Shroud of Darkness and Mystery, so as to disintegrate it, lest any force seek to use it as a medium for an obsession, &c. Therefore rehearse a conjuration as aforesaid, and then open the Shroud and come forth out of the midst thereof, and then disintegrate that shroud by the use of a conjuration unto the forces of Binah, to disintegrate and scatter the particles thereof; but affirming that they shall again be readily attracted at thy command. But on no account must that shroud of awful Mystery be left without such disintegration; seeing that it would speedily attract an occupant: which would become a terrible vampire preying upon him who had called it into being. And after frequent rehearsals of this operation, the thing may be almost done per nutum.



Rosicrucianism is a spiritual and cultural movement that arose in Europe in the early 17th century when a claim was made of the existence of a secret esoteric order. Their teachings are a combination of Kabbalah, Hermeticism, alchemy, and Christian mysticism. In later centuries other Rosicrucian orders were established. Ritual magic was and is practiced among their members, although not much of it is known.

Right at the start we find a connection between Rosicrucianism and a ritual for invisibility, although it is only from hearsay. John Aubrey (1626-1697) was an antiquary, natural philosopher and writer. He was also a pioneer folklorist, collecting together a miscellany of material on customs, traditions and beliefs under the title Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme (written up between 1687 and 1689; now in in the British Library, as Lansdowne MS 231). He gives the following recipe in his book Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme:

Take on Midsummer night at xii, when all the planets are above the earth, a serpent, and kill him, and skinne him, and dry him in the shade, and bring it to a powder. Hold it in your hand, and you will be invisible. This Receit is in Johannes de Florentia (a Rosycrusian) a booke in 8° in high Dutch. Dr. Ridgeley the Physitian hath it, who told me of this.

It is obviously only part of a more elaborate ritual.

Pat Zalewski mentions in his book Secret Inner Order Rituals Of The Golden Dawn (1986) a Ritual of Invisibility, but does not give the ritual itself.

In The Works of Thomas Vaughan: Eugenius Philalethes by Thomas Vaughan (1621-1666), edited by Arthur Edward Waite in 1919, we find a rather strange mention to a cloud that renders invisibility, and the claim that the Rosicrucians knew how to use this cloud, or mist.

"The Wise-men" -saith Apollonius- "dwelt on a little Hill, or Mount, and on the Hill there rested always a Cloud, in which the Indians housed themselves (for so the word signifies,) and here did they render themselves visible or invisible, at their own will and discretion." This Secret of Invisibility was not known to the Dutch Boor, nor to his Plagiary, the Author of the Manna: but the Fraternity of R. C. can move in this white Mist.

The quote come from The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, by Philostratus (220 AD), chapter The Habitation of the Indian Sages:

And they say that they saw a cloud floating round the eminence on which the Indians live and render themselves visible or invisible at will. Whether there were any other gates to the eminence they say they did not know; for the cloud around it did not anywhere allow them to be seen, whether there was an opening in the rampart, or whether on the other hand it was a close-shut fortress.


MacGregor Mathers (1854–1918) was a British occultist. He is primarily known as one of the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which incorporates ceremonial magic. Much of the hierarchical structure for the Golden Dawn came from the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, which was itself derived from the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross. In his The Book Of The Sacred Magic Of Abra-melin The Mage  (page147) we find a ritual for invisibility:

Chapter XIV. (The Twelve Symbols for the Twelve Hours of the Day and of the Night, to render oneself Invisible unto every person.)

To render oneself invisible is a very easy matter, but it is not altogether permissible, because that by such a means we can annoy our neighbour in his (daily) life, for we can easily employ the same for producing various effects, and we can also work an infinitude of evils (here- with). But, honestly speaking, we must not do the latter, such being expressly forbidden by God. This is wherefore I entreat you to avail yourself hereof always for a good and never for an evil end! You have in this Chapter Twelve Symbols, for Twelve different Spirits submitted unto Prince Magot; Who are all of the same force. You should put the Symbol (upon the top of your head) under the hat or bonnet, and then you will become invisible; while on taking it away, you will appear visible again.

The symbols are given on page 198-200. They consists of squares with letters and arcane words.


Enochian Magic

Enochian magic is a system of ceremonial magic based on the 16th-century writings of John Dee and Edward Kelley, who wrote that their information, including the revealed Enochian language, was delivered to them directly by various angels. Dee's journals contain the record of these workings, the Enochian script, and the tables of correspondences used in Enochian magic. The rediscovery of Dee and Kelley's material by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the 1880s led to Mathers developing the material into a comprehensive system of ceremonial magic. Enochian magic is often considered strikingly complex. I have saved the Enochian ritual for last because it is so long and complex.

It is found in the book Advanced Guide To Enochian Magick (1992) by Gerald J. Schueler:

Enochian Ritual for Invisibility

The following Enochian version of the Golden Dawn's
Invisibility Ritual is for use by advanced magicians to bring
about a temporary state of invisibility. After some degree of success
in a magical environment (robe, weapons, instruments, magick
circle, and so on) the advanced magician can use the basic
techniques employed to mentally invoke a condition of
temporary invisibility at any time. All names in this ritual should
be vibrated when pronounced.

STEP 1. The Preparation. Wear your black robe. Consecrate a
circle with your Wand. On your Altar, position talismans of the
four Watchtowers and the Tablet of Union in such a way that
you face the Magical Universe.

STEP 2. The Invocation. In turn, invoke the forces of the four Kings of
the Watchtowers. A method of invoking Kings is given in
Enochian Magic.

STEP 3. The Charge. Hold your Wand in your right hand. Face
the Magical Universe on your Altar and say:

In the name of KAOS (Kah-oh-seh)
And the name of KOZMOS (Koh-zod-moh-seh)
With the 92 Governors Of the
30 Aethyrs, I invoke your
I charge you, 0 Light Invisible,
And Light Intangible, Whereupon
all thoughts
And deeds of all men are written,
I charge you, by all the Symbols
And Words of Power,
By the light of my Godhead;
That you leave your places of habitation
And concentrate around me, Invisible, Intangible;
A Shroud of Darkness, A
Formula of Defense;
That I may become invisible, So
that seeing me,
Men see not,
Nor understand the thing that they behold. Visualize the
dualistic forces of Chaos to be surrounding your body and
coalescing into a dark cloud.

 Then say,

Lady of Darkness,
Who dwells in the Night Which no man
may approach
Wherein is Mystery and Depth unthinkable
And awful Silence:
I charge you,
In the name of Infinite Space, The
Lady NUIT (Nu-ee-teh), To grant my
Clothe me with yyourVeil Woven from
that silent Darkness That surrounds
your abode Of Eternal Rest,
O Goddess of the Night Sky; Our
Lady NUIT (Nu-ee-teh).
Feel the dark cloud surrounding you intensify as you vibrate the
name of the goddess, NUIT (Nu-ee-teh).

STEP 4. The Governors of Paz. Rise in your Body of Light to the
furth Aethyr, PAZ, and address the three Governors
as follows:

O THOTANF, (Teh-hoh-tah-neff) [trace
her sigil before you] She whose coming
means Victory;
BAMS, BAMS, BAMS (Bah-meh-seh)
By your power, all those who see me Will
forget the seeing, That I may pass by
O AXZIARG, (Ahtz-zodee-ah-rah-geh) [trace his
sigil before you]
He whose Name is Flame;
(Oh-veh-heh-hoh Oh-oh-ah-oh-nah) By your
power, all those who see me Will confound their
eyes, That I may pass by unnoticed.
O POTHNIR, (Poh-teh-henee-ar)
[trace his sigil before you] Son of
the Three-fold Throne;
MAZBA ORS (Mah-zod-bah Oh-rah-seh)
By your power, all those who look upon me
Will see your Robe of Darkness That I
may pass by unnoticed.

STEP 5. The Formulation. Face the three Governors of PAZ and say,

Thus do I formulate a barrier
Without my astral form
That it may be to me a Wall
And as a Fortress,
And I now declare that it is so formulated,
To be a basis and receptacle
For the Shroud of Darkness,
The Egg of Blue
Which is wrapt around my physical form. Thus do I
charge you,
Collect yourselves about me,
And clothe this my astral form
With an Egg of Blue, A Shroud of Darkness,
And shroud my form in your substantial Night.
Clothe me and hide me, But at
my control. Darken man's
eyes That he see me not.
Gather at my Word,
For you are the Watchers,
And my soul is the Shrine.
Now I wear a Robe of Night,
A shroud to blacken out the Light
To repel eyes,
And confound sight.
Clearly visualize a Shroud of Darkness enveloping you at a
distance of 18 inches from the surface of your body.

STEP 6. The Shroud. Know this Shroud of Darkness to be under
your control, ready to be dispersed and re-formed at your Word.
Then further charge these Governors:

By the power of the words
OVKHO EXARP (Oh-veh-keh-hoh Eh-tzar-peh) I
charge you,
Governors of PAZ (Pah-zod)
To confound the Air
About my body
For as long as I have need of it.
OVKHO EXARP (Oh-veh-keh-hoh Eh-tzar-peh) In
the name of EXARP (Eh-tzar-peh)
In the name of HKOMA (Heh-koh-mah)
In the name of NANTA (Nah-en-tah)
In the name of BITOM (Bee-toh-meh)
I charge you
And I invoke the Shroud of Concealment.
Gather together,
O Flakes of Astral Light, To shroud my form
In your substantial Night.

STEP 7. The Practice. Let your Body of Light enter into you physical
body. Feel the Shroud of Darkness surrounding you.

Face the North and say,
I have shrouded myself
In mystery and concealment. May I enter the
Path of Darkness. I am the only being
In an Abyss of Darkness.
Face the West and say,
Invisible, I now pass by
The Gate of the Invisible
By virtue of the Name of Darkness.
Darkness is my Name.
I am the Great One,
Invisible on the Paths of the Shades.
Face the East and say,
Invisible, I now pass by
The Gate of the Invisible
By virtue of the Name of Light.
I am Light shrouded in Darkness. I am the
Of the forces of the Great Balance.
Face the South and say,
Thus have I formulated
This Shroud of Darkness and of Mystery As a
concealment and a guard.
I am concealed from the eyes of all men,
From all things
Of Sight and Sense. STEP 8. The Banishment. After invoking and using the
Shroud of Darkness, banish it by saying:
0 Shroud of Darkness and of Mystery
Which has well served my purpose,
You may now depart to your ancient ways.
But be ready to return to me
Quickly and forcibly,
At my request,
Again to shroud me from the eyes of men.
And now I say to you,
Depart in peace
With my Blessing,
And be ready to come
When you are next called.

Use the Banishing Rituals of the Pentagram and
Hexagram to send the Shroud back to its own sphere.