Invocations are an essential part of any medicine work. We must speak our prayers loudly and with strong intention so that they are well heard. When we do medicine work, we must call in our allies and state our purpose so that others and we are clear what we are doing, and by others I mean those present in the flesh as well as beings in the other dimensions as well.
Words are important. They open doors.
The invocation opens the portal to the other dimensions. The vibratory resonance of our voice in the invocation we speak sets the tone, literally, for what is about to happen in the ritual following the invocation.
At the very basic level what I mean by invocation is what we say before a ritual. The invocation can be thought of as a prayer, a plea, a calling in, a greeting, the formal opening of a ceremony.
The invocation is the time to state our purpose, our intention, what we want and need and hope to accomplish through the following ritual; who we are asking to come and help us with it. It’s a statement of intention. And it includes humility. Humility is the master key to all the doors in this work.
For me it is important that invocations are not set or rehearsed, that they come from our hearts in the moment, for the present moment. They ground us firmly into the moment and solidify the purpose of what we are doing. Speaking that aloud, with conviction and strength helps us gain clarity and presence, therefore invocations must come from us explicitly.
Many people are shy about invoking aloud in front of others. That is why, in my classes, I make people do this, so that they may get used to it. Listening to another’s invocation is a great gift and often inspiring as well. And by example we learn.
Invocations can be loud and forceful, or soft and gentle, but make sure the soft and gentle is authentic and not out of shyness. If you are doing medicine work you need to be in your power and you need to use your voice and you need to feel comfortable doing that.
Give yourself some time and space to practice, allowing yourself to become more confident. The quality of your work will be determined in part by your invocations, as you will draw to you what you need with the quality and tone of your voice, the plea from your heart, the brilliance of your own mind, the purpose of your own soul.
You have your own medicine, borne of all the unique qualities and components you came in with and those you have cultivated through your time here. Allow that to permeate your work in the world. Allow your prayers to move spontaneously through your body, which is container of all you are. That is how it becomes rarefied and precious and therefore effective.
There are many ways to invoke. Some invocations may be voice only. If other humans are present and also invoking, take turns speaking aloud your prayers. With the voice we can add in a tapping onto the Earth. If you are in a group, others tap on the earth along with you as you invoke as a gesture to affirm your invocation. This is a powerful thing to do when we invoke outside but even inside, one can tap on the floor or table as another invokes.
We can also invoke with rattles and bells. In a typical Dagara divination, bells and rattles are used along with voice. We can invoke with drums. We can invoke with song.
Some people see beings arrive before they call them in, and include greeting and welcoming them as part of the invocation.
Some say, I greet and welcome…
Some say, I call upon…
Some address them directly, Old ones…
We all have our own styles.
When we invoke, if it is not a formal divination in which there is a clear protocol, we invoke the entities we need to join us in the specific ritual, we invoke our ancestors, the elemental beings, the spirits of the place where we are. We let the spirits know what we are doing and why, what we may need from them by way of help or support.
It is important to remember that invocations are calling in the spirits. We are invoking to call them in. We need them to help us, so call them in well. And know that if you call them, they will come. It’s real.
This is another piece of invocation. Mean it. Say what you mean and mean what you say because guess what? They are listening.
If self doubt comes knocking at your door, which for those of us who live in the paradigm of the Western World, it surely will, (you can count on it) just send it packing. That’s all. Just pay it no mind. You will always have to deal with self-doubt. It is part of the split nature of the Cartesian mind we in the West have all inherited. We are all educated into it. It is part of our terrain and constantly in the field. So, don’t feed it. Just push past it. Truly, do just that. Good bye and thank you.
Most times after invoking, you can feel a change in the energy; the presence of those whom we have called in is palpable.
Invocations are not to minimized. They are one of the most important parts of the work.
Speak your prayers well.
©Theresa C. Dintino
Theresa C. Dintino is an ancestral Strega (Italian wise woman), Earth worker, and initiated diviner in the West African Dagara tradition. For more than 20 years Theresa has studied and practiced an Earth-based spirituality. She currently helps others reclaim their personal lineages through her divination work. Theresa is the author of seven books which include her Tree Medicine Trilogy. Learn more about her books here.