All true alchemists will point out that the invocation of God is the first step for those who aspire after the wisdom attained in our art. Therefore, for once, let us have a good look at what the invocation of God is all about.
The dictionary gives the following common definitions of invocation:
1. The act of invoking; especially an appeal to a higher power for assistance;
2. A prayer or other formula used in invoking, as at the opening of a religious service;
3a. A conjuring or calling up of a spirit by incantation;
3b. The incantation used in conjuring. (From Latin invocatio, from invocare, to invoke.)
Fulcanelli, one of the master alchemists, on page 43 of his book "Le Mystere des Cathedrales", exclaims.. "What unsuspected marvels we should find if we knew how to dissect words, to strip them of their bark and liberate the spirit, the divine light which is within!". This conforms with other philosophers who urge to seek the spirit of the word and not to stick to its superfluous or common meaning.
Let us make an attempt to do just that and for a start, separate it into three parts, IN, VOCA and TION. Our attention immediately goes to VOCA, which refers to the voice and therefore, to sound, which we produce through our vocal cords. VOCA also refers to word or words, as through our vocal cords we voice our vocabulary. Depending on how many words one uses, one speaks of having a small or a big vocabulary. When ONE uses ONE WORD, that WORD is ONE's vocabulary. So we see, that VOCA also refers to language, because all the words of a language form a language.
TION at the end of invocation simply indicates the act (the act to invoke).
The IN of invocation is a bit more difficult to grasp. However, the difference between vocation (which is a calling, from Latin vocare, to call) and invocation is basically the same as between sight and insight. With sight we know, but with insight we understand. of course, instead of pertaining to sight and understanding, invocation pertains to sound and understanding. IN also means inside, (to be) with, part of and included.
Contemplation of the foregoing will throw tremendous light into this whole thing, especially when one realizes, that not invocation, but invocation of God is the first step.
This puts it in a different perspective. Instead of we invoking God, could it not be, that besides all this, God is calling (vocation of God, calling of God) and that we should be IN (included in) this calling of God? Should we not be on vacation (vacant, empty, free from every-day thought) when this vocation of God takes place on certain holy days of each month? Who, these days, connects those holy days with ones holidays?
Invocation of God also means (to be) IN WORD OF GOD and therefore, to have some understanding of the language of God. After all, the vocabulary forming the language of God is one ONE WORD. And the WORD is God. For those familiar with biblical terminology it would be interesting, keeping in mind that in some translations the word seed" is replaced by "offspring", to contemplate the following: John 1:1; Psalms 119:105; Luke 8:11; (for women: Genesis 3:15); Galatians 3:16; Collosians 1:26-27; John 6:48; John 6:58; lst Peter 1:23; John 8:51; Galatians 5:24.
To get a deeper understanding of the word as a combination of the letters W.O.R.D. we should turn to the Hebrew alphabet which consists of 22 letters, each letter having a concrete meaning.
There is no W in the Hebrew alphabet, but that which was used was a double V, Vau, having the meaning of "hook". In man the arms and legs are the hooks of the body. Vau also means a fixture, a coming down or a falling down of spirit towards (and forming) matter.
The double V, (W), is expressed in the Hebrew alphabet as TZADDI, the 18th letter, meaning fish hook. In occult literature man is sometimes referred to as a fish. Being the 18th letter it has a significant correspondence with the 9th letter Teth, meaning a coiled serpent and signifying the equilibrium of the male and female or positive and negative forces as manifested in the perfected HUMAN, so the 18th letter represents the imbalance of the positive and negative forces and therefore a falling down or drawing down of spirit. The saying goes, that one falls in love. Since the 6th letter (also phonetically) expresses the struggle between conscience and passions (ones nature) so the 18th letter W, which is 3 x 6 or 666, represents the beast, which is mentioned in Revelation, the Adam man. Mankind, living totally on the material plane, is therefore a beast physically, mentally and emotionally. The letter W, then, in mental or metaphysical alchemy, represents the earthly or Adam man, the material body and the lower mind. The letter 0, Ayin, meaning "eye", refers to a visible building and materialized spirit of God. About the number zero, which has the same shape, Frater Albertus in his book "From One To Ten" says: "Out of the formless emerges the "zero" in which must be sought all substance encountered on the physical (material) plane". Since God or THE ONE is undivided to become manifested in the material plane, THE ONE must first divide into two halves of the circle as is illustrated by the Yin-Yang sign, manifesting as positive and negative, male and female, electricity and magnetism. In the average man this dual force is out of balance and operating as such.
The letter R, Resh, is the 20th letter and means the head of man. It is, therefore, associated with constant movement for either good or bad and expresses renewal, restoration. (Phonetically, (to) rush.) It also symbolizes rest, like a ship may rest on water that is in motion. The head rests on the shoulders of the body, which may or may not be in motion.
The combination of 0 and R expresses something precious, which originally referred to gold, for the ancients realized that the sun's rays which they called "golden", precipitated in the body forming creative substance.
It is worthwhile to contemplate words having OR in it, e.g. ordeal, memory, ore, l'or (French for gold), born, organ, orgasm, corn, etc. Also aurum (Latin for gold), aura, ora (et) laborae, etc.
The last letter, D, Daleth, is the 4th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and means a door, curtain, a way-out, a possibility. It expresses abundance springing forth from division, a creation according to divine laws and domination of spirit over matter. In metaphysical alchemy the letter D stands for the solar plexus, (Bethlehem, the house of bread) as it is the reflection of the true sun (the Father) and the source of all things.
From all this one can appreciate that there is much more food for thought in INVOCATION OF GOD than what appears on its surface.
-Arthur G. Fehres