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1. a prayer asking God for help, forgiveness, etc., esp as part of a religious service
2. an appeal for inspiration and guidance from a Muse or deity at the beginning of a poem
a. the act of summoning a spirit or demon from another world by ritual incantation or magic
b. the incantation used in this act


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

An invocation differs from an evocation in that the former is a Witch's invitation to the deities to appear in the magic circle, or to lend power for magical work, while the latter is a Ceremonial Magician's command to spirits/entities to appear in a confining triangle. The evocation is, by its nature, extremely dangerous, while there is no danger in the invocation.

An invocation should be delivered boldly yet lovingly. It seems to be especially potent when delivered in poetic form, rather than prose, yet both can be effective. Generally, in magic, that which is rhythmic—whether or not it actually rhymes—is the most effective.

References in classic literature ?
The poem closes with an invocation of the Muses to sing of the `tribe of women'.
said the man, whistling the sailor's invocation to the wind softly between his teeth.
Lord Shaftesbury observes, that nothing is more cold than the invocation of a muse by a modern; he might have added, that nothing can be more absurd.
There are other fine words in the language such as fascination, fidelity, also frivolity; and as for invocations there are plenty of them, too; for instance: alas, heaven help me.
Hattersley; if God had heard half your invocations of that kind, you would have been in hell long before now - and you cannot make amends for the past by doing your duty for the future, inasmuch as your duty is only what you owe to your Maker, and you cannot do more than fulfil it: another must make amends for your past delinquencies.
But John Baptist, widely staring, muttering a number of invocations and ejaculations, tremblingly backing into a corner, slipping on his trousers, and tying his coat by the two sleeves round his neck, manifested an unmistakable desire to escape by the door rather than renew the acquaintance.
Pickwick in saying this, and moreover muttered in an excited fashion certain unpleasant invocations concerning his own eyes, limbs, and circulating fluids, the latter gentleman deemed it advisable to pursue the discourse no further.
Interestingly, the same phrase has been held to be an unambiguous invocation as well.
The invocation of Black Speak acts to link the orator to the shared cultural experiences and consciousness of the listener and connect the listener to the purposeful subversion and aversion of standardized language and culture.
Orrin Hatch's surely studied invocation of Alanis Morissette and Ted Nugent during the recent hearings on copyright laws?
The appeals court affirmed, finding that the three strikes rule of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), interpreted so as to allow invocation of the imminent danger exception only when the danger exists at the time of filing, did not violate equal protection.
The loggers' lawyers claim that any citation or invocation of religious beliefs is incompatible with government policy.