In the introduction Bardon speaks about how difficult it was for anyone seeking magical knowledge. He states that most books were incomplete, bewildering or fragmentary at best. Not only did a budding magician have difficulty finding information but had the threat of pain and torture from religious institutions that wished to stamp out the art of magic. It is also curious that Bardon mentions that magical orders themselves have been responsible for making the study of magic look preposterous and childish. I guess this was in order to keep away the curious and dabbler. Only someone born with a great deal of potential would be discovered and admitted to the order. Sounds like an idea for a novel or movie to me!
In IIH Bardon gives a detailed description at the start of the book of what the first tarot card means, from there one can see how the card describes the training an initiate must accomplish. Although placed at the end of the book PME has a description of the second tarot card and its symbolism which I shall jump ahead to and discuss, because I think it belongs at the front of our discussion.
The Temple- it represents the microcosm and initiation. In other words the work is done within the initiate as s/he progresses through the spheres and works with the beings. The initiate has support in her work in the four pillars-knowledge, courage, will, and silence. This is also representative of the four letter name of divinity. One must have the knowledge to complete the workings involved with evocation, the courage to stop watching Television and only theorizing about magic and doing the work, the will to perform the exercises-call the spirit-move the energies, etc- and the silence to not go blabbing to every idiot you meet on your magical work.
The Floor- The black and white marble floor represents the positive and negative activities of the elements-Lawfulness as in the sphere of Jupiter. For those not familiar with these concepts think of the Yin Yang symbol and how all powers and forces within the universe have a purpose and a place.
The Carpet- Divided equally into red and blue which are the electric and magnetic fluids (positive and negative) which the magician must be a master of. A magic circle- which represents a connection with omniconsciousness or infinity. Within the circle is a pentagram of equal length arms showing the magician is completely balanced and in harmony with the universe.
The Magicians Attire- The robe is violet representing a bond or connection to divinity and mastery over the akasha. He wields a sword symbolizing victory and the magic wand representing the will.
Isis- she sits on a golden throne, she is the priestess holding the two keys and the Book of Wisdom (The Tarot). The magician is male-electric-might-will and the priestess is female-magnetic-intuition-connection with divinity/nature. Notice the constant dualities being repeated.
The Altar- Before the altar there are three steps that lead up to it. These represent the mental, astral and physical planes. The altar is a symbol of respect and reverence. In the center of the altar is the triangle representing the tri-dimensional effect of the electric and magnetic fluid (father-mother-son, birth-life-death, past-present-future, black-white-gray, and red-blue-yellow).
Censers- The magician has both positive and negative being under his/her control. I would also add as an aid to manifestation the physical plane is made up of positive and negative materials so both are needed to accomplish the materialization.
The Mirror- It has seven colors showing the magician has control over all seven spheres and has mentally travelled to each and made contact with the beings there.
Now again each of these things is symbolic! In other words one does not have to build a hewn stone temple, grab a raven haired woman and dress her in see through cotton who apparently bugged the crap out of some key maker to make 12 inch keys that open no door, paint four giant phallic pillars four different colors inscribing them with Egyptian hieroglyphs as well as cutting a mirror that appears to be 6 feet wide. I mean if you want to and have the means go right ahead-but doing so does not mean you can evoke spirits! The whole card represents what should take place within the magician. This means:
The magician should be a master of the electric and magnetic fluids and all that implies.
The magician should have the five elements under control.
The magician should have a connection to divinity.
The magician needs to make contact with each sphere in order to evoke beings from that sphere.
The magician should have a harmonious astral, mental and physical being.
Now all of those things give one the right and ability to evoke spirits, hell, spirits will show up and work for you without asking when that happens. You're just that cool a person.
Finally, and connected to what I just mentioned above a person must have completed up to step 8 of IIH in order to properly evoke spirits. Why? Because at that point you are all of the things I listed above and you have the ability to project mentally to different spheres and skry. That is why. Otherwise these spirits will take one look at you and see a fifth grader trying to sneak into college.
Let me be clear, not all spirits require this and the art of evocation does not either. Bardon requires this to work with the spirits he outlined in this book. The Goetia and other books on evocation out there can and do work with little to no training at all, which can be a bad thing for some people. These spirits expect you to have done the work. Now, if one has progressed spiritually and magically to the same level as step 8 in their own way then that counts as well. Possibly, if one calls these spirits up and the need is great as well as the person being on the path, then the spirit may choose to help out. What Bardon wanted was someone who could handle the powers and energies these spirits produce and work with them as a co-worker, not a supplicant. He wanted magicians who did not *need* to evoke these spirits but did it in a learning capacity and to work faster than normal.
So, for all of those people out there who will say-"I evoked a spirit when I was five just because I wanted to and had no idea what I was doing", I say "Maybe, but most likely the communication was poor, you were not in control of the situation and the spirit did not see you as an equal." See where I am going? I evoked spirits before even starting IIH and got results. They were not consistent and the communication was next to nothing. After step eight it is like calling up a friend.