In an on line discussion site, I was putting my nickel's worth in about summoning spirits in the Solomonic fashion and someone asked me if I had ever summoned the fifth spirit of the book of Goetia from the Lemegeton called Marbas. The Goetia has this to say about Marbas:
The fifth Spirit is Marbas. He is a Great President, and appeareth at first in the form of a Great Lion, but afterwards, at the request of the Master, he putteth on Human Shape. He answereth truly of things Hidden or Secret. He causeth Diseases and cureth them. Again, he giveth great Wisdom and Knowledge in Mechanical Arts; and can change men into other shapes. He governeth 36 Legions of Spirits.
Seal of Marbas
(Source: the Goetia)
The original question came from Albertus Magustus who asked, "How about Marbas from the 72...can you tell me about his working..does he fully accomplish the task being given to him to specified time and is it hard to call him?...your answer is much appreciated."
I summoned Marbas a few times over the years and most of them for His healing propensities for clients, friends & family member. I'd say His success rate is about 8/10 times successful in that area. It seems some things (primarily healing) His hands can be tied - meaning regardless of how you ask, promise to do, give Him as offerings or threaten Him with, Marbas is stuck unable to do the healing for you. When asked, He told me this is because when someone does not wish to be healed, He does not step in; the victim must want to be healed. Which actually makes a lot of sense.
The very first time I summoned Marbas, I used a standard summoning incantation via the book of Goetia verbatim as I had not begun to experiment with altering the wording nor trying other methods of summoning. Now I used a pendulum and a letter/number wheel to speak with Him because He came via the black scrying/magic mirror set in the Triangle of Art with two sticks of incense on either side, one being Myrrh and the other being Benzoin.
When Marbas appeared, His eyes were a golden color and cat-like. Much like Marchosias He only showed his eyes to me. I had lost my first scrying mirror in a move which really upset me since I had put a lot of time and effort into it. I believe the reason Marbas (maybe Marchosias too) only showed his eyes was becuse I was dong the operation alone using my voice speaking the summoning via a taped cassette played through my stereo system’s surround sound pseakers cranked up very loud. (Luckily my neighbor in the apartment next door drank himself into oblivion every night while listening to classic rock music at wall shattering volumes.)
One thing I did do differently with this summoning was to place the Triangle of Art inside a circle as well. In many of the grimoires, spirit are summoned into circle so I was trying to get away without having to tape out the grand circle on my carpet, draw the snake with Hebrew lettering and so on. I ran this idea past a couple of guys who were well advanced in the art of spirit summoning - one from the Islands and another who was a Thelemite CM who was a guy I respected and ahd summoned a number of spirits form grimoires not just the goetia. It’s sort of like once you’ve spent a goodly amount of time drawing out the grand circle with the serpent and all, you’re actually loathe to remove it, eh? No one in 1989 had interest in making permanent summoning circles so we did the best we could back then.
When I first summoned Marbas, it was for “secret information” on my boss. I got passed over fora promotion and a raise even though I had not missed any work, nor was late and had been given a satisfying review. The reason? “Our budget is tight” YET the managers all went on some retreat to some fancy cruise in the Carribbean which everyone knew cost the company a bundle. Thus I wanted some leverage. Wen I asked for it, Marbas told me through the pendulum Yes. When I asked what sort of information He was going to give me, He replied (mind you via a pendulum & letter wheel) “Good”. LoL I chuckled then too so I thought okay. Then I asked Him, “When will I get this information?” His reply? “Soon!” In a few weeks time, the owner’s son came nosing around my office and sat in to talk. So I let him hide out and talk. He told me all sorts of “interesting” tidbits about his parents - things that teens should not go around spreading about their parents (especially those in business!) Before long, like magic, he told me all sorts of useful data I could use as leverage. That 20 minutes in my office was like Marbas sitting there spiling the beans Himself. LoL It was grand so yes be careful what you ask for and yes I used that leverage to get my promotion. Uptight born-agains should not go around doing the things he did. What’s funny? The owner didn’t think his own son told me but rather a former partner who was also a friend in the Young Republcians club we were all members of did. So blame shifted as well to protect the guilty to someone who didn’t care.
Now when I was finished summoning Marbas that first time, I asked Him if He would give to me a password or specific name of power I could use to summon Him instantly as the grimoires suggest. “Yes” was the reply and He did. I also asked if He would give to me a specific seal as well and that too came up a resounding “Yes”. Nothing came immeiately. So I asked Him again. No response from the pendulum. Then later my friend from the Carribbean was talking with me about the Marbas incident and stated that often LWA/Orisha/Nkisi will come into one’s’ dreams and give you answers especially if They need to show you something because it is easier for Them to do so. When I asked why is that, he said, “I dunno, conservation of energy I guess.” He suggested I face East and speak Marbas’ special word of power three times before retiring for berd and then say what is I want. So that’s what I did and sure enough later that night, Marbas came to me in a dream though it wasn’t a lion or anything like that - it was more like a bus painted golden with a seal painted a bright blue on the side. The buss drove up and down the highway in front of me several times before I woke up and I grabbed my pad & pen and drew the simplistic design down. Immediately I felt a warm presence as if to say, “There you go”.
It was some time before I had nee to summon Marbas again. Years in fact. I had a client contacted me who was diabetic and they had dire infection in one of their legs - which as you know can be fatal to diabetics. They had to go into surgery for I think it’s called a debridement operation where the physician removes necrotic tissue grown inside an open wound then remove part of the infected bone matter. The client was freakin gout because they were worried they may lose their leg to this. So this time I set up my Radionic Evocation Machine (now remember, I had both the spirit’s permission to do this and was given alternate methods on how to summon Him forth) which I used for this. I simply placed a photograh of the client on the Witness plate, dialed in Marbas information on the four dials, then began to summon Marbas using my newer methods of summoning of which consisted the spirit’s alternate seal, it’s password of power and a modified goetic conjuration. This time Marbas showed up quickly in the attached radionic scrying mirror. When asked if this was okay, He seemed amused but not out of sorts about it. I proceeded to show Marbas the client’s photo, then the image of the area where the debriedement was to take place (I was sent Polaroid photos by the client - they didn’t have digital cameras). Suffice to say the client went through surgery and suffered through the requisite time in the hospital as their physician told them to. Once the client was released, they began to follow the regimen their physican set up for them. The healing was supposed to normally take anywhere from 8-36 months for typical diabetics BUT Marbas healed my client in 12 weeks flat. Even the physicians were thrilled and amazed at how quickly this had occurred.
So yes Marbas is an excellent spirit to summon for work. Be respectful to Him and He will respectful in return as well as helpful. Since thos times, I have given Him liquor as an offering, sometimes cooked meats and there are certain sweets He likes to be given. But none of these should be presented until the work is finished and you are satisfied with His results. Marbas is definitely one who likes to earn his supper.
The first time I summoned Marbas, I was not using Agrippa nor any medieval astrology methods. My timing was strictly by the KoS planetary hours time table and during a waxing phase of the moon.