As a writer, I am deeply fascinated by the power of words. Throughout human history, words have been considered to have magical power.  Alphabets may have been developed in an effort to capture in writing the power of sounds. Incantations, prayers, and chants all employ the power of words to create or connect to a spiritual reality.

Many of the roots in our commonly used English words are ancient.  I was pondering the meaning and difference of convocation and invocation and a little research turned up the following connections.

Both invocation and convocation contain the root word, “voc” or “vok.”  This root comes to English from the Latin word vox, meaning voice or call. In turn this root can be traced to Proto-Indo-European language roots woks. In its travels, this root has reappeared several variations in different languages.  For example, in Sanskrit, is has emerged as vak, with the “ah” sounding a.

When we make ceremony, we call.  We call the spirits, we call upon our Higher Selves, we call one another together.

A convocation is a call to gather, an invitation to come and participate.  When we have come together, we often perform an invocation—a call for help and support, usually from the spirit world. 

When we choose a career for ourselves, many of us experience a “calling” to perform a certain kind of work. A vocation is that calling to us from the spirit and life work we are intended to do.  Thinking of vocation in this way, as a calling from someplace mysterious, makes our selection of careers a sacred and spiritual thing.

We can send out a call in our invocation, or we can call back that which we initiated; we can revoke it. When we use words to call forth a response of some kind (often a negative response), we are provoking.  When we use Tarot, or astrology, or archetypal images to call forth our intuition, we are evoking.

Consider the potential power of calling hidden in the following words:

·         Vocal—calling

·         Voice—that which calls

·         Vocabulary—calling things (naming), calling out (words)

·         Vociferous—calling from a long way away (loudly)

·         Avocation—calling away from (as a job, or responsibilities), a hobby or pastime.

·         Advocate—to call in favor of, to support with your calls

·         Irrevocable—unable to be called back (like certain spells or ill wishes).

·         Evocation—calling forth (from within)

·         Vocalize—make an audible call

·         Provocate—call to action or response (as in provocative comments)

·         Unequivocal—a calling that is unequal, calling or speaking on one side of an issue with no room for debate.

May we, in convocation, invoke the spirits to support us in our spiritual vocations, that we may evoke the Divine within.