271. We are often surprised at the promptitude with which an invoked spirit presents himself, even the first time ; it might be said he has been forewarned ; this is, indeed, what has been done when we are thinking of making an invocation. This thinking is a kind of anticipated invocation, and as we always have our familiar spirits, who are identified with our thoughts, they prepare the way, so that nothing opposes it; the spirit whom we wish to call is already present. When this is not the case, the familiar spirit of the medium, or of the interrogator, or one of the habitues, goes to find him, which does not require much time. If the invoked spirit cannot come instantly, the messenger (the heathens would have said Mercury) asks for a delay, sometimes of five minutes, a quarter of an hour, and even several days, and when he arrives, says, He is there; and then we can begin the questions we want to ask him.
The messenger is not always a necessary intermediary, for the appeal of the invocator may be heard directly by the spirit, as is said, No. 282, Question 5, on the mode of transmitting thought.
When we say, Make the invocation in the name of God, we mean that our recommendation should^ be taken seriously, and not lightly; those who see in it only a formula, and of little consequence, would better abstain from it.