Summoning rituals are usually used to summon demons. Though both have risks, summoning angels are generally frowned upon by Shadowhunters for many reasons, the least of which being that summoning an angel is most often a waste of time as they are not compelled to respond and do not like manifesting on Earth. Doing so is also very dangerous as the angel may simply kill the summoner out of irritation. While summoning rituals do exist that claim to summon angels, they are often obscure, difficult and unreliable, having being accomplished so rarely that it is unknown which actually work.
Summoning demons, by comparison, is much easier as they can be compelled to help—many being willing in exchange for demonic desires—and more easily bound. These summoning rituals are usually performed by Shadowhunters looking to interrogate a demon—in which case they would employ the services of a competent warlock to perform the ritual—or in some cases by others to employ a demon.
All summoning rituals differ in terms of how they are conducted. Those used to summon demons, however, typically require a pentagram drawn upon the ground. Others may require an incantation or chant in either Greek or Latin, or in a demon language such as Chthonic or Purgatic. Some may also require a circle of candles, blood, or runes, either demonic or seraphic.
Demon-summoning rituals vary depending on the demon and the warlock doing the ritual, but most often they follow a similar pattern:
- A pentagram is drawn on the surface where the demon is to be summoned.
- Demonic runes are drawn in or around the pentagram.
- An invocation is said.
- An offering of blood may be asked, contributed by the warlock.
- A piece of the demon to be summoned, if possible, is placed in the pentagram.
A ritual exists to summon the angel Raziel using the Mortal Instruments. A circle of runes is drawn before Lake Lyn; these runes serve as protection and include the name of the summoner. Holding the Mortal Sword and Mortal Cup in either hand the summoner chants the summoning spell, then throws the Cup into the lake. The process is then repeated with the Sword; as the Sword hits the water a plume of it erupts and the angel rises from the lake.
A second, alternate ritual also exists wherein two concentric circles are drawn near a large body of water and protection runes are placed in and around them. The summoner then stands in their center and reads from a spell book to summon Raziel.
To summon Azazel, a circle of candles is placed on the ground and a pentagram drawn within it. Demonic runes are marked within the pentagram and the summoners stand at the four cardinal points around the circle. A warlock reads a Latin chant from the book Forbidden Rites and the candle flames rise higher until smoke appears and coalesces into Azazel's corporeal form.
That same year, Valentine Morgenstern performed the summoning ritual for Raziel. He was ultimately killed by Raziel due to his actions against the angel Ithuriel and his own children.
Later that year, the summoning ritual for Azazel was performed by Magnus Bane, the vampire Simon Lewis and the Shadowhunters Alec and Isabelle Lightwood, in the hopes of asking Azazel for a weapon that could sever the bond between Jace Herondale and Sebastian Morgenstern. Azazel was successfully summoned and requested a happy memory from everyone as payment, though he proved unhelpful when he revealed his solution was simply to have them free him so he could take Sebastian to Hell.
They then performed the alternative summoning ritual for Raziel for the same purpose, and successfully summoned him.
- No electricity can be used during the summoning ritual for Azazel.
- The alternate ritual for Raziel carries more risk than the one involving the Mortal Instruments, as without them the angel is more inclined to simply kill the summoner, hence the protection circle.