Lesser Banishing Ritual of Pentagram
Lesser Banishing Ritual of Pentagram Ceremony
Before practicing any form of ceremonial magic, it is suggested that one performs a proper form of relaxation in order to dissociate one’s physical body from sensory-related stresses; Any practice which helps your body to relax such as taking bath with salt or relaxing in corpse position would prepare your mind-body complex for the practice of the ritual. It is also recommended to do pranayama after the relaxation to charge the solar plexus with enough prana energy for empowering the will and charging one’s aura or magic circle.
Before treating specific components of the ritual to a symbolic discussion, here is the instruction of how to do the ritual from “Modern Magick” by Donald Michael Kraig :
Step 1. The Kabbalistic Cross (Opening the circle)
Stand before the altar and visualize yourself getting larger and larger, taller and taller, until you tower above the room you are in. Continue this growing visualization until the city you live in is small beneath your feet. See the continent as tiny compared to your majestic body. Now even the Earth is small beneath your feet. However, no matter how small the Earth is, it is still firm and solid beneath your feet, anchoring you to the ground. You will not float away.
Next visualize yourself growing so large that the planets of our solar system are like tiny toy rubber balls spinning near your feet. Soon they are too small to see as even the Milky Way galaxy becomes a small dot of light at your feet. Now visualize a dot of light coming from. somewhere far above your head. Know that this is only a tiny bit of the light from this source, and if you saw the full brightness of this light you would immediately be blinded and quite possibly go insane. This tiny bit of the endless, limitless light forms a brilliant white sphere of pulsating light just above your head. Point to that sphere above your head with your dagger or finger and “bring it down” (by pointing) to your forehead, just above and between the eyes. Next, visualize this brilliance filling your head with divine light. While pointing to your forehead vibrate: Ah-TAH.
Bring the point of the dagger (or your finger) firmly down your body until you are pointing toward the ground. Your hand with the blade should be covering your groin. As you do this, visualize the light in your head coming down along with the blade (or finger), down through your body, and beyond your feet down to eternity. Vibrate Mahl-KOOT.
Now bring the blade up to your right shoulder. As you do this, visualize the beam of white light running down the center of your body form a beam from the heart area out to your right, past the blade at your right shoulder. See this beam of light extend to the end of the universe, and beyond. Focus on this beam and vibrate Vih- G’Boo-RAH.
Move the point of the blade horizontally to your left shoulder. As you do, visualize the beam of white light now extending through infinite space to your left. As you focus on this beam of light vibrate: Vih-G’Doo-LAH.
Clasp your hands at your chest as if praying. If you are using a dagger, the point should be up, not pointing away from you, nor to the sides or down. Visualize within your chest, at the point covered by your folded hands, a brilliant golden glow. Vibrate: Lih- ·Oh-LAHM, Ah-MEN
Step 2. The Formulation of Pentagrams
Going to your left, move around to the front of your altar, to the edge of the space of your circle so that you are at the east edge of the circle and facing away from the middle of the circle where your altar stands. In other words, you are in the east and facing east. Here, draw a banishing pentagram of Earth. Be sure to visualize the figure as a flaming gas-jet blue pentagram as you draw.
Inhale through the nose. As you do, feel the energy flow from the ends of the universe through your nose and body, and down and out of the bottoms of your feet to the center of the Earth. (You are no longer at the center of your magical circle and, thus, at the center of the universe as in the first part of this ritual.) As you inhale, both hands should be raised to the sides of your head by your ears. The dagger (or right-hand index finger) should be pointing forward. Your left hand (which should have remained at your side until now) is drawn into a similar position by your left ear, the index finger pointing forward, the rest of the fingers closed into a fist.
Step forward with the left At the same time thrust your hands forward so that they point at the exact middle of the glowing blue pentagram in front of you (this position is known as a “God Form” and is the God Form known as “The Enterer”). As you do this you should exhale and feel the energy come back up your body, out your arms and hands, through the pentagram and to the ends of the universe. You should use the entire exhalation to vibrate the God Name: Yud-Heh-Vahv-Heh.
Bring your hands back to your ears while bringing your left foot back to its original position. Put your left hand down by your side and point to the center of the pentagram with your right forefinger (or dagger). Now trace a line in the air at the height of the center of the pentagram as you move in a clockwise direction around the edge of your circle’s space. You should go 90 degrees so that you end up in the south, facing south. As you trace the line in the air you should visualize a brilliant white light emanating from the tip of your finger or blade. At the South, repeat parts 1 and 2 of Step (a), but vibrate: Ah-Doh-NYE.
Repeat as above, but move to the west and vibrate: Eh-Heh- YEH.
Repeat as above, but move to the North and vibrate: AH- Glah.
Complete the circle by connecting a white line from the North to the East where you began. Then, moving in the same clockwise direction, come back behind the altar and in front of the chair as when you started the ritual. You should once again be faceto the east (see the diagram below). Note: If you do not have room for a circle, simply pivot where you stand behind the altar.
Now visualize the brilliant white circle expanding up and down to form a sphere above, below and all around you. What you have done is create a sphere in brilliant white all around you with electric blue pentagrams at the quarters which have been charged and sealed with names of God.
Step 3. The Evocation of the Archangels
Spread your arms straight out to the sides, so that your body forms a cross. If you have a dagger, the point should be up. Take a second or two to once again feel the energies flowing through you and making you a brilliant cross of light at the center of the universe. The cross also represents the four archetypal elements: Air, Earth, Fire and Water.
Visualize a figure on a hill in front of you. The figure is dressed in yellow robes which have some purplish highlights. The figure carries a caduceus wand (the symbol used by doctors, a wand entwined by serpents, which represents the life force) and the figure’s robes wave in the wind. You should “feel” a breeze coming from behind the figure. Say, before me, Rah-fay-EL(Vibrate)
Visualize a figure behind you, dressed in blue with some orange highlights. The figure holds a cup and is surrounded by waterfalls. Try to feel the moisture in the air. Say, behind me, Gahb- ray-EL(vibrate)
To your right visualize a figure dressed in scarlet with green highlights. The figure holds a flaming sword and you should feel heat coming from this direction. Say, on my right hand, Mee-chai-EL(vibrate)
To your left visualize a figure dressed in green sand browns on a fertile landscape. The figure holds some sheaves of wheat. Say, And on my left hand Oh-Ree-EL (vibrate)
Move your left foot out to your left and visualize another beautiful blue pentagram all around you, outlining your body. Say, for about me flames the pentagram. . .
Visualize a golden hexagram, a six-pointed star sometimes called a Jewish star, within you, right where your heart is. Say, … And within me shines the six-rayed star
Step 4. The Kabbalistic Cross (Closing the Circle)
The first step is again performed
Divine names associated with the LBRP
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is said to be most effective in the Qabalistic realm of Assiah-the physical, active world that is associated with the tenth Sephirah of Malkuth. This is the realm in which we live and function. Malkuth is said to contain the four elements of the manifest universe. This is why in many drawings, Malkuth is shown divided into four sections. The sub-elements are: air of Malkuth, water of Malkuth, fire of Malkuth, and earth of Malkuth. But for our purposes, it would be better to refer to them simply as air, fire, water, and earth-the elements of our physical plane.
With respect to the entire Tree of Life, Malkuth is the only Sephirah to which is assigned the element of earth. This is why the banishing earth pentagram22 in particular is used throughout the LBRP. However, in this instance, it would be better to refer to the pentagram used in this ritual as the lesser banishing pentagram to avoid confusion.
All of the divine Hebrew names intoned in the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram are composed of four letters. And the specific names used are attributed to the four sub-elements of Malkuth. The name of YHVH, the Tetragrammaton, is vibrated after the pentagram is drawn in the east, the direction attributed to elemental air. Tradition tells us that YHVH is a symbol for the high- est, most divine name of God. Therefore it is appropriate that this name is vibrated in the east, the place of the dawning of the light. YHVH is our sunrise, our source of life .
The east symbolizes elemental air which has further correspondences with Mercury the highest of the three alchemical principles. Alchemists often refer to Mercury as spirit. All of this is in keeping with the idea of the “highest name of God.”
Adonai, meaning “lord,” is the name vibrated after the figure is traced in the south. This name is particularly associated with Malkuth, whose complete divine name is Adonai ha-Aretz. The name “lord carries with it connotations of high rank, especially power, rulership, and dominion.24 Here the name is associated with fire and the south, the direction of the sun’s greatest strength. This is a reminder that here on Malkuth, our immediate symbolic link with the lord of light and strength is through the life-giving rays of the sun. The name of Eheieh is vibrated after the western pentagram is drawn. Eheieh, meaning “I am,” is the divine name of Kether. The west is the place of sunset, the completion of the sun’s journey across the sky. It represents rest and peace. To the ancient Egyp- tians, Ra, the Sun-god died each night when he entered Amentet (the west). The west is a symbol of the completion of the soul’s journey and the goal of spiritual growth. Therefore the west is an emblem of Kether, the goal which we seek throughout our incarnation on earth and which we hope to reach at the end of life when we (like Ra) journey to Amentet. The name Eheieh vibrated in the west suggests that the goal of all esoteric work is the magician’s complete identification with the true and eternal self of Kether .
After the northern pentagram is drawn, the word Agla is vibrated. This is not really a word but rather a notation w h c h uses the first letter of each word in a sentence to form a single word. In this case, the sentence from which Agla is formed is Atah Gebur Le-Olam Adonai. T h s means, “Thou art great forever, my Lord,” which is a powerful invocation–clearly calling upon all the might of Adonai to aid and guide us through the darkness of things unknown. Agla is vibrated in the north because that is the direction of the greatest symbolic cold, darkness, shadow, illusion, and the unfamiliar. It is “the place of Forgetfulness, Dumbness (silence), and Necessity and of the greatest symbolical Darknessku25It represents all the dormant and unmanifested forces of the universe, as well as those which are hidden- den or veiled to us. These are forces which we are largely ignorant of. However, all things, manifest or unmanifest (light or dark), exist then, now, and always under the rulership of Adonai. This we affirm by the phrase “Thou art great forever, my Lord!”
The whole ritual in short
- Touching the forehead, say Ateh(Unto Thee).
- Pointing your right hand down, say Malkuth(The Kingdom).
- Touching the right shoulder, say ve-Geburah(and the Power).
- Touching the left shoulder, say ve-Gedulah(and the Glory).
- Clasping the hands upon the breast, say le-Olahm, Amen(to the Ages, Amen).
- Turning to the East, make a Pentagram (that of Earth) with the proper weapon. Say (i.e., vibrate) YHVH.
- Turning to the South, the same, but say ADONAI.
- Turning to the West, the same, but say EHEIEH.
- Turning to the North, the same, but say AGLA.
Extending the arms in the form of a Cross, say:
— Before me Raphael;
— Behind me Gabriel;
— On my right hand Michael;
— On my left hand Uriel;
— For about me flames the Pentagram,
— And in the Column stands the six-rayed Star.
Repeat (1) to (5), the ‘Kabbalistic Cross’.
Commentary on the benefits and usage of LBRP
The LBRP, when mastered properly, is one of the strongest tools for casting a magic circle. The ability to draw a proper magic circle is the foundation for all forms of advanced magical practices such as shamanic healing, Invocation, Evocation, Divination, Enchantment, etc. The more one learns the art, the stronger becomes the circle. Followed by the Lesser Banishing Ritual of Hexagram, the magician could accomplish advanced magical practices.
—– Protection: According to Crowley’s notes (above), the purpose of the LBRP is to protect the Aura, placing one in a box or body (Astral Body = Light Body = Body of Light).
—– Purification: One interpretation of the 4 Quarters is the 4 bodies: Mental, Astral, Etheric, and Physical. The LBRP protecting and cleansing/clearing the bodies.
Crowley writes in his Notes on the Ritual of the Pentagram:
“Every man has a natural fortress within himself, the Soul impregnable. …Besides this central citadel, man also has outer works, the Aura. …It is the duty of every person to see that his Aura is in good condition. There are two main methods for doing this. The first is by a performance two or three times daily of the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Its main point is to establish in the Astral four Pentagrams, one in each quarter, and two Hexagrams, one above, the other below, thus enclosing the Magician, as it were, in a consecrated box. It also places in his Aura the Divine Names invoked ”.
Israel Regardie in his book “The Middle pillar” writes the following about the use of LBRP :
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is the ceremonial magician’s way of casting a circle of protection. Some Wiccan groups will cast a circle around their sacred space by tracing it on the ground with a sword, or by sprinkling salt water around the area. But the ceremonial magician does this by tracing pentagrams around the circle with a specialized dagger or wand.
The ritual begins with a brief moment of meditation to cleanse the mind and begin the process of creating a ritual atmosphere or sacred space.
In addition to its psychotherapeutic uses, this simple yet powerful cleansing ritual can be used as a protection against the impure magnetism of others. It is also a method for getting rid of negative thoughts or emotional distress.
As a magician, you can make a mental image of a particular thought or disturbance and visualize it before you. One way of doing this is to project it out of your aura with the Projection Sign of a Neophyte. When the unwanted energy is away from you, you can prevent its return with the Sign of Silence (or the Sign of Protection). Then imagine the negative form in the east and perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. See the form dissolving on the outside of your ring of flaming pentagrams.
The LBRP can also be used to aid your powers of focus and concentration. While lying down, formulate yourself standing up in robes and holding a dagger. Place your consciousness in this astral form and go to the east. Make yourself “feel” that you are thereby touching the wall, opening your eyes, and stomping on the floor. Then let your astral form perform the ritual, circumambulating the room, and mentally vibrating the words. When you are finished, try to see your results astrally. Then walk back and stand behind your physical body and let your astral body be reabsorbed.
In the beginning of one’s magical training, the LBRP is to be performed daily for no less than a period of six months. In fact, it should be practiced daily by any magician no matter how long one has been doing the work. Some Golden Dawn and Stella Matutina manuscripts suggested doing the invoking form of this Ritual in the morning and the banishing form at night. However, we feel that the beginner needs to concentrate only on the banishing form. Beginners have a tendency to have their auras light upon the astral-they unknowingly attract all kinds of elementals at t h s early stage of the work.
It’s far more important for the beginner to know how to banish rather than to invoke. Anyone can attract an elemental or energy form. Getting rid of it can be more difficult.
. Article “Rituals of the Pentagram” adapted from http://www.thelemistas.org. . Michael Craig, Donald. Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts (Llewellyn’s High Magick) Paperback – January 1, 1988. . Regardie, Israel. The Middle pillar: The balance between mind & magick.