Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Properly understood, it is the Medicine of Metals and the Stone of the Wise. Touching the forehead, say Ateh Unto Thee , ii. Touching the breast, say Malkuth The Kingdom , iii. Touching the right shoulder, say ve-Geburah and the Power , iv.
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The essential function of the rituals of the Pentagram is to assert the dominion of the magician over the chaos of the elemental realm or phenomenal world. This is done through symbolically signifying and magically identifying the magician's alignment and participation in the spiritual ground of the cosmos. When first learned, these rituals are usually engaged with in a strictly performative manner. Words and gestures are memorized and used without deeper reflection. Familiarity with the ritual can often breed forgetfulness that it is not merely a performance piece, however, but rather a profound prayer and moving meditation.
Actual, not merely symbolized identification with the absolute is the true goal of the ritual. This requires mindfulness and concentration in the performance of the visualizations, gestures and vocalizations. Personal issues and problems should be set aside before the manifestation of the sacred space of the ritual. As The Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster state:. For of those who are thus negligent, the progress is imperfect, the impulses are vain, and the paths are dark. The Golden Dawn system of correspondence forms a sophisticated language of mysticism and Magick.
It is possible to expend a great deal of energy and effort discussing and grappling with the various structural details of the language and its possible permutations. This addresses the syntax of Magick, so to speak. It is possible to get so caught up in this that the semantics of this language become forgotten and left unexplored.
With regard to a ritual, for example, it is possible to achieve a very complicated understanding of the way the symbols are juxtaposed, but what is more important is what that juxtaposition means spiritually. We should therefore ask ourselves to what purpose the establishment of elemental dominion is directed. If this is not to be a ritual of black magic, of mere dominion, this control must be directed by and towards the True Will of the magician.
We will discover as we analyze this ritual that its symbolism makes this explicit. Much attention has been paid in the explanation of these rituals to the Pentagram itself as a symbol. Just as important, however, are the other features of the ritual — the manner in which the movements and visualizations define the space of the performance and into which the Pentagram is inserted and integrated as a component of a larger ritual gesture.
We can break the general structure of the most basic Pentagram ritual — the Lesser Invoking or Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram hereafter referred to as the LRP — into a few basic components, which we will discuss in turn. These are:. Before treating these specific components to a symbolic discussion, some general remarks on the ritual as a whole are called for. The ritual itself, as slightly adapted from Crowley's Liber O , is as follows:. The invoking and banishing forms of this ritual are identical except for the Pentagrams.
The invoking form uses the invoking Pentagrams of Earth. The banishing form uses the banishing Pentagrams of Earth. Explanations of these forms of the Pentagram will be given below. An illustrated chart is at the end of the chapter. In the G. This is done with traditional names of power, which are possessed of symbolic sanctity.
The vocal vibration also serves to raise and direct the energy of the body at key points of the ritual. There are a number of methods of vibrating divine names, sometimes involving concurrent visualizations, but there should be at least a loud, deep, clear projection of the voice, with attention. It means, " Thou art mighty unto the ages Adonai. They represent the Unity of the name as a whole, symbolizing Spirit, expressing itself through its four components, representing the four aspects of manifestation.
Their placement at the four quarters therefore recapitulates the underlying structural meaning of the ritual as a whole. There are visualizations used in the ritual. These are part of the oral traditions associated with this ritual and can vary greatly between individuals and communities of practice. The following is presented as a relatively standard set of suggestions.
The individual magician should experiment and develop a personalized version. While making the Kabbalistic Cross visualize a current of energy in the form of flaming, radiant white light descending through the body and then across the chest to form a cross. Visualize each Pentagram as it is drawn in either white light or a color appropriate to the corresponding element.
While moving between the quarters draw a circle, again in white, about the perimeter of the space at heart level. Finally, picture the Archangels about the circle when calling their names. These can be relatively traditional angelic figures of giant stature, robed in their elemental colors and armed with various weapons.
The Pentagram rituals are optionally performed with the use of a ritual dagger or sword, used to draw the various figures. There are several mutually compatible levels of symbolic interpretation of this action. A dagger can represent the element of air. This symbolizes Yetzirah, the Ruach and Tiphareth, which lies at the center of this layer of the Tree.
The dagger therefore acts to summon Yetziratic energy in the ritual for the goal of the equilibration of the elements in the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. It also shows the dominion over Assiah by the immediately higher spiritual domain of Yetzirah, the Astral Light. If a sword is used, this represents the Sephirah Geburah most strongly in the G. On another level of symbolism, the sword represents the lightning flash on the Tree of Life, the pure active creative energy of spirit encompassing all of the Sephiroth.
If no implement is used, it is an oral custom to vibrate the divine names of the quarters while making the sign of the Enterer, and following this with the sign of Silence. These two signs are paired together, and are the first symbolic signs given to the initiate of the Golden Dawn, corresponding to the Neophyte grade of that system. The first sign is called the sign of the Enterer, or the Projecting sign, and is made by stepping forward with one foot and vigorously thrusting out the arms at the level of the eyes, the palms held flat with fingers extended.
This symbolizes the projection of the divine Will of the magician out into their universe in the Imaginal form of a current of magical energy. The magician is thereby represented as a center of light in the cosmos. As The Book of the Law says, " Every man and every woman is a star. Therefore this sign symbolizes the Holy Guardian Angel acting through the agency of the magician. The second sign is called the sign of Silence, and is made by stepping back with the extended foot so that the feet are parallel.
The right arm is dropped to the side while the left forefinger is placed on the closed lips, the other fingers being held loosely in a fst. It seals the current of energy released by the sign of the Enterer, and represents the magician at rest, absorbed in Gnosis.
If the first sign is that of magic, the second represents mysticism. The sign of Silence is also called the sign of Harpocrates, the infant Horus. The Kabbalistic Cross is self-contained and can be performed as its own ritual.
It also interlocks within the larger framework of the LRP. As used by the Golden Dawn, it is based on an interpretation of a passage from Eliphas Levi, who wrote:. This also is kabalistic and represents the oppositions and tetradic equilibrium of the elements. We see by the occult versicle of the Lord's Prayer, which we have cited in our 'Doctrine', that it was originally made after two manners, or at least that it was characterized by two entirely different formulae, one reserved for priests and initiates, the other imparted to neophytes and the profane.
For example, the initiate said raising his hand to his forehead, 'For thine,' then added 'is,' and continuing as he brought down his hand to his breast, 'the kingdom,' then to the left shoulder, 'and the mercy' — then clasping his hands, he added, 'in the generating ages. This Sign, made after this manner, should precede and terminate the Conjuration of the Four [elements].
The Kabbalistic Cross is made on the body, signifying that one's self is an expression of the symbols and meanings described by the ritual gestures.
The cross has a vertical and horizontal dimension. The vertical component represents the divine reality. The horizontal is material or manifest existence. The vertical line is drawn first to show the ontological priority of spirit, which extends to all planes of reality both above and below our world. The horizontal axis is then described, such that the two axes of matter and spirit meet in a point at the heart. A mathematical point has no extension, and so this point, which is in the heart, represents Hadit, the true Self.
It is also the mystical nothing, that silent place where spirit and matter meet and are one. In a different and equally valid symbolism, the Kabbalistic Cross represents the manifestation of the Tree of Life on and as the human body.
This expresses the Hermetic concept of the unity of the macrocosm and the microcosm. The Tree of Life, representing the 'Body of God' and the aspects of the cosmos is shown to simultaneously be the body of the magician and the aspects of their being. Here is the doctrine of anthropocosmos — that the exalted physical and Imaginal body of the magician is the body of God. The middle pillar of the Tree is first established, extending from Kether above the head to Malkuth at the feet.
This shows that the equilibrium of opposites precedes and is more fundamental than the duality of contending forces represented by the Pillars of Mercy and Severity, which are designated by the horizontal bar of the cross. There are other meanings of the Kabbalistic Cross. The cross generally represents the 4 elements, governed by and revolving about the central point of the cross, which stands for Spirit. Therefore the symbol as a whole represents manifestation as spatial extension radiating from the central point of Spirit.
Different systems have different elements assigned to particular arms, but as a general symbol of the four-fold it is unnecessary to view particular arms as particular elements, but rather see the symbol as showing simply the idea of four elements in general.
This symbolizes the body of the magician, or microcosm, governed and sustained by Spirit, located at the heart. The heart in the Kabbalistic Cross is therefore a symbol of Love and Will conjoined, as it is the site of an impulse to manifestation Will , and is also traditionally the seat of the emotions and therefore of Love.
In its upright form the cross also represents the trinity heading the pendant lower levels of reality:. There are many more depths of meaning to the cross, which further reflection and contemplation can reveal. It is not merely a Christian sectarian icon. Probably the most thorough work on this subject is Rene Guenon's Symbolism of the Cross.
Certain words are said when making the Kabbalistic Cross. The manner of this interpretation is partially defined by the portions of the body touched while saying the phrase. Atah unto thee is spoken while touching the forehead to represent Kether.
The LBRP: Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
This ritual should be memorized as soon as possible on your magical path, and practiced daily. Since divine names of God, which correspond to each elemental quarter, are used to charge the pentagrams, and the archangels of each quarter are called to watch over your area, the circle formed with these magical ritual acts as an impenetrable barrier to unwanted magical forces and allows you to proceed with your magical working. The Lesser Banishing Ritual is important for protecting you while you work on your magic. Do this in all 4 directions, east, south, west, then north. Did this summary help you?
Lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram
This ritual is regarded as one of the most important foundational rituals in Ceremonial magic. It is effective as a banishing ritual, clearing the lower astral of negative influences and establishing a protected area. It also centers the magician and invokes protective forces, orienting the magician with the forces of the cosmos. There are many versions of this ritual available, and many different authors describe slight variations. It also serves as the foundation for many similar rituals adapted to other magical systems. I would recommend learning the ritual in a more traditional Hebrew form before attempting any major variants.