Monday, September 24, 2018

The Beginning Magician; Part III, Lesson 2 :: Basic Rituals

Magickal forest ritual

Beginnings in Magick :: Rituals, Lesson 2


by Adam K


Moving on now to Lesson 2. So, some may ask--"aren't there rituals in magick?" Yes. And in fact, there are even rituals that are done in preparation for magick. One such ritual is called the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or the LBRP. There are many versions of this ritual--the variation chosen generally depends on the tradition of the individual or group performing it. For our purposes, we will stick to the version The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn used, and which Crowley used for quite some time himself.

Crowley made a case for the LBRP in his Notes of the Pentagram. In that writing, he said:
Every man has a natural fortress within himself, the Soul impregnable. ...Besides this central citadel, man also has outerworks, 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.**

Then, in his writing Liber Aleph, he says:
Neglect not the Performance of the Ritual of the Pentagram and of the Assumption of the Form of Hoor-pa-Kraat.**

And in The Palace of the World, he says:
Those who regard this ritual as a mere device to invoke or banish spirits, are unworthy to possess it. Properly understood, it is the Medicine of Metals and the Stone of the Wise.**


Directions :: The LBRP Ritual 


Clearly though, the ritual is quite basic and fundamental. Crowley saw it as having paramount import and significance for any practicing magician. Hence, it is the one most often taught throughout western magick traditions. It is also found in various forms within each tradition that embraces it, due to the ease with which each magician can adjust names and visualizations to suit their tastes. Here is offered a version as near to the original as is possible; it can be found in Liber O.

1. Touching the forehead, say/vibrate - Ateh (Unto Thee).
2. Touching the breast, vibrate - Malkuth (The Kingdom).
3. Touching the right shoulder, vibrate - ve-Geburah (and the Power).
4. Touching the left shoulder, vibrate - ve-Gedulah (and the Glory).
5. Clasping the hands upon the breast, vibrate - le-Olahm, Amen (To the Ages, Amen).

6. Turning to the East, make a pentagram (that of Earth. Read farther down the page for further detail) with the proper weapon--usually the wand. Vibrate - I H V H.  (pronunciation guide offered below.)
7. Turning to the South, the same--make a pentagram, but vibrate - A D N I.
8. Turning to the West, the same, but vibrate - A H I H.
9. Turning to the North, the same, but vibrate - A G L A.
(Pronounce: IHVH, Yeh-ho-vah [others say Yod Heh Vau Heh]; ADNI, Ad-oh-nye; AHIH, Eh-heh-yeh; AGLA, Ahg-lah.)

Turning back to the East now, extending the arms in a way that renders your body into the form of a Cross, say:
10. Before me Raphael;
11. Behind me Gabriel;
12. On my right hand Michael;
13. On my left hand Auriel;
14. For about me flames the Pentagram,
15. And in the Column stands the six-rayed Star.

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Sharing a Variation and Further Details


There is a variant, however slight in its ways, that I prefer and which I will discuss, as well as presenting the relevant visualizations the magician should be forming at each turn of the ritual. There are also details about movement, posture, and so forth that were not included in the above material which will prove useful to the magician who has no visual reference for the LBRP, that will be included below. So to summarize, the above was a bare bones yet commonly accepted version of the LBRP, but now we move on to something we can really sink our teeth into--offering details that will allow you to intensify the strength of your ritual.

An important thing to note is the direction of movement around the ritual working space. Generally, rituals are performed within a circle, and movement is usually either deosil (clockwise) or widdershins (counter-clockwise). Normally any banishing work is done with movement in a widdershins fashion, while deosil movement is used to invoke. However, movement in the standard LBRP is widdershins, which may seem counterproductive until you consider that you are in fact calling forth powerful entities (invoking) to guard the four quarters. It is the drawing of the Earth Pentagram at each quarter that does the actual work of banishing.


This leads us to the next issue: How does one perform the Earth Pentagram? 


This is done from a standing position similar to that of military attention. Begin with feet together, legs and back straight, eyes forward, hands at your sides. You may use a weapon (wand or ritual dagger), or otherwise simply use your hand. Place the thumb of your right hand between your index and middle finger as you make a fist (this is a phallic symbol). Move your right hand (still in the phallic shape) to a position forward from you and about eighteen inches in front of your left thigh with your arm fully extended. This is the bottom left-most point of your pentagram, the point which corresponds to the element of Earth. Keeping your arm straight, trace a line up to a place just above your line of sight, about eighteen inches in front of your forehead. This point corresponds to the element of Spirit.

From there, trace a line to a point forward from you and about eighteen inches in front of your right thigh. This is the point that corresponds to Fire. Next trace a line to a point forward from you and eighteen inches in front of your left shoulder. This is the point that corresponds to Air. Then trace a line straight across, to a point forward from you and eighteen inches in front of your right shoulder. This is the point corresponding to Water. And finally, trace a line back to where you started, the point of the element of Earth, to complete the Pentagram. Practice this pattern until you can form a flawless pentagram every time. This, the Earth Pentagram, will be the same pentagram you will use for each quarter of your banishing ritual.


The Sign of the Enterer


You must also learn to perform the Sign of the Enterer. This is performed by standing at attention in the beginning, with the exception that the right foot is turned to the right at ninety degrees, and with the right heel against the left insole. If you look down at your feet, you should see that they form a capital letter T, turned so that the top of the letter is to the left and the trunk of the letter is extending to the right. With your hands starting at your sides, raise them straight up to the sides of your head, fingers pointing forward. Then take a large step forward with your left foot (about one whole shoulder width) while thrusting your hands out together, palms down, until your arms are extended directly in front of you. Your right foot will turn and you will raise your right heel about an inch or two from the ground as you lean into this motion.

While your arms are extending, you will be saying one of four god names, depending on where you are in the ritual. Do not just say the name, but vibrate it, intone it, allowing your whole body to feel the vibration and power of the name flowing through you. Intone the name fully until you have exhaled all of your breath, then draw yourself back to the starting position with your feet in the Tau Cross T form again. As you do so, drop your left hand back to your side but bring your right hand up to your lips, in a fist except with your forefinger extended and touched to your lips in what is called the Sign of Silence, which is in this instance essentially a sign within a sign. Then drop your hand back to your side. You will perform this action four times in the course of the ritual, each time accompanying the Earth Pentagram.


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So let's begin with the extended version...


You will need a space where you plan to regularly perform your rituals and magick, if possible. The space should be large enough to accommodate your ritual circle, which is typically a circle with a nine foot diameter. If a space this large isn't possible, don't worry. For now, you can make do with what is available. The complete version of this ritual will include your ritual weapons, candles, an actual drawn or painted circle, an altar, and so on. But this version will only require you, your working space, if possible a robe or outfit you only use for these purposes, and your creative visualization skills.


The Qabalistic Cross


Begin at the center of your circle, facing east, standing at attention. Visualize yourself growing, expanding, extending in all directions, and growing taller until you are tall enough to see over the horizon in all directions, tall enough to look down over entire cities. Continue to grow and expand until you are looking down upon the entire expanse of the earth, until you have grown beyond the orbit of the moon, beyond the orbit of the planets, beyond the limits of the galaxy, beyond the known limits of time and space, and yet know that your feet are still firmly planted on the ground beneath you. From a distance immeasurable and a time that is not time, an infinitely distant and small point of light, infinitely white and infinitely pure will come to you. This point will expand as it grows nearer, until it rests just over your head.

When you can see that cloud of energy clearly resting there, reach up with your right hand, in the phallic symbolistic shape we described above, and touch it with the part of your thumb that extends between your index and middle fingers. Draw your fist back down to touch your forehead about one inch up from the point directly between your eyes, drawing a thread of energy from the sphere down with the motion. Upon touching your forehead, vibrate the word ATEH! Draw your fist (and the line of pure energy) down to your Solar Plexus. As you touch your Heart Chakra, vibrate the name AIWASS! Note: Aiwass is the Holy Guardian Angel (HGA) of Aleister Crowley and the minister of Hoor-pa-Kraat. If you are not a practicing Thelemite you may skip this part of the ritual and instead extend the line to your groin in the next segment. Or, if you know the name of your HGA, you may substitute that name for AIWASS.

Now draw your fist down to extend the line of energy to your groin. As you vibrate the word MALKUTH there, visualize the line of pure white, vibrant energy extending infinitely both above and below you. Then bring your fist up to your right shoulder and touch your thumb to it as you vibrate VE- GEBURAH! Visualize a bit of the pure white light gathering at your thumb and forming a point at your shoulder. Now draw your thumb across to your left shoulder, extending a line of pure white energy from your right shoulder through the vertical infinite pillar of light right at your Solar Plexus and on to your left shoulder. As you touch your left shoulder, vibrate VE-GEDULAH! As you vibrate the word, imagine the line of energy now extending infinitely to your left and right, forming a perfect beam; the result is that you've created a cross formed of energy. Now open your right hand and bring it back to the center and press your two hands together in front of your chest as if in prayer, and vibrate the phrase LE-OLAHM AMEN! Lower your hands back to your sides and feel the power of the light within you, and radiating from you through the crossed pillars.


You have completed the first Qabalistic Cross for the LBRP. Now we shall move on to the rest of the ritual.


Step forward to the East Quarter of your circle. Stand at attention one step from the edge and form the Earth Pentagram. As you are tracing the pentagram, visualize it being drawn in a line of blue flame. Each of the pentagrams in each quarter will be formed of this blue flame. At this point, perform the Sign of the Enterer. As your arms thrust forward, push them through the center of the pentagram and vibrate the god-name YEH-HO-VAH! See the pentagram launch into the East Quarter. Step back, and as you perform the Sign of Silence, visualize the form of a great pillar of smoke, like that pillar which led the Israelites out of Egypt. This is the vision of YHVH.

From the Sign of Silence, drop your right hand back to your side, then lift it back up again as the phallic fist into the center of the pentagram and use it to draw a curved line of blue energy as you walk from the East Quarter around the perimeter to the South Quarter. The blue line of energy will form along the perimeter. In the South Quarter, repeat all that you did in the East, with the exception that here you will vibrate ADONAI! And along with the Sign of Silence you will visualize the pillar of fire that stood between the Israelites and the Egyptians by night. This is the vision of Adonai.

Repeat the previous steps again, moving to the West Quarter, and as you perform the Sign of the Enterer vibrate the name EH-HEH-YEH! Visualize the Burning Bush that Moses met on the Mount. This is the vision of AHIH (I AM THAT I AM). Now perform all this again as you move to the North Quarter. Here vibrate AH-GAH-LAH! Visualize the finger of flame carving the tablets of Law for Moses. This is the vision of AGLA (Atah Gibor Le-olam Adonai, or “You, O Lord, are mighty forever”).

Finally, continue to draw a blue flaming line back around to the center of the pentagram you previously made in the East Quarter. From here, return to the center of your circle and face East at attention once again.

From here, step your feet out to a distance roughly twice shoulder width, and extend your arms directly out from your sides to form the shape of a pentagram with your body. Visualize a blue flaming line that starts at your left foot, moves up to your head, down to your right foot, up to your left hand, across to your right hand, and back down to your left foot. This symbolizes you as a star in the universe, unique and individual, yet part of the greater whole--one with the All.

Now vibrate these words as you create the visualization following them: RAPHAEL before me. (Visualize before you, and just beyond the Pentagram in the East, a masculine but slender being in saffron yellow and white robes, with long flowing light blond hair blowing gently and majestically in the wind. He has a dagger, the weapon of Air, and the handle is a bright yellow. He displays great skill in the use of this weapon, flowing through various movements that remind you of the flow of the wind through the valleys of the world. He has great wings, the wings of a grand eagle, white and powerful. His eyes are a sky blue, and in them you see life and movement. The sky behind him is the sky of an early morning sunrise.)

Vibrate: GABRIEL behind me. (Visualize behind you and beyond the Pentagram in the West, a somewhat androgynous being in slowly undulating and flowing royal and ocean blue robes, with sandy blonde hair flowing as if under water. The being has a beautiful cup, a grail, moulded and shaped in a flowing fashion, and lightly bejeweled with gems that recall the great seas. It overflows with the purest and coolest of waters, refreshing just to see; soothing and healing in nature. The being's feet are upon the surface of an ocean of water as far as the eye can see in all directions, and the sky is a raging storm but beautiful to behold nonetheless. The being is clearly, like the other beings, an angel, but more clearly so than you have ever imagined. The angel has great swan wings, white and hinting at blue. The belt and sandals of the being are adorned with silver and are magnificently flowing in their design. The angel's eyes are a liquid blue.)

Vibrate: On my right hand, MICHAEL. (Visualize an incredibly masculine, powerfully built being just beyond the pentagram in the South. He--and it is clearly a he--is adorned in a vibrant, embroidered red tabard over magnificent steel armor. His hair is dark, short, and an interesting mixture of discipline and wildness can be seen in it. Alternately, he may have a sword of flame or a rod of carefully crafted iron; the sword, one of a commander of great forces; the rod, one of a powerful but just ruler. He displays great martial skill with both, in forms of movement that remind one of a powerful lion or dragon in full combat splendor. His skin is like burnished brass, and he has burning eyes and flaming red wings like those of a massive eagle. His gaze is full of barely contained action, ready to burst forth with controlled chaos in service of order.)

Vibrate: And on my left hand, AURIEL. (Visualize, just beyond the pentagram in the North, a feminine form in a hooded robe of blackest black, held closed by a belt of earthen brown, and holding a shield in the form of a disk divided into four colors--olive, citrine, russet, and black--representative of the Kingdom of Earth. Both despite of and because of the being's feminine and unquestionably female form, a unique strength and immovability is seen in her, a resoluteness--a stubbornness some might say, like that of a mother protecting her young. Her form is curved and powerful, like sculpted granite, but her face is hidden behind the darkness of the hood. Nonetheless her raven black hair spills forth from the hood. Her skill with the shield is displayed, and clearly it is more than a defensive weapon, as her skill is amazonian in scale. Her wings are like those of a raven or a great crow, absorbing all light yet still shimmering with hidden energy, hinting at the stability found in change and vice versa. Behind and all around her are mountains and rocky terrain, all of it clearly covered at the peaks in the snows of the north. Behind the hood, her eyes can be seen glowing like lava in the depths of the darkness.)

Say: For I am the Flaming Pentagram in the Column of The Six Rayed Star! (While saying these words with forceful power, visualize a great hexagram forming to the edges of your circle, and see that hexagram extend above your head by nine feet, creating another hexagram within a circle there, and thus a column within which you stand, blazing as the Star you are. As this happens visualize your four angelic guardians turning to face outward, each taking a battle ready stance, and each extending their wings to touch wingtip to wingtip with the angels on either side.)

You are now within the protected space of your circle, where all energy except that which you create in your magical workings is banished and you are protected on all sides by the beings you called forth. It is in this space that you can freely work with your magick, and perform whatever rituals you see fit to perform.

Once you have completed whatever work you have set to complete, you shall then end the circle by performing the Qabalistic Cross once again, this time closing the energetic columns down rather than activating them.

The LBRP is complete.


Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming segments of this "Lessons in Magick" series, that are currently in the works.

_____

**(Quotes reference: Thelemapedia.org)


Links to Other Parts of This Series
The Preamble, Part I :: How to Become a Magician
Part II, Lesson One :: Elementary Level Knowledge
Part III, Lesson Two :: Basic Rituals (this page)
_____

A relevant video link, by Blazing Star O.T.O.

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