Posts Tagged With: Golden Dawn

Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram

Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram

Author:   Irish Order Of Thelema – Brian 

The following primarily addresses the rituals of ritual magick and Thelema, but the basic principles still stand ‘true’ to other practices in Witchcraft and more ‘popular’ traditions.

When I first joined a magickal Order (The Irish Order Of Thelema) I heard about the importance of banishing. In every book I have read on ritual magick I have seen ‘banish’ written everywhere. Banishing is one of the most common ritual actions in the magickal stream of the western mystery tradition, helping to clear the mind or subtle self from disturbances. Rituals such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of The Pentagram also open us to higher ideals. It helps to equilibrate the initiate. It is also used by a wide cross section of the esoteric community, from Witch to magus.

But if we go back to the origins of this, perhaps the most widespread banishing ritual, we find that the Golden Dawn didn’t have a ‘lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram’. They had a lesser ritual of the pentagram that had both banishing and invocatory forms.

Ritual magick seems to have gone mad with magicians banishing in the morning, in the evening, before a ritual, after a ritual, yet many have forgotten about the invocatory forms of magick and pentagram rituals.

There is more to this magick business than just ‘getting rid’. Perhaps we want energy to continue echoing on after a ritual, and banishing all over the place often nullifies the work being done in the first place. Why would one invoke a much-needed influence, only to shoo it away afterwards. A generally fearful outlook has led to excessive ritual hygiene through banishing. This also stems from a lack of understanding of basic ritual dynamics.

This point (not banishing al the time) is particularly applicable to those who take the developmental path of the technical or ‘ritual’ magician, who desire development through ritual means beyond the subtle hygiene of banishing.

Invocatory pentagram rituals invoke a full set of forces upon the magician. In the case of the pentagrams we are working with the Greek elements, being earth, water, air, and fire. A fifth element is often added called Aether (meaning eternity and often referred to as ‘spirit’) . This invoking has the effect of introducing initiatory forces into the life of the magician.

Initiate means to begin, and like beginning anything else, working with invocatory magick opens new opportunities and experiences for growth and development.

Many rituals, such as the opening by Watchtower (sometimes wrongly described as banishing by watchtower – sic) , work actively with the Gods, angels and elements as initiating forces. As such, the emphasis is not on pushing away and protecting, but in opening safe gates to initiatory forces. This is also true of the ritual Liber Samekh, and in a different form in the lesser invoking ritual of the pentagram.

One Golden Dawn document suggested banishing at night and invoking in the morning. Even if this is all that you do, this suggestion has quite some merit. By invoking initiating forces at the beginning of the day, we are walking and working in the world as an expression of our work with invocation. What if this does not close off and push away, as in banishing, but creates an open mindset for initiatory experiences in real-life scenarios? The path of karma yoga, or experience of the eternal through action, is one of living in the world and is necessary in the Western tradition. Invoking in the morning is best experienced through experiment. I feel it gives a very different experience of the day for me. But why take my word for it when you can find out for yourself.

Likewise, I agree with the practice of banishing at night. Many people carry what they have experienced during the day on into their beds, and sleep disorders are prevalent. Banishing in the evening allows a stilling and resolution of what has gone on during the day. A mental or journal review of the day also helps to achieve a sense of rest, centre and ability to sleep by digesting the day. In the still space of sleep, when properly created, images can freely arise that can have significance in the initiatory journey of the magician. As with any element of life, magickal or seemingly mundane, resultant images should be recorded.

Having spoken about the importance of invocatory as well as banishing work I would like to return to the topic of banishing.

In general a good hygienic banishing practice is a useful skill to have to maintain good boundaries and as a means to come to a centre. There are several more simple banishing rituals that can be used in a hurry, or at times when you cannot stand up and perform a full ritual banishing.

Some Simple Acts Of Banishing

The following are some simple methods of banishing and cleansing. Many are brief and can be used as needed to clear. More elaborate methods, such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual Of the Pentagram are still recommended as a practice for more austere measures, and because they contain elements which can be considered important beyond the immediate banishing.

Clearing Statements

There are a number of clearing statements in ritual magick. For those of a Golden Dawn background, the most obvious example is ‘Hekas, hekas este bebeloi’. This is proclaimed before a temple opening and for all of its fanciness and Greek, it just means ‘Away, away all spirits’ or ‘far, far away be all profanity’. Essentially it is a statement of magickal intent, to work within a purified and banished space. This may or may not be followed by further ritual banishing depending on the intent of further work. I often use such ‘clearing statements’ when I feel presences around me and which has no impact or is no insult to such beings as the geni loci or benevolent spirits, to whom a command to the ‘evil’ or ‘profane’ obviously doesn’t apply.

Other such proclamations also exist. The Latin equivalent is a particular favourite of mine, being ‘Procul, O procul este profani’. The origins of this come from Virgil who uses it in his epic poem The Aeneid when the Sybil of Cumae is about to deliver prophesy. It addresses specifically those ‘unworthy’ to hear the words of the Gods. The English word profane is derived from the Latin profanus, meaning in front of (pro) the temple (fanum) . The profani were thus those ‘unworthy’ of entering the temple. This phrase is used by Aleister Crowley in his ‘Liber Israfel’ as a preliminary statement. I find it appropriate for most contexts, and it would even be quite apt above the door of a temple, lodge room or other sacred space.

Finally, and again in Greek and from Aleister Crowley we have the command ‘apo pantos kakodiamonos’. This, like the Latin, or like the other Greek statement, banishes profanity or evil. In dealing with the term ‘evil’, we must understand this as an operative rather than a moral judgment, which is to say, it refers to beings or forces contrary to the work one should carry out (the magicians will) . It is also relative, as what is unconstructive in one situation may be just what you need in another. The word diamonos means genius, and has been used by several prominent occultists to refer to ones higher being, or higher self, or an associated higher intelligence or ‘guardian angel’.

Clearing statements are normally proclaimed using the sign of the enterer (with both arms thrust forward at an upward angle and the upper body also projected forward) followed by the gesture of the Godform Harpocrates, who has the finger on the lip in a gesture of silence. Images of the various signs are included in the appendices.

Latin and Greek are used as ‘unfamiliar’ languages, which thus do not have the same casual meaning as our native tongue. Latin and Greek are wonderfully effective, but sometimes nothing will be quite so effective to clear a room as an emotion and intent filled utterance of ‘get the f*#k out’ in your own language. Try it out with full projected intent – you’d be surprised how effective a few choice, intent filled words can be for clearing anyone or anything from a room.

Visualisation, The Magickal Imagination and Protection Magick

The sensory experience of what is before ones sight, and that which is held as an inner, vivid image are experienced as being equally ‘true’ in the human brain.

There is also a hypothesis in the western mystery tradition that inner worlds or images have an outer, yet non corporeal reality in the ‘astral’, a subtle, non-physical aspect of reality. This in turn can cause change in accordance with will, either within oneself or towards others. A scientific and experimental approach is necessary to confirm or disprove such a hypothesis.

At very least we can speak of visualisation work as having a psychological effect, as a form of image based meditation, which banishes unwanted influences from the mind and offering an experience of clarity. When feeling disturbed by psychological or subtle influences, visualisation work can be done with images of protection and deflection such as a shield, a brick wall, or a bubble. The experience of the reality of this by the individual creates this reality within the individual.


Such simple banishings and protective magicks are a good preliminary practice. Practical experiment is recommended before proceeding to some of the other rituals (invoking or banishing) mentioned above.



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A Year and a Day – Origins and Applications

A Year and a Day – Origins and Applications

Author:   del Luna la Madre’ Temple 

I have seen the following in many, many posts. Competently trained Priests and Priestesses look at these words, and say to themselves – “Oh, You Truly Have No Idea”. The Phrase that I am referring to is:

“I have been studying for a Year and a Day and so I am now close to being ready for Initiation.” or “I am half way through my Year and a Day and so I now have questions about where do I find a group to Initiate into?”, There are other varying forms of this, and if you read through the many thousands of posts, you will surely come across that variety.

The Truth of the matter is that training in the Crafte does NOT take a Year and A Day. It sometimes takes much longer. Wikipedia lists the following information under a year and a day:

The year and a day rule was a principle of English law holding that a death was conclusively presumed not to be murder (or any other homicide) if it occurred more than a year and one day since the act (or omission) that was alleged to have been its cause. The rule also applied to the offence of assisting with a suicide.

• The period of a year and a day was a convenient period to represent a significant amount of time. Its use was generally as a jubilee or permanence.

• Historically (England) the period that a couple must be married for a spouse to have claim to a share of inheritable property.

• In mediaeval Europe, a runaway serf became free after a year and a day.

• When a judgment has been reversed a fresh action may be lodged within a year and a day, regardless of the statute of limitations. U.S.

• Note: a lunar year (13 lunar months of 28 days) plus a day is a solar year (365 days) . Also those 366 days would be a full year even if a leap day were included.

Magickally speaking- the Year and a Day rule is a hold over from the Masons. Their training period for an Apprentice was a year and a day of service and hard work. Gerald Gardner – the father of the modern day Crafte movement derived much of his early work on the Crafte from his Masonic roots, using the model of the Co-Masonic Lodge and its training as a basis for some of the early rules of the Crafte. It is known that in the early texts that Gardner wrote, that there were EXTREME similarities to Masonry, OTO and Golden Dawn.

As I stated before, A Year and A Day is quite misleading when it comes to serious study within the Crafte. It is a guide that is used by most of the Traditions to indicate that this is the MINIMUM amount of time that can be spent working toward a degree. In some cases, it is the minimum amount of time that one is allowed to spend working on one area of training within the Crafte itself.

So before you embark on telling the world that you have spent the last Year and a Day working on your studies of the Crafte, think, will those who I tell this to take me seriously. Can I really hold my own when questioned about what I have learned? Am I still unsure about the names and purposes of Deity within the Crafte? Do I understand that there is much more to learn and that I have only scratched the tip of the iceberg? Have I investigated books and other learning tools that are not just mainstream Crafte?

These are some serious questions that you need to ask yourself. Why? Because, if you do find others who are serious about their Crafte, be prepared to be asked some serious questions in conversation. Remember, they have studied long, and hard for the information they possess, their Oaths in many cases restrict them from passing on the intricacies of their Faith. Many of them feel that it is NOT their job to school the masses about the simplicities of the Crafte and its terminology.

If you want to be taken seriously, then learn the proper terminology, understand the terminology, and by all means – don’t act like a KNOW IT ALL. No One Knows It All. And a Good Teacher, High Priest or High Priestess will never be ashamed to tell you that they don’t know it all, but by their years of practice, not just studying or reading, have given them sufficient knowledge that they know that there is so much more out there to learn, that they will always be a student and practitioner.

So think before you infer that you have been studying for a year and a day, and that now you are properly prepared in the Crafte and therefore you should be granted all sorts of privileges, because of your studying for that year and a day. You now deserve to be taken as a serious authority on some level.

If you think this, say this, write this, be prepared for a good deal of laughter. But also be aware that there may also be some that are not laughing, and those are the ones that you need to be cautious of, for they are the ones that may see you as their next target of humiliation or degradation.

To ere on the side of humility in this case is a good thing…

Something to also consider is that even after you have studied long and hard, that is no guarantee that the information that you have studied is even correct and can withstand closer scrutiny, that, you are certain to receive if you spout off about ‘studying for a year and a day.’ You may have only read all the information published by one author or one publishing company. There is so much more to the Crafte that is not found in any book.

Nothing can replace pure and sincere experience and practice. So think about your Year and a Day, and ask: How far have I come and how far do I want to go? Have I experienced all that I can or do I need to experience more? Your answers might surprise you!

Wishing you Blessings Upon Your Path!

Lady Morgen
High Priestess
del Luna la Madre’ Temple

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Good Thursday Morning to you, my dear friends!

Witchy Comments & Graphics 

Today’s Affirmation for Thursday, March 8th

 When I look into the future, I see a vista of challenge and resolution. I venture forth with strength, hope and faith. 


Today’s Thought for Thursday, March 8th

 Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.



Today’s Meditation for Thursday, March 8th 

Welcoming the Dawn

 In many spiritual traditions dawn – when the world is at its most peaceful – is regarded as an ideal time for meditation.  Just before dawn go outside and find a place to sit and watch the sunrise.  As the sun emerges above the horizon, fill your awareness with the brightening hues of the sky and rejoice in the beauty of the new day. Feel the golden rays of the sun warm your face and allow hope to fill your heart and refresh your spirit. You have started the day well.

 If the weather is poor or you are unable to get a clear view of the sunrise, visualize the dawn instead.

~Magickal Graphics~

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