Posts Tagged With: Lesser ritual of the pentagram

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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Footnotes:
n/a

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The Term “Fluffy Bunny” Must Go

The Term “Fluffy Bunny” Must Go

Author: Praxiteles

I believe that the term “fluffy bunny” is not only not useful or practical, but harmful, and that we should abandon the term.

So, why must “fluffy bunny” go? In my opinion, there are the five main reasons why:

1. The term “fluffy bunny” is itself fluffy bunny.

“Fluffy bunny” is defined variously, but the general notion is that of a person who doesn’t check their facts (or even care about ‘facts’, historical or otherwise); who accepts or dismisses something without critical thought; and who goes around spreading their dogma as if it is the one True Way. The usual example given is of someone who buys one book on the Craft, or several books but all by the same author, and takes this author’s approach and viewpoints as Gospel, and then goes around annoying the heck out of everyone else. When challenged or questioned on anything, the “fluffy bunny” can’t defend or explain their position, except with something along the lines of “because so-and-so says so.”

Now I agree that this behavior is rather unimpressive, and that “because so-and-so says so” isn’t any kind of reasoned response or valid argument. However, have you maybe noticed that the same people who throw around the “fluffy bunny” and “fluff” and “nonsense” labels the most are often the very people who can’t explain why a particular author or book or person is so bad, so “fluffy”? Instead of taking the trouble to back up their assertions with reasons and facts, they just slap on the “fluffy bunny” label and pour on the derision and contempt.

To my mind, this is type of behavior is worse than the behavior being criticized.

Labels and stereotypes are the tools of guilt, shame, manipulation, and domination. They bypass reason and consideration and go straight to an emotional level. No tyrant or demagogue has ever been able to dispense with these tools; no genocide, no atrocity, no war has ever been committed or fought without their help. They stop you from considering the people involved, from thinking of the person, the human being.

Fluffy bunny in drag isn’t any better than fluffy bunny. The website Why Wiccans Suck, for example, isn’t any more thoughtful or profound than that which it attacks. If someone hates someone or something because it is “fluffy bunny”, and when asked for an explanation why can do no better than say, “because it’s fluff and nonsense”, well then, I’m sorry, but I don’t see any essential difference between the behavior they are exhibiting and that which they are attacking.

And supposing that someone can articulate many good reasons why something is bad then why fall back on a crutch, on a label like “fluffy bunny” in the first place? Wouldn’t a paragraph or two of articulate and reasoned criticism be so much better?

2. “Fluffy Bunny” is a straw-man term.

Has anyone ever actually met a fluffy bunny, either in real life or online? Perhaps some people have, but I haven’t! Looking over the more serious definitions of what a “fluffy bunny” is, at, for example, Wicca for the Rest of Us, I can’t see that there could possibly be very many bona fide fluffy bunnies running around out there. And keep in mind that those people who are de facto fluffy bunnies due to ignorance, and who stop being such when confronted with the facts and better information, are not fluffy bunnies.

Fluffy bunnies, according to the definition, are those who ignorantly and stupidly cling to whatever they hold up on a pedestal, regardless of the facts. Now, really, how many of those people have you met?

So, why is this term so prevalent? Is it perhaps because its use makes people feel good because it implies that the user is not a fluffy bunny, is in fact a “real” Witch? A “serious” Witch? I think sometimes this may be the case, or partly the case, and this brings me to my next point:

3. “Fluffy Bunny” is manipulative and plays on the fears and desires of the inexperienced and insecure.

For the record, I include myself here. The stupidest thing I ever wrote online is when I asked for a definition of a “pop Wiccan” because “I didn’t want to be one, ” and knowing what it was would help me from becoming one. But, really, how could I know that I didn’t want to be a pop Wiccan if I didn’t actually know what a “pop Wiccan” was? I couldn’t. It was stupid. Or actually, it was insecure.

I greatly admired (and still admire) the person with whom I was talking, and wanted to avoid what she despised or dismissed. In other words, instead of thinking for myself, I wanted her to think for me. This is not what being a Witch is all about–quite the opposite–regardless of whether the opinion or position was right or wrong.

Witchcraft isn’t about having the “right” opinions, or reading the “right” books, or being taught by the “right” Coven–not if “right” is something you dogmatically and thoughtlessly accept from others.

The widespread use of the term “fluffy bunny” and terms like it, creates an atmosphere of negativity and nastiness, and this atmosphere tends to focus the attention on opinions and positions instead of on process and methods, which help develop discernment and skills.

It’s got a bunch of people out there wasting time trying to avoid being a “fluffy bunny” when they don’t even know what that really is, and could thus only accept the judgments of others on the subject, and hence perpetuate the fluffy bunniness of the term “fluffy bunny.”

Wouldn’t it be better to focus attention instead on learning and progressing? I suggest that maybe the best thing we can do is not to be afraid of being called “fluffy bunny”; not to be afraid of reading a book reputed to be “fluffy bunny”; not to care so much what others opine, but instead to care more about trying to find the truth for ourselves.

I think dialogue is good; discussion is good; considering the thoughts and reasoning of others is good; by all means engage in these activities (as we are right now). But I think that accepting labels and bald dogmatic assertions, even from those with more experience and skill, short-circuits all of these good things.

4. “Fluffy Bunny” is authoritarian.

It seems to me that those who use a label, a stereotype, like “fluffy bunny”, necessarily imply that they are an authority. They are asking you to take their word on something, unless or until they bother to explain the reasoning behind the judgment.

And, please! I am quite sure that there is always someone out there who thinks that you and your way is “fluffy bunny”; always some group ready to look down on the group looking down on a group just finding their way as best they can; always someone ready to point out what you are not, what you have not, where you are unworthy of serious consideration.

Wouldn’t it be better to just stop with all that? Don’t we have better things to do with our time than criticize and condemn and judge others and how they practice? We’re not monotheists! We have no orthodoxy to defend; no Tradition to keep pure and untainted. Can’t we instead use all of that extra energy to strive all the harder to live and practice to the best of our ability?

5. It will hurt your magick.

Or at least it did me. I have found that contempt and disrespect is not something that will enamor my Younger Self to my Talking-head Self. Contempt is spiritual and magickal poison in my experience. It goes hand in hand with skepticism and snobbery.

Obviously, this is only my experience. Test things out (if you haven’t already) and see for yourself. Try for a day, or for 8 hours, to bend your mind to the good in people and situations. Do not indulge in contemptuous or belittling thoughts towards others or yourself. Now cast a circle or do a pathworking or LBRP, or whatever practices you do, and see if you notice a difference. Perhaps you will find that it is easier to reach ritual or magickal states of consciousness. I certainly do.

But, don’t get me wrong here. You don’t have to go around fooling yourself into believing everyone is an avatar of perfection. You don’t have to check your discernment at the door. You just have to avoid holding others in contempt.

So those are my reasons. Perhaps you found them interesting and worth reading, or perhaps not. But either way, I do understand the problems and frustrations behind the widespread use of the term “fluffy bunny.”

I understand that there are plenty of people out there playing at being Witches; dabbling, posturing, looking for instant gratification, and I understand that many serious Witches are concerned that these people drag things down to a lower level and give Witchcraft a bad name, and so on.

I do understand that.

What I don’t understand is why we give them so much thought, and even a stereotype, when instead we could have given their opposite as much or more thought, and held it up as a shining ideal.

Fluffy bunnies are, after all, immune to criticism by definition, right?

In my opinion, it’s better to show what you think is the way forward, and the ideal, than to waste time and thought on where you do not want to go, on what you do not want to be. People will scatter from the latter in every direction. But people will go towards the former from every direction.

So shouldn’t we think about abandoning the term “fluffy bunny” and focus on the opposite?

How about the “sleek raccoon” or something?

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BANISHING SICKNESS FROM YOURSELF

BANISHING SICKNESS FROM YOURSELF

Take an Athame or wand (or use your index finger) and repeat the banishing
pentagram ritual while saying:
O malady, disappear into the heavens;
Pain, rise up to the clouds;
Inflamed vapor, fly into the air,
In order that the wind may take thee away,
That the tempest may chase thee to distant regions,
Where you came from where you did no harm So mote it be!

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TO BANISH ILL HEALTH FROM ANOTHER

This is a very short, quick and simple spell to do.
It can be done anywhere at any time (though during the waning period of the
moon is best as that is the time for banishing magic).
All you need is yourself, an intent, a person in mind (it helps to have a picture of
them if it is difficult for you to visualize them) and your finger ( I’ll explain).
Draw a banishing pentagram in the air with your index finger. This is done by drawing a five
pointed star backwards (the opposite direction you would normally draw it, not upside-down)
Draw it while saying:
Let this pentagram banish all ill health and negativity from (the persons name).
There is no specific number of times you repeat this process, it becomes as
many as you feel is enough.

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On the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

On the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

by Tim Maroney

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is one of the chief rituals of Western Magick. It has been with us at least since the Golden Dawn of the nineteenth century, and it has penetrated into all the many Golden Dawn spinoffs, including Neo-Paganism. Yet there is still no widely available, clear instruction. The directions of the magical orders are mere mnemonics for those who are assumed to have personal instructors. To formulate my personal approach to the ritual, to aid any others who may be considering practicing the LBR, and to satisfy the idle curiosity of any gawking onlookers, I have put together this short discussion of the ritual and its symbolism and performance.

A. Intent of the Ritual

The real action of a magick ritual takes place in the mind. Ritual is a form of moving meditation. The effect is also primarily psychological.* The LBR is a tool to facilitate meditation.

[*Not all players would agree with this statement. Many would say that the effect of the LBR is a fortified and cleansed area on the astral plane, which they think is as real as Hoboken, if not more so. It doesn't really matter in practice.]

The experience of a proper LBR is pleasurable and soothing, yet energizing and empowering. One is made at home in the mystical realm, protected from lurkers and phantasms by strongly imagined wards. This solace from mundane experience is a precondition for more serious works of meditation or ritual, but it can also form a healthy part of the life of the mind by itself.

B. The Ritual

I’ll just reprint the description of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram from Liber O, a publication of the occult order A.’.A.’.

  1. Touching the forehead, say “Ateh (Unto Thee).”
  2. Touching the breast, say Malkuth (The Kingdom).”
  3. Touching the right shoulder, say “ve-Geburah (and the Power).”
  4. Touching the left shoulder, say “ve-Gedulah (and the Glory),
  5. Clasping the hands upon the breast, say “le-Olahm, Amen (To the Ages, Amen).”
  6. Turning to the East, make a pentagram (that of Earth) with the proper weapon (usually the Wand). Say (i.e. vibrate) “IHVH” (Ye-ho-wau*).
  7. Turning to the South, the same, but say “ADNI” (Adonai).
  8. Turning to the West, the same, but say “AHIH” (Eheieh).
  9. Turning to the North, the same, but say “AGLA” (Agla).
  10. Extending the arms in the form of a cross say:
  11. “Before me Raphael;
  12. Behind me Gabriel;
  13. On my right hand Michael;
  14. On my left hand Auriel;
  15. For about me flames the Pentagram,
  16. And in the Column stands the six-rayed Star.”
  17. until xxi. Repeat steps (i) to (v), the “Qabalistic Cross.”

[* Modern scholarship has a different take on the pronunciation of the Big Guy's name. I use "Yahweh" rather than the "Ye-ho-wau" of Liber O because that's what the Catholic priests of my youth taught me to say, and I've never been able to shake it off. Use whatever pronunciation you prefer, or a different name altogether.]

C. Politics of the Ritual

With practice, you will no doubt come up with your own style of performance, and your own different symbolism for ritual acts. Different people do rituals as differently as actors play parts, even though the lines and motions may be fundamentally the same. (The alternative is an authoritarian, dogmatic horror which is alien to the deep occult understanding of religion, but is still common in magical groups.) Slavish imitation will get you nowhere in Magick — except, perhaps, to some high spiritual degree!

The Christianity — or at least angelic monotheism — of the ritual symbolism may give a start to some. Many of us involved in occultism have strongly negative feelings about Christianity. These are perhaps justified, but there are a few saving graces here.

First, as with any ritual, you should feel free to make it yours, to mess around with it. If you don’t start to at least play with the styles of a ritual after a while, you are probably not doing it very well. It is perfectly legitimate to substitute cognate symbols at any time. However, the saying in the martial arts is that one first learns another’s style, and after mastering it, moves on to create one’s own. For a beginner, it will be easiest simply to use an existing ritual form in order to explore the meaning of a banishing ritual.

Given that experience, which transcends any mere set of symbols, one may devise a form more in keeping with the emergence of one’s personal style. For instance, Neo-Pagans use a highly reified form of the same basic ritual in many of their traditions, but with non-Christian deities, spirits, and heros at the quarters. Aleister Crowley wrote a new version which made the performance more dancelike, and used the names of Thelemic deities and officers rather than monotheist gods and angels. My private version, called “Opening the Threshold”, is entirely atheistic and philosophical.

In any case, of those people who so abhor Christianity, how many have looked at some of the practices of historical pagans in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas? No religion should ever be “accepted” by an occultist. When using any religion’s symbolism, the adept should cut to its sacred poetical core and discard the political dross. By this standard, Christianity looks about as good as any other religion. Without this standard and by factoring in historical excesses and power plays, almost all known religions look just about as bad as Christianity.

In other words, someone who will happily use Norse gods, Arthurian heroes, Taoist immortals, Voudoun loas, or what have you in rituals, but will never touch a Christian angel, is guilty of the same narrowness he or she probably imparts to the Christians.

The Vibration of God-Names

In the LBR, the vibration of the god-names “charges” or “enlivens” the pentagrams in the air. This is difficult to describe, but easy to recognize. There is a feeling of presence in one of these charged warding images — though not necessarily a feeling of true externality or separate intelligence. Weare told to “vibrate” the names. The description and illustration of the “vibration” given in Liber O have been known to mislead people into hilarious postures. What the picture most resembles is the skulking monster from the movie The Mummy. To the modern eye, it is remarkable how truly unclear a photograph can be. I didn’t learn how to vibrate a god-name until I signed up with yet another occult order and was taught it in person. I wouldn’t wish the ensuing experience on anyone, so here is a description which I hope will be adequate in print.

Vibration phase i — The Sign of the Enterer (1-4)

1. Stand upright. Blow all the air out of your lungs. Hold your arms straight out at your sides.

2a. Close your eyes and inhale nasally, imagining that the breath is the name. The exact nature of this imagination differs from person to person. Thus, you imagine yourself inhaling the name into your lungs.

2b. As you inhale, sweep your forearms smoothly and deliberately up so that your fists rest on your temples.

3. Imagine the breath moving down through your torso slowly, and through your pelvis, your legs, and finally to the soles of your feet. (Don’t do this so slowly that you are hurting for air when the name reaches your feet!)

4a. The instant the inhaled vibrational name hits the soles of your feet, imagine it rushing back up and out.

4b. Simultaneously, throw yourself forward, thrusting your left foot forward about twelve inches (or thirty centimeters) and catching yourself on it. Your hands shoot forward, together, like a diver. You bend forward at the waist so that your torso winds up parallel to the floor.

4c. The air in your lungs should be blown out through your nose at the same time, but imagine the name shooting out straight ahead.

Steps 3-4 are known as the Sign of the Enterer, or of Horus. This symbolizes powerful active energy. The Enterer should be something of a “rush”. The vibrational name is projected outwards into more tangible manifestation — in this case, in the pentagrams of the LBR, which are charged by the force of the projected god-names.

It is highly inadvisable to omit the portion of step(4b) which reads “catching yourself on it.” But again, I have no desire to infringe on your freedom of choice.

Vibration phase ii — The Sign of Silence (5)

5. Finally, withdraw into a standing position, left arm hanging at your side, right forefinger on lips, left foot pointing ninety degrees out from the body.

Step 5 is called the Sign of Silence, or of Harpocrates. This Egyptian god was mistakenly believed (at the turn of the century) to pertain to silence, because his finger or thumb was touching his lips. This gesture is now believed to be a symbol of childhood; this correction appears in the World card of Crowley’s “Book of Thoth” Tarot deck. Harpocrates was the god of the Sun at dawn, and so symbolizes wonder, beauty, potential, growth. So, step 5 may be done in this academically corrected light instead.

However, the “hush” gesture of the Golden Dawn Sign of Silence is adequate for the modern occultist, even if deprived of A Divine Identification. It is a common gesture, at least in the European culture, meaning silence. Silence perhaps balances the ultra-active Sign of the Enterer better than does the more scholarly positive/active “Sign of Harpocrates the Rising Sun”, and silence is surely no alien concept to mystics.

The Invocation

The pentagrams are given form by the drawing, life by the vibration, identity by the four-part prayer of steps (x) to (xiv). Some people do very elaborate visualizations of angelic guardians on each of (xi) to (xiv). Because of my tragic personal deficiencies, I am content with strong feelings of presence, identity, and divinity in each of the four directions.

A horizontal cross is built up step by step as you say, “Before me Raphael”, etc, with you at the center; and the position of your arms forms a vertical cross, a renewal of the Qabalistic Cross from the start of the ritual. You may feel a quite peculiar rising and expansion when both of these crosses are formulated. One has become the center of the geometry of the space, and it is like a little world in itself, cut adrift from the mundane currents of everyday experience.

Steps (xv) and (xvi) are when the real banishing takes place, during “For about me flames the pentagram, and in the column stands the six-rayed star.” A great pulse of force is emitted during these steps, imposing the personal will on the space and clearing it of all hostile influences.

After this is done, the invoked “archangels” maintain the banishing effect, guarding in all four directions. Of course this talk of angels is all bullshit — the importance lies in the psychological effect. Whether there “really is” an archangel standing there keeping out inimical spirits is not important. The “feeling of cleanliness” is what matters.

Concluding Cross

The final Qabalistic Cross is an affirmation of the completeness and symmetry of the ritual, and also a new self-consecration. This is more efficacious than the previous Cross because it is done in a banished environment.

One is now ready to do a formal invocation, an evocation, a meditation, or whatever the overall purpose may be. The LBR is a preliminary ceremony, although it has a beneficial effect in itself. It can profitably be done as a stand-alone ritual, but you should move on. The LBR should keep away the horrible ickies that turn so many novices away from Magick. Its mastery is a first step to adeptship.

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