Magick for the Lazy Man
A beginner’s guide to the Occult
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
This column is being written for the beginning student of Magick, for the Probationer, and the Neophyte. It is not based on the teachings of any particular Order, although it does have a Thelemic predisposition, as I am a Thelemite, and write from that point of view J .
Each month we will take a look at and dissect either a Ritual, Practice or Theory without the trappings and symbolic language that most writers on the Occult tend to layer on their works. While at one time it served a purpose, it no longer is a valid practice, for "The Law is for All".
In this issue, we will take the most basic foundation of Ritual, the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) and try to explain not only what it means, but what it does to the magickian during the ritual, but before we get to the ritual itself, there are a few words that must be said about preparation and what one really needs to do ritual.
Truly, the only things that you need to do a ritual is a quiet space wherein to do the ritual itself, and the Will to do it. The other trappings, the weapons, altar, robes, and the rest of the bells and whistles are nice to have, but they are not necessary! If you don’t have a dagger, use your finger If you don’t have an altar, use any table or similar fixture No robe? Work in the nude. I think you get the point by now. The weapons, and other Temple Ornaments are just symbols to help you switch into a ritualistic mindset, they have no innate powers of their own (I can hear the Orthodoxy screaming already!) other than what you give them. The important thing is just to do it! Invoke Daily, and without Lust for Result. If you do so, you will succeed in time, as nothing is overnight, and Rome will not be destroyed in a day J .
Now … onto the task at hand:
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
Within this ritual is the basis for all others, the steps involved herein are played out over and over in all rituals, from the most basic (as this is) to the most lofty and advanced Adeptus. There is a symmetry to the flow of this ritual that is apparent in all rituals. To simplify the explanation, first you Center yourself to the Universe in the Cabalistic Cross, then you draw out the Greater Temple, the Astral Temple if you will, physically, you banish the four quarters and elements to have a clean playing field. The next step is the Invokation of the four ArchAngels thereby Invoking the four elements that you just banished. After the Invokation, you internalize the forces thereby balancing yourself on the Tree of Life, and you end all the way you started, but balancing yourself back to the Universe with the Cabalistic Cross.
Let’s begin with the actual ritual, comments and explanations will follow.
The Cabalistic Cross:
This section seems very straight forward, but actually is quite involved. To begin with, you must visualize yourself as centered in the Universe. It has been written that you should visualize yourself as growing to the ends of the Universe, but I find that this is counter productive, as you already are extended to the ends of the Universe. While touching the various parts of the body, you should visualize a Ray of White Light coming down from Kether (the first Sepheroth on the Tree of Life) to your forehead, then extending to form a Cross of White Light within your body so that by the point that you are clasping your hands at your breast, you have created a Cross within yourself of White Light with Spheres of Light at each point on the Cross. A note on the Vibratory Formulae is in order at this point. When a ritual calls for you to vibrate a Divine Name, you should visualize the Name. As you inhale through your nose see and feel the Name starting at your feet in Malkuth, when you feel that you can no longer hold the breath, let the Name roar from you. It will have an almost musical quality to it when you hear it, and you should feel it in your diaphragm as it is vibrated to the ends of the Universe. All of the Divine Names in this ritual should be vibrated in this manner. The translation of the words (Hebrew and otherwise) in the Cabalistic Cross is: "To Thee, who is my True Self, The Kingdom, Power and Glory, To the Ages Amen". This is affirming your individual Godhead, for "Every man and woman is a Star."
Banishing of the Elements:
In this section, you circumambulate the Temple with the Altar as the Center banishing each of the Elemental Energies in order to have a "clean slate" of sorts. The Temple is the Microcosm and the Universe the Macrocosm, "as above so below". By cleansing the Temple, you are cleansing your Universe and self. The Pentagram employed in this ritual is the Pentagram of Earth. The Banishing Pentagram of Earth is drawn by starting at the lower left point, moving to the top point, and continuing to the other points to complete the Pentagram. The Pentagrams should be visualized as composed of Blue Flames (see Figure 1). As you move around the circle, you should draw an arc of white light connecting the Pentagrams at the Centers, thereby creating a circle with the Pentagrams at the Quarters.
The ritual calls for the practitioner to vibrate a number of Hebrew Divine Names while giving the Sign of Horus, and the Sign of Silence. These signs can be looked at as an active sign, and a passive sign. The sign of Horus is also known as the Sign of the Enterer, and the Sign of Silence is also known as the Sign of Harpocrates. The Sign of Horus is given by advancing your foot forward as you throw your arms out in front of you pointing to the center of the Pentagrams you have traced (See Figure 2)
The Sign of Silence always follows the Sign of Horus. This is given by placing your right forefinger to your lips as if telling someone to "shhhh". (Which came first? The Chicken or The Egg…The Babe in the Egg of Blue that is….)
The Divine Names in the Pentagrams section are Hebrew Names of God. They could easily be replaced with Thelemic Archetypes if you wish, or leave them as written; as you Will. Personally I have used it both ways, and still do as my mood dictates, and my Will guides.
This section has the effect of Banishing the four elemental quarters, which is to prepare you for the…
Invokation of the ArchAngels:
You are standing in the Sign of the Cross in this Section of the Ritual. Now the Cross is a symbol of the Elements in balance. You should visualize the ArchAngels appearing around you in the appropriate colors, and carrying the appropriate weapons as you vibrate the Divine Names. I wont give you everything, for although this column is Magick for the La(z)yman, it is important to find some things on your own. I will give you this much though, the East is Air, the South Fire, West is Water, and the North is Earth. You can check Crowley’s 777 or other guides to symbolism for more information on the Elements and Directions.
You end as you began, completing the circle and symmetry of the ritual, with the Cabalistic Cross. This time you should be visualizing the Cross and the Circle of the Pentagrams becoming one with you, internalizing the external ritual.
This Ritual should be done by the magickian at least twice a day, in the morning and evening, but as the symbolism of the Pentagram is 5, I would dare to suggest doing it five times per day if possible
I hope that this lesson will help you start down the Path to the Great Work of Thelema, and if you have any questions or comments about this ritual, or suggestions for future columns, feel free to contact me email@example.com
Love is the law, love under will
©1997 John Hoke ALL RIGHTS RESERVED