The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (or LBRP) is a ceremonial magic ritual devised and used by the original order of the Golden Dawn that has become a mainstay in modern occultism. This ritual is considered by many to be a basic preliminary to any other magical work, so much that it was the only ritual, besides initiation rituals, taught to members of the Golden Dawn before they advanced to the Inner Order.
Description and structureEdit
The ritual is highly dynamic, using gesture, visualization and the pronunciation of certain words of power, combining prayer and evocation as well as clearing and preparing a space for further magical or meditative work. The ritual is perceived as banishing any "chaotic" and "impure" forms of the elements from the magician's circle tracing the Pentagrams in the air and by the power of certain Divine names followed by an invocation of the spiritual forces ruling the elements to fortify and guard the circle.
The principal components of the Qabalistic Cross and the LBRP are drawn from the works of French occultist Eliphas Levi. The text originated as a traditional Jewish prayer said before sleeping, as documented by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in Sidur Tefilot Yiśraʾel, the Hirsch Siddur, which reads as follows:
A modern approach to the original Golden Dawn ritual might include the following:
- An altar in the center of the ritual space, upon which are placed instruments representing the four classical elements
- A ceremonial robe (e.g. a tau robe) or other suitable ritual garb is worn by the magician
- A ritual sword (e.g. an "athame") used to gesture to the points of the Qabalistic Cross, and to draw the pentagrams and the magic circle connecting them.
The Golden Dawn LBRP consists of three main parts, in this order:
- Qabalistic Cross, sometimes repeated at the end of the LBRP. This is meant to construct an astral cross in the body of the magician, with points corresponding to Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. While constructing this cross, the magician vibrates Hebrew words from the Doxology of the Lord's Prayer (Thine is the kingdom, etc.).
- Formulation of the Pentagrams, in which a banishing earth pentagram (for the Banishing Ritual) or an invoking pentagram (for the Invoking Ritual) is drawn in the air at each of the four cardinal points and an associated name of God is vibrated (YHVH, ADNI, AHIH and AGLA for East, South, West and North respectively). This segment of the ritual is meant to banish or invoke the four elements (Air, Fire, Water, and Earth respectively). The four pentagrams are connected by a circle, also drawn in the air.
- Evocation of the Archangels, during which the magician declares the Archangels Raphael, Gabriel, Michael and Uriel (or Auriel) to be present, while visualizing them at the four cardinal points.
Magicians practicing Thelemic magick will often intone the name Aiwass at the heart while performing the Qabalistic cross, as reinforcing their commitment to the presiding intelligence of Liber AL.
- Hirsch, Samson Raphael, ed. (1978) . Sidur Tefilot Yiśraʾel, the Hirsch Siddur: The Order of Prayers for the Whole Year. Israel: Feldheim Publishers. ISBN 9780873061421.
- Kraig, Donald Michael (1998). Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts (2nd ed.). Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN 0-87542-324-8.
- Scarborough, Samuel (Autumn 2003). "The Vibratory Formula and its Use in Daily Ritual Work". Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition. 1 (5).
All of the following books contain some variation of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, its history, instructions on performance and/or commentary on the ritual.
- Chic, Cicero (2003). The Essential Golden Dawn: An Introduction to High Magic. Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN 0-7387-0310-9.
- Crowley, Aleister (1997). Magick: Liber ABA, Book Four, Parts I-IV. York Beach, ME: S. Weiser. ISBN 0-87728-919-0.
- Crowley, Aleister (2006). The Equinox (I:1-10). York Beach, ME: Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-351-6.
- DuQuette, Lon Milo (2003). The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema. Weiser Books. ISBN 978-1578632992.
- Forrest, Isidora (2001). Isis Magic. Llewellyn. ISBN 978-1-56718-286-6.
- Griffin, David (1999). The Ritual Magic Manual: A Complete Course in Practical Magic. Golden Dawn Publishing. ISBN 0-9658408-9-1.
- Harper, George Mills (1980). W.B. Yeats and W.T. Horton: The Record of an Occult Friendship. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-27165-3.
- Hougham, Paul (2006). The Atlas of Mind, Body and Spirit. Sterling Publishing Company. ISBN 1-85675-247-X.
- Howe, Ellic (1972). The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order. Routledge and Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0710073396.
- Regardie, Israel (1979). Foundations of Practical Magic: An Introduction to Qabalistic, Magical and Meditative Techniques. Aquarian Press. ISBN 978-0850301977.
- Regardie, Israel (1998). The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic. Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN 1-56718-140-6.