This bit 'explains' the Spiral Pentagrams referred to in the Discordian Opening Rite.
The traditional Pentagram is a very solid, geometrical figure -I find its association with banishing to be very appropriate. "So what", I thought one day "would happen if I started using a fivepointed star made up of curves?" You can see the result of a few minutes with a compass (it took ages on the computer!) below. Unlike the traditional pentagram, which has a pentagon shape in its centre, this one repeats the petal formation. So when I draw it (and they're a bugger to draw in the air at first), I visualise the outer petals spinning clockwise, and the inner petals spinning anti-clockwise (no particular reason why), and the whole figure becoming a 3-D tunnel, twisting into infinite space. Pretty, eh?
The first time we tried them out was, appropriately enough, in a ritual invocation of Eris, and they seemed to work very well. They don't keep things out, they tend to draw energies in. You can also use them in astral projection (or in Chaospeak, 'Virtual Magick') to gate through, and I've had them turning up spontaenously in dreams as astral doorways. To seal them, I reverse the spinning of the petals, and have them become ' flat' again, sometimes doing a normal pentagram over them just for good measure. They seem to work well when used in a
Oven-Ready Chaos free-form style of working, but not when used with 'trad' systems, such as the Lesser Key of Solomon (the entities in there are strictly conservative in how they like being evoked, I find). If you try out the Spiral Pentagrams by the way, I'd love some feedback/correspondence on the subject.
With all magical techniques & rituals, it is important to distinguish between Process and Content. One of the first messages of the Chaos Current is that whilst Content is to some extent arbitary, the underlying processes upon which rituals are based is the important bit. The Discordian Opening Ritual for example, is a variant upon the theme of Centering (or Banishing) Rituals, wherein the aim is to place yourself at the 'center' of your psychocosm, the axis mundi or null-point from which all acts of magic proceed. Centering rituals also act to warm you up for the main event, as it were, the entry into a space where, for the moment, Nothing is True, and Everything is Permitted. Following the main object of a working, performing the Centering Rite again prepares you for moving back to the sphere of common Consensus Reality. Rites such as the standard Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or the IOT's Gnostic Banishing combine gesture, speech, breathing and visualisation with different content, but following the same process - identification of the 4 cardinal directions plus the fifth point which represents union with spirit, chaos, or Kia. Such ritual acts produce changes in the 'atmosphere' of the area they are worked in and with practice, these feelings automatically come on-line whenever the rite is used, so that the shift between everyday reality and its concerns (who's doing the washing-up after the ritual etc) and Magical Reality (the purpose of the ritual for example) is clearly perceived.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.