The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

There are a number of variants of this ritual, which was the primary practical work of Golden Dawn Initiates until their attainment of the grade of Adeptus Minor. It pre-dates even its Jewish origins, and is to be found in a ancient Babylonian text where the individual summons the four major deities to each of the four quarters to protect them. In essence, it is a statement of separation and preparation for esoteric work, but in daily life it is also a ritual of observation, and an attempt to awaken and identify with the observer within. Although often cited as an ideal preparation for meditation work, I would recommend the alternative ritual of the "Rose-Cross" for this, which may be found in the "Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic."

The Ritual

1. Stand facing East, which is the place of sunrise and hence the dawning of the light of awareness.

2. Perform the Kabbalistic Cross as follows:

(i) Touch the point above your head with first two fingers of right hand and visualise a globe of white light at that point (Kether). Vibrate the sound ATEH ("Thou art").

(ii) Bring hand down to point at the feet, and visualise standing on a russet globe (Malkuth). Vibrate the sound MALKUTH ("the kingdom"). As you move the hand, visualise a line of light connecting each globe, which will finally form the cross.

(iii) Bring hand to touch the right shoulder, and visualise a globe of light there. Vibrate VE GEBURAH ("and the power")

(iv) Bring hand across to the left shoulder and visualise another globe, vibrating VE GEDULAH ("and the glory"), which is another title of Chesed.

(v) Clasp hands in centre of chest, and vibrate LE OLAM, AMEN ("for ever,

3. Make the Pentagrams about you as follows:

(i) Still facing east, raise your right hand to over your head, and bring it down slowly to point in front of you, exhaling. As you do so, visualise drawing a line of energy from the radiant globe above your head. Trace a large Pentagram in front of you (usually visualised against the walls of the room you are in, or a few feet away) by pointing out to the bottom left point first (a few feet in front of your left hip), to the top point (in front of your head), bottom right (right hip), top left (left shoulder), across to the top right (right shoulder), and finally back down to the bottom left. This constructs a Pentagram in a clockwise direction, and is technically the banishing Pentagram of earth. Point now to the centre of the Pentagram and vibrate the God-name YHVH (Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh). If you can, visualise the Hebrew letters within the Pentagram (from right to left).

(ii) Turn to the south, tracing a portion of a circle about you by leaving you arm extended. Make another Pentagram in front of you, and vibrate the God-name ADONAI ("Lord").

(iii) Turn to the west, still drawing a circle about you, trace a Pentagram, and vibrate the God-name EHEIEH ("I am that I am", or "I will be", pronounced as Eh-hay-yeah).

(iv) Turn to the north and having drawn another Pentagram, vibrate the God-name AGLA (an acronym of the phrase Gibor Le Olam Amen, and pronounced Ah-gah-lah).

(v) Returning to point towards the east, and completing the circle of light about you, raise both your arms to either side, making a cross.

4. Summon the four guarding Archangels as follows:

Say, "Before me RAPHAEL (rah-fah-yell), behind me GABRIEL (gah-bree-ell), on my right hand, MICHAEL (mee-khah-ell), on my left hand, AURIEL (aw-ree-ell)." At each name, pause and visualise an appropriate figure, usually twice the size of the room, but sometimes more human-sized facing outwards at the appropriate quarter. Visualise the figures bearing the appropriate elemental weapons, and colours if required.

Say, "for before me flames the pentagram, and behind me shines the six-rayed star" (this line is of most variance in other versions of the right, but I take it to place the individual in the location of Tiphareth on the Tree, looking down on the four lower Sephiroth (with Tiphareth being the top point of the Pentagram) and with the upper Sephiroth behind (as the Hexagram).

5. Repeat the Kabbalistic Cross.

This ritual should bring about a feeling of protection and preparation, and if done often enough in the same room, will imbue the room with a similar quality.

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