Concerning the Lesser Banishing Ritual, according to Crowley "its main point is to establish in the Astral four Pentagrams, one in each quarter, and two Hexagrams, one above, the other below, thus enclosing the Magician, as it were, in a consecrated box" (Liber ABA, Appendix VIII, Notes on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, Part I).
He writes in Liber O that "the banishing rituals should be used at the commencement of any ceremony whatever. Next, the student should use a general invocation, such as the 'Preliminary Invocation' in the 'Goetia' as well as a special invocation to suit the nature of his working" (Liber O vel Manvs et Sagittæ, Part Four, 4.).
Elsewhere elaborating, "The first part of every ceremony is the banishing; the second, the invoking. The same formula is repeated even in the ceremony of banishing itself, for in the banishing ritual of the pentagram we not only command the demons to depart, but invoke the Archangels and their hosts to act as guardians of the Circle during our pre-occupation with the ceremony proper. In more elaborate ceremonies it is usual to banish everything by name. Each element, each planet, and each sign, perhaps even the Sephiroth themselves; all are removed, including the very one which we wished to invoke, for that forces as existing in Nature is always impure. But this process, being long and wearisome, is not altogether advisable in actual working. It is usually sufficient to perform a general banishing, and to rely upon the aid of the guardians invoked. Let the banishing therefore be short, but in no wise slurred—for it is useful as it tends to produce the proper attitude of mind for the invocations. 'The Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram' (as now rewritten, Liber 333, Cap. XXV) is the best to use" (Liber ABA, Part Three, Chapter 13, Of the Banishings: and of the Purifications).
ContentsThe Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram — The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram — Notes on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram — The Archangels of the Quarters — Israel Regardie — Works Cited
|The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram|
Initially (and then again at the end of the ritual) the Sign of the Cross is performed, using the Occult Versicle.
Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae sub figurâ VIi. Touching the forehead say Ateh (Unto Thee).
ii. Touching the breast say Malkuth (The Kingdom).
iii. Touching the right shoulder, say ve-Geburah (and the Power).
iv. Touching the left shoulder, say ve-Gedulah (and the Glory).
v. Clasping the hands upon the breast, say le-Olahm, Amen (To the Ages, Amen).
vi. Turning to the East make a pentagram (that of Earth) with the proper weapon (usually the Wand). Say (i.e., vibrate) I H V H.
vii. Turning to the South, the same, but say A D N I.
viii. Turning to the West, the same, but say A H I H.
ix. Turning to the North, the same, but say A G L A.
x. Extending the arms in the form of a Cross say:
xi. Before me Raphael;
xii. Behind me Gabriel;
xiii. On my right hand Michael.
xiv. On my left hand Auriel;
xv. For about me flames the Pentagram,
xvi. And in the Column stands the six-rayed Star.
xvii-xxi. Repeat (i) to (v), the "Qabalistic Cross."
Pronounce: Ye-ho-wau, Adónaí, Eheieh, Agla.
History of Magic, ch. vii, bk 1: The Holy Kabbalah
It is to this philosophical and incontestable reality, or otherwise the notion of Deity, that the Kabalists give a name, and all other names are contained therein. The ciphers of this name produce all numbers and the hieroglyphical forms of its letters give expression to all laws of Nature, with all that is therein. We shall not recur in this place to that which has been dealt with already as regards the divine Tetragram in the Doctrine of Transcendental Magic; but it may be added that the Kabalists inscribe it in four chief ways:
The letter Aleph א is the first of the Hebrew alphabet, and expressing as it does unity, it represents hieroglyphically the dogma of Hermes: that which is above is analogous to that which is below. In consonance with this the letter has two arms, one of which points to earth and the other to heaven with an identical gesture.
The letter Gimel ג is third in the alphabet; it expresses the triad numerically, and hieroglyphically it signifies childbirth, fruitfulness.
Lamed ל is the twelfth letter and is an expression of the perfect cycle. Considered as a hieroglyphical sign it represents the circulation of the perpetual movement and the relation of the radius to the circumference. The duplicated Aleph represents the synthesis.
Therefore the name agla signifies:
Herein is the origin of that Kabalistic tradition which comprises all Magic in a single word. To know how this word is read and how also it is pronounced, or literally to understand its mysteries and translate the knowledge into action, is to have the key of miracles. In pronouncing the word AGLA it is said that one must turn to the East, which means union of intention and knowledge with oriental tradition. It should be remembered further that, according to Kabalah, the perfect word is the word realised by acts, whence comes that expression which recurs frequently in the Bible: "facere verbum" to make a word—that is, in the sense of performing an act. To pronounce the word AGLA Kabalistically is therefore to pass all tests of initiation and accomplish all its works.
Rabbi Joseph Gikatilla (1248 – after 1305)
Sha'are Orah (Gates of Light)
First gate / tenth sphere
The name ADoNaY is like a storehouse for the abundance and the emanations of all the different entities which draw their sustenance from YHVH through the network
of channels where one finds the three Names arranged in order: ADoNaY below, YHVH in the middle and EHYE above. From the Name EHYE come an abundance of emanations
from the source known as AYN SOF (no end) which funnel through the different levels until they reach the belessed YHVH. And from YHVH they flow through the channels
until they reach the name ADoNaY which is where all the strategies of the king are found. For He sustains all through the power of YHVH within Him. All who wish to
enter and cleave to YHVH must enter and leave by the word of ADoNaY. Therefore, this Name is the storehouse for the treasures of God, and is the Shrine where YHVH
dwells. This is the reason that YHVH is always pronounced in the Torah as ADoNaY. In other words anyone who wishes to seek YHVH will find Him in the Name ADoNaY.
S. L. "MacGregor" Mathers
The Kabbalah Unveiled
|The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram|
Like in the lesser ritual the Sign of the Cross forms a bookend.
Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae sub figurâ VI
The Pentagrams are traced in the air with the sword or other weapon, the name spoken aloud, and the signs used, as illustrated.
The Pentagrams of SpiritEquilibrium of Actives
Name: A H I H (Eheieh)
Equilibrium of Passives
The Signs of the Portal (see Illustrations): Extend the hands in front of you, palms outwards, separate them as if in the act of
rending asunder a veil or curtain (actives), and then bring them together as if closing it up again and let them fall to the side
The Pentagrams of Fire
Name: A L H I M (Elohim).
The Sign of 4°=7▫: Raise the arms above the head and join the hands, so that the tips of the fingers and of the thumbs meet,
formulating a triangle (See illustration).
The Pentagrams of Water
Name: A L (El).
The Sign of 3°=8▫: Raise the arms till the elbows are on a level with the shoulders, bring the hands across the chest, touching the
thumbs and tips of fingers so as to form a triangle apex downwards. ("See" illustration).
The Pentagrams of Air
Name: I H V H (Ye-ho-wau).
The Sign of 2°=9▫: Stretch both arms upwards and outwards, the elbows bent at right angles, the hands bent back, the palms upwards as
if supporting a weight. (See illustration).
The Pentagrams of Earth
Name: A D N I (Adonai).
The Sign of 1°=10▫: Advance the right foot, stretch out the right hand upwards and forwards, the left hand downwards and backwards, the
אֶהְיֶה - Ehye - The divine name of Keter, in this ritual context it represents the element of Active Spirit, cf. White.
אגלא - AGLA - Seems to reprent a completion: "unity, which accomplishes by the triad the cycle of numbers, leading back to unity", in this ritual context it represents the element of Passive Spirit, cf. White.
אֱלֹהִים - Elohim - The divine name of Gevurah, in this ritual context it represents the element of Fire, cf. Red.AL
אֵל - El - The divine name of Chesed, in this ritual context it represents the element of Water, cf. Blue.IHVH
יהוה - Yhvh - The divine name of Tipheret, in this ritual context it represents the element of Air, cf. Yellow.
אֲדֹנָי - Adonai - The divine name of Malkhut, in this ritual context it represents the element of Earth, cf. Black.
|Notes on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram; Liber ABA|
Part II of Notes on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram in Appendix VIII of Liber ABA, described in the Editor's Notes as "a succinct and practical commentary that circulated in typescript among Crowley's students in the United states in the 1940s."
|The Archangels of the Quarters|
The Book of Enoch
Agrippa; De Occulta Philosophia
Liber Secundus, Ch. VII
The Scale of the Number four, answering the four Elements
from an article by Ariel Scheib
Complete Golden Dawn, vol. 4
The Ritual of the Pentagram
The Pentagram is a powerful symbol representing the operation of the Eternal Spirit and the Four Elements under the divine Presidency of the letters of the Name Yeheshuah. The elements themselves in the symbol of the Cross are governed by Yhvh. But the letter Shin, representing the Ruach Elohim, the Divine Spirit, being added thereto, the Name becometh Yeheshuah or Yehovashah - the latter when the letter Shin is placed between ruling Earth and the other three letters of Tetragrammaton.
From each re-entering angle of the Pentagram, therefore, issueth a ray, representing a radiation from the Divine. Therefore is it called the Flaming Pentagram, or Star of the Great Light, in affirmation of the forces of Divine Light to be found therein.
Traced as a symbol of good, it should be placed with the single point upward, representing the rule of the Divine Spirit. For if thou shouldst write it with the two points upward, it is an evil symbol, affirming the empire of matter over that Divine Spirit which should govern it. See that thou doest it not.
Yet, if there may arise an absolute necessity for working or conversing with a Spirit of evil nature, and that to retain him before thee without tormenting him, thou hast to employ the symbol of the Pentagram reversed - (for, know thou well, thou canst have no right to injure or hurt even evil Spirits to gratify curiousity or caprice) - in such a case, thou shalt hold the blade of thy Magical Sword upon the single lowest point of the Pentagram, until such time as thou shalt license him to depart. Also, revile not evil spirits -- but remember that the Archangel Michael of whom St. Jude speaketh, when contending with Satan, durst not bring a railing accusation against him but said ‘The Lord rebuke thee’.
Now, if thou wilt draw the Pentagram to have by thee as a symbol, thou shalt make it of the colours already taught, upon the black ground. There shall be the sign of the Pentagram, the Wheel, the Lion, the Eagle, the Ox, and the Man, and each hath an angle assigned unto it for dominion. Hence ariseth the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram, according to the angle from which the Pentagram is traced. The circle or Wheel answereth to the all-pervading Spirit: The laborious Ox is the symbol of Earth; the Lion is the vehemence of Fire; the Eagle, the Water flying aloft as with wings when she is vaporized by the force of heat: the Man is the Air, subtle and thoughtful, penetrating hidden things.
At all times complete the circle of the place before commencing an invokation.
The currents leading from Fire to Air and from Earth to Water are those of Spirit -- the mediation of the Active and Passive Elements. These two Spirit Pentagrams should precede and close Invocations as the equilibrium of the Elements, and in establishing the harmony of their influence. In closing, these currents are reversed.
They are the invoking and banishing Pentagrams of the Spirit. The Sigil of the Wheel should be traced in their centre. In the invoking Pentagram of Earth the current descendeth from the Spirit to the Earth. In the Banishing Pentagram, the current is reversed. The Sigil of the Ox should be traced in the centre. These two Pentagrams are in general use for invocation or banishing, and their use is given to the Neophyte of the Order of the Golden Dawn under the title of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram.
This Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is only of use in general and less important invocations. Its use is permitted to the Outer that Neophytes may have protection against opposing forces, and also that they may form some idea of how to attract and to come into communication with spiritual and invisible things. The Banishing Pentagram of Earth will also serve thee for any opposing Astral force. In all cases of tracing a Pentagram, the angle should be carefully closed at the finishing point.
The invoking Pentagram of Air commenceth from Water, and that of Water commenceth from the Angle of Air. Those of Fire and Earth begin from the angle of Spirit. The Kerubic symbol of the Element is to be traced in the centre. The banishing Signs are reversing of the current. But before all things, complete the circle of the place wherein thou workest, seeing that it is the key of the rest.
Unless you want to limit or confine the force, make not a circle round each Pentagram, unless for the purpose of tracing the Pentagram truly. In concentrating however the force upon a symbol or Talisman, thou shalt make the circle with the Pentagram upon it so as to concentrate the force together thereon.
RULE: Invoke towards, and banish from, the point to which the Element is attributed. Air hath a watery symbol, (Aquarius) because it is the container of rain and moisture. Fire hath the form of the Lion-Serpent (Leo). Water hath the alchemic Eagle of distillation (Eagle’s Head). Earth hath the laborious Ox (Taurus). Spirit is produced by the One operating in all things. The elements vibrate between the Cardinal points for they have not an unchangeable abode therein, though they are allotted to the Four Quarters in their invocation in the Ceremonies of the First Order. This attribution is derived from the nature of the winds. For the Easterly wind is of the Nature of Air more especially. The South Wind bringeth into action the nature of Fire. West winds bring with them moisture and rain. North winds are cold and dry like Earth. The S.W. wind is violent and explosive -- the mingling of the contrary elements of Fire and Water. The N.W. and S.W. winds are more harmonious, uniting the influence of the two active and passive elements. Yet their natural position in the Zodiac is: Fire in the East, Earth in South, Air in West, and Water in the North. Therefore they vibrate: Air between West and East. Fire between East and South. Water between North and West. Earth between South and North. Spirit also vibrateth between the Height and Depth. So that, if thou invokest, it is better to look towards the position of the winds, since the Earth, ever whirling on her poles, is more subject to their influence. But if thou wilt go in the Spirit Vision unto their abode, it is better for thee to take their position in the Zodiac Air and Water have much in common, and because one is the container of the other, therefore have their symbols been at all times transferred, and the Eagle assigned to Air and Aquarius to Water. Nevertheless, it is better that they should be attributed as before stated and for the foregoing reason is it that the invoking sign of the one and the banishing sign of the other counterchange in the Pentagram. When thou dealest with the Pentagram of the Spirit thou shalt give the saluting signs of the Adeptus Minor Grade, and for the Earth the Sign of Zelator, and for Air that of Theoricus, and for Water that of Practicus, and for Fire, Philosophus. If thou wilt use the Pentagram to invoke or banish the Zodiacal forces, thou shalt use the Pentagram of the Element unto which the Sign is referred, and trace in its centre the usual Sigil of the Sign thus:
[examples of zodiacal pentagrams]
And whenever thou shalt trace a Sigil of any nature, thou must commence at the left hand of the Sigil or symbol tracing it in a clockwise motion.
Whenever thou invokest the forces of the Zodiacal Signs as distinct from the Elements, thou shalt erect an astrological chart of the Heavens for the time of working so that thou mayest know toward what quarter or direction thou shouldst face in working. For the same Sign may be in the East at one time of the day and in the West at another.
Whenever thou shalt prepare to commence any magical work or operation, it will be advisable for thee to clear and consecrate the place of work by performing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. In certain cases, especially when working by or with the forces of the Planets, it may be wise also to use the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram.
In order that a Force and a Current and a Colour and a Sound may be united together in the same symbol, unto each angle of the Pentagram certain Hebrew divine Names and Names from the Angelic Tablets are allotted. These are to be pronounced with the invoking and banishing Pentagrams as thou mayest see in this diagrams.
The attributions of the angles of the Pentagram are the key of its Ritual. Herein, during ordinary invocation without the use of the Enochian Tablets of the Elements, thou shalt pronounce the Divine Name Al with the Pentagram of Water, and Elohim with Fire, etc. But if thou art working with the Elemental or Enochian Tablets, thou shalt use the Divine Names in the Angelic language drawn therefrom. For Earth, Emor Dial Hectega, etc., and for Spirit the four words: Exarp in the East; Hcoma in the West: Nanta in the North; and Bitom in the South.
In the pronunciation of all these Names, thou shalt take a deep breath and vibrate them as much as possible inwardly with the outgoing breath, not necessarily loudly, but with forcible vibration thus: A-a-a-el-Il (Since this Divine name consists of only two letters I consistently make a practice of vibrating the letters separately viz, Aleph Lamed, then the sound as indicated before). Or Em-or-r Di-a-ll Hec-te-e-gah. If thou wilt, thou mayest also trace the letters or Sigils of these Names in the Air.
To invoke the forces of the Four Elements at once, at the Four Quarters, commence at the East and there trace the equilibrating Pentagram of the Actives and the invoking Pentagram of Air and pronounce the proper Names. Then carry round the point of thy wand to the South and there trace the equilibrating Pentagram for Actives and the invoking Pentagram of Fire and pronounce the proper Names. Thence, pass to the West, trace the Equilibrating Pentagram for Passives and the Invoking Pentagram for Water and pronounce the proper Names; thence to the North, trace the equilibration of the Passives and the invoking Pentagram of Earth, pronounce the proper Names, and then complete the circle of the place.
In the same manner shalt thou banish, unless thou desirest to retain certain of the Forces for a time. All invocations shall be opened and closed with the Qabalistic Cross: In certain cases other Names, as those of Angels and Spirits, may be pronounced towards their proper quarters.and their Names and Sigils traced in the Air.
If thou workest with but one Element, thou shalt make - (if it be an active element as Fire or Air) - the equilibrating Pentagram for Actives only and the Element’s own invoking Pentagram, and not those of the other Elements. If it be a passive Element - Earth or Water thou shalt make the Equilibriating Pentagram of the passives only and the invoking Pentagram and banishing follow the same law. Also, see that thou pronouncest the proper Names with the proper Pentagrams.
Liber O; hermetic.com
Liber ABA; Liber O
777; And Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley
Babylon; Hebrew Translation
The Book of Enoch, tr. R.H. Charles
Agrippa, Three Books of Occult Philosophy