Let’s have a look at practical analogies. The ritual which works most suitably with the elements, at least as the aspirant in Golden Dawn realizes it, is what we call the Lesser Banishing Ritual of Pentagram, or simply Ritual of Pentagram.
Ritual of Pentagram is composed of two parts, in fact three, where the third part is the repetition of the first one. The first part is well known as Qabalistic Cross; the second part works with Pentagrams and Archangels. In fact, we can say that the introductory part is Qabalistic and the working with Pentagrams and Archangels can be understood as two separate parts. That depends on your philosophical point of view of this ritual. Let us move on and focus on the Kabbalistic Cross. Its purpose is to balance our aspirations and our capabilities. For a very short time, you will be pulled out from the sphere of Malkuth, and find yourself upon your first Path – which is the Path of the Universe. Too far to be there, but yet too close to not wander away – this is very important for Neophyte in particular. Please note, an impressively large number of practitioners give the name “Aiwass” for the heart centre. Thus, a vertical column is consisting of words “Ateh Aiwass Malkuth”. It is Crowley’s personal mark upon this work because Crowley had knowledge of his Guardian Angel’s name. Neophytes, however, have not. Crowley made a reference for Aspirants to put Aiwass name for the heart centre, in case they do not have the knowledge for it. Indeed, he did have a good sense of humour, but it does not mean that Aspirants should be deprived of their sense of logic.
Think for yourself. In Hebrew terms, “Ateh Aiwass Malkuth” simply means “Thy Aiwass is the Kingdom”. In fact, by this Qabalistic Cross, you glorify his Guardian Angel, not yours. All I want from you is to use your head for the sake of your achievements. I wish to point that the heart centre or chakra is reserved for the name of your personal angel, your miniature self. You do not have two hearts, only one. And that heart has its own name, not someone else. Crowley has done this because he underlined his theory of the succession of Æons, and was convinced that Aiwass was not only his Angel, but an Angel for all of humanity in the Æon of Horus. Was he confident in this, or just wanted to be, I leave for you to discern. From the point of your work, Aiwass is just a temporary name until the moment when you get the Knowledge and Conversation of your own Holy Guardian Angel. If you find yourself as Thelemites, this is not the reason for not assigning to this the most sacred point some other name which is also sacred or valid for you.
After this, you will focus on the pillars of the Tree of Life. If you set the glyph on your body, the sphere of Geburah and the Force is on your right. Sphere of Grace or Gedulah, as Chesed is sometimes called, will be on your left. Now I want to put your attention to the next topic, and that is how the names are vibrated. Vibration is usually energy phenomena, and maybe it is a bit easier for men than for women. When you increase your bass line on the music equalizer, you will understand why. Of major importance is to find an adequate and accurate pitch which will make your entire body to act as a resonance box and where it will begin to vibrate as a whole, not just in the region of the throat or chest. The easiest way of achieving this is experimenting in the bathroom; you start with the highest tone, and then descend down until you hear the whole bathroom as filled with sound. Each lung and each throat is one unique world, just like every single violin is. You should spare no time in finding your ideal level of frequency. The difference between right and wrong vibration can be literally half, or even a quarter, of a musical tone. The difference between right and wrong vibration will be the difference between success and failure.
You must be very precise, be relaxed and search for your pitch. You simply cannot miss it, but you can surely be distracted enough. In some sects of Buddhism, especially in Zanskar, you can find many Aspirants searching for that ideal pitch for several months before they start to work with the mantra. I fear that many students just fly over this too quickly. Once you set the correct mode of vibration, you will apply it in all rituals, during all of your life. If you learn to vibrate wrongly, you will never achieve full results of the ritual – ever. Certainly, the vibrations with the wrong pitch can be somehow useful, but it cannot in any way be compared with the energy level when you do it correctly.
I will mention one wonderful thing: when you vibrate a formula or simply a letter, if you concentrate during the vibration on some part of the body, it is enough just to look at it while vibrating and you’ll get a clear impression that this part is vibrating too. It is an illusion made by our mind, but which helps remarkably with directing the Prāṇa and may help in the treatment of parts that are sick or have lost the flow of life energy in Nāḍ is.
What is very important, and I would like to discuss, is the purpose of the ritual of Pentagram. What is the Ritual of Pentagram and what is its purpose? Could anyone say?
Answer: the purpose of the ritual of Pentagram is not only the purification, but the development of the power of the Sphinx.
If you all think that, you think well. Such a point, in case you really believe it and know it is true, would give you attainment no less than Adept. It is much better said than I ever wanted to. And for this matter, I thank you and congratulations to that. If you read Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose”, do you remember the book that destroys people not by words, but by that with which it was written – toxic ink? That brings us to the conclusion – one thing is to have a weapon, but another to decide how and against whom to use it. Remember David and Goliath.
If we limit the ritual of Pentagram for banishing, we will remain limited. In fact, the ritual of Pentagram is the crossroad between the Paths of “Art” and the “Tower”. It is like a miniature Tiphareth operation. In a case, you perform this ritual properly, at that very moment you would have Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel. As for the Archangels, there is a lot of dilemma about it, and I will look back on some issues and ideas that can be found in our work. The problem is not with the three Archangels – Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, but with the fourth Archangel. Because Uriel is not actually an Archangel at all, in the usual sense. In the case of Uriel, many aspirants put letter Aleph in front so his name becomes Auriel – but Auriel is not the same type of intelligence as Uriel, in divine hierarchy. Archangel Uriel of earth element is somewhat isolated, in the same way as the element of earth is separated from other three elements. Like last letter He, which belongs only to Malkuth.
Nobody has a monopoly over the Truth. As a young magician, I received some negative experience and influence from authorities that are now in the world of Hermetism, because young man accepts words for granted, but later it is difficult to embrace the truth that is completely different. You must have to check all these and future claims for yourself. Be suspicious. Doubt everything. And everyone. Mostly yourself.
There are some variations in the ritual of Pentagram which can be considered, and which are more related to modern chaos Magick, therefore I will advise you to try them before you start to build your own variations.
I will give you a wonderful practice within this ritual, which is particularly useful for the Neophyte, and can also be used very well by Zelator. I will admit it was a part of my personal work, some time ago. The main point is that the whole ritual is performed sitting in a chair, imagining yourself two feet in front of you doing the entire ritual, with all the details that would otherwise be present during the work. This work also dramatically increases the chances for spontaneous astral projection, in the case of Neophyte. This practice has two types that can be performed. The first is to open your eyes imagining you are in fact there, looking to your physical body with your new eyes, and doing the whole ritual from there, vibrating formulas from there and drawing a circle from there. If necessary, experience failure, but there, not here.
Another method, which can be run simultaneously with the first, is easier but no less interesting. You need to imagine your figure, which performs as a puppet in front of you the whole ritual. After a while, spontaneous projections are very common. I advise you to try, as this not only builds the ability to visualize but also works to strengthen your astral body. I will return to the diary. When I told you to write about yourself in the third person singular, this should be an excellent parallel. It seems much easier than it actually is. You should hear your voice differently than when you speak regularly; it is easy to determine difference when you hear yourself on audio recordings. It is the same with the plastic visual perception of you. For all your life you were watching the movements of other characters, and you are less aware of how you act in nature. This kind of technique where you imagine yourself as a puppet and look at yourself from another perspective, is very well accepted both as a method and as an achievement. Do not be mislead by those who claim that work on the astral plane could be dangerous and that there is the possibility that you will not return. Sometimes, I wish I could really experience such a long lasting stay on the astral plane, to worry about how I should return home. Silly thoughts. Your problem, as long as you’re alive, is, however, to remain there as long as possible. Your return is inevitable and unavoidable, so use your precious time there as best as you can. Once you return, you may be sorry for the missed chances, because you did not have much time there. Nor energy. I deeply believe that mastering astral projection is extremely important, and I appeal to my students to experience it as soon as possible.
What matters most is that the Probationers and Neophytes get a sense of the astral plane, in which very different rules apply. I would assume that most of you would give everything for 5 minutes of consciousness in the astral body. On this issue, we will pay more attention tomorrow, as a separate point on this seminar. Unfortunately, almost all techniques and methods of astral projection about which you hear or read are completely unusable. In a similar way as the ritual of Pentagram, those techniques and mechanisms which drive the process of Change are usually ignored, with attention given to unimportant things.
Let’s return to the ritual of the pentagram. In this ritual, we deal with the elements, with the formula of Tetragrammaton – at least as it was understood in the Golden Dawn. At the four corners of the world, we place Pentagrams and the Archangels. I will remind you about the text of the ritual. So you say: “in front of me is Raphael”, “Gabriel’s behind me.” I just want to ask, whom are you speaking to? I often hear Students quickly and hastily say: “in front of me…” and then inhale the air rapidly as if they will dive and start yelling the name of the Archangel. In case they truly exist, and Archangels actually watch that show, it would be quite idiotic for them the least. First of all, there is no need to yell aloud to yourselves what actually is in front of yourself, and you can feel quite stupid doing that. Simply vibrate the name of Raphael, while imagining the corresponding element in front of you. Also, when you draw the pentagram it is usually stated that lines are to be made by Wand or Dagger. My personal opinion, since you are working with the formula of Tetragrammaton, relies on your own body. You have four fingers plus a thumb, such as the four elements of the formula plus a fifth for the spirit, so feel free to assign each finger with the corresponding element. We could talk endlessly about the variants, these were just some general observations that you can consider for yourself.
Question: which finger to assign with the specific element and how are you doing that?
Answer: I personally use the thumb between the third and fourth finger, as “mano in fica.” There is a personal motive as much as a logical explanation for a thumb – if you’re observing the fifth element as the letter Shin in the middle of the IHShVH formula. Also, the fifth element could obtain the form of any other element, as desired. Most people use their index finger for pointing, and that finger can be assigned to the fire. But the index finger can also be assigned to the air. You show and signify something which you visually perceive, marking the path of your desire; therefore, the index finger, in this case, is assigned for air. Use the attributions which are right for you, do not let somebody else do this job for you. Sometimes what is logical and natural to you makes more sense than all others’ theories together. Also, make experiments. Which finger suits a particular situation? Select a tool by logic, a goal by intuition. I doubt that I could draw a pentagram with the fifth finger, while expecting the pentagram to be sturdy and strong. Therefore, real analogies do not exist. Crowley and some before him have made some analogies with the body parts and elements, but be assured that they too have used same laws of logic as you do.
Question – which part of the ritual is permanent, and which one can be modified?
Answer: You can modify any part of it, but pay attention to the form. I was changing the ritual of Pentagram during the whole of my life. It’s like having sex. Simply, the act of nature causes you to change the position. In this small and short ritual, your creativity is allowed to develop to the fullest. Why? Because we work with highest archetypes, it is easy to remember the form of ritual, so it is left up to your plastic imagination and creativity to deeply interact with the essence of the ritual. To dwell inside the core of it. Nobody can tell you what is ultimately good or what is ultimately bad. Furthermore, you’ve got to distinguish not only good from bad. You must distinguish good and bad from right and wrong.
Question: I would be grateful to hear more about the experience in your Work.
Answer: this is what I prefer to talk. And this is what most people prefer to listen. But not all people in seminars like this are fully open to speaking about their personal experiences. At this moment, this starts to become the most genuine and lively workshop. Thank you very much for being open to such work. To get back on the track, there are maybe two interesting points that I wish to share with you. During my Neophyte time, when I worked for a few hours a day, one of the practices I’ve been doing was the ritual of Pentagram. And I must be honest with you, after a while I began to hate it. It was everything but the ritual of LVX, and simply a thought of it would raise great aversion inside me. But one marvellous experience happened, which later influenced my entire work as the Neophyte, it was one spontaneous astral projection during the ritual of Pentagram. What does this tell us? That the important experiences can happen always at any moment of our Work. When you feel down, it is not an excuse to stop. It just tells you that it is time to get up. Also, during my work as Practicus and Philosophus, I replaced the common names of Archangels and elements with Enochian names.
I want to point you to observe the ritual of Pentagram as a small Liber Samekh. This is the same Path, but the Pentagram ritual uses energy which is closer to the Earth, so its role is more useful for Neophyte and some lower Grades. Samekh is very subtle, and for a Neophyte it can be difficult to have an awareness of the true meaning of this ritual. Ritual of the Pentagram is much closer to him and he has enough strength to withstand the whole ritual, what is however difficult to apply to Samekh.
If you do the ritual of Pentagram with full awareness, you would get an achievement of Liber Samekh. But we will discuss this subject later. The condition of progress upon the Path is a condition for progress in the ritual of the Pentagram. And the laws and rules which apply to the Pentagram ritual refer mainly to all the other rituals that you will ever perform.
In the end, I will give you the words spoken by the Aspirant after invoking the Archangels, when he says proudly: “around me flames the pentagrams, in the centre shines the hexagram.” Hexagram is actually your Sun; it is that centre which is in Qabalistic Cross referred to as Aiwass. His is the kingdom, power and grace, forever. Ateh Malkuth, Geburah ve Gedulah, le Olam Amen. Ritual of the Pentagram is your personal ritual that will show you your personal work and point to your own character and creativity. As a young one, I had begun to hate this ritual, since I was not balanced. This ritual showed me in a nice way what I was. Because no matter how much you draw the pentagrams, exactly that amount will make hexagram shine in the centre. This hexagram is your fifth element; your letter Shin which transforms the formula of dying God into the formula of Pentagrammaton. Shin has a double correspondence, as the letter of Fire and the letter of Spirit. In fact, when you do the ritual of Pentagram for protection, paradoxically, you will take off everything you have from you. By this ritual, you will become fully naked. Before the fire of Truth, there will be neither protection nor help. You will be most vulnerable right then. You can protect yourself from the elements, planets, your mistress and her mother, but you cannot protect yourself from your own stupidity. Ritual of Pentagram attacks on your morality and ethics.
Question: I understand that the pentagram is more physical, more mundane. A hexagram is then more spiritual? Is this right?
Answer: I do not believe in that at all. Ritual of Pentagram is of the same essence as Hexagram ritual. The refusal to understand this is precisely the reason for your failure to comprehend your Guardian Angel and to realize your true Will. It is just a different place, where, and how these two rites make Change. Elements and Planets are actually pointing to the same thing. Elements are here, Planets are there. Doing what? To whom? In any case, both ideas are foreign to us, regardless of their distance. You must always be aware of inner and outer influence in your Work. You must always analyze energies that you summon if they are elemental or planetary. Is your half filled cup half-empty or half full?
I cannot give you a true answer to your question because it is too rational. A world of which we speak is beyond our ratios. And for each of us apply different regulations.
Frater Aureus 273∴
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4 thoughts on “Notes on the Ritual of Pentagram”
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Love it thank you so much for sharing your insights. As solo aspirant this is very useful!
You are so welcomed! Thank you for your comment! Best, Dusan