Skip to main content

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP)

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, beside initiation rituals, taught to members of the Golden Dawn before they advanced to the Inner Order.

The ritual is highly dynamic, using gesture, visualization and the pronunciation of certain words of power, combining prayer and invocation 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 by the tracing of 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 Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram are drawn from the works of Eliphas Levi. The text originated as a Jewish prayer, as documented by R. Samson Raphael Hirsch in 'The Hirsch Siddur' [Feldheim Publishing, 1969], which reads as follows: "In the Name of God, the God of Yisrale: may Michael be at my right hand, Gabriel at my left, Uriel before me, Raphael behind me, and above my head, the presence of God."

> Equipment:

Although some orders suggest that magical equipment is needed to perform the LRP, the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn did not use any[citation needed]. However a modern approach might include the following:

An altar in the center of the ritual space, upon which are placed instruments representing the four elements.

A tau robe or other suitable ritual garb worn by the magician.

A dagger or sword, which is used to gesture to the points of the Qabalistic Cross, and to draw the pentagrams and the circle connecting them.

> Procedure:

The Golden Dawn LRP consists of three main parts, in this order:

1.The Qabalistic Cross, sometimes repeated at the end of the LRP. 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 last few lines of the Lord's Prayer (Thine is the kingdom, etc.).

2.The 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.

3.The Invocation 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. Some traditions, in order to distance themselves from the Judeo-Christian content of the ritual, replace the Qabalistic Cross, names of God and archangels with suitable substitutes - using, for example, the chakra system instead of the Tree of Life, mantras instead of God names, etc. Magicians practising 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.

> Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram:

This ritual is often used to cleanse and protect a space before ritual, however you can use it within a circle as a trance inducing method if you wish. It is also used to banish undesirable spirits from an area. This ritual should be memorised as soon as possible on your magickal path, and practiced daily. Since divine names of God, which correspond to each elemental quarter, are used to charge the pentagrams, and the archangels of each quarter are called to watch over your area, the circle formed with these magickal ritual acts as an impenetrable barrier to unwanted magickal forces and allows you to proceed with your magickal working.

This ritual is split into three parts for easier understanding and memorization.

> Part 1: Qabbalistic Cross:

Touch the forehead and visualise a sphere of white light forming there.
Vibrate Ateh
Bring the white light down your body via the solar plexus until your fingers are pointing at the ground
Vibrate Malkuth
Bring the right hand up to touch the right shoulder as you visualise a sphere of white light forming there
Vibrate Ve Geburah
Extend the hand to the left shoulder where another sphere of light forms
Vibrate Ve Gedulah
Bring left hand up right shoulder (crossing over right hand at left shoulder)
Vibrate Le Olahm Amen
At Amen bow head.

> Part 2: Inscribing the Pentagrams and Circle:

Either 4 elemental colors or just blue may be used for inscribing the flaming pentagrams
Face the East. Draw a yellow-flaming, earth banishing pentagram.
Pierce the centre of it and vibrate YHVH
Face the North. Draw a red-flaming, earth banishing pentagram.
Pierce the centre of it and vibrate ADNI
Face the West. Draw a blue-flaming, earth banishing pentagram.
Pierce the centre of it and vibrate AHIH
Face the South. Draw a green-flaming, earth banishing pentagram.
Pierce the centre of it and vibrate AGLA.
Turn and face the East once more and connect the circle into the centre of the Eastern Pentagram.

> Part 3. Invoking the Archangels:

Stand facing the East with arms stretched out to the sides. As each name is vibrated feel beams of light extending from the body to connect with the surrounding pentagram. The six-rays star is then formed at the last line. This is the banishing aspect of the ritual.

Before me stands RAPHAEL
Behind me stands GABRIEL
At my left stands MICHAEL
At my right stands AURIEL
All around me flame the pentagrams
And in the centre stands the six-rays star.

Repeat the Qabbalistic Cross.