The Least Ritual of the Pentagram

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Well, not needed, but optional depending on availability: - altar in the center of the ritual space, upon which you put... - representations of the four elements

1 wand, which is used to gesture to the points of the Botanical Cross, and to draw the pentagrams and the circle connecting them. Simply using the right index finger is an acceptable and common basic all-purpose ritual adapted from Johannes Trithemius' "Lesser Pentagram Ritual"

Depending on the mindset of the magician, the Least Ritual of the Pentagram can be used for energizing, grounding and centering, banishing, shielding, circle-casting, expanding the aura, or even summoning of corresponding forces. The versatility of this type of ritual has made it indispensable to practitioners of almost all paths. Though the origins of the Pentagram ritual are in the ceremonial theurgy of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, modern practitioners recommend this as an exercise in claiming your own inner divinity and exercising your psychic energy body. While the structure of this ritual is excellently versatile, the Holy Names and those being invoked can be changed to suit your personal beliefs, as Alister Crowley did with The Star Ruby and I have done here.

While it looks complex, once you memorize the words and gestures, it will take just a couple of minutes to perform.

Phase 1: the Botanical Cross - Facing East, visualize a ball of golden-white light like a small sun. Bring hands up over your brow, palms up and cupped or flat out, to draw down this energy. Touch your forehead and say: "Leaves and flowers" Touch your chest, say: "Seed in fruits" Touch your right shoulder say: "Limb" Touch your left shoulder say: "and branch" Clasp hands to chest, feet stable, say: "and sprawling roots." Visualize solar energy being drawn in from above and flowing into the ground. Meanwhile, earth/water energy coming up from below and bubbles out the top of your head. These psychic energies pass one another in a seamless circuit, warm and cool and fresh. You are stable.

Phase 2: Drawing the Pentagrams This phase involves walking deosil (clockwise) around where you stood in phase 1, and drawing pentagrams in the air at each quarter. Usually the pentagram formation is "banishing pentagrams of earth" at all quarters (see pentagram chart above.)

1.) Still facing East, walk forward with your dagger, wand, or finger and draw a pentagram in the air, saying "GAIEA."

2.) Touch the center of that pentagram and connect it, as you walk to the right by a quarter of a circle, with the drawing of the Southern pentagram.

3.) Facing South now, repeat the pentagram drawing, but instead say "MAGMA."

4.)Connect the center of that pentagram, as you walk right by another quarter of a circle, with the drawing of the Western pentagram.

5.) Facing West now, repeat as above but say "TERRA."

6.) When you face North repeat, but say "MARYA." and connect the center of that pentagram with the center of the Eastern pentagram.

7.) Return center, and face East, standing like a tree.

Phase 3: Calling the forces "Before me, breath of life; behind me, clay of life On my right hand, fires of life; On my left hand, waters of life, For about me flames the pentagram, and within me the spark of creation." Finish up by repeating the Botanical Cross. You now have the pure vital life force of a tree, in harmony with the earthly environment and secure in your newly structured will.

Notes The calling of Holy Names can fit into any three paradigms we have previously examined in our first exercise. In the Spirit paradigm, you are calling upon an independent entity and must conduct yourself appropriately. In the Energy/Information paradigm, you are drawing impartial energy and charging the pentagrams with the information of the corresponding forces. In the Psychological paradigm, you are projecting the primal forces within yourself. GAIEA: Greek Goddess of the living earth, sometimes includes the skies over earth, so corresponds to Air. MAGMA: Greek for "mouldable" refers to the fires at the core of the earth, can also be MAGNA or MATER (Great Mother, as would be the title of respect equivalent in the LBRP.) Corresponds to Fire. TERRA: Latin equivalent of GAIEA, but now refers more to earth's surface and soil (terrestrial conditions) than the whole of the earth. Corresponds to... guess... Earth. MARYA: A mix of Latin for "ocean" and Hebrew for "perfection"... one may also substitute MAIAM, Hebrew-Arabic for "great body of water" and one of the squares in the third book of Abramelin the Mage. Corresponds to Water. You may also substitute the appropriate acronym (to correspond to the original LBRP's "A.G.L.A.")

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