The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

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An explanation of the Golden Dawn's classic banishing ritual used for opening and closing ceremonies and setting up a vacuum for magical practice.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is one of the most famous, and most widely used, rituals developed by the Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn in the 19th Century. The components of the ritual existed before them, however, they compiled the essential units together.

This post will not give you notes. If you want notes search Liber O by Crowley and you will see notes, this post aims to be a further insight into the ritual and the components of visualisation and relevance within the ritual. A knowledge of the qabalah would be satisfactory, but I will attempt to keep it basic.

Now there are many variations of this ritual, I am going to share the form I personally use and the form I have been instructed to perform, albeit, I have made a few personal changes- I will try to stick to the original. One thing I do not do is the sign of the enterer and sign of silence in vibrating the godnames in order to charge the pentagrams- this is an erroneous movement in my opinion based upon people misreading Crowley and not having him clarify it in person.

The ritual is to be used at the beginning and end of any magical endeavour (relatively speaking) and is used to clear out disharmonious energies within the magician and their working environment. If the ritual is at the end of a practice the sign of silence should be given at the very end of the final LBRP- thumb on lip and visualise yourself in a blue egg as the child form of Horus on the nile with crocodiles at your feet.

The sign of silence should not be used in the beginning LBRP in my opinion.

I vibrate the names and charge the pentagram by pointing with my dagger (of course a finger would do) and touching the centre, vibrating and visualising the flames getting stronger and the pentagram expanding out infinitely. I use the sign of the enterer when I am actively banishing a specific force, not in daily practice.

I am going to break the ritual into 4 parts. These four parts should follow on flawlessly from one another.

PART 1- The Qabalistic Cross.

This part of the ritual serves as an invocation of the divine source, an alignment of the energies within the self and a harmonisation and polarisation of the etheric body. One piece of advice I have always followed is invoke before any ritual, in the case of banishing this is equally true- using your own energy may leave you tired.

-Face East, symbolic of Air using the microcosmic formula of the elements.

To begin visualise your body expanding until you are standing on the Earth suspended in space. Visualise a white light (symbolic of Kether on the tree of life, the Godhead/ source of all manifestation) and draw down this light into yourself, touching your forehead and vibrate the word

"Ateh" - This is Hebrew for 'Thou art'. Pronounced At-tah.

Now draw this light further down to the breast/genitals (I think the latter makes more sense) and visualise another white sphere and see it become alive and bright upon vibrating

"Malkuth"- This is Hebrew for 'The Kingdom'.

See the light continue down into the earth below you, but know the light in extension is really infinite and reaches the depths and heights of the entire manifestation of your own personal universe. Kether is the top of the tree, Malkuth the bottom. Both are a reflection of each other, thus there is a polarisation of forces.

Now draw a line from the light in your breast to your right shoulder and see the light continue, but visualise a white sphere on your right shoulder and vibrate

"ve-Geburah" (pronounced vay gevurah)- This is Hebrew for 'and the power' (Geburah is normally translated as severity, but in this case it is used as power, both ideas are related to the sphere of Geburah on the tree of life anyway.

Now draw a line from the centre to your left shoulder and visualise a sphere there vibrating

"ve-Gedulah" Which means and the glory. Gedulah is an alternative name for the sephirah Chesed and is thus a balancing of the sephirah of Geburah.

Now clasp both hands ass if in prayer across the breast and visualise a golden sphere, this sphere represents Tiphareth, the seat of Will, the Holy Guardian Angel, the true self. It is also the perfect centre of both the universe and the tree of life. Like he cherry on the cake.

Now vibrate,

"Le-Olahm, Amen"- Unto the ages, Amen.

PART 2 Formulation of the pentagrams.

For a general banishing, which the LBRP is used for, the banishing Earth pentagram is used. However, it is not a ritual to banish Earth, it is a ritual to create a vacuum, no energies at all, a state of perfect equilibrium. The only thing which is the same is the way the pentagram is drawn, the god names and colour are not the same as the Earth pentagram.

The LBRP pentagram is drawn as follows- starting from the left hip, to the forehead, to the right hip, to the left shoulder, to the right shoulder and again to the left hip. The colour visualised should be an electric blue.

In the East, draw the pentagram and point your dagger/finger in the centre and vibrate the God name,

"YHVH"- Yod hay vav hay is how it is pronounced.

Now trace a line from the middle to the Souther quarter, clockwise.

In the south, do the same but vibrate,

"ADNI" (Ad oh nye)

Again tracing a circle go to the West and do the same but vibrate,

"AHIH" (Eh, he, yeh"

Again trace a circle to the North and do the same, but vibrate,

"A.G.L.A"- Now most magicians will vibrate Agahlah. But it is a notariqon, or acronym, for the Hebrew phrase Attah gibor le olahm adonai. This phrase means Thou art forever and ever adonai. I choose to vibrate the full phrase, this is a personal preference.

Complete the circle and return to the centre of your space, uphold the visualisation of the pentagrams for a while.

Please note, these God names have no significance in their placement on the tree of life, they are used in another matter entirely, one which I myself am not intimately familiar with and keep forgetting to ask my superior about.

PART 3- Evocation of the Archangels.

Say the following, but vibrate the names of the angels with a full breath.

"Before me Raphael"- Visualise a winged angel dressed in a yellow robe in the East facing outwards guarding the circle, the angel is holding a sword. Hair blowing as if in wind.

"Behind me Gabriel (pronounce be as a v)" Visualise an angel in blue holding a chalice. He is surrounded by an ocean sort of landscape.

"On my right hand, Michael (pronounced me kay el, the k being a 'ch' sound as in the Scottish 'loch'). This angel is in red robes and guarding the south with a wand or a spear surrounded by flames.

"On my left hand, Uriel" (pronounced oorial) This angel is in Green or black and holding a golden disk, guarding the North in a woodland setting.

Uphold these visualisations for a moment.

Next state,

"For about me flames the Pentagram,

And in the column shines the six-rayed star."

Here, visualise the pentagrams, and also a golden hexagram above you, and another below you shining golden light into your aura, or sphere of sensation.


-This is simple, a repetition of the qabalistic cross, and the ritual is complete.


Notes on the Angels.

The angels are clearly used as a force to polarise and harmonise the elemental energies within the working space of the magician. On the tree of life, the magician is standing where the two paths Samekh and Peh intersect. Above him/her is Tiphareth, on the right hand is Netzach, on the left hand is Hod and behind him/below is Yesod- an important point to remember is that the tree of life i not a 2-d construct, but a 3-d once.

Now, the correspondences applied are as follows,

East- air- Raphael-Tiphareth.




Those who are more astute will realise that in traditional correspondence, the archangel of Hod is in fact Haniel, not Uriel. Uriel is used as he is more traditionally associated with the other three and is an excellent stand in.

Now the microcosmic scheme of elements is essentially the God name Adonai anticlockwise around the circle.

Adonai is spelled ADNI- Aleph, Daleth, Nun, Yod.

Aleph-East- Air.




Any questions please let me know, I wanted to go into detail for more advanced members, but following the practical instructions will make the ritual useable to those who are qabalistically oriented. I have tried to be as clear as possible, but may have failed.


Extra Reading.

Added to on Jan 10, 2015
Last edited on Feb 01, 2019
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