by Estelle Daniels
Many people when they get into magick, come into contact with the magickal system known as Ceremonial Magick. Perhaps it is cloaked in other guises, like Enochian, Thelema, Kabbalah, Thaumaturgy, or Geomancy, but it's out there and quite widespread. Unfortunately much of Ceremonial Magick is quite formula oriented, complicated and demands a thorough knowledge of astrology, Kabbalah and other disciplines, and by the way a knowledge of Hebrew would be very useful also. This is quite a lot, and for the average person, it is more than they are willing to take on, just to see if that system is right for them.
But there are a couple of rituals used in Ceremonial Magick which are easily do-able and very accessible to all. The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP for short) and the Rose Cross are fairly simple and work well with most any tradition or style. They can be used by themselves, together or be adapted to work with other types of circles and magickal techniques. In our classes we make the students learn and memorize these rituals, so they are available to them at all times. The reason is that they are simple, effective, and when done correctly, they always produce results. I mean this. No matter what state of mind you are in, no matter where you are, if you say the correct words and go through the motions, these rituals will produce a result. And if you put energy into them and add the proper visualizations, the results are more effective.
This is because since these rituals were developed, they have been in continuous use by magicians. This has built up a cosmic energy bank on the astral, so that anyone who uses them can tap into that vast magickal reservoir and benefit thereby. These rituals are also ones which cannot cause harm if done incorrectly. In other words, if you accidentally say the wrong word or visualize an incorrect color, you will not blow up, get an energy backlash or be harmed. The worst that can happen is nothing will happen. If you screw it up too much, you will just fail to tap into the energy bank, and will not get a result. This is important for people can be apprehensive if they have heard some of the legends and folklore built up around ceremonial magick, like Faust or Crowley.
These two rituals are both magickal circles, they create a sacred space which is cleansed and consecrated, and can also provide a measure of insulation and protection to those within the circle. They are also automatic circles, and dissipate on their own, they do not need to be "taken down". One thing they are quite good for is divination. Divination within a circle is more effective, for you are screening out all the everyday static and noise. You can concentrate better and can tap into the fountains of inspiration more easily. You are also less likely to meet with interference because you are already insulated from that which is outside the circle.
Ceremonial magick is quite old, though it has been growing changing and evolving since ancient times. Most of the ceremonial magical rituals and spells are based upon Kabbalah and Hermeticism, with liberal doses of other occult disciplines thrown in. These can be argued to be the descendants of the ancient mystery schools, the ancient Greek and Egyptian rites as they were handed down through the ages, with doses of Kabbalah and Christian mysticism thrown in. Ceremonial magick is a system, not a theology. The practitioner is calling on certain God-forms, but these are not exclusively Jewish, Christian, Greek or Egyptian but an amalgam and perhaps the God-forms would best be described as archetypes rather than specific deities.
Most of what is published today about ceremonial magick descends from the Golden Dawn, a magickal group formed in the late 1880's and which died out around W.W.I. During the years when the Golden Dawn was active and flourishing, most of the Western mystical tradition was reviewed, revised, corrected, codified, explained and updated by members of the group. And then written down and passed on to their successors. The materials were published, and nowadays there are many books which deal with the broad field of Ceremonial magick.
Ceremonial magick is the main foundation of the Western magickal tradition. Much energy has gone into it, and therefore it becomes a sort of "black box" technology. As long as you say the right words and make the right motions, you will get a result. You do not need any psychic ability, though that can help.
The Lesser Banishing ritual of the Pentagram or LBRP is a grounding, centering and cleansing ritual. I use it a lot when traveling. Once you are in your hotel room for the night, I do an LBRP and this psychically seals the room from outside psychic influences and actually seems to dampen the noise from outside. By morning, when ready to leave, it has dissipated and the room is back to "normal".
The Rose Cross is another circle, but it is also useful for healing. One person was released from a lengthy hospital stay, and was not given a good prognosis. Two friends did the Rose Cross every morning and evening for a month, and the person's health improved considerably. There is a warning, do not use this ritual upon anyone with an unstable heart or cardiovascular condition. The extra energy can cause problems. In any case, when doing this ritual, you can call down the energy, but let the person take as much or as little as they want, do not force it onto them.
Each ritual has several parts, and some parts can be done alone if only a circle or grounding and centering is needed.
No matter what one's tradition or training, these two rituals are useful tools in a person's magickal repertoire.
Check out the LBRP and Rose Cross Sections to learn how to perform these rituals.
© 1996, 2003 Estelle Daniels, all rights reserved.