THE GREATER RITUAL
OF THE PENTAGRAM
FOR THE GRADE OF THE
Issued by the
of the Golden Dawn
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The Pentagram represents the operation of the four Elements and Spirit under the presidency of the Pentagrammaton (Yod-Heh-Shin-Vav-Heh). The four Elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth are represented by the divine name Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh, IHVH, the Tetragrammaton; but with the insertion of the letter Shin, which is the letter of Ruach Elohim or the Spirit of the Gods, the name becomes the Pentagrammaton. This name represents the operation of Spirit in the midst of the four Elements; it indicates a formula of supreme importance in the Art of Magick. For it is by the action of Spirit upon the four Elements that they are redeemed and transmuted into Things Divine.
The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, which is designed to invoke and banish the Four Elements and Spirit, is more specifically employed to open an Elemental Ritual, or to invoke a particular Element for the consecration of an Elemental Weapon. To invoke or banish one Element, you employ the proper Spirit Pentagram (Active for Fire and Air, Passive for Water and Earth), the active or passive Name of Spirit, the Sigil of Spirit and the Portal Signs. You then use the Elemental Pentagram, Sigil, Name and Sign. This you complete in all four quarters of the Temple. In some cases it may be necessary to vibrate additional Divine Names, such as those of the Angels or Rulers of the Elements.
If you use the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram to invoke all of the Elements at once, you must trace six different types of the Pentagram. This indicates the magical formula of the Adept, or the formula of the Great Work itself, which is the blending of the 5 and the 6, or the Pentagram and Hexagram. It will not be necessary for the Magician to employ the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram in this manner, except during special cases where it is essential to balance all of the Elements as, for instance, in the case of initiation and the invocation of the Spirit.
The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram can also be used to invoke or banish Zodiacal forces by using the Elemental Pentagram appropriate to the Zodiacal Sign and tracing therein the Sigil of the Sign. For example, if you were to invoke Aries, you would trace an invoking Fire Pentagram; if Cancer, you would trace an invoking Water Pentagram, and so on. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are Fire Signs; Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are Water Signs; Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are Air Signs; and Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are Earth Signs. The Sigils of the Signs of the Zodiac can be found in the First Knowledge Lecture of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The time of the invocation of a Zodiacal force should be determined by the position of the Sign in the heavens, for a Sign can be in a different direction during different times of the day. You can erect an astrological chart of the Heavens for the time of working.
In the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram you invoke towards and banish from the point to which the Element is attributed on the Pentagram. This method, however, does not apply to the so-called Element of Spirit. The Pentagrams of Air are traced along the Air/Water axis; the Pentagrams of Fire are traced along the Fire/Spirit axis; the Pentagrams of Water are traced along the Water/Air Axis; the Pentagrams of Earth are traced along the Earth/Spirit Axis; the Active Spirit Pentagrams are traced along the Fire/Air axis; and the Passive Spirit Pentagrams are traced along the Earth/Water axis. The student will need to consult Aleister Crowley's A.·. A.·. Publication in Class B, Liber O Vel Manus et Sagittae, Sub figura VI, for proper instructions and illustrations concerning the method of tracing the Elemental Pentagrams. When invoking an Element, the Pentagrams should appear in the color appropriate to the Element itself, that is, Yellow for Air, Red for Fire, Blue for Water, and Green for Earth. The Pentagrams of Spirit should be traced in a Bluish-White or Golden Flame.
In the Outer Order of the Thelemic Golden Dawn, the Elements are attributed to the four Cardinal Quarters of the compass: Air (or Earth) is in the East, Fire is in the South, Water is in the West, and Earth (or Air) is in the North. The fifth so-called Element of Spirit is attributed to the Center, as in the symbolism of the Elemental Cross. However, when you are using the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram to invoke Zodiacal Forces or to travel in the Spirit Vision, the Elements are attributed differently to the four quarters to correspond with the nature of the Zodiac: Fire is in the East for Aries, Earth is in the South for Capricorn, Air is in the West for Libra, and Water is in the North for Cancer.
In the Thelemic version of the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, the elemental attributions of Earth in the East, Air in the North, Water in the West, and Fire in the South, are based on Aleister Crowley’s own Thelemic elemental attributions set forth in his Liber V Vel Reguli and in Liber XXV (The Star Ruby). Also, in numbers 24 through 27 of this same version of the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, you convoke the Four Sons of Horus who are the Four Vicegerents of the Four Elements. The elemental correspondences used here for the Four Sons of Horus are based on Aleister Crowley’s Liber 777, Table of Correspondences, Column XIX, Selection of Egyptian Gods.
After performing the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram to invoke an Element, it is always necessary to banish by way of the same ritual, so that if you, for instance, invoked the Element of Fire by use of the Greater Invoking Ritual, you would also, at the completion of your ceremony, perform the Greater Banishing Ritual of the same Element. You go through the same steps as in the invocation, but using instead the Banishing Pentagrams of the Element and Spirit.
The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram is the true form of the Pentagram Ritual. In other words, unlike the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, it is designed to invoke the Elements under the presidency of the Pentagrammaton. It is an advanced form of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, and should be mastered by the Magician seeking the Higher Initiation into the Inner Order of the Rose and Cross, which pertains to the Element of Spirit in its quintessential nature. The knowledge and proper application of the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram is the Key to Magick Power in the Outer Order, and its mastery makes for the control and perfection of the Elemental Plane. It is the magical construction of the Elemental Temple of the Magician, which prepares him/her for the Sublime Influx of the Divine Light of Spirit. Before the Magician can become an Adept of the Inner Order, and receive the Blessings of Adonai, the Lord, s/he must be thoroughly proficient in the Magick Art of Invoking and Banishing the Elements by way of the Elemental and Spirit Pentagrams. The Inner Order of the Rose and Cross, which is spiritual in kind, and not elemental, pertains to a Higher Order of Being which cannot really be experienced by those who are ignorant of their Elemental Self and the Elemental Plane. The Mysteries of the Hexagram cannot be revealed to the Magician before a thorough comprehension of the Mysteries of the Pentagram. Mastery of the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram is a symbol of the Perfection of the Elemental Plane, the Crowning of the Elemental Self, which awakens into being the Spiritual Self, which is represented by the Hexagram.
In the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Pentagram is a symbol of the Outer Order of the Man of Earth Grade, whereas the Hexagram is a symbol of the Inner Order of the Lovers Grade. The Man of Earth is one who undergoes the elemental initiation and synthesis, whereas the Lover is one who attains union with the Holy Guardian Angel. The Pentagram is called the Sign of the Microcosm (WoMan, the little universe), whereas the Hexagram is called the Sign of the Macrocosm (God, the greater Universe). The Pentagram is a symbol of WoMan, whereas the Hexagram is a symbol of the Sixfold God in WoMan.
The numbers of the Pentagram and Hexagram are five and six. Note that 5+6=11, which is the number of Magick in itself and of the Great Work accomplished. That is, it is the number that indicates the blending of WoMan and God, or the Rosicrucian Rose and Cross. The Pentagram is synonymous with the Rose and the Hexagram is synonymous with the Cross. For the Rose is made of five petals and the Cross is made of six squares. 11 is also the number of letters in ABRAHADABRA, the Great Word of Magick which represents the formula and accomplishment of the Great Work. This Word is the Great Reward of Our Lord RA-HOOR-KHUIT whose name is also composed of 11 letters. 11 is also the number of words in the Law of Thelema -- Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. The proper application of this Law is the fulfillment of the Great Work. For it is the True Law which unites WoMan and God, the Pentagram and Hexagram, or the Rose and Cross of Light and Life.
Love is the law, love under will.
Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn.
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