THE LESSER RITUAL OF
THE PENTAGRAM FOR THE
GRADE OF NEOPHYTE
Issued by the
of the Golden Dawn
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
There is a much employed Golden Dawn Ritual which utilizes the symbol of the Pentagram as a general means to banish and invoke the elemental forces. This Ritual is called the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. However, it should not simply be regarded as a mere device to invoke or banish, for it is really the Stone of the Wise and incorporates within its structure a high magical formula of Self-Initiation. It is, to all intents and purposes, a Ritual of Self-Initiation. This ritual is given to the Neophyte of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn as a means for him/her to come into contact with the invisible forces of Nature and to learn how to direct those elementary forces according to his/her Will.
The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram can be used to open and close any magical or mystical work, such as a ceremony or meditation; as a minor form of exorcism; or as an opening and closing for the day. In the latter case, you perform the Lesser Ritual of the Invoking Pentagram during Sunrise or upon awakening, and the Lesser Ritual of the Banishing Pentagram during Sunset or before going to sleep.
It is a suitable idea for the Neophyte to perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram at least twice a day. For it helps the Neophyte to develop around him/herself an Aura or Circle of Light; it purifies the Aura or Sphere of Sensation of all base elemental influences which are chaotic in nature, and it consecrates and fortifies the Magician with divine Light. Of course, when the Neophyte advances to Adeptship, it will become less of a matter for him/her to perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram except during those times where it is necessary to the opening and closing of some magical or mystical working. It should always be performed at the beginning and end of every Ceremony.
When using the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, the Neophyte must understand that to invoke or banish is nothing more than a tuning in or tuning out. To invoke is to tune in; to banish is to tune out. We cannot really invoke or banish an elemental force; it is an intrinsic part of our nature; all we do is focus in or focus out of the elemental force, which is just as much a part of our nature as the nose on our faces or the toes on our feet.
The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram can be used by the Neophyte as a practical form of exorcism, to eliminate obsessing or disturbing thoughts. In this the Neophyte should first formulate a mental image of the obsession or disturbing thought, then s/he should project the image outside of his/her Aura with the Sign of Projection (Sign of Horus), and when the image is approximately three feet away, the Neophyte should give the Sign of Silence (Sign of Harpocrates) to prevent the image from returning unto him/her. With the image of the obsession or disturbing thought in the East, the Neophyte should then perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram to disintegrate the image, seeing it in his/her mind's eye dissolving on the further side of the Circle of Flame which is formulated in the Pentagram Ritual.
The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram can also be used as a simple exercise in the development of the power of concentration. In this the Neophyte should first formulate a mental image of him/herself and then transfer his/her consciousness to this mental image, so that s/he can perform the ritual entirely in his/her imagination. By doing this a number of times, the Neophyte will enhance his/her powers of concentration and s/he will experience a gradual sensation of obtaining a higher degree of centralization in his/her conscious mind.
The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is composed of Four Parts: (1) The Qabalistic Cross, (2) The Tracing of the Pentagrams, (3) The Invocation of the Archangels, and (4) The final Qabalistic Cross. These four parts relate to the Four Elements, which the Pentagram Ritual is intended to invoke and banish.
In the formulation of the Qabalistic Cross you use the microcosmic Tree of Life. In other words, as you form the Cross you visualize yourself as with your back against the Tree of Life, whereas with the macrocosmic Tree of Life you are facing it, so that the Sephiroth called Geburah and Gedulah are located on your left and right respectively. In the Qabalistic Cross, however, we become the Tree of Life, so that Geburah and Gedulah are located on our right and left respectively.
For general magical purposes, the Pentagram of Earth alone is used by the Neophyte in the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. In other words, you invoke towards and banish from the point to which the Element of Earth is attributed on the Pentagram. In the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is given to the Neophyte as a general means for him/her to invoke or banish the elemental forces of Nature, but by use of the Pentagram of Earth alone. It is given to the Zelator for the same purpose, but by use of all four Pentagrams of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, which incorporates the Spirit Pentagrams, is given to the Dominus Liminis. 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 various Elemental Pentagrams.
When tracing the Pentagrams in the Lesser Ritual, the Neophyte should see them in a bluish-white flame. For purposes of tracing the Pentagram, its five points should coincide with certain parts of the body: the two lowest points should coincide with the left and right thighs; the two upper points with the left and right shoulders; and the uppermost point with the forehead.
When tracing the Pentagrams, you should exhale through the nose while tracing the first line of any Pentagram, and inhale through the nose while tracing the second line, keeping this rhythm of breath until the fifth line, which will always be done with the exhaling breath. In this way you can inhale the Divine Name before vibrating it, as an act of inspiration. When going from quarter to quarter you must connect the center of a completed Pentagram to the area that will become the center of the next Pentagram, to trace around yourself a Circle of Protection.
When vibrating the Divine Names, you may give the Sign of Horus or you may simply advance your right foot forward, placing its heel in the hollow of the left foot. However, giving the Sign of Horus helps to project the Divine Names with greater force. When you give the Sign of Horus, you must return in the Sign of Silence.
You envisage the Archangels behind the Pentagrams as you vibrate their Names. The Archangels can be either facing toward or away from you, depending on whether you are invoking or banishing. Raphael means "Healing of God"; Gabriel means "Strength of God"; Michael means "Likeness of God"; and Auriel means "Light of God."
When saying, "For about me flames the Pentagram", you should see the Pentagrams blazing around you. Then, while saying "And in the column shines the Six-rayed Star", you should see a Hexagram above and below you, and also the image of a Column. This represents the true nature of this ritual, which is to unite the Pentagram and Hexagram, that is, the Microcosm (Man) and Macrocosm (God). It is the equilibration of the Five and the Six. The Column itself is a symbol of the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life.
The Qabalistic Cross is repeated at the end of the ritual so as to balance it from beginning to end. The Qabalistic Cross is an invocation of the Divine Light and an equilibration of that Light in the four quarters of the Universe. By ending the ritual with the Qabalistic Cross you are sealing the ritual with the Light. It is a suitable idea at this final point of the ritual to increase the size of the Cross, so that its vertical and horizontal bars extend into infinity.
After performing the final Qabalistic Cross you should give the Sign of Silence. When giving this Sign, you should assume the God-form of Harpocrates, the God of Silence, seeing yourself inside the Egg of Blue Light.
Love is the law, love under will.
Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn.
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