Performing the Banishing Ritual, by Jim McCarty
Jim wrote the following to the channeling circle serving under his guidance - including Austin, Gary, and Trisha - as they sought to learn and perform the Banishing Ritual. We have formatted it for publication to LLResearch.org as a resource for all who would like to conduct this ritual to purify and protect their own space.
I would recommend reading all that Ra has to say about the banishing ritual and the magical personality. There is also a good deal of information on the internet regarding the Banishing Ritual of the Lesser Pentagram, especially videos.
Regarding this house, it was blessed by angelic presences before we even moved here. Since then there have been nearly 40 years of channelings, spiritual gatherings, and the Banishing Ritual that have made this house an entity that provides a powerful support for any spiritual endeavor, especially channeling. Your homes are lovely environments that you are blessing with your presence, but you are going to be taking the first steps on the journey of a thousand miles as you begin to invoke your magical personalities to perform the Banish Ritual daily in your homes and inculcate them with love and light and protection. It will take time and dedication, and I am sure that you will eventually succeed.
One of the most important things to do before performing the ritual is a purification of your mind/body/spirit complex mostly likely through meditation, prayer, or readings of some kind of spiritual literature. I perform the ritual after my Morning Offering during which I meditate for an hour and a half, read spiritual writings like the Bible, Joel Goldsmith, and the Law of One, pray, and sing. Before performing the ritual I say:
“I seek now to perform the Banishing Ritual of the Lesser Pentagram in this room to provide protection for this room, and for all that may meditate or channel here, that no negatively-oriented entities may enter our circle of seeking, that only positively oriented entities may enter our circle of seeking. I seek no power or personal gain for myself in any way in the performance of this ritual. I seek only to provide protection for this room.”
I would suggest that the ritual be performed daily in whatever rooms you choose for your channeling circle. The ritual also must be performed without error to be effective. If any error in pronouncing the words of the ritual are made, the ritual needs to be performed again until there are no errors.
When enunciating the following words in this ritual, don’t use your normal voice. Your voice will be a bit louder as if you are calling these qualities from a distance, shall I say.
Besides the words that are spoken, you also will mentally speak the nature of each of the archangels and visualize their garments and gestures. Each of the words has a special meaning.
(1) To perform this ritual, begin by facing east and start the ritual by putting on a mantle or a robe that represents your magical personality. Reach both hands opened over your head as high as you can reach, and feel the magical personality descend into your being as you lower your hands to your sides.
(2) Then use your right hand, with thumb, index, and middle fingers extended and ring finger and little finger folded, to again reach as high as you can over your head. Bring your hand down and touch your forehead and vibrate “Ateh”.
(3) Bring your hand down and touch your chest and vibrate “Malkuth”.
(4) Then use your right hand in this same configuration to touch your right shoulder and vibrate “Ve Geburah”.
(5) Then use your right hand to touch your left shoulder and vibrate “Ve Gedulah”.
(6) Then clasp both hands together at your chest in the prayer position and vibrate “Le Olam. Amen.”
This is what these words mean:
- Thou art
- the kingdom
- Ve Geburah
- and the Power
- Ve Gedulah
- and the Glory
- Le Olam
- forever and ever.
(7) Then, still facing east, use the right hand with the fingers folded as before to create a pentagram beginning at below your left hip, to a point above your head, then down to your right hip, then up to your left shoulder, and over to your right shoulder then you complete the pentagram at your left hip.
Then you charge the pentagram by a sharp stabbing motion through the middle of the pentagram as you vibrate “Yod-Heh-Shin-Vah-Heh.” [Don, Carla, and I added the “Shin” during the Ra contact. You won’t see that anywhere else.]
(8) Now turn 90 degrees to your right so that you are facing south and inscribe another pentagram and charge it by vibrating “Adonai”.
(9) Again, turn 90 degrees to your right so that you are facing west and inscribe a third pentagram and charge it by vibrating “Eh-Hee-Yay”.
(10) Then turn 90 degrees to your right so that you are facing north and vibrate “Ah-Gla”.
These four names are aspects of the Universal Mind, God, or the One Creator.
(11) Next turn 90 degrees to your right again so that you are once more facing east. Spread your arms as far as you can to each side so that you form a cross.
(12) Then you invoke each of the archangels while facing east. You begin with “Before me Ra-fey-el.” You visualize him clothed in a yellow robe. Mentally, you say “and the gifts and powers of air”.
(13) While still facing east you then say, “Behind me, Ga-bree-el.” You see him clothed in a blue robe, holding a cup of water in his right hand with his arm extended upwards, and you mentally say “and the gifts and power of water.”
(14) Continuing facing east, you now say “on my right hand, Me-kay-el.” You see him clothed in a red robe and holding a sword up and pointed towards the sky, and you mentally say, “and the gifts and powers of fire.”
(15) Still facing east, you now say “on my left hand, Auriel”. You see him clothed in a robe of olive, russet, and black and he is throwing seed to the ground with his right hand, and you mentally say “and the gifts and powers of earth.”
(16) Lastly, you say “for around me flame the pentagrams and above me shines the six-rayed star.”
(17) You complete the ritual by repeating the opening sequence of extending your right hand high over your head then bring your hand down to touch your forehead saying “Ateh,” then bring your hand down to touch your chest and say, “Malkuth”. Then use your right hand to touch your right shoulder and say, “Ve-Geburah.” Then use your right hand to touch your left shoulder and say, “Ve-Gedulah.” Then clasp your hands together in the prayer position and say, “Le-Olam-Amen.”
(18) The next thing you do is to relieve yourself of the magical personality by reversing the gesture that you used to clothe yourself in the magical personality by taking your hands from your side and lifting them over your head for as high as you can reach and visualize the magical personality going back into time/space.
(19) The last thing you do is to stamp your right foot on the floor to ground the ritual into your space/time environment.
A quick search for the Banishing Ritual of the Lesser Pentagram online will reveal that it is perhaps the most popular white magical ritual available to seekers. Because of this, there are lots of resources, each portraying the ritual in different ways, with their own variations on words, tones, inflections, movements, and visualizations. These variations can cause the ritual to seem very different to an onlooker—some are performed more solemnly, slowly, and melodically, like a monk; some are rather monotone and boring; some can be more forceful, as demonstrated by Jim. They all have the same basic structure and themes, but with seemingly infinite variation.
It seems that the ritual was developed first by the Golden Dawn. Information detailing the official instructions of the first ritual isn’t readily available from a casual search. One small relevant note is that it was originally called the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. L/L uses the name found in W. E. Butler’s The Magician, His Training and His Work: “The Banishing Ritual of the Lesser Pentagram.” There is no indication in his instructions as to why he chose to call it by this name instead of the original.
Jim, Don, and Carla learned this ritual from W. E. Butler’s instructions (included below), and in performing it for so many years, they have established something like an “L/L Research standard.” Given the variety of instruction available to interested students, instruments channeling under the L/L Research lineage to continue with this standard set by Jim, Don, and Carla. Part of the potency of magical rituals comes from their repeated regularity. To perform it as demonstrated by Jim likely taps into the same magical potential that has built up with his dedicated practice over the years—a potential that maybe is unique to L/L Research.
The Magician, His Training and His Work
THE “Banishing Ritual of the Lesser Pentagram” is that technical magical operation known as “The Preparation of the Place.” It is used as a means of defining and purifying the area in which the magical work is to be done, and this we may term the “objective” aspect of the rite.
There is, however, a subjective aspect to the matter, since all the outer rite is an externalisation in symbolic form of the inner emotional, mental and spiritual purpose of the magician and his assistants. This dual nature of all magical rites needs to be kept in mind if the full benefit of the work is to be gained.
In the Banishing Ritual we have, first of all, what is known as the Qabalistic Cross. This is done as follows:
a) Touch the forehead with the right hand and say Ateh.
b) Lower the hand to the breast and whilst touching it say Malkuth.
c) Touch the right shoulder, saying Ve Geburah.
d) Bring the hand across the body and touch the left shoulder, saying Ve Gedulah.
e) Clasp the hands on the breast and say Le Olahm Amen.
If the glyph of the Tree of Life is studied, it will be seen that the names Geburah and Gedulah are the names of two of the opposing Sephiroth of the Tree. It will be seen that, looking at the diagram as a glyph of the universe, i.e. as it is shown, the Sephirah Geburah is on the left hand pillar, and the Sephirah Gedulah on the right hand pillar. This is correct for the macrocosmic Tree, but when we are using the glyph as a diagram of the microcosm within us, then we “back into the Tree,” i.e., we visualise it as if we stood with our backs to it. The Sephirah Geburah now comes near our right shoulder, and Gedulah is found on our left. It is this micro-cosmic Tree that we are using in this rite.
In an earlier section we considered the question of the esoteric use of sound vibrations, so it will suffice here if we refer the reader to that section in order that he may understand how to vibrate the words of the Cross Ritual. It must be understood that the ordinary speaking voice is not of use in this connection.
When we raise the hand above the head and lower it to touch the forehead, we are dealing with the symbolic expression of the highest spiritual nature within us; that radiant Being known to many occult schools as the “Genius.” By virtue of the psychic correspondences between that Being and the psychic centre situated in the aura above the head, we draw down into our auric sphere the radiant light-force.
Now the shaft of light which, in our visual imagination we have pictured as coming down with our hand as we moved it down to the forehead, is taken down towards the feet as we bring down the hand to the solar plexus and vibrate the word Malkuth. This action has now formulated a line of white light extending from above the head down to the feet.
Now we touch the right shoulder and vibrate Geburah. From this we move the hand over to the left shoulder, at the same time visualising a line of white light-force as emanating from our right shoulder and being drawn across to our left. Thus is formed in the aura the Cross of Light. This cross should be strongly visualised as we bring the hands together on the breast in the attitude of prayer.
Although the cross has been formulated in the personal aura, an attempt should be made, whenever it is so built up, to increase its size, to visualise it and oneself as becoming huge and towering in height. This is in itself a powerful suggestion that can help to release the cramped personality from some of its self-imposed limitations, and so tend towards the ultimate union between the starry Dweller of Eternity, who is our own true and deeper self, and our limited and self-imprisoned personal self.
When the cross has been formulated as described, we commence the next part of the work. Still facing East, as we did when we began the Qabalistic Cross, we raise the right hand from a point on our left side about midway between the hip and the knee. We then move the right arm up to a point above the head, and bring it down again to the corresponding point at our right side. It will be seen that we have described an inverted “V”. Now move the right hand to a point slightly above the left shoulder, then to a similar point above the right shoulder, and then from that point bring it down diagonally to the point from which the figure was started. Again, each movement of the hand must be seen mentally to draw a line of white light-force, so that when we have completed the movement, there glows in the air before us (mentally perceived) a pentagram of white light. This pentagram must now be charged with energy, and this is done by moving the hand rapidly to the centre of the figure with a sharp stabbing motion, at the same time vibrating the name Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh.
Turning to the South, with our outstretched hand drawing a line of light, we again build up a pentagram of light, this time vibrating Ah-Doh-Ni.
Then turning to the West, the pentagram is formulated again and the name Eh-He-Heh is vibrated. Now we turn to the North, vibrating Ah-Gla and finally we return to the East, where we stand with arms outstretched in the form of the cross as we formulate the Telesmatic Images in our visual imagination.
It will be remembered that we have formed four energy-charged thought-forms by the figures we have built at the four cardinal points of the compass. These forms we are now going to use as the focal points of the protecting barrier we have built, and we therefore build up behind them the telesmatic images of the four great archangels. As the forces of the universe are in the last resort living forces, emanations of the Universal Mind, so we may think of these telesmatic images as the psychic means whereby we are able to make contact with the living and intelligent forces which are personified in the great archangels. The form we build is a symbolic thought-form, but the life which fills it is the life of the great cosmic Being which we draw through that part of our nature which is in correspondence with Him, or, to be more accurate, which is a part of Him. As the old initiates declared “there is no part of me which is not of the gods.”
So, facing East, we say “Before me Raphael, (Ra-fay-el) and formulate a mighty figure in a yellow robe in which shimmers the complementary mauve. As the East is the station of Air, we should mentally feel a gentle breeze coming from around the figure.
Now we say “Behind me Gabriel” (Ga-bree-el). The figure we build behind us in the Station of Water, the West, is robed in blue with orange complementary tones, and a crystal cup of blue water will be visualised as being held aloft by the figure. Water should be sensed as flowing from behind this figure.
Now we say “On my right hand Michael (Me-kay-el) and the telesmatic figure glows in robes of red, with vivid green overtones. A great sword of steel is uplifted in its hand and a radiant heat should be sensed as proceeding from it.
Finally “On my left hand Uriel” (Auriel). Here the figure will be robed in a parti-coloured robe in which citrine, olive, russet and black are intermingled. Around it should be visualised fertile ground (for this is the station of Earth) with grasses and wheat springing out around.
Now we conclude with the words “For around me flame the pentagrams, and above me shines the six-rayed star,” and again formulate the Qabalistic Cross.
It will be obvious that much hard work will have to be put into the development of the visualising faculty if these Telesmatic Images are to be properly built and contacted with the living forces they symbolically represent.
Here is Labour—but it is basic work, and without it the Work may not be done.