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Author Topic: Questions about the Pentagram rituals  (Read 2354 times)
Lo Stragone
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« Topic Start: April 12, 2010, 08:43:08 pm »

I read that I should the Lesser "Invoking" Ritual of the Pentagram in the morning and the Lesser "Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram at night before bed.  I have been doing this every morning, invoking all of the elements with their respective pentagrams, using my wand, and vibrating the names of God.  I finish with the the part "Before me Raphael, Behind me Gabriel, etc." and the Kabbalistic Cross (which actually starts the whole thing also).  At night I do the same thing using my athame and the banishing pentagrams.  I guess let's start with the morning ritual.  1) What exactly am I doing by drawing the invoking pentagrams with the wand, stabbing the center, and vibrating the names? 2) Am I calling on the elements or the Archangels? 3) Am I asking them to protect me, or am I asking them for power? 4) Does whatever is invoked stay with me for the day until I banish at night? 5) If I were to use the same pentagram (say fire invoking) in all four directions, would I feel that element strongly with me?

6) As for The Banishing Ritual, am I banishing away the Archangels and is that rude? 7) Am I asking the Archangels for protection against negativity? Cool Am I banishing negativity? 9) Do the Invoking and Banishing rituals work like and On/Off kind of thing? 10) When using these rituals as part of other rituals, or ceremonies, would I do the LBRP after casting a circle or before? 11) Is the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram the same as calling the quarters, and would this come before or after the Banishing when used in a ceremony?

Now The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram.  What is this ritual used for (I can find tons of info on how to do it, but none on why)?  Is it used daily like the lesser rituals, or only to gain certain energies, say for spellwork? I really don't know anything about the Greater ritual of the Pentagram, so any info or anecdotes are much appreciated. 

I'll save my questions on the Hexagram rituals for another post.  Thanks in advance to any replies.
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« Reply #1: April 12, 2010, 09:39:42 pm »

I read that I should the Lesser "Invoking" Ritual of the Pentagram in the morning and the Lesser "Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram at night before bed.  I have been doing this every morning, invoking all of the elements with their respective pentagrams, using my wand, and vibrating the names of God.  I finish with the the part "Before me Raphael, Behind me Gabriel, etc." and the Kabbalistic Cross (which actually starts the whole thing also).  At night I do the same thing using my athame and the banishing pentagrams. 

I'm more familiar with the LBRP than the invoking version, though neither is part of my regular practice (a) while I recognise the influences on modern Wicca and its offshoots from ceremonial magic, I am not convinced it's the best tool for the job and b) for me, personally as a former Catholic, reader of classical Greek, and coming from Jewish ancestry on one side, using that particular set of names is more complicated than it is useful for me. So I find alternatives.)

I would say that your questions suggest that it might be worth looking at why you do something before you start doing it in the future. There's nothing especially harmful in these particular techniques, but that's not true of everything - plus, you get a lot more out of anything if you have an idea why you're doing it (and what it's supposed to accomplish.)

On to your questions:
Quote
1) What exactly am I doing by drawing the invoking pentagrams with the wand, stabbing the center, and vibrating the names?
2) Am I calling on the elements or the Archangels?

Invoking pentagrams create an inviting space for the elemental energies, elementals, or guardians - in the case of these two rituals, you're mostly working with the named archangels, rather than other variants, but Paganism has a number of other forms that do similar things by working with various of the others.

Generally, Invoking = inviting into the space. Banishing = the equivalent of "Done for now, thanks for coming, bye!" that you might do at the end of a party. Older sources talk about summoning, controlling, and banishing as things that are very direct acts of will and that must be enforced, but modern methods generally prefer the idea of cooperation with these entities rather than compulsion.

You are mostly working with energies - either inviting a specific kind, or cleaning away a specific kind, with some requested help.

Quote
3) Am I asking them to protect me, or am I asking them for power? 4) Does whatever is invoked stay with me for the day until I banish at night? 5) If I were to use the same pentagram (say fire invoking) in all four directions, would I feel that element strongly with me?

You are basically asking them to be present - generally, these things are done on the space, not the person, though there are modifications. (This is, I think, why the banishing ritual gets a lot more play than the invoking one.)

Some practices use the banishing earth pentagram for all of the banishing pentagrams - in that case, it's considered symbolic of banishing energies affecting the physical plane, not just of all earth energies. Using only one of the others is sort of like sending a badly addressed letter: it might get there, but the recipient might be a little less likely to be helpful, and even if they are, you might end up a little unbalanced. In general, if you have a particular area of focus, you could do that in some other way - meditation, a particular action, a request, whatever - once you've completed the basic LRP.
Quote
6) As for The Banishing Ritual, am I banishing away the Archangels and is that rude? 7) Am I asking the Archangels for protection against negativity? Cool Am I banishing negativity? 9) Do the Invoking and Banishing rituals work like and On/Off kind of thing?

I think I've hit these above....

Quote
10) When using these rituals as part of other rituals, or ceremonies, would I do the LBRP after casting a circle or before? 11) Is the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram the same as calling the quarters, and would this come before or after the Banishing when used in a ceremony?

These both depend on the tradition, to some extent, but in general, the LRP duplicates actions in the circle in a way that may not actually be productive. In my tradition's practice, the LBRP or an equivalent is used to energetically clear a space when we're *not* going to put up a circle (say, a class in a space where there's some lingering energy that won't mesh well or where people come in still a bit edgy from their day/traffic/whatever) There are times this is a lot faster than a full circle set-up, and it also doesn't mean taking everything down at the end, and doesn't commit people in the group to particular kinds of energy attention and management during the class (which a formal circle would).

As to where to put it if you do decide to use it: we banish, scribe, bless, but different traditions do it different ways. So for us, if we were going to use it, it'd be the second thing (after a trad-specific bit) we do, but before scribing the circle. We wouldn't use the invoking ritual in place of our quarter calls, because our quarter calls are a) to different guardians, b) also call the elemental energies (which the LRP doesn't) and c) have some specific additions for a given ritual that the LRP doesn't allow space for easily.

(Well, and I wouldn't use it anyway, as I've said.)

Quote
Now The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram.  What is this ritual used for (I can find tons of info on how to do it, but none on why)?  Is it used daily like the lesser rituals, or only to gain certain energies, say for spellwork? I really don't know anything about the Greater ritual of the Pentagram, so any info or anecdotes are much appreciated. 

I'll save my questions on the Hexagram rituals for another post.  Thanks in advance to any replies.

Never done the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, but have done a little bit with some of the Hexagram rituals (though again, these days in my practice do some modifications I think are more in keeping with a fundamentally witchcraft tradition rather than a ceremonial one, so it's been a couple of years since I did any of them.)
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« Reply #2: April 13, 2010, 02:03:55 am »

I read that I should the Lesser "Invoking" Ritual of the Pentagram in the morning and the Lesser "Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram at night before bed.  I have been doing this every morning, invoking all of the elements with their respective pentagrams, using my wand, and vibrating the names of God.  I finish with the the part "Before me Raphael, Behind me Gabriel, etc." and the Kabbalistic Cross (which actually starts the whole thing also).  At night I do the same thing using my athame and the banishing pentagrams.  I guess let's start with the morning ritual.  1) What exactly am I doing by drawing the invoking pentagrams with the wand, stabbing the center, and vibrating the names? 2) Am I calling on the elements or the Archangels? 3) Am I asking them to protect me, or am I asking them for power? 4) Does whatever is invoked stay with me for the day until I banish at night? 5) If I were to use the same pentagram (say fire invoking) in all four directions, would I feel that element strongly with me?

6) As for The Banishing Ritual, am I banishing away the Archangels and is that rude? 7) Am I asking the Archangels for protection against negativity? Cool Am I banishing negativity? 9) Do the Invoking and Banishing rituals work like and On/Off kind of thing? 10) When using these rituals as part of other rituals, or ceremonies, would I do the LBRP after casting a circle or before? 11) Is the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram the same as calling the quarters, and would this come before or after the Banishing when used in a ceremony?

Now The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram.  What is this ritual used for (I can find tons of info on how to do it, but none on why)?  Is it used daily like the lesser rituals, or only to gain certain energies, say for spellwork? I really don't know anything about the Greater ritual of the Pentagram, so any info or anecdotes are much appreciated. 

I'll save my questions on the Hexagram rituals for another post.  Thanks in advance to any replies.
It really depends on what pentagram you are drawing, as they can be both banishing, and invoking rituals. You're setting up sacred space uniting the microcosm, with the macrocosm. You're either banishing, or invoking the elements, en route with the Angels(or other vehicle of choice), which is why they're present at both. The gestures&vibrations are techniques to do this, originally a Golden Dawn rite centred on Hermetic Western Esoteric, hence the Qabalistic cross.  There are many forms of the ritual, including a Thelemic one I use called the Star Ruby. The Hexagram rituals are the same idea, only utilising the energies of the planets, or zodiac.
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Lo Stragone
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« Reply #3: April 18, 2010, 10:04:41 pm »

I'm more familiar with the LBRP than the invoking version, though neither is part of my regular practice (a) while I recognise the influences on modern Wicca and its offshoots from ceremonial magic, I am not convinced it's the best tool for the job and b) for me, personally as a former Catholic, reader of classical Greek, and coming from Jewish ancestry on one side, using that particular set of names is more complicated than it is useful for me. So I find alternatives.)

I would say that your questions suggest that it might be worth looking at why you do something before you start doing it in the future. There's nothing especially harmful in these particular techniques, but that's not true of everything - plus, you get a lot more out of anything if you have an idea why you're doing it (and what it's supposed to accomplish.)

On to your questions:
Invoking pentagrams create an inviting space for the elemental energies, elementals, or guardians - in the case of these two rituals, you're mostly working with the named archangels, rather than other variants, but Paganism has a number of other forms that do similar things by working with various of the others.

Generally, Invoking = inviting into the space. Banishing = the equivalent of "Done for now, thanks for coming, bye!" that you might do at the end of a party. Older sources talk about summoning, controlling, and banishing as things that are very direct acts of will and that must be enforced, but modern methods generally prefer the idea of cooperation with these entities rather than compulsion.

You are mostly working with energies - either inviting a specific kind, or cleaning away a specific kind, with some requested help.

You are basically asking them to be present - generally, these things are done on the space, not the person, though there are modifications. (This is, I think, why the banishing ritual gets a lot more play than the invoking one.)

Some practices use the banishing earth pentagram for all of the banishing pentagrams - in that case, it's considered symbolic of banishing energies affecting the physical plane, not just of all earth energies. Using only one of the others is sort of like sending a badly addressed letter: it might get there, but the recipient might be a little less likely to be helpful, and even if they are, you might end up a little unbalanced. In general, if you have a particular area of focus, you could do that in some other way - meditation, a particular action, a request, whatever - once you've completed the basic LRP.
I think I've hit these above....

These both depend on the tradition, to some extent, but in general, the LRP duplicates actions in the circle in a way that may not actually be productive. In my tradition's practice, the LBRP or an equivalent is used to energetically clear a space when we're *not* going to put up a circle (say, a class in a space where there's some lingering energy that won't mesh well or where people come in still a bit edgy from their day/traffic/whatever) There are times this is a lot faster than a full circle set-up, and it also doesn't mean taking everything down at the end, and doesn't commit people in the group to particular kinds of energy attention and management during the class (which a formal circle would).

As to where to put it if you do decide to use it: we banish, scribe, bless, but different traditions do it different ways. So for us, if we were going to use it, it'd be the second thing (after a trad-specific bit) we do, but before scribing the circle. We wouldn't use the invoking ritual in place of our quarter calls, because our quarter calls are a) to different guardians, b) also call the elemental energies (which the LRP doesn't) and c) have some specific additions for a given ritual that the LRP doesn't allow space for easily.

(Well, and I wouldn't use it anyway, as I've said.)

Never done the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, but have done a little bit with some of the Hexagram rituals (though again, these days in my practice do some modifications I think are more in keeping with a fundamentally witchcraft tradition rather than a ceremonial one, so it's been a couple of years since I did any of them.)

Thanks!  That was really helpful.
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Lo Stragone
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« Reply #4: April 18, 2010, 10:05:14 pm »

It really depends on what pentagram you are drawing, as they can be both banishing, and invoking rituals. You're setting up sacred space uniting the microcosm, with the macrocosm. You're either banishing, or invoking the elements, en route with the Angels(or other vehicle of choice), which is why they're present at both. The gestures&vibrations are techniques to do this, originally a Golden Dawn rite centred on Hermetic Western Esoteric, hence the Qabalistic cross.  There are many forms of the ritual, including a Thelemic one I use called the Star Ruby. The Hexagram rituals are the same idea, only utilising the energies of the planets, or zodiac.

Thanks for the reply!
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