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THE MEANING OF LIFE
To gather experience over countless lifetimes.

We Realize who and what we really are, and come to behave like That.

Ignorance of That and associated bad habits result in mistakes and consequential suffering.

The accumulation of experience eventually brings us to realize that we are not separate from others, which forms habitual devotion to the ultimate welfare of all.
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Part II: Re-Introducing the Pentagram Ritual

For training in typical traditions of Western Mysticism, among the first daily rituals practiced is one called “The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.”

Because the trainee is often anxious to get into some “real magic” and views the first exercises as merely “preliminary,” this ritual is often misunderstood and its profundity overlooked.  That is, until the student reaches the end of the training.  At the end of training the often surprising discovery is made that, like the proverbial philosopher’s stone, the most profound ritual practice throughout training happened to be there from the start: that simple “Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.”  It is often the only ritual practice used by masters who have completed their training.  Tiny variations on this often overlooked ritual contain all the magical techniques one needs. For example, see the article on this blog site about The Thunderstorm.  The powerful magician conjured the thunderstorm before our very eyes, using nothing other than a small variation of that same Pentagram Ritual we had all learned in the beginning of our training.  For a more important example, consider the rituals designed to bring enlightenment, called “initiations,” which are themselves sometimes elaborations on this same “Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.”

I will not go into the variations of this incredibly profound ritual, but I will try to point out some of the inner-work and significance that is often unknown to, or overlooked by practitioners.  It is hoped that this explanation might bring new appreciation for what is often mistaken as merely preparatory, and brashly rushed through as being less important. 

The name of the ritual implies that it is about banishing or “clearing the air” in a sense.  But what does this really mean?  There is a banishing happening here, but banishing of what?  Why?  How?  By what power and authority is this done?  And what is left-over after this banishing is finished?  Rituals lead to new states of being, so what is the significance of the state reached, after this banishing is complete?  Hopefully, by the end of this series of articles, the answers to these questions will be clear.

When one realizes the true meaning and effect of this ritual, one realizes that it should never be rushed through as a “formality.”  It should always be performed slowly, like a meditation, with careful contemplation and respect.  This is because, as I will try to show, it carries, invokes, and asserts the core truth by which the practitioner has any magical power at all.

As explained in Part I of this series of articles, ritual can be a progressive and systematic redirection of one’s state of mind, self-definition and self-identification.  If the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is performed with the correct meaning and emphasis, with appreciation for its effect, no other ritual is necessary from the perspective of spiritual growth.  This particular ritual carries the secrets of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.  At the completion of training, when rituals become unnecessary and even childish in a sense, this “Lesser” Banishing Ritual remains as a celebration and expression of whom and what we really are: the authors of reality.

As explained in Part One, ritual is a progressive shift of one’s state of mind.  We are here concerned with a progression to an extraordinary state of mind where we can become accustomed to, and explore who and what we really are.  We then almost return to the ordinary state again, though not quite the same, having gathered new experience and familiarity with each repetition.  With each repetition, we bring into the ordinary every-day state of mind a greater understanding of our true nature, and build the habit of behaving more like That all the time.

In this series of articles I would like to take you through the progressive shift of your state of mind as you would perform this Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.  So, before I move into a commentary on that ritual, let me first give you an account of the “script” for its performance.  It should be noted that this ritual exists in different forms in all wisdom traditions on the Earth.  These steps have been carefully chosen and handed down in some form or another through thousands of years and are by no means arbitrary in their order and composition.  The actual wording used in each step has also been carefully chosen by fully trained masters to match the effect and intent handed down through the millennia.  This is important because the procedure has undergone thousands of years of testing and adjustment, to ensure the greatest benefit and effectiveness.  You can partake of all that experience by adherence to tradition.

Script: The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

Setting:

A light snack has been prepared and set aside for consumption after the practice has been finished.

A darkened, if not completely dark room. 

There is a small table or altar in the center of the room.

There is a red class containing an unlit candle hanging overhead in the center of the room (called the Kether Lamp), or a red glass with an unlit candle in the center of the altar (called the Candle of Art). 

On the altar, there is unlit incense. 

The incense should represent the four Elements of alchemy (Fire, Water, Air, Earth), or could be pure frankincense to represent spirit itself.  (Refer to the Magical Alphabet for incense ingredients assigned to the elements.  A beautiful stick incense of this composition was at one time sold in Theosophical bookstores.  Among other ingredients, it had sandalwood for Earth, and camphor for Air.)

The operator is dressed only in a black hooded robe, representing the “conscious nothingness” out of which awareness arises. 

The operator begins Step 1 in darkness, standing before the altar, facing East.

 

Procedure:

Phase I: Standard Preliminaries

Step 1: Recite Watchers Benediction

Step 2: Light candle reciting the appropriate prayer

Step 3: Light incense from the candle, quietly but mindful of the meaning of incense.

Step 4: Perform Ankh of Light (also known as the Qabalistic Cross)

 

Phase II: The Pentagram Ritual Proper

Step 5: Use “witch fire” or “solar energy”  or “chi” to trace out the eternal presence of the four great pentagrams, charging each with an acknowledgment of the purpose and soul that makes them living beings.

Step 6: Recognize the eternal presence of the four Archangels

Step 7: Recognize the eternal presence of the four Elemental Winds

Step 8: Recognize the eternal presence of the four Elemental Guardians

Step 9: Recognize the entire scene

Step 10:  Ponder this completely “banished” state of being

 

Phase III: Magical Activity

Step 11: Perform some act, expressing yourself as the author of reality, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.  (for example: meditate, basking in the original state of Being, or perform the Middle Pillar Exercise – a comment on this exercise will follow this series of articles – or perform some act of magic.)

 

Phase IV: Standard Closing

Step 12: Licence to Depart (necessary only in variations where any intelligence is invoked, during the Magical Activity phase, that was not present before.)

Step 13: Begin the return to ordinary every-day life by performing the Ankh of Light again, with a small difference, recognizing the added experience you take back with you.

Step 14: Douse candle.

Step 15: Dedicate the results of this practice to the Great Work

Step 16: Restoring normal lighting, change into normal clothing.

Step 17: Immediately eat and drink a light snack

 

In the next part of this series of articles, I will begin to describe and explain each of these steps in detail.  I will try to do this with an emphasis on how these steps transform your state of mind, help you practice thinking of yourself as who and what you really are, and help you build the habit of always identifying with and behaving like That.

Mer-Amun MerAmun

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2 Responses to “The Habit of Behaving Like Who We Really Are”

  • Ea-Maat says:

    Excellent beginning, though I don’t envy you the task of elaborating each step! Volumes could (and have) been written on different aspects of this ritual. Unfortunately, most of these have been lost or distorted. If you can convey the simplest of meanings, you will have put back into circulation some extremely valuable information which will find its way to those who truly desire to learn from the highest motives.

    Bright blessings!

  • Raven Barnett says:

    I was delighted to see your page. I was part of the Isis Maut coven in Dallas, Ga. Judith was our Highpristess & teacher. I have since lost touch with her. I have continued on the same path ass a solitary practioner. It’s great to know you are still out there.

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