This is the fifth post in a series on Beginning Meditations. I’ve been introducing the practices that I use the most myself and most frequently recommend to students and clients. Last month we learned the Middle Pillar Exercise, which is a standard practice taught in the Western Mystery Tradition. Today we’ll learn another practice from that tradition used extensively in ceremonial magic. The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is the perfect tool for clearing both your personal energy and the energy of the physical space around you (your home, your office, a room, your property, etc.).
This practice is generally considered a ritual, not a meditation. But for all practical purposes it can be described as a moving meditation. It utilizes the same elements such as mental focus, awareness of and moving of energy, visualization, and connecting to spiritual planes that made up the earlier meditations we learned. Today’s post includes written instructions for how to perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, and a 5-minute video recording of me performing the ritual to help you learn the movements. Please also check out the other meditations in this series!
- Fourfold Breath Meditation with Tarot Ace Visualization – July 15, 2018
- Jôshin Kokyû Hô Reiki Meditation – August 15, 2018
- Discursive Meditation – September 15, 2018
- The Middle Pillar Exercise – October 15, 2018
- Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram – Today’s post!
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About The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) is frequently taught in ceremonial magic, the Golden Dawn, and Neo-Pagan practices. Although it can be practiced in both banishing and invoking forms, it is common to first learn and practice the banishing form. It is ideal for clearing your own personal energy every day, connecting to Spirit, and as a bonus, it clears the physical space in which you perform the ritual. In larger ceremonies, the LBRP is used to clear the space before beginning the ceremony, then performed again at the end as a kind of final sweeping up — the “dummy check” you do after picking up after an event to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind.
This ritual is often used in conjunction with the Middle Pillar Exercise. The usual format is to perform the LBRP first, then the MP. Some people prefer to repeat the LBRP after doing the MP in order to clear the space back to neutral and sweep away any stray psychic energy leftover from the previous practices. One of my students described this as wiping down the counters after doing the dishes.
Rituals like this are difficult to learn, but easy to perform once you get the hang of it. It often takes a few tries to get all the movements down. Also, you frequently have to do several things at one time — make a movement, say a word, and visualize a color. And because each of those things has to be written out separately, it can make the ritual look longer than it actually is when you first see the instructions! But with a few run-throughs you’ll quickly get the hang of it. The whole ritual takes about five to seven minutes to perform.
Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram Instructions
- First, prepare by performing a few rounds of the fourfold breath (the tarot aces visualization can be omitted).
- Visualize your body growing larger until your feet rest on the Earth as though on a ball a foot across. See the bright light of a star far, far above your head. Reach up with your right hand to the light and draw it down touching your forehead. Vibrate ATEH (pronounced “Ah-tah,” means “To you”).
- Touch your chest. Visualize the light following a line down your body to the sphere of the earth at your feet. Vibrate MALKUTH (pronounced “mahl-koot,” means “Kingdom”).
- Touch your right shoulder; sphere of brilliant red light, Vibrate VE-GEBURAH (pronounced “veh geh-boo-rah,” means “and power”).
- Left shoulder; sphere of brilliant blue light. Vibrate VE-GEDULAH (pronounced “veh geh-dyoo-lah,” means “and glory”).
- Hands in prayer position. See the cross of light outlined on your body. Vibrate LE-OLAM, AMEN (pronounced “leh o-lahm, ah-men,” means, “forever and ever, Amen”).
Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
- Go to the East. Trace Banishing Pentagram (see sketch above). Point to the center of the pentagram and vibrate the Name YHVH (pronounced “yud-heh-vav-heh,” means “Lord” or “God”).
- South. Trace a line to the south. Trace the Banishing Pentagram. Point to the center, and vibrate the Name ADNI (pronounced “ah-dough-nye,” means “Lord”).
- West. Trace a line to the west. Trace the BP. Point to the center and vibrate the Name AHIH (pronounced “eh-heh-yeh,” means “I am”).
- North. Trace a line to the north. Trace the BP. Point center and vibrate the Name AGLA (pro-nounced “ah-geh-lah,” acronym for Atah Gibor Le-olam Adonai: “You, O Lord, are mighty forever”).
- Trace the line back around to the east, completing the circle.
- Say aloud, “Before me, Raphael” (pronounced “ra-fa-ell”; visualize as a tall angel dressed in yellow (east=air) w/ purple highlights, holds sword)
- “Behind me, Gabriel” (“gah-bree-ell”; west=water=blue with orange, holds cup)
- “To my right hand, Michael” (“mee-ka-ell”; south=fire=red with green, holds staff)
- “To my left hand, Auriel” (“oh-ree-ell”; north=earth=green with brown, holds pentacle).
- “For about me flame the pentagrams, and upon me shines the six-rayed star!”
- Visualize the six-rayed star (two interlocked triangles, like Star of David), upward pointing triangle red, downward blue.
- Repeat the Cabalistic Cross to close
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram Recording
Here is a video of me performing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram when I was teaching it for a class. The video is designed to help you understand the movements and see how it all fits together. Because of the visualizations, you’ll need to follow the written instructions primarily while using the video to double check your movements. It might seem complicated at first, but once you become comfortable with it, it is an easy ritual to perform. Although in this example I use the whole room to perform the LBRP, you don’t need that much space. You can keep your feet in the same spot and pivot — all you need is enough room to turn around with your arm extended enough to draw the pentagrams.
I first learned the LBRP from Donald Michael Kraig’s Modern Magic. I later re-learned it from John Michael Greer’s Circles of Power. I’ve also subsequently learned it in ritual magic groups and have been able to benefit from seeing other practitioners perform it.
What is your experience with using the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.