One of the most basic and useful ceremonial rituals of magick is called the banishing ritual, or lesser ritual of the pentagram. A pentagram (or pentacle) is a five-pointed star with the point up.
The banishing ritual is helpful in psychic protection and healing since it forms a protective barrier against malevolent forces. The psychic barrier it creates can be made to permit entry of desired (constructive) forces and the exclusion of negative ones. Thus, the banishing ritual is an essential first step in almost any formal full magick ceremony.
The ritual requires that you use a magical implement or “weapon”, such as a ceremonial knife, wand, or simply point your index finger, to “draw” the pentagram in the air at each of the cardinal points (four directions). Also, you will be chanting (‘vibrating’) some Hebrew names of God.
Holding your magical weapon and facing east, extend your arm out straight in front of you. In this ritual you will use the full sweep of your arm to draw the pentagram in the air. Follow the description below by beginning at the lower left and sweeping your magical weapon up toward the right, etc. as shown. Do not bend your arm at the wrist or elbow. While you do this, visualize the lines and eventually the star as vibrant white, floating in the space before you. You are projecting energy to do this, and the result will be a gleaming 5-pointed star floating in the east; visualize this as vividly as you can.
Now energize it further by piercing the center of it with your magical weapon and vibrating (speaking slowly in a slightly lower than normal pitch, remember) “Yod-He-Vau-He”.
Then turn slowly to the next cardinal point in sequence, and as you do so, with your arm still extended in front of you, visualize a white line connecting around to the cardinal point. Trace a similar pentagram with the appropriate words and following the same procedure:
- South — Adonai Tzaboath
- West — Eh-Ei-He
- North — Agla.
Now complete the white line drawn back to the center of the eastern pentagram. Note that the cardinal points must be followed in a clockwise order, and the pentagram must be drawn in the manner illustrated; to do otherwise would change the function of the ritual. The result of all this should be a large bright white pentagram visualized hanging in mid-air at each of the four directions, all tied together by a bright white line. You could now, for example, visualize the pentagrams moving out to the circumference of your home, thereby protecting all within.
There is also a somewhat simplified version of this ritual in which the pentagram is traced only once overhead and then is energized with one of the four names, such as “Eh-Ei-He”. Oftentimes the simplified version is sufficient, but naturally the effect of the full version is more complete.
One of the primary uses of this ritual is to ward off psychic attack — that is, when another is (consciously or unconsciously) attempting to harm you, cause sickness, accidents, bad dreams, emotional upset, or to force you to do something against your will. Fortunately this doesn’t happen very often. The world of the magician is fairly safe for the pure of heart. Psychic attack usually depends upon vulnerabilities. If you are not vulnerable you are safe. Thus unification with the true will is the greatest protection possible. And the use of the banishing ritual is never hurtful. You can even use it to hold off negative aspects of yourself.
Author: Phil Hansford
Items you’ll need:
- Floating candles
- A large bowl
- A pen
Create sacred space with candles, sage smudging, and setting up altars with powerful totems, or items of special significance.
If possible, stand or sit under the Moon. Allow yourself to feel a direct relationship to it, as a mover of the living waters of the Earth and within our own bodies.
Do a grounding exercise, to bring you out of the chatter of small talk and into ritual space. Feel the earth under your feet and shake out the tension in the body.
Place the large water-filled bowl in front of you, or in the middle of your gathering on a table.
Write what you are releasing on the candle that you will be floating. It’s not important that the writing shows up, just that the intention is there.
As you place the candle into the bowl, declare what you’re releasing.
Light the candle.
Allow yourself to feel the transfer of what you’re releasing to the candle. As a group focus on letting go into the water, holding hands if that feels right.
Celebrate this release by sharing a feast under the full Moon!
Allow the candle to keep burning in the bowl as a symbol of the letting go process. The flame is a purifier, and symbolizes the sparks of inspiration as well. If you blow out your floating candle, and your bowl is in your home, relighting it will remind you of your commitment. Place inspiring pictures and totems around it that remind you of who you’re becoming. Above all, give yourself kudos for honoring your own growth.
Group Chants are one of the most effective (and fun!) ways of raising energy, especially when combined with dancing, stylized movement, gestures, and swaying. Some of the most popular chants are those taken from Amerindian sources, such as:
I am the Circle,
I am Healing you,
You are the Circle
You are healing me,
Be as One.
We are at one
With the Infinite Sun
Forever, Forever, Forever
Such chants as these express and reinforce a sense of belonging, both between immediate group members, and with the wider world or universe. Chants tend to build up slowly, and pick up speed as people feel the growing rhythm and pulse of the words and beat, which “carries” people along – it is easy to get so caught up in the chant that you begin to enter a trance state – but don’t just take my word for it – try it out!
The Darksome Night and Shining Moon chant of Wicca is another good example of a group chant – especially when each line is chanted by a different group member. The words of the chant serve to resume the central concepts of Wicca – the four elemental directions, the magical weapons, and the complementary natures of Goddess and God, Darkness and Light.
From: The Magical Use of Voice
In the most commonly used form of chants, each member of the group repeats the entire verse. However, the “Spinning Mantra” differs in that one member intones the first line of the chant, the next person, the second line, and so on. One note can be used throughout, with the same syllables stressed in each line.
Another variant is to start the Spinning Mantra off, and have the members of the group wander around, stopping briefly in front of each other to chant their lines. This can be very disorienting, but is very effective if performed with a large group.
Try it with this magick chant for power and protection:
“I call upon the Powerful, Cosmic Guardians.
I call upon the Ones who bring Power and Strength to those who believe.
I am a dynamic living Electro-Magnetic Force.
I am Positive.
I have a Strong Will.
I am Fearless – Absolutely fearless!
Nothing can Harm me.
I am the Master of my Destiny.
I Surround myself with a Mental Atmosphere of Protection.
No Harm can penetrate this Positive Armor.
Those would harm me shall be Powerless.
Their negative energy shall return to them a Thousandfold.
I am Strong.
I am safe.
I am Positive,
I am Powerful.
As I say
So shall it be.
This ritual combined with this chant can be very powerful. For best results each participant should have a copy of the chant and a chance to practice their lines. The idea is to repeat the chant over and over allowing the energy to build.
From: The Magical Use of Voice and various other sources
Drawing Down the Moon refers to ritually connecting with the power and wisdom of a Full Moon divinity. In some Wiccan traditions, this is done by the priest of a group calling the Moon Goddess into the priestess in order for her to become the living embodiment of the deity during the ritual. However, there also are other types of Drawing Down the Moon rituals.
In the Circle Craft tradition, all participants in a group ritual Draw Down the Moon by simultaneously evoking the Moon Goddess within themselves. We also Draw Down the Moon as a personal rite by the following method:
Do a personal Drawing Down the Moon ritual in a private place where you are not likely to be disturbed. Create sacred space. Then, hold your arms up above your head, curving them slightly and holding your palms toward each other so that as you do this you get a sense of being a great chalice. Invoke the Full Moon Goddess or some other Full Moon Divine form you wish to link with.
As you do the invocation, call to mind the image of a shining disc of Moonlight coming down into yourself through your sacred chalice posture. Drink in the power, wisdom, and light of the Moon Goddess. Then, slowly move your arms so that your hands overlap each other on your heart area. Experience yourself as becoming one with the disc of Moonlight and the Moon Goddess.
Experience yourself glowing with Lunar radiance, power, and wisdom, and continue to resonate for several minutes. Then, receive, reflect on, and remember your experiences and any guidance that comes to you. When you sense it is time to end the ritual, give thanks to the Moon Goddess and Sacred Moon. Then, end the ritual and eat some food to aid in grounding. Write about your experiences.
By Selena Fox
To be spoken aloud by a single operant whilst all operators slowly spin widdershins, with eyes wide open and arms outstretched. Operators visualize a sphere of dense black, smoky darkness enveloping the area surrounding them as the Enochian invocation is delivered:
URANUN CARIPE BAGLEN OL
GEMEGANZA DE-NOAN CHIIS GOSAA
ZAMICMAGE OLEOL AG-SAPAH ARPHE
ORESA ETHAMZ TAA TABEGISOROCH
ZODINU AR ZURAH PAREMU
ZODIMIBE PAPNORGE MANINUA
ZONAC DODSIH HOXMARCH TRIAN
AMONONS PARE DAS NIIS KURES
Visible only by will, I blind and make deaf all others who may see or hear me.
A darkness shall cover them like that at the bottom of the ocean,
and they shall leave immediately.
Forgetfulness will envelop their minds and anxiety grip their hearts
should they come to interrupt us in our work.
The operators then see the smoky darkness dissipate as all that is within the working area begins to “fold”. The unfolding process is completed by laughter whilst spinning quickly deosil, high speed, to a full stop.
Found at: The Gay Mage
Prepare for the ritual in your usual way. According to your personal preference, begin with the following:
- Ground and Center
- Cast and Raise circle
- Call quarters
Invitation to the God:
Lord of the night, join me now in this sacred space.
Your Lady rides high in the sky and soon will be in and of me.
Come now to join me in the ancient holy rites.
So Mote It Be !
Spend a few moments becoming aware of the God presence and light the God candle. Most likely a gold, orange or red candle.
Invitation to the Goddess:
Blessed be Lady Moon, mother of all life.
I invite your presence in my circle tonight.
Join me in the joyous enchantment of this Esbat night.
For behold, I stand here in the light of your love to worship
in the ancient way and to spin moon magick like my ancestors before me,
I seek to invoke your primal creative power, that my rite shall be successful.
Hear me now, my mother, as I bless your bounty and your goodness.
bless me in turn with your eternal tenderness.
wrap me in your warm silvery light.
hold me forever in the protective embrace of your boundless arms.
So Mote It Be!
Spend a few moments connecting with the energies of the full moon and light a Goddess candle, usually silver. Honor with songs, cakes and ale, or special reading. At this time you may perform the Drawing Down the Moon ritual or any other magickal workings.
When you are complete, release the god and goddess and thank them for their help and attendance. Release the quarters. Lower and open the circle:
The circle is open
but never broken,
So Mote It Be!
From: Moon Magick
- Themes: Wishes; Peace; Beauty; Pleasure; Cycles; Time; Mediation
- Symbols: Falling Stars; Sweetgrass; Peace Pipe
- Presiding Goddess: Wohpe
This Lakota goddess’s name literally means “meteor.” Among the Lakota she is considered the most beautiful of all goddesses. She generates harmony and unity through the peace pipe, and pleasure from the smoke of sweetgrass. Stories also tell us that she measured time and created the seasons so people could know when to perform sacred rituals. When a meteor falls from the sky, it is Wohpe mediating on our behalf.
To Do Today:
Go stargazing! At this time of year, meteors appear in the region of the Perseids, as they have since first spotted in 800 Ad. People around the world can see these, except for those who live at the South Pole. If you glimpse a shooting star, tell Wohpe what message you want her to take back to heaven for you.
- More about the Perseids and Meteors in general can be found at the Pagan Calendar: Perseids Meteor Shower and Meteors and Falling Stars.
To generate Wohpe’s peace between yourself and another (or a group of people) get some sweetgrass (or lemon grass) and burn it on any safe fire source. As you do, visualize the person or people with whom you hope to create harmony. Blow the smoke in the direction where this person lives, saying:
Wohpe, hear my message sure;
keep my intentions ever pure.
Where anger dwells, let there be peace.
May harmony never cease.
Afterword make an effort to get a hold of that person and reopen the lines of communication.
From: 365 Goddess
In some Wiccan traditions, Lammas is the time of year when the Goddess takes on the aspects of the Harvest Mother. The earth is fruitful and abundant, crops are bountiful, and livestock are fattening up for winter. However, the Harvest Mother knows that the cold months are coming, and so she encourages us to begin gathering up what we can. This is the season for harvesting corn and grain, so that we can bake bread to store and have seeds for next year’s planting. If you would like to hold a Lammas harvest ritual, here’s how:
What You Need:
- A candle to represent the Harvest Mother
- Stalks of wheat
- A loaf of bread
- Ritual wine (optional)
This ritual celebrates the beginning of the harvest season and the cycle of rebirth, and can be done by a solitary practitioner or adapted for a group or coven setting. Decorate your altar with symbols of the season — sickles and scythes, garden goodies like ivy and grapes and corn, poppies, dried grains, and early autumn foods like apples. If you like, light some Lammas incense.
Have a candle on your altar to represent the Harvest Mother — choose something in orange, red or yellow. These colors not only represent the blaze of the summer sun, but also the coming changes of autumn. You’ll also need a few stalks of wheat and an un-sliced loaf of bread (homemade is best, but if you can’t manage, a store-bought loaf will do). A goblet of ritual wine is optional.
If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.
Light the candle, and say:
The Wheel of the Year has turned once more,
and the harvest will soon be upon us.
We have food on our tables, and
the soil is fertile.
Nature’s bounty, the gift of the earth,
gives us reasons to be thankful.
Mother of the Harvest, with your sickle and basket,
bless me with abundance and plenty.
Hold the stalks of wheat before you, and think about what they symbolize: the power of the earth, the coming winter, the necessity of planning ahead. What do you need help planning right now? Are there sacrifices you should be making in the present that will be reaped in the future?
Rub the stalks between your fingers so a few grains of wheat fall upon the altar. Scatter them on the ground as a gift to the earth. If you’re inside, leave them on the altar for now — you can always take them outside later. Say:
The power of the Harvest is within me.
As the seed falls to the earth and is reborn each year,
I too grow as the seasons change.
As the grain takes root in the fertile soil,
I too will find my roots and develop.
As the smallest seed blooms into a mighty stalk,
I too will bloom where I landed.
As the wheat is harvested and saved for winter,
I too will set aside that which I can use later.
Tear off a piece of the bread. If you’re performing this ritual as a group, pass the loaf around the circle so that each person present can take off a small chunk of bread. As each person passes the bread, they should say:
I pass to you this gift of the first harvest.
When everyone has a piece of bread, say:
As the grain dies, it transforms to bread,
and brings us life through the winter.
We bless this bread, and it blesses us in return,
and we are thankful for the gift of the harvest.
Everyone eats their bread together. If you have ritual wine, pass it around the circle for people to wash the bread down. Once everyone has finished their bread, take a moment to meditate on the cycle of rebirth and how it applies to your own life – physically, emotionally, spiritually. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, close it or dismiss the quarters at this time. Otherwise, simply end the ritual in the manner of your tradition.
Article by Patti Wigington
- Color: Purple
- Elements: Fire and Water
- Altar: On a purple cloth set a vase of many flags, a plate of offering cakes, and a great chalice of wine for the libation.
- Offerings: Offering cakes made with honey and olive oil. Aid in the freedom of another being.
- Daily Meal: Anything the community wants.
We honor you!
You who are liberty and freedom,
Yet whose priestesses are elder women
Because in order to know
What it is to be truly free,
One must have had experience
And understood the many prisons
In which life will try to trap us.
You who are in the spirit
Of the great phallus borne into
The marketplace for all to see and touch
Yet whose wreath is laid upon it
By a virtuous matron whose body
Has not strayed from her wedding vows,
Because in order to know
What it is to be truly free,
One must have had the choice of many chains
And freely chosen those bonds
In which one wishes to spend one’s days.
Liberty in all its contradictions,
Freedom in all its ambiguities,
The state which we can never quite define
Your country which we can never find on a map
Yet we always know
When we have touched its shores.
(The libation is passed around, and blessed, and then poured out. Each member of the community may choose what work they will do that evening, and none is to be given orders, yet they must explain the following day why they did choose in that way.)
Note: This ritual is appropriate for any day that celebrates liberation and freedom, as well as the Roman holiday of Liberalia.
Found in: Pagan Book of Hours
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