Friday, 08 July 2011 17:39

Lady Naya's New Banishing Ritual

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I firmly believe that magic and ritual should be an ongoing, evolving and experimental discipline, changing as any art does to reflect the ever-evolving spirit of the practitioner. Always, of course, this should be counterbalanced with a respect for the roots of one's ritual and an understanding that by standing on the shoulders of giants, we can see much further.  Over the course of the past few weeks, I have been experimenting with some new ways to work my daily banishing, and eventually developed a new ritual that is quite to my liking.  It has been working quite well for me thus far.

Banishing rituals are used throughout magical practices all over the world.  Casting a circle, censing and asperging the space, sending out the unwanted spirits and calling forth the wanted ones – we've seen this formula time and again.  For many workers of magic, a banishing ritual is required before any workings. Many magicians and witches do a banishing ritual at least once a day.  Working a banishing ritual daily can provide numerous benefits, including clearing out the spiritual clutter, building focus and discipline, awakening the psychic senses, and finding grounding and balance.  I strongly recommend this practice to anyone who is serious about becoming better at their magic. 

This ritual is based loosely on the structure of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Though I have found the LBRP to be a powerful ritual with powerful symbolism, I have no personal connection to the Hebrew roots of it.  Therefore, I ported the code to a system of symbols that is far more meaningful to me with my own practice of Wicca, while maintaining many parts of the original ritual's structure and effect that made me appreciate it so much in the first place.

When working with any modification of existing rituals, it is wise to study and practice the original ritual and learn the original meanings behind the words and gestures used. I recommend memorizing and practicing the LBRP in its original form to give the practitioner a solid understanding of the purpose and meaning of this ritual's structure.

I deviated some from the structure. I do not call forth any sort of spiritual beings at the four quarters, but instead approach from a more practical standpoint. I draw in the elemental virtues of each quarter in order to be centered among them and to have strength in all of them.  For me, this was more appropriate for a ritual I designed to be performed once a day, typically at the beginning of the day. In the course of a given day, there will be times in which I need strength in one of the four elements, or perhaps all of them.  In drawing in the elementawault, this ritual gives me a nice bit of buffer against the knocks any given day can throw at me.

I didn’t stray far from the Kabalistic cross, but decided to use this aspect to affirm my place among the Mighty Ones.  In stating this short verse, I connect myself to the greater universe.  The Hermetic axiom, “As above, so below,” comes to mind as I remind myself that I am made of the dirt of the earth and of the stuff of the stars. (Thank you, Carl Sagan.)

Creating invoking pentagrams for each element by drawing them around me, parallel to the ground is a deviation from the original ritual in which the pentagrams are drawn perpendicular to the ground, on the walls of the circle.  This modification was purely my own stylistic flair, as I like turning and sweeping a wand in elegant strokes around my body as I speak the words of power.  Taking this approach gave me a way to get more physically involved in the rite. Rituals full of large and powerful gestures have always appealed to me.

When doing this ritual, especially the initial meditations, I like to play music, but I choose very certain songs that I use frequently.  Daemonia Nymphe, right now, is suiting the bill nicely. (Lovely stuff: http://youtu.be/a28iwNevoJs )  Feel free to choose your own music, or to choose the sounds of the world around you.  If you have a special incense you wish to use, I recommend it. I often use my temple incense blend for this exercise.

Working this ritual daily helps me in my spiritual practice.  I spend a few minutes in the morning every day, affirming my place in the universe, drawing in power, grounding, and centering myself.  I consider this to be as important to my morning routine as my coffee and my shower.


The Rite of Elemental Balancing

by Lady Naya Aerodiode 3* of the Silver Spiral Coven

Setup

Light five candles in a pentagram shape around you, allowing yourself enough room to turn around freely.  The black candle will be at the top of the pentagram, aligned to the north. The other candles will be red, yellow, green and blue and arranged according to their elements on the other four points of the pentagram. Yellow will be on the left, blue on the right, green on the bottom left, and red on the bottom right.

If you wish, you may use an athame and a wand with this exercise, though it is not necessary.  I prefer working with my tools often, so I will use them from time to time with this exercise.  If you choose to use tools, the athame will be held in the secondary hand, the wand will be held in the primary hand. This ritual is best done outside if possible.

Start this ritual facing north.

Initial Meditations:

1. Ground yourself. With your arms at your sides, imagine your body growing roots, reaching down deeply into the soil.  Feel the cool black earth surrounding your roots. At the core of the earth is unimaginable heat, the ancient burning heart of Gaia.  Feel your roots reach further and further until they can start to feel the warmth from the core of the earth.  Let that warmth flow upward into your body, suffusing you with that ancient power.

2. Center yourself. As the power that you pull up starts to fill your body, feel it lifting your arms upward toward the starry sky. Lift your head to look at the heavens. As you do, imagine your body getting larger and larger until you can look down and see the planet at your feet. Keep imagining yourself larger still until you can look down and see the solar system spinning around you.  Keep getting larger until all of the stars in the universe are spinning like clouds of dust around your head.  Let your outstretched fingers brush against the sparkling stars.

Aligning with the Mighty Ones:

3. Look up, deep into the cosmos that surrounds you, and contemplate the eternal night.  Say,

“I am made of the stuff of the stars.”

4. Look down at your feet on the ground, feel them planted firmly upon the earth, and contemplate the solidness you stand upon.

“I am made of the soil of the earth.”

5. Extend your right hand eastward. Look to the east, and feel the shining rays of the rising sun awakening your body and mind.

"The sun gives me life.”

6. Extend your left hand westward.  Look to the west, and feel the luminescent moon pouring her mysteries into your soul.

“The moon gives me spirit.”

7. Clasp or cross your hands at your chest and feel a burning of passion in your heart.

“And within me, forever, shines the spark of creation.”

8. Look to the North-East.  See the Lady there.  Say,

“I am the daughter/son of __________.”

9. Look to the North-West. See the Horned One there. Say,

“I am the daughter/son of __________.”

10. Look straight forward, and say proudly your name,

“And I am _________.”

Invoking the elemental powers:

11. Turn to the east.  With the athame or the secondary hand, start drawing a circle repeatedly in the air.  You are cutting a hole in the fabric of reality and reaching into the spirit realm.  Dip the wand or the first two fingers of the primary hand into the spirit realm and pull out some of the pure elemental essence of air.  It will encircle the tip of your wand or your fingers.

Let the energy start flowing in from the eastern portal, and direct it with your wand or fingertips to draw a line of this airy essence, connecting each point on the pentagram to form an invoking air pentagram around yourself, parallel to the ground.  As the airy essence blows in, it blows away all of the dust and dirt, leaving your space pure and clean. 

After you complete the pentagram, take the airy energy and draw a few more circles around you, around the perimeter defined by the candles on the floor, charging your circle even further.  When doing this, I usually draw the first circle by turning my whole body, but for subsequent circles, I stand still and wave my hand around me over the top of my head.

Say:

“Essence of air, I draw thee in and summon thy inspiring virtue into my being.”

12. Turn to the south.  Cut the portal in the air as before, reach in, and pull forth the elemental essence of fire.  Draw a semicircle around the cirlce as you turn to face the north (this one is a little different due to how the invoking fire pentagram is formed.)  Starting with the black candle in the north, draw an invoking fire pentagram by connecting the candles around as before, but this time with a line of leaping fire. After you finish the pentagram, draw a few additional circles around you, further charging your space with the essence of fire.  Observe the fire burning away any remaining impurities in your space.

Say:

“Essence of fire, I draw thee in and summon thy invigorating virtue into my being.”

13. Turn to the west. Cut the portal and pull forth the elemental essence of water. Starting at the yellow candle in the west, draw an invoking pentagram of water around you and the additional circles afterward, charging your space with the essence of water.  Observe the water dissolving any remaining impurities in your space.

Say:

“Essence of water, I draw thee in and summon thy enchanting virtue into my being.”

14. Turn to the north. Cut the portal and pull forth the elemental essence of earth. Starting at the black candle in the north, draw an invoking pentagram of earth around you and the additional circles afterward, charging your space with the essence of earth.  Observe any remaining impurities in your space sinking down into the earth.

Say:

“Essence of earth, I draw thee in and summon thy ennobling virtue into my being.”

15. When finished, face the north. Stand still for a moment and observe the four elements spinning in circles around you and flowing into your being, charging you with the best of their virtues.

Aligning with the Mighty Ones, again:

16. Look up. 

“I am made of the stuff of the stars.”

17. Look down.

“I am made of the soil of the earth.”

18. Extend your right hand eastward.

“The sun gives me life.”

19. Extend your left hand westward.

“The moon gives me spirit.”

20. Clasp/cross your hands at your chest.

“And within me, forever, shines the spark of creation.”

21. Look to the North-East.  See the Lady there.  Say,

“I am the daughter/son of __________.”

22. Look to the North-West. See the Horned One there. Say,

“I am the daughter/son of __________.”

23. Look straight forward, and say proudly your name,

“And I am _________.”

The rite is finished.