A Year of Ceremonial Magic: Month Two

Chapter two of Modern Magick is full of meaty Kabalistic philosophy and additional rituals. In fact, as February ended, I had not yet finished reading the chapter.

The main feature of this chapter was the remainder of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. This is a ritual I have previously committed to memory, but it was nice to have a refresher. In fact, on the last day of the month, I re-read the section on the ritual and realized I had been omitting a key component – the Sign of the Enterer. Whoops! I’m sure that is why it’s called practice; you do it consistently hoping to achieve something close to perfection.

Every day, I continued to perform the Relaxation Ritual, the Tarot Contemplation Ritual, and added the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. I also continued to write daily in both my dream and ritual diaries. I did however make two changes to the rituals through my own research and experience. The first is that I’ve drastically sped up the Relaxation Ritual by adding it to my evening bathing ritual. I feel perfectly relaxed and confident in my abilities to call upon Gods and Archangels when I’m clean and prepared. The second is that after consulting with Sam Webster, a local mage (and founder of a local Golden Dawn lodge), I changed the tetragrammaton to be more in alignment with my Pagan roots.

Most Pagans object to Ceremonial Magic because of its links to Christianity. While it is true that many in the original Golden Dawn were mystical Christians, Ceremonial Magic is not, in my opinion, necessarily Christian. That said, the tetragrammaton in the original form of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (and other staple rituals) is the unpronounceable name of the God of Abraham – a God who is doubtless hostile to me and my co-religionists. I sought out Sam’s counsel as to how to reconcile this problem and he suggested replacing YHVH with the name of His mother, Asherah. So, the Tetragrammaton I’ve used all along is, transliterated from the Hebrew – A-Sh-R-H. Many thanks to Sam for this effective and powerful solution!

The Ritual of the Middle Pillar and the Four (Solar) Adorations (Liber Resh vel Helios) are also included in this chapter, but I have yet to incorporate them into my daily work. That will come next month, now that I feel that I’ve worked out the kinks in the LBRP.

PantheaCon also happened this month, and though it doesn’t have anything to do directly with this Hermit year I’m taking, I do attend every year and often get great ideas and inspiration for my spiritual life. I attended one lecture given by Chic Cicero about the Ritual of the Bornless One. It is a ritual that is included in Modern Magic, so I was hoping for a preview of this gorgeous work. I was not disappointed.

The Ritual of the Bornless One is not introduced until Lesson Nine. The self-imposed schedule I’m on means that I will not perform this ritual until September. Luckily, the Ciceros supplied attendees with a handout detailing 2-3 versions of the ritual. It will be exciting to try them all this autumn and see which one works best.

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