Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Comselh Ananael Ritual Template Part I: The Opening Procedure

Stick around here long enough and you'll see this a lot. This is the first posting in a series covering the ritual template used by my magical working group, Comselh Ananael. The name of the group means "Circle of Secret Wisdom" in the Angelic language used in the Enochian system of magick. We have been working together doing experimental ritual work since 2002 and the ritual template reflects the current structure of our work as it has evolved over the years.

This posting covers the opening procedure.

I. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar in the center upon which is placed a containment structure of some sort. The Holy Table, Sigillum Dei Aemeth, and Ensigns of Creation will work well in this capacity, as will a Goetic triangle or some similar structure.  Present on the altar are a bowl of salt water, incense corresponding to the work at hand, bell chime, banishing dagger, invoking wand, and the four elemental tools placed to the appropriate macrocosmic (zodiacal) directions - Fire in the east, Earth in the south, Air in the west, and Water in the north All of the weapons and implements should be outside the containment structure. The material basis, which is the target of the rite or an object with a magical link to it, should be placed inside the containment structure. This may also be a scrying stone or mirror if the intent of the rite is to communicate with the summoned entity.

This template is written for a single Officiant with any number of participants, but people may also trade off as Officiant during the rite. We have done this in most of our rituals and still had good results. If scrying is the objective of the ritual, the scryer should be seated looking into the stone or mirror at the begining of the Conjuration section.

II. Opening

Officiant moves to the west of the altar and inhales fully, placing the banishing dagger at his or her lips. The air is then expelled as the dagger is swept backwards.

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

Officiant then performs the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, moving around the Table and casting across it. The other participants rotate appropriately.

III. Taking Refuge

Officiant: We take refuge in Nuit, the blue-lidded daughter of sunset, the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night sky, as we issue the call to the awakened nature of all beings, for every man and every woman is a star.


Officiant: We take refuge in Hadit, the secret flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star, as we issue the call to our own awakened natures, arousing the coiled serpent about to spring.


Officiant: We take refuge in Heru-Ra-Ha, who wields the wand of double power, the wand of the force of Coph Nia, but whose left hand is empty for he has crushed an universe and naught remains, as we unite our awakened natures with those of all beings everywhere and everywhen, dissolving all obstacles and healing all suffering.


IV. Generating Bodhichitta

Officiant: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is in every way perfect.

All: All is pure and present are and has always been so, for existence is pure joy; all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and done; but there is that which remains. To this realization we commit ourselves - pure and total presence. So mote it be.

V. The Magical Field

Officiant performs the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram, moving around the Table and casting across it. All participants rotate appropriately.

VI. The Preliminary Invocation, Purification, and Consecration

All clasp hands over hearts, and say:

Now I begin to pray: Thou Child,
Holy Thy name and undefiled!
Thy reign is come: Thy will is done.
Here is the Bread; here is the Blood.
Bring me through midnight to the Sun!
Save me from Evil and from Good!
That Thy one crown of all the Ten
Even now and here be mine. AMEN.

The bell chime is then rung.

Officiant raises the bowl of salt water, and says:

Creature of water, by the names of Gabriel and Auriel we bless and integrate thee by this symbol (traces circle). Through thy watery being let this temple be purified that the god (vibrate godname corresponding to the rite) may manifest within.

He or she then goes to all four directions, tracing a circle with the bowl and asperging three times at each quarter.

Officiant then raises the incense, and says:

Creature of fire, by the names of Michael and Raphael we bless and integrate thee by this symbol (traces cross). Through thy fiery being let this temple be consecrated that the god (vibrate godname corresponding to the rite) may manifest within.

He or she then goes to all four directions, tracing a cross with the incense and censing three times at each quarter.

This last section is then followed by the Watchtower Invocation, which will be the starting point of the next posting in this series. Commentary follows.

Section I.

Section I is mostly self-explanatory. A containment structure is used to receive the manifestation of the spirit when this ritual template is used as an evocation, and to keep the consciousness of the spirit from becoming entangled with that of the magician. It may be used without the containment struct for an invocation rite, in which the spirit is deliberately summoned into the field of the magician's consciousness.

Section II.

"Balasti! Ompehda!" is from The Book of the Law and serves as a sort of preliminary banishing. It is then followed by a formal banishing ritual such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or one of its equivalents.

Section III.

Taking Refuge is adapted from Buddhist practice and is discussed in detail by Sam Webster in Pagan Dharma 2. Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha (awakened mind), the Dharma (specific teachings), and the Sangha (community of practitioners). The use of the Thelemic deities is shown here was inspired by Ordo Sunyata Vajra's Diamond Sapphire Gem of Radiant Light.

We have found this to be an effective practice in that it directs attention to the ultimate goal of realization at the beginning of the rite, preceding any specific statement of intent. Realization should be the goal of any magical operation - even one designed to produce a mundane outcome or some sort. Every time magical energy is used and directed, the practitioner's spiritual development further unfolds.

Section IV.

Bodhichitta is another Buddhist concept, referring to the supreme enlighented mind in which all of reality is seen as an interplay of purity and presence, or emptiness and luminosity. Like Taking Refuge, it is discussed by Sam Webster in Pagan Dharma 2. In addition to cultivating realization, this statement at the beginning of the rite helps to counteract attachment to the outcome of the operation. Such attachment usually hinders magical success.

Section V.

A magical field is created when a pentagram ritual, representing microcosm, and a hexagram ritual, representing macrocosm, are combined. The field used here is called an operant field and is best used to create change in the macrocosmic realm. By using a banishing pentagram ritual, we clear space in the microcosm of the our own consciousness, and then we invoke the macrocosmic elements into that space using the invoking form of the hexagram ritual. This causes microcosm and macrocosm to interlock, so that thought can more effectively influence matter. This is the Lesser ritual because this is still the general opening that is used with every rite regardless of its intent.

Section VI.

The prayer used here is Aleister Crowley's "Prayer of the Aeon". It refers to the nondual awareness beyond the dualistic concepts of good and evil found in Kether, the crown of the Tree of Life. The bread and blood in this case refer to the physical being of the magician, rather than the body and blood of an external savior.

Purification and consecration is relatively standard. For purification, salt water is water and earth, the circle symbolizes the passive elements, and the archangels called are related to the two passive elements. For consecration, incense is air and fire, the cross symbolizes the active elements, and the archangels called are related to the two active elements.

This ritual form serves to open the temple in an effective manner and prepare it for the next phase of the rite, the Watchtower Invocation.

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