Friday, November 30, 2007

The Operant Field

I am currently in the process of trying to get my first book published. It is entitled Operant Magick and is essentially a textbook on ritual magick incorporating some of my own personal theories and research along with key concepts from the Western Esoteric Tradition. One of the key concepts that I introduce in the book is the operant field. I use this term all the time when discussing ritual work and it appears nowhere in any other published source on ritual magick, so here's a basic overview of the idea.

Operant Magick turned out to be a bust. First Weiser and then another publisher basically jerked me around for years. Weiser finally rejected it on the grounds that it was "too advanced" and they didn't think it would sell. I was upset about this at the time, not only because they had wasted so much of my time mulling the thing over but also because the focus on "beginner books" means that nothing "more advanced" ever gets published. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The thing is, statistically speaking, nobody is interested in magick. What I didn't understand then that I understand now is that if you can't get beginners to buy your book, it's very likely that almost nobody will.

Anyway, much of the material from the book has wound up on Augoeides since then. I've included some of this material in my published books on Enochian magick as well, since the method appears to be generally applicable to all forms of magick. In fact, I'm now convinced that one of the reasons the grimoire movement happened at all is that opening and closing Golden Dawn rituals with the LBRP/LBRH combination is ineffective because you basically kneecap your spirits the moment you shut down the ritual. Since working with your own power in addition to that of spirits is a more effective way to do ritual, the grimoire folks found that by eliminating the banish-banish they got better practical results. But the operant field method is the best of both worlds. It allows modern methods like those of the Golden Dawn and Thelemic schools to coexist with more traditional conjuring techniques.

Most Western ritual magicians use variations of the pentagram and hexagram rituals. In the Golden Dawn tradition you have the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, in the Thelemic tradition you have the Star Ruby and Star Sapphire, in the Aurum Solis tradition you have the rituals for raising the Wards of Power, and so forth. The normal way this is taught is as it appears in Donald Michael Kraig's Modern Magick, one of the most popular and widely available books on Golden Dawn magick. Kraig says that you start off just using the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and then move on to using the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram followed by the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram at the beginning of every ceremonial ritual. The Golden Dawn taught both banishing and invoking forms of these rituals, but Kraig sticks to the banishing versions and a lot of ritual magicians are taught to do the same.

I started researching these ritual forms years ago and was confused by how little material was available on the invoking versions and when they should be used. In Aleister Crowley's Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae it is kind of a curious fact that he covers the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram followed by an explanation of the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram. I went ahead and decided to try this combination out even though most writers will tell you that you shouldn't use the rituals that way. I was absolutely blown away by the result - all of a sudden my practical magical work got a whole lot better. I set up a number of objective tests and, sure enough, the LBRP/LIRH was amazing. I couldn't get anywhere near the same result with the LBRP/LBRH - even though the only difference between the banishing and invoking forms is the direction in which the hexagrams are traced. When I discovered this I asked around and, sure enough, most of the magicians who I knew who were able to get good results using the Golden Dawn forms had figured out the same thing. Other skilled magicians I know have tried the combination at my suggestion and also found that it just works better.

So what is going on here? I think that most modern writers don't understand how to use these rituals. From a Hermetic perspective the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram represents the psychological realm or microcosm and the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram represents the physical realm or macrocosm. Together the rituals set up a space in which the relationship between microcosm and macrocosm is defined that I call a field. The four combinations of the banishing and invoking forms of the two rituals set up four different fields that are useful for specific magical operations.

Banishing Field (LBRP/LBRH): This is how most magicians begin their rituals when working with the Golden Dawn forms. It is, in effect, the "full shutdown" - it clears mental and spiritual forms from both the interior and exterior worlds. In can be used to completely cleanse a temple, banish spirits permanently, or neutralize a magical effect that is targeting the magician. What it also does, though, is shut down any ongoing spells that the magician has running unless they are bound to talismans or some anchor other than the magician's consciousness. If you are casting a spell that you want to work over the next week, don't end the ritual with this combination under any set of circumstances unless you're convinced you made a mistake and want to stop the spell. The effect that you just set in motion will be negated when the field goes up.

Invoking Field (LIRP/LIRH): This combination energizes all ongoing magical effects, and can be used to begin a ritual that you want to operate in both the interior and exterior worlds. A good example of this is a spell to get a good job. You want the spell to affect your psyche in such a way that you seem more confident and capable, but you also want it to shift probabilities in the material world so that the right opportunity will come your way.

Centering Field (LIRP/LBRH): This combination sets up a field in which the interior world is engaged while influences from the exterior world are neutralized. This field is ideal for exclusively psychological magical work of all sorts.

Operant Field (LBRP/LIRH): This is the one that I use the most. The field clears the interior world and then merges it the with the exterior world, setting up a space in which thought can more easily become material reality. All of the energy of a spell cast within this field is targeted on the macrocosm and the resulting probability shifts show that magick done this way just influences the outside world better - significantly better.

If you would like, try it out and see, and let me know how it goes. I think you'll be impressed.


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60 comments:

gaiawriter said...

The Operant Field...

That is some very cool stuff.

Innovative and simple.

I'll give it a try asap.

Thanks mate!
www.gaiawriter.blogspot.com

Ananael Qaa said...

You're very welcome. Let me know how it goes - more ritual data is always a good thing. So far everyone I know who has tried it has had good results.

Lithium Dynamo said...

Thank-you on your explanation of the various combinations of Pentagram and Hexagrams rituals. I have been recently pondering why Aleister Crowly placed the invoking form of the LBH in Liber O.

Frater LVF said...

I really like this idea. Just to make sure that I have it right, I want to propose a scenario.

If I wished to build a relationship with a Planetary Intelligence, I would use the invoking form, followed by the Great Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for the planet, correct?

How do you propose one ends such a ceremony? Using your theory, I would assume that I would not do a closing banishing at all... right?

Ananael Qaa said...

Yes, that's how you would open your ritual - LBRP, LIRH, GIRH for the planet.

If you want the influence of the intelligence to continue to operate within your psyche, you probably would not want to perform a closing banishing. In cases like that I usually close with just the Qabalistic Cross to ground and balance the operation.

On the other hand, if you were calling upon the spirit of the planet for some practical end, you would close with the LBRP on its own. This releases the macrocosmic form that you just created or summoned to go forth and accomplish its objectives.

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el oso said...

Very good and clear understanding of the field conversions. It is great to see simplicity and clarity in the often clouded/veiled shennagins of summoning operations.

Bum said...

Ananael I just wanna ask, when is the best time to learn the Lesser rituals of the Hexagram?

Should it be after I've familiarized myself with the lesser rituals of the pentagram? Can I practice it alone? That is, without banishing.

What do you recommend?

~Beginning student

Ananael Qaa said...

Sorry about the delay - this is one of the reasons I've added the "recent comments" gadget.

First learn the LBRP. Then, once you have that down, start working on the LIRH. The Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram should always follow the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. Conclude your practice by repeating the Qabalistic Cross after the LIRH. Once you have that down, add the Middle Pillar or something similar. The basic daily practice sequence that I recommend to magicians working with the Golden Dawn forms is LBRP-LIRH-Middle Pillar-Qabalistic Cross. If you have the time, add in a session of meditation following the Middle Pillar.

Darpan said...

Wonderful inspiration! Thank you.

I have a question. At this moment my standard practice ritual is a a pentagram ritual whereby I banish each element in its appropriate corner (using the GRP names and banishing pentagrams for each element) and so clear the space of all elements and leaving just spirit in the center.

Then when calling on the Archangels I feel the influx of the elements as blessings from these archangels.

I see this as a cleansing ritual. Banishing the mundane elements and invoking the divine elements.

What are your thoughts on this idea? Does it fit somewhere in your operant field theory? Or should I just skip this idea and stick with the basic LBRP?

p.s. The idea was inspired by reading:
http://hermetic.com/osiris/nbrp.htm

Scott Stenwick said...

As I see it, such a ritual could fit into an operant field-type dynamic. However, there are two points that I think would help it work better.

The pentagram is the natural symbol of the microcosm, while the hexagram is the natural symbol of the macrocosm. Integrating the two symbols is part of what reinforces the field. The other piece is the elemental directions - between macrocosm and microcosm they switch. So to invoke macrocosmic elements, you want to use the zodiacal arrangement - East = Fire, South = Earth, West = Air, and North = Water.

The LBRP/LBRH combination integrates both these symbol sets. You could certainly use your ritual in place of the LBRP so long as you follow it with the LIRH and I would still think what you would get would be an operant field. Generally speaking, though, any sort of pentagram ritual by itself will define your rite as microcosmic.

You might be able to simplify the process by banishing the elements in the microcosmic order and then invoking the archangels in the zodiacal order within the same ritual. From a logical standpoint that should work, though I haven't tried it personally so I can't speak from experience.

Darpan said...

Thank you for your reply! I'm experimenting with different ritual combinations to see how they feel and what works for what.

Ae Meth said...

One thing in particular sort of alarmed me, the bit about the LBRP wiping out any current workings not tied to a talisman, for example. It led me down a path of further researching the purposes of the LBRP and LBRH and I'm wondering what your opinion of this is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxPttRJxBTg

Scott Stenwick said...

I have met magicians who believed that, but in my experience once a talisman is created you need an LBRP/LBRH combination to really interfere with its operation. In fact, those experiments are some of the data points that went into the creation of the operant field model.

The one sort-of exception to this is that if you close the ritual in which you create the talisman with an LBRP, it seems like the talisman can sometimes be affected if you don't shroud it - that is, cover it with a cloth or something similar.

That effect isn't predictable, though. Sometimes the talisman comes out just fine and I haven't isolated all the possible variables yet. So I shroud my talismans when I close the ritual I use to create them, but otherwise I use the LBRP in their presence all the time with no problems.

Ae Meth said...

What I’m wondering about is your experience with the effect of the LBRP on ongoing workings. If you have a working which has not yet manifested, a working for which you have not created a talisman or other physical tie, is it your advice to avoid the LBRP until the working has manifested, or until you've given up or until you don't care anymore whether it manifests? Or are you advising just that the LBRP not be used at the end of a working because placing it at the end of the ritual would interfere? What I'm trying to get at is whether you consider a daily LBRP to be ill-advised as it would interfere with unmanifested workings performed in the past.

Scott Stenwick said...

No, in my experience the LBRP by itself is fine. My own regular practice includes the LBRP/LIRH operant field combination and I don't have any trouble with ongoing operations.

When using this method, the idea is to conjoin your personal consciousness with the macrocosmic realm, which is done using LBRP/LIRH. Then, you release the constructed magical form into the macrocosm by closing with the LBRP to disconnect from the field. So once the form is out in the world, the LBRP won't affect it.

At least, that's the basic idea, and it seems to hold up under every experiment I've run.

Ae Meth said...

Thank you for that clarification, I think I was confusing opening and ending placement of the rituals, but it makes a lot of sense to me now and I'm going to give it a try.

Scott Stenwick said...

You are welcome. One of the issues when working with the LRP is that there are a lot of people in the tradition who teach that it does actually banish macrocosmic spirits, which is not precisely correct. What it does in those cases is disconnect your field of consciousness from that of a spirit, but if the spirit is linked to anything besides you it still will be present. The way that I generally make talismans exploits this behavior - at the conclusion of the rite, the LBRP disconnects the spirit from me but leaves it linked to the talisman.

Unknown said...

My heartfelt thanks for the work you've put into understanding and describing the operant magick model.

I'd like to ask if you could check my understanding of the types of fields. Could you give me some feedback on what's written below? It would help me to see what I'm getting right, and what I'm missing or misunderstanding.

(I've described this mostly in energy model terms, but I think it could easily be rewritten in terms of a spirit model without much fuss.)

It seems like the invoking pentagram opens the aura to external energy flowing into the magician's inner energy body. In the context of setting up a field, the LIRP configures the subtle body into a receptive/connective mode where it easily interfaces with the outside world.

The banishing pentagram operation seems to send LVX (which was invoked during the qabalistic cross) outwards through the aura, sort of like flushing the energy body out from the inside. In terms of the field, the LBRP seems to put the subtle body into a more projective, less connected mode. That makes it useful for ending rituals by sending the ritual out into the world.

Moving on to hexagrams-- the LIRH evokes LVX energy into the external environment, and its effect is to excite whatever energetic things are happening in the area. The LBRH does the opposite, dispelling energy and calming energetic phenomena.

As for the combinations...

Banish micro, banish macro: this combo is easy to understand. It cleanses the magician of external influences, then dispels them from his/her surroundings. It interrupts any ongoing spellwork.

Banish micro, evoke macro: a more complex operation! After flushing oneself clean, the magician evokes LVX into the environment. I say "evokes" because it feels weird to describe a hexagram ritual as an invocation. I don't get the impression that the energy is being channeled through myself. It seems to be summoned from the remote source, directly into the surrounding area. In fact, this particular field configuration won't allow the evoked energy to flow into the magician's subtle body at all, because the subtle body isn't configred to receive anything. It's in projective mode, making it well-equipped to send the magician's intentions out into that mass of excited energy. Said energy then goes out into the world and modifies probabilities in line with the magician's intention.

(Random note: While the banish/banish field is well equipped to purify a space, it's a bit of a blunt instrument, sort of like opening up a black hole to suck everything up. I've found it's sometimes preferable to open an operant field, then do a space-clearing ritual that removes the unwanted energies while leaving desirable ones to stay.)

Invoke micro, evoke macro: this one opens your subtle body up, brings in a bunch of LVX, and lets it flow both out to the world, and into you as well. Any spellwork will achieve its results both through changing you, and changing your circumstances. (This is my preferred setup for solar work. If I'm going to draw 28 hexagrams, I damn sure better feel hot, tingly, and charismatic by the time I'm done.)

Invoke micro, banish macro: This field would be good for working directly on yourself with invocative practices. You'd enter a receptive, energized state, and dispel any distracting/meddling influences in your environment. Then you could focus on some sort of fully microcosmic work, like perhaps the supreme ritual of the pentagram.

So, what's good, and what needs more work?

Ted Elser said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I've been trying to create a dedicated daily morning regimen now that I be completed my new temple space. I've been using LBRP and Resh but I've felt something was missing in either my approach or lack of completeness...(?). I had a conversation with a Sister of ours, Soror Gimel, and she directed me here.
Your article made me blurt out "this is what I meant" and laugh with delight! Thank you ever so much brother for your insight and willingness to communicate with others.
Love
Frater Ted Nation

Scott Stenwick said...

You're very welcome. What I do is LBRP/LIRH or Star Ruby/Star Sapphire followed by the Elevenfold Seal from Liber Reguli (which I like better than the Middle Pillar). Each piece serves a specific purpose:

1. LBRP - Microcosmic clearing and purification.
2. LIRH - Invocation of the macrocosmic elements.
3. Elevenfold Seal - Invocation of the macrocosmic divine.

The, during the day, Resh adds solar invocations. Crowley talked about how for "advanced" operations you could use Resh to draw power from the Sun. Try preceding your Resh with the operant field (LBRP/LIRH) and I think you will experience what he was talking about. I know that I did.

Of course, given work and such, it's not always possible to do something that elaborate at the proper time.

John dee said...

Hi :)
I don't see you mention LBRP/LIRP combination so I want to know what effect will it have,or what type or work suitable for that operant field?

Scott Stenwick said...

According to the operant model, a field is a combination of a lesser pentagram ritual and a lesser hexagram ritual. So an LBRP followed by and LIRP is not a field. Rather, you do a microcosmic banishing and follow it up with a microcosmic invocation. That sequence doesn't do very much - effectively, you banish something and then invoke the same thing.

There is one case where it could fit, though I personally find that it's not very elegant. If you are working with the centering field (LIRP/LBRH), it's not always the best idea to lead off with an invoking pentagram ritual without doing some kind of banishing first. So to satisfy that principle, you could use the sequence of LBRP/LIRP/LBRH to open a centering field.

Unknown said...

Following up further with that, a shorter banishing could certainly be used, like at the start of the Field Ritual here:
http://ananael.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-field-ritual.html

Scott Stenwick said...

Right, that is how I would actually do it if I were opening a centering field as part of my own work. For that to work really well, though, I think that you need to have some proficiency at banishing before you switch to the method, if for no other reason than to be able to recognize when your "banishing by fiat" is working.

Ade said...

Oh, hey! Thank you for this very informative post! I wasn't aware that the LBRH could be used as a killswitch, that's a very good thing to know. This applies to sigils as well, I figure, right? Since they're only anchored on the magician's consciousness, I imagine one LBRH should easily shut them down. What about sympathetic magic involving material components, like a doll or a lemon or something? Would the LBRH shut it down as well or would you need to undo/destroy the material components first? Thanks!

Scott Stenwick said...

You do want to use the LBRP/LBRH combo as a "kill switch," not just the LBRH. With anything anchored to your sphere of awareness, you need to shut down both the macrocosmic and microcosmic components. Consciousness is effectively holographic, so if you just use the LBRH it could "respawn," so to speak, without actually being shut down.

If, when you cast the spell, you explicitly anchor it on a material object - as in "Spirit xxx, I charge you to anchor your power upon this yyy to accomplish zzz!" - then you will need to destroy the material object first. Sometimes that does it on its own, and sometimes you then need to also use the banishing field.

This is NOT necessarily true if you are just using an object as a link. A doll or poppet, for example, usually just creates a link to the target that you can manipulate by taking action upon or directing focused attention upon. In that case, the spell is still anchored on your sphere of awareness.

Of course, if you used an object that you thought was a link and the banishing field doesn't seem to work, the next step would be to destroy the object and try banishing again. But that usually isn't necessary.

Ae Meth said...

What are your thoughts about using the Opening/Closing by Watchtower for talisman rituals vs. LBRP/LIRH?

Ae Meth said...

Also, can you discuss why you find it unnecessary to banish before invoking a specific macrocosmic element. For example, does it not make sense to perform LBRP/LBRH, then LIRH, in order to create a clear and intentionally designed Operant Field, first clearing any macrocosmic influences already present before invoking the desired planetary power, for example, that you are working with?

Scott Stenwick said...

What my working group found when experimenting with the Opening by Watchtower is that if you have already opened with an operant field, the Opening by Watchtower doesn't add anything in terms of increasing the effectiveness of a ritual. It's longer and more complex, and it feels like more is happening, but the probability shifts are the same whether you do it or not. Used on its own, we found that the LBRP/LIRH as an opening got better results than the traditional Opening by Watchtower.

I came up with a modified version that worked about as well as the LBRP/LIRH at one point, but I was never able to assemble one that worked better. So generally, I just use the operant field these days and leave it at that. At the same time, though, if it works for you, it works for you. There's a lot of individual differences in terms of how well different rituals work with different people, and I only advocate the operant field method as much as I do because I have found a lot of people who agree with my results.

You could theoretically use a banishing field (LBRP/LBRH)followed by an LIRH if you wanted to shut down every concurrent spell you had going and focus your full intention on a single practical result. I have multiple spells running all the time, so I generally wouldn't want to work that way, but I expect there are some situations where it might prove useful.

This would also have the effect of clearing other magick from your general working space as you mention, but I don't find influences like that to be much of a problem very often. Usually the operant field is fine on its own. When you invoke all four elements in a balanced configuration in the LIRH, it tends to balance out any macrocosmic energies that might tend to distort your result anyway.

Ae Meth said...

Do you have a place for the Watchtower Ritual in your work at all or do you find the LRP/LRH combinations more effective for all types of workings? For talismanic work, spellcasting, and other manifestion work, clearly the Operant Field is the preference but I'm wondering if you've found it equally effective for evocations/invocations, divinations, exorcisms (if ever necessary), etc.

Scott Stenwick said...

These days I generally do not use it. This is the modified version here that my working group settled on years ago, which according to the experiments that we did worked better than Regardie's.

http://ananael.blogspot.com/2006/06/comselh-ananael-ritual-template-part-ii.html

Still, as far as we could tell, it adds a lot of complexity and no measurable additional functionality if you are already using the operant field. It was somewhat helpful in a group context because you could have different participants do each element rather than having the whole thing driven by a single officiant, but even then, any positive effect on ritual results was hard to discern.

But again, that's just what we found. If you have experience with the Opening by Watchtower, and you like it and it works well for you, I don't know that I would recommend changing your procedures to match mine. Jason Miller, for example, really likes it and swears up and down that it works better than any pentagram/hexagram combination. So not everyone out there, even on the blogosphere, agrees with me.

You're always better off experimenting for yourself. If you like the ritual and feel drawn to it, by all means practice it and decide for yourself. On the other hand, if the only reason for asking about it is that some other magician has told you that you have to use it or something like that, I probably wouldn't bother.

Ae Meth said...

Thanks again for your thoughtful replies. The article on the Ananael ritual is insightful. I think you've convinced me to hold off memorizing the Watchtower Ritual for it's own sake. If I feel like something's not working with LRP/LRH combinations I'll go to it, but meanwhile I'll focus on other things. The discussions in the comments section has been valuable, I'm looking forward to the publication of this book.

Scott Stenwick said...

This post is from many years ago, and I may have to self-publish it at this point. I spent years waiting while two separate publishers considered it, and neither was willing to move forward. It was "too advanced," or so one of them said. That is, it wasn't a book for rank beginners.

In the meantime, I found some success with my Enochian books, which do include the operant field methodology. So I've managed to sneak some of the material in. There's also a version of my modified Opening by Watchtower (the Enochian version) in Mastering the Great Table.

At this point the problem with Operant Magick is that all the science and brain research I talk about in it needs to be updated with the latest experimental results, which is a non-trivial undertaking.

I currently have a second novel in the works with Moonfire and am trying to get the Mastering the Thirty Aires manuscript done for Pendraig, which I feel like I'm way behind on. Once I get that done, though, I may go back and try to get an updated version of Operant Magick finished.

Ae Meth said...

Well, if you decide not to go the traditional publishing route, I'd even be interested in just buying a PDF directly from you. It's a brave new world, after all.

Scott Stenwick said...

My main concern right now is working on all the science stuff to make sure I'm not quoting research from, say, 1999 that is seriously outdated at this point. Plus, all the stuff I covered in my magical models series was not nearly as well-developed in the original manuscript.

If I decide to self-publish, I will just put it up on Amazon Kindle Direct and Smashwords. It really is not much more work to make the book generally available than it is to create a PDF, and if that's what you want, you would be able to buy it in PDF format off Smashwords along with a bunch of other ebook formats.

There also are a few other possibilities for publishers that I can look into now, ten years later, since I have a track record as an author these days and am not a total newbie. So we'll see how it goes.

Ae Meth said...

I really appreciate the time you've taken to answer these questions. At the risk of pushing my luck, I'll ask one more. I've been a solo practitioner for a couple of years now and, as is the case for many solo practitioners, I've used Kraig's Modern Magick as an introduction to basic rituals. As you may know, he recommends 7 daily rituals, two of which are the LBRP and LBRH. I understand that MM is introductory in nature and at this point I have seen the need to make certain adjustments.
Based on your statement, "You could theoretically use a banishing field (LBRP/LBRH) followed by an LIRH if you wanted to shut down every concurrent spell you had going..." can I assume that you would recommend against this daily performance of LBRP/LBRH whose only intended purpose is to cleanse your ritual space (i.e., no particular working follows). If I have understood so far, this combination would not affect talismans (provided they've been properly shielded during the LBRP/LBRH) since the talisman would need to be destroyed to interfere with its work (I find this to be true in my case - I have performed the LBRP/LBRH daily, and my shielded talismans continue to be effective). If, as I assume, daily LBRP/LBRH is not part of your daily or regular riutual, is there a LRP/LRH combination you do use daily/regularly? The Operant Field seems like a good candidate, or perhaps a Centering Field.

Scott Stenwick said...

I generally do not recommend the use of the banishing field except when necessary. It can be useful if something seems to be going wrong with an operation to shut the whole thing down. But I don't do it on a daily basis. I would go so far as to say that constantly banishing everything would probably slow your spiritual development, since some of those changes that you set in motion in your daily work can take longer than a day to manifest, and the banishing fields cuts them off every time you perform it.

As far as DMK and Modern Magick go, you can take a look at this link to read my back and forth with him and a couple of other folks.

http://ananael.blogspot.com/2011/04/wrapping-up-hexagram-controversy.html

What seemed most clear to me from that exchange - though you may draw a different conclusion, I can't really say - is that Kraig couldn't really explain what was wrong with the operant field method. He said that his "map is different" and that's about it. The sense I got was that he really didn't understand how the rituals worked that well. Even in Modern Magick, he basically says that the LBRH is like the LBRP, but "more." That's not helpful, and it doesn't show deep understanding of the function of either rite.

Still, what we could agree on is that the key is this - experiment! Do the rituals different ways, make observations in your diary, and refer to those to see if you can work out a pattern. The operant field might not work the same way for everyone, and I don't personally have a good sense of the degree to which different peoples' "maps" might diverge.

All that being said, though, I think if you try both methods out, based on my experiences working with other magicians you will find that the operant field works better.

My daily practice is currently this:

Operant Field
Elevenfold Seal from Liber V vel Reguli (the Middle Pillar works similarly)
Brief HGA invocation based on my personal work.
Setting my intent to "Set my True Will in motion, and bring me to the accomplishment of the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness."

That last bit, my daily intent, is adapted from the closing benediction of Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass. It's a nice catch-all statement that outlines what my daily practice is working towards.

Dacia Pacea said...

@Scott so even though you have achieved what's known as K&C with your HGA, you're still performing an invocation of it in your practice sessions? That's interesting. Is it also a preparatory work for future undertakings such as uniting with your godhead (if you haven't done that already, that is)? If this will be covered by your mystical articles - Malkuth - I'll wait until then.

Sorry to change topics all of the sudden.

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, because that is what you do. Seriously. I know that some of the material in the tradition is written to suggest that once you get it you are "done," but that's flat-out wrong and can lead to all sorts of bad assumptions. Everything in magick is an ongoing practice, and you are never done. Here's how it works in real life.

When you first "get" K&C, you open up a two-way connection between yourself and the angel. But that connection is not permanent and self-sustaining - it needs to be maintained on an ongoing basis or the link degrades. The HGA invocation that I do as part of my daily practice (1) keeps the link strong and (2) charges the angel with my intent - setting my True Will in motion and so forth. Remember, without an intent, you're not actually doing magick.

One of the most dangerous things I've seen in magick is when people make a breakthrough in their practice and stop working, thinking that they've "attained" something. It's not dangerous in the sense of causing you physical harm or anything like that, but every single person I have encountered who puts forth that attitude is invariably a total asshole. It seems to go with the territory.

You have to keep doing the work over the course of your life if you want to do it right, full stop. That's one of the most important lessons that any student can learn.

Dacia Pacea said...

You're right. That's why I include a series of prayers in my daily practice, including your own. Adding the Operant Field before that really gives it a kick :D

A3 M3th said...

This has been enormously helpful, thanks again. As a solo practitioner, I always wonder if I'm properly understanding what I'm learning. In the last year I happen to have made some adjustments to my set of daily rituals (based on the 7 in MM) which mirror what you've described and that makes me feel like I'm on the right track and can trust both my assessment of what I've studied and my intuition.

Dacia Pacea said...

I posted a comment earlier from another device, but i think it didn't get through.

Here it is in similar form: if I am to cast on someone one day and perform the banishing field the following day, for whatever reason, will the BF affect the previous ritual?

The same goes for if I were to cast on myself and perform the BF the next day. I think it's totally different when casting on the self comparing to casting on another.

Thank you.

Scott Stenwick said...

If the spell is anchored on you, regardless of whether or not it has an external target, the banishing field will shut it down. You need to either explicitly anchor it on a talisman, or explicitly anchor it on the external target if you want it to be immune to subsequent banishing fields.

The key is the anchoring. By defaults, spells anchor themselves to you. If you want the spell externally anchored, you need to specify that to the spirit as part of your charge. And, if you're using a talisman, you obviously need to construct it.

Dacia Pacea said...

Got it, thanks!

Jason Decker said...

This is one of the most useful posts and comment threads I've run across in my years of online magical research. Nice work!

Dacia Pacea said...

This just hit me. I wonder what would happen if someone were to do an LBRP (operant field, even add a GIRH) around someone else, but the person doing it were on the outside. I mean Person A stands still. Person B goes to the East of Person A, faces West and starts tracing the pentagrams around Person A by going full circle E-S-W-N-E. Then they would call the archangels around Person A. Probably a dumb idea, but it kept scratching my brain so much that I had to say it :)

Scott Stenwick said...

That is almost how you cast a field like that on another person, except that you cast "across" the same way you do with an altar.

So the person you're working on stands in the center. You start to the west of them facing east. Then trace the eastern pentagram "through" them - in effect, you're casting at their back but visualizing the pentagram on the far wall. Then you go to the north, facing south, and trace the south pentagram the same way. And so forth. Then you return to the west, behind the person, facing east and call the archangels - who wind up in the same positions relative to both you and the person you are working on or with.

That's also how you do it when you have a talisman or elixir on the altar. The altar goes in the center, and you work your way around always facing the altar and the material basis and casting across them. Or at least that's how I like to do it - I can't say for sure if it's objectively better than aligning the forms some other way without more data and a bigger sample set. It does work, though.

What you're talking about would probably work kind of like a barrier that might provide some protection to the person, but that's about it. The field always engages on the same "side" of the space as you. So it would leave kind of a "hole" in the middle of it where the person would be standing.

Unknown said...

So if you wanted to use a field like this to clear/exorcise a person, would you want to use the banish/banish field? Or would the fact that the field anchors on the operator cause trouble?

Dacia Pacea said...

Wow! The way you do it sounds even better! Especially since it's working. Yes, I was playing around with some thoughts in my mind and I wondered how I could do a fast uncrossing for someone (Banishing Field) if the circumstances ever call for such thing, without the field shutting down the rituals I did on myself. Thank you very much!:D

Scott Stenwick said...

I probably would not use a banishing field for that. Instead, I would probably do something like open operant field on the person, and then use a Greater banishing ritual to banish whatever was afflicting them. Or, better still, call on a spirit to do it. Andrieh Vitimus has an uncrossing ritual that calls on Michael and the Sun, for example.

http://magicblog.andriehvitimus.com/2012/09/st-michael-uncrossing-wall-of-protection.html

(Although - he's telling you to spell out YHVH as Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh in YHVH Eloah ve-Daath. Don't do that, pronounce it as a word. Spelling weakens it.)

The point of the operant field is to get the magick to work in the first place. After that, you do whatever you are going to do and the field amplifies its effectiveness.

Dacia Pacea said...

I came across this ritual before, but I forgot about it. It would be way easier for me to perform a Saturn or Mars operation on someone a be done with it. Or make the 6th pentacle of Mars for them. The reason I asked the above is that I was thinking on ways to do such things in the go, when I'm not at home. Say I'm on vacation and someone starts feeling awkward -I'm paranoid here haha- for no particular reason. It would be way easier to slam a pentagram&hexagram ritual on them, than to start searching for candles, holy water, incense and so on, and then to read Psalms and prayers etc. Thanks for your ideas! They're very welcomed :D

Dacia Pacea said...

Oh, you were answering someone else. I saw that comment just now :)

Scott Stenwick said...

Conjuring a spirit is still pretty fast, and you can do it without materials in a pinch. The issue with trying to use the banishing field is that even if you try to direct it at someone else, it still can affect other stuff you have running if you don't have those operations anchored on talismans and the like.

So it's a very blunt instrument for the problem. Also, anything with some degree of awareness like a spirit that is causing problems can just move beyond the edge of the field while you're casting and move back in as soon as you're done. So you might get an effect that would only last a couple of minutes, even if you did the rituals perfectly.

Conjure an angel like Michael, though, and it's a whole different situation. Angels can chase down other spirits and destroy them completely if necessary or drive them off for good. And it really is not that much slower. I can get through the whole thing in under fifteen minutes, and once you have a working relationship with spirits they're easy to call by name without sigils, talismans, and the like.

Dacia Pacea said...

You're right, and it would be way easier for me to draw Auriel's sigil, call him in my mind. Then ask him to help the person while giving the sigil to the person.

Like last night for instance, when I performed an operation with the 4th pentacle of Saturn. The people in my household started feeling uneasy after those energies were activated, even though they were directed in someone else. Not only that, but I also felt them intensely, despite having my angel beside me. I called Auriel in my mind and asked him to shield the people in my household, and they stoped feeling weird after a short while.

So I guess I'll tag the above as just a wacky idea :)

V.e. L.V.X. said...

With regard to Andrieh Vitimus' ritual, are you likely to perform the operation he describes or would you simply stick with your ritual template (https://ananael.blogspot.com/2017/10/my-latest-ritual-template.html)?
Also, do you know or can you speculate what the purpose of eliminating the QC at the end of the LBRP in his ritual is? My leaning would be to use the template (while perhaps incorporating some elements of his ritual) but I'm wondering if I can strengthen my rituals in general by eliminating the QC from the end of the LBRP and LIRH which establish the Operant Field, for example. I realize he's working in a different system which doesn't always respect the observances of traditional GD magick, but I'm wondering if this is one of those things I should have been doing all along.

Scott Stenwick said...

Personally I would go ahead and use my template. As I said recently, I use it for everything. I just was using that as an example of how to do an uncrossing by conjuring a spirit, and to point out I'm not the only one who thinks that in general it's a better idea than using the blunt instrument of banishing fields.

I have experimented with a number of different variations of what you are talking about. You could, for example, shorten the operant field opening by eliminating the second QC and the second Keyword Analysis. I experimented with this variation for a while as well:

https://ananael.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-field-ritual.html

But as it turns out, the variations all just seem to open operant fields. You can compress a number of the elements together and make your rituals a little faster, but I never saw much in the way of an increase in my measurable probability shifts.

William McGillis said...

Scott,

Good seeing you the other night. Thanks for leading the ritual.

And thanks for posting this. I have a question. Could you please explain how/why you say that the elements (and lbrp) are associated with the microcosm and why the planets are associated with the macrocosm?

I'm confused because in his book Circles of Power, JM Greer says the opposite, that the elements concern the material/etheric worlds most and that the planets concern more the astral world.

I'm not trying to pit you against him. I am just confused about this topic and would like to hear the reasoning so I can understand better what each symbol set represents.

Thanks.

PJ

Scott Stenwick said...

The actual deal is that both planets and elements have microcosmic and macrocosmic aspects. It has more to do with how you approach them. The elements are naturally part of your own body and the stuff around you. The planets are naturally "out there," so to speak. So the natural affinity of the pentagram for the elements and the hexagram for the planets have to do with this "resting state." Note that the operant field works with both the microcosmic elements (LRP) and macrocosmic elements (LRH).

Elements and planets also have both physical and astral/etheric correspondences. Physical world/astral world is a totally different distinction than microcosmic/macrocosmic. Microcosmic-astral would be the spiritual energy field corresponding to your sphere of awareness. Macrocosmic-astral would be what you experience when you use your body of light to remotely "visit" a location some distance away.

I think what Greer is talking about is the relative position of the elements and planets on the Tree of Life. Elements are attributed Malkuth, which is associated with Assiah, the material world. Planets are attributed to Yetzirah, the formative world, which is often associated with the astral world. That's correct as far as it goes, but it's not the whole picture.

I'll see if I have time to put together some examples later when I don't have to run off for the Office of the Readings. Or maybe I'll make that a Magick Monday post for this coming week.

William McGillis said...

Thanks.