Saturday, June 17, 2006

Comselh Ananael Ritual Template Part IV: The Closing Procedure

This posting covers the closing of the temple following the Conjuration and Charge. For the most part, the closing portion of the ritual template is short and self-explanatory without elaborate visualizations. Once the energy has been raised by the rite and either internalized by the participants or placed into a material basis of some sort, the invoked or evoked forces are released and the temple formally closed.

X. The License to Depart

Officiant: O thou (Yod-name) and thy ministers (Heh-name), (Vav-name), and (Final Heh-name), because thou hast-diligently answered unto our demands, and hast been very ready and willing to come at our call, we do here license thee to depart unto thy proper place; without causing harm or danger unto man or beast. Depart, then, I say, and be thou very ready to come at our call, being duly exorcised and conjured by the sacred rites of magick. We charge thee to withdraw peaceably and quietly, and the peace of HERU-RA-HA be ever continued between us.

All: So mote it be!

Officiant: Peh Resh Kaph Tau. The word is PAROKETH. In and by that word (makes the Sign of Closing the Veil), I close the veil.

Officiant moves to the southeast, with all participants rotating appropriately. All then reverse circumambulate three and a half times giving the Sign of Silence when passing the east. The temple should be visualized dropping back downwards into Malkuth where the gold light fades and the room reverts to its normal appearance. At the conclusion of this, all arrive back at their original positions.

XI. Dedicating the Merit

All: May the benefit of this act and all acts be dedicated unto the complete liberation and supreme enlightenment of all beings everywhere, pervading space and time. So mote it be. May the benefits of practice, ours and others', come to fruition ultimately and immediately and we remain in a state of presence. AH!

XII. Closing

Officiant moves to the west of the altar and performs the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Officiant: I now declare this temple duly closed.

One knock with banishing dagger. The rite is at an end.

Commentary on this section follows.

The License to Depart is "lawyerly" just like the Charge should be, though I have rarely had problems dismissing summoned entities and it likely does not need to be this detailed. Each of the names used is addressed in the same order as in the Conjuration, and all are instructed to return to their usual places of habitation. Spiritual being do not exactly move from place to place - an evocation or invocation is more like tuning a radio to a specific station than putting a physical being in a specific place, which is why the same entity can be summoned by multiple magicians at the same time. Still the License to Depart is important. It is analogous to "tuning out" or turning off the radio so that the signal is no longer perceived.

Heru-Ra-Ha represents the union of form and emptiness - that is, the entire universe. The summoned entities are thus blessed by the totality of existence. This is an important practice - regardless of the entities summoned, the best perspective is to respect and treat them with politeness, even when it might be necessary to command them. In that case, be firm and courteous, keeping in mind that as a magician you are their superior but just because it is so does not mean that you have any reason to mistreat them or have contempt for them. The proper attitude is summarized well in Liber Librae, the Book of the Balance.

The circumambulations followed by the opening of the Veil of Paroketh are reversed here, with the Veil of Paroketh being closed and then all participants circumabulating counter-clockwise. Each circumambulation and Sign of Silence brings the temple down from Tiphareth one sphere at a time until the space arrives in Malkuth at the conclusion of three and a half rotations.

Dedicating the Merit is another practice adapted from Tibetan Buddhism and discussed in Sam Webster's Pagan Dharma 2. Merit is not the desired outcome of the ritual, but the positive spiritual consequences of performing it in the first place, so you are not negating the results of your ritual by Dedicating the Merit. Instead, you are turning your attention to the interconnection of all sentient beings and the development of enlightened mind. Buddhism teaches that when you dedicate merit to the welfare of all sentient beings (which, by the way, includes yourself but is not limited to yourself) you receive more merit in return because the act of dedication is virtuous. By extending the dedication to the virtue of all acts, not just the ritual, a feedback loop is set up in which merit increases beyond measure because as you receive the merit from performing the dedication that merit is dedicated, producing more merit, and so forth. The eventual result is enlightenment within a single lifetime.

The temple is closed using the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram on its own, without the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram. If the two banishing rituals are performed together, they shut down magical influences in both the microcosm and macrocosm and create what I call a banishing field. This field negates all magical influences it its vicinity. In practical terms, if you have charged a spirit with some task and then close with a banishing field, you stop the spirit from doing anything and the ritual will fail. This can be a good technique if a ritual starts producing unwanted effects or if you change your mind about a spell that you already cast, but otherwise it should be avoided if you want the spiritual beings that you summon to be able to perform tasks that take longer to complete than the duration of the ritual. The banishing pentagram ritual clears your mind, but allows the macrocosmic forces set in motion to keep operating.

This concludes the Comselh Ananael Ritual Template. If you decide to use it to construct a ritual, let me know how it goes and how well the ritual works. We have found this set of forms to be very useful and hope to publish a series of rituals based on it at some point in the future.

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