Monday, May 23, 2016

The Field Ritual

Here's another ritual from our Leaping Laughter Lodge ritual workshop. The initial idea was to create a single ritual that could stand in for the four fields that I propose in my operant field model of magick. The way I've done these for years is to use combinations of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, or of the Star Ruby and Star Sapphire. But we wondered if we might be able to get the same effect with something a bit shorter and more concise.

The field created by this ritual is not necessarily identical with that represented by the traditional magick circle design shown above, but I am convinced that it is intended to represent a similar idea, as I outlined in my article on Goetic Circles and Operant Fields. Notably the pentagrams (microcosmic) are placed outside the circle, while the hexagrams (macrocosmic) are placed within it. This inversion of microcosm and macrocosm is central to the magical field concept as outlined in the operant model.

Laid out step by step, the Field Ritual just looks like a mash-up of the LRP and LRH. But there are a lot of different ways to combine those rituals, and we experimented with many of them. Most just don't work very well. Some of the things we tried to add didn't work in practice and have been removed, and the importance of the additions have been established by sustained experimentation. This one creates a field that feels just as strong as the LRP followed by the LRH, whereas none of the others quite did.

So the ritual starts just like the LRP in Aleister Crowley's Liber O, all the way up to "For about me flames the pentagram." Then you make the Sign of Osiris Risen with the keyword IAO, and from there you trace the four Lesser Hexagrams with the keyword ARARITA and the Sign of Rending the Veil. Finally, you extend your arms in the form of a cross once more, make the final declaration, and then make the Sign of Closing the Veil with a final repetition of the keyword ARARITA. Then, like the LRP, it concludes with the Qabalistic Cross.

This combined ritual has two main speed advantages. First, it omits the unwieldy Keyword Analysis, instead using IAO/Osiris Risen and the sign of Rending the Veil to signify the transpersonal realm. Second, it eliminates all of the repetition aside from the Qabalistic Cross at the beginning and very end of the rite. By changing the invoking/banishing orientation of the pentagrams and hexagrams, you can use this ritual to create all four fields defined by the operant model.

Operant Field - Banishing pentagrams, invoking hexagrams. Used for practical macrocosmic magical work.
Banishing Field - Banishing pentagrams, banishing hexagrams. Used as the "full shutdown" of all macrocosmic and microcosmic magical forces and operations. Generally used on its own, not as part of any other magical operation.
Invoking Field - Invoking pentagrams, invoking hexagrams. Can be used on its own to give an overall "boost" to ongoing magical operations, or to open operations involving clearly delineated microcosmic and macrocosmic components.
Centering Field - Invoking pentagrams, banishing hexagrams. Used for explicitly microcosmic magical operations, such as psychological work that you want isolated from macrocosmic spiritual forces.

The Field Ritual
  1. Breathe in and hold your finger or your banishing dagger to your lips in the Sign of Silence. Then sweep it behind you as you exhale, declaring: Balasti! Ompehda!
  2. Perform the Qabalistic Cross.
  3. Go to the east. Trace the Lesser Pentagram (like that of Earth) and vibrate YHVH (Yahweh).
  4. Go to the south. Trace the Lesser Pentagram and vibrate ADNI (Adonai).
  5. Go to the west. Trace the Lesser Pentagram and vibrate AHIH (Eheieh).
  6. Go to the north. Trace the Lesser Pentagram and vibrate AGLA (Agla).
  7. Return to the east to complete the first circle.
  8. Extend arms in the form of a cross. Say (vibrating the angel names):

    Before me RAPHAEL,
    Behind me GABRIEL,
    On my right hand MICHAEL,
    On my left hand AURIEL (or URIEL).
    For about me flames the pentagram.

  9. Give the Sign of Osiris Risen and vibrate IAO.
  10. To the east, trace the Lesser Hexagram of Fire while vibrating ARARITA, then make the Sign of Rending the Veil.

  11. Face the south. Trace the Lesser Hexagram of Earth while vibrating ARARITA, then make the Sign of Rending the Veil.
  12. Face the west. Trace the Lesser Hexagram of Air while vibrating ARARITA, then make the Sign of Rending the Veil.
  13. Face the north. Trace the Lesser Hexagram of Water while vibrating ARARITA, then make the sign of Rending the Veil.
  14. Return to face the east, completing the second circle. Extend arms once more in the form of a cross and say: And in the column stands the six-rayed star.
  15. Bring hands together making the Sign of Closing the Veil while vibrating ARARITA. Hands end up over heart, palm-to-palm.
  16. Repeat the Qabalistic Cross.
Notes by Step

1. This is a simple "banishing by fiat" used in a number of our rituals, including the Office of the Readings. Its primary function here is to allow this ritual to work better when opening the centering or invoking fields, which employ the invoking Lesser Pentagram. It gets around the potential issue of "invoking before banishing" which can arise with those two fields.

2-7. Same as LRP, going to each quarter rather than turning to face them.

8. "About me flames the pentagram" added back in after the archangels instead of at the end. If you already know the LRP, it is very easy to blow right past the end of this line and conclude the LRP in the normal way, so watch out for that when experimenting with this ritual.

9. To my way of thinking, IAO alludes better to the pentagram statement than it does to the four archangels, and also solves the problem of the final statement feeling "split" when we previously did this. It also is a shortened stand-in for the Keyword Analysis and alludes to Tiphareth.

10-13. Same as LRH, turning to face each quarter from the center and adding the Rending of the Veil. Note that the Rending of the Veil is always used here, whether you are using invoking or banishing lesser hexagrams, unlike how I use them in the GRP (rending to invoke, closing to banish).

14. With this version, the original line and visualization of hexagrams forming the top and bottom of a cube, united by a central column, works fine.

15. The final ARARITA is used to bind the field together. Note that this is the fifth ARARITA in the ritual, alluding to 5=6 (as ARARITA corresponds to the hexagram).

16. The "Balasti! Ompehda!" that opens the ritual is NOT repeated here following the Qabalistic Cross. While it is functionally similar to "Apo Pantos Kakodaimonos" that begins and ends the Star Ruby, the latter ritual is generally performed as a banishing and would then be followed by an invoking hexagram ritual to create a magical field.

This ritual, on the other hand, creates a magical field all on its own, which may include both banishing and invoking elements. Specifically, the most common "operant field" version concludes with Lesser Invoking Hexagrams as a lead-in to additional invoking magical work. So placing a "banishing by fiat" following this ritual but before any magical work proper doesn't make nearly as much sense as it does in the Star Ruby.

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Anonymous said...

If i am to continue with a GIRP/GIRH, is it necessary to add the Closing of the Veil in Step 15? I seen to have some difficulty understanding this :)

I find these adjustments wonderful! Not only do they save precius time when the ritual needs to be performed in a certain time frame, but it also blends the LRP with the LRH nicely. I'm definitely honna try it :D

Anonymous said...


Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, you do. Here's why.

Both the rending and closing of the veil in this ritual are not being used in the usual way. Normally I do rending of the veil to invoke and closing of the veil to banish. However, in this case the rending of the veil is used to activate the Lesser Hexagrams in the transpersonal realm (above the Veil of Paroketh) and the closing of the veil is used to bring that manifestation back into the personal realm so that the microcosm and macrocosm can properly interlock as a field. Without it, the ritual doesn't quite work right.

BTW, you have no idea how many variations of this we tried before arriving at this one...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I see now. It's kind of like inviting someone inside your house and closing the door behind them to make them feel comfortable or something. It makes sense :)

I imagine the amount of work you've invested in magick over the years and I thank you again for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna try this method tomorrow for my Path 31 pathworking ritual. I'll get back to you with the feedback.

And about Path 31, I would like to perform a more elaborate ritual with the purpose of using Pluto to transform some personal beliefs that work against me into something new that benefits me. I've worked with Pluto before, but only using simple candle and sigil magick and a combination of both. It worked. I managed to transform the energy of some of my deep frustrations into spiritual energy.

How would you recommend I approach this ritual? I'm thinking of using a GIRH of Saturn in burgundy and vibrating Eheieh when tracing the symbol of Pluto, followed by an commutation of Pluto and Metatron. But personally, I would now atribute the outer planets (plus planetoids) to any sephira. I mean Chokmah is the Zodiac, and it's above and beyond any planetary energy and Nether is... God.

Anonymous said...

*conjuration; not attribute; Kether (!!!) Stupid phone

Scott Stenwick said...

First off, I will start by pointing out that I do not personally associate Pluto with Kether, even though Crowley's later model does. To me it makes more sense to associate Uranus with Chockmah and Neptune with Kether, which is the model Crowley was using during the period in which he wrote General Principles of Astrology.

I see Pluto more as Daath if you're going to put it on the Tree at all, with its underworld associations and so forth. That being said, if you were going to attribute it to Kether, you would probably do something like what you're describing. Use the hexagram of Saturn, because it stands in for all the supernals, but with the color (white brilliance) and godname (Eheieh) for Kether.

You could also just do the Lesser Rituals (or Field Ritual) and not worry about the Greater Hexagram, since the attributions aren't clear. Just do a general preliminary invocation after the lesser rituals, and go right into the conjuration.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've read your article where you have stated your attribution for the outer planets and ha e also added a photo of the Tree with those attributions. I find that it also makes sense, though I personally feel that the 3 spheres in question are far more than planetary energies, even transpersonal ones. But that's another thing. I'll keep meditating on that.

Hmmm I like your idea for going with a general invocation after the lesser rituals and then directly with the commutation. So I guess there will be no need to conjure a certain archangel. The only angel I know to be attributed to Pluto would be Azrael, but he is associated with the Grim Reaper, so that rules him out from my upcoming ritual :)

Scott Stenwick said...

There are no ancient attributions for the outer planets, so that makes working with them more difficult. Barachiel is the angel associated with Scorpio, which Pluto rules according to modern astrology. You could try that.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think of that. I'll take it into consideration. It sounds more appropriate than Azrael. Thanks!

One of my personal goals in practicing magick is to find the right attributions for the outer planets and to incorporate them into an easy system to work with.

I don't think I'll be needing a ritual for my issue after all. I ended up meditating on it after performing a Godhead assuption of Pluto and some answers came to me. But nevertheless, I will still study the possibilities of incorporating the outer planets, because I find their astrological qualities wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I just finished my pathworking ritual using the Field Ritual as a starting base. As i said before, it's easy and it blends the two lesser rituals nicely. As a feeling, I think it's the same as the regular Operand Field, but I'm gonna need to perform the MP after it in order to feel any difference.

I'm certainly gonna start using it in further work!

Scott Stenwick said...

Glad to hear it! It always is good to get practical feedback on my work, and even nicer when that feedback is positive.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to have found your blog. Thank you again for posting magick articles and for spending time answering questions.

I'm gonna get lost if you'll post any more enochian or goetic stuff though, as those are still mostly uncharted territories for me :)

Scott Stenwick said...

If you go back and read the presentation I have posted on Enochian (Introduction to the Heptarchia Mystica, Introduction to the Great Table, and Introduction to the Thirty Aires), they should make sense if you go through them in order and you will have a better understanding of the original Dee grimoire system than a lot of other folks out there.

While I mentioned Goetia in my article about the circle, I barely have worked with the system myself so I probably don't know a whole lot more about it than you do. I've only participated in a couple of Goetic rituals led by others, and neither produced any measurable results in terms of accomplishing our objectives.

Maybe I'll try exploring that again at some point, but for now I find the Enochian system works a whole lot better, especially when practiced along grimoire lines.

Anonymous said...

I came across those articles while surfing your blog and I was planning to read them at some point, after I wound have had further understanding of the planetary system. Saturn (again in the discussion haha) has fought me to take it one step at a time in order to make solid progress. But I will read them right now, especially since you pinpointed the articles.

The thing is that my practicing conditions would seem like something of a joke, even to other practitioners, yet alone to highly experienced magicians that have a temple of their own.

I'm kinda ashamed to say this, but I'm doing all my practices and rituals in my... small kitchen. I won't blame you if you start slapping yourself for spending all that energy giving magick related details to someone who doesn't even have at least a decent place for practice :) I'm trying as hard as I can to compensate the lack of conditions with a higher concentration and an impeccable performance of the rituals, with more accurate visualizations and all that. It doesn't always work out that way, though. So you could imagine the comic situation of me adding an enochian table into my "practice space" and starting calling on those angels, in addition to the planetary energies :)

Scott Stenwick said...

My first Holy Table was drawn on a piece of wood about a foot square, smaller than a cutting board. That plus an Enochian ring that was NOT made of gold was all it took to start getting results. You should never put off the work until your conditions are "ideal" according to some standard. Do what you can and get to it. Sure, a full temple will give you better results - but a minimal setup can still work pretty well, even with an equipment-heavy system like Enochian.

Anonymous said...

I've read 2 of your enochian articles and I'm starting to understand the system more. I knew it had the same pattern as other systems, with preparation-opening-conjuration-giving the charge-closing beeing the main steps. Reading your explanations of the procedures made me feel it would be easier than I actually thought it was. I will need to get more accustomed to the angels, their names, ranks, traits and all that.

I'm not gonna give up practicing magick and I'm taking this commitment very seriously. It has produced results for me, both practical and theurgic, although not to the degree i wanted to :) The thing is that the lack of conditions is limiting my possibilities, as you can read in the FB group post on my Mars cursing ritual I did last week.

C-Style Magazine said...

I'm confused. You show both invoking/banishing pentagrams and hexagrams. Which should be used. If I want to invoke, say, Nicksa? Also, do you use place the altar in the quarter (say,the West for Water) for an elemental working?

Scott Stenwick said...

The way I do it, you would use banishing pentagrams and invoking hexagrams for an evocation. That would be the operant field method. Then you would use a Greater Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram for Water to tune the space. Most of the modern GD orders will tell you to use banishing pentagram and hexagrams before the Greater Pentagram, but in my experience the operant field method works better and produces more reliable results.

I use a central altar for my own work rather than one placed in a direction. When you are working with both microcosmic and macrocosmic forces, the directions are different. In the microcosmic arrangement, Water would go in the west. But in the macrocosmic arrangement, it goes in the north. As I interpret it, the dynamic tension between the two arrangements is part of why the operant field works as well as it does, so a central altar is more appropriate.

C-Style Magazine said...

Thanks so much! I will try that method for my next operation.

Scott Stenwick said...

Great! Let me know how it goes, and if any other questions come up feel free to ask.

Unknown said...

I'm interested in these changes to replace the keyword analysis in the hexagram part of the ritual. Do you think the changes could be ported to the GIRH?

I've tried a couple of variations of this, but they didn't work like the standard GIRH. Is something about the full keyword analysis that matters more for planetary work than for setting up a field?

Scott Stenwick said...

When I use the GIRH, I usually am doing it after the LIRH, so as I see it I already have done the keyword analysis. On the other hand, with the field ritual I generally do it because I have not already done it as part of the opening.

The keyword analysis is about centering yourself in Tiphareth, which represents the transpersonal realm. So it is pretty important for any kind of practical magick you want to do. You need the proper foundation from which to direct the macrocosmic forces of nature.

So my feeling is that the keyword analysis, either the traditional version or some alternate, should not be dropped entirely. If you do drop it, I also have observed that the rituals do not seem to work as well.

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

I'm mainly interested in this as a way to maintain daily work on those days when there's just not much time or energy, basically something short that I can get through rather than not doing anything that day. I know this isn't Simon Says and I can experiment and do whatever I decide works best, but I have a couple of questions.

I'm used to tracing the pentagram, then charging it while making the Sign of the Enterer and vibrating the name, followed by stomping my foot and making the Sign of Silence to close that quarter (pretty standard, I'm sure everyone does at least the Sign of the Enterer part). In comments above, I believe you've addressed the function of these actions with the Rending and Closing of the Veil. Can I assume you would recommend against incorporating these standard LRP actions back into this field ritual? It doesn't make a ton of sense to introduce things back into a ritual which is designed to be abbreviated and which already contemplates and compensates for these actions, but force of habit makes these 'omissions' feel really awkward.

Scott Stenwick said...

No, that would be fine. Personally I use the vibrate while tracing method, but the enterer/silence method is probably more popular. I don't see any reason why you couldn't go ahead and do your pentagrams that way with this ritual if you want. As far as I can tell, the two methods perform equivalent functions.

Everybody who uses the enterer/silence method SHOULD use both signs. As far as I know, it isn't taught any other way. People do sometimes forget it, though, and then fall into a habit of doing the enterer without it.

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

Enterer/Silence should always be used together, both in banishing and invoking, or just in banishing?

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, that is my understanding of it. Somebody else might teach it differently, but I've never heard of anyone who does.

I think about it this way - the Sign of the Enterer sends the energy where you want it to go, and the Sign of Silence tells it to stay put. So it's like projection followed by stabilization for each of the pentagrams. Projection alone tends to scatter the energy.

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

Well, that explains the extremely awkward feeling I've always had not using the Sign of Silence after the Sign of the Enterer in the LIRH! Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Unknown said...

Over in the comments on The Operant Field, you mentioned that all four variations of the field ritual seem to open an operant field, in contrast to the four combinations of LRP and LRH.

Can you comment more on what's going on with this? Do you know why it's happening? Is it creating four different types of operant field?

The Operant Field:

Scott Stenwick said...

No, that is not what I meant. When I said variations I meant:

The field ritual is one variant.
Eliminating the second QC and the second Keyword Analysis would be another variant.

I was not talking about the four versions of the field ritual. They create the same fields you get by combining the LRP and LRH in exactly the same way.

It probably would have been clearer if I said "magical field" instead of "operant field" there. My comments have nothing to do with any technical differences between the various possible methods.

Merlyn78 said...

I'm currently trying to create a self empowerment field. In the morning, I want to see Visions of probably outcomes on a regular basis. I also want greater Vitality. As for my Practical Magick, I want to be able to visualize desired outcomes and have it simply manifest (a simple example would be merging my consciousness with a cloud, filling my mind with Fire and having the cloud vanish. Another example is clearing a busy street of traffic with a minute or so of visualization. In the Evening, I also want to be able to easily enter the Nerodh-Samapati Meditative State easily.

I've been working with various Pentagram and Hexagram Rituals in an effort to find the right combination to accomplish these things. I've not yet found a combination that I'm entirely happy with.

What ritual combinations would you suggest for these purposes?

My current ritual order would be the suggested Pentagram and Hexagram rituals, followed by the Ritual of the Middle Pillar and Circulation of the Body of Light for Self Empowerment.

For Meditation, I was doing the LBRP, RCR and entering my meditative state, but I seemed to be drained as a result. So, I tried the LIRP, LBRH, RCR and entered my meditative state. Everything seemed well enough, until I found myself suddenly losing (having to fight to maintain) consciousness. Am I using an inappropriate combination?

The form of the rituals I use can be found here:

Scott Stenwick said...

There are some variations in those rituals from the ones I use. The sequence I recommend to my students is LBRP/LIRH/Middle Pillar (which as I teach it includes a simpler version of the circulation of light). So it sounds like where you're at is close to what I use. I would suggest these changes to the rituals at the linked website.

1. DO NOT pronounce YHVH in the LBRP as "Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh." The Cicero Golden Dawn teaches it that way and it makes the ritual less effective. Vibrate it as a full work ("Yah-Weh," "Ye-Ho-Wa," or something similar). Don't spell it. If you spell one of your words of power but vibrate the others, in my experience your magical field will be unbalanced.

2. I'm kind of confused by the elemental order in their LRH. The standard way of doing it is Fire in the east, Earth in the south, Air in the west, and Water in the north. This is based on the position of the signs of the zodiac. It looks like they're trying to do the elements in density order instead, which isn't quite the same symbolism. I would say to use the standard zodiac order that I mention above and see how that feels.

Merlyn78 said...

I forgot to mention that I changed the Order of the Elements in all rituals, using them to create a "Balancing Field". I'm aware that the LRP usually uses the Four Winds Model of the Elements and the LHR uses the Astrological (?) one. But, I had very negative personal results with this approach many years ago and have, from that time on, created a Balancing Field that seems to work much better for me. Its not "traditional" in either the GD or (from what I've seen) the OTO Systems, but it works for me and those that I've taught. I put Fire in the East, Air in the South, Water in the West and Earth in the North. I do this for all rituals that involve use of all four elements.

I do pronounce YHVH as "Yah-Veh" already, for the same reason you mentioned.

Much of what I initially inquired about, I managed to get figured out since then. I do appreciate your assistance, though. I've been doing this ritual routine on a daily basis since first posting on April 2.

The one thing I did notice is that a Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for all the planets at once does not appear to be possible while maintaining my Balancing Field. I'm currently working on a ritual to consecrate a Phoenix Wand (which I am just calling a Planetary Wand, at this point).

Scott Stenwick said...

Placing the elements in clockwise density order like that is how I structure my Enochian rituals involving the Great Table.

A Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for all the planets at once does not make any sense. Th GRH "tunes" the space - it is like putting a colored filter over a flashlight. If you use the same kind of filter of more than one color, you will not get anything. If you want the energy of all the planets, use the LIRH (which is general) to get undifferentiated magical energy.

Lesser does not mean "lame" and Greater does not mean "awesome." The nomenclature is very confusing for that reason. If you think of Lesser as general and Greater as specific, that makes more sense - so why would you do a specific ritual of all the planets? The one apparent exception is the GIRP with the four elements, but if you look in Liber 777 the four elements in that configuration are specific to the sephira Malkuth and the Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel.

If you want to consecrate something generically, you can call on Melchiadel, the angel of Aries, corresponding to "the power of consecrating things." That might be a better approach for what you are trying to do here.

Merlyn78 said...

While keeping the elements in this order, I'm now trying the Operant Field. So far, everything seems to be great! In addition to things manifesting much better, my mind and environment seems less "cluttered" (for lack of a better way to put it). Thank you. I'll get back to you in a week or so and let you know how things are progressing.

Scott Stenwick said...

Great to hear it! I look forward to hearing back from you with more results.

Merlyn78 said...

From 7-18 I noticed that my dreams seemed to 7-21, I used the Operant Field as I mentioned. While my mind did feel less "cluttered", on the 21st, I suddenly noticed that I wasn't able to raise energy or make changes to my physical environment without engaging in a full ritual. Whereas, with the Invoking Field (my approach with the Invoking Field is the LIRH, LIRP and RMP), I'd simply visualize what I wanted and it would simply manifest. -- I could still work with spirits (in fact, I had petitioned Paralda to keep the wind up all day to help me keep cool)...I could not manipulate the elements or my physical environment using my own energy. I do not believe there is anything "wrong" with the Operant Field, but it does not appear to be compatible with the techniques I use most frequently. The Invoking Field seems to work much better for me. My personal approach toward Elemental Manipulation and "simple" Practical Magick is to merge my consciousness with what I'm seeking to manipulate\change, then just visualize the desired changes. In my experience, this does not appear to work with the Operant Field, but it does work very well with the Invoking Field.

On another topic I asked about, I create a workable ritual for consecrating a Phoenix (I renamed it "Planetary") Wand. While I did figure out a workable way to Balance the forces of the Seven Planets by moving their various "stations" (Confining their force to smaller 'circles' until needed for the Consecration), the resulting ritual proved rather difficult in practice, as I had Planets positioned at the Quarters, Above, Below and in the Center (above my Altar) of my Temple. What I opted to do instead, since this isn't intended to be a Daily Ritual, is just divide the Circle\Temple into Seven Parts, invoking each Planetary Force into their respective Part. It seems to be better organized that way. -- The issue I had with the one for the "Rainbow (Lotus) Wand" in Modern Magick was that after the Watchtower Opening, the stations were never ritually created. The practitioner was told, essentially, to "imagine" the Stations and then just call the forces as if they were already present. I wanted a more precise approach for both this and my "Planetary" Wand. In the end, I created something that, while it isn't exactly what I was seeking, is (imo and for my purposes) better than the one I had initially found.

Thank you again for your continued guidance and suggestions in both matters. I find your website extremely helpful as well.

Scott Stenwick said...

So that sounds to me like your banishing pentagram ritual is flattening out your aura a little too heavily. I have not previously heard of anyone having that problem, but that's a good thing - more data is always helpful. If the invoking field works better for you, by all means go ahead and use it.

Bringing in all the planetary forces like that can work - take a look at my Enochian version, for example, from 2008:

It employs the Heptarchial Kings in a similar manner to what it sounds like you are describing. However, it is a general and therefore "lesser" ritual in Golden Dawn parlance. The whole point of a "greater" ritual is that it calls upon a specific force (with the Greater Pentagram with all four elements corresponding to the sephira Malkuth).

Incidentally, Kraig and I had a bit of a blowup over the Opening by Watchtower. I found that when I tested it out with the operant field it added nothing to my ritual results. Probability-wise, it seemed to be about as effective as an LBRP/LIRH. When opening with a banishing field it does invoke something, so it's not useless. But opening and closing with banishing fields is also one of the ways in which I find traditional Golden Dawn magical forms don't work nearly as well as they do with the operant field instead.

Merlyn78 said...

Thank you for the added insight into my experiences. That helps alot.

I believe part of my experience may have been due to my using both the LBRP and the LIRH in my modified version of their original forms. Done that way, each ritual is a "closed circle" unto itself, I believe. In fact, the Kabalistic Cross "fixes" the state of the energies being worked with, if I'm understanding other sections of your website correctly. As such, the personal aura is left "flat" and "locked". Then, the elemental forces are called around the practitioner, but cannot get into the "locked" aura to be of use directly. Add to this that with the aura so flattened, the individual can't send anything out and we get what I experienced.

Having read your Field Ritual in more detail, I plan to revisit this experiment at a later date, after things become more stable in my personal life.

Merlyn78 said...

And I took a look at the Enochian Ritual you told me about. Its very similar to my original idea. In the end, I opted for a sectional approach, as it seemed to make more sense for Consecration purposes, as each Planetary Force was called (and confined to) its Station until its specific part of the ritual (I actually made one further adjustment and petitioned the Planetary Spirits to fulfill their assigned function immediately, though "setting each station" and then coming back to petition for the consecration is another approach I believe would work.

Most other adepts I've encountered do not have these conversations with me, which leaves me to my own devices and having to figure everything out for myself, so I appreciate this much more than I will ever have adequate expression for.

Merlyn78 said...

Regarding the Watchtower Ritual: While I've always liked it (though I reordered its elements like I do with the other rituals), I also found it to be a bit cumbersome and unnecessary. And it doesn't seem to work at all as a Daily Ritual (something which I also tried for awhile). I did make an expanded version of it awhile back, as I liked the use of the Chaldean Oracles, but found the ritual to be unnecessary for Practical Magick. I did have some interesting experiences when using it for Meditation, though. However, I have very similar experiences using other approaches. So, the Watchtower Ritual doesn't seem to add anything but Time to a Ritual, when compared with the various Field Rituals (specifically the Invoking).

It also makes more sense to me that if the Watchtower Ritual is being used as a Preparation for Practical Magick, that the Lesser Hexagrams should have been used, rather than the Elemental Pentagrams.

Scott Stenwick said...

Secrecy in magick is, to my way of thinking, one of the biggest problems that modern magicians face. It's better now that it probably has ever been with the wide availability of texts and so forth, but it still is a problem. So-called "Adepts" who are perfectly content with allowing beginning practitioners to re-invent the wheel are not individuals for whom I have much respect.

Even the folks shilling their books and magical supplies, annoying though they are, at least are offering something to the general public.

As magicians we need to get past this whole idea. We never will get magick to the point where it is on par with the physical sciences if everybody who experiments with this stuff keeps their results to themselves. We need peer review. We need empirical measurements. We need to be able to talk to each other and share ideas. If we can't, we're going to be stuck where we are, centuries behind.

My magical working group played around with the Watchtower ritual quite a bit as late as 2006/2007. This was the final version we came up with:

It still uses pentagrams, but in the zodiacal rather than the original "winds" configuration. It might be worthwhile to revisit it with elemental hexagrams or something like that, and I imagine if something like that followed the LBRP it would work a lot like the LIRH and open the operant field.

But that's the thing - it's quicker to just use the LIRH, and for all the extra statements and motions in the Watchtower, it didn't seem to be any more effective when we measured the probability shifts from our operations. So we abandoned it in favor of the simpler and just-as-effective operant field.

Big Twig said...

hey there scott, do you have any articles here on signs/tracings/cab cross etc in there functions as punctuation? if there's somewhere that's laid out directly you can skip the rest of this so i can do my own digging:)

if not!
I have a handful of questions i havent found answers to in a couple weeks of reading on your site- which after a year of only studying physical books i can say i am very grateful to you for creating and maintaining so well- which is likely cause theyre fairly elementary but seem not to be directly covered even by people on the 101 tip.
any basic layout on the functions of different vibrational placements? ie; vibrating while tracing, vibrating after tracing. every book instructs a little differently but none of them give the Why. So far i have felt the most Sensation charging the name with the breath held while tracing then vibrating at the center w/ exhalation. Would the introduction of Rending the Veil, or even of Enterer/Silence into each tracing change that? effectiveness is obviously the only important measure but finding proof in the pudding is only good if you know what it's proof of! and with so many factors in play, being only just over a year in of practicing im not always sure of what im looking to for confirmation except ENERGY and PRESENCE, both of which have become more consistent and less percussive/more flowing and easy with time.

which leads me to my next question; in my practice so far i have placed most emphasis on vibrational strength as breathwork- taking a correctly performed vibration to show itself through bodily heat/sweat/light and sensations in the body and if external a little bit of watery visual warping/light blips in the area directed. In this i try to 'max out' every vibration, whether its charging of a traced external shape or something internal like IAO in lirh or Names in the middle pillar. Is maxing out this way always desirable? Or does the return on investment in some places not warrant maximum exertion? I have noted that one or two of tracing-vibrations being weak on sensation does not really diminish the strength of the ending Light Descent in LRP/LRH/RCR or anything with a culmination of that sort. I guess I'm wondering if there are points in ritual i should be aiming for maxed out vibrations and others where i'm just exterting myself more than necessary.

hope that aint too jumbled, thanks for creating such a helpful site scott!

Scott Stenwick said...

As to your first question, so far I have not been able to identify any functional differences between the different "accepted" vibrating/tracing methods. It does seem like there are some differences in terms of what feels "best" to any given practitioner - I like tracing while vibrating, but I know other magicians who like one or more of the other methods better. How I generally teach it to people is to try it a couple of different ways and go with what feels best. So if you seem to get the best results holding the breath while tracing and then vibrating to the center, I don't see any reason to correct for that. It also is difficult to predict what changes like those you suggest might do in the context of your personal practice. Generally speaking, I advise students to try them out, record the results, and see.

As to your second question, I don't "max out" every vibration the way you describe and I still get good practical results, so my answer would be no. The way I do ritual forms, they flow rather than consist of a series of points, each of which involves some sort of maximum exertion. Magick as I see it is not supposed to "hurt" - which I put in quotes because I don't know if you're actually doing this to the point of really hurting. Maybe you're just doing more work than you have to. From your description, it sounds like you very well might be.

A caveat, though. There are teachers who vehemently disagree with me on that point, insisting that maximum effort at every vibration is really important even though I haven't personally found that to be the case. If you start trying to apply a gentler approach and your results suffer, maybe it just doesn't work that way for you. Again, this is a case where your own experimentation is going to yield information more relevant to your own practice than anything I could tell you.

Big Twig said...

I guess by maxing out i mean more of aiming for a full breath-directed energy flow accompanying the vibration rather than just simple voicing of Names/Words such that they vibrate in the place directed, if that makes sense? many descriptions of vibration leave out mention of the physical/sensational cues and simply say that the word/name is to be felt vibrating in fingers/center/wherever aimed. And not to the point of being in pain or exhausted, but some of the suggested ritual durations ive read in comments here sparked the question cause my process definitely clocks me in a little ways past them sometimes. Rather do it slow and get results than move quick and dud, but also like to be efficient where i can...will dink around w/ varying exertion and see where that lands me, thank you!

Also, used this field ritual layout paired w/ middle pillar earlier today and damn did it feel clean. just smooth smooth smooth

Scott Stenwick said...

Here is a detailed explanation of how I do it.

1. Breathe in, holding the name in my mind, visualizing it traveling from the top of my head to my feet as my lungs fill. Tongue to roof of mouth to complete the qi circuit.

2. Vibrate the name at about the resonant frequency of my head. As I do this, I visualize the name rising back up from my feet to my mouth and along with it one cycle of the qigong microcosmic orbit, energy rising from the base of my spine, up my back, and down the front from the top of my head and back to the base of the spine.

3. I visualize the name flowing forth in the direction of tracing/vibrating as the orbit completes. If I'm doing the enterer-silence method, I bring my hands together up the front of my body like I'm doing a qigong set. When this is all engaged with breathing and so forth, you should feel a sort of "tingle" rising up your spine along with the hands.

4. If I'm tracing as I vibrate, I visualize the name rising and flowing forth, the full orbit completing, and the energy of the name filling the traced figure all at once. It sounds more complicated than it is - once you get it, it feels pretty natural.

I vibrate the same way I do qigong and it works. I wound up learning Chinese energy work rather than the Indian version that Crowley was more familiar with, and the main difference is that qigong is relaxed and flowing, whereas the Indian yogic system incorporates more tension, like banda locks and so forth. And some people misinterpret Crowley's comments to mean that you should be maximally tense when doing this, which is really incorrect in the Chinese system and still incorrect in the Indian system.

I'm glad you found that the ritual worked well for you! It's an experimental ritual at this point, and the feedback is very valuable. Thanks!

Big Twig said...

i like the idea of going for flow over tension, running off sefer yetzirah & regardies books i came away with more of a "holding" in the chest/lungs sounding the name internally which cues a sense of light descent and then release, which i'd imagine might have its uses but has my morning ritual routine feeling far from relaxing and more staccato than flowing.

3rd performance; the sense of amplification from this ritual matches that of full lrp/lrh operant field, it just arrives there a little smoother, although after a year of doing the other two in full every day it feels off getting to the same point so simply! I often run the rose cross ritual prior to middle pillar/after lrp/lrh, saving the INRI analysis and IAO signs for that culmination rather than repeating the same layout twice definitely feels more organic.

Big Twig said...

an additional question regarding step two- in the vibratory formula could the number of orbit cycles be used to match the symbolic number of the name/word being vibrated? instead of for, say, tiphareth, 6 separate breaths &internal vibrations (establishing the invoking whirl) and one final vibration to send the energy built, six cycles, off of one breath and exhalation on the seventh? more of an out loud thought but something i'll give a shot...sounds like it will be worth it to study qigong more directly as well to achieve that ease of flow.

Scott Stenwick said...

Sure, you absolutely could do a number of orbits corresponding to the numeration of the aspect to which the name corresponds. I expect that would probably work well.

Philip said...

Beautiful. Bless you sir.

Peggy said...

I ran across the Field Ritual a few months ago and have been liking it a lot.

I have also been working on a lavishly illustrated guide to some basic GD-derived rites. Would you be amenable to me including the FR in my book? With credit, of course. No money though, I’m afraid.

Scott Stenwick said...

I would be fine with you including it in a book as long as it is credited.

I don't know if this is something that you might want to think about, or have thought about, but the Field Ritual is based on Crowley's versions of the LRP and LRH published in Liber O. Crowley's changes make those rituals different from the Golden Dawn versions and more properly part of the Thelemic tradition.

The Thelemic system did evolve out of Crowley's Golden Dawn training, but the two traditions are less similar than they look on the surface. I mention this specifically because for a long time I was talking about the LRP and LRH as "Golden Dawn Rituals" and was corrected on this point by a couple of GD initiates (which I am not).

Peggy said...

Rad, thanks a ton! I had not thought about your caveat, but will want to think about it before I stick it in my book. I’m encouraging my readers to see this stuff as a collection of tools and components to experiment with, rather than holy writ to follow precisely. :)

Darpan said...

What a beautiful and elegant ritual construction!

I've just reread 'By Names and Images' by Peregrin Wildoak which is an excellent discourse on Golden Dawn magic. About the LRH he writes it is not by default coupled with the keyword analysis. His description is (in short):

Perform LBRP, trace the appropriate hexagrams in each quadrant, end with QBL cross.

So not much different as you've done above! Although I like yours with the veil signs, and IAO and Osiris risen.

Of course, since Peregrin is Golden Dawn he advocates the LBRH. His rational is that it cleanses the 32nd path of TaU. Which opens the way. Therefore the keyword, if used is done AFTER the LBRP/LBRH.

"The use of this ritual, by cleansing and consecrating this path [connecting Assiah with the world of Yetzirah], allows the influx of potent astral forces to be drawn into the temple or ourselves without distortions or problems." He then goes on to explain how the keyword can be done after that.