Monday, July 18, 2016

Thoughts on the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram

A reader contacted me about two weeks ago asking some questions about the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. Apparently one of the external sites I link to has a version of the ritual that differs from the version that I use, and that version has a couple of changes that I don't personally like. So since the Lesser Hexagram plays an important role in the operant magical system, I really should have put up a post on it years ago so I could link to my a page of my own and avoid any confusion.

But I suppose there's no time like the present, right?

This article is not as detailed as my presentation on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, which was written for a Pagan Pride audience that I assumed would include a lot of novice practitioners who might never have even performed a ceremonial ritual. If you are such a practitioner, I recommend that you review my Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram presentation before delving into this one. My suggestions for breathing, visualization, vibration, and so forth apply to this ritual as well, and should be understood before moving beyond the Lesser Pentagram.

To recap, it should be understood that "Lesser" does not mean "uninteresting" and "Greater" does not mean "awesome" in the parlance of the Thelemic magical system. "Lesser" means preliminary or general, as the Lesser rituals are used to set up your magical space for performing any sort of ritual whatsoever. Greater means specific, and as such the Greater rituals follow the Lesser rituals and serve to "tune the space" to the corresponding element, planet, or sign for your operation.

The current Golden Dawn system also includes a ritual called the "Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram," which is akin to a Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for Malkuth, in which each of the four elemental pentagrams is traced at the appropriate quarter with the corresponding godname. In terms of the Thelemic rituals, it is most similar to Liber V vel Regulu.

The first thing you will probably notice when you start working with this ritual is that elemental directions are different. That is intentional. In the Western magical system, there are two primary sets of attributions for the directions and classical elements. Both of these are found in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, so they date back to at least the Renaissance.

The first of these is called the "winds" model, and it is probably the most widely used. In this arrangement, Air is in the east, Fire is in the south, Water is in the west, and Earth is in the north. It is called the "winds" model because it is based on the following arrangement derived from the four classical powers:

The winds from the east are Warm and Moist so Air is in the east.
The winds from the south are Warm and Dry so Fire is in the south.
The winds from the west are Cool and Moist so Water is in the west.
The winds from the north are Cool and Dry so Earth is in the north.

As I mentioned in my Elemental Work posts, John Opsopaus has written a great series of articles on the Greek Esoteric Doctrine of the Elements, which explains in detail how the classical powers combine to produce the four classical elements, and I refer you to that series if you are looking for more information on this subject.

The key takeaway from the origin of the "winds" model is that it is microcosmic in nature. That is, it is based on how the winds feel to the individual experiencing them, which is essentially a subjective focus. The second model is based on the position of the Sun in the signs of the Zodiac throughout the year in the northern hemisphere, and is macrocosmic in nature as the position of the Sun is entirely objective.

The Sun is at its most northward at the summer solstice, in the sign Cancer. Cancer is the cardinal sign of Water, so in this arrangement Water is in the north. It is at its most southward at the winter solstice, in the sign Capricorn. Capricorn is the cardinal sign of Earth, so Earth is in the south. At the beginning of the year, the vernal equinox, it is in Aries. Aries is the cardinal sign of Fire, so Fire is in the east. Finally, at the end of the year, the autumnal equinox, the Sun is in Libra. Libra is the cardinal sign of Air, so Air is in the west.

Note that I have never visited the southern hemisphere, so I never have tried to do my practices there and see how well they work. It may be that as the "zodiac" model depends upon the objective position of the Sun, the elemental directions may need to be reversed. So Air would go in the east, Water in the South, Fire in the west, and Earth in the north. At the same time, in that arrangement Air and Earth do not change position from the winds model, which might be relevant.

This because understanding the dynamic tension between these two models is one of the keys to making the operant field work. Some teachers have recommended that you rearrange the elemental directions in the Lesser Hexagram so that they correspond to those in the Lesser Pentagram, but if you want to use the operant field to its full potential, do not do this. It turns the Lesser Hexagram more microcosmic, which will limit your ability to influence the external world.

Other teachers - most of them, in fact - recommend that you use the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram together as part of your daily practice. Again, if you want to use the operant field to its full potential, do not do this. It creates a banishing field, which basically shuts down both microcosmic and macrocosmic magical forces. There are circumstances where you might want to do that, but as a daily practice it is serious overkill and, again, can limit your ability to influence the external world.

I can't say that I have the data to emphatically assert that those teachers are wrong, but this is what I will say - try both my way and theirs for a period of time and see what works the best for you. I am willing to bet that most of you will prefer my version, because so far that's what I've seen. Most people I have taught strongly prefer the operant field method, as it lets them start getting practical results more quickly.

So here is how you perform the ritual itself. You should always perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram before the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. Once you have concluded that ritual, you begin and end the Lesser Hexagram with the Keyword Analysis, which contains the L. V. X. signs. These were the Minor Adept signs in the original Golden Dawn system, and they correspond to the central sephira Tiphareth.

The Keyword Analysis is performed as follows, according to Aleister Crowley's Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae.

(i) Stand upright, feet together, left arm at side, right across body, holding the wand or other weapon upright in the median line. Then face East and say:

(ii) I. N. R. I.
Yod. Nun. Resh. Yod.
Virgo, Isis, Mighty Mother.
Scorpio, Apophis, Destroyer.
Sol, Osiris, Slain and Risen.
Isis, Apophis, Osiris, IAO.

(iii) Extend the arms in the form of a cross, and say: "The Sign of Osiris Slain."

(iv) Raise the right arm to point upwards, keeping the elbow square, and lower the left arm to point downwards, keeping the elbow square, while turning the head over the left shoulder looking down so that the eyes follow the left forearm, and say: "The Sign of the Mourning of Isis."

(v) Raise your arms at an angle of sixty degrees to each other above the head, which is thrown back, and say: "The Sign of Apophis and Typhon."

(vi) Cross the arms on the breast, and bow the head, and say: "The Sign of Osiris Risen."

(vii) Extrend the arms again as in (iii) and cross them again as in (vi), saying: "L. V. X., Lux, the Light of the

There's a lot to unpack here, and I am not going to delve into all of it. For example, the image at the top of this article shows the L. V. X. signs mapped onto the paths of the Tree of Life. That's a lot of material to cover, and you probably will get more out of it researching it yourself based on your understanding of Hermetic Qabalah. This article is more of a how-to or need-to-know piece that explains how the ritual is performed rather than addressing all of its deep symbolism.

So essentially, this short passage recounts the Osiran myth, in which Osiris is slain by his brother Set and resurrected by his wife Isis. Note that Set is NOT the same entity as Apophis and Typhon, though they are sometimes conflated by modern practitioners. In Egyptian mythology Apophis or Apep was the serpent who lay in wait below the horizon and attempted to devour the Sun each night as it passed through the underworld.

The identification of Apep with Set is particularly ironic because it was in fact Set who guarded the bark of Ra against this mighty serpent, and thus helped to prevent the Sun from being devoured every night. So Set and Apep were in fact adversaries. Typhon is a Greek deity who like Apep symbolized chaos, which is why the two are conflated in this sign. In the context of the Osiran myth, Apophis and Typhon therefore alludes to Osiris passing into the underworld symbolized by Apep, rather than to the identity of his murderer.

These images show the four L.V.X. signs that are given during the Keyword Analysis at the appropriate points. I perform the Keyword Analysis pretty much as shown here, with one major modification. I do not say "the sign of" when giving the four signs. I feel like doing so robs the ritual of much of its dynamic character. So I give the Sign of Osiris Slain and just say "Osiris Slain," the Sign of the Mourning of Isis and say, "The Mourning of Isis," and so forth.

Once you have finished the Keyword Analysis, you begin in the east and move clockwise, tracing the hexagram of each element to the appropriate direction as you vibrate the keyword ARARITA. This word essentially means unity, and is derived from a Notariquon or acronym alluding to the Hebrew phrase Achad Rosh Achdotho Rosh Ichudo Temu rahzo Achad, meaning "One is His Beginning; One is His Individuality, His Permutation is One."

The elemental hexagrams are constructed from two triangles. The upward-pointing triangle represents Fire and the downward-pointing triangle represents Water. So Fire is Fire over Fire, Earth is Fire balanced with Water, Air is Fire over Water, and Water is Water over Fire. That being the case, the colors in which they should be visualized are either red for the fire triangle and blue for the water triangle, or the colors of the element themselves - Fire = Red, Water = Blue, Air = Yellow, and Earth = Green.

Note also that you always trace the upright (Fire) triangle first. Some books and other sources show the upper triangle always being traced first, which is incorrect. It only makes a difference for the Water hexagram, but you should be aware of it for that reason alone. Also, a number of commenters have noted that the hexagrams resemble their corresponding elemental weapons, and this can be a useful mnemonic. Fire would be the wand, Earth the pantacle, Air the dagger, and Water the cup. If you look at the shapes closely, you can see how they line up.

One of the common variations that I find on Thelemic sites is that the upright triangle is shown in blue while the downward-pointing triangle is shown in red. This is from Aleister Crowley's commentary on "The Holy Hexagram" in The Book of Lies, in which he discusses the inversion of the "hexagram of nature" in the Holy Hexagram or "hexagram of magick." However, I am of the opinion that this commentary refers to the Star Sapphire and NOT to the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram.

It should be noted that this ritual has been subjected to a number of variations particularly by Thelemites, as the Thelemic system is not based on the formula of the Dying and Reborn God as the original Golden Dawn system was. So far, though, no one version has emerged as the definitive "Thelemic" version. My magical working group developed our own, which uses a completely different keyword analysis and employs the unicursal hexagram as the elemental figure. You can find that ritual here, but I recommend learning the original before playing around with different versions.

Some teachers argue that you should be able to trace "Planetary Lesser Hexagrams" by attributing the planetary points to all four elemental forms of the hexagram used here. I completely disagree with this usage, as the lesser hexagrams are elemental in nature, not planetary. If you want a planet, you should instead use the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram for that planet. Furthermore, it's not even clear to me what you would use a "Lesser Planetary Hexagram" for that you couldn't do with the Greater rituals at least as efficiently.

At any rate, once you have completed tracing all four hexagrams, you return to face East, completing the circle, and repeat the Keyword Analysis. The ritual is then complete, and in conjunction with the Lesser Pentagram should have opened a magical field based on the banishing/invoking orientations of the pentagrams and hexagrams. The operant field, the version that I mostly use in both my daily practice and my practical ceremonial work combines the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram.

So now that this is up, my next task is to look for links to the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram on the site and point them here. There are almost 1500 articles, so wading through them will take some time. But this is the definitive version as far as I'm concerned, so if you see me talking about the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram anywhere else, this is what I have in mind.

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master bates said...

@Scott, which version of the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram do you use? I notice that some use the name of the angel associated with the planet as well as it's god name and others all 4 names of the 4 levels.

Scott Stenwick said...

My Greater Ritual of the Hexagram is vibrating ARARITA with the appropriate hexagram in the appropriate color, then vibrate godname with symbol in flashing color. It doesn't need to be more elaborate than that.

If you're working through a spiritual hierarchy you do that in the conjuration, not the hexagram ritual. So for a planetary operation with the Agrippa Intelligence and Spirit, you would vibrate [Godname] with the Greater Hexagram. Then, in the conjuration:

[Angel], I conjure you by [Godname].
[Intelligence], I conjure you by [Angel].
[Spirit], I conjure you by [Intelligence].

You can stop at any point in that sequence when you reach the entity you want to work with. And none of it goes in your Greater Ritual of the Hexagram.

Frater I. A. C. said...

Thank you for your explanation of why you trace the fire triangle first. That makes sense to me. When facing north, I've been doing it the other way because of the instructions in Kraig's Modern Magick. I love that book and it has really helped me, but have noticed that virtually every other source has you tracing the lower (fire) triangle first when facing north. Now I know why.

Scott Stenwick said...

That would be because the one source sold over three hundred thousand copies. That is an unbelievable number for a magick title. The problem is that anything Kraig didn't quite get when he wrote it gets passed on to a potentially huge number of students.

Much of the material in Kraig is basically correct, and he does explain it well. But you also can't just assume that his methods are right whether they make sense or not.

L.H.O.N said...

Hello Scott, I wonder if you ever thought about it: If you want to work with a specific energy, like in the model of Fifty Gates of Qabalah (but with rituals aproach) where you access some energy like "Gueburah of Tiferet", "Yesod of Hod", or another, but not working on the Whole sephira, only on the Aspects Within (on the tree inside them), maybe in this case make sense to do The lesser and the Greater Ritual of Hexagram with diferent planets (this is something i'm thinking a lot, but not tested yet), with one reflecting the Outer Sephira and another the inner Sephira.

I've never did the Lesser hexagram with other planets association (only the general).

Did you ever work with this model of work with especific energy? How would will be your aproach? Thanks and regards

Scott Stenwick said...

I have not done any work along those lines, but I am willing to share a few thoughts on it.

I don't use the Lesser Hexagram with "different planets" because to me that makes no sense. The hexagrams in the Lesser ritual are elemental, not planetary, and as I see it the LRH is specifically a general ritual. I don't think it's designed to work with planets at all - LRP = microcosmic elements, LRH = macrocosmic elements. There's the allusion to the Sun as ruler of the macrocosm and as IAO, but that's in the Keyword Analysis, not the hexagrams.

There also is an issue with trying to do the Greater Hexagram multiple times with different planets. Basically, for the most part it doesn't work. The GRH tunes the space to the energy of one planet, but then if you tune the tuned energy to another planet that generally cancels out. I experimented with that for a long period of time at one point, but nothing I did with multiple GRH's worked. It's like taking a flashlight and putting a red filter over (the first GRH) and then putting a blue filter on top of that (second GRH). You don't get much light through both.

If I were approaching this mystically (which as far as I can tell seems to be all you could do with a method like this) I probably would skip the GRH entirely. That's my usual practice when working with multiple energies that don't pertain to a single planetary force.

Unknown said...

Greetings Scott!

What is your opinion on inscribing "I.N.R.I" into the air, in reverse order, during the beginning of the keyword analysis? I've noticed some documents recommend it while others make no mention of it. Would you consider this an unnecessary practice? If recommended, should I be inscribing the letters in Hebrew? Truly appreciate your insight!

On a side note, thank you so much for providing all of the amazing content on your website! I only discovered it a couple weeks ago, but I find myself here daily, using it as a study resource. You bring a fantastic level of clarity and understanding to subjects that have otherwise seemed vague. I really enjoyed your presentation on Thelema Now, as well. Thanks a ton for your instruction and providing a clear road map for the self-initiate.

best regards,


Scott Stenwick said...

Inscribing INRI during the Keyword Analysis is not a method that I personally use, but I also would not expect it to cause any problems or issues with the ritual.

It seems most logical to me that if you were going to do it that way, though, you would inscribe the English from left to right and the Hebrew from right to left. I wouldn't reverse the INRI just because you are transliterating to Hebrew - it is, after all, written in the Latin alphabet first.

But I don't know - maybe it works best if you trace it in reverse. I haven't worked with it, so it's hard to say whether the above is practical advice or just speculation on my part.

I'm glad you've enjoyed the website and my presentations. I try to keep it all interesting! Thanks much.

MNQ said...

In speaking of the Operant Field and "preliminary" work to performing other greater works of magick, ie. Evocation, I see here you use LBRP, but then LIRH. In my method, I have used (as was suggested to me by a fellow magician) LBRP and LBRH. I then perform an Invocation or series of Invocations (changeable based on the nature of the work). My question is why do you use the LIRH after LBRP? Why wouldn't you continue the Banishing by doing an LBRH? And then invoke (even maybe by specific planetary invoking Hexagram ritual). I realize the Pentagram is microcosm and the Hexagram is macrocosm (representative), but shouldn't both be banished before proceeding?

Scott Stenwick said...

I know that is what the traditional Golden Dawn orders teach, but the short answer is that in practice it works better - as in, it generates larger and more substantial probability shifts based on years of empirical testing.

As I always say here, if your method works for you, keep doing it. The first rule of magick is that if it works, it works. So that's the standard disclaimer. I don't have enough to data to say with certainty that my methods work better for everyone, though many of the magicians I have shared my idea with have reported better results.

My working hypothesis as to why this works better is as follows. The LBRP clears out space in your own sphere of sensation - whether you want to call that your aura or your consciousness or whatever. The LIRH then invokes the forces of nature into that space so that they can mingle with your sphere of sensation, joining microcosm and macrocosm into a contiguous "field." That's why I call it an "operant field."

My suggestion to you would be to try it and see. Do several pairs of operations for the same reasonably easy to obtain result, and record what happens. When I did this I found that my rituals were more effective, but if you don't, I suggest you stick with the banishing method that you have been using. In the end, it's all about what works best.

J said...

I started doing The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram sometime ago, but started having lots of negative experiences in my daily life! I stopped doing the ritual and things went back to normal.
Later I started doing The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram again, this time doing The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram before and after the Lesser Banishing Ritual Hexagram. The results were not as bad, but lots of negative things continued to happen, so I have stopped doing it again.
I read recently that the purpose of The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram is to banish "POSITIVE SPIRITUAL INFLUENCES?" Is this correct? If this is true why would anyone do The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram on a daily basis?
I would really like to read your opinion on why the negative experiences are happening as a result of doing the The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram!
Sorry to be so wordy just trying to be thorough!

Scott Stenwick said...

I would not necessarily say that the purpose of the ritual is to banish positive spiritual influences, but that is one of the things that it does. The LBRH banishes all macrocosmic spiritual influences, positive and negative. The reason that most of the modern Golden Dawn groups teach doing it on a daily basis is that they are wanting it to create a sort of "clean slate" in which all spiritual influences besides the rest of your daily practices (whatever you do after the LBRH) are shut down. But I don't teach that, in part because what you are describing can happen.

Not all people have strong spiritual influences in their lives that basically manifest as "good luck" or "good fortune" or whatever. My guess is that you may be one of those people, though, so when you do the LBRH the influences that tend to make things go your way are shut off. Basically it means your life starts working like a normal person's does, as opposed to how a spiritually lucky person's does. The latter then manifests as seemingly bad fortune.

Some people are the exact opposite, extra unlucky due to spiritual influences. For them, doing the LBRH can be helpful because their life will shift from "unlucky" to "normal," which is a positive change. Even for these folks, though, I think a better approach is to use the operant field and then conjure the appropriate spirits to mitigate those negative influences. That's going to be more effective in the long run.

L.H.O.N said...

For a few times I tested combinations of both pentagram and hexagram rituals for a few weeks. I realized that when stopping the practice (banishment or invocation) there was some minor accident, someone at home got hurt (cut, fall, anything). But I still can't see any practical effect on my luck, for example.

Until the day before yesterday I had six months of Minor Banishing ritual of Pentagram and Minor Invoking ritual of Hexagram every day (Operant Field with Middle Pillar, recitation of each [6 to 10 times] Chakra's mantra and reading a few psalms) once a day before bedtime.
The idea was to get out of laziness and also get ready for summoning rituals (I've done Seven Spheres rituals a few times, and I thought I'd try to improve myself for better results, since I've seen nothing and heard nothing and I'm still not rich [laughs ]).

With this sequence of rituals I had physical results (temperature change, tiredness, sleep, invigoration, tranquility, sometimes lucid dreams for a week ou month, but not related), it this.

H.S.H. Prince Frei of Lorenzburg said...

thank you ever so much for a brilliant blog and for all your hard work teaching magic.
I realize you are probably very busy bit if you ever have the time I'd live your thoughts on Nick Farell's reflection on the lesser banishing ritual of the hexagram - seeing that he recommends banishing as it banishes any forces of saturn that would restrict the magical energy.

Basically, I'm a little confused weather to banish or invoke.

Thank you kindly!

Scott Stenwick said...

The easiest answer is this - try both, test your results, and see what works. Most people that I have heard back from seem to find that opening with the operant field (LBRP/LIRH) makes their magick work better. But since we don't have a unified theory of magick, there are always going to be individual differences. Also, Nick and come from different traditions (I'm a Thelemite, he's Golden Dawn) so we're going to give you different answers to a number of questions about these forms. So keep that in mind.

That being said, as far as I can tell from my entire history of working magick, the "Saturn backlash" discussed in Nick's article is not a real thing. I've never experienced it myself, so I don't see a need to banish it. I do magick all the time, and I use it to get an edge in as many situations as I possibly can. You would think if it was real I would have run into it by now.

One observation I have made, though, is that every concurrent operation you have going will diminish the probability shift that each or those operations will produce. Think about it this way - if P represents the total probability shift that you can create, then if you have 5 operations running each one will be running at about P/5. If one of those operations terminates, by a success or by reaching a time limit, the other 4 will increase to about P/4. There are a number of ways to test this - suffice it to say that it does seem to hold.

So my opinion is that maybe the "Saturn backlash" is a misinterpretation of this phenomenon. The LBRP/LBRH is a "full shutdown." It stops all running operations (that you have anchored on yourself - but I'll get to that). So if you have 5 operations going and you perform the LBRP/LBRH, and then you perform a new operations, it will run at the full P but none of your previous operations will continue. That also can be checked using regular probability testing.

Understanding this helps with developing workarounds. The fact that these work further demonstrates the phenomenon:

1. Always give your operation a reasonable time limit. If you don't, it will run until it succeeds and reduce your maximum probability shift the whole time. If your charge is something that is beyond your ability to influence in finite time, it will run forever until you shut it down. Even in the latter case, if the time limit is exceeded it will shut down on its own.

2. If you anchor your operation on a talisman, such as conjuring a spirit and using a charge like "empower this talisman to do X" versus charging the spirit "do X," the effect will be anchored on the talisman and will not be anchored on you. You get a bit if a probability dip when you do this, so that if you have nothing else "running" when you create the talisman its probability shift will be around .8 * P, but the fact that you can make as many of these as you want without reducing the effect of the first one is often a good trade-off. Two healing talismans, for example, will give you (.8 * P) + (.8 * P) because the shifts from multiple operations are additive as long as the aspects are basically harmonious.

But that's a whole lot words to get back to the suggestion that you try it yourself and see. You're not going to cause problems if you do an operation and it's less effective than it could be with optimal casting. At worst it just won't work. So if you try it one way and it doesn't work, try it the other way and see if it does. That's really the best test, and it will be the best test until we can develop a way to measure the effects of operations directly.

H.S.H. Prince Frei of Lorenzburg said...

Dear Scott,
thank you for your kind in-depth explanation.
I shall follow your recommendations and try different approaches.
Be well and thank you again for such an informative answer and for an awesome blog!
Frei encore

Bishop said...

I tought you vibrate ARARITA when you finish tracing and point a finger in it and then vibrate.

Scott Stenwick said...

If that is how you do it and it works for you, by all means keep doing it. What works for me is to vibrate ARARITA while tracing the hexagrams.

I suspect this is another one of those small performance differences that won't have much of an effect on how well it works. You find a lot of those when start looking at how different teachers teach the rituals.

Philip said...

As a daily ritual I do the Invoking LRP in the morning and the banishing LRP before bed like in the Golden Dawn papers. Would you recommend doing the Invoking and Banishing Hexagram rituals morning and night as well?

Scott Stenwick said...

No. What I recommend to students is that if the ritual they know is the LRP, do invoking in the morning and banishing at night like you refer to here. Once you learn the LRH, you can switch to a single practice session either in the morning or at night using the operant field, LBRP/LIRH. That accomplishes the banishing and invoking pieces in one step (albeit one step with two rituals). Then you add the Middle Pillar to that session following the LIRH and you are invoking the macrocosmic aspects of the divine force.

Philip said...

1. Do you know why there is no "Let the Divine Light Descend" portion like in the Rose Cross Ritual?

2. Is a horizontal circle drawn connecting the Hexagrams like in the LRP? Would it be red or blue?

Scott Stenwick said...

1. I am not sure why that line does not show up in the Liber O versions of these rituals. I also am not sure that it was part of the original Golden Dawn instruction, and if it wasn't that would explain why Crowley didn't include it. You might have to ask a Golden Dawn initiate about that.

2. You do want to trace the circle as you do the hexagrams, and you can visualize a color if you want. But there is no specific instruction on what it should be. With the LVX signs you are stabilizing yourself in Tiphareth so an argument could be made for yellow along those lines, rather than red or blue.

Philip said...

Hello. It was pointed out to me today that Liber O places the keyword before AND after the LRH whereas the Godlen Dawn papers just place the keyword after. Do you know why this is?

Scott Stenwick said...

I am not sure why Crowley decided to put it in Liber O like that. There is not a lot of material in general that Crowley wrote on his rendering of the Lesser Hexagram, whereas he did write up an analysis of the Lesser Pentagram that you can at least refer to.

I will say that as a Thelemite, that's how I was taught and that's the version I used when working out the permutations for the operant field and so forth. It does work well as written in Liber O.

TyroneLove said...

So you don’t draw a circle linking the pentagrams/hexagrams in either rituals ?

Scott Stenwick said...

I usually do it that way in my personal practice, but it is not officially part of the ritual instruction from Liber O. I think it helps, though the effect doesn't seem to be big enough to test from a probability standpoint.

Unknown said...

Hey...i was thinking this today and just came across your page ..and actually i did many yrs ago try your operant field method and found it to work quite well...but i had a break from ritual and have been getting back into a gd purist and ex member so i return to original practice...and was thinking today..we know to use both ehen we wish to.clear all "signals" but when is the invoking to be used if we are wanting sol forces to enter our life..this has given me something to think on...also what you were saying about southern hemisphere allocations is really interesting to me as im in you think pentagram corners should also switch as fire is in the south as in direction of sun in northern hemisphere at noon...some say no dont touch as it has alot to do with alegory to do with michael battle in exoteric context as well as 4 winds having general correspondences with the occult model of the brain (ie:the skull with planetary symbols all over in moon on the back of skull..relating to subconcious..and gabriel in west cause of this..mercury front cortex etc etc) well this brings up more questions and hopefully u can get back to me and give your thoughts on all of one last one...similar to another comment i usually lbrp then lbrh atm but was going to start lirp in morning and banishing at was meant to be the change after getting a rythm going. .my question is where would the hexagram ritual fit into this ?? After i do both banishings in in the morning i follow up by doing a daily invocation/prayer of the archangel of the day as from the armadel and thenn intone all angel names correlating to that specific group...what do you think about banishing pentagram then invoking hexagram of specific planet of the day then daily prayer of whatever archangel resides for that day...or another idea slightly different that i had was what about doing lbrp then lbrh followed by the invoking hexagram of ones own nativity virgo so strong mercurial theory shouldnt this cause an influx of energies to do with ones own archangel relating to strengths in makeup of.pshyce...also if one has a nativity horoscope one can easily acquire angelic names according to ones own birth in time ànd planet locations etc and derive a tree of life display specific angels names relating to each sphere .while i did this more to get the info of which angels were where at time of birth struck me as wouldnt these names be more fitting being as one is trying to enhance ones strongest faculties??just a much more interested in the former questions so dont get overloaded with that one...but in case your not grasping i shall give example woth a few spheres so you get me ...really need a photo upload being i was born 26 aug etc etc sun /tiferet was 0-5 virgo -angel -Lecabel(mercurial angel) demon- foras
...moon/yesod-0-31 sagitarius-angel -vehuel (demon-crocell) etc any event im starting to think lbrp /lbrh then the intoning of angels according to specifoc day followed by the archangel prayer of the day which ive been doing..these prayers from the armadel daily invocations read much like affirmations at the end so they seem to be working as in i clear all energies then invite that mindset in...but been throwing these ideas about of late and would love to hear your thoughts..sorry for the length of the post. LVX

Scott Stenwick said...

I can see how you might want to at least experiment with switching Fire and Earth quadrants on the LRP in the southern hemisphere. The LRP uses the "winds" model of the elements, in which the wind from the south is warm and dry so Fire is in the south, and the wind from the north is cool and dry so Earth is in the north. In Australia, clearly the warm winds are from the north.

A counterpoint to that, though. The godnames in the LRP are not elemental, so switching them maybe doesn't make sense. The archangels are attributed that way, so you could experiment with swapping Michael and Auriel and see what that does. But there's also the idea that you are standing at the intersection of Samkh and Peh on the Tree of Life, which places Hod at your right hip so Michael should still be on your right.

It might be more relevant to the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for Malkuth, which is the version where you trace the four elements to their specific quarters. If I were doing that ritual in the southern hemisphere, I would very likely trace Earth in the south and Fire in the north. I expect this would also be the case with the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram, which I don't personally use but is structured the same way as GRH - Malkuth in the Thelemic system.

As usual, best thing to do is experiment. Try a couple of variations, and if they work better go with them. That's going to give you first hand experience, which is better than anything somebody on the Internet (including me) can tell you.

I never do the LBRH daily, since I find it interferes with ongoing spells that aren't anchored into talismans. So it's hard for me to say how it would fit in with what you are doing here. I personally do one session of practice in the evening, opening with LBRP/LIRH or Star Ruby/Star Sapphire. To that I add the Middle Pillar or Elevenfold Seal, and I follow that up with whatever additional practices I am doing for the day. If I were doing planetary work like what you are talking about here I would do something like this:

LBRP -> LIRH -> MP -> GIRH - Planet -> Planetary Invocation -> QC

The GRH is also used for zodiacal angels in the Thelemic system, so I would work with the angel of the day similarly. But my understanding is that in the GD system you use the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for signs. So going with that, I would use this version for the angel of the day.

LBRP -> LIRH -> MP -> GIRP - Element (of sign) -> Zodiacal Invocation -> QC

I close with the Qabalistic Cross to seal in the results of the practice, rather than any sort of banishing. I use this structure a lot, whereas most of the GD purists I come across work "up" with invocations and then back "down" with banishings. I find that model inefficient at best for practical work, and also for personal development from my daily practice. But YMMV - it's always best to try these sequences out for yourself and see how they work.

TyroneLove said...

Hello Scott. I got into the habit of drawing the pentagrams, then charging them with the God Names and sign of the Enterer during the LBRP, whereas in the LIRH I vibrate ARARITA while drawing the hexagrams. I was wondering if not using same method for both rituals could be the source of an imbalance in your opinion ?