Witches' Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
by Paul Hume
The following text was an addendum to some Wiccan friends of mine written in 1986. It followed a fairly standard instruction in the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, with which they were not familiar. We were feeling out some linking techniques leading to a proposed joint ritual involving several Wiccans and two ceremonial qabalists (one Thelemite -- ie. myself, and another). While events conspired to torpedo this project, some interesting ideas came along on both sides. The goal was a set of brief rituals meaningful to both traditions which we could practice individually, thus building up a group current prior to the date of the proposed rite (Samhain of that year). Herewith my notes on "The Wiccan Pentagram" ritual which evolved during this project. My primary source of God Forms was Paul Huson's "Mastering Witchcraft" which was my main source of information on Wicca at the time (I've done considerable study elsewhere since).
A ritual can be modified in many ways, to refit it for a different set of symbols, for example. I have taken the liberty of doing some research into alternate symbols for the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram since I know that you work a lunar-feminine current (Wicca) whereas I use more solar-masculine symbols in my current (Thelemite). The Qabalistic Cross This might be used as is, though you could use the English if you don't feel that the Hebrew is relevant. I am sure you recognize the words as being similar to the end of the Lord's Prayer in the King James Version: 'Unto thee, the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever! Amen.' I would point out that this formula was around a long time before Christ, much less the translators of the Standard Revised Version of the Bible. If you dislike such a specifically Christian form, it may be replaced with the words KETHER (KEH-THER), MALKUTH, GEBURAH, GEDULAH (or Crown, Kingdom, Power, Mercy), the spheres of occult energy that you are invoking with the Q-Cross. The mental images remain the same. You could even avoid these Hebrew symbols entirely, using Names and formulae more suitable to raising the Cone of Power, which is what you are doing here in Wiccan terms. See the 'Wiccan Cross,' below.
The principle is:
Again, the pentagram should be used. This symbol is universal to many, many systems of magick, including Wicca, as you know. The five-pointed star has supreme power over the Elements: Spirit, Fire, Water, Air and Earth. It drives off negative influences and attracts positive ones. It is an essential part of the rite and there is no symbol that can take its place as effectively.
I prefer using the Hebrew God-Names as is. In this connection they express formulae that govern the Elements and are no more religious than E=MC squared. However, there are equivalent Wiccan God-Names, which I describe in the next section, as substitutes for the Archangels. The use of the same Names to activate the stars and to invoke the Elemental force is quite in keeping with the Wiccan tradition, which does not use the same hierarchical system of God-Name, Archangel, Angel, Ruler, Spirit, etc. that Qabalism does.
The Archangelic Invocation
Instead of the Hebrew Archangels I described, you could use Wiccan Deities to invoke the 'pure' form of the Elements.
A few points to note:
The Star Of David
The last line of the Invocation refers to a 'six-rayed star' and the mental work calls for imagining a Star of David. This is not a specifically Jewish symbol in this context. The six-pointed star, or hexagram, is the Qabalistic symbol par excellence of initiation and spiritual illumination. The upward-pointing triangle represents the aspiration of the magician to the Gods, and the downward-pointing triangle represents the divine power, flowing down to the world. These meet at the moment of magick and the interlaced triangles forming the hexagram symbolize the power of this meeting. Should you prefer not to use the Star of David, you can replace the mental image with any symbol showing the meeting of your soul and the power of the Goddess. This can even be a private symbol, one that is meaningful only to you. Alternatively, you can just envision the sphere of white light from the Q-Cross, as a symbol of divine power. Replace the words about the 'six-rayed star' with some descriptive form: 'the seal of the Goddess,' or 'the sign of my Awakening,' or simply 'the light Divine.'
Wiccan Pentagram ritual
Rubric [This is a form of the rite incorporating the changes in symbolism discussed above]
CIRCLE OF PROTECTION
INVOCATION OF THE GREAT GODS
Repeat the Wiccan Cross. Rather than performing this in the rather measured cadences of Qabalistic Ritual, a form of dancing and chanting more pleasing to the God-forms of Wicca might profitably be devised.