Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

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Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby horustheantichrist » Wed May 11, 2011 12:53 pm

I have begun experimenting with the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram and I have a question about how to use it. From what I have read about this ritual, I believe that it is supposed to be used as a way to tap into a specific elemental force, correct?

If so, then in performing the ritual, are you suppose to invoke the same element in all four quarters?
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed May 11, 2011 12:55 pm

horustheantichrist wrote:I have begun experimenting with the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram and I have a question about how to use it. From what I have read about this ritual, I believe that it is supposed to be used as a way to tap into a specific elemental force, correct?

You can, yes. Although (to give a complete answer) you can also accomplish this with the Lesser Ritual.

The Greater is especially good for invoking all the Elements in balanced disposition, under the regency of Spirit.

If so, then in performing the ritual, are you suppose to invoke the same element in all four quarters?

Yes, in that case.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby horustheantichrist » Wed May 11, 2011 1:12 pm

Thank you for your prompt reply Jim. What is the difference between the lesser and the greater? Why use one over the other?
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby horustheantichrist » Wed May 11, 2011 1:15 pm

The Greater is especially good for invoking all the Elements in balanced disposition, under the regency of Spirit.


Isn't this what Samekh does?
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed May 11, 2011 1:28 pm

horustheantichrist wrote:Thank you for your prompt reply Jim. What is the difference between the lesser and the greater? Why use one over the other?

They are different levels of the ritual. For example, in a standard course of initiation one wouldn't learn the Greater (misnamed: it should be called the Supreme) until Portal. It accomplishes much the same as what the Portal ritual accomplishes. (In fact, the Portal Opening is more or less a very complex and adorned performance of the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram.)

The lesser is much more straightforward. To apply it to a specific element, you, of course, trace the invoking (or banishing) pentagram for that element, apply a specific intention to invoke (or banish) that element, and incorporate color (such as making the backgroundf the King Scale color of the element, and drawing the pentagram in the optical complement). Keep the Divine Names and everything else the same as in the generic Lesser. (That's part of what makes it the Lesser.)
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby horustheantichrist » Fri May 13, 2011 3:09 am

Why do the pentagram rituals work?

Where did they come from? I know that they are GD rituals, but where did the GD get them?
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri May 13, 2011 4:52 am

horustheantichrist wrote:Why do the pentagram rituals work?

That would take at least a few thousand words to explain.

Where did they come from? I know that they are GD rituals, but where did the GD get them?

The components originate from many points in time. Something very similar to the finished ritual exists in Eliphas Levi's writings.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby horustheantichrist » Fri May 13, 2011 6:08 am

Is there something I can read that will explain why they work? Can you point me in the right direction?
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri May 13, 2011 6:19 am

Can't think of anything in print. Possibly someone else here knows of something. (Everything i have prewritten is confidential to Temple of Thelema initiates.)

As i type this, i keep getting the idea that you have a more specific question that you haven't asked yet. That might help narrow the scope. i actually don't know if you're asking how magick ritual in general works, or something about this ritual in particular, or some specific application of this ritual... or something else altogether.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby horustheantichrist » Fri May 13, 2011 6:47 am

Nope not really trying to get at anything else. I've been at the LBRP for about a month now twice a day and now started the GRP and I notice a difference in perception after performing them and I am curious as to why drawing stars in the air and vibrating words makes me feel that way.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby horustheantichrist » Fri May 13, 2011 6:49 am

P.S. The last remark was an attempt at humor, sorry if it made me sound like a jerk.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Al Ha-Shemat » Fri May 13, 2011 10:56 am

93,

Dar wrote:Other folks will point to the power of suggestion and point to the fact that people can be induced to see pink elephants as evidence for this belief.


:D I feel inclined to suspend disbelief for long enough to actually buy into the idea that there is an external reality, so why not exercise the same suspension of disbelief for the purposes of experimenting with other aspects of mental perception? :D

It's always good to dig up whatever info you can on different theories, but it's of course always important to balance theory against your personal practice and experience. Whenever I teach music theory, I always remind students that it's called "theory" for a reason! ;)

93 93/93.

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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Archaeus » Fri May 13, 2011 12:33 pm

93

I would like to recommend a book by Israel Regardie called "The middle Pillar"
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Middle-Pillar-B ... 728&sr=1-1

it helped me a lot and goes into the subject of Pentagram rituals in great depth.

93 93/93
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Alan Willms » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:32 am

James, do you had access to the "traditional" or "original" way of performing the Rituals of P. and H.? Today we have a lot of different ways to do it, mostly because we have some gaps in the text-books. We do not know if we should use the "skeleton" of the Lesser to practice the Greater.

For example: how does someone perform the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram with Fire Element?

This is the way I do it:

a) LBRP
b) No Qabalistic Cross (because you did this in the last step of LBRP)
c) Turn yourself to the South (Fire)
d) Invoking Equilibrium of Actives Pentagram with AHIH + Sign of Opening the Veil
e) Invoking Fire Pentagram with ALHIM + Sign of Thoum-aesh-neith
f) Turn yourself to the East (completing the spin of the circle)
g) Qabalistic Cross

Is there some more specific instruction about each step? (I do not mean "how to vibrate a name" or "how to draw a pentagram", but what to do before and after the Fire Pentagram, and if I should do that in all Quarters or in the South only).

I have the same question about the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:57 am

Yes, I have the original instruction, although I haven't read it in many years. Part of the confusion here is that this is a formula set more than a rigorous ritual. That is, the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram is actually a full tool box. And there are many additional variants depending on context - for example, whether Enochian aspects are added, etc.

There is nothing "wrong" with what you outlined, although there IS a standard way to "just do the Greater Invoking Pentagram Ritual of [for eample] Fire." (In this answer, I'm sticking with your inquiry about the original instruction.)

Frater S.R. wrote:a) LBRP

At some point, yes... but not necessarily right before it. This could be at a different part of a larger ritual.

b) No Qabalistic Cross (because you did this in the last step of LBRP)

Judgment call. To avoid confusion, let's just say that the Greater Ritual itself begins with a Qabalistic Cross. From the top, it is:

1) Face East
2) Qabalistic Cross
3) Toward East:
--- a) Make invoking Active Spirit Pentagram with AHIH + SIgn of Opening the Veil
--- b) Make invoking Fire pentagram with ALHIM + 4=7 sign
4) Carry the line around to the South and repeat (3).
5) Carry the line around to the West and repeat (3).
6) Carry the line around to the North and repeat (3).
7) Close the circle to the East.
8) Usual section with the Archangels &c.
9) Qab Cross

In other words, exactly like the Lesser Invoking Ritual in all respects except that at each quarter there is the (a)(b) piece listed under (3) above.

I have the same question about the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram.

In the Appendix of my book 776 1/2, I have a couple of pages of discussion about this at length (which I won't repeat here), and then summarize as follows. Reiterating what I said above about the Greater Ritual being a toolkit (but that there IS a standard way of doing a stand-alone Greater Ritual), and tweaking the summary slightly to stick to your inquiry about the original instructions, it goes like this:

1. Perform the Analysis of the Key Word.

2. Trace the hexagrams in each quarter as in the Lesser Ritual, except you are to use the hexagram of the planet you are invoking or banishing... Trace the astrological symbol of the planet (or sign, etc.) in the center. Vibrate the corresponding Divine Name, archangel name, and A.R.A.R.I.T.A. [This is the Divine Name etc. of the planetary sephirah or path.] Do this in all four quarters and then complete the circle to the east.

3. Continue from the east to the place in your circle actually facing where the planet is in the sky at that moment. Draw a fifth hexagram, larger than the others, and vibrate the entire hierarchy of names down to the plane you are working, and then A.R.A.R.I.T.A.

4. Continue round the circle from that point, returning to the east.

5. Repeat the Analysis of the Key Word.

Except I've taken one liberty with the above, because the original form began with the Qabalitic Cross and only ended with the Analysis of the Key Word.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby bdc » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:38 am

that was a brilliant post, and this is a brilliant thread... what i love about this forum is that it is about the only place where one can find direct and informed answers to questions about the most basic and essential magical techniques, such as the pentagram and hexagram rituals. it's incredible how much misinformation there is out there about these methods, both in print and online. i must thank you for your dedication to shedding light on to these topics, mr. eshelman! i have a few questions and thoughts (as ever)...

Jim Eshelman wrote:3) Toward East:
--- a) Make invoking Active Spirit Pentagram with AHIH + SIgn of Opening the Veil
--- b) Make invoking Fire pentagram with ALHIM + 4=7 sign

what are your thoughts on the golden dawn's application of enochian aspects to this section? i know you mentioned above that it is a matter of context, however i get the impression from studying the golden dawn material that they were keen on incorporating enochian aspects whenever they could, to such an extent that the golden dawn's surpreme pentagram ritual incorporating the tablet of union and enochian god names is pretty much presented as the standard, with the version of the greater pentagram ritual you have outlined here seeming like an adaptation (though i presume it is rather the other way round).
i recall you mentioning on here that you felt enochian aspects should be left for purely enochian workings alone, so just wondering about your general feeling of the golden dawn's supreme pentagram ritual with enochian embellishments. crowley doesn't cover the supreme pentagram rituals in any detail in his published works, though his version of the bornless ritual incorporates the sigils and names of the enochian elemental kings.

i've lately been considering a series of rituals, taking place over several days or even weeks, by which an individual, solitary practitioner such as myself - who is unable to join organisations physically - might explore the elements via the pentagram rituals (after of course a long period of working with the lesser banishing and invoking rituals of the pentagram, middle pillar, meditation and asana).

so the first working would be with earth, to be performed in the earth tattwa and an increasing moon phase:
-lesser ritual pentagram invoking earth
-opening of the temple in the grade of 1=10 (from liber chanokh)
-rising the planes / colour scales for earth
-prayer of the gnomes
-meditation upon the tattwa of earth
-moving back down colour scales
-closing of the temple 1=10 (adapted from the golden dawn ceremony)
-lesser ritual pentagram banishing earth

the working then would be the same structure for air, water, and fire.
for spirit then, one has the opening of the portal to explore. is it possible to use the lesser ritual of pentagram to invoke spirit active? i understand invoking spirit passive on its own can be hazardous, and is best avoided unless their is a specific reason for it.

after this point, the workings would incorporate spirit, with the next one being:
-greater ritual pentagram invoking earth
-rising the planes / colour scales
-the fifth enochian call
-meditation upon tattwa of earth
-moving back down colour scales
-greater ritual pentagram banishing earth

then similar for air, water, fire, and for spirit the supreme pentagram ritual (of five elements) and first enochian call, and then the final working in the series would be the bornless ritual.

any thoughts, suggestions, or even warnings, on this?
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:24 am

bdc wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:3) Toward East:
--- a) Make invoking Active Spirit Pentagram with AHIH + SIgn of Opening the Veil
--- b) Make invoking Fire pentagram with ALHIM + 4=7 sign

what are your thoughts on the golden dawn's application of enochian aspects to this section? i know you mentioned above that it is a matter of context, however i get the impression from studying the golden dawn material that they were keen on incorporating enochian aspects whenever they could, to such an extent that the golden dawn's surpreme pentagram ritual incorporating the tablet of union and enochian god names is pretty much presented as the standard, with the version of the greater pentagram ritual you have outlined here seeming like an adaptation (though i presume it is rather the other way round).

My thoughts (remembering that you asked for opinions 8) ): Mathers (and probably Westcott equally) tried to incorporate Enochian into as many avenues of Second Order work as they could, probably to flesh out the system, certainly to develop something that wasn't generally known. One might almost think of it as a personal pantheon - they used it the way that a Thelemite might (for example) supplement (rather than replace) classic Hebrew hierarchies with Thelemic pantheon names. It seemed a big deal to them - perhaps personally, and also in terms of the system they were building.

For myself, I've always tended to keep Enochian more in its own box. If I'm working specifically Enochian elements, then I used those hierarchies. I consider them secondary to the Hebraic hierachies because (a) Dee invoked classic Kabbalistic Divine Names to inaugurate his communication with the Enochian entities, (b) the highly successful G.D. elemental grade openings use that approach, and (c) it has always worked well and felt right for me personally. However, outside of distinctive Enochian workings, I don't incorporate them. Chanting Oyopeh Tea'a Pedokeh gives me access to Enochian hierarchies and helps open the tablet that responds to those names, but just doesn't do much for me in terms of rousing the powers of Fire as such. Give me a good ol' Elohim any day! Edalaperena'a is extremely potent and wondrous, used with the right setup, to unlock the swirling solar force that dominates and powers the same Fire tablet, but just doesn't do much for me in isolation.

crowley doesn't cover the supreme pentagram rituals in any detail in his published works, though his version of the bornless ritual incorporates the sigils and names of the enochian elemental kings.

What Crowley called the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram (in Liber O) is what was historically called the Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram. I prefer that term (and we have restored it in Temple of Thelema) because there is an entirely different (unpublished) Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, which has a cherished place in our training system. - But you're right to the extent that he didn't mention the Enochian variant. (And it IS a variant, not standard technique.)

i've lately been considering a series of rituals, taking place over several days or even weeks, by which an individual, solitary practitioner such as myself - who is unable to join organisations physically - might explore the elements via the pentagram rituals (after of course a long period of working with the lesser banishing and invoking rituals of the pentagram, middle pillar, meditation and asana).

If that's the goal, then I would point out that it takes at least three months, and in most cases at least six months, if sustained focus on something in order to make a persistent change. For the goal stated, I'd suggest six months per element, not days or weeks.

for spirit then, one has the opening of the portal to explore. is it possible to use the lesser ritual of pentagram to invoke spirit active?

Essentially that's what one does - or, perhaps, you could call it a variation of the Supreme. The main point is that the Quintessence arises from the activation and integration of the other elements, not as a thing in isolation. The Portal opening is a good model - it invokes each of the four elements in turn, and then, at the center, invokes Spirit active (projective) and then passive (receptive).
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby bdc » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:54 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:there is an entirely different (unpublished) Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, which has a cherished place in our training system.

i have seen a note on a "true greater ritual of the pentagram", claimed to have been written by crowley "on a train to india" in 1906, which places the magician above tiphareth on the path of gimel, involving both normal and inverted pentagrams and almost entirely egyptian godnames... is this the one you are referring to?
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:55 am

bdc wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:there is an entirely different (unpublished) Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, which has a cherished place in our training system.

i have seen a note on a "true greater ritual of the pentagram", claimed to have been written by crowley "on a train to india" in 1906, which places the magician above tiphareth on the path of gimel, involving both normal and inverted pentagrams and almost entirely egyptian godnames... is this the one you are referring to?

No, this has nothing to do with Crowley. He never knew about this one. (I have that paper, btw. His hand writing was unusually jagged on the presumably bouncy train ride.)
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby bdc » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:00 am

ah, very interesting. thanks for clearing all that up... that ritual of his struck me as interesting but definitely incomplete, and rather overwrought.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby bdc » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:35 am

a few more questions regarding the pentagram rituals, i do hope they are not too tiresome!

if one wishes to invoke a specific element, let's say "fire" for example, what exactly is the difference with regards to efficacy between the lesser ritual invoking fire and the supreme ritual invoking fire? obviously spirit is involved in the latter, would this imply that it is only suitable once the adept has made their own development of working with all the elements one after the other? and also, with regards to a pure elemental invocation, there is the simple question of why use the supreme when one can use the lesser?

finally, returning back to your summary for the supreme:

3) Toward East:
--- a) Make invoking Active Spirit Pentagram with AHIH + SIgn of Opening the Veil
--- b) Make invoking Fire pentagram with ALHIM + 4=7 sign

is one not using the spirit wheel and kerubic signs in the supreme in this case?
and with regard to the latter, is it more or less suitable to replace the eagle symbol with that of scorpio in the case of water?
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:48 pm

bdc wrote:if one wishes to invoke a specific element, let's say "fire" for example, what exactly is the difference with regards to efficacy between the lesser ritual invoking fire and the supreme ritual invoking fire?

Different intensities. And yes, it has something to do with one's own initiation / training to that point, since there is a certain invalidation that occurs when you pretend to employ things to which you have no attunement, familiarity, etc. Exposure matters.

There aren't hard rules here, but a general principle or two.

obviously spirit is involved in the latter, would this imply that it is only suitable once the adept has made their own development of working with all the elements one after the other?

This matches the fact that the Supreme is historically not introduced until during or after the Portal grade, i.e., during or after the phase of reintegrating the divided light into white (full-spectrum) light.

and also, with regards to a pure elemental invocation, there is the simple question of why use the supreme when one can use the lesser?

There is value in "keep it simple."

I once asked Regardie (while we were sitting on his porch, and I got to be very physically dramatic about the whole thing) how one is supposed to maintain energized enthusiasm in an invoking hexagram ritual of the Sun when one is (in Golden Dawn style) doing six different hexagrams with vibrations in each quarter (plus the fifth toward the Sun), etc. etc. ... how does anyone maintain a full head of magical steam through all that? He answered elegantly: You don't. Nobody does.

There is value in doing major things for major operations where you prepare yourself as if for a singular life-altering event and give it everything you have and then more. OTOH you can't do that every day. There is value in using a simple knife to slice a tomato.

finally, returning back to your summary for the supreme:

3) Toward East:
--- a) Make invoking Active Spirit Pentagram with AHIH + SIgn of Opening the Veil
--- b) Make invoking Fire pentagram with ALHIM + 4=7 sign

is one not using the spirit wheel and kerubic signs in the supreme in this case?

You can. I didn't mention it because I take that for granted. (I never bother with the spirit wheel, but routinely visualize - not trace, just visualize - the Kerubic astrological sign in the center of elemental pentagrams. It does seem to concentrate it more.)

and with regard to the latter, is it more or less suitable to replace the eagle symbol with that of scorpio in the case of water?

Don't use the eagle. (It's the wrong attribution anyway. The G.D. had the eagle and "man" reversed. But that's another story.) Use the four astrological glyphs.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby fraterlei » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:53 am

1) Face East
2) Qabalistic Cross
3) Toward East:
--- a) Make invoking Active Spirit Pentagram with AHIH + SIgn of Opening the Veil
--- b) Make invoking Fire pentagram with ALHIM + 4=7 sign
4) Carry the line around to the South and repeat (3).
5) Carry the line around to the West and repeat (3).
6) Carry the line around to the North and repeat (3).
7) Close the circle to the East.
8) Usual section with the Archangels &c.
9) Qab Cross


So, if I want to do a GRP Invoking Earth, in the a) b) sections (and for the rest of the quarters), would be:

a) Make the invoking Pentagram for Spirit Passive, visualized in white light. Vibrate A:G:L:A. Give the sign of the Closing of the Veil.
b) Make the invoking Pentagram of Earth, visualized in green light. Vibrate ADONAI. Give the sign of Set Fighting.

Also, opinions. Would it be recommendable to use it for pathworking Malkuth, for example? I'm currently starting my meditations on this sephira and I believe it would be a great inclusion Invoking Earth to fully experiment the sephira. Good idea? Bad idea?
Did I understand correctly?
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:00 am

Yes, it would be a fine lead-in to Malkuth work, especially if you want to experience Malkuth as the field of elemental Earth. If, however, you want to experience Malkuth as the field of the four elements in balance, then the Supreme Ritual (not specialized by element) would produce this.

Malkuth per se can also be invoked with the Hexagram Ritual using the lowest point and the Malkuth hierarchy of names and visualizations.
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Re: Question about the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram

Postby fraterlei » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:50 pm

Thanks very much, Jim, much obliged.

One difference I noticed with LBRP, is the absence of the Sign of the Enterer and the projection of light. In the Ritual Magic Manual by D. Griffin, these Greater Pentagram Rituals include it. Why is that?

Also, I believe I should vibrate the Divine Names while doing the Pentagrams, isn't it? Or just point the center and vibrate the word (pretty much like your instructions for the Hexagram Ritual in 776 1/2)?

Also, I've seen in some websites that the the Supreme has the Invocation of Archangels, whereas the Greater has not. Could it be that the Invocation of Spirit Active/Passive replaces their role to some extent?
fraterlei
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