Author Topic: A Gnostic Lunar Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram  (Read 1292 times)


A Gnostic Lunar Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
« on: February 20, 2019, 09:47:18 pm »

Category: Ritual, Ceremony, Applied Theology

Welcome all, please forgive me for the relative quiet here on the sub forum lately. I’ve been directing my efforts towards establishing strong connections with magically-inclined people in person. There have been some promising results, and I’ve managed to set up a serious study/practice group and have gained access to one of the larger covens in the area. My many hands are setting things in motion that may one day provide the momentum needed to manifest the temple.

Several of the people I’ve been dealing with lately are Thelemites, who have asked me to learn their system in greater detail and perform the rites with them. One of the simplest of these is the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, used to banish a space before serious ceremony begins, or as a tool to begin an invocation.

Upon reviewing the material, however, I found it to be somewhat out of alignment with my magical perspective. As most of you know, I consider myself something of a gnostic, and Artemism/Lunar Spirituality largely follows a similar line of understanding. So personally, I was reluctant to banish and invoke using the holy names of the Hebrew-catholic abrahmic tradition, which have historically and ideologically been opposed to the ideals of gnosis.

And so, I set out to deconstruct and rebuild the ritual within my own paradigm. I’ve decided to share it here so that other aspiring lunar magicians can perform the ceremony if asked, but in alignment with our own tradition, and exemplifying the way of the lunar witch.

The Ritual

Part 1 - The Sophian Cross

I.  Touching the forehead, vibrate ZAMA

II.  Touching the groin, vibrate ZAMA

III. Touching the right shoulder, vibrate ŌZZA

IV.  Touching the left shoulder, vibrate RACHAMA

V.  Bringing both hands in a praying position in front of the chest, vibrate ŌZAI

Part 2 - Constructing the Box

I. Turning to the West, trace a pentagram in front of you with a wand. Thrust the wand through through the center of the pentagram and vibrate AR-TE-MIS

II.  Turning to the North, the same - but vibrate BAR-BĒL-Ō

III. Turning to the East, the same - but vibrate HE-KA-TE

IV.  Turning to the South, the same - but vibrate MOR-RI-GAN

V.  Extending the arms as a cross, say:

VI.    Before me Armozel

VII.   Behind me Davethai

VIII.  On my right hand Eleleth

IX.    On my left hand Oriel

X.     For about me shines the pentagram

XI.    And around my trunk the serpent coils

XII.   Repeat Part 1 - the Sophian Cross

Examination of the Parts

Let us begin with the cross. Traditionally the words that are spoken with the movements are ATEH MALKUTH VE-GEVURAH VE-GEDULAH LE-OLAHM AMEN. This is known as the qabalistic cross as it references the sephira on a cross section of the tree of life. This is also the end of the lord’s prayer in the KJV (For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen). Interesting to note that this bit is not present in earlier manuscripts- suggesting that the KJV was interpreted/altered by someone who was familiar with qabalah.

But our gnostic version does not begin with a propitiation to the father. Instead we vibrate a few cryptic holy words from the Pistis Sophia - which for centuries and millennia was one of the only gnostic Christian texts to survive the persecutions.  The voluminous narrative it provides is all meant to take place after the resurrection of Christ. The risen savior ascends into heaven, and receives two bodies of light which are each in turn far more glorious and wonderful than that which he wore when he first ascended into heaven. Each of these came with a greater level of insight and power. (Human Jesus : Speaks in parables, "I know not, only the father", etc; Thrice-Ascended Jesus: I will speak with you face to face, without parable. I shall explain now everything to you from the highest to the lowest and all inbetween.)

The highest of these is known as the Robe of Glory, which was transcendentally prepared and waiting for Christ to assume it since before creation. This robe is also spoken about at length in other gnostic texts which have been uncovered in recent years, such as the Hymn of the Robe of Glory/Hymn of the Pearl, confirming the authenticity of this narrative.

When Jesus finally claims this Robe of light, he looks within it and finds a mystery written there on the hem, in a language like that of the ineffable: ZAMA ZAMA ŌZZA RACHAMA ŌZAI. What does this mean? Well, no one has ever been able to translate it directly. But Jesus himself provides an interpretation of these words in-text:

And I found a mystery in my Vesture, written in five words of those from the height: zama zama ozza rachma ozai, -- whose solution is this...

O Mystery which art outside the world, for whose sake the All exists -- this is the whole coming forth and the whole ascent which has emanated all emanations and all that is within them, and because of which all mysteries and all their places exist -- come forth to us because we are thy fellow-members. We are all with thee alone; we and thou are one and the same. Thou art the First Mystery which has existed from the beginning in the Ineffable One, before he went forth, and the name of that one are we all. Now all together we will approach thee at the last boundary, which is the last mystery from within, itself a part of us. Now we have sent thee the first of thy garments which thou didst leave in the last boundary, until its time was completed according to the command of the First Mystery. Behold, the time is completed. Put it on thee.

Come to us, for we await thee to restore the First Mystery to all his glory, as thou commanded before creation. The First Mystery, having three garments, has given us the final two - apart from that which we sent thee because thou art worthy, thou art first among us and thou did exist before us. Therefore the First Mystery has sent to thee through us the completion of his full glory, consisting of the final two vestures.

In the first which you now wear is all the glory of all the names of all the mysteries and all the emanations and the ranks of the spaces of the Ineffable One. And in the second garment is the whole glory of the name of all the mysteries and all the emanations which are in the ranks of the two spaces of the First Mystery.

And in the third which we now give thee is the glory of the name of the mystery of the informer, which is the first ordinance, and the mystery of the five incisions, and the mystery of the great messenger of the Ineffable, who is the great light, and the mystery of the five leaders who are the five helpers (parastatai). And furthermore, there is in this garment the glory of the name of the mystery of all the ranks of the emanations of the Treasury of the Light, and their saviours, and the mystery of the ranks of the ranks, which are the seven amens and the seven voices and the five trees and the three amens and the twin saviour, namely the child of the child, and the mystery of the nine watchers of the three gates of the Treasury of the Light. And furthermore there is in it the whole glory of the name of all those who are on the right, and all those who are in Midst. And furthermore there is in it the whole glory of the name of the great invisible one, who is the great forefather, and the mystery of the triple power, and the mystery of their whole place, and the mystery of all their invisible ones and of all those who are in the thirteenth aeon, and the name of the twelve aeons and of all their archons and all their archangels and all their angels, and of all those which are in the twelve aeons, and the whole mystery of the names of all those which are in the Heimarmene, and all the heavens. And the whole mystery of the name off all those in the sphere, and their firmaments, and all those which are in them, and all their places. Behold now, we have sent thee that garment which no one knew, from the first ordinance downwards, because the glory of its light was hidden within it. Behold now, put on this garment quickly. Come to us who approach thee to put on thee thy final two garments, through the command of the First Mystery, they having been for thee with the First Mystery since the beginning until the time appointed by the Ineffable One is completed. Behold, the time is completed. Come now quickly to us that we put them on thee, until thou hast completed the whole service of the completion of the First Mystery, which is appointed by the Ineffable One. For yet a little time thou were an insignificant one, now thou wilt come to us and leave the world.

It happened now, when I saw the mystery of all these words in the garment which was sent to me, I put it on in that hour, and I gave light exceedingly, and I flew to the height, and I came to the gate of the firmament, shining exceedingly. There was no measure to the light which I had. And the gates of the firmament were agitated against one another, and they all opened at the same time. And all the archons and the powers and all the angels therein were all agitated and afraid because of the great light which I had. And they looked upon the shining garment of light which I wore, and in it they saw the mystery which contained all their names...

That’s quite a bit for five little words, isn’t it? It seems that the language of the Ineffable goes quite far indeed. To summarize the preceding quotation - the Robe of glory is made of three vestures. The first contains the name of the ineffable, and it’s glory, and knowledge of the spaces within him (see the hypostatic aeon conception of the Gnostics). The second contains the name, glory, ranks and spaces of the first mystery (who is Christ and the fully perfected Gnostic). And the third contains the names and powers of innumerable things - in fact the names and powers and glory of all things, manifested, unmanifested, and transcendental to both these states. All the gods are in great fear when they see this Robe - in it they see their own true names, their creation, and their undoing. (Did I mention that all this happens on the true sabbath, the Full Moon day? ;))

According to the Pistis Sophia then, this phrase in the language of the height must be holy beyond comprehension, even more rarefied than the YHVH - as it was set down by the Highest and Hidden in the Robe of Supreme light before creation, as the absolute culmination of All and the final achievement of the alchemist.

Can one think of any better phrase to cloak oneself in before going into spiritual practice, which is an attempt to realize the greatest mysteries and the highest heavens personally? And what demon would dare approach the spirit that is empowered with their true name, and thus the power to destroy them? This indeed a perfect phrase to begin a banishment. The placement of each part of the phrase on the body also works quite well. The ZAMA at the head and the ZAMA at the groin indicates the parallelism of the highest and the lowest - dare I quote that old mystical adage: “That which is above is like that which is below, and that which is below is like that which is above?” The OZZA and the RACHAMA on the right and left feel as opposing variants on the ZAMA which are reconciled in the strong center OZAI behind one’s praying hands.

I can also recommend using the phrase as a mantra, but that goes beyond the scope of this article.

Next we have the names called upon in the four directions. In place of the Hebrew variant names and titles of YHVH, we have sacred names of the Lunar Goddess. The Goddess is a representation of the highest ideals of Artemism - perfect purity of heart and consciousness, untouched by the elements, and complete mastery of mysticism (such as in her aspect as the high priestess). It is in her name that we create our protections, and in her name that we banish unwanted influences.

We start in the west and conduct our movement clockwise - as this is the path that the moon takes over the course of an entire cycle. Note that this is the opposite starting position of the original which goes with the sun. There's a smattering of the anticosmic even in that. The adept may adjust the order in accordance with her Will if those she is working with are more traditional.

In the West - Artemis, who is the Virgin. In other words, she is the waxing crescent. The first waxing crescent appears in the west after sunset, so we begin there.

In the North - Barbēlō, which is a holy gnostic name of the Supreme feminine principle. She is the first emanation of the highest, and is the great mother goddess. The full Moon is also called the mother or the Virgin mother, so when we use this name here, it is in reference to her complete form high above.

In the East - Hekate, which can refer to the goddess as a whole (similar to how the name Artemis can), but is more specifically the Crone or the waning crescent. The waning crescent appears in the east before sunrise, and so we call her name when we set up our pentagram in the east.

In the South - Morgana. Morgana here represents the hidden face of the moon, which is dark and terrible to behold for normal men. This phase of the moon is sometimes called the Hag, when no light at all remains in the moon’s body and she returns to the primordial realm. The new moon is not an evil force, but one that is mysterious, prophetic, and highly chaotic. It would do one justice to think of her like the Hindus think of the Goddess Kali. At night she hides deep below the earth, and so we call her name when we set up our pentagram in the south.

The traditional next step is to raise the arms into a cross, but one could instead make the “Calling down the Moon” stance if she is so inclined.

Next, we should discuss the angels. I should first say that the original angels used in this ritual have a long history in occultism, and are seen as forces that purify and protect their respective element. For this reason, even from a gnostic perspective it is acceptable to use those names as they do not necessarily have to be seen as servants of the demiurge. (Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel)

But, in order to firmly establish our ritual in the gnostic tradition, I’ve decided to call upon instead the four great gnostic angels which are luminaries and aeons.

The first of these to emanate from Barbelo or Mirothoe is Armozel. Armozel (or Harmonzel) is the celestial man. The archetypical man, the Adam Kadmon. He is the eye of the Autogenes which existed before creation. He is the Adamas spoken of in The Gospel of the Egyptians, and Zostrianos. He is primarily concerned with Grace, Truth, and the Idea of Form.

The next of these is Oriel. He is the celestial Seth, who is father and savior of the incorruptible race. He is mentioned abundantly through the gnostic corpus, and all perfected beings are considered to be his children. For non Christian Gnostics, he usually plays a role similar to Christ. He is said to be concerned with Perception, Ideation, and Memory.

The next of these is Davethai. He represents the liberated gnostic souls, who have already transcended karma-bound existence. He is a Metatron-like figure, who was once a lost human soul but has through cultivation of the spirit become something much greater than this. He therefore takes his place just below Seth in the gnostic cosmology. Davethai is related to Love, Understanding, and Idea.

And Finally, Eleleth. She is a personal favorite of mine - a feminine Lucifer figure who enters into the manifestation to assist lost souls in finding their way home. She is the revealer who saved Norea from the archons when she called to Incorruptibility for help. She also told the girl of her true origins, and the true origins of the world. She is written about in The Hypostases of the Archons and The Three Forms of the First Thought.  Her domain includes perfection, wisdom, and peace — and so she is strongly related to Sophia.

Lastly we should consider the final couplet. The first line is only slightly altered from the original ritual. Our pentagrams “shine” rather than “flame” (for we draw them out of moonlight). And Gnostics don’t generally care to praise the number 6, especially not on a column in the center of our being! So the final line has been rewritten entirely.

“And around my trunk the serpent coils.”

There is obviously much symbolism in this image, all of which is very appropriate for our purposes. Here we refer to three things in one: The kundalini serpent wrapped around our spine, prepared to reach up into heaven and leave the body behind; the thelemic Hadit, prepared to seek union with Nuit; and finally the serpent of the garden wrapped around the tree of knowledge of good and evil - a powerful lunar symbol that is also an extremely important figure of spiritual knowledge in the gnostic tradition. It is also the image engraved in silver that I wear around my neck at all times. This image is infinitely more appropriate for the Lunar magical perspective  than that of the star of David.



Possible Substitutions and Alterations


Use on the Astral Plane

60% complete
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 05:06:51 pm by Olive »
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley


Re: A Gnostic Lunar Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 12:58:50 pm »
A ritual framed in such a way seems more amenable and engaging to me than the Qabbalistic counterpart. Probably because, out of all the Gnostic groups, I hold the Simonians and the Sethians in the highest esteem.

A good 60%. While you explain why it begins in the West quite well, I noticed that Morgana was pointing west in one instance but later you mention south when expanding on the reason.
"Some say Kos, others Kosm.
As you did for the vacuous Rom,
grant us eyes.
Grant us eyes."

-Micolash, Host of the Nightmare