Notes on the Star Ruby by Frater H'yitem k-Elohim Aleister Crowley wrote the Star-Ruby rit

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Notes on the Star Ruby by Frater H'yitem k-Elohim Aleister Crowley wrote the Star-Ruby ritual as an improved and Thelemic version of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, releasing it in both The Book of Lies and Magick In Theory and Practice. Although it is one of the most beautiful and powerful rituals left to us by the prophet, it is one of the least frequently used by Thelemic magicians. This, no doubt, is due in large measure to the fact that much of the ritual is in Greek, a language few modern magicians read or speak; the matter is further complicated by the fact that both of the printed versions of the Star-Ruby contain significant errors in the Greek spells, and also disagree with each other. However, these problems are easily dispelled with the help of a good lexicon, and once the language barrier is broken, the ritual is in no way more difficult to master than the ordinary Pentagram ritual. The magician stands at the beginning in the center of the circle, assuming the god-form of Hoor-paar-kraat [the Egyptian for the Greek Harpocrates, -Ed.]. After inhaling as deeply as possible, he cries: APO PANTOS KAKODAIMONOS! (APO PANTOS KAKODAIMONOS!) As he makes this cry, he sweeps his hand back and out, afterward retiring it once again in the sign of Hoor-paar-kraat. The words, translate, "Away from me, all evil spirits!" The magician thus banishes at the outset all forces which seek to interfere with his True Will. This done, he forms the qabalistic cross, essentially identical to the Hebrew version used in the Lesser Pentagram. Touching the forehead, he says: "SOI (SOI)," touching member "W FALLE (O PHALLI)," the right shoulder, "ISCTROS (ISCHUROS)," touching the left shoulder, "ETCARISTOS (EUCHARISTOS)," and clasping the hands on the breast, "IAW (IAO)." The next part of the ritual consists of the formulation of the pentagram and the vibration of the divine Names. The method of forming the pentagrams is different than in the ordinary Pentagram ritual; instead of tracing them into the air, the magician visualizes them in his forehead, and then hurls them with his hands towards the quarter, assuming as he does so the god-form of Horus [i.e., The Sign of the Enterer -Ed.] and vibrating the divine Name. Here however, we encounter a problem: the names given in The Book of Lies are different than those given in Magick In Theory and Practice. The latter gives THERION in the East, NUIT in the North, BABALON in the West, and HADIT in the South. The former reads CHAOS in the East, BABALON in the North, EROS in the West, and PSYCHE in the South. (see diagram 1.) The version in Magick is perhaps preferable, both because the names are closely related to the formul of the on, and because these attributions are reinforced in Liber V vel Reguli (The Ritual of the Mark of the Beast, quo vide). Note that the circle is formed in the opposite direction to that in the Lesser Pentagram; remember also to retire in the sign of Hoor-paar-kraat after each pentagram is hurled. The circle completed and sealed, we now come to a part of the ritual that has no counterpart in the Lesser Pentagram: the Paian, and the invocation which precedes the evocation of the Angels of the Quarters. The magician chants IO PAN, simultaneously forming the signs of N.O.X., which are as follows: Puella, (girl), with head slightly bowed, the right hand covering the breast, and the left hand covering the genitals; Puer (boy), head erect, right hand raised, with the upper arm exactly horizontal and the forearm at a right angle to it, and the thumb extended at a right angle to the fingers, while the left hand rests at the genitals, the fingers clenched, the thumb extending in the imitation of a Phallus; Vir (man), head slightly forward, clenched fists raised to the temples with thumbs protruding outwards imitating horns; and Mulier (woman), head thrown back, feet widely separated, arms raised in a crescent as if inviting embrace. The signs of N.O.X. thus trace a state of gradually increasing exaltation, beginning with the modest shyness of the young girl awaiting her lover, to the abandoned ecstasy of the last sign, in which the magician is completely rapt away in the love of Pan. At this point, the magician is sufficiently exalted to proceed to the evocation of the Angels, which he does (like any good Gnostic) in Greek. The meaning of this imposing spell, with the exception of the names of the Angels, is the same as in the Lesser Pentagram: "Before me ________, behind me ________, etc." until ".and in the column stands the six-rayed star." The pronunciation is given here underneath the Greek words: Pro mou Iugges, opiso mox Teletarcai, epi dexia Sunoces, Pro mou Iungges, opiso mou Teletarchai, epi dexia Sunoches, ep'arisera Daimonos. Flegei gar peri mou o aster ton pente, ep'aristera Daimonos. Phlegei gar peri mou ho aster ton pente, kai en thi sthlhi o asthr ton ex esthke. kai en tei stelei ho aster ton hex esteke. With regard to pronunciation, please note that G is always hard, as in goat; Ch as in Loch Ness, not as in cheese; u by itself as in German ber, or English excuse; ou as in rouge; and ai is pronounced like y in sky. THIS PARAGRAPH COULD NOT BE READ IN FROM DISK After the evocation of the Angels, the magician repeats the cross qabalictic, as at the beginning. Crowley then goes on to say, ".and end as thou didst begin", which may suggest a repetition of the phrase "Apo Pantos Kakodaimonos." This must remain a matter of personal preference, since he may be referring only to the cross qabalistic. The student will note that Crowley does not specify an attribution of the Elements to the Quarters. If the student wishes to use such an attribution, it is possible to simply use the attributions as they are given in the Pentagram ritual; in my opinion, however, it makes more snese to use the attributions of Liber V vel Reguli, since the same god-names are employed, as well as the same signs (those of N.O.X.). These attributions are as follows: Earth in the East, Air in the North, Water in the West, and Fire in the South. Similarly, they may wish to make one of the signs of N.O.X. at each of the Quarters, as in the Mark of the Beast. In this case, the attributions are as follows: Puella in the North, Puer in the South, Vir in the East, and Mulier in the West. It is also quite effective to employ a spiral dance during the Paian, although a little more complex. If this is done, the magician may simply stop at each of the Quarters long enough to make the sign of that Quarter, then proceed through the spiral dance, continuing the chant, until he finally arrives at the center of the circle, there to evoke the Angels of the Quarters. The possibilities are endless. The advantages of this ritual for a Thelemic magician are considerable (although not beyond question), simply because most Thelemites have a more intense emotional reaction to the name 'Nuit' than to the name 'Adonai.' The Greek, while certainly a bit more difficult to memorize than the English in the Lesser Pentagram, is also more effective for many people, partly because of the beauty of the sound of it, and perhaps even more, because it is unintelligible. (See Crowley's discussion of the Barbarous Names in Magick In Theory and Practice). Crowley notes in a footnote to both versions that the true sense of the Names is to be sought in the numeration thereof. Space prohibits an analysis of this matter here, and perhaps it is better for each student to work these matters out for himself as practice familiarizes him with this beautiful and powerful ritual.


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