Date: Fri Dec 21 08:25:16 EST 1984
From: "New Age Moderator"
Subject: New Age Digest # 1
New Age Digest #1
Fri Dec 21 08:25:17 EST 1984
Call for Messages
Discussion of a Banishing Ritual
Date: Fri Dec 21 06:46:28 EST 1984
Subject: Initial Administrivia
This is the first message of the New Age mailing list. It is being sent out
to everyone who voted for the creation of the USENET newsgroup
net.religion.newage, no matter how bizarre their vote was. It is also going
out to anyone else who asked, and to a very small number of individuals who
did not ask to be on it at all. If you are receiving this list in error,
please send mail to me, the moderator, and I'll strike you from the list and
The initial membership of the list is an astonishingly high 43. With all
these people, we can look forward to some stimulating discussion. Please
clearly indicate in all mail to me whether or not it is to go to this list.
If traffic warrants, I will press for the creation of a USENET newsgroup,
either net.religion.newage or mod.religion.newage, and gateway all traffic
between the two.
Due to my visiting my parents during the winter holidays, there will be no
further digest until 28 Dec 84 e.v. at soonest. However, it is perfectly
all right to send messages for the list during this week.
Date: Fri Dec 21 06:53:16 EST 1984
Subject: Welcome Aboard! and statement of purpose
Welcome to the New Age mailing list! Whether you are here to participate,
speculate, practice, observe, or eat, I hope you find it a satisfying and
stimulating forum for unconventional religious ideas.
The mailing list will be for discussion of ritual, yoga, meditation,
theology, philosophy, and ethics as related to or defined within the various
traditions which have been recently revealed or reconstructed, or which have
been passed down through underground organizations (Masonic or otherwise),
or which do not fit these criteria but believe that we live in a New Age in
some "spiritual" sense. "Traditions" is here used in a very loose sense,
and may refer to an individual's system of beliefs, not any group's, in some
cases. Is that unclear enough, or should I add more obfuscation?
I do not intend to censor messages or to restrict membership to members of
any single religion, path, faith, way, belief, methodology, revelation, or
what have you. The only restriction is that if several members complain
about doggedly persistent attack, e.g., someone sending a message every few
days telling us we're all devil worshippers, then I will ask the person to
stop, and I will threaten him or her with unspeakable torment. If he or she
persists, I will render them an it. Otherwise, all messages sent to me and
noted as being for the list will be appended to the digest, which I will
send as traffic warrants.
Anonymous postings are welcomed; I will strip away your real name and
address on request, keeping it totally confidential. Interest in such
subjects is a sure road to trouble in some circles, so do not hesitate to
request anonymous posting if you wish.
I regret that at present all messages should go to me, and there is no
mailing alias for the list.
Tim Maroney, Carnegie-Mellon University Computation Center
Date: Fri Dec 21 06:57:18 EST 1984
Subject: Call for Messages
No one has sent me any messages for the list as yet. Therefore, I am
including an essay I just wrote about a banishing ritual, to get things
rolling. It is what I would consider a technical posting, that is, it deals
in detail with the symbolism and performance of a specific ritual. While I
hope for more of these, this would be a pretty dull list if that was all
that was here. Here is a list of topics I would particularly approve of; it
is meant to stimulate and not to restrict. Messages outside these
categories will gladly be included in the next digest.
Ethics -- any message bearing on the formulation or interpretation of
ethical codes, including such things as the Law of Thelema, the
Wiccan Rede, Yama/Niyama, etc.
Reviews -- books on the theory, practice, or history of mysticism and the
occult, or books by Christians on what awful murderers or poor dupes
we are, or other portrayals of the occult in any medium, including
movies, comic books, television, etc.
Tips -- hints and advice on various skills of use to the magician, witch,
yogi, Mason, etc.
Syntheses -- eclectic comparisons of symbols and methodologies of different
traditions and religions
Summaries -- educational messages concerning subjects likely to be of
interest to our members, such as the Kabalah, the beliefs and
practices of some particular group
Exegesis -- Kabalistic or other exegesis of various "sacred texts"
Bios -- your life and religion (or whatever you prefer to call it);
remember, anonymous postings are permitted
Proposals -- for experiments in occultism, yoga, parapsychology, etc.
Queries -- requests for information. With our large membership, these
should be easy to satisfy in many cases.
Chemicals -- effects of consciousness-altering chemicals and the rightness
or wrongness of using them in Magick, yoga, etc.
Afterlife -- exposition of various models, whether or not any of them are
true, origins of various models
Cosmology -- nature of experience, distinction between self and not-self,
nature of other planes of existence
I'm getting sick of coming up with these, so I'll turn it over to you.
Wait, here's a message now! And so soon!
Date: Fri Dec 21 07:33:03 EST 1984
Subject: On the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
For a few months, I have been practicing on a semi-regular basis a ritual
known as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. I've been doing it
once or twice every day. I've performed it before, but never on so regular
a schedule or with such satisfactory results. To formalize my approach
for myself, to aid any others who may be practicing the LBR, and to
satisfy the idle curiosity of any gawking onlookers, I have put together
this short discussion of the ritual and its symbolism and performance.
First, the ritual itself. I'll just reprint the description from Liber
O, a publication of the occult order A.'. A.'. (a name which can't be
rendered correctly in this medium -- those apostrophes should be dots,
forming a triangle of dots after each "A". Oh well.)
i. Touching the forehead say Ateh (Unto Thee),
ii. Touching the breast say Malkuth (The Kingdom),
iii. Touching the right shoulder, say ve-Geburah (and the Power),
iv. Touching the left shoulder, say ve-Gedulah (and the Glory),
v. Clasping the hands upon the breast, say le-Olahm, Amen (To the
vi. Turning to the East, make a pentagram (that of Earth) with the
proper weapon (usually the Wand). Say (i.e. vibrate) IHVH.
vii. Turning to the South, the same, but say ADNI.
viii. Turning to the West, the same, but say AHIH.
ix. Turning to the North, the same, but say AGLA.
[Pronounce: Ye-ho-wau, Adonai, Eheieh, Agla.]
x. Extending the arms in the form of a cross say,
xi. Before me Raphael;
xii. Behind me Gabriel;
xiii. On my right hand Michael;
xiv. On my left hand Auriel;
xv. For about me flames the Pentagram,
xvi. And in the Column stands the six-rayed Star.
xvii-xxi. Repeat (i) to (v), the "Qabalistic Cross."
It's not a good idea to just launch into this thing from a standing start.
You should start by evacuating any bodily wastes. If your nose is
clogged, clear it. (There are some really gross yogic techniques for doing
this if necessary.) It is best to bathe or shower first, and wear special
clothes worn only during ritual, but those are secondary considerations and
may be disposed of. Remove any serious muscle tensions; I do this in two
ways, by informal stretching exercises and by sitting quietly for a few
minutes. Finally, heavy food in the digestive tract is bound to interfere
to some extent, so don't pig out right before practice.
It is very useful to have a room in your home that is either set aside for
ritual, or can be transformed into a suitable room readily. I share my
ritual room with my lover, who uses it for typing. This is a fortunate
arrangement, since we both want the room to be simple, uncluttered, and
non-distracting, and all I have to do is hide the typewriter and throw a
cloth over the desk. If you can't arrange something like that, make sure
you at least have enough free floor space in the center of the room for
freedom of movement.
Elsewhere in Liber O, we find the banishing pentagram of Earth. It
is a five pointed star, point up. To draw it, start from the lower
left-hand corner, go up to the top point, and continue from there.
It is questionable whether this attribution really matters in any
real sense, any more than the shape of the letter "a" effects its meaning,
but it is a symbol to which the desired meaning can readily be imparted.
Note that you do not draw the stars at the end of your finger, but project
them outwards as if your finger was a light-pen.
Also in Liber O, we learn how to "vibrate" the names. The description
given is rather confusing and has been known to mislead people -- I
didn't learn how to do it right until I joined the O.T.O. (yet another
occult order) and witnessed it in person. Here is my attempt to provide
a more useful description.
Stand upright. Blow all the air out of your lungs. Hold your arms
straight out to your sides. Close your eyes and inhale nasally, imagining
that the breath is the name. The exact nature of this imagination differs
from person to person. Thus, you imagine yourself inhaling the name into
your lungs. As you inhale, sweep your forearms up so that your fists rest
on your temples. Imagine the breath moving down through your torso slowly,
and through your pelvis, your legs, and finally to the soles of your feet.
(Don't do this so slowly that you are hurting for lack of air by the time
the name reaches your feet!) The instant it hits the soles of your feet,
imagine it rushing back up and out. Simultaneously, throw yourself forward,
thrusting your left foot forward about twelve inches and catching yourself
on it, your hands shooting forward, bending forward at the waist so that
your torso is parallel to the floor. The air in your lungs should be
blown out through your nose at the same time, but imagine the name
shooting out straight ahead. This is called the Sign of the Enterer.
It is essentially a gesture of projection, a strong (even violent)
forward thrust. It's also a lot easier than it sounds.
Then withdraw into a standing position, left arm hanging at your side,
right forefinger on lips, left foot pointing ninety degrees out from the body.
This is called the Sign of Silence. It is passive to balance the active
nature of the Enterer.
In the LBR, the effect of the vibrations is to "charge" the pentagrams you
drew in the air. This is a psychological phenomenon which is difficult to
describe. I won't try. I trust you'll be able to recognize it when it
happens, and that you'll be able to tell when nothing happens. The latter
will be more common at first -- in Magick, as in every other endeavor, only
practice gives real skill. Don't worry, just continue with the ritual and try
harder next time. See also below for more on the function of the vibrations.
By the way, I imagine the name "Yahweh" rather than "Ye-ho-wau" because
that's the way the Catholic priests taught me it was said. Use whatever
pronunciation you prefer. I also use my finger rather than the wand; the
only "wand" as such I use in my work is the pen I use to record my
experiments in my journal. The use of the finger is a very common way of
doing the LBR. Finally, you are supposed to turn back to the East after
vibrating AGLA; the instructions are not explicit on this point.
The criterion for success in the ritual is equally ill-defined, a "feeling of
cleanliness". It is as hard to state this sort of thing exactly as it would
be to tell someone how to mix a dye of a particular shade of red. All you
can do with such fundamental perceptions is label them, not describe them.
All right, there's the mumbo-jumbo. The real action takes place on the
psychological level, and if you ask me the real effect is equally
psychological. Not all practitioners would agree; many would say that the
real effect is to create a fortified and cleansed area on the astral plane,
which they think of as a place as "real" as Hoboken. It doesn't really
matter for the purposes of this discussion. I'm now going to step through
the internal or "astral" correlation of each part of the ritual.
The "Qabalistic Cross" is a self-consecration. It makes the magician (icky
word -- I feel like I ought to have a few pigeons hidden in my pockets...)
a sanctified instrument for the performance of the rest of the ritual. Here
are a few tips on getting the self-consecrating effect.
Linger on each phrase for as long as it takes to remember the meaning. The
"thee" is your own higher self, if you're a humanist. Think of it as a
baptism using light rather than water. Imagine that your body has "centers"
which you are bringing to life by anointing them with your hand. There are
five such "centers". At the end of the Cross, remain for a moment in that
posture, upright, hands clasped, feeling the Cross within yourself, yourself
as the Cross. This should cause a sort of purified perception of the body.
Again, practice is the key -- just remember to pay attention to the meaning
and to consecrate yourself with reverence and devotion to your higher self.
If you prefer monotheistic symbolism, read "God" for "higher self". Even
for monotheists, the consecration is of yourself, although "by the power
of God". The two symbolisms can be turned into each other with less effort
than a topologist requires to invert a torus, so it doesn't really matter.
The "vanilla" version of the Cross is not what I use, nor what most
Thelemites use. Instead, we go "Atoh" (touch brow, or Ajna Chakra),
"Aiwass" (touch breast, or Anahata Chakra), "Malkuth" (touch genitals, or
Svadisthana Chakra), and then the rest as normal. "Aiwass" was a name
Crowley's H.G.A. or "external manifestation of the higher self" called
itself by. If you attain to the Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy
Guardian Angel (a term chosen because of its absurdity), use its name
instead of Aiwass. Don't expect this to happen tomorrow or next week.
Drawing the pentagram will be easy or hard for you, depending on whether you
are good at visualization. I'm not, so it's hard. I am getting better with
practice. Ideally, the stars should be of flame, drawn in the air, but if
you're like me you will have no cause to complain if you just see a faint
outline. Do not use drugs to increase your visualization abilities unless
you are willing to become dependent on them, a bad idea. If you are
experienced with drugs, it may be useful to get stoned first every once in
a while just to show you what it ought to be like. One "trick" I discovered
is to visualize a vertical line first, and draw the star using that to orient
yourself. The Cross should help you visualize the vertical line.
The pentagram is a very powerful symbol. There seems to be a more than
arbitrary connection between it and the microcosm, e.g., Man (in the
androgynous sense). The central pentagon represents the torso, the top
point the head, the other four points the limbs. No need to go into the
symbolism of the averse pentagram now, since it's not used in the LBR.
For a humanist like me, the stars are essentially reflections of the higher
self, given life (breath) by the vibrations of the God-names. For a theist,
they are anthropomorphic manifestations of deity, summoned by the vibration
of God-names. Again, it makes little difference, so long as the symbolism
is of the microcosm. They are given form by the drawing, life by the
vibration, identity by the steps (x) to (xiv). Some people do very
elaborate visualizations of angelic guardians on each of (xi) to (xiv).
Because I'm not yet a good visualizer, I am content for now with strong
feelings of presence, identity, and divinity in each of the four directions.
A horizontal cross is built up step by step as you say, "Before me Raphael",
etc, with you at the center; and the position of your arms forms a vertical
cross. If you have done everything correctly, and you are something like me,
you will feel a quite peculiar rising and expansion when both of these
crosses are formulated. For me, this is when the real banishing takes place,
during "For about me flames the pentagram, and in the column stands the
six-rayed star." After this is done, the invoked "archangels" maintain
the banishing effect, guarding in all four directions. Of course this is
all bushwah -- the importance lies in the psychological effect, which is
quite sufficient for most people. Whether there "really is" an archangel
standing there keeping out inimical spirits is not important. The "feeling
of cleanliness" is what matters.
The final Cross is an affirmation of the completeness and symmetry of the
ritual, and a new self-consecration. This is more efficacious than the
previous Cross because it is done in a banished environment. One is now
ready to do a formal invocation, an evocation, a meditation, or whatever
the overall purpose of the ritual is. The LBR is a preliminary, although
it has a beneficial effect on you in and of itself, and can profitably be
done as a stand-alone ritual. I do it before some of my prayers to the
Source of All Life, the Sun, which I do four times a day (at the obvious
times), but that's another subject. It should keep away the horrible
ickies that turn so many novices off to Magick.
With practice, you will no doubt come up with your own style of performance,
and your own different symbolism, just as I've done. Different people do
rituals as differently as actors play parts, even though the lines and
motions are fundamentally the same. Slavish imitation will get you nowhere
in Magick -- I'm just trying to provide some advice that would have been
useful to me.
Love is the law, love under will.
End of New Age Digest #1