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Magick 101 # 6.1: Why the LBRP Matters

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on September 20, 2011 | Comments (13)

In previous “lessons” of Magick 101 I’ve given you some personal preparation and theory. In this first part of lesson 6 I’m going to talk about the first formal ritual, The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

What? That ol’ thing?

Yes. That old thing.

Most of the time I see the LBRP performed it is done so perfunctorily that it is rather useless, just mumbling of words and finger pointing or dagger waving. On the other hand, some people seem to think it is the height of magick, turning a brief and powerful ritual into an overplayed, elongated, pompous ordeal. Still others think it is a useless and outdated part of the old Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and who needs that old stuff?

What You Didn’t Know
About the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

It is true that the LBRP, as we currently know it, was originally formulated by the Golden Dawn. In fact, there’s a secret about the Golden Dawn that most people don’t know: The Golden Dawn was never intended to be a magickal order!

What? But the book? All the groups? How can you write such a blasphemous comment?

The original concept of the Golden Dawn was of a three-part organization. First, there was the equivalent of a preparatory level. You really weren’t initiated as a full fledged member. That’s why the numeration of the Neophyte degree is 0=0. You’re not even part of the structure of the group (which is based on the Kabalistic Tree of Life). Next come the four “elemental” grades of the Order.

It is these five degrees that compose the Golden Dawn per se. The Golden Dawn or “Outer Order” was designed to prepare an initiate for magick. It was a training Order. It was not until you reach the second or Inner Order where you are taught and practice ritual magick.

In the Outer Order you learn lots of information (from the “knowledge lectures”) and work with other members, assuring mutual compatibility with other members. You learn breathwork and meditative techniques. However, excluding the initiation rituals (Which are actually empowered by members of the Inner Order who participate as members of the initiating crew. See my post on initiation HERE.) members of the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn, members of the first five degrees, are only taught one ritual. That ritual is The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Banishing and More

By it’s very name you can see that the LBRP is designed to purify your area. This is of great value because as you practice techniques including meditation, breathwork, Tarot, astrology, etc., you will find yourself more attuned to the astral and experience the growth of your aura. This will attract non-physical entities hungry for that energy. They can’t really harm you—which is why, in Modern Magick, I refer to them as “little nasties”—but they can be bothersome. The LBRP easily keeps them at bay, and practice will prevent unwanted incursions of stronger entities and energies later in your magickal career.

The original instructions for this ritual are incredibly terse, taking less than two pages. This is because the documents known as Knowledge Lectures that a Golden Dawn initiate receives—one of which includes the brief LBRP instructions—were not meant to be studied in a vacuum. They are, at best, “Cliff’s Notes.” The full details were expected to be given by your mentor in the Order. But even though your instructor might give you a great deal more about the performance of the ritual, there are some inner qualities to the ritual which is why it is still relevant and should not be overlooked.

Three Necessities of Magick

There are three things you have to master to be a good magician. First, you have to learn how to raise magickal energy (I know some magicians don’t follow the energetic paradigm of magick, but that’s another issue). There are two parts of this. First, you are using your internal abilities to generate magickal energy. Second, you are using your skills to grab and make use of external (spiritual or Divine) energy. Together these energies will power your magick.

The second necessity is closely aligned with the first. Once you have that energy raised, you have to do something with it. That is, you have to be able to manipulate the energy and direct it toward achieving your magickal goal(s).

The third necessity is the knowledge of where to direct that energy. You may be able to turn a car when you drive, but unless you have the knowledge found in a map, you can manipulate the car all you want and get nowhere.

So the three necessities are the abilities to raise and direct energy combined with the knowledge of what to do with it. The LBRP teaches all of these skills.

The LBRP & the Three Necessities of Magick

In the LBRP one of the first things you do is draw spiritual energy to you. This is exemplified by the first part of the section of the ritual known as the Kabalistic Cross. You begin by drawing the energy down through you. It is represented by the points on/within your body that when linked form a vertical line from above your head to below your feet. I’ll be covering this in greater detail soon.

In the following steps of this part of the ritual, you bring forth your own magickal energy on the physical plane. This is represented by the horizontal line that goes from shoulder to shoulder.

Finally, you unite these two energies at the heart. This is symbolized by uniting your hands at your heart and sealing the physical action with the magickal word Amen. I’ll be revealing that word’s inner meaning in the next part of this lesson where I discuss the Kabalistic Cross.

The next section of the ritual is the Formulation of the Pentagrams. In this section you learn how to direct the energy using color, positioning in three-dimensional space, and sending that energy for protective purposes. So in just the first two parts of this ritual you practice raising/generating magickal energy and the direction of that energy.

Finally, the knowledge of how to do this, combined with the knowledge of banishing, working with archangels, knowing where the archangels are, symbolism in their appearance, and the opening of the senses to receiving them is the knowledge needed for magick, the third of the necessities.

Thus, the LBRP is incredibly valuable for any and all future magickal work, not merely because it is a good banishing ritual, but because, if you work with it, you will have the basics for the mastery of magick.

Reader Comments

Written By Robert
on September 20th, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

Hello Don,

I posted recently about an idiosyncratic version of the LIRP I do that involves calling the specific elemental hierarchy into the elemental angel. The latter being easier to access can still carry the higher energies. It makes for some interesting physical manifestations of the spirits’ energy.


Written By Random Al Askendir Xtranj
on September 20th, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

Well, I’m not sure that any organization ends up being what its founders intended, the magical law of Synthesis applied here as everywhere. That being the case, I know for sure that Mather’s intent was to expose people to his version of the 3-D ‘Tree of Life’ and watch how their ‘awareness is accelerated’-s. When a few people had gone thru this, they probably noted that they needed access to lots of data in order to use their newly accelerated awarenesses, and so modified the idea of the group. I’m not sure that everyone who followed was then shown the model, it may have been kept as a ‘higher initiate secret’.

Written By Scott
on September 20th, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

This is a solid practice. I like the LBPR with the archangel calling as illustrated by Penczak. LBPR, Flaming Pentagrams, Archangels, LBPR. Toning and vibrating the angelic names as well.

Thanks for the insight and reminder.

Written By Pieter B Roos
on October 27th, 2011 @ 4:14 am

Hi Don
I’ve recently started working your system after a background in Astrology and Alchemy(Spagyrics).Living, as I do, in the Southern Hemisphere, I’ve come up with a problem that everyone seems to have a different explanation for; the astral directions of Summer and Winter, and whether they should be swapped around in the LBRP, and elsewhere.The Sangreal Sodality in South Africa swaps it in their Cosmic Cross(Kabbalistic Cross a la William G Grey).There seems to be controversy about the whole Deosil/Widdershins thing.I know this is’nt a forum, and don’t want to presume, but could somebody indicate where I can research the answer? I am doing the ritual as written at the moment.BTW, is there a forum for “Doin’ DMK”? I would love to join it!

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on October 27th, 2011 @ 10:44 am

Greeting, Peter.

According to the tradition, and not the Fortune/Gray modification, the LBRP deals with the rising and setting of the Sun, not the seasons. Therefore, facing East at the beginning of the rite and performing the Kabalistic Cross as per the tradition should, in my opinion, remain appropriate south of the equator. The question of circumambulating clockwise or counterclockwise is one that remains a debate, usually focused on the way water will naturally spin down the drain.

While I, personally, have found no value in reversing the circumambulations, I would remind you of Dion Fortune’s admonition: there is no room for authority in occultism. Try out both ways—the tradition and the Sodality’s modification—several times. Do your best. Then see which one is the most effective for you. That’s the one you should use.

Finally, although there have been some internet forums on working through Modern Magick, this isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about me. It is about doing the work.

Written By Pieter B Roos
on November 8th, 2011 @ 3:33 am

Hi Don
Thanks for your prompt response!This definitely clarifies for me the original GD concept.An astrological aquaintance loaned me-out of the blue- a copy of Pat Zalewski’s Equinox & Solstice ceremonies, which has a great explanation of the Whare Ra’s spin(pun intended-I do that!) on GD astromagnetic theory.
My main uncertainty was’nt east/west, but north/south.North is our ‘hot’ direction and south(antarctic) cold.I was’nt sure if I should swap Auriel and Michael around or go anticlockwise! I don’t,though, the original is what I work with.
I met an elderly Bill Grey just after he reviewed the first edition of Modern Magick and he loved it!He told-(a teenaged)- me that it and Steinbrecher’s Inner Guide Meditation were “must haves”, and that everything was now in the open and nobody had any excuse for not starting the work!
Thanks again and blessings

Written By Peon
on April 9th, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

I know this an old post but, don’t forget, The LBRP helps bring the elements within your astral and mental bodies into harmony which is necessary to be a successful Magician. 😉

Another thing is, the Angels in the LBRP aren’t the actual Angels. They are the elements molded by your imagination to look like Angels in the Astral, using the imagery of the Angels who rule over those elements to help the practitioner summon the element. The LBRP is healthy and balanced elemental work and imagination/will work at the same time! Its SUCH a genius ritual because it takes what would take years getting through an old manuscript on elemental work and makes it all compact into one ritual. It turns what would be a 30 minute meditation on the element (this would have to be done for each element) and the attributes of the element into a ritual that would only take a couple of minutes. This is why its so important to the outer order, its what makes the Magician, a Magician! and prepares them for evocation, etc.

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