Instructions for the Magickal Retirement
You must first learn this ritual by memory so that you can speak the words
and perform the gestures freely and without hesitation of memory.
The retirement is for three days and three nights, in a location where
there are no distractions. You can drink water but eat no food. If deemed
necessary for your well-being, you may take nourishment in liquid form
The ritual and your written record in your blank book marked “Book
of [insert your Magickal Name]” is to be performed eight times daily, at
one or one and one-half hour intervals. You may arrange this schedule
in two parts so that you may have a siesta period. Do not neglect to
write your record of impressions after each ritual.
In those cases where one could not be free from worldly duties for the
stated period, there was a concession of two days and nights, but the rituals were increased to eleven times daily. There were a few cases where
the limit of free time was just Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday—
seventeen rituals required.
Small table or box that is covered with a purple cloth, upon which is
placed a lighted incense burner. A copy of the ritual may be placed here
for emergency reference.
None. The extended thumb between clenched fingers is the “Wand.”
The right thumb is now to be always regarded as the “Magick Wand.”
All Signs and Gestures
- Sign of Opening of the Temple—Palms open, fingers extended, arms held
overhead in the form of an inverted triangle. Then drop the palms
and fingers before the eyes; then raise them back up in the original
Sign of Closing of the Temple—The same sign, except that the three-part
motion begins with palms and fingers before the eyes, then overhead,
then back to the original position.
- Sign of Veneration or Eagle Sign—Arms crossed over chest, left palm over
right shoulder and right palm over left shoulder, with the two thumbs
interlocked. This is the “Eagle” sign, which means Countenance be-
Sign of the Enterer—Lunge forward on the left foot and extend the arms
straight forward, fingers extended. Hold this position while speaking
the “Enochian Words.”
Receiving or Welcoming Sign—Straddle the legs widely apart, sideways; extend the arms above the head in a half circle.
Clothes During Ritual
The clothing should be something different than one’s customary apparel. This is a reminder that the operation is apart from one’s worldly
Light well the charcoal cake (obtained from a church supply house or
New Age shop) and place a generous amount of the mixed resins in the
center of the lighted cake.
5 parts Olibanum (Frankincense)
1 part Storax
1⁄2 part Lignum Aloes
Signs Used at the Four Corners of the Circle
These are the trigrams derived from the eight Pa Kua of the Yi King,
given forth circa 3000 B.C. by the great initiate, Fu Hsi.
Operation of the Retirement Ritual
Make the Sign of the Opening of the Temple.
- Pace slowly three times around the circle while holding the concentrated thought that the circle is encompassing all good magick forces and is excluding all distractions and whatever alien forces.
- Go to the center and say: “Let the rituals be rightly performed
with joy and beauty.”
- Go to the EAST corner and trace with the “wand” the trigram of
AIR, visualized as glowing yellow.
Make the Sign of the Enterer, saying: “Great Elemental of Air, I
unite with Thee.”
- Make the Sign of Welcome, saying: “Great Yellow Powers of Air,
come thou forth and aid and guard me in this work of art.”
Go to the SOUTH corner and repeat steps Four
through Six above, except that the sign is the trigram
of FIRE seen in red, and the name is changed to Great
Go to the WEST corner and repeat as above, except
the sign is the Blue trigram of WATER.
Go to the NORTH corner and repeat as above, except
the sign is the Green EARTH.
Go to the center, clap hands together in a rhythm of 1—3—3—3—1, a total of eleven claps.
Make a circle (with wand) above the head, crying: “Nuit.”
- Touch the wand (thumb) to the Muladhara (sex chakra), crying:
- Touch the wand to the center of the Breast, crying: “Ra—Hoor—
- Now visualize yourself as being enclosed in a great silver cone
that extends in great height above you. Project your consciousness higher and higher in the cone, saying: “Great Goddess Babalon, carry me safely and closer to my Divine Genius, my immortal Daemon, my Holy Guardian Angel.” Let this be done slowly
and also lasting long enough that you do not feel like enduring
the aspiration any longer.
Make the Eagle Veneration sign and hold it while saying: “I hear
and heed the words of mine Angel. My Angel tells me—I am
above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy.
To me! To me!”
- Go to the edge of the circle and say: “Now let there be a veiling
of this shrine.” Make the Sign of the Closing the Temple and say:
Now enter a record in the ritual record book, giving
an account of any thought or incidents while you performed the ritual, and also any thoughts and impressions that may come to your mind after having performed the ritual.
...[W]hat to expect from the Magickal Retirement:
In the first place, expect nothing specifically. You do not know your
own Self-created necessity in relation to the Angel or Daemon. You can
in no way command your Daemon! You may have an energized feeling
of freedom or of being rejuvenated, and it may last for many weeks. You
may have a completely empty feeling that absolutely nothing has taken
place—and this is a sure sign that something of no value has been taken
from you, which you will later realize. On the other hand, something
outstanding may manifest almost immediately. Above all things, as an
aspiring magician you must learn in your aspiration to “Lust not for
result.” To lust for result is anathema in Magick.
...Even contemplating the “severity” of this retirement ritual clarifies the
intensity of what a “shortcut” involves. In another sense, very little is
really demanded—three days, a period of fasting (that is itself probably
beneficial health-wise), and periodic rituals that are not unlike a litany
of prayers and meditations in other spiritual traditions. However, the
reality is that a real retirement like this is like going into solitary confinement for the purpose of finding your Soul.
It must be your commitment that you are to limit your whole being
to this ritual. You don’t bring books and magazines along, no games
or play things, you don’t have a radio or TV, nor any communication
device other than—for emergency only—your cell phone. And any calls
must be answered curtly and cut off as quickly as possible. You don’t
daydream, you don’t think about your job or your family, you don’t
worry about the stock market or the weather or what’s happening on
The success of the ritual is at least partially dependent upon your ability to exclude the ordinary from what may turn out to be extraordinary.
From The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G∴B∴G∴