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Last night was the first night I actually managed to do the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and actually got the formless fire. The visualization books make it sound so easy – Just draw some pentagrams and see them in some colors and you’ve done it!

That’s bunk.

Anyone who is even reasonably experienced will tell you that’s bunk. The outer work is just that, an expression. The inner work is what actually makes it effective. To this end I got the idea that maybe I shouldn’t be walking around the bedroom with my knife and wand and swinging cod and I should be doing this “in the astral”. Also of note, my body was pretty tired but I was in the condition where my mind was still reasonably quick.

My previous problems with this were twofold: The evocation of the Archangels had left me with too many shades of Christianity, and it’s way too easy to get wrapped up in the Golden Dawn style attributions and colors and visualizations. Being an engineer in real life, I have a strong attention to detail. This also means when I try to learn something, I pay way too much attention to the detail. The nu-sphere per Rodney Orpheus in Abrahadabra was the tipping point – while I completely flip flopped on the LBRP, the nu-sphere generated the “cleaning” experience it’s supposed to generate. I then took that and used the LBRP as it appears in By Names and Images and it was fantastic.

This was one of these nasty places where I had all the pieces and I couldn’t make it fit. I knew the QC worked, I had the Nu-Sphere, but I didn’t have a working, complete ritual. I’m still of the opinion that the Evocation of the Archangels is an outmodel, so that doesn’t count. My opinion here also has changed drastically, sometimes I feel like it’s an attempt to legitimize the ritual to Christian eyes and sometimes I agree the Archangels are actually much older Gods. I digress. In Names and Images, the formula is given as “Visualize the LIGHT OF GOD above you, and vibrate ATEH while yearning for the embrace of GOD” or similar. This is why that book is a gold mine. It tells you the Word of Power, it tells you the visualization, but then it also tells you the emotional state you’re supposed to reach. In short it’s attention to detail brings the complete and successful experience. It heightened my QC a little, I was already comfortable with it. But then using the LBRP as an actual banishing, using the power raised from the QC, in the astral I can only say it looked like fire.

With the light flowing, the energy was seen as black a white, like electricity moving across a surface or through space, flowing and flashing about. Or perhaps it was the light of stars, flitting about the universe in a dense fluid, each with their own vector. Upon drawing the pentagram it organized itself first into a many pointed geometric shape and then the pentagram “stabilized” as flashing, electrical color. The line was carried to the next pentagram, et al. Once I had established a “clean” space I did the QC again and the power this time replaced the old light (which until now I assumed was “clean”) and was clearly more potent and aligned with the universe at large. I pretty much just cut the circle and sat there admiring it, I have to say I was a bit dumbfounded to the point of forgetting the evocation of the archangels.

Every time I do this I get myself deeper into the groove. I would suggest for anyone who’s struggling to figure out how to get here – go buy a book. I started with Kraig’s Modern Magick. If that doesn’t speak to you, go buy another one. Although I think you can hardly go wrong with By Names and By Images, I realize the Golden Dawn isn’t for everyone. The point is – practice, practice, practice.

Who else prefers to work in the astral instead of dancing about the room?

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