RITUS OLYMPICUS PENTAGRAMMOU MINOR AD EXPELLENDUM
(c) 1993, John Opsopaus
The following is an adaptation of the Lesser Banishing Ritual
of the Pentagram to the Graeco-Roman Tradition, and so it is
called the "Olympic Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram."
Such a "translation" is possible because the LBRP is an
enactment in a Qabalistic framework of certain shamanic
practices that are nearly universal. Once the underlying
shamanic cosmology has been identified, it's relatively
straight-forward to reexpress the ritual in the terms of
another cosmology, such as the Graeco-Roman.
I would welcome criticism of the result, especially from
Qabalists and Ceremonial Magicians. Criticism/correction of
my Latin and Greek composition will also be appreciated.
Finally, I beg readers to forgive the Early Modern English,
which I've used to add dignity to the text.
The Ritual follows in summary form; a separate posting will
contain a fully annotated text. This information should make
clear which aspects of the ritual follow from Ancient
Tradition, which come from more recent Magical Traditions, and
which are a result of my speculation or arbitrary choice; such
information is all too often missing from Neopagan recon-
structions. If anyone knows of a similar adaptation, please
let me know.
Gratias vobis ago,
The Olympic Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
The Traditional Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
Adapted to the Graeco-Roman Tradition
(c)1993, John Opsopaus
I. The Opening Tau Cross
i. Close thine eyes, and by thy breath fan thou the Fire,
which awakeneth the Serpent and the Eagle. Allow thyself to
grow beyond all bounds of space, until the Universe is
within thee. Be thou as a God; be thou as a Goddess.
ij. Draw thou down the Fire of Heaven into thy Heart, and
"From Celestial Fire"
"Ab Igne Caelesti"
"Apo tou Ouraniou Puros"
[)Apo tou= )Oura/niou Puros/]
[Suggested gestures for the preceding step: Raise your arms
into a horizontal, cross position, with palms up (in Celestial
Invocation). Bring them together above your head, palm to
palm, and then draw the Celestial Fire down to your heart,
while saying "From Celestial Fire."]
[The words to be spoken by the practitioner are given in
English, Latin and Greek. In an attempt to combine
readability and accuracy, I've given the Greek text two ways,
in a simple but approximate Roman transcription, and in "Beta
code," a standard ASCII representation of Greek including all
the accents, breathings, etc. Beta code transcriptions are
enclosed in square brackets. The Beta code transcriptions
should be reasonably comprehensible with the following
information: ")" and "(" represent smooth and rough
breathing, respectively; "/", "&" and "=" represent acute,
grave and circumflex accents, respectively; "|" is iota
iij. Guide thou the bright Beam downward, until it stirreth
the Subterranean Waters of the Abyss and bringeth Them to
life; and while so doing, say thou:
"To Watery Abyss"
"Ad Aquosum Profundum"
"Eis ten Hudroessan Abusson"
[)Eiss thnn (Udro/essan )/Abusson]
[Suggested gesture: Keep the palms together and move them
down in front of the groin. Then separate the hands and hold
them to the sides and slightly forward, with palms down (in
iv. Direct thou the beam from thy heart through thy left
shoulder, until it stretcheth to the Moon, and say:
"By Way of Earth"
"Kat' Hodon Chthonion"
[Kat' (Odonn Xqo/nion]
[Suggested gesture: Raise the left hand up to your chest;
then extend your arm into horizontal position, with the palm
v. Direct thou the beam from thy heart through thy right
shoulder, until it stretcheth to the Sun, and say:
"By Way of Air"
"Kat' Hodon Aitherion"
[Kat' (Odonn )Aiqe/rion]
[Suggested gesture: Raise the right arm to the chest and then
into a horizontal position, with forward palm.]
vi. Feel thou the Sacred Tau Cross that blazeth inside
thee. Now cross thy arms over thy Heart, and say:
"Abiding always in the Center. So be it!"
"Semper in Medio manens. Esto!" or "Fiat!"
"En Omphaloi aei menon" (masc.) or "menousa" (fem.). "Esto!"
[)En )Omfalw=| a)ei me/nwn] (masc.) or [me/nousa] (fem.).
[Suggested gesture: Bring your arms together and cross them
over your chest.]
vij. As thou makest this gesture the Moon and Sun will
stand together above thy head, nor will they ever move from
there. Moon over Sun and Sun over Tau Cross; thou art the
Holy Caduceus. Thou hast become the Center of the World,
for the Cosmic Axis runneth through thy spine; on thy left
standeth the Path of the Moon, and on thy right the Path of
the Sun, above thee shineth the Cosmic Pole, below thee
lieth the Abyss.
viij. Thou standest upon the Sacred Mountain, the World
Navel, under which hideth the Watery Abyss. At thy back
groweth the Tree of Life, which stretcheth over thy head,
the Navel Cord, for the Mountain and Tree are the Cosmic
Pillar, which supporteth the four Quarters of the Heavens.
From Calypso's Cave between the Tree's roots, which
penetrate the Abyss, are the four springs, which flow to the
four Quarters of the World, and they run with water, honey,
milk and wine. Around the World Tree's trunk coileth thrice
and half again the Serpent. In the Cosmic Tree's leaves
percheth the Eagle of Zeus, guarding the Horn of Amalthea,
from which Nectar floweth into the Libation Bowl, the
Bountiful Breast, which overfloweth, raining Nectar on the
World. Ambrosia floweth up the trunk of the Tree from the
Deep. Illumination cometh from Above and Growth cometh from
Below. The World Tree is the Tree of Destiny and Its leaves
are the Book of Fate, for as they fall, so fall to earth the
winged souls of the folk, ever singing in its foliage.
ix. Divine Helen, Leto's Daughter, with large breasts,
liveth in the Bountiful Cosmic Tree, for she is Its Spirit;
and Her Brothers, the Dioskouroi, Sons of Zeus [Dios Kouroi]
the All-Shining [Pamphaes], the Heavenly Twins of Leto,
command the Sacred Paths on either side. For Castor, who
resideth underground, knoweth the Lunar Discipline and
controlleth the Way of Descent, and Polydeuces, who liveth
above, is Master of the Solar Discipline and controlleth the
Way of Ascent.
x. For learn thou this about the Way of Ascent. It is
under the jurisdiction of Zeus, the Sky Shaker, who giveth
fertilizing rain and nourishing sunlight. He holdeth the
Lightning Bolt of Illumination, and His lightning descendeth
from the Sky. The Way of Ascent is to climb Scylla's
Mountain, which riseth into the clouds, nor can its peak
ever be seen. Prometheus or Apollo will show thee the Way.
Thy Helper in this journey is the Horse Pegasos, but also
the Soaring Eagle, Dove and Goose. Then wilt thou break
through the Vault of the Heaven, and going through the
Celestial Pole thou wilt ascend the Heavens. For this is
the Way of Light, the Path by Day, the Sun's Way, the Path
of the Sage.
xi. And learn thou this about the Way of Descent. It is
under the jurisdiction of Poseidon, the Earth Shaker, who
giveth fresh water from springs, but also floods and
earthquakes. He holdeth the Trident of Ecstasy and His
lightning leapeth up from the Earth. The Way of Descent is
by the precipice opposite Scylla's cliff, which is the lower
of the two, and from it groweth the Sacred Fig Tree. Climb
thou down from this Tree to Charybdis, by which thou wilt be
drawn into the Watery Abyss. Circe or Herakles will show
thee the Way past the Dog and Gatekeeper. Thy Helper in
this journey is the Serpent Python, but also the Raging Lion
and Bull. Then wilt thou break through the Vault of the
Abyss and, going down the Well, thou wilt descend through
its levels. For this is the Way of Darkness, the Path by
Night, the Moon's Way, the Path of the Mage.
xij. But the Wise know that the Way Up and the Way Down are
the same, for they are both on the Cosmic Pillar, and
sometimes our task demandeth that we go up it, and sometimes
it demandeth that we go down it. When Duty calleth, we
travel by Day or Night as is the need. Ask thou Hermes for
guidance, for he frequenteth the Navel.
II. Pentagrams of the Quarters
xiij. This is the way thou wilt draw the Shining Pentagrams
that wardeth each Quarter. The first ray goeth from the
lower left to the top, and each ray continueth from the
last. And as thou makest each ray, sing a letter of the
Name of the Pentagram.
xiv(a). In Greek the Pentagram hath the Name HUGIEIA
[U(GI/EIA], which meaneth Soundness or Wholeness, so sing
thou the sounds:
"Huuuuuuu, Gggggggg, Iiiiiiih, Aaaaaay, Aaaaaaah."
xiv(b). In Latin the Pentagram hath the Name SALUS, which
meaneth Soundness or Welfare, so sing thou the sounds:
"Ssssssss, Aaaaaaah, Llllllll, Uuuuuuuu, Ssssssss."
xiv(c). Though in English we label the Pentagram WHOLE or
SOUND, its spoken Name is WHOLENESS, so sing thou the
"Hooooooo, Llllllll, Nnnnnnnn, Eeeeeeeh, Ssssssss."
xv. Now go thou to the East and make the Pentagram. As
"Jupiter" or "Zeus"
hurl thou His Thunderbolt through the center of the
Pentagram, and see it fly away to Infinity.
[Iuno / Hera [(/Hra] might also be appropriate for the East
(She is not an Earth Goddess), in which case you should throw
Her Cuckoo-bearing Sceptre, which represents the Celestial
Spirit nesting on the top of the World Tree. (Zeus first came
to Hera in the form of a Cuckoo.)]
xvi. Now with thy Staff forge thou the Fiery Ring, drawing
it from the center of the Eastern Pentagram and stretching
it to the South, where thou wilt make another Pentagram, but
"Vesta" or "Hestia"
"Vesta" [pron. "Westa"]
and throw thou Her Burning Circle.
xvij. Then to the West:
"Neptune" or "Poseidon"
Hurl thou His Trident.
xviij. Then to the North:
"Ceres" or "Demeter"
"Ceres" [pron. "Keres"]
Throw thou Her Torch.
[Pluto / Hades [(/Aidhs] would also be appropriate for the
North, in which case his Helmet of Invisibility should be
projected through the Pentagram. Hades' name may mean "the
Unseen" ["(/Aidhs" < "a) idh/s"].]
xix. Then draw thou the Fiery Ring back to its beginning,
so it burneth on every side. Then will the Barrier expand
above and below until thou art surrounded by the Glowing
[When projecting the Four Weapons through the Pentagrams, the
practitioner might find it helpful to make an appropriate
gesture: as though throwing a dart for Zeus's Keraunos, as
though throwing a frisbee for Hestia's Burning Ring, as though
throwing a javelin for Poseidon's Trident, as though throwing
a knife for Demeter's Torch.]
III. Wards of the Quarters
xx. Now raise again thy arms so thou art the Sacred Tau and,
focusing thine attention before thee (Eastward), say:
Apollo will appear before thee in all His Glory, Bow in hand,
facing thee. Then will He turn His back to watch the Eastern
[Mercurius/Hermes [(Ermh=s], with His Caduceus, would also be
appropriate for the East.]
xxi. West: Focusing thine attention behind thee, say:
Artemis will appear with Her Bow. Then will She turn away to
watch the West.
[Venus/Aphrodite [)Afrodi/th], arising from the waves and
holding Her Zona (Girdle), would also be appropriate for the
xxij. South: Focusing thine attention to thy right, say:
"On the right, Minerva/Athena"
Athena will appear with Her Aegis and Spear, and turn to
watch the South.
[Mars / Ares [)/Arhs] (with Shield and Sword) or Volcanus /
Hephaistos [(/Hfaistos] (with Hammer and Tongs) would also be
appropriate for the South; Mars was also an Italic vegetation
God, and so might be evoked in the North.]
xxiij. North: Focusing thine attention to thy left, say:
"On the left, Bacchus/Dionysos"
"Ep' aristera, Dionusos"
[)Ep' a)ristera/, Dio/nusos]
Dionysus will appear with His Thyrsus, and then turn to
watch the North.
[Pan [Pa/n], with His Pipes, would also be appropriate for the
North. Pan may seem an unlikely Ward, but when Athens honored
Him and asked Him to help defend them from the Persians, he
did so (Herodt. VI.105.2-3).]
xxiv. In thy mind, thank all the Wards of the Quarters for
IV. The Macrocosm in the Microcosm
xxv. Spread thy feet apart and assume thou the form of the
Sacred Pentagram, which Pythagoras hath called Hugieia
(Salus, Whole/Sound). When the Pentagram flameth around
"For around flameth the Pentagram."
"Nam circa flagrat Pentagrammon."
"Peri men gar phlegei to Pentagrammon"
[Peri menn garr fle/gei to Penta/grammon]
[If you prefer "For around flame the Pentagrams," then use:
"Nam circa flagrant Pentagramma"
"Peri men gar phlegousi ta Pentagramma"
[Peri menn garr fle/gousi ta Penta/gramma]
xxvi. When the Sacred Hexagram shineth within thee, say:
"And within shineth the Six-rayed Star."
"Atque intra lucet Stella Sexradiata."
"Entos de lampei ho Hexaktinotos Aster."
[)Entoss de la/mpei o( E(caktinwtoss )Asth/r.]
[If you prefer your Hexagram shining above rather than within,
then say "super" instead of "intra," or "Huper" [(Upe/r]
instead of "Entos." However, I think it's better to have it
within (see the notes for the reason).]
xxvij. The Pentagram signifieth the Microcosm, and the
Hexagram signifieth the Macrocosm. Thus the Macrocosm
shineth within the Illuminated Microcosm.
V. The Closing Tau Cross
xxviij. Repeat thou the Tau Cross as it was at the beginning.
[The following alternative gestures incorporate the relation
of the elements embodied in the Hexagram: As you recite the
text of the Tau Cross, (1) begin with arms crossed, right over
left, on your chest; (2) raise your right arm to the Celestial
Fire, (3) lower your left arm to the Watery Abyss, (4) let the
Fire draw up the Water to yield Earth, by moving your left arm
up to your chest and out to the left, the Way of Earth; (5)
let the Water draw down the Fire to yield Air, by moving your
right arm down to your chest and out to your right, the Way of
Air; (6) cross your arms over your chest, indicating the
Reconciliation, Union and Balance of the Oppositions (Bivium),
Worlds (Trivium) and Elemental Quarters (Quadrivium). I must
admit, however, that these gestures seem somewhat awkward.]
xxix. Thou hast made for thyself a Sacred Space at the
World's Navel. Ascending on thy Right is the Light Path and
descending on thy Left is the Dark Path, but remember thou
that the Wise One knoweth that the Way Up and the Way Down are
the same and that together they make the one Path of Wisdom.
So must it be.
Next: The Farmer And The Goddess - A Modern Story Of Rebirth (Kalioppe)