THE LESSER RITUAL OF THE PENTAGRAM
1. Touching the forehead say Ateh (Unto Thee).
2. Touching the breast say Malkuth (The Kingdom).
3. Touching the right shoulder, say ve-Geburah (and the
4. Touching the left shoulder, say ve-Gedulah (and the
5. Clasping the hand upon the breast, say le-OLAHM,
AMEN, (To the Ages, Amen). 7
6 From Crowley's Liber O, part IV, in Magick in Theory and Practice (New
York: Magickal Childe, 1990), p. 379.
6. Turning to the East, make a pentagram (that of Earth)
with the proper weapon (usually the Wand). Say (i.e., vibrate)
7. Turning to the South, the same, but say ADNI (Adonai).
8. Turning to the West, the same, but say AHIH (Eheieh).
9. Turning to the North, the same, but say AGLA (Agla).
10. Extend the arms in the form of a cross say (see Sign of
Osiris Slain in figure 3 on page 62),
11. Before me Raphael;
12. Behind me Gabriel;
13. On my right hand, Michael.
14. On my left hand, Auriel;8
15. For about me flames the Pentagram,
16. And in the Column stands the six-rayed Star.9
17-21. Repeat the Qabalistic Cross (1 to 5)
VIBRATION OF THE DIVINE NAMES
Once the Lesser Banishing ritual of the Pentagram has been
committed to memory the Magician should then learn to
"vibrate" the Divine Names in the quarters rather than simply
say them. Crowley gave detailed instructions in Part III
of Liber O from which we quote:
a) Stand with arms outstretched.10
b) Breathe in deeply through the nostrils, imagining
the name of the God desired entering with the
c) Let that name descend slowly from the lungs to
the heart, the solar plexus, the navel, the generative
organs, and so to the feet.
d) The moment that it appears to touch the feet,
quickly advance the left foot about 12 inches, throw
forward the body, and let the hands (drawn back
to the side of the eyes) shoot out, so that you are
standing in the typical position of the God Horus11,
and at the same time imagine the Name as rushing
up and through the body, while you breathe it out
through the nostrils with the air which has been till
then retained in the lungs. All this must be done
with all the force of which your are capable.
e) Then withdraw the left foot, and place the right
forefinger12 upon the lips, so that you are in the
characteristic position of the God Harpocrates.
f) It is a sign that the student is performing this correctly
when a single "Vibration" entirely exhausts
his physical strength. It should cause him to grow
hot all over or to perspire violently, and it should so
weaken him that he will find it difficult to remain
It is a sign of success, though only by the student he is
it perceived, when he hears the name of God vehemently
roared forth, as if by the concourse of ten thousand thunders;
and it should appear to him as if that Great Voice proceeded
from the Universe, and not from himself.
You are supposed to be standing at the intersection
of the paths of Samekh and Pe. You are facing
Tiphareth (the Sun), thus on your right hand is
Netzach (Venus) on your left hand Hod (Mercury),
and behind you Yesod (the Moon).
You take one step with the right heel in the hollow
of the left foot towards Tiphareth and vibrate the
Divine Name as given in the ritual. You then carry
round the point of the Wand towards Netzach, then
take a step again (always recovering after each for
ward step so that you remain in the centre) and
vibrating the Divine Name as before.
Continue the process facing Yesod and vibrating;
then Hod, and vibrating; but carry the point of the
Wand round to Tiphareth so as to complete the circle.
As you vibrate the Divine Name the angels, as
given in the ritual, appear, (note well that they
should appear and if the ritual is properly performed
You are thus standing in a Column which is protected
by your microcosmic invocation. The consequent
result, being macrocosmic response, is that
without any effort on your part the hexagram or
sixfold star appears both above and below you.
(Note the equilibration 5 = 6.)
In this way you are completely shut off from the
outer and Qliphotic parts of the universe.
Get well into your mind the realization of this
Column with its surrounding pentagrams and its
hexagrams above and below you. Continuous practice
is essential if you are to perform this ritual as
It is particularly important not to slur any part of it;
to visualize clearly and cleanly the forces invoked,
with the exception of the Divine Being, who will
not appear, in the ordinary course of events, for
such slight cause.
You can figure out for yourself the forms of the
angels, or rather archangels. For instance, Raphael
commencing with an "R" will have a head of solar
glory and the Pe which follows shows that the rest
of him is martial: the "Al" which concludes the
name (in the case of most angelic beings) indicates
that they wield the sword and the balance.
• • •
Once the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the vibrations of
the God Names have been perfected the student should then
master all the variations13 of the Greater Ritual of the
Pentagram. Unlike the Lesser Pentagram Ritual which provides
a simple cleansing and centering function, this ceremony
taps a far deeper strata of the elemental world and is
the key to the opening and closing of what is known as the
Elemental Watchtowers of the Universe.
The basic formula embodied in the Greater Ritual also provides
the fundamental knowledge necessary for the practice of other
branches of the art, including Enochian Magick and Goetia.
The version appearing below is the simplest format constructed
from the information outlined in Crowley's Liber O.
More elaborate versions utilizing additional material such
as Enochian words and the Kerubic symbols of the zodiac
can be found in numerous other texts, but we feel the student
would be best served by mastering the essentials first.
The first thing one notices about the Greater Pentagram
Ritual is its similarity to the Lesser Ritual. It opens with the
same Qabalistic Cross and ends with the same invocation of
the Archangels. But here the similarity ends.
Each quarter is ruled by a different element (East-Air,
South-Fire, West-Water, and North Earth14) and each is activated
by two Pentagrams.
The first is a Spirit Pentagram [an active Pentagram in
the quarters of the active elements of Air (East) and Fire
(South); and a passive Pentagram in the quarters of the passive
elements of Water (West) and Earth (North)]. By correctly
creating this Pentagram, the Magician unlocks the door
to the elemental universe and announces to the spiritual
inhabitants of each quarter his or her authority to command
The second is the elemental Pentagram of the quarter
(Air in the East, Fire in the South, Water in the West, and
Earth in the North). By correctly creating this Pentagram,
the Magician exercises that authority to either invoke or banish
the elemental spirits of the quarter.
After each of these Pentagrams is "drawn," the Magician
then symbolically proclaims his or her dominion of the quarter
by making the proper sign or gesture appropriate to the
element in question. TThese gestures (which are described in
the text of the ritual) are the characteristic Signs of the Grades
of the original Golden Dawn Degree structure (see figure 3 on
(The Grade of the Portal, is particularly attributed to
the element of Spirit; it refers to the Sun; the paths
of Samech, Resh and Tzaddi are attributed to this
Degree. See "777" lines 6 and 31 bis).
(The Grade of 4° = 7° is particularly attributed to the
element Fire; it refers to the Planet Venus; the paths
of Qoph, Ayin and Pe are attributed to this degree.
For other attributions see "777" lines 7 and 31).
(The Grade of 3° = 8D is particularly attributed to the
element of water; it refers to the planet Mercury; the
paths of Resh and Shin are attributed to this degree.
For other attributions see "777" lines 8 and 23).
(The Grade of 2° = 9 n is particularly attributed to
the element Air; it refers to the Moon, the path of
Tau is attributed to this degree For other attributions
see "777" lines 9 and 11).
(The Grade of 1° = 10° is particularly attributed to
the element of Earth. See "777" lines 10 and 32 Bis).15
It is important to always remember that, on the magical
plane, symbols are living things, and living things are symbols.
Therefore it is essential that the signs be made properly
and with the full intent of the Magician of transforming
his or her body into a living symbol. In the Greater Ritual of
the Pentagram, these signs are indicative of the elements,
but in more advanced rituals they can represent even greater
and more profound concepts.
The version which follows is formatted for a general
invocation of each element in its appropriate quarter. A comparable
banishing ceremony is accomplished by following
the same procedure but utilizing Banishing Pentagrams.
Even though a great deal of elemental energy is generated by
this ritual, it is done safely because the active and passive
nature of the elements and their position in the circle tend
to balance each other off quite nicely. (Active Air in the East
is balanced by passive Water in the West, active Fire in the
South is balanced by passive Earth in the North.)