(-Crowley, Magick, p. 104)
'The first part of every ceremony is the banishing; the second the invoking.'
It may be said that ritual is the very heart of magick. For it is through ritual that we achieve our magical results. Ritual is a magical procedure or ceremony we perform in order to change the environment. Usually we think of ritual as bearing on active magick, although certainly, it can also affect passive magick. Most often the change achieved is subjective (it may be subtle) and in the physical world. Outsiders may put them down to coincidence, but the effects are very real. Magical goals for a ritual should not be taken lightly.
The successful practice of magick depends upon strong belief. The simplest ritual of them all must be belief itself. If you can believe in your desired results strongly enough, that act is a magical ritual which will achieve your results. Even a very complex ritual is no more effective than strong belief. There are aids to concentration which may help. Thus in *creative visualization*, imagination and controlled breathing are brought into play.
When you want to magically achieve something, first picture it clearly in your mind. The more definite and specific your idea of what it is the better. Picture yourself having it or doing it. Visualize it as vividly and as intensely as you can and hold it in your thoughts for a few
moments. Concentrate on it intensely (it may help to hold your breath). Feel the energy of desire welling up inside you. Then suddenly feel the image or desire released from your mind. Feel the energy filtering through the image and intensifying it, as if the image is a 'stencil'. Imagine the energy exploding out from you into the macrocosm in all directions at once, and feel the universe 'tilt' as it reacts to the force. (At the same time it may help to release your breath suddenly). Feel the energy draining from you. Finally, *believe* that your purpose *has* been accomplished; that it HAS HAPPENED, perhaps saying something such as "so mote it be", or "it is done".
Often rituals are more formal than the above, but any full magick ritual must always reduce to these stages - 1) imaging; 2) building; 3) firing. Sometimes a ritual must be repeated every day for a while to achieve difficult results or to overcome weak belief.
Often an important part of formal ritual is the magick circle. Medieval magicians considered the circle essential, and placed great emphasis upon its exactness. Elaborate designs were invented with many layers of complex symbols and words. It was very important that the circle
be completely intact with no breaks in it. The magician and any other participants stand in the circle during ritual. The ritual began with a banishing of evil forces (using the lesser ritual of the pentagram for example) to keep them outside the circle. Today, circles are made on the floor with chalk or paint, rock salt, or a rope. Whatever its form, the circle is still an important part of magical protection for the magician. This is especially important for aversive entities and purposes. The circle also helps in focusing the energy of the ritual toward its purpose, that is, it keeps it contained until the magician is ready to release it. Of course, the magick circle is basically only a symbol, but it may eventually be possible to supplement the circle with electronic equipment for a similar purpose. We are researching the practicality of electrostaticly charged Faraday shields.
An artificial elemental is useful for certain tasks: 1) invisible watcher and observer, telling you what it sees; 2) psychic guard; 3) it can be used in healing; 4) it is helpful in other ways. Ophiel calls the artificial elemental a 'familiar'. Producing your own artificial elemental is fairly easy. YOU MUST ASSUME THAT THE ACT HAS PRODUCED RESULTS, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT IMMEDIATELY OBSERVE THEM. It is entirely possible to produce one of these little beasties and not know it (not being clairvoyant enough to
observe it directly). Therefore, and this is a general principle of any magick, never ignore forces you have set into motion. Even though you may not see the elemental, you may nevertheless 'feel' it.
WARNING - Do not use artificial elementals for any kind of aversive magick at this point; they can be nasty little critters to get rid of. Should you have to eliminate one of them which you created in error, you must re-absorb it back into yourself through your will; or in some cases you can 'exorcise' it.
You can create your own artificial elemental for various purposes. An artificial elemental is basically a thoughtform which has been strengthened with emotion. Refer to the aura color chart in the previous lesson and decide what color to make the elemental, based upon your intended purpose. Apple green is a good choice for general purposes.
Then decide on a shape or outline. Do you want your elemental to resemble some sort of animal? A simple circle or cloud is a good place to start. With this in mind you can use ritual to create your elemental. Creative visualization is good for this. Visualize it glowing before you. A darkened room is helpful for this.
Communicate with your elemental with telepathy, by talking to it, or with creative visualization. Your artificial elemental is closely linked to you and your subconscious attitudes. It will generally not do things you think it cannot do. As in any magick, results relate to effort and belief. Another way of looking at an artificial elemental is as an aspect of your personality (sub personality) which has been detached from you.
Formal ritual usually involves the invocation (ritually calling up) of a god or goddess, spirit, or other entity. In this sense, magick is somewhat similar to pagan religion and witchcraft. However, we consider magick ritual a technique, not a religion. Worship need not be involved.
Sometimes the invocation of an entity creates an artificial elemental.
Crowley says there are three different kinds of invocation -
Because of the microcosm-macrocosm identity, when you invoke the gods, you are invoking aspects of yourself. Jung has referred to the gods as primitive archetypes. This makes it sound like spiritual entities are illusions. But in fact the microcosm-macrocosm identity does not discredit the gods and goddesses. It instead helps to illustrate our relationship to the cosmos.
Phil Hansford, 4/88
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Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.
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