Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Some notes on the 8-fold Banishing Ritual

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

This evening I'm going to look at the short form of the Eightfold Banishing Ritual (hence the shortened name in the title) from Maat Magick by Soror Nema. This banishing ritual (in both its extended and abbreviated forms) is fairly unique in that, rather than focusing the attention just to the four cardinal directions, it also incorporates the four midpoints between those directions. In addition to making it easier for the magician to deal with more godforms on a daily basis (and banishing rituals, if you're serious about practicing magick, should be done daily), this type of structure allows eightfold systems to be applied to the circle.

The eightfold system I'm interested in connecting to the ritual comes from the work of Leo Gillis, Trigrammaton Qabalah. Below are the 27 trigrams of TQ (here's my post introducing TQ, it will explain what I mean by 'antigram' and 'reversal').

Of these, there are precisely eight trigrams which have no lines occupied by Tao. These will be familiar to those who have studied the Ba gua.

In TQ, these trigrams are attributed to the planets - that is, the seven classical 'planets' (i.e.: including Sol and Luna, excluding Uranus, Neptune, and dwarf planets) plus Earth. While I'm not yet sure I fully agree with a few of Gillis' attributions, we will use those from his work rather than digress.

In this system, is attributed to Sol, to Saturn, to Mercury, to Venus, to Jupiter, to Earth, , and to Luna.

The attributions below also draw inspiration from Don Karr's work on the Kaballah of Ma'at. In his Tree of Ma'at, the planetary attributions of the sephiroth are switched somewhat. He attributes Mars to Hod, Saturn to Din, and Mercury to Da'ath. This gives us a middle pillar of Mercury, Sol, Luna, and Terra, Saturn opposite Jupiter, and Venus opposite Mars. While this does throw off the planetary order in the traditional Tree of Life, it has its own merits in the Trigrammaton system.

Notice that Saturn is opposite Jupiter , and the two are reversals of one another. Similarly Mars is opposite Venus , and they are also reversals of one another. The middle pillar, Mercury , Sol , Luna , and Terra , consists solely of trigrams which are identical to their reversals. Further, there's a line of reflection between Sol and Luna such that Sol and Luna, and Mercury and Terra, are antigrams.

Now let's look at the directional attributions in the 8-fold ritual. In the South, we have Shaitan, which etymologically we can attribute to Saturn. Next comes Hoor-Pa-Kraat, which Gerard del Campo attributes to Jupiter, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, which he attributes to Mars. (In his system, the two correspond Din and Hesed, and Heru-Ra-Ha, of which they are aspects, corresponds to Tiphareth.) Hadit, the winged disk, seems reasonable to attribute to Sol, and Nuit to Luna. Ma'at, whose current synthesizes the earthy magick of Wicca and similar traditions with the Thelemic current, can be attributed to Earth. Babalon, the perfect virgin and utter whore, fits nicely with Venus. And finally, Aiwass, as the minister of Hoor-Pa-Kraat, fits nicely with Mercury, emissary of Jupiter. The order we have then is Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Terra, Venus, Mercury. With the exception of the Sun's position, this is a perfect listing of the planets in terms of decreasing maximum distance from the Sun. The Sun, rather than being between Mercury and Saturn, is right in the middle, in its traditional place before Mars. When it comes to the trigrams the arrangement is perfectly disordered, with every pair of reversals and antigrams reflected off a different axis.

In truth, the trigrams aren't particularly pivotal to the arrangement of the ritual itself, but they do provide a basis for including Earth to give us 8 planets. The best thing about attributing the planets to the 8 directions is probably not contained in the eightfold banishing itself - rather, it opens the door for a new system of directions to be used in planetary rituals.

Finally, I'd like to express a point about the gesture used for Shaitan in the South. The gesture for Hoor-Pa-Kraat is the sign of silence; that of Ra-Hoor-Khuit is a modified gesture very similar to the sign of Osiris Slain, but with the fingers pointing forward; that of Hadit is a finger laid upon the Ajna, the gesture of Nuit is a wave of the hand in a rainbow gesture, indicating her shape, the gesture of Ma'at is a T shape made with the arms to suggest scales, the gesture of Babalon is the sign of Mullier from the N.O.X. signs, and the gesture of Aiwass is a stretching upward and beating on the ground, which punctuates the ritual very nicely. Why then is the gesture for Shaitan a drawing of the letter S, when all the other gestures involve creating a glyph using the body rather than making one outside the body? In my own workings of the ritual, I use the sign of Apophis and Typhon from the L.V.X. signs. The name Set is spelled שט in Hebrew, and the sign of Apophis imitates the shape of Shin. If you do the 8-fold banishing ritual, I'd love to hear your input on how it feels with the V of LVX in the Shaitan position rather than the drawn 'S' symbol.

Thanks for your time and attention, and I hope these points have helped show some tools by which to bring the eightfold banishing ritual further into your own subjective synthesis.

Love is the law, love under will.

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