For December’s question of the month we answer the question can you do the Lesser Banishing Ritual anywhere anytime?
The quick answer is yes. This is especially true once you have mastered the ritual and know it inside and out by heart. Even so, if you are a beginner, it is highly recommended that you perform the LBRP in the physical world – at least until you know it, the words, and visualizations that go along with it by heart.
The Power of Ritual Comes from the Will – Not the Tools
Many people think that in order to perform a ritual one must have all the tools and that they must wait for a specific day or moon, and so forth. This is simply not true. The tools you use only serve to direct energy. They in and of themselves do not create or make anything happen. The energy is already present both in our physical world and in the nonphysical world. When we do a ritual or magic spell we collect and direct that energy – but we do not typically create new energy.
It’s the inner will of the one performing the ritual which both creates and allows things to happen. When one uses their inner will to direct energy to manifest any type of result – this is technically what is called magick.
We spell magick in this case with a “k” instead of just a “c” to differentiate between stage magic and sleight of hand or illusions and real-world magick or the use of the will to manifest and/or create results.
Once a person is proficient in the workings of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, they can simply do it in their mind no matter where they are. They don’t have to perform it in the physical world for it to be effective. Performing in on the mental plane will be equally as effective as performing it in the physical and material world.
Why This is True
There is an old hermetic law that essentially says “As above, so below.” The implications of this are many. For our purposes, in today’s discussion, it’s important to understand that what you do on one plane of existence equally impacts and effects the other planes of existence.
Thus, if you can do a ritual mentally with the correct emotions and spiritual focus, it will act as though it has occurred within the physical realm even without doing anything in the physical realm.
This is the reason thought forms are so dangerous. When we think negative thoughts, be it about another person or ourselves, we are throwing that energy around and that energy is impacting others. This is true regardless of if we consciously are trying to do it or not.
This is one reason magic practitioners would do well to practice some form of consistent meditation. To keep the mind clear and calm and the emotions under control.
The Dangers of Mental Rituals
Where people get into trouble is when they don’t really know a ritual well enough to be able to clearly see themselves and all the visualizations that go along with it. They also get themselves into trouble by losing concentration and focus or by trying to perform a ritual while emotionally vulnerable or unstable. These are all magikcal no-no’s.
A magick ritual or spell should never be attempted when in a highly unstable emotional state. The ungrounded emotions can cause effects that one may not find desirable.
Likewise, if the mind is cloudy it is also not a great idea to work with magick. Again, doing so may at best cause the work to fail or be incomplete and at worse, it may cause undesirable consequences.
The reason students are encouraged to practice a ritual on the physical plane with all the ritual tools is so they can both truly learn the ritual, and also so that the ritual tools can help them to keep their focus and better direct the energies that they are working with.
A person can, does, and will eventually reach a level of proficiency where the physical world tools are not needed nor required to be able to successfully work with a ritual.
A Special Note for the Religious Minded
Though it is unlikely that many religious minded folks have read this far into this article, I would still like to close with some food for thought. For the religious among us, the concept we are talking about here is a lot like praying and similar considerations should be kept in mind.
Do you have to be in a Church or say a prayer out loud for it to be effective? No, of course not. It’s the intention that is put behind the prayer that makes the difference. However, some people certainly feel more comfortable and better aligned doing it in a Church or saying it out loud. Just as some people are going to feel better doing a magick based ritual in the physical world and saying its words out loud.
Should you only pray when you are upset? No, absolutely not. In fact, you will get a great deal more out of the praying experience if you make prayer an integral part of your daily life and not something you turn to just in moments of pain, unrest, and sadness. Likewise, those who practice magick will find they have better results when they integrate their practices into their daily life as opposed to just running to it when they feel they need it.
You will also find prayer having a more profound impact upon your life when it is used in moments of stillness and clarity. Likewise for the magick practitioner.
Magick is prayer and prayer is magick. They are one and the same. Though many will argue this point and have historically for a long time, they are in essence the same energy as practiced by different religions/belief systems.