How to Banish

Author: Taliesin McKnight

The first thing that one should learn to do in magick is to banish. This is a simple precautionary measure. Before conjuring things up, intentionally or unintentionally, banishing should be well understood. Banishing can be defined as cleansing an area (or person) of negative energies or entities. There are various hostile forces in the spirit world that need to be warded off at times.

There are three basic ways to get rid of negative vibrations. These techniques are used in virtually all systems of magick: Wicca, Voodoo, Santeria, ceremonial magick, to name just a few. Once the art of banishing is understood, then it can be done for others as well. After all, magick is not just about your base desires and self-glorification (sobering thought, I know!) , but about helping others. You will be a cunning man or woman, an instrument of the Divine. The three basic methods of banishing are the burning of herbs, the sprinkling of holy water, and ritual.

The burning of herbs is a very ancient form of exorcism (exorcism is another word for banishment) . But not just any herbs are used; they must be cleansing herbs! This may include such plants as vervain, onion, patchouli, and hyssop. You may now be asking yourself, do those herbs really have any power in themselves? This issue is highly debated in the occult community. Some are of the opinion that different herbs have various mystical properties, which can be harnessed and employed by the witch. Others, however, think that it is simply the belief in the mind of the practitioner that makes the employment of herbs effective. Whatever the case may be, virtually all forms of witchcraft regard herbs as highly powerful agents to be made use of in magick.

The basic technique involves burning the herbs and allowing the smoke to touch the area (or person) being cleansed. The smoke is said to drive away impurities. Warning: Do not merely use the incense sticks or cones! Many would-be magicians are conned (intentionally conned by the manufacturers) into using these. Typically, there is no herb in the incense at all. It is merely the “fragrance.” Thus, if you buy lavender incense, chances are there is no lavender in it. So try to avoid merely using the incense named after the plant.

There are various methods for procuring your herbs. The plants can be bought or grown. Most pagans like to grow their own so they can incorporate the seasonal practices of planting and harvest into it. They may also be purchased at your local metaphysical store or online. Another alternative is to simply go to the grocery store and just see what you can find. If nothing else then many of the herbs can be found in the “spices” section. Onion, garlic, black pepper, and rubbed sage are easy to find; these are all powerful herbs used for banishing. Tobacco can be blended with such herbs to help them burn. Tobacco is often used to replace sulphur in old grimoires. It is connected to Mars (the god of war) . The herbs may be burned upon charcoals. Smudge sticks are also quite popular. These are often composed of a mixture of rubbed sage and bluegrass.

The concept of holy water is found in many different systems of magick. Please note that this does not necessarily refer to holy water from a church. The use of holy water predates Christianity and is used in virtually all forms of Paganism. At its most basic, it is water mixed with sea salt. Various other formulas exist in which one mixes the water with various cleansing herbs such as sage, hyssop, and vervain. This is all up to the individual witch. The herbs are boiled in water and then are strained. This is how such herbal mixtures are made. Marie Laveau water (highly prized in New Orleans Voodoo) is one such example. It is composed of 1 cup of rainwater, 1 cup of spring water, 1 cup of lavender water, 1 cup of rose water, and holy water from a church.

Holy water should always be blessed in some way, which can be accomplished by an elaborate spell or a simple prayer. The water is then sprinkled in the area to drive away evil and any negative, hostile forces. This ancient practice goes back to the very beginning of magick.

Ritual is the last of the three methods. Of course, sprinkling holy water and burning herbs do serve as rituals within themselves, but there are other more elaborate forms of ritual. One of these is the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. This ritual comes to us from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which was a secret society that taught initiates the practices of ceremonial magick. Although this rite is derived from ceremonial magickal tradition, practitioners of many different paths and systems have used it. This is simply due to the fact that the ritual is so effective at cleansing the environment of negativity. Another technique is the ringing of a bell, a method used by a number of cultures.

Those of a Christian background may call on the power of God by invocation and prayer. Another practice is to cut an onion into quarters and to place these in the four corners of a room. The idea is that the onion will absorb the negative “vibes” and is later discarded or burned. Chanting may be employed or various candle spells may be used. Once again, there are countless rituals that can be utilized as rites of exorcism.

Remember, banishing is the first thing that should be learned in the practice of magick. From that point on you may proceed, somewhat safely, on the path of the occultist. The three methods outlined above (the burning of herbs, the sprinkling holy water, and ritual) are used in virtually all forms and systems of magick around the world. They are tried and tested methods that have been successfully employed by witches for many thousands of years. When all else fails, appeal to a Higher Power, however this may be defined.

Always remember that the Ancient Ones are there to aid you upon your path.

Introduction To Scrying – A Magickal Space for Enochian Scrying

Introduction To Scrying

A Magickal Space for Enochian Scrying

Since the Enochian powers are so sensitive to the visual symbols in a magickal space, the general-purpose magickal space developed in the preceding sections of this paper is likely to be inappropriate for Enochian work. The profusion of objects with which you have populated the landscape would all tend to anchor the forces in unexpected or undesired forms. A space with a more neutral visual appearance needs to be used.

A woman I once met made a habit of surveying people about the appearance of their magickal spaces. Amusingly, nearly all the Enochian magicians she knew (most of whom did not know the others) had chosen to build essentially identical spaces for their work. This space might thus be considered an archetypal Enochian workplace. It consists of a broad, gray plain, surrounded at the horizon by low hills; both plain and hills are illuminated in a flat, sourceless light of relatively low intensity. Overhead, there is a night-sky filled with stars. The plain is large enough that the magician always has a previously-unused area available in which to perform a new series of invocations.

The remaining few magicians in her survey had chosen to go even further in the direction of minimalism than this Michael Moorcock landscape. Their workspaces consisted solely of a clear space within a gray mist, with a featureless gray floor underneath, created ab initio for every invocation.

My feeling is that the plain has a slight advantage as a workspace. It allows for the establishment of long-term or permanent structures, useful for advanced works in which the invocations must be done in section, or for building a temple appropriate to a range of Enochian works.

Scrying Techniques for Enochian Magick

Both the “magick mirror” technique and its extension as a “gate” work as well with Enochian powers as they will with other, more conventional magickal powers. I would recommend that you create a new mirror in your Enochian workplace for every series of invocations that you do, and destroy it after completing the series. Since the Enochian powers tend to accumulate over time, this prevents residual forces from previous works from interfering with a new work.

However, as mentioned above, it is often necessary to provide a firm visual anchor for Enochian powers; you may find that the mirror technique is insufficiently exact, and only gives you confused or contradictory results. If that is the case, one of the following methods will be more effective.

The Golden Dawn devised a technique for using visualizations of truncated pyramids as the starting point for visions of individual squares from the Tablets. This practical method has been proven by use to be very effective, precisely because it provides a well-defined symbolic “anchor” for the Enochian powers. I recommend this technique for beginners, both for this reason and because it tends to focus the powers into their most “earthly”, most readily-comprehensible form.

The basic technique is to build a truncated pyramid in your magickal space. The flat top has an area one-ninth the area of its base. The relative sizes of the top and bottom means the sides are tilted inwards at an angle of forty-five degrees. The letter of the square is visualized on the flat top. The sides of the pyramid are colored and labeled with symbols and images according to a complex system of attributes.

(The G.D. system of attributes is described in detail in book 4 of Regardie’s The Golden Dawn; my own alternate system (which I believe to be a substantial improvement over the G.D. system) is described in the papers titled “Godzilla Meets E.T.”, which can be found at: http://www.hermetic.com/browe/index.html. The pyramid method works very well with either system.)

The pyramid is visualized as being large enough to stand on the top. Having vibrated the appropriate Calls for the name in which the square lies, the magician then stands on top of the pyramid in his astral body, and vibrates the hierarchy of names. As he vibrates each name, the magician imagines the power of that name gathering around the pyramid.

When the last name is vibrated, the magician imagines that each side of the pyramid is gathering in the attracted energy, each taking the type appropriate to its attributes and symbols. This energy is seen moving upwards, being focused as it goes by the narrowing of the sides. The flows of energy from the sides reach the top simultaneously, run into each other, and form a beam of light shining up and outwards into the astral worlds, forming a path to a region of magickal space governed by the square. The magician then follows this beam in his astral body until a landscape or other scene forms around him. This scene should symbolize various aspects of the square invoked. From that point, the techniques describe earlier can be used to explore the region.

I prefer a variation of this method, in which the magician stands inside the pyramid. When the energies traveling up the sides reach the top, they come together on the letter and then shine downwards into the pyramid, illuminating the interior. The angel governing the square is invoked to visible appearance within the pyramid and is tested there. After testing, the angel conducts the magician to various scenes that illustrate the square’s nature.

Since a session using this technique only explores the power of one letter of an angel’s name, you only get a partial view of the angel’s nature. To fully understand an angel, all the letters of its name should be explored in sequence.

When you wish to invoke all of an angel’s powers at once rather than a single letter, it is more convenient to make your anchoring image something like a magickal circle, or a talisman sufficiently large that you can stand on it. A example design for such a circle would have the divine names superior to the given angel written around the rim of the circle. The name of the angel being invoked would be written within the circle, oriented so that it appears upright when you are facing in the direction in which you want the angel to appear. If the angel is associated with a particular magickal formula (e.g., Kerubic angels and the INRI formula) symbols appropriate to that formula might also be drawn within the circle.

Note that the intent of this figure is much closer in function to a talisman than to the traditional idea of a magickal circle. It is not intended to block off its interior from the exterior areas; you should feel free to move in and out of it at will. Nor is it intended to “contain” the invoked force. Rather, the idea is that the charged figure will serve to attract the attention of the appropriate being — like putting a big illuminated sign saying “Land Here!” next to a runway — and will also serve to condition the surrounding magickal space so that it reflects the nature of the invoked powers.

Vibrate the appropriate Calls several times; then enter the magickal space and create the circle. Vibrate the divine and angelic names, and as you feel the invoked power arrive, direct it into the lines and letters in the circle so that they glow and re-radiate the power to the surrounding environment. Keep vibrating the names until the intensity of invoked power seems to level off, then vibrate only the name of the being you wish to contact, asking it to appear before you. Vibrate the angel’s name until it does appear; then apply the tests, and ask the angel what you will.

Calling the angel to the circle is my personal preference; I would rather have the guide take me to the place I want to go than go there first and find a guide afterwards. The reverse may be more comfortable for you. If that is the case, you can vary the above method by concentrating the invoked force in the circle instead of allowing it to radiate. Then imagine that the force is creating a “gate” to the power’s magickal space; imagine the center of the circle opening up as the magick mirror did in the earlier exercises, so that you can step directly through it into that space. Or you can imagine that the powers form a beam of light shooting up from the circle, which you can ride to the powers’ space.