Friday, December 09, 2011

FAQ: What is the LBRP and what is it for?

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is a banishing ritual that first made it's appearance in the famous Ceremonial and Hermetic order, the Order of the Golden Dawn. No one is quite sure where the LBRP ritual came from. The founders of the Golden Dawn claimed to have received the ritual from the same "Secret Chiefs" who had theoretically passed to them all the information for the order. Certainly the LBRP draws on many Judeo-Christian and even Hindu mystical sources an some of the prayers reflect ones of Christian or Jewish origin so the LBRP as a ritual may be quite old. However whether Mather's, Westcott and Woodman were given the LBRP by the Secret Chiefs or whether they made it up (for which there is quite a bit of debate)it remains that the LBRP is am intense, powerful and balanced ritual. Since its first recorded appearance in the Golden Dawn the LBRP has been published in many different books on Ceremonial Magic, rituals, psychic and magical protection and metaphysical books and magazines, often with slightly different variations. Unfortunately due to the fact that the Golden Dawn is a secret society it is very difficult to pin point which version is the correct one, even among practitioners of the Golden Dawn today. However all the versions agree on the basic outline and principal of the ritual, and it is mostly upon the proper visualizations that the versions disagree.

The LBRP uses divine Qabbalistic symbolism to center, balance, cleanse and protect the practitioner. First the magician will draw divine energies down through their body in the shape of a cross touching upon Sephirothic attributions (the translations of which interestingly are the same words as at the end of the "Our Father"). This is called the Qabbalistic Cross and it helps to balance the practitioner and infuse them with energy. After this the practitioner traces four banishing pentagrams in each quarter (i.e. east, south, west, north) and infuses these with divine names which helps to banish and shield the sphere of the magician. The final layer of protection is made by invoking the four archangels associated with the four quarters who are placed around the sphere, protecting the inside. Finally there is an affirmation and a final Qabbalistic Cross to recenter and balance.

The LBRP is a very complex, deep and layered ritual that is extremely efficacious. In the Golden Dawn it was the only ritual that was taught before a member reached adeptship and it is often said that if you are going to learn one ritual, the LBRP is it.

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