Monday, 23 May 2022
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The banishing, sealing and invoking pentagrams
written by Dion Fortune in 1942

I want to clarify a small point regarding the manner in which the circle is visualised when making the banishing and sealing pentagrams. The banishing pentagrams, as you know, are visualised where the hand draws them on the confines of the aura and thence projected outwards to the limits of the place of working, thus clearing the atmosphere as they go.

The sealing pentagrams are visualised as appearing on the limits of the place of working, thus preventing any extraneous force from entering; equally so are the invoking pentagrams which act as doorways to the entrance of the power invoked, but it may not be clear to you in what manner the magic circle is visualised which de-limits the sphere of working, and I wish to make this clear.

In the case of the sealing and invoking pentagrams this line rises from the centre of the pentagram that has been formed and is drawn in a circular manner to the next pentagram to be made, and so around the circle till the circle is closed by visualising the line of light re-entering the first pentagram in the East; but in the case of the banishing pentagrams which have to be projected from the surface of the aura to the limit of this place of working it is otherwise.

The banishing pentagram is made at arm’s length and projected outward to the limit of the sphere of working, then the line of light is drawn back from it to the surface of the aura where the next pentagram is made; when that pentagram is projected outwards the line of light travels with it into its position on the boundary of the magic circle clearing the atmosphere as it goes this is repeated between each pentagram, thus sweeping the place clear.

You can conceive of these lines of light as if they were ropes being dragged forward after the manner of a fishing-net. If you have ever seen two fishermen in shallow water wading with a net, one at each end, holding the ropes and sweeping the sand between them, you will know how these lines of light travel outward from pentagram to pentagram, but they travel breast high where the arm places the sigils.
2 months ago
These instructions on how, and where, to draw the different types of pentagrams used in a magical circle were written by Dion Fortune in 1942. They are perhaps a little more detailed than one might expect! The process of drawing the sealing and invoking pentagrams around the perimeter of the magic circle and linking them together with a circle of light, will probably be familiar to many visitors to this website, but the instructions for drawing the banishing pentagrams are quite different.

For the banishing pentagrams - which should therefore be made before the sealing and invoking pentagrams are put in place - DF describes how these should be made by the Magus who stands at the centre of the circle. From here, they draw a pentagram on the surface of their own aura and project this pentagram along a line of light from their aura to the limit of the circle. They then retract the line of light back to their aura. Then, they form a second pentagram and project that in the same way along its line of light, and so on at each quarter of the circle. It is this 'sweeping' movement of the pentagram together with its line of light which, like a fishing net, clears the circle.

I have not come across this suggestion before and would be interested to hear if it is still used by anyone today.
2 months ago
I've just finished reading the DNF post and whilst I must say, I have always intuitively built the banishing pentagrams that way - that is to say, I build them in the aura and then project them forward to the limits of my working space - the circle however, I have always drawn from the centre of the previously projected pentagram to end in space, so to speak, and then projected the next pentagram so that it 'slots' into place on the circle and joins up. The method mentioned in this article makes a whole lot of sense in terms of extending the boundary from the centre but I, for one, would find it quite difficult to visualise. The part that would give me an issue would be forming the line back from the boundary back to the centre. I can perfectly see the symbolism of sweeping the 'net' back to the boundary but I would have thought that, if that 'sweeping' of the working area was the desired goal then a far more logical way of doing it would be to form the complete circle within the boundaries of the aura and then add a final step to the ritual to expand the whole circle outwards to the boundary in one movement. I have used that technique in a simple Egyptian based banishing ritual of my own design that I used for quite a few years (mainly before I joined a working group and got into using the LBRP) and it works quite well so it might be an interesting experiment to try.
1 month ago
How interesting, jfc, that you have built the banishing pentagrams as Dion Fortune describes! Were you perhaps taught by someone who knew of her practice in this? I must admit that I find her instructions re the banishing formula a little complicated but I certainly agree with her basic premise that three completely different procedures are - or should be - performed at the start of a magical rite.

1. Clearing the circle and banishing any imbalanced energies or forces.
2. Sealing the cleared circle.
3. Invoking the appropriate Inner powers and principles into the circle, at the quarters.

It does seem important to keep these three separate aims in mind rather than to muddle them together and hope that drawing a pentagram here and there will achieve the desired effect. The popular 'Lesser Banishing ritual' seems to encourage just that.

I personally don't find any inherent power in the symbol of the pentagram as such, but it has the advantage that it's comparatively easy to draw (as opposed to, say, a six or seven-pointed star!) and has now acquired the significant benefit of having been used for so long and so often that it has made "tracks in space" and is well recognised by the Inner planes as a sure sign that a ritual is about to commence.
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