Friday, June 8, 2018

10 Most Deadly Rocks and Minerals

This list details the ten most toxic and potentially deadly minerals that crystalize in the Earth’s rocks, presenting a dangerously deceptive array of stony beauty. These rocks don’t have to be thrown to hurt you.


10. Coloradoite


Coloradoite is a recently discovered crystalline mineral originating in magma veins. The mineral is a mercury telluride compound formed when mercury fuses with tellurium, another extremely toxic and rare metal. Coloradoite therefore poses a doubly toxic threat to anyone daring to handle it. The combination of the two elements poses the risk of serious poisoning if carelessly handled. If heated or chemically altered, deadly vapor and dust is released by this strange mineral. Interestingly, the mineral may be mined for its tellurium content. Tellurium minerals may combine with gold, but were previously not recognized. In a strange twist of fate, the streets of Kalgoorie in Australia were mined in a bizarre gold rush after the realization that gold-bearing tellurides had been used to fill potholes.

9. Chalcanthite


Seductive blue chalcanthite crystals are composed of copper, combined with sulfur and other elements and water. This arrangement turns copper, which is required by the body but toxic in excess quantities, into an extremely bio-available crystal. In another words, the copper becomes water soluble, and may be assimilated in great quantities by any plant or animal, rapidly weakening it and then killing it by shutting down body processes. Chalcanthite should never be taste tested by amateur scientists for salt content, or an extremely serious overdose of copper could result. Just releasing crystals of the blue mineral has killed entire ponds of algae, and posed great environmental threats. Because of the incredible beauty and rarity of chalcanthite, an enterprise dedicated to growing artificial crystals and passing them off as genuine specimens for sale has developed within the geological community.

8. Hutchinsonite


Thallium is the dark twin of lead. This thick, greasy metal is similar in atomic mass but even more deadly. Thallium is a rare metal that appears in highly toxic compounds consisting of rather strange combinations of elements. The effects of thallium exposure are even more peculiar, and include loss of hair, serious illness through skin contact and in many cases, death. Hutchinsonite is a hazardous but dramatic mixture of thallium, lead and arsenic. The three poisonous metals form a lethal mineral cocktail that should be handled only with great caution. Hutchinsonite was named after John Hutchinson, a prominent mineralogist from Cambridge University. The mineral is found in mountainous regions of Europe, most frequently in ore deposits.

7. Galena


Galena is the principle ore of lead, and forms glistening silver cubes with almost unnaturally perfect shapes. Although lead is normally extremely flexible, the sulfur content of galena makes it extraordinarily brittle and reactive to chemical treatment. Galena is capable of taking an equally heavy toll on workers and amateur researchers who are exposed to it. Contact with specimens may lead to lead dust exposure, while workers in mines face a high risk of poisoning from contact with the mineral and the deadly dusts released through production. Once extracted, the lead content from this mineral poses environmental and health threats during treatment and extraction. Galena has a cubic fracture, and if hit with a hammer, the crystal will shatter into multiple smaller replicas of its original shape.

6. Asbestos Chrysotile and Amphibolite


Asbestos is not a manmade product, but one of most terrifying minerals on the planet. Where other minerals act as toxins through their chemistry and sicken victims of accidental poisoning, Asbestos conducts full scale mechanical sabotage on the human lung. Asbestos is a fully natural category of minerals composed of silica the most abundant of Earth’s hard elements, iron, sodium and oxygen. Asbestos deposits consist of aggregates of thousands of tiny, fibrous crystals that can become airborne and lodged in the human lung. Carcinogenic effects occur through persistent irritation of the lung tissues, leading to scarring. Asbestos formations can also be uncovered among any set of silica rocks, warranting caution when exploring. Strangely, natural weathering leads to natural distribution of asbestos in Earth’s atmosphere. As a result, many humans carry some asbestos fibers in their lungs.

5. Arsenopyrite


Arsenopyrite is fool’s gold, but with a difference. One would not just be a fool to mistake it for gold. Equally foolish would be a decision to pick up this mineral on a hike at a quarry, and proceed to use your hands to put trail mix in your mouth. Arsenopyrite is arsenic iron sulfide, which is the same type of mineral as pyrite (fool’s gold, iron sulfide), but with a heavy addition of arsenic. If one attempts to heat or in any way alter the mineral, a strong garlic odor of arsenic will be produced as lethally toxic, corrosive and carcinogenic vapors are released. Just handling the mineral brings one into contact with unstable sulfuric arsenic salts. Interestingly, arsenopyrite may be identified by striking a specimen with a hammer. The powerful garlic odor of arsenic can be briefly detected as the sparks fly.

4. Torbernite


Torbernite is the mineral from hell. The prism shaped green crystals form as secondary deposits in granitic rocks, and are composed of uranium. Formed through a complex reaction between phosphorous, copper, water and uranium, the stunning crystal displays have seduced many mineral collectors into taking a sample for a shelf collection. If the uranium decay from a pocket sized Chernobyl were not enough, lethal radon gas capable of causing lung cancer slowly releases from these hot rocks. This is one crystal to leave alone. Torbernite can occur in granite, so your stone countertop just might contain traces of torbernite. The bright green crystal blooms were used by prospectors as indicators of uranium deposits.

3. Stibnite


Stibnite is antimony sulfide, but it looks like silver. For that reason, the huge, shining metallic crystals of this unstable compound were once fashioned into magnificent eating utensils. But the sword shaped crystals bore the powers of death to those who used them. Stibnite’s antimony laced crystals killed a number of people before it became known that use of the mineral was causing food poisoning of the worst kind. Even in collections, stibnite samples should be handled with great caution to avoid poisoning. Hand washing is advisable after any contact. Mines near Oksaku in Japan have produced the best stibnite crystals in the world, measuring up to a foot in length. Many stibnite samples have the appearance of a miniature steeple.

2. Orpiment


The only thing worse than arsenic itself could be a rock made from arsenic and sulfur. The lethal and chemically reactive orpiment crystals are found growing below the surface in mineral formations, often near hydrothermal vents. The colors are seductive, but holding the crystals in your hands may release carcinogenic, neurotoxic arsenic powder. Like cinnabar, the Chinese made extensive use of this mineral, but to far more terrifying ends. Arrows would be rubbed on crushed samples of these stones and then launched to poison the enemy in a rather fancy way to throw a rock. Orpiment is known to give off a strong garlic smell due to its arsenic content, and may crumble into dangerous powder when exposed to light. The mineral was used as a primary component of ochre paint, and likely poisoned many of the artists who used it.

1. Cinnabar


Cinnabar (mercury sulfide) is the single most toxic mineral to handle on Earth. The name of the crystal means dragons blood, and it is the main ore of mercury. Forming near volcanos and sulfur deposits, the bright red crystals signal danger of the worst kind. Cinnabar may release pure mercury if disturbed or heated, causing tremors, loss of sensation and death. In the Middle Ages and late 1700s, being sent to work in Spanish mines containing cinnabar formations was widely considered a death sentence. Cinnabar was widely used in Chinese history for ornamental food dishes, and intricate carvings were created from chunks of it, sometimes at the expense of the artisans. Even more incredibly, some ancient medical practitioners believed cinnabar held healing powers, and prescribed it for certain conditions.


Also read: Sinister Sparkle: 10 Mysterious & Cursed Gemstones

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Lesser Key of Solomon: Ars Goetia


The Goetia is part of a longer work called The Lesser Key of Solomon (also known as Clavicula Salomonis Regis or Lemegeton), which is a collection of medieval grimoires compelled in the mid-17th century. However, the materials in it date back to centuries before the book. Attributed metaphorically to King Solomon. It is divided into five books: The Ars Goetia, Ars Theurgia, Ars Paulina, Ars Almadel, and Ars Notoria. 

Ars Goetia has its main focus centered around the seventy-two demons. It is an excellent source in demonology. It was an early favorite of Crowley’s and his version is still the most popular one to this day.

Etymology
The Ancient Greek word γοητεία (goēteía) means "charm, sorcery", from γόης (góēs) "sorcerer, wizard" (plural: γόητες góētes). The meaning of "sorcerer" is attested in a scholion, or commentary, referring to the Dactyli, a mythical race, stating that according to Pherecydes of Syros and Hellanicus of Lesbos, those to the left are goētes, while those to the right are deliverers from sorcery. The word may be ultimately derived from the verb γοάω "groan, bewail" (goáō). Derivative terms are γοήτευμα "a charm" (goḗteuma, plural γοητεύματα goēteúmata) and γοητεύω "to bewitch, beguile" (goēteúō).

Γοητεία was a term for the magic in the Greco-Roman world. Its Latinized form is goëtia; in the 16th century, English adopted it as goecie or goety (and the adjectival form goetic), via French goétie.


The Ars Goetia
The Ars Goetia is the first section of the Lesser Key of Solomon, containing descriptions of the seventy-two demons that Solomon is said to have evoked and confined in a bronze vessel sealed by magic symbols, and that he obliged to work for him. 

The Ars Goetia assigns a rank and a title of nobility to each member of the infernal hierarchy, and gives the demons "signs they have to pay allegiance to", or seals. 

The lists of entities in the Ars Goetia correspond (to high but varying degree, often according to edition) with those in Johann Weyer's Pseudomonarchia Daemonum an appendix appearing in later editions of his De praestigiis daemonum, of 1563.

A revised English edition of the Ars Goetia was published in 1904 by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Aleister Crowley as The Goetia which is based on manuscripts from the British Museum, with additions by Crowley, including a Preliminary Invocation drawn from Goodwin's Fragment of a Graeco-Egyptian Work upon Magic, and the essay The Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magic. It is not a faithful edition of the source manuscripts but contains several innovations, including some evocations in Enochian written by Crowley. In his introduction, Crowley argues that the work of demonic evocation is merely a form of psychological self-exploration. It has since become a relatively well-known book of magic and has even been featured in places like the graphic novel Promethea by Alan Moore, James Blish's novel Black Easter, and Kevin Kauffmann's Forsaken Comedy trilogy.

Find The Lesser Key of Solomon and the Goetia (and many other similar books) on the right bar of our site.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Shaken Out Of Comfort: The Transit of Uranus in Taurus


Uranus, the planet of great awakenings and change moved out of Aries to Taurus on May 15, 2018, where it will remain until 2026.

While you might not think of Uranus that much (unless you're making a dirty, astrological joke), this is actually the start of momentous shifts to come. Uranus in Taurus will be guiding your life for the next seven years.

Whenever a slow moving planet like Uranus moves signs, it creates a ripple effect that is felt throughout the entire cosmos, and brings a new energy for all of us to explore.

Uranus is known as "The Great Awakener," because he provides us with situations that help shake us into awareness and realize the truths and lies that we're living. 

Generally speaking, the population is disconnected in a serious way. Uranus will challenge the false ideas of who you are, and free you from them. So, this chapter could be a new beginning for some people as they start to see their true nature, purpose, and place in the greater scheme of things.

Uranus is the planet that rules over innovation, technological advances and humanitarian achievements through the process of disruption and disassembly. The sign associated with Uranus is Aquarius, which rules over the 11th house of global consciousness. This is the human element that breaks apart old paradigms and forces growth in collective thinking, all with awareness and action. 

It is the planetary tipping point. Uranus brings revolutions which ultimately better human conditions and they need to be born from chaos. Chaos naturally inspires Order. With this transit affecting the global masses, a sobering reflection on the condition our lives will be hard to ignore. 

Uranus represents that which drives global radical action through the individual to become authorities over our own lives. It is the voice of the people, rules over humanitarian activities and challenges oppression no matter the cost.

Planet Uranus helps you break the rules, resist conformity, focus on alternative way of living, and rebel against society’s expectations. Uranus is brave and is not afraid to explore the unknown in search for a more fulfilling existence.

However, Uranus is in its “fall” (which means that his power is challenged) in Taurus since the energies are an awkward mismatch. Uranus focuses on the future while Taurus clings to the past.

To understand how this transit is going to effect you personally, think about what was happening for you around May 2010 and then again around March 2011. It was around this time that Uranus entered Aries, and now as Uranus is preparing to leave this sign, you are likely to feel a sense of completion to whatever was occurring.

While in Aries, Uranus would have been challenging you to step into a leadership position. You may have made some bold choices around this time, or there may have been significant life changes that shifted the path you were traveling on.

Uranus in Aries was all about making changes so you could step into your power and into the driver’s seat of your life. Perhaps reflect on this and see where you have stepped up in your life and where you have found more courage.

Celebrate yourself for how far you have come, and celebrate the changes that have occurred in your life so far. Try to see them with a positive mindset and just how they have shaped the person you are today.

While Uranus is all about change, growth, and awakening, Taurus is all about consistency, security, and stability. Uranus longs for change, whereas Taurus longs for things to stay the same.

These two energies are not exactly the perfect match, so there may be a push-pull feeling, and you may find it difficult to make or accept certain changes.

The ways that you seek stability and comfort are also going to be up for review under this energy. You may also find that what you once thought was secure and stable is no longer.

In fact, under this energy you may have to rework and reassess what makes you feel secure and stable. You may also have to let go and release attachments to things that once brought you comfort.

So many of us have been conditioned to receive our security and feelings of stability from material goods such as having a house, a job, money and so on. While these things do provide us with security, perhaps we are being called to dig a little deeper and learn to cultivate these feelings from within, regardless of our circumstances.

In a way, Uranus in Taurus is about letting go of your security blanket and learning to step out into the world with a little more freedom and a little more risk.

In some way, we are all going to be required to make a leap forward and to practice trusting ourselves a little more.

The ground beneath us may be shaking or unstable, or there may not be the security we once felt, but this is how we grow, this is how we learn, and this is how we discover who we really are.


On a global level, Uranus is going to create waves for the tech industry, medical research, and in all things relating to beauty and wellness. 

Taurus’ astrological rulership includes money, work, material objects, security, farming, and the food supply. All of these areas will be radically revamped as we grapple with this new cosmic conundrum.

It's in these highly Taurean areas of life, matters of material value and the natural world, that Uranus will work its magic.

Uranus in Taurus is going to be challenging all of us to pay attention to how we are treating Mother Earth. We are going to be encouraged to really think about environmental issues, and how we can protect the planet.

Some astrologists predict that Earth may rebel more than usual with a few natural disasters possible.

During the seven years of Uranus in Taurus there will be more talk and directed action in topics such as sustainability, local farming, renewable and free energies, organic agriculture, and the eco-friendly revolution that will spread into all areas of life.

More people will prioritize living healthy lifestyles. Taurus will ask you to honestly point out areas in your health that can be improved and to properly address them. You may go through a diet change or win over longtime food addictions.

Startling exposés on genetic modifications using embryos to create human and animal hybrids may horrify the world. The vast majority of world-wide scientific research in this field is keep tightly under wraps from the public. However, Uranus just loves to rip the veil of secrecy off things. The mixing of species with the animal and vegetable kingdoms may also start to have some drastic consequences for our health and the birth of incurable diseases.

Spas and massage businesses should flourish, though they will change dramatically by incorporating new cutting-edge healing modes. 

Money is Taurus' main area of expertise and because Uranus likes to break the rules, our long struggling and outdated monetary systems may go through severe shifts. 

Expect some of the biggest banking houses and financial concerns to crumble from Uranus’s lightning bolt zaps. Enormous fortunes will be lost, but new ones arise from the ashes. 

We can expect some very revolutionary ways of handling and dealing with money, both nationwide and worldwide. Many predict that digital money or cryptocurrencies will win over banks or at least start playing a bigger role in society.

Of course, this has an economic downside, as unskilled human labor will be replaced by robots and algorithms.

Novel ways to earn a living and to invest money will sprout up. Being an entrepreneur and starting up your own company will become fashionable. People will take greater risks to gain their financial independence. 

Profit- driven Taurus can help us monetize our creations in interesting new ways.

Making purchases via the internet will be the norm as opposed to physically shopping in stores.

Interestingly, the last time Uranus visited Taurus brought the invention of the first ATM machine and the physical shopping cart!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

IKEA asks kids to bully a plant in bizarre social experiment


There's an old saying, "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all," and now IKEA are seeking to bring that into 2018 by teaching kids to be nicer to each other… and to plants.

In a bizarre experiment, the Swedish homewares chain asked school students in the United Arab Emirates to bully one of their plants, while complimenting another.

"Plants have feelings, just like people," the company wrote alongside a YouTube video of the project.

"So, what happens when you feed one plant with compliments and another with negative remarks?" they asked.

The company claims that the social experiment was used "to raise awareness on the effects of bullying," and used the hashtag #SayNoToBullying in their media.

Running over the course of a month, the experiment concluded that the plant receiving insults failed to thrive, unlike the plant getting positive attention from students.


Naturally, the video has attracted a lot of criticism online, with many questioning the legitimacy of the astounding outcome, claiming that it was a deceptive, thinly-veiled ad for IKEA.

"There is no way this is sound science. I want this repeated with more plants. This is a hoax," wrote a YouTube commenter.

"Scam ad that's obviously been rigged by the ad agency," said another, adding: "This whole 'experiment' is based on non-existent science. Kudos for doing something for a good cause but this is entirely fake. "

Another viewer wanted to know, "What languages do the plants speak? "

Many argued that because plants lack a nervous system, they do not feel physical or emotional pain like animals and humans do.

Others weren't as sceptical, however, and congratulated IKEA on their positive project, even sharing their own experiences with plant-talk.

"It's true that if you talk to your plants and even sing to them, they grow better and are healthier.  I know so coz I have done the same experiment on my own plants. The deterioration of a 'bullied' plant is the same as that of one that's attacked by pests," said a YouTuber.

"Great work IKEA UAE! Here's to more companies using their influence in positive ways! " responded another.

Another suggested that the "haters" should read the 1973 book The Secret Life of Plants, which proposed the idea that plants do react to sound, claiming that plants respond positively to classical music.

Hence, it could be said that while the insults would obviously not be understood linguistically, it's possible that their verbal delivery could have altered the plant in some way.

"Although they may seem passive, plants have their own complex sensory systems too, designed to respond to dangers or other changes in their environment," Alana Schetzer of the University of Melbourne wrote in an online paper.

"Plants may not have eyes, ears or a tongue, but their skin can perform many of the same functions," she continued, adding that plants have an awareness of their surroundings, and "can respond accordingly."

The "plants can hear us" theory was also tested in an episode of The Discovery Channel's Mythbusters.

A team of sceptics divided 60 pea plants into three greenhouses and left them to grow with identical sun exposure, soil and water.

For the duration of the 60-day project, two of the greenhouses were played recorded soundtracks, one of loving praise and one of cruel insults, while the third remained silent.

At the end of the experiment, it was determined by comparing plant masses from the three groups that there was no difference in plant quality between the nice greenhouse and the mean greenhouse.

In fact, both recorded yielding greater biomass and bigger pods than the third, silent greenhouse.

If the Mythbusters' theory is correct, talking to plants, no matter what you say, is beneficial.


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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Vitamin B6 may help people better recall their dreams, new research suggests


Vitamin B6, which is found in tuna, bananas and chickpeas, may help people better recall their dreams. Taking a strong dose of such supplements for just five days improves people's abilities to remember their dreams by 64 per cent, a study found.

Although unclear exactly why this occurs, one theory is vitamin B6 helps to convert an amino acid to a chemical messenger that influences emotion and sleep. 

Study author Dr Denholm Aspy, from the University of Adelaide, said: 'The average person spends around six years of their lives dreaming.

'It may be possible to use lucid dreaming for overcoming nightmares, treating phobias, creative problem solving, refining motor skills and even helping with rehabilitation from physical trauma.

'In order to have lucid dreams it is very important to first be able to recall dreams on a regular basis.'

Lucid dreaming occurs when people know they are dreaming while asleep. 

'I couldn't wait to go to bed and dream!' 

One study participant said: 'It seems as time went on my dreams were clearer and clearer and easier to remember. 

'I also did not lose fragments as the day went on.'

Another added: 'My dreams were more real, I couldn't wait to go to bed and dream!' 

Results further suggest vitamin B6 supplements do not affect dream vividness, bizareness or colour, as well as having no impact on people's sleep in general.

Dr Aspy adds further research is required to determine if dietary vitamin B6 has the same effects as supplements'.

How does vitamin B6 lead to clearer dreams? 

Additional theories include that vitamin B6 leads to higher levels of chemical messenger that suppress the REM stage of sleep. REM is characterised by rapid-eye movements, faster heart rates and more dreaming.

This suppression may then cause a rebound effect that results in more intense dreams in the last few hours of sleep.

Some also believe vitamin B6 disrupts sleep and causes people to awaken more in the night.

This may allow more opportunities for dreams to be transferred from short to long-term memories.

How the research was carried out    

The researchers analysed 100 people aged between 18 and 40 from across Australia.

At the beginning of the study, the participants claimed to rarely remember their dreams. 

They took 240mg of vitamin B6 before bed for five consecutive days; this is the equivalent of 558 bananas.

The sweet fruit contains around 0.43mg of vitamin B6. Seventy-five grams of tuna and a three-quarter cup of chickpeas both contain 0.84mg.

The findings were published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills. 

What is Vitamin B6? and what foods contain it? 

Vitamin B6, which is also known as pyridoxine, allows the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food.

It is also involved in the formation of blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. Food sources include:
  • Tuna
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes 
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Whole grain cereals, such as brown rice
  • Eggs
Men need around 1.4mg a day and women approximately 1.2mg. People should be able to get all of the vitamin B6 they require from their diets. People should not take more than 10mg a day unless advised by their doctor.

Source: NHS Choices 

Less than eight hours sleep is linked to anxiety and depression 

This comes after research released last January suggested having less than eight hours sleep is linked to anxiety and depression.

Insomniacs are less able to overcome negative thoughts than those who get sufficient shut eye, a study found.

Being unable to nod off also reduces people's ability to disengage from negative emotions, the research adds.

Study author Professor Meredith Coles, from Binghamton University, said: 'We found that people in this study have some tendencies to have thoughts get stuck in their heads, and their elevated negative thinking makes it difficult for them to disengage with the negative stimuli that we exposed them to.

'We realized over time that this might be important - this repetitive negative thinking is relevant to several different disorders like anxiety, depression and many other things.' 



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Friday, April 27, 2018

What is Banishing?


Banishing is one of the core skills that all witches, sorcerers and people who do magick of any kind are required to develop early on in their journey. 

Banishing spells are designed to drive away anything the magic-user feels is a threat or a nuisance; unwanted energy, a person, an obstacle, a debt, a disease, an addiction, a bad habit, etc.

In ceremonial magic, banishing refers to one or more rituals intended to remove non-physical influences ranging from spirits to negative influences. Although banishing rituals are often used as components of more complex ceremonies, they can also be performed by themselves.

In Wicca and various forms of neopaganism, banishing is performed before casting a Circle in order to purify the area where the ritual or magic is about to take place. In his books on Nocturnal Witchcraft, for example, Konstantinos recommends performing banishings regularly, in order to keep the magical workspace free of negativity, and to become proficient in banishing before attempting acts that are much more spiritually taxing on the body, such as magical spellworking. Banishing can be viewed as one of several techniques of magick, closely related to ritual purification and a typical prerequisite for consecration and invocation.

For actual workings Aleister Crowley recommends a short, general banishing, with a comment that "in more elaborate ceremonies it is usual to banish everything by name." 

Crowley also recommended that a banishing ritual be done at least once daily by Thelema in Liber Aleph vel CXI.

In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP for shorthand) must be learned by the Neophyte before moving on to the next grade (Zelator).

While some traditions frown upon banishing as manipulative magic on the theory that it impacts the free will of another, if your tradition has no prohibitions against such things, then there’s no reason you can’t do a banishing to get rid of negativity.

  • A banishing can be carried out on a home, sending away unwanted energies and attendance, displeasure, stress, etc.
  • A banishing can be performed on a person to send away an addiction, negative energy or influence that another person has on him or her.
  • Banishing is also performed on items to get rid of the connection with previous owners. Or to remove and recharge the energy for a new purpose or goal.
  • The term cleansing refers to a banishing that is done to remove unwanted energies from a person, location, or object. The term exorcism is used to describe a banishing for an unwanted entity.

There are a number of different methods to accomplishing a successful banishing. Which one you choose will vary, depending on how comfortable you are with the different techniques, and what you’re trying to achieve.

For many banishing spells, an object is chosen to represent the person, idea, thing or energy to be banished. This item is then charged or programed to represent the target using various means and then symbolically sent away.  Running water, such as a river, is often utilized in this way. Use fire to burn a symbol of whatever it is you wish to be rid of, or earth to bury it.

ELEMENTAL BANISHING

A popular method of banishing is the use of the various elements, in particular the use of fire or water.

Fire can be used as a method of purification and cleansing by way of destruction.

Water is used in a number of religions for a variety of purposes, including banishing. You can make your own consecrated water for use in rituals.

If you are banishing energy from your person, a ritual bath may be in order.

Salt is also a great tool for banishing. In some magical traditions, it represents earth, and has been used for centuries to get rid of negative energy. In some folk magic traditions, black salt - a blend of sea salt and another item such as charcoal - is used as a protective barrier.

What is your favorite method?


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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram


The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (or LBRP) is a ceremonial magic ritual devised and used by the original order of the Golden Dawn that has become a mainstay in modern occultism. This ritual is considered by many to be a basic preliminary to any other magical work, so much that it was the only ritual, beside initiation rituals, taught to members of the Golden Dawn before they advanced to the Inner Order.

Description and structure

The ritual is highly dynamic, using gesture, visualization and the pronunciation of certain words of power, combining prayer and invocation as well as clearing and preparing a space for further magical or meditative work. The ritual is perceived as banishing any "chaotic" and "impure" forms of the elements from the magician's circle tracing the Pentagrams in the air and by the power of certain Divine names followed by an invocation of the spiritual forces ruling the elements to fortify and guard the circle.

The principal components of the Qabalistic Cross and the LBRP are drawn from the works of French occultist Eliphas Levi. The text originated as a traditional Jewish prayer said before sleeping, as documented by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in The Hirsch Siddur [Feldheim Publishing, 1969], which reads as follows:

In the Name of God, the God of Yisrael: may Michael be at my right hand, Gabriel at my left, Uriel before me, Raphael behind me, and above my head, the presence of God.

The ritual

Although some orders suggest that magical equipment is needed to perform the LBRP, the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn did not use any. However a modern approach might include the following:

  • An altar in the center of the ritual space, upon which are placed instruments representing the four Classical elements
  • A ceremonial robe (e.g. a tau robe) or other suitable ritual garb worn by the magician
  • A ritual dagger or sword (e.g. an "athame"), or a wand, used to gesture to the points of the Qabalistic Cross, and to draw the pentagrams and the magic circle connecting them.

The Golden Dawn LBRP consists of three main parts, in this order:

  1. Qabalistic Cross, sometimes repeated at the end of the LBRP. This is meant to construct an astral cross in the body of the magician, with points corresponding to Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. While constructing this cross, the magician vibrates Hebrew words from the last few lines of the Lord's Prayer (Thine is the kingdom, etc.).
  2. Formulation of the Pentagrams, in which a banishing earth pentagram (for the Banishing Ritual) or an invoking pentagram (for the Invoking Ritual) is drawn in the air at each of the four cardinal points and an associated name of God is vibrated (YHVH, ADNI, AHIH and AGLA for East, South, West and North respectively). This segment of the ritual is meant to banish or invoke the four elements (Air, Fire, Water and Earth respectively). The four pentagrams are connected by a circle, also drawn in the air.
  3. Invocation of the Archangels, during which the magician declares the Archangels Raphael, Gabriel, Michael and Uriel (or Auriel) to be present, while visualizing them at the four cardinal points.

Some traditions, in order to distance themselves from the Judeo-Christian content of the ritual, replace the Qabalistic Cross, names of God and archangels with suitable substitutes; using, for example, the chakra system instead of the Tree of Life, mantras instead of God names, etc. Magicians practising Thelemic magick will often intone the name Aiwass at the heart while performing the Qabalistic cross, as reinforcing their commitment to the presiding intelligence of Liber AL.