Notes on the Ritual of the Pentagram

by Aleister Crowley

Copyright © 1997 Ordo Templi Orientis. All rights reserved.

You are supposed to be standing at the intersection of the paths of Samekh and Peh. You are facing Tiphareth (the Sun), thus on your right hand is Netzach (Venus) on your left hand Hod (Mercury), and behind you Yesod (the Moon).

You take one step with the right heel in the hollow of the left foot towards Tiphareth and vibrate the Divine Name as given in the ritual. You then carry round the point of the wand towards Netzach, then take a step again (always recovering after each forward step so that you remain in the centre) and vibrating the Divine Name as before.

Continue the process facing Yesod and vibrating; then Hod, and vibrating; but carry the point of the Wand round to Tiphareth so as to complete the circle.

As you vibrate the Divine Name the angels, as given in the ritual, appear (note that they should appear and if the ritual is properly performed do appear.)

You are thus standing in a Column which is protected by your microcosmic invocation. The consequent result, being macrocosmic response, is that without any effort on your part the hexagram or sixfold star appears both above and below you. (Note the equilibration of 5 = 6). In this way you are completely shut off from the outer and Qliphotic parts of the universe.

Get well into your mind the realization of this Column with its surrounding pentagrams and its hexagrams above and below you. Continuous practice is essential if you are to perform this ritual as you should. It is particularly important not to slur any part of it; to visualize clearly and cleanly the forces invoked, with the exception of the Divine Being, who will not appear, in the ordinary course of events, for such slight cause.

You can figure out for yourself the forms of the angels, or rather archangels. For instance, Raphael, commencing with an "R" will have a head of solar glory and the Peh which follows shows that the rest of him is martial: the "AL" which concludes the name (in the case of most angelic beings) indicates that they wield the sword and the balance.

Note: The Student should also consult the annotated version of Crowley's poem "The Palace of the World," in "The Temple of the Holy Ghost" (Collected Works, Vol. I) which contains a poetic description of the spiritual aspect of the ritual. -Sb.