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Lily and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

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Kate Bush fans who also have a passing knowledge of occultism may have noticed the similarities in the lyric of her song Lily and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Lily is the sixth track on the 1993 Red Shoes album.  It was also the opening song at the Before The Dawn performances at the Hammersmith Odeon in 2014. It’s not hard to understand why she choice this particular track to start the show when you know what the song is about.

I’m not an occultist but like many I’ve read a few books so as soon as I heard the song I recognised the evocation in the words.  However, before we look at in more detail it’s perhaps best if we establish a baseline for what follows.

Physics and Metaphysics


  • Scientific facts are proven using repeated experiments that produce consistent results.
  • Scientific theories remain as such until the technology exists that can prove or disprove the theory.
  • Scientists tend to be respected, trusted, and admired by the rest of society.
  • Some of the scientific facts of today were once considered magical and impossible.
  • Some of the theories at the fringes of science seem very magical, spooky, and far out indeed.
  • Even so, anything that is considered by the best scientific minds of the day as outside of realms of what is possible is dumped in a bin marked ‘Magic and Mysticism‘.


  • Metaphyics is that which lies beyond physics (meta – Greek, after, beyond).
  • In metaphysics things are not proven, they are experienced.
  • Metaphysicians tend to be those rummaging around in a bin marked ‘Magic and Mysticism
  • Anyone dabbling in metaphysics or any occultism can expect to be viewed with skepticism, ridicule, or as a danger to themselves and society.
  • Some of today’s magical ideas may one day be proven by scientific experiment.
  • Some of the theories in occultism are no more weird and spooky than those on the fringes of science.

If you took an iPhone back in time 500 years and showed it to a priest you may be fortunate to be met with curiosity and wonder. You could just as easily find yourself arrested and end up experiencing a long and excruciating execution as a witch or magician in league with the Devil.

Top Tip: If you should find yourself transported back to the earlier Elizabethan era look up a chap called John Dee. He would be more likely to be curious rather than suspicious.

We often talk about scientists making discoveries.  In other words, they uncover something that has always existed and now it is revealed.  What was once esoteric or occult eventually becomes familiar and clear. The advances in technology in the last 150 years are proof of that idea.

LBRP – the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

So far, so what?  What has any of this got to do with a Kate Bush track and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram?

Well, in order to appreciate the LBRP you have to take a step out of physics and into metaphysics. You have to accept that things are not proven here but they can be experienced and still have an effect.

The LBRP is a space clearing ritual designed to clear an area for further work, for meditation, or it can used simply to establish as an exercise in ritual and visualisation complete in itself. It was originally devised by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and in the decades since it has been tweaked and amended by various practitioners. It’s a basic ritual that is widely used by those following the Western Mystery Tradition.

There are plenty of websites and YouTube videos that describe and demonstrate how it is done so if you’re interested in it I suggest you go ahead and explore.

If you read through that description you will notice that it involves imagining the presence of the four Archangels; Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel.  Powerful stuff.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is one of the most commonly used rituals in Western magic. It is a powerful ritual for clearing negative energy and creating sacred space. The ritual can be performed alone or with a group, and it does not require any special equipment.

Very briefly, to perform the ritual, trace a pentagram in the air with your finger or an implement such as a wand. As you trace the pentagram, recite the appropriate incantation. Once the pentagram is complete, visualize it glowing with white light. Then, imagine the light expanding to fill the entire room or space. The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is a simple but effective way to banish negative energy and create a positive space for magical work.

It’s all in the imagination

However, all the ritual paraphernalia, incense, and robes don’t mean a thing if you can’t imagine what is described.  You need to be able to see and feel their presence for the magic to work. It’s true that magic is all in your head and just your imagination.  The thing is people underestimate the power of the imagination and the effects that it can have on your reality.

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A true Magus or anyone will a flair of these things will be able to execute this ritual in their mind’s eye without lifting a finger.

If you’ve read any self-help or NLP books you may be aware that your body and mind don’t know the difference between what you physically see and what you strongly imagine. So if you imagine things strongly enough you will generate that reality.  By imagining yourself to be strong and confident you will be start to feel that way. It’s a psychological trick that is used widely, particularly in sports in which the competitor imagines himself or herself winning, lifting the trophy to rapturous applause.

The theory behind the LBRP is that this has an effect outside your mind too.  It clears the area of unwanted astral gunk and purifies the space ready for meditation or other work.  It’s a bit like a chef giving a kitchen a thorough clean before starting the prep for the evening’s service.

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