Banishing rituals are essential at the beginning and end of every
working. Not only do they take care of any accumulated negative
energy in the environment; they also serve to put the magician in
the right frame of mind for the magic to follow. Banishing rituals
help you focus your will. In Wicca, the equivalent of a banishing is
casting and closing a circle. Synonymous with banishing is
'opening' and 'closing' rites.
The banishing, or opening at the beginning of the ritual usually
consists of three parts: focusing on the body/mind, defining the
magickal space, identifying with a chosen source of inspiration.
For this any number of breathing and meditation techniques are
First, to focus my attention on my body, I breathe in the rhythm
4/4. Breathe in to the count of four, hold for a count of four, and
breathe out again to the count of four, hold to the count of four,
and repeat the process. This relaxes my body and focuses my
For the mind part I like using the Middle Pillar exercise. I do not
use the god names form Qaballah, however. I substitute my own
Magickal space could be defined in several ways. Personally I like
to put a piece of string around the area where my ritual is to be
done. Then I visualise a pillar of octarine rising from the string to
surround me and my space.
Other techniques include calling the quarters and using the four
elements (water, earth, air, fire) to cleanse the ritual space.
Any one or combination of the above can be used. For example, a
representation of one of the elements can be used for cleansing.
Salt (earth) can be sprinkled in the ritual space or around the
circle. Insence can be used to represent air, and a candle to
Source of Inspiration
Now it is time to merge with your source of inspiration. This could
be any form of higher consciousness. It could be your higher self,
or any god form.
You could write a chant to invoke the source of inspiration, or
simply meditate on its presence and its merging with your self.
The Speaking of the Way as adapted by Arawyn conThanatos has
worked particularly well for me, because of its specific
identification with Chaos concepts.
At the end of any ritual, a considerable amount of energy has
been raised. In order to disperse this energy safely, it is
necessary to perform a closing banishing.
Many Chaotes like to use laughter. Hysterical, or soft and tinkling.
Any kind is suitable for your closing. When you have finished the
ritual, simply think of something funny, and laugh.
I normally visualize my pillar sinking into the floor while I laugh.
Banishing rituals are as important as the body of the ritual itself. It
can take many forms. The trick is finding the one suitable for
yourself. This is done through experimentation. Here you will find
several excellent opening rites to get you started.
As with everything else in Chaos, what you use doesn't really
matter. If it works for you, it's valid.