Greater Ritual of the Hexagram
Part of the Magick in Theory & Practice series.
The Greater Ritual of the Hexagram is one of several rituals within "Liber O" written by Aleister Crowley after the techniques of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It is used to invoke or banish the energies of either the Planets or the Signs of the Zodiac.
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The hexagram of Earth alone is used. ... Trace the astrological sigil of the Planet in the centre of your Hexagram. For the Zodiac, use the Hexagram of the Planet which rules the Sign you require; but draw the astrological sigil of the Sign, instead of that of the Planet. In all cases use a conjuration first with Ararita, and next with the name of the God corresponding to the planet or sign you are dealing with.
Unlike the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, the Greater Ritual does not come with a step-by-step instruction in Liber O.
According to some magicians, the procedure of the ritual is exactly the same as the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram except for the figures that are "drawn" and the addition of a godname. These practitioners interpret the "conjurations" specified by Crowley as simple vibrations of "Ararita" and the name of the God corresponding to the planet or sign.
A different and more sophisticated reading dictates that the magician not work in the four quarters, but rather towards the actual position of the planet (or zodiacal sign) in the heavens. (Failing that, work towards the direction of the element associated with the sign or planet.) The "conjurations" in this case are more elaborate invocations, whether extemporized, of original composition, quoting from the Holy Books of Thelema, or otherwise elaborated. In this method of working, the ritual must be carefully tailored to the specific occasion and purpose, although individual magicians may develop a repertoire of planetary conjurations to use within the "Greater Hexagram" mode of operation.
For example, to invoke Jupiter, the Magician would face the direction of Jupiter at the place and hour appointed, and sound a battery of four knocks (four being the number of Jupiter). Then he would recite an ARARITA invocation (derived in this case from "Liber DCCCXIII"):
O my God! One is Thy Beginning! One is Thy Spirit, and Thy Permutation One! Thou has appeared unto me as a jocund and ruddy God, full of Majesty, a King, a Father in his prime. Thou didst bear the sceptre of the Universe, crowned with the Wheel of the Spirit. ARARITA!
Having drawn the proper hexagram, he would proceed to an invocation of Jupiter. This example is modified slightly from Thomas Taylor's translation of the Orphic hymn to "Jove, as the Author of Lightning":
Come, O JOVE, on Thee I call! JOVE! JOVE!
I call the mighty, holy splendid light,
Aerial, dreadful-sounding, fiery-bright;
Flaming, aerial-light, with angry voice,
Lightning thro' lucid clouds with horrid noise.
Untam'd, to whom resentments dire belong,
Pure, holy pow'r all-parent, great and strong:
Come, and benevolent these rite attend,
And aid my will to realize its end.
Having drawn the sigil of Jupiter, the magician would then declare Jupiter duly invoked.
Signs of the planets and Zodiac
Godnames of the planets
- Sol—YHVH Eloah Ve-Daath
- Mercury—Elohim Tzabaoth
- Venus—YHVH Tzabaoth
- Luna—Shaddai El Chai
- Mars—Elohim Gibor
- Saturn—YHVH Elohim
Ruling planets of the Zodiac
Sites of interest
- Liber O (http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/libers/libero.html)
- Crowley, Aleister. (1997). Magick: Book 4. "Liber O." 2nd ed. York Beach, Me. : S. Weiser.
- Taylor, Thomas. (1981). The Hymns of Orpheus. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society.