Ὀλύμπιος Πενταγράμμῳ Καθαρμός 

Lustratio Pentagrammo Olympica

The Olympic Banishing Ritual
of the Pentagram

which is

The Traditional Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
Adapted to the Hellenic Tradition

©1993, John Opsopaus

(revision ©2003)

I. The Opening Tau Cross

i. Close thine eyes, and by thy breathing fan the Fire, which awakeneth the Serpent and the Eagle. Then allow thyself to grow beyond all bounds of space, until the Universe is swallowed in thy soul. Be thou as a Goddess; be thou as a God.

[Suggested visualization: With each exhalation, feel yourself growing larger and see your surroundings shrinking below you. Continue until the Earth has disappeared into the Watery Abyss below you, and the brilliant star of Celestial Fire shines high above your head.]

ij. Draw thou down the Fire of Heaven into thy Heart, and say:

“From Celestial Fire”
“Ab Igne Caelesti”
“Apò tou Ourániou Purós”
Ἀπὸ τοῦ Ὀυράνιου Πυρός
[Suggested gestures for the preceding step: Raise your arms into a horizontal, cross position, with palms up (in Celestial Invocation). Bring them together above your head, palm to palm, and then draw the Celestial Fire down to your heart, while saying “From Celestial Fire.”]

[The words to be spoken by the practitioner are given in English, Latin and ancient Greek. In an attempt to combine readability and accuracy, I’ve given the Greek text two ways, in a simple but approximate Roman transcription, and in the ancient Greek alphabet. (If the Greek does not display correctly, you may need to use a newer browser that supports Unicode.) The Roman transcription is approximate and should be reasonably self-explanatory with these additional notes: a = ah, e = eh, ê = ay, i = ih, o = aw, u = oo (more like German ü), ô = oh; the accented vowel is usually marked (e.g. á or à), otherwise it is generally a circumflexed vowel. For a description of more authentic ancient Greek pronunciation, see A Brief Guide to Ancient Greek Pronunciation. For ritual purposes, ancient Greek should be chanted sonorously with the full range of pitch accent.]

iij. Next guide thou downward the bright Beam until it stirreth into life the Subterranean Seas, the Floods of the Abyss, and bringeth Them its spark; and while so doing, say:

“To Watery Abyss”
“Ad Aquosum Profundum”
“Eis tên Hudróessan Ábusson”
Ἐις τὴν Ὑδρόεσσαν Ἄβυσσον
[Suggested gesture: Keep the palms together and move them down in front of the groin. Then separate the hands and hold them to the sides and slightly forward, with palms down (in Chthonic Invocation).]

iv. Direct thou then the beam out from thy heart through thy left shoulder, till it stretcheth to the Moon, and say:

“By Way of Earth”
“Via Terrena”
“Katà Khthónion Hodón”
Κατὰ Χθόνιον Ὁδόν
[Suggested gesture: Raise the left hand up to your chest; then extend your arm into horizontal position, with the palm down.]

v. Direct thou then the beam out from thy heart again, but to thy right, until it stretcheth to the Sun, and say:

“By Way of Air”
“Via Aeria”
“Kat’ Aithérion Hodón”
Κατ’ Ἀιθέριον Ὁδόν
[Suggested gesture: Raise the right arm to the chest and then into a horizontal position, with the palm up.]

vi. Feel the Sacred Tau Cross that blazeth bright inside thee. Cross thy arms upon thy Heart, and say:

“Abiding always in the Center. So be it!”
“Semper in Medio manens. Esto!” or “Fiat!”
“Omphalôi aeì ménôn” (masc.) or “ménousa” (fem.). “Éstô!”
Ὀμφαλῷ ἀεὶ μένων (masc.) or μένουσα (fem.). Ἔστω!
[Suggested gesture: Bring your arms together and cross them over your chest, left over right.]

vij. And as thou makest this gesture see the Greater Lights, the Moon and Sun, rise up to stand above thy head, nor will they ever leave their station at the Pole, the Moon above the Sun, the Sun above Tau Cross; thou art Caduceus, thou art the Sacred Staff. Behold, thou hast become the Center of the World, because the Cosmic Axis runneth through thy spine; for on thy left doth stand the Pathway of the Moon, and on thy right doth stand the Pathway of the Sun; for far above thee shineth fierce the Cosmic Pole; and far below thee lieth the profound Abyss.

viij. The Omphalos TreeThou standest on the Sacred Mountain, the World Navel, under which doth hide the Watery Abyss. And at thy back doth grow the ancient Tree of Life, which stretcheth high above thy head, the Navel Cord, because the Tree and Mountain are the Cosmic Pillar, which supporteth the four Quarters of the Heavens. From Calypso’s Cave between the Tree’s deep roots, which penetrateth the Abyss, four springs spill forth, which flow to nourish the four Quarters of the World; behold, they run with honey, water, milk and wine. And here the Serpent coileth, thrice and half again, around the trunk, the Pillar of the Winged Oak. Within its leaves is perched an Eagle, Zeus’s Bird, protecting Amalthea’s Horn, a source of plenty, from which Nectar floweth into the Libation Bowl, the Breast most Bountiful, which spilleth, raining Nectar on the World. Ambrosia floweth up the Tree of Life’s great trunk, a stream sustained and nurtured by the Deep Abyss. Illumination cometh from Above and likewise Growth ariseth from Below. The World Tree is the Tree of Destiny, Her leaves the Book of Fate, for as they fall, so fall to earth the people’s winged souls, who sing their lives out in its foliage.

ix. Exalted Helen, Leda’s buxom Daughter, liveth in the fruitful Cosmic Tree, for she’s the Spirit of the Tree of Life, enwrapped within the florid Marriage Robe. Her Brothers, Dioskouroi, Sons of Zeus [Dios Kouroi], All-Shining [Pamphaês], Heavenly, the Twins of Leda, rule the Sacred Paths on either side. For Castor, who resideth underground, doth know the Lunar Discipline and therefore doth control the Pathway of Descent; and Polydeuces, who doth live above, is Master of the Solar Discipline, and thus doth rule the Pathway of Ascent.

x. For learn thou this about the Pathway of Ascent: It lieth in the sphere of Sky-subduing Zeus, who giveth fertilizing rain and warming light. He holdeth Lightning Bolts that bring Illumination, and His bolts descendeth swiftly from the Sky. The Pathway of Ascent doth go up Scylla’s Mount, which riseth into clouds and can’t be seen. Prometheus or Apollo showeth thee the Way. Thy Helpers in this journey are the Winged Horse, kind Pegasos, the Soaring Eagle, Dove and Goose. Then do thou penetrate the Heaven’s crystal Vault, and, climbing the Celestial Pole, ascend the Heavens. For this is the Way of Light, the Path by Day, the Solar Way, and thus the Pathway of the Sage.

xi. And learn thou this about the Pathway of Descent: It lieth in the jurisdiction of Poseidon, the Earth Shaker, He who giveth water fresh from springs, but also floods and earthquakes. He doth hold the Trident bringing Ecstasy; His lightning leapeth up from Earth to Sky. The Pathway of Descent is by the precipice, that lieth opposite from Scylla’s cliff, which is the lower mountain of the two, and on its slopes the Sacred Fig Tree groweth. Climb thou downward from this Tree toward Charybdis; She will draw thee downward into the Abyss. There Herakles or Circe showeth thee the Way, the Pathway past the Dog and Keeper of the Gate. Thy Helpers in this journey are the Serpent Python, and the Raging Lion and the Bull. Then do thou penetrate the Vault of the Abyss and, going down the Well, descend its levels. For this is the Way of Darkness, this the Path by Night, the Lunar Way, the Pathway of the Mage.

xij. But the Wise One knoweth this great truth: the Way Up and the Way Down are the same, for they are both upon the Cosmic Pillar. One task demandeth that we take the upward path, another dictates that we go the downward way. By Night or Day we go when Duty calls us forth. So ask thou Hermes for His guidance at the Navel.

II. Pentagrams of the Quarters

xiij. This is the way to draw the Shining Pentagrams, the signs that wardeth every Quarter of the World. The first ray goeth from the lower left to top, and continueth each ray from that before. And as thou makest each resplendant burning ray, sing thou a letter of the Pentagram’s old Name.

xiv(a). In Greek the Pentagram is called “Hugíeia” [ὑγίεια], which meaneth Soundness, Wholeness, so sing thou the sounds:

“Huuuuuuu, Gggggggg, Iiiiiiih, Aaaaaay, Aaaaaaah.”

xiv(b). In Latin “Salus” is the Pentagram’s old Name, which meaneth Soundness, Welfare, so sing thou the sounds:

“Ssssssss, Aaaaaaah, Llllllll, Uuuuuuuu, Ssssssss.”

xiv(c). Although the English labels on the Pentagram are “Whole” or “Sound,” its spoken Name is “Wholeness,” so sing thou the sounds:

“Hooooooo, Llllllll, Nnnnnnnn, Eeeeeeeh, Ssssssss.”

[In drawing the Pentagrams and forging the Ring you may use a ritual tool for directing your power (e.g. a wand), or use the ancient Egyptian gesture for projecting beneficence: the thumb and first finger pointed forward, the other three curled to the palm.]

xv. Now go thou to the East and make the Pentagram, and when the lines are joined together, call:

“Jupiter” or “Zeus”
Behold, this place is purified by Air, protected by the Storm God’s raging winds.

[This is the beginning of the banishing proper. See and feel your vicinity being swept clean by Zeus’s roaring winds.]

xvi. Now with thy Staff forge thou the Fiery Ring, and draw it from the center of the Eastern Pentagram and coiling like a Serpent to the Southern Pole, where thou wilt make another Pentagram, but call:

“Vulcan” or “Hephaestus”
“Volcane” [pron. wol-KAH-neh]
Behold, this place is purified by Fire, protected by the Craftsman’s blazing forge.

[See and feel the fire’s hot blast burning away all pollution and impurity.

Also appropriate for the South is:

“Hecate” [pron. “HEH-kah-tay”]
Behold, this place is purified by Fire, protected by Hecáte’s burning torch.

Pluto / Hades is also appropriate for the South, but in Greek He should be invoked under His auspicious name Ploútôn:

Behold, this place is purified by Fire, the furnace in the heart of Hades’ Realm. ]

xvij. Then to the West where thou invokest:

“Ceres” or “Demeter”
“Ceres” [pron. “KEH-race”]
“Dêmêtêr” [pron. day-MAY-tayr]
Behold, this place is purified by Earth, the Mother who accepts and cleanses all.

[Imagine all stains being scoured off by earth and sinking into the ground.

Also appropriate for the North is:

Juno / Hera
Hêra or Hêrê
Ἥρα or Ἥρη
She is also an Earth Goddess.]

xviij. Then to the North:

“Persephone” [pron. per-SEH-faw-nay]
Behold, this place is purified by Water, flowing tears of grave Persephone.

[See and feel all pollution being washed away.

Also appropriate for the North is:

“Neptune” or “Poseidon”
Behold, this place is purified by Water, cleansed in every way by rushing streams. ]

xix. Draw thou the Fiery Ring back to its start, so that it burneth in protection all about, a Serpent Ouroboros eating its own tail. Declare thou then:

“All is One”
“Omne Unum est”
“Hen to Pan”
Ἓν τὸ Πᾶν
The Serpent starts to rotate, slow at first, then ever faster, forging round a Ring of Strength. The Ring will then expand above and underneath until thou art surrounded by a Glowing Sphere.

III. Wards of the Quarters

xx. Now raise again thy arms to make the Sacred Tau, and focus thine attention Eastward, to thy front, and say:

“Before, Minerva/Athena”
“Ante, Minerva” [pron. Mih-NER-wah]
“Prósthen, Athênâ”
Πρόσθεν, Ἀθηνᾶ
Athena [Minerva] will appear and face thee in Her Glory, bearing Her broad Aegis and Her shielding Spear. Then She will turn Her back to watch the Eastern Part.

[Also appropriate for the East:

Mercury or Hermes
Mercurie [pron. mer-KUR-ih-eh]

xxi. West: Now focus thine attention to thy back and say:

“Behind, Bacchus/Dionysos”
“Post, Bacche”
“Ópisthen, Diónuse”
Ὄπισθεν, Διόνυσε
Dionysus will appear behind thee with His Thyrsus, and then turn to watch the Quarter to the West.

[Also be appropriate for the West: Pan (Πάν) with His Pipes.]

xxij. South: Now focus thine attention to thy right and say:

“On the right, Apollo”
“Dextra, Apollo”
“Epidéxia, Ápollon.”
Ἐπιδέξια, Ἄπολλον
Apollo will appear beside thee in His Glory, Bow in hand, and turn to watch the Southern Side.

[Also appropriate for the South is:

“Mars” or “Ares”
(with Shield and Sword). Mars was also an Italic vegetation God, and so might be evoked in the West. Vulcan / Hephaestus - Volcane / Hêphaiste [Ἥφαιστε] (with Hammer and Tongs), as given before, is also appropriate for the South.]

xxiij. North: Now focus thine attention to thy left and say:

“On the left, Diana/Artemis”
“Sinistra, Diana” [pron. dih-AH-nah]
“Ep’ aristerá, Ártemis”
Ἐπ’ ἀριστερά, Ἄρτεμις 
Artemis will stand beside thee with Her Bow. Then will She turn away to watch the Northern Side.

[Also appropriate for the North:

“Venus” or “Aphrodite”
“Venus” [pron. WEH-nus]
arising from the waves and holding Her Zona (Girdle).]

xxiv. Direct thy mind to every Quarter in its turn, and, at each one, within thee give its Ward thy thanks.

IV. The Macrocosm in the Microcosm

xxv. Now spread thy arms apart, and spread thy feet apart; assume the figure of the Sacred Pentagram, that which Pythagoras hath called Hugíeia (Salus, Whole/Sound). And when the Pentagram doth flame around thee, say:

“For around flameth the Pentagram.”
“Nam circa flagrat Pentagrammon.”
“Perì men gar phlégei to Pentágrammon”
Περὶ μὲν γὰρ φλέγει τὸ Πεντάγραμμον
[Feel your head, representing Spirit, commanding the four Mundane Elements, represented by your hands and feet.]

xxvi. Permit the two opposing Serpents to ascend and, spiraling around thy Spine, the Staff of Fire, to meet within thy head, which bears a crown with wings. When this Caduceus doth shine within thee, say:

“And within shineth the Caduceus.”
“Atque intra lucet Caduceus.”
“Entòs de lámpei to Kêrúkeion.”
Ἐντὸς δὲ λάμπει τὸ Κηρύκειον. 
[Feel the staff running up your spine. Then feel the two serpents, of complementary colors (gold/silver, yellow/blue, or red/green), coil upward around it. When they reach the top, at your nostrils, a hot stream of fire shoots up the central staff. When it reaches your head, the fire erupts and golden wings sprout from your temples.]

xxvij. The Pentagram doth signify the Microcosm; the Caduceus doth signify the Macrocosm. Thus doth the Macrocosm shine within, and thus Illuminate the Microcosm.

V. The Closing Tau Cross

xxviij. Repeat thou once again the Tau Cross as it was at the beginning of this Rite.

[You may want to try the following alternative gestures, which reflect the relation of the Elements. As you recite the text of the Tau Cross (ij-vi): (1) begin with arms crossed, left over right, on your chest; (2) lower your left arm to the Watery Abyss, (3) raise your right arm to the Celestial Fire, (4) let the Fire draw up the Water to yield Earth, by moving your left arm up to your chest and out to the left, palm down, the Way of Earth; (5) let the Water draw down the Fire to yield Air, by moving your right arm down to your chest and out to your right, palm up, the Way of Air; (6) cross your arms, left over right, on your chest, indicating the Reconciliation, Union and Balance of the Oppositions (Bivium), Worlds (Trivium) and Elemental Quarters (Quadrivium). ]

xxix. Thou hast secured thyself a Sacred Space and thou residest at the Navel of the World. Ascending on thy Right behold the Path of Light; descending on thy Left behold the Darker Path, but yet remember what the One who’s Wise doth know: the Upward Way and Downward Way are still the same, and joined together they engender Wisdom’s Path. By words it’s said, by practice lived, so be it done.


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Last updated: August 18, 2006