ORPHIC CIRCLE/PENTAGRAM RITE
This is not a traditional Orphic practice, but something I came up with as a formulaic ritual which can be performed without the need for any equipment or paraphernalia, and can be used to strengthen one’s connection with the Gods, as a learning and memory exercise, to cleanse and purify a space, for protection, healing, banishing negative energies and thoughts, and all the things the Ritual Magick Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram can be used for. In my past Craft and Ritual Magick training, I used to use the LBRP as a quick banishing/cleansing rite, which was easy to perform wherever I was – a standard formula, which once learned needed no preparation or equipment. However, the LBRP is firmly based in a Hebrew Monotheistic theology, using names of God and the archangels, which doesn’t really fit in with my beliefs or practices, and I have tried in the past replacing the Hebrew names with various Hellenic Gods, but it never really seemed to fit. I did some research and found a few different versions of the Pentagram ritual calling on the Hellenic Gods – one by Israel Regardie in his book The Middle Pillar, and another by John Opsopaus, The Olympic Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, as well as others focussing on particular Hellenic Deities. But none of them really seems to fit with Orphic practice, and I decided that something different was needed. Then, whilst performing my daily practice one evening, as I was lighting the 12 candles dedicated to the 12 Olympians, and dedicating each candle, reciting the names, powers and zodiacal correspondence of each, it occurred to me that this could be used as the basis of an Orphic Circle/Pentagram ritual, rather than trying to fit the Gods into the four quarters, as adaptations of the LBRP do. In some ways this rite is more akin to the Runic Circle created by Freya Aswynn, another formulaic rite which I learned and practiced during a time that I was exploring the Northern Tradition. I wanted to make it less ceremonial, and more Orphic. Less about commanding the forces, and more about connecting with the Gods, and the purity, healing and wholeness that brings. I have kept the use of the Pentagrams in the ritual, because the Pentagram is a Greek symbol of wholeness, health and blessings. It should be noted that this rite is not designed to replace traditional Orphic ritual, offerings, prayer and devotional practice, which should I believe take priority. It is designed as an additional, formulaic rite for use when needed.
The Pythagorean Pentacle
Some notes Extracted from: (http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/PP/index.html)
The Pentagram and Hexagram were both used for protection in ancient Greece. The Pythagoreans used it as a sign of recognition, and called the pentagram Υγιεια (Hugeieia or Hygeia), which is usually translated as “Health”, but also means something like “soundness” or “wholeness”, or can be used to signify “Divine blessing”. See the following link for a pronounciation guide http://atticgreek.org/pronunc/practiceUnit6.html The word is associated with the Latin words Vegetus (lively, vigorous) and Vegeo (to quicken). The Pythagoreans also used the greeting “Be sound/whole/blessed!” (Υγιαινε, Hugiaine!) (see Scholia in Aristoph., Nubes 609; Lucian, Pro lapsu 5). Hugeieia (Hygeia) is also the Goddess of Health, (Salus is the Roman equivalent).
The Pythagoreans apparently labeled the points on the Pentagram with the Greek letters ΥΓΙΕΙΑ, arranged counterclockwise from the top point (Allman, 1889, Greek Geometry from Thales to Euclid), arranged thus: Υ-Γ-Ι-ΕΙ-Α, but sometimes the letter Θ replaced the ΕΙ, perhaps because when handwritten, the letters epsilon and iota (ΕΙ) could resemble a theta (Θ). Examples are also found where the letters are placed clockwise round the pentagram.
The letters labeling the points of the Pentagram are the first letters of Greek words for the Elements:
Υ (U) Υδωρ (Hudor) Water (same as in Welsh!)
Γ (G) Γαια (Gaia) Earth
Ι (I) Ιδεα (Idea) Form/Idea or Ιερον (Hieron) a Divine, holy thing
ΕΙ (EI) Ειλη (Heile) Sun’s warmth or Θ (Th) Θερμα (Therma) Heat
Α (A) Αηρ (Aer) Air
Aristotle described Four Qualities or Powers: Wet, Hot, Dry and Cold, which produce the properties of the Elements
Fire = Hot+Dry. The Four Qualities comprise two dualities: Hot/Cold (Active) and Dry/Wet (Passive)
As the Qualities are shared by pairs of elements, they fall on four lines of the Pythagorean Pentacle. E.g. Wet corresponds to the line connecting Water and Air, Hot connects Air and Fire, Cold connects Water and Earth. Dry connects Fire to Earth (cutting out Idea or Spirit, which remains separate to the “mundane” elements).
The above referenced article goes into lots more correspondences of the Pentagram, with life stages, planets, the Functions of the Self, Colours, Directions etc. This is overly complicated, and unnecessary for the purpose of this rite. The main point is that the Pentagram is a Greek symbol of wholeness, health, soundness and Divine Blessing, containing and balancing all the Elements and the Qualities or Powers. The correspondences of the points of the Penagram are different to those used in modern Ritual Magick or Craft, but it is not necessary for the purpose of this ritual to worry about the correspondences of the different points, just to be aware of the overall symbolism of the Pentagram, and why it is used.
Mentally prepare – take 3 deep breaths and breath out stresses.
Stand with right palm held above Crown centre
Greet the Gods of Creation (Divine Kings and Queens):
Hail Phanes, Hail Nyx, Hail Ouranus, Hail Gaia, Hail Kronos, Hail Rhea, Hail Zefs, Hail Ira, Hail Elefthereus Dionysos!
Greet the Olympians:
Hail Aestia! Hail Ares! Hail Artemis! Hail Iphaistos! Hail Ira! Hail Poseidon! Hail Athena! Hail Aphrodite! Hail Apollohn! Hail Aermis! Hail Zefs! Hail Dimitir!
Hail Mighty Pan who is Nature, Hail AEkati, Advocate of the Virtuous!
Hail AErohs, who flows between Gods and Mortals!
Hail to All the Blessed Gods, too numerous to name, who adorn and bless our world and lives!
Pour a libation or make an offering if you have one available, or make a personal dedication.
Face East, with two fingers of right hand draw down light from heaven, moving hand from above head to touch two fingers to forehead, intoning:
Bring light to ground, lowering hand to base chakra level, intoning
Touch right shoulder, visualizing beam of light coming from distance in the right and passing through your right shoulder, intoning
Touch left shoulder, visualizing light passing through your body and out through left shoulder and beyond, intoning
Clasp hands in prayer position over heart, intoning
Facing East inscribe a banishing pentagram in the air, beginning at bottom left point and moving clockwise, up to top point, then down to bottom right, finishing at bottom left again. Then inscribe a circle around the Pentagram, anticlockwise from top, intoning
Visualise a pillar of fire beyond the Pentagram (if feeling particularly visual, see the image of Aestia within the pillar of fire). Hold hands palms forward in greeting and intone
AESTIA, KINESIS, ZYGOS
Turn slightly anticlockwise to North East East (NEE). Repeat pentagram and circle with intonation of HUGEIA
Visualise pillar of fire (may visualize Ares within it). Hold hands palms forward in greeting and intone
ARIS, ZOI, SKORPIOS
Turn to NNE, repeat pentagram and circle and intonation of HUGEIA, gestures and visualization of pillar of fire (visualize Artemis) and intone
ARTEMIS, AENAERYEIA, TOXOTIS
Follow same procedure around the circle with intonations as follows:
N: IPHAISTOS, MORPHI, AIGOKAEROHS
NNW: IRA, AEROHS, YDROKHOOS
NWW: POSEIDOHN, PROODOS, IKHTHEIS
W: ATHINA, ALLILAEPIDRASIS, KRIOS
SWW: APHRODITE, ARMONIA, TAVROS
SSW: APOLLOHN, AELFTHAERIA, DIDYMI
S: AERMIS, KINESIS THEOS, KARKINOS
SSE: ZEFS, ZOI THEOS, LAEOHN
SEE: DIMITIR, AENAERYEIA THEOS, STAKHYS
Stand Facing East and repeat the Orphic Cross.
End by reciting:
O Blessed Gods about me, bright Thou art,
Thy power and glory burns within my heart
This place be cleansed and free from ill intent
O purifying fire from heaven sent
All about is clear and all is pure
Shine on Thy mystic, with countenance demure
For I am a child of Earth and Starry Sky
And of the race of Gods am I!