The Star Ruby

First appearing in print with the publication of the Book of Lies in 1913 e.v., the Star Ruby (chapter 25 of Liber CCCXXXIII) was described by Crowley as a “new and more elaborate version of the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.” Disciples at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu performed the ritual as part of their daily practices, along with Will and Liber Resh. The ritual was later modified somewhat and released in 1929 e.v. as an appendix of Magick in Theory and Practice (Book4: Part III), where Crowley also noted in chapter 13: “It is usually sufficient to perform a general banishing, and to rely upon the aid of the guardians invoked. Let the banishing therefore be short, but in no wise slurred – for it is useful as it tends to produce the proper attitutude of mind for the invocations. ‘The Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram’ (as now rewritten, Liber 333, Cap. XXV) is the best to use.” 

Built up from the traditional Lesser Pentagram Ritual of the Golden Dawn (see Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae, section IV), while similar in some aspects, the Star Ruby also has many significant differences in its structure; for example, using Greek instead of Hebrew intonations; similarly, while its predecessor is suitable for both invoking and banishing elemental forces, the Star Ruby is exclusively a banishing ritual – and a truly thorough, focused, and exceedingly powerful one. The rituals do build upon one another, and it has been found beneficial in my experience to first master the older form before working with this new and improved ritual. 

The ritual opens with the establishment of the divine form of Hoor-paar-kraat in the operator, as he assumes the Sign of Silence. The successfully establishment of this form and condition of consciousness is central to the remainder of the ritual, for it establishes within the magician the center of authority within as the “still, silent self” of the Divine Child Harpocrates, a symbol of the Holy Guardian Angel that is effectively known and experienced as the True Will. From this center of Silence, the calm depths of true power, lying timeless in eternity, we now move into action. The lightning flash of Will is invoked to banish by fiat with a “great sweep” of the right hand “down and out, expelling forcibly thy breath” the words Από πάυτως κακοδαιμουος (“away every evil spirit.”).

The qabalistic cross section of the ritual invokes the solar-phallic regency of God in all glory and majesty:

With the same forefinger touch thy forehead and say ΣΟΙ, thy member, and say Ω ΦΑΛΛΕ, thy right shoulder, and say ΙΣΧΥΡΟΣ, thy left shoulder, and say ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΟΣ then clasp thine hands, locking the fingers, and cry ΙΑΩ.

In the sparse notes to the ritual given in Liber 333, Crowley informs us in a footnote to the phrase Ω ΦΑΛΛΕ  that the“secret sense of the words is to be sought in the numeration thereof.” The isopsephy of this injunction to the solar-phallic creative God has a value of 1366, which is identical to that of κτεις (535) + φαλλος (831), or yoni + lingam. Another phrase with this same value is η φωνη, “the voice.” Thus visualizing oneself standing as a radiating erect column of light, crying out in Greek words which may be translated“Thy, O Phallus, Mighty, Beneficient, IAO!” the creative and irresistible universal currents of Love, Life and Liberty are invoked.

The ritual then proceeds to the establishment of the quarters, with a flaming pentagram visualized at the forehead and cast forth into each cardinal quarter with the forceful Sign of the Enterer. The older form of the ritual from Liber 333 uses the formula of יהוה in descent around the perimeter of the circle as the magician moves widdershins, so that to the East is associated Fire and the Lion Kerub; to the North is Water and the Eagle Kerub; in the West, the Kerub of Man and Air; and finally in the South the element of Earth and the Bull Kerub. The characteristic vocalization of each Kerub is used to project the name out into the quarter: the roar of the Lion, the scream of the Eagle, the voice of Man, and the bellowing of the Bull.[1]

The circle being completed, the magician returns to the center of the circle and raises “thy voice in the Paian” invoking Pan under the starry dome of Night, and giving the Signs of N.O.X. in such a way as to show the progression up the Tree of Life and across the Abyss. Then the magician, standing in the radiant form of the solar-phallic cross, calls forth the guardians of the quarters and the effulgent ensigns of the Pentagram and Hexagram. The guardians called forth in this ritual are not those of the Hebraic Archangels as in the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram; rather, the Star Ruby appears to be working with beings that first find their description in the Neoplatonic accounts of Proclus.

The rite then concludes with the Qabalistic Cross again, followed by the banishing by fiat.


[1] These names and vocalizations would be changed in the later version of the ritual, using Therion, Nuit, Babalon and Hadit instead. The later form is more in alignment with the structure of Liber V vel Reguli.

[written September 2003]

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