Here you go, folks.  After last night's wonderful ritual, and the
encouragement of a few people on the group (Thanks, IED and |>oug!),
I'm going ahead and posting my explanation of the LBRP and its
influence in the Kate song "Lily."  Damn the flames, full speed
ahead!  Enjoy!

             The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

THE SCHOLARLY STUFF:  All of the quotes within quotation marks (")
is taken from _The_Middle_Pillar_ by Israel Regardie.  (Llewellyn
Publications, original copyright 1938.)  The song excerpts are
from "Lily", on the Kate Bush album _The_Red_Shoes_.  (Columbia
Records, 1993.)

First of all, let me clear up a misconception which was being
spread in this newsgroup earlier: that the LBR is an "Aleister
Crowley ritual."  This ritual was used by the Hermetic Order of
the Golden Dawn in London in the 1890's, and Crowley was a member
or the Order, so if you see it attributed to him, he got it from
the Golden Dawn.  The origins of the ritual may go further back
than that, I honestly don't know.

Here is the ritual, as taken from _The_Middle_Pillar_. (pp. 94-95)

"1. Perform the Qabalistic Cross.

 2. Face East.  Stretch out right hand holding a dagger.  Trace a
    Banishing Earth Pentagram.  Vibrate the word YHVH. (Pronounced

 3. Still holding out hand and dagger, turn to the South.  Trace
    another Pentagram in precisely the same way and vibrate the
    word ADNI (Ah-doh-nai).

 4. Then turn to the West and trace Pentagram.  Vibrate AHIH

 5. Turn North.  Trace Pentagram and vibrate AGLA (Ah-ge-lah).

 6. Return to the East.  Extend arms in the form of Cross.

 7. Say: 'Before me Raphael.'

 8. 'Behind me Gabriel.'

 9. 'On my right hand Michael.'

10. 'On my left hand Auriel.'

11. 'For before me flames the Pentagram,'

12. 'And behind me shines the Six-rayed Star.'

13. Repeat the Qabalistic Cross."

The Qabalistic Cross is a simple step, similar to crossing oneself in
the Christian traditions.  I won't bore you with details.  It's a way
of getting into the mood of the rituals, for "getting your energies
aligned", as it were.

The tracing of the pentagrams is usually accompanied by visualising
blue flames in the air where you've traced.  The pentagrams form a
circle around you, protecting you from whatever is is you want to

"Vibrate" means to intone the words in such a way that your whole
body vibrates as you say them.  It takes practice, but the effect
is worth it, IMHO.

When the pentagrams have all been traced, the Archangels of the four
elements are called to watch over you and the circle.  You're not
"summoning" them, you're just asking for their help.

Steps 11 and 12 finish things up, finalizing the banishing effect.
Personally, I visualize a circle of blue flame joining the pentagrams
together as I say this.  Some people do different things.  Hey,
whatever works.

The final Qabalistic Cross, like the first one, is to change your
mindset, in this case returning you to the "ordinary" world.

This is considered a very basic ritual, and is often used as an
introduction to more powerful rituals.  According to Regardie,
"The function of this ritual... is pre-eminently one of banishment.
Its aim is to eliminate from the sphere of the mind those
qualities or sensations which the critical ego deems unnecessary."
(pp. 95-96)  The ritual won't cure your psychosis, but if you're
feeling angry, sad, depressed, etc., this can help get you out of
it and make you feel better.  Ideally, you should use it every day,
at about the same time of day.  Prolonged use is highly encouraged!

So what the Hecate does this all have to do with the Goddess Kate?


        Oh thou, who givest sustenance to the universe
        From whom all things proceed
        To whom all things return
        Unveil to us the face of the true spiritual sun
        Hidden by a disc of golden light
        That we may know the truth
        And do our whole duty
        To journey to thy sacred feet

This is an absolutely beautiful passage, and I have absolutely no
idea what its source is.  It sounds like something a Western
Mysteries occult group would use, the same type of group which
would use the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

        Well I said
        "Lily, Oh Lily I don't feel safe
        I feel that life has blown a great big hole through me"
        And she said
        "Child, you must protect yourself
        I'll show you how with fire"

Pretty basic stuff here.  Kate (or Kate's character in the song)
feels unsafe, and asks for protection.  Lily will show her how
she can do this for herself.  The fire obviously refers to the
flames of the Pentagrams.

        Gabriel before me
        Raphael behind me

Oops!  In Regardie's version, the angels were evoked in the other
order!  Many people on alt.magick have discussed this.  One person
has pointed out that if Kate is facing west and standing upside
down, then everything works out the same.  There's another
explanation, though.  Each of those four angels is attributed
to one of the four elements: Raphael with Air; Michael with
Fire; Gabriel with Water; and Auriel (or Uriel) with Earth.  The
elements are attributed to the directions, similarly:  Air with
East; Fire with South; Water with West; and Earth with North.
Not all occult groups put the elements in those directions,
though.  Local geography is the main consideration, so if
you have an ocean or lake to your east, and the wind usually
comes from the west, why not attribute Water to East and Air
to West?  I expect that that's what happened here, and that
Lily's group have just moved the angels along with the directions.
(Hey, if a ritual isn't adaptable, it's not worth doing!  IMHO,
of course.)

        Michael on my right
        Uriel on my left side
        In the circle of fire

        I said
        "Lily, Oh Lily I'm so afraid
        I fear I am walking in the Veil of Darkness"

This "Veil of Darkness" could mean just about anything.  I don't
know of any special significance here.

        And she said
        "Child, take what I say
        With a pinch of salt

Aha!  In my pagan tradition, and many others, salt is considered
a symbol of Earth, and is used for purification, of the self or
of the temple/circle/sacred space/whatever.  It's worth noting
that the LBR is considered an Earth-oriented ritual - note that
you're supposed to trace "Banishing Earth Pentagrams".  So the
mention of salt here is consistent with the rest of the ritual.

(And of course, when studying any kind of occultism, it's always
best to take everything with a pinch of salt!)

        And protect yourself with fire"

        (repeat chorus)

So in conclusion, the song is about someone who wants protection
from something, and Lily shows her how to use the ritual to
do what she wants, to protect herself and banish whatever
nastiness she's afraid of.

This interpretation is far from perfect.  If you have any
ideas, questions, comments, or even flames, please post them
or mail them to me at  Don't worry,
I won't hand your name out to anyone if you're concerned.
RobH (or Rob Henderson, if you prefer) /
She gotta dance, and she just can't stop 'till them shoes come off. (Kate Bush)
Oh no, giant grasshoppers are attacking... the Beatles!  (MST3K)