Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why I dont use Opening by Watchtower more often

Jason Miller, over on his blog, just asked why all the ritual outlines we see tend to start with LBRP or LBRH, and not the Opening by Watchtower, when doing practical magic in the Golden Dawn/Modern Magick context.

(For the sure-to-stumble-upon-this-post newbie: LBRP---Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram; LBRH---Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram; Modern Magick is the title of a book by Donald Michael Kraig, which has became the core textbook for a lot of people.)

I am not sure that I have a good answer for him. For that matter, I am not sure if I am in the context that he is talking about. I presume that I am. If not, *shrugs*.

So here is my personal answer, I generally skip the LBRP and LBRH in my own workspace; it is used for lodge and ritual related work mainly, so I only occasionally have to clean up after a non-ritual use. But I teach that if your ritual room is used for something else, then one really should do the Lesser Rituals of Banishment.

(The use of the room by the cats do not count...though occasionally I do wonder what they are doing with the simple Enochian Chess set.)

And most of my rituals start with the proper Opening of the Grade that I am working in. The kicker is that the Opening by Watchtower is not part of any of the Golden Dawn Openings that my Order uses. Therefore, I do not spend a lot of time working with it. (There is Enochian in the Openings, but not this particular ritual.)

As for the greater Golden Dawn/Ritual Magick community not using the Opening by Watchtower more often, I would venture the guess that they are taking their cue from what they see other people doing. Given the fact that most are learning from reading books and other material, it is natural for them to think of this as the proper way of doing things. If you see a hundred outlines saying that the Lesser Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram is the proper way to start, and only one that says otherwise, you tend to go with the majority opinion.

I learned practical magic by observing actual people doing the work, therefore I picked up a different set of habits. Of course, one wonders how the people who showed me Our Arte and Craft overlooked the fact that most of the Regardie examples start off with the Lesser Rituals of Banishment. Then again, one wonders how the Modern Magick community have ignored Kraig's examples. I know the answer to the former, but not the latter.

If you have a better answer than mine, please hop over to Jason Miller's blog and tell it to him.


Imperator John D. Griffin, HOGD/AO said...

The Opening by Watchtower designed specifically for the GD Portal Ritual. Now, out of that context, why on Earth would one want to begin, lets say, a Venus invocation, by invoking every element under the Sun?

LBRP and LBRH, for me, are the astral equivalent of sweeping out the room and letting in some fresh air.

I am a stickler for having a clean magical space, so that the only force present is the one invoked. Otherwise, how are you supposed to feel those subtle Venusian energies through all of that thick Elemental pea soup you invoke with the Opening by Watchtower?

Sincerus Renatus... said...

Frater Morgan,

I really like you idea of opening with the Grade that you currently are in. If anything, the Opening by Watch-Tower may be used as a opening of the 5=6 Grade. Its origin is from the Vault Consecration Ceremony, so there you have it; Regardie didn't "invent" it.

In Licht, Leben und Liebe,

Sincerus Renatus... said...

I may add that the only change that Regardie did to the Watch-Tower ritual was that he inserted the peculiar "Enochian Call" used by the Stella Matutina in their version of the Portal Ritual. That call, however, was designed by MacGregor Mathers to invoke the ruling Angels of the Tablet of Union. In my opinion the Ritual of the Portal of the Vault of the Adepti and the 5=6 Ritual itself are very much interlinked (just see the opening of the 5=6 Grade).

In Licht, Leben und Liebe,

Samuel said...

To further the comments here. What is termed the Opening by the Watchtower is something that Regardie certainly popularized. His contribution though to it was to add in the Enochian from the First Call.

As a general Opening it (minus the Enochian) was used by the SM for sure in several 5=6 grade work rituals as early as 1910. Whether it was used earlier by the GD or another off-shoot group, I do not know.

That being said, as an adept I prefer the SRP as an opening rather than Opening by Watchtower. Perhaps I am a Traditionalist in that regard as that is what was taught in the GD as the standard opening and closing.

Additionally, it helps to create a much cleaner and specific area to work within. At least in my humble opinion, especially in relation to drawing upon the potency of the Divine.


Nick Farrell's Blog said...

You should also do a LRP before you do your grade ritual too. :-)

I use a variant of the watchtowers (which is closer to the supreme pentagram) for several reasons:
1. the act of balancing the four elements opens the gateway for spirit. This is one of the "mysteries" of the portal. It is that spirit which gives you the authority to do the rest of the working.
2.If you want the co-operation of elemental forces in the ritual.

Mastering the watchtowers is an art, when it is hit properly you have a bright clear space with the elements in harmony. Everything becomes extremely sharp and in focus.... it is a point from where the Higher Self and Lower self merge and is a necessarily component of higher magic.

It is from these sorts of actions that the minor rituals become important for spiritual development and the keys to working the more heavy aspects of the bigger rituals.

Having said that I don't like Regardie's watchtower ritual much.

Pallas Renatus said...

Be careful with the cats, they've been known to set cacodaemons on unsuspecting magicians who have been late with feedings :-p

Orion Silverstar said...

My cats are always around just before I start the ritual, however once I have got under way with the LBRP and BRH they are no were to be found. Yet as soon as I finish the ritual I am doing they suddenly show again near myself and the closed down circle. I remember when I first started out with the Great Work my cats where always around, but not anymore till as I say, it is finished. As for the subject mentioned here, I always use the LBRP and BRH as to me they are the very foundation of the start and finish of a ritual, even if not doing any magickal workings. I would have to agree with David here in that the room in my house is used for other things. As there are many energies passing through it and within it through the week including other spirits and Entities due to the work I do. So having all the energies cleared away from the astral realm is a must in my books. After doing these two rituals I can feel the change in the vibration almost right away in which is an amazing feeling. I am happy to use The Opening By Watchtower ritual simply for what it means and represents, plus what it does. Sometimes I use the Holy Names in Enochian for the ritual and other times I will use the Holy Names in Hebrew for each element, just depends on what I am doing. LVX Orion.