Banishing rituals are essential at the beginning and end of every working. Not only do they take care of any accumulated negative energy in the environment; they also serve to put the magician in the right frame of mind for the magic to follow. Banishing rituals help you focus your will. In Wicca, the equivalent of a banishing is casting and closing a circle. Synonymous with banishing is 'opening' and 'closing' rites.

The banishing, or opening at the beginning of the ritual usually consists of three parts: focusing on the body/mind, defining the magickal space, identifying with a chosen source of inspiration.


For this any number of breathing and meditation techniques are suitable.

First, to focus my attention on my body, I breathe in the rhythm 4/4. Breathe in to the count of four, hold for a count of four, and breathe out again to the count of four, hold to the count of four, and repeat the process. This relaxes my body and focuses my mind.

For the mind part I like using the Middle Pillar exercise. I do not use the god names form Qaballah, however. I substitute my own pagan ones.

Magickal Space

Magickal space could be defined in several ways. Personally I like to put a piece of string around the area where my ritual is to be done. Then I visualise a pillar of octarine rising from the string to surround me and my space.

Other techniques include calling the quarters and using the four elements (water, earth, air, fire) to cleanse the ritual space.

Any one or combination of the above can be used. For example, a representation of one of the elements can be used for cleansing. Salt (earth) can be sprinkled in the ritual space or around the circle. Insence can be used to represent air, and a candle to represent fire.

Source of Inspiration

Now it is time to merge with your source of inspiration. This could be any form of higher consciousness. It could be your higher self, or any god form.

You could write a chant to invoke the source of inspiration, or simply meditate on its presence and its merging with your self. The Speaking of the Way as adapted by Arawyn conThanatos has worked particularly well for me, because of its specific identification with Chaos concepts.


At the end of any ritual, a considerable amount of energy has been raised. In order to disperse this energy safely, it is necessary to perform a closing banishing.

Many Chaotes like to use laughter. Hysterical, or soft and tinkling. Any kind is suitable for your closing. When you have finished the ritual, simply think of something funny, and laugh.

I normally visualize my pillar sinking into the floor while I laugh.


Banishing rituals are as important as the body of the ritual itself. It can take many forms. The trick is finding the one suitable for yourself. This is done through experimentation. Here you will find several excellent opening rites to get you started.

As with everything else in Chaos, what you use doesn't really matter. If it works for you, it's valid.


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