Closing the Space
One basic ability that we will need to develop is to close
the "space" which we are going to use for our shamanic radio work. The concept
of "cleansing" can have very abstract and almost supersticious connotations in
certain circles, and some of these connotations may even be warranted, but we should start
from a very basic and simple premise that will allow us to progress without getting bogged
down in speculations and empty ritualistic conditioning. We have constructed a radio. Now
we want it to be turned on. As we have explained, turning it on means to allow for the
electricity to flow through it, to enter into the radio, to circulate within it and to
leave it at a specific exit point. For this to work smoothly, the "space" where
the radio operates and the radio itself must be as "clean" as possible. No
matter how many speculations enter your mind at this point, try to avoid focusing on them
and simply look at it in this very simple and straightforward manner.
I am going to build a small radio on my work table. The table
is cluttered and full of things left over from previous projects. I need to clear the
table in order to work on my new project. The table is not "evil" because it is
cluttered. I am not "evil" for having a cluttered table (nor am I
"good", "better than others" or "saintly" for cleaning it!).
And the things left over from previous projects are also not "evil" or
"unclean" in themselves. Their only characteristic in relation to this project
is that they are not useful and they are taking up space. Try to remember this simple
metaphor each time thoughts of "evil spirits", "bad vibrations",
"curses" or "spells" come to mind.
The Banishing Ritual
There are different ways
to do a banishing ritual. Each culture, and each tradition has at least one.
Besides, each practitioner develops a unique style and variation. This chapter is
designed to provide the building blocks of a banishing ritual, so that you can construct
your own or adapt an existing formula to your own style. Also, by being mindful of
these building blocks, you will be able to tweak and play with the elements of an existing
ritual to make it more effective without losing its essence.
A banishing ritual is the
esoteric equivalent of cleaning your desk before working. Or setting up a room
before a meeting. The most common conception of the clearing of a space is to think
of your work area as a circle in which only those elements you will use are present, and
everything else is removed. Now, one of the tricks of doing a successful banishing
ritual, or one of the fundamental blocks of constructing one, is to think of the ritual
itself not as removing something undesired but as filling up the space with something
else. This is a bit tricky, but it is an important point. Most descriptions of
a banishing ritual present it as a way to clean, remove, or get out of the way a number of
obstacles. The reason this conception is faulty, is because the one doing the
removing is usually bringing in the same elements she is trying to remove. It is
like a person with muddy shoes sweeping with a dusty broom; as soon as the dirt is removed
from the room, more dirt is left behind. So, the banishing ritual could be better
described as the introduction of an agent which, by its very nature, removes the
unwanted elements. In the cleaning example, the banishing ritual could be thought of
as a cleaning detergent that removes germs and dirt (even from the cloth and hands of
the person cleaning).
We must be careful,
however, not to put too much stock into a metaphor. The descriptions we are
offering are not intended to imply that what you are banishing is
all "bad" (like dirt, germs,etc.) Some of the elements you remove can
also be neutral, or even good. It just so happens that they are useless or
distracting for what you are about to do. Here are a couple more images that
could illustrate what a banishing ritual is:
- You have a blank
piece of paper. Your task is to banish the emptiness off the page. Since you
cannot "take" the blankness and remove it, you need to put something that would
drive the emptiness out: words, patterns, drawings, etc.
- You are trying to
read, but there is a lot of noise outside your room. Instead of trying to quiet
everyone, you just put on some music you enjoy and sit down to read.
The second basic element
of a banishing ritual is to have a small, limited area where the ritual will take
place. This area should be small enough to be readily visible, and ample enough to
allow at least some movement inside. At the very least, it sould be big enough
to allow someone to turn around while standing up. This area should be
specified ahead of time. If more than one person will participate in the banishing
ritual or the work after the banishing, the limits of the banishing area should be stated
clearly and ahead of time. This could be something as simple as: "the work area
for today is this room" (or this clearing, or this patio, or from this tree to that
rock, etc.) If the area is not clearly defined, place something in its perimeter
that would define it: a cord, a line drawn with chalk, a chair, etc.).
element consists in defining four directions. It is customary to use the
four cardinal points (East, West, South, and North). An alternative, used often when
you need to do a Banishing Ritual in a hurry while lost in deep space or simply taking
a stroll on the Abyss (or even when taking on a Troll on the Ad Ibns), is to decide
which will be the four points by simply deciding which direction "feels"
like North, etc. Mark the directions in some way, like hanging a picture, putting a
mark, or in any other way that will help you remember which is which.
Finally, the last element
for constructing a Banishing Ritual is a certain attitude. The attitude is that of
entering a working space, where everything that goes on in that circle is
aligned to what you want to do. Every action and every item has an
intention, and the intention is aligned to your will. (Therefore the ritual will not
end up with anything you did not intend or want to happen, unless you have invoked it
yourself..right? or no?) That's it. These are the building blocks. The rest is
the fluff. Next, you'll have a sample of a banishing ritual you can construct, fluff
Closing the space Allowing inside only whats needed
The Banishing Ritual, the cleansing, closing in all dimensions (in
space, time and the higher dimensions), safeguarding the space