"If I had a £1 for every person I've met over the years who's said, "oh I don't bother with banishing rituals" - and then wondered why they started to have problems with their magic - I'd probably have, er..well enough money for a meal in a decent London restaurant. A Banishing Ritual is one of the first practical exercises that you should learn in magic (in my view, anyway), and by doing so, you can save yourself a lot of trouble later on.
Banishing is also known as Centering, which in many respects, is a more accurate term for the exercise.
So what is a Banishing Ritual? Essentially, Banishing has three aims. The first is that it 'warms you up' as a preparation for doing further ritual, meditation, or whatever, enabling you to put aside 'everyday thoughts' - "what's on TV later", etc. It allows you to take on the role of 'magician' (I'll go into this later on), and to place yourself in the 'centre' of your magical universe - the axis mundi. Secondly, Banishing sets up the space you are working in as 'sacred', so that the loft, bedroom, basement or wherever you are becomes, temporarily, a 'temple' space. Thirdly, a Banishing 'clears' the atmosphere of the area that you're working in of 'psychic debris' - I'm not entirely happy with this description, so I'll try and expand on that later as well.
Most Banishing rituals have three basic components:
- A section to focus awareness on the BodyMind.
- A section which demarcates the main zones, gates, quarters or dimensions of the chosen magical universe - at which you are the centre.
- An identification with a chosen source of inspiration - merging the macrocosm (total psychocosm) with the microcosm (self)."
Check http://philhine.org.uk/writings/rit_banishintro.html for an example of a great Banishing Ritual for beginners. If you're doing it with feeling, feeling will do something to you.