Banishing rituals can be performed in order to eliminate forces that might interfere with a magical operation, and are often performed at the beginning of an important event or ceremony (although they can be performed for their own sake as well). The area of effect can be a magick circle, a room, or the magician themself. The general theory of magick proposes that there are various forces which are represented by the classic elements (air, earth, fire, and water), the planets, the signs of the Zodiac, and adjacent spaces in the astral world.[10] Magick also proposes that various spirits and non-corporeal intelligences can be present.[citation needed] Banishings are performed in order to "clean out" these forces and presences.[citation needed] It is not uncommon to believe that banishings are more psychological than anything else, used to calm and balance the mind, but that the effect is ultimately the same—a sense of cleanliness within the self and the environment. There are many banishing rituals, but most are some variation on two of the most common—"The Star Ruby" and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Crowley describes banishing in his Magick, Book 4 (ch.13):

[…] in the banishing ritual of the pentagram we not only command the demons to depart, but invoke the Archangels and their hosts to act as guardians of the Circle during our pre-occupation with the ceremony proper. In more elaborate ceremonies it is usual to banish everything by name. Each element, each planet, and each sign, perhaps even the Sephiroth themselves; all are removed, including the very one which we wished to invoke, for that forces as existing in Nature is always impure. But this process, being long and wearisome, is not altogether advisable in actual working. It is usually sufficient to perform a general banishing, and to rely upon the aid of the guardians invoked. […] "The Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram" is the best to use.
However, he further states:

“Those who regard this ritual as a mere devise to invoke or banish spirits, are unworthy to possess it. Properly understood, it is the Medicine of Metals and the Stone of the Wise."[11]

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