Many assume that the Golden Dawn was a fixed system and Regardie’s “black book” is an effective bible. However, as time passed, I realised that some of the things the old Whare Ra members told me differed from what was published.
Focusing on the elemental tablet
One thing is the elemental pentagrams, which, if you ask a modern Golden Dawn person, need to be directed at an Enochian tablet (seeing it as a form of elemental talisman). However, at Whare Ra, the tablets were optional. If they were used, the pentagrams were drawn through them. This visualisation method had the final pentagram drawn outside any magical space.
The reason for this was that by focusing too much on the tablet, the user would get a magical blast in the face by activating an oversupply of the tablet’s force. This was a rare event, and it took a particular type of magician to get themselves into too much trouble.*
Take your elemental tablets.
Another issue was using the tablets at all. One of the Whare Ra adepts I worked with did not bother and used to open the quarters (with the fifth being spirit) in the air like a person would draw the lesser pentagram ritual. To my considerable regret, I cannot remember if she drew active AND passive spirit pentagrams before the elemental pentagrams or just what was appropriate.
Direction of the elemental pentagrams
You would think that the elemental and spirit pentagrams should be upright. But there are circumstances where they are drawn flat. The active and passive spirit pentagrams were sometimes drawn flat over the altar as part of the supreme ritual of the pentagram.
Other times, pentagrams were drawn flat was when the elemental or spiritual force was directed into a talisman, object or altar.
The pentagrams activated a particular force within a direction or space. If you want the spirit to manifest through your altar (which is the material universe), you should have your pentagram pointing at the altar rather than hovering above it. The same applies to drawing out elemental force from a talisman.
The result is that you are bringing out the spirit or elemental force from within the atoms of the material object (and the hermetic symbols attributed to it).
Suppose you had a statue of Hades on your altar during an invocation and are planning to invoke him. Drawing active or passive spirit pentagrams over the altar (depending on what you want Hades to do) will activate all the spiritual aspects represented by the symbols of the Hades statue. The process will set up a spiritual resonance, which will assist in the invocation later.
*A person who claimed a 5=6 in New Zealand and formed a group was this type of person. He was egotistical to mistake this unbalanced blowback for magical power. Fortunately, his small group quickly folded.