(Update 12/31/2017: Interested in more about this ritual? Check out my more polished, fleshed-out writeup over on this page!)
I mentioned before that I’m getting into the regular practice of performing the Headless Rite (Bornless Rite, Liber Samekh, etc.) as part of my Work. Per my genius’ instructions, I try to do this every night followed by a meditation session before my final prayers and sleep for the night. Of course, I’m procrastinating right now by typing this up instead of actually doing it, but hey, I’m still just trying to get back on the ball from New Year’s. Whine whine moan moan I’m a big baby, etc.
Now, the version of the HR that I perform is one that I based off reading the versions given in the PGM, Jason Miller’s “The Sorcerer’s Secrets”, Liber Samekh, and other sources here and there. Stephen Flowers’ “Hermetic Magic” also provides a copy, along with a bit of extra materia that I myself use: a pendant inscribed with a special symbol (see below) from the PGM and HM, along with the barbarous words “ΑΩΘ ΑΒΡΑΩΘ ΒΑΣΥΜ ΙΣΑΚ ΣΑΒΑΩΘ ΙΑΩ” on the reverse. This is based on the original PGM injunction to use a new strip of papyrus as a headband inscribed with the same, but I wanted something a little more permanent.
I asked Michael, the angel of the Sun, what he thought of the symbol, since I couldn’t find any information on it in any other resource or dictionary of symbols (gotta love those voces magicae and their crazy symbols); plus, since the HR has traditionally been marked as a Solar ritual, I figured he’d have some answers. He said it was a powerful defensive-offensive symbol, combining the images of a shield and inner power bursting through any oncoming force. Helpful, given that the original intent of the HR was to act as an exorcism, and powering through them might be a risky endeavor. Crowley adapted it, so I hear, to be something like an exorcism of the self, cleaning out the body and mind and spirit and soul to make room for the HGA.
At any rate, below is my version of the HR. I use Greek letters to represent the barbarous words, and I prefer the classical Greek pronunciation instead of the modern one, but either works, depending on your level of comfort with how you like alien sounds coming out of your face. Whenever the text “[Rubric]” appears, it means to repeat a given statement of intent, like “Deliver N. from this demon that plagues him!” for using the HR as an exorcism, or “Deliver to me my HGA, deliver to me my Supernatural Assistant, deliver to me the spirit N. who is tasked with guiding and leading me through this and all lives!” for attaining K&CHGA. The standard rubric from Liber Samekh works well for either situation, I’m guessing.
Knowing the rubric I want, I put on my pendant and perform my invocation. The PGM says to face north, the direction of the immortal Northern Stars, but modern sources say to face east, the direction of the rising Sun. Either works, much like where you perform it (physical or astral), depending on your background and inclinations.
ΑΩΘ ΑΒΡΑΩΘ ΒΑΣΥΜ ΙΣΑΚ ΣΑΒΑΩΘ ΙΑΩ
Thee I invoke, the Headless One.
Thee, who created earth and the heavens.
Thee, who created night and day.
Thee, who created darkness and light.
Thou art OSORONNŌPHRIS*, whom no man hath ever seen.
Thou art IABAS!
Thou art IAPŌS!
Thou hast distinguished between the just and the unjust.
Thou hast made the female and the male.
Thou has revealed the seed and the fruit.
Thou hast made men to love each other and hate each other.
I am thy prophet to whom thou hast transmitted thy mysteries, the whole quintessence of Mageia.
Hear me! I am the messenger of OSORONNŌPHRIS!
This is thy true name handed down to the prophets!
ΑΡΒΑΘΙΑΩ ΡΕΙΒΕΤ ΑΘΕΛΕΒΕΡΣΗΘ ΑΡΑ ΒΛΑΘΑ ΑΛΒΕΥ ΕΒΕΝΦΧΙ ΧΙΤΑΣΓΟΗ ΙΒΑΩΘ ΙΑΩ
I call upon thee with an empty spirit, oh awesome and invisible god!
ΑΡΟΓΟΓΟΡΟΒΡΑΩ ΣΟΧΟΥ ΜΟΔΟΡΙΩ ΦΑΛΑΡΧΑΩ ΟΟΟ
Holy Headless One, hear me!
ΡΥΒΡΙΑΩ ΜΑΡΙ ΩΔΑΜ ΒΑΑΒΝΑΒΑΩΘ ΑΣΣ ΑΔΩΝΑΙ ΑΦΝΙΑΩ ΙΘΟΛΗΘ ΑΒΡΑΣΑΞ ΑΗΩΩΥ
ΜΑΒΑΡΡΑΙΩ ΙΟΗΛ ΚΟΘΑ ΑΘΟΡΗΒΑΛΩ ΑΒΡΑΩΘ
ΑΩΘ ΑΒΡΑΩΘ ΒΑΣΥΜ ΙΣΑΚ ΣΑΒΑΩΘ ΙΑΩ
He is the lord of the gods!
He is the lord of the world!
He is the one whom the winds fear!
He is the one who made all things by the command of his voice!
Lord, King, Master, Helper, empower my soul!
ΙΕΟΥ ΠΥΡ ΙΟΥ ΠΥΡ ΙΑΩΤ ΙΑΗΩ ΙΟΟΥ ΑΒΡΑΣΑΞ ΣΑΒΡΙΑΜ ΟΟ ΥΥ ΕΥ ΟΟ ΥΥ ΑΔΩΝΑΙΕ
Εδε, εδε, αγγελος του Θεου!
ΑΝΛΑΛΑ ΛΑΙ ΓΑΙΑ ΑΠΑ ΔΙΑΧΑΝΝΑ ΧΟΡΥΝ
At this point in the invocation, center yourself, and picture yourself existing in all moments and in all places, transcendent of and immanent throughout the whole Cosmos.
I am the Headless One with sight in the feet!
I am the mighty one who possesseth the immortal fire!
I am the Truth that hateth that evil is wrought in the world!
I am the one who maketh the lightning flash and the thunder roll!
I am the one whose sweat is the heavy rain that falls upon the earth that it might be fertile!
I am the one whose mouth is utterly aflame!
I am the one who begetteth and destroyeth!
I am the Grace of the World!
“HEART GIRT WITH A SERPENT” is my name!
Come and follow, that every spirit, whether heavenly or ethereal, upon the earth or under the earth, on dry land or in the water, of whirling air or rushing fire, and every spell and scourge of God may be obedient unto me.
* Osoronnōphris: a Greek rendition of the Egyptian phrase “Osiris made beautiful/perfected”. Iabas and Iapōs are supposedly Samaritan versions of the name of the divine name Iaō. Together, these three names might be different epithets or aspects of the Deity, or another set of terms for the Father/Son/Paraclete trinity prevalent in Hermetic and Christian theology.