I'm hoping someone can give me advice on banishing negative or obsessive thought patterns.
First, I should say that I'm very new to the practice of magick, and although I have quite a few books on the subject they're in America where I'm not and won't be for some time, and most of them I haven't read yet.
Anyway, I've been starting each day with a simple exercise - Qabbalistic Cross, LBRP, meditation, Qabbalistic Cross. Recently I started incorporating a ritual I saw at a Golden Dawn website recommended for banishing negative thought patterns. It comprises projecting the negative thoughts outside yourself by using the sign of Horus, and then making the sign of Harpocrates to silence them. At first it worked pretty well, but recently it's been slipping, so-much-so that last time as I was preforming the final Qabbalistic Cross I was interrupted by such thoughts.
Does anyone with more experience in this area have any advice? I mean experience either in magick, or in dealing with negative thought patterns in a magickal or non-magickal context that they felt was effective for them.
It takes time and practice to rid ourselves of these negative thought patterns. I do not know any Magician that does not struggle with this at the start of their magical development . Along with your banishing rituals, I would suggest Asana, Pranayama and a simple Mantra of your choice (I like -Om Mani-Padmi-Hum, for its simple rhythm). You may find that these techniques strengthen your Pratyahara (focus) as you perform any ritual; be patient. It took your lifetime to develope the way you think and feel, and it will take time to change these patterns. Liber Aba (Book IV) is a good place to start for reading on this subject. Do not be discouraged. Keep at it.
I am relatively new to Magick myself, so my advise is coming more from a non-magickal context.
I have found that addressing the 'mechanism' that causes obsessive thoughts is more effective than attempting to 'banish' what is already coming through the chute. In the case of OCD, it is chemical, and can be treated sucessfully with medication. In other cases, I think of 'obsessive thinking' or 'Negative thought patterns' as a mechanical process. A process that can exhaust even the strongest mind. I found that once I removed the 'subject' of the obsessive thoughts (whatever it may be in the moment) from the equation, it exposed the feeble construct of gears and machinery. A machine that will only continue working if you continue to feed it. It is seductive to believe all the things you think. The fact is, much of what you think (that negative voice in your head) is not at all true.
It took me one solid year to get a grip on this. You have to be vigilant in keeping your thoughts in check, and yourself in the present moment. There were some days when all I could do was 'think' the word 'Stop'....just to keep from tripping the switch. Often times I would employ funny visualizations of me driving a bus....and the 'negative self talk' being a passenger....which I would kick off the bus in various and amusing ways. Whatever works for you, and if something stops working, invent another way.
It isn't easy~but it is necessary~
If the problem is a specific phrase or words that just won't go away then try saying them out loud. The mentle act of pushing them away can often exacerbate the condition.
If it is just negative types of thoughts such as depressive or irritable fantasies then you could try personifying them and instead of getting tangled up with them ask them why they are so pissed off with you?
Have a conversation with them, they may have a point?
This method is useful if they will not go away by an act of will it would seem that the unconscious is determined you should take notice.
Use the LBRP. The LBRP is a powerful ritual that many beginners don't take the time to learn well or to learn it's real purpose. It is much more than a banishing ritual.
However, it is a very effective banishing ritual. Simply create a symbol, picture or some other representation of whatever is bothering you. When you are doing the LBRP, simply project that image outside your circle when you use the sign of the enterer. See it outside of your circle and being cut off from your sphere of sensation.
Until you become proficient at it, you may have to do it a couple of times to completely get rid of whatever it is you are trying to.
I just wanted to take a moment and say thanks to all of you for responding. It is something I think everyone has to go through, and its nice to know others have faced the same challenges. I'm sure I'll conquer it in time, it's only how much time that troubles me.