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Banishing Ritual

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Hold, Alduin on the wing! Sister Hawk, grant us your sacred breath to make this contract heard! Begone, World-Eater! By words with older bones than your own, do we break your perch on this Age and send you out! You are banished! Alduin, we Shout you out from all our endings unto the last! YOU! ARE! BANISHED!
Felldir the Old, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Companion to the Holy Hand Grenade, stronger than Turn Undead, and opposite of the Summoning Ritual; the Banishing Ritual sends evil somewhere else where it will at least take a while to get back. This is usually the preferred choice when the Balance Between Good and Evil means killing evil makes things worse, or Fighting a Shadow doesn't send it away long enough, or when the thing is simply hard to kill.

The mechanics of the Banishing Ritual may simply be the Curse Escape Clause or counter curse to the Summoning Ritual; or a reminder to the universe that the Eldritch Abomination or The Legions of Hell don't belong on this plane. Can be the start of or continuation of Sealed Evil in a Can. Technically, sending something to Another Dimension is "banishing", sealing something up while still in this one is "binding."

Sealing Ritual: A similar ritual that is used for sealing something, instead of banishing it to another place. The net effect is the same, although in the case of sealing, the something is still "around". Will lead to the whole Sealed Index in a Can.

See also Hollywood Exorcism, where the Banishing Ritual is specifically used against Demonic Possession. Also, Supernatural Repellent, a more mundane and typically more temporary solution.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Naruto:
    • A variant is the ritual the Akatsuki organization performed on any Jinchuriki to extract the Biju sealed in them and then seal it in the Demonic Statue of the Other Path. The ritual takes three full days to perform with full member present.
    • Another technique is the Dead Demon Consuming Seal, where the user summons and channels the shinigami to rip off the opponent's soul and seal it inside the shinigami's body. It's a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, as the user will also have their soul ripped off and sealed once they're done.
  • In the Lyrical Nanoha series, this is called "Sealing": a procedure that renders pretty much any dangerous Magitek construct inert and harmless. Sealing sentient constructs, though, pretty much equates to murder, as the heroes learn in the season two finale, where they have to seal Reinforce Eins in order to stop the Book of Darkness for good.
  • Ghost Stories runs wild with it, considering the Monster of the Week tends to be a rogue spirit recently awakened, which the heroes have to seal away.
    • The antagonist for the first episode is a special case, since the ritual used required a specific sakura tree to exist. However, by the time Satsuki and friends attempt the ritual, the sakura tree had been cut down. As a result, Amanojaku was sealed away into the first thing it could, which just happened to be a cat. Ultimately, this meant he was around for the majority of the series and could even interact with the protagonists. However, being sealed in a cat meant he was no more dangerous than, well, a cat.
    • Similarly, the Kutabe was sealed on a Jizo statue that had been destroyed. In order for it to not pull a Kaya and get it shoved into a random thing or animal, Satsuki actually had to superglue the statue's head back together.

    Comic Books 
  • In Runaways, Nico uses a "scatter" spell to temporarily banish the Light Brigade from Malibu. Unfortunately, it has the side-effect of making the Runaways unable to cooperate while the spell is active.
  • Judge Dredd: In the "Necropolis" storyline, Judge Dredd manages to save the city from the Sisters of Death by killing the Psi-Judge that they're using as a bridge to Mega City One, which banishes them back to Deadworld since they otherwise have no physical form in this dimension. The same doesn't apply to the Dark Judges, however, who are occupying animated dead bodies that have to be separately destroyed.

    Films — Animation 
  • Songstress Angel was exploited in Rock and Rule to summon a towering monster from another dimension. Free of the villain's Mind Control, Angel stands her ground: "If I can sing it up, I can sing it back." This doesn't seem to work, as Mok snarks, "The girl can't sing it back; no one can." It turns out that once Omar joins Angel in a duet, the monster recoils as though sprayed with Hollywood Acid, and retreats into its hole, not to be seen again.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The first Ghostbusters movie has the titular team Reverse the Polarity of the Hell Gate that brought the Big Bad into our universe, thus sucking it back.
  • The Cabin in the Woods: The college students encounter numerous Summoning Artifacts for the various monsters that could have descended on the cabin, but only one actual Sealing Ritual is shown in the film when the monitors observe a group of Japanese schoolgirls using a chant to contain the spirit of a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl inside a frog. The observers are livid when they see this, since a human sacrifice is necessary to stop the world from ending.
  • Kill, Baby, Kill!: When a teenage daughter of an innkeeper is targeted and Marked to Die by a vengeful ghost child, the local witch Ruth performs a banishing ritual: she strips the girl and then whips her with a bunch of twigs, reciting a formula to drive away the ghost.

  • And Less Than Kind, the fourth novel in Mercedes Lackey's Doubled Edge series, has a scene toward the end where Elizabeth and her Sidhe guardians must cast out the entity that is controlling Queen Mary.
  • In the early Enid Blyton adventure book, Book of Brownies, the brownies managed to defeat the Golden Dwarf by reciting a long, long incantation, Kerolamisticootalimarcawnokeeto. It's so long they have to separate it into three parts, each of them memorizing one-third, and then saying it in continuous succession. It works.
  • Discworld:
    • The classic banishing ritual at the end of the Rite of Ash'Kente, which summons Death, begins "Begone, foul fiend". DEATH has asked for this to be replaced with something less personally offensive.
    • When the Lancre witches summon a demon to whom they ask the traditional three questions, the malevolent entity hangs around at the end and diffidently points out he hasn't been properly banished yet, so would they mind awfully? The youngest, Magrat Garlick, is given the dogsbody task by the older witches. Nanny Ogg, a very down-to-earth witch, personally considers the best banishing ritual of all the words "BUGGER OFF!" spoken with force and authority.
    • Rincewind the Wizard has learnt that hand gestures count in magical spellcasting. The unspoken banishing ritual is a dread sign made with the right hand, involving the raised middle finger jerked upwards. This binds all entities and they have no choice other than to withdraw to their own chthonic plane of existence by the shortest possible route.
    • A wizard called Albert tried to permanently banish Death from his presence, making himself immortal, by performing the Rite of Ash'Kente in reverse. Instead it teleported him to Death's house, where he got a job as his manservant.
  • Night World: In Spellbinder, Thea and only Thea must perform a banishing ritual - which is the reverse of the summoning ritual - to send the ghost of Suzanne Blanchet back beyond the veil before she harms anymore humans. Eric insists on helping her by distracting Suzanne long enough for Thea to complete the ritual.
  • Retired Witches Mysteries: In book 3, Cassandra Black finally uses one to open a door and forcibly send Olivia's ghost onward into some nether realm, with the intention that she'll go from there to the afterlife (she and the rest of the Grand Council really don't approve of witches sticking around after death). Fortunately, Olivia's too stubborn for it to actually work, and returns soon afterward with Drago's aid.
  • In Spirit Hunters Sura prefers banishing extraplanar monsters back to their home plane to destroying them, in a ritual that usually involves boxing them in with Paper Talismans, making a yin-yang symbol in the air with her hands or the butt of her spear, then using her spear's Absurdly Sharp Blade to tear open a rift in planes and shove the monster through.
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's Historical Fantasy novel The Spirit Ring, banishing a demon is as much a matter of a high-ranking Christian cleric (an abbot-bishop) giving the last rites to the soul of a deceased mage (who is fully cooperating with the ritual) as it is of banishing an evil sorcerer's ghost-turned-demon, which the first magician is supernaturally grappling until the ceremony can be completed.
  • Tom Bombadil's song to banish the barrow-wight in The Lord of the Rings results in the inner part of the barrow-chamber falling in, followed by a cry and a long trailing shriek. Afterwards, the treasures of the barrow are laid out on the grass with Tom bidding them lie there "free to all finders" and thus to be scattered as a ritual to break the spell of the barrow-mound so that no wight would ever return.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Charmed referred to this process as "vanquishing". The Halliwell sisters almost always had a spell to send demons away. In one episode, this was reversed, and in another, a demon threatens to manifest anyways and is told that there's "dead" and then there's Dead.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had one with a demon in the was trapped in a book until Willow scanned it. Jenny Calendar and Giles had to combine their skills to do a virtual binding ritual. It never returned to the book but got smashed in the robot body it had humans build.
  • Supernatural: Demons can be removed from their host and sent back to hell with a Latin incantation (the Winchesters used this to deal with Demons before they acquired a demon-killing weapon), but there's also one for Angels (who also possess human hosts to manifest on Earth) in Enochian to send them back to Heaven. The only character who's ever seen attempting the latter is Alastair, since Angels are far too powerful to be even be restrained by anything less.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Early editions of Dungeons & Dragons have spells such as Banishment, Dismissal, Dispel Evil and Holy Word, all of which could send evil creatures back to their plane of origin.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Some exorcisms in 40K work like this, though the majority just involve killing the daemon's corporeal form (much easier said than done for the more powerful ones).
    • The Exorcists chapter of Space Marines (based on the planet Banish) go through a ritual where a minor Warp entity is deliberately summoned into an Marine's body under the maximum security the Chapter can provide and exorcized after twelve hours. Those who survive the procedure with mind and body intact are now effectively invisible to all but the most powerful of daemons, making them excellent killing machines against the forces of the Warp (their first test run saw a kill ratio of 97 to 1).
  • Magic: The Gathering has more than one mechanic that work like this. Summoned creature cards can be, for example, returned to their owner's hand or forced to be shuffled back into the deck. The most permanent one of these is the "exile" mechanic, that removes a card completely from the game. None of these mechanics are, however, limited to any certain type of creatures.
  • Call of Cthulhu. Certain deities that can be summoned by a Call spell can also by sent back to their place of origin by a Dismiss spell. These include Arwassa, Azathoth, Cthugha, Ithaqua, Nyogtha, Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth.
  • Toon supplement Tooniversal Tour Guide, chapter "Crawl of Catchoolu". One type of spell available to Investigators is Banish, which allows you to send a Catchooloid creature back where it belongs. Each creature has a specific spell that affects it.
  • Ehdrigohr has the Rites of Tranquility: special rituals that have to be carried out by a group of heroes over the resting places of the slumbering Woe just as they begin to awaken to prevent them from waking up completely.
  • Sorcerer (2001) has detailed rules for banishing summoned demons, as it is pretty much the only guaranteed way to regain Humanity.
  • Alternity, Dark*Matter campaign setting. The Monotheism Faith FX skill Exorcism can remove a demon or evil spirit from the physical world and return it to its home dimension.
  • The Exorcism attribute in Big Eyes, Small Mouth has banishment back to an entity's own dimension as a possible outcome of reducing its Energy Points to zero by means of the attribute in question. Third Edition changed this to freeing someone from Mind Control.
  • Earthdawn adventure ''Terror in the Skies". A Horror tricks the Player Characters into retrieving a book of rituals that can send Horrors back to their own plane of existence, then steals it from them. If the PCs can regain the book, they can use one of the rituals to banish the Horror.

  • The Piano Lesson: To banish Sutter's ghost, Avery attempts this, reading from the Bible and saying "Get thee behind me, Satan" and the like. But it fails, as the ghost battles Boy Willie upstairs. It takes Bernice sitting down at the piano and playing, something she hasn't done since her mother's death, to banish the ghost. It also banishes her brother Boy Willie, who makes his peace with Bernice keeping the piano and leaves.

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    Web Original 
  • It's stated early on in Alanna that all summoned creatures are vulnerable to a simple banishment spell. Ultimately subverted when the Big Bad attempts to banish an empowered Franklin, whom a god had just blessed with immunity to banishment.

    Western Animation 
  • In season 2 of Jackie Chan Adventures, the heroes had to find a separate banishing ritual for each of the demon sorcerers.
  • In the Grand Finale of Gravity Falls, Ford knows of a ritual that can send Bill Cipher back to his dimension, which requires all of the show's main characters to take part. Unfortunately, the ritual is interrupted by Stan's arguing with his brother, which results in Bill capturing them all.


Video Example(s):


Banishing Alduin

A trio of Nord heroes set out to defeat Alduin. However, they were still unable to defeat him and, in their desperation, used the power of an Elder Scroll to banish him out of the stream of time. He emerges several thousand years later just prior to the events of the game.

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