|However, I am most definately NOT a monothesist, and have rather attempted to eliminate any christian influence from my life|
I find that a bit of a problematic stance for a magician myself, and not for the reasons you might think. A lot of people come to magic with a big chip on their shoulder about Christianity, it is viewed as a pejorative in the mainstream of the occult community, and a certain dualism is brought into play between shiny pagan heroes and evil Christian villains. I find it more useful to situate the perspective of my magic beyond this little zero sum game wherever possible. Attempting to "eliminate any Christian influence" from your life, is in a sense a denial of the reality of 2000 years of world history and the undeniably important role that Christianity has played in shaping the consciousness of the western culture that we have inherited, for better or worse.
So rather than pretending that Christianity didn't happen, and trying to ignore its massive influence on the culture I am embedded within, I try to be inclusive of any aspects of it that I don't have any real problem with. There is a lot in Christianity that I think is really valuable, so to actually take that on and make it work for me in the context of my belief system, is more of a triumph over bigoted religious fundamentalism than if I went around literally or metaphorically spitting on a large swathe of the populace for their beliefs. As seems to be the case with an awful lot of magicians you encounter.
I like syncretism, and there is something very appealing to me about being able to take on board the religion of countless generations of my ancestors and interact with these things magically. There is something very empowering about being able to throw off the burden of other people's problematic interpretation of the Christian mysteries, and engage with the gnostic heart of it directly. I think you really need to be able to do this in order to work western magic, as otherwise there is no heart or emotion behind it and it's all empty gestures and noises. I think you have to come to an understanding of "God" in your own terms, and this needn't be a monotheism and it needn't mean taking on any values that you are uncomfortable with.
My own personal understanding of "God", when it comes up in western magic, is very much influenced by the African Diaspora magico-religious traditions and how they interact with Catholicism. The Christian God is considered synonymous with the African Creator Deity, who is a kind of distant over-arching Divinity who emanates the various principles of reality, known as Orisha or Lwa depending on tradition. You deal with the Lwa on a day-to-day basis, but acknowledge that they are emanations of a creator God. The Lwa and Orisha are very similar in nature to the pagan Gods of pre-Christian cultures, such as the Greek or Norse deities, yet direct parallels are drawn - and in many cases direct syncretisms are made - with the Christian Saints and Angels who could also be considered emanations of God dealing with certain specific areas of reality.
If you actually look at the Qabalistic Tree of Life, that is the process that it is describing. The Light of Kether emanates the various individual Sephiroth, or principles of reality, in increasing density culminating in Malkuth, or the physical world. All of creation/reality/the Universe is therefore "God" and it is this that we are engaging with in rituals such as the LBRP. I see the notions of monotheism and polytheism as unhelpful limitations on understanding this process. A monotheistic God is simply the Tree of Life considered in the singular, without attention to detail. Polytheism is looking at the details without allowing for a bigger picture. I see no real reason to identify strongly with either of these positions, and I can see the value in both of them. It need not be reduced to an either/or equation.
Untangling some of that mess, and understanding that "God" need only mean the Universe taken as a whole; and "Gods" (or Saints, or Lwa, or Archangels, or Orisha, or Aesir, or whatever) need only mean the principles that are the component parts of that whole allows me to strip away any moral or ethical objections I might have to certain aspects of the Christian worldview in which western magic is totally embedded, and deal with the essence of the magic itself. I can happily call on Godnames or call to Archangels and not be squeamish about it, but genuinely do so with as much love and passion and emotion for the Divine as any rapturous Pentecostal Christian. Which I think you really have to do if you want to get the magic working at anything more than a superficial level. You have to fully engage with something to that emotional extent or else... Well... You won't be fully engaging with it!
There is a lot of talk about about paradigm shifting and flexibility of belief in chaos magic, but an awful lot of chaos magicians actually seem fairly terrified by the prospect of interacting with something like Christianity in any meaningful sense, and will go to bizarre lengths to excise any trace of it. Seems a bit contradictory to me.
I guess my question would be, is it possible (or indeed wise) to map other, more compatible with my nature as a person and an aspiring magician, religions/belief systems onto the LBRP? Any experience or advice that other users have to offer is sincerely solictited.
Yeah, you can do that. As noted above, it's probably the most "versioned" ritual there is. I've lost count of all the different variations on the format of the LBRP I've attempted over the years. It's good to experiment with it as it gives you a feel for what the ritual does, kind of like reverse engineering.
However, I personally got bored of all that because the trad LBRP seems to work immeasurably better for me. I think this is because there is an awful lot to the LBRP that you wouldn't automatically see on the surface. I've been practicing it, on and off, for over 10 years and I'm still getting new things from it. I still feel as if I'm only just starting to scratch the surface of it. It may not be a particularly ancient ritual, and some of the Hebrew might be a bit problematic, but there is so much depth there. You will generally end up with a much shallower form if you strip away the Godnames and Archangels, because you are taking the ritual out of its context.
Without turning barbelith into "chaos magic evisceration corner" again, it's another big problem I have with that approach. The belief that all of the symbol systems of magic are just window dressing around "technique" and are largely interchangeable is just plain wrong, in my opinion. If you strip out all of the western mystery school symbolism of the LBRP, you lose the bigger picture that it draws from, and that's what makes it interesting in the first place. The LBRP is effective for me, because through its symbolism it has the entire western tradition of magic informing it. A good part of the poetry of the ritual comes from its place within this context.
The LBRP, in its trad form, is not just a space clearing operation, but acts as a kind of gateway drug to western magic. Aleister Crowley calls it "the medicine of metals and the stone of the wise" and if you play around with it for awhile in the context of western magic, you really get a sense of that depth. Whereas, if you swap pentagrams for WWE logos and Archangels for wrestlers, you aren't connecting up to these wider mysteries anymore, it becomes a totally different thing.
Also worth considering is that the LBRP is step one on a larger learning curve. Once you get the LBRP down, you have the Greater Pentagram, the Hexagrams, the Rose Cross and so on to explore. It's not really a finite limited operation that can be taken from its context without losing a great deal of its purpose. It will still work as a "banishing" if you come up with your own version, but in its original form, it is intended to be so much more than that.
I'd suggest that, if you don't intend on practicing western magic and finding some common ground with notions like "God" or "Archangels", then I don't really see much point in bothering with the format of the LBRP at all. Why not just develop your own space clearing operation without reference to the framework of the LBRP? There's this weird assumption in the popular understanding of magic that somehow the technique of the LBRP is totally essential to being a magician, when it just isn't. You actually don't have to learn the LBRP at all. You don't have to call the quarters, or draw a circle around yourself, or learn how to visualise geometric shapes in the air or any of that stuff. Unless you aim to practice western magic.