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Daily Archives: April 12, 2012
This meditation serves multiple purposes. It clears your mind so that you are better able to focus. It also gives you a more visceral understanding of the natures of each element. It can be a grounding tool to ground excess energy if done correctly. And finally, it is fun! This is a movement-based meditation, so it is best to find a place where you will not be disturbed, because if others are around you might experience self-consciousness or embarrassment, neither of which are helpful. This place should be quiet and free of outside distractions, and it should also allow for a relatively free range of movement.
Sit on the floor in a comfortable position and spend a few moments feeling your heartbeat and clearing your mind. You can also choose to stand, but most people do not find this as comfortable. Then, begin to meditate upon the element Earth. Feel what it is like to be Earth, the sensations, the emotions, all that encompasses Earth. Allow the expression of these feelings to join your mind and body as one, so that all of you experiences these sensations. Most likely, during this part your body will remain still, embodying the patience that is Earth, but if the desire to move takes you, go ahead, since Earth can move, whether slowly (as in tectonic plate shifting) or quickly and violently (as in earthquake).
When the moment feels right, shift your consciousness from Earth into Water. Let this be a smooth transition, as this meditation should flow easily from one element to the next. Call up all the sensations, thoughts, emotions, and movement that is Water. Again let this awareness infuse your body and mind. At this point, it is likely that your body will begin to move, whether in small movements while you remain seated, or in larger movements that require you to stand. This should be near-instinctive; do not worry whether the movement is appropriate or “right”. “Go with the flow”, let your body move as it will to show its connection with the elements. Water movement will most likely be smooth, flowing, graceful movements that are full of emotion. Keep in mind however, that Water, like all the elements, has a wide range of movements, so something different than the “standards” that are listed here is not wrong.
When appropriate, shift your awareness gradually from Water into Air. Let the concept of Air resonate throughout your mind and body. At this point, you will most likely begin to move more energetically and erratically about the space. You may try to express specific concepts through your movements. You are also encouraged to make this a vocal as well as a kinetic meditation if that feels right.
Again when you are ready, shift once more from Air into Fire. At this point, as you resonate the concept of Fire, your movements will most likely be extremely energetic and random. You may find yourself bumping into walls or other objects. You might pause for a moment in an odd position, only to careen off again the next moment with the dancing energy that is Fire.
Depending on your purpose in this meditation, you can choose to end it one of two ways.
1. If your intent is to clear your mind and provide energy for focus, then when the moment is right, stop your emulation of Fire and return to a seated position, breathing deeply and fully aware of your body, mind, and the elements all around (and within) you.
2. If instead you are more concerned with understanding the elements or with using this meditation as a technique for grounding, then from Fire, reverse your movements, going back through Air and Water (spending as much time as needed on each) until you are back at Earth. End the meditation in a restful position, whether sitting or lying down, allowing your excess energy to flow smoothly into the Earth.
And remember – no matter which purpose you use this meditation for, it is supposed to be fun, so relax and enjoy yourself.
The Circulation of the Body of Light
The energy used in the Circulation of the Body of Light is very powerful and
best used for self-healing.
Start by doing the Relaxation Ritual, the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the
Pentagram, and the Middle Pillar Ritual, but do not visualize the Middle Pillar
STEP ONE: While keeping the visualization of the Middle Pillar, refocus your
attention on the white brilliance just above your head. Visualize this
brilliance in a state of extreme strength, needing to radiate out even more
energy. Visualize it sending a current of energy down into the head and to the
left shoulder. Let this energy pass down the left side of your body to your left
foot. Feel it move to your right foot, up the right side of your body, to your
head, and back up into the brilliance.
This motion should be synchronized with your breath. When you exhale, feel the
energy go down your left side. When you inhale, feel the energy go up your
right side. You should have the sensation of a circle of energy swirling around
you. Move the energy, with your breath, in six to ten cycles. Feel free to
extend the energy out further to the sides (the most common is about three feet
away from your body).
STEP TWO: This is similar to the first method, but instead of directing the
energy down one side and up the other, here you should direct the energy down
the front of your body and up the back. be sure to synchronize your breathing
so that as you exhale the energy goes down the front of your body and as you
inhale, it goes up the back, up to your head and into the brilliance. Do this
six to ten times.
STEP THREE: Re-visualize the entire Middle Pillar. This time, focus your
attention on the brilliance at your feet. From the upper right side of this
power center visualize the energy curling up in a tight spiral to the front of
the left leg. from here it continues around the back and continues moving
upward in a counter-clockwise spiral. It is as if you are being wrapped like an
Egyptian mummy, from the feet to the head. Instead of cloth, however, you are
being wrapped in energy.
You should feel a whirling of spiritual power as the pure spiritual light and
energy rises up in spirals to the brilliance above your head. When it reaches
this brilliance, you should visualize the energy exploding out like a water
fountain in all directions. This energy lands at your feet and begins to rise in
the spiral again. As you inhale, feel the energy rise towards the top, as you
exhale, feel it explode out towards your feet. Do this for six to ten cycles.
Then, take a very deep breath, and as you exhale, see the energy disappear
visually, but know that it is still there invisibly.
STEP FOUR: Finish by doing the Tarot Contemplation Ritual.
“Meet your spirit Guide”
Start with the total relaxing meditation to fully relax your body and mind.
Feel all the tension leaving your body, if out side thoughts or noises enter you mind put it in a bubble and let it go.
Focus on your breathing normally so that with each breath you relax more and deeper.
Now visualize in your minds eye a stair case with 10 steps. as you begin to descend the steps see each step, feel the step under your feet. Starting at 10, than 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, getting deeper into a relaxed state with each step, 3, 2, 1.
When you reach the bottom you’ll see a door that leads to a special room that only you can enter into. It can be any scene that you want, when your ready open the door and walk in, look around and sense your surroundings. What’s in the room? What does it smell like? or feel like to you?
If you want you can sit down or walk around and change anything you want (remember it’s your room) do what you like.
When you ready you will see a person coming towards you, you are not scared, you feel love and are comfortable,( this is your spirit guide) As he or she walks closer to you they will offer you a gift, take it, open it. What is the gift? what does the gift represent to you? Thank them for the gift.
Now you may ask any questions that you may have for them. eg: name, age, or maybe any special messages they may have for you. Take you time!
When your ready to leave say good bye. You may go back at any time you wish.
Go out the door and begin to start up the stairs.. with each step you will begin to feel more energized, more awake. when you reach the top you will feel better and more energized than before.
Open your eye’s and stretch and drink some water.
“Total Relaxing Meditation”
Ask spirit to protect you before and after you meditate
Sit in a comfortable position, clear your mind of all thoughts, close your eyes
Take 3 deep cleansing breaths (in through your nose for the count of 7, and out through your mouth for the count of 7) Now focus on your toes, feel them and than relax them.
Move up to each part of your body, calves, knees, thighs, hips, stomach, back, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, face and head.
Focusing on your breathing, still feeling very relaxed and calm. If you feel a part of your body tensing up again, go back to it and relax it again.
When you wish to finish, take 3 deep breaths and visualize the universal energy going into your body with each breath.
You may now go into another meditation while you are relaxed or begin to bring your self out of it with the 3 deep breaths.
Open your eyes and stretch your arms and legs. Drink a little water to refresh your self.
WICCA AND WITCHCRAFT
The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide
Steven S. Sadleir
Wicca, or Witchcraft is the old religion of Europe, which apparently evolved
from Druidism. Wiccan is generally a term applied to a “Wise One” or
“Magician”, and Wicca is the practice of “magic”, which is the application and
utilization of natural laws. As Witchcraft competed as a religion with
Christianity (the ‘new’ religion) in the Christianized Western World, witchcraft
became repressed as a form of paganism (i.e., a Primative Teaching) and was
given an evil stigma, and therefore was not practiced openly. However, with the
repeal of the English Witchcraft Act in 1951, many covens, or congregations,
have opened up to teh public and many new groups have formed. There are now
dozens of Wiccan orgnaizations in the United States and Europe, with perhaps,
thousands of active Wiccans and Witches. Most witches practicing the craft
publicly are considered ‘white’ witches, that is, they yse their knowledge for
good ends and practice the Wiccan Creed: “Ye hurt none, do as ye will.” Black
Witches (which has recieved most of the notoriety, but are considered a
minority) are generally not visible to the public and use thier knowledge for
selfish or evil means. Satanism is NOT considered a form of witchcraft, but was
created by people who believe there is a Satan, or Devil.
Wicca/Witchcraft generally involves some form of God or Goddess worship, and
many involve the workings of spiritual guides as well. Wicca/Witchcraft is a
very individualized religion, and each person chooses his or her own deities to
worship. Generally, the supreme being is considered ‘genderless’ and is
comprised of many aspects that may be identified as masculine or feminine in
nature, and thus a God or Goddess. Originally, the horned God of hunting
represented the maculine facet of the deity, whereas the female qualities were
represented in the fertility Goddess. The Gods and Goddesses from the
personalities of the supreme being, and are a reflection of the attributes that
worshippers seek to emulate. Wiccans may draw upon the ancient civilizations of
the Druids, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, or other polytheistic cultures to
commune with the particular aspect of the deity that they identify with. Some
favorite gods include Osiris, Pan, Cennunnos, and Bacchus. Facotie Goddesses
include Isis, Caridwen, Rhea, Selene, and Diana.
Wiccans generally observe the four greater Sabbaths of Samhain, Imbolc,
Beltane, and Laghnasadh; and the lesser Sabbaths – the Spring and autumn
equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices. There celebrations are typically
free-spirited, and are sometimes held ‘skyclad’ (naked) or in various styles of
robes. Other services include handfasting (marriage), handparting (divorce) and
wiccaning (birth rite). Regular meetings, called Esbats are also held, at which
magic and healing are performed. Wiccans/witches meet in small groups (up to
twelve) called a coven, whcih typically join with other covens to form a
Rituals are typically held outside and consist of forma a circle and
erecting the temple (consecrating the circle); invoking, praising, and
soliciting assistance from gods, goddesses, and elementals; observing the change
of season and energies represented by the various seasons; singing; dancaing;
‘cakes and ale’ (sharing of bread and wine); and clearing the temple. Personal
practive includes meditation and prayer, divination, development of personal
will and psychic abilities through spells and various forms of healing. Most
Wiccans/witches have altars where they burn candles and incense and practice
thier rites. To perform thier rites, other tools of the craft are used, such as
an athame, yag-disk or, seaux (a handmade and consecrated knife), a sword, a
wand, and sometimes special jewelry, amulets or talismans (magically empowered
objects). Sometimes these objects are inscribed with magical writings. Joining
a coven or grove typically involves an initiation, which is stylized by each
individual group, but generally involves the confirmation that the initiate
understands the principals and an oath of secrecy.
Opening the Circle
The last thing that must be done is the opening of the cast circle. The people who purified and blessed the space are not needed for this part, only the person that did the actual casting of it. They should take their athame and return to the east, cutting a slit into the edge of the circle, and then walk around the circle in the opposite direction that it was cast in, visualizing the energy being pulled back into the tip of the athame.
When the person reaches the east once more, they should touch the tip of the athame to the pentacle to ground all of the energy that was put into it. This will keep the athame balanced and ready to use. Once this is done, the area should be cleaned up and put back into the order that it was found.
If the space is rented or public property, make certain that everything that was brought is removed, including the garbage. Dump the offering on the ground under a tree or into running water. If the space is a non-for-profit organization, a small donation is usually welcomed. If none of this is possible, a charitable donation to a local group in the organization’s name can also be done.
Casting a Formal Circle for a Group or Solitary
If there is a limited amount of space within the circle, it is often easier to cast the circle and admit the participants after creating the space. There are pros and cons of doing it this way, mainly having to do with making the participants feel excluded from part of the ritual. In order to avoid this, it is important to have them focus on the people or person casting the circle and adding their energy to what is going on. If you choose to have them within the circle, it is best to have them kneel at the boundary and cast the circle just behind them and over their heads, having them focus on the casting.
With this particular method, you can have one, two, or three people cast the circle, splitting the parts up as you desire. In a large group, splitting up the jobs in this manner helps everyone to participate when there are a limited number of things to do. Any of the parts of the ritual can be split up this way, but some will work better than others. Having more than one person cast the circle is a nice way for a group to maintain the bonds of working together.
When everyone is prepared and quiet, the person casting the circle should move to the altar and touch the pentacle with his or her athame. If the altar is set in the north, all that they need to do now is to visualize energy coming from the pentacle and walk the edge of the circle until they return to the starting point again. Once the caster is there, they should touch the pentacle with the athame again to seal the circle and then visualize pulling the edges of the boundary around to form a sphere above and below. This can also be done by actually using the athame to cast by starting at the pentacle and pushing the energy up over the heads of everyone, around, down through the floor, and back to the pentacle.
If the altar is elsewhere in the circle, the person touches the athame to the pentacle to perform a connection to it and then walks to the east to begin casting. They proceed to the south and then the west and then finally to the north before returning to the east. At that point, they can return to the altar and finish sealing the circle.
NOTE: Circles may be cast in either direction, depending on the work being done. Clockwise (N, E, S, W) tends to be the most common. This sunwise direction is used to invoke and bless. It is useful when the ritual has an outward focus. Moonwise circles (N, W, S, and E) tend to be used for banishing or rituals that focus inward or on the self.
Once the circle is cast, the next person should bless the salt and water to use for purification. Tip three pinches of salt into the water and stir it three times moonwise saying, “By the powers of Life, Death, and Rebirth.” Take this water and go to the east, sprinkling it around the edges of the circle, walking in the opposite direction of the circle caster. Once you have moved all the way around the circle, and if the people are within the circle, sprinkle each of them saying “Be washed clean.” (Make certain that you have someone do this for you, as well.) If they are not in the circle, place the salt water on the altar for later use.
The third person (Or the first, if you are only having two perform this) will bless the incense to consecrate and fill the circle. Place some of the loose powder incense on the hot coal (or light a stick incense) and draw a pentagram over the burning saying, “Blessed be the union of fire and air, the breath of the Gods.” Walk around the edge of the circle with the incense in the direction that it was cast in, slowly, and call the Ancestors to come and witness your circle.
Finally, the fourth person (or number two) moves to the center of the circle and declares that this is sacred time and sacred space. The circle exists outside of our normal time and reality. The shift from mundane to sacred should now be complete and should be a tangible feeling for everyone. The air may look or feel different, or the people may experience a shift in consciousness.
At this point, if you have cast the circle with the people outside, it is time to let them into the circle. The person who cast the circle will take their athame and cut a doorway into the boundary. This is done by inserting the tip of the athame into the circle at the level of the floor and cutting along it to make a wide enough entry for people to pass through. Then they cut upwards to the height of the people outside the circle. They should arch the top and then cut down the other side and across to meet the original point on the floor.
The person who blessed the salt water will switch places with the caster and stand in the doorway before each person as they enter, sprinkling to cleanse them. The caster will hug the person and pull or spin them over the threshold of the circle, bringing them in as a part of the company that will perform the ritual.
Once everyone is inside the circle, the caster will “erase” the doorway by placing the tip of the knife to the floor again and move it upwards, “sealing” the circle again. The “door” should be removed exactly opposite of how it was placed. When you are finished, there should be notrace of a break left in the circle wall. If you can see one, mend it with your own energy and close the break.
Experimenting with Circles
When you feel comfortable in your ability to cast a circle, it is time to start finding new ways to do it. There is no limit to what you can do to create sacred space. It can be as simple as sitting and drumming the circle into existence or chanting something to create the energy to draw your circle. Movement is something used in lieu of everything else. It is possible to use a piece of recorded music to cast it, or to dance to the music to cast the circle. You can create a circle by telling stories or sharing your day with others.
Some of the techniques that can be used will be very difficult at first, and that is why you should learn to cast in one of the first two ways before you begin experimenting. If you do, you know what the end result should be and will know when you reach it. As you develop a new way to cast a circle, you will find certain things that work and certain ones that don’t. Don’t be afraid to change elements around or substitute things in or out to make it work. This is one of the first totally creative things that you will do as a witch.