Root Chakra Journaling

So, in my (perhaps ill-advised) attempt to make my body hurt less, I’ve decided to try some chakra work. Given that I’m not working with any energy experts on this, I’m not sure how well this will work out. This is the journaling section of the chakra work, and I found some prompts that I’ll be working off of, so bear with me.

I deserve to have… a place to live where I don’t have to walk on eggshells around anyone… food that promotes and supports my health… Clothes that fit well and don’t have holes or stains… clean drinking water…

Do I deserve to have love? Sometimes I’m not sure. My head knows that it’s important, but my heart is harder to convince.

I’m tempted to add single-payer health care to this list…

I am afraid of:

  • Losing my job / being yelled at / Can I even do anything right? / failure
  • Small spaces / tight clothing / not being able to breathe
  • Confrontations / yelling / anger / angry men / physical violence / authority figures (police?)
  • Having more regrets / not being happy

Prosperity means … (a.k.a. I’ll know I’ve ‘made it’ when…)

  • I have bedding sets that match my bed / I don’t have to cut down a set of sheets to fit my bed because they were free / I can get a memory foam mattress pad / my blankets are the appropriate size for my bed
  • I can take my nieces on trips / I don’t have to worry about ticket prices to events / I can travel
  • A house on/near the beach
  • Living in such a way that I can wear historical costumes every day
  • I can get a car that I actually like (I’ve wanted a hybrid for about a decade so far)
  • Not stressing about paying bills every month.

How do you feel about your body? Woof, that’s a loaded question.

I like my hourglass figure, how my waist is actually really small compared to my hips & shoulders. I like that I can support a strong muscular system. I love having blue eyes and long blond hair. I have great night vision.

I don’t like how hard it is to lose weight/inches. I don’t like how much pain I’ve been in recently, and how sitting can make it way worse. I don’t appreciate not being able to wear heels, and I certainly don’t like that I’m addicted to sugar.

I guess my body is okay? I certainly feel better about living in this body than I did when I was younger, and I’m more accepting of parts of my body than I used to be. Which is weird, considering that my health has declined and I’ve had to wear bigger sizes. I think part of that has been the realization that a lot of modern styles of clothing aren’t designed for people with curves / my body type, but I have the power / skills to make myself clothes that will work with what I have; Victorian styles are all designed to give the illusion of a small waist. I already got that. Now how can I rock it?

“Are there belief patterns that still influence your thinking but are no longer valid?” Um… I’m not sure how to answer that. If I flip it around: Do I hold beliefs that are no longer valid, but still influence my thoughts/actions/feelings?

Sometimes I wonder if I’m hard to love; I know there was a time where I felt that all I was good for was sex. (I didn’t know my ex-boyfriend was an abusive narcissist at the time, and it took me awhile to see that he really messed me up.) I now know that this isn’t true, but it still sometimes comes up in my thoughts.

What would my 10-year-old self tell me today? Assuming that my past self took her nose out of a book and was brave enough to talk to me…

I hope that my younger self would tell me about how bad things were at home. How responsible she was trying to be. How afraid she was sometimes. (That last one just made me cry a bit.)

I hope that my younger self would tell me about what our older cousin did, back in the hay barn. She would show me the kitten we adopted from a farm cat’s litter and named Holly. (And holy shit, I’m making myself cry now.)


A Blessed Samhain

Life got crazy again, but a good crazy?  I was able to take the TA position at the local community college, on the condition that I work as many extra hours at Yankee as I can.  My schedule is now:

  • MWF at Yankee Candle for some 10-hour shift (because more than that would melt my brain)
  • TTh at GCC for 4 hours each day

This is great, because:

  • It puts variety back into my schedule.
  • I have a couple days during the week in which I can run errands.
  • There’s a lovely opportunity for swimming at the YMCA after work on Tuesdays.
  • There’s more time to hang out with my bestie Thursday nights.
  • The potential for more sleep-hours.

Anyway, I’m really digging this craziness.  I now have three part-time jobs (if you include tutoring, which I still do by appointment), which is lending itself to a MUCH larger bank balance than I’m used to.  In fact, I had a weird realization last night that I could actually purchase the book and tarot deck that I’ve wanted for awhile, because I actually have money.  Now I just need to remind myself to hoard it like a dragon hoards gold…

I’ve been in an unusually good mood today.  I’m not sure exactly why or how this came about, but I’m trying to not be too suspicious of a good thing.

Another realization: I think I actually enjoy programming.  I’m learning Arduino for the TA job, and I really like it.

Fall is my favorite season, and Samhain / Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I wish I’d had more time to celebrate and do pagan-y witch-y stuff, but I took some notes from this website for future reference.  There were some things I hadn’t thought of that I’d like to try out next year.

I did manage to do some reflecting on my Warrior Goals for the coming year.  (For a description of Warrior Goals, etc., read my previous posts reviewing the book Full Contact Magick.)  Samhain is the time for “decisions, resolutions, objectives; divination to chart a path and predict coming influences,” so here are the objectives that I feel I can realistically commit to:

  • Get my sewing business going
  • Decide what I’m doing with myself (teaching? engineering? renewables? paper-pushing?).
  • Continue with plan to Move Out
  • Continue working to maximize health (nutrition, exercise, etc.).
  • Continue spiritual growth and learning.

I would do some tarot divination to help chart my path, but I think I’ll have to make up my own spread for this, and for that I’m going to wait to get my Deck of 1000 Spreads (ordered from B&N last night).  I feel like I have a lot of options and a lot of potentials right now, so having the Deck as a framework for my readings feels like a good idea.

That’s what it is.  My life got really crazy, but the good kind of chaos, where I can feel a lot of Potential stirring around in the chaos, sort of waiting…

Full Contact Magick – Part 5 – Response

If Fire is my primary element, then Air is my secondary.  Which makes total and complete sense!

I’m still not quite sold on the author’s assignment of sides of the Witch’s Pyramid with the elements he chose; Will has always seemed like a Fire thing to me.  I enjoyed his metaphor with Schrodinger’s Wave Equation, as I’ve taken enough chemistry to understand what he’s talking about, and it makes sense.


About the size of a dime…

“Don’t exchange what you want most for what you want at that moment.”  Gods, I’m so bad at this.  I can’t decide if I’m kinda hedonistic, or making sure I enjoy life, or just have really poor self-discipline.  Prolly some combination of all three….  I’ve felt for awhile now that a triskele tattoo somewhere I can see it (preferably on the web between thumb & forefinger on the back of my left hand) would remind me of the Druidic principle of Sacrifice: giving up something small to attain a more worthy goal.  (Note to self: write more on this later.)  I’ve been doodling that symbol in that location for well over a decade, so I’m really tempted to just get it inked there.  Maybe that would remind me that I’ve got plans that do not involve me eating a pint of chocolate gelato for dinner….

My wish list would include things like:

  • Get healthier / trim down / lose extra inches
  • Build a hobbit house / earth-sheltered house, with: a screened-in porch with a hammock, a fireplace or wood stove, a bay window, and a comfy place to curl up & read
  • Renovate a bus into a tiny house & travel the US (There’s still so much of my country that I haven’t seen yet…)
  • Stay somewhere warm-ish in winter & cool-ish in summer
  • Visit ALL THE PLACES!  (Japan, Scotland, England, Ireland, Thailand, New Zealand, Hawaii, Greece, train tour around Europe, maybe China…)
  • Find a job that will comfortably pay my bills that I reasonably-enjoy doing
  • Pay off my student loans before I retire
  • Become more proficient at reading tarot cards
  • Make historical costumes and wear them to events (like renfaires & historical dances)

RE: prioritizing & setting goals – This is why I’m taking a break from school.  For so long I’ve put my schooling first, and this means that my health declined, I had to cut 90% or more of my social life, so my sanity went downhill… When stairs got challenging, I decided I’d like to NOT have a heart attack before I’m 30, so schooling got bumped to a lower-priority.  (Also, I’d like to whittle down some of my loan debt before getting any more.)

I never really had an initiation ceremony.  I’ve known since middle school that I’m not Christian, and I spent a couple years looking at other faiths to try to find something that lined up with what I intuited and what I felt was true; Wicca lines up the best, but most accurately I’m a witch.  Shortly after high school, I wrote a dedication page in my Book of Shadows binder:

“I dedicate myself to the goddess in all her aspects, this 29th day of April, year 2009.”

And that was it.  I feel like, now that I’ve learned more and established more in myself what I agree with and what I feel is true, I kinda want a ritual initiation.  I imagine it’d be kinda like throwing your own birthday party, or organizing your own wedding.  (I never really got a coming-of-age party / celebration, either; my parents split up right before my 16th birthday….)  I’ve been sorta-daydreaming about something that looks like a cross between a wedding, a coronation, a debutante ball, and swearing fealty.  This requires more thought…

Also, the description of the initiation ritual in the book kinda makes me cry.  It sounds like a really powerful experience, for everyone involved.

I’ve never used an athame (black-handled dagger for rituals), but I do have a boline (white-handled knife for practical stuff, like cutting herbs).  I use a 4″ paring knife from Cutco (pearl handle).

The bit on sound energy reminded me of a book I heard about many years ago, which I meant to read and never actually got around to: Godel Escher Bach.  It explores the links between mathematics, music, and optics.  Also, go look up string theory.

I don’t really do much chanting, though I can sorta feel this when at the dance hall & we’re singing for someone’s birthday.  The song we use is a round, and sometimes the last note harmonizes just right…  Supposedly music stimulates the same part of the brain as food and sex, and this would explain why sometimes I’m listening to great music and just want to collapse into a puddle of goo…

Also, taiko drumming is the best thing ever.  I saw the group Drum TAO at UMass in 2012, and it was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.  I shelled out $45 for their DVD after that show.  And they’re coming back in February I’m so excited!!!  It is inspiring, how much those people love what they do.  Also, the athleticism required blows my mind.  (I watched the DVD last night after writing the Part 5 post, and it re-ignited my desire to travel to Japan.)

Regarding cord magick, this isn’t the first time I’ve come across this.  I actually know a variation of the spell the author talked about, where instead of tying the cords to something and cutting them, you tie them into loops and wear them like bracelets.  This symbolizes bonds weighing you down, things you’ve carried for a time.  Then, you use the athame to cut them off, and as athames are supposed to be pretty dull, this will require effort; all the while saying how that bond has taught you a lesson and now is the time to set it aside.  When you’ve cut them all off, you burn them, affirming that those ties are no longer a part of your life.

So this is the last post in this series.  I’ve finished Full Contact Magick.  It makes sense, reading the conclusion, why the author went widdershins through the elements.  This book has certainly helped things make more sense, such as why the Wiccan Rede is such a powerful mantra.  It’s shed light on areas of my life that I need to work on, and hopefully given me a framework for actually accomplishing my goals.  Now, to go do the things!

Full Contact Magick – Part 5

Airbending_emblemThe Book of Air covers chapters 18-21 of Full Contact Magick.  “The element of Air represents the power of the mind, which, like the wind, is invisible yet powerful.”

Chapter 18: Will covers the last side of the Witch’s Pyramid.  “To Will is to have unwavering purpose.  Will is the channeling of your awareness to focus precisely on that which you want with burning intensity.”

The author starts the chapter with a description of Schrodinger’s Wave Equation, a principle of quantum physics that gives probabilities of an electron being in a place at any given time.  Until the observation is made (i.e. the event happens) it’s just probability; but “when the measurement is made, the values of the attribute are certain and the equation with is probabilities is said to ‘collapse’ to an actual event with probability equal to 1.”  (The author recommends The Way of the Explorer, by Edgar Mitchell, for further reading.)

This corresponds to the practice of magick by magick causing event probabilities to collapse to the desired outcome.  The “trigger” to the collapse is Will; to focus your Will properly, you must have strong self-discipline, because that’s what allows you to persistently pursue your goals.

“Don’t let yourself be diverted or distracted from your purpose.  Don’t exchange what you want most for what you want at that moment.”

This ties back to the Charge of the Goddess:  “Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it, let naught stop you or turn you aside.”  To this purpose, you have to know what it is that you want.  The author recommends starting a page in your Book of Shadows for “establishing precise objectives,” a wish list of all the things that you want.  This list will form the basis of the goals that you decide on during Samhain and Yule (see prior post on the Book of Earth).

When setting goals, it’s important to not take on more than you can handle.  “You have to review every aspect of your life and prioritize.”  The author uses the story of filling a jar; to truly fill it, you have to put the ‘big rocks’ in first, then the gravel, then the sand, then the water, otherwise you’d never get it all in there.

The end bit of this chapter is on the importance of decisiveness.  “You won’t ever accomplish anything if you can’t made a decision….  General George Patton once said that an average plan quickly and boldly executed was often better than a superior plan that had been planned at length.”

Chapter 19: Initiation and Dedication is really the only place in this book that the author discusses ritual in more than passing reference.  The decision to take a new path deserves a rite of passage to mark the event.  This is Initiation.  Many Wiccan traditions have three degrees of initiation, though one doesn’t necessarily need an Initiation to progress.

  1. Commitment: one who has studied and decides to dedicate themselves to the Wiccan path.
  2. Sibling / Leader: having learned & matured, the Wiccan begins to assist others on the path, teaching.
  3. Crone / Elder: the Wiccan who advises less-senior Wiccans.

“Initiation isn’t just a membership ceremony. … It’s a rebirth, a beginning, entering a new phase, striking out on a new adventure, setting out on a new path, like the Fool in tarot’s Major Arcana. … It brings about a change of consciousness.  The Initiation ceremony must be created to facilitate this change in consciousness.”

It is possible to throw your own initiation ceremony.  It could be as simple as taking an oath.  The author has included one he wrote, “The Warrior’s Admonition,” if you don’t feel up to writing your own.

The second half of this chapter is an example of Initiation in a group ritual, which was written by a friend of the author for her daughter’s coming of age.  (Go read the book for the full description.)

Chapter 20: The Sword and the Athame talks about the Weapons of Air.  The athame is a double-edged dagger (usually with fairly dull edges), with a blade 6″-8″ long and a handle made of some natural material.  It’s believed that artificial materials are less conducive to the flow of chi.  The sword should be similar, with a blade about the length of your forearm.

“Wiccans traditionally use Swords or Athames to cast a circle… As they walk the perimeter of the Circle, they are symbolically cutting themselves off from the mundane world.”  Essentially, the Sword and Athame are just focusing tools, like the Wand and Staff / Spear; the same techniques apply.

Chapter 21: The Magick and Seasons of Air details various forms of the magick of sound energy.

“Since the one sure thing we can say about fundamental matter is that it is vibrating, and since all vibrations are theoretically sound, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the universe is music and should be perceived as such.” ~Joachim Ernst-Berendt

The first section is on mantras and toning, which is using your voice to create the vibrations.  Any sound or combination of sounds could become a mantra.  For example, the well-known “OM” is actually pronounced “AUM,” and the letters correspond to the trinity of deities as described below.  By chanting AUM, you’re invoking this trinity.

  • A = Agni (fire) -> Vishnu
  • U = Varuna (water) -> Shiva
  • M = Marut (air) -> Brahma

Mantras can also be single phrases (dharanis), and are sometimes called “satya-vacana, which refers to the solemn uttering of a great truth.”  Different mantras have different effects; For example, AUM draws energy in, while MA sends energy out.

The author describes a relaxation technique called Bhramari breathing, which mimics snoring and rapidly slows your heartbeat and breathing.  It’s useful to reduce stress and eliminate pain.  “Frequencies between 20 to 50 Hz have been found to strengthen human bones and help them grow.  This is the frequency range in which cats purr….”

The next section is on raising energy through drumming.  “Anyone who has ever witnessed a performance by troupes of Japanese Taiko drummers cannot fail to have experienced the electrifying energy that they raise in each performance.  These troupes don’t just drum, they live drumming.”

The author mentions the law of entrainment, which states that “if two rhythms are nearly the same, and their sources are in close proximity, they will nearly always synchronize or ‘entrain’ … because it takes less energy to synchronize than to pulse in opposition to one another.”

The percussion of drumming activates the root chakra, which facilitates energy flow rising up.  Drumming is also an excellent stress relief and helps raise energy.

The following section is on cord magick, which is included here mostly because it uses the athame.  “Cords are for binding, and the Weapons of Air are for separating things.”  There are a number of different cord techniques described, including cutting them to cut the bonds holding you back and braiding to help focus on your magickal objective.

The last section is on the seasons of Air, which are for beginnings.  It was a time the Warriors mobilized, so this is when we convert the plans made during the seasons of Earth into actions.  Imbolc (Feb. 2) is a time of commitment, beginnings, and consecration.  Your projects should begin to take shape, and now is the time to work magick for success.  Ostara (spring equinox) is a fertile time of hard work, nurturing the seed of the idea and beginning to see its shape and direction.

Conclusion:  The author’s decision to work backwards through the elements, to end the book at the place of beginnings, was to help banish negative influences and leave the freedom to take charge of your life.

  1. Know thyself.
  2. Nurture the ability to perceive the truth in all matters.
  3. You create your own reality.
  4. Develop a sense of Right Action.
  5. Do not be negligent, even in trifling matters.
  6. Your body is your temple — care for it!
  7. Minimal appearance, maximum content.
  8. Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.
  9. Power with.
  10. Who dares wins.
  11. The Gods cannot help those who will not help themselves.
  12. Be creative!
  13. Do not engage in useless activity.
  • To Know = Developing a complete understanding of the situation.
  • To Keep Silent = Making your mind still, so that your awareness can encompass your situation and give you this understanding.
  • To Dare = To make the decision to use your magickal power to take charge of your situation.
  • To Imagine = To clearly visualize your magickal objective.
  • To Will = To take the energy that you’ve raised and direct it unerringly at your goal.

“By this point you should have the beginnings of a Book of Shadows that is a true working journal. … It will not be like any other Book of Shadows in the universe… because you are unique in this universe, too.”

Magick is your birthright.

Learning Tarot

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve owned my Lord of the Rings tarot cards for well over a decade, and most of the cards I’ve never learned the meanings of.  There are a handful that have come up multiple times for me, such as Death, the Queen of Swords, the Star, and maybe the Nine of Swords (not too sure on that one); the ones I’ve had to look up multiple times are the ones I’ve learned.

Admittedly, I haven’t put much effort into studying them.  I just finished year 7 or 8 of undergraduate study, and that started right out of high school.  I blame not having the time or brain capacity to do extracurricular studying.

BUT!  Now that I’m taking a break from school and have more time (and sanity), I’d like to actually learn the tarot cards.  There’s just one problem… Most of the images on my LotR deck don’t resonate or make sense with the meanings for me.

According to this article from the Llewellyn Journal, there could be a couple reasons that people don’t pick up the card meanings.  After a couple readings, these are the reasons I’ve picked out:

  • Handling cards doesn’t cut it for you.  (In which case, try a different divination system or technique.)
  • The imagery on your cards doesn’t speak to you.  (Look for a different deck.)
  • Intuition vs. Memorized meanings (The author of the article spends awhile discussing this, so go read it, because a one-sentence summary isn’t happening.)

My problems are a mixture of points 2 & 3, wherein not all of the imagery on the cards makes sense to me, and I haven’t put any effort into studying the meanings.

SO!  Because my brain is weird, I’ve decided to combine the solutions to my tarot reading challenges, and design my own deck.

This.  Is a Long. Term. Project.  (For those who don’t know, tarot decks have 78 cards.  And each one gets a different image.)

Finding the images: The first part of making each card is to learn some of the meanings of that card.  To do this, I read through the section on that card in my tarot book and make notes of the important meanings on a sheet of lined filler paper.  (These will get added to my 3-ring Book of Shadows.)  I do this for both upright and reversed meanings.

Actually deciding what image to use to describe the card takes some introspection and searching.  I try to keep in mind all the meanings that I’ve just learned (associated with that card), and try to think of something that will remind me of those meanings.  Personally, my deck is going to be images from my fandoms (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings / Hobbit, Avatar the Last Airbender, Star Wars, etc.); for example, The Fool card is about childlike wonder, unexpected circumstances, and the start of a journey, so my card shows the moment when Hagrid gives Harry his Hogwarts letter and tells him he’s a wizard.

This is not easy.  Sometimes, I get one specific impression from the meanings, and I know that that’s the image I should use.  Other times, I have to consider multiple images, because none of them fit quite right and I have to poke at them from different angles to see if I can come up with a better one.

Also, the image that speaks most clearly to you might have nothing to do with the name of the card.  Example: for The Magician, I’m using the mechanist from AtLA, who’s not magical at all but uses logic to engineer all sorts of things to better the lives of those in his community.

Making the cards:  Actually crafting the cards is a different set of worries.  I’m using a pack of unlined 3″x5″ index cards, and trimming 1/4″ off in both directions; This is because 2.75″x4.75″ is the “traditional” size of tarot cards, and more importantly, the card sleeves my bestie bought me for this project are that size.

I lightly pencil in a border around the card, and dimension where I want the card’s name to go.  At this point, I already have some idea of what I want the image to be, so I find some visual research online and start sketching.

WARNING!  Before you do any sort of inking or coloring on your cardstock, do a test-squiggle to make sure what you’re using won’t bleed through the card.  It’s important that the backs of the cards be as identical as possible.

I’m using a black felt-tip pen for my inking, and a 16-count pack of crayons for occasional coloring.  Between inking and coloring, be sure to erase your pencil marks.

So that’s it.  I’ve got the first two of the Major Arcana (The Fool & The Magician) made and sleeved, with designs planned for the next two (The High Priestess & The Empress), and am working on ideas for the next one (The Emperor).  I might post images of them when they’re done, I’m not sure yet.

Full Contact Magick – Part 4 – Response

Again, I’m not sure why this section has only three chapters.  Also, I note that the length of my writing on Part 4 is shorter than for the other sections; this could be because it’s only covering three chapters, but I think it’s because I’m most familiar with this type of magick.

A poor photograph of the painting I made, March 6, 2015.

A poor photograph of the painting I made, March 6, 2015.

Be Creative: I do this ALL THE TIME.  Creativity is such an integral part of me that I actually go a little crazy when I go too long without making something.  For example, this past spring semester I had no time to do anything creative (dancing, sewing, jewelry, etc.) that I kinda lost it.  My bestie gave me a canvas and let me use his paints, and I spent 6 hours making an art.  It soothed my soul.

Useless Activity:  I’m of mixed minds about this precept.  On the one hand, I don’t reuse magickal techniques if they didn’t work for me.  On the other hand, I feel like I waste a lot of my time doing things of little importance (bumming around the internet, for example); I’m not sure where “reading” falls on the scale of importance, as that tends to restore some of my sanity, but I’ve spent SO many hours doing it.

As far as a Book of Shadows goes, I kinda have three different versions.  I have a journal, in which I write tarot readings and important happenings (kinda like a diary); I have a 3-ring binder, in which I have a bunch of notes and recipes that I copied out of books, and aim to have more stuff b/c the binder is cool (I drew a runic array on it with silver sharpie); and I have a folder on my computer of all kinds of stuff that I’m too lazy to print out or hand-write.  Part of me wants to convert everything to the paper BoS b/c that’s traditional, and hand-writing things puts more of your will and concentration in them.  But I recognize that keeping things electronically is (in some cases) easier, and saves on paper and ink.  I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing with this…

I’ve been trying meditation the last few nights, 10-minute durations before going to sleep, and I’m not sure how well visual images work for me.  I know that images draw me in easily, but I also have a lot of practice from daily life in pulling myself away from being sucked in.  Sounds, on the other hand, I’m used to concentrating on; if you’ve ever tried to eavesdrop on a conversation in a different part of the house, you’ll know what I mean.  Last night I used the sound of my own breathing and pretended it was the waves on a shore, and I think that worked fairly well.

I’m also very good at daydreaming.  I mention this because I’m unsure at this point how well I can visualize right now.  I get bored easily…

But I have made an astral temple.  It was years ago, when I was taking tai chi lessons, and we were doing a 20-min “stand in this position and don’t move” exercise and I was bored so I imagined myself in a grove of birch trees in high summer, with a light breeze and sunlight dappling through the leaves.  My cat ran through, and I met the Star-Eyed Goddess.  I don’t remember everything about the encounter, but I’m pretty sure I wrote it down in a journal somewhere, so I could look it up.  The point is that I have enough visualization to do this, but meditating on an image doesn’t work very well right now.

Note: Upon taking my daily walk today, I passed a waterfall, and realized that while I could meditate to the sound of rushing water, watching it gives me a touch of vertigo.

I have both a wand and a staff; the staff I made (I think it’s maple), and the wand was made by a carpenter friend of mine.  I can’t honestly say I’ve ever used them to channel energy; waving a wand around makes me feel a little silly…

Dancing:  This is what I experience during a really good dance, where I have good connection with my partner, and the music is in my bones…!  It’s pretty fantastic.  I once danced with another fire mage, and we tripped a breaker in the circuit box of the dance hall with the energy we raised.

I have done fire magick similar to what the author describes.  The spell I crafted took a dried rose and several notes that an ex-boyfriend had given me; I wrote runes on the outsides of the notes and attached them to the flower (which was also from him), and tossed it into our woodstove on Yule, with the intent of removing his influence from my life.

We’re halfway between Litha and Lughnasadh now, so I need to put more effort into the things that need doing.  Some things I’m working on are purging my belongings (because I have too much stuff), and maintaining my car, and going places with people to see stuff (because I haven’t had time to do so until recently).  I also need to vacuum my bedroom.  Badly.  And I really should start that Etsy store…

Full Contact Magick – Part 4

Firebending_emblemBook Four: The Book of Fire covers chapters 15-17 of Full Contact Magick.  Fire is a transformative element, and in its hands lay creativity and imagination.

Chapter 15: Imagination describes another side of the Witches’ Pyramid, To Imagine, which is clearly visualizing your objective.  It is allowing inspiration to fill you.

Twelfth Warrior Precept:
Be creative!

To illustrate this precept, the author tells the story of Miyamoto Misashi, who taught himself the sword.  In the 16th century, when Miyamoto lived, it was tradition for the samurai to choose the katana or wakisashi, based on the circumstances, and use the one sword with both hands.  Miyamoto would instead draw both swords, one in each hand; the others complained that it was unfair, untraditional, and improper, but it worked.  He was never defeated.  The point here is to not do something because it’s tradition, but to use a technique because it works.

Thirteenth Warrior Precept:
Do not engage in useless activity.

This is about seeking results.  Experimentation is okay, but if you find something that doesn’t work, set it aside.  This is the benefit of using a Book of Shadows as a working journal, to record your processes and results (and failures).

The section on visualization springboards off of the previously-discussed meditation techniques.  When you can focus on an object for ten minutes or more with no stray thoughts, try closing your eyes and imagining your focal object.  The more vivid you can make the object, the more potent your magick will be.  “To visualize something fully you have to build a CASE.”

  • C = Color (Visualize the object in the most vivid colors you can imagine.)
  • A = Action (Moving things hold our attention, so put the object in motion.)
  • S = Size (Make the object HUGE.  Imagination is bigger than a bread box.)
  • E = Emotion (You need to be emotionally involved in the process.)

The author gives a few variations on this technique, eventually working up to visualizing yourself getting up and walking away from your body.  This is usually called astral projection, so it makes sense that the next section is on building your astral temple.

The astral temple is sacred space created entirely within your mind.  Before you begin, you must first decide what kind of temple you want; Use whatever you’re comfortable with.  Then you take “a voyage inward,” visualizing your temple utilizing all of your senses.  (For the full technique, read the book.)

There are several reasons to make an astral temple.  “It serves as a link between your conscious mind and your subconscious. … What occurs in this astral temple resonates through your world and can manifest in it. … The astral temple can also be used as a meeting place for several people who aren’t able to meet physically.”

Chapter 16: The Wand and the Spear describes the Weapons of Fire, which should be made by the person who’s going to use them.  Wands are usually made of willow, elder, oak, apple, peach, hazel, or cherry, while Spears (or Staffs) are usually birch, willow, or hazel, because those trees grow long, straight branches.  They may be as plain or as decorated as you wish, as long as you remember that wands and staffs are focussing tools and are not a source of energy themselves.

There follows a few techniques on how to get used to channeling energy through your wand and spear.  “You may experience a number of sensations when you are successfully sending energy through the Wand [or Spear].”  These tools can also be used as lightning rods to ground out excess energy, and to draw energy into you.  Remember to try not to rely only on your own reserves when making magick, but to let the energy of the universe flow through you.

The next section is on sending shared energy, and describes the Cone of Power as a visualization technique for building and directing the energy.  One of the most common ways to raise group energy is by dancing:  “The difference between a soldier and a warrior is that soldiers march, warriors dance.”  Sometimes chanting will accompany the dance, but they must be simple chants:

“The ultimate aim of dancing is to be able to move without thinking, to be danced.” ~John Blacking

Chapter 17: The Magick and Seasons of Fire begins, “Fire magick is a very effective way to help you break away from habits or relationships obstructing your progress or adversely affecting your well-being.”

The first example the author gives is to write down on a piece of paper anything that is obstructing you (fears, habits, etc.), imagining as you write that these things are in your past.  As you burn the paper, visualize the negative ties dissolving and affirm that they are in the past.  The author offers a variant of wrapping the paper around a flammable powder and tossing them in a bonfire, as the resulting flash when the powder ignites “is a very satisfying visual” to assist in visualizing the end result.

Another example is candle magick.  Traditionally, you choose a color candle that corresponds to the type of magick you’re working, which helps in visualization.  Anointing the candle with oil and writing words associated with the magickal objective on the candle are also ways to help focus on the objective.  After you’ve lit the candle, put it in a safe place and let it burn all the way out.  This works because the knowledge that you’ve got a lit candle going will stay in your mind, which keeps bringing your focus and will back to the magickal objective.

The seasons of Fire are summer, the season where warriors did their fighting.  This is the season of action and achievement.

Beltaine (April 30 / May 1) is a fertility celebration, so this is the time to exploit any opportunities that present themselves and further your goals.  Be fully committed to your chosen course of action.  Put maximum effort into achieving your goals.

Litha (summer solstice) is a time to make adjustments.  Monitor your progress, and see if there is anything else you could be doing to help your plans come to fruition.

“What ever you can do or dream you can do, begin it… boldness has power, magic, and genius in it.”  ~Goethe