Connecting with the Elements: Water

photo of person s feet during daytime

Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

Happy Lughnasadh!

For me, this month of working with the element of Water and the direction of West has been a whirlwind or in keeping with the theme a whirlpool.  So much has happened over this past month, I don’t know where to begin. I think the element has made experience every emotion a human can feel and then some. I will be glad when this one is over and I can move into the North and ground. I found it really interesting that everything that was pre-planned within this month fell in line with the element. From events that centered around the elements to taking a break with a camping and rafting trip down the Delaware River. The scary thing is that I still have a week or two before I am finished and I can see it getting worse. As I come to a close, I can feel situations pulling my moral compass into directions that are going to fuel emotions and my mouth. Retrograde has nothing on the element of Water.

This Month I put a focus on not only the element itself, but its associated direction and my traditions animal spirit of Bear. Bear for me has many personalities. Bear can be the two-sided mamma Bear who is loving and nurturing, and yet be the fierce protector. Bear is also the guardian and doorkeeper of the underworld. When working the Wheel, Bear takes over your journey after Wolf/Coyote lead you down your path. He takes you the land of the dead where you find your true self. Bear introduces you to your ancestors and puts in dangerous situations that rip you apart from the inside out.

Bear resides in the West, he lives at the base of the mountains, where lies certain death (hence his association with the dead).  But enough of Bear and the West lets talk a little about the element of Water.

The element of Water is most often connected with our emotions. Water is life’s necessity without it nothing can live. It is a component in the cells of all living beings; it is our very essence. It is the one common denominator that connects all as one. Water is constantly flowing and changing, which is why it’s associated with our emotions. Both cannot remain in one state for long and are always in constant motion. Our emotions are what define and shape who we are as living beings and as Individuals. In “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum”, I replaced the word Water with LOVE to help the reader subconsciously connect with the element. So, I will do the same here from this point forward. When we focus on increasing the LOVE element in our lives, we begin the process of cleansing and healing our spirit. The element helps us purify and cleanse our spirit of harmful emotions that could be holding us back. Once these emotions are removed or at least acknowledged, we can begin the healing process while working within this element. This is a time to focus on working out those unresolved issues that so many of us hold on to.

I have listed the practices that I will be working on over the next few weeks, as well as a few others that you can do to connect with the direction and the element of LOVE.

Mindful Bathing

I tend to do this more often than meditation when exploring this element. Although, I do still like to listen to the sounds of the ocean or rain when going to sleep, which usually turns into a conventional meditation session anyway. When doing mindful bathing, I recommend not using candles, incense, or salts. This will keep your focus on just one element. Prepare by drawing a warm bath. Before stepping in, request the element to physically, mentally and emotionally cleanse, heal and purify you. As you step in, envision the healing LOVE enveloping your body and spirit. Once you are settled and comfortable, breathe slowly and deeply.  Allow the LOVE to help you relax. Imagine becoming one with the LOVE. When you are finished remember to that the element of LOVE.

Devotionals

During this month I choose to devote time to two of the most important allies in my life, my Ancestors and the Orisha, Oshun. Although, both are always a normal focus for me, I really made it a point to sit and talk with them each day, rather than just my normal morning rituals. I have a strong relationship with both already, that this didn’t put me out of my comfort zone too much.

When creating a devotional routine to a Deity in connection with the element of LOVE, I would do this with a Deity that has some form of linking the element in their mythos or to you personally. You do not have to make it lengthy, just spend a few moments with your deity, asking for blessings, advice, or just thanking them. I usually like to offer incense and say a few words.

Ritual

Because each month begins and ends with a Full Moon ritual as I work through the ritual becomes a major part of connecting with the elements. I started this month off with a full moon cleansing ritual. Even though the members of my group are not going through the prep work of connecting with each element. They get to reap the benefits of the elemental focus of the rituals. For this Full Moon we utilized the cleansing and healing magickal properties of water by washing away the harmful energies that may lay dormant in our mind, words, and heart. We also put a lot of focus on our ancestors with a meditation session and then sending any messages we had for them down the river.

There are many ways you can add water to your Full Moon rituals, in my first book “Casting Creative Magickal Circles” I have a circle casting that uses water taken from the four directions to cast a circle.

Divination

Many divination practices work well during this month as well. From scrying to dreams, this element has a profound effect on our ability to use our intuition. As with any types of magickal practices I always recommended keeping a journal, so why not keep a journal of your dreams this month. You find that your dreams will be heightened as you work through the element. Although, dreams are most often associated with the element of fire. It is the actual dream and the messages contained within them that can be attributed to the element of LOVE and not the actual act of dreaming.

You can also incorporate the use of tarot in when working with the element of LOVE. Here are a few ways to use tarot this month:

– Refresh your knowledge of all the cup cards of the deck.

– Pick a card that is associated with the element to mediate on each day.

– Use a spread that focuses on the magickal correspondences of LOVE. Here is one from “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum” that I tend to use often.

 

Place card 1 on the far left, then place card 2 and card 3 diagonally going down. Then place card 4 and 5 diagonally going up. Place card 6 between card 1 and 5 and above 3.

 

  1. Your tide. What state are your emotions?
  2. Your dam. What blocks you?
  3. Your depth. Where does my compassion lay?
  4. Your swell. What enlightens you?
  5. Your crest. What is your breaking point?
  6. Your ship. What will make you successful?

 

Some other things you can do

I have listed other things that I will be doing throughout the month and that I have done in the past as well.

– Write a Letter to someone who you have something to say too.

– Clean your house, car or office

Research and learn about how other traditions and cultures view and use the element of LOVE. If we look at the history of our ancestors, there is a direct correlation between LOVE and spirituality. For some Native American tribes Love is the creative life force. Hindu traditions consider LOVE to be a purifier, life giver, and the destroyer of evil. In the more recent western cultures, the Christian church places significant importance on LOVE as well, in their practices of baptism. Research your own tradition and ancestral practices and their uses and beliefs associated with LOVE.

– Attune yourself to the element of LOVE by evaluating your relationships (parents, children, companions, friends). Science states that our bodies are comprised of approximately 60% of LOVE. Metaphysically, then we can only assume that LOVE and its energy can affect us on a spiritual level and vice versa. According to the Japanese author and researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto, he claimed that our thoughts and emotions could influence water’s molecular structure. He analyzed frozen water crystals that were exposed to thoughts and feelings of positive emotions and found them to have beautiful geometric designs and water influenced by negative thoughts and emotions appeared to create jagged and ugly looking shapes7. Although, Emoto’s work is widely regarded as pseudoscience and has yet to be proven scientifically, there may still be something in his findings, spiritually. If our thoughts can affect the molecular structure of LOVE, then what effect might our thoughts have on our bodies and our emotions? Because our emotions also affect our relationships these two are both closely related to the energy of LOVE. Evaluate your relationships and the emotions they cause. In doing so, you open yourself up to a better understanding of the energy of LOVE.

– Study the correspondences of herbs, oils, and crystals associated with the element of LOVE. Create your own incense or oil recipe. The belief that unconnected things share a metaphysical connection is not an uncommon belief in many cultures and religions. Correspondences are not limited to just Witchcraft, Pagan, and other magickal traditions. Correspondences can also be found in Chinese and East Indian traditional medicine manuals and in many of the worlds religious teachings. This may be the reason that there are so many connections and yet so many differences among the teachings of Witchcraft. Nonetheless, this is what makes modern and eclectic Witchcraft so wonderful. Today, many Witches create their own correspondences based on their own experiences and personal beliefs. However, the one core concept they all share is that everything in nature has a special meaning and can be used in the magickal world. Use these special meanings to create your own LOVE oil or incense based on what you researched.

Create and perform a spell using the element of LOVE as its focus. LOVE and its magick are often used for healing and purification. For centuries, believers have journeyed to sacred springs and source of LOVE, and more recently people visit spas and hot springs in the hope of relaxation and of being healed. Just as then, the Witches of today understand the energy of LOVE. The practice of ritual bathing to wash away unwanted energies and to shift their consciousness can be seen in many traditions of Witchcraft and many other religions as well. However, these are not the only purposes. LOVE has many uses in magick. Create a spell using LOVE as its main focus or tool.

Connecting with the Elements: FIRE

outdoor fireplace during nighttime

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Happy Summer Solstice!

Over the last few months I have found myself so busy with countless things to do and organizing the Pocono Witches Festival that I have felt a slip in my spiritual practices and connection. It is not that I fully let everything go, I always make sure I do at least one thing Magickal each day. I was just feeling there was a lack of connection as everything else was consuming me. Well, low and behold, during the last Full Moon my roommate asked to do a ritual about transformation. It was then that I decided to go through a four-month prep for a long overdue vision quest. Now, normally this requires only a month-long period of preparation. Whereas, each week of the month, one uses the time to connect to each direction, element, and the spirits that correspond. I choose to extend that to 4 months (measuring from Full moon to Full moon) for a multitude of reasons, schedule being one, but most importantly to give myself new routines and focus to reconnect. Traditionally, this prep period should be started in the East, however, I decided to start with the South. It just fit better with what I needed and also with the seasonal time of year, with the Summer Solstice falls in the first week. Although, I cannot share everything that is traditionally done during this time I can share with you what I will be doing and some basics that I have done in the past. Most of which will help connect with the direction of South, the element of fire, and spirits of Wolf and Coyote.

Many of these practices and their information can be found in “The Modern Witches’ Curriculum” while others were added for my own personal needs and circumstance.

steel wool of fire cracker

Photo by Fabiano Rodrigues on Pexels.com

The direction of South in many traditions, both cultural and modern corresponds to the element of Fire. The element of fire can bring us both creativity and destruction. It is the only element that forms by consuming another element. Fire, unlike the other elements, does not exist in a natural state and is born of change. The element of fire is the strongest of the four and therefor it is the easiest to connect with. When we focus on increasing the fire element in our lives, we increase our creativity, joy, energy, inspiration, and love. The direction also deals with our spiritual selves and the paths we choose to follow. It is the direction and element that can be used to clear our spiritual selves, remove spiritual blockages and transform. It helps us work on our shadow, doubts, and harmful patterns.

I have listed the practices that I will be working on over the next few weeks, as well as a few others that you can do to connect with the direction and the element of Fire.

Meditation

I have always had a problem with morning meditations so I choose to do them at night before I go to bed or while I am laying down. During a normal prep period I like to use guided meditations that are pre-recorded by others or ones that I have written myself. Each night, I repeat the same meditation, however, this go around I am alternating between a few over the month. I have chosen ones that focus either on the element itself, the animal spirits associated with the direction, or the spiritual attributes they are connected with. Some days I am just falling asleep listening to the recorded sounds of a crackling fire. This guided meditation was written many years ago and was posted previously here in another blog post.

Spirit of the Wolf Guided Meditation

Begin by lighting a candle and some incense. Turn off the lights. Close your eyes, make yourself comfortable and relax. Next begin to prepare for the meditation by breathing in deeply through your nose, filling your belly, hold for a count of three and exhale through your mouth. Do this three times, or until you feel relaxed, centered and open.

Feel the room around you, acknowledge the glow of the candle and scent of incense.
As you breath in, begin to visualize the smoke of the incense circling you, surrounding you.
It begins to create a bubble around you. This bubble will protect your body on your journey.

You find yourself sitting in the dark, outside on a hill.
You can feel the cool grass beneath you, but, the air is warm around you.
Crickets quietly chirp in the distance.
Although, you are sitting in the dark, you are not afraid….
Appearing before you is the spirit of the wolf.
He sits harmlessly before you.
Looking closer you can see that he is in spirit form rather than solid, yet his soft fur sways in the warm breeze.
He will be your guide on this journey and will take you through the phases of the moon.
Begin your journey by feeling and reaching out to wolf’s energy.
Allow it to mix with your own, you will become one with wolf.

Now, as wolf, looking up to the black sky, you notice a tiny sliver of light begin to appear, it is the new moon.
Feel and see yourself going toward the moon.
At the same time the moon also comes to you.
You and the moon meet and join together.. You are the new moon….
Take some time and feel the energy of the new moon.
It is of new beginnings and birth.
Allow yourself to succumb to its energy and let the moon show you what you need to learn at this time…….

After a moment, wolf calls you back and to let go of the new moon’s energy.
As you pull away, you begin to see the sliver of the moon begin to grow into a waxing crescent moon.
Its energies of growth and love begin to surround you.
Allow the knowledge of where you are headed to enter you, let the moon show you what steps you need to take to grow at this time.

Again, the wolf calls you back after a few moments, the images begin to fade and you are now overcome by the bright light of the full moon… The energies and power are almost too overwhelming.
It is time to open yourself up to them and be the full moon.
These powerful energies feel as though they are recharging you, like a battery.
You can feel your own magikal energies reach the highest they have ever been.
You are now glowing with pure positive energy.
The energy pours out of you in all directions and reflects off the clouds above and touches the trees and plants below.
As above, so below you are the full moon…

Just as you feel you are able to expand your energies around the world, the light fades into a waxing crescent moon.
It begins to draw back some of the energies you have just absorbed.
Along with some the full moon energies, the waning moon extracts all the negative thoughts you hide within yourself.
It takes your fears.
Your self-created obstacles.
You can see all this pouring out of you in a long dark plume of black smoke…..

You are now floating in darkness, no sound…Total emptiness.
You are not afraid. You know you are protected by the spirit of the wolf.
This is the time to confront all the negatives that had poured out of you.
Face them, learn from them… This is the dark of the moon……….

After a moment, all the images begin to fade as you hear the cry of the wolf.
You have now returned to the hilltop, looking up, you can see all the moon phases in the sky.
Bid farewell to them, individually and thank them for their wisdom.

Eventually, the darken sky becomes day and before is the wolf.
Thank and honor his spirit.
You may also wish to take a moment to accept any wisdom he gives you.
Say your farewells… Take 3 breaths, and open your eyes….

20190622_100343

 

Devotionals

Although this is one area I myself struggle with, devotionals are a great way to keep the lines of communication open with your deities. During this month I have chosen to keep a devotional routine to Hekate as the Light-Bringer. As one of the major epitaphs of Hekate that I work with is Hekate Phosphorus, I thought she would be a great way to connect to not only the element but to also connect with my path and the loss of its sight. When creating a devotional routine to a Deity in connection with the element of fire, I would do this with a Deity that has some form of linking to fire in their mythos or to you personally. You do not have to make it lengthy, just spend a few moments with your deity, asking for blessings, advice, or just thanking them. I usually like to offer incense and say a few words.

Magickal Workings

This is one area I do not have problems with keeping a routine, I tend to do something magickal every day. Although, with the amount of work there is to do with running 2 large events, the podcast, and meeting with clients (even though that sometimes falls under magickal workings) I am finding it harder to do this. The good thing is that I needed to make more candles to put on The Hierophant website. I have chosen to concentrate this portion of the month to creating more of my magickal candles. I understand not everyone has an outlet to make a mass number of candles throughout the month. However, that shouldn’t stop you from doing some form of candle magick for yourself or others during the month. For example, lighting a 7-day magickal candle each week for any intention will not only bring you closer to setting up a daily magickal routine, it brings you closer to the element of fire regularly for the month.

Ritual

Because I started this on the Full Moon of June, I was fortunate that the Summer Solstice fell within the month fire. What a better way to connect with the element than honoring a big ball of fire. Even if there was no major magickal calendar event to happen, I set out to also do a ritual during every aspect of the moon. THE MOON!! You may be asking yourself what does the moon have to do with fire. For one, in many cultures, some form of fire has always present or is a focus during any Full Moon ceremony or spiritual event. Even if we think of how the moon is lit in the night sky, we can attribute that to fire, well to that big ball of it in the sky at least. Thinking in the terms of the suns light reflections we can mirror this in our rituals by working on our own spiritual reflected self by using the phases of the moon.

Because many of my blog posts are shared on social media, where groups usually discourage the sharing of rituals and spells (I guess they feel it’s better for people to turn to unknown sources that an experienced Witch for these things). However, you can find rituals for every phase of the moon in “The Modern Witches Curriculum”. What I will share is one of the Tarot Spreads that can also be incorporated into any Waning Moon ritual.

Waning Moon Tarot Spread

wan tarot

Place Card 1 on the far left and card 2 on the far right. Then place cards 3-6 from top to bottom in a crescent moon shape between the first 2 cards.

  1. What is going right in your life?
  2. What needs to be removed from your life?
  3. What is the cause of what needs to be removed?
  4. What can you do to achieve the removal?
  5. What outside influences are available to me?
  6. What changes should I expect?

Some other things you can do

I have listed other things that I will be doing throughout the month and that I have done in the past as well.

Research and learn about how other traditions and cultures view and use the element of fire. Fire has and probably always will be an important part of human culture. From the Greek myth of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods to the burning bush in the Christian Bible, fire has always been a part of our spirituality and religion. Fire plays an important role in Witchcraft as well. It is one of the building blocks of the universe, a foundation of our magick circle, and a tool in purification rites.

Attune yourself to the element of fire by making a list of 5 things that get you all fired up, either angry or inspired and take a constructive action to change or invoke these things. In his book Earth Power, famous Wiccan author, Scott Cunningham wrote Attuning and working with these energies in magic not only lends you the power to affect dramatic changes in your life, it also allows you to sense your own place in the larger scheme of Nature.”

Understanding what attributes of fire, we possess or lack help us maintain a spiritual balance within ourselves and the world around us. When our fire energy is in balance, we are often more joyful and playful, communicate better, and have a true enthusiasm for life. Some symptoms when we lack or are out of balance are depression, insomnia, loss of spark, and a need for control. Know that there are specific compensations for a weak or lacking element that can sometimes also create balance.

-Study the correspondences of herbs, oils, and crystals associated with the element of fire. Create your own incense or oil recipe. Not all Witches use element correspondences however, those who do know there is a great deal of variation between traditions. In most cases, in Witchcraft the elements are involved in one way or another and each offer something unique and special.

– Get a chakra balancing through reiki work or some other practice that you feel comfortable with.

There are so many things you can also do each day to help you connect with the direction, the spirits, and the element. Something as simple as lighting a candle while you are home to setting some time as side to do some shadow work. I will be posting one outline a month if you choose to follow or just dabble in connecting to each element. Balance is key to a healthy spiritual life.

“Look! He is coming to the people

running with the sacred fire

fire is medicine, it is powerful.”

-Blackfoot Medicine Song