Claiming Our Power/ The Song of Amergin ~ Beltane 2019

Am gaeth i m-muir
Am tond trethan
Am fuaim mara
Am dam secht ndirend
Am séig i n-aill
Am dér gréne
Am cain lubai
Am torc ar gail
Am he i l-lind
Am loch i m-maig
Am brí a ndai
Am bri i fodb fras feochtu
Am dé delbas do chind codnu
Coiche nod gleith clochur slébe
Cia on co tagair aesa éscai
Cia du i l-laig fuiniud gréne
Cia beir buar o thig tethrach
Cia buar tethrach tibi
Cia dám, cia dé delbas faebru a ndind ailsiu
Cáinte im gai, cainte gaithe

Beltane feels different this year. Usually this is my happy, fully indulgent and expressive sabbat packed with great rituals and silly innuendoes. We have done some amazing Beltane’s in the past! This Beltane for me, felt different. This year is serious. I understood that when I wrote our Beltane ritual. I even felt the need to do a class for our tradition, to help them tap into this as well. It never really sank in that perhaps it was something the community needed as well.

I read through a great article this afternoon on Patheos, by a fellow Pagan who cited much the same feeling. They had expressed, that our world was on fire, and being torn into piece. They are right, from the devastating effects we are having on the earth herself, and her children to our own species and the coming of something far darker, Yeah, it’s hard to get up the desire to sing and dance ribbons around a pole with that is going on in our world today.  WE are Witches, men and women of Power. I feel that it is our duty and obligation to recognize this and channel this Power in direction which best benefit our world. Perhaps what is lacking for us, is connection and empowerment.

A few weeks ago, Shani Oates of Clan Tubal Caine had reposted The Song of Amergin, it is truly one of my favorites. Her gentle reminder was the inspiration I needed for what became our Beltane 2019.

First if you will bear with me, I should explain what The Song of Amergin is, then how it truly relates to our Beltane observance and how to use it.

Amergin & The Incantation

Amergin Glúingel was a bard, druid and judge for the Milesians in the Irish Mythological Cycle. His two brothers, who became the Kings of Ireland appointed him Chief Ollam of Ireland. He was appointed Chief Ollam of Ireland by his two brothers the kings of Ireland.

There are several variations to the story of Amergin’s arrival in Ireland and to the incantion of The Song of Amergin.

Amerigan is said to have been one of the seven sons of Míl Espáine, taking part in the Milesian conquest of Ireland from the Tuatha Dé Danann, in revenge for the death of thier great-uncle Íth at the hands of the three kings of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Upon Landing at the estuary of Inber Scéne, which Amerign named for his wife Scéne, who had died at sea. Amergin and The Milesians sought the permission to settle Ireland from the three queens of the Tuatha Dé Danann, (Banba, Ériu and Fódla). Each sister in turn agreed yet required Amergin to name the island after each of them.  Ériu is the origin of the modern name Éire, while Banba and Fódla are used as poetic names *

To win the island, The Milesians had to engage the Three Kings in battle, along with their druids and warriors. Amergin acted as one of the impartial judges for the parties, setting the rules of engagement. As part of the rules The Milesians agreed to leave the island and retreat a short distance back into the ocean beyond the ninth wave, which is a magical boundary. At the agreed upon a signal, they moved toward the beach, however the druids of the Tuatha Dé Danann raised a magical storm to keep them reaching the shore. Amergin sang an invocation which called upon the spirit of Ireland. That invocation that come to be known as The Song of Amergin. He was able to part the storm and bring the ship safely to land. There were heavy losses on all sides, over several engagements, the Milesians eventually won the Island. The three kings of the Tuatha Dé Danann were killed in single combat by three of the surviving sons of Míl Espáine *

In a similar variation of this story,

Amergin and The Milesians fought the Tuatha Dé Danann, led by The Dagda. Who together with the druids cast spells to keep the Milesians from the shores of Ireland.

In this version when Amergin reaches the shore, the invokes the Spirit of Ireland, the very elements themselves; through a song of wisdom and power. By establishing this connection with the land, with their own Power and sovereignty the Milesians were able to emerge victorious over the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Later when peace was established between these two peoples, Ireland was divided in half. The Milesians taking the upper half of Ireland and the Tuatha Dé Danann retreating to its lower portion, beneath the land itself. ** 

What is the Song of Amergin

So, what is The Song of Amergin? An incantation? An invocation of the spirit of the land? A song of Power? An evocation of your personal sovereignty? A claiming and consecration of land? An acknowledgement of the Divine power within you?   Yes!

What do you mean Yes?

There are several scholars who have posited that poem has actual spiritual and cosmological meaning. They feel it connects the nature of the world with the nature of the soul. A wonderful blog post by Brian, in An Introduction to The Song of Amergin, discusses the works of Alwyn and Brinley Rees who are well versed in Indo European Religion. He feels they offer a far deeper explanation, citing that we are reading medieval text as opposed to unadulterated myth.  (This posting in itself is excellent; I will include large portions of it)

“The Celtic substratum of our story is particularly evident in the obscure poem which Amairgen utters as he first sets his right foot upon Ireland, a poem which gives the coming of the Sons of Míl a significance beyond that of a mere historical invasion…..Potentially, the whole creation is bound up in Amairgen, and Indian parallels preclude the dismissal of his speech as simply an expression of ‘the pride of the sorcerer’. Thus Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita declares himself to be the divine seed without which nothing animate or inanimate exists. He is the Atman, he is Vishnu, Shiva, Brahman, and all the gods, the beginning, the life-span, and the end: ‘I am the radiant sun among the light-givers… among the stars of night, I am the moon … I am Meru among mountain peaks … I am the ocean among waters … Of water-beings I am Varuna: Aryaman among the Fathers: I am Death … I am the Wind…’ He is pre-eminent among hymns, poetic metres, the letters of the alphabet, the months and the seasons: ‘I am the dice-play of the cunning, I am the strength of the strong …I am the silence of things secret: I am the knowledge of the knower … What I have described to you are only a few of my countless forms.’ Vishnu, dormant during the interval of non-manifestation between the dissolution and recreation of the universe delivers himself of a similar series of ‘I am’ utterances. … Similarly Amairgen on the ocean of non-existence embodies the primeval unity of all things.  As such he has the power to bring a new world into being, and his poems are in the nature of creation incantations.” (Rees)

“In addition to connecting the Song and its utterance to, not only the whole of existence, but the act of creation, as a corollary to that, Rees and Rees connect it to transmigration of the soul:” ( Brian)

“Amairgen…is everything, and it is a fair inference that among the Celts, as in India and other lands, there existed alongside the belief in individual reincarnation a doctrine that there is essentially only One Transmigrant. As Ovid expressed it: ‘The spirit wanders, comes now here, now there, and occupies whatever frame it pleases. From beasts it passes into human bodies, and from our bodies into beasts, but never perishes.’” (Rees)

“The Rees brothers draw this conclusion, not from the Song of Amairgen alone, but from a look at the tradition as whole, through the material we have left.  The book, Celtic Heritage, practically culminates with the notion that Celtic religion depicts, “in the concepts of the boundary, the centre, intercalary time, ‘to-day’, betwixts-and-betweens…multiple names, multiple skills, puns and, we may add, metaphors, an ambiguity, or a multiplication or concentration of meaning which makes them fitting symbols of the unmanifest, which is itself the world of chaos and at the same time the ground of all being.” (Brian/ Rees)

“This would later be reflected in the words of Alexei Kondratiev, in The Apple Branch (1998), saying that in “Celtic religion… everything interpenetrates everything else, and nothing is only itself”

“In this light, the Song of Amairgen is not unique, but simply one beautiful instantiation of the Celtic understanding of the interplay between self and totality, and between unity and multiplicity.  In this sense, any such hard distinctions are dependent more on how one approaches existence and at what resolution, than any absolute privileging of one paradigm over the other.”*****

How do we work with The Song of Amergin

We can do this in several ways,

  1. It gives us a look in to the mindsets of our forebearers. How they saw the nature of the world and the nature of the soul. Understanding this is key to connecting to how they understood The Divine, worked their own versions of inner alchemy (The Song of Amergin is decidedly inner alchemy), how they related it to personal power and sovereignty.   Even though we as witches & magicians continue to develop our own connections to nature around us, the divine and ourselves, deepening our practice and giving it wings. It begins here with our forebearers.
  2. Invoking the Spirit of the Land. As witches we call to the land itself. Not just to some far-off land, but this one, we are standing upon. This land which gives us birth and sustenance. It allows us to reconnect, acknowledging that we do not exist on the land, but we are part of it. We are part of this beautiful eco- system, as such have a responsibility to her, as much as she supports us. In invoking the land, we renew that connection, even as it fills and aids us, we must likewise work to protect and sustain her. It is not a one-way street!
  3. Even as we invoke the spirit and renew our connection, we can and should claim and consecrate the land. As we name our father and mother who bore us, we are of her as well. The ancients also understood this connection to the land very well and the claiming of her.

In those periods of history Priestesses were representatives of the Goddesses, who in turn also represented the land. With ascension to Kingship, Kings would marry these women who were representatives of The Goddess, of the land.   This was in essence the King marrying the land. Sacred vows given to protect, provide and sustain the land, even as she sustained them. As the King was strong and successful, so the land was strong as successful, if his power waned, so did that of the land, the two were one. A reflection of our connection to the land.

In claiming and consecrating the land, we acknowledge her as mother and lover. We share responsibility for her benefit, as she ours. While in the modern day we need no King to be a reflection of this understanding, we can and should make these connections ourselves. This land is ours and we are hers, it is a sacred place, to be revered, respected and protected.

  1. As an evocation of your personal sovereignty, The Song of Amergin is a Song of Power, your Power. Author Morgan Damiler sees it as a declaration of connection to empower oneself.   In fact, if you look at the notes of Author Robert Graves, in his first literal translation, it is precisely that! He translate each stance with a meaning I am depth, I am weight, strength, deftness. I have valour, clarity, knowledge etc. Even as I call to the Land, I call forth my connection to it and to myself, I call forth my power and declare my sovereignty! Morgan went further to devise her own “Song of Amergin” and I would challenge you to do the same. ******
  2. As an acknowledgement of the Divine and the Divine Power that resides within you. Just as Sri Krishna declares himself to be the divine seed, so are we and so do we. We are of the earth and star dust; our spirits are the same and the spark of the divine resides within all of us. Working with The Song of Amergin we call this forth and merge fully with our own divinity, and that of all of nature and her denizens.

 

Wow this is a lot to read through, what on earth does this have to do with Beltane?

As I said, I felt this Beltane was far more serious, then others we have celebrated in the past. For some odd reason I have the line from Chris Issacs’s Wicked Games in my head. “The World is on Fire, no one can save me but you.”

So, this Beltane, we enacted the sacred marriage.   We stood and claimed our sovereignty as the Magician- Warrior Kings of Old. We acknowledged our Divinity and the Divine Power which resides within all of us. As witches we called upon the land itself. Not Ireland, but this land! This land upon which we stand, this land which gave birth to us, and sustains us. This land which is our mother & our lover at the same time. This land which we are not apart from but A PART of. We gave of our own sacred vows to protect, respect and revere her. To stand for our Lady against those who would abuse her or her denizens. The Soul of Man married to the Soul of Nature, our connections created, and renewed perpetually. United.

As I have said previously, I very rarely post the inner workings of our rituals. However, this is one of the few, that I feel would benefit others, I will include portions of the main working here. We invoked both The Dagda & Macha (Aspect of The Morrigan) for this ritual. The Dagda honored us, as offering challenge.

I encourage you, to look deep inside this Beltane. Create your Song of Amergin, Claim your Sovereignty, Your Divinity, Your Divine Power and your Bride.

Blessings!

Nyt


Claiming Our Power / The Song of Amergin

Beltane 2019

 

Main Working

(A light Trance state is induced for the circle)

In your minds eye, visualize this place.   You are alone, among the quiet of the forest, in the cool of the night. Before the roaring of a bale fire, and the quiet of ancient stones of our forebearers. 

The breeze flutters through you, as you drink deeply of the fresh air. Your feet upon solidly upon the earth. As you open yourself, you feel the slow heartbeat of the land. Quiet yet strong. You feel the speaking of the trees. You hear the songs of the birds. Time slows, and as you take a breath, there is no time. You are beyond it.   Connected to the land, as her heart beats, so does yours. Sinking your roots down in to her, you draw her strength in to you.

Before you a figure enters your circle. A God, Great and powerful who offers to you challenge

 With a voice that echo’s of the aeons of the God Kings, powerful warrior wizards you sing with them, the song of Power.

Invoke, People of the Land, Invoke the poet that he may compose a spell for you. For I, The Witch, who bring forth these words, I who part combatants. I will approach the wrath of the Sidhe , a cunning poet. That together we may concoct incantations

Am gaeth i m-muir
Am tond trethan
Am fuaim mara
Am dam secht ndirend
Am séig i n-aill
Am dér gréne
Am cain lubai
Am torc ar gail
Am he i l-lind
Am loch i m-maig
Am brí a ndai
Am bri i fodb fras feochtu
Am dé delbas do chind codnu
Coiche nod gleith clochur slébe
Cia on co tagair aesa éscai
Cia du i l-laig fuiniud gréne
Cia beir buar o thig tethrach
Cia buar tethrach tibi
Cia dám, cia dé delbas faebru a ndind ailsiu
Cáinte im gai, cainte gaithe

 

I am the wind on the sea
I am the stormy wave
I am the sound of the ocean
I am the bull with seven horns
I am the hawk on the cliff face
I am the sun’s tear
I am the beautiful flower
I am the boar on the rampage
I am the salmon in the pool
I am the lake on the plain
I am the defiant word
I am the spear charging into battle
I am the god who put fire in your head
Who made the trails through stone mountains
Who knows the age of the moon
Who knows where the setting sun rests
Who took the cattle from the house of the warcrow
Who pleases the warcrow’s cattle
What bull, what god created the mountain skyline
The cutting word, the cold word

 

The Land rises to meet your call, you feel the swell within her power as it becomes your power.

You kneel and touch your hand to the earth. The flow of power from her to you in a perfect circuit.

As the Warrior Kings & Queens of Old, you join with this your Bride, your Groom. This land which nourishes and sustains you. This land which gave birth to you and the countless generations before and after you. Here you make your vows one to another, whispered in love and devotion.

Vows to Honor one another, Vows to Empower one another , Vows to Sustain one another, Vows to Protect one another, Vows to Love one another

 You no longer reside on this land, you are united as one. You are this land and she is you. As you prosper so will she, and as you stumble so will she. As she grows through her cycles, so will you, As she suffers from abuse and misuse, you will strive to protect and defend her.  So mote it be.

 United, you meet the Challenge of the Dagda!

 Here now his words.

 

This Divine marriage, the nature of the land and the nature of the human soul, will be sung through the generations. It will be danced among the may poles and consummated in the Greenwoods. Here in this time that is not a time, in a place which resides in a plane apart. You build your home upon this foundation together. Your Castle upon this mountain.

 

 

 

 


 

References:

* Wikipedia: The Song of Amergin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amergin_Glúingel

** Tir na nOg, the Land of Eternal Youth,;The Song of Amergin Blog: Nov. 28, 2007  https://al-tirnanog.blogspot.com/2007/11/song-of-amergin.html

***Stradling, Walter, Ancient Celtic Lore, The Song of Amergin; The White Goddess, https://www.scribd.com/document/311514577/The-Song-of-Amergin-The-White-Goddess

**** Grave, Robert; The White Goddess, 1948

*****An Introduction to The Song of Amergin, Jun 2012; Brian: https://songofamergin.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/an-introduction-to-the-song-of-amergin/

****** Damiler, Morgan, Living Liminally ( Blog) The Power Song, Jan 28, 2014 https://songofamergin.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/an-introduction-to-the-song-of-amergin/

 

A Witch’s Call to Adventure

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As a child of about five, I recall sitting in the sunlight one morning, on the floor of my bedroom; dolls and play house assembled before me, stalwart companions. I stopped and turned my face into the sun, feeling the warmth upon my skin. “I can not be five years old”, I thought to myself “I have been here to long, I am far older than this.” I need not explain, that science dictates children of this age are incapable for abstract reasoning, nor how clear this memory is at such a young age. So, it begins.

Spirituality concerns itself with the Souls relationship with the Universal “Is”, no matter what you may call it, “the Great Bran Muffin” as one mentor so aptly stated. It is undefinable by our finite minds. The limitless unknowable by the limited. Yet we can still find connection. I call the Great Universal “Is”, “The Dragon”, I will refer to it here onward so that you may know what I refer to. It is not because I believe that it is a dragon. It is an appropriate metaphor, the greatness and strength of a wise one, who hordes the treasures of knowledge of all things; objective and subjective, cold yet hot, created, creating, destroying and destroyed, it is all things at once and nothing. Spirituality concerns itself with the Souls relationship with The Dragon. The awakening of the Spirit is something else.

On that beautiful sunny morning my Spirit awakened. Not my soul, which was already hard at work. It was the connection of my “over soul” as some call it, or Spirit. To explain this well, merges the much-debated theories with some personal revelation or UPG as we in paganism like to say, Unverified Personal Gnosis. Information given by entities with which we have worked, not necessarily verified by scholarly data.   For myself, there exists the Spirit of each individual. It resides in the Spiritual Plane. Because it is “force” it cannot manifest itself here on the physical plane. To manifest itself, it must take “form”, this is both harder and easier than it sounds.   The Spirit connects itself to a physical form by what some refer to as a silvery tether. From the Spirit to the Soul of the individual. Through this connection to the Soul, the Spirit experiences form. It learns, grows and understands through the trials of the soul, until at last it truly become self-actualized. And returns no more. At the death of each form, the information of that existence is transferred to the Spirit, and the tether cut. The subtle bodies left to decay just as the physical form.

So, what do I mean by “The Spirit awakened”? The soul became cognizant of the Spirit and its reason for this incarnation. An opening to the deep conscious to the waking conscious. Something so profound, that it results in an undeniable memory.   The awakening of The Spirit is not simply an on or off button, yet it is. I believe the awakening opens the soul and the incarnation for a greater understanding of its purpose. While the soul may not always be cognizant 24/7 of this purpose, as opportunities for furtherance of this purpose reveal themselves it will increasingly make the soul aware.   Those Spirits which are awakened, are far more likely to respond in accord with their true purposes, then those who are not.

There are also those Souls, who deny their awakenings, whether by their own accord or through the repression of others. These Souls will find great difficulties through their lives because of this denial.   I have seen this many time, but one in particular I will never forget. A gentleman late in life who was what many consider a raging alcoholic.   In his moment of sobriety, wrestling with detoxing, we spoke.   He recalled as a child and teenager, the spirits he would see and hear, how he would relate this to his family who were staunch Christians.   They convinced him or forced him to see these spirits as something demonic and/ or made up by his mind, which they told him was unwell. He still continues to see and hear them from time to time, yet not when he is intoxicated, or perhaps he just does not care. The alcohol is his escape and a way to hide what he was told to repress. A Spirit which may have been awakened, yet it was far to late for him now. His senses dulled and his soul caught in a cycle which few are strong enough to break. For him detox is dangerous, and the next time will likely take his life. It is far to late.

The path which wakefulness places us upon is not an easy one. We are not the people that take the easy way out of anything. We question what we are told, we look for our own answers reading both accepted sciences and philosophies as well as exploring our own. We are the children who pull back the curtain revealing the true Wizard of Oz, realizing that both science and metaphysics have their place in our lives, each a path seeking to connect and understand.

Wakefulness in and of itself can lead to dark places. As we realize the interconnectedness of the world around us are, we understand how few of us are truly aware of these connections. We reach out to each other for some periods we connect, in others “Ego” steps in and closes our eyes to focus our own unfulfilled needs.   Yet if we only realized that “Ego” is the lesson giver. The opponent that must be overcome.   The Black Knight of the tourney. Only we can fulfill our needs, we are the keys to our own happiness. Nothing and no one else. Here we are the Hermit, tending to our own internal gardens that we may emerge into the world fulfilled, happy, wise and ready to set about business.

I have not always understood wakefulness in this manner, I have struggled with it my entire life. From memories which are not mine, but my mother’s; to places I have never stepped foot yet know them as intimately as I know my heart. Opportunities, for understanding interconnectedness in a world which did not.

Some, I recall with a sly smile. I was particularly young and bossy Libra, saying to my mother; much to her horror. “Why don’t people worship the Old Gods (referencing the Greek Gods) anymore? They are still there!”. Just for your benefit, I was born into the deep south in the 70’s, my parents where Baptists. You can imagine how this went over. Chuckle.

There are times when I wish I could have denied my wakefulness. When I watch families at play together, there is work, life and family it is shallow on some ends and deep on others.   The happiness in just the everyday moments, rather then the patterns flowing beneath them. To forget the patterns for a while and just be, but there is a Zen in this as well, I think.   Does it further the soul’s journey? All things ultimately do, some take a more meandering route then others.

Staying to long in wakefulness has its own risks and pitfalls. Chasing its opportunities skips past others offered in the physical world; be those opportunities work, romance, family related.   Finding a balance between then two is difficult. And the point of harmonization is never the same for each individual. I wish I could offer you an easy instruction manual for finding this within yourself.   All we can really do as teachers is to get you to look within and begin your own path. Your hero’s journey.

Joseph Campbell, perhaps the one of the greatest Mythologians to have passed through existence speaks in his book “Hero with a Thousand Faces”, to the journey of the Hero.   In all cultures this journey takes exactly the same path. Our deep collective unconscious speaking to us as a culture, so that we might understand when our turn comes.   Campbell speaks of the journey as a circle.

heros-Journey

 

In my experience, you can go through more than one hero’s journey in your life. You may even move through them simultaneously. The Wakening of the Spirit is the first Call to Adventure.   For the journey of the spiritually wakened, for those witches, wizards, shaman, priests, gurus, spiritualist etc. We begin here. It does not matter at which age your “call” comes. You will and have known it.

“The call to adventure is the point in a person’s life when they are first given notice that everything is going to change, whether they know it or not.”                  ~ Joseph Campbell

That you are here reading these words should be proof enough. There are no coincidences. My question to you, have you heeded your “call” or are you denying it?

Our world culture today, finds stories, books and movies pervasive with heroes. From humans with mutated genes who can do the fantastic, to mad scientists constructing their own suits of armor for battling the monsters, we flock to them. Outer space cowboy adventures, to deep sea reckoning of of the abyss, we tell these stories again and again. The hero’s story. What we are really telling ourselves through our arts is that “We” can save ourselves. We each have it within us to answer the “Call to Adventure” to accept the Wakening of the Spirit.

By becoming cognizant of our Spirit, or Over Soul and our purpose we accept Campbell’s “Call”, we set ourselves on the path to become The Hero, to develop our total person in line with our “True Will”. It is ever the quest of the Wakened Spirit, to transform themselves in accord with “True Will” and in vibration with nature and the universe.

For those who refuse the Wakening of the Spirit or the ‘Call to Adventure”’;

“Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into it’s negative. Walled into boredom hardwork or “culture” the hero loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved.”                                                                       ~ Joseph Campbell

Are we the Princess in the tower? The villager lost to the millennia of anonymity, abuse, hardship and toil? Or are we each, the Knight upon his white steed, armor gleaming with the “Call” etched into our hearts.

Sitting upon a carpeted floor, warmed by the beam of sunlight, eyes closed, and mind opened. This five-year-old girl whispered “yes”.

“The Call to Adventure signifies that Destiny has summoned a Hero.”~ Joseph Campbell

To be continued…….

 

Labels: Big P/ little p

Modern witchcraft and paganism as a whole is a complicated and at times convoluted series of paths shooting away from, intertwining with and even over riding each other.  I have been reading a number of articles, blogs and postings in the greater community lately, largely arguing over the validity of the labels of witchcraft, paganism and paths such as Wicca.  This is not an argument, I usually wade into, however, I do feel that there are something that’s should be understood in the discussion.

First taking on labels. P/paganism, neo paganism and et al, are just that labels.  In essence they only matter to the person using them and only define you, if you wish it.  I have long used the label pagan with those friends and family who were not versed in our spiritual traditions.  Most come from some sort of judeo. chrisitian background and there is enough knowledge readily available today, to give them a better impression that we are a bit more of a nature based set of spiritualities, then the dark and frightening tales told by the church in days not that long ago.  It is something easy for them to understand.  In all honesty,  you can call it the path of the great bran muffin, I care not.

Labels historically have a propensity to be used categorize a people for use of separation and yes even vilification.  One need look know further than today’s examples in the United States.  From “liberal snow flakes”, to the demonization of immigrants as nothing but rapists, drug lords and gang members.  It is easy to use a label to strip the humanity away, so what you are fighting is a label not your friend and neighbor, who watches your dog when your away and lends a hand when you need it.  Labels can be used to manipulate thought and mentality to others, creating the justification of acts through the fabrication of  false victimization, and developing an appropriate scape goat for blame.

We have to make changes as a world to move forward, both to our environment and how we treat one another.  In truth arguing about how we choose to label others feeds into that same system.  The only person who can truly tell you how to refer to them or their path is “that person”  and rather then make assumptions about their definitions it is best to listen to how they see it themselves.  We see this in our very important “trans” movements.  Their pronouns are their choices and we respect it.  We should have a bit more respect for each other.

Label agreement; So you don’t agree with the label someone uses for themselves.  Your feelings are that its cultural appropriation or ignorance, laziness , whatever.  Before we fly off  our “respective broom handles”  sit down and talk to them.  Why do they see themselves in this way, or choose this label.  You might be surprised and find yourself in agreement after understanding their perspective.  Perhaps you might have a perspective on it, that they would benefit from in a thoughtful shared discussion.   It is literally not for you to judge.  How we react to labels etc, is about us not them.  In truth how we react to anything, is more about us then them.  So lets start by getting out of our own way.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need labels,  in fact we really don’t.  We are all humans in a shared experience, each with their own unique set of perspectives, tools, education, training etc.  We benefit by learning from one another.  We have far larger issues at hand in our world today, then arguing about  sets of words to give some remote significance for the spiritual paths we forge for ourselves.  So lets stop arguing and start working together.

Shadows of Our Ancestors

The limbs that move, the eyes that see,

These are not entirely me;

Dead men and women helped to shape,

The mold that I do not escape;

The words I speak, the written line, these

Are not uniquely mine.

For in my heart and in my will, old

Ancestors are warring still,

Celt, Roman, Saxon and all the dead, from

Whose rich blood my veins are fed,

In aspect, gesture, voices, tone, flesh of

My flesh, bone of my bone;

In fields they tilled, I plow the sod, I walk

The mountain paths they trod;

Around my daily steps arise – the good,

The bad – those I comprise.

Richard Rolle 1300- 1349

 

It was five years ago now, when sixteen witches from a then amazing community came together to create what would be the most memorable Samhain of my life. We were hosting for the Orlando Pagan Collective, a public Samhain and Witches Ball. I speak of it now, because it’s message resonates with the energies of today, the racism, sexism, religious intolerance, lack of empathy, hatred but most of all of fear. “Shadows” most simply is “The Burning Times”, it was inspired and guided by two Goddesses ( My Lady Arianrhod and My Lady The Morrighan), and included beautiful invocations by Lady Lionrhod, two songs from some renowned artists and the input, love and hard work of some truly inspiring people. We worked on this in practice for more than six months, with the entirety of the 30 pages of it memorized. Not work you see too often any longer.

 

The Intent of “Shadows” was to give us a moment of what it was like for our ancestors during this time of chaos and terror.   We found that even in those darkest of moments when all hope should have been lost, that they found peace and were able to move past what was done to them. It also gave us a glimpse into the thoughts, prejudices and fears of their accusers, torturers and even those who sat silent. We realized that we all have those same feelings. From Murderer to victim we can both be controlled and paralyzed by them. “Shadows” was an amazing working in self transformation. It was about recognizing all those things within us and letting them go. It was about freeing ourselves by giving us permission to move past the pain and by forgiving not only those we felt had done these terrible things to us, but also forgiving ourselves. Forgiveness for our own terrible thoughts, feelings and fears, forgiveness who the things we had done as well as for those we have not. In truth it is powerful magick.

 

I do not share my ritual work publicly, however, given the current energies in the world today, I felt it was time to share excepts of “Shadows”. I will apologize ahead of time, the actual meditation which contained the largest part of the working is not in print. In my practice, all meditations are channeled, so the perspective of those who were accusers, torturers, who were silent; will not be included. I leave it to you to take the time, to seek the Gods for those. I urge you to do so. It can be life changing. I will be sharing the Invocations and some the stories and songs used in the ritual. I hope that it inspires your own inner discourses and helps fuel your inner transformation.

May the Blessings of Samhain Be Yours

Nyt

 

Shadow of Our Ancestors 

The Invocations

(A Word on these invocations, they are written from the perspective of a witch on the eve of their death, as they call out to an aspect of the God/dess. There are eight of them; Maiden & Lover, Father & Mother, Matron & Warrior, Hunter & Crone.)

 

Lover God Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the river and the drowning awaits you.

Invoker: (on his knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

God, Lover I call upon you,

You who are the flute in the meadow

And the sap rising in the trees

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Lover: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my son, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the loving expression of your adoration.

Invoker: (rises to his feet and to god pose)

You who are the wind whispering joy and the song of lovers moaning

You who are the grain rising to the face of the Sun and the brook babbling passion, forsake me not.

Lover: I am with you, now and forever.

Maiden Goddess Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the stones await you.

Invoker: (on her knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lady, Maiden I call upon you,

You who are the beauty of the green earth

And the crescent moon among the stars

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Maiden: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my daughter, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the loving expression of your joy.

Invoker: (rises to her feet and to goddess pose)

You who are the seeds springing from the land and the song of children’s voices

You who are the sound of the lark and thrill of my own maidenhood, forsake me not.

Maiden: I am with you, now and forever.

Father God Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the rope awaits you.

Invoker: (on his knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lord, Father I call upon you,

You who are the windswept sky

And the mountains we seek to attain

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Father: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my son, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the loving expression of your encompassing heart.

Invoker: (rises to his feet and to god pose)

You who are the tide of noon, bringing fullness to my power

You who are the wise one, teacher of lessons and mysteries, forsake me not.

Father: I am with you, now and forever.

Mother Goddess Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the fires await you.

Invoker: (on her knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lady, Mother I call upon you,

You who are the cauldron of passion

And the blazing heart eternal of the Earth

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Mother: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my daughter, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the loving expression of your enfolding heart.

Invoker: (rises to her feet and to goddess pose)

You who are the full moon whispering magick and the power of creation

You who are the flow of lava that gives birth to land, forsake me not.

Mother: I am with you, now and forever.

 

Warrior God Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the fire awaits you.

Invoker: (on his knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lord, Warrior I call upon you,

You who are the raging fire-swept prairie

The fields of conquest razed by sword

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Warrior: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my son, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the conquest of passing your limitation.

Invoker: (rises to his feet and to god pose)

You who are the Sunset-warrior, champion of the just

You who are the leader who guides me to victory, forsake me not.

Warrior: I am with you, now and forever.

Matron Goddess Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the rope awaits you.

Invoker: (on her knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lady, Matron I call upon you,

You who are the She-Wolf guarding your sister’s pups

And the wise pruner of the orchards

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Matron: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my daughter, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the ways that you guide and prune.

Invoker: (rises to her feet and to goddess pose)

You who are the whispering wind that knocks the dead leaves to earth

You who separate wheat from chaff, forsake me not.

Matron: I am with you, now and forever.

Hunter God Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the stones await you and will press you flat.

Invoker: (on his knees)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lord, Hunter I call upon you,

You who are the dolmen door we all fear to pass

The heart of mystery we yearn for and deplore

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Hunter: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my son, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in your trust as you reach beyond the veil.

Invoker: (rises to his feet and to god pose)

You who are the Rider between death and birth

You who are the shaman who opens the door to mystery.

Hunter: I am with you, now and forever.

Crone Goddess Invocation:

Jailor: Go to your cell. Fall to your knees and pray. For tomorrow the drowning awaits you.

Invoker: Nay! My old bones will not take me there! Nor does the Lady of All expect her worshippers to meet her as a supplicant!

Jailor: Silence witch!

Invoker: I will not be silent! I will harangue you till I am a ghost! For as I call upon my gods they WILL answer!

Invoker: (Laughs) False gods, they are not. Indeed, they are Living Gods! Gods of the green earth, the magick and mystery of Life itself! Beginnings and endings! I curse you with it! In a day when your name is forgotten, the gods of the Old Ones and the Old names will rise and be remembered! And they shall live again, in the spirits of their children who remember them and their old ways.

Invoker: (seated on a sack)

From the depths of this, my prison cell, my last home on this Earth,

Lady, Crone I call upon you,

You who are the tomb and womb of our bones

The cauldron of eternity to whom we return in every life

I invoke you.

Be with me in my hour of need.

Crone: (standing before the prisoner and stretching out a hand)

My children do not call me on bended knee. Stand tall, my daughter, and have faith,

For I ask naught of sacrifice. And that done onto you in this earth does not reach the Spirit Eternal except in the ways that you transform those about you. I am the beginning and the end.

Invoker: (rises to her feet and to goddess pose)

You who are the ice that freezes us to the shape we create for ourselves

You who are beginning and end, a new possibility, a new chance, forsake me not.

Crone: I am with you, now and forever.

All Aspects: We are with you, now and forever.

 

The Stories of the Elements

(These stories were told by our elemental invokers from the perspective of each element)

Air

I am Air and you are my beloved child Ursula Kemp. In 1582 you were a cunning woman and midwife. You were renowned in your home of Chelmsford, England, for helping cure various ailments and sicknesses. However, it was a former friend, whose son refused to pay for you meger services, yet took them instead, and became no better. That proved your undoing. For then the family stood staunchly against you and complained to the magistrate. First for his lameness, and then for other accidents which befell them. A lifetime of work, undone by a miser. Under torture you confessed. Your last breath was drawn into me, from the hangman’s noose. So my child in 1582. I took you from the pain and anguish that men visit upon one another in their ignorance and hatred. You find rest within the soft whispering breezes of my cradle. I am Air and you are my beloved child Ursula Kemp.

 

Fire

I am Fire and you are my beloved child Johannes Junius. In 1628 you were the Mayor of Bamburg, Germany, when the witch craze enveloped your area. You had been Mayor since 1608, a fine upstanding citizen of your community, with love of your neighbors and family foremost in your heart. You were implicated by other victims, shortly after the execution of your wife. You held out against your accusers after almost a week under torture. I forget not your letter to your daughter.

“Many hundred- thousand good night’s, dearly beloved daughter Veronica. Innocent I have come into prison, innocent I have been tortured and innocent I must die. For whoever comes into this witch prison must become a witch or be tortured until he invents something out of his head. Dear child, keep this letter secret so that people do not find it, else I shall be tortured most piteously and the jailers will be beheaded. So strictly is it forbidden. Good night, for your father Johannes Junius will never see you more. So my child on August 6, 1628, I swelled with indignation and flared brightly, drawing you from the pain and anguish that men visit upon one another in their ignorance and hatred and you find rest within the warmth of my embrace. I am Fire and you are my beloved child Johannes Junius.

 

Water

I am Water and you are my beloved child Kristy Bamu. It was Christmas in 2010, when you are your four siblings went to visit your sister in London. It must have been a welcome and exciting trip, coming from your home in France. Your family had moved around somewhat, originally coming from the Congo. Life is full of promise for a young healthy teen boy. I am sure you felt that way. Shortly after arriving at your sister’s home, her mate Eric Bikubi, accused you and your sisters of witchcraft. It is not uncommon, in the Congo, where you all come from. He became more and more obsessed with witchcraft, and the torture began. There were more than 101 injuries covered with deep cuts and bruises. An armory of weapons were found, after you had been dragged in to the bathroom and placed clothed into the bath. You had pleaded forgiveness repeatedly, to no avail. And finally, you were asked if you wanted to die. “Yes, I want to die.” So, my child December 25, 2010. My water surrounded you and I took you from the pain and anguish that men visit upon one another in their ignorance and hatred and you find rest within my arms. I am water and you are my beloved child Kristy Bamu.

 

Earth

I am Earth and you are my beloved child Giles Corey. In life, you were a farmer and a member of the community of Salem Massachusetts. You devoted your life to your home and family. Age and work weather a man, and as an elder in your community you were hard and stubborn. You were not afraid to speak your mind. On April 18, 1692, you were arrested for witchcraft. You had seen those who came before you, including Martha your wife. As was your way, even under examination you refused to enter a plea. To do so would mean the loss of your property to the state on your death. As had been your life’s devotion family was most important. To force a plea from you, you were sentenced to pressing. On September 19, 1692, The Sherriff placed you naked between two boards, over the next two days places more boulders on top of you. They asked you three times to enter a plea, your last words to them were “more weight”. So my child I took you from the pain and anguish that men visit upon one another in their ignorance and hatred and you find rest within my womb. I am Earth and you are my beloved child Giles Corey.

 

Meditation

(Included in the meditation as spoken word, each a witch at the stake. This is a beautiful chant from Reclaiming, I believe)

Witch: Spirit of the Water, soothe away my anger, For, I am soon to leave here in great fear and pain. Surround me with thy beauty, if it please thee, That I may lose my fear of the flame.

Witch: Spirit of the Fire hear me when I cry, For I am soon to die, and leave a daughter to mourn. Let me burn brightly, if it please thee, That she might see my flame and be warned.

Witch: Spirit of the Air, lift my ashes, quietly, So high above that gathering, then let them fall again. And this shall be a sign, if it please thee, That I shall be returning, on the north wind.

Witch: Spirit of the Earth, I give my body to thee, Oh, let my bones, scattered, be among the growing things. And let the forest grow, if it please thee, O’er this place of death and suffering.

 

Chant

Where There is Fear there is Power

(This chant was used for our energy raising post meditation to actualize and what had done in our meditation, author unknown)

Where there’s fear there is power

Passion is the healer

Desire cracks open the gate

If you’re ready it’ll take you through

But nothing lasts forever

Time is the destroyer

The wheel turns again and again

Watch out, it’ll take you through

But nothing dies forever

Nature is the renewer

The wheel turns again and again

If you’re ready it’ll take you through.

 

As I had said these are just excerpts, my hopes again that they inspire you!

I do ask if you use them in any part, please credit them.

Blessings!

 

Credits:

The Photo is a Modern Burning in the 2000’s in the Middle East.

Invocations:  Lady Lionrhod

Elemental Stories:  Nyt ( based on true stories from current and historical research)

“Spirits”  The Reclaiming

Where There is Fear There is Power – unknown

The Elements and Experimentation

 

For many witches and Wiccans, the elements and their associated directions and correspondences are integral parts of their ritual practice as well as personal transformative work.  I would like to take a little time to devote to understanding the elements, how our use of and work with them should reflect what resonates deeply within us, and how to adjust our work with them accordingly. I do this with a bit of a story of my own development.

My own official training in the “craft” began in the early nineties.  During that era most of the publications were very basic and foundational in their teachings, the “net” or “web” was in its infancy.  The information, regarding the elements,  readily available to me at that time, as a practicing baby witch in North America, was what I playfully refer to as “pagan generic”;  meaning  that directionally; Air was associated with the East, Fire with the South, Water with the West and Earth with the North.  I faithfully learned all of the correspondences and began establishing my relationships with this as a foundation.  I was part of an established coven that worked with this system in this way for many years.   Our original coven, was an amalgam of Gardnarian, Irish/Welsh Celtic Eclectic, 1734 and Faerie.  I mention this only because the placement of our guardians at that time, (which are derived straight from 1734) did not resonate, for me, with the ascribed placement in our circle, at the time I had no idea why.   During those days, there was little enough information available, and of 1734, published, there was nothing.  So I simply went on and worked with element placement and our guardians as was handed down to me, without a great deal of questioning at the time.  I give you this of story at the moment, as it will make a great deal more sense later.

To keep, us all on the same page with elements/ directions and correspondences, simplified “pagan generic”.

Element Direction Color Time Elemental
Air East Yellow Dawn Sylphs
Fire South Red Noon Salamanders
Water West Blue Dusk Undines
Earth Earth Green Midnight Gnomes

My original High Priestess became very ill, and eventually slipped past the veil.  She had been a strong Priestess and had been the glue which held us together.  Even though I was years now, into my path, I was not ready to lead or even to teach, there was still much for me to learn.  Our small coven fell apart and I eventually found a new teacher, from who I also learned a great deal.

As part of our tradition, the elements as we worked with them had more of an alchemical placement.  Meaning, there were situated in circle opposed to their alchemical opposite; fire opposite water, air opposite earth. There was also a bit of a trick to fire and water.  Fire follows the Sun across the sky, much like the chariot of Helios, from midnight to noon, Fire was placed in the eastern quarter of the circle, representational of its rising and path; from noon to midnight, it resides in the western quarter, with its path representational of the setting sun.  Water of course is where ever fire is not.   This change in the placement of the elements, resonated with me quite a bit more, from my original teachings.  Symbolism, for myself is incredibly important, it easily helps my conscious mind, reach into my deep conscious and effect change through the pathworkings.  I found that my own magick, took quite the leap forward, things clicked more into place and the resonance I found with the change acted as an amplifier for my work.  For myself, I was finding the tune of the energies and fitting into the flow.  Magick works along the path of least resistance, much like electricity.  I was coming much closer to that path, for my own energy tunes, and it was working!

Draconian Elemental Table:

Element Direction Color Time Elemental
Air South Yellow Sylphs
Fire East                (midnight-noon)

West          (noon-midnight)

Red Salamnders
Water West         (midnight-noon)

East           (noon-midnight)

Blue Undines
Earth North Green Gnomes

Our paths are am amalgam of our sum total of experiences, so after many years, of following the workings of my second tradition, growing and developing as a Priestess, I felt a draw back to my original teachings, there were still things there I needed to explore. In truth, there was also a path I wished to restore.  I dusted off, my old books, and began reworking the original tradition, infusing it with teaching I had acquired along the way, along with some of the working from my most recent work.  Bringing it back and creating a coven with which to work with it, I went back to the original template “pagan generic” to start.  For myself, though I ran back into the same issue with the original element placement.  With the workings we were going into and our Guardian placement, it just didn’t flow, as the previous traditions had. It wasn’t until, one of my students ran across “The Forge of Tubal Caine” by Ann Finnian and a Gods touched meeting with a wonderful individual named Pagan that many things began to come into focus.   Our original coven, had a base in 1734, it was where our Guardians (Gods) were derived from,  however, as I was learning, my original High Priestess in her own pursuit for tuning to elemental energies that flowed with her, had shifted placement and our Guardians placement from 1734’s original placement.   Now, my disruptions in flow began to make sense.  So I shifted them back.

In 1734, Air is in the North, Fire/ East, Earth/South and Water in the West.   This resonated with me far more than the previous “pagan generic” practices I had followed.  My friend “Pagan” was from Wales.  For them, he said, Air was seen in the North (different from both my previous traditions).  This association, came from the height of the mountains to the North.  Air is seen as up among the clouds, the cold North winds, that would blow through you, blasting the dust and cobwebs from our brains, and instilling knowledge and clear thinking in its place.  Earth, on the other hand was seen in the south.  The beauty if the ripe and fertile land, bursting forth with all measure of life. Additionally placement of the elements, were again alchemically opposed, which worked very well.

In shifting the elements into the 1734 view, aligned them with the Gaelic Airts.  To the Celts, the directions were seen as Airts.  Airts are Scottish Gaelic for Winds, or the four winds, or cardinal compass points. For the Celts they were Tuath (North),  Deas (South),  Aes (East) & Iar (West). The associated colors were also slightly different from the Greek systems which many Neo-Pagans works with today.  Tuath is midnight and the color association is black.  Deas is noon and the color is white.  Iar is associated with Dusk and the color is gray, Aes is the breaking day and associated with the color red.

1734/ Gaelic Airt  Element Table

Element Airt Direction Color Time Elemental
Air Tuath North Black Midnight Sylphs
Fire Aes East Red Dawn Salamnders
Earth Deas South White Noon Gnomes
Water Iar West Gray Dusk Undines

While enjoying and working, exploring within this framework of elemental correspondence, I still felt a bit of tugging back to the system of my second tradition.  For me what was missing, was the trek of Fire across the sky. Again, as I said, for myself, symbolism is very important and increases my resonance with energy flows and workings.  So I made this small adjustment to the Gaelic Airts and I find I am very happy, in the flow of the energies with which I work best!

Many individual systems for working with the elements are based on geographical location.  Obviously our brothers and sisters south of the equator experience the elements and directions in an entirely different manner than ourselves.  In fact, their “pagan generic” places earth in the south and fire in the north.  Working with your planetary geography as well as the flow of the elemental energy the way that you feel it, is working towards developing a system that resonates with you.  These ways of working with energy need not be static, but living, breathing adaptive and growing!  I am sure a visit to our Aussie families and a little down under magick would involve me, readjusting my elemental workings to fit my location.

The point of this little story, is not to convince you that my way of working is the best.  It may not be.  However it works best for me.  The point I want you to take away, is that experimentation is an important part of developing YOUR path!  It has to be what works and resonates for you!  Each person tunes and feels the flows of nature and energy in unique and individual ways, they also project them differently.  No one cookie cutter method will work for everyone.  The method that works, is the one that you work out for yourself!

I hope, this had made you think, and possibly evaluate the way you work with the elemental energies and how they, in turn work with you. May it inspire you to experiment!

Many Blessings, Good Luck & Have Fun!

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What’s the Password; Beyond Perfect Love and Perfect Trust

 

Many times I have stood awaiting entrance to a circle either in a private esbats and sabbat observances or even at a large festival gathering.  As I stood watching others ahead of me I pondered the playing out of the beginnings of the ritual before my eyes.  Many rites would include an individual smudging or a challenge by the circle guardian.  Invariably all asking the same question of each participant. “How do you enter the circle?” our password spills forth, “In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust”.

 

Even if we do not ascribe to Wiccan theology, we have heard this ubiquitous password over and over, and most likely used it ourselves. My question to you; Do we really understand what we are saying, when we repeat these words?

Many authors, Priests and Priestess, will tell you that Perfect Love refers to unconditional love.  Many pagans would agree it is generally their assessment of that statement as well.  Is that something we really do?  Do you walk into a circle of strangers,  a delineated sacred space of any variety,  with unconditional love for everyone there?  I can tell you,  I don’t.  Unconditional love means just that,  to love freely without any condition whatsoever. While there is some innate truth that the ability to love without condition, we are finite, flawed beings in our present incarnation.  We are here to work through our lessons, via the flaws which exist, and to work to creating the perfection within ourselves that we seek.  Our existence is the testing and proving grounds for our divine spirits.

 

All of our love has conditions.  We ask that you do not hurt us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  We ask, hopefully, you help us grow and develop in the direction we choose.  We ask you are true to your words with us, and you allow a foundation to be built for trust.   We might not realize this consciously, but this is the criteria for every person we meet- and yes, even flesh and blood, even children. Does that mean you can not love them, if they don’t meet all of our criteria?  No it doesn’t.  When you look to parents of children whom have committed horrific crimes, you find that in spite of the crime, there is love.   However is it complete and perfect?  Is it wholly without condition, no matter how destructive their behavior is to you?  Can you walk into a sacred space with this intention and remain true to it?  Only you can truly answer for yourself.   Personally, while I “might” be able to have unconditional love for my child, extending that without reservation to all comers is something a bit different.  We are all a bit pragmatic, are we not?

So where does the word “perfect” really come from?  As children we are taught that perfect or perfection as a concept is something unattainable. The highest, most correct or beautiful state.

Perfect as defined by Miriam Webster is “to be perfectly without fault or defect; flawless; corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept; expert, proficient; pure or total.”

There are some big scary words there, when we look at doing something in perfect love and trust. Flawless comes to mind first.  Thinking on perfection and periods of perfection in our lives, do they exist? A point at which everything falls into place and fits, resulting in a STATE of perfection!  Perfection comes in bursts, more like an “AH HA!” moment, the epiphany. It is transient and in its transience it motivates us to work towards achieving that state again and again.  So by its very nature perfection, propagates itself by motivation, through desire.

So yes perfection is attainable and by its nature, it seeks to attain itself.  So when we apply this concept to Love what are we really saying?  Let me step back for a moment to my roots in philosophy.  Erich Fromm, a psychologist and social philosopher, in his 1956 book, The Art  of Loving, observes that real love “is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone, regardless of the level of maturity reached by him.  All his attempts for love are bound to fail, unless he tries most actively to develop his total personality, so as to achieve a productive orientation; that satisfaction in individual love cannot be attained without the capacity to love one’s neighbor, with true humility, courage, faith and discipline. In a culture in which these qualities are rare, the attainment of the capacity to love must remain a rare achievement. Or – anyone can ask himself how many truly loving persons he has known.” Fromm goes on to state that the “active character of true love involves four basic elements; care, responsibility, respect and knowledge.”  This is exceedingly interesting from a pagan perspective!  Fromm’s basic elements correlates to our own elements; care (water), responsibility (earth), respect (fire), knowledge (air).  For any whom have worked to balance their total personality from an elemental point of view, you will know each of this varies markedly from person to person, based on the people involved and the circumstance within their lives at any given time.   Working towards developing the total personality with true humility (earth), courage (fire), faith (water) and discipline (air), is no small working, but rather a lifetime of effort. Seen this way we find love is hard work, however it is the most rewarding type of work.  What is perhaps even more powerful with this type of creative work, toward true or Perfect Love, is it resonates from us, touching all others around us.  You need never say a word.  It moves energetically through you.

Fromm also addresses self love.  To love one’s self, applies the same elements; caring about oneself, taking responsibility, respecting and knowing oneself.  For example, be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses.  Know when and where to push yourself emotionally and when perhaps it is time to heal so that you may work your boundaries and limits even further.  To every truly have the capacity to love another, first one needs to be able to love one’s self in this way.

   

 ”Love is an active power in man, a power which breaks through the walls which separate man from fellow man, which unites him with others, love makes him overcome the sense of isolation and separateness, yet permits him to be himself, to retain integrity.” Fromm

So this is all fine philosophy, and it sounds like a great deal of work, but what does this have to do with stepping into a circle with Perfect Love?  One of Fromm’s points is that modern humans are alienated from each other and from nature, I will go on to conjecture, from the Gods.   We as humans today tend to seek refuge from our aloneness in romantic love and marriage.  We are disappointed and frustrated when it does not fill the need we have.  In truth romantic love could never totally fill it.  Our aloneness spans more than one type of love, it encompasses ALL love.  From the point of view of a Priestess, when we enter circle, most of us will go through the motions of Perfect Love, it is truly something for which we long, that drive for unification, with others, nature, the elements, The Gods; to have our sense of aloneness drop away and feel the magick and power of union.  Perfect Love is the active power of love!  It is each one of us stepping into sacred space with care, respect, responsibility and knowledge of our circle mates, the elements, the Gods and most importantly with ourselves!

So we have developed an understanding of Perfect Love, what about Perfect Trust?  Mirram-Webster defines trust as an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength and truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed, as well as responsible charge or office, and care or custody.  Any of this sound familiar yet?

For myself, I would have thought Perfect Trust would have been the easier of the two concepts to work through.  I am a relatively well balanced Libra, with very few relationship emotional scars, and a fairly decent childhood.  I do have a degree of trust for everything and everyone with whom I come into contact.  For the most part, throughout my life I would have answered trust, although earned to some extent, was easy for me.  I learned otherwise.  Part of that alienation we refer to comes from our inability to truly open ourselves up to love and trust, and this is generally derived from the trust portion. We allow connection to a point, yet there is always that part of ourselves, we hold separate and closed to the rest of the world.  Perhaps it was because; at an early age the world (our environment) damaged it in some way, through neglect, abuse, ignorance, or its own self absorption.  Perhaps because we hold within it our most treasured dreams, hopes, ambitions, those things we are loathe to open to that same world, for fear they would be damaged.  So our block truly appears.  It is fear.  It is fear of being open and hopeful, fear of loss, disappointment, destruction.  Fear paralyzes us, and strips away the assured reliance.

Where does Perfect Trust come from, how do we obtain it?  Perfect trust “blossoms” from love.  Through our active power of love, the ability to trust springs forth.  In fact it is not just an ability to trust, but a longing within.

 

Whom do we trust when we are working towards Perfect Trust.  Like love, trust requires foremost we trust ourselves.   That sounds easy, right?  Not really we usually have quite the track record of mistakes with ourselves. In fact we usually have let ourselves down, more than any other person or entity in our existence.  Equally we are harder on our own mistakes than on anyone or anything else.   Where fear is our block, many times that fear is a result of our own mistakes, as much as anything else.  So if fear is our block to opening ourselves to trust, how do we find our way past?  Working through fears individually is always positive, difficult and rewarding, most often necessary for your growth.  The key is Forgiveness. Who we need most to forgive is ourselves.

 

Forgiveness frees you from your fears.  It clears blockages to love and opens the ability of trust to return or blossom forth.  While it is important work to forgive others their ‘trespasses” and it enables us to move forward.  The movement forward is then to forgive ourselves.  Perhaps our personal forgiveness maybe for getting involved with someone, or a group, it could be for the individual mistakes we made in a relations with others, our own inability to stay true to our thoughts, words or deeds, no matter the reason.  Whatever the reason it must be dealt with and let go.

 

“In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” It is funny how six simple words actually speak volumes of our ability to free ourselves and connect with the universe around us. How they attempt to describe a type of loving, openness and resonance which can and should exude from each of us.

 

We are able to step confidently into our circles and sacred space, knowing  our ability to love frees us to unite with nature, our circle mates, the elements, the Gods and most importantly ourselves.  Through our power to love and unite we are assured through strength and truth that we act for our highest good.  We are assured we work in harmony with nature and The Gods, and those individuals that are contained within our sacred space are working towards the same perfection, and if not, that our resonance inspires them to do so.  Because of our care, responsibility, knowledge and respect, we have the foundation upon which to lay our trust as we come together to work in the most intimate way, to touch each other with power and magick, to join and become one.

So the next time you stand outside awaiting to enter sacred space, and you are asked for your “password”  remember all of this and know as you actively work toward both Perfect Love and Trust,  you are able to truly step into space with them and they are not just empty words.

 

How do you enter the circle?

 

 

 
References:

Fromm, Erich, The Art of Loving, circa 1956

Miriam Webster Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Sutphen, Dick; Lighting the Light Within May 1997, Valley of the Sun Pub. Co