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Nature Spirits

56 57 o The Four DirecTions In traditions as diverse as medieval magic, witchcraft, druidry, native American spirituality and quabalistic magic, the four directions of the compass are commonly related to the four elements. The East is linked with air, intellect, illumination, communication, dawn, youth and the gestation of ideas projects. The South is related to fire, passion, instinct, kundalini, creativity, noon, adulthood and the development of ideas projects. The West relates to emotions, dreams, intuitions, sunset, maturity and the fruition of ideas and projects. The North relates to earth, stability, silence, physicality, age midnight death and the still, fallow point where new growth is the emerging seed beneath the soil. Elementals of each direction can be asked for assistance with corresponding issues, or all may be invoked for increased balance and energetic harmony, or circle work. The circle Contemplating the significance of the circle is an almost universal spiritual and magical practice. Reflecting the circle of the Earth and the seasons, as well as the spinning of the Milky Way, the circle represents so many spiritual truths as to be of primal magical importance. Circles are raised by magical practitioners and shamans to create a sacred space protected by the circles defining line which separates the space from all other dimensions and unwelcome influences. Only that which is either in the circle at its raising, or that which is invoked, is able to exist within its confines. Circles are drawn by directing raised energy in a circular shape around you, and improved by invoking the four directions at the cardinal points, thus enlisting the elemental energies to further empower it. The Wheel oF The Year In general pagan practice, the circular pattern of the seasons is called the Wheel of the Year, marked by the eight spokes of the festivals which mark the main solar points and the other four moonbased festivals, both of which relate to the agricultural year. These are the two solstices at approx Dec and June 21st, and the equinoxes of approx Sept and March 21st. The other four are Beltane May 1st Lughnasdh Aug 1st Samhain Oct 31st and Imbolc Feb 1st. These events are important, as marking them assists in aligning with the ebb and flow of energy along the web and thus increasing awareness and empowerment. They are also doorway points between the worlds when exchange and interchange are easier. Faeries in particular migrate at such times. The lunar Wheel The waxing and waning of the moon also has a powerful influence on nature and the web, and patterns of reaping and sowing have long been carried out in harmony with it. The moon is usually seen as a goddess, whose three faces correspond to the moons phases of waxing, maiden, full mother and waning crone, relating to the three phases of aPPendix a magical miScellany tools and techniques ProTecTion Those that travel between the worlds never do so alone. Always call upon your guides and allies. Ideally your first journeys or rituals should be to call upon these and begin developing relationships with them. Deities of all kinds are also called upon regularly, depending on cultural and religious resonances. Some people merely call upon the light or Source to guide and protect them. Offerings and spirit songs are made to give thanks for the assistance, whether it be from spirits, power animals or sacred protective plants, as well as deities. Working in a magically charged circle provides a separate and sacred space which protects from unwanted or uninvited energies. Iron and salt are powerful protective talismans from otherworldly beings, as are rowan or alder twigs, especially if the trees have been asked to empower them first. There are also protective runes, ogham sigils and symbols such as the pentagram which are all very powerful, and can be drawn in the air, upon objects, or even visualised. The best protection however is awareness. Listen to your gut reactions, avoiding beings or directions which feel wrong, and instead follow and encourage that which feels wholesome. There is no need to fear, which creates its own negative patterns, but instead master any fears by awareness of the self, which will improve your experiences in all worlds. GrounDinG Before and after all magical workings it is essential to groundto become calm, centred and present in the everyday world. A few deep breaths from low in the chest, and taking time to feel your feet on the ground, earths and calms. When journeying or performing ritual, taking time to eat and drink afterwards reintegrates the soul back into the body and settles the energy field. This is a good time to write notes on your techniques and experiences, which can provide invaluable insights and patterns to be discovered over time, as well as making sure the connections formed or information received is properly remembered when consciousness is returned to a normal state. It is important not to overdo your spiritual work, and to take things a step at a time. However, if difficulties are experienced it is important to stay calm and parent yourself back to a balanced state. Eat, breathe, hold grounding crystals such as obsidian, or stones like granite. Place your feet on the soil. There are a number of vibrational essences available in health food or magical shops that also help. Also remember there is always protection to call upon to help you feel more secure. Work physically with the body, walk about, clean the house etc. place yourself firmly in the ordinary world. In a short while you will feel normal again, and stronger for stretching your psychic muscles. womanhood. The full moon, time of the witches Sabbat, is a time of great power for manifestation and empowerment, assisting in attuning with nature spirits particularly plant and water beings who will be more tangible and active at this time. However, the new and dark moon is a good time for connecting with the vibrations of the earth spirits, contacting the ancestors and accessing the mysteries . oGham The ancient Irish tree alphabet, usually carved off a vertical stem, was used exclusively by the druids, for the marking of graves and monuments, but also for oracles by the branch of druids known as the filid, or oracular poets, whose task was to be the memorykeepers, the guardians of ancestral and traditional lore. Ogham for them was a symbolic and magical system which used the example, image and metaphor of the trees and their energies to signify and open up whole vistas of meaning accessible only to a magically elite and learned few. Although each ogham letter corresponds to a tree, and in the 20th century was given the added correspondences of months in a tree calendar by Robert Graves, their meaning is not limited to the tree they represent, but can be unlocked over time by meditation on the tree and associated quatrains and kennings, contained in the few surviving texts that provide the sum of knowledge on the ogham, especially the 7th century Scholars Primer. However, these symbols have a power of their own, and their unique spiritual energies can be invoked for simple divination or magical purposes. They are divided into five aicmi tribes. Sometimes a further five, the forfeydha, are included, but they are a much later addition to accommodate consonants not included in the Irish alphabet. A very basic and simple interpretation of the ogham is as follows 1 Beith Birch Beginnings cleansing 2 Luis Rowan Protection protective 3 Fearn Alder Defence protective 4 Sailed Willow Harmony inspiration 5 Nuinn Ash Strength empowering 6 Huath Hawthorn Challenge and love 7 Duir Oak King Fate protective and grounding 8 Tinne Holly Energy Chi protective 9 Coll Hazel Wisdom inspiring 10 Quert Apple Wholeness for healing 11 Muin Blackberry Harvest 12 Gort Ivy Support 13 Ngetal FernReed Preservation 14 Straif Blackthorn Magical power 15 Ruis Elder Sacrifice 16 Ailm Scots Pine Overview far sight. clearing 17 Onn Gorse Fertility. 18 Uath Heather Earth goddess luck 19 Edadh Aspen Movement change eases fear 20 Idho Yew infinity grounding enerGY raisinG Energy raising is achieved by many means. Tai chi, chanting, drumming and ritualised dance all raise life force, but several meditative techniques are also very powerful Placing your feet on the earth, imagine the infinite earth energy in the ground below, and visualise this rising up through the feet. Similar to the Hindu tradition of activating the chakras, this energy rises up the spine and across the body, filling it with energy and light. This can then be passed as an offering up to heaven forming an energetic link. This creates subtle energetic changes in the body and aura, healing as well as energising, and restoring the flow to blocked areas. The same technique can be used to draw energy down from the sun, heavens or stars into the body and down to earth. Every time the flow and connection is made or restored anywhere in creation, there is healing, blessing and growth. The energy can also be directed with intention for magical purposes, to heal or charge up magical tools or energise spells, or be sent lovingly to a nature spirit of any kind to establish friendship or for healing. Used in partnership with others or nature spirits, it can be redirected across the Earth, to heal and rebalance the environment, or any of the elements in a given area. To help the planet as a whole, simply join the nature spirits, as if holding hands, and, visualising the whole planet, direct the energy from above to the planet as a whole from this perspective. The energy will then be directed by the nature spirits and the goddess herself to areas where it is most needed. clearinG, cleansinG anD BanishinG Allies and deities can all be called upon to clear an area of negative energies. Directing energy raised from earth or above can also clear and bless. Certain plants and crystals also help. Drawing a protective circle with iron or steel will make negative entities flee, and cutting an imagined cord of the web connecting yourself to an undesirable being is very effective if done with clear intent. Sweeping peppermint oil over the aura also disconnects any energetic parasites or latched energies. A famous Native American technique is smudging. Burning sage or smudge sticks works very well to clear cleanse and banish negative or stuck energies, and can be performed whilst working with earth, fire or air spirits to heal an environment of unhealthy vibrations. Simply ask and thank the spirit of the sage for its assistance in clearing the area, and sweep through the area or around an object to remove any negate entities or energies. The earth spirits will aid the sage spirit, the air spirits will further empower the smoke, and fire spirits empower the fire that burns the sageworking in unison, this simple act becomes immensely powerful. Always remember to have something to catch the ash and water to put it out if it burns too vigorously
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