OK, so we all celebrated and ate more sugar than we can really handle: time to get back to work. I can’t wait to get into magic and energy work, but first we have to wrap up the elements. We’ll be spending this week with Water.

Water is the element of all things emotional. It is the flow of life, that mysterious element that ebbs and flows. You can try to hold it gently, but tighten your grasp and it just slips through your fingers. We can try to harness it, contain it, re-route it, but it flows and just keeps going. It is like our emotions: They rise and fall and all we can do is harness them and let them take us where they need to go. It is also the element of the deep subconscious, the dark pool of the mind. Water is also the element of love and compassion. These are our greatest emotions. I usually call my water quarter by asking it to bring love and compassion to my circle.

A few associations:

Quarter: West

Ritual tool and representation: obviously, water itself. Also, cups and chalices.

Archangel: Uriel

Color: blue

Water sustains life on our blue planet. We need it to drink, cook, wash ourselves. We harness it for energy and use it for transportation. As much as Water represents life and love, it can also be deadly. It can wipe out entire cities in waves of death. To me it represents the double nature of everything and how no one and nothing is only one thing. Water taught me respect for the inner wave that sustains my spiritual life, but can also take us so far away from the shore that we lose all sense of direction. As a woman, it was such an important lesson for me to learn: to respect both  my loving and destructive nature. One is not better than the other. It just IS. Water helped me learn that.

Magically, Water is used for cleansing and purification. It is used to cleanse ritual objects, ritual space and to cleanse ourselves before rituals. Often, salt is added to water for purification rites. It is a good support for mixing and brewing.  Water is used therapeutically for teas and brews. It can be used for scrying, which is a divination method where one stares into a bowl of water to receive wisdom. People may add ink or oil to the water to perceive shapes and get messages. Also, remnants of a spell are usually sent away in a body of moving water. It is a way to let things go back to the Source and let the Universe recycle the energy.

Water is also associated with the Moon cycles, since the moon is responsible for the tides. As such, Water is associated with all that is deeply intuitive.  Under the sun, the world looks a certain way, bright and alive. Under the moon, the world is still the same, but you see light and shadows in different places. You cannot trust your eyes as much and you must turn on a different kind of vision. Water and Moon are associated with that kind of Vision, the one that comes from within. It is also associated with the Feminine, since we are especially attuned to the monthly cycle.

This week should prove to be an especially moving journey. Here are your assignments for the week:

1) Journal your experience of Water. What does it look, smell, feel and taste like? What sounds does it make? Find different forms of water and contrast them. What kind of energy readings do you get? Go swimming, walk in the rain (or roll in the snow), take a walk along a river, or jump into a puddle!

2) Become Water. Go deep within yourself and reach into that state of deep emotion where you laugh and cry for no reason. Is this place familiar or foreign to you? Spend the week ‘in the flow’ of things. Let it take you over.

3) Find 5 practical uses and 5 magical uses of Water.

4) Choreograph your Water dance.

5) Find 5 Christian applications, biblical stories and legends associated with Water.

 

Enjoy you encounter with Water. May you find love and compassion within it!

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Hi everyone! I’m back and feeling much better. Thank you for all your thoughts and energy!

Since this is a study group, I guess the lesson to learn here is to focus your energy where it is needed! I have completely disconnected from everything over the last two weeks (yes, even from my email!) and really took the time to recharge. Yes, the energy of the universe is infinite, but we work on a finite scale. We can touch that limitless energy for a few moments from time to time, but we cannot live there (hence our constant desire to reconnect to it). So, working with finite energy, you have to direct it in the important places. When you are sick, it’s towards healing. When your world is tumbling into chaos, it’s towards your family, or your work or your finances or your relationships…. Your inner core is always connected to that Divine absolute, but your earthly energy needs to be rationed sometimes. Use it wisely and don’t spread yourself thin for no reason.

Speaking of energy, we are about to enter the realm of pure energy: fire. Fire is the element of ‘no limits’. It is pure energy, pure passion, courage, absolute anger, it is the element of burning up and throwing caution to the wind. No restraints! Its representation is obviously fire itself, usually as a burning candle. Spend time this week looking at the flame and feeling what it feels like to live there. If you are lucky enough, try to sit by a wood burning fire (in a fireplace or a fire pit). Listen to its sound, smell it, feel your skin burn with its warmth. Really feel Fire.

Fire is represented in the southern quarter. Its Archangel is Michael, whose flaming sword cast Lucifer from heaven. Swords and blades are associated with it, as are candles and string instruments. The animal associated with fire is the salamander. I associate warrior magic with this element (along with earth, because you always need a healing component when you fight). Magical applications of fire are to purify (obviously things that won’t get consumed by the flame, such as space or a blade) It is also used in petition magic. This consists of writing a request on a piece of paper and letting it burn during a spell or ritual. It is a symbolic gesture to visualize the request going up with the smoke all the way to the Divine. I also believe that burning the request is a way of saying that a paper is no longer necessary since the request will come to pass in reality. It is a way to strengthen will and to focus our intention. Candle magic is another form of magic associated with fire. There is an excellent entry of the Christian Pagan Fellowship discussion board on this topic. Essentially, candle magic consists of charging a candle with an intent (through energy or by writing on it) and to let it burn down completely to send out that intent. Candles are also used in devotion to the God and Goddess or to any other deity figure or saint.

Exercises for this week are the following:

1) Journal your experience of fire through all your senses. Feel the courage and passion and dismeasure that fire can bring.

2) find 5 practical and 5 magical uses for fire

3) Choreograph your fire dance (don’t skip this! It is an integral part of really feeling Fire)

4) find 5 examples of Christian references to fire

Journal all this and please share through a post! We have much to learn from each other!

I also want to add that some people might feel greater kinship to one element than to another. Experiencing all elements will really give you an understanding of who you are and what your natural gifts are. When I started on this path, I realized that air and fire were like a second nature. Earth and water were completely foreign to me. So, I really focused on feeling and understanding the element of Earth and its physicality and groundedness. I was so focused on learning more about it, that one day one of my fellow classmates said: ‘ You’re an earth person, aren’t you?’ I knew then that I was heading in the right direction. I’m still working on water and feeling emotions and compassion and so on…. But I’m getting ahead of myself: that’s next lesson.

Have fun tending the flame!

The children ate their supper without a fuss. We managed to dodge TV/movie watching by making cakes out of Play-Doh, we gave them baths, read stories and put them to bed. In short, a perfect evening!

How has everyone been feeling with the element of Earth? Any comments, revelations, quirky anecdotes?

Now that we felt the strength and solidity of Earth, it is time to feel light as a feather and fly. This week, we are exploring Air.

Air is the element of inspiration and communication. It is associated with mental processes and learning, philosophy and intellectual pursuits. It is the element of the mind. Here are few correspondences associated with Air:

Cardinal point: East

Color: Yellow

Archangel: Gabriel (the messenger)

Tools and associations: feathers, censor and incense, some associate blades to air (others ascribe them to Fire), divination tools, birds

It is customary to place incense in the Eastern quarter to represent air. Magical uses for Air (like last week, see if you can come up with a few before looking up the answers):

The use of breath is a big one, that I use regularly. Breathing itself has a calming, relaxing effect and is crucial in entering into a meditative state. Breath can also be used to bless objects and to direct energy. Air is used to speak words of Power and to perform incantations. It is used in mantras to achieve a meditative state or to go into trance. Because Air is the element of inspiration and of communication, it is the element associated with art of divination. Whether it be Tarot or scrying or channeling, Air is the element called upon in these practices.

This week’s assignment is as follows:

1) Become Air this week. Feel what it is like to be light as a feather and to tumble in the wind. Focus on your intuition and creativity and see what it feels like to live in that space. Try to communicate more, seek out others and truly feel the interaction.

2) Look around you and experience this element. Note down every example of Air that you can see in your surroundings. Describe what it looks like, feels like, sound, smells and tastes like.

3) Write down 5 practical uses that we have for Air. Try to find more magical uses for Air than the ones listed above.

4) Embody Air through a choreography of your own making.

5) List 5 Christian associations with the use of Air. This can be passages in the Bible, Christian practices or myths associated with Saints. I’m curious to see how many we can come up with. I encourage you to post these examples. I’m sure there are many!

May Air bless you with Divine inspiration. Enjoy the flight!

We visited a dear friend yesterday. She just returned from a trip where she explored mystical sites with a group of spiritually inclined people. Her stories led me to a reflection on what a teacher or ‘guru’ should be like. It is so easy for someone to proclaim yourself a guru, especially if you have the technical skills to access a different realm. I was pondering all this on the way home and it came to me what a teacher should be (and what he should not). A teacher does not tell you who or what you should be (no matter which ascended master they talk to). He doesn’t tell you what your problems are. Essentially, the main job of a teacher is to make sure that you won’t need him at all. A teacher does not tell you what to learn and what to believe. A true teacher provides experiences by which you may learn your own lessons.  Everyone has the wisdom to learn and the ability to connect to the Divine. A teacher is merely an intermediary through which you may realize that it is so.

So, here we go: experience #2. (If you are not done exercise #1, no worries. Take your time)

The next 4 weeks will be dedicated to elemental explorations. These are exercises that I have adapted from my teacher Scarlet at Crescent Moon School. I have also seen these in various books, so they are a cornerstone of energy work.

Energy comes in various forms, and none are more basic than the Elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit are the building blocks of our reality and so it is important to know the different textures of these energies. So these exercises will aim at really interacting with the different elements. First element: Earth.

Earth is assigned to the North quarter. It is the essence of stability and physical strength. It is found in different forms: earth, stones, gemstones, crystals, salt, sand, plants and trees. Here are a few associations found with Earth:

Archangel: Raphael

Ritual tools: pentacle disk, drums and percussion instruments

Altar representation: salt, plant, stones, herbs

Color: green, brown

Magical uses: Typically, I would ask everyone to come up with some magical uses. You would be surprised at how many you could come up with. I encourage you to give it a try before you go and peek at the examples.

The most obvious use of Earth is for grounding. All magic starts with that. There is an example in the book and we will definitely come back to it. Grounding is a way of connecting to the earth so as to feel solid and strong. You are essentially rooting yourself into the ground becoming an extension of the rich earth that supports us. We’ll get back to that… Otherwise, Earth is mostly used for purification purposes. Salt is the main agent of Earth purification. Its crystalline structure lends itself well to trapping and negating energy. Salt can be used to cleanse objects (earth can too, but salt tends to leave objects a little cleaner…), cast circles, purify a house and purify your own energy field (bath salts, right?) Herbs and plants can be used for healing (please don’t play with plants you don’t know!), for cleansing (sage is the reference for all types of fumigation), for making incenses… Can you think of other examples?

Now for the experience part:

This week pay attention to the element of Earth. Look at the different forms it takes in the world around you. Touch it, feel it, smell it, taste it. Write down all your observations. How do you describe Earth? How does it make you feel? Is it a familiar feeling or do you feel that you are getting ‘down to earth’ for the first time?

This week, your task is to become Earth. Walk like Earth, talk like Earth, think like Earth. Another part of the assignment (it is not optional) is to make up a dance that represents Earth. How would Earth move? Feel this element within your very body and let it teach you the secrets of Earth.

So to sum it up, you should journal:

  • the different forms of Earth you see
  • describe the attributes of Earth (smell, taste, touch, sound, how it makes you feel and what are its inherent qualities)
  • Find 5 practical uses and 5 magical uses for Earth
  • Become Earth
  • Earth Dance

The space is open for discussions, if you like. I don’t want to go into too much detail, because that would deprive you of a valuable experience. But I am open for questions and I will come back to Earth at the end of the week. Once we will have covered all the elements, we will have gone through the core of what energy work really is about. The rest is just technique. So delve into it and enjoy the ride!