Elemental Magic and Astrology.
The concept of magic and why we use it; is about allowing ourselves special moments in time to examine areas of our lives that we might want to change. The magic comes from us; we decide to shift or alter a thought, action, or situation at a given time so it may function in a different way in our lives. Magic does interact with unseen forces to create change in our everyday world however it needs our intent to make it work.
Working with the elements is the basis of all magic. Most systems operate with four or five elements; there are other systems that use more but for the moment let’s just work with the five
To work with elements we need to work within wheels. A wheel is often used to contain, illustrate or define space. Wheels can then be broken down into many equal parts to illustrate various information. The wheels I will be working with are the Wiccan and the Astrological wheel.
The Wiccan wheel is used as a wheel of protection that defines space that is used to carry out our psychic journeys. By casting this circle we are clearing a space in which we are safe and we know to be clear of interruption from vibrations or beings from unseen realms. This protective space is not necessarily about the physical world, it lies between the worlds.
To begin to create this space, we create an altar and from this altar we mark four points or stations that correspond to the directions of north, south, east and west. The north/south axis is vertical and the east/west axis is horizontal. An astrology wheel marks these same points only they are termed MC/IC ASC/DSC.
So from the centre of the wheel which I term the Magician’s Seat we cast a circle passing through each of the directions. There are traditional ways of working in these wheels, usually beginning in the east associated with air, move to the south call in fire, onto west call in water and lastly north call in earth and close back at the east. A circle is always opened at the end of the session to release all energy contained within: to open the circle a reversal of the above process in necessary.
To begin working with elemental wheels all that is required is to cast a circle and create a centre point and establish the four points of the wheel. A wheel can have five elements contained within it, an element for every station or it can be an elemental wheel totally infused with one element. This allows us to experience our life concerns from the elemental perspective.
To explore the elemental wheels I break down the four directions into aspects of life stages and I begin to cast my circle from the south.
South = child = fire
West = adolescent = water
North = adult = earth
East = ancestors = air
Centre = source =ether
The concept of the directions being associated with stages of life comes from The Power Deck created by Lyn Andrews.
When working with these wheels, issues can be explored from an elemental base or an aspect of life stage. As we journey to each of these directions, the rawest, most untempered responses will be southerly as the child, emotive responses will be rooted in the adolescence, the adult, northerly aspect has a clarity and practical approach and the ancestor takes it to a spiritual, wisdom overview. The central source placement integrates the knowledge back into self.
To strengthen the experience of the element I use the pentagrams to invoke the elements into the wheel. Like the elemental wheels there are five elemental pentagrams. To help me remember how to draw these pentagrams I placed them in the astrology wheel.
The point of the pentagram passes through Capricorn on a traditional astrology wheel and the rest of the points are in the fixed signs. This makes sense because the fixed signs are about holding energy in place, the containment of energy which is precisely what we are trying to do. The point passing through Capricorn also fits, as it is the sign of building in the earth plane.
Invoking earth flows in a trine, invoking fire runs on an inconjunct, the two spirit pentagrams are draw with oppositions and the water and air pentagrams begin via squares.
The study of the make up of the pentagrams is an interesting study of elemental forces operating in the astrology wheel. They are also incredible useful as they can be a quick tool of protection when we are out and about. For example to leave home: earth pentagram the doors as an extra seal.
To add our pentagrams to the casting of the wheel we would from the centre of the wheel invoke the pentagram by drawing it in the air inside the wheel. At the conclusion of the session the pentagram would be banished.
The next step is when would we do these type of practices and again I take us to astrology. But this time I focus on lunar astrology. The cycles of the moon every month are perfect indicators of when to work the veils. She gives us two key periods every month of the full and dark or new phases plus she journeys through the whole zodiac every year giving us a dark and light window into every sign. Watching the phases of the moon from dark to light and associating it with the development of processing the issues we deal with is very helpful. If we see the dark phase as the shedding and shadow and the new phase as the beginning of a new growth period we can plan to create ritual at the full moon phase as we are half way through a monthly process at that time. In full light of night, the lunar aspect of our consciousness; it is a great time to be aware and use ritual to bring the changes or plot the process of change in your life we want to instigate in the waning phase.
The type of ritual we do depends on the energetics of the particular moon. If the energy of the moon is a fixed energy then it is a good time to evoke deities into the wheel to confer about wise practice. If it is a cardinal moon then we can start implementing the changes that we want to see in various projects, it marks the time to act. The mutable moons are best left to take us where-ever they wish, as they will expand and create many ideas not yet formed. On mutable moons the most planned rituals may go astray, as the energy of the moment wants to evolve into parts.
Once the mode is considered in ritual creation we then work with element. Use the element to best enhance the type of beings evoked and the operation of the ritual. For example if its fire then dance, if it’s water then skry, if it’s air; write and earth; plant vegetables. Adding awareness to the flow, allows for greater union with the Universe.
Creating ritual in your life is celebrating the spiritual nature of being alive. It is like going to church on Sunday except you build the church each time you perform a ritual. You use the things that are appropriate to your personal tastes to create beautiful space that honours what’s important to your life at the precise moment of the ritual. No two moments are ever the same.