Tag Archives: earth

Invoking the elements

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I decided I’d share some ideas and methods in invoking the elements/direction in ritual;

The traditional method includes the spoken prayer and lighting a candle. Facing the direction, you might say “We call upon you, spirits of the North, spirits of Earth, We call upon your power and presence, to touch us with your gift of growth (or other trait you wish to invite into the ritual). Hail and welcome” And you light a candle.

gaiaThe Creative method incorporates song, rhythm, or even dance. A song or chant works very effectively, as does a dance specific for that element such as using the feet to stamp, arms for water, head for air, pelvis for fire (or however you feel works best). You can play instruments as well such as a drum for earth or flute for air.

wiccan01The playful method touches upon the child-within. You could use bubbles for invoking air, sparklers for fire, water guns for water, and mud pies for earth. Its important to use your imagination, to let the child within free to express itself.

The Simple Method sticks to the very basics. The coven I was a member of sometimes use this method where you clasp hands, and lift the right hand (with the hand of the person next to you) and set it over your head saying “Hand over hand, heart over heart, the circle is cast”.

You can also setup each direction with its own personal alter, or keep it simple by using only candles or symbol to represent the direction/element. I’ve used both styles.

Try new methods to see what works best. Post below your own tips and methods.

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How to begin?

 I was thinking the other night on where to guide new pagans on their quest to learn more. I’m tempted to toot my my own horn and say “go to my blog’, but I feel compelled to suggest some books;


 Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is an excellent starter book on Wicca specifically. I love his down-to-earth language and valid points. He keeps things simple and straight-forward.

 

Doreen Valiente  wrote a number of books on the topic of Wicca and the pagan religions, as well as authoring the long version of the Wiccan Rede. Her book, Witchcraft for Tomorrow I feel is a ‘must read’ to better understand the history and origins of Wicca.

 

Margot Adler is a well respected author of Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America that focuses on pagan religions, not just Wicca.

 

The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition by Starhawk, I feel, is a bit outdated, but was one of the first books I read on the subject. I like her other books that delve deeper into the psychological processes of religion/spirituality for healing. This is why I put it on my ‘must-read’ lists.

There are other books, of course, but I feel these are the best for starting out on the subject.

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Pesky garden gnomes

I love learning about the myths and legends of elemental beings. Things like fairy tales, but not the Disney versions. The original stories often touch upon culture and fears of the people of that time.  

I like writing stories as well, so last night I got to thinking about ‘evil garden gnomes’…. yeah, makes you shudder just thinking about them out there in the yard, ready to cause mischief, but myths of the garden gnome is pretty nice overall.

The garden gnome first appeared in 19th century and had ties to local miners that often wore red caps so they could see one another in dark mines. Earlier version of the gnome spoke of their ability to move through the earth, as they were earth elementals. They guarded precious stones, and were secretive, as earth elementals were known to be.

Gnomes of legend were thought to bring good luck to the home, were incredibly sturdy, helped wildlife, and known to protect areas. 

I remember reading a series of book by Wil Huygen, Gnomes which were lovely in their illustration and read much like a field guide to gnomes. From that, they created the cartoon series, David the Gnome. The book was so much  better with all the wonderful illustrations on their houses build underground, the culture seeped in Slavic tradition, and even stories of the never-ending fight with trolls.

I’m not sure now I will use a gnome in my story. Perhaps an evil garden sculpture possessed or something might work better?  Why upset the gnomes, right?