Book of Shadows
Spells, Charms, Chants and more
In an understanding of time, and an effort to save time, I’m counting this post for both the 30 Days of Druidry and the Pagan Blog Project!
There are so many different ways to define the elements and most of it depends on what traditions you follow. Wiccans are often heavily involved with the elements, using them to define their working circles as well as invoking them in their work. Other traditional witches that I’ve known use the associations and energies of the elements in their working.
In some revivalist druid practices, the elements are called into the sacred space. In other druid circles the traditional witch/wiccan elements are not called.
I do use the elements in my magical workings, however I no longer create solid circles as I used to do when I was a Wiccan. Now I define a sacred space and invite the appropriate energies and beings into the space. Sometimes that includes elemental energies or beings.
I recognize five elements: air, fire, water, earth, spirit. Each of the elements have their own areas of focus, but there is some overlap. For instance, all elements are necessary for life, so they can all be used in healing or life-affirming spells and rituals.
Air is about the breath, communication and intellect. This is the element that most affects learning and study, it’s also the best element to use for ensuring that you are clearly communicating and are actively listening. Air can breathe life into the dying, or waft a gentle breeze to spread the life-giving pollen of plants. Air can also destroy with the strength of storms and tornadoes.
Fire is my favorite (Leo that I am) and is both destructive and creative. Think of a fire through a forest, it clears out the smaller plants and scorches the earth, but it also causes some plants to spread their seeds, and other seeds to begin to sprout into plants. Fire is also about our own internal desire, drive and our creative spirit.
Water is generally tied to the emotions, and it’s also tied to healing. Water can wash away the negative emotions and help us to heal. We can suspend ourselves in water and just be, just experience our spiritual being as it is. It is forgiving, and loving, and nurturing. We nestled in water in our mother’s womb and it reminds us of safety. But water can also be destructive, rivers cut into rock through time, floods can quickly destroy towns and land, emotions that can drown us with negativity.
Earth is our grounding, stabilizing energy. It is the stuff that forms our bodies, that forms the basis of our Earth, the building blocks of life. Earth is comforting, healing, building and nurturing. Earth is also smothering and crushing in avalanches and mud/rock slides.
The fifth element that I recognize is Spirit, some call it Awen, others have different names for it. Spirit is our connection to deity, it is that divine energy that supports us through life. It is our soul. Spirit empowers us, connects us to each other, and allows us to recognize the divine in all things. Too much spirit is also a bad thing, causing us to be disconnected from each other and from our own lives.
As you can see, each of the elements have positive and negative sides to them. As with most things, it’s about balance. Too much of any of the energies can cause negative effects, as can too little.
Take time and notice which energies are in your life, and which energies you would like more of in your life.
Blessed Samhain everyone!
On this Samhain day, I’d like to share with you a re-telling of the Persephone myth that I wrote for our local group’s ritual.
The Story of Persephone
Once upon a time, when the world was still young, the Harvest Goddess had a daughter, Persephone. The young woman was enamored of beautiful flowers and would often wander off to see what she could find. One day, Persephone found a particularly beautiful flower and was enamored by it’s beauty. While she was admiring the flower, a dark chariot rose up out of the ground and it’s rider reached out and grabbed Persephone around the waist. Against her will Persephone was wisked away to the Underworld.
For many months, Persephone stayed with Hades in the Underworld, pining for the Sun and land again. Again and again, Hades offered Persephone food and drink, but she refused, knowing that eating or drinking would trap her in the Underworld. Eventually, she got so hungry that she had to eat. One, single Pomegranate seed was all she ate, but it was enough.
As time passed in the Underworld, Persephone began to realize that not everything was dark and gloomy there. She began to see the beauty in the greys, both within the Underworld and within herself. All the while, Demeter walked the land searching for her daughter. As she searched, Demeter would let no grain or crop to grow.
Zeus, the king of the Gods, saw what was happening to the earth and sent Hermes to convince Hades to release fair Persephone. Hermes spoke softly to Hades and the god of the Underworld agreed.
Because she had eaten fruit in the underworld, Persephone could never fully return to the land. Zeus saw the problem and decreed that Persephone shall live for two thirds of the year with her mother and the land, and one third of the year under the earth with Hades.
On this Samhain night, Persephone returns to the underworld to take her place as it’s Queen.
It is rare that I get the chance to sit down with my books and notes and actually create something in my Book of Shadows.
Last weekend I finally did that. The hard part is not the finding the time, as much as it is finding the time when I’m not doing something else. There are so many things that I do, things that I’d like to do, and things that I think I have to do.
Lately, I’ve taken to creating with my beautiful glass dip pen, and some green ink .. and decorating the pages using Zentangle-inspired shapes and decorations.
I do have an online book of shadows where I put a lot of commonly referenced things like correspondences or ideas for spells or rituals that I haven’t had a chance to try out. Slowly things are getting transferred into my physical book. In this age of electronics, I do sometimes appreciate taking the slow way to get things done.
Once they’re created, each one of those pages get scanned and put into an eBook .. which does strike me as odd, but if it’s in an eBook it’s easier for me to carry around and to take advantage of those little moments where I want to look something up, or make a note, or plan tonight’s spell …
Lately there’s been a bit of .. well .. challenging emotions .. around my house. Both hubby and I are hitting crunch times at work, with the long hours and high stress that goes with that. So things are a bit tense around our house.
I found this spell somewhere on the web, but I didn’t write down where it was from.
I don’t know if it’s the spell or simply the fact that it’s a visual reminder for both of us to leave work at work .. but it’s working Things have been quite sane around our house since I did the spell.
The Anti-Negativity Spell
Take half a fresh lemon and place it face down in a bowl or plate of salt. Say a prayer or petition to your favorite appropriate god or goddess and place the plate or bowl in one of the main rooms in your house.
Refresh when the lemon dries out or as needed.
If the lemon rots instead of dries out, you’ve got more work to do than this simple spell can handle.