I have a friend who has asked me to guide her through an Element Walk. Since she lives in Florida, we're doing this via email & Facebook messages. She's the third person, other than myself, that I've guided through an Element Walk & I keep thinking I'd like to have a central location to record my thoughts & notes on the Elements as I go through it each time. Because I am essentially going through the Walk again myself every time too. So, I'm going to start entering those notes here. :)
The 4 Lessons of the Elements or The Powers of the Sphinx or Give It a Name, Right? - August 28, 2012
During my very first Element Walk, which was about 13 years ago now, I was taught that each Element also had a Lesson to teach us in Magic (or Magick, if you would prefer). The Lesson of Air is ‘To Know’. The Lesson of Fire is ‘To Dare’. The Lesson of Water is ‘To Will’. The Lesson of Earth is ‘To Keep Silent’. In the beginning, the application of those Lessons seemed simple & quite literal, but throughout my practice, and the subsequent Element Walks I have gone through, each of those Lessons have taken on deeper levels of meaning. To Know became more than a textbook knowledge of stones, herbs, oils & chants. It has evolved to the understanding that I must know myself and understand my own Divine nature. That I must know & understand the energies with which all things resonate, the very pulse of Magic. To Dare became more than just having the chutzpah to walk the Path & do the Work. It has become the understanding that I must dare to face down my own fears & insecurities. To do the Work within. Often that is the hardest. To Will became more than just desire. It has become one with focus & intent, determination & stamina. To Be Silent became more than shutting your mouth. It has been an ongoing work to cultivate silence within, learning to listen not only with my physical ears, but with my Spirit. These have been important Lessons for me and, although I parted ways with my Teacher & my Grove years ago, I have carried them with me. They have served as cornerstones for my Practice.
I’ve been reading a lot lately. Blogs mostly, and little known self-published e-books gleaned from the dusty recesses of the internet. What I’ve read about Chaos magic has titillated me more than anything has in a long time. That and I still harbor a long held fascination with voodoo and pow-wow, but I digress. In all the reading & following of the proverbial bread crumbs through tweets & blogs & links, today I stumbled across a term I’d never heard before, The Powers of the Spinx. Funny enough, it is the name for the very Lessons I have carried with me all these years. Funny, huh? I love coming full circle…. Anyway, a clever blogger wrote his understanding of the levels of these Lessons here if you would like to read his take on it. Also, here is an essay on Eliphas Levi’s writings on them that is quite interesting. He attributed the Elements a little differently that I have been, but it is still the same information.
Give it a name, right?
Y’all, this Spring flew by me in a whirlwind of paint, plaster, ideas and new directions. I LOVE it. Now the pool is open. It’s 80+ degrees every day here in East Tennessee. You know what that means for Cootie & X. Boat drinks. Ooooh, sweet, fruity, cold, alcoholic boat drinks. We do love them so.
It also means energy shift. Fire is Passion. It is Change in motion. This is where the Fire of our hearts/heads/Spirits/pants/whatever is fueled. This is where, if we do it right, we build up a strong core flame, you know the one… the blue one… to carry us through the rest of the year.
What fuels your Fire?
Hey, Witchy Woman Shell, email me or come over or something. Time to transition to the next leg of your Walk. <3
Recently I had an old friend ask me to guide her through an Element Walk. The timing was dead spot on given that the Spring Equinox is so close, and so, I accepted.
I love this time of Year. I love working with this Element. It’s so exciting for me. I feel inspired & antsy to begin Work.
I wanted to share with you part of our conversation today about Air & it’s energy.
This is a huge transition period for me & X. Just yesterday (and today) we moved out of The Castle of Wonder. We are now residents of The Invisible College Apartment in the basement of an undisclosed location somewhere deep in the heart of Kodak, TN. Before we left The Castle, however, we were able to do a transition Ritual at Mabon to focus on the shift from Fire to Water and the turning of The Wheel of the Year to our favorite Season, Fall.
Before, I talked about how Fire takes a lot of energy to sustain. This point has come to mind time & time again for me over the last few weeks. It occurs to me how very tired I am after this past Summer. It was a very challenging period for us. Aside from the, very literal, representation of Fire in our lives (90+ degree weather for weeks on end with no AC) we’ve had the perpetual push of the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle and the speed with which we’ve been forced into decisions and action to further drive home the energy of the Element. It has been stressful and it has been challenging and it has been a little scary on more than one occasion.
We have persevered. And now we are tired.
We welcome the respite that Water brings. It is soothing, it is strong, it sustains. And, for a couple of Cancers, it is like Home. Tonight, we are resting in our partially below ground abode and reveling in the things we love best: good liquor, nudity, music and social networking. Tonight, we rest. We restore. Tonight, we open our minds, relax and float downstream.
I couldn’t resist.
This Summer has been hot. I mean upwards of 96 godhatesusall degrees nearly every day. The Castle of Wonder is not very weather proof and our budget for the year has not been generous enough to afford the power bills it takes to keep the climate in this concrete block of a structure comfortable. So, we’ve been sweating it out. Very, very literally.
Our 2nd Fire Ritual came on a day that X & I had spent fighting a lovely flea infestation we’d gotten over the course of the last few weeks. We had sprayed, swept, mopped & vacuumed in the heat all damn day long. We. Were. Exhausted. So, we ended up sitting on the couch drinking sweet tea & watching Wicker Man for the 1 billionth time.
We discussed the way that all of the Elements are represented throughout the movie. We took turns dozing off. And then Morgana left & we went to bed.
Reflecting on that tonight, it occurs to me how very much energy Fire requires to sustain. It is SO draining. If you think about the emotions we associate with Fire; passion, anger, excitement they are typically short-lived, fast & hot. They take a constant feed of energy to sustain over any period of time. Think about how you feel after coming down off of those emotions. Drained, tired, somebody make me a sandwich & let me take a nap? Yeah, me too.
Dealing with the heat of this Summer has had the same effect on us. Needless to say, we are very much looking forward to the cooler, shorter days of Fall.
When we went through Air we focused on 3 main properties of the Element & how we can apply that energy to our Lives. The first being it’s cleansing power. Air is a remover of obstacles. It refreshes and sometimes destroys all in Its path. In moving our focus to Fire we decided to focus on that cleansing power in this Element. In this function, Fire is transformative. In forestry, fire is used to remove excess underbrush & dead plants. This allows room for healthy plants to grow & also rids the forest of fuel for destructive wildfires. The Phoenix grows old & is transformed by by Fire becoming new and young again.
In this respect, we can use Fire energy to clean out the old & unnecessary. We can “clear the undergrowth” to make way for new Life or we can use it to gain new energy & passion in our Lives.
For tonight’s Ritual, our first Fire Ritual, we demonstrated this point by wrapping stones in little paper sachets and setting them on fire! The flames cleared away the layers of paper to reveal the stones. It was a very literal way to instruct a pretty simple metaphysical lesson: that Fire energy can be used to clear away the unwanted & unneeded extraneous STUFF to reveal the gems within.
This is the 3rd time I have been through an Element Walk. The 1st time was in 1999. I was very new to the Path then. I had just joined a Druidic Grove and was working through my 1st degree. Up until that point, all of my learning had been through books. I had never had any hands-on practice in Circle. I have always felt that I did not have adequate time to work through each of the Elements during that first Walk. It always seemed to me it was rushed. So, 10 years later, when the opportunity arose to go through a Walk again, with X this time, I was very excited.
Hi y’all, my name is Cootie. I like to paint plaster skulls. I also make jewelry & sew. I’m really crafty in general.