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Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article ID: 6709
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,360
Times Read: 4,704
Author: Diotima Mantineia [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: September 21st. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,704
In Western magical traditions, the Autumn Equinox heralds a time of year ruled by the element of Water. Along with Fire, Air and Earth, it is one of the four building blocks of the material world (not the far-fetched notion it seems at first glance, if you equate the Elements to the four states of matter - gases (Air), liquids (Water) solids (Earth) and plasma (Fire).)
Along with their material manifestations, these building blocks also organize the structure of our mental, emotional and spiritual lives. Each Element has its reflection within us, and the skillful magician is expected to understand, balance and work with the Elements on both an inner and outer level, working first to change their personal inner experience, then observing the concomitant changes in their outer reality.
"You must be what you wish to see in the world," said Mohandas Gandhi. This ability to change what is inside us, to work with our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, to become the person who embodies - and so creates - what they wish to see in their world, is at the heart of magical practice. Using the power of the Elements to shape and transform ourselves in line with our soul's vision is part of the process of personal transformation often known as the "Great Work." We connect - repeatedly - with each one of the Elements as an aid to understanding and manifesting that vision. From each Element, we learn something about both strength and weakness, and how the qualities of the four Elements together balance and complement one another within us.
The Element of Water is the physical manifestation of the energy that carries the tides of our emotions in the world. We are not our emotions - or our thoughts, our personalities, or our physical bodies; our Self resides beyond these. But emotions do express our way of connecting to the world, and can help us realize where we are in right relation to it, and where we need to improve.
As the Earth spins into the time of Water once again, many magicians will turn within, seeking inner wellsprings to nourish our sense of connectedness to the outer world. We ask ourselves: Are we relating to our world in love, from a place of compassion and empathy, or are our emotional reactions keeping us trapped in a fear-based reality? Emotions, like the still surface of water, mirror for us the truth of our personal energy - our Chi. Like our Earth's polluted waters, the emotional energy being emitted by the human race is all too often polluted with fear, anger, hatred and other destructive, painful and constricting emotions. As these emotions vibrate through the atmosphere, they are amplified as others react and respond. The Great Work is work indeed, for in the face of perceived negativity controlling one's reaction and response to seek the wellspring of Love within requires knowledge, discipline and a deep desire to live in a world that reflects the values we have found in our exploration of spiritual realms.
Emotions have their own distinct vibrations and, like one string plucked on a guitar that sets the other strings vibrating, one person's emotions can cause others to vibrate at a similar rate. To work magic effectively, we must learn to take conscious control of our personal vibration and the energy we emit on every level. Part of this work involves becoming aware of our emotional states and learning to trace them back through our psyche to their source. It is at the source, the wellspring of our feelings, that we may then either amplify or transform them. This kind of transformation is difficult, but rewarding and necessary work. Our world is at a pivotal point - over the next few decades we will either learn to take conscious, caring responsibility for our planet, or we will wipe out most of our race and take much of the Web of Life on the Earth with us. The only true and effective change - the only change that will really make a difference - will come from within each individual, and radiate out into the world.
It won't take everyone, or even a majority to effect this change - one string can set many others vibrating. What it will take is for those who are aware of the need for inner change to consciously shift and strengthen their personal vibration as they bring it more into alignment with what they want to see in this world. This means looking at the fear, anger and negativity that all of us carry within us at one time or another, and working through it until we find the Love. Not suppressing it, not denying it, not pretending we are so enlightened that negativity never touches us, but looking at ourselves with clear eyes and unflinching courage (gained from our work with Air and Fire), and making a conscious commitment (Earth) to change.
Yes, our minds, thoughts, and emotions do materially affect reality and we are each responsible for the energy we contribute to the world around us. We live in a co-operative universe, in which our Souls have agreed to participate, and so we affect and are affected by our surroundings. In this season of Water, 2003, the world cries out for more love and compassion. This should be a clarion call to those of us who practice magic to work on transforming the parched, constricting energies within us so that a greater Love and Divine compassion can flow through us.
An effective addition to one's magical practice at this time is to find a part of your life - just one small part - where you carry a grudge, hold on to anger, live with fear. Then ask your Gods and any spirit helpers you work with for assistance in changing this energy to a vibration of love and compassion towards others and towards yourself, and hold that intention strongly within as you walk your Path through your daily life. There are various techniques that can aid you in this - meditations, spellwork, rituals - but the intent is, as always, the key to success.
Another way of working with the Water within is to work with the waters without. Spend time with Water - at beaches, lakes, streams. Dance in the rain, let your daily shower become a blessing. Do something tangible to help mitigate polluted waters, such as working with Sandra Ingerman's water transmutation techniques.
The element of Water also rules the intuition - that quality that allows us to see deep into another's heart and soul. If you hold anger or hatred toward another, try letting yourself intuit their emotional reality. Sense the pain, fear and lack of love that underlies their negative behavior, and find compassion for it. You need not accept the behavior - just know and hold compassion for its cause. Look within yourself, too; find the hurt and constricted places, and use intention, meditation and ritual to heal them.
On the magician's pyramid, in the West, the direction of Water, we are told "to dare." The ability to dare, to try something new and untried, requires a strong faith in the blessedness of the Universe. Keeping our minds and hearts open to the bigger picture, we learn slowly to know and trust that an infinitely creative Universe supports and nourishes all our creative efforts - even when that creation manifests with pain. In a reality fully based on free-will, daring implies a risk that will challenge one's ability to dance with the Universe and stay in the flow of Love and Compassion. Taking that risk leads our consciousness to a vastly more expanded reality, one that encompasses and heals all pain in the greater awareness of infinite compassion.
In an age when a culture of Scientism denies the reality of anything not manifestly physical, science - true Science - is leading us slowly, and not always gently, towards an understanding of the reality that Consciousness exists both within and outside of physical manifestation - that it is, in fact, the source of the physical universe. Those of us who dare to explore other realms of consciousness, to talk with the Gods, will lead the way on the Inner Planes - the wellspring of our outer reality - to a healthy, stable society in which the power of Love is fully manifest in our world. Those of us who dare must dare first to love, for love is the river that will carry us back to our Source.
Every one of us does make a difference, and the more attentively we practice our Craft, the greater difference we make. In this time of harvest, in this time of twilight, dare to turn within and find the source of the spring of love and compassion that is within you. When you have found it - again - clear away the debris of your attachments, constrictions and pain, and let your love flow outward into a waiting world.
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