Element Earth

Roughly a year ago, Awen began smacking me upside the head to do a series of paintings for the elements. (It’s true, sometimes Awen hurts.) I’ve obviously been sitting on this inspiration for a while now, but I think the brew’s been boiling for long enough.

15547038902_24617230c3_k

At the last full moon, I scoured the conservation land for as many different types of leaves as I could get my grubby little Ovate hands on. The results were: four types of oak (red, white, black, pin), American chestnut, staghorn sumac, hawthorn, striped and red maple, sassafras, fern, birch, and beech.

15547038782_23c9ad4a04_kI pressed them between the pages of the Oxford Classical Dictionary (yes, its abbreviation really is OCD) for two weeks while my brain played with the patterns. Finally, in a rare two hours of free time, I prepped the canvas board with acrylics and began arranging the leaves.  Where they didn’t contact the wet paint directly, I used PVA glue to secure them.

15360891228_4e913c87dc_hThe next step was to fashion a stencil that could be used on all four paintings for the elemental symbols. Once it was in place, I used metallic gold spray paint to create the Earth motif. Finally I cleaned up the edges with various shades of Sharpie to make the gold really pop.  This was the final result.

Next stop: Water.

Strategic Sorcery Homework #3

Druid Bugout Bag and Mobile Working Altar

The planetary power exercise took a cleansing ritual of our old property to a whole new level. The following took place on the 5th of April 2012, Day of Jupiter, Hour of Mercury.

Tools: smudge bundle (white sage, common sage, and lavender, the last two being grown on the property), dagger, hurricane water, salt, talisman (upright pentacle, seal of Mars in the center, Jupiter to the left, Mercury to the right–on a post-it note).

The working altar was set up in the kitchen, as it was the center of the house.

Divination as to the outcome: Four of Pentacles, Ace of Pentacles, High Priestess.

Process: First, cleansed the hose/drove out the critters, working from basement to attic (counter-clockwise on each room and level), by Fire and Air with smudge bundle, saying:

I cast you out by Fire and Air,
I cast you out by the steel of my blade,
I cast you out by the force of my will.
You cannot hide from me,
You are not welcome here.
Flee before me!
The grasping tendrils of smoke drag you away, far from this place.
By the storm of my heart, the flames of my will and the strength of my arm, I cast you out!

Then, purify and bless with Water and Earth, using hurricane water (from Sandy) and salt, again working up from basement to attic, but moving clockwise.

I bless and purify this place, by Water and Earth, of any stain of sorrow or pain.
May this home be blessed by the love of Water.
May this home be blessed by the gifts of Earth.
Pain turns to strength and sorrow becomes wisdom.
Shine, that the light of this place may join the greater Light.

The results were immediate. Both my (ex-)husband and I have been able to work in the house without anxiety. We also had a rash of new interest in the listing; this does coincide with the usual spring real estate boom, but it was waaaay more than we had last year.

Gale Night

427328770_fd5d5b79a5_n

The Greeks considered Air to be hot and wet, but in winter, its bite can be brutal. A slicing intellect, a keen wit, the wind is a deadly opponent, blinding the unwary and sucking warmth from flesh and bone. Untempered by the other elements, it desiccates and embrittles until the barest breath shatters the victim.

But from the gale’s cold and deadly blade shines an unparalleled beauty. No sight is more clear than the sun shining through a winter’s dawn. No breath is as pure as the one that stings the nose and lungs, then rises steaming back into the clouds. Focus on breath. No act is so simple, and none is more difficult.

Hail Wind, Dawn Breath of Spring!

Ice Night

b19elements104

Water seeps into the tightest crack. No matter how firmly you shut your mind, your will against it, Water finds a way through. The fallacy that emotions can be bent to will or intellect is as ridiculous as trying to stem the pull of the Moon on the oceans—yet is nonetheless touted throughout our culture. “Man up.” “Don’t be a crybaby.” “Get over it.” Oh, it may work for a time, maybe even years, but eventually the damn will break and you must deal with the flood that was ignored for so long.

But Water is not only the raging sea. It can bring a deep peace and calm in the midst of a firestorm. The same way it flows through fissures in the earth is the same way it trickles into a shattered heart, filling the cracks and holding the pieces suspended until they can mend. Water heals and nurtures, provided it has the room to resist stagnation. It is the stuff of life, a miracle and a gift to all.

Hail Water, Midnight Pool of Winter!