going to summarize them.
The last class was about the realm of the east. When we are casting circle we start in the east. The east is the kingdom of air. It is the realm of thought, communication, and creativity. We start in the east because everything we do starts with a thought. We light a yellow candle to symbolize the sun. Just us a thought starts our ritual work the sun starts our days. We light incense for several reasons. Which are; incense has been used as a symbol for prayer for ages and incense allows us to see the movement of air.
The corners (east, south, west, and north) are used to represent different facets of universal energy. Each of which is important if we are trying to do magic. Universal energy is unimaginably vast and really hard to relate to. By breaking it up into pieces we can better understand the whole.
We start with the realm of thought as a way of centering ourselves. If I am going to try and affect change I need to have a clear idea of what I am doing, why I am doing it, and what I am hoping for.
This all requires a fair amount of self-knowledge. That the number one rule of magic is to know yourself. How can you
know yourself if you never allow yourself to just think?
It is important to develop a personal symbolic language. This requires a lot of thought. You have to figure out what kinds of symbols have meaning for you. When working with a group it is useful to have some common ground to start from. Calling the corners is a way of getting everyone centered, grounded and focused on the task at hand.
When working magic it is very important to be aware of what you are doing. It is also important to be very specific about what you ask for. If you leave some blanks for spirit to fill in you might be very surprised at what you get.
We spent sometime in class talking about the Guardians of the Watchtowers. I will admit that I am still very confused about them. Some people see the Guardians as external to themselves. An angel could be seen as a Guardian. Other people see them in a more symbolic light. They see them as more of an internal construct that contains their essence. I tend to be more of the latter group so that¡¦s what I will talk about here.
I like to think of the Guardians as symbolic. Perhaps as the wall that contains my essence. It's what separates my little chunk of spirit from the whole. Maybe it's what allows me to be an individual. You see I believe that I am a combination of physical stuff, flesh, bone, various other chemicals, and spirit. The physical gives me a presence in this world and spirit is the spark that fuels me. It is the unique combination of the two that makes me the individual that I am. When the physical part of me wears out I will cease to exist. I will live on only in the lives that I have affected. The little piece of spirit that was in me will go on.
Although I am not at all sure about what it will go on to.
We call upon the Guardians of the East to keep any thought of harm from entering our circle. I look at that as a reminder to do no harm. It is to make me mindful of my thoughts. When I am calling on the Guardian I am telling my mind, in a highly symbolic way, to shield itself from harmful thoughts and to keep my own harmful thoughts to myself. They, the Guardians, are a tool to help me focus my thoughts.
The Spirit-Haven liturgy reminds me of a to-do list. In this case the list is helping me prepare myself to work with energy in a mindful fashion. Working my way through the liturgy is like running down a check list. As I complete each step I am led to the next necessary step. As I become more familiar with the "list" it will at first become easier to prepare myself for ritual. The danger is that once I have it memorized really well I will just say the words without thinking about them. I will say them without putting any intent behind them. This is something that I am going to need to have to watch for.