The Faery Mound

As a child, Fairy Tales gave me a taste for questing. We were surrounded by woods full of dense trees, little streams and clearings with evidence of  long gone buildings and stone walls. The wonderful thing about the stone walls was that they provided guidance in the woods, for they always came out someplace close to home. We never had to fear getting lost.

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There were many wonderful places in the woods. I loved the little swamps with their wild irises and tiger lilies, frogs leaping in the murky dark pools with fringes of ferns and mossy rocks. Like the stone walls, narrow rivulets of water beckoned me to explore deeper than I would dare to go without them to mark my path.

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One autumn, I found a large mound of earth in the woods. I had followed the little stream into a swamp as it wound like a snake across a carpet of brown pine needles deep into the woods. There was a ruined stone wall to climb over that bounded a broad sloping clearing inside a ring of trees. In the middle of the clearing was a high, smooth mound of earth covered in the same dead pine leaves that lay in layers over the ground.

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Most adults would say it was an old pile left over from the when the land had been clear pasture, but for me it was a mystery, imbued of course with my childish creative imaginings. But then, the way to that place was initially across the cemetery, and years later I was taught that the Fairies lived under mounds of earth, and much later was taught that those mounds of earth were the burial chambers of Kings and Queens and all their retinue. Within the mound, they held court with masques and dancing and lavish feasts, and on  certain nights of the year, they emerged on their shining horses, to chase the hare into the depths of winter and out again into the spring.

But these Faery mounds are not in America! We don’t have Kings and Queens.

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But in Massachusetts we did. For two centuries we were colonies of Queen Elizabeth and then several Kings thereafter. And who is to say that some royal person was not buried in a mound near an ancient cemetery in my home town.

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For me the mystery is not whether there was a mound of earth in the woods, or whether a King was buried there, or even if it was a Faery mound. It is in how the mind brings certain images together in a certain way so that the intuition grasps knowledge it didn’t have any way of knowing before hand.

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Creating Sacred Space

Waterhouse, Magic Circle

Waterhouse, Magic Circle

If we wish to travel between the worlds, the first step is to create Sacred Space. Magic is based on pattern making, and one of the primal patterns of magic has to do with the four directions North, East, South, and West.
The first thing we do when we plan to enter the Otherworld is to draw a Circle around ourselves. This is done for protection (to keep undesirable spirits and energies out), and to create a container for our energies so that they do not scatter. Building the Circle helps with focus and defines intention. Dancing around the Circle is a traditional way to raise the Cone of Power by which a magical working is energized and enchantments are cast.

Creating the Magical Circle

The Circle is built in various ways, depending on one’s style. For a Ceremonial Magician, or Wiccan the circumference of the Circle is inscribed in the air with a Sword or Athalme (dagger) respectively. For Faery Witches, who don’t like metals, it is enough to use the index finger to direct a blue flame in a sunwise ring around oneself, and then envision the ring igniting in a circle of blue flames. There are other ‘styles’ of Circle visualization, such as the Druid, Irish Faery, and Medicine Wheel that will be discussed in future articles.

It is wise for beginners to perform Magical Workings at night because it is easier to see spirits in the dark. Because of the ethereal transparency of spiritual beings, sunlight makes them harder to see.  Think of how faint the light of a candle flame is in a sunny window.

Once the Witch has placed herself in the center of her Faery Ring, she can charge each direction by invoking its traditional Correspondences. These are qualities found in Nature, for all Magical People know that Nature is the veil behind which the Magical Powers dwell. By calling forth the Powers of the Directions, the Witch creates a Portal or Doorway into the Unseen.

Upon the doorway in each direction an Invoking Pentagram  is drawn in blue flame. This  five-pointed star is traced in the air starting at the topmost point and working in a clockwise direction. This sign protects and seals the space so that no undesirable entities can interfere with the work.

Sylphs

Sylphs

Watchtower of the East

Standing with her face towards the East and pointing her Magical Weapon, the Witch traces an Invoking Pentagram in the air and calls:
Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East, I beseech you to grant me your presence at my Circle tonight. Spirits of the sky and air, send fresh breezes to charge my Circle. Fill them with birdsong, and the rays of the sun, as it moves above the horizon at dawn, to brighten the wild flowers that cover the low hills sparkling with dew. I called the Winged Ones: birds, butterflies, bees; Angels, Sylphs, the Grey-Eyed Beings of Wind and Wildness, the Magical Child with the Morning Star on his brow, The Keepers of the Sacred Sword that rises from the ground in the circle of tall stones. Bring me the gift of refreshment, aspiration, inspiration, rebirth, and the power of eloquent speech. I invoke you, oh Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East to attend my working this night!

Richard Dadd

Richard Dadd, Magical Child

If you take this speech apart, you will see the elements that correspond to the Magical Direction East. Dissected, as with the Sword of Reason, these are:

Elemental Air : breezes, wind, speech, music, the sense or hearing, ideas and thoughts that fly on the air. Even dreams, with their tendency to slip away on waking have a quality of air.Air ranges everywhere. It is difficult to contain. It brings all other Elements together through communication.

Sylphs: Personifications of Air. One could think of them as fairies, ethereal, transparent, young, winged.

Dawn: Birth and rebirth, newness, infancy and early childhood.
As the air goes everywhere and unites all things, so the child wants to explore its new environment.

Spring: wildflowers, birdsong, bees, birds returning from their wintering grounds,

Sword: The sword is like thought. It is bright and keen but can cut, like words, either way. It has a point. It expresses clarity. Once it is thrust for destructive reasons, it inflicts wounds that cannot be taken back. If used consciously, it brings focus, discernment, depth; it cuts to the chase.

The colors  for the East are: yellow, blue-grey, violet, or clear.

Further meditation will reveal more of the brilliance of the correspondences. For instance, the word Inspiration speaks to a function of air which is breath, inhaled, exhaled, inspired.

Watchtower of the South

Salamander

We turn facing South, raising the Wand, and call out:

Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South, I beseech you to grant me your presence at my Circle tonight.  Spirits of fire, ignite my working with your brilliant Light, spark my Magic with your flames of strong desire, illuminate my powers of vision so that I might see into your Sacred Realm.  Salamanders, dance with me in the rose garden of summer under the bright sun. Fill me with strong sexual energy so that I might make my magic come alive. Grant me the strength of my bloodline, the heroism of my ancestry in the prime of their youth. Roses, thorns, fire, and blood, great cats, snakes, lizards, those with claws, those that adore the hot sun, enter my circle tonight. Keeper of the Bright Staff, the Sacred Lance, grant me the gifts of Clairvoyance, creativity, youth, energy, and love.
Charge me with Right Action so that my Magic may come to pass.
This is the meaning of the Sun at Midnight. Oh Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South, appear! Motivate and empower my working tonight.

The Correspondences for the South may now be seen to include:
Elemental Fire and heat
Salamanders
The sense of Sight
Roses, summer flowers
Green trees and grass
The Sacred Staff
Youth
Sexuality and Romance
Blood and bloodlines
Clawed animals and cold blooded reptiles that love the sun
Action, energy
Light
Its colors are red, orange, white, or green

See how it works?

Watchtower of the West

Grail Maiden

Grail Maiden

We move on to the West and raising the cup, call out:
Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West, I beseech you to grant me your presence at my Circle tonight. Spirits of the oceans, rivers, waterfalls, and rain, wash into my Circle tonight with your cleansing power. In the gathering twilight, as the sun sinks below the sea, the dying light reflects in the red-gold leaves of the trees. Undines, sing your siren songs from the rocks as the waves crash around you. The cauldron of the ocean bubbles with froth and phosphorescence. The Goddess of Love and Healing walks upon the tide with the evening star on her brow and the horns of the rising moon at her back. Come quietly along the path strewn with fallen leaves, sit around the Sacred Well and gaze into the waters of memory, for the Path that has been trodden is longer than that which comes before.
Swan, Pelican, heron, sea tortoise, dolphin, whale, all those who live between earth and sea and sky, enter my Circle with your shape shifting powers of transition and transformation. Fill me with the longing of poets, make me one with the rhythms of the tides of nature, give me the taste of salt and the smell of decay among the roses and the trees, so that I may know the fleetingness of life. Send me away on a ship with a purple sail to Avalon, where the deeper Mysteries are found. Come, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West, and charge my Circle with Enchantment.

Sirens, Burne-Jones

Sirens, Burne-Jones


Again, the Correspondences for the West and Spiritual Water are:
Elemental water and tides
This resonates with the Moon as Mistress of the Sea and Tides
Undines, sirens, mermaids
Autumn
Sunset, twilight
Cauldron of Death and Rebirth, Holy Grail
Sea creatures and water birds, amphibians
Ships and boats
Poetry, dreams, imagination, memory
Middle Age, experience, reflection, nostalgia
Shape Shifting, transformation, transition
Healing, cleansing, letting go
Music
Senses of taste and smell
Colors: blue, aqua, silver, rose pink, gold

Watchtower of the North

Now we come to the North, direction of Magic, Mystery, and Manifestation.
Raise your Pentacle, dish or mirror and call out:

Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North, I beseech you to grant me your presence at my Circle tonight. As the snow falls upon the forest,  the North wind howls down form the mountains,  and the Road of Stars stretches across the moonless sky, bring me your Divine presence tonight. The lake has frozen so that it shines like a mirror and in that mirror we gaze and see our death.  In the darkness we hear the cry of the wolf, the bear sleeps and dreams in his cave, the white stag runs through the dark forest to harvest the souls of the Wyze. Welcome, gnomes and dwarves! Teach me the ways of the Underworld, lead me to the Underground Halls of Faery so that I might dance the cold winter away.  Show me where to find treasure that will last in the Upper World as my wishes are intensified and shaped into matter.
The Goddess of Death comes out from behind the tall stones. Carrying a mirror incised with a pentagram, she points the way down the winding path that goes beside the White Trees, and leads into the Labyrinth. There the long Dance of Death begins, the dark banquet among the ancestors. We sleep, we dream, we rest beside the flickering fire, we tell the tales of old, and turn about to gestate another life. Come Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North, enter my Circle with your power to shape unseen forces into tangible forms. Let me feel the cold, the wind, the mountain, the tree, the softness of white fur, the solidity of my body in time and space. Empower manifestation now!

Correspondences for the North:
Earth
Winter
Night
Dark Moon
Horned and Hoofed animals, white animals, animals that hibernate
Goddess. of Death and Rebirth
The Mirror
Ice and Fire
Forest, mountain, rocks, caves, crystals
Sense of touch
Gravity, solidity. differentiation
Labyrinth
Gnomes and Dwarves
Hidden treasure
Pentagram

Learning to Invoke the Spirits of the Directions

These invocations are but a guide; it is not necessary to memorize them. Rather, once the Correspondences are learned by heart, and their imagery internalized, you will be able to make your invocations up as you go along.

Once the Four Directions are invoked, your Circle is protected and charged.

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There are three more directions to consider. Whereas the Four Directions create a horizontal space, flat in the Earth, the addition of the Center, Above and Below establishes a sphere.
With these Seven Directions around you, anchoring you in space and timelessness, you will already have shifted your consciousness into the Magical Realms.

The remaining Three Directions will be the subject of the next article on Magical Pattern Making.

Fairies Circle

Fairies Circle

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Post from: WINTERSPELLS: Life on the Magical Path, Legacy of the Witchblood


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