When we use the word “Spirit” there are many associations connected to it. Spirit is considered the immanent All that is both the container and the component of everything that comprises the Universe. Spirit is the immanent part of ourselves to which the Soul returns with the lessons of the lifetime it has acquired as manifest (or other) form. The Spirit of our being is our true nature as a Divine emanation of form and the work that we do in the physical world contains a spark of our Divine presence in each of our endeavors. As we move along the path of the magickal worker, we draw upon this aspect of our being, albeit often transparently, as we become the conduit through which the magick may flow.
Spirit is the Fifth of the alchemical elements and is continually the undercurrent that flows through each of the four physical elements. Air, Fire, Water and Earth form the foundation upon which manifest and un-manifest work is done. Spirit has no specific correspondences or defined boundaries and categories, as it is the flexible container that expands, contracts, opens and closes in response to everything that surrounds and contains it. Spirit manifests in everything and is everywhere. To say that everything contains spirit is to try to articulate something that cannot be limited by words, analogies or truisms.
“ Spirit is often equated with the higher parts of our being. Those highly refined and spiritually attuned energies which each hold within. Just as we are part of and one in the same with the basic four elements, we are also part of the energies and elements that comprise Spirit….”
….excerpted from The Natural World: Lesson Two
When giving deeper consideration to what Spirit is, the physical You, as the manifest embodiment of the your Divine Spirit is the most important of all the tools you use. This tool is your own being. You, as the director, conduit and receptacle of the magickal practice you set into place are a constant. In any given situation or need, the tool of your own body and spirit is present. But, as with any of the tools of the Craft, claiming it as your own sacred vessel to work with and through comes only through exertion of effort, practice and will.
Most of the exercises that are done in preparation for magickal work are to prime and condition this vessel to serve optimally and fully in the working. Grounding and centering prior to ritual enables the body and mind of the witch to come to a meeting place of running the energy of earth and sky through the central line of the body. Visualization and meditation practices train the mind and emotions to calm and center and then to recreate in the space of the astral what has been stored and seen in the realm of the physical.
When we acknowledge our bodies, mind and emotions as Temples of the Divine and vessels that can be used just as the external tools we select we enter into a sacred agreement that forms the basis of change and transformation that are the cornerstones of the Witch’s Path.
As beings of the Five Elements, we hold the power of our physical form and the abilities of that form to use these physical expressions in the creation of sacred space and the workings of magick that are woven within it.
The Voice and Chanting
The use of the voice for creating sound as enhancement to the energy of ritual work is a customary practice among all of the major spiritual paths. We use the words of power in the creation of sacred space, our circle of art. We use the words of command and invocation or evocation to call forth the entities that dwell in the other realms and to invite Deity to be present. We use the words of power to speak our statement of intent and declaration of focus for the work to be done. We use our words to give oath to the Path and the Ancient Ones as we step into the place of initiation. It is through the use of these words that the energetic inroads or pathways are created and it is through these doorways that the mysteries are found.
Words in the form of chants are powerful energetic signatures that combine both the declaration and speaking of a word supported through the sound and or tone that is woven into that words energy. When we cast the circle and call the quarters there are specific words that are used to embody, through the vibration of sound, the intent of that ritual.
Toning the seed sound of “om” is an effective way of raising energy within yourself and then projecting it outwards to seal a working. Toning the seed sounds that relate to the chakras can allow a greater opening of the practitioner to more effectively use and receive energy during the working. The capabilities of the human voice and its use as a tool of magickal working are vast and limited only by the limitations set by the witch.
The physical body and the energy of movement that you can make with your body is one of the significant gifts of being an incarnate being. When we move we leave the imprint of our energy in the space around us. We create spirals, lines, ups and downs that interweave and if we could see these patterns we would be amazed at the impact our physical bodies make as we move through the world around us. The Whirling Dervishes move in ecstatic state in precise and purposeful movement, forging their communion with the Divine.
Being a former ballet dancer, I can personally testify to the transfiguring qualities of movement and the impact of being able to soar through the air, suspended for a brief pause of time. That energetic impact is not only felt by the dancer, is also the point of synchronized pause of breath between the dancer and the observer of that action. This is that magickal moment of “ah” when the movement is so precisely, effortlessly and seamlessly achieved that it seems to be the stuff of magick!
When we use our body as a tool to manipulate and draw the energy that encompasses us into various states of being we replicate the same type of patterns that are made when using an Athame to define the circle of sacred space or the Chalice to hold the energy of and define the boundaries of what has been placed within it.
These are but a few examples of the power held within your own form(s), both the corporeal manifest physical body and your Spirit. As you begin the practice of working with magickal tools and crafting your own magick, always carry the intention and awareness of what gifts you already possess, that can neither be given nor taken away from you. This is the tool of great price into which you were born and that will serve you well as you grow upon your path.
To read more about the effects of artistic expression on magickal workings, please visit my column entitled: The Magickal ARTS
Next Week’s Post
The Smells and Bells