As promised, I must tell you more about my take on things- how I do the ‘rainbow induction’ and about my monkeys, and I’ll expand on this to how I do magic.
How’s that for an odd start to a blog. Haha.
And to make it even stranger, I type this with the background music of old Swedish music, accordion accompaniment and all. If you wish to join in the fun, tune in to this YouTube playlist and listen along as you read. (By the time I’ve finished this blog and edited it, I got really tired of this music and had to stop it to have some peace!)
I feel that I must first explain the odd choice in music. I have been looking for a video clip of the old Pippi Longstocking singing her summer song while riding on top of a train with Annika and Tommy. I have been looking for it for a few days! Why so obsessed? I have no idea- probably my recent happiness, and my love of summer. The slower versions I’m finding everywhere aren’t doing it for me. I looked up the first line to the lyrics, “och nu så vill jag sjunga,” and came across this interesting playlist! And I’m in just the right zany mood, oddly, to enjoy it. (Incidentally, Pippi has a pet monkey, and I think it’s cool that I’m about to talk about my monkeys later in this post!)
Back to the purpose of this post!
I would like to take you through my evolution of how I’ve done things with my pagan religion up to present times, if you’re game.
When I first started being a pagan, and figuring out what I believe, including what I believe about how things work on a metaphysical level, I read some, and tried some, and thought a lot. I have always been very eclectic, and it seems that just about every pagan I know says the same thing! We’re like cats, you can’t tell us exactly how to do something. We’ll stare at you, lift up our leg, and lick our butt in your general direction, just to defy you if you tell us what to do.
I took bits and peices of what I liked. I thought about that ‘protective circle’ you read about it many books- the traditional thing is to draw or imagine “Blue Fire” (why blue? why fire? why why why?) coming from a wand or finger and you draw a circle around you, and some people are very specific about this circle. I thought, it’s two dimensional, how in the heck does that protect you? Crowley talked of a cone of power- not that it’s the same thing as the protective circle, but it got me thinking. I tweaked that into a protective sphere around me. This was all in what I was doing with my mind, tuning into that psychic channel, like I spoke of in a previous blog. I did this for a while, and that was good. Sometimes I put it around my car, then my brain would go ‘uh wait can it move with me?’ ‘Why yes it can!’ Why not?
I took a Druidry class online, which also involved reading Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein. I happened to have the extended version, given to me by a fellow bibliophile. I hadn’t read through the whole thing yet, but I did for the class. That was transformative for me because it expanded my thoughts on metaphysics and how they work, and how much we can control of our reality, possibly. I realize it’s a work of fiction, but it helped me get my brain juices going. Also, the druidry class had us practicing protective spheres. That also expanded the possibilities: invisibility cloak? Titanium sphere rather than clear, segmented like an aardvark or roly-poly? I have always been extremely visual and imaginative. I tend to think in symbolic, visual metaphors and this was right up my alley.
Nowadays, the sphere has become an egg shape, because the shape of an egg is an extremely strong shape. This shape really lends to what I do with it, too. More on that in a bit.
I have also been very flexible with the cardinal directions and corresponding elements. I don’t hold to one way of doing it (Earth in North, etc.), but I do believe in the power that goes behind years and years of many people doing something the same way and believing the same way. I just don’t know that witches have always had Earth in the North; Wicca is a relatively new religion based on old ideas as we understand them. If there is something people have believed, for sure, for millennia, I take it seriously. Jumping over a bonfire or touching the maypole? Not me! No preggers for me, thankyouverymuch!
Back to the elements, I really like the logic behind the creative cycle and destructive cycle in Feng Shui. I had my altar set up with that for a while. I also called in ‘the guardians of the elements’ for a while, but then I questioned who or what these entities were. Now, I believe that we are always in sacred space, if you believe that nature is sacred. Being respectful of, and to commune with the ‘heart’ in nature (as the Hopi believe) is quintessential to being pagan. So, nowadays, I personally don’t find a need to invite these entities in, since they are already there and always there. I do acknowledge their presence, though. Now, in a group, I do as the group does so as not to mess with the energy of the group.
To the ‘rainbow induction.’ I was part of a little group of women here in Colorado who met and did witchy things together. We weren’t a coven in the traditional sense, but essentially, we were close and did some powerful things together, and supported each other. We were going through the book The Twelve Wild Swans, by Starhawk. In it, she describes a way to go deeper in consciousness while meditating and since it’s so visual, it has really helped me. How it’s described in the book, is you go through the rainbow colors from red to indigo, and when you reach indigo you should be deeper in consciousness for meditation. As you go through each color, you become that color, are wearing that color, ‘you are the red woman,’ for example. For each color, you also sink deeper downward. Once you truly feel like you are that color, you move to the next one, and so on. For me, currently, this has evolved to the point of sitting in an antique-looking, kindof steampunkish, chaise lounge, that also changes colors. Maybe it’s the Cancerian part of me that likes the comfortable image, or my inner child that just thinks it’s cool. It puts me in my happy place and that’s what counts. Also, I add more colors at the end: after purple, it turns to brown, then black, then white. By the time I start walking to my place of power in my meditation, I’m wearing white.
Incidentally, the way I ground comes from Starhawk’s book, The Fifth Sacred Thing, which involves thinking like you are a tree, and your roots go down deep into the earth; I like to add aquifers and earth and the magma of the center (or molten iron?) and air from worms that bring in the air to the roots to include all the elements; all the elements bathing the trunk with the sun and wind and rain and nourishment from the soil, with limbs stretching up. Sometimes I use imagery from a book on meditation with the chakras (if I find it, I’ll update this post with its actual title and author- I think it’s Your Aura and Your Chakras, by Karla McLaren), that describes a cord coming from your lower chakra, and from there I have tweaked it into an umbilical cord, that is extremely strong like a cable, going down, and sometimes it’s an anchor or has a hook that latches onto something. That’s when I really need grounding, that I go to extreme measures.
Now, my power place, that I go to when I meditate to either ponder something, do magical work, or meet with deity, started with the same book about meditating with the chakras, and was at first a small cave. That book described this place being in the spiritual chakra- the third eye, and it being in the head; this was a little weird for me, so it’s just a place I’m in, not in my head (for the location). At first it was a cave right by water, and was very cozy. This might also come from my love of the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jane Auel, and the cave that Ayla lived in for several years (which wasn’t by the water, though). I have always thought of Ayla as a powerful, independent woman and identified with her in some respects, especially with her creativity. I was briefly part of a very small group in Des Moines, IA when I lived there, and we had a guided meditation where we went to our power place; this time it was large and cavernous, with stalagmites and stalactites, some water here and there. Currently, when I meditate, it looks much like Red Rocks here in Colorado or the rock formations in Utah.
And, finally, my monkeys. The whole notion that I have spirit monkeys started when I lived in Des Moines. I was part of another lovely group there, which met in a local witchy shop, that we called our own ‘Diagon Alley.’ Sometimes the group went to some land one of the ladies owned, and camped or did an evening ritual there. On one such camping trip, several women did different kinds of readings for others. One woman, the woman who owned the land, did a kind of reading called automatic writing. I had played with that kind of thing in high school, and I had the attitude that it was just high school-ish, silly, stuff, and tried to keep an open mind anyway. (Automatic writing is where a person lets a spirit helper or similar entity take over the pen and write messages to the person receiving the reading.) The woman spoke of a ghost that lived in my home, and that I had monkeys in my car. 13 monkeys, to be exact. When I looked at her dumbfounded, she said, ‘haven’t you felt them?’
I dismissed it, though I did love this woman as a sister, and respect her, but thought it was just strange and silly. Later on, on another night in the ‘Diagon Alley’ store (not its true name), we had a tarot/divination card night. One of the card decks had spirit animals. Guess which card I pulled. Yes, the monkey. Maybe part of my dismissal of the idea from before was that monkeys, in my mind, are associated with silliness, with circuses and the like. The card said that monkey spirits can see into the future, and have a wider perspective on situations, just like monkeys can swing tree to tree and see from above. This gave me a new respect for the situation, plus being a teeny bit of added evidence that it was true that I had monkey spirits around me.
Later, I moved back to Colorado. In the move I lost the title to my car, so I had to go through a very long (years long) process to get a new title for the car. In the meantime, I couldn’t renew the plates for Colorado until I had it, so I was driving illegally (Shh! don’t tell anyone! I do try to be a good girl!). So, for some added magical umph to my ‘don’t notice me, cops, I’m a good girl, I’m a good girl’ protective bubble around my car, which I sometimes pictured with angel wings and a halo, I tuned my psychic channel to my monkeys, just to see what I would ‘see’ in my mind’s eye. I wasn’t sure if I was just being creative or imaginative or if I sensed something truly there, or not. And frankly I didn’t care, and still don’t. When I tuned my mind to them, I saw that there were three: a mother who was closest to me, by my lap; a younger male, and an old male. They were tawny colored, and longer haired (like the monkeys in India).
I remember way back in high school, I went to a summer camp for gifted kids (I barely made the ‘cut’ of being gifted with my IQ on the higher end but not really in genius-land), and for a creative writing class, we meditated and attempted to meet our spirit guide, which was supposed to help us get past writer’s block. (Looking back this was kindof odd, but that’s O.K.) I never could get a good look at my spirit guide- I thought it was because I couldn’t stay in the mental state very well; it was tawny and blurry and shorter than me, and I thought, ‘surely that’s not right.’ It could be that it was this mother monkey spirit!
Since then, I have tuned my channel to them, ‘fed’ them bananas (which I ate afterwards), discovered they like heavy metal and dance to it when I play it in my car, and sometimes they pile up, one on each of my shoulders and one on my head. Once, they have appeared as a whole horde like a bunch of bumblebees, and then returning to the three, as if to signify that the three actually represent a lot of beings. Sometimes I send a monkey to a car in front of me for a driver that seems inebriated or not paying attention, to get the driver to speed up or pay attention to the road, and then bring the monkey back. I’ve also sent a monkey in spiritual work to guard over a home, and having them alternate, then brought them back when I felt that the house was safe for my friend. I’ve also asked them yes/no or choice questions, and they have always been right. Since I’ve recognized them and tune in to them, and appreciated them, I find that I am also much more intuitive and my magic seems stronger; I can concentrate in ritual and magical workings better, as well.
There have been some more evidences for my monkeys; so far, three. I was taking another meditation class that focused on the elements, and after we had meditated and were mellow-ly hanging out, another woman I had just met said, ‘I could have sworn I saw a monkey zip by that far wall.’ I told her about my monkeys… and I hope I didn’t freak her out. She was new to paganism and probably new to weird ideas like this. Another time, I was teaching a class of Special Ed students (I was a Deaf Ed teacher but I also taught hearing Special Ed), and one of the students (a very sweet Native American boy with the diagnosis of Learning Disability) said he saw a monkey. I had to keep teaching with a poker face, and didn’t criticize him for saying it. And more recently, another person said she thought she had seen a monkey from the corner of her eye.
Currently, I invite my monkeys to ritual (well really, acknowledge and appreciate their presence), and often invite my grandmothers as well, since they are near and dear to my heart. When I dance around the fire, I acknowledge my monkeys and tune in to what they’re doing, and have them dance on me or they dance around the circle (they’re not really at my beck and call, though they usually do what I ask when I ask them to do it).
And currently, when I send energy (which is like a pagan prayer, involving ones’ own energy, which I include a request from deity for their energy as well), this is what I do:
I ground, usually with tree roots going down (nowadays this takes only a few seconds usually), and form the egg shape of protection around me. Sometimes it’s a very large egg and I’m lying at the bottom of it and sometimes it’s just small; the roots go down out of it. The top of the egg opens (like the mouth of the creature in Dune) to let in the kind of energy I’m requesting from deity. I’ve come to think of deity in many different images; female or male, or a couple- cosmic mother and father (I get this idea from the Gnostic gospel of Thomas- the true mother and father) or just a general cosmic force. Usually I need healing energy but sometimes I need some loving or happy energy, for example. I usually visualize this as a color. I send it in the direction I’m placing that person in my mind, say they live to the North East of me, then I send it North East until I feel like they have received it. Sometimes I picture the person receiving it, perhaps if I can figure out what body part needs the healing, for example. I have nearly always found out I was correct (for a body part or what was going on with the person), which really speaks to an evidence, for me, of deity. Once I feel that the working is done, I send back out the top opening something to thank deity with, and this is spontaneously decided upon, depending on my mood. Sometimes it’s roses (like roses are thrown down for olympic figure skaters), or butterflies, sometimes it’s chocolate, once it was stars, sometimes it’s simply my gratitude and love, sometimes it’s a hug, and so forth. Then I close up the top, then disintegrate the protective egg bubble, and let myself come back to manifest reality.
And there you have it. From my zany brain to yours. Do you think I’m nuts? I don’t care. I manage just fine, thank you, and it works wonderfully for me. Said with a smile!
I would love to hear from you- what do you do, in your mind, when you do magical workings or meditate?