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Posts Tagged ‘sun’

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Image: Don Blanding (1894-1957)

Salty water flows gently
Over glistening white sand.

Moon Maiden coyly veils
Her face in the dark
Mask of a star filled night.

I push my toes deeper into
Star lit beach and look
Out at the vastness of
Ocean’s rising waters.

I push myself deeper into
Star-filled body of mine
Looking out at the vastness
Of emotions that seek me out.

I stand within the space of
Eternity and the promise of
Moon Maiden’s quickening kiss.

The waters of healing surround
Lifting me gently from my
Place of digging deeply into
The changing sands of time.

I surrender to the place
Of my celestial home as
Maiden Moon lifts her veil
Of darkness and fills me with
The tides of her waxing Light.

Working with the Moon and her phases are part of the natural cycle that is used in the Craft of the Witch. We draw from the energy of the Goddess as represented in her archetypal forms of Maiden, Mother and Crone and see these in manifest form as New, Full and Dark Moons.

With all the diverse energy and mystery surrounding the Moon is it any wonder that its greater mysteries are used to enhance sacred work. Dancing around a fire on a moon lit night, moving to the beat of drums is the nearest one can come to being totally absorbed into the Natural world. When we begin a new journey through the cycle and flow of Lunar energy, we mark the cycles of these changes within ourselves by the works of magick and offerings of devotion we express. Although the focus may be that of the Moon, we must also consider the energy of Her polarized opposite, the Sun. Each cycle brings their own specificity to the day or the month and both are ever present in our cycle of time on this planet. If we also work with the energy of the planets, a rite held on a MO(o)N-day would correspond with the energy of the Moon and any moon phase in the astrological sign of Cancer would add additional lunar energy as Cancer’s planetary ruler is the MOON.

In the greater wheel of the Lunar Year we move through the astrological signs of the zodiac, each offering key points of unity and synthesis (New Moon) or opposition and productive change (Full Moon) in accord with the astrological energy of the Solar year. What this means is that for any given New Moon (with rare exception) it will be in the same astrological sign as that of the Sun (Solar Month). For instance, we are currently in the Solar Month of Cancer and today’s New Moon is also in the astrological sign of Cancer. This gives a double boost to any workings that benefit from application of Cancer’s energies because the heart (Moon) and will (Sun) are working in a synthesized way. By the time the Moon reaches it Full phase, the Moon has moved into the sign directly opposite (with rare exception) that of the Sun. So the upcoming Full Moon in July will be in the astrological sign of Capricorn, which is directly opposite that of the Sun, still in Cancer. The opportunity here is one of productive tension that launches a new state from the friction. Best example, husband and wife fight, come to an agreement and the make-up sex is great!

Now, this is not to say that you can’t keep the Esbats (Moon Rituals) simple and effective. Everyone is not versed in astrology, nor do they care to be. That’s fine. Knowing the astrology and any other layer of compatible magickal system enhances what is essentially quite effective in its simplicity. It is during these ceremonies and rituals that we seek to connect with the energies of the moon, her phases and the gifts that each brings. These rituals would include: Rites of Healing – Divination and Rites of New Growth and deeper awareness.

The Phase of the Moon and Tides of Lunar Magick

Moon Phase Basics:

The Waxing Moon is the time between the New Moon and the Full Moon.

The Waning Moon is the time between the Full Moon and the last day of the last quarter- just prior to the New Moon.

Although Magickal working can be done at any time, there are specific times during the lunar cycle when your workings can be enhanced. One of the first considerations is what type of energy you want to use for your intent.

The waxing of the moon, from New to Full, provides a crescendo or building effect and the waning of the moon from peak of Full to the subsequent New Moon allows for release and diminishing of energetic effect.

In addition to the cycle of Waxing and Waning, there are three phases of the moon that are typically used for magickal working. These are the New – Full and Dark Moons.They are likened to the Triplicity of the Goddess as Maiden – Mother and Crone:

NEW MOON – The Maiden

The New Moon is a time of beginnings and first seeds towards growth. New projects, goals and behaviors are all supported when given focus during this time.

The New Moon is the beginning of the cycle of increased flow and dynamics. It embodies the Goddess as the Maiden. Full, fertile and ripe with creative outpour and though lacking the experience of the Crone, has more than enough enthusiasm to seek out the many paths that could be taken. It is to some degree the allowance of nature taking its course, directed towards a goal of productive manifestation. It is the yearning and desire that is inherent in the Maiden that will attract to Her that which she desires most. And, it is this energy, which if with intention and correct thought is set into motion during this phase will blossom with the waxing of the Moon.

Magickal workings would include:

* Beginnings of any new endeavor
* Fresh starts at old projects/pursuits
* Dedications to a new pursuit
* The first steps towards a specific goal

FULL MOON – The Mother

The Full Moon is the peak and product of all efforts begun at the New Moon. Additionally, any working that needs extra oomph, magnification or energetic boost, will benefit from Full Moon energy.

The Full Moon embodies the energies of the Goddess as the Mother. She is the giver of life and the nurturer and guardian that ensures that that life will be productive, fruitful and at the apex of whatever endeavor is undertaken. The expansive light of the Full Moon shines upon all under its sway and the dynamics of ebb and flow are at their most potent. Energy exchanges with energy and movement and expansion occurs bringing the highest possible outcome for all that it touches. The energy of the Full Moon causes things to happen and therefore is neither stagnant nor still in its outpour.

Magickal workings would include:

* Acknowledging achievement made towards goal
* Taking action to bolster the strengths gained
* Completion of a working
* Synthesizing action between two goals of intent

DARK MOON – The Crone

The span of time from completion of Full moon, up to and including approximately 3 days prior to the next New Moon is the optimal time for release, cutting away and inner preparation. These 3 days prior to the next New Moon are also known as the Dark Moon phase.

The Dark Moon embodies the Hidden nature, that if embraced in the fullness of the dark reveals what may lay beneath the surface waiting to be used and transformed. This is the Goddess as the Crone. She holds nothing back, invites you to look at the truth of your own reflection and then demands that you release what serves no purpose and what hinders your growth. She carries the wisdom that has grown through experience and she knows the secrets of the darkest of places and holds within the Light that illumines those who have courage to enter.

Using the energy of the Dark Moon is to call upon the reserves of knowing that are contained within what it is you seek to release. This is a time for culling, pruning and preparing for the upcoming New Moon where what is viable may be planted anew, with greater understanding of the process that ensures success.

Magickal workings would include:

* Uncovering what holds you back
* Releasing a negative habit or energy
* Uncovering your shadow nature
* Healing and removal of blockages

In practice, how could you make the most of these phases? Suppose I want to seek new employment…..

On the New Moon, I may do a meditation, plan, brainstorm and journal about the type of work I may wish to acquire. I may even, physically plant a few seeds in a pot as concrete visual symbols of my intent. Each day thereafter I will tend the seeds- mentally and/or physically- enriching them with more concrete ideas and goals for obtaining my ideal work. On the Full Moon, I will give thanks for the new growth in my life towards my goal. Perhaps do a meditation, visualizing in as much detail as possible my future work surroundings, myself enjoying and looking forward to each day, etc. And, finally as the moon wanes and the days prior to the next New moon approach, I spend some time identifying and releasing any negative thoughts, words or actions that are preventing me from bringing into manifest reality my goal. This release may take any form as long as the symbolic or actual release is something you can strongly connect with, and is of harm to none. This or a similar cycle may need to be repeated several lunations, depending on your goal, the strength of your focus and intent and ability to truly release that which may be holding you back.

Adding the Astrological Component

Today the Moon is New in the astrological sign of Cancer and opportunity abounds for work that connects you more deeply to what you feel and those things that offer the comfort of home and the loyalty of unconditional love. If you would like to learn more about how to use the energy of the Moon phases and fine-tune them to resonate specifically with the energy of the Zodiac please consider following The Temple of the Cosmic Spheres blog. The kick-off was a month of daily writings that highlighted the expression of the Moon and Her phases as she transited through each of the astrological signs during a Lunar month.

Read more about the New Moon in Cancer and the cast of supporting planetary players that make this a story of your own writing.

The Temple of the Sun

New Moon in Cancer – Arms Wide Open

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Midsummer calls to you saying
Awaken and revel in the day as
My light stretches long and bright
Before night crowds greedily in.

Draw back the curtains that
Shroud the hidden spaces
Of your mind and heart.

Midsummer’s sun will light
The way before retreat into the dark.

Breathe in the scent of life
Ripe and full bursting forth.
Let it intoxicate and enchant
As daylight persistently lingers.

Midsummer’s sun will quicken
The way before all withers falling into the dark.

Step into waters warmed long and
Filled with sunlight’s waxing grace.
Emotions are enlivened for the imminent
Sacrifice of daylight’s harvest bounty.

Midsummer’s sun will set ablaze
The way before heart turns within to face the dark.

Clothe yourself in sunflower and bee
Drinking deeply from the nectar of
Sun Lord and Lady’s golden orb.

Midsummer’s sun will be your lantern
As you surrender to the dark.

Midsummer calls to you saying
Awaken from your slumber
Lift the veil of shaded cover
And step out into the blessed gift
Of the final waxing of Sun-filled
Solstice Light.

Hail and Welcome to the Summer Solstice! Hail and Welcome to the Fullness of the Sun’s Light! Hail and Welcome to the Blaze of Our Inner Sun! Hail and Welcome to the Light We Have Become!

Today and Saturday will be the longest days of the Solar Year (15hrs and 38mins). The Summer Solstice officially occurs on Saturday, but we can gather today’s energy as preparation for the outpouring of the Noonday Sun. There are many ways to celebrate the Solstice and each has the cyclical underpinnings of strengthening and re-affirming the Light. Bonfires, the reclaiming of power of the Holly King from the Oak King, the fullness of the Mother Goddess, the power of the Solar Father or simply remaining outside longer and marking the setting of the Sun and the beginning of the Waning year are tools of our connection to this auspicious day.

From Beltane’s pleasures of late Spring, we find ourselves drawn to the longer days that have been gradually moving towards the apex of this day of the longest hours of light. We feel ourselves emerging into the fullness of this Light filled with the realized potential and life sustaining energy of the sun. We are infused with its power and take pleasure in opening our senses to the full experience of being lit from within and shining that magick on all we encounter. This is the center of our focus and we cling to the last vestiges of daylight before the cycle moves towards the waning time.

And, it is from this place of extreme that we drink in all of the light we able to hold to carry us forward in the days and months ahead, knowing they will bring increasingly shorter hours of daylight and longer times of nightscape. This absorption of the catalytic fires will be the fuel that will burn throughout the months ahead as we move into the space of darkness, cold and introspection and become the lantern of that light.

I usually craft a personal working for the solstices and the equinoxes using the solar energies as the continuous energetic thread. Each of the workings I do serves to enliven and increasingly strengthen the solar current. It is this current that I use for energetic protocol and workings. And, it is this current that supports the lunar work that I do. In this way, I maintain the tools that are needed so that I may remain in sync with the energetic tides that flow around me and have as my foundation the Inner Sun that will Light the way.

 

This and other Sabbat Poems and Articles may be found in my listings on WitchVox. The poem for this year’s Solstice is available here: 

Waning Light-The Summer Solstice (2014)

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Step out through the archway
Come out boldly into the light
The world of the living awaits you
Let its beauty fill your sight.

You’ve poured over great
Books and practiced all alone
Now time is approaching to
Share what has been shown.

To make noise and create joy
To dance freely and deeply feel
To cry and rant and rave as you
Strive to keep it authentic and real.

The truth is that Spirit and matter
Are fed each by the other one
And the deeper you reach into
All aspects of being human
Your Spirit will soar in exaltation
Having resolved this life’s lesson of
Living Divinely and Human as one.

 

The poem last week was a reflection of my own recent work at finding the balance between the life of the Hermit I am most comfortable with and the need to process through living experience those things I am akin to found in books and writings. Now, let me clarify before I go further that the life of the Hermit I refer to is that of my natural spiritual tendency, not the reality of living the life of a Hermit apart from the world. Nonetheless, the questions I posed last week hold particular relevance for me…

What beautifully crafted spaces have you built to keep you at arms length from the world?

For me, the detachment from the mundane has arisen in my approach to how I choose to experience all of the world and its messiness. In fact, for most of my life I have been fully and responsibly present in the physical state and happily retreating as often as I could to the more solitary musings and surroundings. Having five children, a husband, a full-time job, a coven and an avocation of service, teaching and writing tends to throw you head first into those deep waters of mundane responsibility and interaction. Yet, despite all of this, the Will is a crafty and powerful ally in allowing you to remain submerged in the waters of study, magickal practice and spiritual pursuit.

My inner library and working space of magick is vast and silent save for my own musings. This is the place of my power and retreat from what I consider trivial and non-productive in the mundane world. The urgency to know as much as possible, be as skilled as possible and align all aspects of myself as soon as possible has helped me craft this Hermit’s refuge with singular and sole purpose. The problem is that imbalance begins to occur. Although perceived great strides are being made in the spiritual work, the mundane polarity of that work suffers from lack of attention. The stores of experience that nurture, heal and support the needs of the human aspect within you become depleted. And, without those stores to be drawn upon when times become challenging and the call to spiritual support drains that reserve there is no healing possible.

How has it effected your Magick?

I have come to realize that I am not alone in this way of thinking and approach to spiritual work. We get caught up in the pursuit of growth and goals of practice and forget the primary tool that allows us to pursue what we seek. We neglect the “fun” aspect in deference to the academia. And are not always as mindful as we should be of the human factor in the energy work we do and how euphoric the simple acts of dancing, loving, listening and engaging in tactile creativity can be.

So, for now I will leave the Hermit behind; knowing that the road back to that place of contemplative and solitary spirituality is always available to and welcoming of me. For now, I will try a new road that leads back into the heart of humanity and all that being human means. This will be the scaffolding that will sure up my physical form, nurturing what needs replenishing of simple or challenging pursuits that are purely in the joy or pain of the moment.

I end where I began with the posing of two questions:

What beautifully crafted spaces have you built within the world to be fully present?

And, how has this effected your Magick?

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The heat moves through me
Calling me to flow along
Its path of blazing light.

I call to the ashes that
The Phoenix may rise up
Within me to break free
Of what has held me inert.

Wings beat furiously and
Strain with expansion upwards
Quickening the spark of flame.

Blinding light flashes
And I move through
The flaming center of
The sun and into
The black iciness of the
Enlightened Will.

Fire is the Dance
of
Transformation – Will – Desire – Destruction – Rebirth

A roaring Fire is exhilarating. Flames dance and heat reaches out to caress. The colors move through scales of orange and red, the white of pure intensity and the vibrancy of color gives way to the charred blackness of ash and soot. When we place the action of this Fire on our desire and will, passion flames and the urge to do, to act is fueled by the intensity of its need for change.

Fire courses through our bodies as the electrical charges that provoke immediate response to pain or pleasure. Our bodies heat as we exercise and move and the fires of digestion break down the food we take in as sustenance. Anger rages hot when we are challenged and confronted and the fire of desire takes hold when attraction draws us into lover’s embrace.

Fire blazes its way through our world in the form of communication, electrical wiring, technology and more. We are surrounded, permeated and interwoven into the inferno that excites and calls us to express ourselves and the will we have cultivated. To work with the energy of Fire is to invite radical change and irrevocable transformation. Let’s take a look at is many forms and areas of impact.

FIRE, unlike the other elements cannot exist in physical form without consuming and destroying something else, thus causing transformation of that thing. It is out of that destruction that the potential for the most growth often occurs. This action is that of the legendary Phoenix rising from the flames of ash.

In magickal practice, Fire represents the state of action and the fires of will. We call to the energies of Fire to stir the flames within as we aspire towards integrating our will with that of our Higher Self. At a spiritual level, Fire carries the seeds of transformation that are the stuff of initiatory change, action and development of the Higher Will.

At a purely mundane and physical level Fire is associated with heat. The warmth of the Sun and the heat of the wood stove that keeps us warm in wintry weather. When we take it to the mental level, Fire becomes the passion that excites and ignites. It is the catalyst that creates movement and it is the creative spark that leads to new invention or manifest creation.

Energetic workings and practice are vital to keeping the internal will enlivened and ready for action. Fire is the flame of will, desire and intent. It quickens and catalyzes in its expansive form and destroys and removes in its nature of contraction.

The Universal Laws of Fire

Many years ago I came across these Universal Laws as they relate to the four basic elements. It may seem odd to equate the elements as following certain “Laws” particularly in the semantics of that word and its normal connotation. But, everything must follow some sort of order and structure to be successful; albeit, sometimes that order appears to be the most disordered mess, it is still order nonetheless). This is also true of magickal workings. There are specific laws or rules (whatever word you prefer) that govern the order and structure of the Universe and its workings. These are but a few of those and I offer them now as food for thought as you move through each of these elements. Some are overt in their relationship to a specific element and others are a bit more occult (hidden) in their meanings.

Law of Polarity

When we speak of polarities, there are many different examples that could be given; male and female, light and dark, negative and positive to name a few. When we perform magickal workings we draw upon the nature of the polarities to bring a state of action to that working. If there were no darkness we would not know how to define the light. If there were no negative action, the desire towards the positive would be non-existent.

The element of fire is aptly described by this Law as one of its primary functions is to stir up, to excite, and thus to transform and potentially transmute that which was being worked upon. When we call the energies of Fire into our workings, we are automatically putting in place the potential for action to occur. We are forcing ourselves to move beyond a place of inertia and undefined focus of intent to catalytic change that will be either the positive or negative charge that is needed for desired outcome.

Law of Cause and Effect

This is the natural by-product of working within the realms of polarized action. For every action, there is a reaction. Thus, for every cause there is an effect. The measure of that effect is usually in keeping with the amount of will exerted, although the comprehensive out-picturing of that statement is not always apparent. This is typified in the cautionary advice to be careful what you wish for.

Some Correspondences

Western Magick:
Color: Red
Tools: Wand, Staff (sometimes Swords)
Attribute: The Will – Action

The Elementals:
Monarch – Djinn
Elementals – Salamanders
Archangel: Michael

Eastern Tattwas:
Shape: Triangle
Color: Red
Direction: South

Qabalah: The Spheres of Connection
Netzach – Green – Victory
Geburah – Red – Might

Alchemy: 
Color: Red
Qualities of dry and hot

Astrology:
Aries (Cardinal)
Leo (Fixed)
Sagittarius (Mutable)

Suggested Practice

Spend a few minutes each day outside in the sun. As you sit facing the sun (be sure you have on sunscreen and limit to no more than 5-10 minutes) close your eyes and allow the warmth to penetrate your body. Imagine being filled with the radiance and strength of the sunlight and feelings of renewal at every level of being.

Engage all of your senses in the experience of being bathed in the light and energy of the sun’s rays. Step into the shade and make note of the difference in your physiological response. And, then step back out into the sunlight; making note of the difference of experience.

Excerpted in part from: The Elemental Year. R. Fennelly

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Last week’s post talked about the Tools and Literature of the Craft.  This week I promised some basic suggestions for Candle Magick. So,let the flame be lit!

The Candle Spell

Gaze into that
Which holds the key
Reflecting back the
Gift of answer to me.

Wood and wax
Crystal and flame
The truth revealed
The heart’s desire
With Will thusly named.

I cast this spell and
Naught shall reverse
My spell is for the power
Of True Magick to fill
This Blessed Universe.

Candle Magick makes use of the properties and energies of a candle, color, etc. to direct the focus of energy towards a desired outcome.  It is for this reason that candles are used in High Magick and Ritual workings. They become the physical representation of God or Goddess, the transformative power that lights all others or the symbol of the inner fires of Will.  Within our coven we routinely pour coven candles for each member annually.  The wax used comes from the remainders of the previous year’s candles and is melted down. All contribute an herb or oil to the mix and we pour energy and intent into the heated wax.  A large candle is poured that will be used in ritual by all and then individual candles are poured for each member to take home. This becomes a way to connect energetically with covenmates if the individual is unable to be physically present for working or meeting.  This past year we were unable to schedule a time for this, but we still had plenty of candle left to carry us through and maintain the connection.

In spell work a candle not only provides a point of focus, but also acts as a container for the energies gathered and worked upon. Allowing the candle to burn down completely releases the spell into the flow of universal law. Lighting the candle for several nights can build the effect and acts something like a slow simmer. Holding the heat and intensity, but carefully and slowly releasing the essence allowing all the flavors and nuances to mature. Candle magick is simple, easy and can be quite effective in its purpose.  The beauty is that it can also be rather transparent to others, as many use candles as décor in their homes.  They are portable and relatively easy to make, if you are so inclined.  If you choose to make your own candles, additional items can be integrated.  I have crushed a small crystal and added its energy to the wax.  Herbs and oils are readily available and can enhance the general properties and even the timing of pouring the candle can bolster the intent.  Aligning the pouring with New , Full or Waning moon energy customizes the effectiveness for specific types of workings for which the candle will be used.

Store bought candles can be similarly customized. Remove the wrapping and apply oil to the candle, anointing it with the properties of whatever oil you choose.  Frankincense serves as durable purifier. And, Myrrh will stimulate the Higher Self and offer connection to spiritual realms.  You can press finely crushed crystals into the base of the candle by heating the bottom slightly to soften the wax and then pressing in down into the crystalline substance, much like coating fish with breadcrumbs. Leaving the candle out under moonlight of any particular phase can attune it to those particular energies. And, placing the candle in a window or outside (depending on the heat temperature) under the sun’s watchful eye can enliven the candle for use in solar, energy or fire workings. Scribing sigils, runes or other sacred markings on the candle and envisioning these symbols moving into the center of the candle can be used to sustain long-term workings.  Each time the candle is relit envision the energy of the symbol emanating, much like an aura from within the candle.

Additionally, using a specifically colored candle enhances the effectiveness of the spell.  Some basic colors are listed below. If you cannot find a specifically colored candle, a makeshift way is to use a small round mirror (can find these at craft stores, and should be approx. 2-inches larger than the base diameter of the candle) and colored paper.  Cut a circle just slightly larger than the candle base out of the colored paper that you have selected for the working.  Place this on top of the mirror.  Place a white candle on top of this.  The reflective energies of the mirror will draw up the color rom the paper into the candle’s field of energy.  And, when eh candle is lit the flame will enhance the glow reflecting back into the mirror creating a beautiful energetic circuit.

White – Light and the reflection of all colors.

Red – Will, action and vitality.

Pink – Used for love of the heart.

Orange Used for attraction, communication, energy.

Yellow Well-being, concentration, intuition, health, strength.

Green – Represents health and healing, money, changes and renewal, fertility.

Blue – Spiritual, healing, memory, calming and centering.

Indigo – Brow, third eye, psychic center. Psychic awareness.

Purple – Crown center, royal color, Deity, spiritual workings.

Brown – Stability, the earth, growth, potential.

Grey – Represents intuition.

Black – Contains and holds all colors, shields and filters.

These are just a few very simple and basic ideas to get you started in how to use candles for magick.  Be creative.  See the candle as not only an object of Fire’s expression, but also containing the properties of Water (fluid wax when heated), Air (the aroma and oxygen accessed in keeping the candle light) and Earth, in its solid form. The element of Spirit is your intent infused and connected to the malleable form of wax, color, scent and more. And, the magick is in the ability to create Light in a small pocket of space that was not so brightly illumined just prior.

For a Sample of a Candle Magick Working that extended through the New, Full and Dark moon, read the post in Temple of the Cosmic Spheres that kicked off the dedication of the Temple of the Moon observations:

Temple of the Moon: Ritual of Dedication

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Throughout multiple systems you will find groups of three as dynamics of change and definition. These groupings of three are present in Astrology, Pagan Deity and Pantheons, Lunations and Solar Cycles, as markers of Time, Esoteric and Energetic Anatomy, Color Scale and more. The measure of each component of this three is generally one of minimal to maximum, each expanding upon the other and serving as bridge of transition.

The number Three itself conjures up the geometric symbol of the triangle. Each side supported by the other creating a space of base line and point arising from each of those ends. This allows for the multiple nature of the number three, given that there are within that shape the potential for 3 different base lines and three different points. Three is the result or product of interaction between two other forces. We begin with the singular 1- which seeks another to interact with resulting in 2. The 2- seek to create beyond their duality and the third is born, holding within its energy the sum total of both of its sources now coalesced and transformed to become a third force. It is this same action of creation that is present in the multiple forms this triplicity takes. I think of it as three phases of development; that of testing, tempering and ultimately transforming.

Testing              Tempering Transforming
Maiden Mother Crone
Youth Father Sage
Past Present Future
Cardinal Fixed Mutable
Dawn Noon Dusk
New Moon Full Moon Waning Moon

 

Testing

The Testing phase is that of trial and error. It is the place of beginnings that are not necessarily overt in the expertise that is recognized (note that I said recognized, not drawn upon). In the listings of triplicity that I presented, this is the spark of the Maiden and the Youth. Bursting to the brim with great expectations, boldness of execution and a catalytic flow that is fully opened and ready to make its mark towards change.

In the scheme of Time, it is the Past that propels us towards the present and ultimately into the future. It is the past to which we retreat when life offers an unfair curve or unexpected change that unsettles and disrupts our balance. We use the past as barometer of our worth as we seek the lineage and ancestral ties that we wish to claim as our own. And, as history has proven, the lessons learned within the past are not always heeded in the desire and enthusiasm to move forwards.

Within the discipline of Astrology, we see the testing principal play out in the form of its Cardinal Modality. This is the modality that offers the potential for whatever elemental correspondence its acts upon. Cardinal Earth is the turning over of the fertile ground to expose what potentially will come to fruition. Cardinal Air is that first breath of inspiration that hopes to take root in the intellect so it may become a manifest creation. Cardinal Fire is the first spark that must be carefully tended lest it be extinguished or spread uncontrolled leaving destruction in its wake. And, Cardinal Water provides the first stirrings of emotion so that desire may be set into motion and applied to a will that is just testing its mettle.

Perhaps, the most well- known triplicity is that of the lunar and solar cycles. We see the steady progression that the sun takes in any given day moving through its course and are held in the ebb and flow of the lunar cycles that flow through the monthly cycle. Dawn is the testing phase of the daily solar cycle. These are the moments of first light and the emergence from the darkness of the night. We are challenged with each Dawn to make the waking hours of the day productive. It is the point of testing our determination to stay the course and stand in awe at the beginning of each day seeing it as another opportunity to be more fully human bathed in the light of strength and power that also rises within us in synchronicity. The lunar cycle is that of the New Moon. The light not visible and the testing being that of trust that although you are unable to see the Moon in her glorious orb, she is there nonetheless and waiting for what inspiration and creative working you will ask her to join you in.

In the pattern of the Three this phase is the crucial starting point. And, if its withstands the test of all the filters, obstructions and false starts that serve to strengthen the resolve of natural flow of progression it gathers to itself all of the necessary tools that will support its expansion into the space of tempering.

Tempering

I have purposefully used the word temper here despite the appearance of contradiction in definition of the word. To Temper by definition is to:

• To soften something
• Strengthen material
• Harden metal
• Tune (early keyboard instrument)

The energy in this mid space is one of refining and continuing what was begun. Here we find the Mother and Father aspects of the Goddess and God. There is the need to bring to harmony the impetuous energy of the Maiden and Youth and space of initial impulse. Youthful exuberance has given way to stability and firmer resolve. The task of this more mature role is that of softening those rough edges and strengthening what is viable. Nurturing and offering guidance are the responsibilities taken on as the dreams and aspirations that preceded it are brought to a state of fullness of expression.

When we speak of Time, the Present is held in the place of tempering. It is the present that holds us fast in its grasp and it is the present to which we always return after our wanderings down memory lane or anticipatory visions of what our future lives may hold. We learn to soften our expectations and harden our resolve as we know that age and time continue in their cycle no matter how we wish it to remain still and often what we believed to be wrought in stone has scattered like paper on the winds of change.

Astrologically, the Fixed Modality wields the force of tempering. Fixed Earth becomes the immovable mountain that offers up its rigidity to bolster and support as its cradles in the softness of her body. Fixed Air becomes the space of pause and refining the great thoughts and inspirations that want to pass through unnoticed. They are drawn into the eye of the storm where each can be calmly scrutinized and assessed of their staying power. Fixed Fire is the tempering of the will, hardening it to withstand the pressures of misdirected desire and softening it to be receptive and pliable in receiving the wisdom of the Higher Self. Fixed Water finely tunes our Soul so we may easily move into the depths of our own pain and suffering and emerge strengthened and in harmony with both our weaknesses and our strengths. This is the action of receipt and release, the ebb and flow of the waters and the comfort it provides like the gentle rocking of the waters of the great mother’s womb.

The phase of tempering within the solar cycle is one of the heat and relentless downpour of the noon-day sun. All is illuminated, with no space to hide the flaws that we perceive. The truth of our solar nature and the resonance within our bodies to this penetrating source is brought into attunement so that we may co-create the music of the cosmos. The lunation of Full Moon is the softening and breaking down of those barriers of reserve and doubt that we cling to. Our emotions are tempered by the loving touch of rays of pure light and energy that is expansive and contractive in its dynamics.

In the pattern of the Three, this phase of tempering and rendering more pliable and diverse in expression is the coalescing point. It brings in synthesis and harmonious balance those polarities that are brought into its cycle. It is the phase of standing perfectly poised and ready to accept the flow into transformation and change.

Transforming

The last phase of the Three is both the result and what will become the cause that catalyzes the triune anew. The test has proved the energy to be viable. The tempering has imparted all that is needed to insure its strength of purpose and now the deeper work of transformation is required. The Crone and the Sage are the Deity that hold this transformative power. Their expression is one that has been honed through experience trial and error. They are the end product of that can only be brought forward through the work of willing sacrifice and the knowledge that surrender is the path of return. In the never ending cycle, it is the Crone and Sage who will transform into rebirth as the Maiden and Youth.

This is the phase of Future Time; always just one pace ahead and always knowing the outcome before the query has been made. The bridge of transition at this place of time is in the knowledge that what is the future is also the past and the present simultaneously, each replacing the other, each switching dynamics and place in a dance of complexity and grace. For it is always the future that gives birth to what will eventually become the past.

Astrologically, the Mutable modality is the transforming dynamic. It is this energy that stretches and expands, reaching beyond itself and then recoiling back to dip deeply into its source. Mutable Earth is the adaptability to change, reorder and draw upon all the resources available to craft a new form of expression. Mutable Air weaves the intricate patterns of complex mind and breathes out the answers to all who will listen and understand its intent. Mutable Fire spreads far and wide as it reshapes all in its path. It is vibrant and potent in its flame and its desire to connect and transmute. And, Mutable Water carries the weight of the lands and its creatures in its belly offering solace and healing to all who would venture into its waters.

The Solar cycle is one of the soothing of a sunset, spilling forth colorful and radiant yet gentle in its heat offering reminder that even those who shine the brightest must at times dim their luster so all may witness the Sun’s beauty. The Lunar cycle is one of waning light and movement back into those dark waters to retrieve the pearls that have been buried far beneath the surface. The excavating is done in trust that what is revealed will inform and enliven in a way that will carry the seeker gently on moving waters to a place of new birth and new form.

The Third phase is both endings and beginnings. For what has been transformed is not what was before. It is new. It is rebirth, and it is growth. If we moved through this cycle again, bringing forward all that we know if the first three, the power of the number six is revealed. It is the rebirthing of all of the work accomplished at the first level. It is the harmonious interaction between what was and what is becoming. And, if we take this one more step we arrive at the potential of the number nine. Three sets of triune cycle. Three levels of testing, tempering and transformation. Nine gates of opening and the number of initiation, endings, thresholds and renewal.

So, the next time you see the number three or one of its multiples, think about the many ways in which that simple number can impart its own wisdom and open your understanding to triune cycles as they flow through the magick that is our life’s work.

Note:  This is the beginning of a series of essays looking at each of the aforementioned phases. 

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Six-Mysteries-of-Our-Solar-System-2
As pagans, we are continually reminded of and work with the energies and mysteries of the Moon. We have ritual, offer devotion and live in the light and through the cycles of Her many phases. By contrast, the Solar Mysteries are generally continued within the Sabbats and the occasional working that requires the assistance of a solar deity. Doing work that will deepen and strengthen our connection to both of these cycles establishes a point of balance that is informed by the strengths of each and the interweaving of their subtleties to produce work that is synthesized and illumined by light and dark.

There are many attributions that are given to the Sun. in magickal work, we think of the sun’s energies in the forms it takes as the solar deities we work with, the heat and light the sun provides at a physical and manifest level and the impact of the solar meridians and chakra on our subtle energetic anatomy. As the polarity to the feminine intuitive and healing Lunar qualities, we see the power of the Sun as the masculine strength that is woven through folklore, mythology and the vastness of the varied and diverse spiritual streams.

These are just a few of the ways we make connection with the archetypes of the Sun. Regardless of what form these solar energies take, the underpinning keys that hold true are those of strengthening, enlivening and ultimately transforming anything held in its power. There is, as well, the timely caution to not stray too close to the full potency of the light of the sun lest it burn the fragile skin we are contained within. In counter to that we also carry the lessons of the Phoenix, whose sole (soul) work is that of the destruction of itself, reduction to the refined essence of its components and the rising up from the ash of flesh and bone to be reborn anew. Let’s take a closer look at some of these vehicles of change.

In ritual and magickal or devotional work we call to the Deities that will best inform and serve what we hope to manifest. The solar deities are those who are called forth to enliven, strengthen and ignite change in a very specific and transmutive way. The Egyptian Solar God, RA reigned supreme and took many forms, including that of the rising and setting of the physical Sun, the sustainer of all life. Each aspect held the key to another level of transformation that those who followed the energy of his Solar flame could hope to lay claim to. The Celtic Goddess, Brighid as a solar deity was keeper of the sacred triple flame and ignited the creative spark in her seekers. Her blade was one of healing that cauterized that which had been excised. She was mistress of the Forge and as such applied the heat of her action to temper the malleable steel of our form and bathed it in the soothing waters too cool and set what had been crafted. The Greek God, Helios was considered to be the Sun itself, traveling much like RA through the day lit sky in a chariot drawn by fire breathing horses. These are the Gods/desses that light the way and blaze the path towards transformation. In ceremonial work, the Liber Resh Vel Helios was written for members of Aleister Crowley’s Order to be performed four times daily as devotional and adoration of the Sun. Its intent was that of focus of the mental process from a heliocentric view, greater connection to the energies of the sun and attunement to The Great Work.

At the level of spiritual evolution and transformation of the energetic bodies it is the solar connection that assists in the building of a Light enlivened physical or manifest body. This energy is gifted through the Etheric body via the vital force gathered from the sun. This energy of the sun presents in three streams of force:

• The Fohat, which is the physical manifestation of electricity and the electromagnetic state. This form of solar energy directly impacts the neurological systems of the body that, in turn stimulate and open the pathways of communication, both at physical and spiritual levels.

• The flow of Prana, which provides a state of vitality to the body and is the penultimate and primary life force that transforms the fluids of the body.

• The Kundalini or serpent Fire that transmutes, refines and quickens the impact of the Endocrine System. It is the union of the solar and lunar pathways working each in accord and in friction with the other that sends the life force upwards to nourish and flow through the pathways of the 7-Stars (aka: the glands/organs of the Endocrine system)

In energetic practice, it is the action of calling upon the accumulated Fohat, that serves to enliven the individual’s Prana that can then in turn be used to raise and quicken the Serpent Fires of the Kundalini. As this polarized flow of energy of both the lunar and solar currents is pulled up into the crown center, it bathes the pineal glands in its milky elixir and acts as interface to opening to cosmic and expanded consciousness.

At the level of the Chakras- the vortices of energy that draw in and emit the refined spiritual light, the Sun is associated with the Solar Plexus. This chakra is the core center of our inner sun or seat of great power. It is within the solar plexus that awareness of the raising of energy is first noticed. It sits at the center of gravitational balance, keeping us strong and secure in our footing as we move forward. And, it is this chakra that acts to energize and strengthen our actions and fires of will. If engaged fully it is the opener of the heart center of compassion and works in conjunction with the throat center so that will, heart and mind are expressed in an effective manner.

In the overlay of the system of the Qabalah, the sun stands as the central sephira (sphere) of the Tree of Life as Tiphareth. This is the place of sacrifice and reassembling from the wisdom of the inpouring of the other spheres of connection that enter and pass through Tiphraeth. It is the sphere of Beauty, the beauty being held in the synthesis and transmutation by application of the solar principle. On ascending the Tree towards the Godhead of Kether (The Limitless All) the next sphere of connection is Geburah on the Pillar of Might. The heat of the sun is now aligned with the cauterizing blade of the surgeon that cleaves to heal. In descent towards the manifest realm of Malkuth (Foundation) Tiphareth pours into Netzach on the Pillar of Mercy, the fires of refinement. The Solar Principle is gathered here as the soon to be manifest form is fired in the kiln’s of selective balance and desire to create. And on the Middle Pillar of the Tree Tiphareth reaches up through knowledge (Da’At) and the resultant self-awareness to return to the formless source of Kether. On return circuit, the solar energy of Tiphareth reaches down into the sphere of Yesod, affecting discernment and exerting will that is devoid of illusion and misdirection as it is brought into the physical world.

Astronomically, at the time of the Solstices and the Equinoxes we are offered the dynamics of bringing a state of balance between the polarities of sun and moon; night and day. The solstices herald the dominance of one over the other, still being ever mindful of the need for each to maintain this cycle of excess and release. The equinoxes provide a dynamic of seeing solar (day) and lunar (night) in harmonious balance, each providing the pause of equilateral tension as the movement into waxing or waning begins anew.

There are as many ways to attune to this cycle as there are the overlays and characteristics that comprise it. I routinely use these energies in my daily spiritual practice. This may take the form of simply sitting outside at lunchtime and calling into myself the spiritual (Prana) and physical (Fohat) energy of the Sun. I breathe in the rays of the sun, pulling them into the Solar Plexus and then exhaling them into distribution throughout my body. I envision this process radiating out ad into all of my subtle bodies. I have used crystals to hold the specific energy of the sun for later use in ritual work calling upon a Solar Deity’s assistance in quickening the start of a new project. This is particularly effective during a solar eclipse; bringing together a sphere that has been charged with the building lunar energies and another holding the energies of the solar cycle. This eclipse only occurs when the moon is in its New Phase, and is signified by the passing of the moon between the earth and the Sun. I can call upon this combination of energy to create the pathway of the Sun strengthening the heart’s desire (The Moon) as it aligns with the manifest plane of earth.

A few years ago, our Coven embarked on a deepening of our understanding and use of the solar mysteries in a year-long plan. We used as our foundation the Egyptian Pantheon and the cycle of RA and the movement of the Solar Barque (Solar Boat) across the sky through specially crafted rituals. We honored Khepra-Ra at the Vernal Equinox as keeper of the Dawn and new beginnings. We invoked Amum-RA at the Summer Solstice as quickener and peak solar force of noon. The Autumnal Equinox held the energy of RA-Atum in the solar form of Dusk and the setting of the sun to rest and integrate what had been enlivened. And, we entered the Du’at at Samhain in preparation for the calling forth of the Midnight Sun at the time of the Winter Solstice. The products of this work were an uplifting of the foundations we had laid towards a better understanding of the primal nature of the solar energies and their impact in all of our workings.

I have included below an invocation that I wrote that was used at the start of the Solar Mysteries cycle. If you are so inclined, feel free to use this as an opening to the Gateway of an energy that is potent in its outpouring and serves to inform and illuminate all aspects of our being. In Solar Light!

Hymn to RA

All Hail to Thee, Mighty RA
Blaze of noon day sun.

Your fiery orb high in the
Sky above as we kneel
Beneath the heat of
Your radiance.

All the Gods bow to your radiance
All the Goddesses sing hymns of praise
To Your glory
And man, lays prostrate in humility
And devotion at the altar of
Your making.

Sweet music of adoration and offerings
Brought forth from the Black Land
Rise up in praise and thanks for
Your Sustaining Light.

All darkness flees at the touch of Your hand
All ceases its movement as You
Stretch across the sky
The lotus opens to receive Your Touch
And the sands glisten as rare jewels
As You gaze upon each grain

All Hail to Thee, Amun-RA
All Hail to Thee, Who sits high above the world

Khepra in the East
Atum in the West
Whose eye holds the point of Life
Trifold Arc of Power.

Your eyes see all and
You are the place of return
Within the Midnight Sun

All Hail to Thee
All Hail to Thee
Amun, Amun, Amen!

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