March 01, 2006

Basics of Druid Magic (part 3)

Elements of a Circle and Circle Casting

All magic should take place within a magic circle. This circle is a magical place outside of space and time that protects the magician from negative influences during his workings. The circle is a symbol of infinity and eternity in that it has no beginning and no end. The circle is created with a sword, dagger, staff, or wand. A properly created circle creates a boundary, or magical force field around the magician. This field stretches out across the dimensions, and can be visualized three dimensionally as a sphere. The circle serves as an amplifier for the energy the magician is building up inside it. It contains this power until you are ready to release it. All supplies and implements should be within the circle before you cast it. Crossing the boundary of the circle once it is cast is deemed unwise.

The basic elements of the circle include candles and representations of the elements of earth, air, water, and fire. An alter with a pentacle or other magical or spiritual symbol may also be included. A candle is placed in each of the four cardinal directions: East, South, West, and North. The colors of these candles are different for the Druids than they are for other traditions. A red candle in the East represents the rising sun. A white candle in the South represents the noonday sun. A grey candle in the West represents twilight. A black candle in the North represents midnight. (Side note: OSC recommends larger pillar type candles for the elements, as opposed to tapered candles, for group ceremonies. These are long lasting and can be used over and over again. Black and grey candles can be difficult to find. We're not staunch traditionalists, so these can be substituted. A very dark blue can be substituted for black. Silver or a very light sky blue can be substituted for grey. If you prefer to stick with tradition, candle making supplies are available at many arts and crafts stores.) East is governed by the element of Air represented by incense, South by Fire, West by Water, and North by Earth represented by salt. A fifth element of Spirit dominates the center of the circle. The elements of fire and air are associated with the Father, God, and masculine energies. The elements of earth and water are associated with the Mother, Goddess, and feminine energies. The boundaries of a circle can be marked with stones, if desired.

Before creating a magical circle, the magician should be well grounded and focused. There are many ways to do this, OSC (Old Order druids) recommends either the "Rite of Three Rays" and the "Gnostic Thunderbolt".

The Rite of Three Rays
This Rite is the equivalent of a druidic Gnostic Pentagram Ritual. Instead of the Pentagram, it uses a form known as the "Awen", which is three rays eminating from a central point.

The right (gold) ray represents the masculine attributes of the Sun,
The left (silver) ray represents the feminine attributes of the Moon,
The center ray (the crystal ray) represents both and neither, the ray of possibility.

1. Raise the arms above the head, taking in a deep breath. As you lower your arms, intone the vowel "I". Make sure that your breath ends just as your arms hit your side.
2. Repeat this last step, except intone "A" as you lower your arms.
3. Again, repeat this step, but intone "O".
4. Finally, repeat the step, but intone all three sounds (I, A, O) together into one continuous sound and breath. Picture the rays as you draw them. The "I" is the left ray, the "A" is the middle ray, and the "O" is the right ray.

The Gnostic Thunderbolt
The Gnostic Thunderbolt is a mutation of, and can be used interchangeably with, the Gnostic Pentagram Ritual. It's purpose is to imbue motivation and momentum to the participants, whilst banishing unwanted influences at the same time. It is highly recommended for opening a temple, and as a preliminary to other work, but is not well applied to healing aims.

Techniques Employed:
Breath control, sound concentration, image concentration, sound vibration.

1. Inhale. Starting just beyond the head, either shoulder, or either hip, draw the first point of the Thunderbolt. Simultaneously, visualize a blue sphere lighting up between the eyes, and sending a thread of light to the point. Vibrate "Iiiiii..." in a high-pitched tone until the lungs are emptied.
2. Inhale. Trace a straight line from shoulder to opposite shoulder or hip, or from the head to either hip. Visualize a yellow sphere lighting up in the throat, sending a thread of light to the second point. Vibrate "Eeee..." in a slightly lower tone.
3. Inhale. Trace a second line, again as if drawing a pentagram. Visualize a red sphere in the center of the chest, and sending its light to the third point. Vibrate "Ahhh..." in a tone lower than the previous vibration.
4. Inhale. Trace a third line. Visualize a purple sphere in the genital area, sending its light to the fourth point. Vibrate "Ohhh..." in a lower tone.
5. Inhale. Trace the fourth line. Visualize a green sphere encircling the feet and disappearing into the ground, and sending its thread to the fifth point. Vibrate "Oooo...".
6. Do not draw the closing bar of the pentagram! Instead, remain completely motionless and hold your breath for as long as possible. Concentrate your attention fixedly on the sound of your blood rushing through your carotid arteries. Know that the rumbling you hear is the eternal explosion of the Thunderbolt. You are part of the thunderbolt, moving endlessly and mindlessly onward.
7. Continue to hold the image and sound in the mind while holding your breath. When you finally must breathe, envision the thunderbolt fragmenting with a tremendous roar and sending octarine sparks into and through you.
8. Repeat the seven steps above, drawing the thunderbolts about you to describe a 3-dimensional shape of whatever kind suits you.
9. Declaration of intent, i.e. "We will that we never end where we had begun. We will that we shall begin."

Drawing casting the circle is usually done clockwise with a staff, wand, athame, sword, hand, or other magical phallic object. It is useful for participants to visualize blue, protective energy streaming out of the object to create the circle. The boundaries can be visualized as a circle or a sphere surrounding the participants. The High Council of OSC like to visualize this energy as blue flame. We usually use this symbolism in the ceremonies we create for our chapters. Elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth are consecrated. Then candles are lit in clockwise order starting with the East. Once this is done, the circle has been cast.

Once a circle is cast, magical spellwork, rituals, and ceremonies can be performed. Gods, goddesses, or other spirits can be invoked or invited in. More power can be generated within a circle by walking around inside it clockwise thus building up the energy inside. Chanting and/or drumming inside a circle can also build up the energy within. Walking counter-clockwise within a circle is used for banishing rites and ceremonies.

After the ceremony is complete, the candles are extinguised in reverse order. Whatever deities or spirits were invited into the circle are thanked for their presence and asked to depart in peace. circle is broken by making a counter-clockwise sweep with the staff or other object. The energy from the circle is now sent out into universe to fulfill whatever mission was appointed to it.

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