Anyone who has done any serious magickal work knows that if you work on the astral, then every once in a while, you’re going to attract a certain amount of psychic sludge.
The reasons for this are several. For one, you light up on the astral plane. Doing white light work? Intense meditation? Doing pentagram rituals or casting circles? Honoring a Deity, evoking Spirits or casting spells?
If so, then you are working in the LVX (light), basically turning up the contrast between yourself and the darkness.
In this one regard, this idea of attracting attention from stuff on the astral, daily Middle Pillar rituals are not much different from doing hardcore Quimbanda work and Wiccan ritual is virtually the same as working the evocations of the Lesser Key of Solomon.
All of these will kick up a lot of psychic energy and that energy is like a pretty, blue bug zapper light to Spirits and even unintelligent energy pockets, wandering through the lonely, summer night.
Some practitioners will argue that this accumulation of icky goo is something that only happens to ineffectual practitioners. They believe that those folks aren’t doing it right.
To me, it’s inevitable that a certain amount of funk will build up, regardless of how clever and clean you are. In a busy kitchen, messes get made, eggs get broken and some of it goes flying.
Sure, many great chefs will use the clean as you go approach. Still, there’s just not time to be completely meticulous while you’re busy making your spells (or your quiche).
Even if you refrain from touching doorknobs, strange dogs and other people, your hands still get dirty and they need an occasional washing.
Now, if you’re anything like me, then after you’ve spent all your energy, throwing it into a working, the last thing that you feel like doing is clean up. However, it’s something that will pay off. If you don’t clean up immediately, at least do it very soon.
Some of the most important cleaning is done before a ritual. Sometimes you’ll need to clean (physically and/or psychically) before, sometimes after, sometimes both… it depends on what you’re doing. Let’s focus now on the Elements as means to cleansing a space on the astral level.
This will be broken up into four segments. Each of these will include the 5th Element, which we call Spirit. Some call it Akasha or Azoth or other names. I prefer the term Spirit, purely out of habit. Use your own term of choice.
We tap the Element of Spirit by invoking a Deity or a particularly powerful Spirit. You can think of it as calling Deity down, into your area, into yourself, whatever you want to use as your visualization, concept. What is important is that you’re tapping that current, inviting it, channeling it into your space.
You can call in Spirit by saying a special prayer, dedicated to your Deity of choice. You can also take a Ceremonial Magick approach and vibrate Divine and Angelic names.
Vibratory formula is making your voice resonate with much energy, to the point that your entire body (and hopefully the surrounding area!) begin to shake. A sensitive person should be able to sense the change in atmosphere, while a skeptic will just stare at you and say something smart-ass.
A Hoodoo practitioner might recite a certain psalm or the prayer of a specific Saint to invoke Deity. A Voodoo practitioner might call out prayers of the Loa and a Golden Dawn magician might vibrate the qabalistic names of God (YHVH, ELOHIM, EHEIEH, ADONAI, etc) or the names of the Archangels (Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael). Other workers will use other methods, other names but all will ideally have some sort of line to the realm of Spirit.
Notice that I have framed this as being a vocal (out loud) phenomena. The voice should should be projected loudly (if possible) and assertively. The voice also has a strong correlation to the Element of Air, because our words travel by shaking the air, those frequencies bouncing off surfaces and other people’s eardrums.
However, we are going to talk about our prayers and our voices here as the agency of Spirit. Prayers and vocal cords are indeed very airy; of this, there is no doubt. However, we need some sort of mechanism to trigger Spirit and in this case, they get the job.
Additionally, we will be using the well-known items such as Sage and other burning materia magica for Elemental Air, in another segment.
In this installment, we examine Elemental Fire.
There are a variety of symbols you can use for Fire but why not just use actual Fire? Candles are cheap and plentiful, so go crazy with your bad self.
Red is the color of Elemental Fire, so I think it just makes good sense to use a red candle.
You can of course use a white candle, since we’re aiming at clearing astral funk. White is for purity or emptiness, clear space, total potential.
Likewise, you could use a color that is sacred to the particular God or Goddess you are working with. Barring a good reason for another color, I suggest sticking to red, because we’re thinking basic Elemental cleansing, here.
Many workers don’t bother with cleansing candles but I happen to think it’s a good idea, because candles pick up energy. If they don’t, why do we dress them with oils and charge them with our energy? Because they do, that’s why.
So, cleanse your candle. An easy way is to use Florida Water, because it’s a great all-around cleanser, with a long-standing reputation for cleansing people and the magickal stuffs that magickal people use. It has a high alcohol content, as well. This means it will literally kill germs both on the candle and your hands, as you apply it.
You could use some ocean water or Holy Water, too. At very least, a bit of rubbing alcohol and a prayer said over the candle will do.
In magick, the act of cleansing is often more important than the thing itself being clean. What I mean is that by going through the act of cleansing or consecrating an item, you are priming that object and your own body, mind and spirit for ritual use.
I personally like to inscribe my candles. Since I do a lot of traditional Golden Dawn work, I will usually inscribe my red, Fire candle with the name YHVH (aka the Tetragrammaton) the four-lettered name of God. Usually, I inscribe it in Hebrew but you can use English, too.
Something perticularly nerdy that I sometimes do is to inscribe the word Fire in the various languages associated with the Western magickal tradition. For example,
Ignis – Latin
Pyr – Greek
Asch – Hebrew
Ash – Egyptian
I’m just sharing a geeky technique with you, this is entirely optional. Not into Qabalah? You can use different words or names. If you are working with a specific Deity, you can inscribe their name. I’ve used a candle that was inscribed with the name Hekate to cleanse.
Just make sure that you use the name of a Deity that resonates well with Fire. You wouldn’t put the name Neptune or another Water God/dess on your Fire candle.
Please tell me you won’t do that. I’m waiting…
Now, once you’ve got your candle all clean and scribed up, you can add another, special touch… conjure oil! This is also optional but really ratchets the effectiveness up a notch.
Magickal oils fall mostly under the domain of Elemental Water (because it’s liquid) and there’s a crossover here, just like the fact that we are using Elemental Air (voice, written prayers and the voice) to activate the Element of Azoth or Spirit.
This is your cleansing candle (Fire), yes. However, it’s a great idea to dress it with an oil (Water) and as it burns, this will move into the atmosphere (Air) and leave some leftover wax (Earth), which you can break up and scatter at the corners of the outside of the building, or bury these bits there. For this process, you’ll want a protection, such as Fiery Wall of Protection, or a cleansing oil, like Van Van.
Once you have your candle dressed, begin your chosen form of prayer, be that an Orphic Hymn, the prayers of the Elementals found in the work of Eliphas Levi, or the names and prayers of particular Saints, Angels or even Demons (if you happen to be a Left Hand Path person). Michael, the name of the Archangel of Fire is particularly effective and I often inscribe his name in Hebrew into the candle.
Next, light your candle and begin to move through your space. There are a number of methods for where to start and where to end up. I like to begin at the front door and move counter-clockwise through the house or building, until I once again reach the front door. You can do it your own way, of course.
You will want to incorporate some sacred geometry into this work. By this, I mean that you can use an equal-armed cross (for balancing the energy of the room) or a Calvary Cross (for more Christian-centric work or even some forms of ancient Celtic practice).
You can use a pentagram for banishing; if so, I recommend you start at the bottom left and move up (this is known as a banishing pentagram).
You can also try a hexagram, starting with the upper triangle and following it with the bottom triangle. You may prefer to make these triangles counter-clockwise or clockwise. There are solid reasons behind each method.
In each room, you have one more decision to make. You can draw one of these figures of sacred geometry (or some other figure, central to your, individual Deity or practice) in the center of each room. Or, you can draw it over each individual wall of the room. Or, you can draw it in the air in each cardinal direction (East, South, West, North). All of these methods are valid.
Do make sure that you have your candle on a plate, so that you are not slinging melted wax everywhere. It’s a real drag to get colored candle wax in your nice carpet. If that does happen, get a paper bag and an electric iron. put the bag over the wax and the iron over the bag. The heat will draw most of the wax out of the carpet. However, it’s not likely to get all of it, so avoid this by moving slowly and carefully and have a plate under the candle.
Above all, do this work with full attention and reverence and have faith that it will cast out whatever needs out-casting.
Every so often, repeat the process. You can do all the Elements in a day, or one each day. It’s up to you. How often you go through them all is dependent upon the type of practice you have and the state of your world. If things are in turmoil, do it more often. If not, relax. However, I’d say that even in good times, once a month is a good idea.