To Be a Witch… A Life of Ritual and Devotion

It’s a common thing to hear that there’s a difference between our magical lives and our mundane lives. In reality, we have the ability to step into ritual and devotion each and every day.

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Ritual Elements Fire - Re-igniting the Spark

I've recently finished co-teaching a six week class titled "Elements of Magic". It is one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition.I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last post, I talked about my explorations with Air. Now I'm moving into Fire (cue music -The Ohio Players "Fire" )

Re-igniting The Spark -

The temperature in the forest has dropped to a cool 48F/9C degrees. The tops of the giant trees have been swallowed by an eerie fog and gravid drops of night-time dew are falling on the duff below. The heavy, deliberate "whooshing" of raven wings patrolling through the redwoods has been replaced with the frantic fluttering of smaller, more delicate creatures - bats, hundreds of bats. The darkness is beginning to play its tricks on my mind as shadows turn into the Fey, or is it the other way around? I can hear the drums beckoning me to ritual. Soon I'll be dancing around a great bonfire.

An orange-red tongue licks the edges of the kindling. Hiss! Crack! And the fire comes to life. I'm transfixed watching the curls of flame as they begin wrapping themselves around every log. The fire is growing, now taller than the top of the woodpile, now spreading out around the base. Each piece of wood becomes engulfed in blue, green, red and white fire. Welcome Fire! 

Heat. Passion. Sex. Flame. Action. Heat. Passion. Sex. Flame. Action. Heat. Passion. Sex. Flame. Action. 

A delicious mantra. A fierce call. Heat. Passion. Sex. Flame. Action - Each drum beat, each step fans my inner fire and calls me to dance.

I am one of a hundred witches circling, dancing, running and writhing around the fire. Some hold the edges, watching the spaces between lightness and darkness. Others circle their way around the incandescent blaze singing, stomping, losing themselves in the rhythm and the heat. I am standing as close to the flames as I can. Clothes have long since vanished. I'm dripping from head to toe with sweat and intention. My throat is dry and parched from singing and from inhaling fire smoke. I imagine myself a half-mad Gofannon at his forge. The heat of the fire is so intense here. Another step closer and I'll surely burst into flames myself. but like the moth to the candle, I'm drawn ever closer. I can't leave. I could stay here forever.

I am lost and I am found.

I am red velvet passion and I am scorching heat.

I am burning anger and I am white-hot love.

I am a source of light and I am a terrible conflagration.

Invoking Fire - (Gwion Raven)

b2ap3_thumbnail_Fire---Copy.jpg

Several hours later, the flames have transformed into an ordinary camp fire. A few musicians are strumming guitars. A handful of people are tucked into their camp chairs with blankets wrapped around their shoulders, staring at the embers, perhaps divining, perhaps dreaming. I can still feel the heat of the great fire on my skin and in my body. 

All fires are this Fire to me. Sitting here today, I can still reach back and feel this fire, this spark, this energy. I know that I carry it with me always. I know that at any given time I can be a welcoming fire full or warmth and light. With the addition of fuel, I can leap up into the night and be a beacon. I know that my fire can turn quickly and rage uncontrollably if I don't tend it well. I know that my fire can be embers, waiting to start another fire, another wild dance.

Each time I turn on a light, each time I ignite the gas burner on my stove top, each time I light a candle I remember that I contain a spark within me. This spark, this inner fire is what compels me to action, to teaching, to writing, to fiercely and relentlessly supporting those I call beloved.This Fire is part of my daily life and part of my daily practice. Fire. I honour you.

What is Fire to you?

 

 

Note: That's not me in the picture of the flames. I've felt like that though...often! Also, I found both of these pictures on the internet but couldn't find a source for them. If you come across them, please let me know and I'll credit the photographers.

 

 

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I've been a practicing witch and ritualist within the Reclaiming Tradition since 2003. I love being in service with this community of witches and world changers.   My own practice, my own way of changing the world is through devotional practice. It's my belief that we can re-enchant our lives by re-framing the so-called "mundane" as sacred and divine. By imbuing the familiar with a sense of wonder and infusing daily life with acts of magic, we choose to consciously make all of life devotion. Whether we engage in large, public rituals or sink sumptuously into the pure ecstasy of eating a delicious meal by ourselves or meditating at sunrise, our daily rituals can draw us back into harmony with the world and each other.  

Comments

  • Brittany Combee
    Brittany Combee Friday, 06 March 2015

    I have always been personally drawn to fire. In all technicalities, based off of my birthday, my element is earth. While I love the earth and everything about it, I feel more like I am truly a being of fire. The passion, creativity, energy, everything that represents fire is apart of who I am. Even before I realized all of this, I always had this fascination with fire. I remember as a little girl sitting there for hours watching my mom's candles, seeing how the fire moved in the slightest of breezes and moving in what seemed it's own dance. I would try to replicate that dance with my fingers, the way it moved so gracefully and passionately, though I never could come close to it I continued to try. A part of me always wanted to become the fire, be the fire, know how it felt and what it fed off, know what made it the way it was. I never saw fire as just fire, I always felt like there was something else to it and i still feel that way.
    Anyways, I got a little sidetracked here, I wanted to say that I love this post and the way you are describing the fire and how it made you feel is absolutely beautiful. I personally love to write and one day hope to become an English teacher for high school students. This is quite an exquisite work of art and I look forward to reading more of your blog posts.
    Blessed Be.

  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven Sunday, 08 March 2015

    Hello Brittany,

    Thank you for your thoughts and your experiences of Fire. Like you, I think I've always been drawn to Fire in all of it's lovely forms.

    Thank you so much for your kind words about the post.

    Gwion

  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan Sunday, 08 March 2015

    Beautiful, thank you! I love fire! It is passion, music, dance, community, transformation to me.

    My first meditation in my very first lesson on magic was writing on the elements, and I was hoping for an experience like yours, a connection to a bonfire, something like that. Instead I found myself on the top of mount Shasta with the entire southern horizon on fire as two converged before my eyes. Yikes!

  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven Monday, 09 March 2015

    Annika - What an incredible experience that must have been! I've been to Mount Shasta, so I can only imagine.

    Thank you for your comments -

    Gwion

  • Jeanine Byers
    Jeanine Byers Sunday, 29 March 2015

    I love fire, too! I've only recently come to realize it, though, that my love of candles and fireplaces and sunshine are all fire-related.

    Will now go check out your other elemental posts!

    I wandered through your website, too, and liked it. I'm interested in learning more about the Reclaiming tradition but am not sure how to do that since I'm not near any groups.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Jeanine

  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven Monday, 30 March 2015

    Hello Jeanie,

    Thank you for your comments. candles, sunshine and fires - yep! All big for me too.

    I hope the other elemental posts hold something interesting for you as well.

    There are lots of Reclaiming communities and groups around the world. I'd be happy to chat with you if you want more info on any groups that might be near you.

    Be well,

    Gwion

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