Invoking and Banishing by the Second Gate - The Gates of the Elements - The Practice of Druid Magic

The Druid Magic Handbook: Ritual Magic Rooted in the Living Earth - John Michael Greer 2008

Invoking and Banishing by the Second Gate
The Gates of the Elements
The Practice of Druid Magic

Image This is the second invocation and banishing, done after you invoke and banish air, and it follows the same pattern as the first.

Water in the Druid tradition has meanings not shared by other magical systems. Wisdom in the old Celtic lore is symbolized by a salmon who dwells in a sacred pool. To Druids, water is the element of learning, growth, and development, and it also has close symbolic connections to trees and other growing things. If air is the flash of inspiration that awakens the mind, water is the growth of wisdom through study, practice, and reflection. Its symbol is the triangle pointing down, representing water's downward movement.

To invoke and banish by water, turn to the west. With the first two fingers of your right hand trace a triangle with one point down, as shown in figure, starting at the bottom point and tracing clockwise. Visualize it in blue flame, and then fill it with paler, transparent blue flame. Then say words like these: “By the salmon of wisdom who dwells in the sacred pool, and in the great name Esus, I invoke the water, its gods, its spirits, and its powers. May I receive the blessings of water this day.” Esus was originally a god of the Celts of Gaul, and almost nothing is known nowadays about him or the traditions surrounding him. Back in the nineteenth century, however, Druids began invoking Esus as the chief of all tree spirits, a god of wisdom who sits in the first fork of the sacred oak. This is how he is invoked here; his name is pronounced “EH-suus,” with the Welsh u again. If you prefer an Irish god, invoke Manannan, the Irish sea god; his name is pronounced “mah-NAHN-un.” If you prefer Christian symbolism, Saint Gabriel the archangel is invoked in this quarter, and if you prefer not to work with personal powers, of course, simply leave out any name.

Pause for a time, and concentrate on water. Imagine the largest natural body of water in the region where you live. If you live on the seacoast, imagine the ocean reaching out in front of you; if you live near a lake or river, imagine that; if you live in the desert, and water appears only in springs in rock clefts, imagine one of these. Weave the sounds of water, whether those are rolling waves or the trickling of a spring, and the scents of water into your imagery. As you picture all this, feel the powers and blessings of water flowing into you through your solar plexus. Imagine your body filled with the blue light of water, and feel yourself becoming so fluid and responsive that nothing can contain or restrict you.

Then say, “I thank the water for its gifts,” and trace the symbol counterclockwise, again from the bottom of the triangle. Say words like the following: “And with the help of the powers of water, I banish from within me and around me all unbalanced manifestations of water. I banish them far away from me.” Concentrate on the idea that all unbalanced factors in your life are swept away and drowned in the depths. Take as much time as you need on this visualization.

For the next two or three weeks, include this section in your daily practice: perform the Elemental Cross, then invoke and banish by air, then invoke and banish by water, then perform the Circulation of Light. Practice it until you have this phase of the ritual by heart, and can feel the water respond to the ritual. During the time you spend doing this, pay attention to any of the symbols of the Gate of Water that show up in other aspects of your life. You can also work with the realm of water by using the following methods.

Receptive Working

The waters of the world provide a reservoir of nwyfre that can be used in your work as a Druid mage. For countless centuries, peoples around the world have recognized certain springs and other water sources as specially sacred. If you have access to one or more traditionally sacred sources of water, or know a source of water that seems sacred to you, you can use the water for a wide range of magical purposes. Drinking the water from such a place, bathing in it, or laving (washing a part of your body, such as the third eye center in your forehead) with it, can amplify your spiritual development. When you use the water in one of these ways, clear your mind of thoughts and simply be aware of the water as clearly as possible. Allow its energies to work in their own way.

Water also absorbs nwyfre from other sources, and you can use it to purify yourself or anything else by washing. Cold water—as close as possible to 39°F, the temperature at which water absorbs nwyfre most effectively—is best for this purpose. If you spend time around people or places that make you uncomfortable, washing with cold water is a good way to clear away the unwanted nwyfre and the moods or emotional states it brings with it. Bathing in cold water, preferably in a stream or the ocean, is also a very effective way to prepare for magical work or any form of spiritual development.

Active Working

You can also charge water with your own intentions, in much the same way that you charge air in the process of color breathing. Take a glass or other drinking vessel of water, and hold it in front of you with both hands. State your intention in a single sentence, phrase, or word, just as you did in preparation for color breathing, but concentrate on the idea that the intention flows into the water and charges it. Then imagine that the color corresponding most closely to your intention is flowing into the water from all over the universe, coloring the water more and more intensely. Build this imagery as intensely as possible, and then drink the water, concentrating on the idea that you are absorbing the energy you have called into the water.

If you decide to use this method to help you remember your dreams, for example, you might state your intention as “I remember all my dreams,” saying these words aloud while holding a glass of water in both hands. Next, imagine blue light flowing toward the glass from every part of the universe, concentrating in the water and turning it bright blue. Hold this image for some time, imagining the water becoming more and more intensely blue, and then drink the water, feeling the blue light flowing into you and improving your ability to remember dreams.