Invoking by the Fifth 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 by the Fifth Gate
The Gates of the Elements
The Practice of Druid Magic

Image This is the fifth invocation, done after you invoke and banish by air, fire, water, and earth, but no banishing is done with any of the three forms of spirit. Banishing belongs purely to the realms of the four material elements, since in the realms of spirit nothing needs banishing.

Spirit Below represents the deep places of the Earth. The world that human beings inhabit consists of four overlapping spheres, one each of fire, air, water, and earth—the upper atmosphere corresponding to fire; the lower atmosphere to air; the seas, rivers, lakes, and groundwater to water; and the solid crust of the planet, to earth. Below that lies a realm as alien to human life as the furthest reaches of outer space, a realm of unimaginable heat, pressure, and energy that drives the continents across the face of the planet and sets the land trembling with earthquakes. This is the realm of Spirit Below. Its symbol is the plain circle of Spirit.

To invoke Spirit Below, face the same direction you faced during the Elemental Cross. Trace a clockwise circle below and in front of you, as though tracing it over an altar. Visualize your fingers drawing the circle in orange flame, and fill it with paler, transparent orange flame. Then say words like these: “By the bright heart of the Earth Mother, and in the great name Ced, I invoke Spirit Below, its gods, its spirits, and its powers. May I receive the blessings of Spirit Below this day.”

In Welsh Druid lore, Ced is the goddess of living nature and the source of all life. Her name is pronounced “KEHD,” and means “bounty” or “help” in Welsh. If you prefer to work with Irish divinities, the goddess Danu, mother of all the gods and goddesses, is a good choice for this element. Christian Druids often invoke the Virgin Mary at this Station.

When you finish the invocation, pause for a time, and concentrate on Spirit Below. Picture in your mind's eye the ground beneath your feet, the soil and stone that belongs to the element of earth, and then go deeper, into the heart of the living planet itself. Feel the immense power that drives earthquakes and volcanoes, lifts mountains toward the sky, and moves entire continents across the face of the planet, and sense that same power surging through every living thing from the smallest microbe to the great whales and the tallest trees.

As you picture all this, feel the powers and blessings of Spirit Below flowing into you through your solar plexus. Imagine the rich harvest orange light of spirit below filling your body, and feel the life force of the planet leaping through your veins. Take as much time as seems appropriate for this visualization. Then say, “I thank Spirit Below for its gifts.”

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

Receptive Working

The deep places of the Earth are the home of the telluric current, one of the two primary currents of nwyfre used in Druid magic. The telluric current flows through the crust and takes on the qualities of stones and metals as it flows through them. It can be contacted anywhere in the realms of the four elements.

A useful way to draw on the telluric current is the receptive working for Spirit Below, the Telluric Nwyfre exercise. It should be done in a place where you can stand on bare ground, grass, or some other natural surface.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your elbows out a few inches from your sides, your forearms and hands parallel to the ground, wrists straight, palms facing down and fingers pointing forward, as though you were resting your hands and forearms on a flat surface to either side of you. Relax your arms as much as possible and spread your fingers gently apart. Try to feel the presence of the Earth beneath you; with practice, you'll begin to sense a current of energy flowing up from below. Breathe slowly and deeply for one to three minutes, feeling energy flowing into your fingertips.

Then bring them inward toward the vital center an inch below your navel, stopping a few inches from your body, palms toward you and fingertips nearly touching. Imagine the Earth currents flowing from your fingertips into the midline of your body. After a short time, move your hands slowly upward, maintaining the imagery, pouring the telluric current into the midline of your body from the vital center up to the throat center. At this point separate your hands, sweeping them up and out to your sides, and bow deeply, then return to the first position with hands turned toward the earth. Three or nine cycles of the exercise are enough.

Active Working

The active working for Spirit Below belongs to a more advanced level of practice and is covered in a later section of this book.