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

Image This is the sixth invocation, done after you invoke and banish by air, fire, water, and earth, and invoke Spirit Below. Spirit Above represents the universe beyond the limits of the Earth. Just as the world we inhabit, with its four elemental spheres, stops a few miles below our feet where the Earth's crust gives way to the mantle, it stops a few miles above our heads at the borders of space. Beyond these are the vast reaches where stars and planets circle through the void. This realm shares the same symbol as Spirit Below, the plain circle of spirit.

To invoke Spirit Above, turn to face the same direction you faced during the Elemental Cross. Trace a clockwise circle above you, visualizing it in violet flame. Fill it with paler, transparent violet flame. Then say words like these: “By the Sun in its glory, the father of light, and in the great name Celi, I invoke Spirit Above, its gods, its spirits, and its powers. May I receive the blessings of Spirit Above this day.”

In Welsh Druid traditions, Celi is the hidden god of the heavens, the original source of the three rays of light that brought the worlds into being. His name is pronounced “KEH-lee.” If you prefer to work with Irish gods and goddesses, the Dagda is a good choice for this element; his name, pronounced “DOY-da,” means “the excellent god,” and he is the father of the Irish gods. Christian Druids usually invoke Christ in this Station.

When you have finished the invocation, pause for a time, and concentrate on Spirit Above. Picture in your mind's eye the Sun at midheaven above you, surrounded by the planets in their orbits, with numberless stars scattered across the infinite heavens beyond. Sense the vastness of space, the cold pure starlight that fills it, and the perfect order that governs all the worlds in their courses.

As you picture all this, feel the powers and blessings of Spirit Above flowing into you. Imagine the intense purple light of Spirit Above filling your body through your solar plexus, and feel your awareness opening outward so that, for a moment, you seem to understand the whole cosmos. Take as much time as seems appropriate for this visualization. Then say, “I thank Spirit Above 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 Spirit Above, and then perform the Circulation of Light. Practice it until you have this phase of the ritual by heart, and can feel Spirit Above respond to the ritual. During the time you spend doing this, pay attention to any of the symbols of the Gate of Spirit Above that show up in other aspects of your life. You can also work with the realm of Spirit Above by using the following methods.


The heavens are a potent reservoir of power for magic, and every star and planet has its own magical energy that can be experienced and used. The most powerful and positive force in the skies of our Earth, though, is the Sun, the source of light and life for our world, and your work with Spirit Above should focus on the Sun's energy to begin with. Later, as you gain experience, you can study other branches of this lore.

A useful way to draw on Spirit Above through the light and nwyfre of the Sun is the Solar Nwyfre Exercise. This should be done in the morning, between dawn and 10:00 AM, when the skies are clear. Find a place outside where you can stand in the Sun's rays, wearing as little clothing as possible. Stand facing the Sun, your feet shoulder-width apart, your eyes closed, with as much of your body as possible in sunlight. Raise your arms out to the sides so that your arms extend to the sides in the form of a cross, your fingertips point out to the sides and your palms are turned to face the Sun. Relax your arms and gently spread your fingers. Breathe slowly, concentrating on feeling the sunlight soaking into your body, especially into your fingertips.

After one to three minutes, move both hands inwards to your head, stopping a few inches from your forehead, palms facing you, fingers nearly touching each other. Imagine the sunlight flowing from the fingertips into the middle of your head. Next, move your hands slowly down from forehead to solar plexus, maintaining the imagery, pouring light from your fingertips into the midline of your body. When your hands reach solar plexus level, sweep them out to the sides and bow as low as you can, then return to the first position with your arms spread wide to greet the Sun. Repeat the entire process three or nine times.

Active Method

As with Spirit Below, the active method of working with spirit above belongs to a more advanced level of practice and is studied in detail later in this book.