Today’s Runes for July 12 is Dagez

Dagez means daylight, and represents divine light. This rune generally refers to dawn (the initial sparking of energy) or to midday (the climax of energy). Both dawn and midday are symbolic of change, but unlike the changes in the perpetual circle of the year which are slow and subtle, the changes over a day are much faster and more dramatic. The breaking of a new day is symbolic of the rapid illumination of dismal circumstances, and is suggestive of Satori. Be careful – although this rune generally suggests a positive change, the symbology of a peaking point suggests that there must be a change downward as well. Fortunately for some, this rune is cyclic and irreversible, and so permanence is not promised – the only thing you can be sure of is an exciting ride.

WHY DO MAGICK?

WHY DO MAGICK?

Magick encompasses many things — science and art,

philosophy and metaphysics, psychology and comparative

religion. Magick is an adventure at the borderlands of the

unknown. It can fit the pieces of the puzzel of life into a

meaningful whole.

_Magick is fun_ and interesting. Use magick to help

raise consciousness without drugs. Gain new experiences.

Fantacy can come alive through magick. Psychic phenomena can

be controlled and be fun and helpful.

_Magick is beneficial_. It can help you to have

excellent health, and bring you good luck. With magick life

runs smoothly; life is good. Also use magick for personality

improvement, to control bad habits and to develop new

motivations.

_Magick is powerful_. Never underestimate the

tremendous power of magick. Use magick to alter events and to

achieve your goals. Exert an influence over people and

phenomena. But power for its own sake is self defeating. The

power which magick can give you should not be your primary

reason for studying it.

OIL SCRYING

OIL SCRYING

The history of oil scrying can be traced back to the ancient Babylonians. Some of their magic books have survived down through the centuries with details of the methods they used.
One of their techniques was called the “Princess of the Thumb”. A scryer annointed the forehead and thumbnail of a subject. The shiny nail acted as a magic mirror in which the scryer saw spirits. Another version was called the “Princess of the Hand”. Oil was mixed with black soot to make a black paste that was then smeared upon the hand. The scryer then used the hand as a mirror to scry future events.
A third type of oil scrying was called the “Princess of the Cup”. Sesame seed oil was used to coate the inside of a cup that was rested on its side.
The cup was used as a concave magic mirror to capture and magnify the light of a candle that was fixed on its inner rim.
From the Babylonians oil scrying found its way to the Egyptians and Hebrews. The most detailed examples of oil scrying are written in the Greek Magical Papyri written in Egypt between 200 B.C. and A.D. 500.
Four kinds of water which is to be mixed with the oil is used for four types of divination.
If you call upon the services of the heavenly Gods then use rainwater. If you invoke the terrestrial Gods then use sea water. If you invoke the Gods Osiris or Serapis use riverwater. And if you call upon the souls of the dead then use spring water.

THE ART OF SCRYING

THE ART OF SCRYING

Some people have a natural aptitude for scrying. They only have to walk past a shallow puddle in the road, glance at a piece of black glass, admire the glossy fur of a black cat or look at a wet patch on a black rubbish sack and numerous images flood into their minds. Others have to spend days, weeks, months, even years, mastering this apparently simple technique, staring into elaborate black mirrors and seeing nothing but their own dark reflection – frustrating indeed – and of course, that very frustration makes things more difficult. As with all magic, it needs to be taken seriously, but with a playful and curious state of mind. Trying too hard is counterproductive.

One of the things which makes scrying so hard for some people to do is that, like meditation, it requires an altered state of consciousness to be achieved, but with the eyes open. In meditation, pathworking, and in parts of a ritual, most people prefer to work with their eyes closed because this makes an altered state so much easier to reach and to maintain.

Those who can scry in anything are fortunate to have this magical skill so long as they are able to switch it off at will and do not become completely distracted every time they see a shiny black surface. For the rest of us there are many things we can experiment with to make scrying easier – and different things will work for different people.

Dark water is a good way to start, not least because it is easily available and costs nothing. A pool can be lovely to scry in, though I would recommend sitting or kneeling down to do so, since it is very easy to forget what your body is doing once your mind becomes absorbed, and it is somewhat undignified to fall into the (possibly stagnant) water at a moment of great revelation. A black bowl filled with water is another method and has the advantage of being safe and suitable for indoor use. Tap water is fine, but spring water will probably work better. Perhaps the best kind of water to use is Moon water: spring, rain or sea water which has been placed in the Moonlight every night for a whole lunar cycle. The water can be blessed in whatever way you feel is appropriate, possibly dedicated to one of the Moon goddesses who rule such activities as these.

An alternative to using a black bowl is simply to use any dish but to darken the water with black ink. The old witch in her cottage would doubtless have done her scrying in a bubbling cauldron of stew or in the water boiling in an iron pot ready to make up some herbal brews. Red wine (especially elderberry) or dark beer both make good scrying material, though definitely not after drinking any of it! Coca Cola would probably be effective too, though I have never tried it. The possibilities are endless…

Personally I find black mirrors easiest to use because they don’t slop about like water (at least not under normal circumstances!). They are expensive to buy but very easy to make. Spray the back of the glass from a cheap clip frame with a couple of coats of black enamel paint. Make sure the glass is spotlessly clean before you do so as any little marks may spoil your concentration when you come to use it. Once the paint is completely dry, return the glass to the frame. Bless the mirror if you wish to and treat it with the respect due to any magical object. It can be kept hanging on the wall or put away after use, wrapped in a natural material like silk or cotton. If you prefer something a little more fancy, charity shops are excellent hunting grounds for interesting frames. Even better, you could make your own out of wood (carved, if you are skilled in that craft), papier mâché, textiles, or anything else that appeals to you. Indeed the more effort you put into making it, the more personal it will become – imbued with your own energy, in tune with you, and therefore easier for you to use. The size of the mirror is not important, although if you are just learning the technique, a larger surface area will probably prove easier to use. I would also avoid too elaborate a frame on a small mirror as it may prove unhelpful.

Once you have mastered this art, you can do it anywhere and in any light, but at first it is best to be in a dimly lit area, possibly using candles. The bowl or mirror needs to be placed at a height and angle which are comfortable, so that you can sit relaxed and breathe calmly and easily. Candles or other lighting will need to be in a position where their reflection will not bother you. Do not be disheartened if nothing happens for a while. It is a knack and perseverance pays off in the end.

A further use of this art is to communicate with another person, such as a magical partner, especially if they live a long way away and you cannot meet very often. Each person should have their own mirror, dedicated solely to this purpose. Ideally the mirrors should be identical and made by the people involved on an occasion when they are together, to ensure the closeness of the link. When separated both people look into the mirror at an agreed time and a good psychic channel of communication can be set up. With practice, it becomes possible to call the other person to the mirror if you really need to talk to them at a time when you have not agreed to “meet”.

Scrying is a magical art with many possibilities. Exactly what it is and how it works is for each individual practitioner to decide for themselves, but it will certainly enhance and focus both the psychic and creative abilities of the magician who is drawn into dark pools to find the bright treasure of secret knowledge.

TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR SCRYING

TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR SCRYING

  • A short meditation session before you begin to scry often helps to get you into the mood and release some of your tension. You must be feeling as relaxed and receptive as possible. Make sure that you are sitting as comfortably as possible. It is quite frustrating to be on the verge of perceiving something when a leg or arm falling asleep breaks your concentration.
  • When you look into your scrying tool, try to look past the surface and into the center of it.Try to keep your eyes fixed on one spot, but don’t prevent yourself from blinking. Since you are in a dark room, the need to blink might lessen as your body relaxed, but don’t try to force yourself not to. That will only cause discomfort and distraction.
  • Limit your sessions to a set period of time. Don’t be discouraged if you can not remain focused during the entire session or if you feel the need to stop before the session is over. If you are not used to meditating, try to start out with a 15 minute session. You will be surprised to experience how long 15 minutes will see as you try to keep your mind from wandering. Ultimately, scrying sessions should last up to an hour in length. Don’t set a timer or try to keep track of time. This will create a distraction and you don’t want to be in the middle of a particularly vivid image when the timer goes off!
  • Keep in mind that though the words “vision” and “scry” almost always call to mind information that is perceived with the eyes, that this is not necessarily the case. While scrying, information can come to you via all five of the senses and also as intuitive flashes. When reviewing the information that you have perceived, take all you senses into account.
  • Start a scrying journal if you intend to scry on a regular basis. Date each entry, and make sure that it is close by during each scrying session. Note down all your perceptions after your session, sleep on them, and then work on interpreting them the next day. Though it is true that some visions come through so clearly that they need little interpretation, most of the time you need to meditate on your visions for a while to absorb their true meanings.
  • If you are familiar with another method of divination (Ruins, Tarot, Pendulum, etc.) you can use their help with interpreting the information you get from scrying. Simple one card/one ruin spreads are the best to give you an overview of your vision’s meaning. Or if you are familiar with a dream interpretation spread, you can use that to help you figure it out.
  • Often at the beginning of a scrying session, you will start to see clouds of colors in your scrying tool. Some scryers never get past this stage. If you find this to be the case, you can interpret the colors using traditional color symbolism.

Introduction To Scrying – The Magickal Mystery Tour

Introduction To Scrying

The Magickal Mystery Tour

The first scrying technique is very simple, and can be very entertaining. The results you get with this method can range from silly to sublime, from inconsequential to important, depending on the conditions of the moment. This method lets you acquire a feel for the ways in which your unconscious mind symbolizes things, and gives it some practice in doing so in a non-critical situation.

Enter your magickal space and re-affirm your safety there, using the method previously described. Then go to some familiar outdoor location in your space, and look around to establish your bearings and the relative positions of the other familiar regions.

Having done this, imagine that these familiar territories are surrounded by vast areas about which you know nothing as yet, in which anything at all might be happening at any given moment. Decide that you are going to take a walk and look around some part of those areas. Then look around you again, pick a direction, and start walking. As you move out of your familiar areas, don’t try to imagine that you will find any particular features in the landscape, and don’t try to look for any particular thing. Let the your imagination fill in the features of the areas you pass through without interference.

Move around in the wilderness until you find some interesting item. It might be an interesting natural feature, an object, a building, a person or animal. Examine the object or explore the building, remembering that everything unusual has some sort of meaning in a magickal space. If nothing clear comes to you, move along in the direction you were going. Sometimes it happens that several locations in sequence tell a story that isn’t clear until you have been to all of them; other times, the first locations you come to simply aren’t very important.

Talk to a person or animal as if they existed independently of yourself; treat them with the respect and politeness you would give to any stranger you encounter in an isolated place; try to maintain a friendly and unthreatening attitude no matter what the being does, and remember that since all this is taking place in your private world, you are perfectly safe. Don’t try to script their actions, just let them speak and act spontaneously. Asking a person you meet to tell you about himself and what he is doing will nearly always get a positive response.

If the person does not acknowledge your presence, or does not respond to your queries, then watch what they are doing for a time, until you don’t see any point in continuing to do so. Then move on to another location. If they do respond, when you have run out of questions then ask them if there is anything else interesting to see in the neighborhood, and follow any directions they might give you.

Usually such explorations will tell you something about yourself, your life-situation, or your current magickal environment. It will all be in symbolic form, of course; the obvious meaning of the events won’t always be their deepest significance. But once you understand the symbolism, the results usually turn out to be something useful or interesting, though not always important.

This method is particularly good for those times when you know something important is going on in the magickal side of your life, but you can’t tell what it is. It is also very good for any situation where you aren’t certain what questions you should be asking. To use the method in such a way, hold the idea that you need information or answers in your mind while you are picking the direction for your tour, and try to sense the direction in which the answers lie; there will always be such a direction. Then go in that direction and continue finding interesting things until you feel like you have received all of the answer; this will usually manifest as a sense of relief or a reduction in some vaguely-sensed pressure. Then consider the things you have seen in relation to your current situation; the meanings they contain will usually provide essential clues you need.

Introduction To Scrying – A Magickal Space for Enochian Scrying

Introduction To Scrying

A Magickal Space for Enochian Scrying

Since the Enochian powers are so sensitive to the visual symbols in a magickal space, the general-purpose magickal space developed in the preceding sections of this paper is likely to be inappropriate for Enochian work. The profusion of objects with which you have populated the landscape would all tend to anchor the forces in unexpected or undesired forms. A space with a more neutral visual appearance needs to be used.

A woman I once met made a habit of surveying people about the appearance of their magickal spaces. Amusingly, nearly all the Enochian magicians she knew (most of whom did not know the others) had chosen to build essentially identical spaces for their work. This space might thus be considered an archetypal Enochian workplace. It consists of a broad, gray plain, surrounded at the horizon by low hills; both plain and hills are illuminated in a flat, sourceless light of relatively low intensity. Overhead, there is a night-sky filled with stars. The plain is large enough that the magician always has a previously-unused area available in which to perform a new series of invocations.

The remaining few magicians in her survey had chosen to go even further in the direction of minimalism than this Michael Moorcock landscape. Their workspaces consisted solely of a clear space within a gray mist, with a featureless gray floor underneath, created ab initio for every invocation.

My feeling is that the plain has a slight advantage as a workspace. It allows for the establishment of long-term or permanent structures, useful for advanced works in which the invocations must be done in section, or for building a temple appropriate to a range of Enochian works.

Scrying Techniques for Enochian Magick

Both the “magick mirror” technique and its extension as a “gate” work as well with Enochian powers as they will with other, more conventional magickal powers. I would recommend that you create a new mirror in your Enochian workplace for every series of invocations that you do, and destroy it after completing the series. Since the Enochian powers tend to accumulate over time, this prevents residual forces from previous works from interfering with a new work.

However, as mentioned above, it is often necessary to provide a firm visual anchor for Enochian powers; you may find that the mirror technique is insufficiently exact, and only gives you confused or contradictory results. If that is the case, one of the following methods will be more effective.

The Golden Dawn devised a technique for using visualizations of truncated pyramids as the starting point for visions of individual squares from the Tablets. This practical method has been proven by use to be very effective, precisely because it provides a well-defined symbolic “anchor” for the Enochian powers. I recommend this technique for beginners, both for this reason and because it tends to focus the powers into their most “earthly”, most readily-comprehensible form.

The basic technique is to build a truncated pyramid in your magickal space. The flat top has an area one-ninth the area of its base. The relative sizes of the top and bottom means the sides are tilted inwards at an angle of forty-five degrees. The letter of the square is visualized on the flat top. The sides of the pyramid are colored and labeled with symbols and images according to a complex system of attributes.

(The G.D. system of attributes is described in detail in book 4 of Regardie’s The Golden Dawn; my own alternate system (which I believe to be a substantial improvement over the G.D. system) is described in the papers titled “Godzilla Meets E.T.”, which can be found at: http://www.hermetic.com/browe/index.html. The pyramid method works very well with either system.)

The pyramid is visualized as being large enough to stand on the top. Having vibrated the appropriate Calls for the name in which the square lies, the magician then stands on top of the pyramid in his astral body, and vibrates the hierarchy of names. As he vibrates each name, the magician imagines the power of that name gathering around the pyramid.

When the last name is vibrated, the magician imagines that each side of the pyramid is gathering in the attracted energy, each taking the type appropriate to its attributes and symbols. This energy is seen moving upwards, being focused as it goes by the narrowing of the sides. The flows of energy from the sides reach the top simultaneously, run into each other, and form a beam of light shining up and outwards into the astral worlds, forming a path to a region of magickal space governed by the square. The magician then follows this beam in his astral body until a landscape or other scene forms around him. This scene should symbolize various aspects of the square invoked. From that point, the techniques describe earlier can be used to explore the region.

I prefer a variation of this method, in which the magician stands inside the pyramid. When the energies traveling up the sides reach the top, they come together on the letter and then shine downwards into the pyramid, illuminating the interior. The angel governing the square is invoked to visible appearance within the pyramid and is tested there. After testing, the angel conducts the magician to various scenes that illustrate the square’s nature.

Since a session using this technique only explores the power of one letter of an angel’s name, you only get a partial view of the angel’s nature. To fully understand an angel, all the letters of its name should be explored in sequence.

When you wish to invoke all of an angel’s powers at once rather than a single letter, it is more convenient to make your anchoring image something like a magickal circle, or a talisman sufficiently large that you can stand on it. A example design for such a circle would have the divine names superior to the given angel written around the rim of the circle. The name of the angel being invoked would be written within the circle, oriented so that it appears upright when you are facing in the direction in which you want the angel to appear. If the angel is associated with a particular magickal formula (e.g., Kerubic angels and the INRI formula) symbols appropriate to that formula might also be drawn within the circle.

Note that the intent of this figure is much closer in function to a talisman than to the traditional idea of a magickal circle. It is not intended to block off its interior from the exterior areas; you should feel free to move in and out of it at will. Nor is it intended to “contain” the invoked force. Rather, the idea is that the charged figure will serve to attract the attention of the appropriate being — like putting a big illuminated sign saying “Land Here!” next to a runway — and will also serve to condition the surrounding magickal space so that it reflects the nature of the invoked powers.

Vibrate the appropriate Calls several times; then enter the magickal space and create the circle. Vibrate the divine and angelic names, and as you feel the invoked power arrive, direct it into the lines and letters in the circle so that they glow and re-radiate the power to the surrounding environment. Keep vibrating the names until the intensity of invoked power seems to level off, then vibrate only the name of the being you wish to contact, asking it to appear before you. Vibrate the angel’s name until it does appear; then apply the tests, and ask the angel what you will.

Calling the angel to the circle is my personal preference; I would rather have the guide take me to the place I want to go than go there first and find a guide afterwards. The reverse may be more comfortable for you. If that is the case, you can vary the above method by concentrating the invoked force in the circle instead of allowing it to radiate. Then imagine that the force is creating a “gate” to the power’s magickal space; imagine the center of the circle opening up as the magick mirror did in the earlier exercises, so that you can step directly through it into that space. Or you can imagine that the powers form a beam of light shooting up from the circle, which you can ride to the powers’ space.

Introduction To Scrying – Scrying with the Enochian Magick

Introduction To Scrying

 

Scrying with the Enochian Magick

There are several considerations for Enochian magick work that do not apply to scrying using other systems.

The first of these is the unquestionable power of the Calls and the divine and angelic names. As Crowley once said, other systems require effort; Enochian magick requires caution. While the power built up in any one session is almost never of an unmanageable level, some effects of the magick tend to accumulate across sessions; it is easy for an overeager beginner to get in deeper than he expects. Added to this, the powers invoked through the Calls seem to enter into the magician’s field of awareness along some spiritual dimension that is outside those we consider “normal”; it seems to operate through some sort of meta-space with qualities different from those that compose the magickal worlds to which we are accustomed.

The consequence of these factors is that any work with the magick places a certain amount of stress on the magician’s mind and body, and over-use can lead to various stress-related forms of illness. Anyone working regularly with the magick should keep an eye out for signs of this stress in himself. The typical symptoms are similar to those that come from abusing methedrine or “speed”: nervous exhaustion, severely lowered immune response, inability to concentrate, hypersensitivity, hyper-reactivity, reduced judgment, flights of ideas, and paranoia.

One time in my own career, the stress of overusing this magick combined with an equally stressful mundane occupation to give me the worst of both the physical and mental consequences. On the physical side, I contracted mononucleosis, effectively stopping all my magickal work for six months or so. On the mental side, the changed viewpoint and loss of judgment caused me to make seditious remarks to a class of Federal employees I was training, resulting in the loss of my livelihood.

So caution is well-justified. But with a few easy, obvious precautions, these problems can be avoided.

  • Avoid using the magick at times when other parts of your life are unusually stressful. Try to arrange your affairs so as to reduce the social and economic pressures to the minimum level compatible with your needs.
  • Get regular exercise; a healthy body handles stress better.
  • Don’t use recreational drugs while working with the magick. Aside from being illegal (jail is a poor place for magickal work), all of them add to the stress on your body. Most stimulants and sedatives also reduce your magickal sensitivity and ability to focus in your magickal space. Hallucinogens make you _too_ sensitive, and reduce your level of control.
  • Learn to pace yourself. When first starting out, allow a day or two between Enochian invocations to absorb the results and “cool off”. Later, when you get to the point where you need to accumulate power over several day’s worth of invocations, allow at least as many days off after the series as you spent in doing the work. Take longer vacations from the work every few months to keep yourself grounded.

The importance of pacing yourself cannot be overemphasized. When you begin getting significant results from your Enochian work, it is very tempting to keep going; the anticipation of even more amazing results drives you on. But the extra-dimensional or meta-dimensional character of these forces allows them to influence all levels of your being simultaneously, including many levels of which you are not consciously aware. The cumulative effects of this influence can cascade into a dangerous level of stress before you become aware of it. Regular intervals of rest and relaxation, and of immersion in the everyday world, are the only sure way to avoid the problems.

Another difficulty, which bears more directly on scrying, is that the Calls allow you to invoke a force without having any knowledge of its nature. In normal methods of invocation, one begins with a symbol or set of symbols, and seeks by their use to bring about the manifestation of the corresponding powers. The symbols you use define the power to be invoked. In contrast, the Calls produce a manifestation of power regardless of whether you comprehend their symbolic content.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that, from a perspective accustomed to the traditional magickal powers (i.e., the elements, planets, and zodiac) the nature of the invoked powers seems to change depending on the depth of one’s penetration into their realms. Or from another angle, the Calls and Names open up different realms, depending on the level of existence at which you are operating. On the most superficial level, they appear to be more or less “elemental” in nature, with an overlay related to the functions of the angels’ specific offices; but at “deeper” or “higher” levels, this elemental aspect fades, to be replaced by a succession of increasingly complex and inclusive expressions that may bear little or no relation to the most superficial appearance.

Unless the magician supplies an explicit set of symbols to which the invoked powers can be anchored, the powers will tend to remain in an indeterminate state; a sort of “fuzzy cloud” of energy which contains all the power’s potential expressions, but which manifests none of them explicitly. A visual symbol used as an anchor causes this indeterminacy to “collapse” into that aspect of the power which is most nearly similar to the symbol’s innate associations. The congruency between the symbol and the invoked power does not have to be very great. It is sufficient that some small aspect of the symbol’s associations be similar to the power’s; the major associations of the symbol can be entirely inappropriate, and this collapse will still occur.

So the symbol the scryer uses will determine, in part, the initial manifestation of an invoked Enochian power; the scryer’s expectations or preconceptions of the power’s nature will also be partially determining. This accounts for the documented fact that different magicians have produced widely varying — sometimes even contradictory — results using the system. However, it is my observation that with repeated invocations and scryings, the true nature of the invoked power will break through these initial, superficial expressions. The longer you work with a particular Enochian power, the more closely your results will accord with that nature, and the deeper you will penetrate into the realms to which the power connects.

Since penetration past the sometimes-deceiving surface manifestations takes time, orderly, methodical work habits are necessary to get the most value of your Enochian work. The fact that invocations have a cumulative effect can be used to advantage if you plan out your course ahead of time, and stick to it. The following suggestions will all enhance the effectiveness of your Enochian scryings:

  • For every angel or other power that you invoke, do several scrying sessions. Allow time for a connection to be built up between you and the angel, and for your mind to become accustomed to its power.
  • Work for an extended period solely with powers from a single Tablet. Or if you are working with the Aethyrs or the 91 Parts of the Earth, pick a set of contiguous Aethyrs or Parts and do them sequentially.
  • If you are invoking single squares of some angelic or divine name, plan to do all the squares of that name in sequence.
  • Plan out a series of invocations to investigate all the angels of a given rank within one of the Tablets, in some logical sequence. Complete the series before working with any other rank or Tablet. Alternately, plan out a series to investigate all the powers within a given Lesser Angle, in order of rank.

 

The Sacred Symbology of Trees

The Sacred Symbology of Trees

Author: Eldyohr

It is difficult to imagine a more perfect symbol than the tree. This may seem a bit odd at first glance, especially in comparison with other such powerful symbols as the pentacle, the cross, Thor’s hammer, etc. On both a physical and spiritual level, however, the tree provides a symbol that speaks to any and all earth-based religions in a powerful and meaningful way. The best way to begin is by noticing the appearance of the tree in various world religions and mythologies.

Trees have been sacred for as long as we have had the written word and probably long before that. The sorcerer of Trois Ferrois was depicted next to a tree and is one of the oldest known glyphs of in mythico-religious iconography.

The Hebrew Goddess, Asherah, who was later known as Ishtar, Astarte, or Inanna, had as her sacred symbol the tree groves. The druids long held trees, especially the oak, ash, and yew, to be sacred and divine symbols and their bardic schools were located within the heart of the forests.

In the dying/resurrecting God myths, the tree plays a prominent role. Christ was sacrificed on a cross made from a tree, Odin hung himself from Yggdrasil to gain the secret of the runes, and Osiris’ maimed body was recovered by Isis from the root of a tree and later resurrected. The most ancient cross-cultural symbolic representation of the universe’s construction is the world tree.

For instance, the Norse considered Yggdrasil, a giant Ash, to be the central structure of their various worlds and, in essence, it contained all of the worlds within it. Other examples of trees featured in mythology are the Bodhi tree in Buddhism and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in Judaism.

In folk religion and folklore, trees are often said to be the homes of tree spirits. The tree plays a central role in world mythology and religious iconography, but why would its inclusion be of such importance to religions with such widely different belief systems?

The tree is powerful for human beings because it mirrors, symbolically, the way we should be living our own lives. First of all, the tree is rooted to the earth; it is grounded. Just as the Muladhara chakra at the base of the spine, grounds all of our spiritual energy, so the tree is grounded to the earth.

Grounding is as important as reach enlightenment. If we are always trying to spiritual and focused on the heavens, we will not be able to care for our physical needs. As pagans, we celebrate our physical life so grounding is especially important and almost sacred to us.

The tree is rooted in the earth, but it grows upward and its branches constantly stretch out and reach towards the heavens (for sunlight) . Just as it is important for us to be grounded, it is equally important to strive towards something greater than our physical selves, or at least to have recognition of it.

Pagans meditate, pray, celebrate the sabbats and commune with their Gods. All of these actions move away from the strictly physical and open us up to the spiritual. Thus the tree is grounded in the earth, but reaches towards heaven. Like the trees, we should be rooted in reality, but striving towards the spiritual until we unite the two in the dance of life, symbolically represented by Shiva’s dancing form.

The tree, like the pentacle, also represents the elements of the world in which we live. The pentacle has four points representing earth, air, fire, and water while the fifth point represents the spirit that binds them all. The tree also symbolizes these qualities. The roots of the tree draw up the water from the deep earth for nourishment. The tree is rooted in the earth and the soil provides nutrients for its continued development and growth.

The tree takes the carbon dioxide exhaled by humans and uses it to assist with its energy requirements. It is interesting to note that the tree exhales, as it were, oxygen. Thus we live with the trees in a symbiotic relationship proving the tree with the carbon dioxide it needs, while they provide us with the oxygen we need. Finally, the tree uses the sunlight for photosynthesis to create its own food via internal chemical reactions (fire) . As discusses earlier, the model of the tree being grounded, but reaching for the heavens is a symbol of spirit. Thus, the tree shares the major symbologies of the pentacle.

The tree is also symbolic of the cycle of death and rebirth. Some trees follow the natural cycles of the seasons. They blossom in spring and thrive in the summer. The light of the God brings them renewal and life. The leaves begin to change and the trees symbolically begin to die in the fall and meet their death in the winter when the light of the God resides in the womb of the mother. This cycle repeats itself every year and we can see in the trees the truth of our being. On the other hand, some trees are deciduous and thrive the entire year and this, too, is symbolic. Our true selves, the essence or soul, never dies, but lives on after death in a different form. So while certain trees provide a reminder of physical death and rebirth, other trees serve as a reminder of the eternity of our spirit. In many of the world mythologies, the tree is central to the dying/resurrecting myth of the Gods, such as Odin, Osiris, and Christ.

In summary, the tree provides a near perfect symbol for the pagan. It is a reminder to be both earthly and spiritual, it is reflective of the elements that created and sustain life, and it is a symbol of death and rebirth. While the pentacle and other such symbols may be as equally powerful in their own way, the tree is something we see every day and they as diverse as the people who see them. We have fat, skinny, tall, short, green, and variegated trees reflecting the diversity inherent in our world.

The next time you see a tree, stop and spend a moment with it. Look at its roots and its mighty branches. Sit beneath its canopy and listen to its story for it is a story of magick and hope.