Craft Notes: The Sign of The Crossroads

Friends,

Good News! I recently unlocked the “Does Idiosyncratic magick stuff based on experience and inspiration” achievment!

So, as I have been diving back into my practices and my Craft one of the things I have been doing is exploring different forms of Witchcraft and different and unfamiliar practices, like ploughing the furrow or laying a compass rather than casting circle.  Useful rites, each with their own pluses and minuses, but with some very different ways of relating to the Universe.

In my readings and multimedia wanderings on the topic of Witchcraft, and a lot of re-readings of bits from books in my personal library, I have been reading up of Traditional Witchcraft and was still fascinated by “The Crossroads Rite” by Christopher Orapello and Tara-Love Maguire.  I first came across it in the intro to their Down At The Crossroads podcast, and they also feature both the words and the associated working in their book Besom, Stang and Sword.  Laying down a Crossroads and calling on those energies wherever one happens to be.

These many sources and ideas were playing about in the back of my mind when I was invited to my friend T’s new house for a visit on the Winter Solstice.  I offered a gift of some magick and some sort of blessing or protection working for her new place.

Her partner was working, and is not as into the woo as some of the rest of us, so it was myself, my partner J, one of our BFF’s M, and Ms T.  All Witches of varying levels of experience and practice and lapsed or semi-lapsed status at the time.  My partner at one point joked we should just use the simple protective circle chant “Circle circle, Round round, Protect me now from Sky to Ground”, and call it a day.  Matt and Tara countered with their preferred version, “Round round, Wrap around, Protect me now from Sky to Ground.” Which I rather liked, in part because certain sections of my brain immediately started trying to filk the poem to the scansion of Dead or Alive’s 1985 hit You Spin Me Round.

Yes, I am kind of old and do have a warped sense of humor… why do you ask?

Now T’s house is near a four way intersection, a literal crossroads; and her quiet driveway fronts onto a busy road a second metaphorical crossroad. Over the course of the evening I talked with her about the sort of energies she wanted in her home and what kind of vibe she needed for her house. I also looked at things like the alignment of the house to the cardinal directions, the physical layout, the current and planned functions of various spaces, any current energy, including a very large metallic upright pentacle wall hanging in the bedroom… I decided to draw on the energies of the cross-roads near her home in an ongoing way, to connect them up with some bits of magickal protection on the thresh-holds, and to sort of lay down energetic lines that could be tapped by her later for anything she might feel the need or inspiration to do for herself or her home and beloveds.

One of the things inspirations of the moment was to draw a symbol of a simple Solar Cross in invoking the energies of the cross-roads, and muttering T and M’s preferred version of the abovementioned charm. Over the last several months I have come back to it again and again, drawing a symbolic crossroads and calling in these energies….

Our illustration has the cardinal directions noted more for metaphorical/symbolic reference, although I have been experimenting with a more three dimensional version for Esbat and Sabbat workings. The idea is to draw upon the powers of magick and possibility and the various energies and Powers of the cross-roads; I use this as both a consecrating space/self charm before making offerings or doing some types of magick, and as a protective charm whenever I feel need of such.

The Sign of the Crossroads

“Round, Round,
Wrap Around,
Protect me now,
From Sky to Ground.”

We start with the Sign, it does not seem to matter the direction you face or whether you are drawing this in the air in front of you or tracing it on a surface, as long as you keep the associations with the cardinal points and the crossroads energies firmly in mind when performing the charm.

With your finger, or a stick of incense, or whichever tool of art feels best for your purpose, Imagine the sign of the Crossroads before you and recite the Charm.

  1. “Round, Round” Trace the line from West to East.
  2. “Wrap Around,” Trace the circle from East around clockwise to East again.
  3. “Protect me now,” Trace around the circle clockwise from East to North.
  4. “From Sky to Ground.” Trace the line from North to South.

As I say I have used this as a recalling sacred space charm/rite and as a protective charm, it seems to have functioned well in both capacities.

I have also used a variation of this charm as part of a recent Esbat rite I did shortly after the New Moon…

Casting the Crossroads

This takes the charm into a three-dimensional space. For this, the cardinal points matter so use a compass (there are a number of good phone apps you can download to your phone, or you can go old-school and buy a compass, just be sure to research the current number of degrees of difference between True North and Magnetic North for your area.

Start with your finger, or the relevant tool, pointing West.

“Round, Round,” Trace a vertical circle clockwise from West to East and back again to West.

“Wrap Around,” Trace a horizontal circle around from West to West.

“Protect me Now,” Trace along the horizontal from West to North.

“From Sky to Ground.” Trace another clockwise vertical circle from North to South and back to North.

I am going back and forth about the need to undo this charm when using it to remind myself and the world around me of our shared sacred natures, and perhaps it is my early studies rooted in the writings of Wiccan’s and Ceremonial Magicians and the use of a Magick Circle, but if one feels the need to return the space to a more neutral or everyday energy…

Tracing a path along the horizon clockwise from the North.

“Tout, Tout,
Throughout and About,
Round Round, Wound and unwound.”

A Note

Some folks may balk at this piece of idiosyncratic magick I’ve shared because of my use of the Solar Cross, and it’s recent associations with the far Right and White Nationalism. Much like the runes, and many other symbols recently en vogue with the alt-right, the Solar Cross is a centuries old symbol used in many applications and cultures across many millenia. They. Do. Not. Own. It.

And, for the record, I wish them ill at every turn and opporunity.

Bliss, and Blessed Be,
Pax

Notes on The Journey 3/7/2021

Friends,

So today’s card of the Day, my regular Tarot Card Draw I do as I start some Shadow work in my life and try to get in better touch with my Subconscious, today’s card was The Chariot (reversed).

My immediate response was to sarcastically mutter “Imballance, there’s a News Flash!” as I picked up my phone to check the Labarynthos Tarot App and then my worn copy of A Complete Guide to The Tarot by Eden Gray to cross reference interpretations.  Then I was like “Finally, something that vaguely resembles advice!!!”

Then I started today’s journal page, noting the Date and Day, the Moon Phase, the Time, The Planetary Hour and the Planetary ruler of the day,  and then the Card of the Day.  Notes on the meanings and any related observations and thoughts stirred.

The questions of control that are stirred by The Chariot (reversed) were rather productive and feel like a seed for growth and development and contemplation and perhaps progress forward in my journey.

What can I control? What can I not?  Of the things I can’t control what do I do about it?  Do I seek control or somehow let them go?  Of life’s many uncontrollables can I somehow make plans or take steps to deal with them productively?  Even having these plans and taking these steps am I prepared for the fact that sometimes all plans and preparations don’t work out and the unexpected and occassionaly spectactularly bad things can happen?

I also wrote some notes about how I want to work on and write here going forward, and some notes about my Regular and Fluid Practices pt2 post.

Now I need to be about the rest of my day…

Blessed Be your Journey,
Pax/Geoffrey

Notes On The Journey 3/5/2021

It has been a while…

My work schedule took some dramatic changes over the last month or so as a number of coworkers were out sick and I was left the only front desk person on the schedule with members of our management team picking up shifts to keep things running.  6 day weeks and a number of unexpected overnight shifts and a few trun around shifts.

Turn around, for those NOT familiar with the idea are where you are scheduled to work say 7a to 3p and then your turning around and covering the 11p to 7am shift.  Thankfully rare but they do sometimes happen.

So on the spiritual magickal front I’ve been doing my journaling and regular practices and daily-ish tarot card shadow work as timing and my physical and mental/emotional spoons allowed.  (Does one need to explain Spoon Theory these days or are we all caught up on the idea?)

Lately allergies have been hitting me pretty hard, if tree pollen doesn’t like you then Live Oak (a species common to the US Southeast) HATES you.  I am not suffering nearly as bad as past years, but I am also avoiding allergy meds until I can touch base with my doctor about possible medical interactions…

Also, I made a thing…

I mean, it’s not as if I am entirely unaware of the issues, and YES I know the question becomes what am I doing about these issues, but couldn’t they at least drag me with something new and interesting once in a while?!

I just wanted to check in today. Tonight or tomorrow morning I will be prewriting on part 2 of the Regular and Fluid Practice piece.

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax/Geoffrey

In Praise of Regular and Fluid Practice

Hello all,

Yes I do owe any readers out there and my own self some Notes on the Journey here… but I thought I would take the step of doing an actual topic driven blog post. This somewhat radical departure from my ongoing lack of actually writing was inspired in part by a Tweet by Youtuber and Thelemite Da’at Darling…

“I will die on the recommending daily practice hill. I don’t care how much backlash I get for recommending daily meditation and doing a lbrp, it will help you progress, and I won’t say daily practice is “outdated”.”

@daatdarling aka Georgina Rose on Twitter

So I have been intermittent at best with my morning routines of physical and spiritual self care lately due to some dramatic scheduling upsets at work.  No shame or guilt,  it is what it is and I guess I am learning to be more compassionate towards myself when I am not able to go according to my plans? I am also learning to value the idea of being fluid in my daily or regular practices. My learning curve was helped by what seemed to me, in a moment of self doubt, a timely post on Instagram by Patheos blogger The Gardnerian Librarian who wrote…

“If you find yourself losing motivation to practice or engage with daily devotions, etc, then *change something*. Your practice should bring you joy and satisfaction. The moment you feel like it’s become something like a chore, *change it*. Devotions in the morning becoming stale? Do them at sundown. The change, no matter how small, will excite your brain.

Don’t become complacent with unhappiness or boredom.”

-The Gardnerian Librarian in an instagram post….

This is a very positive development for me as for all too many years I would try to develop a regular practice of spiritual and magickal work and journaling and such, and between my being blessed with ADHD and the somewhat chaotic nature of scheduling in my chosen field of the Hospitality industry and more than a few longstanding issues related to self doubt and questioning my own self worth, I would start heaping shame and self doubt upon myself if I could not engage in my practices in the way I envisioned them in or what I had in my mind as “the right way”.  After a time I would set them aside often telling myself I was being practical and that I could pick them back up later once things were less chaotic.

The problem of course is that the pace of life around us does not calm down for our convenience.  It is when life starts throwing us the curveballs of chaos that we most need to lean in to the practices that nourish and sustain us.  Then too, as my hospitalization last year so dramatically highlighted for me, tomorrow is never guaranteed to us, so we may as well do what we can when and how we can to make life joyous and pleasant now!

Now fluidity in ones practices can come in either scheduling or format depending on the practice in question. The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, which Da’at Darling mentioned, is one where you might be looking at scheduling because of course it is a very specific ritual/practice with a very specific format and functions. Other practices, like the ones I engage in, can have a certain fluidity to their structure and scheduling as necessity dictate.

“So What are you up too on the regular Pax?” one may ask. 

Well for the sake of writing about them I can divide them into three categories Spiritual/Religious, Magickal, and Practical, but I don’t want you to think that any of these practices are solely within one category… at the end of the day once we have figured out what practices sustain and nourish us they do so in a complex and interwoven way that can tend to defy easy categorization even if we are categorizing them in a perhaps fumbling attempt at explaining ones attempts to unscrew the inscrutable.

Practical: includes basics like taking my medications and vitamins, remembering to eat something for breakfast before my daily commute to work, the assorted tasks of self-care and grooming related to going out into the world, and even prepping a lunch/dinner for work so I don’t need to spend money buying something on the way in.

Spiritual/Religious: includes some form of greeting or prayer or offering to the Ancestors and the many Spirits of the world around me and of course The Gods. Spiritual also includes attempts at Shadow Work including journaling and a daily Tarot Card draw where I contemplate the meanings of the card and what my subconscious might be trying to tell me in the meanings that most spark my interest or awareness. Then to there is meditation although for the time being I am happy to let it sit with micro-doses of mindfulness as I take a few moments throughout my morning to sip my coffee and savor it’s flavor and a few moments of silence and mental stillness before turning to whatever is next…

Magickal: includes some form of grounding and centering and shielding, and breathing into and connecting to/checking in with my chakra’s/energy centers/parts of self.

Now with any regular spiritual practice, as I know, the experience of it will ebb and flow.  When one practices meditation for example, sometimes one is just struggling NOT to count the seconds and get ones thoughts to shut up and sometimes you caress the faces of the gods…

I will be going into some more detail in a second part to this post I think, as at the moment I kind of need to be about my practices and my morning if I am to get to work this afternoon in the Hospitality mines of The City Beautiful.

Bliss and Blessed Be folks!