Realm of Land: Veneration of The Genus Loci

For the next few posts i plan to do a series of posts about the celtic realms of Land, Sea,and Sky. These posts with largely be workings to honor spirits specific to each area. At some point i may, in the future, write a bit about their shamanic significance. But for now i wanted to start with some basics. What follows is a working to venerate or honor the Genius Loci, or Land Spirit of a specific area.

The Genius Loci is the spirit of a specific area,even cityscapes have some genius loci in them. This spirit will watch over the area and the spirits that reside within it. They are the Guardians of the area and can be a great ally too the practitioner.

This process or ritual is intended to be used on a regular bases to build a relationship with this entity.  The benefits of doing the work is many fold, including helping the practitioner to come to understand, in a more personal way, the symbiosis between man and nature. As well as learning the locations of power spots or Faery Gates in the area,being able to ask favors or petitions of the Land Spirit, and creating a power location for personal spiritual work.

I strongly suggest you not petition the land spirits for anything until you have established a firm relationship with them.

What you will need for the working:

  • 1 red candle
  • Bread (please remember this is an offering too someone, quality DOES matter)
  • Wine,beer,or other spirits again quality
  • any bobbles you may wish to also offer
  • bell,whistle,or drum

For this rite you will not be casting a circle, so you do need to be mindful of the area you have chosen. If an area feels hostile or negative its a good bet its not a land spirit interested in your company. Thus do not choose to do this working there. I would suggest starting with the Genius Loci near your home. Look for some thing distinctive in the landscape. Often that is where you will make the strongest first connection with the spirit. Once you have found your location you may proceed as follows:

Facing north, place the candle in the middle of your work space, bread to the north of the candle,wine to the west,bell to the east, and finally, you set in the south. If you wish at this point you may walk in a widdershin direction around your work space 3,6,or 9 times. This will help you create a stronger connection with the Unseen spaces. Think of it as cranking on an old Graham Bell telephone.

Settle down before your altar, setting in the south facing north,close your eyes and experience the sounds,smells, and sensations of the area. Try to sense the spirit here. When you are calm and centered and have fully awakened your senses too your surroundings; take up your bell or other instrument and ring it. As you do you must KNOW that this sound rings forth into the Otherworld across the Veil and is heard by the Genius Loci.

Now light the red candle saying something to the effect of:

“I kindle this flame

as a beacon into the unseen places.

I draw the eye of the Spirit of this Land.

A sworn child of the Mother,

who wishes only to honor you.”

Hopefully, if all goes well straight out of the gate, you could get some sort of response here. Be patient and above all, observant. It will be subtle a branch moving oddly, an animal that looks at you in an uncanny manner. If nothing happens, do not fear, it may not for several workings. Just continue on with the work. However, if a feeling of panic, or hostility comes over you, pack it in sister! You’re being told to shove off. But lets say all goes well.

Next hold your hand over the bread and say something to the effect of:

“Here is the bread of life,the nourishment of the Earth

As it gives life too me

i offer of it too you

I consecrate it in honor too the spirits of this land.”

Take a small bit of the bread and say “May we never hunger”

Next take up the cup of wine and say some thing too the effect of:

“Here is the cup of Mater Sangreal

The blood of the Mother

The blood of abundance

I consecrate it in honor of you the land spirits.”

Take a sip of the wine and say “may we never thirst.”

Now you have a few options here, you may place the bread and wine in a hole you have dug, or a bowl,or place the bread in the cup then poor it out as you speak. However you choose to do it bring the two together and say something to the effect of:

“As i have taken,

So this is given

Shared in honor

as one who is of the family of the Old Gods

with the Spirits of the Land.

I give it to the Ground

I give it to the Genius Loci

That the seen and unseen people

and spirits may be made whole

again and live in peace.

For behold,what is taken is truly given,

and what is given is truly taken.

So be it.”

(by the by the line what is taken is truly given and what is given is truly taken is from Robin Artissons book The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill please check it out for more workings and prose )

From here you may leave any other offerings you have thank the spirits and leave your offering of bread and wine on the earth as the invocation suggests. Tahda! you just honored a Genius Loci…now keep doing so! Come back and keep the area clean, feed the animals, do this working again at least once a month. Eventually very interesting things will happen if you allow your self to have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

and now a few resources:

ge·ni·us lo·ci (j n – s l s , -k , -k ). n. 1. The distinctive atmosphere or pervading spirit of a place. 2. The guardian deity of a place.

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In The Dark, He Waits

In my last post i mentioned having had direct contact with the Horned Hunter. I thought it might interest you, dear reader, if i told you my story.  Firstly, i have had an attraction too the Horned One for many years. All that wild untamed primal energy, that deep guttural need to run at break-neck speeds through the forest. Never sure if you are the hunted or the hunter. Deep forests covered in fern and moss, where you know a Primal Force resides both hunting you and being hunted by you….

 

My first contact,direct contact at least, came about two years ago. It was in a dream. In my dream i was called in to remove the workings of another witch on a few objects. I did so in the dream and was paid for my efforts, on my walk home, under an old oak tree, i see on the group two pendants. One is of the greenman and one is of the Horned Hunter. I looked at them both but only felt drawn to the Horned one so i picked it up and put it in my pocket quiet happy with my find.  Several minutes later, now at home, i pull the pendant from my pocket and find it has become a sort of leather talisman with an elaborate image of the Horned Hunter on it!

 

From there on i felt i had been chosen, i was given a choice between two aspects of Him and i had chosen, or been chosen, my the Horned Hunter. Now mind you i wasn’t positive, how can one be at first really, but i figured if it was so further information or contact would be made. I wasn’t wrong either, a few weeks later i was in the woods just climbing about, as i tend to do when not heavy with a baby,and i felt pulled in a specific direction. It was northways if i remember correctly. I ended up sliding down the side of an ozark hill, almost right off into a creek. But when i got down there i looked to my right and saw a deer staring at me.

 

I held my breath hoping it wouldn’t run, eventually it did walk away calmly and when i headed in that direction, at my feet was a stang…just laying there ready for me to clean it up and make use of it. A Stang is a forked staff used in some forms of witchcraft to represent, well several things, but primarily the Horned God or the Witchmaster. I’ve been looking for a good one for nigh on 10 years. She, don’t ask me why but it is a she, has since been my constant companion. With that i well and firmly felt His presents in my life.

 

Now too my story proper! My i’m long winded today! I won’t revel too much about the induction into my hearth, luckily this event takes place before hand. It was a cold night in early November and i, with my fellow inductees, stood waiting for our ritual to begin sequestered off in a small area just at the edges of a forest and a creek. Between and Betwixed so to speak. I already knew that this was an in between place where we stood, though i doubt that is why the area was chosen.  I stood staring off into the stars for several moments just enjoying the night air,stang in hand. Suddenly i felt i was being watched and pulled into the woods before me.

 

When i looked down i saw…something…a shadow darker than the rest of the woods. Then it moved, and i could see Him is massive horns swayed on his head as he stood up from a crouched position. I felt the urge to both run towards him and run from him in fear and just shear overwhelming power. I could feel him look at me even though he was only in silloet. I looked to the women at my right and left and they obviously saw nothing. But He was still there when i looked back and there he remained for several minutes until we were called back for our ritual to begin.

 

Seeing Him that night, with my own eyes, has left an impression on me like no other. I have felt Divine Forces before, but none like this. I saw him yet again at our ritual retreat the following spring….same location…and again only i saw Him. Perhaps im mad…or perhaps its just me He wishes to see Him….

 

 

Embrace Your Hag Under The Full Moon

ImageIt has been far longer than i had realized, since last i posted here. I’m sure you all thought this blog was dead! For a time i suppose it was. Since last i posted i was inducted into the Daughters of the Sacred Grail, a women’s Avalonian group. During which i had a vision of the Horned Hunter.  And earlier this year my partner and i were able to conceive a little girl. As i write i am 8 months and one week pregnant.

  However, today i’m not here to write about my little one (you’d be surprised but one does get tired of talking about their   spawnling) During this period i took off from the blog, i began to study the “Bee Mysteries” so to speak. The past is full of priestesses who were devotees of Bee Goddesses. The topic has interested me every since seeing the remake of The Wickerman. But as of late my path has been heading in a totally different, or rather parallel, direction too Bee Priestesshood. This has left me a bit lost and confused. I kept receiving indicators,messages if you will, on a totally different wavelength.

  My road seems to be dipping down below the normal road of service and ritual. Deep down into the darkness of the Unseen places.

You take the high road,

and I’ll take the low road…

I was and am being lead down the low road. Or at least the Low Road has been made available for my travel. But, again this left me confused and a tad disappointed in my self. I have been championing the Bee Path for over a year now, and it seems to not be part of this new direction…or old direction depending on how i look at it.

  So, in hopes of divining where i’m going with all this, the past few full moons i’ve been working to figure this out in the Otherworld. All things start there and eventually manifest here, so it the best place to get direct answers. Last months whilst on the Holy Isle i became and old woman. A Hag in looks. I was shown an owl and a young child playing in a garden. I filed these things away for safe keeping in my mind.

 

  Still not satisfied, this month i sought out Dame Ragnell Her self. The Lady Ragnell and i have a history together. I assume, since she seeks me out in this world and the Other, that she is my Matron goddess. Last night i sought her under the hill in Glastonbury. Deep down in the widdershin world. The Horned Hunter ushered me to the Otherworld in his barge small white candles hanging from the tines of his deer horns. He asked me what i came to seek and i told him three times. He simply nodded and offered me his hand then helped me off the barge on the other side.

 

  From there i made my way,with purpose, too the Tor ImageAt the top I found a sort of trap door that i entered and began my decent via widdershin stares. Once i reach the bottom waiting for me was Dame Ragnell with her stark white hair and ancient face. I sat before her and watched her gnarled old hands spin her hair into thread on a bottom whirl drop spindle.

 

  In short order i told her of my trials, of my worry over the Bee Path, and not understanding the direction i’m going. She listened, but only grunted now and then to indicate her listing, or perhaps to punctuate something i was not grasping. When i was spent and had said everything i could think to say, she looked up from her spindle into my eyes. Again, as in times before, Her face would flash from old and ugly to vibrant and beautiful in a puff of smoke. Her eyes turning from beady and black to bright blue.

 

  For several seconds she just looked at me. Finally she grabbed my arm and simply said

Embrace your Hag

 

Then the spindle in Her hand shrank a little and became silver. She handed it to me and cackled out (very much like a raven or crow)

 

You’re symbol

 

I put the spindle in my Crane Bag and when i looked up She was gone…

 

  Do i know for sure what these things mean? I’m not positive, but i have a good idea. Reflecting back on my phraseology when telling Her of my worries, yes i think i understand her answer. My path is simplistically complicated. I have been looking at the parts and not the underlying current. My road is that of service, but i will always be beside and underneath what most people see. Mine is the way of the old Owlfolk, walker between places. What does this mean for the whole Bee Priestesshood, i’m not yet sure. But at least now i know where North is.