This past Monday's class was AWESOME!
We've been working on calling and banishing the quarters. We've worked with first Earth, then Air, and then we worked with Fire last night (and next week will be Water). I'm still working on gaining confidence in what I'm doing (which isn't necessarily a bad thing -- we're only close to 4 months in to the Year and a Day), so my attempts at evoking first Earth and then Air were.....well, they weren't as good as I COULD have done. However, Greyhart did something different last night.
In order to get us acquainted with the Fire Realm of the Fire Elementals, he had us do a meditation. I was actually surprised at how mine went.
First, he lit a jar candle after making the room quite dark, and then had Jason and I close our eyes. He purposefully kept descriptives vague as he guided us down the start of a path so that we would be allowed to see for our own selves what the Fire Realm looked like without any outside influence.
As I went down this path, I found myself in a bright, arid desert. Normally, I don't like deserts. Barring the occasional visits to Mesa, Arizona to visit my grandparents for Christmas or Spring Break when the desert temperatures weren't nearly so unpleasant, I loved seeing the saguaro in bloom and I loved the desert sunrises and sunsets. But that was about it.
In this desert, heat waves radiated off the ground and while I was sweating like crazy and the heat was uncomfortable, it wasn't as bad as other places I've been (such as the Mojave on the way toward San Diego or Los Angeles in September when I was 15 -- OMMFG!!!! It was so hot there, the air seemed hardly breathable!). There was a certain life to this heat. I don't know how to word it.
Anyway, as I continued, I came over a hill and I saw a Dragon. He had the boxy-shaped head similar to a Chinese dragon, but he wasn't as slender as one. He looked at least the size of a hippopotamus but still had the classic Dragon serpentine grace. He wasn't made of scales. He was living fire and he was going around burning things. He was setting trees on fire and other things and it seemed to be for no apparent reason.
Before I thought the better of it, I walked down the hill toward the Dragon. At first I was afraid he would burn me too when he turned, saw me, and stopped what he was doing. Though there were no actual "eyeballs" in that draconian head, his gaze still struck me as being extremely curious. "Why are you doing this?" I asked. "Why are you burning everything?"
"It's my job to," he said simply.
I felt hesitant to say that I didn't understand. Long have I loved Dragons, but even I know better than to annoy one. Still, he took the lost look on my face in stride."I bring about endings and, in those endings, I bring about beginnings. What I do here is what is done in your world. What I burn here burns over there and as I do so, things begin again from the fertile soil of destruction. I clear out the cluttered undergrowth that prohibits growth and I make way for healthy beginnings."
I pondered this for a moment. It made sense. It's not the first time I've heard of fires being set for the sole purpose of preserving the health of a forest. In fact, the first time I heard about this was when my parents and I visited Sequoia National Forest. The guide explained that every so often, a particular section of the forest is set afire to burn away undergrowth and cause fallen pinecones to release their seeds so that new trees will grow."If you so wish, I can do the same for you." That statement startled me. He told me that, basically, he could help me to burn away the old so that the new could start, which would help me to discover who I really am. He gave me a bump on the shoulder with his snout before sauntering off to continue his work.
The next thing I knew, Greyhart's voice was calling us back, coaxing us to come back down the path out of the Fire Realm. When we got back, he asked us to tell him of what we saw. When Jason and I finished regaling him with our adventures, Greyhart asked us how long we thought we'd been there.
In my head I knew it had to be a mere amount of minutes, but as I thought of all I'd seen and the conversation with the Dragon that I'd had, it FELT like I'd been there at least an hour.
"I watched the clock while you guys were gone and you were gone for exactly 3 minutes." He went on to explain that time in the other realms ran differently than they do here. This is something I already knew, but still. It was good to talk about. He also asked us how we moved around in the Fire Realm. "I started out walking when you were guiding us down the path, but when I got there, all I really had to do was think 'I'd like to be over there' and there I was. Hell, it didn't even really take a thought." 'Cause when I thought about it, I didn't remember doing much walking. I'd start to walk in a particular direction, but then I'd just be there in the blink of an eye and it didn't even dawn on me how "abnormal" that is.
"The laws of locomotion also don't apply the same as they do here. It's different wherever you go," he explained. He also expressed how pleased he was by the fact that we'd not only found the Fire Realm but that some of the creatures there had actually talked to us.
Finally, we got to the part of the evening where we practiced summoning Fire Elementals. Naturally, because of my shy preference to let other people go before me so as to get an idea of how I want to do something, Greyhart had me go first. Oh goody! Maybe someday I'll get over that awkwardness of being thrown in the pool to swim first. LoL!
Anyway, so my first attempt kinda fizzled. The being that came through was kinda puny and its energy sputtered a bit. It kinda felt like I'd started to bring over something of decent size but then just ended up with a fistful of fur. Does that make any sense? Even Greyhart, from where he sat on the couch, gave me a rather bemused look like "Really? Surely you can do better."
He stood from the couch, had me face back toward the south, put his hands on my shoulder blades to help me ground for a moment, and then told me to envision that that portal path to the Fire Realm again. I can't remember all of what he said, but at one particular thing he said, I saw the path burst into flames on either side as it shot the rest of the way into the Fire Realm. As soon as I felt that, I knew exactly who I wanted to find and it didn't take me but a moment. Standing not too far away from the portal entrance was my Dragon friend. I felt a swell of joy that he was there. In the moments before I said the words to call him to my circle, the Dragon had already said he would come.
"Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South. I call you forth to be a guard unto my circle. Be here now." As I said that last while drawing a Pentagram in the air, I felt a ripple of energy shoot from my chest and I knew he was there. I took a deep breath before I opened my eyes again to look back at Greyhart.
His eyes were wide. "Damn!" Jason's eyes were quite wide as well. Greyhart asked him to tell us what he felt.
"What she called through made itself small enough to fit into the room, but I can tell it's A LOT bigger than that. I can feel the heat emanating from the south. I seriously feel like I'm standing next to a furnace. When it came through, I felt like I was within feet of one of those pyrotechnic torches that they use for special effects."
That thrilled me enough, but Greyhart's words sent me straight into elation. He basically gave me major props. He said that that was my best conjuration ever, it was FAR BETTER than the ones I did for Air and Earth previously. He even said that the Dragon was the biggest Elemental that had ever been called in his house.
Seriously, while he was telling me all this, I just wanted to do a friggin' happy dance. ^_^ The crowning point was when he told me that this is why he'd taken me on as a student -- because he'd seen my potential for doing magick like this. "You keep doing what you just did and, someday when you're leading ritual, people are gonna notice and feel what you're doing and they're gonna want to know how you did that."I thought my face was gonna crack. ^_^
At last, when I sent the Dragon back home, I silently thanked him for coming before saying the words to send him home. After he left, the temperature in the room, though it had been hot from the get-go and had gotten even hotter when the Dragon arrived, went back down by a noticeable degree and I felt like I was walking on air.