There is no one way to do anything in the realm of Magick. To think that yours is the right way, the only way, or even that there is a right way, or an only way, will only break your heart.
The Elemental Placings is one such example. Inner Circle Sanctuary uses the:
placings that was popularized by the Golden Dawn. The Aurum Solis uses this system as well.
Since the GD attributes virtually everything to the Qabala, YHVH (the Tetragrammaton) is divided by equating
Fire with Yod,
Water with Heh,
Air with Vau, and
Earth with Heh final.
This also shows the Court Cards of Tarot: King (Father) Fire, Queen (Mother) Water, Prince (Son) Air, Princess (Daughter) Earth.
Here on Earth, we can see a reversed progression, the path through the Elements back to Spirit, by looking at the Zodiac Signs, starting with any Earth sign.
is an example, and this cycle repeats itself all through the rest of the Zodiac.
None of this explains why the Elements are placed where they are, however. Only in the Hexagram Ritual is it more obvious, if you know a bit more about the Zodiac Signs. On a Horoscope, the natural homes of the Signs at the Quarters are
Aries (Fire) East,
Capricorn (Earth) South,
Libra (Air) West,
Cancer (Water) North.
The Golden Dawn draws different Elemental Hexagrams in each corresponding quarter.
So, we see even in one Magical Order, two different placings of the Elements in the Cardinal Directions. What matters is the purpose of the Ritual.
Aleister Crowley, in his brilliant Star Ruby, a very user friendly version of the Pentagram Ritual, and of which he wrote two versions, are thought by some to have Kabbalistic attributions of the directions, the fixed signs of the Zodiac by others. The Star Ruby is also performed anti-clockwise, which we will also discuss later.
As the theory of the Elements was being created by ancient Greek Philosophers, each was assigned two qualities each of Hot, Cold, Dry, and Moist. Most modern Magical Orders and Witchcraft/Wicca Traditions explain them as such.
By switching Fire and Air, half of the Golden Dawn system stays intact, keeps one half of the Elemental Circle Active and the other Passive, and is still recognizable to most. This is how the Cabot Tradition of Witchcraft assigns their quarters. It looks like this:
EAST/Fire (Dry and Hot)
SOUTH/Air (Hot and Moist)
WEST/Water (Moist and Cold)
NORTH/Earth (Cold and Dry).
It flows very nicely, and worked well in some Aurum Solis experiments I did.
Flip this Circle upside down, so that
and the flow of the Aristotelian Elements remains, and this is how The Clan of Tubal Cain practices, and many modern Traditional Witches as well. The Elements are directly opposed from their opposites in these last two systems as well.
Some Covens and groups use geography and topography to determine where they place the Elements. Nehallenic Wicca, though created in Philadelphia, PA, sees the Elements from a Continental Europe point of view, so
WEST/Water (Atlantic Ocean)
I wish I could find the site again for the Temple of the Ways which practices and teaches Nehallenic Wicca as it is really interesting.
Mind you this is just from Western Magical Traditions. Those from the East may be completely different.
Which brings me to Circles, and how they are cast and/or danced. The Golden Dawn moves deosil (clockwise) to bring Solar energy to a Working, and widdershins (counterclockwise) to release said energy. Crowley’s Star Ruby moves widdershins while the Golden Dawn Pentagram Rituals (Invoking and Banishing) move deosil.
Inner Circle Sanctuary casts our Sabbat rings deosil, and picks them up widdershins. There is no moral quality to this, just how we see energy. Similarly, we anoint Spell Candles deosil to attract, and widdershins to reverse (including Mercury Retrograde Candles, as He appears to move backwards from our vantage point on Earth).
Tarostar’s Circles and Candle Anointings are the exact reverse of Inner Circle Sanctuary’s, and he explains it so excellently with the Pentagram of Earth. The Invoking Pentagram of Earth is drawn widdershins, the Banishing is deosil.
Evan John Jones, a late Magister of the Clan of Tubal Cain wrote in The Star Crossed Serpent, that Treading the Mill is always done widdershins.
Some Traditional Witches dance deosil for celebrations, and widdershins for Magical Working. The Regency danced both counter-clockwise (for the Goddess) and clockwise (for the God) in their Rituals.
I won’t even get into the Golden Dawn pentagrams and Aurum Solis Pentalphas, or the different ways the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram by different groups - vibrate the Name when you “Pierce the Eye of Yahweh”, or while drawing the Pentagram, or like the Thelemic Golden Dawn does it, breathing so each line of the Pentagram has an inhale or exhale. There are different ways to do everything.
Is there a point to all this? Magick is All - All is Magick. It all works, if it is worked with understanding. And understanding other Traditions is eye opening, and promotes support amongst us. There are different techniques for different purposes, and as the Farrars say in the Witches Bible “…every Coven is a law to itself…” which also applies to Traditions, and individuals.
What matters is the Work - may yours be Great.
by Lord Tanys
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The Complete Golden Dawn System Of Magic http://newfalcon.com/regardie1.html
Aurum Solis https://www.amazon.com/Rediscover-Magick-Gods-Goddesses-Revealing-ebook/dp/B00KWEY7IK/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1FFAFA6IV2AR2&dchild=1&keywords=jean-louis+de+biasi&qid=1599257990&sprefix=Jean-Louis+d%2Caps%2C540&sr=8-1
The Star Ruby explained https://www.praemonstro.com/ceremony-of-the-sun-and-moon-copy
Laurie Cabot’s Book of Shadows https://www.amazon.com/Laurie-Cabots-Book-Shadows-Cabot/dp/1940755069/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2EITS8YIJ8TI&dchild=1&keywords=laurie+cabot+book+of+shadows&qid=1599258148&sprefix=Laurie+Cabot%2Caps%2C228&sr=8-1
Evan John Jones and Shani Oates, Clan of Tubal Cain https://www.amazon.com/Star-Crossed-Serpent-Origins-1966-1998-ebook/dp/B086Q2DG12/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Evan+John+Jones&qid=1599258213&sr=8-3
Interview with Tarostar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX84PXKAE6Y and The Sacred Pentagraph https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Pentagraph-Books-II-III/dp/0692600523/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=Tarostar&qid=1599258368&sr=8-6
The Regency https://ronaldchalkywhite.wordpress.com
Practitioners of Thelemic Golden Dawn https://www.facebook.com/Practitioners-of-TGD-113920176707830/
Inner Circle Sanctuary
Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.