"deepen your relationship to each element and sharpen your witchy skills – learn some new ones!"
The blurb goes on to say
"in each class we will study one element in depth, deepening our understanding of and relationship to the element. We will learn and develop new skills such as breathing techniques, energy work, voice work, trancework, visualisation, healing techniques and much more."
Now for Air, I was only able to catch possibly the last couple of hours (they last 6hrs) but I learned some useful skills nonetheless. Importantly, I had the opportunity to practice my vocal skills, if only in a comical fashion by learning the Seven Sacred Voices - now granted, we all know most of these, however, to be working with them like this was rather different to just knowing they exist. Those were:
- The Silent Voice
- The Whisper Voice
- The Normal Voice
- The Loud Voice
- The Yell Voice
- The Chant Voice
- The Song Voice
"... deep vibration in the chest as close to the heart chakra as one can manage."It almost sounds like the deep chants the Tibetan clergy do, but even then you can still hear voice. One should feel this vibration but mouth the words rathen then hear what one says. Most difficult.
To practice for the others, we took a nursery rhyme and practiced each with with it (I changed from Humpty Dumpty to a Pagan chant to a Buddhist chant, just to see the difference). and admittedly, it was an eye opening session on how one can use one's voice for magic workings; one I shall be paying attention to much more.
Another useful skills we were taught was using our associations with the elements to really make a call to that particular element/quarter. Usually, I simply jot down a few poetic workds without really thinking of the implications of what I am calling. Why call the Hawk rather than the Robin? Why the Birch rather than some other tree? Why invoke its breeze aspect rather than the whirlwind (I'll explain below)? And why some attributes rather than others?
Susan invited us to jot down what we conceived Air to be, and then work a call from that, so here's what I did:
"Intellect, sharp-wit, inspired voice, whirlwind, voice, roar-in-a-chimney, scent, Birch, Hazel, rustling leaves, winds of change.
I glance towards the Eastern Quarter, to the place of the whirlwind's fury where the Robin glides at the glow of the sunrise.
We hear you in the rustling of the birch; we smell you in the sweet bloomin of spring; we feel you in the roaring of the tempest.
Air; we ask that you give us your sharp wit and the magic of your inspired voice - come to us with your words riding upon swift golden wings.
Hail and be welcome."
Now - why did I choose some of it's more fearful aspects rather than the softer ones? Am I calling trouble? Not neceserally.
I feel in a way that in creating a protective/containment circle, one can either strengthen it or add to it through the elements, so the circle, I give it the fury of a whirlwind emanating from from East.
I use the Robin as a personal animal at the moment, and one that is abundant in the woods in Lampeter. The 'sense' calls are based on associations also: the Birch - tree of new beginnings, light in colour, thin, delicate etc.; spring, the time of the emerging Sun, where freshness and newness is abundant; the tempest - self-evident.
A call to inspiration is one that is needed in a rite where things can go wrong, but also is good as a general magical power and sharp-wit (the bardic/jester power) allows for us to make light a situation is it is needed, and to aid us in the release of the elemental powers - should they not wish to leave.
That said, I'm rather happy with that call, even if it is mediocre at bests. Next workshop is next month, and shall be on Fire.