Back in June I wrote a post entitled "Elements of Practice" in which I mapped out how I structure my daily practice according to the five elements. A lot of people said they enjoyed this post and gained something from it.
In the past few months of working with this model, I kept coming up with resistance regarding Water and Earth. Years of ritual have ingrained in my brain that we work from East to North via South and West, yet it felt more natural to me to do divination (which I placed in Water) after sitting practice, which I consider an Earth activity.
This slight annoyance was only small, yet it affected the flow of my practice to such an extent that I wasn't gaining as much satisfaction and joy out of my daily devotions as I used to.
So I decided to re-map. I actually think this is healthy - restructuring how we do things can keep us from falling into a dogma (even if I am dogmatic about moving from East clockwise!!). In my latest structure, the basic format is the same, but I have focused on three aspects of Spirit: above, below, and centre. I have also moved Kala and Ha prayer from the South into the West, where I believe drinking a cup of water sits more naturally.
Anyway, below you will find a re-structured elemental practice. Please feel free to comment/critique as you are moved to do so!
Centre - Connection to God HerSelf. This is the start of practice, where we actually are. I ground, centre, and circumference myself, pray to my Gods, and place on my initiation cord. I also make my daily offerings of flame, water, and incense here.
Air - Prayerful intention. This is prayer that sets up what my practice is about. My daily prayer usually goes something like this: "Holy Mother, I sit before your shrine at the dawn of my day. May the work done here flow forth through my day and throughout my life. May I be a strong vessel for this current and may I be the best Witch and Feri priest possible. May I see You in all beings."
Fire - Pentacle work. Here I work with the fiery Iron Pentacle and watery Pearl. Sometimes I work with the Elemental Pentacle here too, as well as my Golden Pentacle, but not always.
Water - Kala and Alignment. This was a bit of a "duh" moment for me. Of course Kala rests in water - we drink water as part of the rite! Also, the mana we use for soul alignment has a watery feel to it.
North - Sitting Practice. This has remained the same. Sitting practice for me brings all the previous work together and holds it within and around the body as we sit with all of our parts. Although the Godsoul unites our parts in this practice, all of our selves are present here.
Above - Divination. This is where I place my daily card pulling. I usually use the Rider Waite deck, but sometimes I mix it up with a rune or a card from Brian Froud's Faery oracle.
Below - Desire and Drive. This is where I connect with my inner cauldron, which is the tool of Below in my line. I hold my cauldron against my belly and pray to know and follow my Desire. I wish to know what motivates me, and what I am heading towards.
Centre - Connection to God HerSelf. Here I return to centre, which is God HerSelf. She is also circumference, if that speaks to you. I offer thanks for Her manifold blessings and ask my Gods and spirits to walk with me on my path.