Altars, Tradition, Intuition, Optimizing Magic

Sacred Discourse/Cycle 4/Magic/Altars,Tradition,Intuition,Optimizing Magic
Please study and respond to both the text and the questions below...
I think it is our desire to optimize that leads us to
developing traditions. We find something that works, and we save it
and use it again. Then we find something else that works, so we save
that too and combine it with the first thing. And so on and so on
until we have a developed pattern. The more the pattern is repeated
and believed in, the more potentized it can get. Then it can be
handed on, from the Crones to the Maidens...from one generation to
the next.

We have been exposed to many traditions in this world, and some of
them have patriarchal stuff woven into them. So then we get
suspicious of all traditions. We start to think out of the box and
seek to avoid anything that looks like a box. We turn away from
the "tried and true" sometimes, in search of freedom. We try things
by trial and error, and sometimes the new efforts fall flat.

This doesn't mean that spontaneous/intuitive magical acts are never
as potent. They vary. Since they can be more "hit or miss" than a
tried and true technology... sometimes they will be dead on
powerful..other times not.

Then again too much tradition can start to feel authoritarian and
stuffy. That's when we want to break loose and try something new.
Of course there is always a certain risk when trying new things,
since there are always unknowns. This is why most people tend to
stick to traditions, or to look for teachers who have built up
credibility in a tradition. It feels safer.

So either way - whether you are faced with stifling stuffiness or
risky innovation - you are facing the pitfalls of extremes.

What's in the middle between those two? That's where I kind of find
myself.

I have intuited with and fallen in love with the pentacle format for
setting up the five elements. I have played with different
arrangements within that format. But over the years I have come back
again and again to Spirit, Air, Fire, Earth, Water in that
progression, alligned with the eight holy days, starting with Winter
Solstice. It has become a Womanspirit Tradition. It also seems to keep things safe, seeing as how the pentacle has long been a symbol of protection.

I've been excited by the opportunity to share that with other
sisters. To see how it feels to them to cast five fold circles and
lay out five fold altars. I've also added Above, Below, and
Within...expanding us into spherical space. To see where such a
tradition could take us if ongoingly practised by groups of women. I
have strong feelings that the use of the three-fold, five-fold, seven-
fold, nine-fold, and thirteen-fold forms is a goldmine of untapped
potential for rearranging the fate of our movement, of the world, and
of ourselves.

At the same time I don't want to "push" my own agenda on anyone. I
feel that if the five-fold, spherical, and odd-numbered approaches
are bigger than me... if they resonate beyond me in the hearts and
minds of other women... then it is probably the wave of the future.
so while I am passionate about this alternate thealagie I am
channeling, I am also passionate about supporting women to be at
cause and at choice in their own spiritual practises. If women
choose the format I happen to be channelling, of their own free will,
then I know I'm on to something bigger than me.

So that's why you will hear me speak kindly and respectfully of
magical traditions (except when I criticise their patriarchal
parts!), but you will also hear me supporting you to be creative and
trust your instincts. I imagine this might be a bit confusing
sometimes. Sorry! Freedom is not always an easy road, but it is
definitely one of the teachings of Womanspirit.

So. Optimizing the magic. Some of the ingredients of "optimized"
magic, in my experience are:

Strong focus
Passionate intent
Devoted action
Rock solid commitment
Deep concentration
Intense desire
Confidence and conviction
Clearly pictured outcomes
Poetically moving incantations
Inspired mythic content
Total harmonious connection among all present
Conscience clear ethics
Sustained presence from beginning to end of working - no
interruptions, no distractions
A quiet, safe, private, flat, comfortable and beautiful space
Trance
Ecstatic union with the Muse
Deep love
Seeing, Knowing, Willing, Daring, and Keeping Silent (The Witch's Foot)

If you can bring these or some of these eighteen ingredients to
creating your altar, or casting your circle, or enacting your ritual,
or casting your spell... no matter how traditional or non-traditional
your approach may be, I am sure your magic will be effective.

So Mote It Be!
Questions to ponder and respond to:

Why altars anyway?

What is the reason you have, create and/or use altars?

Do you feel the need for an altar? If so, why?

What do you feel an altar accomplishes?

Does it matter to you whether or not an altar is arranged according
to a tradition? Do you honor your own feelings about this?
Can you think of any optimizing additions to the list of magical ingredients above?

If you haven't already done so in the Grove, describe an altar for
us. It can be one you are currently working with, or perhaps one you
recall that you especially loved... Refer to the sixteen magical
ingredients listed above, and tell us how (if any) they are included
in the creation and use and arrangement of your altar.

Peace and blessings,
Shekhinah

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