The Guardians: Part Five: Fire in the Earth, Center, and Closing Thoughts

I felt trepidation about Black Mother the first time I called to her, and I felt more trepidation about Fire in the Earth. In hindsight, this trepidation came out of Talker/Dariar and my unconscious resistance to the kinds of transformation Fire in the Earth can cause, will likely cause. I have to admit that T Thorn Coyle’s description of this Guardian (and the cauldron Thorn associates with Fire in the Earth and so on) called to mind images of Keredwyn, but my experience was actually really rather quite different.

For my tool for Fire in the Earth, I use a sword, drawn. I will hold the blade in my primary hand and the scabbard still in my off hand.

I invoke by the Wyrms that Are Wise.

Fire in the Earth,

Wyrms that Are Wise in the Coilings in My Eyes,

Fire in the Earth,

Dragon in the Sword,

Fire in the Earth,

Queen of TTL[1],

May I know your presence and blessing once again,

In this time and place,

In my life, my dreams, my work, my art.

Fire in the Earth,

I welcome you.

For me, Fire in the Earth appeared as a tall, very pale, very fragile-seeming woman with gossamer white-blonde hair, a very fey doppelganger to myself. More so than Black Mother, my experiences with Fire in the Earth have been rather possessory. I have seen her clamber up from under the earth and into me from below, clawing up my legs and into my body—joining with me as she laughs and whirls about, relishing being with me again. She is a demon lover, but she is also far more me than the elemental Guardians.

My experience with Heaven Shiner has many similarities, after a point. My recent calls to Heaven Shiner have led to a light possessory trance, an illuminating (I can’t call it a shadowing) and lightning bolt from above as Zenith completes the proverbial circuit into me. Fire in the Earth was very much possessory from nearly the beginning. Indeed, I see Heaven Shiner and Fire in the Earth as Guardians and intelligences who very much reflect much more deeply personal currents within myself. I think they are still distinct intelligences, but the currents they represent are far more personal and intimate than the elemental Guardians. However, even the elemental Guardians have aspects of this experience. Given that Heaven Shiner and Fire in the Earth form the final leg towards Center—“the Witch Hirself”—my experiences with Fire in the Earth make sense to me in these regards.

Of course, this insight would also heavily imply that the experience of Heaven Shiner and Fire in the Earth should be highly individualistic. So, y’know, say hi to yours for me.

As time has passed, Fire in the Earth has shifted from seeming as a distinct personality towards far more a current from deep within myself, and the possessory episodes have softened. Early on, she would ask me what I had been doing to myself, looking at what was Inside and what was up with Talker/Dariar with surprise, concern, and even—not disdain, but certainly, “Why have you done this to yourself? To your beautiful self? Rise! Stand!” She almost always points to desire and the pursuit of desire, the will towards your desire, the daring to your desire, etc.

After Fire in the Earth, Center—the Witch Hirself—can seem rather sedate to me. I will set aside the scabbard and put the blade in my off hand and begin a call to Myself.

I invoke by the Wyrms that Are Wise.

[Crowess]

Wyrms that Are Wise in my life,

[Crowess]

[…]

[Crowess]

[…]

May I know your presence and blessing once again,

In this time and place,

In my life, my dreams, my work, my art.

[Crowess]

I welcome you.

I’ve redacted this primarily because, well, my call to myself is rather personal, and so should yours. I use my chosen name in place of [Crowess], and the second […] points to how I translate my chosen name as a magical motto etc. The first […] reflects an epithet that came to me in a poetic vision of TTL years ago that made far more sense once I hooked up with the Morrigan. The WtaW that I use are also a slew of WtaW that have taken on personal significance in addition to their core associations, like [Elethis] and [Corunor] and others.

By this point, Center can seem anticlimactic. Working through whatever blocks along the way makes my experience of the Guardians an exercise in the Iron (maybe Pearl) Pentacle. For me, the drama and seething has typically occurred prior to Center. Fire in the Earth has typically been the climax rather than Center. However, these days, I’d say that Black Mother and Water Maker represent my present “climaxes” as I re-find my wholeness and re-connect to myself and the world and the Worlds.

Closing Notes on the Guardians

I often feel that I can’t call up the Guardians without going in order and without the full ritual ceremony. However, the Guardians have told me that’s not necessary, and to talk to Shining Flame, for example, I don’t need to talk to Star Seeker first. I often do so, though, because the full rite makes them far more present for me. I have called up individuals on the fly—especially Star Seeker and Shining Flame, but also Fire in the Earth. I had a period where Fire in the Earth got me through working a very crappy phone job and a good amount of anxiety and stress while out and about.

The Guardians have also witnessed rites for me, other workings, and they have stood as more literal guardians while I worked on some particular working. I spent nine nights doing my homebrewed “Bornless Ritual” with the Guardians attending and witnessing, along with my core “pantheon.”

I think the big thing to keep in mind is to just do it—call up the Guardians using whatever method seems good to you and seems workable to you. Some of my tool selections are based on not having other tools folks would tell me to use. I don’t have a pentacle tool, but I have a flat stone I use for Black Mother—and it works for me. I have a lightning-touched splinter from a tree next to a local creek I use for Heaven Shiner and some other uses.

That said, let me encourage you to go at your own pace. Reflect. Talk to the Guardians. Write down your reflections, take notes on what happens, keep a record. If you keep a record, the experiences grow less likely to slip away into forgetfulness.

Part of the point of magic, I think, is learning how to live the kind of life you want, and that path requires you to confront the life you have. You have to confront what’s in the way between you and magic, life, will, agency, etc. Even if you’re in this for MAGIC—well, I come at this entire enterprise considering how halthaya works to convince me magic isn’t real, I’m not the kind of person who can do magic, why bother with magic, get distracted, forget the Otherworlds and things you noticed and get back to NetFlix. I consider how hurur arise as who I am gets crusted over with false egos, ways of thinking about myself, are imposed on me by culture and by my attempts to negotiate living in that culture, and I’ve caught myself mistaking those roles for myself, whoever she is. And I guarantee you that many of those hurur don’t think much about magic or the gods or whatever. I’ve considered mûl-ôl, the lazy numbing daydream experience of life that has me distracted, obsessed about stupid shit (how many Pokemon are there? I don’t like Pokemon, but I’m curious—oh, I should check FaceBook again—lol, catsfuck fuck fuck I have to do this thing for work—work work work work feed feed feed etc.) that doesn’t involve magic, my actual desires, or the Otherworlds. And the Guardians have helped me with all of these things, are still helping me, helping me help myself. They push me, they question me, they challenge me, and they counsel me. Sometimes they point out the obvious I’ve been avoiding. Sometimes they give me really rather brilliant notions. And always, they listen.

[1] TTL serves as the compliment to TTG (see my notes on Heaven Shiner). TTL points to the Lower Worlds, to places deep under earth. I have seen it as a darkness-shrouded city under the earth, with dark purple vines growing over slick black stone towers. It is a place of desire, dreaming, longing, pleasures of all kinds. It is perverse, but it is sacred. It is a place of power that drives puritans and evangelicals and the insipid mad. It is a place of indulgent poetries and the old dark power of the deep earth, of old hatreds and ancient desires, of time stretched out to the edge of doom. It is that power that wells up from deep within, a power born of desire long suppressed. It is demoniac. It is chthonic. It is fey. The flames burn blue there, and the wells of water stand still, deep, silent, black.

Image: A tunnel under Paris by Nicolas Vigier

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