6.9.13

Raising Group Energy

You will probably ask yourselves why this is necessary? Every ritual has to have a beginning, climax and an ending, as does any good story, for example. Energy raising (be it in a group of by oneself) enables this climax. This also enables the sending of this energy towards a certain goal and every ritual/magical act has to have a goal. This goal has to be the same for all the members of a group (if done in a group), i.e. everyone has to visualize the same thing, think about the same thing and this visualization has to be precisely defined before the ritual. If it is not done, then the energy which is sent won't be unified which will cause the results to be worse (if there are any at all).

Magick

All the definitions of magick I have come across are based on the control of energy or more precisely, the directing of that energy towards a certain goal. Pagans believe that energy is all around us and that everything is made up of it. It is actually always the same energy which circulates constantly. We can conclude from this that everything is connected through it and that we all share it. If this is true, then magick can't be illogical since it isn't that hard to control something that you are so connected to.

In any case, it is necessary to give something if we want to get something in return; this is how things normally function. Of course, no sacrifices are needed but we are expected to put some effort and energy into what we're doing. This energy will then be amplified by the cosmos/higher powers. 

Energy Sources

Scott Cunningham claims that there are several sources which can help us expand our energy, or perhaps even lend us their own. We "take" the energy we need from them in order to raise it later. These sources are:

  1. Personal - that which keeps us alive i.e. that which we are made up of. This source is limited but can still be used for magickal purposes.
  2. Earthly - all the energy that comes from the earth, crystals, trees, water etc. This source is practically unlimited and is very useful in magick.
  3. Divine - that which runs everything and which acts through the earth. Therefore, if we are taking energy form the earth, we are, in a way, taking it from the divine source. 
Of course, we aren't stealing this energy because, as I have already mentioned, this energy simply circulates and we all share it. This is simply directing energy in a certain direction (to us, from us to a goal etc.). This energy is universal.

Ways of Raising Energy

Once we have visualized "taking" energy from a specific source, it is necessary to raise it to a certain level before sending it towards a certain goal. Up to now, the best methods have been those that include our senses, although not all senses have the same effect. This is why I have divided them into the primary (more intense) and secondary senses (those which aid the primary ones, but which don't have that big an impact themselves).

The Primary Senses:
  • Hearing - this sense is the most important of all because it is sound that can move our body to the extent of our heartbeat matching the beat of a drum or a bass which thumps through the ground. Remember all those galleys whose oarsmen were motivated and unified by the beat of a drum. It is enough to even recall a moment in your life when you were in a larger group of people when the music was slightly louder and you'll understand. Drums are the most commonly used instrument in rituals, although other objects/body parts can be used to produce a rhythm to which everyone will move coherently (clapping your hands, slapping your thighs, beating your feet on the ground, beating sticks or stones together etc.). Other instruments can also be used, of course, but it has been proven that the simplest instruments often have the largest effect. We mustn't forget to use every part of our body to produce sounds; we don't have to clap our hands, we can also sing or simplify things and chant instead of singing more complicated verses that are harder to memorize. The main thing is that the rhythm and melody (and the words if singing a song) are simple so the practitioners can relax and focus on raising the energy instead of how they are singing/dancing and so on.
  • Touch - this sense plays a larger role in our lives than we may think. Remember how wonderful it feels to touch a soft, plush blanket or rough tree bark or how you get goose bumps whenever you touch something that excites you. The sense of touch controls passion which will be necessary for us to raise energy. We can activate this sense by holding hands in the circle with the other practitioners, by clapping our hands, slapping our thighs, messing up our hair; basically anything as long as this sense is also active and you palms are feeling something.
The Secondary Senses:
  • Sight - this usually primary sense takes on a secondary role here. When we are ecstatic (when we dance or make love, for example), we often close our eyes to enable us to enjoy the moment even more. Although, this sense can help us not to bump into people when we're dancing but it can also help us by making us aware of the people surrounding us. Knowing this can cause some people to become shy (although this shall be prevented in the following ritual by a simple exercise), but it can cause others to feel excitement such as the kind you feel when you are dancing in a large group or on a football stadium cheering in a huge crowd. This depends on the type of person you are, but when you give in to the moment, this sense will probably become irrelevant. 
  • Smell - can be a very stimulating sense when food is in question, but it isn't very important in ritual work. We can only affect it by making the smells around us more exotic or nicer in any way so the whole experience can be more pleasant.
  • Taste - usually has no effect whatsoever in rituals. We are too occupied with our other senses to think about whether we are hungry or not, or even thirsty for that matter.

The last factor that has an impact on raising the energy in a circle is other people's energy. If we sense that others are sending off a "good vibe", then this can help us raise our own energy (like at a good concert). If will often turn out that a night out will turn bad simply because the people around you were in a bad mood or because their "energy was bad". Sadly, we cannot always influence this factor.

Ecstasy

The intention of raising group energy is to raise it to the point when we reach ecstasy. This is because we will direct/send of energy the best when we are in this state of mind and the more energy we put into it (i.e. the more energy we send off), the bigger the chances are that we will reach our goal.

We can identify rituals with sex. We are biologically programmed to want sex or, better said, to want orgasms (the climax). This isn't something that we should be ashamed of. Sex attracts us because this climax enables us to have children which will be the carriers of our genes. If man couldn't reach his climax, then the egg cell couldn't be impregnated. It has even been proven that the chances of a woman getting pregnant are higher if she reaches climax at the same time as the man does. All of this is just pure biology. The equivalent of an orgasm during sex is the sending off/directing of energy during a ritual.

Just like sex, energy control i.e. magick is also a natural thing. But it is also a discipline since craft and practice are needed in order to become adept in visualizations which help in everything I have described here. Some people are simply naturally talented for this so it may be a bit easier for them, but then again, the same goes for sex (nobody is good the first time but we get better with practice).

The Cone of Power

The Cone of Power has become the most well-known way of raising energy in Paganism. It got its name because of the visualization around with this method is centered; energy being sent in the form of a cone. This shape itself is excellent for raising energy because it is sent from individuals (which stand in a circle forming the base of the cone) towards a common goal (the top of the cone).

So people form the base of the cone i.e. the Circle. The circle is the symbol of the Sun, unity, eternity and reincarnation. Unity is the key word here because all the people involved must be unified and have a common goal. The form of the cone itself is connected to the triangle which is connected to the number three (the number of creation and, in Wicca, the number of the Triple Goddess) which represents striving towards a higher goal i.e. upwards (driving the energy towards the tip of the cone).

In the Cone of Power, people either sit or stand in a circle. Holding hands is the most common form of connecting, although giving a kiss (most often on the cheek) is another common way. This is needed for positive energy to start circulating.

In the following work, a traditional visualization of the raising of the energy will be done (the same one that is usually done in the Cone of Power). It includes every attendee visualizing a white/blue light (depending on the agreement) moving in a spiral form towards the tip of the cone. The speed of the light depends on how fast the energy is being raised.

Gerald Gardner described the Cone of Power as a form in which the attendants, who are running in a circle while holding hands in order to raise the energy, make up the base. At the point when the energy has to be directed/let out, everyone runs towards the center of the circle (in which there should be a small fire burning or at least a candle) yelling out the goal.

There is usually a person who leads everyone in order to keep them in unity. This person is the High Priestess in covens (she often stands in the middle of the circle in order to let everyone direct the energy at her so she can then direct it towards the goal). Whoever it is, this person has to signal the moment when everyone has to send the energy out; this is usually done by yelling out "NOW!" or giving any other obvious (and previously established) signal. The main thing is that everyone is clear on when they have to send the energy.

Grounding

After the energy has been sent (i.e. after the climax has been reached), it is good to let the energy drop on its own. But, the process of grounding doesn't have to refer only to the lowering of energy but also to the act of giving any excess energy back to the earth in order for us to "stand firmly on the ground" once more. During the ritual we are in a state of ecstasy and our heads are "in the clouds", but it is necessary to return to the physical world after each ritual. This is what grounding enables us to do. Residual energy can sometimes lead to anxiety or tension in the group so it is always best to ground yourself after any ritual (even though some choose to ground themselves both before and after the ritual, but the grounding before the ritual is based on "taking" energy from the ground while the grounding after the ritual is based on returning that energy back where it came from).

The most common method of grounding is consuming food and drink because what better way is there to return back to the earth than consuming its fruits? Another method coming into direct contact with the earth, for example slamming your hands down on the earth when the ritual is done or falling down to the ground (or simply lying down). If this action is less abrupt, then another visualization usually follows it so the energy can return to the ground gradually.

Whichever way you choose to do it, returning excess energy to the ground is necessary because of the aforementioned reasons. It is also good to stop and rest a bit more after all of this by sitting/lying down and controlling your breath until your heart rate comes down.

The Workshop:

The leader first physically marks the circle using rocks which will be its border and then cleanses the circle in an appropriate way so it is ready for energetic work.

Note: what follows is a workshop on raising group energy I lead during the Witches' Site 2013. We arranged the site as suggested; using rocks to mark the circle but we also put two tall sticks at the east end to mark the entrance. As the attendees entered, I welcomed them at the entrance holding a bowl of water. They first had to clean their faces before they could enter the circle and walking deosil (clockwise) was an absolute must. Before the actual ritual got started, I cleansed the circle with an incense stick (the elements of fire and air) and some water which I previously consecrated with salt (the elements of water and earth).

I would like to mention that I am extremely happy with the results and the comments were very positive also. :)

1. Relaxation Exercise

This exercise is here to help everyone get rid of their fears and nervousness. 

  • Everyone stands in a circle (preferably in a male-female order, although I let everyone choose their own place according to instinct) and when the leader says "now", everyone starts humming ("mmmm"). They stop when the leader signals it. On the next sign, they start saying "aaaa" and increase the volume (the leader must act as a conductor and show with their hands when to increase/reduce volume). When the sounds turn into shouts, the leader gives the sign for everyone to stop.
  • Everyone lifts their hands in the air. The leader walks around the circle and when he/she touches a person on the shoulder they abruptly lower their arms by their sides and yell (it is advisable to yell up to five seconds as not to release too much energy). - this exercise proved to be very useful since people were still a bit shy so this forced them to relax and get all that negativity out.

2. Connection Exercise

It is here to help everyone connect and to prevent any displeasure, anxiety or any other negative feelings from circling through the participants.

  • Everyone stands in a circle and holds hands (left palm upwards, right palm downwards).
  • The leader leads the visualization (a simple one in which everyone imagines energy circulating through their hands in order to connect and harmonize everyone).
  • The leader states the aim of the ritual on which everyone now focuses (ours was to bless the land we were on during the Witches' Site). A visualization of this goal then follows which the leader describes so everyone can visualize the same thing (I described the state of the land were on throughout all four seasons in a very positive light; a light breeze and bright sun in the summer, a variety of flowers covering the ground in spring, the beautiful colors during autumn and a cold light wind nipping the cheeks during a mild winter).

3. Raising the Energy

If anyone doesn't want to clap their hands, they are free to take sticks/stones/pots or anything else to produce sounds. As the leader, I used a tambourine to produce the main rhythm (since it has a very penetrating sound) while the base was created by the shamanic drum and the rhythm was held up by a djembe drum. I also dealt out a few rattles and similar instruments so a few other participants could play along.

Note: I divided the practitioners into an inner and outer circle; the inner circle consisted of the two drummers and two dancers (placed around the very center of the circle). Their role was to keep the rhythm constant and the mantra clean i.e. lead the group in that sense (but still following my signals). The outer circle raised the energy by running, creating sounds using their bodies and rattles as well as singing.

  • Everyone stands in a circle as before (still holding hands).
  • The leader begins the visualization of borrowing the energy from the earth. First, you imagine a white light rising from the earth through your feet and spine all the way to you crown chakra. The energy should be left there so it can later be let off from that point.
  • The leader walks around the circle and as he/she touches a person, the slowly start to clap. The rhythm gradually gets faster (everyone still follows the leader's signs since he/she defines the tempo).
  • The leader will continue walking in a circle and when he/she touches a person for the second time, they have to start clapping louder/slapping their thighs/playing any instrument they have with which they will define the rhythm following the tempo of the group (note: some will just keep clapping their hands). The rhythm has to keep getting faster all the time (but gradually).
  • When the leader touches a person for the third time, he tells them which vowel to sing/speak. Everyone is allowed to inhale when they feel the need and the leader gives the signs for increasing volume if this doesn't happen on its own. (I skipped this step because I noticed that the energy was raising nicely even without voices up to now)
  • At this point, the leader should be barely heard over the sounds of the participants. Now is the time for everyone to start moving staying inside the border. Everyone starts walking deosil at the leader's tempo.
  • When the leader gives the sign, everyone starts singing the mantra which has to be previously defined and in accordance with the goal (it is best if it rhymes and is very short). In our case, the mantra was: "Zemlja oko nas, zemlja je spas" (in translation: "Earth around us, earth saves us" or something along those lines). The leader starts singing it first following the group's rhythm and then everyone else joins in.
  • The movements get faster until everyone is running in the circle. The participants are free to move their bodies as they wish while running. They can keep holding hands, jump every now and then or even dance in the circle (if any of this will slow the group down, they are free to do it between the inner and outer circle). They can go into that space if they need a rest also, but no further than a meter from the other members. If they do go deeper into the circle, they have to compensate for their lack of movement by dancing/singing louder or moving in any other way that tires them less. But I am proud to say that nobody got tired, in fact, everyone had more energy than they usually did (their words).
  • When the leader has decided that the energy has been risen enough, he/she yells "NOW!" at the top of their lungs and everyone stops in their tracks and yells, at the same time visualizing a white light being set off to the tip of the cone from their crown chakra. (Instead of me yelling, we had a member who had a horn which he blew in on my signal).
  • Each individual has to decide for him/herself when they have released enough energy and then fall to the ground/slap the ground.
  • When everyone has done this, they should return to the circle and sit/lie down to rest.

4. Grounding

  • Breathing exercise (the leader guides a breathing exercise until everyone's heart rate calms down).
  • Releasing excess energy (the leader guides a visualization which is basically the reversed visualization of borrowing the energy from the earth). We replaced this step with a slow dance called the Dance of the Elements which one of our friends taught us (it worked very well with everything).
  • Everyone should keep sitting on the floor just a while longer. The leader goes around the circle once more and touches the members on the shoulder. A person is free to leave the circle only when they have been touched and they are encouraged to leave the circle through the door walking clockwise.

I hope you have learned something new from this post and that you will use some of the advice and ideas I have given to you. If anything remains unclear, feel free to ask me about it.

Until next time. Yours,
Witch's Cat

1 komentar:

  1. Ma bilo je odlično i svi s kojima sam pričala, baš svi su rekli da su uživali u ovom ritualu i u potpunosti se prepustili.
    Temeljito si ovu temu obradila draga, nisam ni na trenutak sumnjala u tebe, precizno i korisno, hvala ti i velika pusa iz Zagreba <3

    OdgovoriIzbriši