We are at a crossroads

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Tire tracks in the sand
At a crossroads photo by Leon Calafiore

Out of the Broomcloset

I would like to provide some tidings of comfort and joy as we hobble towards ’21—believe me, few things would lift my spirits more than imbibing spirits at “21” right now. So, here goes. I suppose one or two of you might be reflecting upon the 2020 election season.

This season will allow us neither a rest, nor a respite

Divination can only take one so far; and so far, while things don’t look horrible, they are horrifying. Yes, tarot cards were involved, and they, like polling prospective voters, give a range, and have a margin of error. Do they show things that will happen, or may happen (to paraphrase Ebenezer Scrooge)?

Even in the best of times, for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, the time between Yule and New Years can bring us to a point of stasis, of hibernation, snug in our beds, a long winter’s nap, that sort of thing. For others, signs and portents are the rule for the season, Star of Bethlehem and all that.

For many Pagans, it’s the time of the Holly King presiding over light surviving darkness. For the more secular, the edge of our calendar’s movement into a New Year is a time to look back and to the future as we are moving into the month of Janus, who oversaw beginnings.

This season will allow us neither a rest, nor a respite, that much I can see. COVID-19 will continue its progress through the populace, the economy will continue to sputter, there will be evil words and fell deeds riding on the winds (or, at least a continuation of the assault on truth, justice, and the American way), and we will be tired, so tired. We will still be battling for our lives whoever wins the contest.

But before you throw up your hands in defeat, let me offer some words of encouragement and direct your attention to the accompanying illustration, which is offered as a point of focus, a summation of 2020. By the way it’s also a template to do a little spell working to carry us over the hump.

Let’s talk a little magic. One of the impulses underlying magical activities is the desire to affect some of the potential outcomes of events, as well as discerning, when possible, what the possible shape of future events are before the fact. Some are seen in patterns in the skies, some are terrestrial. Then there is the matter of sigils, magical symbols, drawings. The secret is, some are a schematic, an overlay drawn to contain and maintain knowledge- syntheses. An easy example of this would be organizing stars by mapping them out then drawing lines between them and voila, we have constellations; from which concepts and associations develop, which can then be further regarded and manipulated.

So this is the little exercise being presented today. The image is tire marks in fresh snow. Consider how they embody the concept of winter, how they intersect, overlap, form paths, and obstructions. If you also want to consider this as a metaphor for life in general, that’s fine, too. Now, take a “cigarette” paper, lay it over the photo, and trace the lines. This is your sigil, containing paths, or walls, depending on what you want to do with it. If it’s a path out of a situation, place a dot on one of the lines. If you wish to utilize it to hinder someone or something, well, place a dot between the lines. Light a blue candle for the path forward or a red one to hinder. Concentrate on what you want to accomplish, and, after a time, fold the paper up, stick a pin in it, and burn it in the candle’s flame, which will release your intention. Let the candle burn down completely (over several days, if necessary). Flush the ashes. I hope you chose the blue candle, leading us all from the darkness to the new light.