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Author Topic: calling the watchtower, elements, the four corners  (Read 2002 times)

Scarlett

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calling the watchtower, elements, the four corners
« on: April 24, 2013, 10:03:41 pm »
Hello everyone
I have been reading and researching paganism for a year and have a great deal of books and note books that has accumulated over that time...
I understand the "chain of command" of the watchtowers and i understand calling them is important. I do not understand hoq to do that the correct way. i read the book the book of shadows solitary witch by raven silverwolf. ( i believe is the her name but could be wrong) and her section of circle casting or calling the four corners absolutely confused me.. just when i think i got it i start to think of all the questions she asked in that book which i don't feel was answered in a way i understood .. so how do you call the corners properly and respectfully . I am so confused as to what is going on its killing me mentally.

thanks in advance :-)

Also a side note..i did enjoy her book and others i have read its just that one part i got totally thrown off track by

ccam

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Re: calling the watchtower, elements, the four corners
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2013, 10:11:46 pm »
Quote from: Scarlett;106625
Hello everyone
I have been reading and researching paganism for a year and have a great deal of books and note books that has accumulated over that time...
I understand the "chain of command" of the watchtowers and i understand calling them is important. I do not understand hoq to do that the correct way. i read the book the book of shadows solitary witch by raven silverwolf. ( i believe is the her name but could be wrong) and her section of circle casting or calling the four corners absolutely confused me.. just when i think i got it i start to think of all the questions she asked in that book which i don't feel was answered in a way i understood .. so how do you call the corners properly and respectfully . I am so confused as to what is going on its killing me mentally.

thanks in advance :-)

Also a side note..i did enjoy her book and others i have read its just that one part i got totally thrown off track by

 
There's really no right or wrong way to call the corners.  The way I call them is "I call to the "direction" to the element of "element".  I ask that you attend this circle and lend your power to this rite.  Hail and welcome."  When I was a teenager, after watching The Craft, I used the quarter calls the girls use during their Beltane ritual.  I enjoyed it and it seemed to work.  Later I found out they consulted with an actual Wiccan priestess, so they were evidently genuine.  Whatever works for you is fine, just be respectful.

Jenett

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Re: calling the watchtower, elements, the four corners
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 11:03:53 pm »
Quote from: Scarlett;106625
Hello everyone
I have been reading and researching paganism for a year and have a great deal of books and note books that has accumulated over that time...
I understand the "chain of command" of the watchtowers and i understand calling them is important. I do not understand hoq to do that the correct way. i read the book the book of shadows solitary witch by raven silverwolf. ( i believe is the her name but could be wrong) and her section of circle casting or calling the four corners absolutely confused me.. just when i think i got it i start to think of all the questions she asked in that book which i don't feel was answered in a way i understood .. so how do you call the corners properly and respectfully . I am so confused as to what is going on its killing me mentally.


It's not precisely that there's a 'right' and 'wrong' way, so much as it's a bit like cooking: there are a bunches of ways to make dinner that end up with a meal you want to eat. But there are also a bunch of ways to attempt to make dinner that end up inedible (don't do what you need them to do) or can be potentially risky (like increasing your chances of a kitchen fire or your sink overflowing, or whatever.)

That's why a really good piece of advice is not to do anything in ritual that you a) don't fully understand and b) aren't equally uncomfortable *undoing*. (i.e. if you invite something into circle, you should have a good idea how to get it to go away again if/when you need to.)

You can think of some of this like having people over for a party. There are lots of ways to throw a party, and being clear about your house rules can help spare you a lot of trouble, and planning ahead for how to say "Hey, this has been great, but I need to get to bed soon." when you need to shoo people out at the end makes it easier to do.

So. Quarters.

When people call the quarters, they are usually calling one or more of the following things:
- The elemental energies.
- The elemental rulers (personifications of the elements who guide and provide focus)
- The guardians of the quarters (also commonly referred to as the watchtowers)
- Sometimes something else - some traditions call specific deities at the quarters, some traditions call animals, etc.

Some traditions call more than one of these (my tradition generally calls the energies and the guardians, but for some rituals we also call the elemental rulers)

*Why* you're calling is also something that varies: some traditions call the quarters to bring the power of the elements (the building blocks of life and magic) into circle. Some traditions call to bring specific aspects of those elements into the circle (i.e. if you're doing a ritual focused on creative projects, you might say "Powers of air, communication, creativity, inspiration") where if you were doing a ritual to do well on your exams, you might say "Powers of air, communication, knowledge, and memory.")
Some traditions see the guardians as unique and uniquely focused protectors and guides of a specific kind of energy. Some traditions do other things.

So *what* you do, and how you do it is going to depend on a lot of the other parts of your ritual. Just like cooking, you can't entirely swap steps in and out and end up with the desired result: sometimes it works, sometimes it won't.

So, how do you do that? In generally, the format is something like:

[greeting] to the [whatever you're calling]. I [whoever you are] ask you to [come do whatever]. I call upon [whatever else] to come [do whatever]. [some sort of thanks and appreciation] [often some sort of gesture that makes space for them in the circle/allows them entry/gives them a specific location in the circle]

So, if I call circle, I use a modified form of my trad's method, that usually goes something like this: Hail to the guardian of the Gate of the East: I [my ritual name] call upon you to join us in this circle. Guide, guard, and protect my work here tonight. Spirits and ancient powers of air, I call on you to bring discernment, inspiration, and understanding here tonight. I bid you hail and welcome." [followed by lighting a candle and doing some ritual gestures that have to do with our circle construction.]

As you can see, there are *lots* of possible options here: what matters most is that you take time to develop a relationship with the things you're inviting (you can invite them as *part* of that, of course), and that you don't just mix and match bits of other people's rituals without figuring out how they're doing things and fitting together.

In terms of a book that might be more help in explaining how parts fit together, I like Deborah Lipp's "Elements of Ritual". I disagree with a lot of the *details* in her decisions, but I really like how she explains different pieces, how you might adapt them for different uses, etc.
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Scarlett

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Re: calling the watchtower, elements, the four corners
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 11:14:13 pm »
Thank you both so much! You have no idea how much this has helped me.. i really appreciate it.

And i get it now lol.. thank you very much.




Quote from: Jenett;106631
It's not precisely that there's a 'right' and 'wrong' way, so much as it's a bit like cooking: there are a bunches of ways to make dinner that end up with a meal you want to eat. But there are also a bunch of ways to attempt to make dinner that end up inedible (don't do what you need them to do) or can be potentially risky (like increasing your chances of a kitchen fire or your sink overflowing, or whatever.)

That's why a really good piece of advice is not to do anything in ritual that you a) don't fully understand and b) aren't equally uncomfortable *undoing*. (i.e. if you invite something into circle, you should have a good idea how to get it to go away again if/when you need to.)

You can think of some of this like having people over for a party. There are lots of ways to throw a party, and being clear about your house rules can help spare you a lot of trouble, and planning ahead for how to say "Hey, this has been great, but I need to get to bed soon." when you need to shoo people out at the end makes it easier to do.

So. Quarters.

When people call the quarters, they are usually calling one or more of the following things:
- The elemental energies.
- The elemental rulers (personifications of the elements who guide and provide focus)
- The guardians of the quarters (also commonly referred to as the watchtowers)
- Sometimes something else - some traditions call specific deities at the quarters, some traditions call animals, etc.

Some traditions call more than one of these (my tradition generally calls the energies and the guardians, but for some rituals we also call the elemental rulers)

*Why* you're calling is also something that varies: some traditions call the quarters to bring the power of the elements (the building blocks of life and magic) into circle. Some traditions call to bring specific aspects of those elements into the circle (i.e. if you're doing a ritual focused on creative projects, you might say "Powers of air, communication, creativity, inspiration") where if you were doing a ritual to do well on your exams, you might say "Powers of air, communication, knowledge, and memory.")
Some traditions see the guardians as unique and uniquely focused protectors and guides of a specific kind of energy. Some traditions do other things.

So *what* you do, and how you do it is going to depend on a lot of the other parts of your ritual. Just like cooking, you can't entirely swap steps in and out and end up with the desired result: sometimes it works, sometimes it won't.

So, how do you do that? In generally, the format is something like:

[greeting] to the [whatever you're calling]. I [whoever you are] ask you to [come do whatever]. I call upon [whatever else] to come [do whatever]. [some sort of thanks and appreciation] [often some sort of gesture that makes space for them in the circle/allows them entry/gives them a specific location in the circle]

So, if I call circle, I use a modified form of my trad's method, that usually goes something like this: Hail to the guardian of the Gate of the East: I [my ritual name] call upon you to join us in this circle. Guide, guard, and protect my work here tonight. Spirits and ancient powers of air, I call on you to bring discernment, inspiration, and understanding here tonight. I bid you hail and welcome." [followed by lighting a candle and doing some ritual gestures that have to do with our circle construction.]

As you can see, there are *lots* of possible options here: what matters most is that you take time to develop a relationship with the things you're inviting (you can invite them as *part* of that, of course), and that you don't just mix and match bits of other people's rituals without figuring out how they're doing things and fitting together.

In terms of a book that might be more help in explaining how parts fit together, I like Deborah Lipp's "Elements of Ritual". I disagree with a lot of the *details* in her decisions, but I really like how she explains different pieces, how you might adapt them for different uses, etc.

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