Day 170: Becoming Air

Roderick begins today’s description by saying that it is “important work to learn how to transform into each of the elements in order for you to gain complete mastery of the elemental world”, which we will do through a very focused meditation in which our very bodies will become the element itself.  In other words, we’ll effectively be surrendering our bodies and minds to the element.

Roderick notes that this can give some people the willies, for they fear losing the self.  Roderick asks them to question what is the self that they fear losing and to spend time contemplating the source of the fear before they begin with this practice.  Try to identify where the fear began and whether or not it is legitimate, and to come to terms with the answers.

This type of surrender is supposed to be liberating, or–as Roderick says–“a direct shamanic experiential practice that can help you surpass the usual obstacles and boundaries of your life.”  In effect, we’re all free-falling through time and space, so just let go and enjoy the ride a little more fully:  “exercises that encourage a sense of surrendering allow you to vividly experience this truth.”

To begin, light the Air incense and sit down facing the east.  Place the bowl of lit incense in front of you.  With your middle finger, dab a drop of air oil approximately at the center of your brow.  Gather some of the wafting incense into your hands and bring your hands toward your face.  Witches believe that this process blesses and cleanses the practitioner with the element.  Repeat this cleansing process twice more.

Assume a meditative sitting posture, your spine straight and aligned.  Now, focus your attention on the gentle, curling tendrils of incense.  Allow your breathing to become deep and rhythmic.  Continue to focus intently upon the smoke, barring all other thoughts.  If you should have a thought unrelated to the smoke, simply observe it and allow it to pass through you.  Do not allow it to disturb you.  Most importantly, do not allow it to take your focus.

Imagine that with each inhalation, your mind becomes the smoky incense that surrounds you.  Feel your body become the smoke; it should feel light and expansive.  Feel the place where you sit becoming the smoke and all objects around you becoming the incense.  Focus intently so that nothing exists but the incense smoke.  Stay focused, preferably for 20-30 minutes.

When you are done, take time to close your eyes and imagine that your smoke-body solidifies and becomes stable once again.  Get down on your hands and knees and place your forehead to the floor to ground and center your personal energy.

When you are ready, open your eyes and stretch.  Take time to journal about your experience or discuss it with a friend.

I performed this meditation almost immediately after waking this morning.  Of course, I had to run a brush through my hair, drink some water, make my bed, and wash up my oil warmer, but I was able to begin the meditation within 20 minutes of waking up.

It was a little difficult to envision the smoke (well, warmer steam) becoming me and all my surroundings, but I eventually did when I closed my eyes.  After awhile, I became a particle of that steam, floating about in the air.  The air would quickly push me in one direction, and then I would hover and sink a bit for a moment before a new currant would quickly tug me in another area and let me linger there for a second, too.

I began to feel that this is the nature of inspiration, a wholly air quality.  When the currant hits you, it strongly pulls you full force to it, and then you linger in that place for a while, studying whatever it was you needed to study, preparing, making, doing.  And then it will hit again at some point, either taking you to a new project or allowing you to get deeper on the current one.

To be one with inspiration, well…corny as it was, it was inspiring!  As I came out of the meditation, I couldn’t wait to begin journaling, then to grab a shower and breakfast, and then begin with my own studies today.

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