In order to continue on to the circle practice for today–calling the first of the quarters–we first need to set up the altar in the same way we did for the previous exercises. We need to consecrate the elements and ourselves, and light the quarter candles while calling the Ekos (my addition to Roderick’s exercise, in keeping with Hartwood Grove’s practice). Then we cast the first, second, and third layers of the circle.
Once we’ve done that, we return to the east and face the outer perimeter of the circle to begin calling the Eastern Quarter. We begin by drawing the Invoking Air pentagram in the air. To do this, Roderick advises:
Use your dominant hand outstretched in the natural athame position and start at the farthest right point and draw your hand (or consecrated athame) horizontally to the left. Proceed with drawing the rest of the pentagram. As you draw it, imagine that you leave a trail of golden yellow energy suspended in midair. As you draw the pentagram, say something like:
I summon, stir, and call thee up
Mighty Ones of the East, Powers of Air,
To witness my (our) rites and to seal this circle!
Sense the elemental energies you have summoned. Imagine them sealing the eastern quarter of your magical space. After you have sensed how this feels, banish the elemental forces of air. Again, face the east but draw the Banishing Air pentagram. As you banish, imagine the golden aura fading away. As you banish the eastern powers, say something like:
Hail ye mighty ones of the East,
We thank thee for attending.
Before ye depart for your lovely realms,
We say hail and farewell!
Kiss your index and middle fingers (or your consecrated athame blade) and point once again toward the east. Proceed with the steps to banish the circle as practiced on day 237.
I have found that great visualization is the key when it comes to calling the quarters and tapping into their energy. Prior to working with Hartwood Grove, my visualizations when it came to the quarters were pretty abstract. However, D. and T. really emphasized really descriptive visuals, and I’ve found I’m subsequently getting a lot better at sensing and working with the energies. When it comes to calling the quarters, T. suggested that we think of the “ekos” (eko eko Azarak/Zomelak/Gananas/Aradia) as sort of knocking on each element’s door. Then, as we prepare to call, we visualize something very concrete about each element: wind whipping around us, the searing heat of flame, diving into a cool pool, and digging in sun-warmed, fertile dirt. Then, as we call, we visualize the guardian opening the door we’ve knocked upon and bathing us in more of that elemental essence. I sort of picture the guardians lingering in the doorways and watching us bemusedly all throughout the circle. As we dismiss them, we again become conscious of that elemental essence and watch as the guardians close that door as we draw the banishing pentagrams.
The most important things, though, are to really do your best to sense the elemental energies you’ve summoned, and how they change and ‘seal’ the magical space you’ve created. When you dismiss them, do your best to feel that energy disperse.