Have you ever clairvoyantly observed a tree? In a clairvoyant state, I have watched how a tree will pull up the earth’s abundant magnetism and channel it through the roots, trunk, and branches and gently release this natural power through the leaves, flowers and fruit of the tree. This power cascades all around, almost creating a halo around each tree. This power cycles back down around the natural environment near the tree.
While standing within the forest beneath the trees; certain hand, body movements and poses will mimic this action of the trees we chose to align ourselves with. Power can be tapped and shared by trees in this way and we to can pull up with our bodies and minds and project outward and around the area too.
Why do trees do this and also why are the witches of our coven drawn so deeply to trees?
Another clairvoyant observation is how the elementals operate within the Aether in connection with us and with trees. (The elementals are broken down into four classifications corresponding with air, fire, water and earth. From these four, they are broken down even further.)
It is no wonder that large festivals known as “Fairy/Fairie Festivals” are so popular today. At these festivals it is not uncommon for people to be dressed up in various outfits and disguises in order to play nature’s spiritual entities: the elementals.
The elementals that seem friendlier with humans are the air spirits – particularly what we might call fairies with beautiful wings. This fondness might be because the nature spirits that most closely resonate with the mental states of mankind are these fairies. Humans are an intellectual species and so are these beings, being associated with the element of air.
Why this image?
Like celebrants at a Fairie or Fairy Festival that dance, sing and have fun; fairies of this nature might engage in these same acts without understanding why they are drawn to do it. Why do thousands upon thousands of celebrants get together for a weekend and celebrate nature in this way? It seems to be something that they are drawn to do in their own way.
The Goddess and God that we as witches honor are divine principles in our coven, or first manifestations/divine parents that have sprung forth from the “Supreme Being.” Un-foldments of power from our divine parents leads us to the angelic beings and so on down to nature spirits, man and even down to the astral shells that are beginning to disintegrate and break down into basic spiritual essences which are recycled and re-used by the universe.
The Angelic/Planetary rays and that of concentrated thoughts will draw the base elementals to a spot. The fun they engage in encourages the growth of all things. If that presence is withdrawn from a place, the flora and fauna is said to recede as growth begin to slow down.
An interesting experiment that I have noticed is when I stopped tending to certain plants and delegated the responsibility to someone else. These plants were very low maintenance that takes no more than a simple watering.
When I stopped tending these plants and the task was delegated, I noticed an immediate slowing down of growth. The plants did not die, but stopped growing at the pace I was used to.
Most of my life I have been interested in the beauty and power of plants. I look on them in “awe.” This love and appreciation is a concentration of thought upon the plants. Esoterically, I am channeling the astral fluid from the Aether to the plant. This action therefore draws to it the elemental beings, like the fairies, which begin their party, thereby, stirring the channeled astral light that had been concentrated upon a living object. (The plants)
We see this same thing in healing. Whether thought-projection occurs from a long-distance, or a simple hands-on healing, the concentration that occurs via the active ordering of wiling the astral fluid to flow to that spot may just be how psychic healing works.
When taught to “whistle up the wind,” the sound combined with thought-concentration may be what draws the correct air elementals which stir. (We draw elementals that are most closely connected with our own thoughts and our current advancement in the school of our current life.)
Why am I rambling on and on about Tree-Power , elementals, fairies and the astral when this article is supposed to be about a remarkable lady that I am inspired by? (Sybil Leek)
The fact is, I never had the chance to meet Sybil Leek in person and all the stories about her that I know where told to me 2nd or 3rd person. This is because in the 1960s, before the publication of her famous book, “Diary of a Witch,” Sybil helped establish the coven that I was initiated into many years later and she chartered it as the United States branch of Horsa.
Because I have no personal experiences with Ms. Leek before she had gone through passage and transition into her next life, I feel in no way qualified to discuss all the various interests and influences she had. This would be an almost impossible task in many ways because Sybil was of world-wide fame and she seemed to know everyone of that time period. So I thought the best way to pay honor and respect to this amazing woman was to talk about how her teachings affected my own understanding of witchcraft and the coven in which I practice today.
A deep and abiding love of trees, nature and the forest would be of prime importance and why I spent so much time talking about the clairvoyant observations of the fairies, trees and nature.
Our coven has an emphasis on working out of doors when we can. Of course, it is not always possible to do because of the weather conditions and locations, but even when a spell or ritual is crafted indoors, we attempt to go outdoors or in a three-season room if we can afterwards. Many of us also garden in amateur ways in order to understand Nature’s subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle powers.
Seasonal rituals and full moon rituals are performed by the members of our coven. While the words can be many times well thought-out and beautiful; we also strive for simplicity. For in nature, what seems to be the most simple is often the most profound.
I’ve found that the sheer simplicity of Nature’s inspirations one day when I was outdoors pruning an overgrown shrub. It was hard work and I of course thought there is much more rewarding work than vigorously attacking the overgrown monstrosity of a bush with pruning shears. When in a flash without any particular concentration, the Guides brought my attention to a few other areas of my life that I have neglected and that I should make time for, for one of the Tenets of the Old Religion is to strive to live a “Balanced Life.” (There are Eight Tenets of Witchcraft that we constantly strive to achieve. They can be found in Sybil’s classic 1971 book titled, “The Complete Art of Witchcraft.”)
Without missing a beat in the trimming or cutting of the bush, I continued to listen as the Guides continued to share the next steps. This is in fact a form of meditation which I might refer to as an “active contemplation.”
This type of contemplation/meditation seems to be our Western form of meditation. How many people say they fail at meditating and just can never seem to make enough time for it in our Western world? Well, in our simple form of witchcraft that we practice in our coven might guide us to a more suitable situation – and that is a form of active contemplation so that as we are doing what seems to be active duties, such as pruning the bushes, that requires no exerted mental concentration; so that we allow our minds to be receptive and receive messages through this form of meditation.
If your witch-mentor said, “Hey c’mon – let’s meditate for a while” and he or she grabs a pair of pruning shears you may think them quite mad because we expect the image of an Eastern style of meditation in our minds; but I have found this fulfills the Western need to always be “doing” something at all times.
A good friend of mine decided she would begin meditation classes. The meditation classes were held in a bookshop and people paid money in order to be told to sit still and think of nothing and empty your mind. Her sessions did not go so well at first, especially the first session in which her complexion went white as a sheet, started sweating and had a panic attack. Now, she meditates at home and has found a system that works for her that she is constantly working to improve upon.
This above true story may sound way over the top, but it was one of her actual experiences and is a woman of sound mind and body. For those of many years of occult study, you will probably find it quite mad to pay someone else to tell you to sit still and think of nothing. You might find it surprising she had a panic attack. What you find most of all is that most folks just don’t meditate at all; but if they can actively listen and be receptive, while at the same time doing some type of mundane chore such as running the vacuum sweeper; you may be surprised at the insight you receive when you turn off the television and listen to your own thoughts and that of the Guides.
Psychic and magical healing is another important part of our coven practice, and at each ritual; time is set aside to concentrate on those in need of healing.
Some people fancy up magical healing into a complex practice that involves the visualization of symbols, mantras and sophisticated hand gestures. This is all well and good for those that practice many systems of magical and cultures methods of healing; but in order to really understand the power of psychic and witchcraft healing, you must take it back to its most simple and build from there.
How many people have sat and listened across from a loved one or a dear friend going through a hard time and they begin to sob. Our instinctual mind urges us to reach out and hug them to soothe them – typically pulling them close to our hearts.
This happens as well when a mother or father soothes their child that has suffered from a night-terror or had fallen and injured their knee.
The reaching out that you do for your friend, loved-one or child is a form of basic psychic healing, and those with clairvoyant abilities observing this happen can report to the transference of magnetism from the soother to the one being soothed. No fancy hang gestures or mantras necessary in this case. No elemental hexagrams or waving of wands needed in this case.
As you can see, building from what is natural and at its base, we move on from there.
The same can be said for the setup of our magical circles. Why might we place our altars within the center of a magical circle?
Since our coven spends a great deal of time in the spring, summer and fall outdoors and around the baalfire, we naturally find ourselves gathering around the fire in a circle. The heat of the fire radiates outward. The same can be said of our magical circle where a concentration of energy, or what we focus on, is built in the center of the magical circle and is radiated out. This is but a natural reaction.
This brings us to magical spells, which are of course utilized when needed, even though the path of witchcraft we follow is more than just spells and rituals – but a way of life and occult philosophy we follow in order to “Know Thyself,” which is a life-long complex spell indeed!
Most simple spells are of the sympathetic, mummial or contagin magic variety. Some spells we manufacture in potion-form such as in the form of “Fluid Condensers” which for the most part are suspended in fluids are “magic potions” of sorts that influence the “Astral Fluid” and help direct the witch’s thoughts of concentration and direct the elementals to carry out the projected will or end result. (The Fluid Condensers are made in a variety of cauldrons – though at the four Sabbat/Seasons, a cauldron is more likely to be filled with a soup or herbal drink we partake of rather than a magical potion.)
Séance circles and other forms of spiritualism is studied in order to help find answers; along with other forms of prognostication and the nurturing and development of the individual witches powers. Many folks that have been involved since the 1970s will probably remember various television shows in which Sybil would demonstrate psychic phenomena on television by conducting a Séance on camera or going into a trance in order to communicate with spiritual entities to receive insight. We still practice these forms of occult today.
The power of herbs, flowers and plants for the purposes of employing remedies is a major part of our coven. In fact, one such “special blend” for colds and flus is affectionately known as “Vengeful Hate,” because while many in the coven praise its ability, it tastes like “hate” in our own jokey way.
The study of the old grimoires and books on magical folklore happens on a frequent basis. Grimoires such as The Greater Key of Solomon, The Great Book of Magical Art by de Laurence, a few books by A.E. Waite, the Red Dragon, Petite Albert, books by Leland such as Etruscan Magic and Occult Remedies, and Art Magic and Ghostland edited by Emma Britten and many, many other excellent books.
Folklore studies such as the complete set of “The Golden Bough” by Frazer is highly recommended and was highly recommended by Sybil to the High Priesthood of our coven. We keep a set that was printed in the 1930s in the covenstead today for frequent reference.
Now today, most copies of “The Golden Bough” for sale are “The Magic Art, Vols. 1 and 2” put together as one book and were first printed in the early 1890s. The later additional volumes expanded the set to 12 or more volumes such as: Spirits of the Corn and Wild Vols. 1 & 2, The Dying God, Taboos and Perils of the Soul and many more. All of them have a great deal of information to contemplate and flesh out further your magical practice.
A teaching of natural magic, such as that of weather magic, is but another type of magic that is concentrated on when learning the ropes of witchcraft. When Sybil would visit the old covenstead, there was a particular hiking spot up an overlook that the late High Priestess of the original coven had taken Sybil up to. It was a perfect spot to see for miles in which you could learn weather magic. This tradition was carried on by taking new students of the coven up to in order to pass on the teachings. To this day, we occasionally will hike up to the Overlook – even if not for the purposes of teaching weather magic, but within the spirit of tradition.
What Sybil had taught and passed on has significantly impacted my life for the better, and I have no clue where I would be without it having influenced my life. Ms. Leek had passed on in 1982, and even though she is not alive today to thank, I am eternally grateful for what she had passed on. The tradition of witchcraft that she brought over from the New Forest of England is alive and well in many forms of manifestations. Maybe Sybil has also had an impact on your life too, no matter how direct or indirect?
Photo of Sybil with her famous pet jackdaw: http://covenantofrhiannon.org/sybilleek.htm