A Guest Post by Ing Venning
GOAL To create a shield that will protect us and remind us of happy memories in times of stress or sorrow.
AUDIENCE – Kids often enjoy this meditation, but anyone can participate. Ideally, you will have a speaker (who may or may not act as a quarter caller) and at least a handful of participants. This ritual can be adapted for use with only one or two people, however.
PREPARATION [Optional: You may wish to give each of the quarter callers some feathers, a scarf, a handful of soft grass or some other object that is soft and flowing.]
SPEAKER: Please sit or lie down in a comfortable position with your legs and arms uncrossed. Begin to breathe slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Let the air fill and invigorate your whole body. As you inhale, feel the air enter your air passages, your lungs, even your stomach. When you exhale, these areas will contract. Then inhale again, then exhale. Rise and fall. Just like that – slowly and steadily.
Shake your shoulders, your hips, your knees – not forcibly but gently. Shake off annoyance, anger, and oppression. Shake yourself outside of the world and into a time made only of one moment looping back upon itself. A timeless moment in which you are free to breathe gently. A place where you can relax.
Feel your aura expanding, moving outward so that it radiates in spokes around you. It will grow until it is quite expansive but not so that it overlaps with the auras of others unless they wish it. Each one of our aura spokes grabs hold of the very molecules around us and grounds us in their polar charges. Feel yourself drifting along in a current of particles, at peace and connected to everything around you.
NORTH CALLER: Welcome, happy memories of the earth and its dwellers. Remember times when you felt safe and supported as you welcome the spirits of the earth into this sacred space. Only thoughts and spirits that bring no harm may enter.
EAST CALLER: Welcome, happy memories of the air and its dwellers. Remember times when you felt inspired and awed. Only thoughts and spirits that bring no harm may enter.
SOUTH CALLER: Welcome, happy memories of the fire and its dwellers. Remember times when you felt energetic and powerful. Only thoughts and spirits that bring no harm may enter.
WEST CALLER: Welcome, happy memories of the water and its dwellers. Remember times when you felt at peace and unconditionally loved. Only thoughts and spirits that bring no harm may enter.
SPEAKER: Laughing gods and goddesses, bring your happiness and your peace and be welcome in our circle. Let us share our joy.
Slowly, in your trance, move your hand back and forth. Back and forth as you breathe in and out. Back and forth as one weaves a tapestry or sews a cloak. Back and forth as one strokes a lover or massages a newborn. Let each thread harness and harbor a cherished memory. We are building up a pattern, weaving a cloak of happiness.
Our memories protect us without overprotecting us. Our cloak is very light, yet its effect is profound. It can warm us when we’re cold and cool us when we’re stifling. It can ease the pain of depression, of anxiety, of anger. It brings more joy and contentment into our lives by connecting us to the upper world or overworld; it can also redistribute emotions so they flow in balance. Our cloaks will never block us from suffering that can make our lives better, but it has the power to keep any challenge from becoming overwhelming; its magic moderates our feelings.
Now that your cloak is woven, try it on. [At this point, quarter callers or the speaker may wish to brush participants’ backs or necks with their soft, flowing material.] It fits snugly and comfortably. It even sings – you have to strain to hear the song, for it’s very soft, but it’s also filled with joy. Look at the fabric you’ve woven. You’ve skillfully woven happy scenes that make you smile, even when all around you seems lost or hopeless. Revel in these good memories and the cloak they’ve produced.
Now that the cloak is woven and has been placed about your body, feel it sink into your aura and adjust its energy. The cloak will stay with you – a gentle, benign influence – even when you remove your physical clothing. It will stay to help you feel good, to help you smile, to help you relax even in stressful conditions. This is your Cloak of Happiness.
WEST CALLER: Farewell to the west, but not to its happy memories of the water and its dwellers. Memories of times when you felt at peace and unconditionally loved will remain with you.
SOUTH CALLER: Farewell to the south, but not to its happy memories of the fire and its dwellers. Memories of times when you felt energetic and powerful will remain with you.
EAST CALLER: Farewell to the east, but not to its happy memories of the air and its dwellers. Memories of times when you felt inspired and awed will remain with you.
NORTH CALLER: Farewell to the north, but not to its happy memories of the earth and its dwellers. Memories of times when you felt safe and supported will remain with you.
SPEAKER: Laughing gods and goddesses, thanks for the energy you’ve given. May it stay within the cloaks you’ve blessed us with. The circle opens, but it never breaks.
Slowly return to your mundane body, but you need not let go of the good feelings we’ve evoked here in our circle. Those will go with us, insulating us from harm but never blocking us from the emotions we need to feel and the energy we need to understand and grow.
If it helps you to return, tap a solid object, snap your fingers, give a shout, or do something else that affirms your presence in the mundane world again. Welcome back.
May each and every one of you be blessed. Thanks for being part of our circle. Go from here in peace and great contentment.
Ing Venning is a pagan indie author who draws upon his experiences of being multiply different from the mainstream. He has published three novels featuring pagan protagonists, a sampler of his work, and several short stories. He will be publishing two more novels, a collection of (mostly) retellings, and a volume of poetry in 2020. You can read the sampler of his work and his first novel for free; just visit https://ingvenning.com/