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~ Basic Alignment Exercises ~

The exercise in which you learn to align with deity are basically the same as those you have just practice.  To do so will, perhaps, make you feel on some deep inner level that you have merged your energies with those of divinity.  This exercise is designed to get you used to and learn to work with them on a regular basis.

    Basis alignment is also a prelude to evocation and invocation, which is explained more in Edain McCoy's Celtic Myth and Magick.  But before you can being that work we have to develop an understanding of, and familiarity with, the vibrations of divine energy.

    For the time being, it is wise to stick with the divinity which corresponds to your own gender for these exercises.  Later on you will have the time, and even be encouraged, to explore the energies of deities and heroic figures of the opposite sex.  After all, they are all part of us and we need to learn how to be comfortable with them.

    Never let anyone tell you that aligning with any particular divine force is inherently dangerous, a practice to be avoided at all costs.  While in any occult practice there is some slight risk of dealing with powerful universal forces, on the whole you are in much more danger just sitting right where you are reading at this exact moment.  Once you are comfortable with basic God and Goddess energy you can begin to expand that knowledge and try to aligning yourself with other aspects of those polarized forces,  For example, you might try to align yourself with the force of a youthful God, and an aged God, or even the crone Goddess.

    Even the so called "dark force," like the crone, have their place within us.  You may hear it suggested by the fearful and uninformed that these dark images are best avoided.  Hogwash!  This only seeks to perpetuate the self=destructive myth that old women are somehow repulsive and dangerous, and that darkness is evil and hides goodness and truth.  The crone is just one aspect of the Goddess, and the dark is merely a part of the light, and to get to know, love and be comfortable with these dark energies is every bit as important as are knowing and loving the Maiden, the Mother, and the light.  They are all a part of the whole, and we must explore each one if we are to become whole ourselves.

    For out basic alignment exercise we will not be using any specific deities, but rather the female or male principles which we generically label the "Goddess" and the "God."  The Celts believed themselves to be descended from a Mother Goddess and an Otherworld.Underworld God.  It is these two potent primal forces with whom we will begin to merge ourselves.

    If, like most witches, you keep a Book of Shadows (in Irish it is called the Oiche Leabher which means "Book of the Night"), or some other type of magical/ritual journal, you may wish to record in it the details of your alignment experiences to reexamine later on.

Alignment Exercise 1

    The purpose of this alignment exercise is to understand that the deities who created you bestowed upon you their characteristics, both good and bad, just as did your biological parents. 

    Go to your private place and center yourself.  Begin breathing deeply and steadily, visualizing each breath you take as being filled with divine energy.   See it sparkle with silver and gold light as it enters you.  Draw the breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth.  This becomes energy)  which benefits not only your ritual and magical work, but your overall physical health and well-being as well.

    Close your eyes and think of the threes principle qualities that you associate with either the Mother Goddess or the Father God without visualizing a corporeal vehicle for them.  You may want to think of such qualities as strength, fairness, protectiveness, contrariness, sternness, kindness, nurturance, guidance, or love.   There will likely be as many different sets of answers as there are people doing this exercise.

    Now look within yourself and find as many similar qualities as you can.  Meditate on how the way you display these characteristic is like or unlike your perception of deity.  When you have done this, site quietly and still your mind.   Begin to deliberately shift your inner-energies so that yourself and that of the deity become more similar.  You can think o this as being either a temporary alteration, or the first step toward permanent self-change, whichever you wish.   Continue doing this until you can clearly sense the divine spark ignite within yourself.

    If you like, you may pick another three characteristics and continue the exercise, or experiment with the qualities opposite the ones with which you being the exercise.

Alignment Exercise 2

The purpose of this exercise is to feel the power of deity in nature.  If you have access to natural land, or even a tree in your own backyard, this is the best place for this exercise.  If you don't you can try this exercise with a large house plant, or with visualization only.

    Find a large tee, plant, or shrub to work with, one that is at least as tall as you are.  Stand in front of it and study it with your eyes open.   Note its size, shape scent, texture, everything about it that makes it unique.

    Now it is time to look into the tree.  With eyes either open or closed, peer into the soul of the tree and feel the indwelling spirit.  begin to see the divinity within the tree take anthropomorphis shape.  See the head, the arms, the eyes.  See the God/dess dwelling there as in all living things. 

    Now physically try to put a part of yourself into the tress.   Fell how easily you merge with the energies there.  Know that this is because you and the tree share the distinction of having been created by the same creative life source.

    Do this experiment three times and compare notes on each experience to see if they differ or if they remain the same.


Alignment Exercise 3

    The purpose of this alignment exercise is to recognize yourself in a true and complete image of the divine, and to understand that you can indeed work Magic through this image.

    Go to your private place and center yourself.  Being breathing deeply and steadily, visualizing each breath you that as being filled with divine energy.   See it sparkle with silver and gold light as it enters you.  Do this as it enters you.  Draw the breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Do this several times until you are completely relaxed and your brain waves have slowed considerably.

    Close your eyes and, in your mind, form a picture of total blackness, the infinite primal void which preceded all life as we know it.  Allow it to engulf you, and see yourself at the center of this dark nothingness.

    In the far distance image now that you see the faintest glimmer of light.  As you keep your mind focused upon it, see it coming towards you, moving swiftly across the void.  The light is a blinding white, and it pulsates with the energy of all life that ever was or will be.  As it get closer, see it as an oval-shaped being which begins to take a human-like form the closer it gets to you.

    Through the being is your own size, its light and life force illuminates everything for many miles around, and soon you see yourself engulfed in this white brightness.

    As the begin some to stand front of you, imagine it taking shape in the form of either the Goddess or the God.  You can mold this image in any may you see fit.  We all have out own mental picture of deity, and now is your chance to utilize that image.  Form every detail or him.her in your mind, making the likeness as real as you can.

    As you raise your right hand in greeting, so does s/he.  As you smile at it, so it does at you.  Note that it matches you movements so precisely that you neither feel like its leader nor its follower, and begin to ell the current of sympathetic energy which passes between you.  This is often felt as a gentle pull from the solar plexus area.  Realize that this is the divine energy in yourself which you share with this image of God/dess-hood.  you are neither ruled by it, nor do you rule it.  You are partners, kinsmen, a shared presence.

    Now, as you continue to watch the being in front of you, begin to see its face change so that it looks exactly like you.  It is you and you are it.   When you feel this to be so, that the being for coming to share with you.  It may or may not choose to leave or dissipate then.  In any case you are not free to end the exercise.

    Breathe deeply again and being to bring yourself out of the meditative state.  To do this, come persons like to count up from one to nine, others merely begin to slowly stretch unused muscles, while others recall mundane thoughts.   All ways are correct as long as it is not done too quickly.  You tool the time to properly take yourself down, don't skimp on properly coming up.



Excerpt From Edain McCoy's Celtic Myth and Magick, We really recommend you check out Edain McCoys Book for more information and as well as some of her other works.