Good News! I recently unlocked the “Does Idiosyncratic magick stuff based on experience and inspiration” achievment!
So, as I have been diving back into my practices and my Craft one of the things I have been doing is exploring different forms of Witchcraft and different and unfamiliar practices, like ploughing the furrow or laying a compass rather than casting circle. Useful rites, each with their own pluses and minuses, but with some very different ways of relating to the Universe.
In my readings and multimedia wanderings on the topic of Witchcraft, and a lot of re-readings of bits from books in my personal library, I have been reading up of Traditional Witchcraft and was still fascinated by “The Crossroads Rite” by Christopher Orapello and Tara-Love Maguire. I first came across it in the intro to their Down At The Crossroads podcast, and they also feature both the words and the associated working in their book Besom, Stang and Sword. Laying down a Crossroads and calling on those energies wherever one happens to be.
These many sources and ideas were playing about in the back of my mind when I was invited to my friend T’s new house for a visit on the Winter Solstice. I offered a gift of some magick and some sort of blessing or protection working for her new place.
Her partner was working, and is not as into the woo as some of the rest of us, so it was myself, my partner J, one of our BFF’s M, and Ms T. All Witches of varying levels of experience and practice and lapsed or semi-lapsed status at the time. My partner at one point joked we should just use the simple protective circle chant “Circle circle, Round round, Protect me now from Sky to Ground”, and call it a day. Matt and Tara countered with their preferred version, “Round round, Wrap around, Protect me now from Sky to Ground.” Which I rather liked, in part because certain sections of my brain immediately started trying to filk the poem to the scansion of Dead or Alive’s 1985 hit You Spin Me Round.
Yes, I am kind of old and do have a warped sense of humor… why do you ask?
Now T’s house is near a four way intersection, a literal crossroads; and her quiet driveway fronts onto a busy road a second metaphorical crossroad. Over the course of the evening I talked with her about the sort of energies she wanted in her home and what kind of vibe she needed for her house. I also looked at things like the alignment of the house to the cardinal directions, the physical layout, the current and planned functions of various spaces, any current energy, including a very large metallic upright pentacle wall hanging in the bedroom… I decided to draw on the energies of the cross-roads near her home in an ongoing way, to connect them up with some bits of magickal protection on the thresh-holds, and to sort of lay down energetic lines that could be tapped by her later for anything she might feel the need or inspiration to do for herself or her home and beloveds.
One of the things inspirations of the moment was to draw a symbol of a simple Solar Cross in invoking the energies of the cross-roads, and muttering T and M’s preferred version of the abovementioned charm. Over the last several months I have come back to it again and again, drawing a symbolic crossroads and calling in these energies….
Our illustration has the cardinal directions noted more for metaphorical/symbolic reference, although I have been experimenting with a more three dimensional version for Esbat and Sabbat workings. The idea is to draw upon the powers of magick and possibility and the various energies and Powers of the cross-roads; I use this as both a consecrating space/self charm before making offerings or doing some types of magick, and as a protective charm whenever I feel need of such.
The Sign of the Crossroads
Protect me now,
From Sky to Ground.”
We start with the Sign, it does not seem to matter the direction you face or whether you are drawing this in the air in front of you or tracing it on a surface, as long as you keep the associations with the cardinal points and the crossroads energies firmly in mind when performing the charm.
With your finger, or a stick of incense, or whichever tool of art feels best for your purpose, Imagine the sign of the Crossroads before you and recite the Charm.
- “Round, Round” Trace the line from West to East.
- “Wrap Around,” Trace the circle from East around clockwise to East again.
- “Protect me now,” Trace around the circle clockwise from East to North.
- “From Sky to Ground.” Trace the line from North to South.
As I say I have used this as a recalling sacred space charm/rite and as a protective charm, it seems to have functioned well in both capacities.
I have also used a variation of this charm as part of a recent Esbat rite I did shortly after the New Moon…
Casting the Crossroads
This takes the charm into a three-dimensional space. For this, the cardinal points matter so use a compass (there are a number of good phone apps you can download to your phone, or you can go old-school and buy a compass, just be sure to research the current number of degrees of difference between True North and Magnetic North for your area.
Start with your finger, or the relevant tool, pointing West.
“Round, Round,” Trace a vertical circle clockwise from West to East and back again to West.
“Wrap Around,” Trace a horizontal circle around from West to West.
“Protect me Now,” Trace along the horizontal from West to North.
“From Sky to Ground.” Trace another clockwise vertical circle from North to South and back to North.
I am going back and forth about the need to undo this charm when using it to remind myself and the world around me of our shared sacred natures, and perhaps it is my early studies rooted in the writings of Wiccan’s and Ceremonial Magicians and the use of a Magick Circle, but if one feels the need to return the space to a more neutral or everyday energy…
Tracing a path along the horizon clockwise from the North.
Throughout and About,
Round Round, Wound and unwound.”
Some folks may balk at this piece of idiosyncratic magick I’ve shared because of my use of the Solar Cross, and it’s recent associations with the far Right and White Nationalism. Much like the runes, and many other symbols recently en vogue with the alt-right, the Solar Cross is a centuries old symbol used in many applications and cultures across many millenia. They. Do. Not. Own. It.
And, for the record, I wish them ill at every turn and opporunity.
Bliss, and Blessed Be,
3 thoughts on “Craft Notes: The Sign of The Crossroads”
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