Thursday, August 2, 2012
Jeudi: Root Work
This primal need goes back to habits that probably began with our prehistoric ancestors. Anthropologist note that the urge to protect what is ours tends to grow stronger at night and even in artificial darkness. Our brains, no matter how tweaked by technology that evolution has not yet found a fit for, still remember the predators in the dark who would do us harm or even eat us whole. We want to fend them off almost instinctively. For most humans, that means doing something.
Historians call the action of guarding our homes at night shutting, or sometimes locking, in or down. In Europe, clear documentation of this begins in the post-Roman era, when families became more nuclear and less extended and putting slaves on guard was no longer an option for most. Animals and people would be brought into the home/barn and doors and shutters would be closed and locked. Everyone was in for the night at that point and, baring a catastrophe like fire or earthquake, there would be no venturing outside until morning.
Today, most of us do the same thing. The predator at the mouth of the cave is no longer a wild animal but he (face it, 99.9 times out of 100 the person trying to break into a home is a man) could potentially be equally as savage. Close the windows, lock the doors, make the rounds just to be sure before you go to bed. The word paranoid might come to mind but that is an over-simplification. There is real danger in our world and a few extra precautions cannot hurt.
That's why, as I lay in bed each night, I call up the four massive gargoyles who stand at the corners of my home to keep watch while we sleep. In my mind, these four handymen look very much like the demonic mountain king in Disney's original Fantasia. You know, the finally segment set to Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain"? They work for me probably because that movie stuck with me as a kid and I'm a great lover of gargoyles. I see them in mind's eye quite clearly and happily thank them in the morning for their help and hard work.
I also call on ravens and wolves, two animals who I have always had an affinity for, to help out in keeping home and hearth safe. Please do not mistake this for a familiar situation, as is common in Wicca. That's great if it works for you, however if you happen to be a rabbit or a garter snake person, a larger, and yes, more potentially vicious animal might be in order.
Connect with creatures, or even humanoid forms such as samurai, Vikings or angels, that work for you. As to animals, go big if you like: basilisks, griffins, lions, elephants, heck, I have a friend who has a Tyrannosaurus Rex running around his yard at all times of the day and night. The visualizations and connections are key; if you can see these protectors clearly in your mind's eye, you're well on your way to securing their assistance.
Also, a sing-song or rhyming chant can sometimes help with this kind of visualization and, once you memorize your chant, you can connect to the visualization almost immediately upon beginning it. I borrowed a bit from Silver RavenWolf, and begin my chant each night with "My house has four corners, one, two, three four; four ancient guardians protect her from rafters to core."
From there the connection is made, and though my little rhyme goes on, I'll let you modify your own to your taste. In times like these, to secure peace we must prepare for war, even on the home front. Bonne chance ~
Header: The Flight Into Egypt by Adam Elsheimer c 1609 via Old Paint