When I talk about or call upon the Void, I am talking about that which is outside of our universe, outside of our reality. I am talking about that from which our entire universe came forth, and to which it will someday return, only to begin a new universe all over again. I am talking about a place of unreality which is pure undetermined potential.
Contemplating the Void is an attempt to answer the question of what existed before “The Big Bang”, where creation deities came from, how anything ever came to be, and where it will all go when it ceases to be.
I all it Void because nothing can exist there. It is not even a “place” in the way we conceptualize space. It is not emptiness, and it is not fullness. It IS, and at the same time, IS NOT, because it transcends our perceptions of space and time. Space and time were born from the Void, so they define us, but do not define it.
It is inherently unattainable and undefinable from within the human experience, and yet seeking understanding is a worthy pursuit. Even if we cannot grasp the whole of it, it can provide gimmers of insight into the nature and cycles of reality, into the processes of creation and destruction.
The Void is not the afterlife. It is more permanent than that. It is the final beginning and ending of all things.
The Void is pure undetermined potential. It is pure magic. It has the ability to shape reality, manifest, and destroy.
And yet, the Void is completely outside our reality, and not really a part of it, even though it touches all of reality.
Using Void in Ritual to Cast and Dispel a Circle
Often when I lead public ritual, I start and end the casting of the circle by calling to Void. Through calling to Void, I am acknowledging the source and ending of all reality and all life and bringing that to bear for the work at hand. As a scientifically minded witch who believes in the validity of all paths, I find this a lovely way to acknowledge beginning and ending without calling upon religious myths, icons, or figures that may not speak to everyone present.
You do not need to use my words, and you can freely adapt the following to your tradition or practice. This is merely a suggestion or guideline. I do not have a memorized poem which I recite each time. Instead, I have main points I wish to express, and the exact words I use change each time.
Choose a candle to represent Void. I suggest either black or white, or have a black candle in a white holder, or a white candle in a black holder. In oversimplified terms, black is the absence of the entire color spectrum, and white contains the entire color spectrum. Having both present represents that all comes from Void, and eventually all returns to Void.
Although that is the easiest symbolic setup I can think of, any candle setup which represents both creation and ending will work. My Void candle holder has glass panes with a pearlescent finish on them, so it hints at all colors. I use a white tea candle, and around the candle within the holder are clear and black glass beads.
The candle is all you need, but if you want to you can add other symbolic items and tools that make sense for you and your practice, be that incense, a bowl of water with flower petals in it, your athame or wand, sand in a bowl, etc. Try to focus on items which represent change, birth and death, impermanence, growth, manifestation, banishment, honesty, clarity and understanding, etc.
Either set the candle in front of you or hold it in your hands. Make sure your lighter is easy to reach.
Relax and breathe. Take deep, slow breaths.
Focus on your breathing. Feel the air enter your lungs and fill them to the cradle of your pelvis, bringing in oxygen. Feel the air move back out as your lungs shrink into your rib cage, sending carbon dioxide out of your body.
Feel your rib cage and your abdomen expand and contract. Be hyper-aware of the little movements of so many muscles and bones. Feel how it ripples out to your spine, shoulders, and your legs as your balance shifts with the pattern of your breathing. Feel your breath move out to your fingertips, toes, and the top of your head, and then move back out.
When you feel the evermoving stillness of the world, you are ready to speak.
I start in the Void,
For all starts in the Void.
The Void is that from which all reality is born,
And to which all will someday return,
Outside the limits of time,
And of space.
It is unreachable,
And yet I reach for it,
For it is pure potential,
And no limits.
I call upon Void,
As the beginning of all things,
Light and shadow,
Happiness and sorrow,
Life and death,
All that I know and experience,
That I may better understand beginnings,
And accept that all must someday end.
Light the candle.
As I light this candle,
This flame brings light into the darkness,
For darkness and light exist in tandem,
Birthed of the same source,
Contrasting twins dancing hand in hand.
I tap into the endless potential of the Void,
That it may aid my work here today.
Proceed as normal with the rest of your ritual to create a circle.
When it is time to close the circle, do so as normal, leaving the Void candle for last.
As this working comes to an end,
I bring my attention back to Void,
The font of all that has been, is, and will be,
Beginnings and endings,
Birth and Death,
And all that lies between.
I thank the Void for its boundless potential,
That this work will continue,
Now part of the world at large.
I look to Void
For cleansing and purifying closure,
As all eventually ends in the Void,
So too, does this working here today.
Blow out the candle and sit with your breath for a few moments while the last of the energies of your working dissipate.
Using Void for Shadow Work
All comes from Void, and eventually returns to Void. It is also a liminal, mysterious thing to work with, making it ideal for deep shadow work, self-exploration, and emotional healing.
Using Void for shadow work is not for the faint of heart. Nothing can hide from Void, even if Void can hide things, so it has the ability to lay you bare. Void shadow work is not necessarily fast, and it is definitely not easy, and when you stare into the Void it is best to be prepared for brutal honesty. You can see not only who you are right now, but who you used to be and who you want to be, and how that compares with your perception of yourself.
As with any route to shadow work, be prepared for the likelihood of delving into and resurfacing buried aspects of yourself and your baggage. The shadows of our selves are often a result of that which we find difficult or painful, or which we do not like. It is where we bury shame, guilt, fear, anger, trauma, and all the proverbial skeletons in the closet.
Shadow work can be profoundly healing and restorative, but it isn’t easy. It requires a lot of hard work, usually over a long span of time, as new hidden layers are unburied to be dealt with. The time it takes can seem frustrating, but that time is a blessing. If we unearthed every aspect of our shadow self all at once, it would be profoundly overwhelming and impossible to deal with. Allow yourself to uncover your shadows at a pace which you can handle, and if you need to take a break from the work for a while, do it. Rest is healing too.
Before you start, take some time to decide what it is you wish to reveal during this session. You might have something specific, like working through a past traumatic event, facing anxiety or depression, resolving a phobia, finding the reason for particular behaviors or emotional responses, better understanding your subconscious motivations, or something else entirely.
You might not be sure where to start. If you are confused or overwhelmed, but determined, make finding a starting point the focus of your meditation.
Whatever it is you decide to focus on, make it a single thing. I strongly advise against diving into multiple issues at once. It is possible to overwhelm yourself and cause more harm than good, so small pieces are best until you get the hang of it and understand what you can feasibly handle. In all likelihood, you will pull on one thread, and that will lead to another, and another, and so on. They do not all have to come up at once. If you pull on multiple threads, it is likely you will pull up a tangled mess that is difficult or impossible to unwind.
While you are doing your shadow meditation or working, bring your attention to Void. Feel its presence and allow it to clear away that which prevents you from seeing the focus of your meditation. Allow awareness to come to you from the Void, and mystery to fade away back into the Void.
As you do your shadow work, you can also allow Void to bring you that which you need to be more healthy and whole (manifestation), and to remove that which no longer serves you (banishment).
Using Void for Light Work
Light and shadow are intrinsically connected and balanced. Without shadow you cannot have light, and without light you cannot have shadow. They are different aspects of visibility, clarity, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and healing. If you have too much shadow, you cannot see or understand, and things will either fester or heal on their own. If you have too much light, you will be blinded and unable to see or understand, and things will either fester or heal on their own. In either extreme, you are rendered unable to see or understand well enough for effective or conscious work.
Void can bring light or shadows. It can balance light and shadow so you can effectively work, regardless of the circumstances. Sometimes all you need is a tiny spark of light to illuminate exactly what you are working on, and leave the rest of the environment undisturbed so as to not overwhelm. Sometimes you need a lot of light to clear away all the cobwebs and hidden issues.
You can call upon Void to bring your attention to that which needs it most, to provide clarity and awareness, and to cleanse away that which is unneeded or detrimental. As both a source and a return, Void is highly compatible with most forms of lightworking I have encountered.
Using Void for Awareness
You can also use Void to enhance your awareness and understanding of the universe, the cycles and spirals of existence, and your place in the world. Doing so is both as simple, and as complex, as using Void as the focus for meditations or workings. Where exactly it will take you I couldn’t even begin to guess at, for your path and your place in the world is unknown to me, and your journey with the Void will be as unique as you are.