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The Other Side of the Hedge: Summon Yourself

The Other Side of the Hedge: Summon Yourself May 7, 2017

We spend our lives as part of society, and that’s not a bad thing. But whether it’s the frustrations of everyday life, wallowing in the troubles of the world on social media, or the pressing and very real needs of loved ones, there are a million ways that we leave little parts of ourselves behind.

We are beings with minds, bodies, and spirits. Deep down, we already know that we live between the worlds. But knowing, alone, doesn’t solve all our problems, and we lose track of ourselves just by living.

When we get too far from who and what we are, we need a way to bring it all back in. Here’s a simple tool to do that. It’s a summoning spell…for yourself!

Photo by by Polly Peterson, used with permission.
Photo by by Polly Peterson, used with permission.

Why Not Just Meditate

Meditation is a funny thing. It’s held out as a cure-all for the problems of mental distraction and spirit-loss, but truth be told, it’s hard.

I’ve studied and taught meditation, and I’m a big fan. However, there’s a problem with meditation in a Western context. Honestly, by the time you can manage to sit down and work at getting yourself together, you’re already halfway to the solution.

In the modern world, we hate just sitting around. If I’m upset, distracted, or generally out of sorts, the last thing I want to do is force myself to sit down and meditate. So I don’t.

Meditation is not a goal. While it’s a useful set of practices, it’s only a tool. But there are many tools, so why always rely on one?

The Return: A Simple Spell To Call Yourself Home

When you’re pulled in a thousand directions, take a couple of minutes to do this spell. It’s a quick one. It takes thirty seconds to wash your hands, and less than a minute to recite the spell completely.

Step One: Cleansing

This isn’t the quest for Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel. It’s a quick and dirty summoning. But even so, there’s no reason to carry in any pollution you don’t have to.

Picture by Polly Peterson, used with permission.
Picture by Polly Peterson, used with permission.

Start by taking a couple of minutes to wash your hands thoroughly. If it’s practical, also wash or wipe down your face with some water and a towel. Take a sip of water and rinse out your mouth. It’s not a full cleansing, but it’ll do.

Step Two: Invocation

After getting clean, find about two minutes in a space all by yourself. Put your hands together in an attitude of prayer and close your eyes. Take a couple of breaths. Now seize the moment! Recite (aloud is better, sotto voce if you must):

I call to myself.
From the North, I return. From the South, I return.
From the East, I return. From the West, I return.
From Above, I return. From Below, I return.
I am here, I am here, I am here.
From the North, I return. From the South, I return.
From the East, I return. From the West, I return.
From Above, I return. From Below, I return.
I am here, I am here, I am here.
From the North, I return. From the South, I return.
From the East, I return. From the West, I return.
From Above, I return. From Below, I return.
I am home, I am home, I am home.

ProTip: Yes, most of this incantation repeats three times. I suspect that this spell is about the power of three to overcome and integrate the opposition of two. Oldies but goodies, eh?

Step Three: Closing

Here’s where you can put a real personal touch on this little spell. At home, I like to finish by pulling my hands apart and clapping, once and sharply, before giving a little bow to the Powers That Be. You might prefer an ‘it is done,’ a ‘so mote it be,’ or even an ‘amen.’

When I’m out in the world, I take the minimalist approach of a single intentional breath. Just remember, like every other aspect of this spell, the closing should be quick and easy.


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