I presented this pathworking at last year's Clockwork Alchemy, as part of my lecture on Victorians and fairies. And since today happens to be the date of the Roman festival of Rosalia, honoring the goddess of flowers, who is also incorporated into this pathworking, I thought I'd post it here.
Traditionally, a pathworking was a guided meditation along the qaballistic Tree of Life (image below). But twentieth century magicians expanded the concept to pathwork through paintings, poems, myths and legends. Typically, someone reads it aloud in a much more dulcet tone than I have (hm... maybe I should do an audio of this?). Anyway, the below fairy pathworking introduces you to the five types of elementals. So relax in your chair…
Follow your breath, letting go of the tension and stress of the week, the hustle of getting here on time. Let it go, and breathe in peace and light. Spiral all the pieces of yourself you’ve scattered out into the world back into your heart’s space so you are right here, right now.
Open your inner eyes. Imagine you stand at the edge of a lush oak forest. The midsummer sun warms your back. Gnarled branches arch above a dirt path scattered with leaves and acorns. You step onto it and into the landscape of your mind. The path leads down, into cool shade and dappled light. A white rabbit hops across your path. Moss and ferns and bluebells carpet the forest floor, scenting the air. The trail winds, sinuous, taking you deeper into the forest. A deer with a crown of antlers stops to gaze at you. You look deep into its dark eyes. What message does it have for you?
You hear a rushing sound. Is that the wind blowing through the branches? The flow of a creek? The sound grows louder, and you realize that what you are listening to are the strains of a harp. It calls to you, and you walk toward it, drawn on until you reach a clearing.
A perfectly circular mound covered in tall, green grass rises above you. On top of it stand a circle of five stones, megaliths. Drawn upward, you climb the mound. White roses twine around one of the stones. Curious, you examine the tall stone wreathed in roses. On one side is carved a crude door. You run your fingers over the rough, cool stone, and the outlines of the door gleam silver.
The door magically swings open, and the sound of harp music flows toward you. You walk through and down, down, down a corkscrew stone path that seems to be taking you deep inside the mound. You can see perfectly – although you seem to be inside, the path is lit with golden sunlight. An archway appears before you, hung with gauzy curtains.
You walk through it and are in an English garden. Behind you is a thatched cottage, and before you, a wide, green hill slopes toward a cliff overlooking the ocean. Multi-colored rose petals and green leaves drift down to the ground, landing on your head and shoulders like a blessing. A tall, beautiful woman in a loose gown rises from a table, where a tea is set, and approaches you. White roses form a wreath in her hair. You do not know how, but you understand that she is the goddess Flora.
“Choose,” Flora says.
The rose petals swirl in the air, and they are no longer petals, they are tiny fairies with iridescent wings. They form five, small whirlwinds arranged around you in a circle. In the blur of motion of one spiral of fairies, you hear crashing sounds like ocean waves. “These are the water elementals,” Flora says. Another spiral flashes red and orange, heat pouring from it. “Fire elementals,” she says. There is a green whirlwind, which feels oddly solid, and a white whirlwind that stirs your hair. “And these are earth and air elementals,” the goddess says. The final whirlwind is iridescent, seeming to flash in and out of existence – there and not there. “The elementals of aether,” she says.
“Choose,” she repeats. “Will you work with the water element, fire, earth, air, or aether?”
You stretch out one hand, palm up, and one of the whirlwinds moves toward you. Which is it? Water elementals, fire, earth, air or aether?
Flora speaks. “You who have found your way to the world of the fae know this, all who enter here must prove their worth in the outer world. When you return, take with you your elemental power. Study it and use it in your highest and best interest and in the highest and best interests of those around you. Now go.” She points toward the thatched cottage.
You bow and walk to the cottage door. As you open it, you hear again the sound of harp strings. Passing through, you find yourself at the edge of the oak forest. You have returned to the beginning.
Take a deep breath. Feel the breath fill your lungs. Feel your feet on the ground, the coolness of the air on your cheeks, and begin to return to this place. When you’re ready, open your eyes and stretch. You have returned to the mundane world.
About the Author
Kirsten Weiss will be at this year's Clockwork Alchemy too, presenting on Victorian-era secret societies, San Francisco steampunk, and women writers of Victorian gothics. She'll also be flogging her books in Authors Alley, so if you're in the San Jose, CA area, stop on by! (Note: this is a ticketed event).