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Lesson 5 Index

Consecrating & Dedicating your Altar
Your Power Tree
Creating your Sacred Space



CONSECRATING & DEDICATING YOUR ALTAR

Before you use any of the stones or crystals that you have found or purchase, they must be cleansed to remove negative vibrations, and/or entities. This is done by placing them in a bowl of salt water for 24 hours. After you have cleansed them, they must be attunded to your energies. To do this put the them in a crane bag or leather pouch, then placed under your pillow for several nights. When you dedicate your altar you should place the crane bag on the pentacle or the middle of the altar to infuse with energy provided by your deities.

Your altar should be permenant. However, if you are working with a lack of space then a temporary altar may be created by choosing a special rug, blanket or a special piece of cloth that you make into your altar. This cloth may be used later as an "altar cloth" for a permenant altar. Make certain that the material you choose for the temporary altar is large enough to place all of your shamanic tools and elemental representations. In addition, you should place your altar in a place of power. This will be a part of the room where you can feel the energy. This energy must be one of positive polarity. If you feel anything negative coming from this power spot, then find a different space.

If you are a member of an earth religion, thelemite or other magickal tradition, then use the same method to consecrate your shamanic tools as you did with your regular altar tools. You may also use the altar and instruments you are using for your magickal works for your shamanic works.

You should have one of each of the 4 elements on your altar. As well as two candlesticks or pillar candles (one red or black for the Goddess and one green candle for the God) as a dedication to Cerridwen and Cernunnos or the Sun God if you prefer an earth/solar polarity. You should also place any special stones, feathers or other objects you have collected for your altar, an incense burner or smudge pot, a cup for libation, and a cauldron. Most practitioners choose special receptacles to hold water, salt, incense and herbs if necessary. In addition, a red fire candle is used for the fire element, and a pentacle is used to represent earth. The pentacle may also be used to energize your tools and crystals. The water, salt, and incense also serve as representations of the elements along with the pentacle. Use whatever system is most comfortable to you. Before you can use these tools, they must be properly dedicated and consecrated for your special works (except for the crystals).

Start out with two regular white tape candles in candlesticks, and a stick of regular incense, preferrably dragonsblood. Light the candles then call upon your deities to aid you. Pour a small amount of salt into the water bowl. Hold your hand over the bowl saying
"I charge you creatures of water and earth to remove all negativity wherever you are cast"
Then take each tool, receptacle, candle and instrument one at a time, sprinkling them with the salt water saying
"Water and Earth where you are cast, no evil or negative force may stay."
Then pass each one through the incense and fire candle saying
"Fire and Air where you are cast, no evil or negative force may stay."

When you are done with your consecrations, then clearly state your intentions for the works you will be performing with these tools. The dedicate them to Cerridwen and Cernunnos (Lugh or Talesien if you have chosen a Sun God). This can be done by stating, as you hold the instrument in you hand
"I dedicate you to the service of Cerridwen and Cernunnos." Then close your service by thanking the deities, and the elementals for helping you. Wrap or cover your water, salt and libation cups with silk or velvet, but do not remove them from the altar (unless it is a temporary altar). If your altar is temporary, you should have a small chest of drawers, or a foot locker for storage of your tools and instruments.




FINDING YOUR POWER TREE

Trees were important to the Celtic people of old, as they were sacred creatures. The Celts revered the trees because they held their own magickal powers. Because of their magickal powers the Celts used the Ogam Sticks as a divinatory system rather than rune stones which was common in other cultures. Each tree has a specific magickal meaning as well as a different energy, power and vibration. The Celtic healers aligned themselves with the energy of a particular tree, which they called their "Tree of Power".

The method of finding and working with your power tree is simple. You must be able to set aside extra time in order to align yourself with these energies.

Select a location where there are a lot of trees. It is preferrable if the location is a national park or forest where you can hike far away from other people or any disturbances. If you live in an urban area then a public park will be ok.

Find a quiet spot near the trees you have selected. This space should be as far away from other people as possible. You must be able to feel completely relaxed, without the worry of being disturbed. Then close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. You must empty your mind of all thoughts. Slowly shift the focus of your attention onto your physical self.

When your physical self feels energized and calm begin walking through the forest or park. Walk among the trees without actually looking at them, or anything else for that matter. Your vision must be free and unfocused.

You will eventually find yourself attracted to a particular tree. Take a few deep breaths to increase your mental clarity. Approach the tree allowing yourself to sense and perceive of it's consciousness. When this happens you will hav entered the aura of the tree. Allow yourself to become one with the tree. If it allows you to approach it, then sit or stand with your back against it.

Feel the life force within it, let it speak to you, learn how it thinks and feels. Get to know as much as you can about that tree, then let your thoughts flow into it, learn to communicate with it in the spirit. Become one with the tree as you surrender yourself to it's energies. Feel it's calmness washing over you. Connect to it through your chackras, let the energy exchange between you and the tree. Imagine yourself becoming one with it, growing roots, sprouting branches, feel the sap flowing through it, or if it is winter, the dormancy state. If you are in a very cold climate, you may want to pick a tree that does not go into dormancy, such as a Pine tree. Ask yourself which part of your body is the tree speaking to? What chakras does this tree activiate? Remember that different trees will activate different chakras.

After you feel that you have communicated as far as you can with that tree, close down your chakra, thank the tree