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Author Topic: Calling Quarters: Is there a "right" or "wrong" way?  (Read 8717 times)
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« Topic Start: August 12, 2010, 08:11:21 pm »

I have recently been given a "homework" assignment from my Pagan Meetup Group leader. She wants me to write my own quarter calls and such for my Dedication Ritual. Is there a right or wrong way to do this? I profess to not having much experience at this. I am sure others will benefit from this discussion as well. What are some of your experiences with this?Smiley
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« Reply #1: August 12, 2010, 08:22:29 pm »



Back in the day when I was taking a correspondence course (really!) in Celtic Wicca from Our Lady of Enchantment in Nashua NH, I had a similar assignment. I researched different rituals from various Wiccan/Wiccish sources (thank goodness for interlibrary loans--I had no computer, and the whole "internet" concept wasn't nearly as pervasive/well-known/accessible as now!), and put together something that fit within the parameters of the style of Celtic Wicca I was learning, without directly lifting anything from any single source.

I made sure that several bases were covered:
Circle casting to create sacred space
Appropriate tool used to invite the Guardian of each quarter
Appropriately formal wording, again using my "home denomination" (so to speak) as the basis for this
Appropriate dismissal of each Guardian, in reverse order from the invitations

I thoroughly enjoyed the assignment, and apparently I did well--I received what amounted to "full credit" for the writeup I submitted.

Of course, YMMV.

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« Reply #2: August 12, 2010, 08:46:38 pm »

I have recently been given a "homework" assignment from my Pagan Meetup Group leader. She wants me to write my own quarter calls and such for my Dedication Ritual. Is there a right or wrong way to do this? I profess to not having much experience at this. I am sure others will benefit from this discussion as well. What are some of your experiences with this?Smiley

If you'd like, I'd be more than happy to post a few quarter calls I've written for various rituals in the past. My old university's Pagan group was pretty much Neo-Wiccan and I remember having a lot of fun putting some spice and theatrics into my rituals. Smiley

My advice: after reading from different sources and learning what sort of tradition (if any) you're working with and what that requires... make something absolutely personal and from the heart. For example, anyone can use the formula, "I greet the guardian of the [Direction], ruler of [element], hail and be welcome!" And if something short and simple like that works for you, do it. But if you're looking really to connect with the quarters, think long and hard about what they and the elements mean to you. How do you feel Earth? How does that feel different than when you call on the southern quarter? Etc. Etc.
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« Reply #3: August 12, 2010, 09:13:11 pm »

I have recently been given a "homework" assignment from my Pagan Meetup Group leader. She wants me to write my own quarter calls and such for my Dedication Ritual. Is there a right or wrong way to do this?

Not unless your magical or religious tradition has specific requirements your calls do not meet.
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« Reply #4: August 12, 2010, 09:19:19 pm »

Not unless your magical or religious tradition has specific requirements your calls do not meet.
At this point I am pushing more towards an Eclectic path....One where I will practice Witchcraft and worship the Lord and Lady...but with a few slight differences from the usual Wiccanish trads....
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« Reply #5: August 12, 2010, 09:24:16 pm »

At this point I am pushing more towards an Eclectic path....One where I will practice Witchcraft and worship the Lord and Lady...but with a few slight differences from the usual Wiccanish trads....

Can you expand a little on those differences? They may not be too important in the context of this discussion, but they may also help us help you craft your quarter callings. Smiley
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« Reply #6: August 12, 2010, 09:35:01 pm »

Can you expand a little on those differences? They may not be too important in the context of this discussion, but they may also help us help you craft your quarter callings. Smiley
Even I am not 100% sure of everything at this moment....Here's what I do know....No matter how much I try to get my mind around the fact that The Lady and the Lord are equal I cannot help but feel differently:( It's just this strong feeling I have....I suppose I could attribute it to the fact that in SRW's book her creation story states that Spirit manifested Itself in the form of the Lady and she Made Lord Hern when She was lonely....To me if you create something then that gives you superiority to that Creation....Therefore I don't see how They could be equal....Now that is not to say that Lord Hern's importance is lessened in any way....I just don't believe They are equal....That is the most notable difference in my Path as opposed to Wicca where The Lady and The Lord are equal....Polarity and such...Now I do believe in the elements and the Sabbats and such.....I believe in the Craft and everything else to do with Wicca....its just that part that I feel differently about...So that is why I say I am Eclectic;) Does that help?Smiley
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« Reply #7: August 12, 2010, 09:37:35 pm »

I have recently been given a "homework" assignment from my Pagan Meetup Group leader. She wants me to write my own quarter calls and such for my Dedication Ritual. Is there a right or wrong way to do this? I profess to not having much experience at this. I am sure others will benefit from this discussion as well. What are some of your experiences with this?Smiley

To expand a little on what Randall said: the wrong ways are the ways that do not produce the result you want, in the context of the ritual you're doing.

Trads have a specific way of doing things generally because it's fitting into other things in the ritual, especially the construction of sacred space. When working on your own, there's a lot more flexibility, but there's still the question of "Does it actually work?"

My usual analogy for this is that there are *lots* of ways to make stuff that's mostly flour and water and some amount of sugar or honey. But some of those turn into bread, and some turn into cake, and some turn into muffins, and some into scones, and if what you really want is scones, the methods used for bread are not going to be particularly useful. So knowing what your end result is helps a lot in figuring out what you need to get there.

So, for example, in my tradition, we call the guardians of the quarters, and the elementals, but generally not the elemental rulers or the elements themselves. We do that for reasons that tie into other parts of what we do in setting up the ritual space (we've already invited the elements in Platonic form earlier, for example, so doing it again doesn't make sense) but also because a lot of the work we do in ritual together benefits from the connections and relationships we build with the Guardians of the quarters.
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« Reply #8: August 12, 2010, 10:32:25 pm »

I have recently been given a "homework" assignment from my Pagan Meetup Group leader. She wants me to write my own quarter calls and such for my Dedication Ritual. Is there a right or wrong way to do this? I profess to not having much experience at this. I am sure others will benefit from this discussion as well. What are some of your experiences with this?Smiley

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this, but my favorite quarter call I based off the one in "The Craft".  I don't use the exact wording, but I liked the format.
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« Reply #9: August 12, 2010, 11:33:39 pm »

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this, but my favorite quarter call I based off the one in "The Craft".  I don't use the exact wording, but I liked the format.

I call upon the guardians of the watchtowers of the insert direction here!

Only decent thing about that movie was the spoken invocation of the elements. -_-
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« Reply #10: August 13, 2010, 08:13:06 am »

To expand a little on what Randall said: the wrong ways are the ways that do not produce the result you want, in the context of the ritual you're doing.

Oops. Yes, I definitely should have mentioned that a quarter call that doesn't actually work (produce the desired result) is "wrong".
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« Reply #11: August 15, 2010, 06:54:15 pm »

I have recently been given a "homework" assignment from my Pagan Meetup Group leader. She wants me to write my own quarter calls and such for my Dedication Ritual. Is there a right or wrong way to do this? I profess to not having much experience at this. I am sure others will benefit from this discussion as well. What are some of your experiences with this?Smiley

I'm not going to do your homework for you, but the short answer is that while there is definitely a right process, there are a lot of variations to that process.

The right process is to call the Quarters in the correct order. The calls invoke the elements. The order can vary, though in my Tradition we almost always do it the same way (and if you're not doing it the standard way, you should have a good reason for that). There's a general standard order, and that's easily found in books or online.

As far as advice, take some time to think about the elemental Quarters. Maybe you want to look up some correspondence tables to see what the standard attributes are. Then write calls that invoke those attributes.

FWIW, my husband had the same assignment when he was a beginning student with our teacher, and I didn't really give him much more help than this. I didn't just want to give him some I'd written because then he wouldn't learn the process... he'd just copy or modify my stuff.

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« Reply #12: August 16, 2010, 01:52:42 pm »

I suppose I could attribute it to the fact that in SRW's book her creation story states that Spirit manifested Itself in the form of the Lady and she Made Lord Hern when She was lonely....To me if you create something then that gives you superiority to that Creation....Therefore I don't see how They could be equal....

I sure hope your sense of deity inequality is not based on SRW's book.......I can tell you that from a BTW point of view, that creation tale is ........ "not Wiccan" is the most politically correct thing I can think to say.
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« Reply #13: September 02, 2010, 10:05:11 am »

What exactly are you calling at the quarter?  An elemental?  An archangel?  A god? Are you just orienting yourself, saying, "This is the east, this is the south, west, and north?"  Are you attempting to command some sort of spirit to come forth and guard or add its energy to the circle? 

I have recently been given a "homework" assignment from my Pagan Meetup Group leader. She wants me to write my own quarter calls and such for my Dedication Ritual. Is there a right or wrong way to do this? I profess to not having much experience at this. I am sure others will benefit from this discussion as well. What are some of your experiences with this?Smiley
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« Reply #14: September 08, 2010, 08:18:03 am »

Even I am not 100% sure of everything at this moment....Here's what I do know....No matter how much I try to get my mind around the fact that The Lady and the Lord are equal I cannot help but feel differently:( It's just this strong feeling I have....I suppose I could attribute it to the fact that in SRW's book her creation story states that Spirit manifested Itself in the form of the Lady and she Made Lord Hern when She was lonely....To me if you create something then that gives you superiority to that Creation....Therefore I don't see how They could be equal....Now that is not to say that Lord Hern's importance is lessened in any way....I just don't believe They are equal....That is the most notable difference in my Path as opposed to Wicca where The Lady and The Lord are equal....Polarity and such...Now I do believe in the elements and the Sabbats and such.....I believe in the Craft and everything else to do with Wicca....its just that part that I feel differently about...So that is why I say I am Eclectic;) Does that help?Smiley

I strongly encourage you to move beyond SRW's truly unique version on Wicca and especially her creation stories. For information about the Religion of Wicca, SRW is not a qualified source. Wiccanesque...maybe.  Tongue

The Religion of Wicca was conceived by Gerald Gardner circa 1930's in Britain and had/has a pantheon of Gods. The Naming of these Gods is oathbound however and only passed down through lineaged traditions (teacher to student). If you want clues about the entire pantheon, you might read The Witches Bible by the Farrers or Gardner's books.
When asked who he considered to be the most important of this pantheon, Gardner wrote that they would be The Lord and The Lady,
generic terms for those that he could not Name. This statement became the basis for all non-lineaged definitions of the Gods of Wicca and as Un-Named, many deities have been Named to fill those generic roles throughout what has evolved as Wicca. Within properly taught Wicca, the Lord and The Lady are seen as complementary, a layered concept that goes beyond the limitations of equality or even polarity.

Eclectic is a term based on an ancient Greek philosophical society where each member studied widely and respectful of sources and contexts of origin and then brought back the best to be incorporated into an uniquely personal philosophy. Any serious Pagan, Pagan Witch or Wiccan Witch is usually eclectic to some degree. The term is also used in a less positive slant to mean someone who is different from what is normal or even surface only. Just a comment to show the range of meanings that eclectic can have.   

This is a short but fairly decent article on Calling the Quarters, a practice that was borrowed by Gardner via Crowley tracing back to the Freemasons and employing a Christianised context to some extent.  http://www.cotcg.com/Crystal%20Grove%20Web/PDD/Calling%20the%20Quarters.htm

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