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Author Topic: What correspondences do you use?  (Read 7143 times)
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« Topic Start: March 21, 2007, 05:22:25 pm »

When designing a spell or ritual, do you use color/crystal/herb/ect associations you've found somewhere (books..internet), or do you make up your own, using "what seems right to you"?

It seems to me that the purpose of these things is to attune our own mind to the purpose of our ritual, which should allow us to use whatever color(or herb, or stone..) we want, so long as it holds some kind of meaning and association to our purpose.  However, I've heard that using correspondences that have been used by others for long periods of time can be more powerful, as there might be some kind of divine or universal connection to them. 

What are your thoughts?
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« Reply #1: March 21, 2007, 05:37:42 pm »

It seems to me that the purpose of these things is to attune our own mind to the purpose of our ritual, which should allow us to use whatever color(or herb, or stone..) we want, so long as it holds some kind of meaning and association to our purpose.  However, I've heard that using correspondences that have been used by others for long periods of time can be more powerful, as there might be some kind of divine or universal connection to them. 

What are your thoughts?
I think both are true.  Of course, the items you use have to have personal meaning for you.  But by using the same correspondances as those who have gone before, you're able to tap into that collective energy.

I tend to do a little of both.  I use basic Earth/Air/Fire/Water correspondances (unless they don't make sense.)  But when it comes to herbs or individual stones that I've very familiar with, I use them as seems right.
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« Reply #2: March 21, 2007, 05:44:43 pm »

I haven't really had much success with just using a "canned" spell, but lately if I apply the basic knowledge of correspondences to the need/task at hand, the results have been very good.  So, I guess my answer would be to read up on/study the traditional then apply those pieces that fit into your own work.  I haven't used any herbs, but candles, other items (like coins, an empty purse), my own words (not following a script), very big on intent/focus, etc.  

My biggest problem, and I'll use herbs as an example, is: I just don't understand the tie-in with some of them.  Basil and oregano belong in Spagetti Sauce ... how in the heck do they relate to protection, love, money, etc.  Now, garlic in a banishing spell at least makes some sense to my warped mind....

Don't know if that helps or answers your question.
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« Reply #3: March 21, 2007, 06:04:07 pm »

My biggest problem, and I'll use herbs as an example, is: I just don't understand the tie-in with some of them.  Basil and oregano belong in Spagetti Sauce ... how in the heck do they relate to protection, love, money, etc.
I know it's not your point, but I can speak for basil: it has these big green leaves that tie it to money - green being all about the fertility and prosperity, plus (until recently) for American witches, actual money.  It works as a love herb because IIRC, it's sacred to Venus or Aphrodite.  (Though I may be wrong on that one.)  (Most of the herbs I use are culinary, actually.  I use rosemary for everything.)

And as for your actual point, I agree completely.  If you don't understand the correspondance, or if it doesn't resonate emotionally, it's not going to be of any use for you.
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« Reply #4: March 21, 2007, 06:27:41 pm »

When designing a spell or ritual, do you use color/crystal/herb/ect associations you've found somewhere (books..internet), or do you make up your own, using "what seems right to you"?

It seems to me that the purpose of these things is to attune our own mind to the purpose of our ritual, which should allow us to use whatever color(or herb, or stone..) we want, so long as it holds some kind of meaning and association to our purpose.  However, I've heard that using correspondences that have been used by others for long periods of time can be more powerful, as there might be some kind of divine or universal connection to them. 

What are your thoughts?

Personally I don't tend to go with correspondences much.  In as far as I use them, I tend to go by western ceremonial magic.  Modern Magick is one source, but if I wanted to get into huge amounts of correspondance work I've got a copy of '777', which is basically Aleister Crowley's big book of lists.

As to why some correspondences may work better than others (if they do, that is), it's pretty much impossible to discern.  I often think it's just because we believe that they are the 'right way', other days I wonder if maybe there is a natural order to reality, and therefore there is one right way.  I don't think we really have the tools to discover why.  What we can do is experiment and find what works for us.  For me, ceremonial magic works fine. Smiley
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« Reply #5: March 22, 2007, 07:17:58 am »

I Use what I know.  after all, its taken so many life-times to amass this knowing.  trust your heart.  the mind's fine, but the heart is the abode of the wise woman.  I've wasted many years looking for wisdom in books, when all I ever needed was embedded within me.  Blessed be.
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« Reply #6: March 22, 2007, 07:42:10 am »

I Use what I know.  after all, its taken so many life-times to amass this knowing.  trust your heart.  the mind's fine, but the heart is the abode of the wise woman.  I've wasted many years looking for wisdom in books, when all I ever needed was embedded within me.  Blessed be.

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« Reply #7: March 22, 2007, 08:17:55 am »

When designing a spell or ritual, do you use color/crystal/herb/ect associations you've found somewhere (books..internet), or do you make up your own, using "what seems right to you"?


My basic associations are pretty standard modern witchcraft.  I've been using them for so long though, I can't really tell which came first.  The learned the list, or just felt that way.  I think it was a little of both.  I expanded on my natural associations by learning the modern witchcraft ones.

I guess rather than free association, it's a guided association. 

Starting in the East because it's just where you happen to start, is more effective than starting in the north because you're deliberately trying to work outside of a standard association. Associations sometimes aren't even conscious.  If you have to think about it you're not associating, you're designing.

It's almost like a form of divination.  When you associate, you read into the fall of the existing dice and materials according to the system you are working within.  When you design, you place the materials so that someone else might read into it.  Whether it is the human others who attend your ritual, or the 'empty chair' in your mind where deity watches the ritual from.  Again though, you need consistency so they have a way to read your code.  If I change the key every random spread of letters, then the code becomes unreadable.

I can stretch the witchcraft associations of roses, with Tonantzin for example, because she is related to/ an incarnation of Guadalupe, and roses to her meant something completely different than they do in witchcraft associations.  But it's a stretch designed to be read into by deity, rather than just for the heck of it.

I think associations are built.  You can't just up and say, gee... I think I'll associate green to fire and be effective.  You have to know why you're making green fire, you have to know who else might have made green an aspect of fire, you have to know where your intent makes green an appropriate representation of fire. 

You also have to be able to tie up any associations you have that contradict this.  Is you have a little voice in the back of your head whining *but red is fire!* the whole time, you wont be effective.  You'll be undoing your alternate associations.  Which is why starting in the north just to be different isn't always an effective alternative.  I've seen some people do this, which is why I mention it. 

The individual in question was attending her first open circle, and asked if we could begin in the north instead of the east.  It momentarily threw off the gal who was acting as high priestess because someone randomly just asked her to change her entire format for the evening.  It was so unexpected, and the person who asked was a guest in the circle, and new to alternative faith, so just as a consideration you could see the HP mentally asking herself if it was worth it to give this individual a sense of control in her participation. 

All of this happened in less than an instant before she regained her composure and said no.  We start in the east.

I think she considered it because some traditions do start in the north.  Which is why I go to, if you know why you are doing it, then you have some freedom in what you associate.  If it's random, then not so much.  If you are still at the random stage I would go with structure until you know why you are doing otherwise.  That way you can work with a complete system rather than just snippets.
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« Reply #8: March 22, 2007, 08:20:08 am »


My biggest problem, and I'll use herbs as an example, is: I just don't understand the tie-in with some of them.  Basil and oregano belong in Spagetti Sauce ... how in the heck do they relate to protection, love, money, etc.  Now, garlic in a banishing spell at least makes some sense to my warped mind....


I think it also has to do with the herbs in their undried form.  Basil leaves, have a similar vibe to rose petals.  Their consistency, the thickness and the way they grown on the plant.

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And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
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Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
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« Reply #9: March 22, 2007, 08:25:06 am »

A long time ago I used to go strictly by the book. I would get the exact ingredients and measurements of the called for items. But then I started just using what I felt was needed. Which ended up being less and less the need for materials. Now I really don't even need to use anything. But I think that either way you use them, as long as the intent is there, they should work. They don't have to be old tried and true methods.


When designing a spell or ritual, do you use color/crystal/herb/ect associations you've found somewhere (books..internet), or do you make up your own, using "what seems right to you"?

It seems to me that the purpose of these things is to attune our own mind to the purpose of our ritual, which should allow us to use whatever color(or herb, or stone..) we want, so long as it holds some kind of meaning and association to our purpose.  However, I've heard that using correspondences that have been used by others for long periods of time can be more powerful, as there might be some kind of divine or universal connection to them. 

What are your thoughts?
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« Reply #10: March 22, 2007, 08:28:09 am »

I Use what I know.

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« Reply #11: March 22, 2007, 08:53:44 am »

I Use what I know.  after all, its taken so many life-times to amass this knowing.  trust your heart.  the mind's fine, but the heart is the abode of the wise woman.  I've wasted many years looking for wisdom in books, when all I ever needed was embedded within me.  Blessed be.

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« Reply #12: March 22, 2007, 09:48:43 am »

Oh, beautiful!  This could probably be expanded into a very worthwhile essay.
You also have to be able to tie up any associations you have that contradict this.  Is you have a little voice in the back of your head whining *but red is fire!* the whole time, you wont be effective.
That's helpful to me on a different topic - a way to explain something without unnecessary (and perhaps inappropriate) snarkiness.
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I think she considered it because some traditions do start in the north.  Which is why I go to, if you know why you are doing it, then you have some freedom in what you associate.  If it's random, then not so much.  If you are still at the random stage I would go with structure until you know why you are doing otherwise.  That way you can work with a complete system rather than just snippets.
Once upon a time, I used an east-oriented paradigm (altar faces east, start in east).  Originally, that was basically because Starhawk said so - okay, not quite as "blind follower" as that sounds, but The Spiral Dance was my first how-to, and other sources (non-instructional) that I had at the time concurred.  I'd never run across any example of doing it any other way.

Over the following years, I learned about the north-oriented paradigm, and though it "drew" me on a gut level, I didn't change - I knew the rationale behind the east orientation, but all I knew about the north orientation was that it felt like it should make sense.  As the process of learning and growing continued, though, I gradually came to see north-oriented rationale, and it did make sense - in fact, it made a lot more sense to me than the east-oriented one.  The time came when I couldn't stick with the east orientation; it didn't make sense in context of how the rest of my practice had developed.

I can - well, I think I can; it's been a long time - be a guest at someone else's east-oriented ritual, and not be discombobulated.  It helps that I did use that paradigm for years, so it's not an unfamiliar one.  But it requires a deliberate shift of consciousness.

Sunflower
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« Reply #13: March 22, 2007, 12:00:23 pm »


I can - well, I think I can; it's been a long time - be a guest at someone else's east-oriented ritual, and not be discombobulated.  It helps that I did use that paradigm for years, so it's not an unfamiliar one.  But it requires a deliberate shift of consciousness.

Sunflower

The flexibility you got from learning the formality in the East, and then the deeper spiritual reward of going back to something that was more natural sounds like a good process.  I've sort of gone through something similar, in the way that I don't have much of any inclination.  If all elements are equal, then something noteworthy should happen in every quarter that would make it worth calling first on occasion.

I'm not sure if this would leave me calling in a purpose oriented direction, starting in the west for something emotion related, etc. 

I wonder if I would have to start tailoring order of calling to deity.  This is what happens when I start thinking outside of the box.  lol  Tongue 

I think I may be safer in the box. 
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And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #14: March 22, 2007, 01:08:40 pm »

I guess rather than free association, it's a guided association. 

That pretty much sums up what I think I was trying to work out how to say... *is feeling crappy and sick*... I think I, these days, have my own towists on 'standard' correspondences, kind of what makes sense and what I know works for me..

 
Quote
Which is why starting in the north just to be different isn't always an effective alternative.  I've seen some people do this, which is why I mention it. 
 Which is why I go to, if you know why you are doing it, then you have some freedom in what you associate. 

I've always started with north... ok, apologies, I know I wanted to say something but right now I can't concentrate on a single coherent sentence....
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