Lesson 1: Initiation Ritual
This first step into learning Sun-Wheel Magick is through initiation. Since this an online Magick course, this will be a self-initiation. You will perform the duties of both initiate and high priest. In this first lesson, we are going to perform an initiation ritual to the Powers in the North East direction. This will begin a process over the next nine weeks that will take us through all eight directions of the Sun-Wheel in a clockwise direction. The first direction we will work with is the North East which is the power of the highest Ethereal, Spirit Power. This is the realm of Spiritual Authority (the gods.)
(Note: before beginning, please make sure that you are able to devote at least one hour every day for the next week for this initiation ritual. If you do not think you will be able to devote at least one hour per day, please come back to this initiation when you have made time in your schedule. Ideally, it is best to block out one hour every day for the next nine weeks in order to complete the entire level one course which is split up into nine weeks (one for each world of the World Tree). If that is not possible, then you can simply commit to one week at a time. But, don't take too much time in between lessons or you may lose potency and resolve. If you are able to continue the process in succession for each lesson, then you will have a more powerful experience.)
If this is your first time here, please go to the HOME page to learn about Sun-Wheel Magick. If you haven't done so, please review the Apprenticeship page to learn more about this nine-week apprenticeship course in Sun-Wheel Magick.
Have you already finished with Lesson One? Share your experiences and your altar photos HERE!
If you have followed all of the pages in succession and you have made it to this page, then, I assume that you have chosen to follow the Path of the Sun-Wheel. Traditionally, when a student had made a firm decision to follow a spiritual path (and they were accepted by a Master Wizard), they would then go through an initiation ritual. Normally, an apprentice is initiated by a master into a specific lineage. The practical purpose of this initiation is to receive Power from the master and the ascended masters of that tradition. Some lineages have abused this ritual in order to gain control over the initiates.
But a true teacher will emphasize the practical purpose of initiation which is to introduce the student to the true source of the spiritual power of the lineage. That source comes from Divine Energy in its purest form which has been absorbed over centuries by Wizards in that lineage through decades of disciplined practice. The initiation opens energetic pathways to the initiate to begin receiving Power and direction by the ascended masters and whatever spiritual powers have chosen to work with those who have been accepted into the lineage.
This divine power is often symbolized by Celestial Deities. Don't worry about the actual symbology here. If you are naturally drawn to deities, then you will do just fine. I will give you some ideas about useful deities to work with in the North East direction. If you are not religious by nature and you have difficulty with the idea of gods and deities, no problem there either. I will help you understand the energetic properties associated with the North East direction.
First, let us analyze what the North East direction represents and why this is the direction necessary for initiation into Magick and spiritual disciplines...
Remember that I said that Life Force Energy or Electro-Magnetic Energy moves in a clockwise fashion? The North East direction is the first place that Life Force Energy enters the manifested cosmos. So, by focusing our attention to this direction and doing rituals here, we are able to absorb this Power as it first comes into physical existence.
This Energy is very pure. It is brand new Energy. This is why it is associated with Celestial deities. There is a difference between Celestial deities and Earthly deities. Celestial Deities are associated with freshly created Life Force Energy as it enters the Cosmos. This is best represented by stellar powers. For humans, this kind of power has been associated with the Heavens. The heavenly deities are seen as powerful, brilliant entities. But, these entities also exude this newly formed energy that has just arisen from the Void of Pure Potential in the North. This is why celestial gods are seen as impulsive and rash. Because they are made up entirely of this newly formed Spirit Energy that is literally exploding into manifested existence. The gods can be kind, generous and awe-inspiring in their brilliance, but they can also be impulsive, dogmatic and unyielding. This represents the explosive radiance of newly formed Spirit Energy. This Energy is responsible for the genesis of all of the power in the Entire cosmos. It is very pure and powerful, BUT, because it is newly formed Energy, it is also "inexperienced."
Once again, I will use the mythology of my ethnic ancestors to illustrate the differences between Earthly Power and Celestial Power:
According to the Norse Myths, the Celestial deities (Aesir) reside in Asgard (Fortress of the Celestial gods). The pre-Christian Norse understood that the Aesir represented newly formed Life Force Energy because they frequently refer in their myths to the Celestial gods as "The Younger Gods." The Norse referred to the Vanir (Earthly gods) who dwell in the West as "The Elder Gods." The North East is the first direction in the Sun-Wheel and West is closer to the end of the clockwise cycle of Energy flow in the Sun-Wheel. So, by the time the Spirit Energy has reached the West it is no longer "young." It very experienced Energy, hence it is "older." A clear understanding of the clockwise flow of Spirit Energy through the Sun-Wheel explains a lot about what is written in ancient mythology. Are you beginning to see the connections here?
If we compare the North East direction quality found in Taoist mysticism with that found in Vedic mysticism, we will see that both of these ancient traditions viewed the North East direction as representing Heavenly purity and power. (Even though each tradition is separated by a huge chasm of differing ethnicity, language, history and culture.) For me, the underlying similarity between these vastly different cultures underscores the Universal application of this Spirit Energy as an observable and verifiable spiritual, energetic science. This is not random, arbitrary cultural tradition. It is founded on a solid, spiritual scientific principles that both cultures separately and objectively observed in Nature and recorded through their own unique respective traditions, language and symbology. This Universal science can be uncovered and universally applied if we are able to do the research. Fortunately for you, I have done a lot of this research for you. But, I will also share how I discovered these principles in various cultures so you can conduct your own research to verify the results for yourself! (Note: The Taoists place the South direction at the top. the "Ken" trigram is actually in the North East direction.
The Taoist Post-heaven Ba-Gua (eight gates) diagram places the power of "mountain or "Ken"" in the North East Direction. The "mountain" here refers to the mountaintop of spiritual inspiration. In many polytheist traditions, the celestial homes of the gods are located on mountain tops. Many local deities in various places around the globe claim that mountain tops are the homes of their local patron deities. Jehovah was originally located atop a flaming mountain.
(Image from www.shrifreedom.org/jyotishkalachakra2.shtml)
The Indo-European understanding of the North East is represented also represented by above image which contains two eight sided squares. These are: the Vedic "Kala Chakra" (time wheel) and "Dig Chakra" (direction wheel.) These two diagrams are often used in Vaastu Shastra (Vedic "feng shui") and also in Vedic astrology. In the Dig Chakra diagram (outside square), the North East is ruled by the planet Jupiter and ruled by the deity called "Ishana Shiva." Shiva is the Hindu deity of transcendent awareness similar to the Norse Odin and Ishana means "ruler." Ishana Shiva is the aspect of Shiva that controls the highest ethereal form of Energy. The planet associated with the North East direction in the Kala Chakra is Jupiter. Jupiter is universally seen as the head of the pantheon in some traditional polytheist religions. The Element associated with the North East is pure Ether. The East is also associated with Ether, but in the East, the Ether has begun to mix with Fire. Here in the North East, the Ether Element has just emerged from the void in the North. It is absolutely pure. When most people use the word "akasha," they are referring to this kind of Ether found in the North East as opposed to the Life Force Element of Ether found in the East. (Life Force Ether will be covered in the 2nd Lesson.)
(Image from www.thunderwizard.com/page26/Ve.html)
Some modern practitioners of Germanic Polytheist mysticism place Asgard (Court of the Celestial gods) in the North East direction on the World Tree.
You are encouraged to do your own research regarding the spiritual beliefs connected to:
All of these concepts are connected either directly or indirectly to the North East direction.
You don't need to spend too much time on this preliminary research right now. A cursory google search will bring up a lot of sources for you to catalogue and pursue later. You don't need to write a doctoral thesis on these subjects. All you need right now is a basic understanding of how different cultures universally acknowledge the North East direction as the realm of the highest, purest ethereal form of Divine Energy. Once you have made a cursory investigation into these subjects and you feel like you have a general understanding of the implications of North Eastern Energy, then you are ready for the actual self-initiation into the Sun-Wheel.
So, since the North East deals with the power of Celestial Divinity, we will perform a ritual to "the gods." You have some leeway as to how YOU want to do this. I am going to give you some suggestions. I will show you a basic outline for worship ritual that is found in similar forms in various cultures. This process works. You are free to experiment to make the ritual fit your needs.
You are also free to choose your own Deity or Deities for this exercise. What is most important is that whatever deity you choose must be a deity that represents the Energetic quality of the North East. For instance, a war deity like Mars, Baldur or Hanuman is best represented in the Southern direction. So, you cannot just choose any old deity you want for each direction. Each direction and each deity has a very specific energy that is related to each direction. So, even though I am giving you leeway to choose your own deity, please be sure that it is a deity that resonates with the North East direction. If you are unsure, then please choose from one of the options I will share with you.
a few deities that best resonate with the North East are:
Other deities that can work with the North East (but are also associated with other directions) are:
You can later change the deity for this direction after you have done more research and work with this direction. But for now, feel free to pick whichever deity you feel a connection to. Later, if you are meant for another deity for the North East, the deity you choose now will later guide you to whichever deity you have a destiny to work with.
If you do not wish to worship defined deities and feel more drawn to natural forces and phenomena, then you may simply acknowledge the Energetic properties of associated with the North East direction. Natural Phenomena associated with the North East are:
Have you chosen your deity or natural symbol? Then you are now ready for the actual initiation ritual. Do this ritual every day at the same time for the next week. I will give suggestions on good times to do this ritual, but you are free to choose a time that best fits your schedule.
Remember: You are taking a vow. Your vow is that you promise to perform this ritual every single day at the same time for a full week. It is very important that you fulfill this vow. If you cannot commit to one hour every day for a week. Then, don't do it. You are better off doing nothing, than making a vow and not fulfilling it. ( I don't have space here to explain, but trust me on this.) Only commit to vows you know you can fulfill. A week is a reasonable amount of time. Other traditional lengths for vows can last anywhere from 40 days, one year or 40 years. Regardless of how short your vow duration is, you WILL see results if you follow it all the way through.
You may want to use ritual tools for your ritual. I am going to share one version of using symbols of the Five Elements as offerings to the deities. If you have experience in ritual worship, you are free to use whatever forms of symbols work for you. If you are new to ritual worship, follow my suggestions. They work.
You will also need to utilize sacred chanting for this particular exercise. I will give some appropriate mantras that will work. If you would rather, you can use any other written material or sacred verse. But again, it must be relevant to the North East. Ode to the gods or poem to Jupiter or something like this will work well. You can even write your own song or poem concerning things that pertain to the North East, such as brilliance or stars or mountains etc... If you are unsure, then please choose a mantra from the list I will provide. OK, let's get started setting up your sacred space for your ritual.
First you need to find a room or area to set aside as your sacred space. Clear away a place in the North East corner of the room. If you can, find a picture or statue of your deity. If you would rather use a symbol, you can use a crystal Shri Yantra, a picture of a mountain or you can simply draw an Ansuz Rune symbol in red ink on a piece of paper. Whatever you choose, try to make sure it is something you enjoy looking at because you will be focusing your attention on it for every ritual.
OK, here are some items you will need for your ritual:
Here are the steps for setting up the ritual space.
First, place your symbol, mandala or statue in the North East corner.
Now, you are going to place the offerings in a Celtic Cross pattern with offerings on each of the four directions plus the center.
Place the Flowers at the Top (Ether)
Place the Candle in the Center (Fire)
Place the Bowl of Food/Candy on the Right (Earth)
Place the Incense at the Bottom (Air)
Place the Honey Water on the Left (Water)
You are free to schedule your ritual on whatever day or time suits you best, but for the North East direction, here are the best times:
For best results with the North East direction, begin your vow on a Thursday at 6:00 a.m. or p.m. or at midnight. If you are starting this ritual during daylight savings time, move your ritual time up one hour.
As I mentioned, I will suggest some mantras that can be chanted for your ritual. For best results, get a 108 count mala (rosary beads.) You can get them at most new age bookstores or online or ebay. Make sure they have 108 beads on them.
If you are familiar with yogic asanas, you can sit in any cross legged yoga position ( ez pose, half-lotus or full- lotus) but it is not necessary. Because of past knee injuries, I sit in a chair and it works just fine for me. If you choose to sit in a chair to do your mantra practice, be sure that your feet are flat on the floor, your back is comfortably straight and your neck is straight. The easiest way to keep your neck straight is to look at the ground a few feet in front of you. Also be sure that your hips are slightly higher than your knees.
I'm going to give you a list of mantras appropriate for attracting North East Energy. Choose only ONE mantra for your vow. They will all work. Many people like to change mantras around. You can do this, but not until after you have finished your vow. If you change mantras during your vow, you will lose all the energy buildup from the mantra. Mantras are specific and cumulative in nature. If someone continuously keeps changing mantras, the energy gets confused and they accomplish nothing. So, once you choose a mantra, stick with it until you have finished your vow. Here are some mantras for the North East:
Ong Nama Shivaya
Ong Hang Ishanaya Nama
Ong Brihaspatayei Nama
Ong Ganeshaya Nama
It is not critical that you chant a mantra. But they do work very well. If you choose not to use a mantra, it is good to have something written out that you can read. If you are a musician, you can also play your instrument. I often play flutes and also frame drums when I am doing rituals. You need not play anything specific. Music will help create a powerful trance state and music does attract spirit powers.
Here are a list of musical instruments that you can play:
One last step is to learn or create a sacred gesture that is used to open and close rituals. This "symbolic" gesture is very important for your ritual work because it signals to the subconscious that "this is serious spiritual work." This may seem like empty symbolism, but bear in mind that symbolism is a very powerful stimulation for the subconscious mind. It is the subconscious that creates magical power. Modern man has forgotten this fact. I don't have time to elaborate here, but please trust me on this; Your subconscious mind is your most powerful ally in Magickal work.
If you have an opening gesture that you already use, you may use it. Here is a very simple, but powerful opening gesture that will work. Stand facing North. Touch the tips of your fingers to your third eye, then touch your navel, then touch your heart. then face the North East and repeat the gesture. Continue repeating the gesture toward each of the eight directions of the Sun-Wheel moving in a clockwise fashion. When you arrive at the North again, take a moment, hold your palms over your heart to seal the energies of each direction, then begin your ritual.
So, now you have an idea of all the tools you may need for your initiation ritual Here is your initiation ritual outline:
1) Set up your sacred space and altar items
2) At the appointed start time, perform your opening gesture to the 8 directions.
3) Sit facing North East and clearly state your desire and intention for the ritual. (i.e., I sit here facing north east and pledge my service to the celestial powers of the Dawn. I seek power and to be accepted by the gods as an initiate of the Sacred Sun-Wheel.") This is just an example. Feel free to speak from the heart or write your own intention.
4) Offer the Five Elements to the god or Power you have chosen: Raise the flowers to the sky and say "I offer you (name of deity) the Element of Ether." Light the candle and say "I offer you the Element of Sacred Fire." Raise the bowl of food and say, "I offer you the Element of Earth." Light the incense and wave toward the sky and say, "I offer you the element of Air."
Raise the honey water and say, "I offer you the Element of Water." Again, you are free to use your own words here. But, I do recommend that you follow this sequence.
5) Play your musical instrument if you have one or perhaps play some recorded music that inspires you spiritually. Do this for as long as you feel inspired to do so. You will know when it is time to stop.
6) Chant your mantra 108 times. Feel the voice resonate from the diaphragm. You need not chant loudly. It can be soft or even whispered. Make sure that your back and neck are comfortably straight so that the Energy can safely move up and down the spine.
7) Sit in your meditative posture, close your eyes and breathe from the navel center long and deep and allow the powers you have summoned to be absorbed in your body and aura. Allow your mind to empty but allow any visions, intuitions or thoughts arise. Nothing has to happen, but something might. Just be open to the experience. You will know when the meditation has ended but spend at least 5-10 minutes.
8) Play your instrument once again for a few minutes.
9) Repeat your intention for initiation into Magick and add any personal requests. State your intention to devote the power and knowledge you receive from the gods to the service of the deity and all life in the cosmos. Ask to be granted evolution and promise to endeavor to use your power for the benefit of others and not just for yourself.
10) Stand and spread your arms wide, breathe deeply and allow the power of the North East to fill you. ( you may feel nothing, but trust me, Power is flowing to you whether you feel it or not.)
11) Release the Elements:
Now smell the flowers, bringing the power of Ether into your body.
Thank the Fire in the candle and gently extinguish the flame.
Mindfully eat the food offering you have provided imagine the power of the deity has filled the food and is now becoming part of you.
Thank the Air element and extinguish the incense (if it is still lit) and rub a tiny amount of ash on your third eye. (Be careful that your incense is made of non-toxic materials. skip this step if your skin reacts).
Drink the Honey water and allow the power of the North East to nourish all of the cells in your body.
12) Ending the Ritual:
Thank the deity. Begin to massage your whole body as if you were awakening from a long nap. Breathe deeply, stretch and bring yourself back to normal consciousness. Do this for at least 2 or 3 minutes.
Say any final vows or requests and thank the deity and declare the ritual to be over.
Perform your gesture toward all the directions starting the North moving clockwise and ending with the North West. This closes the sacred circle.
You are done. Quietly and reverently leave your sacred space. Now go do something relaxing and allow the power of the experience to fill you.
You are now initiated into the Power of the Sun-Wheel. Repeat this ritual every day at the same time for the next week. If you have the discipline and you KNOW that you can fulfill it, you are encouraged to perform this ritual every day at the same time for increments of 10, 40, or 120 days or even 365 days. I promise you that if you are able to fulfill one of these longer vows, you will be transformed on every level of your being. BUT, only do what you KNOW you can do. One week is also very powerful if you fulfill your vow.
After your vow has ended, you are free to immediately move on to the next phase which is working with Life Force in the Eastern direction. I recommend moving right into the nest phase. But again only do so if you know you can fulfill it. If you choose to take a few days or a week in between, you may do so. But, don't wait too long or you may lose valuable momentum.
Print this page out. Feel free to use it to help during the ritual. The gods don't mind if you use a cheat sheet. ;)
When you have finished your Lesson One vow, why not share with us your experiences? You can also upload photos of your Altar and Offerings to the deities of the North East. Click HERE to share your initiation experiences!
Have you already fulfilled your Initiation ritual to the North East? Please share your experience with us... Share your photos of your Five Elements Altar Offering. Click HERE...