An Inner Temple Working
Many in our community are feeling a heavy combination of sadness, fear, and anger at this time, and it can be unclear what to do with those feelings, and easy to become trapped cycling between them. On the Qabbalistic Tree of Life, the sphere of Geburah is associated with both fire and judgment, with necessary separation of the worthy and unworthy. Like fire itself, our anger and grieving can consume, if allowed to rage out of control, or can be harnessed to do useful and magickal Work.
In the Temple of Witchcraft tradition, we each establish a place for ourselves on the inner planes we call the Inner Temple, a sanctuary for introspection and personal, visionary work. This working is intended to establish a new part of the Inner Temple for work related to transforming sadness, grief, and anger into something creative. If you are unfamiliar with the Inner Temple practice, you may wish to study and review it in Christopher Penczak’s book The Inner Temple of Witchcraft.
Enter your Inner Temple. Find, conjure, or otherwise call forth a place or vessel for containing fire. In my own Inner Temple, this is a forge, surrounded by brick- and metalwork, and complete with an anvil and tools. In your own Inner Temple, it might be a hearth, a crucible or kiln, a fire pit, or a great brazier. It should be something capable of containing a large and very hot fire. You may wish to adorn the vessel with sigils or other symbols significant to you. For example, my Inner Temple Forge bears a sigil made up of the glyph for my fire ally spirit, the elemental triangle of fire, and the glyph of Mars.
When the place is established, first call up any sadness, grief, fear, or similar heavy emotion you are feeling and pour it into the vessel to serve as fuel. You may perceive it as dark, heavy, and flowing like oil or chunky, dusty, and brittle, like coal. Allow it all to flow, knowing the vessel can contain as much of it as you have, until you feel you have poured all of it out.
Once that is done, call up your feelings of anger, from hurt betrayal to righteous rage, and pour it forth into the vessel as fire, the hottest, fiercest flames you can imagine. Know that the vessel is strong enough to contain this fire. Perceive it igniting the fuel within to produce a cleansing, transforming flame, like the pyre of the Phoenix. Pour out all of the anger, all of the rage, all of the fire into the vessel until there is no more to give and the flames are all contained within it, forming a fiery core of intense heat.
Say or affirm, “I ignite and consecrate this Fiery Vessel of Craft to be the forge, the cook-fire, the crucible, in which all dross shall burn away, all that is base shall be transformed, and from which I will bring forth wonders and change” (or words to that effect). Know that the vessel will bank and control the fire, keeping it both hot and contained until it is needed for your Work.
Use the Fiery Vessel of Craft in your inner workings to take that which needs to be transformed and make it anew: In vision, you may cook in a cauldron, fire in a kiln, heat and hammer at a forge, or boil away in a crucible whatever you are working with—or all of these things, as you are so moved. Periodically, you can pour out sadness and grief to fuel the fire, and anger to stoke it, as needed, making the Vessel a repository for those feeling to transform them and put them to use. You can even envision the flames of the Vessel as heating or powering an engine to provide you with energy or motivation to do other inner and outer world work, controlled and directed energy rather than wild and unfocused. My own forge connects to a steam engine, for example, elements working in concert: water and air heated by fire and contained by the metals of earth to be transformed into power.
May this vision and working serve you and the Great Work in Love, Will, and Wisdom.
Steve Kenson is a founder and Gemini lead minister of the Temple of Witchcraft.