This is a lesson in the Magick of the First Church of Polyamory. The universe is a vast and highly complex place. In order to make it more comprehensible, people tend to break it down into pieces they can understand. Physicists have their 4 forces (Strong, Weak, Electromagnetic, Gravity), Chemists have their 4 states of matter (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma), and we have the 4 Elements. We view the world as being symbolized by Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. In working our Magick we often vary the directions in which we invoke the Elements. But we usually cast our Circles with Earth in the East, Fire in the South, Water in the West, and Air in the North. This puts Elements of like gender across the circle from each other, creating a male and female axis across the circle with a "crossroads" in the center. Earth- represents the qualities of solidity, stability, wealth, health, and strength. It is represented by the astrological signs of Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo, by the various polygrams (pentagrams, hexagrams, heptagrams, etc.) and by the stone bladed Knife or Athame'. We use stone blades (usually flint or obsidian) as our ancestors did. I recommend that you make your own. However, if you want a fancy one, there is a company in New Mexico that makes beautiful ones that can be as long as 2 feet. I've also seen stone blades at Renn Faeres and Pow Wows. The color associated with Earth is Green. Many people like to wear a symbol of their faith. Our symbol is the heptagram. There are quite a few people who sell heptagrams that are reflected off of every third point as "faerie stars". But our preferred form of the Heptagram is reflected off of every other point. And if available, we prefer for them to be made of copper. Fire- represents the qualities of energy, passion, will, and vitality. The astrological signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius represent it. A lit candle represents it. Preferably Red in color. Red is the color associated with Fire. Water- represents the qualities of creativity, love, compassion, empathy and introspection. The astrological signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces represent it. The Magickal tool for Water is a cup or chalice. Mine is a cobalt blue wineglass onto which I have painted the sigils I wanted. But make sure yours has meaning for you. Blue is the color of Water. Air- represents the qualities of intellect, changability, quickness, and movement. The astrological signs of Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini represent it. The tool for Air is the Staff. Your staff should be long enough and sturdy enough for you to use as a walking stick and to lean on. I like my staff to be natural. But others prefer to paint or carve sigils onto their staves. White is the color of air. Here is some about the structure of the First Church of Polyamory. Our system is divided into 7 levels. The first level is available to anyone who asks to be initiated. Starting and second level and every level thereafter, candidates are required to pass an examination. 3rd level members are considered Clergy and are empowered to officiate at handfastings, funerals, and all other religious services. Their proper Title is Priest/ess. All 6th level members are part of a single group marriage Even 6th level members who are very far away from each other. (In practice, 6th level members have their own local Pod. If they visit another Pod, the 6th circle members of that pod will treat them as an honored guest and spouse.) 6th level members are called by the title, Councilor. The 6th level members constitute the ruling body of the church and have authority to make decisions. They may appoint an administrator to make day to day decisions. But any thing done by the administrator can be vetoed/overturned by a simple majority vote of the 6th circle members. 7th Level is only held briefly by most people. It is an act of service. A 7th Level member is totally dedicated to the healing and pleasure of others. The Council must elect them to their position. But candidates may, in rare cases, not yet be 6th level themselves. Candidates for 7th level have already been acting as if they were 7th level for some time before the council grants their degree. Candidates for 7th Level may not ask for their degree unless they are already 6th Level members. 7th Level members who retire after serving for at least a year and a day automatically become 6th Level members unless rejected by 6/7 of the council. Several of you have inquired about starting your own Pod. If you want to start your own Pod, first you need to let people know you are out there. Creating a Web site for your proto-Pod would allow us to link you into our own Site and would help people find you. You should also consider listing your proto-Pod on the Witches of the World site at: http://www.witchvox.com/maps/map_wotw.html and on Adult Friend Finder at: http://www59.adultfriendfinder.com/cgi-bin/w3com/start?ffadult+start as a "group." Once people in your area start contacting you, you should start having meetings on the New and Full Moons. The precedents you set at the very first meeting will be very important. Turn your thermostat up to 80 degrees and be skyclad (nude) from the very first meeting. Be sure to have lots of wine or your other favorite sacraments on hand for those who choose to partake. Perform a brief, skyclad, ritual to celebrate the New Moon. Have people bring potluck snacks to share after the ritual. An hour after the ritual has ended; you and your partner/s should instigate an orgy with those who are willing to participate. But participation MUST be optional. For now, use a standard Neo-Pagan/Wiccan format for your rituals. As we publish our own distinctive system on this site, incorporate it into your own practices. Keep in touch and tell us of your progress. We'd like to know how well our system works for your Pod. But keep in mind that Any time I spend corresponding with you, is time that I don't spend publishing our Magick on this site. Quarterly reports will be just fine. Most of us define our sexual orientation as "straight." However, you will be more comfortable in the 1st Church of Polyamory if you are, to some extent, bisexual. How bi do you need to be? You should feel comfortable in polysexual lovemaking that includes members of both genders. You may prefer one gender when seeking out lovers. But you should feel comfortable caressing or kissing members of both genders. In group sex situations, you may not be sure which person is rubbing against you. So you need to be comfortable with all the possibilities. Many people, who define them selves as "straight", find that they prefer giving oral sex to their same gender to receiving it from their same gender. People who are too "straight" or too "gay" may not like being in a Pod. But gay or lesbian people may find happiness in a single gender Pod. There are many different depths to which sexualove relationships extend. So some find it helpful to describe the different kinds of relationships. Tertiary Lovers are lovers who have only gotten together once or twice. The typical "one-night-stand" is a good example of this. Generally, people who have been members of the same pod for a while have all gotten this far with each other. Secondary Lovers are 2 or more people with an ongoing sexualove relationship. Dating is a good example of this. When your proto-Pod has 3 (or more) people who have reached this stage, either as a triad (2 bisexual people of the same gender who are in love with each other and a third person of opposite gender) or a Vee (2 people who are both in love with the same opposite gender person), then your proto-Pod becomes a full fledged Pod. Primary lovers are 2 or more people who have formed the deepest kind of relationship. The mundane equivalent would be marriage. People in a Primary relationship usually live together. And they always have an agreement not to have sex outside of their Primary bond without the use of a condom. This is called the Condom Commitment. People in a primary relationship give their primary partners veto power over any new relationships. This is an important safety mechanism for maintaining trust within the relationship. Here is a general outline of the ritual structure used for most Rituals in the 1st Church of Polyamory: I) Cleansing II) Casting the Circle III) Calling Quarters A) East-Earth B) South-Fire C) West-Water D) North-Air IV) Invoking Deities A) the Goddess B) the God V) Working- The central part of the ritual that makes it different from other occasions VI) Power raising A) the Great Rite VII) Communication - sharing of the sacrament VIII) Dismissal of elements - done in reverse order starting in the North. Now let's discuss each of these steps in order. First, Cleansing. This is done in order to clean away any lingering Magickal influences in the ritual space or the minds of the participants. In the very least, some sort of banishing should performed such as the Star Ruby, lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or Vel Reguli. For more elaborate rituals, I prefer to Banish negativity with the Star Ruby, invoke white light with the Star Sapphire using the Venus hexagrams, and finally invoke Love with the invoking Heptagram ritual. If I'm in more of a hurry, I just banish with the Star Ruby. Those of you in the Southern Hemisphere may prefer Vel Reguli to the Star Ruby. Some of you may not be familiar with these rituals so here they are for your use. They should be memorized and performed without the aid of notes. Do them every day until you can do them from memory. The Star Ruby Ritual (by Aleister Crowley) 1.Facing East, in the centre, draw deep deep deep thy breath closing thy mouth with thy right forefinger prest against thy lower lip. Then dashing down the hand with a great sweep back and out, expelling forcibly thy breath, cry - APO PANTOS KAKODAIMONOS ("Away evil spirits!") 2.With the same forefinger touch thy forehead, and say - SOI (Unto you) thy member, and say - O PHALLE (O Phallus) thy right shoulder, and say - ISCHUROS (Strong; Strength) thy left shoulder, and say - EUCHARISTOS (Eucharist; mystic feast; thanksgiving) then clasp thine hands, locking the fingers, and cry - IAO (IAO, Gnostic Divine Name, Isis Apophis Osiris, Father Mother Son, etc.) 3.Advance to the East. Imagine strongly a Pentagram, aright, in thy forehead. Drawing the hands to the eyes, fling it forth, making the sign of Horus (Also known as the Sign of the Enterer From Liber O a.Stand with arms outstreached. b.Breathe in deeply through the nostrils, imagining the name of the God desired entering with the breath. c.Let that name descend slowly from the lungs to the heart, the solar plexus, the navel, the generative organs, and so to the feet. d.The moment that it appears to touch the feet, quickly advance the left foot about 12 inches, throw forward the body, and let the hands (drawn back to the side of the eyes) shoot out, so that you are standing in the typical position of the God Horus, and at the same time imagine the Name as rushing up through the body, while you breathe it out through the nostrils with the air which has been till then retained in the lungs. All this must be done with all the force of which you are capable.) and roar - THERION (The Beast, The Thelemic male polarity) Retire thine hand in the sign of Hoor-paar-Kraat. (The Sign of Silence. Place the right forefinger (or thumb) on the lips.) 4.Go round to the North and repeat; but say - NUIT (The Egyptian Sky or Star Goddess. The infinite expanse of nothingness.) 5.Go round to the West and repeat; but whisper - BABALON (The Whore. The Thelemic female polarity.) 6.Go round to the South and repeat; but bellow - HADIT (The Winged Globe. The infinite point of nothingness.) 7.Completing the circle widdershins, retire to the centre and raise thy voice in the Paian, with these words - IO PAN, with the signs of N.O.X. (IO PAN = O All! N.O.X. = The Night of Pan, light withdrawn as opposed to L.V.X., light in extension. The signs of N.O.X. are: Puella (girl). Stand with feet together, head bowed, left hand shielding the groin and the right hand shielding the breast (attitude of Venus de Medici). Puer (boy). Stand with feet together and head erect. Right hand raised (thumb extended at a right angle to the fingers, thumb pointing at the right temple), with the forearm forming a right angle with the shoulder. Left hand clenched with thumb extending forwards, placed at the groin (attitude of the Gods Mentu, Khem, etc.) Vir (man). Feet together. Both hands clenched, thumbs extended, are placed to the temples, thumbs pointing out (like horns.) The head is then bowed and pushed out, as if to symbolize the butting of a horned beast (attitude of Pan, Bacchus, etc.) Mulier (wife). The feet are widely separated and the arms raised so as to suggest a crescent. The head is thrown back (attitude of Baphomet, Isis in Welcome, the microcosm of Vitruvius.)) 8.Extend the arms in the form of a Tau and say low but clear - PRO MOU IUNGES, OPISO MOU TELETARCAI, EPI DEXIA SYNOCEIS, EPARISTERA DAIMONES. FLEGEI GAR PERI MOU O ASTHR TON PENTE, KAI EN THI STHLHI O ASTHR TON HEX ESTHKE. (Before me the Iynges Behind me the Teletarchae On my right hand the Synoches On my left the daemons For about me flames the Star of Five And in the column Stands the Star of Six) 9.Repeat the Cross Qabalistic, as above, and end as thou didst begin.(i.e. repeat step #2 then end on step #1.) the Star Sapphire Ritual (by Aleister Crowley) 1.Let the Adept be armed with his Magick Rood [and provided with his mystic Rose]. (The Magick Rood is the Wand or Lingham. The Mystic Rose is the Cup or Yoni.) 2.In the centre, let him give the L.V.X. signs (L.V.X. = Light in Extention. The signs are: The Sign of Osiris Slain. Extend the arms in the form of a cross. L - The Sign of the Mourning of Isis. Raise the right arm to point upwards, keeping the elbow square, and lower the left arm to point downwards, keeping the elbow square, while turning the head over the left shoulder looking down so that the eyes follow the left forearm. V - The Sign of Apophis and Typhon. Throw back the head and raise the arms at an angle of 60 degrees to each other above the head in a "V" shape. X - The Sign of Osiris Risen. Cross the arms of the breast and bow the head. The classic mummy-in-the-coffin position.); or if he know them, if he will and dare do them, and can keep silent about them, the signs of N.O.X. being the signs of Puer, Vir, Puella, Mulier. (N.O.X. = The Night of Pan, light withdrawn as opposed to L.V.X., light in extension. The signs of N.O.X. are: Puella (girl). Stand with feet together, head bowed, left hand shielding the groin and the right hand shielding the breast (attitude of Venus de Medici). Puer (boy). Stand with feet together and head erect. Right hand raised (thumb extended at a right angle to the fingers, thumb pointing at the right temple), with the forearm forming a right angle with the shoulder. Left handclenched with thumb extending forwards, placed at the groin (attitude of the Gods Mentu, Khem, etc.) Vir (man). Feet together. Both hands clenched, thumbs extended, are placed to the temples, thumbs pointing out (like horns.) The head is then bowed and pushed out, as if to symbolize the butting of a horned beast (attitude of Pan, Bacchus, etc.) Mulier (wife). The feet are widely separated and the arms raised so as to suggest a crescent. The head is thrown back (attitude of Baphomet, Isis in Welcome, the microcosm of Vitruvius.)) Omit the sign. I.R. 3.Then let him advance to the East and make the Holy Hexagram, saying: "Pater et Mater unus deus Ararita." ("Father and Mother one god Ararita.") 4.Let him go round to the South, make the Holy Hexagram and say: "Mater et Filius unus deus Ararita." ("Mother and Son one god Ararita.") 5.Let him go round to the West, make the Holy Hexagram and say: "Filius et Filia unus deus Ararita." ("Son and Daughter one god Ararita.") 6.Let him go round to the North, make the Holy Hexagram and then say: "Filia et Pater unus deus Ararita." ("Daughter and Father one god Ararita.") 7.Let him then return to the Centre, and so to The Centre of All (making the "Rosy Cross" as he may know how) saying: "Ararita Ararita Ararita" (ARARITA is a Hebrew notariqon for the sentences: One is his beginning. One is his individuality. His permutation is one.) 8.[In this the Signs shall be those of Set Triumphant and of Baphomet. Also shall Set appear in the Circle. Let him drink of the Sacrament and let him communicate the same.] 9.Then let him say: "Omnia in Duos Duo in Unum Unus in Nihil Haec nec Quatuor nec Omnia nec Duo nec Unus nec Nihil Sunt." (All in Two. Two in One. One in Nothingness. These are neither Four nor All nor Two nor One nor Nothing.) 10."Gloria Patri et Matri et Filio et Filiae et Spiritui Sancto externo et Spiritui Sancto interno ut erat est erit in saecula Saeculorum sex in uno per nomen Septem in uno Ararita." ("Glory be to the Father and to the Mother and to the Son and Daughter, and to the Holy Spirit without and within, which was, is and shall be, world without end. Six in One through the names of the Seven in One, Ararita.") 11.Let him then repeat the signs of L.V.X. but not the signs of N.O.X.: for it is not he that shall arise in the Sign of Isis Rejoicing Discussion Normally planets are invoked using the appropriate Hexagram Ritual. But Hexagrams are Solar in Nature and It occurred to me that since the heptagram incompases the symbolism of all 7 of the planets known to the ancients, it is an equally valid figure for invoking planetary energies. Because heptagrams are representative of Venus, it seems an especially potent way to invoke Venusian energies. There are several forms of heptagrams. Reflected off of every point is the heptagon, a 7 sided figure. The heptagram that is reflected off of every 3rd point has gained some recent popularity and are marketed as "Faerie Stars". But the heptagram I prefer is reflected off of every second point. It can be seen as figure B on page 508 <93> of Llewellyn's: The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie. I have suggested Vel Reguli and the Hexagram as preliminary banishings because they used the Kerubic and Cardinal Zodiacal signs to seal them. In doing these three rituals, the Mage uses all 12 of the astrological signs. Lesser invoking ritual of the Heptagram Part one Having already banished with Vel Reguli and the hexagram rituals, the magician faces south. Holding her Stone Athame' above her head she vibrates: "AGAPE" Drawing the energy down to her sexual center, she vibrates: "EROS" Pulling the energy up to her heart chakra, she vibrates: "APHRODITE" Drawing her Stone Athame' across her throat, she vibrates: "HANAEL" Drawing the Stone Athame' across her heart, she vibrates: "HAGIEL" Drawing the Stone Athame' across her lower abdomen, she vibrates: "KEDEMEL" Part two The magician draws the second form of the Heptagram of Venus, starting at Mercury and going to Venus, then Sol, then Mars, then Jupiter, then Saturn, then Luna, then Mercury again, and finally back to Venus a second time. Then the magician draws the symbol of Sagittarius and vibrates: "YHVH TZABAOTH" The Magician walks around to the west and draws the Heptagram of Venus exactly as before except, she draws the symbol of Pisces in side it and vibrates: "HANIEL" The Magician walks around to the North and draws the Heptagram of Venus exactly as before except, she draws the symbol of Libra inside it and vibrates: "ELOHIM" The Magician walks around to the East and draws the Heptagram with the symbol of Virgo inside it and vibrates: "NOGAH" The magician returns to the south and repeats Part One. II) Casting the Circle There are a variety of ways to demarcate the circle, drawing a line between the sacred and non-sacred world. Our favorite method is to pass a kiss around the circle. (it's more fun if you are already circled up with alternating male and female) We hold hands in a circle. Gaze into each other's eyes. Then the High Priest/ess kisses the person on his/her left, who then kisses the person on their left and so on . . . until the kiss has gone all the way around the circle. Sometime the kiss is just a peck. Other times it's a deep, passionate french kiss. It depends on the mood and energy of the Pod. III) Calling Quarters We Call the Quarters to invoke the elemental energies in a variety of ways. Normally, each Quarter is Called by a different person. It's usually different every time. But sometimes, inspiration fails us. When this happens, we fall back on the following Quarter Call: "Spirits of _____ (East, South, West, North), Spirits of ________ (Earth, Fire, Water, Air), I ______ (Your Name) your Priest/ess and Lover do summon, stir, and Call Ye forth. In the names of the ancient and Mighty ones, COME!" Those of you in the Southern Hemisphere may be tempted to change the elemental correspondences, putting Fire in the North. Don't. These correspondences are based on the Earth's position in Space, not the geography of wherever you happen to live. See the discussion after Vel Reguli for more information. IV) Invoking Deities The Goddess, Aphrodite, is Invoked by the High Priest. He Calls upon Aphrodite to inhabit the body of the High Priestess who then literally becomes a Goddess. This is done differently each time as the Priest writes his own Invocation. The God, Eros, is Invoked by the High Priestess. She Calls upon Eros to inhabit the body of the High Priest who them literally becomes a God. This is done differently each time as the Priestess writes her own Invocation. V) Working- The central part of the ritual that makes it different from other occasions VI) Power raising-After the preliminary work is done and you are ready to work the Magick, you need to raise power to send towards accomplishing your goal. It will come as no surprise the we, in The 1st Church of Polyamory like to use sexual energy. It's our favorite kind of Magick. At New Moons, we do this by stimulating ourselves until just before we reach the point of orgasm. Then, instead of cumming, we draw the energy up our spines and send it into the object, person or sigil we want to charge. VII) On Full Moons, we raise energy by having the High Priestess and High Priest perform the Great Rite. They mark each other with the sign of the lowest Level present. Then, they begin foreplay with leads into Lovemaking. There is no set pattern for this as it has to be erotic for both of them and different people have different preferences. While they are doing this, the rest of us are concentrating on sending all of our erotic energy into them, channeling it through a foot or shoulder or other body part of the couple that is not intrusive and interfering. As with New Moons, we stop just before they reach the point of orgasm. Then, instead of cumming, we draw the energy up our spines and send it into the High Priest/ess who then sends in into the object, person or sigil we want to charge. VIII) Communication - sharing of the sacrament - Next, we share the sacrament, which consists of a solid, Flame, liquid, and gas. The solid is usually bread, cookies or chocolate. It is offered to each person by the High Priest who says: "May you never Hunger" and offers each communicate a kiss. The Flame is lit candle in a candle lantern. It is offered to person to warn their hand over by the Summoner who says: "May you always no warmth" and offers each communicate a kiss. The liquid is usually Wine, Mead, or Water. It is offered to each person by the High Priestess who says: "May you never Thirst" and offers each communicate a kiss. The gas may be a sweet smelling flower, burning incense, or a smoking pipe. It is offered to each person by the Maiden who says: "May you always smell sweetly" and offers each communicate a kiss. The communicants respond as they Will. IX) Dismissal of elements - done in reverse order starting in the North. Sometimes, after a very intense ritual, we banish with The Star Ruby. After the Ritual, we share food and drink (lite snacks. Not anything too filling), relax and recharge. We may put on some comfortable or sexy clothes. People who don't want to Share Love, leave during this time. An Hour after the ritual has ended we, Share Love (have an orgy) It starts with one couple making Love. If other people want to join them, they do. Couples who want to be alone wander off to Share Love privately. There is no prohibition against orgasm at this time. So who is in the Pod? Well, When you reach the point that 3 of your members have an ongoing secondary sexualove relationship with each other, then you have become a full fledged Pod. Other members of the Pod need not be current lovers of the original triad. They just need to be people that everyone agrees is a member. Who gets in, must be decided unanimously by all current members of the Pod. In Wiccan Covens, there is an old belief that the ideal size for a Coven is 13. For us, this is too big. It's just too difficult to maintain relationships with 6 opposite gender spouses. In the 1st Church of Polyamory, we think the ideal size for a Pod is 7. And these 7 should be gender balanced so that there is not more than one extra person of either sex. 7 is a small enough number to make it possible for all members to become a close intimate group marriage. But you might want to let the Pod grow larger at first (but no more than 13) and then let the numbers dwindle down to 7. Many people find they just can't handle polyamory.
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So you want to start a Pod