Friday, November 30, 2012

Ice Magick


        By: Enodia Black

My first winter in Eastern Washington was bitter. I had lived in
California previously, and I didn't know how to function in really
Cold, snowy, weather. I wandered bewildered through a world
Blanketed in white. Large, soft, snowflakes fell on my head, and my
Feet sank deep into the powdery coldness. Snow slid over the tops of
My boots, encrusted the hems of my jeans and soaked my feet. It was
Cold, miserable and hard to get around. But it was also beautiful.
The snow caused the land around me to shape shift into a pure, white,
Sparkling expanse. I got to know a phenomenon called "freezing fog,"
When the fog moves in despite the low temperatures, and freezes onto
Everything it touches, coating the branches of trees with crystals of
Ice. The ice, though slippery and dangerous, had a beauty that
Caught my breath. It was powerful, and because it is a force of
Nature, I began to wonder how its power could be used magickally.

Water to Ice

To understand how ice can be used in Magick, it is important to first
Understand the element of water. Water is one of the most important
Elements to human beings, because we need it to survive; for this
Reason, water has always been thought of as sacred. Water is in
Constant motion, always flowing. In fact, water is so linked with
The idea of movement that when we see water that is still, we give it
The name "stagnant," a name which denotes unnatural lack of change,
And even decay. It is not surprising, then, that water Magick is
Concerned with things that tend to remain in a state of flux:
Emotions, the subconscious and purity.

Water is like our emotional states; it is deep, mysterious and can
Even be deceptive. We have all heard the phrase "still waters run
Deep," a phrase that describes the churning turmoil that can exist
Beneath a placid demeanor. Water can look calm, but below, out the
Range of our vision, so much can be going on. An entire ecosystem
Exists beneath the surface, out of our eyesight. When we enter the
Water, we enter a new world. The surface of the water is very much
Like the veil that stands between the world of the everyday and the
Otherworld. The veil is normally difficult to pierce, and only on
Certain nights (like Samhain) can we cross it easily. But water can
Help in the process of parting the veil — we can gaze into a bowl of
Water, and see into the otherworld. So water is not only Magickal,
It is also an excellent medium for divination.

Water is also the only element that is capable of changing its form.
It is linked to all of the other elements. Water covers the earth,
And the earth requires water to produce life. Fire can act upon
Water and cause it to unite with the element of air to evaporate and
Form a gas. Finally, when water is cooled, it can combine with the
Element of air to form ice. This capacity for change, and its need
To always move, makes water the quintessential shape shifter. As a
Form that water takes when it shape shifts, ice is ideal for Magick.
Perhaps because all Magick is concerned with change, ice Magick is
Extremely powerful.

Ice Magick

Ice Magick is similar to water Magick. However with ice Magick, the
Power of the spell is increased because of the act of freezing the
Water. When water shape shifts from a constantly moving force to a
Solid, its power is the most potent. Magickally, ice is not
Associated with all of the same properties as water; it's mainly used
For spells that have to do with transformation. Ice can be used
Magickally to perform any kind of Magick that induces a change in the
Caster's' inner state, so it can be used to help reveal personal
Secrets, remember forgotten memories, dispel depression and release
Stress.

Magick is an act of transformation, and ice possesses a strong
Magickal power since it is in the process of changing. Ice spells
Have two phases, the freezing of the water, and the melting of the
Ice. I have seen some spells where the caster writes a problem on a
Piece of paper, immerses the paper in water, and freezes the water to
Put an end to the problem. Those kinds of spells only use one of the
Two phases of ice Magick. It is important to remember, however, that
Problems that are frozen must eventually come back; everything that
Is frozen must melt. I have found that it is more practical, and
More powerful, to use both phases, freezing and melting, in spells.

The freezing of the ice begins the spell, because the caster is
Already thinking of the spell, and planning the ritual, when the ice
is frozen. The process begins as the water solidifies, and the power
is released during the ritual as the ice melts. For this reason, I
find it most useful to freeze "special" ice for spells. Also, most
ice trays are made of plastic. Holding the frozen water in non-
natural plastic is not as effective; magick is natural, and should
ideally involve natural substances. Metal bowls can be used, but the
easiest method is to use cardboard coated with wax (so that the
cardboard doesn't stick to the ice). Small paper drinking cups that
are coated with wax are ideal, as are frozen juice containers that
have been emptied of their contents and washed.

Ice Spells

A piece of ice naturally begins to melt when it is left at room
temperature, so it works like the burning of a candle in candle
magick, changing itself during the spell, thus releasing its energy
to the goal at hand. It is extremely powerful to encircle a candle
with ice and perform a spell. The ice melts and the candle burns —
two elements that work in a cooperative way can produce powerful
results. Spells that use fire and ice are wonderful for obtaining
balance, since they employ the complimentary elements of
fire and
water
. Also try putting ice in a bathtub while visualizing. This
technique is especially suited for spells involving physical
transformation.

Herbs and oils can also be used to enhance ice magick. An infusion
of one or more herbs can be frozen, or essential oils can be added to
the water before freezing. When water is frozen, it combines with
the element of air, so herbs and oils that are associated with either
element can be used. Herbs that work best are ones that, when
growing in the natural world, can endure cold and snow, or require
cold weather to germinate. Below is a list of some herbs and oils
that work well for ice magick:

Herb
Oil
Element
Magickal Associations

Aspen
X

Air
Communication

Pine
X
X
Air
Happiness, Exorcism

Rose
X
X
Water
Love, Healing, Psychic Power, Luck

Spearmint
X

Water
Memory


Spikenard
X
X
Water
Happiness

Willow
X

Water
Love, Healing, Divination

Yarrow

X
Water
Psychic Power, Love, Courage, Exorcism


Information in this table was obtained from Cunningham's Encyclopedia
of Magical Herbs and Fern's Plants for a Future.

Ice and Divination
Ice can also be used for divination. Symbolically, the surface of a
body of water represents the veil between this world and the
otherworld. So, when water is frozen, the door to the otherworld is
closed. But as ice melts during a ritual, the door re-opens and we
can look inside.

The surface of melting ice is shiny, and like any reflective surface,
is well suited for scrying. One way to do this is to sit in a dark
room with a yellow candle burning off to the side, so that the light
of the flame flickers on the melting ice. Ice scrying requires
patience — messages will be revealed slowly, as the ice melts. Ice
scrying is especially suited for looking into the past, since the
frozen water symbolically represents a frozen moment in time.
Looking into past lives is possible, as is looking back and trying to
remember a forgotten memory. The melting ice represents the
releasing of memories from the subconscious mind.

Final Considerations

Because ice forms in the natural world during the winter months, ice
magick is best performed in the spring, when the world begins to
thaw. However, it is also possible to perform ice magick at other
times during the year, as the need arises. Dawn is best, because
symbolically, dawn is to the day as spring is to the year.

Ice magick is very powerful. It is a neutral, natural force that can
be used for positive or negative means. It is therefore important,
as it is with any spell, that the caster makes sure of his or her
intentions before attempting it. Remember how beautiful ice can be,
as it sends off prisms of light, but also remember that it is very
easy to slip on ice. Ice should not be feared any more than wind,
rain and storm. The spell caster should approach ice magick with
respect and reverence.

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