Today’s post comes from Terence P. Ward, who also writes for The Wild Hunt. I’m grateful to Terence for providing this working. (I’ve very lightly edited Terence’s work, mostly to add a few commas and to change “tears” to “rips” to avoid ambiguity. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Terence’s writing. Also, I am certain that Terence is onto something here. Folding the American flag in the prescribed manner — with magical intent — could be very powerful magic. Do you have a flag? Will you commit to try this and let us know in comments how it works? Summer Solstice and the Fourth of July would be very powerful days to do this working.)
Now’s probably a good time to remind everyone to check/refresh the wards on your home or wherever you do this work. Be sure that you’re rested, grounded, and in a comfortable position. Maybe wrap up in a blanket or cloak and grasp a stone or talisman that matters to you. Grow your roots, send them deep into the soil, let them intertwine and grow small hairs to attach to the mycelia in your own landbase.
Anchor yourself firmly to your landbase. Notice a small detail that will call you back when this working is finished.
Ground and center. Cast a circle.
As you move to our American plain on the astral plane, you can see again the safe hillock where you do your work. You can see the five giant banners, shining in the sky: Walden Pond, the Underground Railroad, the Cowboy, the Salmon, and Lady Liberty. Do they seem more defined since we began our work? Do they have anything special to tell you this week?
For a few moments, just sit on your hillock and allow yourself to become comfortable. This place should be feeling very real to you by now; we’ve been working together to create it for months and months. What’s become familiar to you? A tuft of prairie grass? Buffalo off in the distance? The scent of sand carried on the wind? You’ve been involved in a months-long magical working here, joined with magic workers from across the globe. Feel your connection to this place on the astral plane. It is always here for you, always a source of strength.
As you sit on your hillock, basking in the energy of the landscape, you catch an unexpected sound on the breeze: explosions, one after another for a time, with random pauses between. You search the plain and, spotting the disturbance, arrive there at the speed of thought. Before you is a American battlefield strewn with dead and dying soldiers, thick clouds swirling overhead. On a rise near the center of the mayhem, two figures struggle against each other, in the center of a single beam of sun which has broken through the cloud cover. Here on the astral American plain, it’s clear these two are the very values being fought over: self-determination and stewardship, altruism and exceptionalism, freedom and security, environmentalism and economic growth.
The two pull apart, and while they are very different in feature and dress, it’s clear that they are closely related. As they separate, you see that between them is a tattered American flag, rent and torn from the battle and now yanked to and fro, as each seeks to take sole possession of this prize. Knowing that the flag represents the ideal union in this country, no matter how shaky the reality might be, it’s clear that should either win, no one will.
In the midst of the turmoil, re-root yourself in the American plain, the spirit of which is unfailing no matter what transpires amidst the amber waves of grain. From here, sense the energy of your hillock, and know that you can draw upon the landbase to do this work. Allow your grounding energy to roll out from you, over the battlefield and toward the struggling figures on the rise. As your energy becomes a visible bubble of blue, expanding outward from you in all directions, invoke the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and ask his assistance in bringing radical change through peace.
As the blue light passes over the battlefield, evidence of injury disappears. Those lying on the ground do not reawaken, but they are at peace. Soldiers still standing lower their weapons and do not continue to fight. When it reaches the central figures, they relax, but do not release the flag, lest it fall to the ground. You take it into your own arms, and look upon its sorry state: there are rips nearly its entire length in places, several holes, and one corner torn off, doubtless when it was pulled from its pole. A flag which cannot be repaired should be retired, but can this bedraggled bit of cloth be repaired in the right hands?
A name rises: Betsy Ross, apocryphal creator of the first American flag. She sits beside a window which affords good light for the work, and assesses the damage. Ross clucks as her fingers probe the damage, and finally she shakes her head noncommittally. She will do what she can, but promises nothing. Deftly, her hands work, patching where needed, closing rip and tear. Under her care, the mending melds into reweaving, as broken threads spin back into unity and patch lines fade into obscurity. The quality of the craft rises to meet the skill of the crafter, and smiling, Ross presents a flag which you scarcely recognize as the same until you touch it. Each sewn rip and patched hole is as obvious as scar tissue beneath your touch. Ross shares with you a knowing look, and you realize that this flag must be folded in proper fashion to complete its transformation.
Retunr to the battlefield, now bound to peace. That scene, rather than the sunny room in Ross’ home, is what surrounds you. Something is different. You realize that one of the two sparring figures is not present. Instead, you hold one end of the rejuvenated flag, while the other archetypal Americans grasps the other. To properly fold an American flag takes at least two people, but you look in this person’s eyes and feel a shudder run through you. Although undeniably American, this is more the kind of person with which you fight on Facebook than the sort with which you break bread. You see in those eyes a different understanding of history, a different set of fears about the present, and a very different vision of the future of America.
Nevertheless, with this partner must the flag be folded, and you begin: in half lengthwise once and again, pulling it taut to begin the next phase. You hold the field in your hands, the blue corner emblazoned with stars, which means that your partner will fold as you keep the fabric taut. The third fold is across to create a triangle, the fourth flips it straight across, and the fifth folds the triangle over again. Each fold draws this person closer to you, and with each fold you see more the common values than the different interpretations. With the thirteenth and final fold, the flag is placed in your hands to tuck the remaining fabric in, and you present the star-spangled banner back to your partner. This person’s experience and worldview may never align with yours, but in that moment, it was clear that they share threads between them.
Needing rest, you return to your hillock, allowing gratitude for the aid of King and Ross in your working. As you sit on your hillock and rest, know that you are not working alone. The resistance — both magical and in all of its mundane (phone banking, check writing, representative calling, letter-writing, canvassing, voting, volunteering, tutoring, restoring wetlands, growing plants for bees) manifestations — is huge. Know that you are a powerful worker of magic, rooted in your very own landbase, working with the strong archetypes of this land, assisted by countless unseen others who labor in league with you. You are brave and growing braver. Your magic and your practical workings can make the difference. The flag is always available to you when you want to do magic to strengthen America.
Return to your own body, your own landbase. Open your eyes. Rub your face, move your arms and legs. Notice the detail you selected to call you back from the astral. Open your circle. Drink something, maybe a hot cup of tea or some water with lemon. If you like, have something to eat, maybe polenta or corn pudding.
During the course of this week, you may want to visit the bannered prairie several times in order to strengthen its presence on the astral. You may want to repeat this working. You may want to bless a flag on your altar, to remain there or to be displayed to inspire recognition of what unites us as Americans rather than what divides us. If your flag can catch a breeze, let that breeze lift up your working. What other actions are you inspired to take for the resistance? If you’re willing, please share in comments what happened and how this working went.