Thank you so much to everyone who has been doing this work. It isn’t always easy, but I believe that it is always necessary. We can’t stop working to save America from her present dangers.
Today, we’re going to work some more with the power and energy of the Underground Railroad.
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.
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 astrally 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. As you sit, begin to listen to the wind; it comes from the SouthEast and carries a whiff of coastal salt marshes, humidity, and magnolias. You can rise and follow those scents straight into and through the banner of the Underground Railroad. As you pass through the banner, you find yourself in a foggy coastal swamp, surrounded by cattails that rustle in the gentle salt breeze. You can hear frogs and insects and you’ve already begun to sweat a bit in the heat and humidity.
The Underground Railroad was a loosely-organized Resistance movement. Getting ready to escape from slavery must have been nerve-wracking. You had to wait for someone you probably didn’t even know to show up and guide you into the unknown. They couldn’t tell you the names or locations of the homes that were stops along the route; the less you knew, the less you could tell if caught. How could you prepare without attracting attention? What secret words or hand signals did you need to learn? And how did you find the courage to leave behind everything you’d ever known and set off towards an unknown future?
In many ways, traveling on the Underground Railroad was similar to the journey of initiation that is central to many Pagan and mystery paths.* You do what you can to prepare, but, in the end, you have to trust, to want a new life more than you want safety, and you have to step into the darkness, not really knowing what’s to come. Yet, in spite of these obstacles, some estimates indicate that, during the 1800s, as many as 100,000 enslaved people escaped through the Underground Railroad.
As the fog clears, you see a small group of people carefully and quietly walking North. They are guided by a small, powerful woman who has learned this route by heart. Some carry small bundles but others have nothing except the clothes they were wearing when the call came. As they pass, they leave footprints in the swampy soil, footprints that will soon fill with water and disappear, especially as the heavy rain that now begins to fall washes them away. Before you leave to get out of the storm, stop and gather a bit of that soil. It’s sacred soil, soil that still carries a bit of the courage and determination of the people who were willing to brave dangers for freedom. Do you have a gift in your pocket that you want to leave in return for the soil? Is there anything else nearby that you know you should gather?
Return now, before you get too wet, through the banner of the Underground Railroad. Return to your comfortable hillock on the Great Plains. Hold the soil in your hands and feel it beginning to dry out here on the sunny plain. It’s like clay and you can mold it into any shape you like. What will you do with this sacred soil? Into what shape will you fashion it so that it can help to make you, and perhaps others in the Resistance, brave enough to risk what must be risked? Or will you shape it into Patriarchy, allow it to dry all the way out, and then smash and crack the brittle thing, grinding it back into powder? As you sit on your hillock, holding the soil, the answer comes to you and you mold your figure of clay. Will you bring it back with you? Bury it in beneath the grasses of the plain? Scatter the bits to the four winds? Burn it so that it is fired into an even more lasting shape? Offer it to a deity?
Say, or sing, or dance a prayer of gratitude for the brave souls who journeyed on the Underground Railroad, for those who conducted others to freedom, for those whose homes provided shelter and safety along the way. They all helped to make America more free.
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. You will survive this journey of initiation, this desperate scramble towards freedom. You can help others to do the same.
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 cold water or a tisane made with mint from your garden. If you like, have something to eat, maybe some slices of tomato or a fresh peach.
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 several times. You may want to draw a picture of, or make from clay, the figure you molded on the astral plane and place it on your altar. You may want to journal about it. Are you inspired to make any art? Can you sit beside a warm fire, or light incense, or stare into a candle? What actions are you inspired to take for the Resistance? If you’re willing, please share in comments what happened and how this working went.
Picture found here.
* The journey was similar to initiation in another way. Harriet Tubman is reported to have said, “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”