Monday, January 12, 2009

Writing your own invocation

1) Create a list of sensory elements you associate with the object of your invocation: on a blank piece of paper, write the object in the middle, and write every word or phrase that pops into your mind all around it. The symbolic meaning of words, or the underlying ideas and concepts that accompany words, functions most strongly and effectively in an invocation. Literal and implied meanings are less important. Symbols are the language through which we communicate with the Divine part of ourselves.

2) Do a bit of research on your object, even if you already feel familiar with it. This will offer the opportunity to discover a new piece of information that inspires you to develop your invocation in a whole new direction.

3) Copy the words from your brainstorming sheet onto an index card. At the top of the card, write the object. Every time you write a new invocation, create an index card of key words associated with the object of the invocation. This will make further invocations easier. As you research, add key words to your ongoing lists. You may discover particular phrases about your object that resonates strongly with you. Note them down on the card as well. Phrases like this can help you connect to how others see the object of your invocation.

4) Write a prose draft of the invocation using the key words that resonate most clearly for you. Don’t worry about style or meter or rhymes; just write it out as a plain paragraph. This is only a rough draft for your invocation. Use everyday words, contractions, and slang; don’t try to couch it in fancy language.

5) Put your prose paragraph away and return to it after a bit of a break to review it. This forms the basis of your invocation.

6) Up to this point you have been working with words associated with your object. Now you will turn your words into an invocation, by adding the depth of emotion necessary to elicit the correct energy. Think about the images that have spontaneously formed, or that arise in your mind or heart when you read your plain prose paragraph. Play with the sequence of the words and refine them. Consider synonyms. Do not, however, deliberately construct clever-sounding imagery. Forced images will not flow properly. Often the simplest imagery becomes the soul of an invocation and the heart of the unfurling energy.

7) Formulize the language only to the point at which you are comfortable. Never use any word if you are not 100% certain of the meaning.. If a word sounds right but you still can’t put your finger on precisely what it means, take the time to look it up. Don’t try to write your invocation in unfamiliar language. Trust yourself, both as a Ritualist and as a writer of invocations; reflect who you are and don’t try to sound like someone else.

8) Next, think about the structure of your invocation. Used with intent and awareness, devices such as rhyme scheme, meter and form can reinforce and amplify the meaning of your invocation. Play with how it changes. Be watchful, however, to ensure that the poetic form and structure of your invocation do not obscure the intention behind it.

9) Read your invocation out loud.
How does it sound?
How does it make you feel?
Does it create the effect you were looking for?
If yes, then you’re ready to use it in ritual!

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