Traditional Druid Nature Spirituality For Today
The Sphere of Protection

A Ritual of Protection and Elemental Working

by John Gilbert and additional material by John Michael Greer
©2003 by Dr. John Gilbert. All rights reserved.

The first step in forming the Sphere of Protection is to perform the Elemental Cross Ritual . The next step is to banish and invoke the Elements starting with Air in the East. The system being proposed here both invokes the positive aspects of the Element in question and banishes the negative aspects. The positive aspects are those which nourish and enrich the ritualist and others while the negative aspects are those which are considered to be harmful to the ritualist or others.

We start with Air in the East as a matter of convention. There is, of course, no reason why the ritualist may not start with any direction. There's also no reason not to assign the Element of Air to a different direction at the option of the ritualist. In point of fact, if you already assign the Air Element to another direction, there's no reason why you should not continue to do so.

In the rituals to follow certain colors are assigned to each Element. While these are the customary colors for some people they are not universal. The ritualist may already have another color assigned to the Elements or may prefer to use another color. This is a matter of personal choice. In any event, we're going to start with the Element of Air.

Finally, the ritual concludes with the Circulation of the Cross of Light. These steps are best learned one at a time, as follows.

The Elemental Cross Ritual

The Elemental Cross Ritual is the same ritual as the more modern Kabbalistic (or Qabalistic) Cross, but with different words. In reality, the Qabalistic Cross is just one form of the Elemental Cross which uses Hebrew God Names. In the basic Elemental Cross, the ritualist may use any names for Deity the ritualist desires.

The intention of the Elemental Cross Ritual is to create a spiritual space where negative energies cannot exist and to enhance positive energies for the benefit of the ritualist. The ritual is composed of seven distinct steps:

  1. Preparation
  2. Touch your forehead
  3. Touch your lower abdomen Touch your right shoulder
  4. Touch your left shoulder
  5. Form a standing cross
  6. Complete the ritual

Preparation

Find a space where you can stretch your hands out to your sides while standing erect. Calm yourself and relax. Center yourself and let the cares of this world fade away. Take a deep breath and exhale completely then breath deeply and slowly. Stay mentally alert and let all your thoughts fade away. Stand erect with your hands at your side.

Touch your forehead

Reach up with your right hand above your head as far as you can reach. Hold your wrist straight and don't bend it. Bring your fingers together and draw a straight line down to your forehead. As you draw this line, imagine or visualize it as a line of white light that extends to infinity above and comes down through the crown of your head to the middle of your head. Rest your fingers momentarily on your forehead, intone the name of Deity and then continue with the next step.

Some people hold their index and middle fingers together with their thumb, the three digits touching each other. The other two fingers are folded down into the palm of their hand. Others hold their index and middle fingers erect, fold their other two fingers down into the palm of their hand and rest their thumb on those two fingers. Yet others use only their index finger and fold the others into their palms. You decide which fingers you want to use and how.

Intone the name of Deity you want to use when your fingers touch your forehead. What name you use is entirely up to you. Some people use their name for the Creator of the Universe when touching their forehead. Others consider the head to be a combination of Father-Mother God. Most consider this point to be the masculine father part of their pantheon.

Intoning may be done aloud, silently or any way in between. It may be done with a wide vibrato, called vibrating, with no vibrato, or any way in between. Some people mumble. Others speak distinctly. You decide how you want to intone what names of Deity.

Touch your lower abdomen

This point is about half-way between your belly button and public line. As you bring your hand to this position draw a line of white light from the middle of your head to the middle of your lower abdomen halfway between your front and back. Imagine or visualize this white line as continuing downward to infinity. You now have a line of white light extending through you to infinity above and below. Rest your fingers here momentarily and intone the name of Deity you assign to this place. Some people next point down to infinity and then go to the next step. Others just go to the next step.

Some people consider this to be the place of Spirit Below just as the forehead indicates Spirit above. Others consider it to be the god of the Earth. Most consider this the place of the young god, son of the father god, and the vertical line represents the masculine old and young deities. Decide what name of Deity you want to use for this part of the cross.

Touch your right shoulder

Touch your right shoulder and imagine or visualize a line of white light extending to infinity on your right. Imagine this light going not into your shoulder but straight through your side to your heart. Rest your fingers on your shoulder momentarily and intone the name of Deity you want to assign to this direction. Then move to the next step.

Those people who consider the forehead to represent the Creator usually consider the right shoulder to represent the masculine aspect of Deity. Most people who consider the vertical line of white light as representing masculine Deity, also consider the horizontal line to represent feminine Deity. They consider the right side of the crossbar to represent the older feminine aspect of Deity. Decide what name of Deity you want to use for this portion of the crossbar on the Elemental Cross.

Touch your left shoulder

Touch your left shoulder and visualize or imagine the horizontal line of what light coming straight out from your heart and extending to infinity on your left. Rest your fingers on your left shoulder momentarily and intone the name of Deity you want to assign to this direction. Then go to the next step.

Those people who consider the forehead to represent the Creator usually consider the left shoulder to represent the feminine aspect of Deity. Most people who consider the vertical line of white light as representing the feminine aspect of Deity, also consider the left side of the crossbar to represent the younger famine aspect of Deity. Decide what name you want to use for this portion of the crossbar on the Elemental Cross.

Form a standing cross

Extend both of your arms out to the side forming a standing cross. Visualize or imagine a line of white light extending from your heart straight ahead to infinity and straight back to infinity thus making a three-dimensional Elemental Cross. Intone the name of Deity you assign to the forward and backward directions, the name you assign to Deity Within or a phrase you use for completing the Elemental Cross.

Then bring your hands together in the prayer position and close the ritual or bring your right hand to your heart letting your left hand return to your side. Then drop your right hand to your side or instead of touching your heart just bring both your hands to your side. You have several options for closing this ritual. Select one you prefer.

An Example of the Elemental Cross Ritual

Having prepared myself for doing a spiritual ritual, I stand facing East the direction of the rising Sun. I extend my right hand upward to a position representing Deity Unmanifest and draw the white light down to the middle of my head and upward to infinity while bringing my hand down to my forehead. I intone: "Hu the Mighty, Great Druid God."

I bring my fingers from my forehead to my lower abdomen while bringing the white light from my head through my heart to my sacral plexus and on to infinity below. I intone: "Celi the Hidden One, Spirit of Life."

I bring my fingers to my right shoulder while visualizing a line of white light extending from my heart to infinity on my right. I intone "Ceridwen the Wise, Keeper of the Cauldron." Then I move my hand to my left shoulder while visualizing the white light going from my hear to infinity on my left while I intone: "Niwalen of the Flowers, Child of Earth."

I make the sign of the cross holding my hands straight out with palms facing the Earth while visualizing the white light extending from my heart to infinity both in front of me and behind me. I intone: "Protect me now and forever I pray." Lowering my hands to my side I intone: "Awen."

This ends the example of the Elemental Cross Ritual. Use your own words and create your own ritual for your purposes. One of those purposes is to Circulate the Light of the Cross. Another is to form a Sphere of Protection and then Circulate the Light. Practice this daily for a week before going on to the next step.

Invoking and Banishing Air Elementals

The elementary basics of ritual are the Elements themselves. The first element is the Element of Air. It's normally attributed to the East and to the Mind. Air provides the Archetypes from which everything is manifested. Without this initial thought, without the Archetypes, nothing can exist.

The ancient symbol for the Air Element is a circle with a vertical line extending above it. The circle represents Spirit which has no beginning and no ending, it's continuous and everlasting. Since air rises, it's natural to think of Air as "arising out of Spirit." We use this symbol for the Element of Air and acknowledge there are several others which could be used.

It's important to understand that any symbol can be used to represent anything. Symbols are important only in what they mean to us. Yes, there are Universal Symbols but these often have different meanings according to different authors.

A circle, for example, is a symbol for Spirit but it's also a symbol of infinity, unity and community. In my discussions of ritual, the circle will represent the Element of Spirit and the Circle with an upward pointing line at the top, where the line is about as long as the circle is wide, will represent the Element of Air.

You're free to read these instructions and use your own symbols. You're free to alter these instructions to suit your own purposes. Ritual is individual because Magick is individual. Ritual is universal because a lot of people use the same symbols. You get to decide how you want to do your own rituals.

You make the symbol for the Element of Air by facing East with your index finger pointing straight ahead at eye level. Draw a circle in the air from that point clockwise to a point about level with your lower belly and back to the beginning point. Your lower belly is below your belly button and above your public line. Then draw a vertical line straight up as far as you can reach. Imagine or visualize the line you draw to create this symbol as a bright celestial yellow colored flame about an inch thick. Imagine or visualize this flaming yellow colored flame completely filling the circle of your symbol. Also imagine or visualize that you can easily see through this transparent yellow colored flame. Imagine or visualize these things.

You've just completed the second part of the Invocation of the Element of Air Ritual. The third part is to state your intention for calling upon the Element of Air. This intention is related to the World of Air, the World of the Mind. Your intention can be to remove mental confusion, improve mental concentration or attention, improve memory or memory recall, expand your mind, improve your attitude or anything the World of Air controls. The World of Air is your mind, your thoughts and ideas, imagination, memory, attitudes, concentration and attention. So choose any of these things as your purpose.

This brings us to the first part of the Invocation of the Element of Air Ritual. The first part is to have a good intention in mind before invoking the Element of Air. If you don't have a good intention in mind, the Element of Air will come at your calling and do what it thinks is best for you at the time. This can be positive or negative.

If that's what you want, you can skip the first step. Or, you can decide that's going to be your intention and state it something like: "I invoke you to improve my Mind by doing what needs to be done without harm to me or anyone." The third part of the ritual is to state your purpose in the form of: "I invoke you to _____" and fill in the blank.

The fourth part of the ritual is to leave it open to allow the Element of Air to do whatever it is you request. This may take a few moments or a few hours at your option. You could invoke Air to assist you with your attention today and leave the ritual open all day long. You could also invoke Air to assist you with your attention today and close the ritual within a few moments. How long you leave the ritual open is entirely up to you. Our preference is to meditate for a few minutes and close the ritual. But, it's your ritual and your choice.

The fifth part of the ritual is to close the ritual. This is done by facing East and tracing the Circle of Air in front of you in a counter-clockwise manner. Then complete the symbol by drawing the vertical line. Imagine this symbol as a flaming bright transparent yellow color as before. Then thank the Element of Air for performing the requested service. Something like this: "Thank you for assisting me with ____ (fill in the blank according to your intention) and I release you from this duty. At the same time I banish all negative thoughts and ideas, all negative attitudes and all negative thought energy far away from me."

This completes the Invocation of Air Ritual.

The Banishing of Air Ritual is done by drawing a counter-clockwise circle of bright yellow transparent flame with a vertical tail as previously done. This is the first part. The second part is to state your intention as "I banish all negative thoughts and ideas, negative mental energy and attitudes, from within and around me. I banish you far away from me." These two parts constitute the whole of the Banishing of Air Ritual.

We suggest you practice both invoking and banishing Air every morning for one week and see how things go for you. If you need more practice, use as much time as you need. When you feel comfortable invoking and banishing Air, proceed to the Element of Water.

Invoking and Banishing Water Elementals

The five steps to perform an Invoking of Water Ritual are to 1) Decide upon and frame your intention, 2) Face West and draw the symbol for Water clockwise in bright transparent blue flame, 3) state your intention, 4) leave the ritual open for a period of time, and 5) close the ritual.

Water is the Element of your Emotions and Relationships. It's the child of Air. This means our Mind is the basis for our emotions. Water is the Element of Love, Apathy, Peace, Anger, Fear, Joy, Happiness, Sadness, and all your other emotions. Water is also the World of your relationships both positive and negative. Your intention for invoking Water is to help you overcome or improve your emotions or relationships. Put your intention into your own words. This is Step One.

Face West and place your index finger in front of you at about your lower belly. This point is the bottom of a triangle. Draw a line up and to your left as far as you can reach at about eye level. Continue drawing from left to right at this level to form the top base of the triangle. At the right-most point of this base continue drawing back down to the beginning point. Imagine this triangle as being brilliant, transparent, blue flame composed of one inch think lines and the blue flame filling the whole triangle. This is Step Two.

For Step Three voice your intention. Then wait as long as you want for Water to do its thing. Leaving the ritual open for this purpose is Step Four. Step Five is to draw this same Water symbol counter-clockwise and imagine it as bright transparent blue flame while thanking Water for the service provided: "Thank you Water for _____ and now I banish all negative emotions and negative energy in my relationships from within and around me."

The two steps for the Banishing of Water Ritual are to 1) Face West and draw the symbol for Water counter-clockwise in bright transparent blue flame, and 2) state your intention to banish negative emotions and relationships far away from you. The first step is the same as given above but the triangle is drawn counter-clockwise. The second step is to state your intention to banish negative emotions and negative energy in relationship from within and around you and keep them far away from you.

We suggest you try these rituals for one week and see how things go for you. If you need more practice, continue practicing the rituals. If you feel comfortable with the Element of Water, proceed to the next rituals for the Element of Fire.

Invoking and Banishing Fire Elementals

The five steps to perform an Invoking of Fire Ritual are to 1) Decide upon and frame your intention, 2) Face South and draw the symbol for Fire clockwise in bright transparent red flame, 3) state your intention, 4) leave the ritual open for a period of time, and 5) close the ritual.

Fire is the Element of your Desires. Fire contains both Air and Water and is the child of both. Desires are a combination of thoughts (Air) and emotions (Water). Fire is also the Element of your passions, drive, force, energy, enthusiasm, intuitive insights, needs, wants and related things. Your intention for invoking Fire is to help you improve, realize, attain or control one of these aspects of your life. Put your intention into your own words. This is Step One.

Face South and place your index finger in approximately the same position as for starting the symbol for Air. This point is the top of a triangle. Draw a line down and to your right as far as you can reach at about level with your lower belly. Continue drawing from right to left at this level to form the base of the triangle. At the left-most point of this base continue drawing back up to the beginning point. Imagine this triangle as being brilliant, transparent, red flame composed of one inch think lines and the red flame filling the whole triangle. This is Step Two.

For Step Three voice your intention. Then wait as long as you want for Fire to do its thing. Leaving the ritual open for this purpose is Step Four. Step Five is to draw this same Fire symbol counter-clockwise and imagine it as bright transparent red flame while thanking Fire for the service provided: "Thank you Fire for _____ and now I banish all negative desires and energy from within and around me."

The two steps for the Banishing of Fire Ritual are to 1) Face South and draw the symbol for Fire counter-clockwise in bright transparent red flame, and 2) state your intention to banish negative desires and energy far away from you. The first step is the same as given above but the triangle is drawn counter-clockwise. The second step is to state your intention to banish negative passions, energy, drive, force, needs, wants and desires from within and around you and keep them far away from you.

We suggest you practice these rituals for one week and see what you think. If you need more practice, continue your practice. If you feel comfortable with banishing and invoking the Element of Fire, proceed to the next rituals for invoking and banishing the Element of Earth.

Invoking and Banishing Earth Elementals

The five steps to perform an Invoking of Earth Ritual are to 1) Decide upon and frame your intention, 2) Face North and draw the symbol for Earth clockwise in bright transparent green flame, 3) state your intention, 4) leave the ritual open for a period of time, and 5) close the ritual.

Earth is the Element of your Financial Affairs, Personal Health and Physical Possessions. It's the child of Air, Water and Fire. This means our thoughts, emotions and desires all affect our physical world. Earth is the Element of Money, Financial Affairs, Health, Possessions and the things that help you attain them. Put your intention into your own words. This is Step One.

Face North and place your index finger in front of you at about your lower belly. This point is the bottom of a circle. Draw a curving line up and to your left and back to center at about eye level. Continue drawing from this point around to the right to complete the circle. Then draw a vertical line straight down as far as you can reach while standing straight. Imagine or visualize this circle as being brilliant, transparent, green flame composed of one inch think lines and the green flame filling the whole circle. This is Step Two.

For Step Three voice your intention. Then wait as long as you want for Earth to do its thing. Leaving the ritual open for this purpose is Step Four. Step Five is to draw this same Earth symbol counter-clockwise and imagine it as bright transparent green flame while thanking Earth for the service provided: "Thank you Earth for _____ and now I banish all negative financial energy, illness, disorder, or disability from within and around me."

The two steps for the Banishing of Earth Ritual are to 1) Face North and draw the symbol for Earth counter-clockwise in bright transparent green flame, and 2) state your intention to banish negative financial energy and poor health far away from you. The first step is the same as given above but the circle and downward tail are drawn counter-clockwise. The second step is to state your intention to banish negative finances and ill health from within and around you and keep them far away from you.

We suggest you try these rituals for one week. Continue practicing until you're comfortable with banishing and invoking Earth. Then proceed on to the next lesson which discusses the Element of Spirit.

Invoking and Banishing the Spirit Element

The five steps to perform an Invoking of Spirit Ritual are to 1) Decide upon and frame your intention, 2) Face East and draw the symbol for Spirit Above slightly in front of you and above your head in a clockwise direction in bright transparent violet flame, 3) draw the symbol for Spirit Below slightly in front of you and toward your feet in bright transparent orange flame, 4) touch your chest in the area of your heart as a symbol for Spirit Within and visualize filling yourself with bright white light, and 5) state your intention.

Spirit is the Element of your Spiritual Path and Spiritual Energies. Here your highest intentions for your spiritual growth intentions for our spiritual growth and banish all possible negative intentions. Put your intention into your own words. This is Step One.

Face East and place your index finger in front of you and pointing above you. This point is the front of a circle. Draw a curving line around to your right to make a circle. Imagine or visualize this circle as being brilliant, transparent, violet flame composed of one inch think lines and a violet flame filling the whole circle. This is Step Two.

Place your index finger in front of you and pointing down below you. This point is the front of a circle. Draw a curving line around to your right to make a circle. Imagine or visualize this circle as being brilliant, transparent, orange flame composed of one inch think lines and an orange flame filling the whole circle. This is Step Three.

Point your index finger at your heart and touch your chest. This represents your Spirit Within. Imagine or visualize yourself being filled with brilliant white light. This is Step Four.

For Step Five voice your intention to bring your highest aspirations into your spiritual life and banish all you lower aspirations..

The steps for banishing the Spirit Element are exactly the same except the symbols for both Spirit Above and Spirit Below are drawn in a counter-clockwise direction.

We suggest you try these rituals for one week. Continue practicing until you're comfortable with banishing and invoking Earth. Then proceed on to the next lesson which discusses how to Circulate the Light of the Cross to create the Sphere of Protection.

Circulating the Light of the Cross

Circulating the Light of the Cross can done after first performing the Elemental Cross. It is also formed as the final step in creating a Sphere of Protection. You're encouraged to find other ways in which Circulating the Light of the Cross can be used.

Circulating the Light following an Elemental Cross Ritual is done in the following manner:

Visualize the line of white light going through you from top to bottom. This light intersects the horizontal line going through your heart from left to right. Take a deep breath and visualize the line above you rotating down to the front of you. At the same time, the line below is rotating toward the back of you. As you exhale, spin this line of light quickly around you. Take two more deep breaths and spin this line faster and faster.

Secondly, visualize the line of white light going through your heart from left to right. This light intersects the vertical line going through the middle of your body. Take a deep breath and visualize the light on your right rotating toward the front of you. At the same time, the light on your left is rotating toward the back of you. As you exhale, visualize this line of light spinning around you counter-clockwise. Take two more deep breaths and spin this line faster and faster.

Thirdly, visualize the horizontal line of white light going through your heart from left to right. This light intersects the horizontal line going through your body from front to back. Take a deep breath and visualize the line going out in front of you rotating up to above you. At the same time, the line behind you is rotating down below you. As you exhale, spin this line faster. Take two more deep breaths and spin this line faster and faster.

You're now spinning three spheres of light around you. Each sphere is spinning around one of the three arms of the cross. The three spheres form one triple sphere spinning in three different directions all at the same time. This is called a Ring-Pass-Not and forms an outer Sphere of Protection with you as the center.

Circulating the Light after completing the Invoking and Banishing Rituals is done in exactly the same manner. However, in this case you also circulate the colored Elemental Symbols as well. This is optional and forms a spinning multi-colored Sphere of Protection as the three primary colors mix and remix constantly to blend the colors into every color of the Rainbow. For this reason Circulating the Light following the Invoking and Banishing Rituals is also known as creating the Rainbow Sphere of Protection.