Last night, Baltimore Reclaiming’s Winter Solstice ritual opened the door to individual and community mirror work. What we did not do was talk about mirrors as sacred/magical objects or ways to use them. The challenge with community ritual is that there is rarely enough time to delve deeply into every detail, so I wanted to offer some experience with mirror work and possible ways to use the mirrors we crafted.
Mirrors are held as sacred tools in many traditions – think of the Reclaiming creation myth of Star Goddess and Miria, of the wisdom in “As Above, So Below”, and of the use of mirrors to move energy in Feng Shui, to name a few examples.
Our mirrors, created and consecrated in sacred space with a specific purpose in mind, are tools for personal transformation. Every time I look at my mirror it triggers the desire I worked with in ritual space, and slowly, my life orients itself around that energy. Magic is change; whether you see magic as tied to relationship with Deity, or simply as a way to shift things psychologically, or both or none of these, or something else entirely – the heart of our rituals is meaningful, conscious internal and/or external transformation.
Our rituals are also based in part on a set of values defined by our community, one of which is real life sacred space: how can we bring sacred space to our daily lives? The mirror ritual answered this question by giving participants the space to look within, a powerful act in itself. “If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.” says the Charge of the Goddess. By looking within – which can be done without a mirror, of course! – we honor our own presence and the power of our desires. The mirror as a physical object placed where it can be seen regularly becomes a reminder to look within for what we seek, a reminder of the specific wisdom that arose during the ritual, and a reminder that we are spiritual, magical people who are held in spiritual and magical community.
Just having the mirror hanging or placed prominently is certainly a way of working with the energy it represents, but there are others, as well. In this case, the energy in the mirror is that of our unique sacred longing, the object of desire – the mirror is a tool for revealing our desire and manifesting that object in real life. Combined with the tool of focused intention, there are practically unlimited ways of utilizing it. For instance, it can be used in conjunction with other magical tools, such as affirmations, candles, sacred objects like crystals and jewelry, herbs, etc. Look into the mirror while saying the affirmation; place a candle inside a holder onto the surface of the mirror and burn to release the energy; put jewelry or stones onto the mirror to charge them with the energy of the mirror, and then wear or carry them to keep the energy with you; set herbs onto the mirror and then burn or steep and drink the brew. You could also put the mirror on the windowsill during the full moon or new moon to combine the energy of the mirror with the energy of the moon (this would work with any planet, really).
In ritual space, we applied symbols to the mirrors, but if you feel called, you can (and should!) further embellish the mirror: cords, beads, stones, feathers, ribbons, etc. in colors or materials that match your intention can be added permanently or temporarily.
Also, as time goes on and work with the mirror continues, your desire may transform or be articulated in greater detail. What started out as a desire for “connection” may morph into “family connection” and into “healing relationship with my mother” and further into “communion with Mother Earth”. Don’t be afraid to let your mirror reflect the way your desire transforms. (No pun intended.)
One simple way to use the mirror is to hold it up and imagine that the person in the mirror is the you who has already transformed (attained the desire, met the longing), and to have a conversation with that person: what advice do they offer? What choices did they make? What does it feel like to be that person?
Many leaders and writers in the Reclaiming tradition such as Starhawk and T. Thorn Coyle offer exercises using mirrors for transformation. There are also many wise and experienced members of our own community who likely have their own ideas about mirrors as magical tools. If you need guidance, or have questions, why not start a conversation?
On January 30, at Imbolc, the Reclaiming Community will hold our annual candle magic ritual, during which we will declare our intentions in sacred space together. Our Winter Solstice mirror work may be the beginning of that work, but don’t focus on how that will happen. Work your mirror magic and watch your path unfold before you, using your mirror work to identify signposts along the way.
And, please share any ideas or questions in comments or with the Facebook group!