Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by A.C. Fisher Aldag, author of the new Common Magick.
A liminal period is a brief time between two different eras. For example, the solstices and equinoxes are the days between one season and another. Winter ends, and springtime begins, on the Spring Equinox. Magickal acts are especially powerful during liminal periods, because these times are “betwixt and between” occasions, and so they have the power of both conditions. Dawn has the magick of both day and night, ending and beginning. Dawn also carries its own unique energies.
In my book, Common Magick, there is a whole chapter about using liminal times for magick—but what about liminal places?
Liminal spaces are those areas that are also “betwixt and between,” only liminal places are at the edge of two different locations. They can hold the energies of both areas, and also have their own unique power. For example, a bridge is between one riverbank and another. It touches land on both ends, and thus carries the power of Earth. The bridge seems to be suspended in Air, so contains the energies of the sky, and is above Water, so it also has some liquid, watery qualities. A bridge also carries its own power of connection and a journey from one locale to another.
Some other human-made liminal places include doorways, thresholds, windowsills, the hearth and chimney, and a fence-line, stone wall or stile. A graveyard is a liminal place between life and death, present and past. In modern times, the computer and cellphone, a mirror, a television screen, and electrical lines are liminal points. Some natural liminal spaces are hedgerows, cliffs, and wellsprings. A swamp or bog has the liminal qualities of both Earth and Water, darkness and light, fertility and decay. There are legends about deities who were honored at a crossroads or river. In the past, Witches who did trance-work were said to be “riding the hedge” or “jumping the stile.” These magickal practitioners were actually using the energies of the liminal space, and harnessing the power that lies “betwixt and between.”
To use the energies of a liminal space, all you have to do is be there. That’s right, it’s easy as sitting in the doorway as you are crafting an herbal sachet, speaking words of intent as you stand before a window, or making a wish while crossing a bridge. Call to the spirits while lounging on a sandy beach near a lake. If you can’t be physically present at a location, such as a mountaintop, then you can simply visualize that place.
Traditionally, liminal places within a building were considered to be entry points for forces that were either beneficial or potentially harmful. Thus, people used magickal sigils to safeguard those spots. Chalking a “witches’ mark” over the door, carving a pentagram on a fireplace mantle, and placing talismans above a window were done for magickal protection.
While you are working magick within a liminal place, consider the link between the different situations, and the unique properties held by that space. For an even more powerful experience, combine the forces of liminal times and locations—a spell done at dawn, on Beltane, in the doorway of your home, can have an incredibly empowering result.
Our thanks to A.C. for her guest post! For more from A.C. Fisher Aldag, read her article “Folk Magick for the Home Office.”