The First Flame is a unique fire utilized by the witch for turning artes, performing rites, and working magic within the Stardust Compass. If there is but a single flame within a working, it is likely the First Flame.
It is a fire that witches have been lighting for ages, stretching back to the distant ancestors who were the first to call upon, dance with, and love this sacred flame. A holy radiance that has illuminated magic workers for aeons. It is both a key to the path, and an embodiment of the manifest force of the witch: of mirror of zer witchblood, reified into an icon that exists both in our world and the Otherworld.
This tool of reflection evokes the current within the space: acting as a beacon and gateway for spirits & gods, a wellspring from which the majesty of the path will flow, and more. It also serves to invoke the current within the witch, aiding zer in: the reception and clarity of gnosis, possessory work, glossolalia, and more. This reciprocal link feeds the spirits, gods, and witch simultaneously with its bountiful radiance. During its illumination it opens the path to the witch, and the witch to the path - cleansing and vivifying both in the process.
While gnosis should always guide the aesthetic of the First Flame, including the materia which manifests it, the witch should not place undue stress upon themselves regarding these considerations. The key to this arte is merely manifesting the Flame (both within and without) - be it a roaring bonfire or a single taper candle.
The witch should stand before, or hold, the energetically cleansed and unlit source which will produce the fire of the first flame.
Ze should perform an evocation to the witchblood within - the inner fire of the witch. Feel it awaken, respond, and grow bright to zer call. Utilizing an ecstatic act (e.g.: seething, drumming, or dancing) the witch should fans the flames within - causing zer witchblood to rise and bloom in zer energetic body. Feel it burning bright, coursing powerful and vibrant, awakening the witch to zer truths.
Regain control of the body, calming and focusing the inner fire without letting it diminish. Reduce the ecstatic act in part, or whole, to focus the witchblood even further - but, as always, be careful of going too far in the opposite direction and getting too tight.
With the witchblood inflamed within, guiding zer actions, the witch should light the First Flame: a key to the path and mirror of the witchblood inflamed within. Feel the force of the current manifesting from the First Flame, while simultaneously the force of the witch’s truth is radiating outwards from within.
If so called, deepen the experience utilizing the Arte of the Revolution - communing with the First Flame while one’s witchblood is inflamed. This will also often empower the space and can bring about a notable influx of spirit & god activity including possessory experiences, gnosis & gifts, and much more. All guided by the hand of Ka’herin Ta’al.
From here the witch can engage in any number of acts of witching and spirit contact as ze feels so called.
If the witch wants to calm zer witchblood, ze can simply release any excess energy within the body or space (ideally down, into the earth) while bringing the body and mind to a point of stillness. Sitting or standing still while closing the eyes, focusing on a calming thought, and taking deep breaths which gradually slow down is one way a witch could gently return to a less inflamed state.
Keeping the Flame Alight
If the flame does not remain lit within our world, know that it remains lit within the Otherworld (verify with one’s Sight), and will remain lit until it is intentionally extinguished.
Like any inflammation of energies, this arte can easily overwhelm a witch. A discerning witch should practicing this technique regularly, slowly increasing zer throughput as the witch grows to understand zerself better. Just because ze can go bigger, doesn’t mean ze should. Burnout is real, and easy to do if the witch isn’t giving zerself enough love. When in doubt, be gentle.
At times, the current can manifest from within, as well as without. This doesn’t occur for all witches, and often takes an investment of energy and time before experienced. While its occurrence might be expected, it can still confuse, frighten, or alienate practitioners who either begin to experience it, or attempt to chase it down.
For those concerned, the witch should always remember that ze is in full control of zer energetic body at all times. The initially experience of feeling a path blooming within might feel wholly foreign, but the witch can always limit zer engagement and only allow for experiences to occur when trust has been rightly earned. Conversely, always be on the lookout for warning signs, acting with wisdom and caution at all times when interacting with foreign energies.
For those attempting to chase down such an experience: know that such a task is typically fruitless and any treasures discovered are usually fool’s gold. Allow the path to work as it will. All who come to path have a unique story to tell - no matter how the current manifests to them.
The Affected Space
The local space (compass, etc) will now likely be saturated with energies from this arte - brought forth by the witch, spirits, gods, the current, and more. While the witch could reabsorb the lingering energies within the space, or disperse them with force, it is generally recommended that at the conclusion of a working the witch releases these energies to any entities present, and to the land itself.
Doing so not only strengthens the bond between the witch and the current (including its tutelary spirits), but it also serves to further awaken and vivify the space prior to a working. Witches concerned about the entities which might dine upon these offerings are encouraged to call upon Ka’herin Ta’al to mediate the exchange.
Concluding the Arte
At the conclusion of your work with the First Flame, ensure it is extinguished with intention, snuffing and dispersing it’s liminal radiance in both our world and theirs (even if the flame in this world is no longer alight).
Gnosis from the Flame
Flames utilized in witchcraft have a tendency to act unpredictably: flickering, jumping, sputtering, blowing out, shrinking to imperceivable size, growing massive, and more. Additionally, these phenomena often appear to delight at occurring within implausible conditions. However, while gnosis & omens may be gathered from a flame’s reactions, occasionally a sharp wind blowing out one’s candle is nothing more than a sharp wind.
Witches are encouraged to utilize their sight to check on the status of the Flame’s counterpart within the Otherworld, follow their intuition, and seek guidance from the spirits and gods (via divination, etc) regarding any omens perceived.
Image: Reflection of a candle by Susanne Nilsson (CC: BY, SA)