Tales of a Southern Pagan Mom

Confusion with Correspondences

I am slowly but surely going back and catching up on the Pagan Blog Project prompts that I missed since I joined in so late. My topic for the letter ‘C’ is ‘confusion with correspondences’. I was reading some of the other posts and came across Life of an Imperfect Pagan’s post about creating correspondence charts and thought I would expand on my comments there.

As Michelle mentions, one author lists one thing, another lists something else. With all that information out there, how do you know what is Right™?

This may not work for everyone, but I have found that my correspondences tend to be fluid. They may change according to my need or intent, or if I am working for someone else, they may change for that person’s benefit. For example, I am a fire sign, my son is a water sign. Some stones and herbs that are associated with fire for myself would be invoked with water for him.

I have found that there are many herbs and stone that are evocative of multiple elements. Lavender for me is both air and earth. Moonstone is both air and water. Tigers eye is both fire and earth. Sage is both air and earth (and can sometimes be fire as well). Salt is earth and can be water on occasion; florals can be both air and earth for me. Jade is earth and water while gold and carnelian are earth and fire. Opal works with any element for me.

photo courtesy of Squidoo.com

I generally try to avoid using the same herbs at the same time for opposite effect – like something for drawing and something for repelling, or manifesting and banishing. While I don’t have a huge herb cabinet, avoiding that can get tricky when you’re working with limited supplies.

Other associations are less fluid – astrological and planetary correspondences are more solid for me, though herbs and stones may be associated with multiple planets, days of the week and colors. Moon phase associations are also pretty set;  generally speaking, the more consistent an association is, the less I am to feel it in a different way.

Another interesting element to the correspondence question for me is the source of the material. I am a research buff, so on occasion, it’s been interesting to note the geographic location (if available) of the source of the correspondence. Northern or Southern hemisphere would alter the associations some, I think, as would time frame, societal associations and perceptions… those sorts of things.

I touched on this in a previous post, but one correspondence that I feel differently is the elemental/directional correspondences. Air is in the North for me, and Earth is in the East. Fire is South and Water, West, which is similar to most traditions, I believe. I have recently begun experimenting with different ways of casting a circle – using only three elements, calling on 5 and 6… it’s interesting, and I can’t wait to try it in a group setting.

One of the things I have been trying to do is help my kids with their own spirituality. They’re still young, but interested enough in the goings-on on my altar, especially now with the changing from Imbolc to Ostara that I can talk about why I chose light-colored candles instead of darker ones; why I am putting eggs on the altar, why I use this incense or those stones. I found printable correspondence tables in some of the older issues of Pagan Moonbeams that I included in my kids’ Shadow Books. They’re more interested right now in the dream sign and animal messenger charts, but I wanted the to have the correspondences anyway. Anytime I print something like that for them (or for myself), I do tend to make changes to the document as needed. I may put a line through something in favor of my own (or their own) association, or make notes in the page margins – or something even add a new page before or after the printed one with notes of my own changes. This preserves the ‘original’ while still being true to my own path, and encouraging my children to seek their own – not to be so bound to what someone else says is Right™.

So what about you – do you make associations that are non-traditional, or do they make the most sense to you when used as directed? How do you resolve conflicting correspondences?

Brightest Blessings, 

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One response

  1. naiadis

    I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I left MA for PA and lived there for five years before heading out to Oregon. For almost all of my life, water has been firmly in the east. Since having moved out west, I’ve . . struggled isn’t really the right word, more like dithered, I guess? . . . about it. On the one hand, the Pacific is WAY closer to me and its clearly in the West . . . but I have this life-long association with water=east.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

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