Well, that was quite a turn up for the books, wasn’t it? A task from the Guardians with an offer of even more power. We’re only really just getting to grips with the amount of things we can do with our powers as they are. We have just a few days to prepare for our first transformation into elementals, luckily Lachlan is going to help us out, he’s contacted other spirit guides to help us get to grips with the forms and what we can do whilst in them. This first time will be to learn the shapes or forms of the elementals, to really become familiar with their trappings and traits. The spirit guides will take human shape, as Lachlan does, and will transform back to their elemental forms as we observe them. We know the forms of the elementals but it is another thing to transform into something less familiar in our day to day lives. The elementals of Air for example, are wisp like and occasionally can be seen within clouds, an insubstantial form which can coalesce into human form, often mistaken to be ghosts, not something we see every day or realise we actually do see every day. Gnomes, the elementals of Earth, short, humanoid creatures, always dressed for battle, never without a shield, and something earthy about them, as if they are made from living clay, something the ancients tried to mimic by creating golems by using clay from the earth to make the shape then magic to imbue life or a semblance of life into them. These days only familiar to those who play fantasy games on their computers or the dungeons and dragons community. The salamander, a creature which we are familiar with but don’t realise are not actually creatures of earth but are creatures of the ether, elementals of Fire. And lastly the one we hear described by sailors of old, the Undine, elemental of water, the mermaid of myth, humanoid but with the tail of a fish or dolphin, seen less now that humans are mastering the sea more, but still rumoured to be the creatures who take the souls of those lost at sea into the afterlife.
Our first trial is upon us. We are anxious to get the transformations right. This is the first task set to us by the Guardians: to learn the forms and take our elemental forms. Lettie will be taking the form of the sylph, Joe the salamander, I will take the form of an undine and finally Agnes will take the form of the gnome. We begin by creating a circle in the living room, the weather is stormy and not conducive to our needs, even though once the circle was drawn around the altar stone the weather would not affect us it is still something we prefer not to do with everything else on our minds to do tonight. So the circle is cast and we have the Guardians on hand we now proceed to draw summoning, or invoking, pentagrams on the floor at each cardinal point to allow the elementals who are going to guide us to more easily transition across the inner space between the realms.
Each pentagram is drawn by the one who will be taking the form of the elemental they are summoning.
Lettie is first and takes my athame and draws the blade in accordance with the diagram to invoke and summon the sylph who will guide us. As the pentagram completes a pretty young female appears, standing in human form upon the pentragram which, while insubstantial in the reality of our world, within the reality of the circle it is glowing, a blue tint to the incandescence. She steps to the side of the pentagram, and we see her clearly. She is quite childlike, average height but young and slender in a gown of sky blue that drifts and floats around her as if a breeze stirs it. She would look like the stereotypical prom queen if it were not for the blue great-sword at her side, it’s blade sparkling with an inner light, a giant blue sapphire on the pommel and smaller sapphires encrusted on the hilt, each one magnifying the sword’s inner glow so that it sparkles and dazzles the eye. She curtsies and then offers to Lettie a silver sword about half the size of the sword she carries, then stands with her feet slightly apart and both hands resting upon the sword hilt, the point of the blade resting just above the oak floorboards of the living room.
Joe is the next to summon his elemental, Fire. He takes my athame from Lettie and draws upon the ground the summoning pentagram. As it completes it begins to glow with a red tint and young man appears, dressed in full armour, but without a helmet, like burnished steel with a cloak of fiery red draped forward across one sholder, he bears a staff of living wood. The bark is still intact on the staff, it is pale like silver birch. Entwined around the staff are tendrils of ivy and at the crown of the staff flowers are budding and blooming from the staff itself. I cannot tell what sort of tree the staff was cut from, certainly none that live in the physical world as I know it. He steps to the side of the pentagram and, with quite a flourish, bows to us, offers a wand of the same wood to Joe then stands in similar attitude with both hands gripping the staff at waist height.
I am next and I take my athame from Joe and inscribe the pentagram on the floor, as expected, Lachlan appears but he appears in the prescribed human form of water and not the form I am familiar with. For one, he is now SHE. Lachlan stands in the pentagram which is glowing a soft aquamarine, he…she… is in the form of a slightly older woman, wearing a gown that is almost like a sari with long lengths of cloth wrapping around his… HER… torso, then flowing up over her shoulder, wrapping around her torso once more before flowing around her legs and finishing with a train not quite central at the back which gathers and flows around her feet like waves lapping at a sandy beach. The material of the gown shimmers, almost iridescent like scales on a fish, the colours shifting between blues and greens. She holds a large silver goblet in each hand. She moves to the side of the pentagram, curtsies and then pours water from the goblet in her right hand into the one in her left. She hands the goblet from her left hand to me and I accept it with a bow. She then stands with her feet together, the remaining goblet between both hands, her head slightly bowed.
Agnes is last, taking my athame she draws the pentagram for earth, it glows deep orange, like the colour of red clay. An old man appears on the pentegram. His hair, moustache and beard are all sparkling white and all flow around his face. He wears a deep brown monk’s habit, a long tunic to the knees with a cowl softly framing his face and a belt of rope around his waist, paler brown woollen hose cover his legs. Like fire before him, his feet are covered but in this case they are soft leather boots that reach up to the ankle. On a long, gold chain he wears a pentacle of gold and silver. He supports himself with a wooden staff which is carved at the top to resemble a caduceus. He moves to the side, as did the others, and this time his gift is four pentacles, which he deftly slips out of the pentacle at his chest, three of silver and one of gold, which he hands to Joe wordlessly and then he bows and stands taking support on his staff which is now in his left hand.
The elementals are now gathered in their prescribed human forms, each facing the one who summoned them. In turn they shift into their true forms. Air shifts into a wisp of cloud. She shifts slowly enough that we can see her body dissolve from the outside in and we see that her form is a skin, with nothing underneath, she dissolves until she floats like a series of miniature alto-cumulus clouds in the spot where she had stood. Fire shifts and takes the form of a fire salamander, or Salamandra salamandra, with a body covered in scaley skin of a black colour with markings of bright yellow. Again the shift is slowed so we can follow it and again it is as if the human form is merely a skin, the aroumd blackens to form the skin, the cloak melts into the armour and changes colour, the limbs shrink and a tail grows, the head becomes flatter and broader, the mouth wider. Lachlan transforms next and his transformation goes similarly, revealing the outer form to be a skin only. S/he shifts slightly, the gown around her legs wrapping tightly, the yards of material forming the train shorten and become solid, scales form on the legs and torso up to the breasts and then the scales dwindle at her décolletage into a pale green skin, her hair lengthens and curls about her shoulders, uncomfortable standing on what is now her tail she seats herself, bending at the waist and halfway down her tail portion to a kneeling position then resting back on her pelvis, her tail portion curling around her for support. Finally Earth transforms, shrinking in height to about half of what he was, the long beard and moustache darkening to iron grey and shortening too , his hair changes colour too, this time to green and shortens until it looks like grass upon his head. His clothing changes too and now resembles leather armour, his staff and pentacle now join to form a wooden shield with metal embossed in the front.
And now it is our turn to transform. Lettie goes first. Her face is a mask of concentration and as we watch her, her edges begin to loosen, becoming indistinct. this follows through her body til she appears ghost-like and then her atoms flow and pale until she is a widespread sheet of cloud, then she coalesces and begins to resemble a cumulos, like a cotton ball but a little more clumsy and stiff. She loosens again and the form becomes better, wispier but controlled. Joe goes next and with similar pace becomes a salamander, a lighter coloured skin with patches of orange and reds. And now it is my turn. I take a deep breath and release it,closing my eyes as I focus upon my own body. I visualise my hair becoming longer and finer, my dress, I chose it specially, beginning to cling tighter to my hips and legs, my legs fusing together and then elongating slightly, the hem of the dress flowing down and covering my feet and becoming like a tail. I wobble as my feet become flatter and thinner and fan out into a tail. I try as gracefully as I can to mimic the way Lachlan sat on the ground, but I feel uncomfortable curling my tail about me and instead sit as if I still had knees and ankles and feet, curling my tail so it sat underneath my pelvis. Lastly comes Agnes. She is finding it hard, it seems, to visualise herself as a gnome and she ends up with a few whiskers about her chin and lip which might be normal for the dwarves of Middle Earth but not so much for gnomes of the astral plane. Her brow furrows in concentration until, finally, she is the embodiment of a gnomish female, long hair only from the top of her head, gathered into a top-knot and otherwise clean-shaven.
I would tell you of how we go learning the abilities but I think we are in for a mighty task at the end of our series of transformations, so I shall keep those as a surprise for that. Until the full moon then, we shall be doing the same routine for each of us to learn each form. I don’t want to bore you with that unless something catastrophic happens, which seems doubtful as we get to grips so easily it seems. Something huge is brewing so I shall leave you now to prepare your mettle for that.