Many times in the (distant) past my time of prayer or ritual-liturgy time more resembled a shopping list of wants with the word ‘Amen’ or ‘So be it’ tacked onto the end of it. I really wanted something more, something deeper, something more meaningful. I wanted to spend more time with the Source Of All, to ‘see’ afresh, in my mind’s eye.
The caim was one answer.
This evening I went into the study, closed the door and ensured I wouldn’t be disturbed. I made a space in the middle of the room and marked out a circle of about 5-6ft diameter, with pebbles. and lit a candle.
Tonight I was to use the caim to send healing-power to a friend in need, and what follows is a personal account of one use of the caim, among many.
With no other light the candle-light is soft and soothing, and so encourages a meditative state. By lighting the candle I marked this time as different, special, and the beginning of something new. Sacred-space time.
The caim is a profound ‘circling’ prayer or ritual-liturgy
It was used by Celts of old, and by others. It is still used in various forms by latter-day Celts, some Churches who value its benefits, and by some wiccans, pagans, light-workers, mystics and fellow-druids friends known to me. Individuals as well as groups. Yes, it can be used by anyone who knows the value of prayer or ritual-liturgy.
As I stand in a candle-lit the room, I quieten my mind, and relax.
After a few minutes, I point to the floor.
I have already marked out a circle with small pebbles, and, as I point (and sometimes use a staff), I slowly turn my body, revolving 360 degrees. I like to start by facing east usually, but the choice is yours.
I start off facing east and end up facing east. I also like to turn deosil, clockwise, to begin the caim.
The word caim is gaelic, and it has to do with ‘protection’ or ‘sanctuary’; it is derived from the root word meaning ‘circle’, to bend, or turn, and this becomes apparent when you start forming the caim.
Many, today, use a minimalist three-stage approach to the caim at least in the beginning of their caim practice. This is:
- making a caim and
- using a prepared ‘set’ prayer, or liturgy, or creative visualisation, and
- closing the caim and an act of ‘earthing’ it.
My eyes are closed now, and in my mind’s eye I’m imagining that inner journeying to a comfortable and safe place, a place that is full of power and potential. I slow my breathing, quieten my mind, and over the next few minutes enter a state of ‘rest’. I’m journeying toward the Source of All.
Sometimes I like to visualise that I’m in a wonderful forest and enter a clearing that is well-lit. A kataphatic approach. Other times I try not to visualise at all, and that is an apophatic approach. The caim is adaptable.
That inner space that I entered is liminal space. For me, I call it the imaginal realm, as in our culture, when one talks of ‘the imagination’ it is perceived as a place of pure fantasy and unreal. However, the imaginal realm is real. It is a place of peace, power, and potential.
It is an intermediary space, the gap between the physical realm (which we can all relate to and understand – it is the place of the body) and the ouranic realm (the place of the spirit, where all that is good and holy originates).
I feel safe, I feel ‘cocooned’ from all that is happening in the world about me. I am at peace within this circle.
Tonight I am using creative visualisation – mind pictures and symbolic action instead of words.
If we accept that there is place of Bliss which is, symbolically, a higher plane, then we could all usefully use some of that power.
And so, I raise both my hands above my head for about a minute, and visualise the blossom of golden trees in that higher realm, and the pollen of golden plants blowing in the gentle wind and falling on me. It is power from on high. Not my power, but power belonging to That Which Is Bigger Than Ourselves, the Source Of All who gladly shares it with us.
By raising my hands I seek empowerment from beyond, from the Universe, from The Source Of All.
Whilst in that circle, the caim, each of us in that place are intercessors.
Empowered, I now lower my hands now. And wait for a minute or two.
I then change position.
Now, I hold my hands, gently, in front of me, as though I’m holding something. In that imaginal realm I am holding something – a invisible power-blessing of healing. I move my hands and mould it, and shape it, and imagine it to be the size of a football.
We can even use the caim to send a power-blessing to world event that has happened that has caused a major upset, or it could be a prayer or ritual-liturgy for a future event, the locality, a sad event somewhere else on the planet, or it could be an ecological need. Whatever the need is, the caim is a good spiritual ‘tool’.
And then, having moulded and shaped that power-blessing, I ‘push’ that power-blessing, symbolically, in the direction I’ve imagined that that person or event to be. In this case I am visualising a friend in need of healing who is in Singapore.
You don’t have to be geographically accurate in your aim of the power-blessing – it’s the intention that’s important. And, it is the Source Of All who delivers.
I use my body to sway back and forth, gently shifting my weight on one leg and then the other – rocking backward and forward just a little, and with my hands in front of me I move them as though I’m gently pushing something. No physical effort is really required in this pushing movement. It’s symbolic.
I do this for a minute or two, thinking of the person in question and their need, knowing that the Source Of All will work through this caim.
If it helps, you might even like to vocalise who, or for what, the power-blessing is for, and the desired outcome. ‘Help [name],’ or ‘Heal [name] etc.
And, as I stand there I sense the power-blessing leaving me and journeying to the person in need….and it arrives immediately. There is no time delay.
You might imagine the desired effect already taking place, even though it may take some time in the physical realm to come about in actuality. You might have in mind what a solution for that person is and you might be specific in visualising it; or, you might not want to be specific as to what a solution might look like and leave it to the Source Of All to work out.
And now, I lower my hands. And relax. The power-blessing has gone out. I give gratitude in my heart to the Parent of Lights, for enabling me to be a conduit of healing energy.
But, there’s more.
As I stand, and continue to face the direction that that power-blessing was sent. I wait for a minute or so. With my arms out, at shoulder height, I wait. I breathe deeply several times in anticipation, believing that what was sent out, comes back now, energetically – although it may work its way out in my life in a different way to that original power-blessing, and over time. But, I do believe it comes back as a ‘gift’ so that we also benefit.
What we send out, comes back in one form or another.
I inhale to, metaphorically, and with my arms open wide, embrace and accept the return energy-blessing. It’s here.
I give thanks to the Source Of All for the power-blessing that has gone out and which is effective, and now returned without any diminishment.
Now it’s time to return to physical reality – the realm of the senses.
As I stand there, I allow my breathing to return to normal, slowly open my eyes, perhaps not focussing on anything in particular, but just ease myself back to that former state.
With my eyes open, I point to that circle of pebbles. Slowly I turn my body through 360 degrees. I like to face east, and so face east once I’ve gone full circle. But, I move in the opposite direction this time – anti-clockwise (or widdershins) – to close the caim.
And then I wait for another minute, and leave the circle.
I extinguish the candle and collect up the pebbles.
The caim is a spiritual ‘tool’ for you to use – one amongst many – and not a magical formula that won’t work unless you get it absolutely right. It is intentionality that is all important. Adapt it, and use it to best serve you needs, and that of others.
That’s it. Well almost.
Having sent out a power-blessing, there is always some work to be done, to joyfully work towards making the prayer, that ritual-liturgy come about in the physical realm. It needs to be ‘earthed’.
For instance, if you’ve prayed for someone to get though their exams, the action now needed might be that you give them some verbal encouragement, rather than, say, feeling as though you need to spend days teaching them to make the energy-prayer come about. The Source of All will deal with the latter; our part is to ‘earth’ the caim in this physical realm with a symbolic, associated act.
Having prayed for that person’s health, I’ve just emailed them and arranged to meet them socially and in that way I might cheer them’.
If someone is not well, we don’t need to feel responsible for their healing as the Source of All (working through medical practitioners etc) will have that in hand, but maybe a get-well card from us could be sent to them to buoy them up, and encourage them. That’s ‘earthing’, and the action doesn’t have to be something that the person in question knows about!
Or, if we’ve used the caim, say, for someone to grow spiritually, we might plant a seed in our garden; if we’ve used the caim to send someone a blessing, then we might blow a kiss in their direction. It’s a symbolic action, and it’s usually best done in secret.
The caim, then, is versatile, and several times over the next two weeks we’ll return to it, and look at how it can be used for ecological purposes, for healing, giving blessings to people and/or animals, or projects, for protection etc, and how it can be adapted for group settings and more formal settings.
Meanwhile, do try the caim, and let me know your experience, please.