Wednesday, May 26, 2010

City Liminal Places

and spaces, well actually Train Stations.

its something i have been looking into of late.. the liminal places of a city.. of which there are quite a few, not alwasy on the outskirts of the city. sometimes, actually many times these 'liminal' places can be found in the middle of the city, or in one area of the city where 'liminal' type people hang out. Liminal, according to one definition i found is a "state of being on the "threshold" of or between two different existential planes" liminal is also a space that is outside mainstream community, set in contrast to mainstream community, it is Victor Turner calls liminal communitas, which has always fascinated me i guess as i am a pagan and have studied modern paganism i can understand that this "community" while constructed somewhat differently from a physical community, is also a community that is Liminal Communitias, it is in opposition to that of mainstream. but that is a different topic for a different day.. *grins* so City Liminal Places..

Lets look at Train Stations, i can remember recently posting on a list about train stations and its liminal status, like that of a hedge, where instead of crossing the hedge you are crossing the Trax, or perhaps travelling in-between stations. I may of not been very eloquent about the concept that i was trying to get across, which was one of Urban Witchery, verses Hedge Witchery, as you see i live in a city, the capital of New Zealand and while Wellington has a fantastic green policy and there are huge green belts all over the city, it is still a city. I was also drawn to hedg witchery, but not at the same time, something was missing, something was not quite fitting, and what was missing was the city aspect. You see in my head there is a disconnect with Hedge Witchery and cities, mostly because there are not many hedges in the city itself, and i associated Hedge Witchery with meandering country pathways that are lined by hedges not concrete and tall buildings. then yesterday i checked my google reader and New World Witchery had a post about City Spirits and low there was a picture of a train station as well as mentions of train stations a liminal places, so i started to post a reply but it turned itself into a blogg post.

so to Train Stations: in some cities train stations can be found in the middle of the city, and sometimes they are found on the outskirts, it depends i am guessing, on whether how much the trains are used as a medium on transport for the inhabitants of the city. which will also i figure, change the energy of said train station. also public train stations that have commuter trains as opposed to freight train yards, will, while generally close to one another will also have somewhat different energy.

Wellington Train station is however quite a liminal place. i know that here in Wellington the trains are one of the more important modes of transport in and out of the city, they are also have a strong connection with the sea and ships that bring stuff to our port not just from other countries but also from the south island. So in many ways major railway stations that contain junctions can be similar to that of ley lines in that sense of connecting the station with everywhere else in the world. Like Cory said from New Word Witchery, similar to hoodoo in that crossroads sense, if that crossroads are the initial connect to the universe and world.. *ponders this*

Like the people who use the trains travel to and fro, from work, the energy at the train station itself ebbs and flows, like the tide on the seashore or rivers close to the ocean. The energy is different during the week than it is during the weekend. During the week there are distinct steams of traffic that head out towards the city to the various places where people work. If you panted the bottom of the peoples feet, i know in Wellington the resulting image would look like a delta that is sometimes found at the beginning of rivers, crossing and weaving flowing into and out of the city, similar to the tidal flows. The energy flow during the week is different from that of the weekend. there is more traffic and a determination about which is spiced with despair and tiredness nearer the end of the week as people come to realise the drudgery of not liking the job that they are in, which worsens over winter as they trudge to work and from work in the dark. The money is good but the work, not so much, the energy flows and ebbs following the seasons and the peoples work lives.

During the weekend, the energy has lost that intense focus of determined going to work, stress and general tiredness, and has become more about enjoyment, going into town to have breakfast or brunch with friends, meeting up with others, shopping relaxing and just enjoying the city itself. There is still that determined work type energy as people do work in the weekend. But as a general rule the work is different, less office orientated and more people orientated.. thus a slight difference in undertones to that energy. In the evening the energy changes again as a slugish beligeriance of achole takes over, drunken stumbling to get home on the midnight trains, secutiy guards everywhere. disafected teens hanging out, as the night falls the energy shifts to a feeling of mistrust and danger tinged with the sadness and a slugshniess with a dirty air.

I suspect that you can use that energy, as well as the phycisal trains themselves to release things into the universe, to encourage good will and good energy to return, and also to send energy and or something to someone or to break/send away energy.. you could use different days and times of day depending on what type of energy you are needing to do your working or spell, have you ever spend the night of the full moon hanging around the train station?

i have in my head this image of a fetish spell, found objects, a leather glove, to represent a strangers helping hand, (a stranger being a city deity, the energy of strangers helping strangers) a found key to help unlock esoteric secrets of the city, maybe to unlock a locked situation or energy and a newspaper to represent local and national knowledge, or to connect you with a different city, or your spell with a different city or to even connect you with you local city divine, These objects are gathered together and tied wrapped however you see fit, energies given intent, and then left on an outbound train, be it to one of the blurbs, or to another city. It is not difficult to get onto a train going to another city as a general rule, leaving the fetish where someone will fine it or where someone won't, again depending on what the purpose of said fetish is. then getting of the train and leaving the fetish to do its work, the energy to take the form of the intent that you have given it and be boosted by the energy of the train station itself.

I see leaving things inside a train as a working to gain something or positive, and if you leave something on the tracks, to banish or break away from./
So many possibility's.. liminal spaces in a city..hmmm..

1 comment:

  1. Have a look at What Mr Zelazny said was his inspiration for the "Amber" series.