One of the practices that is taught in the Fellowship is to build up a circle of allies from different planes of existence. As pagans, we work with the four elemental qualities, Air, Fire, Water and Earth, and we understand phenomena through their relationship to the elements, and the various cycles of manifestation, which I have discussed on another occasion. One component of the magical enterprise is building up a strong and impregnable aura, which has built into its nature symbolic keys through which various energies and aspects of consciousness can be accessed and amplified. These symbolic keys are receptacles for imaginative energy which creates a living nexus that links the practitioner to the energy and consciousness behind the symbol. These symbols can be purely human created, by ourselves or others, or they can be natural symbols, objects or entities which pre-exist in the natural world or on one of the non material planes.
As an example, I work with four different varieties of trees on a regular basis. They are all tree that grow naturally in my surroundings, and or places I frequently visit. They are naturally Australian Native trees, as that is where I live. For each tree I have made a wooden stave, from a branch that has been dropped. I use these staves in ritual settings, to mark the four quarters. My tree friends are the Ironbark, who I regularly place in the Air Quarter, as I wish to emphasize practicality and solid reasoning in my mental sphere. In the Fire quarter I place the Brushbox, which has a transformative energy. I the water quarter I place the Paperbark, which for me calls to mind the dark still, reflective tannin stained waters of the Paperbark swamps of my region. In the earth quarter, I place the Bunya pine, which bears an abundant harvest of nutritious edible nuts every few years.
I have described the process of making a stave elsewhere…this process is a mechanism by which a relationship with the tree spirit can be established and strengthened. And this relationship can be honored and the connection strengthened within ritual, by honoring those tree allies at the four quarters when establishing sacred space, and by further meditative work within the circle as appropriate.
In addition to the trees just mentioned, I also have four gem stone allies that I work with in the same way, selected for their relevance to my energies, and placed in the four quarters. Being interested in herbs and their uses in healing, I work in the same way with a number of herbs.
In addition to these regular helpers from the worlds of stones, herbs and trees, I sometimes draw in special helpers for a particular working or occasion, in order to work with a particular energy.
You can build up your circle this way over time, adding additional circles of trees, stones, herbs, animals, birds, mythic creatures etc, depending on your interests and proclivities.