I'm working on my earth pentacle. You can see a finished one here.
Mine may not end up looking exactly like that, but similar.
I decided to make mine out of a piece of maple tree that my landlord had cut down, to give the senseless act of 'trimming the tree' (in which he proceeded to cut down all the branches on one side so it's lopsided and ugly) some sort of beneficial meaning.
I cut a small piece off of the but end of one of the larger pieces. It was nicely sized, but uneven.
I've been trying to even it out since October. Using my dremel, I've gotten a variety of bits to sand, grind, and cut the piece to the proper thickness and smoothness. It's been a tortuous process, and hasn't worked well.
So finally, I'm taking a piece of sandpaper and sanding it by hand. As I do so, I'm having much less task orient thoughts. I'm thinking about how material things are like this wood under my sand paper: No matter how permanent seeming, they all wither under time and constant motion. Whatever we build is worn away. I think about the money I've made, the material things I've gained and bought with that money, and where they are now: Gone, most of them. Cluttering up my house, the rest.
I've been thinking about what to do with my stuff that I don't want. Part of me wants to sell it. Some of it, I'm thinking about giving away in exchange for a good, personal story. I'm not sure yet. I'll have to think about it.
But slowly, my body, my world, is being worn away by the eternal action of that which is acting upon me, whether it be the water I drink, the food I eat, the air I breathe, the myriad creatures that depend on my body for sustenance. Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return. Having just passed the darkest of all days, it's something to keep in mind. This too, shall pass.
Don't think I'm maudlin with these reflections. It makes me think about what's eternal. Homer has Achilles say "If I stay here and fight, I shall not return alive but my name will live for ever: whereas if I go home my name will die, but it will be long ere death shall take me." Christianity and Western culture have abstracted this idea of immortality, reserving it for heaven and tombstones. Yet even as recently as 50 years ago we have our heroes: Roosevelt, Churchill, MacArthur.
It's at times like this I remember my motto, and think on how good it is to have chosen it. The motto which will grace the pentacle I am so patiently sanding. Forming into that which I desire it to be. Would that I could form my soul, my mind, my spirit so easily as I form this wood into it's desired shape. Perhaps that's the lesson. After all, this has taken time, and is a gradual process of subtraction.
Patience, then, is another lesson for this task.