The beginning of a circle is also its end. Not I, but the world says it: all is one. And yet everything comes in
The ideals of Leo and Aquarius came into their fullest expression at this Leo Full Moon and it represented a challenge to those who attended on the night on how fully each one was expressing their life purpose.
At this circle we connected to Asherah in her lion Goddess aspect. Asherah was a beloved household Goddess of the Hebrews and the Canannites. She was the Goddess worshipped by King Solomon, and was known as "Qaniyatu Elima" "She Who Gives Birth to the Gods."
There was great power and strength in the lion's energy during this full moon. Under Asherah's guidance we were being asked to utilize this energy and stand in our own power with greater control and discipline. This powerful full moon required us to nurture and take full responsibility for all of our creations and actions.
The dragons were summoned to bless, cleanse and sanctify the circle, the Watchers were then called by the power of each element to protect and charge each quarter of the circle.
Asherah, the ancient Goddess, the Shekinah was invoked to show us how to stand in our power. El the Old One was asked to help us learn our truth of who we are.
We were then taken on a meditation to meet Asherah and El. Guided by a dove we were led down a processional path guarded by ancient stone Gods & Goddesses of different pantheons. The dove then led us to a temple where we were greeted by our hosts and ushered into a room in the temple where we viewed moments in our life where we had failed to stand in our power. Asherah & El then gave us words of confidence to enable us to stand in our power. We were then led out of the temple and once again we journeyed down the processional path but this time we were led by a majestic lion. As we were leaving the meditation the lion merged with our being and we took on the attributes of the lion. After the meditation we then enacted our power by taking steps towards the altar stating that we were standing in our power. Once we had reached the altar we yelled out our name three times. We all had a group hug and then thanked Asherah & El and closed the quarters.
The residual energy was then grounded back into the earth and forwarded to individuals for healing. The circle was closed and then we all finished the evening with our usual supper.
More information regarding this circle and past circles can be found in our Book Of Shadows. Our next Full Moon Circle will be held near Engadine on Friday April 15, 2011. Please contact us for further details if you would like to attend.
New Forum for National Pagan Directory
Soft cover book
24 colour pages
2. What and who influenced you in writing your book?
About 20 years ago (when I was in year 12) I started writing my Grandmothers biography. I sat with her for hours and hours carefully writing notes. I haven't published that book yet, it isn't anywhere near finished, and it's a big big job. She had always wanted to publish her story, and I promised her that one day I would. She inspired me to write, to research, and to seek the answers to the problems in life.
Half way through the "Kite Magic" writing process I met Amethyst Treleven (Author of "The Seekers Guide" and four other books) quite by accident. She was an incredible inspiration to me in regards to "Kite Magic". She talked me through a lot of the technical stuff, and encouraged me when I thought it was never going to be finished. I have a feeling it would not have made it to the end without her.
3. How has writing your book changed your life and the way you see the world?
It hasn't changed my life very much at all really. I have three children under the age of 6, so that keeps me relatively grounded. I did do a guest speakers role at the community centre last week, about being an inspirational woman with in the community. I guess this whole process has taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to (as well as hold down a full time job and have a house full of kids).
4. Do you use this book with your daughters and how?
Absolutely! And they were my test subjects too. We talk about the underlying issues in the book, like asking for help (either to other people or Mother Nature) the environment and the elements, and especially the Law of Return.
5. In your book, Alana is taunted by boys and is assisted by her Nanna to call on Air. How would you recommend using the book with boys?
The whole idea of the "bad" boys in the book, is there to appeal to the boys too. I hope that the book enables parents and the kids to open up dialogue about the concepts in the book. The boys demonstrate the Law of Return, and the message here for all kids is that what you send out will ultimately be returned to you, good and bad. Bullying is rife in our schools, and boys (and girls) need to realise that it is not okay, and that they should treat people the way they want to be treated.
Specifically, I have pointed out to my kids that the boys got "pooed" on because they wished that on someone else, and that they always need to be really careful what they wish for.
6. How do you use the insights of your book in your everyday life?
I always treat people the way I would like to be treated. I am always aware of what I send out in to the Universe will be returned to me. I believe in being very careful in what you wish for. Sometimes just thinking about something can make it manifest. I believe in being thankful for the Blessings in life, and that everything in life happens for a reason.
7. In your website (www.paganchild.com.au) you mention that you plan to write another three books, each dedicated to one element. What can you tell us about them?
They are all written, but not in finished form yet. And they don't have titles yet either. My illustrator, Danielle Rawnsley-Galistan, has agreed to illustrate the next three books. As well as an Element, I have tried to put in specific issues into each book that affect children today, and especially Pagan children. I have also tried to make the books as real as possible, so they are not fantasy books, but more lessons in everyday life type of thing. I am hoping to launch the next book in June 2012. It was supposed to be June this year, but time just slips away sometimes, and rather than rush it, I want to enjoy the process of the next book!
8. How do you apply Paganism in raising your children?
I am no perfect Pagan, but I do try to imbue my kids with concepts within Paganism when the right situation presents itself.
At the moment I tend to talk to my kids a lot about Mother Nature. About the seasons and the cycles, why Mother Nature gives us rain, why she gives us sunshine, and the balance that she brings to the environment. We spend a lot of time in my Dads vegetable garden, and so we like to cook special meals at the Sabbats with the seasonal produce that we have picked. We make sure we thank Mother Nature for the fruit and vegetables that she has grown for us. My kids are still young, aged 5, 2 and 9 months, so I guess how I apply Paganism and Wiccan principals to them will change as they grow up. But most importantly I think, is that my children are aware of the Law of Return.
9. What does Goddess mean to you?
Good question. The concept of Goddess is one which changes for me and evolves regularly. I guess for me, it's not exactly about Goddess', but more as God AND Goddess. As a balance and as a duality. That, where there is dark, there is light. Where there is male there is female. That there needs to be balance in everything seen and unseen. And so you can't have Gods without having Goddesses.
10. How did you get into Earth-based spirituality?
I was aware of it within myself from an early age. It was always in my heart. My journey from being a teenager til now has been full of many people along my journey, shaping my beliefs. I started reading lots of books as a teenager. I never found any particular book (or denomination) that I agreed with 100%. So I was happy to be eclectic and a Solitary. A few years ago, I got involved with a group of wonderful people with very similar views as mine. I am now an Initiated member of Oak and Mistletoe here in Adelaide. We practice Inclusive Wicca. There is also a large online community from all around the world. Oak and Mistletoe are a very important part of my life. They are my family. (For more information www.oakandmistletoe.com.au)
11. What would you say a Modern Pagan is?
I think a modern Pagan is anyone who chooses to give themselves this title. I don't worry about what titles people take, or are given, or are accused of not deserving. I believe anyone has the right to believe in anything that they choose without fear of being laughed at, criticised or judged! The word Pagan has many different meanings today, depending on who you ask. To me the word refers to the Earth. I would be happy to call any Earth loving people Pagan, but it's not up to me. I am Wiccan but I tend to describe myself as Pagan generally, because I find the term a lot less threatening to people who don't understand what Wicca really is.
12. What is the most important thing for you about your spirituality?
This probably sounds corny, but the most important thing about my spirituality is the belief in myself. For me, a pentagram represents, the four elements, and the top point is the mind, and the circle connects them all. To me, this says, "Mind over matter." And reminds me that if I put my mind to something, that I can achieve anything. It reminds me that I am strong, and that I have the Elements on my side to help me achieve all of my dreams.
A shaman is a healer who helps people to understand and respect the natural and the supernatural world around them and within them. A Shaman is the mediator between the material world and the various astral realms and can walk between these realms at will.
An important aspect of Shamanism is the tools the shaman uses, these tools are physical representations of the tools that the shaman uses during his or her astral journeys. The tools e.g. the drum or the rattle can assist the shaman in entering an altered state of consciousness. Shamanic tools therefore focus and express energy received from Spirit which can be used for healing, diagnosis, cleansing, journeying and divination.
The cauldron symbolizes the womb, and therefore is a symbol of the Goddess. In Celtic lore the cauldron is also seen as a symbol of the Underworld.
In modern witchcraft the cauldron is a tool of great importance and has a multiple of uses; it can be used for folk magic, for cooking herbal remedies, burning spell papers, ingredients, and also can be used as a ritual vessel during ceremony.
A cauldron can be made of most any material, but cast iron and copper are the most common. You don't need a huge cauldron, a small one of cast iron will be fine. I have a small copper cauldron that I use on my altar. Copper is also a good conductor of energy. A small cauldron can be better as you will want to move around with it, or place it in the centre of your altar. Depending upon the type of ritual, the Cauldron may also be replaced with a chalice or a bowl. If you are going to be drinking from the Cauldron, then I suggest that a chalice is your best replacement.
Cauldrons also make wonderful candle holders, scrying bowls for divination, and are much better for holding liquids because those substances cannot damage a metal container. To create a metal cauldron requires all of the elements in its making. Such a cauldron could be seen as a symbol of the four elements; earth, air, fire and water combined in both function and form.
Traditionally the cauldron has three legs; this is seen to be in reference to the Goddess in Her Triple Goddess aspect of Maiden, Mother and Crone. It could also represent three main stages of life; as in birth, life and death. The cauldron is also a symbol of rebirth and to the ancient Celtic people the cauldron was sometimes known as "The Cauldron of Rebirth". The Cauldron of Rebirth appears in the story of 'Branwen, Daughter of Llyr' and was used to resurrect their dead warriors; where they would arise to fight the next day in silence.
There seems to be a whole lot happening with the Egypt theme at the moment, everywhere you turn just lately Egypt comes up. Well anyway here goes another moment.
What have Egypt and Wicca got in common? Well the answer is a lot. Many modern magickal practices can draw their roots from ancient Egypt. It was known as the "Mother of Magicians". Now where have we heard something like that before?
Ancient Egypt culture flourished from around 3100 BCE to around 395 CE when Roman rule ended. But it extends to around 5500 BCE and that does go back a bit, even in the world history time line.
The Wiccan practice of the broom to sweep the sacred space prior to ritual and the use of water sprinkled on the floor; these came from ancient Egypt, likewise the use of incense. The Egyptians made use of fragrances in the ritual sense. "It was pleasing to the Gods".
The use of knotted threads and ribbons also came out of Egypt; knotted red threads were sometimes called "Anubis threads". They were used for protection from negative forces and entities.
Poppets were used for both healing and cursing; the former was used to represent the body of the sick person and the cursing was usually reserved for foreign armies.
Colour in Magick - Black was the colour of the night and death, but also for healing. Blue was heaven and water. Green was life and fertility. Red was the colour of blood and fire, but could also represent the sun, danger and chaos. Yellow or gold also represented the sun, constancy and eternity. White was the colour of sacredness and purity.
Magickal Tools - Egyptians used a number of different woods or materials for their wands, a different wand was used for different occasions. Sceptres such as Sekhem were used for command, and also to wave over objects for blessing.
Postures and movements from Egypt are also used within Wicca, such as the crossed arm position known as the Osiris position. The Egyptians also moved sunwise in their rituals, they believed that to move against the direction of the sun was to give power to the forces of chaos. The use of the sacred circle was a normal practice for the Egyptians. They offered food and gifts to the God, and after they had their share the priests ate there fill. Today we offer cakes and ale (wine) as well to the God/Goddess then we then take part in the sharing of the offering.
"Between the worlds" was also used in ritual; time didn't exist within a sacred space. This was because stepping into a sacred space was seen as returning to the beginning of time, to enable the priest to tap into the energies of creation.
A final similarity between ancient Egypt and Wiccans is seen in the books of magick (Book of Shadows). The priests consulted their books for spells, healing and curses. Such spells were usually chanted, generally repeated a specific number of times to have their full efficiency.
Ancient Egypt, its religion, culture and legends still hold the mystery of magick with its eternal appeal and old beliefs. May the Egyptian people come through their time of grief and be strong once more to hold their heads up high.
So as you can see we as wiccans do share a unique path with the ancient Egyptians that have been left to us all as our legacy to hold and cherish and also pass along as it was passed along to us.
Footnote: Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs will be showing as the next Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition for Melbourne Museum, running from April to November 2011 - www.kingtutmelbourne.com.au.
This month I've gone nuts again & the funny thing is literally today I was eating a hazelnut torte (yum).
The hazel produces its nuts in autumn/fall, after having spent the year building the inner strength to protect them. The shell of this nut is so hard, in fact, and contains its treasure so well, that is was the inspiration for the phrase "in a nutshell."
In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences were bound to the eating of Hazel nuts. Until the seventeenth century, a forked Hazelstick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases of murder and theft.
Rose Quartz has been a crystal that I have forgotten to work with for a while. The opportunity presented itself via an angel meditation I am working on.
Rose Quartz is a pale to rich pink translucent crystal.
It is a stone of emotional healing, especially matters of the heart and is referred to as the 'Stone of Love'.
It is a stone of unconditional love, allowing for acceptance of self and others. It opens up our heart to love, in all forms, mental, physical and spiritual, bringing with it an inner peace to our being.
The Autumn Equinox/Mabon 'spoke' on the Wheel of the Year has rolled around once again and I've been busy washing, slicing, de-stoning, and stewing plums. The funny thing was, when my husband came home with a HUGE box of plums after visiting his parents and extended family on a farm in Goulburn, it didn't even occur to me that it was nearly Mabon and that preserving fruit etc from this autumn harvest time was a "very Mabon thing to do". All I could see was a mountain of hard work to add to all the other stuff I already had waiting, but I pretended to be pleased at the prospect of working my way through all 10kg of this plum job.
When we examine the Aries ingress chart (click to enlarge) we consider not just the 3 months ahead, but the entire year ahead, as the Sun begins a new round of the zodiac at the zero point of Aries. The Sun shifts from the southern hemisphere to the north, bringing autumn to the south and spring to the north.So when we look at the combinations and planetary aspects of the ingress chart we get an idea of what will unfold, and a flavour of the conditions of the year ahead.
This equinox the atmosphere, the condition of the World Soul, is already highly charged. Just as lightning is an electrical discharge that happens in the right atmospheric conditions, the presence of Uranus joining the Sun at this zero point of Aries suggests a year of many new beginnings, great changes and a sense that sudden discharges of accumulated tension are starting to reinvigorate us and call us all to action.
The Uranus/Sun conjunction will be in effect for all cardinal ingresses this year as well as for the 2012 Aries Ingress. As planets move over the cardinal points the solstice and equinox positions of the Sun form conjunctions, oppositions and squares to these planets. For the last 2-3 years we have experienced close Pluto/Sun aspects but now we are moving on to close Uranus/Sun aspects. With the Pluto/Sun alignments the world witnessed the Global Financial Crisis and the urge to make our governments, leaders and elite rulers much more accountable and responsible for the troubles the world is facing. Before Pluto, Neptune crossed zero Capricorn back in 1988 with Uranus also crossing this point in 1989, when the world was jubilant in response to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet regime as many countries rejoiced in independence.
Uranus at zero Aries is now the major player, as though a restart button has been pressed and we all move to create significant change in our lives and the world around us. Together with this shift we can see that the nodal points have also recently changed signs. Until now in Capricorn and Cancer, global focus has been on banks, corporations, mortgages, house values, and the reality of the nexus between the welfare of the private household and the decisions of public executives. This has been associated with an erosion of trust in the world of politics and corporate governance as corruption and conflicts of interest become blindingly obvious.
The shift to Sagittarius and Gemini moves our focus to principles rather than forms, to ethical issues, truth and justice and how to reform and relearn the universal moral laws which seem to have fallen by the wayside. The mutable signs invite a spirit of review, shaking off the shackles, re-thinking the structures and laws which we assume hold our world together and they represent a great urge for study and enquiry.
The north node in the Aries Ingress chart is also conjunct the Galactic Centre, the symbol of our divine source. The Galactic Centre is the centre point of our Milky Way galaxy, kind of like the Sun of our own Sun. Some consider it to represent the evolution and expansion of our planetary consciousness, or the point which represents our planetary connection to the greater truths of the universe in which we are embedded, but of which we may be ignorant or which we refuse to acknowledge. Interestingly the last time the north node was conjunct the Galactic Centre at an Aries Ingress was in 1918 just as peace came to the world following the Great War, and League of Nations was established.
The Moon at 17° Libra just past exact fullness, suggests diplomacy, a striving for justice and peace and an urge to create better standards; the conjunction with Saturn lends a serious tone, a stern demanding attitude and a willingness to endure difficulty or setbacks, reflecting a world of people not letting go of what they believe is right. Jupiter and Mercury in Aries oppose this Moon and Saturn, and Jupiter and Mercury now being the nodal rulers, are also off to a new start, new beginnings, new initiatives in humanitarian and progressive directions, but the Moon and Saturn seem to hold back these fresh bursts or energy, or challenge them to be more serious and lasting, as we can anticipate a world progressing with caution and a sense of trepidation, perhaps with many delays or setbacks. This may be generally perceived as frustrating given the tremendous impetuosity of the Uranus/Sun conjunction.
The Jupiter/Saturn cycle is now close to culmination (full opposition occurs on 28 March 2011 (UTC)). The position of the last conjunction of the chronocrators - which is what Jupiter and Saturn have been known as since classical times, the planets which mark time - in the year 2000 at 22° Taurus is now being squared by Venus at 22° Aquarius, suggestive of a reminder of the worth of the world's resources, how we value what we have, and what we give and get in return. Perhaps an Aquarian detachment is required to understand that, as a group, as a species, we can't continue along this road of greed and overconsumption, but would fare better to apply the principles of the Aquarian ideal: community, sharing, and radical solutions to common problems.
Mars is in Pisces - never underestimate Mars in Pisces! Although often characterized as an energy more willing to give up, than to stand up for itself, Mars in Pisces in fact raises strong passions, urges and needs and if repressed it will eventually blow out, up or through somehow. Mars in Pisces fights hard, strong and long for what it believes in, albeit not always directly. Although preferring peace, Mars in Pisces will often stand up for the underdog, the repressed and the forgotten and has a great ability to pay attention to many things quite often unseen, neglected and covered up and urges us all to do what we can from behind the scenes, covertly if we have to.
Jupiter and Mars are also at perihelion, i.e. at the position in their orbit closest to the Sun and have a mutual respect for each other, being in each other's signs. Jupiter in Aries gets on with expanding the mission, as Mars in Pisces seems to make sure some things aren't left behind or unfinished and urges us to consider if we are forgetting something.
Jupiter in square to Pluto depicts a world faced with trying to believe in transformation, letting go and moving on in a whole new light, but there is fear and much doubt involved; believing is hard, believing that all will be OK is hard, as we continue to distrust the powers that be. There is a sense of major political developments occurring, but their development is not straightforward by any meansThere is always reason to believe in the future and our common goals, however. Fearing the future will inevitably lead to disaster and things falling apart; positive energy on a personal level does wonders for an individual and so on a collective level being positive and sticking together will help get us through.
Mercury goes retrograde on 28 March 2011 (UTC) at 24° Aries and returns to 12° Aries before moving forwards once again, all during the next quarter. This Mercury retrograde in Aries, is about making sure that flying forwards has the right momentum, as restless as we may be for change, moving on and forward, some things as usual within Mercury retrograde periods need reviewing, redoing and reassessment. Jupiter flies through Aries and moves into Taurus on 5 June 2011 when we will perhaps begin to see more tangible results to the revolutionary fervour sprouting all over the world.
With Chiron now in Pisces, on 4 April 2011 Neptune also moves into Pisces until August 2011; after briefly returning to Aquarius, it moves back into Pisces in February 2012 where it will stay until 2026. The ingress chart for Neptune's movement into Pisces shows an incredible line-up of planets in Aries - so, new beginnings of all sorts are being channelled through the planet of mystery, imagination and hope, and Mercury retrograde at the time of this ingress is a key to understanding that changing our minds as to what is possible can change the world we want to live in.
Neptune seems to be a powerful player in what the world will experience in coming years. Playing out its role as the master of shape-shifting and intrigue, the vast oceanic realms of Pisces build no wave breakers or barriers for Neptune and so we may get a sense that all is possible, but all could also be hopelessly lost in chaotic degeneration without care and hope in the possibility, or necessity, of a better world for ourselves and future generations.
With Chiron and Neptune (soon) in Pisces we can generate the seeds of the future through these two healing and spiritual archetypes, as we consider Pisces the phase of the zodiac where the seed of future growth and potential is germinated, only to shoot through to surface manifestation in Aries. What sort of seeds are we sowing? Intelligence, fear, love, envy? Everything a plant needs for its future growth is contained in this seed and what grows from this seed is a result of what the seed is infused with. This is our call now, with Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, to infuse the seed with love and healing and a great respect for the place we call home and paying great attention to the environments in which we rear our children.
At the exact time of the Aries Ingress,(map above) in a similar way to eclipses and full moons, it is interesting to look at the 'hot spots' of global activity highlighted on the astrocartography map. We can see that the Sun and Uranus are setting in Washington DC, and are anti-culminating along the Libyan/Tunisian border. Also, Pluto is rising through Sudan, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and the Caucasus.
So as we move into an intense year ahead, try and retain a firm stance with faith and hope in the future and believe that we can and will get there. See how you can participate in the changes necessary in the world as we move collectively into a healthier, happier, and more peaceful and fulfilled connection to our planet and to each other.
Please join us for our equinox mission as we focus on sending a wave of positive intention around the globe during the 24 hours of the Aries Equinox. We ask that you spend 10-20 minutes and focus your intention:
On the spark of life
Within all new beginnings
Act to awaken the spirit of human invention
Reinvigorate the hope for a better world
And future generations
Read more information here.
Ah decisions, decisions, we have come to a point in time, an appropriate point of the year when we need to take a realistic view of our life. Instead of looking at the details take one step back and take a good hard look at the whole pattern that is emerging. Are you happy with how it looks so far? Does your life need a total overhaul or just a bit of rearranging?
The next thing to do is to ask yourself is the ego getting in the way of your development? This card encourages you to deal with your ego so that you can embrace the rebirth of the wisdom aspects of yourself.
This is a good time to push for change, to leave behind old patterns or ways of life that no longer serve you, and to move towards the new with an increased awareness of yourself. Changes have already taken place within you, and you can build on those changes and allow yourself to joyfully enter a new phase of your life.
The Judgement card is not about second guessing a situation or relying on your perceptions, it is about learning the ability to analyse, to discriminate, and to act detached on the insights you have gained. You can now move towards that which supports you, and leave behind that which hinders you. You can now experience an increased sense of clarity, which will inspire you to move forward with joy and confidence.
It's hard to believe that Axis Mundi is already three years old! Travel back to that moment in time when our first issue was published, here...
We're looking forward to bringing you many more issues of Axis Mundi in the future! ~Jenwytch~
... plus much, much more!