From the Editor...
A Time of Healing
Lunar eclipses are benchmarks in times of change and the energies can be quite volatile. It can affect the planet, weather, the financial markets, political events, our relationships and often, it is associated with natural and man-made disasters.
A lunar eclipse always takes place at the time of a full moon, magnifying its effects. All full moons bring matters to fulfillment and cycles to fruition. This year, the first lunar eclipse of the year occurred in Leo, a fire sign. The astrological sign of Leo is also associated with the tarot card Strength, which represents strength, courage and determination, attributes that so many people will be drawing on over the next few months.
The Victorian firestorms that coincided with the lunar eclipse have been horrendous. I can't even begin to imagine how the victims of the recent bushfires feel. I don't even know how you carry on after such devastation. I certainly can understand the desire to extract some kind of meaning and understanding from the horrific images that have flooded our television screens and newspapers in recent days.
With so much pain and grief still being felt across the nation it is a time to grieve with those who mourn and stand in solidarity with those who have lost so much. The time for trying to fully process what has happened and to understand the events will come but first we must allow the season of grief to take its course and the season of healing to begin.
Crisis often brings out the best in people and what we have seen in the past few days is unprecedented courage, selflessness and generosity. For the first time in a long time, we are experiencing real community spirit. The journey of healing now begins; healing from our heart can uplift and transform. It can bring us into alignment with the deepest and most precious aspects of ourselves, and hopefully, this time of community and service will bring us into a new identity that is based not solely on our individual needs, but on an awakened consciousness, that experiences itself as one with all life.
SOL's Full Moon Circle and Lughnasadh
by Janine Donnellan
Celebration ~ Friday February 6, 2009
It was SOL's first circle for the year and the emotions of everyone on this evening were highly charged with excitement. There was an undercurrent of intensity disguised as frivolity as we assembled to celebrate the combining energies of the Sabbat of Lughnasadh, the upcoming full moon in Leo and the annular lunar eclipse. Times of change were upon us and this ritual was a time to pause and reflect on our accomplishments. This was the time of the first harvest, a time to enjoy the fruits of our labour but it was also a time to consider whether these results had equaled the effort. There was no doubt that the energy of this full moon lunar eclipse was heralding an unprecedented climax, one which will no doubt have a profound effect upon our lives for many years to come.
The ritual began by the power of the Dragons. The ancient seers of the Tuatha De Danann who came from four mysterious cities located in the sky were evoked to guard the circle and our shining hosts Brigid & Lugh were welcomed in. The purpose of the ritual was stated, which was to discard something in our lives that created a blockage to our progress. There was an opportunity on this fiery night to utilize the chaos to manifest this change.
A plate of fruit was passed around the circle so each person could give thanks and enjoy the fruits of the harvest. We were then taken through a meditative journey to meet the God Lugh. Brigid led the seeker to a tall Mirror, which contains an image of the God Lugh. In the meditation, Lugh reaches through the mirror and pulls the seeker through the mirror. On a large mound encircled with stones there is a fire in the centre of the circle and Lugh is standing within it. Lugh exudes incredible energy, beams of light shine from his being. He asks the seeker what is holding them back from reaching their true potential. Lugh asks the seeker to open their heart, their mind and to speak their truth. Lugh raises the golden spear and points the spear at the seeker's heart. A warm energy rushes from the spear into the seeker's heart. This energy circulates through the body, through the blood, through the cells and gradually the seeker feels as if they have emerged from the darkness, they feel awakened, alive and energized.
After the meditation, each participant wrote one thing that created a blockage in their life on a gum leaf, which was burned in the cauldron of Fire in keeping with the old belief that prayers and requests are carried to the Gods on the smoke of the altar fire. Once all gum leaves were placed within the cauldron, the fire burned with great ferocity and as we chanted 'air so healing, fire empowering, water connecting earth manifesting'; our blockages were then sent up to the universe to return as healing energy. We then thanked our ancient hosts and the four seers for their presence and guidance and 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 a sumptuous feast.
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, March 6. Please contact us for further details if you would like to attend.
by Janine Donnellan
When a bee appears, consider what Winnie the Pooh said: "That buzzing noise means something."
At the end of our Lughnasadh ritual, as we were preparing to sit down to our supper, one of our members discovered a bee sitting on one of the chairs. It was as if he was joining us in our celebration. From a shamanic perspective, everything in the universe is connected together as a whole and each interaction with the creatures of our world is a message or a signpost that we should pay particular attention to.
As we know, history is rife with lost knowledge and traditions, and the hidden meanings have been blurred with the passage of time. The 'Bee' is one such tradition, where its symbolism was important to civilizations of all ages and in our modern world, that symbolism has unfortunately been ignored.
Through the process of fossilization, we have evidence of bees over 100 million years old frozen in time in chunks of amber. The Greeks called amber Electron, and associated it with the Sun God Elector, who was known as the awakener. Honey, which resembles amber, was also known as an awakener, a regenerative substance that was revered across the ancient world. In fact, honey has been known for its healing properties for thousands of years - the Ancient Greeks used it, and so have many other peoples through the ages. Even up to the second world war, honey was being used for its antibacterial properties in treating wounds and is now being used in many alternative therapies.
In ancient Egypt, honey was a symbol of resurrection and bees were seen as the creators and keepers of this symbol. Bees were revered as the link between life and death, between the material world and the underworld. The bee is a symbol of reincarnation in Hinduism as well, sometimes pictured with the deities Krishna or Vishnu. The Celts considered the bee as a messenger of the gods and a keeper of hidden wisdom.
Today the beehive is one of the principal emblems of the Masonic lodge, which honours the ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Hindu beliefs about the bee's importance in the world. But did you know that the bee is dying out in some countries and nobody is quite sure why? Legend says that when the Bee dies out, man will shortly follow. A legend that I certainly hope will not be realized.
As an animal totem, the appearance of the bee in one's life can mean many things. Bee shows us we can accomplish what seems impossible by having dedication and working hard. It asks us to pursue our dreams with incredible focus and fertilize our aspirations. Bee teaches us to cooperate with others who have similar goals so we can learn how to help each other.
Perhaps the bee is reminding us to appreciate the fruits of our labour, which certainly is in keeping with the energy of our ritual. By ritually discarding something in our lives that has created a blockage to our progress, the bee could be encouraging us to take on that seemingly impossible task. The bee could be giving us a nudge to get busy with something that needs to be worked on.
SOuL Searchers & ACOM
Old Town Hall Theatre, Campbelltown ~ Friday January 30, 2009
On Friday 30th January several members of the SOuL Searchers team attended a Ghost Tour conducted by the Australian College Of Mediumship (ACOM) at the Campbelltown Town Hall Theatre. The Theatre is said to be haunted by the ghost of Fred Fisher, whose demise in 1826 has been made famous through the legend of Fisher's Ghost. George Worrall, who was executed for the murder of Fred Fisher, rented the land on which these buildings stand.
The stories of Fred's activity certainly multiply at the southern end of Queen Street, where Fisher once had his farm, and where he was murdered. It appears that the Town Hall Theatre is arguably the most regular of his haunts. Many theatre group members recount tales of flickering lights, eerie footsteps and misty figures walking on stage during rehearsals.
Despite the oppressiveness of the hot weather, the Ghost tour turned out to be very interesting. It was great having a few mediums with us, to share our experiences on the night. Our very own Charlene went from originally believing there was nothing supernatural there to having an in-depth conversation with an astral fireman. Charlene commented, "The fireman was a bit of a surprise. I didn't expect him to follow me around all night. The night was full of interesting surprises and I don't think that I will ever look at that building the same ever again (walking past it now will be a whole new experince)". Later on during our discussions, we learnt that a fire station was originally built next door to the Town Hall in 1891. The fire station was taken over by Council for the Clerk's Office and the following year incorporated into the Town Hall with a matching facade decorated in solid late Victorian style, which is the main character of these buildings.
There was definitely a variety of energies felt within the theatre. I had a sense of an active spirit presence on the stage of the theatre that stood behind the side curtains and watched the performers. Although the majority of the energies were residual, there were some active spirits, some elementals running around in tunnels under the hall and few spirit cats also making their presence felt. The evening ended with a séance in the upstairs room, where we communicated with a variety of spirits, one of them supposedly George Worrall who was hung for Fred Fisher's murder.
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Boscastle is located on the east coast of England in Cornwall. It is a tiny fishing port with a natural harbour set in a narrow ravine.
The town, which was almost washed away in a flood of 2004, is about 5 kilometres north of Tintagel with its legendary ruined castle of Merlin and Arthur and has all the traditional things a tourist would expect: thatched roof, whitewashed cottages, slate walls, narrow roads and quaint old-fashioned, down to earth people.
Boscastle is famous for its Witches Museum, which has "a ghoulish mixture of exhibits". The museum has reportedly the largest collection of witchcraft and occult items and artefacts in the world. Having been lucky enough to travel to England last year and visit it I can believe it, as the items range through interest from the strange and macabre to the very moving.
Cecil Williamson first opened the museum on the Isle of Man in 1951. He tried various other places first within England but found that witchcraft wasn't welcome. Cecil's first encounter with the craft happened when he was young; he came to the aid of a local witch who was being persecuted by some thugs and after chasing them off he became friends with the witch.
While looking for information on the subject of witchcraft he later travelled to Rhodesia and met with local witchdoctors. Arriving back in England he met with leading experts on anthropology and history and he realised that the principles of witchcraft were universal. During WW2 he was employed by MI6 to work undercover collecting information from the Nazis on their interest in the occult. He met with Gerald Gardner in 1946 becoming a friend and business partner, but their relationship ended in bitter fighting and mistrust.
The Boscastle museum opened in 1960, was flooded in 2004, rebuilt and opened again in 2005. They received a legacy to start building on the collection from the Ars Amatoria, who used sexual magik, and also items from Aleister Crowley's Argenteum Astrum.
The museum houses a library of over 3,000 books relating to the craft and occult. While there we saw a small section for Scrying and Divination with various mirrors. Athames, swords, cauldrons abound with the occasional broom here and there. The museum covered the persecution and the burning times, and there were many herbs, mandrakes and charms on display. There was a whole wall devoted to curses using "poppets" (dolls with a small item from the one being cursed inside). Paintings, drawings and photos covered a lot of walls, and they had a full section featuring Cernunnos (the horned one).
We walked around inside for quite a while before emerging to the outside world. After looking at a number of small shops and prowling the streets for a while we got into our hired car and moved on.
Our first impression of Boscastle was grey. Everywhere we looked was grey; grey slate, grey walls, grey buildings and grey roads. The town felt grey and mouldy and the only people on the streets were tourists. The other funny thing about it was that we didn't take any photos or film anywhere in the area. We still don't know why that was and we didn't realise until after we left. I must say though, it was an interesting place and the energy there was very strong.
The Museum of Witchcraft Handbook.
Local guide maps.
"Been there" knowledge.
Picture courtesy of the WEB
Having visited Boscastle in 2005 I have to agree with Rayvensclaw's observation about the town. It was indeed a bleak and grey environment. In fact it had a very foreboding energy about it on the day I visited it. After reading the Rayvenclaw's article I had a look at the photos taken on that vacation and I realised I had no photos of Boscastle which is quite peculiar as I had spent the whole day there. Note to self: must take photos of Boscastle on my next visit.
Herbs ~ Myrrh
Funereal Herbe, Herbe of Consecration, Magickal Herbe, Religious Herbe
Invocatory: Adonis, Aphrodite, Cybele, Demeter, Hecate, Juno, Rhea, Saturn, Isis
Also known as Gum Myrrh Tree, Karan, Mirra Balsom Odendron.
Parts Used: Resin
Adonis, whose historical origins lie in Semitic myths, was said to have been born of a myrrh tree. From Larousse World Mythology we learn the Greek version:
The king of Syria, Theias, had a daughter called Myrrha or Smyrna, who was cursed by Aphrodite and forced to commit incest with her father; with the complicity of her nurse she succeeded in deceiving him for eleven nights, but on the twelfth Theias discovered who she was and prepared to kill her. Myrrha fled, and the gods, taking pity on her, turned her into a tree, the myrrh-tree. Ten months later the bark peeled off and an infant emerged and was given the name of Adonis.
The myths surrounding myrrh include its being cast into the fire out of which the legendary phoenix is reborn. The myrrh has long been considered sacred to Aphrodite and Isis. Myrrh is considered a Goddess plant of the Moon's sphere.
The dried resin is collected and, most frequently, burned as an incense. The scent of myrrh is well loved and was used in the religious ceremonies of the ancients in many cultures. It was so revered that it was written into the myths surrounding the birth of the Christ child.
In ancient Egypt, myrrh was burned at noon as an offering to Ra, and the temples of Isis were also fumigated with myrrh. It was also, at one time, used in their embalming mixtures and they burned pellets of myrrh to repel fleas. Archeological evidence indicates that myrrh was carried in small pouches that wealthy persons hung around the neck for fragrance. The Ebers Papyrus, believed to have been found in the necropolis outside Thebes, provides evidence of Egyptian medicinal use of myrrh. This ancient document contains as many as 800 medicinal recipes using such plants as myrrh, peppermint, aloe, castor oil , and numerous other herbs in common use today. Myrrh remains an essential herbe in today's rituals of death and dying. We should consider myrrh as capable of providing access to the mysteries of death and rebirth.
Myrrh purifies the area, lifts the vibrations aids contemplation and meditation and creates peace. However, it is seldom burned alone; usually in conjunction with frankincense or other resins. Myrrh increases the power of any incense to which it is added.
Myrrh is also included in healing incenses and sachets, and its smoke is used to consecrate, purify and bless objects such as amulets, talismans, charms, and magical tools. It also aids meditation and contemplation. The essential oil can be added to blends designed to enhance spirituality and meditation. It is also used in healing mixtures.
Myrrh helps one understand the nature of being spiritually aware. It not only assists in expanding your wisdom, but provides a gentle comfort from the Universe as one moves further into the mysteries. It must always be remembered that the mysteries do not lead to happiness: there are as many mysteries of sorrow and of death as there are of joy and birth.
There are few herbes so useful in working through personal sorrows and tragedies. Myrrh is of unequalled value for those recovering from sexual abuse, whether incestuous or not. Myrrh brings comfort to those who have lost a loved one; whose troubled hearts need the healing strength of understanding the mystery of death. Myrrh will help ease the troubled soul in its grieving. The simplest method of seeking sacred relief is by working with a candle, which has been anointed with an oil of myrrh. In this way one might bring ease to many who would otherwise shun herbal magick.
Most useful in ritual work, myrrh helps one perceive the way patterns of energy move throughout the Circle. The mind is more able to see the overlaying patterns created by the ritual choreography and discern the nuances of the magick's texture and power. A practitioner who uses myrrh in ritual will have a heightened awareness of the energy flow within both worlds. In addition to being used in the ritual incense, myrrh water may be used in aspurging the Circle and the oil is one of the best for dressing one's temple candles.
Associated with many deities, a wash may be made (a myrrh tea) which is superior for consecrating pearls. Although not always recommended for sacred use, a pearl's magick is enhanced and an aura of protection added when consecrated with myrrh. In the minor arcana, myrrh helps one understand both the Queen cards and the Three cards of all four suits. In the major arcana, myrrh is corresponded with the Wheel of Fortune card.
Although not widely used in this manner, myrrh has come into use at two sabbats among a number of practitioners. At Candlemas, in addition to its use as an incense, myrrh may be used in the ritual cup. Drinking myrrh opens one to the gestation of waxing energy which will continue to grow until it bursts forth at spring. In this form, one draws more upon the solar energy of Adonis that of the more common association with Jupiter. At the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) myrrh is sometimes used when working the elemental fire, drawing upon its lore and association with the phoenix.
The use of myrrh medicinally was recorded in China in A.D. 600 during the Tang Dynasty. Myrrh is used today in Chinese medicine to treat wounds, relieve painful swelling, and to treat menstrual pain due to blood stagnation. Myrrh is called mo yao in China.
Myrrh should be avoided during pregnancy and should not be administered to children. It should be kept away from the eyes and mucous membranes and out of children's reach.
Tincture: Four ounces of powdered myrrh are combined with 1 pt of brandy, gin, or vodka in a glass container, with enough alcohol to cover the herb. A 50/50 ratio of alcohol to water is generally recommended. The mixture should be placed away from light for about two weeks, and shaken several times each day. Strain and store in a tightly capped, dark glass bottle. A standard dose is 1 or 2 ml of the tincture three times a day.
3 drops Myrrh
2 drops Vetiver
1 drop Oakmoss
10mls Base Oil
Wear to honour Her and to call upon her powers.
Click here for additional myrrh recipes and more about the history of myrrh.
a compendium of HERBAL MAGICK by Paul Beyerl, 1998
Greene Herbes Wordsearch
Click on the image at the left to download a copy of the wordsearch so you can print it and have some fun finding all the words
associated with "Greene Herbes". (72 KB, PDF format)
Crystals ~ Labradorite (Spectrolite)
I recently called into the local crystal shop, and looking through the crystals, I saw this dark grey to black stone, which didn't seem very special. But there was something about it, so I went and picked it up. Its size was roughly 25 x 25 mm and looking into the stone and moving it around; on the smooth side I have pale blue to dark blue colour, with four curved facets inside, looking like the seashell you find on the edge of the ocean. On the other side, I have a rainbow, starting with dark blue, through green and yellow, orange to burnt orange. I had the feeling of fire and water, opposites, but in the same stone - rather appropriate given the current weather patterns here in Australia. The name I saw was Labradorite, and for those scientific people who must have facts and figures:
Chemical Composition: Labradorite is a mineral species in the Plagioclase series of the Feldspar Group, a series of mixtures of sodium and calcium aluminium silicates. The crystal system is triclinic and the chemical composition varies between NaSlSi3O8 and CaAl2Si2O8. Also known as Spectrolite.
Hardness: 6-6.5 and the refractive index is 1.559-1.547 and offers a specific gravity of 2.70-2.74 (average).
Labradorite is named for Labrador, where it was first discovered. It is also found in Madagascar, India, Newfoundland, Finland, Canada, USA and Russia. Its distinctive flash of iridescent colours is known as "labradorescence".
But for those of us who believe in other things in life, and things that also can assist us, it can raise consciousness and connect with universal energies, deflects unwanted energies from the aura, and can form a barrier to negative energies.
Self Esteem: Labradorite promotes strength of will and a feeling of inner worth about your own abilities, while relieving insecurity and apprehension about your value as a spiritual being.
Creativity: Labradorite helps to combine intellectual thought with intuitive wisdom enhancing discernment in all situations. This gemstone elicits creativity by inspiring you to come up with original ideas and solutions to problems.
Labradorite calms an over-active mind and energises the imagination, bringing up new ideas. It also can help you remember your dream state. Strengthens faith in your self and trust in the universe, banishes fears and insecurities from previous disappointments including those in past lives.
Various references claim either the Heart Chakra or the Third Eye Chakra; I tend to feel that it is more comfortable with the Third Eye (yellow labradorite has been used for Third Eye Chakras).
Astrological: Sagittarius, Scorpio and Leo
Archangel: Labradorite resonates to Archangel Raphael the Archangel of healing and love.
Numerology: Labradorite vibrates to the numbers 6 and 7.
For shamanic journeys this stone should be placed in your healing pouch as an aid, but also as a guide, to see where trouble lies.
The next time you go into a crystal shop, look for the dullest uninspiring stone you can find, and hold it to a light and see if it is Labradorite. And if it is, see what energy you get from it. Go on, give it a try.
The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall
Issue 12 - SUMMER, FEB 2009
SPHERES OF LIGHT (SOL)
ABN 46 385 794 818
We are based in Australia, in the Sydney-Illawarra area of NSW.
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SOL Full Moon Circle
Friday March 6, 2009
Spheres Of Light holds regular Full Moon Circles near Engadine (Southern Sydney, Australia) on the Friday before each Full Moon.
These Full Moon gatherings are Open Circles, meaning that all Pagans are welcome to come along any time and experience a Full Moon
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SOL Meditation in the Royal National Park
Sunday 15th March
Come on a Shamanic journey through meditation. Let nature speak to you and become part of your inner landscape in the same way
that the ancient ones paid attention to the signs and symbols of the cosmos. The mystical path of direct knowing is the world's
oldest form of communion with the Source and is based on a deep, living relation to Nature.
When you are in harmony with nature you can hear the voice of the wind, you can understand the language of the birds and the message
they bring to you. Listen to the sound of the water as she sings her ancient songs and feel the air blowing against your face
whispering its secrets to your inner soul. Talk to nature and listen to what it has to tell you. Connect with Mother Earth, become
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Meditation is simply the process of stilling the mind so that all wants, needs, and desires disappear and then allow the Universe to
enter and heal and to inspire.
Come join us for meditation in the beautiful surrounds of The Royal National Park. Our meditations will be conducted every third
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SOL's Wicca Workshop
Sunday March 29, 2009
Do you have an interest in Wicca? Are you confused as to what Wicca & Paganism are about and would like to know more? At this workshop you will be introduced to basic pagan philosophies and you will learn the mechanics of circle casting and creating sacred space. You will experience alternate realities through meditation and ritual. More information...
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PAN Full Moon Public Circle
Mar 11, 2009 at Seven Hills, Sydney (map)
Date: Wednesday March 11, 2009 at 8:30pm
The circle is held on the top of Rotaract Hill on Terminus Road Seven Hills NSW, just next to the train station. Getting there is easy. If you take the train, the hill is less than five minutes walk (and easily visible from the station). If you drive, there is plenty of parking available both at the base of the hill and across Terminus Road. Full Moon info here, and Full Moon FAQ here or for other details, email Jo
Australian College Of Mediumship
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This is a picture of Buster, he loves the green patches in my yard. The yard is mainly paved and has sandstone steps around the side. This green leafy plant, can't remember the name of it but they call them stepables, started growing in my yard. It was funny how it happened as I'd seen it somewhere else on another property and thought, "I really like that plant, it would look good in my garden", then several weeks later it started growing there. It grew in a square that was cut out of the pavement & filled with scoria. I've told Buster to ask permission before he lays on it; in this photo he looks like he's getting absorbed by it. I've since planted more in other parts, also some Corsican mint which grows the same way, with smaller leaves & smells lovely when you touch it.
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