From the Editor...
I Carry Your Heart - A Beltane Celebration
The energy of Beltane was very vibrant and alive this year. Love was definitely in the air, and during our Beltane ritual we celebrated the union between the Great Mother and her young Horned God; their coupling representing the bringing of fresh new life on earth. No doubt some form of this Great Rite was enacted on this sabbat in nearly every pagan circle in the Southern Hemisphere.
What made this Beltane particularly special for me was the wedding of my daughter last Friday. It was the pinnacle of a year of planning, it was a perfect day and she looked absolutely stunning. I must thank the dragons for ensuring a lovely warm bright sunny day for the ceremony and the most spectacular display of lightning during the reception, no human fireworks could ever compete with Mother Nature.
Beltane is a good time to build on the changes that we have made in recent months, as it is the most potent and fertile part of the year's cycle. Nature is now coming into full bloom and this is the time for us to fully realize our dreams. Make love, hug a tree, bloom like a flower, share your magical human energy with others and celebrate the fertility and potency of life.
The Taurus Full Moon coupled with the fertility of Beltane is the perfect time to celebrate who we are. Remember that everything is a reflection of what is happening within us and when we recognise that we are amazing beings of light we can see it reflected like the full moon's rays all around us.
E.E. Cummings - i carry your heart
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
SOL's Beltane Weekend
by Janine Donnellan
~ Friday Oct 31 to Sunday Nov 2, 2008
Believing the world to be inhabited by spirits or supernatural beings, Shamans would create masks to be worn ceremonially for the purpose of appeasing and communicating with these spiritual forces. Masks in traditional societies were therefore functioning sacred objects imbued with tremendous power.
Usually the shaman creates the mask as a representation of the journey into the spirit world. This journey is further enhanced through meditation which contributes to a unique aspect to the shaman's power. The mask may connect the shamanic practitioner to their totem animals, to their ancestors, or to their guides. When a mask is created it is often expressing the change that is taking place in one's life.
On the Friday night of the Beltane weekend each participant commenced making their mask. The white clay was kneaded and stretched and imbued with energy and thoughts. During the process the mask took on a life of its own; dictating its own personality, sometimes it took several attempts to sculpt it into the right shape. Eventually the masks were complete and left to dry overnight.
Next morning we were guided through a meditation to connect with the spirit of the mask. Once we had connected with the energy of the mask we decorated it with paint, jewels and feathers. The process was amazing as each mask was completely different and each contained a definite personality.
In the afternoon we spent some time dancing and laughing around the maypole and then we got ready for our Beltane Ritual which was prepared by Samantha & Rayvensclaw. All dressed in our ritual clothes we drummed in line around the ritual circle.
The Great Goddess and Cernunnos were the hosts for the rite and a cauldron was set up in the centre of the circle to symbolize the balefire.
Beltane is about fertility of the lands and the people. It is about letting go of the old and bringing in the new. Each person was asked to contemplate on what they wanted to release from their life and what they would like to bring in.
A symbolic re-enactment of the blessed union was performed and everyone was blessed with the consecrated water. Each person then came forward and Cernunnos handed a pinch of herbs. Each person had to think of what they want to release, blow onto the herbs in their hand, drop it into the cauldron and step over it. On the other side the Goddess handed them a pinch of herbs to hold onto it and think about what they would like to bring in to their lives.
Once everyone has stepped over the balefire they focused on what we wanted to bring into our lives. Everyone then stepped forward together and threw the herbs into the lit fire. We then chanted "air so healing, fire empowering, water connecting, earth manifesting" to raise the energy and then sent it out to the universe to come back as a reality.
Once the ritual was complete we sat down to a sumptuous feast followed by great merriment, song, wine and laughter.
Sunday morning Charlene took us on a magical meditation with the Goddess Aine and then sadly we had to say our goodbyes for another year. It was a fantastic weekend and a big thanks to Sam and everyone for making it a very special Beltane.
SOL's Full Moon Circle
by Janine Donnellan
~ Friday November 7, 2008
"AS IT IS ABOVE, SO IT IS BELOW; AS ON THE EARTH, SO IN THE SKY."
This Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon was the marking of a new era for Spheres Of Light. This circle was an opportunity to open ourselves to deeper levels of divinity and to integrate the new energy that the group mind will be working with over the next 5 years. This Full Moon represented a time of completion and celebration, and one which provided the opportunity to come in contact with our life purpose and direction.
During our ritual we connected to an ancient Iranian God & Goddess under the guidance of the Watchers or the Royal Stars, these stars marked the cardinal points of the equinoxes and the solstices. They are also known as the Archangel stars being watchers of the four points of the compass.
Regulus - (the star of kings) known as being the heart of the lion in the constellation of Leo. The healing Archangel Raphael, the watcher of the North.
Fomalhaut - the fish's mouth in the constellation of Pisces. The Archangel Gabriel, the watcher of the South.
Alderbaran - the left eye of the bull in the constellation of Taurus. The Archangel Michael, the watcher of the East. As the Eye of the Bull, Aldebaran is also called the Eye of Revelation. It is also known as the Buddha's star, the Star of Illumination, and God's Eye. This magnificent star has been used for centuries in navigation, and is known by many civilizations to be connected with the spirits of rain and the fertility of the earth.
Antares - the heart of the scorpion in the constellation of Scorpio. The Archangel Oriel, the watcher of the West.
The placement of all four of the royal stars in the cornerstone constellations is consistent with the symbolism of emotional, spiritual, mental and physical aspects of all living souls.
On this powerful night we called upon Mithra who was born from the earth. Mithra emerged from a broken rock with a torch in one hand and a sword in the other. These objects represented his two roles as sun god and war god. In the Greek and Roman form of the cult, Mithra's most important mythic act was the slaying of a great bull, whose body and blood became the source of all life on earth. Such sacrifices were central to his worship, which took place in shrines located in caves or cave like buildings in honour of the god's subterranean origins.
Ahura-Mazda was said to have created Mithra in order to guarantee the authority of contracts and the keeping of promises. The name Mithras was, in fact, the Persian word for 'contract'. Mithras was born of Anahita, an immaculate virgin mother once worshipped as a fertility goddess before the hierarchical reformation. Anahita was said to have conceived the Saviour from the seed of Zarathustra preserved in the waters of Lake Hamun in the Persian province of Sistan.
As Taurus rules the throat, we all sounded the vowel EEEEEEEEEEEE which was to open the throat chakra to a higher vibration. The throat chakra is the vortex of force concerned with creative self-expression. The sound produced that night rose and fell in waves and took on an ethereal quality. Once we had completed this exercise we were then reminded that words have great power so be careful what you say out loud, what you say to each other and always speak from the heart in truth and light. The intent of our ritual was then expressed which was to open ourselves to transformation.
The following invocation to Anahita from ancient texts was spoken accompanied by water anointing of the third eye.
"I offer water to the Goddess Anahita, the high, the powerful, the undefiled. Ardi Sura Anahita, Thou art the heavenly source from which all waters pour, both from the sea of space and from the sky. Thy fountains are upon the summit of the celestial mountain, Hulairya of the Stars, from which Thou didst descend. O Anahita, Goddess of the darkness of Space, Mother of Suns, bring us Love, Happiness and Peace. Receive the water of Anahita that you may receive vision for our pilgrimage."
The pilgrimage was the journey through meditation into the cave guided by two torch bearers. Inside the cave there were drawings that related to each persons life and past lives. In the centre of this cave there was an altar covered in blood a representation of sacrifice that we make during the process of enlightenment. Mithra was there to welcome those seekers of truth and to give advice about their life's journey.
During my meditation Mithra offered me a chalice filled with blood to drink. I was told that I already knew my path and what I had to do. He also showed me a symbol of an arrow which reminded me of the "you are here" sign you see on maps. This arrow was validated by the Rune reading that was recently posted on the forum. This is Teiwaz, the Rune of the Spiritual War. Always the battle of the Spiritual Warrior with the self. Finding a will through action yet unattached to outcomes, remaining mindful, all you can really do is stay out your own way and let the Will of Heaven flow through you - these are among the hallmarks of the Spiritual Warrior. Another validation of Mithra's symbol occurred when I came across a statement from a website that gave instant insights it said simply, "Get out of your own way ...and stay there".
The final part of the meditation required the circle members to stand around the altar with hands outstretched so as to receive the new incoming energy of Spheres Of Light. This was enacted in the astral plane and then in the physical plane. We all stood around the altar which included a multitude of crystals to enhance the energy of the ritual and while our hands were outstretched we could all feel the new energy from the cosmos pulsating through our hands.
At the conclusion of the meditation we all shared our experiences and then the circle was closed and the residual energy was then grounded back into the earth and forwarded to individuals for healing. We all finished the evening with our usual 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, December 12. Please contact us for further details if you would like to attend.
SOL Full Moon Circle Meditation, "The Cave"
~ A Personal Experience
My experience with this full moon and meditation started with the water annointing. This was interesting because as soon as it was done I had an image in my mind, (very similar to Janine's earrings actually!) I felt much taller, and I could feel a large number of bracelets on my arms. My hair was darker and longer and was tied back with a piece of cloth. I also wanted to dance, but contented myself with bouncing on the spot. I am not sure if this was me linking into the Goddess.
The meditation was very interesting for me. There was no road for me to follow, or torchbearers. I was immediately standing at the cave mouth. I was greeted by Mithra who kissed my cheek, he had been sitting near a fire, and offered to me to take a torch and head into the cave. In the first chamber of the cave there were no images of my life present, there were no images at all, just a large skeleton of a bull. I walked over and ran my hands down its forehead and nose. I was looking around for the skin but couldn't see it. I then walked further into the cave into a large chamber.
The altar that was present was a large round rock. The bull hide was laying on the floor just in front of it. I walked over to the altar and could see that it had been used for sacrifices, and relatively recently too. There was blood on it and bits of fur. There was a large gold bowl sitting there full of blood. Mithra appeared beside me and told to me take some. I used the small ladle that was present to take a sip. I was then told that I had partaken of the sacrifice and that I needed to add to it. Mithra offered me his knife and I cut my wrist to add blood to the bowl (this explains why my wrist and fingers had been sore all day too!). I was then offered time with Mithra to ask questions to seek answers. He was quite blunt and told me that I knew my path, and that I had started down the road that I need to be on. Mithra, after answering my questions took my hand and guided me over to another raised rock that was covered in hides and furs. He then had sex with me. It was quite pleasant, he is a rather handsome man. As we were laying there afterwards, he told me he had something else for me. He then tied my wrists and ankles to the edge of the bed (I have no idea how when they are just rocks!) and then with his golden sword rose above me and then stabbed me through the heart, saying I was the next sacrifice.
I was abruptly thrown out of the meditation at that point; just as Janine started the process of bring everyone else back. The only other image I got just before I got thrown out was of everyone present in the circle standing around with Anahita standing just behind Mithra watching on eagerly.
Can you take it with you?
by Simon Goodey
I heard a joke today and it went something like this:
A very rich gold bullion dealer, very charitable, very giving, a loyal and moral man who worshipped God devoutly, was nearing the end of life. So one night he talked to God and said, "You know God, I have never asked for anything from you, even when I was in despair for myself, my family, or my friends. So I ask just this one favour, When I depart this life and go to Heaven, might I take something of value with me?"
God contemplated this request before replying, "Sir as you are a most devout and generous man you have your request granted. In the attic above your deathbed pack a suitcase with the thing you value most, and as you rise to heaven, grab hold of the suitcase so that you can take your valued possession with you."
Overjoyed with this message the man bought a suitcase and had a slab of gold made that would fit perfectly. He then stored the suitcase in the attic above his bed chamber.
On the day of his death the rich man ascends towards heaven, grabbing hold of his suitcase from the attic as he went. At the Pearly gates stands St Peter, checking in the new arrivals to Heaven. St Peter notices the man with the suitcase and tells the man that he cannot bring Earthly possessions into heaven. The Rich man explains the story of his favour being granted by God and St Peter requests to look into the suitcase to see what thing of value the man has bought to heaven. The rich man opens the suitcase to reveal the bright shinning slab of gold, St Peter gazes with amassment at the gold and exclaims, "A paving slab?"
This created a question for me. Is it possible to take something with you to the next life, and if you can, what would it be? I will attempt to answer the question in the paragraphs below:
My Story: At 15 years old (some might say Saturn had an influence here) I had a serious illness that took me to the edge of existence in this incarnation; from this experience I became convinced that this incarnation is not my only incarnation, nor my last incarnation. Let me explain. By 15 years old I had not seriously read any books or been influenced by theology. I admit there would have been subliminal information from all manner of sources, but the fact remains that one moment, during 6 weeks in intensive care, I stated my overall philosophy of life and death, which was simply, "what I am going through is because of Karma, either because of something I did in a previous life or something I will do in this life". Not much of a statement, but enough to comfort me and give me strength to get out of intensive care and to influence me for the rest of my life.
So where did this statement come from?
It was not written anywhere, no one said it to me, No it was in "me", I believe it came from a previous life education, practice or philosophy, that the statement was with me before I was born, that this statement was part of something that influenced how my life was going to be, what aspects will be more dominant than others, what challenges I will face and what impact I will have on the world around me.
I started reading books on the occult and found a connection with my basic intuitive ideas and feelings. I found that the books enabled me to put a descriptive word to my thoughts and experiences; the books did not create in me a believe system, they gave me the ability to give form and shape and communicate my belief to myself and to others.
What does this story have in connection with the joke above?
A person can spend their whole life in the acquisition of money, power, influence or whatever, but the only thing they can take with them is the mental technique used to accomplish these things. A man who has acquired the ability to make money on the stock exchange will be unable to apply this intuitive ability if born in a society that has no stock exchange, a person born deaf & dumb will find it difficult to have power and influence. Of course some people have the ability to be born in circumstances that suit their intuitive ability. These people are called a child prodigy; Mozart is a classic example. Apart from child prodigies there are not many examples where the pursuit of material benefits has been taken to the next life.
What you can take with you is your belief and intuition which is built over a lifetime of trial and error, experimentation, adaptation and exploration. In your new life, in any circumstance your basic belief and intuition will be of benefit to you as an individual enabling you to go through this new life facing the challenges that arise. Consider the people you have met who have a strong inner belief. They have peace and tranquillity regardless of the pain and suffering many of them have experienced during this incarnation.
When you die I believe you are judged, not as depicted in the extracts from the painting at the left (Stephan Lochner's "The Last Judgment").
I believe that when you end this incarnation you become complete pure emotion; no thinking to justify or excuse why things happened. You feel emotions ranging from joy to anguish at the things that were done to you or by you to others, and when this cathartic exercise is over the framework of your next life is forged with challenges to overcome, strengths and weaknesses identified, gender, characteristics and a moral attitude created.
Next is the timing for your rebirth. After identifying the aspects of the personality to be created the astrological planetary alignment that reflects this personality will draw you to your rebirth at the exact moment the planets align to your new personality.
Conclusion: We see from the above theory that solid material and thoughts do not pass from one life to the next, but emotions and intuition or habits are part of the essence of the "soul". The more you practice a belief the more it becomes imprinted on your emotions, habits and intuition and thus onto the soul. As the soul is the part that travels the string of life, it is possible to take the habits (if not the technical details) of a belief with you to the next life.
This is my own opinion. If you disagree with it then feel free to do so.
Simon Goodey, 6th November 2008
Herbs ~ St John's Wort
Botanical name: Hypericum perforatum
St John's wort is a perennial plant with extensive, creeping rhizomes. Its stems are erect, branched in the upper section, and can grow to 1 m high. It has opposing, stalkless, narrow, oblong leaves, which are 12 mm long or slightly larger. The leaves are yellow-green in colour, with transparent dots throughout the tissue and occasionally with a few black dots on the lower surface. Its flowers measure up to 2.5 cm across, have five petals, and are collared bright yellow with conspicuous black dots. The flowers appear in broad cymes at the ends of the upper branches. The sepals are pointed, with glandular dots in the tissue. There are many stamens, which are united at the base into three bundles.
Herb and flowers contain different flavonoids (rutin, hyperoside, isoquercetin, quercitrin, quercetin, I3, II8-biapigenin, amentoflavone, astilbin, miquelianin). Phenolic acids (chlorogenic acid, 3-O-coumaroylquinic acid). Different napthtodianthrones (hypericin, pseudohypericin, protohypericin, protopseudohypericin), phloroglucinol's (hyperforin, adhyperforin). And also essential oils (composed mainly of sesquiterpenes). The napthtodianthrones hypericin and pseudohypericin along with the Phloroglucinol derivative hyperforin are thought to be the active components.
The oil is used topically for mild burns, bruises, haemorrhoids, varicose veins, wounds, sores and ulcers. It has also been indicated for nerve pain such as neuralgia, sciatica and for some rheumatic pain.
The first recorded use of Hypericum for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient Greece, and it has been used ever since. Hypericum was also used by Native Americans internally as an abortifacient and externally as an anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antiseptic. Its use as a herbal tea has long been enjoyed. The flowers and stems of St John's wort have also been used to produce red and yellow dyes.
There is one possible side effect that is associated with hypericin. It increases photosensitivity so should not be used before going into the sun.
St. John himself was often seen as a rather Pagan figure. He was, after all, called 'the Oak King'. His connection to the wilderness (from whence 'the voice cried out') was often emphasized by the rustic nature of his shrines. Many statues show him as a horned figure (as is also the case with Moses). Christian iconographers mumble embarrassed explanations about 'horns of light', while modern Pagans giggle and happily refer to such statues as 'Pan the Baptist'. And to clench matters, many depictions of John actually show him with the lower torso of a satyr, cloven hooves and all! Obviously, this kind of John the Baptist is more properly a Jack in the Green! Also obvious is that behind the medieval conception of St. John lies a distant, shadowy Pagan deity, perhaps the archetypal Wild Man of the Wood, whose face stares down at us through the foliate masks that adorn so much church architecture. Thus medieval Pagans may have had fewer problems adapting than we might suppose.
In England, it was the ancient custom on St. John's Eve to light large bonfires after sundown, which served the double purpose of providing light to the revellers and warding off evil spirits. This was known as 'setting the watch'. People often jumped through the fires for good luck. In addition to these fires, the streets were lined with lanterns, and people carried cressets (pivoted lanterns atop poles) as they wandered from one bonfire to another. These wandering, garland-bedecked bands were called a 'marching watch'. Often they were attended by Morris dancers, and traditional players dressed as a unicorn, a dragon, and six hobbyhorse riders. Just as May Day was a time to renew the boundary on one's own property, so Midsummer's Eve was a time to ward the boundary of the city.
Customs surrounding St. John's Eve are many and varied. At the very least, most young folk plan to stay up throughout the whole of this shortest night. Certain courageous souls might spend the night keeping watch in the centre of a circle of standing stones. To do so would certainly result in either death, madness, or (hopefully) the power of inspiration to become a great poet or bard. (This is, by the way, identical to certain incidents in the first branch of the 'Mabinogion'.) This was also the night when the serpents of the island would roll themselves into a hissing, writhing ball in order to engender the 'glain', also called the 'serpent's egg', 'snake stone', or 'Druid's egg'. Anyone in possession of this hard glass bubble would wield incredible magical powers. Even Merlin himself (accompanied by his black dog) went in search of it, according to one ancient Welsh story.
Customs included decking the house (especially over the front door) with birch, fennel, St. John's wort, orpine, and white lilies. Five plants were thought to have special magical properties on this night: rue, roses, St. John's wort, vervain and trefoil. Indeed, Midsummer's Eve in Spain is called the 'Night of the Verbena (Vervain)'. St. John's wort was especially honoured by young maidens who picked it in the hopes of divining a future lover.
The young maid stole through the cottage door,
And blushed as she sought the Plant of pow'r; --
'Thou silver glow-worm, O lend me thy light,
I must gather the mystic St. John's wort tonight,
The wonderful herb, whose leaf will decide
If the coming year shall make me a bride.
From - The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia
Crystals of Summer
Amber: Beauty, love, healing, strength, protection, luck
Amber was much valued as an ornamental material in very early times. It has been found in Mycenaean tombs; it is known from lake dwellings in Switzerland, and it occurs with Neolithic remains in Denmark, whilst in England it is found with interments of the Bronze Age. A cup turned in amber from a bronze-age barrow at Hove is now in the Brighton Museum. Beads of amber occur with Anglo-Saxon relics in the south of England. Amber was valued as an amulet and it is still believed to possess medicinal properties.
Carnelian: Peace, protection, eloquence, courage, healing
Carnelian, sometimes spelled cornelian, is a red or reddish-brown variant of chalcedony. Carnelian was used widely during Roman times 2,000 years before the present era to make signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Hot wax does not stick to Carnelian. The word carnelian is derived from the Latin word caro, carnis meaning flesh, in reference to the flesh colour sometimes exhibited.
Chrysoprase: Success, luck, happiness, friendship, healing, protection
The name chrysoprase comes from "chrysos prason" (Greek) for gold leek. Like so many very ancient or even old names for stones used for ornamentation, it was apparently applied to several yellowish green gemstones, including beryl, but gradually it became limited to the apple-green collared microcrystalline variety of quartz (or chalcedony): chrysoprase. Colour can fade in sunlight and when heated (be careful when soldering). Fading occurs when dehydration robs stones of their colouring agent, pimelite a silicate. Pimelite has a layered structure that readily traps or loses moisture. As stones dry out, they lose translucency and lustre. To restore these attributes, leave stones in wet cotton or take a bath wearing your chrysoprase jewellery.
Jade: Wisdom, protection, longevity, prosperity, love, healing, money
Among the earliest known jade artefacts excavated from prehistoric sites are simple ornaments with bead, button, and tubular shapes. Additionally, jade was used for axe heads, knives, and other weapons.
Peridot: Health, wealth, sleep, protection, tranquillity
Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one colour: basically an olive green. The intensity and tint of the green however depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure, so the colour of individual peridot gems can vary from yellow-green through olive green to brownish green. Peridot crystals have been collected from some Pallasite meteorites. Peridot is the only gemstone found in meteorites.
The Ritual Place (Sacred space)
As Pagans we declare certain areas sacred for the purpose of meditation, cleansing and rituals. These sacred spaces can be inside a building with proper altars and the like, or in our own homes with small areas set aside with various objects, or inside hired places such as a guide hall. They can also be outside as in ancient times, under the trees and stars. Any of these situations are acceptable, one isn't any better or worse than the other, we live in modern times and practicality must exist (unfortunately).
We prepare, organise and build our area to make a sacred space. We gather our tools, cleanse and begin the ritual. The energy and emotions we build do not dissipate easily; it takes time to build and therefore time to dismiss.
In ancient times this space was a meeting point; a place to hide from the elements, enemies or from being eaten. It was and still is a place where the Divine reaches down to touch the everyday world and where we can concentrate our intentions and desires for spiritual growth.
Now over the centuries some things don't change; we still go somewhere to get away from the elements and our enemies. Mind you we don't get threatened with being eaten very often (except from the boss).
The meaning of this sacred space can still be the same. We reach to touch something or find the meaning or look inside ourselves. What I'm trying to say is it doesn't matter too much where or when we declare a space, this space remains a part of our experience and adventure, and it remains a part of us individually or as a group.
I have been involved in various rituals with different sites and conditions and the one thing that stands out in my mind is the aura/energy that we can generate. At times it can swirl, twist or pulse and the colours and feelings can change from moment to moment, sometimes second to second and sometimes it feels dark when it isn't and light when it isn't.
As Pagans and people we have a lot to learn, but as Pagans and people we have learnt so very much.
The Common Koel ~ My "Beltane Bird"
Every year, a few weeks before Beltane, I begin to notice the distant calls of the Koel Eudynamys scolopacea - a bird I have now come to associate with Beltane. As Beltane approaches the calls become louder and more frequent as more and more of these birds move closer into the bushland surrounding my home and nearby suburbs. At night their eerie calls echo over the Woronora River valley, creating an atmosphere of magic and mystery, and perhaps even a sense of melancholy.
These large cuckoos call during their breeding season from late September and early October when they arrive in Australia from their northern winter homes to breed, to February. This period corresponds to the summer rain season in many areas, which is why they are also known as the rainbird. During breeding season they are found in northern and eastern Australia, south to about Nowra, New South Wales, although occasional birds are encountered further south. Female Koels leave the hard work to someone else, laying a single egg in another bird's nest and leaving them to raise her chick. They stay here until about March or April when most Koels, with the exception of some that remain in northern Australia, head back to New Guinea and eastern Indonesia.
the vibrant call comes shrill
and haunting in - a male
Koel's heartrending voice
retells at night a cuckoo's choice
distressed with poignancy
no-one is completely free
of omnipresent anguish he
expresses well in simple notes
repetitive from loft of tree -
one rarely sees the red-eyed bird
we know for whom his calls
beseech - a fleeting rainbird's
raiment drifts in mist that cools
at dawn's debouche - and there
she flits, trills a shy reply
22 September 2008, I. D. Carswell
Perhaps you've heard the Koel's beautiful, haunting call in the evening or early morning hours? Although, I could think of less poetic ways to describe it at 3:30am when it's right outside my bedroom window, LOL! Click on the links below to hear examples of the Koel's call.
Common Koel (1) (from Birds in Backyards)
Common Koel (2) (from Environmental Protection Agency, Queensland)
Issue 9 - SPRING, NOV 2008
SPHERES OF LIGHT (SOL)
ABN 46 385 794 818
We are based in Australia, in the Sydney-Illawarra area of NSW.
More about us...
For general inquiries...
Phone Janine on 0408 025 268
In addition to our regular Full Moon Circles we also run workshops and classes which are highly interactive and experiential,
focusing on participation and engagement of participants. If you want to keep abreast of SOL's circles, gatherings, workshops and
activities please check out our Events Calendar.
SOuL Searchers is Spheres of Light's paranormal investigations subgroup. One of the many things you will find unique about the
SOuL Searchers team, unlike the majority of other paranormal investigators, is that we undertake our investigations from a shamanic
The Spheres Of Light Holistic Centre has within its members practitioners who can provide Spiritual Healing in a variety of
natural healing modalities. Each modality is designed to heal all levels of the body; the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual
bodies. Working with ancient universal energies, healing works to restore balance, bring inner harmony and peace, to re-energise the
body, to stimulate the body's own immune system and so aid recovery, as well as inducing deep relaxation. Healing is excellent for
relieving modern day stresses and providing support during difficult times in your life.
If you want to know about current topics check out the forum pages. This is a place where you can discuss ideas and catch up on
general news. So if you want to participate please become a member as we would love to hear from you.
... plus much, much more!
On our Networking page you will find many links to other Australian Pagan groups and organisations, as well as Australian
Pagan (and pagan-friendly) Businesses & Services. If you would like to have a link to your group or business on the SOL website
please email firstname.lastname@example.org This service
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SOL Full Moon Circle
Friday December 12, 2008
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 circle with us. Details here...
Working with the Seasons
Summer - December 14, 2008
By consciously tuning into the seasons, we can connect deeply to the cycle of life, and learn to work and flow with the energies
of nature. When we open ourselves to the natural order of life everything comes of itself in the appointed time with the least
resistance. Each season brings with it a spiritual insight that adds news dimensions to our journey.
Summer is a time of brightness and warmth. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the
bounty of growing life. The Goddess manifests as Mother Earth and God as Sun King. The Summer Solstice is a time to reflect on the
growth of the season. This is the time to experience our passions and the force within, to be conscious of how we use them and the
gifts they can bring and experience our own true power.
Come on a journey of discovery into the magic of summer and learn how to use its energy to enhance your own magic and spiritual work.
Connect with the God Helios the "all seeing" who sheds light upon all situations.
Spheres Of Light (a subcommittee of PAN Inc.) will be presenting a series of 4 workshops each representing a season.
Where: Sutherland (southern Sydney)
Sunday March 2, 2008 - Autumn
Autumn photos here)
Sunday June 1, 2008 - Winter
Winter photos here)
Sunday September 28, 2008 - Spring
(See Spring photos here)
Sunday December 14, 2008 - Summer
Time: 10:00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $50 per workshop
Bookings are currently being taken, numbers are limited. The closing date for bookings for the Summer Workshop is Friday 5th
December, 2008. If you are interested in attending the Summer workshop and would like further information please contact
phone: 0408 025 268
(Please Note: you must be over 18 years of age to attend any SOL gatherings, events, classes & workshops.)
PAGAN AND COMMUNITY EVENTS
Please email us the details of any pagan or community events, classes, workshops or regular meetings that you'd like to see promoted here in this free listing.
PAN Full Moon Public Circle
Dec 13, 2008 at Seven Hills, Sydney (map)
Date: Saturday December 13, 2008 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
Spirit Guide Wisdom
This mini-workshop will unravel some of the mystery behind our Spirit Guide relationship and give you some of the tools to
establish and enhance this relationship. Includes a Spirit Guide Meditation.
Monday Nov 24th, 2008
Time: 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Cost: $25 p.p non-refundable
More details & contact information here.
Foundations of Mediumship
Building on from UYPP, this second 1 day workshop is an introduction to Mediumship. Where we extend your psychic abilities and
open the door to communicating with the Spirit world in an evidential way.
(Unlock your Psychic Potential is a prerequisite for attending this program).
Saturday 29th November, 2008
Time: 10am to 4pm
Materials: Booklet + Spirit Guide Journey CD included.
Cost: $140 per person
More details & contact information here.
Old Town Hall Theatre, Campbelltown
Said to be one of the most well known ghost stories in Australia. Why not join us to see if you can find Fisher's Ghost.
Friday 30th January, 2009
Cost: $55 per person
Early bird pricing $45 p.p. before 15th Dec 2008
More details & contact information here.
~ Advertisement ~
North GA. Samhain Festival October 23-25, 2009
Sponsored & Hosted by:
The Northeast Georgia Pagans
Location: Northeast GA, near Helen
We would like to invite each of you to our 1st ever Samhain Festival for a magickal good time! Camping under the stars
23rd, 24th breaking camp by 1pm on the 25th. This Festival will have many great vendors offering a variety of quality merchandise, tarot readers, workshops, entertainment, astrology, healers, a Samhain Ritual, and so much more! Northeast Georgia's biggest Pagan festival ever! Don't miss out on the biggest event of the year. The event is an all day affair from 9am each day until midnight with a full schedule of events for the entire day! A spectacular event for the entire family! All this sounds wonderful ...doesn't it? To make it happen I need your help. The North Georgia Pagans are in the planning stages of next years Samhain Festival. We are seeking all which are interested in becoming a vendor, healers, speaking, teaching, holding workshops, readers and musical performers ...and more. For more information please contact me, Grandfather Oak.
1 quart water, preferably spring water
1 cup honey
1 sliced lemon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Boil together all ingredients in a non-metallic pot. While boiling, scrape off the rising "scum" with a wooden spoon. When no more
rises add the following ingedients:
juice of 1/2 lemon
Strain and cool. Drink in place of alcoholic mead or wine during the Simple Feast.
1 Part Camomile
2 Parts Sandalwood
1 Part Gardenia petals
few drops Rose oil
few drops Lavender oil
few drops yarrow oil
This is the wand I made at SOL's 2007 Beltane weekend. I searched the nearby bushland for a suitable stick to turn
into a wand, found a couple and finally decided on one that had some holes in it. I then used a knife to whittle one end to a smooth
point, and to smooth off jagged areas around the holes, and finished rubbing it back with sandpaper until the wood had a smooth,
clean finish. I coated it with a dark stained lacquer and allowed it to dry. Then I selected some crystals and glued them into
the holes (hot glue guns are wonderful inventions!) This is a very simple yet effective way of making your own wand and giving it
that personal touch. This is one of my favourite magical tools and it is proudly displayed on my altar.
A Painting by Hazelle
"This piece is called Dreamtime Story Teller . Tell me, can you see the spirit in the background viewing the koori elder talking
to the children about the dreamtime? This came to me when I found out about how Mt Keira got her name after the sisters never came
back on the south coast. This comes from the Waddi Waddi clan down at Shellharbour, my ancestors. ~ Hazelle"
Click here to see more of Hazelle's paintings.
Meet Milo, a 12 year old Tibetan spaniel owned by Dragonwicc. Milo with those big brown eyes and cute little face is the centre of
attention in our household, basically whatever Milo wants he gets. He loves his daily walks, sleeping on the bottom of my bed, his
fluffy toys and bossing me around till he gets his favourite snacks.
Milo is definitely a pagan dog; he always takes part in my rituals, helps me cast the circle and takes a prominent position in the
centre of the circle.
Milo was born on the 14th March so he is governed by the sign of Pisces and the description of the Pisces doesn't really fit him
at all. He is a highly intelligent sensitive new age dog who is definitely high maintenance and thinks that everyone loves him and
they usually do. The only aspect that fits with his sign is that he is forceful and pushy one minute and gentle, retiring and loving
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