Axis Mundi
The beginning of a circle is also its end. Not I, but the world says it: all is one. And yet everything comes in season.
- Heraklietos of Ephesos

From the Editor...

The Time Has Come

How often do you feel blocked or stuck in a rut and unable to manifest your innate creativity? Of course you tell yourself that it's not that important or you let other mundane things take priority. Over time you lose touch with this natural creative source and you wonder why you feel so unfulfilled and frustrated.

There have been some creative ideas of mine that have been on the backburner for some time now. Each year I start off with great expectations that I will get around to starting them but I never do. Perhaps it is a fear of failure, or a fear of jumping into the realm of the unknown or possibly the fear of success. But whatever the fear represents, it has been holding me back from reaching my true creative potential.

At SOL's first circle for the year we drew upon the great energy of the Leo full moon to help us utilize our untapped creative power with greater control and discipline. The energy of this circle seems to have jump started my plans and over the past couple of weeks I have been taken out of my comfort zone and made to re-evaluate where I am heading. You know Spirit has this unique habit of waiting to see what you are going to do and then if nothing happens Spirit will create a situation that will bring things to a head.

The upshot is that I am going to make some drastic changes to my life; I am going to rid myself of some self imposed encumbrances; I have a plan in place and I am going to trust the Universe that my dreams will be realized.

The ideal is to live my dreams now before it's too late. This is the year I am going to follow my bliss, and I know it is not going to be easy and I will hit some walls on the way but I if I don't do it now then I will probably live the rest of my life with regrets.

"Sometimes you've got to let everything go - purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out." ~ Tina Turner

Janine Donnellan

SOL's Full Moon Circle ~ January 29th, 2010

SekhmetThe Lughnasadh ritual was going to be an important start to the year for Spheres of Light. As it was the first circle for the year, it was imperative that the ritual generated the appropriate energy that would in fact set the stage for the whole year. After much deliberation, I called upon the Gods to kindle the creative inspiration for this ritual. That night I had a most profound dream, I found myself at a carnival, where everyone was wearing clothes in the colours of red and black. In the dream, I was welcoming people to the event when a young lion ran out on the stage. The lion was quite skittish and out of control. In the dream, the lion was captured and leashed in order to keep its energy contained.

The Gods had answered my request and the Lughnasadh ritual was created expressing the ideals of the celestial lion, Leo. There is great power and strength in the lion's energy and under the energy of the lion, we were being asked to utilize this untapped creative power with greater control and discipline. This full moon called for us to nurture and take full responsibility for all of our creations.

It was a night of great enigmatic energy as circle members dressed in tonings of red and black welcomed in the two ancient Egyptian Gods who were to be the hosts for this evening: Sekhmet, the Lion Goddess, who encompasses the gamut of feminine expression and her Consort Ptah, God of Craftsman, Rebirth and Creation.

The ritual then began and by the power of the Dragons, the circle was cast. Shu, Lion God of air and winds, Bast, Lion Goddess of fire, Tefnet, Lion Goddess of waters and Aker, Lion God of the underworld were evoked to guard the circle. The purpose or the ritual was stated, which was to bring forth our creativity through commitment and discipline.

We were then taken on a meditative journey to meet the great Lion Goddess, Sekhmet so that we could seek advice on the creations that needs to be harnessed. After the meditation, each participant selected an oracle card that was placed on the altar in order to gain further insights on their creative journey.

In order to raise power to assist in enacting our creative desires percussion instruments were passed around and we all joined in a highly jubilant vocal and energetic drumming session. Our energies were then gathered and channeled into the centre of the circle and our hopes and desires were sent up to the universe to come back as a reality.

A plate of fruit was then passed around the circle so each person could give thanks and enjoy the fruits of the harvest. We then thanked our ancient hosts, the Lion Gods and Goddesses 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 Lughnasadh feast.

On this night we also collected $180 which was subsequently donated to the Red Cross Haiti Earthquake appeal. (Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Appeal 2010, Receipt Number : 999040, Donation Amount $180.00 AUD)

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, February 26th. Please contact us for further details if you would like to attend.

A Change of Season

by Mirrormage

This particular change of season where the air has its first touch of crispness and each day sunset comes a little earlier than the day before is the only one that brings the many thousands of years human species need that went into creating the body I'm in to the surface. It has its usefulness in bringing a perspective of survival to my outlook, but it also in this day and age has its drawbacks which could be seen in common society as unfounded fears. It is just an old primeval part of me that says that this is the season to know where your people are at. Most other times I barely identify with the drives of humanity.

It is the only time when knowing where I stand with people and where they stand with me, and where they are at this very minute becomes a matter of grave importance. It is as if everyone I know should have been back in the 'cave' an hour before the sun goes down and when they aren't it seems very very wrong.

It is the only time when I feel that I should be making my way to mountains and caves (I don't actually do it because I have my home) for sanctuary. It is the only time when I feel that I die each day with the sun and each time it happens a part of me that has become harmful or redundant is sloughed off with it so that when I wake up the next morning I am not the same person as I was the day before.

It is the only time when there are no other seasons, ever. In any other season I can see and remember how the rest of the year looked and felt, but not now. This is it. This season demands supremecy. Darkness is embracing all of time and space. I don't see next Spring. I don't remember the heat of last week when it was Summer. I see my altar and the candles and the Goddesses and the Dragons and incense fills the air and prayers are whispered from unseen mouths all around me. This is the end. This is where all things start. And there is nothing else.

This is the oldest place in the oldest time and the oldest of elders share it and they want to know why I am in this cave alone without 'my people' and I can't make any explanation about the modern world not working that way seem good enough to satisfy their queries.

No other season brings these things to bear.

This is the place of all endings where the seed of all beginnings is waiting.

This is the time when the sun sets a little earlier today than it did yesterday.

Image, "Australian Autumn", from

Australian Autumn Flower
~ Old Man Banksia (Banksia serrata)

by Janine Donnellan

I have a particularly gnarly, twisted Old Man Banksia tree in my backyard which leans precariously over my courtyard. It is a great source of yellow spiky flowers and seed pods, which can make interesting flower arrangements for the altar. They are often used in floral art and are very attractive and long-lived.

Old Man Banksia is one of the four original Banksia species collected by Sir Joseph Banks in 1770. It grows exclusively in sandy soils, and is usually the dominant plant in scrubland or low woodland. Banksia serrata provides food for a wide array of animals in the autumn and winter months, in particular it is an important source of food for honeyeaters. The Banksia flowers from December to March and has attractive saw-edged leaves. The flowers are up to 16cm high and 10cm wide and are pale yellow or grey-green maturing to brown, as they become the seed cone. This Banksia has a wide distribution from eastern Victoria through mainly coastal forests of New South Wales and into southeast Queensland.

The seed pods are particularly unique and they are very hairy and scary looking. Most children growing up in Australia, would recognise these seed pods as the bad Banksia Men in May Gibbs' stories of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. All her divine little characters were illustrated with impeccable detail, drawing on our native flora. When you look intently, or gaze into a Banksia bush next time, see if you can see their little faces smiling out at you.

Old Man Banksia Bush Essence

This essence is for people who are feeling weary, frustrated and disheartened by setbacks, this essence helps to bring a spark into those people's lives that are heavy and slow moving. They tend to be reliable, dependable people who steadily plod on, often hiding their weariness while battling on with unceasing effort.

The Old Man Banksia essence assists with creating a sense of softening and lightening of your load of burdens - invoking a sense of great sighs of relief! Renewed enthusiasm for life will begin to allow new possibilities for change to emerge, and you will feel that you are able to breathe more easily.

Positive Outcome:

  • enjoyment of life
  • renews enthusiasm
  • interest in life

Negative Condition:

  • weary
  • phlegmatic personalities
  • disheartened
  • frustrated


I am strong and capable and my life flows with ease and grace.
I am open and enthusiastic to new creativity.


Shamanism - Soul Healing and the Shaman

by Ravenari

One of the primary jobs of many contemporary shamans, is to encompass all aspects of soul healing. In these practices it is commonly held that the soul is a transient entity. It is not immovable, fixed or static. It can be hurt, wounded, injured, fragmented and damaged; often through fundamental betrayals, trauma, as well as surgery and chronic or acute illness. Soul damage, fragmentation or the occupation in the soul of alien energies is responsible for mental and physical illness; especially illnesses of an inexplicable nature, that can be directly tied to events such as the unexpected loss of a loved one.

We even have language to describe the mechanisms of soul loss that we use frequently. People who say, "I lost a part of myself, and I just don't know how to get it back," or "I was never the same after that event, I feel empty inside." Likewise, people who have spontaneous retrievals without the assistance of healers (aside from the best healer there is - themselves), will use language like; "I'm more me again!" or "I've found myself," or even - while still trying to heal - "I'm looking for myself."

It is a language that in shamanism is taken very literally; soul illness and soul wounds are not uncommon, and people often invest a great deal of time and energy into trying to heal them. They may see psychologists, doctors, spiritual healers such as Reiki practitioners, and of course shamans. Or they may simply undertake their own deeply personal healing journey in order to 'find themselves'.

In this practice of soul illness and soul healing, there is one philosophical constant that remains true; the soul wants to be whole. The soul is attracted to the pieces of itself and its own energy that is lost, and constantly seeks to dispel energies that are alien to it. Sometimes it needs help along the way, and this is where the soul healing work of the shaman comes in.

The shaman's skills are very specialised when it comes to healing; notably, the shaman is able to travel or journey to the external otherworlds (upperworlds, middleworlds, underworlds) in order to locate and bring back people's soul fragments. Likewise, they can do work to remove unwanted energies around the person and put them back where they belong, which is often called depossession.

The work the shaman does to learn how to trance, journey, negotiate with spirits, attract and work with spirit helpers and even deities, often culminates in a series of specialised skills specifically designed to help people (and animals, plants and the land) with soul illness and injury, both while living, and beyond life in this realm. Through this specialised work, they seek to bring about the harmony of the souls in their community.

It takes years to learn these skills, and they are always being added to. The shaman is often called a 'wounded shaman' because they may have to learn how to heal their own soul before they can work on others, but the act of soul healing the self is only a very small part of taking on the responsibility of helping others with their soul illness.

Because the nature of soul healing on behalf of others is so intertwined with working in the otherworlds where the spirits live; it is often the spirits who call the shaman to the work and not the other way around. Because so much of the work is done in places where humans may be irrelevant, or in constant danger, or simply in places where we are vulnerable, the phrase has sprung up; 'no spirits, no shaman'. In other words, if you don't have good support Over There, you're not going to be able to do any shamanic work Over Here, and you might as well go back to your day job.

Sadly, today, many people who claim the title of shaman can actually lack the skills necessary to perform any sort of soul healing with competence, and most - because of the fragmented nature of our spiritual society - won't have supervisors, colleagues or assistants. For this reason, if you are searching out a healing from a shaman or shamanic practitioner, it's best to follow word of mouth and be very discerning about who you accept help from. Most of the shamans that I know work through word of mouth only, and do not need to advertise anywhere; but this is not always the case. One woman I know swears to me that when she was ready to start working on others, her clients just started appearing, and said "the spirits send them to me, even when I'm already pretty busy working on my farm!"

Over the years I have performed retrievals and depossessions and had colleagues who have done the same. But I've seen many people heal themselves without us, though it tends to take longer, and be more fraught with setbacks. I've seen people take glimmers of wisdom from books and friends and learn to do it themselves. I've seen psychologists and doctors who started focusing on soul healing as well as mind and body healing; taking a more holistic approach and getting greater results. I've seen spontaneous recoveries of the self and the soul, and been witness to the great wisdom used to create long-lasting health. I've heard "I've found myself," and "I'm more me again!", claimed with exultation after years of hard self work.

Shamans are excellent custodians and specialists in this sort of work, and can certainly speed along the process. There would never be a world with no shamans; the soul wants to be whole.

Click on the banner below to go to Ravenari's website...

Crystals ~ Amber

by Maria

Amber also called Succinite Amber is the fossilized, hardened resin of the pine tree, Pinus succinifera, formed mainly in the Eocene epoch of the Tertiary period, about 50 million years ago; found mostly in the Baltic, although younger ambers are known form the Dominican Republic. Amber is noted for its inclusions which are chiefly insects and leaves, gas bubbles, flow lines, other natural inclusions such as pyrite, calcite, etc.

Amber is sensitive to acids caustic solutions and a gasoline, as well as alcohol and perfume, can be ignited by a match, smelling like incense. When rubbed with a cloth, amber becomes electrically charged and attracts small particles; it has a vitreous lustre; when it is polished, a resinous lustre.

Colours: Yellow, orange, brown, red, green and blue amber is also found but is very rare. Colour depends on source and impurities. Yellow and brown are predominant colours. Transparent to opaque. Transparency depends on gas bubbles. It is a lighter gem stone and softer than pearl.

Uses in History: Amber has been used since prehistoric times for jewellery and religious objects, also as amulets and mascots. The Baltic amber, the "gold of the North" is among the earliest-used gem materials.

Amber has a long history of being used in sacred incense and worn as a healing stone by Asian and American Indian cultures for centuries. This organic gem can date between 1 and 360 million years. Archeologists have found amber artifacts dating back to such cultures as Assyrian, Egyptian, Phoenician and the Greek and Roman periods. It is known by the Persians as the "attractor of straw", by the Greeks as "sun gold" and derived from the Arab name "al-anbar".

The Greeks believed that amber was the petrification of sunrays; some even felt that it was petrified tears. They prized amber for the magical properties that electricity exhibited when rubbed. The term electricity is derived from the Greek word, elektron, which is also the Greek word for amber.

Properties: It glitters like dew drops in the bright sun light. Amber has a rich history being one of the first gems used for amulets and healing. Amber is used as prayer beads in Christian and Moslem practise, is also known as the 'Witch's Stone' and is used in Wiccan practice.

It is worn for general good luck, financial stability and toward off danger from witchcraft.

Amber is known to attract luck, calm energies, attract love, inspire change and improve wisdom.

Due to its strong connection to nature and the earth, Amber is a great stone for grounding our higher energies. Amber can add stability to your life.

Amber is an Aura cleanser. It assists in bringing our higher vibrations in order, dispersing negative energy and clears the surrounding environment. Amber is the stone, which brings about altruism and great wisdom.

Amber has uplifting energies, and is especially helpful when you are felling weighed down with responsibilities, it is good for people with suicidal tendencies and those who easily get depressed. Helps you find humour and joy. Creates a balance between daily life and spiritual expansion.

Utilise Amber when you are feeling powerless or out of control, to remind you of your inner strength and past achievements. It brings balance and patience and encourages decision-making, promotes a positive mental state and creative self-expression. Its flexibility dissolves opposition.

Amber stimulates memory thus making it a good stone for studying. Amber is used for past life work, divination and scrying. It aligns mental and emotional bodies via its deep orange and yellow colour.

Amber is highly recommended for those who often have to meet challenging situations and at times frustrating atmosphere. It is good for those involved in political life and those wishing to have governmental patronage. Good for those interested in nobler types of deeds and social and humanitarian causes.

Amber is a powerful healer and cleanser that draws die-ease from the body and promotes tissue revitalization. It imbues the body with vitality and has the power to draw dis- ease out of the body. By absorbing pain and negative energy, Amber allows the body to rebalance and heal itself. Amber alleviates stress.

It resonates with the throat, treating goiters and other throat problems. It treats the stomach, spleen, kidneys, bladder, liver, and gallbladder, alleviates joint problems and strengthens the mucus membranes. Amber is known to stimulate metabolism and treat skin disorders. It is also a good stone for treating asthma and allergic reactions.

Amber will help relieve a tension headache, place on or around the head.

It is excellent at detoxification and protection from radiation, especially x-rays, sun, computers, airport, planes and other people's energies.

Make an elixir with this stone for wound healing and to apply to all pain issues. It is an excellent natural antibiotic.

When used at the solar plexus, Amber will enhance intellectual clarity about your future path. It can stimulate the navel chakra and help in grounding energies into the body.

Amber as jewellery, it can be grounding and stabilising. Wear for prolonged periods, especially on the wrist or throat, or place as appropriate. If treating babies or children, it is beneficial for the mother to wear the stone first.

In the Far East, amber is the symbol of courage; Asian cultures regard amber as the 'soul of the tiger'; (2010 year of the tiger). Egyptians placed a piece of amber in the casket of a loved one to ensure the body would forever remain whole.

Feng Shui: Amber is used in the Center/Health position to encourage good health and create balance and calm. Use it in the Northeast area for self cultivation and wisdom, in the Southwest area for partners, love and relationships (use in pairs) and for dispersing negative energy in any room. Use it in any room to also attract change into your space.

Crystal Cleansing: Amber should be cleansed after being used for healing to dispense the negative energy it has absorbed. It tends to become cloudy when used for treating negative energy. Cleanse this stone by running it under warm water or charge it over night in a bowl of tumbled hematite. Be careful as this stone will become brittle in sunlight if left out for a long period. It should be kept away from heat or sun.

Chakra: The vibrant mix of the enlightenment of pure yellow and the joyfulness of orange produces the colour: gold. The Gold Colour Ray of Influence of amber is associated with both the 2nd and 3rd Chakras: the Sacral Chakra, and the Solar Plexus Chakra.

Deities: Amber is thought to be the tears of the Goddess Freya that fell into the sea. It is used to honor her. Additionally amber is used in devotions to Elektra, Greek Goddess of the Sea, Jurarte, the Lithuanian Goddess of the Sea, Nehalennia, the Gaulish Goddess of Sea Travelers, Oshun, the African Goddess of Love, Intimacy, Beauty, and Diplomacy, and Amberella, the Lithuanian Goddess of the Oceans.

Magical Work: Protects against physical harm, mental hostility and psychic attack. Use it in love magick to call at twin soul; also in all goddess rituals. For fertility, wrap amber and pointed jet crystal in a red cloth bag, tied with three red knots and place beneath the mattress during lovemaking.

Excellent for use in rituals, to enhance your beauty and attractiveness. Helps to attract love and stimulates happiness and pleasure. Use for both good luck and as a protective talismans and amulets.

Orange in spells for self-esteem and confidence, strengthening identity and establishing personal boundaries between self and others and for independence; for balance and negotiations, for the media, for music, for fertility, both physical and mental, for creativity and all creative and artistic ventures and for abundance of all kinds.

Yellow in spells for logic, focus, improving memory and concentration, for learning, for passing examination and tests, for mastering new technology, for clear communication; good also for job changes and overcoming money problems; for all money-making ventures and speculation; for persuasion, adaptability and versatility; for short-distance or short-duration breaks; for recovery through conventional methods of healing, especially surgery. It is also potent for repelling envy, malice and spite and to protect against those who would deceive.

Element: Fire and Akasha

Gemstones of the World, Walter Schumann
Illustrated Guide to Crystals, Judy Hall
Health Essentials, Crystal Healing, Simon Lilly
Complete Book of Natural Magick, Cassandra Eason

Lammas - A major Sabbat within the wheel of the year

by Rayvensclaw

Continued from last issue...

Lammas was originally a Celtic harvest festival, which was co-opted by the Catholic Church similar to Easter, Christmas etc. Hand fasting and funeral games (odd partnership) are celebrated in England, Scotland and Ireland on this day. It is difficult to understand down in the southern end of the world but Lammas marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall, but in the Northern Hemisphere where it all started that's just what happens.

In the Northern Hemisphere Lammas actually falls on the 6th of August. Its true astrological point is 15 degrees Leo. But tradition (Christian) has set it down for the 1st of August - it must have been neater that way.

British witches refer to the 6th as Old Lammas, and folklorists call it Lammas O.S. (Old Style). Its symbol is the Lion (hence Leo) and is a power point of the zodiac. The Irish Gaelic refered to it as Lughnasadh, a feast to commemorate the funeral games of the Irish Sun God Lugh. Although in truth it doesn't really refer to the death of Lugh but the games in which he hosted to honour his foster mother Taillte, in Ireland these games are often called the "Tailltean Games". This is also where "Taillten Marriages" took place, they lasted a year and a day or until next Lughnasadh.

When Lammas was celebrated shop fronts and whole streets were decorated, great plays and dances were held and there was a party atmosphere. One highlight was the "Catherine Wheel" which was taken to the top of a hill and covered in tar (the wheel not the hill) it was then set on fire and rolled down the hill (also setting the bush and grass on fire as well). It was to represent the end of summer; the rolling disc was the Sun God in his decline.

But getting back to the "Catherine Wheel", the Roman Church moved St. Catherine feast day around the calendar but its most popular date was 1st of August, they didn't seem to think too highly of her because she was mythical rather than historical. Also her worship gave rise to the heretical sect known as the Cathari.

Now having read a number of articles about Lammas I would say the key word would have to be Celebration. Eating, drinking and making merry does seem to come up quite a lot (now that can't be all bad).

Now as I said in the last issue and this one they had a lot to celebrate, the Harvest, the warmth of the sun, the fruits of life and love and being alive to enjoy all of the above (remember it was tough times).

You know we do have a great many things in common with the Brits even after all this time. They can't play cricket, soccer, tennis or league very well (just joking). And they did transport our ancestors down here (well that wasn't too bad).

But we do have a common link and we can still think back and connect to those people and celebrate what we have now and what we can look forward to in the future.

Editor's Note: The exact date of Lammas/Lughnasadh in Australia was on the 4th February 2010. In the Northern Hemisphere the sabbat falls in the zodiac Sun sign of Leo. Interestingly, Spheres Of Light usually aligns this sabbat with the Full Moon in Leo which fell on the 30th January this year.

Wikipedia. Lammas the first Harvest. By Mike Nichols
"Wheel of the Year - The complex cycle of time" by Rhys Chisnall, in "Witchcraft & Wicca" Issue 17, 2008.

The Talking Stick

by Janine Donnellan

Many years ago, while walking on the beach at Stanwell Park, I found two rather large pieces of driftwood, both of the length that would be suitable for a staff. The pieces of driftwood were placed in my garage for safe keeping until I decided which piece was going to be used for my staff. Well I finally earmarked the piece of driftwood I wanted for the staff and kept the other piece for a talking stick.

After some contemplation the driftwood was given to Rayvensclaw for him to cut it into shape and to commence it's creative beginning. Since then the talking stick has been passed around the Dark Moon members so that they too can add their own creative mark to this important shamanic tool.

The talking stick was originally used in Native North American tribes at council meetings. It was used for courtesy and respect to prevent the interruption of a leader when he or she was speaking. The talking stick was then passed to the next member of the tribe who wished to speak.

This stick was a ceremonial item and was often decorated with eagle feathers and crystals to show its significance. Today it still serves more or less the same purpose, often used at gatherings to encourage common courtesy and to cultivate respect for those speaking. Unless you have the talking stick, you cannot speak out of turn and therefore must listen to what is being said.

SOL's talking stick is decorated with a combination of crystals, rope, ribbons and painted runic and magical symbols. It is a never ending collaborative work in progress.

Herbs ~ Caraway

by Amethyst
This month I thought I'd write about the Lughnasadh (Lammas)/Mabon herbe Caraway and how I decided to use it in making Challah. Yes I know challah is Jewish Sabbath bread but I don't see why we can't use it at this time of year. Also I made the challah gluten-free and yes for anyone jewish that's reading this, I made certain to make it as pareve as possible. When I placed the challah on the altar at our last Full Moon Ritual, I placed two loaves, one with sesame seeds and the other with caraway (at the time I didn't know that was how you are supposed to serve it). The recipe I used only had one hiccup; I missed the error message (the instructions about the eggs were incorrect), so they had an interesting texture. **

Botanical: Carum carvi
Planetary associations: Mercury
Element: Air
Gender: Masculine
Magickal classifications: Greene Herbe, Herbe of Consecration, Herbe of Love, Herbe of Protection, Magickal Herbe
Part Used: seeds
Synonyms: caraway seed, carum


Caraway was one of the ingredients mentioned in the Eber's Papyrus. The Eber's Papyrus (from between 1600 B.C.E. and 1550 B.C.E.), was discovered by German Egyptologist George Ebers in 1874 C.E. The Eber's Papyrus is the oldest known complete medical textbook in existence. Most scholars believe that it is copy of a much earlier text, probably from around 3100 B.C.E. The Eber's Papyrus includes information on surgery and internal medicine, including a list of more than 800 drugs.

Grieve has recorded two different aspects of folk customs involving caraway. She writes "caraway seed cake was formerly a standing institution at the feast given by farmers to their labourers at the end of the wheat-sowing" which should provide modern practitioners with insight into caraway's role in agricultural cycles and customs. Even more interesting is when she writes about caraway's retention property:

A curious superstition was held in olden times about the caraway. It was deemed to confer the gift of retention, preventing the theft of any object which contained it, and holding the thief in custody within the invaded house. In like manner it was thought to keep lovers from proving fickle (forming an ingredient of love potions), and also to prevent fowls and pigeons from straying. It is an undoubted fact that tame pigeons, who are particularly fond of the seeds, will never stray if they are given a piece of baked caraway dough in the cote.

In Hoodoo, caraway seeds are seen as protective of children. Caraway is often recognized as the most typical spice of the German-speaking countries. It is an ancient spice of Central Europe: Caraway fruits have indeed been found in Neolithic villages (though that does only prove that the plant grew there, not that caraway was actually utilized), and since Roman times there is plenty of documentation for numerous culinary and medicinal application - not least to mention caraway-flavoured liquor, known as kummel in the USA, that is mostly produced and consumed in Northern Germany and Scandinavia (akvavit). Although caraway is a common plant of Alpine meadows at low elevation, is was grown systematically in medieval monasteries, mainly to its extremely effective antiflatulent powers; there is still some domestic production of caraway in Germany, although most now stems from Egyptian imports.

Caraway is a controversial spice; to many, it appears dominant and disagreeable, especially to those who are not used to a cuisine rich in caraway. Usage of the ground spice is a working compromise; another method is wrapping the fruits in a small piece of linen cloth (or simply a tea bag) so that it can be removed before serving.

In my research I found a reference to caraway mentioned in Angels: Companions in Magick, by Silver RavenWolf. She states that caraway comes under the influence of the Angels of Gemini, the colour is silver, ruling planet Mercury and Angelic hour Raphael.


Caraway has many used beyond being included in recipes as a Greene Herbe. Baking is but one way to bring the virtue of longevity to a relationship and fidelity to the partners. It is as much fun to strew upon a couple as is rice, and should it later sprout from seed, a good addition to the local flor of the circle.

The quality of retention is an outstanding magickal property. Caraway may be used in any consecration of a ritual tool. It not only enhances the innate magick but will help that tool avoid straying from your home. In working to protect your possessions, avoid doing so out of a too-strong attachment to the mundane for this herbe will invoke the powers of the astral and could ask the gods to show you true wisdom.

Cakes or cookies make with caraway seed with be ideal for the ritual feast at either Lammas or the Autumn Equinox in celebration of the Harvest Festival.

As a Mercury herb, caraway is helpful in the acquisition of magical skills and for initiation into esotericism. Its scent, which is a bit musky, to me has a whiff of the Underworld to it, which to my mind makes it appropriate for psychopomp rituals. Also for overcoming addiction, breaking bad habits, communication, divination, eloquence, intelligence, mental powers, psychic powers, self-improvement, study, travel, and wisdom.

Caraway used as a protection and memory herb, can be carried in an amulet for protection from evil and for enhanced memory function. Seeds can also be placed in or under a child's bed to protect against disease. As it is also associated with love, Caraway seeds can be carried to attract and keep a lover, and can be baked into breads, cookies, or cakes to induce lustful behaviour.

I found a reference to its ability to repel evil spirits "caraway serves as protection against Lilith, as well as all manner of evil spirits, entities and plain old negativity".

Reference: page 169 of online book preview
a compendium of HERBAL MAGICK by Paul Beyerl, 1998

**In the recipe I used for my challah, I thought that the sesame seeds might not have much flavour and so for half the dough, I used caraway; definitely a strong flavour. When I've tried the recipe again, with the correction for the eggs, I'll post the recipe on our website. Also here's a picture of the challah on our altar.

The Tales of Little Purple ~ Part 3

by Amethyst

Last August I introduced you to a cute little fellow called Little Purple (Part 1) and then in October (Part 2) he hatched. Well he's still with me and here's a further instalment of his life.

Look I Can Fly

Little purple had obstacles mighty to overcome
Not only were his sisters and brothers many times his size,
But his mother and father dwarfed them all.
His food had to be rendered tiny and his sleeping space too.
And yet he gained the courage
After being tipped out of his shell
To begin to explore the Dragon caverns,
Their nooks and crannies so large
That any time a dragon sneezed or snorted
He was blown back to where he started,
And yet he persisted.
That over the days and weeks to come
He knew the Dragons Caverns so well
As none before had done.

He found Uncle George's long lost golden shell
When everyone else had failed
And he found the lost pearl from his mother's necklace
That had been lost for many a year.
Which made his father cheer.

It seemed to be that's what he'd be
A finder for all the little things
That everyone keeps losing.
To keep him safe within the Caverns seemed to be the best,
For how could one so small
Survive in a world so huge.

But deep in his heart of hearts
He held a wish so dear
A desire that one so tiny
Should fly off into the wide blue skies.

So he watched and waited
And when no one was looking
He practiced his flying skills.
There were crashes and bashes
That he couldn't talk about
And scrapes and bangs a many.
But one day to his great delight he flew.

At first he flew in secret
When no one was about,
But then one day Uncle George found out
And his secret was a secret no more.

They pondered long
And they pondered hard
On what to do,
For they worried that if he flew
Among the Dragons so large
A sleeping Dragon might just inhale him!

Oh what to do! Oh what to do!

So they talked long and they talked hard
On what was best to be
And in the end there was only one thing
That they could agree.

They put a harness on Little Purple,
Much to his disgust.

Amethyst 4/8/09

Illustration by Rayvensclaw

The next instalment is about how good intentions can go wrong, so till then, bye-bye from Little Purple.

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FEBRUARY 2010 ISSN 1839-4396

Spheres Of Light
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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.

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SOL Full Moon Circle
Friday February 26, 2010

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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...

SOL Meditation in the Royal National Park
Sunday February 21
& March 21, 2010

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Come join us for meditation in the beautiful surrounds of The Royal National Park. Our meditations will be conducted every third Sunday of the month. Please email for times and meet up details.
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PAN Full Moon Public Circle
March 1, 2010 at Seven Hills, Sydney (map)

Date: Monday March 1, 2010 at 8:30pm

PAN Inc. full moon ritual. PAN runs a public full moon ritual each month at Rotaract Hill, Seven Hills. Anyone is welcome to attend - the purpose of the ritual is to provide members of the pagan community an opportunity to celebrate the full moon together & network with friends, it is also a public ritual where those new to paganism can attend to learn more and meet like-minded others, and the rituals also help inform the general public about what pagans do and dispel misguided myths about paganism and witchcraft.

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 and contact details here.


In Shamanic terms a Power Animal is a spiritual companion that appears in animal form with its own unique nature and skills to assist you with a particular life experience. According to shamanic understanding, we each have a number of power animals that will come to us at certain times throughout our life. Each Power Animal has certain medicine powers to teach and certain knowledge to share, for each Power Animal has its own methods of overcoming the many challenges we must meet in order to evolve as spiritual beings.


Goanna is the name used to refer to any number of Australian monitor lizards. Being predatory lizards, goannas are often quite large with sharp teeth and claws. They can grow over 2m in length. Goannas combine predatory and scavenging behaviour.

In the mythology of Bundjalung (represented by 15 Australian Aboriginal clans, groups or tribes), the goanna (Dirawong) is the Creator Being that taught the people the beliefs, values, rules and practices concerning their relationship to the land and water of their country. The Dirawong is also known as a benevolent protector of its people from the Rainbow Snake (also known as the 'Snake' or 'Rainbow Serpent').
The Goanna was sunning himself at the base of my steps the other day. I have been having a few issues at my workplace lately and I feel that the Goanna has come to provide me with protection and to help me learn to value my own judgment and self worth.


Harvest Soup

Contributed by Janine

3 tbsp olive oil
Prepare produce: peel and chop: onion, turnip, butternut squash, apples, carrots and sweet potato. You will use one cup of each for this soup.
5 cups of chicken stock
1/8 cup of maple syrup
Cayenne pepper
1 small whole-grain baguette
3 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Heat oil in a large saucepan add onion and sauté until translucent. Add apple, turnip, squash, carrot, and sweet potato; season with salt, then sauté 5 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add syrup, then cayenne pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Puree with a handheld mixer, food processor or blender. Serve with slices of baguette toast and topped with goat cheese sprinkle with chives.

Poached Pears and Fresh Figs

Contributed by Janine

Looking for a healthy dessert? Try this fresh fruit recipe. Definitely a dessert to take your time over, the mix of flavours and textures of the pears and figs is wonderful.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 4

4 x 100g (4oz) unripe pears,
500ml (18fl oz) sweet dessert wine, such as Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
2tbsp honey
1 cinnamon stick and 1 star anise
4 cloves
8 ripe figs
125g (4½oz) 0% Greek yogurt, to serve

Carefully peel the pears, leaving the stalk intact. Place in a small pan and add the wine, honey, cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer really gently, covered, for about 1 hour or until the pears are just tender.

Take out the pears, then bring the wine mixture to the boil and bubble until reduced by half, around 10 minutes. Halve the figs and serve with the pears, spooning over the honey and cooking liquid. Add a good dollop of yogurt and serve immediately.


Dragonwicc's Mabon Incense

1 part Benzoin
1 part Myrrh
1 part Cinnamon
1 Vanilla pod
3 drops of Cypress aromatherapy oil

Burn this incense during Mabon or to attune with the change of the seasons.

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