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 Law of the Jungle

There has been a significant amount of chaos prevailing in and around my life over the past few months. This chaos has precipitated a reflective mood as I digest and ruminate over the events. The end result of this calamity has given me cause to deliberate over the nature of the Cosmic Laws, and how it applies to the human kind.

Occasionally you run into someone who is hiding behind the banner of spirituality, in reality their motives are self-gratifying and counter productive to anything truly spiritual; they live by the 'anything goes' or the 'everyone for themselves' principle. Some say that this principle is called the Law of the Jungle but this is a common misconception. In actuality it is the exact opposite; when Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem the Law of the Jungle, he was trying to emphasize that 'the law' is about the virtues of loyalty, keeping your promises, courage, and respect for other people and acting in accordance with the good of the all. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling tells the story of Mowgli, a boy separated from his mother by a hungry tiger, who is adopted by a loving wolf pack that teaches him the true nature of the law of the jungle. The first verse of 'The Law of the Jungle' states:

Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back --
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Unfortunately, the 'good of the all', 'the strength of the pack' gets lost when people deliberately enforce their own private agendas to the detriment of everyone else. I often question if the Law of Return or the Karmic Laws does have an impact on those that break 'the law' assuming that these laws actually exist. One can only hope that there is such a system of applied justice.

Over the centuries there has been much idealism about the 'good of the all' for example, 'All for one, and one for all' (un pour tous, tous pour un) a motto traditionally associated with the King's Musketeers in the novel The Three Musketeers written by Alexandre Dumas. In the novel, it was the motto of a trio of French musketeers named Athos, Porthos and Aramis who stayed loyal to each other through thick and thin.

I guess in life you will meet all kinds of people. There are those you meet that have pure intentions, that touch your heart and soul and you give thanks that you are part of their life and they are a part of yours. Through love and support the sense of 'all' grows stronger and stronger. Then there are those that are self seeking and create chaos and division; these people randomly come into your life for a reason and can often help you appreciate what you have and can give you the impetus to change what needs to be changed.

I must admit that I'm done with the chaos for the time being and I am looking forward to the 'going within' which comes with the onset of the colder months. Samhain is only a few weeks away but already I feel the thinning veil and I long for the comfort of submersing myself into the darkness as I am far more at home and safe in the familiar landscapes of the Otherworlds.

All is one: Nothing stays the same.

Janine Donnellan

Wicca Workshop - March 29, 2009

SOL recently conducted another very informative and enjoyable Wicca Workshop. Click on the image at the left to see more photos taken on the day.

If you want to keep abreast of SOL's circles, gatherings, workshops and activities please periodically check our Events Calendar and our Events Forum for updates.

SOL's Full Moon Circle ~ Friday April 3, 2009
"Thirteen Megaliths"

by Amethyst

A couple of years ago while surfing the net I found the opening 1 to 13 piece for this ritual. I knew that it was something special, but at the time didn't know what to do with it, so I just stored it away.

Last year we went to & inside Stonehenge (very magickal) plus we also went to Avebury. After we came back I de-virused our computer & lost a lot of information regarding magick & rituals (no other files were affected). So, much to my surprise I found that I still had the opening piece after all that.

This year Rayvensclaw decided to paint Stonehenge and after he had finished it, I realised that was how Stonehenge felt to me before we went (I'd never told him about that). When I saw the completed painting I realised that I had to write the rest of the ritual and the meditation.

We set up the circle with the altar in the centre with one large candle (for spirit) and small squares of foam to receive the individual candles. In the east was the incense to represent air, in the north was a bowl with red stones to represent fire, in the west was a bowl with water from the Red Well at Glastonbury to represent water & in the south a Dragon box with stones from Stonehenge Downs to represent earth. We set up 16 chairs in a circle surrounding the altar with a gap between the south and the next chair to the east. We had 11 SOL members and 3 visitors that left 2 spare chairs, which we turned upside down to represent 2 Megaliths that weren't there.

Rayvensclaw and I cast the circle with drum and silver branch (my drum took the day off), and then the Quarters were called in. Everyone there called in the Earth Mother & Sky Father & I lit the centre candle. All the Megaliths left the circle & returned one by one to light their candle and say their piece. I then did a meditation to The Henge with Merlin, where everyone received an energy ball from him. The Megaliths, in reverse order, then said their piece and extinguished their candles before giving Janine their energy ball. Before she said her piece (she was the first Megalith), Janine gathered the energy balls from the visitors as well and then sent the combined energy to the Cosmos (lovely big fat ball of energy). Before we closed we farewelled deity, Rayvensclaw extinguished the centre candle and then we closed the Quarters. We closed the circle by singing as we walked.

It was a very different ritual where everyone from SOL had a part.

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, May 8. Please contact us for further details if you would like to attend.

SOL Full Moon Meditation, "The Henge"
~ A Personal Experience

by Janine Donnellan

In this meditation I find myself surrounded by a fog bank and as I move through it Stonehenge appears. Merlin is standing there to greet me and he directs me into the stone circle. I notice that Lilith is crouching on top of one of the megaliths in her serpent aspect. She jumps down and walks alongside Merlin and me, into the centre of the circle.

Within the circle the priestesses of Avalon are assembled for a ritual around a large stone altar which has a spiral design engraved into it. Immediately Lilith jumps upon the altar and proceeds to dance provocatively. The priestesses begin to sing and the High Priestess Vivienne enters the circle carrying a large athame with a mother of pearl handle which has a large hole in its centre. Vivienne raises the athame into the air and positions it in such a way that the hole captures the profile of the full moon. The moon's rays penetrate the hole and radiates the area of the altar. Vivienne then takes the athame and cuts her right hand and then places her hand over the altar so that the blood drips directly onto the altar. Each priestess in turn cuts her hand and gives blood to the altar.

As each person sacrifices some of their life force to the altar, the blood merges and starts to move around the spiral into the centre of the altar where a small sink hole delivers the blood to the earth. The blood then penetrates the ley lines directly under the Stonehenge which in turn feeds, nourishes and gives healing to mother Earth.

Lilith takes the athame and cuts her hand and then takes my hand and cuts my hand and she presses our hands together. She looks directly at me and says that its part of a shift and that our energies are being merged. Each priestess within the circle presses their hands together allowing the energy to flow from one to another. At that point the meditation ends and I find myself back in the hall.

Original digital artwork, "Lilith the Serpent", by Janine Donnellan

Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl signifies faith, innocence, enhances personal integrity, and helps to provide focus to ones attention. The pearl has been known as a "stone of sincerity", bringing truth to situations and loyalty to a "cause". It has been used to inhibit boisterous behaviour, and to provide a reflection of the self such that one may see the manner in which one appears to others. This stone is good for protection.

Mother of Pearl info from

Brú na Bóinne ...for that Irish part of you.

by Rayvensclaw

Brú na Bóinne is located roughly between Drogheda and Slane (now this doesn't mean a lot unless you are interested in your Celtic past), in the Republic of Ireland.

Brú na Bóinne (the palace or mansion of the Bóinne) built beside the River Bóinne, was originally built around 3,100 BC and is dominated by the prehistoric passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth.

Knowth: The first sight you see are huge grass covered mounds, the great mound is outlined by a massive 120 kerbstones. Arranged around this are at least 18 smaller satellite tombs. Ceremony and settlement existed both before and long after the end of the Neolithic period. In the east tomb there is a stone basin, its proportions are so large it can't be removed without excavating the whole centre of the mound. This bowl was placed inside before the roof was finished. The kerbstones have swirling patterns, triangles, zigzags and human faces carved on them. Near this mound there is a reconstruction of a timber circle, which was built about 2,500 BC.

Newgrange is another mound, but it is huge and surrounded by 97 stones, with a highly decorated entrance stone. The outside of this tomb has been reconstructed with white stones found on the site, to what they think was the original façade. Above the doorway and entrance stone a light box exists, where midwinter sun penetrates the chamber, a midwinter solstice phenomenon.

"At approximately 8:58 hours, the first pencil of direct sunlight shone through the roof-box and along the passage to reach across the tomb chamber floor as far as the front edge of the basin stone in the end recess."

On the tour to Newgrange you are led through the doorway and down the 5,000-year-old passage, entering a circular chamber. They then turn the lights out inside and simulate the light from the roof-box area coming up the entranceway to the chamber, to fall on the altar in the centre of the mound. Having witnessed this, it is quite moving.

Our bus tour only covered Knowth and Newgrange; we didn't have time to visit Dowth.

Dowth compares in size with Knowth and Newgrange. It's not very well known and rarely visited by tourists. The mound is surrounded by 115 stones and has 2 tombs facing westward. The north tomb has a large stone basin in the centre. There have been quantities of human and animal bones found in the chambers. Entrance to these chambers has been stopped as they are deemed to be unsafe, but you are free to walk around the mound.

Brú na Bóinne: Today at Brú na Bóinne the remains of about 40 mounds, which are the oldest surviving traces of human activity in the area, can be seen. They remain the focus for activity and tradition long after their formal use as burial places has ended.

There is a brand new visitors centre that contains exhibitions of Neolithic tombs, homes, dress, food, tools and weapons; and where the building stones for the mound supports were found and how they were moved to the site and audiovisual displays of the solar alignments in the Bóinne valley. It also contains replica tombs and living places of the day.

Brú na Bóinne has been designated (by UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site. Other world heritage sites include: The Giants Causeway, Stonehenge, Avebury, The Pyramids of Giza, The Monuments of Orkney and the Acropolis of Athens.

Brú na Bóinne tourism pamphlet & our visit

Authors note: It still amazes me when they say 'Neolithic', 'Dark Ages' and 'Medieval'. These people were the Bill Gates of their time (without the software) even today we couldn't build the buildings, pyramids or even these burial mounds to the same scale as they could back then. In some ways we have lost something and gained other things; we all have to decide what's good or bad, dark or light what to build or tear down. So I suppose in some things we haven't changed too much after all. Our ancestors had these problems and had to worry about being eaten or killed in raids. We have to worry about interest rates (bloody banks) and computers that take over our space (bloody Bill Gates).


by Janine Donnellan

Pagans celebrate Samhain as part of the cycle of life; it is an acknowledgment that without death, there can be no rebirth. It is a time to reflect on what we have brought into our lives, and what we actually need for the long cold times ahead. As the darkness increases, the Goddess changes into her powerful aspect of the Crone, she becomes the Old One, the Wise One, and the One that provides guidance in our hour of need. The God, the Dark Lord, prepares to pass into the underworld to become the seed of his own rebirth, which will occur again at Yule.

Appropriate rituals for Samhain include contacting ancestors within the sacred circle, honouring the lives of those who have gone before us, releasing destructive habits, divination activities, and all transformation rituals. We can honour those that have gone before us at the 'feast of the dead' where extra places are set at the table and food is set out for those ancestors that we want to commune with.

The veil between the worlds of the living and the dead are thin during this period; the powers of divination, the sight, and supernatural communication intensifies. This is a time when the separation between past, present and future becomes blurred, allowing us to use divination such as tarot, tea leaves or scrying to gain glimpses of things which have not yet come to pass.

The Black Dog Legend

by Janine Donnellan

Black Dog legends are common all over the world. You find Black Dog myths in Siberia, North America and all over Asia. The origins of the black dog are difficult to establish.

The dog is the oldest domestic animal, traceable to the Paleolithic period, and they have enjoyed a peculiarly close relationship with humans ever since, sharing their hearths at night and guarding the home, working during the day as sheep dogs or hunters. Early literature has also implied the dog has a connection with the Otherworld. This is not unique to hounds as many species from bulls, boars, to owls and cuckoos have clear associations with the Otherworld. However, archaeological evidence and mythology brings recurring examples of a very specific role for dogs. They are the 'psychopomps', the guides on the paths to the Otherworld, the guardians at the boundaries of the worlds.

In ancient Egypt the dog or jackal-headed Anubis is both psychopomp and divine embalmer. His cult is older than that of Osiris, and can be traced to the Sumerian goddess Bau who was also dog-headed. Anubis himself, written in early heiroglyphs as 'An-pu', may be a direct continuation of Bau's father, the Sumerian god An.

Dogs were closely linked with the Greek goddess Hecate. Indeed, at times she was depicted as dog-headed and was certainly linked to the Dog Star, Sirius. Her pet was the dog Cerberus (or Kerberos) who is the watchdog at the entrance to Hades. Usually depicted as triple-headed he was originally fifty-headed.

Dogs which fall under the supernatural banner are often referred to as hellhounds and are supposed to be demonic dogs of Hell, of course this is from a Christian perspective which views anything supernatural as demonic. Hellhounds typically have features such as an unnaturally large size, a black fur, glowing red eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, and sometimes even the ability to talk. Hellhounds are often associated with fire, and may have fire-based abilities and appearances. They are often assigned to guard the entrance to the world of the dead or undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the supernatural, such as hunting down lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure.

Hellhounds are also famous for appearing in Celtic mythology as part of the Wild Hunt. These hounds are given several different names in local folklore, but they display typical hellhound characteristics. The myth is common across Great Britain, and many names are given to the apparitions: Black Shuck of East Anglia (which has its roots in the Norse mythology rather than that of the Celts), Moddey Dhoo of the Isle of Man, Gwyllgi of Wales, and so on. The earliest mention of these myths are in both Walter Map's De Nugis Curialium (1190) and the Welsh myth cycle of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi (ca. 10th-13th century).

The black dog is essentially a nocturnal spectre, and its appearance was usually regarded as a portent of death. It is often associated with electrical storms (such as Black Shuck's appearance at Bungay, Suffolk), and with crossroads, places of execution and ancient pathways. Its Welsh form is confined to the sea-coast parishes, and on the Norfolk coast the creature is supposed to be amphibious, coming out of the sea by night and traveling about the lonely lanes.

In April 2005 whilst I was staying at Craig-y-nos, which is one of the most haunted castles in Wales, I had an unusual encounter with the legendary Black Hound.

I had planned to stay at the castle for three days and was aware of its ghostly reputation. The castle was originally owned by a famous opera singer called Adelina Patti and after her death it became a hospital for children suffering from tuberculosis and also a repatriation hospital for soldiers during the first and second world wars.

The room that I was staying in was originally a dressing room, which was situated directly behind the stage that Adelina had built for her frequent operatic performances. As with all places in Britain there is central heating and this room had an oil filled heating system which had a tendency to make the room very hot and stuffy. I was quite exhausted on that first night at Craig-y-nos having travelled from Bath that day and I never even gave a single thought to the ghost situation when I turned off the light. I drifted immediately into a very deep sleep.

In the small hours of the night I was suddenly awakened and I realised the room had become freezing cold. My bed was next to the wall and as I placed my hand against the wall, it felt like ice. I immediately became aware of two dark male entities trying to burrow deep into my aura. My Higher Self immediately sprang into action and I was removed spiritually into the astral. The Watchers were then called upon to form a circle of protection around me and then rising from the depths of the underworld the Archangel Michael emerged dressed in a white robe, he had with him a large black hound by his side. The hound looked like a huge great Dane; and this hound under the direction of Michael proceeded to jump on my bed and then lay across me in a position of protection.

I remember nothing from that point on but after some time had elapsed and I again was awakened by a presence in the room. This time it was a ghostly woman in Victorian attire just standing in the centre of the room looking peacefully at me. I remembered sitting up and staring at this lady, the thought crossed my mind that this being was Adelina Patti and it was obvious she meant me no harm. I then put my head back on the pillow and then drifted back to sleep.

The next day I did a ritual and called in the Watchers to stand guard in the room while I was staying there and from that point on I had undisturbed sleep during the remainder of my visit.

It was not until I got home that I started my research on the black hound and discovered it's significance within Europe. The black hound is also referred to as the 'Witches friend' or 'familiar'. The black dog has held steady his sorcerous mystique over the centuries as the devil's own embodiment. Cerberus's repute as hell hound held fast to the black dog and he was given the status of a witch's familiar, although his long term rival for human affection, the cat, now has taken the prize in these magical stakes.

I am grateful to Archangel Michael and the black hound on that incredible night; they saved me from a potentially grave situation. The black hound now has an honoured place as my animal totem and he is my constant companion whenever I undertake my underworld journeys.


Herbs ~ Fumitory

by Amethyst

Botanical: Fumaria officinalis
Family: Fumariaceae
Planetary associations: Saturn
Zodiac associations:
Element: Earth
Gender: Feminine
Magickal classifications: Countermagick Herbe, Herbe of Consecration, Herbe of Protection, Herbe of Purification
Part Used: Herbe
Synonyms: Earth Smoke. Beggary. Fumus. Vapor. Nidor. Fumus Terrae. Fumiterry, Scheiteregi. Taubenkropp. Kaphnos. Wax Dolls. Invocatory: Aine, Dagda.


Shakespeare makes several references to the herbe. An interesting peculiarity is that it is very seldom visited by insects. It is self-fertile, and sets every seed. Like curls of smoke rising from the ground, fumitory's grey-green leaves have a ghostly appearance when seen from afar. The plant is a weed that has accompanied cultivation in Europe since at least Neolithic times. In the Greco-Roman world fumitory's name was kaphnos, the Greek for smoke. According to the first-century A.D. naturalist Pliny, an ointment made from fumitory improved eyesight and prevented eyelashes that had been pulled out from growing again. Pliny's contemporary Dioscorides added that fumitory when taken internally worked as a diuretic. According to both authorities, the plant got the name smoke from its sharp-tasting juice, which causes the eyes to tear as they would from smoke.

In Shakespeare's day fumitory was sold in apothecary shops under the Latin name fumus terrae ("earth-smoke"), and according to an herb book published at that time, an extract of the plant or a syrup made from its juice served to stimulate liver function, rid the body of impurities, and clear up certain skin infections. Some recent research suggests that fumitory contains substances that act on the heart and on blood pressure, but this remains unconfirmed. Folk belief credits fumitory with a special power to confer long life.

Recognized by herbalists since the dawning of the Age of Pisces for its ability to purify and cleanse, fumitory also has curious associations with the Underworld. It was believed to have been created out of the gases rising from the bowels of the earth and has a history of use in exorcisms.


An infusion of Fumitory sprinkled around your house and rubbed onto your shoes once a week will draw money to you quickly. Fumitory has been burned to exorcise evil spirits for centuries. Use in a purification bath before your rituals.

An excellent herbe to use on Hallow's Eve, fumitory is among the better incenses for dispelling all negative energies. It may be used to cense a temple but is also useful as a wash, infused in water for the consecration of ritual tools. Fumitory lends itself to rituals of purification, such as the preparation of a new residence before moving in and unpacking.

An interesting use for fumitory is as an incense prior to the Great Rite, where it is used to remove natural tendencies and attractions towards the sensual, thus allowing for better mental discipline and increased spiritual focus.

a compendium of HERBAL MAGICK by Paul Beyerl, 1998

Crystals ~ Healing with Chalcedony

by Maria

I was feeling tired, grumpy and just could not be bothered with anything. My doctor suggested a blood test; it revealed that my liver was not functioning well. Fatty tissue had built around it and no drugs were available to help with the weight loss. I posed a question to my self - I had done this to my body - what can I do to help it that was not going to take years? What alternative medicines can I use?

Crystals are amazing gifts from Mother Earth, possessing powerful vibrations and have healing properties. I researched "The Crystal Bible" by Judy Hall, looking for appropriate crystals for my condition. The one I picked felt right and I had it at home, which was a benefit. It was Chalcedony, a blue tumbled stone. It was cleansed and dedicated to aid me in healing my liver, then placed in my water bottle (elixir). As I drank, I visualised the crystal's energy cleansing the liver.

A year later back to doctor, another blood test. All good, my liver was back to normal to my surprise, but the most marvellous thing was the doctor's comment, "Have you been doing your own healing?" With a grin on my face from ear to ear I said yes. What a wonderful feeling! I had actually healed my body with the aid of the crystal and had the faith to believe; it paid off.

Chalcedony comes in White, Pink, Blue, Red and Grey. According to Judy Hall's "The Crystal Bible", Chalcedony is a powerful cleanser, improves mineral assimilation, and increases physical energy. It removes hostility and transforms melancholy into joy. It absorbs and dissipates negative thoughts and emotions.

In Sheril Berkovitch's Crystal Workbook, "Chalcedony encourages the expression of emotional needs. It brings calmness and peace... Assists when moving through times of sadness and regret. An emotional balancer, energiser and soother. Alleviated anger and irritability. Enhances mental stability." Well isn't the liver where we hold our anger? The Third Chakra relates to our own personal power and how we react to the world around us. This is where the liver is situated.

I found recently, "The Seven Secrets of Crystal Talismans" by Henry M. Mason. The crystal Chalcedony is classified as a seeker and simplifier. "Seeker talismans help us to discover new opportunities and to set out to achieve new goals. They help us align our feelings for new beginnings into thoughts that are focused on discovery. Those thoughts lead to actions that result in the discovery of the new approaches, new angles, and new beginnings we seek... They are also the talismans of the student and the researcher."

One section of the book is dedicated to the colour wheel. As we know colour has its own vibrations. In the Colour Wheel of Influence, the Chalcedony crystal used came under the Blue Ray of Influence, "The lighter blue rays are excellent for recovery efforts from addictions or destructive behaviour patterns. They are helpful in dealing with grief, letting go of the past, and curing guilt."

This information was an eye opener; I had approached my healing in a different way. I explored my studies of crystals to repair my body. So not only did it heal physically, it opened up another area that requires healing in new and diverse ways.

Please note: Research your crystal before using it as an elixir. Some will dissolve, others are toxic.

Photo from

Crystals ~ Aragonite

by Rayvensclaw

Colour: white, yellow, gold, green, blue and brown.
Appearance: chalky and fibrous or translucent or transparent, with distinct protrusions.
Origin: Namibia, Britain and Spain.

Aragonite is a reliable earth healer and grounding stone, attuned to the Earth Goddess. This stone transforms geopathic stress and clears blocked ley-lines. With its ability to centre and ground physical energies, it is useful in times of stress and stabilises the Base and Earth Chakra. It gently takes you back into childhood or beyond to explore the past.

Psychologically teaches patience and acceptance, it combats over-sensitivity, encourages discipline and reliability, and develops a pragmatic approach to life.

Mentally it aids concentration and brings flexibility and tolerance to the mind.

Emotionally it combats anger and emotional stress, it provides strength and support.

Physically it's a stone that makes you feel comfortable and well within your own body. It strengthens the immune system and regulates processes that are proceeding too fast.

Spiritually stabilises spiritual development, restores balance and prepares for meditation by raising vibrations and bringing energy into the physical body. Aragonite can be placed on a map to heal stress lines in the earth.

At times through our life we can all do with a calm and centred thought process and by using Aragonite in a safe environment this could bring a centre to yourself. It can create clearer vision to see the individual tree and not the forest.

Position to use: hold or place over affected parts, or place in a bath. Place under pillow to combat restlessness at night, makes a useful hand comforter and can be used as a pendant for grounding.

Crystal energy is all embracing, so tune into it but use it wisely.

And for the scientific buffs among us:
Category: Carbonate mineral
Chemical formula: CaCO3
Crystal system: Orthorhombic with pseudo hexagonal aggregates
Twinning: Polysynthetic parallel to [100] cyclically on {110}
Cleavage: Distinct on [010]
Fracture: Subconchoidal
Mohs Scale: hardness 3.5 - 4
Luster: dull or vitreous
Refractive index: nα = 1.529 - 1.530 nβ = 1.680 - 1.682 nγ = 1.685 - 1.686
Optical Properties: Biaxial (-)

Now that the scientific element has been satisfied, the normal part of us, look for something different on the shelf with spikes coming out of it. Pick it up and hold it in your hand and see if the energy feels centred.

If it does, try it.

Some common types of these are the Brown Sputnik form, the White Fan form and the White Coral form.

Info from: The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall
Images from:

Autism, Psychic Abilities, the Paranormal and Paganism there a connection?

by Jenwytch

Autism transcends the boundaries of gender, race, and culture and touches the lives of many different types of people, including witches and pagans. Most people know very little about Autism so with April being Autism Awareness Month in the US and UK and May being Autism Awareness Month here in Australia, it seems appropriate to include some information about it in the Axis Mundi, along with some interesting observations about Asperger's Syndrome and Paganism, and paranormal and psychic perception by autistics.

Read more here...

Religious Experience Amongst Followers of Nature-Based Traditions

by Caroline Fielden

For hundreds of years, individuals who experience unusual phenomena have, in the main, found such to bring more challenges than opportunities. Indeed, for many, it was the source of great suffering; from those tortured by inquisitors, to those who were locked in the halls of hospitals such as Bedlam, people who saw heard, or felt things not perceived by the majority were considered evil, or insane. Even today, people who have religious experiences are cautious when sharing such with others. Fears that they will be thought to be psychologically abnormal - crazy or even just 'not quite the full quid' keep many quiet about what are often interesting and possibly meaningful experiences.

Yet, for as long as humans have existed, there have been reports of such experiences. From those practicing the Shamanic traditions of ancient cultures through to those who employ the magical techniques of emerging civilizations, to those engage in mysticism, many individuals, who appear fully integrated members of their society or culture, have had experiences that are considered to fall outside of the range of that which is normal. However, if such is indeed a recurring aspect of human experience, it must be asked whether such experiences are truly abnormal, or whether they are expressive of a 'normal' dimension within human personality.

Investigations into the psychology of religion have been looking at questions like these, trying to understand the psychology of religion. Associations with particular personality traits, as well as with particular forms creativity have been found, and questions have been raised as to whether what appear to be unusual religious experiences have been properly considered in the past. However, while many of these studies have looked at the experiences of people in mainstream religions, the experiences of people who identify with smaller, or less recognized religious groupings have not been well considered. This is unfortunate, because unless religious experience can be shown to be something that transcends the boundaries of particular religions, the question of whether it is part of normal human experience cannot be answered. Indeed, as long as religiosity is only considered as part of the paradigm of the established religions, it will only ever been seen through their eyes.

As part of attempts to diversify understanding, Dr. Tiliopoulos and myself (Caroline Fielden), from The University of Sydney, Australia are conducting research into the relationship between religious experience and particular aspects of personality. In particular we are looking for feedback from those who identify with nature-based religions - this being a community whose voice has yet to be properly heard in this type of research. We are hoping that such will reveal a clearer idea of what religiosity is, and what it means for our understanding of what it is to be human. To this end, we invite you to give expression to your experience, to complete this survey, which will be running for only a limited period of time. Please also feel free to pass on this survey, as the more respondents we have, the better. We thank you for your help, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Caroline at, or Dr. Tiliopoulos at

For those who wish to complete the survey follow the link below and simply answer the questions to the best of your ability. The survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete.

Thank you & blessings to all,
Caroline Fielden

Back to Axis Mundi home page

Issue 14 - AUTUMN, APRIL 2009
ISSN 1839-4396

Spheres Of Light
ABN 46 385 794 818
We are based in Australia, in the Sydney-Illawarra area of NSW.
More about us...

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Phone Janine on 0408 025 268

Full Moon Circles
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 click on the banner below to check out our Events Calendar.

SOuL Searchers
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 perspective.

SOL Holistic Centre
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 This service is provided free of charge. If possible a reciprocal link to SOL would be much appreciated.

National Pagan Directory
The National Pagan Directory is a Spheres Of Light initiative to help Australian Pagans connect with each other in their local area. It is a FREE listing & provides links to information about covens, groups, classes, workshops, retreats & other special Pagan events, plus Aussie Pagan businesses & services. If you would like your coven, group, regular meet-up or special event to be listed in the NPD please send us your details. We also invite Celebrants in the Pagan community to promote their services in the NPD. For further information & contact details click on the banner above.


SOL's Samhain Weekend Retreat
2 - 3 May, 2009
Northern Illawarra, NSW

Samhain Weekend
Click here for more information...
This is a weekend of inner reflection for the person seeking direction in his or her life. Through the concept of purity of body, mind & spirit, this will be an ideal time to withdraw from the routines and pressures of modern living into the solitude of the Shadow Self.

SOL Full Moon Circle
Friday May 8, 2009

Full Moon circles
Click here for more information...

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 17th May

Click here for more information...
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.
(Please Note: you must be over 18 years of age to attend any SOL gatherings, events, classes & workshops.)



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.

The Goddess Way
26 April, 2009
Central Coast, NSW

The Goddess Way
Click here for more information...
A one day workshop for women held at the Temple of the Divine Feminine in the beautiful Hunter Valley, facilitated by Anique Radiant Heart. During this workshop we shall learn about the ancient ways of the Goddess, the ancient Temples & the Priestesses who served the Divine Mother. We shall chant, meditate, & share deeply. We shall be transformed. Cost $50, please bring a plate of food to share for lunch. Register by phone or email.
Contact:  Anique
Phone:  02 4932 4616

Autumn Retreat
8 - 10 May, 2009
Katoomba, NSW

Autumn Retreat
Click here for more information...
The Autumn Retreat is a time set aside to spend with like minded people, getting back in touch with nature and the elements in the beautiful Blue Mountains, 2hrs west of Sydney. Our weekend is about relaxation, reflection and enjoying gourmet food whilst subtly weaving in experiential elemental activities focussed around the things that we commonly do in our everyday lives. A real pagan holiday and retreat. $280pp all inclusive (adults only 18yrs+) See our website for more info and photos from last year.

Samhain Masquerade Ball
May 9, 2009 at Dickson ACT

The annual Samhain Masquerade Ball is on! This year it will be held on Saturday May 9 at the Majura Community Hall, which is behind the pool in Dickson. The theme is Creatures of the Night, and as always, a mask is a must!

There will be music, spooky themed games, light food and drinks provided. So put together your costume, grab a mask, and we hope to see you there!

Early bird tickets cost $35, PANinc members tickets cost $30 and tickets at the door and those bought after May 2 cost $50. To buy tickets: Go to Lilitu's Books & Music or Raven Clothing & Accessories. Please note that tickets are limited and that only people over the age of 18 will be permitted.

- The PAN Canberra Subcommittee

PAN Full Moon Public Circle
May 9, 2009 at Seven Hills, Sydney (map)

Date: Saturday May 9, 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

Euphoria 2009:
The Magick Within

Queen's Birthday Weekend
5 - 8 June, 2009
1 - 1 1/2 hrs North of Melbourne, VIC

Click here for more information...
Night beckons and the moon shines down upon the circle, where the sacred fire burns and pagans soon shall dance. Magick stirs within as we take the path to the witching ground, a Shaman's road to remembrance of magicks past and magicks yet to come...

Goddess Journey to Bali
13th-19th September, 2009

Goddess Journey to Bali
Click here for more information...
(then click on "Events")
Join us on this wonderful journey to Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali, for a week of spiritual connection with yourself, each other and the local community. This island is one of the places in the world where the Goddess is part of daily life.

The Druid's Dreaming Event
Saturday November 14, 2009
Adelaide, SA

The Druid's Dreaming Event
Click here for more information...
What the world needs is Magic, Music and Dreams...

The Druid's Dreaming is a one day event featuring a Medieval Fair throughout the day with information, food and goods stalls etc, with musicians scheduled throughout the day and culminating in a Night Concert. Featuring Wendy Rule, Lizzy Rose, Damh the Bard, Rob McDade, Burn'Collect, RavenWolf, Jamie McPherson, White Rhino, Ironwood, The Foundry & more!

Herbes of Purification

by Amethyst

Click on the image above to download a copy of the wordsearch so you can print it and have some fun finding all the words associated with "Herbes of Purification". (72 KB, PDF format)

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Introducing Badger, owned by Foxy. Badger is about 8 years old now and is a tricolour purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I saw him the day after he was born and he was given to me by the breeder so that he could see him grow up. He is a big sook and loves nothing better than barking at shadows and the neighbours, curling up on the lounge for cuddles and chasing Shea around the house.

He also likes toast corners and parties, cos people drop food if you look cute enough!


Shea is the youngest of Foxy and Xavier's cats (lol we have three!)and has just turned 2. She is a ratbag and gets into all sorts of mischief. She likes curling up on the lounge with Badger or plonking herself on your lap, the more of the TV she can obscure from your view the better.

She likes sunbathing by the back door and annoying the other cats. She also seems to like chasing the fairies around the house. I suspect because she herself is one, just in cat form. She also likes Tarot, the more cards she can sit on the better!

She can often be found curled up on Foxy's desk during the working day taking up as much of the desk and she physically can. (anybody seeing a pattern here?)

Badger & Shea sleeping

Basket kitty

Bagged kitty
If you would like to see your "Pagan Pet" featured here, please send a photo and a short story about your pet to

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Submissions to this newsletter are open to all pagans and pagan organisations; let us showcase your work. Submit your articles,poetry, book reviews, essays and opinions, hints and tips, information pieces and artwork. All contributors whose work is included in our newsletter receive full credit, and are linked to their website if desired.

Submitting your work for consideration is easy. Just send an inquiry or the completed work to us. We give every submission careful consideration.

The newsletter will be sent out on approx. 20/21st of each month and the closing date for submissions will be 14th of each month. More info here...

Spheres Of Light is proud to be an official Affiliate Subcommittee of the Pagan Awareness Network Australia Inc.
For more information regarding PAN Inc, please visit their website:

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