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...

Annus Horribilis

"Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging" ~ Joseph Campbell

There's no doubt that this has been a particularly difficult year, and I am relieved like so many people that this annus horribilis is coming to an end. This year has been a year of challenges, a year of facing my fears and getting my life in order for a complete change in direction next year.

2011 will no doubt bring about new challenges and no one knows whether these challenges will bring about a change for the better. In numerology 2011 will be a 4 year which is associated with hard work and building strong foundations. This will be a year where we need to be more practical, organized and efficient and any success will only be achieved through endurance and discipline.

Even if 2011 does not seem to be what we want, I believe we have a new opportunity to lift ourselves to new levels of consciousness, spirituality and responsibility - lets us use this year as an opportunity to make a difference to our lives and our precious planet.

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Axis Mundi and Spheres Of Light to wish all our readers, members, contributors and sponsors a very Blessed Litha, and a safe and happy holiday season.

Janine Donnellan

SOL's Full Moon Circle ~ November 19, 2010
Full Moon in Taurus

by Janine Donnellan

Click image to see ritual
It has become somewhat of a tradition that Spheres Of Light has a Beltane mask making workshop each year. This year we conducted a one day workshop instead of the usual weekend retreat. The theme this time was on creatures of air.

With feathers of all types and colours and blinged up to the eyeballs we all spent an enjoyable day making fantastically individualised creations of our imagination. In ancient times Shamans would create masks to be worn ceremonially for the purpose of appeasing and communicating with the spiritual forces. These masks were made to be worn at the Taurus Full Moon which was a fire ceremony connecting us to the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl.

Interestingly, when a mask is created it is often expressing the change that is taking place in one's life and as it was the Taurus Full Moon provided us with the opportunity to consider our purpose and direction in our spiritual life. This ceremony's purpose was to jump start an exciting year for the Dark Moon group as we enter into the transformative element of Fire for 2011.

The feathered or plumed serpent represents the kundalini which is the movement of energy from the Earth to the base of the spine through to the crown chakra. Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent is the Fire Bird, who wields fiery torches, and sits on the cross (tree) of the four winds. In the Mayan religion, the serpent symbolically represents the seven powers of light (chakras). The seven powers combined and awakened form a circuit of energy focused through the crown of the head to join in the Dance and Flow of energies of the Creator. The masks worn on this night represented the shift between the mundane to the sacred and assisted in delineating the sensory path to a higher level of existence.

On this fiery night all participants moved from the ante room into the circle by the beat of the drum. The Mighty Dragons of the Elements were then called upon to stand guard at the quarter's gateways. Once the circle had been cast Ix Chel the Mayan Mother of the world was summoned to bring forth the sacred flame in our heart. Quetzalcoatl was then invoked to bring the Light & the Truth so we could transcend our limitations.

Once we had connected to Queztcoatl through meditation we conducted a toning exercise through our chakras to prepare us for the dancing activity.

Chakra Tones: Vowels & Colour
Root Chakra - uh (as in "up") Red
Sacral Chakra - ooo (as in "too") Orange
Solar Plexus Chakra - oh (as in "so") Yellow
Heart Chakra - ah (as in "saw") Green
Throat chakra - i (as in "fly") Light blue
Third Eye - Aye (as in "play") Indigo
Crown Chakra - eee (as in "see") Violet

To raise energy on this powerful night, Quetzalcoatl took the torch from the fire dragon and then led each of the participants in the spiral dance of the Solar Serpent. This magical serpent weaved in and around the circle taking us higher and higher into the realms of the dragons accompanied by the memorising rhythms of the drums and percussion.

At the end of our dance all elated and charged from our experience with the fiery Queztcoatl we then thanked Ix Chel, Quetzacoatl and the dragons for their insights, we closed the circle and the residual energy was then grounded back into the earth and forwarded to individuals for healing.

More information regarding this circle and past circles can be found in our Book Of Shadows. Our next Full Moon Circles will be held near Engadine on Friday December 17, 2010 then February 18, 2011. Please contact us for further details if you would like to attend.

Midsummer - Litha - Summer Solstice

Midsummer God - Helios

by Janine Donnellan

In early Greek mythology Helios, was depicted as the personification of the Sun, sometimes referred to as Helios Panoptes, the "all seeing." His Latin name is Sol Invictus, from which we derive the English word for "sun." Helios is a member of the Titan class of gods, who ruled during the golden era. He is the son of Hyperion, and brother to Eos, Goddess of the dawn. The ancient Greek poet Homer pays homage to Helios in his epics The Iliad, the Odyssey and the Hymn to Helios.

Helios was also the guardian of oaths and the god of gift of sight. Because he was all-seeing he was often called upon to witness oaths and promises. His attributes are the whip and the globe, and his sacred animals are the cock and the eagle.

Helios was imagined as a handsome god crowned with the shining aureole of the sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. Homer described Helios's chariot as drawn by solar steeds. By day he brought light to the world, by night, he sailed in a great golden bowl back to his home in the east, floating along the river of Ocean that encircled the earth.

Helios reminds us that summer is the time where we can pause for a while and view our life from a distance in order to gain a true perspective. During the height of the sun, everything is exposed, your emotions, your thoughts and your motives. It is a time of "all seeing" and a time of adjustment.


Cosmic Events and Other Astrological Stuff

Summer Solstice / Lunar Eclipse

by Jenni Muscat

Another year is drawing to a close, and how quickly it has flown! It seems that each passing year just seems to be flying by more quickly than the previous. We look forward to another Summer Solstice, only this time it coincides with a lunar eclipse marking the Sagittarius sun/Gemini moon axis.

For the moment, I would like to write about the Summer Solstice. Since both the Solstice and the Eclipse are two separate events, they deserve mention in their own right, rather than it be seen as this powerful cosmic bundle - although mind you, it is sure to be!

The Book Corner

by Adriana

Welcome to The Book corner! You will find in this section book reviews, new books coming out, interviews with authors and even information about authors signing or talking about their books. If you would like to suggest a book to be reviewed, or even if you want to give us your own review or give us information, please let us know!

We will focus on books about Paganism, Witchcraft, Magic, Shamanism, Paranormal Investigations, Earth-based Spirituality, and may also include books on mindfulness, eco-living and others we find interesting. Obviously reviews are based on personal opinion; they are not set on stone and are not meant to be the "ultimate guide". Also please keep in mind I am not a Journalist and do not intend to be one, I am simply a proud Pagan "nerd" who loves her books!


Glenys Livingstone
Photo provided by Glenys, taken at the Parliament of the World's Religions in 2009.

Merry Meet! This time I thought I would interview one of my favouriteauthors: Glenys Livingstone! I have read her book and I re-read itbefore every Sabbat (whether I’m attending a ritual organisedby her or not), and I usually find myself with tears in my eyes! Why?Her book is filled with poetry and Goddess wisdom, and is written insuch a way that it feels like it’s written for you and aboutyou! Her Rituals are also beautiful and profound. They are always adeeply insightful encounter with the Goddess and the God, but also withthe Self in many ways.

1.What inspired you to write PaGaian Cosmology?
It was an outcome of my Doctoral Thesis. I've been practising theSeasonal Rituals for years and was passionate about Goddess and theUniverse, and then with the book I had the opportunity to put it alltogether. The book is an interesting blend of the personal, thecultural and the cosmic, which is really what PaGaian Cosmology usabout.

2.How has writing your book changed your life?
First, the regaining and renewing of my religious heritage, and havingthe opportunity to express some of it. This has also enabled me to haveamazing conversations with people all over the world, to gather othersfor whom this is also valuable. I have also made contact with a youngman who thought of the same name, he set up and gifted me with mywebsite and he advised me to make the book freely available online. (Tovisit website follow this link: have said that Taffy, your partner, came up with the name PaGaian.Can you tell me about the history of the name?
I had always understood myself as Gaian more than Pagan. But whenStarhawk came to Australia in 2003 and I helped host her visit, Irealised that the rituals I do have Pagan roots and I wanted toidentify with it somehow. So I was thinking of the two terms and Taffysaid, "well, what about PaGaian?" and I thought, "Yes! My book finallyhas a name!"

4.What would you say is the difference between being Pagan and PaGaian?
“PaGaian” is a variety of“Pagan” as I understand it, perhaps for new times.The difference is that a PaGaian would have more recognition of thewhole planet and the many layers of Self, so in that sense it's morecosmic, more global. There is more recognition of the planet, of Gaia,in both the ancient sense with all the wisdom and the rites, and in themodern sense as it incorporates scientific knowledge.

5.What influenced you in your writing?
Many authors, especially Charlene Spretnak, Marija Gimbutas, Mary Daly, Feminist poets, Starhawk, Brian Swimme, Thomas Berry, Joseph Campbell and Elizabeth Sahtouris.

6.You have mentioned the work of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme as pivotalin the creation of your book. Can you tell us about their work?
I have been able to synthesize their understandings with my Goddesspassion. They tell the Universe story. Thomas Berry talks about usbeing a communion of subjects, which brings me back to my relationshipwith the universe and with where I am. Berry talks about us being acommunion of subjects within a Subject , that the universe is asubject, not a collection of objects.

7.What does Goddess mean to you?
I grew up in a world where everything was a he, even mother animalswere sometimes a he; unless it was stupid, bad or a sex object,everything was a he. I had to restore the She, put her back into myspeech, restore her integrity, bring the Mother back into the centre.We all come forth from Her: so Goddess to me is the Universe, and Sheis everywhere and in everything.

8.How did you get into Earth-based spirituality?
When I was a toddler I was a country girl and ate a lot of red dirt.Then when I was about 15 years old I had experiences with the sun; Iremember I was watching the Sun one afternoon going over the same pieceof Earth, and it came to me as kind of a revelation that the Sun hadbeen going over the same piece of Earth for a very long time. Thenlooking at the night sky, the infinity of the sky. Those were insightsthat I didn’t talk about but that stayed with me. Then I wasa hippy as a young adult, trying to do things the indigenous/earth way,the “natural” way as I understood it. I was still aChristian then, until I read Starhawk and Mary Daly, Charlene Spretnakand her book on the Goddesses (Lost Goddesses of Early Greece. Boston:Beacon Press, 1992). So it was feminism, Goddess, moving into myreligious heritage and the seasonal practice.

9.What would you say a modern Pagan is?
It could be a few things - someone who knows their traditional heritageand still practises it … there are some fortunate Paganslike this. Or a Pagan might be someone who has lost their heritage orhad it stolen, so is trying to find that ancient heritage, theirancestors and their wisdom … a lot of us are in thissituation.
The awareness of belonging to the universe is rising again, as well asthe recognition of the Earth-Sun relationship … and that isessentially Pagan as I understand it.

10.What is the most important thing for you about your spirituality?
The practice of ceremony, and moving into sacred space, becomingconscious of it by practising seasonal rituals. the Wheel of the Year.

11.You dedicate a large part of your book to ritual celebration of theSeasons. Which one is your favourite and why?
That is a very hard question because they are all so beautiful. Andeach time I put a lot of effort into decorating the house (moving intoSacred Space) and into the Poetry of each ritual. Maybe Beltainebecause it is about the Dance of Life, or Samhain because you know– in the Dark - that the Light is coming, it’shopeful, you are dreaming something new. So I cannot choose, they areall beautiful.

12.How do you apply PaGaian Cosmology to your everyday life?
It’s about relationship with my place and coming to know thatI am the place, that my body is the universe and the universe is mybody. Paying attention to everyday rituals. Knowing that the wholedynamic of the cosmos is expressed in every breath –inhaling,receiving the gift; exhaling, becoming the gift.

13.Tell us about Bru-Na Big Tree –the name of your place
The name resonates with Bru-Na Boinne, which is in Ireland and is thePlace of the Goddess Boann. The river Boyne there is named after Her.We have a big tree in our backyard – so we name our placeaccordingly. Also the image of the Triple Spiral is found atBru-na-Boinne in the Newgrange monument, and it is lit up every WinterSolstice for about 17 minutes by the rising sun; we have re-createdthis Triple Spiral in the Winter solstice window in our Moon Court,which is our ritual space.

'Magic Book' image from:

Book Release

Selected Rituals & Essays from
the Archives of

"Magic is dangerous or it is nothing."

This statement, from William S. Burroughs' introduction to Between Spaces, offers perhaps the best summation of the magickal philosophy of Templum Nigri Solis (TNS) - one of the most influential and notorious temples to work within the Chaos Current. For nearly thirty years it has pioneered new and revolutionary techniques for liberation of the spirit and charting the farthest reaches of Magickal experience.

Available for the first time this long sought-after collection of papers offers the reader the tools to work powerful Magick and effect a radical tranformation of the psyche. In this book you will find the power to open gateways to infinite possibilities.

Although it contains a wealth of practical material, Between Spaces is not a "How To" manual or a rehashing of previously published information. The essays and rituals found inside are based on personal experience and draw on a wide variety of traditions, including; Ceremonial Magic, Witchcraft, Shamanism and Tantra. These papers strip Magick of its Holy Games to reveal the freedom which is to be found in the direct experience of Chaos Itself. This collection represents the most important volume to be published on Chaos Magick since Liber Null.

"Suck it and see for yourself why Australasian Chaos Sorcery has become a potent force to conjure with." - Pete Carroll

- Magick Dwells Between Spaces -

New Second Edition - $37.30 + P&P

Orders -


by Gabriel

Four months ago I found a 6ft branch of eucalyptus on a vacant block of land near my home that called to me and seemed perfect to become my all-purpose staff. I was extremely busy at the time so I put it in my Magic room, closed the door and forgot about it. Weeks later I took the stick to our Dark Moon Circle to be blessed and cleansed in the presence and power of the group mind. As we were packing up I noticed a big black ant with a metallic gold/green back walking around me. I shrugged it off as nothing to be concerned about. With a knife that Wayne lent me I began working on the stick a week later. First by shaving off layers of unwanted flaws and then sanding it down, allowing the energy of the wood to lead me.

Days later after an intense meditation in my magic room, eyes still adjusting to sunlight, I felt a presence in the room and immediately noticed something crawling on the staff. I got up and as I approached the staff I was awestruck to find 2 ants facing each other at a perfect right angle. They too had gold/green backs and I stepped back as I felt their piercing stare communicate the ordeal I had put them through for the past 6 weeks. They wanted to be outside and so I decided to leave the staff on the step next to my front door as I felt they had now become part of my direct family and wanted to be close to me.

Last Saturday morning I awoke feeling the ecstasy that often follows a significant moment of profound understanding after our dark moon circles. This time I'd had the privilege of being part of our beloved brother Wayne's dedication ceremony. Fully charged I opened the front door to greet the day and as I looked down I noticed a wolf spider in a strange position facing the staff, I could also see the glisten of a single string of silk attached to its base and as I crouched down realised that the spider had died. Shocked, I stood up and thought to myself, 'The Ant killed it.' Hours later I saw my Golden back friend following an invisible scent trail up the stairs around the spider and with its front legs climb up onto the staff and back into its Home.

I don't know how long our time together will last as they can live for a couple of years but I do know that as a Totem or Shadow animal the Ant may teach us about the virtues of patience and perseverance. Ants will remove obstacles and can lift and carry many times their weight yet they tirelessly use their mighty strength for the welfare of their society through teamwork. It may be that I need to learn to put aside my ego and focus upon the greater good of all. A tough call and one that I hope I can successfully achieve in this lifetime.

Finding the exact species is going to take some time as there are as many species and sub-species of Ant as there are people in the multicultural strata of Human society. However it looks very similar to the Golden-spined Ant, Polyrachis hookeri.

Medicine Cards © 1988 by Jamie Sams & David Carson - Bear & Co
Australian Ants: their Biology and Identification by S. Shattuck
Image from

Message Spider

by Maria

Click to enlarge
At home one has many nick-nacks that can be utilized, or combined together to produce an item that has meaning. This is what happened here. Amongst my jewellery pieces I found an anklet, which I had not worn in years, with two charms, one being the spider. The spider charm together with the stone felt right. It was then a matter of joining the two. It was accomplished with silver wire.

This piece of jewellery isn't about the stone or the spider per se but the creative combination of the two energies, both relate to balance, unity, creativity while offering gentleness and strength. The spider, as a totem animal is associated with many things but what really stuck out for me was its relation to writing, life balance, creativity, and own web of life. Each time I come in contact with a spider I recall the item significance, and meaning to me.

So if you too want to produce an item (tool) of power, just look around your home, you may be surprised at what you find. It doesn't have to be worn; you could carry or hang it. The object's most important attribute is its activation of our subconscious mind to its power.

The Role of the Healer ~ A Path of Integrity

by Janine Donnellan

When you take on the role of a healer you need to model the behaviour you are promoting, in other words you need to 'walk the talk'. Easier said then done I know. As a healer myself I believe that you should treat all human beings with compassion, respect and tolerance. Of course there will always be people that you come in contact with that will be particularly annoying, but if you can't treat them with compassion, respect and tolerance then perhaps you should reevaluate your motives for being a healer.

The healer is walking a spiritual path, a path of integrity and that should show through to whoever you connect with on your journey. You don't stop being a healer when you finish a client session; it follows you where ever you go. If you become arrogant, discriminatory or dismissive of people it will reflect on you as a healer and as a spiritual being.

We are all here on this earth to learn and to grow and if you have been given a gift of healing then honour this gift in a way that it was intended. Open your heart and see the positive side of others. Perhaps if you find yourself in a position where someone is causing a negative effect on your emotions then you should look within to see why it is causing that response. Ask yourself are you honest with self and all who come into contact with you and can you honour the spirit within each person regardless of how they feel about you?

So as a healer what is your integrity? Is it based on what your needs are and what your ego requires? If you walk the Path of a Healer, then be conscious of your everyday connection with all that you meet, for it is then you will gain a real connection with the truth. This connection is more powerful than any false illusions created by your own sense of self importance.

Shaman's Tools

by Janine Donnellan

A shaman is a healer who helps people to understand and respect the natural and the supernatural world around them and within them. A Shaman is the mediator between the material world and the various astral realms and can walk between these realms at will.

An important aspect of Shamanism is the tools the shaman uses, these tools are physical representations of the tools that the shaman uses during his or her astral journeys. The tools e.g. the drum or the rattle can assist the shaman in entering an altered state of consciousness. Shamanic tools therefore focus and express energy received from Spirit which can be used for healing, diagnosis, cleansing, journeying and divination.

The Talking Stick

The Talking Stick is the tool that teaches each of us to honour the sacred point of view of the people we communicate with. Talking Sticks were used whenever there was an important gathering to discuss things of consequence and where the seeking of wisdom and guidance were paramount. Those present would listen respectively to the speaker holding the Talking Stick, reserving any judgment or criticism. Indeed, it was common practice for the listeners to transfer their positive energy and wisdom to the speaker to ensure that any outcomes had integrity.

As most people are aware communicating thoughts and ideas clearly can become a problem in a group environment. Often in social interactions between members you will get disagreements and conversations all happening at once. The Native Americans had a remedy for this by using a talking stick. Only the person with the stick can speak and no one may interrupt or speak until the stick is passed to them.

This Talking Stick is an important shamanic tool and is usually decorated with feathers, crystals and other types of decorations to show its significance and to imbue it with energy. Spheres Of Light's talking stick has been decorated by the members of the Dark Moon Circle. As new members join the circle they add their energy to the talking stick and it becomes a never ending collaborative work in progress.

Ancient Trees of Tasmania

by Janine Donnellan

Since ancient times, cultures around the world have honoured trees with reverence and respect. Trees were seen as mythical ancestors and were worshipped as the living embodiment of the gods. Trees were treated as living beings which held within its structure holy medicinal and miraculous healing qualities for the body, mind and spirit. With their roots buried deep in the earth, trunk above ground, and branches stretching outwards to the sky, the tree served as a symbolic embodiment of the bridge between this world and those of other spiritual realms.

Over the centuries the tree has become the silent witness to and often the centre of profound spiritual occurrences. Not only has it been seen as a sentinel of time but as structure of knowledge. The most ancient cross-cultural symbolic representation of the mystery of the universe's construction is the world tree where it is viewed as a vital part of the structure of the universe.

Australia is a beautiful and rugged landscape teeming with plants and animals that exist nowhere else on earth. Despite being thought of as 'the wide brown land' Australia has a diverse, unique and precious heritage of trees and forest communities. Australia's forests have ancient origins, their distinctive ecology began with the gradual separation of the Australian continent from the great southern land mass of Gondwana about 135 million years ago. As the continent drifted away from the South Polar Region the climate became warmer and drier and new species of plants and animals, unique to Australia, evolved to dominate the landscape.

As a result of the progressive drying of the continent, most of the Gondwanan forests have been replaced by tough-leaved open forests dominated by eucalypts and acacias. However, some isolated remnants of the ancient Gondwanan forests remain. These include the cool and warm temperate rainforests of eastern Australia and the dry rainforests or scrub forests of northern Australia. Tasmania contains one of the world's last remaining old-growth rainforests and home to numerous threatened or endangered plant and animal species, which has long held a special significance for Indigenous communities, said to have inhabited the area up to 10,000 years ago.

Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is 240 kilometres south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. Tasmania is promoted as the natural state, the "island of inspiration", owing to its large and relatively unspoiled natural environment. Almost 37% of Tasmania lies in reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites.

Tasmania has some of the tallest hardwood forests on Earth, with trees reaching nearly 100 metres. These occur along the eastern fringe of the South-West and are part of one of the world's great temperate wilderness areas. Tasmania has Australia's greatest tract of temperate rainforest, the little-known Tarkine wilderness in the north-west of the state.

This is a picturesque and truly magical place where trees of incredible antiquity grow. The Huon pine is one of the slowest-growing and longest-living plants in the world. It can grow to an age of 3,000 years or more. Huon pine is a relic of Gondwana - the first pollen records date back 135 million years. International headlines were made with the discovery of a stand of Huon pines on the west coast of Tasmania still growing from a base root more than 10,000 years old. Other trees that dominate the rainforest include: dry-sclerophyll eucalypt, myrtle, celery-top pine, sassafras, pencil pine and king billy pine.

In 2003 El Grande, a massive 350 year old Eucalyptus regnans, was engulfed in a regeneration burn after clear-felling of old growth forest. At 79m and with a girth of 20m, El Grande stood alone in a patch of cleared forest in the Tasmanian wilderness. This was Australia's biggest, most robust hardwood and the Forestry Tasmania, admitted responsibility for its death through an "accidental burning".

Tasmania unfortunately has some of Australia's most voracious logging. Much of this destruction is subsidised by the Australian taxpayer. Tasmania exports more woodchips than all other states of Australia put together.

Conservationists who have campaigned tirelessly to protect the hardwood forests of this region are outraged that logging is destroying Tasmania's tall forests, its rainforests and its wilderness areas. This is our heritage and we have a responsibility to protect these sacred forests. Once we have lost our forests in the wilderness they are gone forever. While pressure from the Australian public has helped to protect some of Tasmania's old growth forests we need to do more to stop the destruction of this wonderful environment.

Please support the new future for Tasmania's Forests. Click on the image below and send your message of support to the Wilderness Society:


Glastonbury - Vandals cut down the Holy Thorn Tree

by Janine Donnellan

In the early hours of Thursday 9th December 2010, vandals cut the Holy Thorn Tree down to a stump that stood on Wearyall Hill and scattered its branches over the ground. Sadly the Holy thorn has no tree preservation order which means the vandals are unlikely to be prosecuted if caught.

The Holy Thorn blossoms at Christmas and Easter and some of its thorns adorn the Queen's Christmas Day dinner table decoration each year. The attack came hours after the annual cutting ceremony. Evidently the tree was attacked once before by Cromwell's Roundheads during the Civil War.

Thousands of Pagan and Christian pilgrims pay homage at the site each year. This is the most important tree in Glastonbury and is of exceptional spiritual significance. People of all faiths and walks of life come to Glastonbury to visit the Abbey, the Tor and follow in the footsteps of pilgrims, climbing Wearyall Hill to see the Holy Thorn. I made this pilgrimage back in 2005 and was taken at the beauty and energy contained in this magnificent tree which is back dropped by St Michaels Tower on top of the Tor.

The tree is covered in multi coloured ribbons and when you tie a ribbon around it you are acknowledging working with another aspect of yourself. You are actually forming a partnership with the tree to help manifest the required changes in your life. Just as the Arthurian knights strove to find the elusive Holy Grail, the spiritual pilgrim who makes a statement of change at the Holy Thorn Tree is following a journey within them self in search of enlightenment.

According to old Cornish legends, Christ's uncle, Joseph of Arimathaea, was a tin merchant who traded with miners on Britain's western coasts. On one of his trading journeys he brought along his nephew, the boy Jesus, and together they made a pilgrimage to the Holy Isle of Avalon (Ynys Witrin). Years later (in 37AD), Joseph returned. He set foot onto Ynys Witrin on Wearyall Hill, where he moored his boat. There he planted his Jerusalem Thorn staff in the ground and rested his feet from the long journey. The staff took root, and it is said that a descendant of that tree still grows on Wearyall Hill to this day.

People have gathered to weep and mourn the destruction of the sacred tree, and some are gathering branches from the scattered limbs in the hope that a new shoot might be grafted and encouraged from the remains.

The trunk still stands intact and there is a possibility that the tree will respond as though it was deeply pruned and grow back fuller and richer in time than it was. And if not, there are shoots and small trees growing in Glastonbury that spring from cuttings of the Tree. It can be replanted, still stemming from the original roots, and the flowers will blossom still then, twice a year - at Winter Solstice and at Ostara.


Herbs ~ Elder

by Amethyst

Again this month I was wondering what herbe to write about, and had a drink while thinking about it. As I was drinking Elderflower Cordial at the time, it didn't take me long to do some research and find out that Elder is suitable for Midsummer rituals.

Among those herbes with a rich history of lore, the elder stands as the equivalent of a high priestess. There is extensive material about this familiar shrub.

Crystals ~ Carnelian

by Maria

Carnelian colours range from brownish red to orange, translucent to opaque. The colouring agent is iron, and through heating the colour canbe enhanced. Some sources note that, the colour may improve if placedout in the sun. I must admit that on sunnier days, the colour of mybracelet (see above) becomes more vibrant and deeper.

It has a hardness of 7 making it a crystal that is able to withstandnormal wear.

Magickal Tools and Other Things

by Rayvensclaw

Last month I put finger to keyboard to talk about our Magick and the tools required. This month my article is along the same lines but a different path.

Divination is quite common throughout the craft, be it by tarot, runes, palm reading and the crystal ball. In the ancient times (no not last month, further back) there was a bewildering array of methods, from examining animal entrails to consulting oracles. One such form was Belomancy derived from the Greek belos meaning an arrow, while Romans called this method 'sortes sagittariae' which simply means arrow divination. It wasn't just the Greeks and Romans who played around with Belomancy, the Babylonians, Scythians, Arabs, Celts, Gaul's and Germanic tribes all used this system, and may I add so did Aleister Crowley in modern times.

There was no single method to divine by arrows. Sometimes they would just fire a cluster of arrows in the air and interpret them as they landed by position to each other; arrows that crossed or touched meant a negative answer. Another method was to mark the arrows with symbols or words then fired, the furthest one was considered the best option.

The Babylonians just threw a arrow into the air when they wanted to know which direction to take when traveling. They would also find lost members of their tribe by throwing an arrow into the air and following it until they found them. Also some had pre marked their arrows and then put them back in their quiver; an arrow removed at random would indicate what they wanted to know. Some tribes also wrote names of cities on them and drew them out to indicate which city was to be attacked first.

Another form of arrow divination was to use straight wooden rods, known as Rhabdomancy which gets its name again from the Greeks, rhabdos meaning a stick or wand. Both methods are confused with each other; the main difference is that arrows for Belomancy were marked while the rods for Rhabdomancy were not.

Divination by rods was widely practiced in Scythia, Assyria, Palestine, Greece, Etruria, Rome, Russia, Germany and England. It was also used to divine for water or precious metals, although later it was used to mark out boundaries and also to find missing persons.

The Old Testament mentions how both King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba used experts in Rhabdomancy in order to find out about each other. Hermes from ancient Greece had a divining rod given to him by Apollo, this rod is known as the Caduceus, it was decorated with wings and made of Hazel, a very magical wood in its own right. Note: Apollo also owned a golden divining arrow with similar powers.

In Egypt the Pharaohs used magicians who could transform rods into serpents; these rods were known as Ur-Heka 'the great magical power' Rome also had a powerful rod known as a lituus which was a mark of office.

I haven't found too much information about modern use of Belomancy or Rhabdomancy; we however do have rods/wands in tarot cards. It would seem a mistake however to think of Belomancy or Rhabdomancy as the forerunners of today's Magick wands, but there appears to be some evidence that they may have co-existed at the same time.

Giselle Maggs, Witchcraft & Wicca issue 19
Images from:

The Tales of Little Purple - Part 7

by Amethyst

At Last

It was with great trepidation and some quite big fear
That Little Purple headed out of the Dragon Cave so large
And took his first flight in the big wide world so huge.

At first he only flew just outside the cavern’s mouth
He didn’t seem to show any fear
But what dragonkind couldn’t see
Was Little Purple crying in his sleep.

But as time went by,
As time went along
Little Purple found his little courage grew
And further afield he flew.

And then came the great big day
That caused the dragons to roar
The day that Little Purple flew solo
No harness, No more.

And on the fateful day
Where do you think he flew
Why to Uncle George’s grave no less
At the bottom of that great big hill.

Little Purple crying in his sleep ~ Illustration by Rayvensclaw

If you've not met Little Purple before, click on these links to read his earlier tales...

Part 1 - The Tales of Little Purple
Part 2 - I've Hatched
Part 3 - Look I Can Fly
Part 4 - The Great Intention Disaster
Part 5 - Samhain's Call
Part 6 - It's Time!

Back to Axis Mundi home page

Issue 34 - SUMMER, DECEMBER 2010
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...

For general inquiries...
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.

New page added to website:

We now have a page to advertise upcoming lectures and workshops facilitated by SOuL Searchers...
Lotus Health & Wellbeing Centre, Wollongong NSW


Saturday 12th February 2011

This is a 2 hour workshop to learn how to conduct a space clearing in your home or place of business.

Sometimes a house or office can feel uncomfortable, and there is no real reason to explain your uneasy feeling. Other times, it's easy: someone has been there that was negative, ill or died. There may be instances when you moved into a space and just felt like someone else was there, or the space just didn't feel right.

At this workshop you will learn the basic techniques to conduct a space clearing on your home or business. You will learn how to clear negative or stagnant energetic 'imprints' built up over the years from the accumulation of day to day living and from previous occupants. You will also learn how to remove unwanted entities that may be attached to your home.

Janine Donnellan from Spheres of Light & SOuL Searchers will be the facilitator of this workshop.

Where: Lotus Health & Wellbeing Centre - 246 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW 2500
When: Saturday 12th February 2011
Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Cost: $45 includes notes
Bookings: 02 4226 4740 or

Click image above to see the Lotus website.

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!

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 Full Moon Circle
February 18, 2011

Full Moon circles
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 20, 2011

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, although we will be taking a break over the Xmas - New Year period. 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.)

Some visitors to our picnic after the last meditation...

Click images to enlarge
(Photos by Jenwytch)



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 & in the National Pagan Directory.

PAN Full Moon Public Circle
Tuesday December 21, 2010 at Seven Hills, Sydney (map)

Date: Tuesday December 21, 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.


Baileys Mocha Frappe

2 cups ice cubes
80ml (1/3 cup) Baileys Original Irish Cream liqueur
1 tbs instant coffee
80ml (1/3 cup) milk
Chocolate topping, to serve

Place the ice cubes, Baileys, instant coffee and milk in the jug of a blender and blend until almost smooth. Swirl the chocolate topping around the rim of 2 serving glasses. Top with the Baileys mixture to serve.

Passionfruit ice-cream

Ingredients (serves 4)

500ml (2 cups) thickened cream
375ml (1 1/2 cups) coconut milk
4 egg yolks
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
160ml (2/3 cup) strained passionfruit pulp
(You will need about 8 passionfruit for this recipe.) Ice-cream cones, to serve

Combine the cream and coconut milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat. Use an electric beater to whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale. Gradually stir the cream mixture into the egg mixture. Pour into a clean saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 15 minutes or until custard coats the back of the spoon. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Stir in the passionfruit pulp. Pour mixture into a shallow metal container. Cover with foil and place in the freezer for 3 hours or until firm. Roughly break up the ice-cream with a metal spoon. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Quickly return ice-cream to the metal container. Cover with foil and freeze for a further 3 hours or until firm. Scoop ice-cream into cones or bowls and serve immediately.


Midsummer Incense

I love the soft lingering smell of jasmine on a hot summer evening. It brings back pleasant memories of childhood and family gatherings on the back verandah of my parents house. Jasmine is a brain stimulant, and is excellent for calming, restoring balance and confidence, it is also an anti-depressive, and soothes headaches.

2 Parts Sandalwood
1 Part Mugwort
Several drops of Jasmine oil


The Universe

This year has been a difficult journey for a lot of people and here we are now in the final month of the year. I feel that it was very apt to draw the Universe as it reminds us that we are almost back where we started. We have arrived at the final leg of our journey before we will once again take another leap into the unknown.

As the Fool we will soon be standing at the edge of the same cliff, but hopefully having experienced the turbulence of the fall we will now see this new position very differently. With the completion of each journey, we will see life in a new perspective. With each jump our journey allows us to see more of the world from a higher vibration. Another year ends and again the world turns.

In the Universe card we see the symbols of the four elements, four compass points and the four corners of the universe. Here we see all the representations of our journey through the various aspects of the body and the mind; a circular never ending process until we find the balance within our self. Through the integration of all the parts of self we hope to attain a harmonious synthesis of experience and wisdom which we can eventually assimilate successfully into the material reality of our life.
Tarot card is from the Thoth Deck.

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Publication Date approx. 20th/21st

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Website designed, built & maintained by Jenwytch. Original Axis Mundi Magazine design, layout & production by Jenwytch (March 2008 to May 2011).
PDF version of Axis Mundi Magazine design, layout & production by Janine Donnellan (from June 2011 onwards) & uploaded to Issuu PDF Reader by Jenwytch.

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