From the Editor...
Have you noticed that the pace of life is speeding up? Change seems to happen more rapidly and as a result more and more of us are living in overdrive. There is so much more to learn, more challenges to meet and more tasks to accomplish. Yet the time to fit it all in seems to be getting less and less.
For the past week I have felt like I am running on empty and this acceleration of time seems to be putting me under additional stress to the point I am wondering if I will be able to cope with this rapid change without burning out or breaking down.
There is a theory that we are headed toward what is called a "singularity". This is the term that mathematicians give to a point when an equation breaks down and ceases to have any useful meaning. The rules change and then something completely different and unexpected happens. The faster the world changes around us, the more we are forced to let go of any preconceived notions we have of what the future holds and then we are forced to live in the now.
I guess that to live with continued acceleration and all that it brings will take more than simple life management skills, it will involve a complete revision of our thinking about what the meaning of life is really all about.
The truth is that we are only half-awake and we need to fully awaken to who we are and what we really want. When we are awakened to our true nature, we become free from a dependence on the external world for the nourishment of our sense of self and our inner well-being. Then perhaps we can access the innate truth that lies deep within us all. In actuality, this sense of acceleration of time may well be the next step in the transition from amassing knowledge to actually developing wisdom.
Autumn Equinox Meditation ... a personal insight
SOL's monthly meditation for March was on the day of the Autumn Equinox here in the southern hemisphere. In February it was decided that we would base our first four meditations for the year on the Four Worlds of Kabbalah. Unfortunately I missed the February meditation, which was on Atziluth - the world of emanation. March's meditation was based on Beriah - the world of creation. The following is an account of my meditation experience.
I saw myself as the tone of "middle C" and watched as the sound took on the shape of a circle which was the red/pink colour of a tongue, or of internal organs and muscles. This circle was me and I was now flying through space and transforming from the pinkish circle into a streak of fluoro pink flame. I flew on and on, past the moon, the planets and the stars, leaving a hot pink trail in my wake, until I came to a void which gradually took on the colour yellow.
SOL's Full Moon Circle ~ March 26th, 2010
"Hail!" to the Holy One who appears in the heavens!
"Hail!" to the Holy Priestess of Heaven!
"Hail!" to Inanna, Great Lady of Love!
The Autumn Equinox is a time of giving thanks, and a time of finding balance. While we celebrate the gifts of the earth, we also accept that the earth is preparing for dormancy. Warmth is behind us, cold lies ahead and the equinox heralds a journey of contemplation.
On the night of our full moon circle, we all went on a meditative descent into the Underworld. Our ritual drama was based on the Sumerian myth of Inanna's descent into the Great Below. This journey marks the path of the magician and the initiation into the mysteries. Seven gates, seven planets and seven chakras had to be passed through; seven me's must be relinquished so that one can be reborn anew. As in the Sumerian myth, this ritual reflected the deep realization that death is not inimical to life but an essential aspect of its totality and, indeed, the passageway to a new cycle of life.
Prior to the ritual each person was asked to write down 7 me's that related to the planets and to the corresponding chakras. Everyone was then ushered into the main hall where a circle was formed around a septagram (The points of the star, when joined around the outside, form a heptagon.). Each point of the seven pointed star represented a planet; each planet on the septagram had a significance to the me's that have been written down. Each person had a planet as a starting point and each planet thereafter related to their me's in sequence.
Going in an anticlockwise direction each person moved around the Septagram. Each point of the star represented a gate where one meditated on the corresponding me and how it related to that planet and their chakra, then they released that particular me before moving on to the next gate. Once the 7th gate was reached, the last me was released and each person became metaphorically naked and experienced a spiritual death. Each person was suspended in a void - nothingness. After a period of deep inner contemplation a small pinprick of light appeared above the crown chakra, the light source became larger and larger and then entered the body through the crown chakra, and then moved down the spinal cord to the base chakra. The white light then entered each chakra opening, clearing blockages and cleansing each chakra. Once all the chakras had been cleared and aligned a process of healing and rebirth took place.
Each person then turned and moved clockwise through the Septagram receiving back their reengineered me's. At each gate, they received healing in which the integration process was to be enacted over the coming weeks. The ritual was a very long and exhaustive process and at the end we all shared our experiences and then we thanked Inanna and the Sumerian Deity for their presence and guidance, the circle was closed, the residual energy was then grounded back into the earth and forwarded to individuals for healing.
Planets, Deity and Chakra Alignments:
Jupiter - Enlil Lord of Expansion - corresponds to the Crown Chakra it is the planet of expansion, growth and cooperation and benevolence.
Moon - Nanna Lord of the Unconscious Mind - corresponds to the Third Eye and is the planet of the unconscious mind and moods.
Mercury - Enki, Lord of Intellect - corresponds to the Throat Chakra and represents the intellect, the lower mind, cognitive ability and the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas verbally to others.
Venus - Inanna Goddess of Love - corresponds to the Heart Chakra and represents our love nature, our compassion and how we relate to others in interpersonal relationships.
Sun - Utu Lord of the Sun - corresponds to the Solar Plexus and represents the conscious ego, the self and its expression, personal power, pride and authority, leadership qualities; and the principles of creativity, spontaneity, health and vitality; the life force.
Mars - Nergel Lord of War - corresponds to the Sacral Chakra and represents our drive, our need to assert ourselves in the world. It is forceful, outwardly directed, and relates to our sex drive as well. It represents our ability to conquer those obstacles which stand in our way of full self-determined action, but also represents the forces which create anger as well.
Saturn - Ninurta lord of the Earth - corresponds to the Base Chakra and is associated with the principles of limitation, restrictions, boundaries, practicality and reality. Saturn governs ambition, career, authority and hierarchy, discipline and conforming social structures.
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, April 23rd. Please contact us for further details if you would like to attend.
Australian Autumn Flower ~ Dagger Hakea
by Janine Donnellan
Dagger Hakea (Hakea teretifolia), is a species of woody shrub of the Proteaceae family common on heathlands in coastal Eastern Australia from Northern New South Wales through to Victoria and Tasmania. A very prickly shrub, it is rarely cultivated but easy to grow.
The Dagger Hakea usually grows up to 1 metre high. It has leaves that are of a cylindrical shape with a very sharp tip which tend to grow between 2 and 5 cm long. The Dagger Hakea's flowers are white, have a silky/hairy texture and cover much of the branches. It has small fruits that are around 30 mm long, narrow and shaped similar to a birds beak.
The shrubs are usually rather straggly in shape and are intermingled with sharp barbs that are protective in nature. The sharp prongs protect the beautiful flowers that lie between them and reflect a protectiveness of the vulnerable inner beauty which lies within a person.
Dagger Hakea Flower Essence
- open expression of feelings
- bitterness towards close family, friends, lovers
This Bush Flower Essence is for people who feel resentment and bitterness and hold grudges against those with whom they have been very close e.g. family members, friends and old lovers.
Dagger Hakea flower essence is also for people who feel vulnerable. This essence will assist in allowing some of those protective barriers to be set aside enough to enable expression of some of their feelings without the need lash out in anger or spite. It is an essence that allows forgiveness to take place so that the healing of relationships or the recovery of a break up can begin.
I am forgiven; I forgive
I am free to be me and I flow with the breeze
Inner Realm of Ynys Witrin
~ Spheres Of Light's Dark Moon Circle
From its inception Spheres Of Light has had a strong connection to the mysteries of Avalon. Our Dark Moon Circle is known as the Inner Realm of Ynys Witrin. Ynys Witrin was the ancient Celtic name for the Tor at Glastonbury, it means the 'Isle of Glass' or the 'Isle of Seeing' and legend has it that it was the entrance to the Otherworld. This Isle of Seeing also acts as a mirror, which enables seekers to look deep within their hearts, and truly know themselves.
The Dark Moon circle consists of a group of dedicated seekers from Spheres Of Light who are embarking upon a journey of discovery to know themselves and to experience new realities. The Dark Moon circle is held during the dark moon of each month which is a time when one can walk between the worlds, a time when one can face their shadow to find their hidden potential.
The focus of our activities is on integrating and adapting ancient teachings and shamanic techniques into our own perspective of evolutionary Witchcraft. Each member brings to this Circle their own unique skills, knowledge and qualities, which helps to make the experience of the Circle a valuable resource of learning. It is the core circle where we develop our Group Mind by working strongly and regularly together. The development of the Group Mind takes a lot of time, hard work and practice to achieve, thus dedication and regular attendance is critical to the Circles long term spiritual growth and development.
LOCATION: Somerset; Glastonbury lies in the southwest of England, about 220Kms from London and 40Kms south of Bristol. It is the home of Glastonbury Abbey, Chalice Well and of course the Tor.
Ancient myth has it that it was the resting place of the dead, where they pass to another level of existence.
Two of Glastonbury's biggest traditions concern Joseph of Arimathea and King Arthur. Here it is said was the birthplace of British Christianity, the legends go back to the days of the Apostles, it even tells of Jesus as a boy walking on the hills of Somerset. King Arthur and Guinevere are said to be buried at the Abbey. In 1190 or 1911 during reconstruction of the Abbey, after a fire in 1184, seven feet below ground they unearthed a stone slab and a leaden cross with the inscription, "Here lies buried the renowned King Arthur in the isle of Avalon". Considerably further down was a coffin, inside were the bones of a tall man, with a damaged skull, some smaller bones and a scrap of yellow hair which crumbled when touched, this was explained as Guinevere's remains. In 1278 the bones were placed in caskets and transferred during a visit by King Edward I. They remained there until 1539 when the Abbey was destroyed, after dissolution (there is a sign proclaiming the site - for tourist purposes).
The Tor is the legendary home of Gwyn Ap Nudd, King of the Fairy folk and Lord of the Otherworld realm of Annwn. Gwyn is a figure from Celtic paganism. His father Nudd is the British god Nodons. Of interest Gwyn Ap Nudd has been suggested to have 19 Faerie Queen maidens attending him, and they are named: Anu, Danu, Mab, Morrigu, Madron, Mary, Arianrod, Cerridwen, Rhiannon, Epona, Rigatona, Bride, Brigit, Hecate, Magdalena, Morgana, Gwen Hw Yfar, Vivien and Nimue.
Two thousand years ago the sea washed to the foot of the Tor, but the water gradually retreated, leaving a lake. The Celts called this area "Ynys-Witrin" (Island of Glass), it was also called Avalon, named after the Demi-God Avalloc or Avallach, who ruled the underworld.
Around the Tor there is a strange system of terracing, very weathered and worn but still well defined, it has been interpreted as a maze following an ancient magical pattern, and built around 4 or 5 thousand years ago during the period of the work at Stonehenge.
The monks in the area felt the Tor to be special, and they built a small church on top dedicated to St Michael the Archangel, the warrior saint who is remembered for defeating the power of darkness. It was manned by 12 Christian hermits. The church fell down in an earthquake (enough said).
The present tower is the last fragment of another church of St Michael, built to replace the first. Locals speak of hidden chambers underneath and if entered the person goes mad.
In 1539 the last Abbot of Glastonbury, Richard Whiting, was hung in the tower on the orders of Henry VIII.
Below the Tor is a garden containing the Chalice Well. The spring that feeds it is nine feet below ground. It flows all year, come rain or drought. Arthurian stories mention the well in the Grail history, the colour of the water being red/brown (iron impregnated) as being "the blood of Christ".
Click image for larger view
"St Michael's Tower"
Oil painting by Rayvensclaw
The White Spring was the original source of water for Glastonbury. It derives its name from the fact that the water contains calcium. At the White Spring there is a shrine to Brigid, Celtic Fire Goddess.
On our visit to Glastonbury we were unlucky enough to find the Chalice Well closed for the day, but managed to still get some of its water from the outside spigot in the lane at the side. Just across the lane at the White Spring, which was open, we nearly had to fight to get some water, as there were people collecting the water in big jugs.
The root of the mystery of Avalon has nothing to do with Christianity, which came late to the area, first as an inheritor, then as a usurper, finally as a destroyer.
The answer is through Pagan ritual and natural magical intuition, they are so old and so deeply entrenched in this area that everything after that was just a blink of the eye.
The surrounding town as taken advantage of the energy and of course tourism, money has be to made and spent in the area. Every second shop is New Age (hate that term), with spell books, herbs, clothes and food for all shapes and sizes, believers and non-believers alike.
The Glastonbury Festival began the day after Jimi Hendrix died in 1970. 1,500 people attended at a cost of one pound, which included free milk from the farm. In 2008 134,000 people attended this festival, at a cost of 155 pound, which included a program (inflation is a great thing isn't it, and where's the milk?).
This site is believed by many to be the focal point of the local ley lines of the area. Not having our dowsing rods with us at the time, we can't confirm or deny this.
The history of the Tor and Avalon could go on for pages and pages. What is legend and what is truth, who can tell? Belief is a very strong feeling, and as we have visited these sites and climbed the long path to the Tor (dodging the cowpats on the way) we know there is a very strong energy there. Now was it just me or is there a link to something else? Well I don't know, but for me there was something strong and lasting, the feeling still remains.
Photographs by Amethyst
by Janine Donnellan
In Shamanic terms a Power Animal is a spiritual companion that appears in animal form with its own unique nature and skills to assist you with a particular life experience. According to shamanic understanding, we each have a number of power animals that will come to us at certain times throughout our life. Each Power Animal has certain medicine powers to teach and certain knowledge to share, for each Power Animal has its own methods of overcoming the many challenges we must meet in order to evolve as spiritual beings.
Diamond Python (Morelia spilota)
At our Meditation in the Park last month our group noticed a snake coiled up in the rafters of the kiosk while we were enjoying our coffee. Initially I thought it was dead as it looked a mess with bits of skin falling off it. The snake however was going through the process of shedding its skin. Evidently healthy snakes usually have little or no difficulty with shedding and tend to shed their skins in one entire piece. Sick snakes, those suffering from malnutrition, or those whose health has been directly or indirectly compromised tend to shed their skins in pieces. The snake was identified as a Diamond Python which is a non-venomous snake. It had the typical black with cream colouring forming a series of diamond shaped patterns.
Click image for larger view
The species is found throughout mainland Australia and will grow from 1.8m to 2.8m. Pythons are constrictors, coiling around their prey and squeezing it until it suffocates. Like most other snakes they can swallow animals much larger than the diameter of their own heads. The reptile feeds mainly on birds and other vertebrates such as rats, mice, possums and bandicoots. The Diamond Python lays eggs (oviparous) and the female python coils around the clutch to incubate and protect them.
The Serpent or Snake represents the cyclic nature of life due to the annual shedding of its skin. It is a phallic symbol, a symbol of the Triple Goddess and of the earth mysteries and represents the circle of eternity and the oneness of the universe. The snake was an important animal in ancient cultures, and far from being the symbol of evil that it became amongst Christians, it was a creature that represented fertility, healing and renewal. Snakes were regarded as guardians of the underworld or messengers between the Upper and Lower worlds because they live within the earth, inside the body of the Mother, and were considered to be aware of all her secrets. The underworld womb of Mother Earth was regarded as the source of all life and the tomb into which all things were laid at death.
The appearance of this snake at this time of year was indeed a message of death and renewal. The shedding of its skin represented the exfoliation of all that was redundant and causing constriction in our lives. This shedding of the old is indeed the alchemic process of transmutation from one form into another. The Snake is associated with higher wisdom that comes with the passing of time and experience. Hopefully once we have gone through the painful process of shedding we will able to see the world from an entirely new perspective.
by Janine Donnellan
Samhain is traditionally the start of the Celtic New Year, this is the time when the nights become colder and longer and when the boundary is thinnest between the worlds of the living and the dead. As the symbol of the Earth the Dark Goddess reins during this period of time in her most feared and powerful aspect of the Crone.
Click image for larger view
"Hecate, Queen of the Witches"
Painting by Nina Falaise
Hecate, a popular goddess to invoke at Samhain, was originally a Thracian and pre-Olympian Greek goddess who ruled over the realms of earth and fertility rituals. Today she is known by many titles, such as the Queen of the Underworld, Goddess of Witchcraft, she is a deity of the night, the crossroads, and of life and death. She is the overseer of the world of the dead and at night she travels the earth accompanied by her dogs and dead souls. Hecate was sometimes shown with three animal heads - the dog, snake, and lion, or alternately the dog, horse, and bear. This aspect refers to her sovereignty over the ancient tripartite year of spring, summer, and winter.
Hecate has also been referred to as the Snake Goddess of Tartarus, Tartarus being another name for the underworld. In ancient times Snakes were regarded as guardians and messengers of the underworld as they appeared to live beneath the ground in the Earth Mothers tomb and emerge from a death like phase, shedding their skin to begin anew. As a Goddess of Tartarus, Hecate's role was to search for the souls of the dead in the realms between the worlds. In the myth of Demeter and her abducted daughter Persephone, Hecate helped Demeter search for her daughter, and later acted as Persephone's intermediary between the worlds.
As the Queen of the Underworld, Hecate is a guardian figure of the unconscious mind. She enables us to communicate with the shadow self that lives in the hidden parts of our psyche. She is the Goddess of the Dark Moon bearing the torch that illuminates the hazardous journey through the formless void of transformation, guiding us safely through the cycle of death, revelation and renewal.
Mother of night!
Dark Power of the moon!
Keeper of the shadow!
Walker of the endless highways!
She unites those who follow her as her children; the Hekite.
Bearer of the sacred poppy.
Keeper of the hounds of Hel and the three-headed dog Cerebus!
She walks abroad in the hour of the wolf and under the Dark Moon!
Hear my call O Lady and cover us with your starry cloak.
Let the unborn moon seed in my heart this night.
And let her growing light shine upon our intention;
That she be at our full deliverance,
So Mote it be!
Erhard Hans Josef Lang
Paintings by Nina Falaise
Click on the link below or the image of "The Dark Mother" at the left to see a larger view plus more of Nina's beautiful paintings, and also for contact details if you are interested in purchasing any of her paintings.
Lapidary Work: The photo below shows Angelite in slab form and as a polished cabochon heart. The heart shape was cut out for me, a gift. I then had to polish the stone carefully by hand due to its hardness of 3.5 (Mohs' hardness scale), meaning that it can be scratched using a copper coin.
Appearance: Angelite is a solid pale blue form of calcium sulfate or "anhydrate", which is gypsum that has lost water and crystallized. It sometimes shows traces of white calcium mineral. It is formed from Celestite (same Subclass: Anhydrous Sulfates.) that has been compressed over millions of years. (Celestine Crystal Information next issue, as a follow on from here.)
Other colours: mid blue to celestial blue, lilac, violet, white, grey violet veined resembling angel wings. Sometimes may contain flecks of red. An opaque stone.
Herbs ~ Cypress a.k.a. Tree of Death
There were times in Celtic life when normal routine was deliberately dismantled, and Samhain was one of these. This was the Celtic New Year, and for one night the spirits of departed loved ones were invited in to sit at the hearth and be fed and cared for. When the night was over, the ancestors were taken to the village boundaries and seen off with clattering bells and drums. The god (and/or goddess) went underground where his transformation continued underground unseen until time for rebirth at Yule. This spirit of death and rebirth is honoured through a lovely tree, the Cypress.
Botanical: Cupressus sempervirens
Planetary associations: Mars, Saturn, Neptune
Zodiac associations: Virgo
Magickal classifications: Herbe of Immortality, Religious Herbe
Invocatory: Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Ashtoreth, Cupid, Cybele/Kybele, Cyparissus/ Kyparissos, Hades, Hebe, Hecate, Jupiter, Mithras, Pluto, Zoroaster
Part Used: Leaf, twigs, fruit, bark, wood, resin and essential oil
Cupressus sempervirens, the Mediterranean Cypress (also known as Italian, Tuscan, or Graveyard Cypress, or Pencil Pine) is a species of cypress native to the eastern Mediterranean region. It is a medium-sized evergreen tree to 35 m (115 ft) tall, with a conic crown with level branches and variably loosely hanging branchlets. It is very long-lived, with some trees reported to be over 1,000 years old. The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green (blue-green) in colour. The leaves are scale-like, 2-5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are ovoid or oblong, 25-40 mm long, with 10-14 scales, green at first, and maturing brown about 20-24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3-5 mm long, and release pollen in late winter. The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for 'evergreen'.
Cypress has long been associated with the protective aspect of death. This very beautiful tree has a powerful aura, but some people consider this a gloomy tree. It has been cultivated since prehistoric times for its fragrant wood. Its stately, tall, narrow form is often found in formal gardens. It is considered a mystical tree that is usually found either growing directly in water, or very close to it, and it's a classic tree in Tuscany, where it is planted along country roads to yield a fragrant path shaded from the hot sun and protected from winds. This cypress yields the most fragrant of the various cypress essential oils. The tree produces a resin that can be gathered from incisions in the bark (some resin just seeps through the bark without cutting), or the needles can simply be harvested and added to incense and pot pourri. Men are especially fond of its scent, which is refreshing, restorative, calms anger, helps with concentration, and creates feelings of security. The fragrance has a quality that moves the senses upwards, like the branches of the tree itself. The overall effect is one of sweetness.
"Sweeter than the finest nectar
Of the honeyed pomegranate
Is the fragrance of the wind
In the grove of cypress."
Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, "The Angel of Air",
The Essene Gospel of Peace, Book Two
Cupressus sempervirens was known by the ancient Greeks and Romans as "the mournful tree", sacred to the rulers of the underworld and to their associates, the Fates and the Furies. It was customary to plant it by a grave, and, at the time of a death, to place it either before the house of the decedent or in the vestibule, to warn those about to perform a sacred rite against entering a place polluted by a dead body. No Roman funeral was complete without cypress. Mourners carried its branches as a sign of respect and the bodies of the great were laid upon cypress branches before interment. According to Ovid, the tree was named after Kyparissos, a favourite of Apollo. The young boy accidentally slew Apollo's beloved stag. He became so remorseful that he besought the gods to punish him with everlasting gloom. In compliance they transformed him into a cypress tree. The cypress is the principal cemetery tree in the Muslim world as well as in ancient and modern European cultures.
It was the traditional wood for making sarcophagi (coffins) in ancient Egypt because the fragrant wood resists rotting. In fact, in Europe, coffins were built of cypress and funeral garlands and wreaths made of its branches to represent eternal life. In ancient Greece, statues of the Gods were carved from this wood. The Minoans spread a cult form Crete to Cyprus that worshipped the cypress as a divine symbol.
This magick herb is also sacred to Hades ("the unseen"), the god of the Underworld and thus of both death and earthly riches, who was stern, ferocious in battle, and just. Cypress is also the tree of the Blood Moon (October) and is linked to elemental Earth, not only through Hades but especially in the form of the Phrygian goddess of earth and caves, Cybele/Kybele. She ruled over the natural world, wild animals, dark magick, and revenge. Cypress represents life after death and comfort for grief.
"My life is full of little deaths
I will be born again".
Song - Little Deaths
Artist - To Die For
Despite the sorrowful aspects of this herbe, there are many possibilities for its magickal use. The scent of Cypress can ease the flow of emotional tears, especially those of parting. At times of great loss it is of value in developing an understanding that death is merely a continuum from one existence into another.
Use at times of crisis, especially at the death of a friend or family member. When worn to funerals it eases the mind and alleviates grief. Throw a sprig into the grave to bestow luck and love in the hereafter. As a symbol of eternity and immortality, it is worn to lengthen life. To make a healing wand, slowly cut, over a three-month period, a branch (with the trees permission of course). The root and cones are also healing, as is the greenery when dried and used as incense. The wand may also be used in invocations to the Gods.
Used in ritual fires to consecrate ritual tools in its smoke. Cypress might be used by those who wish to establish a bonding with their familiars, which is capable of being carried into the next reincarnation.
Cypress bark, dried and powdered, makes superior incense for those who work with the magick of the legendary King Stag of the forest. Cypress bark, dried and powdered, would make a superior incense for this work. The bark could be collected and woven into a breechcloth to be worn when running as the stag.
Cypress can also ease the transitions that are part of life, such as changing your attitude towards something or someone. For people who tend to take a hard line, it shows a more lenient approach. It also helps to overcome fear of the dark, or the unknown, and of course the fear of death itself.
Death is not always peaceful and Cypress does not deny the agony of any loss or tragedy, but it is concerned with facing the truth, and as such will lift the spirits out of introspection and into the light.
"Let him be just and deal kindly with my people,
for the dead are not powerless. Dead - I say?
There is no death. Only a change of worlds".
Chief Seattle (on surrendering his land in 1885 - the City of Seattle now stands there)
a compendium of Herbal Magick by Paul Beyerl 1998
The Fragrant Year by Jane Grayson 1993
Editor's Note: 'Cypress' is the name applied to many plant species within the cypress family Cupressaceae, a number of which are native to Australia. The various species of cypress, while bearing the same or similar common name, could have somewhat different qualities to the particular type of cypress referred to above.
Days went by & then the weeks
Before you knew it
Half a year had gone
And still Little Purple had not attempted to fly
To that cavern’s mouth so large.
He stayed in the back
In the dim and dusty corners so dark
Giving them all a good clean out
Not flying anywhere about.
Uncle George tried everything he knew
To entice Little Purple out
He felt so sad, he felt so bad
That what he’d planned as a great treat
Had gone so horribly terribly wrong.
It seemed to be, sad to say,
That Little Purple might never become
Might never grow up to be
That Mighty Purple Dragon.
That sad and terrible day
When Uncle George’s heart gave out
and he collapsed onto the cavern floor
In a sad and terrible state.
He knew he didn’t have long
In this body of his so old
So he called for Little Purple
and begged and pleaded with him
To take the steps so large
To conquer this fear so terrible
Of that big wide world so huge.
Finally Little Purple agreed
That if everyone would help
He'd take the steps so tiny
To gain back his courage so huge.
And with that statement going the rounds
Of these caverns so large
Uncle George let go of his last breath
The quiet did scream and shout
That such a beloved and mighty dragon
Was no more!
Illustration by Rayvensclaw
Little Purple is in mourning for his Uncle George, so it might be a
while before he gets back to us. How about saying a prayer for
all the people who have lost loved ones!
Issue 26 - AUTUMN, APRIL 2010
SPHERES OF LIGHT (SOL)
ABN 46 385 794 818
We are based in Australia, in the Sydney-Illawarra area of NSW.
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Phone Janine on 0408 025 268
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Spheres Of Light holds regular Full Moon Circles near Engadine (Southern Sydney, Australia) on the Friday before each Full Moon. These Full Moon gatherings are Open Circles, meaning that all Pagans are welcome to come along any time and experience a Full Moon circle with us. Details here...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for times and meet up details.
(Please Note: you must be over 18 years of age to attend any SOL gatherings, events, classes & workshops.)
PAGAN AND COMMUNITY EVENTS
Please email us the details of any pagan or community events, classes, workshops or regular meetings that you'd like to see promoted here in this free listing & in the National Pagan Directory.
Join 'urbandon', Newtown creator of steampunk contraptionery, and our special guest, Dij Dijor in an afternoon of viewing pleasure as they showcase their crafted devices & artefacts, curiosities & jewellery (perhaps even a raygun, definitely a time machine or two) all driven by a passion for steam age design; complimented perfectly by the surrounds of alternative fashion salon, Gallery Serpentine, with its trademark obsession for all things neo-Victorian. Vintage gas masks and military accoutrements will also be available from Mr Gasmask & friends on the bus seat outside the viewing window. Steam punk sound track & one-off Serpentine steamstyles to be unveiled, promo's on Debstar Designs' steampunk cameos & Donna David's extreme epaulets; a jolly afternoon in the making. Dress up = extra delights.
Date: Monday 26 April (Public holiday)
Time: 2:00PM - 5:45PM
Location: Gallery Serpentine, Enmore, beside Enmore Theatre, Shop 2, 112-116 Enmore Road, Enmore, NSW. View map
PAN Full Moon Public Circle
April 28, 2010 at Seven Hills, Sydney (map)
Date: Wednesday April 28, 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.
Held at "48 Little Oxford Street" Darlinghurst, each week the group explores the ways of the Witch through ritual, trance, tarot, energy work for healing, astral doorways, familiar spirits, spellcraft & chants, the use of incense, herbs & wine, & the alchemy of the four elements - earth, air, fire & water - & how Witches use them. We start at 8pm, concluding around 10.30pm. 4 weekly sessions $25 each, or casual attendance $30. There is limited space up to 13 places - email Tim - email@example.com.
A training prima for Coven Circle work, it's the place to begin the journey in group ritual work. Designed to guide those interested in experiencing ritual practices & gaining an appreciation of what working in a Witches' Coven is like. Course is run over 4 workshops, each session runs over 3.5hrs, & provides both detailed theory, followed-on by a ritual practicum. The workshop fee is $200 & is offered as best way to do this hands-on practice in a space of 4 weeks ($15/hr). The workshop is run regularly, or once I have at least 5 students. Next workshop TBA. Expression of interest - email Tim - firstname.lastname@example.org
For those ready to continue their magickal work or wanting greater depth, this course series offers a practical & psychological understanding of the transformative power of working in Covens. The aim of the work is to demonstrate & engage in the progressive stages of training used in a Witches' Coven. The rituals are challenging both physically & psychologically. In a mentoring-style program the course is run over several months during which the students work toward mastering Coven rituals. In this course you will explore methods for navigating the effects of your personal journey within the experience of group ritual. The work explores the journey of soul-making, using Alchemy & Mythology as the languages in deciphering psychological depth to the Initiation process. The workshop provides many practical applications of magickal work & psychic experiences as the 'tools' in re-establishing our connection to the Witch-within. The student must have completed the "Casting the Witch's Circle" workshop in order to be considered for this practicum. For further details contact Tim - email@example.com
In many cultures magick is the practice of working with the psychic reality. The principal aim of the NOX meditation rite is to begin the work of exploring personal myth & vision through the psychic experience. The practice helps to provide a method of bringing about direct visionary experiences, which in time gradually reveal their symbolic inner stories, our soul-stories and personal myth. The NOX ritual is a unique form of magickal training, incorporating a fusion of Western Mystery Tradition techniques & Oriental Sufi practices. The NOX workshop & ritual covers the use of sufi trance-dance & arabic 'zaar' drum rhythms, blended with the practices of Thelemic ritual magick in the creation of sacred space for the purpose of soul-journeys. The workshop & ritual is spread over two sessions held a week apart. Part one provides an exploration of the ritual practices & trance-dance techniques in preparation for the evening ritual. And then, in part two we return to explore techniques for re-immersion of the ritual experiences & the mapping of your soul-journey. The complete workshop fee is $180. Anyone repeating the ritual fee $25. Participants require a ritual robe and a grimoire (a magickal diary). Expression of interest - email Tim - firstname.lastname@example.org
Layered Berry Crumble
Ingredients: (serves 4)
500g frozen mixed berries
3 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 quantity Basic crumble topping
Basic Crumple Recipe
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
1/2 cup plain flour
100 gm (3 and half ounces) melted butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 180 deg C/160 deg C fan-forced. Make topping. Combine berries, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Spoon half the mixture into a 4cm-deep, 20cm (base) pie dish. Sprinkle half the topping over berry mixture. Repeat with remaining berry mixture and topping. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Serve with cream, custard or ice-cream.
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