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...

Running the Gauntlet

Running the gauntlet is an ancient form of physical punishment wherein a man is compelled to run between two rows - a gauntlet of soldiers who strike him as he passes. Well the recent lunar and solar eclipses has had me feeling like I have been running such a gauntlet. The solar eclipse in Cancer in particular may have seemed rather uneventful to some, but the neglected aspects of my life have been literally shaken loose and major issues have now been rising to the surface to be dealt with.

I have been in this strange state of transition for the past year and at the moment I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. According to some psychics, it appears that we are all living in between the old and the new. On one hand you may be in the process of dealing with past aspects of your life (finances, legal matters, relocation, relationships, etc), and on the other, your new life is coming more clearly into view and is patiently waiting for you to make the full transition. Insights of new opportunities may be popping up in your mind and you may be feeling intense pressure to get a whole lot of things done; you know how it goes, "There is so much to do, and so little time to do it in".

At the moment I am heading towards a complete change in direction and the effects of these eclipses are propelling me forward to my ultimate goal at break neck speed. The Universe in the meantime is enticing me with glimpses of my new reality. This new life is what I have dreamed about for years, and yes it will be an exciting phase but this integration won't be complete until I have finally cut loose all those encumbrances and then who knows what will happen.

"I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be."
~ Douglas Adams

Janine Donnellan

Cosmic Events and Other Astrological Stuff

by Jenni Muscat

Welcome to this month's column. Eclipses are always an interesting time from an Astrological perspective, and this last set is no exception. What made it even more interesting this go around is when the lunar eclipse aligned.

When this last partial lunar eclipse occurred, on 26th June AEST at around 9:30PM, the Sun was 4 degrees Cancer with the Moon in its exact opposite position in Capricorn. At the same time, a T square formed with Uranus in 0 degrees Aries, opposing Saturn in 28 degrees Virgo. Pluto completes the T in 4 degrees of Capricorn. This is called an Ingress T square because two of the three planets have moved into a Cardinal sign. Add the Sun and Moon conjunct Pluto and we have a very powerful and explosive Grand Cross.

I read an article in the Federation of Australian Astrologer's magazine the week before, written by my former teacher Ed Tamplin. His observations on the subject intrigued me. I wanted to observe any upcoming events closer to home for the following week. And what an interesting week it turned out to be - a week that nobody could really have foreseen!

The week in question saw the very sudden, very public, ousting of Kevin Rudd as Australia's prime minister. It had been well publicised the crises in the Labor Party due to the dissatisfaction of Rudd's leadership, amongst other things. His deputy, Julia Gillard, had been given backing by various factions from both Labor and the Coalition, undermining Rudd's leadership - despite stating that she was still loyal as his deputy.

This is an example of what can unfold when powerful planets like the ones mentioned form such aspects. Let's break this down to get a better idea of who the players are in this Grand Cross. We have Saturn, who represents form, structure, boundaries and authority. Opposing Saturn is Uranus, representing upheavals, sudden change and challenging the status quo. Squaring the both of them is Pluto, who is about the tearing down of ideals and structures in order to rebuild. With Saturn, we saw Kevin Rudd in the highest authority of ruling a country after being elected by the people. With Uranus, we saw growing dissatisfaction with members of parliament questioning whether Rudd was ruling the country properly. The Sun and Moon will intensify matters on a personal and emotional level. There were endless questions in regards to the refugee "problem", the mining tax, and the back-flip that was taken on climate change. The status quo and the leadership was being challenged amidst this growing dissatisfaction. Pluto was played out by the rug being pulled out from beneath Kevin Rudd's feet - the tall poppy has been torn down from his pedestal to make way for the promise of something new. Only time will tell as to whether this promise will actually deliver.

There is another planet involved in this Grand Cross that I haven't mentioned until now. Jupiter has moved into the ingress sign of Aries and at the time of the eclipse Grand Cross, it was sitting at 2 degrees, conjunct Uranus. Jupiter is about optimism, networking on a larger scale, and in the case of Julia Gillard, it was about backing the best horse that will win the race, so to speak. Her supporters promised their backing but we may also see a hidden agenda. Questions may already have been asked along the lines of: "Who is actually running this country? What's in it for everyone else?"

Any day now - at least if we assume the rumours to be true - Julia Gillard will announce an election day, giving the public their choice in who governs the country. Public opinion is divided and it will be a very close election indeed.

It's been seen recently, to great dismay, how the powers that be seem to be clamping down even more so on individual rights and civil liberties. It's also been seen how people aren't allowed to live as they should like to live. For example, religious differences make for walking through a multitude of minefields. There is always the suggestion in regards to not only what the best religion is, but how it should be practised.

This Grand Cross could indicate just how fed up people are with being told what to do - by the establishment (with whom corruption is rife) who would rather tell people what to say but not practise it themselves, by friends and family who have expectations which differ from the individual, by work colleagues and even by perfect strangers. What it could also indicate is how prepared people are in wanting to stand up for themselves. It's clear that there is a lot of unhappiness in this world, and there is a sniff of rebellion in the air - whether it's on a world scale or among smaller communities, the sentiment is the same.

These matters have been brewing for a great deal of time and this eclipse Grand Cross is simply bringing this out in the open for all to see. On yet another level, there are major life changing events for people, and there isn't an awful lot of say in these events occurring. How each person deals with these situations as they arise is of their own choosing.

Everyone will be affected in some way by this alignment of planets, although it will be even more so for people who are born in the Ingress signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn as there are hard aspects in the way of squares and oppositions that manifests in their horoscopes.

Two weeks after the Lunar Eclipse, there was a total Solar Eclipse which would herald new beginnings. People would set about thinking what they want to release from their lives in order to make room for the new and how to go about implementing these beginnings.

The Sun and Moon have since moved on and the other planets have had their alignment reverted to the T square - at least for the time being. The T square will be in effect for some time to come yet and it will bring about many interesting changes. Towards the end of the year, the personal planets of Mercury and Venus will aspect to form a series of Grand Crosses, and there is another lunar eclipse on 21st December - at the time of the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. This eclipse will see the full Moon axis of Sagitarrius/Gemini. These two planets will once again feature to form a Grand Cross with the power players of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto.

These personal planets will bring about a different set of dynamics and a different set of attitudes when they align. The sayings "Hold on to your hats" or "Flying by the seat of your pants" would be a most apt description during these testing times. I sign off with this quote below, from the Sabian Oracle. Until next month, fare thee well!


There is a growing, objective awareness of how you fit into the larger picture. You may find you are participating in or have a more important role than you previously thought. Imprinting one's mark. Becoming an exemplar of one's tradition and culture. Try not to become too identified with externals or seeking recognition from the populace. Observing one's limitations. If negative - blindly following the dogma of government or officials. Stereotyping one's self or others.

Images obtained from these websites:
Lunar Eclipse Gallery - www.usm.uni-muenchen.d
Edward Earl -
Jenni lives south of Sydney with her three children and menagerie of pets. Her passion for Astrology has been utilised at great length for the last ten years. Along with self-learning, she has studied at the Sirius School of Astrology under the guidance of Ed Tamplin and Sherrynne Dalby. Jenni's other interests include Reiki, Feng Shui & intuitive alignment of the land and home, Heathenism, Shamanism, Crystals, Metaphysical Healing, Paranormal investigations (conducted through the SOuL Searchers team of Spheres Of Light) Tarot and Angel readings, along with gardening, walking, family & friends. Jenni has various creative endeavours including making candles, soaps and runes for sale, along with selling crystals and other trinkets.

Jenni can be contacted for consultations and merchandise on...
Mobile: 0438 741 964
(See links above for paranormal investigations)

SOL's Full Moon Circle ~ June 25, 2010
Yule - Full Moon in Capricorn

by Janine Donnellan

Click image to see ritual
On the night of our Yule celebration we connected to the energy of the Full Moon in Capricorn and the partial lunar eclipse. At this time of year we experience the birth of the Sun, which creates a new growth cycle; the Earth and all beings are made ready for a fresh beginning.

The Full Moon in Capricorn with Sun in Cancer is all about the structures, work and goals you make in regards your life, security and home. At this juncture you have the cosmic energies with you to start moving into the bigger picture of your purpose on Earth and what you are here to achieve from the level of yourself as a Co-creator. The lunar eclipse plays its part by illuminating us from within and bringing clarity to see and be in our higher spiritual designation and work with the Bigger Picture. Embracing the energy of this powerful full moon helps shift a lot of the old patterns and dramas that are no longer appropriate and assists in bringing about a peaceful loving space for everyone.

The circle was cast, and the Watchers were evoked to guard and protect each of the quarters. At this circle we connected to the Mother Goddess and the Lord who were to oversee the bringing in of the new light and warmth for another year. At this turning of the year's tide, we commenced our ritual by all joining hands and chanting together whilst walking anti clockwise:

"Turn, turn, turn the wheel, round and round it goes.
The flame that died, it now doth heal.
Welcome sunlight farewell strife.
Turn, turn, turn the wheel, round and round it goes".

Each person then in turn took a taper from the altar and lit it from the altar candle and went to the cauldron and threw it into the kindling. The Priestess then welcomed in the light with the words:

"May all our Power strengthen the new-born Lord". "All hail the Sun God".
All: All hail the Sun God, all hail the death and birth of Yule. All Hail.

During meditation we focussed on the redundant aspects of our life, we were taken to a warehouse where our redundant aspects were represented by stacks of boxes. In the centre of the warehouse was a furnace and we were given an opportunity to burn those aspects that were holding us back.

In the silence of the between time, at the time of the power of the sun, we connected to our higher guidance for illumination on our journey for the coming months with the hope that each person would gain a new impression and awareness of their divine presence. We all shared our experiences and then plates of biscuits and cups of wine were passed around the circle. We then thanked our Hosts and the Watchers 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.

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, July 23rd. Please contact us for further details if you would like to attend.

Persephone and The Forest

by Craig PhoenixWolf

Yule is a time when the season turns and the winter is at it's peak. It is when we look to the return of the Sun and the warmth while still in the grip of the chill of winter. Yule is when the virgin Goddess is awoken and the God is reborn. Yule is a time of transformation when the long nights of winter start to give way to longer days. The reawakening of the earth brings hope and promise of ongoing life and the coming warmth as the God grows ever stronger. Yule is also a time when, legend tells us, Persephone is in the Underworld as the Queen of the Underworld and her absence from the earth brings us winter. The earth, like Demeter, grieves until Persephone returns to the earth once more.

This year Pagan Initiative held Yule at Mount Keira at the Scout Camp there and for the first time I was taking both of my daughters with me to an event. Jessica, my eldest, had attended other events but my youngest, Rebecca, had not been to any pagan events and was excited to go to her first. Both girls were looking forward to Yule and had been counting down the days expectantly for some time.

The drive to Yule was spent with my answering their many questions about what would happen and what they would get to do while there. The mood light and expectant, we quickly covered the miles from Goulburn to Mount Keira. (Why is it miles sounds better than kilometres?)

We found our way to the camp easily and were very happy to see the scout camp.

Already there, some of our friends in the pagan community were busy settling in and unpacking for what promised to be a good weekend with mild weather, good friends and interesting workshops.

Once people had gathered the event was opened with a few words from the organisers about the rules and the camp. We were encouraged to enjoy the beauty of the bush around the camp but should we wish to go bush walking we should not go alone and should tell people where we were going. Then we moved into the circle for the opening ritual.

Mount Keira has been a place where, long before the Europeans, the native aboriginal tribe of the region, the Dharawal and Wodi Wodi, would come to Mount Keira or Djera as they called the mountain, as part of their own seasonal journey. The opening ritual honored the spirits of the land and the people who had walked the lands before us and asked them to watch over the gathering. We were then led into a spiral dance which saw people trying not to fall over as they tried to keep up with the rest of the group, such was the speed and energy that the event opened with.

Mount Keira is also known for the lyrebirds which have made their home there. The lyrebird is well known for its mimicry and has been known to imitate a wide variety of sounds and other animals. One account of the lyrebirds of Mount Keira reported them imitating dogs and other animals. On Mount Keira there is a national reserve for the lyrebird and they could be seen and heard about the camp. It is interesting to note the lyrebird is the mythological story teller.

Friday night saw people telling stories and catching up with each other. Some had travelled just a short way, others much further to be a part of the Yule celebration.

Morning light showed Mount Keira in all it's glory and I believe it is a truly magical place. So do many couples as it is a popular place for weddings and receptions. The climb from the bunk house to the main building was made for mountain goats and the extra fit, the rest of us puffed and panted as we climbed the stairs.

The morning activities consisted of workshops including poppet making and crafts, and yours truly gave a talk on the Native American Flute. While I did so events were happening that none of us were aware of but that lead to a change in both the focus and feel of the weekend. While I was presenting and explaining how to play the Native American Flute, my youngest daughter by my side, Jessica was assisting some of the group get fire wood for the fire pit.

As a typical teenager, Jessica thinks she knows a lot. She is a girl growing into a woman and had been helping out with chores and getting involved in activities. When the group left the fire pit, Jessica began a different adventure. In the moments before lunch was served Jessica stepped off the path and away from the fire pit and like a television drama, vanished.

The bell rang for lunch, a large golden bell on a wooden frame that could be heard tolling across the campsite. As the rest of us began to prepare to eat, I noticed Jessica had not entered the dining hall. I asked Rebecca had she seen her sister. She hadn't. I put my lunch aside and went out and began calling for Jessica. It was unlike her not to come running for a meal.

Searching the grounds revealed no sign of her.

Soon I was not alone searching for her though at first the feeling was she had just gone off to do something by her self and would show up. Thirty minutes. Sixty. No sign of her and the search parties getting bigger and covering more and more area.

Now I know as a parent we do not like to admit our offspring's faults but something told me this was not a game for her. Jessica wanted to be at Yule and was looking forward to the workshops and for her not to respond to people calling for her... Well as a parent it soon became hard not to picture her hurt and unable to respond.

Sixty minutes became three hours of searching the grounds not once but several times. Workshops abandoned. The other children led off to do some things to keep them busy and together. I want to thank those who cared for Rebecca while I was becoming more and more stressed. I know Rebecca was getting just as worried about her sister and I think she welcomed the distractions as much as I did.

We were trying everything. Those who could physically search did. Those who were more adept with sensing searched that way as well. One young man, who had a close connection to the land and the region and I tried to find her and while he sensed she was okay and that there were lyrebirds around her, he could pin point where she was. I just felt she was down hill of where we were.

After some hours of everyone searching, the Warden/caretakers helping to look called in the police. Of course by now I was getting to the point of despair. How could I have lost one of my children? How would I tell their mother? Where was she? Was she okay? Was she hurt? So many fears filling my mind.

There was a tension in the camp as everyone held their breath waiting for news. The arrival of the police seemed to bring a new sense of hope. Soon they sent out searchers to check the grounds. Those who had already searched for hours quickly offered their services to the officers of Wollongong's Search and Rescue.

Jessica, for her part, we found out later, had wandered through the bush trying to find a way through the thick scrub and found a trail. It seemed every time she went to leave it a lyrebird would appear, flapping it's wings and squawking to turn her back onto the path.

The police called in the air patrol and the helicopter flew over head for some time searching the thick tree line for some sign. Sadly the tree cover was too thick to see Jessica picking her way beneath and the noise of the helicopter too loud to hear calls for help.

Like the Goddess being woken by the animals, my daughter felt she was being guided and urged on by the animals of Mount Keira. Occasionally she felt despair and would go to give up only to hear a growling sound that would spur her into action again. One of the wardens told me later that there are wild dogs on the mountain but I wonder if it were not the lyrebirds mimicking the growl to keep her moving.

Around the mountain there are also wild deer and on two occasions, Jessica told us later, a group would run by. The trail she had found most likely was a game trail and not a bush walker's path as Jessica had thought. Instead of leading her back to the camp the game trail led her deeper into the Australian Bush.

More than once there was reference to Persephone and her journey to the underworld and back. I know for me, the fear and grief I was feeling would have been akin to that of Demeter when Persephone was taken. As a parent I have experienced nothing more scary as the thoughts of what might have been. It was hard to do nothing and know there was nothing you could do. I begged the Gods to return her to me just as Demeter must have begged Zeus to rescue her daughter.

Slowly the light faded and the darkness of evening began to close in around the mountain. Still people looked and prayed and those who stood by me rarely left me alone. I know some feared as much for my health as for Jessica's.

In the fall of night the State Emergency Service and members of the Wollongong Police prepared to go into the twilight and search when a radio call came in. A girl calling for help in the woods some two kilometres away. A patrol was dispatched to check it out as local residents began searching the woods behind their property for the source of the calls for help. I remember looking expectantly between the trees towards the lights of Wollongong in the distance and praying to the Gods that it was Jessica.

My daughter was found between six and six and a half hours after she went missing. She had walked from Mount Keira to the ourskirts of Wollongong. Alone. Scared. Cold. Alive!

It was after six in the evening when it was confirmed that my daughter had indeed been found. She was taken to Wollongong Hospital and given a check up. Fortunately, other than exhaustion, a little dehydration and cold, the only injuries were scratches that covered her legs and hands. It was a such a relief to find her sitting in the hospital bed. Hands cut up. I could see in her eyes the journey through the woods had affected her.

Aerial view of Mt Keira Scout Camp and surrounding bushland

Those waiting for news from me sighed with relief when they got word Jessica was okay and that we would be coming back to the camp. The camp had been subdued and waiting expectantly for any news. When it came people finally began to relax.

At nine thirty we left the hospital and made the dark climb back up the mountain. Jessica and Rebecca sitting in the back in silence. A far cry from the chatter of the journey to Mount Keira from Goulburn. The black road just served to remind me how lucky it was Jessica had been found before nightfall had enveloped the mountain in a curtain of pitch black. The air so cold that my windows were fogging over from our breath.

A good result, the Police and SES called it. I call it a miracle. My daughter had been through her own walkabout, her own journey into the underworld and returned safely to tell the tale.

I for one was happy to see her smiling the next day and while I could tell she was affected by her experience, she was trying to get back to normal including performing in an act that some of the children had scripted and choreographed themselves.

Yule had new meaning for me. The Gods had given me back my eldest daughter. That was all the gift I could ask for.

Sunday saw emotions swing wildly as the effects of the stress of the day before really hit home. Some were exhausted. Some still tense. Some worked up and others just relieved. The weekend had changed and it was thanks to my family and friends in the pagan community, the wardens of Mount Keira Scout Camp, the Police and members of the State Emergency Service that my family and I were able to look back on the weekend with gratitude and a new respect for life.

The closing ritual of the weekend I think could not have been more perfect. After thanks from the organisers and words from both Jessica and myself we were led in a hug circle. Everyone, well most, hugged each other and as I went around I thanked every one in turn for their love, help and support.

Soon it was time to clean up and we all chipped in leaving the camp site clean and tidy.

Then it was time for final goodbyes and hugs. One by one people said good bye as they finished packing up.

I know I will never forget this Yule. I will never forget those people who helped me. I will never forget those people who put aside their plans to search for my eldest daughter or cared for my youngest. I will never forget and neither will Jessica who, like those of the land before us, experienced her own spiritual journey. One where she had to survive alone and through the journey return a little stronger and wiser for the experience.

Thank you all.

Events like those that took place at Mount Keira test us and reveal us to others. How we treat each other at a time of crisis, how we come together. They affect us each differently.

There are gifts the Gods give us. The gifts of life and love. Joy and community. We come together as pagans in celebration of that. Workshops and rituals are fun but when push comes to shove I would rather spend my weekend with those good friends in celebration of life.

Now reading this I know it might seem like some glorious quest. But living it I can tell you it has been the hardest, most painful thing I have ever experienced and the effects of it I am still feeling a week later. So while this article was to have been one about the celebration of Yule it is for me about the celebration of my daughter's return from the underworld.

It is also meant as a warning. As a parent, I have a duty to my children. As an adult, I have a duty to the other children and adults around me. When you go to events pay attention to the rules, they are there to protect people. Pay attention to those around you. Everyone is there to enjoy themselves and by being aware of those around you you can play your part in making sure everyone has a good time.

I think we sometimes forget what is important in life. What things mean. Yule is meant to be a celebration of life beginning anew. It is a time when the longest night is at hand and the promise of brighter days to come. It is a time for family and friends to gather together in the dark and look longingly to the future.

While Yule at Mount Keira saw workshops cancelled and plans changed, it did see a refocusing on the true meaning of Yule, at least for me. The coming together of family and friends to celebrate life and the hope of better days.

Images from:

Gods & Goddesses ~ Persephone

by Rayvensclaw

I was going to write a completely different story for this edition of Axis Mundi but was told by a higher spirit to do Persephone. After some confusion with the name and looking in the wrong direction I finally came up with the correct information, sometimes with spirit as in most other things, you have to disregard the forest to find the trees or the leaves.

Persephone/Kore, is the maiden goddess of spring and the underworld. She is the daughter aspect of the Demeter/Persephone myth and is jointly queen of the dead and goddess of spring. This combination makes her an extraordinary figure of female autonomy. Her caring aspect is seen in her insistence on returning each year to Hades,in the land of the dead. She is celebrated in spring and autumn.

Persephone by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882). Oil on canvas, 1874

Persephone, daughter of Demeter (the earth goddess), was abducted (at the suggestion of Zeus) and raped by Hades and forced to be his consort. According to the myth, Persephone was picking flowers in a field when Hades, her uncle and god of the underworld abducted her to be his Queen in the dark world below. The goddess, Hecate, strongly associated with the dark side of the moon and with witchcraft, was the only one to witness Persephone's abduction. She hears Persephone's cries but does nothing herself to help and furthermore does not seek help from others.

Persephone is extremely unhappy in the darkness of the underworld. She also misses her mother, Demeter, as they had such a close mother-daughter relationship. Zeus sends Hermes down to Hades to negotiate Persephone's release. Hades grudgingly agrees, however he tricks her into eating pomegranate seeds, which forces her to return to the underworld for a season each year.

Persephone's desire is to return to her mother, she returns from innocense to the mature goddess who now knows separation, sexuality and death. Persephone represents the 'maiden', Demeter the 'mother' and Hecate the 'wise crone'. Persephone who has returned from her underworld journey has seen all; she has faced her shadow and in the process has united birth and death within herself. Persephone belongs to the category of 'vulnerable goddess' through suffering pain and despair in a relationship and through the humiliation of abduction and rape. On a psychological level Persephone challenges our attitudes to those acts that are deemed "unacceptable" or those behaviour patterns which we find difficult to acknowledge and often perceive as dangerous.

Now that I have carried out my duties as requested (commandeered) I think you should ponder on this goddess for a moment and consider how much we have in common, there is always a light side with equal portions for dark. If one is stronger than the other don't we fall over and get into a lot of trouble. Please consider!

The Wicca Bible. By Ann-Marie Gallagher
Image from

Power Animals

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.

Young Stag

Click to enlarge
As I was coming home from SOL's Yule celebration, I unexpectedly came face-to-face with a young stag with a small rack of antlers. He was standing across the road from my house and had come out of the bush to graze on the grass. It is very rare to see a deer on the Heathcote National Park side of my suburb so I immediately felt as if this creature was symbolic of some spiritual significance. When I came up nearer to him, we both stopped to gaze upon each other. We were no more than a few meters apart and I didn't sense any fear on the stag's part, he just looked at me curiously and then gradually moved back into the bush.

First of all, the fact that this was a male deer as opposed to a female (doe) is significant. Although the deer itself is connected to the Goddess, the stag is often recognized as a symbol of the God and in fact is associated with the Yule Sabbat and represents Cernnunos, the Celtic horned God, nature, and the final chapter in the Wheel of the Year.

In Celtic mythology the stag is also linked to the sacredness of the magical forest. The stag represents independence, purification, and pride. It is known as the King of the Forest, the protector of its creatures. For time immemorial people have sought to identify with the stag by ceremonially wearing antlered headdresses and imitating the deer's leaping grace. The stag is also a symbol of the God's warrior spirit, of his virility, fertility and of his role as protector.

Great God, Horned One of the forests and wild places, Lord of the Sun, Bringer of warmth and light; You who run with the swift stag, soar with the birds in the sky, and protect all the Mother's children; You who are born of the Goddess, Her lover and Her son, as are all men...

So the next question is what is the message here? Symbolically the stag stands for solitary nobility, honour and a strong commitment to the protection of their herd. They are extremely devoted to the care, and creation, of children. Stags focus on the balance of law and are rigid in their thinking on the issues of justice.

I do know that much like the stag, I take pride in my independence and perhaps the message here is that I need to tap more into that male energy and utilize it to help me deal with some of the challenges and commitment issues I am currently facing especially with the major changes that will be presenting in my life over the next few months.

As the antlers of the stag reach up to the sky, they also remind me not to be afraid to reach for higher levels of spirituality and to trust in my sense of intuition, my perceptions, and my inner thoughts and judgement. These are all characteristics of the deer, lessons that he teaches us, lessons to be gentle, to protect and touch the hearts and minds of the wounded beings that are in our lives. Characteristics that represent ways of reaching goals other than by force. Showing leadership attributes by not pushing people to change, rather gently nudging them in right direction; remembering to balance that need for power and control with recognition of the importance of love, compassion, service and community.


Imbolc ~ 1st August

by Jenwytch

Imbolc is a cross-quarter day midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara) and is the celebration of the banishing of winter, the imminent arrival of Spring and the stirring of new life in the earth. Imbolc recognizes the maiden aspect of the triple goddess - the fresh, the young, the naïve, the new - and is strongly connected with the Goddess Brigid. It is associated with and also known as the festivals of Oimelc, Imbolg, Imbolic (Irish), Candlemas (British), Feast of Torches, Lupercalia (Italian/Latin), Brigid's Day, and Brigantia (Scottish).

Here in the southern hemisphere, in 21st century Australia, we are far removed from the climate and rural lifestyles of the people of ancient Europe where this festival, and others that make up the Wheel Of The Year, originated. (See my article in an earlier edition of Axis Mundi for more about the history and origins of Imbolc.)

Due to the 6 month offset of the seasons between the northern and southern hemispheres many Australian Pagans prefer to celebrate Imbolc when it is seasonally appropriate here, on August 1st or 2nd, instead of on the traditional northern hemisphere date of February 2nd. Although the majority of modern day Aussie Pagans live in cities or the suburbs we can still look to our backyard gardens, public suburban parks or the National Parks and bushland reserves scattered all around us to see evidence of the cycle of the seasons relevant to this time of year.

Colours commonly associated with Imbolc are white, lavender, green, blue and gold. At lmbolc, the Australian forests are bright with the colour yellow, with many species of Acacia trees coming into full flower. Until fairly recently, the 1st of August was "Wattle Day" in Australia (it has since been moved to the 1st of September). In some climates, like southern Australia and New Zealand, snow and frosts prevail throughout winter, and white snowdrops and crocuses are among the first delicate harbingers of spring. Other flowers associated with this festival are the violet and lavender. In Australia the native violet and other mauve or purple flowers, such as the Black-eyed Susan, which are in bloom around this time of year, can be thought of as the flowers of Imbolc.

My personal "Imbolc flower", although not native, is Lavender, simply because I planted an abundance of Lavender plants in my garden some years ago and they all thrived and continued to flower profusely. Each Imbolc I have decorated my altar with bunches of Lavender from my garden.

In general, Imbolc is a time for planting seeds and to recognize one's duty to nurture inner seeds of growth as well as the physical seeds of the earth; to consider personal goals and dreams, and to embrace inspiration. It is common to bless and burn candles of inspiration at Imbolc rituals. You can approach situations and people with open eyes and open heart, and coupled with planning, this fresh approach to life can inspire your every moment to be happier and more energetic.

References: (website no longer available) (original Imbolg page no longer available)

Australian Winter Flower
~ Black-eyed Susan (Tetratheca ericifolia)

by Janine Donnellan

Tetratheca is a genus of around 50 to 60 species of shrubs endemic to Australia. The Black-eyed Susan is so named because of the deep purple coloured centre of the flower of this otherwise difficult to observe small shrub. Flowering from July to November, this species is frequently observed within suitable habitat areas comprising of woodlands, heaths and forests. Flowers face downwards and usually have 4 petals which range from white to pink to dark purple in colour.

Black-eyed Susan Flower Essence

Black-eyed Susan is a releasing remedy; it helps to bring painful memories to light allowing inner healing to begin. This essence is also for people who are always rushing around, constantly living in the "fast lane" of life. They usually have many projects that they are constantly juggling which can create a lot of stress in their bodies, and lead to all kinds of stress-related symptoms such as headaches, indigestion and muscle tension, or in the extreme case, a nervous breakdown.

Black-eyed Susan flower essence is a powerful catalyst for confronting parts of the personality or traumatic episodes form the past that have been hidden in the dark recesses of the psyche. What is needed in these circumstances is an increase of awareness; the ability to shine the light of consciousness into the shadows of the psyche.

Black-eyed Susan has a calming and balancing effect, being the perfect essence to slow you down to become more centered within yourself. In this more calm and relaxed state this essence enables you to be more connected with your intuitive self as well as being able to listen to and connect with others. You will be capable of delegating tasks to others as you feel less pressured and able to allow things to go at their own pace of completion.

Positive qualities:

  • Awake consciousness capable of acknowledging all aspects of the Self; penetrating insight.

Patterns of imbalance:

  • Avoidance or repression of traumatic or painful aspects of the personality.


I take each step slowly and consciously
I achieve all tasks calmly and patiently
I am patient and tolerant of others


Herbs ~ Angelica

by Amethyst

Botanical: Angelica archangelica
Planetary associations: Sun
Zodiac associations: Leo
Element: Fire
Gender: Masculine
Tarot: Strength
Magickal classifications: Countermagick Herbe, Herbe of Consecration, Herbe of Immortality, Herbe of Protection, Herbe of Purification and Visionary Herbe
Invocatory: Atlantis, Archangel Michael, Sophia
Part Used: Stalks, leaves, roots & seeds
Synonyms: Archangel, Masterwort


Grieve describes the remnants of an earlier pagan custom of Eastern Europe, in which, people from Couriand, Livonia and the low lakelands of Pomerania and East Prussia, carry the flowering stalks of angelica into the village while "chanting some ancient ditty in Lettish, so antiquated as to be unintelligible even to the singers themselves."

As seen by its name, angelica has been associated with the Archangel Michael. It comes into bloom in the northern hemisphere near his feast day and has been connected to the Christian observance of the Annunciation.

Angelica is known for its protection against evil spells. Mrs Grieve says it has been called "The Root of the Holy Ghost."

This majestic herbe is thought by some to have been grown in the gardens of the mythical Atlantis.


In The Master Book of Herbalism, it is considered that angelica is "one of the most valuable Herbes of Protection." The magickal property of angelica works in two ways. One is through establishing protection, creating a barrier against energy, which would be destructive or harmful. The other property is through filling the person with an abundance of good, radiant energy. Angelica has a pleasing flavour and may be used internally. It is also an excellent bathing herbe. The attributes of this relative of celery enhance the aura, aid in maintaining a joyful outlook on life, and assist in allowing the internal psychic self to be open and functional. Angelica may be used in ritual baths, self-blessings and in rituals of purification.

For the devotees of Atlantean myth, angelica may be integrated into mediations to help you have a sense of Atlantis, its lore and knowledge. Plato was the first to write of this legend and whether or not Atlantis ever existed in reality remains debated even today. The legends, however, have been believed by countless peoples over many centuries and there is great power within the myth. Angelica may be used to intuit other realities and the ancient civilizations of other times.

The belief in the protective and benevolent guardianship of angelic beings is a strong force in many religions. For these people, angelica is an essential herbe. For anyone desirous of better reaching their inner light, of finding inspiration and tapping into their Highest Ideals, angelica will help you embrace and embody you own spiritual essence.

Sprinkle crushed leaves around the 4 corners of a house to ward off negativity and purify the home, burn for meditation, protection, divination, exorcism, healing/health and visions. Some American Indian tribes carried a talisman of this root for luck in gambling. The leaves can be smoked in herbal "tobacco" formulas. (Oil) Use for anointing.

As a bringer of light, angelica may be used at Candlemas/Imbolc, the Feast of the Waxing Light, as the days grow brighter and our hope is rekindled.

Angelica root is widely thought to be a powerful Guardian and Healer, and to provide Strength to Women. It is used by many people for the purpose of warding off evil and bringing good luck in health and family matters.

A compendium of Herbal Magick by Paul Beyerl 1998

Crystals ~ Malachite

by Maria

Colour: Emerald to grass-green with black or sometimes pale-green stripes The colour agent is copper.

The name is probably derived from the green colour (Greek-malache = mallow), perhaps from its low hardness (Greek-malakos = soft).

Appearance: Crystal System: Monoclinic. Formed from parallelograms, monoclinic crystals are useful for purification and perception.Translucent, opaque.

Properties: Malachite helps the wearer to remember and renew the connection to the All. It refreshes the outlook and allows us to touch our core self without the fear that generally holds us back. It allows us to touch our child within and to be reborn into the light.  It is soothing to the soul, and releases stress to help create new beginnings.

Malachite is a stone of balance and transformation. Its balancing nature enables us to understand and see clearly parts of ourselves that require transformation. It aids us in removing blockages and inspiring us to manifest our ideas into goals, by finding harmony between the desires of ego and of our higher Will. It assists in breaking through unwanted ties and outworn patterns of behaviour. Malachite has been called the "mirror of the soul". It is variable in its condition. It reaches the inner feelings of the person and reflects what is there, negative or positive.

Malachite is great for increasing one's concentration skills making it an ideal stone to use in meditation bring forth an understanding of oneself and others. Good stone for those studying.

Malachite is believed to be a strong protector of children. Hang in child's room to absorb negative energies and carry to protect them against others who may wish them harm.

Malachite has been used to aid success in business and protect against undesirable business associations. Place malachite where cash is kept or display respectfully at or near desk.

Malachite is also good for enhancing emotional stability and balance in general. In relationships it can facilitate a calming of emotions, particularly when an uncomfortable emotion is being expressed in a painful or inappropriate way. Using this stone, one can counteract self-destructive romantic tendencies and help encourage true, pure love.

Malachite is worn to detect impending danger. It protects the wearer against negativity and physical danger. Hang a piece in your car to protect from injury and accidents. Legend tells us that this stone breaks into pieces to warn it's wearer of the forthcoming danger.

Malachite is very good for aura cleansing it absorbs negative energy for the auric field cleansing it thus balancing the wearer and protecting them from the effects negative energies.

Aventurine with Malachite clears mental blocks. This combination opens the intuition and attunes to divine inspiration.

Malachite combined with Azurite aids visualization and psychic vision. Malachite helps get rid of nightmares. Keep a piece of malachite in your bedroom or place under pillow.

Malachite is a stone that will loose lustre if used frequently for healing. Place on cluster or quartz or amethyst to cleanse and recharge. In jewellery, malachite should be encased due to its sensitiveness. To restore lustre it will need to be cut and polished again. Do not use water or salt to cleanse. Malachite is sensitive to heat, acids, ammonia and hot waters.

Malachite has a long history with the Egyptian cultures. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead it is said that the goddess of the sky "drops stars on the earth in the shape of green stones." Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used malachite for jewellery and ground it to use as eye shadow. It is used in amulets to protect against the evil eye. In the Middle Ages it was used to protect children from witches and other dangers. In Egypt pharaohs headdress were often lined with malachite, thus enabling the wearer to reach higher vibrations and be open to wiser council. Egyptians left behind prescriptions that include Malachite, Chrysocolla, Jasper, Hematite, and Chalcedony. Malachite and Chrysocolla were ground up and sprinkled on wounds. Modern science has proved that they are an effective bacteriocide, killing staphylococcus infections.

Malachite is often referred to as the Peacock Stone, as it was considered sacred to the goddess Juno, whose sacred bird was the peacock; as well, the eye like pattern within the stone resembles the eye like pattern on peacock feathers.

There is an ancient Russian legend that says anyone who drinks from a goblet made of malachite will have the power to understand the language of the animals bestowed upon him.

WARNING: Malachite is toxic if inhaled or handled in unpolished form. Only use a polished piece of malachite. If preparing an elixir use the indirect method; place friable or toxic stones in a small jar and then in the glass bowl and let stand for the time required. Do not allow the crystal to touch the water.

On a Physical Level:

  • Malachite has a high concentration of copper and can relieve inflammation and draw off negative energies or imbalances.
  • A protection stone for traveller's on busy roads and air travel.
  • If you suffer arthritis, to help joint problems and to ease cramps wrap the joint with a bandage and slip a gemstone under it to help.
  • Assists with tissue rejuvenation; injuries broken bones or muscle or skin.
  • Accelerate the physical healing of wounds.
  • Treats growths, and tumours. Note: A crystal therapist mentioned - malachite not appropriate to treat growths and tumours due to its rejuvenation properties. Personal choice.
  • Absorbs plutonium pollution, guards against radiation.
  • It is good for migraines, sinus blockages and headaches.
  • A successful remedy against heart pains and cardiac asthma
  • Aligns DNA and cellular structure, enhances immune system
  • Aiding vision. The optic nerves in the eyes can be strengthened with daily bathing of the eyes in malachite water.
  • It eases toothache, gun infections.
  • Aids heart, stomach, liver and lungs to function more effectively.
  • Use for any pet if you live near to a major source of electro-magnetic energy.
  • Place in child's room especially if computer or television present.
  • Protects and cleanses against the effects of living in an industrialised area.
  • Helps cleanse your house and office from the effects of noise, computer and light pollution.
  • It is the stone of pregnant woman. It has been referred to as the midwife stone. It facilitates childbirth.


Hathor - Egyptian Goddess of Fertility and Joy, Cunning and Beauty.
Protector of women. The Mirror of Hathor is an important magic tool.
Passion: Beauty and Security

Isis - Egyptian Goddess of Magic and Giver of Life.
The collective form of the Egyptian Triple Goddesses.
Mother Goddess and bringer of life
Passion: Life and Procreation

Persephone - Greek Goddess of Spring and Healing Goddess of the Underworld
Her return to the earth signifies the beginning of spring.
In her underworld role she advocates for the souls of the dead.
Passion: Rebirth

Juno - the Roman Great Goddess, the Queen of the Gods, Sky-Goddess
Juno was sister and consort of Jupiter, mother of Mars, and one of the most important of the Roman goddesses. She had many duties, each with an associated title, but for most she was a protector of the Roman people and especially women, being the goddess of marriage, fertility and all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth.

Nut - Egyptian Goddess of the Sky and the Heavens.
Nut was also a goddess of the dead, and the Pharaoh was said to enter her body after death, from which he would later be resurrected.

Green stones are associated with the planet Venus.
Venus was a Roman goddess principally associated with love, beauty and fertility, who played a key role in many Roman religious festivals and myths.

Magical Use: Use green in spells for love, fidelity and commitment, to bring beauty into your life, for the acquisition of beautiful possessions; for harmony, for horticulture and the environment, also for healing people through natural methods such as herbs and crystals and for healing the planet, especially the land and forests.

This stone has long been used is magical rights, used to lend extra energy and power. Wear it, hold it or place it on your alter to increase your ability to send power towards your magical goal.

Though the stone is a tranquil green-blue it is often used in protective magic, particularly if that which involves children. Love spell - Set it on a piece of copper etched with the symbol of the planet Venus, a circle with an equal-armed cross below it. Behind the stone, place a green candle and let this burn for 15 minutes a day while you visualize yourself in a loving relationship.

It is very useful for use in any finance or prosperity rituals and for increased business success. Great amulet stone for this purpose also perfect to put in Mojo bags.

It is a very powerful crystal for protective magic of any sort but especially if travelling by air or freeway.

Display a gemstone near the doors of your house or bury a gemstone just outside the doors to keep spiders and snakes out of the house.

Use with copper to increase the power of malachite.

Friday is the day of green.

Chakra: Malachite is one of the few stones that can be used to clear and activate all Chakras. Third Eye chakra, it activates visualisation and psychic vision. Heart chakra, it brings balance and harmony, opening the heart to unconditional love.

Element: Earth

Planet: Jupiter, Venus, Uranus

Zodiac: Pisces, Scorpio, Sagittarius (Ancient), Aries and Aquarius

Birthstones: September

Numerical Vibration: 9

Depending on source associations do differ.

Complete Book of Natural Magick, Cassandra Eason
A Year and a Day in Magick, Cassandra Eason
Illustrated Guide to Crystals, Judy Hall
Gemstones of the World, Walter Schumann

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Issue 29 - WINTER, JULY 2010
ISSN 1839-4396

Spheres Of Light
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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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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.

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SOL Full Moon Circle
Friday July 23, 2010

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 August 15, 2010

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PAN Full Moon Public Circle
July 26, 2010 at Seven Hills, Sydney (map)

Date: Monday July 26, 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.

PAN NSW Witches Ball
Saturday 2nd October 2010
at Surry Hills (Sydney)

PAN NSW Witches Ball 2010
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Grand Opening

Saturday 7th August, 2010 at 11:11am Shop 1015 Westfield Miranda, NSW 2228
(lower level, opp. Rubyniks Cafe)

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Please come join us for our official grand opening at 11:11am. We would love you to be part of our opening ceremony & shop blessing hosted by the amazing Belinda Richardson. Join us for a morning of magic, friends & surprises. Tell us what you would like Embrace to offer you & be in the draw to win $1000 worth of prizes! Did we mention there will be champagne???

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Embrace has a diverse array of products...
Crystals & Gemstones, Wands & Pendulums, Herbal, Aromatherapy, Incense, Candles, Feng Shui, Windchimes, Water Blessings, Native American, Books, Music, Gifts, a section "Just for Kids" and jewellery such as "Inspirational Jewellery", "Energizing Jewellery", "Something Sacred Jewellery Range", "Celebrity Style", "Sex & the City Bling" and "Just For Fun Jewellery".

Embrace is also the place to go for Psychic, Tarot & Palm readings etc as well as to attend the various workshops which will be hosted at the store.

Check the Embrace home page regularly for up-to-date announcements of what is happening at the store.

Under the Blue Moon
Lunamorph &
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Saturday 11th September 2010 at Newtown, NSW

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Imbolc Lamb Stew & Chive Dumplings

Traditional foods for the Imbolc celebration include those made with seeds (to symbolise growth), raisins (a fruit of the Sun God), pork, poultry, or lamb, with sides of potatoes, cabbage, onions, and garlic. Imbolc is the mid-point of the dark half of the year, and though stored foods are running low, it is a celebration of renewal and preparation for Spring.

Imbolc Lamb Stew
(Serves 4 - 6)
750g Diced Lamb
750ml Cold Water
2 Medium Onions (Peeled & Chopped)
3 Medium Carrots (Peeled & Diced)
4 Medium Potatoes (Peeled & Diced)
100g Frozen Peas
1 Tsp Salt & Pepper
1 Tbs Parsley Chopped

Chive Dumplings
125g Self-Raising Flour
1 Teaspoon Butter or 45g Suet
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Chives - Chopped

Method: Place the lamb in a saucepan, cover with water, add the peeled and diced carrots and potatoes, chopped onions, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and parsley. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for an hour or until lamb and vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasoning and add the peas then simmer for further 10 minutes. Drop dumpling dough by heaped dessertspoonfuls on top of hot bubbling stew. Cover tightly; cook 15 - 20 minutes.
Chive Dumplings: Sift together flour and salt. Rub in butter/suet, stir in chives. Add enough milk to make a soft, sticky dough.

Imbolc Recipe: The Maiden Awakes Muffins

2 cups flour
2 Carrots, grated
1/2 cup raisins
1 green apple, peeled, cored, grated
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almonds, sliced
2 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Soak raisins in hot water, in a covered bowl, for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. In a large non-metal bowl, mix flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in carrots, raisins, apple, and almonds. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Stir egg mixture in to the flour mixture until just wet. Grease muffin pan with a little butter or use cupcake/muffin cups. Divide the batter into the cups and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 8 servings.
From OzWicca July 2001 newsletter


Imbolc Incense

Dill Seeds, Chamomile, Rosemary, Basil, Cinnamon

This incense is fairly easy to make. Unlike most incense there isn't going to be a lot of grinding with the mortar and pestle, most of it will be mixed by hand. Plus the herbs you'll be using are most likely available in your kitchen cabinet, and if not you can easily find them at your local grocery store.

To start off, grind 2 TSP of dill seeds in the mortar as finely as you can. It doesn't have to be completely powdered, but it has to be as close as you can get it.

Next mix 3 Tablespoons of Chamomile, 2 Tablespoons of Rosemary, and 3 Teaspoons of Basil in a bowl with only your hands. Then add the Dill and mix it with your hands again.

Throw in 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon and mix once again with your hands. Pack it up and you're done!

Other things you can do with this besides using it as an incense:

- Put in a pouch and hang in your home to bring in the energies of Imbolc
- Grind up to a fine powder and sprinkle on your doorstep to welcome in the energies of renewal and spring.


In a Tarot reading, the High Priestess always informs us that something is going on beneath the surface. Some deep reflection is needed to seek hidden knowledge. The High Priestess appears when you need to listen to your intuition and to prepare yourself to face your fear and anxiety. This is not a time to act on impulses; there is something more you need to learn about your current situation before moving forward.

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