From the Editor...
Welcome to Axis Mundi
- the Newsletter for Spheres Of Light
The new concept of Spheres Of Light's newsletter has been mulling around in my mind for a few years now. Axis Mundi is a term that I discovered during my research into Shamanism; it is the central point between all worlds, a point where one can access the repository of potential knowledge.
The Latin term, axis-mundi, literally means the axis of the world. Our banner for this newsletter expresses a shamanic point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms and is reflected in the concept of 'as above so below'. In the context of our newsletter it is meant to define a group that comes together from various ideologies and shares spiritual ideas, knowledge and experiences and is in a process of constant evolution. All is one: Nothing ever stays the same.
The Axis Mundi Newsletter will be emailed to subscribers on a monthly basis and will provide topical information so you can keep up to date on news and developments in the Pagan community. In addition to our usual announcements on upcoming activities and events, the newsletter will contain articles and information that correspond to a seasonal theme and highlight the rhythms and cycles of the natural world and our lives.
Your suggestions, comments and contributions are strongly encouraged. It is through your active participation that this newsletter will grow and develop into a publication that will empower you on your journey through all realms of possibilities personal, spiritual, and magical.
Janine Donnellan - Editor
The Spheres Of Light Logo
Where did it come from and what does it mean?
The Spheres Of Light Logo is a clever composite of a number of different symbols. The original idea to incorporate symbols of the eight-fold year/eight-spoked wheel/octagram, infinity and a bright light source was conceived by Janine Donnellan, and the development and final design was done by Jenwytch.
Infinity (Lemniscate): The symbol of an "eight on its side" is a glyph for infinity. It represents eternity, the numinous and the higher spiritual powers. The use of a figure eight to represent infinity is an interesting choice, as eight is linked to pre-creational infinity through the Ogdoad (the eight primal deities of ancient Egypt) and to the cyclical sense of infinity through the eight pagan festivals of the year and the octagram.
Eight-fold Wheel of the Year & Octagram: The eight-fold cycle of the Sabbats is a cycle of birth, death and rebirth. From its myths, and from our living within the cycles of Nature, we see the inevitability of change, the power of transformation and the promise that out of the death that is change, renewal will come.
The Solar Cross: As well as representing the solar calendar - the movements of the sun, marked by the solstices - the combination of the cross and circle is the simplest conceivable representation of the union of opposed polarities in the Western world. It may be compared to the yin-yang symbol of the Eastern world. In ancient Greece it signified a sphere or globe. Additionally, it is the astrological glyph for the Earth and can also represent the element of Earth.
Circle with horizontal line: This symbol is sometimes used to represent the element of Water.
Circle (sacred hoop, ring): An ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, and female power. To earth-centred religions throughout history as well as to many contemporary pagans, it represents the feminine spirit or force, the cosmos or a spiritualized Mother Earth, and a sacred space. Gnostic traditions linked the unbroken circle to the "world serpent" forming a circle as it eats its own tail - the Ouroboros. It can also represent the element of Fire.
Circle with spot in middle: The astrological glyph for the Sun, and the alchemical symbol for Gold. This symbol originated in ancient Egypt as a symbol for the Sun God Re (Ra). The Sun is the representation of the God, the masculine polarity of the universe. The circle with the spot in the middle can also represent the element of Air.
Lunar Triple Goddess symbol: representing the three aspects of the Moon (waxing, full, and waning - shown here in the orientation as viewed from the Southern Hemisphere) and womankind (maiden, mother, crone), as well as the Lady, or Goddess, the feminine polarity of the universe.
At autumn an awareness of the relationship between oneself and others becomes important. Summer has ended, and nature is preparing for the oncoming cold winter season. Each day becomes a bit colder, the sun is giving way to the darkness, and it is making its presence felt by changing the colour and the energy of the natural world.
Autumn is traditionally the time of the harvests. Our desires to belong to family and to society become stronger now. The ancients held great gatherings at fire ceremonies at Lughnasadh, Mabon and at Samhain to recognise that, while the solar light is dying, the light within is preparing to be reborn. Mabon is a time of reflection and giving thanks and sharing our bounty. Samhain is a time of death of the old, yet within it is the promise of new growth. It is a time of acknowledging our ancestors and accepting the concept of death (something we must accept when it comes). Once we go with the flow of the season, life reveals a new set of possibilities, it gives us the ability to move with the cycles and the rhythms of the cosmic energies, it gives us a new power in life and helps us to understand our role and our importance in the continuum of life.
What is happening in the Illawarra and
South Coast Pagan Community?
I have heard many a complaint over the past couple of years that nothing is happening in this area for pagans and I am sure there are groups out there running circles and events, its just that you don't know about them. Well Spheres of Light is dedicated to meeting the needs of the greater Pagan community in the Illawarra & South Coast area. We can do this by advertising the various organisations' activities and events on our website and in our newsletters and also by staging events where pagans can meet and network.
Spheres of Light will be conducting a few events in the next few weeks. We have a family picnic at Symbio Gardens on 23rd March, our Mabon Gathering at Bulli Community Hall on 29th March and our Samhain Ball at Thirroul Bowling Club on 26th April. These events are not only for Spheres of Light members but are open to all pagans, their friends and family members.
Last year we commenced our annual Samhain Ball with a fancy dress theme, this year it is on again with a Harry Potter theme. We will be having some exciting activities and prizes at this ball and once again it will be a great opportunity to network with other groups in the area.
If you are solitary and looking to meet up with pagans from your area come along. If you belong to a circle or a coven and would like to meet other circle/coven groups bring your coven along. This is a great opportunity to network and have some fun at the same time.
For the price of $30 you get a delicious buffet dinner which has been organised to suit a variety of dietry requirements. You get a free drink on arrival and a whole nights entertainment. So dont delay make a booking now and I hope to see you there.
If you have a circle or an event that you want to advertise on our newsletter and on our website just drop us a line.
by Samantha Springall
Certificate IV Aromatherapy ~ completed with Distinction at Loftus TAFE 2003
NSW State Medal Award Winner
I had always been drawn to Complimentary Therapies since childhood. It was at the end of high school that I realised this was the career path that I wanted to pursue. Aromatherapy appealed to me because of the way you could utilise those beautiful aromas/essences for the benefit of one's mind, body and spirit.
Patchouli Essential Oil
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Synonyms: P. patchouli, patchouli, puchaput
General Description: A perennial bushy herb up to 1 metre high with a sturdy, hairy stem, large fragrant, furry leaves and white flowers tinged with purple.
Herbal/Folk Tradition: The plant is native to Malaysia and India, where it is known as puchaput. The word is derived from the Hindustan word 'patch' meaning 'green' and 'ilai' meaning 'leaf.' The oil is used in the East generally to scent linen and clothes and is believed to help prevent the spread of disease. It was placed between Indian cashmere shawls en route to Victorian England, to protect the merchandise from moths and without this signature smell of dried patchouli leaves the shawls could not be sold in England. In China, Japan and Malaysia the herb is used to treat colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and halitosis*. In Japan and Malaysia, it is used as an antidote to poisonous snakebites.
Actions: Anti depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic*, antimicrobial, antiphlogistic*, antiseptic, antitoxic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative*, cicatrisant*, deodorant, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge*, fungicidal, nervine*, prophylactic*, stimulant (nervous), stomachic*, tonic*.
Extraction: Patchouli essential oil is extracted from the young leaves which are dried and fermented prior to steam distillation and yields 2 - 3 %. This oil improves with age to have a fuller, more well rounded odour.
Characteristics: A dark amber or dark orange viscous* liquid with a sweet, rich, herbaceous earthy odour.
Blends well with: Vertiver, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Geranium, Lavender, Rose, Neroli, Bergamot and Myrrh.
Safety Data: Non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitising.
Aromatherapy/home use: Patchouli oil has a grounding and balancing effect on the emotions and banishes lethargy. It can be used to treat frigidity, nervous exhaustion and stress related complaints. It is also said to create an amorous atmosphere. It is effective for fungal and bacterial infections and is of great help for insect bites. It can also be used as an insect repellant. With its excellent diuretic properties it is effective in fighting water retention and to break up cellulite, easing constipation and helping to reduce weight. It has a great deodorising action and helps when feeling hot and bothered; while cooling down inflammations and assisting with wound healing. On the skin, this oil is one of the most active and is a superb tissue regenerator, which helps to stimulate the growth of new skin cells. In wound healing, it not only promotes faster healing, but also helps to prevent ugly scarring when the wound heals. Patchouli oil is very effective in sorting out rough, cracked and overly dehydrated skin and is used to treat acne, eczema, dermatitis, sores, ulcers, impetigo, any fungal infections, as well as scalp disorders (such as dandruff).
Burners and vaporisers: In vapor therapy, patchouli oil can be used to fight anxiety and depression, while at the same time creating a very amorous atmosphere and acting as an insect repellent.
Blended massage oil or in the bath: As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath (use a few drops in a tablespoon of full cream milk), patchouli oil can help to fight depression, skin and scalp complaints, fungal infections, fluid retention, help to break down cellulite and also assists with constipation, weight and dermatitis.
Neat: Patchouli oil can be applied neat with a cotton bud on insect bites.
Lotions and creams: In a lotion or cream, patchouli oil can be used for general skin care, as it has superb tissue regenerating properties, to help rejuvenate the skin and stimulate the formation of new skin cells, while fighting infections. It also speeds up healing, while preventing the wound forming ugly scars and is effective for acne, eczema, weeping sores, ulcers, slow healing wounds, scalp disorders, as well as other fungal infections, such as athlete's foot.
Metaphysical: UNITY - Patchouli unites all levels of your resistance, allowing you to focus and bring heart and head to work together, rising above self imposed barriers and enjoying all that life presents.
Colour Vibration: Orange
Affinity with crystal: Green tourmaline (prosperity)
Magical Influences: Love/aphrodisiac, prosperity, sharpens and clarifies, grounding one's energy, aids dreams, clairvoyance and divination.
Temple Of Luxor Blend
This exquisite temple in the ancient city of Thebes is a majestic sight. Also exquisite is the presence of love in a place. This blend is beautiful to burn when you want love flowing through a room. These essences are used to assist and enhance seduction.
2 drops Patchouli
2 drops Rose
2 drops Mandarin
Anti-emetic: an agent which reduces the incidence and severity of nausea or vomiting
Antiphlogistic: checks or counteracts inflammation
Carminative: a sedative
Cicatrisant: an agent which promotes healing by the formation of scar tissue
Febrifuge: combats fever
Halitosis: oral malodor (bad breath)
Impetigo: a contagious bacterial skin infection, usually of children, that is characterised by the eruption of superficial pustules and the formation of thick yellow crusts, commonly on the face
Nervine: strengthening and toning to the nerves and nervous system
Prophylactic: preventive of disease or infection
Stomachic: digestive aid and tonic; improving appetite
Tonic: strengthens and enlivens the whole or specific parts of the body
Viscous: relatively dense in consistency, sticky
I don't know about you, but I find it a little daunting being a Pagan Parent! My main struggle is, how do I pass on my knowledge to my children, but translate it into 'kids language'! I didn't feel like there was too much support out there for us parents who want to bring their kids up Pagan, especially here in Australia. It would be my dream to see Pagan Playgroups and Fellowship type groups for the older 'kids'! Well anyway, I thought, why sit there complaining, do something about it! So I am! What I've set out to achieve may only be a tiny drop in the ocean, but it's a start! Through SOL's newsletter I will pass on ideas for things like craft, colouring pages, family Sabbat celebration ideas etc that I have managed to source through the internet and/or books, that will relate to the Season/Sabbat we are celebrating at the time. All references will be listed; credit will be given where credit is due. I am open to ideas, suggestions and contributions, to be added to this section of the newsletter, so please feel free to contact me!
I would like (some time in the future), to try and organise Pagan family meet-ups or even a playgroup style meet-up for anyone that may be interested. I live in the Wollongong area, so at this point in time the meet-ups would be for people in the Illawarra, Campbelltown and Sutherland Shire areas and those people who would wish to travel. Let me know if this appeals to you and we'll see what we can get going!
Magickal Blessings to you and your family!
PS: Just because you may not have kids yet, doesn't mean you're excluded from utilising any of this section. Colouring in for adults can be very therapeutic you know!
The Story of Mabon
Copyright 2001 Rachel Walker
It was another day of balance, when light and dark seemed equal, but this time the people knew it was the dark which would win the land. The people knew the god would soon leave them, and they sought out the goddess to give and receive comfort, and saw that she had left her youth and was preparing to wrap the land in her love and presence as it began its mantle of sleep. The people were glad to see the god was still with her, but he was a shadowy and silent consort, no longer the strong and wild god of the summer months. The people could see he was beginning his decline in earnest, and they gathered themselves around the goddess to comfort her in her coming loss - for the women had also lost their men folk in hunting, and they knew what it was to grieve. They held the goddess close, and she took them to her, each comforting the other.
The final fruits needed to be harvested, and the people needed to act quickly if they were going to get the most out of the land before it turned cold and hard again, so they set to work. At the end of their labours, they rested with a feast of beans and fruit and watched as the god slipped over the horizon. Already there were signs that the land was dying - leaves fell in shades of red, gold and brown from the trees and crunched beneath the feet. From now on, the land would awake more briefly with each passing day.
Autumn Equinox (Mabon)
The 2nd harvest, balance and harmony.
Activities: Blessing and storing seeds; make some popcorn; decorate your home and altar in Autumn colors (gold, browns, orange), place leaves and nuts on the altar or other symbols of the harvest. Use candles that are yellow, gold, orange or brown.
Special Drink: Red grape juice
The apple harvest, preparation for winter; the Celtic feast of the dead.
Activities: Dunking for apples, dedicate your altar to your ancestors (place photos of family members passed); use colours such as black, orange, white and gold.
Special Drink: Warm spiced apple cider.
Recipe - Edible Autumn Leaves
What you will need:
1 bag each of chocolate and white chocolate chips
Broad leafed herbs such as mint, basil, celery, etc.
Select your sprigs of leaves in the produce section of your grocery store or from your garden.
Wash leaves thoroughly and pat dry.
Melt chocolate with 2 tsp. of butter, stirring until smooth.
Pour chocolate into small bowls and give each child a clean small paintbrush. Paint the underside of the leaves with the chocolate and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.
Refrigerate until firm.
Slowly pull real leaves away from chocolate leaves.
(Based on a spell by Charlene Wearne, with a few of my own touches!)
What you will need:
Piece of paper
Seeds (flowering ones, see suggestions below)
Glove or plastic spoon
Have your child think of a wish they would like to come true. Give your child a piece of paper and ask them to write their wish on it (do it for them if they can't!). Take a plastic cup and add some soil to the bottom. Have your child fold up their piece of paper and place it on top of the soil. Add more soil on top of this. Then with either a gloved hand or a spoon, get your child to make a hole in the centre to which they can add some of the seeds. Cover the hole and add more soil if needed. Get your child to hold their cup with the newly planted seeds and close their eyes. Tell them to concentrate on the wish they want to see come true and in their mind (or out loud) ask the Goddess and the God to bring their wish to them. As their seeds sprout and grow, so will their wish come true.
Seed suggestions: Lobelia; Daisies; Pansy; Polyanthus
A Bedtime Prayer
Lovely Goddess, sweet and true
Bless me now in all I do
Help me know which path is right
And stay with me throughout the night.
References and Suggested Reading
Issue 1 - AUTUMN, MARCH 2008
SPHERES OF LIGHT (SOL)
ABN 46 385 794 818
We are based in Australia, in the Sydney-Illawarra area of NSW.
More about us...
For general inquiries...
Phone Janine on 0408 025 268
In addition to our regular Full Moon Circles we also run workshops and classes which are highly interactive and experiential,
focusing on participation and engagement of participants. If you want to keep abreast of SOL's circles, gatherings, workshops and
activities please check out our Events Calendar.
SOuL Searchers is Spheres of Light's paranormal investigations subgroup. One of the many things you will find unique about the
SOuL Searchers team, unlike the majority of other paranormal investigators, is that we undertake our investigations from a shamanic
The Spheres Of Light Holistic Centre has within its members practitioners who can provide Spiritual Healing in a variety of
natural healing modalities. Each modality is designed to heal all levels of the body; the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual
bodies. Working with ancient universal energies, healing works to restore balance, bring inner harmony and peace, to re-energise the
body, to stimulate the body's own immune system and so aid recovery, as well as inducing deep relaxation. Healing is excellent for
relieving modern day stresses and providing support during difficult times in your life.
If you want to know about current topics check out the forum pages. This is a place where you can discuss ideas and catch up on
general news. So if you want to participate please become a member as we would love to hear from you.
... plus much, much more!
On our Networking page you will find many links to other Australian Pagan groups and organisations, as well as Australian
Pagan (and pagan-friendly) Businesses & Services. If you would like to have a link to your group or business on the SOL website
please email firstname.lastname@example.org This service
is provided free of charge. If possible a reciprocal link to SOL would be much appreciated.
Picnic at Symbio Gardens - March 23, 2008
Come join us at Symbio Gardens for a family day out. Cuddle a Koala or hand feed Kangaroos in 16 acres of natural bushland. With
over 1000 animals Symbio has Australian native, farmyard and exotic animals. Symbio is recognised for the hands on experiences
allowing a close encounter with our wildlife.
Facilities include free parking, swimming pools, picnic areas, BBQ's, coffee shop, souvenirs, kiosk.
Opening Hours Daily 9.30am-5:00pm. Price Adult $19, Concession $17, Children $9.50 (3 to 13 years). Located 45 minutes south of Sydney
on Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Helensburgh. See the Symbio website here.
Spheres Of Light Picnic at Symbio
Date: Sunday 23rd March
We will meet in the carpark. Please bring a picnic lunch or you can purchase food from the kiosk. If you bring a copy of the Symbio
Gardens map you get free roo food. The link is here on the
Symbio website. Children are welcome and of course bringing your inner child is a prerequisite for the day. If you would like to join
us please send an email to
Mabon Sabbat Gathering at Bulli - March 29, 2008
Mabon marks the beginning of autumn. It is the time when day and night are equal. This Sabbat is a time of meditation and
introspection; a time to slow down the pace of our lives and to relax and recognise our own personal harvests. It's also a time to
appreciate the connection we have with those around us, as well as those who have gone before us. Mabon is a time for celebrating the
good fortune of the previous year and preparing for the long months of Winter ahead.
Venue: Bulli Community Hall
When: Saturday 29th March 2008
Admission: $10 - Supper provided. Please note that this is a non-alcoholic event.
If you are interested in attending this event and would like further information please contact Janine ...
phone: 0408 025 268
SOuL Searchers Paranormal Investigation at Picton
April 12, 2008
The SOuL Searchers team will be conducting the investigation at Picton on Saturday 12th April. If you are interested in attending
this event and would like further information please contact Janine...
phone: 0408 025 268
and check related messages on our Paranormal
Please note that numbers will be limited as this is a private investigation.
Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry's Samhain Ball - April 26, 2008
WHERE: To be held at Thirroul Bowling Club (Wollongong, NSW Australia)
WHEN: Saturday 26th April 2008 from 6.30pm
COST: $30 - entry by ticket only Includes buffet dinner, free drink, dancing, games & prizes!
WHAT TO WEAR: Come dressed in robes or as your favourite Harry Potter character.
A great night for Witches, Wizards & Muggles alike!
Must be 18 years of age and over.
Tickets and further info:
or contact Samantha on 0408 622 179
Working with the Seasons
Winter - June 1, 2008
Come on a journey of discovery into the magic of the Seasons. Learn to appreciate the Seasons and learn how to use them to enhance
your own magic and spiritual work.
Spheres Of Light (a subcommittee of PAN Inc.) will be presenting a series of 4 workshops each representing a season.
Where: Sutherland (southern Sydney)
Sunday 2nd March 2008 - Autumn
Sunday 1st June 2008 - Winter
Sunday 28th September - Spring
Sunday 7th December - Summer
Time: 10:00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $50 per workshop
Bookings are currently being taken, numbers are limited. If you are interested in attending any of the remaining workshops and would like further information please contact Janine ...
phone: 0408 025 268
Submissions to this newsletter are open to all pagans and pagan organisations; let us showcase your work. Submit your
articles,poetry, book reviews, essays and opinions, hints and tips, information pieces and artwork. All contributors whose work is
included in our newsletter receive full credit, and are linked to their website if desired.
Submitting your work for consideration is easy. Just send an inquiry or the completed work to us. We give every submission careful
The newsletter will be sent out on approx. 20/21st of each month and the closing date for submissions will be 14th of each month.
More info here...
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