Welcome to Spheres Of Light
Spheres Of Light officially started its operations in Yarrawarrah, Sutherland Shire in 2001 led by Janine Donnellan. The Sydney Circle has run continuously since the group’s inception and, depending on venue availability, has at different times moved to halls in Sylvania, Sutherland, Loftus and Bangor (all within the Sutherland Shire). On the 22nd March 2013 a new circle was established in Nowra led by Samantha Coad. Starting in November 2019 a third circle has been established in Canberra, led by Jane Hassett who has been a founding member of the Nowra circle. Since early 2020 SOL has also conducted circles online via Zoom during those times when COVID-19 restrictions prevented us from meeting in a hall. In January 2023 Spheres Of Light changed — the past three years with COVID and family illness precipitated a decision to downscale how SOL operated. Sadly, support of Spheres Of Light Circles in Canberra & Nowra was relinquished and they now operate as separate entities. Canberra Circle became The Wyrd Ways and Nowra Circle became a closed group known as Shoalhaven Circle of Witches. We wished them all the best for their new and exciting journeys.
The Sydney SOL circle continues to operate in the Sutherland Shire under changed conditions, placing a focus on the Dark Moon Circle, which was essentially a closed circle for the core members, and opening it up to newbies who are looking for something in-depth and are willing to commit themselves to the process. The Full Moon circles are now hosted online via Zoom, and the full moon circle content is connected to the subject matter worked on during the Dark Moon Circle.
Spheres of Light is an eclectic witchcraft organisation whose members include a combination of pagans, wiccans, witches, Luciferians, shamans etc who come together to share experiences, understandings and teachings. We have been most fortunate over the years to experience different rituals utilising the energies from a wide variety of systems. We have conducted Egyptian based rituals, Celtic, Nordic, Fairy, Dragon circles and the list goes on; and we have all benefited and grown from these experiences.
Spheres of Light is based on friendly and open communication, where everyone’s belief system is respected and valued. It does not matter what magical path you work with as each person within that path will have their own unique experiences based on their own perceptions and relationship to spirit. These unique experiences and knowledge become valuable resources that we can share with each other.
The following information contains the basic guidelines for conduct at circle. This will allow you to be aware of what appropriate behaviour is, and what is not. This is not only for the smooth running of the circle, but also for your personal comfort and safety at all levels.
In Circles/Covens, open communication can become quite complex, as several perspectives may co-exist in the group about ‘appropriate behaviour.’ Ground rules have therefore been established for SOL members which are offered to assist in developing open and friendlier communication.
The fundamental statement of identity, statement of purpose and statement of ethics also steers our goals, and allow us all to be considered accountable, regardless of position within the circle.
Spheres Of Light is a pagan organisation that is committed to providing support to the pagan community through education and by conducting gatherings and events that will inspire and empower people in their journey to realise their own inner truths and potential. Spheres Of Light will endeavour through its various programs and activities to develop and promote strong and positive relationships between Pagan groups and businesses and individuals throughout Australia.
Statement of Identity
All of Spheres Of Light’s programs, activities & websites are coordinated and contributed by volunteers who donate their time and energy to support the organisation’s objectives as well as fostering paganism within the community. Spheres Of Light is run as a not for profit organisation with the money collected through gatherings and events used for venue rental costs, notes, ritual materials, website and other ancillary running costs.
Spheres Of Light is an association of individuals from a variety of Pagan paths who seek to share experiences, understandings and teachings and who come together to celebrate and to connect with the cycles of the Earth through Lunar and Solar gatherings.
Spheres Of Light sees all life as sacred and interconnected, we therefore honour the natural world as the embodiment of divinity, immanent as well as transcendent. We celebrate the circles of life and the seasons through ritual, and we experience the divine as both feminine and masculine.
We are dedicated to the development of our own unique philosophy and practice of evolutionary witchcraft which incorporates the honouring of ancient shamanic forces, as well as the integration and adaptation of ancient mysteries from other traditional and ancestral Pagan cultures.
We stand in our power. The spark within us is one with the
eternal flame that guides and sustains us on our journey.
Statement of Ethics
We, the Spheres Of Light, are committed to uphold and exemplify the following ethics and values:
- Each person within the SOL community is worthy of respect, love and consideration.
- Each person has the right to share their ideas and opinions in an appropriate manner, and an obligation to listen.
- Each person within SOL has the right to belong, and should allow others to belong or not belong according to their own free will and choice.
- Each person has the right to change their mind about belonging to SOL, and should show consideration to SOL members by informing them when they do so.
- Each person has the right to do as they will, without violating other person’s rights, and have an obligation to take responsibility for their own actions.
- Every person has the right to structure their lives and beliefs in the way that is appropriate for them, and to respect the structure within which they choose to operate.
In order that circles may run smoothly we ask:
- That alcohol is avoided prior to circle.
- That if you use any mind affecting drugs you discuss this use with a circle leader prior to attendance.
- If you suffer from any mental illness – including depression and borderline disorders that you discuss this with a circle leader prior to attendance.
- That you have read and understood the statement of ethics and are prepared to abide by these while at circle.
- That you contribute fairly to the circle – by paying attendance fees, contributing towards supper and by generally helping out. There is a $20 attendance fee for Full & Dark Moon Circles.
- That you be punctual – please arrive between 7:30 and 8:00 pm. It can be difficult for others if circle runs late if we have started late. Equally, people entering and leaving circle erratically can be disturbing for others, so if you need to leave the circle at any time, please let one of the circle leaders know, so that this can be done discreetly.
- Clothing — We do not conduct our circles or other activities skyclad. Dress is casual and yes, you can dress up if you wish.
Workshops, Classes, & Various Gatherings
From its beginnings, Spheres Of Light has placed a strong emphasis on training across a wide spectrum of diverse topics. All of the classes and workshops are highly interactive and experiential, focusing on participation and engagement of participants. Our Full Moon and Dark Moon circles also allow for a group experience of the practices and energies that we ourselves have connected with through our explorations and learning.
Examples of some of SOL’s courses and gatherings can be found here.
Pagan Awareness Network
Spheres of Light enjoys an ongoing association with PAN – the Pagan Awareness Network Australia. PAN tirelessly works to create networks and support systems for pagans of all descriptions across Australia. Spheres Of Light is proud to be an official Affiliate Subcommittee of PAN.
Safety in the Circle is an information pamphlet produced by PAN which covers basic personal safety within the Pagan community and what to do if you witness or become the victim of illegal or unethical behaviour.
For more information about PAN please visit their website at www.paganawareness.net.au
We hope that this information is informative and helpful. If you have any questions, suggestions, requests, complaints or simply would like to find out more, then please feel free to contact us.
Ground Rules for Open Communication
In Circles/Covens, open communication can become quite complex, as several perspectives may co-exist in the group about ‘appropriate behaviour’. Ground rules have therefore been established for SOL members which are offered to assist in developing open and friendlier communication.
“Ground rules” are statements that reflect people’s best intentions regarding how they wish to treat one another in civil dialogue. They tend to be present in many positive social relationships, and they are reflected in ethical codes and “the golden rule.” In conflictive, challenging relationships, ground rules are necessary; in part because there is often an implicit assumption that one person’s belief or opinion overrides that of another. In Circles/Covens, this becomes even more complex, as several perspectives may co-exist in the group about “appropriate behaviour”. The following ground rules are offered to assist in open and friendly communication.
- We will make a sincere commitment to listen to one another, to try to understand the other person’s point of view before responding.
- What we discuss together will be kept in confidence, unless there is explicit agreement regarding who needs to know further information.
- We agree to talk directly with the person with whom there are concerns, and not seek to involve others in “gossip” or “alliance building.”
- We agree to try our hardest and trust that others are doing the same within the group.
- We agree to deal with the issues, not the people with whom we disagree.
When listening to the other person’s point of view, the following responses are often helpful:
|What to Do||How to Say It|
|Encourage the other person to share his or her issues as fully as possible.||“I want to understand what has upset you.”
“I want to know what you are really hoping for.”
|Clarify the real issues, rather than making assumptions. Ask questions that allow you to gain this information, and which let the other person know you are trying to understand.||“Can you say more about that?”
“Is that the way it usually happens?”
|Restate what you have heard, so you are both able to see what has been understood so far – it may be that the other person will then realize that additional information is needed.||“It sounds like you weren’t expecting that to happen.”
“Can I clarify that statement? Did you mean this?”
|Reflect feelings – be as clear as possible.||“I can imagine how upsetting that must have been.”|
|Validate the concerns of the other person, even if a solution is elusive at this time. Expressing appreciation can be a very powerful message if it is conveyed with integrity and respect.||“I really appreciate that we are talking about this issue.”
“I am glad we are trying to figure this out.”
By taking a listening stance into the interaction, you set the scene for your opportunity to share your concerns about the conflict. Again, we recognize that this can be very challenging! But, if you persevere, the effort is often worth it.
Ground rules adapted from http://www.ohrd.wisc.edu/onlinetraining/resolution/index.asp
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 Jenny Taylor (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.|
Unauthorised use of the Spheres Of Light logo is prohibited.
Copyright © 2006 Spheres Of Light.
All rights reserved.