March, 2015

Merry Meet

March, 2015

ostara40

 

                        Welcome

 

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In this Issue…

 

An interview with author and Shamanic Healer Yvonne Ryves.

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A Review of the Book “Breaking The Mother Goose Code: How A Fairy-Tale Character Fooled the World for 300 Years” by Jeri Studebaker

Code

 

 

 

Learn about the Fae this month in Witches Soul Work

hobbie hole

 

 

This month’s herb in the Apothecary is Rosemary.

rosemary

 

 

…and finally…

 

We say a fond farewell to one of our favorite columns this month, Nelland Living, as Nella Nuora takes her final bow and leaves us with her thoughts.  Blessings on your journey our lovely Nella!

 

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We are always looking for new columnists at PaganPages.

If you have ever been interested in writing, art, photography, and have knowledge you would like to share, pitch us your ideas!

Currently we have openings in the following departments:

God’s:  Writer is to discuss a God monthly.  May include myths, pictures, correspondences.

Movie & TV Reviewer:   Writer will review pagan themed as well as paranormal movies & television shows.

Podcast Reviewer:   Writer will discuss the hot topics on the pagan podcasts monthly, as well as review different podcasts.

If you are interested in any of these positions, or a column of your own idea, email us at admin @ paganpages.org

 

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SpellCrafting: Spells and Rituals

March, 2015

Fertilizing an Egg

Merry meet!

Eggs are a major theme for Ostara. They represent rebirth, fertility and spring. This spell will fertilize an egg with your intention that then can be placed on your altar, buried or hidden in nature as a gift to the God/dess.

Write your desire, wish or intent on a piece of paper and roll it up tightly. Inflate a small balloon, insert the paper and tie off the balloon.

Craft

reprinted with permission from Amy Anderson from her blog

With a sponge brush, apply Mod Podge to the balloon. Tie one end of a ball of yarn or string to the knot of the ballon, then wrap the balloon, turning as you do, so that the string encircles the ballon from all angles. Dab a generous amount of Mod Podge over the string, soaking it well.

Let the string dry for 24 hours. Pop the balloon and remove the pieces. You will be left holding a string egg containing your intention. Know that that egg contains all the nutrients and ingredients necessary for that desire to manifest. Feel what it feels like to have attained that desire. When you look at the egg, enhance its energy by re-experiencing that feeling.

A similar spell would be appropriate for new moons as well.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

The Enchanted Cottage; Magick for the Witch’s Home

March, 2015

Household Spirits

They have many names and epithets depending on the region you live. The Scottish Brownie, Italian Lare and Lasa, Slavic Domovoi, and the Korean Gashin are just a few names these spirits have been known as. Household Spirits have existed throughout time as the protective daemon of one’s home. They are the animistic energy that dwell within the walls of our temples and homes. Sometimes tricksy and known to hide our valuables from us, the Spirits are for the mist part harmless. The energy we put into the care of our homes and the love we share with those who share our living space can determine the mood and countenance our Household Spirits have.

A home can have one or many Household Spirits living dwelling within its walls. Some Spirits move with us and some stay with the house they are “born” in. There is usually one main Daemon that makes up the “Spirit” of the home, this Daemon is the one who protects our loved ones from those who may wish us harm in the outside world. I have one such Spirit sharing our living space with us. We call him Bob; though I believe he is beyond gender, this is the visage he shows to us. Bob likes to make a bit of noise when we do some remodeling on our house. Whenever we do a little repair work Bob likes to examine our handiwork for a few days. Once he determines that it has been done to his satisfaction he quiets down a bit.

There are other Spirits who live with us as well. Some are my daughter’s childhood “friends”, and some are little Faery-like beings who have graced us with their presence. Each Spirit who lives with us prefers different treats and offerings. Bob likes strong coffee and an occasional shot of whiskey. One feminine Spirit likes perfume, red wine, and pretty baubles. Some like the common milk and honey offering while others like a stout beer. It takes listening to the Spirits of your home to learn what their likes and dislikes are, very similar to the way you learn what your friends and family like. These Spirits/Daemons that live with us are part of our family. Sometimes we become impatient with them, wondering why they have hidden certain items form us and at other times we laugh at the hijinks they pull.

I love them, these Spirits who dwell within our home. They protect us while we sleep and guard our home when we are away. They fill our home with light, love, and laughter, and in return we honor them for all they do for us. Some will follow my children as they go off into the world, leaving our home for their futures; may They protect my girls in love and life. I thank Bob and the other Spirits of our home for the gift of their presence in our lives and hope that They continue to bless our home.

Bardic Song of the Month

March, 2015

March 2015

This month’s Bardic Song is called “Earth Song”. It is a simple tune that has 4 lines for easier repetition and the melody line is rather easy. It can be used to call a Quarter that is compatible with Earth for the individual or Group.

 
This song is good for little kids to memorize. It’s that simple. It offers four simple reasons why the Earth is here. It’s our Mother, our Bone, our Life and our Home. The song stays within the musical scale of G, but it can be transposed into any key for vocal comfort.
 
As much as possible, all songs are created as a single page in pdf format for easier printing and reading. If you play the piano, these songs are simple enough to pick up right away. If you don’t have the musical inclination, an MP3 file is attached for easier listening and learning.
 
All songs for this and future monthly articles are published by the Blue Ridge Mountain Clan by Lord Fairy Bottom Educifer aka Wayne Minich, II. Any similarities to other songs is coincidental and not intentional.

Witches Soul Work

March, 2015

Witches Soul Work Part 4: Faery

If that which thou seek thy find not within thee, thy will never find it without.” (1)

The Craft involves deep soul work leading to understanding the authentic self, the connection with the divine, and understanding the Mysteries. If you were Buddhist you might called this enlightenment. What is enlightenment for Witches? Many people new to the Craft read the beginner books and think that that is all there is. I would like to share with you some of the ways that Traditional Witches do soul work, the way they approach and understand the Mysteries and an exploration of what the Mysteries are. This idea was inspired by a course called Soul Work from Cherry Hill Seminary (www.cherryhillseminary.org) and from a comment by a woman on our local pagan internet site who said that she was quitting our group because we were not serious (i.e. we are fluffy) about our spiritual work. (Thank you dear!) The Craft is the most deeply spiritual path I know, but because it is hidden it is not so easy to find.

hobbie hole

by artists in Dorval, Quebec

When we work outside we often feel that someone is watching us. Strange things happen; the candles blow out when there is no wind, things go missing only to turn up again in odd places, offerings are taken mysteriously. Witches that work outside, and I hope you all do, eventually come to the notice of the Sidhe (pronounced shee) or Faery. I think it’s because practicing the Craft changes our energy body so that we light up in a way that they can see us. So who are they? What happens when we acknowledge them? How do we work with them? Is it a part of the Craft? Working with the Sidhe is a kind of Shamanic practice although the Faery Seers would never have used the word ‘shaman’. This word comes from Siberia and the Tungus tribe (2) and means ‘one who can see in the dark’…meaning that the shaman can see what others cannot.

Up the airy mountain

down the rushy glen

we daren’t go a hunting

for fear of little men

good folk, wee folk trooping all together

green jacket, red cap and white owl’s feather

William Allingham (3)

Core Shamanism

Here’s a great definition by Caitlin Matthews: “Shamanism is a world-wide practice in which the spiritual interrelationship of the earth with the Otherworlds forms an interwoven fabric of physical and psychic being, affecting all forms of life, both seen and unseen. Shamans are walkers between the worlds and interpreters of the spirit realms. They explore these unseen realms by means of the spirit journey (which occurs in shamanic trance) to interact with the beings they encounter there and to retrieve knowledge, healing and advice, which may benefit the people.

Shamanism exists among peoples who have an animistic worldview; in many cultures it functions as spirituality, although it often exists separately from formal religion as a healing, divinatory and spiritual practice. Shamanism is identifiable the world over by its practices, chief of which are the spirit-journeys to gain information, healing, divinatory and prophetic insight, and to enter into ancestral discourse.” (4)

What is Faery Seership?

According to R.J. Stewart (5) the Sidhe are beings one level of awareness from ours. The name ‘Sidhe’ is a common way of referring to them, but actually the Sidhe is the mound where they live and the proper term for them is “Sith” which means dwellers of the Sidhe. I use the term Faery to embrace all the races of Faery and the Sidhe to refer to the High Shining Ones. Our realms intersect and interact and each Faery is different as are we. Faeries are known in every culture from Japan to Native America. The stories strangely parallel each other. Science cannot prove the existence of Faery, but that does not mean they have disproved them either.

R.J. Stewart describes Faery Seership in a unique way. He says it is a journey of intuition, imagination and inspiration. Ask yourself not “do I believe?” but rather why have I come here seeking an encounter with Faery? Faery seership is a complex power tradition. The Faery races are different in each land but the techniques we work on can be used wherever you are. We enter the world of Faery using our imagination as a tool and the imagery of our ancestors. In Faery there are no politics, no dogma and no religion. So why would we want to encounter Faery? The main value for undertaking this is that it is a great adventure leading us to liberation from the slavery of modern life. (5)

My personal reasons for working with Faery are because I have encountered them in my work outside and had some strange experiences with them, so I want to understand what is happening. Also, I know that some of the Faery are interested in healing the earth as the Witches are, so they collaborate with us if we are sincere. I believe the Faery can help and heal us as well if they become our allies. I am also curious as to their way of understanding energy, the world and the Divine. I was called to them and it was not a call I wanted to ignore.

What are your reasons for embarking on this journey?

The Faery Realm from R.J. Stewart’s ‘Earth Light’

“The realm of the Sidhe has a consistent appearance in accounts. It is the primal land, the land of youth, the summer land but also a reflection of our world. In Celtic traditions it is known as the Underworld and is considered to exist “within the planet”. It is therefore the “Primal Image” of the land where you live, a pristine reflection with no sin and no pollution. We all carry this shared dream and by dreaming this dream together we manifest our land. So Faeryland is the primal land inherent within our manifest land. These two lands were once close together and the inhabitants met, mingled and married. We moved away from Faery by our greed for power and control, our elevation of logic and science over creativity and art. Faery is experienced through Initiation and the Second Sight. Working with the image of the primal land can restore our land to health and by re-attuning our land to the Faery land we manifest balance. But to encounter Faery we must first enhance our own energy signature.

When we enter Faery we find a land of pure light, the land that we are longing for, and returning to our gray world can cause sorrow. If we are seduced into wanting to stay in Faery to escape our life here, that is a weakness within ourselves. But if we bring back the primal image and the purified light we bring back the power to transform ourselves and to transform the world. This is the first test. We do this work not from a place of power hunger, but a place of compassion for the suffering here. It is possible to walk between the worlds, to enter the land of Faery and return.

The Nature of the Faery People

  1. a non-organic/spiritual race of beings close in vibration to humans

  2. they are attuned to the land and vary from land to land like us

  3. they contact humans usually concerning the vitality of the land

  4. they mirror humanity in many ways

  5. they adapt their communication with us according to what is in our imagination

  6. they have a “hive” consciousness, if you interact with one they will all know about it. Different orders of Faery have different hives and all the hives do not interact. We are composed of all 5 elements but elemental Faeries are not, so an Earth Faery (Gnome) might not interact with Air Faery (Sylph) etc.

  7. they experience universal unselfish love but not the emotion of human love. We must be careful about human sexuality when interacting with faery.

  8. Faery companions often complete something lacking in us as we complete something lacking in them.

  9. Time is different. What seems hundreds of years to us may be only hours to them.

  10. They are usually human size or taller but there are giants, theriomorphic beings (animal/human) and bodies of light.”

 

Dormant

The Dormant Greenman painting by Elissa Baltszer

Are the Elementals Faeries?

I recommend that you do all Faery work outside no matter what the weather. The Faery do not come into your house, unless they are Brownies. Traditionally they also won’t come where there are cats.

The Faery you encounter may not fit any of the myths; they are what they are. Some people don’t think that Elemental beings are Faery but I do. I think of them as World Faeries, being made of Spirit with one element. Earth Faeries are Gnomes, made of earth and spirit; Air Faeries are Sylphs and made of air and spirit; Water Faeries are Undines and made of water and spirit; Fire Faeries are Djinn or Salamanders and made of fire and spirit. (6) I like the paintings of Brian Froud (7) and I think that they are good representations of World Faeries.

To see a Faery take a stone with a natural hole in it. Bath your eyes in Marigold tea. (Make sure you are not allergic…put some on your inner arm for half an hour to see if there is no reaction first.) Go outside just as the sun is setting in a wild and quiet place. Even your garden if it is quiet and secluded would work. When it is neither dark nor light, day nor night; when twilight covers the world with a soft blue mantle, that is the betwixt and between time. Sit quietly and enter a calm and meditative state. Use the holy stone as a telescope and look around you in each direction. If you are lucky enough to see the Faery they will appear but remember…if you can see them, they can see you.

How do you start to work with Faery?

The first step is an attunement with their energy. Stand outside and imagine the light of the Faery world is rising up through your body, filling you with their energy. Breathe it up and through your whole being, cleansing you at a cellular level. For a more complete instruction of this technique R.J. Stewart shares it publicly in an exercise called: the Rising of the Light Below (8) which you can use with his permission. See the reference below for the link. However as Witches, doing ritual and meditation outside also attunes us to their energy. There is a caveat however; to work with Faery you must live an impeccable life! They don’t like those that harm the earth or are liars. Does that sound like trying to keep the Wiccan Rede?

It’s important to keep a book with all your Faery encounters because most of the time you will be meeting them in an altered state of consciousness. This means that in ordinary consciousness you may forget some of what you learned, just like we forget dreams. Another reason to keep a book is that sometimes the Faery themselves will ‘overshadow’ your writing and things that you were intending to write become inexplicably changed to something else!

Create an altar to the Faery outside and make a ritual asking them to meet you and work with you. This altar should be made of natural and organic things like wood or stone. Historically Faery don’t like iron, so nothing metal please. Use a wand rather than an athame when working with them. On the altar you can also offer them food. They don’t eat it like us, but rather they take the energy from the offering. That is why natural products made into something by our own hands are the best offerings. For example: homemade cakes and bread, beer or whisky. They also like offerings of milk, butter and honey. After the offering has sat on the altar for a day it should be taken down and the plates washed. Don’t eat this food or feed it to pets as it has no energy left and is not good for living people to eat. Please don’t offer them cut flowers; the dying energy of the beautiful flowers makes them sad.

Besides the Elemental Faeries there are also the High and Shining Ones, which are beings of pure spirit residing in Faeryland. They are immortal and hold the blueprint of life within them. The myth is that they come from the stars and live within the earth. A wonderful reference about them is in “The Tree of Enchantment: Ancient Wisdom and Magic Practices of the Faery Tradition” by Orion Foxwood.

 

 

Rain Faeries: A personal experience with Faery Lights

I once decided to spend the night alone in the forest on a vision quest but unfortunately a few hours before I was to leave it started raining. Not wanting to postpone my experience I decided to go ahead, bringing only a plastic tarp, a jacket and a flashlight. When I arrived at the place I was to park my car the rain was torrential! However, being the stubborn person that I am I carried on, making my way into the forest on a familiar path. When I had walked about fifteen minutes along the path I turned left and carefully scrambled a few feet into the forest deep under the canopy of the trees. The rain was getting even stronger and if not for my warm water-proof jacket I would have been a shivering mess. I strung my plastic tarp between two trees but it fell down, then my flashlight conked out and I started questioning my motivation for coming at all! I said to myself as I wiped the rain out of my eyes: “At your age! What on earth are you trying to prove?”

I wrapped myself up in the plastic and, thoroughly miserable, dosed off to the sound of pouring water on the dark trees around me. I couldn’t really sleep and every few minutes opened my eyes to peer out at the complete darkness, rain dripping into my eyes. Shortly after that I heard distant music playing and thought, someone nearby must be having a party and playing their radio very loudly! It didn’t dawn on me until the morning that there was no way I could be hearing music or a radio as I was too far away from anyone. At the time I was convinced that it was human music and a little disappointed to be hearing it in the middle of the forest. I guess I was starting to slip into a confused state of mind to think like this.

A few hours later my eyes opened to see a globe of light about the size of a cantaloupe three feet away from me, hovering about a foot off the ground. Stunned I tried to tell myself that it was a firefly and its glow was refracting through the still falling rain. As I looked at it, it held steady, never wavering and then another identical globe of light appeared about a foot to its right, and then another and another until a ring of lights surrounded me in a perfect circle. “Oh boy, these fireflies are something!” I thought. Gradually I realized that fireflies don’t behave like this and my mind started reeling, frantically trying to invent some plausible explanation for the lights. Swamp gas? Oh right, not in a swamp! Finally I had to admit to myself that I was having an encounter with Faery, and I started to get scared! My eyes were wide open and I couldn’t take my eyes off the lights. I tried to slow my breathing and relax noting that I did not feel any malice or threat from the lights, and in fact it was almost as if they were protecting me. Finally I said out loud, in a very shaky voice: “Hello?” The lights stayed with me for about two hours then gradually disappeared and in the morning I did not see any sign that they had been there.

This experience has remained vivid and important for me. I have encountered the lights one more time in this forest at midnight at the Autumn Equinox. There is always a strong presence watching me there. This was confirmed one day when I took my little dog Nicki with me to walk in the forest at this spot. The poor dog would not go any further up the road past where I had seen the Faery lights and sat on the road howling and shaking, seeing or feeling something that I was not.

Conclusion

Many of those practicing the Craft have Faery experiences because their energy body changes and the Faery start to notice them when they work outside. Living by the Wiccan Rede and doing regular energy work, magick or meditation changes us, perhaps at a cellular level. Although not many Witches talk about Faery Seership, it is an integral part of the Craft Mysteries.

References:

    1. Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente

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    • Poetry

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      1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tungusic_peoples Here is a reference to the Tungus people who are an animistic society and Shamans are part of their culture.

      1. William Allingham, The Faires, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADkQqVu3Q4

      1. John and Caitlin Matthews, “Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom” has many wonderful things related to Celtic myth and folklore.

      1. R.J. Stewart, “Earth Light”. R.J. Stewart has written many books on Faery and he will be visiting us in Montreal the weekend of Sept. 26th, 2015 for a weekend concert, and workshop based on his book “The Living World of Faery”. If you are living near us, you are welcome to come. You can e-mail for more information at www.sacredcauldron.ca R.J. gives many workshops. For on in your area please see www.rjstewart.org

      1. www.gnomesandfairies.com/mythology

      2. http://www.worldoffroud.com/

      3. http://www.esotericonline.net/profiles/blogs/the-rising-light-below-r-j-stewart

    Astro Report for March 2015

    March, 2015

    Jupiter still Retrograde in Leo – 14 degrees

    Sunday, March 1, 201512:01 am EST

    Goes Direct on Tuesday, April 7, 20158:08 am EDT

    When the grandiose Planet of blowing things out of proportion is Retrograde, the ability to erupt ill feelings at home can still be potential, if you’re not careful. Family matters most in life, so take care to enjoy the time you have. Find time and energy to have fun. Avoid the pessimism that can occur during Jupiter’s Retrograde.

     

     

    Unique Bucket formation

    Monday, March 2, 201511:51 pm EST

    A Bucket formation is generally when all the Planets are on one side of the chart with a single Planet acting as a handle. Today’s unique Bucket formation actually has two Planets conjuncting each other as the handle, namely Retrograde Jupiter and the Moon. To understand the formation, we look at the handle to see how its importance relates to the other Planets. While Jupiter is Retrograde, we have to examine its energy at play. Jupiter is allowing home life to blow things out of proportion. The Moon adds its emotional support to this affect. It is pushing towards Full Moon so emotions have a way of stirring to the point of reaching a peak. The other Planets are trying to stay low and not got involved. However, Mercury’s opposition of the Saturn/Moon conjunction has to express itself.

     

     

    Full Moon in Virgo – 14 degrees

    Thursday, March 5, 20151:04 pm EST

    Full Moon energies can be so compulsive!! And this is the time of the year when a Full Moon shining upon the land grants a glimpse of the starkness the Winter offers. When the Moon is Full in Virgo, our emotions have to be right on target and not erratic. At New Moon, it was time for personal discovery. By the time we got to Full Moon, did you discover anything about your emotional self?

     

    Native Lore

    The Full Moon names are aplenty this month. The Crow Moon, the Crust Moon, the Sap Moon and the Worm Moon are some of the given names. Crows start their mating season at this time of year, so their caws are heard quite pronounced. It bellows the end of winter. Crows and Owls are typically enemies. So while one species sleeps, the other is scavenging for food. It is rare to see Crows and Owls at the same time.

     

    The Full Crust Moon is given due to the nature of snow melting and thawing – it forms a light crust and it crunches under foot when animals or hunters walk upon it. It is very difficult to sneak upon your prey.

     

    Tapping the trees for Maple Syrup is at a peak during the month of March. The best saps run at this time of year. Due to the high sugary content, the sap is quite fluid. After it is boiled down to about 1/3 of its viscosity, Maple Syrup is canned and labeled for sale.

     

    As temperatures begin to warm up, the ground begins to thaw and the worms come out of hibernation. They become fodder for the Robins, which is a tell-tale sign of Spring!!

     

     

    Day Light Savings

    2nd Sunday: change clocks an hour ahead from 2 am to3 am

    Sunday, March 8, 20152:00 am EST

    Sun in Pisces – 17 degrees

    It’s that time of year when clocks move forward an hour to instill Daylight Savings Time, which the Energy Policy Act of 2005 enacted. As an Astrology Student and Teacher, I feel it is necessary to remind folks as the time gets closer, so it doesn’t surprise you the following Monday morning when you arrive to work an hour too late. SMILE

    You will LOSE an hour of sleep… Share this among your family and friends.

    The current general rule of Daylight Savings Time is:

    Start –

    Second Sunday in March to change clocks an hour ahead and lose an hour of sleep…

    End –

    First Sunday in November to change clocks an hour back and gain an hour of sleep…

    Time –

    2 am local time

    http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/rules/usa.htm

    Though mentioned by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, the modern idea of daylight savings was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson and it was first implemented during World War I. Many countries have used it at various times since then.

    The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to evenings benefits retailing, sports and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but can cause problems for evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the Sun. Its effect on health and crime is less clear. Although an early goal of DST was to reduce the evening usage of incandescent lighting, formerly a primary use of electricity. Today, modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.

     

    Pi Day – Midnight

    Saturday, March 14, 2015 (3/14) – Midnight EDT

    Pi is the symbol used in mathematics to represent the constant ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter – 3.14. Although it’s an irrational and transcendental number, it can be calculated to its infinite sum. However, only a handful of numbers is needed for intricate calculations. Today marks a special holiday, when, world-wide, folks celebrate the mathematical constant. People even enjoy eating Pi Pie and celebrate Albert Einstein’s birthday.

     

     

    Mercury enters Pisces

    Thursday, Mar 12, 201510:40 pm EDT

    The Planet of Communication will move into the mutable, water Sign of Pisces. Get ready to speak from the heart. Intuitions will play a big role in expressing what you feel. Many of your conversations may be profoundly controversial, but hardly combative. The direction is more towards analytical mystery than blunt or superficial expressions.

     

     

    Saturn goes Retro in Sagittarius – 4 degrees

    Friday, March 13, 201511:16 pm EDT

    The Planet of caution takes a break from its conservative ways. When it goes retrograde, the Planet actually lightens up on the reins a bit. It allows people to explore further than they normally would. Sagittarius allows it to open its mouth and to say things out of control. It’s time to make sure the brain is engaged before the mouth blurts away.

     

     

    Ides of March – sunrise

    Sunday, March 15, 20157:24 am EDT

    The Ides of March are always on the 15th – the same with June, September and December. In all other months, the Ides fall on the 13th. To the Romans, the Ides marked a division between the first half of the month to the second half of the month and it was considered an unlucky day. Originally, it marked the date of the Full Moon, but that fell out sync right away when it was initiated. The famous date of March 15th marks the assassination and death of the Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar, in 44 BCE – talk about bad luck!

     

     

    Venus enters Taurus

    Tuesday, March 17, 20155:59 am EDT

    Venus is coming home. The love and adoration that has seemed to be distant lately is finally entering its Rulership. Take your time to make amends and fit into your comfort levels. Find your groove and jump right in.

     

     

    St Patrick’s Day – sunrise

    Tuesday, March 17, 20157:21 am EDT

    Saint Patrick’s Day [Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig (The Festival of

    Patrick); Ulster-Scots: Saunt Petherick’s Day] is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity inIreland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a secular celebration of Irish culture in general.

    The day is generally characterized by the attendance of church services, wearing of green attire and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating, and drinking alcohol, which is often proscribed during the rest of the season. St Patrick is said to have chased all the snakes from Ireland. This is a metaphor, where the snakes represented the heathen Healers of the land, namely witches. St Patrick was the representative of the Catholic Church and Christianity in general. As the Church began to take over the heathen traditions and lore, the snakes were chased from Ireland. However, history tells us they merely went underground.

    Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland,Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and inMontserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish Diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, among others. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is probably the most widely celebrated Saint’s day in the world when folks will drink green beer.

     

     

    New Moon in Pisces – 29 degrees

    Friday, March 20, 20155:35 am EDT

    Eclipsed Adhik Mas New

    It’s not often that we get to see this unusual Moon today. First, it’s an eclipsed Moon, because it is just passing thru its North Node. The shadow of the Moon will shade us from the Sun momentarily just before the Sunrise. Eclipsed Moons tend to hide things in our lives – especially things that are emotional. Second, the New Moon is an Adhik Mas Moon, meaning that this is the second time that we have seen a New Moon in Pisces this year – one right after the other. The New Moon had just entered Pisces last month after the Sun entered Pisces. When we experience an Adhik Mas Moon, we get to reaffirm our emotions within that Sign once more… Relive and make amends, per se. It means the emotional Moon will travel thru Psychic Pisces with extra care and concern again. Take criticisms with a grain of salt. Folks do not intend to hurt feelings whether spoken verbally or hinted at.

     

     

    Wheel of Year info – Ostara in Pisces – 29 degrees

    Friday, March 20, 20157:16 am EDT (Sunrise)

    Names: Vernal/Spring Equinox, Ostara, Eostar, Lady Day, Earrach, Alban Eilir, Festival of Trees, Gwyl Ganol y Gwanwyn (Welsh)

    Date: approximately Mar 21st

    Astro Correspondence: Sun enters Aries (first day of Spring)
    Color: pastels

    Food: pig/pork, egg entrees, breads, fish, fresh salad, honey, fruit juices, wine

    Common Info: story of Persephone, Demeter and Hades, Story of Eostre and her bunnies and eggs, 2nd Fertility Fest, Watering the Flowers,

     

    Alban Eiler (Ostara) is the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere. The date is typically March 21st or when the Sun enters Aries. This is a time when the Goddess gives birth to the God. This was typically observed with bird watching, because most birds would begin to migrate back to their summer nests and began their mating seasons. There is a strong association to birds and eggs. This Gaelic Festival of the Mother Ishtar (properly pronounced like “Easter”) was symbolized with bunnies, chicks and decorated eggs. Sacred foods were generously sweetened with natural maple sugars or honey.

    The christian holiday, Easter, is always held the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox, so it will be celebrated on Sunday, April 5th this year. It is being coined the term “Resurrection Day”, for the term Easter is of Pagan decent and has nothing to with the resurrection of the christian martyr, Jesus (aka Yuz Asaf).

     

     

    Sun enters Aries – Happy Birthday Aries!!

    Friday, March 20, 20156:33 pm EDT

    The Sun is exalted in Aries. Time to take charge of your life again! The warrior aspect of the Sign allows you to take a firm control of your Path. Be assertive about your endeavors and avoid being aggressive. Competition can be fun in the spirit of the game, but avoid allowing it to take over your heart and mind.

     

     

    No Planets go Direct in March 2015.

    A Moment for Meditation

    March, 2015

    Mala Beads

    mala

    Mala beads are used when chanting, repeating mantras, or the name of a deity. They are also used to focus your mind during your meditation.

    The word “mala” comes from the Sanskrit word for garland.

    The earliest traces of mala beads dates back to at least the 3rd century BCE. However, it is said that Buddha himself gave us the instructions for their use. There is a sutra (teaching) that tells us that there was once a king who prayed extremely hard to Buddha for a simple way to help ease his suffering from all the difficulties he faced. Buddha responded by telling him to get 108 soapnut seeds, string them together and to recite a three-part prayer upon them.

    As stated by Buddha, mala beads have 108 beads, are made from the seeds or certain plants, such as sandalwood and lotus. They can also be made from precious and semi-precious stones. My personal mala is made from rose quartz.

    The beads can also come in different sizes from 8mm to 12mm.

    In addition to our instructions from Buddha, there is also the following formula –

    6X3X2X3=108, which breaks down as:

    6 Senses – Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch, Thought

    3 Times – Past, Present, Future

    2 Conditions of the Heart, Mind or Intention – Pure or Impure

    3 Emotional States – Like, Dislike, Indifference

    The mala has a “sumeru” or head bead, which usually has a tassel of some sort. You would start your mantra or chanting with one of the beads next to it, touching one bead for each repetition of the mantra. This is normally done clockwise, but counter-clockwise is also acceptable.

    You can also just simply hold the mala beads in your hands while you are meditating, focusing on your breath.

    mala2

    The smaller malas of 27 beads can be worn on the wrist on a daily basis, as a sign of devotion. The larger malas of 108 beads can be worn as a beautiful necklace, or wrapped just around the wrist; and if you wish, then wrapping it down around your middle or ring finger.

    It is thought that the more you hold and/or wear your mala, that it will pick up your vibrational energy.

    Mala beads are simply prayer beads, not much different than the rosary in Catholicism. Prayer beads are also used in Islam, Sikhism, the Bahai Faith, all of them having varying amount of beads.

    If you are going to start a meditation practice, or have one already in place and would like to begin chanting, I highly recommend getting a mala, taking your time to find just the right one for you alone. I do not recommend buying them online as you should hold them and see which one calls out to you; that is the one you should get. They can be found in stores that specialize in Indian products, as well as some metaphysical stores.

    Namaste & Blessings

    Musings of a Hereditary Witch

    March, 2015

    The Hawthorn Tree

    I was visiting my mom and my aunt the other day out at the ranch, which formerly belonged to my grandma and where I grew up. We were sitting around the old Formica table in the kitchen chatting on about how green everything was, when my aunt said that she was going to have the Hawthorn cut down.

    What for?” I blurted out, before remembering that grandma left her the house and surrounding property.

    She said the thorns were too dangerous. Well okay, yes, the thorns can grow to three inches, but we all grew up with the tree and learned to be respectful of it. My grandma received the tree as a gift from her sister and it is over 100 years old.

    I tried explaining that it was a magical tree and that the thorns, flowers and berries were used in various applications. I stopped short of telling her it was sacred to the faeries. Mom was giving me the ‘Mom’ look. You see my aunt doesn’t follow the family path, never had an interest and thinks it’s foolish and superstitious.

    I walked outside to visit the tree. Apparently she had already been hacking at it. I began picking up some of the small branches with thorns on them. Mom came out and I tried to appeal to her to convince my aunt not to have the tree cut down, but again, we have no claim. Buggers!

    Mom helped me find all the thorny branches and take them to my car. I told her that offerings of cream need to be made to the tree and before it is cut down, the trunk should be beaten so that the faeries retreat to the roots and the earth. As I looked around the yard I noticed that the Lamb’s Ears & Chamomile were gone and grandma’s private garden was turned under. The storm last week took out the Willow tree, but the Elder tree is still standing. I have hopes for the Elder because my aunt makes jelly.

    Some Hawthorn Lore:

    hawthorn150

    In the British Isles, the blooming of the hawthorn signaled the beginning of summer and the celebration of Beltaine. The flowers are known as ‘The May’. At sunrise on Beltaine, women would wash their faces in the dew of the hawthorn flowers for beauty and men wound wash their hands to be skilful in their work.

    The hawthorn blooms at a time when the veil is thin (Beltaine) and is considered an ‘Otherworldly’ tree, especially when growing next to a well, also a portal to the Otherworld.

    Witches were said to make their brooms from the hawthorn not the ash.

    Magic wands and walking sticks are made from the hawthorn, but you must inform the faeries of your intention and never cut more than you need.

    The tree is also known as the Elf tree and to harm a Hawthorn is to incur their wrath.

    Hawthorn berries added to your spell will increase the spells success.

    Crowns braided from Hawthorn blossoms and left for the faeries to dance around them at night, would bring blessings to the one who braded the crown.

    The thorns of the tree can be used in all types of protection magic, like being added to a Witch’s Jar.

    With poppet magic, the thorns can replace the pins. Piercing the heart on a poppet can either open the person’s heart up to your love or can break the heart of another (depending on your intent).

    Fishermen would carry a thorn from the Hawthorn tree in their pocket to assure a plentiful catch.

    The hawthorn can live to be 400 years old, are hearty trees and can grow even in poor soil.

    I have not given up on saving grandma’s hawthorn. I’m working to postpone the cutting down of the tree until it begins to bud, then I can take a cutting and hopefully start a new tree. At least I know the Elder in the yard and the Nightshade that grows behind the hills are safe, for now.

    Blessings on your Hearth & Home

    The Magic Theatre of Witchcraft

    March, 2015

    Introduction:

    The rites of witchcraft, whether performed alone or with others, are a form of magic theatre. One goes to them not to sit in the audience but to participate in the performance. Audiences can arrive tired, perhaps somewhat dispirited, prepared to relax and, if possible, receive some form of uplift from the spectacle. This is not the case with performers; they must be vigorous, well-balanced in their energies, with energies pitched high and practically electric. The rite itself should, if performed well, both deepen and further heighten those energies, but one goes to the magic theatre to give and share energy rather than to be lifted out of some swale of ennui.

    To call witchcraft a magical theatre means that practical results are secondary. This is at variance with many accounts of witchcraft, which emphasize the desired result to be attained, even though one is cautioned that such results should be forgotten at the conclusion of the spell. The double-bind of forgetting is avoided in this approach, which sees the magic circle as neither primarily religious nor as an act of collective engineering, but as art. A concert performance is directed towards the production of music, but the musicians are not producing music as workmen produce things, instead uniting with the music and with each other in music. There is no separation between them and the music they make, or which makes itself through them, as there may be separation between an artisan and his artifact. The same is, or should be, true of the art of magical theatre. The theatre is not the place where the rite occurs, nor the script followed, nor even the objects employed in the rite; it is the act of creating the rite, in all its perceptible beauty, united with the persons creating it. For this reason, needless to say, one must memorize any scripts before attempting to perform the rites pertaining to them.

    Though the emphasis should be on art, this does not exclude the sacred. Indeed, we should recall that theatre began in a sacred setting, as picaresque rites to Dionysus; and in this connection we should note that Pagan religion can be quite picaresque without losing one whit of the sacred. The use of salacious language in ancient rites of marriage, preparation for the mysteries, and sacred theatre, had as its main purpose to offend and thus drive off spirits of infertility, who were known to be great prudes. This perhaps gives us a key to understanding the nature of antipagan deities, who insist on excluding such behavior from their own sacred rites. If we can incorporate this element of ribaldry in our own circle rituals, we shall succeed in drawing nearer to the spirit of the old religions.

    Pagan Belief:

    In ancient religion, stress was laid on performing the rites, not on repeating credal formulations of belief over and over until the mind is hypnotized by words. So long as one respected the gods and observed their rites, one was free to entertain a wide variety of beliefs about the origin of the world, life after death, and so forth. Beliefs that insulted the deities were, naturally, excluded, but this left one with a great deal of freedom to believe what one liked, and to change one’s beliefs if one were so inclined. Pagans tended to be a little vague about such matters, for belief per se was not regarded as particularly important. What did the gods care what a mortal thought, so long as he or she was pious? Not a whit.

    Performing sacred rites induces a certain atmosphere of suspended disbelief. This was the general attitude to the myths (which were originally not separate from ritual). Even Socrates remarked that the traditional tale was good enough for him; he was more interested in ethical matters anyway. The proper attitude to take into ritual is a readiness to act towards the focus of the rite as if the god or goddess exists. That is all that is required: not to doubt, and to behave towards the object of prayer as if that being were real.

    This should be good news to modern witches and other neopagans, for they need not try to work up the intensity of belief characteristic of antipagan religions. Indeed, if they try to approach the Circle like church, they will soon become exhausted, and conclude that paganism is too complicated and therefore too hard to practice. It is not hard at all, if we bear in mind that we are about to participate in sacred theatre.

    The Temple:

    The temple of witchcraft is built up partly from sacred objects, partly from ritual movement and acts, and partly from visualization. All three elements work together to create the real illusion of a spherical temple. A real illusion is defined here as an object-event that is experienced and has real effects, even if it is not amenable to outside scientific observation and measurement. Another example of a real illusion is the aura of energy enfolding the bodies of lovers which is both felt and seen by them but only them.

    The sacred objects which go into a temple are various but there are certain objects of central importance that are present on every occasion. These include candles of various sizes and colors, incense and an incense burner, chalice, fossil stone or pentacle, magical weapons or tools, a bell, a salt censer, and various auxiliary items such as a water ewer, matches, an ashtray, cakes and ale, cushions for sitting around the altar, and of course the altar itself. This list is not exhaustive.

    The form of the temple itself, a sphere, is largely visualized through a series of ritual acts. The equator of the sphere is marked out on the floor or ground by eight candles, set at the quarter and cross-quarter points of the compass. The equator, or circumference of the circle, is generally nine feet in diameter. Directly overhead, over the center of the circle, is the zenith or ‘height’ of the sphere. This is visualized partly through the sweeping of miasma – old, stale energy – from the circle before it is cast by the use of a besom. The besom is used to sweep the circle three times deosil (that is, clockwise), beginning in the east and finishing in the east again. The first time around the besom sweeps at ground level; the second time at shoulder level, and the third time, at a forty-five degree angle above shoulder level, pointing upward. This helps the coveners to visualize the upper parts of the sphere, and the zenith is established in the mind’s eye by acts of pointing straight upward using the athame.

    In the same way, the nadir of the sphere or ‘the deep’ is visualized by the act of pointing down with the athame, and later by the act of raising energy when building the Cone of Power. The lower half of the sphere is an act of pure visualization, since the floor or ground presents the lower limit of the sphere so far as outward vision is concerned. Each witch visualizes the lower hemisphere based on his or her experience in meditation, for the witch descends into his or her depths in meditation instead of ascending to the heights. In this way, a witch becomes intimately aware of his or her lower levels of subconscious feelings and urges. It is the aim of the Craft to raise the energy trapped at the lower levels into the full light of consciousness, both in meditation and in the raising of the Cone of Power.

    The altar is generally placed in the center of the circle, though in some traditions it is placed in the north. The advantage to having it in the center is that this helps the coveners to visualize the axis of the sphere, which passes through the center of the circle, up through the center of the altar, all the way to the height, connecting the height with the deep. The axis is magically connected with the World Pillar (or trunk of the World Tree), round which the heavens revolve in pagan cosmology. It is also magically cognate with the spine of each witch present. The energy of the deep is raised through this axis, which is perceived as identical with the spine of each witch at the crucial moment.

    Background of the Circle and Release of the Cone of Power:

    The spherical temple of Witchcraft finds an ancient prototype in the description of a temple or hall of the Magi in Babylon in the first century C.E.. The description is by Damis, the secretary of the pagan mystic and wonder-worker Apollonius of Tyana, and was gotten second-hand from his master. Apollonius was traveling east to India in search of arcane wisdom, with an aim to restoring the temples of the West to their original purity. He lingered in Babylon for 18 months, conferring with the Median priests there, whom he described as “wise, but not in all things.” As a non-initiate, Damis could not enter the temple. Here is its description:

    The roof was dome-shaped, and the ceiling was covered with ‘sapphire’; in this blue heaven were models of the heavenly bodies (‘those whom they regard as Gods’) fashioned in gold, as though moving in the ether. Moreover from the roof were suspended four golden ‘Iygges’ which the Magi call the ‘Tongues of the Gods.’ These were winged wheels or spheres connected with the idea of Adrasteia, or Fate.” 1

    Mead goes on to identify the Iygges with the teachers of early humanity of Hebrew legend. They are intermediaries between humanity and the greater gods as well as tutors. In these qualities they resemble the Watchers of modern witchcraft, as that concept has developed in a number of traditions. The Watchers sponsor the initiate from the first degree onwards, and through the elementals provide him or her with the energies of elemental Air, Fire, Water and Earth. But the witch must cultivate this connection with the four Quarters and their inhabitants in order to grow in the Craft.

    The temple of witchcraft, though physically only a circle, is visualized as a sphere by the ritualists. This visualization transforms the cast circle into a magical theatre, in which the powerful energies of the elements are added to the raised and combined powers of the witches present and directed to some constructive purpose. In what follows I will present one particular way of raising the temple into the magical theatre, and of building up and releasing the Cone of Power. There are many variations, but the particular method presented engages, or so I think, all the essential elements of the process.

    Everyone and everything used in witchcraft must go through phases of purification, consecration and charging. This begins with the witches themselves, who first cleanse themselves individually of miasma, that is, of stale energy connected with everyday concerns. Next, the witches purify themselves as a group, settling any differences (as least provisionally) between themselves and finally join hands in a circle to share bioenergy. Meanwhile, the physical temple is erected.

    The ringing of a hand-bell signals the inception of sacred time, and summons the witches to the temple. They come in quietly and, moving sunwise around the altar, take their stations. The time signaled and begun by the ringing of the bell is the time of the beginning, for this is a new world about to be created between the everyday world we know and the Otherworld of spirits. The sea of Chaos lies between and underneath all worlds. 2 Some of that chaos is about to be ordered into a cosmos, which though physically small will be complete in all the essentials of an ordered habitation.

    Attention is now directed to the altar, where one or two large candles are lit in the center to honor the Lord and Lady and connect with their energy. The elemental tools and magical weapons are purified and consecrated. The chalice is filled. The candles are lit round the circumference of the circle 3 The temple area is swept, asperged and censed. There is a general feeling of anticipation, for the next step is to build the magical theatre.

    First the circle is cast, from East sunwise to East again, by a priest or priestess with his or her athame. This is a crucial moment for all present, for all must follow the casting with rapt attention, visualizing the bluish-silver light spilling from the tip of the athame along the perimeter of the circle. It is not enough, though, to visualize the circling tip of light; the whole illumined circumference must be seen and retained as it grows to a full circle. Thereafter, it must be kept in peripheral view throughout the rite. It is this act that lays the foundation for the magical theatre. Next, the quarters are called to the four cardinal points of the circle, again beginning and ending in the East and processing sunwise.

    Because the purpose of the rite is to effect change in the everyday world through the launching of a thought-form into the Otherworld of spirit, the energies raised within the circle must be augmented by the elemental energies of beings who remain outside the circle but who supercharge the energy of the raised Cone of Power through the four cardinal portals. These powers also guard the portals and the integrity of the temple boundary from unwanted intrusion and from collapsing when the Cone of Power is released. These wards, the Watchers and elementals, are next called to their stations on the cardinal points. They are beckoned and invited to perch, as it were, on the portals, which are both doors to the temple and inlets for their more highly-charged energies. The more sensitive witches may begin to feel a sort of throb along the circumference of the circle, like the pounding of surf.

    Next the Lady and Lord are invited in and reside in the large candles at the center of the altar. Now the pillar or axis of this little “world between the worlds” is visualized as passing up through the center of the altar between the Lady and Lord and extending from the nadir to the zenith of the spherical temple. 4 As the witches join hands and circle the temple slowly, the Pillar is visualized as revolving, from the polarity between the Lady and Lord. The circling is slow at first as the High Priest or High Priestess states the magical purpose of the rite. This purpose is then summed up in a word, which is repeated by the witches as they circle.

    The pace now picks up as the High Priest/ess recites a Witches’ Mill:

    On an oak-leaf I stand

    I ride the filly that never was foaled

    And I carry the dead in my hand

    Under the earth I go.” 5

    Each witch in turn takes a line and the mill is recited three times as they circle.

    High Priest/ess then calls out the one-word magical purpose again and witches repeat it while circling a little faster. It is repeated three times and then witches fall silent as they circle, each one visualizing an image to stand for the purpose. After a moment, High Priest/ess begins the Witches’ Rune, two troubadour discoveries from the 12th or 13th century:

    Bagahi laca bachahe

    Lamac cahi achabahe

    Karrelyos

    Lamac lamec Bachalyos,

    Cabohagi Sabalyos,

    Baryolas

    Lagozatha cabyolas,

    Samahac et famyolas,

    Harrahya!” 6

    Witches repeat the rune three times, circling a little faster.

    High Priest/ess immediately goes into the second part of the Rune, picking up the pace which now approaches the maximum speed consistent with safety:

    Eko eko Azerak,

    Eko eko Zomelak

    Zod ru koz e zod ru koo

    Zod ru goz e goo roo moo

    Eeo eeo hoo hoo hoo!” 7

    This is likewise repeated three times by the witches, at the end of which they stop, throw up their hands with the last “hoo!”, and each mentally projects his or her visual image of the magical purpose upward through the zenith. At the same time, each witch mentally releases his or her gaze of the Watchers and their eyes. A whoosh results, the release of the elemental energy at the cardinal points upward and inward to the zenith of the circle. There it joins the uprush of witches’ energy, directed by the uprushing column of the World Pillar, and all join at the apex of the Cone of Power, which is then released through the portal of the height, at the temple’s zenith, the summit of the magical theatre.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    FARRAR, Janet and Stewart, Eight Sabbats for Witches, Custer, WA,

    Phoenix Publishing Inc., 1988.

    _____________________, The Witches’ Way; Principles, Rituals, and

    Beliefs of Modern Witchcraft, Custer, Washington, Phoenix Publishing Inc., 1984.

    JACKSON, Nigel, Call of the Horned Piper, Berkshire, UK, Capall Bann, 1994.

    MEAD, G.R.S., Apollonius of Tyana; The Philosopher-Reformer of the First

    Century A.D., New Hyde Park, New York, University , Inc., 1966.

    VALIENTE, Doreen, Witchcraft for Tomorrow, Custer, Washington, Phoenix

    Press, 1987.

    1 G.R.S. Mead, Apollonius of Tyana, pp 84-5.

    2 “World” is understood in the ancient sense as a cosmos or ordered habitation in space-time. not necessarily a planet.

    3 Or sometimes after the circle is cast, with the calling of Quarters.

    4 At certain times of year, when there is only one candle, the axis of the temple is visualized as rising through it.

    5 From Nigel Jackson, Call of the Horned Piper. p. 22 et passim.

    6 Farrar, Janet & Stewart, Eight Sabbats for Witches, p. 44. Often misquoted, this troubadour chant can be viewed in manuscript in an illustration in plate 8 of Farrar, The Witches’ Way.

    7 Recorded in a footnote by Doreen Valiente to Janet and Stewart Farrar’s Eight Sabbats for.Witches, p. 45.

    MoonOwl Observations

    March, 2015

    A Brief Look at Uranus

    Uranus also goes by Ouranos. He is sometimes known as Father Heaven, or simply, The Sky. He was Gaia’s son and husband, as Gaia created Uranus to cover her all over, and to be as resting place, always secure, for all the blessed gods, and then she created hills and pontos. Gaia and Uranus had many offspring together.

    Uranus is the father of Cronus, the twelve Titans, the Cyclops and the Hundred Handed. Now, Uranus hated his children, and felt threatened by them as well. He worried they would overrule him, so as soon as each Titan was born, he hid it within Gaia. She became stretched and strained as a result of this. She responded by making grey adamant, which is a mythical metal. The adamant was formed into a mighty saw-toothed sickle. Gaia then asked her sons to help her get revenge on Uranus for the pain and misery he had caused. Cronus stepped up.

    Gaia gave Cronus the sickle. Cronus then hid, and when Uranus came close enough, Cronus attacked him and cut off Uranus’ genitals and threw them into the sea. The blood from the castration fell onto Gaia and she became pregnant. The result of this pregnancy was the birth of the Furies, the Giants and the Meliae. From the foam that gathered around the genitals in the sea, Aphrodite was born. Once Uranus was castrated, the Titans and the other children of Gaia and Uranus could emerge, and the creation of the world could proceed.

     

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