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September, 2015

Merry Meet

September, 2015

Etiary2

Welcome

 

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This month’s issue is brought to you by Etiary.com 

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In This Issue…

 

Etiary2

Curious as to what Etiary.com is yet?  Well read up here on the all new Pagan/Witch Social Network site that is quickly growing in popularity!

 

paganportals

Our Mabh Savage interviews Nimue Brown this month in Druidry and Dreams.

 

Soaring

Jazz gives her open and honest opinion on Soaring- A Teen’s Guide to Spirit & Spirituality by Deneen Vukelic

 

Start

New on Shelves this past August was Meera Lee Patel’s beautiful Book Start Where you are, have a look.

 

and…

 

household

If you are looking for a good book to add to your library, Vivienne Moss has found one for you, Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes By: Kris Bradley

 

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We are always looking for new writers to join our family.  We are currently looking for columnists to cover the following:

God’s Column

Spell Column

Website/shops Review Column 

Ritual Column

Or pitch us your own Idea

Email us at [email protected] if you are interested

 

___________________________________________________________

 

Etiary2

Welcome

 

___________________________________________________________

This month’s issue is brought to you by Etiary.com 

___________________________________________________________

 

In This Issue…

 

Etiary2

Curious as to what Etiary.com is yet?  Well read up here on the all new Pagan/Witch Social Network site that is quickly growing in popularity!

 

paganportals

Our Mabh Savage interviews Nimue Brown this month in Druidry and Dreams.

 

Soaring

Jazz gives her open and honest opinion on Soaring- A Teen’s Guide to Spirit & Spirituality by Deneen Vukelic

 

Start

New on Shelves this past August was Meera Lee Patel’s beautiful Book Start Where you are, have a look.

 

and…

 

household

If you are looking for a good book to add to your library, Vivienne Moss has found one for you, Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes By: Kris Bradley

 

___________________________________________________________

 

We are always looking for new writers to join our family.  We are currently looking for columnists to cover the following:

God’s Column

Spell Column

Website/shops Review Column 

Ritual Column

Or pitch us your own Idea

Email us at [email protected] if you are interested

 

___________________________________________________________

 

Tarot Talk

September, 2015

We have not talked about the Aces in a while, so let’s revisit these unique members of the Pip cards. Aces are different from the other Minors, as they are seen as being the seeds of their suit and element, rather than the manifestation of their suit and element. Aces are not material; they are tendencies that are the foundation of the manifestations of their suit; the Ace of Pentacles, our card for this month, is not Earth, but a tendency to become Earth! Let’s begin our process of breaking down this Ace.

The Ace of Pentacles is a Minor Arcana card, so we know right away that the message offered by this card will most likely be more immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more day-to-day issues. Notice right away that I am qualifying many of my statements with “most likely” or “usually”; as readers and interpreters and students of the Tarot we do need to remember that every message, no matter how insignificant or mundane on the surface, can also possibly be a symptom of a deeper or wider issue. Nothing in the Minor Arcana is in any way minor in nature.

As we have learned, the easiest way to get a decent understanding of a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number, or in the case of Court Cards, its rank, and to examine its suit. In this case, we are dealing with the number 1, and the suit of Pentacles. These two ingredients could actually give you enough information about this one card to offer a useful interpretation.

Let’s look at the number 1 first. I see the number 1 as representing two concepts: position and potential. Position is most commonly represented by the point or period. The point is a one-dimensional shape; all we know about it is its position. We don’t know what it can do or how it can affect us, we only know where it is; everything else is potential only. Potential is neither good nor bad because it has not yet moved or manifested or acted. Potential is fertility without the catalyst that begins growth.

So, just by looking at the number of our card, we already know that the Ace of Pentacles is going to present a concept rather than an experience. Aces present energy just as it is preparing to manifest, kind of like the moment just before the Big Bang happened in our Universe, or the situation in your lungs between an exhale and an inhale.

Let’s examine the suit of our Ace. The suit of Pentacles corresponds with the element of Earth. Many Tarot decks use images of pentagrams or coins and trees or verdant growth on their Minor Arcana Pentacles cards, and that will make it easy to connect with the symbolism of this suit. A nice place to begin is with the element of Earth itself.

In its natural state, Earth is cool and dry, and it binds or shapes the other elements. Earth is of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, health, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply and being well-grounded. Earth is the element of form and substance; it is connected to material world security (and even wealth), and to our physical bodies and physical senses, and the pleasures and pains they bring. Earth represents the nurturing and serene side of Nature, and it represents the tangible end result of our labors. Earth is about security and stillness, and knowing what to expect; it is about strength, discipline, and physical manifestation of all kinds, and about enjoying the fruits of our labors. Earthy energies are fertile, practical, and slow to change.

You can see just by examining the paragraph above just how easy it is to connect the element of Earth to our daily lives, our physical bodies, our careers, our families, and the natural world around us. These things are all the main correspondences of the element of Earth, the suit of Pentacles, and of course, our Ace of Pentacles. We are off to a good start, and we have lots more information to consider.

The traditional image of the Ace of Pentacles shows a pentacle or coin being held by a hand that is reaching out of a cloud, showing that the Ace is the first and purest manifestation of its suit, so pure that we can’t affect it yet. Often there are trees, tree roots or branches, flowers, fruit, bees, or other animals associated with fertility in the image of this Ace. The sky is usually clear and blue, representing the clarity and purity of the potential being offered, not yet muddied by manifestations or expectations or actions. Often there is a wall with a gate in it and a clear pathway through the gate and off into the distance, showing us the potential for advancing along our Path offered by this Ace.

The Ace of Pentacles has an astrological connection as well, which can help us to add even more depth and texture to our readings. The Ace of Pentacles represents three sun signs, Aries, a Cardinal Fire sign, Taurus, a Fixed Earth sign, and Gemini., a Mutable Air sign, or the season of late Spring.

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the leader of the pack, first in line to get things going. Those born under this sign prefer to initiate, and they won’t shy away from anything new. Aries people are action oriented, assertive, and competitive. Aries is ruled by Mars, the God of War, bold and aggressive, and able to tap into the focus needed to take on any challenge. The symbol of Aries is the Ram, blunt and to the point, and a sheer force of nature. The great strength of those born under this sign is found in their initiative, courage and determination.

Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac, is all about reward. Physical pleasures, material goods, and soothing surroundings are all important to a Taurus. The good life in all its guises is heaven on Earth to those born under this sign. Taurus is a fixed sign, and it represents steady persistence sometimes seen as stubbornness. Taurus is symbolized by the Bull, and Bulls are among the most practical and reliable members of the zodiac, happy to plod along slowly but surely toward a goal. Taurus is ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Pleasure, which is why harmony and beauty are a huge part of this sign’s personality. Taurus is a true-blue, loyal sign as well, and slow to anger; like the element of Earth, Taurus is about strength of body as well as strength of heart.

Gemini is about communication of all kinds, and about collecting information and stimulating the mind. Geminis are a mix of yin and yang, and they can easily see both sides of an issue; they are very practical. They are adaptable and flexible but they can also tend toward being wishy-washy, and they are not always good at following through to the end of a project. Gemini is all about the intellect, the mind, and the thinking process. They think clearly and make use of logic, and they can be real good at seeing the big picture. Gemini rules the nervous system, and calmness is a quality they need to cultivate. They love to play, love to share their fun and their ideas with others, and they love adventures that stimulate the mind.

This means the Ace of Pentacles is about the potential for experiencing new beginnings or awakenings, the slow and conservative building of an environment that encourages growth, and the diversification and exchange of information that creates the ability to adapt to the world around us in a positive and beneficial manner.

Each of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck also has a home on the Tree of Life of the Qabalah; all of the Aces correspond to the sephira (or sphere) of Kether. Kether (or Crown) is the first sephira at the top of the Tree of Life. It is the top sephira of the Pillar of Balance, the center or trunk of the Tree, and is considered to be the cause of manifestation; not manifestation itself, mind you, but the catalyst that begins the process of manifestation. Nothing actually exists yet within Kether, but the Source of All awakens within Kether. However, it does not know itself yet because there is no other form from which it can view itself. Once again, we are speaking about the “point” or “position” without any dimension or manifestation.

That is quite a bit of information, all attained by breaking our card down to its basic ingredients. Not so complicated after all!

All the Aces remind us of the potential connected to their Suit; the Ace of Pentacles represents the potential to achieve prosperity and abundance, security and trust, groundedness and strong foundations. The Ace of Pentacles suggests that we use common sense when approaching problems, and make use of the tools we have at hand, tools that are tried-and-true; it tells us that we have the ability and skill to use those tools (or at least the opportunity to acquire those abilities and skills). It reminds us of the importance of taking care of our body, our homes, and our families. And it presents the opportunity to reach a goal or see rewards through expending efforts over the long term. All of these opportunities might present themselves in an unexpected way, perhaps through some change or opportunity for growth within a career, a family, or a home.

The Legacy of the Divine Ace of Coins reminds us of the beauty of Nature, and the spiritual fulfillment that can be had through experiencing and appreciating beauty. The image on this Ace contains representations of beneficial animals and insects, and emphasizes the benevolent feel of the energies of this card. The Shadowscapes Tarot Ace of Pentacles emphasizes the potential to be found in a seed. That seed will sprout, but the growth will require both work and patience on our part in order to succeed; what grows from that seed is what we make of it.

Through its Ace of Pentacles, the Witches Tarot tells of a possible new source of income, perhaps obtained by acquiring a new skill. The Tarot of the Sephiroth reminds us that our Earth is the vehicle of all life, and thus the Ace of Pentacles represents life springing forth, as well as creation, evolution, and construction. Aleister Crowley believed that the Aces could be seen to contain the other numbered cards of the suit, and thus our Ace of Pentacles can be seen as containing the other Pentacles Pip cards, or at least the potential to become those other cards.

The Ace of Pentacles does not guarantee riches or health or security, but it does guarantee that we will have a chance to work in order to bring those things into our lives!

Short Story: Kiara, Episode Two

September, 2015

Kiara

A quiet knock on the door brought Kiara back to the room with a start. The lock turned and a young girl appeared with a supper tray. She was thin, with a boyish figure and lank hair and pale greasy skin. Kiara thought that she looked very tired and unhappy. She greeted her with a wave, but just received a wary look in return. The servant girl placed the tray on a little breakfast table and left without a word. Again, the clicking of the lock and Kiara was alone.

She sat on the single chair provided and picked at her food with little appetite. It was obviously left-overs from dinner. A small fish peered at her from its bed of over-cooked vegetables, which had been piled carelessly onto the plate. She stared at the fish for a while, saddened by such an ungracious ending to its short life. She placed the cover back on the plate and looked around the room. She shivered. The fire was beginning to die,- and with no obvious source of fuel, it was probably best if she prepared for bed before it got too cold.

As she sat brushing her hair by the mirror, she half hoped to see the faery in the reflection, but she never came.

That night, for the first time since her exile, she dreamt of her homeland. She was beginning to remember, and it made her very sad.

She was flying towards the large oak tree that dominated her forest home. The sun was setting, leaving a bright glow in the sky. Out of the haze, flew about a hundred fae. She could see their smiles as their arms opened. Everything seemed to have a golden aura of joy. Their transparent wings split the light into rainbow colours which seemed to radiate out in huge waves.

Everyone was communicating at once and all trying to hug her at the same time. It was a glorious bedlam of song and touch and warmth. She thought that she would burst for joy.

Then the crowd around her became silent. They opened up a wide corridor. There through the tunnel of oscillating wings, she saw the queen. The queen beckoned. She tried to fly to her but could not move. The others began to shake her and push her forward. It was no good. She was frozen in mid air.

“Come on! Up you get! You have a busy day ahead and breakfast is ready. Come and eat it while it is still hot!”. Kiara looked up at the source of the friendly voice. For a moment, she thought it was a pixie. Tiny oval face, black curly hair, and eyes as large and brown as her own.

“I’m Anna belle”, she said, “and Matron is my mama!. You are very pretty! I think we will be good friends!”. “Mara was very busy with the other girls, so mama let me bring your breakfast up. They all share a room, but you have your own room because you are very rich, Mara said”. She paused very slightly for breath. “Are you very rich?” Oh! You cannot speak, can you? Never mind Mama says I talk enough for ten girls! And Look! I have a Key!” As Annabelle raised the key, Kiara decided that they would be very good friends indeed. She smiled at her. She climbed from the bed and sat at the little table. She had regained her appetite and she ate with relish, as Annabelle chattered away ceaselessly beside her.

Annabelle sat with her as she got herself ready for the day. She brushed her hair for her and put a pretty wooden comb in it. That pleased Kiara. It was a gift from Martha, but she would never have managed to put it in by herself. She decided that she liked having a friend. On impulse, she took a silver pin, in the shape of a hare, from her jewellery box and gave it to her. Annabelle gave her the biggest hug ever. “Mama says I must bring you to her as soon as you are ready”.

They set off, hand in hand, and she led Kiara through a maze of corridors and up a set of spiral stairs. Finally she knocked on a door and they entered a room that had a big desk and lots of bookshelves filled with rows and rows of big heavy books. Each had a single large letter and some numbers on the spine. Matron was sitting behind the desk. She smiled.“Good morning Kiara!. I wanted to have a little chat before you saw the doctor”. Annabelle!, Run along and get yourself off to class!. I am sure that you two can get together later,- once lessons are over”.

She turned to Kiara, “You would like that,- wouldn’t you Kiara?”. Kiara nodded… suddenly feeling wary again.

“Come child!. I wish to show you something, and explain the rules of our little establishment.

She took her down yet another long corridor and up a flight of stairs. They led out into a smaller corridor. Here the walls were made of rough stone. It felt cold and draughty. They went through yet another door. It was old and heavy with a big bolt on the outside. Inside was a set of creaking wooden stairs which seemed to spiral up forever. Kiara was frightened by the stairs and the steep drop over the handrails. Matron grabbed her arm roughly and forced her upwards. The stairs went up through heavy wooden beams and she found herself standing by a row of metal bars. There were small holes in the wall instead of windows. Behind the bars she could see a cot and a bucket in the corner. The room stank horribly and she tried to pull back, but Matron had an iron grip on her arm.

“ Look child! There is only one rule. You must do as I say! There is only one punishment. If you misbehave, then you will be left here until you have learned your lesson. Do we understand each other?” Kiara nodded.

Back in her office, Matron was again friendly. She gave Kiara a children’s book to look at while she waited for the doctor. Kiara pondered this new aspect to the situation she was in. She dreaded to think of what would happen if she ran away and got caught again. But at least she had a friend. As for that terrible room,- she decided that she had no intention of ever misbehaving.

She wanted to learn to write, and if the Matron kept her promise and she got her voice back,- then she might soon be on her way home. As she sat looking at the pictures and idly deciphering the words of the story, she wondered if her faery friend would come back. A single message to her elders might quickly free her from this awful predicament.

Lost in thought, she slowly became aware that she was being watched. She looked up to find herself face to face with the tiniest human she had ever seen. As she looked into his eyes she felt a little dizzy. It was almost as if she was seeing him twice at the same time. There were conflicting images as she looked at him. One image was of a small smart gentleman in a suit, with kindly eyes and a big friendly smile. But behind that she sensed something vaguely familiar. She caught the faint, feral stench of a goblin and she could have sworn that beneath his smile were rows of sharp pointed teeth. For some strange reason, she felt calmer that she had, since her visit to the room in the tower.

art by Bill Oliver boysoblue.com

Finding the Pagan Way

September, 2015

Shamanism

In many ways, my spiritual journey has brought me beyond the more publicised aspects of paganism and deeper into a rediscovery of shamanism. Whereas much of what is practised in the names of many long lost systems of belief is, largely, a modern reconstruction,- there is still a strong shamanistic tradition in many of the surviving indigenous peoples around the world.

At a time when the western societies are floundering under the unsupportable system of capitalism, we have much to learn from societies which have lived in a sustainable fashion for most of mankind’s history. But ironically, at a time when we need their wisdom the most, the attack on indigenous peoples has been renewed as the corporate world eyes their lands with its habitual greedy stare.

The hunger for timber, minerals and new sites for hydroelectric dams has forced many peoples from their ancestral lands. We have seen the same crimes repeated over and over again as, what we foolishly call, civilisation spread across the globe. Forests are cut down and overworked until nothing but deserts or dust bowls remain. Rivers become polluted and the native flora and fauna became extinct. Respect for the land and for other life becomes replaced with arrogance and a total absence of compassion. Prejudice and hatred become the norm as the native inhabitants are forced out and the “settlers” attempt to justify their actions.

The time has come for those who claim to believe in a better world to stand up and tell their governments to act now. We have a duty to save what is left of this planets natural reserves and to protect the rights of those groups who are still living in a sustainable way. They are the teachers of the future who can show us how to regain our sense of balance and humility before we destroy this planet on which we depend.

A Warriors Tears.

What will we make of our new world, where all the roses died,

When all alone we stand upon the naked earth, where once the weeping willow cried.

Once the cheerful sparrow chirped upon the leafy bough,

And now, across the Barren wastes, the wind blows soft and low

And when our world has gone,

Where will we go?

Where once a mighty river flowed, now runs a ragged little stream.

No fish still swim within it’s dark and murky flow,- no lovers float and dream.

No dragonflies above the bare, baked clay that guides its weary way.

No butterflies delight our eyes with colourful display.

And when our world has gone,

Where will we go?

Take the seeds of mother earth and scatter them wherever you may go.

Plant ten trees for every tree that dies.

Cut the fences, chop the posts and let the buffalo run free.

Take the earth back from the greedy, let us share it as we did in days of old.

For when our Mother dies,

Where will we go?

Patrick W Kavanagh 21/07/2013

Art by Bill Oliver boysoblue.com

shamanism

 

 

My ancient friend

I lay beside you on the cold damp earth,
My tears where mingling with the early dew.
I ran my fingers down your cold coarse skin,
Your wisdom torn from me,- what shall I do?

Your silent counsel,- from me gone…
The quiet dreams you gave me through the years
Your towering strength that sheltered from the storm,
Where once was calm, I now find only tears.

I must stay centred,- must keep anger from my breast,
They tore you from our mother earth,-still in your prime.
No more your shelter for the birds to rest,
You lie,uprooted, long before your time.

I wish that I could set your spirit free,
Release your ancient heart to ash with sacred fire,
And when you go before me to the source,
Please tell,- at least one human loved a tree.

Our Mother now lies stricken, Bones bare, Her Beauty laid to waste
Despoilers!..Stop!..you must learn how to listen,
The source of all will not much longer bear this foul disgrace!
Learn your purpose,-Learn your place,
Our time grows shorter in this sacred place.

Patrick Kavanagh
16/04/12

Witches Soul Work

September, 2015

Witches Soul Work: Laughter and Ritual

Laughing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Usually when we think of ritual or ceremony we think of serious prayer led by serious officiates. We can’t imagine a church ceremony where the priest and the congregation laugh uproariously in lieu of prayer! Yet there are many good reasons why humour and laughter can be used successfully in ritual and many examples from around the world where it does.

In Nepal the Gaijatra ceremony, also known as the festival of holy cows (!) featured a parade of participants who had lost loved ones during the previous year. These sad people brought their cows to walk in a parade because cows are thought by the Nepalese to transport the souls of the dead to heaven. The cows were presided over by representatives of the bereaved cow owners but if they could not afford cows, the representatives had to dress up as funny colourful cows instead. People in general that attended the Gaijatra also dressed up, trying to make themselves look funny and made a lot of noise by dragging iron wheels or broken pieces of metal. This festival dates back to medieval times when King Malla, who was the ruler of Kathmandu, lost his son to small pox. To console his queen he gathered people from the populace who had also lost sons, like a royal support group, and asked them to show ‘funny items’ or to entertain the queen. Many decorated themselves like cows (for the same reason mentioned above) and when the queen began to laugh her grief was finally resolved (Deep 1992, 57-60).

Nowadays they make sort of parade floats carrying the photos of their loved ones and the only resemblance to cows are horns stuck up on top with four legs represented by sticks that the ‘pallbearers’ use to move the cows forward in the parade. The noise is made with a stick dance. (Gaijatra, 2013)

Laughter has a physiological effect and can lead to an increase in heart rate, respiratory rate, respiratory depth and oxygen consumption followed by a period of muscle relaxation with a corresponding decrease in heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. Post laughter relaxation can last up to forty-five minutes and is caused by the H-reflex depression of spinal motor excitability (Bennet and Lengacher 2008, 37-40). This translates into a relaxed group of people who are ready to connect with the energy and focus of the ritual.

We read about the Japanese laughing ritual dating back to 1199 when the stone fish was used to create humour and appease the Mountain Goddess (Abe 2010, 31-34). In fact there are seven major traditional festivals in Japan that feature ritual performances of laughter called Wa-Rai-Ko. All of these rituals are carried out in or near Shinto shrines where they dedicate the laughter to entertain and please the Kami hoping the laugher’s wishes will be granted. The word kami is translated loosely as ‘gods’, ‘spirits’ or more accurately ‘sacred’ (Milner 2006, 37). So participants are laughing to the sacred.

Doreen E. Martinez is an ethnographic researcher and trained sociologist as well as being an assistant professor at the University of Colorado and the Director of Culture and Community with the Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative (NASHI). Her paternal grandmother was Mescalero, Apache, born in 1899 and paternal grandfather was Chiricahua, Apache, born around 1897. She describes a cultural ritual she calls ‘Traditional Kindness and Ritual Laughter’(Martinez, 2012).

In this ritual if a person admires something that you have “in the right way”, that is not for material gain, then you should give it to them. Teasing, reflected in the ‘coyote trickster and Native clowns, regularly occurs and reinforces humility’.  The Apache believe that teasing promotes laughter of a certain type and makes the subject of the tease feel they are cared for. As one of her examples she tells of admiring a watch worn by another woman who gives it to her with much ceremony. Actually Doreen never wore a watch but it was considered rude to refuse a gift offered with such grace and friendship. A few days later her friend started teasing her because the watch was in Doreen’s bag, not on her wrist, and she laughingly suggested that she should give the watch back if she wasn’t going to wear it. Doreen returned the watch and later that night found a pair of bone earrings on her pillow.

Another example of cultural laughter comes from the story of the Laughing Buddha, called in China Budai and in Japan Hotei. He is one of the ‘Shichic Fukujin (seven gods of good fortune) and is considered to be an incarnation of Amida Nyorai (the merciful Buddha) and Miroku-bosatsu (the future Buddha)’. He is depicted as a ‘fat, jolly, bald priest with fat pendant lucky ears’ surrounded by laughing children. He carries a sack (hotei) which holds a bottomless pit of sweets and good food for the children. His image is placed at the entrances to many shrines, restaurants and stores both in China and Japan. The ritual of rubbing his tummy is supposed to bring smiles and good luck (Ashkenazi 2003, 168).

Recently I wrote a ritual for Beltane 2014 which involved laughter and kissing. My hope was to bring together between 60 and 100 participants, many of whom did not know each other, and help them experience the energy of the Sabbat which I identified as sexual-laughter. In this ritual I created or recruited 5 couples: one to cast the circle, one to bless the maypoles, one to read the Sabbat reading, one to bless the young King and Queen of May and the last couple to be the King and Queen of May. Since this was a non-specific gender ritual I had the circle casters as a married man-woman couple, the may-pole blessers as a man-man couple, the Sabbat readers as woman-woman couple, the King and Queen blessers an older man-woman couple (myself and husband Bran) and the King and Queen of May a younger man-woman couple. The drumming troupe raised energy for the maypole dance and the women’s belly dancing group danced the quarter callings wearing fancy dress.

The circle casting couple kissed very deeply, cheered on by the crowd and then Mielka ran off from her husband going clockwise from East. He gave chase and finally caught her again back at the East quarter after going full circle and they kissed again (more cheering). Hawk and Mitch (two guys) blessed the maypole making a lot of hard pole jokes and then kissed which brought a lot of laughter because it was unexpected. Mitch’s wife laughed the hardest. The Sabbat reading was done by Serafina and Oshun and then they gave the biggest sexiest kiss of the day, which surprised us all as they are not a couple and both are not gay. Bran (my hubby) and I kissed and blessed the Young King and Queen of May played by Ivy and her new boyfriend Paul. This was only his 2nd ritual and as the scheduled King and Queen were late Ivy ‘volunteered’ them. Poor Paul was quite unaware at how much kissing he had to do in the ritual and also that he was expected to perform the “Great Rite” when he got home to finish the ritual.

( Paul: You’re kidding right?

Me: No, it’s part of the ritual. Do you have a problem with that?

Ivy: giggles.

Me: Don’t you love our religion?)

The ritual was full of a lot of laughter and kissing in the spirit of the Sabbat and I achieved what I hoped to with the ritual use of laughter. I want to continue to explore the use of ritual laughter by incorporating a variation of the stone fish ceremony to create laughter and honour the gods during the Summer Solstice Ritual. I was inspired to work on this project by the Laughing Buddha Ritual (Laughing Buddha Ritual , 2013).

References:

  1. Dhurba, Deep. 1992. The Nepal Festival Kathmandu. Variety Printas: 57-60.
  1. Gaijatra Festival. 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIAbshKRcdU
  1. Payne Bennet, Mary and Lengacher, Cecile. 2008. Humour and Laughter May Influence Health: III Laughter and Health Outcomes. Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine 5(1): 37-40.
  1. Goh Abe. 2010. A Japanese Ritual Performance of Laughter. http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/47656885/japanese-ritual-performance-
  1. Milner Davis, Jessica. 2006. Understanding Humour in Japan. Wayne State University Press: 37
  1. Martinez, Doreen E. 2012. Traditional and Kindness Ritual http://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/traditional-kindness-and-ritual-laughter
  1. Ashkenazi, Michael. 2003. Handbook of Japanese Mythology. Oxford University Press:168.
  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk9-gkT2bI8 Laughing Buddha ritual which inspired the paper, June 2013.

Etiary: The First Paranormal Social Network

September, 2015

Etiary: The First Paranormal Social Network

 Etiary1

A revolutionary site has come to change the way the paranormal social networking is being used on the internet. Etiary.com is not just a social networking site where members can connect, but also an information center for the alternative subjects of the metaphysical and science. Etiary’s focus is about the veil we can see through in the mundane world, whether it be quantum physics or a magic spell. Frankly, Etiary is a child of modern paranormal perspectives meeting at a conjunction with modern science in most cases. It offers a plethora of options that are selectively geared toward people who are entranced by the unknown.

 

What can Etiary offer you? Etiary is a site that allows you to social network with friends and have powerful information center at hand without all the irrelevant distractions. The sensation about this website is the factor that you can share your thoughts on the paranormal, magick, science, and personal beliefs without persecution; Etiary is for people like you wanting direct data and people who carry the same interests. You can create your own groups, open your own pages, create your own stores, and easily organize the site in your personal settings. Why is Etiary different from other sites on the internet? You are joining a community that is paranormal. No where else will you find the features that can be as functional with these tools.

 

The launch of the site happened on August 13th and then it crashed on the 15th because there was a system overload with the number of people signing up. Within two days of being officially published online there were over 10,000 registered members. Etiary has more than 29,000 members at the current moment. Join a community that is full of like-minded freethinkers like you today in Etiary. There you will help find the people, information, and a site that actually cares about you getting the best resources first hand.

MagickalArts

September, 2015

Ready, Set, Go!

September is synonymous with learning, moving and embarking on new adventures. Not only are we harvesting the rewards of our work earlier in the year, but forging new paths in hopes that these will hold the new plantings later on. For me, this mindset is a constant companion and keeping the creativity flowing is always the goal.

I want “everything”! To do, to know, to learn, to be adept at everything! Some might call this a type “A” personality, but it goes much further than this. It is not a need to keep busy, but rather a hunger to take it all in. This has always been my nature and that hunger served me well in my youth, but has become cumbersome and limiting as I embrace my latter fifties. The reality is that there is just not enough time in a day, a year or a lifetime to make that an achievable or even productive goal. And, the old adage of being a “Jack of all trades and master of none” looms heavy and large as to what can potentially be the outcome.

Over the years deep conversations, a few physical challenges and the resultant inner dialogue of why I am so driven have helped to reign in this compulsive need to extend myself much further than I should. Having great determination of will to keep pushing regardless have at times made it difficult to focus on how and where my energies are should be distributed.

This behavior colors all aspects of my life, but most notably the dynamics of my spiritual path have raised questions around the efficacy of this need to achieve to a place front and center. I wrote the past two weeks about quality versus quantity and this seems an appropriate follow up to those.

We get so caught up in the process of continual movement that we no longer see that we are not truly moving forward, but simply spinning our wheels, caught in the illusion of the moment. The desire to be a proverbial fount of knowledge and experience is always held in the background of spiritual pursuit. The dynamics and intensity of what that includes vary from individual to individual, but the raw desire remains the same. This is after all the catalyst that inspires us to continue on the path of self evolvement and what keeps us on the path in the first place. That fountain may flow with slow and steady drip, arch up filled with push or swell and overflow in what you feed into it; but it is decidedly the source from which we drink.

To keep these impulses in check I use the months of the harvest as a check in point with myself to assess what I have accomplished. I try to pay closer attention to how much I am extending myself, how much I am trying to learn and experience and when I am reaching that non-productive place of over expansion. I set the intent that most of what I have gained up to this point, I will allow to flow outward in teaching, writing and sharing as an act of harvesting the fruits of my efforts. I set the intent that I will keep the seeds of those experiences and new lessons so they may be replanted when there is adequate space for their growth. I set the intent to enter this time in reflection, celebration and joy in what I have achieved and the inroads I have made.

So, ready, set, and act with intent! Slow the pace and really savor the bounty of the journey along the way. What fruits of harvest and intent does your check in show?

Excerpted in Part:?A Weekly Reflection. Musings for the Year (Week 23). R.Fennelly 2012

Bardic Song of the Month

September, 2015

This month’s Bardic Song is called “Body Mind and Spirit Chant”. It is a simple tune that has body motions to go with the words for easier repetition and the melody line is rather easy. Keep repeating the tune over as often as you wish. The song was originally written as a little exercise for a Drum Corp program that I wrote, when we went to local nursing homes and played drums for the Alzheimer’s patients.
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.
[audio mp3="http://paganpages.org/content/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Body_Mind_and_Spirit_Chant.mp3"][/audio]

Astro Report for September 2015

September, 2015

Venus still Retro in Leo– 14 degrees

Tuesday, September 1, 201512:01 am EDT

Goes Direct on Saturday, September 5, 20156:17 pm EDT

The Planet of love and adoration is still going against the grain preparing to trek across the face of the Sun. Affections at this time still seem to be awry in family-oriented Leo. Not to worry, though. Venus is strong-willed and has the capacity to overcome this obstacle. She allows her love and affection to come and go as needed or wanted, sometimes to a fault.

 

 

Uranus still Retro in Aries – 19 degrees

Tuesday, September 1, 201512:01 am EDT

Goes Direct on Friday, December 25, 20154:12 pm EST

Uranus is that Planet that hates to be confined. It is known as the “break out” Planet for that reason. When retrograde, Uranus can be responsible, more traditional and relaxed, but it feels bound by the obstacles surrounding it. As Uranus goes retrograde in Aries, there is a feeling of enthusiasm and courage to take responsibility. It is not a time to worry about what others think about you. Do your own thing at your own pace and life will be grand.

 

 

Neptune still Retro in Pisces – 8 degrees

Tuesday, September 1, 201512:01 pm EDT

Goes Direct on Thursday, Nov 19, 201512:39 am EST

The “Pink Fog Machine” normally keeps us from seeing the truth clearly, because Neptuneaskews our vision. When retrograde, Neptune can see things more clearly, like the fog has been lifted, for a short time. It helps you to understand the higher concepts of beauty, love and spirituality.

 

 

Pluto still Retrograde in Capricorn – 13 degrees

Tuesday, September 1, 201512:01 am EDT

Goes Direct on Friday, September 25, 20153:00 am EDT

Pluto resonates with mystery and transformation. While it is Retrograde, the energies become more stagnating, unchanging and powerless. When Pluto is Retrograde, mysteries and secrets are difficult to keep and sometimes are leaked to the world.

 

 

Labor Day

Monday, September 6, 201512:01 am EDT (Midnight)

Kick off your shoes and pad around barefoot on the last holiday of Summer!! As a day of rest from Labor, we look at the House of Employment, the 10th House. Neptune and Chiron, both retrograde, share space at the onset of the day bringing an energy of awareness and egotistical self-sacrifice. Enacted into law in 1894, Grover Cleveland was filled with unfounded trepidation. Today, it marks the symbolic end of Summer. Schools begin their new school year depending on the region. It is also the official ending to wear white pants. As the evening winds down, take time to settle in for a nice relaxing evening. It’s a short work-week, so enjoy a moment of peace and quiet after the long weekend.

 

 

Venus goes direct in Leo – 14 degrees

Saturday, September 5, 20156:17 pm EDT

The Planet of love and devotion stations and goes direct at the beginning of the month. Where she was more relaxed and easy going, Venus will now get back on track to her usual family-oriented self. Be ready for her affections of pride and pleasure. Expect a little more pillow talk afterwards while Venus rides out the last half of Leo.

 

 

9/11 – Patriot Day

Friday, September 11, 201500:01 am EDT

As we look upon this day in history, we remember the victims of the Towers in New York City in 2001 as well as at the Pentagon in Arlington County, VA and in Shanksville, PA. We honor the fallen heroes that rushed to save innocent lives. As a nation we strive to secure our borders against unknown enemies that threaten our way of life and our freedom. The Planets are lined up as evenly as possible to energize every nook and cranny for our Hearths and Homes. On this day, be mindful of your own well-being, be gentle with others and support your loyalties.

 

 

Eclipsed New Moon in Virgo – 20 degrees

Sunday, September 13, 20152:40 am EDT

Emotional energy seems displaced and chaotic, but truthfully, it is always where you put it. And you know exactly where that is. The motherly instincts that you adhere to the most seem to be lost in confusion. However, when the clouds clear, you begin to shine in the magnificent glow of your truth. Nobody ever realizes the depths of your being until they watch and learn from you.

 

 

Mercury goes Retrograde in Libra – 15 degrees

Thursday, September 17 – 6:27 pm EDT

Goes direct on October 10, 2015 – 3:15 pm EDT

When Mercury goes Retro, Communications are weighed heavily against all odds. When you speak, you try to find balance in your words that will neither negate nor accent a subject. It is all about finding the truth in the matter and analyzing it for an honorable result. Be sure to weigh your words heavily or you may find your proverbial foot in mouth too often.

 

 

Saturn enters Sagittarius

Friday, September 18, 201512:11 am EDT

The Planet of Caution and Pessimism hangs out in an optimistic Sign, which has a way of saying things that aren’t appropriate. The energy is mentally combative within and sometimes comes out garbled. One will want to say what’s on their minds, but it will come out with negative charm.

 

Sun enters Libra – Happy Birthday, Libra!!

Wednesday, September 23, 20154:09 am EDT

Welcome the first day of Autumn – the time of equal days and equal nights. It is a time for finding balance in Body, Mind and Spirit. The Sun in Libra brings power and excitement for finding that balance. As this is the Fall of the season, take time to watch the Sun set over the horizon tonight. You will be able to scry the various cloud formations for answers to your many questions. Bring a friend or two to enjoy and share the moment.

 

 

Mabon (aka Michaelmas)

Wednesday, September 23, 20157:01 am EDT (sunrise)

 

Names: Autumnal Equinox, Fall Sabbat, Mabon, Foghar, Alban Elfed, Harvest Home, 2nd Festival of Harvest, Fruit Harvest, Wine Harvest, G?yl Ganol yr Hydref (Welsh)

Date: Sep 22nd or 23rd

Astro Correspondence: Sun enters Libra
Color: fall colors

Food: pig/pork, lamb, game birds, tree fruits, meads/wines, fresh vegetables from the garden, underground tubers, grains, nuts, pumpkins/gourds

Common Info: Story of Demeter, Persephone and Hades (Eleusinian Mysteries), 2nd Harvest Fest (tree fruits and vine/plant vegetables mostly), Story of Modron, gathering of the seeds, quilting projects for new winter blankets

 

Alban Elved (Mabon) marks the 2nd Harvest Festival of the Wheel of the Year. The date is usually around September 22nd or when the Sun enters Libra. This is the Pagan Thanksgiving. The majority of all that needs harvested is done during this period. Sacred foods include freshly hunted game and fish, fresh fruits off the tree and the last of the grains. Mabon, Bran and Branwen are the chosen deities of worship. Apple magic is used to instill prosperity, settling debts and obligations (seeking to find balance).

 

 

Pluto goes direct in Capricorn – 12 degrees

Friday, September 25, 20153:00 am EDT

Transformations seem to be heading in the right direction finally as Pluto sits in Capricorn. We remain cautious with our minor endeavors to bring change in our lives, especially when it comes to saving money and becoming more frugal. If you are planning to make an investment, do your research to find proof against it; you may find more reasons to invest in it than not.

 

 

Mars enters Virgo

Thursday, September 24, 20159:34 pm EDT

The last time Mars entered Virgo in October 2013, it hung out for about 2 months and then it seemed to run thru the rest of the Planets. Mars has no significance for the Sign, but when it slips thru the gates, the energy of action becomes more precise. You might feel impulsive about impeccability, but take your time, if you want perfection. You may want to change your mind midstream and make minor adjustments to your plan.

 

 

Eclipsed Full Moon in Aries – 4 degrees

Sunday, September 28, 201510:50 pm EDT

The Moon builds up energy and finally comes to fruition with robust energy when it is Full. If you had begun anything special at the New Moon, you should see a significant end result upon this Full Moon. Emotionally, the Moon generally helps to create an inner power or Ki that will grow and manifest with enthusiasm and passion. This is a time to challenge yourself and overcome the oddest of struggles. When eclipsed, this energy can sometimes hide itself to reveal itself later at the most inopportune time.

 

Native Lore

The Full Moon in September is also known as the Harvest Moon, because many farmers are still bringing in the harvests of the final season. Oftentimes, they work well into the evening hours and then, when the Moon is Full, they have the ability to work under its beaming light. Many of the crops that are brought in are grains and corns. Thus, the Full Moon of September is also aptly named the Grain Moon or Corn Moon as well. Apples, Pears and other fruits are usually in season at this time, so the Full Moon has an additional name of Fruit Moon.

 

 

Besides the Moon, nothing conjuncts the Sun in September 2015.

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

September, 2015

Tara

Tara is the Great Goddess in Celtic lore, where her name is the root of *Tor*, a hillock of earth with a spiritual connection to other planes.

The name “Tara” is also connected to “Terra”, our Mother Earth.

However, the origins of the Tara most known today are in Hinduism, where she was seen as a manifestation of both Kali and Parvati. Her name means *star* and she was thought to have been a Boddhisattava, and a Goddess of Mystery and Mysticism.

Tara was adopted into Buddhism and became one of the most popular Goddesses in their pantheon. To them, her name comes from the root “tri”, which means “to cross”, which is why she is also the one who “ferries her people from delusion to knowledge”.

god

(Photo from goddessgift.net)

She has compassion for all living beings, desiring to save them from suffering, which connects her to the Boddhisattava/Goddess Kwan Yin, who also hears the cries of those who suffer and offers them mercy and compassion.

There are two main origin stories for Tara. One is that she was a spiritual and compassionate princess who prayed and gave offerings to the local monks and nuns. When one of the monks said that he would pray for her to be reborn as a man, she replied that there was no male/no female/no reality. She would stay in her female body to help others reach enlightenment. I adore the feminism in her ancient statement, which is still relevant now.

“There are many who wish to gain enlightenment
in a man’s form,
And there are few who wish to work
for the welfare of living beings
in a female form.
Therefore may I, in a female body,
work for the welfare of all beings,
until such time as all humanity has found its fullness.” **

**goddessgift.net

The other origin story, which explains the existence of two Taras, is that She/They were born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. As he was crying from seeing the suffering in the world and of his people, two giant tears fell from his eyes, resulting in the birth of the peaceful White Tara and the ferocious Green Tara.

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(Photo from exoticindiaart.com)

While they call Green Tara ferocious, She is mainly playful and full of mischief, always ready for call to action and activity. This is evidenced in Her posture upon Her lotus; Her right leg is extended ready to jump up, while her left leg is folded upon the lotus itself.

Green Tara symbolizes the night and holds a blue lotus in her left hand for purity and power; she is covered in bracelets, necklaces and jewels. With her right hand, she grants wishes and overcomes fears.

god3

(Photo from exoticindiaart.com)

While Green Tara is mostly seen as a young woman, White Tara is seen as a mature, full breasted woman. She is the Mother of All Buddhas and symbolizes day.

She has seven eyes – – the two usual, one in the Ajna (third eye) chakra, one on each hand and foot – – to more closely see the suffering in the world.

In her left hand, in the mudra (hand yoga) of protection, she holds a white lotus for complete truth and purity. This lotus has three blooms. The first bloom, with seeds, represents the Past; the second bloom in full flower, represents the Present, and the third, which is ready to blossom, represents the unknown Future. She is the essence of all three.

Tara is also known as *She Who Brings Forth Life*, *The Great Compassionate Mother”, “Embodiment of Wisdom”, and The Great Protectress”.

Her influence is widely felt, as evidenced by these stamps from Mongolia:

stamp1

Stamp2

(Photos from colnect.com)

Tara’s mantra is *Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha*; here it is chanted by the incomparable Deva Premal :  

May the Goddess, by whatever name you call her, bless you and keep you safe.

Blessings, Peace & Namaste…

god4

(Photo from wildmind.org)

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

exoticindiaart.com

goddessgift.net

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