31 December 2010

New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Capricorn on 4 January 2011

“Realize you as Soul are success itself. Then your attention and focus shifts into
other important callings then placing your entire sense of self-worth upon the 3D world.
The individual has the opportunity to fulfill their purpose with integrity while knowing
they will enjoy the fruits from the genuine effort that they have put towards living a
life based in authenticity and empowerment.“

Here we are on the verge of new beginnings as we begin a New Year, how exciting! We are drawn to the light, it stirs our passions and puts us in touch with fresh possibilities. The prospect of having new beginnings blasted with extra energy for the next twelve months is the even more enticing. It is best to create a plan or at least something tentative so that we can pour Solar (Sun) light or vitality into it and utilize the auspicious new beginnings energy. On 4 January 2011, is a New Moon and (Partial) Solar Eclipse at 13 degrees in Capricorn.

The Sun and Moon team up together during a New Moon, that is they concentrate both the Conscious (Solar) and the Subconscious (Lunar) towards a common intention or goal. In this case, the sun and moon meet in the sign of Capricorn and the 13 degree point is the ‘active spot.’ Solar Energy symbolizes vitality, vigor and outward expression. We can channel this energy towards a solid plan or intention.

30 December 2010

2011 - from a numerological perspective

Now that Christmas is over, we are gearing ourselves up for New Year's eve and 2011. Aside from resolutions that barely last the night out, what else will the year 2011 bring?

If we look at the upcoming year from a numerological perspective, we notice one thing straight away - that being that Universal Year (UY) will either be a "4" (where all the numbers are added together, 2+0+1+1 = 4) or, in strict Pythagorean sence, it will relate to a "13" Universal Year (with 11 already a master number, the 2 is then added - 11+2=13). Most people however will opt for the first calculation.

29 December 2010

Hyssop - the Holy Herb

As I bought a little hyssop plant yesterday, I thought I would investigate this herb more.  The name "Hyssop" (Hyssopus officinalis) is of Greek origin.  The Hyssopos of Dioscorides was named from azob (a holy herb), because it was used for cleaning sacred places. It is alluded to in the Christian Scriptures: "Purge me with Hyssop, and I shall be clean."

It is a native of Southern Europe and is an evergreen, bushy herb, growing up to about 1/2 metre high, with a square stem, linear leaves and flowers in whorls, six- to 16 flowered.   Cultivated for its flower tops, these are often used by being steeped in water to make an infusion, however sometimes it is used as an expectorant. There are three varieties of Hyssop, known respectively by their blue, red and white flowers.

25 December 2010

Jesus and the Persia God Mithra

In the lands of ancient Persia, the worship of a messiah like Deity was established some 600 years prior to the conception of Christinaity. This God, who was believed to have said, "I am a star which goes with thee and shines out of the depths", was Mithra.

Born on 25 December, Mithra was the offspring of the Sun, and was the third most important Persian God after Ormuzd and Ahrimanes. He was said to be a beautiful youth and a mediator, a "spiritual light contending with spiritual darkness, and through his labours the kingdom of darkness shall be lit with heaven's own light; the eternal will receive all things back into his favour, the world will be redeemed to God. The impure are to be purified, and the evil made good, through the mediation of Mithras, the reconciler of Ormuzd and Ahriman. Mithras is the Good, his name is Love. In relation to the Eternal he is the source of grace, in relation to man he is the life-giver and mediator" (Plato, Philo, and Paul, p. 15).

24 December 2010

Creating my own Library of Alexandria

The Royal Library of Alexandria, located in Alexandria, Egypt, was once the largest and most significant in the world.  It is usually assumed to have been founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt after his father (Ptolemy I Soter, 323 to 283 BCE) had set up the temple of the Muses, the Musaeum (from where we get the word "Museum").  The initial organization is attributed to Demetrius Phalereus, and is estimated to have stored at its peak 400,000 to 700,000 parchment scrolls.

The library was featured in a recent movie, "Hypatia", based around the Alexandrian scholar and philosopher who, born between 350 and 370 CE, was considered to be considered the first notable woman of mathematics, teaching philosophy and astromony.  Hypatia died in March 415 CE by a Christian mob who accused her of causing religious turmoil.

Solace in Service - Doing for Others

One aspect of the Wiccan Priesthood, in particular the High Priesthood, is that of service to others.  This "service" can sometimes be misunderstood with some people expecting some kind of "return" (financial or otherwise) to be received.  However, "true" service is where one does something, shares something, makes themselves available etc simply because in doing so, their actions or what they have to share may benefit another.  An example of this is the open Full Moon Gatherings that the Temple of the Dark Moon have been holding since 2004.  These Gatherings, originally held all year round, are open to the public as they are held in public spaces and, as were the case of many that where held during the Summer months at the beach, witnessed by curious passerbys - some even joining in. 

Whilst due to time restraints these Gatherings are now only held during the Winter months, they are still open to the public where they are offered free of charge - there is not even the expectation of  a donation to help cover the cost of the items used.  This is because to hold such events that may benefit the spiritual development of another is part of what I view as my service, as HPs, to the community and society at large.

The following is an article from Daily Om about being of service - something that everyone is able to do.

17 December 2010

Lunar Eclipse in Gemini - 21 December 2010

Lunar Eclipse In Gemini - Big Mouths And Big Minds and Big Egos Too!

On 21 December 2010, there will be a lunar eclipse at 29 degrees Gemini which is highly stressed by planets in Sagittarius and Pisces. This leaves people with planets in the late degrees of Virgo, the fourth mutable sign to contend with the brunt of of this. People with planets in the early degrees of Libra will also be impacted.

What is apparent about this Full Moon is its emphasis on Mercury (communication).  We have got Gemini, Virgo and Mercury involved, along with Sagittarius and Jupiter and when you put this together there is no end to the blurting and boasting and broadcasting we are going to see going into this.

It would be mindful not to go about talking to much otherwise you may very well "break" your mouth or your mind in the process. Those who are clever enough to joke while they are preaching will be in very high tide with this.

12 December 2010

Magick of Mid Summer

In less then 10 days, time the Mid Summer Solstice will be upon those of us who reside in the Southern Hemisphere (occuring on 21 December).  This is the time of the year when the Sun is allegedly in its glory, being the time of the longest day and the shortest night. 

With the recent storms experienced lately, especially here in the South Australia, not to mention the serious flooding in various parts of New South Wales and Queensland, celebrating the time of the year when the Sun is at its peak may seem a bit ironic this year - last year (2009) however it was a completely different story with southern Australia having experienced the horrendous heatwave (at least five days over 35C) as early as in October.

09 December 2010

Endings and Beginnings as Visions mark the Way

Last night conjured up an assortment of emotions - of sadness with it being the last "official" circle that the Temple's Inner Court would hold until mid January due to the Summer break, but also of achievement as we moved through our paces, despite what had seemed to be a "broken year" with our circles, in stepping between the veils and creating magick, not to mention excitement of the proposed ideas that 2011 will bring (not to mention another member to our folds).

Almost as a sign of just how far we each had progressed in the year, both separately along our own individual paths of spiritual enlightenment, but also as a group collective, every one of us received a potent result from the meditation. 

07 December 2010

Wormwood (Artemisia)

The Wormwoods are members of the great family of Compositae and belong to the genus Artemisia, a group consisting of 180 species, of which we have four growing wild in England, the Common Wormwood, Mugwort, Sea Wormwood and Field Wormwood.

In addition, as garden plants, though not native, Tarragon (A. dracunculus) claims a place in every herb-garden, and Southernwood (A. abrotanum), an old-fashioned favourite, is found in many borders, whilst others, such as A. sericea, A. cana and A. alpina, form pretty rockwork shrubs.  

A Sign of Imbalance - Overachieving and Overreaching

In general, an overachieving lifestyle is not balanced.
What changes can you make to slow down and feel more joy?

Overachievers are people who have achieved but still feel the need to do more, creating an imbalance in their lives.

People who exhibit this behavior may be trying to compensate for feelings of insecurity and doubts about their worth. They may be chasing unresolved issues from their past into the present, or they might not be looking at their lives as a whole, but judging themselves based only on one aspect of their being.

If this is a word that we have heard used with respect to our choices and lifestyle, it is worth examining in order to balance our lives for a more rewarding experience. 

03 December 2010

Living for Ourselves

We do not need to live seeking approval from our parents or others;
this can be overcome no matter what your age.

Most of us come to a point in our lives when we question why we are doing what we are doing, and many of us come to realize that we may be living our lives in an effort to make our parents happy. This realization can dawn when we are in our 20s, our 40s, or even later, depending upon how tight a hold our family of origin has on our psyche. We may feel shocked or depressed by this information, but we can trust that it is coming to us at this time because we are ready to find out what it would mean to live our lives for ourselves, following the call of our own soul, and refusing any longer to be beholden to someone else’s expectations.

New Moon in Sagittarius this Sunday

The Moon will be entering the zodiacal sign of Sagittarius this Sunday, 5 December 2011, and when it emerges as the New Moon in our skies, it takes place at 13 degrees Sagittarius, in a tight sextile to Saturn in Libra at 14 degrees offering a real opportunity.

Sagittarius (Jupiter) is visionary but does not accomplish much without Saturn functions like hard work, commitment and follow through. Here we have a upbeat New Moon in Sadge in contact with Saturn in the sign of its exaltation and while it does create drag in the fun times, the chance to for solid improvement in undeniable.

To take advantage of this, note the house in your chart where the New Moon falls and set your intention along with a commitment to to work towards your vision. Since Saturn is in Libra, this most likely means working in partnership for big gains.  As an example, the New Moon falls in your 11th house, so you will work with and rely on your partner/spouse to achieve you wishes, hopes and dreams.

Where does the new moon fall in your chart? How will you use this energy?

02 December 2010

The Reciprocal Flow of Abundance

Since giving and receiving are so intimately intertwined in our lives, we often expect that we can attract abundance by simply conducting ourselves in an openhanded fashion. Yet we find ourselves wallowing in disappointment when our ample generosity is not met with the expected results. The answer to this quandary lies in the expectations that, in part, initially prompted us to give.

Though our intention is likely pure, we can unintentionally mar the beautiful experience of giving by focusing on what we will eventually receive in return. When we let go of the notion that we deserve to receive gifts based on giving gifts, bounty can once again flow freely in and out of our lives.

28 November 2010

Are You of the Land?

“Land, then, is not merely soil: it is a foundation of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals ... an ethic to supplement and guide the economic relation to land presupposes the existence of some mental image of land as a biotic mechanism. We can be ethical only in relation to something we can see, understand, love, or otherwise have faith in ...” – Aldo Leopold, ecologist (from ”Wisdom of Elders” by David Suzuki and Peter Knudtson)

One description of being a Pagan is to have a relationship with the land, after all, the word Pagan is said to have been derived from the Latin Paganus meaning “country dweller”, amongst other interpretations. Yet, in this modern age how many of us who describe ourselves as "practising Pagans" and declare that we follow a “Pagan life style” are honestly “one” with nature and the land upon which we reside?  How many of us feel the tides change within us when they change around us?

25 November 2010

Walking with Awareness - Mindful Walking

While walking, each step we take can lead us to becoming more mindful of ourselves and our feelings.

Many of us take the benefits of walking for granted. Each day we limit the steps we take by driving or sitting for long periods of time. But walking even a few blocks a day has unlimited benefits – not only for our health, but our spirit as well, for as we walk, we connect with the earth.

Even when walking on concrete, the earth is still beneath us, supporting us. Walking lets our body remember simpler times, when life was less complicated. This helps us slow down to the speed of our body and take the time to integrate the natural flow of life into our cellular tissue. Instead of running from place to place or thinking about how much more we can fit into our day, walking allows us to exist in the moment. 

21 November 2010

Gifts that keep on Giving

Around this time of the year a similar dilemma appears and that is what to do for Christmas? Do I celebrate it with the rest of my non-Pagan family and friends, by accepting gifts and engaging in other festivities? Or do I declare myself a “Christmas-free zone”, after all why celebrate a festival belonging to another faith – it is not as if I celebrate other festivals or holy days, such as Ramadan etc? Often, in order to keep everyone happy a combination of the two is successful.
from World Vision"s "Smiles"

Whilst in our secular society, the religion aspect of Christmas has largely been replaced by the focus on families spending the day together and the exchanging of gifts, for some people both these ideas can be rather unpleasant.

One possible solution to at least the latter, may be the suggestion of a donation made on your behalf to a worthwhile charitable organisation ... of which there are many. 

18 November 2010

Full Moon in Taurus - 21 November

The Full Moon on 21 November at 29°18′ Taurus is conjunct the fixed star Alcyone. It is connected to the fates and judgment of the dead. There is potential for penetrating insight, but it can sometimes be blind to the obvious. Alcyone is in the Pleiades, as with all nebula it is thought to cause bad eyesight. This Moon then is definitely about vision and how one regards and judges a dilemma, one must guard against being rash and narrow minded.

The Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters, are a cluster and are connected with tears so there is some sadness involved with them. The Neptune/Chiron conjunction is squaring this Full Moon, seems like they have been dancing around each other for ages. They keep within a three degree orb all through 2011 retro-ing back and forth even into 2012.

No one has taken much notice of the Neptune/Chiron conjunction since Jupiter left the scene and linked up with more exciting Uranus. So the Moon throws some focus onto these two’s last clinch before they start sloooowly moving apart. Chiron with Neptune is hard to put a finger on. Chiron was abandoned as a child but this spurred him to put all his energy into study so that he became the wise teacher of the gods, he also sacrificed himself for the greater good. 

13 November 2010

A Full Embrace Excluding Nothing - Finding Peace Within

If we are to have true peace in this world, each one of us must find it in ourselves first.

Most people agree that a more peaceful world would be an ideal situation for all living creatures.  However, we often seem stumped as to how to bring this ideal situation into being.  
If we are to have true peace in this world, each one of us must find it in ourselves first. 
If we do not like ourselves, for example, we probably won't like those around us. 
If we are in a constant state of inner conflict, then we will probably manifest conflict in the world.
If we have fighting within our families, there can be no peace in the world.

We must shine the light of inquiry on our internal struggles, because this is the only place we can really create change. 

12 November 2010

Egregores and Perfect Love/Perfect Trust

For those experienced with group ritual magick, one of the more important aspects is the construction of the "group consciousness" or, to use a phrase that is probably more commonly associated with ceremonial magick than Wicca, "egregore".  In this use of the word, an egregore is that it is a "thought form" or "collective group mind" that is built up by the group as a whole through the use of disciplined focus and energy.  Another description of an egregore is that it is some kind of magickal entity that is specifically created by a group as an "encapsulation of the group's collective aspirations and ideals". 

The ability to create such an entity successfully can only be achieved when all members of the group are on the "same page".  That means, the level of discipline, focus and direction is equal, not to mention the direction and ideals behind such a creation is clearly formed.  This is no mean feat and can take a number of years of close, intimate workings within the group by all members involved.  Within Wicca, this can be perceived as the ultimate example of the Wiccan axiom "perfect love and perfect trust".

11 November 2010

11 November - Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918, as the major hostilities of World War I were formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. (Note that "at the 11th hour", refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.)

The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.

06 November 2010

More New Moon in Scorpio

by Lynn Hayes

Scorpio is the sign of passion and intensity, and the Truth that exists where life and death meet. This New Moon offers us an opportunity to face the darkness and discover our own Truth - to strip ourselves of any falseness and pledge to live in that Truth. New Moons begin a new cycle, and in Scorpio the challenge is to confront our emotional fears without becoming enmeshed in the story.

The New Moon is often shown as a sliver of a crescent, but it is actually the darkest point of the lunar cycle. The New Moon occurs when the Moon conjoins the Sun and the solar light completely obscures the lunar, leaving us in darkness. But it is in that darkness that the first rays of light can be seen.

04 November 2010

New Moon in Scorpio

by Dana Gerhardt

On Saturday, 6 November 2010, it will be another New Moon: a time when astrologers around the blogosphere attempt to divine its intentions and the magically minded make wishes. But fates are personal.

Even if a New Moon chart could be forced to describe them all, no single astrologer could tell that many stories. Whether time is a marching calendar, cyclical waves, or dotted with portals to other dimensions, in all systems, the New Moon is a special moment. The wishes you make now may indeed be super-powered, but if you don’t have a strong relationship with the archetypes, don’t expect special favors. If you rarely visit your Aunt Bernice, she’s got little motivation to throw money at your cat’s surgery. Visit the invisible world. New Moons are potent times to forge alliances with the gods. Make an offering. Bow and open yourself to their touch. Humans have been rendezvousing with these archetypes for thousands of years. The invisible powers will awaken new interest in you. Call out to the gods and they will respond.

03 November 2010

Lessons of Reflection - Interfering

Each of us is on our own path and we all learn differently. Because of this it is important to not interfere with another’s path of growth.

When we care about people, we want to save them from pain by offering them the benefit of our experience. Sometimes we feel like we know what is best for them. Sometimes, like when their safety is involved, we need to step in, but those times are rare. More often we find ourselves becoming frustrated when our close friends or family members do not use our relationship insights or follow our dietary advice, and this is where we find our challenge. We may even find ourselves becoming angry when they choose another path. This strength of feeling is usually a sign that our motivations go beyond merely helping another to indicate that there is a lesson there for us.

31 October 2010

Bealtaine Magickal Retreat

For the last three years the Temple of the Dark Moon has been holding various overnight magickal retreats deep within Mt Crawford forest, about an hour's drive from the covenstead and Adelaide's CBD.  These retreats have usually coincided with various Sabbats, with this being the second such Bealtaine retreat.

The spacious and well equipped farmhouse that we hire offers stunning views of St Vincent Gulf as well as a rolling tree covered hills (both native as well as pine forest) giving the impression that despite being on about 15 minutes from civilisation, that we are in the middle of nowhere.  It is not unusual to be greated by wandering emus or kangaroos during our stays within the forest.

28 October 2010

The May Pole

One of the more recognisable symbols of Bealtaine is the May Pole, and its subsequent dance which is said to encourage the return of fertility to the Earth.

The pole itself is not only a phallic symbol but also is the connector of the Three Worlds. Dancing the May Pole during Bealtaine is a conduit of energy, connecting all three worlds at a time when the gateways are most easily penetrable ... a magickal experience, indeed. The energy created by people dancing around the May Pole penetrates down into the Earth bringing about Her full awakening and fruitfulness.

25 October 2010

Cleansing and Healing Ritual

With the theme of Bealtaine being fertilty, sex and sensuality, the following ritual seems perfect for this time of the year as it focuses your attention  back on the self - and in many schools of thought it is believed that before we can truly love another person, we must learn to love our own self .. or at least accept ourselves for who we are.

I have had the ritual for a number of years so am not sure of its original author.  If is this known by someone, please let me know so that I can duly accredit them. 

Bealtaine in the South - not Halloween

If you mention the 31st of October to most people, it is not unusual for them to think of Halloween - the time when children are encouraged to dress up as Wytches, ghosts and ghouls to go trick or treating.

This largely Americanised custom (although based on the ancient traditions of celebrating the Celtic Festival of the Dead, Samhain this custom is relatively recent, stemming from the 1950s) has become increasingly popular here in Australia over recent years. In fact, a few years back the makers of a particular Irish stout were encouraging their drinkers to celebrate "the dark month".  How strange, I thought, as, due to the differences between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the 31st of October in Australia actually marks the start of Summer, which the ancient Celts referred to as Bealtaine, so it hardly seems to be a "dark month".

23 October 2010

Chamomile - a Magickal Herb

Chamomile is one of the oldest favourites amongst garden herbs and its reputation as a medicinal plant shows little signs of abatement. The Egyptians reverenced it for its virtues, and from their belief in its power to cure ague, dedicated it to their gods. No plant was better known to the country folk of old, it having been grown for centuries in English gardens for its use as a common domestic medicine to such an extent that the old herbals agree that 'it is but lost time and labour to describe it'.

There are a number of different varities of Chamomile available.  True or Common Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) which is a low-growing plant, creeping or trailing, its tufts of leaves and flowers a foot high. The root is perennial, jointed and fibrous, the stems, hairy and freely branching, are covered with leaves which are divided into thread-like segments, the fineness of which gives the whole plant a feathery appearance. The blooms appear in the later days of Summer, and are borne solitary on long, erect stalks, drooping when in bud. With their outer fringe of white ray-florets and yellow centres, they are remarkably like the daisy.

22 October 2010

Full Moon in Aries - 23 October

Here is a second article, this time by Molly Hall at Astrology About, with respect to the upcoming Full Moon on Saturday night.

Here comes another Full Moon in Aries, this time at the last degree. It is like a second burst out of the starting gate. It follows a New Moon Libra, where we took a look at our important relationships. These are the ones that we play off, and that impact how we shape our lives. Some things that might've come up:

• Seeing where we're passive or atrophied, because someone else carries the load.
• Looking at where we're dependent, rather than standing on our own two feet.
• Taking note of how we 'vibe' with others -- do they drain us or energize us.
• Seeing which relationships are right for who you're becoming, instead of who you've been.

21 October 2010

Crystal Healing - Labradorite

Believed to have first been found in 1770 on the Canadian Labrador Peninsula, Labradorite is considered to be a power stone, allowing the wearer to see through illusions and determine the actual form of dreams and goals.   This stone is a plagioclase feldspar and has been found in some meteorites.  Spectrolite, the most valued type of labradorite, hails from Finland.  Other places where Labradorite can be found include India, Madagascar, Newfoundland, and the former Soviet Republic.

20 October 2010

Full Moon in Aries - 23 October

This coming Saturday night will mark the last public Full Moon Gathering for the year that is hosted by the Temple of the Dark Moon.  We have been holding this open esbats for over six years now, with the beautiful Botanic Park far being the popular location.  It is always rather sad when the October gathering comes around, marking the end of such events, however being a working coven, we also need to focus on esbats ourselves at the covenstead - besides, October usually heralds in not only daylight savings here in Adelaide, but also sprinklers in the park!

This upcoming Full Moon will occur on 23 October and occur in the zodical sign of Aries, the Ram.  The following has been taken from Dark Star Astrology and shares some more indepth information as to this upcoming Full Moon (as well as the complete article).

14 October 2010

Healing with the Goddess Brighid

Following a rather inpromptu working with Brighid last night, a number of aspects about this Goddess have been rattling around my head this morning that I thought I would share. 

These days, Brighid is more commonly associated with the early Spring festival of Imbolc - and rightly so, after all her sacred day is 1 February, the day of Imbolc for the Northern Hemisphere.  However, here in the South, with Imbolc not occurring until August, people still associate the festival with her.

13 October 2010

Blood Mysteries

Every now and then we find the need to withdraw from the world and spend time nurturing ourselves. In our modern world this action can sometimes be perceived as “selfish” but if we not do nurture our own being, how can we operate at our fullest and be most beneficial to others? Finding time to do this self nurturing can be just as difficult. Our lives are so busy and fill that we often find little time, if any for ourselves. But I believe that we must endeavour to do just this.

We are cyclic beings, ebbing and flowing with the rhythms of the land and of nature, even if our modern world tends to dictate differently. More so in women is this cyclic nature obvious, our very own menstrual cycles often occur aligned with the phases of the Moon. However, for modern convenience, usually we seek to alter and control these cyclic ebbings and flowings, having little thought of what this does to us on a deeper level.

11 October 2010

Freeing Our Inner Desires

Freeing Our Inner Desires - Using Our Outside Voice

Each of us has developed an internal filtering process that helps us choose which parts of our constant inner monologues get voiced outside of our heads. Sometimes the choice is based on what we consider to be polite or appropriate, using subtlety instead of directness to try to get our point across. Other times the choice is made based on our expectations of the other person and what we feel they should know about us, our feelings, and our needs. But our best chance of getting what we need is to communicate specifically by converting our inner voice to our outside voice.

10 October 2010

Of Equal Worth - Humility

The following entry comes from my previous on-line diaruy that I thought I would duplicate here ...

Within the "Charge of the Goddess" it is written ... "Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you ...."

which ties in very nicely with the following message received from Daily Om http://www.dailyom.com/

08 October 2010

Bealtaine Magickal Retreat 2010

With registrations for this year's Bealtaine overnight magickal retreat has now closed, the organisation for this event are proceeding very nicely, and little wonder with this being the second such Bealtaine event that the Temple of the Dark Moon has held.  The Inner Court has already finalised the menu that will include all meals from lunch on the Saturday until possibly lunch on the Sunday - most of which being home cooked - and with the evening meal being nothing short of a magnificent feast!

The venue, a full contained farm house located within Mt Crawford Forest and offering stunning views of St Vincent Gulf, has been a favourite to use since 2008, and with the Sabbat of Bealtaine often coinciding with the commencement of the Fire Ban season here in South Australia, we have been lucky with our retreat dates specifically chosen to occur just before this ban.

07 October 2010

The End is Nigh

It is a sign that the end of the year is coming quickly to a close when regular events end up being the ‘second to last’. Last night saw the second to last Outer Court circle for 2010, the realization coming as a bit of a shock to some people. Now is the time serious decisions need to be made as to whether application to the Temple’s Inner Court is to be made or not.

Having spent the last five years more or less focusing on the training needs of others, next year the focus of the Inner Court will be somewhat different and more intense. Time has arrived for my own “itches” to be scratched. The magicks that I have put away to the side to due their degree of advanceness and/or complication will be dusted off and resurrected, exposing Inner Court members to the necessity of the last few years instruction with the importance one needs to focus within a closely knit group. Naturally, this will also expose a deeper concept of what “perfect love and perfect trust” means within a circle. Exciting time for the Inner Court lies ahead.

05 October 2010

Culling out the Weeds - Mind over Matter

The power of the mind is a curious thing, because it is so powerful yet so difficult to control sometimes.

The power of the mind is a curious thing, because it is so powerful yet so difficult to control sometimes. We find ourselves thinking a certain way, knowing that this thought may be creating trouble for us yet we find it difficult to stop. For example, many people have the experience of getting sick at the same time every year or every time they go on a plane. They may even be aware that their beliefs impact their experiences, so continue to think they will get sick and then they do.

04 October 2010

Adelaide Himeji (Japanese) Gardens

What a beautiful day we are having in Adelaide today, Spring is certainly here.  And to celebrate the long weekend, we decided to take a trip to the beautiful Himeji Gardens, located on South Terrace in the city.

This garden is truly amazing.  Despite being located near a busy road as well as by sports playing fields, the tranquility found within this walled oasis certainly helps to calm the spirit and refocus the mind.  While we were there, a couple were getting their wedding photographs taken the beautiful surroundings, as well as a small group of cosplay devotees enjoying the sunshine - and what a perfect setting to be in their anime or manga costumes.

The Himeji Gardens blends two classic Japanese styles, the lake and mountain garden and the dry garden, and celebrates Adelaide's sister-city relationship with the ancient Japanese city of Himeji.

The Adelaide City Council resolved in 1982 to make a symbolic garden which might help the people of Adelaide to understand the culture of the Japanese.

The gardens blend toether two classic styles.  The first is the 'kare senzui' (dry garden) where rocks and sand evoke the presence of water, even the sea itself - as in the above left picture.  The second style is the 'senzui' (lake and mountain garden) where the imagination endows the small pond with vastness and grandeur - as in the picture to the right.

If you have not visited the Himeji Gardens recently, then now is certainly the time to do so, if only to recharge the batteries before Summer heralds in the festive season.

Illusions, Mind Games and the modern Pagan Way

When I was younger I recall a teacher warning us that if you try to put yourself out to be something that you are not, you will eventually get caught out. The statement may have been made in relation to cheating on school exams or maybe even the age-old advice as we left the protected life of school and entered the dreaded work force. Regardless of circumstance, there are only a certain about of time that you can "wing it" before you come across people whose eyes you simply cannot pull the wool over.

Some people simply do not realize that what gives their inner truth away can be an erroneous comment which, on the surface, may appear logical and appropriate to the lay person, however to those who are of a deeper learning/experience, it does not seem exactly appropriate from one of a certain standing or background. Thus, the (carefully guarded) mistruth is picked up on.

I am sure that we all have on occasions fudged the edges, bent the rules just a tad to make our own egos shine that little more brightly that what they really are. However, if we are going to start weaving a web of half truths and misrepresentations, we should start at the actual beginning – not half way through, allowing such half truths be exposed to those who know where to look. For example, telling one person you are trained here however stating elsewhere that you are trained somewhere else only leaves you (not to mention your integrity and reputation) open to questions.

One's Highest Ideal

Within Traditional Wicca, there is the concept of acting with respect to one's "Highest Ideal" - as is stated within the "Charge of the Goddess" where the Moon Goddess speaks:

"Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside."

One's "Highest Ideal" can be likened to one's "True Will" as found within the Thelemetic magickal tradition, where an individual, a follower of that path acts in accordance with their Higher Self, one's Holy Guardian Angel.

01 October 2010

Insight magazine - October 2010 edition

Since 2002 I have been writing for "Insight", Australia's No.1 spiritual life style magazine and for the October 2010 edition I appear as guest editor.  This is the third time since I commenced writing the magazine that I have been asked to be the guest editor so it is rather an honour to be involved in the process of sourcing various articles.

I am delighted to say that a number of the articles I forwarded to the real editors were accepted - such as an article about medieval grimoires, fairies and treasure by occult researcher and author David Rankine, as well as George Knowles (from www.controverscial.com) on Rosaleen Norton, the "Witch of Kings Cross".  A number of local writers too have had their articles chosen, including Don McLeod (writing on the tarot), Aphrodite (mermaid magick) and Graham on ritual bathing (in the holistic section).

My main article is entitled "Candles of Compassion" was inspired by those I know who have travelled to Haiti in assist in the rebuilding there after the earthquake at the beginning of the year. I also have an article in my regular  section near the end of the magazine, this time on the Celtic battle Goddess and shapeshifter, the Morrighan.

Due to an accident suffered in June where I broke my wrist, I have decided to take a break from writing for Insight with the view of possibly returning sometime next year.

So keep an eye out for the latest edition of Insight magazine - the one with Fiona Horne on the cover.

Blessings - Frances

30 September 2010

Putting Things Into Practice

Being a avid reader, it is not unusual for me to have not only a number of books on the go at any one time, but also books on various subjects, especially the numerous techniques and/or magickal practices.  One book that I have finished reading recently and which I have thoroughly enjoyed, is "Abrahadabra: Understanding Aleister’s Thelemic Magick" by Rodney Orpheus.  A strange choice for someone proclaiming to be a Wiccan some may say however within it, I came across a passage which, while I have adapted it to have a more Wiccan focus in the posting below, even in its original format within Orpheus's book, it provides much food for thought regardless of what spiritual path you may follow ...

"One of the keys to Wicca is personal development. This means you have to do the work yourself. Simply reading books and/or web sites is not good enough. While this may increase your theoretical knowledge (or then again may totally confuse you further), unless you do it, you are wasting your time. Knowledge is not the same thing as understanding."

It is only through personal experience that you yourself can access what are termed as the "Mysteries" contained within Wicca - no teacher, regardless of how wonderful they may be, can experience these Mysteries for you ... nor can their interpretation be 100% relevant for you.

28 September 2010

The Australian Goddess Conference 2010 and the Dark Goddess

The first Australian Goddess Conference was initiated by Avril Webb in 2003 where it was held in Melbourne.  In 2006 the Goddess Association in Australia (aka GAIA) officially took over the custodianship of this event where the conference was held on the Gold Coast in 2006 with the theme being "Women Remembering". 

The aspect of the Goddess honoured at that conference was Mnemosyne, Mother of the Nine Muses and guardian of the timeline. In 2007, with the theme being "Sacred Sexuality and Personal Freedom", naturally the Greek Goddess Aphrodite was honour.  In 2008, it was Gaia's turn, where the conference had the theme of "Earth Alchemy".  It was at this conference 2008 that I attended for the first time and was amazed with the sense of community, sharing and sisterhood.

In 2009 saw the conference conveying the theme of Magdalena, and this year, 2010, the theme is "She who is Weaver".  It is at this conference that I stepped forward to present a topic that I have been passionate about for a number of years - that being the exploration and proper association of the Goddesses who fall into the category of "dark".

With Spring in my Step

How I love this time of the year. The Spring Equinox has passed and whilst we have had a wonderful amount of rain this Winter, it is nice to see the Sun finally out, warming the Earth, encouraging life to spring forth. And so it does with the wisteria that hangs over the Temple bursting into flower. So now, even before we enter the Temple, we are reminded of the beauty and increasing abundance of this time of year

All around the signs of the world waking up can be seen. With daylight savings occuring next weekend, I find that I am waking around 5:00am to the birds who have nested in the trees outside my window. Activity is abound, even those plants whose benefits have yet to be discovered (or remembered - aka "weeds" ) are taking advance of this time of the year.

At first the natural energies at this time of the year may appear to be rather sluggish as they break free for Winter's hold and venture into the exuberant expansion of Spring. In just over a week I have watched the wisteria that covers the porch of the Temple quickly change from catkins to full flower, relasing their delicate scent into the air.