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