28 January 2011

Lughnasagh - The Festival of the First Harvest

As the Wheel of the Year turns, for those of us residing south of the equator, the festival of Lughnasadh is almost upon us. A Celtic word believed to mean “the commemoration of Lugh”, the Irish God associated with the Sun and agriculture, the festival of Lughnasadh marked the funeral games that Lugh held in honour of his foster mother, Tailte, who died while clearing the Forest of Breg and making it a plain for cultivation. The modern day Telltown (Tailtean) in County Meath, Eire, is believed to have been named after Tailte.

As the Celts were believed to commence the celebrations of their festivals at dusk the previous day and continue through the night until the dawn, in the Southern Hemisphere Lughnasadh is usually celebrated aroond 31 January through until 2 February. With February being associated with some of our hottest weather, the power of the Sun King might seem to be a long way off, however to the more observant, the dwindling hours of light are starting to be noticed.

26 January 2011

Water Meditation and the element of Water

Meditating with water can be a powerful way of aligning ourselves
with an element that sustains us.

Our bodies are over 50% water, so it makes sense that human beings have always considered water to be a sacred source of life and healing. It is literally half of who we are, and well over half of the Earth’s surface is water. Water cleanses and hydrates, contains and produces nourishment, and when we enter it, holds us in an embrace that leaves no part of us untouched. Meditating with water can be a powerful way of aligning ourselves more fully with this support system that makes life both possible and pleasurable on so many levels.

22 January 2011

Making The Decision - Saying Yes To The Universe

By acknowledging the existence of what’s not working for us,
we can begin the process of change.

The hardest thing about saying yes to the universe is that it means accepting everything life puts in front of us. Most of us have a habit of going through our days saying no to the things we do not like and yes to the things we do, and yet, everything we encounter is our life. We may be afraid that if we say yes to the things we do not like, we will be stuck with them forever, but really, it is only through acknowledging the existence of what is not working for us that we can begin the process of change. So saying yes does not mean indiscriminately accepting things that do not work for us. It means conversing with the universe, and starting the conversation with a very powerful word — yes. 

18 January 2011

Full Moon in Cancer - January 2011

Not only is next Wednesday’s Full Moon the peak of a cycle that started with an eclipse, but it falls at the exact degree of a big solar eclipse in July 2009.

The 2009 event, on 22 July (21 July in the Western Hemisphere), was a total eclipse and the longest of the century. It was the second in a new series of eclipses in Capricorn and Cancer. There is one more eclipse left in this series, on 1 July.

Astrologers debate how long the influence of eclipses lasts and what factors determine this timing. My gut feeling is that a total eclipse that’s the longest of the century has got to have long-term meaning, and since eclipses appear to be windows on time, we should look for clues about what “time” is being revealed. A Full Moon at the exact degree and minute – 29°27′ – is a mighty big hint.

13 January 2011

The Passing of a Celtic Amazon

On Wednesday, 12 January 2011, after many months battling cancer for the second time, the Goddess Brighid gathered Lynne Sinclair Wood to her breast, freeing her from pain and taking her to the Summerlands.

Lynne was born in New South Wales but made Adelaide her home since the 1980s.  She held a Master of Arts from the University of Adelaide, a Fine Arts degree from the University of South Australia and a Diploma of Art Education from the National Art School, Sydney.  Her painting was largely influenced by her "life long spiritual journey as a Celtic Australian woman searching for her own sacred space: here in Australia, in her ancestral lands of Scotland and Wales and within her own mind, spirit and imagination" (source: Lynne's web site). 

11 January 2011

Repressing the Inner Voice - Giving Away Power

Giving away our power is something we have been taught
since childhood by unaware adults in our lives.

In many ways, we are taught from the time we are children to give away our power to others. When we were told to kiss and hug relatives or friends of the family when we didn't want to, for example, we were learning to override our inner sense of knowing and our right to determine for ourselves what we want to do. This repression continued, most likely, in many experiences at school and in situations at work. At this point, we may not even know how to hold on to our power, because giving it away is so automatic and ingrained.

06 January 2011

The Creation Ground of Experience - Thoughts

By choosing how to interpret and define each moment with your thoughts,
you truly create your reality.

Our thoughts are powerful forces in the creation of our experience of life. You may be able to recall a time when frustration that was based on a misunderstanding completely evaporated when your understanding changed. This is because our interpretation defines our experience, and it can change in an instant.  Our only true reality is the present moment, so rather than merely accepting that life is happening to us, we can harness the power of our thoughts to actively create a positive reality. For example, we can choose to appreciate beauty around us rather than focusing on traffic or look for admirable qualities in the people we deal with rather than focusing on the negative. By choosing how to interpret and define each moment with your thoughts, you truly create your reality.

04 January 2011

January Full Moon - Beach Blessing

On Wednesday, 19 January 2011, the Temple of the Dark Moon will be holding an open Full Moon Gathering at Grange Beach (Tennyson).

Being the first Full Moon for 2011, a blessing of the oceans and all the waterways will be undertaken with the rite that will be dedicated to Yemaya, or Ymoja as she was known to the Yoruban people of West Africa.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a small offering (such as a shell, flower or a small stone/pebble) that will be thrown into the waters for Yemaya.

The ritual will be an "open" cast - that is, no formal circle will be cast - and will include a short meditation, an invocation to Yemaya, and possibly some chanting to sing up the Moon.

If you are interested in attending this rite, we will be meeting near the entrance of the jetty at Grange Beach just prior to 8.00pm, when we will move down to the sands.  Children are welcome however they must under the control of their parent/guardian to ensure the enjoyment of everyone in attendance.

More information about Yemaya can be found at The Goddess House

Fire Child: The Life and Magic of Maxine Sanders, “Witch Queen”

Fire Child: The Life and Magic of Maxine Sanders, “Witch Queen”

By Maxine Sanders (Mandrake of Oxford, 2008)

Whilst much has been written about Gerald Gardner’s creation of Wicca, little is still known about Alex Sanders’ true influence and reasoning behind his push to bring Wicca into the public arena. That is until now. “Fire Child” is the long awaited book by Maxine Sanders, wife of the late Alex Sanders. Rather than being a tell-all book simply about Alex’s antics, it traces Maxine’s own life – warts and all – before and after Alex - and what an interesting life she has led.

Maxine was only a teenager when she met and fell in love with Alex and by her 20th birthday she had been initiated “Witch Queen”. In “Fire Child”, she frankly reveals what it was like in the 1960s and 1970s when Alex’s desire was to make Wicca more accessible to the public, some of the characters they met (including Charles Manson) and of the personal sacrifices they both made. She describes what it was like giving public rituals and interviews, her reluctance and the harassment she received.