30 March 2012

Coping with the loss of a Pet

It was 5:00am in the morning and someone has gotten into the habit of manoeuvring his head under my hand and then pushing it upwards, with the movements becoming more and more forceful until I stir.  However, if I do not stir quick enough, there is always plan "b" which involves stomping over me and voicing his opinion that it is time for his 'slave' to arise. 

Pets - those other species inhabitants that we share our lives with and in my case, whose every whim we must cater for.

29 March 2012

The Joy of Making Offerings

Art of Offering from Ancient Greece
With the practices of Wicca, as well as a number of other Pagan or earth centric spiritual traditions, the practice of making libations, offerings of bread and wine (or their substitutes) when blessed and used within the circle, is common practice.  However, how many of us make offerings to Deity outside of ritual?

According to the ever reliable source Wikipedia, an "offering" is:
- a collection of monetary contributions during religious worship, (also referred to as alms, tithe or charity)
- a religious sacrifice of plant, animal or human life
- a part of devotional practice (within Buddhism where there is a ritual object referred to as a "phan").

21 March 2012

Being a Servant of the Gods

Haitian healing altar
One of common misconceptions about the Wiccan priesthood is that we are here to "serve" the Pagan Community as a whole.  Whilst this may be the view within the modern practices of Paganism, within more traditional practices, it is not necessarily accurate. 

We may take it upon ourselves to provide services to the community as a whole (ie, the Temple of the Dark Moon provides free Full Moon Gatherings throughout the Winter months as well as organising social events such as family orientated picnics to coincide with the Equinoxes), our underlying role however is to be of service to the Gods.

20 March 2012

Who is Mabon?

These days the Autumn Equinox is more commonly referred to as "Mabon" (I say this because back in the 1990s, terms such as "Mabon", "Ostara" and even "Litha" were not commonly used, or at least not within the coven I was involved with). However, they tend to be used as opposed to the Autumn and Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.  So much so that it is often that people new to the Craft these days are not aware of how these terms originated and who, in the case of Mabon, he actually is.

Whilst I will save going into the origin of the Sabbat names until a later stage (and which will be contained within Dancing the Sacred Wheel), the story of Mabon can be found within the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh myths and stories allegedly compiled together in the Middle Ages (although the origins of some of these stories are believed to be much older).  Within this collection, we turn to the story of "Culhwch ac Olwen" where the young hero, Culhwch fell in love with the beautiful Olwen, who was the daughter of a giant, Ysbaddaden.

17 March 2012

Brighid's Sacred Flame

According to legend, Brighid was originally an Irish Goddess who is associated with healing waters, wells and springs. With 1 February (Imbolc in the Northern Hemisphere) is her sacred day, so she is often associated with this sabbat. Brighid is also associated with smithcraft, and creativity.

Due to her worship being so popular, she was canonised into St Brigit, and her sacred shrine in Kildare, Ireland where 19 priestesses had attended her sacred flame, was taken over by nine nuns. There is some debate as to whether this flame was extinguished during the the reign of King Henry VIII in the 15th century or not. Regardless of what actually happened. the flame was relit and has been burning constantly ever since.

St Patrick, the Snakes and Paschal Fire

The 17th of March each year is St Patrick's Day, the so-called Irish saint who "banished" the land from snakes, and a time when people find that "mysterious" far-distant relative lurking on some forgotten branch of the family tree to justify why they've consumed far too many green dyed pints of beer and wearing some awful hat with a green clover (sorry, shamrock) on it.  I doubt that between swilling their Guiness, Beamish, Murphy's, Harp, Kilkenny, that they have given much thought about the man whose day they are allegedly celebrating.

16 March 2012

Mercury in Retrograde - What this may mean

On 12 March, Mercury went into retrograde, and as it has done so in my own "Sun" sign, that of Aires, maybe I shouldn't get out of bed in the morning for, or at least learn how to tiptoe on egg shells for fear of upsetting everyone's own personal "sensitivities" ... or maybe I should simply embrace my Aries nature and be done with it.

When Mercury, the planet that rules all forms of communication (including internet social media blogging/twittering and emails), goes into "retrograde" (when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac), astrologers advise to take special care when communicating with others, and to backup computers.  Further, as Mercury is also the Roman trickster God, keep tabs on where you put your mobile phone if your life (business, social or otherwise) is highly dependant on it. 

14 March 2012

Autumn Equinox Thoughts

This year the Autumn Equinox will occur around 9:51am (South Australian time) on Tuesday, 20  March 2012.

This sabbat marks the time when the path of the Sun intersects with the celestial equator, thus creating a time of balance between light and dark as day and night face each other. It is the time of the completion of the second harvest, that of the grape. It is also a time to contemplate our own harvest, and to give thanks for what we have received as well as the inspiration of the underlying goals and aspirations of things yet to come.

Fraility of the Ego

In some of today's modern spiritual practices, to even to admit you have an ego tend to register gasps of horror, followed by a tutting sound.  This is because it is often considered that in order for one to progress spiritually, the first thing that needs to be achieved is to get rid of the ego.  Considering that the ego is in fact a vital part of our own personality, ie it that part that makes us an individuality, I often wonder how this is possibly achieved.  Yet at my local "spiritual" bookshop there are brochures proudly advising me that some spiritual teachers have "overcome" their ego in order to "ascend to the higher realms of consciousness", and it I need to share in their grand teachings is to part with a week's wage.  Such a statement simply conjures up a whole range of ego-centric ideas in my own mind .. but is this necessarily wrong?

08 March 2012

Full Moon in Virgo (March 2012)

The Full Moon in Virgo happens at 18 degrees on 8 March 2012 at 8:10pm (South Australian time).  We have the opportunity for more self-awareness and healing. We can draw upon the Inner Healer Archetype to help us with the process. Have you noticed the Inner Critic creating problems for you?  Have you notice you don’t like yourself when you are overly judgmental or controlling?   Where is the inner critic going “toxic” on you?

When the Inner Critic archetype is in balance it can be very helpful for us to discern what is essential and not essential in our lives.  We can critique in a loving and empowered way.  This is one aspect or archetype we can heal and transform under the symbolic influence of the Full Moon’s light.

07 March 2012

International Women's Day 2012

International Women’s Day (IWD) is being celebrated globally on the 8th March 2012.

IWD is a day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future. Furthermore, it is a day when women are recognised for the achievements, regardless of divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

06 March 2012

The Year of the Scribe

I love to write. All over my house there are pens and notebooks containing thoughts and ideas. Considering English was my least favourite subject at school, it was a delight when I saw my first piece of work in print (a poem published in a writer's group magazine).

Over the years, I have had various pieces published, from inhouse organisational newsletters through to off-the-shelf magazines and international calendars. Since 2002, I have been a regular contributor for Insight magazine, with my articles also appearing in publications both within Australia, as well as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.