31 May 2012

What is in a name?

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what exactly is a "magickal" (or "Craft") and its actual usage. The following are just some pointers I offer from a more traditional point of view ...

Let us begin by explaining exactly what a “magickal name” is. Ultimately this "special name" represents the true or the essence of your magickal or spiritual self, one’s “Holy Guardian Angel”. Within Wicca, a magickal name is used as a means of separating the mundane from the magickal – similar to the wearing of a magickal robe.

It is also believed that during the times of persecution, the Wytch Burnings of the 14th to 16th centuries, magickal names were used so that should a person be arrested and accused of practicing Wytchcraft, they were not able to disclose the names of the other coveners.

29 May 2012

Seizing Opportunities as They are Presented

Tintagel, Cornwall

It was the mid 1990s when I first stepped off the plane at Heathrow and found myself immersed so deep into the ancient sites and sacred mythology that the British Isles had to offer that my life changed forever.  And with each year that had since passed, I promised myself that one day I would return.  It has taken nearly 20 years but next year I will finally be returning.

As I dust off the diaries made what seems to be half a life time ago, I awake with the realisation of how much I have grown spiritually.  That initial trip was truly an awakening that presented me with a number of opportunities - some I seized upon, others I did not.

27 May 2012

A World in Confusion - Cultivating Inner Clarity

If we can locate the stillness at the center of our hearts,
we can find composure in almost any situation.

People who maintain their sense of calm when things around them are in a state of flux and confusion are always wonderful to be around. We feel calmer just being near them, as if they have activated our own sense of inner peace. From them we learn that we can be calm, even when everything around us is in turmoil, because we know that no matter what happens, this inner sense of calm will help us to function well.

Often, times of confusion are the times that enable us to find that part of ourselves that knows how to cope, and how to be a light to others in the storm.

24 May 2012

Climbing the Tree of Life

The Qabalah is a precise system of mysticism that describes universal laws and shows us students of the divine how to put them into actual use in daily life.  The Qabalah often uses sacred symbols to help us realize its teachings.  Symbols sink into your subconscious and become part of your hard-drive almost immediately; and this happens just by gazing at them.

The Tree of Life is a powerful and ancient symbol and is the central symbol of Hermetic Qabalah.  It is composed of ten spheres called sephiroth (spheres in Hebrew) and 22 connecting pathways.  The pathways are lines drawn between and connecting the ten spheres to each other. When the sephiroth and the paths are all joined, they form the Sacred Tree of Life.

20 May 2012

A Celebration of all things English

Bonfire, 2005
The English Ale is a celebration of all things "English" that takes place in the beautiful sounds of the Adelaide Hills. 

With ale meaning "singing, dancing, drinking and making merry", over the years this event has evolved into a folk festival complete with various styles of Morris dancing, a torch procession to the burning of a Wicker Man, and evening concert, by ever popular local band Spiral Dance
Morris Dancers, 2010

Along with a traditional Punch & Judy show and Mummer's plays, this year Damh the Bard, a modern day bard whose "spirituality, and love of folk tradition, is expressed through his music, storytelling and poetry" was special guest.

17 May 2012

Sharing the Warm Fuzzies

I woke this morning feeling rather warm and fuzzy - not a bad thing to do on a slightly chilly morning.  Despite recent hurdles (both personal and professional), and what appears to be an extremely busy year (both with the Temple events as well as my own personal commitments), things are all coming together rather nicely.

Bookings for the Mid Winter Wild Hunt magickal retreat are already coming in (with there now only three non-Temple positions available), with the ritual finalised, materials for the craft ordered, and menu being discussed.

14 May 2012

Book Update

After many years of finding almost every distraction possible since the idea was first put to me, not to mention even a change in direction as to what to write about, my first book, Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats, is inching ever towards being completed with the first three chapters having been sent off to the proofreader over the weekend.

While I wait to hear back, there is still a whole list of things that are needed to be done, such as obtaining the appropriate permissions where other people's work has been used and, most importantly, obtaining the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) so that my book can find its way into bookshops, libraries, universities, etc.

When I can get more of an idea of the number of pages, I can get the cover designer, local artist Anthea Wright, to finish off the cover, as well as an idea of how much the book is to retail at with respect to taking pre-orders.

11 May 2012

End of the Week updates

Friday has finally arrived in a week that seemed to go on forever, especially workwise, with a whole range of occurances having taken placed. 

It commenced with the notification of a work colleague being diagnosed with aggressive thyroid cancer.  After a week of burning candles that have been lit from Brighid's Sacred Flame in Ireland (as well as an assortment of prayers and well wishes), a positive outcome appears to have been achieved - however, results won't be confirmed until the pathology results are received next week.

On top of that, work has stepped up a couple of notches with some nine meetings crammed into one week which I am slowly getting on top of  - I know I should not complain considering the last couple of weeks have been so quiet that I am well ahead with my article writing for Insight magazine.

10 May 2012

Sometimes You Need to Move On

Recently I received a rather cryptic email request for assistance which was shortly followed up by an even more cryptic phone call.  Upon further investigation, it arose that a relationship had broken down to the stage where divorce papers were received and one party moving interstate. 

The "querent" wish for some form of magickal intervention to rejoin the relationship and whilst other traditions had been investigated, their desired outcome had not yet been obtained.

07 May 2012

Recharging the Batteries

Why does the smoke from a campfire seem to permeate everything - clothing, bedding, and even items locked away in the car that was parked some 10 or so metres from the camp site?

The Temple's Inner and Outer Court members undertook a spot of camping over the weekend where only a thin piece of canvas separated us from all that went bump in the night.  Normally our weekend retreats are quite luxurious as we hire out various farmhouses so this time, it was really getting back to nature.

03 May 2012

Riding the Wild Hunt

Asgardsreien by Peter Nicolais Arbo (1872)
In the depths of Winter, all across Europe, an event is said to occur that sends shivers down the spines of men, women and children - that of the Wild Hunt.  Depending on location, the Hunt is led by Odin, Woden, Wild Edric, Herne, Gwynn ap Nupp and even the Devil himself.  Theodoric the Great and even the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag have all been attributed in leading these hunts.

Across the Winter skies they ride, gathering up the souls who have lost their way, or even that tardy traveller who has not been able to secure safe lodgings ...