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1001 7- In the Middle Ages, priests actually said "Masses" to impose death spells on humans. Is such ritual being practiced today? We will probably never know, because secrecy in such groups would be assumed as * very * tight. As so many law-enforcement officers seem to be Christian, and many of the European governments are enthralled by this cult, we will probably * never * be able to find out the truth of this. 8- At every Christian service, donations from the membership is encouraged, and, as most such donations are done publically, "peer-pressure" to give large amounts of money is very high, and a feeling of guilt over * not * contributing could lead to psychotic episodes! The cult's attitude towards sexual feelings, that even * looking * at a person with even the tiniest feeling of "lust" is a "sin," is so rigid as to exclude at least 99 percent of the World's population from "Heaven" and thereby lead to irreconcilable guilt feelings on the part of the "sinners!" Could it be that many of the modern world's psychiatric problems can be traced to the beliefs of this cult? 9- The intolerant behaviour of Christianity is also well-documented in history, with its pogroms of Jews, burning of witches, Crusades against Islam,culture destruction and outrightgenocide in thePacific islands and Central and South America, and hatred of anything that is not "Christian." This has even extended to disruption of non-Christian religious services, and violent behaviour that is touted as simple "civil disobedience." Can such past behaviour repeat itself? History shows it does. 10- Proselytization, or the "conversion" of new members to the cult, is carried on in any number of ways, both with subtle blandishments and by outright fear and threats. To watch and listen to some street-preachers is aneducation inthe useof fear-inducingtechnique, and also of individual and mass hysteria similar to that inducedby Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebells! Why do these preachers do their best to induce such mass hysteria? One could ask the same question about Hitler and Goebells, and maybe get the same answer! --------------------- If your child, or a member of your family, is involved with this cult, * please * seek help NOW! --------------------- The author wishes to thank the publishers of "File 18," and all the other cult-hunters and watchers out there, for their good and constant demonstrations of the techniques used in this article. 1002 M O D E R N P A G A N I S M : QUESTIONS & ANSWERS To promote community harmony and freedom of religious practice. Distributed by : The Committee for Religious Freedom, Salt Lake City, Utah. Thanks to LesleyPhillips andLinda Pinti ofThe Covenantof Unitarian Universalist Pagans for original material. Contemporarysociety isexperiencingaresurgence ofinterest in earth- and nature-centered spirituality. Modern Paganism is a rich and diverse religious movement drawing the attention of the media, law-makers, and spiritual seekers. This pamphlet attempts to answer some of the questions frequently asked about modern Pagan beliefs and practices. What is Paganism? Theterm"Pagan" comesfrom aLatinword for"country dweller" first used in early Christian times to refer to those not yet converted to Christianity. "Pagan" was an epithet that cast aspersions on those not seen as "true believers." Today, it refers more general to the faith of those whose spiritual center is drawn to native and natural religions, usually pantheistic or polytheistic, and almost always earth-centered. What then is "Modern Paganism"? ModernPaganism,orNeo-Paganism, isamodern, Earth-centered religious perspective which borrows and adapts from pre-Christian paganism as well as from contemporary religious thought. While reconnecting with ancient wisdom, it speaks eloquently to the needs and concerns of the present. What is meant by "The Old Religion"? The term describes the pre-Christian religion of much of western and northern Europe, which was based on the agricultural cycles and other natural rhythms of the Earth. It coexisted with Christianity for centuries, from the so-called "Dark Ages" up until the Inquisition and the "Burning Times" (witch hunts) of the late Middle Ages. It also can refer more generally to other native and tribal religions of the world. What is the difference between Paganism and Witchcraft? SomecontemporaryPagans callthemselvesWitches.The termhas many meanings, some carrying rather heavy negative baggage. "Witchcraft" or "The Craft" is most properly applied to three broad categories: Descendants of the European witches of the Middle Ages, practitioners of the "reconstructed" Witchcraft of the 20th century, and "feminist Witches" whose religion and politics center in the contemporary womens' spirituality movement. It can generally be said that all modern Witches are Pagans, but not all modern Pagans are Witches. At least one writer, Aidan Kelly, has begun to use the term "Neo-Pagan Witchcraft" to describe the largest portion of the contemporary Pagan community. 1003 What is meant by the term "Wicca"? Oftenused asa synonymfor Witchcraft,"Wicca" isthought to derive from an Anglo-Saxon root meaning to bend or to turn. It is more properly applied only to those Witchcraft traditions which originated in or derive from practices in the British Isles. What about Shamanism? Shamanismisnot areligion, butaset ofspiritual techniques used for healing and the acquisition of knowledge through forays into non-ordinary states of consciousness. Now gaining increasing attention in the counseling profession, this journeying is usually aided by sonic driving (such as repetitive drumming or chanting) and often involves interactions with totemic and archetypal figures. These techniques are used in virtually every tribal society and are widely used by contemporary Pagans. What do modern Pagans believe? The centralbeliefs ofmodern Pagansdiffer in specificsyet share many fundamentals. Deity is seen as immanent rather than transcendent. Experience is preferred over doctrine. It is believed that there are and should be multiple paths to the Divine. There is no prescribed creed, but there are a number of beliefs shared by most contemporary Pagans, summarized at the end of this pamphlet. Isn't this just Humanism by another name? Noand Yes.Likereligious Humanists,modernPagans havealove and reverence for this world and the physical plane generally. The rational is seen as important. Great emphasis is also placed on the intuitive, however, and the belief that the physical and non-physical worlds are equally real, and are interconnected, interpenetrating manifestations of nature. This means that spiritual work, whether called meditation, prayer, or magic, and whether done as ritual, worship, or celebration, is efficacious and can result in changes in the physical world. The majority of Pagans also believe in the survival of the consciousness or soul after physical death. How do modern Pagans worship? Some groups have formalworship services or similar group meetings. Others conduct rituals that have varying degrees of set forms. Some Pagans worship by themselves without formal ritual. Most contemporary Pagans hold rituals corresponding to the turning of the seasons and the phases of the moon. Rituals are often performed in a sacred space defined by the demarcation of a circle, within which the celebration and worship take place. Celebrations include eight major seasonal holidays, sometimes collectively referred to as "Sabbats". These Sabbats, as most frequently observed by North American and European Pagans, follow the agricultural cycles of the northern temperate zone, and include the solstices and equinoxes as well as four intermediate festivals which fall in between, sometimes called "cross-quarters," on or near the first days of February, May, August, and November. Regular public Sabbat rituals, reflecting a variety of contemporary Pagan styles, are held in many communities. Rituals may include meditation, chanting, drumming, myth- and story-telling, ritual drama, dance, and so on. Deeper ritual work is most often practiced at private gatherings, which for many traditions coincide with the phases of the moon. The work may include more intense raising of energy, healing work, and personal spiritual development. 1004 What about Satanism? Contrary to the claims of ill-informed Christian fundamentalists, the practices of modern Pagans are in no way related to Satanism. Most Pagans do not even believe Satan exists. As a profanation of Christian symbolism, Satan worship is a Christian heresy, not a Pagan religion. Do Pagans proselytize? No,Pagansdo notproselytize.Most modernPagantraditions do welcome newcomers. Most modern Pagans also do not discourage other Pagans from integrating other religious and spiritual practices and beliefs into their practice. WHAT CONTEMPORARY PAGANS BELIEVE while there is no set of beliefs shared by all Pagans, most would agree that similarities far outweigh differences. There are a number of beliefs held by the vast majority of modern Pagans. Some of these are: 1. Divinity is seen as immanent. 2. Divinity is as likely to manifest itself in female as male form, the God or the Goddess, in the interconnectedness of all life. 3. Multiple paths to the divine exist, as symbolized by many goddesses and gods. These are often seen as archetypes or gateways to the unconscious. 4. We respect and love Mother Earth as a living being, Gaia, of which we are a part. 5. The physical world, as an emanation of the divine, is good and to be enjoyed by all living beings in love and harmony. 6. Ethics and morality are based on avoidance of harm to other beings, including Earth as a whole, which mandates environmental activism as a spiritual responsibility. 7. Human interdependence implies the need for community cooperation. 8. The solar and lunar cycles and the cycles of our lives are celebrated. This leads to the maintenance and revival of old customs and the creation of new ones. 9. A strong commitment to personal and planetary growth, evolution, and balance are vital. 10. One's lifestyle must be consistent with one's beliefs. The personal is political. 11. A minimum of dogma and a maximum of individual responsibility in all things are goals to strive for. Thus a healthy skepticism is to be fostered, and ideas are not to be accepted without personal investigation of their validity. 12. Messiahs and gurus are to be avoided. The mediation of another being is unnecessary for an individual to commune with Deity. Power-from-within is preferred to power-over. 13. All beings are personal emanations of the Divine. Thou art Goddess, thou art God. 1005 CREED OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD We believe in one only God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Creator of things visible such as this world in which our brief life passes, ofthings invisible such as the pure spirits which are also called angels, and Creator in each man of his spiritual and immortal souls. We believe that his only God is absolutely one in his infinitely holy essence as also in all His perfections, in His omnipotence, His infinite knowledge, His providence, His will and His love. He is HE WHO IS, as He revealed to Moses; and He is LOVE, as the Apostle John teaches us: so that these two names, Being and Love, express ineffably the same divine reality of Him who has wished to make himself known to us, and who "dwelling in light inaccessible," is in himself above every name, above every thing, and above every created intellect. God alone can give us light and knowledge of this reality by revealing himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in whose eternal life we are by grace called to share, here below in the obscurity of faith and after death in eternal light. The mutual bonds which eternally constitute the Three Persons, who are each one and the same Divine Being, are the blessed inmost life of God thrice holy, infinitely beyond all that we can conceive in human measure. We give thanks, however, to the Divine Goodness that very many believers can testify with us before men to the unity of God, even though they know not the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. We believe then in God who eternally begets the Son, in the Son, the Word of God, who is eternally begotten, in the Holy Spirit, the uncreated Person, who proceeds from the Father and the Son as their eternal Love. Thus in the Three Divine Persons, COAETERNAE SIBI ET COAEQUALES, the life and beatitude of God perfectly one superabound and are consummated in the supreme excellence and glory proper to uncreated Being, and always "there should be venerated unity in the Trinity and Trinity in the unity." We believe in our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Son of God. He is the Eternal Word, born of the Father before time began, and consubstantial with the Father, HOMOOUSIOS TO PATRI, and through Him all things were made. He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was made man: equal therefore to the Father according to His divinity, and inferior to His Father according to His humanity, and himself one, not by some impossible confusion of His natures, but by the unity of His person. He dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. He proclaimed and established the Kingdom of God and made us know in Himself the Father. He gave us His new commandment to love one another as He loved us. He taught us the way of the Beatitudes of the Gospel: poverty in spirit, meekness, suffering borne with patience, thirst after justice, mercy, purity of heart, will for peace, persecution suffered for justice sake. He suffered under Pontious Pilate, the Lamb of God bearing on Himself the sins of the world, and he died for us on the Cross, saving us by His redeeming Blood. He was buried, and, of His own power, rose the third day, raising us by His Resurrection to that sharing in the divine life which is the life of grace. He ascended to heaven, and He will come again this time in glory, to judge the living and the dead: each according to his merits--those who have responded to the love and piety of God going to eternal life, those who have refused them to the end going to the fire that is not extinguished. And His Kingdom will have no end. 1006 We believe inthe Holy Spirit, who is Lord,and Giver of life, Who is adored and glorified together with the Father and the Son. He spoke to us by the Prophets, He was sent by Christ after His Resurrection and His Ascension to the Father; He illuminates, vivifies, protects, and governs the Church; He purifies the Church's members if they do not shun His grace. His action, which penetrates to the inmost of the soul, enables man to respond to the call of Jesus: BE PERFECT AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT. We believe thatMary is the Mother,who remained evera virgin, of the Incarnate Word, our God and Savior Jesus Christ, and that by reason of this singular election, she was in consideration of the merits of her Son, redeemed in a more eminent manner, preserved from all stain of original sin and filled with the gift of grace more than all other creatures. Joined by a close and indissoluble bond to the Mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption, the Blessed Virgin, the Immaculate, was at the end of her earthly life raised body and soul to heavenly glory and likened to her risen Son in anticipation of the future lot of all the just; and we believe that the Blessed Mother of God, the New Eve, Mother of the Church, continues, in her maternal role with regard to Christ's members, co-operating with the birth and growth of divine life in the souls of the redeemed. We believe that in Adam all have sinned, which means that the original offense committed by him caused human nature, common to all men, to fall to a state in which it bears the consequences of that offense, and which is not the state in which it was at first in our first parents, established as they were in holiness and justice, and in which man knew neither evil nor death. It is human nature so fallen, stripped of the grace that clothed it, injured in its own natural powers and subjected to the dominion of death, that is transmitted to all men, and it is in this sense that every man is born in sin. We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted to human nature, "not by imitation but by propagation," and that it is thus "in each of us as his own." We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ, by the Sacrifice of the Cross, redeemed us from original sin and all the personal sins comitted by each one of us, so that, in accordance with the word of the Apostle, "where sin abounded, grace did more abound." We believe in one baptism instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Baptism should be administered even to little children who have not yet been able to be guilty of any personal sins, in order that, though born deprived of supernatural grace, they may be reborn "of water and the Holy Spirit to the divine life in Christ Jesus. 1007 We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, built by Jesus Christ in that rock which is Peter. She is the Mystical Body of Christ; at the same time a visible society instituted with hierarchical organs, and a spiritual community; the Church in earth, the pilgrim People of God here below, and the Church filled with heavenly blessings; the germ and the first fruits of the Kingdom of God, through wich the works and the sufferings of Redemption are continued throughout humanhistory, and which looks for its perfect accomplishment beyond time in glory. In the course of time, the Lord Jesus formed His Church by means of the Sacrament emanating from His plenitude. By these she makes her members participants in the mystery of the Death and Ressurection of Christ, in the grace of the Holy Spirit who gives her life and movement. She is therefore holy, though she has sinners in her bossom, because she herself has no other life but that of grace: it is by living by her life that her members are sanctified; it is by removing themselves from her life that they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for these offenses, of which she has the power to heal her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Heiress ofthe divinepromises anddaughter ofAbraham according to the Spirit, through that Israel whose Scriptures she lovingly guards, and whose patriarchs and prophets she venerates; founded upon the Apostles and handing on from century to century their ever-living words and their powers as pastors in the successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him; perpetually assisted by the Holy Spirit, she has the charge of guarding, teaching, explaining, and spreading the truths which God revealed in a then veiled manner by the Prophets, and fully by the Lord Jesus. We believe ALL THAT IS CONTAINED IN THE WORD OF GOD WRITTEN OR HANDED DOWN, AND WHAT THE CHURCH PROPOSES FOR BELIEF AS DIVINELY REVEALED, WHETHER BY A SOLEMN JUDGMENT OR BY THE ORDINARY AND UNIVERSAL MAGISTERIUM. We believe in the infallibility enjoyed by the successor of Peter when he teaches ex-cathedra as pastor and teacher of all the faithful, and which is assured also to the episcopal body when it exercises with him the supreme magisterium. Webelieve that theChurch founded byJesus Christand for which He prayed is indefectibly one in faith, worship and the bond of hierarchical communion. In the bossom of this Church, the rich variety of liturgical rites and the legitimate diversity of theological and spiritual heritages and special disciplines, far from injuring her unity, make it more manifest. Recognizing also the existence, outside of the organism of the Church of Christ, of numerous elements of truth and sanctification which belong to her as her own and tend to Catholic unity, and believing in the action of the Holy Spirit who stirs up in the hearts of the disciples of Christ love of this unity, we entertain the hope that Christians who are not yet in the full communion of the one only Church will one day be reunited in one flock with one only Shepherd. 1008 We believe that the Church IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION, BECAUSE CHRIST WHO IS THE SOLE MEDIATOR AND WAY OF SALVATION, RENDERS HIMSELF PRESENT FOR US IN HIS BODY WHICH IS THE CHURCH. But the divine design of salvation embraces all men; and those WHO WITHOUT FAULT ON THEIR PART DO NOT KNOW THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH, BUT SEEK GOD SINCERELY, AND UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF GRACE ENDEAVOR TO DO HIS WILL AS RECOGNIZED THROUGH THE PROMPTINGS OF THEIR CONSCIENCE, they, in a number known only to God, can obtain salvation. Webelieve that theMass, celebrated bythe priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the Sacrament of Orders, and offered by him in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body, is in true reality the Sacrifice of Calvary, rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His Body and Blood which were to be offered for us on the Cross, likewise the bread abd wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our sense as before, is a true, real, and substantial presence. Christ cannot be thus present in this sacrament except by the change into His Body of the reality itself of the bread and the change into His Blood of the reality itself of the wine, leaving unchanged only the properties of the bread and wine which our senses perceive. This mysterious change is very appropriately called by the Church TRANSUBSTANTIATION. Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery must, in order to be in accord with the Catholic faith, maintain that in the reality itself, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the Consecration, so that it is the adorable Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus that from then on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine, as the Lord willed it, in order to give Himself to us as food and to associate us with the unity of the Mystical Body. The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord glorious in heaven is not multiplied, but is rendered present by the sacrament in the many places on earth where Mass is celebrated. And this existence remains present, after the sacrifice, in the Blessed Sacrament which is, in the tabernacle, the living heart of each of our churches. And it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore in the Blessed Host which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word which they cannot see, and who, without leaving heaven, is made present before us. 1009 We confess that the Kingdom of God begun here below in the Church of Christ IS NOT FROM THIS WORLD WHOSE FORM IS PASSING, and that its proper growth cannot be confounded with the progress of civilization, of science, or of human technology, but that it consists in an ever more profound knowledge of the riches of Christ, an ever stronger hope in eternal blessings, an ever more ardent response to the Love of God, and an ever more generous bestowal of grace and holiness among men. Without ceasing to recall to her children that THEY HAVE NOT HERE A LASTING DWELLING, she also urges them to contribute, each according to his vocation and means, to the welfare of their earthly city, to promote justice, peace and brotherhood among men, to give their aid freely to their brothers, especially to the poorest and most unfortunate. The deep solicitude of the Church, the spouse of Christ, for the needs of men, for their joys and hopes, their griefs and efforts, is therefore nothing other than her great desire to be present to them, in order to illuminate them with the Light of Christ and to gather them all in Him, their only Savior. This solicitude can never mean that the Church conform herself to the things of the world, or that she lessen the ardor of her expectation of the Lord and of the eternal Kingdom. We believe in the life eternal. We believe that the souls of all those who die in the grace of Christ, whether they must still be purified in Purgatory, or whether from the moment they leave their bodies Jesus takes them to Paradise as He did for the Good Thief, are the People of God in the eternity beyond death, which will be finally conquered on the day of the Resurrection when these souls will be reunited with their bodies. We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary forms the Church in Heaven, where in eternal beatitude they see God as He is, and where they also, in different degrees, are associated with the holy angels in the divine rule exercised by Christ in glory, interceding for us and helping us in our weakness by their brotherly care. We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrim on earth, the dead who are attaining their purification, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion the merciful love of God and His Saints is ever listening to our prayers, as Jesus told us: Ask and you will receive. Thus it is with faith and in hope that we look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Blessed be God Thrice Holy. Amen. Pronounced infront of the Basilica of St. Peter, on June 30, 1968, the sixth year of our pontificate. POPE PAUL VI 1010 THE STANDING STONES BOOK OF SHADOWS by Scott Cunningham excerpted from: WICCA A Guide For The Solitary Practioner PP. 111 - 187 1989, Llewellyn Publications ISBN 0-87542-118-0 1011 WORDS TO THE WISE .... O daughters andsons of theEarth, adore theGoddess and Godand be blessed with the fullness of life. Know thatThey havebrought youto thesewritings, forherein lie our ways of the Craft, to serve and fulfill the keepers of wisdom, the tenders of the sacred flame of knowledge. Run the rites with love and joy, and the Goddess and God will bless you with all that you need. But those who practice dark magicks shall know Their greatest wrath. Remember thatyou are ofthe Craft. No moredo you trodthe ways of doubt. You walk the path of light, ever climbing from shadow to shadow to the highest realm of existence. But though we're the bearers of truths, others do not wish to share our knowledge, so we run our rites beneath moon filled skies enwrapped in shadows. But we are happy. Live fully, forthat is the purpose of life. Refrain not from earthly existence. From it we grow to learn and understand, until such time that we are reborn to learn more, repeating this cycle 'till we have spiralled up the path of perfection and can finally call the Goddess and God our kin. Walk the fields andforests; be refreshedby the cool windsand the touch of a nodding flower. The Moon and Sun sing in the ancient wild places: The deserted seashore, the stark desert, the roaring waterfall. We are of the Earth and should revere Her, so do Her honor. Celebratethe riteson theappropriate daysand seasons,and call upon the Goddess and God when the time is meet, but use the Power only when necessary, never for frivolous ends. Know that using the Power for harm is a Perversion of Life itself. But for those who love and magnify love, the richness oflife shall be your reward. Nature will celebrate. So love the Goddess and God, and harm none! 1012 THE NATURE OF OUR WAY * As often as possible, hold the rites in forests, by the seashore, on deserted mountaintops or near tranquil lakes. If this is impossible, a garden or some chamber shall suffice, if it is readied with fumes of flowers. *Seek outwisdom inbooks, rare manuscriptsand crypticpoems if you will, but seek it out also in simple stones and fragile herbs and in the cries of wild birds. Listen to the whisperings of the wind and the roar of water if you would discover magick, for it is here that the old secrets are preserved. * Books contain words;trees contain energies andwisdom books ne'er dreamt of. * Ever remember that the Old Ways are constantly revealing themselves. Therefore be as the river willow that bends and sways with the wind. That which remains changeless shall outlive its spirit, but that which evolves and grows will shine for centuries. * Therecan be no monopolyon wisdom. Thereforeshare what you will of our ways with others who seek them, but hide mystic lore from the eyes of those who would destroy, for to do otherwise increases their destruction. * Mock not the rituals or spells of another, for who can say yours are greater in power or wisdom? *Ensure that your actions are honorable, for all that you do shall return to you three-fold, good or bane. * Be waryof one who would dominate you,who would control and manipulate your workings and reverences. True reverence for the Goddess and God occurs within. Look with suspicion on any who would twist worship from you for their own gain and glory, but welcome those priestesses and priests who are suffused with love. * Honorall living things,for we are ofthe bird, thefish, the bee. Destroy not life save it be to preserve your own. * And this is the nature of our way. 1013 BEFORE TIME WAS Beforetime was, therewas The One;The One was all,and all was The One. Andthe vast expanseknown asthe universewas TheOne, all-wise, all-pervading, all-powerful, eternally changing. And space moved. The Onemolded energy into twin forms,equal but opposite, fashioning the Goddess and God from The One and of The One. The Goddess and God stretched and gave thanks to The One,but darkness surrounded them. They were alone, solitary save for The One. So They formed energy into gasses and gasses into suns and planets and moons; They sprinkled the universe with whirling globes and so all was given shape by the hands of the Goddess and God. Light aroseand the sky wasilluminated by a billionsuns. And the Goddess and God, satisfied by their works, rejoiced and loved, and were one. From theirunion sprang the seedsof all life, andof the human race, so that we might achieve incarnation upon the Earth. TheGoddess chose theMoon as Hersymbol, and theGod the Sun as His symbol, to remind the inhabitants of Earth of their fashioners. All areborn, live, dieand are rebornbeneath the Sunand Moon; all things come to pass thereunder, and all occurs with the blessings of The One, as has been the way of existence before time was. 1014 SONG OF THE GODDESS I am the GreatMother, worshipped by all creationand existent prior to their consciousness. I am the primal female force, boundless and eternal. I am thechaste Goddessof the Moon,the Lady ofall magick. The winds and moving leaves sing my name. I wear the crescent Moon upon my brow and my feet rest among the starry heavens. I am mysteries yet unsolved, a path newly set upon. I am a field untouched by the plow. Rejoice in me and know the fullness of youth. I amthe blessed Mother,the gracious Lady ofthe harvest. I am clothed with the deep, cool wonder of the Earth and the gold of the fields heavy with grain. By me the tides of the Earth are ruled; all things come to fruition according to my reason. I am refuge and healing. I am the life-giving Mother, wondrously fertile. Worship me as theCrone, tender of the unbrokencycle of death and rebirth. I am the wheel, the shadow of the Moon. I rule the tides of women and men and give release and renewal to weary souls. Though the darkness of death is my domain, the joy of birth is my gift. I amthe Goddess of theMoon, the Earth,the Seas. Mynames and strengths are manifold. I pour forth magick and power, peace and wisdom. I am the eternal Maiden, Mother of all, and Crone of darkness, and I send you blessings of limitless love. CALL OF THE GOD I am the radiant King of the Heavens, floodingthe Earth with warmth and encouraging the hidden seed of creation to burst forth into manifestation. I lift my shining spear to light the lives of all beings and daily pour forth my gold upon the Earth, putting to flight the powers of darkness. I am the master of the beasts wild and free. I run with the swift stag and soar as a sacred falcon against the shimmering sky. The ancient woods and wild places emanate my powers, and the birds of the air sing of my sanctity. I amalso the lastharvest, offering upgrain andfruits beneath the sickle of time so that all may be nourished. For without planting there can be no harvest; without winter, no spring. Worshipme as the thousand-namedSun of creation,the spirit of the horned stag in the wild, the endless harvest. See in the yearly cycle of festivals my birth, death and rebirth - and know that such is the destiny of all creation. I am the sparkof life, the radiantSun, the giver of peaceand rest, and I send my rays of blessings to warm the hearts and strengthen the minds of all. 1015 THE CIRCLE OF STONES The Circle of stonesis used during indoor rituals,for energy raising, meditation and so on. First cleanse the area with the ritual broom. For this circle you willneed four large, flat stones. If you have none, candles can be used to mark the four cardinal points of the circle. White or purple candles can be used, as can colors related to each direction - green for the North, yellow for East, red for South and blue for West. Placethe first stone(or candle) tothe North, torepresent the Spirit of the North Stone. In ritual when you invoke the Spirits of the Stones you're actually invoking all that resides in that particular direction, including the elemental energies. After setting theNorth Stone(or candle), placethe East,South and West Stones. They should mark out a rough square, nearly encompassing the working area. This square represents the physical plane on which we exist - the Earth. Nowtake a long purpleor white cordand lay it outin a circle, using the four stones or candles to guide you. It takes a bit of practice to smoothly do this. The cord should be placed so that the stones remain inside the circle. Now you have a square and a circle, the circle representing the spiritual reality. As such, this is a squared circle; the place of interpenetration of the physical and spiritual realms. The size of the circle can be anything from 5 to 20 feet depending on the room and your desires. Next, set up the altar. The following tools are recommended: * A Goddess symbol (candle, holed stone, statue) * A God symbol (candle, horn, acorn, statue) * Athame * Wand * Censer * Pentacle * A bowl of Water (spring, rain or tap) * A bowl of Sea Salt (it can also be placed on the pentacle) * Incense * Flowers and greens * One red candle in holder (if not using point candles) * Anyother tools ormaterials requiredfor the ritual,spell or magickal working Set upthe altar accordingto theplan shown hereor accordingto your own design. Also be sure to have plenty of matches, as well as a small heat-proof container in which to place them when used. A charcoal block is also necessary to burn the incense. 1016 Goddess God Symbol or Symbol or Candle Candle Censer Bowl of Red Bowl of Water Candle Salt Pentacle Cup Incense Cauldron, or Spell Wand Materials Knife Bell Boline Suggested Altar Layout Light thecandles. Set theincense smoking. Lift theathame and touch its blade to the water, saying: I consecrate and cleanse this water that it may be purified and fit to dwell within the sacred Circle of Stones. In the name of the Mother Goddess and Father God, I consecrate this water. As you do this, visualize your athame blasting away all negativity from the water. The salt is next touched with the point of the athame while saying: I bless this salt that it may be fit to dwell within the sacred Circle of Stones. In the name of the Mother Goddess and Father God, I bless this salt. Now stand facing North,at the edge of thecord-marked circle. Hold your athame point outward at waist level. Walk slowly around the circle's perimeter clockwise, your feet just inside the cord, charging it with your words and energy. Create the circle - through your visualization - with the power flowing out from your athame's blade. As you walk, stretch the energy out until it forms a complete sphere around the working area, half above the ground, half below. As you do this say: Here is the boundary of the Circle of Stones. Naught but love shall enter in, Naught but love shall emerge from within. Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones! 1017 When youhave arrived backat the North,place the athameon the altar. Take up the salt and sprinkle it around the circle, beginning and ending in the North, and moving clockwise. Next, carry the smoking censer from the altar, and finally sprinkle water around the circle. Do more than carrying and walking; sense the substances purifying the circle. The Circle of Stones is now sealed. Holdaloft the wand atthe North, atthe edge ofthe circle, and say: O Spirit of the North Stone, Ancient One of the Earth, I call You to attend this circle. Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones! As yousay this,visualize agreenish mistrising and writhingin the Northern quarter, over the stone. This is the elemental energy of the Earth. When the Spirit is present, lower the wand, move to the East, raise it again and say: O Spirit of the East Stone, Ancient One of Air, I call You to attend this circle. Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones! Visualize theyellowish mistof Airenergy. Lowerthe wand,move to the South and repeat the following with your upraised wand, visualizing a crimson Fire mist: O Spirit of the South Stone, Ancient One of Fire, I call You to attend this circle. Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones! Finally, to the West, say with the wand held aloft: O Spirit of the West Stone, Ancient One of Water, I call You to attend this circle. Charge this by Your powers, Old Ones! Visualize the bluish mist, the essence of Water. The circle breaths and lives around you. The Spirits of the Stones are present. Feel the energies. Visualize the circle glowing and growing in power. Stand still, sensing for a moment. The Circleof Stones is complete. The Goddess and God may be called, and magick wrought. 1018 CUTTING A DOORWAY At times you may have to leave the circle. This is fine, of course, but as previously mentioned, passing through the circle dissipates it. To prevent this from occurring it's traditional to cut a doorway. Todo this,face Northeast. Hold yourathame pointdownward near the ground. See and sense the circle before you. Pierce its wall of energy with the athame and trace an archway, tall enough to walk through, moving counter-clockwise along the circle for about three feet. Move the point of the athame up at the arch's center and down the other side until it is near the ground. As you're doingthis, visualizethat area ofthe circle'senergy being sucked back into the athame. This creates a void, allowing passage in and out of the circle. Pull the athame out of the circle's wall. You're free to walk outside. Onceback inside, close the door by placing the athame at the lower North-Eastern point of the archway. With your athame trace the circle's perimeter clockwise, as if redrawing that portion of the Circle of Stones, again visualizing blue or purple energy flaring out from the blade and converging with the rest of the circle. It is done. RELEASING THE CIRCLE Once the rite is ended, face North, hold aloft the wand and say: Farewell, Spirit of the North Stone. I give thanks for your presence here. Go in power. Repeat this same formula to the East, South and West, substituting the proper direction in the words. Then return to the North and hold the wand aloft for a few moments. Lay the wandon the altar. Take up theathame. Standingin the North, pierce the circle's wall with the blade at waist level. Move clockwise around the circle, visualizing it's power being sucked back into the athame. Literally pull it back into the blade and handle. Sense the circle dissolving, shrinking; the outside world slowly regaining its dominance in the area. When you arrive at the North again, the circle is no more. 1019 VISUALIZATIONS FOR THE CIRCLE OF STONES If you wish, you can back up the circle casting with the following visualizations as you form the circle itself: Prepare asusual. Approachthe Northand set theNorth Stone(or the candle) on the ground. Then, visualize a stone slab standing upright two feet to the left of and behind the North Stone. Visualize this as being bluish-grey, two feet wide, two feet thick and six feet tall. This stone represents the Goddess. When thestone is really there- in your visualization- create another stone of the same size and color two feet to the right of and behind the North Stone. This represents the God. Now visualize a capstone resting on top of the two upright stones. It is about two feet by two feet by six feet. This represents The One before the Goddess and God, the source of all power and magick. The Northern Trilithon is now complete. Thestones form anarchway, a symbolof the gatewayto the realm of the element of Earth. Firmlyvisualize this, then gazethrough the archformed by the stones. See the greenish haze of the Earth energy. Repeat the entire procedure to the East, South and West. Visualize the appropriate elemental color within each trilithon. Now purify salt and water,cast the circle as usual, andcarry around the salt, censer, candle and water. As youapproach each quarterto callits Spirit ofthe Stone,see the trilithon firmly in your mind. Visualize it in all its Pagan splendor. See the elemental hazes within them, boiling and writhing in unmanifestedness. Stretch out with your feelings; sense the arrival of the spirit of each stone, then go on to the next. With practice this comes easily, but such visualizations are never necessary. THE BLESSING CHANT The Blessing Chant can be said at the beginning of any type of ritual as a general invocation. Separate invocations of the Goddess and God may follow. May the powers of The One, the source of all creation; all-pervasive, omnipotent, eternal; may the Goddess, the Lady of the Moon; and the God, Horned Hunter of the Sun; may the powers of the Spirits of the Stones, rulers of the elemental realms; may the powers of the stars above and the Earth below, bless this place, and this time, and I who am with you. 1020 THE SIMPLE FEAST Hold up a Chalice of wine (or some other liquid) betweenyour hands to the sky, and say: Gracious Goddess of Abundance, Bless this wine and infuse it with your love. In your names, Mother Goddess and Father God, I bless this wine (or brew, juice, etc.). Hold upa plate ofcakes (bread,biscuits) with bothhands tothe sky and say: Powerful God of the Harvest, Bless these cakes and infuse them with your love. In your names, Mother Goddess and Father God, I bless these cakes (or this bread). CONSECRATION OF TOOLS Lightthe candles. Set the incensesmoking. Castthe Circle of Stones. Place the tool on the pentacle, or a plate of salt. Touch it with the point of your athame (or your projective hand) and say: Iconsecrate you, O Athame of steel(or wand of wood, etc.) to cleanse and purify you to serve me within the Circle of Stones. In the names of the Mother Goddess and Father God, you are consecrated. Send projective energy into the tool, cleansing it of all negativity and past associations. Now pick it up and sprinkle with salt, pass it through the incense smoke, through the candle flame and sprinkle with water, calling upon the Spirits of the Stones to consecrate it. Then hold the tool to the sky, saying: I charge youby the OldOnes: By theomnipotent Goddess andGod: By the virtues of the Sun, Moon and Stars: By the powers of the Earth, Air, Fire and Water, that I shall obtain all that I desire through you. Charge this by your power, Old Ones! The toolshould immediately beput touse to strengthenand bind the consecration. For example, the athame can be used to consecrate another tool; a wand to invoke the Goddess; the pentacle to act as a resting place for a tool during its consecration. 1021 THE FULL MOON RITE Perform this at night,in the view ofthe Moon if possible. It is appropriate for crescents, white flowers, silver and other lunar symbols to be present on the altar for this ritual. The quartz crystal sphere can be placed on the altar as well. Or, if you prefer, use the cauldron (or a small white or silver bowl) filled with water. Place a piece of silver into the water. Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones. Stand beforethe altar andinvoke the Goddess andGod, with the Blessing Chant and/or any other invocations (see Prayers, Chants and Invocations in this Book of Shadows). Now gaze at the Moon, ifpossible. Feel its energies sinking into your body. Feel its cool Goddess energy wash you with power and love. Now say these or similar words: Wondrous Lady of the Moon You who greets the dusk with silvered kisses; Mistress of the night and of all magicks, who rides the clouds in blackened skies and spills light upon the cold Earth; O Lunar Goddess, Crescented-One, Shadow maker and shadow breaker; Revealer of mysteries past and present; Puller of seas and ruler of women; All-wise Lunar Mother, I greet your celestial jewel at the waxing of its powers With a rite in Your honor. I pray by the Moon, I pray by the Moon, I pray by the Moon. Continue chanting"I pray bythe Moon" foras long asyou will. Visualize the Goddess if you so desire, perhaps as a tall, robust woman wearing silver jewelry and white, rippling, draped clothing. A crescent Moon may rest upon Her brow, or She may toss a glowing silvery white orb in Her hands. She treads the starfield of eternal night in an eternal round with Her lover, the Sun God, spreading moonrays wherever She goes. Her eyes laugh, Her skin is white and translucent. She glows. Nowis the timefor magick ofall types, forthe full ofthe Moon marks the height of its powers, and all positive spells cast then are powerful. FullMoons arealso excellenttimesfor meditation,mirror magick and psychic workings, for such are often more successful within the circle. Crystal-scrying is particularly recommended; flood the crystal with moonlight prior to the ritual. If you have no crystal sphere, use the cauldron filled with water and the piece of silver. Gaze at the water (or at the Moon glinting on the silver) to awaken your psychic awareness. 1022 Lunar liquids such as lemonade, milk or white wine can be consumed during the simple feast that follows. Crescent cakes are traditional as well. Thank the Goddess and God and release the circle. It is done. YULE (circa December 21) Thealtar isadorned withevergreens suchas pine,rosemary, bay, juniper and cedar, and the same can be laid to mark the Circle of Stones. Dried leaves can also be placed on the altar. The cauldron, resting onthe altar on a heat-proofsurface (or placed before it if too large), should be filled with ignitable spirit (alcohol), or a red candle can be placed within it. At outdoor rites, lay a fire within the cauldron to be lit during ritual. Arrange the altar, lightthe candles and incense, andcast the Circle of Stones. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God. Stand before the cauldron and gaze within it. Say these or similar words: I sorrow not, though the world is wrapped in sleep. I sorrow not, though the icy winds blast. I sorrow not, though the snow falls hard and deep. I sorrow not, this too shall soon be past. Ignitethe cauldron (or candle),using long matchesor a taper. As the flame(s) leap up say: I light this fire in Your honor, Mother Goddess You have created life from death; warmth from cold; The Sun lives once again; the time of light is waxing. Welcome, ever-returning God of the Sun! Hail Mother of All! Circle the altar andcauldron slowly, clockwise, watching the flames. Say the following chant for some time: The wheel turns; the power burns. Meditate upon the Sun,on the hidden energies lyingdormant in winter, not only in the Earth but within ourselves. Think of birth not as the start of life but as its continuance. Welcome the return of the God. 1023 After a time cease and stand once again before the altar and flaming caldron. Say: Great God of the Sun, I welcome Your return. May You shine brightly upon the Goddess; may You shine brightly upon the Earth, scattering seeds and fertilizing the land. All blessings upon You, reborn One of the Sun! Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast. The circle is released. YULE LORE Onetraditional Yuletidepractice isthe creationof aYule tree. This can be a living, potted tree which can later be planter in the ground, or a cut one. The choice is yours. Appropriate Pagandecorations are fun to make,from strings of dried rosebuds and cinnamon sticks (or popcorn and cranberries) for garlands, to bags of fragrant spices which are hung from boughs. Quartz crystals can be wrapped with shiny wire and suspended from sturdy branches to resemble icicles. Apples, oranges and lemons hanging from boughs are strikingly beautiful, natural decorations, and were customary in ancient times. Many enjoy the custom of lighting the Yule log. This is a graphic representation of the rebirth of the God within the sacred fire of the Mother Goddess. If you choose to burn one, select a proper log (traditionally of oak or pine). Carve or chalk a figure of the Sun (such as a rayed disc) or the God (a horned circle or a figure of a man) upon it, with the Boline, and set it alight in the fireplace at dusk on Yule. As the log burns, visualize the Sun shining within it and think of the coming warmer days. As to food, nuts, fruits such as apples and pears, cakes of caraways soaked in cider, and (for non-vegetarians) pork are traditional fare. Wassail, lambswool, hibiscus or ginger tea and fine drinks for the Simple Feast or Yule Meals. 1024 IMBOLC (February 2) Asymbol ofthe season, suchas arepresentation ofa snow flake, a white flower, or perhaps some snow in a crystal container can be placed on the altar. An orange candle anointed with musk, cinnamon, frankincense or rosemary oil, unlit, should also be there. Snow can be melted and used for the water during the circle casting. Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God. Say such words as the following: This is the time of the feast of torches, when every lamp blazes and shines to welcome the rebirth of the God. I celebrate the Goddess, I celebrate the God; all Earth celebrates Beneath its mantle of sleep. Light the orange taper fromthe red candle on the altar(or at the Southern point of the circle). Slowly walk the circle clockwise, bearing the candle before you. Say these or similar words: All the land is wrapped in winter. The air is chilled and frost envelops the Earth. But Lord of the Sun, Horned One of animals and wild places, unseen you have been reborn of the gracious Mother Goddess, Lady of all fertility. Hail Great God! Hail and welcome! Stop before the altar, holding aloft the candle. Gaze atits flame. Visualize your life blossoming with creativity, with renewed energy and strength. If you need to look into the future or past, now is an ideal time. Works of magic, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast. The circle is released. IMBOLC LORE It istraditional uponImbolc, atsunset or justafter ritual,to light every lamp in the house - if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in honor of the Sun's rebirth. Alternately, light a kerosene lamp with a red chimney and place this in a prominent part of the home or in a window. If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment, recalling the warmth of summer. With your projective hand, trace an image of the Sun on the snow. 1025 Foods appropriate to eat on this day include those from the dairy, since Imbolc marks the festival of calving. Sour cream dishes are fine. Spicy and full-bodied foods in honor of the Sun are equally attuned. Curries and all dishes made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate. Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins - all foods symbolic of the Sun - are also traditional. OSTARA (circa March 21) Flowersshould belaid onthe altar,placed around thecircle and strewn on the ground. The cauldron can be filled with spring water and flowers, and buds and blossoms may be worn as well. A small potted plant should be placed on the altar. Arrange the altar, lightthe candles and incense, andcast the Circle of Stones. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God in whatever words please you. Stand before the altar and gaze upon the plant as you say: O Great Goddess, you have freed yourself from the icy prison of winter. Now is the greening, when the fragrance of flowers drifts on the breeze. This is the beginning. Life renews itself by Your magick, the Earth Goddess. The God stretches and rises, eager in His youth, and bursting with the promise of summer. Touch theplant. Connect with itsenergies and, throughit, all nature. Travel inside its leaves and stems through your visualization - from the center of your consciousness out through your arm and fingers and into the plant itself. Explore its inner nature; sense the miraculous processes of life at work within it. After a time, still touching the plant, say: I walk the Earth in friendship, not in dominance. Mother Goddess and Father God, instillwithinme throughthis plantawarmth forall living things. Teach me to revere the Earth and all its treasures. May I never forget. Meditate uponthe changing of theseasons. Feelthe rousing of energies around you in the Earth. Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast. The circle is released. 1026 EOSTRA LORE A traditional VernalEquinox pastime:go to afield andrandomly collect wildflowers [Thank the flowers for their sacrifice before picking them, using a collection formula such as can be found in "An Herbal Grimoire" elsewhere in this Book of Shadows]. Or buy some from a florist, taking one or two of those that appeal to you. Then bring them home and divine their magickal meanings by the use of books, your own intuition, a pendulum or by other means. The flowers you've chosen reveal your inner thoughts and emotions. It isimportant at thistime ofrenewed life toplan a walk(or a ride) through gardens, a park, woodlands, forest and other green places. This is not simply exercise, and you should be on no other mission. It isn't even just an appreciation of nature. Make your walk celebratory, a ritual for nature itself. Other traditionalactivities include plantingseeds, workingon magickal gardens and practicing all forms of herb work - magickal, medicinal, cosmetic, culinary and artistic. Foods intune with thisday (linkingyour meals withthe seasons is a fine way of attuning with nature) include those made of seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, as well as pine nuts. Sprouts are equally appropriate, as are leafy, green vegetables. Flower dishes such as stuffed nasturtiums or carnation cupcakes also find their place here. [Find a book of flower cooking or simply make spice cupcakes. Ice with pink frosting and place a fresh carnation petal on each cupcake. Stuff nasturtium blossoms with a mixture made with cream cheese, chopped nuts, chives and watercress.] BELTANE (April 30) If possible,celebrate Beltanein a forestor neara livingtree. If this is impossible, bring a small tree within the circle, preferably potted; it can be of any type. Create a small token or charm in honor of the wedding of the Goddess and God to hang upon the tree. You can make several if you desire. These tokens can be bags filled with fragrant flowers, strings of beads, carvings, flower garlands - whatever your talents and imagination can conjure. Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones. Recite the Blessing Chant Invoke the Goddess and God. Stand before the altar and say, with wand upraised: O Mother Goddess, Queen of the night and of the Earth; O Father God, King of the day and of the forest, IcelebrateYour unionas naturerejoicesin ariotous blaze of color and life. Accept my gift, Mother Goddess and Father God, in honor of Your union. 1027 Place the token(s) on the tree. From Your mating shall spring forth life anew; a profusion of living creatures shall cover the lands, and the winds will blow pure and sweet. O Ancient Ones, I celebrate with You! Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast. The circle is released. BELTANE LORE Weavingand plaiting are traditionalarts at thistime of year, for the joining together of two substances to form a third is in the spirit of Beltane. Foods traditionally come from the dairy, and dishes such as marigold custard (see recipes - food) and vanilla ice cream are fine. Oatmeal cakes are also appropriate. MIDSUMMER (circa June 21) Before the rite, make upa small cloth pouch filled withherbs such as lavender, chamomile, St. John's Wort, vervain, or any of the Midsummer herbs listed in "An Herbal Grimoire." Mentally pour all your troubles, problems, pains, sorrows and illnesses, if any, into this petition as you construct it. Tie it shut with a red string. Place this on the altar for use during the rite. The cauldron should also be there or nearby. Even if you use candles to mark the quarters, the red candle in a holder should also be on the altar. For outdoor rituals, light a fire - however small - and drop the pouch into this. Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God. Stand before the altar and say, with wand upraised: I celebrate the noon of summer with mystic rites. O great Goddess and God, allnaturevibrateswith YourenergiesandtheEarth isbathed with warmth and life. Now is the time of forgetting past cares and banes; O fiery Sun, burn away the unuseful, the hurtful, the bane, in Your omnipotent power. Purify me! Purify me! Purify me! 1028 Lay thewand onthe altar. Take up theherbal petitionand light it in the red candle on the altar (or, if outdoors, the ritual fire). When it is burning drop it into the cauldron (or some other heat-proof container) and say: I banish you by the powers of the Goddess and God! I banish you by the powers of the Sun, Moon and Stars! I banish you by the powers of the Earth, Air, Fire and Water! Pause,seeing thehurts andpains burninginto nothingness. Then say: O Gracious Goddess, O Gracious God, onthis night of Midsummermagick I pray that You charge my life with wonder and joy. Help me in attuning with the energies adrift on the enchanted night air. I give thanks. Reflect upon the purification you have undergone. Feel the powers of nature flowing through you, washing you clean with divine energy. Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast. The circle is released. MIDSUMMER LORE Midsummeris practically theclassic time toperform magicks of all kinds. Healings, love magick and protections are especially suitable. Herbs can be dried over the ritual fire if you're celebrating outdoors. Leap the fire for purification and renewed energy. Fresh fruits are standard fare for Midsummer. 1029 LUGHNASADH (August 1) Placeupon the altarsheaves of wheat,barley or oats,fruit and breads, perhaps a loaf fashioned in the figure of the Sun or a man to represent the God. Corn dollies, symbolic of the Goddess, can be present there as well. Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God. Stand before the altar, holding aloft the sheaves of grain, saying these or similar words: Now is the time of the First Harvest, when thebounties ofnaturegive ofthemselvesso thatwemay survive. O God of the ripening fields, Lord of the Grain, grant methe understanding ofsacrifice as Youprepare to deliver Yourself under the sickle of the Goddess and journey to the lands of eternal summer. O Goddess of the Dark Moon, teachmethe secretsofrebirth asthe Sunlosesits strength and the nights grow cold. Rub theheads of the wheatwith your fingers sothat the grains fall onto the altar. Lift a piece of fruit and bite it, savoring its flavour, and say: I partake of the first harvest, mixing itsenergieswithmine thatImay continuemyquestfor the starry wisdom of perfection. O Lady of the Moon and Lord of the Sun, gracious ones before Whom the stars halt their courses, I offer my thanks for the continuing fertility of the Earth. May the nodding grain loose its seeds to be buried in the Mother's breast, ensuring rebirth in the warmth of the coming Spring. Consume the rest of the fruit. Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast. The circle is released. 1030 LUGHNASADH LORE It is appropriate toplant the seedsfrom the fruit consumedin ritual. If they sprout, grow the plant with love and as a symbol of your connection with the Goddess and God. Wheat weaving (the making of corn dollies, etc.) is an appropriate activity for Lughnasadh. Visits to fields, orchards, lakes and wells are also traditional. The foods of Lughnasadh include bread, blackberries and all berries, acorns (leached of their poisons first), crab apples, all grains and locally ripe produce. A cake is sometimes baked, and cider is used in place of wine. If youdo make afigure of theGod from bread,it can beused for the Simple Feast. MABON (circa September 21) Decorate the altar with acorns, oak sprigs, pine and cypress cones, ears of corn, wheat stalks and other fruits and nuts. Also place there a small rustic basket filled with dried leaves of various colors and kinds. Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God. Standbefore the altar, holdingaloft the basketof leaves, and slowly scatter them so that they cascade to the ground within the circle. Say such words as these: Leaves fall, the days grow cold. The Goddess pulls Her mantle of the Earth around Her as You, O Great Sun God, sail toward the West to the lands of Eternal Enchantment., wrapped in the coolness of night. Fruits ripen, seeds drop, the hours of day and night are balanced. Chill winds blow in from the North wailing laments. In this seeming extinction of nature's power, O Blessed Goddess, I know that life continues. For spring is impossible without the second harvest, as surely as life is impossible without death. Blessings upon You, O Fallen God, as You journey into the lands of winter and into the Goddess' loving arms. 1031 Place the basket down and say: O Gracious Goddess of all fertility, Ihave sownandreapedthe fruitsofmy actions,goodandbane. Grantme the courageto plantseeds of joyand lovein the coming year, banishing misery and hate. Teach me the secrets of wise existence upon this planet, O Luminous One of the Night! Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast. The circle is released. MABON LORE A traditional practice is to walk wild places and forests, gathering seed pods and dried plants. Some of these can be used to decorate the home; others saved for future herbal magick. The foods ofMabon consistof the secondharvest's gleanings,so grains, fruit and vegetables predominate, especially corn. Corn bread is traditional fare, as are beans and baked squash. 1032 Samhain (October 31) Placeupon thealtarapples, pomegranates,pumpkins, squashesand other late autumn fruits. Autumn flowers such as marigolds and chrysanthemums are fine too. Write on a piece of paper an aspect of your life which you may wish to be free of; anger, a baneful habit, misplaced feelings, disease. The cauldron or some similar tool must be present before the altar as well, on a trivet or some other heat-proof surface (if the legs aren't long enough). A small, flat dish marked with an eight-spoked wheel symbol should also be there. [This is just what it sounds like. On a flat plate or dish, paint a large circle. Put a dot in the center of this circle and paint eight spokes radiating out from the dot to the larger circle. Thus, you have a wheel symbol - a symbol of the Sabbats, a symbol of timelessness.] Prior toritual, sit quietlyand thinkof friends andloved ones who have passed away. Do not despair. Know that they have gone on to greater things. Keep firmly in mind that the physical isn't the absolute reality, and souls never die. Arrangethe altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God. Lift one of the pomegranates and, with your freshly-washed Boline, pierce the skin of the fruit. Remove several seeds and place them on the wheel-marked dish. Raise your wand, face the altar and say: On this night of Samhain I mark Your passing, O Sun King, through the sunset into the Land of the Young. I mark also the passing of all who have gone before, and all who will go after. O Gracious Goddess, Eternal Mother, You who gives birth to the fallen, teach meto know that inthe time of the greatest darkness there is the greatest light. Taste the pomegranate seeds; burst them with your teeth and savour their sharp, bittersweet flavour. Look down as the eight-spoked symbol on the plate; the Wheel of the Year, the Cycle of the Seasons, the End and Beginning of all Creation. Light a firewithin the cauldron(a candle isfine). Sitbefore it, holding the piece of paper, gazing at its flames. Say: Wise One of the Waning Moon, Goddess of the Starry Night, I createthis firewithin Your cauldronto transform that which is plaguing me. May the energies be reversed: From the darkness, light! From bane, good! From death, birth! 1033 Light thepaper in thecauldron's flames anddrop it inside. As it burns, know that your ill diminishes, lessens and finally leaves you as it is consumed within the universal fires. [The cauldron, seen as the Goddess.] If you wish, you may attempt scrying or some other form of divination, for this is a perfect time to look into the past or future. Try to recall past lives too, if you will. But leave the dead in peace. Honor them with your memories but do not call them to you. [Many Pagans do attempt to communicate with their deceased ancestors and friends at this time, but it seems to me that if we accept the doctrine of reincarnation, this is a rather strange practice. Perhaps the personalities that we knew still exist, but if the soul is currently incarnate in another body, communication would be difficult, to say the least. Thus, it seems best to remember them with peace and love - but do not call them up.] Release any pain and sense of loss you may feel into the cauldron's flames. Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate the Simple Feast. The circle is released. SAMHAIN LORE It is traditional on Samhain night to leave a plate of food outside the home for the souls of the dead. A candle placed in the window guides them to the Lands of Eternal Summer, and burying apples in the hard-packed earth "feeds" the passed ones on their journey. Forfood, beets,turnips,apples, corn,nuts, gingerbread,cider, mulled wines and pumpkin dishes are appropriate, as are meat dishes (once again, if you're not vegetarian. If so, tofu seems ritually correct). 1034 A RITUAL OF GESTURES Stand in the ritualarea. Stillyour thoughts. Breathedeeply for half a minute or so until composed and calm. Turn your mind to our Deities. Face North. Lift bothhands to waistheight, palms down. Press your fingers together, creating two solid, flat planes. Sense solidity, foundation, fertility. Invoke the powers of the Earth through the gesture. Moments Later, turn toward the East. Raise your hands a foot higher, your palms facing away from you (no longer parallel with the ground), and elbows slightly bent. Spread your fingers and hold this position, sensing movement and communication. Invoke the forces of Air through the gesture. Face South. Lift your handsfully above yourhead. Keepingthe elbows straight, grasp your fingers into tight fists. Feel force, power, creation and destruction. Invoke the forces of Fire through the gesture. Turn to the West. Lower your hands a foot or so. Bend the elbows, turn your palms upward and cup them, pressing the thumbs against the forefingers. Sense fluidity, the ocean, liquidity. Invoke the forces of Water through the gesture. Face Northagain. Throw yourhead back and raiseboth hands to the sky, palms up, fingers spread. Drink in the essence of The One, the unknowable, unapproachable ultimate source of all. Sense the mysteries within the universe. Lower your projective hand (your writing hand) but keep your receptive hand high. Pressing the third, forth and fifth fingers against the palm, lift the forefinger and thumb to create a rough crescent shape. Sense the reality of the Goddess. Sense Her love, Her fertility, Her compassion. Sense the powers of the Moon in the gesture; the force of the eternal seas - the presence of the Goddess. Lower your receptivehand; liftyour projective hand. Benddown the middle and forth fingers toward the palm, and trap them with the thumb. Lift the forefinger and little finger up to the sky, creating a horned image. Sense the reality of the God. Sense the power of the Sun in the gesture; the untamed energies of the woodlands - the presence of the God. Lower yourprojective hand. Laydown flat. Spread yourlegs and arms until you've created the pattern of a pentagram. Sense the powers of the elements running through you; merging and coalescing into your being. Sense them as emanations from The One, the Goddess and God. Meditate. Commune. Communicate. When finished, simply stand up. Your rite of gestures is over. 1035 THE LAW OF THE POWER 1. The Power shall not be used to bring harm, to injure or control others. But if the need rises, the Power shall be used to protect your life or the life of others. 2. The Power is used only as need dictates. 3.The Power can be usedfor your own gain, aslong as by doing so you harm none. 4.It is unwiseto accept money forthe use ofthe Power, for it quickly controls its taker. Be not as those of other religions. 5. Use not the Power forprideful gain, for such cheapens the mysteries of the Craft and magick. 6. Everremember that the Poweris a sacred giftof the Goddess and God, and should never be misused or abused. 7. And this is the Law of the Power. INVOCATION OF THE ELEMENTS Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Elements of Astral birth, I call you now; attend to me! In the circle, rightly cast, Safe from psychic curse or blast, I call you now, attend to me! From cave and desert, sea and hill, By blade and wand, cup and pentacle, I call you now; attend to me! This is my will, so mote it be! [This invocation may be chanted while moving or dancing around the altar to raise elemental energy for magickal workings.] PRAYERS, CHANTS AND INVOCATIONS OF AND TO THE GODDESS AND GOD These prayers can be used toinvoke the Goddess and Godduring ritual, just after the circle casting. Of course, any which you compose or are inspired to say and be used as well. A fewchants arealso includedto raise energyor tocommune with the deities. Someof theseinvocations rhyme, andsome donot. But recall the power of rhyme - it link our conscious mind to the unconscious or psychic mind, thereby producing ritual consciousness. Some of these are related to specific deities but, as Dion Fortune wrote: "All the gods are one god; and all the goddesses are one goddess, and there is only one initiator." 1036 INVOCATION TO THE GODDESS Crescent One of the starry skies, Flowered One of the fertile plan, Flowing One of the ocean's sighs, Blessed One of the gentle rain; Hear my chant 'midst the standing stones, Open me to your mystic light; Waken me to your silver tones, Be with me in my sacred rite! INVOCATION TO PAN O Great God Pan, Beast and man, Shepherd of goats and Lord of the Land, I call you to attend my rites On this most magickal of nights. God of the wine, God of the vine, God of the fields and God of the kine, Attend my circle with your love And send Your blessings from above. Help me to heal; Help me to feel; Help me to bring forth love and weal. Pan of the forests, Pan of the glade, Be with me as my magick is made! ISIS INVOCATION Isis of the Moon, You who are all that ever was, All that is, And all that shall be: Come, veiled Queen of Night! Come as the scent of the sacred lotus Charging my circle With love and magick. Do descend upon my circle, I pray, O Blessed Isis! PRAYER TO THE HORNED GOD Horned One of the wilderness, Winged One of the shining skies, Rayed One of the spen'drous Sun, Fallen One of the Samhain cries- I call amidst the standing stones Praying that You, O Ancient One, Will deign to bless my mystic rites- O fiery Lord of the Blazing Sun! 1037 NEW MOON CHANT TO DIANA Waxing, waxing, growing, growing- Diana's power is flowing, flowing. (repeat) CALL TO THE GOD Ancient God of the forest deeps, Master of beast and Sun; Here where the world is hushed and sleeps Now that the day is done. I call You in the ancient way Here in my circle round, Asking that You will hear me pray And send Your Sun force down. INVOCATION TO THE GODDESS Gracious Goddess, You who are the Queen of the Gods, The lamp of night, the creator of all that is wild and free; Mother of woman and man; Lover of the Horned God and protectress of all the Craft: Descend, I pray, With Your Lunar ray of power Upon my circle here! INVOCATION TO THE GOD Blazing God, You who are the King of the Gods, Lord of the Sun, Master of all that is wild and free; Father of woman and man, Lover of the Moon Goddess and protector of all the Craft: Descend I pray, With you Solar ray of power Upon my circle here! GODDESS CHANT Luna, Luna, Luna, Diana Luna, Luna, Luna, Diana Bless me, bless me, bless me, Diana, Luna, Luna, Luna, Diana (repeat) 1038 EVENING CHANT TO THE GOD Hail fair Sun, Ruler of day; Rise on the morn To light my way. (to be said while watching the sunset) EVENING CHANT TO THE GODDESS Hail fair Moon Ruler of night; Guard me and mine Until the light. (to be said while Moon-gazing at night) GODDESS CHANT Aaaaaaaaaaaaah Oooooooooooooh Uuuuuuuuuuuuuu Eeeeeeeeeeeeee Iiiiiiiiiiiiii [These are obviously, the vowels of the English language. Pronounce them as: A-"Ah," O-"O," U-"Oo," E-"E," I-"Eye." Extend the vowels as you vocalize them, stretch the sounds. This produces Goddess awareness, and rouses the psychic mind] 1039 THE LORE OF NUMBERS To be used in ritual and magickal workings. In general, odd numbers are related to women, receptive energy and the Goddess; even numbers to men, projective energy and the God. 1. The universe; The One; the source of all. 2. The Goddess and God; The perfect duality; projective and receptive energy; the couple; personal union with deity; interpenetration of the physical and spiritual; balance. 3. The Triple Goddess; the Lunar phases; the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of our species. 4. The elements; the Spirits of the Stones; the winds; the seasons. 5. The senses; the pentagram; the elements plus Akasha; a Goddess number. 7. The planets which the ancients knew; the time of the Lunar phase; power; protection and magick. 8. The number of Sabbats; a number of the God. 9. A number of the Goddess. 13. The number of Esbats; a fortunate number. 15. A number of good fortune. 21. The number of Sabbats and Esbats in the Pagan year; a number of the Goddess. 28. A number of the Moon; a number of the goddess. 101. The number of fertility. The planets are numbered thus: Saturn 3 Venus 7 Jupiter 4 Mercury 8 Mars 5 Moon 9 Sun 6 1040 THIRTEEN GOALS OF A WITCH I. Know yourself II. Know your Craft (Wicca) III. Learn IV. Apply knowledge with wisdom V. Achieve balance VI. Keep your words in good order VII. Keep your thoughts in good order VIII. Celebrate life IX. Attune with the cycles of Terra X. Breathe and eat correctly XI. Exercise the body XII. Meditate XIII. Honor the Goddess and God RECIPES FOR FOOD CRESCENT CAKES 1 cup firmly ground almonds 1 1/4 cups flour 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar 2 drops almond extract 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 egg yolk Combinealmonds, flour,sugarand extractuntil thoroughlymixed. with the hands, work in butter and egg yolk until well-blended. Chill dough. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of walnuts and shape into crescents. Place on greased sheets and bake for about 20 minutes. Serve during Simple Feast, especially at Esbats. 1041 BELTANE MARIGOLD CUSTARD 2 cups milk 1 cup unsprayed marigold petals 1/4 tsp. salt 3 tbsp. sugar 1 to 2-inch piece vanilla bean 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten 1/8 tsp. allspice 1/8 tsp. nutmeg 1/2 tsp. rose water whipped cream Using a cleanmortar and pestle reservedfor cooking purposes, pound marigold petals. Or, crush with a spoon. Mix the salt, sugar and spices together. Scald milk with the marigolds and the vanilla bean. Remove the vanilla bean and add the slightly beaten yolks and dry ingredients. Cook on low heat. When the mixture coats a spoon, add rose water and cool. Top with whipped cream, garnish with fresh marigold petals. SOFT MEAD 1 quart water, preferably spring water 1 cup honey 1 sliced lemon 1/2 tsp. nutmeg Boil together all ingredients in a non-metallic pot. While boiling, scrape off the rising "scum" with a wooden spoon. When no more rises add the following: pinch salt juice of 1/2 lemon Strain andcool. Drinkin placeof alcoholic meador wineduring the Simple Feast. BEVERAGES If you wish to avoid the use of wine, which has long been utilized in religious and magickal rites, there are many other beverages that can be used to toast the Goddess and God. These include (but certainly aren't limited to): Sabbats: apple juice, grape juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, black tea, soft mead, guava nectar, cinnamon coffee, ginger tea, hibiscus tea Esbats: lemonade, apricot nectar, mango nectar, pear nectar, papaya nectar, peach nectar, jasmine tea, peppermint tea, rosebud tea, milk 1042 RECIPES FOR INCENSES To make incenses, simply grind the ingredients and mix them together. As you mix, sense their energies. Burn on charcoal blocks in the censer during ritual. CIRCLE INCENSE 4 parts Frankincense 2 parts Myrrh 2 parts Benzoin 1 part Sandalwood 1/2 part Cinnamon 1/2 part Rose petals 1/4 part Vervain 1/4 part Rosemary 1/4 part Bay Burn in the circle for all types of rituals and spells. Frankincense, myrrh and benzoin should definitely constitute the bulk of the mixture. ALTAR INCENSE 3 parts Frankincense 2 parts Myrrh 1 part Cinnamon Burn as a general incense on the altar to purify it and to promote ritual consciousness during rituals. FULL MOON RITUAL INCENSE 2 parts Sandalwood 2 parts Frankincense 1/2 part Gardenia petals 1/4 part Rose petals a few drops Ambergris oil Burn during Esbats or simply at the time of the Full Moon to attune with the Goddess. SPRING SABBAT INCENSE 3 parts Frankincense 2 parts Sandalwood 1 part Benzoin 1 part Cinnamon a few drops Patchouly oil Burn during spring and summer Sabbat rituals. 1043 FALL SABBAT INCENSE 3 parts Frankincense 2 parts Myrrh 1 part Rosemary 1 part Cedar 1 part Juniper Burn during fall and winter Sabbat rituals. RECIPES FOR OILS To create oils, simply mix themin a bottle. Wear for ritual purposes. SABBAT OIL #1 3 parts Patchouly 2 parts Musk 1 part Carnation Wear to the Sabbats to promote communion with the deities. SABBAT OIL #2 2 parts Frankincense 1 part Myrrh 1 part Carnation 1 part Allspice Use as the above formula. FULL MOON OIL #1 4 parts Gardenia 2 parts Lotus 1 part Jasmine Anoint the body prior to Esbats to attune with Lunar energies. FULL MOON OIL #2 3 parts Sandalwood 2 parts Lemon 1 part Rose Another like the above. 1044 GODDESS OIL 3 parts Rose 2 parts Gardenia 1 part Lemon 1 part Lotus 1 part Ambergris Wear to honor the Goddess during rituals. HORNED GOD OIL 2 parts Frankincense 2 parts Cinnamon 1 part Bay 1 part rosemary 1 part Musk Wear to honor the Horned God during rituals. ALTAR OIL 4 parts Frankincense 3 parts Myrrh 1 part Galangal 1 part Vervain 1 part Lavender Anoint thealtar withthis oilat regularintervals topurify and empower it. 1045 OF GATHERING FLOWERS, HERBS AND PLANTS: Before cutting with the Boline, attune with the plantthrough visualization. Feel its energies. As you cut, say these or similar words: Olittle plant of (name, such as hyssop, etc.) I ask that you give of your bounty that it may aid me in my work. Grow stronger by my stroke, stronger and more powerful, O plant of (name)! If it isa tree, substitute theappropriate word (tree ofoak). Gently cut only what you need, and never from very young plants or more than twenty-five percent of the growth. At the base of the plant leave an offering: a silver coin, a bright jewel, a bit of wine or milk, grain, a quartz crystal and so on. Cover the offering and it is done. OF THE CIRCLE The magick circle may be fashioned with garlands of flowers sacred to the Goddess and God. Alternately, flowers can be scattered around the perimeter of the circle. The point stones may be ringed with fresh flowers and herbs suitable to the elements, such as: North: corn, cypress, fern, honeysuckle, wheat, vervain East: acacia,bergamot,clover, dandelion,lavender,lemongrass, mint, mistletoe, parsley, pine South:basil, carnation, cedar,chrysanthemum, dill, ginger, heliotrope, holly, juniper, marigold, peppermint West: apple blossoms,lemon balm,camellia, catnip,daffodil, elder, gardenia, grape, heather, hibiscus, jasmine, orchid Fresh flowers may be present on the altar or, if none are available, greens such as ferns may be used. When casting the circle around a tree, youcan use the fruit, leaves, nuts or flowers of that tree to mark out the circle, if desired. All of these can be used in addition to the cord and stones. 1046 OF THE BALEFIRE: If you wish to build a fire for an outdoor ritual, it can be composed of all or any combination of the following woods: Rowan Dogwood Mesquite Poplar Oak Juniper Pine Cedar Apple If these are unavailable, use native woods. Rites run on the seashore can be illuminated with balefires of dried driftwood collected prior to the rite. OF THE HOME CIRCLE: Magickal plants growing outside the home incontainers can be placed around the circle or on the altar during ritual. If you primarily work indoors, choose an odd-numbered selection of sacred plants and grow these in your ritual area. If they need more sunlight, simply move them outdoors and bring inside during ritual. Give them energy and love, and they'll aid you in your worship and magick. Though anybut poisonousplants canbe used,such plantsas these are recommended: African Violets Red Geraniums Cacti (all types Rose Ferns (all types) Rose Geranium Holly Rosemary Hyssop Ti (Cordyline terminalis) Palms (all types) Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) OF THE CELEBRANT: Wearfresh flowers and herbs in yourhair and on your body, if you prefer, during the rites. Crowns or caplets of flowers are always appropriate for spring and summer rites. Wear oak and pine during the winter rituals. You may wishto wear anecklace ofherbs and seeds,such astonka beans, whole nutmegs, star anise, acorns and other seeds and nuts, strung on a natural fiber. Strings of small pine cones may also be worn. For Full Moon rituals held at night, wear night-blooming, fragrant flowers to suffuse yourself with Lunar energies. 1047 OF THE TOOLS: These are suggestions for dedicating the tools prior totheir first use or formal consecration, if any. Perform these with proper visualization and ritual intent. The Athame or Sword: Rub the blade with fresh basil, rosemary or oak leaves, at sunrise, outdoors where you will not be disturbed or seen. Lay the sword or Athame on the ground with its point to the South. Walk clockwise around it thrice, scattering bay leaves (preferably fresh) over it. Take up the sword or Athame, stand facing East and, holding it upward but with arms lowered, invoke the God to infuse your Athame or sword with His strength. Point it to the sky, invoking the Goddess to charge your blade with Her love and power. Wrap yourAthame or swordin red cloth andtake it home. It may be stored in the cloth, if desired. The Bolline: Early in the morning, goto a forest (or park, garden,or your indoor garden). Choose the most beautiful and vibrant plants. Touch the point of the Boline gently to these in turn, forging a connection between your Boline and the plants (and, thusly, the Earth). Next, siton the Earth. Ensuring thatyou are quitealone, draw a pentagram with the Boline's point on the ground. It is done. The Wand: If the wand is of wood, take it outdoors at sunsetand rub it with fresh lavender, eucalyptus or mint leaves. Raise it in the air toward the East (or the Moon if it is visible) and invoke the Goddess. At sunrise, take it again outdoors, rub with the fresh fragrant leaves and invoke the God by raising it to the East. The Pentacle: Place the pentacle on bare Earth. Lay upon itdried parsley, patchouly, mistletoe, or fresh jasmine or honeysuckle flowers. Sit before it facing North for several seconds, visualizing the pentacle absorbing the Earth's energies. Then pick it up and scatter the herbs or flowers to the four quarters, beginning and ending in the North. Ifthis must bedone indoors, filla small dishwith fresh Earth and place the pentacle on this. Proceed as above, saving the herbs or flowers to be scattered outdoors at a latter time. 1048 The Censer: Fume purerosemary, frankincenseorcopal withinthe censerprior to its first use. Do this for about an hour. The Cauldron: Takethe cauldron toa stream, river,lake or ocean. Gather the leaves of some plants growing nearby (at the sea, perhaps seaweed). Dip the cauldron into the water to fill it. Place the leaves in the cauldron, then set it on the water's edge where it is on both water and sand. Place your hands on the cauldron and dedicate it to the Goddess in any words you like. Emptyand drythe cauldron, andreturn home. Thecharge has been made. Ifperformed inside, placethe cauldronin alarge basinof water or the bathtub, in a candle-lit room. Add a bit of salt to the water, which should be cold. Proceed as above. Salt water corrodes metal. Thoroughly wash the cauldronafter immersion in sea or salk water. The Chalice: Anoint the base withgardenia, rose or violetoil and fillwith pure spring water. Then set afloat a sprig of ivy, a small rose, a fresh gardenia or some other appropriate flower or herb. Gaze into the Chalice and invoke the Goddess to bless it. You might also wish to take it outside as night, filled with water, and catch the Moon's reflection within it. The Broom: It canbe fashioned from anash staff, birch twigsand a willow binding. Brush the broom with chamomile, willow, lemon balm, elder or mallow stalks and branches, then bury these with due solemnity. You might also wish to carve a crescent Moon upon its handle. The Crystal: Onthe night ofa FullMoon, rub thesphere with fresh(or dried) mugwort, then take it outside. Hold it up so that it drinks in the light and energies of the Moon. Gaze at the Moon through the crystal by holding it before your eyes. Repeat at least thrice yearly for the best benefits. The Book of Shadows: Sewinto the cover of the Bookof Shadows leaves of the sacred herbs vervain, rue, bay, willow or others, if you wish. They should be well-dried and secretly placed by the light of the Moon. The covers of the Book of Shadows should, of course, be covered with cloth for this purpose. 1049 The Robe: If you choose to wear one, lay it among sachets filled with lavender, vervain and cedar when not in use. Sew a bit of rosemary or frankincense into the hem while fashioning it, if desired (and if the resulting stains won't show after washing). OF THE HERBS OF THE SABBATS: Tobe used asdecorations on thealtar, round thecircle, in the home. Samhain: Chrysanthemum, wormwood, apples, pears, hazel, thistle, pomegranates, all grains, harvested fruits and nuts, the pumpkin, corn. Yule: Holly, mistletoe, ivy, cedar, bay, juniper, rosemary, pine. Place offerings of apples, oranges, nutmegs, lemons and whole cinnamon sticks on the Yule tree. Imbolc: Snowdrop, rowan, the first flowers of the year. Eostara: Daffodil,woodruff,violet, gorse,olive,peony,iris, narcissus, all spring flowers. Beltane: Hawthorn, honeysuckle, St. John's wort, woodruff, all flowers. Midsummer: Mugwort, vervain, chamomile, rose, lily, oak, lavender, ivy, yarrow, fern, elder, wild thyme, daisy, carnation. Lughnasadh: All grains, grapes, heather, blackberries, sloe, crabapples, pears. Mabon: Hazel, corn, aspen, acorns, oak sprigs, autumn leaves, wheat stalks, cypress cones, pine cones, harvest gleanings. OF THE HERBS AND PLANTS OF FULL MOON RITUALS: Placeupon thealtar allnocturnal, whiteor five-petaledflowers such as the white rose, night-blooming jasmine, carnation, gardenia, cereus, lily, iris; all pleasingly-scented flowers which shall call forth the Goddess. Camphor is also symbolic. 1050 OF OFFERINGS: To the Goddess: Allwatery and earthy flowersand seeds suchas camellia, lily, water lily, willow stalks; those flowers used in Full Moon rituals; white or purple blooms such as hyacinth, magnolia, heather and lilac; sweet-scented herbs and flowers; those dedicated to Venus or to the Moon; rue, vervain and olive; or others that seem suitable. To the God: All fiery and airy herbs and flowers such as basil, chrysanthemum, snapdragon, clover, lavender, pine; strongly-scented, clean or citrusy herbs and flowers; those ruled by Mars or the Sun; yellow or red blooms such as sunflower, pine cones, seeds, cacti, thistles and stinging herbs; orange, heliotrope, cedar, juniper and so on. 1051 OF THE SACRED HERBS OF THE GODDESSES: Aphrodite: olive, cinnamon, daisy, cypress, quince. orris (iris), apple, myrtle Aradia: rue, vervain Artemis: silver fir, amaranth, cypress, cedar, hazel, myrtle, willow, daisy, mugwort, date palm Astarte: alder, pine, cypress, myrtle, juniper Athena: olive, apple Bast: catnip, Vervain Bellona: belladonna Brigit: blackberry Cailleach: wheat Cardea: hawthorn, bean, arbutus Ceres: willow, wheat, bay, pomegranate, poppy, leek, narcissus Cybele: oak, myrrh, pine Demeter: wheat, barley, pennyroyal, myrrh, rose, pomegranate, bean, poppy, all cultivated crops Diana: birch, willow, acacia, wormwood, dittany, hazel, beech, fir, apple, mugwort, plane, mulberry, rue Druantia: fir Freya: cowslip, daisy, primrose, maidenhair, myrrh, strawberry, mistletoe Hathor: myrtle, sycamore, grape, mandrake, coriander, rose Hecate: willow, henbane, aconite, yew, mandrake, cyclamen, mint, cypress, date palm, sesame, dandelion, garlic, oak, onion Hekat: cypress Hera: apple, willow, orris, pomegranate, myrrh Hina: bamboo Hulda: flax, rose, hellebore, elder Irene: olive Iris: wormwood, iris Ishtar: acacia, juniper, all grains Isis: fig, heather, wheat, wormwood, barley, myrrh, rose, palm, lotus, persea, onion, iris, vervain Juno: lily, crocus, asphodel, quince, pomegranate, vervain, iris, lettuce, fig, mint Kerridwen: vervain, acorns Minerva: olive, mulberry, thistle Nefer-Tum: lotus Nepthys: myrrh, lily Nuit: sycamore Olwen: apple Persephone: parsley, narcissus, willow, pomegranate Rhea: myrrh, oak Rowen: clover, rowen Venus: cinnamon, daisy, elder, heather, anemone, apple, poppy, violet, marjoram, maidenhair fern, carnation, aster, vervain, myrtle, orchid, cedar, lily, mistletoe, pine, quince Vesta: oak 1052 OF THE SACRED HERBS OF THE GODS: Adonis: myrrh, corn, rose, fennel, lettuce, white heather Aesculapius: bay, mustard Ajax: delphinium Anu: tamarisk Apollo: leek, hyacinth, heliotrope, cornel, bay, frankincense, date palm, cypress Attis: pine, almond Ares: buttercup Bacchus: grape, ivy, fig, beech, tamarisk Baldur: St. John's wort, daisy Bran: alder, all grains Cupid: cypress, sugar, white violet, red rose Dagda: oak Dianus: fig Dionysus: fig, apple, ivy, grape, pine, corn, pomegranate, toadstools, mushrooms, fennel, all wild and cultivated trees Dis: cypress Ea: cedar Eros: red rose Gwydion: ash Helios: oak Horus: horehound, lotus, persea Hypnos: poppy Jove: pine, cassia, houseleek, carnation, cypress Jupiter: aloe, agrimony, sage, oak, mullein, acorn, beech, cypress, houseleek, date palm, violet, gorse, ox-eye daisy, vervain Kernunnos: heliotrope, bay, sunflower, oak, orange Kanaloa: banana Mars: ash, aloe, dogwood, buttercup, witch grass, vervain Mercury: cinnamon, mulberry, hazel, willow Mithras: cypress, violet Neptune: ash, bladderwrack, all seaweeds Odin: mistletoe, elm, yew, oak Osiris: acacia, grape, ivy, tamarisk, cedar, clover, date palm, all grains Pan: fig, pine, reed, oak, fern, all meadow flowers Pluto: cypress, mint, pomegranate Poseidon: pine, ash, fig, bladderwrack, all seaweeds Prometheus: fennel Ra: acacia, frankincense, myrrh, olive Saturn: fig, blackberry Sylvanus: pine Tammuz: wheat, pomegranate, all grains Thoth: almond Thor: thistle, houseleek, vervain, hazel, ash, birch, rowen, oak, pomegranate, burdock, beech Uranus: ash Woden: ash Zeus: oak, olive, pine, aloe, parsley, sage, wheat, fig Asthe Craft, wewill takeonly that whichwe need fromthe green and growing things of the Earth, never failing to attune with the plant before harvesting, nor failing to leave a token of gratitude and respect. 1053 SPELLS AND MAGICK PROTECTIVE CHANT Visualizea triplecircle ofpurplish lightaround youbody while chanting: I am protected by your might, O gracious Goddess, day and night. Another of the same type: visualize a triple circle and chant: Thrice around the circle's bound, Evil sink into the ground. A MIRROR SPELL OF PROTECTION FOR THE HOME Compose analtar: place acenser inthe center beforean imageof the Goddess. Have a twelve-inch (or so) round mirror there as well. Ring the altar with nine white candles. Burn a protective incense (such as sandalwood, frankincense, copal or rosemary) in the censer. Beginningwiththe candlemost directlybefore theGoddess image, say these or similar words: Lunar light protect me! Repeat as you light each candle until all are glowing. Now,holding the mirror, invokethe Goddess inHer lunar aspect with these or similar words: Great Goddess of the Lunar Light and Mistress of the Seas; Great Goddess of the Mystic Night and of the Mysteries; Within this place of candles bright and with Your mirror nigh; Protect me with Your awesome might while ill vibrations fly! Standing before thealtar, holdthe mirror facingthe candlesso that it reflects their flames. Keeping the mirror toward the candles, move slowly, clockwise, around the altar, watching the reflected firelight bouncing off your surroundings. Gradually increaseyour speed,mentally invoking theGoddess to protect you. Move faster and faster; watch the light shattering the air, cleansing it, burning away all negativity and all lines along witch the ill energies have traveled into your home. Charge your homewith the protectivelight of theGoddess. Race around the candles until you've felt the atmosphere change, until you feel that your home has been cleansed and guarded by the Great Goddess. When finished, stand once again before the image. Thank the Goddess in any words you wish. Pinch out the candles one by one, bind them together with white cord and store them in a safe place until (and if) you need to use them again for this same purpose. 1054 A SPELL TO BREAK THE POWERS OF A SPELL Ifyou believe that a spell hasbeen cast against you, place a large black candle in a cauldron (or a large black bowl). The candle must be tall enough to extend a few inched above the cauldron's rim. Affix the candle to the bottom of the cauldron with warmed beeswax or the drippings of another black candle so that it will not tip over. Fill the cauldron tothe rim with fresh water,without wetting the candle's wick. An inch or two of the candle should remain above the water. Deep breathe, meditate, clear your mind, and light the candle. Visualize the suspected spell's power as residing within the candle's flame. Sit in quiet contemplation of the candle and visualize the power flowing and growing with the candle's flame (yes the power against you). As the candle burns down, its flame will eventually sputter and go out as it contacts the water. As soon as the flame has been extinguished by the water, the spell will be dispersed. Break your visualization of the spell's power;see it explode into dust, becoming impotent. Pourthe water intoa hole inthe ground,a lake orstream. Bury the candle. It is done. TO PROTECT AN OBJECT Withthe firstand middle fingers(or yourAthame, ifyou have it with you), trace a pentagram over the object to be protected. Visualize electric-blue or purple flame streaming from your fingers (Athame) to form the pentagram. Say this as you trace: With this pentagram I do lay Protection here both night and day. And to the one who should not touch Let the fingers burn and twitch. I now invoke the Law of Three: This is my will, so mote it be! CRYSTAL MAGICK Crystals andstones are gifts ofthe Goddess and God. They are sacred, magickal tools which can be used to enhance ritual and magick. Here are some of the ways of Earth magick. 1055 PREPARING THE CIRCLE: The magick circlecan be laid out withcrystals and stones, if desired, rather than with herbs. Beginning and ending in the North, lay 7, 9, 21 or 40 quarts crystals of any size around the circle, either inside the cord or in place of it. If the ritual to be conducted within the circle is of a usual spiritual or magickal nature, place the quartz crystals with points outward. If of a protective nature, place with points facing inward. If youuse candlesto markthe four quartersof themagick circle rather than large stones, ring each candle with any or all of the following stones: North: Moss Agate, Emerald, Jet, Olivine, Salt, Black Tourmaline East: Imperial Topaz, Citrine, Mica, Pumice South: Amber, Obsidian, Rhodochrosite, Ruby, Lava, Garnet West:Aquamarine,Chalcedony, Jade,Lapis Lazuli,Moonstone, Sugilite A STONE ALTAR: Tomake this altar, searchthrough dry riverbeds and seashores for a variety of smoothly-shaped stones. Or check rock shops for appropriate pieces. Create thealtar itself ofthree large stones. Two smallerones of even size are used as the base, while a longer, flat stone is placed on top of these to form the altar itself. On this place one stone to the left of the altar to represent the Goddess. This might be a natural, river-rounded stone, a holed stone, a quartz crystal sphere, or any of the stones related to the Goddess which are listed below. Tothe right of the altar, placea stone to represent the God. This might be a piece of lava, a quartz crystal point, a long, thin or club-shaped rock or a God-symbolic stone such as those presented below. Between thesetwo stones placea smallerstone with ared candle affixed to it to represent the divine energy of the Goddess and God as well as the element of Fire. Beforethis, place a flat stone to receive offerings of wine, honey, cakes, semi-precious stones, flowers and fruit. A small,cupped stone (ifone can befound) should be setto the left of the offering stone. Fill this with water to represent that element. To theright of the offeringstone place aflat rock. Pour salt upon this to symbolize the element of Earth. Additionally, another flat stone can be placed before the offering stone to serve as an incense burner. 1056 Use along, thin,terminated quartscrystal as awand anda flint or obsidian arrowhead for the Athame. Any other tools which are needed can simply be placed on the altar. Or, try to find stone alternatives to them. This can be used for all types of Craft rituals. STONES OF THE GODDESSES: In general,all pink, greenand bluestones; thoserelated tothe Moon or Venus; Water and Earth-ruled stones, such as peridot, emerald, pink tourmaline, rose quartz, blue quartz, aquamarine, beryl, kunzite and turquoise. Stones which are related to specific deities follow. Aphrodite: salt Ceres: emerald Coatlicue: Jade Cybele: jet Diana: amethyst, moonstone, pearl Freya: pearl The Great Mother: amber, coral, geodes, holed stones Hathor: turquoise Isis: coral, emerald, lapis lazuli, moonstone, pearl Kwan Yin: jade Lakshmi: pearl Maat: jade Mara: beryl, aquamarine Nuit: lapis lazuli Pele: lava, obsidian, peridot, olivine, pumice Selene: moonstone, selenite Tiamat: beryl Venus: emerald, lapis lazuli, pearl STONES OF THE GOD: Generally,all orange and redstones; stones relatedto the Sun and Mars; Fire and Air-ruled stones, such as carnelian, ruby, garnet, orange calcite, diamond, tiger's eye, topaz, sunstone, bloodstone and tourmaline. Stones which are related to specific deities follow. Aesculapius: agate Apollo: sapphire Bacchus: amethyst Cupid: opal Dionysus: amethyst Mars: onyx, sardonyx Neptune: beryl Odin: holed stone Poseidon: beryl, pearl, aquamarine Ra: tiger's eye Tezcatlipoca: obsidian 1057 [Pearl and coral have been mentioned in these lists as "stones" because they were anciently thought to be such. Our knowledge of them as products of living creatures leaves us with the ethical question of whether or not to use them in ritual. This must be a personal decision. Beach gathered coral and shells (mother of pearl is from shells) can be used without conflicting with the above statement because the creature has already died by the time the item was found. If you decide not to use them, just remember leather is also a product of a living creature.] CAIRNS: Inearlier times, throughout the world,people built mounds or piles of stones. These were sometimes formed to mark the passage of travelers, or to commemorate some historic even, but such cairns usually had ritual significance. In magickal thought, cairns are places of power. They concentrate the energies of the stones used to create them. Cairns are rooted in the Earth but lift upward to the sky, symbolically representing the interconnectedness of the physical and spiritual realms. Duringoutdoor circles, a smallcairn, composed ofno more than nine or eleven rocks, can be fashioned as each point of the Circle of Stones. This can be done prior to creating the circle itself. The nexttime you're insome wild, lonelyplace with aprofusion of stones, clear a place among them and sit. Visualize a magickal need. As you visualize, grasp a near-by stone. Feel the energy beating within it - the power of the Earth, the power of nature. Place it on the cleared ground. Pick up another stone, still visualizing you need, and set it next to the first. Stillvisualizing, continue toadd stones, buildingthem into a small pile. Keep adding stones until you feel them vibrating and pulsating before you. Place the last rock on top of the cairn with firm ritual intent - affirm to yourself, to the cairn and the Earth that with this final magickal act you're manifesting your need. Placeyour hands oneither sideof the pile. Giveit your energy through your visualization. Nurse it. Feed it strength and see your need as being fulfilled. Then leave the cairn alone to do its work. 1058 A QUARTZ AND CANDLE SPELL: Have a candle of the color symbolic of your magickal need, according to the following list (or as your intuition tells you): WHITE Protection, Peace, Purity, Truth, Sincerity, Spirituality RED Strength, Health, Vigor, Sexual Love, Passion, Protection, Courage,Danger,Warning,Anger,Element ofFire,God oriented, Male aspects LIGHT BLUE Tranquility, Happiness, Understanding, Patience, Health, Element of Water, Goddess oriented, Feminine aspects DARK BLUE Impulsiveness, Depression, Changeability, psychism GREEN Finance, Fertility, Luck, Growth, Employment, Element of Earth, Goddess oriented, Feminine aspects GOLD/YELLOW Attraction, Persuasion, Charm, Confidence, Intellect, Study,Divination,ElementofAir,God oriented,Male aspects, (Gold) The Great God, The Sun BROWN Hesitation, Uncertainty, Neutrality, Healing Animals, Poverty PINK Honor, Love, Morality, Friendship BLACK Protection from, absorption Evil, loss, discord & Confusion,Lackofcolorandvibrations, Neutrality, Element of Akasha, Spirituality, The Divine, The Void PURPLE Relief from; Tension, Calming, Healing of severe Disease, Spiritualism,Meditation,Protection,PsychicPower, Element of Akasha, The Divine SILVER/GRAY Cancellation, Neutrality, Stalemate,(Silver) The Great Goddess, The Moon ORANGE Encouragement, Adaptability, Stimulation, Attraction, Energy GREENISH YELLOW Sickness, Cowardice, Anger, Jealousy, Discord With the tipof acleansed, terminated quartzcrystal, scratcha symbol of your need onto the candle. This might be a heart for love, a dollar sign for money, a fist for strength. Alternately, use an appropriate rune or write your need on the candle with the crystal. As you scratchor draw,visualize your needwith crystalclarity as if it had already manifested. Place the candle in a holder. Set the crystal near it and light the wick. As the flame shines, again strongly visualize. The crystal, candle and symbol will do their work. 1059 A SELF-DEDICATION RITE Prepare yourself by doing the Ritual Bath and Self Blessing. If you,reperforming this ritual at the sea or a river, bathe there if you so desire. As you bathe, prepare for the coming rite. Open your consciousness to higher levels of awareness. Breath deep. Cleanse your mind as well as your body. After bathing, dry and dressfor the journey. Go to aplace in the wild where you feel safe. It should be a comfortable spot where you won't be disturbed by others, an area where the powers of the Earth and the Elements are evident. It may be a mountain top, a desert canyon or cave, perhaps a dense forest, a rocky outcropping over the sea, a quiet island in the center of a lake. Even a lonely part of a park or garden can be used. Draw on your imagination to find the place. Youneed take nothingwith you buta vial ofrichly scented oil. Sandalwood, frankincense, cinnamon or any other scent is fine. When you arrive at the place of dedication, remove your shoes and sit quietly for a few moments. Calm your heart if you've exerted yourself during your travel. Breathe deeply to return to normal, and keep your mind free of cluttered thoughts. Open yourself to the natural energies around you. When you're calm, riseand pivot slowly on onefoot, surveying the land around you. You're seeking the ideal spot. Don't try to find it; open your awareness to the place. When you've discovered it (and you'll know when), sit, kneel or lie flat on your back. Place the oil on the Earth beside you, Don't stand - contact the Earth. Continue deep breathing. Feelthe energiesaround you. Callthe Goddess and God in any words you like, or use the following invocation. Memorize these words before the rite so that they'll spill effortlessly from you, or improvise: O Mother Goddess, O Father God, Answers to all mysteries and yet mysteries unanswered; In this place of power I open myself to Your Essence. In this place and in this time I am changed; From henceforth I walk the Paths of the Craft. I dedicate myself to you, Mother Goddess and Father God. (rest for a moment, silent, still. Then continue:) I breathe you energies intomy body, commingling, blending, mixing them with mine, that I may see the divine in nature, nature in the divine, and divinity within myself and all else. O Great Goddess, O Great God, Make me one with your essence Make me one with your essence Make me one with your essence. 1060 You may feel bursting with power and energy, or calm and at peace. Your mind might be in a whirl. The Earth beneath you may throb and undulate with energy. Wild animals, attracted by the psychic occurrence, might grace you with their presence. Whatever occurs, knowthat youhave opened yourselfand thatthe Goddess and God have heard you. You should feel different inside, at peace or simply powerful. After the invocation, wet a finger with the oil and mark the symbols of the Goddess and God somewhere on your body. It doesn't matter where; you can do this on your chest, forehead, arms, legs, anywhere. As you anoint, visualize these symbols sinking into your flesh, glowing as they enter your body and then dispersing into millions of tiny points of light. Theformal self-dedication is ended. Thank theGoddess and God for Their attention. Sit and meditate before leaving the place of dedication. Once home, celebrate in some special way. 1061 THE DAYS OF POWER In the past, when peoplelived with Nature, the turningof the seasons and the monthly cycle of the Moon had a profound impact on religious ceremonies. Because the Moon was seen as a symbol of the Goddess, ceremonies as adoration and magick took place in its light. The coming of Winter, the first stirrings of Spring, the warm Summer and the advent of Fall were also marked with rituals. The Witches,heirsof thepre-Christian folkreligions ofEurope, still celebrate the Full Moon and observe the changing of the seasons. The Pagan religious calendar contains 13 Full Moon celebrations and eight Sabbats or days of power. Four of thesedays (or,more properly, nights)are determinedby the Solstices and Equinoxes, the astronomical beginnings of the seasons. The other four ritual occasions are based on old folk festivals. The rituals give structure and order to the Pagan year, and also remind us of the endless cycle that will continue long after we're gone. Four of theSabbats - perhaps thosethat have been observedfor the longest time - were probably associated with the agriculture and the bearing cycles of animals. These are Imbolc (February 2), Beltane (April 30), Lughnasadh (August 1) and Samhain (October 31). These names are Celtic and are quite common among Witches, though many others exist. When careful observationof theskies led tocommon knowledgeof the astronomical year, the Solstices and Equinoxes (circa March 21, June 21, September 21 and December 21; the actual dates vary from year to year) were brought into this religious structure. Who first beganworshipping and raising energy atthese times? That question cannot be answered. However, these sacred days and nights are the origins of the 21 Craft ritual occasions. Many of thesesurvive todayin both secularand religiousforms. May Day celebrations, Hallowe'en, Ground-hog Day and even Thanksgiving, to name some popular North American holidays, are all connected with ancient Pagan worship. Heavily Christianized versions of the Sabbats have also been preserved within the Catholic Church. The Sabbats are Solarrituals, marking the points ofthe Sun's yearly cycle, and are but half of the Pagan ritual year. The Esbats are the Pagan Full Moon celebrations. At this time we gather to worship She Who Is. Not that Witches omit the God at Esbats - both are usually revered on all ritual occasions. There are 13 Full Moons yearly, orone every 28 1/4 days. The Moon is a symbol of the Goddess as well as a source of energy. Thus, after the religious aspects of the Esbats, Witches often practice magick, tapping into the larger amounts of energy which are thought to exist at these times. 1062 Some of the oldCraft festivals, stripped of theironce sacred qualities by the dominance of Christianity, have degenerated. Samhain seems to have been taken over by candy manufacturers in North America, while Yule has been transformed from one of the most holy Pagan days to a time of gross commercialism. Even the later echoes of a Christian savior's birth are hardly audible above the electronic hum of cash registers. But the old magick remains on these days and nights, and the Craft celebrate them. Rituals vary greatly, but all relate to the Goddess and God and to our home, the Earth. Most rites are held at night for practical purposes as well as to lend a sense of mystery. The Sabbats, being Solar-oriented, are more naturally celebrated at noon or at dawn, but this is rare today. THE SABBATS TheSabbats tell osone ofthe stories ofthe Goddessand God, of their relationship and the effects this has on the fruitfulness of the Earth. There are many variations on these myths, but here's a fairly common one, woven into the basic descriptions of the Sabbats. YULE The Goddess gives birth to a son, the God, at Yule (circa December 21). This is in no way an adaptation of Christianity. The Winter Solstice has long been viewed as a time of divine births. Mithras was said to have been born at this time. The Christians simply adopted it for their use in 273 C.E. (Common Era). Yule isa time of thegreatest darkness and isthe shortest day of the year. Earlier peoples noticed such phenomena and supplicated the forces of nature to lengthen the days and shorten the nights. Witches sometimes celebrate Yule just before dawn, then watch the Sun rise as a fitting finale to their efforts. Sincethe God is also theSun, this marks thepoint of the year when the Sun is reborn as well. Thus, the Witches light fires or candles to welcome the Sun's returning light. The Goddess, slumbering through the Winter of Her labor, rests after Her delivery. Yule is remnantof early rituals celebratedto hurry theend of Winter and the bounty of Spring, when food was once again readily available. To contemporary Witches it is a reminder that the ultimate product of death is rebirth, a comforting thought in these days of unrest 1063 IMBOLC Imbolc (February 2) marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God. The lengthening periods of light awaken Her. The God is a young, lusty boy, but His power is felt in the longer days. The warmth fertilizes the Earth (the Goddess), and causes seeds to germinate and sprout. And so the earliest beginnings of Spring occur. This is a Sabbat of purification after the shut-in life of Winter, through the renewing power of the Sun. It is also a festival of light and of fertility, once marked in Europe with huge blazes, torches and fire in every form. Fire here represents our own illumination and inspiration as much as light and warmth. Imbolc is also known as Feast of Torches,Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Snowdrop Festival, Feast of the Waxing Light, Brighid's Day, and probably by many other names. Some female Witches follow the old Scandinavian custom of wearing crowns of lit candles, but many more carry tapers during their invocations. Thisis oneof thetraditional timesfor initiationsinto covens, and so self-dedication rituals, such as the one outlined in this Book of Shadows, can be performed or renewed at this time. OSTARA Ostara (circa March 21), the Spring Equinox, also known as Spring, Rites of Spring and Eostra's Day, marks the first day of true Spring. The energies of Nature subtly shift from the sluggishness of Winter to the exuberant expansion of Spring. The Goddess blankets the Earth with fertility, bursting forth from Her sleep, as the God stretches and grows to maturity. He walks the greening fields and delights in the abundance of nature. On Ostara the hours of day and night are equal. Light is overtaking darkness; the Goddess and God impel the wild creatures of the Earth to reproduce. Thisis a timeof beginnings, of action,of planting spells for future gains, and of tending the ritual gardens. 1064 BELTANE Beltane (April 30) marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in Nature, He desires the Goddess. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms, and unite. The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God. Witches celebrate the symbol of Her fertility in ritual. Beltane (alsoknown as MayDay) has longbeen marked withfeasts and rituals. May poles, supremely phallic symbols, were the focal point of Old English village rituals. Many persons rose at dawn to gather flowers and green branches from the fields and gardens, using them to decorate the May pole, their homes and themselves. The flowers andgreenery symbolizethe Goddess; theMay polethe God. Beltane marks the return of vitality, of passion and hopes consummated. May poles are sometimes used by Witches today during Beltane rituals, but the cauldron is a more common focal point of ceremony. It represents, of course, the Goddess - the essence of womanhood, the end of all desire, the equal but opposite of the May pole, symbolic of the God. MIDSUMMER Midsummer, the SummerSolstice (circa June 21), also known as Litha, arrives when the powers of Nature reach their highest point. The Earth is awash in the fertility of the Goddess and God. In the past, bonfires were leapt to encourage fertility, purification, health and love. The fire once again represents the Sun, feted on this time of the longest daylight hours. Midsummer is a classic time for magick of all kinds. LUGHNASADH Lughnasadh (August 1)is thetime of thefirst harvest, whenthe plants of Spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops. Mystically, so too does the God lose His strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer. The Goddess watches in sorrow and joy as She realizes that the God is dying, and yet lives on inside Her as Her child. Lughnasadh, also known as AugustEve, Feast of Bread, Harvest Home and Lammas, wasn't necessarily observed on this day. It originally coincided with the first reapings. AsSummer passes, Witches rememberits warmth andbounty in the food we eat. Every meal is an act of atunement with Nature, and we are reminded that nothing in the universe is constant. 1065 MABON Mabon (circaSeptember 21),theAutumn Equinox,is thecompletion of the harvest begun as Lughnasadh. Once again day and night are equal, poised as the God prepares to leave His physical body and begin the great adventure into the unseen, toward renewal and rebirth of the Goddess. Nature declines, drawsback its bounty,readying for Winterand its time of rest. The Goddess nods in the weakening Sun, though fire burns within Her womb. She feels the presence of the God even as He wanes. SAMHAIN At Samhain(October 31),the Craftsay farewell tothe God. This is a temporary farewell. He isn't wrapped in eternal darkness, but readies to be reborn of the Goddess at Yule. Samhain, alsoknown as NovemberEve, Feast ofthe Dead, Feastof Apples, Hallows, All Hallows and Hallowe'en, once marked the time of sacrifice. In some places this was the time when animals were slaughtered to ensure food throughout the depths of Winter. The God - identified with the animals - fell as well to ensure our continuing existence. Samhainis a time of reflection, oflooking back over the last year, of coming to terms with the one phenomenon of life over which we have no control - death. The Craft feel that on this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is thin. Witches remember their ancestors and all those who have gone before. After Samhain, Witches celebrateYule, and so the Wheelof the Year is complete. 1066 Surely thereare mysteries buried here. Why is theGod the son and then the lover of the Goddess? This isn't incest, this is symbolism. In this agricultural story (one of many Craft myths) the everchanging fertility of the Earth is represented by the Goddess and God. This myth speaks of the mysteries of birth, death and rebirth. It celebrates the wondrous aspects and beautiful effects of love, and honors women who perpetuate our species. It also points out the very real dependence that humans have on the Earth, the Sun and the Moon and of the effects of the seasons on our daily lives. Toagricultural peoples, the majorthrust of thismyth cycle is the production of food through the interplay between the Goddess and God. Food - without which we would all die - is intimately connected with the deities. Indeed, Witches see food as yet another manifestation of divine energy. And so, byobserving the Sabbats, Witches attunethemselves to the Earth and to the deities. They reaffirm their Earth roots. Performing rituals on the nights of the Full Moon also strengthens their connections with the Goddess in particular. It is thewise Witch who celebrates on theSabbats and Esbats, for these are times of real as well as symbolic power. Honoring them in some fashion is an integral part of Witchcraft. THE ESBATS When our earliest ancestors first painted images of their religious rituals on the walls of sacred caves and understood all of Nature to be inhabited by Spirit, there can be little doubt that they first reckoned time by the waxing and waning of the Moon. The primary reason for this is that the monthly cycles of the Moon are far more visible than the slow and subtle changes in the position of the Sun, even to someone who is not especially looking for repeated cycles. One of the earliest calendars known (although its use is still a controversy that may never be settled) is a 30,000 year-old piece of bone from Europe. It is pierced with variously shaped holes in a series of sevens, suggesting the quarters of the Moon, in a loop design, which represents the Lunar cycle from New Moon to Full and back to the New or Dark of the Moon. The artifact, just a few inches across, describes three such Lunar cycles - three months or one season. Because there are 13 Lunar months in a year, and because the first New Moon does not necessarily coincide with the first day of the first Solar month, the Full Moon, midpoint of the lunar month, may not always fall in the Solar month that is given here. And because there are 13 Full Moons in a Solar year, one month will have two. The second Full Moon to occur in a Solar month is popularly called the Blue Moon. 1067 JANUARY To each Lunar monththe ancients assigned a namein accordance with the nature of the activity that took place at that time. The Moon of deepest Winter is the Wolf Moon, and its name recalls a time when our ancestors gathered close around the hearth fire as the silence of the falling snow was pierced by the howling of wolves. Driven by hunger, wolves came closer to villages than at any other time of the year, and may have occasionally killed a human being in order to survive. The wolf innorthern countries wasat one timeso feared thatit became the image of Fenris, the creature of destruction that supposedly will devour the world at the end of time. The Christian version of the myth would leave it at that, but the myth continues. Like the wolf in the fairy tale of Little Red Ridinghood, which preserves the full idea of the myth but is used only to frighten children, the wolf is slain; and the grandmother, like the world, is brought forth once more. As the lightof the new-born yearslowly increases andthe Wolf Moon waxes full, it is a good time to look back upon that which has just ended and learn from our experiences. Bid the past farewell and let it go in order to receive the year that has just been born. Learning to let go of that which we would cling to is one of the greatest secrets of magick. FEBRUARY The Moon followingthe Wolf Moonis the StormMoon. Whetheryou meet with a coven on the night of the Full Moon, salute Her in a solitary ritual, or simply blow Her a kiss, bear in mind the magick of this night and the nature of the storms of February. Unlike the boisterous storms of the light half of the year, which are accompanied by the clashing of thunder and the flinging of lightning bolts, the storms of February come in silence. They blanket the world in coldness in keeping with the nature of the dark half of the Wheel of the Year. But beneath the blanket of cold and silent snow, Nature rests, as we do when in the realm of the Spirit that is called death; and like those in the world of Spirit, Nature prepares for life anew. 1068 MARCH The Moon following the Storm Moon is the Chaste Moon. Like Diana, chaste Goddess of the Moon, all of Nature at this moment is pure potential waiting to be fulfilled. The Goddess has many forms: The maiden pure and lovely as the snow of February, the seductive enchantress of the night, or the Crone ancient and wise. As the Goddess can change Her form according to the Moon or according to Her will, ever renewing Herself, ever beginning again, se can we, Her children, always begin again by discovering new potential within ourselves. When you cast the Circle of the Chaste Moon, when the candles have been lit and the incense burned, look deep within yourself to discover what potential lies there waiting, like the Maiden, to be fulfilled. As it is the time forthe planting of seeds on the material plane, so may it be time to do so on the psychic planes as well. On the night that the Seed Moon (another name for the Chaste Moon) of March is full, cast your magick Circle. Then before the rite has ended, select the spiritual seeds you would like to plant. They may be seeds of wisdom, seeds of understanding, or seeds of certain magickal skills. Then by an act of will, plant these seeds in the fertile soil of your subconscious mind with the firm commitment that they will be nurtured and cultivated in the months that lie ahead, so that they will grow and flower and bear fruit. APRIL Asthe Hare Moonof Aprilwaxes full,observe therabbits leaping and playing, carefree in their mating and joyful in their games, and as you cast your Esbat Circle and joyfully dance the round, feel within your heart the carefree nature of the wild creatures that are also children of the Old Gods. MAY This time ofthe Sacred Marriage of the Godand Goddess is the Dyad Moon, the time when the two become one, when all things meet their opposites in perfect balance and in perfect harmony. As you cast your Circle this night of the Dyad Moon, adorn it with apple blossoms, and light candles of white. When the sacred round has been danced, sit a moment and reflect. Seek harmony in all things. As the dark half of the Wheel of the Year balances the light, as heat balances cold, recall the words of the Goddess, "Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence, within you." And then before the rite is ended, if it is appropriate, become one with your working partner, physically as well as spiritually. 1069 JUNE Afterthe spectacular flowers of May have passed and the bees have gathered their pollen and nectar, the hives are filled with honey that is waiting to be gathered. In ancient times much of this honey was made into a drink called mead by a fermentation process similar to that of making wine. The "Moon in June" is the Mead Moon. Mead has been considered to have magickal and even life-restoring properties in many of the countries of ancient Europe, and it was the drink of many of the great heroes of legend. Thelegendary figureRobin Hood, whois acceptedhistorically as being a composite of several peasant leaders during the reign of King Richard I, is also generally accepted by Pagans as being one of us. One reason is that Robin was a popular Witch name, and also because he was always described as being dressed in green, symbolic of the Green Man of Sherwood Forest. Lincoln green, which is made from woad, the dyestuff used by the Picts of ancient Britain and the Druid priestesses, is also a color that symbolizes, historically, the Pagan peasantry. Among the articles robbed from the rich by Robin Hood are "met and met." This probably means "meat and mead." In the myth of Odin, one of His quests is for the Poetic Mead of Inspiration, which He returns to the realm of the Gods where it belongs, but a few drops fall to Earth, and this may be had by anyone who can find them. Onthe night thatthe Mead Moonwaxes full, afterthe Circle has been cast and dancing done, fill the cup with mead (if it is available), sweet wine, or an herb tea sweetened with honey. Sip the sweet drink and sit quietly and make yourself a vessel ready to receive the inspiration of the higher realms. Become a mead cup ready to be filled, not with the brew of everyday life but with the clear, bright liquid of illumination. Every time this ritual is performed, even if there are no immediate results, you are becoming a more perfect vessel for divine inspiration. If the night of the Mead Moon is very close to the Summer Solstice, the results of this exercise can be very powerful. If the Mead Moon is full on Midsummer Night, then the priestess into whom the Moon is Drawn should be prepared. JULY As the Wort Moon of July waxes full, this is the time for gathering of herbs. The word wort is old Anglo-Saxon for "herb." When the magickal herbs have been gathered and hung to dry, the time of the Wort Moon is the time to give thanks to the spirits who dwell in the herb garden, and to leave them an offering. Perhaps as you place an offering in the moonlit garden, they will whisper to you other secrets of herbal magick. 1070 AUGUST One day atmid-month we realize that therobins and wrens that were nesting nearby have simply vanished. Their lovely songs have been replaced by the shrill calls of the bluejays, who were so silent during the nesting season. As August progresses the days are still hot but nighttime temperatures are beginning to cool, and the late afternoon thunderstorms that bring the cooler air also bring about the ripening of tomatoes. In thefields and meadowsand along roadsidesnow thereare wild herbs to be gathered. There are goldenrod, Queen Anne's lace, and milkweed - all awaiting the natural dyer who can extract from them tan, green, and bright yellow respectively, for dyes and for natural inks for talismans. Among the medicinal herbs to be collected at this time is boneset, which does not help broken bones to heal but is a febrifuge that was used as a remedy for "Breakbone Fever" in the 1840s. Milkweed pods with their silken fluff, goldenrod, and wild grasses and grains gathered now will be dried in time to adorn the altar at the Autumnal Equinox. As thearomatic herbs begin tofill the rafters inthe dry heat of the attic, and the braids of onions and garlic fill the cool darkness of the root cellar, the golden grain and yellow corn ripen in the fields under the waning August Sun. Tothe Ancients thiswas the Barley Moon,a time to contemplate the eternalness of life. Just as we are descended from the first woman and the first man, who descended from the Gods, so is the grain of the bread that we eat descended from the first grain ever gathered. By ritually eating the Lammas bread we are participating in a chain of events that stretches back through time to the Gods themselves. And here before us in the ripening fields is the promise of the future. Everywhere there is abundance -in herb garden, the vegetable garden, the field, and the orchard. The pantry shelves are lined with glistening glass jars that are filled with colorful fruits and vegetables preserved for Winter days; quarts of red tomatoes, cucumbers in slices or spears, dark red beets with cloves and cinnamon sticks, the yellow of corn, the orange of carrots - a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. The house is filled with delightful aromas as pickling spices are added to crocks of brine and exotic chutneys simmer on the stove. But thetime of abundance isdrawing to a close. The fireflies of June and July have given way to katydids, whose scratchy calls to one another fill the evening air of August with the promise of frost in six weeks. 1071 SEPTEMBER Sincewine was, and is, such asacred fluid, the Pagans of old naturally named this Lunar month the Wine Moon. As you celebrate the night of the Full Wine Moon and dance the magickal round in the moonlit Circle, pour some white wine in a silver cup. Before the rite is ended, if possible, catch Her reflection in the liquid, then take a sip. As the Moon-blessed wine casts its inner glow, sit quietly and feel your own spirit, of which the wine is a symbol. As the body is stilled and the spirit soars, feel on this night of magick a sense of the kind of transformation that takes place during true spiritual initiation. Today the term HarvestMoon is appliedto the Full Moonnearest to the Autumnal Equinox. This is because, it is said, in other times when harvesting was done by hand, as the days grew shorter farmers were able to work into the night in the brightness of Her light. OCTOBER Atthis timeof yearthe abundanceof fruit andvegetables begins to slow. It is a time when our ancient ancestors gathered what they could store and then supplemented their Winter diets either by hunting wild animals or by slaughtering domestic ones. So this Lunar month is called the Blood Moon. As you cast the Esbat Circle on this moonlit Autumn night and fill the cup with blood-red wine, know that you will be joined in the sacred dance not only by the unseen presence of departed friends and family so close at this time of year, but also by the spirits of animals as well, perhaps of those that have died so that we may have food. In this age of assembly line slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants, it is especially appropriate that on this night of the Blood Moon we who are on the Pagan path ritually ask the understanding of our animal sisters and brothers, bless them, and bid them merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again. 1072 NOVEMBER As theWinter Sun wanes andthe Snow Moon waxesfull, cast your Circle in the warm glow of candlelight. Salute the Moon in Her snowy whiteness and breathe in the coolness of Her light. Become as still as this Winter night, and know that the activity of the warm light months is behind us. Ahead are the dark months of the year. The Spirit is most active when the body is most still. DECEMBER The Full Moon nearestthe Winter Solstice is the OakMoon, the Moon of the newborn year, the Divine Child. Like the Divine Child who is born to die and dies to be reborn anew, the ancient Oak has its trunk and branches in the material world of the living, while its roots, the branches in reverse, reach deep into the Underworld, symbolic land of the Spirit. As the roots probe downward into the grave-like darkness of the Earth, its branches grow ever upward toward the light, to be crowned by sacred Mistletoe. At this most magickal time of the year, as the light of the old dying year wanes and the Oak Moon waxes to full, cast your Circle wearing Mistletoe in your hair. Let this token remind you that like the Oak, we too dwell simultaneously in two worlds - the world of physical matter and the world of Spirit. As you invoke the Goddess of the Moon, ask that you become ever more aware of the other side of reality and the unseen forces and beings that are always among us. 1073 Consciousness & Politics Below is rough draft overview of my "worldview" as presented in the book I'm working on "CONSCIOUSNESS AND POLITICS". It is definitely a "new age" interpretation of epistemology, metaphysics, metapsychology, ethics and politics. Comments welcome. EPISTEMOLOGY: (how we find truth) We must recognize that knowledge and truth will always be elusive and subjective. As Rupert Sheldrake points out, even "natural laws" seem to be evolving. They are not static and unchanging. A balance of intuition, reason and empirical methods must be applied in seeking knowledge in any field, though the appropriate balance of methods will depend on the field. And these can be used to prove that some viewpoints are more accurate than others, even if they aren't the "ultimate, final truth". Today humans are becoming aware that humans "construct" reality, create truth, rather than discovering it. Reality is not some objective, knowable entity created by God or natural law. It is an evolving, ever-changing process. Individuals know reality through their particular personal/social/political "psychic grid". What is important is for each of us to decide what psychic grid we choose to work from and how to change it if we choose. Each of us can create philosophically/emotionally gratifying reality. We don't have to just go along with what the power structure calls reality. METAPHYSICS: (the nature and purpose of reality) Consciousness is both the nature and the propose of reality. I choose to call the nature and purpose of reality "consciousness" because the new sciences show principles like consciousness operate throughout reality. At the subatomic level I equate the dynamic, yang force with imagination and will, and the integrating, yin force with memory and creativity. There is an inherent drive to evolve, for the propose of exploring full the potentials of consciousness, and, ultimately, to develop into fully self-conscious beings like ourselves. There may well be an ever evolving "morphogenetic field" of human consciousness. Individual consciousness survive and passes from body to body over many life times in a process known as "reincarnation". The concept of consciousness must replace the concept of god. For if we know that consciousness is the basis of reality, and if we relate that to the fact that we all have consciousness, then it is obvious to all that we are the personification of natural, not "divine" principles of reality. The word god just confuses people, making them think that there is some divinity apart from and above from themselves. Moreover, as experience has shown, the concept of god is so easily corrupted by authoritarianism as to be worse than useless -- ie. totally counter-productive. How many people have been persecuted and murdered in the name of this, that or the other "god"?? People of good will must recognize this and give up the word god. We are the product of our own conscious evolution for our own conscious purposes. We created ourselves -- and we did not create ourselves to live in ignorance of that fact or to make ourselves suffer!! 1074 METAPSYCHOLOGY: (spiritual psychology) We know that the human brain is really three brains: the original reptilian and mammalian brains controlling automatic and reflexive survival functions, and, heaped over these, the unique human "neo- cortex" which contains enormous intellectual and creative potentials. Humans do not have to be content to be ruled by their "lower brains," by their most basic needs for survival, procreation and status. Abraham Maslow points out there is a psychological need hierarchy. If humans remain stuck on fulfilling the lower needs (safety, belonging, esteem) and ignore fulfillment of the higher needs (self-actualization, humanistic values, peak experiences) they become frustrated, obsessive, and addicted -- to food, drink, sex, power, money. The need hierarchy and the concept of chakras describe essentially the same phenomena. Humans rise up the need hierarchy or chakras in 3 ways: 1) by being aware that they in fact exist; 2) by creating a culture which suggests simple, as opposed to extravagant, definition of what fulfillment of these basic needs are and then creates institutions which make sure these basic need are fulfilled; 3) by having myths, symbols, and rituals which reinforce the existence and fulfillment of all human physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Cultures worldwide have too little of the knowledge, attitudes and structures needed to boost us up our need hierarchies. However, through education and meditation humans can develop their higher brain, move up the need hierarchy, rise to higher consciousness. They can lose the desire for obsessive material accumulation, develop a tolerance for individual diversity, experience love and connectedness with all living things, give up the need to dominate, exploit or direct them, fulfill their individual potentials and even experience cosmic consciousness, cosmic ecstasy. ETHICS: (What values we should pursue, how we should act towards one and other) I believe in a yin-yang ethical system. One in which hedonism/self-actualization are the yang goals, and utilitarian "what's best for all" the yin goals. I believe our actions towards one and other must also be very "yin-yang". The yang is the libertarian view that the individual is free to do as she/he pleases as long as she/he doe not harm others. The yin is non-violence, cooperation and mutual aid. They are both necessary and totally complementary. 1075 POLITICS: We must begin to understand Gandhi's message that all conflicts - personal and political, individual and group, local, regional and global - should be resolved through non- violent mediation instead of police and military violence. Today's great nation states have been created and maintained by violence. Without violence they, would crumble, to be replaced by networks of non-violent communities. Individuals must be free to establish or choose their own ethical system and then join in free, self-governing communities with those who share those views. However, this "yang" commmunitarianism must be complemented by the "yin" values of non-violent conflict resolution between communities and mutual aid to all afflicted humans, whateve their community. Our means to creating this society should be nonviolent as the ends we seek. We should be assertive as possible, starting as soon as possible. 1076 A Mother's Day Message Everyone has a mother. She is usually regarded with much love and affection, as the benign, loving presence in our childhood. That is, unless she was abusive, in which case her kids usually write books about her later. But who could forget the apprehension and downright FEAR you'd have if you had pulled your sister's hair, or written on the walls with a crayon, or got caught snitching a cookie from the cookie jar. The fear was not that of an innocent victim of oppression, but of a wrongdoer facing just punishment. The fear and loathing would inevitably subside after your behind would stop smarting, and she'd be back to being Benevolent Mom again. As it is with our mother, so is it with the Earth Mother. Those who live in harmony with Her prosper, their needs met from Her bounty. Those who do violence to Her, however, risk Her wrath. The Mother is not just mild Demeter and sweet Parvati, but dark Hecate, the fierce Durga, and the absolutely horrifying Kali. She cares for us and loves us, and Her patience is near boundless. But Her patience has limits. We live in a time when more rape has been perpetrated on Her than in any other time of our existance as a species. Her Body has been defiled by mining and over-building. Her exhalations have been made foul by the smoke of cars and factories. And from Her Sacred Body, the Anglo has extracted what could be the seeds of our extinction--the Uranium used in both weapons production and nuclear power. The sacred Hopi prophecies speak of the world being defiled by "...a bowl full of ashes." This could mean the various atmospheric and underground detonations of nuclear weapons, or the accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. I believe that this Bowl Full Of Ashes is not only these, but refers to all the destruction we have wrought on Our Mother. I have had some information revealed to me, in a way that seems to suggest that the Mother was speaking to me, both through Big Dreams and through an uncanny transmission I got while hanging out at Sepulveda Dam Basin. This is not a boast--this is something which I simply HAVE to talk about. We who strive to walk in harmony with The Mother, be you Wiccan, or Shamanist, or just someone who cares, have an awesome responsibility. Putting it simply, we are the ONLY FORCE STANDING BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF EARTH AND HER RIGHTEOUS WRATH. Our efforts might not be entirely enough to stay Her fury, considering the dramatic upswing in natural disasters that have occured over the last 10 years, but it is obvious that WE MUST TRY. Shamanism has been "rediscovered" for a very basic reason. It means the possibility of healing this Planet and regaining awareness of Our Mother's will. We must guard against this tradition being bastardized and cheapened by those who commercialize these ways, and be very careful to not fall into the trap of honoring Mother to the point of forgetting the Sky Father, and forgetting that both Mother and Father are the ways that The Source Of All is revealed to us in a form we can understand. We must also be careful to whom we reveal information, being mindful that an unstable mind given some of this knowledge is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. But most importantly, Our Mother is calling us to restore our link with Her, and to work towards her healing. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Our very lives depend on it. For The Earth Mother...ALWAYS!!!!! Enju. Michelle Klein-Hass 1077 Memory, A Proposed New Model We will be usinga chart based on a simplified model of Laser Holography to look at the nature of consciousness and memory. This model will be very simplified, but necessitate a brief layman's introduction to the principles of physics involved in holography. It is no accident that mystics and wise men of all ages have often spoken about certain aspects of mental and spiritual activity, as well as knowledge in terms relating to light. Please keep in mind that this is a MODEL only, and will fall far short of expressing the true complexity of the subject. Holographic Imaging Model of Consciousness _____________ / /| / / | /____________/ | Laser [reference] | | | ______ Prism [beam] | OBJECT | / / | coherent |\->->->->->->-| | / / |>=>=>=>=>=| \ |___________|/ \ |)=>=>=>=>=| / \/ \_____| light |/\ / \/ \/ /\ \/ [working beam] \/ \ / [reflected image] \/ /\ \/ \ / \/ _______ \/_______ ____ ____ MIRROR SCREEN The characteristic of a laser that makes it so useful is that it is the source of "pure" or coherent light. "Normal" light is composed of many frequencies which are all jumbled together and out of phase. Try to picture the set of ripples generated in a still pool of water when just one pebble is dropped in. All of the wave crests are equidistant and in phase and highly regular, aren't they? This is analogous to laser light. Now picture the same pool, only toss in a random handful of pebbles, the results are quite different aren't they? This is analogous to "normal" light. The laser generates coherent light which enters a prism that splits the beam in two: (1) the Reference Beam, and (2) the Working Beam. The working beam is, in turn, reflected from a mirror and redirected back to the object being illuminated. When the wave fronts of the two beams collide on the surface, they create an "interference pattern" which is reflected to the screen or photographic plate. This interference pattern, when properly viewed, recreates the 3 dimensional image of the original object. At first look, one might well say: "O.K.,this works well for an explanation of a laser light show, but what bearing does it have on the operation and function of the human mind?" I see the symbolism in this model as follows: 1) The coherent light is the "light" or conscious(ness) energy of the Aether, sort of the "Universal Mind" if you will. 2> The Prism symbolizes two of the directional functions of the "Higher Self; that of illuminating both the object form its own standpoint, and of providing "light" (consciousness) for the Mirror. 3. The Mirror represents a function of the sub conscious mind in the creation of "attention" or focusing of consciousness on the world. 1078 4. The Screen (photographic plate) is the storage mechanism/process for what we call memory. Therefore the Prism, Mirror, and Screen may all be used to symbolize certain portions of the mind or mental processes in a human being. Because the Prism, Mirror,and screen are a part of the individual and unique to that individual, the actual "records" or memories (and consciousness) of the same event or object will vary a great deal form one individual to another. None of these functions exists in isolation from the others, so there is a process of "feedback" going on at all times between them. The nature of the recorded "images" will "color" and modify both the prism and the mirror, thereby modifying the quqlity of all future images, memories, or recordings. This is one of the reasons that memories of past events can color or distort our present perceptions of reality so thoroughly. One of our tasks (many would call it a "Great Work") in our lifetime is to try to "purify" or refine the quality of the Prism function, so that the "light" that forms the "working beam" is as close to identical in quality to the "reference beam" as possible. Some call this process tha attaining of consciousness of the Higher Self. Another task is to "polish" and learn control over the mirror function so that the reference beam may be directed more precisely and with little or (ideally) no distortion upon the objects/events of our attention. Yet a third task is to do our best to perfect the recording mechanism of the screen, in order that the meory- image be as faithful as possible to what was presented to it. Another point worth keeping in mind at this point is that ALL memories, no matter how distorted and/or "colored" are REAL to the individual possessing those memories. This fact may well explain the apparent anomaly of people suffering from PROVABLE no-existent abuse at an early age. If a traumatic and non-understood (or misunderstood) event occurs to an individual at an early age, the only recording will be one of trauma and an individual can be easily "talked into" (by self or others) putting that trauma into a frame of reference that can be presently understood. The fact That a meory is misunderstood, distorted, etc., does not make the any less "real" in their effect on the individual, and it must be dealt with as such. Another interesting point is that these "holgrams" or memory images can cometogether in a synergy where the sum of the parts becomes greater than the whole in a process of "constellation" (in Jungian terms) and form whole "complexes" which take on a (seeming?) life of their own. If these complexes are encouraged to grow and flourish, they can also be percieved by (some) others as some sort of "other worldly beings" and can be further fed and strengthened by others until they become Archetypal in nature. This process could well be the cause of many of the "Angels" and "Demons" of the Christian and other Pantheons. 1079 Some Magical Musical Selections This is a small listing of 'New Age' music derived in part from suggestions in the book 'Vision Quest' by Nevill Drury (Prism Press,1984), and my own limited personal experience. These albums almost all contain exclusively instrumental tracks, usually long & to varying degrees 'transcendental',suggestive of 'altered states'or just pleasant background music well suited for meditation, magick, etc. Fripp & Eno: Evening Star Edgar Froese: Aqua Ages Epsilon in Malaysian Pale Klaus Schulze: Irrlicht Cyborg Timewind Blackdance Moondawn Mirage Tangerine Dream: Alpha Centauri } in a boxed set: In the Beginning Zeit } Atem } Force Majeure Phaedra Rubycon Encore Stratosfear Brian Eno: Discreet Music Ambient 1: Music for Airports Ambient 3: Day of Radiance (by Laraaji; produced by Eno) Ambient 4: On Land Ash Ra Temple: New Age of Earth Join Inn Steve Halpern: Zodiac Suite Mike Oldfield: Ommadawn Incantations Tubular Bells Kay Gardner: Moods and Rituals Jade Warrior: Waves Robert Bearns & Ron Dexter: Golden Voyage Jan Garbarek Dis 1080 Kitaro: Oasis Paul Horn Inside the Great Pyramid Inside The Taj Mahal Philip Glass: Koyaanisqatsi (soundtrack) Einstein on the Beach (boxed set) North Star Glassworks Jean Michel Jarre: Equinoxe Oxygene Vangelis: Soil Festivities Ignacio A resource book of inner space music compiled by Anna Turner and Stephen Hill based on a selection of music played by KPFA, Berkeley over the last 10 years - 'The Hearts of Space Guide' is reportedly available from PO Box 31321, San Francisco, CA 94131 Anyone with other musical suggestions feel free to add to this list as you will. 1081 ASCII MUSICAL NOTATION developed by Leigh Ann Hussey with help from Shadowthought and Josh Gordon Each line of the music consists of 4 lines of music. The time signature(s), the lines between bars, and each note take up one column, with modifiers such as sharps, flats, and dots extending a note up to three columns. The time signature is written at the beginning in the obvious way. Three vertical bars (lines 2 to 4) mark the divisions between measures. Lines 1 to 3 indicate note durations, as follows: 1/16 1/8 1/4 1/2 dotted-1/2 1/8 1/4 note note note note note rest rest = _ | | | | | ' % | | | o o. Line 4 indicates the pitch. The numbers 1 to 8 mark the octave including middle C (A through F); 1' to 8', one octave above middle C; 1" to 8", two octaves above middle C; '1 to '8, the octave below middle C. A number followed by a # is a sharp; a number followed by a lower-case b is a flat. Underscores connecting a note to the next note indicate a slur. Consider the following examples: HOOF AND HORN | | | || 4 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | || - | | o | | | o | | | | | | | | o || 4 1 7b 1 | 1 7b 1 | 1 3b 2 7b | 7b 2 1 || Hoof and horn, hoof and horn, All that dies shall be re-born. Corn and grain, corn and grain, All that falls shall rise a- gain. PATIENCE/WAITING MEDICINE CHANT ____ | ____ | || 4 | | | | | | | | | | || - | | | o | | | | o | || 4 3' 5' | 5' 2' 2' 1' | 6__6 || Hey Yah Hey Hey Yah CALYPSO CHANGING CHANT (1) and (2) mark beginnings for round (1) _ _ | _ _ | _ _ | 5 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | - | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 4 3' 2' 1' 7 6__1' | 7 1' 2' 5 3'_1' | 3' 2' 1' 7 6__1'| We come from the fire, Living in the fire, Go back to the fire, (2) 1082 _ _ | | | _ _ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | o | o. o | o | | | | | | | | | | | 7 1' 2' 7 1' | 3' 4'| 5' 4' 3' 1'| 3' 3' 3' 3' 4'_4'| turn the world around! We come from the fire, Go back to the fire, _ _ || | | | | | || | | | | o || 2' 2' 7 7 1' || turn the world around. ADDITIONAL We come from the mountain, living in the mountain, VERSES: Go back to the mountain, turn the world around! We come from the mountain; Go back to the mountain, turn the world around! (Also: spirit, ocean, prairie, forest, river, water, etc.) I'm the hundreth monkey, we're a hundred monkeys, Be the hundreth monkey, turn the world around! Be the hundreth monkey, Be the hundreth monkey, turn the world around! AUM SHIVAYA VASHI ___ ___ | | ___ ___ | || 4 | | | | | | | | | % % | | | | | | | | | | % % || - | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | || 4 1 5 4 3 2 4 | 5 1 | '7 4 3 2 1 3 | 4 '7 || Aum Shiva--ya- Va-shi, Aum Shiva--ya- Va-shi, ... From Crowley: "Note that 'shi' means rest, the absolute or male aspect of the Deity; 'va' is energy, the manifested or female side of Deity. This mantra represents the whole course of the Universe, from Zero through the finite back to Zero." GOD/GODDESS CHANTS ____ | _____ | | _____ _____| | | _ | || 2 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ' | | | | || - | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | o || 4 1 1 1 | 1 1 1 |'7 '7 | 1 1 1 1 | 1 1 | 1 1 | '7 '7 | 1 || I-sis,A- star-te, Di- a- na, He- ca-te, De- me-ter,Ka- li, In-na- na. O-din,Cer-nun-nos, Merd-dyn,Man-na-nan,He- li-os, Shi-va, Horned One. 1083 From: Claudia Slate To: Zhahai Stewart Msg #35, 14-Jan-89 Subject: Re: Lilith In response to your request for information on Lilith, I looked her up in "The Woman's Encyclopedia ofMyths and Secrets" by Barbara Walker and published by Harper and Row. (1983). This book was strongly recommended to me by a Dallas parapsychology teacher, (male at that), who felt I might enjoy and benefit from this study of sexism, which is dealt with in the book from both historical and mythical viewpoints. I found this information, which I have paraphrased for the most part. Lilith, (also know as Lilit), was a relic of an early rabbinical attempt to assimilate the Sumero-Babylonian Goddess Belit-ili, or Belili, to Jewish mythology. to the Canaanites, Lilith was Baalat, the "Divine Lady". Hebraic tradition said Adam married Lilith because he grew tired of mating with animals, a common custom of Middle-Eastern herdsmen, though the Old Testament declared it a sin. Moslems were insistent on the male-superior sexual position and apparently Lilith was not Moslem, disagreed with Adam and flew away to the Red Sea. God sent angels to bring Lilith back, but she refused to return. She supposedly spent her time mating with "demons" and gave birth to "a hundred children a day". (Busy woman!) So God had to produce Eve as Lilith's more docile replacement. Lilith became the "Great Mother" of settled tribes who resisted invasions of nomadic herdsmen represented by Adam. Early Hebrews disliked the Great Mother who is said to have drank the blood of Abel after he was slain by Cain. Lilith's Red Sea was another version of Kali Ma's Ocean of Blood, which gave birth to all things. There may have been a connection between Lilith and the Etuscan divinity Leinth, who had no face and who waited at the gate of the underworld along with Eita and Persipnei, (Hades and Persephone) to receive the souls of the dead. The underworld gate was a yoni and a lily, which had no face. Admission into the underworld was often mythologized as a sexual union. The lily or lilu, (lotus) was the Great Mother's flower - yoni, whose title formed Lilith's name. The story of Lilith disappeared from the Bible, but her daughters, the lilim, haunted men for over a thousand years. The lilim were thought responsible for nocturnal emissions and the Jews still made amulets to keep away the lilim well into the Middle Ages. Greeks adopted the lilim and called them, Lamiae, Empusae, or Daughters of Hecate. Christians also adopted them and called them harlots of hell or succubae. They believed that Lilith laughed every time a Christian man has a wet dream. The Daughters of Lilith were supposedly very beautiful and presumed to be so expert at lovemaking that after an experience with one, a man couldn't be content with a mere mortal woman. 1084 From: Zhahai Stewart To: Claudia Slate Msg #83, 20-Jan-89 01:29pm Subject: Re: Lilith Thanks for the information about Lillith. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite answer my questions about Lillith, which are not so much what the myth or legend is, as how was it propagated down thru history to us? A while ago, someone here suggested that Lillith was expunged from the Christian Bible. Others, more knowledgeable about that than I, gave reasons that that was unlikely as a Christian era event, without postulating a monumental conspiracy. OK, if Lillith is at least as old as the bible, how did the myth or legend get propogated? Was there lost ancient written material? Or was it propagated orally for many generations even after some or many of the books of the old testament were written down? Or did it arise later? As for the lovemaking of the daughters of Lillith, sounds kinda fun. (Maybe we should ask David Rice about that?) Do the sons of Pan spoil mortal women as well? :-) Barbara Walker's Encyclopedia is interesting, but seldom gives very thorough sources. It is apparently worth keeping that grain of salt on hand. I just got her Tarot cards & book; pretty powerful images, I thought. I haven't tried a reading with them yet. Thanks for the info! B*B ~z~ --- * Origin: Adelante - 300 meters above Boulder, CO (Opus 1:104/93) From: Tony Iannotti To: Zhahai Stewart Msg #116, 24-Jan-89 10:52am Subject: Re: Lilith As I understand it, Lilith is said to be as old as the bible, because she is mentioned in the Mishna, a form of commentary on the Pentateuch. Whether she was ever in what is now canonical, i.e. Genesis per se, is hard to prove or disprove. The Mishna was an oral tradition for much longer. She has been identified with Ishtar in much the same ce" way as Mercury to Thoth to Wotan. I don't think there is a literal or philological connection. --- * Origin: OPERA DEII = BaphoNet-by-the-Sea (718)499-9277 (Opus 1:107/293) 1085 From: Antony Landsman To: Zhahai Stewart Msg #122, 10-Jan-88 03:58pm Subject: Re: Lilith > Have you any insight as to where the Lillith myth > originates? For example, what are the oldest documents > that mention Lillith? If indeed Lillith goes back at least > as far as the beginnings of the old testament, was that > myth carried verbally even while the rest of the Adam & Eve > show was written? Or did Lillith originate later? Lillith is mentioned in an esoteric Jewish text called the Midrash. It is a compilation of mystical interpretations surrounding the Torah (old Testament). It was handed down orally along with the rest of the Talmud and was written down in the middle ages when the Rabbis thought that these teachings might be forgotten. Apparently Lillith was created at the same time as Adam (see the initial reference to the creation of man "Man and Woman" he created them) but somehow disappeared from the scene due to her rebelious nature. I think that she was probably the primary Goddess in the region prior to the advent and revolution of the Jehovah followers. I also tend to believe that Innana was one of her descendants. Blessed Be --- QuickBBS v2.03 * Origin: Canyonlands BBS, Moab Utah: The most scenic place on Earth (1:15/27) From: Inanna Seastar To: Antony Landsman Msg #145, 25-Jan-89 07:32pm Subject: Re: Lilith The only Lilith likely to be found in _my_ family huluppu-tree is Lilith Velkor... :-) On a more sirius note (even though I don't use Sirius any more; I use Gnome), there is no question that Inanna is a third- or later-generation goddess in the Sumerian pantheon. I rather suspect that the image of Inanna as THE Goddess before whom all other deities at least swear a little fealty comes from Uruk. Inanna was the matron goddess of Uruk, and most of our legends and such concerning her were dug up (literally) in Uruk. The myth of the huluppu-tree shows a young Inanna, in a young Uruk, trying to get help from other deities of other, older cities to get rid of a problem that was too big for her to handle at the time. The problem is solved by Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, rather than by any foreigner. Likewise, the tale of Inanna & Enki & the _me's_ (civic virtues), shows a young goddess of a young city who has managed to elevate her city into the first rank. In winning the _me's_ from Enki, Inanna adds to them by the time she gets her virtuous cargo back to Uruk. I do not recall whether Lilith was formally mentioned as being in Inanna's lineage, though. Blessed Bheer--drinking Enki under the table-- Inanna 1086 --- Gnome v1.30 * Origin: The Lizard King--Inanna Seastar's Place (1:104/45.5) ZS> "As for the lovemaking of the daughters of Lillith, sounds ZS> kinda fun. (Maybe we should ask David Rice about that?) Er, were you interested in some phone numbers? It's extreamly hard work to love a daughter of Lilith, but the rewards are undeniably worth it. I've started an extended study on strong Lilith women vs. the domesticated Eve ones. So far, with only about 18 tallies in (painstakingly and personaly researched with great, er, debauch, with plans on adding many hundreds of more into the study), the following has been observed: Most American men give out long before the Lilithian woman (or any other) will. Lilith will say "Excuse me, kind sir," (as she can't remember his name at the moment). "You're not finished, are you?!" and Eve will say "Gee, that was great!" and reach for the batteries and flee into the bathroom for an hour. Lesbians tend to be strongly Lilithian. This may be because "the only thing men are good FOR they aren't good AT," as the true and valid saying goes. Also, most if not all men are little cry babies, and Lilith can't stand for that nonsence. Conversly, Eve women always knew men make horrible lovers, but resign themselves to 4 minutes of sex twice a week, when they'd rather have 16 hours of sex every day. This is why, perhaps, Eveian women make such good Catholics. If your typical male pig says, rightly, that a woman's place is in the bed, Lilith will say "Eat shit and die!" and Eve will say "Yes, dear," and hate herself. 1087 The WICCAN INFORMATION NETWORK What is WIN? The Wiccan Information Network is a project of the Wiccans Invoking Tolerance, Compassion, and Harmony Society (W.I.T.C.H.). The WITCH Society is a registered society in the province of British Columbia. The WITCH Society works to support the right of Pagans (including Goddess Worship- pers) and Witches to practice their faith as they see fit, as it falls within the Craft, civil, and criminal law and does not infringe in any way on the rights of others. WITCH is working toward the return of the Wiccan and Pagan religions as respected faiths in society through education via the media and by public discussion. The Wiccan Information Network is a non denominational Wiccan project sponsored by the WITCH Society. The WIN project is coordinated by the police liaison committee of WITCH. The WIN coordinators are responsible for coordinating the efforts of those involved in the project. WIN is made up of Wiccans from all over North America and includes many Wiccans who are law enforcement officers. What are the objectives of WIN? The objectives of the Wiccan Information Network are: 1. To monitor anti-Wiccan activities, groups and individuals; 2. To research occult related crime; 3. To distribute this intelligence to those in the Wiccan community that are affected by it; and 4.To liaise with law enforcement agencies in order to provide them with accurate information on Pagan religions and occult related crime. How does WIN work? The WIN coordinators have assigned area coordinators to specific regions in the US and Canada. WIN members forward any anti Wiccan infor- mation that they come across to their area coordinators. These coor- dinators investigate this information and forward it to: 1) Pagan groups in their areas affected by this information; 2) Area coordinators of other areas affected; and 3) The WIN coordinators. The WIN coordinators analyze and collate all intelligence received and assign area coordinators to follow-up tasks if necessary. The WIN coor- dinators send out a monthly intelligence summary to WIN members. 1088 What else does WIN do? The Wiccan Information Network also: 1) Publishes information booklets and manuals for law enforcement investigators; 2) Publishes resource directories for those seeking information or speakers on Pagan beliefs or occult related crime; 3) Arranges public speaking engagements in order to brief members of the Pagan community on the subjects studied by WIN. Do I have to join WIN to participate? No. You don't need to join WIN to help us. All that you need to do is send us any information, newspaper clippings, articles, etc. that you feel we should be aware of. We'll make sure this information gets to the right people. Who receives the monthly WIN intelligence summary? Only WITCH Society members, WIN project members, selected Pagan newsletters and Pagan organizations affiliated with WIN receive the monthly intelligence summary. You cannot subscribe to it, for security reasons. If you'd like to become a member of WITCH the current dues are $25 (Canad- ian) per annum, which includes notice of meetings by mail and subscription to the WITCH Society newsletter. A copy of the WITCH constitution and bylaws is available upon request if you send a stamped and self addressed envelope. How can I become involved in WIN? You don't have to belong to WITCH to be a part of WIN, although it is preferred. If you are interested in becoming a part of WIN you should contact the WIN coordinator with a r‚sum‚ of your previous experience in anti defamation work for the Wiccan community. Organizations or newslet- ters interested in obtaining WIN intelligence summaries should contact the WIN coordinator in writing and send information on their constitution and editorial policies. Donations to assist us in our work are greatly appreciated. All donations should be forwarded to the WITCH Society and all checks should be made payable to the WITCH Society. Wiccan Information Network, W.I.T.C.H. Society, Box 2422, Main Post Office, c/0 2708 Belmont Ave., Vancouver, BC, V6B 3W7 Victoria, BC, V8R 4A8 1089 Date: 01-23-91 22:45 An Open Letter to Selena Fox by Isaac Bonewits Dear Selena: ... A few months ago I received a mailing from Circle in which you asked for (a) money to finish paying off the mortgage for the land Circle has been buying for many years, (b) suggestions for fund raising methods, and (c) "ideas and suggestions" as to how Circle should grow. I also read the mailings put out earlier this year by the "revolutionary" members of Circle, including the transcript of the meeting between them, yourself, and your lawyer. Confused, puzzled, and pained, I talked to you and to your supporters and opponents, including former workers at your headquarters. The more I learned, the more disturbed I became. Apparently, you are an intensely private person and have always resented people looking at what you consider your personal business. Yet my concern for Circle is not gossip, nor is it (as you put it to me) "sticking my nose where it doesn't belong." Circle is large, international, and has served a unique networking function in our community. If you don't know by now that what happens to you matters to us all, and that you have become a "public figure" in our community, then you've seriously underestimated your own importance. For many, many Neopagans, Circle was a doorway to the Goddess and to Her people. Our community would be considerably smaller, if it hadn't been for the work that Circle did for so many years. That you have been one of the most widely respected, loved, and trusted leaders in the Neopagan community, makes this letter especially painful to write. Circle was one of the first groups to buy land for Neopagan use. For years I championed your cause, both because I felt that land purchases were an inevitable evolutionary step for our community and because of the undeniably good work you had done as a networking organization. I recommended you to correspondents who wanted contacts and pointed you out as an example of a Neopagan group that had obtained real estate without getting corrupted. I no longer feel that I can support you or Circle, or advise others to do so. The change in my attitude has come about slowly, over a period of several years, with the recent events crystallizing my perceptions. Things add up... After years of correctly telling folks at gatherings not to take photographs of people without their permission, especially during rituals, you still run around during ceremonies (ignoring the spiritual energies being raised and focussed), or even at skyclad bonfire dances, snapping pictures for your slide collection and Circle Network News. Some of those slides have been shown to strangers all around the country, other photos were published in C.N.N. and even in non-Pagan publications -- at least some without the consent of the people depicted. This is only one example of an apparently pervasive attitude you seem to have that the rules you impose on others simply don't apply to yourself. 1090 Other examples: After refusing to pay the expenses of other Neopagan teachers to attend and speak at Circle's well-financed events, you always demand red-carpet treatment for yourself and your husband to attend and present workshops at events held by others. Despite being constantly recommended by other Neopagan individuals and organizations, you seldom recommend any teacher or group other than yourself and Circle. After building the "Church of Circle Wicca" as one of the most famous Wiccan churches in the world, you unilaterally decided this year to drop "the W word" -- a position I tend to support for the community at large, but one which seems to leave your thousands of Wiccan members without a voice. You then attempted to declare a copyright on the wide-spread concept of Nature mysticism. Circle has a reputation as an all-inclusive Neopagan networking organization, yet former Circle workers agree that, for at least five years, you discouraged them from giving networking contacts to inquirers, instead having them sell the Circle Guide to Pagan Groups and ads in C.N.N. Apparently this was originally because doing referrals took too much time out of the limited number of volunteer-hours you had available, yet you never announced to the community that you had stopped providing local Neopagan contacts, or what you had decided was a higher priority. Worse, after a loud argument with one of Circle's critics, you censored his organization's listings out of the 1990 Guide. Even if this was done with his consent (as one witness claims), it was grossly inappropriate for a reference work that many people believe to be a complete listing of Neopagan resources. You bought Circle Sanctuary with donations sent by thousands of Neopagans, originally claiming that it would be open and available for general use by the community, and then fenced it about with so many restrictions that it has become essentially your private property. A half-dozen ex-workers at Circle agreed that it was nearly impossible for ordinary Neopagans to visit "their" sanctuary for religious purposes without providing money and/or free labor to you at the same time. Amazingly enough, one couple on the west coast claims that after donating over $5,000 to Circle they were refused permission to visit the land because they had a small child with them! Circle's by-laws have never been published, so no one knows for sure who is or isn't a "member" of Circle for voting purposes, nor how your board of directors gets elected. You told me that there have been and are other members of your board of directors (besides yourself, your husband Dennis and your lawyer), but declined to give me the current names. Your opponents tell me that this "secret board of directors" is a story you've told for years, but I was able to verify the names of two people who have been directors in the past. Apparently your policy is simply to have the board consist of you, your spouse (first Jim and now Dennis) and one other person -- a handy way to make sure that you retain majority control. 1091 There are also legitimate questions about the enormous sums of money that have flowed through your hands over the years. I have been informed, by extremely reliable sources, that you have used one of Circle's checking accounts as a personal one, that normal financial books don't exist and never have, that Dennis' education has been paid for in large part out of Circle's general funds, and that he forbid workers at your headquarters to open the mail because they had been asking questions about incoming bank statements. Further, Dennis has been quoted mentioning a secret fund that would provide for your personal survival, should Circle ever fold. When I brought some of these allegations up to you in our conversation, you denied a few of them directly and evaded responding to others. As an investigative journalist and a concerned member of the Neopagan community, I have no way of knowing how many of these very serious accusations against you may be true -- but without published financial reports, neither does anybody else! Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to Circle over the years, yet no one seems to know where it has all gone, and you're not saying. You told me that neither federal nor Wisconsin law requires you to file or publish financial reports. Yet hadn't it ever occurred to you that sooner or later the people who had been giving you all that money would want to know what you had done with it -- and that they would have a moral right to know? When the broken-hearted people who thought they were members of Circle tried to confront you over these issues of power and accountability, your response was to bring in a lawyer who reacted to all criticism and questioning with threatened lawsuits. At that meeting you danced around the issues that people brought up, never giving a straight answer to any question. Instead you focused on your anger towards those who had used Circle's mailing list to share their fears and concerns. Your comments on all of this in Circle Network News omitted most of the serious criticism that had been laid against you and Circle, and implied that nothing negative was happening. Your phone conversation with me consisted of a few direct denials, dozens of evasions, efforts to pump me for my sources, and repeated threats of unspecified legal and other troubles for me and my organization (Ar nDraiocht Fein: A Druid Fellowship, Inc. -- "ADF") if I persisted in my plans to publish the results of my investigation. This behavior is not what we expect from a world-famous Neopagan organization run by someone many consider to be a Neopagan saint. What has gone wrong? I am inevitably reminded of the scandals surrounding the P.T.L. organization and the fact that no Christian leader was willing to criticize the Bakkers until after the media exposed them. The scandal almost destroyed the entire field of televangelism. That might seem good to Neopagans, but now the shoes are on our feet. 1092 Now it's one of our leaders who seems to be behaving in an unethical and irresponsible manner. What should we do, Selena? Should we all be silent and pretend that nothing is wrong, while we hope for your problems to go away by themselves? Should we wait until Circle blows up in our faces, strengthening the biases of those who are opposed to the very idea of large public Neopagan churches? Should we wait until you are investigated by hostile outside forces, making it infinitely harder for other Neopagans to get fair treatment -- and no doubt leading to yet another fund-raising campaign to protect you from "anti-Pagan persecution"? Most importantly, would such inaction on our part benefit the community or the Earth? I'm not saying that ADF and I are perfect in regard to all these issues. ADF's finances were confused for several years, first because I was paying out of my own pocket for most of our expenses (and seldom kept receipts), and later because our bookkeeper was an inexperienced volunteer (now we have a professional accountant on the Board). We have not always delivered on time the products or publications that we promised our members. But, by the Gods, when we have made mistakes, we have admitted it. We publish our by-laws so that all our members know the rules to our game, we print financial statements to let our members know how their money is spent, and we make available the minutes from our Board meetings so everyone will know how and why decisions are made. When our members have offered legitimate complaints about how we have handled things, we have listened carefully and then tried to respond appropriately. I will admit to some envy of you and Circle. When I think of all the good that might have been accomplished by ADF (or by any of a dozen other public Neopagan churches) if we had one-half of your income, I get both sad and angry. I've spent my entire adult life, as have other Neopagan leaders, living far below the economic level that my skills could earn me, surviving on an income less than that of most members of the Neopagan community -- just so I could devote myself to the work I believe the Gods want me to do. It infuriates me to see enough money flowing into Circle to staff three Neopagan churches with full-time clergy, vanishing into fairyland without a trace. Of course it's obvious, to everyone who knows you, that you and Dennis are not living luxuriously. This makes the vanishing money all the more puzzling. I realize that you are not going to appreciate my criticism and that I am now on your enemies list for the rest of my life. It doesn't matter. I would be betraying both the Earth Mother and my own principles if I didn't speak out before matters get even worse. You have publicly asked for suggestions as to how Circle should grow. You've said that you want to put the past behind you and concentrate, as always, on "positive energies." OK, here are some positive steps you and Circle could take: Start by admitting, in your own publications, so that all your followers will hear you, that Circle has made some serious mistakes and that you are a fallible human being. Adopt and publish a set of by-laws that lets people know who the 1093 members of Circle are, and what voting rights, if any, they may have. Put several more people on your Board of Directors and publish their names, and let us all know how and why they got there. They don't all have to be in your local area -- telephone conference calls work just fine for Board meetings. If you haven't already done so, open a separate personal checking account for yourself and your husband. Have someone other than you or Dennis write the checks for Circle. If you've both taken vows of poverty to the church, and are therefore entitled to be supported by it, say so. Hire a full-time bookkeeper (you can afford the wages), and publish quarterly financial reports. Hire a C.P.A. to run an inventory on all Circle's property and publish the results. Publish the details on all the land payments you have made and how much is still owed. Design, publish and implement a training system for your clergy so that someone other than you and Dennis can be leaders someday. Make sure that you both genuinely qualify under the training system standards yourselves. If you're going to continue to present Circle as a networking organization, put all your names and addresses into a database, add confidentiality safe- guards as requested, update the list frequently, and share this data with those who write in and request it. Otherwise you should announce to the community that you aren't doing referrals anymore, and why. Publish a detailed explanation of your policies for controlling access to the Circle Sanctuary so that people who have donated money will know under what circumstances they may use the land they have paid for. Except for the last point, these are all things that we in ADF have done or are now trying to do. Many other Neopagan groups have done some of them. They are normal for most mainstream churches, large and small. Your local Unitarian Universalist congregation can probably give you advice on the details. Or you could ask the folks at any of a dozen other large Neopagan groups, most of whom have been doing these sorts of things for years. When I talked to you on the phone, you said that you were planning on publishing by-laws and financial reports, and making other major changes, before the end of the year. You said that turning 40 (as I did last year) and other brushes with mortality had turned your thoughts towards setting up Circle to run without you. Yet I find it hard to believe that you will take the necessary steps without the glare of a community spotlight being focussed on you -- hence this open letter. If you can prove me wrong and make all the organizational changes that are necessary to turn Circle into something we can all be proud of again, I will be delighted. Perhaps more important than these organizational steps, you might consider taking a sabbatical for a year or two, and turning Circle over to someone you still trust. You need to get back in touch with your roots, with the ideals that brought you to Neopaganism in the first place. 1094 But don't expect people in the Neopagan community to continue sending you hundreds of thousands of dollars until you have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Circle is open, honest, democratic, and financially responsible. May the Gods bless, heal, and inspire you. --Isaac A PS to my fellow Neopagans: I'm sure that the preceding opinions have shocked and offended many of you, especially those of you who love Selena. It is only after much meditation and pain that I have decided to publish this letter as widely as possible in the Neopagan community. We need to discuss the issues in depth, both to help heal Circle and to prevent such trouble from happening again to other groups. Perhaps we need to develop a detailed code of ethics for running the increasing number of public Neopagan churches. Perhaps we need a fair and practical listing of what sort of behavior we expect from our leaders -- as part of a "Neopagan Common Law." I hope that you will meditate upon the issues and discuss them with your friends. Ask the leaders of any large Neopagan group you may belong to whether they have taken steps similar to those I have suggested to Selena. Then write to the publication in which you read this. Send a copy of your thoughts to Selena at Circle, P.O. Box 219, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572. Send another copy to me at P.O. Box 9420, Newark, DE 19714, marked "Circle Controversy." The editor of The Druids' Progress has agreed to publish a fair representation of the responses in the next issue of D.P., along with any reply that Selena may care to make. Please don't respond to this open letter by criticizing me or ADF. As I have admitted many times in the past, I have feet of clay going up to my waist, have a gigantic ego, and have made many mistakes in running ADF and other Neopagan organizations over the years. My virtues or vices are not relevant to the situation at Circle, nor is my rudeness in pointing matters out in public that many would prefer to keep private. Circle's current problems represent an inevitable growth stage, not just for itself and Selena, but for the community as a whole. As our population soars, we are faced with important questions about power, accountability, and ethics. Whether or not Selena is willing to honestly and openly address the issues, it's about time that the rest of us started thrashing them out. Perhaps after discussing this with your friends, you may want to make some changes in your own groups. Indeed, the situation at Circle has already sparked some major policy revisions and new by-laws for ADF and other Neopagan churches as well. I'm definitely not saying that Neopagans should stop giving money to our growing number of public Neopagan churches. After all, large scale acti- vities do require large scale resources. What I am suggesting is that we boycott groups who ask for large donations (or small ones constantly), until we see their by-laws, financial reports, and minutes of their board meetings. This is the simple sort of common sense that any consumer advocate would advise. If we're going to give financial, emotional, political, or magical support to a 1095 group, let's make sure that it's being run in a publicly accessible, honest, and responsible manner. Otherwise, we're no wiser than the folks who kept the Bakkers in business for so long. Let's all pay careful attention to Selena's response to this open letter. Will she send out a mass mailing telling her followers that everything is fine and to "think positive"? Will she try to sue me for daring to voice concerns held by many? Will she publish negative gossip about me (there's plenty available) in an attempt to discredit my criticism and avoid answering my questions? Will she simply ignore this letter, knowing that the vast majority of her support comes from new members of the community who will not have read it? Or will she deal forthrightly with the issues involved and open Circle up to democratic participation by its members? Only time will tell. On a personal note, I'd like to ask the members of the Neopagan community to stop expecting our leaders, national or local, to be infallible, impeccable, infinitely strong, Neopagan saints. Almost all of us come from dysfunctional families, are survivors of various forms of abuse, and/or have had problems with addiction, obsession, or eating disorders. We are all subject to depression and professional burnout. This is the same profile shared by clergy in other religions and people in other helping professions. As leaders, we need your love, your understanding, and your support (financial, emotional, and spiritual). We also need your compassionate and thoughtful criticism to warn us when we start to go off the deep end. Hubris, the overwhelming pride that offends the Gods, can be caused by uncritical followers as easily as by our own egos, with disastrous results for our whole community. As Selena has shown us. ******************************************************************* This open letter and PS are (c) 1990 by Isaac Bonewits, and were first published in The Druids' Progress #7 (Fall '90). The opinions expressed are those of the author only and do not necessarily represent those of ADF, Inc., nor of any other organization. Permission to reprint is hereby granted to all Neopagan media, including electronic BBS's, if no editing is done and this notice is included. 1096 The Magickal Pyramid Daring Silence ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ þ ³ ³ ³ ³ ³ ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ Knowledge Will To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent To Know: Knowledge is the first key in any magickal working. We must know what we want to do, and how to do it with skill. To Will: The focus of will provides the external energy necessary to do Work. To Dare: This is the "doing" of the magickal operation, sometimes not without risk or effort. To Keep Silent: Do not "diffuse" the energies of ANY working by "talking it to death", PARTICULARLY with those not directly involved or con cerned with the operation. These four elements form a dynamic interaction with each other and the work or object of the work represented by the "Point" of the pyramid if you visualize this diagram in three dimensions, rather than the two of the computer screen. These seem to be fundamental principles for group ritual as well as solitary spellwork. 1097 The Thorn Ritual The Runic Sub-Committee of the Orgone Committee has been working on many facets of the Runic Magical System in the past four years. The following ritual is the result of many months of discussion and work. May it serve you well. Set-up: One's Runic Wand (or fingers if one is not available) A place in which to cast the circle... Meditation on the aspects of the Thorn (Thuriaz) Rune Sit quietly in the space in which the cirle is to be cast. Meditate on the various aspects of the Thorn rune (consult various sources such as Thorrson's Futhark, F. Asswyn's Tree Yggdrasil, and N. Pennick's Runic Astrology). Concentrate on the passive and active protective aspects of the force embodied int the Thorn Rune. Stand Facing North. Assume the Isa stance, hands at side and feet together. Visualize yourself as an antennae for the forces of the Multiverse. Feel the forces flowing through you from above and below. Let the energy flow through your body from the floor and the sky passing your solar plexus and energizing it. When you feel that the energy is flowing smoothly through your body visualize the space around you as deep blue. The deep blue of the late night sky. Shimmering with energy. Scintillating as you look in to it. Inhale evenly and deeply from you diaphram (letting your stomach expand and contract with your breath. Do not allow your upper body to be moved by the intake of breath. Let the sides of your mid section and the back of your midsection expand and contract with your breath. Breath fully and calmly. Let the breath energize your cells. Feel the energy adding to the energy raised with the Isa meditation. Trace the Hammer of Thor with your dominant hand using the wand or your fingers... I I I I _______________ As you trace the Thorn, say (vibrate) the word Thorn (or Thuriaz if you are using the Norse name). Visualize the energy flowing from you solar plexus, through your hand/wand, tracing the rune. Turn to the East and repeat the invocation. Then to the South then to the West. Then Above you, then below you. Turn to the North (if not already standing in that direction) and say: Thorn in the North, Hallow and hold this Holy Stead. Do this for the other five Thorns you have invoked. Having invoked the six points of the circle, we will be invoking 1098 a thorny circle of briar in four parts. Each "string" will be invoked as long as you can say the word Thorn. When your breath runs out then one shoud inhale and begin another string, until you have scribed four interlacing, intricate strings of ethric briar. You will be tracing these strings so as to create a ball similar to yarn. As you are tracing the strings of briar, visualize the briar as being covered with sharp, pointy, nasty looking thorns. Invest these thorns with the power to keep out unwanted influences. O.K. now. Stand facing North. Inhale and as you exhale vibrate the word "Thorn" make the vibration of the name last as long as you have breath. As you are saing the word trace briar in a circle around you. Visualize the stream of briar comming out of the end of your wand/finger. Trace the briar in any way you want. I am fond of dancing in spirals, spinning in cirlces, moving my hand in the way an artist would with a pencil if they were in a globe of canvas... When your breath runs out from the first "Thorn", inhale and invoke that name again..."TTTTTTHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRNNN NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN", drawing a string of briar around the inner surface of a globe, forming a globe of briar with your actions. Remember to see what is already there and fill in the spaces you have yet to get to. When you are out of breath again, inhale, and begin the third string of Briar...Don't forget to get the space over your head and below your feet. Make wide sweeping motions, small scribbly motions. Let your enjoyment of movement arouse more energy, feel the energy flowing through you, through your hand, and coming out in the stream of briar. When you are out of breath inhale, and invoke the Thorn one last time. Make sure to get all of those places that have not been covered. Don't worry about small spaces, just make sure that there are no large gaps in the ball of briar you have just make. Fix the holes with this last invocation. As you finish this last invocation of Thorn, stand facing North. It is not uncommon to feel both exhiliarated and exhausted by this process. Stand, with feet apart and hands spread over your head. Breath deeply. Visualize the glowing ball of briar...see it, its green tendrils intertwining, feel the vibrance of its life force, a force that you have given to it. Breath deeply, calming yourself... While standing with your feet apart, arms upraised in a "Y" inhale, and as you exhale feel your energy flowing through the orb of briar, and see, as you energize the orb, the thorns grow. See the thorns, browinsh and reddish, getting larger and closing up the small spaces that existed between the strings of briar. Feel the spaces being blocked off. See the blue of the space around you, see the orb of thorny briars...Keep the thorns growing until you feel that the orb is complete and capable of keeping out any unwanted influences. Infuse the orb of briar with the ability to repel unwanted energies and permit those energies desired. Stand in a comfortable position. We are near the end of the ritual. The invocation of the God/desses. Stand in the Isa position. Say IIIIIISsssssssss. Stand in the As (Anuz) position. Say Odhinn. Stand in the Beorch position. Say Urdh. Stand in the Ing position. Say Freyr. Stand in the Foeh position. Say Freya. Stand in the Thorn position. Say Thorr. Stand in the Isa position. Breath deeply. Thank the God/desses 1099 silently. Feel the Orb of Thorns surrounding you. Begin your in your circle. Certain parts of the ritual were taken from Thorrson's Hammer Rite. But the ritual is mostly original. The God/dess names at the end can be altered at your behest but try to keep Odhinn First, Freya in the middle, and Thorr last. I will be posting meditations for the Runic God/desses to help with the last part of this ritual. May your path be filled with Wisdom and Wonder, Blessings of the Aesir and Vanir, Faunus, The Runic Sub-Committee of The Orgone Committee 1100 SOLITARY MOON RITE By: Ellen Reed, Coven of Sothistar This rite may be used for either New or Full Moon. The difference is in your meditation and mental attitude in preparation. Remember that the New Moon is a time of outward work and thought, building to the peak which is the Full Moon. At the Full Moon, you should be prepar- ing to lessen the outward flow of energy, bit by bit, until the period before New Mo on, during which you are passive, building a pool of energy within you, in preparation for the New Moon. The altar should be placed in the center of the ritual area. On it should be placed a rose or stick of incense on the eastern side, a red votive candle to the South; a cup of water on the West, and a bowl of salt or living plant on the North. Around your ritual area, you should place an unlighted candle at the cardinal point of each direction. To begin your rite, enter your darkened temple, carrying one burning candle, white or lavender, with you. Place it on the center of your altar, sit, and meditate on the meaning of the rite. When you feel the time is right, stand, and go to the eastern point, carrying with you, the burning taper. Light the votive at the eastern point and go to the southern, picturing, as you do, an arc of pure strong light curving from one candle to the next. Continue to the West, and then to the North, lighting the candles as you go, and then walk to your eastern candle again, having formed a circle of pro tective light surrounding the area in which you worship. Return to the center of the circle, replace the candle on the altar, and say: My Lady of the Moon, who is called Diana, Artemis, Levanah, Isis and by any other names, I come to you to bring you my love and my devo- tion. May you grant me the joy of your presence. Mentally divide the room into four quadrants by visualizing a line of silvery moonlight from the southeast to the northw est, and from the northeast to the southwest. Go the East, taking with you the rose or incense. Say: Sweet Goddess, the gentle breeze is the touch of your loving hand, the wind of storm a reminder of your strength. The s ound of the trees in the wind is your voice, and the fragrance of flowers borne on the wind is your gift of beauty. Place the rose next to the votive candle, then stand there as you picture the quadrant filling with moonlight. See the moonlight streaming quietly and gently into the room, filling the quadrant from center point to the edge of your circle. When this is complete, take the red candle to the South. Place the gift and see the quadrant fill with moonlight. Say: Most loved Lady, the light of the candle is a guide along our path leading to you; its warmth the reassurance of your presence and your