The Meaning of Eostre

Within modern Paganism these days an alternative name for the Spring Equinox is that of Eostre.  When I initially underwent my studies in contemporary Wytchcraft back in the 1990s, the only alternative name that I was aware of for the Spring Equinox was the use of the adjective “vernal”.  This has since led to research into who or what Eostre is.  One of such pages that shed some light about Eostre was , who provided the following information.

The name Eostre is thought to be derived from a goddess of German legend, according to Jakob Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie. A similar goddess named Eostre was described by the Venerable Bede, an English Benedictine monk of the 7th century. Bede indicated that this name was used in English when the Paschal holiday was introduced. Since then this name (not the holiday) has been converted to Easter, or in German Ostern. Some scholars question both Bede’s and Grimm’s conclusions due to a lack of supporting evidence for this goddess. Others argue that a lack of further documentation is not surprising given that Bede is credited with writing the first substantial history of England (in which he described Eostre as a goddess whose worship had already passed) and Grimm was specifically attempting to capture oral traditions before they might be lost.

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Contemplating the Time of Balance (Spring Equinox)

Next Sunday, 23 September, the tilt of the earth will be such that it will be inclined neither away from nor towards the sun, allowing for the centre of the sun to be aligned with the earth’s equator.  This is the time of the equinox, a word derived from the Latin aequus (“equal”) and nox (“night”).  Therefore, at this time of the year, day and night have approximately equal length.

For those residing north of the equator, this will mark the time of the Autumn Equinox and the increasing darkness as the earth tilts away from the sun. For those us of residing south of the equator however, it will be the time of the Spring or Vernal Equinox.

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Talismans – Objects of Power

Having a talisman imbued with your intention is yet another tool
you can use to assist you in your journey.

For millennia, mankind has found peace and solace in objects of significance.  When cleansed and consecrated through ritual, such objects – be they crystals, amulets, herbs, or written words – become talismans.  A talisman is any item imbued with a specific power by its bearer to serve a specific intention.  Ancient Egyptians used massive stone tablets as healing talismans while the Greeks and Romans used lead talismans to communicate with the spirit realm.

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Greeting the Divine Spirit

At the commencement of this calendar year, I made a vow to myself to make more of a conscious effort to focus more on my own personal spiritual path and connection with the Divine, something that I had felt was slowly becoming more and more neglected as I had spent the last 10 or so years basically focusing on assisting others.  As what usually happens prior to embarking on a new course of action, my initial approach was filled with enthusiasm and excitement … that was until the Universe seem to chuck me a curve ball and the realisations of the “real” world kicked in.  Only a fortnight into this “new plan” it was clear that my desire to refocus and reconnect with the Divine needed to be achieved through alternative means.

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Understanding the Charge of the Goddess

Gerald Gardner’s Book of Shadow

“Whenever you have need of anything,
once in the month or better it be when the moon is full,
then you shall assemble is some secret space
…”

and so goes “The Charge of the Goddess”, a piece of prose which is probably closest thing to scripture that originated out of Wicca.  During this prose the Goddess seems to instruct (or guide) her followers in ways as to how she is recognised and can be worshipped.  Right from the beginning, the Goddess is introduced as “the Great Mother” who has been recognised by many difficult people and cultures by an assortment of names – Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, and Brid.

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New Start Date for The Wytch’s Circle

The commencement date for the Spring intake of The Wytch’s Circle has had to be pushed back a week until 6 September 2018 due to personal reasons, and will continue until 18 October 2018.  This also means that registrations will remain open until 30 August 2018 (unless sold out prior to then).

This Spring intake of The Wytch’s Circle will be focusing more on coupling the theoretical instruction with practical application in readiness for the opening of the Outer Court training circle that will be taking place around Lughnasadh 2019, the first one in about four or five years.  Therefore, anyone who is seriously interested in furthering their training with the Temple of the Dark Moon, attendance of The Wytch’s Circle is essential.

As the Spring intake of The Wytch’s Circle will be the last one held for 2018, there are strictly limited places available.  So if you are interested in continuing your spiritual and magickal journey with us, it is essential that  you registerer prior to 30 August 2018.

Is Your Word Your Bond?

Part of membership within many coven or esoteric group involves the rite whereby an oath is sworn. Sometimes, depending on the structure of the group, there are a number of oaths that are sworn as the member moves through the ranks. Regardless of the number of oaths, very rarely does one supersede any made previously – more often than not, any subsequent oaths tend to for an additional layer (or enhancement) of the initial oath.

The word oath comes from the Anglo-Saxon āð (also referred to as a “a true principle or belief, especially one of fundamental importance. An oath is also a “solemn appeal to a deity”, as well as being a “formally affirmed statement or promise accepted as an equivalent of an appeal to a deity or to a revered person or thing; affirmation”.

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Imbolc – Awakening the Spirit

Nothing is so beautiful as spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look like low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes lightning to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
George Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
The earth is in the slow process of returning back to life after the long winter’s sleep with the first tendrils cautiously making their appearance.  There is the likelihood of frosts, but despite this, early flowers are pushing their way to the surface – snowdrops, dwarf hyacinths, jonquils, early irises and even daffodils are appearing, making the statement that spring is on its way.  A fragile warming of the air can be felt as winter, usually the season of rest and withdrawal, comes to an end.  This is the time of uncertainty.  A sudden frost can kill the new plants and flowers, if they appear too early.  They also run the risk of developing rot with the last of the winter rains.
The nights are still very cold, but the daytime temperatures are slowly beginning to increase into the 20°Cs.  As the constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius slowly leave the Southern skies, they are replaced by Orion and its nebulae, as well as the bright Sirius.  The Southern Cross is lying on its side between three and four o’clock in the southwest and heading down to the southern horizon, with the Pointers (Alpha and Beta Centauri) above it.

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Second Gathering around the Cauldron

This Thursday, 26 July 2018, marks the second Gathering around the Cauldron, a casual fortnightly meetup that is specifically designed for novices to explore the practices and philosophies of magic, ritual and contemporary Wytchcraft.

This fortnight we will be exploring:
:: Raising and working with energy
:: The four building blocks of the Universe
:: The four elemental realms with respect to the Southern Hemisphere
and much more (depending on time).

Gathering around the Cauldron will held at the Temple of the Dark Moon covenstead, Parafield Gardens.

Investment is $20 per fortnightly meetup.

If you would like to attend, please email us prior to Thursday evening as limited places available.

Time to Gather around the Cauldron

For the beginner or the curious seeker, wading through what seems to be an over abundant amount of information relating to modern practices of magic and contemporary Wytchcraft can be somewhat daunting.  It is not uncommon for seekers to be left wondering where to start or even whether there is a “right” or “wrong” way to do things as many sites and books tend to contradict themselves.  Added to this is the query as to the validity of the material shared – is it merely copied or is the author actually coming from a place of personal practice?

Gathering around the Cauldron is a specifically designed four part course for beginners, the curious seeker and novices who wish to find out more about the practices and philosophies of magic, ritual and contemporary Wytchcraft.  Purposely hosted by myself, I bring to these discussions over 25 years of personal experience, not only as the High Priestess of the Temple of the Dark Moon, but also research and study into various other magical traditions, spiritual practices and metaphysics.

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