Outer Court Applications Now Open

Applications are now open for the Temple of the Dark Moon‘s Outer Court Training Circle.  This will be the first Outer Court Training Circle that we have held in about four years.  As such places are limited as the end goal for potential neophytes is entry into the Temple’s Inner Court via dedication and initiation (for those suitable).

Desirable applicants would be those who have already undergone some degree of training and study with us, in particular through the Gathering around the Cauldron and The Wytch’s Circle, and as a result of this initial training, have determined that contemporary witchcraft is something they resonate with and which they would like to study and explore more deeply.  Consideration will also be given to those who may have been working as a solitary or as part of another group, and who would like to become a member of the Temple of the Dark Moon.

Prior to contacting our High Priestess to advise her of your desire, we ask all potential neophytes to consider their own desires when it comes to walking a spiritual path that is imbued with magick.  After all, regardless of whether we are a coven member or solitary, an initiate or not, every of us is ultimately responsible for our own spiritual growth and development.  While it may be fun to belong to a group, in order for such membership to be of mutual beneficial for all concerned, we ask that the following questions be considered:

  • What am I interested in at this stage? Is it exploration into the deeper mysteries that esoteric training may provide; religious, spiritual or even paranormal experiences; a better understanding of myself; fellowship with likeminded people; belonging to a group?
  • Is the Temple of the Dark Moon the right group for me?  Do I agree with their philosophies (available on the web page), their teaching methods?  Do I feel comfortable with the High Priestess, and the other people I have met through the Temple of the Dark Moon?
  • Why do I want to join the Temple’s Outer Court?  Am I interested in a more traditional approach to contemporary wytchcraft as opposed to mainstream Wicca, Druidry, Paganism in general?
  • Am I honestly able to make time available for the personal study and training that is involved during the Temple of the Dark Moon’s Outer Court Training Circle?

Having given the above consideration, if you wish to apply for one of the limited places within the Outer Court Training Circle then you are invited to contact the Temple of the Dark Moon by emailing our High Priestess.  As preference is given to previous attendees, those successful will be provided with an application form setting out the requirements for the Outer Court Training Circle.  It is important that these requirements are read thoroughly as applications for the training circle will close Saturday, 15 December 2018.

For anyone interested in commencing their training with the Temple of the Dark Moon, we will be holding an extended version of The Wytch’s Circle, that will commence on Thursday, 21 February 2019 and will be held on a fortnightly basis for a total of six sessions.  As places are strictly limited we have made available a payment plan option.

Belenos and Bealtaine

The end of October, that marks the gateway to summer, may have passed, however tomorrow, 7 November marks the astronomical timing of Bealtaine, when the sun moves into 15 deg Scorpio.  The festival of Bealtaine is based around an ancient Celtic festival that was associated with the sun.  It is often believed that the word “Bealtaine” means “bright fire,” however medieval Irish glossators associated it with the God, Bel, who was considered to be a version of the ancient Celtic God of fire and light, Belenos.

Belenos: the Shining One

Belenos (meaning meant “bright, brilliant” or “shining”), or variants of his name, was known throughout the Celtic lands of western Europe, such as Belenus and Bel. At least 31 inscriptions citing Belenos or Apollo Belenos (as he was sometimes known in Roman-dominated areas) have been found by archaeologists, more citations than almost any other Celtic deity. His name, nature, and function are testified to by classical commentators and the imagery of sculpture and votive offerings associated with Belenos.

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Bealtaine – The Sacred Union

The following is an excerpt from chapter 7 of Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats (TDM Publishing, 2014) the first book written by the Temple of the Dark Moon’s very own High Priestess that explores the eight seasonal festivals commonly found within modern Paganism from both a traditional point of view as well as providing insight as to how they can be adapted in the Southern Hemisphere.  Having taken nearly 10 years to research and write, this 292 paged book can be purchased from Amazon.com and all other affiliated stores.

The preference for spelling Bealtaine as such is because the word Bealtaine is believed to come from the Irish Gaelic, with Bealtuinn the Scottish Gaelic equivalent.  Both words mean bel-fire.

Chapter 7 – Bealtaine – The Sacred Union

As the sun has now reached the midway point between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, it continues to bring more and more warmth and light to the waiting earth. The hours of daylight lengthen as the nights slowly shorten with each rotation of the earth and get increasingly warmer.

In the southern skies, Bealtaine heralds the return of the brilliant constellation of Orion the Hunter. To the northeast, the reddish star Aldebaran has joined the Pleiades. The Great Square of Pegasus is prominent, straddling the meridian, and in the southwest Scorpius is setting, with the Southern Cross lying on its side just above the southern horizon.

For the Ngarrindjeri people, the Pleiades, also known as the “Seven Sisters”, (now at their highest point in the Southern Hemisphere) marks the time when initiations into cultural wisdom and knowledge takes place. This is the time when “… swimming is restricted when the waters are full of life, too dangerous for women to enter”.

Along the waters of the Coorong, flocks of Australian pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus) (the totem animal of the Ngarrindjeri people, known as Ngori) catch the warming air currents, which allow their large bodies to lift effortlessly in the skies. The Ngarrindjeri people refer to this time of the year as Luwadang, the time of warmth, which lasts from November to January.

In the Top End, the Bininj/Mungguy brace themselves as Gunumeleng is about to arrive. From mid-October to late December, the pre-monsoon weather arrives as the humidity increases along with the temperatures. Thunderstorms build to bring rain to the dry land. With the increasing amount of water, birdlife and new growth soon appear. Barramundi move from the waterholes to the estuaries where they breed and the local people seek shelter from the approaching storms and the impending Wet Season. Along the Cobourg Peninsular (some 350 kilometres from Darwin), it is Barligar time, which means that the mangroves become favourite hunting grounds for mud crabs.

The Australian Bealtaine arrives when the native bottlebrush (Callistemon spp.) is a mass of beautiful red flowers. The flame trees erupt into fire with their brilliant scarlet red flowers as if they too are acknowledging that Summer has arrived.

A favourite chant that can be heard during this time of the year is taken from Rudyard Kipling’s “A Tree Song” from Puck on Pook’s Hill:

Oh, do not tell the priest our plight,
or he would call it a sin,
But we’ve been out in the woods all night,
a-conjuring summer in,
Good news we bring by word of mouth,
good news for cattle and corn
Now as the sun comes up from the north,
With oak, and ash, and thorn.

Halloween or Bealtaine – A Southern Hemispheric Dilemma

As the end of October quickly approaches, it heralds in “that time of the year” again when, despite it being the gateway to Summer here in the Southern Hemisphere where people should be heralding in the festival of life and light that is Bealtaine, the increasing commercialism of Halloween becomes more and more evident.

Every year I notice more “trick or treating” encouragements echoing what is largely perceived to be a American-styled “custom” – if only it was that well embraced. The other year I was even greeted to some local “little darlings” virtually camping out on my doorstep for me to come home from work wearing black bin liners as capes. What a total let down!!

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New Directions for 2019

You may not be thinking about the upcoming new year but the Temple of the Dark Moon has, and what training will be offered, especially for those people who have already undergone some degree of training and study with us, in particular through the Gathering around the Cauldron and The Wytch’s Circle.

While details have yet to be finalised, at this early stage it is proposed that two circles will be offered in the new year – a general circle that will be held on the third Thursday evening of each school term (some of these evenings may coincide with some sabbats), and the first Outer Court Training Circle that the Temple of the Dark Moon has offered in a number of years which will be held on the first Thursday evening of the month.

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Power of the Spoken Word (Dr Hyder Zahed)

Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” (Yehuda Berg)

Considering the “powerful force” of the words we utter, we must discipline ourselves to speak in a way that conveys respect, gentleness and humility.  One of the clearest sign of a moral life is right speech.  Perfecting our speech is one of the keystones of mature people.  Before speaking take a few moments to contemplate what you will say and how you will say it; while considering the impact they will have on the listener/s.  Be kind to all and speak words that are beacons of inspiration, enthusiasm and encouragement to all.  Kind and sweet words are always music to the ears of the listeners.

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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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