Are You Ready for Magick?

Already the first month of 2021 is drawing to a close, however the constant changing environment that we have found ourselves in during the last 12 months hasn’t really let up. Maybe this is the new “normal” and we need to get used to the ebbing and flowing chaotic nature around us which, when you think about it, is what our natural world actually is. What has happened is that we humans, who love order and structure, have forgotten how to move with the changing tides.

Some things do need a bit of structure however which is the call for expression of interest in going out for those wishing to gather again with like minded people.

The first offering is Gathering around the Cauldron, which is intended to be a series of specifically designed monthly meetups for witches, as well as other magical practitioners, wishing to explore the various practices and philosophies of magic, ritual and contemporary witchcraft with likeminded people. There will be the opportunity to learn about and explore other styles of magick and witchcraft, to undertake practical crafting, and even an opportunity to honour the seasonal festivals (sabbats) with other people.

Regardless of experience level, each meetup will be combination of theory, discussion and practical application with the emphasis being placed on the Southern Hemisphere. It should be pointed out that Gathering around the Cauldron is not intended to be a “teaching” group (although it may lead into one if there is the interest).

The second expression of interest being sought is for a High Magick study group. This will be a teaching circle where instruction on various techniques and magical formula utilised by organisations such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, including the qabalah, planetary magick and more. As a study group, participants will require to obtain specific texts, keep a journal and undertake their own practice.

Whilst the venue for both groups has yet to be determined, three possible locations are being considered, being North Adelaide, Port Adelaide or the Temple’s covenstead in Parafield Gardens.

If you would like to take part in these monthly meetings then email Frances with “Expression of Interest” in the subject line and indicate which group (or both), preferred location, and a little bit about yourself.

Moon Magick for 2020

A Gregorian year is upon us which means it is time to get out the diaries in order to work out when the differing phases of the moon occur in your neck of the woods. I have recently shared some of my thoughts about working with the moon, and more importantly, understanding the correct timing. This video can be found here: Timing and the Moon – YouTube.

For anyone working magick, knowing when the moon moves from the different phases can provide additional energies to not only your spell crafting but other magical workings such as what rituals you undertake, any devotional work you may do, or even simply in the understanding of your place in the greater scheme of things – why you do or feel the way you do.

The following chart is calculated to Australian Central Standard Time (ie, South Australia) and also takes into consideration Day Light Savings which is observed here in South Australia.

New MoonFirst QuarterFull MoonLast Quarter
6 Jan – 8:07 pm
13 Jan – 3:30 pm21 Jan – 7:31 am29 Jan – 5:46 am5 Feb – 4:07 am
12 Feb – 5:35 am20 Feb – 5:17 am27 Feb – 6:47 pm6 Mar – 12 noon
13 Mar – 8:51 pm22 Mar – 1:10 am29 Mar – 5:18 am4 Apr – 7:32 pm
12 Apr – 12 noon20 Apr – 4:28 pm27 Apr – 1:01 pm4 May – 5:20 am
12 May -4:29 am20 May -4:42 am26 May – 8:43 pm2 Jun – 4:54 pm
10 Jun – 8:22 pm18 Jun – 1:24 pm25 Jun – 4:09 am2 Jul – 6:40 am
10 Jul – 10:46 am17 Jul – 7:40 pm24 Jul – 12:06 pm31 Jul – 10:45 pm
8 Aug – 11:20 pm16 Aug-12:49 am22 Aug – 9:31 pm30 Aug – 4:43 pm
7 Sep – 10:21 am14 Sep – 6:09 am21 Sep- 9:24 am29 Sep -11:27 am
6 Oct – 9:35 pm13 Oct – 1:55 pm21 Oct – 1:26 am29 Oct – 6:35 am
5 Nov – 7:44 am11 Nov-11:15pm19 Nov-7:27 pm27 Nov-10:57 pm
4 Dec – 6:13 pm11 Dec-12:05 pm19 Dec-3:05 pm27 Dec-12:53 pm

When working with the moon, I prefer to work just prior to the actual date to ensure that I am utilising as much of the preferred energy as I can. For example, if I want to perform a manifestation spell to coincide with the February full moon, I would perform it on the evening of the 4th February because after 4:07 am the lunar energies will start to wane.

Pray to the moon when she is round, Luck with you will then abound.
What you seek for shall be found, On the sea or solid ground.

A rule of thumb when working with the moon is:

New Moon: Psychic work and planting “seeds” of what you want to manifest (bring into your life).

Waxing Moon: Invoking and manifesting magick.

Full Moon: Final manifestation, psychic or gratitude workings.

Waning Moon: Banishing, removing obstacles.

Some magical people also work with the dark moon. As mentioned in my video, I consider this phase of the moon to take place just before the new moon, when there is not even a slight sliver of Lady Lunar in the skies.

A New Year, A New Start

Finally, 2020 has been put to rest and what a year it has been – filled with challenges and moments of release as well as inward explorations into a whole new potential. As the new Gregorian year dawns, many of us are approaching it with a degree of hesitancy as the chaos that we became so intimately aware of during this last year, seems to be with us for a while yet. 

However, there is much hope on the horizon – after 2021 equates to the number 5 which represents personal freedom (and the responsibility that comes with freedom) as well as change. Unexpected things may tend happen where the change is more acceptable and tolerated (especially compared to what we have more recently experienced). These changes will open up a greater sense of freedom that could be brought about through trying, learning about or adopting different approaches, new ways of doing things, as well as adopting new interests and learnings. We have already seen some of these things happen during 2020 with more people working from home, more on-line video conferencing platforms were established to continue teachings, which in itself enable more people to gain access to this information.

Within Chinese astrology, 2021 is the year of the White Metal Ox (beginning from the second full moon of the year, on 12 February). The ox is very hardworking and methodical and as such, 2021 is the year where work will get rewarded. The yin energy is rather poignant and the full weight of responsibilities will be felt, especially when it comes to accomplishing goals. As such, it will be necessary to really double your efforts in order to achieve things. 

In summary, the White Metal Ox will be a year to focus on career, finances, love, education, travel and health.

The construction of a vision or goal board for 2021 seems to be more appropriate than ever in order if we are to remain focused on achieving our goals. As such, I will be holding my Manifesting Your Dreams workshop on Saturday, 16 January 2021.

When you make a “vision board”, you get clear on what you want to create in your life. Once you get clarity, you capture them in a series of images and words that are pasted to a piece of cardboard. Through the simple act of seeing your own “vision board” each day aligns your brain with the outcomes you desire for your life.

As there are limited places available for this workshop (especially at the price that I am offering), bookings are essential so make sure you register for Manifesting Your Dreams workshop as soon as you are able to. 

If you are seeking a new start at a deeper, soul level, then my latest offering, Journey into Freedom with Kali, may be what you are looking for. This 21 day on-line sadhana (spiritual practice) invites you to enter into the sacred temple of the Hindu Dark Mother. Here you will explore the sacred myths and practices to aid your on your exploration with the goddess. The sacred devotional practices that will be offered will enable you to connect with this powerful goddess on a deep soul level in order to bring about ultimate change.

Every day you will receive an email that will contain information of this powerful goddess. Some may contain mythology and personal connections, others suggested prayers and ritualistic practices for you to undertake. You will also receive a guided meditation for you to undertake as frequently as you wish to further enhance your connection and relationship with Kali. How deep you go is entirely up to you. More information about Journey into Freedom with Kali can be found here.

Whatever this new year brings, I wish you all the best for it.

Blessings, Frances

Full Moon Gathering

A special Full Moon Gathering will be taking place on Tuesday, 29 December 2020 on the evening prior to the actual timing of the full moon (1:58pm ACDT on 30 December 2020) at Grange Beach, Adelaide.

Celebrate the closing of what has been a rather challenging year for many of us as the moon resides in its own astrological sign of Cancer, enabling us to contemplate the base upon which we have built our lives, our concept of “family” (biological or chosen), the place we call “home” and the love that comes from deep within.

This Cancer Full Moon is also the time for birthing into the world energy, ideas, projects associated with our own life’s foundations.

Participants to bring:
Something biodegradable to represent what you wish to release from your life (ie, flower, shell, pebble).
Small candle (ie, tee light)
Drums (optional)

Cost: Gold coin donation to charity.

If you would like more information, please email Frances or contact us through the Facebook event.

Hail to the Sun God – it is the Summer Solstice

As the sun completes is southward journey, it rests briefly over the Tropic of Capricorn before moving northward again.  When it enters the astrological sign of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere, we know that the sun is at its highest and brightest, and that the time of the summer solstice has arrived.  However, as I write this, rain is starting to fall – but that is okay, the garden is grateful in receiving whatever rain is about at this time of the year.

For the Ngarrindjeri people of the lower Murray River and Coorong in South Australia, the warmth associated with Luwadang continues.  As the sun increases in strength, it dries the land, allowing it to be haunted by the call of ravens, the bird that is often associated with death in many cultures around the world.

Within contemporary witchcraft, the God, in his guise as the Sun or Solar God, is now at the height of his power.  Ever increasingly, he has been letting us know of his strength.  This show comes at a cost and while it will be some time before we actually notice, from the summer solstice onwards, the power of the Sun God slowly begins to wane.  This darkness, however, is not perceived in a negative sense, because it is needed to ensure the fertility of the land.  Still, in doing so, the Sun God sows the seeds of his own death.

The Goddess is depicted as either showing the early signs of pregnancy from her union at Bealtaine with the God (the fertility cycle of the divine does not necessarily follow the same allotted time of humans), glowing as many expectant mothers do, or her pregnancy is well advanced (as depicted by the Empress found within many tarot decks).  All around us the earth shows its magnificent bounty, full of life and busy with activity.  Flowers are in full bloom, bees buzz around the garden busily collecting pollen for the production of honey.  It is said a sign of a healthy garden is the number of bees that it attracts.

The Goddess, in her aspect as the Mother, Gaia, is on the verge of sharing her bounty with us.  However, there is also a death in life aspect at this time of the year that is often overlooked. We humans, regardless of our spiritual beliefs in the afterlife, still tend to fear the process of death, the transition from one plane to another.

Within the bountiful produce are the seeds that will sustain life, feeding us throughout the colder months as well as being available for planting in the Spring to repeat the cycle.  After the pollination and fertilization of the beautiful flowers we so admire, they will die.  But this is the natural cycle of things, of life.  In their death, the flowers release their previous seeds that fall to earth in order to create new life.  It can be difficult to connect to the fact that the time of waxing is coming to an end and the waning time is almost upon us when we are surrounded by so much bounty and life seems to be at its fullest.

Summer is a time of beauty and love, energy and strength, and rejoicing in the warmth of the sun.  Daylight saving time encourages us to spend longer hours outdoors, often socialising with family and friends.  As we enjoy this carefree time, celebrating life and the triumph of light, we do not want to think about the rest of the cycle, that of death, as we will be reminded of that only too readily when the temperatures continue to climb skyward.

The above is an excerpt from Dancing the Sacred Wheel by Frances Billinghurst.

The summer solstice is a time to reflect on the growth of the season – not only the seeds that have been planted within the earth but also those planted within our own souls.  It is also a time of cleansing and renewal, a time of celebrating creativity in all its many expressions, as well as joyous love and growth that surrounds us.

Summer Solstice
(by Cheryl Ban, 1998)
Brown earth lay blanketed beneath
the weight of white snow
People hold within their heart
the promise of light
Light that overcomes the night
Igniting fire
That burns a hole
all the way to the hot dry summer fields
The hope that the light holds in winter
becomes in summer
the knowing of the sun’s pathway back again
We poise on the edge of these great turnings
Balanced night and day
Ah for a moment …

Chinese Whispers and Black Salt

In this modern age where everyone is offering magical advice, how do you know what is genuine and what has fallen victim of what I classify as “Chinese Whispers Syndrome” (a childhood game where a “secret” was whispered to one person who then whispered it to another which went around the circle to the last person who would vocalised the “secret” hoping it would reflect the original whisper). This year (probably reflecting the global situations and increase in social media usage), I have noticed an increasing about of “sage advice” about magical practices or techniques often gleamed from other spiritual traditions being incorporated into witchcraft practices. While I personally have not issues with adapting such magical practices or techniques, after all this is what my style of contemporary witchcraft is about, my issue is where the adaption is based on a lack of knowledge and understanding of the original magical practice or technique. I will use “black salt” as an example.

In a number of folk magic traditions, black salt (also known as “Sal Negro” and “Drive Away Salt” and should not be confused with the Indian black salt which is a mineral salt used for cooking) is a special salt blend used to drive away evil. It can be sprinkled around your property to keep your home safe from intruders or troublemakers, and even sprinkled in the footprints of someone who is bothering you, to make them go away.

Black salt can also be placed in closets and dark corners in a room to drive away evil or negative spirits. You can even sprinkle it on the floor and then sweep the salt out through the front door for a cleansing of your home or apartment. This protective salt can be added to witch’s bottles and alternatively, sprinkled in a circle around the perimeter of your house for protection, to banish evil and also to cleanse from any negativity.

More traditional recipes instruct that black salt includes salt (preferably sea salt), scrapings from a cast iron skillet or pot, ash from your fire pit (ritual fire), maybe some herbs (such as black pepper) and even powered black food colouring (although black salt is not necessarily black in colour). These ingredients are blended during certain phases of the moon and have specific chants and prayers recited over them for a period of time.

Modern alternatives to making black salt include adding additional protective herbs and even essential oils to the mix, such as rosemary (protection from harmful people or toxic relationships), cayenne pepper (dispel anger or toxic relationships), cinnamon (protection from a broken heart or pain in a romantic relationship) or even lavender (to block invisible ickiness).

I recently came across someone advising their followers to make black salt from Himalayan salt and the left over ashes from burnt incense sticks. This advice I personally consider to be a prime example of “Chinese Whispers Syndrome” in that while Himalayan salt does offer protection, this is more commonly during astral travel or when spiritually travelling between worlds as opposed to protecting your physical space. Sea salt on the other hand is used in purification and cleansing baths, as well as to help release and cleanse negative feelings. Further, I question the use of burnt incense ash as this has little if anything to do with ritual fire ashes or cast iron scrapings.

In this modern age, anything appears to go. While this may be true to a certain level, when you are making products or utilising practices or techniques that come from other spiritual traditions, ensure that you actually have some knowledge of what is required to ensure your success.

Gardnerian Wicca – A Reincarnation Cult

The following article is an abridge version of the one written by Sophia Boann, which can be found from the Cup of Wisdom, a Gardnerian coven residing in East Cork, Ireland. To read the entire article, please visit the above link.

Often Wicca is portrayed as a fertility cult, however, at its core, Gardnerian Wicca is a reincarnation cult.

Gerald Gardner believed in group reincarnation. An early hint is found in the way he concludes his book A Goddess Arrives, a story based on a personal experience: “Do you believe in reincarnation?” he asked, and began to tell her about Rudolph Steiner’s theory of group incarnation.

Gerald Gardner refers to reincarnation immediately in the introduction of Witchcraft Today, where he describes encountering the coven who brought him into the Craft: “and I met some people who claimed to have known me in a past life.” Reincarnation is a frequently recurring theme in the book, and there are such statements as: “The cult god is thought of as the god of the next world, or of death and resurrection, or of reincarnation, the comforter, the consoler. After life you go gladly to his realms for rest and refreshment, becoming young and strong, waiting for the time to be reborn on earth again, and you pray to him to send back the spirits of your beloved dead to rejoice with you at your festivals.” (Chapter III) and “What they wanted was prosperity and fertility for the tribe, a life after death in happy conditions, and reincarnation into their tribe or nation.” (Chapter VI).

Not all initiates believe in reincarnation, and even among those who do, there are varying views on the concept. There is no sense of “Karma” along the lines that you will have a better or worse next incarnation if you haven’t done enough recycling in this life. But all of us have this experience of coming home, a feeling that we belong here, in the greater scheme of things. Additionally, we often have a strong sense of recognition with other initiates when we attend larger gatherings, an instant sense of belonging together, and having known each other before.

The training or “Outer Court” is mostly an excuse to feel out that connection with the group spirit, and if the Seeker will be at home in the coven they are with. And that “feeling out” should go both ways; if the Seeker doesn’t feel like they belong, which isn’t a judgement on the coven, they should move on to find their own place within the greater scheme of our existence.

Using Magical Condition Oils

Within specific traditions, “Condition Oils” are specifically crafted oils that are used to dress candles, anoint the body, anoint magical or spiritual tools used within rituals and ceremonies, as well as added to baths and even floor washes.  These oils are usually made from a base oil to which specific herbs, roots, flowers and other curios are added.

If the oils are added to the body, then they are more commonly applied to pulse points, or a specific body part. They should not however been taken internally – unless, of course, the maker specifically advises they are safe to do so.

When it comes to dressing candles, it is generally considered that if you wish to draw some thing or situation to you, that you rub the candle oil from the base to the top of the candle. this is so when the candle burns, it burns towards you. If you wish to remove something from you, then the candle is dressed from the top down to the base.

Condition Oils also are believed to add power to petitions. In this case, five dots of oil are placed in the corners of a piece of paper upon which the petition is written or drawn upon, with the fifth dot in the centre. The petition is then either burnt or a candle of appropriate corresponding colour is placed on top of the petition and then burnt.

Some Condition Oils, such as the Fiery Protection Oil (which is for sale through the LunaNoire Creations store), are made to steep over a period of time during which special prayers are chanted to add further power to the oil.

Super New Moon Gathering

The new moon marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle is often considered to be the time for the manifestation of wishes and desires that you would like to bring into you life. At 6.01am on the morning of Saturday, 17 October 2020, the moon will be transitioning from dark into new moon in the astrological sign of Libra. It will also be a “super” new moon, meaning that during the moon’s rotation around the earth, it will be moving into its new moon phase at it’s perigee, the closest point to the earth.

Libra offers the opportunity to bring things in your life into balance and creating the much desired sense of harmony. Maybe you are being pulled to keep things “nice” rather than venturing into fundamental questions in order not to disturb the peace. The lesson here is learning to share your good and bad feelings. Step into your own power and do not be afraid to be who you really are, despite what is expected of you.

On the evening of Friday, 16 October 2020 I will be opening the covenstead to a selected few who are interested in making the most of this transitioning energy through crafting our new moon wishes and empowering them through sacred chants and ritual.

A light supper will be undertaken afterwards.

If you would like to be included then email me for more details.

The Magic of Cloth

The tradition of making offerings at wishing trees and wells dates back hundreds of years, and can be found all over the world in different forms. In Scotland, Ireland and England, it is common to see pieces of cloth or rag tied to branches of a tree that is often growing besides a well. These are known as “Clootie Wells” and the cloth tied to its branches are done so in the hope of having an illness cured.

“Clootie” comes from the Scots meaning “cloth”. It refers to pieces of cloth (a cloot) that is generally dipped in the water of the holy well and then tied to a branch while a prayer of supplication is said to the spirit of the well. As the rag disintegrates over time, the ailment is supposed to fade away as well.

This tradition dates far back into pre-Christian times, when it was believed a goddess or local nature spirit inhabited the well, with special powers of healing. With the arrival of Christianity, local churches began to associate themselves with the holy wells, and the ceremonies began to be overseen by the local priests or saints.

At one point in 1581, during the Protestant Reformation, making pilgrimage to holy wells was made illegal, but the practice has not stopped. The problem today is that many of the offerings being left by people are actually made from modern synthetic materials that will never rot away, and in turn impacts upon the environment.

Similar practices are found all around the world, such as the Buddhist tradition of prayer flags. Specific prayers and mantras are printed onto these colourful pieces of cloth which are then hung. Just like the Scottish clootie, the Buddhist prayer flags are left exposed to the elements (usually in a windy place), it is believed that the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space.

Combining the beliefs behind both the clootie and Buddhist prayer flags, together with an assortment of esoteric, magical and even metaphysical techniques, I will be hosting a workshop on The Magick of Cloth Offerings on Sunday, 22 November 2020 where we will be making our own set of cloth offerings.

Bookings are essential and can be made here.