Autumn on the Air

According to the general populace, 1 March is considered to herald in the cooler season of autumn, bringing with it much appreciated relief from our hot southern summers.  This year our summer here in southern Australia has been somewhat comfortably mild which is a relief after the 2019-2020 summer season which saw many areas of the country ablaze – however is our unpredictable weather luring us into a false sense of security?

As we know however, anything could happen temperature wise during March. Whatever the case, there is definitely a chill in the air and the evening shades are closing earlier.

March heralds the autumnal equinox as the sun enters the sign of Pisces, which will be taking place around 8:07pm on 20 March. The word equinox is derived from a Latin word believed to mean “equal night”. In other words, where the hours of night and day are nearly equal in length. (They are not quite equal due to the wobble of the earth on its orbit.)

While the Northern Hemisphere enters the time where energy is manifesting for action at the spring equinox, here south of the equator it is repose after action at the autumn equinox.

We can take satisfaction in the work undertaken during the warmer months and reap the benefits.  Daylight saving will conclude at the end of the month and with it, the realisation that summer will be over.  While there are still a couple of weeks before the autumn equinox arrives, now is a good time to start making preparations for the colder winter months.

On Saturday, 20 March, I will be hosting a event that honours the autumn equinox here in Adelaide at The Connection Centre in North Adelaide. During this event we will be exploring the myths and folklore surrounding the autumn equinox, undergo a sacred journey in order to find balance in our lives, and create a special charm that will protect and guide us through the darker months of the year that we will empower. Tickets for this event can be found here.

The following is a wonderful seasonal poem by William Blake.

To Autumn
by William Blake (from Poetical Sketches, 1783)

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.
“The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

Expressions of Interest Now Open

Stand beneath the rising moon
Listen for the invoking tune
A sign that witches meet once more
Amongst the stars, behind closed doors.
Linking hearts and hands to make a ring
Reciting calls the Old Gods bring
Round and round the circle spins
The power is raised and the magick begins
.

Time is approaching for the Temple of the Dark Moon to open its doors once more. A lot of changes have taken place behind the scenes since this last occurred.

Regardless of whether you have been a member of the Inner or Outer court, have attended a course, workshop, public event or none … if you are genuinely interested in the practices of magick, ritual, contemporary witchcraft and can align with our ethics and philosophies, then email our High Priestess with your expression of interest.

** You must be able to travel to our covenstead on a regular basis.

Full Moon Meditation at Grange Beach

I normally organise the Full Moon Meditations and Ceremonies to take place on the evening prior to the actual date of the full moon (6:47 pm here in Adelaide) however due to commitments Friday evening, the February Full Moon gathering will be taking place on Saturday, 27 February 2021 at 8:00pm.

This full moon will be in the mutual earth sign of Virgo which is known as a sign of health and healing. This makes it an auspicious time to let go of anything that is standing in the way of your wellness — unhealthy habits, unchecked emotional baggage, or even clutter in your home. Use the illuminating power of the full moon to see exactly what needs to be cleansed out of your life to allow for fresh growth.

Join me at Grange Beach for a meditation and ceremony under the full moon.

We will be meeting at the northern end of the grassed area in front of the Grange Hotel just prior to 8:00pm. Shortly thereafter we will venture down to the foreshore.

Children are welcome to attend however they are the sole responsibility of their parents/guardians.

Cost: A gold coin donation to charity

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.

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.

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.

Ebbing and Flowing with COVID-19

Only last week I was delighted to announce a couple of forthcoming events that I would be running at the Riverdell Spiritual Centre – one to celebrate the gateway of spring, Imbolc, on 1 August 2020, and the second was to celebrate and honour the Goddess of the Crossroads, Hekate, on 15 August 2020. Due the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the border in Victoria, and the increasing risk of a potential resurgence here in South Australia, I have now decided to:

Cancel the Imbolc event at Riverdell Spiritual Centre altogether with much regret. If you have already booked through Riverdell, please contact them for a full refund.

The A Day with Hekate event will still remain at the Riverdell Spiritual Centre. Bookings are essential as there will be a strictly limited number of places available. Details of how you book your place can be found here.

At this stage, the August Gathering Around the Cauldron will also still be going ahead on Thursday, 6 August 2020. Booking are essential as due to social distancing observances, there are only a limited number of places being made available. You can book you place here.

Preparing for Spring

As the seasonal Wheel of the Year turns, it is not too long away before spring arrives. Even before Mid Winter my garden had been preparing itself with a display of early spring flowers.

This time of the year however there can appear to be a degree of false hope as the worse of the winter weather is often still to come. One thing that we do know for certain however is that life is starting to stir again.

Within contemporary witchcraft the first of the two spring festivals is Imbolc (Im-bulk), derived from the Irish Gaelic that means “in the belly” referring to the potential of all life that is in the belly of the Great Mother (Mother Earth), but also the pregnancy of other animals, particularly cattle and sheep, who give birth to their young around this time.  An alternative word is Oimelc, meaning “ewe’s milk”.  Although here in South Australia the lambs are often born around the autumn equinox to ensure that there is enough Winter grass for them to eat, in other parts of the country, and particularly in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, Imbolc heralds the birthing season for lambs.

Within contemporary witchcraft, the Goddess is often considered to be in her Maiden, or youthful aspect, while the God is in his Young Stag aspect. Their innocent reflects the lightness of the energies around them at this time of the year.

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 pear tree 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)

In the Northern Hemisphere, Imbolc falls around 1st February and is often connected with the Goddess Brighid, or Brid (pronounced “Bree” or “Breeid”), who later become known as Saint Brigit. Spanning both paganism and Christianity, Brighid/Brigit is renown for her healing, and protection, with her sacred shrine still be utilised today in Kildare, County Meath in Ireland. 

As a way of marking and honouring Imbolc, I will be holding a special Celebrate Imbolc – The Celtic Festival of Spring at the Riverdell Spiritual Centre on Saturday, 1 August 2020, where participants will not only learn about the historical origins of this Celtic festival, but they will connect with the Maiden Goddess through empowering meditations.

We will also be making our own protective Cros Bride (Brigit’s Cross) that will be empowered through sacred ceremony, and discover how to connect with the healing energies of St Brigit through candles that have been lit from her sacred flame at Kildare.

Tickets are only $50 (plus Eventbrite fees) and are available through this link.

All attendees go in the draw to win a copy of my book In Her Sacred Name: Writings on the Divine Feminine.

Saturday, 1 August 2020 from 11am to 3pm
Location: Riverdell Spiritual Centre, 51 Clifford Road, Hillier SA 5116