A Witch’s Familiar

In European folklore and folk-belief from the Medieval and Early Modern periods, witches and cunning folk were believed to assisted by certain supernatural entities that were known as “familiars”. These spirits would appear in numerous guises, including as in a humanoid figure, but more commonly as an animal. When they served cunning folk, familiars were often thought to be somewhat benevolent, however when they were in the service of witches, familiars were considered to be rather malevolent.

The role of the familiar is the topic that will be discussed during the July Gathering Around the Cauldron which will be taking place in the format of a Zoom call on Thursday, 2 July 2020 at 7pm ACST.

If you would like to participate, you will need to register through Paypal in order to receive the Zoom meeting code. The meeting cost is $10 AUD.

Alternatively, you can email our High Priestess for the appropriate bank account details. Your payment must be received by 1 July 2020.

All participants will be receive a detailed fact sheet about the topic as well as go into the draw to win a prize.

Imbolc – Return of the Maiden

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 as the spirit reawakens, welcoming back the Maiden of Spring.

Imbolc (also spelt Imbolg) is the first festival of Spring, and is usually celebrated around 31st July or 1st August in the Southern Hemisphere, when the sun moves 15 degrees into Leo.  It is Irish-Gaelic and translated to mean “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 for Imbolc 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.

The Crios Bridghid (Brighid’s Cross) is believed to have originated in the Connemara, located on the western side of Ireland and were traditionally made from reeds, rushes or straw.  The reeds were braided into a rope and formed into a circle, which was believed to hold protective powers.  Those who jumped through. Over time the circle became likened to a swastika cross, and it was believed to be a representation of the sun or even a fire wheel.  Once made, the cross would be placed over the doorways of houses, stables and barns, for protection and prosperity for the coming year.

You are invited to celebrate Imbolc – The Celtic Festival of Spring at the Riverdell Spiritual Centre (Hillier) on Saturday, 1 August 2020.
:: Connect with the Maiden Goddess through empowering meditations
:: Explore the journey of Brigid from Goddess to Saint
:: Make your own Crios Bridghid (Brighid’s Cross) that will be empowered through sacred ceremony
:: Discover how to connect with the healing energies of St Brigit through making your own healing candle.

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

Date: Saturday, 1 August 2020
Time: 11am to 3pm
Investment: $50.00
Venue: Riverdell Spiritual Centre, 51 Clifford Rd, Hillier SA 5116

Payment must be received by 20 July 2020 as there are limited places available.

Direct payment via Bank Transfer to:
Account Name: Frances Billinghurst
BSB: 325185
Account Number: 03146790
Please put your name for reference.

What is the Shadow? (Debbie Ford)

According to Debbie Ford (best-selling author of The Dark Side of the Light Chasers and The Secret of the Shadow), the shadow contains all the parts of ourselves that we try to hide, deny or suppress.  It is the keeper of all the aspects of ourselves that we dislike and the qualities that we judge as unacceptable.  The shadow wears many faces: angry, critical, fearful, lazy, controlling, selfish, weak, pathetic.  These are the faces we do not want to show the world and the faces we do not want to show ourselves.  

Most of us expend huge amounts of energy trying to get rid of or control these unwanted aspects of ourselves.  We hope that by hiding or fixing our “bad qualities” we will have the peace, success and happiness we desire.  Most of us are convinced that we are flawed and inadequate so we become masters of disguise, and go to great lengths to hide our bad qualities from those around us – even from ourselves.

The result of turning our backs on our dark side?  A life that slips by only half lived.  Dreams that are never realized, or worse, that lay buried under years of resignation and shame.  

Until we make peace with our shadow we will continue to be at war with ourselves and our outer world will mirror our inner struggle.  What we resist persists – and we will create and attract from others that which we most dislike in ourselves.  Until we feel authentic compassion for each and every aspect of ourselves, we will continue to draw forth people and events that will mirror the negative feelings we have about ourselves.  Until we take back our power and forgive ourselves for being human we will attract people who push our buttons and reactivate our emotional wounds.  And until we find the courage to love ourselves completely, we will never truly be able to experience the love from those around us.  

We do not need to guess how we really feel about ourselves at the deepest level, all we have to do is look at how the outer world treats us.

If we are not getting the respect, love and appreciation we desire from the outer world, it is more than likely we are not giving these things to ourselves.  This is the benevolence of the universe in action.  The whole world is a mirror of our own consciousness, and when we make peace with the disowned aspects of ourselves, we make peace with the world.

Registrations are currently open for the online month long sadhana (spiritual journey) that I will be hosting that incorporates exploring the shadow under the guidance of the Dark Goddess. Starting on Saturday, 6 June 2020 (just after the full moon) and concluding just before the following full moon on 4 July 2020 the Encountering the Dark Goddess sadhana journey is specifically designed to take participants into the realm of a chosen “darker” aspect of the divine feminine to explore the various aspects of their own shadow self in order to commence positive change at the deepest level.

Throughout the month long journey you will be provided with detailed information about the various Dark Goddesses, instructions as to how to set up altars and undertake daily devotional work, suitable prayers and a list of offerings for your chosen goddess, weekly emails containing metaphysical and psychoanalytic concepts regarding working with the Dark Goddess and the “Shadow Self”, group rituals and much more.

If the Encountering the Dark Goddess sadhana journey is something that calls to you, ensure that your register prior to Saturday, 6 June 2020. Details as to how you can do that are found here.

In my forthcoming book, Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms, I share how to utilise the mythologies of specific Goddess whose very nature is about change, destruction, mask removal and much more, in ways designed to accept our own shadow.

Whether you seek healing from past trauma, release from fears or acceptance of the “unacceptable” aspects of your self through the power of meditation, ritual or inner journeying, Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms offers itself up as a guide to assist you to embrace the ever changing aspects of life.

From my own personal experience (of which I share in this book) I am of the belief that when we connect the Dark Goddess, we are able to find the light within the darkness and our lives are enriched through the integration of all aspects of our soul as a perfect whole.

Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms is being published by John Hunt Publishing and should be available for pre-order from mid-June 2020 through Amazon US, Amazon UK, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and the like, with ebook pre-orders appearing a month or so before its physical release in 26 March 2021.

Exploring the Concept of Deity

The June Gathering Around the Cauldron will once again take place in the form of a discussion that will be live streamed on the Temple of the Dark Moon‘s Facebook page. This month we will be looking at the concept of deity as it appears within contemporary witchcraft, and in respect to the perception held by the Temple.

In my forthcoming book, Contemporary Witchcraft: Foundational Practices for a Magical Life, I explain how the belief in deity is central to contemporary witchcraft. is the belief in deity. 

What sets contemporary witchcraft apart from some other forms of witchcraft is that we believe our gods to be real. They go beyond the concept of “archetypes” and often manifest as entities in their own right.  It is believed that all historical deities are facets of the divine in that they each represent someone’s understanding of divinity, and all are valid in their own way. 

The June Gathering Around the Cauldron will be taking place from 7pm ACST on Thursday, 4 June 2020. If you have any specific questions that you would like be to discuss, these can be left on the Facebook events page.

Samhain – Online Ritual

With social distancing still occurring, the May Gathering Around the Cauldron, scheduled to take place on Thursday, 7 May 2020, will be adapted into an online format and will involve the livestreaming of a Samhain ritual (being the recent sabbat here in South Australia).

This online live streaming will be offered free on the Temple of the Dark Moon’s Facebook page from 7pm ACST (Australian Central Standard Time). For anyone wishing to be more actively involved in the Samhain ritual from their own sacred space, a 11 paged colour A4 fact sheet about Samhain is now available to purchase securely through Paypal for the sum of only $7 AUD.

The fact sheet provides information about the sabbat from a historical perspective, include a sabbat related craft to make, correspondences, and the meaning of the sabbat on a more deeper psychological level, as well as a copy of the ritual that will be used on the night. It should pointed out, however, that as the ritual contained within the fact sheet is based on the one that the Temple of the Dark Moon actually uses, there are certain parts we are not able to make public in the ritual context. This does not take away from the purpose of the ritual being made available. For those attending on Thursday night, the ritual will be live streamed in its entirety.

To receive your copy of the Temple of the Dark Moon’s Samhain Fact Sheet in readiness of next Thursday’s ritual, orders must be received before 5.30pm ACST on 7 May 2020. Names will also go into a draw for a prize that will be announced after the ritual.

Any orders received after that time will be sent out after the ritual has concluded.

The Dark Goddess is Coming

Last week I received the email from my publisher that all authors hang out to receive, the one that contained details as to when their book will actually be published and available. The date scheduled for the release of Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms is 26 March 2021. While this date seems to be half a lifetime away (some 11 months) apparently that is normal within the publishing world as it gives a lot of the behind the scenes things to be put into process, ie having the book listed in various trade magazines, in order to maximize long-term success of the book.

From the end of June, Encountering the Dark Goddess should appear on the John Hunt Publishing webpage as well as appearing for pre-order through Amazon US, Amazon UK, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and the like, with ebook pre-orders appearing a month or so before publication (ie, early in the new year).

“The author presents the reader with a dark gift – a treasure in a sense
– but one not to be accepted lightly. My sense is that once opened,
it will never go back into the box.”
(Jimahl diFiosa, author of A Voice in the Forest, All the King’s Children
and A Coin for the Ferryman)

Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realm

The Dark Goddess is often associated with the Underworld where she leads the uninitiated through a transformative journey of self-discovery, change and soul renewal.  She is connected with the unwanted, the forgotten, the ignored or even ashamed parts of our psyche.  However there is more to her than that. 

Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms guides you through what this challenging facet of the Divine Feminine, the Dark Goddess, is truly about, and encourages you to step through the veils into her hidden realm to explore 13 aspects of herself.

Whether you seek healing from past trauma, release from fears or acceptance of the “unacceptable” aspects of your self, Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms offers ways for you to transform and heal your life through the power of meditation, ritual and inner journeying with the Dark Goddess into her shadowy realms.  Use the 13 goddess myths as a guide to discover how to remove the stagnant and unwanted and embrace the ever changing aspects of life that can drag us into the pits of despair.

When we connect the Dark Goddess, we are able to find the light within the darkness and our lives are enriched through the integration of all aspects of our soul as a perfect whole.

April’s Full Moon in Libra

The full moon in April 2020 will occur at 12:05 pm on Wednesday, 8 April 2020 here in Adelaide, and when the moon is 18º in Libra. Libra is the archetypal representation of sacred balance in relation to all things. She understands on a visceral level that we are continually in intimate relationships with all things in our lives whether we are consciously aware of it or not.

The gift that Libra presents us is to embrace seemingly opposing views and accept the spectrum that exists of each person in their own experience and perspective. There is the emphasis on finding the middle way, to learn to harmonise what is out of balance so that we can become a bridge between the differing perceptions a well as the worlds (the seen and the unseen).

According to Marina of Darkstar Astrology this full moon aligns with Kraz in the constellation of Corvus the Crow which means the gossipy crows will only throw more drama fuel onto the fire.

The moon seems to create either mad genius or bring out the vilest attributes of the crow. Those touched by this moon will strive to succeed so they can win the approval of an audience, and yes, this moon can bring out the classic narcissists that forever crave adoration. On the positive side, we can use this energy to generate a following that does good works in the collective. At this time we could crave to be loved and approved of so much that we may not be discerning enough when it comes to whom we give our body. (Quite hard to do with new relationships now in the current climate!)

According to mythology, the sun god Apollo sent the raven with a cup (Constellation Crater) to fetch some water for his feast. On his way, he was distracted by some fine figs on a tree and lost track of time gorging upon them. When the crow suddenly remembered his errand he picked up a passing snake (Constellation Hydra) and used it as his excuse for why he had not filled up the cup as asked.

During these uncertain times it is important for us to find our own inner balance by anchoring our core with what links us to the primordial centre of all creation, that being the heart of the earth. With that in mind, Libra also continues to remind us of the scared balance of reciprocity, of giving and taking, of equal exchange in order to continue to keep everything in flow.

Sources:
Darkstar Astrology
Mystic Mamma

Dark Goddess Online Sadhana Journey

The current climate has seen a change in how things are done and for me, it is almost like a cosmic “hurry up” to finalise something that was initially drafted about six or seven years ago – producing online version of Encountering the Dark Goddess.

And finally it is here.

Commencing on 6 Juue 2020, the Encountering the Dark Goddess online version is a month long online sadhana (or spiritual exploration) into your deep shadow self through the connection with various “darker” aspects of the Divine Feminine in order to commence positive change at the deepest level.

The word sadhana is a yogic term referring to any spiritual exercise aimed at progressing the sādhaka (seeker) towards the very ultimate expression of their life in this reality. Therefore, as a “sadhana”, this online journey will present you with the unique opportunity to step through the veil and into the realm of the Inner Self, to meet and embrace your Shadow Self, to remove the unwanted and to reclaim what has been missing.

During the month online journey you will receive:
:: Detailed information about the Dark Goddesses we will be exploring and working with over the month,
:: Instructions regarding how to set up altars and undertake daily devotional work,
:: Prayers, mantras, and offerings that relate to specific goddesses,
:: Daily emails consisting on appropriate metaphysical and psychoanalytic concepts regarding working with the Dark Goddess and the “Shadow Self”,
:: Meditations,
:: A private Facebook group to connect with others who are undertaking this journey,
:: Group ritual,
and much more.

As the online journey lasts for a month, it is essential that you are able to commit yourself to the sadhana (spiritual) practice.

To take place over the Southern Samhain – from 6 June 2020 (ACST) to 4 July (ACST).

Investment: AUD$222 $150 (special introductory rate)
Register online through Paypal**

Once registered, please email me with your preferred email address and Facebook profile so you can be invite to the secret Facebook group.

** Direct deposit is available for Australian participants only.
Please email me for my bank account details.

The Dark Goddess is waiting ….

Are you brave enough to step beyond the Veil?

Online Full Moon Meditation and Ceremony

Due to the current situation, a special live streaming of the Full Moon Meditation and Ceremony is planned to be taking place on Tuesday, 7 April 2020 commencing around 7.00pm (ACST) via the Temple of the Dark Moon‘s Facebook page.

We will be tapping into the power of the full moon that will be reaching the fullness of its energy on Wednesday, 8 April 2020 at 12:05 pm (ACST).

The moon will be in the astrological sign of Libra and as such, you might have a strong need for balance and harmony right now, a desire to keep things “nice” rather than venturing into fundamental questions in order not to disturb the peace. This is also the time to learn to share your good and bad feelings, and not to be afraid of you were truly are, despite what is expected of you or how you think others see you.

You are invited to join me online as together we create a sacred space where we invite Lady Lunar to descend and bestow upon us clarity and guidance for the coming lunar cycle.

You might like to create a sacred space where you are by lighting a candle and some incense on the light. A sacred circle will be cast and the Lunar Goddess will be called to join us live on the Temple of the Dark Moon‘s Facebook page.

To attend such an event would normally cost AUD$20. However in these uncertain times, I am offering this ceremony free. If you would like to participate in an energy exchange, donations can be made via Paypal

.

Update on COVID-19 and Events

With the World Health Organization having announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic, the Temple of the Dark Moon is doing whatever we can to assist in following governmental advice. As such, we have postponed all events until May 2020 – however this was be extended pending updated advice.

The SA Health web site has a number of resources freely available including what exactly COVID-19 is and how it can be spread, home isolation, and much more.

As of this afternoon (22 March 2020), the South Australian State Government has announced that all people entering South Australia will need to isolate themselves for 14 days from their arrival. The exemptions to this ruling can be found on the SA Health web site.

As COVID-19 is a new disease, it is important to keep in mind that there is currently no existing immunity known which means that this virus can spread widely and quickly. One way to prevent this is for all of us to take self-responsibility and do whatever we can until more is known.

The current advice about COVID-19 is that the virus can spread from person to person through:

  • close contact with an infectious person (including in the 24 hours before they started showing symptoms),
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze,
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.

The most important health advice widely circulated is the emphasis on hand washing, as is evident by this poster produced by the Tasmanian Health department that especially highlights spots that are often missed when hands are washed.

If you do find the need to self-isolate yourself then it is not the end of the world, unlike what some people may feel. Already, thanks to social media, numerous ideas and suggestions are being shared of what to do during these 14 days. Even the Red Cross has a number of suggestions on their web site from learning new skills (or refreshing old skills) to catching up on outstanding projects around the house.

Remember that not everyone can handle self-isolation. On the Lifeline web site there is some important information about dealing with loneliness and isolation.

Should I personally find myself in self-isolation then there are a number of outstanding projects that I hope to finalise. One of these is making available the “Little Book” series that offer various insights into the practices of contemporary witchcraft. The first of the series is A Little Book of Wicca which is nearly completed. This 60 paged book offers a much needed starting point for seekers or those of a curious mind living south of the equator.