Five Reasons to Not join a coven (or magickal group) (Courtney Weber)

The following link is to the above article by Courtney Weber.  Whilst the five points raised are indeed not new (similar articles have appeared over the years), I thought I would share this article as a timely reminder for the novice seeker/neophyte as to what a coven or magickal group is not be considered a substitute for.  While I do necessarily agree with all points raised, or indeed the manner or even the style in which they are raised, I do agree with the overall points made.

A coven/magickal group is not:
:: A “replacement family” for your physical family – although the bond within a close knit working group can almost replicate this.
:: A support group – if anything, the Craft (as well as most other magickal groups) focus on taking self responsibility.
:: A replacement for therapy – in many instances this point follows on from the previous one with the focus however being directed more at those who are already seeking professional assistance.
:: A place to get laid – whilst intimate partnerships may occur between members in some groups, this should not be your prime objective for joining a group.
:: A place to validate yourself – if you need external validation all the time, maybe what you actually need is to address your own areas of self worth and self esteem through gaining professional assistance.

I would also add to Weber’s list that a coven or magickal group is not a place to join simply because your friends are and you are suffering a degree of “FOMO” (fear of missing out).  Likewise if you are not prepared to pull your weight.  There is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to coven work (usually by the High Priestess/leader).  Stepping up and offering assistance moves you from being a spectator to gaining more about what  happen behind the scenes, as well as assisting your own knowledge and experience in the work to hand … and after all, is this not why you have joined ….to gain experience and to learn?

Florida Water: Perfumed History (Gwyn)

Florida Water
Florida Water is a 20th Century invention. Image by Hannah Karina via Flickr.com

Florida Water is a popular item from the 19th century still used in modern witchcraft. But what is the history of this magickal item? Who invented it? Why do people use Florida Water and for what purpose? Sometimes, we will use a product because it’s popular to do so without knowing its history, Therefore, I thought I’d take a look at the origins and uses of Florida Water.

Florida Water is a Cologne

Believe it or not, Florida Water got its start as an American answer to Europe’s popular Eau du Cologne in 1808. Florida Water offered a fresh citrus-spice scent, lighter than standard perfume. Considered unisex, the cologne appealed to both men and women of the Victorian era and could be purchased in pharmacies and general stores. A young lady could carry the scent in a sachet on her person. People used the cologne to freshen their sheets, among other things.

Manufactured in New York by Lanman & Kemp Barclay, a company now known as Murray & Lanman, the cologne got its name from Florida’s reputed “Fountain of Youth.” Over time, it became known as a healing tonic, which when applied could reportedly soothe headaches and cool fevers. The company touted it as “The Richest of all Perfumes.” They still craft and sell their cologne to this day, using the original recipe created 211 years ago by Robert I. Murray.

No explanation could be found for how the cologne became perceived as beneficial for health. Perhaps the name of the cologne inspired the belief. However, many of the botanical extracts in the decoction have been used for such reasons for thousands of years. So, it’s unsurprising to me that people would discover the cologne had properties which could support the body. In addition, Florida Water became a popular way to clean the home and freshen the air of a room.

Florida Water
Florida Water provided a fresh scent for body and home. Image by DarkWorkX vis pixabay.com

Where Is the Magickal Connection?

The question remains, however, when did magickal practitioners begin to use Florida Water in their workings? Unfortunately, that part of the history is murky. Hoodoo, Santeria, and Wicca have included the cologne in their practices, along with many other magickal practitioners in this country and others, over the years.

When did the transition to include the cologne in esoteric practices occur? Unknown. But there is longstanding tradition for the magickal properties of Florida Water. So, one must conclude shared experience to have been intrinsic in the expansion from simply practical to magickal.

Regardless, this fresh scented cologne is useful for such workings as cleansing and protection. One source states Florida Water is a drawing agent for luck, love, money, etc. Not surprisingly, there is no actual “water” in the traditional preparation and while it is inexpensive to purchase there are many recipes available in books and online for making your own.

Florida Water
Making your own Florida Water is easy. Image by xbqs42 via pixabay.com

Gwyn’s Florida Water Recipe

All of the herbs listed in this recipe are dried. Buy organic when you can. Grow and dry what you are able, if you wish.

1 part orange peel
1 part bergamot
1 part lavender
1 part sage
1 part rose petals
1 part lemongrass
1/2 part bitter orange peel
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
80 proof Vodka

Place all the herbs in a clean quart glass jar until 3/4 full. Pour vodka over top of the herbs until covered (there should be 1/4 to 1/2 line of vodka above the herbs). Place lid on jar and give a gentle, rolling mix. Place the jar in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks. Check every few days to give a turn and see if the vodka needs to be topped off again (you want to be certain the herbs remain fully covered). After 4 weeks, open jar and strain plant material through a wire mesh into another clean glass receptacle. Store in cool dry place. Use as needed.

Florida Water
So what can you do with Florida Water? Image by Angelo Rosa via pixabay.com

What can you do with Florida Water?

You can purchase the original cologne from the creating company. Wear it as a light perfume or aftershave. Add some to the washing machine to freshen the laundry. Put some in the solution you use to wash the floors of your home. There are online sources from which you can purchase Florida Water, offering their own formulations, including our friends at Artes and CraftBig Liz Conjure, and Box of Reign.

As mentioned, you can make your own version. Experiment. Do some research and give it a try. And remember, while you may be inclined to use water in your recipe (since it’s in the name), Florida Water is a cologne. Using vodka or some other clear alchohol will provide you with a longer shelf life.

Here are suggestions for magickal use:

Spritz it to purify a space before ritual.
Add it to bath water for spiritual cleansing before magical working or ritual.
Wipe down your altar and/or tools with a cloth after spritzing it with Florida Water.
Wash your floors (and walls) with it to remove negativity from the home.
Pour some in a bowl as an offering to ancestors and/or house spirits.
Use it as a substitute for holy water.
Use it to bless a new home.
Anoint your head with Florida Water for added protection.
Wash your hands with it after dealing with negative people.
Use it in a spell to attract something you desire into your life.
Anoint your head, neck, heart, and feet when feeling unbalanced.

*Take care to keep out of reach of children or pets.*

Source: Florida Water: Perfumed History. Magickal Uses

The Most Powerful Spell (Phoenix LeFae)

Be mindful of what you think because your thoughts become your words. Be mindful of what you say because your words become your actions. Words have power, we Witches and Pagans know that. So I want to share with you the most powerful spell that I have learned. It is simple, but kicks quite a punch. This spells contains just one word. The spell is: No.

Take a moment to practice that one, it can be tricky. Go on, I’ll wait…..no.

How was that? Try it again, let the letters roll around on your tongue. What does it feel like to say that magick word? Is this an easy spell for you or do you find yourself struggling to get it out?

Yes, this post is totally about my stuff, but I’m not alone in my challenge to not do all the things. I love teaching and ritual. I thoroughly enjoy all of my side projects. My work is fulfilling. It is lovely to be invited to go out to an event. Of course, I want to say yes to all that is asked of me. FOMO (fear of missing out) is totally a thing. And it’s so easy to just say yes to all the opportunities that cross my path. It feels good to say yes.

But it’s not healthy.

We might feel called to help out a loved one. You might find yourself giving more than you’re getting. You could even discover that you keep saying yes, when you really want to say no. Perhaps you keep saying yes because you are worried if you say no the opportunities will stop? Saying no can be really hard. It’s a word that holds a lot of power and that power can be a little intimidating, especially if we don’t have practice with it.

You don’t want to disappoint anyone. You don’t want to come across as selfish. Maybe you really really want to do it, but it conflicts with a prior commitment. All of these things are and have been true for me. No can feel like you are burning a bridge or shutting a door forever, but the good news is that’s just not true.

Discernment is our most powerful tool. Combine that tool with the power of the spell of no and you become and unstoppable force!

Saying no is about self care. This is a spell of putting your needs first. When you use this simple magickal spell you empower yourself and take control. I’ve been working on this practice for years. I’m far from perfect, but I’m getting better at it every day.

via The Most Powerful Spell | Phoenix LeFae

The Cleansing Power of Salt Bowls: Removing Negative Energy from the Home (Astrea)

salt bowl plate remove negativity negative energy pagan witchcraft
A salt bowl, with sea salt, juniper berries, sprigs of juniper, peppercorns, and powdered clove. Photo copyrighted by Astrea.

For millennia, all over the world, salt has been considered a protective and cleansing agent, both physically and metaphysically.  A salt bowl in your home can absorb water, emit ions, and kill bacteria.  Some people like to buy fancy salt lamps for this purpose, but a simple bowl filled with salt can do the trick, too.

1. Choose a Bowl

Choose a bowl to use for your salt bowl.  You can go for something plain or fancy — whatever you prefer.  I like to use a black soup bowl for the black-and-white contrast.  You could use a smaller bowl if you’d like to take up less space.

If you’re going to leave the bowl out for more than a couple of days, I recommend using a non-porous bowl (i.e. not wood).  However, if you’re okay with salt penetrating the porous material, and possibly ruining whatever protective cover it has, you can use whatever you wish.

2.  Choose a Salt

I like to use natural sun-evaporated sea salt for my salt bowls.  If you’re feeling fancy, you can buy some black sea salt, pink Himalayan sea salt, kosher diamond crystal salt, Japanese big-flake salt, or any other kind.  If you don’t want to set out a whole dish of that kind of salt, mix the fancy salt with some good old regular sea salt.

juniper berries protective magic herb plant pagan witch salt bowl

3. Add Herbs and Oils, If Desired

Open your cupboards and peruse your spice rack and tea tins.  You can add anything to the salt.  It will add another aspect of cleansing to the dish.

I like to add juniper berries to my salt bowl because juniper is a protective herb.  Add cloves and peppercorns as they are also protective and are known to banish negative energy.  I also like to add a few drops of essential oils, like tea tree, lavender, or thieves blend.

Some people like to add garlic, rosemary, rue, bay leaves, and many other protective herbs.  Other cultures have been known to cut lemons or limes and set them in the salt.

4. Spell Out Your Intentions

I like to mix everything together with my fingers and speak my intention out loud.   I say something like, “May this salt cleanse the energy of my home and protect me from negativity.”  If you can go into an altered state at this point, do so.  Feel yourself become more cleansed, and align your energy with the purpose of the salt bowl.

salt bowl absorb negativity negative energy pagan witch spiritual home

5. Set It Out

Place your beautiful salt bowl somewhere in your home.  Be conscious of the salt bowl.  When you pass by it, use it as a cleanser of your energy.  You can push negative energy into the salt bowl, or touch the salt with your hands to ground any errant energy.

Other people like to place salt bowls in the corners of a room.  You can also sprinkle salt on your windowsills, as long as a pet won’t jump up there, and as long as the windowsills are not metal, which is susceptible to rusting in salty conditions.

To read this article in full, visit here.

Gathering around the Cauldron Meetups

Gathering around the Cauldron meetups are specifically designed for novices to explore the practices and philosophies of magic, ritual and contemporary wytchcraft, as well as providing those who may have read a few books to gain experience by putting this knowledge into practical application.

The underlying emphasis of what will be shared during the Gathering around the Cauldron meetups will be placed on the Southern Hemisphere.

During the meetups, participants will:
:: Gain personal experience in creating a sacred space.
:: Be guided through magickal pathworkings and visualisations.
:: Work in accordance with the seasonal Southern Wheel of the Year.
:: Raise and work with energy.
:: Connect with Deity.
and much more.

Gathering around the Cauldron will be held on Thursday, 8 and 22 August, 12 September, and 14 and 28 November 2019 (7.30pm to 9.30pm).

Bookings are essential as there are limited places available.  Reserve your place free through Eventbrite.

If you have booked a place then for whatever reason cannot attend, it is considered polite to let us know.

Venue: Temple of the Dark Moon covenstead, Parafield Gardens
Cost: $20 per fortnight (payable on the night)

Herodias and the Queen of Witches (Coby Michael Ward)

Aradia, the Gospel of the Witches. Charles Leland. Ilustrator unknown. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
Aradia, the Gospel of the Witches. Charles Leland. Ilustrator unknown. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

The Witch Queen in Traditional Witchcraft

The concept of a Queen of Witches is not new to modern traditional witchcraft.  When investigating this concept from a historical perspective many common themes begin to arise, and we see the fluid stream of polytheistic syncretism.  Certain names and themes circulate around this concept, shedding light on the transformative nature of pagan deities.  They are not fixed in concrete and steel like the gods of modern society, but ever changing and growing like the roots of a tree, branching out above and below.  For me, the Queen of the Witches is the chthonic aspect of the mother goddess embodied in the fertile earth.  She draws her fertility from the dark rich soil, feeding the lifeforms of the surface.  She is one of the elder gods.  A nameless primal archetype of early humanity who has overtime assumed multiple forms, names and identities based on the people perceiving her.

Within the school of Traditional Witchcraft there are a handful of recurring deities that are linked in the historical procession of the primordial witch goddess; such recurring names as: Diana, Herodias, Habondia, Frau Holda and others help us piece together the etymology of the original goddess.  I am generally focused on those figures found within the folklore of the British Isles and Germany via the Holy Roman Empire.  Within this spectrum the earliest sources are traced back to Greece and Rome from which these themes disseminated originally.  Witchcraft scholars seem particularly interested in the goddess Diana.  Historical sources show that her veneration continued well into the Christian era.  Her origins, like many others begin in ancient Greece before making their way to the Roman pantheon.  It was a Roman custom to create composite deity names for various situations for example the Roman Juno-Lucina began as Hera-Diana in Greece.  It is here that historian Carlo Ginzburg, in his famous Ecstacies, points out that the original nomenclature was written and transcribed as Hera-Diana. The Church seeking to associate goddess worship with diabolism used this as an opportunity to distort the original theme.  Hera-Diana was transcribed as Hero-Diana to associate her with the biblical figure Herodias.  This was reinforced at the ironically named Council of Truer in 1310, which set Herodiana next to Diana to perpetuate this distortion.

Herodias, Erodiade, and Aradia

According to the research of Raven Grimassi; “the appearance of Herodias, as a biblical figure, in connection with a goddess of witchcraft is an intentional displacement of deity figures.” (Herodias in Witchcraft)  Initially it seems as though the close spelling between these two different names is what resulted in the distortion, however it played into the goal of the Church to dismiss the validity and reality of Dianic worship.  This allowed church officials to connect the pagan figure Hera-Diana with the Biblical figure Herodiana or Herodias, and the Italian translation of Erodiade into one cohesive idea.  The story of Herodias begins in the New Testament, much like the Old Testament’s Jezebel another wicked woman of the Bible.  Herodias is known for her role in having John the Baptist beheaded for criticizing her marriage.  She is depicted as one of the Bible’s many wicked women, in association with witches.

This depiction of Hera with a Hind is titled Diana of Versailles and is an example of the composite deity Hera-Diana. Louvre. Wikimedia Commons.
This depiction of Hera with a Hind is titled Diana of Versailles and is an example of the composite deity Hera-Diana. Louvre. Wikimedia Commons.

Erodiade (Herodias) remained part of Italian folklore prior to Charles Godfrey Leland and his popularization of the name Aradia.  According to folklorist Sabina Magliocco, Aradia was a supernatural figure of Italian folklore that was widely known prior to the publication of the Gospel of the Witches, which wasn’t published until 1899.  It seems that it is a common trend for the early Church to graft itself onto local folklore by creating Biblical connections with the intention of converting pagans, however in retrospect it seems that this only insured the survival of these entities by facilitating their transition into the new religious paradigm.  Papal proclamations and decisions made in councils would determine the Church’s official stance on these issues.

Diana, as the Queen of Witches

There are a handful of female deities that most fully embody the power of the mother goddess and the craft of the witch.  Diana, and her many counterparts and consorts are known for leading her followers on the winding path of spiritual discovery and personal power.  The Church also recognized this powerful embodiment in the form of Diana, attesting to her connection to the Unseen.  Their goal, after hundreds of years of polytheistic goddess veneration, was to convince people that Diana was an illusion created by the Devil to lead the unsuspecting away from God.  By introducing the concept of deception, Church officials attempt to dismiss the validity of Dianic worship.  They condemn those who believe in such illusions, however those who believe witchcraft itself is an illusion are even more deceived according to the Church.  Church doctrine at the time explicitly warns of women who follow Satan, fly at night and worship Diana as found in the Canon Episcopi.

The four main points of the Canon Episcopi are outlined in the infamous Witch hunter’s manual, the Malleus Maleficarum. The first and most important of these main points is that there is only one true God and no other should be worshipped except for him.  The second point mentions Diana specifically as the goddess of the pagans; it points out that she is actually the devil in disguise using glamour to deceive people.  The third point continues to discuss the devil’s power of illusion, by making followers think that are flying long distances, it is actually another glamour used by the Devil.  The fourth and final point again mentions Diana by name.  It states that real witches make a pact with the Devil and must obey him in word and deed.  The canon also encompasses all and every act of witchcraft which are many and diverse.  It also states that real witches are doing much more than worshipping Diana and flying at night.  It is suggested that the Canon should be extended because, “witches do much more than these women, and are of a very different kind.”  I believe this quote from the Malleus Maleficarum is an example of the distinction between pagan folk practices and actual witchcraft, which was a common nuance at the time.

Her Majesty

The image of the Queen of Witches has taken many forms over the millennia.  The power to assume these cross-cultural forms is unique to the elder gods of our nameless tradition.  Sects of night flying witches were known to ride with various ancestral goddesses.  As the goddess of life, death, and rebirth; she presides over all aspects of our existence.  She is the primordial mother of the Underworld beckoning the souls of the dead back to her embrace.  According to many traditional witches, the Queen of Elfhame or goddess of witchcraft as she is known, is a counterpart to the Master of the Wild Hunt.(Craft of the Horned Piper, 17-20)  During the winter months from Samhain to Yule the Wild Hunt or Furious Horde led by the Horned One and his Queen, are known across Europe for guiding the souls of the dead across the sky.  Both assuming different aspects during the dark and light halves of the year.

Resources:

“Herodias in Witchcraft” by Raven Grimassi

The Goddess Aradia and other subjects

Wikipedia Entry: Herodias

A Candle for our Ancestors at Samhain

As the sun moves north of the equator on its way up to the Tropic of Cancer, the days continue to grow shorter and the nights longer.  This is the time of the An Ghrian Mór or “small sun” to the ancient Celts, that marks the commencement of the dark half of the year.  Now is the festival of Samhain for those of us south of the equator.

The word “Samhain” is said to come from the Scots Gaelic samhainn and the Irish Gaelic samain or samfuin, both meaning “summer’s end” (at least from an etymological perspective) with sam meaning “summer” and fuin meaning “sunset” or “end”.  Within the Irish medieval myth mentioned earlier, Tochmarc Emire, Samhain is the first of the four quarter days mentioned by Emer to the Ulster hero Cu Chulainn: “Samhain, when the summer goes to its rest, ” records Ronald Hutton in his book, Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain.

In Ireland and Scotland, a festival referred to as Feile na Marbh (the Festival of the Dead) was believed to have taken place; or in modern language, Oíche Shamhna (Irish) and Scots Gaelic, Oidhche Shamhna where the custom was (and in some places today still is) to set a place for the dead at the Samhain feast, and to tell tales of the ancestors on that night.

Originally, the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”, or a single candle was left lit in the window to help guide the spirits of ancestors home.  Ancestors can fall into three categories – blood relatives, lineage (spiritual or otherwise), and those who are not related to us but who have inspired/enabled us to make life changing decisions (often for the better).

Samhain is a time of introspection. It is a time to heal the source of our deepest wounds, and those we have inflicted upon others around us. It is a time when we can learn to see things more clearly. We use this time to remove all falsehoods that we have built up throughout the year. We also can use this time of the year to remove those aspects of our life, which we have grown out of or no longer need.

Entering the Time of Transformation at Samhain

The sacred Wheel of the Year has turned and here south of the equator we find ourselves at Samhain and awaiting the veils between the world of the living and the realm of the dead to open before us.

At this rather sombre time of the year, we remember those who have left this world as the thinning of the veil makes it easier for us to contact our ancestors, as well as other spirits.  Ancestors need not only be those of our blood line, those people who we have known in this life – they can also anyone who has helped shaped us into the people we are today, who have inspired us to follow a path closer to the calling of our own True Will, in order to reach our highest ideals. 

During the stillness of Samhain night, light a candle and give thanks to those who have gone before you, regardless of your relationship with or memory of them.  

As the ecstatic Lord of the Wine makes his descent in to the Underworld where he will take up the mantle of the Dread Lord of Shadows, the comforter of souls, the Goddess too transforms into a slightly all of aspect that refuses to be confirmed to the typical “Maiden Mother Crone” aspect.  This is the time of the Dark Goddess, the shape shifter as she slips between the worlds, the unpredictable one who merges in and out the shadows, as well as merging in and out of the modern stereotypes of the Goddess – sometimes she is depicted as an old Crone, other times she is the Maiden, and yet she can also appear as the terrifying Mother who devours her children.  It is only through this “devouring”, that we fully understand the Mysteries which surround us.

The Underworld into which the God has entered is the place of initiation where he must pass through in order to be reborn at the Winter Solstice.  Yet, until he is joined with his initiator, the Goddess who is the great teacher of all life’s mysteries, he rules alone for the Goddess still has her own fires to light and cauldron to stir in our world before she departs to join her beloved.  

Samhain is a time for introspection, as we too draw our energy within and prepare for the colder Winter months. And as we do, it will be wise to remember what happened to Gwion Bach, in the Welsh myth of Taliesin the Bard, should you happen to come across an old woman (Ceridwen) asking you to stir a cauldron in which a sacred brew is being prepared.

Living in a World Without Magic (Amy Hoffman)

When the world lost its magic and became too cold and serious.

As the energy of the April full moon begins to wane, I begin to turn my attention to the next intake of The Wytch’s Circle that will commence on Thursday, 23 May 2019. Unlike previous years the notes for this intake of students will come in the format of a 158 paged book of the same name. Somewhere along the line I came across the following essay, “Living in a World without Magic” by Amy Hoffman. Instead, it can appear that as we grow older, the “magick” of our world tends to diminish. Things that we once stood in awe as a child no longer hold such wonder and fascination as our conscious mind and life’s reality explains things away …. or maybe not.

I, for one, believe in magick, “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will” as magician Aleister Crowley described it. As an adult, I still find awe and wonder in the world around me, believe in the realms that exist alongside our physical reality, and have even experienced the power of the mighty gods that my distant ancestors revered.

But I also agree with Amy, that somewhere along the road that we call life, we, as a human race, have let the magic die. And in doing so, we have failed. So, I will let Amy take it from here.


“We failed ourselves, and we failed future generations. We made babies grow up too fast and become mini adults because there was nothing left to keep them young. Now we live in a world that is cold and dark and lacking in the magic that once upon a time kept us young and happy.

“Look to the past. Not really the recent past, further back than that, before your grandmothers and into a darker age of time where mobile telephones were not even a thought. Heck, telephones were not even a thought yet. Yes, they were simpler times, but they were times when people still believed. Believed in what? Everything. And it depended on where in the world you were as to what you believed in.

Think about it. Think how many different gods and goddesses different cultures have believed in throughout the years. And how about all the tall tales, and folklore and myths and legends that were passed down through generations and used to teach children lessons, and to explain how things worked in simple ways that children understood.

“Children could laugh and skip through life, believing that elves came out at night to cobble their shoes, instead of facing the harsh reality that the poor cobbler worked until his hands bled to make a pathetic amount of money to keep from starving.

“Today’s children get the truth. The cold, hard, unloving truth. There is no fairies left in the world to believe in, except maybe the Tooth Fairy, who let me tell you, inflation has left me a little peeved at her these days.

“But in all seriousness, when kids want to know what or why something is how it is now, we do not give them a beautifully crafted tale of mystery and wonder that leaves their little eyes glimmering with hope and intrigue and their little hearts pounding with excitement.

“We hand them a computer and show them a YouTube video. Here you go kid, you wanted to know why there are rainbows? Watch this, it will tell you exactly how the light refracts and shines through the raindrops and makes the rainbow. What’s wrong? You were hoping for leprechauns and pots of gold? Not in this world.

“And so there you have it. Everyone asks what’s wrong with today’s youth. There it is. The magic is gone. We stopped letting them believe in it while we rushed around in our busy, mundane lives and we stopped having time for fairies and gnomes.

“We stopped telling these tales and myths to them and they stopped caring. We showed them a world that could be explained by science and their tender little hearts grew cold. The twinkle in their eyes dimmed and they started growing up too fast. Sure, we’ve kept the basics, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and maybe a few other big wigs were spared, but the rest we forgot.

“We stopped telling them to gaze up into the stars on a clear night and look for the man in the moon, or in the case of my childhood, my Japanese grandmother showed me the rabbit with his wooden mallet, pounding the rice into mochi.

“And by god I believed it. I would look up at that big glowing orb and smile when I could make out the shape of the rabbit. We stopped explaining rainbows with leprechauns and we stopped telling them that gremlins and fairies stole missing items.

“We failed them and then we started to wonder why they had no imagination and why they needed an electronic device to entertain them instead of their own minds. The answer was because of us. Because we stopped giving them things to believe in and to imagine.

“I know that they do grow up. It happens to the best of us sadly. But the magic doesn’t need to die, we can take five minutes and set down our phones and tell them stories about fairies and trolls. We can teach them silly little habits, like leaving an offering in a ring of toadstools for the fairies.

“Why? Because it gets them outside, it gets them to observe nature and see the beauty of the world around them. It gives you an opportunity to explain some heavy stuff or really confusing stuff to them without either confusing them further, or giving them information that their little minds shouldn’t really have to process. Bring back the myths, and the legends, bring back the fables.

“Let them live in their imagined worlds a little longer before they have to face the cold world that we have to brave. Let them battle some dragons and evil spirits and hope that the elves bring back their missing socks for just a little longer, and maybe, just maybe you will find that your world feels just a little more magical too. “

Source:
“Living in a World without Magic” by Amy Hoffman

Hekate’s Feast

The true origins of Hekate appear to be lost amongst the mists of time however She is believed to have been a popular chthonian Goddess attested in early Mycenaean Greece as well as in Thace. Later, the Hellenic Greeks adapted Her into their pantheon where, although not considered a part of the Olympians, She had retained dominion over sky, earth and the Underworld making Her the bestower of wealth and the blessings of life.
In modern times, this Goddess is said rule over the moon, magick and wytchcraft, and even necromancy, with the crossroads being a special place to find Her shrines.

In modern times 13 August has become associated with the Goddesses Hekate and Artemis as a day/night to honour the Goddess and propitiate Her appropriately to ward off storms that could potentially destroy crops. While the observance of this day survives to present day, the origin and sources to back it up are not apparent. There is a believe however that the modern Feast of Hecate held on 13 August comes from the Nemoralia, the festival of Diana held in the groves at Nemi.

Regardless of its origins, on 10 August 2019 (the Saturday closest to the 13 August), the Temple of the Dark Moon will be holding a special rite, followed by a feast, in honour of Hekate, the Goddess of the Crossroads.


Strictly limited places available.

All participants will need to bring a personal offering for the Goddess Hekate (suggestions provided upon registration).

Limited active roles in the rite will also be available.

Cost: $30 (includes donation to the Animal Welfare League)

Please contact the Temple of the Dark Moon for more information and a registration form.

Bookings close 27 July (unless sold out prior).