Bealtaine – The Sacred Union

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

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

Chapter 7 – Bealtaine – The Sacred Union

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Directions for 2019

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

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

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Power of the Spoken Word (Dr Hyder Zahed)

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

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

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Talismans – Objects of Power

Having a talisman imbued with your intention is yet another tool
you can use to assist you in your journey.

For millennia, mankind has found peace and solace in objects of significance.  When cleansed and consecrated through ritual, such objects – be they crystals, amulets, herbs, or written words – become talismans.  A talisman is any item imbued with a specific power by its bearer to serve a specific intention.  Ancient Egyptians used massive stone tablets as healing talismans while the Greeks and Romans used lead talismans to communicate with the spirit realm.

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Greeting the Divine Spirit

At the commencement of this calendar year, I made a vow to myself to make more of a conscious effort to focus more on my own personal spiritual path and connection with the Divine, something that I had felt was slowly becoming more and more neglected as I had spent the last 10 or so years basically focusing on assisting others.  As what usually happens prior to embarking on a new course of action, my initial approach was filled with enthusiasm and excitement … that was until the Universe seem to chuck me a curve ball and the realisations of the “real” world kicked in.  Only a fortnight into this “new plan” it was clear that my desire to refocus and reconnect with the Divine needed to be achieved through alternative means.

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Understanding the Charge of the Goddess

Gerald Gardner’s Book of Shadow

“Whenever you have need of anything,
once in the month or better it be when the moon is full,
then you shall assemble is some secret space
…”

and so goes “The Charge of the Goddess”, a piece of prose which is probably closest thing to scripture that originated out of Wicca.  During this prose the Goddess seems to instruct (or guide) her followers in ways as to how she is recognised and can be worshipped.  Right from the beginning, the Goddess is introduced as “the Great Mother” who has been recognised by many difficult people and cultures by an assortment of names – Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, and Brid.

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New Start Date for The Wytch’s Circle

The commencement date for the Spring intake of The Wytch’s Circle has had to be pushed back a week until 6 September 2018 due to personal reasons, and will continue until 18 October 2018.  This also means that registrations will remain open until 30 August 2018 (unless sold out prior to then).

This Spring intake of The Wytch’s Circle will be focusing more on coupling the theoretical instruction with practical application in readiness for the opening of the Outer Court training circle that will be taking place around Lughnasadh 2019, the first one in about four or five years.  Therefore, anyone who is seriously interested in furthering their training with the Temple of the Dark Moon, attendance of The Wytch’s Circle is essential.

As the Spring intake of The Wytch’s Circle will be the last one held for 2018, there are strictly limited places available.  So if you are interested in continuing your spiritual and magickal journey with us, it is essential that  you registerer prior to 30 August 2018.

Is Your Word Your Bond?

Part of membership within many coven or esoteric group involves the rite whereby an oath is sworn. Sometimes, depending on the structure of the group, there are a number of oaths that are sworn as the member moves through the ranks. Regardless of the number of oaths, very rarely does one supersede any made previously – more often than not, any subsequent oaths tend to for an additional layer (or enhancement) of the initial oath.

The word oath comes from the Anglo-Saxon āð (also referred to as a “a true principle or belief, especially one of fundamental importance. An oath is also a “solemn appeal to a deity”, as well as being a “formally affirmed statement or promise accepted as an equivalent of an appeal to a deity or to a revered person or thing; affirmation”.

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The Four Powers of the Sphinx

It is within Transcendental Magic by French occultist Eliphas Lévi (1810 – 1875) that the “Four Powers of the Sphinx” is allegedly first mentioned.  Although later to become know as the “Magi’s Pyramid” (amongst other names), Lévi’s referred to these four “powers” as being “indispensible conditions” that a student of the Ars Magica must include within their study in order to attain the “Sanctum Regnum” 0r the knowledge and power.  These four “powers” were inscribed upon the symbolic forms of the sphinx as being:

To know (sciere)
To will (velle)
To dare (audere)
To keep silent (tacere)

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Answering the Call of the God

“Thor” tapestry hanging by Polly Lind

Why do we seem to reluctant to embrace the Pagan God?

Is it because of some deep rooted psychological hangover from a repressed Christian past that we desperately wish to avoid, or is it what the Sacred He could actually do to us?

Do we fear he will bring out our “uncontrollable” side?

Do we fear that he will lead us to places we are not able to properly understand or experience?

Have we truly forgotten how to interact with the Divine Masculine or are we now ashamed to embrace the testosterone fed energy in this modern age?

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