Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’erbrimmed their clammy cells.
It is that time of the year again that despite the ever lingering daylight savings, a definite change can be felt as the earth’s wobbling rotation pulls away from the sun here in the Southern Hemisphere. The mornings are distinctively darker and the sun lingers longer below the horizon, and there is an ever slight chill in the air. Yes, the time of the Autumn Equinox draws near (21st of March to be exact for this year).
As such, it appears time again to point out an erroneous association that first appeared in the 1970s and which, despite numerous attempts to rectify over the years, still perpetuates itself within modern Paganism – that being the usage of the term “Mabon” as an alleged alternative name for the Autumn Equinox.
This Wednesday, 21 March, marks a time of equilibrium when the hours of day and light will be equal. In the Northern Hemisphere, it will be the Spring Equinox, where the energy is manifesting before action, however here in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be the time of the Autumn Equinox, the time of repose after action as we edge towards the darker months of the year.
We can take satisfaction in the work undertaken during the warmer months and reap the benefits. Daylight saving is also about to end, and with it the realisation that Summer is well and truly over. It is now time to make preparations for the colder Winter months, if we have not done so already.
When we connect to higher energies for help, it is much like a phone connection which needs to be closed at the end.
We may have become accustomed to asking for help from the unseen world whether from angels, guides, or ancestral spirits but sometimes we may forget to close our connection afterwards with a thank you. When we connect to these energies for assistance, it is much like a phone connection. Forgetting to close the conversation with a proper goodbye is like not hanging up. While that line is still connected, others can have trouble getting through, while in the meantime, batteries are being drained. Saying “thank you” is a way of releasing our concerns into trusted hands and getting out of the way so that the Universe’s divine order can work on our behalf.
Central to many practices of contemporary Wytchcraft is the liturgy written by the late Doreen Valiente known as the “Charge of the Goddess”. Within poetic prose the Goddess, advises her followers:
“Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you ….”
which ties in very nicely with the following message received from Daily Om about humility.
Within contemporary Wytchcraft, there is the concept of acting with respect to one’s “Highest Ideal” – as is stated within the “Charge of the Goddess” where the Moon Goddess speaks:
“Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside.”
One’s “Highest Ideal” can be likened to one’s “True Will” as found within the Thelemetic magickal tradition, where an individual, a follower of that path acts in accordance with their Higher Self, one’s Holy Guardian Angel.
Within the more traditional branches of contemporary Wytchcraft, certain passwords are provided – those being “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” and prior to initiation into the Priesthood, the Dedicate is expected to have meditated upon these passwords to understand their “true” or “deeper” meaning. Likewise, a novice/neophyte seeking entry into the Temple of the Dark Moon’s Outer or even the Inner Court is expected to fully understand, or at least given due consideration, to the words of the Goddess and endeavour to “strive ever towards their highest ideal” for this implies that as the novice/neophyte grows within the Craft, their horizons, personal limitations and preconceptions will continuously expand and mature.
Being a avid reader, it is not unusual for me to have not only a number of books on the go at any one time, but also books on various subjects, especially the numerous techniques and/or magickal practices. One book that I read a number of years ago was “Abrahadabra: Understanding Aleister’s Thelemic Magick” by Rodney Orpheus. A strange choice for someone proclaiming to follow contemporary Wytchcraft some may say, however within it, I came across a passage which, while I have adapted it to have a more Craft focus in the posting below, even in its original format within Orpheus’s book, it provides much food for thought regardless of what spiritual path you may follow …
“One of the keys to Wicca is personal development. This means you have to do the work yourself. Simply reading books and/or web sites is not good enough. While this may increase your theoretical knowledge (or then again may totally confuse you further), unless you do it, you are wasting your time. Knowledge is not the same thing as understanding.”
Following on from the Full Moon lunar eclipse that was witnessed at the end of January, this coming week, we will experience a partial solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, obscuring view of the sun from our vantage point here on earth. With this event being “partial” eclipse, this means that the sun will only be obscured partially.
Although this eclipse probably will not be able to be visible from Adelaide (we will have to wait until July before we can witness a partial solar eclipse), it will be visible in southern South America, in particular Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and even in Antarctica. This does not mean however that its energies will not effect us, because they will, regardless of whether we can witness the event or not.
So what does this partial solar eclipse mean energetic wise?
One of the aspects of Contemporary Wytchcraft is the alignment with the changing seasons. This is done through the observance of the eight seasonal festivals, sabbats, that mark the turning of the year, often called the “Wheel of the Year“. Within modern Paganism there are traditionally eight sabbats – being the summer and winter solstices, the autumn and spring equinoxes, as well as four “fire” festivals. Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasadh.
The idea of this eight-fold Wheel of the Year was created in the 1950s by the founders of what has become two of the more popular modern Pagan traditions, Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern witchcraft (often referred to a Gardnerian Witchcraft or Wicca), and Ross Nichols, the founder of modern Druiry, and in particular The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids.