THE HAZEL NUT

A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Issue 17, October/November 1995


In This Issue:
Out on a Limb: Editorial - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa
From Other Traditions: The Three Worlds of the Ode, Part III - Adrian Loaghrian
Ghost Story: The Bridge at Kinawley - David Sparenberg
InBetween -Coll
Runes: Birth Runes, October/November - Stormy
Poetry: Ancient Sister - Lee Webb
Through the Seasons - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Reflections on a Life's Journey: How Young is Too Young?
Myth: Why Trees Bow - Annie
Poetry: Queen Mab's Child - David Sparenberg
Cherokee Wicca, Anyone? - Chrisailes
Aromatherapy: Rosemary - Avalon
Poetry: Oh Pilgrim - Lark
Faerie Faith 101: Touching the Earth - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Journeys on the Red Road: Shamanic Visions - White Bear
Witch - Angel Tide
Night Stalking: Star Watching - Stormy
Notice: Coalition for Pagan Religious Rights
Ankh (Cross)-Word Puzzle - Sherlock
Letters to the Editor
About Our Contributors
Bubbles From the Cauldron - book reviews, etc.

Staff:
Editor & Layout, Publisher: Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Staff Writer: Brighid MoonFire
Staff Writer: Imré K. Rainey
Staff Writer & Artist: Stormy
Poetry Editor: Lark

Contributors: Angel Tide, Avalon, Chrisailes, Coll, Annie, Adrian Loaghrian, Nion, Nancy Passmore (The Lunar Calendar), Sherlock, David Sparenberg, White Bear, Lee Webb. Cover art by Baxter.


THE HAZEL NUT, Issue 17, Copyright © 1995. October/November 1995, Vine/Ivy Moons. THE HAZEL NUT is published six times a year.

All rights reserved. Copyright reverts to the individual artist or writer upon publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the editor and author.
Opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information published, but cannot be held liable for errors, changes, or omissions, or for any incurrances from the application or the practice of any matter contained herein.

In Celtic legend, the hazel tree drops its nuts into the well below, where they are consumed by the salmon. While cooking one of these salmon, Fionn accidently tastes it, and instantly gains all knowledge. As such, the hazelnut has come to symbolize wisdom in a nutshell. THE HAZEL NUT attempts to bring you this wisdom in a small package every issue, with historical research, herbal information, viewpoints, poetry, artwork, and reader submissions. We also explore, in depth, one or more trees of the Celtic tree calendar/alphabet (Beth-Luis-Nion system) as researched and explained by Robert Graves in The White Goddess. This includes its herbal uses, folklore, esoterica, lunar energies, psychology, mythology, symbolism, and other aspects. In this we hope to make the sacred trees a real, and positive, part of your everyday life.
Vine is the tenth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in September or October, and this year it runs from September 24-October 22.
Ivy is the eleventh tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in October or November, and this year it runs from October 23-November 21.


OUT ON A LIMB...
FROM THE DESK OF THE EDITOR

First off, I want to say thanks to any and all who participated with us on the night of August 10 in sending healing energy to Jeff McClelland. If you'll recall from last issue's editorial, Jeff was partially paralyzed in a car wreck in June. Several of us got together that night and had a raucous energy-raising circle, and sent lots of good energy to Jeff. We greatly appreciate all the energy everyone else sent that night and at other times. Don't stop sending, though! Jeff still needs our help, although he is doing much better than he was. He also needs cards, letters, phone calls, and visitors! (He's in Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, GA.) For info on how to find him, just call me: 334-821-4683.
On another subject, we have our next bio, Lark, who is the staff poetry editor for The Hazel Nut.

My name is Lark, and I'm a student at Auburn University in Montgomery, where I am pursuing a Master's degree in Archival Sciences. After stumbling down many religious paths, I am most comfortable with the solitary path of the Old Religion.
Thirteen years ago I experienced true magic when I gave birth to my best friend, my daughter. Our favorite pastime is Civil War reenacting, and we can be found with parasols and hoopskirts most every weekend on some sweltering Southern battlefield. I am a professional photographer, and also a musician; I spent a most decadent youth on the road as a rock and roll singer. Nowadays I sing only at parties and at the Wiccan fires on the tribe's pagan plantation at Roxanna. Other favorite things are herbal remedies, dream interpretation, Southern history, anything Scottish, gardening, antiques, sewing, and learning all I can about musical healing. I love poetry, classical music, my dog Kepi, classic movies, travelling, and everyone in the tribe. I live simply and believe that the three most important things in life are raising children, listening to Mozart and eating barbeque.

Bright Blessings!

Next issue: Another bio. Until next time, party on, dudes! - Muirghein


FROM OTHER TRADITIONS

THE THREE WORLDS OF THE OÍDE
A VIEW THROUGH THE EYES OF A CELTIC SHAMAN

PART III
by Adrian Loaghrian

As We Begin Our Journey Together

As we begin our journey together, I will tell you that it is in this way I perceive my place within the universe:

We are single grains of sand and all the stars in the heavens. We are the offspring of Wind and Earth, of Fire and Ice, of aged stone and new borne stars. We are at all times both the Seeker and the Sage. We are the starborne flames of Brightest Hope and the dismal dragons of Deep Despair. All these things at once are we.
How is this so? Because of the existence of my unique union with Beathuile {Bay Haul lah}, the Great Creator. Beathuile is not the name of the Great Creator, for Beathuile may only be perceived and not limited by a name. Rather, Beathuile is a description of 'Life in its Allness.'

Just as no living thing is without effect upon another living thing, so, too, Beathuile is the essence of all living things. Through the eyes of my Spiritual Mother and my Spiritual Father, I see a vital force present in all that is. Neither animal, plant, stone nor fallow field exist without the presence of Beathuile. Beathuile's breath is "An Beo nan Dhuile" {an bo nun koolah}, the essence of life. It is the vital spark.

For the most part, people are blind to the presence of this spark except in the obvious presence of the animal kingdom. Young children and animals often see this spark easily. Special children and adults, the ones that are called physically and mentally challenged, as well as the "Eternal Dreamers," see the presence of this spark in all things -- plants, animals, and even houses, stones and trees. At times, one of these special people might stop and take the time to converse with a person that is not visible to you or me. While a normal person watching this would consider the speaker to be daft, the speaker, who considers the spirit to be a normal presence, would think the watcher to be blind.
Persons who see and hear things beyond the boundaries of the 'norm' are called Taibhsearí {tav-i shear-ee}, meaning visionaries, the gifted ones. They see this vital force with ease because they are close to the point of union between spirit and matter. They have not yet been taught to live in a fearful world of preferred blindness and deafness. If a child, a special adult, or a familiar animal is open and friendly to a stranger, then this is a good sign that the person or spirit may be trusted. Yet still you must be aware that these special people are sometimes easily seduced by their particular need for love and affection. But also know that if a child or an animal is wary of a stranger, you would do well to follow suit. Likewise, if one of these says that they see a spirit or a ghost, you would do well indeed to believe them.
The union of this Spiritual essence and material essence is shared by all things, both the quick and the seemingly lifeless. I believe that the very essence of Life is energy. And that like all energy, this Vital Energy or Life Force may neither be created nor destroyed. Beathuile is at oneness with all things and Beathuile is endless. For the one is the many and the many are of the one.
From the time we begin to share the same path you and I are bonded. This bond never ends. Once we have touched each other's lives our spirits are forever entwined. Even if you and I shall in the end take refuge in different houses, a portion of us shall ever be as one.
As Oide {wee-jah} or Ban-Oide we serve as foster-parents to our apprectices' growth in the ways of the travellers. Each of us must constantly attend to the keeping of oneness with ourselves and to refresh the Nertú Bheatha that unites us to the Beath-uile. In the role of Oidí, we are assigned duties similar to those of an agent of a deity. While never proclaiming to be a divine entity, we are each naught less than a minion of the body of the Beathuile. Naught is manifest within all of creation that is not a part of our essence. Our essence is equally intertwined with all things in creation. Naught occurs in the universe that fails to affect each of us and others like us, in some however minute way. If things occur within our family and fellowship, these things are felt more strongly if not empathically. Just as a fly will add to the burden of a water bearer, so too shall a moment of laughter add to the joy of the universe.

In Our Modern Lives

Amid the world of mankind today, not all that is manifest in creation is easily visible to all people. Why is this so? This is true because, for whatever reasons, we have chosen to occupy this human shell; we are married to it for some passage of time, for better or for worse. Occupying the shell means that we acquire the behavioral patterns of its environments. Like so many other warm blooded creatures that occupy such shells, we become bonded into the norms of our given society.
So important is our acceptance within this vestige of society, that we allow ourselves to undergo series after series of coercive inductions in order to avoid being placed in the 'Out' Caste. Our freedoms to see and hear and feel the essence of things beyond our corporeal shell are slowly stolen from us by our loving parents and peers. This theft is done with the hope of societal unification. This condition holds true especially among the primates. Within our species, solitary confinement is the cruelest of all circumstances. Our parents, teachers and clergy, lovingly and in an effort to prevent us from become outcasts, teach us to abide by the social norms of our times.
In time, we come to accept only our primary states of awareness. If we vary from the 'norms,' we are reluctant to allow others to learn of our variations from the mainstream. We are forced to live in the 'Real World.'

What Drives Us to Rebel?

It is the presence of Beathuile within us that drives us to express creativity in one way or another. Eventually each of us hears a call to become creative and to express a different facet of our being in a way that is hopefully unique. Some people answer these callings with the undertaking of a hobby or by involvement in charity work. Others begin a search for new venues of mental and or spiritual expansion. Others yet pursue the arts as a form of release from the stress factors that bedevil our lives.
These callings inspire us to delve deep into the creative regions of our minds. These are the quarters of our minds and souls that we allowed to be buried during our gestation into adulthood. These callings allow us to experience altered states of awareness that remove us from the mental and spiritual prisons that we have allowed to be built around us.
I am not speaking to you about using drugs, intoxicants, or hallucinogens. I am speaking of the who, what, why, that make us what we are. I am speaking of our becoming something and someone entirely different from what we were molded into becoming. Some people call this a phase of rebellion, often first appearing during our early teen years. Others have called this the act of transformationism. Among the Oidí this is called the first awakening. this is not like the child who cunningly challenges the tolerant boundaries of the parents to see how far he or she may push before getting punished. this is the first shapeshifting from an echo of our parents into a being who expresses willful choices and a willingness to pay for the consequences of those choices.
All persons hear these callings. Some people are driven by these inspirations to alter their lives for only short bouts of time. Some people are driven by these inspirations to alter their lives utterly. These alterations come in variable degrees and in unique forms for each person.
One person may take up drama or role-playing games, another may pursue art, or poetry, or music. Some few will become a seeker of unseen horizons. For those of us that choose to take the path of the "eternal traveler," this means shedding the baggage of all the fears we have hitherto been taught to celebrate and stepping right off the edge of the world as most people know it. Whatever form the alteration may take, this act of "doing the undone" allows us new visions and endows us with new internal freedoms. Some of us find that new areas of the mind may be explored. The psychical and spiritual realms, however they may manifest, are often made more visible during or as a result of these variations from mundane mind frames.

How We React To Our New Awareness

This new arrival of unconventional awareness is for some people a wonderful thing. In others, the new awareness instills fear due to a lack of willingness to comprehend its source. The former state often leads to a desire to further expand one's mental and spiritual horizons. The latter, however, often slams tight all further efforts at creative expansion. This latter response is the most desirable by societies which use fear and ignorant obedience as its primary oil in the great wheel of civilized advancement. The dark ages were brought on by the Holy Roman Church deciding to take education and science out of the hands of the common people and control who among the nobles and clergy might be allowed to learn what. Even today, asking too many questions of the clergy is fair cause for banishment, even in non-Christian secular organizations.
The greatest difference between the Old School and the New Age is a search for light and truth. Yet many New Age sects refuse to deal with any concepts other than "Love, Peace and Tranquility." They tend to deny that ungood things manifest in the world at large. Some sects say that if a legion of unfortunate events occur in a person's life, that person is afflicted by "bad karma." Some choose to blame all that is bad in the world upon "The Divil H'mself."
The Oidí, however, believe that these events are only bends in the roads each of us must travel. All roads climb hills and stretch through valleys. Some roads are rocky; some are smooth. Each decision we make is like opening a doorway. We may not see all that lies behind it, but we will have to deal with what we encounter while we are across its threshold.
A great many people have no wish to deal with what lies behind these doorways of life. They tend to blunder along until they have stumbled into them and found the locks clasped behind them. Only when they are well trapped in the webs of self-deceit do they choose to invoke the aid of a deity or of an earthly agent of a deity assigned to their case.
Like the "excuse makers and only good seekers" mentioned above, a good many secular societies have come to inspire their membership to avoid deliberately opening these gates and let fate or the deity(s) spring what traps they might. Here again the victims begin to seek a greater force to be the guide to their salvation.
Among the Oidí, that which separates the Yin from the Yang or the positive from the negative is perceived as a "Great Wall." Each challenge in life is seen as a small wall, but at the root of all challenges sits the Great Wall. The gate between this world and the Otherworld is often called "The Great Doorway," or "The Great Iron Door." While the Shaman uses this doorway to discover the root of the discomfort and hence a workable cure, some Spiritualists and adherents of various religious sects consider this Great Doorway a device of pure evil or even superstition. With a common belief that all mysteries will be unravelled only at death, many non-Shamanic fellowships perceive the Great Doorway to be a "one-way door." As a result of this perception, many western religions content that any attempts to cross this hidden threshold are strictly forbidden and often fatal. Many theological doctrines consider the symbolic Iron Door to be the gateway between the land of the living and the land of the dead.
The Celtic Shaman may find nothing to support this in what remains of our mythological remnants. For to the Oidí, nothing ever dies. In the eyes of the experienced traveller, nothing that ever was, ever ceases to be. For life, like energy, may not be created or destroyed -- only transformed. Understanding this will perhaps explain why we consider this aperature between realities to be only the passage between the "what truly is," and the "what seems to be."
In Gaelic folklore, this gate is called "An Geata Cruachan," {gata kru-ak-an}. Sometimes called Cruacach's Gate or The Cave of Cruachan, this doorway is seen as the portal through which humans might cross into Otherworld and inhabitants of Otherworld might pass into our world. An Geata Cruachan is the most often mentioned passageway in the surviving tales of ancient Gaelic folklore. However, more contemporary folklore allows that such passages may appear among the Hollow Hills, amid the bogs, and along the sea shores. Among the Seanoidí {Shawn-wee-gee} or elders of the path, The Great Iron Door, like each of the lesser doorways, is reachable by simply altering the individual's state of awareness, transporting one's self before the door and willing it to open.

How To Reach the Threshold

This is perhaps not as easy for some as for others. For myself, to begin, I use breathing and focal point techniques to alter my state of awareness. Neither I nor my fellows ever use opiates or mind altering drugs in this exercise. When I am in a mental state conducive to my desire, I simply envision a symbol. This symbol is one that represents self-awareness and enlightenment to me. This symbol may be one of common usage or one of your own design. The symbol appears amid absolute darkness. The symbol and my spirit merge. Now a new state of awareness has altered the course and depth of my vision. Then I step back from the symbol and envision that it is mounted upon a door. Next I simply open the door. When that which is the spirit of who I have been crosses the threshold, then the new journey has begun.
Time and experience have taught me that only by entering multiple states of awareness may my mind and body become attuned to the inner beauties of the Universe. These altered states of awareness may act like a prism in the windows of our minds. These prisms allow us to see between the blinding rays of Great White Light. The Great White Light, like the common light of day, is possessed of many amazing hues but often allows us to see only the surface of what we behold. The goal of the Shamanic traveller is to learn to "read between the Lines," as it were, or more truthfully to see between the barriers that separate the three living worlds of the Oidí.

Next Issue:
Part IV: Our Perceptions of Dark and Light


THE BRIDGE AT KINAWLEY
An Old Irish Ghost Story

by David Sparenberg

Three men went walking down a road. It was late at night. The road was a country road, you know. The sky was clear, but there was no moon and the land was dark.
There was a hush that was thick and heavy in the darkness, as the three men came to a bridge and began to cross over. Now the bridge was blacker than the road, with no shadows down on it.
And now, in the middle of the bridge, the man in the middle of the other two stiffens and stands still, standing there, staring amazedly into the black night before him. "Well, will you look at that!" he says, and he starts to quiver. Then a little wind blows by suddenly, tossing his hair, with a trace of a peculiar smell turning within it.
The other two men, they too stop walking and look out up ahead of them. But neither man sees a moving thing. Then the middle man says again, his voice cracking now like the soft sound of an eggshell being broken slowly between a thumb and forefinger, "What a sight is after us!" says he. But the man had no more spoken than something powerful sweeps him up from between his fellows and flies and throws him back behind the bridge, into a ditch at the side of the road.
Stunned, the other two men are motionless, breathless, feeling around in the dense night with their startled eyes. Far off, a dog begins to bark. Then, a bit nearer, a cow lows. And now there's a thud, like lumber falling in a bundle off the back of a dray wagon. And now, a pitiful, unearthly moan is traveling out over all the land.
So the two men go searching around until finally they recover the third man, thrown down in the ditch beside the road. And his condition is frightfully bad, with his bones cracked everywhere and his legs so twisted around that he cannot stand on his own two feet. Too, the hurt man's eyes are bulging with whiteness and a fresh tide of blood has washed up like thick grease on his battered lips.
"Mercy!" cries one of the others, "what has happened to you here?" And the hurt man, when he regains his senses somewhat, answers as best he can: "Did you not see him? There was fire coming out of his mouth."
Then the travellers carry their injured companion down to a neighboring farmhouse. And they lay him in a soft, clean bed for comfort. But he only glares fixedly at the thatch of the ceiling. His fists, clenched tight with terror, are balled up across his heart. And still, before the suns rises fresh in the morning, the man is dead.
Now you know this story is as true as any you are likely to hear between now and the last cock's crow. You have my word on that. And there are few, even in such progressive times as these, who'll come out at night and cross over the old bridge at Kinawley.


INBETWEEN

by Coll

In China, large stationary stones set in a stream or river are said to be sacred. The water washing over the partially submerged stone represents the Yin and the Yang -- opposites in perfect balance. There is a geomantic logic in this simple concept. This balance is the basis of all life. Light and k, male and ale, good and evil, or one without the other.
The sages of many religions have understood this. he middle path is that which the Buddha took, inbetween the rigors of asceticism and the life of materialism. In certain Hindu systems of meditation it is said that the Divine Self that dwells within each of us can be found in the minute space between inhalation and exhalation.
Likewise, this sacredness of inbetween times and places has been a potent idea in the training practices of the Coven of Rhiannon for many years. The most powerful of these times to us, of course, is Samhain -- a time when the veil which separates the world of the living from the spirit world is at its thinnest. We have always chosen this time above all others throughout our year as the most auspicious time for divination and magick.
Samhain is a fixed date, always occurring on the full moon of the Ruis (Elder) tree month, usually falling in November (Ed. note: In the Beth-Luis-Fearn system, NOT the Beth-Luis-Nion system). Likewise, there are inbetween times which occur daily such as dawn or dusk -- not light, not dark, but inbetween light and dark. As well, one only has to check an almanac to calculate days on which the sun and the moon can be seen at the same time. These times should be reserved for more complicated magickal practices since they can be planned for well in advance. However, calculating some inbetween times is not an exact science. For these times to be useful, you must maintain an awareness. An example of this might be when it's raining while the sun is out. To watch for and to experience these times is the only way to be aware of their significance.
Sometimes it is possible to find inbetween places in nature, as in the previously mentioned water rolling over a stone. In the tidal wash area on the beach we can see a perfect example of an area which is between two different worlds. I have often left offerings in this area and watched as they were either accepted by the sea or washed up onto the shore. Other examples of this might include the mouth of a spring, or a hill, or mountaintop.
One of our favorite meditations is to set a lit candle adrift on a dried magnolia leaf or piece of driftwood. Fire and water in such close proximity creates an inbetween time and place. On one such night we all sat entranced as we watched the candle slowly drift into the middle of a lake beneath the full of the moon. The sight took us deep within ourselves and was one of the most satisfying rituals I have ever participated in. On another occasion, we lit candles around a grotto-like waterfall on a limestone bed creek. The atmosphere became so enchanting that we all wound up playfully skinny dipping in communion with the undines (water spirits) who dwelt there.
These times and places evoke a sense of Oneness with our Earth Mother. It is as if these occasions and settings are doorways beyond this world and into a place where time does not exist, and the Ancient Mysteries are revealed, if only for an instant.
Most everyone reading this is already practicing some form of magick or other. I offer these ideas simply as an enhancement to your own techniques; however, whether or not you use these times for magick or meditation, learn to recognize them as sacred and accept the lesson of balance which they offer.

Green Blessings!


BIRTH RUNES: OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER

Mythology

Odin, the great Norse Shaman, received wisdom and understanding from the three Norns while hanging upside down on the world tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days and nine nights. This enabled him to unravel the secrets of the runes.
It is said that the nine days represent the nine months that a woman is pregnant before giving birth. Odin symbolically goes through this by hanging on the tree. He inflicts a wound on himself enabling him to bleed as women do monthly. It is through this process he becomes a shaman by imitating women.
Odin, or Woden, as the Anglo-Saxons of Breton called him, wounded and hanging upside down on the tree of life, also represents mankind. Odin is sometimes compared to Christ, and as a god suffering and/or dying is the recurring theme in many religions. As soon as the patriarchs of the Christian religion realized this, they used it as part of their tactic in converting the Northern pagans. There was a time that the wearing of the cross or an 'X,' as in the rune Gifu, could represent one's belief in Odin or Christ and in some cases both at the same time.
The Yggdrasil is described as sort of a juniper-type of yew tree that stays green all year. The roots of the tree run so deep that no one knows where they end. This is symbolic of the mythical and historical beginnings of homo-sapiens. Our roots reach back to the aeons of time. The roots begin at the well which is the entrance to the otherworld.
The roots are inhabited by the three Norn Sisters: Urdhr (Past), Verthandi (Present), and Skul (Future). The Norn Sisters are the Weavers of life. They know everything past, present and future. It is their job to make sure the tree is well-fed and pruned so that it can go on growing. This part of the myth probably refers to a time before patriarchal religion when the Goddess was worshipped solely. The three Norns were probably a forerunner of the Celtic Triple Goddess, Brigit, depicted as Virgin Maid, Mother and Crone.
Odin while on the tree fasted the nine days and nights until he reached what is called an "ecstatic state" in shamanism. He cried out, fell from the tree and fainted. While in this state, he received the wisdom and secrets of the Runes from the three Norns. The knowledge he acquired from the otherworld enabled him to become a more powerful Shaman; so powerful, that many elevated his status to a god.

This month's article includes the Birth Runes for October and November, which are as follows:

Gyfu/Gebo

Time: 6:31-7:30 pm
Month: October 1-15
Color: Pink, blue
Gemstone: Pink quartz, tourmaline, opal
Tree: Elm
Symbol: Gifts, a kiss

Gyfu: Individuals born during this rune are the happiest and are well-balanced in their affairs of love, marriage, business, health and spirituality. They're not perfect, just happy! Their heart and mind work together instead of against them. When they make decisions, they make them fairly and justly. Gyfu individuals are often in places of authority as administrators or, judges, or they run the car wash or give out tickets to illegally parked cars! They usually have the best auras because they are so balanced, happy and loving.

Downside of Gyfu: If the Gyfu individual has been disillusioned in business dealings, love, marriage, health or spirituality they can be very bitter. Their aura will also reflect their bitterness. They can hold a grudge and take a long time when it comes to healing matters of the heart.

Wynn/Wunjo

Time: 7:31-8:30 pm
Month: October 16-31
Color: Aqua blue
Gemstone: Aqua aura, celestite, diamond
Tree: Chestnut
Symbol: Laughter (smiley face)

Wynn: Individuals born under the rune of Wynn are usually well-adjusted and happy. They are also very lucky and do many things very well. They are truly multi-faceted and in this fast-paced world they can keep up without any problems. They love parties, people, are intelligent, and stick up for what they believe in. They are well read and always up on the latest magic, esoteric and metaphysical happenings.

Downside of Wynn: Sometimes they have to experience depression, loneliness, sadness and unhappiness. Most bounce back just fine but not always. They may put all their unhappiness into horrible backbiting as a defense mechanism. When in this mode, stay out of their way; they're wounded and need healing. They forget easily, so they'll be okay tomorrow and won't remember their darkside.

Hagal/Hagalaz

Time: 8:30-9:30 pm
Month: November 1-15
Color: Heliotrope, black, red
Gemstone: Anything with a phantom in it, also onyx
Tree: Live oak, witch hazel
Symbol: Fire and ice

Hagal individuals are truly are fire one moment and ice the next. Both elements are very exciting and so are these people. Individuals born during Hagal can be extremely psychic. They are usually last to admit it. Even though all those dreams they've had that come true, they'll brush off as just a coincidence! Very astute in all their dealings, they can be secretive, make good researchers, investigators and excellent teachers. They sometimes enjoy dangerous occupations or hobbies. They enjoy the intrigue of the ancient metaphysical mysteries.

Downside of Hagal: Their love of doing the dangerous and taking chances drives their loved ones up a wall with constant worry. Their love of intrigue may lead them to a darkside they may not want to come back from.

Nyd

Time: 9:30-10:30 pm
Month: Novembr 16-30
Color: Black, white
Gemstone: Black or white pearl, lapis lazuli
Tree: Rowan
Symbol: Raven

Nyd: These individuals are often over-achievers in everything they do. Even if they're couch potatoes their minds are hyperactive when it comes to scheming, planning and making important decisions. Often they are their own worst critic and they're doing so well! They often believe in karma and its effect. They take it seriously, working off their debts to obtain a higher consciousness in the next life.

Downside of Nyd: Because they believe in the karma debt theory (or don't believe) they may get into an unnecessary rut holding them back so they can't proceed on the proper path to reach their golden star of happiness in this life time.

Sources:

Aswyn, Freya. Leaves of The Yggdrasil. 1992. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.
Blum, Ralph. The Book of Runes. 1987. Oracle Books, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY.
Budapest, Zsuzannah E. The Goddess in the Office. 1993. Harper, San Francisco, CA.
Cowan, Tom. Fire In The Head, Shamanism And The Celtic Spirit. 1993. First Edition. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY.
Dolphin, Deon. Rune Magic, The Celtic Runes As A Tool For Personal Transformation. 1987. Newcastle Publishing Co., North Hollywood, CA.
Howard, Michael. Understanding Runes. 1990. The Aquarian Press, Thorson's Publication Group, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.
Gundarsson, Kveldulf. The Teutonic Religion. First Edition. 1993. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.
Pennick, Nigel. Practical Magic In The Northern Tradition. 1989. The Aquarian Press, Harper Collins Publishers, Hammersmith, London, England.
Pescehl, Lisa. A Practical Guide To The Runes, Their Use In Divination and Magick. 1991. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.
Tyson, Donald. Rune Magic. 1989. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.
Willis, Tony. The Runic Workbook, Understanding And Using The Power Of Runes. 1990. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., New York, NY.


A CORRECTION:

In the last issue of The Hazel Nut, the first paragraph of "Runes by Stormy" should read: "The Norse once used a Stave calendar that was perpetual for 300 [not 350!] years." And... "This calendar was so accurate that only once every 300 [not 350!] years one day had to be added to correct it for solar time."
This information comes from Dr. Robert Plot's The Natural History of Stafford-Shire, London, England, 1686.


ANCIENT SISTER

- by Lee Webb

Upon a thousand moonlit hills I remember her,
Four hundred midnight meetings and one hundred pre-dawn wakings,
I've seen my sister forever.

In every place I've been I remember her,
The Moon as her presence graces the sky...


THROUGH THE SEASONS

by Linda Kerr

It's fall, and nuts abound in the wild. This is a great time to harvest hazelnuts and acorns for your Hazel and Oak mysteries. This is also the prime time for harvesting root crops, such as Jerusalem Artichokes and Poke Root (not a food, but a medicine -- see Issue #14). Depending on how far south you live, you may have one last chance to locate your winter-time Lunar Trees before leaf-fall; Vine, Ivy, Reed, Elder, Birch, Rowan, and Ash.
As what we're mostly looking for in this season are nuts, and nuts are pretty commonly used, I'll try to give you a few obscure recipes for their use. (And if you want a more complete listing of recipes, see my favorite, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, by Euell Gibbons.)
Acorn Grits are made of shelled acorns, boiled for two hours in several changes of water (they can be very bitter if not boiled enough), then dried in a slow oven and coarsely ground. These can be used in any recipe that calls for chopped nuts1.

To make pickled walnuts, gather young nuts which are still tender enough to allow an icepick to be pushed through the nut, husk and all. Pour boiling water over the nuts, then rub the fuzz off of the outside of the husk. Put them in a large pot and cover with water and boil till the water is rather dark. Change and boil the water until it stays clear. Then pack the nuts in quart jars, and include 1 dill flower, 3 walnut leaves, a teaspoon of pickling spices, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 alum in each jar. Next fill the jar with boiling cider vinegar and seal, and let sit for about a month2.
Hickory-Nut Pie is similar to Pecan Pie. Slightly beat 3 eggs, then add 3/4 cup sugar, tsp. salt, 1 cup dark corn syrup, and cup melted butter or margarine. Beat thoroughly. Stir in 1 cups hickory nuts and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes3.
Hazelnut Cakes are made by grinding up 2 cups of unroasted hazelnuts, mixing with water in a saucepan, boiling, then simmering for 30 minutes while stirring frequently. Mix in cup cornmeal and 1 tsp. salt and let stand until it thickens. Drop this batter with a large spoon onto a greased grill. Brown first on one side, then the other. Serve with butter and honey or maple syrup4.

To make Chestnut Soup, you'll need 1 lb. prepared chestnuts, 2 celery stalks and leaves, 1 tsp. parsley, 1 tsp. thyme, salt, pepper, 2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup cream, 3 tsp. sherry, and whipped cream. Tie the herbs together in a cheesecloth bag. In a large pot combine chestnuts, herbs and seasonings and cover with boiling water. Simmer until the nuts are soft. Remove bag of herbs and either strain the soup or put it into a blender. Add chicken broth and cream and bring to a boil. Add Sherry and serve immediately with salted whipped cream5.
The Jerusalem Artichoke, which you hopefully found earlier (see Issue #16), should be dug up after the first frost, although they will keep in the ground until spring. Peel and slice the raw choke into a tossed salad -- they are crisp, with a sweet, nutty flavor. They can also be treated like a potato, cooked with a roast beef, roasted in the oven, or boiled and mashed. They can also be fried, but don't have the crispiness of fried potatoes6.
Enjoy the fall season, and try out some of these recipes -- they'll make unusual additions to the Thanksgiving table. And don't forget to go out and find your Lunar Trees!

Notes:

1 Gibbons, Euell. Stalking the Wild Asparagus. 1962. Alan C. Hood, Publisher, Putney, VT, pg. 12.
2 Ibid, pg. 215.
3 Ibid, pg. 217.
4 Hunt, David, editor. Native Indian Wild Game Fish & Wild Foods Cookbook. 1992. Fox Chapel Publishing, Lancaster, PA, pg. 263.
5 Ibid, pg. 262.
6 Gibbons, pg. 26.


REFLECTIONS ON A LIFE'S JOURNEY:
HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG?

by Nion

Howdy ya'll, Nion here (once more). I was B.S.-ing the other day with a fellow Wiccan who had some young'uns moving into his household. We started talking about kids and paganism; how much is appropriate to pass on to them, and how do you know if they are ready. Well, after mulling it over for awhile, and because my kids are already adults, my own personal viewpoints are STRICTLY hypothetical, but here they are.
I guess as in a lot of value judgements, it's very situational, depending on whether the kids were brought up early on within a pagan household where rituals and pagan/Wiccan paraphenalia abound, or whether they are coming in at a later time where they either had a more conventional Christian upbringing, or whether there was no spiritual guidance whatsoever.
With kids in an established pagan household, it's akin to nudism; it would seem natural in every respect. Looking forward to the seasonal events of the wheel of life and nature, the honoring of the Sabbats and Esbats would be a seasonal and monthly occurrence. I guess the important point would be that you would expose your child to as much as they are ready and WILLING to take in, and not push YOUR views (and prejudices) onto them, which is how so many of us pagans were put off by our conventional religious upbringings.
In the early tribal society era, rites of passage for womanhood usually started with the first menses, as that indicated adulthood, fertility and marriageable status. In manhood, the young men had to go out in the wilds and make their solo kill(s), or to on some sort of solitary quest, to prove that they could become one of the tribe's hunter/warriors in order to provide meat or protection for their tribe/family. In our own modern-day society, neither necessity is/was applicable, so there is no really clearcut passage into adulthood (although some rednecks around here think that if you can hold yer liquer, spit your chaw without choking or dribbling down your chin, shoot enough deer, or beat up undesirables, that qualifies you to be a 'man').
A Wiccan couple whom I know gave their son his rite of passage into adulthood with ordeals and trials and a manhood ceremony, and are getting ready for their young daughter's first menses and a resulting celebration of womanhood for her. I think the neatest thing would be to participate in a family tradition like that, as I started later in life and my own kids are grown and established in their own beliefs. Pauline Campenelli's book, Rites of Passage, has an excellent chapter on this subject. Other books concerning children and Wicca are The Family Wicca Book by Ashleen O'Gaea and WiccaCraft for Families by Margie McArthur.
If you came into paganism at a later stage in life, and your kids are already established on their own paths, the worst thing that you can do is try to force your own beliefs on them. Only if THEY are interested should you discuss or recommend literature, books, articles, etc. In a similar vein, if someone else's teenager wants to know more about your path, you can recommend books for them to inquire further. But WITHOUT their parent's permission, I wouldn't invite them to an open circle or celebration (but if both parents and child agree, that is another story); and absolutely never to a ritual where magic, sex, or nudity is practiced. That is a quick way to get you hung up by the cahones (figuratively, of course) by parents, the authorities, and the fundamentalists (and rightly so, in MY opinion), because if the child is under 18, the legal and societal ramifications of what you may do even with good intentions can cost you and the rest of the pagan community dearly.
How about those young adults who are in it for the sensationalism of it, or as an expression of rebellion against authority, so they can act "bad," wearing their inverted pentagrams, and playing with satanism, chaos magic (?), or the "dark side," or as an excuse for sex and drugs? Or what about the unscrupulous adult pagan who condones or even actively supports or guides them? My OWN personal opinion is that the rest of the pagan community should ostracize them and give absolutely no recognition to them so as to validate their "practices," and if things are dicey enough, a discrete call to the authorities probably wouldn't be a bad idea. That's my opinion; what's yours?
Well, I guess in summary, young children already brought up in a pagan household would be more apt and ready to search and question and follow paganism at a much early age if emotionally mature enough to understand. Underage teens who inquire because of what they hear or see from their friends, or who are not content in their own present beliefs and seeking guidance, should be directed toward any bookstore to read the literature that's so commonly available on the shelves. Then further questions may be answered WITH their parents' permission, which can also include their attendance at open circles on Sabbats/Esbats, if the parents have no objection.
That's all I have for the moment; again, I welcome any comments whatsoever on this or any other article. May the Gentle Goddess and Her consort always smile upon you. Blessed Be.


WHY TREES BOW

by Annie

Venus, the goddess of love, told her son Cupid of the wrong-doings of the god, Apollo. Wanting to make Apollo suffer for his wrong-doings, Cupid devised a wicked plan. He shot one of his golden arrows at Apollo, which would make him love the first woman he saw. Then Cupid shot a nymph named Daphne with a lead-tipped arrow. This arrow would make her hate any man who asked for her hand in marriage.

Apollo fell in love with Daphne when he first saw her running through the forest, but because of the lead-tipped arrow, she rejected him. Apollo chased Daphne to the ends of the earth so she would be his wife. But Daphne was a follower of Diana the Huntress and goddess of the moon, so Daphne was swift and cunning as the goddess herself. Weary of being chased by Apollo, Daphne finally asked for help from her father, the river god. He turned her into a tree on her command so she could escape from Apollo. When Apollo discovered that Daphne was now a tree, he promised his love that she would be his sacred tree and that he would make crowns to wear from her leaves each day.
Soon both the arrows' magic wore off and Apollo fell in love with another nymph and forgot Daphne. Although she was glad that Apollo would now leave her alone, Daphne could no longer run freely. Her father's spell could not be reversed.
Daphne lived and learned how to be a tree. After weeks of being in being in her new
form, Daphne noticed the king of winds, Aeolus, who came and went blowing his breeze through the trees. Daphne and Aeolus fell in love and saw each other many times a day.
One day mortal men came to Daphne's forest to cut down trees for firewood and soon came to Daphne and began chopping at her bark. Daphne's screams and cries could be heard everywhere except by the men's ears. Aeolus heard Daphne's cries and flew to her aid, blowing many things down in his path. Aeolus commanded a fierce, strong wind to stop the men from hurting Daphne. But Aeolus soon became tired and Daphne was chopped down.
Her body was carried away, but Daphne's soul rose high in the air. This was because Daphne had been magically turned into a tree, so her spirit drifted away from the Underworld. Aeolus caught Daphne's soul and made her his wife, and soon after Zeus made Daphne goddess of all trees. Where Aeolus goes, there is wind. Where Aeolus goes, his wife follows. Trees bow down to their goddess as she walks beside her husband, the king of winds, Aeolus.

The End


QUEEN MAB'S CHILD

- by David Sparenberg

Have you seen the moth?
She is Queen Mab's child.

Her small, light feathers
are white and brown.
And the color of fawns.

Her mystic eyes dance
through the trance of a
magic circus.

All evening long, she clings
patiently to the side
of a spellbound wall.

By new morning,
she is gone. Having
transformed into the night
vowed moon.

She is no more
than a footstep, or a note.
Mere trace of a note
from an ancient melody.

And now, in the dawn,
in the soft, rising sun
she has flown away.


CHEROKEE WICCA, ANYONE?

by Chrisailes

I am somewhat of a mongrel. My ancestors include Slavic, Germanic, Irish, possibly Hungarian and a little Cherokee. Honoring them all can be something of a chore at times, but having them all to draw upon is a priceless asset. The Cherokee heritage is something I am definitely proud of though with fair hair and blue eyes I hardly resemble the part. However, I was born where the Cherokee lived and it was there that my own spirit first took root in Mother Earth.
I am also a Wiccan and I've discovered that Wicca is very close akin to some old Cherokee notions. For beginners, let me explain that the Cherokee held in high regard two deities who were believed to be the original Mother and Father of the Cherokee people: Selu, whose name means 'Maize,' and Kanati, or 'the Lucky Hunter.' Sounds kind of like the Barley Goddess and the Horned God of pre-Christian Europe, doesn't it?
The Cherokee also had the concept of the quartered circle, as did many cultures. The Earth was believed by some to be suspended from the Sky-vault by four cords. There was an Upperworld above the Sky-vault and an Underworld beneath the earth. Law and cosmic justice flowed from the Upperworld, while the powers of human and animal fertility emanated from the Underworld which was also the abode of the Dead.

Upon becoming literate with the alphabet devised by Sequayah, Cherokee shamans wrote out their sacred formulas in journals obtained from traders. These journals are what Witches would call books of shadows, and clearly such written material is evidence of how similar people in similar situations, totally unknown to each other, will do similar things, for the Cherokee and the Celts were similar.
Based on linguistics, the Cherokee are thought to have originated around the Great Lakes area and to have slowly moved southward. The Celts originated in Eastern Europe before sweeping westward across all of Europe. Both peoples displaced other races that in time became known as the 'Little People.' These Little People became part of the magickal tapestry of the Past. They left the stone circles that dot the European countryside and in American, the Little People were said to have built the great earthen mounds.
The mound builders were in fact no smaller than the people who replaced them, but they would have been the predecessors of the Cherokee. They may have been matrifocal, as they are thought to have been Sun worshippers and the Sun was often identified as female by many southeastern tribes. The Yucchi People believed that Mother Sun created humankind by mixing her menstrual blood with soft loam.
The Natchez tribe of the Lower Mississippi are thought to have been the last vestige of the mound builders. Their society was atypical of their neighbors. They held to a rigid caste system comprised of Suns, Noblemen, Honored Men and 'Stinkards.' Each caste had to marry outside their own social level and the children of these marriages belonged to the mother's caste. Before marriage a woman could keep as many lovers as she liked, which might explain why many young French girls deserted the forts and lived among the Natchez.
The leader of the Natchez people was called the Great Sun and he was always appointed by the Female Great Sun, who could replace him at will. The Natchez were known to be diviners and seers, a reputation they kept even after being displaced by the French in a holy war waged in part over the above-mentioned girls. The Natchez that survived joined up with the Creek, Choctaw, and Cherokee that lived relatively close by.
There is a lot more that could be said. The Cherokee were and are a powerful people, though not infallible. They fought against their longtime enemy the Muskogee Creeks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, and inadvertently struck the death blow to Native American occupation of the Southeast. The Trail of Tears brought chaos and fear as the Cherokee were removed to Oklahoma and much of the old lore was fragmented.
As my friend Stormy so often points out, the Earth Mother needs healing and renewal. We, our society as a whole, needs healing and renewal. However, healing can only occur when we know who and what we are healing. I know there are many differences that exist between the traditional Cherokee and the modern Witch, as there are among all peoples, but there are also many similarities, and it is these that we must find if we are to bridge the gulf that separates all of the Goddess's children and truly find healing for ourselves and our planet.


AROMATHERAPY
ROSEMARY

by Avalon

Rosmarinus officicinalis -- Labiatae

Rosemary (derived from Latin ros marinus meaning "sea dew") is a very popular oil in Aromatherapy as it revives, warms, stimulates and restores. The plant is a perennial, bushy, branched, evergreen that grows as tall as 6' on the rocky, sunny slopes throughout the Mediterranean. Its leaves are stiff and leathery, similar to pine needles, and the flowers are light blue, tubular and are borne in axillary clusters. Both the leaves and flowers are strongly aromatic. Rosemary belongs to a rather large plant family (Labiatae) which includes such plants as mint, clary, sage, thyme, lavender, marjoram, and patchouli; but rosemary has the longest history of all these oils and is the most highly valued. The fragrance of the oil is fiery, aromatic, invigorating, and conveys strength.
Folklore has surrounded rosemary since early times. Ornaments were made from the leaves and were considered symbols of loyalty, devotion and love. Since falling in love incites a state of euphoria, it was customary for brides to wear rosemary on their wedding day to help clear their head. The oil was also a reminder of the cycle of life and death, and in the 14th century, alchemists advised people to spray essential rosemary oil to attract good ghost and elves and drive away evil spirits.
As recently as World War II, rosemary was used as an antiseptic by putting a few drops of the oil in water and applying to mild irritations. Also, the plants could be found burning as an incense in hospital wards as a safeguard against contagion and infection. Arabs sprinkle the powdered herb on the umbilical cord of newborn infants as an astringent and antiseptic.
Meats spoil and turn rancid due to the oxidation of their fats. Rosemary oil contains chemicals that are strongly antioxidant, giving it preservative powers that are comparable with the commercial food preservatives BHA and BHT. For picnics, mix crushed leaves generously into hamburger meat and tuna, pasta and potato salads.

Rosemary is beneficial for warming and relieves cold, bronchial, and asthmatic spasms. An excellent recipe for sinusitis includes 3 drops of rosemary, 1 drop of angelica, 4 drops of lavender, 1 drop of cypress and 1 drop of thyme. Add 3 to 5 drops of this blend to a large bowl of hot water and with a towel covering your head, hold your ace over the bowl illed with steaming water. Close your eyes and inhale the rising steam for about five minutes. Repeat two to three times a day.
Rosemary also helps in improving mental clarity and mental capacity. In Greece and Rome, ancient healers recognized the memory enhancing qualities of the plant and students often wore wreaths of rosemary on their head while they studied. There is a close connection between fragrance and memory as scents are tied directly to the neo-cortex, the part of the brain that processes memory. Other oils are effective in recalling emotional feelings or visual experiences but rosemary aids in recalling information like dates, names and numbers. An aroma lamp with 5 drops of rosemary works wonders when you're studying.
Rosemary also aids in strengthening the heart. An excellent heart tonic consists of 1 cup of chopped whitehorn leaves, 1 cup of chopped golden or lemon balm leaves, 2 drops of rosemary and 2 drops of hyssop. Place the leaves in a wine bottle and add 1 quart of red wine. Close tightly and let stand for 3 weeks. Strain the liquid. Mix rosemary and hyssop in a tablespoon of honey and add to the wine. Let rest for two weeks and drink in a small liqueur glass.
Rosemary has the highest content of hydrogen of all the plants in the Plant Kingdom. This explains the oil's strong, warming effect, as hydrogen comes the closest to heat-related substances on this planet. Applied externally it increases warmth and stimulates blood circulation thereby making it an excellent treatment for cold feet, tired or weak legs, sore muscles, rheumatic pain and arthritis. For tired and painful feet try a foot massage with a mixture of 10 drops of rosemary, 5 drops of lavender, 2 drops of mint and 3 drops of geranium in 1 teaspoon of almond oil. Two drops of a blend of rosemary (15 drops), lemongrass (10 drops) and grapefruit (10 drops) added to cold water and applied with a vigorous sponge bath or a refreshing shower gel in the morning helps to get the day started a little easier. This blend is also an excellent remedy for low blood sugar.
Rosemary is also beneficial for oily or troubled skin. Its effect on skin is described in the story of the Water Queen of Hungary. The queen, who was 70 years old and plagued by gout, tried rosemary beauty water and became so rejuvenated that a young Polish prince fell in love with her and subsequently they were married. The recipe for the beauty water is made by combining 1 quart of alcohol (150 proof), 1 teaspoons of rosemary, 1 teaspoons of balm, 1 teaspoons of lemon, teaspoon of mint and 3 fluid ounces of rosewater. Mix the essential oils in the alcohol, add rosewater and shake well.
Added to a hair tonic, rosemary stimulates the circulation of the scalp and prevents hair loss, and when added to shampoos, it makes dark hair shine. An excellent hair tonic for a itchy scalp consists of 2 teaspoons of rosemary, 1 teaspoon of cedarwood oil, 3 oz of soy oil and teaspoon of wheatgerm oil. Mix together and shake the bottle and let rest for a few days. Put a little on the scalp a few hours before shampooing. A few drops of the oil rubbed on the scalp in the morning encourages hair growth as well as stimulates the mind.
It is certainly easy to see why rosemary is recognized as such a vital medicinal oil in aromatherapy as it is also an excellent remedy for cellulite, gall bladder and liver problems, and countless other ailments not included in this article. The oil suggests the spirit of yang, giving it strength and support, and it is governed by the Sun which gives it a warming and stimulating effect. Rosemary is an oil that is easily incorporated into a daily routine of aromatherapy (baths, massage and aroma lamps), and it also lends itself to the discovery of new remedies that are unique to your own needs. Remember, as with all essential oils, use caution. Rosemary can cause epileptic seizures, spasms, and nausea and should not be used by people who have epilepsy or who are pregnant.

Sources:

Fischer-Rizze. Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. 1990. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. New York.
Risserand. Robert B. The Art of Aromatherapy. 1977. Healing Arts Press, Rochester, NY.


OH PILGRIM

- by Lark

Oh, pilgrim, gather your faith.
I am a prophet new inspired.
I will be your holy bastion,
Your safe haven, your paradise found.
The salt for your victuals
The blood in your veins.
I will create new stars in your name,
And be an astrolabe
to chart your soul's direction.
Come, pilgrim, baptize in this new wine.
I am your candle to burn,
Your cross to wear,
A pentagram to possess,
An ankh to bear.
The lines spell my name in your palm,
And each card bears my likeness.
Let me be your Mecca,
Your Lourdes, your Jerusalem,
A light unto your darkness
A pathway for your feet.
I will be your new religion.


FAERIE FAITH 101: TOUCHING THE EARTH

by Linda Kerr

This is a series of articles designed to teach the basic premises of the Faerie Faith in an understandable method. If you have questions or topic suggestions, let me know, and I'll address them in a future article. If you enjoy the series, and find that the articles make sense to you and help you, let me know -- it's good to know if I'm taking the right approach.

In the last issue, I described the first step to touching the earth: playing barefoot in a mud puddle. The next step is to put what you experienced then to work. This is an ongoing activity, taken, like last issue's article, from the Hyperborean lessons.
Begin by sitting or standing comfortably by an open doorway. Briskly rub your hands together, then hold them an inch or so apart. Feel, without physically touching, the area between your palms. It may be like a pressure, or warmth, or maybe like holding a ball. Do this for a few seconds, then slowly move your hands apart, feeling the difference. Try this again, this time with your eyes closed. As you do this more, the "feel" should be more noticeable. Relax; don't concentrate too hard on this.
Next you will begin to project out through your fingertips. Extend the fingers on your right or left hand, or both. Stretch every tendon and muscle of each finger to its limit (but don't tense your hand!). Now, with the palm down, point your hand at the doorframe, about 1" or 2" away. "Feel" the wall, the doorframe. Now move your hand away from the doorframe, into open space. As you did with your two hands together, "feel" the difference. Try it again with your eyes closed. The point is not how far out you can extend this "touch," but how well you can feel the difference between the doorframe and the open space.
Try this exercise every day or so, but don't over-practice. Do try it on different objects and different places, for just a few minutes at a time. This is something you can do at a fast-food joint during lunch, or a staff meeting, etc. As you practice, you may try moving your hands back further from the object, or try determining the shape of something with your eyes closed, using only this "feel."
Notice that as in the mud puddle activity, you are not actively "learning" anything, but you are experiencing a great deal. Thinking about this "feel," concentrating on it, does not help; if anything, it makes the "feel" less sensitive. In other words, this is not a left brain activity, but a right brain one. It directly involves your Low Self, bypassing your Middle Self initially. But most of all, it's fun!
Now let's try some pendulum dowsing. If you have never done this before, get a slightly heavy, symmetrical object, and suspend it from a cord. A class ring, a fishing weight, or a crystal are good things to use. Sit comfortably at a table, and rest the elbow of the hand you are going to use on the tabletop. Hold the cord in your fingers so that about 5" of the cord is holding the pendulum just above the surface of the table. The main thing is to be RELAXED!
Now get a couple of pieces of metal; either coins, jewelry, or just scrap metal. You'll need two pieces of the same metal, and one piece of something different. Try a nickel and two pennies. Now place the two like metals next to each other, about 2" apart. Position your pendulum directly between the two coins. The pendulum will pick up the balance between the two like metals and begin to swing in a straight line between the two coins. Stop your pendulum, and replace one of the two coins with a coin of a different metal. Try the pendulum again. It will swing out of line, probably in a gyrating circular pattern. Switch the coins back to the original like set, and watch the pendulum go back to its balanced swing.
A note on pendulums, and any other form of dowsing: if it doesn't seem to work, don't push it! Put it aside, and try it on another day. If you try too hard, your Low Self will get signals from you telling it that it's not doing a good enough job. This is akin to telling a child that it's actions are worthless. The point here is to communicate with your Low Self, not bash it and embarrass it! When I first tried the pendulum, it didn't work, so I left it alone for several weeks. When I picked it up again, it worked just fine. In the meantime, I had learned to dowse using L-rods. My Low Self just seemed to like them better. Now I have no problem using either the L-rods or the pendulum; I just had to wait till my Low Self was ready.
Another activity you can try with a friend (one you can trust) is to fill three glasses with water, and add a tablespoon of salt to each of the glasses, and stir. Leave the room, and have your friend put both hands around one of the glasses and project an emotion into the glass. Then, come back into the room and using the pendulum or just your hands or even your own sensitivities, see if you can choose the correct glass.
You may want to try both of these activities about three times in a row, once a week. Keep a record so that you can track your growth in this area. Just remember not to over-do it, or to blame yourself if it doesn't work as well as you think it ought to. If it's not fun, it's not working.
So other than giving your Low Self something fun to do, what good is all this? Well, picking up "vibes," as in the glass exercise, is useful in everyday life. For instance, when I come home to an empty house, I "feel" the "vibes" of the place as soon as I drive up. As I walk to the door, I "feel" more, and I can tell when everything's okay and that it's safe to enter the house. The one time I got a bad feeling, I peered down the hallway, and saw the front door standing wide open! I rather quickly left the house, but my husband subsequently said he had just left the door open by mistake. But I had a definite feeling of "something's not right here" before I looked down the hallway. Next time I get that feeling, I won't even get out of the car!
You can use this ability to feel the energy of a magic circle, or the emotions of your friends (or your boss), or most anything else. Some people would term this "psychic ability," but it is just a natural extension of your Low Self's amazing and varied talents. In the future, you will learn how to use this ability to discern the energies resident in the earth itself, in the form of ley lines, track lines, and so forth.
In addition to your daily or weekly exercises, you will find it helpful to read a few books on the subject of earth energies. The first one should be Needles of Stone by Tom Graves. Others to read are Spiritual Dowsing by Sig Lonegren (strongly recommended), Leylines and Ecology by William Bloom and Marko Pogacnik (short and sweet), Dowsing for Everyone by Harvey Howells (basic and easily understood), The Diviner's Handbook by Tom Graves, Earth Magic by Francis Hitching (essential!), and The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins. This last book is probably the earliest one to fully explore ley lines and earth energies, and should be read by anyone with any interest in the subject, even though his style of writing is rather dry.
Happy dowsing!


JOURNEYS ON THE RED ROAD: SHAMANIC VISIONS

by White Bear

Since I last wrote for ya'll (yes, I'm as southern as you can be), I have had a couple of real interesting visions.
The first was to find my name and to be given pertinent information about my path. As most of the information received is of a personal nature, I won't go into it here, but I will give you the message I received from Mother Gaia in her Jaguar form. She warned me of the dire need for us all to be respectful of all life on earth and to work to set an example for others we come into contact with. The planet has had just about enough of us as a wasteful and destructive species and she loves us, but may soon have to destroy large numbers of us to save herself.
Her words to me were full of love, much like the stern, but loving, discussions my Aquarian mother and I had in years past about morals and respectful living. Mother was a tolerant and loving person, and I had been taught this all through my childhood, but somehow had strayed from this. Gaia reminded me how important this is for all of us.
For those of you unfamiliar with vision questing, I will endeavor to explain. I won't go into detail about exactly how it is done, as there are many good literary sources available to guide you, but I will offer some warnings based on personal experience.
The vision quest is a time-honored way to find one's place on the path. Historically, in American Indian and some other cultures, the vision quest was undertaken by individuals at important life-transitions, sometimes done to understand one's personal destiny and the path to be walked, at other times to gain a vision for all. A form of vision questing has been and is being done by lone individuals in isolated area after physical, mental and spiritual preparation. Usually, the ones who vision quested more than for just life-transitions were the Shamans. These individuals spent much time alone with nature, and by fasting and meditation, among other ways, they could open the door to the realms beyond their physical realities. From these realms they could access information that helped to guide and explain what was happening to them and their people in the physical world. Many Shamans used and still use drugs to help open this door. Many years of study and preparation go into the safe use of these drugs. WARNING: don't think these drugs are a short cut. I did a few years back, and suffered for it. If you use them before you are ready, much harm can be done. Meditation and trance are much safer ways to do this.
All of you have two parts: light and dark. They must be integrated and balanced for life to flow smoothly for us, much less be able to perform magic. If you are not grounded, balanced and prepared, the use of drugs for vision questing can allow you to get quite lost.
Vision quests were how earth-based religions found much of their way through life, and it is still a helpful and profound way today. My interactions with my spirit animals in my quest have given me exciting and fulfilling rewards.


WITCH

by Angel Tide

Before there were books,
before there were tools,
before there were movies
to defame us and clergy to disarm us,
there were Witches.
I am a Witch.

We were not always called witches. You see, Witch was a word that was flung at us as an insult hundreds of years ago. So we took the word and said, "see, it doesn't hurt us, we have taken it and made it our own." Witch, when translated, means "wise" and "shaper and bender." We are wise and we shape and bend, sometimes merely to survive. Before anyone called us Witches we were women, we were healers, we were the wise ones of the village and the elders of the tribe. We were the May Queens, the symbols of the Earth's fertility; we were the Mothers, the symbols of the Earth's bounty; and we were the Crones, the symbols of what must die to be reborn again. Our sisters and brothers in America were the Shamans, in Wales there were the Priestesses and the Druids, in Ireland there were the Faeries, and in Scotland there were the Picts, and on and on, but we were all the same, known by different names because of different languages and cultures. I am proud to be a Witch. The Witches who came before me fought so that I could be who I am. They risked their lives to maintain the knowledge of herbs, stones, healing and magick, of the right to menstruate without feeling dirty and the right to love freely and the right to bring babies into the world. They fought to keep women strong. More than nine million women and children died doing so, at the hands of the church and those who feared us. Because of these women, people today have the knowledge. So the "New Ager" who shuns me because I label myself Witch doesn't know that she was able to learn what she learned because the women who came before, preserved it for her. That's all right, I know it and that is enough for me. I am not a Witch so that I can run around casting spells. Yes, that's a part of it and it is an art, but it is a small part. I do magic when I need to, and it works. But Magick to me is in the vibration and energy I feel when I lean against an old Oak tree. When I work in my garden and get dirt under my nails. It's in the warmth that comes from my hands when I lay them on my child's tummy ache. It's in intuition that cried out to be sharpened and heard so it is. To be a Witch, oh it is such a wonderful word. To me it is woman's power. It is Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. It is grass, rain, sun and sex. It is shit and it is tears. It is all things because we as Witches recognize ourselves to be part of all things and all things are us and it is a never-ending cycle. The Bible says that "Man" was created in the image of God. Well, I forgive them for their interpretation. I know that people were made in the image of the Divine. So I am a woman and when I see the Divine in my mind and my heart I can see her as Woman, as me and myself as her and every woman I know. I don't think of God as a woman because it comforts me, I think of God as a woman because I am a woman. I am not partially there, partially toward the light and the knowing; I am there. There is a lot of healing that needs to be done in the Wiccan community and I am a Witch, perhaps more educated than some, and that is why I am a Witch. To heal other Witches, to make us strong again. To get rid of the stereotypes. It breaks my heart to see so many Witches fashioned after the characters in movies. I want to return respect to the word Witch and I will and I am. We were here thousands and thousands of years ago, long before we had a name. No, the word Witch does not limit me, it awakens my soul and forces my senses to stand up and take notice and I love it. I truly do.


NIGHT STALKING: STAR-WATCHING

by Stormy

Halloween

October and November are such exciting times of year for me. It's a time of Indian Summer, cooler weather, early frosts, fresh picked apples and big fat pumpkins. A time to enjoy the harvest of the year. I have wonderful fond memories of Trick-or-Treating. Halloween is without a doubt my most favorite holiday, rivaling Christmas, which of course is the Christian equivalent of the Winter Solstice!
I researched Halloween one time in the usual mainstream dictionaries and encyclopedias with unique results. According to most sources, this is a time of the year that deals with Druids, death, seances, participation in sacrificial ceremonies, the darkside, the devil, black cats, bats, snakes, and witches. Historically correct, these things are true. But when they are written by someone who does not understand, the results are very negative.
To me it is a time of celebration, honoring my ancestors, honoring the Crone and her wisdom. It is a time for transformation as animals get ready to hibernate, seeds sleep in the earth till spring and many trees still continue to extend their roots deeper as the sap returns to the deepest part of the tree. Geese in V-formation and many flocks of birds fly south, completing part of their life cycle. As for calling Pan, Cerunos, or the Horned God a devil, this is a good way to discredit a religion so you can get people to convert to your new religion. This is nothing new and has been going on since one tribe conquered another tribe as soon as tribes formed and there was jealousy!
Yes, Halloween is the dark side of the year. It's darker! Simple as that. Yes, the veils are drawn back and the gates are open, so it is easier to communicate with the otherside. If you are fearful, then the experience will scare the bubbles right out of you! If you have learned the natural cycle of the Eight-fold Wheel of the Year, respect your ancestors and enjoy the merry making of the season, it can be a great time! Cats, bats, spiders, snakes and all; strange, these are symbols of the Goddess! Get the picture? At one time long ago, sacrifice was done by most ancients. Today, sacrifice is what happens to all green growing living things in late fall before the frosts and snows come. They die and are a part of the natural cycle of returning to the earth as nature's sacrifice so new plants can grow in their place in the spring! Animals are butchered this time of year because it is cool enough to keep them through the Winter. Food is harvested, frozen in the freezer or canned. These are natural kinds of sacrifice for which to give thanks for to our Higher Power!

Orion


Orion is back, and marks Samhain, or the real Cross-Quarter Day! You can't miss Orion; it nearly takes up the southeastern sky and is really beautiful with its different colored stars. Looking south and further back towards the north over your head, you'll see the tinkling Pleiades, The Seven Sisters. Orion, in Greek mythology, is a Boeotia male hunter, who after his death was placed in the sky. In Norse mythology, this same constellation is recognized as Frigg on her distaff flying across the night sky. Frigg's consort and equal is Odin. Frigg is Queen of the Witches, is the Goddess of weaving, families, the home, magic, herbs, and is very wise. In Hopi mythology, Orion is Spider Woman, who is a very wise crone overseeing weaving and the home. Every month she weaves a golden silver thread, causing a sliver of a Moon to wax until it becomes a Full Moon. Then she pulls a thread from the Full Moon, causing it to wane until there is no moon left and it becomes a New Moon. This is constant each month until Spider Woman is last seen with Pleiades on May Eve.
Looking due south at around 9 p.m. you will see a very bright star called Formalhut. It is part of the constellation Pisces Austrinus (the Southern Fish). This is not to be confused with the other Pisces constellation located south of Andromedea, and a part of the 12-month Zodiac. Formalhaut is the brightest star of the Autumn months, and is of the same caliber as Sirius, the brightest star of the Winter months, and Spica, the brightest star of the Spring months. All three stars traverse the southern section of the sky from east to west.

Remember Cassiopia? Which direction is her throne at this time of year? What direction is the Big Dipper dipping? In the Winter months we'll discuss the Pegasus Window, Sirius and the Northern Cross that heralds the Winter Solstice.

Answers:

Cassiopia is an 'M' this time of year and she is in a position to get dumped out of her throne! Cassiopia, you should have been nicer to your beautiful daughter, Andromeda.

The Big Dipper has just finished making a Summer dip and is now full of liquid. None will be spilt until Winter!

Sources:

Brueton, Diana. Many Moons, The Myth and Magic, Fact and Fancy of Our Nearest Heavenly Body. 1991. Prentice Hall Press, New York, NY.
Krupp, E.C., Ph.D. Beyond The Blue Horizon, Myths and Legends of The Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. 1991. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY.
Pearce, Q.L. Stargazer's Guide To The Galaxy. 1991. Tom Doherty Assoc., Inc., New York, NY.
Pennick, Nigel. Practical Magic In The Northern Tradition. 1989. The Aquarian Press, Hammersmith, London, England.
Raymo, Chet. 365 Starry Nights. 1982. Simon and Schuster, New York, NY.


ANKH (CROSS)-WORD PUZZLE

by Sherlock

ACROSS
5 3-5 drops in the bath is an excellent calming remedy.
6 The most beautiful flower on earth.
8 The Hindu god Shiva's wife.
9 Woden's day, in honor of Odin.
10 Holly is to Tinne as Hazel is to ________.
11 On page 36 of Issue #16, the word plants should have been _________.
12 An unofficial star group or constellation.
13 This kind of gardening puts you in touch with the earth.

DOWN
1 If you pay by October 1st it is only $15 for this festival.
2 A _______ person is one who is of spirit or one who is of the life principle.
3 The guides of the souls in the eyes of a Celtic shaman.
4 This flower blooms in the summer and is eaten as a vegetable in the Orient.
7 These berries, which come from one of the Lunar trees, can be made into either wine or jelly.

The solutions to this crossword puzzle can be found in the August/September 1995 (Issue #16) of The Hazel Nut. I took the questions from last issue's articles, so you'll have to read them to answer this crossword. Oh, and don't throw away this issue; its articles contain the answers to the next puzzle. Have fun!!!

Answers to last issue's Ankh-Word Puzzle
Across: 3 Pon Tsao, 5 Fortnight, 8 Rede, 10 Oidl, 12 Low Self, 13 Crab-Apple
Down: I Spring Cleaning, 2 Mans, 4 Thorn-Mann, 6 Bergamot, 7 Permission, 9 Thunder Moon, 11 Aromatherapy


COALITION FOR PAGAN RELIGIOUS RIGHTS RAISES $2300 TO DEFEND FLORIDA WICCANS

The Coalition for Pagan Religious Rights (CoPRR) announced today that its inaugural fundraiser netted over $2300 for the Church of Iron Oak's legal defense fund.
CoPRR is a newly formed group of Witches, Druids, Mystic Christians, Shamans and other Pagans from the Washington-Baltimore area. Its mission is to assist Pagans who are experiencing religious discrimination and harassment, and educate the wider community about Pagan and Mystic beliefs and practices.
"Ending widespread discrimination and harassment against Pagans will require years of work and dozens of lawsuits like the one brought by the Church of Iron Oak," said Diotima Mantineia, CoPRR's treasurer. "Twenty-three hundred dollars for Iron Oak's legal defense fund is just the beginning."
The Church of Iron Oak is a Wiccan congregation legally incorporated in Palm Bay, Florida, and recognized as a church by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Since early 1994, Iron Oak has spent over $25,000 defending itself from an attack by Palm Bay zoning officials. Palm Bay officials singled out the Wiccan church for holding worship services in a private home, although they had never interfered with similar activities by Christian churches. Iron Oak is now asking a federal court to find that the Palm Bay zoning officials illegally discriminated against the church, and, in the process, to set a federal precedent that would uphold the religious rights of all Pagans.
"Iron Oak's legal case is strategically important because of the precedent it would set. Pagans in every state would benefit from a national precedent establishing Wicca as a recognized religion," said Diotima.
"We are all in this together," Diotima added. "Here in the Washington-Baltimore area, episodes of harassment and discrimination against Pagans are all too common. All Pagans need to stand together at the national level to demand our Constitutional right to freedom of worship."
CoPRR plans to continue raising money to defend Pagan religious rights. In addition to the $2300 CoPRR sent to Iron Oak, the July 8th fundraiser earned $1,127 to be spent on legal defense in the Washington-Baltimore area. CoPRR's mission includes public education work, which will be funded by membership dues.
The next CoPRR fundraiser is the evening of October 28th, immediately following the Bridges Interfaith Conference at the Arlington Unitarian Church, 444 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia. For more information about the Bridges Conference, call Charles Butler at 301-891-8061. Admission to both events is $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. The CoPRR fundraiser alone is $10.
CoPRR can be reached c/o The Turning Wheel Bookstore, 8039-A Ritchie Hwy., Pasadena, MD, 21122, 410-761-3130, or at coprr@webcom.com.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Brothers & Sisters:
The legal notice that you printed on page 50 of Issue #15 was a God(dess) send. There was an error on one part (my fault ?). "The inmates are being helped in part by the state-ACLU and volunteer attorney, Mr. Patrick Wiseman."
Also there is new information that others can use to help them file a legal action over "Freedom of Religion." The legal action that I am a listed plantiff of has been filed in Federal District Court in Austin, Texas as civil action #A-95-CV-222-JN (ARMIJA-VS-TDCJ). Anyone can write the clerk of court to get a syllabus of the filings to review the points of law used.
As for your "Norse Calendar" [Runes by Stormy] on page 10 in the same issue, please understand that I believe you to be in error here. The old Norse calendar (Sky-Path) had 13 (thirteen units) months for lack of the correct word. I will do a writeup on this and send you what I have. I am Ice-Age (Wer-Aldh) Wiccan (Odinise) and this is part of my faith structure and I will dig out my notes on the runes that you use.
Thank you for your time,
Patrick R. Warner
Rosharon, TX

Dear Patrick:

[Before this was published, I sent a personal letter to Patrick Warner responding to his question. Here is my edited version of the letter in reference to the Rune Calendar I used.]
Your input is greatly appreciated. I prefer the 28 day moon calendar, too. I invented the Norse Calendar on Page 10, Issue #15. No, I am not in error (and that's okay if you think I am!) because I did explain on the previous page how I made changes to make this fit the traditional calendar in use now. Also, the runes are in FUTHARK order on the calendar which I derived from that based on an old Anglo-Saxon version. I used 24 Runes and not the 33 used in some Gothic and English traditions.
By the way, the world over (including Scandinavia, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Germany, and Great Britain where Runes were used) there were probably 10,000+ calendar variations (I don't mean just Rune Calendars, of course) that have been used. I would be interested in learning how many variations of Rune Calendars there are. I think we would both be surprised! I have come across Rune calendars that divide the year by the seasons, the festivals of the year and some that were just journals that kept track of what was happening.
Blessed be!
Friend, Stormy

Dear Linda:

Today I received the August/September issue of The Hazel Nut. With all the information there is out there, I think you do a wonderful job of publishing some of the best.
What prompted me to write was a statement by your friend White Bear. At the end of his article he stated "There is in reality no separation, no dichotomy, in being both enlightened and confused."
In all I know about truth and enlightenment, I must protest that statement. All truth brings enlightenment and all truth brings clarity and understanding -- NOT CONFUSION. Confusion cannot exist with truth and truth cannot exist with confusion. I'm a prisoner, it's true, but I know truth when I see (or read) it.
Thank you for The Hazel Nut, Linda. Keep printing the truth.
Yours truly,
W.H.
Draper, UT

Howdy Linda:

As an update for the Georgia prison system and the pagan study group sponsored by Siren, things are going pretty nicely so far. Valraven was not allowed in weekly as a group monitor, but is named as an alternate for Siren if she cannot make a session. Originally only she could go in for the study group, while every other Christian and Mormon group took in loads of people, even if they only had 2-3 inmates for their sessions. So she complained about it to the chaplain and administrator. She still can't take anyone else in, BUT all the other groups are now only allowed one person. At least they are being even and fair to everyone. Hah! The other exception is for holiday celebrations. We are kicking around the idea of possibly taking in the C.O.R. (Church of Rhiannon) group for a Lammas celebration to test their system and resolve. I'll keep you posted as to their progress. If possible, what are the possibilities of sending a copy of The Hazel Nut to some of the incarcerated here at CCI who are in Siren's pagan study group? There are several inmates who are of Celtic traditions who may enjoy reading it and don't have the money for subscriptions.
Nion
Warner Robins, GA

Dear Linda,

I picked up the August/ September (#16) issue of The Hazel Nut at Bazaar Earth, a wonderful little shop here in Columbus run by Todd and Linda Speser. I brought it home, read it cover to cover, and just had to write to tell you -- it was great! I am thrilled to find this sort of publication right in my own backyard, so to speak.
I found the articles (every one) interesting and informative. According to the legend of the hazel nut inside the front cover, you certainly picked the right name! I also liked the layout of the magazine, the graphics and artwork -- I was even pleased by the size! Y'all are doing a great job and readers like me appreciate it.
I would also like to thank you personally for your article "Faerie Faith 101: Touching the Earth." The four requirements for students that you mentioned at the beginning reinforced my understanding of the next steps necessary for my further spiritual growth. I've been living in darkness for a long time, but the lights are starting to come on!
Again, thanks to you and everyone involved in putting out The Hazel Nut. I'm truly glad you're there.
Anne Mason
Columbus, GA


ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS...

Adrian Loaghrian, now 43 yrs of age, was initiated into a hereditary Rosicrusion tradition at age 13. He's into studying other religions of the world, including Christianity, Judaism, etc., and has 12 years service in a public Wiccan coven. He previously studied ceremonial magic and finally formed this particular tradition in 1990, based on ancient and modern Irish folklore and Irish-Scottish folklore and literature.

Angel Tide studies paganism as well as comparative religions, and is working toward a degree in Literature. Her main focus is on Beat writers, such as Kerouac. She is married, with one child and a cat.

Avalon (Carole Backman) is a musician and a research associate who once lived in a commune. She collects quartz crystals and tarot cards, studies Arthurian legend, archetypal theory and this Fall starts classes in computer science. She has recently started a home business in Aromatherapy called Avalon Aromatics.

Miriam Carroll has been writing since 1980 and has had the good luck to be published in several small journals as well as anthologies. As a good Aquarian, her interest in the Occult began as she matured at 40.

Chrisailes is a solitary, eclectic Witch living in the enchanted backwoods of Alabama. He has been practicing Wicca for a little over ten years and enjoys runes, crystals, and anything remotely Celtic.

Coll is Druid of Church of Rhiannon (COR) in middle Georgia, which follows the Beth-Luis-Fearn tree calendar system. He teaches middle school, is a licensed minister, and has been in the Craft for many years. He is also a regular attendee at Moondance and FallFling.

Annie says: "On a dark and stormy night, 13 years ago, a female Mark Twain was born (that's me, Annie)." Annie lives in Auburn, Alabama, and goes to school at Auburn Jr. High. She loves acting, swimming, and most of all, day dreaming. Seven words: today The Hazel Nut, tomorrow the world!

Nion (Don Mikovitz) is 47, has been married 23 years to a devout Christian, and has 2 kids, 18 and 21. He works as a Registered Pulmonary Function Technician at the local community hospital. Nion was brought up as Catholic, but has always been pagan at heart. A member of the Church of Rhiannon (COR) since June 1994, he is their official "Green Man." He's also a 1st degree Gardnarian witch since May 1995.

Sherlock, otherwise known as Sherry Holmes, lives and works in Auburn, Alabama, where she also studies Wildlife Biology. She is a beginner student of the Faerie Faith, and runs a Samhain festival called FallFling.

David Sparenberg teaches classes and workshops in mythology and writing, shamanism and tribal spiritualities. His literary work has been published in over 80 periodicals and he is currently seeking a book publisher for a collection of short stories and visualization exercises, entitled Verbal Alchemy.

White Bear is also known as Patrick Stephenson, and has followed the Red Road for a few years, after wandering through other paths. He lives in Auburn, Alabama, and presently manages a New Age gift shop. He says if you really want to know about him you can come to FallFling and talk to him, as that is one of his favorite things to do!


BUBBLES FROM THE CAULDRON
BOOK REVIEWS, ETC.

The '96 Lunar Calendar: Dedicated to the Goddess in Her Many Guises by Nancy F.W. Passmore (editor and publisher). 1995. Luna Press, Boston, MA. 8" x 11", $20.00.
- Reviewed by Linda Kerr

Those of you who read The Hazel Nut regularly are familiar with The Lunar Calendar which graces the center pages of the magazine. The '96 Lunar Calendar is the 20th annual edition of this beautiful, useful, and most unusual calendar. In addition to the lunar months, presented in a spiral format showing the phases of the moon, you'll find original artwork and poetry, and several pages of historical, astrological and astronomical information. The calendar looks beautiful hanging on the wall, and if you love the full-color cover, there's a bonus: Nancy Passmore usually has posters and other products depicting the covers for sale.
If you can't find The '96 Lunar Calendar locally, call 617-427-9846 to order one, and to ask about a poster.

Understanding RUNES, Their Origins and Magical Power, by Michael Howard, 1990. Aquarian Press, The Thorsons Publishing Group, Northamptonshire, England. Softcover, 144 pp. $6.95.
- Reviewed by Stormy

This is one of three books I often refer people to when they are first researching and learning about Runes. (The other two are Ralph Blum's, The Book of Runes, and Lisa Pescehl's A Practical Guide To the Runes, Their Use In Divination and Magick.)
Mr. Howard is Wiccan and does an excellent job of portraying the Runes in the craft through his writing and his example. I agree that the Runes were used by Goddess Pagans and God/Goddess Pagans as well as by evolving patriarchal Pagans. He covers all the basics such as deities in Norse mythology, use of runes and rune poems. I also like the way he covers explanations on Shamanism, magick, and historical use of runes in Great Britain. This book is a must for anyone interested in the Norse Viking Religion or Anglo-Saxon Wiccan.