A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Issue 18, December/January 1996

In This Issue:
Out on a Limb: Editorial - Linda Kerr & Stormy
From Other Traditions: The Three Worlds of the OĦde, Part IV - Adrian Loaghrian
Aromatherapy: Ylang-Ylang - Avalon
Poetry: She Comes - Robin Whitethorn
Druidic Prophecies Explained - Ing
Poetry: Tir-Na-Nog - David Sparenberg
Reflections on a Life's Journey: The XYZ's of Being a Student - Nion
Weekend Wiccans - Lark
Totem Experience - Coll
Poetry: The Watch Fire - Chrisailes
The Glyphs of the Lunar Tree Calendar: Birch: I Am a Stag of Seven Tines - Linda Kerr
Faerie Faith 101: Nature Spirits - Linda Kerr
Into the Light: Beginning Meditation - Marilyn Windle
Poetry: Baphomet - Lee Webb
Runes: December-January - Stormy
Blue Geodes Speak - Miriam Carroll
Poetry: The Festival Closes - Shadowcat
Ankh (Cross)-Word Puzzle - Sherlock
Letters to the Editor
About Our Contributors
Bubbles From the Cauldron - book reviews, etc.

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

Contributors: Avalon, Miriam Carroll, Chrisailes, Adrian Loaghrian, Nion, Nancy Passmore (The Lunar Calendar), Shadowcat, Sherlock, David Sparenberg, Lee Webb, Robin Whitethorn. Cover art by Baxter.

THE HAZEL NUT, Issue 18, Copyright © 1995. December/January 1996, Reed/Elder/Birch 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.
Reed is the twelfth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in November or December, and this year it runs from November 22-December 20.
Elder and Birch are the thirteenth and first trees in the Celtic tree calendar. They occur on either side of the Winter Solstice, and this year they run from December 21-22, and December 23-January 19, respectively.


Things have been crazy here in Auburn, once again. We were hit by Hurricane Opal in October, and around here, 5 hours from the coast, we're just not used to hurricanes! Shortly before that, we suffered the tragic loss of two friends (on two separate occasions). We had two more to remember on Samhain. I don't know if things are weird all over, or just concentrated here, but it's getting really old, really fast.
In spite of all this chaos, FallFling was a blast; if you missed it, don't forget about Moondance next year! And our new web page is coming along nicely; we're adding new touches to it all the time, and have gotten several very nice comments on it.
We're trying to refocus The Hazel Nut on a more Celtic and spiritual direction, so in this issue we have two new series: Into the Light by Marilyn Windle, about developing your spirituality; and Glyphs of the Lunar Tree Calendar by yours truly, exploring the meaning and mythology of the glyphs of the Celtic Tree Calendar. If you like these articles, let us know. If you don't, let us know. If you don't like what you read, then we need to make changes!
Here we have our last (so far) staff bio; Stormy, our staff writer and artist. Enjoy the rest of the magazine!

I have always lived a different and perhaps an enchanted life. My father said that I have always had a very active imagination. As a very young child, I had many imaginary friends that were very real to me. Sometimes before going to sleep at night, I'd have an entire room of beings of light circling my bed as I tried to sleep. They looked like Dante's ascent to heaven. I also remember visits from the grays. These are typical "Communion-type aliens" that visit for whatever purpose.
My youngest sister and I share our love of Norse Mythology and we are both very free-thinkers on the spiritual path of life. My paternal great-grand-mother and grandmother both practiced as witches and healers. My father was also a free-thinker who did his best to stay out of any church. My mother was extremely psychic as well as a fundamentalist.
My mothers's family is also very interesting and I think she longed for what was normal and sane by the popular majority, so we received what was considered an accepted normal Christian upbringing, as most of the children in the 50's received. That upbringing almost wiped out my natural shaman instinct and ability to communicate with the otherside.
My husband (a career Army sergeant) and I moved around a lot and lived in many different states and traveled to many different countries. I was always interested in the occult, and in my travels I met numerous interesting people and learned about their diverse ethnic and religious orientations. I studied Astrology, Astronomy, Buddhism, Hinduism, herbalism, anything on psychic studies, the paranormal and UFO's. I also studied Palmistry and the Runes.
When I turned 40 (six years ago), there were a lot of changes and upheavals in my life that made me seriously look at where I'd been and where I was going. I saw the cover of the book Communion, by Whitley Strieber, and almost had a heart attack in the bookstore! I finally got enough nerve to buy it some months later and then read it almost a year after that. I can recall gaps of time lost and remember in great detail at least three major UFO sightings throughout my life.
I also began questioning many things in my life; especially the Bible. I questioned many more things. In the early 50's a female doctor some startling facts about the sex chromosones of babies in the womb. Almost 20 years later, a male doctor discovered the same thing and made his announcement. No one listened much to the female doctor earlier but people took note of the male doctor. I found this interesting and it brought to light something I didn't know. We are of the Goddess first! The Bible says we are created in His image. No, I think we are created in Her image first and then in His image.
I knew this was right for me. I recognize the God/Goddess or God/dess within me and others. I went though the "angry times" as many of us do when we embrace Paganism. You know, them against us! That's not necessary; there's enough love to realize that most of us are on many different paths to the same source. If you harm none, hurt none, it's the right path for you.
Blessed Be, Stormy

Until next time, party on, dudes! - Muirghein



by Adrian Loaghrian

Our Perceptions of Dark and Light

In the last three segments we have established that for the Celtic Shaman (Oidí) the living world could be seen as split into three separate but interwoven worlds. We also explored the concepts of the Iconic "Great Iron Door," that serves to intertwine the three worlds into one complete reality. and lastly we explored the Shaman's desire to observe each of the three living worlds with a prismatic sort of vision.
At this point let's look at why the Shamanic traveller seeks to traverse the world with prismatic vision. While it is true that legion are they who seek only the 'White Light,' they must also perceive the darkness. For one does not know the day to be day, without the coming of the night. Without transpectral vision, one only sees the reflections of what things seem to be as they are interpreted by the alpha state of awareness.
Though there are many socieities who do call the darkness the realm of an evil force, what might these many call an entire spectrum of colors possessed of both dark and lightened hues? I suggest that we look to an old adage, "The brightest light casts the darkest shadow, while the darkest shadow heralds the glory of the brightest light." Through the traveller's eyes, Shadow and Light are two seas in the same ocean. If one sea were to run dry, the other, too, would become a desert.
It is only with "Prismatic Eyes and Refracted Vision" that we begin to perceive the presence of the many worlds that are entwined within and about our own. It is true that these Otherworlds are not easily incorporated into our daily ralms. Yet with a true desire and a well-guided discipline such a nexus may occur. When this interweaving is allowed to become a part of our reality, it becomes much like an initiation into a sacred order. By this I mean that once these new and panoramic perceptions are entered into our spheres of our actuated reality they do not leave. So bold are their colors and so clearly apparent are each of the facets beheld, that they may be compared to an addictive drug. At times they seem to beckon to us constantly, or perhaps is we who crave the free-flowing thoughts and creative visions they allow us to experience.
If we allow it to happen, the occupants of the Otherworld's realms become, in fact, capable of effective interchange in each aspect of our daily lives. For instance, one musician might say she was in touch with her muse. One Holistic Spiritualist may say that he spoke with an Angel. The Trance Mediums often claim to transmit the messages of an Ancient spirit. Biddie Early, a renowned Irish Healer Woman, received her information through a blue glass bottle that she found in a bush. Both Sitting Bull and Geronimo were in constant contact with their ancestors. O'Carolin, the great Irish harper, claimed that he received many of his aires from the Faerie Folk.
In the western world, many might consider these voices to be Daemons of the devil himself at work. In our technical world, we may see the receiving of these messages as a sign of insanity. Clearly, if you or I ambled down the street conversing with an entity invisible to others, we might end up taking residence in a rubber room.
However, in the mutable realities of the Shaman's world, this is only a section of altered reality taking a stronger grip on the given person that most of us would prefer. One of the classical roles of the Shaman is to aide those people who are caught in the Twixt and Twain in finding their way back to the portal through which they passed, and thus to help them regain the wholeness of themselves.
Whether we choose to enter the path of the Oidí, or are summoned (like those "captured by the Faerie"), or just become lost as a result of deep trauma in our lives, passage to the Otherworld is still passage to the Otherworld. It is how we manage to return or if we manage to return that may be judged either good or evil by the common world.
Through the eyes of a traveller, the act of Otherworld travel is neither good nor bad. The altered realities are neither right nor wrong. All visions and revelations encountered are simply and exactly whatever we make of them.
The following are examples of Otherworld travellers who use no particular ritual or tradition, yet they are nonetheless travellers. In the examples below the result of travels without the presence of a discipline or a map, or a guide, may leave the individual "touched by the Faeries." One of the primary charges of the experienced Oidí or Shaman is often to retrieve such a haphazard wanderer from the Otherworld. When a person is "in a dark place," the Oidí acts as a "fetcher" back to the full spectrums of reality.

The examples are:

1) The traumatized mind that wishes escape from the trials of the abuse or excess stress in the "normal" world.
2) The curious mind that wishes escape from the boredom of the norm.
3) The child's mind that wishes escape from rules and regulations of adult society.
4) The drunk or addict that wishes escape from his sorrows.
5) The dissatisfied lover or spouse that builds a fantasy lover and finds an alternate happiness, escaping into a nervous breakdown.

These are only a few examples. Yet each of the people in these examples will seek and often manufacture a fantastic world either of their own design or return to a world they had encountered while in a dreamlike state of awareness.
The question before us now is, "How many of us have ever been taught to manufacture a world where fear does not exist?"
In the common world we are often taught to fear what we do not understand. In the visionary's worlds, the worlds of the Shamanic initiate, we tend to revel in that which causes our minds to expand.
We learn to grow by tranforming the fears we have created during our lifetime thus far, into strengths that guide us through our travels. In essence we establish a fourth world of spectral awareness wherein we come to understand that the communion of all living spirits both normally positive or normally negative form to create a well-balanced and functional state of being.
Some socities and secular orders teach repression of our innermost desires that fail to meet the acceptable 'norm.' This is done to avoid behaviors that might manifest as socially unacceptable and irresponsible traits. Examples of this might be:

1) Persons displaying extreme states of violent behavior.
2) Persons with no regard for persons other than themselves.
3) An adult displaying unchained sexual promiscuity.
4) A lack of regard for sancity of any other living thing.
5) Extremely lazy or unproductive individuals.

Generally, any of the tens of thousands of things that occur in one person's mind that are considered to be a danger to normalicy of the society at large must be repressed or eradicated. The problem with solution to social control is that there are forever going to be those that will rebel against these forms of constraint. Such rebellion tends to be the mother of new and varied subsocieties. This too is an inborne trait of most of sentient beings. If what we are doing now is painful or unproductive for ourselves or others, the behavior must cease.
However, must halting a negative trait require our suppression of the environment which inspires that behavior? If so, then is the trait truly dealt with? One example of this is the "blue laws," which halt the purchase of alcoholic beverages on the Sabbath Day. Those who wish to consume the beverages simply stock up the day before.
Another example is a person who finds it difficult to strike up a conversation while sober. This person tends to have a few cocktails prior to engaging in intercourse with others, to "break the ice," as it were. Yet should this person continue to practice this facet, learned behavior condition or disease or alcoholism will develop. This system of facing and transmuting their existance into a productive energy still allows the naturally endowed emotional states to manifest when needed. To find a world where love and compassion dominate and where usury and abuse may be eradicated would seem to be the desired norm. Yet we are daily beleaguered by those who would usurp power over others by aggrandizing their fears and frailties. Our spirits are constantly oppressed by the demands of others to render to them what we have not the means to produce. Finally we must ultimately deal with our primary animalistic drives of food, shelter, companionship, and spiritual enhancement.
The ultimate solution to this dilemma is to become a traveller of one form or another. For by moving between the earthly realms and the realms of Otherworld we are made one with a mindset leading to inner peace. The aborigines of Australia call the time you travel 'Dreamtime.' Whether you enter a Dreamtime state on your own volition or through the guidance of a fellowship like Tuatha Uidh-Déithe or through the methods employed by any ethnic Shamanic tradition, I say to you, be warned. For this conditioning is both potentially hazardous as well as potentially beneficial. Each traveler should preplan a means of escape back to your ordinary or primary reality. Among the travelers that I have trained, the first lessons I have stressed have been to first come to a state of using reason and curiosity to displace fear. The second is that it is your willful vision that allows you to take the journey. It will be your soulful will that will see you home.
The spirit entities that you shall meet may not all seem sweet and pleasant, neither shall they all take the form of living beings as you know living things to be. Be respectful of all things you encounter. Be ever true to your own heart. Please understand that these are neither Angels nor Daemons but simply other living beings. You may choose to like or dislike them; that is your choice. But do not try to label them as good or bad. The concepts of good and bad as applied to our societal norms do not apply to their scope of comprehension.
In the beginning journeys will seem both awkward and disorienting. Often the journey may not even seem like an experience at all. They may seem almost like a short daydream at best. The short experiences will often end in deep, seemingly dreamless sleep. The thing to look for, following one of these seeming failures at the meditative process, is one single thought or image that predominates your thoughts. The dominant subliminal signals may even come in the form of a simple unsettling feeling. Or It may manifest as a feeling of elation. Either response and varying degrees of these states are possible.
If the Shamanic Traveler is not prepared to experience some very abnormal strands of thought and behavior, he or she will easily be set aback if not injuriously affected by almost 'Toontown'-like activities while in the Otherworld. To study, observe and anticipate the actions and temperaments of the 'Others,' has been known to take the span of more than one mortal lifetime. Yet there are means of setting one's 'radio frequency' to become more easily receptive to their activities. The easiest of these is to simply allow what comes to come and react according to the flow of your heart or 'gut' reaction.
Entering Otherworld, or in the Gaelic, "Alltar" {Ally tar}, is a bit like being born into a new incarnation while remembering all that transpired in the last one. A word for defining what we see and experience in Otherworld is "Norscape." This means simply a place that is not a place, a time that is not a time, a vision that seems often surreal or inverse to our normal reality.
Nothing in the norscape as it we expect it to be. What appears simple may be complex. What appears black may be any color of the spectrum when more closely encountered. What appears solid may be mutable. The seeming rigid may be liquid. The possibilities are as legion as the thoughts in all the minds in all the worlds.
What was non-existent may be manufactured by simple visualization, though many beginning travellers and early initiates of our fellowship are at first stymied trying to manufacture the heretofore unseen. For this reason I pass on to you "The Triangle of Conjuration." This three part poetic quote has seldom failed to make its meaning known.

"As it was thought so was it begun. As it was spoken (or visualized) so was the bell rung. Then when the bell was heard (or the vision perceived) the deed was done."

This is a method of expressing pure will being moved through visualization and verbal phonation from a static to a kinetic state of being. In essence, what was not before now is! Simply put, think it. Transmute energy into it with the utterance of a given sound. Visualize it as already being done.
I will relate to you that communication on the other planes is not reliant upon the truths and lies that come from the facial expressions nor the witted speeches of the human tongue. Communication is from spirit to spirit. Therefore it comes from perception to perception. For example, if an "Other" says to you "The road you desire is to the left," while he or she is facing you, the path you had in mind might well be to your right. The Entity is neither telling a truth nor a falsehood. What has been said was the truth as it was perceived by the teller. How it is received by the listener must then determine whether it was true or false. (Remember, the Triangle of Conjuration will allow you to configure your own truth in your own way.)

Next Issue:
Part V: The Elementals


by Avalon

Cananga odorata - Anonaceae

In Malayan, ylang-ylang (pronounced ya-lang, with the ya said quickly and the emphasis on the lang) means "flower of the flowers'. The tree, known as the perfume tree and belonging to the custard-apple family, originated in the Philippines but can now be found growing throughout tropical Asia. The trees are usually small but can reach a height of about 100 feet and have smooth bark and branches that are described as "weeping" like a willow. Yellow flowers form in axillary clusters and become unusually large with a very perfumed scent. The flowers are more abundant in the rainy season but can be found on the tree year-round.
Ylang-ylang requires a lot of attention. Blossoms from trees growing in the wild have very little fragrance and only after much care is given by human hands, does the fragrance begin to develop. The trees must be trimmed every two months and the blossoms picked once a year in the fall. Flowers must be harvested and immediately prepared for distillation in the early morning. Steam distillation of the fresh flowers is a delicate operation which lasts for days and yields up to six different qualities of oil ranging from extra-superior to fifth grade. It requires approximately 100 pounds of blossoms to produce 1½ to 2½ pounds of the essential oil. The oil is clear to slightly yellow and produces a fragrance that is sweet, voluptuous, and exotic -- a fragrance reminiscent of orchids and almonds.
Because of the perfume industry, distillers often ignore the use of the oil in therapy, and if the oil is not of the very best quality, the therapeutic properties are of little value. To test the quality, leave a sample in the freezer for a short while. If it becomes thick or cloudy, it more than likely has been falsified with cocoa butter or coconut oil.
English botanists working in the Phillippines during the early 1600's described a mixture of borri-borri being used by the natives. This mixture, made by soaking ylang-ylang flowers in coconut oil until all the fragrance was absorbed, was reportedly good for the health of the skin and also helped avoid the bites of snakes and insects. The scientists described the oil as being beneficial in
the treatment
of malaria, typhus and others fevers, and recommended it as an antiseptic (mildly) for intestinal infections and diarrhea. They also recognized the oil's calming effect and heart regulatory action.
Ylang-ylang stimulates the part of the brain that releases endorphins and is helpful in reducing pain as well as in creating euphoric and erotic moods. It helps men become less harsh toward themselves and others, and allows them to bring out their feminine side and to awaken their understanding and intuition. If men find the intense fragrance of this oil too much, try adding a few drops of orange, bergamot or grapefruit.
Stress is a problem that is becoming more common in today's society. There are excessive demands being made on our energies, mentally and physically, and this can lead to many major and minor ailments. The hormone adrenaline is manufactured by the body during times of stress. As anxiety and worries about money, children, health, etc. become more and more prevalent in our life, these stresses can produce a constant source of adrenaline in our body, thus taking a toll on our systems. Hypertension, increased blood pressure, and depression are just a few of the ailments that are a direct result of stress. It is important that these imbalances be dealt with swiftly and efficiently before the body is seriously affected.
Ylang-ylang raises the spirits and has antidepressive properties which are beneficial for nervous depression which usually accompanies severe tension. Remember that balance is the key to correcting these attacks. Find some peaceful time for yourself and take a warm-to-hot bath with a few drops of ylang-ylang or lavender, and if possible (I have found that in the work place some people just can't handle this fragrance) diffuse the calming vapors around the rooms where you live or work. A few drops on a handkerchief or rubbed into your chest at some point during the day also works.
Due to daily stresses, we tend to fill our facial muscles with our emotions. Sometimes such expressions of anger, hate, rage and frustration become plainly visible on our facial contours and can create permanent facial landscapes. Ylang-ylang aids in reconciling feelings of anger and rage and helps to soothe the anger borne of frustration. A face massage with ylang-ylang can be very beneficial for this condition. Try a mixture of 2 drops of ylang-ylang, 2 drops of clary sage, 2 drops of marjoram, 2 drops of lavender, and 2 drops of petigrain mixed in 10 ml of evening primrose oil. Remember, if the fragrance seems too sweet, tone it down with orange or lemon.
Ylang-ylang can be used as soother and relaxer by adding 5 drops in a warm bath. Nervous or emotional people who tend to get palpitations should carry the oil in a small bottle. When nervous, a few drops on a handkerchief, inhaled deeply for a few minutes, will have a very beneficial effect. Ylang- ylang has also proven beneficial for the treatment of PMS. For use in aroma lamps, bath oils and body lotions, add a few drops of a mixture containing 15 drops of ylang-ylang, 7 drops of clary and 6 drops of neroli.
The fragrance of ylang-ylang is also very pleasant to use in suntan lotions. In a brown bottle mix together 7 drops of ylang-ylang oil in 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil. Another good mixture consists of 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, 2 teaspoons wheat germ oil, 3 tablespoons almond oil and 10 drops ylang-ylang oil. Rub into the skin but only if you tan easily or already have a good tan as these oils have a very low SPF.
In the Philippines, the oil is used for hair. Ylang-ylang is very effective when applied before shampooing to treat split ends and is an excellent alternative to the synthetic apple fragrance added to many inexpensive shampoos. Added to a skin lotion or oil, ylang-ylang has proven to be very beneficial, particularly for oily skin, although it is suitable for all types. Its effects are moisture-balancing, softening and smoothing. Due to plant hormones present in the oil, it rejuvenates the skin.
Many sexual problems are minor and short-lived and can be treated by aroma therapeutic principles. Often psychological disorders like depression and tension contribute to a lack of sexual drive or the ability to make love. In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are scattered on the bed of couples on their wedding night. Along with some good romance (candles, music, etc), a few drops of ylang-ylang in a bath can be very stimulating. A sexual chakra oil or an oil for frigidity can be made by blending 3 drops of ylang-ylang, 2 drops of jasmine, 2 drops of sandalwood and 3 drops of tangerine in 10 ml of grapeseed oil.
The spirit of ylang-ylang usually fits the person who is naturally drawn to the oil. Its effects are calming and antispasmodic and allow for the dissolution of external as well as internal tension with the added benefit of an euphoric effect. Ylang-ylang is soothing, sedative, slightly euphoric, and has a lascivious quality of extreme fire and water -- evoking images of the luxurious laziness of tropical islands. It is strongly yin and awakens our awareness of the joy and beauty in life while helping us to communicate more easily with others. Ylang-ylang can clearly be described as an oil of enthusiasm.


Susanne Fischer-Rizzi. Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. 1989. Sterling Publishing Co., New York.
Marcel Lavabre. Aromatherapy Workbook. 1990. Healing Arts Press.


- by Robin Whitethorn

She comes to hold the manor in her sway
Its keys to dangle boldly from her hips
Her sweet voice and soft laugh does charm the day
so flowers the song of joy between her lips

White is the grip of winter on the land
Frozen is life in limb in stem and root
Yet she who comes to hold it in her hand
she dares to dance the fields naked of foot

That sweet touch brings winter then to weep
the tears to nourish those who are set free
leaving white only the flowers at her feet
and she the joy of life, Art's heart to see

She came to hold the manor in her sway
Its key upon her hip until this day


by Ing (of C.O.R.)

The Romans, when attacking us in the years 58ħ B.C.E., were astounded by our abilities to stop our horses and full gallop, dismount, and in a woad-colored furor, scare the crap out of their mighty legions. Thus Caesar described us, and in many other ways, he was in awe of the Pagan Celts.
It is due to our Celtic sense of freedom and hard-headedness that the Romans never got beyond Northern England or into Ireland. Indeed, the Emperor Hadrian had a wall built between Roman-occupied Britain and what is now Scotland. The reason -- he was fearful of the Picts and the Scots -- Pagan races of whom the blue-woad-nude warriors struck terror into any "civilized" person that may happen onto them.

And we feel the ancestral pull...

Caesar allowed most of the Pagan cultures that were subdued to continue their beliefs. No so with the Celts. The Druidic Priesthood was too powerful to be allowed to exist. (The Druidic Priestesshood, not being politically active, were allowed to continue, thus surviving into Saxonic times as Witches.)
As present-day Scotland and Ireland began to give Druidic/Bardic/Ovadic knowledge up to scholastic writers, it became apparent that there was much in these oral traditions that was relevant to future times.
Many of these prophecies relate to a time in which humankind will have a critical dominion over the Earth. The whole planet will be nearly out of balance or even destroyed when certain people will cause a change in all, thereby averting a disaster and eventually culminating in no less than a restarting of human awareness.
Historically, all Druidic knowledge had been passed in verbal form. No writing was permitted. However, toward the beginning of the Christian era, certain doctrines began to surface as script. The authenticity of a few have been questioned and some have even been altered by Christian scribes. But, to most who have studied these writings extensively, there emerge passages that are obviously genuine Druidic doctrine. Among these are suggestions of their calendar, sacred celebrations, and the "Change of the Ages."
The first Druidic Age, called Iron and Silver, began after the second battle on the plain of Mag Tuireadh, Ireland. This decisive battle gave the Tuatha de Dannan (protoCelts) dominance over the Fomwrieans (beings able to change shape, i.e., Nature Spirits). When Humankind gained dominance over Europe's westernmost isle, then began our steady climb toward the situation in which we find ourselves today.
The Age of Iron and Silver was aptly named. Since the banishment of Nature, the inclination has been toward building (iron), and commerce (silver). No one can deny this!
The Age of Iron and Silver began 3866 years ago. It is due to end in the Druidic year of 3888. To those who follow the Roman/Christian calendar, this will be the year 2017 A.D. Most of us will witness this. Twenty-two years is a long time. So much can happen. And it will!
What will be these times? This is one of the questions that had been most asked of the Druids of old. All of the oral knowledge was taught through a question and answer type format. After 19 years of this repetitive drill, you knew your text. No books needed. As one author states, "Druidic knowledge was kept within living brain cells, not dusty old manuscripts1." The students in unison would ask a question and the Bard/ Druid would supply the answer. Any good book on Druidism contains examples of this, but I will concentrate on the passages relating to prophecy.

Translated from Ploybius' History in 1922:

"1) In the time of change, Abred (the Earth plane) will be grievous sore, the vessels (the ground or ley lines) shall be exposed.
2) Only then will the change be known.
3) At last the time of disgrace will be turned aside.
4) After this time has passed shall be seed and fruit anew.
5) After Cetsamhain, before Samhain, shall ye know2."
(Cetsamhain is the Cymric [Welsh] word for Beltain, which is Gaelic/Scot/Irish.)

So, in the year 3888 MT (2017 A.D.), a seemingly catastrophic event will be avoided and humankind will begin to really understand what was nearly lost. This is, in a way, different from most world religious prophecies which restart the new age only after a "doomsday." For further reading concerning dates, see The Celtic Tree Oracle by Liz and Colin Murray.3
Some have interpreted the second passage as humans finding a powerful "Earth Energy" spot somewhere. Some have speculated that the Cuban missile crisis was the near-disaster that is avoided. If that is the case (which I consider to be a possibility), then we are past the turmoil and have only to await the Age of Seed and Fruit (to celebrate for about five turns of the Moon) in the year 3888. And it is interesting to not that after the Cuban missile crisis, the "hippie, new thought" generation bloomed. Things have become steadily more "Earth conscious" ever since 1962.
Nostrodamus predicts a near-catastrophe and a New Age afterward. It would be interesting if each religion's prophecies came true for the geographic area they originated in, the Native American, Christian, and Druidic prophecies all being accurate for their lands.
Most latter-day interpretations are less of a near miss because of a war, but instead of an environmental near miss. They speak of all the chemical and radiational problems that face our growing, polluted world. There are groups that maintain that the passages do indeed allude to a world collapse. I also must admit their caution.
However, I feel that humankind will both nearly self-destruct and, at almost the same time, come to our senses. We have to...look where we are headed. We burn more oil in one hour than Sadam's Kuwaiti oil fires did the entire time they were alight. There is at best only 75 years of oil left in the ground. Religious, racial, and class intolerance are growing here and abroad. The welfare system in the U.S. has created a permanent caste wherein the family survives only if the father is absent. Lack of any religious ritual -- Joseph Campbell (Video, Power of Myth with Bill Moyers) said, "If you want to see what happens to any society that does away with Ritual, just look at today's news."
Rituals are a particular group's (Oriental, European, African, Native American, etc.) method of acceptance of the individual. When the individual is adrift, moral corruptness (theft, murder) become viable alternatives. Notice that I did not place sex into the moral category. An acceptance of sexuality for each individual is a human right, not a matter of anyone's personal beliefs. Sexuality is unique to each person.
Many cultures believe that the turn of the century will be the decisive time of which the prophets speak. There is some validity to their thoughts. If this is the case, then the years following may be the time when "the change will be known."
I do know that if and when these events occur, there will be people of the old Pagan religions who will band together and survive, indeed thrive, in the New Age...The Age of Seed and Fruit.
So Mote It Be!!!


1 Hope, Murray. Practical Celtic Magic.
2 Ploybius. History. Translated by W.R. Patton. 1922. London.
3 Murray, Liz and Colin. The Celtic Tree Oracle. 1988. St. Martin's Press.


Herm, Gerhard. The Celts. 1975. St. Martin's Press.
Hope, Murray. Practical Celtic Magic.
Jackson, K.H. The Oldest Irish Tradition. 1964. Cambridge.
Marcellinus, Ammianus. History. 1935. Rolfe of London.
Murray, Liz and Colin. The Celtic Tree Oracle. 1988. St. Martin's Press.
Piggot, Stuart. Ancient Europe. 1965. Edinburgh.
Piggot, Stuart. The Druids. 1968. Edinburgh.
Ploybius. History. Translated by W.R. Patton. 1922. London.
Warner, R. The Fall of the Roman Republic. 1958. Hammondsworth.

(Reprinted from The Henge, Imbolc 3865.)


- by David Sparenberg

Say man be there
say woman fair
the hills
are ever green.

Say here n there
wild hart n hare
say everywhere
the air is clear
be fresh
be crisp
be wholesome.

A sunswept sky
the cliffs that lie
uncharted sea
say you or I
through time could fly
to where rare dream's

One island green
in mist unseen
(n on her air
parading fair
the folk that were
never were
their voices
'magic spoken).

No tongue talks false
no sorrow walks
nor shadow's
there stalkin'.

Say none feel cold
say none grow old
but day to day
new wonders play
like flow'rs


by Nion

Howdy ya'll, Nion here. I was trying to read and wade through some books that I have been accumulating on all aspects of paganism and various New Age-isms, and as I was sorting through this wealth of material, some of which was either contradictory or smacked of hidebound traditionalism or sectism, that I decided to pass on my perspective of trying to put it all in perspective.
Let me start by referring to an excellent article by Valraven (one of these hidebound traditionalists of the Craft who kind of reminds me of the nuns in the Catholic schools where I was taught in my informative years, who were always ready to smack you upside the head with a ruler if you didn't mind your p's and q's) in the Wiccan Works, a central Georgia newsletter, on the "ABC's of Finding a Teacher." Valraven's article is a very informative how-to for a student hunting a teacher; what to look for, some questions to ask, etc.
Finding a good ethical teacher of the Craft is kind of like the "Dating Game," or marriage, for that matter. Once you find each other, you need to ensure that you are mutually compatible and that both of your personalities are equally supportive of the other. If having found a teacher who is interested in passing on Craft knowledge for money or sex, then I personally question the "ethics" of that teacher, because to my mind, objectivity and the necessary strong true interpersonal spiritual relationships cannot take place when greed or lust is present. Now if two consenting adults want to have sex, or money for equipment and supplies is needed, that is another matter.
Don't get me wrong; I know there are a lot of self-taught pagans who didn't have the benefit of a mentor and teacher, or who choose NOT to have one, who only had the available books that are on the market and the personal drive and dedication to learn and succeed. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those solitaires, but the thought of diving into murky waters without the benefit of a life preserver scares the hell out of me.
I am a born skeptic by nature -- I'm not quite sure if that is a good or bad thing. But my deepest gratitude goes to Linda Kerr for taking the time and patience for a very frustrated ME during Moondance 94 (my first pagan festival exposure, in more ways than one, Ha!), when during her dowsing class she took me by the hand to the stone circle and helped me to see for myself that SOMETHING out there actually works. I've also actually done a Tarot reading that was so accurate (only once so far, but I'm still trying) that it scared me, and had rune-readings that came to pass (my poor athames). I guess what I'm trying to say is that if it wasn't for someone helping to guide me and show me, there are meaningful experiences that I probably wouldn't have had. Thanks, all.
Now, I have to truly admit that being kinda new to paganism, I've been an avid reader of everything I can get my hands on, of just about every diverse publication, article and book that is out there, and I want to explore everything and go in a zillion directions (Wow! talk about feeling like having multiple personalities sometimes), and do, feel and experience EVERYTHING, NOW. However, as several good friends and teachers have pointed out, you have to crawl before ya walk, and walk before ya run, and to take it a step at a time. I must reluctantly admit that I'm guilty of wanting to dive blindly into unknown waters over my head without first looking, but AM very fortunate in having a previous AND a present teacher who keeps me on a short leash and whacks my pee-pee (ouch! figuratively, of course, at least so far anyway) when I stray too far. And that is something every new student really needs so as to keep out of trouble and out of over-your-head water when you're just trying to learn how to swim.
Now, besides having a stern (but hopefully likable) taskmaster or mistress, who looks after your spiritual welfare and guides you in proper directions by example and teachings, YOU have to put forth the dedication, sweat-equity, time, mind and spirit to take what is presented, and USE it wisely under proper guidance. It's only YOU who can take what is learned and apply that knowledge for good or ill, but with a wise and ethical teacher, a dedication to the Craft, and the Goddess always in mind and heart, YOU can continue to grow spiritually and as a person.
Blessed Be.


by Lark

I have a thing against weekend Wiccans. Just like those weekend hippies of the 70's, the one who bought tie-dyes, lovebeads and Birkenstocks and called themselves freaks. Sure, I want everyone on the planet to join me in adoration of the God and Goddess; just don't think you can get yourself a pentagram, gaze into a crystal, read a Llewelyn book and overnight become a High Priestess! The Craft must be diligently studied and practiced and as we learn, we gain respect and acknowledgement only by consistent word and deed. I see too many neo-pagans slipping into a witch persona because it's the current craze, like Ray Bans, BMWs, and cutsie personalized license plates. Your worship of Her must be the thought and dream put into action, the moving of your spirit and mind to higher levels which release one from conventional perceptions.
So, can someone overnight come to gain that stillness, that quietness so necessary for being as one with Her and knowing Her in Her triple guises? I don't know. All I know is that my dawning came over a matter of years. There came a deep stillness that penetrated every cell of my existence, a calm silence, a wiseness, an understanding -- a music heard only after many years of practiced, quiet, devoted listening.
Our goal must be to create a vision for tomorrow so that all our thoughts and actions move in one accord, to build a harmonious and functional Pagan community. If you are with us, "Cuz, wow, I can do magic!", then I'm afraid you've come down the wrong path. It is one thing to hum the tune but quite another to experience the breadth, depth, and height you can reach once you know all the words to the song. We are glad you've come out of the broom closet, but don't be a weekend Wiccan. Look to the pagans around you who have exhibited wisdom in word and deed and seek them out for knowledge, and don't disregard the vast storehouse of knowledge teachers can offer. Just remember that being a Wiccan is not a gimmick or a fad to get attention; it is a way of life for legions of us.

" chose your jobs because they promised to provide you with a steady income and leisure to render the Goddess whom you adore valuable parttime service. Who am I, you will ask, to warn you that she demands either whole-time service or none at all?"
Robert Graves, The White Goddess, pg. 14-15.


by Coll

The south Georgia retreat of C.O.R. (Church of Rhiannon) on the Muckalee Creek holds a special reputation for being a center of spiritual inspiration among our elder members. Several years ago on Samhain, I journeyed there for our traditional Sabbat gathering.
I arrived in the early afternoon to help prepare for the circle (in those days we would often spend half the day making preparations for a major Sabbat). The drive had been tedious, so I walked out into the dried-up swamp to clear my head. I stopped suddenly beneath a huge cypress tree when I heard this loud commotion from deep in the forest. It was getting closer and closer until soon I recognized the laughing call of the Pilleated Woodpecker. In fact, a male and a female flew up and lit in the very tree I was standing under, continuing their haunting laugh. I dropped to my knees in awe of their immense size and beautiful markings, and I was humbled as I realized that the spirits of the Muckalee were welcoming me after a long absence.
From that point in time, Woodpeckers seemed to turn up everywhere in my life. The woods around my home were full of them. After a time I learned that to the early Mississippian culture which resided at the Ocmulgee temple mound site, Woodpeckers were regarded as an omen of war. I thought of myself at that time as a spiritual warrior, in constant battle with those things which prevented my spiritual growth. Later, I also identified the Creek tribal creator God -- Esaughatu, Lord of the Wind, who also was symbolized by the Woodpecker.
Most recently, I have learned that the Horned God Pan hatched from the egg of a Woodpecker. The initiatory experience of taking the horns of C.O.R. had certainly been a birth for me. So the Woodpecker continues to be a potent symbol in my life.
Sometimes we go out to our Middle Georgia circle site at sunset to canoe down the creek to the lake and watch the birds come in to roost. On these times the Woodpeckers still speak to me and remind me of the gifts they have given me -- gifts of strength, creativity, and rebirth.

Geata agus beannachdt bi Esaughatu!


- by Chrisailes

Carefully First Mother tends the watch fire.
(Old twigs burn best,
bleached white like snarled bones.)
She is the mother of millions,
yet in this epoch she waits alone.

So very much alone.

She remembers a time before
nuclear winters,
before the atom was split
and the World was splintered,
when her belly swelled,
teeming with life,
wiggling, squirming,
learning to walk up right.

Then came the need for this watch fire
that must burn for a thousand year night.

She is tire of remembering
days when the earth was green.
She is tire of wondering
if the watch fire will be bright enough
to be seen,

to lead the Children home.

She could give in to her despair,
run her fingers through her hair,
and Scream,

Or she could close her eyes,
sleep a thousand years,
and Dream,

But No! The task lies before her,
and it was decreed by Fate.
For now she must tend the watch fire
and for now she must wait...


by Linda Kerr

Each of the 13 lunar months has its own particular 'glyph,' or line, from the Song of Amergin, an ancient poem said to have been chanted by the chief bard of the Milesian invaders of Ireland as he first set foot to the island in 1268 BC.1 This poem was reconstructed by Robert Graves in The White Goddess and related to the Beth-Luis-Nion alphabet, as follows:2

I am a stag of seven tines, Birch Beth
or I am an ox of seven fights,
I am a wide flood on a plain, Rowan Luis
I am a wind on the deep waters Ash Nion
I am a shining tear of the sun Alder Fearn
I am a hawk on a cliff Willow Saille
I am fair among flowers Hawthorn Uath
I am a god who sets the head afire with smoke Oak Duir
I am a battle-waging spear Holly Tinne
I am a salmon in the pool Hazel Coll
I am a hill of poetry Vine Muin
I am a ruthless boar Ivy Gort
I am a threatening noise of the sea Reed Ngetal
I am a wave of the sea Elder Ruis
Who but I knows the secrets of the unhewn dolmen? Winter Solstice

Each of these lines speak of a particular essence of the lunar energies, and when studied in-depth, can help lead to a greater understanding of the tree month. This series of articles will attempt to explore these glyphs, and at least get you started in your own understanding.

I am a stag of seven tines
or I am an ox of seven fights

The question we must first ask is: why a stag or an ox, and also, why seven tines or seven fights, for what is supposed to be the first, not the seventh, month of the year?

The seven tines, or seven fights, according to Graves, are the lunar months before and after Birch (Beth); Beth is the 7th month after Oak (Duir), and the 7th month from Beth is Duir again.3 Also, the seven tines probably means of seven points on each horn, 14 in all; which would make a 'royal stag.' But 12 points would also make a royal stag, and as a stag must be seven years old to have 12 points, the 'seven fights' may refer its age.4
According to Emma Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz in The Grail Legend, the stag symbolizes self-renewal; mythologically, when it is feeling old, it swallows a snake and from the venom of the bite loses its antlers and grows a new pair. And in the legend of St. Hubert, the stag represents the bush soul, which is a spiritual being or a "doctor" animal, looked upon by primitive man as his life principle or double; his life is bound up the stag.5
In Germanic legends, the stag caused springs to flow, or pointed out healing springs. It also acts as a guide, showing the hunter the way to his beloved, with whom it is actually and secretly identical. In alchemical symbolism, the "fugitive stag" is a symbol of Mercurius and of the soul in matter. In this sense, it is the archetype of the Self. In the stag lies the mystery of the Self's constant self-renewal.6
Graves tell us that the appearance of the stag and the ox in the first line of the Song of Amergin suggest that in Bronze Age Ireland, when the song was written, both the stag and bull were sacred to the Great Goddess. Antlers found in the burial at New Grange support this, showing that the stag was the royal beast of the Danaans.7 The stag was undoubtedly important in Celtic religion: the vessel of Gundestrup has a representation of Kernunnus, a god with stag's horns, whose animal self is the stag. He is a god of vegetation and death; the vessel shows him dying as he is immersed in an intoxicating drink; and in another portrayal he is shown as the resurrected one, in a rejuvenated form.8
The stag is also seen frequently in Irish myth. In one story, Oisin was born to the deer-goddess Sadb, and at the end of his life he was shown a vision of a fawn being chased over the waters of the sea by the red-eared white hounds of Hell. The fawn, according to Graves, was Oisin himself.9 In another myth, Llew Llaw, while with his wife, the faithless flower-woman Blodeuwedd, sees a stag being hunted to death by dogs: the stag is his soul, and almost immediately afterwards Llew Llaw is killed by Blodeuwedd's lover Gronw.10
In these myths, the betrayed one is the dying king, his soul represented by the stag. Gronw is Llew Llaw's tanist, or twin, who reigns during the second half of the year. Earlier in the story of Llew Llaw, Gronw pursues and kills a weary stag. This is the 'stag of seven fights,' which is in fact Llew Llaw himself.11 Therefore, Llew Llaw is the antlered king of the first half of the year, born at the Winter Solstice, when the Birch moon begins, and killed seven months later by his rival at the Summer Solstice. Further, we can equate Llew Llaw, the dying and resurrected demi-god, with the celestial god Hercules, and therefore the stag with the bull.
But what does the bull mean? The wild bull is related to Hercules, that celestial hero who represents the turning of the year from Winter to Summer and back to Winter. Hercules was worshipped as both the undying sun, and as the continually dying and renewed Spirit of the Year; in other words, as both a god and a demi-god. This is the Hercules that the Druids worshipped as Ogma Sun-face, the inventor of letters,12 or Ogham, from which we get the Beth-Luis-Nion calendar/alphabet.
To further reinforce Hercules' connection with the stag/bull, we find that Hercules is represented in Greek art as a bull-necked champion, and can be identified with the demi-god Dionysus, whose totem was a white bull.13 And if we look at another form of the tree alphabet, the Boibel-Loth, the Greek equivalent of the first word Boibel is Boibalion, which is the white antelope-ox, and which represented Hercules.14
Llew Llaw and Hercules share a similar fate15 at Midsummer, being both ritually killed. Llew's soul escapes in the form of an eagle, as does the soul of Hercules, and perches on an oak.16 Llew's subsequent resurrection takes place in the dead of winter, as does Hercules'. Graves suggests a connection between Llew Llaw and Dionysus, and therefore between Llew Llaw and Hercules; both of whom are dying and resurrected solar figures, and I don't feel this is far-fetched. This helps explain the two lines, "I am a stag of seven tines" and "I am an ox of seven fights."
Certainly, there is much more one could go into here, such as the cult of the Minotaur or of Mithras, the bull-god, or the connection of the stag-cults and bull-cults, but too much said would in effect muddy the waters. The rest I leave to you to discover. Researching mythology is like peeling an onion; for every seemingly opaque layer that you pull off, more are waiting underneath.


1 Graves, Robert. The White Goddess. 1948. The Noonday Press, New York, NY, pg. 205.
2 Ibid, pg. 207-208.
3 Ibid, pg. 208.
4 Ibid, pg. 207.
5 Jung, Emma, and Marie-Louise von Franz. The Grail Legend. 1960, 1980. Sigo Press, Boston, MA, pg. 258.
6 Ibid, pg. 260.
7 Graves, pg. 216.
8 Jung and von Franz, pg. 258.
9 Graves, pg. 216.
10 Ibid, pg. 217.
11 Ibid, pg. 318.
12 Ibid, pg. 133.
13 Ibid, pg. 133-134.
14 Ibid, pg. 138.
15 Ibid, pg. 318.
16 Ibid, pg. 319.


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 learning to "touch the earth" in our previous two lessons, and if you practiced on your own, you learned to have a sensitivity to feelings, energies, etc. You will use this sensitivity to better understand our next subject: nature spirits. Many years ago, in 1963, Margaret Lumely Brown shared her vision of the Faerie Faith which was later written down by her student, Mark Roberts, and passed on to Epona and thus to The Garden Club. The rest of this article will essentially paraphrase Brown's sharing, since she put it so well.

Many cultures have an awareness of nature spirits and things beyond the physical plane, which the English call the Elemental Kingdoms, and the Hindus the Deva Kingdoms. In Germany the word "urwelt" is used to denote a primitive or primal sphere which includes fairies, nature spirits, and projections of the Earth's energies, which become apparent to people under the right conditions.
To meet these "right" conditions, there must first be a strong desire by the nature spirits to be perceived by humans. The remaining conditions are up to us. We use the Tenets of the Faerie Faith to sum these up:

There should be a sensitivity, a belief, in the spiritual reality behind what we refer to as "Nature."
There should be a sincere love of Earth Herself and a desire to communicate with Her "other" children.
There should be a belief in the individual life of this planet and a certainty that it permeates the whole world.

This permeation of the planet's life and awareness extends even into the city; it is not limited to a rural setting. Of course people who, decades and centuries ago, lived much closer to the land than we do now, were very much in touch with nature spirits. But the concrete of the urban jungle doesn't smother the earth's consciousness; it just makes it more difficult to find, and that much more special when it does make itself apparent.
The connection to the Elemental Kingdoms and nature spirits has always been quite strong in cultures like the Celts, the Scandinavians, and the Native Americans, whose races have been intertwined with the Earth for centuries. Also, when a family or tribe has inhabited a piece of land for many generations (a minimum of seven, according to American Indian folklore), a strong connection to the nature spirits is inevitable. In fact, it seems that such a long period of inhabitance creates a group entity on the astral plane. This entity, over the course of time, links itself with the souls of animals and plants, as well as with the Elementals of the area. Perhaps this link could produce some of the apparitions which prophesy misfortune to the family; usually the same apparition is seen over and over, such as a bird or fairy, and before some occurrence, such as a death. (The bean sidhe, or Banshee, is the most common type of apparition seen in connection with death. Bean means woman, and sidhe, pronounced 'shee,' means fairy, shining one, or 'of the hill.')
There are many types of Elementals, the "Little People" being only one. In Wales and Cornwall there are Knockers which inhabit mines and are friends to the miners. Piskies in Cornwall are reputed to lead travellers astray on the moors. Brownies are found in Scotland among the boulders and bracken. Ireland, of course, has a whole host of fairy tribes. The most well-known of these "Little People" are the Leprechauns, but the most renowned are the Tuatha De Danaan (children of the goddess Dana); a people of wonderful beauty and tall stature who are sometimes seen emerging from out of their secret places in the hills. (To learn more about these elementals, read next issue's article by Adrian Loaghrian: The Three Worlds Of The Oide: A View through The Eyes of a Celtic Shaman.)
These Elementals are not necessarily always "seen"; they are just as often "heard" and "felt," according to the level of awareness of the person experiencing them. The same Elemental can also appear to several people at once, but produce different reactions in each. However, the person concerned will be quite aware of the Elemental's presence.
There are far too many nature spirits to go into detail about here; but briefly, they are the spirits of the four elements, including what we call Oversouls. The living power generated by a natural force such as a river, lake, mountain, forest, etc., is composed of many units which are contained within one collective whole. This collective unit is what we refer to as the Oversoul. The Oversoul may appear as a personalized form and the lesser units as minor shapes of the same form.
These nature spirits have been known in all countries under the guise of folklore and myth. They could be considered manifestations of the Earth's subconscious memories which we, on occasion, can tap. For instance, past events can register photographically in the earth energies, and these impressions are known as the Akashic Records. Thus one visiting the site of an ancient battle, or any other area containing strong emotions or energies, may suddenly "see" a replaying of that event, as the earth energies play back the "tape" made so long ago. This same person, with the right awareness and in the proper location, may also contact in the same way events of the very distant past, such as primary forms of humans and animals -- forms which may be indeterminate or intermingled.
In the same manner, natural objects are not inanimate, but show a strong individualized life. This fact forms the basis for both fairy tales and myths; two examples are Grimm's "Nixie of the Millpond" and Hans Christian Anderson's "Elder-Tree Mother." A Nixie is the Oversoul of a pool or pond, and the Elder-Tree Mother is the feminine spirit of the Elder tree, which might appear as an old woman.
Trees have their own energies and personalities, and are very deep-rooted in their own area of the forest, resenting any encroachment from others, either human or otherwise. Some people may notice that trees seem to become antagonistic at night, even to the point of draining one's energy or forcibly keeping one away. But in the daytime, these same trees can be very friendly. When one is feeling depleted or unhappy, it is comforting to grasp a tree trunk with one's hands, so that the tree absorbs the negativity in the human aura and replaces it with the strong magnetic energies of the Earth. And if one makes friends with a certain tree, a sympathetic link is then formed with its whole species.
Every type of vegetation has its own Oversoul, which will display likes and dislikes towards humans. For example, people with "green thumbs" are able to intuitively be in touch with the Oversoul of a plant. Flowers will sometimes tangibly move and reach out to a person, as though asking for communication, while at the same time exuding perfume towards the favored person.
The Greeks and Romans had a large list of nature spirits, which can be divided roughly into two sections: (1) The spirits of Nature Herself, and (2) the entities of instinctive nature in humans.
In the first category, many of these were feminine personifications and included Oversouls and lesser spirits of woods, grottoes, rivers, plants, etc. These female spirits were given the general name of "nymph"; thus Nereids were sea nymphs, the Naiads were nymphs of rivers and streams, and Dryads were tree nymphs.
In the second category are fauns, satyrs, and centaurs. The fauns and satyrs were personified in gods such as Pan, Silenus, and Dionysus. To some extent they were also considered woodland spirits, for forests in those times were associated with fear and secrecy. In Greek mystery rites, men wearing satyrs' masks represented terror, orgy and ecstasy. Fauns and satyrs are variants of the Pan-form, either part man and part goat, or complete man with the ears and horns of a goat.
Wells, pools and springs are sacred to a healing spirit in many parts of the world. The sick visited the Pool of Bethesda, mentioned in the Bible, where at certain times "an angel troubled the waters." This "angel" was perhaps the Oversoul of the pool. Certainly the Celts of Britain and northern Europe recognized wells and springs as sources of healing, help and places of contact with the nature spirits. Many of these ancient shrines are immortalized in the tourist industry as wishing wells, and many have also been taken over by the Church, and are under the patronage of a saint. For instance, the famous St. Winifred's Well in Wales was a Celtic healing center in ancient days.

To better guide you in your understanding of these nature spirits, read The Findhorn Garden by The Findhorn Community (an excellent book on how a gardener makes contact with the nature spirits, in a very practical way), and Devas, Angels and Fairies by William Bloom (a very basic, down-to-earth book detailing the different types of nature spirits and how to get in touch with them). Also read, if you haven't already, Needles of Stone Revisited by Tom Graves; he specifically mentions the playback of "memories" by the earth energies, and also talks about ghosts and other spirits. These three books together will educate you more than I could ever possibly hope to on the subject, but if you have questions, PLEASE let me know, and I'll see if I can address them. Happy searching!


by Marilyn Windle

I was introduced to non-traditional spiritual concepts early in my teens, and have avidly investigated every sort of spiritual and psychic technic and phenomena ever since. Like tends to attract like, so many of my friends over the years have shared my open-minded curiosity and desire to evolve. Information on spiritual development seems to have exploded during the past twenty years, so I was amazed to discover a friend of mine had never been exposed to any of the ideas that I take for granted. She asked for my help to develop her own psychic and spiritual nature.
This column is intended to help others who may be just starting their own quest, or who are curious about the wide range of topics we'll be covering. You'll learn how to awaken your psychic abilities, and you'll be introduced to techniques that will help you to develop spiritually. Future planned topics include pyramids, psychometry, experiencing the difference between life force and energy vibrations, communicating with plants and animals, crystals, etc. I welcome your suggestions. You can get in touch with me through The Hazel Nut.
So how do you begin? Many of the techniques we're going to cover require that you first reach a meditative state. This meditative state is an actual, physical change in your brain waive activity. Your brain produces energy that is expressed in cycles per second, like a frequency. During your normal daily life, while you're walking through a store, talking on the phone, etc., your brain is operating at 14 to 21 cycles per second, which is called the beta range. When you daydream, your brain waves slow down into the alpha range, which is from 7 to 14 cycles per second. While it's not necessary to understand the physics of this, it is comforting for someone new to meditation to know that there is an actual effect taking place in their brain, and they're not just imagining it.
The objective in meditating is to slow your brain waves down to the alpha range. This can be accomplished in any number of ways, and it comes down to what is most comfortable for the individual. I recommend you try each of the following techniques and decide which feels right for you. In each of the following, you'll want to get into a comfortable position to start, and close your eyes. Start by taking a few deep breaths. Breathe in slowly, feeling your lungs expand and your chest rise. Hold the breath for a second or so, then slowly let the air out. Some people say you should breathe in for a count of ten, hold the breath for a count of ten, and breathe out for a count of ten. If this feels uncomfortable at first, don't worry about sticking to an arbitrary number of seconds. The point is to relax.

Progressive Relaxation - In Progressive Relaxation, you start by lying on a flat surface or sitting upright in a chair. If you are sitting, sit straight up. If you are lying down, lie flat on your back with your legs slightly apart, your hands palm up and fingers open. In either case, imagine a thread that is pulling up your head, aligning your body in a straight line. Close your eyes. Starting at your toes, concentrate on relaxing each part of your body. Work you way slowly up until you reach your shoulders, go down your arms, then up your neck. In the beginning, you will probably find that you doze off if you are lying down, while you're able to stay awake while sitting up.

Chanting - Many disciplines teach chanting as a means of meditating. Sit cross-legged on the floor or kneel on a cushion. As you chant the same phrase over and over, your brain becomes bored and slows down. While anything can be chanted, some words and phrases resonate at a frequency which aids in the process of slowing down your brain. The Hindu word om is used as an affirmation during meditation. The George Harrison song, My Sweet Lord, contains several phrases that are used for this purpose.

Counting Down - Get into your comfortable position and close your eyes. You're going to use a combination of deep breathing and counting backwards to slow your brain and relax your body. It lends itself to visualization, which is just seeing an image in your mind. You do this every night when you dream, and many times during daydreams, as well. If you've ever tried to fall asleep by counting sheep jumping over a fence, you've used visualization. The trick is to slow your brain down enough to enter the alpha state, without falling asleep! After doing the deep breathing for a few minutes, form a mental image in your mind of being in an elevator. Look up at the little window that displays the current floor, and feel the elevator start to descend. As it goes down through the building, picture the floor number changing and feel yourself sinking lower and lower. Start at the 100th floor and work your way down to the first.

Regardless of the technique used, you will feel very relaxed, almost drowsy. While in this drowsy, relaxed state, imagine that you are walking in a garden. The path curves around a lake and through some apple trees. Before you is an ornate, wrought-iron bench. Sit down and lean back, looking up into the apple tree growing above you. There is a large, red apple hanging just over your head. The weight of the apple has pulled the branch down so that if you reach out your hand, you can touch it.
Practice seeing the apple. Notice how shiny it is. Look at how the color varies. You can see the brown stem it is hanging from, and the brown tufts at the bottom where the flower was. You may even be able to smell it. If your attention wanders from the apple, just take a deep breath and picture it again.
Visualization gets easier and easier with practice. We'll be using visualization in many of the exercises in this column, so work on it whenever you have a few minutes. We've been told that exercise will maintain our level of fitness if we do it three times a week. To increase our level of fitness, we have to exercise four or more times a week. Our spiritual fitness is similar. To maintain your level, you need to meditate at least once a day. To get better and better, meditate more than once a day.


- by Lee Webb

Hail goddess Baphomet for lending me your power!
Thank you for your holy beasts who show me joy and surely give me feast!

As the snakes I ever molt my skin, leaving it behind,
With Raven's help I do aspire to be of flying kind.

Like ant I daily seek to join the in-earth-city,
Like moth I nightly go beyond...

With hounds at noon-day I seek a shaded pleasure,
With bee I fly and buzz about 'till I gain the nectar treasure.

I thank you dear goddess for cold and sunny weather,
But also praise you much for tall pine tree and heather.



Ice and snow is everywhere in the north country! Snow falls for days on end while the temperature continues to plummet in near blizzard conditions. Life was very hard and extremely fragile for the people of the tenth century living on the edge of the North Pole, which included countries such as Scandinavia, Norway, Iceland, Scotland, Germany, Poland and the tundras of Russia.
The farmer's cattle often lived adjacent to or in the family living quarters to keep the living space warm. Outdoor activities in preparation for the winter months were completed long before the Winter Solstice and the onset of the "cold weather lock in!" Imagine what a sneeze would be like if you sneezed outdoors while the temperature was around 18 degrees or more below zero! This is the time of year that yarn was spun from wool fleece and then weaved into beautiful and intricate patterns. Lace was often tatted and old clothes were recycled into new clothes. Attention to details inside the home were attended, to including painting, remodeling and improvement of space in compact quarters. Tools for farming and hunting were made. Kitchen cutlery, carvings and useful items such as furniture were made during the winter months. It was also a time of preserving family heritage, folklore and myth through story telling around the family hearth in the evenings.
Often, because the conditions were so harsh, the runes were consulted for much the same reasons they are today. People wanted to know about their relationships, livelihood, and their future. They also wanted to know about how long the winter would last, would their cattle increase, and would the spring come early with the right kind of weather for a successful planting.


Time:10:30-11:30 pm
Month: December 1-15
Color: Ice white, mint green, blue-green
Gemstone: Catseye, diamond, herkimer diamond, white milky quartz
Tree: Blue spruce
Symbol: Ice

Is: Individuals born under this sign are jovial, wild and love freedom. They are natural born defenders and take great pride in their skills of defense whether spiritual, mental or physical. They make very wise "warriors" and excellent teachers in these arts. While teaching wise defense, they teach wisdom and patience. They make outstanding spiritual leaders and teachers. They are open, loving and understanding to a fault.

Downside of Is: Some may have bad tempers that encourage them not to be patient, thus using physical force instead of loving spiritual logic. For some, impatience is their only downfall. Some are sarcastic to a fault. Aside from the bad side, their good side makes them so friendly that they bring home every lost soul, pet or person with an interesting story attached.


Time: 11:30 pm-12:30 am
Month: December 16-31
Color: Forest green, amber
Gemstone: Carnelian, amber, polished coal, black diamond

Gera: Individuals born under this rune have experienced much through the seasons of their life, whether past, present or future. They are real doers and not afraid to go forward with ideas and dreams by taking chances. They start what they finish and do well on any job given to them. They take great pride and craftsmanship in anything they do. They usually believe in reincarnation and probably have done past-life readings. They're not afraid of the future because they weren't afraid of the past.

Downside of Gera: If they get stuck in a pain tape rut all of the above is out the window. All the more reason to find out what is keeping them in a rut. They need to tackle the problem and take the proper spiritual warrior path to healing themselves.


Time: 12:30 am-1:30 pm
Month: January 1-15
Color: Brown, spiritual sky blue, yellow, gold orange
Tree: Yew Tree
Symbol: Yew Tree, the Bow (not the arrow)

Yr: People born under this rune are naturally assertive, have long range plans and achieve them. Some are termed "workaholics" but they can be very flexible and after looking at a situation openly can arrive at very difficult solutions in a positive manner. They may appear shy at first but are very social conscious and like to name drop. In the metaphysical world, they probably know their guru or spiritual teacher on a first name basis. They also make excellent channelers and mediums. The young appear wise for their years. They loosen up as they get older.

Downside of Yr: They really do work too hard and forget to play once in a while. They tend to put work ahead of themselves and their family with their best interests in mind. The end result is that their family may feel neglected.


Time: 1:30-2:30 am
Month: January 16-31
Color: Purple, green, blue-green, teal blue
Gemstone: Alexandrite, aquamarine
Tree: Birch
Symbol: Gaming cup

Peorth: These individuals are not afraid to go out on a limb. They take a leap of faith when necessary and believe in themselves. They don't have to be an "over-achiever" and are happy that way! They don't have problems with business dealings, professionalism, financial or social achievements because they are naturals in all these areas. They seem very lucky. These individuals are very spiritually driven. They are often priest/esses, gurus, yoga experts, run beauty salons, gyms, etc.

Downside of Peorth: They have an insatiable desire to be in control. They want to control things like the seasons, the weather, life and death, as they're not god/desses for nothing! They have to learn that some things are out of their control and must occasionally accept fate as is.


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, Hammer-smith, London, England.
Pescehl, Lisa. A Practical Guide To The Runes, Their Use In Divination and Magick. 1991. Llewellyn Publ., St. Paul, MN.
Tyson, Donald. Rune Magic. 1989. Llewellyn Publ., St. Paul, MN.
Willis, Tony. The Runic Workbook, Understanding And Using The Power Of Runes. 1990. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY.


by Miriam Carroll

Long I lay unsentient roiling and bubbling deep in the comforting heat of my mother's belly. Suddenly, there was The Presence. It excited me tremendously to become aware; to know that our race was about to be born. We gathered in energy in a frenzy of movement. Friction heated our bed until we could no longer bear it, and must explode. Mother was ready to cast forth her children. With an awful roar that shook the world, our magma was thrust forth into a new existence, into creation of a new form.
As I rode higher and higher into space, I gathered material for my creation, along with millions of other children. I gained my shape, round and beautiful. My mass cohered and I Became.
In the nanosecond of my birth, I understood the spectacles of space. What incredible beauty I beheld in that black vastness! I was fortunate to capture some of Mother's birthing fluid in its purest form. I quickly closed around lest it change form in that inferno.
For many millennium we lay in round quietude, while Mother's warmth was slowly dispelled. This period was used to contemplate our internal structure.
Some gathered atoms of red, gold, sunset orange. The Presence graced me with special gifts of imagination. I had memory of that first predawn sky so long ago, and chose those hues for my density. With the retained fluid, I grew replicas of the pinpoints of light in that awesome sky. As they enlarged, I knew I had a wonderful secret.
Uncountable sunrises shone over our quiet existence as we cooled, and hardened our beauty within.
Then there was change. I could have gone with my project until Infinity, but was glad to show my work. My purpose was discovered as my dull outer shell was at last opened.
My secret is this: Deep within every creation of The Presence, even the lowest and meanest, there is the ability to create love and beauty. Look within. Cast about for what material is nearby, and build upon that. Even I, a higher form, take pride in what I have wrought. My name is EFZHEVESTLELE!


- by Shadowcat

As the drumming ends
As the new day begins
We seek to take our leave
And yet,

it's hard to go
To head back
and away from this peace
we've come to know
From friends heart found
who have danced barefoot
with us over holy ground
Though once arm in arm
we must go
So we linger here
in the warmth of souls
glowing for all to see
And savor the love
we've brought into being
Our own reality
So different from that other world
lived from day to day
If only we lived here
and could share this forever
I think we'd never go away


by Sherlock


Dear Editors:
I have been mulling over some recent conversations, so I decided to clarify some points of misunderstandings concerning one of my articles, namely "How Young is Too Young?" in Issue #17 of The Hazel Nut and in one of the recent Wiccan Works. I have been "accused" of equating and misrepresenting Satanism and Chaos Magic as being the same. I emphatically DO NOT see them as the same; in fact they are quite and totally different in style, flavor, purpose, and goals. I very strongly believe that the entire paragraph taken in the context that it was written is still valid and I will stand by that.
Now, why do I believe that they are different? Easy. First of all, to be a Satanist you would have to be a Christian, and specifically a Catholic (or possibly Anglican), because Satanists believe and worship in the exact reverse of the Catholic Creed and Mass. What's bad or evil is exalted, and what's good is degraded, so Satanism is the antithesis of Catholicism. A very black/ white opposite relationship.
What do I view chaos magic as being? I believe it defines itself by its own name. Magical energies, cast and set forth into being and motion, with no set purpose, and total disregard for consequences of good OR ill to one's self or anybody else. And as far as I am concerned, the ethics of that type behavior is reprehensible, and I'll stand by that.
Any magic that's directed toward inner change, spiritual growth, behavior modification, or winning the lottery are all directed energies with a SET purpose or goal, and so CANNOT be chaos magic. And all "traditions" to some degree or another strive to change the spiritual being or to increase personal inner growth, but it's still directed and purposeful change or energy.
Anyway, that's my personal viewpoint on the subject, so if I stepped on anyone's toes, I apologize for any hurt feelings as I had no deliberate intention to do so, but I DO NOT retract or regard the subject in any other light than what's been stated.
Blessed Be,
Warner Robins, GA

Dear Ms. Kerr:

After several solitary years, I am beginning to graze the fields of publications to find voices in the wind I want to hear. I found your ad in Solitary and am beguiled by the context of your journal, but even more I am heartened to find a southeastern address. Pacific and midwestern publications are, at times, intriguing, yet they don't resonate with the conservative, southern community where I live. I hope your journal will.
Blessed Be,
Susan Howard
Orange Park, FL


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.

Ing is Chief Bard of Church of Rhiannon (COR) in middle Georgia, which follows the Beth-Luis-Fearn tree calendar system. He was one of COR's co-founders back in 1983, when it was called Coven of Rhiannon..

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.

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 has the official capacity of the "Green Man." He's also a 1st degree Gardnarian witch since May 1995.

Shadowcat was born in Japan to American parents on Valentine's Day, and delivered by Dr. Heart. For the last two years he has run EarthDance in central Georgia, and currently runs a networking group for pagans called EarthWitch.

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.

Marilyn Windle is a professional writer, with her first book being published next October. She started studying the occult when she was 13 years old, beginning with Edgar Cayce, and has been a practicing psychic for 23 years.


FallFling 95, November 3-5, Roxanna, Alabama. Organized by Sherry Holmes.
- Reviewed by Linda Kerr

FallFling 95, the second year for this festival, was very well-attended, especially considering the weather; there were twice as many people (90) as last year.
Friday started out cool and rainy, but people were arriving early anyway. Vajsha and Stephen had dug a wonderful fire pit, and everyone was huddled around it trying to stay warm. Shortly after dark the sky cleared, and the moon and stars came out, just in time for the candlelight handfasting of Twylite and Stormcrow. Theirs was a beautiful, well-written ceremony. Expect to see it in a future issue.
Saturday was cold, but not raining, so nobody complained (much). There were several good classes, including Reading the Tarot and Intro to Hermetic Kabalah, plus a dance class to get everyone warmed up. That night, after an incredible potluck feast, there was an unusual ritual. Instead of the standard circle, we had a procession around the rocks on the property, visiting four different stations on a "journey into the underworld." It was very nicely done, and we heard many compliments on it.
After the ritual, the keg was tapped, and we started dancing near the bonfire while others drummed. Everyone was dressed up for the costume contest, but Brook took the prize (a Tibetan singing bowl and free admission next year) with his portrayal of Duality Man. Shane won second place (free admission next year) as the Crow, and White Bear took third (half-price next year) as the autumn version of the Green Man.
Sunday we woke up to a bit of sleet (told you it was cold!), and reluctantly started packing up. The festival closed with a GiveAway. Some of the things on the blanket this time were a rain stick, a ceramic and leather mug, and a dreamcatcher.
In spite of the cold, it was a great festival that has everyone looking forward to next year!