A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Issue 19, Imbolc 1996

In This Issue:
Out on a Limb: Editorial - Linda Kerr
From Other Traditions: The Three Worlds of the Oide, Part V - Adrian Loaghrian
Poetry: Lady Moon - Cathy Lawrence
Kundalini: The Serpent Power - Coll
Aromatherapy: Peppermint - Avalon
It's Time for a New Olympics - Erik van Lennep
Poetry: The Darkness of Daylight - Sherlock
Along the Scenic Route - Chrisailes
Reflections on a Life's Journey: Who Rules the Religious Roost? - Nion
Fiction: Their Garden - Michael Deakins
The Glyphs of the Lunar Tree Calendar: Rowan, Ash & Alder - Linda Kerr
Faerie Faith 101: Water Sharing - Linda Kerr
Journeys on the Red Road - White Bear
Poetry: Moon Song - Susan Jackson
Into the Light: Meditation - Marilyn Windle
Runes: Birth Runes, February-April - Stormy
Myth: Rainbow Maker - Annie
Poetry: Mantle Green - David Sparenberg
Ankh (Cross)-Word Puzzle - Sherlock
Sherlock's Word Puzzle
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

Avalon, Susan Baxter, Chrisailes, Coll, Annie, Michael Deakins, Susan Jackson, Cathy Lawrence, Adrian Loaghrian, Nion, Nancy Passmore (The Lunar Calendar), Sherlock, David Sparenberg, Erik van Lennep, White Bear, Marilyn Windle. Cover art by Stormy.

THE HAZEL NUT, Issue 19, Copyright © 1996. Imbolc 1996, Rowan/Ash/ Alder Moons. THE HAZEL NUT is published four 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.
Rowan is the second tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in January or February, and this year it runs from January 20-February 17.
Ash is the third tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in February or March, and this year it runs from February 18-March 18.
Alder is the fourth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in March or April, and this year it runs from March 19-April 16.


The Garden Club is pregnant, or so it seems -- I'm due in August, and Raven is due in April! Two more of our members were pregnant, but unfortunately suffered miscarriages. The group of us are also going through other changes: two couples will be getting married in the upcoming months, and one of our contributors has recently gotten a much-needed divorce (from a not-Garden Club member). Jeff, who was paralyzed in a car wreck last summer, will be moving into a group home soon, and out of the stress of living with his parents (yuck!!); and we just found out his dog was adopted into a good home. The tragedies of last year seem to have been left behind us with the Winter Solstice, and now we have only good things to look forward to.
On top of all these changes, and partly because of my pregnancy, The Hazel Nut will now be published four times a year instead of six. This will allow me a little breathing room in between issues. Starting with this one (although it is a little late - mundane pressures), we will publish on the cross-quarter days: Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain. Each issue will still cover the lunar trees, and will have even more in it than before. This new schedule should save on paper, time and money, plus my sanity. Ironically, a long-time quarterly publication, Green Egg, is now moving to a six-times a year publishing schedule! Wonder where they got that idea?
Over the next few months, please let us know what you do and don't like about the new schedule, or anything that's published. So many of our contributors ask me, "What did anyone have to say about my article?" and I have to tell them that there was absolutely no feedback. People! Wake up! Write and tell me or them what you hated about the articles, or what you loved about them, or even that they were just so-so. We don't know what to publish for you if you don't tell us what you like! I know you have opinions. I won't be offended, and neither will the authors. And if you offend someone else, maybe that'll give them the gumption to send in a letter!

Until next time, party on, dudes! - Muirghein



by Adrian Loaghrian

The Elementals

In all previous installments of this article I have presented the philosophical concepts of Gaelic Shamanism in a somewhat poetic form. At this time I will change the format into a more technical one. Early on in my learning I was acquainted with the four primary elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The fifth element was of course Ether or Spirit. The ancient Greeks assigned these elements a to sub-human life forms but nonetheless possessed of a living entityism.
Among the Wicca, Quabbalhists, Alchemists and others, these were called Sylphs for Air, Salamanders for Fire, Undynes for Water, and Gnomes for Earth. Ether stood upon its own ground.
When as a Pagan I first learned to construct a Majicke Circle I summoned the presence of each of these four elements at each of the four quarters of the circle. I assumed that each of these elementals were called upon without paying particular attention to the personalities of these sub-human species. As a young priest I approached this part of Circle building almost like part of the routine dogma of the Pagan Rites.
Then one fine night (and some few years later) I was teaching a class of exceptionally thick-brained "Witch wannabees" (students), when I was challenged to explain the significance of these Elementals, and I was caught unawares by a slight shift of conscious realities. I had placed the class into an altered state of awareness via group meditation when suddenly each of the creatures in question came prancing out of the Otherworld and announced themselves as fully sentient beings. Each of these strangely shaped personalities introduced themselves and went about telling each of us in the class of their individual properties and personality quirks. From that night forward my outlook on the calling of the Creatures at the cross quarters has been entirely different. Not only did the Four primary Elementals present themselves but a fifth and sixth Elemental pairing presented itself as well. I was compelled to compare this revelation with sources on Gaelic lore. The correlation made sense for the first time ever. (Dope!) The next time I was caused to construct a Majicke Circle the living presence of these new friends were well felt and heartily noticed.
Today I and my fellows summon the presence of our Elemental Partners on this plane in the following manner:
In the Eastern Quarter we call upon the Sollisé {Sow Li Shah) These are the shining glimmers that inhabit the realms of the Air. The Sollisé are also the roots of all that lives and breathes both in this plane and the Alltar.
In the Southern Quarter we call upon the Corra Chailte
{kora ka gall ti} These are the glowing amber lights that run along the ground and represent the foundation of all that burns. In Scottish Lore, these are the roots of all that is ever created and the catalysts of all life.
In the Western Quarter live the Maidéan-Mhara {Maw jean whara}, the Maidens of the Seas. These lovely ladies are the provenders of all fluid motion and all reason. Within our fellowship the Maidéan-Mhara are the considered to be the "Mothers of Wisdom."
In the Northern Quarter we call upon the Cruithneari {Krew-nay-ray}. These ladies are called the "Earth Shaping Ones." Oddly that title is also applied to Tailtiú {tawl tee-oo}, the Mother of Lúgh {Lew}, the God of Spiritual Lights. Another name applied to these "Creators," is Talimhsídhe {Tal-i-shee}, after the Goddess Herself. These are the movers and shapers of all that occurs in the dominions of the Earth. The menders of bones, the makers of flowers, the shapers of mountains, etc.
In a very unconventional Pagano-spiritual perception the Elementals of the Earth And The Air are primo-foundational to their two counterparts Fire and Water. Perceiving the elements of this plane in this way we then conjure manifestations of the Heavens and the Earth in their most primeval forms who then give birth to the Gaelic equivalent of the Ether. The Ether is herein called An Beo nan Dhuil {an Bow-non-kool}, "the Spark of all Life."
The Beo nan Dhuil is called anew into being each time the Riomball is created. The conjuration goes as follows, with the Priest and Priestess both calling in unison: "From the Cauldron at the Core of the Earth, With The Star of all Creation, we are drawn together in one living spin, to give life in its allness to all that are gathered herein." The Cauldron at the Core of the Earth is called Coire Tallimh {Kwerah-tali-ah}. The Star of all Creation, is called An Realta n' Niamh, literally, "The Star of The Heavens."
In many versions of mankind's relationship to the Great Creator, however He She or It may be perceived, one universal perception rings constant. The Earth was here and The Creator(s) came to the Earth and gave life and dominion and guardianship to mankind over all that dwelled upon, and were a part of the realms of the Earth. The Earth People and the Sky People were not always of one mind, nor of one essence. It is only by the marriage of all the Elements and Elementals of the Earth enjoined with the Motions and forces of the Sky realms that the true Beo nan Dhuil comes into being. Sharing this knowledge allows us not to cower beneath the Creators but to share in the joys of their Arts.

Comparative Thoughts

Though the Holy Quabbalah is a different source of Majicke entirely from the Gaelic, they have one concept common. In the Quabbalah the sign of the Pentagram is used to represent those things which belonged to the rulers of the Earth. (Ie Leviathan & Lilith, both of whom were transposed into Lucifero by the Roman Church in 1100-ish.) As the Hexagram represents the blending of both the Heavens and the Earth (as above so below), hence the true source of the Great Spirituality is the blending of the realms of both Heaven and Earth.
Among many Native American sects the legends tell of the Sky People who left the "Human Beings" here to protect the Earth and live at one with it. The Siberian Shamans speak of "Ones" who came from the spirit worlds to walk upon the Earth and teach the "People" to be one with the Earth.
The point here is that the Celts (Gaels) considered the previous inhabitants of Erin (the world of their perception) to be less than entirely belonging to the realms of the Earth, thus capable of transmigration between the worlds. Therefore, in order to call something into being, the twain worlds must be conjured from their primal sources and not from their manifest sources. In a very mundane way this is a bit like the difference between a cake made from scratch as opposed to a cake from a mix.

To Recap

The Elementals or Beo nan Dhuil are primal inhabitants of the Earthly Realms. The traditional fifth or Etheric Elemental is a propagation between the primal progenitors of both the Earthly and Otherworld Realms. Only when all six of these are brought into the sacred Riomball should we begin calling forth the Guardians and Watchers of our Rites. The Elementals are considered to be active participants in the building and workings of the Riomball as surely as are each member of our fellowship present at the working.
In the next installment we will discuss the Calling of the Eight Guardian Watchers. Yes, eight, not four; the complete balance thing predominates herein as well. But we'll get into that next time, for that is another story.


- by Cathy Lawrence

How beautiful Thou art
My Pristine Lady Moon
Whether it be dark December
Or the growing time of June

So hauntingly mysterious
With clouds veiling your face
Or Blade sharp in crescent form,
Inspired Celestial Grace

True Mother's love you bear us
Conceived with passionate joy
A world of wonders you gave us
To live, to love, and enjoy

Our freedom of choice is far reaching
'An it harm none' be your will
Gentle and soft your Earth teaching
Take care, but do as ye will.

Your children you shower with blessings
Bright gems falling soft in the night
Many thanks, Bright Lady of Wisdom
For all of your Pearls of White Light.


by Coll

I have been hesitant to write an article on this subject for several years now. The serpent power, when awakened in an improper fashion, can be detrimental to the aspirant -- leading to madness or even death. Furthermore, I am unable to prove my own experience with the Kundalini and I have been reluctant to test my credibility. Nevertheless, I feel this article is timely given approaching "change of the ages." There may be those who have had the Kundalini awakening but have not been able to understand their experience. For in these times of change, spiritual awakening is indeed prevalent as the planet undergoes her own awakening.
Within each person, laying dormant at the base of the spine in our subtle bodies, resides a supreme spiritual energy. It is the source of all creativity. I say this literally because this spiritual energy is the Goddess Herself in the microcosm. The serpent power, known in Hindu scriptures as Kundalini Shakti, is the source of the creation of the entire universe in the macrocosm. All worlds are accessible right within us because of this spark of the Goddess which dwell within us.
If this is true, then why are we unable to advance along the spiritual path faster? It is because in most people the Kundalini sleeps. It is said that she is not awakened until one has done enough sadhna (spiritual practices) in previous lives. This is not altogether true. It has been speculated that the Kundalini can be awakened quicker through the use of mindaltering drugs (and a study of the shamanic use of hallucinogenic plants confirms this), or certain hatha yoga postures and breathing exercises. However, most serious occultists would agree that the untrained should never attempt to awaken the Kundalini without the guidance of an experienced master, and I will not divulge in this article any information that might lead someone to a premature awakening. As mentioned before, if the Kundalini does not follow the right channel in the body, there is a risk of serious consequences. The safest method of awakening is through grace obtained by the pure of heart.
Although she, the Kundalini, can destroy, at the same she is the gentle mother, nurturing us along the spiritual path. When she is awakened properly, she rises along the central channel of the subtle body (located along the spine). In the classic yogic scriptures, this channel is called the sushumna nadi. As the Kundalini rises, she pierces each of the chakras (spiritual centers), and activates them. The fire of the Kundalini also burns away karmic knots which have been stored for many lifetimes in the sushumna. These knots are called samskaras, and as they are burnt the karma is released and actually manifested immediately. Sometimes this manifestation occurs in the form of temporary sickness. In some cases relationships and situations drastically change. Whatever form this manifested karma takes, it is always sudden and drastic, and most always temporary. For once the karmic knot is burned away, the Kundalini continues on her journey toward the crown chakra (the sashrahar or thousand-petalled lotus). This is the dwelling place of supreme consciousness and the Goddess's consort, the God. Their merging is the INNER SELF.
Many people have the experience of Kundalini awakening. The problem is that they are unable to recognize this great gift of Grace given by our Goddess. They continue to go about life in the same old ways. They make no attempt to change themselves. In doing so, the Kundalini goes back to sleep. The karmic knots stay tied. No progress is made.
Are you new to the spiritual path? Are you old and praying for some type of advancement along the path? When your life crashes around you, recognize it and surrender to it. Jump into the spiritual fire and pray for the grace to withstand the heat. It is the way to transformation. I predict that we are living in an age when more and more people will feel the birth pangs of the Age of Seed and Fruit. As our Earth Mother awakens so shall her children who are aware of what is going on. The fire burns, but the nectar which flows as a result of our burning is worth the pain.
Beannachdt Bi


by Avalon

Mentha piperita - Labiatae

Peppermint, the most popular member of the mint family, was first discovered in England around 1696 and is thought to be a natural hybrid between water mint and spearmint. Mints are perennial and are characterized by their square stems, paired leaves, and small purple to white flowers that bloom in the summer. The flowers of true peppermint are sterile with propagation taking place through the root system below ground. The leaves and stems are hairy and contain the oil glands. Since the mid-18th century, peppermint has been grown in large quantities around Mitcham, England; and after deforestation in the Brazilian rain forests, peppermint plantations sprang up overnight.
According to Greek mythology, Pluto, the god and ruler of the underworld, fell madly in love with a beautiful nymph named Mentha. In a jealous rage, Pluto's wife, Persephone, pounded Mentha into the earth whereby Pluto turned Mentha into a wonderful healing, fragrant plant in order to give himself consolation. Historically, peppermint has been used by many ancient cultures, including the Egyptians, Chinese and American Indians. Hippocrates mentioned mint for its diuretic and stimulant properties, and the Romans frequently used mint as an aid for the digestion of heavy foods.
Mint specifically stimulates the central hippocampus of the brain whereby the oil refreshes the spirit and helps to promote a clear head. It is also beneficial for people who are unable to concentrate or who suffer from mental fatigue and memory lapses. To improve one's mental concentration, peppermint works well when mixed with other essential oils that have similar or identical properties such as lemon, lime, lemon verbena or grapefruit. Peppermint in combination with these oils is ideal to use in an aroma lamp in the office, in conference rooms, or in situations where a clean, uncluttered atmosphere is desired.
Mint oil selectively stimulates the part of the nervous system that controls cold temperatures causing us to perceive it as 'cool' when it is actually considered to be 'hot.' A bath of peppermint (5 to 6 drops in a tub) produces a very stimulating sensation, making one feel both hot and cold at the same time. Too much mint oil in the bath can actually make your teeth chatter.
Peppermint belongs in a firstaid kit as it helps remedy acute dizzy spells, rapid heartbeat, tremors, shock and general weakness. A few drops inhaled or a blend of 2 drops of peppermint, 1 drop of Roman chamomile and 2 drops of lavender applied to a handkerchief and inhaled is an excellent treatment for shock or trauma. Mint oil is ideal for treating headaches, reactions to severe weather conditions, and tightness in the neck area. Massage the neck and forehead with 2 to 3 drops of the undiluted essential oil.
Mint oil also helps to stimulate and warm the digestive system. It is beneficial for nausea, vomiting, and motion sickness and is also a safe remedy for morning sickness during pregnancy. Inhaling the pure oil is the best way to treat these conditions. Tooth picks soaked in peppermint oil and placed on the dinner table helps with the digestion of meals.
Because of its antiseptic and expectorant properties, the oil is also beneficial in the treatment of colds and flu. Inhaling a mixture of 1 drop of peppermint, 7 drops of eucalyptus and 2 drops of basil in 1 pint of hot water is a very effective treatment.
For relief of muscle pain, lumbago, bruises and contusions, joint pain and insect bites, the oil may be diluted with water, alcohol or a carrier oil to be used in massage oils or in compresses. It can also be added to all-purpose sports creams and massage oils. For bruises and swelling, add 15 drops of peppermint in 4 teaspoons soy oil and apply immediately. Repeat a few times over the next few hours.
Peppermint oil is refreshing and antiseptic when added to a mouthwash, and when it is added to toothpaste (1 drop on a toothbrush), it signals freshness, cleanliness and health. For swollen gums or mouth ulcers, try a mixture of 2 teaspoons whiskey, 5 drops peppermint oil and one cup of hot boiled water. Gargle with this several times throughout the day until finished leaving the liquid in the mouth as long as possible each time. For a toothache, put a few drops of the undiluted oil on a piece of cotton and place on the tooth. It acts as an analgesic and its anesthetic properties aid with disinfecting the cavity as well.
Essential mint oil is a cleanser, purifier and detoxifier, and functions as a disinfectant in helping to activate the skin's natural defenses. A drop of oil added to a skin cleanser is effective in treating acne problems. Peppermint also helps to stimulate lymph system drainage which aids in detoxification of the body and reduction of edema. For water retention and bloating, blend together 5 drops of peppermint, 15 drops of lemon and 5 drops of juniper diluted in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Use every day as a massage in the abdominal area and lower back or use 5 drops of the blend in the bath daily.
The fragrance of peppermint is very simple and as a result, many commercial products are saturated with it. In spite of mint's popularity, it is important to be careful when using this oil and there are several precautions that should be taken. People with hay fever should avoid mint oil as it may cause irritation to mucous membranes, and the oil is not recommended for use with infants or small children. When diluting in alcohol or carrier oils, the essential oil should be no more than 1 percent of the mixture, and be extremely careful not to get any of the oil into your eyes as it is very irritating. Peppermint used in high dosages can cause dizziness and a dazed condition to occur. Just remember to be mindful when working with this oil as its warming effects are worth the extra precautions.


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


by Erik van Lennep

Beyond a renewed commitment to personal responsibility and action to save the planet, we need to foster a new respect for life itself, for the diversity of people, cultures, and other species which are the foundation of stability in the face of the drastic changes now sweeping the Earth. Diversity, with its myriad offering of adaptations, solutions and surprises, is a basic characteristic of bioenergetic organization; defining life in a universe which strives constantly toward entropy. Along with climate stability (also now seriously threatened), diversity is one of the cornerstones of life. We need to do more than protect it; we must actively promote it.
We need to cultivate a new world vision to replace power over nature with a celebration of the power within nature, including ourselves, and which recognizes the bottom line not as net cash return, but in terms of whether or not any given change is supportive of the continued health of the Earth. Many people and organizations are currently working to awaken the world to this need. Others are working to develop alternative, regenerative technologies to support the effort. We need more. The enormity of our collective predicament is such that every one of us must find some way to support the general effort, and continue to instill the motivation to do so, for generations to come.
One avenue of approach is the creation of an alternative Olympic Games. Currently, the Games are based upon competition and commercialism, with negative environmental impacts attendant wherever they occur. They are so far removed from the original concepts of fostering bodily pride, that they are now characterized by bodily abuse, with athletes routinely checked for evidence of steroids and other drugs. Nations vie with one another to host the Olympics, while others use the occasion to play political games, refusing to participate when the host loses favor.
I propose that we establish a new paradigm for Olympic activities, with the following as a conceptual base for the Earth Olympics (Gaean Games?):

- Rather than playing the Games in the city most successful at luring their business, we will hold them in the wilds most needing repair. Tree People in Los Angeles, set a terrific precedent by organizing the planting of a million trees in the city, prior to the Olympics (if only they could have killed a million automobiles at the same time...). We will extend the idea through environmental restoration and reforestation. There will be tree planting events at the games, as well as events for audience participation in restoration work. The preparation and cleanup will also be heavily weighted toward ecosystem renewal. Rather than leaving behind an olympic city, we will leave behind forests, wetlands, watersheds, salt marshes, and prairies, where before there was degraded land.

- Participants as well as hosts, will be encouraged to represent ethnic and cultural nations currently within the political confines of more aggressive nations, as well as from those political states currently recognized. Thus, we would see individuals and teams from Shoshone, Apache, Abenaki, Kung, Juaroni, Asmat, Basque, Wales, Estonia, Cataluna, Tibet, Pitjantjatjara, etc.

- The Games themselves will eschew the aggressive and competitive "sports" in favor of those which cultivate and demonstrate individual bodily training, cooperative efforts toward common goals, and skills necessary for healing the world. A tree planting event, for instance, would enable everybody to celebrate victory, and the gold might be in the blossoms. There would also be demonstration and teaching of games specific to the hosting culture.

- Children, as rightful world citizens, and the inheritors of our collective injustices to the planet and its people have a very high stake in planetary healing. They will play an integral part in the Games, from tree planting, and teamwork, to individual skill demonstrations, and taking part in the governing council.

- Audience participation will be encouraged in many events, weaning us all away from passivity as spectators, and the consumption of other peoples' bodies rather than celebration of our own. Obviously, there will also be individual demonstrations of skill, where the audience watches and appreciates.

- As originally practiced, the Games should be played nude, weather and climate permitting, to return both audience and athletes to a respect for the physical gifts celebrated at the event. This will also help break down the walls fabricated between ourselves and the rest of Nature, while addressing the skewed values which foster public consumption of violence and bloodshed, but promote fear of our own bodies. It will also be more fun.

- Media attention will be encouraged, providing opportunities to demonstrate to the world that positive efforts on a large scale are feasible, that constructive change in attitudes is attainable.

- The group which meets to facilitate the creation and functioning of the games will be a council, and operate by consensus. It will be structured in such a manner as to encourage a maximum cross cultural exchange of ideas.

- The Games should be scheduled for a time when they can receive maximum attention. Unlike the many shadow conferences planned as concurrent with the events they seek to influence, the Earth Olympics would take place during the Olympiad, the interval between the commercialized Olympics.

I think the idea is both timely and feasible. So timely in fact, that it needs to be initiated within a few years. We could organize a preliminary planning session with about six month's lead time, and a few thousand dollars for printing and postage, telephone and accommodations. I would like to hear from anybody interested in seeing this idea come to fruition. Send me your suggestions, refinements, additions, critiques, names of people you know to be supportive. Can you supply services, referrals, fund-raising skills, or financial support? What are you willing, and realistically able to do?
I think that we can make this happen, and what a gift it would be to our struggling planet.

Erik van Lennep
Earth Olympics Project
Box 73
Strafford, VT 05072


- by Sherlock

There is a haze that covers everything alive
Like a soft silk web woven by a thousand diligent night spiders
Which was then spread like a sheet to cover all
It appears for a short time
Between the Dawn and the day
Until it is obscured by the darkness of daylight
I wonder...can it be touched
I dare not disturb it
Perhaps it is the last of the moonlight lingering
For the too long lingering spirits of the night
To find their way about
In the darkness of daylight.


by Chrisailes

Somehow in life I've always made it to my destination, sometimes well ahead of schedule, but I've always taken the scenic route to get there. Even as a child I was able to work with energy fields, shaping them into patterns and casting spells. Most all of what I did was based on superstitions, things my Grandmother told me and what I'd read in books. I guess I was a really weird kid, compared to my more normal classmates at school.
By the time I was 14 I was getting more serious about what I was doing. I bought a copy of Sybil Leek's book The Complete Art of Witchcraft. Admittedly, this is a hard book to read, as the author rants on and on about the decadent state of modern Wicca, and she makes it clear that no one should attempt to practice Witchcraft unless s/he is properly initiated, with proper tools and years of formal training.
Ignoring these warnings, I gathered together a few simple tools, and proceeded to call down the moon. It was a cold night in January of '84 and I recall the frost crunching under my bare feet. (I was yet to learn that there is no magical virtue in frostbite.) I cast my circle and invoked Diana and Faunus, dedicating myself to them.
I could imagine the Moon as the crown of Diana and I visualized the Goddess standing before me, the darkening sky her cloak, light streaming downward from her outstretched hands, filling my circle with her blessings. After maybe twenty minutes or so, I thanked the spirits, the Goddess and God, and went back indoors to warm up.
This was my very first Wiccan ritual, at least in this incarnation. I lacked all the criteria for doing what I had just done, except the most important one: my interest was sincere. Over the next couple of years I read some more books, including Starhawk's Spiral Dance and Ray Buckland's The Tree, as well as books by Scott Cunningham, Doreen Valiente and Stuart and Janet Farrar.
Gradually my rituals took on a simple format that was somewhat traditional. They were never extremely complex, though my battery of tools was quite massive at one time. I would consecrate some tool or the other, only to discover I didn't really need it, but since it was already blessed, I'd leave it on my altar. At one point, Mom would ask me before taking a steak knife out of my room, just in case I'd blessed it for any particular reason!
However, as my confidence grew, my battery of tools dwindled to a reasonable number. Extra athames became boot knives and extra saltwater dishes became salad bowls. At least one chalice became a flower vase. Somewhere along the way I became a Witch. I'm not sure when that happened; all I know is that while I was taking the scenic route to Witchhood I learned an important lesson.
Don't listen to the 'experts' telling you that you shouldn't do this or can't do that. Trust your instincts and act. Fortunately these kind of experts seem fewer in number than they were just eleven years ago, but those new to the Craft can still be intimidated by long-time practitioners with axes to grind. If you want to worship the Old Ones, just do it!
Maiden Bless!


by Nion

Howdy ya'll, Nion here. I was discussing with some other pagan friends the other day the difficulties at times of being in a household whose spouse or significant other happens to be Christian, and who may or may not be very tolerant. Well! Since I happen to be in that circumstance, I thought I'd pass on my observations on the subject.
In the beginning of my search for a spiritual path and involvement in the pagan community, my spouse and I had some very serious arguments concerning my activities. She had difficulty in understanding my NEED to search out my own inner spiritualism and growth, because of her own religious upbringing and her rejection of anything not Christian. At that particular time, as far as she was concerned, it was at least the lesser of two evils to be an atheist (as I was for quite a while), just as long as I wasn't doing them "heathen" things.
Actually, I had an easier time with my in-laws who were even more fundamentalist, because once I satisfied them that I wasn't devil worshipping or sacrificing babies, they at least tolerated my differing spiritual viewpoint. Of course it did help that when they asked me what I did on the full moon, I told them that I sing and dance nekked around a bonfire and howled at the moon (of course, they THOUGHT I was joking), and that put them at ease; because they have always thought I was a bit "weird" and that sounded just like what I would probably do anyway. I suppose it does help to be unconventional all your life. Ha! Anyway, being the family heathen has its moments.
It also helped that my kids are grown up and semi-set in their own ways, so I haven't "polluted or contaminated" their Christian upbringing too much, although my daughter, now 21, is showing more interest in paganism. So it might be interesting to see how the next year or two will come out.
Back to the monthly arguments that occurred come time for the Full or New Moon esbats or the seasonal Sabbats (or even pagan gatherings like Moondance), of why I should go off and worship at night or spend a lot of time at pagan functions. Well, after several months of this, I finally had it up to here, and got pissed off at her and told her my "religious" services and activities were no different from her going to church twice on Sundays, her very active involvement in the youth programs and choir, her one and two week summer camps, and her meetings on the board of directors of her church. I just do it at different times, and would she kindly (actually, I don't think I was THAT polite at the time) SHUT UP because I didn't want to hear anymore about it. Anyway, that DID shut her up, and so now we agree to disagree about our differing religious outlooks and don't discuss it much anymore, though she does get a bet grumpy around "my" nights out. The only thing that I required (actually, demanded) from her was that she accord me the same respect to worship and follow my spiritual path that I give her in her own spirituality.
Also, to keep the peace around the homestead, I do make concessions at home in what paraphanelia I have laying around. I do have a corner of a spare bedroom with my "stuff" on it, and slowly, bit by bit, my activities at home, though at this time somewhat low key, are gradually increasing without too much comment, other than why am I burning candles or incense at times. If she does ask what I'm doing, I simply tell her, and she just rolls her eyes, gives me a disgusted look and goes her way. If I need to do anything major, I have friends who help me out with a place to work and who provide physical, spiritual, and at times emotional support. Thank the Goddess.
Overall, being in a "different" faith than a spouse or significant other can be at times trying, sometimes demanding on your emotions and self-control, requires some give and take (all sounds like keeping a marriage alive and well!) and mutual respect to follow whatever path you choose. You can only try not to interfere or be blatant and push your own beliefs on someone else, because that is just as wrong as Christian intolerance to ours. With genuine love and caring between spouses or significant others, a lot of faith in the Lord and Lady, and sometimes emotional support from fellow pagans, it can all work out.
Well, guess I'll mosey along for now, so bye, and may the Gentle Goddess and the Horned One keep you smiling and strong at heart. Blessed Be.


Fiction by Michael Deakins

The lunch I had packed was in my day pack. I had about two hours before I had to be back at the conference, so I walked quickly through the gardens, looking for a quiet place to eat. It was early, and the only sounds other than my foot steps were the sound of birds in the trees going about their business, and the sound of running water in the distance. There was a soft breeze gently brushing me with the scent of a forest in the morning light.
This part of the forest was a nature preserve, but not five miles away there would soon be a new housing development, and as the primary architect it was my job to talk the locals into giving us the permits necessary to cut down a huge section of this ancient forest. It seemed a shame, but hell, people needed a place to live. A rich people needed big, spread out places. It was my job to create them.
The path took a turn to the left, and suddenly I was standing in from of a small pond. There were slender brown reeds growing on the side of the pond farthest from me, and at my feet was a healthy bed of water lilies, their reddish green pads spread across the water. I sat down on a mossy stump near the water and unpacked my lunch.
It didn't take me long to finish the two ham sandwiches and the cold carton of milk I had bought off the lunch truck sitting outside the conference center where the contractors and the local residents were holding the meetings. I decided I had time to take a short nap, so I set the alarm on my watch for one hour and lay down on the grass near the water and closed my eyes, letting the voices of the forest lull me to sleep.
I awoke to find her sitting beside me. She was about ten inches tall and had bright silvery wings. I rubbed my eyes, thinking I was still asleep.
She looked at me with a sad expression, her green eyes nicely accented by her pale blue skin. "You guys are really fucking things up," she said, her wings buzzing slightly, showing her frustration. "When are you going to wake up and realize you're not the only ones involved?"
"Whaa?" I said stupidly, sitting up. Her transparent wings sped up, blurring into nothingness as she took to the air, only to land back on the grass beside
me a moment later.
Wrapping her arms around the pale blue knees she pulled up to touch her purple nipples, she said, "Shit. If you're the One, you wouldn't want to hurt me, and if you're not, I'm still faster. I guess I'd better get this over." She reached down into the grass beside her and removed a small, dark green briefcase that looked like it was made of stitched lily pads. "You like it?" she asked, holding it up. "I traded a pond fairy two grams of heavenly bamboo for it. Waterproof too!" She put it on her lap, snapping the tiny silver hinges open.
I reached into my backpack and took out my bottle of water, pouring it over my head. After wiping my eyes clear of the water, she was still there. "If I may ask," I said politely, "who and what exactly are you?"
"Oh my!" she exclaimed, hastily setting her case aside and standing up. "My boss would skin me if he found out I didn't observe the first contact protocols, especially after he went to so much trouble to create them." She buzzed up onto my knee and stuck out a diminutive hand. "Sparkle Oakwood, First Team negotiator, Spring Forest Contact Guild." With her hand still out-stretched she looked at me for a moment, her head cocked to one side. "Well?"
Flustered and bewildered, I took her hand between my thumb and finger. She pumped it up and down with a surprising amount of strength, considering
her size. "I know you're not going to believe this, but my name is Justin Thyme, though I prefer to be called J.T." Her eyes became large and round, the pupils dilating. I wondered if maybe I had been too familiar.
"That's an Elvish name!" She flew up from my knee and hovered in front of my face. "Huh. No pointy ears, though the pale skin and blond hair would match. Maybe you are the One."
"The One. That's the second time you've said that. What is the One, and what's it have to do with me?" I was determined to gain control of the conversation, but first I had to find out what the hell we were talking about.
Sparkle flew down to her briefcase. "Don't be in such a rush," she said over her shoulder as she dug through her stuff. "We've got a lot of ground to cover and my boss would crease my wings good if I screwed up by hurrying. Ah, here it is!" She handed me a rolled up piece of parchment.
I unrolled the delicate thing, having to hold it close before I could make out what it was. I was surprised to see a very detailed copy of one my landscaping sketches, all done in very fine lines with what appeared to be charcoal. It was very well executed, retaining most of my style, though I had the feeling whoever had made the copy had not really liked the subject matter. "Where did you get this?" I asked.
Sparkle laughed at my confusion. "Fire fairies are really good with charcoal, aren't they? We had her do a quick copy of your sketch when you were doing that survey last week. You left your sketch pad open on the hood of the Jeep while you talked with that dipshit E.P.A. dude." She sighed. "Sometimes I wonder if you humans really understand what the environment is."
I rolled up the little drawing and handed it back to her. I was still trying to figure out where all this was leading when Sparkle closed her briefcase and stashed it back wherever it came from then flew up to land on my shoulder. She didn't appear to weigh anything. "So let's hit the road," she said.
"Let's what?"
"Let's go, dude. You are about to receive an all expense paid guided tour of Fairyland." She buzzed her wings impatiently and pointed to a trail I had not noticed before. "That way lies enlightenment, or at least that's what the Elves say."
I hesitated and said, "But I have to be back for a meeting in twenty minutes. I'm barely going to make it as it is."
My objections didn't seem to carry much weight with Sparkle. She made a rude noise and said, "Look, after what I'm going to show you, you'll approach that bogus meeting of yours with a whole new perspective." She smiled. "Trust me for a little while. There's nothing you can say today that will sound any worse tomorrow." She looked at me with those big green eyes. "Please? For me?"
How could I refuse?

An hour and a half later, following what seemed to be random directions from Sparkle, I had worked up a good sweat while she got a free ride. I was about to call it quits when I realized the area was starting to look familiar. This was the section of forest I was planning on developing. I had to admit, it was a pretty place, full of towering cypress trees and the snaky rattan vines doing their best to strangle them. The ground was covered with a carpet of brown leaves, and bright green moss was growing on everything.
Sparkle left my shoulder and landed on a fallen log. "Have a seat, J.T." she said. "You're about to receive an education on the place you want to destroy."
"Develop," I said. "We use the word develop when we're making a place for people to live."
Sparkle laughed brightly. "Take a few minutes to relax and open your eyes. Someone already lives here." She reached into a hole in the log and pulled out her briefcase.
"Do you have those things planted all over the forest?" I asked.
"What, the briefcase?" she said. "Don't be absurd. You know what these things are worth? It follows me."
"Fairy magic, stupid," she replied sarcastically. "Now shut up and watch." She opened the case and took out what appeared to be an ordinary twig, waving it twice around the clearing that we were sitting in. It was weird. The forest still looked the same, but everything had changed.

Life. Vibrant, pulsating life. It was almost as if I could see the forest growing before my eyes. The trees around me stood like giants, their spreading branches creating a canopy of leaves far overhead. Golden beams of sunlight speared through to make a pattern of light and shadow that fell to the forest floor.
In and around the branches animals worked and played. A multitude of birds flitted around the trees, their bright colors and cheerful songs a symphony of sight and sound. Young squirrels chased each other from branch to branch in play while their industrious parents stripped the seeds from pine cones like corn on the cob. Jays protected their hatchlings, screeching and diving at the tree snakes that were salivating at the thought of the choice, young morsels.
I turned and looked at Sparkle. Her gossamer wing cast rainbows of light as she smiled at my amazement. "What enchantment is this?" I asked in wonder. "Have you cast me into a world of dreams where everything seems brighter?"
She laughed with the sound of silver bells. "There is no enchantment. I have removed the veil your civilization has cast over your eyes. You see the forest now, Justin, as a rare few of you humans perceive it. There is more to life than condos and bank accounts, though few stop to see." Sparkle waved her hand at the surrounding forest. "Nature is beautiful, but it takes a soul that really wants to see to appreciate what is there to behold."
I thought for a moment about my life, and the way I hurried from one project to the next. It had been years since I had taken a vacation, and even during those times I had not felt anywhere nearer to peace and harmony as I did at this moment.
"Do you begin to understand," she said, "why there are only stories of the Spirit World? We exist with nature, while human kind as largely devoted itself to shaping nature to its own selfish needs."
I looked around, seeing a raccoon washing a crayfish in a pool before dining. I saw a badger growling at a young fox that had ventured too close to its den. I heard an owl in the distance, hooting at the squirrel that had woke it from its daytime slumbers. "I can't speak for all of mankind," I said with a little bit of chagrin, "but I see now that I have overlooked something that could be important." In my heart, I knew Sparkle had given me a precious gift. "I see I have been blind to the beauty of the world that surrounds me." I looked at Sparkle and held out me hand. "Thank you, Lady, for showing me the errors of my ways."
"Save your thanks," she said as she blushed a deep green, "for I have not yet revealed everything to you. In the end you may not want to accept the truths you will be shown." She stood, gathering up her twig/wand and her briefcase. "So far I have removed the veil of your own ignorance from your eyes. Now it is time that I show you what has indeed been hidden from you by those of us in the Spirit World."
Sparkle stood there on the grass and again waved her wand. Once again, though everything seemed the same, everything changed.

There were little people everywhere. Up in the trees there were fairies helping young birds build their first homes, carefully instructing the soon to be parents on the correct way to weave a nest. They were there teaching the rattan vines the proper way to wind around the trunks of the great trees. On the ground, the grasses and plants were being tended by another group. It seemed that this beautiful forest had not grown this way by accident, but was the carefully tended property of the fairies.
"This is our garden," Sparkle said. "Many generations of fairies have spent their lives tending this place." I could see little curtained windows at the bases of the trees, with smooth pathways leading here and there amongst the plants and underbrush. "What seems to humans to be natural growth in indeed natural, but the care and ministrations of my people is also part of this nature." Sparkle sighed with great contentment. "We love nothing more than this woodland, and would do almost anything to protect it. This is our home, as it has been for thousands of years." Three fairy children were playing in the grass at my feet, stumbling and rolling as they tried to get their immature wings to lift them above their peers. "Our garden means more to us than life," Sparkle continued. "But in the past few hundred years it has become hard. It seems that the lands once left to us have become wanted by your kind." A note of anger had crept into her voice. "More and more your kind has built homes farther into the wilderness, as you call it. Do you have any idea what happens to a fairy when her home is paved over to create a parking lot?" She stood looking at me with her hands on her hips.
I didn't know what to say. It was like I had been blind to all that was around me for my entire life. I felt ashamed.
"My job has been to show you that which your kind has been ignorant of for a long time. This I have done. Now there is someone that desires to speak with you. To possibly change things in such a way that fairy kind and human kind may co-exist together in harmony, if that is possible." She took her wand and placed it in her case. "Goodbye, Justin Thyme. I hope for all our sakes that we have met at the proper moment, as your name implies," she said with a touch of sadness in her voice. "I hope with all my heart that you are the One."
With that, she stuffed her briefcase into the grass at her feet and flew away, disappearing in the trees.

Next issue: In the conclusion of "Their Garden," Justin Thyme meets Korangar


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.

Rowan/Luis: I am a wide flood on a plain - for extent
Ash/Nion: I am a wind on the deep waters - for depth
Alder/Fearn: I am a shining tear of the sun - for purity

The other glyphs for these moons, from the "Romance of Taliesin," are: I have been a boat on the sea (Rowan); I fled vehemently...on the foam of water (Ash); and I have been a drop in the air (Alder).3 These three glyphs, from both poems, are interconnected, so rather than look at each of them independently, let's take them as a whole, and study the progression from Rowan through Ash to Alder.

According to Graves, the placement of these glyphs in the tree calendar is appropriate because February is the season of floods, and March 'comes in like a lion,' with winds that dry the floods. And Alder, in April, is the true beginning of the sacred year, when the deer and wild cow give birth to their young, and when the Child Hercules is born who was conceived at the mid-summer orgies. Up until now he has been sailing in his coracle over the floods; now he lies glistening on the grass.
He came all so still
Where his mother was,
Like dew in April
That falleth on grass.4
When Celestial Hercules, who represents the sun's movement throughout the year, passes into Fearn, the month of Bran's Alder, he becomes a maiden. Or, as Graves says, the Sun child is still under female control for half of Alder. There are similar stories of other sun-heroes, such as Achilles and Dionysus, who lived for a while disguised as girls in the women's quarters of a palace and practiced the womanly arts of weaving and spinning. Cretan boys not yet old enough to bear arms were called Scotioi, members of the women's quarters -- then, like Achilles, the boy is given arms and flies off royally like a griffon or hawk to its nest.5

In these myths and stories we can see the progression of the energies of the year. In Rowan and Ash, the energies are mostly feminine, or yin (as opposed to yang), symbolized by water, or in this case, a wide flood on the plain, and a wind on the deep waters. In Ash, the wind spoken of in the glyph, representing yang energies yet unfulfilled, begins to stir the surface of the water, and spark movement in the depths, although we have not yet reached the Spring Equinox, the time of birthing. Finally, in Alder, these energies start to surface from the depths of the water and rise symbolically to dry land. In other words, the energies are shifting from primarily yin, to a mix of yin and yang, and summer, with its strong yang energies, is just around the corner. Alder is a tree of both water (yin) and fire (yang). Its wood is used to build bridges and pilings that last for centuries underwater without rotting; yet it also makes the best charcoal, providing a slow, hot burn. This is indeed the tree that can pull the Sun child from the watery depths and deliver him to dry land.
This progression from watery yin energies to more yang energies, symbolized by, in this case, dry land, can also be seen in the Biblical story of the flood, in which the rains come down, the ark floats upon the waters for many days, and finally, the dove brings back an olive branch from dry land. Many cultures have a flood or deluge myth similar to the Biblical story. In Sumeria, Ziusudra built an ark. In Akkad, the hero's name was Atrakhasis. The Babylonian hero was Uta-Napishtim, the only mortal to become immortal. Deucalion was the Greek hero who repopulated the earth after the waters subsided. And in Armenia, he was Xisuthros, whose ark landed on Mount Ararat.6
In fact, all Indo-European peoples believed that a watery Chaos would swallow up the world at the end of its cycle, and out of this a new world would be reborn in the womb of the Formless Mother. The ark and its cargo represented seeds of life passing through the period of Chaos from the destruction of one universe to the birth of the next.7
In the Greek language, Chaos was the word for the undifferentiated mixture of raw elements in the World-Goddess's womb before creation and after the destruction of each recurrent universe. It was the Goddess herself in her state of eternal flux, when the fluid of her womb had not yet clotted into the formative state of a solid world.8

As we have seen, the energies of Rowan, Ash and Alder speak of a time of a seed planted and growing in the womb, a realm of waters; an impatience towards movement; and finally birth, from the watery womb, at the Spring Equinox. But what does this Spring birthing mean?
The hatching-out of the world was celebrated each year at the Spring festival of the Sun, around the time of the Spring Equinox. This was, and is, a time when winter is mostly over, and the sun's presence is felt more strongly. The Equinox is also the time of equal night and day; after this the days will be longer than the nights. On this day, with these equal energies, an egg can be balanced on its end.
The egg, an almost universal symbol of rebirth and resurrection, also figures strongly in the symbology of this time. A custom still with us today is the hiding and finding of Easter Eggs, which in ancient times symbolized the resurrection of the year out of winter at the Spring Equinox. In mythology, the World-Egg was split open to form the universe at the Spring Equinox.9 And the Egyptians' sign for the World Egg was the same as for an embryo in a woman's womb.10
According to Graves, the Greek letter Omega () signified this World-Egg.11 The letter O, which is the English equivalent of the Greek Omega, is also symbolized by the wild olive, a branch of which the dove brought back to the ark after flying across the flood waters in search of dry land. Olive was used at the Spring Equinox festivals in the ancient world as a representation of rebirth and resurrection, delivered out of water, similar to the egg. The Sun first warms himself at the Spring equinox; and the olive-leaf carried by Noah's dove symbolizes the drying up of the winter floods by the Spring Sun.12
So the Alder, like the dove's olive branch, delivers us from the depths of winter into the warming rays of the springtime sun. Yet there is still a drop of water clinging to the branch; summer is not quite here.


1 Graves, Robert. The White Goddess. 1948. The Noonday Press, New York, NY, pg. 205.
2 Ibid, pg. 207.
3 Ibid, pg. 211.
4 Ibid, pg. 208-209.
5 Ibid, pg. 213.
6 Walker, Barbara. The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. 1983. Harper & Row, San Francisco, CA, pg. 315.
7 Ibid, pg. 316.
8 Ibid, pg. 160.
9 Graves, pg. 249.
10 Walker, pg. 270.
11 Graves, pg. 249.
12 Ibid, pg. 439.


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 Faerie Faith, we tend to do things a bit differently sometimes. An example is the sharing of water rather than wine at ritual. Water, to us, is symbolic of the common bond of all life as well as being a reminder that the sacred wells, springs, and rivers were the sites which enhanced the sharing between humans and the Faerie realm.1
We all know that water is intimately linked with the cosmos, as can be seen in the ebb and flow of the tides. Water covers most of the earth's surface, and is continually in motion. There is such unlimited movement in this sheath of water, in fact, that on a global scale, water can be considered an organ mediating between earth and cosmos, integrating the earth into the course of cosmic events.2
In the Huna system, water is the symbol for mana, or the vital force produced by the body. Water was pictured in different ways by the Kahunas; where the mana was the vital force generated by the Low Self from food consumed and air breathed, the symbol of plain water was used. Water raising up in an overflow, as in a fountain, was the symbol of mana being accumulated in a surcharge by the Low Self. The mana of the High Self, originally taken from the Low Self by way of the connecting aka cord, was symbolized by clouds and mist, which are made up of fine droplets of water. These, when falling in the form of fine rain, symbolized the return of mana which had been transformed to carry the blessing of the High Self as it fell on the Middle and Low Selves to help and to heal.3
Almost all traditions confirm the role of water in the genesis of life. In the ancient Finnish epic, the Kalevala, the Virgin of the Air descended from the sky onto the boundless, foaming sea; "then the sea and the wind blowing on her breathed life in her4." She then became Ilmatar, Mother of the Waters, and after seven centuries of swimming the oceans she gave birth to the first human, the bard Väinämöinen. The belief in the sea as mother of all life has survived into modern times.
And finally, Theodor Schwenk, in his wonderful book Sensitive Chaos, gives us some spiritual insights into the significance of water.
"Wherever there is water, life can become active in the material world; where there is no water this possibility ceases. Water is essentially the element of life, wherever possible it wrests life from death. It is the great healer of all that is sick and has lost its living poise; for water forever strives after balance, a living balance, never a static one that would extinguish life. It is everywhere a mediator between contrasts, which grow sharper where it is absent. Thus it brings together elements hostile to one another, constantly creating something new out of them. It dissolves what is solid, rendering it back to life5."
"To a great extent withdrawn from the force of gravity, it maintains a central position between earth and cosmos, never losing itself to the one or the other and yet remaining closely connected with both, uniting them in an eternal circulation. Water holds a balance between extremes of solidification and evaporation, always retaining its possibilities of transformation. Like an echo of the ever changing events of the heavens, the fullness of form in the world comes froth from water6."
So now, with a better understanding of water, here is the Water Sharing Ritual which brings those of the Faerie Faith closer to each other and the cosmos.

Water Sharing Ritual

At the close of the ritual, before the dismissing of the Elements, the High Priestess or Faerie Queen takes a sip of water from the altar chalice. The chalice is then passed around the circle for all to share from, and finally returns to the High Priestess. The High Priestess says, as it goes around the circle:

Share of my water and know that as the Rain, it is the Bringer of Life.
Share of my water and know that as the Oceans and Seas, it is the Womb of Life.
Share of my water and know that as the Clouds, it is the Seeker, the Traveller with a Mission.
I share of the water, and may all know that as the Streams and Rivers, it is the Shape-Changer, the Destroyer of Old, and at the same time, through change, the Creatrix of New.
Knowing well that water is the essence of Life, we have shared and become One, and now as One we offer our lives to She who is the Mother of All Life, in service and in love.

"Thus water becomes an image of the stream of time itself, permeated with the rhythms of the starry world. All the creatures of the earth live in this stream of time, it flows within them, and, as long as it flows, sustains them in the stream of life7."


1 Epona, The Faerie Faith.
2 Schwenk, Theodor. Sensitive Chaos. (Published in mid-1960's.) Schocken Books, New York, NY, pg. 68.
3 Long, Max Freedom. The Secret Science at Work. 1953. DeVorss & Co., Publishers, Marina del Rey, CA, pg. 11.
4 Markale, Jean. Women of the Celts. 1972. Inner Traditions International, Ltd., Rochester, VT, pg. 43-44.
5 Schwenk, pg. 98.
6 Ibid, pg. 99.
7 Ibid, pg. 68.


by White Bear

Dear Brothers & Sisters: I have been studying and trying to put my belief system together for many years. What is to follow is based mostly on my leanings to the Native American path, especially the Lakota Sioux. This is where I am now, and if it strikes you as true, feel free to join me or even take those parts of it that work for you and use it as your own.

I believe these three things to be unequivocally true:

1. Everything is composed of constantly changing energy.
2. You and I are not separate from the universe around us.
3. Everything (and I mean just that -- everything) has consciousness.

Understanding these tenets lead to the awareness that you can effect change for good or bad in your life and in others.

1. Everything is energy

Many ancient cultures, but especially the Native Americans, understood that all forms of life; from clouds, to trees, to rocks, to buffalo that roamed the great Plains; were all transient swirling patterns of energy. This is an understanding that goes back to the most primordial times in cultures spanning the world. It is one of the most basic underlying perceptions of life held by native cultures.
All life is energy. We are immersed in an ocean of energy. The energy that we are and is around us flows and moves in constant, ever-changing currents through time and space. Beneath the apparent reality of objects, existing in a spiraling river of time, is the reality that energy swirls into form, dissolves and coalesces once again. The world is a dance of the two opposing yet harmonious forces in the universe: Yin and Yang, mystery and form, dark and light. The world around us and within us is an interplay of these patterns of energy in ever-fluid relationship. Energy ebbs and flows within and around us, not constrained by the limitations of the past and future. We are in an infinite, yet patterned, timeless drama of light and dark. Underlying this motion is a cosmic order. The innate harmony of the spiral form.

2. We are not separate from the universe around us

There is nothing 'out there' that isn't you. Because of the linear way in which we perceive reality, I don't think that we can ever understand this intellectually, communicate clearly about in writing or verbally in a comprehensive way. However, I do believe that deep inside each of us, we all do know this. I believe inside each of us is a longing, yearning, and a remembering of this exquisite place of oneness and unity.
Many of the problems people are experiencing at this time in the world stem from one erroneous belief -- the idea that we are separate beings, unconnected to our planet, to its animals and trees, separate from each other, and sometimes even divorced from ourselves. The Western belief is that we are separate from our environment. This is an illusion. And it is an illusion with grave potential consequences for our health and happiness. It is the belief in this illusion which makes possible the global pollution, hatred, wars, green and many other ills which fill our news and trouble us.
Our ancient ancestors all over the world didn't share this belief of separation. Their world-view centered around the fact that none of us exists outside of our environment or our fellow creatures, of the sun, the moon, the soil, the flowers, the weeds, the oceans, all the wonderful things which make up reality as we know it. Nothing exists in isolation.
We usually identify with our body and feel separate from all the other parts of ourselves. Most of us identify ourselves with our physical bodies. There is so much more. We draw a kind of boundary line that stops with our skin. Or with our clothes, or with our material possessions.
Yet when you take a moment to reflect on it, you will probably remember a number of times when you suddenly felt at one with the world around you. A glorious sunset or the pounding waves at the beach drew you into that feeling of being in touch with the all. These experiences serve to remind us of the truth we all knew before this life -- that we are essentially one with all things. We are all manifestations of pure energy, forever fluctuating in its manifestations, and forever connected. The universe is you -- your extended body!

3. Everything has consciousness

Even the most hardened skeptics would agree that animals are conscious beings. And modern science has proven that plants respond to the energy field of humans. However, no less conscious are the stones and mountains and rivers. Native people understood this well and would ask for the blessings of the spirits of all things before they would use them. Plants and animals were blessed and thanked for the 'giveaway' of their lives for the benefit of the people. The Earth beneath their feet was not inanimate and inert. She was The Mother. Thanks were given to her and forgiveness was asked before digging into her flesh. In this way they recognized and honored the consciousness of everything in the world around them. My Indian ancestors called the trees and animals their brothers because they recognized the beingness of all. Everything is alive.

So this is where I'm at now. Still figuring out how to use this to make those positive changes in my life. I also inherently know that thoughts are also energy and how you think with depth of emotion can brings things into being. So I'm working on being both positive and aware of my connectedness to all.

Love, light to all.


- by Susan Jackson

She hangs majestic in the sky
Spinning her silvery threads of light
Her song is warm and seductive
It pulses all through the night.

The melody will entice you
Can't you hear her inviting song?
Feel the rhythm of your heartbeat
And know that you belong.

Do not fight what you are feeling
For the spell is already cast
My sister, this is your future
But know it is also your past.

The melody, it will grip you
Your very soul will feel torn
Step out into her light, my friend
Step out
and be


by Marilyn Windle

In the last issue, we talked about three different methods of meditating to slow down our brain wave frequency into the alpha state. (Back issues are available from The Hazel Nut. This is an actual, physical process that your body experiences several times a day. If you have been practicing, and are new to meditation, you've probably figured out that this normally occurs while you're sleeping. Since your mind is conditioned to fall asleep when your brain wave activity slows down, you may initially find that it is hard to stay awake while meditating. If you keep falling asleep, try changing your position to one less comfortable. If you are lying down, sit up. If you are sitting in a chair, try sitting on a hard surface, such as the floor. If you still fall asleep, practice meditating while standing up.
The objective of your meditation exercises is to develop the ability to achieve the alpha frequency whenever you want, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. While the act of slowing your brain wave activity can refresh you mentally, like taking a nap, we want to learn to control this activity so that we can use if for other purposes. For example, I adopted a puppy several months ago. I was having no success in impressing upon his the purpose of our before bed walks until I started sending him the mental image of what I wanted him to do. Animals think in pictures, and I was delighted to find that transmitting an image of him relieving himself had immediate results.
When you are able to slow your brain down without falling asleep, you are ready to learn to slow it down even more. After you have achieved your meditative level, imagine the most relaxing image you can think of. Some people picture themselves lying in bed, but that's not a good idea for a couple of reasons. One is that it is easy to fall asleep that way, but the other is that your bedroom is usually not stimulating to your senses, since its purpose is to allow you to relax.
I grew up on an island in Florida, so my relaxing image is to picture myself lying on the beach. Try that and concentrate on experiencing it as if you were actually there. See yourself lying on a towel on the sand, and then be the person lying on the towel on the sand. Feel the heat of the sun beating down on you. After a few attempts, you should be able to hear the pounding of the surf. As your mind quiets even more, you ca hear an occasional call of a full, and a slight rustling sound made by sand crabs as they scurry by. With practice, you can smell the salt spray and that distinctive coconut odor of suntan lotion. Although your eyes are closed, there is a yellow brightness that you can perceive. If the sun feels too hot, feel a cooling breeze blow across your skin and through your hair. Feel the cotton loops of the towel beneath you, and particles of sand on your toes. You can sense the nearness of the water from the sticky humidity in the air.
If the beach is not your idea of relaxation, come up with a different picture that is right for you. One friend of mine imagines himself lying on a cloud. Because his image of angels is cherubic, he imagines he can smell baby powder while he feels a marshmallow-like sponginess beneath him. Another friend imagines he is floating lazily down a gentle stream on an inner tube. He feels the sun beating down on him while his feet and hands trail in the cool water. Whatever image you use, keep it passive and quiet. Don't whitewater raft down the Chatooga River, or dodge aircraft on your cloud! The objective is to relax.
You may find that when you slow your brain activity down, you have to learn to stay awake all over again. This is not uncommon. The more you practice meditating, the more successful you will be, and the deeper you will be able to go.
By the way, it doesn't take years of practice to be effective at meditating. Anyone can learn to slow down their brain waves in just a few attempts. What can take years is learning all that you can accomplish while at a deep level. When you control your brain frequency, you have control over your life.
You'll reach your working level faster if you have a consistent approach to getting there. Don't lie on a beach one day, and float on a cloud the next. Try out the images that appeal to you, then choose the most relaxing image you can. Add as much sensory input as possible. Try to hear, see, smell and feel what it would be like to actually be there as you relax. Include color in your image. You may or may not actually see the color at first, but feel the different colors. Each resonates at a different frequency, which we'll talk about in a future column when we learn to identify different colors fromtheir vibrations.
One last exercise is to think about a specific person you deal with that causes you discomfort. The person could be your boss, a teacher, your spouse, a coworker, a neighbor, a brother or sister, a parent, etc. If your relationship with this person is strained and uncomfortable, you can work to improve it.
While at your deep level, picture yourself talking with the individual. Explain how you don't want to argue with them all of the time, or feel as if you are adversaries. If the other person tries to interrupt you, listen to what they have to say. You may get real insights into their perspective in this way. When they are again quiet, ask them to listen to you while you again express your desire to have a pleasant relationship. Keep in mind that the other person sees his/her approach as just as 'right' as you see yours. You're not going to change their mind, but you can influence how the two of you get along.
After your talk, picture the two of you being able to deal with each other in a relaxed, pleasant manner. Repeat the image of the two of you interacting in a non-threatening manner whenever you meditate, and you'll see your relationship improve in real life. You may not like each other, but you should certainly be able to work together or co-exist without hurting each other. Treat the individual with respect, and you'll find they'll do the same.



During the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, shamans, priest/esses and medicine persons often enhanced their standing and command of power in their tribe/community with their knowledge of the sun's movements. Knowing that it was the darkest day of the year, they could use that knowledge to their advantage by decreeing that they had power over the disappearance and return of the sun. All over the world, the sun is the very catalyst of sustaining life, whether it be in the tropics, the temperate zones or the poles. Ancients, fearing being thrown into endless abyss of darkness, would do anything to appease the light so it would return!
Imbolc, also known as Groundhog Day in the United States, is a crossover festival of the Eight-fold Wheel of the Year. This day, like the equinoxes and solstices, could also be used to keep one's high standing in the early tribal community. As wo/men learned agriculture and how to domesticate cattle and other animals they too began to accumulate shared knowledge and to understand the workings of the year through the seasons. The knowledge was no longer kept by just the shamans, priest/esses and medicine persons but was shared by farmers, hunters, trade persons and sailors.
Imbolc is the day that milk returns after the birthing of lambs. The day probably varied depending how far north or south a tribe/community was located. Because it was a festival of the return of milk, Imbolc tended to be observed by women because they were also producers of milk. Imbolc is a crossover day from the darkest day of the year to the day that fowl receive enough sunshine during the Spring Equinox to produce eggs. The runes were often consulted on the Equinoxes, Solstices, and Crossover Festivals for divining and as part of esoteric practices. The runes were also used as an alphabet and number system throughout the European trade route between approximately 500 C.E. and 1000 C.E.


Meaning: Protection, caution
Time: 2:30-3:30 am
Month: February 1-15
Color: Red, yellow, orange, lavender
Gemstone: Aquamarine, Amethyst
Tree: Poplar, Rowan
Symbol: Elk horns

Eolh/Elgiz: Individuals born under this rune are often humanitarians. They do not like bureaucracy and the "take a number" attitude that some businesses have towards others. They like the personal touch. They are popular and know everyone by face if not on a first name basis. They really support what they believe in, especially if it's for the good of mankind. They don't wear fur, are sometimes vegetarians, and are definitely health conscious. They love to weave spells or send up prayers to help all kind.

Downside of Eolh/Elgiz: They may become apathetic due to burnout from caring too much. They're cynical and hurt because nothing ever changed no matter what. They really are hurt to the core. That's when they really need healing from their Higher Power.


Meaning: Positive energy, healing
Time: 3:30-4:30 am
Month: February 16-29
Color: Yellow, gold, orange
Gemstone: Ruby
Tree: Mistletoe, juniper
Symbol: The Sun

Sigil/Sigilaz: The sun can represent man or woman. This rune indicates an individual who has a lot of energy. They are usually good people and in harmony with nature and their neighbors. They care about the environment and try to do something to bring about improvement. These individuals tend to acquire wisdom and use it for the good of all kind. They make great social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, bartenders or are in fields where they listen to people and give advice. People enjoy talking to them. Their libraries are well-stocked on metaphysical subjects. They love to meditate and are spiritual, not religious.

Downside of Sigil/Sigilaz: Their energy level is drained. They tend to have bad health if they do not take good care of themselves. They tend to use drugs to alter their consciousness to obtain spirituality. There is a fine line there between what is legal and what is not.


Meaning: Victory
Time: 4:30-5:30 am
Month: March 1-15
Color: Silver
Gemstone: Tiger eye, coral
Tree: Oak
Symbol: Spear

Tir/Tiwaz: Individuals born during this rune are real mediators, senators and ambassadors of peace. They will do everything possible to prevent confrontations and war if they have the authority. If all else fails and a confrontation is necessary, they will probably come out on top. They have a real understanding of people and their interactions. They are very intuitive, if not downright psychic. It enables them to have an edge when intervention is necessary. Their psychic abilities into the dream world often enable them to produce wonderful things either in art, music, acting, and/or writing.

Downside of Tir/Tiwaz: They can be overwhelmed by what they know. Sometimes it can be too much to handle but they'll keep it all bottled up inside hurting. The danger is self abuse of drugs or alcohol to stop the hurting from being too sensitive.


Meaning: New starts, beginnings
Time: 5:30-6:30 am
Month: March 16-31
Color: White, black, red
Gemstone: Moonstone, corundum, ruby
Tree: Birch
Symbol: Birch tree

Beorc/Berkana: Individuals born under this rune tend to make it very big or not! They are born mystics, psychics and not uncommonly geniuses in their chosen area of expertise. These individuals are shakers, movers, innovators and at the same time care about their fellow kind, the planet and the future. The ones born under this rune can make a difference.

Downside of Beorc/Berkana: They tend to take credit for a lot of what happens that they have no control over. It's because they know but can't change what must happen.


Meaning: Conveyance, a short trip
Time: 6:30-7:30 am
Month: April 1-15
Color: Blue
Gemstone: Iceland spar, diamond
Tree: Oak
Symbol: Horse drawn chariot

Eh/Ehwaz: Individuals born under this rune are often born leaders in their area of expertise. They take risks and enjoy much physical activity. They get bored easily and must be on the go constantly. As they grow older and find their niche, they do slow down. They make excellent Spiritual Warriors and are the peacekeepers and protectors of the realm. They make excellent leaders. They usually enjoy shamanism because they like being in control even when they delve into the mystics.

Downside of Eh/Ehwaz: Instead of being spiritual warriors keeping peace they can be warriors of the darkside that hurt and harm. They must be careful who they follow or lead. They need to look for the Spiritual Warrior inside.


Meaning: Self and relationship to others
Time: 7:30-8:30 am
Month: April 16-30
Color: Red and white
Gemstone; Garnet
Tree: Maple
Symbol: Human

Mann/Mannaz: Individuals born under this rune are philosophers. They are great lovers of all people. They have a great capacity for love and understanding as well. Being around these individuals is a unique experience. They have a lot to share with human kind. They too are spiritual warriors like those born during Eh. Their conveyance is important to them. They may find it hard to give up their old car for a new one or they must have the newest, brightest, fastest thing on the market! They love philosophy and participating in eco-organizations that improve the environment.

Downside of Mann/Mannaz: Their darkside is that they are warriors looking out for their own good and care less about others.


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 Myth by Annie

Helios awoke. He could see Dawn just passing by his palace. He got into his fiery chariot and started his horses. It was the end of winter, and as Helios looked down to Earth he could tell that Death was still doing his duty. No flowers, trees, or grass were alive. Death even went out of his way to end the lives of a few mortals, but Helios kept on with his duty of bringing out the Sun.
It so happened that that day was the last day of Winter and the first day of Spring. While Helios brought the Sun out, Rain saw the first signs of Spring and he knew today was going to be great. Rain could see far down into the Underworld that Prosephone was getting ready to leaver her husband, Hades, to come see her mother, Demeter. Rain was ready to bring Spring.
Rain loved this day, because it was one of the few that he was able to out-do Helios at. Rain started out on his journey over the Earth. He followed the Sun god but soon caught up with him. When Rain "out-did" Helios, it meant that the mortals were happier for Rain than for the Sun. Mortals all over Earth cheered for the rain that would bring Spring again.
Helios returned to his home but Rain kept up his work. He couldn't stop until the last sign of Spring had come. Rain looked down onto Earth and saw Demeter and Prosephone in each others' arms again (not to mention Hades in the Underworld sulking at Spring and missing his wife).
But then Rain noticed something was missing. He saw birds flying happily, all the mortals were happy, even the gods were happy (for once). But Rain himself was not happy. Then he remembered. He called to his wife, Iris, the goddess of the Rainbow. She flew to her husband and they embraced each other. As the rain stopped everyone on Earth and Mount Olympus saw how Iris's rainbow sparkled and lit the sky with all its colors. Spring had come.


- by David Sparenberg

The earth
is a living weave;
the earth
is a mantle green.

The ocean
is a liquid net;
the ocean
is a fluid breath.

The sky
is transparent urgency;
the sky
is ethereal design.

The man
is a song forbidden.
The woman
is a song forlorn.

The sun
with the moon, the stars.
The whale
with the hawk, the bear.

The sky
is transparent urgency;
the earth
is a mantle green.


by Sherlock

2 The Earth plane.
4 Not in the same moral category as theft and murder.
5 It requires 100 lbs. of this blossom to produce 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lbs. essential oil.
6 You can't become one of these without serious study.
10 I am a hill of poetry.
11 Bean Sidhe.
12 "Into the Light" by Marilyn Windle describes 3 ways to _______.

1 With ______ eyes we begin to perceive the presence of many worlds that are entwined with our own.
3 The Tuatha de Danan are the Children of what goddess?
7 Lord of the wind: symbolized by the woodpecker.
8 How many years old must a stag be to be considered royal?
9 The collective living power generated by a natural force.

The solutions to this crossword Puzzle can be found in the December/January 1995 (Issue #18) 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
1 Sky-vault, 3 Beathuile, 5 Nyd, 6 Vine, 8 Hickory-nut, 9 Earth, 10 Cassiopia, 11 Gyfu
Down: 1 Samhain, 2 Natchez, 4 Middle Self, 7 Moth, 12 Iron Oak, 13 Daphne


Put the right letters in the blanks to see this issue's message!

1. The 2nd letter of 2 across
2. The last letter of 9 down
3. The 2nd leter of 8 down
4. The 1st letter of 4 across
5. The 4th letter of 1 down
6. The 1st letter of 7 down
7. The 1st letter of 3 down
8. The 1st letter of 11 across
9. The last letter of 10 across

__ __ __ __ __ __ __
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

__ __
8 9


To the Pagan Community:
Over the years we of the pagan faiths have been jolted out of our complacency, time after time, by graphic examples of just how few resources are available, in times of great need, for those of the Wiccan/Pagan faiths.
In response to this a checking account was established in September 1993, under the name Wiccan Community Fund. It is available for any Wiccan/Pagan group or individual who are in need of some assistance...whether it be to put food in the cupboard, help in paying bills, aid in recovery from some natural disaster, or in some kind of distress (due to discrimination, domestic trouble, etc.).
So far we have been able to assist 8 people with problems ranging from fleeing an abusive relationship to losing a job because of medical problems. And even a group fighting for their religious rights. The fund is still VERY small and monetary donations are needed desperately if we are to stay in operation. Plus if you know of someone who needs help...let us know. NO ONE should have to struggle in such a big family as ours! (Another one of our goals is to set up a resource network throughout the United States, and eventually the world, to track resources available to Wiccans/Pagans in need.) Donations are as yet NOT tax deductible...this isn't a Not For Profit Organization (as yet the paperwork is cost prohibitive). We are merely a community fund for those of our faith(s) who need help. All money donated to the fund is used solely for its stated purpose...of helping those in need. All the work entailed in running the fund is on a volunatary basis and done in Perfect Love and Trust.
To send a donation, for more information, to tell us of someone in need, or if you have resources available, contact the following address:
Wiccan Community Fund
P.O. Box 121
Garden City, MO 64747

Dear Editors:

I thought I would send a letter to everyone out there in the real (?) world on behalf of our fellow pagans/wiccans who are incarcerated in the various prisons. I have corresponded with inmates and have come to feel that we on the outside have really let down our brothers and sisters who are pagans but due to whatever circumstances find themselves behind bars.
I know there is a great reluctance on everyone's part to associate with prisoners due to the sterotypical image of them as bad guys deserving whatever is due to them by society. But guess what, folks, they are human too, and still need our emotional and spiritual support. Life is a bitch enough for them in prison without being cut off from their spiritual support and the indifference and sometimes outright intolerance to their way of belief within the prison system.
Paganism in general has the greatest tolerance to others' beliefs, unlike the mainstream Christians, but at least the Christians take care of their own. Do we? Hell, no, we don't. Do you honestly think that the Goddess looks away from them because they are in prison? I think not. So let's get with it, all you proclaimed HP's & HPS's, do your inherent duty and give spiritual support to our incarcerated brethern. Write, visit, correspond, BE INVOLVED.
Blessed Be,
Warner Robins, GA


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 is taking classes in computer science. She has recently started a home business in Aromatherapy called Avalon Aromatics.

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!

Michael Deakins is a southern California boy who got displaced and wandered the U.S. for a while, till he wound up near Atlanta. He has designed satellite components, arranged flowers, and been a veterinary technician, and generally is a jack of all trades. He is also a singer, composer, and woodworker. And he does love to talk to trees.

Susan Jackson is a single mother of two. She is involved with the state of Georgia working with male juvenile delinquents. In the last six months she has been introduced and awakened to the Craft, and is finding out what it really means to her to be a woman.

Cathy Lawrence lives near Atlanta with her husband, 15-year-old cat, and 2 birds. Her Craft is a blend of Native American shamanism and Wicca, which usually comes out in her music and chanting, and lends itself to her gift of healing.

Adrian Loaghrian, now 44 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.

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.

Erik van Lennep is a co-founder of the international Rainforest Action Network in San Francisco, and founding director of the New England Tropical Forest Project and the Arctic to Amazonia Alliance (an organization comprised of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples). He has served as a consultant to Senator Leahy's 1989 Global Warming Legislation, and has advised The Nature Conservancy on Ring Mountain. He took part in the First Intercontinental Congress of Indian Peoples in July, 1990, in Quito, Ecuador, and co-produced the film "Columbus Didn't Discover Us."

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 Moondance, Earthdance, or FallFling and talk to him, as that is one of his favorite things to do!

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.


Music Review: On a Misty Winter's Night by Ossian Gillebert. Produced by Jeff Wagner/WSI Productions. 1995. Ossianic Productions Ltd.
- Reviewed by Lark

Fans of Irish music will be delighted with this array of ballads by Ossian Gillebert. Like his live show, this collection of Irish/Celtic music makes me want to paint myself blue, drink Guinness, and sing along at the top of my lungs.
Ossian's newest tape started out to be a live album. But, as Ossian says, "the recording dates were never very conducive to...a very large crowd...Then it was going to be a mostly funny album but we all got too drunk and crazy during the recordng and the music was not up to par. So finally we set up a strictly serious recording session and some wonderful ballads came of the effort."
Songs include "Lord of the Dance," "Waltzing With Bears," and "The Patriot's Game," plus an original by Ossian called "Lord This I Pray."
You may order Ossian's album (available on tape now, and CD in the future) by calling 770-986-0427, or send $10.00 to Ossian Gillebert, 2931 Skyland Drive, Chamblee, GA 30341-4723.

American Druidism - A Guide to American Druid Groups by Daniel Hansen, Msc. D. 1995. Peanut Butter Publishing, Seattle, WA. 177 pp. Softcover, $14.95.
- Reviewed by Linda Kerr

This is a brand-new book written to further the understanding of modern American Druids. It covers, briefly but concisely, the history of the Druids from ancient to modern times. Hansen explains how the modern American Druid groups came to be, and describes their workings and beliefs. And perhaps most important, fully half of the book is devoted to a very complete and objective listing of each known Druid group in America. The history, structure, tenets, and membership levels and requirements of each are described.
I learned a lot about Druidism that I didn't know before, and was interested enough in several of the listed Druid groups to write off for information from them. This is an excellent book for anyone remotely interested in Druidism or Celtic teachings, whether new to the path or with many years' experience.

Greenfire - Making Love With the Goddess by Sirona Knight. 1995. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN. 212 pp. Softcover, $14.95 US, $20.50 Can.
- Reviewed by Stormy

This book is the first of its kind that I have read on Erotica/Wicca/Relationships. The author is a lecturer and holds a Master's degree in Psychology from California State University. Ms. Knight also is a published poet, writer, teacher and hypnotherapist. For many years she has been a student, teacher, and High Priestess of the Celtic Gywddonic Druidic tradition.
The first thought that came to my mind when I began reading this book was The Book of Tantra, which is a book of celebration and dedication of the sexual union to a higher spirituality. There is a similarity in this book as it takes you through the Eight Sabbats and the yearly cycle of the relationship of the Goddess and Her consort. Ms. Knight uses guided imagery and suggests the use of empowering stones, flowers, aromatherapy, oils etc. to enhance one's sensual relationship with self, partner, and to the Goddess and Her consort. It is explicit and erotic.
This book may not be for everybody. My mother used to say, "If God created anything better than sex, he kept it for himself and didn't tell us about it!" Although my mother never knew there was a Goddess, she told us how wonderful sex really is and so does this book!

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Balantine Books, New York, 1982.
- Reviewed by Imré

Have you ever wished that you could experience a time when the worlds of faerie and the dimension of humans co-existed, melded, sustained, and flowed into one another? Have you ever daydreamed about a time and place in which Goddess prevailed and brought with her Priestesses, Druids, knights, and Sacred Kings; a time and a place in which the serpents of the Druids conveyed an understanding of Natural order? Have you ever asked yourself how priestesses were trained during an era in which High Priestesses were the ultimate authority, an era in which the Mystery Schools were honored and their graduates venerated? Have you ever wondered how we moved so far away from that world, from that experience?
Marion Zimmer Bradley would like to remind you of that time, of that world, of that experience. The Mists of Avalon is a researched rendition of the fabled tale of King Arthur and the reign of Avalon. Walk into the lives of the women who made, changed, and ended Arthur's life. Experience the rage of the priestesses who gave their lives to save the ways of Goddess. Relive the magic of the Mystery Schools. Bradley explains in her introduction that she went to great efforts to research the making of a priestess and the lives that priestess would have led in the era of the king that would become Arthur in legend. For the priestess in training, The Mists of Avalon holds within its pages remnants of ancient wisdom and hidden guidance towards understanding.
I enjoyed The Mists of Avalon more than any other 'fictitious' book that I have ever read. To see the very Christian world of Camelot through the eyes of a High Priestess, the Lady of the Lake more specifically, gave me a much larger perspective of the responsibilities that we take on as Her children and representatives. Please take the time to explore Bradley's vision of the mysts.