A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Issue 25, Beth, Luis and Nion Moons, 1998

In This Issue:
Out on a Limb: Editorial - Imré K. Rainey & Linda Kerr
Marked by Distinction - Hazel
Yeats and the Faern - David Sparenberg
Faerie Faith 101: Not Just a Name - Linda Kerr
Lunar Energies and Esoteria - Imré K. Rainey
Silly Spells - Lark
Poetry: Silver Wheel Turning - Stormcrow
An Abbreviated View of Irish Colonization Via Mythology - Nicole Smith
Poetry: Morning Prayer - Ivey Brown
Poetry: As Eve Late at Night: A Study in Alchemy - Lea Stone
Alfalfa: Medicago sativa - Paul Beryl
Ankh (Cross)-Word Puzzle - Sherlock
About Our Staff & Contributors
Bubbles From the Cauldron - book reviews, etc.

Editor & Publisher: Imré K. Rainey
WebMaster & Co-Publisher: Paul Enloe
Poetry Editor: Lark
Staff Writer & Artist: Linda Kerr

Nancy Passmore (The Lunar Calendar), Hazel, Nicole Smith, Paul Beryl, David Sparenberg, Ivey Brown, Lea Stone, Stormcrow, Linda Kerr, Lark, Epona, and Imré K. Rainey.

THE HAZEL NUT, Issue 25, Copyright © 1998. 1998, Beth, Luis, and Nion 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 and publisher. 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.
Beth is the first moon of hte year. The moon is represented by the Birch. It begins after the day or days apart, of which there are seven between 1997 and 1998. This year, Beth will be from December 29 through January 27.
Luis is the second moon of the year. The moon is represented by the Rowan. February Eve, also known as Candlemas, will always fall in Luis. This year, Luis is from January 28 to February 25.
Nion is the third tree of the year. The moon is represented by the Ash. This year, Nion will occur from February 26 to March 26.


In early 1993, Linda threw the idea of a Faerie Faith publication at me and asked me what I thought of it. A very exciting idea, but how and who? Needless to say, the answer was me. So, I began working on it, collecting articles, brainstorming with Epona, researching herbs, the trees, the calendar, etc. We pondered over a name. Something that would be Faerie Faith. Something that would mythologically connote knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Linda had been very interested in the stories about Conla's Well, so she threw out "Hazel Nut" and we jumped on it. What a great name, we were actually going to make this happen!
Moondance of 1993, The Hazel Nut was introduced to the world. A few issues later, I was burned out! The responsibility and cost was overwhelming. Linda had no intention of letting the project die, so she took over and made The Hazel Nut what it is today. We have subscribers all over the United States, Canada, and, even, a few over seas.
Earlier this year, some time in the summer, Linda decided that after four years of hard labor, she had had enough. Rowan was approaching one, she was working full-time, she and Craig were looking for a house to buy, and the Church of the Spiral Tree was well on its way to becoming an entity. She had her work cut out for her. She decided to unload some of the pressure by looking for someone to take over the editing and publishing of The Hazel Nut.
Paul had just recently taken over the responsibilities of the web page, so we were really getting very excited about the magazine's potential. We discussed the possibility of taking over the whole production and unanimously decided to go for it. Linda agreed that it would be the best thing to keep the magazine in the family and so we officially started the change of hands in the fall.
The first issue of 1998, Number 25, is the first issue that Paul and I will be producing. There will be many changes made in the coming issues. We are adding new series on Celtic Irish history, Faerie Faith history, the Lunar Trees, etc. We are focusing on guiding The Hazel Nut more towards the study of pre-Christian Northern European religious studies, Celtic and earlier. We are very excited about the changes to come and we would love to hear from you about them.
So, many thanks to our 'old patrons' and greetings to our new subscribers. Come drink from Conla's Well and help us savor the beauty of the Mysteries. Many happy thoughts for all of you - Imré.

A few words from Linda:

I had thought last issue's editorial was going to be my last one, but I got roped into one more. Oh, well! As you may know by know, Imré Rainey is the new editor and publisher of The Hazel Nut. Yay! One less thing for me to do.
Imré was the original editor of The Hazel Nut when it started back in May 1993. I took over that Fall, and have done it ever since. After four years of doing the entire thing by myself (with lots of wonderful submissions from our contributors--thank you!) I'd reached the bum-out point, and had started offering part or all of the work to someone. Fortunately, Imré and his partner Paul jumped in right in time and volunteered (hee hee!) to take over the entire operation. In the words of Mohammed Ali, "I pity da fool!"
So give Imré all your support (he'll need it), and send him lots of good stuff to publish, and hopefully we'll have several more great years of publishing ahead of us. Until next time, party on, dudes! - Muirghein

A few more words form Imré...

Something that Paul and I feel very strongly about, is the living of what we claim to believe. As such, we are bringing to the magazine and its web site ( influences from the various areas that are traditionally and definitively incorporated in the practice of a Goddess oriented religion. These include environmental, political, social, and civil issues as well as esoterica, philosophical treatises, historical study, and the rest of what you have been getting with your issues of The Hazel Nut. Paganism, regardless of cultural influence, has always been a spiritual path that has honored life and the world that we live in, on, and with. It is my sincere wish to reflect within the pages of this magazine, the intricacies of living a life that stands true to the essence of Witchcraft as it was once practiced.
P.S. I would like to apologize for releasing this issue at such a late date, but, remember, this is my first time in over four years and I had no idea how long this takes! Linda .... help....


(Editor's Note:) The Hazel Nut is a magazine with a mission, and, as such, we try to bring you thought provoking articles, poetry, and artwork. Apart from the work of our much devoted staff, we rely greatly on the submissions that come to us from our readers. With every issue comes the wading through the various submissions in search of the articles, poetry, and artwork that embody our goals. Every now and then, a certain poet, author, or artist seems to evoke within us and our readers a reaction of discernment, empathy, and realization through their craft. In honor of these adepts and their distinguished work, The Hazel Nut has decided to celebrate their contributions via "Marked by Distinction". We will choose one artist, poet, and author each year and publish their work and biographies in every issue of the coming year. We inaugurate the first installment of "Marked by Distinction" by bringing you the beautiful and inspiring work of...


I've been drawing as long as I can remember. My maternal grandmother is a self-taught oil painter, and since my mother and I lived periodically with my grandparents, I had the privilege of learning from her. My grandmother taught me my color wheel around the same time I was learning my ABC's. I had wanted to be a fashion designer for most of childhood, until an unfortunate class in fashion business. Around this time my art teacher introduced me to
the Art Nouveau movement and Alphonse Mucha, who was instantly my new hero--an illustrator was born.
So entered my college years. It took seven years for me to get my BFA. During this time I had many ups-&-downs, the quest for who I am, what I am, and what I believe, etc.... and my art grew. A couple of years before my graduation I had several epiphanies. One of these was that I wanted to be a witch. The other that I didn't need a man. Not long after which I found my perfect partner.---Which just goes to prove that the Lord and Lady do have a sense of humor.
It is now almost six years later, I find myself four states away from home (and desperately trying to get back), and together my wonderful man and I have weathered, and so far survived, many hard tests. I am finishing up my thesis for my MFA in illustration, and desperately looking for a job. All the while hoping to become a regular illustrator for the pagan
community, a children's book illustrator, and to get published my own pagan children's story.
Through all of this my style is maturing and my skills will hopefully continue to improve. My list of 'heros' has grown to include Maxfield Parish, Mercer Mayer, Tom Canty, and Brian Froud--not to mention Celtic artwork and the 'carpet pages' of the Medieval Texts.
My usual media is pen&ink with watercolor. I love symbolism and often try to find a way to incorporate it into my work--especially in the patterns of my more busy line-work pieces. These pieces are fun because the more you look the more you may see. All of us have a tendency to get so wrapped up in the ugliness of our worries that we forget about the wonder, and timeless beauty of nature surrounding us. My hope is to somehow reflect some of that, and maybe remind some of a magic that might have been forgotten back in childhood.
Due to a lack of funds I can't offer the availability of professional prints; however, feel free to contact me anytime through The Hazel Nut, or e-mail me at:


by David Sparenberg

Y: There are no words to say why I have traveled a day long journey to this reef bordered spot before the tumbling sea. People of the district tell that twice daily, upon the twilights, once at sunrise and then again at setting sun, a specter walks this way who may complete or else rewrite the fate of a mortal man. Thus, destiny and identity are woven through her guileless words into a single strand. I would not confess to believing such a tale, but look and see that now there comes toward me, from out the folds of hanging mist, a form or figure resembling human, tall, and clad in a robe of dark brocade. And now I see this walker is a woman. Clearer still, as she draws near, her face is not of flesh but jeweled, a mask of changeless beauty.
Although a tension of raw paradox or rough uncertainty, here and now, suddenly takes hold of me, I'll dare to make my presence known. Stay, you dreamlike vision, whether woman real or surreal emblem, painted symbolic on the swirling air! Stay a while to speak to me, if speech is possible or permitted between what is and what may not yet or ever be.
F: Who's there? Who calls and interrupts the concourse of my guardian motion? By what presumption do you intrude upon me who have, for all of mortal time, and will for times untold, strolled this boundary between the briny wash and weave of sand?
Y: I, it is I, a struggling man, ready to greet with courage or humility that which strikes my senses as more fantastical that other sights my eyes have seen. Lady, can you explain yourself and how and why you are here, draped in your robe of dark brocade, your face concealed behind a mask of gold-worked beauty and profound jewelry? With your eyes, those eyes of emerald fire, that seem to live and look inside me!
F: Will you take my hand? Will you walk beside me, into the mist, along the border, betwixt and between, of hungering sea and hungry land?
Y: A fear gets hold of me.
F: It is a common fear, but an uncommon man whose heart will rise above his trembling animal and touch the brocade hem of flame instilling divinity.
Y: A hero or a fool?
F: What difference is there between the two? From your side of reality, both are sons of tragedy. Between the hero's fatal vow and lover's binding kiss, the wings of foolish speculation whip the winds that spread the fires of force-transporting ecstasy. Whether hero or lover or fool, each is invited to take my hand and walk this shore beside me.
Y: I am made bold by your speech, for all three dreams of the noble trinity of quickened humanity are quick inside me. But a hero is pledged to a code of honor, a lover to the other of his passion and the fool to the metaphors of poetic confession. Only the living dead act without clarity. Therefore, lady, if you would share my company, or I share yours, tell first of your mission and why your face is hidden behind a mask?
F: Know then, and knowing surrender the little, etched meanders of social art and freedom for the bright and burning figure twisted to a single cord of identity as destiny. About the world, as you may call the world, here and there, at borders such as this, between the land and sea and sky, and at those times that are themselves the gateways between night and day, such walkers as I am gatekeepers to these gateways and animate keys for springing these enchanted gates--are found. This mask I wear, like masks worn by each of my kind, is styled to the beauty men can view and still be men, concealing behind a shining surface the beauty natural to eyes both sleepless and immortal. Between that which is revealed as changeless and the vision of incessant change is but the flicker of the flame. Although a man, if he is hero, fool or lover, may, when he is gathered wholly, leap through flame, it is no man who dances in it. The emerald fire is a god. And gods to men are pain and glory, Orphic art and Dionysiac fury.
There! I have spoken, spilling more that it is good to spill. Now, either step aside or grasp this hand, gloved in a primeval symbolum. For these words and deeds are but repeated mythology, which, from your side of reality, are worried over and wrested with as identity and destiny. Personal to you, but typical to me.


by Linda Kerr

In my last article I talked about how to calculate when the first moon of the Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar begins. Well, I realized that the concept may still not be quite clear to some, and others may feel that it doesn't really matter, as the moon names, Birch, Rowan, Ash, Alder, etc., are just alternative names for the secular months of our modern-day Gregorian calendar. This is no more accurate than saying it doesn't make any difference whether someone was born under the sign of Scorpio or Libra, as they're both just names for that particular time of year, and don't have any bearing on the person involved.
The Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar, as practiced by the Faerie Faith, is more than simply a system of alternative names for the 12-13 cycles of the moon that occur in a solar year of 364 days. Each of the 13 moons in the calendar is named after a tree; in order they are: Birch, Rowan, Ash, Alder, Willow, Hawthorn, Oak, Holly, Hazel, Vine, Ivy, Reed, and Elder. The Birch moon is always the first, and they proceed in the order stated above, with Elder always falling last. The calendar begins within a few days after the Winter Solstice, and always ends on the Winter Solstice, never going past that date. This is a fixed solar date: by fixed, I mean that this is the day when the night is longest and day is shortest. After this day, usually on December 21 or 22, the days will begin getting longer, and we enter a new solar cycle. This fact is recognized by our Gregorian calendar, which begins on January 1, 8-9 days after the Winter Solstice. Part of the reason for this brief delay in the Gregorian calendar lies in the 10 days lost when we converted over to the Gregorian calendar from the Julian calendar, in 1582 in parts of Europe, in 1700 by the Protestant German states, and in 1750 in America and Great Britain. For a full explanation of this switch-over, see my "Origins of our Modern Calendar" in Issue # 4, September, 1993.
The date of the Winter Solstice is just about the only fixed point in the Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar, but we can approximate several other dates along the calendar. Let's talk about the length of the lunations: folklore tell us that a lunar cycle is 28 days, the same as a woman's monthly cycle. If you multiply 28 days x 13 lunations, and add in one extra day, you would conveniently get a 365 day year, which is a standard year in the Gregorian calendar (the true length of the solar year is 365.2422 days - Irwin, pg. 95). But nature doesn't work in accordance with a set 365-day year. In actuality, a lunar cycle can range anywhere from 28 days to 30 days. If you have 13 moons of 29 days each, not even including any of the renegade 30-days moons, you'll have a year of 377 days (actually there are 12.368 lunar months in a solar year - Irwin, pg. 80). Obviously, if you're trying to fit this lunar calendar system into the confines of the solar year as marked by the Winter Solstice, it just ain't gonna work.
So what do we do? Instead of trying to begin with Birch after the Winter Solstice and continue faithfully through to the end of Elder before ending the year, and thus having an Elder moon that continues into the next January, and having all sorts of problems with the calendar the next year, we end the year at the Winter Solstice, regardless of where in the lunar cycle we happen to be. No, it doesn't make for a nice neat calendar with exactly 13 moons of 28 days each, but we are trying to work with the natural system of things, rather than a man-made contrivance. Even the Gregorian calendar allows for the fluctuation of days over a period of time with its Leap Day.
That's the easy part. Now the hard part--when do we begin the next lunar year? Well, obviously it's going to be shortly after the Winter Solstice. For a complete explanation of this, see last issue's (#24) Faerie Faith 101 article. I'll give you a hint, however, that pretty much takes care of the guess work. February 2, or Imbolc, always falls with Rowan moon, the 2nd lunation. So find February 2, and follow the lunar cycle back to the new moon. That is the beginning of Rowan moon. It then follows that the day before that new moon was the last day of Birch. Now, follow that lunation backwards. If you get to the new moon before you get to December 21, then you have an entire lunation for Birch, and the days between Winter Solstice and that new moon are the Days Apart. If you get to December 21 before you get to the new moon (working backwards, remember), then you've just got a short lunation for Birch, which starts the day after the Winter Solstice. You'll probably have to find a calendar that lists the moon phases for this to really make sense, which is a great reason to buy the Lunar Calendar: Dedicated to the Goddess in Her Many Guises©! (See ordering info in this issue.)
Now that we've established when the lunar year begins and ends, let's talk about the moons themselves. Why are they named what they are? What meaning do they have to you personally? This is a huge topic, and one which would take many, many articles to fully explain. I'll see if I can put it succinctly.
If you'll look at the Lunar Calendar: Dedicated to the Goddess in Her Many Guises©, in the center of each spiral of moon phases which makes up a lunation, you'll see a short blurb about the tree the moon is named after. For instance, Holly (my favorite): "Protects against the negative emotions of hatred, envy, suspicion, and greed by increasing love, positivity, and luck. Encourages healing by the protection of love in community." It sounds like the charm, or majick, associated with that tree, and in part, that's what it is. But what this charm is telling us is that during the Holly moon, which usually falls around July or August, people, not just Wiccans, but everyone, experience strong emotions of hatred, envy, suspicion, and greed. This is specific to that particular time of year, which is also known as the "Dog Days" of summer. Sound familiar? Have you ever felt like pummeling someone who pissed you off, when the heat is so intense you can't think straight? Have you ever felt like everyone was against you around that time?
In the system of healing called Bach Flower Remedies, developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930s, the Holly remedy is taken for "hatred, envy, jealousy, suspicion" (Chancellor, pg. 107). These flower essences, including Holly, are made from the leaves or flowers of the trees themselves, which are plants of a higher order. Each embodies a certain soul quality, or has a particular energy wavelength. Each of these plant-based soul qualities is in tune with a certain soul quality in a person; i.e., with a certain frequency in the human energy field. The human soul contains all the soul qualities of the Bach Flowers, and I believe, of all the trees of the Lunar Calendar, as energy potentials, virtues, or divine sparks. Therefore these Bach Flower Remedies contain the essence, or spirit, of the tree, and heal certain emotional states.
Dr. Bach discovered these remedies by listening to the trees. His sensitivity was so highly developed that he merely had to place a petal from the plant concerned on his tongue to be aware of its effects on body, soul, and spirit (Scheffer, pg 16-17). He didn't just decide that Holly would cure envy, and Crab Apple would cure feelings of uncleanliness, and Willow would cure resentment. These are not arbitrary assignments of emotions to the trees. These are the true essences of the trees. I don't know why this is. Nobody does. But it works. It works for me, for you, and for everyone else out there. These essences also work on children, pets, fish, and houseplants. I really don't think power of suggestion is an issue when you get into those realms!
So if we accept the theory that the trees each have a certain essence, or personality, and that a wand from the tree or an essence made from the tree can heal those negative emotions associated with it, we next want to know why the trees, and their personalities, occur when they do during the year. Well, I'm just being a font of information, because I really don't know. But I do know, from my own personal experience, and the experience of others whom I've talked to, that around March we tend to feel impatient; towards May we may feel resentment (Willow); in late summer we feel like just shooting everyone to put them out of our misery (Holly); and by the end of the year we can feel despair, worry, and fear (Elder). Not everyone will feel the exact same emotion (thank goodness!), nor will everyone feel these things to the same degree. Folks who are more in balance within themselves will feel the more positive aspects of that time, while those who are out of balance, or emotionally unstable, or simply have a weakness in their personality in that particular area (pretty well balanced, but prone to irrational jealousy), will feel these negative emotions much more strongly.
Also, it is important to note that these energies, as I call them, do not restrict themselves to that lunation they are connected with. For instance, we may begin to start feeling resentful of our mates before we actually enter the Willow moon, while we are still in Alder moon, or we may have some lingering resentment after the Willow moon ends. These energies do not stop completely when the moon is dark in the sky. But they do tend to peak in intensity around the full moon, and taper off on either side of that. And you can be pretty sure that over the population as a whole, we will feel less resentful or less "postal" in January or February than we will come May and August. Remember, this is Nature we're dealing with. She doesn't give us absolutes, and to try to make absolute statements and conform these energies to a secular calendar is foolish.
Hopefully the above will have answered the question of why the tree months are named what they are. Simply put: They're named Birch, Rowan, etc., because those are the energies and trees associated with that time of year. The energies of the birch tree--authority, self-discipline, inception--are strongest at the very beginning of the year, and these are the same energies that the birch tree itself will heal (negative) or bring about (positive). Now I guess you could call a birch tree a poplar, but it wouldn't make it into a Populus species, and it wouldn't change the energies of that time of year. So we may as well call the trees, and the moons, by their appropriate names.
Here's another thought: Consider the year as a cosmic bio-rhythm. The lowest part of this sine-wave would be at the Winter Solstice, when the light is just beginning to grow stronger. The highest part would be at Summer Solstice, when the power of the sun is at its peak. And the in-between times, when everything is equal, would be at the Spring and Fall Equinoxes. Therefore the "mood" of the year would change constantly from Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice and back again.
You can also look at each of the lunations as a bio rhythm, with the lowest part being the new moon and the highest part being the full moon. Each lunation would therefore have its own fluctuations in "mood" or intensity of feeling and energy.
The best way to understand these energies is to live them: Try to attune yourself to the world around you as you go through the cycle of the year. Pay attention to your feelings, and the feelings of others. Find each of the trees and communicate with them, especially during their particular moon. Above all, let the trees be your teachers.


Chancellor, Dr. Philip M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies. 1971. C.W. Daniel Co., Ltd., London.
Irwin, Keith G. The 365 Days - The Story of Our Calendar. 1964. Thomas Y. Crowell Co., New York, NY.
Scheffer, Mechthild. Bach Flower Therapy: Theory and Practice. 1988. Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT.


by Imré K. Rainey

Linda and I have been working on this magazine for over four years now, and, to our surprise, we have come to realize that a lot of readers have not yet grasped the physical effects of the lunars and their respective trees - to say nothing about the esoterica associated with each. So, in an effort to alleviate this problem, I have decided to tell the story of Janine, an ordinary person, living an ordinary life, in an ordinary city, in our time. It is my hope that once the physical effects of the moons are depicted in a manner resembling everyday living, they will become clearer to everyone. Keep in mind that I am trying to make this clear, so the issues will become more complicated with time, not right off the bat. Let me know what you think!

Janine laid in bed, staring out of her apartment window onto the glistening white world around her. The snow had fain a blanket across all the world, it seemed, hiding the signs of civilization, revealing the reality that we are not in control, regardless of what we may think. Everyone would be late to work, the roads would be jammed with impatience, children would miss school. This was just a reminder that, even in the deep South, Nature can still spring surprises on her spoiled children.
Regardless of the inconvenience, the day was beautiful and the snow was already melting. Janine rolled over and looked at the clock. Thirty minutes to go before the start of the day. She relished the idea of just laying there, but decided to slowly stretch out of bed. She felt uncommonly good, cheery, alive. Her dreams had been charged with fantasies, and all that she hoped would come to be in her life. It seemed that the feeling of dread that had been following her around for the past couple of months had been miraculously lifted off of her. She wasn't really sure of why she felt so great, but she wasn't going to worry about it either.
Breakfast seemed especially flavorful this morning. She sipped on her tea and considered the day ahead of her. She had to go to work, but she could take half the day and call it a 'personal day.' Maybe she would really look into the possibility of leaving her company and actually using the degree that she slaved over for five years. This job had been nothing but a means of survival and she just never really had the courage to do more than fantasize about leaving it, but maybe she really could. She had the confidence to really consider it today. Maybe she would look into her options, and today her options seemed limitless. She looked into her cup of tea and remembered one of her dreams. She was riding a horse, a white horse, through the streets of Atlanta. Everyone was getting out of her, way as she rode by. She remembered smiling at the envious onlookers and feeling sorry for them. She was radiant, nothing was holding her back, but they were gray, sad, chained to their briefcases and the stone buildings around them. In her right hand there had been a long rod and she swung it wildly, breaking the chains that held the people back. The further she rode, the more frenzied she got with a sense of personal freedom and a feeling that she was in charge of her own life .... Dreams, who could understand them?
Janine daydreamed through the work day, eagerly awaiting 2 o'clock. She just couldn't fit herself into the routine required at work. She was not the kind of person who could be successful at this labor. As she walked out of the office at 2 o'clock--on the dot--she reflected that work had been somewhat pleasant today. She even felt a little guilty taking her 'personal day', but she had things that she wanted to do. She sat at one of the little round tables at Starbuck's and pulled the classifieds out of the morning paper. What did the future hold? With great anticipation, she began to skim through the myriad ads. Seconds later, her eyes froze on the heading 'Art aficionado wanted.' She couldn't believe it. It seemed that one of the little newage galleries down town needed a part-time manager for the Spring. She almost screamed with excitement. With fingers shaking with anxiousness, she dug through her purse for, her cell phone. Calm ... breathe deeply .... you can't sound too desperate ...calm....She tried to dam some of her excitement just long enough to get the call over with.
"Bright blessings and thank you for calling Visions Gallery. Can I help you?" She was a little put off by the whispy sound in the woman's voice, but then again, she had been in the corporate world far too long. Whispy was refreshing.
"Yes, thank you. I am calling about the ad in the paper," Janine felt her heart pounding against her chest ... Calm down.... "I have a bachelor's of fine art"....breathe.... "and I was interested in the position available. I can interview and..."
"Honey, relax. I love your enthusiasm, but I have to be able to understand you in order to help you. Let's start from the beginning. What's your name?"...

Janine rushed herself out of bed and into the shower. She hardly slept a wink. I have got to get this job! She thought to herself. She hadn't thought about anything but this job for the last month. She had been so excited when Rowan agreed to the interview, even if it meant being tortured with anticipation for the next four weeks. She rushed around in a state of semi-consciousness, mechanically rehearsing her morning rituals. She stood in front of the mirror and nervously laughed at herself. She hadn't even noticed that she had already dressed herself when she tried to put on another pair of tights.
All those years in college and all the bullshit that she swallowed only to get a telemarketing job. Stifling was the only way that she could think of describing the last few years. She looked at herself, again, and decided that this was as good as it can get when she's in this state. She looked over into the back corner of her armoire. There it was. The collection of sketches, drawings, brainstorms, emotions, dreams, feelings, and desires that had been calling her, longingly, since she put it aside a year ago, disgusted with herself. It seemed to glow. She grabbed her portfolio and was out of the door.
The gallery was more than she could have hoped for. All the work on display was of religious origin. Not conventional religion, but images of Nature, of Goddess, of powerful women and men, of spirit, of magic. She felt like she was floating as she went from canvas to canvas, each a window allowing her to peer into a mystery that she yearns for. I have found my place. This would be the bridge. The bridge between her life's work and her passion, they could be one in this place... "Hi there. Can I help you?" Janine slowly looked over towards the chiming voice. Confidently, she felt assured that she was in the right place and that this was the right time. She smiled, out of my hands now..."I'm Janine" she divulged. Rowan expressed a genuine smile, "Oh, how wonderful!" and took her hand...

Still in a daze. She seemed to dance through the gallery and out of the door, onto the street. The world around her reflected the golden sun light and the wind seemed to urge her on, on to the new life waiting for her. In the Spring, she would be the new manager of Visions Gallery. She inhaled deeply and decided that the old had to go in order to make room for the new to come.
Janine turned on the fire beneath her kettle and rummaged through her herb pantry. Hibiscus, she felt accomplished in discovering the perfect tea for this afternoon. She prepared the accouterments for her tea and sat at the kitchen table, pen and paper at hand. She began to compose her letter of resignation. Although her new career was still at least one month away, she was going to need the time to prepare herself. She decided to give her present employer three weeks. She graciously thanked them for the work that they had given her and explained that she would be moving on to a different field. Sincerely, Janine O'Brien. There, now onto the rest of the apartment. With her teacup in hand, Janine moved on to the rest of the apartment. She pulled regrettable memories off the walls, old papers out of her desk, worn clothes out of her armoire... She replaced the old and out of use with the new and the neglected that she had been too afraid to recognize. She pulled out her book of shadows, sat on her bed, and looked into the mirror at the woman looking back at her. She was a friend that had long been forgotten. She looked at Janine and a tear of joy slowly washed down her cheek, her pink, beautiful, living cheek. Janine smiled back and welcomed her home.

The restless anticipation was more that Janine had predicted. Two weeks had gone by since her life took its first steps upon this new path and now it felt as though she wasn't moving at all. One week of but, everyone needs a new ... Janine, we have quotas to fulfill ... You were never really any good at this, but don't think that you can slack off now.... left and each
day seemed to drag on at least ten hours longer than the previous day. All of her 'friends' at work seemed to be psychotic, angry, and, generally, out to get her. She couldn't stop arguing with her mother who feared Janine's callous decision regardless of how happy she was sure to be and how miserable she had been. Even her cat seemed to be grumpy. Exhausted from an endless day of hang-ups and quotas, Janine pined for the security of Visions Gallery, the beautiful music, barely discernable, gracefully embracing the poetry of vision and color on the walls. I'm going to go crazy before this job ever begins Janine whined to herself. I need my bed... Janine closed her eyes and began to sink into a deep state of relaxation. Her body released all of the muscles, the tension, the pain, and she drifted... ahead of her, the clouds began to part and she saw a light... the world of her life was blooming ahead... it would all truly begin... soon.... She adjusted the pillow in her sleep. Her lips revealed the shadow of a smile...

( be continued in Issue #26)


by Lark

I'm still sneezing from the ancient dust that covers the cobwebby grimoires and books of shadows that I must pursue in order to bring you the very silliest of spells that exist. This trip I went to Britain and left the staff in charge of The Palace here on Pagan Parkway. Unfortunately, while I was on my sojourn, they burnt down the lab in the west wing, so this quarter's spells have not gone through our usual extensive battery of tests, so use these at your own risk.
How to turn a barren womb fruitful: Take the bark of a cedar tree, mix it with the gall of a peacock, let this sit for one night in the moonlight, let the barren woman drink this concoction mixed inside a cup of virgin goat milk and she should be with child by the next moon. Important!! The participation of a fertile human male is mandatory.
How to regain one's memory: Take three spider legs (any will do), mix with an oozing wart from an albino toad, throw in a pinch of quick sand, pluck a hair from the top of your head, dip it in the concoction and drink it down quickly. Then you will automatically remember never to drink this crap again.
To bring love: Wear the right testicle of an ass as a bracelet and anoint yourself with ass's milk to win the love of the one you desire. Ahh...the things we do for love!!!
To prevent loss of hair: Spread the dung of a camel mixed with oil over the pate. Have you ever SMELLED camel dung?? Bleck... Besides... baldness is sexy.
There are many icky icky ways of contraception, but this is the ickiest: Powder the stone of a beaver (found in the intestine) and mix it with the ear wax of a mule and drink it in a potion. Trust me, you won't feel like having sex after this one...thereby preventing pregnancy.
That witches old stand by, the frog, is used in many different spells. Here's a real jewel. Hold a frog in your mouth to stop a cough. Yeah, you might stop coughing alright, but you'll start gagging with a damn frog in your mouth. It's a totally unpleasant sensation, makes me gag to remember it. I'd rather cough.
And lastly, see how the gladiola bulb which has an upper and lower root is used in sex magic. "If therefore you give the upper Root to anyone mixed in Wine to drink, he will be erect. But if any drink the lower it will do the contrary and he will be without seed."

Until next time, practice safe HEX!!

Works cited:

Reginald Scot, The Discoverie of Witchcraft, London, 1655.
Nicholas Culpepper, The English Physician, London, 1826.
Francis Barrett, The Magus, London, 1801.


- by Stormcrow

Silver wheel is turning
Weaving threads that have no end
Meeting in a spiral that doubles back again

Bright fire of the sunrise
Rises reborn in the East
And as the twilight fades to purple
In the West He seeks release

Silver loom is weaving
Binding cords that join us all
Trace of destinies forgotten
Echo in the Mother's call

Aged eyes are closing
As the Wheel completes a turn
Faery-fire surrounds the death-bed
And beyond, forever bums.


by Nicole Smith

Orthodox history and archaeology have given us much to reflect upon concerning our origins, development, and nature as a people. They have shed light upon our extant creation mythologies and the cultural aspects which surround them, while simultaneously providing us with the means necessary to further challenge our world view through an ongoing amendment process, Without the discoveries made through archaeological and historical research we may still believe that Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) erupted fully formed from the dust of the earth and that Atlantis actually existed! Nevertheless, there are limitations to the knowledge that can be attained through conventional methods of research (sticking strictly to the written record,
archaeological field comparisons) and it is at this point that we look to mythology to guide us into the greater unknowns of Celtic culture, as pertains to Ireland. Any good scientist will tell you that all true research begins with observation of phenomena, from that observation a hypothesis is proposed, and the subsequent data collected from the implementation of that hypothesis is used to either disprove or validate that hypothesis. This is true for the work being put forth into this paper. After eight years of being a Celti-phile, I have had plenty of exposure to all manner of things Celtic, and never seem to tire of walking down the literary roads these great poets traversed so long ago. From my journey, I have seen much (though much remains to be seen), and I hope that my observations have been enough for me to foster the hypothesis that Celtic mythology, as it has been passed down to us, may lend us a glimpse into the actual succession of peoples into pre-Celtic and early Celtic Ireland. I realize that time, and
additional research may completely disprove my hypothesis, and I'm content with that, if only this paper helps to clarify our understanding of the early migration patterns. So, as this paper evolves, so may our understanding of the Irish and of our heritage as passed down from them evolve. Over the course of the next few months, I hope to explore the early Celtic myths, concentrating on an "invading" people, one article at a time, comparing their stories with the linguistic history and archaeological record as much as possible. Hopefully with good research, and great patience, something of merit will be discovered here. We must begin by seeing our limitations though, and much of that is to be seen through the Roman command of Irish history.
The history of Ireland is often a Celtic history, as seen through the eyes of her Roman adversaries, as little to no written records of the Irish by the Irish are in existence. They were an oral people, more prone to record history through a song or story rather than through the written medium, so what we do know of her today stems primarily from archaeological excavations and from the writings of such men as Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) and Diodorus Siculus (died 21 BC). According to these interesting, if somewhat biased narratives, Ireland escaped Roman colonialism well until the fourth and fifth centuries A.D., until her tribes aided in the destruction of Roman provinces. From here Ireland goes into a serious of cultural defeats and successes, as if her culture where a phoenix, never meant to truly die. This history is available to everyone --- we can pick up any history book and get a reasonable account of Ireland's life as a result of good Roman records and of archaeological research. But what we want to know, as good historians, is what came before this written record? What happened to Ireland before the Romans? Was Ireland always Celtic? And, if not, what do we know of these proto-Celtic people?
Next article we shall look at the Formorians, the allegedly indigenous peoples of Ireland and shall try to evaluate their contributions to the elusive, if somewhat fascinating history of the Irish mythological/archeological cycle.

Until next time ... Nicole Smith


- by Ivey Brown

Oh Sun,
How majestic your face.
How powerful your warmth,
As you shine in our reverent face.

Oh Sun,
Hear our fervent cries.
As before your strength
Our Earth-borne hearts open to your love.

Oh Sun,
Send us your power,
Your guiding white beacons,
As we set our feet upon our Paths.

Oh Sun,
Pierce through the darkness,
Fill us with Hope,
That our divine being eternally shares with you.

Oh Sun,
Our grateful hearts praise.
Our empty souls fill.
And we would know that you and we are One.

Oh Sun,
Embrace us with Light:
Lift us with Love.
May we love you with the strength that we are.


- by Lea Stone

As Eve late at night
I was out walking
to elude human spheres
and penetrate earth wisdom
and light

I came upon a grove
of Bacchanalians dancing
in livery of jade green
and swords dangling bright

"All hail!" they cried
and goblets they raised;
"To Queen of Night;
yon woman we praise."

I stood but a moment
considered their ways
then slipped through the moonbeams
and deep fire haze

Startled, they rose
and swords they drew
for, One had escaped
In her place grew the Yew

Deep went it roots
and long breathed its leaves
beyond man time
when none are left to grieve

In that place rose the source
It shone like ruby fire
In water it flamed
and flickered blue light
The vessel lay broken
The stone did ignite

As Eve late at night
I am out walking:
"Come close," I cry,
"Taste the ripe berries of my laughter
the sweet salt of my tears
Fear not, my power."

ALFALFA: Medicm sativa

by Paul Beryl


Highly valued in Chinese herbal medicine, alfalfa is said to have been first brought to China by General Chang Chien of the Han Dynasty. Throughout the wester world, alfalfa is primarily grown as a crop to feed livestock, A native Eurasian plant, this member of the legume family has compound leaves with three leaflets and bear's small, purple flowers. Alfalfa is widely grown as a commercial source of chlorophyll.


Alfalfa contains several saponin which suggest it might have a steroid activity within the body. There are also sterols, flavonoids and coumarins. Coumarins are sweet-smelling organic compounds [C9H6O2] sometimes used to enhance the flavorings of food or in the production of cosmetic products and soap. Alfalfa also contains alkaloids, acids and amino acids.
One of the better nutrients of the herbal world, it contains vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. Alfalfa is also high in minerals, containing calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and trace elements.


"As a spring tonic, alfalfa has no equal."1
My memories of alfalfa are slight from my childhood farm days. It aroused interest primarily when alfalfa sprouts became a major dietary rage. Despite its gentle scent and popularity, few are aware of its power as an herbal medicine.
As an antibiotic, alfalfa has been shown to work against gram negative bacteria such as Salmonella typhi.
Alfalfa is recommended in the treatment of cancer, proven to help decrease the damage to tissue caused by radiation. It is known to contain a protein which inhibits some types of tumor growth. Also important, alfalfa is known to work against carcinogens in the digestive tract before they can begin to cause damage to the body. It is used to assist in the prevention of colon cancer as it binds and neutralizes known carcinogenic agents. Alfalfa is one of the few herbs which has been proven to aid in the prevention of cancer that has been accepted by the medical community.
A daily intake of alfalfa is highly valued when an individual is on a protracted program of antibiotics.
One of alfalfa's lesser known values is that it lowers cholesterol. The saponins in alfalfa inhibit increases in blood cholesterol levels by 25%. Mowrey cites studies in which monkeys, rats, and rabbits were given high cholesterol diets in order to validate this claim. Alfalfa further aids in the control of blood cholesterol levels by binding the bile acids which are essential to the absorption of cholesterol2.
Alfalfa is recommended in a variety of bleeding disorders. Bleeding disorders sometimes result when bile is not delivered to the bowel. Similarly, alfalfa is recommended for obstructive jaundice and biliary fistulas [a bile-related abnormality in a duct caused by a cyst or abscess in a hollow organ or cavity].
Alfalfa is an outstanding herb with which to treat chronic diarrhea when it results in bleeding and is recommended during the prolonged use of aspirin or other anticoagulants.
Highly useful in pediatrics, it is sometimes used for newborn children when bleeding disorders arise from the use of artificial formulas.
Alfalfa has had wide usage in the treatment of rheumatism, an action probably brought about by its concentration of nutrients.
We believe the use of alfalfa is worth exploring by women suffering from PMS. The saponin content has an estrogenic activity in some mammals and may prove beneficial...


1 Daniel Mowery, PhD., The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine, page 291.
2 Ibid.


by Sherlock

1 Chief Of the Bards.
4 The Battle of the Trees.
5 Hidden in Gwion's poem.
8 The moon of Gestation.
10 Brought the Faerie Faith to the United States.
12 Pearl of Beauty.
14 End of the year.
16 One month in the Celtic Tree Calendar.
17 Ogham for "Hazel."

1 The house of Donn, where the dead feast.
2 Author of "The Golden Ass."
3 Lark's personal spirit revealer.
6 Creator of the "The Lunar Calendar: Dedicated to the Goddesss in Her Many Guises."
7 Boibel.
9 Urtica urens.
11 Linda's baby.
12 In conjuring warts "...concentrate on your enemy, stick a needle through the ______ then hide the impaled creature."
13 Gaelic name for the moon of Gestation.
15 The Hazel Nut's Web-Master.

The solutions to this crossword puzzle can be found in the Lammas 1997 (Issue #24) of The Hazel Nut. I took the questions from last issue's articles, so you'll have to read them to answer this crossword. Oh, and don't throw away this issue; its articles contain the answers to the next puzzle. Have fun!!!

Answers to last issue's Ankh-word puzzle:
Across: 2 Imbolc, 4 Cliodhna, 5 Duir, 6 Fiel, 8 Brown, 10 Heather, 11 Epona
Down: 1 Balor, 3 Mannin, 5 Delbchaem, 7 Solar, 9 Carman


Imré K. Rainey (Editor and co-Publisher) was the original editor of The Hazel Nut when it started back in May 1993. He has been studying the mysteries of the Faerie Faith since 199 1, and is now an initiate of the Faerie Faith with a group of his own. He is also an ordained minister, a 3rd degree Reiki Master, and a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and is studying Chiropractic at Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, GA. Write to him c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

Paul Enloe (aka Oracle) is the webmaster and co-publisher of The Hazel Nut. Paul was brought up as a Christian but always held a deep interest in all things metaphysical. As a teenager he decided Christianity was not the path that he would have chosen for himself so he began looking elsewhere. He finds himself drawn towards Eastern philosophy and mysticism, as well as Celtic tradition. He is a practitioner of Wing Chun and a member of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis. Write to him c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

Linda Kerr was the editor and the publisher of The Hazel Nut from 1993 to 1997. She is a High Priestess of the Faerie Faith and the founder of The Church of the Spiral Tree, as well as a mother. She organizes and runs a festival every May called Moondance; this is its 7th year. Other things competing for her time are Buckskinning (pre- I 840's historical re-enactment), teaching and competing in Scottish Highland Dance, and river canoeing. Write to her c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

Lark (Poetry Editor) has been a solitary pagan for many years. She spent a decadent youth on the road as a rockand-roll singer, and is still a professional photographer and musician. She is pursuing a Master's degree in Archival Sciences, and enjoys Civil War re-enacting with her daughter. Write to her c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

Luna Press has been publishing The Lunar Calendar: Dedicated to the Goddess in Her Many Guises for twenty-two years. The calendar depicts the lunar year as it was explained by Robert Graves his work entitled The White Goddess. Contact Luna Press by calling (617) 4279846 or writing to P.O. Box 15511, Kenmore Station, Boston, MA 02215-0009 USA.

Hazel - I am 28, currently living in Georgia (& desperately trying to get back home to Oklahoma). With the hope of becoming an illustrator for the Pagan community & children's books, I am finishing up my graduate thesis with the Savannah College of Art&Design. I consider myself a student of Kitchen Witchery, and live with a wonderful man & 2 cats who are the lucky recipients of my "studies."

Nicole Smith is an anthropology major with a vested interest in all things Celtic. She is also very fond of kitty cats. Write to her c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>

Ivey Brown has walked a spiritual path all her life, but it wasn't until later years that she felt the light of spirit longing to reveal itself. Tripping down that shining path, she touched on a little of this, a dab of that, and finally realized that heartfelt loving guidance was her forte. An artist and graphic designer by trade, a writer, poet and lyricist by avocation, she reveals her heart in her words. As she is wont to say, "The spirit writes the words, I just hold the pen." Email Ivey at <>.

Lea Stone lives in an Oak forest in Michigan. She writes fiction, poetry, and essays and homeschools her two sons She has a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and is the founder of Acorn Enterprises, a consulting business that teaches stress management and accessing personal creativity. Her poetry has appeared in Pen and Ink and in The Writing Self. Her essay "Mastery; or, Where Does True Wisdom Lie?" will appear in the first issue of the Journal for Expanded Perspectives on Learning.Write to her at: P.O. Box 368, Manchester, MI 48158.

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. Write to him at: 1713 14th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122, (206) 323-2115.

Stormcrow, a.k.a Clay Gilbert, lives in Auburn, Alabama, with his wife. He is currently completing his Master's degree in English and hopes to graduate sometime this lifetime. He has been a practicing Witch fo eleven years and is currently the High Priest of Cerridwen's Grove in Auburn. In addition to poetry, he is also currently working on a novel about multiple personality disorder entitled The Ghosts That Haunt Me. He also plays keyboards in an improvisational electronic-meditational-music duo called Gilbert and Green, with whom he plans to release an album sometime before the end of this lifetime.


In the news:

Roxanna, Alabama, has been the site of various pagan gatherings over the years. The site is favored because of its secluded, primitive locale, away from the hustle and bustle. It is twenty-five acres of beautiful land. It is not uncommon to witness deer, opossums, and other wild life as one walks through the quite woods. Until recent years, few people especially pagan-phobes--knew anything of the site's existence. Earlier this spring, to the dismay of the local care-takers, Linda and Craig Kerr, evidence of vandalism was discovered. There was some initial concern, but as summer came along, the vandals seemed to lose interest in the site--that is, until the weekend preceding the annual celebration known as FallFling.
Customarily, one of the weekends before the beginning of an event at Roxanna, the hosts of the event allow participants to come out to the site and aid in preparing it for the festival. One of the participants, Trish, decided to go back out to the site the day after 'work day' and, apparently, surprised vandals in the process of destroying things. According to Linda, "Lark's Civil War tent had the ties ripped off and was collapsed on the ground, Jay and Carol's tent had its poles bent and broken, my pavilion had been knocked over, ripped up, and a pole bent, and tables were knocked over." It seems that the vandals also had arson on their minds "as we found an open bottle of lighter fluid lying half empty." Needless to say, everyone, especially Carol and Jay, the hosts of FallFling '97, were less than pleased.
FallFling was scheduled for the weekend of October 17 through the 19. The event opened Friday night with bonfires, dancing, drumming, ritual, and, generally, much merriment. By midnight, most of the attendees were happily dreaming. Sometime, "in the wee hours", Linda recalls, "Craig and I and little Rowan were awakened by the sound of whooping and yelling, and people running through the camp." Craig grabbed his shotgun and ran ahead of Linda and the baby. Within seconds, "I heard 'Freeze asshole! Freeze! Get down!' Then the sound of a shotgun blast."
When Craig reached the clearing at the top of the hill, he discovered uninvited college students vandalizing people's belongings. After shouting several warnings, he shot a warning blast and managed to get the attention of o . ne of the young men. He demanded the young man drop to the ground. Needless to say, there was little protest. The vandal dropped face first into the remains of someone's over zealous partying.
It was not long before the vandal was surrounded by several angry pagans including Carol and Jay, whose tent had suddenly collapsed on them in their sleep, thanks to the vandal's handy work. A few minutes later, more intruders began to walk up the hill, worried that their friend had been shot. Linda called 911 as Carol, Lark, Jay, Craig, and a host of other attendees yelled at the young man on the ground. Linda recalls, "meanwhile, MORE strangers arrived ... by this time, we had about seven people who were NOT supposed to be there, at 3 A.M., professing their innocence ... claiming they were just trying to pull a prank on some buddies of theirs." It seems, that although they had never been to Roxanna before, they knew of specific sites on the land, that 'satan's children' were being conceived, and that this gathering was a 'pagan uprising' that had to be stopped.
Eventually, the sheriff arrived. Names were taken, warnings issued, and one vandal was arrested for prior warrants. The sheriff explained that since the vandals were trespassing on private property, that could have been shot legally.
Linda and Carol pursued the issue by pressing charges for criminal trespass and criminal mischief. They later dropped the charges after meeting with the parents of two of the vandals, collect money for damaged property, and agreeing to accept community service from the vandals.