20 March 2015

It is the Autumn Equinox and NOT "Mabon"

It is that time of the year again that despite the ever lingering daylight savings, a definite change can be felt as the earth's wobbling rotation pulls away from the sun here in the Southern Hemisphere.  The mornings are distinctively darker and the sun lingers longer below the horizon, and there is an ever slight chill in the air.  Yes, the time of the Autumn Equinox draws near (21st of March to be exact for this year).

As such, it appears time again to point out an erroneous association that first appeared in the 1970s and which, despite numerous attempts to rectify over the years, still perpetuates itself within modern Paganism - that being the usage of the term "Mabon" as an alleged alternative name for the Autumn Equinox.

23 February 2015

Greeting the Divine Spirit

At the commencement of this calendar year, I made a vow to myself to make more of a conscious effort to focus more on my own personal spiritual path and connection with the Divine, something that I had felt was slowly becoming more and more neglected as I had spent the last 10 or so years basically focusing on assisting others.  As what usually happens prior to embarking on a new course of action, my initial approach was filled with enthusiasm and excitement ... that was until the Universe seem to chuck me a curve ball and the realisations of the "real" world kicked in.  Only a fortnight into this "new plan" it was clear that my desire to refocus and reconnect with the Divine needed to be achieved through alternative means.
 

18 February 2015

February's "Super" New Moon

As we move the dark into the first slivers of the New Moon, being the closest New Moon of the year, Bruce McClure classifies this moon as a "super moon", a term more commonly associated with Full Moons as opposed to New Moons. 
 
A "super moon" tends to be so called due to its closeness to the earth and as such, a Full Moon super moon is brighter than average and is seen all night.  The super moon that falls during a New Moon however only appears during daytime hours where it is hidden in the sun’s glare.

01 February 2015

February Full Moon

The upcoming Full Moon (that will occur on 3 February) will fall within the astrological sign of Leo, the Lion.

As Darkstar Astrology remind us:

“The energy is primal, spontaneous and uncensored. This does not mean this Moon isn’t spiritual, it’s just that it doesn’t like bowing down to a Guru, or following established paths to enlightenment. This pioneering Moon will always prefer the road less travelled.”
 

31 January 2015

Ode to Autumn

Ode To Autumn
 
By John Keats
 
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cell.
 

30 January 2015

Lughnasadh - the Wake of the Lord of the Grain

Lughnasadh / Lammas / Harvest
As the Wheel of the Year turns once more, those of us residing south of the equator find ourselves at the gateway to the Autumn months and the darker months of the year.  Ironically, however, this gateway tends to herald in the hottest weather as if the sun is determined to cleanse and purify the southern lands through the element of fire before its departure is well and truly noticed.
 
Traditionally the Sabbat celebrated is that of the first harvest, Lughnasadh (from the Irish Gaelic LĂșnasa) or Lammas (from the Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, "loaf-mass") and when "the feast of the first fruits" was observed.  In the agricultural year, Lughnasadh or Lammas also marked the end of the hay making season that had commenced as early as mid Summer.

03 January 2015

Purification through Fire

Summer in southern Australia can be a rather difficult time of the year to get through, especially as the soaring temperatures often mean the threat of bush fires. Even the proposed respite of a cool change can often mean more danger as the approaching winds fan the flames. Only three days into this new calendar year and already the "purification season" has arrived.
 
This ancient land upon which we live has long sought cleansing and the clearing out of the old in order to make way for the new through fire. In fact, many of our native plants only germinate through the scorching flames.  The Aboriginal people understood this and used to start small bushfires to clear the fallen bark, dried twigs and dead bushes. These fires were slow-burning and the native bush quickly regenerated after the heat of the fire. This practice also helped to prevent larger and more destructive fires, especially as the native eucalyptus gum trees contains an oil within their leaves that is susceptible to bushfires, making them burn faster and hotter.

31 December 2014

The Time of Janus is Upon Us

New yeare forth looking out of Janus gate,
Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight:
And bidding th’old Adieu, his pass'd date
Bids all old thoughts to die in dumpish spright
And calling forth out of sad Winters night,
Fresh love, that long hath slept in cheerlesse bower:
Wils him awake, and soone about him dight
His wanton wings and darts of deadly power.
 
  
To the ancient Romans, the dual faced God, Janus, was the God of beginnings and transitions, and as such, he was also perceived to be the God who ruled over gates and doors, doorways and passages, as well as also endings.  With one face looking back into the past, and the other into the future, it is little wonder that as we approach New Year's Eve, Janus can easily come to mind. 
 

19 December 2014

The Summer Solstice - Time of Abundance

Fetch me that flower: the herb I showed thee once
The juice of it, on sleeping eyelids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees
Fetch me this herb, and be thou here again
Ere the Leviathan can swim a league
(The Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare)


As the sun completes its southward journey, it rests briefly over the Tropic of Capricorn before moving northward again.  When it enters the astrological sign of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere, we know that the sun is at its highest and brightest and that the time of the Summer Solstice has arrived.
 
For the Ngarrindjeri people, the warmth associated with Luwadang continues.  As the sun increases in strength, it dries the land, allowing it to be haunted by the call of ravens, the bird that is often associated with death in many cultures around the world.

Book - DANCING THE SACRED WHEEL

Book - DANCING THE SACRED WHEEL
The second edition of "Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats" is now available with autographed copies available direct from the author. Click on the image and you will be taken to Paypal. This offer is available to Australian customers only. For non-Australians, you can purchase your copy of "Dancing the Sacred Wheel" through Createspace- https://www.createspace.com/4589532