12 June 2015

The Power of Mantras

Different sounds have different effects on human psyche. If a soft sound of wind rustling through leaves soothes our nerves, the musical note of running stream enchants our heart, thunders may cause awe and fear.  The sacred utterances or chanting of Sanskrit mantras provide us with the power to attain our goals and lift ourselves from the ordinary to the higher level of consciousness.
 
Mantras are believed to cure diseases, ward off evil, promote wealth, and even assist in the acquisition of supernatural powers.  More commonly, the reciting of mantras are used in the worship and communication with deity as well as providing a means to achieve a blissful state.
 

30 April 2015

Samhain Chant (by Doreen Valiente)

Fire red, summer's dead
Yet it shall return.
Clear and bright, in the night,
Burn, fire, burn!

Chorus:
Dance the ring, luck to bring
When the year's a-turning.
Chant the rhyme at Hallows-time,
When the fire's burning.

Entering the Time of Transformation at Samhain

Honouring one's Ancestors at Samhain
The sacred Wheel of the Year has turned and here south of the equator we find ourselves at Samhain and awaiting the veils between the world of the living and the realm of the dead to open before us. 
 
At this rather sombre time of the year, we remember those who have left this world as the thinning of the veil makes it easier for us to contact our ancestors, as well as other spirits.  Ancestors need not only be those of our blood line, those people who we have known in this life - they can also anyone who has helped shaped us into the people we are today, who have inspired us to follow a path closer to the calling of our own True Will, in order to reach our highest ideals.  
 
During the stillness of Samhain night, light a candle and give thanks to those who have gone before you, regardless of your relationship with or memory of them.
 
Dark Goddess altar

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.