To Main Page
2501 qualifications to be determined by combined Councils of all Rings; A. First Circle (identified with the planet Pluto and its symbols.) B. Second circle (identified with the planet Neptune and its symbols.) C. Third Circle (identified with the planet Uranus and its symbols.) ARTICLE V Scions Section l: The second Ring shall consist of Scions, to be identified by the color red, as used on membership cards, newsletters, and in ceremonial vestments. They shall be grouped into the following three Circles by qualifications to be determined and amended by the Board of Directors: A. Fourth circle (identified with the planet Saturn and its symbols.) B. Fifth circle (identified with the planet Jupiter and its symbols.) C. Sixth circle (identified with the planet Mars and its symbols.) Section 2: Duties of Scions shall include management of various Church programs, functions, and activities, as well as studies directed toward qualification for the Clergy, determination of qualifications for advancement through First and Second Rings, and any other such duties as may be determined by the Board of Directors. Section 3: In the event no Priest or Priestess is available to serve an established Nest, the Scion who takes on major responsibility for coordinating that Nest shall be designated High Scion by consensual agreement of the members of said Nest. The High Scion shall assume the administrative and organizational functions normally assigned to Clergy, until such time as said High Scion or any other member of said Nest shall become ordained. If members of the Nest desire, the position of High Scion may rotate among qualified members of the Nest. Section 4: In areas where no Nest exists, Scions may, with the approval of the Board of directors, establish proto-nests of the Church of All Worlds, Inc.; such proto-nests shall conduct meetings in accordance with the Bylaws and principles of the Church of All Worlds and shall forward monthly reports of activities to the Board of Directors via the Membership Officer. Section 5: In special cases the Church may license a Scion of 6th Circle as a Minister and iissue Ministerial Credentials, which shall consist of a Ministerial Certificate and wallet-sized ID card. Licensed CAW MInisters shall function as the equivalent of Chaplains, and be authorized to perform such sacraments as authorized by the Council of the Third Ring. In order to qualify for this special status, the Scion must present a Ministerial Proposal to the Board of Directors indicating the nature of the Scion's intended Ministry and his/he qualifications to fulfill it. Examples of such Ministries shall include (but not be limited to): Prison Ministries, Hospital Ministries, Armed Services Ministries. ARTICLE VI Clergy Section 1: The Third Ring shall consist of Priests and Priestesses, to be iden- tified by the color purple, as used on membership cards, in newsletters, and in ceremonial vestments. They shall be grouped into the following three Circles, by qualifications to be determined and amended by the Board of Directors. A. Seventh Circle (identified with the planet Earth and its 2502 symbols.) B. Eighth Circle (identified with the planet Venus and its symbols.) C. Ninth Circle (identified with the planet Mercury and its symbols.) Section 2: Duties of the Clergy shall include hosting and officiating at various ceremonies and services, administering the sacraments, writing and preparing rituals, arranging meetings and councils, supervising the training of Seekers and Scions, sponsoring and aiding postulants to the Clergy, voting for and serving as members of the Board of Directors, maintaining communications with other Nests, and any other such duties as may be determined by Councils of the Third Ring or the Board of Directors. Section 3: The Priest and/or Priestess establishing a Nest or assuming respon- sibility for an established Nest shall be known as High Priest or High Priestess of that Nest. The duties of High Priest or HIgh Priestess include primary responsibility for all Church activities in that Nest, including reports to the Board of Directors, and any other such functions as they themselves shall determine, subject to approval by the board of Directors. The term of office for High Priests and High Priestesses shall customarily be for a period of not more than seven years, during which time it shall be the duty of such persons to select and train their successors. Any High Priest or High Priestess who does not step down before this seven year period is up may, at any time after the seven years, be summarily eliminated at the consensual agreement of the rest of the Nest. Section 4: Ordination into the Priesthood may be bestowed upon Scions who have completed all the currently stated qualifications of the Sixth Circle and have been recommended for the Seventh by any sponsoring member of the Clergy, provided the candidate has first been approved unanimously by the Board of Directors through the submission of such data as the Board may choose to require. ARTICLE VII Primate Section 1: The primary authoritative and not authoritarian spokesperson for the Church of All Worlds shall be known as the Primate, and shall hold this position for as long as he or she can adequately demonstrate his or her capability to perform its duties and functions, or until successfully challenged for the position by a would-be successor, or for life, or for as long as he or she desires to hold the position. Any of the foregoing conditions may serve to limit the term of office of the Primate. Section 2: Duties of the Primacy shall include all appropriate duties of a general spokesperson, coordination and integration of programs, activities, information and input included in the Church gestalt, and coordination of relationships with other groups within the larger Pagan and Neo-Pagan community. It shall be the responsibility of the Primate to keep well informed enough on all phases of both the Church of All Worlds and Paganism/Neo-Paganism as a whole that such duties may always be competently and effectively performed. Section 3: As the Primate is largely an honorific position awarded by the member- ship in respect for a person's years of service to the Church of All 2503 Worlds, a successor may or may not be chosen upon the discontinuation of one Primate's term of office. Should it be desired, a successor shall be chosen by the same method as any other elected official. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2504 ARTICLE VIII Directors Section 1: Management of the Corporation shall be vested in a Board of Directors, consisting of not less than three nor more than thirteen persons, consisting of a representative of each chartered subsidiary and the following officers: President, Vice-President in charge of Membership, Treasurer, and Secretary. A minimum of one-third of the Board of Directors shall be members of the Clergy. The Board can approve the calling of qualified persons among the membership to the positions of Secretary and Treasurer by unanimous decision. An individual may hold the position of an officer and a representative of a subsidiary group, if necessary. Decision-making shall be by consensus, but if agreement cannot be reached, decisions will be made by two-thirds majority vote. In such a case, the votes of all members of the Board of Directors are equal, regardless of the Ring status of the person voting. Section 2: At the first annual meeting of the Board of Directors, the Board shall elect from its own number, a President, one or more Vice-Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer, who shall serve as officers both for the Board of Directors and for the Corporation. At the discretion of the Directors, the same person may serve in more than one office. The President and Vice-President in charge of Membership must be members of the Clergy. Section 3: The powers of the Board of Directors shall be those usually assigned to such Directors. They are subject to limitation or specification at any meeting of the Board or the Third Ring. They shall specifically include the following powers: A. To call regular or special meetings of the Directors, the Councils, or of the membership, on initiative of the President, or by mutual agreement of two or more of the Directors. B. To make rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of the State of California or the Bylaws of this Corporation, for the guidance of officers, Directors, and members. C. To make rules and regulations for the use and management of all Church property, whether real or personal, and to change such rules and regulations at such time and in such manner as to said Board of Directors, or Directors of subsidiary groups, shall seem right and proper. D. To accept, review, and approve or reject applications for Priesthood, and to issue certificates of ordination to those applicants who shall have fulfilled their qualifications and shall have complied with the requirements of the rules, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporat- ion, and who are recommended by their High Priests or High Priestesses, to serve as Clergy or for other special purposes recognized by act of the Board of Directors. E. To issue certificates of Charter to members in other areas when they wish to establish a local Nest, or to establish Subsidiary Organizations, upon conditions to be determined by the Board. F. To determine what shall be due and reasonable compensation to be paid any member of the Corporation for services rendered to or for the Corporation, affecting one or more of its purposes. G. To maintain, at the Central Nest, confidential files on all members, active and inactive, and such other records as may be deemed necessary adequately to carry out the purposes of the Corporation. Section 4: The Board of Directors shall have full power and authority to borrow money on behalf of the Corporation, including the power and authority to 2505 borrow money from any of the members, Directors, or officers of the Corporation, and to otherwise incur indebtedness on behalf of the Corporation, and to authorize the execution of promissory notes, or other evidences of indebtedness of the Corporation, and to agree to pay interest thereon to sell, convey, alienate, transfer, assign, exchange, lease, and otherwise dispose of, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate, and otherwise encumber the property, real or personal, and the franchises of the Corporation to purchase, lease, and otherwise acquire property, real and personal, on behalf of the Corporation; and generally to do and perform, or cause to be done and performed, every act which the Corporation may lawfully do and perform. Section 5: The Board of Directors shall have summary power by vote of a two-thirds majority of its members to suspend, or to expel and terminate the membership of any member of the Church, including the Priesthood and the Board of Directors, for conduct which in its opinion disturbs the order, dignity, business or harmony, or impairs the good name, popularity or prosperity of the organization, or which is likely in its opinion, to endanger the welfare, interest or character of the organization, or for any conduct in violation of these Bylaws or of the rules and regulations of the Corporation, which may be made from time to time.Such action by the Board of Directors may be taken at any meeting of such Board upon the initiative of any member or members thereof. The proceedings of the Board of Directors in such matter shall be final and conclusive, unless overruled by majority vote of the Council of the Third Ring, acting as a Board of Appeal. It is expected that any Clergy serving on such a Board will absent themselves if s/he is unable to be impartial, or is affected personally by the decsions of such a Board. Section 6: The Board of Directors shall constitute a nominating committee for Directors to serve on the Board. Their recommendations shall be presented by the Secretary to the Council of the Third Ring at any regular meeting. Other nominations may be made by any member present at the said meeting. ARTICLE IX Officers Section 1: The officers of the Corporation shall be a President, a Vice-President in charge of Membership, a Secretary, and Treasurer. Other officers may be created by resolution of the Board, not to exceed thirteen. Doubling of roles is permissible with the agreement of the Board. Section 2: The term of all offices shall be one year. Section 3: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Corporation, and shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors. S/he shall have general charge of the business of the Corporation, and shall execute, with the Secretary, in the name of the Corporation, all deeds, bonds, contracts, and other obligations and instruments authorized by the Board of Directors. The President shall also have such other powers and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors. Section 4: Unless the Board of Directors shall specify otherwise, the Vice-Preside- nt shall be the regularly designated authority to act on applications for membership and ordination, and may head a committee which performs this task. It shall be the responsibility of the Vice-President to keep addresses and other information relating to membership up-to-date. The 2506 Vice-President shall be vested with all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the President, in case of the absence or disability of the President. The Vice-President shall also have such other powers and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors. Section 5: The Secretary shall keep records of all regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors, and forward these records to the members of the Board and the Third Ring. The Secretary shall also mail notification to members of the Third Ring and the Board of the time, place, and planned agenda of the regular Board meetings. Subsidiary representatives are asked to send the secretary a record of the quarterly business of each subsidiary three weeks prior to the regular meeting, for inclusion in the quarterly meeting notes. Notices should be sent at least two weeks prior to each regular meeting, and as early as possible before a special meeting. The Secretary also serves as the correspondent of the Corpora- tion with persons representing the State of California, and files whatever reports and forms may be required by the State on an annual or ongoing basis. A. In case of the absence or disability of the Secretary, or refusal or neglect to act, notices may be given and served by the President, or by the Vice-President, or by any person authorized by the President or the Vice-President, or by the board of Directors. Section 6: The Treasurer shall receive and safely keep all funds of the Corporation and deposit same in such bank or banks as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Such funds shall be paid out only on the cheque of the Corporation signed as directed by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall also control the keeping of the books and accounts of the Corporation, and is responsible for the filing and payment of any monies required by the State of California. Subsidiary representaives are responsible for the forwarding of quarterly financial records of each subsidiary to the Treasurer in advance of each quarterly Board of Directors meeting. ARTICLE X Councils Section 1: Seekers of the First through Third Circles shall be the general laity, and shall relate peripherally to the Inner Circles, members serving on committees, participating in open meetings, and fulfilling any other such functions as shall be designated by members of the Second and Third Rings. Section 2: Scions shall constitute the Council of the Second Ring, or the Scion Council, which shall function in the interest of the Corporation in such matters as cannot conveniently be brought before a regular or special meeting of the First Ring. This council shall have one representative sit on each meeting of the First Ring as Chairman. This Council shall fulfill any other particular functions as shall be designated by members of the Third Ring, and may hold such regular or special meetings as shall be found necessary adequately to carry out the purposes of the Corporation. Section 3: Clergy of the Seventh through Ninth Circles shall constitute the Council of the Third Ring, or the Clergy Council, which shall function in the interests of the Corporation in such matters as cannot conveniently be brought before a regular or special meeting of the First or Second Rings. This Council shall have one representative sit on each meeting of the Second Ring as Chairperson. This Council shall fulfill any other such functions as shall be designated by the Board of Directors, and may 2507 hold such regular or special meetings as shall be found necessary to adequately carry out the purposes of the Corporation. Section 4: The officers of the Board of Directors shall constitute the Executive Council, which shall function in the interest of the Corporation in such matters as cannot conveniently be brought before a regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors or of the Ring councils. This Council may hold such regular or special meetings as shall be found necessary adequately to carry out the purposes of the Corporation. Section 5: Each Nest shall establish a Nest Council, which shall function in the interest of that Nest in such matters as cannot appropriately or conveniently be brought before meetings of any of the other aforemen- tioned Councils or the Board of Directors.The Nest Councils shall deal with all those matters which are the exclusive concern of the particular individual Nests, rather than of concern to the Church or Corporation as a whole. Such Nest Councils shall consist only of Second and Third Ring members of such Nests, in number not to exceed thirteen. Application for membership on a Nest Council must be made in person before the assembled body of the Council, during which the applicant should be questioned on his or her reasons for wanting to serve on the Council and his or her understanding of the principles and purposes of the Nest and the Church. Acceptance to the council must be by unanimous vote or consensus of the current Nest Council membership. Candidates for Priesthood must first have served at least six months on a Nest Council, and that Council must unanimously approve the candidate's application for ordination before it can be submitted to the Board. The advancement and training of members of each Nest through the Second Ring shall be under the supervision of the Priesthood of that Nest, who may consult the Nest Council if such consultation shall be found useful or necessary. Second Ring members who are not affiliated with a particular Nest shall be trained under the supervision of the Priesthood of the Central Nest. At meetings of the Nest Councils, the High Priest, High Priestess, or High Scion shall be Chairperson, and shall be familiar with the rudiments of parliamentary or consensus procedure. Section 6: Any of the aforementioned Councils are authorized to appoint such committees as shall be found useful in the conduct of the activities of the Corporation. Section 7: Each of the aforementioned Councils and Committees shall elect or appoint, for any term necessary, such officers as may be found necessary to the conduct of the Councils. Such offices shall include a Secretary, whereby minutes shall be taken and notices of meetings disseminated. Section 8: General membership shall have the prerogative of vetoing any action taken by the Board of Directors, which it finds objectionable. Such veto to be taken by two-thirds majority at the Annual meeting. ARTICLE XI Nests Section 1: The basic local organizational/congregational unit of the Church of All Worlds shall be the nest. A nest is a group of Church members, with at least one member 4th Circle or above, organized in a local area to learn about, discuss, and creatively practice the purposes of the Church. Nests shall be largely autonomous units which have agreed to adopt and practice the values and purposes of the Church and have, after applying to the Board, been granted a charter by the Board of Directors pursuant 2508 to a recommendation of the Nest Co-ordinating Council. Section 2: In order to form a nest, a group of at least three Church members of at least 2nd Circle must apply to the Nest Co-ordinating Council for a charter as a proto-nest, or Chapter. Chapter charters are issued a the discretion of the Nest Co-ordinating Council. In order to be granted a full Nest Charter, a group must function for at least a year and a day and have at least one member who has reached the level of Scion (4th Circle). Granting of a Nest Charter will be by vote of the Board of Directors. Section 3: Nests chartered by the Board of Directors shall be legal subsidiaries of the Church of All Worlds as incorporated under the laws of the States of Missouri and California. Nest shall not have the power to incur debt in the name of the Church of All Worlds. Section 4: The Board and Clergy of the Church of All Worlds do not wish to impose any doctrinal restraints upon local nests beyond the requirement that their activities be in accord with the purpose of the Corporation as stated in Article II of these bylaws. The board and Clergy in fact encourage creativity and innovation on the part of all local nests and groups in the lawful pursuit of the goals of the Church of All Worlds. Section 5: The Board of Directors does, however, reserve the right to revoke either a Chapter or Nest Charter on the recommendation of either the Council of the Third Ring or the Nest Co-ordinating Council for one of the following reasons: A. The conduct at its meetings and public functions or in its public statements is found to be incompatible with the purposes of the Corporation as stated in Article II of these Bylaws, or contrary to the laws of the United States or the State of residence of the Nest or Chapter; B. The conduct or statements of the Nest or Chapter in its meetings and public functions or in its public statements, in the judgement of the Board of Directors, reflects unacceptable discredit on the Church of All Worlds, its purposes, members and Clergy; C. The Board of Directors has reason to believe -- on recommenda- tion from either the Council of the Third Ring or the Nest Co-ordinating Council -- that the chartered group is not truly functioning as a Nest or Chapter in that the contact person of that Nest or Chapter does not respond to queries, show evidence of membership or the holding of regular meetings or other evidence that the Chartered Nest or Chapter is, indeed, functioning as a viable organizational unit of the Church of All Worlds. ARTICLE XII Meetings Section l: General meetings of the Corporation shall be held in conjunction with the first yearly meeting of the Board of Directors. Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held quarterly, approximately three weeks before cross-quarter Sabbats. The first annual meeting shall propose the meeting dates for the remaining quarters of the year. Special meetings may be held whenever deemed necessary. Section 2: Notice of the Annual Meetings of the General Membership shall be made each year at least one month in advance of the date of the meeting by a special mailing to all registered members of the Church of at least 2nd Circle. Notices of regular meetings of the Board of Directors, together 2509 with quarterly subsidiary reports and proposed agenda items, shall be sent to members of the Board two weeks prior to such meetings by the Church Secretary. Notice of special Board meetings shall be made as early as possible. Notice of regular meetings of other councils shall be sent to relevant members two weeks in advance by the appropriate council secretary, and notices of special meetings, as early as possible. Meetings of Nest Councils shall be held at least quarterly, the frequency and dates to be determined by said councils. Section 3: The privelege of decision-making at any meeting shall be limited to those present who are actual active members both of the Church and of the particular Council or Ring convening the meeting. If the number present is thirteen or less than thirteen, all decisions must be made by consensus, and if consensus cannot be reached, by a twothirds majority. If the number present is greater than thirteen, all decisions must be by a two-thirds majority vote. In meetings where more than thirteen voting members are present, the number of votes carried by each member shall be equal to the ring (1,2, or 3) that member has attained. Section 4: A quorum to conduct business shall consist of a number of voting members equal to two-thirds majority plus one of the members of that particular council. Section 5: The fiscal year of the Corporation shall be from January l to December 31, inclusive. ARTICLE XIII Subsidiary Operations Section 1: The Corporation, acting through the Board of Directors or their delegated authority, may organize, charter, establish, and operate such subsidiary operations, agencies, groups, and institutions as may be found necessary or expedient adequately to carry out the purposes of the Corporation. Section 2: Each subsidiary shall send a representative to serve on the Board of Directors. The subsidiary representatives shall be responsible for reporting the activities of the Subsidiary to the Board, and for relaying information from the Board to each subsidiary. In addition, the subsidiary representatives shall submit reports to the Secretary and the Treasurer detailing the activities of each subsidiary. Section 3: Chartering and serving as Directors of subsidiary organizations is open only to active members of the Church with Scion or Clergy status. Under exceptional circumstances, and by special dispensation of the Board of Directors, a project or provisional subsidiary may be approved for inception by a Church member of only 3rd Circle status, conditional upon that person's attainment of 4th Circle within a year from the date of approval, or the appointment within that time as a Director of the aforesaid subsidiary of another active Churcdh member of at least 4th Circle. Subsidiaries should begin as projects or provisional sub- sidiaries and be considered for full subsidiary status if they have been active for two years and two days. Provisional subsidiaries should send a contact person to the Board of Directors' meetings. Section 4: The governance of subsidiaries shall be by Directors and Councils, the combined total number of which must always be an odd number, from one to seven, of whom one to three shall be designated Directors. Should the subsidiary be authorized to open a bank or checking account, there shall be three approved signatories on the account, at least one of which must be a Scion or Clergy. Directors of subsidiaries must be Scions or 2510 Clergy, but other members of the subsidiary councils may be any active members of the Church that the subsidiary Directors wish to delegate. Section 5: Decision-making in subsidiary councils should follow the procedures outlined in Article XI, Section 3 above. ARTICLE IV Amendments Section 1: Amendments or changes in these Bylaws may be made by recommendation of the Board of Directors at the Annual meeting, by unanimous vote or consensus of voting members present. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2511 A Pagan Sacrament of Holy Communion (as performed in the Church of All Worlds) by Morning Glory Zell The Priestess, Priest and Congregation sit in a circle, with the Priestess to the right of the Priest, on the ground outside or the carpet indoors. An altar is set in the center, with Bread and Water and either fresh flowers and greenery (when outdoors) or a potted plant (indoors). When everyone is settled and silent, the Priestess begins the blessing: P'ess: Blessed be this Bread, the body of our Lord, And Blessed be this Water, the blood of our Lady. As our bodies are nourished by Their divine energy, So let Them ever nurture our spirits. We are the conscious product of Their eternal passion, And so do we give Them our gratitude in celebration of Life. The Priest takes the Bread from the altar and raises it aloft in consecration: Priest: Seed fallen on the wet Spring table, embryos bedding in the night. The Sun is joy on the Earth in the morning, And the wheat reaches up for the food that is Light. He holds his child to the Sun and would free him to the wind. Then we take them both, Father and Son, both still young. We fold them into tight brown loaves, Rocks of Sun for the tables of the People. The Priest takes a piece of the Bread and places it into the mouth of the person on his left with the words: "May you always have sufficien- cy". He then passes the plate on to that person, who does the same actions and gives the same blessing to the next person to the left, and so on round the circle. When the loaf comes around to the Priestess sitting on the Priest's right, she gives him his share while taking a small piece and crumbling it onto the Earth , if outdoors, or into the potted plant if indoors, saying: "Mother Divine, take back what is Thine." The Priestess then takes the chalice of Water from the altar and holds it aloft in consecration: P'ess: Ice in the North will melt into the Earth. She will soften and breathe again. Water, sweetened by the lungs of the Earth, our Mother, runs South To the houses of the people, and the clouds give birth and die. They tremble on beds of air giving birth. Their trembling rocks the Earth with thunder; all their life is gone. Their last breath is in our cup, Let us drink the rain. The Priestess then holds the chalice to the lips of the Priest on her left, who drinks as she says: 2512 "Water shared is Life shared." He then holds the cup and repeats the phrase for the person on his left, and so it goes, clockwise, around the circle. Other phrases may be spoken, such as "May you never thirst", or "Drink deeply". As the chalice passes from each person, they link hands with those who already shared the water, until, as the chalice completes its round, all hands are joined. Finally the person to the right of the Priestess gives her back the chalice and the blessing, whereupon she pours out the remainder of the water onto the ground or the plant as a libation to the Earth, speaking again the words: "Mother Divine,take back what is Thine." She places the chalice back onto the altar, then returns to her place to link hands and complete the circle. Then may follow a silent medita- tion, a chant or song, a breathing exercise to raise energy, or whatever is desired. When the exercise or meditation has reached its conclusion, the Priest pronounces the Benediction: Priest: O Gracious Lady and Laughing Lord, We would ever have Thee here with us. Now the time is come to break the circle and return to the world. May Thy love be ever with us and Thy wisdom guide our steps. Blessed Be. Everyone repeats the words "Blessed Be" simultaneously dropping the hands they are holding, thereby breaking the link and ending the Rite. "Earthmom" "Well, for instance, who is this All-Mother you're always talking about?" "Why, you are, Edward. . . The All-Mother. You're the All-Mother, I'm the All-Mother, that little bird singing out there, it's the All-Mother. The All-Mother is everything. The All-Mother is life..." The primal and supreme deity of the ancient world, the oldest and most universally worshipped, was the Great Mother, Mother Earth. Images of Her date back to Aurignacian Cro-Magnon peoples, from 27,000 years ago, and are found all over the Eurasian continent from Spain to Siberia. For thousands of years before there were any male gods, there was The Goddess, and Her worship continued unabated clear up until its violent suppression by Iron Age patrism. When and where worship of the Mother prevailed women and Nature were held in esteem. The Chinese called Her Kwan Yin; the Egyptians knew Her as Isis; the Navajo call Her Changing Woman. To the Greeks She was Gaia, and to many black peoples She is Yemanja. She is Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, and She says: "All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals." She is also the ancient Crone Hecate,who gives us both wisdom and death. The Goddess is diversity. She represents both darkness and Light and Her worship is the reconciliation of opposites. There can be no such thing as a "Good Goddess" or an "Evil Goddess". Death is part of the natural cycle as night follows day and we accept it with grace as Her final gift. The search for Balance is the goal of Her people, and it is achieved by the acceptance of multiple paths and truths. Dion Fortune once commented that all goddesses are manifestations of the One Great Goddess whose identity is as the universal feminine spirit of Nature. The eldest and greatest aspect of the Goddess is as Great Mother 2513 Nature, the all-encompassing energy of Universal Life. Her womb is the Quasar, the white hole through which all energy pours into creation, and Her all-devouring mouth is the Black hole itself through which all matter is consumed to be reborn once again as between Her thighs the universe is squeezed from spirit. Her energy then coalesces into Matter-Mater:the Mother of all forms. She ignites, becoming the Star Goddess Nuit, whose galactic breast is our Milky way. Of Her are born star systems and planets including, of course, our very own Earth Mother, Gaia. Because of the diversity of the Goddess, She is seen as manifesting in many different aspects. She is often called The Triple Goddess, which refers to Her link in the fertility cycle where She appears as Maiden, Mother and Crone. Some ancient cultures personified this Triplicity as the waxing, full, and waning Moon, and other three-faced Goddess aspects are familiar to us as the Fates, the Graces, the Furies, the Muses, or even as Faith, Hope and Charity. Another familiar division of Her aspects is into Mother and Daughter (Demeter and Persephone), or as Sisters/Lovers (Fauna and Flora). Such polarities are also important in Her worship. Sometimes the polarity can exist with two different aspects of the Goddess representing both poles, but more commonly it is the great gender polarity, for the Goddess is a deity of sexual loving. She is Ishtar or Aphrodite, the eternal Lover who awaits with eager arms the mortal man brave enough to risk Her immortal favor. Many men have worshipped Her as a lover, but she may never be possessed, for She belongs only to Herself. She is Parthenos, the eternal Virgin (in the prepatriarchal meaning "of her own household"). She represents the Strong Woman : not dominant, but independent. Her lovers are not truly human but divine. She has been the Beloved of many gods, and though jealous male gods eventually suppressed Her worship, She shared the co-rulership of Heaven and Earth for thousands of years of marital bliss. She is the inescapable Yin necessary for the cosmic balance of Yang/Yin. Symbols associated with Her (the Tree of Life, the Sacred Serpent, the Labryrinth) are found in all parts of the globe, at the heart of all the Mysteries, and underlying all the later accretions of successive religions. The search for Her is the search for our deepest ancestral roots.I am the star that rises from the twilight sea.I bring men dreams to rule their destiny.I am the eternal Woman; I am She!The tides of all souls belong to me-Touch of my hand confers polarity-These are the moontides, these belong to me. Honor Thy Mother In all the cultures where She is still worshipped, there is no confusion over Her identity : She is Nature, and She is the Earth. She is not an atavistic abstraction, not a mystical metaphor, not a construct of consciousness. Her body is of substance as material as our own, and we tread upon Her breast and are formed of Her flesh. "Walk lightly on the bosom of the Earth Mother," says Sun Bear, and tradition- al Native Americans agree. Cherokee shaman Rolling Thunder emphasizes that "It's very important for people to realize this: the Earth is a living organism, the body of a higher individual who has a will and wants to be well, who is at times less healthy or more healthy, physically and mentally."3 Frank Waters, author of Masked Gods and Book of the Hopi, makes the same point::. . . To Indians the Earth is not inanimate. It is a living entity, the mother of all life, our Mother Earth. All Her children, everything in nature, is alive: the living 2514 stone, the great breathing mountains, trees and plants, as well as birds and animals and man. All are united in one harmonious whole.4 Renowned historian Arnold Toynbee, writing on "The Religious Background of the Present Environmental Crisis," also observed that:For pre-monoth- eistic man, nature was not just a treasure-trove of "natural resources". Nature was, for him, a goddess, "Mother Earth," and the vegetation that sprang from the Earth, the animals that roamed, like man himself, over the Earth's surface, and the minerals hiding in the Earth's bowels, all partook of Nature's divinity.5 Before ever land was, before ever the sea, Or soft hair of the grass, or fair limbs of the tree, Or flesh- coloured fruit of my branches, I was : And thy soul was in me. The Gaia Thesis In order to understand the nature of the Earth Mother, we must first understand our own origins. Biologically, unisexual organisms are always considered to be female, since only the female brings forth life from her own body; in the act of reproduction single cells are referred to as mothers and their offspring as daughters. Each of us began our individual life as a single fertilized cell, or zygote. In the process of its innumerable divisions and multiplications, that cell kept dividing up and redistributing the very same protoplasm. That protoplasm which now courses through all of the several trillion cells of your adult body is the very same substance which once coursed through the body of that original zygote. For when a cell reproduces, the mother cell does not remain intact, but actually becomes the two new daughter cells. And this is why, no matter how many times a cell fissions in the process of embryological development, all the daughter cells collectively continue to comprise but one single organism. We may imagine that, should our cells have consciousness akin to our own, they may very well fancy themselves to be independent entities living and dying in a world that to them would seem to be merely an inanimate environment. Blood cells race along our arterial highways, but we know them to be in fact minute components of the far vaster living beings that we ourselves are. Over three billion years ago, life on Earth began, as do we all, with a single living cell containing a replicating molecule of DNA. From that point on, that original cell, the first to develop the awesome capacity for reproduction, divided and redivided and subdivided its protoplasm into the myriads of plants and animals, including ourselves, which now inhabit this third planet from the Sun. But no matter how many times a cell fissions in the process of embryological development, all the daughter cells collectively continue to comprise but one single organism. All life on Earth comprises the body of a single vast living being:Mother Earth Herself. The Moon is Her radiant heart, and in the tides beats the pulse of Her blood. The protoplasm which coursed through the body of that first primeval ancestral cell is the very protoplasm which now courses through every cell of every living organism, plant or animal, of our planet. And as in our own bodies, Earthly life was biologically female for the first 3 billion years, before sexual reproduction, complete with males, evolved around 600 million years ago. In evolutionary theory we say "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" (the development of the individual repeats the development of the ancestry); ancient people anticipated such scien- tific ideas when they intuitively conceptualized our planetary Divinity, like that first single cell, as feminine: our Mother Earth. The soul of our planetary biosphere is She whom we call Goddess. First life on my sources first drifted and swam. Out of me are the forces which save it or damn. 2515 Out of me man and woman, and wild-beast and bird. Before God was, I am.6". . . Be the terror and the dread of all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven, of everything that crawls on the ground and all the fish of the sea: they are handed over to you." (Gen. 9:2-3) Since the time of the Exodus, 3,500 years ago, Western Civilization has been pursuing a course that has taken it farther and fhree great monotheistic religions of the West, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have from their beginning activity suppressed the worship of the Goddess, and have tortured and brutally murdered millions of Her people. Today, she is all but forgotten in the hearts of Her children, and Her body lies raped and ravished in the wake of human progress. The Goddess is the concept of feminine divinity incarnate. The denial of feminine divinity results in the oppression of all women, including Mother Nature. As Toybee says:The thesis of the present essay is that some of the major maladies of the present-day world:for instance the recklessly extravagant consumption of nature's irreplaceable treasures, and the pollution of those of them that man has not already devoured:can be traced back in the last analysis to a religious cause, and that this cause is the rise of monotheism. 5 This is not to say that all non-monotheistic religions have a perfect track record for the treatment of women in those societies. Certainly Hindu cultures revere various goddesses and yet are among the more sexist and female-suppressive societies in the modern world. Nevertheless, there is abundant archeological evidence to indicate that things were not always as they are now, especially in truly ancient societies like India. Before the Aryan Indo-European invasion around 1,500 BCE many Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures, including the Harrapan culture of the Indus Valley and the Minoan people of Crete, had societies that appeared remarkably egalitarian. These societies were universally characterized by the worship of a powerful Great Mother whom the Hindu people still call Maha Devi Ma. She was later broken into a multiplicity of minor goddesses which were demoted to the position of wives or concubines of the gods. By the time sacred writings were codified in the Vedas, the Primal Goddess Maha Devi in India had been divided into a triplicity of goddesses characterized as Creator, Preserver and Destroyer: Saraswati, Laksmi and Kali; respectively the consorts of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. In Greece, a similar process led to Kore, Demeter and Persephone (or Hecate) created from the original Cretan Rhea. Once the Great Mother had been married off She became easier to control and the way was paved for Her dowry of natural wealth to be handed over to the financial control of Her divine consorts. Whether this new mythical development was a simple mirror of the social diminishment of women's rights or whether it preceded it and was invoked as a justification is really a moot point. But the land, formerly tied to matrilineal territorial clans, passed into the hands of patriarchal kings and princes who began to treat it as their private property and to lay waste to the forests in order to build vast temples and palaces to house their harems and other slaves. The Goddess of Nature went from the position of being the body and soul of all that lives to that of a wife, mother and household servant. Many traditions have given lip service to the so-called "Female Principle," either in the form of a divided identity like the Hindu Shakti or as a semi-divine emanation. But the power of the Goddess of Nature has gradually lost its ability to inspire the necessary respect and reverence once accorded to the Source and Bearer of Life. 2516 Where are You, then, Mother, whose strength was before All other powers? Your name is the only freedom.8 Pantheism is the view that everything in Nature is alive, and that all living is Divine. In that context, then, the simplest explanation of Divinity is as "an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together." (Star Wars: "The Force") Thus a pantheistic theology of Immanent Divinity ("Thou Art God/dess") contrasts sharply with the theology of Transcendent Divinity ("God is Out There") presented by most of "The World's Great Religions." Unlike the God worshipped by Christians, Moslems and Jews, the Goddess is not an all-powerful, indestructible, non-physical being who created the world and exists apart from it. Though Mother Nature is Life on the universal scale, Gaia, the Earth Mother is the very soul of this living planet, and she lives or dies as all life on this planet lives or dies. . . Mother, not maker; born, and not made. Though her children forsake her, allured or afraid, Praying prayers to the God of their fashion, She stirs not for all who have prayed.O my children, too dutiful towards Gods not of me, Was not I enough beautiful? Was it hard to be free? For, behold, I am with you, am in you, and of you: Look forth now and see!6 "Earth Mother, Your Children Are Here!" Current environ- mental crises are legion. Chlorofluorocarbon chemicals are destroying the ozone layer in the atmosphere; industrial pollution is creating the greenhouse effect which will melt the polar icecaps, drowning the coastal regions; and the destruction of the rainforests and the pollution of phytoplankton in the seas is causing worldwide droughts. The problems are so vast and the politics of greed and corruption are so complex that it will truly take a miracle to reverse such global destruction. The only thing that can save us is a total and electrify- ing change of consciousness. Nothing short of a worldwide realization of our planetary awareness will bring home the desperation of our plight. We must activate our Gaian identification so that we regain our shattered empathy with the Spirit of Nature. We must become one with the Earth Mother in order to feel Her pain/our pain and make it stop before the cancer we have become reaches the terminal phase. The word religion derives from the Latin re-ligio; "relinking." The very purpose of true religion, then, is to heal the rifts and alienations which have caused us to become separated from the divine Source of Being: the rifts between humanity and Nature; between matter and spirit; between mind and body; between man and woman; between our own egos and the Soul of Nature. Recent books analyzing the trends of our wayward world have, with increasing frequency, been calling for a return to the worship of the Mother. So many wistful comments made by writers such as Merlin Stone, Mary Daly, James Lovelock, Judy Chicago, Dolores LaChapelle, Rene Dubos, Daniela Gioseffi, Paolo Soleri, Elizabeth Gould Davis, Arnold Toynbee, Joseph Campbell, Marija Gimbutas and Riane Eisler reflect a craving for such a religious revival. The truth is that such a revival has been going on for some time now:since the early 1960's:in the form of what we call the Neo-Pagan movement (from Latin paganus:"peasant" or country dweller:Paganism now refers to all nature religions). To the several hundred thousand Neo-Pagans who have been actively practicing and publishing for more than a quarter of a century, the greatest mystery of this religion is its continuing obscurity and invisibility to those such as the above-named writers, who continue to publish books advocating such a movement as this, while remaining ignorant that it is already in effect. The new Paganism encompasses many Nature-oriented groups such as Feraferia, Church of All 2517 Worlds, Madrakara, Bear Tribe, Venusian Church, Pagan Way, Church of the Eternal Source, Odinic Fellowship, Reformed Druids, Earth Church of Amargi and Children of the Earth Mother. The largest contingent of modern Goddess-worshippers, however, is found in Witchcraft, or Wicca. Wicca is a pre-Christian European Pagan magical tradition; European Shamanism. The violent suppression to the point of eradication of the followers of Wicca by the Inquisition can only be compared to the Jewish Holocaust of Nazi Germany (estimates of the number of martyrs run as high as nine million!), but today the Craft is making a powerful comeback on the wings of the re-emergent Goddess. The Neo-Pagan movement, and especially Feminist Witchcraft, has recently been joined by increasing numbers from the Women's Spirituality movement and lately also by many thinkers from the Deep Ecology movement and even such radical environmental activists as Earth First!. These are some of the forces which form the core of the movement to restore the Earth Goddess to Her rightful place; a movement which has its roots in the combined studies of feminism and ecology and is the logical spiritual application of such studies. If Witches can be priestesses of feminism, then Neo-Pagans are the chaplains of the ecology movement. The overall movement, though variously called Eco-feminism and Ecosophy, is truly an attempt at expressing Gaian Spirituality. These three streams of spirituality:Deep Ecology, Goddess Spirituality, and Neo-Paganism:have met and mingled with Native American, Hindu, Tibetan, Hawaiian and other ancient spiritual teachings and fused somewhat with the more nebulous New Age Movement. What is struggling to be born from this blending of pathways is a truly planetary religious metaphor that will transcend all the tradition-specific patterns in the same way the idea of Neo-Paganism absorbed and united a multiplicity of wildly differing but basically polytheistic religious groups in the 1970's. Perhaps what we are looking for could be called Gaean religion, because at the heart of our Unity is our identity as children of the same Mother:Gaia Herself; Mother Earth. It is said that it's a wise child who knows its own Mother! A brief digression on etymology here: Who is Gaia, that we would name a movement after Her? The name Gaia is the Greek name for the Earth Mother Goddess, She who was created by Light and by Love from the primal cosmic chaos. Pierced by the arrows of Eros, Gaia gave birth to all the plants, animals, gods and goddesses and of course the human race. So Gaia is the Mother of us all according to ancient Greek mythology. From the moment that the people of Earth achieved the ability to observe the image of our planet spinning in all Her radiant blue-and- white splendor through the black velvet night, we have been impelled towards planetary identification. We must inevitably begin to think of ourselves as one planet, one people, one organism. The power of that image alone unites us, not to mention the concept that the past three-and-a-half billion years of terrestrial evolution resembles one vast embryogenesis. Something is developing, hatching, unfolding as a self-reflexive mind capable of contemplating its own existence. Gaia developed increasingly complex eyes and extensions of Her eyes/our eyes in order to contemplate Her own image. And now, having seen Herself through our satellite eyes, She is awakening to consciousness. She has a face, an identity and now even a name, and so we inevitably come to identify ourselves through Her as Gaian. A Gaian movement would be deeply committed to communication and 2518 education. Many tribal people and many of the old nature-based folk religions such as native Australians, Hawaiians, Siberians, Tibetans and Americans have come to the brink of extinction rather than to allow the mysteries of their sacred rites to pass outside their tribes. Others have realized the need to become more eclectic if they are to survive. The Gaian movement is presently small and largely unrecognized, since it is anarchic and not evangelical, but it has tremendous potential in having no single head and presenting a genuine answer to so many of the world's problems. Its vision is, in fact, an idea whose time has come. Yet there are still many obstacles, and revolutions in consciousness rarely happen overnight. The greatest forces operating against a new Gaian renaissance are inertia and apathyΙ the watchwords of the Τ70s and Τ80s. But winds of change are blowing, and by the time the century turns we will see that once again Goddess is Alive and Magick is Afoot!And you who think to seek for me -Know that your seeking and yearning will avail you naughtUnless you know the Mystery:That if that which you seek you find not within you,You shall never find it without.For behold: I have been with you from the beginning,And I am that which is attained at the end of desire.9 Footnotes: 1. Mack Reynolds, Of Godlike Power, 1966, pp. 146-1472. 2. Dion Fortune, "Charge of the Moon Goddess" 3. Doug Boyd, Rolling Thunder, 1974, p. 51 4. Frank Waters, "Lessons From the Indian Soul," Psychology Today, May 1973 5. Arnold Toynbee, "The Religious Background of the Present Environmen tal Crisis," International Journal of Environmental Studies, 1972, Vol. III 6. Algernon Charles Swinburne, "Hertha" 7. Tim Zell, "The Gods of Nature; The Nature of Gods," Gnostica #15, 1973 8. Ramprasad Sen, Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair; 18th Century Bengal 9. Doreen Valiente, "Charge of the Star Goddess" (This article was first written in 1978; revised and updated in 1990.) The Church of All Worlds, a Brief History It all began on April 7, 1962, when, after reading Stranger in a Strange Land, Tim Zell and Lance Christie shared water and formed a water-brotherhood called "Atl" at Westminster College at Fulton, Missouri. During the mid-1960s the group was centered on the University of Oklahoma campus at Norman under the name Atlan Foundation. A periodical, The Atlan Torch (later The Atlan Annals), was published from 1962-1968. Following a move to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1968 the Church of All Worlds was legally incorporated. In March of that year, the first issue of Green Egg appeared and over the years made Tim Zell, its editor, a major force in Neo-Paganism, a term which Zell coined. CAW was the first Neo-Pagan/Earth Religion to obtain full federal recognition, although it was initially refused recognition by the Missouri Department of Revenue on the basis of its lack of primary concern about the hereafter, God, the destiny of souls, heaven, hell, sin and its punishment, and other supernatural matters. The ruling was overturned as unconstitutional in 1971. The Church of All Worlds took much inspiration from the science fiction classic, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. In the novel, Valentine Michael Smith was a human being born on Mars and raised by Martians. Upon being brought to Earth, 2519 he established the Church of All Worlds, built around "nests", a combination of a congregations and an intentional communities. A basic concept was "grokking", i.e., the ability to be fully empathic. Heinlein's CAW emphasized non-possessive love and joyous expression of sexuality as divine union. Their greeting was "Thou art God" or "Thou art Goddess", a recognition of immanent divinity in each person. The basic theology of the CAW is a pantheism focused on immanent rather than transcendent divinity, which is worshiped in female as well as a male form. The most important thealogical statement came in revelatory writings by Zell in 1970-73, on a theory which later came to be known as the Gaia Thesis, a biological validation of the ancient intuition that the planet is a single living organism, Mother Earth. Pantheists hold as divine the living spirit of Nature. Thus the CAW recognizes Mother Earth, the Horned God, the Green Man and other spirits of animistic totemism as the Divine Pantheon. Church of All Worlds was an early forerunner of the Deep Ecology movement. Through its focus on Mother Nature as Goddess and its recognition and ordination of women as Priestesses, CAW can also rightly be held to be the first Eco-Feminist Church. Its only creed states: "The Church of All Worlds is dedicated to the celebration of life, the maximal actualization of human potential and the realization of ultimate individual freedom and personal responsibility in harmonious eco-psychic relationship with the total Biosphere of Holy Mother Earth." In 1974, CAW reported nests in Missouri, California, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Wyoming, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. It was then publishing two periodicals, Green Egg and The Pagan. Two years later Zell moved to Oregon with his new wife, Morning Glory, an ordained Priestess, for a rural life of writing, research and the practice of the religion he had developed. They left the administration of the CAW and the publication of the Green Egg in the hands of other Church leaders. After only a few more issues, the magazine ceased publication. Subsequently many Church Nests dissolved due to internal conflicts. By the mid-1980s CAW survived only in California, focused around the sanctuary land bequeathed to the Church by its Bard, Gwydion Pendderwen. On and around this rural retreat, a Pagan homesteading community grew which included the Zells (Tim Zell had changed his first name to Otter in 1979 following a vision quest) and other long-time Church members who had moved to California, as well as many new people. Two new clergy were ordained during that time, Orion Stormcrow (a Church member since 1969) and Anodea Judith. (In 1991, Deborah Hamouris was ordained, bringing the present number of active clergy to six.) In the late 1980s, following Otter and Morning Glory's emergence from eight years of living in the wilderness, the Church of All Worlds began reorganizing under the leadership of Anodea Judith. The membership program was radically upgraded to include a Progressive Involvement Program (PIP), intensive training courses and a new members newsletter, The Scarlet Flame. Activities and membership increased dramatically during this period as CAW emerged from its slumber. The first issue of Green Egg (The Next Generation!) appeared in May, 1988, the 20th anniversary of its original publication. It has risen to a position of prominence among Pagan periodicals. Diane Darling, who joined the Church in the mid-'80s, is its editrix, Otter its publisher and designer. In 1991, with 52 pages and a four-color glossy cover, Green Egg won the 2520 Silver Award from the Wiccan/Pagan Press Alliance (WPPA) for "Most Professionally Formatted Pagan Publication". In 1992 Green Egg won the WPPA Gold Award for "Readers' Choice" as well as the Dragonfest Awards for "Most Attractive Format" and "Best Graphics". Diane won the Pentacle Award for "Favorite Pagan Editrix", and Otter for "Favorite Pagan Writer". The non-fictional Church of All Worlds has grown far beyond Heinlein's dream. There are nine concentric circles of member involve- ment, named after the planets and grouped into three rings. Each circle's activity includes study, writings, magical training, sen- sitivity and encounter-group experience, as well as active participation in the life of the Church. The First Ring, Circles 1, 2, and 3, is for Seekers, those who are only participants. Second Ring, Circles 4 through 6, is made up of Scions, members who help run the church. The clergy, Council of the Third Ring, consists of legally ordained priests and priestesses; longtime members who have worked through the other circles, undergone personal and leadership development, religious training, and completed the Church's ordination requirements. There are two governing bodies in addition to the Clergy: the Board of Directors, which determines policy and business matters, and the Fun Committee, which implements the activities and functions of the Church. The Fun Committee is made up of a Board member, a clergy member, and one representative from each of the church functions, such as Rites and Festivals, Publications, Membership, Communications and each subsidiary. There is an annual General Meeting to elect officers and make changes in the Church's ever-evolving Bylaws. Worship involves attending weekly or monthly Nest meetings usually held in the homes of Nest members. Autonomous nests are composed of at least three members of 2nd Circle meeting monthly or more often. The basic liturgical form is based on a circle where a chalice of water is shared around as part of the ritual part of the Nest meeting. Longer events are celebrated at the Church sanctuary, Annwfn, a 55-acres of land in northern California. Annwfn has a two-story temple, cabins, garden, orchard and a small pond. It is maintained by a small community of resident caretakers. In addition to the eight Celtic seasonal festivals, the Church holds handfastings (marriages), vision quests, initiations, workshops, retreats, work parties and meetings on the land. As of 1993, the Church has ten chartered nests in California, with others in Florida, Illinois, Arizona, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Australia (where CAW has become the first legally-incorporated Pagan church in that country). A number of proto-Nests are in the process of forming. Current President is priest Tom Williams (a member since 1968). Otter is presently engaged in the formation of the Universal Federation of Pagans (UFP), a worldwide association with which he hopes to unify the global Pagan community. 1992 was the 30th anniversary of the Church. A Grand Convocation was held in August, with an attendance of nearly 300. Membership at the end of 1993 was around 600. The Mission Statement of the Church of All Worlds is as follows: The mission of the Church of All Worlds is to evolve a network of information, mythology, and experience that provides a context and stimulus for reawakening Gaea, and reuniting Her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and the general evolution of consciousness. Over the years, the Church of All Worlds has chartered a number of subsidiary branches through which it practices and teaches its religion: 2521 * Forever Forests : Box 212, Redwood Valley, CA 95470. Founded in 1977 by Gwydion Pendderwen; the ecology branch. Sponsors tree-planting events and rituals. * Lifeways : 2140 Shattuck #2093, Berkeley, CA 94704. Founded in 1983 by Anodea Judith; the teaching branch. Offers workshops, classes, healing rituals, recovery programs, wilderness excursions, and training for the priesthood. Handles the Progressive Involvement Program. * Nemeton : Box 610, Laytonville, CA 95454. Founded in 1972 by Gwydion Pennderwen and Alison Harlow; the marketing branch. Tapes and CDs, songbooks, T-shirts, philosophical tracts and books. Catalog available. * Ecosophical Research Assn. (ERA) : Box 982, Ukiah, CA 95482. Founded in 1977 by Morning Glory Zell; devoted to research and explora- tion in the fields of history, mythology and natural sciences. Produced the Living Unicorn, the New Guinea Mermaid expedition and a Peruvian Pilgrimage. * Holy Order of Mother Earth (HOME) : Box 212, Redwood Valley, CA 95470 Founded in 1977 by the Zells and Alison Harlow; magical and shamanic branch open only to trained initiates. Creates and conducts the Church's rituals and ceremonies.* Peaceful Order of the Earth Mother (POEM) : Box 5227, Clearlake, CA 95422. Founded in 1988 by Willowoak Istarwood; dedicated to children and child nurturing. Provides enriching activities for children at gatherings, summer camps and a quarterly magazine for Pagan youth, How About Magic? (HAM) :$7 per year. * Green Egg : Box 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482. Award-winning quarterly journal of the New Paganism and the Gaian Renaissance, founded in 1968 by Otter Zell. Sample $6; subscription $15/yr US bulk mail; $21/yr US/Canada 1st class/envelope; $27/yr trans-Atlantic; $30/yr trans-Pacif- ic. * Annwfn : Box 48, Calpella, CA 95418. CAW's 55-acre land sanctuary and retreat in the Misty Mountains of Mendonesia. Write for Visitor's Policy. * CAW Membership and General Correspondence : (Australian Headquaters) PO Box 408, Woden, ACT 2606. References: Further information on the Church of All Worlds may be found in the following books: Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess- Worshipers and other Pagans in America Today, Beacon Press, 1979; revised and updated 1987. (essential!) Ellwood, Robert, Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America, 1973. Gottleib, Annie, Do You Believe in Magic? The Second Coming of the Sixties Generation, Times Books, 1987 Guiley, Rosemary, Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, Facts on File, 1989; (extensive!) 2522 The Perennial Encyclopedia of Mystical and Psychic Experience, 1990. Jade, To Know, Delphi Press, 1991. Martello, Leo Louis, Witchcraft, the Old Religion, University Books, 1973. Melton, J. Gordon, The Encyclopedia of American Religions, from the Institute for the Study of American Religions, POB 90709, Santa Barbara, CA 93190 1979 ( 3rd edition, 1988); The Essential New Age, 1990. Wilson, Robert Anton, Coincidance, Falcon Press, 1988 ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2523 Neo-Paganism: An Old Religion for a New Age by Otter G'ZellFounder, Church of All Worlds As founder and priest of a Neo-Pagan church, I have often been asked to explain exactly what we mean by the term "Pagan". We find ourselves in the peculiar position of having a public image that was created not by ourselves, but by our persecutors. It is much as if the Nazis had succeeded in eradicating Judaism to the extent that, genera- tions later, the common opinion of what the Jewish faith was all about was derived solely from the anti-Semitic propaganda of the Third Reich. In Europe alone, from tens of thousands to millions (the figures are still in dispute) of Pagans were martyred by the Christian churches during the Inquisition and Witch trials. Those figures do not even count the millions of other Pagan peoples in North and South America, Africa, Polynesia, Melanesia and Asia who fell before the advancing plague of Western Christendom. Today, the conception most people have of Paganism is the lurid one drawn by the Christian church to justify its own reign of terror, and bears about as much relation to reality as the similar propaganda Christianity once fostered about Jews. In the 13th century the Church opened its long-drawn-out conflict with Paganism in Europe by declaring Witchcraft to be a 'sect' and heretical. It was not til the 14th century that the two religions came to grips. All through the 16th and 17th centuries the battle raged. The Pagans fought a gallant, though losing, fight against a remorseless and unscrupulous enemy; every inch of the field was disputed. At first victory occasionally inclined to the Pagans, but the Christian policy of obtaining influence over the rulers and law-givers was irresistible. Vae victis was also the policy of the Christians, and we see the priests of the Papacy gloating over the thousands whom they had consigned to the flames while the ministers of the Reformed Churches hounded on the administrators of the law to condemn the 'devil worshipers'. What can have been the feelings with which those unhappy victims regarded the vaunted God of Love, the Prince of Peace, whose votaries condemned them to torture and death? What wonder that they clung to their old faith, and died in agony unspeakable rather than deny their God. (Margaret Murray, The God of the Witches, 1931, Oxford GB 332, pp. 21-22) 'Pagan' does not mean "irreligious" or "barbarian". It is the correct anthropological term to describe indigenous folk religions, being derived from the Latin paganus, "peasant," which derives in turn from pagus, "village". The Latin comes from the Greek pagos, "standing stone," and paga, "sacred spring," representing, respectively, the male and female generative powers. Paganism is basically Nature worship. 'Pagan' is a proper noun or adjective denoting the name of a religion, and as such, is properly always capitalized, as is 'Jewish' or 'Hin- du'. Religions can be roughly divided into two distinct categories: the naturally evolving, indigenous "folk" religions of particular regions and peoples (the Pagan religions), and on the other hand the "revealed" religions: those religions owing their existence to a "revelation" taught by some great "prophet" and formulated in various creeds and 2524 dogmas. The latter category, of course, includes most of the "Great Religions of Mankind:" Judeo-Christian-Islamic, Buddhist, Confucian, etc. Though articulated by a great teacher, Lao-tsu, Taoism is essentially Pagan in philosophy and attitude, while Hinduism and Shinto are Pagan in origin and essence even though they have become institu- tionalized as State religions. Pagan religions are characterized by being "natural," both in origin and mode of expression, as opposed to the artificiality of constructed revealed religions. Paganism emerges out of the processes of Life and Nature, and continues to evolve as a living, growing, organic entity. Revealed religions are like buildings: an architect (prophet) get an inspiration (revelation) and lays down his vision in blueprints (prophecy; scriptures). Then contractors, carpenters, masons, etc. (disciples and followers) build the structure more or less according to his specifications. It is made of non-living materials, and does not grow naturally; it is assembled. When it is finished, it cannot grow further, and begins to deteriorate, until it is eventually so outmoded and rundown it is demolished to make way for new buildings. A world of revealed religions is like unto a city, with all the problems (hunger, war, hatreds, crime, pollution, dis-ease) of a city, and for much the same reason: alienation from the life-flow. A Pagan religion, on the other hand, is like a tree: it emerges alive from the Earth, grows, changes (both cyclically through the seasons, and continually in upward and outward growth), bears flowers and fruit, and shares its life with other living beings. It is not made or designed according to any blueprint other than genetic. And when, after many thousands of years, perhaps, it should come to the end of its time, it does not pass from the world entirely, for its own progeny have, in the interval, begun to spring up all around, again from the Earth, and again, similar yet each unique. A world of Pagan religions is like a forest. Paganism includes Animism, Pantheism, Shamanism and Totemism. (Witchcraft is the survival or reconstruction of European Shamanism; i.e., the magical arts of tribal peoples.) Pagan are the native religions of the American Indians, the Africans, the various Island peoples, many peasants in the mountains of Asia, the Aborigines of Australia, and, at one time, the Gauls, Teutons, Norse, Celts and Faeries (as the invading Saxons called the pygmy neolithic race they encountered in the British Isles). Long before they encountered Christianity, the Faeries (known to archaeologists as Pretani, or Picts) had been forced by the Saxons onto the inhospitable Heaths of Britain, later to be called "Heathens" by the Church. By 1500 CE, they had been virtually exterminated, save for those who managed to intermarry or exchange their infants for those of the invaders ("changelings"). Moreover, as it was later to do in the case of the Witches, who inherited much of the Faery lore and religion, the Church began a campaign to convince the world and future generations that these people had never existed in the first place, but were merely imaginary! The old Pagan religions were never "created". They had no founding prophets and no saviors. They grew up with their people, and their origins are lost in the mists at the dawn of humanity. What little we can trace indicates a descent from paleolithic and neolithic "fertility cults," hence the common symbols of the Earth Mother Goddess, the Green Man and 2525 the Horned GodΡthe fecund embodiments of living Nature. We find them therefore unanimous in their veneration of Nature and their sensual celebration of life, birth, sex and death as expressed in the seasonal Festivals of the Sacred Year. All these Great Festivals of Paganism, wherever they may be found, correspond in common with the Solstices, Equinoxes, and other natural annual cycles of life (animal mating and birth seasons, planting, harvest). Most of these remain with us today in more-or-less disguised form as the so-called "Christian" holidays of Christmas (Yule), Easter (Ostara), May Day (Beltane), Thanksgiving (Mabon or Harvest Home), Halloween (Samhain) and even Groundhog's Day (Oimelc). In addition to these six, there are two others, Litha (Midsummer) and Lughnasadh, comprising a total of eight Festivals (or Sabbats, as they are known, sometimes under different names, in Witchcraft). Thus it is obvious that the rich heritage of Paganism forms a solid foundation for the spontaneous emergence of a Neo-Pagan revival today. In the midst of our current spiritual and ecological crisis, it is highly appropriate that natural religions are once again finding a place among the children of Earth. Modern Neo-Paganism, however, is somewhat distinct from the Old Religion, in that it is to a large measure a relatively new phenomenon. Neo-Pagan religions are many and diverse. They range from the sublimely artistic Paradisal vision and reconstruction of old Pagan Mysteries of Feraferia to the astrological divination and ancient Egyptian religion of the Church of the Eternal Source, and from the Wiccan-oriented myth and ritual of the Pagan Way to the transpersonal psychology, science- fiction mythology and deep ecology of the Church of All Worlds. All of the dozens of Neo-Pagan religions now in existence, and most of the countless sects of Witchcraft, however, do hold certain values in common, and it is these values which relate them to Paganism in the older sense. One of the key values of Neo-Paganism is its insistence on personal responsibility. The Church of All Worlds expresses this in the phrase, "Thou art God/dess," implying total personal freedom and individual responsibility on the part of every one of us. Paganism has no concept of "original sin," and hence has no need of saviors. Neo-Pagans do not expect Divine retribution for breaking social taboos. Rather, concepts of "sin" and "atonement" are restated in the framework of ecological awareness and karma. If our actions are discordant and in opposition to the evolutionary flow of Life, we suffer the ecological consequences, in much the same way, and for exactly the same reason, as diseased cells in the body are attacked by the antibodies and other natural defenses. Whatever energy we put out returns to us multiplied threefold. Love returns love; hate returns hate. Robert Ingersoll observed: "In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences". The total responsibility (and hence the total freedom) rests in our hands. As in the Old Religion, Neo-Pagans conceptualize Divinity as manifest in the processes of Nature. Indeed, in a very literal sense, Mother Nature, Mother Earth, is "Goddess," and She has been recognized as such since time immemorial. Thus ecology is seen as the supreme religious study: "Nature is Divinity made manifest...It is creativit- y, continuity, balance, beauty and truth of life. "Everything we encounter in the Biosphere is a part of Nature, and ecology reveals the 2526 pattern of that is-ness, the natural relationships among all these things and the Organic Unity of all of them as a Biospheric Whole. Thus ecology shows the pattern of man's proper and creative involvement with Nature, that Nature which encompasses his own life and on proper relation to which his survival and development depend: Of all man's secular studies, ecology comes closest to bringing him to the threshold of religious relationship to his world. Ecology not only confirms the wonders of form and function that other secular studies have revealed, but it brings these into organic union with each other as one dynamic, living Whole; and it points out the conditions for the wellbeing of both this overall Unity and the parts that comprise it. An intensive realization of these conditions, and of one's own immediate role in their sustainment and development, brings one to the threshold of religious awe. To worship Nature, therefore, is to venerate and commune with Divinity as the dynamically organic perfection of the whole. (Council of Themis, from Green Egg #43) Neo-Paganism is a recent mutation of the Old Religion which had its earliest emergence during the European Renaissance with the rediscovery of the ancient Greek philosophers via Arabian texts brought by traveler- s. However, this was also the time of the Burnings, and the budding Neo-Pagan emergence was suppressed until the late 1700's, when it found expression in the Romantic Period of art, music and literature, especially in Germany. This Romantic flowering of Neo-Paganism, especially the element known as the Bavarian Illuminati (whose mottoes were "eternal flower power" and "eternal serpent power"), greatly appealed to a visiting American named Benjamin Franklin, and upon his return to the colonies, it became a major spiritual force in the post-Revolutionary America of the 1780s, where its influence continued to shape the new nation through the presidencies of the Adams family. It was Monroe and the War of 1812 that managed to suppress this movement for a time, but it re-emerged 60 years later in the form of the Transcendentalist Movement, exemplified in the poetry and writings of Whitman, Thoreau and Emerson, and the overnight mushrooming of the commune movement in the 1840's. The Civil War, Reconstruction, the conquest of the West and the Gold Rush drained the Nature-oriented spiritual energy from the people of America for another 60 years, but it blossomed again through the Art Nouveau movement in the 1900's. Then came the World Wars, the Depression, McCarthyism...60 more years had to pass before the gathering impact of Eastern religious philosophy, especially Zen, and Existentialism gave birth to the "hip" "underground" counter-culture of the Beatniks, whose experimentation with drugs, sexuality, music, poetry, communal living and alternate lifestyles paved the way for the Hippie phenomenon of the 1960's (which spontaneously resurrected the old Illuminati motto of "flower power"). The seeds of Neo-Paganism which had again lain dormant for three generations took root in such fertile soil, and emerged once more into the light, to be joined in the '70s by the heirs of Wicca, the last vestiges of the Old Religion of Europe. The New Religion is still very much Paganism, for its inspiration and orientation today is based, as was that of its predecessors, upon an understanding and relationship of Humanity within the larger perspective of Life, Nature and the Universe. Fred Adams of Feraferia coined the term "eco-psychic" to describe the type of awareness that permeates the New Religion. 2527 Revealed religions, especially of the monotheistic variety, tend to see man as a special creation, exalted above all Nature, and the epitome of God's handiwork. Thus the Biblical injunction to Man to "have dominion over all the Earth" is not seen by Judeo-Christians as outrageously presumptuous; nor is God's destruction of all life on Earth in the legend of the Deluge seen as insanely immoral ecocide. Both God and Man are considered to have a "divine right" to desecrate the Earth at their pleasure. This is in direct opposition to the view of Paganism, which sees humanity's duty not to conquer Nature, but to live in harmony and stewardship with Her. Every revealed religion claims to have its own direct pipeline to the Divinity, and its own essential precepts from direct, unassailable revelation. Neo-Pagans, on the other hand, have outgrown egotistical and temperamental gods, and expect no intervention from some Big Daddy in the Sky to solve the problems of our times. Instead, we look to Nature (through the clear glass of ecology) for inspiration and direction, and to ourselves as the instrumentality for all that needs to be done. Thou art God/dess! Otter G'Zell, 1970 (revised Jan. 8, 1991) ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2528 Neo-Pagan Witchcraft vs. Satanism:Confusions and Distinctions by Otter and Morning Glory Zell It seems to be necessary to preface every discussion of Witchcraft with an explanation that, no, Neo-Pagan Witches aren't Satanists. The Christian anti-God, Satan, has no place in Pagan pantheons, either mythologically or theologically. Plainly and simply, Satanism is the dark side of Christianity, and Satan is nothing other than the collec- tive Id of Christendom. Even today, Witchcraft is frequently misrepresented by being confused with Satanism. Often the word Witchcraft is used to represent two wholly opposite phenomena: the survival of ancient Paganism in one instance, and the inversion of Christianity in another. Let us make it clear: a Satanist is a renegade Christian, who, in his rebellion against the authority of the church, worships Satan rather than Christ. Such people are at times called witches and warlocks in popular books and movies but they have little to do with Pagan Witches. Satanists, for one thing, accept the Christian duality between good and evil; Pagans do not. Satanists may choose to worship evil rather than good: but they have utterly bought the Christian world view".1 The word Pagan derives from the Latin paganus, meaning "peasant" or "country dweller". It is correctly applied to indigenous (native) pantheistic folk religions and peoples. The term "Neo-Paganism" is applied to the current revival of ancient Pagan religious values, including the sacredness of all Life and the worship of Nature. Modern Witchcraft has been a major component of the Neo-Pagan resurgence since England repealed its anti-Witchcraft laws in 1951.The Goddess and the God of Witchcraft The many traditions of Neo-Pagan Witchcraft have few universal theological precepts, but one of them is certainly the veneration of the Moon Goddess, known most commonly by her Roman name, Diana. She is perceived as manifesting in triple form: as Maiden, Mother and Crone. These triple aspects are identified respectively with the waxing, full, and waning moons. Witches gather at esbats every full moon, to sing and dance in Her moonlight, share cakes and wine, and work magic to heal each other, their friends, and the Earth. Many modern Witches expand the concept of the Goddess considerably, and see Her also as Mother Earth and Mother Nature. Most traditions of Neo-Pagan Witchcraft also honor the Consort of the Goddess in the form of the Horned God, who is seen as Lord of Animals as well as seasonal ruler of the Underworld. The most familiar version of the Horned God is the Greek Pan, goat-horned and goat-hooved, playing His panpipes, guzzling wine from His freely-flowing wineskin, and seducing nymphs in the woods. He is regarded as lusty and jovial, epitomizing masculine attributes of ideal father, brother or lover. As the Goddess of Witchcraft is closely identified with the Moon, so the God is identified with the Sun. In this way He may be seen mythologi- cally as the lover both of the Moon and of the Earth. Another of His many epithets is "Lord of Light". Every light casts its shadows, and the Lord of Shadows is the other face of the Lord of Light. Lord of the Underworld is the title of the God in Winter when He goes underground with the animals to hibernate. Some traditions had Him alternate with His brother as husband to the eternal Goddess. Others, as in the Greek Hades, had a year-round God of the Underworld, "The Devil." It is essential to clarify the historic relationship of Pan and the 2529 Devil, as Christianity has tended to confuse the two, giving rise to the accusation that Pagans are Devil-worshipers because some Pagan gods have horns. Once and for all, the Christian Devil is not the God of the Witches! The genesis of the Devil comes from a merging of two concepts: Satan and Lucifer. The original meaning of the word satan is "adve- rsary", and his inclusion in the Bible represents an attempt by later apologists of the Old Testament to justify the more negative actions of a benevolent God (such as the persecution of Job) by attributing the actual dirty work to a testing spirit; the original "devil's advocate". This entity was not considered evil until after the Persian conquest introduced the Hebrews to the Zoroastrian dualism of Ahura-Mazda (the good God) vs. Ahriman (the evil God). This later manifested in Chris- tianity as Manichean dualism. The Manichean equation was brutally simple: God=Good; Devil=Evil. But it was not until the year 447 CE that the Council of Toledo declared the legal existence of the Devil as an actual entity, though he was still not thought of as necessarily manifesting in human form. The Lucifer story is a mish-mashed retelling of the Canaanite myth about the overthrow of Baal by Mot and the usurpation of Baal's throne by Athar, the god of the morning star. The original Hebrew name for Lucifer was helel ben shahar meaning "son of the day star" (the planet Venus). The name Lucifer ("light bearer"), a Romano-Etruscan title of the Sun God, was erroneously used when the Bible was first translated into Latin.2 Various shadow gods or divine adversaries contributed to the creation of the Devil, including the Canaanite Moloch or Mot, the Egyptian Set or Suteck and the Roman Saturn. Judeo-Christian theologians placed all Pagan gods and goddesses in an adversary position to Yahweh, the god of Israel, who, as a monotheistic deity, cannot share a pantheon. This is a profound cultural difference from Pagan pantheons and polytheistic peoples who co-existed together, whether or not in harmony. Also since unbridled sexuality, especially for females, was defined by Judeo-Christianity as evil, Pagan gods and goddesses who were especially sexual or sensual garnered the new sect's particular hatred. Pan (who instills panic) and Dionysus were neither evil nor adversary deities, but because of their riotous celebrations the Devil acquired Pan's horns and hooves and Dionysus' ambiguously mad and bibulous nature. This final equation of the Pagan Horned God with Satan was not established, however, until the year 1486, when the Dominicans Kramer and Sprenger published the Malleus Malificarum, or "Hammer of the Witches", wherein they gave the first physical descrip- tion of the Devil as he is commonly depicted today, declaring that this was the god worshiped by those they wanted to call "witches", thereby justifying the centuries of terrible persecution inflicted upon those who clung faithfully to their worship of the elder gods. Witchcraft and Shamanism Witches were the shamans, or medicine men and women, of the tribal Celtic peoples of Europe, and they functioned in the same fashion as shamans of any other tribal culture, be it American Indians, Africans, or Australian Aborigines. In fact, and in time-honored tradition, shamans are still commonly referred to as "Witch Doctors". Shamans are specialists in herbal lore, and the Witches of Pagan Europe were no exception. Usually, but not exclusively, women, they practiced herbal medicine, midwifery, augury, spellcasting, and 2530 counseling. Often dwelling alone out in the woods, Witches lived close to Nature, and attuned to Her cycles. Their gardens grew not only food, but also many kinds of herbs, including those valued for their medic- inal, anesthetic and hallucinogenic properties. In a period of time when good Christian folk maintained only those domestic animals that could be considered "livestock" (i.e., useful to humans), Witches frequently kept wild animal pets: foxes, ferrets, owls, ravens and of course, the ubiquitous cats. Such became known, appropriately enough, as familiars. When Witches came to be persecuted, so did these familiar animals, and the brutal capture, torture and burning of millions of cats that accompanied the Witch burnings begat the horrible Black Plague that devastated Europe in the 14th century, for the cats had kept the rat populations under control, and it was rat fleas that were the carrier of the bubonic plague bacillus."The Burning Times" It is sadly ironic that, though the practitioners of Witchcraft have historically suffered real abuse and persecution, the Witch has somehow continued to be misrepresented as the villain. Christianity did not become the world's dominant religion by peaceful conversion, but by the sword and stake. As the legions of Caesar had forged the Roman Empire over the dead bodies of countless tribal peoples of Europe, so did its heir, the Holy Roman Empire, continue the tradition. Declaring them "heresies", agents of the Holy Inquisition hunted out and ruth- lessly exterminated every religion, sect or tradition that would not convert to "The One True Right And Only Way". Witches, however, lived outside of any organized religious structure and were largely ignored until the 13th century, when the Church had finally gained enough power to deal with grass-roots Paganism. "In the 13th century the Church opened its long-drawn-out conflict with Paganism in Europe by declaring "Witchcraft' to be a "sect' and heretical. It was not til the 14th century that the two religions came to grips. . . In 1324 the bishop of Ossory tried Dame Alice Kyteler in his ecclesiastical court for the crime of worshiping a deity other than the Christian God. . . "The 15th century marks the first great victories of the Church. Beginning with the trials in Lorraine in 1408, the Church moved triumphantly against Joan of Arc and her followers in 1431, against Gilles de Rais and his coven in 1440, and against the Witches of Brescia in 1457. Towards the end of the century the Christian power was so well-established that the Church felt the time had come for an organized attack, and in 1484 Pope Innocent VIII published his Bull against "Witches.' All through the 16th and 17th centuries the battle raged. The Pagans fought a gallant, though losing, fight against a remorseless and unscrupulous enemy; every inch of the field was disputed, but the Christian policy of obtaining influence over the rulers and law-givers was irresistible. Vae victis ["woe to the conquered"] was also the policy of the Christians, and we see the priests of the Papacy gloating over the thousands they had consigned to the flames while the ministers of the Reformed Churches hounded on the administrators of the law to condemn the "devil worshipers.' What could have been the feelings with which those unhappy victims regarded the vaunted God of Love, the Prince of Peace, whose votaries condemned them to torture and death? What wonder that they clung to their old faith, and died in agony unspeakable rather than deny their God".3 It should also be pointed out that the court recorders at the Witch trials were specifically instructed that, whatever gods or goddesses the accused actually claimed to worship, what went into the record was "Satan" or "The Devil". And what wonder if some of those who had come to believe the Biblical history taught them 2531 by the missionaries, monks and priests of the conquering faith, concluded that the story must have gotten it wrong somehow? That if there had indeed been a rebellion in heaven, it was clearly evident that the winner had not been the God of love and peace, as his propagandists claimed, but rather a God of cruelty and evil; of war and violence, wrath and jealousy. (This had, in fact, been an old Gnostic tradition.) The clear implication was that the defeated Lucifer must have been the good guy, and surely many must have swarmed to his allegiance in this belief. While true adherents of the Old Religions certainly knew better, and continued their faith entirely distinct from Christianity, there were surely, then as now, many ignorant people who were simply too unsophisticated or too illiterate to question the Christian paradigm once it became established. And thus did Satanism as a belief and a practice come into being, spawned by the Church, and forever to be locked together with it in a fatal embrace of mutual antagonism. Whether or not the persecuted peasantry who came to side with Satan against their oppressors thought of themselves as "Witches", the Church and the authorities of the Holy Inquisition certainly identified them as such: "The heart and centre of the persecution of Witches was that they were Satanists, that they had rejected the rightful God and given their allegiance to his arch-opponent, and that in their "sabbaths' or meetings they worshiped the ruler of evil, carnality and filth. Some of those accused as Witches do seem to have taken the Devil for their god, worshiping him as an equal opponent of the Christian God, over whom he would eventually triumph. They looked to Satan for power and pleasure in this world and for a happy future in the next, and they vilified Christ as a traitor and a cheat, who had made promises which he did not keep, and who had gone away to live in heaven while Satan remained with his faithful on earth".4 "The Witches and sorcerers of early times were a widely spread class who had retained the beliefs and traditions of heathenism with all its license and romance and charm of the forbidden. . . in their ranks every one who was oppressed or injured either by the nobility or the church. They were treated with indescribable cruelty, in most cases worse than beasts of burden, for they were outraged in all their feelings, not at intervals for punishment, but habitually by custom, and they revenged themselves by secret orgies and fancied devil-worship, and occult ties, and stupendous sins, or what they fancied were such. I can seriously conceive: what no writer seems to have considered: that there must have been an immense satisfaction in selling or giving one's self to the devil, or to any power which was at war with their oppressors. So they went by night, at the full moon, and sacrificed to Diana, or "later on' to Satan, and they danced and rebelled. It is very well worth noting that we have all our accounts of sorcerers and heretics from Catholic priests, who had every earthly reason for misrepresenting them, and did so. In the vast amount of ancient Witchcraft still surviving in Italy, there is not much anti- Christianity, but a great deal of early heathenism. Diana, not Satan, is still the real head of the Witches".5 Since Witchcraft is still little understood by the general public, whose images are shaped mostly by the popular media, Witches continue to be easy targets for persecution. It must be remembered that, in the previous episodes of Witchcraft persecution hysteria, it was the Witches who were the victims, not the Christians. Witches, and those con- veniently accused of being Witches, died by the millions during the terrible centuries of the holocaust they remember as "The Burning 2532 Times". They do not wish to repeat that experience today.6 Notes and References: 1. Jong, Erica, Witches (New American Library, New York,1981) p. 52 2. Zell, Morning Glory, "The Lord of Light", Green Egg, Vol. XXI, No. 82; Aug. 1, 1988 (POB 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482) p. 12 3. Murray, Margaret, The God of the Witches (Oxford Univ. Press, NY, 1931) pp. 21-22 4. Cavendish, Richard, "Satanism", Encyclopedia of Man, Myth and Magic, Vol. 18 (Marshall Cavendish, NY, 1970) p. 2479 5. Leland, Charles Godfrey, Legends of Florence, (David Nutt, London, 1896) 6. Guiley, Rosemary, Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft (Facts on File, NY, 1989) ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2533 WHERE THE HELL IS THE CHURCH OF ALL WORLDS WHERE WE'RE AT: The Church of All Worlds offers a religious position uniquely suited to the enlightened, inquiring modern mind. In harmony with the principles and conclusions of science, receptive to the values and wisdom of the ancients and the great religions of humanity, sensitive to the deep psychological and spiritual needs of all people, the Church of All Worlds aspires to be the kind of free, growing and unifying religion that today's and tomorrow's world so urgently needs. The Church of All Worlds is Neo-Pagan : a modern Earth Religion - an orientation chosen because of its traditional associations with Life and the processes of Nature, which we consider an appropriate religious orientation for the emerging Aquarian Age. As Western civilisation has been to a great degree the product of the past two thousand years of Piscean Age Chrisianity, so do we envision a new whole-Earth culture of transformative religious ecology to become the product of the next epoch of Aquarian Age Neo-Paganism. In common with many other Neo-Pagan religions, CAW presents a life-affirming religious philosophy for the joyous unification of eros, ethos and ecos; of cult, culture and cultivation. We consider the Church of All Worlds to be radically evolutionary in concept, rather than revolutionary. We see the evolution of Life on Earth as moving towards a point of actualisation whereby the entire planet will come to share a single vast global consciousness. We see humanity being instrumental in the course of that evolution. As humans seem to be the only creatures on the planet capable of disrupting entire ecosystems, it becomes our manifest responsibility through our unique freedom of choice to prevent such systems from being disrupted. We are not anti-technology or science, for we recognise that certain scientific and technological advances, such as ecology, geology, astronomy, psychology, archaeology, cybernetics, astrophysics, communications and the technology of the bio-renaissance can be positively evolutionary and in harmony with the accelerating advance of planetary consciousness. What we oppose is the senseless use of industrial technology to wreak havok with the planetary ecosystem, often in the name of the Biblical injunction that Man is to have "dominion over the Earth." We percieve our not as dominion, but as responsible stewardship. Applying evolutionary concepts to each individual, we agree with Erich Fromm that the purpose of life is "to become what we potentially are." We identify strongly with the concepts of human self-actualisation identified by Abraham Maslow and found in transpersonal psychology and ethics. Rejecting utterly concepts of predestination and inherent sin, we affirm the ultimate freedom and responsibility appropriate to conscious entities, which we express in the phrase "Thou Art God/dess," derived from Robert Heinlein's novel, 'Stranger in a Strange Land.' This implies that each one of us must define our own specific purpose. There is no excuse; no shelter from the awesome responsibility of total freedom. Recognising that all Life on Earth comprises a single vast living Entity, which has been intuitively conceptualised as a feminine from time immemorial, we are in harmony with our Pagan ancestors who worshipped The Goddess: Mother Earth, Mother Nature. Thus we also affirm 2534 mystically and mythically the pantheistic conceptualisation of immanent divinity inherent in all living entities, as synergic living Nature, for we define divinity as the highest level of aware consciousness acces- sible to each living being, manifesting itself in the self-actualisation of that being. Hence, "Thou Art God/dess" applies equally to a person, a tree, a grasshopper or a planet. As Neo-Pagans, we are concerned, not with life after death, but with life after birth. We have no dogmas of immortality, considering that whatever one believes about an afterlife, may very well be what one gets. We view death as an evolutionary prerequisite for the emergence of new life, and so we return the dead to the Earth, from which the elements of their energy and matter will eventually be recycled and reconstituted into the energy and matter of other life forms. Other than our ecological responsibility of returning to the Earth that which we have taken from Her, we are not concerned with dying, but with living. We are deeply concerned with improving the quality of that life, to which end we agree with population ecologists that its quantity (in sheer numbers of people) must be drastically reduced. Thus we are strongly supportive of the various measures of birth control advocated by such agencies as Planned Parenthood, including full legalisation of abortion. We greatly fear that if humanity does not choose to limit its numbers by reducing births, Nature will do it for us by increasing deaths. WHERE WE'RE GOING: The word 'Religion' means "re-linking." The basic committment of the Church of All Worlds is to the re-integration of people with themselves, their fellow humans, and with the whole of living Nature. In company with all other Pagan peoples, we create no artificial demarkations between the sacred and the secular, for we recognise that religion must ultimately be an entire way of life, not merely some ritual acts performed once a week. We are committed to developing an organic, vitalistic philosophy of life and its expression in an organic culture. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2535 To this end, then, the Church of All Worlds devotes itself to those who need or want the help and understanding through the processes of unlearning and learning. It is our aim to offer assistance through any personal expansion programs found to be effective. Furthermore, we intend to remain openminded and receptive to new ideas, interests and goals, and learn to live responsibly and responsively with each other. We advocate envolvement with every conceivable aspect of the emerging Gaian culture, from religious service and mythology to family relations and child rearing; from education to ecology; from psychic development to space travel; from the sensual to the sexual; from intentional communities to planetary government and world peace. "Nothing short of everything will ever really do." We are engaged in the eclectic reconstruction of ancient Nature religions, combining archetypes of many cultures with other mystic and spiritual disciplines. But we are not just trying to re-create a Paradise Lost; we are actively working to actualise a visionary future. With roots deep in the Earth and branches reaching towards the stars, we evoke and create myths not only of a Golden Age long past, but also of one yet to come... Since we are concerned with the emergent evolution of a total new culture and lifestyle, and since we perceive no distinction between the sacred and the secular, we consider every activity to be essentially a religious activity. For us, taking our cans and bottles to the recycling centre is as much a religious duty as prayer and meditation. And so are composting our garbage, growing organicl vegetables, practicing birth control, using bio-degradable products, boycotting tuna, training and study, protecting animals and celebration of the seasons. We recognise that the essence of a religion is in the living of it. WHERE WE CAME FROM: The Church of All Worlds traces its history back to 1962, when a "water brotherhood" called "Atl" was formed by Tim Zell and Lance Christie at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. During the mid 60's the group was centered on the University of Oklahoma campus at Norman and operated under the name "Atlan Foundation". A periodical "The Atlan Torch" (later "The Atlan Annals") was published from 1962-1968. In 1968, following a move to St. Louis, the Church of All Worlds was incorporated, becoming the first of the Neo-Pagan/Earth Religions to obtain full federal recognition. In March of that year, the Green Egg appeared. From its inauspicious beginnings as a one page ditto sheet, it grew over 80 issues into a 60 page journal, evolving into the most significant periodical in the Pagan movement during the 1970's. After a 10 year hiatus while the original staff moved to northern California to experience a life of homesteading in the mountain wilderness, the Green Egg resumed publication in 1988 with its 81st edition. The Church of All Worlds took much inspiration from the 1961 science fiction classic, 'Stranger in a Strange Land' by Robert Heinlein. In the novel, the stranger, Michael Valentine Smith, was an earthman born on Mars and raised by Martians. Among his other adventures upon being brought to earth was the formation of the "Church of All Worlds". The "Church" was built around "Nests," a combination of congregation and expanded family. A basic concept was "grokking" i.e. the ability to be fully empathic. It also emphasised the experience of co-equal love 2536 between sexes. The common greeting was "thou Art God;" as recognition of the immanent divinity in each person. The basic theology of the real-life Church of All Worlds is a form of pantheism which focusses on immanent rather than transcendant divinity. The most important theological statement came in the form of revelatory writings by Tim (now Otter) Zell in 1970-1973, on the theory which later became known as the "Gaia Thesis". This concept is a biological validation of an ancient intuition: that the planet is a single living organism; Mother Earth (Gaia). Pantheists hold as divine the living spirit of Nature. Thus to CAW recognises Gaia, Pan and other nature spirits as the Divine Pantheon. In this manner, the Church of All Worlds became a forerunner of the Deep Ecology movement. Though the Church maintains an egalitarian rather than matriarchal social structure, nevertheless, through its focus on Mother Nature as Goddess, its recognition and ordination of women to the priesthood, and the important central policy making positions held by women in the Church, CAW can rightly be held to be the first Eco-Feminist Church. We are not a secret or members only organisation, and we welcome partici- pation by all who are sincerely interested in our path regardless of race, sex, national or cultural origins or sexual preference. We support unity through diversity. Our only creed states: "The Church of All Worlds is dedicated to the celebration of life, the maximum actualisa- tion of human potential and the realisation of ultimate individual freedom and personal responsibility in harmonious eco-psychic relation- ship with the total Biosphere of Holy Mother Earth" Worship in the Church involves weekly or monthly meeting which are held usually in the homes of nest members on a rotational basis. The basic liturgical form is a Circle where members take turns in sharing their creativity. A chalice of water is always shared around the Circle either as the opening or closing of the ceremony. Other events are celebrated at the Church retreat sanctuary, a 55 acre parcel of land called "Annwfn" in Northern California. It is maintained by a small residential community of caretakers. In addition to various campfire and ritual areas, the land has several hand-built buildings including a two-storey temple, plus a garden, an orchard and a small pond. It has limited solar electricity, propane hot water and a radio telephone, but no TV. In addition to the eight Celtic seasonal festivals, we hold handfastings, vision quests, rites of passage, workshops, retreats, work parties, summer camps and staff meetings on the land. As in "Stranger in a Strange Land", congregations of the Church of All Workds are called nests, and quite a few are currently in existance around the world. See the latest issue of Green Egg for listings to find the nest nearest you. Over the years, the Church has founded a number of subsidiary branch orders through which we practice and teach our religion. These include: NEMETON - Founded in 1972 by Gwydion Pendderwen and Alison Harlow, this is the publishing arm. Tapes, records, songbooks, T-shirts, figurines, jewelery and philosophical tracts. Catalog $US 1. FOREVER FORESTS - Founded in 1977 by Gwydion Pendderwen, this is the Churches ecology branch. Sponsors tree planting rituals and environmental actions. Has stewardship of Annwfn, the Church 2537 land. ECOSOPHICAL RESEARCH ASSN - Founded in 1977 by Morning Glory Zell, the ERA is devoted to research and exploration in the fields of history, mythology, and natural sciences. LIFEWAYS - Founded in 1983 by Anodea Judith, this is the teaching order. Offers workshops, classes, healing rituals and training for the priesthood. PEACEFUL ORDER OF MOTHER EARTH - Founded 1n 1988 by Willowoak, POEM is dedicated to children and child nurturing. Provides enriching activities for children at gatherings, summer camps,and a quarterly childrens magazine, 'How About Magic?' FOR MORE INFORMATION: Director of Australian Operations, PO Box 408, Woden, ACT, 2606, AUSTRALIA. FAX (06) 299 4100 PHONE (06) 299 2432 What is Myth? This article appeared in Web of Wyrd #10, and is by Anna from Canberra. Mythology can be approached from various perspectives, such as anthropo- logical, sociological, folk-lorist, psychological and metaphysical. Our understanding of what myth is depends on the perspective we use. The folk-lorist is interested in the variety of myths and their spread with migrations of peoples. The anthropologists study myth as part of a peoples' culture. The sociologist is interested in how it helps society to function. The psychologist studies its effects on peoples' perspec- tives, and how it helps them cope with the world in which they live. The occultist and mystic regard it as a tool to help them achieve their aims, whether that be union with the divine, or a greater understanding of themselves and the divine within. Myth occurs in the history of most, if not all, human traditions and communities, and is a basic constituent of human culture. It occurs both with and without associated rites (though not all rites have myths associated with them). This paper discusses the purpose of myth, and how we may use myth more effectively in the magical context. Some definitions of myth: "Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energy of the cosmos pour through into human cultural manifestation." (Campbell: The Masks of God - Primitive Mythology) "Myth is a psychic phenomenon that reveals the nature of the soul." Jung: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious) "Myths are accounts about how the world came to be the 2538 way it is, about a super-ordinary realm of events before (or behind) the natural world." (Keesing: Cultural Anthropology - a Contemporary Perspective) "A myth is a statement about society and man's place in it and the surrounding universe." (Middleton: Myth and Cosmos) "Myth is a collective term used for one kind of symbolic communication and specifically indicates one basic form of religious symbolism, as distinguished from symbolic behaviour (cult, ritual) and symbolic places or objects (such as temples and icons). Myths are specific accounts concerning gods or superhuman beings and extraordinary events or circumstances at a time that is altogether different from that of ordinary human experience." (Encyclopaedia Britannica) From these definitions it can be seen that myth has two functions, esoteric and exoteric. The exoteric function is to: "...bind the individual to his family's system of historically-conditioned senti- ments, as a functioning member of a sociological organism." (Campbell: ibid) In this role myth is exploratory and narrative. An example is the North American tale: Old man saw a circle of cottontail rabbits singing and making medicine; they would lie in the ashes of a hot fire and sing while one of their number covered them up; it was lots of fun. Old Man asked to be shown how to do this, and was covered in the coals and ashes and was not burnt. Then he wanted to be the one to cover up the others, and all the rabbits jumped into the fire. Only one got out, who was about to have babies; Old Man let her go so that there would continue to be rabbits. She went off with a dark place on her back where she got singed, which all rabbits since have had. The others he roasted and laid on red willow brush to cool. The grease soaked into the branches and even today, if you hold red willow over a fire, you will see the grease on the bark. This myth is explanatory; it explains two observed features of the natural world. Another myth explains not the natural world, but the use man puts it to. This is an Ojibway myth explaining the origin of maize and man's use of it. To summarise this myth: a young man went to the forest to fast for seven days and search for his spirit guide or guardian. During this period he was visited by a richly-dressed handsome young man, sent by the Great Spirit, whom he had to wrestle, despite his weakness from his fast. Before the last time the visitor told him he would prevail this time, and gave him instructions: how to prepare the ground, how to bury his body, how to care for the ground after, and how to harvest the maize that would grow. This he did, so his people now have maize. This myth not only explains the origin of maize, but also gives instructions for planting, care and harvesting, thus ensuring that all the tribe know how to grow it, as well as learn where it came from. Other myths are justifying and validating, answering questions about the nature and foundation of ritual and cultic customs. An example is the Blackfoot myth about the origin of the Buffalo Dance. The Blackfeet hunt buffalo by chasing them over a cliff, but at one time they could not induce the animals to the fall, and the people were starving. A young woman, seeing a herd of buffalo near the edge of the fall said, "if you will only jump into the canal, I shall marry one of 2539 you." The buffalo did so, and a big bull came and carried her off. Her father came looking for her, but was trampled to pieces by the buffalo. The woman got a piece of his backbone and sang over it until his body was restored and he was alive again. The buffalo allowed the woman and her father to go, on condition that they learn the dance and song of the buffalo, and not forget them. For these would be the magical means by which the buffalo killed by the people for their food should be restored to life, just as the man killed by the buffalo was restored. This myth tells the people why they do the dance, and the consequences if they don't. It is also a piece of sympathetic magic designed to increase the fertility of the buffalo herds when the dance is performed. As such it gives them a sense of control over some of the important factors of their environment and indicates appropriate action if the buffalo do decline. Myths also have a descriptive function, explaining facts beyond normal reason and observation. Creation myths are an example. The Norse creation myth describes Niffleheim forming out of the Abyss, with ice to the north and fire to the south. From the melting ice where these two realms met formed a giant, Ymir, and a cow, Audmulla, who became the wet-nurse of the gods. From Ymir came the frost giants, and Audmulla's licking of the ice freed the progenitors of the gods, Odin, Vile and Ve. And so the myth goes on, describing the creation of the world, the gods and mankind. This myth does not describe or explain the world as it is, but how it came about in the first place. It is an explanation of something that man couldn't see or comprehend, that is beyond his knowledge and experience. One purpose of myth is to help tie a community together. When myth is expressed in ritual, it builds the community, or specific segments of it, together. An example is the Aborigines' use of myth in boys' initiation rites. Myths are revealed to the boys as part of their initiation to manhood; since the women and children do not know these mysteries, they serve to bind the men together, and important factor for a group that needs to hunt together. Myth gives a community a common framework, a common view of the world. The whole community has the same understanding of why the world is the way that it is. It also tells them how to behave in certain circumstances and why they should do so; why their society is structured the way that it is, and what will happen if they break cultural taboos. An example in our cultural context is the myth of David and Goliath. This myth tells us how to behave in a situation where we are faced with overwhelming odds. It teaches us courage rather than running away, and suggests an approach that can be used to cope with the situation. Myth provides the moral values of the culture. Many of our moral values, for example, come from the Christian myths. The story of David and Goliath is one reason why we revere courage. Murder and theft are regarded as wrong, evil, as the myth of Moses teaches us. The myth of Noah and the Ark tells us of the consequences of evil and righteousness. To summarise then, myth provides a guide for the individual throughout his 2540 life; one that aids him to live in health, strength, and harmony in the particular society in which he was born. Myth also has an esoteric function, which is almost the opposite of the exoteric function. Myth transforms the individual, detatching him from his local historical and cultural condition, and leading him to some kind of ineffable experience. It provides a bridge between an in- dividual's local consciousness and universal consciousness. Myth and rites constitute a mesocosm, a mediating middle cosmos through which the microcosm of the individual is brought into relation with the macrocosm of the all, the universe. Myth, "... fosters the centering and unfolding of the universe in integrity with himself (microcosm), his culture (mesocosm), the universe (macrocosm) and finally with the ultimate creative mystery that is both beyond and within himself and all things." (Houston: The Search for the Beloved) Myth bridges the gap between ourselves and godhead, providing a path that we may use to become aware of the cosmos, the godhead. In this context, R J Stewart describes creation myths not as explorations but as, "... resonant re-creations that echo the original creation... an organic timeless flow of images and narrative within which such questions [of the nature of the world] were by-passed altogether, for the 'answers' of such mythology come from deep levels of consciousness, in which universal patterns or intimations are apprehended." (Stewart: The Elements of Creation Myth) When we imagine a creation myth, irrespective of our belief or disbelief in the myth, we re-create or re-balance ourselves. Another function of myth is to act as a filter. The full, unadulterated experience of the universal consciousness is more than our minds are capable of holding, and there are those who went too far and fell into psychosis and other imbalances as a result. Myth provides a way of experiencing universal consciousness or godhead without it overwhelming us to the point where we cannot return to ourselves. There is an alternative way of looking at the esoteric levels of myth. C G Jung considers mythological processes to be, "symbolic expressions of the inner unconscious drama of the psyche which becomes accessible to man's consciousness by way of projection." (Jung: ibid.) He views the unconscious as having two levels; personal and collective. The personal unconscious contains experiences that have been forgotten, whereas the collective unconscious has contents and modes of behaviour that have never been through consciousness, and are more or less the same everywhere and in everyone. The contents of the collective unconscious are called archetypes.They are expressed in myth and fairy-tale in a specific form, but can also be experienced by the individual in a more naive and less understandable form as dreams and visions. An archetype is a memory deposit, derived from endless repetition of a typical situation in life. It is the psychic expression of an anatomi- cally physiologically determined natural tendency. Archetypes are normally referred to as figures; the wise old man, the mother, the trickster. However, they also include experiences, of which an example is the birth experience. Everyone goes through this experience, so it has made a strong imprint on the collective unconscious. As a result, rebirth experiences are a very powerful mythic image, and form the core of initiation rites and the process of becoming a shaman. 2541 For example, as part of his initiation into manhood, and Arandan boy, after the trauma of circumcision (which mirrors the birth trauma), stands in the smoke of a fire, a repetition of the smoking he underwent as soon as he was born. Similarly, many shamans, ind escribing the experience that made them a shaman, report being swallowed or eaten by an animal or spirit person, then being reborn. Taking on a new name at initiation is an outward symbol of the rebirth that has occurred. Archetypes have given rise to the eternal images in myth and religion. These are meant to attract, convince, fascinate, overpower. They give man an experience of the divine, while at the same time protecting him from being completely overwhelmed. In this sense, archetypes and mythic images are the same; they are both the gateway for this experience of the divine. They are an image or a reflection of a god or goddess, but are not the divine itself. In the Greek creation myth Gaea is the archetype of the earth mother, the image of that aspect of godhead; the image that allows us to reach out and touch that aspect of godhead. However the mythic image of Gaea, the archetype image from the myth, is not actually godhead itself. Both are filters, not the actuality. Jung sees archetypes as having psychological as well as metaphysical significance. In our daily lives our attention is focused outwards to deal with the world, and we lose contact with our inner world, powers in our psyche such as creativity. Myth is a means to bring us back in touch with these inward forces. When archetypes are activated in our lives we have two choices: either let the archetype have its way irrespective of other factors, or block it, producing a conflict that leads to neurosis. Jung sees the symbols of modern psychology analogous to those of myth, and considers that we have replaced myth by psychology. We have done so as a result of a growing impoverishment of symbols; as our culture has become more scientific and rational, we have analysed our cultural mythic symbols until they have appeared to die, leaving us with a culture that seems superficial to many. Some individuals have coped with this by turning to the myths of other cultures, leading to the popularity of eastern philosophy in western culture. Others haven't coped at all, hence the increased violence, crime, despair, suicide, and so on, of our culture. Some are developing new modern myths, imspired by visions such as the blue-green jewel of the earth seen from space. Because myth is a means of regeneration for both the individual and the group, this turning to old myths, to myths of other cultures and to new myths coming out of our culture is seen by people such as Campbell as the beginning of a new age, a rebirth of mankind. Whether this is so remains to be seen. What does this teach us about the use of myth in magic? What we often do in Wicca is to take an old myth and apply it or adapt it in some way for our use in ritual. Understanding the distinction between the two levels of myth, exoteric and esoteric, aids in this adaptation. To modify a myth for use in ritual, those aspects of the myth relating only to the exoteric, ie the explanatory and justifying aspects, can be excluded with impunity. However, those aspects relating to the esoteric function (some, of course, may relate to both) cannot be excluded or modified 2542 without changing or destroying the myth's ability to take us beyond ourselves and towards the universal consciousness. Another aspect to consider is how this journey to universal conscious- ness is achieved. To experience myth fully requires the willing suspension of disbelief. Logic is set aside, imagination comes into play, and the masks used change from the symbolic to the actuality. Enactment of the myth becomes, not people masked and dressed up, but reality itself. Children do this easily; to a child playing, a piece of wood is a person or a horse, to the extent that the child can become terrified of a piece of wood that at the beginning of the game he or she pretended was a monster. To the adult westerner with his developed rational mind this is more difficult, and much of western occult training is aimed at attaining this child-like state of experiencing the world and myth again. Meditation stills the active mind. Visualisation and imagination create the symbols, the game, the mythic images. Ritual gives the images life, enacting the myth so that it might impact upon the individual. Con- centration maintains the images long enough that the desired effect is attained. The result: contact with, and experience of, universal consciousness. Finally, the fate of our cultural myths warns us of a danger that lies in wait with the myths we use. The mind is a powerful tool that is very useful in magic; eg, it can prevent us from falling into the trap of self-delusion. However, abuse of the mind in relation to myths can be destructive. Myths are experiential. If we analyse and explain away the myths we use in the same way our culture has recently done with its own myths, we run the risk of devaluing them to the extent that they no longer have an impact on us and can no longer be used effectively to touch godhead. References Campbell J: "The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology" (Penguin Books, New York, 1969) "Myths to Live By" (Bantam Books, New York, 1972) Encycopaedia Britannica, vol 12, macropaedia, 15th edition,1978 Houston J: "The Search for the Beloved. Journeys in Mythology and Sacred Psychology" (Jeremy P Tarcher Inc., Los Angeles, 1987) Jung C G: "The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious" (Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, New York,1969) Keesing RM: "Cultural Anthropology: a Contemporary Perspective"(Halt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1976) Middleton J: "Myth and Cosmos: Readings in Mythology and Symbolism" (University of Texas Press, London, 1967) Stewart RJ: "The Elements of Creation Myth" (Element Books Ltd, Longmead, 1989) "Magical Tales: the Story-telling Tradition" (Aquarian Press, London, 1990) ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2543 Generic Pagan Funeral for a Elder Woman By: She-Wolf (as written, to be conducted by a group of Priestess, Priest, chief mourner and possibly other coven members as attendants, i.e. ushers.) The room (perhaps of a funeral home) is decorated with evergreen boughs and roses. This supposes there is a casket, but may be adapted if there is a picture only of the deceased. Before anyone comes into the room, the priest and priestess may cast a circle, summon the quarters and invoke the Lady and Lord. As the mourners enter, they will be greeted at the door (and portal to the circle) by the Priest and Priestess. When all are seated, the priestess begins. PRIESTESS: (adapted from the "Decent of the Goddess," in the Farrars' Witches Bible Complete ) There are three great events in the life of a person: love, death and resurrection to a new life. Of these love is the most important. For by love and in fulfillment of it, we may again be joined with our families and friends, remembering and loving them again. Death cannot take away love or our loved ones. Without love there is no birth, without birth no death, without death no rebirth. This is the miracle of love. PRIEST: -------(name of Chief mourner, here a son), loving son, all here feel your sorrow and with you honor --------(name of deceased). Nearest relative or chief mourner tells about the persons life and accomplishments. Others may speak also. When this is finished, the priest continues. PRIEST:(adapted from memorial service of "Magical rites from the Crystal Well") For a while we have lost one who is dear to us, but it is only for a time and we should not be sorrowful. There is a reason to be here and a reason to go when we have fulfilled the tasks of a life's work. Dying is only a way of forgetting, of resting, of returning to the eternal source to be renewed and made strong. PRIESTESS:(adapted from the rite of the Three-Fold-Goddess in the Witches Bible) Behold a woman who has been three women. First a girl full of dreams and hope. Then a mother who brought forth life and gave love. Finally an elder, rich in knowledge and experience. Her journey is ended and a new one begun. Let us bid her farewell and entreat all her loved ones who have gone before her to greet and guide her on her way. The priest may then instruct the mourners to bid a personal farewell if they desire, then proceed to the foyer or otherwise outside the room. 2544 This is the traditional time to play the departed loved one's favorite song or hymn. Again, some attendant should be at the portal to see all out of the circle. The priest, priestess and perhaps the chief mourner may then thank the Gods, release the quarters and open the circle. Some refreshment in the outer area might be available to help the people ground a bit. The pall bearers may then return and carry the casket to the conveyance. At the grave side, salt or ashes, water and wine, and aromatic oil may have been poured to bless the site. "We wish you all love and happiness. Do not forget us. We will not forget you. We find our peace and hope in the sure and certain knowledge that we shall meet again and at that time we will celebrate in perfect love." After the casket is lowered, the chief mourner throws earth upon the grave. This is again a traditional time for all to eat together. This helps in grounding. CAW Contacts Tue 21 Dec 93 20:58 By: Irv Koch Copied from "Nesting Notes" in GREEN EGG Winter '93-94 (Issue # 103) Accuracy NOT guaranteed: contact Nest Coordinator, Tony Navarra, 692 SanJose Ave #6, SanFrancisco, CA 94110; 415-282-1872 or Voicemail at 510-549-7745 or e-mail (responds slow) at navarra@well.sf.ca.us to further confuse the issues. (Newletters -- samples = $2 standard). This may be "freqed" as CAWNEST1.txt (see below re complete set). CAW OZ HQ (DRAGONSONG), Anthorr & Fiona Nomchong, Box 408, Woden, ACT 2606 Australia; 06-299-2432 or Fax 299-4100. Draconis Nest (DRAGONSONG), Bunz, 5 Sollya Pl, Rivett, ACT 2606 Australia; 06-288-8732. Ectopia Nest (ECTOPIA NEST NEWS), Aeona Silversong, Box 335, Redwood Valley, CA 95470; 707-485-0098. Eleusis, c/o Carrie McMaster, Box 300762, Arlington, TX 76007; (This is Dallas-FtWorth) 817-827-1218. Fog City (THE FOGHORN), Don Eigenhauser, 756A 12th Av, SanFrancisco, CA 94118; 415-751-4009. Holy Oak Nest,Paul Moonoak,Box12625,Gainesville,FL32604;904-472-9395. Home (GREEN SPIRIT), Gerald Osgood, 1/105 Washington St, Vic Park, WA 6100. Hornet's (THE ELEMENTAL), Helen & Quinton Phillips, 13 Reiby St, Newton, NSW. Ides Nest (IDOL CHATTER), Melissa Ellen Penn, 2140 Shattuck Av, Box 2093, Berkely, CA 94704; 510-549-9606. 2545 Lake Nest Monsters, Willowoak Ishtarwood, Box 5277, Clearlake, CA 95422; 707-994-1742. MACAW Nest (VOICE OF THE HERETICS), Kris Jensen, Box24124, Milwaukee, WI 53224; 414-357-6571. Moon-in-Redwoods Nest (MIR NEWS), Eric HeBert, Box2610,McKinleyville, CA 95221; 707-839-6113. Osprey Protonest, 855 Leesburg Ct, Huntington,MD 20639; 301-855-9479. South SF Bay & San Jose, CA, Jeff Williams; 408-378-5173. Our Lady of the Lakes Nest (WAVE INTERSECTIONS), Tess Kolney, Box 80792, Minn., MN 55408; 612-824-2893. Outpost (OUTPOSTULATE), c/o Danae, 86223 Franklin Blvd, Eugene, OR 97405; 503-744-2517. Primeval Soup, Carline Tully, 7 Turner St, East Malvern, VIC 3145, Australia; 03-751-9385. Star City Sanctuary (CORONA), Avilynn Waters, 20851 ShermanWay #101, Canoga Park, CA 91306; 818-888-NEST. Two Rivers Nest (BARSOON FISH 'RAP), Wilma McCann, 4247 Sloan Dr, N. Highlands, CA 95660; 916-344-9561. Triskelion (CROWINGS ON), Larry Cornett, 10310 Main St #110, Fairfax, VA 22030; 703-904-8559(VoiceMail). E-mail: torin@netcom.com Valley of the Moon Nest (The LUNATIC FRINGE), Dragon Singing, Box 5622, Santa Rosa, CA 95402. Amber Agawela, 601 Brown Tr #421, Hurst, TX 76053-5754. Chane Alvarez, Box 11183, Huntsville, AL 35814; 205-837-7628. Inanna Arthen, Box 1233, Pepperell, MA 01463. Gabriele, 335 NW 19th Ave #352, Portland, OR 97209; 503-335-0975. David Hall, 2111 Lido Cr, Stockton, CA 95207; 209-474-7421. Damien Markland, Box 2135, Crescent City, CA 94431. Kathryn Millar, Box 138,Gabriola Is, BC, VOR 1XO Canada;604-247-8929. Parris McBride, 102 San Salvador, Santa Fe, NM 87501. John Percy, 1137 Borden St #202, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1V6, Canada. Diana Parr, 7717 Brashear St #2, Pittsburg, PA 15221; 412-371-7065. Silver Ravenwolf, Box 1392, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; 717-432-9118. Paul Shumway, 239 1/2 W.Mulberry, Lancaster, OH 43130; 614-654-5061. Jeanmarie Simpson, 454 Glenmanor Dr, Reno, NV 89509; 702-786-3969. "Mr Bill" Stewart, Box 24731, Winston-Salem, NC 27114; 919-723-8024. Silva Viridis Thorne, Box 8853, Atlanta, GA 30306; 404-522-2131. Brett Culloden/Les Kiss, 6/L15 Leichardt St, Bronte, NSW 2113; 02-387-2923. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2546 Electronic CAW (Draft1 for SCARLET FLAME) Sat 18 Dec 93 21:22 By: Irv Koch When Triskelion Nest et al imported or diverted Otter up here for our Summer's End festival this past Oct/Nov, I in turn diverted him to my apt. and put him online to the International CAW "echo" on computer bulletin board systems. As a result I was to do a more extensive article on BBSes, Internet, and the like, with a shorter version directed at the membership, here. Events have been moving faster than I am, so this is just the basics of what is already happening and what, in my opinion (and there seems to be a lot of agreement) NEEDS to happen. The overall object of the entire exercise is for every CAW nest and activity to have a reasonably stable internet AND PODS phone number. These should be listed in SCARLET FLAME (not necessarily GREEN EGG) and used so ALL OF CAW can TALK TO EACH other, with only a few days "lag" as opposed to trying to pile the world on the shoulders of one small group putting out the central publications quarterly. This is BY FAR the fastest, least effort, way to meet the challenge of everyone outside Northern California tending to be isolated. It is also the easiest, SAFEST, way to growth of the membership while still acculturating and assimilating new persons, not being overrun in such a way as to change the character of the organization. It not only can be used to conduct national business, in a way, ADF and other groups are already doing it to some extent. If you don't understand the following, wait for the main article. If you do have a computer with a modem, just "go for it." There are plenty of computer experts who love people who listen to them. Once you get online at all, there are even more, if you ask politely. If you have access to the Internet, and can get alt.religion.all-worlds then you have found CAW. Reports say that it's rarely posted to. You can change that by posting. Introduce yourself as a CAW member, ask a question or talk about what you're doing or want to do in CAW. It can build fast. Non-members will be drawn in to the discussion and even if they never join, if we can get 100 people -- and remember this is worldwide so you have access to many thousands -- this "newsgroup" can be moved to the main "rel" "hierarchy" and accessible by incredible numbers. And, for some reason the culture of the net tends to favor tolerance. Access to "THE net," however, isn't always easy to come by. Access to BBSes usually, more or less, is. Like pagan (or sf fan) publications, once you find one, it will lead you to many others. The object of your game here is to find one of the "fidonet TYPE," that either belongs to a network called PODS (Pagan Occult Distribution System) or is willing to join. Then you politely ask them to carry the CAW "echo" if they don't already. It's currently a hot item on PODS so that shouldn't be a problem. This operation, thanks to Bunz of OZ CAW and others is already a going 2547 operation. Bunz and myself are also building sets of downloadable files such as the bylaws, application, nesting-notes, other new member, and general information about CAW. (And we need help, people to furnish us ASCII copies of such stuff. It doesn't make any difference if it was created on a Macintosh, PC, or school Vax -- if you can get it into ASCII and fire it at either of our boards or any similar site, it is available to the world MUCH easier than people having to phone or mail someone and wait for the person to be available to stuff the material into the mail.) It's looking like we'll see 1 - 3 protonests formed in the next year or so, JUST from people who became interested by the Aussies and a few of us up here chatting, and already having Dancing Hummingbird's old electronic copy of the CAW application online. These new people will likely be knowledgeable stable types also, not your suburban kid cruising for new groups to play in. Because these, unlike internet, are systems sitting in people's homes, possible targets of attacks, in some cases for reasons having nothing to do with beliefs, I'm not yet ready to list any system phone numbers besides my own. Some sysops don't want it. The following, however, are the Fidonet (more universal) addresses of PODS systems either known to be interested in the CAW echo or good candidates. Therefore if you can find ANY nearby Fidonet system (and they're EVERYwhere) and are VERY nice to the sysop, they can find you the phone number. Of course, if you dial in to a Fidonet system and they are spouting hellfire and brimstone -- you won't ask THAT sysop. (On the other hand, if you find a Fidonet system where half the people are talking Hebrew (but not Yiddish), there's a fair chance they're ALSO a PODS system -- go figure.) Also, all Fidonet addresses convert into internet e-mail-only addresses, thus: My own BBS is 1:109/629 so to get me by normal internet, you send to Irv.Koch@f629.n109.z1.fidonet.org The board is 703-354-4176 if you want to dial straight in (Washington, DC area). Contact me one way or another and I can give leads on your area. CAW Central OZ and Draconis Nest, Bunz (Ian Metcalfe), Anthorr Nomchong, et al in Canberra= 3:620/259 Hornets Proto-nest, Quintin & Helen Phillips in Werrington Co, NSW= 3:713/805 Primeval Soup Proto-nest, Nigel Cooper and Caroline Tully in Melbourne= 3:632/360 Home Proto-nest, Gerald Osgood in Perth=3:690/115 So far only Ian, Anthorr, and Quintin have equipment to call in; the others may or may not be reachable, yet, indirectly, but have systems near them, as listed. Cary/Raleigh, NC = 1:151/186 (also possible "gate" to WWIVnet and Virtualnet) Reno/OKC-North, OK = 1:147/1701 2548 Providence, RI = 1:323/101 Millington/Memphis, TN = 1:123/422 (REALLY good) Cincinatti, OH = 1:108/215 SanDiego, CA = 1:202/909 Oakland, CA= 1:125/33 (Also the Buddhist net HQ) San Francisco, CA = 1:125/28 (not a sure bet) Fairfield, CA = 1:161/609 (not a sure bet) Aurora/Denver, CO = 1:104/680 ("DarkLing," #2 in PODS, pretty much has sworn to do "anything which contributes to Pagan BBS networking") Austin, TX = 1:382/502 (Chuck Haynes, PODS HQ) NorthMetro, NJ = 1:107/585 (very helpful) KC, MO = 1:280/89 There is, reportedly, a third type network with a CAW "sub" in opera- tion: WWIVnet. Work is proceeding on linking it to PODS, and the PODS online CAW to the one on Internet. Then it won't matter which you can access as what you say on one will show up on all, and you'll get answers from all. If you're on WWIVnet, ask for "Subtype 5303 Host 5303 from Mind Game BBS." Last, you can send e-mail to people in CAW FROM BBSes (ask the Sysop) as well as from Internet, and they mail back, even if they aren't on a BBS or directly on the Internet. Here are some key addresses: GREEN EGG, Otter, etc. = 5878037@mcimail.com Tony Navarra,Nest Coord. = navarra@well.sf.ca.us Quintin (in OZ) = elemental@peg.pegasus.oz.au Triskelion/Torin = c-a-w@netcom.com or torin@netcom.com ... willing/able to be an FTP site! Eric HeBert (nest, Chaplain project, etc.) = 5986758@mcimail.com [The previously published addresses will NOT work from outside MCI's piece of the net. Use ONLY this format when sending to someone on MCImail. There is also a trick for Compuserv, besides converting the comma to a period, but I haven't figured it out yet. If you're sending FROM Bitnet, enclose the whole address in braces thus: {Irv.Koch@f629.n109.z1.fidonet.org}:internet Sending TO "Bitnet" is a normal path name however it may NOT be the one your recipient is used to. Gates. Have them ask their Sysadmin.] Don't be surprised if this is only the first in a series of stuff about Electronic CAW. /s/ Sysop of Ice Fire (where Hell DOES freeze over?) ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2549 Ghosts of Christmas Past by Eric Maple Every December 25th the normally phlegmatic British let down their hair and plunge into an orgy of fun which one would normally associate with the people of more exuberant nations. Complete strangers wish one another a Happy Christmas as a parting greeting and the public houses are filled with revellers strenuously keeping up the spirit of the season of goodwill. Few of these light-hearted souls will be aware that the celebration of Christmas had its origins in the pagan worship of the Sun or, for that matter, that the funny hats, the evergreens and the festive board have nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, but rather with the older gods worshipped by our ancestors in the twilight world of pre-Christmas Europe. It is strange to consider that the presence of pork on the Christmas table and the custom of carrying in the boar's head was once associated with the sacrifice of a sacred Boar to the Sun god. At the festival of Frey, the dispenser of rain and sunshine in the mythology of Northern Europe, a boar was a good luck offering for the New Year and its head, with an apple in its mouth, was borne into the banqueting-hall amid singing and the sound of welcoming trumpets. Later in history, the boar's head gave way to the goose and the turkey. But where this custom survives, it should be seen as one of the many curious ghosts of Christmas past. Consider the evergreens and their modern counterparts: the paper- -chains which festoon the house at Christmastide. The evergreen was once the symbol of immortality, declared sacred to the Teutonic nations, and given pride of place in celebrations associated with the Winter Sol- stice from which our modern Christmas is descended. As a symbol, the evergreen means constancy and eternity, and even in the Orient we find that it expresses a similar idea, for the Japanese believe the evergreen needle brings longevity and prosperity. The holly, especially, brings happiness and friendship, but if kept in the house after New Year's Day misfortune is ordained. Generally speaking, however, all evergreens must be taken down by Twelfth Night-- then all will be well. When we look around the room that has been decked with the regalia of the Christmas party our eyes inevitably settle on one of the focal points, the mistletoe. In pagan times, it was customary to celebrate the death of the old year and the birth of the new by kissing under the mistletoe's berries. Old enemies were then expected to forget their quarrels and take a ceremonial kiss, promising to live in amity from that time forth. It is not generally known that the mistletoe became a powerful life symbol because it grew' berries in winter when other plant life seemed dead. Once known as All Heal, it was employed as an ingredient in many folk medicines. It was the golden bough of the ancient Druids and, because of its association with sacrificial ceremonies, was outlawed by the Church as an emblem of paganism. 2550 Oddly enough, the sole exception was York Minster where a sprig of mistletoe was placed on the altar each Christmas. A general pardon for crimes remained in force throughout that city for as long as it remained there. The central symbol of the Christmas scene, the evergreen Christmas tree, had its origins in Germany where St Boniface cut down a sacred oak which was worshipped by the pagans and, to placate them, offered a fir tree in its place. However, later research indicates that traces of a similar custom existed in other lands, notably Greece and Rome, where trees were decorated at the time of year later dedicated to Christmas. There is also reason for believing that the same or a similar custom was known in ancient Egypt. The mystical heritage of Christmas is very strongly represented in one of the principal characters in the celebrations, Santa Claus, the embodiment of the spirit of goodwill. The name Santa Claus is in fact a corruption of the fifth century St Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, who was honoured with special ceremonies by the Greeks and Romans on December 6th, later changed to December 25th. This distinctly un- ghostlike genus of happiness was a 'reincar- nation' of Odin, God of the Scandinavians who, on the conversion of Northern Europe to Christianity, was transformed first into St Nicholas and later into the modern Father Christmas. Christmas has no equal as a religious feast; it is the most important as well as the most enjoyable festival of the entire year. Yet even the good things spread out on the table have their religious aspects, particularly the mince-pies which were originally fashioned in the shape of small cribs in honour of the Christ Child. Among the superstitions associated with mince-pies is one which demands that the Christmas reveller makes a pilgrimage among his neighbours and friends demanding the gift of a mince-pie wherever he calls. For each one eaten, so goes the tradition, the visitor may expect a month's good health for the ensuing year. Originally, mince-pies contained a far more potent filling than mere mincemeat. They were stuffed with flesh of game hashed together with pickled mushrooms. One should always make a wish when taking the first bite of the first mince-pie of the season. The Christmas pudding qualifies as a magical ritual in its own own right, for it is surrounded by the most curious ceremonies. Prior to the 18th century the pudding was known as Plum Porage and was a concoction of plums, spices, wines, meat broth and breadcrumbs. It was eaten in a semi-liquid state and only later in its history were the plums replaced by raisins. To preserve good luck, the pudding should be stirred deasil or clockwise: a ceremony known to most psychic cooks. Lucky charms and silver coins have to be incorporated in the mix to bring good fortune to the eater, usually a silver coin, a silver thimble and a ring, with the following meanings: the silver coin brings good luck; the ring promises a happy marriage to the girl who finds it; while the thimble hints that she is likely to remain a spinster. 2551 The most interesting feature of Christmas pudding lore is the custom of setting fire to the brandy, so that the pudding can be brought to the table all aflame. This is a curious reminder that in ancient times special fires were lit at the midwinter feast to honour the Sun god. One ghost which has been finally exorcised from the Christmas scene is the Dumb Cake which in times past was prepared by single girls for consumption on Christmas Eve. Its ingredients were salt, wheatmeal and barley, and it had to be baked in complete silence. It was carefully placed in the oven and the front door opened precisely at midnight. The spectre of the girl's future husband was expected to enter the house at that time and march into the kitchen to turn the cake. In some areas the cook would prick her initials on the cake and in due course her future husband would materialise to add his initials to hers. Alas, this custom seems to have vanished for ever. The modern Christmas cake is still with us. It is supposed to have originated with a cake presented by the people of ancient Rome to their senators. A custom among Scots demanded that the cook should rise in the early hours of Christmas Day and bake sowen (oatmeal) cakes. These were distributed to the family at Hogmanay. If a cake happened to break, bad luck followed, but if it remained unbroken the eater could look forward to a Happy New Year. Although there is no clear-cut tradition that Christmas Day was ever associated with the giving of presents prior to modern times, it is known that a similar custom was observed by the Romans on New Year's Day. The Roman gift would have been a goodwill symbol only, consisting of branches of evergreen, but in time the presents became more lavish. Many of the enjoyable rituals which involve our lives at Christmas time are but the shadow survivals or 'ghosts' of very ancient customs performed around the close of the old year and the birth of the new, and the feast of fire celebrated at the time of the Winter Solstice to honour the Sun god. But the season of fire and light, as it is sometimes called, would be nothing without the Yule-log,for Christmas is also known as Yule, which was the Scandinavian feast of the Winter Solstice. In the days of old, an oak log was cut down on Yule Eve, and borne with much ceremony into the house and rolled onto the huge fire that was to burn during the days of the Nativity, especially Christmas Day. Little did the pious Christians of the medieval world realise that originally it had been burned in honour of the god Thor and represented the sacred element: fire. No doubt it was due to this association with the old gods that the hearth fire at Christmas assumed the important role which it retained until the advent of artificial forms of heating. The hearth was the centre for the telling of Christmas ghost stories and for those curious superstitions relating to the mysteries of fire. Throughout Northern Europe there were traditions that the family ghosts returned at Christmas time to share the festival with their living relatives. In Brittany there was the custom of leaving food for the ghosts while the family attended church. In Scandinavia, stories were told of trolls (who were ogres not ghosts) returning at this 2552 season to rattle the window-panes. In the British Isles there were contradictory beliefs, some people thought, erroneously, that no ghost had power to haunt during the Christmas season. It is when the light is extinguished save for the glowing embers that the ghost-story teller comes into his own and, surrounded by the family, describes some ancient haunting which is calculated to chill the blood of his listeners. Traditional hauntings include the posthumous adventures of Anne Boleyn who haunts her old homes during the Christmas season. Her ghost has been reported at Rochford Hall in Essex and Hever Castle in Kent, wandering headless during the 12 days of the festival. There are a number of cheerless proverbs which surface at the season of goodwill, as when someone observes, 'A green Christmas brings a full church-yard,' possibly to counteract any excessive exuberance among the party. However, the children turn to less ghostly rituals, including divination to discover the future. Each of them cuts an apple and counts the pips. The one whose apple has the most pips can look forward to the most happiness in the 12 months ahead. And so young and old join in quiet communion with Christmas- es past, present and future, united in quaint ceremonies whose origins are lost in history - a celebration presided over by ancestral spirits who have been lured into the home from outer darkness by the glow of the pagan fire. A Yule Mythos The Bard Thu 23 Dec 93 From "The Mystery of the Bards: The Book of the Fool" --------------------------------------------------------------- "Hey! Wake up there!" The Fool opened His eyes, stretched, and rolled over on the soft grass of the Summerland. "I suppose you're talking to me?" he murmured. "I certainly am!" The Lady, shimmering in Her Aspect as the Goddess of Love, smiled at Him. Had He been human, that smile would have sent Him into a transport of happiness. As it was, He felt a little shiver of joy run on catfeet down his spine. "What's up?" He got to His feet, brushing back his hair. "What's up? WHAT'S UP?" The Lady looked at Him in disbelief. "Dummy! It's almost Your birthday!" The Fool looked puzzled for a moment. "My birthday? I thought We have been....for always. We don't -have- birthdays, do we?" The Lady grinned, shifting into the Nymph for a delightful moment. "No, we don't, but Humanity likes to give Us birthday parties, and yours is probably the biggest.....so you need to get moving!" "So I do! And this Aspect is probably one of my favorites!" The Fool jumped in the air, landing on His hands in a perfect handstand with a jingling of bells. Then he took His hands off the ground, and hung suspended, upside down, in mid-air. One leg was folded at the knee. "Can You stand on Your head?" He grinned. "Not with -this- dress on!" She laughed. 2553 Humming a tuneless melody. the Fool strode thru Summerland, and thru the cloudy space between the Worlds of the MultiVerse, finally ending up on a small, very green-and-blue planet that the natives called "the Earth." "It's My Birthday a-comin'!" He shouted, and there was a stirring, and a movement. The Life that was locked in the grip of Winter remembered that Spring would come, as it always will, and the half of the world that was in Summer gave a little quiver of happiness. He went to a Place, and put on the suit, and the Aspect to fit it. He hitched the nine animals to His sleigh, grooming them with loving hands. Then He loaded it with gifts for all the people of the Earth. He was helped by quite a lot of the smaller elves, who found the game most enjoyable. Most of these gifts were toys, but many of them were practical, useful things. Some, like Love, and Peace, and Happiness, were quite insubstantial....but they were His Gifts nonetheless. He laughed. No longer slim, but chunky (if not fat), and dressed in a red suit lined with white fur, His laughter was a "Ho! Ho! Ho!" of gladness that rolled over the Earth. He spent the next instant of Time ("And what a clever concept Time is," He thought in self-congratulation) delivering His gifts, riding the sleigh to the music of tiny bells thru the Night. "Good Yule! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukka! Io Saturnalia! Hail Mithras! Welcome Cernunnos!" He shouted. "And a Happy Birthday to Me," He added under His breath, with a grin. He landed the sleigh, and unhitched His animals. Each one was Named, and each one nuzzled Him as an old friend. The last was younger then the rest, and full of energy, bounding across the Place like a puppy in a warm kitchen. The red light from his nose reflected on the snow, and gave a joyful light that lit the sky in a glowing aurora. The Fool laughed at the sight, and hung up His suit, and took off the Aspect, and returned to the Summerland over the paths He knew so well. "Well," She said, "Did everything go all right?" The Fool leaned back against a tree and watched a butterfly land on His nose. "Yep. Got all My presents delivered. Did the usual sleigh-and-reindeer thing with the red suit and all.....great fun! I sure like to see the children happy." "Well, You sure are bass-ackwards sometimes!" The Lady shook Her finger at Him in mock anger. "Huh? Whattya mean?" The Fool was puzzled. "Well....everybody else -gets- presents for their birthdays. You gotta reverse it and give presents away!" The Fool giggled, and said, "That's my Nature, dearest. By the way, your fly's open." The Lady looked down and reached to zip up Her fly, and then did a perfect double-take. "But....I don't -have- a fly!" And the Fool leaned back against the World Tree and laughed and laughed and laughed. Thus it was, and so it is, and evermore shall be so! --------------------------------------------------------------- ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2554 The following is from The Mysts of Annwfn Book of Shadows, and appeared in NightScapes Vol. 1, No. 5 (a journal of Magick, Paganism and the Occult). Subscriptions are $13.00 a year/six issues, sample copy $3.00. Write to: NightScapes, P.O. Box 4559, Mesa, AZ 85211-4559. Phone: (602) 898-3551. Information about The Mysts of Annwfn (who publishes NightScapes), can also be obtained by contacting the above information. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2555 THE LEGEND OF THE MAIDEN The Mysts of Annwfn Book of Shadows In Ages long past, the lovely Lady Brighid came to Hibernia to dwell in that land among her people. She brought to them many special treasures from the Outer Realms to enrich their lives. She gave them the art of Smithcraft, Poetry, and Inspiration. Brighid also shared a sacred Cauldron that overflowed with inspiration and love. She was adept at the healing arts, and in the Magick of Medicine. Her people loved her deeply, and kindled a fire in her honor which was constantly attended by nineteen maidens, and was never allowed to go out. The Lady Brighid eventually became a mother, and her people rejoiced, knowing their lands would be fruitful just as their Goddess was fertile. However, Brighid also knew the misery of loss. When one of her beloved sons was killed, the whole land wept. She lamented so deeply that she invented "keening," the mournful song of the bereaved women of Erin. Her Flame burned so brightly, however, that happiness soon returned to the land. She bestowed upon her people, yet, another gift: The Art of Whistling. However, in the fullness of time, the beloved Lady could no longer dwell openly with her people, and she made her home in the Sidhe. There, she would dwell close to her people and her land, and they could call upon her name at the appointed times, and keep her Flame burning within their hearts. The Eternal Flame continues to burn! ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2556 The following ritual derives from The Mysts of Annwfn Book of Shadows, and was publicly conducted by Goddess Moon Rising Coven in San Diego, Ca. on Imbolg, 1988, and by The Mysts of Annwfn Coven in Mesa, Az. at Pagan Arizona Network's Imbolg celebration in 1993. This ritual appeared in NightScapes, Vol. 1, No. 5 (a journal of Magick, Paganism and the Occult). Subscriptions are $13.00 a year/six issues, sample copy $3.00. Write to: NightScapes, P.O. Box 4559, Mesa, Az 85211-4559. Phone (602) 898-3551. Information on The Mysts of Annwfn (who publishes NightScapes), may also be obtained by contacting the above information. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2557 CANDLEMAS RITUAL Mysts of Annwfn Book of Shadows The following ritual calls for the participation of eight people, and is best performed at a large gathering. The participants include: The Maiden Goddess, the Young Lord, the High Priestess, the High Priest, and the four Watchtowers. Specific items needed for this ritual are: a Crystal Ball, a cross of rushes, a mat, a basket, a phallic wand, a sprig of evergreen, pieces of paper, cakes, wine, and basic Altar and ritual equipment. All participants shall write upon the paper things and qualities they wish to gain during the coming season, and then place them in the basket prior to ritual. Candlemas is the festival of the Flame, and is best performed at night. This is Brighid's celebration. Winter is bade farewell, and as Spring approaches, it's a time to think of love. * * * * * All members of the ritual enter the Circle except for the Maiden. She should be wearing white, and is adorned with a garland of flowers in her hair. She stands out of sight, awaiting her cue. All attendants of the ritual should line the outer ring of the Circle, leaving a walkway into it. The Young Lord is to position himself among the attendants. The High Priest starts the ritual by saying: The young Sun King now begins to feel the first stirring of desire for the Lady. The Goddess patiently awaits her future lover. The Rites of Spring are near, and the year is in its waxing phase. The Sun's presence is ever-more increasing and the darkness runs and hides. The Invocation of the Four Quarters comes next, starting with the East: We welcome the Guardians of the East. Your breath of life is sacred, and greetings to the lovely Fand, the Pearl of Beauty, and gracious Olwen, the White Lady of the Day. Your presence is most welcome at this Festival of Imbolc! South: We welcome the Lords of the South. Your warmth flows through us all, and greetings to the Honored Lady Brighid, and to beautiful Branwen, the White Bossomed One. Your presence is most welcome at this Festival of Oemlic! West: We welcome the Holy Ones of the West. Your moisture is 2558 refreshing and precious to life, and greetings to our Queen Arianrhod of The Silver Wheel, and sweet Aine of the Wisps. Your presence is most welcome at this Festival of Lights! North: We welcome the Watchers of the North. Your power and wisdom is ours, and greetings to the Wise Cerridwen of Lake Tegid, and to the desirable Rhiannon of the Netherworld. Your presence is most welcome at this Festival of Candlemas! The High Priest continues: From now to Beltane, is the pathway less dark. Thus, shall the journey be made through to Beltane, renewed in strength and happy in love. The High Priestess now turns slowly, addressing those assembled. As she speaks, the Maiden walks slowly into view down the processional towards the Circle, until she stands at the Northern Gateway. She is holding the Cross of Rushes. The High Priestess says: Long Winter is now passing away and the buds will soon swell on the Apple tree bough. The Earth gladly receives the plow in preparation for the celebration of life. For the Queen and the King will begin to wear the garden's green and will speak in a single voice! The High Priest acknowledges the physical presence of the Maiden, and exclaims: Behold!!! Brighid has come! Brighid is welcome! The Maiden enters the Circle and lays the Cross on a mat situated just South of the Altar. She says: Greetings to you, not only from myself, but from the Mother and the Crone as well. All seasons of the Earth are important and must have their course.....but now, I weary of Winter, and I long for the greenness of Spring, and all that it encompasses. I strongly desire the companionship of my Lover-to be! She searches the Circle of people and draws him out. She kneels before him and invokes the God Lugh: Lord of Death, Resurrection, Life, and the Giver of Life! Lord who is within us, whose name is Mystery of Mysteries! Descend we pray thee, upon thy servant and Priest! Lugh, after indwelling the Priest, now moves over to the Altar, picks up the Phallic Wand, and places it on Brighid's Bed (the mat). The Maiden addresses the God: I grow weary of the darkness. Let's join to hurry Winter along its way so we can enjoy the pleasures that await us! (She motions to the mat). 2559 The God starts the Balefire in the South, and while doing this, the Maiden sweeps the Circle three times while everyone chants: Return, return, return, return The earth, the water, the fire, and the air. At an appropriate time, the singing comes to an end and the God says: The Key to unlocking Winter's hold is to erase its memories! He now holds up a sprig of evergreen and hands it to the Maiden Goddess. She tosses it into the Balefire. She then picks up a basket full of everyone's desires and wishes for the coming season, and says: Behold! In my hands I carry Hopes and Wishes for the coming seasons. I place them in this fire and as quickly as the memories of Winter fade, let the Hopes and Wishes just as quickly take root! She tosses them into the Balefire, and Lugh now says: My dear Lady and Lover-to-be, do us great honor by gazing into the Crystal and give your people words they can hold as their own! Brighid picks up the Crystal Ball and holds it between her hands. She gazes into it momentarily before saying: All the gods are one God, and the goddesses, one Goddess, and there is but one Initiator. And to every man, his own Truth, and the God within. Upon hearing this, he smiles and says: Come! Let's feast and make merry on this great occasion! The High Priestess steps in front of the altar and raises the water and Wine. She faces North and says: In celebration of Brighid's Day, we open the Moongate and let the Westwind blow! We bring Water, life's elixir, to refresh ourselves. We bring the Fruit of the Vine, the drink of the gods! Let us sip and enjoy. Hail to fair Brighid! The High Priestess now picks up the plate of cakes and says: Upon this plate are gifts from Erin! Farrels for us to enjoy! Let us eat and remember the Gods. These are holy Sabbat Cakes. They bring us sustenance and fill the hunger. Blessed Be Brighid's Feast! Let us dance in joy and mirth! The High Priestess now raises the honey as all say: Here is the Sweet Nectar! Sacred to the Gods! 2560 All now partake of the Cakes and Wine. Sing songs, dance, and do anything else that feels appropriate. (Brighid's Day is a traditional time for initiations). When the celebration is winding down, the God, taking the Maiden Goddess into his arms, declares: Now that we all have feasted and made merry, come with me now, our bed of Love awaits us! The Maiden, protesting lightly, responds: Oh! How I've longed for you through the Dark days of Winter! But My Love, though our bed is ready, we still must wait a short while. Our time of Union is not yet upon us, but the Rites of Spring, and of Beltane, are not far off! The Sun King looks slightly disappointed, but smiles lovingly at her. They embrace and kiss passionately, while everyone starts to sing, "Lady Weave Your Circle Tight." While the song continues, she slowly leaves his arms and exits the Circle. He follows her, not wanting her to leave, but stops at the Circle's edge. She turns and says to him: My Heart is with you, and Destiny will bring us back together soon! As the Cup is to the Knife, so am I to you! She now disappears out of sight, and the singing shall die down. The High Priest now says: Even though the Maiden has departed, her presence continues to increase! Light chases away the Darkness, and soon, the Maiden shall reign Supreme! The Winter grows short, and the leaves shall return to the trees! New Life shall spring forth, and New Love along with it! The Wheel turns, and the Young Lord and his Lady shall meet to consummate their Love. So ends this prelude to Spring! May the coming season bring you much joy and happiness! The Watchtowers are now given their release: Farewell to the Watchtowers of the North, and to Rhiannon and Cerridwen. May we depart in love and peace until we gather again. West: Farewell to the Holy Ones of the West, and to Queen Arianrhod and Aine. May we depart in love and peace until me gather again. South: Farewell to the Lords of the South, and to Branwen and the Maiden Brighid. May we depart in love and peace until we gather again. East: 2561 Farewell to the Guardians of the East, and to Olwen and Fand. May we depart in love and peace until we gather again. Everyone: Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again! References for inspiration: Gwydion Pendderwen Dion Fortune Janet & Stewart Farrar Marion Zimmer Bradley ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2562 An Herbal "Quick Reference" Acicia - Protection, Psychic Powers Adam & Eve Roots - Love, Happiness. Adders Tongue - Healing African Violet - Spirituality, Protection Agaric - Fertility Agrimony - Protection, Sleep Ague Root - Protection Alfalfa - Prosperity, Anti-hunger, Money Alkanet - Purification, Prosperity Allspice - Money, Luck, Healing Almond - Money, Prosperity, Wisdom Aloe - Protection, Luck Aloes, Wood - Love, Spirituality Althea - Protection, Psychic Powers Alyssum - Protection, Moderating Anger Amaranth - Healing, Protection, Invisibility Anemone - Health, Protection, Healing Angelica - Exorcism, Protection, Healing, Visions Apple - Love,Healing, Garden Magic, Immortality Apricot - Love Arabic Gum - Purify negativity and evil Arbutus - Exorcism, Protection Asafoetida - Exorcism, Purification, Protection Ash - Protection, Prosperity, Sea Rituals, Health Aspen - Eloquence, Anti-Theft Aster - Love Avens - Exorcism, Purification,Love Avocado - Love,Lust,Beauty Bachelor's Buttons - Love Balm, Lemon - Love,Success, Healing Balm of Gilead - Love,Manifestations,Protection,Healing Bamboo - Protection, Luck, Hex-Breaking, Wishes Banana - Fertility, Potency, Prosperity Banyan - Luck Barley - Love, Healing, Protection Basil - Love, Exorcism, Wealth, Flying, Protection Bay - Protection, Psychic Powers, Healing, Purification, Strength Bean - Protection, Exorcism, Wart Charming, Reconciliations, Potency, Love Bedstraw/Fragrant - Love Beech - Wishes Beet - love Belladonna - astral projection *DEADLY POISON!! Benzoin - Purification, Prosperity Bergamot, Orange - Money Be-Still - Luck Betony/wood - Protection,Purification,Love Birch - Protection, Exorcism, Purification Bistort - Psychic Powers, Fertility Bittersweet - Protection, Healing Blackberry - Healing, Money, Protection Bladderwrack - Protection, Sea Spells, Wind Spells, Money, Psychic Powers Bleeding Heart - Love Bloodroot - Love, Protection, Purification Bluebell - Luck, Truth 2563 Blueberry - Protection Blue Flag - Money Bodhi - Fertility, Protection, WIsdom, Meditation Boneset - Protection, Exorcism Borage - Courage, Psychic Powers Bracken - Healing, Rune Magic, Prophetic Dreams Brazil Nut - Love Briony - Image Magic, Money, Protection Bromeliad - Protection, Money Broom - Purification, Protection, Wind Spells, Divination Buchu - Psychic Powers, Prophetic Dreams Buckthorn - Protection, Exorcism, Wishes, Legal Matters Buckwheat - Money, Protection Burdock - Protection, Healing Cabbage - Luck Cactus - Protection, Chastity Calamus - Luck, Healing, Money, Protection Camellia -Riches Camphor - Chastity, Health, Divination Caper - Potency, Lust, Luck Carawy - Protection, Lust, Health, Anti-theft, Mental Powers Cardamon - Lust, Love Carnation - Protection, Strength, Healing Carob - Protection, Health Carrot - Fertility, Lust Cascara Sagrada - Legal Matters, Money, Protection, Cashew - Money Castor - Protection Catnip - Cat Magic, Love, Beauty, Happiness Cattail - Lust Cedar - Healing, Purification, Money, Protection Celandine - Protection, Escape, Happiness, Legal Matters Celery - Mental Powers, Lust, Psychic Powers Centaury - Snake Removing Chamomile - Money, Sleep, Love, Purification Cherry - Love, divination Chestnut - Love Chickweed - Fertility, Love Chicory - Removing Obstacles, Invisibility, favors, Frigidity Chili pepper - Fidelity, hex Breaking, Love China Berry - Luck Chrysanthemum - Protection Cinchona - Luck, Protection Cinnamon - Spirituality, Success, Healing, Power, Psychic Powers, Lust, Protection, Love Cinquefoil - Money, Protection, Prophetic Dreams, Sleep Citron - Psychic Powers, Healing Cloth of Gold - Understand animal languages Clove - Protection, Exorcism, Love, Money Clover - Protection, Money, Love, fidelity, Exorcism, Success Club Moss - Protection, Power Coconut - Purification, Protection, Chastity Cohosh,Black - love, courage,protection,potency Coltsfoot - Love,Visions Columbine - Courage,Love Comfrey - Safety during travel, Money Copal - Love, Purification Coriander - Love,Health, Healing 2564 Corn - protection,luck, divination Cotton - Luck,Healing,Protection,Rain,Fishing Magic Cowslip - Healing,Youth,Treasure Finding Crocus - Love, Visions Cubeb - Love Cuckoo-flower - Fertility,Lover Cucumber - Chastity,Healing,Fertility Cumin - Protection,Fidelity, Exorcism Curry - Protection Cyclamen - fertility,Protection,Happiness, Lust Cypress - Longevity, Healing, Comfort,Protection Daffodil - Love,Fertility, Luck Daisy - Lust,Luck Damiana - Lust, Love, Visions Dandelion - Divination,Wishes,Calling Spirits Datura - Hex Breaking,Sleep,Protection Deerstongue - Lust, Psychic Powers Devils Bit - Exorcism, Love, Protection, Lust Devils Shoestring - Protection, Gambling, Luck, Power, Employment Dill - Protection, Money, Lust,Luck Dittany of Crete - Manifestations, Astral Projection Dock - Healing,Fertility, Money Dodder - Love,Divination,Knot Magic Dogbane - Love Dogwood - Wishes, Protection Dragons Blood - Love,Protection,Exorcism,Potency Dulse - Lust, Harmony Dutchmans Breeches - Love Ebony - Protection, Power Echinacea - Strengthening Spells Edelweiss - Invisibility, Bullet-Proofing Elder - Exorcism,Protection,Healing,Prosperity,Sleep Elecampane - Love,Protection,Psychic Powers Elm - Love Endive - Lust,Love Eryngo - Travelers Luck, Peace, Lust, Love Eucalyptus - Healing,Protection Euphorbia - Purification, Protection Eyebright - Mental Powers, Psychic Power Fennel - Protection, Healing, Purification Fenugreek - Money Fern - Rain Making, Protection,Luck,Riches,Eternal Youth, Health, Exorcism Feverfew - Protection Fig - Divination,Fertility, Love Figwort - Health,Protection Flax - Money, Protection,Beauty,Psychic Powers, Healing Fleabane - Exorcism, Protection, Chastity Foxglove - Protection Frankincense - Protection, Exorcism, Spirituality Fumitory - Money, Exorcism Fuzzy Weed - Love,Hunting Galangal - Protection, Lust, Health, Money, Psychic Powers, Hex breaking Gardenia - Love, Peace, Healing, Spirituality Garlic - Protection, Healing, Exorcism, Lust, Anti-Theft Gentian - Love, Power Geranium - Fertility, Health, Love, Protection 2565 Ginger - Love, Money, Success, Power Ginseng - Love, Wishes, Healing, Beauty, Protection, Lust Goats Rue - Healing, Health Goldenrod - Money, Divination Golden Seal - Healing, Money Gorse - Protection, Money Gotu Kola - Meditation Gourd - Protection Grain - Protection Grains of Paradise - Lust, Luck, Love, Money, Wishes Grape - Fertility, Garden Magic, Mental Powers,Money Grass - Psychic Powers, Protection Ground Ivy - Divination Groundsel - Health, Healing Hawthorn - Fertility, Chastity, Fishing Magic, Happiness Hazel - Luck, Fertility, Anti-Lightning, Protection, Wishes Heather - Protection, Rain Making, Luck Heliotrope - Exorcism, Prophetic dreams, Healing, Wealth, Invis ibility Hellebore,Black - Protection *POISON* Hemlock - Destroy sexual drives *POISON* Hemp - Healing, Love, Vision, Meditation Henbane - POISON Not used Henna - Healing Hibiscus - Lust,Love, Divination Hickory - Legal Matters High John the Conquerer - Money, Love, Success, Happiness Holly - Protection, Anti-Lightning, Luck, Dream Magic Honesty - Money, Repelling Monsters Honeysuckle - Money, Psychic Powers, Protection Hops - Healing, Sleep Horehound - Protection, Mental Powers, Exorcism, Healing Horse Chestnut - Money, Healing Horseradish - Purification, Exorcism Horsetail - Snake Charming, Fertility Houndstongue - Tying dogs tongues Houseleek - Luck,Protection, Love Huckleberry - Luck, Protection, Dream Magic, Hex Breaking Hyacinth - Love, Protection, Happiness Hydrangea - Hex Breaking Hyssop - Purification, Protection Indian Paint Brush - Love Iris - Purification, Wisdom Irish Moss - Money, Luck, Protection Ivy - Protection, Healing Jasmine - Love, Money, Prophetic Dreams Jobs Tears - Healing, Wishes, Luck Joe-pye weed - Love, Respect Juniper - Protection, Anti-theft, Love, Exorcism, Health kava-Kave - Visions, Protection, luck knotweed - Binding, Health Ladys mantle - Love Ladys slipper - Protection Larch - Protection, Anti theft Larkspur - Health, Protection Lavendar - Love, Protection, Sleep, Chastity, Longevity, Purifica tion, Happiness, Peace Leek - Love, Protection, Exorcism 2566 Lemon - Longevity, Purification, Love, Friendship Lemongrass - Repel snakes, Lust, Psychic powers Lemon Verbena - Purification, Love Lettuce - Chastity, Protection, Love, Divination, Sleep Licorice - Love,Lust, Fidelity Life Everlasting - longevity, Health, Healing Lilac - Exorcism, Protection Lily - Protection, Breaking Love spells Lily of the Valley - Mental Powers, Happiness Lime - Healing,Love,Protection Linden - Protection, Immortality, Luck, Love, Sleep Liquidamber - Protection Liverwort - Protection Liverwort - Love Looestrife - Peace,Protection Lotus - Protection, Lock-Opening Lovage - Love Love Seed - Love,Friendship HOUSE BLESSING Assemble: 1. Salt & Water 2. Incense (fire and air) 3. Milk & Honey 4. Oil (for anointing) 5. Wine (for offering) 6. Bells, Pots, Pans, Whistles, etc. Cast a circle in the main room (livingroom) and after casting, visualize the circle expanding to include the entire house. Call upon the spirits and energies living in the house (or apartment). Invite those who will be harmonious with the new household and its energies to remain. Invite/ask those who will be happier elsewhere to depart. Release all "energies" not compatible with the new household. (This may be expressed as a "release" in order to unbind anything that may be stuck.) Then call upon, greet, and invite ancestors, patron deities, and all harmonious spirits and energies to dwell in the house as they please. Gather up the pots, pans, and all the noise-makers. Go to each door and window, not forgetting the fire-place and dog-door, making as much racket as humanly possible--to shoo out anything unwanted. (This is hysterical fun, and also raises lots of energy for the next important step.) Go again throughout the house and at each portal (door, window, etc.) sprinkle salt-water and cense, saying: "By the Elements I purify and charge this portal." Then anoint the portal with milk and honey, saying: "By Milk and Honey I ensure prosperity and peace within this place." Finally, anoint the portal with oil, saying: "With Oil I seal this portal and protect all within." At the front door a special prayer is said, asking the guardian deities (God & Goddess) to freely grant entry to all frien ds and loved ones, and to prevent passage (turn aside) to any who would do harm." Then, if it's a house--pour wine across the width of the threshold; if it's an apartment anoint the threshold with light touches of wine. The house-holders then each take a sip of wine, leaving some as an offering to the Gods, and the Circle should be closed. The remaining wine, milk, and honey should be offered to the Gods. (In our case to 2567 the fruit tree and the oak tree in our yard.) Addenda: This is very effective if done as part of a house-warming party, followed by much feasting. It has also been done very effectively by two people. It only takes about 30 minutes to do a large house. You _can_ take the time. Do make certain to "ground" afterward, by closing the circle and by eating. This ritual can "stir" up everybody and make the house feel full of "buzzy" energy. By: Pirate Jenny To: All Re: Re: House Blessing notes In the spirit of house blessings, and because I'm basically a kitchen witch at heart, and like little projects over serious ritual, I offer some selections gleaned from Cunningham's The Magical Household. I'm typing these without permission but with the hope that they'll inspire you to pick up the Cunningham book, because it's wonderful stuph... :> For the doorway: o Suspend over the door a fresh sprig of dill, tied with a blue cord (or red, if you prefer), to prevent those who mean you harm from entering. o Cross two needles, and stick into or tie onto a corner of your doormat, to prevent evil from entering. o Grind Dragon's Blood herb into a powder and sprinkle it on door and window sills, to protect your house from harm. "Witch Bottles" o Powder some more Dragon's Blood herb with a small quantity of sugar and salt, and place in a small corked or screw-lidded bottle. Shake and seal with red wax, then place it where it won't be found (or at least not easily seen). This will ensure harmony and peace within the house. o Place three new needles, three new pins, and three new nails in a glass jar. Fill with salt and shake vigorously nine times. Seal with white wax and place in kitchen cupboard where it will not be seen. This protects your food from contamination. o Gather rosemary, along with several needles and pins, into a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid or cork. When full, pour in red wine and shake. Seal with black or red wax, and place in an inconspicuous place in the apartment. If you own your own house, bury this at the furthestmost corner of your property. The book also adds this: As you're filling the jar, say these words... "Pins, needles, rosemary, wine, In this witch's bottle of mine; Guard against harm and enmity; This is my will; so Mote it Be!" Personally, I'm not hip on anything but, "Hey, Gods? It's me again", 2568 but I know, I'm CONSIDERABLY less formal than most! An Anti-Theft Sachet o Mix caraway, rosemary, juniper berries, and elder leaves or mistletoe, and place into white square of cloth. Tie with white yarn and hang prominently. I'd assume either at the place you think thieves are most likely to enter--this being an anti-theft sachet--or at every entrance and doorway. This will require more cloth and more herbs, but most of the above are fairly inexpensive. Finally, on Moving Day itself: o Bring two things into the house first: a small amount of salt, half to be scattered upon crossing the threshhold, and a small loaf of bread. Break the bread into as many pieces as you have people moving in, with one extra piece for the gods' portion. Sprinkle a dash of salt on each piece; share, when you have a moment. (I'd say have water on hand as well--at the very least, to clear the salt!) Next, bring in an apple and do the same thing--Cunningham recommends a fruit and cheese basket--I'd stick with just the apple and maybe a few slices of cheddar, or something. Lastly, bring in a sturdy chair and place it either near the apple and bread bits, or facing the door. This ensures that you will never know poverty, for there is bread and salt, hunger, for there is fruit (and cheese), and instability (for there's your stable chair guarding the door. After that, heave and lift until you're moved in! ------- A Note: I think ritual is very important, and I do admire rituals I've picked up here and those I've found on my own. In the long run, though, I know myself well enough to think that if I have to wait for a certain day and have a certain robe on, or need a special tool or altar lay-out, it'll never happen. But I can put my hands on needles, pins, wine and spices at virtually any time, and can easily make up witch's bottles for the shelves and cupboards, sachets for the windows, and incenses for household protection and cleansing. These simple items can have just as much power as just about any major ritual, and are sometimes easier to "whip up" for the busy pagan... :> ------- Cleansing Incense 2 parts Dragon's Blood 1 part Valerian Root 1 part Sulphur 1 part Asafoetida In conjunction with any banishing ritual this WILL remove ANY psychic or magical impression from your home. Then you can start fresh filling it with the energies you want. It may sound strange but it works! (Though it WILL GAG a Maggot!) ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2569 WARRIORS ** Gwydyon Masengale, P.O.Box 4, Tolleson, Az 85353** A Warrior is born with Three Things, A Body, A Mind, and A Spirit... With these three things a Warrior is to build a Life, A Life of Balance, A Life of Peace, A Life of Will. A Warrior is born with Three Things, A Body... Speed, Dexterity, and Reflexes, these are the gifts of the Gods to A Warrior. Skills can be learned, but the gifts are rare, and are to be honed to the sharpest of edges and used to build... A Life of Balance. A physical battle is quite simply an exercise, in which A Warrior is given the opritunity to use the gifts of the Gods, and test the skills learned on this plane. It will at times be necessary to use the gifts and the skills knowen to A Warrior to build... A Life of Peace. Through training, the development of the gifts and skills combined can become a formidable weapon. Perfect Balance, Peace of Mind, and An Indomitable Spirit are necessary for A Warrior to build... A Life of Will... A Warrior is born with Three Things, A Mind... Intellect, Creativity, and Common Sence, these are the compasses and maps given A Warrior to help in navigating this existance. In life A Warrior will make mistakes. The way these mistakes are handled will set the tone of countless lives determining the measure of A Warrior's steel. A Warrior will accept responsibility for the actions taken, learn from them, and use the experiance to build... A Life of Balance. A Warrior must constantly endeavor to learn all that is to be learned of the path ahead, always drawing inspiration from the path which lies behind. For strength is the knowledge drawn from the past, and discretion is the wisdom of the future which empowers the Warrior to build... A Life of Peace. A Warriors mind is to be constantly sharpened, for the mind alone IS the most formidable weapon the Warrior will ever posses. The balance of knowledge and wisdom is the temporing of the steel that makes A Warrior, lending the strength necessary to build... A Life of Will. A Warrior is Born With Three Things, A Spirit... A Warrior will carry a shield of Honor. The strength of which is in perfect balance with the Honor of the Warrior. 2570 The Warrior will carry a sword of Truth. With an edge that mirrors the inner peace and honesty of the Warrior. A Warrior will wear a helmet of Integrity. With power matched only by the will of the Warrior. While battles can be fought and won with the well trained body. While wars can be waged and won with the tempored and sharpened mind. The most perilous test A Warrior will face is the test of the Spirit. Here the Gods give no gifts. A Warrior will have only the strengths of the spiritthat have been developed in the short life on the physical plane. A Warrior is born with Three Things, A Body, A Mind, and A Spirit... With these Three Things A Warrior must build a Life, A Life Eternal... My Name is Nite Hawk, A pledge By: Judy Harrow The ceremony originated with Judy Harrow and one of her coveners who co-wrote the dedication ritual. During the ritual, the dedicant is asked several questions and is expected to respond in whatever way s/he feels appropriate. I will include all the questions here for completeness sake: 1. Do you understand that Witchcraft is the Priesthood of the Old Gods and Old Ways of Nature, and that every Witch is a Priestess or Priest? 2. Do you understand that initiation into that Priesthood will change your life forever, in ways that you cannot now forsee? 3. Do you understand what priesthood requires: that, if you become a Witch, you serve the Lady and the Lord by serving Their People, to the fullest of your ability? 4. Knowing these things, do you want to study Witchcraft and its related arts until you know enough to decide whether this is truly your Path? 5. Do you understand that Witchcraft is one of many means to serve the Old Gods and awaken the Old Ways, and that even if this is not your way after all, you may learn and grow while you are here? Can you accept that the decision may be, "No?" 6. Teaching what I love is a great joy. But I can only teach in joy if I know that what I love will be used and shared with care and honor. Before I am willing to teach you, there are three things and a fourth that you must promise me: Will you respect and protect the confidence of all who you meet 2571 in this Circle and all who seek our aid, revealing their identities to no one except by their explicit permission? 7. Will you practice and teach the Craft for love alone, using this knowledge or teaching it only as a free gift, as I give it now to you, never accepting payment for it in money or goods or labor? 8. Will you promise never to use what I teach you to affect another person, avoiding not only baneful magic but all well-intentioned meddling, unless you have that person's explicit permission? 9. And if time brings fullness, as all here hope and expect it will, when you teach new students of your own, will you require these three pledges of them, along with their pledge to similarly bind their own students, so that all that spring from this line may be so pledged? ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2572 MEAD: THE BREW OF THE GODS! Lewis Stead Mead is the oldest alcoholic drink known to mankind. More recently it has been taken up in the Pagan and other alternativeΣ communities such as the SCA as a favorite for years. It's a form of wine made with a honey instead of grape juice. Mead is most often associated with the Vikings and in the Pagan community with modern day Norse Paganism or Asatru. Mead is an important part of the Asatru religion and has a place in both of the major Norse rituals: the blot and the sumble. The sumble is a drinking ritual where stories, oaths, and poetry are shared and meadΥs function here is obvious. In this day and age mead is even more important to the blot or sacrifice ritual. The blot is actually quite simple. A God or Goddess is called upon and a sacrifice is poured in their honor. In ancient times this was most often an animal sacrifice and blood was poured out onto the ground or altar. Today an alcoholic beverage of some kind is the usual sacrifice. This is not only an adjustment to modern feelings about animal sacrifice, but is appropriate from an esoteric point of view as well. In ancient times the Norsemen were primarily farmers and an animal would have been a product that they had raised. Also, sacrifices were not a wasting of the animal, merely given to the Gods and left to rot, but were usually feasts where the Gods got their portion and the humans their own. Today mead making has been a frenzied activity among Norse Pagans, and it is most appropriate that something be sacrificed to the Gods which has been made by your own hands in a sacred manner. Mead fits the bill. It has the immediate links to our farming ancestors, but it can be easily made from household items in even a small apartment. While we really donΥt know a great deal about how the ancients viewed mead, other than as an intoxicant, we do have a few clues. One interesting item to start with is that mead was apparently sometimes strained through rye, which contains the hallucinogenic chemical ergot. This may offer some insights into Seidhr, a Nordic shamanic practice, and the frenzy of the berserkers. Another interesting item is that Frey, a God of farming and harvest, was said to have two close companions, Bygvir and Beyla. Bygvir was the spirit of the barley and Beyla of the honey Ρ both important Gods to brewers and appropriate companions for the God of fertility. Finally, we have a few myths involving mead directly. Mead was known as KvasirΥs blood and itΥs primary association was with wisdom. Kvasir was a being who was the wisest in all the universe, but he was killed and a mead created out of his blood that when drank brought the drinker wisdom. Aegir, a God of the Sea, was held to be the patron of brewing and the finest of mead and ale for the Gods to drink in Valhalla. Odin is said to never eat, but to exist purely on mead, just as the Greek Gods had their nectar. Even if it were not for any mythological importance, mead is of interest to the modern brewer because it is easy to produce and delicious. One merely introduces a yeast to the sugary liquid, and the yeast converts the natural sugars into alcohol. After all the sugar is converted, the yeast dies off and the wine can be bottled. However, this is not always as easy as it sounds. 2573 The largest problem in brewing is keeping inappropriate yeasts out of the drink. While the correct wine (or beer) yeasts eat sugar and excrete alcohol, other yeasts produce vinegar instead. Because of this it is absolutely vital to keep all brewing equipment absolutely sterile. This is the most important thing you can do in brewing. All the great equipment purchased as your wine making shop and the finest ingredients cannot beat a glass jar filled with welfare honey if the former is contaminated and the latter sterile. There are two major ways to sterilize your materials, one is a commercial "sanitizer" found in wine making shops. Follow label directions and youΥre all set. The other is to make a solution of 25% bleach and rinse very thoroughly. LetΥs make some cheap and easy mead. YouΥll need a large pot, a one gallon vinegar or cider bottle, a 4' or 5' length of plastic tubing (try airlineΣ tubing from a pet shop), a balloon or non-lubricated condom, a package of wine yeast (not bread yeast), wine bottles, corks, a corking device, and 2 1/2 pounds of honey. First you need to prepare the mixture that will be fermented. Take your pot and add the honey and enough water to finish filling up the one gallon bottle. Bring these to a boil slowly. If you donΥt want scum in your mead and it forms on the top, skim it off. You donΥt need to boil it for any length of time, you just need to bring it up to this temperature. Boiling for a while will release a lot of scum and additives which you can get rid of right now and it will also allow the mead to age more quickly. However, some of this scumΣ as IΥve called it is made up of those very things which can create flavor nuances. I donΥt boil mine. When you decide itΥs done, let it cool long enough so it wonΥt melt the plastic tubing, then siphon the mead into the gallon jug , cap and let cool overnight. The gallon jug is your primary fermenter. Did you sterilize the pot? the bottle? the cap? the plastic tubing? No! Pour it out and start again Ρ yes I am serious. Once the mixture is cooled to room temperature you will need to pitch the yeast. Get a small cup half full with warm, but not hot, water and add the yeast. Let it sit for about ten minutes and absorb water and liven up, then pour it into your gallon jug and mix it in. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2574 As of now your honey and water mixture is now being converted into mead. However, this will take about two weeks, perhaps more, to complete. During this time the mead mixture will bubble and foam, and this is what the balloon is for. Cover the top of the bottle with the balloon and about an hour later, when the balloon has started to inflate but has not become too stretched, poke a few holes in it with a pin. (I understand this may make you wince if you are using a condom.) This balloon takes the place of a fermentation lock and allows the gas to escape while not allowing air in, thus keeping the fermentation bottle sterile. The holes may become clogged with foam and you may need to poke a few more. Just remember the purpose of this and use your common sense. IΥve accomplished this with plastic wrap and a rubber band, but I wouldnΥt advise others to try unless youΥre fond of unmet expectations. About two weeks from this point the balloon will cease to be greatly inflated and will eventually go limp. When it has been completely limp for a few days and the mead is clear rather than cloudy, fermentation is over. At this point sanitize your wine bottles and plastic tubing and bottle the mead. Be careful not to get the yeast into the bottles as itΥs not exactly tasty stuff. I stop about an inch before the bottom of the primary fermenter and we siphon off the last inch into cups and toast the new mead. My mead has been very tasty at this point, other people describe theirs as tasting like paint thinner. In any case, you may not mind a little yeast in your cup now, but donΥt inflict it on yourself in the future by bottling it. Wait two to six months and then enjoy. Since the above recipe has no additives which would hasten aging, it may take a while for it to become truly fine mead, perhaps years. There are a lot of chemical additives that one can use to improve the flavor and process. The most common and important addition is a teaspoon of yeast energizer or yeast nutrient. Others include grape tannin (1/4 teaspoon), malic acid (2 or 3 teaspoons), tartaric acid (1 to 2 teaspoons). I recommend all of these chemical additives in your first batch, but if you canΥt find them you can make do with natural ingredients or nothing at all. One can also add slices of fruit, raisins, or berries for flavor and in place of grape tannin. One recipe I know of adds some apple jelly. A few lemon peels will substitute for malic acid and a spoonful of strong tea will do replace tartaric acid. Hops are a common additive and will give the mead a bit of a bitterness to offset the sweetness of the honey. The more bizarre ingredient I have heard of was Szechuan peppers, use your imagination. All of the above additives should be made to the honey and water mix when it is boiled. Depending on the ingredient, some, such as fruit, may have to be boiled in this mixture for a while to break them down. Obviously hunks of fruit should be strained out after the boiling. Also, all the above ingredients are based on 1 gallon of mead, adjust appropriately with the exception of the yeast itself, one package of which will do for anywhere between 1 and 5 gallons. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2575 Another semi-useful item is sulfite tablets which can be added to the mead mixture a day before bottling. This will kill all remaining yeast and will assure that you are not contaminated by vinegar yeast after bottling or worse that the fermentation process does not continue in the bottle, causing it to explode or pop its cork. I donΥt use sulfite and IΥve heard negative comments about a sulfurous aftertaste. ItΥs probably the better part of valor to simply wait a while longer and make sure the fermentation process is truly ended. The above instructions also assume you are not interested in spending a great deal of money on equipment. The only things you really must obtain from a wine making store are the yeast, the corks, and the corker. If you are willing to spend $50 to $100 more you can improve your chances of making a good mead by purchasing equipment made for the purpose. A balloon works, but it is a poor substitute for a proper fermentation lock that is custom fit to a vat built for the purpose. Likewise there are many other devices which will useful. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2576 In Defense of Excellence Adrienne I've noticed a trend, particularly in paganism, toward "elite" becoming a derogatory term. "Elitist" has very unpleasant connotations. In the mad scramble toward equality and egalitarianism, perhaps the trend has gone too far. I am all in favour of equality of opportunity. I believe in Martin Luther King's dream, "I have a dream that someday my children will be judged, not upon the colour of their skin, but on the content of their character." Yet, I am deeply disturbed by structures and titles meant to reward excellence downgraded and dismissed as being elitist and hierarchical. It the Wicca, this is most strongly epitomised by the continuing attempts to do away with degree systems on the basis of being elitists and hierarchical. So I ask, what is wrong with elites? Elites exist as an informal (and often highly formal) network of persons who, by virtue of personal qualities, or power, or money, or birth status, are capable of shaping and changing the structure of society. Some elites are based on nothing more than bank balances or parentage. Others are firmly based on intelligence, wisdom, commitment and ethical stance of their members. I have no problem with the concept of elites. Not everyone has the desire or capability to belong to every group. The problem lies with the qualification for membership, not with the concept. Hierarchy has an even nastier reputation. Yet in all societies, regardless of size, structure of purpose, have a hierarchy. Leadership roles exists and will be filled by those who can fill them. Leaders are necessary to achieve the goals of the group, regardless of how that leadership manifests. It is only when a hierarchy becomes closed and fixed that the structure becomes abusive. The concerns of those who dislike the concept of hierarchy due to experience of its abuses are valid. It is very easy to fall into a system where power rests, not on those who are qualified, but upon other,less desirable criteria, such as birth status, or wealth, or loudness of voice. However, doing away with the formal structure of hierarchy does not solve the problem. Non hierarchical groups often fall into leadership by peer pressure. Those that are thick skinned and dominant will lead de facto, especially if there is no de jure leader. Hierarchies exist. They exist because, like physics, nature abhors a vaccuum. A power vaccuum will be filled regardless of the good intentions on all sides. The solution is to have structures where all persons have the opportunity to become leaders, to participate in the decision making process, based only upon ability and desire to do so. Equal opportunity,equal access. The degree system within the Craft is not perfect. Like any other system,it has its abuses. However, if properly used, it has rewards far greater than having no such system. First, there is the reward for excellence. Those who have personal 2577 qualities such as commitment, talent, study, intelligence and open mindedness, should be rewarded for their abilities. The reward is not just a fancy title, but a recognition of that excellence, and membership in an elite. Second, there is a benchmark for others to judge by. If I know what degree a person holds, mundane or Craft, I have some idea of their abilities and can assume a certain level of understanding. Third, there is the recognition of self. A standard of excellence is required and achieving a degree is a feedback upon the levels achieved. There are other aspects dealing with the magic rite itself, but even if there were not, the hierarchy of degrees and the elite groups formed by having them are a mark of excellence for those who belong. Within my tradition and, according to my faith, within the Wicca itself, there are no barriers of opportunity to the system. Therefore, I see no reason to abandon it. I do not say that the system cannot be improved or that another system cannot provide the same benefits, but I haven't seen one that provides a reward for excellence while avoiding the pitfalls. Without active encouragement of excellence, whether in Craft or in the mundane world, entropy says that we will end up with mediocrity and least common denominator. And a world where mediocrity rules is not a world I wish to live in. (This article previously appeared in "The Messenger") ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2578 BADGERS I looked through all my information, but as far as the Seminoles go I couldn't find any reference to the Badger. I'm not saying that it doesn't exist, I just couldn't find any. Here is something from one of my books that I thought you might find interesting: "Badgers are 2-3 feet long and are about 12 inches high. Family members mark each other with scent for recognition since their sight is poor. Their senses of smell and hearing, however, are excellent. Their diet includes a wide variety of roots, herbs, plant, and many small animals. They dig with remarkable speed to catch burrowing prey and when they need to get underground quickly. Badgers live in simple but extremely clean, well kept dens. They pay close attention to details within their home environments. They change their bedding often, backing carefully into their dens with straw, so as not to make a mess in the process. Badgers bring us gifts of tidiness and organization. They are fastidious about their surroundings and will correct any disorder quickly. If Badger has come to you in some way, it may be saying that you need to concentrate on maintaining an orderly environment to better facilitate your day to day living. Badger can also be helpful to call upon for aid in managing your time. This can be useful for those of us who are trying to satisfy our need to devote time to ceremonies and the spirit realm and still work a job. Badger will fight to the death if cornered. While this may be a useful trait in the wild, men used this quality of Badger to exploit it in the so-called sport of Badger-baiting. Captured Badgers were put into small enclosed areas with a dog or dogs, and bets were placed on the outcome of the fight. Are you stuck in a pattern that served you well once, but is now damaging? Badger could be warning you that a change of behavior is in order if you don't want to be cornered or used." [From _Animal Energies_ by Gary Buffalo Horn Man and Sherry Firedancer - Dancing Otter Publishing] Here's something I think you might find interesting. It's from a book on Zuni fetishes. (Author: Hal Zina Bennett) BADGER (Guardian of the South) Zuni name: Black Mark face Wide, bulky, compact body, spread out along the ground, legs and tail barely suggested. Narrow, blunt face, prominent nose. (Describing the fetish itself) AS TALISMAN: This fetish helps you focus your attention and deepen your passion. It is an antidote to passivity and 'victimized' feelings. It helps you become more tenacious and grounded, for achieving any goal. PERSONALITY TYPE: If you are a Badger person, you are aggressive, highly goal oriented, able to concentrate on a single task or mission for long periods; and a 2579 good provider. Imbolc for the Covenstead Erin First, the cleansing. We do covenstead cleansing on this day, partl because of the (somewhat) purificatory nature of Imbolc, and partly because it coincides with the date a Japanese custom called yokubrai, if memory serves correctly, is carried out. Yokubarai means the same as exorcism, and is done with beans! More about that in a minute. I give as many parts to the cleansing as there are people to perform them. The last house cleansing we did had about 10 people take part and I found something for each of them to do. But that wasnt easy. Lessee, I think the most necessary elements for me to go around with are salt water, incense and beans. But Ive also had people waving away negative energy with brooms and wands. Ive had them sprinkle with salt water, and with water in which basil had been soaking for awhile. Ive had people carry around bells, incense and candles (not quite bell, book and candle, but close enough ). I live in a loft apartment, so we start in the closet up there, partly because its in the heart of the house, partly because I like the humorous aspect of coming out of the closet to do the blessing. Anyway, we banish in a counterclockwise diretion, single file, sprinkling, censing, or chanting into each corner each mirror, light fixture, appliance or outlet, as well as the walls themselves. In other words, we banish negative energy from all things giving ingress or egress from the house, as well as walls and mirrors. Sometimes we just take in everything in one room at once if its small, or everything along one wall--saves time. I usually come at the end of the line throwing beans at things (I find beans for MONTHS afterward) and chanting in Japanese: Funiki ga ire; oni ga soto! (Good luck, come in; devils, begone!) Then someone follows me making a banishing pentagram with an athame. We circle around the house in a counter-cloc- kwise spiral till were back where we started--downstairs by that time. Then we go back upstairs for the blessing part. For the mos part, this uses the same tools, but no beans this time, and we go clockwise. We bless the corners, walls, outlets, appliances, and mirror, doors and windows. We concentrate on blessing and on making a seal that cannot be broken on the windows and doors especially. I usually come last and seal everything with a pentagram drawn by my atham. Then I draw a large permanent circle around the house, call in the elements, and ask the Lord and Lady to guard and bless the house for another year. Consecrating the dirt is simpler. I usually buy potting soil and place it in the center of the circle. All the ritual is done around it. We usually consecrate it just before we do cakes and wine by placin our hands on it and channeling energy into it. Then everyone takes some home. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2580 The last thing we do is to make up Bridgets bed. We take some long grass, or herbs and fold them into the shape of a doll about a foot long We dress her up and name her Bridget. Then we make her a soft bedof some grasses (all on a sheet of newspaper, of course, so the Virgo HPS doesnt get her nose, or her carpet, bent out of shape), lay her down and put a phallic image in the bed with her. We use a large dried seed pod with a rounded head for this. Then we place some of the consecrated dirt on a sheet of newspaper beside her. She was put by the hearth in days of yore, but, alas, I have no fireplace! In the mornng, if there are prints in the dirt (ashes), it foretold a favorableyear. When we did it last year, I swear there was the image of the phallic figure in the dirt, though no one had moved him! And it was a very good year for the coven, all in all. Hope you can use some of this. Blessings, Erin Invocation of Lord and Lady (Ritual) Dan Holdgreiwe The following is the text of a ritual titled Invocation of the Lord and Lady which was presented by the Fellowship of the Sacred Grove at a local gathering in November of 1993. Prayers and invocations are not included in the text as these are delivered spontaneously by the Priest and Priestess. PART ONE: THE PREPARATIONS [Priest, Priestess, Bard and Quarters begin standing in circle just outside the circle that will be consecrated for the ritual. Other participants begin outside of circle and will later enter through South gate. Customarily, East and North are male, South and West female.] 1. The Warning [The Bard moves to center of circle and addresses all.] "We gather tonight to open the veil between the worlds. This is not safe -- To pass beyond that threshold we must leave behind the protections of the mundane world. We must remove the veils which disguise us and lay aside the jewels which dazzle our eyes. We must take the risk of Seeing, and of being Seen. For our protection we rely upon the Lord and the Lady, whose Children we are. Any who are not ready to approach Them in reverence, love and trust should leave now. [Pause] Those of you who have chosen to walk this path, prepare yourselves to meet God and Goddess. [Bard remains in center.] 2.Claiming the Circle [East takes one step forward into the circle and speaks, facing inward.] 2581 "In the name of the Lady of Light, and in my own name, I claim this circle as a place of Men. Let all who enter be bound to speak, and hear, the Truth. So mote it be." [West takes one step forward into the circle and speaks, facing inward.] "In the name of the Sacred King, and in my own name, I claim this circle as a place of Women. Let all who enter be bound to Perfect Love and Trust. So mote it be." [South takes one step forward into the circle and speaks, facing inward.] "In the name of the Lord of the Greenwood, and in my own name, I claim this circle as a place of Nature Let all who enter be bound to the sacred web of life. So mote it be." [North takes one step forward into the circle and speaks, facing inward.] "In the name of the Queen of Heaven, and in my own name, I claim this circle as Sacred Space. Let all who enter be opened to the presence of God and Goddess. So mote it be." 3. Marking the Circle [All sing Listen to the Lord and Lady while Priest and Priest mark circle. When finished Priest and Priestess stand before alter in North, facing South.] 4. The Challenges [East and West move to South gate and form Arch with athames. North crosses to South gate. Participants enter through South gate one at a time and are challenged at knife point by North and South, then shown to places by Bard.] Who seeks to join this fellowship? Will you support and defend your companions on this quest? Do you swear to use that which you learn in this circle only in service of the light? Are you ready to meet the Mother and Father of All life? Then enter and be welcome. [Comment: This took several minutes, but the effect of the delay was positive rather than negative. The lengthy challenge process acted to center and focus the entire circle.] ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2582 5.Sealing the Circle [Bard speaks from center.] We have stepped beyond time, to a place not of earth. In the presence of the Lord and Lady, we join together and are one. [Bard crosses to take place in circle, then takes hand of next person deosil and says We are one. Each participant takes the hand of the next repeating We are one until the whole circle is joined. When the circle is complete, the Bard announces again We are one!] PART TWO: THE MYSTERY 1. Pathworking [Priest moves to center and leads all in pathworking. After preliminary relaxation and centering, the working takes the participant first to four symbols -- a living tree, a sword, a cup, and a standing stone -- each of which holds a message for the visitor. Then the participants journey to an ancient clearing around a weathered stone alter where, in times long past, their ancestors honored the Lord and Lady. In that holy place, the participants call the Guardians of the Quarters, then prepare to invoke the Lord and Lady.] [Comment: The actual invocation of the Lord and Lady follows without transition, inviting the participants to continue to experience it in the ancient clearing.] 2. Calling the Lord and Lady [Priestess joins Priest in center. Priestess invokes the Lord. Other celebrants invoke Lord and/or Lady as they feel inspired. Priest closes invocations by invoking the Lady. All invocations end with Come join with us. which is repeated by all.] 3. Chant: Priestess begins chant alone, all join in after first time through. Participants should stand, clap and dance as they feel moved.] Isis, Osiris, Woden and Freya; Lord and Lady, Brigid and Lugh [Chant builds in power to be cut off at peak by Bard striking staff on the ground.] 4. Readings [During chant East and West have stepped outside circle and deliver readings from opposite sides of circle. Bard is at center. Bard speaks.] Hear now the words of the Great Mother who is called Isis, and Freya, and Brigid, and many other names. [West speaks.] Think not that I am far from you, for you can see my visage in the moon, 2583 and hear my voice upon the wind. I am the silence of the sea, and the secret of the standing stones. I am the beauty of the green earth, and the mystery of the stars. I am the Mother of all things, and the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. I am the source of your beginning, and I am the fulfillment of your desire. [Bard speaks.] Hear the words of the All Father who is called Osiris, and Woden, and Lugh, and other names beyond counting. [East speaks.] You know me not, but I am with you. My face is the sun, and my voice the thunder. I am the strength of the forest, and the keenness of the sword. I am the rune giver; the patient teacher; the revealer of secrets. I am the warrior, the defender of the weak and the companion of heroes. I am the Horned One. I am the gateway to the Mysteries, and I am Mystery itself. [West speaks.] Arise and come unto us, for mine in the womb that bore thee and the breast that nursed thee. Your joy is our joy, and your sorrow, our sorrow. We would teach you the ways of healing, and the joys of love, for our law is love unto all beings. We give the knowledge of the eternal spirit, and beyond death we give peace and reunion with those who have gone before. We would lead you to love and to freedom. Call on us, and we will show you the hidden paths. [East speaks.] Follow my white stag into the deep forest. There is mystery in the wild places, and a path that leads between the worlds. The path is not easy, for it leads to that which cannot be given by another. Those who would share our freedom must create it anew within their own hearts. But no one who walks that path walks alone. Fear not to call on us, for we have not forgotten our Children. 5. Great Rite [Priest and Priestess take positions in center of circle, Priest kneeling with chalice, Priestess standing with athame. Priest makes spontaneous prayer to Lord and Lady. Priestess prays and/or responds on behalf of Lord and Lady, customarily ending with So mote it be as she lowers the athame. [Comment: a common theme here is to invite the Lord and Lady to join with us as they join with each other, but sensitivity to the inspiration of the moment is the prime concern.] 6. Blessing 2584 [All sing We all come from the Goddess as Priest and Priestess circle group, touching and offering a blessing to each in turn. When all have received a blessing, Priest and Priestess return to circle and all join hands. Priest and Priestess signal end to song by returning to center.] PART THREE CLOSING 1. Thanking the Lord and Lady [Priest thanks Lady, Priestess thanks Lord.] 2. Return to Mundane Consciousness [Priestess return to circle. Priest resumes pathworking in ancient clearing, thanks quarters and draws participants back into normal consciousness. Priest returns to circle.] 3. Opening the Circle [Bard moves to center and addresses all.] The rite is ended, the circle is open, may the blessing of the Lord and Lady be with you all. So mote it be. (All respond.) END Yule Ritual YULE DIVINE PLAY - by Lady Allusha, Coven Tara, publiched in the Georgian Newsletter, December 1983 Characters: Narrator, Earth Goddess, Handmaidens, Sun God Props: Yule Fire Narrator: It has been a long cold winter. Here, where the trees are all barren and the snow covers the ground the nights are dark and long. Earth Goddess enters, followed by her Handmaidens. They all move slowly around towards the birthing spot. Narrator: We see shadowy figures in the distance, moving slowly. The delicate footprints lead into the deepest realms of the forest. It is the Earth Goddess, pregnant with Life, followed by her Handmaidens. Earth Goddess stops. Handmaidens gather before her and kneel. Earth Goddess starts to make soft birthing sounds. Narrator: Listen! The Earth Goddess is about to give birth. In the midst of deepest darkness, light shall be reborn. Lend her your aid! Handmaidens start swaying gently, joining in the birthing sounds. Narrator encourages all present to join in the birthing sounds. The sounds get louder and louder until ... Narrator: The Sun is Born! Sun God jumps out from hiding into the center. He appears small and weak. Earth Goddess: Go, my faithful Handmaidens, and build up the Yule fire. 2585 That the weak Sun God shall grow in warmth and strength by its flames. She collapses with a sigh. Handmaidens build up the fire. The Sun God slowly grows as the fire grows, until he stands tall with his arms outstretched. He says, " I have returned" Then he dances a little jig. YULE RITUAL The celebrants gather in a room apart from the ritual area. It is best if the ritual can be held in a room without lights and with no heat. Priest and Priestess may choose to cast the circle before hand and allow all to enter through a portal, or cast after the candle lighting. At the time for the ritual to begin, the warden and maiden lead all into the ritual area with only one dim candle to light the way which circles to the Southern tower and stays there. As all shiver in the darkness, the priest and priestess, at the Southern tower begin, alternating: It is winter. It is night. We await the Sun. We await the light. In this darkness In this night, We await the warmth. We await the light. (Together:) And slowly it comes. (As they have moved around the cirle saying these things, the Priestess Widdershins and the Priest Deosil, they light candles which completely surround the circle. By the time they have finished, the room should be very bright.) Circle is cast if not already. Salt and water. Fire and air. Quarters summoned in manner appropriate to the season. God Invocation Priestess: Horned God, Winter God, Father of the Sun, with frost upon your beard and the blazing of Yule fires in your eyes, you bless us with your presence. We greet you. Goddess Invocation The Winter God (lighting the appropriate candles, which are held by women appropriately dressed): White is for the Maiden, divine and joyous child. Fresh as the snow is her taper. I give greetings, Blessed One. Red is for the Mother, warm embracing creation queen. Scarlet as the winter sunset is her taper. I give greetings, Regal One. 2586 Black is for the Crone, keeper of magical mysteries. Ebon as the stormy night is her taper. I give greetings, Wise One. Queens of winter, Sister, Mother, Grandmother, I greet you and ask your blessings upon your people gathered here. The three Goddesses, dividing the parts appropriately, invoke the Sun (the Maiden then crowns the God with a crown of candles or other appropriate crown, the Mother gives him a staff with a pine cone tip and the Crone gives him a kiss): Return, oh, return! God of the sun, god of the light, return! Darkness has fled -- Thou hast no enemies. O lovely helper, return, return! Return to thy sister, thy spouse, thy mother who loveth thee! We shall not be put asunder. O my brother, my consort, my son, return, return! When I see thee not my heart grieveth for thee, mine eyes seek for thee, my feet roam the earth in search of thee! Gods and men weep for thee together. God of the sun, god of the light, return! Return to thy sister, thy spouse, thy mother, who loveth thee! Return! Return! Return! The God raps three times on the altar with his wand Sun King: Newly born, am I. What wisdom says the watcher of the east to aid me and those gathered here with me? East: This is a time for entering wilderness and seeking its magical strengths. A time for standing alone and godlike, and seeing all things clearly. It is a season of joy! Sun King: What wisdom says the watcher of the south? South: This is a time of active seeking, both without in nature and within oneself. Eagerness and resolution shall concern mysteries and create results. It is a season of courage! Sun King: What wisdom says the watcher of the west? West: This is a time for devotion to the way of the wild places and seeking the calmness of solitary locales. A time for finding understanding, and confiding only in trusted friends. It is a season of meditation! Sun King: What wisdom says the watcher of the north? North: This is a time to know the endurance of the hills, and to so grow in one's own inner firmness. A time for scrupulousness and thoroughness and considering all things. It is a season of confidence! 2587 The Winter God: Rich are these gifts of knowledge. Soon I will give way to my Son, but until that time mine is the feast and the season of joy. (The God blesses the feast as is customary for the group.) Each Deity and Watchers is thanked and bid farewell as they were invoked. The circle is released as is appropriate to the group. Notes: If anyone is crowned with a crown of candles, a veil helps with the dripping wax. Holly can be pretty uncomfortable, too, so ditto. Portions of this are liberally stolen from the Magical Rites from the Crystal Well by Ed Fitch. It's great stuff and you may want to use it outright, rather than my mutilated version. If you have enough people and candles, everybody may be naked by the end of this. It's great to use your oldest male as Winter and your youngest male for the Sun (kids are great suns). Same for the Goddesses. Obviously, this is just an outline that can be spindled, folded and mutilated any way you like. The opening part with the candles we have used for more than one Yule and it's really great. We have also done a guided meditation into Herne's Grove, rather than a Winter God invocation. It involves a treck through the winter forest, trudging through snow until you find the lone pine tree in the clearing in the heart of the Female Wine Blessing The Goddess calls originate from an all-female version I wrote of the Dedication ritual of the Odyssian tradition. The original was written by Richard and Tamarra James. This version follows the structure of the original fairly closely, and maintains some of the original lines, so if you like it, send your compliments to Richard as well as to me. Ditto for the Wine Blessing, as it is a modified version of the Odyssian standard WB. One priestess represents the Moon Goddess (the conventionally feminine role), and the other the Sun Goddess (the conventionally mascualine role). We half-jokingly called this the butch-femme wine blessing... Goddess Calls: 2588 SG: I am She who shone forth from the Dark of Night, When time was begun. Lady of the Sea, join Me, And let all things be formed of Our union. Thou who art called Artemis, Hecate, Cerridwen, Isis. Giver of love, protection, and the joy of life, Goddess of the Earth, Moon and Sea, Ruler of the Night, Mistress of Magic, Keeper of the Mysteries. Ascend to Me on bright and silvered wing. For lo, I receive these gifts of Thee: Life, and love, and gifts from the Sea. I am the Sun, the Sun that calleth Thee. I am the arching Sky that covers Thee. Come unto Me, my Lady, come unto Me, And be welcome. Hail, and blessed be. MG: I am She who rose from the depths of the Sea, When time was begun. Lady of the Bright Sky, join Me, And let all things be formed of Our union. Thou who art called Athena, Bast, Sekhmet, Amaterasu. Giver of strength, guidance, and the will of life, Goddess of the Sun, Sky, and Winds, Ruler of the Day, Bringer of Justice and Voice of Truth. Descend to Me on bright and golden wing. For lo, I receive these gifts of Thee: Life, and strength, and fullest ecstasy. I am the Sea, the Sea that calleth Thee. I am the waiting Earth that welcomes Thee. Come unto Me, my Lady, come unto Me, And be welcome. Hail, and blessed be. Wine Blessing: MG anoints SG and hands her the athame. MG: Bright Lady, thou art the Sun. Thy heat is radiant. Warrior Maiden, Giver of the Law, Here is the athame, The Air and Fire are contained within it, As are their powers. SG anoints MG and hands her the chalice. SG: Dark Lady, thou art the Moon, Giver of dreams and visions. Wise One, Teacher of the Mysteries, Here is the chalice, The Earth and the Sea are contained within it, As are their powers. SG: I am the spark of life, The well of flame wherein dwells all power and potential. 2589 MG: And I am the primal matter, The core of earth that gives shape and form to that power. Both: Neither one can work without the other. One without the other is incomplete. SG: Mine are wisdom and knowledge, passion and pride. MG: And mine are love and dreams, silence and mystery. Both: To learn you must suffer, To live you must be born, To be born you must die. The beginning, continuation and the end, Over and over. SG: The Sun brings forth light, MG: And the Moon holds it in darkness. SG: As above, MG: So below. SG: (Raises athame) And as the athame is one half of our divine nature, MG: So the chalice is the other. Both: (Athame into chalice) And conjoined they be one in truth, For it is in the Dance that Life is born, In the balance that truth is found, And there is no greater power in all the world Than that of Love. Altars (misc. Thoughts) Chris Olmstead As for Altar set ups... 1. I once read Crowley's remarks on how he contrived his stuff while he was out wandering the world or climbing mountains. He found ways to just use the simple things from his kit...cook knife became Athame, tin cup became the Cup...etc. This sort of 'kitchen witch' working is accepted by lots of folks. You can set an altar up and take it down as fast as you can set a table. 2. I also have noted the "Porto-Pagan" set-ups at some of the Pagan Fests I've attended. Carry the stuff in a cardboard box that can be up-ended for an altar, or even placed on it's side for a rain-proof 'shrine'. Close and carry off at the end of the visit with a minimum of re-wrapping to protect the fragiles. Some just contrive one with the natural objects at hand...a rock, a stick, a lantern or candle, etc. 3. Some folks (including myself) have a small duffle into which I've placed a second set of "traveling" working tools. I have the great good-fortune of having friends who give me cool things. The coolest 2590 stay on my Altar, the second-coolest hang out in the sac, and sometimes I shift the goodies around. 4. I have a buncha books that offer arrangements I find a bit Over- whelming, but I can certainly post them, if you really need them. If you want me to fetch out Official Altar diagrams from some of the slick commercial works I have on the shelf, RSVP. 5. For "public" Altar, in my home, I 'clutter' a shelf, a mantle, or a small window sill. It sounds to me as though, since all your stuff is packed andyour space is totally compressed, that the "window sill" Altar is a good solution for you. I put a little origami pinwheel up on an Eastern sill, a small shell on a Western one, a tiny oil lamp on a Southern one, and a pretty rock on a Northern one. The whole House is the Altar "Table". To clear my space I have been known to light a stick of incense, scaling it upward in my mind until I am swinging a huge flaming brand before the various Darks I'm dispelling, and run through the house screaming and raving aloud until they back off. A joss stick lasts about 20 minutes. I can almost guarantee that if you summon your Ki and Incant over a flaming brand for 15 minutes, most Shadows _will_ go elsewhere. I haven't had to do it in THIS house more than twice in 3 years. What Is Shamanism? Since the term "shamanism" has been used in a number of ways during the discussions here I thought it might be helpful to present some basic information on shamanism as the inter-disicplinary subject that it has become since Mircea Eliade wrote _Shamanism_. The following is from the Foreward, which explains the approach that Eliade took to study Shamanism as a magico-religious phenomena, and which has been the foundation that shamanism as a spiritual tradition, as well as explaining how other academic disciplines approach the subject. --------------------------------------- Mircea Eliade _Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy_ Princeton University, Bollingen Series LXXVI 1964 Originally published in French as _Le Chamanisme et les techniques archaiques de l'extase_, Librairie Payot, Paris, 1951. Revised and enlarged for the Bollinger edition. ISBN 0-691-01779-4 pbk 0-691-09827-1 hdbk To the best of our knowledge the present book is the first to cover the entire phenomenon of shamanism and at the same time to situate it in the general history of religions. To say this is to imply its liability to imperfection and approximation and the risks that it takes. Today the student has at his disposition a considerable quantity of documents for the various shamanisms--Siberian, North American, South American, Indonesian, Oceanian, and so on. Then too, a number of works, important in their several ways have broken ground 2591 for the ethnological, sociological, and psychological study of shamanism (or rather, of a particular type of shamanism). But with a few notable exceptions--we refer especially to the studies of Altaic shamanism by Holmberg (Harva)--the immense shamanic bibliography has neglected to interpret this extremely complex phenomenon in the framework of the history of religion. It is as a historian of religions that we, in our turn, have attempted to approach, understand, and present shamanism. Far be it from us to think of belittling the admirable studies undertaken from the viewpoints of psychology, sociology, or ethnology; we consider them indispensable to understanding the various aspects of shamanism. But we believe that there is room for another approach--that which we have sought to implement in the following pages. The writer who approaches shamanism as a psychologist will be led to regard it as primarily the manifestation of a psyche in crisis or even in retrogression; he will not fail to compare it with certain aberrant psychic behavior patterns or to class it among mental diseases of the hysteroid or epileptoid type. We shall explain why we consider it inacceptable to assimilate shamanism to any kind of mental disease. But one point remains (and it is an important one), to which the psychologist will always be justified in drawing attention: like any other religious vocation, the shamanic vocation is manifested by a crisis, a temporary derangement of the future shaman's spiritual equilibrium. All the observations and analyses that have been made on this point are particularly valuable They show us, in actual process as it were, the repercussions, within th epsyche, of what we have called the "dialectic of hierophanies"--the radical separation between profane and sacred and the resulting splitting of the world. To say this is to indicate all the importance that we attribute to such studies in religious psychology. The sociologist, for his part, is concerned with the social function of the shaman, the priest, the magician. He will study prestige originating from magical powers, its role in the structure of society, the relations between religious and political leaders and so on. A sociological analysis of the myths of the First Shaman will elicit revealing indications concerning the exceptional position of the earliest shamans in certain archaic societies. The sociology of shamnism remains to be written, and it will be among the most important chapters in general sociology of religion. The historian of religions must take all these studies and their conclusions into account. Added to the psychological conditions brought out by the psychologist, the social ocnditions, in the broadest sense of the term, reinforce the element of human and historical concreteness in the documents that he is called upon to handle. The concreteness will be accented by the studies of the ehtnologist. It will be the task of ethnological monographs to situate the shaman in his cultural milieu. There is danger of misunderstanding the true personality of a Chukchee shaman, for example, if one reads of his exploits without knowing anything about the life and traditions of the Chukchee. Again, it will be for the ehtnologist to make exhaustive studies of the shaman's costume and drum, to describe the seances, to record texts and melodies, and so on. By undertaking to 2592 establish the "history" of one or another constituent element of shamanism (the drum, for example, or the use of narcotics during seances), the ethnologist--joined when circumstances demand it, by a comparatist and historian--will suceed in showing the circulation of the particular motif in time and space; so far as possible, he will define its center of expansion and the stages and the chronology of its dissemination. In short, the ethnolgist will also become a "historian," whether or not he adopts the Graebner-Schmidt-Koppers method of cultural cycles. In any case, in addition to an admirable purely descriptive ethnographical literature, there are now available numerous works of historical ethnology: in the overwelming "gray mass" of cultural data stemming from the so-called "ahistorical" peoples, we now begin to see certain lines of force appearing; we begin to distinguish "history" where we were in the habit of finding only "Naturvolker," "primitives," or "savages." It is unnecessary to dwell here on the great services that historical ethnology has already rendered to the histroy of religions. But we do not believe that it can take the place of the history of religions. The latter's mission is to integrate the results of ethnology, psychology, and sociology. Yet in doing so, it will not renounce its own method of investigation or the viewpoint that specifically defines it. Cultural ethnology may have demonstrated the relation of shamanism to certain cultural cycles, for example, or the dissemination of one or another shamanic complex; yet its object is not to reveal the deeper meaning of all these religious phenomena, to illuminate their symbolism, and to place them in the general history of religions. In the last analysis, it is for the historian of religions to synthesize all the studies of particular aspects of shamanism and to present a comprehensive view which shall be at once a morphology and a history of this complex religious phenomena. pg. xi-xiii Chapter One, General considerations. REcruiting Methods. Shamanism and Mystical Vocation. Since the beginning of the century, ehtnologists have fallen into the habit of using the terms, "shaman," "medicine man," "sorcer," and "magician" interchangeably to designate certain individuals possessing magico-religious powers and found in all "primitive" societies. By extension, the smae terminology has been applied in studying the religious history of "civilized" peoples, and there have been discussions, for example, of an Indian, an Iranian, a Germanic, a Chinese, and even a Babylonian "shamanism" with reference to the "primitive" elements attested in the corresponding religions. For many reasons this confusion can only militate against any understanding of the shamanic phenomenon. If the word "shaman" is taken to mean any magician, sorcerer, medicine man, or ecstatic found throughout the history of religions and religious ethnology, we arrive at a notion at once extremely complex and extremely vague; it seems, furthermore, to serve no purpose, for we already have the terms "magician" or "sorcerer" to express notions as unlike and as ill-defined as "primitive magic" or "primitive mysticism." We consider it advantageous to restrict the use of the words 2593 "shaman" and "shamanism" precisely to avoid misunderstandings and to cast a clearer light on the history of "magic" and "sorcery." For of course, the shaman is also a magician and medicine man; he is believed to cure, like all doctors, and to perform miracles of the fakir type, like all magicians, whether primitive or modern. But beyond this, he is a psychopmp, and he may also be preist, mystic and powet. In the dim, "confusionistic" mass of the religious life of archaic socieites considered as a whole, shamanism--taken in its strict and exact sense--already shows a structure of its own and implies a "history" that there is every reason to clarify. Shamanism in the strict sense is pre-eminently a religious phenomenon of Siberia and Central Asia. The word comes to us, through the Russian, from the Tungusic _saman_. In the other languages of Centeral and North Asia the corresponding terms are Yakut _ojuna_ (_oyuna_), Mongolian _buga_, _boga_ (_buge_, _bu_) and _udagan_ (cf. also Buryat _udayan_, Yukut _udoyan_: "shamaness")_, Turko-Tartar _kam_ (Altaic _kam_, _gam_, Mongolian _kami_, etc.) It has been sought to explain the Tungusic term by the Pali _samana_, and we shall return to this possible etymology (which is part of the great problem of Indian influences on Siberian religions) in the last chapter of this book. Throughout the immense area comprising Central and North Asia, the magico-religious life of society centers on teh shaman. This, of course, does not mean that he is the one and only manipulator of the sacred, nor that religious activity is completely usurped by him. IN many tribes the sacrificing priest coexists with the shaman, not to mention the fact that every head of a family is also the head of the domestic cult. Nevertheless the shaman remains the dominating figure; for throught the whole region in which the ecstatic experience is considered the religious experience par excellence, the shaman, and he alone, is the great master of ecstasy. A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = _technique of ecstasy_. pgs 3-4 Yet one observation must be made at the outset: the presence of a shamanistic complex in one region or another does not necessarily mean that the magico-religious life of the corresponding poeple is crystallized around shamanism. This can ocur (as, for example, in certain parts of Indonesia), but it is not the most usual state of affairs. Generally shamanism coexixsts with other forms of magic and religion. It is here that we see all the advantage of emplying the term "shamanism" in its strict and proper sense. For, if we take the trouble to differentiate the shaman from other magicians and medicine men of primitive societies, the identification of shamanic complexes in one or another region immediately acquires definite significance. Magic and magicians are to be foudn more or less all over the world, where as shamaism exhibits a particular magical specialty, on which we shall dwell at legth: "master over fire," "magical flight," and so on. By virtue of this fact, though the shaman is, among other things, a magician, not every magician can properly be termed a shaman. The same distinction must be applied 2594 in regard to shamanic healing; ever medicine man is a healer, but the shaman employs a method that is his and his alone. AS for the shamanic techniques of ecstasy, they do not exhaust all the varieties of ecstatic experience documented in the history of religions an dreligious ethnolgoy. Hence any ecstatic cannot be considered a shaman; the shaman specializes in a trance during which his sould is believed to leave his body and ascend to the sky or descend to the underworld. A similar distinction is also necessary to define the shaman's relation to "spirits." All through the primitive and modern worlds we find individuals who profess to maintain relations with "spirits," whether they are "possessed" by them or control them. SSEveral volumes would be needed for an adequate study of all the problems that arise in connection with the mere idea of "spirits" and of their possible relations with human beings; for a "spirit" can equally well be the sould of a dead person, a "nature spirit," a mythical animal, and so on. But the study of shamanism does not require going into all this; we need only define the shaman's relation to his helping spirits. It will easily be seen wehrein a shaman differs from a "possessed" person, for example; the shaman controls his "spirits," in the sense that he, a human being, is able to communicate with the dead, "demons," and "nature spirits," without thereby becoming their insturment. To be sure, shamans are sometimes found to be "possessed," but these are exceptional cases for which there is a particular explanation. These few preliminary observations already indicate the course that we propose to follow in odrder to reach an adequate understanding of shamanism. In view of the fact that this magico-religious phenomenon has had its most complete manifestation in North and Central Asia, we shall take the shaman of these regions as our typical example. We are not unaware, and we shall endeavor to show, that Central and North Asian shamanism, at least in its present form, is not a primordial phenomenon that has a long "history." But this Central Asian and Siberian shamanism has the advantage of presenting a structure in which elements that exist independently elsewhere in the world--i.e., special relations with "spirits," ecstatic capacities permitting of magical flight, ascents to the sky, descents to the underworld, mastery over fire, etc.--are here already found integrated with a particular ideology and validating specific techniques. pgs. 5-6 ------------------------- By: JULIA PHILLIPS Re: Travelling Chant Some time ago I promised to post some of the BoS material I have which (allegedly) pre-dates Gardner. No guarantees , but I was told that this chant dates from the 1920s: Let's ride, let's ride, to the sabbat tonight, we'll ride over hill, over dale. We'll ride to the feasting and ride to the dance, and ride to the October ale. 2595 Let's dance, let's dance at the sabbat tonight, We'll sing with a heart full and glad. We'll sing and we'll love through the chill autumn night, and remember the loves we have had. Let's ride, let's ride when the sabbat is done, let's ride back to hearth and to home. Let's ride back together all under the stars, and wait for the next sabbat to come. I think it's rather a nice chant, whenever it was written. B*B Julia Bridal Blessing Song This is one of a collection which I have been told dates from the 18th century. As with the previous one, no guarantees ! Blessing Song for a Bridal Bless the furrow, bless the plough and bless the seed that springs. Bless the fruit and bless the corn the blossoms on the bough. Bless the man and bless the maid and bless the bed they share. Bless the babe that's got this night and in the Lady's care. B*B Julia ---- A WICCANING PART 4 --- THE DIVULGENCE OF THE NAMES (explained to the Witnesses): ANCIENT EUROPEAN PEOPLES BELIEVED THAT YOU MUST HAVE TWO NAMES, ONE PUBLIC AND ONE A SECRET NAME THAT ONLY THOSE PRESENT AT THE BLESSING CEREMONY KNEW. THIS SECOND NAME IS FOR USE AFTER PUBERTY, WHEN THE SOUL CHANGES INTO ITS FIRST ADULT SELF, WHEN IT CAN BE UTTERED ONCE MORE, AND MADE PUBLIC. THE PURPOSE OF THE FIRST PUBLIC NAME WAS TO DIVERT THE EVIL EYE, TO GAIN FAVOR WITH THE FATES, TO KEEP AWAY SICKNESS, AND TO HELP THE CHILD REACH ADULTHOOD. Priestess: "Great Spirit of Nature, protect and guide these young souls among us. May the Blessings of the wise and joyous Father of the Gods far-seeing and far-knowing be upon thee. May the blessings of the Triple Goddess, of Maiden, of Mother, of Crone, and all their power be upon thee." The following blessings/invocations were spoken and followed by the child being immersed in the ocean water of the beach where the ritual was held: 2596 ELIZABETH'S DUNKING: Anna Perenna Great Goddess, Mother of All Envelope this daughter of yours in the waters of Your womb Grant her protection from wrong-doing Wash away the memories of her pain Shower her with Your blessings in a life everlasting Bless Elizabeth Mae Luzerne. So Mote it Be! PATRICK'S DUNKING: Great Goddess, Nurturer and Bearer of all Men, great and small Without whose womb they would not be Mother of Gods, of Sacrificial Kings, Presidents, Emperors, and beggars Welcome this son of Yours into Your Light and as you have taught us, let him find "Beauty and strength, power and compassion, mirth and reverence, honor and humility" within his heart. Wash his fears away with your caress! Bless Patrick Howard Lloyd! Blessed Be! MORGAINNE'S DUNKING: Hail, o gracious and most magnificent Lady whose slender hand turns the vast wheel of the sky. whose triple aspect does see the beginning, the life, and the end of all things. whose wells of mystery do give inspiration and rebirth thoughout eternity, receive here this small daughter of yours with blessings and with love. Bless Morgainne Ellayne! So mote it be! Santa TANE JACKSON Christmas has two distinct themes running through it, as study of any collection of Christmas cards shows. One is the religious aspect, involving Wise Men, angels, the Star and shepherds, and refers to the Gospel story of the birth of Christ. The other theme seems totally unrelated and depicts reindeer, stockings, a sleigh and, of course, Santa Claus. The two main Christmas personalities are Jesus and Santa, as most people will agree. Everyone brought up in a Christian country knows the significance of Jesus at this time but just who is Father Christmas and why should he become part of a religious festival? 2597 We must first look back at history and see why December became such an important month in the religious calendar in the first place. The reason is, of course, the Winter Solstice, December 21st, when the Sun appears to stop in the sky prior to beginning its journey back across the heavens. After the Solstice the days gradually get longer and the peoples of old considered this to be almost the birthday of the Sun. The peoples of the northern hemisphere were fond of having a festival in mid-winter, perhaps because they needed something to take their minds off the long, cold, dark days. In ancient Rome the feast of Saturnalia was held between December 17th and 23rd and gifts were exchanged. The Romans also held the feast of Brumalia on the Solstice day itself and considered this to be the birthday of Mithra the unconquered Sun god. The Norsemen celebrated Yule at this time, to herald the return of the Sun. It is interesting to note that Christ is often known as the Light of the World, a title that continues this theme of darkness in retreat in the face of good. The Solstice has long been associated with the idea of people giving each other presents. Apart from giving gifts at Saturnalia the Romans also exchanged presents on the feast of the Kalends, which we call New Year's Day. These customs prevailed all over the Roman Empire when Christianity was still a new religion. When Christianity spread to the northern lands they found the Norsemen worshipping Odin--who rode his chariot through the night sky at the time of the Winter Solstice, handing out gifts. Because the exchange of gifts was so linked in the pagan mind with these old festivals devout Christians were not supposed to exchange gifts at this time. However, gift-exchange never died out on the European scene and finally the Church fathers had to do something about it. They did not want to let people keep on believing that Odin or any other pagan deity had anything to do with gift-bringing so they looked around for an acceptable Christian figure to bring them instead. The person they chose was St Nicholas, the former Bishop of Myra in the 4th century AD. Not much is actually known about St Nicholas, though many legends grew up around his kind ly figure. One thing that qualified him for the role of gift-bringer was his feast day being December 6th, a date sufficiently close to the Solstice for the two to be connected in the mass mind. St Nicholas was a useful saint and could even be described as all-purpose. His responsibilities included the welfare of pawn- brokers, boatmen, parish clerks, dockers and barrel-makers among others. He was the patron saint of both Russia and Aberdeen. The best-known story about him tells of his leaving three bags of gold on a poor man's windowsill as dowries for his three daughters. One version of this tale states that the gold was thrown through the window and landed in a stocking that had been hung up to dry, which perhaps explains our custom of the Christmas stocking. ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2598 ******************** A Witch's Thoughts on Halloween Most people celebrate Halloween as a children's holiday of candy and costumes. However, I will be celebrating tonight as Samhain ("Sow-wen"), the Celtic New Year, the night for remembering loved ones past and looking toward the future. For I am a Neo-pagan, a follower of the Old Religion, a Wiccan. I am a Witch. There are probably as many definitions of Wicca as there are prac- titioners of the Craft--one of the joys of this path is that there is no "one, true way"; intuition is as valuable as teaching. This then is my personal definition of what Wicca is to me. First, what Wicca is not is devil-worship. Wiccans don't believe in an entity of all-evil. (I personally don't believe in evil per se; all evil is simply a perversion or excess of something that is good when present in a proper balance.) Wicca is a religion based on experience of Deity as male and female. It is pantheistic--seeing all things as part of God/dess, and seeing the Earth Herself as a living organism of whom we are part. It is also a religion of immanence--seeing God/dess present in each of us and in the world around us, not "out there somewhere" but part of daily life. Wiccans celebrate eight major holidays, or sabbats--the beginning and midpoint of each season. We also celebrate the phases of the moon: some only celebrate the full moon while others celebrate full, waxing, and new moons. Each of these rituals helps keep us in touch with Nature. These celebrations are in small groups usually called circles, covens, or groves and are usually led by a Priestess, and often a Priest. Some groups share duties and avoid titles. Wicca is also a "Craft". We practice magic through chants, visualizations and spells, all to focus our will on something we want to happen. We believe that everything we do, good or ill, comes back to us tripled, which is why we don't "hex" or "curse" anyone. We also believe that many psychic talents are real and simply haven't been studied enough by science to be catalogued as such. Wiccans for the most part accept reincarnation, not as dogma to be believed, but as fact based on personal experience. Many of us remember past lives. As one who has studied science, I know that every atom of my body once was part of something else, and I am continually losing atoms that become part of others. Knowing this, it makes sense that my soul also is "recycled". Wicca is a positive philosophy. The only "law" is 'An it harm none, do as ye will": Enjoy life to its fullest, and remember to help everyone else enjoy it as well. Wiccans don't preach; Wiccans don't evangelize. Everyone has to find his/her own path, and we welcome the diversity this brings. So tonight, when you dress up as a "wicked witch", know that there are "good witches" celebrating as well. Know that I and thousands like me throughout the world are celebrating the cycles of life through the dance of the Lord and the Lady, trying to make this world we all share a little brighter through our cauldron fires in the darkness. Know we are not out to convert you; know we mean you no harm. All we ask for is understanding, tolerance, and the freedom to practice as we choose. Blessed Be, Cecylyna Brightsword High Priestess, Thalia Clan P.O. Box 681092 ϊ Indianapolis, IN 46268-1092 ϊ (317) 579-3083 ΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝΝ 2599 The Money Tree Spell Rowan Moonstone YOu wil need: Green candle annointed w/ pine oil. Sweet basil (1tbsp of basil in r hand.) Pine incense (Pass the basil over the altar candles and the green candle and incense 3 times and sprinkle basil around the green candle. Green silk pouch White altar candles annointed w/ sandalwood oil 5 pennies, 4 old, 1 new. Salt Water orange candle annointed w/ basil oil parchment O Altar Candle O Altar Candle O Green Candle _____________ | | | Parchment | -------------- O orange candle O salt O pennies O pine incense O water On a waxing moon, set the altar in the east of yoru circle. This will need to be left up for a full waxing cycle. You will need easy access to a door. Take a new penny in your hand, Circle the altar deosil and say "Bring to me what I see By thy power, Hecate," Spin rapidly deosil and go outside and toss the new penny in the air. Wherever it lands, bury all 5 pennies, saying: "I give thee money - Hecate Return to me prosperity. I give thee five REturn by three As I will So mote it be." Return to your altar and snuff out the candles. Next week, at the same day and time, return to your altar with your talisman bag and the parchment. Light the orange candle. Visualize money flowing onto the altar. Unearth the coins and bring them to the altar. Wash them in the chalice water to purify them. Pass them through the incense smoke and the fire from the orange candle. Place each coin in the talisman pouch, old coins first. Add nine pieces of rock salt, close the mouth of the talisman pouch and face east and say:
Next