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b2ap3_thumbnail_moon.jpgWe have an interesting confluence of energies coming up this week. First, Pluto goes direct at 8:37 pm on the 22nd (all times EDT). Then, less than two hours later, the Sun enters Libra, giving us Pluto stationing direct in the Libra Ingress chart on a Dark Moon. Just over a day later, there is a New Moon, still on the sensitive Aries Point at 1 degree of Libra. (The Aries Point is zero degrees of any cardinal sign. Anything within a degree and a half or two degrees of that point is given strength and emphasis, and gets things moving)

The cardinal ingress charts — in other words, the charts of the solstices and equinoxes — are usually predictive for the next three months. (Occasionally, they will be in effect for longer — the influence is more like a tide than a line drawn in the sand.) A New Moon chart that is not an eclipse is predictive for the month ahead, and Pluto going stationary direct is…well, you know how hitting just the right note can set up a vibration that shatters glass? Listen as Pluto’s hum changes key and increases in volume now that he and Uranus are once again heading towards each other. They meet in their next exact square December 15th.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    You are very welcome, Arwen. Glad you found it helpful.
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Thank you for this, Diotima. Something I will be coming back to for certain.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The woman who sculpted our temple's goddess was having a few one night with folks from her artist's collective in Boston. They were far enough in their cups to be one-upping each other: the artist's brag.

I had a one-person show at the X Gallery,” says one.

I have a piece in the Y Museum,” says another.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Hi everyone,

I am pleased to announce that as a gift to my readers (and to Frey himself) for the equinox, I have re-released my Frey devotional Peace and Good Seasons (previously published in 2009 under the name Svartesol), a revised, expanded, and updated version.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Tarot And The New Moon

b2ap3_thumbnail_Shadowscapes_2Cups.jpgTarot and magic is an interesting subject. It's also a fairly old one or so I am led to believe. I wanted to share another super simple spell that can be done at the new moon. September's new moon is on the 24th (or 23rd depending on your time zone).

In my practice, I was taught that the New Moon esbats were a time for doing healing work. Sometimes we had a bowl for names of those we were doing work for. Other times we simply spoke their name into the Circle. New Moons were one of my favorite esbats with my training coven because they were a quieter working.

Using Tarot in a New Moon esbat for healing is not a precise science. There are 78 choices after all. And let's not get started on the number of combinations.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Dark Mother

Autumn is my favorite season. As the Autumnal Equinox/Mabon/Alban Elfed approaches, I’m thinking of how this season has always carried a sense of magic and spirit… of descent into the sacred secrets of time… a place of reckoning, with a wise power that can see you as you go, while all the foliate cover falls away… a place where truth can’t hide. Truth is powerful and healing and terrible and cleansing and undeniable, and this is the cathartic season where you feast on it, and it feasts on you.

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  • donna
    donna says #
    I too love both the light & dark times for they both bring their own unique gifts. Luckily, I've never had the fear of the Dark Mo

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Of Arrows and Garlands

One of the signature symbols of the modern Old Craft movement is the crossed arrows and garland. It is a striking and evocative image which I find, as I peruse the literature, to have occasioned much discussion but little articulation. The symbol, however, has much to tell, to those who care to ask.

These days the garlanded arrow-cross receives attention mostly as an adornment for the stang, the standing forked pole that is the unembodied image of the Horned. Most discussion seems to center around the composition of the garland (what vegetation, at what season) and its presence or absence. Rarely do I find discussion of meaning.*

In its first appearance on the public stage, though, the symbol—though associated with the stang—is freestanding. I myself first saw it in a photograph in Justine Glass' 1973 book Witchcraft, the Sixth Sense—and You. There a rather sloppily-made mixed garland of leaves, flowers, and feathers is pierced by two diagonally-crossed arrows, one with black fletching and one with white. They would seem to be mounted on a wall above what is described as a “keppen rod.” This is clearly what would later be called a “stang,” in this case not a hayfork but a pole with a curved metal end-prong, probably used for removing pots from an oven.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Spiritual Experiences Abroad in England

In the summer of 1987, when I was 18, I studied at the University of Warwick, England. The quotes in this post are from my memoir, Greater Than the Sum of My Parts.  I visited the British Museum, cried when I saw the real original Beowulf, and encountered a real rune stone.

     “It was taller than me and must have weighed more than a truck, and unlike the ancient tome I’d perused, it was not protected by a barrier.  Cautiously, I touched its surface, traced the carved design, looking for traces of old paints.”

The only psychic impression I got off of it was great age. I did receive strong psychic impressions from places I visited in England, though. Object reading and place reading was not one of my natural powers, but I had developed it through reading the set of runes I had made.

The image that accompanies this post is of Avebury, a henge more primitive than Stonehenge. About 4,500 years old, it's the largest stone circle in Europe.

In the following quote from my memoir, mom and I had rented a car and were traveling around on the weekend when we did not have classes. Mom was taking a class at the University of Warwick, too, a graduate level course for professional development for her career as a public school teacher.

      “Mom and I went to Stonehenge, but it was fenced off, and tourists were kept so far back it was like looking at a picture instead of being there.  I stretched and stretched with my mind but I couldn’t get any impressions off it; it was out of my range.

     Then we went to Avebury.  Not just people but sheep as well were allowed to wander among its stones.  There I felt power.  Each stone was a spearpoint piercing the sky, a conduit by which earth and wind, rain and sun spoke to each other.  The ditches and roads, the circles and lines, formed a web that radiated unto infinity.  Life-force, numina, mystery, magic, god, these were the words invented for such a feeling.  Solid stone, green grassy earth, the caesura in the movement that was an old green ditch, filled with emptiness, by these symbols the ancients did invoke the holy.

     Then there was music.  It flowed like fog across the greensward, ancient instruments, young women’s voices, words hovering on the edge of intelligibility, like a forgotten mothertongue.  It fit so well with the mood of Avebury that for a moment I did not did realize it was real physical sound waves, and not something originating in my head.  Then the words switched to English and I caught, “ancient ring, magical ring of stones.”  Drawn as if by elvish minstrels, we followed the music to its source:  a little shop at the edge of the fold, built of the ubiquitous golden brown stone.  The tape playing was Clannad:  Magical Ring.”

Somewhere in England, I had a profound spiritual experience in a Christian church.

      “In some town or other, mom and I went into an old church, in the idle way tourists will enter any old building.  I was not trying to sense anything, being uninterested in Christianity, but the power hit me as if walking in its threshold were like plugging into a socket, eight hundred years of history flash-downloading.  My eyes noted high, arched windows, and wooden pews mostly empty, but my mind saw bare earth, a grove of trees, a holy place long before the Christians came.  Then the foundations were dug, and it surprised me to feel no animosity between the pagan and the Christian ways of using this place, as if both were mere costume-changes in the same play.  Stone by shaped, grey stone, bit by bit and pane by pane of colored glass, over generations, the loving hands of simple craftsmen and the gold and silver of merchants and lords built high toward heaven a defining structure.  The brightly colored banners on the walls spoke of armies, soldiers and knights contesting outside these walls, but inside coming to beseech their god for victory, or afterward, for forgiveness.  All the hopes, all the pain, all the fear and joy and guilt of every villager who passed within these walls welled up within me in an instant, discreet from each other yet massing like an army of the ancient days.  Then times changed, the clothes on the villagers, the soldiers, and their betters changed, and there was more joy, more grief, weddings and funerals and births and confessions, and then times changed again.  The lords and ladies, knights and wealthy merchants went away.  The villagers became townsmen, sophisticated and agnostic.  The ranks on the pews thinned.  Then the tourists came.  In the church bareheaded they came, with cameras and laughter, more interested in the building than in the purpose for which it was built.  It was so sad, so sad, I couldn’t bear it.  I swayed on my feet, and had to sit down, there on a wooden pew.”

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  • Veronique
    Veronique says #
    Hi Erin, I am currently living in the UK , this feeling you had , I have had two similar , one in Scotland at Stirling it is incre
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thank you!
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Erin, I am originally from England, so much of what you say really resonates with me at a visceral level. Several years ago

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