A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Issue 12, December 1994/January 1995

In This Issue:
Out on a Limb: Editorial - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
From Brighid's Hearth: Colds & Flus - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
So You Want to Start A Garden? - Brighid MoonFire
Runes: Gifu - Stormy
A Solstice Bedtime Story - Ing
Night Stalking: Star Watching - Stormy
Poetry: Keltic Dream - David Sparenberg
A Winter Solstice Reading - Stormy
Poetry: Old Song - Lark
Bach Flowers: Elder - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Lunar Energies & Esoterica: Elder - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Bach Flowers: Birch- Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Lunar Energies & Esoterica: Birch - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Poetry: Dearest Daughter, Sister, and Friend - Epona
A Note on the New Year - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
A Quick Look at the Lunar Year - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Fiction: Moonwatch - Miriam Carroll
Letters to the Editor
Bubbles From the Cauldron - book reviews, etc.

Editor & Layout, Publisher: Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Staff Writer: Brighid MoonFire
Staff Writer: lmré K. Rainey
Staff Writer & Artist: Stormy
Poetry Editor: Lark

Contributors: Miriam Carroll, Epona, Ing, Lark, Nancy Passmore (The Lunar Calendar), Sherlock, David Sparenberg. Cover art by Stormy.

THE HAZEL NUT, Issue 12, Copyright © 1995. December 1994/January 1995, Elder/Birch Moons. THE HAZEL NUT is published six times a year.

All rights reserved. Copyright reverts to the individual artist or writer upon publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the editor and author.
Opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information published, but cannot be held liable for errors, changes, or omissions, or for any incurrances from the application or the practice of any matter contained herein.

In Celtic legend, the hazel tree drops its nuts into the well below, where they are consumed by the salmon. While cooking one of these salmon, Fionn accidently tastes it, and instantly gains all knowledge. As such, the hazelnut has come to symbolize wisdom in a nutshell. THE HAZEL NUT attempts to bring you this wisdom in a small package every issue, with historical research, herbal information, viewpoints, poetry, artwork, and reader submissions. We also explore, in depth, one or more trees of the Celtic tree calendar/alphabet (Beth-Luis-Nion system) as researched and explained by Robert Graves in The White Goddess. This includes its herbal uses, folklore, esoterica, lunar energies, psychology, mythology, symbolism, and other aspects. In this we hope to make the sacred trees a real, and positive, part of your everyday life.
Elder and Birch are the thirteenth and first trees of the Celtic tree calendar. They occur on either side of the Winter Solstice, and this year they run from December 2-December 21, and January 1-January 30, respectively.


In spite of best intentions, this issue is late. I think the chaos that was visited on us this past summer is making a brief (hopefully) reprise before the old year makes way for the new. Blackthom is making a last, defiant stand.
I've noticed that in years past, things seem to build up before the winter solstice, making everyone just a little crazy. Everything seems to be on hold. Nothing works out quite right. This is probably the worst time of year to hunt for a job, or try to complete a project. Then comes Birch moon, and January. Things feel better! The flood gates have opened, and life is running on an even keel again. So if things feel crazy right now, be patient; Birch brings a new year and new energies.
Recently we've gotten several new subscribers who are already familiar with the Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar. I'd like to invite you to write for The Hazel Nut on some aspect of the lunar trees: their energies, myths, folklore, history, herbal uses, etc.; how they relate to systems of healing, divination, etc.; how they affect you and how you celebrate them, especially in different parts of the country; or perhaps historical research into the tree calendar itself, the ogham, the different calendar systems (Beth-Luis-Nion vs. Beth-Luis-Fearn), etc. One person or one group of people can only say so much about a subject before it starts sounding old; let's hear some fresh perspectives.
We're also interested in group and individual ethics; does your group or tradition teach ethics? In what way does it do this? How strongly are ethics stressed? Is one required to show a certain understanding of morals & ethics before one is permitted to move up a level, or are ethics secondary to practical magic and rituals? Does behavior within the teaching group differ from behavior towards non-group members? How are troublesome people dealt with, if at all? An article will be forthcoming, hopefully incorporating any feedback we receive on this subject (no names will be mentioned in the article unless we're told otherwise). Try to reply to us before the end of February.

Until next time, party on, dudes! - Muirghein


by by Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)

Colds and flus are something we all suffer from at some point during the year. There are as many 'cures' as there are combinations of symptoms; unfortunately, most cold formulas, both chemical and herbal, do little more than cover up these symptoms. Most colds and flus, if left alone, will simply run their courses and be gone within a few days. Sometimes, however, the symptoms linger on and on, and can turn into something worse if not taken care of.
The best defense against a cold is not to get one in the first place-eat healthy foods, exercise; basically keep your immune system in good shape. However, when we are hit with a cold or flu, there are a few remedies which can actually bolster the immune system, or accelerate the body's own defenses against the virus. These remedies should be taken along with good-sense measures: plenty of fluids (fruit juices), raw fruits and vegetables, and rest. It is also a good idea to limit your intake of sugar and caffeine. Sugar causes your body to use vitamins essential to good health just to digest it; caffeine flushes out these vitamins before they can be used at all.
Finally, be aware that herbal formulas and drug-store cold remedies can counteract each other, especially if one is covering the symptom that the other is trying to eradicate. Know what a remedy does before taking it. And if you are taking prescribed medicine, check with your doctor before using any herbal formulas. Persistent symptoms that don't react to a remedy may be a sign of a deeper problem, and should be checked out by a doctor.


When you feel a cold coming on, eating 3 whole cloves of fresh garlic a day will help build up the immune system, and later will act as an expectorant. Of course, you'll get the odor along with the benefits!
Don't forget vitamin C; it really does help. Take 1000-1500 mg per day as soon as you feel sick. When the cold is gone, 500 mg per day will help keep your immune system in good shape. If you smoke, you may need to take more; cigarette smoke causes the body to expend 500 mg. of vitamin C per day!
Another remedy for a downed immune system is a blend of Echinacea (8 parts) and Goldenseal (1 part) in a capsule. Also make capsules of equal parts of White Pine bark, Horehound, Slippery Elm, and Chinese Ephedra (also available pre-made as Brochese®, by Nature's Herbs). Take 3 capsules of each of these mixtures 3 times a day.
This formula can be a good general tonic for a cold:
2 parts
Golden Seal 1 part
Myrrh Gum 1 part
Mix the powdered forms of these herbs and put in capsules; take 2 capsules 3 times a day.
A fever is your body's way of giving the germs a hot foot. Instead of fighting your body and trying to lower your temperature (unless it is abnormally high: 102 or more--see a doctor), help it along with this formula:
Mix equal parts of Elder Flowers and Peppermint.
Infuse (steep in hot water for 20 minutes), and drink hot. In addition, take a hot bath, then crawl under several blankets and go to sleep. The fever will 'break' soon, chasing out the last of the virus.
Herbal teas are made using 1 oz. herb/1 pint of water. As herbs are measured by weight, not volume, buy similar forms (cut, powdered), or use a kitchen scale.
A sore throat can be temporarily soothed by taking an infusion of Slippery Elm, Hops, and Sage in equal weights. A shot glass of natural apple cider vinegar, while not very pleasant tasting, will also help your throat stop hurting. The vinegar will reverse the pH in your throat, making it difficult for germs to live there. A shot of vinegar every day is also good for your complexion! And of course, if your throat is sore, DON'T SMOKE!!
Stuffy or runny nose: The best remedy for a stuffy nose is to eat spicy foods with lots of cayenne. For a runny nose, the best idea is just to leave it alone. This is your body's way of flushing out the virus. Anything you take to dry up the discharge, like antihistamines, will also dry up the membranes, leaving your nasal passages open to yet more infection.
Speaking of membranes; the eyes and nose are prime entrances for germs. If you rub your eyes after being in contact with someone with a cold, or after blowing your nose, you will introduce genus into your body. During the cold season, when everyone around you is ill, keep your hands clean, and resist rubbing your eyes and wiping your nose.
Our ancestors took Willow bark tea for pain relief--our modern-day aspirin is a synthesized form of Willow bark--and it still works today. Just take some fresh Willow
bark, cut in strips, and simmer 1 oz. in 1 pint of water (covered) for 20 minutes (a decoction).
Take as needed. Try this especially if modern aspirin upsets your stomach; Willow
bark lacks the harsh chemicals that may cause this upset.
When you're coughing up phlegm, your body is trying to clear the lungs of foreign matter
which could lead to bronchitis or pneumonia if not removed. Expectorants help this process:
Comfrey Root - 4 parts
Mullein herb - 3 parts
Elecampine - 3 parts
Wild Cherry bark - 3 parts
Lobelia - 2 parts
Ginger - 2 parts
Licorice - 2 parts
Make a decoction (see Willow bark). Take 1 cup, 3 times daily, or as needed.
This may be self-evident, but if you have a bad cough, DON'T SMOKE! This is a good time to break the habit.

Germanic: GEBO - gift, hospitality

GIBA - gift
Old English:
GYFU - gift
Old Norse: GEPIT - wedding (not in Younger Futhark)

KEY WORDS: Partnership, gifts


This rune is associated with Odin/Woden, Freya, and Thor, and their generosity with needed gifts for all king. Gifu was used in marriage contracts and attributed to Freya, goddess of marriage and fertility. Gifu was also used in boundary-markers and attributed to Thor as overseer of justice and fairness.
Giving as well as receiving is an important northern European tradition. Gifts are exchanged mutually to conclude a contract, a deal or an agreement. The American Indians gave freely and generously, expecting nothing in return. Their kind of giving was different, because no one had ownership; everything was shared by all. They had great difficulty understanding their European cousins' concept of ownership.
The Europeans had a definite idea and understanding of ownership. The giving and receiving of gifts was taken seriously. If favors were given, then gifts were returned in thanks. Everything had to balance. Giving a gift obligated the receiver to give something in return. If the god/desses were given gifts/sacrifices, they in turn would return favors; e.g., a good harvest, fertility, good weather, and the return of the sun after six months of darkness in the icy-cold barren land in the most northern part of the world.

Throwing the Love Runes:

Gifu is one of the love runes! It is the binder between the runes Mann (man) and Lagu (woman). The other two runes used in casting/throwing of love runes are Ken (to know, to see, is possible) and Wynn Ooy). These five runes can be pulled out of the regular set of 24 Futhark runes.
To throw these runes, all that is needed is a square piece of cloth at least 14" by 14" or larger. A 12" diameter circle can be drawn onto the cloth. The circle and its center can be indicated with a magic marker, stitching or embroidery. The center of the circle represents the present time, so if you are doing a reading in December, the center is December. Each inch radiating out from the center represents another month. I use the width of my thumb to measure these 1" increments.
The five runes are thrown by hand or dropped out of a bag about two to three inches above the cloth and allowed to land randomly in the circle. The runes must be face up to be read. If they land face down, they do not count. Depending on where each rune lands in the circle, you can determine what will happen and in what month.
Example reading: A man asks a question about romance. All five runes are thrown, landing face up. The first rune is Mann (man) in the center. The second rune is Lagu (woman), located 2" from the center. The third rune, Ken (to know, to see, is possible), and the fourth rune, Gifu (partnership and binding of man and woman) both land 5" from the center. The fifth rune is Wynn Ooy), about 5 1/2" from the center.
This reading is done in December, so this represents the man (Mann) looking for someone in a romantic way in December. There are no runes in the January location, but the rune for woman (Lagu) is in the February location. The man will probably meet a woman in February. It will take a few months for these two to finally get together, or it may take a while to get to know each other better (Ken and Gifu, in May). By mid-May, however, these two will know real joy!

The Rune:

This is a happy rune of 'gifts.' It is the 'X' in 'X-mas.' It can be a gift of self or a tangible gift. This rune is very positive when combined with other upright or positive runes. Gifu does not have a reversed meaning or position.
This rune indicates a partnership is at hand, either in work, business dealings, love marriage, etc. It's a good omen for the meeting of minds and of hearts. Gifu can denote the beginnings of a romantic relationship. If a relationship already exists, this can be an indication of added enhancement. Picking this rune can also mean a relief from problems and a time of peace as well as contentment. In health inquiries, it can signify a healing, physically or spiritually.


Don't be selfish! Share and think about others. Benevolence is a gift you can give yourself-what a feeling! Giving always returns ten-fold. Remember to give thanks to your higher power.


Aswyn, Freya. Leaves of the Yggdrasil. 1992. Llewelyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.
Blum, Ralph. The Book of Runes. 1987. Oracle Books, St. Martin's Press, NY.
Howard, Michael. Understanding Runes. 1990. The Aquarian Press. Thorson's Publications Group, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.
Gundarsson, Kveldulf. Tuetonic Religion. First Edition. 1993. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.
Thorsson, Edred. At.The Well of Wyrd. 1990. Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, ME.
Tyson, Donald. Rune Magic. 1989. Llewellyn Publications. St. Paul, MN,


by Ing

The Oak King wore a crown made of deer antlers intertwined with leafy branches of oak and mistletoe bearing its white berries.
The Oak King was majestic as he strode through the forest. He was following the sun, and he was finding the path colder day by day.
Each time he crossed a stream, the Oak King would take a drink. Each time he did, he began to see that he was growing very old.
Soon the Oak King found it difficult to continue. His old and stiffened body could not carry him much further.
As he pulled himself to the edge of a calm, clear spring, he said to himself; "Each day grows darker; soon I shall die." The ancient Oak King bent to take a drink. As he looked at his reflection, he saw ice forming on the surface of the water. The Oak King felt the darkness. The ice was closing his vital drinking space.
Just as he was failing, the Oak King looked again at his reflection in the spring. This time he saw the ice melting away. The antlered crown of the Oak King began to change. The rounded oak leaves became sharp and pointed. The white mistletoe berries became red as if the life fluids of all animals flowed into them.
The Oak King lifted his head and felt the life force grow strong within him. As he looked into the unfreezing stream, this time he saw holly leaves with red berries instead of oak and mistletoe.
The former Oak King, now the Holly King, leapt from the stream bank, and pranced through the forest. He now follows the sun on its upward course. With each step the Holly King takes, he melts the ice, leaving the ground ready for the Goddess to awaken her tiny plants.
So Mote It Be!

Ing is Chief Bard of CO.R. - Coven & Church of Rhiannon. In their tradition, the Oak King dies at the Winter Solstice, and the Holly King then rules till the Summer Solstice. "A Solstice Bedtime Story" was reprinted from The Henge, Yule, 1993.


by Stormy

This is the time of year when many interesting things happen. As we approach the Winter Solstice on December 21, the days are shorter, and the nights are longer and colder. The frosty nights make for some very interesting sky activity. More UFOs are reported at this time of year than at any other time.
The magnetic pole activity is increased around the Solstice, and there are some wonderful displays in the most northern regions. Sometimes these magnetic lights, known as the Aurora Borealis, are seen as they streak from pole to pole by those living further south.
These dark and frosty nights also enable us to see the Milky Way better. But to really see the stars well, you need to get away from the city, and visit the countryside where electric lights and streetlamps are rare. Go outside and look toward the most northern horizon. The Milky Way appears as a dense band lighting the sky with millions of stars, divided by a dark area with fewer stars. The Aborigines of Australia, refer to this dark area dividing the Milky Way as a river. Most of Europe and Western Asia say the Milky Way is spilt milk, or even rain. The Desna Indians of the Amazon called the Milky Way the 'brain in the sky.'
There is a fascinating event that sometimes happens on the shortest day of the year if the moon is right! A year from now, on December 21, 1995, the moon will be new and it will be a very dark night. On December 22, 1995, the Winter Solstice, there will be the beginning of a thin waxing crescent moon which will not be seen at night. Either on the eve of or the day of the Solstice, go out at night between midnight and 2 a.m. to witness the sun bleeding over the North pole from the completely opposite side of this planet! The northern sky will appear rosy-red above the northern horizon.
I believe we'll see this next year. I experienced this phenomenon on Winter Solstice, 1993, last year, and it was an awesome sight. I didn't telephone anyone in the middle of the night to tell them about it, and I'm sure I have friends who were disappointed I didn't wake them up from their warm beds to share the sight.
This year on the Winter Solstice, which is on December 21, the moon sets at 9:13 a.m. E.S.T. and rises at 8:03 p.m. E.S.T. This means the night will probably be too bright to see the bleed-over of the sun because the waning moon will be just six days past the full moon.
Keep an eye on the Big Dipper this year. Those in the north can see it fairly well. In the south it dropped below the northern horizon and is now rising back up, dipper first and handle last. If you can locate the Big Dipper (see previous issue, #11), you can locate the North Star, Polaris, and a star constellation known as Cassiopeia's Chair (see diagram, this page). This time of year it changes from an 'M' in the fall, to an upside-down 'B' or Greek-looking 'E' in the winter, to a 'W' in the spring, and then a 'B' in the summer. Even in the most southern areas of the United States, Cassiopeia can be seen clearly throughout the entire year. In the fall, this queen sits high on her throne, only to get dumped off of it during the winter months. She certainly deserves it for what she did to her beautiful daughter, Andromeda! Cassiopeia is well-known for having chained her daughter to the rocks as a sacrifice to the ugly sea monster Cetus, which was actually a sea whale. Persus asks Andromeda to marry her and she will consent if he saves her from Cetus. Pegasus, Persus's flying horse, saves Andromeda and she keeps her promise to Persus by marrying him.
Enjoy star-gazing this time of year. Watch for falling stars, and if you see a real UFO, keep your camera or camcorder handy!


Krupp, E.C., Ph.D. Beyond the Blue Horizon, Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. 1991. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY.
Pearce, Q. L. Stargazer's Guide to the Galaxy. 1991. Tom Doherty Assoc., Inc., New York, NY.
Pennick, Nigel. Practical Magic in the Northern Tradition. 1989. The Aquarian Press, Hammersmith, London, England.
Raymo, Chet. 365 Starry Nights. 1982. Simon and Schuster, New York, NY.


- by David Sparenberg

We rode on, outdated,
through the fine, splendid, sublime,
exquisite madness of the world.
Twigs on branches, leaves
on twigs, the vines curling down, creeping over,
With the flow of wild,
ancient melodies, on drums, on pipes.
Drunken horses, drunken
woolen robes. Scarves.
The bald women sang to us. Sun
between green canopies. The swelling
hum of old, old pipes and drums.
From the fields of laughter, from spiced
wildflowers, the forest of dark tears.
The full taste of creation's roasting ecstasy
smothered our lips like strange,
bleeding fruits...
we ate her songs. The hair
that fell in the horsetail tracks left--
distant days, smoke over thatch,
bardcalls, Gaelic estuaries, haze--
soft, brown-golden straw
for the island curlews to peck. Ogham:
scars of melodious wisdom, subliminal men.
And the whole, encircling,
dread mystery of her rocking throat, mountains
of the hunter's horn.
Her lap of lakes. The dance.


by Stormy

This is a simple ritual that can be performed in the house an when the family is expected for the holidays, with no fear of the relatives thinking you're a little strange. Simply change the Guardian Spirits to the Angels, and maybe a couple of other key phrases, and they'll think you're just doing a nice Christian Advent reading. You'll need five white candles arranged in a pentagram shape on the altar or on the floor, and the elements arranged in a circle around you. You'll also need a bell, and any tools you normally use.

Set up the circle:

1. Make ground sacred and bless tools.
2. Use salt, water or incense to cast circle.
3. Ring bell.
4. Thank old Wise Ones, God and Goddess for coming.


Today we light candles of the Five Elements to welcome the "Divine Child of Light" on this Winter Solstice day.
The first candle represents the Guardian Spirit of the North and the element Earth. Earth is the land we walk on. We are grounded, and our roots are in the earth. Everything that grows and lives comes from the earth. This time of year much that grows is asleep in the earth or in the form of seed that will grow again in the Spring. There is hope.
The second candle we'll light represents the Guardian Spirit of the East, and the element Air. We cannot live without air. It is everywhere, surrounding us. Many things are carried by the a r. The seeds with wings are scattered in the air. Leaves are blown off the trees by air. Airplanes, helicopters and jets all fly in the air carrying passengers, much needed supplies, and the mail. Transmission of radio, television, and microwaves are carried in the air. Air represents communication and new ideas. Without air we could not breathe. Also, air is something you know is there but cannot see. Believing in something you cannot see is faith.
The third candle we'll light represents the Guardian Spirit of the South, and the element Fire. A wonderful invention is fire, probably discovered accidently. Food cooked tastes better and kills bacteria. Fire keeps us warm on cold winter nights. Fire has enabled us to do so much and to advance. The proper use of fire is very important to mankind. If we have no feelings for ourselves and others, we are nothing. Fire is passion and love.
The fourth candle we'll light represents the Guardian Spirit of the West, and the element Water. Earth, wind and fire we cannot live without. We cannot live without water, either! Water soothes so many things and allows the soil to maintain a way in which all plant life can grow. Every animal that creeps, walks, flies or swims needs water to live. Ninety percent of our body is water. We are affected by the moon, the sun, the earth, and the planets. We are a very unique part of the universe. Water is in abundance here, and such a rarity in other places on this planet. Water is cool, calming and represents peace.
The fifth candle we'll light represents the elements Ether or Spirit, and the rebirth and the cycle of life. Everything living is born somehow, lives and eventually dies. From death is rebirth and regrowth. It is a natural cycle that has been going on before mankind invented God or Goddess, before mankind invented time or a record of writing it all down in pictures or symbols. This day represents rebirth. The "Divine Child" reborn is each and every one of us. We are all children of the same God or Goddess, with many different names. We are all children of the same tree of life. We all have similar stories, beliefs, and beginnings. So why are we so different? Because we have free will to do as we please and think as we please, providing we hurt or harm none! Blessed be!

1. Say goodbyes and thanks to the old Wise Ones, the God and the Goddess.
2. Close circle.
3. Clean up.


- by Lark

There is an old song of the Earth
Sung so long ago and so often
That the notes have been worn to whispers;
And it whispers of past lives and pentacles
And days of old, of warriors bold and
Of Oak, Ash and Hawthorn trees
And the gatherings beneath them.
Mother, mother, it whispers, mother.
Nature sings and smiles
A song of love, a perfume of peace
It bids me to search for
Moonlight and starlight
And circles of women.
The old song becomes the Mother
And She is breath and light and fills my whole being.
She whispers of Three in One
And I am awed by this triangle that is my faith,
And the heart of hope that lives within me.
I feel Her move, as she recreates Herself again and again
As She spins through space
She sings the old song for those who will hear.
So I open myself to Her song
And I am born.


by Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)

As Elder Moon is a time of change, sacrifice, and rebirth, there are three Bach Flower Remedies which seem appropriate. These are Red Chestnut, Walnut, and Star of Bethlehem.

Red Chestnut is for those people who suffer and worry for others. They always fear the worst will befall their loved ones. Think of the mother who can't rest till her adult children have called to say they got home safely, or the father who stays up till his teen-age daughter has returned home from the movies.
While Red Chestnut types suffer for those they love, they think the others wont notice.
But since they find it easy to tune into other people, and are able to project their emotions strongly, everyone for whom they are concerned is aware of it. In their over-concern, Red Chestnut people are doing more harm than good; there is a danger of actually attracting the things they are dreading for others with their energies. Dr. Bach told of a bad accident he had with an axe; "this caused great anxiety on the part of those close to him as immediate first aid was applied to stanch the blood. When he had recovered, Dr. Bach added that our anxiety on his behalf, although we had done our best to hide it, had not helped him at all. His sensitivity was so great that he could not avoid sensing and reacting to our feelings of the moment; any thought of depression, worry or fear in another person would cause him acute physical pain."1
More to the point of this moon, the Red Chestnut state could be likened to the symbiotic relationship between mother and infant, who depends wholly on its mother for survival. The mother, also, is emotionally living through her child. This close bond can persist for too long, even into adulthood, when the cord is not cut. In this case, both parties will suffer retarded emotional development, because such relationships are rarely maintained equally by both parties. And when one person attempts to sever the cord, the other one is automatically involved. These types of bonds are common between married couples, also, especially when one projects old problems with their parents onto the other person2. The mother must sacrifice her son, and let him live his own life; the daughter must sacrifice her dependent feelings on her parent.
The Red Chestnut state is simply a connection at the wrong level, at a subjective, emotional, anxiety-ridden personality level, rather than at a higher spiritual level. The love felt for the other person is egotistical; the Red Chestnut person unconsciously projects his own limiting thoughts and doubts onto the object of their attention.
The positive side of Red Chestnut is an ability to send out thought of safety, health, or other positive energies to those who need them, and an ability to remain calm in any emergency.
Red Chestnut (Aesculus carnea), is prepared by the boiling method. Gather about 6" of the twig with the flowering pyramid and young leaves3.

Walnut is known as the link breaker. It is most useful in situations where a major change is about to take place, such as a conversion to a new faith, starting a completely new career, or moving to a different state or country. It is also good in major stages of biological change; i.e., teething, puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or terminal illness.
All situations involving major change are periods of increased stress, and therefore of more inner instability, At times of change, even normally stable people who know what they want can be overly-influenced by others, or by their own sentimental musings or old traditions or habits, and run the risk of abandoning their decision to change. They need to be free from such bonds in order to fulfill their lifes mission.
The Walnut person is "mentally sitting in a boat that is to take him across the river. He can clearly see the opposite bank, but the boat is still partly tied up. The last of the ropes are still keeping him unconsciously tied to the past"4 maybe an unpleasant experience, a relationship that hasn't been broken off cleanly, or even a decision that one is not even aware of. All that is needed to make the change is that final, decisive push.
Breaking with old habits, conventions, and restrictions and starting on a new path is often painful. Regrets and heart-break at the severance of old ties, old associations, or old thoughts, can often cause physical suffering. Soured relationships, either with a partner, parent, child, or other person, can be especially hard to end. "Walnut is a great spell breaker, both of things of the past commonly called heredity, and circumstances of the present."5
The positive side of Walnut is a constancy and determination; those who live their lives unaffected by adverse conditions, unhindered by the opinions of others.
Walnut (Juglans regia), is prepared by the boiling method. Pick about 6" of the young shoots, leaves, and female flowers, in early spring6.

Star of Bethlehem is one of the five remedies in Rescue Remedy; its function is to neutralize shock or trauma in any form, no matter when it happened. This could be sudden sad news, a bad fright, a violent accident, a grievous disappointment. Almost everyone experiences shocking events throughout their lives, in greater or lesser degrees, that they are unable to cope with. Some shocks will show physical effects immediately, such as arthritis, headaches, or insomnia; others may take years to manifest, sometimes as 'psychosomatic' conditions. But they will always show effects, in one form or another.
Dr. Bach called Star of Bethlehem "the comforter and soother of pains and sorrows."7 It rouses the personality from its mental half-sleep, and re-integrates it with the Higher Self. Taken together with Walnut, it can help ease the transition onto a new path.
Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) blooms from April to May. Prepare by the boiling method; pick the flowering clusters when they are fully open, with a small piece of the main stem8.


1 Chancellor, Dr. Philip M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies. 1971. Keats Publishing, Inc., New Canaan, CT, pg. 157-158.
2 Scheffer, Mechthild. Bach Flower Therapy - Theory and Practice. 1981. Munchen, West
Germany, pg. 140.
3 Weeks, Nora, and Bullen, Victor. The Bach Flower Remedies - Illustrations and Preparation. 1964, C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd., London, England, pg. 84.
4 Scheffer, pg. 175.
5 Chancellor, pg. 201.
6 Weeks and Bullen, pg. 72.
7 Scheffer, pg. 158.
8 Weeks and Bullen, pg. 74.


by Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)

Elder is a time of fear, stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. The energy is frenetic right now; but while everything seems to whirling around us, things in our own lives seem to be mired in quicksand. There may be several projects we're trying to complete; or perhaps we're waiting to hear about that job, or whether weve been accepted into school. But try as we might, things seem to have come to a halt, and when we try to move ahead, its as if were pushing against a brick wall.
This feeling of non-movement can lead to frustration. Relationships suffer. Nothing seems to work out quite right. And the holiday shopping madness doesn't help. But before we despair about never seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, know that Elder is above all a time of change and transition. While we think we're not getting anywhere, whats actually happening is a build-up, almost like water before a dam. Come the Winter Solstice, the dam will break loose, and things will flow freely again. You'll hear about that job or about school. All of a sudden you'll have the energy and motivation to finish all those projects, and you'll feel like beginning more.
If we allow ourselves, we can also experience change in this moon. This is a good time to let go of old habits, old ways of thinking, that no longer suit us. Growth stems from change, and change is never painless. The Elder is called the Death Moon, and for good reason. What we experience is a death of self, when we let go of things, and a rebirth, when we embrace
So don't throw your hands up in frustration just yet. Give it just a little while longer, till after the Winter Solstice, and especially until after the beginning of the Birch moon. To help with the energies of the season, indulge yourself in the traditional Christmas customs: go to parties, decorate the tree, see a ballet or play, rent "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and in particular, visit with family and friends. When you're around people you know you can trust, you'll feel more grounded; you'll have a sense of belonging. This will enable you to flow with the inevitable changes you face; to make them willingly, instead of being dragged kicking and screaming across the dam. And try talking to an Elder, or drinking a bit of Elder wine; you'll be amazed at the difference it'll make!


by Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)

Birch is the moon of authority and self-discipline, and as such, there are three Bach Flower Remedies suitable for this moon: Beech, Vine, and Rock Water. Although Ive recommended Vine Remedy for the Vine and Ivy moons, its probably most appropriate for Birch.

Vine types are capable and ambitious, and have very strong willpower. They are very authoritative and dominating, and in the negative state are hard, egotistical, and greedy for power, with no respect for the individuality of others. They demand and expect unquestioning obedience, and will force their will on upon one and all. They tend to be the take-over types, who feel that their way is the best. Vine types seem to enjoy their power over others, for they have no compassion for those around them.
"The fine positive side of the Vine type is seen in the wise, loving and understanding ruler, leader or teacher. Anyone who possesses these qualities, and uses them to guide others, has no need to dominate; he is the one who helps people to know themselves, and to find their path in life. He is the leader who can inspire those around him by his unshakable confidence and certainty."1 Scheffer tells us "A person in the positive Vine state will realize that 'strong leadership qualities' are in fact only needed in temporary crisis situations."2 He will understand his function is to help others find their own way.
Vine (Vitis vinifera), is prepared by the sun method. Gather the flowering clusters the spring, usually in May3.

Rock Water types suffer from a different type of imbalance; they as hard on themselves as Vine types are on others. They are strict in their way of living, and have formed almost impossible ideals and goals for themselves from which they wont be deterred, and which they force themselves to live up to. They deny themselves many things which make life pleasant, and undergo a form of self-martyrdom in order to maintain their self-imposed standards. The extreme Rock Water type also wants to be an example to others, hoping to quietly induce others to take up his own ideas so that they, too, shall find 'the right path.
Rock Water people can be very difficult to talk to; they have strong views on most issues, such as religion, politics, and environmental problems. They take a very 'dogged view of what they believe to be right, and will simply ignore what doesn't fit their own ideas.
Rock Water types want to be in top physical and mental shape, and can often be seen swimming their 50 laps at 7:00 a.m. after having earlier jogged through the woods, and afterwards sitting down intently to breakfast. Their goals tend to be of the material, tangible type, the sort that can be crossed off a list; therefore, a Rock Water person may spend hours a day in yoga exercises, strictly adhere to a special diet, or go through specific ritual prayers every day, no matter where they are.
The Rock Water person is not, in spite of what he may think, practicing self-mastery, "for true self-mastery comes through forgetting the self, not concentrating upon it. It is a form of self-domination; they rule themselves with an iron hand."4 He does not understand that practices such as a fit mind and body are the result, not the cause, of spiritual growth. "In wanting to enforce changes that are against the souls inner design, the personality is fighting its Higher Self rather than letting itself be guided by it."5
People in the positive Rock Water state may be described as adaptable idealists, who are able to put aside their own principles and convictions when confronted with new insights and greater truths. They have flexible minds, and are not easily influenced by others.
Rock Water is not a plant, but water from natural springs located in remote areas and known for their power to heal the sick. Prepare by the sun method: fill the bowl to the brim from the spring, and place on the ground for 3 hours on a sunny day during June or July6.

A person in the negative Beech state is narrow-minded, hard, and intolerant towards others. They tend to be arrogant and highly critical, judging others by subjective, often very narrow, standards. They have lost sight of the fact that not everybody is born with the same gifts or has the same start in life as far as social background is concerned. The Beech type is an intolerant person who does not try to understand or make allowances for the shortcomings of others. Rather than looking for good qualities, the Beech type tends to look for a person's faults and to criticize them. They lack humanity, as well as the ability to put themselves in the other person's shoes. "The negative Beech state is aptly described by the saying 'sees the speck in another's eye, but not the log in his own.'7"
This passing of judgements leads to irritability on the Beech person's part; small habits, idiosyncrasies, and mistakes of other people will grate on their nerves, and their annoyance is all out of proportion to the problem at hand. Beech types tend to project too much to the outside, and have extreme difficulty in focusing inward and digesting their experiences. Their criticizing nature makes them rather lonely people, for they cut themselves off from the friendly, tolerant company of others.
The positive aspect of the Beech person is an example of perfect tolerance and genuine love. One can look forward to greater mental acuity, and an ability to understand human behavior and development.
Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is prepared by the boiling method. Gather the young shoots with the newly opened leaves and the male and female flowers about 6" long8.


1 Chancellor, Dr. Philip M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies. 1971. Keats Publishing, Inc., New Canaan, CT, pg. 196.
2 Scheffer, Mechthild. Bach Flower Therapy - Theory and Practice. 1981. Munchen, West
Germany, pg. 172.
3 Weeks, Nora, and Bullen, Victor. The Bach Flower Remedies - Illustrations and Preparation. 1964, C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd., London, England, pg. 50.
4 Chancellor, pg. 167.
5 Scheffer, pg. 149.
6 Weeks and Bullen, pg. 52.
7 Scheffer, pg. 47.
8 Weeks and Bullen, pg. 64.


by Brighid MoonFire

Birch moon brings us a new year with new energies. Remember all that you learned in the last turn of the wheel, for you must pass the test of the seasons again. If you grew, you will find new lessons; if not, then you will deal with the same ones again. Each day, each moon, is a new opportunity for growth. Greet it as you would the sun and the moon, with open arms, open hearts, and open minds.
Birch moon is a time of beginnings. The color of this moon is white for its newness. Look around you--the Earth Herself is covered in a blanket of white. The sacrifices you made
in Elder are realized now. Your wheel is new and as yet uncluttered. Now is the time to begin preparing for the coming rebirth. This is a time of sleep, for although the year is new and the sun has been reborn, it takes time for its warmth to stir and begin bringing everything back
to life.
This is your time to decide what seeds you wish to plant this year, be they spiritual or
physical. Now is the planning time, the time of inception. Next moon we will begin bringing these things one step closer to reality, but for now we must think well and hard, and plan for the year. The Earth lets us do that now, for She is also resting and planning for the coming months. We are cozy in our homes and we must use this time appropriately lest we lose our chance. Think of what lessons we learned in the last turn of the wheel, and use your chance now to grow and reach ahead.
Birch is also a time to be sensitive to and aware of the Earth, Her energies, and Her people. Open yourself to the world around you; let it speak to" you. This is the first moon for your lesson in communication, the first step you must take in your growth. How you deal with this moon, in a sense, determines how you will handle the rest of the year. The Birch herself gives you the authority to call upon her energies at any time of the year, to invoke the self-discipline, self authority, compassion, understanding, and sensitivity that is so important.
The Birch also serves as a substitute for any of the other lunar trees. Find a Birch and communicate with it. Respectfully ask for a wand from it, to carry with you throughout the year. And remember, her energies are at our fingertips all year long.


- by Epona

To know this Mystery,
You first must have trust
In the strength of your choosing
And then do as you know you must.

Look into your mirror daily.
Let the pond be still and clear.
But know that the reflection's not you, really.
See and smile. Do not fear.

Seek then, deeper into the depths of your Water's pool,
If you seek the Path of the Wicce, not the fool.
Remember, remember, daily this charge:
for if that which you seek,
You find not within yourself,
You will never find it without.

To attain the Wicce of which you seek:
for eighteen moons into your mirror look.
Record each day the figures there,
Remembering the Charge of the Goddess;
See your inner self bare.

For all these moons this journey will take you,
far beyond Escape,
To the only Freedom there is--within you;
But you, this chance must make.

With this quest I must charge you.
I do love you so; but not from me, this learning;
But from you, the learning to know.

With this test, let come joy and learning,
--And the last bit of the learning.
To begin the year with a New Beginning,
Upon this quest all is hinging.


by Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)

In Issue #6 of The Hazel Nut, December 1993, I wrote about calculating the start of the first moon. Since that is a fairly complete article, I won't re-write it here. I do, however, want to add a note about this year's transition from Elder to Birch Moon.
This year (1994) the lunar year ends (as always) on the Winter Solstice. Then we have 10 Days Apart (December 22-31) before Birch Moon begins the new year on January 1, 1995. If you'll notice on the Elder Moon calendar in this issue, Elder's full moon is on December 17. As Birch begins with a new moon in January, it also has a full moon. Both Elder and Birch having a full moon is not terribly common to the lunar calendar. Many times only one will have a full moon. Also, even though the calendar shows Elder going through a full phase, ending December 31, it actually ends on the Winter Solstice. These 10 left-over days, called the Days Apart, are a sort of leap-day, allowing the lunar calendar to realign with the solar calendar every year.
Why does the year end with the Winter Solstice, and not with the last day of the lunar phase? The Winter Solstice is the longest night and shortest day of the year. After the Solstice day, the days begin growing longer, and the nights shorter. Therefore, the Winter Solstice is a major turning point in the year, and has been celebrated by many different religions throughout history. The Christian church has even adopted it as their Christmas (although a few days later), celebrating the birth of their Sun King. So our lunar and solar year ends with the Winter Solstice, and begins with the Birch Moon, after one or more Days Apart.
Since there are 10 Days Apart this year, we have plenty of time to do our own realigning, with ourselves, the Goddess, and the Earth. On one of these Earth Mystery days, go outside to your own special place, and communicate and reconnect with the Earth Mother. It's a good idea if you find this spot beforehand, so you can spend your time with the Earth instead of searching for the right place. This 'place of rebirth' will be one where you feel at peace, both with yourself and your surroundings, and it should be near enough to your home so you won't have any excuse not to go. This spot will feel totally right to you, and may fill you with a certain feeling of power and energy.
For this Earth-Mystery ritual, you don't need any tools or props. You don't need to wear anything special, except maybe warm clothes. You're not trying to impress anyone, you don't have to invoke anyone; it's a very simple ritual.
On your chosen day, go to your spot, and sit in a still, receptive state. Reach out and communicate with the Earth Mother, and give Her a chance to speak to you. Remember your impressions, but don't attempt to analyze them right now. Stay as long as you feel you need to--usually a half hour or so. Then thank the elements and the Earth Mother, and return home. Be sure to write down your feelings and memories at this time.


by Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)

Below is a list of the solar & lunar trees, their Gaelic names, their ogham, the holidays that usually occur in conjunction with the trees, and a brief description of their energies. The first of the lunar & solar trees begin immediately following the Day Apart, which itself follows the Winter Solstice.
Solar Trees & Gaelic Names Lunar Trees Gaelic Names Brief Characteristics of the Lunar Trees (and the Day Apart)
The Day Apart
right after W.S. or before beginning of 1st lunar
(ogham is to the left of the tree) A year and a day; Robin Red-Breast as Spirit of New Year sets out with a Birch-rod to kill his predecessor, the Gold Crest Wren, the Spirit of the Old Year, whom he finds hiding in an ivy-bush. Wren is Druid's bird, Oak. Birth of new sacred king. This day belongs to number 14. Tomb of the year.
A Silver Fir
Begins the day
after the Day(s)
B Birch Beth Authority, discipline; inception, beginning; sensitivity, awareness
L Rowan Luis Candlemas (Feb 1) Communication, compassion, quickening/aborting; mystery of the seeds
N Ash Nion Power of the sea, the lightening flash; frenetic energy, impatience
O Gorse
Vernal Equinox
F Alder Fearn Sacred kings; reverence, order; lifts year out of floods and onto dry land
S Willow Saille Beltane (May 1) Intelligence, mental confusion/clarity; resentment; death, wicker man
H Hawthorn Huath Motion undefined; sexual abstinence, cleansing; man's power peaks
U Heather
Summer Solstice
D Oak Duir Strength, endurance; door of the year; whirling around without motion
T Holly Tinne Lammas (Aug 1) Dog days; protection, balance; opens 2nd part of year; Holly King, tanist
C Hazel Coll Wisdom in a nutshell, intuition; gestation, completion; hermit moon
E Aspen
Fall Equinox
M Vine Muin Remembrance of past/future, prophecy; joy, exhilaration, wrath; poetry
G Ivy Gort Samhain (Nov 1) Clarity/drunkenness; Godiva, the net, the wild hunt; woman's power peaks
Y Reed Ngetal Terror, joy of music; death rattle, sacrifice; protection, establishment
Z Elder Ruis end on the Winter Solstice Overcoming fear; change, death; resurrection, rebirth, transition; humor, music
I Yew
Day of the Winter Solstice


by Miriam Carroll

Aloin hugged the tree, enjoying the familiar sensation of rough bark, and the tree's life heat upon his small, strong hands. Looking up, he could see through the budding branches to the small night clouds scudding across the brilliant moonlit sky. Far from the full face, the sky was obliterated by the mountain, planted as a backdrop behind the small village at its base. The uneven, craggy outline was a moving, serene play of light and darkness, as the stone shadows constantly changed at the whim of the clouds.
Aloin heard no sounds emanating from the village, but he know that thirteen other humans were awake and moving towards him along the secret path to where he would, in a moment, be watching above, safety hidden in the branches of his tree.
He leaped up, easily grasping the lowest limb. As he grew, the task became easier. He grinned to himself as he thought about the short time left till his full growth, when the jump would not be necessary. But then, he hoped, some other chosen young one would have the watching task, as had been the custom for generations.
Aloin's hands, accustomed to labor, never felt a splinter or bum as he climbed higher and higher, until he reached his resting place. It was the most comfortable conjunction of limbs facing the village a mile away. Next moon, it would be Raldanna's turn to be nightwatcher. Although it was a task which required the trust of the Elders, Aloin knew he'd be glad not to miss more than one moon ceremony at a time.
As he settled in to send his thoughts to the others, helping them to walk in safety and quietude, Aloin heard a slight rustling sound beneath him. He dared not look down to see the cause, and besides, his ears and knowledge of the order of living things told him exactly what scene was played out below. It was not necessary to look. In scarcely a moment, it was over, silent again. Badger had hunted successfully.

Badger had lost a meal for himself and his family earlier when the rabbit he sought refused permission to release his soul, and escaped. Her children needed her right now. Another
time, perhaps.
This rabbit received the message now.
"My brother in fur, will you give your body this instant that I may feed my hungry cubs?"
The rabbit froze in his path. He had heard, all his life, that some day he would hear that question.
"Oh great silent hunter, I, too, have a hungry family which I love dearly. If I release right now, I would be sorely missed."
"Such a great rabbit of your clan would certainly be missed, sir, but consider this: soon a son of yours (and I have no doubt that you have many) can take your place, but you will have gone on to a greater clan. You will become part of my family of fierce hunters. Just think how strong and mighty you will feel then. I swear by our Furred Ancestor I will carefully lay out your bones, that your spirit may return to Earth one day."
"In that case, Badger, I will go. Besides, perhaps Hawk will choose one of your children. Then I will see with eyes far above the ground."
"All things are possible. I will be quick about it, and thank you."
Badger carried the dead rabbit back to his lair.

Aloin became totally alert again when he spotted the first tiny glowlight in the distance. That would be Martin, wearing his handsome black woolen robe, cinched at the waist in a brilliant red, twisted silk cord. Aloin would someday earn his red belt, and be Priest. It would take years just to earn enough to buy the silk for it. He fingered his own home-spun white cord. Yes, someday.
He sent a thought to Martin. Come into the forest. The way is safe. He felt the return thought; Blessed be.
Next, a few moments, behind Martin, came Hannah, who birthed the village babies. Tall she was, and handsome, too, with strength envied by some. Her thoughts were always filled with the easing of pain, of comfrey, sassafras, and raspberry leaves. She was surrounded by the scent of forest earth, which Aloin could sense even at this distance.
Slowly, the bobbing lights came into view. Aloin knew Raldanna's place, as her spark was so much lower than the others. She was only 10, but well aware of her future as Priestess. Her power came from her heritage as seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. She had the uncanny ability to know many things before they were spoken of, or occurred. It was Raldanna who first reached Aloin's mind, and opened him like a chick from the egg, to the world of Spirit and Light.
On they came, following close in the shadows, protected by the mountain. Single file across the meadow they walked, following each other's footsteps with surety, guided in safety by Aloin. He felt bathed in honor with each Blessed Be he received. His sense of responsibility filled him, for it was his duty to save their lives with an owl call should anyone intrude upon the privacy of their ceremony. Should the worst occur, and the hooting became necessary, each of the Family would instantly cover their sparking bit of moss and candlewax, and lie still upon the Mother. She would protect them with invisibility, even in the light of the moon, as she protected the furred beasts with colors that hid them whilst you looked directly upon them.
Tonight all was quiet in the village. One by one, led by Martin, the Family passed below Aloin into the forest. It was safe in there, of course. A breaking twig could not be heard far away, or would be taken for a natural sound. The path was memorized, step by step, by each member, until it could be walked blindfolded directly into the clearing. Raldanna said she could see it as if in daylight.
Once the tiny group was safe in the canopy of trees, Aloin's task was more difficult. He must never turn to see the play enacted, but continue to stare ahead without becoming sleepy. Silently, Ruth and Arthur stooped to pick a few twigs for burning. It was all they dared use, for fear of the odor reaching the village on a breezy night.
The others at the sacred circle had begun walking the perimeter, gathering energy for the ceremony. Each was lost in a world of meditative togetherness.
A tiny fire glowed warmth upon the faces of the black-robed and hooded figures. Not another stick was permitted for brightness, and the work of the night began before the fire burned out.
Far away, Aloin joined the circle, too.
Hannah stepped forward, large and powerful, walking to the eastern part of the circle. She raised her knife to the sky, as flashes of electric current pulsed from the tip. Silently, the group turned with her as she invoked the spirits of the four comers. Martin alone followed respectfully behind her.
There was no need to waste expensive candles in each comer, for the power created by the callings was light enough.
Aloin shivered from his fervor, and the joining, and the night chill.
The circle joined arms, intertwining shoulder to shoulder. Forward they bent, then back, circling to soundless chants and internal rhythms. They danced round the fire, rushing to their destinies in the universal Circle of Power. Breath labored hard; feet beat the earth. Faster and faster they joined and sang and chanted. Aloin's heart raced in the rhythm, till he, too, was short of breath.
Suddenly, the motion stopped. A cone of pure white light rose from the center of the tiny fire, enfolding the tiny family, now rooted, spellbound, to the earth. Then, the light slowly faded, and was gone.
Hannah raised her arms, throwing back her head, as the others followed her motions. Hearts slowed their tempos as the energies dissipated into the night. Again the Spirits were invoked, returning to their worlds.
As Hannah returned her knife to its scabbard, she put her hand across her belly. There it was again! The life started at the Beltane fire was alive and quickening. She smiled a secret smile, then opened the circle.
There was no need for their moss lights as they walked out of the woods, one by one, for they faced the moon, which showed the way home. Aloin, of course, would be the last to leave.
Merrie meet, and merrie part, and merrie meet again. Blessed Be.

Badger prowled silently, looking for a giving animal. The children were still hungry.


Dear Fall-Flingers,
I had a great time at the first annual Fall-Fling, and as far as I could tell, so did all of you. It was a lot of work and I almost went crazy, but it was worth it just to see all of you for a weekend. We are going to do it again next year and I look forward to seeing you all again.
I want to thank everyone who helped out with set-up and cleanup, and I especially want to thank Linda Kerr, our paragon of organization, for all of her help and for keeping me sane.
I also want to thank everyone for their expert programming where the weather was concerned. The weather could not have been any better. There was definitely a higher power at work.
Blessed Be,
Auburn, AL

Dear Linda,

I appreciate the variety and sincerity of the work being published in your Journal. I believe that each of us, along our individual paths in life, would do well to receive the creativity and research of others with our minds and hearts open. We take with us what we are meant to learn, use and pass on. Those things that are not appropriate for us, may be enlightenment along the pathwork of another. Even in this age of electronic convenience and propaganda, we are still children of our Lord and Lady, made to listen and learn from one another. Some Pagans and members of old religions possessively guard their knowledge of their traditional ways because of the "professional jealousy" or perhaps insecurity and ego problems. On the edge of the forest where I live, I see that there are as many leaves on the trees as there are stars in the heavens. I would like to see so many of us Celts, Pagans, Wiccans, Native Americans-and all who live in Craft and Myth--freely speaking with one another, connecting in our separateness within the Web of Life.
I am involved in several Wiccan and Pagan circles in my area, and am a trained Wiccan Priestess. Poetry, Ritual, Herbs and Incenses and all things Celtic are my interests. If possible I would appreciate your sending me a list of your submission deadlines for '94-'95, in the event that I might have something you'd like to use.
In conclusion:
Owl and Bat,
Spider and Cat,
Willow Tree and Pointed Hat...
Happy Hallowmas to The Hazel Nut.
Bright Blessings,
R. MacGregor
Marietta, GA


I love your publication. I'm surprised it took this long to find you. I've lived by the Beth-LuisNion calendar for quite some time-but rather intuitively. Great idea for a focus through the year. I will look forward to the next issue.
Bountiful Blessings,
Sara Chubb
Santa Barbara, CA

Dear Linda,

I wanted to tell you that I came up with a good phrase that explains the Old Religion: Spiritual Ecologist. My daughter asks such probing questions about it and I do not want to tell the name [Witch] to a 12-year-old, for the name has such negative, stereotypical connotations; those archetypes that have been perpetuated by literature and other mediums forever. I want her to know the love within it. Have you ever thought about having classes for the young ones? After years of hedging answers, Spiritual Ecologist seems to satisfy.
Blessed Be,
MacKenzie, AL


FallFling, November 4-6, 1994, Roxanna, Alabama. Organized by Sherlock.
- Reviewed by Muirghein

The weather was great, the beer was flowing, the classes were fun, and the ritual was neat. Perfect festival!
FallFling is another first-time festival, which will probably be repeated next year. Highlights included classes on dowsing, Reiki, runes, and outdoor survival skills, among others, a wonderful pot-luck feast; lots of drumming, thanks to Dr. Jim of Marietta, GA: a rather different ritual consisting of a processional around the site, and a keg, which we managed to empty by sometime around 3:00 a.m.
From an organizer's point of view, things went well. The weather was warm, in the 70s
during the day, and in spite of dire predictions, we didn't get any rain till about 2:00 a.m. Even that dried up by morning.
We met lots of new people, and had an attendance of about 60 folks. A costume contest, held Saturday night, was won by Lark's daughter Annie, who received a pair of lovely brass & pewter goblets and free admission to next year's FallFling. Second and third places were taken by Moose and Don M., respectively, who won a free (2nd place) and a half-price admission (3rd) to Faffling '95.
If you were there, you know how much fun it was. If you missed it, be there next year!

The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield. 1993. Warner Books, Inc., New York, NY. Hardcover, $17.95.
- Reviewed by Brighid MoonFire

This book details a man's progress and adventure to find an ancient Peruvian manuscript that tells you how to make connections between the events happening in your own life right now.
It describes insights into life and the energy that exists and flows through all living creatures. You must fully understand each insight to attain the next one, and each person is working at their own pace. Some may never reach past the first, and, some will race to the end. Yet we are all on this path.
A definite put-this-on-your-required-reading-list book for everyone interested in energy, or the collective move towards a greater understanding of the Earth Herself