A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Issue 16, August/September 1995

In This Issue:
Out on a Limb: Editorial - Linda Kerr
Through the Seasons - Linda Kerr
Runes: The Birth Runes, August-October - Stormy
Journey on the Red Road - White Bear
Poetry: Irish Mystery - David Sparenberg
A Lughnasadh Sky - Shannon Rivard
Myth: The Most Beautiful Flower - Annie
Aromatherapy: Lavendar: "Blue Magic" - Avalon
Night Stalking: Star Watching - Stormy
Reflections on a Life's Journey: Reach Out and Touch Someone - Nion
Religion vs. Spirituality - Imré K. Rainey
Faerie Faith 101: Touching the Earth - Linda Kerr
Creative Ritual for Solitaires - Chrisailes
Poetry: Lammas - Miriam Carroll
From Other Traditions: The Three Worlds of the Oíde, Part II - Adrian Loaghrian
An Open Letter
Ankh (Cross)-Word Puzzle
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: Imré K. Rainey
Staff Writer & Artist: Stormy
Poetry Editor: Lark

Contributors: Avalon, Miriam Carroll, Chrisailes, Annie, Adrian Loaghrian, Nion, Nancy Passmore (The Lunar Calendar), Shannon Rivard, Sherlock, David Sparenberg, White Bear. Cover art by Stormy.

THE HAZEL NUT, Issue 16, Copyright © 1995. August/September 1995, Holly/Hazel 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.
Holly is the eighth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in July or August, and this year it runs from July 27-August 24.
Hazel is the ninth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in August or September, and this year it runs from August 25-September 23.


This issue of The Hazel Nut is dedicated to Jeff McClelland, a Garden Club member and occasional contributor to The Hazel Nut. Jeff was in a car wreck on June 22, 1995, the day after the Summer Solstice, in which he broke his neck. He is in the hospital, and will probably be there for some time. As of this writing, he can move his arms and wrists, but not his hands or legs. Everyone who knows him has been doing rituals for him and sending him healing energy. All this has a positive effect, and everyone is very hopeful and optimistic about his recovery, but we can use some help.
On the full moon of Holly, Thursday, August 10, please send your concentrated healing energies to Jeff, or to myself so that I can direct them to him. We will be doing a group circle that night after dark, about 8:30 p.m., CST. Jeff is in Shepherd Spinal Center at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, off Howell Mill Road near 1-75, and our group is in Auburn, Alabama.
Any energies you can send would be appreciated, as would cards, letters, and even visits, if you're in the area. Please contact me for further information. And please be careful and take care of yourself! Too many weird things have been happening this summer--I know of two people who have had mild strokes, and we've had a crop of divorces in our group. And just recently, a young Auburn business owner mysteriously disappeared, and hasn't been seen in about two weeks, although his burned-up car was found. Maybe things will settle down with the onset of the Holly moon (wouldn't that be a twist!)
On a happier note, one of our youngest Garden Club members made her transition into womanhood recently, in a ceremony attended by family, friends, and tribe members. Amid so many birthdays in the range of late30's and mid-40's, it's nice to have someone around who can still look forward to getting older!
Until next time, party on, dudes! (But carefully, please, and wear your seat belts!) - Muirghein


by Linda Kerr

Late summer is a good time to go out and acquaint yourself with some of the lunar trees, before the leaf-fall makes the winter-time lunar trees difficult to identify. Ivy is easy enough to find year-round, but grape vines and honeysuckle (Vine), cattails (Reed), and elderberry trees can be virtually impossible to find in the winter if you don't already know what to look for. Late summer is also a prime time for making foodstuffs from the berries of trees and plants; elderberry jelly and wine is wonderful!
So, to get you started walking through the woods, here are some specific things to look for right now, both from the lunar trees, and from other plants. (Note: any descriptions given of the plants are not enough to positively identify them before picking one for consumption. Please consult with an experienced person, or check several good identification trying any plant for the first time. Never eat anything you are unsure of!)
Elderberries, mentioned above, can be made into a jelly to give as gifts at Solstice, or into wine to be served at your Elder Moon ritual. Wild grapes can serve the same purpose for your Vine ritual.
Hawthorn berries can be harvested in the summer, and used medicinally for mild stress, insomnia, sore throats, and a diuretic for kidney problems. For more info on hawthorn, see Issue #8 of The Hazel Nut. A relative of the hawthorn, wild rose, also produces its fruit in the summer, called rosehips. These can be made into a tea which is an excellent source of vitamin C, and can also be cooked into a jam. The book Eat the Weeds has an excellent section on wild rose and its uses1.
Another berry to look for in the late summer is the rowan, or mountain ash. Like the hawthorn and wild rose, it is a member of the rose (Rosaceae) family, and like rosehips, contains citric acid and vitamin C. The berries have medicinal uses, and can be made into jam or roasted as a coffee substitute. Look in Issue #6 of The Hazel Nut for more detailed information on the rowan.
And of course, when you're out picking berries, don't forget blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, huckleberries, chokecherries, black cherries, cranberries, and wild apples, all of which are good for jams, jellies, pies, and other recipes.
Wood sorrel (Oxalis europea) is a plant which looks similar to clover, but has heart-shaped leaves instead of teardrop-shaped ones. It also resembles the classic Irish shamrock. The leaf has a very nice, sweetish taste, and makes a wonderful soup. Take 1/2 cup of wood sorrel leaves, 4 cups of chicken broth, 2 well-beaten egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons of sherry. Heat the chicken broth and add the sorrel; simmer for 15 minutes. Slowly pour liquid over the beaten egg yolks, whipping briskly to keep it from curdling. Return mixture to the sauce pan and heat, but don't boil. Add sherry and serve2.
Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) can be searched out in the summer while they are still blooming and marked for harvesting later in the fall. This is a sunflower, growing about six to ten feet tall, bearing many yellow flowers 2-3" across. The brown centers are smaller than the typical cultivated or common Wild Sunflower, hemispherical in shape, and the petals are a lighter yellow. The tuber is the edible portion, but it shouldn't be dug until after the frost, when
the top part of the flower has died away. They will keep well in the ground until spring; you just need to know where to dig3.
Day lilies (Hemerocallis fulva) bloom in the summer along roadsides and in fields and yards. This orange flower, which blooms for only one day, is a valuable food plant, eaten as a vegetable in the Orient. The unopened flower buds can be boiled, seasoned, and served like green beans. Dip the buds or open flowers in an egg batter and fry in hot oil for an easy dish. Even the
closed, withered blooms of the day before are edible, giving a different, but still good, flavor to soups and stews. The day lily also has an edible yellowish tuber which can be dug all summer
and fall. These should be washed and trimmed of tiny roots, and boiled. If the tubers are young and whitish, they can even be eaten raw4.
Above all, spend this time searching out the lunar trees--Vine, Reed, Elder, Birch, Rowan, and Ash--for the months ahead, positively identifying them, and making preliminary contact, so you'll know where to come back to this winter.


1 Harris, Ben Charles. Eat the Weeds. 1961. Keats Publishing, Inc., New Canaan, CT, pg. 197-201.
2 Hunt, David, editor. Native Indian Wild Game Fish & Wild Foods Cookbook. 1992. Fox Chapel Publishing, Lancaster, PA, pg. 221.
3 Gibbons, Euell. Stalking the Wild Asparagus. 1962. Alan C. Hood, Publisher, Putney, VT, pg 25-26.
4 Ibid, pg. 83-86.


The Norse once used a Stave Calendar that was perpetual for 300 years [corrected from 350]. Each month consisted of 19 days; each day had a Rune assigned to it. This calendar was so accurate that only once every 300 years one day had to be added to correct it for solar time. This is very accurate when you consider that our present calendar system has to have one day added every four years!
A legacy left from the Norse are the days of our week, which are a reminder of Norse Mythology. The Norse days of the week represent our Pagan past. Many of the European countries did away with the use of pagan names for the days of the week, but they still survive today in most English speaking countries.
Monday: "Moon's Day" governs the emotions, wildlife, fertility and life giving waters. This day honors the Goddess, the moon cycles, the tides and our feelings.
Tuesday: "Tiw's Day" represents spirit of justice, discipline and integrity. Although Tiw was a god of war, he was also a peace keeper and a spiritual warrior.
Wednesday: "Woden's Day" represents Odin, the Norse god of magic, battle fury, protection, inspiration, ecstacy, consciousness and communication.
Thursday: "Thor's Day" was named for a huge and hearty Norse god who was a defender against the world of chaos with his hammer of thunder. He was popular to farmers and peasants alike because he was a defender, a protector, and brought needed rain or could cause a calm.
Friday: "Freya's Day" represents harmony, pleasure, beauty and the arts. The Norse warrior goddess, Freya, had the power to decide who would die in battle, and was also responsible for bringing men and women together in fertility. She had the power of giving or taking life. Her brother Frey also shares this day as her twin.
Saturday: "Saturn's Day" is not of Teutonic or Celtic origin but comes from Roman Mythology the God, Saturnus. His name in German was Seater. He was honored as representing a time when no one was a slave, a subordinate or a superior. He also represented a time when age, wisdom and maturity were respected.
Sunday: "Sun's Day" represents vitality, self-expression, pride, creativity and life. In some European cultures the Sun could represent a goddess as well as a god.

This month's article includes the Birth Runes for August and September: Thorn/Thurisaz, Os/Ansuz, Rad/Raidho, and Ken/ Kaunuz. See last issue's article for the Birth Runes chart listing the dates and times for each rune.

Dates: August 1-15
Color: Sky blue
Gemstone: Sapphire
Tree: Oak, also Hawthorn
Symbol: Thor's Hammer

Thorn/Thurisaz: individuals born during the rune of Thorn love a challenge and are not above getting dirty to complete a job. They can solve problems successfully that others have tried and failed. Having it too easy can be boring. These persons are industrious and hardworking. just like Thor, they can be courageous. They are often found working in the public eye as journalists, writers, artists, public personalities in TV and/or radio, and also make excellent teachers. It's not usual for them to harbor a secret desire that no one would ever suspect. They also love to dance and enjoy percussion sounds.
Downside of Thorn/ Thurisaz: There's so much drama in this person's life that they tend to get lengthy illnesses (real or imagined) from the stress. They can get real edgy at times. They tend to show up for appointments too early and are often anxious.

Dates: August 16-31
Color: Green, red
Gemstone: Emerald
Tree: Ash, also Linden tree
Symbol: The Word of Mouth

0s/Ansuz: individuals born under this rune tend to be either poets, writers, journalists, teachers, artists and/or specialized communicators. They are dramatic, and can be bards, or in the entertainment business. They are good observers and listeners. They do not like petty flattery but thrive on material recognition. Give them a raise or a bonus in real money if you want to praise them! They love to teach and learn while doing so. They love the dramatics in magical events and festivals.
Downside of Os/Ansuz: They are very shrewd in all affairs to the point of darkness. Some dealings they're involved in may be shady. They can also be very catty and hurting with their remarks. This is especially true if their childhood was difficult or their love life is barren.

Dates: September 1-15
Color: Bronze, gold, purple
Gemstone: Amethyst, peridot, chrysoprase
Tree: Hops, also Oak
Symbol: Solar wheel

Rad/Raidho symbolizes the wheel and a person born under this rune probably invented it. Their mind never stops. They are problem solvers, analytical thinkers and organizers. As statistical collectors, they can also be very spiritual, methodically searching the universe for answers. Although shy underneath they are go-getters and when they do speak up they mean what they say. Put them in charge of anything and they'll thrive on the environment. Don't hover over them while they're working, as they hate to be smothered. They like to choreograph spiritual energy, meditate and converse with their higher consciousness or higher powers.
Downside of Rad/Raidho: They worry themselves silly over things they have no control over. Because Rad is a meticulous organizer they sometimes get burned out. Others may take advantage of them by taking credit for what rightfully was invented by the Rad person. They can also sometimes be conceited and vain.

Dates: September 16-30
Color: Purple, green, white
Gemstone: Citrine, sugalite, bloodstone
Tree: Vine, grape
Symbol: Torch, a flashlight

Ken/Kaunuz people are often open, honest to a fault, make great parents and are very intelligent. They would rather read the original version first then compare and analyze the movie version with the book. They are well-educated either by the system or self-taught. They're philosophical and seem wiser than their years, even as children. They make excellent teachers and healers, and have great ideas and love working with crystals.
Downside of Ken/Kaunuz: They're either neat freaks or slobs. To be too organized or too unorganized is a sure sign they're unhappy. They expect everything to be perfect and are in for a real let-down, especially if they are not perfect. They also worry too much. They can be an honest thief by borrowing without permission and returning the item later, probably in better condition than when they borrowed it!

Other Sources:

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, New York, NY.
Budepest, Zsuzannah E. The Goddess in the Office. 1993. Harper, San Francisco, CA.
Gundarsson, Kveldulf. The Teutonic Religion. 1st Edition. 1993. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.
Pennick, Nigel. Practical Magic In The Northern Tradition. 1989. The Aquarian Press, Harper Collins Publishers, Hammersmith, London, England.
Pescehl, Lisa. A Practical Guide To The Runes, Their Use in Divination and Magick. 1991. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.
Plott, Dr. Robert. The Natural History of Stafford-Shire. London, England, 1686.
Willis, Tony. The Runic Workbook, Understanding And Using The Power of Runes. 1990. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., New York, NY.


by White Bear

My good friend and sister on the Red Road, Stormy, has requested that I introduce myself and my path to you, the readers of The Hazel Nut. That may be somewhat difficult to do as I haven't in all actuality settled on a clear path. I am most comfortable with the Native American peoples' way, which varies little from many of the paths all Pagans are on.
Over the last 30-odd years I have been much like a stone skipped across the waters of the world's religions (yes, they are all religions). I had an excellent background in Christianity which, when it didn't answer all my needs, led to a brief brush with Satanic worship. That experience almost scared me right off the path. Because of this experience, I lost faith in my inner voice and refused to heed its guidance. After a few years of self-abuse, my vision began to clear and I once again began to study. I have delved into Astrology, Buddhism, Pyramidology, Santaria, Voodoo, Avatarism, Positive Thinking, Color Therapy, UFOology--you name it and I have most likely looked into it. And from each of these and others I have gleaned what I intuitively felt would help and let the rest go.
I have had a strange aversion to Wicca for years--never studied it or at least would not allow myself to, even though it did attract me. This most likely was caused by my misunderstanding of it. I equated it, as most of the public does, with Satanism. Because of my friendship with Stormy, I have lost that aversion and begun to understand it. I see now that it is as earth-based as the Native American way and has much in common with it.
My spiritual awakening showed me a beautiful and uplifting path peopled with animal and mineral spirits to help guide me along. So now I find myself studying shamanism as it relates mostly to Native American beliefs, but also encompassing other earth-based shamanic studies.
One of the truths I have found in all this is simply that: If you feel intuitively that the path you are on is working for you, and you can have love and harm no one with it to get there, it's really okay! Use what feels right to you, but don't fall into the attitude of "my way is the only way!" And remember this: There is in reality no separation, no dichotomy in being both enlightened and confused.
I hope to become a regular contributor to The Hazel Nut in the months to come and will with my guides' help, try to explain to you about the Red Road and its spiritual significance.
Love, Light and
White Bear


- by David Sparenberg

Once was a man
And he rode his horse
his midnight horse
rode he

To the place
where the fruit
of the first tree grew
to the isle
of the red
branched tree.

There he reached
with his hand
in a brushed white glove
with his gloved
white hand
Reached he.

"And shall I pluck
me down
some fruit
from the flesh
of the red
branched tree?

And shall I take
and shall I taste?"
said the man
to his horse
said he.

And the sun
stood still
and the moon
was bloat
by the bough
of the red
branch tree.


by Shannon Rivard

I could say my first Pagan ritual was Bealtaine, 1994. I sat on my living room floor and braided little white ribbons to stick all over my potted pine tree. I signed a Congratulations on Your Wedding card for the Goddess and the God, and burned it in an iron pot. Summer Solstice I was in Alaska, and my ritual was reading a newspaper outside at midnight to prove to myself that it could be done. These were all good things, good steps on the Path. But Lughnasadh is my dearest love.
I studied for Lughnasadh: I made notes on Rees and Rees, Caitlin Matthews, Pauline Campanelli, the rituals sections of every book I had. I watched the birds and trees near my home, and the blackberry bushes everywhere, bulging with shiny fruit. Seattle is hot and bright by the end of July, but there's morning fog. People turn their minds toward August and its festivals-the return of the fleet, the Seafair Pirates and the big parade. Children are tormented by the first of the back-to-school sales, like children everywhere.
It seems right to me at this time to honor the Goddess of Sovereignty and her champions, and to tell their stories, if only to myself. I like to read aloud, softly, and for that Lughnasadh I chose a tale of Lugh, the Gettysburg Address, Chief Joseph's surrender speech, and excerpts from I Have a Dream." For me these are the words of solar heroes; like the waning sun, these men poured their strength into the grain, the nation, the children. I was baking soda bread as I celebrated, and my kitchen was fragrant and fiercely hot. I cried as I read to myself; my tears ran into my ears and mixed with sweat that trickled from my hair. When the bread was finished I tore into it, smearing it with blackberry jam and praising it for its deliciousness.
That night was "real," and I'm eager for Lughnasadh to dance with me again. Something else happened, though, a few days later--an unplanned ritual that deepened my love for this season even more. August 11 is my birthday, but it's also the anniversary of my father's death from leukemia in 1993. Dad was an architect, a Belgian-born, French-speaking Jew with no belief in an afterlife and no fear of death. I had been with him at our family home in Utah only a couple of weeks before. His time of waning was awful and wonderful to me; as he weakened, he seemed to emanate more and more light. He smiled at his life, at trees and fruit salads and children, with a tender gratitude that is hard to describe even now. Writing this, I feel little and vulnerable. Being with him that time was like being near a great open gate that was admitting all the dangerous beauty of the Otherworld, and before he had to go we were standing together, looking over, and feeling the faery wind on our faces.
Dad's spirit came to me in Seattle on our birthday-deathday last year. From the minute I awoke everything seemed mixed up. I dropped things; people I called weren't in. I couldn't find the papers I had to grade. I went from laughter to tears and back many times before I settled down and made myself admit what was happening. My father was ricocheting off the walls and wouldn't wait until Samhain for my undivided attention.
I looked up "braising" in my joy of Cooking. I chose some tapes I knew Dad liked-some Inca music, and Tommy Makern and the Clancy Brothers. Around midnight, I cooked braised celery, Dad's favorite dish, for the first time, and we went out on the balcony with our food and music, a Walkman, candle and blanket, and we watched the Perseid meteor shower. Dad listened politely to the Inca music, but then I remembered he had only ever played it when he was drunk and angry. I blushed and put on the Clancys. We were happy then; he made the candle flame dance, and I saw nine meteors before I got too tired to look for any more.
I never try to "summon" my father, but I still sense his presence and feel his good wishes for me. When we were together before his death, putting things right with me became his highest priority. He wanted me to take strength from him, as the grain does from the sun. He wished he could arrange things just right for me before he had to go. In that sunset, the chaos and fear of my childhood didn't seem to matter so much; in his sickness, he began to heal me. He stepped through the gate and became one more solar hero. In this season of Lughnasadh, I will think of him again as I watch the sky for the beautiful deaths of falling stars.

Shannon Rivard (Suzanne D. Rebert) is a too-solitary Pagan interested in Irish ways, comparative mythology, and seasonal festivals. She lives in Seattle and teaches community college economics and statistics. Address: 10670 4th Ave. SW, #306, Seattle, WA 98146.


by Annie (Age 13)

One day, far away, long ago, there were two quarrelling women. They were fighting over which flower was the most beautiful. They fought for many moons over this one subject. One woman chose the Rose as the most beautiful flower; the other decided that the Tulip was the most beautiful flower in the world.
While these two women fought down in the mortal world, Zeus, the Father of the gods, was trying to nap. He had been enraged ever since the fighting had begun, and could no longer take the loud chitter-chatter down on the Earth below.
The Father God went over to the place in which he kept his secret weapons--lightening bolts. He chose the strongest, longest and brightest bolts, but only drew one bolt from his silver and gold quiver. began to march down the steps to the bottom of Mount Olympus. He could hear the arguing all the way up in his palace, but now it was even louder.
Zeus aimed for the ground under which both women stood; he would stop their fighting at the same time. But as Zeus shot his great, and only one, bolt, the strongest wind in many years decided to come in. It blew the bolt straight towards the Sun, and as the bolt hit the large, red sphere, a giant piece of burning gas and stone fell out.
The piece of the sun fell to the ground. It did not burn the Earth, nor anything on it, but it did fall upon the most common plant of that time-corn. The cob was burnt and turned to brown, and was smashed into a flat circle. The rest of the piece of the Sun encircled the burnt cob.
Zeus spoke to the women: "You have been spared by the great Zeus and the Sun god, Helios. Be thankful, and know that the Sunflower is the most beautiful flower on the great planet Earth!"
The End


by Avalon

Lavandula augustifolia/officinalis -- Labiatae

Lavender is a fragrant evergreen shrub and can be found growing in most countries throughout southern Europe. The majority of the commercial crop is grown in France with the finest quality growing at about 3000 feet on the slopes of the southern Alps on rocky, barren soil where few other plants survive. Extreme heat and cold does not adversely these plants. Lavender plants grow up to three feet in height and thrive on air, space, light and warmth. The leaves are narrow, gray and downy, and the oil glands are in tiny star-shaped hairs that cover the leaves, flowers and stems. Lavender oil varies in color from dark yellow to dark green-yellow and produces a soothing scent that radiates peacefulness. The flowers are blue and bloom at the top of a structure resembling a seven branched candlestick.
During July and August in the Haute Provence, when the wind carries the sweet fragrance of lavender down into the valley, people make the long trek up into the mountains, carrying sacks and hand sickles to harvest the plants. Harvesting must be done during the hottest time of day because that's when the highest content of essential oil can be found in the plant. The quality of the oil is dependent on climate, soil and altitude, and the ideal conditions in France produce a fruitier and sweeter oil that is thought to have a more pleasant odor than the camphoric lavender grown in England.
Pure lavender essence is easy to find, but larger quantities of excellent quality oil can easily be made at home. Carefully wash and dry the herbs, and use eight ounces of fresh herbs or four ounces of dried herbs for every pint of grapeseed or soy oil. Place the herbs in a clear glass bottle, cover them completely with the oil, seal the jar, and place it on a sunny window sill. After two to three weeks, remove the herbs from the oil, decant into dark bottles, and the oil is ready for use.

The use of lavender is documented in many cultures throughout history. It was a favorite aromatic oil of the Romans and was commonly used in their baths--Lavandula comes from the Latin, lavare, meaning "to wash." During the 14th century, Charles VI of France sat on lavender-stuffed pillows, women sewed sprigs of lavender into their skirts, and during festivals, plants were scattered about the floors of houses and churches. Bunches of lavender were also used to scrub floors as the oil makes an excellent furniture polish. In the 18th century, Yardley started making soaps and perfumes, and lavender soon became a preferred oil with women. Because the oil adds a floral note to almost any preparation, it is used in perfumery and cosmetics with other essential oils. Lavender is widely used as a toilet water and forms the principal ingredient of many potpourris and sachets.
Lavender's healing power is extremely diverse, partly due to its complex combination of chemical substances. Dioscorides, a Greek surgeon in Nero's army, wrote a textbook on the properties of lavender, describing it as a stimulant, tonic and gastric aid. It is relatively nontoxic (one of the few oils that can be used during pregnancy) and is regarded as the most useful and versatile essence for therapeutic purposes. The oil produces a normalizing effect and is useful in treating depression and other strong mental symptoms. The oil aids with the treatment of heart palpitations, hysteria, and nervous tension; and it also been found to lower high blood-pressure. Three to five drops in a warm bath is an excellent calming remedy for any of the above conditions. The heart may be gently massaged with diluted lavender oil, and the oil also may be taken orally in diluted form.
As a sedative and analgesic, lavender is useful in the treatment of headaches and migraines. in Europe, harvesters place a sprig of the plant under their hats to cure headaches in the field. To make a massage for the treatment. of headaches and migraines, mix three drops of oil in two teaspoons of grapeseed oil. Massage the back of the neck, temples and around the eyes. A cool compress across the forehead is also beneficial.
Lavender has stimulating properties when it is used in large quantities but in smaller amounts it is a relaxant. For the treatment of jet lag, place 10 drops of oil on the hands, rub briskly on the torso and follow with a shower. To treat insomnia, drink a cup of infusion tea before going to bed. Make a lavender tea by mixing one-fourth to one-half ounce of dried flowers in four and one-half cups of boiling water and sweeten with honey. Ten drops of the oil added when washing sheets and bedclothes is effective as is placing a sachet of dried flowers where sheets are stored.
Lavender is the oil most associated with burns and healing of the skin and is useful whenever there is inflammation. It is used in treating dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis, boils, rheumatism, wounds, ulcers, cystitis, diarrhoea and laryngitis. An excellent toner for the skin is made by adding one drop of oil to one-half cup of distilled water. Shake vigorously and apply. For burns, apply pure oil and cover with gauze or muslin to let the skin breathe. If there is no oil available, gather lavender flowers or leaves from the garden, apply to the burn and wrap as above.
Lavender oil stimulates white blood cell formation and thereby strengthens the body's defenses. At the first sign of a cold or flu gargle tea with two drops of the oil added. Inhaling small amounts of lavender oil also helps with bronchitis. To prevent circulatory problems such as varicose veins, massage the legs with oil consisting 3 drops of cypress oil, 2 drops each of lavender and lemon oil and one ounce of soy oil.
The cosmetic, perfumery and medicinal properties of lavender are unlimited as it reacts in accord with a system's particular need at any given time helping to wash away impurities of the body and the mind. Little can go wrong when lavender oil is mixed with other essential oils, thus earning it the name of "Blue Magic."


Ryman, Daniele. Aromatherapy. 1993. Bantorn Books, NY, NY.
Tisserand, Robert B. The Art of Aromatherapy. 1977. Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT.


by Stormy

During the Spring and Summer months, you have probably noticed the bright star Spica in the southern sky. It is first seen in the southeastern sky around the end of March. Beginning March 27th, in the wee early hours it is possible to see Spica, Procyon and Sirius at the same time. It is a sight to see these beautiful rival stars of brightness at the same time. Sirius, part of the constellation Canis Major, is a bright bluish-white star seen in late Winter and early Spring. Procyon is part of the constellation Leo and is not as bright as Sirius or Spica. Spica, part of the constellation Virgo, is a very white star and is seen from Spring through early Autumn.
You can track Spica across the southern sky from March through the end of September. It appears earlier each evening so that by June it is seen about 11 pm C.S.T./12 am E.S.T., looking directly south in the sky above (see Figure, this page). By September it is seen disappearing beyond the southwestern sky early in the evening,
Virgo is the Goddess of Harvest and her astrological month is August 23 through September 22. Her position in the sky indicates times of the year to prepare, plant, grow and harvest various food stuff Traditionally, the word "virgin" meant an unmarried woman who is not dependent on her parents or anyone else. The traditional meaning of virgin has totally changed over the years. Goddesses without consorts were considered virgins, not because they did not have relations with men, but because they were unmarried and independent. Goddesses usually had relations often and with whomever they pleased!
August is the time of the year to take notice of the Summer Triangle, which includes Deneb (part of Cygnus, The Swan), Vega (part of Lyra, the Lyre) and Altair (part of Aquila, the Eagle). The Summer Triangle is an Asterism, which is an unofficial star group or constellation, and can be seen around August 1. As the twilight sets in and the sky begins to darken, the Summer Triangle makes its appearance (see previous Figure). This is also a month of shooting stars. Sometimes the sky will be just right, enabling a rare glance at the beautiful sweep of the Milky Way. As always, try to be out where there are few lights to interfere with star watching. This year the Autumn Equinox will fall on September 23, 1995. This is when the Autumn Triangle, also an Asterism, will appear shortly after twilight in the overhead sky looking south. This show stopper consists of the stars Altair (part of constellation Aquila), Arturus (part of constellation Bootes) and Antares (part of constellation Scorpio). This sighting always indicates the first day of the ancient Egyptian calendar as well as the first day of Autumn.


Kerrod, Robin. The Star Guide. 1993. MacMillan, New York, NY.
Krupp, E.C., Ph.D. Beyond The Blue Horizon, MyLhs and Legends Of The Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. 1991. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY.
Raymo, Chet. 365 Starry Lights. 1982. Prentice-Hall, Inc, New York, NY.
Walker, Barbara G. The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. 1983. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY.
Woolfolk, Joanna Martine. The Only Astrology Book You Will Ever Need. 1990. Scarborough House Publishers, Lanham, MD.


by Nion

Howdy ya'll, Nion here (once more). The other day I was sitting on my front porch in a lawn chair (cause I don't have a rocking chair yet, or a back porch, for that matter), and the thought struck me (ouch!) that talk of a pagan unity and pagan activists who want to have
everyone in the pagan community jump into the mainstream of society, needed a bit more reflecting upon, so here's what I think.
Here in my local area, there have been several attempts by various groups or individuals to establish alliances within the local pagan groups to establish better public relations with the mundane world, to help with community service projects such as Adopt-a-Road, or clean-up projects, etc., or to be a focal point for questions concerning paganism/Wicca by the various news media. In itself, it's not a bad idea; however, there seems to be a reluctance by most well-established groups to become identified to the public in general, as a low profile keeps you out of the spotlight that most groups prefer NOT to be in. For those groups or individuals that want the public recognition and to be in the forefront of public awareness, that's great; just keep in mind that your actions and statements DO reflect on the rest of us.
There also seems to be a reluctance from most well-established groups to enter into alliances that promote unity, representation to outsiders, and declarations of common beliefs. This is usually because alliances tend to become ego or power trips for the organizers, and being the Head Lord Mucky-Muck of something sounds kinda great to some people, and some people like to argue over whose tradition is more correct or right (kinda sounds like some Christian fundamentalists, huh?). But a lot of folks already established just don't need or want to be involved in that sort of ka-ka. Don't get me wrong, I DO think the principles that the public-minded folks want to represent are great, and it CAN be workable with strong safeguards such as a democratically elected or a rotating chair and a genuine spirit of togetherness. I'm just not sure that anyone around this neck of the woods is really ready for it. If anyone does belong to a working alliance with the aforementioned problems, or that actually fulfills their initial guiding principles or charter, please share it with the rest of us so we can all learn from one another and ever grow.
Speaking of pagan unity in our own local area, my own perception is that there is in fact quite a few informal ties and much cross-talk amongst the established groups. Most of the local groups here get along with each other quite well, and stay in contact with each other pretty regularly. There isn't any established framework in the sense of a formal network, but at this particular time, there doesn't really seem to be a need for one. I would suppose if any burning issues occurred, and ad hod gathering could take place to sort out any problems, but so far that hasn't been necessary.
As most of our local groups are indeed getting along rather nicely with little or no conflict, it seems to me that most of the folks (at least around here) who are actively calling for pagan alliances and pagan togetherness are the ones on the fringes of the "mainstream" pagan community or unable to stay within the already established organized groups for one reason or another, usually because of predominately personal or ideological differences.
Speaking of pagan groups, I do have one strong personal gripe. I know that I'm just a beginner in, this pagan thing, and certainly don't claim any vast knowledge, and I DO honor and respect anyone who is a high priest or priestess in my coven or group, BUT I do take exception at calling anyone Lord or Lady within a coven or church context, EXCUSE ME, but the only Lord and Lady that I honor with that title are the ones that I have dedicated myself spiritually to. To me, it is somewhat presumptuous and vain of anyone else, especially mere mortals, claiming those title(s); the only exception that I see would be within a circle after the Goddess or God has been drawn down upon the HPS or HP. To me, the titles of High Priestess or High Priest speak for themselves and are quite a statement of honor and respect in themselves. Sorry about that, just got carried away on a pet peeve (sure hope it don't bit much). Anyway, anyone got any opinions on the subject?
Back to the subject of pagan involvement within the community. If the need strikes you, get involved in whatever social, environmental, historic, or cultural projects on a personal level
that floats yer boat. By you showing a caring, positive, and straight-forward demeanor, the "others" can hopefully change their attitudes positively toward you personally, toward you as a pagan, and maybe toward the pagan community as a whole. Personal visibility, acceptance, and goodwill can carry over into acceptance concerning your right to your own beliefs, or hopefully, at least, the notion that we ain't such a bad lot after all.
Well, guess I'll sign off for now, as I ran out of steam, and need to recharge the ole gray matter between my ears (it kinda feels a quart low right about now), so until next time, may THE Lord and Lady of us all smile upon you and make your day. Blessed Be.


by Imré K. Rainey

Over the past few years, I have noticed, on various occasions, that a number of people make a distinction between the words 'religion' and 'spirituality.' Questions such as "what is your religion" are often briskly cut off with "I don't have a religion, I'm on a spiritual direction in time and/or path." This response appears to be a reaction to the more prominent religions' of our time instead of an informed differentiation between the words. The attitudes towards the word 'religion' seem to imply that 'religion' is not only different from 'spiritual' but somehow less. Accordingly, 'spiritual' paths are removed and elevated beyond those of 'religion.'
Interestingly enough, I found years ago that one of our first assignments in the Faerie Faith was to research the words 'religion' and spiritual.' Consequently, I decided to examine the origins of the words and their meanings according to their roots. The following is a summary of what I found1. The word 'religion' is derived from the Latin words re and ligare. Re is translated as "back," meaning the direction in time and/or position. Ligare is interpreted as "to bind, bind together." In considering this definition, we need to re-familiarize ourselves with the word 'bind'. According to Merriam Webster, the word 'bind' refers to the tying of two (or more) things together; the tight connecting of objects. When combining the two, re and ligare, the meaning "to bind back, or to bind back together" is given. Accordingly, the word 'religion' elucidates the
connecting back, or reconnecting, of two (or more) objects that, as is presupposed by the term "back," were originally in union.
The next question to ask is "what are these things that are to be reunited?" The word "religion' is used in statements such as "my/your/their/his/her/our religion." This usage infers a possessive nature--'religion' belongs to its patron. Thus, in accord, it must be assumed that the 'religious' person is one of the components being 'reconnected.' If we continue with the definition of 'religion,' we find that the only other subjects offered to which the 'religious' person can be reconnected with are "...the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe." Theoretically, since the universe consists of all energy forms, material or otherwise, seen or unseen, including all forms of life, it would be appropriate to extend 'creator of the universe' into the 'source of all life' also. This leads us to 'a returning to, a reconnecting, with the source of life.' It can, at this point, be deduced that 'religion' conveys an understanding that the universe, and life, have a source and that this source was at one time in union with the life that it had created. A person actively searching for a way through which they can be reunited with their source would therefore have a 'religion' or be on a 'religious' path.
Next, we approach the word 'spiritual.' The definition we get here is "of spirit; of or consisting of the spirit." Further, when considering the word 'spirit', what we learn is that 'spirit' is "the life principle." Therefore, a 'spiritual' person is one who is of spirit or one who is of the life principle. A 'spiritual' path would, hence, be a path that allows its follower to be of or one with the life principle.
Finally, when comparing the definitions we have uncovered, what we find is that a religious path serves to bind back, or reconnect, its followers to the source of life while a spiritual path serves to allow its followers to be one with the life principle. Double take! They sound like the same thing to me, and they should--because they are! Individual ideas regarding the nature or name of the 'source of life' are irrelevant and should in no way affect anyone who does not comprehend the 'source of life' in that particular way. By definition, 'religion' is an experience between the person and the 'life principle' and that is it (recall, the only subjects offered were the person with 'religion' and 'the creator(s) of life). Never do we find dogma, sin, punishment, right or wrong, judgement, or any other human-made notion referred to in the definition.
The aggregation of people who share a common understanding of the 'source of life' is a purely cultural expression and is called 'church'--"a group of worshippers"--not 'religion.' Frankly, the only connection between a 'church' and 'religion' is that a 'church' may choose to experience 'religion' in a similar way (i.e. a group of people may share a similar experience of the union and path adjoining the 'source of life' and its creation--they are not the 'religion'). That particular experience will be one of infinite modes of experience and will have no bearing on the actuality of 'religion' for anyone else. Further, it is perfectly acceptable for this 'group of worshipers' to incorporate human-made ideals, rituals, limitations, or guidelines into their personal quests for 'religion'; however, these incorporations are subjective and, therefore, certainly, not required for any other person or group.
Religion occurs not only as an experience of the logical mind, but also, and possibly more importantly, of the creative, incorporeal mind-the mind of indeterminate paths, visions, imaginations, and possibilities; the mind where true understanding occurs outside of time and space--the quiet mind. Consequently, highly limited ideas such as 'the true religion' or 'the real path' are conceptually futile. The whole notion of an 'absolute truth,' with respect to 'religion,' disregards the unfathomable magnitude of the immaterial, ethereal mind. When undermining the very 'religious' experience with such limiting, and, obviously, false philosophies, it becomes questionable whether or not the dictator of such ideas is acting out of a desire for union with their 'maker,' so to say.
When looking back through history, the motives of such statements as 'the true religion,' 'the only way,' and 'the absolute truth' become quite clear. 'Religion,' as we have seen, is a very personal experience. The depths of human emotions, feelings, desires, needs, and fears are exposed within the 'religious' experience. The very real need for love and acceptance, the desire for knowledge, the feeling of mortality, and the fear of death are all compensated for within the 'religious' experience. These very personal and compelling aspects of 'religion' make it a very powerful political tool. Unfortunately, the leaders of the more prominent philosophies of our times, and let's not forget their predecessors, have used the word 'religion' as a way to power, control, and immense riches. People have been and are being exploited by the usage of philosophies that are being wrongly labeled as 'religion' in order to seize victims where they are most vulnerable.
It is evident that people who have been burned by the fires of the political movements using the word 'religion' would quickly jump at its mention. It is unfortunate that the misuse of the word 'religion' has allowed tyranny, oppression, and suffering, but it is clear that the reality of 'religion' has absolutely nothing to do with these things2. Unmistakably, 'religion' is a very personal and uplifting concept, one that realizes the interconnectedness of all life and otherwise. The same value that is given to 'spirituality' is deserved by 'religion.' 'Spiritual' and 'religion' are different words for the same concept, that of reuniting with the 'source of life,' and that should never be over-shadowed by the ignoble desires of the demented.


1 All definitions were taken from (unless otherwise noted) Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia: Edition 1995. Compton's New Media, Tribune Publishing Company, 1994.
2 In the same way, the word 'witch' is commonly regarded as meaning an old hag who worships the devil, and we all know that that is the furtherest thing from the truth.


by Linda Kerr

This is a series of articles designed to teach the basic premises of the Faerie Faith in an understandable method. If you have questions or topic suggestions, let me know, and I'll address them in a future article. If you enjoy the series, and find that the articles make sense to you and help you, let me know--it's good to know if I'm taking the right approach.

When I take on a new student in the Faerie Faith, I require four things of them, which they should adhere to the whole time they are a student:

1) An awareness of and involvement with political, social and/or economical issues; i.e., working at a rape crisis hotline or an AIDS outreach program, working for a political candidate, involvement in NOW, Amnesty International, or religious freedom issues, or supporting a cause by letter writing, protesting, etc. Too many pagans today have a limited awareness of the world around them, being so involved in their spiritual path that they forget that they are an inseparable part of the modern world. Social and political problems affect everyone, like it or not, and even monks and nuns, throughout history, have been involved in the social issues of their day.

2) An awareness of and involvement with ecological issues; i.e., recycling, conservation, conscious consumerism, etc. This can also include social activism, either on a small scale, such as finding out where your garbage goes, or where your tap water comes from, or a big scale, such as working with Greenpeace. As part of an earth-centered religion, any pagan who dumps used motor oil on the ground, doesn't take the time to separate the aluminum cans from their garbage, or tosses litter on the roadsides, is being just as hypocritical as some pagans accuse Christians of being.

3) Some type of health-oriented physical activity; i.e., daily exercise, bike-riding, swimming, karate, etc., and an attention to good diet and healthy habits. Most pagans have no problem with physical pleasure and fun, but some tend to ignore the fact that our bodies are our vehicles on this path. Just as we can't separate ourselves from the mundane world, we cannot separate ourselves from our bodies on our spiritual quest (beyond vision questing, that is). We are not ascetics (look it up!), and an unhealthy body is an outward sign (and sometimes the first warning) of an unhealthy spirit.

4) A physical involvement with the Earth Herself, usually in the form of a garden. We are, after all, Faerie Faith; and we can't learn to get in touch with the Earth if we are unwilling to dirty our hands (and our knees) in the process!

Touching the Earth

Back about 15 years ago, when Epona and Mark Roberts were establishing and publicizing the path of Hyperborea, Roberts wrote a series of lessons which I was very impressed with. The first one was titled "Touching the Earth," and works nicely with my fourth student requirement.
The activity outlined in the lesson is to go outdoors, find a quiet, private area, and pour enough water on the ground to make it good and muddy. Then take off your socks and shoes and roll up your pants, and step in. Don't think about it, don't analyze it; just do it. Feel the wet earth, enjoy it, play in it. Be a child for a few minutes! As Roberts says, the purpose of it is to feel childish--to return to a time before you started unlearning how to be sensitive to the earth. Your Low Self will love it! And when your Low Self is happy, it communicates better with your Middle Self and High Self, making true magic possible.
Several years ago, a person came to me asking to be taught. So I took him out to the garden, pointed to the potato patch, and told him to weed it. As we were tending our respective patches of earth, he said, "Don't you people ever do any magic?" I said, "What do you think we're doing right now?" He left, and I never heard from him again.
True magic comes from the earth, and it comes from within. If you cannot take yourself back to a childlike state, and simply enjoy the feel of the earth, how can you learn anything from Her?
Another thing Roberts mentioned was barefoot gardening. Let me paraphrase his story: For awhile he had been telling people to get in touch with the earth by playing in a mud puddle. Then one afternoon while he was laying down stepping stones in his garden, he "heard" a message, saying, basically, that while he taught others to step barefooted on the earth, yet here he was laying down a stone walkway and wearing shoes in the garden! He was told to learn from himself, and to walk barefoot in the garden.
Apart from the obvious benefits of simply feeling and enjoying the earth, touching the earth, whether with the feet or the hands, can teach us things about the condition of the soil; its temperature, moisture content, compactness, etc. This awareness is very basic to being a good gardener, and is the first step toward learning to make magic. In other words, we must apply our energies at a practical level first if we want to affect the energies on a higher level. You can go out and commune with the devas and plant spirits all day, but none of this matters if you don't first touch the earth on a practical level: plant the seed at the best soil temperature, at the proper time of year, at the right depth, and then extend your energy to it in the form of a water hose.
This lesson relates to other areas of life, also. A good example are people who are in need of a job, and attempt to aid their search with some form of ritual, prayer, candle-burning, crystal meditation, etc. These are all good ways of focusing your energies on your goal, but if you don't focus just as much time on the want ads, you probably won't get a job. Learn from the lesson of the barefooted gardener.
So sometime before the next issue comes out, go out and play in your very own mud puddle!


by Chrisailes

Creative ritual is the best term that I have come up with to describe my simple, home-spun rites. Over the years I have learned that for me the most meaningful rituals are the ones that are created in the moment and for the moment. Of course, I write them out, sometimes in detailed form, but only so that they might inspire me at some later date, not so they may ossify into anything remotely akin to holy writ.
There are four basic questions which should be considered in developing any rite, no matter how simple:

1) What materials do I have on hand?
2) What am I celebrating?
3) What do I want from the ritual?
4) What other factors should I consider?

Obviously, it is futile to plan elaborate rites if you lack the props to perform them. One of the joys of solitary worship is that it can be spontaneous, and sometimes the spirits might move you when your working tools are elsewhere. When hiking through the back woods or walking along a private beach, fallen limbs or driftwood can serve as 'windfall wands,' which can be used to draw the circle on the ground; feathers can serve as athames to call the quarters; gourds or shells can hold water for sprinkling the circle.
Books can also provide inspiration. I remember reading in one version of the exploits of King Arthur how Morgan Le Fay drew her circle (around Merlin) three times using her wimple or head scarf. Such informal circles seem to work best for the sabbats, when there isn't magick to be worked. Whatever way you draw the circle, however, remember to create it in your mind's eye as a circle of witchfire, a ring of flame the color of burning alcohol.
The core of any ritual setting will reflect what it is you are celebrating, while at the same time expressing what it is that you want from the ritual. Usually this will be in the form of a symbolic act, accompanied by appropriate words. For a vernal equinox rite, a seed might be planted while one meditates on new beginnings in one's own life. In such a ritual the larger cycles of Nature and the smaller cycles of our human lives are entwined about each other so that each may take on a deeper meaning for the Pagan or Witch.
Sometimes what is being celebrated can become the ceremony itself. A simple full moon rite for someone uncomfortable with complex rituals might be to simply cast a circle, sit down and watch the moonrise. Later, this might be embellished with the beating of a drum, or the pouring of a libation when the Moon clears the horizon.
What you want from the ritual might be something abstract like 'healing' or 'acceptance,' or it might be mundane. Sometimes I want paper stars in my rites which I give to the boon fire as symbolic of my dreams which take flight in the fire's light. On the Summer Solstice I often enjoy the roses and I make a small gift of them to the river which flows nearby.
Other factors to be considered include such things as privacy, what to wear, what the weather is like and so forth. Privacy and dress seem to go together in my mind. I remember when I was new to the Craft, I had made myself a lovely purple robe. It was late autumn when I slipped it on in the woods only to realize that a neon sign proclaiming "HERE I AM!!!" couldn't have made me more obvious.
Performing a simple rite in blue jeans and T-shirt will attract no real attention. You'll just be another person in the woods. A robed figure catches the eye, at least during the daylight hours.
Black or dark colored robes can also prove handy, as they blend into the night when you're out and about after dark. I also keep a pair of black sweat plants and a shirt which I often use for my
nocturnal doings. Some rites may not be appropriate during extremely cold weather. My favorite full moon rite is to fill my cauldron, symbolic of the Lady's womb, with spring water, symbolic of Her fructifying 'moon blood' or menstrual blood, and splash it about the circle, wash my tools in it, etc. No one wants to catch their death on a cold winter's night, however. So instead I watch the moonrise and then kindle a small fire to 'Guide the Lady across the heavens.'
Of course, I know the Lady doesn't really need a light to guide her, but my reasoning is that by offering her a light to guide her, she will in turn guide me to where I need to be, when I need to be there. It is Fate or Karma, a simple 'I give you this and I hope you'll return the favor.' I feel confident She has.
All of this is just suggestion, food for thought. Following someone else's ideas are well and fine, but following your own are even better. I cannot begin to tell you how to be creative. All I can do is point out some of the things which have inspired me. It doesn't matter if the rituals we invent are good or pretty pathetic (I have had my share of both). It is in the act of creation that we tap into our own Essential Being and begin to know the deity within.


- by Miraim Carroll

Stars look down in awesome solemnity

upon the servants of the Goddess readying their tools
to honor fruits of Her earthly womb
With serious mein Corn God and Goddess
cut a magic space for these Wiccan rites
Mortals do not alone attend this celebration
Athames held high
voices loud and sturdy call forth dread hosts
From all corners of the Universe
come flying whirling winds reined in by swirling sprites
intent of hearing praises sung
Swing about a quarter turn and listen
to the banshees wail astride their giant newt
And then again the shining blade
calls mermaids from their salty depths
until at last the circle is complete
as flitting fairies assemble dressed as butterflies
Once settled round and quiet now
the mortals rightly wait arrival of those
not ready for these secret rites
The circle's cut!
This periphery silver shining
is slashed in twain
and dark of night beyond
bursts blackly through this rent
Pious children enter to participate
in ancient scene enacted to a concert
of rainbow hues invisible just beyond
the spectrum of the human eye
Spirit felt ..... thanks given ..... healing done
cries subside
The spectral hosts take leave
attending to Important Matters
Story told
Now glean the gold



by Adrian Loaghrian

In the canto below the use of the word "I" is employed to express the awareness of the traveler speaking as a soul undergoing many transformations at once. I say this because without this explanation, these words might seem to be the voice of a braggart or spaleen proclaiming his or her mystical power or prowess. To the unprepared reader the proclamations made here could easily seem as though they were delusions of grandeur. However, this is no psychosis, only a very different form of spiritual experience.

The Song Of The Traveler

The canto of a traveler embarked upon a journey:

You ask, who am I that I dare walk between the twain worlds? "I am only who I am. Yet I am the Raven that watches from high in the forest. I am the Salmon that swims swiftly up river to keep the Wisdom of my ancestors alive. I am the Ram that grazes among the high cliffs overlooking his offspring in the valleys below. I am the Eagle that swoops down upon the pests that vex my people. I am the fiery Passion of a midnight's dream. I am the cold nightly Wind that brings a deathly chill to your bones. I am the Warmth of a child's sweet laughter. I am the Rain that falls gently upon your field in spring. I am the Gale that sends fishermen, young and old alike, spinning to the depths of the raging sea. I am the old White Oak that feeds the wandering elk. I am the Hickory that arms the hunter. I am the Pine that renders pitch to the bow of your currachs. I am the Turf that burns to warm your hearth. I am the eternal Warrior, and I am the eternal Poet. I am the Watcher in the wood, I am the Healer of wounds unseen. All that a Dream may be, am I. I am the Mystery that many wish to seek, but few are willing to know. I am at once the Stag and the Doe. I am free even though I may be imprisoned. I move through the world as though I were not here at all. Yet I am visible to all who wish to see. Seek me! I will not be found. Listen for me, I will not be heard. Hunt for me, and I will become the hunter. Praying to me, you will hear only my mocking laughter, for I am neither Goddess nor God. Fearing me, you will bear the burn of my scorn, for I have come to show you that fear alone shall destroy you. Loving me you will be loved in return. Need me, I will come and do whatever I may. Yet know that I am not lesser, nor greater than any other living being. I am only who I am."

You ask of me, from whence have I come? I say to you, "I am borne of all that have gone before me. I am all that shall follow me, and I am all that was said and done while I was in my mother's womb. I am the mirror of all that was said, done and felt before, during and following the moment of my birth. I am each of my ancestors and each thing that shaped them all. These are the fibers that were spun to build the fabric that makes me what I am today.
I am the fabric brightly woven of three dark threads. For I am all at once 'whom I perceive myself to be, how others perceive me, and what I am in my truthful soul of souls.' All my life-long journeys are meant to weave me into a oneness with all creation.
Yet each of these three dark threads are as three children at play. Any two children will be in harmony, but the third child will ever seek to tear the one or the other away to make a separate union. It is only by my constant and willful efforts to unite these three children into one that I shall ever hope to reach a state of lasting inner peace.
I have encountered travelers other than myself. Some were as Tigers, serene and graceful. Some were as Dragons, dark and intimidating. Some were as pools of still water, teaching me to yield and thereby overcome. These teachers have added new dimensions to the jewels of my spirit. For now I am the son of the Oak who is known as the Tree of Life. I am the daughter of the Holly who is known as the Tree of Light. I am the grandchild of a Willow's root, once thought long dead. I am the golden sprout that tears apart the great mountain of darkness. I have grown tall. I have grown wide. I have grown deep. Having learned the things that these growths
have taught me, I am compelled to pass them on as the farmer turns a fallow field into a fruitful garden.
Already I have begun to spread the multi-coloured seeds that sing of my sacred journey. I shall give them freely to all who will plant them, nurture them and harvest their fruits. Yet I know not all fields are fertile, and few are the fields that know both the light of the sun and the weight of the moon."

Now you ask me where shall I go now. I say to you: "I have been the wide-eyed child, and my wonderment ceases not! I am now the curious traveler, and my wonderment ceases not! When this body will carry me no more, I shall become one of the many guides of the Sacred Journey itself, and still my wonderment will cease not!
When new travelers encounter the Great Gate I shall greet them. I shall do nothing, and yet leave nothing undone. I shall serve as the guide of souls that binds them with the sacred knots, that they shall know freedom. I shall blind their vision that they shall see beyond the emptiness of the great white light. When asked the right questions I shall provide the needed answer. I shall say to them 'Welcome a hundred thousand times over.'
This shall be my charge to them: 'Savour each of your Sacred Journeys, and may your wonderment never end!' In all your many travels, ever honour the ways of others, allow their path to be their path, judge them not, and remain true to your own path. In this way, true wisdom may be gained.
As long as you and I shall live, our children shall hear us sing of our travels. When we may sing no more, may our children sing of our journeys and their journeys as well. May their children hear the songs. May they ever know the power of the tears and the laughter that have paved the roads before them. As long as the songs shall live, the journey and its travelers shall never die. Even if one generation shall refuse to hear the songs, another generation shall call them forth from memories' dust. For no tree may grow for long without the presence of its roots."

You ask me, how shall I prepare you for your journeys? My reply is simple. "I am not here to lead you, for among our people there are neither sheep nor cattle. I am not here to teach you, for it is the duty of both the Earth and the Sky to fill each empty well. I am not the gatekeeper that will allow or disallow your entry to the evergreen fields of fruition. I am but the holder of a lantern whose light burns within the soul of every living being.
I sing with joy. I sing with tears. I dance to the beat of a living drum. I adorn myself with the skins of the Elk and the Crane. I shift my shape and stretch my voice until you look into my eyes and know that it is I who shows you a new view of yourself. Once you know who I am, I will change again. For in guiding you I am like the worlds around you; ever constant, ever changing, doing nothing, leaving nothing undone. Speak to me of your troubles, speak to me of your mysteries. I shall digest them and sound them back to you with another point of view. Doing this, I act as the mirror of your soul. For you already possess the answer to all your questions. The only mystery is that there are no mysteries.
Once you are centered and begin to see the many facets of yourself as one being attuned to the great center, then our relationship shall change. For then I will behave like the farmer in spring setting to ground new seeds that are borne of my experiences and the experiences passed on to me by my forbearers. You shall be not as fallow ground, but rather as a freshly plowed field. Yet remember, even the smallest of seeds builds first its roots then the skyward bound shoots. The shoots must fight their way toward the warmth of the sun and the majicke of the moon."

What I May Give You

Within our fellowship I am considered to be one of the Oidí-spioradálta {wee-jee spear-aj awl-ta}. The Oidí-spioradálta are guides of the souls. We are both like and unlike paracultural Shamans in the classic sense. We serve as foster-parents and spiritual guardians to all who come to us for guidance. The operative phrase here being those who "come to us," for the Oidí do not seek out fellow travelers upon our path. It is against all principles for us to attempt to convert a person of one faith into forsaking the faith of their choice or heritage. If a person is spiritually lost and in dismay, then our first obligation is to assist that person in rebuilding his or her own root-borne foundation. If a person says to me, "How may I see with your eyes?" I answer, "Only I may see with my eyes, but you may look through them to find your own. To look through the eyes of my mind you would become me. If you became me, where then would you be?"

If a person asked me to 'heal' him or her, I would say, "Take my hand and we will find a way for you to heal yourself. For whether you see it or not, you already know all that lives within you. You are inwardly aware of all that is right in your life and all that is unright. The first step in climbing any ladder is to let go of the rung below to grasp the rung above. By this I mean that you must throw away the destructive baggage that you have collected along your path. Then you must strengthen the constructive gifts you have received during your life. Then you may mold of these constructive gifts a force called the Neartú Bheatha {nere too vah ha}. The Neartú Bheatha is our personal innermost living fortitude, or our vital inner strength. The Chinese call this the 'Chi.' The Magi call this 'supernatural power.' The Native Americans call this 'finding your power animal and becoming one with it.' For this is a light that burns within each of us but must be cultivated and nurtured unceasingly. Only by finding your own Neartú Bheatha will you find the key for allowing yourself to become healed."

If you said to me, "I wish to study under you," I would reply, "You may walk by my side for a while. Sharing the same road we shall both see familiar places. Perhaps we will both be welcomed in these places. If we are both welcomed we shall both enjoy the repast offered there. If we are not both welcomed in these places then we shall part and hope our paths shall meet again. While we share the road I will present you with what few gifts I may. If you accept these gifts you may offer me similar gifts in kind. I will accept them with honour. If you reward my gifts with usury or betrayal of trusts, our paths will part. We shall part our ways because it disgraces us both to live amid the vexatious spirit now kindled between us.

If you choose to walk beside me for a while I will tell you now, "The gifts I bear are simple, yet they often seem complex. What I share with you now is known by the many, yet only seen and heard by the few. How you use what you are about to receive is entirely up to you. But I warn you that what you see and hear and touch will mold a newborn person out of you. For I will allow you to see through my eyes, hear through my ears, and touch through my hands. For I am all things within the universe at once, and I am just a human being."

Next Issue:
Part III: "As We Begin Our Journey Together"


Dear Earth Kin:
About two months ago I channeled a wonderful light being that appeared to be feminine. She told me,"I have been here many different times in many different places as many different teachers. We are all the same." I got the impression that her name was "Seeda" or "Sita" and have since learned that "Sita" is the Hindu God Shiva's wife. During her visit I smelled the most wonderful pungent smell of flowers which I think is lotus. I have never smelled lotus before and have nothing to compare it to except it was a beautiful smell. I think it is important to realize that all the great teachers are teaching the same thing, "Love." That is the most important message I got from her.
During one of our Thursday night Eclectic Metaphysical meetings, my brother, White Bear, took home my Phoenix Rising Deck of cards for one week. I got his guide "Two Feathers" who adamantly told me during that week to go to Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Alexander City, Alabama to do some healing of the earth.
After learning this, we tried to find someone at one of the Pow Wows to tell us what to do or get in touch with someone for help and/or answering questions. At the first Pow Wow White Bear went to no one thought he was crazy, and he was told to get hold of someone whom he could meet only if he got a formal introduction.
For the next Pow Wow a group of us went, including White Bear, Lady Olivia de Orleans, Steve, Shadow, Chrisailes, Medicine Fire, Loraine, Diana and myself. At that Pow Wow some of us met Running Fawn. She told White Bear and I about the rift among Indian people and other people. She said, "You have to heal the rift between people as well as the earth!" She told me that her daughter was receiving messages a lot like what I was getting. There were other people, too, and some of them were talking "Ghost Dance," The original intention of the "Ghost Dance" was to dance til they dropped in order to call down the warrior spirits to make the Indians invisible from their enemies. Some tribes danced for 3 days and 3 nights and some as long as 5 days and 5 nights. There were variances in whether food or drink was allowed from tribe to tribe. Ecstatic shamanic experiences were very common. Speaking to the spirits of the departed often imparted needed words of wisdom and advice for the coming times.
"Two Feathers" gave me direction three different times. The first time I learned where to do the healing and the second time I learned when. The date was on June 21, 1995, the Summer Solstice. The third time I talked to "Two Feathers" was the last time, and I received some very personal information about a departed soul I cannot share at this time.
I have since talked to Medicine Fire, White Bear, and John Paul, enabling me to learn some very interesting things about "Two Feathers." Medicine Fire said that "Two Feathers" was a young warrior who thought he had done harm to his people and was trying to make up for it. He also said that "Two Feathers" was a Trickster. That would explain why I see him as an older androgynous looking individual instead of a young warrior. White Bear said that "Two Feathers" always disappeared when you asked too many questions. John Paul said that the drawing I did of "Two Feathers" looked exactly like his version of "Coyote Man," also a Trickster and a shape shifter. Sometimes it takes a Trickster or a Fool to see our lower selves and then get us going in the right direction! When that happens we have to become stronger and rely on ourselves, our higher power and our intuition.
Since June 21 was the date "Two Feathers" directed for the healing, I arranged to take that day off to go to Horseshoe Bend with Lady Olivia de Orleans, White Bear, Chrisailes, King John, and Wild Flower. I was tempted to move the date to the weekend before or after, but this time I knew we had to do the healing on that day. I didn't know who would go, but the people who needed to be there were there. Like James Redfield says in his book, The Celestine Prophecy, there are no coincidences!
I had no idea how we were going to do a healing at Horseshoe Bend. This was the site of a terrible massacre of 1,500 Creek Indians committed by Jackson's army and a renegade faction of 500 Cherokees who were promised by the government that they would be able to keep their land and possessions if they fought against the Creeks (the government lied).
As I said, there are no coincidences. The same day we met Running Fawn at the Pow Wow, I met a girl in desperate need of Reiki. I gave her a treatment almost as soon as we arrived at the Pow Wow and again before I left. I spent almost two hours with her. She and her husband were so grateful that they wanted us to have a beautiful piece of obsidian stone to take back to our Thursday night group. My dear friend and sister, Lady Olivia de Orleans, carefully wrapped it up and we took it to our next meeting.
Each Thursday, everyone in our group takes turns being in charge of the meeting, Two weeks after the Pow Wow visit, and prior to Solstice, Lady Olivia de Orleans was in charge of the meeting. She introduced the black obsidian-the Whispering Stone-to the group. The circle was prepared for the event with smudging and blessings to the four directions. Everyone was smudged before going into the circle. Indian music was softly playing on a cassette player. Anyone who wanted to could place something special or sacred next to the burning incense in the center of the circle for empowerment. When everyone got into the circle and was seated, Lady Olivia de Orleans introduced herself and told the story of how we got the stone. Then she told an old Indian story about how the seven menstruating women got rid of the Ugly Stone Monster. Then she passed the stone around.
As the stone was being passed around each person listened and then commented on what they heard from their higher self or higher power. Everyone talked about healing and love. These are two priorities in our combined eclectic spiritual group no matter which path we each take.
Those of us who know how to reach alternative states quickly quieted ourselves to the very core of our souls. During my alternative state, I was told by my higher self to put my left hand up, which I did. I received a very disturbing vision. I saw many Indian warriors on horses galloping at full speed from the heavens to the earth. Strangely they were not mad about what had happened to them at Horseshoe Bend, for these warriors had died honorably in battle. They were angry at what we as Earth Kin had done to the planet and are continuing to do in the name of progress and materialistic gain. I saw terrible things happening to people in war, famine and oppression.
The key to this healing of the Earth, Mama Gaia, is that we need to heal the rift between the peoples of the Earth with love. It was a very disturbing vision and my friends tell me I came back to this dimension crying. It is painful, but I refuse to believe there is no hope. We will survive and we will heal this planet and each other. We have to! White Bear participated in the Native American Circle also. He received a lot of disturbing information as well.
We were still planning on going to Horseshoe Bend for healing on Solstice and we still did not know what kind of healing we were going to do.
On Saturday, June 17, 1 was at Etc., a metaphysical store in Auburn, Alabama doing my usual Rune and Palm Readings. Imr6 was also scheduled to do Tarot readings and White Bear was working behind the counter so Dina could work on her farm that day. Imré was getting ready to set up his stuff so he could do Tarot readings. Well, he had the most beautiful double-terminated double-phantom smokey quartz crystal I have ever seen. For some reason while he was taking his cards and candle out of his bag, the beautiful one-of-a-kind crystal fell out onto the floor before anyone could catch it, breaking into three pieces. Each end became a perfect point with a dark phantom crystal inside and the middle had a phantom running through it! It was truly heart-breaking to see that crystal broken.
It was definitely a dead day in Auburn that Saturday. My I o'clock reading didn't show up and neither did my 2 o'clock. Imr6 didn't get anyone to read for either. Well, we got to talking and I proceeded to tell Imré the entire story from beginning to end about "Two Feathers" while he did a badly needed Reiki treatment on my nose, head and neck. I also told Imré the story I just told you about how our group got the Whispering Stone. I mentioned we were going to do the healing at Horseshoe Bend, but had no idea what we were going to do still.
Then Imré's higher self just about knocked out his lower self when he remembered what his teacher, Cynthia Rose Young in Atlanta, GA, had told him over a year ago. It's like that sometimes, when you learn from someone with a great deal of knowledge to pass on. They have so much to teach you and you wonder if you have learned it all! So again, there are no coincidences. Imré told White Bear and me what his teacher (who is a Native American Medicine Women, a Reiki Master, Spiritual Teacher, a Kahuna and is also trained in Psychic Surgery) told him. "She said I would remember what I need to remember when the time was right. She said to find the sacred places where the ley lines cross and erect a Medicine Wheel on these power spots. This would help heal the Earth and her people."
Upon hearing this, a light bulb turned on in my head and one also went on in White Bear's head. I envisioned us doing this with the broken crystal representing the rift between all people buried under the center spirit stone in the middle of the four direction stones. We did this somewhere near Prophet Hill at Horseshoe Bend. I used a pendulum to dowse the map of the park to see the best place to erect the Medicine Wheel. We also dowsed with pendulums and dowsing rods again on the site to make sure that it was the right place. While we were dowsing, Wild Flower said the dowsing rods were not working for her and she decided to go off without them. The rest of the group was trying to decide between two places. It was slightly overcast and the sun was shining but then all of a sudden a shaft of light came down in one of the two places. Lady Olivia de Orleans said it was appropriate for the sun to decide on the Solstice where to put the medicine wheel. Upon closer investigation we noticed that a stag had left a hoof print and that is exactly where the spirit stone went. Chrisailes and White Bear collected the rest of the Medicine Wheel stones. 'I'hey were just about laid out perfectly and the four directions were being anointed and empowered with appropriate rocks, minerals, oil, incense, tobacco and sage.
The healing was the best thing we have done. It was the right thing to do. White Bear smudged each of us before entering the circle. We circled deosil three times before taking a direction we were most attracted to. We blessed the four directions and thanked our Great Spirit. We asked for healing of the Earth and the rift between all the people. Chrisailes broke the earth with his athame and Lady Olivia de Orleans put a rose quartz crystal into the Earth for healing. Wild Flower put a purple wild flower into the Earth. Chrisailes put a Scallop sea shell from the Mexico Gulf into the Earth. I put the broken crystal representing the rift that needs healing into the Earth. Chrisailes covered the dirt over the hole. We blessed the four directions and circled three times widdershins before leaving the circle. After this ritual I realized how similar the traditions between the Red Path and the Wiccan path were.
After the Medicine Wheel ceremony, we went to the top of Prophet Hill and sat in the open building erected there with a wonderful view of the old primal oaks still standing and the Tallapoosa River in the distance. We had a feast and gave thanks to our Higher Spirit again.
We will continue healing and there are already proposed sites we are thinking about. We share this experience to encourage others to do the same. Love, peace and happiness to all!
Blessed Be,
Stormy, Auburn, Alabama


by Sherlock

3 The Great Herbal by Shen Nung.
5 14 nights and 14 days.
8 And ye harm done, do as ye will.
10 Travellers in three living worlds at once.
12 Your inner child.
13 You can take four drops every half hour to get over a hangover quickly.

1 An annual cleansing which takes 5 to 10 days or longer.
2 Life force is called _______ by the Hunas.
4 If you were born on August 12 at 7:35 AM, your birth rune would be _______.
6 This oil aids in depression and helps the body fight infection.
7 Before taking a wand from a tree, you should first get _______.
9 According to the Dianic calendar: The moon following the Summer Solstice.
11 The medicinal use of natural aromatic essences or oils extracted from the wild or from cultivated plants.
14 There tend to be more accidents when the moon is in this.

The solutions to this crossword puzzle can be found in the June/July 1995 (Issue #15) of The Hazel Nut. I took the questions from last issue's articles, so you'll have to read them to answer this crossword. Oh, and don't throw away this issue; its articles contain the answers to the next puzzle. Have fun!

Answers to last issue's Ankh-Word Puzzle
Across: 1 Gentian, 2 Hawthorn, 3 Sparkling, 4 Pokeroot, 5 Fools, 6 Solar, 7 Blank, 8 Moondance, 9 Robin
Down: 5 Futhark, 10 Pleiades, 11 Fearn, 12 Willow, 13 Trees, 14 Holly, 15 Atlantis, 16 Gowk


Dear Muirghein:
I love The Hazel Nut! It's full of useful information and good sharing, and it comes out six times a year so I don't have to wait as long. You've provided a forum for ideas and concerns without the snippiness I sometimes find in other Pagan journals. Reading it makes me feel refreshed, and I thank you for it.
Thanks and blessings,
Seattle, WA

Dear Linda:

Thanks to Sherlock for her letter about Christians. She's right, you know; all Christians aren't pagan haters. Even though an event like Moondance helps us to realize how lovely it would be to be isolated from the world, we are in reality a lovely planet full of beautiful diversity--let's not forget that the Mother loves wondrous variety.
Blessed Be,
Wetumpka, AL


Positive Magic, Occult Self-Help, by Marion Weinstein, Revised Edition with
Foreword by Colin Wilson. Phoenix Publishing Inc., Custer, WA. Softcover, 283 pp. $9.95.
- Reviewed by Stormy

This book was originally published in 1978 and went out of print. The author was 'told that the occult was dead and to forget about republishing it. Then Phoenix Publishing consented to publish it again with a re vision by the author! Here is another one of those books that is great to read whether you know a lot about the subject or absolutely nothing at all. Ms. Weinstein's views are refreshing and appreciated.
Read this book; it's time well spent.

Unsolved Mysteries, Past and Present, by Colin Wilson. 1992. Contemporary Books, Chicago, IL. Softcover, 417 pp. $13.95.
- Reviewed by Stormy

This is a nice book to curl up with when you just want to be entertained. It consists of 33 unsolved mysteries just like you see on the TV program. "From Arthur and Merlin to vampires and zombies, spellbinding true cases of historical enigmas, voices from the grave, and psychic and supernatural occurrences." (Taken directly from the front cover of Unsolved Mysteries, Past And Present.) As my husband says about this book, "It's just the kind of book you like to read."