A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Issue 22, Samhain 1996

In This Issue:
Out on a Limb: Editorial - Linda Kerr
From Other Traditions: The Three Worlds of the Oíde, Part VIII - Adrian Loaghrian
Poetry: She Moves - Delphoene
Reflections on a Life's Journey: Lost Innocence - Nion
Our Measure of Time: The Development of the Earliest European Calendar, Part II - Ing
Silly Spells - Lark
Poetry: The Celtic Goddess - Stormy
Ojibwa Herbal Tea: Indian Myth or Healing Remedy? - Deborah Murphy Gifford
The Glyphs of the Lunar Tree Calendar: Ivy, Reed & Elder - Linda Kerr
Earth Awareness: Mother Earth Anatomy - Sherlock
Poetry: The Drums of Samhain - Chanticleer
Poetry: The Year in Effigy - Scott Thomas
True Modern Faerie Tale, Part II - by Michael Devizes
Runes: Os, Eolh, and Odal - Stormy
Into the Light: Detecting Health Imbalances - Marilyn Windle
Festival Memories: Dragonfest - Dana Ston
Festival Memories: The First Pagan Music Festival - Dana Ston
Festival Memories: EarthDance III and Counting - Vanessa Blue Heron
Festival Memories: AutumnFest - Vanessa Blue Heron
Ankh (Cross)-Word Puzzle - Sherlock
Letters to the Editor
About Our Staff & Contributors
Bubbles From the Cauldron - book reviews, etc.

Editor & Layout, Manager, Publisher, Web Page: Linda Kerr
Advertising Manager: Jay Lynch
Poetry Editor: Lark
Staff Writer & Artist: Stormy
Staff Writer & Web Consultant: Imré K. Rainey

Vanessa Blue Heron, Chanticleer, Delphoene, Michael Devizes, Deborah Murphy Gifford, Ing, Adrian Loaghrian, Nion, Nancy Passmore (The Lunar Calendar), Sherlock, Dana Ston, Scott Thomas, Marilyn Windle. Cover art by Sean P. Snakenberg.

THE HAZEL NUT, Issue 22, Copyright © 1996. Samhain 1996, Ivy/Reed/Elder/Birch Moons. THE HAZEL NUT is published four 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.
Ivy is the eleventh tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in October or November, and this year it runs from October 12-November 9.
Reed is the twelfth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in November or December, and this year it runs from November 10-December 9.
Elder and Birch are the 13th and 1st trees in the Celtic tree calendar. They occur on either side of the Winter Solstice, and this year they run from December 10-21, and December 22-January 8, respectively.


It's a girl! Rowan Laurel Kerr was born August 2, 1996 (right on the due date), at 1:08 a.m. Friday morning. She was 7 lbs. 4 oz., and 19" long. As planned, she was born at home, in the living room.
My labor started Wednesday morning, as I was out shopping for all the things we'd need for the birthing. I managed to clean my house top to bottom; they say you do that when you're going into labor. I don't know about that, but I figured I wouldn't get around to cleaning again for a few days, so I wanted it to look good now.
My pains were pretty steady at about 5 minutes apart, and once we decided that it was true labor, we called Sherlock, who got there about 2:00 a.m. Thursday, and the midwife got to our house at 6:00 a.m. Thursday. Sandy showed up Thursday afternoon early, and the second midwife came in later that afternoon.
By Thursday night, I was more than ready to have that child! Even my second stage labor was going slow. We had a few speedbumps on the way--the midwife had to pop the water sac, and then once the pushing started, the baby got hung up on a cervical ring 3 separate times, and then again on the hymenal ring. She crowned for an hour, and the midwife was saying she'd have to do an episiotomy, but I was apparently rather adamant about NOT having one! So after another half hour to hour of pushing, the baby was FINALLY born, and with a head full of hair!
When she popped out (well, slid, really) Craig said "Look honey, it's a Rowan!" By this time he was practically in tears, with relief, I think. We almost lost Craig a few times during the labor--only multiple trips next door to smoke with Brook, and then a few good swigs of some Haitian rum sustained him. Sherlock was telling Craig to breathe as often as she was telling me! But he came through, and cut the umbilical cord with his hunting knife (the cord was way short--yet another problem). Brook came over and took some pictures of Baby Rowan on my belly and at my breast (don't really want to show those to the family, if you know what I mean!).
By this time, I had gone through 40 hours of labor, and then the placenta took another hour to deliver (and that after a shot of pitocin)! But finally it was all over; we were all exhausted, and I was so out of it I literally could not walk (I'd been walking throughout most of the labor). But of course it was all worth it. Rowan's just about 3 months old now, and getting cuter every day. She's a very happy baby, which makes me feel really lucky! No colic!
So, would I do it again at home? Well, I don't know if I want another kid (not real fond of babies!), but if I do, I'll definitely do it at home again. That was truly an experience. If I had gone to the hospital (which did cross my mind a couple of times there), not only would I have been away from my home and my friends, but they would have restricted my eating and drinking, tried to restrict my movements, attached all sorts of monitors to me, induced labor after the first 10 hours or so, and finally would probably have done a C-section. Even without that, there's no way they would have let me deliver without an episiotomy (I didn't even tear!). So no hospitals for me, thank you very much!
Until next time, party on, dudes! - Muirghein



by Adrian Loaghrian

An Séan-Dhéithe n'Gael
The Ancient Gods of the Gaels

(Ed. Note: This begins an alphabetical listing and in-depth explanation of the Celtic gods and goddesses, which will continue throughout the next several issues.)

Aedh Dearge: {ae-djarg-ah} The Red Flame; a reborn manifestation of The Dagda Mór appearing as one of the sons of the Baobh Dearg {bayv djayrg}. Like his father, one of the Gods of War, also called "The Fiery Warrior," Aedh is a messenger of war and charioteer between the twain worlds. Similar to the "Beneficent Angel of Death," of Christian lore.

Aedh Mac Lír: {ae-mak-leer} One of the four sons of Lír the Ocean God. He was shifted into a swan by his stepmother Aoife. His domain is lochs and ponds of all natures.

Áes or Oes: {awe-sh} The name given to the ancient gods and goddesses who now dwell in the hills. Áes Sídhe means the People of the Hills. From this name came the word Síog {sheeok}, meaning faerie. The Aes Dana, another name for the Tuatha Dé Dannan, is assigned to a learned class of the Aes who are enobled by skills in the fine arts. It is said that the Aes Dana do place their special blessings upon those chosen at birth to become Bards, Fíli, Doctors of Letters, Doctors of Medicine, Judges, Smiths, & Wood Workers etc.

Aimend: {aye-mend} Goddess of the Sun and daughter of King Corco Loigde, High Lord of the Southern Realms of the Alltar. She is sometimes considered to be the summertime aspect of Bríghid the Fiery Goddess of Wintertide.

Áine: {awe-een-ya} The Goddess of Love and Fertility. Daughter of Eogabail {Able} foster-son of Manannán Mac Lír. Alternate aspects of Áine are Anu The Great Mother and The Mórrígán Goddess of Battles. These last two aspects are likely colloquial attributes from different bards. She is noted for aiding mortals in affairs of passion and desire.

Airmid: {are med} The daughter of Dian Cecht, the father of all healing and medicine. She taught the apothecaries the secrets of the herbal medicines. She is called upon for the healing and comfort of the terminally ill.

Anu: {anoo} Sometimes known as Ana {anna} The Great Mother. She is also called Búanann {Boo-an-nan}, "The Lasting One." She is considered to be the mother of all heroes and warriors. She is considered to be the war-prone aspect of Dana or Danu, the Mother of Bards and Filí.

Aobh: {Æ-ve} or Aebh {eve} The eldest daughter of Ailill of Aran and foster-child of Baobh Dearg. Her sisters are Aoife and Arbha. She married Lír the God of the Seas. She bore four children; two sets of twins. The first set were Fionnuala and Ædh. Their names translate to the Wine-Fountain and Burden-Bearer. The second set were Fiachra and Conn. Their names translate to The Raven and The Hound. Metaphorically these names translate to The Gifts of Fertility and Bravery bestowed upon mankind, and the names of Raven and Hound are the attributes of premonition and awareness, the first two skills need for acumen in the martial arts. However, Aobh died in childbirth while giving life to the latter two. (See The Cailleach Muire.)

Aonghus Óg: {ann-gus} Also Ænghus or Óenghus. More commonly known as Aonghus Óg {angus oak}, Young Angus, or Mac Óg the Young Son. Similar to Cupid of the Latin mythos, he is the God of Love. He is the son of The Dagda Mór and Dana. His birthplace is at New Grange, and his palace was called Brugh na Boyne. He was most beautiful in appearance and was always seen with four birds swarming above his head, called "an Pogadh n' hAongus" {an pog-ah n hang-us}, the kisses of Angus. His birth is celebrated at Fheillbhan Nollaig {el-van no-log} (Yule) as the old solar deity associated with the Holly tree; Ogma Grianneach is slain by the Bran Dearg in the guise of the Robin King called Bran Dearg. The Solar King is reborn as Aonghus Óg the Oak King. (See Cermait.)

Aonghus Mac Aedh: {angus mak-A} (MacCay) Son of Aedh named for his uncle, also a son of the Baobh Dearg and brother to Fand, the wife of Manannán Mac Lír, the High God of the Seas. Is known as the Father of Cantors. He visited Cúchullainn as he lay upon his sickbed and sang the song of the five winds. When the song was finished Cúchullainn arose from the sickbed healed entirely. It is said that calling upon Aonghus Mac Aedh one may learn the power of the healing chants and mantras.

Árd Greimne: {ard graem-nia} His name means the High Power. This is likely more of a title than a name, for he draws upon a supernatural source of power to accomplish his feats in battle. Noted for his incredible force in battle, he is the father of the Celtic martial art forms. His two daughters are Scáthach {skawk}, the teacher of the martial arts (to Cúchullainn) and Aoife {A-fah} the she-warrior, who nearly defeated Cúchullainn in a single battle.

Badb or Badba: {Baekah} The War Goddess, or more properly the Goddess of Battles. She is seen in five aspects. The first of the five aspects is that of Badhbh {Bakah}. Her name is interpreted as "The Fury." She appears as a Black Crow or Raven. Similar in pronunciation is Macha {Maekah}, the White Raven, who is the personification of embattlement and the griefs that follow. Then there is Fea {fay} whose name means "Hateful," for she appears as fever riddled wind. The next aspect is that of Nemhaoin {nav-hon}, called "The Venomous One," or the "Death Bringer." She appears as a fiery serpent or a bolt of lightning running along the ground, more properly called a bollis {Bowl-ish}. She is inspiration of divine or heaven-borne causes. Nemhaoin (Nemain) is the wife of Nét (Nuada). The fifth aspect is The Mórrígan {more-ree-gawn}, the Great Queen and Supreme Goddess of War. The Mórrígan most often appears as a great red raven. She appears as the premonition-giver coming to warn both sides of a conflict how they would meet their deaths or win victory. Badb, Macha and The Mórrígan are often seen as members of a triune in early Gaelic poetry.

Beathuile: {bay-awe-la} The Great Source of Creative Life Forces. Neither male nor female, the name Beathuile is no name at all but a description meaning "life in its allness." Uttered in three syllables, Beathuile {bay-hal-uh} is envisioned as all of life, death and rebirth at once. Addressed in the first person, "a Bheathuile" {Ah vay-hal-uh} is envisioned as the living emulation of the Cróis nGael {Croosh n gale} or Celtic Cross with its arms extending as far up as down and equally as far around. The absolute root of the title is unknown but parallels have been drawn by some of the Seán Oidi to the Valhalla of the Norsemen. Other similarities may be drawn upon the Yod He Vau He, as he is perceived by the address of "the I Am." Beathuile may simply be equated to the Great Spirit of the Native Americans. The Great Spirit is present in the essence in every thing that lives; so too, is the Beathuile. However, Beathuile is not to be confused with Balor the Fomorii God of Death. Nor should Beathuile be confused with Bel of the Gauls or Bilé (Bay-lia), the Bloodletter, who is sometimes seen as the husband of Dana, and more often observed as the paternal aspect of the Poc (Puck), the Oak King whose dominion is the Earth during the season of the chase in spring and early summer and of the hunt in autumn.

BéCuma Cneisgel: {bay-kum-a} (She Who Creates Grief and Sorrow.) The Goddess of Grief, Sorrow, and Despair, she is so wanton that she was cast out of the Otherworld. She came to Tara and befriended Art MacChonn, the High King of Ireland whose father is Conn MacLír of the thousand battles. She became his concubine. While she lived with Art all of Ireland fell prey to famine, desolation, and sickness. She was playing the board game Fidchell with Art one night, winning the game with the aid of her invisible minions. She won the right to challenge Art to an impossible quest, hoping to vanquish him to the Otherworld forever. (See Créide Fírálaind.)

Balor of the Evil Eye: A Fomorii god over the realms of sorrow, vexation and death. The most foreboding of all the Fomorii. Rightly named Balor Mac Buarainneach {bal-or mak-bow-rain-ak}, this translates loosely to Gold Ring, son of Golden Bull. Balor has but one working eye which is swollen and sore. He proceeds through life as a blinded warrior until ready to finish his foe, and with no mercy he slowly raises his eyelid and instills mortal terror into whomever should behold the Evil Eye. For it is said that Balor's gaze is so sinister that it shall destroy whomever shall behold it.

His wife is Cethleen {kay-lane}, which some scholars translate to "Crooked Tooth." But in another spelling, Cáitlín {caw-ch-leen}, she is described as a slinger and thruster, implying that she was skilled at the arts of slingshot and spear. Suggestions have been made that it was she who blinded Balor's once benign eye, leaving him with only an evil eye with which to view the world. In the second battle of Magh Tuireadh she sorely wounded The Dagda Mór.
A passing Druid prophesied that Balor would be slain by his own grandson. To avoid this he locked his only daughter Ethlinn {ay-leen} (sometimes Ethnea or Ethniu {enya}) into a crystal tower on Tory Island along with twelve hand-maidens instructed to prevent her from ever knowing a man. But Balor rustled a great and sacred cow named Glas Gaibhnenn {glass gain-nan}, meaning Locked or Guarded Wealth from the herd of Dian Cecht {jee-an kekt}, the God of Medicine. Charged with the care of Glas Gaibhnenn was Cian MacCécht {kane mak kekt}, Son of Dian Cécht and God of Vital Longevity. His most adept pupil was the Beandhruid {ban-droy} Birog (Bithrogh). Literally "Chosen Woman," her title means "most gifted maiden among all students." Cian summons Bithrogh and the two follow Balor to Tory Island where he attempts to hide the cow. Once Balor has left the island, Bithrogh raises a Geis to put the hand maidens into a deep slumber. While Cian seduces the beautiful maiden Ethlinn, Bithrogh secures the cow. In the morning Cian and Bithrogh return to Éire. Ethlinn later gives birth to triplets. One of the hand maidens becomes ill and breaks her Geis of secrecy set by Ethlinn. When she has recovered she returns to her primary loyalty and reveals the secret of the triplets to Balor. Balor orders her to roll the three children, all boys, in a sheet and drown them in a whirlpool. But a pin holding one corner of the sheet falls out and one of the three infants falls out. The place of his release is to this day called Port Na Delig (Port or Haven of the Pin). While two of the siblings were lost in the whirlpool, Bithrogh rescued the third. She took him to Manannán Mac Lír in the Irish Sea for safe haven. When he was of manhood's age he was sent to Gobhniu {go-no}, MacCécht Cian's brother and God of the Smith's Forge and of tool makers. Gobhniu names the young god Lúgh Lámhfhada (or Loagh-Lámh-fada) {loo law fah-dah} or {loo law-vada}, meaning Lantern (light) of the Long Arm. Lúgh Lamhfada was made Guardian-God over all artists, craftsmen and Bards by the Uile-Athar Síorai {wil-ah-hur She-rye} (All Father Eternal) The Dagda Mór. Balor was slain by Lúgh at the second battle of Magh Tureadh just as he had been foretold.

Bánbhé: {bawn-vay} Also spelled Bánubh (Anglicized as Banba). The virgin aspect of a threefold goddess consisting of Bánbhé, Éire, {ay-ir} and Fóthla {Fo-lah}. Legend has it that the three were sisters and together greeted Miliseus upon his arrival in Hibernia from Ibero-Gaul. Each of the sisters requested that the conquerors call the land after themselves. They are like three separate but similar entities, all of whom are the spirit of "Alanna Ifheinn," {ah-lana-E-hayn} (Ireland Herself.) One translation of her name is the "Unplowed Land;" another translation is the "Pale Woman." The latter may also be interpreted as the "Empty Woman," alluring to a virgin or unfertilized female. This was not a chauvinistic description, as all things pertaining to females in the Gaelic suggest the wonderful power of and strength inherent in the gift of fertility. For instance, Beandrúid literally means fertile druid. The aspect of Fóthla seems to imply the "fruitful land," or "plush plentiful land." Hence this seems to be the maternal aspect. Éire is a name derived from Éar meaning "western island," Iarunn from the Old Irish, meaning the isle of iron. Traditionally Éire is the "Grand Old Woman," or "Séan Bán," both alluring to the Crone or Grand Mother aspect of the triad.

Baodb Dearg: {bayv-djayrg} Baodhaibh Dearg, The Red Phantom. His minions are called the baodhaibhsí {Bav-ee-shee}. They appear as phantasms or more accurately as "vision- makers." He is in some accounts the son of The Dagda Mór, and in others the brother of Boann, the "Nursing Mother," an aspect of Dana. He is considered to be the Guardian-God of the hours of the night, the giver of the gifts of prophesy and premonition. His birthplace was in Connacht, or more rightly in the skies over the western sea, for each night he paints the sun, sea and the skies to the west of Galway and Connemara with a blood red hue. Baodhaibh Dearg dwells in a Sídhe or Enchanted Mound overlooking Loch Dearg, which was once known as Loch Deargdherc (the Lake of the Red Visions [red eyes]) located on the Shannon River. In some sagas the Baodhaibh Dearg succeeds The Dagda Mór's rule as Allfather of the Gaidlealucht Gods.

His daughter Sadb or Saighaidh {saga or sey-ka} is the Goddess of Intrigue and Seductive Provocation, whose name means the provocative one (bitch-like one), a bit like a painful dart, (literally, sharp arrow or dart). Her satires so provoked a Druid on one occasion that he transformed her into a red hind and it was in this form that she was nearly slain by Fionn MacCumhail. However, when she was wounded, she took on her natural human shape with long flowing red hair which truly enchanted Fionn, and she later bore him a son called the Red Fawn, Oisín, who later fell in love with Niamh Ceann-Ór {nia ken ore}, Niamh of the Golden Hair, Queen of Tír Nan Óg.
His second daughter is Daireann or Duirerighin {Door-een}, the Oak Queen Guardian-Goddess of Widowed Mothers. She fell in love with Fionn just as her sister had, but Fionn failed to requite this passion, so she tainted his drink with a potion to drive him to madness. After a long journey to the Otherworld he was cured by another encounter with Sadb.
The Baodhaibh Dearg was noted for having a 'forge' or blacksmith called "Len of the Many Hammers." Len forged his steel weapons from the breath of the Baodhaibh Dearg while he was recounting his travels, and tempered his weapons in the lakes of County Killarny, which to this day are called Loch Lena (The Lochs of Len). These lochs are long noted for having a deep steel blue hue.

Béag or Bé hag: {be-ah-hag} Literally her name translates "The Woman at..." Her name is rightly "nBé ag Tobair Eagna" {n-bee-ag toe-bar aig-na}, the Woman at the Well, a Guardian-Goddess over the Well of Wisdom. Fionn MacCumhal once came to the Well of Wisdom and asked for a drink. Béag's three daughters (whose names are known only to those that may drink of the Well) tried in vain to prevent Fionn's drinking from the Well. One of the daughters splashed him with nearly frozen water. Fionn opened his mouth and drank a portion of the water in spite of all her shrieking, and thus gained a portion of the wisdom of the immortals.

Bealcú: {bayl coo} The God of Mercy and Forgiveness. More like a petitioner or an angel of mercy, Bealcú is Dé Dannan, who would not slay a foe that was torn to the point of near death but carry him home to nurse him back to death, and offer a new and equal combat if desired by the one-time foe. He is often called upon as a healer of soul-borne wounds and a mender of hatreds. He is also called upon to aide in the invocation of a dignified meeting with the Bé Fhind or Bé Fhinné. (See Bé Fhind.)

Bé Fhind or Bé Fhinné: {b-ah-in-yah} Pronounced similarly to the word for milk, "baine" {ban-nya}. The Ghostly Goddess: Mother Goddess of the Sidhé, she is called the White Lady or Fair Skinned Woman, or the fair maiden. Her daughter-like minions are called the Bean Sidhé {ban shee}, the Callers of the Death Borne. She comes to us as an aspect of the Goddess Brídeog in the guise of an apparition or aibhisé {av eesh}. She is sister of Boann (Bo Fhand or Bo Fhinné), the White Cow Goddess form of Dana. Bé Find is wife to Idath {ee-dah}, the bold warrior of Connacht, and mother to Fraoch {frock} the most comely of all warriors in Ireland and hero of the battles of Táin Bó Fraoch. The Tales of Fraoch (or Fraich) are thought to be the prime source of the Tales of Beowulf of Aenglish Lore.

Bé Chiabh Mar Ór: {bay' key-a-mar-hOre} The Golden-Haired Goddess. The lady of the long golden hair; a feminine counterpart of the Aongus Óg among the Sidhé. A solar goddess whose dominion is one of visions and petitions of "geasa grá" {gay-sh graw}, enchantments of love, grace and beauty. The application of the word Geis literally means "taboo or enchantment," but is applied to an enchantment that is to be in effect regardless of whether the bearer is upon the land, sea, or even in the air, but may not be carried into the Alltar. Some poets have called her Niamh Ceann Ór {nee-ah ken-ore}, "Heavenly" of the Golden Hair who enticed Oisín to follow her to Tír Nan Óg, where she rules as Queen of the Fae.

Bé Chiabh Mar Dubh: {bay 'key-a-mar doo} The Raven Haired Goddess, the Nocturnal Goddess, deeply associated with the invocation of Geasa Droma Draíochta {gay-sha dro-ma-dru-hok-tah}, inviolable enchantments. These enchantments are built by first visualizing the effects of the Geis upon the bearer, then beginning a soft chant which builds to a crescendo as it is released. She also called "n'Géis Dubh" {n-geesh doo}, the Black Swan. A rare old enchantment I once heard, to bring about a release for a father entrapped by an ailing body, was begun with "Black Swan, Black Swan, fly by me this night. Hear the calls of one and all here with me this night. Lift up the soul of this ould one, so ill bring him bright to Cruach's Hill. Pain not to hinder, fear not to render, be with us in this work of will, send him bright to Cruach's Hill!" Then the chant began, and when it reached an unearthly peak, a dark shadow appeared above our heads. As long as I may live I will swear that the flapping of wings and the cry of a swan filled the once starlit sky.

Bilé: {Bay-lia} (Beallé) The Blood-letter who is sometimes seen as the husband of Dana in the aspect of The Dagda Mór. Bilé is often observed as the paternal aspect of the Poc (Puc or Boc), the Oak King whose dominion is the Earth during the season of the chase (in spring and early summer) and Lord of the Hunt in the quarter-annual season between Nollaig and Bealltain (Yule thru Bealtaine). His full reign runs from Nollaig gu Briongloig (Yule til Midsummer). At Briongloig (Midsummer) he is seduced into the Alltar. At that time, Aongus Óg, who is transformed into Ogma Grianneach {og-ma gear-e-an-ak}, Ogma of the Sunny Countenance, begins his dominion of the Realms of the Earth as the Holly King. His association with Herne and Cernunnós are acceptable in that Bilé is associated with the hunt and is therefore perceived as a Horned God.

Boann {bone} or Boandh or Bó Fhindh: {boyn-yah} The Goddess of Feminine Beauty. In these spellings her name means "She of the White Cattle." But her name also appears as Bé Fhand or Bo Fhinné; pronounced the same, this implies woman of the green fields. The Scots Gaelig word Boine {Boyn-ia} is one word associated with beauty (bonnie). The River Boyne is named for her. As a River Goddess she assumes a more spiritual aspect of Dana. She is wife of Nechtan*, an elder or ancient brother of Bé Aig. By this I mean that he was being worshiped at the Síidhe Nechtain or Sídhe Shagais {shee hag-ash} which hides the ancient Well Of Sagais {sag-ash}, called the source of all knowlege of the twain worlds combined. This hill or Sídhe is now called the Hill of Carbery in County Claire. This forbidden or Geis-riddled well has also been called the "Well of Séan Eaglais" (well of ancient knowledge). Other spellings render the name Saighasidhé {sag-ah-shia}, implying the title of "sought-out well," meaning "unfindable or unapproachable well." As the stories go, only four persons entirely were allowed access to the well. These were Nechtan himself and three Goilla Copán {cup bearers}. At the top of the sídhe stood a grove of nine Hazel trees brought to Hibernia by Scota Ni Nechta, and from these trees fell the Cnónna Coill n'Gaois {no-na call n'gay-sh}; Nuts of Wisdom. These Cnónna Coill were constantly consumed by Fintan (Fionn Tainn), meaning the White Fire, a great salmon (the Salmon of Wisdom) for safe keeping. Boann, being a curious goddess, caused an enchantment to force the Sídhe to open. When the great hill opened the well was revealed. Taking the form of a great white cow, Boann bent to take a drink, but the enchanted well swelled up with anger at this violation and began to give chase to the fair goddess. As she ran, so too did the well follow. When the well had no more water to loose it came to a standstill. Boann swore that the great knowledge once hidden should be provided for all to partake of, so all along the trail of her run today there flows the River Boyne.

The Nuts of Wisdom that had fallen into the well were carried by Fintan to a small pool, where grew the Cnóchoill Boinne {nok-will boy-nia}, or Boann's enchanted Hazel grove of knowledge and wisdom. Both the grove and the pool were discovered by the Druid Fingas (Fionngaois), meaning Wisdom's Light, who was Fionn Mac Cumhail's Oide (guardian & mentor). Fionn-gaois told his pupil to cook the fionntain that Fiongaois would become the wisest of the wise. But Fionn grabbed the salmon by the mouth while the salmon still lived and the salmon bit his thumb. Fion-tainn forced most the knowledge and wisdom into the wounded thumb. Realizing that it was Fionn and not Fionngaois that was chosen by Boann to be the bearer of the wisdom of the ages, Fionngaois instructed Fionn to eat the entire fish. Because this was a mystic wisdom, it also carried the gift of prophecy with it. Whenever Fionn would again suck his thumb, new grants of knowledge, wisdom and prophesy would come to him. By way of this long tale, Boann is hence also rendered the title of Mother of Knowledge and Wisdom.
*NOTE: Nechtan ("God King") descended from the lines of the Pharoah Nechtanebus II of the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt, whose daughter was Scota NiNechta, wife to Milesius {mil-e-she-us}, elder son of Mil. Scota NiNechta was slain while fighting the Dé Dannan. This Scota is not to be confused with Scota NiCingris, daughter of the Pharoah Cingris, around 450 BCE whose son was Goidel Mac Shcota {Gael mak hoe-cha}, progenitor of the Gaels (Giodhealach).

Bran: {bran} Rightly Bran MacLír, brother of Manannan MacLír. Sometimes he is called Bran Rígh {bran ree}, meaning "King Bran." Brythonic traditions list him as the King of the Otherworld. In our tradition he appears much like the Baobh, in that he often comes as a raven. But he also appears as mystic fog or appears in the dreamstate to inform a person of a coming danger or blessing. He most often appears in three different guises, the first being "Bran Dearg" {bran-jay-erg}, occasionally spelled Briondhearg {brayn urg}, who comes as the red raven, or more accurately as a robin. For the sign of a robin is one of forewarnings of an illness or mortal danger. This is a bit like The Mórrigan only connected to dangers not involving wars.

The second guise is called "Bran Dubh" {bran doo}, the Black Raven, who comes to reveal abrupt changes in fortune or potental fate. Just as black is the sign of new beginnings, so too is the Bran Dubh a sign of one rung being set free while a new rung is being grasped. This is not to be confused with the board game called Brandubh, yet that was a game played by heroes and the gods to twist the fate of an individual.
The third guise is the Bran Fhíonn {bran-e-an}, sometimes known as the Brannan or the Bren-nan. This aspect means "The White Raven." Perhaps this name has been affiated with an albatross or a lone gull circling over a curragh {kur-ak} or other fishing boat. As the tales go the lone white bird will come screeching and diving toward the fisherman, then fly off. If such a thing were to occcur, the bird is to be followed, for if the Branfhionn is not followed surely a deep fog will come and guide you to your death. Another appearance of the Branfhion is in a charicter called the Féar Sí. This is a ghost or faerie fisherman who comes out of a fog to give tididngs of either good fortune or forewarning of the safe way home. In either case this is a sign of one coming from other realms to offer guidance to safety if heeded. Coincidence, perhaps, that the Welsh word for king is Brenin.

Brían: {Bree-un} The Strong Leader; the eldest son of Tuirean {Toe-rain} by the Goddess Brídeog. Brían is to be compared to Jason of Greek lore. His two brothers Iuchar {Eo kar} (Repayment) and Iucharba {eo-kar-va} (Healing) accompanied him through all his journeys. Together they are the Triune Gods of Inner-Strength and Virtue. Brían is often called upon to guide one through trials of retributory payment.

Bríghid, Brídeog or Bhríd: {bre-jad}, {bree-ja-ok} or {vredj} Also known as Brighid, from the root Breo-Dé-shaigh {bree-ja-ok}, meaning "She who keeps the Sacred Fires." Literally, from this root, her name means "Fire of the Sacred Thrusting." As phallic as that might sound the feast of Lá Fheill Brídeog {law el-vreej} has since long before the creation of St. Brighid meant a calling of she who keeps the fires alive during winter to summon the sleeping Goddess of Summertide to be reincarnated as the Maiden of Spring. In not too ancient times great fire towers, fashioned after round obelisks, were built with windows facing each surrounding hill. Within each tower and upon each hill a "Fheillbhann Teine" {el-van-chain-a} or festival fire was lit on the first of February. In Roman Catholic tradition Lá Fheill Brídeog involves a ritual called "The Blessing of the Throats," with a candle passed before the open mouths of the parishoners, creating a fireborne baptism of the passions of the human spirit. Understanding this accepted meaning of her name, an alternate source for her name is Breo-Dé-shaighdeadh {bree-ja-had} and Bréo-shaighid {bree-hi-gad}, meaning the "Fire of the Divine Incitement." Since fire is the ultimate source of all human virtues or passions she is assigned the realms of Healing, Smiths and Crafters, Fertility and Poetry. She is seen as the Keeper of the Winter's Fires. She is often perceived as an aspect of Danu the Mother of all Goddesses during the Geamhrail or wintertides. Her attributes are equated to those of Lúgh Lámhfada. Like Diana she was worshiped by a group of white clad priestesses called the Brídeoganta, who retained their virginity and were noted as warriors as well as healers.

Though it is likely a bleed-over from Germanic or Norse collusion, Brídeog has a counterpart during the summer-tides in the Highlands of Alba (Scotland), called Frídh or Frídeogh {free-ah}, who is Goddess of the Forests and Trees. From the pronunciation, Gaidhealig scholars have concluded that this is a variation of Freya. But there stands to be a logical phonetic evolution between the "F" and the "Bh" in the two names. This is supported as well by one being the Goddess of The Living Forest and the other being a goddess who employees the byproducts of a "Dead Forest." The twain aspects also support the Season of the Living and The Season of the Dead. Some keepers of the "Old Ways" honour only these two as the true Goddesses of the Goidheals. Those that follow this purist view give recognition of The Dagda Mór as the head of the Gaelic Triad, with Aongus and Ogma as the rulers of the Skies, while Boann reigns supreme as the Great Mother, and Frídh and Bhríghid rule the Earth during their aspectual seasons.

Buanann: {bow-nan} The Eternal Reaper, or Búanann: {boo-nan} The Untiring One. By either name she is perceived as another aspect of Anu, the Mother of Gaelic martial arts. She ran a school for warriors during the Red Branch Sagas. She is a good lady to know when there are weeds in life's garden that need to be thinned.
Another attribute she is noted for is teaching the art of keen observation and rapid-fire wit. Noted for moving at such a speed that others about her seem to be in slow motion, she is a Matron of the Arts of Prestidigitation (slight of hand, tricks).

Buile Shuibhne: {bwe-la swee-ny} Though sometimes corruptly called Billy Sweeney, the title Buile Shuibhne truly means Sweeney's Rage or Sweeney of the Frenzy. A one-time warrior of the Dál Ríada {dawl Ree-ah-da}, the Travelling (wandering) Tribes (septs) in Lienster in Éire and Argyle in Scotland, is considered to be the father of shape-shifting or the art of Claochlú {kloe-kloo}. It was a warrior by the name of Shuibhne who was mortally wounded in the Battle of Moira. But he rose from the dead by refusing to stay with the Baobh Dearg. As a result he was compelled to set out upon a series of journeys through the Talamh Fián n' hÉareann {tal-ah fe-awn n hay-ran} (the wild lands of Ireland), in search of a peaceful mind state. In a moving series of tales and poems Suibhne's journeys lead him to primal oneness with all the creatures of Nature. In some accounts his empathic skills are such that he shifts into the shape and mindset of his familiars. His accounts are perhaps the truest to the primal Shamanism of any in all the western lore. Even the name of his birthrite tribe, the Dál Ríada, is perhaps the root of the common phrase "The Travelling People." Though now applied to tinkers, the term was once applied to peoples that were compelled to live in the forests and open plains to obtain a complete oneness with Nature amid the Talamh Fián. In the course of time, apparently several Filí and Seánachai enjoyed the fruits of similar "frenzies," all of whom attributed their works of Nature poetry to Shuibhne himself.


- by Delphoene

My Mother is a single sound
Wherein all music would be found
Eternal creativity
She moves, She moves, She moves in me

Her song, Her breath, caressing, warm
To manifest Her blessing
Form a spiral evermore

to spin
She moves, she moves,
She moves within

She is a chord
She is unbroken
Silent though Her

names be spoken
Who would listen
to Her call
She moves, she moves,
She moves us all


by Nion

Howdy ya'll, Nion here. In the last two issues of The Hazel Nut, there was an excellent short story, "Their Garden," by Michael Deakins, about a land developer whose eyes were opened up by the resident fairies and elves to the destruction of the environment by mankind. I've always had a soft spot in my being when it comes to the fairy folk. Must have been all them fantasy and sword & sorcery books that I've always read while growing up and for most of my adult life.
I must admit, there has always been a part of me that has yearned to meet a fairy or elf when I'm out in the woods alone, drinking in nature and trying to become one with my surroundings. I also have to reluctanty admit, that until quite recently, having been a doubter and semi-pessimist all my life, my inner eyes would probably have never allowed me to see the magick out there, and the fairy beings that I am now posiive inhabit our every surroundings. I want to see them with every fiber within me, but so far, my natural born skepticism has blocked my sight. Oh well, one of these years or lifetimes.
As a young'un, I was always a day dreamer, in far away places and times, but as most kids growing up, I've seem to have misplaced that visionary part of me, probably walled up somewhere within, with the bricks of day-to-day living, material concerns, family responsibilities, etc., etc., and the constant struggle of trying to keep my nose six inches above all the shit in this common reality that surrounds us all and hoping like hell nobody makes too many waves. You can't imagine how much I envy the very young whose innocence and open-mindedness allows them to see and to relate to all the things that are lost to us "adults."
Since becoming pagan these last two years, and with conversing with others, and more extensive reading and research into differing subjects, trying to constructively meditate, and my biggest stumbling block, to VISUALIZE effectively, I think that I've been making slow progress in those areas.
I cannot claim any knowledge or awareness of "past lives," other existences, or been somewhere that I ain't been physically. I must admit that I'm real skeptical (nasty word that is, huh?) of anyone who "claims" that they have been non-physically elsewhere and have conversed, communed, talked, learned, taught, or whatever, with others outside of this reality. I have a tendency to take whatever they say with a grain of salt. Now don't misunderstand me: I'm not saying that what they claim to be actual or factual to them, isn't so, but since I can't easily verify for myself and have to take it on "faith," I just can't say for sure, one way or another, what is true or self-delusional flights of imagination, or just plain old bullshit of someone trying to impress the newbie with their visionary quests. Just don't know.
However, I do belive that we as pagans CAN regain that lost innocence and insight and the power to believe in what is commonly thought of as the unbelievable. A lot of pagans that I know have that inner questing spark to know more about not only their own domain, but the domain of the "others," and to walk where our physical selves cannot go. A lot of our beliefs allow us to be more open and accepting of things and concepts that are beyond normal comprehension. And since our faith isn't tied down to dogma that is set in stone like a lot of other "conventional" faiths, we can accept the un-acceptable, belive the un-believable, and see the un-seeable.
Gee! I wish my own inner sight wasn't trying to act like a dinosaur in a tar pit, and that I could see what others tell me can be seen. I'm workng real hard to break those bounds of skepticism and pessimism that always seem to hold me back in the things I desperately want to see and do. Well, bye for now, and may ya'll's minds and imaginations always go where no man/woman has gone before. May the Lord of Light and the Lady of Life watch over you and keep you safe in whatever journeys you travel. Blessed Be.


by Ing

Part II

Ed. Note: This article first appeared in The Henge, published by Church of Rhiannon in middle Georgia.

The yearly system begins in the Old calendar of the first wave (Megalithic influenced) Celts at the full moon closest to the midway point between the Autumnal Equinox (called Coadarath by the second wave Celts), and the Winter Solstice (called Schlinnein by the first wave Celts). This is the oldest surviving new year's festival in Northern Europe. The later northern races adopted the Winter Solstice as the new year, and there is a very understandable reason for this, as it is the literal point of the "rebirth" of the solar year.
It should be noted that the region that the later tribes (Danes, Saxon, etc.) Inhabited was, at the time of the Megalithics and proto-Celts, still in a state of semi-tundra. A warming trend fluctuating every 1200 years or so is now at its zenith, and the promise of the cooling trend will be the reality of our great-grand children.
With the agricultural revolution came the need for a more balanced calendar. Instead of a hunter-based (using lunar calculations for herd positions, as well as light and dark periods), the solar, agrarian calendar (which originated in the Near East--a male dominant society), took on much more importance. Interestingly, the hunter/gatherers used a lunar (matriarchal) system, and the agrarian culture used the solar (patriarchal). Together, these two calendars became the calendar that most neo-Pagans use today despite the fact that there are almost as many calendar variations as there are groups. Still the overall sincerity and reverence is perpetuated as it was by our forebears.
Samhain (New Years) most commonly falls into the latter weeks of the nGettal (October) month, and the early weeks of Beith (November). This begins the dark half of the year, as Beltane begins the light half. This change from the planting/harvesting season to the hunting/slaughtering season is represented by the male aspect prominent over the female (the reverse is true at Beltane). The female/Goddess does not actually die, but becomes the One of the Dark Earth, the Morrigan in the first-wave Celtic language (Gaelic).
Similarly, the male/God does not actually die at the festival of Beltane. He becomes the Tanist (pronounced 'tan-isht'), hence the "tan" in the root of the festival name. This is the designation for the Oak King. The oak or duir (in Gaelic) is the totem plant of the Druids. The Tanist is often called, as is the Morrigan, the One of the Dark. This gives the impression of a sinister aspect, but in reality it is simply a way of relating to the eventuality of death and decay. Crom Cruach, a bloody god of the Celts, is another such deity.
At the Winter Solstice, the Oak King dies, or is transformed into the Holly King. As the deciduous oaks become as bald and skinny as an old man, the sacred Uchelwydd (mistletoe) clings to the seemingly dead being, and those green leaves and white, potent sperm-like berries told our ancestors that there was yet another growing time ahead.
The Holly King became the life-force bearer after the Winter Solstice with his red berries and horned leaves which must have represented the blood of the hunted/sacrificed animals, and the stubby horns of the reborn God. In the spring, this young God is the Jack-in-the-Green, the Hooded Man, the Green Man, the ultimate studly nature boy. Through the season he matures into Hhern, Cernunnos, the Horned (and fertile) One. At Beltane, he copulates with and impregnates the Earth Maiden and enters the Womb, the Underworld (The Dark Earth).
So it is with the Goddess. Throughout the corresponding times and festivals of the year, she is born, by spring becoming the willowy, mischievous, seductive Maiden Queen, and upon the full moon of Beltane becomes pregnant with life (represented by crops). Upon giving birth, the Matron/Goddess assumes the role of Wise Woman, the Wyrd Woman, the Crone, the Hag of Samhain.
In some ways, the old and new calendar systems take on characteristics similar to each other. Whether this was an evolutionary development or by cultural contact is uncertain. Probably both cases are true. One is no better than the other. What is important is that we use a system which brings us closer to our Earth Mother.
Blessings to all of the Old Path.


BBC Series, "The Celts," Lionheart Productions.
The Bible, Book of Galations, St. Paul.
Blavatsky, H.P. Isis Unveiled (Vol. II). 1877, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, IL.
Campanelli, Pauline. The Wheel of the Year. 1989, Llewellyn Press, St. Paul, MN.
Cunliffe, Barry. The Celtic World. 1986, Greenwich House, Maidenhead, England.
Kraft, George, translator. History-Posidonius. 1927, University of Oxford Press, Oxford, England.
Hope, Murray. Practical Celtic Magic. 1987, Thorsons Publishing, Willingborough, Northhampshire, England.
Murray, Collin. The Celtic Tree Oracle. 1988, Eddison Editions Ltd., Chad's Court, London, England.
National Geographic, "The Search for Our Ancestors," November 1985, Weaver, Washington, DC.
PBS Series, "The Story of English," McNeil/Lehrer.
Rolleston, T.W. Celtic Myths and Legends. 1936, Avenel Publishers, New York, NY.
Sharkey, John. Celtic Mysteries. 1975, Thames and Hudson, New York, NY.


by Lark

"Silly Spells" has been such a success, that we'll probably feature it every issue from now on. It's been a real hoot for me to collect these but I would appreciate any absurd spells that you come across.
Love potions abound with odd materials for their spells. Here's an especially strange one from North Africa: To make an aphrodisiac for men, add to wine and powdered stone from the gizzard of an ostrich (try your local zoo), three powdered beans. and the dried and powdered left testicle of a fox. (Roadkill would be your best bet.) Here's an interesting addendum to the spell: The right testicle is an aphrodisiac for women. Bleck.
Here's another luuuvvvv spell: Put a frog in an anthill. Powder the skeleton obtained, mix it with bat blood and dried flies, and make it into tiny buns. Add them to the food of the one you want. Ewwwwwwww!!
Here's a magick for one who has been infatuated by illicit love to a female: Such a person must put on a pair of shoes on and walk therein until his feet perspire, but must walk fast so that the feet do not smell badly; (teehee) then take off the right shoe, drink some beer or wine out of this shoe, and he will from that moment lose all affection for her. (Magnus)
And finally here is one of my very favorites that I ever come across: Take the blood of a snail, tie it up in a linen cloth, and make of it a wick and lighten it in a lamp; give it to any man thou wilt, and say lighten this, he shall not cease to fart until he let it depart. (Magnus) Bright Blessings and happy trails.


Albertus Magnus. The Book of Secretes, London, c 1560.


- by Stormy

To the top of the tallest mountain
To the bottom of the deepest sea
We have been the Goddess
Forever and for eternity.

Throughout the entire universe
and beyond what we know as infinity
We are still the Goddess--
We are the original trinity!

The trinity consists of the Daughter,
The Mother and the Grandmother.
We are Maid, Mother and Crone--
We are one the same with each other.

We have no beginning
We have no end.
We are a complete circle
Circling again and again.

We are Danu, Morrigan, Macha,
Cerridwen, Morgan La Fay, Epona,
Bridget, Cailleach Bheur, Mari,
Maeave, Rhiannon and Feona.


by Deborah Murphy Gifford

Ojibwa Herbal Tea is a Native American Indian herbal tea with a history dating back over one hundred years. Substantiated by thousands of testimonial letters from users, it is believed to have great healing powers. This herbal formula has reportedly been found beneficial for sufferers of cancer, AIDS, arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, and many other illnesses. Originally prepared by the Ojibwa Indians of Cobalt, Ontario Canada as part of a ritual intended to restore strength and balance, it was also used as a food when nothing else was available.
The fact that such a simple remedy exists, is largely unknown, and continues to be ignored by the mainstream medical establishment, is an amazing story. In this decade of "immune deficiency illnesses," knowledge of this formula could prove to be important for the protection of your health and the protection of your family and loved ones. Even though the evidence for the effectiveness of this formula could be considered largely anecdotal, it certainly deserves to be explored.
Rene Caisse was a Canadian nurse who for a period of almost sixty years treated thousands of people with the Ojibwa herbal tea. She called this formula essiac, which is her name spelled backward. Her success with this natural herbal treatment for cancer led to a lifelong battle with the Canadian government and the conventional medical community. Rene Caisse was first introduced to this formula while working in a Canadian hospital in 1922. One of her patients had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, but made a complete recovery after using the remedy giver he by an Ojibwa Indian medicine man. Rene Caisse obtained this formula, which consisted of four common herbs that were blended together in a fashion which caused the concoction to have a greater curative power than any of the herbs themselves. These four herbs were sheep sorrel, burdock root, slippery elm bark, and turkey rhubarb root. Rene Caisse first used the tea on her aunt, thought to be in the final stages of inoperable stomach cancer. After two months of drinking the tea, her aunt recovered and lived another twenty years. Rene left the hospital in 1924 and moved to Bracebridge, Ontario, where she began administering the Ojibwa herbal tea (essiac) to all who came to her. Most of her patients came with letters from their doctors stating that they were terminal, or had inoperable forms of cancer, and that the doctor considered the patient to be untreatable. Miraculously, most of these patients recovered, and some are still alive today.
Over the years, as word spread of the success of the tea, the Canadian newspapers picked up the amazing story of this lone nurse who was saving hundreds of people from cancer deaths, defying all the accepted conventional methods, by utilizing a simple Native American Indian herbal tea. She gained notoriety. The story could no longer be ignored by the Canadian government or the Canadian medical authorities. She began to be harassed for administering this "unapproved" treatment, even though she did not charge for her services. She lived very modestly, operating her clinic with donations given to her by grateful clients. Following a petition drive by her patients, her fight culminated in 1938 with a vote by the Ontario Legislature to allow her to carry on a medical practice for the treatment of cancer. The bill was defeated by only three votes. In 1945, fearing prosecution, Rene Caisse went into seclusion, but continued to treat patients in secret.
At this point in the story, one can only wonder what the Ojibwa medicine man who had originally given the herbal formula must have thought about the uproar which had resulted! Four common herbs, gifts from the earth, were freely given by God to the Ojibwa for their benefit. The Ojibwa had, in turn, freely given their secrets to the White Man for his use. The bureaucracy of the medical establishment had succeeded in restricting vital information so that many hundreds of thousands of people would die of illnesses without ever hearing of the Ojibwa remedy. Indeed, in response to a letter by nine respected Canadian doctors to allow Rene Caisse to treat cancer patients, the Canadian Health Department sent out two investigators armed with official papers to arrest Rene Caisse or restrain her from practicing medicine. They backed off only when she proved to them that she was administering the formula under the direct supervision of qualified doctors.
In the 1950's and 1960's Caisse went to the United States and worked directly with Dr. Charles A. Brusch at his clinic in Massachusetts. From 1959 through 1962 they worked with thousands of cancer patients. Dr. Brusch was personal physician to the late President John F. Kennedy. Well-known and respected, Dr. Brusch also worked with the Presidential Cancer Commission, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cancer Institute. After studying the formula for ten years, Dr. Brusch stated "Essiac is a cure for cancer, period." In a notarized statement dated April 6, 1960, he testified that "he had cured his own cancer, the original site being the lower bowel, using only essiac." All studies done at laboratories in the United States and Canada support this conclusion.
Rene Caisse died in 1978. Her work was widely ignored and the story would have probably ended here, if not for the persistence of Dr. Gary Glum of California. He became fascinated with her work. Traveling to Canada, he very painstakingly reconstructed the story of her struggle. Out of his research came the book The Calling of an Angel, the story of Rene Caisse's life.
Due to the epidemic proportions of cancer and AIDS deaths in this country, there has been a resurgence of interest in the Ojibwa Indian Tea. Dr. Glum has described remarkable success in treating HIV patients with the tea. He worked with the AIDS Project in Los Angeles, and relays how drastically low T cell counts had risen to normal levels after a couple of months on the tea. This information is not being disseminated because AIDS is on the horizon as the next big medical money maker. As it stands today, cancer is the second largest revenue producing business in the world, second only to the petro-chemical business.
Those who have successfully treated themselves are the most fervent believers. Marcia Rose of San Antonio was diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing surgery in 1990 the cancer came back. Facing the prospect of a mastectomy at the age of 33, she decided (upon the recommendation of her mother who had reportedly cured her own lung cancer) to treat her condition with the tea. Today, almost 6 years later, she is healthy and cancer free.
Jeffrey Kirk of Chicago is a 28 year old college student. He was diagnosed with AIDS in November 1994. He was prescribed AZT, but says he didn't believe it worked. He had heard of a doctor in Canada who was treating AIDS patients with the Ojibwa formula, so Kirk is attempting to treat his own HIV with the Indian Tea. Kirk says his cancer fighting T cells had plunged less than 250, but after a few months on the tea, registered last month at almost 900. Kirk said, "I can't say it is a cure, but it's working for me!" Other tea-drinkers have experienced success against cancer, lupus, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease, arthritis, and depleted immune systems.
As sick people throughout this country are seeking alternative treatments for illness, the native cure seems to be gaining in popularity. Whether an Indian myth or a true healing remedy, this formula is nevertheless non-toxic and harmless, and might be worth a try, as a cure or simply as an immune boosting preventative. Ojibwa Herbal Tea is offered for sale only as a food supplement and is available as well as additional information by calling 1-800-282-4002, or by writing to: 361 Avenida Madera, Siesta Key, Florida, 34242.


by Linda Kerr

Each of the 13 lunar months has its own particular 'glyph,' or line, from the Song of Amergin, an ancient poem said to have been chanted by the chief bard of the Milesian invaders of Ireland as he first set foot to the island in 1268 BC. This poem was reconstructed by Robert Graves in The White Goddess and related to the Beth-Luis-Nion alphabet. Each of these lines speak of a particular essence of the lunar energies, and when studied in-depth, can help lead to a greater understanding of the tree month. This series of articles will attempt to explore these glyphs, and at least get you started in your own understanding. (See Issue #20 for the poem.)

Ivy/Gort: I am a ruthless boar or I fled as a bristly boar seen in a ravine - i.e., for valour

October is the revelry season of the ivy-wreathed Bassarids, or Maenads, priestesses of Dionysus and Orpheus. (Graves 210) Possessed by the spirit of the wine god, Dionysus, these priestesses became "wild women" who tore apart their sacrificial victim and devoured him during their orgies. In later, more civilized times, they worshipped their god with a drunken feast and carnival processions. In Rome, where their god was named Bacchus, they were called Bacchantes, and their festival was the Bacchanalia. (Walker 564)

But the glyph for this moon concerns boars; Ivy is the season of boar-hunting; and Graves says the boar is the beast of death, and the 'fall' of the year begins in the month of the boar. (Graves 210)
So how do the Bacchanalian revels and boars fit together? The Bassarids, who tore apart fawns, goats, children, and even men in their ecstasy, were performing sacrifices to their god, Dionysus, to whom the ivy was sacred. Dionysus is the same as Adonis, who in mythology was killed by a boar. (Graves 336) The dying god being killed by a boar is a common theme: Tammuz, Osiris, and Adonis were sacrificed at the hands of a god or priest disguised as a boar. These dying gods, all lovers of the Goddess who were chosen from her priesthood, were killed or "gored in the groin" by the boar, an allegory of ritual castration. (Walker 113)

Adonis was also one of the sacrificial boar-gods worshipped by the Jews. Boars were sacrificed to Astarte in Syria, and to Demeter in Greece. The Eleusinain Mysteries mythologized the boar sacrifice as "pigs falling into a crevice in the earth" at the moment when the Lord of Death seized Kore to take her to the Underworld (Walker, 114): this brings to mind the gloss for this moon, "I fled as a bristly boar seen in a ravine."
Sacrifice and self-sacrifice is evident in the symbology of the Ivy moon, both as a boar and by a boar. One of the first traditions of sacrificial boar-gods began with the Indian cult of Vishnu, who claimed to create the world by virtue of his self-sacrifice in the form of a boar. He said the blood of his boar shape had the creative power that only the Mother's blood formerly had: "Gods and creatures arise out of the sacrifice, for the sacrifice is their appointed food. Everything will always arise from the sacrifice; this whole universe is made of the sacrifice." (O'Flaherty 196-197)
Heimdall, a Germanic boar-god, was born of the Earth-and-Sea mother, fathered by boar blood. "He was made strong with the force of the earth, with the cold sea and the blood of the sacrificial boar." (Turville-Petre 147-148) In other words, like most gods, in dying he begat himself again.
An interesting note is that the Jews' taboo on pig's flesh was not due to hygienic reasons or fear of trichinosis, but because their remote ancestors had the wild boar as their totem, in the form of Adonis or Dionysus. (Walker 112, Graves 336) "For the sun represented the immortal part of Dionysus; the barley and the vine his mortal part." (Graves 336).

Reed/Ngetal: I am a threatening noise of the sea or I have been a wave breaking on the beach - i.e., for horror
Elder/Ruis: I am a wave of the sea or I return again like the receding wave or On a boundless sea I was set adrift - i.e., for weight

The last two moons are connected to each other, both having to do with the sea. Let's therefore look at the two of them together.

Reed is the month when the "terrible roar of breakers and the snarling noise of pebbles on the Atlantic seaboard fill the heart with terror, and when the wind whistles dismally through the reed-beds of the rivers." (Graves 210-211) In Ireland the roaring of the sea was supposed to foretell a king's death, and a canna-reed (a water plant), which grows from a thick root like a tree, was an ancient symbol of royalty in the Mediterranean. The Pharaohs also used sceptres of reed (Graves 184-185)
A warning of death also came with the harsh cry of the screech-owl. "Owls are most vocal on moonlight nights in November and then remain silent until February. It is this habit, with their silent flight, the carrion-smell of their nests, their diet of mice, and the shining of their eyes in the dark, which makes owls messengers of the Death-goddess Hecate, or Athene, or Persephone: from whom, as the supreme source of prophecy, they derive their reputation for wisdom." (Graves 210-211)
Elder "is the month when the wave returns to the sea, and the end of the year to its watery beginning. A wave of the sea in Irish and Welsh poetry is a 'sea-stag': so that the year begins and ends with the white roebuck. In Irish legend such gods of the year as Cuchulain and Fionn fight the waves with sword and spear." (Graves 211)
In these two moons we see the progression of the year, at its end, through the terror of the sea while still on land, to a wave of the sea, becoming one with it again, and back to its beginning, in the watery moon of Birch.
Water, as we saw in the early part of the year, in Rowan, Ash, and Alder, symbolizes the yin, or feminine energies. The year begins in water, progresses to a flood on the plain, a wind on the waters, and a surfacing from the waters in Alder. The moons of the warmer months of the year are of a more yang, masculine energy; it is only now, in the fall, or death, of the year, that we return once again to the waters. Now, however, that return is accompanied by a fear, a terror, of returning to the unconscious again. Hence the owl and the roaring sea as messengers of death.
Once we are into Elder, we no longer have that fear; the wave breaking on the beach in Reed has become the receding wave, bearing us onto the boundless sea. Only from the sea can the year be born again; thus the reference to the sea-stag, the roebuck of the Birch moon. (For the symbolism of the stag, see Issue #18, December/January 1996.)


Graves, Robert. The White Goddess. 1948. The Noonday Press, New York, NY.
O'Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. Hindu Myths. 1975. Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, England.
Turville-Petre, E.O.G. Myth and Religion of the North. 1964. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, NY.
Walker, Barbara. The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. 1983. Harper & Row, San Francisco, CA.


by Sherlock

I recently received a letter from one of our Hazel Nut readers that deeply disturbed me. It must have, because it's prompted me to get off my butt and write some articles again.
In his letter our reader described to me a vivid vision of the future in which our entire planet was going to waste. Famine and plague swept the land, water was unsafe to drink, more and more pollution had the air unsafe to breathe, and mankind was dying out. An ecologist told him that his vision was fast becoming a reality, and I myself tend to think that it already has become a reality. Man-kind has become so densely populated that disease is running rampant, but believe it or not, this is Mother Nature's way of dealing with over-population of any of her children, from rats to deer to mankind itself. We are not exempt from her natural order; the wheel will always continue to turn.
As for air and water pollution, this is already a reality. The air is unsafe to breathe, especially in the city. We can no longer drink from a river without getting sick. Our ancestors would have never believed it if you had told them you would have to pay for purified water to drink.
It seems hopeless, doesn't it? That's what our reader's letter said. He said that he had completely lost hope. That he felt that there was no motivation, like he'd been given a terminal diagnosis. This is what disturbed me. WE CAN NEVER GIVE UP!! Believe it or not, mankind has come a long way in the last hundred years. We are discovering our mistakes and attitudes are changing, and we still have a long way to go. We cannot abandon our Mother to those who have not begun to change yet. We cannot expect the change to be overnight either. It is a marathon, and our lifetimes hardly amount to a yard of the distance, but if we just quit running, the race will never be won.
Here are a few of our previous marathon runners:
In 1807, ornithologist Alexander Wilson came up with a plan to slow the slaughter of robins for the eastern U.S. food market. He planted an anonymous (and false) newspaper story that said that robins ate certain berries that made them unwholesome to eat. While it slowed things down some, robins were still popular table-fare. In the winter of 1902-1903, a single hunter sold 120,000 robins for restuarant food. (Bolen & Robinson, pg. 9)
Market hunting was solely responsible for the extinction of the passenger pigeon, and many other North American animals. People did not consider wildlife to be a renewable resource. If properly managed, it can be enjoyed, and even hunted, without detriment to the environment. It was in the early 1900's that we started to realize this. Heros like Aldo Leopold and Theodore Roosevelt fought to change the public view. Lawmakers started enacting previously unheard of bag limits and hunting seasons. Certain animals were protected outright. Although people balked at first, these changes in attitudes and these new laws are the only reason that we still have bison, deer, robins, swans, and ducks. If these people had just buckled under what must have seemed like hopeless odds, all of these animals would now be extinct, even deer.
As of the 1930's, the wild turkey was almost extinct, but due to the efforts of people who didn't give up, wild turkey are flourishing again. (Bolen & Robinson, pg. 24)
I could probably go on forever, and if you guys want to learn more about the things going on in the world that are doing some good, or some of the things that aren't going so good, write me or The Hazel Nut, and I will do my best to answer some questions. I am studying wildlife biology at Auburn University, and it would make me very happy if I can use my knowledge of "Mother Earth Anatomy" to help motivate folks, or just inform our community of what's up in nature.

Wildlife Ecology and Management. 3rd Edition. Eric G. Bolen and William L. Robinson. 1985, Prentice Hall.

Suggested Reading:
Last Chance to See, by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine.


- by Scott Thomas

Dance on the roots of the strangling trees
With women of wicker
Their bellies of flame
Burning the tinder
of unsummoned names
Mushroom-cool kisses
The whispering web
The healing thorned spring
Where the greening tides ebb

Strange how the winter
Builds scarecrows inside
Seams in the straw
Like dried pieces of sun
Roll with the moon
On a path made of shade
And wicker-winged women
Where lightening is strung


- by Chanticleer

The drums of Samhain keeping time.
The gates of magic open wide.
A cauldron's blessings overflow.
The candle flames are dying low.

The witches dance the circle 'round
to chant and bring the power down.
Hecate will hear our call
to turn the summer into fall.

The magic veil is growing thin.
The Netherworld is near our own.
We'll see the sacred fire fed
while witches commune with the dead.

The winds of Autumn call our names.
The driving rhythm slowly calms.
The glowing embers we will tend
until the drums of Samhain end.


by Michael Devizes

Part II

Update for new readers; In our last issue our English correspondent , the Spiritualist Medium Michael Devizes, told how he was summonsed by 'The Management' on the spiritual internet to go to Sweden and collect a party of trolls and escort them back to England's far south western tip ; where they met up with their long lost cousins the Cornish pixies.....

Curious to know how they got on ,and spurred by an urgent e-mail from my Alabama editress demanding an update, I returned to mystical Cornwall a couple of weeks back and went a-searching. I finally found them in a reclaimed bog where I heard some giggling amongst the ferns. Radnagh (as I later discovered to be the name of the leader of the Swedish trolls delegation) emerged red-faced and hitching up his hand-stitched leather trousers. It was obvious from this that fraternal interfaerie discussions were progressing extremely well. So well in fact that a number of the original troop of thirty or so had taken up with the local pixies very nicely indeed, thank you very much, and showed little desire to return home.
Radnagh also explained that a few of his colleagues had already returned , with new wives, thanks to the unknowing help of some visiting Swedish tourists (if only the guys who make Volvo autos ever find out what strange and wonderful luggage travels in their trunks...). So I suggested that we must now contemplate a new name, Euro-faeries, for all these couplings. But he just grunted in scorn and proceeded to take me to task for all the litter that tourists to Cornwall's sacred sites leave behind.
I'd missed out on their lunation 'thrash' by a couple of days but they did hold a sort of compensation party for me in one of the Cornish fougous (caves) which was very jolly indeed. Don't ask me what we ate or drank because it was far too dark, but I did have a rotten head the next morning and I'm convinced it was those damn berries. All I can recall of that night is a kind of plainsong (Swedish spiritual barber shop vocals) in low hum chanting which was plaintive yet in perfect resonation with the surrounding nature. And boy was it ever powerful.
More important I must have drifted off on the back of this powerful sound because I suddenly became aware of seeing fast forward video replays of faerie history in this area. It was gripping stuff. Early flashes revealed a land where mortal and little people lived side by side and indeed often helped each other.It being stressed as a matter of deep pride that the faerie folk always repaid mortal help but sadly mortals didn't always keep their side of this unwritten bargain. Later glimpses revealed that the Grand Faerie Council had met several times and finally, with great reluctance, decided it was time for all faerie folk to leave the 'skyland' to ungrateful mortals and return to middle earth --underground. Faerie dates were given but they confused me and the best I can guesstimate is that it happened around the end of the 18th century with the coming of steam and mortal-made canal construction.
I thought it all over for a few days and returned with my arguments. "Things have changed," I told Radnagh. "There are now mortals who wish to renew their friendship with your peoples. Why there are even Celtic groups in the New World; one very important and sincere group is in a place called Alabama." He didn't respond at the time--which was just as well since I have only a hazy idea of where perzactly Alabama is 'cos my map says it's only two inches from New York--but I could see this was to give him something to think over.
"And there are now thousands of us are trying to conserve and protect the land and re-learning how to respect Mother Earth. Why I myself am helping start a campaign to re-forest the whole of England with Oak trees and everyone approves. We mortals are not all bad!", I rebuked him. But, as you know, the Swedish are not exactly given to idle chatter and he made no comment. But I caught his mental note that he was going to arrange to meet with the Dryads and see what they knew about this information.
I was hoping to say more but at that moment there was a-twittering arose like scrabbling fox cubs and one of Radnagh's lieutenants came rushing up to say an international incident had arisen. It seems the next batch of trolls were about to depart and one of them wanted to take a pixy back with him. She wanted to go--but he was already handfasted to a female troll near a lake in Malmo.
That's when I learned about how Troll Parliaments work. There is one vestigal example still sometimes seen today but we know it better as a 'Crow parliament' where these birds form a noisy circle with one crow isolated in the middle. With the trolls and their pixy friends it was different .Everyone sits in a circle with the 'petitioner' standing in the middle. His 'crime' or his 'achievement' is announced--a mere formality because these folk learn to deduce news in ways long lost to mortals--and in theory anyone around the circle can ask the petitioner questions which are then carefully weighed by all in a powerful silence. In fact it seemed to be left to the oldest and wisest. His name was Ayno--which is about as phonetically close as I can get and, besides, his full name went on for several minutes, troll names being a combination of parenthood names and character traits.
OK. So here's Anyo something, something, etc.,etc., standing in the middle of this ancient English stone circle with cap in hand telling us that the handfasting to his Swedish countrywoman had been arranged by both their families and that neither of them actually liked each other. He swore this by Thor. But my interest was how exactly Radnagh was going to handle all of this (especially since I had surprised him inflagrante delicto). But I had to hand it to this grizzled old troll. He did well. Having listened to the discussions he pronounced verdict. That they would send a bird-song email back to Malmo to confirm this story. If it turned out to be true then Anyo would have his wish and a new wife. If not... frustratingly I was not permitted to know the potential punishment but everyone in the circle looked very grim at what the old troll said. (I hope to have more on that story for you in the next issue of this most excellent little publication).
Parliament ends and it's time for song, feast and story telling. If you recall I had already learned on my initial visit that faerie greetings seem to take forever.Well, so it was with the festivities. The ancient Swedish songs were followed by ancient Celtic songs, little of which I could understand. But long swigs of elderberry wine can make up for a hell of a lot of boredom. Another round of eating and then came a story which, for my benefit, was told in English (or at least the quaint English that was around in the 14th century).
I was so fascinated by this that I dug up some ancient manuscripts from the British Library (which for centuries has been the legal depository of all printed matter in the UK) and discovered that the troll tale was actually another version of the story told by the famous Scottish minstrel-seer called Thomas the Rhyymer.
His is a fascinating tale. He meets a faerie queen on a remote Scottish loch. She falls in love with him and whisks him back to her middle earth kingdom for seven years. When she allows him back she grants him the gift of prophetic vision of Scotland's future. His four-part long minstrel's tale is repeated all over the Gaelic lands. Much has since come true. Some yet waits fulfillment. And it was their version of this that the trolls were singing for me. Sadly space is running out, but here to whet your appetite are just a few verses, as given in the original manuscripts (as selected by our Editress..)


True Thomas lay o'er yonder bank,
And he beheld a lady gay.
A lady that was brisk and bold.
Come riding o'er the fernie brae.

Her skirt was of the grass-green silk,
Her mantle of the velvet fine;
At ilka tate o' her horse's mane
Hung fifty siller bells and nine

True Thomas he took off his hat,

And bow'd him low down till his knee;
"All hail, thou mighty queen of heaven!
For your like on earth I never did see!"
"O no, True Thomas," she says,
"That name does not belong to me;
I am but a queen of Elfland,
And I come here to visit thee

"But ye maun go wi' me now, Thomas,
True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me;
For ye maun serve me seven years,
Through weal or woe, as chance may be."

She turned upon her milk-white steed,
And took true Thomas up behind,
And ay whene'er her bridel rang,
Her steed flew swifter than the wind.

O they rade on, and farther on,
Until they came to a garden green;

"Light down, light down, ye lady free,
Some o that fruit let me pull to thee."

"O no, O no, True Thomas," she says,

"That fruit maun no be touched by thee;
For a' the plagues that are in Hell
Light on the fruit o' this countrie.

"But I have a laef her in muy lap,
Likewise a bottle of calrry wine;
And now, ere we go further on,
We'll rest awhile, and ye may dine."

When he had eaten and drank his fill,
The lady said "ere we climb yon hill,
Lay your head upon my knee,
And I will show you ferlies three.

"O see you not yon narrow road,
So thick beset with thorns and briers?
That is the path of righteousness,
Though after it there's few inquires.

"And see you not yon braid, braid road,
That lies across yon lily leven?
That is the path of wickedness,
Though some call it the road to heaven.

"And see you not that bonny road,
That wonds about the fernie brae?
That is the road to fair Elfland,
Where you and I this night maun gae.

"But, Thomas, ye maun hald your tongue,
Whatever ye may hear or see;
For gin a word ye should chance to speak,
You will ne'er get back to your ain countrie."

For forty days and forty nights

He rode, though red blood to the knee;
And he saw neither sun nor moon
But heard the roaring of the sea.

He'd gotten a coat o' the elven cloth,
And a pair of shoes of velvet green;
And till seven years were past and gone,
Tru Thomas on earth was never seen.


For the past couple of issues, I did not write about runes. Instead I wrote about other topics which, although interesting, had nothing to do with runes. A few of The Hazel Nut readers missed my articles on runes and by popular demand, I'm back!
Here is what has been going on in my life. Olivia de Orleans and I co-chaired the event EarthDance III which turned out to be a wonderful event which we are already looking forward to doing next year. We both learned a great deal about doing a festival and now have many more new friends in the craft. Wild Flower, my middle daughter, graduated this past Summer Quarter from Auburn University, Alabama. Spirit Fire, my oldest daughter, is getting married to a wonderful open and loving young man on October 12, 1996, in a ceremony officiated by a Goddess friend of mine from Michigan. Shadow, my youngest, is now a senior in high school and continues to defend and educate her peers as necessary about our unique path. The two older girls have been there, done that, and got a couple dozen T-shirts to prove it! My husband, also known as "Thor" or "The Spiritual Warrior," bless his heart, works and works to pay for it all.
It was brought to my attention recently by two elite practitioners that the people who attend these events (like MoonDance, EarthDance, FallFling, etc) read a few books, are phonies and pretend to be something they are not. This caught me by surprise! Wow! Imagine judging a lot of people without ever having met them! Bright blessings to them and may the light transform their ignorance. Of course, we get new people at these events checking us out because they are interested in our path and truly want to be students. These new people almost always come with people who have been practicing the craft a long time. That's why we ask, "Where did you hear about this event?" We are selective about where we put flyers and who we invite as well. EarthDance III was an event to celebrate the Goddess and healing of the Earth and her people! We ask that no one be judgmental but instead contribute their ideas and share their love of the Goddess and healing of the earth.
There's nothing wrong with reading books. Thank Goddess, many different books are available on the subject. Years ago, there was very little or next to nothing on the subject! I don't accept everything I read and neither should you as you read this article. Keep what works for you and toss out what you do not need.
I would like to introduce some runes I think appropriate for this article. These are: Os, Eolh, and Odal.

Os/Ansuz is the rune of communication and speaking. Not just speaking eloquently as the great bards were able to do, but speaking clearly, honestly and truly from the heart.

Eolh/Elhaz is the rune of protection. It means to take care and beware of things around you that can possibly go wrong, harm or injure you. The rune Os, when
combined with Eolh, says that we need to be careful what we say about ourselves and others in the craft. Our actions count as well.

Odal/Othel is the rune of our ancestors, where the heart is, and the place we call home. It also represents our boundaries, who we let in and who we keep out. Combined with Os and Eolh
it says we are waking up to our past. The present isn't working and we need to learn more about the past. We learn this through one of the oldest known religions, that of the Goddess. People need healing, the Earth needs healing and we need not bicker among us who is on the right path or the wrong path!

Seek the light and truth always. Also, honor your Past, Present and the Future this Samhain! Blessed be dear ones!


by Marilyn Windle

Prior articles in this series have dealt with meditative techniques that allow you to slow your brain wave frequency down to a level where your right brain (or practical side) relinquishes control, and your left brain (the more intuitive side) takes over. Using this lower brain frequency, or the alpha brain wave pattern, you can learn to feel the energy fields around all matter.
Occasionally you will find that the energy you detect from another person, an animal or a plant is odd. If you "see" the energy field, there may be a notch in the light around a part of the body, or there may be a beacon of light coming from there. If you run your hands along the aura, you might feel the spot is warmer or cooler than the rest of the field. Usually these differences mean some imbalance in the body. With practice, you can learn to detect these imbalances and use your own energy field or aura to help correct the problem.
The first exercise is a refresher on attaining the meditative state. If you have missed prior articles in this series and would like more exercises, you can order back issues of The Hazel Nut from the publisher.

Exercise One

Assume a comfortable position and close your eyes. (If you are new to meditating, don't try this lying down as you may fall asleep.) Become aware of your breath for a few moments. Don't try to control your breath, just feel the air filling your lungs and expanding your chest and abdomen, then flowing out. Picture yourself standing on the tip of a rock cliff, arms outstretched. Lean forward and dive down, feeling the air rushing past as you spiral lazily downward. As you fall, your descent slows as you become lighter and lighter, finally becoming the same weight as the air around you. You can stretch out horizontally and relax in this position, bouncing gently on air currents, or give a lazy kick and propel yourself in any direction. Hear the sounds of the birds swooping and diving into the canyon around you, and the rushing of the water far below as it splashes over rocks in the stream. You can feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Flow downward again and swing your legs down to touch lightly on the bank of the stream. Feel the soft sand under your feet as you again stretch your arms out and turn your face to the sun.
Relax with this image for a few minutes. To end the exercise, point your arms overhead, bend your knees slightly and rise into the air, soaring easily upwards from the stream bank, past the birds, up to your rocky pinnacle. When you touch down on your cliff, slowly open your eyes.

Exercise Two

You'll need a subject with some ache or pain for this exercise. Muscle strains or cramping are very easy to detect and help. Most of us over 35 have some body awareness that we didn't use to have, whether it's a creaky neck or a knee that occasionally locks or catches. You can also use the technique on an older pet who has some tender spots. If you have a plant that is failing, you can even use it to help it heal.
I find it convenient to have the subject lie on a couch while I sit on the floor in front of them, or sit in a chair while I stand in front. Close your eyes and slow your breathing. When you feel you are at your meditative level, open your eyes. It may help to take your eyes slightly out of focus to maintain that level.
Although the subject's aura can be seen, use your hands to feel it. Start at the head and move your hands slowly down the aural field, usually a few inches away from their body. As you encounter an area that feels different (it's warmer or colder, brighter or dimmer, softer or firmer, or just "different"), note the location and go on. If you are working on a friend, they've probably told you where they hurt, but sometimes you'll detect the root of a problem in another area, so should make at least one pass over the whole body.
When you have found one or more areas that are different, go back and place your hands over the first spot. As you breathe deeply in and out, visualize your own aura becoming charged with the energy of the planet. As your aura gets brighter and whiter, visualize sparks of the this powerful white light start to pop off your fingertips, then become a steady stream of pure energy moving from your fingers to this area of your subject's aura. Visualize the energy flowing through the aura and into their body, until that part of the body starts glowing with pure white light. See the light as healing light and visualize the subject feeling better as the light drives out all of the pain.
After saturating this area with as much energy as possible, move to the next spot that you noticed earlier as needing healing and repeat the process.
When you're finished, hold your hands farther apart and visualize the light flowing from your fingers into their entire aural field, infusing it with pure, healthy energy.
You can also use this technique on yourself. I've used it to get rid of headaches and miscellaneous aches and pains.
You can use the technique to energize water you drink. Saturate the water with pure healing light as above, visualizing the effects this water will have as it flows through your body. Or, pour the water on a plant, visualizing the energy moving up through the veins of the plant and being used by all of its systems. Since all life is made up of energy, all life is affected by infusion of healing energy.


August 7-11, 1996

by Dana Ston

Mirth and reverence--thus the theme of Dragonfest was cast. A 40 minute drive down a dirt road hidden in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado brings one to the home of this yearly event. On a lake in a mountain valley over 600 gathered to enrich and celebrate their lives and to heal our world.
The festival cost only $35, which included breakfast. Obviously it is not money that runs a festival like Dragonfest. You couldn't tell that by the services, No, the quality of the event is unsurpassed.
What is a true value is the self-examination of our intent in being a part of the circle where all members treat one another as equals. This was put to the test at the community meeting on the closing day. Next year's event officials were elected and this year's staff and security were both admonished and praised.
Talented, practiced teachers from PSG, Rites of Spring, the Church of Iron Oak, and many a festival (ritual) junkie took the joureny westward. By far the majority of the attendees were from Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. There were even a substantial number of folks from the west coast whom I felt privileged to meet and to exchange... well, gossip on events happening throughout our nation.
Writing about an event such as Dragonfest causes me to pause and wonder where my head happened to be. It was a mellow festival which demonstrated the true nature of the matriarchy working as a short-lived system of government that was successful. No one individual or single group is responsible for this gathering. Still, there are rules and they get stepped on, but the feeling of inclusion overcomes the discipline.
From the nightly ritual to the many workshops to the entertainment there was never a lull. For a short time we lived the dream all of us hope will endure. Humanity displays its best here. Should you endure the commitment for the journey there is a great reward.


Artemis, Pennsylvania

August 31-September 2, 1996

by Dana Ston

Let me begin by saying that everyone enjoyed themselves or had the opportunity. In many ways this first event suffered like a first year of marriage. We tried to pull together an abundance of talent and pay for their time, their effort. When the money ran out two weeks before the event, all the artists who had not gotten the contracts back were excluded.
The concept of the festival was bringing together the Pagan community and displaying some of our talent while paying them their worth. Will we pull together and do this or not? I'm not sure.
Sometimes beneficial matters are not grasped with eagerness. We hesitate because the event is new or different. This is a common human response. Trying to mainstream our musicians is a noble ideal and worthy of our whole-hearted backing. Unfortunately, it was the die-hard supporters who attended this event.
This type gathering could draw new people into our way of life. After all, music is the universal language. It crosses borders of age, race, sex and religion. How far do we go? Where do we go to publicize such a festival? These questions need to be carefully answered. Let's stick out our necks but let's not stick them into a noose.


September 6-8, 1996

by Vanessa Blue Heron

The difference between last year's EarthDance II and this year's ED III was more than the fact that the attendance more than doubled. When the gates closed around 9 pm the clothing came off. We were admonished to not repeat some conduct that occurred during a previous festival (namely, rampant nudity during daylight hours). After three times denying the accusation or that we had ever met anyone connected with such outlandish behavior, we gained admittance.
Shadowcat deserves recognition for organizing the first two events. This year the reins were handed over to Sandy and Stormy, who managed the festival with capable grace.
I'm going to step on some toes in talking about the most unique features of this festival. First, no security, and that was great; no red or yellow ribbons walking around "protecting" us. There were 148 of us and we kicked back, did some serious, intense workshops, partied all night, held a bardic circle, and managed a main ritual Saturday night. Second, no forced signing up for a work detail (which half of us don't show for anyway). Thanks, Sandy and Stormy, for treating us like adults who can take care of ourselves and help each other as needed.
The price was $20 through July and then $35. Count Michael provided breakfast two mornings, lunch one day and supper the night before the potluck. The food was excellent, and the price was right--donation! Can you believe it? Mike expresses the spirit of Love we seek in all his actions. As he put it, "It's not about money." Also I would like to thank him for doctoring my ankle when I injured it Friday night (first thing, wouldn't you know!). He was considerate and solicitous--a true Southern Pagan gentleman.
Thanks to everyone who brought victuals to our potluck feast. This year the tables groaned with abundance.
The gift exchange on Sunday morning was a great idea. Everyone loves a present and wonderful donations they were. We had everything from a pillow to a chalice to stones and jewelry. But the "ready, set, go" method for choosing the gift borders on Redneck Pagan.
Where does EarthDance go from here? We're growing fast. We may have to give up our cabins with real beds, hot and cold showers, fully equipped kitchen and covered pavilion, or limit our numbers. Last year there were plenty of cabins to choose from. This year we were asked to share (and many had crash space only). If we continue to increase as we did this year we'll have to allot cabins on a first-come first-serve basis, add tents, or move. It is apparant that the Goddess has blessed us with this beautiful site. It can happen again. Magicians, start your wands!


North Georgia

September 13-15, 1996

by Vanessa Blue Heron

Maybe there's a special meal, a particular food rarely eaten but when eaten leaves a glowing radiance emanating from within, an afterglow much like the afterglow of a lover's embrace. Such is the mood in which I now write of RavenWood and Grove of the Unicorn's Autumnfest.
Over the years I've attended many different rituals. It's not uncommon to participate and to relive a similar ceremony from another place closely linked to the actions being performed as if each one traces its steps back to a beginning. The feel of the three rituals (Friday's Witch Pyramid, Saturday's Hand Fasting, and Sunday's Wiccaning) was as of watching Leonardo paint the Mona Lisa, a classic in the making.
Lady Santana now lives in California. Lord Starhawk bears the majority of responsibility for RavenWood. A well-grounded tradition is a joy to behold. Especially one which still loves and respects Lady Santana, the founder, while down-playing money issues. The coven has relaxed into a gentler spirit. The family inclusiveness opened the hearts of all the over 200 who attended. Maybe this was due to the average age of the group being around 40, or possibly to the coven's having grown beyond the adolescence our faith has recently experienced. Now RavenWood and the Grove lead in setting an example of walking your talk as the years go by.
Camping at the site is primitive, amenities are practically non-existent. Then why attend? The reason...? L... I know it begins with L...


by Sherlock

2 A community effort, a sacred ______ .
4 Inherits Hercules' arrows.
5 Lavendar & chamomile for _______.
7 Irish poet.
9 Holly, _______, and vine.
10 When planning on getting nekked at a festival, wear _______.
11 Grow his love, grow for me, as green grows the _______tree.
12 Mother of the Muses.
1 When leaving a primitive festival, you take _______.
3 Built Stonhenge, had their own calendar.
6 The encirclement of all life.
8 Welsh poet.

The solutions to this crossword puzzle can be found in the Lammas 1996 (Issue #21) 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: 2 Helikon, 4 Reed, 5 Green Man, 8 Craig, 10 Raphael, 12 Talisen
Down: 1 Cemetery, 3 Owl, 6 Majickal, 7 Hawthorn, 9 Niaouli, 11 Twelfth


Greetings Linda,
I hope that you are doing well. I'm still here, and doing well. I've been busy writing poetry, prose and ritual for a friend of mine who, with his Cherokee Indian wife, runs a Native American/Pagan grove in western North Carolina. So a lot of my newer stuff is in that vein.
I have been moved within the prison, to an "honor dorm." I shall write a small piece for the upcoming The Hazel Nut concerning the prison experience and how it relates to the Beltane Sabbat, spiritual growth within our WSG (Wicca Study Group) and the challenges that we as Wiccans/Druids/pagans are confronted with in prison.
Beltaine is one of my favorite Sabbats, and time of year, as I was initiated to all three levels in Wicca at that Sabbat. In fact this year marks my 20th anniversary as a 3rd Degree High Priest. As I have stated before, I came to the Craft in my youth, initiated by my aunt in 1968. I was trained in my birth mother's family tradition; however, as my adopted mother was Native American (Oglala Lakota Sioux), I also learned of the N.A. path. That enhanced my view of the nature traditions. It wasn't until I was initiated to Second, by my aunt's working partner in 1972 did I begin my formal Druidic training from Savannah. I am still "in training," as I firmly believe that life is a series of new adventures, rebirth and learning experiences. We are never completely learned; adept, maybe, but none of us can claim to be a "Master."
Well, I just wanted to touch base with you. I pray that you and Raven are well and that the Lord and Lady protects you and your babies. Oh, yes, I wanted to say how much I've enjoyed The Hazel Nut. I especially liked the articles by Cathy Lawrence, Annie Crenshaw, and Chrisailes, and Susan Jackson's as well! Most of all Annie's delightful story "Rainbow Maker"! My congrats to her.
May the Lord and Lady protect and guide you and yours always.
Beannachdt Bi, R.D. Blanchard (Wolf)
EF 292434
Central C.I. F-C-3
4600 Fulton Mill Rd.
Macon, GA 31213-4099


Linda Kerr (Editor, Layout, Manager, Publisher, Web Page) is a High Priestess of the Faerie Faith, a member of Church of All Worlds, and an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church. In addition to putting out The Hazel Nut and holding down a full-time job, she also organizes and runs a festival every May called Moondance; this was its 6th year. Other things competing for her time are Buckskinning (pre-1840's historical reenactment), teaching and competing in Scottish Highland Dance, and river canoeing. Write to her c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

James (Jay) Lynch (Advertising Manager) has been a pagan for 6 years. He has always enjoyed studying parapsychology and other unexplained subjects, including Big Foot, UFO's, ancient civilizations, etc. Other interests include computers, camping, and bowling. He is currently working as a locksmith in Auburn, Alabama. Write to him c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

Lark (Poetry Editor) has been a solitary pagan for many years. She spent a decadent youth on the road as a rock-and-roll singer, and is still a professional photographer and musician. She is pursuing a Master's degree in Archival Sciences, and enjoys Civil War reenacting with her daughter. Write to her c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

Imré K. Rainey (Staff Writer and Web Consultant) was the original editor of The Hazel Nut when it started back in May 1993. He's been a pagan for six years, and is now an initiate of the Faerie Faith with a group of his own. He is also an ordained minister, a 3rd degree Reiki Master, and a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and is studying chiropractic medicine at Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, GA. Write to him c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to:

Stormy (Staff Writer and Artist) is a solitary practitioner who studies Norse mythology and Runes, and co-organizes a festival called Earth-Dance, held in Georgia. She's also interested in astrology, astronomy, UFO's, and anything on psychic studies and the paranormal. Write to her c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

Chanticleer is a new student at Auburn University. He is majoring in Managment Information Systems, but due to the way everyone is fooled into thinking he is a computer genius, he feels acting would be more profitable. He has been practicing Wicca for two years, and has been writing poetry for four years. "The Drums of Samhain" is his first published work. Write to him c/o The Hazel Nut.

Delphoene is a 20 year old Dianaic Feminist Wiccan solitary and music
(composition/voice) student, born and still living in Tasmania, Australia. A professional career in composition would be her choice, but she says she will probably wind up teaching privately. Being Pagan in Tasmania is somewhat lonely, as it is very hard to find anyone else who takes it seriously, so she is extremely grateful for the internet. Write to her at: 8/57 Sandy Bay Road, Battery Point, Tasmania 7005, Australia, or email to: <>.

Michael Devizes is a Spiritualist Medium in England. He has lectured across the globe on all matters mystical for some 25 years, and is the author of some 24 books. Write to him c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

Ing is Chief Bard of Church of Rhiannon (COR) in middle Georgia, which follows the Beth-Luis-Fearn tree calendar system. He was one of COR's co-founders back in 1983, when it was called Coven of Rhiannon. Write to him at: Rt. 4, Box 31, Blakely, GA 31723.

Adrian Loaghrian, now 44 yrs of age, was initiated into a hereditary Rosicrucian tradition at age 13. He's into studying other religions of the world, including Christianity, Judaism, etc., and has 12 years service in a public Wiccan coven. He previously studied ceremonial magic and finally formed this particular tradition in 1990, based on ancient and modern Irish folklore and Irish-Scottish folklore and literature. Write to him c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <>.

Nion (Don Mikovitz) is 47, has been married 23 years to a devout Christian, and has 2 kids, 18 and 21. He works as a Registered Pulmonary Function Technician at the local community hospital. Nion was brought up as Catholic, but has always been pagan at heart. He's been a 1st degree Gardnarian witch since May 1995. Write to him c/o The Hazel Nut.

Sherlock, otherwise known as Sherry Holmes, lives and works in Auburn, Alabama, where she also studies Wildlife Biology. She is a beginner student of the Faerie Faith, and runs a Samhain festival called FallFling. Write to her at: 1037 Mayberry St., Waverly, AL 36879, or email to: <>.

Sean P. Snakenberg, age 27, resides in Columbus, Georgia with his wife, who is pregnant, and their 20-month old daughter. He is a solitary practitioner of the Celtic Pantheon and enjoys expressing his love of the Green Ray through art. Write to him at: 6338 Williamsburg Dr., Columbus, GA, 31909.

Scott Thomas' poetry and art has been seen in various pagan journals. He also writes fiction (ghost stories, horror, surrealism). A story of his appeared in the DAW Bood collection The Year's Best Horror Stories XXII. His interests range from Celtic folk music, herbalism and astrology to folklore and British Isles pre-history. Presently he is living in a moody old house with his beloved Nancy and their cat Huckity. Write to him at: P.O. Box 1294, Westborough, MA, 01581.

Marilyn Windle is a professional writer, with her first book being published this fall. She started studying the occult when she was 13 years old, beginning with Edgar Cayce, and has been a practicing psychic for 23 years. Write to her c/o The Hazel Nut.


The Book of the GODDESS Past and Present, An Introduction to Her Religion, Edited by Carl Olson. 1992. Crossroad Publishing Co., New York, NY. Softcover.
- Reviewed by Stormy

This book is probably used as a textbook in the many Goddess Studies that are becoming the accepted norm through out more and more conservative colleges and universities.
I really like the chapters entitled "The Virgin Mary, A Goddess?" and "Sophia and the Mother-Father." These two chapters helped me to understand the conversion of the Goddess to the Christian movement during the Medieval period.
This book gives an over view of many different Goddesses throughout the world as well as her origin and religion. Don't let the "textbook" layout scare you. Serious followers and students of the Goddess will enjoy this book.
My comments about this book, "Yes, there is a feminine side to God. She is GODDESS and was here first!"

Music Review: Moonstruck by Moonstruck. 1996, Moonstruck & Starcraft Distributors, P.O. Box 125, Muscadine, AL, 36269. Cassette tape.
- Reviewed by Linda Kerr

This is the first tape released by Moonstruck, whom some of you may recognize from southern festivals, such as Moondance and Earthdance, where they entertain with their "Pagan Top 40." Most of the songs on the tape have been heard at these festivals, and they come across just as well on tape as they do live.
Overall impression? This group rocks! My main beef with most pagan music is that a lot of it is slow, mellow, overly serious, and basically, rather dull. You certainly can't say that about this tape and this group, however. While there are a couple of slowish songs on the tape, most of them inspire at the least a good foot-tapping. Love it!