THE HAZEL NUT

A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Issue 23, Beltane1997


In This Issue:
In Memorium: Fiel Oakley - Linda Kerr & Epona
Out on a Limb: Editorial - Linda Kerr
From Other Traditions: The Three Worlds of the Oíde, Part IX - Adrian Loaghrian
Poetry: Summer Fields - Scott Thomas
Fiction: The Dream - Coll
Reflections on a Life's Journey: Reflecting on Reflections - Nion
Folklore & Practical Uses: Heather - Linda Kerr
Poetry: Affirmations for Spiritual Growth - Norhala
Faerie Faith 101: What is the Faerie Faith? - Linda Kerr
Poetry: Aradia - Delphoene
Runes: Penny Magic - Stormy
Earth Awareness: Extinction - Sherlock
Into the Light: Psychometry - Marilyn Windle
Public Announcement: Occult Censorship
Ankh (Cross)-Word Puzzle - Sherlock
Letters to the Editor
About Our Staff & Contributors
Bubbles From the Cauldron - book reviews, etc.

Staff:
Editor & Layout, Manager, Publisher, Web Page: Linda Kerr
Poetry Editor: Lark
Staff Writer & Artist: Stormy

Contributors:
Susan Baxter, Coll, Delphoene, Adrian Loaghrian, Nion, Norhala, Nancy Passmore (The Lunar Calendar), Sherlock, Scott Thomas, Marilyn Windle. Cover art by Sean P. Snakenberg; back cover art by Stormy.


THE HAZEL NUT, Issue 23, Copyright © 1997. Beltane 1997, Hawthon/Oak/Holly 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.
Hawthorn is the sixth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in May or June, and this year it runs from May 6-June 4.
Oak is the seventh tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in June or July, and this year it runs from June 5-July 3.
Holly is the eighth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in July or August, and this year it runs from July 4-August 2.


IN MEMORIUM
Fiel Oakley

This issue of THE HAZEL NUT is dedicated to Fiel Oakley, aka Lord Dmitri Petrov Petrovich, who left us on March 24, 1997. Fiel was the High Priest of the original Garden Club from its beginning in 1987 till Winter Solstice, 1992, when it was disbanded. During this time he was also married to Epona, the Garden Club's High Priestess.
Fiel touched the lives of all whom he met and came in contact with; he was sometimes the "terror" we, as newbies in the coven, all had to deal with. He tested us constantly, and brought out the best in many of us. It was said that if "we can handle Fiel, we can handle anything!" But under his gruff exterior, he was really a big teddy bear who would do anything in the world for someone he cared about.
And in the end, he showed how much courage he truly had. He carried the burden of his diagnosis of a possible brain tumor for several months alone. When the worst was confirmed, an inoperable tumor of the most debilitating kind, and after much research and soul-searching on his part, he decided to take his own life and spare himself and his family and friends an unpleasant, drawn-out death. Fiel lived deliberately, and he died deliberately. We all miss him greatly, and wish him happiness in his next life.
Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again, Fiel.

To All of the Community:

Thank all of you so very much for your loving support before, during and after Fiel's funeral services. Your loving support and presence, directly and otherwise, really helped healing the shock and grief to his family. I know that Fiel is grateful and that you aided him with the closure of this life and helped his transition to the Summerlands. Your actions demonstrated that a great vision of community exists beyond all personal differences with those of his friends and acquaintances. No greater gift can be given to one who has passed on except for all of us to live well.
By Her Light and Blessed be, Epona


OUT ON A LIMB...
FROM THE DESK OF THE EDITOR

As many of you noticed, the last issue (Imbolc) of THE HAZEL NUT did not get published. This was due to a variety of problems; mainly, lack of cash for printing and mailing, and a computer that kept crashing when I asked it to print the pages out for me. Also, I had no concept of just how much time a new baby takes up, and how all-consuming one can be! Since Rowan's birth, my life has basically revolved around her, and will presumably continue to do so for years to come. I initially took 3 months off for maternity leave from my full-time job, but when I went back to work last November, after just a few days of being away from her for 10 hours a day, I decided I just couldn't handle the separation, and got a part-time job. This was a major step for me, as I had been at my job for 8 years, and was nearly vested in the retirement system. Oh well. It was well worth it to be able to leave work at noon and have the rest of the day to spend with Rowan. But all my grand plans of writing my book, working on THE HAZEL NUT, maintaining the Web page, and even just working out in the yard never materialized.
Now little Rowan is almost 9 months old, and I've gone back to work full-time--it wasn't really planned; things just kind of transpired that way. Now I have a bit more time to work on things like THE HAZEL NUT and the web page, since I can do a lot of this at work, where we have a sane computer that isn't possessed (yet). And hopefully our cash flow problems have been solved, at least for the time being. We could really use some more advertisers, but again, I don't have a lot of free non-work time to pursue any. So we'll see how it goes for a while. Meanwhile, all our subscribers will be extended by one issue to make up for the one that was missed.
In other news, since I left my university job, I've lost my access to the free server I had, so The Hazel Nut has a new web page address: <http://www.arrowweb.com/ hazelnut>. This site has CGI bin capacity, so I'll soon have real forms on the Guest Book! Now I just have to learn how to do forms. I also have a new email address: <hazelnut@arrowweb.com>. This will also reach any of the staff or contributors (just make sure you note who it's to at the beginning of the message).
Oh, and I guess you noticed, that this issue is BIGGER than past ones. We're going to try this new format and see how it goes. I think it'll make THE HAZEL NUT seem more like a real magazine to potential distributors, and help it get noticed on store racks. Let me know what you think, because this is a pretty major change for us.

As you probably read on the inside front cover, the Faerie Faith lost one of its own. Fiel's passing caused a lot of us to re-think and start thinking about certain things; one of which is funeral rituals for pagans, and also about legalities of different burials. A lot of pagans, myself included, have a problem with being embalmed, put inside an expensive box, then placed inside a lead-lined concrete vault in the ground. What we need to find out, in our various states, is what exactly is legally required? Can we still do the old pine box in the back forty method? A few issues ago (Issues #20 & 21), Eric van Lennep wrote a very interesting article on a proposed pagan cemetery with trees instead of headstones, and a whole new philosophy surrounding the issue. I suggest everyone read the two-part article, then check out the legal requirements in your state, and finally, and most important, make your wishes known! Otherwise, your arrangements are left to grieving family members who are not in the best emotional state to make decisions going against the norm. Be kind to your survivors, and take care of as much as you can while you're still able to make your own decisions. Then get your wishes legally recognized, by an attorney or notary.
It's also a good idea to put down somewhere what type of service you'd like to have; otherwise, well-meaning Christian relatives will probably have the usual Christian-type service. Fiel's service was unusual. His parents (not fully knowing the extent of his "not-going-to-church"-ness) felt that a Christian service with a minister extolling sin, gloom and doom would not be appropriate for him. So they asked Epona, his ex-wife and High Priestess (again, they didn't realize this part) to write and do the service. It was probably the most fitting memorial Fiel could have had. Each of his friends and family members came up and related something about Fiel; a funny story, what they felt, how he touched their lives; then lit a candle from a candle on the altar which represented Fiel, so they could symbolically take a spark of his essence with them. This was followed by a wake, then another, wilder, wake the next weekend, then another final service where we scattered his ashes at the property where we have Moondance; Roxanna. All in all, it was more of a celebration of Fiel's life rather than simply a grieving over his death (which of course, we all do), and very pagan, and I think he would have approved.
And as Sloth put it, there's a new bouncer in heaven tonight!

Until next time, party on, dudes! - Muirghein


FROM OTHER TRADITIONS

THE THREE WORLDS OF THE OÍDE
A VIEW THROUGH THE EYES OF A CELTIC SHAMAN

PART IX
by Adrian Loaghrian

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

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

Cailleach Beara or The Cailleach Búi: {kaw-lik Bay-ra} or {kay-lik bwee} The Hag of Beara. Beara is a region along the borders of Counties Cork and Kerry. Another name applied to her is the Duineach Beara {dwin ak bay-ra}, meaning strong and possessed of a great following. Some references call her Bui {bwe}, meaning yellow, or N' Bé Bui {na bay-bwe}, the Yellow or Golden Woman associated with "Boiling Fires," which refers to the sun and to smith's fires and to cooking fires. It is in this aspect that she is called the wife of Lúgh. The oldest references to The Cailleach Beara say that she has three aspects or Triunic Sisters. The Antlered Aspects are called Cailleach Bolus {kaw-lik bah-lus} (also Boilse {bawl-ish-a}), who are associated with Megalithic monuments and especially with ancient stone rings and dolmans. She is said to appear as a agéd woman with a bulging belly. It is The Cail-leach Boilse who is called upon to grant the achievement of a clear vision of the results of a curse built by a "Casting Stone." Another aspect is that of Cailleach Corca Duibhne {kaw-lik kor-ka doo-nia}, or more rightly, Cailleach Coire Duibhne {kaw-lik Kwere-doo-nia}, The Crone of the Black Cauldron. From this name we might see all three of these aspects combined into Cerrddwyn of the Welsh lore. It was the Cailleach Corca Duibhne who boiled the Cauldron of Creation and gave birth to the Naurí {naw-ree}, the Seven Ancient Worms (Great Serpents or Dragons), who were spawned in the Cauldron from seven of her golden strands of hair. While the cauldron was left unattended, the Naurí crawled forth from the Cauldron, in the process overturning the Cauldron and allowing the tUisge Beatha {tish-ga vah-ha} (Water of Life) to flow into the earth as they devoured some two-thirds of the all the earth, before they were stopped by Tailtíu and diminished to eternal servitude beneath the Earth's surface. The land they had eaten could never be recovered, for the twisted paths of their gorging had been filled with the Living Waters or Water of Life, forming the great rivers of the world. Though the Cauldron was spilled by neglect, Taltíu and The Dagda Mór granted the Crone seven periods of youth and beauty in compensation for the loss of her seven offspring. She married seven husbands and fostered some fifty children, teaching to her wards the primal knowledge of all creation. They in turn created many ancient tribes and nations.

Cailleach na Cuide: {kaw-lik qui-ja} The Old Woman in the Corner. A household goddess who is called upon the teach the secrets of a sound hearth and home. The spiritual guide of those who are keepers of "The Woman's Mysteries."

Cailleach Feasa: {kaw-lik Fay-sah} The Matriarch of Knowledge (more commonly of foreknowledge), she appears as elderly woman in need of aid, an old woman at a well, a passerby during a journey, a face that superimposes herself over yours in a mirror or clear pool, and other occasions that warrant a warning of coming danger or advisement regarding a decision at a crossroad in our lives. She is also called the "Sean Bean-Síog," the Old Faerie Woman. She appears in poetry as a an old woman about her work in a field, or resting in a wood. The most noted appearances are not in the guise of an old woman but as a maiden dressed in white and usually working at her wash by a stream. As she works she sings a wailing song or mournful chant. This aspect is called the Beansídh (Banshee). Her song is always a warning of a coming time of death.

Other aspects of her interventions upon our lives are: Cailleach na gCearc {kaw-lik n Kirk}, the Mother of Prophesies and Fortunetelling. In this aspect she is noted for often disappearing shortly after issuing her endowments of knowledge or wisdom. In short the Cailleach Feasa appears to conduct the works of a Guardian Angel in the guise of an old woman or Grandmother. Like the truth itself she is at times difficult to behold because of either her appearance or her message. It is only by the fearful and spiritually blind that her appearance and demeanor are interpreted as being that of a Hag.

Cailleach Muire: {kaw-lik mwe-ra} The Old Woman of the Sea (see Aobh), who has led many drowning fishermen or sailors back to safety long after they might have been claimed by the Children of Lír. But the Cailleach Muire also serves another purpose, that of a gentle guide into the Otherworld for those whose time has drawn to a close. If you might envision a Viking burial, whereby the lost one is launched out to sea in a burning boat, it is she that leads the vessel to the Gates of Manannan's "Dun a Mhuire" (Castle Beneath the Sea). It has been said by at least a few Seanachai that the majickal race called the "Selkies," or faerie seals, are her children. In the west of Éireeann the legends tell us that the Selkies are the reincarnations of those lost at sea who are stolen away and become the Minions of Aobh. Just as in the lore of the Cailleach Beara, again we find the majickal number seven appearing amid the tales of the Leanaí n' hAobh {lainee n' hayv} or Selkies. For it is once in seven years that the Selkies may shed their skins as seals and assume the forms of a human. Greatly beautiful in appearance, they are often blamed for enchanting the "Lone Ones," calling them to their deaths while giving chase into the sea. Yet if a man or a woman might ever capture the Selkie's skin the selkie must follow the captor in hopes of one day reclaiming the precious husk from the one who has hidden it. The union of Selkie and human often ends in a marriage and offspring. But the offspring are forever bound to live and work by the sea. Other tales of the Selkie are found along the shore of Scotland. There, where they are also called Silkies, there are tales of Selkie bulls coming into human form and mating with maidens during their sleep. When the children are seven years of age the Selkie returns to claim them. In the ballad, "The Great Selkie of Sule Skerrie," the male comes and claims his child, repaying his earthly mate with a purse full of gold. The "Earthly Nurse" in the lyric becomes enraged and demands to know who he is. When he reveals his identity he also foretells of his own death along with that of his son's. He tells the maid that it will be her own future husband, a "gunner" (harpooner), who shall shoot a great bull seal and at once slay both the father and the son. In the west of Ireland still today the killing of a seal is not only forbidden by law but considered an invocation of evil self-destruction. The offspring of the Selkies are most often called "n'Leanaí Dubhe" {lay-na doo-va}, the "dark children." These are a sulken and solitary group of people who are deeply drawn to the sea and to keeping away from the greater masses. Dark haired, dark eyed, fair skinned, they have a deep sense of wisdom and unearthly knowing in their souls. In the classic course of Gaelic literature and legend the title Dubh (doo) precedes the names of several characters. Among these are Dubh {doo}, the Beandhrúidh and wife Enna who discovered that her husband was keeping another wife, and caused the rival to be drowned. Dubh was in turn slain by slingshot and she fell into a great pool along the River Liffey; hence the pool was named Dubhlinn, and called Dubh's pool, which is known as Dublin today. Another is Dubh Lacha {doo laka} (The Dark Beauty or Dark and Darling Coleen), a beautiful lady who was married to Mongán Mac-Lír {mon-gawn mak leer}. She shares her husband's domain as Guardian Dieties of the Wetlands, Bogs and Moors. Another Dark One is the Red Branch warrior Dubhthach Doéltenga {doo-ak dweel-chain-ga} (dark empty shadow of unknown fire}. Basically a "backbiter," those whom he may not destroy he will beset against one another. The most famous of the Dark Ones is perhaps the Dubhláchan {doo-law-han}, spelled as Dulachan or Dullahan in modern lore. His name means the Dark Dawn, but he is often called "The Headless Horseman," a warrior who lost his head and the head of his horse. Sometimes he is seen as a dark rider and other times a coachman. It is said that he rides on the inborn fog to collect those who have been called by the Beansídhe to the Alltar (Otherworld).

Carmán: {karmawn} A Hellenic goddess from Athens whose temple was once in Leinster. She was expelled from Athens by Athena for her horrific deeds. She had three sons; Calma (The Splendid One), Dubh (The Dark One) and Olc (The Harmful One). Her sons looted and burned cities and villages throughout the whole of Éire, until the DéDannans after long years of battle devised their defeat. Carmán fell into a deep grief which was compounded by a curse cast by Tailtíu, the mother of Lúgh Lamhfhádh. She died a death which piled upon a level of pain equal to the pain of all her son's victums. She and her means of death are remembered in Leinster (The Eastern Province) at the Fheilbhann Lúghnasa (loo-n-sa) each year. The legends of Carmán seem to be a metaphor for the struggle between cultures who oppose Nature and attempt to conquer it, and those who are at one with Nature and the Universe. More than once has the "fate of Carmán" been called upon those who have borne no regard for the Gifts of Tailtíu to her children. (See Tailtíu.)

Cathú-bodú: Another name for the War Goddess Badba. Roughly translated it means the "Roar of Battle." The prefix cathú accompanies a whole series of Gaelic tales regarding battles.

Ceathruméit Mac Dagda or Ceathruméit Milisbhriathrach: {ker-u-mayd} or {ker-meet milish-vre-ha-rak} Cermait of the Honeyed Mouth. In the rites of the Uidh-Dhéithe he is called Ceathruméit Síoladóir {ker-u-mid sheela-gweer}, Cermait the Propagator. He is the newborn ruler of Heaven and Earth, in the aspect of Aongus Og from Nolláig {no-lawg} (Yule) until Síoláig {shee-lawg} (the Seeding Tide). From Síoláig until Cetshamhain {kie-tane} (Bealtaine) he is called Ceathruméit Síoladóir (the Seed Sower). From Cetshamhain until Bríonglá-óige {bring-law-ega} (Midsummer) he appears as Ceathruméit Milisbhriathrach {ker-meet milish-vre-ha-rak}, Cermait the Sweet Wooer. During the Feast of Oiche Bríonglá-óige {e-who-ah bring-loigah} (Midsummer night), he is overthrown by Lúgh Lamhfáda and sent to the Otherworld. Lúgh dons the Holly tree as his sign and rules through Lúnasa {loo-nasa} and into Samhain {sow-un}. With the end of the harvests at Samhain Lúgh retires to the Otherworld, and The Dagda Mór {dieda moor} carries the "Holly Wand" in the aspect of his son, Ogma Gríanneach {og-mah gear-rean-ak} (Ogma of the Sunny Countenance). Ogma in turn is slain by the Woodland God MacCoill in the aspect of Bran Dearg {bran djay-erg} (the Robin or Red Raven), upon the Night of Meán Gheimhreadh {mon-gay-er-rah} (Mid Winter). The Child Aongus Og is born on the morning of Lá Fhéill Nolláig.

Ceathruméit's name means "He of the abundant (fertile) quarter" (though some indication in the etymological source of this name refers to a fertile staff). In the Ossianic Tales, Ceathruméit seduces Dechtiré {dayk-chi-ray} (She of two lands at once), mortal wife of Lúgh. Lúgh discovers this and slays Ceathruméit. In turn the Forest God MacCoill {mak-will) or Aongus Og, slays Lúgh at Nollaig (Yule). Ceathruméit is often approached for guidance in the arts of seduction and fertility skills.

Cethe MacCécht: {kay-ha mak-kee-kt} The God of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry. He is the son of Dian Cécht the God Of Healing Arts. He is a note-worthy surgeon and apothecary.

Cian MacCécht: {kane} The God of Longevity in Life. A son of Dian Cécht, Cian is called upon for the blessings of health and long life. But Cian is also associated with eternal life and reincarnation. Cian is sometimes called Cian Beotheine {kane bey-hay-na}, the Vital Spark; the God of the Everliving Spirit. Cian mated with Ethlinn NiBhalor, the Fomorii Goddess of Beauty and Creativity. Eithlinn bore Cian a son; Lúgh Lámhfada. (See Balor of the Evil Eye, Brian, Lúgh and Tuireann.)

Cliodhna: {klee-na} The Goddess of Beauty from the Tír Tairnigiri {cheer chan-i-geary}, the Land Of Promise, one of the great realms of the Alltar. She is worshiped in Cork at Carraig Cliodhna. She is called for dreams and visions regarding the sea. She also offers empathic and comforting visions in cases of unrequited love. She once fell in love with Ciabhan of the Curling Locks. She and Ciabhan {kevin or kee-van} ran away from Tír Tairnigiri to escape a confining Geis placed upon her by Manannán MacLír. To escape Manannán's wrath they fled to Glandore in County Cork. In the night she was lulled to sleep by Manannán's music. Once asleep she was whisked away by a great wave which returned her to the Otherworld. (See Tonn.)

Coinn Iothar: {kwen ee-har} The Hound of Rage; an ancient protector and guardian animal deity who calls darkness and despair to stand at bay. He is sometimes called upon as a fetch to rescue those in mortal danger. He is the companion of the Connacht and Munster-born god Cromm Dubh (See An Crommtha.)

Conn MacLír: {kahn makleer} The God of Reasoning and Inspiration to Sensibility. Conn is called upon for clarity of vision and understanding. Building a mantra invoking the aid of Conn MacLír has helped many a student and Oide alike find a means to resolving a problem at hand. A son of the Ocean God Lír, he was transformed into a swan along with his siblings by their stepmother Aoife, sister of Aobh, out of jealousy for Lír's affections.

An Crommtha: {on kro-ma} This is a class of gods decidedly masculine in gender. They are of chieftan designation. The Crommtha (Cromms) are "They who provide for all who serve them." Just as a Native American chieftan is the last to eat after all others in the tribe have been served, so too the Crommtha are given homage with the last of the hunt or the least of harvest. The reasoning behind this tradition is simple. The name Cromm inplies "The Benders," but as so many things in Gaelic lore are not what they seem to be at first glance, the Crommtha are the Lords of Providence; in other words, They Who Bend to Serve the World as they are served before their sacred place. Unlike the other Gaelic deities, the Crommtha are a part of an interreliant relationship. In this system of faith each is partially symbiont to the other. The deity is dependent upon the faith and worship of the followers to empower him as provider. Likewise the followers feel that they must pay homage or offer sacrifices to he who is the provider. There are few commonly known shrines remaining to the gods that were called Cromm. Likely there would be more, except for the use of biodegradable images such as trees and logs for the placement of the shrines. This is illustrated in the case of Cromm Duire {krom Dwe-ra}, a forester's (Coillteacha) god. He appears as the mythic "Bending Tree," in this case a bent or bowing oak. Among the Coillteacha he is called "He Who Calls the Heavens to Honor the Earth." As a counterpart to such shrines to Cromm Duire come the Cromlechs, the erected stones which, rather than phallic images, are the hands of the Earth reaching to grasp the Heavens. Tales are told on occasion of such a place where oak trees bend down while stones rise to the skies. These places are the oldest known Geata Cruachan {gae-ta kroo ak an}, or gates to the Otherworld. Another of the known Crommtha is Cromm Dubh {krom-doo}, "He Who Causes the Darkness to Bow Before Him." Scholars know precious little of Cromm Dubh save that an idol was found bearing his and Coinn Iothar's image. Cromm Dubh is the God of Spiritual Knowledge and Enlightenment. The day of worship for Cromm Dubh falls on the day before Lúnasa or the last Sunday before August. This holiday is called "Domhnach Crom Dubh." The most famous of the Crommtha is Cromm Cruach {krom Kru-ack}, sometimes spelled as Cromm Cróich Cromm of the Heaped Island, "He Before Whom Twelve Other Gods Pay Homage." His statue was golden and stood upon a cruachan {kru-ak-an}, which is an island of stones created by people carrying the stones by boat into a loch and continually dropping them until they form an island mound. Cromm Cruach stood at the top of the mound and was surrounded by the images of twelve other sacred images, who were his minions. The last known worshipers of this shrine were led by Rí Tiger-nmas (Rígh Tigh-Earnmas) {ree-tair-n-mas}, the King of the Realms of the goddess Earnmas. He was known as the Lord of Death. The shrine was on a loch near "Plain of Adoration," Magh Slécht {mag slaykt}. Rí Tigernmas is said to have called for rituals involving blood sacrfices. The alternate name of this Provider God is Cromm Cróich, derived from the root word Cró, meaning a number of things from eye socket, to a ring or circle, to a flock. Finally the word becomes the root of words referring to blood and gore. If one were to let one's imagination fly one might draw parallels to another deity who had twelve minions that were noted for consuming blood and called themselves leaders of the flock. But legend has it that a Christian Bishop found the shrine and destroyed it, melting the icons into artifacts for the glory of the Christ's Church. The name Cromm has been placed upon a number of local and household deities across the turning tides by keepers of the Uidh-Déithe, under the generic title Cromm Tígh.

I offer a note of warning for all who would enter a covenant with one of the Crommtha: Be careful for what you ask and of the price you'll pay for the task! The origins of the Crommatha are likely from the same root schools that gave birth to proto-western religions. I say this based upon an understanding taught to me in one of my journeys. "To create a thought gives it life. The more people who share that thought make that life stronger. When that life fails to receive 'food' the entity or deity falls dormant, unless the attributes of the entity are transferred to another aspect (and/or name for) of the entity. This principle is applicable to all entities, from fetches to gods." If we accept this view we may well find it reinforced in the case of the ancient gods of the Romans and Greeks, the gods of whom seemed to be impuned with the creation of the Christian faiths. With the rise of this "New Religion," the "God-Anti-God" (Satan), of the Hebrews was given the most attention and therefore the greatest power. The Saints, once canonized, were fed the attributes of the lesser gods and goddesses of the local western cultures. The "Lord God YHVH" assumed the role of All-father. The Virgin Mary assumed the duties of both the interventionary and oraclalary goddesses. The Christ assumed the role of interreactionary god who knew the passions of the human state.
This perception of the Judeo-Christian redistribution of divine power is a perfect illustration of the Crommatha gods and their minions. No trace of the Crommatha seem to appear outside of Éire and Britain. Yet, near what would become Tréves and Paris in Gaul, a god named Esus was associated with Jove or Jupiter. Like the Cromm Cruach, Esus' altars were associated with human sacrifice. Not on a stone slab in Middle Eastern fashion but by being nailed to a tree and ritually tortured to death. The bleeding bodies were left hanging in a circle from the limbs of the tree while they bled to death. I bring this up because of the similarity to Cromm Cruach, the Golden God, before whom all other gods must bow, and who is said to drink the life's blood of his enemies, and Esus who was worshiped by torturing and draining the life's blood of non-foresters. The exacting price of allegiance to any of the Crommatha is a price against which I will leave you well warned.

Córr Mhona: {kor wonah} The Goddess Of Hidden Knowledge; the Mother of all language, music and majicke. Corr Mhona appears in the image of a great crane. It was she that taught the Ogham language to Ogma Gríaneach, and she that gave the secrets of counting and music to the Drói. In her honor, if a book were to be kept of recording spells and incantations, the book would be called Leabhar Éoin {lay-eor E-an}, according to the Tales of Ossian. This title creates a bit of humourous confusion. It seems that the word Éoin refers to flights of birds as a variation of the Scots Gaelig word éun, meaning bird. More confusing yet is the similarity to Naomh Éoin {Niv Ean} or St. John (of the Book of Revelations fame). Little wonder that the Inquisition barely touched Ireland; it would seem the people were busy studying the Gospel of John while the English and French were being grim.

Créide Fírálaind: {kray-djah fear-awe-laynd} The Goddess of Hidden Treasures. She who creates alluring and illusionary desires in the hearts of the unwary, the greedy and the impoverished. Her name means "The Molder of Alluring Forms." She normally dwells in the Land of Promise which is a quarter in the Otherworld. She is a Guiding-Goddess for those who wish to create intense desires in others. She is the Mother of unwarranted hopes and desires. At one point Créide was called upon by the Goddess BéCuma Cneisgel {bay-kum-a} (She Who Creates Grief and Sorrow) to seduce Art, the High King at Tara, to stay in the Otherworld. She did this first by allowing him to fall in love with Delbchaem NiMhorgan {dailb-com neeVor-gun} ("Shapely Beauty," daughter of Morgan, King of the land of Wonder). BéCuma placed an enchantment upon Art that he would travel across the western sea and into the Otherworld to win the heart of Delbchaem. While on this journey he encountered Créide. Créide presented him with a beautiful golden mantle and a treasure trove that would be his only if he stayed with her. Art resisted and continued his search for Delbcheam. He faced many dangerous obstacles, including poisonous toads, a frozen river, and a warrior giant. He then was forced to drink from one of two chalices: one granted clairvoyance; the other issued instant death. His final challenge was to do battle with Morgan and his warrior wife, Coinchend {kwen kand} (Hound in the Mists). Once they were defeated he found Delbcheam. They returned to Tara. BéCuma conceded defeat and was banished to Tír Cneáimhaireacht {Cheer Nay-awe-har-rek}, The Land of Misery.


SUMMER YIELDS

- by Scott Thomas

Bring the cattle and the fire
Chants to raise the ancients higher
Bring the sickle and the berries
Feast of food and dancing merry
Bring the cattle to the fields
In the sun--where summer yields

Bring the cattle and the fire
Smoke to cleanse and blood inspire
Give to He who rules below
Antler oaks and beard of snow
Bring the cattle and the blade
Pour libations in Her glade

Bring the children
Bring the elders
Black-robed priests and mad-dance women
Summer bleeds a copper sunset
Autumn stirs in dying seeds

Bring the cattle and the fire
March them through the smoky briar
Wickerman, oh solemn sentry
Witches all and horns of plenty
Bring the cattle to the field
Spin the spokes where summer yields


THE DREAM

by Coll

Chapter 1
Ian

Ian was eight years old the first time his mother let him venture across the meadow that was behind his house. He was so excited. A whole new world was opening up to him. Previously, he had only been allowed to play in the yard, and he longed to be freed from the confines of the white picket fence that surrounded their woodland cottage on the island of Inishtrahull off the coast of Northern Ireland.
The night before, he had been planning his adventure. He would need supplies--a canteen of water, a snack, a few of his favorite toys, and of course, he could not forget the compass his father had given him two years before when he had gone off to the war. Unfortunately, his father never returned from the war, so the compass was very special to Ian. He busily stuffed all the necessities into his green knapsack and snapped it shut.
That night Ian could hardly sleep a wink. He managed to catnap only briefly. He could not stop thinking about the adventure that lay ahead. What new and wondrous things would he encounter? Who would he meet? What was beyond the meadow? Ian could only imagine.
"Would there be monsters?" Ian wondered. Surely not; his mother would never let him go where there would be monsters. "But there could be wild animals," he thought. Then Ian remembered the compass. "Mother always told me to keep that compass, and my father's guardian spirit would protect me." And with those comforting words, Ian finally drifted off to sleep.

Chapter 2
Ogma the Sunface Awakens

The first rays of the sun came creeping through Ian's window, and he was immediately stirred. The aroma of fresh scones came wafting in from the kitchen. Ian leapt out of bed and out of his nightshirt and into his play clothes. He scurried through the kitchen and out the door, only to be called back.
He was half way across the backyard when he heard his name called loudly. "Ian," shouted his mother, "you come back here right now and have your breakfast." Ian stopped abruptly and began to complain, but he knew it would do no good. So back into the kitchen he went.
Ian likened his mother to the Irish Mother Goddess Danu. She was queen of all the land of Eire (Ireland) during the rein of the faery folk called the Tuatha De Dannan. He had heard the story many times, and he contemplated it as he munched on his hot scone, still steaming from the oven.
Long before the Gaels (the humans), came to the green and misty isle of Ireland, the land was inhabited by a race of magical beings. The children of the Goddess Danu were a marvelous folk. They were a people who cared about the Earth. They never took without giving something in return. They cared for all the creatures and the plants. It was said the reason Ireland was so green was because of the Tuatha De Dannan or the "Gentry", as they were often called.
Ian visited the city of Belfast once when he was a wee lad. The loudness and congestion of the city made him remember the rest of the story.
It was at the height of this golden age when the Gaels came to Ireland. They wanted the land for themselves, as is the case most of the time with humans. They take without asking, and they don't give back anything when they take.
The Gaels and the Tuatha met in a great battle on the plain of Mag Turedh. Many were killed and wounded on both sides. Both armies fought fiercely. The crash of swords, the thunder of war drums, and drone of the bag pipes could be heard throughout the land.
Finally, after many days of fighting, the leaders of the two great armies called a truce. The battle was a draw. Neither side could win, and it was decided that the land would be divided. The Gaels would take the land on the surface, and the Tuatha would take the underworld. And that is where they live even to this day--in hollows and hills of Ireland.
Ian was raised by his mother and father to believe this, and it taught him a great reverence for the land. He never took without asking, and he always remembered to leave the faery folk a small token of his devotion from time to time.
Ian finished off the fresh goat's milk and swallowed the last of his scone, saving just a little to leave for the faeries. He gathered up his knapsack, hugged his mother, and off across the backyard he went, stopping only briefly by the small standing stone in the garden where he left his offering of food. Then off across the meadow he started his adventure. "Beware of weeping willow trees, and toadstool rings," his mother's voice waned as he made his way across the meadow. But Ian was much too excited to think about such things. He ran as fast as his legs could take him.

Chapter 3
Cynan the Hunter

Ian reached the edge of the forest before he knew it. "Funny," he thought, "the meadow always seemed much larger." He turned around and looked at the cottage. It was indeed far away. In an instant Ian felt a shiver. He had never been this far before.
Ian stood before the forest in awe. The hemlock trees at the edge of the wood were indeed daunting and made the forest look very dark. Ian surveyed the forest with caution. How would he be able to see? Ian fumbled through his knapsack and found the compass. He opened the compass and saw that the direction back to the cottage was due south. This new revelation gave Ian the courage that he needed. "As long as I know which direction the cottage is in, I shall not get lost," Ian assured himself.
With great fortitude, Ian marched headlong into the trees. Once inside, Ian found that it was not as dark as he had anticipated. Streams of golden sunlight pierced the canopy, and Ian was relieved that Ogma the sun face was accompanying him into the forest.
It was not long before Ian found a deer path which led deeper into the wood. He followed the path, stopping from time to time to pick up a rock that was shiny, or to smell a flower that he had never seen before. The path wound around tree and rock and over small brooks. It seemed as though he had walked for miles, and he began to tire.
Then Ian noticed a bright patch just ahead. He made his way toward the light. When he reached the clearing he saw that it was circular meadow with a mound in the center. Growing on the mound was an old, gnarled oak tree. The twisted old oak looked as if it should be growing by the sea. Ian had seen these types of oak trees before growing in forests by the ocean. They were all twisted and shaped by the harsh wind, and their branches hung down all the way to the ground so that he could walk right up them. Ian had found his destination. This wonderful grove would be his secret place. Like the old stories of druids worshiping the old gods in groves of oak trees, this place would be Ian's sacred place.
He remembered a story that his father had told him when he was only six. Long ago there lived a hunter named Cynan. One day when Cynan was hunting he ventured into a part of the forest he had never been in before. Soon he found himself lost, and like Ian, he saw a clearing in the woods. As he made his way toward the clearing, which was just like the one Ian had found, he heard a commotion. Cynan paused at the edge of the grove and was astonished to see a gathering of all different kinds of creatures. Not only animals were there, but faeries and sprites of all different kinds had gathered together and were talking in a language so old that Cynan could barely understand it.
Cynan trembled when after a moment their murmuring ceased, and into the clearing strode a majestic figure. A great stag entered the grove and ascended the mound, but not just any stag. This stag walked on two legs like a man. Cynan recognized the majestic figure right away as Hherne, the lord of all creatures. The animals and faeries approached the great one and brought offerings of may wine and food they had foraged from the forest. Hherne looked pleased and in a loud voice cried, "Bow creatures of the forest." All complied with the command, and Cynan, so overcome with awe could not help but kneel himself. The great stag god was pleased and assured all the beings there that because of their devotion, there would be food enough to last them through the winter.
Ian understood the story--always remember to honor the spirits of the land and they will be good to you in kind. It was only a bedtime story, but Ian felt he should live by it.

Chapter 4
The Land of Tirnanog

Ian casually wandered up to the old tree. "I will call you the grandfather tree," Ian proclaimed to the majestic old oak, and he reached into his knapsack and pulled out a shiny ear ring that his mother had given him when she had lost the matching one. Ian plucked a long blade of grass and tied it to the ear ring. He then found a small branch that was low enough for him to reach and then hung the ear ring on the tree.
When he had done that, Ian got a very strange feeling. All at once a chill ran up his spine, and he got goose-bumps. Ian looked around, for he felt as if someone was watching him. Ian saw no one, and so he began to play.
After playing for awhile, Ian decided to eat the snack he had brought for his lunch. He reached in his knapsack and brought out some soda bread and some jerky. The bread and meat made a tasty meal, and Ian washed it down with the canteen of water he had brought along. As usual, Ian left a little bit of food at the base of the tree for any nature spirits that might be playing about.
Ian settled down at the base of the tree and lay his head down on a root. Very soon Ian drifted off to sleep.
After what seemed like only a moment, when Ian was half in and half out of consciousness, he heard a strange sound. "HmmHmm!" It sounded as if someone was clearing his throat. Ian thought he must be dreaming and tried to drift back into sleep. "HmmHmm!" Ian heard it again. This time there was no mistaking it. Someone had definitely made the noise, and Ian realized that he was not alone.
Ian jumped up and cried out, "who is there!" There was a pause, and the silence gave Ian the shivers. "It is I," a voice said from within the tree. Ian was very startled. "Who are you?" asked Ian. "I am Duir the dryad," came the reply. Ian had heard of dryads (tree spirits) before, but never had one spoken to him.
"I appreciate the gifts of food and the ear ring," spoke Duir. "Why you are very welcome Duir," Ian replied. The great tree spoke again, "not many humans come this far into the forest. I have seen a hunter or two in the 200 years I have been living here, but none have ever shared their lunch with me." Ian looked in the place where he had left the offering and saw that it was gone. "I am very grateful," said Duir. "Climb upon me and pick a branch, and I shall take you on a journey."
Ian pinched himself, "surely I am dreaming." He seemed to be awake, so he decided to comply with the request. Besides, if he was just dreaming what harm could it do, and if he was awake then this must be just his imagination.
Ian picked a thick branch that was easy to climb on and scurried up it like a squirrel. He climbed and climbed, but no matter how far he climbed the branch seemed to just keep on going. After a while Ian stopped to rest, and he closed his eyes. When he opened them again he could not believe what he was seeing.
All around him were faeries and sprites dancing and playing. It seemed to be a very festive party. There was food and may wine, mead and bread, and all sorts of wondrous food that he had never before encountered.
Ian rubbed his eyes in disbelief. "Surely this must be a dream," Ian spoke in a tone that got the attention of several of the bright beings around him.
"Ah...bendithion disglair (bright blessings)," said an elf-like creature with pointed ears and a long velvet green cloak. "I'm very sorry, I did not hear you arrive. Ceud mile failte (one hundred thousand welcomes). I am Medir, Chieftain of the Tribe of Picts, the greatest of the tribes of Danu, and I am pleased to make your acquaintance."
Ian introduced himself, but he was still very confused. "Where am I," inquired Ian? "Why you are in Sidhe, Tirnanog, the land of eternal youth," proclaimed Medir. And with that the whole room filled with uproarious laughter. Music began to play, and all the faery folk began to dance and to sing.
"Dance and sing the faery jig
confused he is and very big
he's from the world from up above
what he needs is faery love!"
Ian was not amused by the playfulness of the faeries, and he rose to his feet, knocking over a table of dishes and glasses as he did. A loud crash rang out, and faeries went scurrying all about. All but Medir that is. He just looked angry. "Look hear ye Gael," Medir said crossly. "You weren't invited here, ye just showed up, and this is how ye repay our hospitality?"
Ian apologized, and explained that he was very confused as to how he had gotten there. "It seems a dryad told me to climb one of the branches of the Grandfather Tree, and here I am," exclaimed Ian. "Well that explains it then," Medir said with a deep belly laugh. "Come, eat and drink with us, and all will be well."
Ian had heard stories of Tirnanog. His father had told him of Prince Ossian who had gone to Tirnanog and completely lost track of all time. When Ossian returned, St. Patrick met him on the shore and told him that the old Pagan gods had been driven out of Ireland, and that Ossian had best return to Tirnanog or else perish. Ossian, being the fierce Irishman that he was, got off his horse, and as soon as his foot touched the beach, he turned to bones and dust. It seems he'd been in the faery world for one thousand years.
Ian decided not to drink any of the may wine or mead lest he too lose track of the time. Ian decided that politeness would get him further with these folk than would demands, so he bided his time and made polite conversation with all who came up to greet him. There was plenty to eat, but Ian relied on the canteen of fresh water that he had brought with him for drink. Faery wine, it was said, was stronger than any that humans could make, and Ian thought it best that he kept his wits about him.
After a while Ian became impatient, but he knew that he must not lose his temper. So he politely informed Medir that he must be going now. "Ah, you'll be wanting to meet Balor then," said Medir. Ian shook. He had heard that name before. Balor was the evil king of the Formorians, long ago vanquished by the Tuatha when they had taken over the land of Eire.
"Surely you don't mean The Balor do you?" Ian nervously asked. "Is there another?" asked Medir with a belly laugh. "The only way to leave Sidhe is to defeat Balor in battle," declared Medir. "But I thought him vanquished long ago" said Ian. Medir replied, "Well, as usual it is the fault of you Gaels that he returned. That Druid Merlyn brought him back to send against Arthur's enemies, and now we are stuck with him. A Gael brought him back....a Gael must vanquish him."
Ian had heard the story many times from his father how Lugh Lamfada, the king of the Tuatha, and the God of Light had defeated the despicable Balor the Baleful with one eye. The mighty Lugh, who it was said was so big he could leap across the whole of Ireland with one jump used a sling shot to put out Balor's disgusting one eye. It took a god to defeat Balor the first time. How in earth would Ian, just a boy of eight years of age, defeat a giant?
Then Ian remembered the compass. He reached for it and felt its familiar strength. Ian straightened up when he remembered that his father's guardian spirit would protect him. "Take me to Balor," declared Ian. The assembly filled with cheers as Ian took on the challenge. Music with drums and bag pipes rang throughout the land of Sidhe, and the faery folk took Ian up on their shoulders and carried him toward the place where he would meet his fate.

Chapter 6
Balor

Ian felt like a hero as the faery folk paraded him through a long hall with great merriment and fanfare. The drums and pipes rang throughout the great hall as if a king were on his way. Ian thought to himself, "if only Father could see me, he would be very proud."
Before long the procession came to a great oaken door that was so big that the guards had to stand upon each other's shoulders just to reach the latch. Ian was lowered to the floor and a great silence suddenly filled the room. Medir spoke, "Now Gael, the task falls to you to right the wrongs that your tribe of men have inflicted upon us and the Earth throughout the ages. For Balor represents all that is selfish and neglectful throughout the world. And just as men plunder and pillage this beautiful earth so it must fall to one of their children to set things aright."
Ian felt a chill as the great door was opened into the darkened chamber, and he stepped in. Ian heard a hideous wheezing which alerted him to Balor's presence.
Out of the darkness stepped the great one-eyed monster, and he hissed at Ian. "Puny human, how dare you challenge the great Balor the Baleful. Look...see all those who have tried before you and lost." With that the monster threw his lantern to the floor, and it ignited, filling the room with light. All along the walls were the skeletons of men who had tried to vanquish the beast and failed.
Ian was very frightened; after all he was only a little boy. He reached for his father's compass, and all at once the image of his mother popped into his head. He remembered her warmth and her protection. But most of all he remembered what she would do when Ian was awakened by a nightmare. Just as the compass showed the four directions, Ian's mother would walk to the four corners of his room and banish evil spirits. Ian would then go back to sleep and would not be bothered by nightmares again.
"Balor is an evil spirit," Ian thought. "Perhaps this spell will work on him." So holding the compass tightly, Ian walked to the corner in north and said, "I call to you Gnomes of the Earth to banish this evil." And to the west corner he went and said, "I call to you Undines of the Water to banish this evil." And to the south corner he went and said, "I call to you Salamanders of the fire to banish this evil." Balor began to look perplexed, and dizzy. Ian walked to the east corner and proclaimed with a shout, "I call to you Sylphs of the air to banish this evil...So Mote It Be!!!"
With those words a bright flash of light blinded all. When Ian could see again he was very surprised. There standing in front of Balor was his father, all dressed in golden armor and wielding a huge broadsword. He lifted it high and brought it down with such force that he split Balor's head wide open. Balor let out such a cry of pain that the walls began to crumble. Ian's father turned toward Ian and told him to run.
And run Ian did, as fast as he could. The walls kept falling, and Ian kept running, and running, and running....and then he awoke, and found himself beneath the Grandfather Oak. Ian shook his head. "Surely this was no dream."

Epilogue
Epona
Ian made his way back through the wood toward home. Darkness was fast approaching. Ian could not believe he had slept so long. His mother would be fit to be tied, and Ian was getting nervous that darkness would fall and he would be lost. With no light, Ian could not see his compass.
Darkness was closing and Ian had lost the path. The brambles and briars were tearing at his clothes and soon he began to hear to calls of the wild animals of the night. Ian fell to the ground and began to sob.
He was looking at the ground when he began to notice shadows. All at once the woods were illuminated, and Ian could once again see. Ian looked skyward and saw that the full moon had risen. "Ah, Epona has come to guide me home," he thought. Epona was the Goddess of Horses, and legend had it that the Moon was a chariot that she pulled across the sky.
Ian rose to his feet, looked at his compass, and headed due south. He made good time. Before long he could see the lights of the cottage, and smell the familiar scent of his mother's kitchen. A warm feeling came over the boy. He knew that he would be chastised for coming home so late but he didn't care. He was just happy to be home.
As he reached the yard, Ian's mother let out a yell. She had indeed been worried, but instead of harsh words, she was just glad to see him. She wrapped him in her arms and patted him into the kitchen to feed and care for him.
Ian reached for the compass in his pocket, and felt its familiar power.


REFLECTIONS ON A LIFE'S JOURNEY:
REFLECTING ON REFLECTIONS

by Nion

Howdy ya'll, Nion here. Guess it must be that time of the year for me where I've had to self-evaluate and reflect on where I've been and where I'm going on my spiritual path, and how I perceive this reality I'm muddling through.
Over the past year or two, I've grown a lot spiritually, mainly from within, as it should be, but also with a lot of help from friends and acquaintances within the Craft who have helped me along with advice and the passing of knowledge that you just can't get out of reading books and studying courses, etc. For these folks who have taken their time and energy to help me understand and know more of myself and the Craft in general, I'm deeply indebted. I hope that everyone who is seeking their own paths can call upon others who have taken an interest in them, both for their personal growth, and also for the growth of the Craft in general.
I know it's probably a cliche, but I truly believe that we of the Craft, regardless of personal traditions or pathways, do indeed "take care of our own." Over the past six months or so, I've seen friends who were in a jam either personally, emotionally, spiritually, or otherwise, receive support and help from sometimes the most unsuspected quarter, just because they were in a jam and needed help. The support usually came pouring in with just a simple "Do you need help?" or "Is there anything that I can do to help?" And if the troubled individual accepted, the help was there, no matter what was involved, even if they had quite varying philosophical differences between them. I feel that the majority of pagans, regardless of their path, tend to have a pretty universal outlook on life and are very similar in their relations with others; mainly a more caring and concerned attitude when dealing with the problems of others, treating others with respect regardless of their social-economical differences, and a quick willingness to jump in and help with whatever needs to be done.
I guess I just don't understand when stories of lack of pagan "unity" and bickering between "trads" come out. The focus shouldn't ever be on our differences, but on our similarities, because after all, we as pagans and wiccans have basically the same beliefs and respect for nature, life, death, and the Goddess in whatever Her guise. However, it does seem to me that most of the pagans who cannot get along with others, don't appear to have any great philosophical differences, but tend to have more of an attitude or personality problem that for whatever reason make them unwelcomed within the mainstream pagan community.
The few cases that I have seen of misuse of "power" or the Craft have always seemed to be done by those who believe in petty vengeance for slight misdeeds, or even perceived injustices to themselves, or just because they can do "it." To me, those types of people just pay lip service to the ethics of the Craft and either don't truly understand or choose to ignore that the Craft is for the betterment of the individual and/or others, and for positive spiritual growth. I feel the misuse of power by those of "high" status tends to be from egotistical self-centered individuals who think more of themselves than of others. A High Priest/ess as the head of a coven or group has the responsibility to guide and help the development of their "flock" through example, guidance, teachings, etc. Anyone who misuses that position for pettiness sets a very poor example to those in their charge and also to the rest of the pagan/wiccan world, not to mention everyone else not of the Craft who are always looking for an excuse to point fingers at us "devil worshipers."
In summary, I feel that the majority of pagans, regardless of their path or philosophical differences, do tend to view the world very similarly: the love and reverence of nature and life, the easier acceptance of differing lifestyles and spirituality, and the overall dislike of intolerance, whatever its guise. Guess us pagans must all be anarchists at heart!
Well, got to sign off now so I can go out and be intolerant of intolerance. May the Lady of Life and the Lord of Light always watch over ya'll. Blessed Be.


FOLKLORE & PRACTICAL USES: HEATHER

by Linda Kerr

Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull - Heather, Ling. Rare in the U.S., but commonly found on poor soils and marshy grounds in Great Britain and Europe.
Erica tetralix L. - Bog Heather. Erica cinerea L. - Bell Heather. Both of these species are distinguished from the C. vulgaris by the bell-shaped corolla.

Description

Heather is an evergreen shrub with a prostrate, grayish hairy stem which grows up to 3 feet long, and sends up branches 1-1 1/2 feet high. It has dull green or gray small lance-shaped leaves growing in 2 overlapping rows. In August and September, it puts out light violet, bell-shaped flowers on branching spikes. (Lust 215)

Uses

In the upland area of Great Britain, and on the impoverished moorlands of Scotland which resulted from deforestation, Heather has long been an integral part of life. Its branches can be used for a springy bed, brooms, thatching for the roof, fuel, baskets, rope, a flavoring for ale, teas, dyes and much else. The shoots, with alum, make olive and yellow dyes, (Mabey 136) It has been used for a food for the sheep, and gives the bees a dark honey. Highlander who settled in North America took their heather beds with them, and so introduced heather to the New World. (Grigson 260)

Medicinal

Heather has a long history of use as a traditional medicine. It is useful for insomnia, being a mild sedative, and also to treat gout and rheumatism, stomachache, coughs, and facial skin problems. For rheumatic pains, make a bath of heather water, (Mabey 58) and for insomnia, steep 1 teaspoon of shoots in 1/2 cup of water, sweetened with 1 teaspoon honey.
The constituents of heather are alkaloid, arbutin, citric and fumaric acids, volatile oil, tannin, flavonoids, and carotene. (Mabey 58) Heather's properties include antiseptic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, and vasoconstrictor, the last being compounds that act to constrict the blood vessels, strengthen the heart, and moderately raise blood pressure. (Lust 215-216) Other compounds stimulate the flow of bile and of urine, and heather's most important use is its action as a urinary antiseptic, due to the arbutin it contains. As such, heather is used for urinary disease. (Mabey 58, Lust 215-216)
The parts used medicinally are the flowering shoots, fresh or dried. An infusion can be made, or make a decoction of 4 teaspoon shoots in 1 cup water for a short time only. (Lust 216)

Sources:

Grigson, Geoffrey. The Englishman's Flora. 1955. Phoenix House Ltd., London, England.
Lust, John. The Herb Book. 1974. Bantam Books, Inc., New York, NY.
Mabey, Richard (editor). The New Age Herbalist. 1988. Collier Books, Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, NY.


AFFIRMATIONS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTHM

- by Norhala

I am a loving, guiding light for all life forms!

My intuition guides me steadily and clearly.

Like a crystal, I am a clear, pure channel for universal love and wisdom.

With peace of mind and heart, I'm calm and still; my inner sense guides me well.

I see clearly through others to the love in their hearts, that I may best guide and give loving support.

I bring only warm love and light to myself and others.

I easily see and choose the higher path in all my decisions.

My thoughts fill with laughter, my heart fills with love; I give unto others all they've dreamt of!

My decisions are based on love, and I trust that all is as it should be.

In my heart I can see the good that flows in you and me.

Like a sun, I am now radiating sunlight, joy, and love with every breath.

All challenges I face now are perfect for my growth. I clear myself and readily shift all that's needed for my progress.

My mind's a clear crystal; my heart is a sun; I feel infinite love as I know we are one.


FAERIE FAITH 101: WHAT IS THE FAERIE FAITH?

by Linda Kerr

A lot of people have expressed curiosity about the Faerie Faith: what is it; is it the same as the Fairy Tradition of Starhawk; is it similar to the teachings of Victor Anderson and Francesca Dubie; is it what we've read about in the current crop of books on fairy wicca?
To all of the above, no, the Faerie Faith is not the same as any of these. There are many similarities, especially with Victor Anderson's tradition, but so far the southern brand of the Faerie Faith seems to be unique.
The Faerie Faith was brought to the states in the early 1960's from Great Britain. Supposedly, Margaret Lumeley Brown, who was in a study group with Dion Fortune, gave Mark Roberts the essence of the Faerie Faith tradition as she understood it. He then returned to the States with a vision to start a path called Hyperborea.
Epona met Mark Roberts in Atlanta, Georgia in 1979. Their paths split over the vision of Hyperborea, but the teachings of the Faerie Faith fell on fertile ground with Epona. After Roberts left Atlanta in 1981 to eventually move back to Dallas, Epona continued in her exploration of the Faerie Faith, developing greater insights into its mysteries.

The most unique thing about the Faerie Faith is the fact that it recognizes the energies and impacts of the different times of the year. These energies can be correlated to the 13 lunar months of the Celtic Tree Calendar. We study the different properties of these energies, and have developed an understanding of them and how they affect us in real life. Although we gleaned our basic assumptions and information on the Calendar from The White Goddess by Robert Graves, the vast majority of our material is unpublished and based on personal understanding and enlightenment and our experience of the lunar energies. This understanding has developed from living the lunar energies, and we have seen its validity increase yearly.
There are other groups who work with the Tree Calendar, but none that we have met seem to go beyond using it strictly as a calendar system. In other words, working with the lunar energies, harmonies, mysteries, etc., and how they affect our moods and lives seems to be a unique thing. If there are any more of you out there, we'd love to hear from you!
Other facets of the Faerie Faith include our interaction with nature spirits, devas, angels, fairies, etc. We follow a set of tenets and ideals, which say:

There should be a sensitivity, a belief of the spiritual reality behind what we refer to as "Nature."
There should be a sincere love of Earth herself and a desire to communicate with her other children.
There should be a belief in the individual life of this planet and a certainty that it permeates the whole world.

Another main focus of the Faerie Faith tradition is the Huna philosophy from Hawaii. We also study Jungian psychology, particularly the anima and the animus, and how we can bring the two into balance in ourselves; dowsing; earth energies and ley lines; Native American spirituality; women's mysteries and spirituality. We also place a strong emphasis on personal transformation, as well as (or especially) ethics and morality. Pettiness, immaturity, hypocrisy, back-stabbing, and other trouble-making, both within the coven and without, are not tolerated.
How does one become a student of the Faerie Faith? We don't recruit; rather, we screen potential students to make sure they are as committed as they can possibly be, and that they are right for this path. Once a potential teacher (High Priestess) and student decide they can 'fit' together, the new student is first 'adopted' into our 'family.' There is a High Priestess, and possibly a High Priest. Students have a long reading list of books, lots of handouts, and multitudinous other things to read. They generally must go through a minimum of one year's training and experience each of the 13 lunar rituals.
After this one-year period, and only if they are ready, having shown that they have advanced spiritually, emotionally, and personally, they can be initiated and become a priest or priestess. This is similar to most groups' 2nd degree initiation rite. Note that this initiation is not guaranteed simply by being a student for at least a year!
The initiates then begin to study the 5 solar trees, whose energies are much more intense than the lunar energies. After a period of a couple (or more) years, if they have advanced, and show spiritual and emotional maturity and responsibility, they can go through their 'Fifth Solar,' and become a High Priestess or High Priest. This is similar to a 3rd degree initiation rite. Again, this is not an absolute guarantee--in the original group I was in, out of 5 other main students, I was the only one to go through with the Fifth Solar. And in my current group, which has seen 4 main students, probably only one, maybe two, will "graduate," or receive their Fifth Solar.
This low rate of final initiation is not due to the severity of the teachings (although it is a tough course!), but rather due to lack of commitment and effort, or an inability to change and achieve personal transformation, on the student's part. It can also be hindered if a student isn't as ethical as we feel he/she should be: we're basically giving the person a "license to practice," and as such, we must be sure we're not turning an undisciplined, unethical teacher loose on the pagan community. This is sad for us, because I know there are people out there who could and would go all the way through the training.
What if you want to study the Faerie Faith, but don't live in Alabama or Georgia? Unfortunately, right now we can only take on local students, as so much of our training is verbal, face-to-face teachings and experiences. We are working on a correspondence course that would take students at least part of the way through on their own, and will announce it in The Hazel Nut as soon as it's ready.


ARADIA

- by Delphoene

I am of the Goddess and the Sun-God
I am of the Moon that pulls the Sea
I am of the cycle and the seasons of change
I am of you and you of Me

I am Aradia

The changing woman at the centre of you all
Sister and Guardian
Splendour in Sunlight
And the spark of ev'ry soul

All that I see is Her
And She's a part of me
All that I see

Who is the beauty of the Earth
Who is the Spirit of the Tree
Who is the Moon among the stars
She's a part of me


PENNY MAGIC

Do you know about "Penny Magic?" As a little girl I can remember that when my mother retired a purse, a penny was always left in it. I asked her why she did this and her answer was, "It's something I have always done because it prevents poverty." To this day I can honestly say that my parents were never ever broke.
There is another side to Penny Magic that many of you are aware of. Have you ever seen a beautiful bright shiny new penny on a sidewalk, in the parking lot or on the floor of your local mall or grocery store? Did you ignore it? Was it heads up or tails up? You shouldn't ignore it because it is an opportunity to practice Penny Magic which is based on ancient folklore. Coins were often used for divination and magic in the past. Penny Magic is just the modern version of an old custom. Next time you see a penny pick it up. Was it heads up or tails up? If it is heads up, it will bring you luck! If tails up, you must turn it over to heads up and give it away to the very next person you see. When you do that, it will bring that person luck. I know from experience this works. I have given many pennies away to find out later that one person was given a brand new car and another came into some unexpected increase in funds. I don't always know the outcome
because some of the people are complete strangers that I have given the pennies to. I usually say, "May this penny bring you good health, wealth, happiness, good luck, etc.!" You can draw a rune on the roof of your mouth with your tongue secretly binding the blessing you have given that person.

Feoh is the rune representing cattle, wealth, moveable monetary gains. Use this if you want to bless them with monetary gains.

Gifu is the rune representing relationships in business and matters of the heart.

Ing is the rune representing fertility, marriage, or good family relationships.

These are just a few examples and you can research the runes to see what you might think is appropriate to wish someone when you hand them a penny you found.
Love and light dear ones!


EXTINCTION

by Sherlock

Are Human Beings Slowly Killing Off Mother's Children?

We all know that death is a natural part of life, but did you know that extinction is a natural part of Mother Earth's evolution? In the normal course of things, very few species spend very much time on this planet. Most of the species that existed before man (90-something percent) are long gone, and with the exception of the dinosaurs, most people aren't very interested. So what's the big deal? Extinction is not the problem. The extinction rate is the problem.
Extinction is defined as "The complete loss--forever--of a unique constellation of genes knows as a species." (Bolen, Robinson 1995) This happened to the dinosaurs at a rate of about 1 species per 1000 years. (This was higher than the usual extinction rate and is termed an extinction episode. There have been many in earth's history and this is not abnormal.) Extinction is happening now at a rate of 1 vertebrate per year. If you include invertebrates and plants, it's about 1 per day. That's a very drastic increase, to say the least! It is a sign that something is seriously wrong with Mother Earth's health. It's like Mom's hair is coming out in clumps (there are more species on this planet than there are hairs on your head), and most of these have not even been identified yet. Most also live in the tropical rain forests. (Zimmerman 1991)
So why are all these species dying out all of a sudden? One reason is mankind's overpopulation (I'll get back to this). But let's break it down a bit. There are 4 general reasons for the extinction of a species.
Overharvest is one reason; this is usually due to commercial value (i.e., passenger pigeons, whales). The exotic pet trade is one of many reasons for the overharvest of animals.
Environmental contamination is a big reason for extinction. DDT was one of the worst; oil spills are another obvious one; but smaller things have an effect too. Does your car leak oil? (Yes, all cars leak a little bit; take a look at the outside of your engine.) Do you wash your dog with flea shampoo out in the yard? Are you sure that the shampoo is safe? How certain are you when you pour something down the drain that it isn't ending up in the environment?
Another reason for extinction that many folks don't think about is the introduction of an exotic species into an environment that nature didn't intend to it to be in. When Mom creates a species, she does it slowly with thought put into every nuance of its environment. Evolution ensures this. Introduce a new species suddenly, and the environment changes. Plants are made to survive the foragers that they evolved with. Animals are made to survive the predators they evolved with. The same goes for diseases. Also, a new species might outcompete the one that was already there (eat all its food or takes up its breeding grounds or nesting space). Rats are one of the worst. Most islands didn't ever have rats till man brought them over on boats (men and rats are almost always found together). Rats eat eggs, and just about anything else they find, and can cause a lot of problems. They also breed so fast that you can't get rid of them once they are there. Our pets pose a problem, too.
The destruction of habitat is usually the reason for an animal's extinction, and mankind is the sole culprit. This is where over-population of people comes in. There just simply is not enough space for all the people in the world, and not enough farmland to feed them all. We are over-populated. We can't live on this planet in such ridiculous numbers and not take over most of the land. This means taking all the rest of the earth's childrens' share. So what are we supposed to do about it? I'm not suggesting that every earth-conscious person on the planet commit suicide after poisoning their four closest friends. That's crazy and it would not help anyway. You would be replaced by more people in a matter of minutes, and life would still go on (with less earth-conscious people around). We can't go around sterilizing everyone either (that wouldn't go over well with fertility religions or Catholics, for that matter).
So what do we do? I don't know! No one does. Actually our current population is not the real problem; the rate of our population's increase is. At our current rate of population growth, within 500 years, the mass of human flesh will be greater than the mass of the planet. Since this is realistically not possible, our population growth is going to crash. This is not a maybe. What I'm saying here is that since none of us has a solution, Mother Nature does, and when the time comes, our population is going to be reduced back to a level that is earth-friendly. In the meantime, remember that extinction is forever, and even in the face of our impending population reduction we still have a responsibility to our Mother. Be a natural part of the ecosystem that Mother Nature tailored you for, and try not to let the changed environment disrupt your harmony with the earth as it has for so many other species, and for so many other people. We are all still our mother's children!

Author's note: Is there anybody out there! I would like for Mother Earth Anatomy to eventually become a question/ answer format, but in order for this to happen, you need to ask me questions. My email and snail mail addresses can be found in the "About Our Staff & Contributors" section in the back. Give me some things to think about and I will do my best to give you things to think about. Together maybe we can find solutions to some of the problems facing the world; well, we can at least try to make a difference.


INTO THE LIGHT: PSYCHOMETRY

by Marilyn Windle

The articles in this series are intended to expose you to a variety of new age techniques and topics. As in prior articles, meditative exercises help you to slow your brain frequency 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.
Living beings are not only surrounded by an active energy field (or aura), but impress their energy field onto inanimate objects they are in close contact with. With practice, you can learn to not only feel this energy but also to use it as a bridge for picking up information about the owner of the object. This is called psychometry. (This information can also be accessed in other divination methods, such as by reading Tarot cards.)
The first exercise is a refresher on attaining the meditative state. Using the mental image of an elevator is one of the easiest ways to feel yourself slowing down and reaching an effective level. 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. I recommend sitting on the floor on a pillow, with back support provided by a piece of furniture--or a friend!) Become aware of your breath for a few moments. Don't try to control your breath. Feel the air filling your lungs, expanding your chest and abdomen, then flowing out.
When you feel relaxed, picture yourself standing in front of an elevator. Press the 'DOWN' button and watch as the button lights. Hear the bell signaling the arrival of the elevator, and see and hear the doors open.
Press the last button, marked 'G.' The elevator doors close. Look over the door and watch the little numbered circles which light as the elevator moves down through the building. he 10th floor circle is lit, then goes out as you feel the elevator start to descend. You can feel this all over your body, as you seem to contract slightly towards the floor. Watch as the 9th floor circle lights up, then goes out, as you feel yourself sinking towards the ground floor. Feel yourself going deeper and deeper, seemingly deep within the earth, as the 8th floor lights up, then goes out. Take a deep breath and let the air flow out as you go deeper. You pass the 7th floor. Feel yourself going deeper. As you pass the 6th floor you continue to feel yourself sinking lower and lower. Continue going deeper and deeper, lower and lower until the 'G' circle lights up, and you feel the elevator stop.
Continue to breathe slowly in and out while you rest at this level. This is a good time to reinforce something you want to achieve, by visualizing yourself already having competed your goal. When you are ready to end the exercise, push the 'UP' button and ascend back to your conscious waking state.

Exercise Two

If you've had trouble maintaining a meditative state with your eyes open, you'll be delighted to find you can keep them closed when doing psychometry.
To practice psychometry, you'll need an object owned by someone else which has been in close physical contact with them. A watch or ring is ideal, since these items are worn daily. Initially you'll find it much easier to pick up vibrations from an object kept in daily contact with your subject. By the way, you can use this same technique on a pet (using a collar) or a plant (either hold the pot or the saucer).
Find a comfortable position and use the meditation techniques we've practiced to slow yourself down. When you feel relaxed and ready, reach out and pick up the object you're going to use. Empty your mind and wait. You might start sensing the vibration from the energy stored on the object. You might see pictures or a scene, or hear sounds which give you impressions. Sometimes you'll just know something about the subject, but not have an awareness of where that information comes from.
It's easier to "read" for a person instead of an animal or a plant while you're developing this skill, since you can describe what you are sensing and get instant feedback. It may feel as if you are making up the information. If the person you're reading tells you they don't recognize what you describe, it doesn't mean that you're wrong or off--base. You have a unique way of sensing and will have to learn what some things you'll sense mean, in the same way that you have your own symbols in your dreams and can't just look them up in a book to find out what they mean. This is a learning process. It helps to describe exactly what you sense instead of making interpretations, since the additional information will often help your subject identify what you're seeing.
Another option is to have your friend ask a question. Clear your mind, hear the question and wait for the information to become available to you. Again, describe fully what you're sensing. If you don't understand something, ask yourself for more information. Years ago I was doing a reading on a woman and felt surrounded by water and swamp. I mentally rose up into the air until I saw myself over the southern tip of Florida and realized it was the Everglades. Although she had visited the park as a child and had recently received a job offer she was agonizing over that would require relocating to that area, until I mentioned the Everglades she'd had no clue what I was describing.
You may think that being effective at psychometry requires a lot of practice. If that is what you think, you will need a lot of practice! Remember that your expectations often create your reality. The techniques covered in this column are not difficult. They simply require that you activate a part of your brain you may not be used to using while awake.

I need your feedback on what topics you would like covered in this column. Please write to me in care of the publisher and let me know if you are interested in various divination tools (such as Tarot cards, psychometry, runes, etc.), pyramids, more meditation exercises, etc.


ANKH (CROSS)-WORD PUZZLE

by Sherlock

ACROSS
1 God of mercy and forgiveness.
5 A festival in the Rockies.
7 NGettal.
9 Rowan's cord was cut with a _______ knife.
10 A burning _______ on the cover.

DOWN
2 I am a wave of the sea.
3 My _______ is a single sound, wherein all music would be found.
4 Nion has trouble seeing fairy folk because he has lost his _______.
6 Summer aspect of Brighid.
8 _______ Tea is believed to help heal cancer and AIDS.
11 The rune of communication and speaking.

The solutions to this crossword puzzle can be found in the Samhain 1996 (Issue #22) 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 Grove, 4 Poeas, 5 Jellyfish, 7 Fili, 9 Hazel, 10 Sunblock, 11 Willow, 12 Mnemosyne
Down: 1 Everything, 3 Megalithics, 6 Riomballs, 8 Derwydd


PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
OCCULT CENSORSHIP

There is a case of censorship in Seabrook, New Hampshire, which needs to be publicized and protested. In August 1996, the Seabrook Public Library was going to have lectures on Tarot and Numerology as part of its member-supported series. Before the lectures were delivered, Rev. Elizabeth Walton of the Congregational Church declared, "It's Satan!" and she organized a protest with other ministers. A petition was brought to the town council, demanding that the library budget be cut because they were having lectures with "religious programming." The town council took it under advisement, and the library had to back down and cancel the lectures.
I am organizing a magnanimous revenge against the religious bigots in Seabrook. Rev. Elizabeth Walton said she wanted the lectures canceled because she did not want the library sponsoring "this occult business." I think the best solution is to put "this occult business" into the library. If people are outraged by this censorship, I suggest they take action by donating occult books to the Seabrook Library. I contacted the library, and they will accept occult books as donations because they do not censor by subject matter. All they ask is that the books be in good condition and of recent publication (i.e., the 1990's). The address for donations is:
Seabrook Public Library
101 Centennial St.
Seabrook, NH 03874-4506
If books start coming in from around the country, that will send a message to the librarians that others have heard this story, and they sympathize with the humiliation of having to kow-tow to Rev. Elizabeth Walton. The best way to fight censorship is to keep on communicating.
Suggesting donations,
Thomas Canfield, tcanfield@ttlc.net


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Dear Editor:
Excellent--I am going to add you guys to my page as a must see link. I am of Irish/Native American descent and see from your page that we share many of the same beliefs. My home page is under construction but will probably be up this weekend with at least my Irish page and wiccan page ready to go: <http://www. accessone.com/~ge>. I plan to add a horticulture page to give free advice to anyone looking to improve the health of their interior plants as I have many years of experience in interior horticulture. I have never seen The Hazel Nut and would love a copy.
Blessed Be,
El
Washington
ge@accessone.com

Dear Sherlock:

Many thanks Sherlock for the article you wrote. Although it didn't answer all the question it is true that we can't give up. After asking my spirit guide for advice (something I tend to be stubborn about doing) I now understand what needs to be done. To put it simply--we need to encourage spiritual evolution, and, at the same time, learn the right way to relate to the planet (recycle, conserve, etc.). I still believe that what I saw WILL HAPPEN, but we can still prepare the survivors (yes, I believe there will be survivors). Maybe I'll write an article about this sometime soon, but anyway, thanks for replying to my desperation.
Blessed Bee,
ShadowCat
Warner Robins, GA

BB Sherlock:

Just read your article in The Hazel Nut. Very good. Here's a suggestion. Tie a little bell around your kitty's neck if the critter lives outside. Cats are notorious about killing every little creature. This will promote a better ecosystem in your yard. Just an idea for your column.
Love, Coll }:-)
Musella, GA


ABOUT OUR STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS...

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, and also a new mother of a baby girl. 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 is its 7th 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: <lkerr@auburn.campus.mci.net>.

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: <Lark@mindspring.com>.

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 seven 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: <neloe@mindspring.com>.

Stormy (Staff Writer and Artist) is a solitary practitioner who studies Norse mythology and Runes, and co-organizes a festival called EarthDance, 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: <thomphc@auducadm.duc.auburn.edu>.

Chrisailes is a solitary, eclectic Witch living in the enchanted backwoods of Alabama. He has been practicing Wicca for a little over ten years and enjoys runes, crystals, and anything remotely Celtic. Write to him c/o The Hazel Nut.

Coll is the Druid Priest of the Church of Rhiannon (est.1986) based in Central Georgia <http:www.geocities.com/RainForest/9172>. He is a licensed minister and teaches public school. Dislikes: Plastic Pagans, Earth Rapers, and Monday mornings after weekend long festivals. Likes: Bird watching, imported beer (lots of it), and kilt twirling. He may be contacted via email: <ossian@mindspring.com>.

Delphoene is a 20 year old Dianic 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: <teresae@postoffice.utas.edu.au>.

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: <OssianG@aol.com>.

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 ran a Samhain festival called FallFling for three years. Write to her c/o The Hazel Nut, or email to: <holmesr@mail.auburn.edu>.

Sean P. Snakenberg resides in Columbus, Georgia with his wife, their 2 year old and one month old daughters. He is a solitary practitioner of the Celtic faith who shares his love of the Green Ray through art and poetry. Write to him at: 2938 12th Ave., Columbus, GA, 31904.

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 Book 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 freelance writer living in Atlanta. Her book, The Atlanta Dog Lover's Companion, rates the parks in the ten-county metropolitan area from a dog's perspective, and includes fun activities you can share with your pet. 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.


BUBBLES FROM THE CAULDRON
BOOK REVIEWS, ETC.

FallFling '96, November 8-10, 1996, Roxanna, Alabama. Organized by Sherlock.
- Reviewed by Linda Kerr

FallFling this year, as usual, was outstanding, if a bit cold. There was a good turnout--about 90 people. We had several interesting classes, an exceptional pot-luck feast, and a beautiful ritual written by Debbie.
After ritual we tapped the keg (Killians), danced, and drummed around the fire. There was a costume contest, with 3rd place, a price admission to next year's festival, going to Vyvione & Frank (Angel & Devil), 2nd, with a free admission, to Sabrina (Goddess of Death), and 1st, with a free admission and wall sconces, to Natalie (Lily from The Last Unicorn). Congrats to everyone!

Publication Review: Craft/ Crafts - A Treasury of Magical Projects, 26 pp, quarterly, $13.00/yr USA, $18.00/yr Can.
- Reviewed by Stormy

"A publication of art, craft and needlework projects with magical themes. Includes designs, patterns, articles, recipes, hints, news, poetry, stories, a reader's exchange and inspiration to fill the needs of Wiccans, Pagans, those called by the Goddess, and those of the Earth religions."
What a nice surprise to receive this in the mail. It's an interesting publication that is already hole-punched and delivered in an envelope so that it is in pristine condition to put into a notebook. I recommend this to anyone in the Craft who would like to learn or is a hobbyist who would enjoy doing Pagan theme crafts for a change. I really like the directions for doing the Green Man. I can envision a completed needlepoint of the Green Man somewhere on one of the walls of my dining room! Not only is this a hobbyist publication, but it also contains other articles of interest that would appeal to the Pagan population as well.
I'm definitely putting a check in the mail so that I get my own subscription!