Seasons of the Moon
Volume 2 - Issue 4 - Lammas 2004


Seasons of the Moon is a quarterly online magazine published by students and members of The Order of The White Moon, an eclectic international order of women dedicated to The Goddess. The Order provides personal empowerment and priestess training, and operates local groups. All contributions are original material submitted by our students and members. (We do not accept outside contributions.) Please direct comments and questions to the Ezine Editor.

Seasons Of The Moon Editors and Council: GrannyMoon - Teal Moon - AmberSage
Assistant Editors: Heathwitch - Banshee - Artemisia - Phyllis
Webmaster: Heathwitch

Issue 4 - Lammas 2005: Contents

cornfieldGoddess Work
Moonlit Reflections by Luna Blanca
Goddesses Of Seasons by Heathwitch
Moon Moon, Mother Moon by GrannyMoon

Lammas Ritual by Morrigan
Corn At Lammas by Rhianna
Activities For Families and the Young at Heart in the Harvest Season of Lammas And Mabon by Ana
By Our Blood We Are Bonded by Minverva

The Bardic Soul
Birthday Reflection by Ezevia Rose
Friendship by Minerva
Into The Night by Minerva
The Word of a Witch by Minerva
Healing Prayer to Hecate by Mystic Amazon

Recipes Fit For A Goddess
Lammas Corn Pudding by Dame Niamh
Vegetarian Harvest Recipes by Ana
Lugnasadh Moons by Morrigan

Weaving the Web
Getting to know the Order of the White Moon


Goddess Work

Moonlit Reflections
Luna Blanca, Head and Founder of The Order of The White Moon

The 9 of Wands Tarot card is calling to me strongly right now. The Motherpeace image of this card shows a woman sitting in a meditative position with 9 fiery torches arrayed behind her, illustrating the balance between energy conserved and energy expended. Finding this balance is currently my key lesson. Between my work for our Order, my work in my online school, and planning my academic courses for fall, I could easily sit at my computer 10 hours a day, fully engaged and creatively satisfied. However, it's clear that this is not good for me. I get irritable and snappish with my mate; I eat more than I should; my body hurts. Being at home during the summer, I have to set firm boundaries for myself in order to stay healthy and sane.

My "summer schedule" by my computer desk reminds me of my goal to spend no more than six hours per day at the computer, and to spend at least two hours a day working around the house and in the yard. Fortunately, I have just planted some new flowers, herbs, and veggies, and in the 100 dry summer heat, they must have water both morning and evening or they will die. I find this watering time very meditative and nourishing, looking at the new growth, enjoying the cooler part of the day with my bare feet on the ground, smelling the wet earth. I have even worked my devotional prayers and listening into the time I spend watering the plants. This is probably the most consistent way I recharge my energy right now.

The 9 of Wands in the more traditional Rider-Waite deck emphasizes pausing, taking a time out, and this is another important way I work on my mental and spiritual health. I find that 15-20 minutes spent outdoors, even in the blazing heat, helps me release stress and ground. Stopping for regular meal times (rather than eating while I work) is key to me staying healthy and not over-eating at the end of the work day. Other ways I like to spend my breaks are soaking in the tub (especially in the middle of the day) and reading through the stack of fluffy novels I've checked out from the library. A short break at the right time, a pause, reminds me to keep life in perspective and not let my "To Do" list rule over everything. A mentor tells me to "remember who and what" I love when the small irritations start to seem like the focal point of my life.

At times, a longer break is needed. Last week, when irritations were starting to reach the boiling point and I was snapping at my husband left and right, I suggested we stop what we were doing and go out to breakfast. That led to us taking a long drive by the river together and later that evening, to going out to dinner and seeing a movie. In other words, we spent some quality time together as a couple, something we don't do nearly often enough. The sense of "playing hooky" from our daily responsibilities added to the pleasure of the day, and we were both reminded that the "To Do" list could and did wait.

During the academic year (fall, winter, and spring), I have less trouble practicing the pause. I reserve one day a week, usually Saturdays, as my day. On that day I don't do anything I don't want to do (and it is against the rules to do any mental work at all). Often I will laze around in my PJs and read novels all day, write in my journal, do a little light housework, or go read the newspaper at a coffee shop. However, in the summer when I have control over all my time, I have more trouble setting aside a regular day off. That's something I'd like to get better at -- that and getting to the gym more regularly. But progress comes at it's own pace. I'm grateful for all the reminders I get that my energy isn't bottomless and must be replenished. The 9 of Wands reminds me to expend my energy wisely and to pause daily and weekly.

About The Author: Luna is a college professor and spiritual teacher who lives in Sacramento, California with her partner, Red Beard, and their Corgi, Roxie. She heads White Moon School of The Feminine Divine through her website  To find out more about her, click here.

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Goddesses of the Seasons
A Column By Heathwitch

The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.

So people can't sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!

And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.

Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!' and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.
["The Harvest Moon" by Ted Hughes]

With the transition from July into August comes Lammas, the first harvest and the onset of autumn. Also known as Lughnasadh, this festival is the time to celebrate the fruits of the harvest and the ripening of grain. In today's modern world where corn and crops can be imported from all over the world, all year round, it is easy to take for granted how important our agricultural year really is. In times past, a lack of harvest at this time of year meant no food for our ancestors to survive upon during the forthcoming winter months.

With such importance being placed on the harvest, a Mother Goddess figure was often called upon to promote a healthy and bounteous yield at this time of year. Such Goddesses include Ceres, the Roman Goddess of the corn and grain.

Nowadays, Ceres is often overshadowed by the similar Greek Goddess, Demeter, but is actually a separate deity in Her own right, with evidence that She was worshipped in Rome as early as 753CE. Known as the "Grain Mother" Ceres is concerned with the crops, the ground from which they spring, the work that has gone into raising them, and the foodstuffs made from them. She also looked after the Roman grain supply and the distribution of grain to the poor. In later times, She became associated with the countryside and its wildlife and people.

Over time, Ceres and Demeter began to share attributes, and so Ceres became a protectress of women, of motherhood, and marriage. Magically, She is connected to the rites of initiation and fertility. Her colours are those of the season: gold, light brown, orange, and green. Her symbols are the corn and grain, the wheat sheaf, and bread and honey.

As a Mother Goddess, Ceres is an appropriate deity to contact when dealing with matters of fertility, motherhood and marriage. As She is connected to all growing things, harvests and foods, She would also be relevant to spells, rituals and meditations concerning the growing of crops and foodstuffs, the harvesting of these, and also the cooking and baking that occurs after the harvest.

To welcome Ceres into your circle, decorate your altar with Her colours, lots of grain and fruits of the harvest, and your favourite foods and drinks. You may also wish to make an incense for Ceres, such as this one:

3 parts willow wood
1 part chaste tree leaves
1/2 part bay (laurel) leaves
1/2 part wheat grains
1/2 part poppy seeds (or poppy petals)
1/2 part narcissus flowers

A simple ritual to celebrate both the sabbat of Lammas and the Goddess Ceres would be to bake a loaf of your favourite bread (if you have no favourite, then corn bread is always a good idea) and dedicate it to the festivities. Start by breaking a piece off and leaving it on your altar for Ceres; afterwards, return it to the earth as a thank you.

During your ritual or celebrations, pass the bread around your circle and ask everyone to take a piece and name something or someone for which they are thankful. Pass the bread around the circle as many times as you wish, with each person naming one thing or person each time they are holding the bread. After the final pass, each person should have a handful of bread pieces, their "thankful blessings", which they can then go and bury somewhere important to them (e.g. in their garden or at a sacred spot). The rest of the bread can be consumed during your potluck or harvest buffet.

Have a blessed and happy Lammas!

Ashby, Alicia. Ceres, the Goddess of Grain at (2001).

Conway, D. J. The Ancient and Shining Ones. Llewellyn: Minnesota (1993).

Franklin, Anna. Magical Incenses and Oils. Capall Bann: Berkshire (2000).

Hughes, Ted. "The Harvest Moon" from The Collected Poems of Ted Hughes. Faber and Faber (2005).

About The Author: Heathwitch is a Witch, teacher and author. She runs courses and workshops on energy work, healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven, Heathwitch lives in Cheshire, England. web: - email:

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Moon Moon, Mother Moon
Dedicated to Ruby DeLuna
A Column By GrannyMoon, Mother HPS, Sisters of the Burning Branch, Order of the White Moon

This past year we were all saddened by the loss of one of our White Moon sisters to cancer. This is dedicated to Ruby, as well as others that are fighting this horrible disease. The sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon. She exerts tremendous emotional impact upon us. We look to our Mother Moon for guidance, nourishing and healing.

Alternative Treatments For Cancer
"This year, one million Americans will learn they have cancer. Roughly two out of three cancer patients will die of the illness (or the related therapy) within five years of diagnosis. While the news media periodically announce major cancer breakthroughs, the cures are occurring mainly in the press releases," writes Richard Walters. (Excerpted from Options: The Alternative Cancer Therapy Book - Avery Publishing Group).

"Disillusioned with standard cancer treatments-which often have devastating side effects," Walters maintains, "that thousands are turning to alternative or nontoxic therapies. Often called complementary, unorthodox, or non-conventional, these therapies include nutritional, herbal, metabolic, immune-enhancing, biologic, nontoxic pharmacologic, and psychological-behavioral approaches."

The National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) conducts and supports basic and applied research, training and disseminates information on complementary and alternative medicine.

Many alternative and non-invasive methods are now being used to fight and prevent cancers. Alternative healing systems should not be a substitute for medical care, but can often go hand in hand with traditional medicine.

Alternative therapies in an established health care system are based on alternative traditions or practices that may include acupuncture, ayurvedic practices, chiropractic, micro-nutrients, minerals, amino acids, herbs and fungi, homeopathy, natural products, massage, candle and aromatherapy, music therapy, past life regressions and other numerous "new age" healing techniques.

Reiki is a popular spiritual healing art and enlightenment system, that consists of channeling and the laying on of hands. Womens healing groups and Drumming Circles are popping up in the small towns, suburbs and the big cities alike, for the purpose of prayers and healing. Naturopathic medicine, not to mention the good old fashioned American folk medicine, spells and ju-ju bags from the local shaman, herbal remedies and faith healing are still being practiced not just in the United States, but all over the world.

The U.S is a virtual mixing bowl of cultures, the various Native American Tribal healing practices are protected, as are all religious practices by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. Latin American and some African religious healing practices which may or may not include the use of the religious resources of Santeria or Voudon (Voodoo) are also protected by the First Amendment and are being seen more and more in this country.

Studies suggest these therapies are sought out by individuals that not only have cancer, but those that are looking for cures for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, arthritis, back pain, and other medical conditions. Unfortunately, when dealing in alternative medicine, fraud and quackery sometimes, rears its ugly head. Remember the often used adage, "If a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

You will find that the mainstream medical community have many watch dog organizations in place to help thwart healthcare fraud. One of which, is QuackWatch. A Laymans Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisions, by Stephen Barrett, M.D. Dr, Barrett advises, "Don't let desperation lead you to try things just because someone advises you to do so."

This information is not offered for the purposes of substituting or replacing sound medical advise or medical care. Just remember to use a dose of good old fashioned common sense along with any advise you receive. If you have medical concerns, you are advised to contact a licensed physician.
Written by GrannyMoon - © 2002
About The Author: GrannyMoon is a High Priestess and Charter Council Member of The Order of the White Moon. Former staff member and student of the Esoteric Theological Seminary, attended LDS Seminary and is an ordained Metaphysical Interfaith minister with doctoral degrees in Theology and Divinity. Doula, Reiki Master and Lifetime Member of Herbal Healer Academy, Inc. Founder, Mother High Priestess of Sisters of the Burning Branch, dedicated to the Feminine Divine. Feel free to contact her at or visit her website:

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Lammas Ritual
by Morrigan, Sisters in Freya's Moon, OWM

I dedicate this Ritual to the Goddess.

Altar: If possible please do this ritual in the free nature - not in a room. Use a light-green (can be with blue or other colors mixed) cover if you use a table. Use red, yellow and white candles. And one single blue taper candle. Place plenty of healing flowers like chamomile, St. John's wort, lavender, Echinacea flowers, marigold(calendula) and some products of the flowers that you use like red oil made of St. Johns wort, calendula cream, chamomiles tea, etc. Make sure you put some blinking things - elves and fairies like them. You could place some bamboo or metal wind chimes on sticks.

Incense: lavender, dragons blood, sage, ylang-ylang. If you are a circle of several women let every women bring something she mixed herself. After the ritual and opening the circle they may give them away to each other.

Draw your circle.

Light all candles - but the blue one

Light the incense - or use a incense stick to draw the circle.


"Come gentle fairies, elves, mother mine
I invite you to join me at this first harvest time
Protect me and guide me
Join this circle and stay
Keep all evil spirits, any sadness away,
Let joy be the topic
Of this wonderful day
Let us feast and celebrate
This union so gay." (you may refer to the union of the circle or wedding of Lugh)

Have your flowers arranged and the 'drugs' the oil or whatsoever. Light the blue candle (representing the healing power). Ask the goddess to bless them and give power to them


"I thank for this harvest
Bless goddess your kids (referring to the flowers - the plants)
So they heal once it's needed
Your wonderful gifts!"

If you are several women you can let each women ask for her own healing. You can also let everyone in the circle share some memories on a special healing experience.

When you close the circle speak:

"I am thankful and opening this circle so bright
Part in peace now
The light of the mother shall always be our guide."

Now it's time to eat and drink if you have prepared for this.

I have some nice Lammas cakes recipe...

Also now is the right time to share the 'gifts' that each woman has brought with herself.

Lammas Wine
Red wine (Bordeaux)

Heat the wine.
Add a pinch of mistletoe
Add 1-2 oranges (peel before)
Add one clove

Once you have mixed it and served put on top in every glass some calendula petals.

See the recipe section for some great Lammas Cookies

About The Author: Morrigan is a celtic warrioress and priestess of The Morrigan. She has been healing with hands since childhood with very different and varying experiences - and subsequently - pauses. She also does Tarot Readings with Aleister Crowley, Raider Waite and the Mother Peace Tarot Deck and says, "At the moment I focus on the Mother Peace Tarot because the cards are talking to me very clearly." Morrigan is also studying about plants with psychedelic action, healing plants and poisonous plants in general. She prepare recipes for various illnesses and creates her own (massage) oils and incense. She says that some months ago she met Freya on a discussion forum and only a few days later started the White Moon Studies with her. She is currently in the last quarter of level 1 and preparing for her final project.

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Corn at Lammas
by Rhianna

As a child growing up in Ohio, August was one of my favorite months. The best sweet corn in the world was harvested then and we would eat it almost every night for dinner. It was super sweet and succulent and the juice would explode in your mouth, bite after bite. All summer long, the fields and fields of corn would tease us with its perfect rows of green stalks and golden tufts. These days I dont reside in Ohio but I still love sweet corn and Lammas, the first harvest holiday, is the perfect time to give thanks for the first sister.

Corn was an important, if not the most important staple for the Native American Indians. Corn figures in many Native Indian myths of the beginning of people on earth and each tribe has their own story. The Navajo believe that corn was among the First Ones and that First Man and Woman were created from two ears of corn, one white and one yellow.

Corn, the first of the three sisters as the Native Indians referred to them  (squash and beans being the other two) was not only a food staple but symbolized the essence of life fertility, growth and renewal. The early Pilgrims would never have survived their first winter if the Indians hadnt given them the gift of corn and the instructions to grow it. It truly is the symbol of life.

Corn is associated with some Goddesses, such as Demeter, but there is also the myth of the Corn Maiden who gave of her own body to feed her family so they wouldnt have to hunt animals. After she passed on, she was reborn in the cornstalks and provided seeds which continued to provide food for all.

Not only is corn delicious but it can also be incorporated into our rituals and spells. Whenever you need to add abundance to your life, find a way to add corn. Add dried cobs of colorful Indian corn on your altar, cook some corn and infuse it with intention to manifest upon consumption, add some dried corn kernels to an amulet, or use the husks to make corn dollies or braid them into special symbols. Use your intuition and imagination. Finally, lets take a moment during this harvest season and remember to give to thanks to the Goddess for the abundance already in our lives.

About The Author: Rhianna is a High Priestess in the Order of the White Moon and will soon be opening her own branch, Sisters of the Spiral Garden. She is an ordained minister through the Ministry of Light Interfaith Church and a Reiki Master/Teacher. She lives in Texas with her husband and two furbabies. You can contact her at

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Activities For Families and the Young at Heart in the Harvest Season of Lammas And Mabon
by Ana

Harvest your herbs and flowers and use them!
This is fun for everyone. Get up early one morning and pick your herbs and flowers. Or, for even more power, go out late in the evening on a full moon to pick them (bring a flashlight! you could also have a fun fire or hot cider or another special treat and make a night of it!). If you like, allow the children to pick their favorite flowers and make a bouquet to hang upside down to dry. They could keep these in their doorways or rooms for whatever blessing they want- you could say a simple chant while you wrap the ties around them to dry, to help focus the intent. I also like to make smudge sticks- they are simple- take a bundle of sage and wrap it with embroidery floss. Hang to dry- usually takes a few weeks, and then each person will have their very own home grown smudge stick to use through the fall or winter. Another idea is to make dream pillows. Sew small pillows together with fun fabric. If you hate to sew, buy fabric glue and glue together three sides. Then have the children place in a small amount of stuffing along with their favorite herbs (you can try to have this coordinate with what their needs are, or just let their heart lead them to what they need). If a child is having nightmares you could go further with this as a protection from that. Once filled, sew or glue the remaining side! One last idea to use your herbs- go ahead and save some lavendar and rose petals while collecting your plants in the morning. When your work is done, take them and let them steep along with you in a hot bath!

Make a Scare Crow
This is easy and fun, and looks best in the height of summer and fall. There are many ways to do this. Ours is made using an old lamp post we had lying around (that had broke a year before!), but you could use an old shovel or broomstick stuck in the ground deep. I have an old shirt of my grandfathers placed on the edges of the post (if you use a stick, you'll need a cross-stick to make a T for the shirt to have shoulders/arms to rest on). Then we used string to tie on old gloves (ones I couldn't find the match to!) and an we have him holding onto a garden bulb tool (that I hated using and didn't work so it was fine to give it to the scare crow:). For the head we took old rags, but straw would be very appropriate, and an old piece of fabric in a circle. We then gave him a nice garden hat. For me it's a sense of garden protection, but more importantly a remembrance of my grandfather. You could also do this as a remembrance for your ancestor, or a spirit or elemental or Goddess protection, using whatever things (beads, colors, etc.) draws that presence out for you. They can watch your garden with you:) This can be a family project, or a child could work on making small protection for their own space in the yard or garden, or near a playhouse or favorite spot perhaps? The possibilities are endless!

Natural Art:
This is something you could change with each season, or with each year. Go out into nature and have your children collect their favorite items- fall leaves, grass stalks, flowers, etc. Then take a large piece of posterboard (or cardboard you have extra- let's try to recycle what we already have:), and have the children decorate. Make a Harvest Goddess for your window! Make a Summer Sun God (you could get extra fancy with this one, and make it out of something that could be sacrificed- either to the elements by being left out over the winter, or something that could be burned). Or just fingerpaint with nature! Now, as a crafty pagan mama, while this is going on, I can take those leaves and create a altar environment on my dining table... or find things to make a harvest wreath for the front door. To make it more magical, find herbs of protection and blessings for your home:)

Go Raspberry Picking
Something we do every year in early or mid-September is go raspberry picking! This is great fun, and a great way to celebrate the equinox. Last year my daughter ate so many berries I could not believe my eyes! We always pick up some local honey at this farm as well. Then when we get home, I make a berry cobbler, some berry muffins, and then I rinse all the left over berries and let them dry overnight. The next morning I take them and put them in small baggies and freeze them for smoothies throughout the fall and winter season (this is much cheaper than buying berries at the store in winter!).

Salt Dough
Salt dough is a great way to get creative (and not spend any money:) Take 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and a little over a cup of water. Mix it up and there you go- instant clay. You can make all kinds of decorations for the seasons or esbats.
Use star shapes, or moons, spiral goddesses, sunflowers, and more. You can let it dry, or place them on cookie sheets on your lowest oven setting for awhile to dry them out (or stick them out in the hot sunshine). If you want to save them, take a clear paint (I use those sparkly craft ones) and do a few coats over them (this is nice on a yule tree). One fun activity I came up with lately was a bowl. Each person makes a small bowl- mine was a Goddess bowl, but it can be any type of bowl. Let the children make their own designs in it. Then, after it dries (this takes a few days, or else some time in the oven), have each child place something special to them in the bowl. I used affirmations. But, for the harvest season, one could place things they want to either plant (the Goddess plants her seeds in the fall) to grow in the future, or things they want to be released of or transformed through the death of the harvest making room for new things to grow in their life. This would be for older children obviously- my children just like to feel the dough and listen to circle round over and over again:)

About The Author: Ana is a Level I student in the White Moon School, with Luna Blanca. A stay at home mother of two small children, and focuses much of her energy on them, her home, husband, garden and pets. She is new to the White Moon School this spring, and has been studying pagan paths for the last 13 years or so. Before focusing on mothering, Ana was a yoga teacher and women's counselor, with a degree in psychology and women's studies. Her focus as a yoga teacher is on compassion to the self, incorporating meditation and extensive relaxation for the union of body, mind, and spirit. She enjoys reading, gardening, being at the lake, crafts, and vegetarian cooking.

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Blood Bond
by Minerva

By our blood are we bonded
and sisters are we
with the Earth and each other
our blood joins with She
Blood of ages bonds us all
each month we feel the ancient call
of Moon and life, our rivers fall
returning to She

By our blood are we bonded
and women are we
your mothers, your daughters
the children of She
United by our blood we stand
returning life to all the land
exactly as our Mother planned
flowing to She

By our blood are we bonded
Priestesses are we
your servants, your voices
handmaidens of She
Sharing in Your mystery
throughout all of history
new life the gift you share with me
the blessing of She

By our blood are we bonded
even those such as me
never knowing the beauty
of bleeding with She
For Her spirit inhabits me
Her love is with me endlessly
affirms my femininity
a Daughter of She

~Minerva (5.2.2005)

By our blood are we bonded.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some are gay, some straight, some work in an office and some work raising a family. All of us in this Order are very different people with our own stories, our own lives, walking our own path to Her. Our blood bonds us all; the blood that flows within us because She gave us life. Our sacred bleed is a tangible and beautiful reminder with our connection to Her and all that is life.

Yet some of us here cannot bleed. Never have. Never will. The last paragraph of my poem speaks of women for whom that connection has been denied at least in its most physical of expressions. For all that we may complain of bloating and cramps and PMS and the like our connection with the flow of life is important to most of us as a true sign of the bond we share with Her and we would not wish it to be otherwise. Imagine, for a moment, the pain you might feel if your very spirit cried out to feel that connection and yet it was denied you through a biological accident no fault of your own. Some of our sisters here know that bitter pain all too well I know, for I am one of them.

What is it that makes us women, then? Is it our bleed? Is it the having of children or the potential that we could have them? Is it our breasts, our ovaries, our vaginas? Where does our essential femininity truly lay? Is it our biology that connects us with the Goddess or is it something less physical but far more enduring and important; Her spirit residing within us? If we take a brief look at the science of sex, the answers become more clear.

Modern medicine is slowly beginning to understand the intricate dance of hormones and cell division that combine to make us male or female. For years we have recognised that a simple penis=male, vagina=female characterisation is simply unsupportable. Although it is statistically correct more times than not, it is incorrect far too often for physical characteristics to be an accurate determinent. Chromosomes then? No, even those have been demonstrated over and over to give a misleading result often enough that reliance solely on chromosomal identification is unwise. It has been accepted for decades that all fetuses are originally female and only become masculinised when the brain directs the production and release of virilising male hormone precursors, which influence subsequent sell division to ensure that the Y chromosome donated by the father is retained. Since this process can be influenced by a multitude of chemicals and environmental factors it is perhaps unsurprising to discover that, occasionally, this blueprinting of the body goes awry.

There are well known examples in medical literature of so-called XX males and XY females; people whose bodies are anatomically perfect males or females yet chromosomally of the sex opposite to that which the body shows. These rare individuals are usually only discovered when investigations into their infertility discovers the condition. Even more rare are those born like myself; the so called Mosaic or Intersex people, whose chromosomal pattern is XXY and who most often present with physical genitalia of both sexes. I am a very typical example of an XXY woman, born with both ovaries and testes, penis and uterus and arbitrarily surgically assigned a sex at the age of four months. It is estimated that as many as one in every 30,000 births will display some form of Intersexuality.

The issue of transsexual people brought the medical dilemma of sex determination into focus many decades ago, as years of considering such conditions to be a psychological illness gave way to an understanding that transsexuality, like Intersexuality, was a biological variance in sex development. A transsexual person may have no outward physical variance or dichotomy between genitalia and chromosomes yet is possessed of an unshakable inner knowledge that they are of the sex opposite to that which there body portrays. In 1996, researchers in The Netherlands finally discovered the biological, physical cause for this condition a centre within the brainstem known as the Amygdala which determines the fundamental sex of the organism and controls all subsequent hormonal releases, chromosomal retention and cellular development. This centre a cluster known as BST-c tells us who we are at the most basic level. In a series of examinations of transsexual people the BST-c was found in every case to be of the sex they affirmed themselves as, not the sex their body announced to the world they should be.

What does that mean to us in terms of our love and worship of the Goddess? For me, the answer is simple no matter how complex the causative mechanism might be. The Goddess in Her wisdom and love creates us and allows us human experience to give us the chance to learn and grow. The spirit she creates is sexless; only the body has sex, which is one explanation for the experience of many people who report past life regressions showing them to have been both male and female at various times. The body is merely the vessel for our spirit.

Transsexed and Intersexed women are exactly that women. Their spirit shines just as brightly as the creation of the Divine Goddess as does that of any woman born with body and identity in complete agreement. The love they hold for the Goddess and She for them in turn is every bit as real, every bit as meaningful and every bit as powerful. I read an article once that spoke of the fear some Lesbian groups had of admitting transsexed women into their ranks because it was felt that their upbringing somehow made them dangerous and unfit to be included. I felt so sad for the authors of the article because they, like so many others, had fallen into the trap of confusing gender and sex. Gender is a fluid social concept; it is that concept that sees us give girls toy dolls and boys toy guns, dress one in blue and one in pink, and so on. A person may choose to place themselves outside the common gender construct in many ways; the butch female, the effeminate male, the self-styled Gender-benders we read of in the newspapers and magazines. Gender, to that degree at least, is a choice a learned behaviour that can be modified, rejected, unlearned or totally ignored. Sex is an immutable thing and, as I have discussed, it is NOT determined solely by genitals, chromosomes or statistically accurate visual guesswork. Sex is who you are in this body you inhabit and nothing; not drugs, therapy, punishment or rejection can ever change a persons knowledge of their true self.

There is a story I was told many years ago that I would like to share. It was set in ancient Sumer and involved the Priestesses of Inanna and I was assured it was a true story although I have never seen the actual source material. In any case, it was apparently custom for women to worship Inanna and for men to worship Her consort Dumuzi at separate locations, yet there was a small group of men who insisted on being permitted to worship at Inannas temple, saying that they felt compelled by the Goddess Herself to do so. These men were punished, publicly humiliated and ostracised by their social caste in an effort to bring them back into the normal social patters. Sometimes this punishment worked, most often it did not. Finally the men would be imprisoned and brought before the ruling High Priest and High Priestess and were given one final chance to recant do so and they would be freed, do not and they would walk through the door at the end of the room and never be seen again. It was told to me that most chose to walk through the door, where on the other side they were welcomed joyfully by the Priestesses of the Temple of Inanna as female warrior spirits whose bravery and piety was so strong that the God had imprisoned them in male bodies to try and claim them as His own followers, but whose love of the Goddess has prevailed. These men were accepted thereafter as women and Priestesses themselves, often marrying the members of the Priesthood and raising the foundling children of the City as their own.

I know from my own experience that I am a woman. Being born intersexed made it easier to prove this to others having ovaries still in place and a measurable monthly moon cycle helped me greatly there but the struggle I went through to finally affirm my own womanhood helped me understand all too well just how difficult a path is walked by our transsexed sisters. They are born every bit as female as you or I yet have a body that tells the world the opposite. They show incredible courage and risk everything simply for the right to be affirmed as the women they know themselves to be the women that the Goddess made them be and face discrimination, misunderstanding, fear and pain at every turn. They are women that we should all be so proud to walk alongside in sisterhood for they show us clearly what it is to fight for truth and stand up proudly for our beliefs, surely things the Goddess asks of every one of us as we walk Her path. I am a women and they are women because the spark of life the Goddess created me as knows herself to be female and accepts that, for whatever reason, the challenges this life gives me are given by Her to help me learn and grow.

Being a woman is a spiritual thing. Choosing to follow Her in our hearts and our lives is a spiritual journey and She knows us and loves us all fiercely as Her daughters. In the spirit of all intersexed and transsexed women lies a spark of spirit of the sacred Feminine so powerful and so overwhelming that no barrier exists to stop those women from proudly and openly affirming who they REALLY are to the world. The Goddess I love knows me intimately and walks with me always. She would do so just as strongly and lovingly were I to have dark skin or a cleft palate or paralysed limbs or even an out-of-place penis, because it is my spirit She knows and loves, not just my physical form. My body is the bus I ride to school. She is the teacher and the curriculum and the entire knowledge base. Should we reject a sister and fellow daughter of the Goddess just because her schoolbus had to be painted from blue to pink?

When we deny a transsexed woman entry into groups such as ours, we deny the Goddess and presume to know better than She who created the spirit and the world. How sad that must make Her in us, to see us turn our backs on a sister of Her path who, more than most, needs our love and support. If this article makes even one reader stop and reconsider it will have achieved a victory, for them and for Her.

About The Author: Minerva is a natural therapist and author who has followed the path of the Goddess for over 30 years in her home country. She is now a student with the Order of the Rainbow Moon and is a passionate advocate for legal and social equality for Transsexed and Intersexed women in her own country, having faced the difficulty of being born Intersexed at first hand. Minerva was the subject of an internationally publicised Witch Trial in 2004 after being accused by her local Mayor of being an evil satanist and conspiring to destroy Christian values in her home city. She successfully prosecuted the Politicians who defamed her and in the process became the first person anywhere in the world to give a legal Court Oath to the Goddess. She is now a sought after media commentator on Pagan Practice and Goddess Worship and has almost finished writing her first book on the subject. Strongly feminist and happily lesbian, she lives with her partner Trish and her two dogs Gaia and Enki in a small rural area outside of Melbourne, Australia. She can be reached through her website at

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The Bardic Soul

Birthday Reflections
By Ezevia, HPS, Sisters of the Burning Branch, Order of the White Moon

I was a woman shrouded in darkness
Now I have light
I can carry it with me
morning, noon and night

My light can be reflected
no matter where I go
It shines ever brightly
and sometimes I even glow

It may seem peculiar or even odd
to watch me with my light
but I can tell you this
I am always happy and ever bright

My light is a beacon for all to see
to Know I carry witchcraft
deep inside of me!

~Ezevia Rose
July 20, 2005
(coincidentally my grandmothers birthday)

About the Author: Ezevia Rose, 51 is a wife of 28 years, mother of a son 24 and daughter 26 and a grandmother of a 7 1/2 year old, who she says is the spark of her life as are her children. She is also a teacher of young children and owns her own school,(23 years in business and growing) which, she says is not only her livelihood but her life. She is also a singer and an artist, with a B.A. degree in Elem. Ed and Art Ed., she loves animals, reading and gardening, and says musical instruments and books are her vices. A past student of Granny Moon and has recently opened her own school,

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by Minerva

Friendship, hiding truth behind a smile
a truth of choices made and prices paid
so willingly; yet as the seasons turn
so may our dreams in fashion like,
as smiles mask my pain

Yet in those dreams I ofttimes wish to live
where other times and other days, I see
a place where smiles are tokens of a love
of she to me, and me to thee
and happinness in twain

Moonlight silver wed to burnished gold
in loving forge that never can be seen
except in longing deep within our souls
and in my eyes the tears I cry
of love that is not free

~Minerva 22/11/04

Into the Night
by Minerva

Into the night,
O Mother,
Into the terrible dark
Of maidens fears and endless possibilities
Where fires burn to sear my all
In Your cauldron, there to free my soul
Under Your command, Your control
A child no more
Into the terrible dark
Into the night

At the Crossroads,
O Mother,
Under the fierce moon
As warrior born I stride Your forest's majesties
And walk Your crossroads, head held high
A journey long; the years roll by
And through Your grace I learn to fly
Strong and proud
Into the terrible dark
Into the night

My time is done,
O Mother
I have seen the terrible dark
And walked Your paths, found wisdom; grew so old
And soon the fire that marks the paths I roam -
My love for You - will surely take me home
As Your Moon shines, I never am alone
In the terrible dark
In the blessed night
of Your love

~Minerva ... 13th February, 2005

The Word of a Witch
by Minerva

Make promises not lightly
and keep them true and whole
nor waver in that promise made
thus shall you keep your soul

A witch's word, once given
must never be denied
the Mother dark, from whom you sprang
will know if you have lied

Truth is the goal we all must seek
my word; my bond; my life
lest falsehood blight us all our days
and shame cut like a knife

Shine bright with honest beauty then
the Mother's daughter, proud
and give your sacred bond with care
then follow through unbowed

Remember, What I say - I mean
What I swear - I perform
What I promise is what I do
for thus I am reborn

~Minerva (Olivia Watts)
Initiated witch of the 3rd Degree

About The Author: Minerva is a natural therapist and author who has followed the path of the Goddess for over 30 years in her home country. She is now a student with the Order of the Rainbow Moon and is a passionate advocate for legal and social equality for Transsexed and Intersexed women in her own country, having faced the difficulty of being born Intersexed at first hand. Minerva was the subject of an internationally publicised Witch Trial in 2004 after being accused by her local Mayor of being an evil satanist and conspiring to destroy Christian values in her home city. She successfully prosecuted the Politicians who defamed her and in the process became the first person anywhere in the world to give a legal Court Oath to the Goddess. She is now a sought after media commentator on Pagan Practice and Goddess Worship and has almost finished writing her first book on the subject. Strongly feminist and happily lesbian, she lives with her partner Trish and her two dogs Gaia and Enki in a small rural area outside of Melbourne, Australia. She can be reached through her website at

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Healing Prayer To Hecate
by Mystic Amazon

O Sweet Dark Mother of the Night,
please turn your sympathy toward us
and send us your deep healing.

Lady, let your glimmering Moon
lighten all the dark places in our hearts
that need your bright clarity.

Send your dark hounds to protect us
and sleep near us, so we feel safe;
heal our pains of body and mind.

Please bring your fiery torches
as we walk beside you in the night time;
teach us more understanding.

Enfold us with the strength of your love;
as you teach us, let us share with others
the love and healing of your Light.

Beth Johnson
(Mystic Amazon)

About the Author: Born August 10, 1944, Mystic is the oldest of four children. Her father was a minister (from a long line of Methodist ministers) and her mother taught piano and French. Mystic was born while her father was a chaplain in the Navy, serving on a ship with General MacArthur in the Phillipines. His father had been a chaplain in the Army in WWI. Mystic was married for 25 years to a marine and has two children, Kristin and Erik, both married but no grandchildren yet. She is divorced and lives in Saltillo, Mississippi. She is a folk artist and sometimes teach that and fabric painting with dyes. She also teaches Reiki and sometimes basic Tarot. She loves to read, dance barefooted, write poems and spells, do candle magick, make candles, and date her boyfriend Frank.

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Recipes Fit For A Goddess

Lammas Corn Pudding
by Dame Niamh

Lammas (Lughnasad) is the time when the God is mourned, having died in ecstasy at his mating with the Goddess on the Summer Solstice (Litha).

Far from being sad, Lammas is the beginning of the Wheel's turning again, as death is followed by rebirth, and so we recognize that the sacrifice of the God (the cutting of the summer harvest) nourishes us and begins his journey to rebirth at Yule.

Corn is often considered the symbol of Lughnasad; the first ears are ripe at this time. I make a Lughnasad Corn Pudding, and put little things into it (tiny figurines of animals and tiny baby dolls) to remind us: "Corn and grain, corn and grain, all that falls shall rise again." Warn people not to gobble the pudding or they will swallow their little treasures!

Corn Pudding

1 box Flako corn muffin mix (it contains the largest amount)
1 large can creamed corn
1 large container sour cream
1/2 large onion,or scallions, green and white parts, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Grease a metal baking pan, about 8x8 or 9x9 if you want it to come out thinner. Pour the batter into the pan, add little tiny toy figures, and bake at 350 till it's springy. I stick a toothpick into it; a few crumbs may cling, but that's all right. You don't want it too dry.

If you don't like to use commercial corn muffin mix, use your own recipe to make 8 corn muffins. You'll need corn meal, unbleached flour and some baking powder. A friend puts 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno peppers into hers. Hot! Hot!

About The Author: Dame Niamh is a second level Sister of the Burning Branch, Order of the White Moon and received her Adept initiation at the Gathering this summer. She lives on the West Bank of New York City, and is an IT consultant. Kitchen Magick is real - I've been cooking for people for ages.

Vegetarian Harvest Recipes

by Ana

Easy Clean-Up Garden Grill Hash!
This recipe is for the garden that's overflowing with produce! Use whatever you have on hand! And, it's a no mess dinner, nice on the moms and dads cleaning up:)

Whatever you've got growing:) Sliced up
Potatoes (a few, this is your base)
Pepper (I like green, but any will do)
Greens (kale, collards, chard- what you have on hand)
Couple of Carrots
Zucchini or Yellow squash or both
Fresh herbs
Few tablespoons of butter and canola oil (I like having the flavor of both, but you could use only one of these).

Take everything you're harvesting from your garden this Lammas. Freshly dug up potatoes (yum!!!), a pepper, some yellow squash or zucchini, an onion, couple of carrots, and greens. Cut it all up and place it with a little butter and canola oil on a large sheet of tin foil. Add salt and pepper (I usually add a bit of nutritional yeast as well) and fresh garden herbs. Dill is my favorite, along with chives and thyme or rosemary. Wrap it up. Then take a second sheet of foil and cover the package again for added protection. Put on a low grill for about 40 minutes- it depends on how small the vegetable pieces are. When it's done, scoop onto a plate and serve with baked beans and some local corn on the cob! Yum yum!!! And nothing to clean up:)

Stuffed Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker

Using your slow cooker! That's right ladies, pull out your slow cooker and let the yummy smells of apples and squashes fill the air for the day... or come home to a nice cooked meal all ready for you:) I'm a big fan of using my slow cooker- it's not just for soups and stews (although that's enough reason to use it!). This is a sweet flavorful fall dish- and if it's still hot in your area, it's nice to not use the oven and heat up the house! I came up with this based on a slow cooker recipe I found (although I didn't exactly follow the recipe as usual:)- my family all loved it, so I thought I'd pass it on!

One Butternut Squash (cut in half, or in quarters, depending on it's size and how you can fit it in the cooker- if it's lopsided, trim a piece off the bottom so it lies flat)
One Small Onion
One Clove Garlic
2 Tb Olive or other Oil
1/2 Cup Quinoa (or cous cous, or millet, or other grain)
1 1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (or so) of water
1/2 cup of nuts- I use cashews, or you could use pistachios, walnuts, etc. (I'm a cook that goes with what I've got)

Rinse quinoa and place in boiling apple juice. (if using cous cous or another grain, just follow the instructions on how much water to use per cup of grain- make about a half cup and use apple juice instead of water). Add in your cinnamon and allspice, and once it is back to a boil, turn on low and cover. Let simmer for 20 minutes or so, until cooked and water is absorbed. While that's cooking, cut and scoop center out of squash and place in slow cooker bottom (this doesn't have to be perfect- I have had them slightly sideways, but you need to be able to have the filling stay mostly in place:). Then take a small pan and cook your sliced onion and minced garlic in the oil til the onions are translucent. When your quinoa is done add in your crushed nuts, and onion mixture, and stir. Then stuff the squash with it. If you have left overs, you can save it for lunch or give it to the kids- mine love it because it's sweet from the applesauce). Being careful not to pour it on the squash, then put the cup of water slowly into the bottom of slow cooker pot. Cover, and put on low for about 6 hours or so. If you like your nuts crunchy, add them last, sprinkled on top (they will get pretty soft in the slow cooker, which is good for smaller kids, but usually not as good for the rest of us:).

When it's done, be careful pulling it out (I use two spatulas and an extra person to hold a plate close- they cook really well. Also be careful with the outer peel- it will be very soft, so with kids, I make sure to peel it off so they don't eat it.

Serve with a plate of cooked greens. I like a bunch of chopped collards, green beans, or zucchini- chop about a half of onion, add in some oil and soy sauce, and it's a perfect compliment to this dish. Other ideas would be a green bean casserole, or a light salad and roll. It's a pretty filling main course, and is very healthy- lots of vitamins, and quinoa is a great protein source (especially mixed with nuts) and has calcium (great with collards for this too).

Stuffed Squash for the Quick Cook
Ok, this earlier recipe sound like too much? Try this one!

Two Acorn squash (or just one if there is only 2 of you!)
1 box of wild rice mix (uncle bens, rice a roni, or a natural/organic brand- they usually take about a half hour to prepare, just adding oil and water- make sure you get a good flavored one).

Follow instructions on rice box and get that simmering. Then, cut your acorn squash in half, scooping out seeds. Place with a small amount of butter in each center and place on plate and put in microwave. Cook for about 10 minutes- this will vary depending on size of squash and microwave. Keep an eye on it- when you can pierce easy with a fork it's done. Scoop cooked rice into center. Serve with a side of cooked tofu or tempeh (or, if you so inclined, poultry), and a salad. A really yummy dish! Wild rice combined with brown rice forms a complete protein, so if you'd like to just have a side of greens or peas or fresh sweet corn, that would be great too!

Easy Apple Cobbler

I'm a huge fan of no fuss no muss cooking! I don't like to waste my time following most recipes- so here's a general guide for you:) Do this with your kids and get messy:)

Cut up a few apples (4 at most), but if you have a pear or two, or a peach or two, substitute them for an apple or two. You can also add raspberries (yum! see activities!) or other berries. If you aren't doing any other fruit besides apples, I'd through in some raisins for some sweet flavoring.

Place in a bowl with some lemon juice and cinnamon (sprinkle on to your taste- I like a lot)

Next, take about 2 cups (ok, I'm making this up- I never follow a recipe- but it's something about that much- enough to cover the apples) of rolled oats, and mix with a small amount of flower (few tablespoons) and some apple juice (if you're one that has it around, apple concentrate is better, but I never have that and just use the apple juice- taking 2 kids to a grocery store on a trip for that would never be worth the effort when the juice seems to work). Just pour enough in to mix it a bit- maybe a few tablespoons. I also add more cinnamon, but that's up to you. Now add a bunch of fresh honey (again, see activities!). Mix it up - use your hands here, this is fun! This is where the kids can help. Now that it's all mixed up (you probably need to wash your hands here!), put it in a baking dish- a square one is nice, but you could even use a pie pan. Then put the 'crumble' mix on top. If you are a sweet tooth, put a little sugar on top of that:) Bake in your oven at about 350 degrees (or up to 375 if you like it a little crispier on top) for about a half hour. If the top seems to get too brown, cover with foil. That's it!

Herb Bread

I am not much of a baker (requires too much of following a recipe:), but I have loved this bread recipe and use it often. It is especially wonderful because it only requires one rise, making it a quicker bread to cook. It will make 2 small loaves, which I like, because you can give one away, or have it for the next nights meal as well. It is especially good for Lammas. In the morning I get a handful of my favorite herbs- rosemary, chives, and thyme usually- and then I wash them, and pick off the leaves, dry them on a paper towel, and place them on a cookie sheet in a low oven to dry. You must watch them so that they don't burn. If you have the herbs dried already (store bought or dried from earlier this summer), skip this step and just use those. I really enjoy the act of picking the herbs for my bread that day, but it is a little more time consuming. Then I follow this recipe, taken from "The Whole Soy Cookbook, by Patricia Greenberg".

1 cup lukewarm water
1 package fast-acting dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp thyme, 2tbsp dried oregano, 2 tbsp dried rosemary (this as I said before, can be from your own garden, or the herbs changed to your taste. I also find this to be too much herbs for my families taste, and use about half this much, or 3 or 4 tablespoons total herbs).

Combine in a large bowl the water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Then add the soy milk and oil and mix. Slowly stir in the flour and salt, mixing until combined. Place the dough on a floured surface, add the herbs on top and knead for 4 minutes or so, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap- let rise. The recipe says it will double in bulk in 1.5 hours, but I find it takes more like 2.5 hours for me. Just keep an eye on it. Once doubled, divide the dough in half and form each into a ball. Place the loaves on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 35 or 40 minutes, until golden brown.

Too Many Green Beans Salad!
Find you have too many green beans this time of year in your garden, and are not sure how to use them? Here's a quick salad that won't heat up your house when you go to cook dinner in the evening!

Lots of green beans! You could have yellow too if that's what you've got growing!
Couple cloves of garlic (or more if you like it!)
Red pepper
Olive oil- to cook the onion, garlic and pepper in, and then a few more tablespoons to drizzle over the salad before marinating
2 tablespoons (or so- this is to taste) of balsalmic vinegar
Salt and pepper

This I made up as an easy cold salad to have with a burger (tempeh or black bean) for dinner, on a hot day I didn't want my oven going in the afternoon. In the morning I cook my green beans by boiling them in water. Use as many as you want. You can boil them until they are fully cooked, or keep them a bit crunchy- depends on your taste. Place them in a bowl. While cooling, cook up some onion, red pepper, and a few cloves of garlic in an oiled pan (this smells so good!). When onions are translucent, add this to the green beans. Add enough olive oil and basalmic vinegar to coat the beans- I'd say 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 or 2 of the vinegar. Then add salt and pepper. Let marinate in your fridge until dinner. You can also add other veggies (zucchini or mushrooms would be nice) to this salad- make sure to not over cook them first!

About The Author: Ana is a Level I student in the White Moon School, with Luna Blanca. A stay at home mother of two small children, and focuses much of her energy on them, her home, husband, garden and pets. She is new to the White Moon School this spring, and has been studying pagan paths for the last 13 years or so. Before focusing on mothering, Ana was a yoga teacher and women's counselor, with a degree in psychology and women's studies. Her focus as a yoga teacher is on compassion to the self, incorporating meditation and extensive relaxation for the union of body, mind, and spirit. She enjoys reading, gardening, being at the lake, crafts, and vegetarian cooking.

Lughnasadh Moons
by Morrigan

300 gramms of flour
2 teaspoones of baking powder
a bit of salt
30-50 gramms of sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)
now mix this and add
100 gramms of soft butter
mix this with your hands to flakes

Take two eggs, seperate one of them and keep the white egg seperate. Add 100 ml of milk to the eggs and mix this very good until its foamy. Now add this to the flakes and make it a mass you easily can roll out.keep it about 0,5 cm thick take a glass and take out some small moons - half ones, full ones, as you like.put the moons on a baking sheet and coat the white egg on them.
Bake them for 6 to 10 Minutes with top and down heat in the middle rail of the oven that you preheat at 200C.

Lughnasadh Cookies

About The Author: Morrigan is a celtic warrioress and priestess of The Morrigan. She has been healing with hands since childhood with very different and varying experiences - and subsequently - pauses. She also does Tarot Readings with Aleister Crowley, Raider Waite and the Mother Peace Tarot Deck and says, "At the moment I focus on the Mother Peace Tarot because the cards are talking to me very clearly." Morrigan is also studying about plants with psychedelic action, healing plants and poisonous plants in general. She prepare recipes for various illnesses and creates her own (massage) oils and incense. She says that some months ago she met Freya on a discussion forum and only a few days later started the White Moon Studies with her. She is currently in the last quarter of level 1 and preparing for her final project.

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