Volume 4 - Issue 4 - Lughnasadh/Lammas 2007 


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 Editor and Council: Morgana Ravenwings, Heathwitch, Nessa CrescentMoon, Spiralotus, Silver, Shalimar, Lila, Lady Silver MoonWolfe, BellaDonna 
Webmaster and Publishing: Kelly, Heathwitch, Tranquillity Fearn

Issue 3 - Lughnasadh/Lammas 2007: Contents

Holy Days
Lughnasadh and Mabon by Heathwitch

Goddess Work
What is a Priestess? by Morgana Ravenwings

Meeting Our Sisters
Interview with Nessa Cresentmoon

Holistic Living
Essential Oils: What Are They Good For? by Desert Star
Herb of the Month by Lady Silver MoonWolfe
The Lammas stone - Tiger eye by Spiralotus

Sacred Sites
Machu Picchu by Lila

Gardening with the Goddess
Borage and Blindweed by BellaDonna

Ritual Work
Red Room Meditation by Venus Being

OWM Awareness
Fundraising Update by Nessa Cresentmoon
Our annual OWM gathering by Nessa Crescentmoon
Weekly Tarot Zodiac by Nessa Crescentmoon

The Bardic Soul: Poetry and Song For The Spirit
Shamanism: The Journey by Shalimar

Just for Fun
Word Puzzle by MoonWolfe

Weaving the Web
Weaving the musical web by Nessa Crescentmoon
Getting to know the Order of the White Moon

 

Holy Days

Lughnasadh and Mabon
By Heathwitch

Lughnasadh, or Lammas, is celebrated from sunset on the 31st of July to sunset of the 2nd of August, though many modern Pagans and Witches only celebrate it on the 1st of August. It is the "loaf
mass" and the festival of the Celtic God of the sun, Lugh. This is the first harvest, that of the corn and the land, so it is a time to celebrate nature's bounty -- bread, cornfields, any foods and drinks
that come from the land. It is a time for reaping corn and giving thanks. Feasting and games are traditional at Lughnasadh, as is a recognition of the sacrificial Lord -- known by some as John
Barleycorn -- who dies with the reaping of the grain. Symbols of Lughnasadh are the colours yellow, green and gold, and all grains, breads, harvest fare and threshing tools are common altar decorations. Foods made of grain -- corn muffins, bread or rice pudding, barley beer, and of course fresh baked bread -- are common for this sabbat.

Some links about Lughnasadh:
http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/lammas.html
http://thunder.prohosting.com/~cbarstow/lammas.html
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=3558


Mabon, or the Autumn Equinox, occurs on September 23rd this year. It is the second harvest, that of the flesh -- when animals would be slaughtered and their meat prepared for the coming cold months. It
is time to explore the facets of balance -- day is equal to night at the Equinox -- and also time to reap the fruits of our experiences. It is time to celebrate the passing of the year and to look to the
coming of the dark side of the Wheel. Themes of this sabbat include balance and harmony. Altar colors are those of the harvest, with symbols such as rattles, nuts, dried fruit and corn being
commonplace. Foods include cider, cornbread and root crops, as well as any meats.

Links about Mabon:
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=8713
http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/4885/mabon.html
http://magickalmusings.net/wicca/wheel/mrecipes.php

About The Author: Heathwitch is a Witch, teacher, flower essence therapist and writer. She runs courses and workshops on energy work, healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven, Heathwitch lives with her husband-to-be and three cats in Derbyshire, England.   web: http://www.heathwitch.com  - email: heathwitch@heathwitch.com

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Goddess Work

What is a Priestess?
by Morgana Ravenwings

The Priestess is the representative of the Goddess on earth. She has responsibility for performing functions that ensure fertility and creation. In ancient times, Priestesses were responsible for ensuring
rain, for the Goddess Herself was the giver of the dew and the rain. It is said the the Priestesses of Isis could control the rain by braiding and unbraiding their hair. In many cultures these women also
tended a sacred flame. This flame was the embodiment of the chi, or the creative spark of life that flows from the Goddess and through each one of us.
The High Priestess is the embodiment of the Great Goddess herself. This Goddess is expressed as Isis (Egyptian), Kuan Yin (Chinese), Mary (Christian), Artemis (Greek), Spider Mother (Cherokee), Rhiannon (Celtic) and in many other guises in many other cultures. The Great Goddess is all-knowing and all-wise. She is Creatress and Life-giver. She also has the power to end life so that the true spark of life, or spirit, may continue on in other forms. The High Priestess embodies these principles. She is the reminder that we all have this innate wisdom within us, and she demands that we connect to it and bring this wisdom into the world. The High Priestess speaks for the Goddess, works for the Goddess and lives her life to bring honor to the name of the Goddess. The Goddess is first and foremost in her mind, before family, friends, job and all else. She knows that she IS the Goddess and every decision that she makes, every meeting that she has, every word from her mouth comes from this place of inner knowing and reflects out to the world.
There are many today who will take a course or two in Wicca and bestow upon themselves (or have bestowed upon them by someone with just as much training as themselves) the title of Priestess or High Priestess. I love seeing this wide resurgence of interest in Her religion, and I love seeing the multitudes of those who are thirsty to aid others on the path of discovery. However, true training in becoming a Priestess is not as easy as Wicca 101 and an e-certificate hanging on the wall. Priestess training has never come this easy, nor should it. Anyone can work magic, or memorize a list of colors and their attributes. Anyone can say prayers, learn the meaning of tarot cards and make potions. None of these things a Priestess make.
Priestess training involves a change in who we are at the very depth of our being. It touches something deep inside that changes everything we have thought about ourselves. It changes everything we
have thought about others. Priestess training gives us a higher perspective. It gives us the perspective of the Goddess Herself. It is rigorous, and should be. What good is a Priestess who has no self-discipline? How can one who cannot even control herself and her own natural human urges (to strike out in anger, to gossip, or become lazy, etc) teach someone else to control theirs? The spiritual path is a path of personal discipline. And in the discipline comes freedom. This is the ultimate paradox. Self-discipline brings freedom. When we are busy gossiping about someone, we are being drawn into the energy of that conversation. We are sending out bad energy to the person we are gossiping about, and in turn we are ensuring that we will have that bad energy returned to us, for what is sown shall surely be reaped....a spiritual principle. When we have overcome our urge to gossip through self-discipline, and remove ourselves from this type of situation, we set ourselves free from the energy entanglements
associated with it. Thus, disciplining our urges brings freedom to our soul.
Self-discipline and inner knowing do not come easily. They come from many long nights and sometimes years of struggling to know who we really are and to understand what it is we are here for. They come from spiritual searching and the asking of questions, from taking vows and sticking to them and from establishing a daily spiritual practice. THIS is Priestess training. This is spiritual discipline, and this is what makes us able to become representatives of the Great Goddess Herself.
White Moon studies are a 13 month course in Priestess training, at the end of which students may go on to become High Priestesses through more training. These lessons change lives. They teach students to
find out who they really are, what they really think and feel, and they give them the courage to begin to stand up for that. They teach and encourage self-discipline. They raise self-esteem and empower
women to be able to stand up and say "I am Goddess". White Moon studies speak to the core of who we are, and make us strong women. This is what Priestess training should involve. A change in the
student at the very core of their being, and this is what White Moon studies deliver. White Moon has several branches and teachers which can be found here:

http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/schools/index.html

If you are interested in Priestess training, and feel that you are able to make that commitment, please contact one of the White Moon High Priestesses to begin. You will not regret it.

About the Author: Morgana is a High Priestess with the Order of the White Moon and founder of Daughters of the Greening online school. She is a registered healer and her life and school focus on the healing of the Earth and animal rights. She is currently accepting new students.
Email:
morgana@daughtersofthegreening.com

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Meeting our Sisters

Interview with Nessa Cresentmoon

In each of our issues, we will be interviewing one of our members so that you, our readers, can learn a little more about us by meeting the Sisters who make up The Order of the White Moon. This month, our Sister and High Priestess Nessa CrescentMoon has graciously agreed to be interviewed. Here is the interview:

To begin with, tell us a little bit about your 'muggle' life.

Where are you from?
I'm Illinois born and raised !

Do you have a significant other?
Oh Yes....a groovy hubby

Any kids?
We have three children....1 daughter age 21; and 2 boys ages 11 & 7.

Do you work outside the home? What do you do?
I do work outside the home. I work in a high school library!

Describe your education?
Varied. I'm a jack of all trades, master of none!

I completed high school.  I've a Food Service Sanitation License.(hmm I think it's up for renewal shortly)

Much later I went back to college to get my Certified Nursing Assistant Certification

and even much later..........I went back again to study library and information sciences.  

As for my more eclectic spiritual studies......I completed levels 1-3 in the White Moon School, and completed Level 4 in the OWM. I also study with Shekhinah Mountainwater....I've taken various workshops with Ruth Barrett and also take part in ongoing open studies with a local coven ......and I've belonged to a womans New Moon Circle for the past 8 years where we study, compare, and share wisdom.

Can I include my parents.............can I include all of my sisters????.....lol.. and maybe everyone else in the world...I think I'm a student of life....or at least an observer and I learn from that

Describe your spiritual path?
My personal path is Multi-Denominational Goddess Spirituality. My spiritual beliefs are an on going evolution of my upbringing, my studies at the White Moon School of the Feminine Divine, and my personal studies of the world’s religions and myths. I honor all spiritual paths and integrate those particular spiritual practices that enhance my own personal path. 

I feel that there is no third party between Woman and Goddess. I believe in reclaiming the role of Priestess so that we, as women empower ourselves to begin the process of healing ourselves and bring spiritual balance to the Earth. It is my belief that spiritual healing comes from our connection to the Feminine Divine.

I deeply believe that the Divine Feminine connects women from assorted spiritual backgrounds and that through this connection we can rejoice in and respect our diversity and learn and grow from one another.

How did you find the Order of the White Moon?
Web searching for priestess training after making a commitment to the Winter Witch to work and explore the Priestess aspect of the witch

How long have you been studying with us?
My level 4 studies were completed in July of 2005....but what gets me  is that even though I've begun a branch school, that I feel like I am continually learning. Yeah...I know my lessons are over...but with each new student- it really is amazing at what awesome insights and perspectives that they gift me with. I feel like they are my "continuing education" in many ways. I think I like that a lot.


How have these lessons affected your life?
In such a deep and fascinating way.....I once commented that Level 1 was like touching then scratching the surface.....Level 2 was for me. like taking out a shovel and digging in....and Level 3 was well....like bringing out the back-hoe and seeing what makes me tick!  Level 4....my experience was a broadening of myself.

if you would have asked me years ago about myself, I would have run in the opposite direction, unavle to articulate what it was that was within me. The further I went with my lessons, the more I actually found out about myself and even though my level lessons are completed I still feel I learn every time I read another sisters lesson....our perspectives are so unique (but sometimes I find myself commenting..."Yes! Me too!!!! me too sister!!"

What are your goals for the future?  
My goal is to continue my ongoing support in our OWM community.  I also hope to create a few more online mini-courses (I've many thoughts brewing in my mind!).

Thank you Nessa CrescentMoon for sharing a little bit of yourself with our readers!! It is truly a pleasure to work with you Sister!

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Holistic Living

Essential Oils: What Are They Good For?
by Desert Star

Essential oils have many properties and can help in several different areas for your life. Below is a short list of ailments that occur in our daily lives and those oils that are helpful for each ailment. Remember: These are not the only essential oils that can be used, just a very small guideline.

Abscesses/Boils: Basil, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus,
Geranium, Juniper, Lavender,
Rosemary, Thyme, Tea Tree
Acne: Aspic, Calendula, Chamomile, Juniper, Lavender,
Myrrh, Neroli, Patchouli, Tea Tree, Thyme
Allergies: Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Rose
Anxiety: Bergamot, Basil, Clary Sage, Cinnamon, Coriander,
Jasmine, Neroli, Orange, Pine, Ylang Ylang
Asthma: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Rosemary
Coughs: Aniseed, Cypress, Fennel, Niaouli, Thyme
Depression: Bergamot, Basil Geranium, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Neroli,
Nutmeg, Pine, Rose, Ylang Ylang
Eczema: Bergamot, Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon Balm,
Rosemary
Headache: Basil, Clary Sage, Fever Few, Lavender, Lemon Balm,
Marjoram, Neroli, Peppermint, Rose, Ylang Ylang
Insect Bites: Bergamot, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Tea Tree,
Insomnia: Chamomile, Lavender, Marjoram, Neroli, Rose, Rosewood,
Sandalwood
Menopause: Clary Sage, Cypress, Geranium, Lemon Balm
Sore Muscles: Ginger, Juniper, Mint, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Pine,
Rosemary, Thyme
Nervousness: Bergamot, Coriander, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Marjoram
PMS: Chamomile, Clary Sage, Marjoram, Neroli, Ylang Ylang
Stress: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Fennel, Lavender, Neroli, Rose,
Sandalwood, Vetiver

Sunburn: Chamomile, Lavender
A few precautions when using essential oils
* Dilute essential oils in carrier oil before applying to
the skin. This helps prevent skin irritation.
* If your skin is sensitive to the oil, discontinue use
immediately.
* Do not use stimulating essential oils before bedtime
* Do not use sleep inducing essential oils during the daytime
* Take care not to get oils or vapors in the eye.
* Store essential oils in amber colored glass bottles in a dark and
cool place
to avoid rapid deterioration.
* Clearly label all bottles and jars that contain blends

About the Author: Desert Star is a Level II student, enrolled in the White Moon course with Daughters of The Greening. A Reiki practitioner and Master Herbalist, using Tarot and Life Coaching to provide encouragement and support when assisting you to discover and achieve your DREAMS.
©2007 Desert Star Studios

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Herb of the Month:
By Lady Silver MoonWolfe

First we will have tips of the month, and then take one herb exploring it magically, medically, and Culinary, providing you with helpful uses. I hope you learn how important it is to learn one herb at a time. It is a never ending process.

Herbs-Ground Tips  It is best to keep in containers that shield them from light. For more flavor, crush dried herbs between your fingers before adding them to a dish. Place herbs in a small bowl and snip them with scissors until minced.

One of my favorite and easiest herbs to grow is Basil. So let's explore Basil.

Basil: Ocimum basilicum
Basil belongs to the same family as mints and possesses the same square (quadrangular) stem that is so common to the mint family. The leaves are dotted with dark oil cells and when gently bruised, release a delightful aroma. There are several varieties differing in size, shape, odor, and color of the leaves such as sweet basil, opal basil, cinnamon basil, anise basil and  the purple leaved varieties.

Basil is easy to grow. It is an annual herb, and most everyone's favorite herb in recipes. You can add Basil to several of your favorite dishes, with over two dozen different types of Basil to grow. Choose your favorite. Basil is easily grown from seed and will reach up to 2-3 feet in height and in diameter.. Basil is not frost resistant. Be sure to plant after the soil has warmed. It needs full sun however, it will need more moisture than most herbs. Keep it watered, especially in container pots. You can bring basil inside as a window herb. It is wonderful to go and just snip a few sprigs of basil to add to a recipe for the table or magically. Even though Basil is easy to grow make sure you do not let it flower as the flowering will stop its growth. Simply pinch it off but be gentle. To harvest basil, cut off the stems, and strip the leaves for your favorite recipe. Some like sweet basil. Basil can be frozen, dried and preserved in oil.  Basil is available year round in most produce sections, dried or fresh. Add leaves to salad or sandwiches with your lettuce, sautéed at the last minute with almost any vegetable and add to soups. It is wonderful in herbal vinegars mixed with oregano and thyme.  Combine Basil with thyme, parsley, chives, garlic and oregano. Try it in pea or bean soups and or with vegetables such as eggplant. Basil can be stored in sealable bags or added directly to your pasta or soups. Add some to your ice trays for a different taste. If you grow a lot of basil air dry by hanging small bundles to air dry
In India the basil plant, known as Tulsi, is sacred to both Krishna and Vishnu and cherished in the Hindu household. In villages in Greece, it is not uncommon to see a sprig of basil resting behind a person's ear to confer its protecting spirit on the wearer.

Magically -Basil protects from evil and negativity, and aids in attracting and keeping love. It is used for purification baths, and in wealth and prosperity rituals. Carrying a basil leaf in your pocket brings wealth. Used as a magickal herb in rites of initiation and for spells associated with a need for courage and in aiding the soul on its final journey. Used by some earth religions to invoke the presence of dragons by use as incense or as a ritual drink. Is said to remove fear of having a psychic vision and said to protect from the unknown and from fears associated with spiritual growth. In rituals involving Tarot, is used as a compliment to the death card (13). Used in blessing a new home by adding to the cleaning water used for scrubbing floors and walls and cleaning in general which takes place before unpacking. Used in rituals of purification.

MEDICINAL: Basil is used to treat stomach cramps, vomiting, fevers, colds, flu, headaches, whooping cough, and menstrual pains. It is also used to reduce stomach acid, making it a valuable part of any treatment for ulcers, and a valuable addition to any recipe using tomatoes for those with sensitive stomachs. Externally, it can be used for insect bites, to draw out the poisons. It has been used in other countries to eliminate worms from the intestines, and the oil from basil leaves is applied directly to the skin to treat acne.  It can be used for nervous tension and mild nervous disorders alone or combined with sage (1 part basil combined with 2 parts sage to make an infusion). Dried leaves in the form of snuff have been used for nervous headaches.  A cold infusion of the leaves is taken just before setting out for travel sickness. Combined with dandelion leaves, licorice root, and parsley as a mild laxative. Basil is used for rheumatism. Seeds were once taken internally against snakebite, placed on wounds as a culinary, and used to cure warts. Basil helps with respiratory complaints by removing mucous and congestion from the lungs and nasal passages. For fungus infections, insect bites and sores, place the fresh crushed leaves directly on the afflicted area and secure it with some gauze. You can add honey to the leaves for its natural anti-biotic, anti-septic, and anti-microbial properties. For those afflicted with nervous exhaustion, make a tea to help lift the spirits. Combined with leaves of lemon balm and rose petals as an infusion for mild depression.
This is not inclusive of Basil as there are many varieties and properties. I hope you will take the time to learn more about Basil magically, culinary, and medicinally.

Fresh Infusion = 2 tsp in 1 cup water and steeped 7-10 minutes.
Dried Herb = 1 tsp in 1/2 c. water; steep, strain and take 1 to 2 cups daily as needed.
Tincture = 10 to 30 drops.

****NOTE: before starting any type of herb remember to consult with your physician.

Basil and Bread Salad
12 ounces day-old Italian or French bread
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 pound mozzarella cheese, diced 1/2-inch
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup basil leaves, cut into slivers
12 romaine lettuce leaves
Cut bread into rough 3/4-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over bread and toss to mix well. Add tomatoes, pepper, mozzarella cheese, garlic and basil. Mix gently. Arrange romaine leaves on a serving platter and spoon salad over leaves.

Basil Mayonnaise
This wonderful mayonnaise can be used for burgers, sandwiches, or to coat chicken before roasting.
Ingredients:
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Blend in food processor or blender until smooth.

Basil Puree
Ingredients:
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups washed and dried basil leaves
Blend until pureed. Transfer to clean jar. Store in refrigerator. Each time you use it stir and then top with a thin layer of oil. It will keep one year by doing this. This is good on grilled chicken or fish, stirred into soups or mixed with sun dried tomatoes and broiled on bread.

Basil Butter
1 stick butter, softened
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
Cream butter, beat in garlic and lemon juice. Mash in basil; season with salt and pepper. Place bowl in refrigerator to firm butter. For a nice, simple appetizer use room temperature butter on grilled pieces of baguette or French bread.

Basil Chicken Salad
Ingredients:
1 cup leftover grilled Chicken Breast, diced
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup Red Grapes, halved
1/2 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Combine all ingredients and chill thoroughly. Recipe makes 4 servings.

About the Author: MoonWolfe is 52 years young. I am a registered Healer of the Art of Reiki. I am currently working on saving the dolphins in captivity. I drum to heal Mother Earth.

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The Lammas stone – Tiger’s Eye
By Spiralotus

Lammas which is associated with the sun and harvests, seemed an appropriate time to discuss the stone, tiger’s eye. Tiger’s Eye is a variety of quartz that is yellow and brown which works well on the solar plexus. The solar plexus chakra is likened to a person’s inner or personal sun. It is associated with will power, self-empowerment and Prana. Prana is subtle energy that can be directed throughout the body to heal itself.

Tiger’s eye is a protective stone used for repelling negativity. It can be used for manifesting ideas into reality. As a healing stone, this form of quartz can be used for lung diseases, asthma, blood purification, and digestive disorders. Naisha Ahsian says tiger’s eye is wonderful for the balance of Solar and Earth energies allowing us to remain centered as we face life’s challenges.

The color yellow links this stone with wisdom, lessons and solar power. The brown on tiger’s eye is associated with objects, possessions and gifts. Scott Cunningham describes tiger’s eye as a protective stone that attracts money, good luck and enhances courage. This stone’s attributes make it a wonderful Lammas stone!

Because of this stone’s solar associations, I would cleanse and charge it in a sunny window or outside in the sun after use. To attune your tiger’s eye to a particular working you could hold it in your dominant hand sending in the energy you wish to use it for. Reiki practitioners might wish to reiki their stone, using the distance symbol to clear it before putting in their intentions for use.

For your Lammas celebration why not put some tiger’s eye on your altar with the sunflowers and cornbread? The yellow of the stone would honor the Sun’s power; the brown in it would honor the Earth’s energy. While giving thanks for your year’s bounty during the first harvest, your tiger’s eye would be imbued with the energy of Lammas. Throughout the year carry your Lammas stone with you to attract prosperity, luck, balance and solar energy, while providing you with a reminder of your many blessings.

About the Author: Spiralotus is High Priestess with the Order of the White Moon. As a Reiki Master and Herbalist, she trains women in the healing arts. Her healing school is Greenfire Wise Woman Craft.

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Sacred Sites

Machu Picchu
By Lila

Winter Solstice June 21, 1993

We arrive at Machu Picchu before dawn and prepare for the sunrise ritual. Our group has spent the week preparing for this moment. Strangers when we meet, the workshops and tours of sacred sites bring us closer together. To culminate at this moment, dawn, on top of the world.

I have been transformed on this trip. I try to walk barefoot everywhere, "like our women", the locals say. I even climb Huayna Picchu (that famous mountain behind the sacred site) with no shoes on.
At the peak, we rest and watch the condors circle, large black dots in the distant ether. I am on top of the world yet feel strongly connected to Pachamama (Mother Earth). I also rarely use my glasses except for times I really want to see something. No mean feat as I can barely see past my nose without them. I learn to accept the blur and wear my glasses only when necessary. I find that I am able to "see" beyond the mundane.

We had visited the ancient sites around Cuzco, the center of Incan civilization. Saqsaywaman (sexy woman our interpreter would joke) is the site of many ancient rituals. We participated in the Sun Festival, Inti Raymi, where people from all corners of this ancient land met and paraded in colorful native costume and, of course, the reading of the llama entrails which foretold abundant crops this year and a reminder to everyone to share, share share. Outside of Cuzco, lies a stone wall with niches in it. No one knew for sure why it was built. Some of the intuitives in the group stood within the niches. They appeared to be inter-dimensional portals. This would be a place to explore further. We enjoyed the cleansing hot springs of Aguas Calientes which lie below Machu Picchu along the Urubamba river at the edge of the Great Rain Forest.

Machu Picchu is the embodiment of the sacred feminine. The surrounding peaks hold the spiritual force of the Mother. Nestled near the top of the site is the Pachamama stone. It stands 6 meters long and 3 meters high ( 20' by 10'). It is a blessing to touch this stone and as I place my palms against the cool surface, I feel the vibration and strength of Pachamama flow through me. Touching the forehead to the stone opens up the third eye and enhances visions. I feel blessed by the Mother. These Pachamama stones are found throughout the Incan Empire. I still feel the vibration and my connection to Goddess when I look at my photo of the Pachamama stone from Machu Picchu.

There are four main animal totems of the Incan people. The condor, puma, bear and snake. These images are found through out Machu Picchu. The condor (which is the south American counterpart of the Bald Eagle) is found carved out of a rock wall, the wings outspread. Snake follows a stone staircase leading up to what is known as the intihuatana, the hitching post of the sun. Many of these hitching posts were discovered at various sites we visited and are considered sacred places for solstice ritual. The body of the puma is an altar, again carved in stone in one of the buildings. The bear was the most difficult to locate and is the only feminine-aspect totem. It is found in a cave, the Temple of the Moon, on Huayna Picchu. It is out of the way and one must first climb up the mountain to find the path that then winds down toward the cave. It is a site sacred to the feminine and I feel the strength of Her presence here. It seemed fitting somehow, that the female would be represented by a cave, the womb of the mountain.

And now it is dawn, we stand gazing in the East awaiting the arrival of the sun to mark winter, the rainy season of this land. People are chanting. The OM builds as the light peaks over the great stone walls. I feel myself vibrating and resonating with the group. And the sun bursts forth. People are crying, laughing, hugging. What a joy to be a part of this ancient and sacred ceremony. I feel as if our prayers and intentions caused the sun to rise.

Most of the tour group returned to their home countries after this event, but a few of us remained. We stayed at the hotel next to Machu Picchu. We were privileged to gain after hours access to the site. We sat, a small group, and meditated as the sun sank. We suddenly find ourselves lost, in darkness, on this sacred place built high on a mountain top. Our meager flashlights offer little in the way of finding our path. Two people volunteer to return to the hotel to find our guide. The rest of us gather in one of the rooms to await his arrival. I spend my time gazing at the stars. The Southern Cross is magnificent here and I am constantly mesmerized as I have never seen it before coming to this land. I am in an altered state. I feel a tap on my shoulder. Our guide has arrived but before we leave, he wants us to participate in a sacred ceremony. We line up in pairs and enter a roped off area to meditate and pray at an ancient altar. We then return to our comfortable rooms. I am still unsure what has happened but I feel like I have been a participant in some ancient tradition and feel honored to have had the experience.

About the Author: Lila is an initiate in The Sacred Three Goddess School. She lives on a mountain in beautiful British Columbia with her husband, four cats, two ferrets and other varied critters of nature. She spends her time communing with the Faerie folk and longs walks by the river.

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Gardening with the Goddess


Borage and Bindweed
By BellaDonna

The first year I had a garden, I planted borage. Just one plant, because I wanted to see how well it would do in my unshaded clay soil. I needn't have worried; it grew tall and strong, with huge
bunches of beautiful blue flowers hanging down over its many green leaves. This was a VERY beautiful, healthy plant, and I was delighted. Then one morning I arrived to find it dead! I was shocked, and carefully examined it to find out what had happened. In the very center, wound around the thick, prickly stem, was a plant known as bindweed, or wild morning glory. Bindweed has a thin, delicate-looking, tendril-like stem and pretty, pale flowers. It also has a strong underground root and stem system, allowing it to spread quickly and root firmly. Bindweed appears innocuous, unassuming, and totally harmless; in fact, it is quite deadly to any plants growing in its vicinity. This plant had sprouted behind the borage, just under its large leaves, and had quietly wound up around the center of the plant, tightening its grip as it grew. Essentially, it had crushed the stem, strangling the borage from the center. The plant had died from the inside out, so I never even saw the danger until it was too late.
To me, this was a strong message from the Goddess about avoiding negativity. When we allow negativity too close to our lives, it acts like bindweed, sneaking in beneath the shadows that we cover with the strong, positive outward face we present to the world. We usually don't even realize, until it is too late, that it is slowly but surely invading our space, winding around our spirits and slowly crushing the joy out of us. The best way to keep it at a safe distance is to stay constantly connected with the Goddess, check in frequently with our Selves, and root out any negative thoughts and feelings early, before they have a chance to wind themselves around our hearts.
Mother Gaia, keep me rooted in joy today!

About the Author: BellaDonna lives in Hayward, CA, where she runs a small eclectic coven. Her hobbies are gardening, belly dance, crocheting, Renaissance faires, travel, and cats (she has nine!).  Currently working on her MA in Anthropology, she is fascinated by mummies and ancient Egypt. She has traveled to Ireland, Jamaica and Mexico, and hopes someday to visit Crete, Malta, Egypt and Delphi. She is currently a student of The Triple Three Goddess School, and will soon be initiating to Level I.

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Ritual Work

Red Room Meditation
By Venus Being

(This is a meditation to gain knowledge about yourself; your walk threw life and your fellowship and
oneness with the Goddess)

Items Needed

• Favorite incense for meditation
• At least one red candle
• Favorite meditation music

(*note these are not necessary, just perhaps helpful)

Start music, light incense and candle, get comfortable. Take deep cleansing breaths; inhaling
deeply, visualizing a white light traveling up your left side. Exhale slowly visualizing all negativity
leaving your body. (Do this 4 times)

Then take deep cleansing breaths; inhaling deeply visualizing a white light traveling up your right
side. Again exhale slowly visualizing all negativity leaving your body. (Do this 4 times).

Again inhale deeply, visualizing the white light traveling up the center of your body through your
chakra points. Exhale slowly again releasing all negativity as though a fountain is shooting out from
the top of your head. (Again doing this 4 times)

You should now be very relaxed and calm. So now envision yourself entering a red room... feel the redness of the room seeping into your body. You look around and the only thing in the room is a bed. The bed looks to be filled with deep red water. You gently touch the surface of the bed expecting your hand to sink into it like a tub of water; but it doesn’t. There is a thin membrane covering this red water. You decide to see what happens if you lay down on it. So you climb onto to the bed and lie back and close your eyes. You feel your body slowly sinking down into the bed. You feel the redness once again seeping into your body until you are completely surrounded with it. You are unafraid. Now stay there feeling the water as it seeps into your body. Feel it flowing threw your veins. Note how you feel... What insight do you receive?

Continue sinking deeper into the bed. Slowly the color surrounding you changes to orange embracing your body. You now feel the orange seep into and flow through you. Acknowledge the color and note how it makes you feel and any insight you receive.

Continue sinking deeper into the bed. Slowly the color surrounding you changes to yellow embracing your body. You now feel the yellow seep into and flow through you. Acknowledge the color and note how it makes you feel and any insight you receive.

Continue sinking deeper into the bed. Slowly the color surrounding you changes to green embracing your body. You now feel the green seep into and flow through you. Acknowledge the color and note how it makes you feel and any insight you receive.

Continue sinking deeper into the bed. Slowly the color surrounding you changes to blue embracing your body. You now feel the blue seep into and flow through you. Acknowledge the color and note how it makes you feel and any insight you receive.

Continue sinking deeper into the bed. Slowly the color surrounding you changes to indigo embracing your body. You now feel the indigo seep into and flow through you. Acknowledge the color and note how it makes you feel and any insight you receive.

Now you are sinking into the color of white. Feel it embracing you, flowing threw you. Here you notice that you are no longer alone you are in the presence of the Goddess. Talk with her of your feelings or whatever you have need of or need to know, communing with her as a dear friend. Stay and visit as long as you wish. When you have finished your visit with the Goddess close your eyes counting backwards 3, 2, 1 your back in the red room on top of the red bed. You feel happy, invigorated and filled with knowledge. When you are ready get up from the bed, open the door and your eyes.

NOTE: Here if you’re doing a ritual continue on with the body of the ritual. If this meditation exercise is your ritual then you’ll want to ground yourself.

About the Author: Venus Being is an initiate of the Order of the White Moon, and a student at Daughters of the Greening. She lives in PA.

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OWM Awareness

Creating awareness through sharing with readers what's going on in the Order of the White Moon.

Fundraising Update
by Nessa CrescentMoon

Soon, yes soon! The Order of the White Moon will be making available to students and members for a donation wonderful T-shirts and commemorative mugs. We currently have a select amount in our possession and we hope to have the website for this spectacular offering up after we return from our annual OWM Gathering! Keep an eye out for further announcements!

About the Author: Nessa CrescentMoon is a High Priestess, an Ordained Minister and the Founder of The Triple Moon School, a branch and affiliate of the Order of the White Moon. Her website is www.thetriplemoon.com

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Our annual OWM Gathering
by Nessa CrescentMoon 

As I write this I realize that our annual gathering might be over by the time you read this! Ah….well, for that I apologize and hope that I shall be seeing many of you there. This year was my first time organizing our gathering and it went quite smoothly. I’m anticipating connecting with sisters face to face, attending several workshops, honoring sisters at they initiate into new levels, and reaching out into the ether and connecting with sisters that are unable to join us for the main ritual. 

This year we are meeting in the Pocono Mountains ! Gorgeous scenery, peaceful lakes, and the sky….oh a sky that never ends! I’ve been to a couple of gatherings, and each time I have met some truly phenomenal women, and learned glorious things, and have left a better woman…if that makes sense *smile*.  My thought is that if we all met in my back yard, I would still feel so wide and deep, inspired in sisterhood! *lol*  Yes…..it is truly that powerful meeting a sister face to face, embracing her in all of her Goddess Glory! 

This year we will have the opportunity to share, learn and grow from one another in some fascinating workshops such as Shamanic Journeys, Vision Boards, Gemstones, Wild Woman Journaling!  I am thrilled, I mean just thrilled. Not often enough is wisdom shared in such a nurturing and embracing and loving fashion as it is within a workshop gathering. 

Did I mention I am also looking forward to some food? Oh Yes…..the connoisseur that I am, loves to try new things…like last year…Indian food…new to my palette…and now I am hooked! 

Well, I’m off to pack…! I’ll tell you all how it went when I get back!

Love! Nessa

About the Author: Nessa CrescentMoon is a High Priestess, an Ordained Minister and the Founder of The Triple Moon School, a branch and affiliate of the Order of the White Moon. Her website is www.thetriplemoon.com

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Weekly Tarot Zodiac 
by Nessa CrescentMoon

The Tarot Zodiac columns are guest written by students and members of the Order of the White Moon using Tarot cards.  The writer will often pray, meditate, and ask for guidance for the week ahead to share with others. Along with twelve cards representing the signs of the zodiac, there is also card drawn that we call the ‘Wild Card’ that offers an overarching message for the week in connection to your Sun sign. You may also wish to read the corresponding reading of your Moon sign and your Rising sign for a more personalized reading.   It is our deepest hope that you return often to enjoy our offerings; as we are pleased to be of service in this way. 

Please visit the horoscope website located at
http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/zodiac/index.html
  
  
for your up to date tarot zodiac horoscope!

About the Author: Nessa CrescentMoon is a High Priestess, an Ordained Minister and the Founder of The Triple Moon School, a branch and affiliate of the Order of the White Moon. Her website is www.thetriplemoon.com

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The Bardic Soul: Poetry and Song For The Spirit

Shamanism: The Journey
By Shalimar

Micah lit the sage bundle and helped me to fan the smoke from the sage over myself. I cleansed my aura from head to foot before handing the sage bundle back to Micah. I lay down in the circle. Micah left the circle from the east and symbolically closed the door with tobacco. Micah picked up a drum that appeared to look like a double hoop with rawhide stretched over it. It had a painting of a hawk on it. He picked up a decorated stick with a soft mound on one end and hit it against the drum. It resonated a beautiful tone. Micah sat down and started drumming, and I closed my eyes. I let the drumbeat take me deeper and deeper into a trance state. I felt myself pulled in, deeper and deeper until I stood before a large Triquerta. I smiled. The Doorway to the Triquerta. I took a step forward, and a dragon appeared. I swallowed the desire to scream. I stared at the dragon.

I felt him tell me that he was the guardian of the Doorway to the Triquerta. I closed my eyes, silently asking the Great Mother what I should do next. I heard a name sound in my head. I opened my eyes and said to him, “I am Shalimar, the Shadow Weaver. He turned and the doorway opened up. I started to step through the doorway when he spoke to me.

          “Beware, Shalimar the Shadow Weaver, for you do not have your guide with you.”

          I turned and looked at him. “Who is my guide?”

          “Only you can know that,” he said.

I frowned. I stood there for several moments, trying to remember Michael Harner’s teachings on journeying. I knew that a guide led you, helped protect you and kept you from becoming lost, but I had been poor at these journeys and could not figure out who was meant to guide me. I knew I couldn’t delay. I felt a strong sense of urgency. I must find my way through the Doorway of the Triquerta as if my life depended upon it. And there was this mounting sense of urgency. I had a terrible feeling it had more to do with writing the book that would serve as the next key than anything else. And I wanted to weep with frustration.

I was bad at this.

I looked at the guardian of the doorway. I should heed his warning, but there wasn’t time. This was going to come down to faith—faith that my guardian was watching over me, even if I couldn’t see him. I entered the doorway.

I stepped down a long cave like tunnel. A small creek ran down the tunnel, over dark rocks, the sound of the water trickling, echoing off the walls. I spotted the end of the tunnel and went towards it as fast as I could over the slick stones and the rocky terrain.

I stood at the end of the tunnel looking out. There was nothing but mist. I closed my eyes. My heart beat wildly. I wasn’t good at this.

Every book that I had read on this subject had held a key. It was like each book held a piece of information that led to further my understanding. A key to unlock my consciousness. A key to unlock another door to understanding. Now, I was supposed to write a book. Another key. Another book geared towards furthering my understanding. And I was terrified.

I opened my eyes and faced the mist. I knew that shamanic journeys usually led to one of three places. The upper world, where I could speak to my guides and teachers. A middle world where I could understand what was around me and a lower world where I could meet my power animal. I gathered that I had been heading towards the lower world. Perhaps I was to find my power animal there.

I stepped into the mist, but I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I stumbled out into the mist and was swallowed by it. I turned around to find the cave tunnel but couldn’t see it. I headed towards what felt was the few small steps that I had walked out into the mist, but I could not locate the mouth of the cave.

I swallowed panic. I couldn’t breathe. I felt as if I was closed into a confined space. I turned around and went several steps in the other direction. Nothing. There was nothing but mist.

I closed my eyes, trying to remember what teachings I had gone through in my journeys. Nothing I could remember helped me to figure out what to do.

I stumbled blindly in one direction, and then the other. Nothing. Panic blinded me, growing with every step I took. There was no way out. I could imagine myself stumbling around in the mist for an eternity—never finding my way out. Why hadn’t I listened to the guardian of the doorway.

The guardian of the doorway—that was it!

I stopped, going still inside, breathing deep. I found my center and saw an old woman sitting on a Native American blanket in a medicine wheel. I approached her. The old woman looked up at me and smiled. “Remember, who you are.”

The woman and the medicine wheel disappeared, the mist surrounding me. The guardian had said that I didn’t have my guide—and I had decided that I would have to have faith.

I stepped forward—and out of the mist.

I stood in front of my own door. I frowned. How did I get here? I turned looking down the street. I looked down at my feet. I crunched a small pebble under my shoe. What the heck?

I walked up the steps to my front door. I ran a fingernail over a piece of peeling paint on the door jam. If this were a journey, it was as real as any day I had ever lived through. I opened my door and went inside.

I heard the drumming. This was too surreal. I closed my eyes, willing myself to take the few steps toward the living room. I opened my eyes and came around the corner as if I walked in slow motion. There stood Micah, drumming. I looked down. There I lay in the circle, in a trance.

I propelled myself backward falling onto my butt, and still I scooted backward until I came up against the far wall. Heaven help me. This was just not happening.

How could I possibly be looking at myself lying within the circle? I had heard of this. I had studied this. But it was one thing to read it, and it was quite another to experience it. It had seemed like science fiction when I read it. Yet, on some level, I knew that it wasn’t made up. But experiencing it was another matter altogether.

What if I couldn’t find my way out?

I went upstairs to my library. I thumbed through several books, looking for something that would help me. I found nothing. I was probably too panicked to really find the answer I was seeking. I sat in total frustration, my brain not cooperating. What was I going to do?

The only thing I could think of was what the guardian had said. That I had not brought my guide. I thought about every attempt I had ever made to figure out who my power animal was in the journeys that I had attempted. I had been unsuccessful, but I remembered some of the things that were said about figuring out what animal might be my power animal. I remembered thinking about movies like Cat People, where I had been inextricably drawn to the large panther like cats in the movie. I had watched the movie repeatedly, even though it was a horror film. The idea of the Jaguar People pulled at me—tugged at some hidden place in me, like the barest remnants of a memory where nothing connected in the end—or made any sense.

I had always felt that it was too presumptuous to think that my power animal could really be the jaguar, for the jaguar was the medicine cat of the Native Americans and represented powerful medicine. I had felt that I had to be making up the idea that this could truly be my power animal.

I pulled at a thread that stuck up from the blanket on my bed, unseeing. I actually had several animals that I felt taught me valuable things every day.

The hawk often flew wherever I drove. I often knew what type of day I would have by what the hawk was doing. If he was being buffeted by the wind or harassed by other birds, it was likely to be a rough or turbulent day. But if he was gliding without a care, I would like have a day of smooth sailing myself.

The wolf reminded me of my family. He was his family’s protector. He watched over his family and all the other wolves of his clan, and the dolphin had a great psyche and the killer whale an unbelievable sense of what was going on in the watery world around him. The tarantula told me much about the weaving of the web around him and how all things fit together; including the stories that were weaved into the web. There was just no end to what I could learn from nature.

But the jaguar was my brother.

I knew there were no coincidences. The old woman—Amar had come to me. I knew, deep inside, that Amar was a shape-shifter. Micah had told me about my people, the Jaguar People. It all felt so surreal. I realized that there was one truth.

The thread I’d been tugging at while my thoughts led me where they would, suddenly came loose. It unraveled as I sat there staring at it in dumbfound bewilderment. Slowly, the thread started raveling itself into its own design.

I stared down at it.

The jaguar stared back.

The jaguar was my power animal.

About the Author: Shalimar has been a solitary practitioner for over seven years now. She is currently a student of the Triple Moon School of the Order of the White Moon and on her second level of Reiki.

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Just for Fun

Word Puzzle

2007 MoonWolfe

Z  N  A  D  T  H  A  N  K  F  U  L  N  E  S  S  N  O

N  E  P  U  Z  S  E  V  A  E  L  L  L  A  F  A  E  S

B  H  P  R  S  E  V  L  O  W  E  G  D  E  L  W  O  D

I  G  L  G  H  B  K  T  P  R  O  T  E  C  T  I  O  O

R  N  E  A  B  U  N  D  A  N  C  E  M  A  B  O  N  G

D  I  S  T  E  L  I  M  O  M  A  H  C  A  N  N  A  N

S  S  I  H  D  I  V  I  N  A  T  I  O  N  N  O  B  T

O  N  M  E  P  I  S  F  R  A  N  K  I  N  C  E  N  S

F  A  C  W  B  A  E  K  N  H  U  R  F  H  G  U  L  E

P  E  O  O  R  T  L  X  A  O  G  H  O  B  B  I  E  V

R  L  R  R  A  I  P  M  M  R  N  I  R  S  J  B  E  R

E  C  N  L  C  H  P  U  O  N  I  A  E  K  U  A  H  A

Y  O  K  D  I  A  A  C  W  O  L  N  S  S  D  L  W  H

A  C  I  H  A  N  V  A  E  F  A  N  T  I  G  A  N  T

N  T  N  Q  C  A  X  N  K  P  E  O  P  L  E  N  R  S

A  J  G  Q  A  U  K  E  A  L  H  N  L  I  M  C  O  R

H  T  E  D  P  O  S  T  N  E  M  A  A  S  E  E  C  I

I  T  H  E  M  U  S  E  S  N  O  U  N  A  N  R  B  F

T  T  H  E  S  P  I  N  X  T  U  G  T  B  T  C  C  I

A  Z  T  S  E  V  R  A  H  Y  L  E  S  S  U  A  L  L

Abundance

Durga

Obon

Anahita

Fall Leaves

Protection

Anahita

First Harvest

Rhiannon

Apples

Forest Plants

Rosemary

Apples

Frankincense

Snake Woman

Auge

Harvest

Sopdet

Balance

Healing

Sun Gods

Basilisks

Horn of Plenty

Tailtiu

Birds of prey

Inanna

Thankfulness

Braciaca

Judgement

The Muses

Chamomile

Knowledge

The Spinx

Cleansing

Laussel

The World

Corn King

Lugh

Wolves

Corn Wheel

Mabon

Xmucane

Divination

Mobon

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Weaving the Web

Weaving the (musical) Web
By Nessa CrescentMoon

Sisters of the Triple Moon

Yes, I am in a musical mood today. I’m enjoying a lovely heartfelt tussle with some wonderful artists that speak to my spirit. Who knows….perhaps you are already a fan, or maybe you’ll be one after a visit and a listen!Love!Nessa

Sophie B. Hawkins    http://www.sophiebhawkins.com/

Chicane   http://www.chicanemusic.com

Tori Amos   http://www.toriamos.com/

Brian Eno   http://www.anotherdayonearth.com

and a few individual songs for you to enjoy!

Jose Gonzales     A beautiful cover of The Knife’s song “Heartbeats”
http://youtube.com/watch?v=s4_4abCWw-w

Oh Laura   "Release Me"
http://youtube.com/watch?v=NjQXMZe2ouk

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About Us
Index To Order of the White Moon On-Line Courses
Donations Always Welcome
Our Goddess Gallery
Prayer Requests
Seasons of the Moon E-zine - Back Issues On-line
Traditions - Order of the White Moon
Weekly Tarot Zodiac

DISCLAIMER:
The articles featured in Seasons of the Moon are written and/or submitted by members of The Order of The White Moon and are their own intellectual property. Please feel free to share this publication but please do give credit where credit is due and link back to the source .

Thank you for reading, we hope that you have enjoyed it just as much as we have enjoyed presenting it to you!

Many blessings to you and yours!
Seasons of The Moon Staff

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