Volume 5 - Issue 3 - Inbolc 2008
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: Lila, Heathwitch, Nessa CrescentMoon, Spiralotus, Silver, Shalimar, Lady Silver MoonWolfe, BellaDonna
Webmaster and Publishing: Kelly, Heathwitch, Tranquillity Fearn
Imbolc and Vernal Equinox by Diana
Gardening with the Goddess
The Spirder by BellaDonna
One, The Movie by Lila
Just for Fun
Word Search by Lady MoonWolfe
Weaving the Web
Weaving the Web by Nessa CrescentMoon
Getting to know the Order of the White Moon
Do you believe it?
I attended a tele-circle last week about how we sometimes get in our own way while we are trying to achieve our goals. The idea that struck me most powerfully from the discussion was that you can set intentions and goals, be as positive as a cheerleader about them, doing affirmations and visualizations, but if deep down you don't believe that they can become reality for you - they won't. For example: you set a New Year's resolution, or a goal about changing your weight or moving forward in your career, and within a couple of weeks you stop working towards it because deep down you don't really believe you can achieve it anyways. How many times has this happened to you? It sure has happened to me more times than I'd like to admit.
This is a pretty frustrating phenomenon. How do you prevent it from happening? I believe the key to working with these deep seated beliefs is to face them head on. First, spend some time trying to understand them. Do you believe you can't succeed your intention because deep down you know it's not realistic? (such as wanting to lose 50 lbs in just a few weeks). Or maybe you believe you can't achieve your goals because you don't believe you deserve to achieve them or you're afraid of what it means to your life and relationships if you are successful? Whatever the reason, with this deeper inner knowledge, you are now empowered to work with yourself instead of against yourself.
It might mean giving yourself a realistic timeline to achieve your long-term goals, and setting bite-sized milestones to celebrate along the way. It might mean confronting some fears about yourself and deciding you deserve success and moving forward anyways. Or, it might mean taking a closer look at your life and relationships and rallying the people around you to become your cheerleading team. You might also realize, as a result of your time reflecting, that the goal you didn't believe in wasn't something YOU really wanted to do for yourself anyways. It might have been motivated by cultural or peer pressure or be something someone else encouraged you to do. With this new knowledge of yourself, you can set goals that feel right deep down and know that you can and will succeed.
About the Author: Artemisia is a High Priestess of the Order of the White Moon and co-founder of the Sisters in Celebration branch school. She is a Reiki & Wellness practitioner near Boston, MA. She posts tips and advice like this article regularly in her wellness blog: http://urbanvitality.blogspot.com
As we approach Imbolc, I think of the Goddess Brigid, a Celtic deity who is honored during this time of year. Around the beginning of February, between the first and third of the month, my healing students and I put out our “Bridie Blankets”. We put them out at night, usually on the ground, and it is said that Brigid will bless them as she walks by. These are blankets or sheets we would use throughout the year during our healing sessions. This holiday and our activities always makes me think of the Priestesses of Avalon, perhaps because we are honoring a Celtic deity or due to our group activities of creating blessed blankets.
Blue druzy chalcedony is associated with legends, lore, fairy tales, wise women, elves, Goddesses, and the collective unconscious. This stone can be used to tap into their teachings and wisdom for everyday use. Blue druzy chalcedony increases psychic awareness and the awareness of the magick of the past. It aids in meditation, visualization, gives a feeling of security, calms and soothes a person.
The color blue brings peace and understanding. Z. Budapest tells us to wear blue when we want to be trusted or heard in the workplace. Blue brings the flow of energy and increases communication. If a person has an inflammation, you can lay this stone on the area to bring cooling, flowing energy.
The next time you come home from work stressed, why not try meditating with a piece of blue druzy chalcedony. If you decide to do some magickal work and want to tap into our foremothers’ wisdom consider using this stone on your altar. Sleeping with a crystal often increases your connection and understanding of your stone’s purpose; just remember to keep your journal nearby to write what you have learned when you wake up.
Gemstones and Crystals by Diane Stein
The Goddess in the Office by Z. Budapest
Healing with Crystals and Chakra Energies by Sue and Simon Lilly
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.
This holiday comes from the Celtic calendar and was an honoring of Spring and the Goddess Brighid. This was a very harsh month in the Isles, but in the harshness signs of life and Spring could be seen. Imbolc was to honor Brighid and welcome in Spring, observing the signs that promised Spring was coming.
Imbolc has been adopted by modern Pagans and is celebrated on February 1 by the Celts and on February 2 by Pagans. It is also known as Candlemas. Some simple ways to honor the Goddess Brighid and observe Spring is through a spring cleaning, getting rid of the old, plant a tree, offer milk to a tree, begin a new course of study are just a few ways you may honor this holy day.
There are two equinoxes each year. It is when day and night are of equal length. The Vernal Equinox ushers in the season of Spring and many holidays are associated with it such as Easter, Ostara, festival of Norouz, and Earth Day was initially celebrated at this time. It is also when the Sun enters the sign of Aries, which will occur on Thursday March 20 at 1:48 am EDT.
Even though there may still be snow and the winds blow hard the Vernal Equinox brings the promise of Spring and that soon the Earth will awaken from its long winter slumber. It is said that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. The themes are balance, rebirth, awakening, new beginnings.
The March wind blows hard and cold
The sharp frozen winds of change
Blowing in and freezing my bones
Restlessness builds with the anticipation
With the promise of this last wintry blast
The promise that Spring is near
And life will emerge again
About The Author: Diana is an Ordained Minister, High Priestess, and Founder of Moonlit River a sister branch and affiliate of the Order of The White Moon, and current President of the Order of the White Moon. She is a Reiki Master, healer, and hypnotherapist and offers healings, attunements, and consultations. She is currently taking students.
“I don’t like spiders and snakes…” Well, I’ve never had a problem with snakes (in fact, I actually like them), but I grew up being absolutely terrified of spiders. All those creepy legs. If I found myself in a room with even the tiniest spider, my weapon of choice was the biggest hiking boot I could find. The second spring after I started my garden, a spider moved into my lavender bush. She was, apparently, a common variety of garden spider, but I had never seen one like her, and especially not up close and personal. She was actually very beautiful, but at first, all I could see was those LEGS… And the beautiful web she had spun right in the front of the bush.
At first, I poked holes in her web, hoping she’d find somewhere else to live. Every day when I arrived, I checked to see if she was gone yet. She wasn’t; she’d just patiently rebuilt her web in the same spot. After a while, I noticed that I wasn’t scared of her any more. In fact, I was actually looking forward to seeing her. And I started talking to her while I worked near the lavender bush. Hmmmm…
We kept company in my garden through the spring and into the summer. I got very comfortable around her, and began to see the real beauty of spiders, even their legs. Somehow, some things just don’t seem scary once you get to know them.
Then one day, I found the egg sac she had made next to her web. She was acting very strangely, ignoring her web completely, and walking around and around the sac continuously, as though she were guarding it. I knew then that her days were numbered, because once spiders lay their eggs, they die. And I was sad, because she was now my friend and I did not want to lose her. Because of her, spiders were no longer the enemy.
One day, several weeks later, she was gone. The egg sac was now empty, and both it and her tattered old web soon disintegrated into nothing. I hoped that one or two of her babies would take up residence in the lavender, but none did. I’ve never seen another spider like her in my garden since. I miss my friend. And I’m no longer much afraid of spiders.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know when I am being given a lesson
And shouldn’t even try
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 ten). 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 Level I Initiate of The Sacred Three Goddess School, and is working on Level II.
Keep your faith in beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone.
~Roy R. Gibson
It is the beginning of January and the thought of starting our gardens are in the air, our thoughts and planning stages. What, Where, When and How- so many Questions, questions, questions. Let's start fresh.
When preparing herbs you will need the following items:
Mortar and Pestle-for grinding
Bolline or sharp knife - used exclusively for working with your herbs
A large non metallic bowl-for mixing
A non metallic pot (such as enamel) with tight fitting lid-for brewing
Eyedroppers-for mixing oils
Small funnels-for transferring mixtures to jars
Cheese cloth, fine linen or coffee filters -for straining brews
A large amount of jars-for storing herbs and canning and don’t forget the labels.
The uses of herbs seem almost endless. It can also be confusing and a little overwhelming to those who are just beginning to learn about them. It's common and quite understandable, so don't feel like you're the only one. With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind as you delve in to the fascinating world of herbs.
Herbs can be used in a variety of ways and in various forms. They can be made into oils, condensers and balms for the body, candles, tools, gemstones, amulets and pouches, used in cooking, decorations, etc. In loose form they can be mixed with other herbs or used by themselves as incense, dream pillows, various sachets that can be carried or used in baths. The seeds of some can be strung together and worn as necklaces, the flowers woven together as garlands, or used to adorn altars. There's more, but you get the idea. While it would be wonderful if we could all afford, or have the room to stock a store full of herbs it is neither realistic nor necessary. How many herbs you wish to grow personally is your choice. You can grow herbs in a variety of ways- through gardens, window containers, small containers and recycled materials such as a wheelbarrow, the ideas are endless.
Experimenting, experience and common sense are the keys to remember. Don't be afraid to experiment If you are not familiar with an herb make sure you smell it before you purchase it. A smell you find offensive is not going to help you sleep. Keep a garden journal, and keep your budget in mind no matter what you are doing.
Don't throw any part of your culinary herb away. Save, dry and use the stems for flavoring in soups, stews, sauces. Even as stirrers for coffee, tea or beverages (mint or rose geranium).
After making pesto save the remnants by swirling some fresh squeezed lemon juice, or citrus or your favorite vinegar in the container. Scrape out and store for the next salad dressing you make.
Herbs, in particular, go beyond seed packet expectations: Basil can be a 3 x 4 foot shrub; Sage can reach small shrub tree size; Lavenders and Scented Geraniums can be the driveway hedge row.
It is always helpful to read the directions, soil type, zone, watering and how much sun.
First we will have tip 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.
Tips of the Month:
Herbal teas will stay fresh in your refrigerator for about one week when stored in an airtight container. Basic Herbal Infusions: When Using Leaves or Flowers steep two teaspoons of flowers or leaves per cup of water for about twenty minutes. Strain and store in a refrigerated, airtight container. The dose is one-fourth cup four times a day, not with meals. Children take one-eighth cup.
Rosemary - (Rosmarinus officinalis)
This well-known perennial evergreen shrub resembles pine needles. They are about 1 inch long with the tops being dark green and the underside lighter, even white. The parts used in aromatherapy and cooking are the leaves and twigs. Harvest the leaves anytime during the summer, but the leaves are at their best when flowering. You can use the herb fresh, dried or frozen year round. Rosemary has been used throughout history in all cultures for relieving depression, headaches, muscle spasms, skin ailments and wounds. It was burned in early hospitals to cleanse and purify the air. During the Middle Ages it was believed that if you placed Rosemary under your pillow, the aromatic herbs would repel bad dreams. Use it to help prevent mold. Place some in your refrigerator or around meat to season and prevent spoilage. It is a great way to add the flavor to meats.
Magickally: (An all purpose herb) Give a special friend a sachet filled with Rosemary. This is supposed to induce warm feelings in another. Holding some while reading or completing tasks is said to improve memory. When it is burned, rosemary emits powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations. It is smoldered to rid a place of negativity, especially prior to performing magic. It is one of the oldest incenses. When placed beneath the pillow it ensures good sleep and is said to drive away nightmares. It protects the sleeper from harm if placed underneath the bed. Hang it on your porch and doorposts to keep thieves from the house and carry it to remain healthy. It is a purifier in the bath. Add an infusion to the bath or smell the wood often to keep you youthful. Because of its curative vibrations, rosemary infusion is used to wash the hands before healing work, it is used to stuff healing poppets and the leaves mixed with juniper berries are burned in sickrooms to promote healing. Burn rosemary and inhale its smoke if you wish to gain knowledge or have a question answered. Grow it to attract elves. To rid yourself of depression and make your spirit lighter, powder the leaves and wrap in a linen cloth. Bind this to the right arm Rosemary is often used in place of frankincense (and works as well). Cleansing, Protection, Love, Lust, Mental Powers, Exorcism, Purification, Healing, Sleep, Youth.
Medicinal Properties Include: Carminative, Anti-spasmodic, Anti-depressive, Anti-microbial, Emmenagogue, Stimulant, Astringent, Nervine, Anti-inflammatory.
Medicinal Uses: Rosemary is both a physical and mental stimulant. It is excellent for treatment of all muscular conditions, good for nervous tension, depression and fatigue. It also enhances mental clarity, concentration and memory. It helps alleviate physical, emotional and mental lethargy. Strengthens and stimulates the heart and is beneficial for the liver, gallbladder, immune and respiratory systems.
Inhalation - Use to aid memory. Great while studying or concentrating.
Hair - Rub into the scalp to stimulate hair follicles. Helps relieves itch and dandruff.
Tea - Relaxes stomach muscles of the digestive tract and uterus. It is good for upset stomachs and menstrual cramps. Helps and aids with decongestant due to colds, flu and allergies. (See Recipe below)
Stimulating Bath - Add to the bath water for aches and pains. It is best after a work out or working outside in the garden.
Sachets: Place in a sachet and place under you pillow for dreams.
Blends: Mixes well with mint, bergamot, basil, lemon, juniper, lavender, thyme, and peppermint as well as many others.
Culinary - Use with vegetables, pork, eggs, fish, poultry, breads, and sauces. Make flavored olive oil by adding sprigs. Refrigerate oil after making. The flowers, with a milder flavor are added to food dishes. The flowers can be candied, preserved, or added to jellies, honey, vinegar and wine. Because of its strong flavor, rosemary should always be used sparingly, especially if dried, in which case it should first be soaked in hot water before being added to uncooked foods.
Other Uses: Boil a handful of rosemary in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes to make an antiseptic solution for washing bathroom fixtures. Shape the stems into barbecue skewers. Rosemary can be used as an insect repellant especially for moths and burned as incense.
Rosemary is both a physical and mental stimulant. It helps with muscular conditions, nervous tension, depression, fatigue, memory loss and good for the tension headache. Drink this tea to help clear sinuses, Bronchitis and colds. Good for an upset stomach. You can use it for a mouthwash for halitosis. It will help improve mental clarity, concentration and memory. It will help alleviate physical, emotional and mental lethargy. It helps to strengthen and stimulates the heart. It is beneficial for the liver, gallbladder, immune and respiratory systems.
1 tablespoon Jojoba carrier oil
3 drops Rosemary
Mix the Jojoba and Rosemary in a small bowl (tiny condiment bowls work great for this). Wet your hair with warm water and then apply the conditioner. Let it set on your hair for 15-30 minutes. Then, wash your hair as normal. Jojoba and Rosemary are helpful for dry hair. The Rosemary is also helpful for eliminating dandruff.
Shampoo for Dark Hair
4 Tbsp dried rosemary
3 pints boiling water
6 Tbsp castile soap, shredded
1 Tbsp borax
Put the rosemary in the boiling water, stir, cover and allow it to fuse for two hours. Strain and add the soap. Place on a low heat and whisk continuously until all traces of the solid soap have disappeared. Remove from the heat and blend in the borax. When completely cool, fold in the eggs and whisk until the mixture thickens. Bottle, label and leave to stand for 24 hours. Always shake the bottle before use. Refrigerate.
Solar Cleansing Brew
2 parts fern
2 parts juniper
2 parts rosemary
1 part cumin
1 part yarrow
1 part pepper
1 part rue
Place the ground, mixed and empowered herbs in a red bottle half-filled with water. Set this in the sun, let steep, strain. For a gentle cleansing, sprinkle the brew around the house at sunrise for three or four days every month
Rosemary Milk Tonic for Feet
1 cup hot milk
½ cup mint leaves
6 stems and leaves of rosemary
2 tsp peppermint extract
In a saucepan, simmer milk, mint, and rosemary over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain mixture through a filter, and stir in peppermint extract. Soak a clean, dry cloth with mixture and apply to feet, wrapping material around feet. Wrap in plastic if necessary. Tonic may be applied with a cotton ball instead for lighter treatment. This will make 1/2 cup for 1 application.
After Gardening Soak
1/4 cup Dried Rosemary
1/4 cup Dried Lavender
1/4 cup Dried Eucalyptus
Pour 4 cups of boiled water over herbs and let steep 20 minutes or longer. Remove herbs and add liquid to bath water. Relax.
Gather enough rosemary sprigs to fill a 2 1/2 cup measure, plus a little extra for decoration 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar-Makes about 2 1/2 cups. Place the rosemary sprigs in a sterilized bottle or jar. Fill to the top with vinegar. Cover tightly with a suitable lid and place in a sunny spot for about 4-6 weeks. Using a coffee filter, filter the vinegar mixture into a saucepan. Throw out the rosemary. Heat the vinegar to the simmering point but making sure that it does not boil. Place a fresh sprig or two of rosemary in your selected container and pour in the vinegar and seal tightly. Store in a dark place and use within 1 year.
*The Best of Thymes, Marge Clark, Thyme Cookbooks, 1997; ISBN: 0-9640514-1-9
*Blended Beauty, Philip B., Ten Speed Press,1995; 0-89815-742-0
*The Complete Book of Herbs, Lesley Bremness,Viking,1988; 0-670-81894-1
*The Complete Book of Herbs, Spices &The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews, *Scott Cunningham, Llewellyn, 1989; ISBN: 0-87542-128-8
*The Complete Medicinal Herbal, Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley,1993; 1-56458-187-X
*Cooking with Herbs, Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead, Clarkson Potter, 1989; 0-517-57139-0
*Cosmetics From the Earth, Roy Genders, Alfred van der Marck, 1985; 0-912383-20-8
*A Druid's Herbal, Ellen Evert Hopman,Destiny Books,1995; 0-89281-501-9
About the Author: LadyMoonWolfe is an Ordained Minister. I am working towards my HPS through the Daughters of the Greening with my HPS Morgana Ravenwings. I have been a student of metaphysics for the past 16 years and have been in-tune with other realms far back as I can remember. I am a Usui Reiki Master and Master Teacher of many other modalities. I am very active with my local pagan group in the Panhandle of Florida and Member of Mother Earth Drummers, where we drum to heal MotherEarth.
In the beginning of time, Creator sat the children around in a circle on Mother Earth and told each race about its individual responsibilities and its roles in the great sacred hoop of life. The sacred teachings were divided into four equal parts and with one part given to each tribe. The four root races were then sent to the four directions, each given a special knowledge of creation. The Yellow People were entrusted with Spirit and the element of fire. The Black People were given Soul corresponding to the element of water. the White People learned about the Mind and the element of air. And the Red People had Body and the element of earth. The Universal teaching of the Sacred Hoop or Medicine Wheel is this: We were placed on the Earth in Four Original Tribes and all people were Native to the Earth. We were originally given the same teachings, with different perspectives. We all need to share our knowledge with one and other, so that we all might grow greater in Spirit. The Creator does not hold one Nation above another and sent messengers to All Nations. The way of the Red People is called the Sacred Hoop.
The Sacred Hoop is more commonly refered to as a Medicine Wheel. As I was researching this topic, I came to realize, The Medicine Wheel is actually a White Man's term and many First Nations prefer the term Sacred Hoop. I will use both terms in this article, as most of us are familiar with the term Medicine Wheel and many spiritual groups use this terms to describe the sacred circle. I will refer to the Sacred Hoop in the context of First Nations spirituality. My intention is to share knowledge, I do not wish to offend or co-opt anyone's belief system or spiritual practice.
Sacred Hoops were constructed by laying stones in a particular pattern on the ground. Most medicine wheels follow the basic pattern of having a centre cairn of stones, and surrounding that would be an outer ring of stones, then there would be spokes , or lines of rocks, coming out the cairn. From above, the circle appeared in the form of a wagon wheel, hence the name given by the first white settlers, Medicine Wheel . The term was first applied to the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming, the most southern of the ancient sites and also one of the largest at 78 feet in diametre. Archaeologists believe these structures to be about 6000 years old. The majority of these sites are in the Plains of North America: Alberta, Montana, Wyoming. More recent sites have emerged throughout the United States, Canada and even England as more people learn to honour Spirit in ancient ways.
The Sacred Hoop honours the Four Directions, East, South, West and North, as well as Above (Father Sky), Below (Mother Earth) and Spirit (Within the Centre) and the Four Sacred Colours. The Circle represents the Circle of Life and the Center of the Circle represents the Eternal Fire. The Center is the power point of the circle and where all comes from. The Medicine Wheel symbolizes the individual journey we each must take to find our own path. A Medicine Wheel is a physical manifestation of Spiritual energy, a mirror in which we can better see what is going on within us. It is a wheel of protection that enables us to commune with Spirit, Self and Nature and all elemental forces. We call this interconnectedness, our realization that all things are one. A hoop, circle, wheel has no beginning and no end. The circle is important in many traditions as being symbolic of the lunar cycles, the seasonal cycles, even our own cycles from birth to death to rebirth. A timelessness is evident when we view the macrocosm and microcosm as one, ever changing, evolving, with the core, Spirit, remaining as an anchor. We are each given a particular point, at birth, on the great wheel which guides our life. But we must strive to gain knowledge and wisdom from all points to become a whole person.
Usually, four spokes create four quadrants on the Wheel. The four quadrants can represent many different ideas or concepts and their relationship to each other, the universe and the individual, such as:
* the four directions
* the four seasons
* the four stages of life: childhood, youth, adulthood and Elderhood
* the four parts of a person: mental, physical, spiritual and emotional
* the four distinct colours which also have symbolic meanings.
Although there are slight variations to the colours and animal guardians at each direction of the Sacred Hoop, depending on tribal custom, the basic meanings are very similar.
East- Beginings start in the east, from where the sun rises we begin a new dawn. Each day is a good new day with a fresh beginning, a new start. The light from the East brings wisdom. It is the power of knowledge. Our words are given to the east that the smoke in the air or the voices in the air may be carried to Spirit. It is the place of Spring, the season when all things begin to grow and awaken. It is the place of re-awakening after a long sleep, a victory over Winter and the power of new life. Symbolic colours are usually Yellow (to shine in all that you do) or Red (power or success). East is marked by Eagle. A point of illumination where all things are seen far and wide. Other power animals of the East include Hummingbird, Owl and Hawk.
Tobacco is the sacred herb that is associated with the East. It is used to offer prayers at the Sacred Fire where people burn semma and tobacco ties. Semma is also smoked in sacred pipes.
South- This is the place of passion in all things, sex, fertility, mating - the fires that burn within. South is the direction of fire, like the Phoenix, we can rise from the flames. It is the time of mid-day, the hottest part of the day, the part when the sun is overhead and no shadows are cast. Maturing and growing into an adult to be that who we are meant to be. It is the time to accept the change and learn, to understand. South is the sun at its highest point. It is the direction from where warm winds blow. South is the spirit of earth, the power of life. It represents peace and renewal. This is the place of Summer, a time of plenty. The South is also a place for innocence, trust and for perceiving closely things of nature and of the heart. Symbolic colours for the south may include White (peace and happiness) or Red (fire and passion). The animals in the South represent pride, strength and courage and include Eagle, Lion and Wolf. Cedar is the sacred herb of the South and used to make a smoke smudge. It is also very useful for cleansing and helping to get rid of negative or bad energy. West- This is the emotional part of ourselves, like the flowing water we must learn to go with the flow of life. The time of the West is when we learn that we are responsible to all things and to each other. It is the time to prepare, to finish things for the time of Winter is coming. We gather ourselves and family, working together to prepare for what is to come. West is the spirit of water. It is the direction from which darkness comes. It is the power of change, the place of dreams, introspection and the unknown. The West signifies purity and strength. As the place of emotions it is the place of family and love. It is hard work and team efforts. This is the place of later adulthood, Autumn, the time of the setting sun or twilight. The daylight fades and brings a new awareness in this time of gradual change. When the darkness comes we must look inward to find the light and have courage. To understand what we see in the darkness may not be real but only shadows. Symbolic colours for the West include Black (death, the end of Life's Cycle) or Blue (water and emotions). Animal Totems residing here include Turtle, Beaver (team work and preparedness ) and Snake. The Sacred Herb is Sage, usually used for smudging.
North- The legend says that to the North on the medicine wheel is found wisdom. As we get older, our hair turn white, as we come to our time of Winter. White (and purple) also symbolize spirituality. With experience and age we gain wisdom. Now we have time to rest and contemplate the lessons. North is purity and wisdom, a great place of healing. This is the time after midnight, a dream time. The time to be grounded within yourself and deep within, like a bear in a cave. North is the spirit of wind. The cold wind blows from the North. It is the power of wisdom. Here we take time to reflect on what we began in the East, in the morning, in our youth. North is the place of winter. This reminds us to stop and listen. That we must have prepared for the long time of Winter. Having been in action the other seasons we now rest and contemplate to understand the wisdom we have been given. Colours of the North include White (wisdom) and Blue (failure, defeat, sadness). The Medicine Animals for the North include White Buffalo, Moose and Bear. The Sacred Herb is Sweetgrass which represents the hair of Mother Earth, so it is often braided. Sweetgrass is known for its beautiful aroma when it's used for cleansing. The end of the sweetgrass braid is lit, which produces a cleansing and purifying smoke.
I have had the pleasure to experience two very different transformations within a Medicine Wheel. The first occured on a farm north of Toronto, Ontario. I was attending a weekend retreat and was struggling with a massive tension headache. I had experienced a glorious transformation with a healing fire earlier that morning, but my body was slower to recover from the change. Keeawok had built her Medicine Wheel as an herb garden with different herbs in 12 sections of the circle. Large rounds of wood marked the four directions with smaller rounds and stones forming the circle and spokes. The rounds were large enough to sit on and gaze at the garden in the centre. I entered the Wheel in the East as is the custom and proceeded to sit in the South. I thought about the ceremony I had been a part of, thought about the changes I was experiencing, I tried to understand why I still felt pain after such a dramatic release. I sat, basking in the sun, enjoying the beauty surrounding me and felt my body relax. I realized that as I became immersed in Nature, The pain in my head disappeared. I walked the Wheel and exited once more from the East, thanking the directions, above, below and within.
My second experience also involved transformation. I had been in Sedona, Arizona for several days. My days filled with climbing and hiking the red rocks, meditating with fellow travellers at the Airport Vortex and buying more books than my pack could hold. I even had an unexplained UFO experience one night. Here it was, my last day before heading back to Flagstaff and on to the Grand Canyon. I had noticed the booth offering guided Jeep tours of the area and finally decided I had to do it. Now I don't care for wild rides through mountainous terrain and I remember little about the excursion except for the abject terror that we were for sure going to go tumbling over a ledge to certain death. My fear vanished as we approached the large Medicine Wheel. The circle and spokes were made of fist-sized stones in the classic four-quadrant pattern. I felt myself vibrating and resonating with the power of the place. My new friends and I were instructed by the guide to feel for the appropriate place or direction to sit down at. I entered from the East and began to slowly walk clockwise around the circle. I was becoming impatient as I noticed others finding their place and sitting down. I was getting worried, had I missed the spot? I was nearing the East once more, the exit, the end of the circle when suddenly I felt a wave of vibration so strong, it took my breath away. This is the place, the last seat before the exit/entrance. Tears were pouring down my face, I was shaking as I sat. A part of my old self, that fearful self died that day and I was grieving the loss of a familiar part of me. Our guide talked about the directions and what they represent and acknowledged what I had intuited, that I was sitting in the place of death. As I released the old pattern, I felt lighter, smiling, I was being given the opportunity to experience rebirth. As I honoured the directions and rose to leave, I felt a wondrous sense of rebirth. I shared a warm embrace with my new found friends and we headed back to the jeep for the ride back to town. I was elated, clear, and no longer fearful.
There are many ways to use the Medicine Wheel/Circle and the more often it is used, the more power it will hold for ceremonies. This is a place of high medicine and should be built with time and care as a permanent place. Once the circle is made, an opening ceremony to bless the space is appropriate. Personal beliefs will determine how the wheel/circle will be used. The entrance/exit is usually placed in the East and once inside, one may wish to honour the four directions and meet with Spirit in a meaningful way.
Face east and give thanks for the warmth of the sun and the coming new day. Pray for the power of knowledge.
Face south and give thanks for the gift of life on this moist earth. Pray for the power to grow. Pray for peace in the world.
Face west and give thanks for the water of life. Pray for purity and strength. Pray for self understanding.
Face north and give thanks for the great white cleansing wind. Pray for the wisdom of experience.
The medicine wheel is sacred, the native people believe, because the Great Spirit caused everything in nature to be round. The Sun, Sky, Earth and Moon are round. Thus, we should look upon the Medicine Wheel (circle of life) as sacred. It is the symbol of the circle that marks the edge of the world and the Four Winds that travel there. It is also the symbol of the year. The Sky, the Night, and the Moon go in a circle above the Sky, therefore, the Circle is a symbol of these divisions of time. It is the symbol of all times throughout creation.
About The Author: Lila is a student of 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 long walks by the river.
Imbolc brings a movement of energy with it here in the OWM.
The Order’s newest High Priestess was ordained in January; we welcome High Priestess Ka Wahine Ahi, of The Sacred Three School. Ka Wahine Ahi, looks forward to opening her branch school soon.
The Order’s board meeting has begun, and we ask for your prayers and energy that Goddess guides the board of directors to make the best possible informed decisions on behalf of its members.
Weekly Tarot Zodiac
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 , General VP of the OWM, a founder of Sisters in Celebration, a branch and affiliate of the Order of the White Moon sistersincelebration.org
Director: Ward M. Powers
Producers: Scott Carter, Diane Powers
This is a fascinating documentary from first-time director Ward Powers. "Follow Your Bliss" a well known quote from Joseph Campbell sparked Powers to follow his own bliss and create this movie despite having no formal training in any aspect of film culture. He began his interviews a mere 6 months after 9/11 and the fear and shock remains etched on some of the faces and in some of the answers he received. The idea was to film people on the street and ask 20 questions such as "How does one obtain true peace?" ; "What is the meaning of life?" ; "How would God want us to respond to aggression and terrorism?" and the ultimate question "Are we all one?" It began as a simple idea, man-on-the-street interviews, but somewhere along the way, some very big names became involved with the project including Deepak Chopra, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ram Dass and Riane Eisler.
The film creates several poignant and profound moments. A young homeless man, when asked "What is your one wish for the world? " responds with "I don't think I would choose to wish for the world, I don't think I'm worth it" so profound in his honesty, his vulnerability. He did not want to impose his views upon anyone else, how refreshing and deeply moving. When a fundamentalist Christian is asked the same question, his wish is that everyone in the world would come to know Jesus, as if 6 billion people could be happy believing the exact same thing (although I'm sure the fundamentalists of the world would be overjoyed).
Another profound moment for me was watching the beautiful presence of Thich Nhat Hanh, eyes closed in meditation and suddenly opening them and quietly saying "Thank You". One of the more humourous moments in the film, and one which led me to a profound lesson in presence, involved Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman. He is asked "Nonverbally, by motion or gesture only, act out what you believe to be the current condition of the world". Thurman's response is to simply stare directly into the camera lens. We sense the interviewer's discomfort as our own discomfort rises. The teaching I received was amazing, I saw my thoughts and feelings rise up, "What will he do? What is he doing? Why is he still doing it?" and then, aha I saw my mind chatter for what it was and for a moment, I experienced the eternal Now. Powerful.
My main complaint about the film is that it is woefully lacking female representation. Only three of the main interviewees are women, Riane Eisler (Holy Blood, Holy Grail), Futurist, Baraba Marx Hubbard, and Dragonfly, a throwback to 60's flower children. Goddess does not fit into the questions although Deepak Chopra does refer to Her in his statement, "Does God exist? Does She care about me? " He has a twinkle in his eyes, seeming to dare the interviewer to ask him to elaborate. The great patriarchal religions and even atheists are given their moment but, sadly, the Goddess does not register a blip on this guy's radar. Hopefully, Powers will continue in his quest and produce a second documentary that goes further in exploring non-traditional religions and spirituality and perhaps invite the Goddess to his table. I would love see the perspectives that Starhawk or Gloria Steinem would bring to these questions.
One: The Movie is a film that generates lively discussion. A bonus on the DVD is a series of extended interviews. Although lacking a strong feminine perspective, it is rich in spirituality and I was moved by the simple presence of many of those interviewed. I would highly reccommend this film to anyone with an interest in understanding spirituality on a global scale as well as connecting to one's own sense of the Divine. The film is available for viewing on the internet for a modest fee ($5.97 US). The website is linked to another spiritual site, The Manifest Station, which offers free online spiritual programming, interviews etc...Both sites are worth checking out.
Please visit these web sites for more information
About the Author: Lila is a student of 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 long walks by the river.
H C W C X R L T G T C S R S M H T Q N Z E C H
T C O N A O E N F L I C W N E O Q O B W C A G
T S E R G N I D Z A D G X O O E I O E W A N U
E F N V N S D R N D R U I L M T D S Y W N D O
R D X O S D O L L E E C S R A B M S A C O L L
I U I E W Y O O E F V J H C B I E N D L L E P
F H L H C D H L D M S A I T L N R A G E E S C
H B A P G E R A L P A F L K I E U K O A K S L
T H Y S S I C O X I I S A W T M U E H N T O E
R E V U Y I R N P R E S R N M P S C D S Y R M
A K O M O S E B U F G S I Y R G S R N I R C I
E H S U C R E P U L E W L O Q T I O U N R L O
H B R I G A N T I A O S T A B S W C O G E G R
E T E R N A L F L A M E T R R O X U R D B X S
L V F G N I T S I D C W I I R U G S G V Y H L
S R E P E L L B I T T D H R V E T F I Q A O F
S U N W H E E L I D G T A P R A Z L I C B C F
S C S S E D D O G E L P I R T E L O U M X N E
P O E T R Y N U T B H A R O W A N W I C U B X
Q Y T I R E P S O R P E N P F Z D E X U I N Q
S P R I N G D D P P A M A E N I N R W R Q R T
Q R N F O A Q W L O A L D L D W X S T A U G G
V Q A P Y G L E D O R O R B E I S H W W L X K
C M F B L V S L Z H P C E T F R L K B N E M L
About the Author: LadyMoonWolfe is an Ordained Minister. I am working towards my HPS through the Daughters of the Greening with my HPS Morgana Ravenwings. I have been a student of metaphysics for the past 16 years and have been in-tune with other realms far back as I can remember. I am a Usui Reiki Master and Master Teacher of many other modalities.I am very active with my local pagan group in the Panhandle of Florida and Member of Mother Earth Drummers, where we drum to heal MotherEarth.
Weaving the Web
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Seasons of the Moon E-zine - Back Issues On-line
Traditions - Order of the White Moon
Weekly Tarot Zodiac
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Seasons of The Moon Staff
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