Volume 3 - Issue 4 - Samhain 2006 

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 4 - Samhain 2006: Contents

Goddess Work
Samhain by Heathwitch
Mabon...A season of blessings by Nessa Crescentmoon

Holistic Living
Banishing by Fire Maiden
Astrology of the Seasons by Diana

Whispers of Melete
What is in a Name? by Diana
Prayer to Lilith by Artemesia

The Bardic Soul: Poetry and Song For The Spirit
Samhain by Freyja Falk
Witches Brew by Beth Johnson
The Sea Goddess by Beth Johnson
The Goddess Speaks to Her Daughters by Beth Johnson
Remember my Mother by Martha Karnes

The Wicker Man by Shawn Sparks

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


Goddess Work

Lughnasadh and Mabon
By Heathwitch

Samhain is celebrated from sunset of 31st October to sunset of 2nd November, though the most commonly accepted date is 31st October. It is the most famous of the Pagan festivals, as it is considered by many to be the Pagan New Year, and is also known as Halloween. This is the third and final harvest, that of souls. It is the festival of darkness, of death and the Underworld, one of the two times in the year when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is believed to be at its thinnest (the other being at Beltaine). Samhain is the time to remember and honour our Beloved Dead, for welcoming their spirits into our homes and feast with them again, in a "dumb supper". It is also a time of transition -- maybe from an old job to a new one, moving home or similar -- and is a good time to take stock of what's happened in the past and make your peace with it. It's a time for divination, magic, ghost-hunts and working with the "darker" deities such as Hekate, Hel, Cerridwen, Hades, Anpu (Anubis), Arawn, and many others. Crone Goddesses and those connected to death and the Underworld are particularly honoured at this time. Symbols of Samhain are the colours of black and orange, and skulls, bones, tarot decks, photographs of the dead/ancestors, candles, pumpkins, Halloween "decor" (e.g. skeletons, witches, ghosts!), and dying leaves are commonly found on altars at this time. Foods for this sabbat include anything made with apples or cinnamon; pumpkins and squashes, gingerbread, pomegranates, meat dishes, mulled wine/cider, nuts and root vegetables.

Some links about Samhain:

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

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Mabon...A season of blessings
By Nessa Crescentmoon

Mabon……A season of blessings and recognizing that whether our moments be magickal or mundane; traced with sorrow or filled with joy, that we are never alone.

Mabon Chant (Traditional American)
We gather together, to offer thanksgiving
For all of the heavenly (magickal) blessings we've known
The troubles that find us serve only to bind us
And daily remind us we're never alone

And speaking of not being alone……Samhain offers us a special time to honor those who have passed on from their mortal lives.
Samhain Chant http://www.ladyoftheearth.com/songs/samhain-chant-2.txt

far beyond this mortal plane
Mothers and fathers of old
We bid that you return again
Mothers and fathers of old
To share with us the mysteries and secrets long untold
Of the ancient ways we seek to regain
Mothers and fathers of old.

Another interesting site that the world wide web has led me to….

Samhain.com located at http://www.samhain.com/

With searchable topics such as:
Celebrations, Costumes & Masks, Decorations, Entertaining, Graveyards, Art, Cooking, Events, Halloween Fiction, Halloween Music, Halloween, Safety, Haunted Houses, Horror Related, Myths & History, and Pumpkin Carving.

About The Author: Nessa Crescentmoon is an Ordained Minister, High Priestess, and Founder of Sisters of the Triple Moon, a sister branch and affiliate of the Order of The White Moon.
Email : nessa@thetriplemoon.com website: http://www.thetriplemoon.com/

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Holistic Living


By Fire Maiden

Banishing is a way to negate or to send away negative energy, influences and thoughts that are harmful. Then, positive energy and influences can come in and replace the negative. It is not for eliminating people or things from your life, or for doing harm.

Scent has been utilized for centuries to banish evil influences. Frankincense and lavender are two among the many that neutralize bad energy. Smudging, (My personal favorite is white sage.) using an oil burner and essential oil, and incense are easy ways to accomplish this.
Even today at Catholic mass, the altar and the clergy are cleansed with the smoke from a censer using a combination of frankincense and myrrh.
Sound is used to chase away unwanted and unneeded energies. Loud, abrupt noise sends evil spirits packing. My favorite use of sound is at Chinese New Year. Proprietors hang long strings of firecrackers in front of their businesses. The sound from the firecrackers scares away troublesome spirits. Many use color to deter bad influences. Again, the Chinese wear red to frighten away evil spirits. Bright colors in general are annoying to negative forces and can be worn to keep those forces away. Light of any kind is abhorrent to evil. It doesn't matter if it's in the form of a bonfire, candle, flashlight or lamp. Evil flees in the face of being incinerated by the light. Salt, a symbol of the earth and the Goddess, is loathsome to negative influences and energies. During difficult times at work, I have gone into the office early to sprinkle salt in the directions and at the threshold to my office to keep bad stuff that has been going on in the office out of my space. Certain
stones have banishing qualities if worn or carried – jade, amethyst, hematite, jet and black tourmaline come to mind. Of course, symbols, religious or otherwise, keep bad energies away. Depending on my mood and what I feel is most appropriate and effective, I'll wear a cross or
pentagram. Other symbols to fend off bad influences that I've had experience with include: the Italian horn, the Italian fig hand, the Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign, the crucifix, horse shoes, St. Brigid's cross, ladybugs and acorns.

In addition to the things already mentioned, there are actions that can be taken to eliminate negative energy. The use of water to remove negativity comes in many forms. You can drink, bathe in and bless yourself with water. Burying items and walking backwards are two things that I've heard of but never done myself. My personal favorite is to throw out old clothes and other things that have negative energy and associations attached. I've done this after the breakup of a
relationship of any type that was not amicable. I don't want the energy associated with the person in my life any longer and remove it from my home. One mini-ritual that I now use is stirring beverages counterclockwise before drinking. It is easy, inconspicuous and can be done at any time!

Brightest blessings for Samhain and always!

About the Author: Fire Maiden is a student at the Sacred Three Goddess School. She was
born and raised in the Bronx and enjoys alternative music, strength training and tending to her tropical plants.

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Astrology of the Seasons

November Moons
The Full Moon will be on Sunday November 5, 2006 at 7:58 am. The Moon will be in the sign of Taurus. The sign of Taurus is practical, productive, sensual, physical, reliable, loyal, patient,
deliberating, artistic, and loving of the beauty of nature, preserving, industrious, and domestic.
The New Moon will be on Monday November 20, 2006 at 5:18 pm. The Moon will be in the sign of Scorpio. The sign of Scorpio is transforming, renewing, researching, erotic, intense, powerful,
mysterious, hidden, deep, healing, complex, and even resentful and secretive. The Moon goes VOC* at 6:54 pm and will remain VOC until 8:15 pm when it enters the sign of Sagittarius.

December Moons
The Full Moon will be on Monday December 5, 2006 at 7:25 pm. The Moon will be in the sign of Gemini. The sign of Gemini is intelligent, easily learns, curious, logical, talkative, social,
jack-of-all-trades, dexterous, clever, knowledgeable, lighthearted, overly abstract and also scattered and restless.
The New Moon will be on Wednesday December 20, 2006 at 9:01 am. The Moon will be in the sign of Sagittarius. The sign of Sagittarius is wise, philosophical, idealistic, moral, truth-seeking, open-minded, jovial, optimistic, generous, exploring, frank, outspoken, and sometimes even pompous, dogmatic, and wanderlust. The Moon goes VOC* at 9:01 am and will remain VOC until 11:39 am when it enters the sign of Capricorn.

*VOC stands for Void of Course. This is a term applied to the Moon when it's not making any major aspects to the other planets. This happens every few days for a time period ranging from a few minutes to a day or more. Simply put, what this means from a practical standpoint, is that anything that is started when the Moon is void of course, doesn't pan out. Starting a new business? Don't make it official until the void period is over. Looking for an engagement date? Avoid the times that the Moon is void if you want to play it safe. This includes ritual and spell work also.

Retrograde Corner!
When a planet is retrograde it appears to be moving backwards in the heavens, even though it continues its forward journey in the sky. This is a time when the planet requires a rest. Just as we each require our downtime to recharge our batteries so do the planets. This is not necessarily a bad thing and each retrograde planet provides the opportunity for growth and healing. These are the
planets that will be retrograde over the next quarter.

Mercury will be retrograde from Saturday October 28, 3:16 pm until Friday November 17, 7:25 pm. Mercury Retrograde causes delays and issues in all forms of communication, travel, and technology. We can feel it up to a week before the planet goes retrograde and a week after it goes direct again. This is NOT a time to start new projects or sign contracts. The best way to handle a Mercury Retrograde is back up your computer, finish those old projects sitting on a shelf,
and remember to breathe slowly. Think of it this way, Mercury retrograde means rest, redo, reevaluate, reconsider, and revisit. These are the lessons of Mercury Retrograde. The closer you follow them the easier this and future Mercury retrogrades will be on you.

Chiron will be retrograde from Monday May 15, 1:53 am until Thursday October 12, 3:45 pm. We will find, attract, and pull the healing and guidance we need. You maybe surprised at how deep you can go within to heal and transform parts that were once seen as unusable or

Saturn began its retrograde motion on Tuesday December 5, 11:07 pm and will continue until Thursday April 19. This planet has been referred to as the wise crone or the old hermit. Saturn can be a difficult planet when direct. Saturn teaches us our limitations and shows us boundaries. She teaches us responsibility and perhaps even some organization. While Saturn is retrograde, she will give us a chance to correct mistakes we have made, or finish things left unattended. Saturn can give us confidence while in retrograde, if we choose to take responsibility and deal with the situations she brings to us. This has the potential to be a difficult period where we feel weighed down with burdens, but do remember the potential available to clean up those things we left so far back in the closet we forgot they were there.

Uranus will be retrograde from Monday June 19, 3:39 am until Monday November 20, 1:08 am. There may be a feeling or restlessness or anxiety, however there will also be great creavity available to burn off some of the tension. Allow yourself to explore the new ideas and your own individualism. Explore the many ways to express yourself and perhaps even redefine who you are.

Neptune will be retrograde from Monday May 22, 9:05 am until Sunday October 29, 3:56 am. Borders, boundaries, and perhaps even reality may blurr. Be extra aware of your boundaries during this time. This is also a wonderful time to delve into your dreams, keeping a dream journal near your bed. Discover what insights and illumination your dreams have for you at this time.

*All times are in EDT*

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. She is a Reiki Master, healer, astrologer, and hypnotherapist and offers healings, attunements, and consultations.
She is currently taking students. Email:
website: www.moonlitriver.com

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Whispers of Melete

What is in a name?

by Diana

When we are born we are given a name. We have no say or input in the name chosen for us. Sometimes we grow into that name and sometimes we feel as if we are walking through life with the wrong name tag. Sometimes we may wear a nickname in the place of our own name or we wear it for a short time. Perhaps we have had many different names depending on the person or group we are with.

Often when we enter the Craft, Earth-Based religion, New Age group, or an alternative spiritual path we may decide to take a new name. This new name may be to protect our privacy or identity. Perhaps it is a way to choose a name that better fits who we are. It could be a symbolic gesture to reaffirm our spiritual relationship with the Divine.

This is my story of the history of my name since I began walking a Pagan path…

Since I began to walk the Pagan path I have gone by a few names. I initially started with my birth name Diana, but do you know how many Diana’s there are walking the Pagan path? Let us just say that it is a fairly common name. So I began a search for a name that I could wear in all Pagan and spiritual circles. I stumbled across Vila and it spoke to me so I went some time going by the name Vila. However, it did not truly suit me as I walked the path so I shed the name and returned to Diana. This time though I called myself Diana of the River to add a flavor of uniqueness to my name. I was comfortable and ready to walk my path with this name. Then the Goddess Blodeuwedd stepped in and gave me a gift of the name Arteal. I was hesitant to say the least and reluctantly took the name. I wore the name Arteal and it did begin to grow on me.

Something shifted though and as I began to step out into my community as a Hypnotherapist I began to wonder if I wanted to incorporate any of my other skills and gifts into my new private practice. As I thought, contemplated, and dreamed I realized I wanted to close the gap between my career and spiritual worlds. And so I have decided to return to my birth name and to wear it in all of the circles in which I travel. And so at this time I am announcing the shedding of the name Arteal as I reclaim the name given to me at birth, Diana.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to our name. This is only my path and my name. Many have stories how they found their name or moved from one name to another. I believe the key to a name, any name, is the wisdom a friend shared with me, "…go by a name that inspires and empowers you." I now stand in the name that inspires and empowers me. Do you stand in the name that inspires and empowers you?

Many blessings to you as you stand or search for the name that inspires, empowers, and blesses you!

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. She is a Reiki Master, healer, astrologer, and hypnotherapist and offers healings, attunements, and consultations.
She is currently taking students. Email:
website: www.moonlitriver.com

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Samhain Musings
by Artemesia

For many who follow the Celtic calendar, Samhain marks the turn of the new year. For me though, with a spiritual path created by and influenced by the climate here in New England, Samhain marks the beginning of a dark phase of the year. In October, the days become dramatically shorter and colder. We go about our daily routines in many hours of darkness, often arriving at and leaving work in darkness. It is a difficult time for many New Englanders because it is as often cloudy during daylight hours as not – and we deeply feel a lack of the sun's warmth and glory.

For many these dark hours bring gloominess that does not brighten until the winter holidays. As my spiritual practice has grown and developed over the years, I have found the best way to avoid the blues is to embrace this dark phase of the year as an opportunity for empowerment, cleansing reflection and healing. Just as a dark moon is the ideal time for release or stepping into your power to say "No", so too are these dark autumn days a time for purposeful inner work. It can become a time of spiritual, physical, emotional and mental cleansing and refreshment.

I embrace the call of the darkness to retreat, and take time off from social engagements to be at home and turn inward more often. I find myself drawn to quiet space, to meditation, trance and dreamworlds. As the veil between the physical realm and spirit becomes thinner, I become more aware of messages and lessons and beauty expressed by the earth, her creatures and spirit, and I take the time to savor, wonder, daydream and imagine. I step into the shoes of the crone, listening, waiting and being receptive to all that is happening around me. I heed the call of the dark goddesses by dressing in dark colors and going out in the night with women friends to honor our power, our sexuality and our inner warriors - we merge with the energy around us, dance ecstatically, revel in our laughter, display our power openly, and enjoy our active defiance of cultural limitations and boundaries.

During this dark time, I reflect on those oppressed, struggling, and the violence and destructiveness of our culture. I pray and send love and healing to those who are suffering and ill. I honor the death of loved ones and public tragedies by putting up an altar at home and visiting graves of loved ones and ancestors. I step into my power to destroy and be born again. I cleanse my body with the fruits and vegetables of the harvest, detoxing and doing more yoga. I clean my home, my psyche and let go, giving or throwing away all that is no longer needed. I let myself feel deeply and grieve. When my inner and outer work is done, I rest and relax. I breathe deeply, in the still dark places. Then when the time is ripe, I begin to prepare for rebirth and the New Year at Yule.

About The Author: Artemisia is an Ordained Minister and High Priestess of The Order of the White Moon. She teaches the White Moon Tradition and other personal empowerment practices at her Holistic Rites School located near Boston, MA. She has an MS in Natural Health and works to enact positive change and healthy living practices with individuals and communities seeking wellness. Email: artemisia333@gmail.com

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The Bardic Soul: Poetry and Song For The Spirit

By Freyja Falk

Crisp leaves fall way to rain in the cycles of Samhain
Fall brings the beginnings of learning, initiation
Into the realm of darkness we enter
taking the labrynth stream into knowledge
Changes come quickly taking us journeying
into the deep

Darkness holds answers
light a small candle
Keep out the brightness to find
Black Madonna
Enter the deep of Persephone
Unlock the knowledge
Two worlds colliding in darkness

Sift through the midnight
Deeper and deeper
Connect to ancestors
Dark moon rising
Offer them food
Offer them shelter
Connect to ancestors
Ask them the questions

Knowing, exploring, cycles are ending
Cycles are settling down to be planted
Cycles are incubating till spring
Darkness is coming
Darkness is here
Enter her womb
Abolish all fear

~Freyja Falk 9/19/06

About the Author: Freyja is a student at the Triple Moon School. She currently resides in Portland Oregon, is a full-time student and will hopefully be entering a nursing school soon. She lives with her husband, dog and cat. In her free time she enjoys knitting, writing, cooking, and enjoying the outdoors with her family.

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By Beth Johnson

Hail to Lilith, Lady of the night!
Your long hair flows outward,
Melding into the shadows
And your black eyes are ancient,
Deep with magic and secrets.

You are powerful and free,
No other being is your master.
You fly upon the wings of night,
And the owl carries your messages.
Since beginning times, you were there.

No man can tame you,
For why should you be tamed?
To be your own ruler is your nature.
The weak ones of mankind
Were afraid of you and called you Evil

Every inner demon
And dark shadow in the night
Has been ascribed to you, Goddess.
But your power and wild beauty
Have survived.

Teach me to be unafraid,
To feel power singing in my veins.
Help me to face and balance
The shadows in my nature,
And to be proud of my sexuality.

Protect me from the shadows
And the darkness that would harm me,
And help me to understand
The shadows that will not.
I thank you, Dark Lady.

© Copyright 4/11/06
Beth Clare Johnson
(Mystic Amazon)

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by Beth Johnson

From deep within the sea I rise
Ancient knowledge in my eyes,
I am the sea goddess, Ran.

Wearing sea shells in my hair,
Dragging down sailors to my lair
I'm either savior or enemy, to man.

Sea balls carried on the waves
Are scrying crystals for my gaze;
And waters rise to my command.

My waves can lull you into sleep
Or wreck your ship within the deep,
I am the sea goddess, Ran.

The ancient vikings worshipped me
Left offerings upon the sea,
And I carried them to the New Land.

My fish have sustained many lives
But some have teeth as sharp as knives;
You must respect the goddess Ran.

© Copyright 5/10/06
Beth Clare Johnson
(Mystic Amazon)

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By Beth Johnson

Hear the words of the Goddess,
To all her daughters. Fear not, Child;
For I am with you as you turn toward womanhood,
The time of menarche, the time of blossoming.
You reflect the radiant beauty of the Maiden.
Dressed in pale colors or white
And with flowers in your hair;
With your sweet smile and dancing step,
You know that all of life is before you.
You are to be Celebrated.

Fear not, Young woman;
For I am with you as you blossom into your full sexuality,
Learning the joys of love and sex,
And the mysteries of childbirth.
You reflect the mature beauty of the Mother.
Dressed in bright colors,
And with your head held high;
You are experiencing the knowledge of life.
You are to be Honored.

Fear not, Elderly woman;
For I am with you as you turn to old age,
Into the WiseWoman.
Your blood stays inside your body and turns into Wisdom;
You are a help to others with guidance and healings.
You reflect the wisdom and magic of the Crone.
You have the serenity of a life well-lived,
And the knowledge that you will join your loved ones
In the Afterlife, before you are reborn.
You are to be Revered.

Come, my Daughters!
Dance with me,
For you also are Goddess.

© Copyright 12/7/05
Beth Johnson(Mystic Amazon)

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

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by Martha Karnes
(In Memory of Martha Carrier Hung on August 19, 1692. Her own words are quoted)

The reality of your time
could not cloud
The clarity of your sight.
"I see no black man but yourself!"
With your head held high you fight.
You know the purity of your soul.
Your back is straight with the strength
gained from your knowledge.
While the pretentious judge
dispenses what justice?
Why did they kill you?
You weren't supposed to be strong.
They tried to break you.
Your children were torn from you
You had to listen to their agony
That was only stopped when they gave a
You would not give the ignorant fools their
Let them call you
There is no hell
"There is no devil except yourself!"
Except those who hate.
I am your daughter
Could I ever be as strong?
My soul knows you.
You are my blood
You are my breath
You are my fire
I come from you
Three hundred years later I REMEMBER MY MOTHER!

I found Martha Carrier in 1981 by researching the family history. My maternal grandmother's middle name was Carrier. I knew from reading genealogical books that sometimes the mother would give her maiden name to the first daughter to carry the name to the next generation. However, my great grandmother's maiden name was Clinger. So it didn't add up and it sent me on a relentless search resulting in the discovery of Martha.

Through the generations she had been forgotten and her story was never told. I don't know which generation let it go but it seemed very important to my great grandfather to have Grandma's middle name be Carrier. Grandma said she knew a Lucy Carrier when she was little but didn't know why it was her middle name. Her last name was McLaughlin.

I began searching and couldn't get any further than some Carriers in the mid to late 1800's. There was nothing there that was earth shattering. Certainly nothing to make it important to a young man in 1904 so he would give his first born daughter the name. The research available seemed to peter out. I tried the Mormon church but nothing. Then I came upon a small article in my genealogical magazine on how to borrow books from the Library of Congress in Washington , D.C. Remember, this was before computers.

I wrote and requested a copy of their catalog of books they had available for loan. I got it a couple of weeks later. I was scanning through the lists when a title caught my eye. It said, "The Descendants of Martha Allen Carrier Who Was Hung as a Witch in Salem , Mass 19 Aug 1692". Oh, it couldn't be that easy! I requested the book anyway.

After about 6 weeks the book came in the mail. It was a small light blue book that measured about 5 by 8 inches. It was no more than a quarter of an inch thick. Little did I know how much that small book would change my life. I found I was afraid to open it. My heart was pounding and I felt like crying. Yet I thought this had come much too easily to have anything valid in it. I tried to calm myself.

I opened the book to the first page. It started with Thomas and Martha Carrier. She was hung as a Witch in Salem , Mass and the trial transcripts were available in Salem and the compiler was Charles Upham. Transcripts? From a trial in the 1600's? That alone might be interesting to read. But, I didn't even know if they were related to me. I flipped through the book and there it was… my great, great, grandfather's name, John Frick McLaughlin! I took a closer look and followed the line from myself all the way back to Martha. To a Witch! My Southern Baptist upbringing howled in horror. The part of me that knew there was more in the universe felt validated. But, I didn't know why. All I knew about Witches was what I had been taught by my religion. Maybe I should look up those transcripts that were mentioned. I fired off a letter and a check for 10.00 to cover copying fees to the Library in Salem .

A copy of Martha's transcripts arrived in about 2 weeks. They included the accusations, warrants, testimonies and even a description of the hanging. She was described as a woman with a sharp tongue and a keen sense of justice. How many times had I been criticized for my sharp tongue? I learned very young that justice was usually different from what was right and fair. She wasn't well liked in the community because of her widely known opinions. She "took much interest in her husband's out of door affairs. She was heard by many people to be arguing with Benjamin Abbott over the boundary of their lands.".

I was looking for the Witch stuff though. At first, I was horrified to be descended from a Witch. Then I was horrified at the "evidence" they used against her. I was horrified how they had taken her children and tortured them until they confessed that their mother made them witches. Then her children were forced to testify against her in court. The judge called her "The Queen of Hell". She never confessed. She was heard loudly proclaiming her innocence when the rope cut off her air.

Through the years, I said that Martha wasn't really a Witch. She was hung just because she was unpopular. I turned Presbyterian because the Baptists were much like the closed minded Puritans who murdered Martha. I was a ruling elder in the church, the choir director, pianist and organist when needed. Yet there were still certain things I wasn't permitted to do just because I was a woman. I felt the parallel with Martha.

I got a computer. I found the internet. I found Witchvox.com and I found my path. The more I walked it the more I found Martha. I felt her pain as she listened to the screams of her children. I felt her broken heart when she heard their contrived confessions. I felt her sense of futility as she faced the "judge". But, I also knew her as Witch through her strength and honesty.

I went to Salem in 1994. I saw her name everywhere but she wasn't mentioned by any of the tour guides. It was all about the Coreys and Rebecca Nurse. I went to the memorial and found her name carved in the stone. Kneeling in front of her memorial that was a ledge that could be used as a seat I read the inscription: Martha Carrier hung 19 August 1692 . There was an aching in my heart. I saw where others had left flowers on other benches. Martha's had none. I had brought none with me. Somehow, I didn't think Martha would care for that anyway.

While I was kneeling there I had my hands in my pockets of my jacket. I felt a tack that I had removed from my shoe the day before. I thought of the long journey I had made to finally "meet" her. The years of research, the ultimate understanding, the pride I took in having her as my ancestor. But, there was more. I took the tack out of my pocket and pricked my left ring finger. As the blood quickly became a drop I said, "Martha, because you lived, I live." I put a drop of blood on the memorial. "Because you bled, I bleed" Another drop. "Your blood is my blood. I am your daughter and you are my mother." Drop. "My mother, I remember you."

I live as what Martha died as…a Witch. She was so nearly forgotten, yet her soul and mine are one. I wrote this poem a few years ago because I had to express what was inside of me and it is still there. I hope that each person who reads my poem will honestly research their family history. And, if you are descended from a Witch, that you will be proud of your ancestor. Be proud not in a way that lends to exclusivity but proud as you would be of any member of your family who honestly lived the way of the Goddess.

About the Author: Martha Karnes is a Level Two White Moon Student at Moonlit River. She is a 48 year old mother and grandmother who lives in the woods of Pennsylvania and works part time at the YMCA, teaching fitness and aquatics.

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The Wicker Man – Some Cult Classics are better off Dead
By Shawn Sparks

I was angry until I laughed myself silly. When I first saw the commercials for this movie I was
prepared to jump on my soap box in opposition. In the trailers it showed pictures of what I believed were pagan/Celtic type rituals. I was right. I was furious that my religion was being shown in a negative way and fearful that people would flock to this movie which has just
enough information about pagans to make Leroy grab his pitch fork and burn crosses on the lawns of suspected witches while accompanied by the music of dueling banjos. After seeing this stinker of a film, I don't think we have anything to fear.

The Story
California police officer Edward Malus (played by Nicholas Cage) sees a doll thrown out of a car
and chases down a station wagon to return the toy to the little girl, or should I say, brat, in the
back seat. When the "bad seed" throws the doll out of the car again, Malus walks across the road
to retrieve it and in the process, the station wagon is hit by a semi truck and, in true Hollywood
fashion, bursts into flames. As we all know, most cars do that upon impact, right?
Put on administrative medical leave by his department, Edward Malus receives a letter from his
ex-girlfriend Willow asking him to come to a private island called Summersisle off the coast of
Washington to help find her missing daughter. Not questioning why the silly woman has not
notified the authorities in her own state, (she lives in Washington State, he is a police officer in
California) Malus impetuously rushes to be with the woman that broke his heart oh so many
years ago.
Summersisle is populated by women who engage in ancient rituals and spend their days caring
for the honeybees that are the source of their income and, apparently, their mead. Did I mention
the total subjugation of the men who were forced to do all the hard labor and to service the
needs of the women – wink wink, nudge nudge. Yes, these men had it hard.

At this point, females around the globe are saying,"Hey, where do I sign up? – other than the ancient rituals and the beekeeping stuff, it doesn't sound like such a bad place to live." Oh, I
guess I forgot to mention the human sacrifices.

Officer Malus spends the rest of the movie running around flashing his badge in people's faces and acting like a complete twit. He never once tries to get off the island to get reinforcements and his investigative techniques are ludicrous. "Look at my badge ladies, don't you want to tell me the truth? I am a big bad police man." I guess that is what they are teaching people at the academy these days. Ultimately, Malus is fried in a giant Wicker Man which I found not only insulting to my religion, but at this point I really wanted him to die because he was such an idiot.

The Acting
After starring successfully in The World Trade Center, Nicolas Cage flounders on the screen in
The Wicker Man. Cage's character is ridiculous and the dialogue and actions were horrible. Over
the course of the film, Cage's Malus loses more and more control of the situation. As his
character grows more frustrated, actor Cage ramps up his performance which unfortunately only
serves to make the scenes more ludicrous.
In the end, Cage runs around beating up women and acting like a lunatic. The most hilarious
scene in the movie is of him rescuing the girl in a bear suit and running around the woods trying
to escape from an angry mob on an island. I almost had to call the paramedics because I was
laughing so hard.
Ellen Burstyn who plays Sister Summersisle is only better because she only appears for about 15
to 20 minutes of dialogue.
Kate Beahan's performance as Willow was flat and just plain crazy.
Instead of acting like a concerned mother, she acts like a mental patient. She and Cage have
absolutely no chemistry together. I think their scenes could have been performed by the
animatronic robots at Disney World and no one would have known the difference. It could have been the robot, Abraham Lincoln as Officer Malus and the robot, Betsy Ross as the ravishing
Willow Woodward. Now I would pay to see that.

And the Winner Is…
The movie was not only personally offensive, but it was one of the worst films I have ever seen.
At times it was even boring. The acting was atrocious and the story was fragmented. I thought I
was going to be sick if the camera spun around erratically one more time. The climactic scene of
the movie was like watching an episode of Sesame Street on crack. Don't waste your money or
time on this movie. I honestly do not think that the pagan community has anything to fear from
The Wicker Man. It will simply disappear like so many other bad films. By the way, the
original, though just as offensive, is at least a better flick.

About the Author: Shawn Sparks is a mother and teacher living in Texas. She has her Bachelors in History and her Masters in Education and has taught many different courses at both the High School and College levels. She is currently a Level One White Moon student at Daughters of the Greening.

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