axis mundi - august 2011

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Axis Mundi  July 2011 0 AXIS MUNDI WINTER/SPRING ISSUE August 2011

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AXIS MUNDIWINTER/SPRING ISSUE

 –August 2011

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Axis Mundi – August 2011 1

The beginning of a circle is also its end. Not I, but the world says it: all is one. And yet everythingcomes in season. - Heraklietos of Ephesos

Spheres of LightABN 46 385 794 818For general inquiries:Phone Janine on 0408 025 [email protected]://spheresoflight.com.au/  

In addition to our regular Full MoonCircles we also run workshops andclasses which are highly interactiveand experiential, focusing onparticipation and engagement ofparticipants. If you want to keepabreast of SOL's circles, gatherings,workshops and activities pleaseclick on the banner below to checkout our Events Calendar.

SPHERES OF LIGHT & AXIS MUNDI

ARE BASED IN AUSTRALIA. ALLEVENTS HOSTED BY SOL ARE HELDIN THE SYDNEY-ILLAWARRA AREAOF NSW.

If you wish to be removed from this listclick here. Spheres Of Light is proud tobe an official Affiliate Subcommittee ofthe Pagan Awareness Network AustraliaInc. For more information regarding PANInc., please visit their website:www.paganawareness.net.au. Unauthorized use of the Spheres Of

Light logo is prohibited. Logo Copyright © 2006-2011 Spheres Of Light. All rightsreserved. Website designed, built & maintained by Jenwytch. Original Axis Mundi design, layout & production byJenwytch (March 2008 to May 2011). PDF version of Axis Mundi Magazine design, layout & production by JanineDonnellan (from June 2011 onwards).

Contents:

Editorial – Bending with the wind page 2

Circle Work – Creating Sacred Space page 3

SOL’s Imbolc Circle page 5

Making Moon Cards page 6

Imbolc Impressions page 8

Shapeshifting page 9

Birds – Power Animals page11

The Three Selves page12

Poem – Earth page14

Goddess Arianrhod page15

Shaman’s Tools – Wand page17

Crystal – Tree Agate page19

Herbs – Coltsfoot page21

Leo – Regulus page24

Adriana’s Book Corner  page26

Kitchen Witchery page29

Witchy Crafts page30

Friendly Businesses page31

SOL Information & other events page33

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Axis Mundi – August 2011 2

FROM THE EDITOR

I am totally over winter now and can‟t wait for thewarmer weather. Spring is one of my favourite

seasons of the year and my thoughts are turningto clearing out all my accumulated garbage on amental, emotional and physical basis. I have beena bit slack with my fitness regime of late so that isone area that I will be injecting some rejuvenatedenergy in over the next few months.

Getting past procrastination is always the hardestpart, and knowing what to cut away from one‟s life

is always a difficult decision. It is getting on to sixmonths since I left my day job and it has taken me that time to adjust to a new wayof living. But now it is time for me to make space for growth and to allow space tobreathe and be, to experience new joy and energy levels.

At SOL‟s recent Imbolc ritual I had a profound meditation with the Goddess Brigid;she inspired me to get on with my vision and not to be side-tracked. Everyone madeMoon Cards during the ritual which encapsulated all our hopes and desires for thecoming months.

Bringing about change in our life can be a difficult process even if we know deepwithin us that it will eventually liberate us, utilising the essence of spring will connectus to the spirit of renewal, growth, expansion, and all that is creative. It is a time forthe warrior within to emerge and it is a good time of year to cultivate this energy bystrengthening our daily disciplines, overcoming blockages and creating new goalsand creative projects, transforming dietary habits, and cleansing our bodies, and ourhomes. It is a time of hope, possibility, and inspiration. It is a time to stretch oneselfas the new sapling that allows itself to bend in the wind.

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what youcould become.” 

Blessings

Janine

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Axis Mundi – August 2011 3

Circle Work – Creating Sacred Space 

Carl Jung was the first to acknowledge the power of the circle as an archetype ofwholeness and integration. He believed that the centre of a circle is an ancient anduniversally understood symbol of the Divine Source, the One.

A circle is a shape that is found repeatedly throughout the natural world, and it is asymbol of perfection. We recreate this perfect shape when we join together to form a

circle. Being in a circle allows us experience each other as equals. The creation of acircle is an ancient concept, from tribal circles to the mythical round table of KingArthur, archaeological evidence indicates that the circle has been the shapeadopted by gatherings throughout history.

Because a circle has no beginning and no end, the agreement to connect in a circleallows energy to circulate from one person to the next, rather than being dissipatedinto the environment. When we cast a circle we are redefining the space betweenreality and non-reality. In principle, we are creating a space that is designated as aspiritual experience, and it becomes the axis mundi, the point of connection betweenthe assign directions to this space and the inner and other worlds. The circle actuallybecomes a bridge between the worlds; it allows us to take advantage of the principleof nonlinear time, while remaining in the linear time to which we are accustomed.

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The Circle‟s defining factor is not only reflected in the setup of the ritual, but alsoreflected in the change of our emotional and intellectual states of being when weenter the ritual space. Interestingly, casting the circle may delineate the physicalrealities of the space, but it is our attitude that actually creates the sacred space.Casting a circle prepares us to be spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically inthe moment and that also makes the moment sacred. When a ritual is performedwithin the circle, we all have an obligation to flow with the energy and when that

energy is flowing and connecting then we become a part of the communicationsnetwork of the cosmos.

The essential factor to creating sacred space begins and ends with the intention oflistening to the voice at the centre of our being; this is the voice of our own deepestwisdom. Circle work deepens our connectivity and strengthens our relationship witheach other as well as to spirit. The creation of the circle eliminates the mundaneand enables us to tune in to vast resources of healing, wisdom and guidance.

The Circle is the centre of our cosmos, it acts in harmony with the rhythms of theuniverse, it allows us to focus on what we do and to whom we connect with,including all of nature. Photo by Jennie Jones, for her Sydney Pagan Photo Project

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SOL Circle August 12 2011

Imbolc Ritual 

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At our recent full moon circle SOL celebrated Imbolc, the 'Return of the Light'. This was anexperiential ritual combining the energies of Imbolc and the Aquarius full moon.

The energy of the full moon in Aquarius enabled us to create new ways of thinking and being. Theintent of the ritual was to find our inspiration, using the wisdom of the Goddess Brigid to illuminatea rebirth of energy in our life.

Each person opening a quarter was asked to call in their element from their own personalperspective. Each person within the circle then stated in a single word what the element meant tothem. The same process was repeated for the calling in of the Goddess Brigid and the FatherGod.

During meditation we journeyed to a cave where we connected to Brigid. The Goddess inspired usto create something new, to birth new hope and energy to sustain us through the next twelvemonths. After the meditation we all sat around a table and created a Moon Card, whichencapsulated our hopes and dreams.

We all shared our experiences and then we thanked our hosts and the elements for their presence

and guidance, the circle was closed, the residual energy was then grounded back into the earthand forwarded to individuals for healing.

More information regarding this circle and past circles can be found in our Book Of Shadows. Ournext Full Moon Circle will be held near Engadine on Friday, September 9. Please contact us forfurther details if you would like to attend.

Making a Moon Card

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When you want to bring in something new in your life, why not organise all your hopes and dreamsinto a card that you can place on your altar. This card will encapsulate all of your intent and energyand can be an integral part of a ritual or a spell that will be a constant reminder of your intendedgoals.

Before you begin your card go through magazines andphotos and collect images that resonate with your goal.Creating your Moon Card is creating magic so start yourcard making session by creating sacred space. Clean thearea, physically, and energetically. Light a candle if sodesired and call in your guides/deity to assist you in thisprocess.

You can make your cards any way that you like. Perhapsyou can coordinate the colours so they fit in with thevibration of your desire, e.g. pink for love, red for passion,blue for peace etc.

You can use different types of paper to create your card.Cardboard comes in many different colours and textures.You can also decorate your card with feathers and bling togive it that extra opulence. Make sure you have all the toolsand ingredients to make your card before you start thisprocess.

When you have completed your card, you canthen create a ritual that will enact the energy ofyour desire. If possible you can link it in with the

phase of the moon which will bring its ownspecial energy for that lunar cycle.Understanding what these energies bring willhelp you to connect with and use thoseenergies to their best advantage which isessential for your magical outcome. Don‟t forgetthat the phases of the moon from New Moon,until the Full Moon is called "waxing"  – which isassociated with increase and the time from theFull Moon until the New Moon is called “waning‟‟ – which is associated with removal or decrease.

The Full Moon is considered, the most powerfulday of the month to perform magic, with theNew Moon being the second in line.

So start going through your old magazines andphotos to make that special card and if you arehappy with the end result send us a photo ofyour Moon Card with some details about it andwe will feature it in Axis Mundi. 

.

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Just the othernight Spheres of

Light had a ritualto celebrateImbolc, and Ifound myselfthinking again(yes I know avery dangerousthing) about whatImbolc means tous especially with

society‟s

addiction to socialnetworks such as

Facebook, Twitter, and other types of mediathat seem to dictate our feelings, our dress,our friends and lifestyles.

Talking to people recently it seemed that wewere all feeling very tired lately due to toomany commitments. I wonder though howmuch of what we feel can be from the energyof the season or have we too much on ourplate at any given time? Anyway I transgress.

Perhaps we should stop for a moment andreflect on what the different seasons mean tous. Are they merely another step closer toretirement or death or are they moreimportant than that? It`s up to you to decidewhat is important in your life.

Imbolc celebrates the imminent arrival of

spring, homes are decorated with freshflowers, buds are beginning to form on thetrees and the light of nature begins to shinelonger and brighter.

Brigid is known as the Goddess of Imbolc;she has 3 spheres of influence:• Inspiration• Healing• Smith craft

Folk Lore

Folk Lore relating to St. Brigid's Day (orImbolc) involved the young girls of the village

who would create a corn dolly which

represented Brigid, adorning it with ribbonsand baubles. On St. Brigid's Eve, the youngwomen would gather together in one houseawaiting the arrival of the young men of thecommunity.

Before going to bed, each household wouldcompletely douse its hearth and rake theashes smooth. In the morning, they wouldlook for some kind of mark on the ashes, asign that Brigid has passed that way in the

night or morning. On the following day, theBride's Bed is brought from house to house,where she is welcomed with great honour.

People would often tap Brigid‟s effigy with anash wand, perhaps an old remnant of morepotent fertility rites that were once practiced.

Brigid represents the Life Force that will bringpeople from the darkness of winter intospring, which is why her presence is very

important at this time of year.

References: Shadows of Oz. by YvonneRathbone

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Shapeshifting is a common theme inmythology and folklore as well as in sciencefiction and fantasy. Shapeshifting is the act ofcausing transformation of one body intoanother. In the world of mythology andfantasy, werewolves and vampires are bothcreatures who can shift their shape. However,Shapeshifting has its roots in shamanismwhere the shaman or priest/ess takes on thespirit of the animal or being at will.

Shape shifting is shamanic journey wherethe consciousness is projected into objectsand beings. The ability to merge with Natureby bringing one's energy into synchronicity

with that of the environment or an object orbeing is the essence of shape shifting. In theprocess of learning shape shifting there aremany graduations of success. One canmerge to the point of being able to feel what itis like to be inside an animal or human body,or one can attune to its persona to learnabout their state of health, their instincts andknowledge. Many years ago when I waslearning Shapeshifting, the class had to pair

up and we had to project our consciousnessinto our partner. My partner was pregnant atthe time and when my consciousness hadentered her body I had the overwhelmingsensation of heartburn. This condition was

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confirmed by my partner. It is believed thatthe more masterful the adept the greater theability they have to align their energy withanother life form.

Shamanic initiations which are common in theindigenous world, often involving fasting,sleep deprivation, ritual burial, and are allforms of the vision quest where the initiatespends extended periods of time in nature,through trance/meditative states andceremony. The purpose of these practices isto develop the ability to perceive,communicate and shapeshift with spirits ofnature and the Divine.

These practices usually include the personworking with their animal totem, the animalthey feel a particular affinity with. They do thisthrough some form of dream walk, a trancelike state that opens them up to the spirits ofthe animals who they wish to communicatewith or to get protection from.

During shamanic sessions or rituals, theperson may call on their animal spirit toinhabit them and they may even shapeshift atsome level into the animal guiding them. Inthis state, the person can tap into the manypowerful attributes of their totem animal.They may even be able to imitate theanimal‟s sounds and howl or growl.

Shapeshifting Exercise

The mind is the gateway through which wecan experience all dimensions. This isachieved by training and controlling the mindto become the mechanism to open thevarious portals. By shaping our minds to open

in a certain way a shift or realization occurswhere we are able to perceive and connectwith these dimensions. The value of this isunderstood when we realize that all mind andbody states from emotions to expanded

spiritual consciousness are dimensionalrealities.

Shapeshifting is a dimensional reality whichcan be achieved with continued practice.

Begin by creating sacred space and calling inprotection. Choose a quiet place and time toconnect with a plant or animal. Centre youawareness to the core of your being and feelyour connection to the Earth. Slowly, let

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awareness expand from your centre toinclude your surroundings.

Now, focus on the plant or animal you wouldlike to shapeshift. Share with it yourappreciation for its beauty and presence inyour world.

With intent, let your awareness gradually sinkinto that shape. Allow your awareness to geta total feeling of the plant or animal. What doyou notice? What is the feeling of thiscreature? Are you experiencing an emotion orperhaps a flow of energy? Can you feeldifferences in body structures, notice the skin,

muscle, bone; bark, leaves, wood? Can youcommunicate with your plant or animalthrough images, feelings or words?Communication can be very subtle, so beready to receive what comes in any form.

With practice your experience can becomedeeper and richer. In time, you can learn tomerge yourself with another life form andaccess its knowledge and wisdom. Whenfinishing your Shapeshifting sessionremember to close down your sacred spaceand to ground any residual energy.

All animals have their own unique gifts andmedicine which they can share with humans.

We can access their knowledge and wisdom forour own spiritual growth, guidance and inner

 journeys.

Animals can be associated with the four basicelements of nature: air, fire, water and earth.

Birds are associated with the element of Air whichcorresponds with the direction of east. They aremasters of the sky are often referred to asmessengers.

The majority of birds are survivalists in their basic

nature, quite literally choosing flight over fight inmost of the circumstances. Their strong survivalinstinct can help you in a time when you feel theneed to withdraw quickly from a situation.

Through the process of Shapeshifting, a bird totemspirit guide will be able to teach you awareness ofyour surroundings, reflexes in precariousconditions, and show their skilled adaptability soyou can become an agile navigator in your ownlife.

If you want to achieve balance in your lifeallow your bird totem to help you soar in order to

utilize more of the lightness and freedom of air.

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The Three Selves 

Our consciousness parallels the spirit worlds -as above so below. Shamans believe inmultiple realities, and we have multiple bodiesfor these realities. To keep things simplisticwe will look at the multiple bodies inrelationship to the three worlds; the threeselves the middle, higher and lower selves.

Middle Self

The middle self relates to the physical world.However, your physical self is far more than  just a body. It combines your identity,

personality, your ego. It is all your pastmemories and all your potential futurechoices. It also includes your energytemplate, the etheric body.

Lower Self

The lower self is the intuitive, gut levelwisdom we all hold. Some people relate it toyour subconscious self, your flashes ofinsights or gut feelings come from yourinstinctual lower self. The lower self is linkedto your intuition, physic abilities and magick. Itis viewed as animalistic as it relies on instinctrather than logic. It is also connected to yoursolar plexus where all of your gut feelings andphysic impressions come from.

Higher Self

The higher self is your divine, immortal self. Itis not a protective spirit in the way mostpeople conceive of a guardian angel, but your

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own divine essence. The higher self isbeyond time and space and can see thepatterns of this life and all of your lives, pastand future as a whole.

During the long evolutionary cycle, whensouls descend into the lower worlds of 'matter'and then rise up again, the Higher Selfremains on the highest spiritual level,constantly accumulating and recording all theevolutionary experiences gained by thoseevolving soul extensions on lower levels. Thisaccumulated knowledge is then accessibleback to them via the Higher Self as an innervoice of conscience, always there to assistthem in taking the correct course appropriatefor their further development.

We can, therefore, with intent and suitabletraining, obtain access to all this accumulatedspiritual knowledge via our Higher Self, simplyby turning our thoughts inwards in quietcontemplation and seeking a connection withour 'I Am Presence'.

This store of evolutionary knowledge andabilities accumulated by the Higher Self alsoprovides each of the lower incarnated soulswith a background of traits, talents and

abilities acquired during previous lives. Thiscontinuity of development and attainmentexplains why some people are born on Earthwith unusually exceptional natural talents,such as in the field of healing or science, orperhaps as a scientific genius or musical childprodigy.

As you advance further into the highervibrations you will develop opencommunication with your own higher selves.

At first this will appear as an increasedconnection to source. Everyone will developmore open communication culminating with afull connection to your own Higher Selves. Intime you will be able to tap into the thoughtsof each other through each other's higherselves. After a period of humorousadjustment, you will find this to be a greatstrength. When each one can see clearly thereal motivations behind actions, there will betrue understanding and compassion. This will

leave no room for deception. The energy youare now walking into will bring possibilitiesyou cannot yet imagine. You are at the

  juncture of bringing the reality of "Home"down to your side of the veil.

Guides

To further guide and watch over us during ourincarnations here on Earth, each of us hasvarious Guides working from the SpiritualWorlds. At birth, our Guardian Angels keep aparticularly close watch over us when we firstincarnate into the physical body, especially upto the age of seven. Young children, whoseetheric sight is usually still functioning, areindeed often able to see their GuardianAngels as they stand over them, protectingand guiding them.

A Guide may also be gaining some useful

additional evolutionary learning experiencesby watching our life and learning from ourlessons. However, whilst our Guardian Angelsand our Guides are ready to advise and assistus at all times, there are two fundamentalqualifications to this help. Firstly; they will notnormally interfere unless we ask directly fortheir help; they must always respect our freechoice and thus not deprive us of theimportant lessons we have to learn ourselves.Secondly; we should not assume that

'whatever we ask will be given', for we mustremember that Higher Beings have a higher,wider vision, and they will not help us to dosomething which is not for our 'highest good'.It could be so easy for us to feel, when ourfervent prayers for help do not appear to beanswered, that we have been 'let down'. Butwe should understand that the links betweenus and our Guides were formed and exist onthe higher Soul level. At this level they know,and indeed we too recognize when we are

visiting the higher planes in our sleep time,what is best for our 'highest good'.

The more you consciously identify with allthree selves, and shift your identity beyond  just the middle self, the more you becomeawakened or enlightened in this life time.Realising your divine union and your divineindividuality seems like a paradox. Living theparadox is the role of any witch, shaman ormystic.

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Of earth I returnbut that’s not the

end

order of lifebirth to death

an oak treefrom a humble seed

plants animalsfeed on thee

protection I needrejuvenation I seek

strength regainedamazing land

fertility aboundabundance allaround

prosperity assureabundance galore

stable groundfoundations laid

for home and familyfood prevails

silence for allhear the wild call

in time of sorrowbury in soil

for all to gainit’s worth the toil

to you great motherI assist by plantinga tree

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Arianrhod Silver Wheel by Wintersmagic

Goddess Arianrhod‟s name means "Silver Wheel" or "Silver Circle". She is known as aGoddess of the Moon, of initiation and justiceand of the changing Seasons. She is theKeeper of the Silver Wheel and Lady of theTides and Time.

Some believe Arianrhod to be the Goddessof the Wheel of the Year, the Moon and Starsand of reincarnation. She is the CelestialWeaver; controlling the destiny of the lives ofmen and women and she exemplifiesfeminine power and beauty. She is the tripleGoddess, the Maiden Blodeuwedd and theCrone , Cerridwen or the Morrigan.

Meditation - Arianrhod's Glass House

You walk through the cool white mist feelingits energy protecting and caressing you as

you move through it. Once the mist hascleared you find yourself on a cliff high above

the ocean. The wind blows in all directionsaround you. You feel the gentle spray ofwater from the ocean as it crashes againstthe sides of the cliff. It is the time of twilight

and the moon is new and it appears as asilver slither in the sky. The stars begin toglimmer in the purple haze. The sun has setbut its rays of burnished pink are justbeginning to fade. You stand staring out intothe vast ocean its waters looks dark, deepand mysterious. The white foam stands outso clear upon the crest of the waves like abattalion of charging stallions. You breathedeeply taking in the variety of aromas. Thesaltiness of the ocean, the ozone, the smell ofheath around you; you are totally absorbedby the senses of nature all around you. Asyou walk near the edge of the cliff you noticea large white owl circling above you. Its cries

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sound like music, sounds of a long lost lullabythat seems so familiar. You turn to watch asthe bird circles around, you watch as it circleshigh up in the sky. You move to follow thismagnificent bird only to see before you agrand house made of glass. You hadn'tnoticed this house before when you werestanding on the edge of the cliff. It is as if ithas just appeared. You follow the pathwaytowards the house. A subtle light appearsfrom inside. A warm gentle beckoning light.As you move through this path you noticelarge elaborate spider webs neatly created onthe small trees that line the pathway. Thewebs are like beautifully crafted sculpturesglistening from water drops trapped within thetendrils of the web. Oh how they glow withthe lights of the twilight. They are like

beacons lighting the way.

You stand now at the doorway of this unusualhouse. Noticing the light coming from thecentre you move to open the glass door, but itopens by itself in expectation of your visit.You feel a shift in the energy as you past thethreshold. You hear soft music, like the soundof a thousand bees humming harmoniously.As you walk through this house you are

completely captivated by its beauty. Thefurnishings are of purest crystal and opulentsilks. Once again you see the owl perched onthe top a crimson chair staring out to sea. Asyou approach this chair you find that owl is nolonger there and then you notice a womansitting quietly in the chair, waiting. Thewoman is striking, she has long dark hair, andis wearing the sheerest silver gown, a gownthat has the luminance of star light.

She speaks to you with a gentle musicalvoice, not looking at you but staring straightahead looking out into the landscape. I amthe Goddess Arianrhod, the Goddess of theSilver Wheel, the Keeper of past, present andfuture. Arianrhod then stands and turns toface you directly. Her face is pale,translucent, her eyes are dark and

mysterious. You look deeply into her eyes,eyes that seem to grow larger and larger untilthey look like large dark deep pools. Shespeaks, "Stand now in the flood tide of yourpower, now see where all paths lead. Whereyou have come from, where you stand nowand where next you travel. You stand therelooking deeply into her eyes. Now listen tothe whispered breeze that carries you a song.Hark to the still, small voice that calls andtells you, where you belong."

It seems like you have been in this place nowfor a long time and suddenly you are arousedby the sound of the owl as flies out of theroom. You turn to follow the owl and you findthat a thin spiders web has been wound

around your body. It feels soft and caressing.You hear some words softly spoken in thewind "Come, leave you now, My silver webthe weaving of your fate. My strands nostronger than you can bear, spun to guide,not decimate."

You turn now and leave this beautiful housefilled with crystal furniture and silk. The webencased around you fades into nothing. Youmove out past the threshold of this

magnificent house, noticing the energy shift.You move down the path that is guided by thesilvery web. You notice the stars now shiningso brightly in the darkened sky and you turnonce again to look at the glass house only tofind it has disappeared. You walk down thetrack that leads you away from this magicalplace. Hearing the sound of the wavescrashing against the cliff as you leave , andsoon you see that white mists that leads youhome and you move through it feeling its

coolness on your face. You sit back into yourbody feeling your chest rise and fall with eachbreath. Wiggle your fingers and toes andstretch your arms and legs.

http://www.angelfire.com/wizard/celticdeities/ http://forestofthefaie.ning.com/group/moonofarianrhodcornmoon

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Shaman’s Tools ~ Wand

There is a difference of opinion as to whatelement the wand represents some say itrepresents air and the east, some say fireand the north. Of course it is up to theindividual to decide, but usually thedetermining factor would be dependent onthe material it has been made from. In normalcircumstances the wand is used to directenergy or for summoning.

The wand is the tool of the mind, a tool ofcommunication and invitation and also used

to charge objects and draw down the moon. Itis seen as an instrument of invocationassociated with the element of air.

The properties of the wand will varyaccording to the particular properties of thetree and the type of magick you practice. Agood study of the magickal properties of thematerials that make up the wand will guide inthe making or purchase of this tool.

Crystals & Embellishments

To decorate or not to decorate that is thequestion! Many people would prefer to keeptheir wand in its natural wooden state butsome like to personalise their wand withcrystals and symbols to imbue it withadditional vibrations. To attach a crystal toyour wand you can secure it to the end withresin glue or carve out an appropriate sizedhole in the side and glue it or wrap leather

strips around it. Copper or silver wire can alsobe wrapped around it.

You can also paint or burn sigils andinscriptions on it if you want.

Finding the right piece of wood

Do not destroy a tree for your wand, take thepiece of wood to be carved into a wand froma tree that has already felled or is goingthrough a winter period of dormancy and isnot productive. If the branch is to be cut, getto know the tree first. This may sound silly butif the spirit of the tree and you do not get on

then the wand you make will not work withyou. Ask the tree's permission first and leavean offering in gratitude of the tree's gift to you.The branch is then dried; the bark removedand cut the length from your elbow to the tipof your middle finger. Cleanse and charge thebranch in the elements (sprinkle with saltwater for earth and water; pass through thesmoke of incense for fire and air). Offer thebranch to the four directions and to the Godand Goddess. Hold the branch close to your

body and connect with its energy. Feel yourlife force merging with the sacred wood. Thebranch is now ready to be decorated if sodesired.

As with all ritual tools, remember that yourwand is sacred and should be treated withreverence and respect. Wrap it carefully in aspecial cloth or in a special box. Allow onlythose whose energy you want affecting yourmagick to pick up your wand. After all, you

don't want someone else utilising its energyor imbuing it with negativity!

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By Maria

We have just celebrated Imbolc, a time ofchange and renewal. It is the time when new

shoots start to peek through the soil, awakenfrom their deep sleep and new life begins toemerge. It heralds a time to commit toourselves to make our world a better place tolive plus honouring the spark of divinecreativity within us and raise healing energy.

„Imbolc is strongly associated with thegoddess Brighid and is seen as her festival.In Wicca she is midwife to the spring, thedivine woman who breathes her fiery breath

upon the earth to awaken it. Her role extendsto enabling new projects- many of us plantseed and bulbs at this time to represent areasin our lives that we wish to nurture and grow.‟The Wicca Bible, Ann-Marie Gallagher.

Tree agate does just that. The green andwhite of this stone reminds me of youngshoots breaking through the snow. The firstsign that spring is on its way and now is thetime to nurture that new growth. It‟s symbolicof our own growth that needs to be nurturedand cared for, thus allowing our dreams,goals, desires and aspirations to grow to itsfull potential.

Tree Agate, sometimes referred to as „TreeStone‟, is a bright to milky white opaquestone with inclusions of green dendrites, treeor fern like markings. Dendritic is the Greekword for tree-like.

The tree-like inclusions reach out in alldirections. This reminds us that all isconnected to mother earth, to each other,past and present. It‟s all there. 

This connection keeps us balanced andgrounded, rooted into the earth. Through thisassociation Tree Agate makes a good stonefor tree magick. Trees represent slow butsure growth from the smallest beginnings asa seed to eventually a tree. This tree thensupports via fertility, strength, endurance,shelter and permanence. A transformationhas occurred, from humble beginnings to amajestic presence.

Tree Agate is a slow releasing energy stonethat continues to build while keepingoptimistic about the outcome. The saying„Rome wasn‟t built in a day‟ comes to mind.Due to its slow energy release this stoneneeds to be worn for longer periods of time.

Tree Agate is a stone of abundance andfullness in life and the plant kingdom. Itenhances plus maintains your health and thatof your plants. Place one in house plants or

veggie patch to sustain the wellbeing of yourvegetation.

Due to its vein like features this stonesupports the body by maintaining a healthysupply and flow of blood and air. It assists insending healing to parts of the body thatbranch out, for example the nerves andskeleton. For pain relief place a piece of treeagate in the troubling area to soothe it.

If energies around you are moving too fast,that the mental body cannot handle, a pieceof tree agate at the crown chakra will help toslow it down giving you peace of mind and

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stabilizing your energy so that you remaincentred in times of unbalance. Due to itsgreen colour the heart charka will benefit fromits soothing effects on emotional pain.

Colours play a role in our lives its uses aremany. Sometimes just wearing a particularcolour will uplift our mood, which is just oneexample. In magick colour becomes apowerful tool to use. The magick of colouralso stems to our chakra system.

With Tree Agate the two main colours are softwhite and green. The soft white is the colourof nurturing, of maternal milk and of themoon; it radiates gently its power to its fullpotential. The green is the colour of givingand receiving from the heart; of beauty andgrowth in all aspects of life.

Tree Agate use in magick:

• protective for air and car travel• preserving family links• increase influence through networking• gradual expansion of business

Cassandra Eason, quoted affirmation for TreeAgate is „I make connection with others whoshare my path‟.

Please note that Tree Agate in a few sitesand books assign the name Dendritic Agate,it does contain dendritic inclusions butDendritic Agate is defined as:“Dendritic Agate is a type of agate that

displays sharply defined, two-dimensionaltree-like branching patterns within thestone…dendrites floating… picturesque…beautifully patterned…” Extract from:Collecting Rocks, Gems and Minerals, PattiPolk.

See picture, small oval shape, DendriticAgate. There are differences between Tree

Agate and Dendritic Agate. Tree Agate is asolid opaque stone and Dendritic Agate is atranslucent stone.

The Wicca Bible, Ann-Marie GallagherGemstones of the World, Walter SchumannCollecting Rocks, Gems and Minerals, Patti PolkCrystal Workbook, Sheril BerkovitchA Year and a Day in Magick, Cassandra EasonComplete Book of Natural Magick, CassandraEason

http://www.healingcrystals.com/Agate__Tree__Tree_Agate__Articles_21.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trees_in_mythology

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Well are you sick of thecoughs, colds & sniffles?

Well I am that‟s for sure! This herbe is goodfor coughs and it should go a long way to

make you love this time of year. But bewarned, if you take this herbe internally,don‟t use it for too long, a week should belong enough, as prolonged use can causeliver damage i.e. 4 cups a day for 3 months(if you‟re that sick, give up and just go tobed).

COLTSFOOT

Latin Name: Tussilago farfaraGaelic Name: SponncPlanet: VenusCeltic Tree Astrology:Zodiac: TaurusElement: WaterGender: FeminineDeity: Chiron, VenusMagickal: Herbe of Love, Herbe ofDivinationFolk Names: British tobacco, Bullsfoot,

Butterbur, Coughwort, Flower Velure, Foal's-foot, Horse-foot, Horsehoof, Pas d'ane(French)Parts Used: Leaves & Flowers

LORE

Coltsfoot is one of the first flowers to emergein the springtime, often appearing as early asFebruary in the Northern Hemisphere. Thisand its bright sunny yellow flowers make it

suitable for springtime rituals welcoming thereturn of the sun, such as Imbolc, Ostara andBeltain- depending on when they bloom thatparticular year! The long stems can also bewoven into wreaths.

Coltsfoot or „sponnc‟ (Gaelic) is also a herbeassociated with Brigid.

USAGE

Colts Foot is said to have the properties to

cause visions or the drawing in of propheticdreams. It is also burned in divinatory andhealing incense when seeking communionwith spirits or other 'energies'.

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Coltsfoot can be burned with otheringredients to aid sickness, both physical andmental and to help with emotional andphysical stagnation.

As Coltsfoot is a herbe of Venus, use itmagically to engender love and to bringpeace. It can also been used in tranquillityand money spells.

As a magical herbe Coltsfoot is considered toincrease psychic awareness, but it is rarelyused alone. Some people mix Coltsfoot withother so-called "psychic herbs," such asAcacia, Althaea, Angelica, Anise Seed,Bearberry, Mugwort, Purslane, or Star Anise,and burn the mix on charcoal when seeking

communion with spirits or drawing inprophetic dreams.

Do not confuse common coltsfoot withWestern coltsfoot Petastites frigidus.

MEDICINAL USAGE

Medical Parts: Leaves, flowers.

Description: Coltsfoot is a perennial plant

found in the U.S., Europe and the East Indiesin west areas such as stream banks, in

pastures, and on ridges and embankments,preferring loamy and limestone soils.

Properties and Usage: Astringent, demulcent,emollient, expectorant. Coltsfoot is one of thetime-tried remedies for respiratory problems.Use it for coughs, colds, hoarseness,bronchitis, bronchial asthma, pleurisy, andthroat catarrh. For chronic bronchitis,shortness of breath, and dry cough, trysmoking the leaves. Coltsfoot can also beused for diarrhoea. The crushed leaves or adecoction can be applied externally for insectbites, inflammations, general swellings,burns, erysipelas, leg ulcers and phlebitis.

Preparation and Dosage: Collect the flowersas soon as they open, the leaves when they

reach full size.

Infusion: Use 1 to 3 tsp. leaves or flowerswith 1 cup water; steep for 30 minutes andstrain. Sweeten with honey and take warm.Juice: Take 1 to 2 tbsp, three times a day.Tincture: Take 1 to 2 tsp. at a time.

References:http://www.shee-eire.com/Herbs,Trees&Fungi/Herbs/Coltsfoot/ 

Factsheet1.htmhttp://www.witchipedia.com/coltsfoothttp://www.occultliving.com/c/coltsfoot-dp2http://celticawitch.wordpress.com/the-wheel-of-the-year/imbolc/ a compendium of Herbal Magick by PaulBeyerlCunningham‟s Encyclopedia of MagicalHerbs

Pictures:

http://www.viableherbalsolutions.com/singles/ Herbs/s749.htmhttp://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/coltsfoot.htmlhttp://paganpages.org/content/tag/coltsfoot/ 

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Mercury conjuncts the fixed star Regulus on27th July and opposes Neptune. By the end ofthis year Regulus the brightest star in theconstellation of Leo will at the end ofNovember 2011 shift into the sign of Virgo.*After 2160 years in the sign of Leo, it is notsurprising that the star has been known as

the King maker, the star of heroes, bestowinghonours and fame to those linked to theprestige of Regulus, it also comes with awarning that money doesn‟t necessarily bringhappiness.

Regulus is one of the four Royal stars that sitclose to the ecliptic and have been themarkers of the four corners of the zodiac formillennia. They used to grace the fixed signsof the zodiac, Antares  – Scorpio, Regulus-Leo, Formalhaut- Aquarius, and AldebaranTaurus, but have since moved out ofalignment with the original constellations they

were associated with. Fomalhaut is now inmutable Pisces at 4 degrees conjunct Chiron,Aldebaran is in Gemini is at 9 degrees,Regulus sits at 29:59 Leo about to shift inNovember 2011, and Antares is now at 9Sagittarius. Antares and Aldebaran exactlyopposite in the sky, shifted in about 1300 CE,

and Fomalhaut shifted to Pisces in 1725 CE.

The shift of these royal stars from fixed tomutable signs is based on the tropical zodiac,which moves 1 degree backwards in thezodiac every 72 years, this is known asPrecession of the Equinoxes as we start thetropical zodiac at zero Aries, when the Sunaligns with the Equinox point on March 20-21st every year.

With Regulus about to move into Virgo, itseems so appropriate and timely as weconsider a world ruled by powerful elites, andsocieties ruled by money and power. Now we

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have Regulus move into the sign of service,resourcefulness, technology, skill and duty,as we consider waste, global resources,efficiency, and how to get things workingbetter, timely to say the least. Those wholearn to be of service, to adapt an attitude ofservice to the sacred, the planet earth andher precious resources and the healing of theplanet will be the new heroes of the next age.This is accentuated as Regulus opposesNeptune at zero Pisces and will do so foranother few years mostly into 2012. Neptuneopposite, seems to accentuate the changingof the old guard, from ego centred rulers tothose more attuned to collective and globalneeds.

With Mercury at this point, ask yourself whatyour service will be as the changing of theGuard takes place. What will be your sacredservice, your role in the healing and health ofthe planet? Everyone is called to takeresponsibility and play their role as wechange our minds about what‟s mostimportant in this world.

* according to Solar Fire softwarecalculations. Although divisions of theconstellations cannot be exact, when usingthe tropical zodiac of all signs being 30degrees each, this is the timing for this shift ofRegulus to Virgo.

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Adriana’s Book Corner 

Merry meet! 

CASTING THE CIRCLEA WOMEN’S BOOK OF RITUAL Dianne Stein

Paperback: 260 pagesPublisher: Crossing Press (September 1,1990)ISBN-10: 0895944111ISBN-13: 978-0895944115

Today I would like to talk about one my all-time favourite books, one I read regularly forinspiration when planning a ritual, especiallywhen I‟m by myself.

This is a feminist book so our malecounterparts may not find it as interesting andhelpful as us ladies. The first three chapterscontain a lot of wonderful backgroundinformation, starting with what Ritual is and its

purpose in Women‟s lives, how women r elateto the Goddess, the many names of theGoddess and a bit of herstory across the

centuries. The following 5 chapters are allabout cycles, with chapter 4 being all abouthow the moon relates to women‟s lives andspirituality; it includes rituals for every stageof the moon, as well as a Menstrual poemand invocation (because of the strong relationbetween Moon‟s Cycle and Women‟sMenstrual Cycle). Chapters 5 and 6 are to dowith the Wheel of the Year, my favourite partbeing the “Gifts of the Priestess Wheel”,which relates each Sabbat to a Goddess, an

Element and a Process towards the Inner  journey; for example, Spring Equinox, whichis the next Sabbat for us, is related to Koreand Air, and it‟s about Birth Mysteries,Blessing Way, Midwifery, Mother/Daughter,Children, Past Lives and Re-Birthing. Afterthe Wheel of Year the next two chapters areabout Rites of Passage, from Birth to Bondingand from Pregnancy to Passing Over; therituals in these chapters validate Women‟s

experience and existence as images of theGoddess, embodiments of the Goddess; theycelebrate women‟s cycles, from baby toMaiden to Mother to Crone and includeWiccaning ritual, Ritual of Creation forPregnancy, and Passing Over, among manyothers. And finally the last two chapters areabout other rituals, which consist of a HouseBlessing, Meeting Spirit Guides, GroupBonding, and Letting Go (or Cutting theCords that Bind), and Candle Magic which

contains the meaning of colours, symbols,essences, days to do magic for specificpurposes, moon signs, herbs, structure forcandle magic ritual, and examples for variousspecific rituals like Healing and Banishing.

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There are many rituals within this book, I lovehow the author gives a background andrationale for each, a list of items needed, anoutline which includes different ideas aboutwhat to do in each ritual, what to bring for thefeast afterwards, and chants, songs andpoems for the ritual. The big majority of therituals are planned for closed Covens ofwomen, however they can easily be adaptedto individual rituals or for open groups thatconsist of males and females (such as ourlovely Spheres of Light!).

Another interesting point that the authormakes is that each ritual must meet threecriteria: that it involve all the women (or allparticipants), that it contains elements of

healing, change or transformation, and that itbe a validation of each woman (or participant)as Goddess. (p 58)

The chapters are:

1. Women, Ritual and the Goddess2. Altars and Beginnings3. Ritual Structure4. The Moon and Women‟s Lives 5. The Wheel of the Year I6. The Wheel of the Year II7. Rites of Passage I8. Rites of Passage II9. Other Rituals10. Candle Magic

KATHY JONES IN AUSTRALIA

FULL TOUR ITINERARY OF WORKSHOPS

MELBOURNE 30 – 2 OCTOBER 2011

Friday 30 September 20111 day workshop - Sacred DramaSaturday 1 October 20111 day workshop - The Ways of AvalonSunday 2 October 2011

Morning - Releasing and HealingAfternoon - Sounding our Souls

With Anique Radiant HeartFor info and to [email protected]

CANBERRA WEDNESDAY 5 OCTOBER2011

One day workshopMorningThe Ways of AvalonAfternoon

Releasing What Is No Longer NeededContact [email protected]

BLUE MOUNTAINS 7 – 9 OCTOBER 2011

Friday 7 October 2011The Ways of AvalonSaturday 8 October 2011What is a Priestess?Sunday 9 OctoberReleasing and HealingContact

[email protected]

GAIA GODDESS CONFERENCE FRINGE13 OCTOBER 2011 

One day workshopThe Ways of AvalonAndWhat is a [email protected]

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Kitchen Witchery

Swiss cheese and tomato tart

There's nothing like a picnic on a fine springday and this easy tart will make a deliciousaddition to any hamper!Ingredients (serves 6)

1 large sheet frozen ready-rolled shortcrustpastry (see tip), partially thawed200g mini roma tomatoes

4 slices Swiss cheese, cut into 1cm strips8 sprigs basil

1/2 cup thickened cream1/4 cup milk1 egg

Method

Preheat oven and a flat baking tray to 200°C.Use pastry to line base and side of a 5cmdeep, 20cm (base) springform pan. Trimexcess pastry. Line pastry case with bakingpaper. Half-fill with raw rice. Place on hot trayand bake blind for 10 minutes or until lightgolden. Remove paper and rice. Bake pastryfor a further 5 minutes or until golden and firmto touch.

Remove tart case from oven. Reducetemperature to 180°C. Arrange tomatoes,cheese and basil over warm pastry case.Whisk cream, milk and egg in a jug. Seasonwith salt and pepper. Gently pour egg mixture

over tomatoes. Bake tart for 50 minutes oruntil egg custard is just set. Remove fromoven and allow to cool. Refrigerate untilchilled. Serve.

Tip:

Shortcrust pastry sheets are available in 2sizes, large (pie/quiche) or regular. If usingregular-sized, you will need to join 2 sheetstogether. Transport tip: Leave cooked tart in

cake pan and cover with foil. Store in anairtight container lined with a tea towel (thisprevents tart sliding). Transfer from pan to aplate at picnic. Cut and serve.

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/13268/swiss+cheese+and+tomato+tart

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WITCHY CRAFTSCleansing Incense 

With spring just around thecorner, our thoughts turn tospring cleaning. Out withthe old and in with the new.Time to change the energyof your house and life.

Cleansing Incense1 part White Sage1 part Lavender

1 part sweet grass

To get the dust shaken offour energy bodies after acold long winter, the bestessential oils to spray in anaround your energy field arefrankincense, cedar wood,myrrh, jasmine,sandalwood, vetiver,mugwort, and sage. This isto ensure a light andinvigorated auric body.

AUGUST TAROTREADINGThe Fool 

How many times have youfelt like a fool? The fool issomeone is carefree andhas a sense of innocent andawareness. The fool has theinnate ability to just trust in

life and is ready to take thatLeap into the unknown atany given moment.

The fool is our whimsical"inner child" that lives downdeep inside of us all. Thechild that seeks out newpossibilities. The fool faceslife and the journeyunafraid, trusting, theperfect example of total andutter faith that all will bewell, that every experiencehas a deep essentialmeaning.

If you have been living withrestlessness and frustration,now is the time to plan yournew adventure. Put those

winter blues behind you asit is time to jump off thecliff...Tarot card is fromGlastonbury Tarot by LisaTenzin-Dolma

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/magicaloils/qt/ImbolcOil.htmhttp://paranormalutopia.com/2011/05/ make-your-own-imbolc-incense511/http://www.suzannebovenizer.com/aromatherapy-essential-

oils/spring-cleaning-the-home-and-self/ 

 

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Welcome to SOuLSearchers Magazine. 

This free bi-monthly onlinemagazine was developed fromSOuL Searchers Investigationsas a way of communicating ourexperiences and to further ourexplorations into the realms ofthe supernatural and theunexplained.

Our magazine is produced everytwo months and provides topical

information to  keep you up todate on news and the latestdevelopments happening in theAustralian paranormalcommunity. In addition to ourannouncements on upcomingactivities and events, SOuLSearchers Paranormal Magazinewill contain articles, photos and

information on the paranormal,parapsychology, ghost tours,mysterious locations, psychicsand mediums etc.

Click on the magazine cover to see the first issue

...so you'll know when a new issue is available.

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WHAT'S HAPPENINGAT SOL?

SOL Full Moon CircleSeptember 9, 2011 

Spheres Of Light holds regular

Full Moon Circles nearEngadine (Southern Sydney,Australia) on the Friday beforeeach Full Moon. These FullMoon gatherings are OpenCircles, meaning that allPagans are welcome to comealong any time and experiencea Full Moon circle with us.Details here... 

SOL Meditation in the Royal

National ParkSunday September 18, 2011 

Click here for moreinformation. 

Come join us for meditation inthe beautiful surrounds of TheRoyal National Park. Ourmeditations will be conductedevery third Sunday of themonth. Please [email protected] 

for times and meet up details.

(Please Note: you must beover 18 years of age to

attend any SOL gatherings,events, classes &workshops.)

OTHER PAGAN ANDCOMMUNITY EVENTS

Please email us the details ofany pagan or communityevents, classes, workshops orregular meetings that you'dlike to see promoted here inthis free listing.

PAN Full Moon PublicCircleThursday September 12,2011 at Seven Hills,Sydney (map) 8:30pm

PAN Inc. full moon ritual. PANruns a public full moon ritualeach month at Rotaract Hill,Seven Hills. Anyone iswelcome to attend - thepurpose of the ritual is toprovide members of the pagancommunity an opportunity tocelebrate the full moontogether & network withfriends, it is also a public ritualwhere those new to paganismcan attend to learn more andmeet like-minded others,  andthe rituals also help inform thegeneral public about whatpagans do and dispelmisguided myths about

paganism and witchcraft.

The circle is held on the top ofRotaract Hill on TerminusRoad Seven Hills NSW, justnext to the train station.Getting there is easy. If youtake the train, the hill is lessthan five minutes‟ walk (andeasily visible from the station).If you drive, there is plenty ofparking available both at the

base of the hill and acrossTerminus Road. Full Moon infoand contact details here.

When: Saturday 1st October

2011, 7:00 pm.Where: The Gaelic HotelSydney, 64 Devonshire StreetSurrey Hills 2011.Cost: Members tickets are $70and non-members $80, abooking fee applies from ourticketing agents. Memberswishing to purchase tickets willneed to enter in a password,which can be obtained byemailing Kelly at

[email protected] you would like to purchasetickets, please visit theMoshtix Website.

Workshops at Miranda(Embrace) &Wollongong (Lotus)

All of the workshops are

highly interactive andexperiential, focusing on theparticipation andengagement of participants.

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SOuL Searchers  isSpheres of Light's

paranormal investigationssubgroup.  They use acommon sense scientificapproach to allinvestigations but also havean open mind to all theories& methodologies.

Crone and Sage  is awebsite that is dedicated toour pagan elders who wantto share their knowledgeand wisdom, magic and lifeexperiences in the form ofarticles, poetry, recipes,artwork and music.

The Spheres Of LightHolistic Centre has within itsmembers practitioners whocan provide SpiritualHealing in a variety of

natural healing modalities.

If you want to know aboutcurrent topics click here. This is a place where you

can discuss ideas and catchup on general news. So ifyou want to participateplease become a member

as we would love to hearfrom you.

The National PaganDirectory  is a Spheres OfLight initiative to helpAustralian Pagans connectwith each other in their localarea. It is a FREE listing &provides links to informationabout covens, groups,workshops, retreats & otherspecial Pagan events, plusAussie Pagan businesses &

services. If you would likeyour coven, group, regularmeet-up to be listed in theNPD please send us yourdetails. To list your one-offor special events pleaseuse our Australian PaganEvents forums. We alsoinvite Celebrants in thePagan community topromote their services in the

NPD. For further information& contact details click onthe banner above.

Would you like to helpsponsor our free eMagazineand advertise your pagan-friendly business in AxisMundi? Click here for moredetails.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE 14th of each monthPublication Date approx.20th/21st.

Submissions to thiseMagazine are open to allpagans and paganorganisations. Submit yourarticles, poetry, bookreviews, essays andopinions, hints and tips,information pieces andartwork. All contributorsreceive full credit, and arelinked to their website ifdesired. Just send aninquiry or the completedwork to us. More info here

Keep up to date with SOL'sactivities via Facebook.

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