September 2004 Newsletter
1) Judith's Ramblings
- Judith's Ramblings
- Product Spotlight
- Book Review
- Talisman Making
- CD Review
JOIN ME for London Chocolate Week October 4th - 10th! http://www.chocolateweek.co.uk/ There are already about 5 of us from the New Moon moot who will be going on the mid-week chocolate tour so it is already set to be tons of fun! That is, providing there *is* a Wednesday (or Tues or Thurs) chocolate tour of London. As soon as I know I'll be passing details on. It'll be fun!
This month has been quite weird. My immune system, it seems, is in overdrive so I was thinking - perhaps there should be a way for me to donate part of my immune system to help someone with AIDS - it would be so cool if I could. That would leave me with a normal immune system and possibly give someone back their life. It is a shame that I can't do that because it would be so beneficial.
I have lost 5lbs, 5.25 inches and just under 1% body fat this past month (well, since my last weigh and measure). The Atkins diet has been kind to me again and my body reshape is well underway again. There may be a medical reason for me to stay on a diet similar to the Atkins diet for a long time yet and so I suppose I should be pleased - here's to even more weight loss! I'll know next week what's happening.
Nothing much has been happening here at New Moon central - I've been scouting for new items and filling most of the orders. Dave has been working on a new shopping cart and preparing for our audit as well as helping with orders. The audit's only a short affair so there isn't too much to do once prepared. I've also been looking in to getting more circlets that can double as necklaces as our current supply may be drying up. I've had quite a few samples sent through to me from new wholesalers but alas one of our wholesalers has had to call the receivers in. It looks like it will be an exciting few months leading up to Yuletide with lots of new fun stuff!
I'm stull cleaning out the storeroom and adding stuff to the sale page as I find it. Do please check it often as I will add things sporadically and so I will not be able to predict when things will be added or what will be added.
As promised, I have reinstated open rituals. An open ritual is a space where you can come and celebrate with other people of a like mind any holiday without any commitment to a coven or group. The rituals are explained before hand and a feast usually follows. Generally, the ritual does not involve anything which would be difficult, intense or challenging and so enables a free space to celebrate in. I will perform them within the tradition I created while at university more than 10 years ago and so please don't think this will reveal any secret mysteries. The open circles are just for fun!
Would you like to help us win best online shop this year? Please cast your vote here http://www.witchcraft.org/polls/fillsurvey.php?sid=10 and you will have a voice in voting for the best online shop (us I hope!) and best real world shop, best author, best film and more! Please help us out and make sure your other favourites win!
We've got a new way of looking at items and we have an endangered species list and an extinct list. The endangered species will likely be discontinued within 6 months unless something changes and extinct are items we are discontinuing within 7 days.
At the moment, the items we're making extinct are: cryptique board (I think we have 1 left), climbing dragon in pewter (pendant), obsidian scrying mirrors (only because we can't get any more - I think we have 1 left)
We have a huge list of items on the endangered species list. Some of the things we're considering getting rid of are the elemental wall plaques, the whole divination section, and black wood handled athames. These aren't set in stone and we may yet keep them but at the moment, we're wondering if people wouldn't be more interested in different items. With 12 sections and over 3,500 items, I'm thinking we really do need to slim down. I think we're just getting too big. Or maybe not - what do you think?
Have you joined the World Science Fiction and Fantasy convention for 2005 in Glasgow Scotland? If you have holiday you can take in early August in 2005, DO IT! I like party-hopping myself as I see more people there. I also like the free books *grins* and meeting people who have read the same books, are interested in the same thing and like talking about their fav authors. http://www.interaction.worldcon.org.uk/
EasterCon 2005 is coming up and we're hoping to have a table at it as well. Why not drop by for Sue Mason art (dragons, fantasy and pagan artwork on wood), books GALORE and lots of fun! http://www.paragon2.org.uk/
Have you bought some incense from http://www.peacockangel.com/ yet? If you have, you know how DIVINE it is - if you haven't, why not? This is some o fthe best incense around and for those of us with not as much time as we used to have to make our own everything, this is made with magickal intent and is the highest quality natural blend you're likely to find. Don't hesitate - go get some lovely incense!
Rumour has it that one of the people behind Peacock Angel might be writing a book on incense. If this is true (and we believe it is after a chapter was released in Yoga magazine) we can't wait for it to be released as it is sure to be a book that will be as necessary as S. Cunningham on everyone bookshelf for reference about incenses. I'm so excited about this book coming out that I'm having trouble sitting still!
I got the following recipes from a Yahoo group I am on and they were from iblc1@a... who said it was OK to pass them on here so they are reprinted with permission.
1 drop sandalwood essential oil
1 drop vetiver essential oil
2 drops May Chang Essential oil
1 T. carrier oil
1 T. honey
Fresh flowers and leaves
Blend the essential oils with the carrier oil and honey, and pour into a filled bath. Sprinkle the surface of the water with flowers and bathe in magnificence.
The healing properties of water combined with these aphrodisiac aromas will give your emotions a lift and leave your skin tingling.
2 drops lavender essential oil
4 drops geranium essential oil
1 drop cedarwood essential oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil
50 ml. macadamia oil
Blend the oils well and add to a filled bath.
The fairytale of romanticism can be kept alive if you decide to make it happen. To enjoy the nectar of love, immerse yourself in these blends and play out the sensuous side of yourself.
1 drop black pepper essential oil
1 drop ylang ylang essential oil
1 drop geranium essential oil
1 T. carrier oil
Blend the oils and add the vanilla pods. Leave to absorb for a few minutes. Then add to a filled bath.
2) Product Spotlight
H297 - Sterling Silver Celtic Ponytail Holder - The Lughnasadh knot. Solid Sterling Silver ornaments attached to fabric covered elastic bands. These ponytail holders are decorative and strong and the perfect way to show your jewellery off in a whole new way. As these are sterling silver, we recommend using the polishing cloth on them to prevent tarnishing. A smaller, more delicate design measuring about 25mm by 25mm. £11.50/$21
I chose this item for the obvious reason that it is associated with Lughnasadh. The following information comes from www.tylwythteg.com/Lammas.html
Nos Gwyl Awst, Lughnassadh: (pronounced Loo-gnah-sahd, the 'g' is not all that hard, it's almost swallowed. The emphasis is on the first syllable. Also known as Lammas etc.), July 30 - August 1. This sabbat marks the sacred marriage of the Sun and the Land. In Celtic mythology the sun god Lugh is married to the land, Nass (an earth aspect of the Morrigan), and is sacrificed to the land. The sun is at it's hottest, but his light is fading. This also marks the beginning of the harvest. Corn (or wheat in Ireland) was generally harvested at this time.
However, British Witches often refer to the astrological date of Aug 6th as Old Lammas.'Lammas' was the medieval Christian name for the holiday and it means 'loaf-mass', for this was the day on which loaves of bread were baked from the first grain harvest and laid on the church altars as offerings. It was a day representative of 'first fruits' and early harvest.
In Irish Gaelic, the feast was referred to as 'Lugnasadh', a feast to commemorate the funeral games of the Irish sun-god Lugh. However, there is some confusion on this point. Although at first glance, it may seem that we are celebrating the death of the Lugh, the god of light does not really die (mythically) until the autumnal equinox. And indeed, if we read the Irish myths closer, we discover that it is not Lugh's death that is being celebrated, but the funeral games which Lugh hosted to commemorate the death of his foster- mother, Taillte. That is why the Lugnasadh celebrations in Ireland are often called the 'Tailltean Games'.
The time went by with careless heed
Between the late and early,
With small persuasion she agreed
To see me through the barley...
One common feature of the Games were the 'Tailltean marriages', a rather informal marriage that lasted for only 'a year and a day' or until next Lammas. At that time, the couple could decide to continue the arrangement if it pleased them, or to stand back to back and walk away from one another, thus bringing the Tailltean marriage to a formal close. Such trial marriages (obviously related to the Wiccan 'Handfasting') were quite common even into the 1500's, although it was something one 'didn't bother the parish priest about'. Indeed, such ceremonies were usually solemnized by a poet, bard, or shanachie (or, it may be guessed, by a priest or priestess of the Old Religion).
Lammastide was also the traditional time of year for craft festivals. The medieval guilds would create elaborate displays of their wares, decorating their shops and themselves in bright colors and ribbons, marching in parades, and performing strange, ceremonial plays and dances for the entranced onlookers.
3) Book Review
"A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year" by Ellen Evert Hopman
I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by this book. When I got it, I expected yet another boring book about pseudo-druids and some made-up stuff with Cunningham used as the sole basis for the whole book. It is actually quite different than my expectations and that left me more than pleasantly surprised.
The book begins with a beautiful and touching invocation to Brigid and starts with the typical druidic system. I may not fully agree, feeling this comes more from contemporary sources than ancient, I think it is kept well in perspective. The second chapter on herbal basics is a bit basic however I really don't think it needs to be more fleshy as the real treasure of this book is the treatment of the actual herbal. The book then gives sections for the seasonal celebrations which are decently described and other various occasions but the best part is the herbs. A brief list of herbs is given at the beginning of each section and then each herb has great detailed information given for it so that not only are you made aware of what herbs to use for what celebration or life passage, you are also made aware of the mundane and magickal uses for the herb.
Where I think this book excels is the organization of the information which I think is done with great forethought. I may not always agree with information given but I found none which I would consider dangerously misrepresented and the information is given a sympathetic expression. I really enjoyed this herbal and the way the information was presented and if you are looking for a different herbal book, I would recommend it.
Where I feel this book lacks is in depth of magickal uses as I feel too much emphasis on modern magickal books as well as authors whose books are known to be full of flaws and misinformation. There is much missing from this work that I would have loved to see included which would have added richly to the lore and information about the various magickal uses of herbs. I felt the inclusion of Rhiannon Rhyall and M A Grieve's information among the most worrying inclusions. The sources in the back are typically US-centric however so many books are it is hard to fault them for that.
All in all, a great, fun book that is decent enough to be included in anyone library.
3.5 Moons (out of 5)
4) Talisman Making
Over the past few newsletters, I have sent various correspondences so that now you can make your own talisman. Just choose your goal and use the tables to choose the right day and time, the colour of the fabric, the herbs, the stones and anything else you wish to include in the talisman. If you wish, once made you can pass it through the smoke of the incense for your goal or use the light of a candle of the proper colour to create the talisman by.
The power is in your hands now.
Next due to popular demand we will look at rituals and ritual structure.
5) CD Review
"Healing Sanctuary" from Soundings of the Planet
This offering by my favourite artists is excellent, just like their other works. The quality is extremely high making the listening experience about the music and not about what else might have been happening around the stuido. Nor is there the jangling of nerves when an obvious wrong note is hit because none are.
This CD helps create through the music and sounds a sanctuary of peace and harmony no matter where you play it. They do encourage in the excellent insert for people to play it at work and I have to admit, this is when I listen to the CDs I review - while working. It is non-obtrusive and creates a wonderful relaxing environment around my desk that I can feel as I walk in and out of it doing work.
This is the kind of CD you can play again and again and I strongly recommend it. I have really enjoyed being soothed by the music and the feeling of peace it helps instill. No matter what my stresses, while it does not aleviate them all, it certainly helps calm then down. This is the kind of CD you can put on a loop and never realize you've listened to it more than once because it just keeps soothing you. If you see it, grab it and anything else from these folks like "Sound Massage" which you can get from http://www.newmoon.uk.com/herbs/music.htm
5 Moons (out of 5)