September 2004 Newsletter
1) Judith's Ramblings
- Judith's Ramblings
- Product Spotlight
- Book Review
- Talisman Making
- CD Review
- June Lore
Wow what a weird month May has been! Beltane seemed to be the furthest from everyones minds til the last minute and now already people are talking about Midsummer! I suppose it was the weather that just made it feel like winter for so much longer than usual. The sun is shining while I write this however one never knows here when the rain will sweep in and drown everything.
The flowers are blooming and the heliotrope has given the most wonderful purple ("VIOLET" I hear my younger brother say - "those ultraPURPLE rays sure damage skin...") display. The clover is radiant in pink and I'm hoping the rose that planted itself will have flowers soon. The broom is waking up and the lavender that planted itself is also getting ready to bloom. The clematis isn't in such great shape but it is growing at least.
I discovered a friend has started making some of the most WONDERFUL incense. I can't wait to get to the purchasing season for incense but until we do, I want to spread her good yummy incense as far and wide as I can so here's her website -
DON'T FORGET - The first New Moon pub moot is Wednesday June 9th at 7:30pm and you can check the 2 maps we have at http://www.newmoon.uk.com/moot.htm - there is plenty of parking and it is a family pub. Remember - this is about hanging with people who share a similar interest and is a shopping-free zone. This is for socializing only so please don;t think you'll have to spend money if you come - all you might want to spend money on is a soft drink and maybe some crisps.
I had to dash off to Toronto for a week and a bit to visit family in May - it was a great trip and I have to admit to feeling a bit burnt out. Between fixing the web pages, updating our sub sites, creating the new catalogues for the parties and organizing the parties, I've been working non-stop! Things have been really great here and the response to the home party offerings has been fab. Lots of people are becoming Pandaias and getting hosted parties. That break did really refresh me right up til Dave gave me his cold. *GRINS* Isn't that what husbands do? Share everything... *laughs* I am only just recovered so apologies if this seems disjoined this month.
I forgot the extra bits last month as I was rushing. This takes me a full 2 days to do these days and so I have to admit as time wore on I was feeling the pressure and rushed the newsletter out. I have the missing bits included this month so all you folks who were wondering about the talisman section it is here! YAY!
The cloaks have been a hit even before we have them! They will be available to you folks first so don't worry. If you'd like to pre-order your £30 cloak, no problem but as they have been so popular, you will need to place the order with a non-refundable £15 deposit. We have black or red coming in, both with hoods and long enough for an adult. They are unlined crushed, stretchy velvet so not thick but the perfect inexpensive cloak. While we cannot guarantee any working conditions for those involved in making them as we can for our other cloaks, it was the price point that led us to pick them up.
I'm trying to come up with a scheme that rewards everyone who sends a friend to us but really, we just don't have the software to do it. I've been trying to find a way that someone can say a friend sent them and we create a gift certificate as a thank you to the friend for a percentage of the purchase - so if you sent a friend who then spent £1,000 with us, you'd get a gift certificate for £100 or something like that but I can't find anything to do it. We are working on developing a new server side shopping cart so it will be one of the things we include.
Don't even ask about the further 2lbs. I gained this past month (though I was weighing at a big time of the month if you know what I mean). My cellulite is back with a vengeance (thank goodness we have that mud stuff here for sale or I'd be soooooo depressed) and I really regret missing 3 weeks so far of exercise. I'm reviewing CDs again and one that I am doing is "Weight Loss Without Dieting" so we'll see how that goes *grins*
Going home reminded me of all the things I missed - I miss working with a coven, I miss working within the community for change and greater acceptance, I miss talking to covens, groups and university classes, I miss being around people who don't judge me and just accept me, I miss hanging at the coffee shop and just reading for pleasure, I miss my professors, I miss my friends and I miss that deeper sense of spirituality I'm able to achieve in the middle of an urban city (much to many people's surprise).... oh and so many more things. I've been asked to write an article on the forming of my coven and getting it recognized by the religious council..... Missing all this stuff, I guess that is why I've started the moots and the circle...
Speaking of the ritual circle - who wants to join? I don't have a space to do it yet but if anyone would like to join this circle and we have enough people, we might all be able to pitch in a pound or two and rent a room! The tradition will be the Celtic Witchcraft tradition I taught the coven while I was in Toronto at university (the coven was a recognized religious group and had a seat on the Scott Religious Council). Currently there will be no requirements from anyone but a bit of food to share at circles. Eventually, there will be a training group associated with the tradition however I don't see that happening for about a year at least.
Have you joined the World Science Fiction and Fantasy convention for 2005 in Glasgow Scotland? They are looking like they will break all records for attendance for a WorldCon outside the US and that means FUN FUN FUN and even more room-party hopping for me! Even though I hope to have a table and be trading, I intend to enjoy the evenings. I really recommend going to the book announcement parties as you hear about everything right away and get the benefit of knowing when your fav authors will be releasing new books (like Katherine Kurtz). If you have holiday you can take in early August in 2005, I heartily recommend attending this convention!!
I turn 35 at EasterCon 2005 so why not join us and see what we get up to at this wonderful convention? It'll be tons of fun! http://www.paragon2.org.uk/
2) Product Spotlight
From http://www.newmoon.uk.com/dragon/whimsical.htm I have chosen the Dragon Door Cover.
Dragon Doorcover - A unique and different item that every dragon fan will wish to have. This door cover fits in the blank space above the door frame and below the ceiling to cover the area over the door. Some may miss him but those who look up will be rewarded by a magnificent sight. At 88cm across, this is a large and boldly beautiful item with draconic and gothic appeal. Click on the image to get a beautiful close-up view of this beauty. £58/$135
Door arches (or covers) come in a lot of shapes and sizes. Some are small enough to go on the door itself or on your mantle piece, some, like this one, are for over the door only or perhaps as the back to a wonderfully gothic mantle piece and living room. This will fit over any door in the house, or why not place it above the front entrance? It can also be used as a stand-alone object along a wall or beam.
Combining gothic elements in a single room can take it from hum drum to medieval in a few easy steps. Instead of darkening a room which can make it look small and in the end be hard to redecorate, why not maintain the white or light walls and ceiling but add gothic design elements. To make the room look dark without painting, use dark wood bookshelves or open bookshelves with a dark fabric behind them. Use dark wood or resin furniture. Use wall sconces with candles for a more medieval look and a dark rug or throw for the floor. Each of the design elements can be easily removed or brightened up to lighten the room back up and it means you can take your gothic room with you wherever you go!
3) Book Review
"Kitchen Witchery" by Marilyn F. Daniel
Sometimes I am sent or buy a book that I become quickly disappointed with. This is one of those books. I found it really nothing much more than a bringing together of "Incense, Oils and Brews" by Scott Cunningham with a few other books in to one. For those of you who wish to save money by purchasing one book rather than many, this is the book for you.
The book is broken up in to several easy to understand sections with recipes pre-measured and made for you. With items ranging from Air Elemental Oil through Psychic Incense and Sea Witch Bath Salts right to Eye Makeup Remover, this really is a very complete book. This book goes beyond the traditional recipes and adds in some new ones. Unless you have the appropriate books that is - in which case you may not really find anything new to add to your library.
As someone who owns a variety of out-of-print and rare occult books on scent and related items, I have to admit that this book was of limited value. I would, however, rank it highly for those who are just entering the world of scent and the occult and wish to get a book that will contain as much relevant information as possible.
Another criticism I have of the book is the bibliography. I feel that a book which fails to cite some of the major works that pre-date 1990 (there is only one book dating earlier than 1990) indicates the sloppy research and work the author put in to this work. I use bibliographies to rate how well someone has done their work - especially on a subject as close to my heart as scent and the occult. I have on my shelves 10 books not mentioned that I feel contribute to the literature which have not been cited.
Overall, this book, while perhaps useful for the beginner, fails to deliver any decent scholarship and fails to add anything to existing published works. It comes across as little more than the work of other authors compiled together into a single work. If this is the state of modern occult scholarship, we're in for a bad few years.
I give this book ZERO moons.
4) Talisman Making
We've covered stones and herbs, next we need to cover colours, scents and other things used in talisman-making. There will, of course, be more to come in future newsletters culminating in how to create your own talismans and I'll give a few examples.
Colours (for fabric or string or candles):
Black - Banishing, Crone magick, Mourning, Loss, Meditation, Feminine Divine, Absorbing and banishing negativity, Sahmain.
Blue - Peace, Healing, Tranquility, Truth, Sleep, Prophetic Dreams, Physical Protection, Hope.
Brown - Animal Magick, Home, Locate lost object, Grounding.
Gold - Solar Deities, Honor Gods.
Grey - Neutral.
Green - Beauty, Employment, Fertility, Healing, Success, Good luck, Prosperity, Money, Reinvigouration, Masculine Divine.
Orange - Creativity, Attraction, Stimulate energy, Legal matters, Success, New home, Sahmain, Intelligence, Mental Clarity.
Pink - Love, Honor, Friendship, Fidelity, Femininity.
Purple - Psychic ability, Wisdom, Spirituality, Success, Independence, Spiritual growth, Power, Healing, Feminine Divine.
Red - Lust, Strength, Courage, Power, Health, Energy, Vitality, Love, Will power.
Silver - Remove negativity, Encourage stability, Psychic protection, Honor Goddess, Telepathy, Clairvoyance.
White - Meditation, Healing, Truth, Peace, Spiritual strength, Lunar magick, Purity, Protection, Happiness, Masculine divine.
Yellow - Charm, Confidence, Attraction, Wisdom, Visions, Psychic powers, Mental powers, New home.
Scents (if you dip a bit of cotton ball in a scent and use it in your talisman):
Patchouli - for money or sexual desires
Rose - love, peace, sexual desire, enhance beauty
Geranium - protection
Myrrh - healing, meditation, enhance spirituality
Basil - happiness, peace, money, stimulating the conscious mind
Juniper - healing, protection, purification
Clove - courage, protection
Jasmine- the moon, love, psychic awareness, peace, spirituality, sexuality
Moon Phase to work by:
New Moon Magick:
New Moon workings can be done from the day of the new moon to three-and-a-half days after. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting.
Waxing Moon Magick:
From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or health.
Full Moon Magick:
From fourteen to seventeen-and-a-half days after the new moon. Prime time for rituals for prophecy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams.
Waning Moon Magick:
From three-and-a-half to ten-and-a-half days after the full moon. The waning moon is used for banishing magick, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity.
Dark Moon Magick:
From ten-and-a-half to fourteen days after the full moon. The dark moon is a time for dealing with attackers, for exploring our darkest recesses and understanding our angers and passions. Also bringing justice to bear.
5) CD Review
£Herne's Apprentice£ by Damh the Bard
I've been trying to get the time to review this CD for some time. It has been on the top of my CD review pile for *ages*!
I had the good fortune of hearing Damh play at the PF Devon and Cornwall conference (which is at an even BETTER place than that Tintagel hotel now!). While a slightly nasal tone to the singing comes through in this CD, I actually like it. I find it compliments his voice but I feel also that his singing style has changed slightly since this CD was produced.
Considering that this is a truly self-made effort, it comes off surprisingly well (remember, I have had to listen to some foul stuff!). The quality of the recording is quite high and the organization of the songs flows well. The CD starts off with a very bright and lively song as if going in to the woods on a very sunny day but as any of us know who have done this, the environments quickly becomes more mystical and so does this CD. Song of Arwen leads us to the edge of the forest as Obsession draws us in to the darkness while Fith Fath Song helps us get our bearings now that we have entered the darkness and our eyes have adjusted. The Cloak of Feathers takes us further in and we seem to be entering the heart of the forest here....
Gently Johnny reminds me of my youth and Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" at the beginning though I think it is, of all of the songs, my least favourite. It quickly moves back to a more lively tune though with Raggle Taggle Gypsies and on though Lughnasadh which bounces us through the festival on to Pipes of Pan which, after the exertion of dancing so much, slows us down a bit.
Elementals seem to hold sway now as Learning to Fly again reminds me of Pink Floyd (in title only) and takes us to rest while encouraging us to soar above the clouds in meditation. The Selkie takes us through the element of water and Winds of Change dance us like a wind whipping a bonfire.
Well mixed, well put together, well arranged, well sung and just an overall triumph. I highly recommend this CD and all Damh's music to everyone!
You can purchase his CD online at http://paganmusic.co.uk/
6) June Lore
Herbs and herbal magic comes to the fore at this time of the year. We are heading towards Midsummer on the 21st or 22nd of the month and this is the height of the sun's strength and solar wheels decorate trees and houses across the world.
Now is the perfect time to make a witches ladder which is something I've always loved. This is made by braiding 3 strands of thread (I usually use needle working thread) in different colours for whatever magic you are trying to weave with nine feathers. You braid the thread for a while, add a feather and continue braiding. You can either braid the feather right in, or braid the whole thread and poke the feathers through. The point is that while braiding, you should be putting the force of your intention in to the weaving. Once completed, it should have the 9 feathers at somewhat regular intervals and be hung by a door or window. This should be kept til next Midsummer when it should be burned in the sacred bel-fire and a new one made for whatever purpose.
Another thing you can do is to create a solar wheel. Gather some thin twigs of varying lengths and soak them until pliable (or cut fresh thin branches as part of thinning your trees or bushes). You can also use ivy or grape vines Tie the longer ones in to a circle with a bit of ribbon and use a metal circle or pegs to keep it in shape while it dries. Once it has, create an equal armed cross and with ribbons again, tie it to the circle. If you use straight, slightly thicker branches for the cross, these should hold in the circle.
You can also use this to create a pentacle or any other shape within a circle. Tie various charms to this circle for good luck through the coming year.
There is, apparently, an old Anglo-Saxon herbal which contains a long poem entitled the £Nine Herb's Charm£. It talks, predictably enough, about nine herbs believed to be the most powerful medicinal herbs and the most powerful charms of the time. It lists the properties and virtues of each herb however the identity of some of the herbs seems to have been lost in the mists of time. The herbs are mugwort, plantain, stime, cock-spur grass, mayweed, wergulu, apple, thyme, fennel. It is also traditional to burn nine woods and nine herbs on the Beltane fire. These herbs are St. John's wort, rue, vervain, mistletoe, lavender, feverfew, meadowsweet, pansy and trefoil. As you can see, nine - which is three times three - plays an important role in magick and tradition.
For stone, the stones associated with June are Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone. For Gemini, the stones associated with this birth sign are Citrine, Agate, and Tigereye while for Cancer the stones are Emerald, Chrysoprase, and Adventurine.