March 2005 Newsletter
1) Judith's Ramblings
- Judith's Ramblings
- Product Spotlight
- Book Review
- Ritual Workings
Is it March already? With this snow it was like living in a snowglobe today. It's odd how weird the seasons are here compared to where I grew up. I do miss the warmer summers, colder winters and four real, actual, genuine seasons. It is, however, a little magickal watching the snow (while sweating and exercising) falling in fluffy blobs... childhood memories come flooding back and I wonder how I ever survived to adulthood *grins*.
I'm going to be teaching again as well as running rituals and pub moots. You think you've managed to escape by leaving the country and it all just starts happening again *shakes head*. Well, that's the end of my life for the next five years *laughs* however anyone is free to join in with the open circles and see if they might like to train. There's still time to "try before you buy" if you'd like to attend an open ritual.
I went on a small little shopping spree you'll see below and bought all sorts of new stuff. The new robes are LOVELY and I had so much fun shopping. Things are a little slower than usual here so I've been able to also clean up and make room for even MORE stuff! We're rapidly becoming the largest online occult shop around! If there is ever anything you think we should have and we don't - let us know! We're always reviewing and assessing new and different items and lots of stuff was added as a direct response to customer demand so don't be shy - let us know you want it. Sometimes we know where you can get it if not from us.
My beauty therapist just opened her own salon - it's called Premier Beauty and she even has a website - posh! http://www.premierbeauty.co.uk/ however the place she just created is well posh - two lovely treatment rooms, lush deep leather chairs and a wonderful leather sofa, wonderful nail colours but also my fav - coloured nail gel. You get this gel put on and not only does it never ship, it also strengthens your nails and lets them grow naturally. I'm an addict. I also go for the full body scrub and detox treatments, facials, pedicures, reflexology, and on and on (I'm a high-maintenance woman). I know one of our group members is starting her own massage place so I hope she'll be up and running soon and I can plug here to all of you and review her treatments for you all!
Things that make you go hmmmmm.... Why do I seem to need to open my mouth to put mascara on...?
Hope I'll be seeing you at EasterCon - it's going to be fun and I'll be partying somewhere with lots of chocolate and food so watch those con reports and flyers for information on where I'll be bringing in my 35th year!
SO SORRY folks but our paperwork got lost in the post so we missed getting a table for the Medieval Witches Ball. We're disappoointed as I know some of you were going specifically to see us there but cheer up - we're looking in to attending more conferences because you demanded it!
Don't forget about our sale page at http://www.newmoon.uk.com/sale.htm
2) Product Spotlight
So it was a challenge but how could I ignore my friend absinthe. Yes, since learning that the pub has 7 kinds of absinthe (where WitchyCon is) I've been on a bit of an absinthe kick. I'm also a dyed in the wool goth though you'd never know it for looking at me. So absinthe as it played that major role in "Brahm Stoker's Dracula" recently (no, I didn't think she did Mina very well either) has been a bit of a fascination too.
Absinthe was first sold commercially in 1797 by Henry-Louis Pernod (and I'm sure I saw something in the supermarket called Pernod), after his father-in-law told him of the drink's supposed aphrodisiac qualities. A doctor in Switzerland invented absinthe to treat stomach ailments. Typically it was made by soaking mashed wormwood, anise and fennel and other seasonings overnight in a solution of 85 per cent ethanol (note - ethanol is a liquid alcohol fuel with vapor heavier than air; produced from agricultural products such as corn, grain and sugar cane) . The mixture was distilled the next day, then filtered, creating a liquid that seemed to glow pale green, thus the name of the green fairy.
To cut the acrid taste, Parisians would place a sugar cube on a slotted spoon, drizzle cold water through the sugar and into the glass of absinthe below. The resulting opaque-white drink was sipped slowly, allowing the alcohol to numb the tongue, warm the belly, and, as legend has it, relax the mind. The hallucinogenic property in absinthe was thought to be the chemical thujone, which is found in wormwood and resembles the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The general rule of thumb is 1 part absinthe to 5 parts water, it all depends on the size of the glass, and traditional absinthe bistro glasses came in many shapes and sizes. We, of course, have just gotten in several glass sizes and a spoon to match. The aniseed in the drink caused the clouding and today many absinthes are sweet enough without the sugar but watering it still helps.
Absinthe has caught the imagination all over the world where it was banned in many places - but never in Britain. Here it has enjoyed a long tradition of transporting us back in time. Will it make us mad? Are we not mad already living in a world of madness. The copper used to colour it was probably more responsible for madness than absinthe however one never knows... Why not join us at WitchyCon or visit the Crawley Inn pub sometime and experience this wonderful drink for yourself.
P415 - La Fee Verte Necklace - The Green Fairy; Spirit of Absinthe. Looking down with her hair spilling over her shoulders, the outstretched wings of this fairy have chains leading up to the absinthe-green crystal drop which then connects to the chain. At her feel in the pool of her robe is another drop of absinthe glass. A beautiful homage to that most magical of drinks that has enchanted through the ages.
E224 - La Fee Verte Earrings - Absinthe-green crystal, for its matching pendant. The drop above the fairy creates the focal point for this single drop earring. Buy a pair and the necklace and drink a toast to the little green fairy that wants your soul...
ACWT4 - La fee Verte Absinthe Spoon - Traditional sugar cube strainer for watering down absinthe. Once again we have the fairy from the necklace only here lines come out from behind her to help support the sugar cube. A beautiful sugar strainer for use or display.
ACWT3 - La fee Verte Tumbler - Traditional tall absinthe tumbler, in forest glass for taking absinthe with water and sugar. Approx. 180mm high. Once again, three of our friends encircle this glass tumbler with three tiny ones below it so you can see them through the bottom of the glass. There is a wonderful swirl around the base of the glass to help support it.
ACWT2 - La fee Verte Shot Glass - ‘The Green Fairy’ art nouveau style, forest glass shotglass. - Approx. 65mm high This shot glass again has the three fairies on the bottom but has a wonderful art nouveau swirl to the feet and a stylized "A" on the side repeated three times.
3) Book Review
"Earth Wisdom" by Glennie Kindred
I originally chose this title because of the gold foil on the cover and the lovely brown of the earth that the covers main colour is with the green of the leaves. Very earthy and very appealing. Of course, content is more important than cover and so I delved right in.
It starts as it ends - talking about sacred trees. In between is the most wonderfully diverse and practical set of information. Each tree has an accompanying bit of wisdom then there is a non-tree section. Weirdly, it is not the trees that are indexed but the other sections and yet the tree sections are so very close to something like what I teach in my own tradition (not exactly the same of course).
This is a wonderful book for old or new because I think it challenges us to think differently about our lives and how and where we fit in to the world we live in. It starts by talking about how we are the change and ends with the changing of the seasons. Nothing is ever static and though trees to have long lives, they also change constantly and are often never the same one year to the next.
If for no other reason, get this book for the tree lore - you'll keep going back to it again and again. I really enjoyed it and I know it'll be loved by many of you.
4 moons (out of 5)
4) Ritual Workings
Meditation has got to be the flakiest sounding thing to do and yet it is essential when working a ritual to be able to find that deep meditative state, tap the power within it and use it. Having had a nagging headache over the past few days from not stretching properly after exercising, it has reminded me of the importance of meditation and the role it plays in ritual
We have seen how to construct and do your own Imbolc ritual. From that structure, we can go on to do our ritual for spring equinox. By researching deities, herbs, oils, plants and more about each holiday, not only will this bring you closer to your Craft, it will teach you invaluable information about the deities you have chosen to work with and the movement of the seasons in the world around you. Write everything you learn for each season in your book of shadows and within the year you will have created a wonderful reference manual as well as a record of each ritual you have done. You will find this a valuable tool in to the future and one you will refer back to again and again. By placing the information in your book of shadows, it means you don't have to keep checking back through dozens of books to find just where that great information about pennyroyal was or where you got that aspect of the Goddess from. It helps you learn what you read.
Spells are the same - if you research and construct the spell yourself, you will find that you create a much more effective spell than simply doing one from a book. We all need to start somewhere though and ones from a book help give us a grounding in the hows and whys from where we can move on to create something unique to ourselves.
The role the meditative state plays in ritual, to my eyes, is to help us get rid of the mundane baggage we carry with us everywhere and touch that spark of psychic power within us. I always feel like such a freak and weirdo when I talk about energy and potential and touching someones aura and reading them but how else can you express what it is you have experienced so please forgive me as I am about to sound flaky.
Within us all is a spark of psychic energy. We all have it and some of us fan it into a flame. It never goes away and it will never dim although we may throw up walls to try and contain and ignore it. Meditation helps us to clear our energy pathways, clear those walls and if we choose, access those powers and abilities within ourselves and bring them forth. To this end, work of this nature is better done with a leader in a group but if you are brave can be done alone.
Cast your protective circle. Just lay your cord or trace a circle with your athame, wand or finger to create the circle then call the quarters. You do not need to call deity at this point as we are simply creating a sacred, safe space for you to meditate in, to release your worries and find you inner psychic spark to help you with divination. Or we could just be working on cleaning up your energy and leave that inner psychic spark for later.
Now relax and make sure all distractions are put to bed, unplugged and out at the pub or movies or wherever. Take a moment to yourself after you have cast circle to ensure incense and candles are just as you wish them. You need to ensure nothing will distract you while you do this work. Now lie back or sit or get in to a comfortable position within your circle. Remember, the circle keeps negative energies out so while you are cleaning your energy field or aura nothing bad will come in and anything bad you brush out will dissipate. As you relax feel the tension leaving your body through your feet so push the tension out from your toes first then up to your feet, ankles, calves, thighs, torso, etc. Each wave of relaxation pushed out the stress and tension of the day.
If you feel worries pop up while you are trying to clear your mind don't try and ignore them, see them as bubbles you can push to one side for the moment or pack them in boxes so that you can deal with them later but allow yourself to drift past them. You aren't trying to ignore them which will just bring them to the fore constantly, you're just putting them to one side for the moment. Now keep relaxing until you can feel your whole body relaxed. Now we'll do a bit of work on cleaning the energy field. This is not to cleanse illness out nor is it was effective without the whole crystal field thing working for you as well however on your own with nothing this is great.
Become slowly aware of how your skin feels and any clothing you may have on. Sense how that feels against your skin. Now very slowly feel how *you* feel against your skin. Your awareness of the feeling of that area of your body. Now, move slightly outwards from the area of your skin. This is your energy field that you are becoming aware of. Feel how different it feels and yet how much a part of your body it is. You have likely been aware of this field for some time but just ignored it or accepted it as part of your physical body.
Now, draw back in to the center of your body. Become aware of how it feels to be safe and secure within the circle and within your body. Now see from inside yourself a spinning small ball of light. This should be golden as it spins quickly but it may be silver or green. If it colours any other colour, try spinning it faster to get it to the golden colour. Once you have this golden ball, slowly expand it from the center of your body outwards. As it moves through your body, it will dissolve or push out any negative, trapped, or bad energy leaving your energy clean. Keep moving this outwards until it has gone beyond the edge of your body. Now, hole it here or pop it - your choice. To hold it will give you a shield. To pop it will simply release the energy leaving your energy field cleaned.
This energy field cleaning is enhanced by doing chakra meditations and using chakra crystals on your chakra points or clear quartz crystals on each chakra. Smudging also helps keep your energy field clear. If you do this before you do a major ritual or spellcasting, it will help you move energy in circle more easily. It can also help you create a field of protection around yourself when you feel in danger or threatened. The ball can also be used to clear a space or area as you get better. But for the beginning, I suggest using it for personal cleansing.