October 2011 "Into the Night"
Welcome to Samhain! This is our second October issue and hope you enjoy going "Into the Night"
ISSN 2159-9939 Are You Afraid of the Dark? Ritual of Light and Dark The Rituals of the Day Nótt: Goddess that is Night Meddling Kids The Call by Ankolie Get Lighter as the Days Get Darker! Hellboy: Seed of Destruction The Art of Morteque “Into the Night” October 2011 Volume 2 • Issue 10 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 2 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE EDITOR CONTRIBUTORS STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER LAYOUT WEBSITE ADVERTISING Eberhardt, Personal Visions jess*ca mae Tootie Marie Dawn Sherwood Faelin Wolf Mya Om Michelle Crowskin Bond LJ Rose Ankolie Amina Racozy S. J. Drew Sister Nariel Jenn Embers Nina Pak, www.ninapak.com Refraction Design & Creative Services Personal Visions Eberhardt, Wendy Beth Our goal at Pagan Edge is to provide readers a high quality, timely magazine with content relevant to modern pagans’ lifestyle and passions. Our publication is a lifestyle magazine so while we may publish spells, rituals, and some magick how-to; we aim to focus on ways that pagans, wiccans, earth-based-spiritualists, and those of like mind can incorporate their values and beliefs into their everyday living. Pagan Edge Magazine & paganedge.com exist solely to offer information to our readers. The publisher, editor, and the entire personnel of Pagan Edge, Pagan Edge Magazine, Personal Visions, Refraction Design and paganedge.com cannot be held responsible for misuse of any information provided. The views expressed in the articles and ads are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Pagan Edge Magazine. Product descriptions, recipes & any how-to information: While we, and our affiliates, attempt to provide accurate information in the magazine and on the site, we do not warrant that the content on this site will be accurate, complete, reliable, current, or error-free. It is your sole responsibility for the use of the content of this Magazine or web site. For additional details please see www.paganedge.com ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 3 4 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 contents 6 Dream Weaving Samhain 8 Divine Mind Are You Afraid of the Dark? 9 Elders Corner Ritual of Light & Dark 10 Keeping the Edge The Rituals of the Day On The Cover: “Silenced” by Silviya Yordonova aka Morteque 11 Nótt Goddess that is Night 12 Life’s Wit Meddling Kids feature article on pages 18-19 13 Finding Your Edge Items of Interest 14 The Call by Ankolie 16 The Temple of You Get Lighter as the Days Get Darker! 17 PE Book Review Hellboy: Seed of Destruction 18 Art & Soul Morteque VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 10 • OCTOBER 2011 “INTO THE NIGHT” PAGAN EDGE™ IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY PERSONAL VISIONS ADMIN@PAGANEDGE.COM ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 5 Beat of drums so deep it makes bones shiver and pulse to the rhythm, dancers and on-lookers all move in time: some be monsters, others be fey, and still more move under strobing illumination. Oranges, pinks, blacks, blues — and of course reds — make each person something more than light of day could ever hope to reveal. Sensual, stark and comical: the masks speak of inner desires or outer fears hidden equally — only to be revealed by glimpsing the eyes enclosed by costume. We live to show these facets of ourselves but only dare — just barely dare — to show them on Samhain eve. All walls must be at their thinnest before we feel comfortable enough to show our true nature. Surrounded by those who have come before, we dance and hope for a new year in which there are fewer masks, deeper meanings, and closer bonds. Samhain comes to us each year as both the end and the beginning. Regardless who tries to put a new face or religion on this sacred night and day, humans feel most strongly the need to get in touch with parts of ourselves that remain hidden the rest of the year. Unlike many sacred days marking various cultural calendars, Samhain touches us at our instinctual core — mingling life and death in a way that is accessible without losing any of its transformative nature. “Into the Night” is the theme of our second October issue. That night, my dear readers will be full of experiences only you can shape. Unlike Beltane, singing and dancing in the radiant light of day, Samhain moves first to the undertones of that which cannot be seen with the eyes alone. Death is a beginning we all experience. As adultsc we greet it with the same wide eyes we used to greet our mothers when we first entered this life. Both events can be best understood without the burden of time. For each is an experience holding our entire universe in the same instant — letting us share directly in divine existence. Our sexuality on its own is an ecstatic experience that brings joy, sorrow, laughter and sobs not be fully defined. Like our fascination with death, sex and sensuality are enhanced, sometimes greatly, by the connection to Samhain. We can take a step into being an alternate person, free from the restraints — real or imagined — in 6 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 Dream Weaving publisher speaks SAMHAIN Salacious and Sacred? our daily lives, and act out to seek pleasure or show others our personal taboos. As Samhain has developed early in this century, it has become again a thoroughly adult celebration. We collectively touch on our need to live fully in this life, bathed in the experiences of our physical forms while at the same time inviting the nonphysical to join us. “Le petite mort” cries out with the same strength as does the voices of the souls and spirits that crowd forth to dance once again with us. Samhain calls for us to be honest with our feelings — be they dark or light or a co-mingling. We should embrace whatever we may encounter with our eyes and minds open, both novice and wise to walk through Samhain’s transformation to arrive each year closer to ourselves and all those we hold dear both present and past. Blessed Be! Eberhardt Lotions Potions &Notions If you’re serious about spellwork... or not Fairy Realm • Magical Chakra • Dragon Energy made without preservatives or animal by-products salves soaps ointments oils creams incense tinctures lotions homegrown, wildcrafted, certiﬁed organic herbs amulet bags, rattles, wands, and more email@example.com lotionspotionsnotions.bravehost.com ! NEWFREE TOLLMBER! NU CONTACT US! 888-245-9099 YOUR COMMUNITY • YOUR CONNECTION FACEBOOK! FACEBOOK.COM/PAGES/PAGAN-EDGE-MAGAZINE MYSPACE! MYSPACE.COM/PAGANEDGEMAGAZINE TWEETS! TWITTER.COM/PAGANEDGE GET THE LATEST NEWS AND SHARE YOUR STORIES & ART! PAGANEDGE.COM ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 7 Making the Divine Mind, Mine by Sister Nariel, Contemplative Order of Anam Cara Are You Afraid of the Dark? As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, many of us come face to face with the most common fear in humanity — our fear of the dark. The warmth of summer, replaced by chilly autumn wind, drives both man and beast into their shelters as the dark tide advances. As the light of sunshine is replaced by the glow of fireplaces and candles, shadows gather. Plato’s Cave allegory deals with just such conditions, and reveals to students one of the most profound truths that can be applied to this time of year and to our interior work towards balance and wholeness. What do we feel viewer to see a happy, vibrant bluebird, they would not know what it was — nor would they connect that beautiful, colorful creature with the shadow image that they are The cave allegory describes convinced is a bird. They are, the set of circumstances in in short, two separate things. which we define things in our world. Drawing from the We are not so different. What experience of those who things in our world are we cannot face the really real, we convinced are the really real? find definitions are skewed How have we come to define towards the shadow images them? Do we feel that we that amass and prevail. While are inconsequential and of unable to turn and see, the no use? How do we know if shadows become the reality. we are seeing the reality or That big, black blob on the merely the shadow that we cave wall is a bird. We know have come to define as the it’s a bird because we’ve been reality? If we begin to ask told that it is a bird. A bird is ourselves these philosophical a big, black blob. Were the questions we may find that when darkness falls? What do we see as we gaze into the shadows both within and without? What is real? What is illusion? Afraid continued on page 23 8 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 From the Elders Corner by Lucille M Rose Ritual of Light and Dark Very few Gods and Goddesses can be classified as either strictly dark or light. Many of our Deities contain both the “dark” and “light” aspect. So, when we are doing rituals we have the option of asking one God or Goddess to help us with both dark and light energy work. Below is a suggestion of a basic ritual where one can do both “dark” and “light” energy work. Be creative; feel free to make changes in the ritual or in the wording of a sentence. Items Needed: • Cauldron Priest Tarot card, elder wood or elderberries • 4 candles – one for each of the four watchtowers Note: 45 minute candles can be purchased at “most” metaphysical stores or at import stores • Censor, Incense. Suggestion for the incense: a combination of patchouli (earth), lavender (air), cinnamon (fire), sandalwood (water) • Smudge stick. If you do not have a smudge stick or sage you can use tobacco Altar arrangement: • Place the cloth on the altar or ground • Place cauldron in the center of the altar • Place Goddess candle and correspondences on the left side of the cauldron • Matches • Athame • Black cloth for the altar • Seashell with water • 1 Silver candle for the Goddess Cerridwen Correspondence suggestions: statue of pig, cauldron, dark moon • Bowl with sea salt • 1 Gold candle for the God Dagda Correspondence suggestions: harp, High fruit juice/water Light&Dark continued on page 24 • Paper and Pen • Cakes and aleSuggestions: cake/cookies/ brownies/soda bread/ bread Suggestions: ale/mead/ wine/sparkling beverages/ ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 9 Original Photography by Nina Pak ©2011 The Rituals of the Day Keeping the Edge Model: Brittainy, Make Up Artist: Lauren Marler Thomas A month or so ago after our full moon ritual, the members of our circle sat down to a discussion on the value of ritual. It was a heated discussion with several members coming down on different sides of the issue. Our question: is there a benefit to using the same ritual steps each time you perform a working? There are two sides to this argument. The first side takes the view that performing the same steps each time builds energy, puts the practitioner into a ritual head-space quicker, and establishes a sense of unity and tradition adding to each working. The second side takes the view that performing the same steps each time leads to complacency, a lack of creativity and a monotonous performance that leads to a working with no real purpose or energy. The discussion caused me to really think about what we do and why we do it. Our tradition asks our initiates, as part of their studies, to write an essay answering that question. This was an exercise by Mya Om I performed myself several years ago and I decided to go back and look at my answer. I was surprised to find that I had written a nine page answer to such a seemingly innocuous question. The second thing that surprised me is that I empathetically stated: The first section of any rite is made up of three identical steps: 1. Gathering the tools 2. Grounding and Centering 3. Casting a protective circle This is a belief that I have since revised. I have performed workings without any preparation and with no tools. The act of grounding and centering was something, at the time, I found necessary to reach the right ritual head-space, but which I no longer find is needed. Instead I have a series of internal short cuts that achieve the same effects but without the extra effort of formalized conduct. So why did I believe in the necessity of ritual steps that I no longer really use? I smiled when I read the Rituals continued on page 22 10 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 Nótt Goddess that is Night by Eberhardt This is the fourth in a four part series looking at some of the ways we can bring ourselves in tune with Gods and Goddesses playing significant roles in the way we live our daily lives. Of course we can do this with any Deity speaking to us but we have chosen four revered for their places in the home Painting by Peter Nicolai Arbo and family life. Editor’s note: for the first three articles in this series, please see previous issues of PE. We’d love to hear your response to this series, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments. The peoples of Northern Europe tended to believe that night came first and was followed by the day. When they spoke of time, they always referred to the number of nights. Equally, years were measured in the number of winters that had passed. Nótt was born of a Jotun giant named Norve. She was the personified night. She was swarthy and dark, the goddess of the darkness. Nótt had three husbands. Of her first husband, little is remembered by us. Her second husband gave her a daughter name Fjorgyn (earth) who would later give birth to the God Thor. The name of her third husband, known in human records as Delling, was one of the Aesir and is considered the embodiment of Dawn. Delling also guarded the home of Balder. From this last marriage Nótt Nótt continued on page 20 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 11 “You leave it to us, Mayor,” said Rick. The ghost hunters started to unpack their gear from their van. The sun was starting to set on the ruined antibellum manor house. The house was mostly intact, but it was covered with climbing ivy and other creeping plants. “Come on, gang, let’s check this out.” Rick was followed by Norville, Laurel, and Veronica, all of whom were carrying a variety of instruments. M “So, this is the place,” said Mayor Withers. “As I said, the legend is that after her husband died in the War Between the States, Mrs. Beauregard killed herself and to this day haunts the Magnolia Plantation.” “Good, good, if this place is really haunted, it’ll really boost tourism. But I’ll leave y’all to your work,” he said, and drove off. “Oww,” Laurel cried as her foot went through a weak board on d l d i n e the porch. “Are you all right?” Rick asked. “Yeah. I think I just twisted my ankle a little. I can keep going.” The group was more cautious getting through the double doors. They clicked on flashlights to get a good look at the grand entrance. Norville cocked his head to the side as the others fiddled with their instruments. “Gang, we g Ki s d Life’s Wit by S.J. Drew Meddling Kids continued on page 27 12 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 Finding Your Edge items on the internet have caught our eye... bring your lifestyle to wherever you desire! Colorful Skull Earrings Crawly - Creepy Spooky Gothic - Dia De Los Muertos • Day of the Dead • • Hair Fascinator Clip • $14.00 • WendyBethCreations $15.00 MyOliviaJewelry “Paw Readings” • Cats & Witch • Primitive Handpainted Wall Hanging • $5.95 • Protection Boxes $49.99 • DragonOak n de • oo 95 s W 2 1 . u re d te • $ eas r af cr om ’s T n d B ro k Ha • aw m yh so ad L Scaredy Cats Doormat • $39.95 • Crate&Barrel Be oldetimegatherings Something caught your eye? Share it with PE readers! submit to email@example.com ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 13 14 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 The Temple of You by Jenn Embers Get LIGHTER as the Get Days Darker! the same, summer days are full of warmth which radiates through our bodies and winter days have us bundled up in coats as we brave the snowstorms and icicles. As Pagans we honor the seasons with the Wheel of the Year, we celebrate Ostara to honor the spring and the rebirth of the earth and Samhain marks the end of the harvest, we celebrate this holiday to thank our mother earth for the year’s bountiful harvest. Why should we treat our mortal bodies any different than the way we treat the earth’s seasons? “Without darkness there is no light.” Life is a series of cycles, we have our murky, dark days and we have our illuminant days full of light. The earth’s seasons are much Some say the Goddess Maeve’s motto is, “Honor the cycles of your body, emotions and energy levels.” We should honor our physical bodies by not allowing the darkness of the Earth to affect our health and exercise routine. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder triggered by the seasons of the year, between 10% and 20% of American’s show signs of S.A.D. Exercise is a wonderful way to boost or enhance ones mood. It’s natural to be mentally filled with the darkness due to lack of light or sunshine, but fitness can turn your mood around and have you screaming “Yay winter!” in no time. Get Lighter continued on page 26 16 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 The PaganEdge Book Review by Faelin Wolf Hellboy was brought to this world through a mysterious ritual in December 1944. Hitler commanded a group of operatives to work on paranormal activities that might help him win the war. The group brought forth Hellboy, with his odd stone right hand in an effort to turn the tide of the war—somehow. Hellboy was picked up by a paranormal investigation team that included Trevor Bruttenholm, who raised him as well as observed him and experimented on him for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola & John Bryne, 2003, ISBN: 1593070942 It’s been awhile since I’ve brought you a graphic novel and I figured it might be time. And what better to offer you than a classic? I think Hellboy is an awesome character that represents the struggle between light and dark—or looking “dark” but really being “light.” Fifty years later, Bruttenholm dies after returning from a mission. Hellboy and his team, Elizabeth Sherman and Dr. Abraham Sapien, go to investigate Cavendish Hall, the site of Bruttenholm’s last mission. Hellboy also learns a bit about how and why he was brought to Earth. This is one of my favorite series. I strongly urge you to check it out if you haven’t already. Maybe you’ve seen the Hellboy movies—but have you read the graphic novels? ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 17 Silviya Yordanova Morteque aka Angel of Death Apocalyspse Rider The Witching Hour The art of Morteque is definitely not just another pretty face. If attempting to produce such a piece, the recipe would read something like this: “In a large cauldron, use well-executed digital painting as a base, stir in a generous portion of seductive vixens, add dark symbolism of your choice, a dash of fear, a pinch of whimsy, season with broken hearts to desired taste, bring to a boil — be careful not to breathe fumes too deeply.” That’s definitely a lot of work with intuitive measuring and attention to detail; the chances of creating your very own Morteque-like piece are not likely... unless, of course, you’re Morteque herself. So save yourself the slicing, dicing, coloring, and blending — just visit Morteque’s DeviantArt page and contact her to get your very own copy of a Morteque original. Silviya Yordanova, better known as Morteque found herself drawn to the art of digital painting through the works of other artists, “I was amazed to see the stunning beauty you can create just by using different images/tools and I wanted to know how it is done!” From there, she set to work, developing her knowledge and technique “with lots of hard work, practice and patience.” Which resulted in her creations becoming “... my favorite past-time — a way to express myself, my feelings, my thoughts.” Mostly self-taught, Morteque chose digital painting and imaging over other mediums because, “I really love the digital finish and also the quality, it’s always good to get back to the old fashion pen and paper but digital art is my passion and nothing can compare to it.” Describing her style as “a mixture of concept, emotion and a drop of darkness,” her “inspiration comes from my own life experience, movies, videos, music and the most powerful one of all — my own imagination!” Awaiting the Night 18 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 Her imagination is expressed in redefining classic fairy-tales, such as in her piece “Snow White Strikes Back” in which the awakening of this character is twisted with vampiric lore and promises the princess Art & Soul featured artist by jess*ca mae “I create what I feel coming from my soul.” will get her revenge. Another work features a young musician enslaving viewers with the pull of bow across violin in the night, only to discover the trapped souls of listeners inside the instrument itself. More hopeful pieces include “So Close” in which the heroine stands before the door of possibility, with key in reach, but is held back by gossamer strings of restraining thought. Strikingly moving with emotion and symbolism, “Reborn”, reminds viewers the need to abandon the old in order to make way for the new, the future, and hope. Often enough, Morteque lets fans make their own interpretations of her works; but every now and then she does give some history and explanation to the inspiration of individual pieces on her DA page. As for her unique, and often dark, subject matter? “I just go with the flow when it comes to my works. I create what I feel coming from my soul.” Not desiring to label herself, she doesn’t categorize herself as “pagan”, “wiccan”, or “a believer”. “I just know that there is a higher power out there but I find defining it as “God” offensive and ignorant. What I do believe in is myself, my possibilities and my own hands... it has a lot of influence on my work. Maybe some people might occasionally get offended by what my works show sometimes but this is not my goal. My goal is to express myself, not to please or offend anyone in any means!” Try to Break In Reborn Equilibrium What started out as a hobby and past-time has brought Morteque paid commissions and opened doors of opportunity. She now runs a small business, doing what she loves for a living. “My passion lies in making art, trying to make the world a better and beautiful place, and expressing myself through it.” Working, residing, and creating in her hometown of Varna, Bulgaria, Morteque says, “it would be more than amazing if I have a gallery of my own one day.” For the present moment, she has neither gallery or website, she makes her presence known primarily on DeviantArt and also has a facebook page where you can follow her: www.facebook.com/mybeautifuldarkness. So Close ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 19 Nótt continued from page 11 and Delling had a son named Dagr, who was both handsome and the opposite of his mother in coloring and nature. Dagr became the personification of day. Proﬁle Name – Nótt Culture – Norse Worship/Ritual – No surviving examples. Associations – Night, earth, dawn, day. Related Deities – Delling, Dagr, Fjorgyn, Odin (Wodin) Embracing the Gift of Nótt For all of us to better understand the time of Nótt and get back in touch with some of our senses that may be under used and in need of a “stretch”, you will find below an exercise that does not have a specific length of time set to it, but ideally should be practiced whenever you find yourself alone indoors or out after the setting of the Sun. The Cricket Whisperer Find a comfortable dark place 20 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 Odin and his two brothers made the world from the corpse of Ymir and decided that this newly made land needed the cycle of both night and day. So Odin put Nótt and Dagr in the sky on horses and carriages. As is a mother’s right, Nótt rode first followed by her son Dragr and thus the continuous cycle of the night and the day came into being. night than they do under the cleansing light of day. Because we are beings who do best in the light of sun or moon, the pure darkness of night has always drawn both our attentions and our attempts to explain that which cannot be seen. Night Old and New Night for a lot of human history is the residence of things unknown. The odd sounds of things that are not seen during the day. Be it a bat, possum, or spirits — they have much more power over us at Nótt is the Mistress and the embodiment of all these things that both intrigue and scare us. She is the night in the purest sense: full of wonder, protection, knowledge and fear. Her domain remains as one of the biggest collective impacts on people; as we continue, all over the world, to try to banish her influence with street lights, bright night-time cities and the lamps which fill our homes. In fact, we have tried so hard to push back Nótt’s influence, that our light pollution can be seen easily from space. to sit down outdoors (indoors with the windows open if you so desire). The point of this exercise is to listen — and the more times you practice it to use your skill in listening, the more you will find use for it. [Note: this exercise is easiest if you are not in an highly urban area, so if you are, this may also be an exercise of patience.] Once you are settled, take a few moments to breathe deeply and to give each of your limbs a little shake to get the internal pops and creaks out of your system. Now, close your eyes and listen. Unless it is the dead of winter one of the first things you should hear are the crickets calling out in their hopeful search to find mates. These little creatures come in many shapes, sizes and sounds. Attempt at first to identify the differences in their calls. Then, start to listen for calls that are both close and further away. How does that change the sound? Once you feel you have mastered the art of distance, then Unlike many of the other deities we invite into our homes, Nótt comes in of her own accord each evening. By necessity, having her presence surround us for a part of each night requires us to come to terms with both how we meet her arrival and with how we treat her when we are in our homes or out about the town. We tend to forget that when her presence is about us we have the opportunity to use more than just our vision to know her. She gives us the opportunity to use our senses of smell, hearing and touch to a greater level than most of us bother to think about in our over-lit urban surroundings. Nótt should never be greeted with fear, but only respect and curiosity. If we are out in the night, we have the stars to help guide us and protect us as well as the Moon. Recognizing listen for where each of the closer crickets may be sitting. Knowing this, allows you to place yourself in the context of their world, and the fact that you are hearing them talk. Express a desire and find the one that appeals to you most. The practical side of this is the fact that you have a chance of finding the one lone cricket that always gets inside and can never find a mate. I have put many of our little friends back out where they need to that Nótt’s influence changes with the seasons can open the door to accepting her time as one of rest, thought and enjoyment. How many of us prefer to meet our lovers under Nótt’s cloak than in the brightness of the middle of her son, Dagr’s, day? Our children as well should be taught it is not night alone that brings the scary things, but to explain the comfort of a house that creaks as it cools from a day’s heat, or how the sounds of the crickets are the sounds of hope. Bats, cats, raccoons, and other small animals also use the night as a shield and a chance to find food with privacy and safety that they could never find during the day. So many parts of our lives we have ignored or taken for granted are the source of opportunity for life to continue in its never ending dance of renewal. be because of this connection. There are many others who live under the cloak of Nótt’s protection and you can use your hearing, sense of smell and sense of touch to become a fellow being of the night. Explore the wonder of sensation without the use of your eyes; for when we can all do this we have become truly closer to our ancestors and to the gifts that Nótt provides for us all. ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 21 Rituals continued from page 10 So the question is then, if it isn’t in the tools how does it all work? next part of my answer because it put into words years ago exactly what I was thinking: The basic premise behind any magickal work is intent; everything else is just pretty windowdressing. Ideally, the witch should be able to cast a complete working spell without the use of a single tool. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Since magick works in the subconscious mind we need a minimum of embellishments to access this part of our mind that easily uses magick. These extras carry no more actual power than we give them. However, our minds associate them with magick and so they can be used to more readily make spell working effective. What this means is that these sometimes expensive, but pretty, tools are extras and we can be trained to work without them. That said, when doing any Magickal working, most people will follow these steps: cast a circle, invoke the goddess/god, state the intent of the working, perform the rite, close. So the question is then, if it isn’t in the tools how does it all work? Scientists have discovered that all things have unique energy fields surrounding them. These fields vibrate at different frequencies and are susceptible to external and internal forces. What magick does is manipulate the energy surrounding a desired object to influence a favorable outcome. 22 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 We do this in two possible ways: first by harnessing and changing the energy surrounding ourselves to invite a reciprocal change; second, by attempting to change the energy around others to direct their actions. The latter is dangerous, borders on the criminal, and is just bad Karma. Since the idea is to bring about a positive change for ourselves, we need change only the energy surrounding ourselves to sufficiently influence an outcome. Since this energy is ethereal, that is intangible, our thoughts — and to a lesser extent the thoughts of others — can alter the energy field surrounding us constantly. These changes can be positive or negative but they are a constant reality. Our minds are under constant pressure to filter these external and internal energy changes in the unconscious and subconscious so we can function, much in the same way our ears tune out background noise or our parents’ voices so we can focus on other things. Ritual, and spell working allows us to change the filters so we can consciously access and modify the energy towards a desired goal. At the monthly discussion, I had come down on the side of doing what feels right in the moment. But I realized in reading this, that once upon a time I would have advocated for a very structured framework. Experience changes your perspective and sometimes it is good to go back and look over your past attitudes and ideas. Looking at something through the lens of the past allows you to connect with where you have been, to see where you are, and to appreciate where you are heading. Afraid continued from page 8 what we believed to be true is false, and that what we fear is lurking in the shadows, is not there at all. Through conditioning, we may have accepted an inappropriate or completely false ideology of ourselves and our world. When not confronted, these notions can falsely frame our lives, thereby delivering all our potential to the refuse pile of broken dreams and unfulfilled goals. This is why we truly fear the dark. We are afraid of what might be there. We are terrified of confronting our own frailty, mortality and possibility. We choose to remain in our known hell, because we know how to navigate it. We fear the unknown heaven with its possibility and promise. In the darkness, we fear the unseen and in the light we busy ourselves to avoid the confrontation. When in the shadows we fear that “we are nothing”. Greater still, the terror within us: that the light will confirm our nothingness as truth. As we move into these dark months, let us fearlessly search out the shadows within that motivate us towards a half-lived life. May we light the candles that will reveal them and be resolved to the healing of them. As we release ourselves from bondage to shadow, let us walk determinedly into the light, armed with confidence and a new sense of purpose and direction. ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 23 Light & Dark continued from page 9 Light the God candle. Invocation for the God: Dagda, you who are the God of death, rebirth, and reincarnation come to us in our circle. Guide us and help us with the changes we are seeking in our lives. • Place the God candle and correspondences on the right side of the cauldron • Set up the four watch tower correspondences East – incense – light the charcoal South – athame West – sea shell with water North – bowl with salt • West side of altar-cakes and ale • East side of altar- smudge Casting the Circle: • Smudge the area and the participants • Light the four watchtower candles Call in the four watchtowers East – Air – imagination, intuition, inspiration South – Fire – passion, courage, determination West – Water – love, compassion, playfulness North – Earth – creativity, strength, groundedness Call in Dagda - God of death, rebirth, reincarnation. 24 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 Call in Cerridwen - Goddess of death, initiation, inspiration, magic and regeneration. Light the Goddess candle. Invocation for the Goddess: Cerridwen, you who are the Goddess of death, inspiration, and regeneration come to us in our circle. Guide us and help us with the changes we are seeking in our lives. Ground and center Meditation: Take a couple cleansing breaths and allow your body to relax. You are sitting on the ground. You can feel the cool earth beneath you. The grass is soft and fragrant. Feel the gentle breeze on your skin. The sun has set and darkness surrounds you. You look up and see the brightly lit stars twinkling. Your breathing has slowed and become rhythmic.You look straight ahead and realize your eyes have adjusted to the darkness.There in front of you are two people... a man and a woman. You KNOW they are the God and Goddess. They come closer to you and sit down beside you. They ask you for the reason you have called to them. They tell you to go deep inside yourself. What dark self qualities do you no longer want in your life. Why? What dark self qualities do you want to acknowledge. Why? What do you want the God and Goddess to take with them when they leave. What do you want the God and Goddess to give you. You thank the Deities for listening to you. Take a deep breath and open your eyes. What you want to destroy in your life is clear. Write this on a piece of paper. Fold the paper in half. Use the flame from God and Goddess candles to ignite the paper and place it in the cauldron. The change or transformation is clear. Write on a piece Dismiss the Goddess “Cerridwen we thank you for joining us in our circle. Guide us and help us find the strength and courage for the changes we have asked. ” Dismiss the God “Dagda, we thank you for joining us in our circle. Guide us and protect us. Help us find the strength and courage for the changes we have asked.” seeking. Fold the paper in half. Use the flame from God and Goddess candles to ignite the paper and place it in the cauldron. Raise energy with chanting or drumming. Libation: Bless the cakes and beverage. If this is a solitary working enjoy a portion of the cake/ cookies/etc. Then sip a portion of the beverage. If there is more than one participant pass the cakes/ cookie/etc. to the person on the left, then take a sip of the beverage and pass the glass to the person to the left. Note* If there is anyone in the group who is not comfortable sharing the same goblet/glass, then provide separate glass/es. The charcoal that you lit earlier should be red hot. Place a pinch of incense on the charcoal and allow it to waft upwards. This is a sign of appreciation to the Deities who have joined you in circle. Dismiss the four watch towers North – We thank you for joining us in our circle and protecting us. West – We thank you for joining us in our circle and protecting us. South – We thank you for joining us in our circle and protecting us. East – We thank you for joining us in our circle and protecting us. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night. Extinguish all candles. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight The circle is open but unbroken. Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. ~ Dylan Thomas ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 25 Get Lighter continued from page 16 Honor the darkness by hitting the gym and getting in shape. Come spring all your friends will be talking about how bad they need to hit the gym in time for summer as you sit across from them with your strong arms and sexy abs. As Pagans many of us enjoy the witching hour and what it brings to our spirituality and our personal path, we feel a heightened sense of energy during this time. So why not use the gloomy winter days as a way to increase our energy and increase our physical strength? Finding activities to arrange during the winter months can be challenging but there are many fun ways to fit exercise into your daily life. During summer, many of us enjoy hiking, bike riding, nature walks, jogging on the beach, and surfing. It can be hard to find motivation during the dreary winter months, but don’t let this hinder your chances of achieving fitness success. Do you like riding your bike during summer? Spin classes are a wonderful way to stay fit and healthy when it’s too cold to bike ride outdoors. The fact that you will burn between 600 and 1,000 calories in a one hour class does not hurt either. 26 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 Many gyms offer amazing classes that can inspire you to get moving during winter. Pilates classes are a favorite as they focus on strengthening and toning the entire body. Kickboxing is another favorite, use this class as a way to let go of anger, frustration and any darkness you have in your life. Yoga classes are always enlightening and force us to see the light in our life even when we are not quite sure there is any. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of inner darkness, soar through the murky night air on the wings of the beautiful nocturnal bat. If paying for a gym membership is not in your budget, another way to meet your fitness goals is to set your alarm an hour earlier each day. Set your workout clothes and your tennis shoes on a chair in your bedroom the night before. That way they are one of the first sights your eyes see in the early morning. You will be less likely to make excuses like, “I don’t even know where my tennis shoes are, I should just roll over and get another hour of sleep.” Walt Whitman once said, “Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.” Lace up those shoes and set the coffee pot to brew as you head out the door to walk in silence and anticipation of the coming sunrise. Allow the sunrise to shine its loving light upon you and take this time to honor the things you are grateful for in your life. Remember, with each sunrise, we start anew. Our Pagan ancestors kept a fire lit in their hearth all winter long in order to warm their homes. We should honor them by igniting the fire within us and illuminating our souls with light. Even in the darkness we must search for light and emerge stronger individuals. As Pagans we understand the essential need for both light and darkness. Honor the cycles of your life, acknowledge the darkness and come forth into the light your soul ablaze. Like the Chinese Proverb says, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Meddling Kids continued from page 12 don’t need all that. We’ve got a live one. Well, you know what I mean.” “What do you hear?” Veronica asked, pushing up her glasses and poised to take notes. None of them doubted Norville; he was the only true medium in the group. “I hear a woman. I’ll bet it’s the lady of the house.” “Then let’s talk to her,” Rick said. Mayor Withers arrived the next morning as the group was just about done packing up their van. “Well, what did y’all find?” “I’m sorry, Mayor, but this house is definitely not haunted,” Veronica said. His face fell. “Really?” “I’m sorry, but our instruments didn’t record anything,” she said. “No unexplained thermal changes, no electronic voice phenomena, not even an orb on the digital cameras. The house is run-down and I think there are rats in there, but no ghosts.” The Mayor looked sly. “Well, you know the plantation isn’t haunted, and I know it, but I don’t have to tell the Board.” “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Rick said. “Laurel twisted her ankle on the porch.” He pointed to Laurel’s ankle, which she had taped that morning. “I’ve been in a lot of run-down buildings, and it’s pretty dangerous to walk through them, especially at night. I guess you could fix it up to code, but that’ll cost a lot. I mean, you don’t want some kids getting in there to hunt ghosts and getting hurt.” “Oh, no, I really don’t want that. I don’t know even know how to get it up to code. Well, darn it. Sounds like I’ll have to keep people out to avoid a lawsuit. I’m sorry to have wasted your time,” said the Mayor. “No problem. We never expect to find anything.” “Alrighty. Well, I’ve got some work to do so I’ll be headin’ out. See y’all later,” the Mayor said, and drove off. When the Mayor’s truck was out of sight, there was a shimmer of light in the shade of a nearby magnolia tree. “Thank y’all very much,” said the whisper of a woman’s voice. “It’s no problem, Mrs. Beauregard,” Norville said. “We’re in this business to help people, living or ghost. Do you need anything else?” “No, thank y’all. I just need some time alone.” With that, the shimmer and voice faded away. ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 27 ISSN 9 2159-993 Web & Magazine Exposure ecting Conn Book y Toda rld of the Wo w on Revie Prime Space for One Low Price! e er Divin ur Inn with Yo me to Welco Fated t p 10 Lis ke’s To Lori Da y the Sk bos in Gaze rasu Amate g Sacre Creatin e d Spac a Mo ions for Tradit tle Bo The Lit dern ok of Age Hindu s Deitie ess Godd 1 sses” July 201 7 ue Godde e 2 • Iss ods & Volum Our G oring “Hon God & Inner g Your Findin h Fitness Throug ™• ISSN July 2011 me 2 • Volu 9 2159-993 rs Embe e Wild Fir Fa Promote Your Business! Support Pagan Edge! Variety of space and pricing options perfect for your needs! le iry Ta Plant Colle Paga cting n Fest pe Encyclo Ignite Graphic Design included by our staff! Top 10 aestian Heph Forge dia of Your Keeping s Spirit Sacre d Flame a Drea m l Journa agram e Pent th Fire in of Ma ion nifestat 2011 August ue 28 Volume e 2 ••Iss um ust 2011 Vol ™ • Aug irit” My Sp “Fire ISSN 9 2159-993 ation Medit adow The Sh Sage Art of Self Pagan Edge exists for the benefit of our readers; your advertising support helps us to maintain our fees and lower subscription costs. Envisioning Spiritual and Climate Wise Living eyer Kim Dr Cat Na pping dians Guar ing of Be g the Findin thin ce Wi Balan t” oughou ce Thr “Balan ™• Wendy Beth WendyBeth@PaganEdge.com will customize a package to fit your needs! 1 ber 201 9 Septem2 • Issue me 2 e Volum 1 • Volu er 201 Septemb Or visit www.paganedge.com for more details 26 ™• October 2011 • Volume 2 mypersonalvisions.org