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Little Witch Magazine

Yule Imbolc Hagstones Gerald Gardner Ancestral Worship Tattoos in Paganism Preview: In het Licht van de Maan

Winter 2011


Through winter-time we call on spring, And through the spring on summer call, And when abounding hedges ring Declare that winter’s best of all; And after that there s nothing good Because the spring-time has not come -Nor know that what disturbs our blood Is but its longing for the tomb.

William Butler Yeats-The Wheel


This Little Witch L

ittle Witch mag- I feel a confirmation in myself azine is a year as well; it was a very busy year and a day old! for me and many of my (guest) Blessed Be! I writers but Little Witch has always can’t put into been published on time. It was words how proud I am at our little stressful sometimes, but it was magazine. A little over a year ago worth it. I finally took the plunge with a Little Witch is here to stay and wish I had; to publish a grounded in this edition we have again magazine about Neo-Pagan collected some very interesting subjects that’s practical, fun and articles. What about a story on diverse. A free addition for anythe Wild Hunt, ancestral worship, one who practices shamanism, the use of wishstones, tattoos Druidism, Wicca or Witchcraft. in Neo-Paganism? To top it off, I started with three writers and Petra Stam and Marja de Zeeuw an artist and they are still here, introduce their Dutch book: ‘In het working on every magazine. In Licht van de Maan’, ‘In the Light addition, several wonderful guest of the Moon’. writers have joined our ranks and I wish you a wonderful time readlifted Little Witch magazine to ing and hope you will continue to a new hight I never could have enlighten us with your feedback, reached by myself. ideas and experiences. A year is a trial period. I notice it And don’t forget to check out our in myself as well as the Pagan Facebook! community. The community knows where to find us now a http://tiny.cc/lwmfacebook year is a promise that we are here to stay, a promise of reliabilBlessed be, ity. Little Witch will keep getting Elani Temperance produced and people who want to write for us or want their books reviewed are starting to find us.

In this issue: 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

The Goody Bag In het licht van de Maan Examining the season Winter Pagan world Hagstones in Paganism Witchy Things Tatoo Traditions Discussion Reclaiming our Titles The Feasts Yule and Imbolc Merry Meet Gerald Gardner Branching out Hoodoo Southern Conjure: Part 2 Practical Pagan Ancestral Worship By the firelight Beware the Wild Hunt

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The Goodie Bag

In het licht van de Maan - By petra stam & Marja de Zeeuw

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n August publishing house A3 boeken published our book ‘In het licht van de Maan – handboek vieringen, symboliek en bewustwording’ or, in English, ‘In the light of the Moon – guidebook celebrations, symbolism and awareness’. With this book we provide inspiration and concrete guidelines on how to implement the power of the Moon and the cycle of nature into your life. Our current Western calendar system is based on the solar year; the time in which the Earth revolves around the Sun. This important cycle causes the seasons. But there are more natural cycles! Because of alienation and onesidedness people have lost more and more of their connection with

nature over the past 2000 years. We have divided the calendar year into thirteen full-moon phases. Per moonchapter we show you a way to re-establish your connection with the rhythms of nature and to implement these into your life. In order to do this we provide you with information about the nature festivals, mythology, trees, tarot, astrology, symbolism and rituals. Every chapter comes with a fitting recipe for herbal tea and incense. A preview on Midwinter, the door to a new beginning: The solar ‘standstill’ at Midwinter shows you that it’s important to be aware of yourself. We tend to rush through our lives; we are hurried and often times we are busy. But look as nature around you stays true to her own

‘In het licht van de Maan, handboek vieringen, symboliek en bewustwording’, Petra Stam and Marja de Zeeuw, A3 boeken, ISBN 9789077408001 www.petrastam.nl www.facebook.com/inhetlichtvandeMaan

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rhythm. There is peace here as the old gets consumed. New life is tucked safely away so it has a chance to be reborn in the Springtime. The full moon that ties into the period between December 21 and January 19 is the Moon of the Longest Night. This moon period invites us to look at what we want to take into the next phase during this turning point but also what we want to leave behind. Before you open this door far enough to step through it is good to look at what the previous year has brought you. What has gone well? What has not? What would you like to take with you? Try to find what is tucked away inside yourself for next year’s burst of growth. Also think about what you do not need to take with you into the new cycle. The Moon is full on the 9th of January. In preparation of your ritual, draw or form a spiral that spirals outwards and note what you would like to cultivate or project in the outside world. This is a tool to strengthen your ritual.


Examining the season Winter - By Aurelia Bellis

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t’s not yet cold out and nature doesn’t remind us much of winter yet. Still, ice has already formed and all the signs are there that Winter has, indeed, arrived. It might not be fully wormed but it is most certainly there if you know what to look for. Look out the window and try to find the differences with the Fall. There is a quietness in nature. Trees are calmly waiting for Spring abd birds are harvesting the nuts and seeds they will need so badly if they want to survive the wintertime. The air is cleared of its many bugs and transforms

quickly into the deep purples and reds that indicate the coming night, even if it’s only late in the afternoon. Shrubs and flowers have lost their buds. You can look at nature in two ways; a little sad as the glory of Summer is gone or with patience, waiting for the days to grow longer and the fertile soil to move and fill with life. Candlelight forms shadow plays on the walls when you are out at night and lends the world a wintery mood. It’s a time where human kind substitutes the waning light with their own int he places they call home. It might not be snowing yet and the rivers may not be frozen solid

but it’s Winter. Animals trot along in their winter furs and there are less and less rabbits and squirrels out and about. Oh yes, Winter is definitely here. There are a lot of fun things to do in Winter. Making winter wine for a special dinner, for example, with cinnamon, orange and clove. There are many recipe out there but your own taste is, of course, most important. Decorate your home with evergreens like holly, ivy and fir. Hang wishes in them for visitors or friends who will come by at this time of year. Decorate candles for a special day or event. Enjoy this quiet time of reflection.

powdered sugar and one crushed cinnamon stick. Place a foil sheet directly onto the wine and let it sit for one night. Peel away the foil the next day and heat the wine to no more

than 70 degrees Celcius. If you want to you can dilute the wine with one to three deciliters of (hot) water. Sieve the mixture through a coffee filter and serve while hot.

A Winter Wine Pour hot water over one orange to remove the layer of wax. Press the closes into the peel of the orange. Place the orange in a cooking pot with one bottle of red wine, 100 to 150 grams of

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Pagan World

Hagstones in paganism - By Lunadea

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lfstones, adder stone, wishstones, hagstones, hühnergötter; they are all names for stones with holes in it, the much renowned magickal stones from which nature has eroded their centers and to which many a power and property has been attributed. The scientific name for one of these stones is Paramoudra, or pot stone. Usually these stones are flint nodes which have been hollowed out in the middle because the softer middle part has been washed out by water. The origin of the word Paramoudra is unclear. The story goes that the word comes from the English minister-gelogist William Buckland who was doing some research in the Irish district of Clarehill Quarry in 1817. He found cylindrical and tapered flint stones of different sizes, up to 60 centimeters long and 35 centimeters wide. He described these stones under the name paramoudra.

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It’s likely he misheard the local peoples and there are two hypotheses for the original word: padhramoudras (ugly Paddies) or peura muireach (sea pears). In medieval times stones with a naturally eroded hole in it were used to protect humans and animals from spells cast by witches and evil spirits. A piece of string was tied through the hole and worn around the neck or, in other cases, hung in the stables, near the door. Hagstones were also hung on the bough of a ship to protect the sailors against accidents and the dangers of the sea. These stones bring luck and good fortune and were also cherished for their healing properties. They were used as a panacea against epilepsy, terrors, poison, hemorrhages and any ailment concerning the kidneys. Stones with naturally eroded holes in them were also considered to extend the wearer’s life. When you find a stone with a hole in it, the possibilities are endless. Hold the stone in front of your eyes and look through the hole to see the faeries. In Italian folklore

the saying goes that, when you want to tie a faery to you, you should wear a ‘holy stone’. This stone will also protect you. The oldest magickal use of eroded stones dates back to England. Hagstones were—and still are— hung on a string, sometimes with a key attached, above the stable door. This way the animals would be protected against any kind of magickal attack. This protective amulet can, of course, also be used to guard one’s home and would look wonderful above your own door. In the apple tree gardens of Hempshire wish stones were hung in the trees to ensure a good harvest. They were said to make the apples sweet and juicy and to ward off evil spirits. Wish stones play a role in many Keltic rituals. Find a pretty, quiet spot in nature. Hold the stone in your hand and turn it over a couple of times. Then hold the stone in front of your eye and look through the hole. Interpret what you see: what does it mean to you? Another ritual use of hagstones


is the use of these stones as wish energizers. Write a wish on a piece of paper, roll it and push it through the hole to fill it with Mother Earth’s energy and ensure the wish comes true. You can also leave the note in the hole and lay the stone, including the note, in the moonlight overnight. The moon’s energy will then carry your wish and help it come true. You can also hold the stone in your left hand, focus on your wish and rub the stone gently, clockwise, with your right thumb to release the wish from the stone. It’s such a simple thing, a stone with a hole in it. But it has always intrigued humankind; how can something as solid a stone erode in the middle? It must be the work of Gods, faeries or another kind of higher power and thus the stone must carry some of their power. The magickal possibilities of hagstones are endless and go way beyond simple protective amulets for your home or the use as wishing stones.

More ways to use the stones: Hang the stone on a string and make an amulet with it. Hang this above your bed to catch nightmares. Purify the stone in the morning (preferably with morning dew) to wash away all bad and captured dreams. Wearing a hagstone sharpens your intuition which tells you when someone lies. A hagstone was used to pull coloured string through while chanting spells. This was repeated three times. By using different colours different aspects of the desired outcome were highlighted; red for love, blue for health, gold for money and green for fertility. In medieval times a variety of ailments was treated with the hagstone. Visualise the pain fading away through the hole as you rub the stone over the ailing spot. In Scandinavia people believed that the protective properties of the stone were enhanced by pouring milk through the hole. A hagstone tied to a string and swung over your head makes hard winds and rain fade away. A hagstone tied near stables calms and protects animals from negative energy. Put the stone in your bathwater with a pinch of salt. Feel how the water nourishes you and engulfs you with the warm softness of Mother Nature. As the water drain, your worries drain away with it.

Lunadea is High Priestess of coven Salix, priestess of Diana, practitioner of the Old Religion, herbal healer, reikimaster and most of all: herself! || www.lunadea.nl

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Witchy Things Tattoo traditions - By Elani Temperance

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any NeoPagans have gotten tattoed. Shamanists, Druids, Witches... many feel inspired to store stories, experiences or magickal events in their skin. Tattooing is a very old tradition. The oldest evidence of people tattooing their skin dates back to around 5000 years; ‘Ötzi the Ice Man’. Ötzi was found in 1991 by hikers, frozen solid in the mountain ranges between Austria and Italy. He had been born in the Bronze Age. On the back of his knee, above his kidneys and on his ankles, scientists found tattoo’s. It is believed that these tattoos had been applied as a therapeutic mean against arthritis which Ötzi was apparently suffering from. It’s not a strange thought; even today, shamans tattoo themselves and those under their protection for the purposes of healing, protection against magickal attacks and to garner favors from the ancestors. For these people, tattoo’s aren’t an

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expression of individuality; they bind members of tribes together. Even in our society we use tattoos for this purpose; lovers who acquire the same tattoo to seal their love, parents who tattoo their child’s names onto their skin out of devotion, members of the same coven who seal their commitment to each other with a matching tattoo. Tattoos are, and were, known in every country, culture and in most religions around the globe. Yet the tattoo has not always been seen as positive or sacred. In medieval times, tattoos were seen as something primitive; for the lower classes. Sailors had them. In Japan a tattoo still inspires fear as they are linked to the Yakuza, Japan’s largest and most notorious crime syndicate. Tattoos are well known in the criminal world and are especially well known in smaller organizations. American gangs are a good example; each gang has their own symbols and markings to identify themselves and claim their turf. Even without these negative associations, in our western soci-

ety we rarely choose to heal or dedicate by way of tattoos. How are you going to explain that to your boss or your loved ones? Yet we do still make use of the tradition in our Craft. We use henna, paint or magic marker to mark our skin temporarily with symbols that represent our wishes, desires and pleas. We store power in our skins through symbols that have had the same meaning for countless years. Tattoos have a rich history. From the lines and crosses found on Ötzi’s body, the tattooed mummies found in Russia, Egyptian women who were the only ones allowed to wear tattoo’s to tattoo’s which mark rites of passage. If we choose to do so, we can take these traditions onto ourselves and become part of a line nearly as old as humanity itself. There is but one advice that binds all magickal tattoo traditions; think before you mark your skin as what you put onto your skin will influence you for the rest of your life.


Discussion

Reclaiming our titles - By Elani Temperance

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here is something odd about the word ‘witch’, especially in relation to other Pagan paths like Druidism and Shamanism. A druid is seen as a wise man, living in harmony with nature and prancing around Stonehenge when the seasons change. A Shaman is viewed with respect; he or she might be uncivilized but their believe in what they do is so strong, one can not help but be fascinated by it. The words ‘witch’ and ‘witchcraft’ usually garner two distinct reactions; fear or ridicule. Stories of old hags with ovens in the forest, beautiful women who lure men to their deaths. Women and men who were innocently stoned, drowned or burned during the Burning Times. These are the stories surrounding the word ‘witch’. Calling yourself a witch these days will often garner ridicule. Witches belong in childhood fairy tales or in Hollywood movies. In the Harry Potter books. “Can you turn someone into a toad? Avada Kedavra!”

It’s not easy to come out as a shamanistic, as a Druid or a witch. Prejudice is everywhere and have a lasting legacy. Dutch author Susan Smith says it best in the foreword to her book ‘Heks’, ‘Witch’ in Dutch: ‘In my limitless naivety I thought I, in the year 2001, could kick aside some preconceived notions around the word ‘Witch’ by naming my book after it. I was wrong. A wellmeaning book can’t push aside a couple of centuries of slander by the church. The word Witch is, and stays, a poisoned term.’ In our current society there is no longer a place set aside for magick. Society relies on science, on the explainable. Even we, who should know better, sometimes loose faith in the powers of the Gods, Nature or magick when faced with situations that seem too large or important to handle. Even as little as a hundredth years ago, much of what we have now scientifically proven lay squarely in the realm of magick or God. There is nothing wrong with science. Science has helped

us to live longer, healthier lives. It has removed many of the obstacles in our lives but, by doing so, has also made it harder to simply believe. It seems everything should be proven by someone else before we believe our own experiences. It’s our own insecurity that often makes it hard to come out and (re)claim our roles as Druids, Wiccan, (religious) witches or as shamanistic. We function in a society which, mostly, does not believe anything not proven and that makes it so difficult to stick to your own feelings, your experiences and your faith when confronted by science. Yes, there are many preconceived notions attached to the the words we identify ourselves with and it is our challenge to reclaim these terms if we ever want to use them in a positive way. Much of the way has already been paved by people like Philip Carr-Gomm, Laurie Cabot, Gerald Gardner and many others. We need only to pick up their torch.

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The Feasts By Lunadea

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idwinter, also called the winter solstice, Yule or Saturnalia has been celebrated on the northern hemisphere in many cultures and for thousands of years. Between the 20th and the 22th of December the sun reaches the lowest point on the norther hemisphere. In this night—according tot he Celtic stories—the

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he promise of a new Spring is upon us! Imbol is Brighid’s feast. She will make love to the God of the light during this time. Imbolc (pronounced: Immolk) is traditionally a feast of fertility, light and joy. People made a bed out of straw for Brighid and poured milk and honey over it to welcome Her back into their lives. Imbolc is a feast of light and tra-

Yule

Goddess returns life to the light and the sun returns. At Yule it’s tradition to light large fires to celebrate the return of the light. After Yule the days grow longer and the nights shorter. It’s a celebration of peace, of the victory of light over darkness. A battle between the Oak King (light) and the Holly King (darkness) rages at Yule and the Oak King wins. It’s a time of inspiration, looking ahead and giddiness.

Midwinter falls right before the Christian holiday of Christmas and there are many similarities between Christmas and the preChristian Yule festival. Decorate your home and altar with holly, ivy and mistletoe; all evergreens. Get up early to welcome the first light of the sun. Burn a Yule log or place burning candles on a solid piece of wood if you don’t have a fireplace.

ditionally candles provide much of its illumination. Traditional Witches burn a candle in front of every window for the duration of the night before Imbolc—or the day before Imbolc from dawn to dusk—to honor the returning light. Decorate your house and altar with evergreens and spring flowers to welcome the returning light and the coming spring into your home. When darkness falls on the eve of Imbolc, go through your house and extinguish all the

lights. Take your time to feel the effects of the darkness and then light a single candle. Go through all the rooms to bring light into every single one. When you’ve gone through a room with the candle, turn the lights back on in that room. You can also make a traditional light crown. It used to be made with candles but that isn’t exactly fireproof. At Imbolc, place milk on your altar instead of wine.

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Merry Meet

Gerald Gardner - By Calandriel an Cuiileur

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erald Gardner was born in 1884 near Liverpool, England where he lived for the first seven years of his life. After his time in Liverpool, he traveled with his nurse maid to warm climates to soothe his asthma and eventually lived with her in what is now Sri Lanka. He briefly visited England in 1905 when he met a shunned branch of his family called the Surgensons. They spoke with him about the paranormal. He also heard rumors that his grandfather had been a practicing witch and that one of his Scottish ancestors had been burned as a witch at Newburg in 1610. In 1927 he returned to England and investigated spiritualism and mediumship with success. He also met his later wife, Dorothea (Donna) Rosedale, in this time. He later moved to Malaya with her. He wrote “A Goddess arrives” on Cyprus in 1938, based partially on recollections of his past life on the island. Later in the year he

traveled back to Britain where he and his wife settled. In 1939 he met a group of people who initiated him into witchcraft, and the New Forest coven, in September of that same year. In 1946, at the end of the Second World War, Gardner and his wife left New Forest and returned to London where Gardner started the Bricket Wood coven. At this time he also joined several other religious and occult groups and met notables among who Aleister Crowley. Many people claim that Gardnerian Wicca has largely been derived from works by Crowley and other sources. From 1950 on he worked in and later owned a museum about witchcraft on the Isle of Man. He corresponded with a woman called Doreen Valiente in 1952 and later initiated her into Wicca and his coven. She rose to the position of High Priestess and helped Gardner re-write his Book Of Shadows by cutting out Crowley’s influence. Gardner published “Witchcraft today” and began to seek more publicity around 1954. This

caused a rift in his coven. Valiente and other members left the coven in disgust when Gardner introduced the Wiccan Laws, which limited the power of the High Priestess and allowed the High Priest to call for her retirement when he found her too old. In 1959 he published his last book “The Meaning of Witchcraft” including his early experiences with the New Forest coven. In 1960, his wife Donna died and Gardner once again suffered badly from asthma. He died at age 79 on a voyage home from Lebanon from the aftereffects of a heart attack on the 12th of February 1954. In his lifetime, Gardner brought Witchcraft and Wicca into the public eye and his coven is seen as the earliest Wiccan coven. From the New Forest coven down, any true Wiccan coven should be able to claim a unbroken line of initiation. Gardernian Wicca traditionally has covens of thirteen mixed in sexes with one High Priestess and a High Priest and worships a Mother Goddess and a Horned God.

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Branching Out

Hoodoo: Southern Conjure: Part 2 - By Strata

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n the Fall 2011 issue of Little Witch Magazine, Strata shared with us an introduction into Hoodoo practices. Hoodoo is an AfricanAmerican folk magic system. It has strong Christian influences and it is slowly making its way into the Neo-Pagan magick system. In this issue of Little Witch Magazine, Strata explains who hoodoos were and are. Historically, hoodoos were often highly respected members of their communities and churches, with some, like Aunt Caroline Dye, receiving national acclaim. This is a curiosity considering that the majority of hoodoos are Protestant Christians. However, unlike practitioners of other magical systems, hoodoos were not shunned but held in high regard and honored. This may be due to the prevalent use of Saints and Christian/Judeo figures among hoodoo practitioners. Hoodoo views God as a great conjurer and the Saints as spirits capable

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of being employed for specific tasks. Hoodoo also makes extensive use of Biblical texts, especially the Old Testament. The Psalms, in particular, are often repeated during workings, carved onto candles, or written onto parchment. Though, Christian ima-ges and rituals play a prominent role in hoodoo practices, it is important to remember that hoodoo has no religious requirements. Though it incorporates Christian spiritual beliefs, it is not a religion. Most hoodoo practitioners are Protestant Christians, however, many are not. Instead, the Saints and Holy figures incorporated into hoodoo are simply spirits or thought forms utilized for a specific purpose. Hoodoo simply taps into the Christian egregore. Hoodoo, though typically viewed as an African American practice, has always been interracial. Throughout history, both blacks and whites have practiced hoodoo. Hoodoo is open to all people, and though there are certainly elders or experts in hoodoo, there is no hierarchy in

the practice. There are no priests or priestesses, and hoodoo is generally a solitary practice. Traditionally, it was common for one hoodoo doctor to serve the entire community and to travel to others, if necessary. Occasionally, a hoodoo might take on an apprentice and that is how hoodoo has always been passed on. Neo-Pagans are slowly discovering links to hoodoo practices. Carving a name, request, or verse into a candle has long been a hoodoo tradition. The use of poppets in sympathetic magic is prevalent among African folk magicians, and has infiltrated Southern magical systems with the help of hoodoo practitioners. In addition, Hoodoos get more and more inquires about the magical uses and properties of roots, blurring the lines between Magickal traditions and sharing knowledge that’s been passed on for generations. Strata is a long time practicioner of hoodoo and keeps a blog of her workings: http://tiny.cc/stratablog


Practical Pagan Honoring the ancestors - By Hagetessa

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e all have our ancestors. We came from them and, when we pass on ofter death, we will rejoin them without question. Then we will become the ancestors and watch over our progeny. We’re involved in their lives because we love them. They came from us, after all. Ancestral worship is probably humanity’s oldest religion. Not that odd considering our ancestors were confronted with the finality of death just like we are. Where we as modern men have pushed the spiritual to the edges of society, the spiritual was most likely a major part of every day life for our ancestors. In a culture like that it’s much easier for our ancestors to cross from the realm of the dead to ours and make contact with the living. And for survivors to see these contacts for what they are instead of explaining them away and into the realm of psychiatry. More and more evidence is emerging that large monuments

like Stonehenge were build to facilitate communication with our ancestors. For the Germanic peoples the Disir, female ancestors who watched over their offspring, were very important. Ancestral worship can also be found in China and the surrounding shamanistic cultures. There is logic to this. Where Gods are often focused on the whole community, the country or keeping the cosmos going, your ancestors sole focus is on you. In modern-day Paganism people have a personal connection with the Gods. The contact they have with their ancestors is often limited to family constellations therapy. The concept that unresolved troubles in the family bloodline can lead to problems in the present generation was known to even the oldest of cultures. There is, however, another side to the story. Our ancestors are a great source of power in our lives. From the ancestral field, our collected ancestors—close or far removed from us—allow energy to flow down to us, the living. When the connection is

open, that power can flow freely to us and nurture us so we have enough energy to find a place for ourselves here on Earth. Modern people often have a lot to sort through with our families. We spend our time in therapy after therapy and commit ourselves to personal growth workshops just to become free, independent individuals. And it is important to stand in your own power and live your life like you feel is right. But we are not isles adrift; we are connected to one another, not just by choice but by kinship, bloodlines and DNA. These ties can run deeper than you think. Try to find your connection with your ancestors. Make place for them on your altar, burn a candle or some incense in their name. Discover what happens when you allow your ancestors into your life. Hagetessa teaches classes on being a Highly Sensitive Person, spirituality, energy work and Shamanism. http://energiewerk.aanhet.net

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By the firelight Beware the wild hunt - By Ragnild

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s the fire crackled merrily in the hearth, an old man was huddled in blankets in front of it while seated in an old battered chair. There were children at his feet laughing, squealing and bumping one another, wondering what big adventure the old man would share with them this time. “There was a time, long ago, when I was still a boy of about eight years old. I know you can’t imagine such a thing, but ‘tis true.” The giggling and prodding stoped and every small face changed expression, smiling grinning faces turning serious as they focused their attention on the man. It was the eve of the winter solstice and a faint crackle of energy hung silent in the air. Tonight, the bridge between this world and the other was faint. “It was an eve such as tonight, when you can feel the old energy moving around you. Can you feel it children? We lived in a house such as this and a thick forest

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surrounded our house. Faerie rings grew in many places at the time and there was one in the clearing right beside the house.” Not many people payed attention to these rings but when you looked at them closely, you could see the air shimmer slightly inside the faerie rings. “My old parents had told me to stay away from these rings many a time. They said that if you come too close on a night like this, Gwynn ap Nudd will come with his Cwn Annwn and take you away to his kingdom. Do you know who Gwynn ap Nudd is? He is the Faery King, the ruler of the realm of death and mystery we call Annwn. The Cwn Annwn are Gwynn’s hunting dogs and they are as viscous as Gwynn himself. Did you know too that time isn’t the same in the Other World? It doesn’t slip like sand through your fingers as it does here. Time just simply stands still in the Other World. Once you are taken, you are there until the end of time.” There was a heavy sigh and the old man sagged a little bit.

The faint crackle of energy became just a little clearer and the children gave a collective shudder. Hushed whispers travel through the small group. Tonight’s story was special and they could all feel it. “I haven’t told this to anyone in years, but I wasn’t the only one that my old parents told to stay away from the rings. I had an older brother you see, he was just a year older than I was, aye.” The old man raked a hand through his hair, his mind far away as he remembered all the things they had done as children. It felt as though that had been another lifetime entirely. “My brother didn’t listen and I, being curious, followed him into the night as he went off and investigated the rings. He didn’t see the air dancing in them, but I did. I remember my palms getting sweaty and my heart speeding up. I was nervous, but I didn’t know why. By then, we had never been told what the reason was for staying away from the rings.” The old man stared into the fire, that night returning to his mind as


though it was yesterday when it happened. The fire crackled and the air in the room became even heavier. “I hid behind a tree, I was afraid to go too close and I didn’t want our parents seeing me either. When my brother came close to the ring, the air started sparkling faintly. When he set his foot in the ring, my heart pounded in my chest like a drum and I felt sick. There was a loud crack, like thunder and a horn sounded. The sound wasn’t loud, but I was certain it was a horn.” A loud crash sounded and the group looked up, startled. A little boy smiled sheepishly, a block of firewood lying on the floor next to him where it had fallen off the pile. “After the horn, the sound of hooves could be heard.” The old man continued. “It wasn’t just one horse, oh no, there were multiple. After a few moments the sound of hooves was joined by angry barking and growling and I was so scared I thought I was going to die.” The old man cleared his throat,

“The sounds became clearer, as though the party came closer. Suddenly, there was a bright light and the air danced about wildly. I could feel the energy shooting through the sky and if I thought I had been scared before, I had been wrong. This was the most frightening moment of my life.” The children were listening open mouthed and hanging on the old man’s every word, completely enraptured with the story. “The hooves thundered to a stop and a party of about ten riders was suddenly gathered in the clearing. There was a pack of growling hunting dogs. They had thick black fur and they looked more like large wolves with eyes that glowed red in the night air than any dogs I had ever seen. One horse was bigger and more majestic than all the others and on the back of that horse was none other than Gwynn ap Nudd. He was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen. He looked human, but there was this otherworldly glow about him, something ethereal. -->

Pagan agenda Activities by the Silver Circle (NL) http://tiny.cc/SilverCircle Activities by the Cirkel van de Godin (NL) http://tiny.cc/CirkelvandeGodin Festivals and fairs (NL) http://tiny.cc/MagicalFeeling February 4, 2012 Open Imbolc celebration organized by Little Witch magazine and Lunadea.nl! www.littlewitchmagazine.com www.lunadea.nl

(Your Neopagan schedule or activity here? Contact us!)

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By the firelight He was too perfect, no dark hair on his head was out of place even after such a wild ride, none of his clothes were moved by the wind. His clothes too were the most magnificent that I have ever seen. It was as though every color of the forest was worked into his garb. Browns were used in his belts and knee-high riding boots. Greens shimmered and danced across the material of his shirt. A heavy dark green, fur lined cloak hung across his shoulders. A large ivory horn hung from his belt. They were perfect for a hunt. Gwynn ap Nudd’s horse did not tire and it didn’t sweat like our horses do after such an exercise.” For a moment, the old man was lost in his thoughts again. A hushed whisper went through the group of children, speculating as to what had happened when this hunting party left. “My brother was terrified. The Hunt startled him so badly that he fell on his back and he was lying on the ground, paralyzed with fear. Then Gwynn ap Nudd spoke.

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‘So you have come to this gate between both our realms. Whoever passes through this ring becomes ours by the Old Laws. I have always honored the old laws and so you belong to us now, mortal.” Then the otherworldly ruler sent his pack of dogs at my brother. I wanted to help but I knew I could not, they would have taken me as well.” A sad look settled on the old man’s face, the flickering of the fire and the shadows it cast on his face made him look older than time in that moment. “The dogs grabbed my brother by his clothes, careful not to hurt him as their master wanted him alive and well so he could serve them in their unaging realm forever. As they did this, Gwynn ap Nudd sat on his horse and laughed. It was a cold, cruel laugh and it sounded as ancient as time itself. As fast as they had come they also left. The horn was sounded, hooves scraped the ground and with another large crack like lightning the party vanished, as though they had never been there.”

A tear slid across the old man’s face and he looked at the children gravely. “The only proof of what had happened was a few hoof marks on the ground. My brother vanished forever and I have not seen him since. Heed my words young ones, don’t come near the faerie rings and listen to your parents, for Gwynn ap Nudd will come to take you away too to make you serve in his realm forever. Now off you go, it is long past your bed time and your parents have indulged you enough for tonight.” Slowly the children stood and shuffled away to the door, where their parents were already waiting for them. These parents smiled sadly at the old man as all of them had heard the tale once before too. They had all heeded his words and they hoped their children would as well, for Gwynn ap Nudd and his Wild Hunt were a force to be reckoned with.


Next in LWM colophone Little Witch magazine was launched in November 2010 as an initiative to bring a personal and universally Neopagan magazine to Neopagans and those interested in the Neopagan paths in both the Dutch and English language. Little Witch magazine intends to be a grounded, modern take on a life with Neopaganism and hopes to inspire and enlighten. Feel free to contact us with any questions, tips, remarks, or to just let us know what you think. CONTACT US AT: www.littlewitchmagazine.com Twitter.com/LWMag http://tiny.cc/lwmfacebook Contact@littlewitchmagazine.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Elani Temperance (Elani@littlewitchmagazine.com) Art DIRECTION: Elani Temperance ARTWORK: Maaike Kramer (www.maaikekramer.nl) All images copyrighted WRITERS: Calandriel an Cuiileur (Calandriel@littlewitchmagazine.com) Ragnild (Ragnild@littlewitchmagazine.com) Vlinder (Aurelia@Littlewitchmagazine.com)

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nd thus a year-and-aday promise is fulfilled. Little Witch magazine is here to stay and, more than that, together with Lunadea.nl we will organize an open Imbolc celebration on the 4th of February 2012 in Ruigoord, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Details to come but they will definitely be posted on www.littlewitchmagazine.com and www. lunadea.nl. Of course we hope you will all be there and if you are interested to register early, please contact us to any of the many ways noted to the side. Of course we’d also love to hear from you is you have anything to share for the next magazine like poems, pictures, artwork, rituals or anything else which would be of interest to readers such as yourself. Once again, it was fantastic to work on this edition of Little Witch magazine. We are already looking forward to the Spring edition, the first of 2012. We will complete our hoodoo

special and of course we will talk about Ostara and Beltane. We also turn the spotlight on one of the most influential men in modern Druïdism; Philip Carr-Gomm. Thank you writers, guest writers and especially you, the readers for returning to Little Witch every quarter of the year. It’s fantastic to share this journey with you. Don’t forget to register for the open Imbolc celebration in February! It would be wonderful to meet all of you and step into the circle together. We’ll see you then, Blessed Be and Merry Part! We hope you have enjoyed reading the fifth Little Witch magazine as much as we have enjoyed creating it for you. We are already looking forward to the next!

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Little Witch Magazine 05 - Winter 2011