Ostara Beltane Runecraft Pagan Ethics Top Ten Sacred Texts How Does Magick Work?
DAUGHTERS of Jove and Themis, seasons bright, Justice, and blessed peace, and lawful right, Vernal and grassy, vivid, holy pow’rs, Whose balmy breath exhales in lovely flow’rs All-colour’d seasons, rich increase your care, Circling, for ever flourishing and fair: Invested with a veil of shining dew, A flow’ry veil delightful to the view: Attending Proserpine, when back from night, The Fates and Graces lead her up to light; When in a band-harmonious they advance, And joyful round her, form the solemn dance: With Ceres triumphing, and Jove divine; Propitious come, and on our incense shine; Give earth a blameless store of fruits to bear, And make a novel mystic’s life your care.
The Orphic Hymns -To The Seasons (1792)
This Little Witch W
elcome to the second spring edition of Little Witch magazine. The snow has melted, the sun has come out and the days are yet again lengthening. Slowly the energy is starting to coil. We want to go out, perform magick, work in our gardens and start new endeavors. We made it through winter, hurray! This issue of Little Witch celebrates the season in all its green and flowery glory and focuses on pagan ethics and their origins. We have a portrait of Druid Elder Philip Carr-Gomm and go deeper into the wonders of hoodoo en runecraft. Lunadea has written an account of her
experiences during the Imbolc celebration Little Witch magazine and Lunadea.nl organized when there was still a lot of snow and the temperature averaged out at -7 degrees Fahrenheit. Now we look forward to our next celebration which will be at Midsummer. The date is set on June 23 and if you want more information about it, you will find it on page 17. Of course every reader is welcome to come! We hope this time the Dutch railway system will not be crippled so everyone who wants to, can join instead of waiting on trains that never arrive. This issue we focus on Ostara and Beltane, the two annual celebrations which take place in Spring. Ostara received slightly more praise in last yearâ€™s issue so this year, our By the firelight story is focused on the fertile wonders of Beltane. I wish you a wonderful time reading and hope you will join us again at Midsummer when the Summer issue of Little Witch magazine comes out. Until then, stay warm, stay safe and explore. Blessed be, Elani Temperance
In this issue: 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16
The Goodie Bag Top Ten Sacred Texts Examining the season The Magic of Spring Pagan world How Does Magick Work? Witchy Things Pagan Ethics Discussion What is Essential to your Faith? Ostara & Beltane Merry Meet Philip Carr-Gomm Branching out Hoodoo Southern Conjure: Part 3 Practical Pagan Runecraft By the firelight Blessed Be Beltane Visiting: Our Imbolc Celebration
The Goodie Bag
Top Ten Sacred Texts - By Elani Temperance
s NeoPagans, we do not have a bible or other strict religious texts to follow. Yet most of us have adopted some form of written moral compass. Today Little Witch magazine share some of the most beautiful and far reaching of these texts. For this list, we have chosen not to include books by influential (Neo-)Pagans, only texts, poetry and laws. 1. Wiccan Rede http://tiny.cc/wiccanrede The presumed law(s) of Neo-Paganism. While the full Rede is 44 sentences long, many only adhere to the last line: ‘An Ye Harm None, Do As Ye Will’. More on page 8. 2. The Brehon Laws http://tiny.cc/brehon Used as an ethical guideline by Druids, these ancient Irish laws still apply to modern life and are thus still in use.
3. The Laws of Ma’at http://tiny.cc/lawsmaat Kemetic (Egyptian) Reconstructionists can choose to live by the Laws of Ma’at; the 42 affirmations asked of the deceased before judgement is passed on his or her life.
7. Lebor Gabála Érenn http://tiny.cc/lebor Also called The Book of the Takings of Ireland, this chronicle describes the mythical origins and history of the Irish from the creation of the world down to the Middle Ages.
4. Charge of the Goddess http://tiny.cc/chargegoddess Used by many Wiccans, Religious Witches and other Goddess-honouring Neo-Pagans alike, the Charge of the Goddess has become the personification of Goddess worship.
8. Romanitas http://tiny.cc/romanitas Roman Reconstructionists can find moral solace in the Romanitas, written to reflect the Roman way of life.
5. The Nine Noble Virtues http://tiny.cc/odinvirtues The Asatruar (Norse reconstructionists) often take up this warrior’s code inspired by their mythos. 6. The Orphic Hymns http://tiny.cc/orphichymns This set of classic poems are attributed to the Greek hero Orpheus and deal with many aspects of life and Divinity.
9. Charge of the God http://tiny.cc/chargegod The Charge of the God is the male counterbalance to the Charge of the Goddess and personifies the worship of the God. 10. Aradia http://tiny.cc/aradiagospel Although bound together as a book, the Gospel of the Witches was written to be a sacred text for Religious Witches and is often required reading for all Eclectics.
Examining the season The Magic of Spring - By Aurelia Bellis
he light is returning and slowly Spring awakens. It all starts out so carefully. Everywhere you look, the ground fills with the small green dots of newly awakened life. Spring flowers like the Narcissus and Crocus struggle to get their tiny heads above ground and paint the world with sorely missed color. It’s a sign that the season of rest, tranquility and hardship has passed to make way for an uprising of glorious life. The world’s energy is starting to flow, picking up speed until the heat of Summer slows it down anew. One of the best parts of Spring is
that the signs of it are so readily available inside and out. Just listen to the birds, chirping happily at each other in the leafless branches. Leafless? No, the trees are anything but. In the trees, soft tips of new life are forming. A bud with the future of the tree or plant preserved within it. The first butterflies have even emerged. The sun is finally gaining in strength. Just like nature, we notice the gentile itch of Spring as well. So much is happening all around us. Plans are made for the coming year, everyone is cleaning and dusting so the new year starts fresh. Looking at things this way, the start of Spring greatly resembles New Year’s. It’s not that odd, really. The days are lengthening,
our energy is replenished by the sun’s strengthening rays and there is a crispness in the air which urges us along. We’re at the tipping point between the cold Winter and the breezy Spring. There is so much you can do to bring Spring into your house. Go out and take photographs of this newly awakened life. Make a collage or decorate a bulletin board with this year’s hopes and dreams. Clean out that one corner of the house you have been avoiding and rediscover your own hidden treasures. Start seeding the herbs you would like to use come summer but remember, don’t plant them in the ground until May 14th has passed or they won’t make it!
Activities for Spring time Spring is the season of sowing. Plan out your herbs and set up your vegetable garden. There is
nothing better and healthier than home-grown and home-cooked meals. Carrots and lettuce are
low-maintenance vegetables which make wonderful Spring food as well.
How does Magick work? - By Elani Temperance
othing in our religion and way of life packs quiet the social or helpful punch as magick. Just dropping the word in conversation gets you odd looks, laughs and a great amount of questions. But any skilled practitioner can also get amazing results with their efforts. But how does magick work? Many new students of the Craft find themselves disillusioned when their workings don’t produce steady and instant results. Those who have practiced magick for a long time will be able to tell you that the effectiveness of magick is largely determined by the formulation of the desired effect. Magick focused towards getting a specific job will fail easily while magick focused towards getting a job which supports your family and makes you happy has a much larger chance of success. But how big is that change and can you measure it? Imagine life as a deck of cards.
With every decision you make, you get a randomly shuffled card from the top of the deck. This card is the outcome of that decision. Every decision you make gets you an extra card off of the top of the deck. Using magick to make something you need or want to happen, happen allows you to shuffle the deck in your favor. You might not always get the best possible card at the top of the deck, but you will still have made something happen which might aid you in the near future. It is not an exact science and it seems that advanced users get better results than novices. There might be multitude of reasons for this. Advanced users may have learned to formulate their wishes better; they may be able to focus the required energy more steadily than novices; they may have learned to wait patiently for their results; they may be able to deal with the consequences of their magick better or, perhaps, they have shuffled their deck largely in their favor during years upon years of gentile shuffling, making
it easier to get the right card on top. Perhaps it’s all of these. magick falls in the field of metaphysics and is believed to have dire ramifications due to the Rule of Three. This rule, which says that what you send send out, comes back to you times three, is one of the basic rules of magick and is also called the Threefold Rule. This rule doesn’t speak of the energy required for the working of magick but is supposed to act as a moral compass. If you send out positive wishes, you will get positive results in return. Negative wishes will produce negative results. But to whom? The Rule of Three has a multitude of explanations. Option one: you send out one unit of positive or negative energy and get thee units of positive or negative energy in return. Option two: you send out one unit of positive or negative energy and get three separate units of positive or negative energy in return which affects you on different levels of your being, most commonly identified as spiritually, physically and
mentally. Option three: you send out one unit of positive or negative energy and get one-third of that unit back in return, another third is added to the reservoir of energy that surrounds us and the last third is aimed at getting your wish. Option four: you send out one unit of positive or negative energy and get back one part of negative energy as well as one unit of positive energy while you send out one part of the respective energy used. Most of the options need no further explanation. Option four, however, works the way it does because of another Law in magick and science: Newton’s Third Law; every action has an equal and opposite reaction. These is sense in this; if you send out negative energy, you probably do so for a reason. Perhaps you want to hurt someone who has hurt you. The other person gets hurt and you feel better because of it. Your reaction to the justice served is the one part of positive energy you get back after sending out one unit of negative energy.
The part negative energy you get back is the cost you pay for performing magick of any kind. In the case of a positive unit of energy being send out, you send out one part towards your goal and you get two parts back, one positive, one negative. The positive part represents the boost of spirits or ego that comes with doing magickal work and the negative one is, again, the price of magick. This price of magick is a controversial principle within the magickal community. After all, if you will get negatively influenced with every magickal act you perform, then why do it at all? Most advanced magick user will agree, however, that the universe always keeps a balance or tally of your actions. The bad is always balanced out with the good eventually, as well as the other way around. Novices are always warned of the dangers associated with using magick. Risks to health, to loved ones, to the Veil between worlds... all are risks that we take when we shuffle our cards by way of
magick. But there is more. If you force a positive result on a situation, another situation which had a high chance of success, will fail to balance out your previous actions. This might sound far-fetched but if you go back to the card analogy, it makes sense. You have used the cards for the second situation to stack the first situation. It’s logical you are a few cards short for the second situation... and that leads to failure. Knowledge is power but remember that all that is written about magick is written by individuals and based on their own experiences, this article included. Your experiences and ideas can be very different and are just as worthy of consideration as those of Elders in the Craft. Still, the best advice to any magick user is to be careful, aware and use magick in moderation. Find someone to teach you if you are unsure of yourself and if you don’t feel ready, don’t act. Magick is very powerful if you know what you are doing and part of that knowledge is figuring out how magick works for you.
Witchy Things Pagan Ethics
- By Elani Temperance
n Ye Harm None, Do As Ye Will’. It’s as close to a law there is in Neo-Paganism. It’s often considered universally accepted within the umbrella that holds our collective faiths but it isn’t, by far. In fact, the only branch where the Rede is fully integrated is Wicca. It’s there in Religious Witchcraft on occasion but beyond a few individuals, that is as far as the Rede reaches. In this issue of Little Witch magazine, we look beyond the Wiccan Rede and find other texts, poems, rules and ideas that shape the ethical system of Neo-Paganism. This issue’s Goody Bag lists some of the most influential texts across the far reaches of our religion and way of life. They aren’t sacred in the traditional sense of the word but they are respected, lived by and influential. Their writers are all respected as our Elders, whether they knew what their texts would be used for or not. Pagan ethics are an interesting
and complicated topic. They are inspired by pre-Christian texts like the Orphic Hymns and the Lebor Gabála Érenn as well as the way of life in those times as described by the Romanitas, the Brehon Laws, the Nine Noble Values and the Laws of Ma’at. Later on they were edited upon with texts like the Charge of the Goddess and God, the Gospel of the Witches and the Wiccan Rede. Ethics across Neo-Paganism are impossible to generalize and are often the cause of great controversy. Especially the Rede is cause of great debate. Many say it’s impossible to do no harm at all so the Rede should be interpreted more loosely; strive for a positive outcome but accept all negative consequences responsibly. Those who follow the Rede, or those new to Neo-Paganism, often consider the Rede a universal law, something anyone who does not live by the Rede opposes for obvious reasons. And even within the scope of the Rede, there is a great deal unclear. Are you, for example, allowed to hurt someone in self
defense? How about binding someone’s power for their own benefit? And what if binding someone’s power only aids you? Neo-Pagans who practice magick by the Rede are often bound by a moral obligation not to interfere with someone else’s life without their explicit consent. For some, this means they are not allowed to affect anyone else negatively, others take this one step further and will not interfere even with positive magickal actions. A person’s own willingness to act responsible and accept the consequences of their actions in good conscience and with grace is a valued trait in Neo-Paganism. In fact, it may be one of the only traits that binds those loyal to this way of life. It forces us to be individuals, to be aware of what is going on around us and of what we are taught. Without an ethical system in place, navigating your way through the Neo-Paganistic landscape can be a challenging and dangerous thing. So consider your ethics before you choose to embark or go deeper into it from where you are now.
What is essential to your faith? - By Elani Temperance
s Pagans, we have build our worship around certain icons. They can be Gods and Goddesses, Nature itself, the energy field that surrounds our planet or the Veil between worlds. We honor and work with these manifestations in rituals which are often elaborate and require liturgy, sacred items and special clothing. We keep track of the cycles of Nature, follow the path of the Sun and Moon and develop ourselves to best serve the icons we have chosen for ourselves or who have chosen us. We have our own festivals, our own customs, that we hold on to as much as possible and which we develop so we can share them with others. We form covens so we can work together and learn from each other. We feel safe and understood when we are together. But what if we somehow ended up in a position where we couldnâ€™t openly or freely practice our religions and spirituality anymore?
Say there was another Witch hunt or we simply found ourselves living in a situation where our practices would be shunned. What would we fight to keep? Would we struggle for the long rituals, the robes, the Athame? Would we keep our altars as obvious as they might be now when the punishment upon discovery is death or exile? Our prayers and meditations, no one can take away from us. These silent acts which connect us like nothing else to our icons and ourselves are free and can be practiced anywhere, be it in a quiet place in nature or our beds. But would you still observe the Sun and Moon in their many aspects, even if it was only quietly? Would you celebrate the full and new Moon like you might be used to and in what way would you do this? Would you fight for the eight celebrations that our year revolves around and find a way to integrate them into you life? Would you seek companionship, even if you risked death? Would you bless and ward your house, yourself and your loved
ones? Would you still share the songs, the sacred texts and the stories of our ancestors? Would you divine the future and attempt to learn from nature and life as you had done before? Would you teach and study? Itâ€™s good to think about what is vitally important to you within your practice. It are these things which bind you to it, will keep your faith strong and your practice in the forefront of your life. When you feel your faith waver, these are the practices that you will keep and build from. These practices are the root of your faith and being aware of them keeps your faith true and honest. We might never be in a situation where we actively have to choose which of our practices we can leave behind and which ones we would never be able to do without because they are engrained in our lives too deeply. What you simply cannot leave behind are the foundations of your faith and these, together with those of other people, form the basis of a faith which has the staying power to last centuries.
The Feasts By Elani Temperance
f there was ever a feminist women celebration, it’s Ostara (also called Eostar or Eostre). Ostara is all about eggs, fertility, female mysteries and the celebration of the female ingenuity and wisdom. In terms of Wiccan ditheism, the Goddess gives birth to her lover/son during Ostara. She is at the prime of her
hile the themes of Ostara can be summed up with ‘fertility’ and ‘power’, Beltane’s themes are clearly ‘sexuality’ and ‘survival’. Beltane, also known as Bealtainn or Gwyl Galan Mai, is traditionally celebrated from the sunset on April 30 to the sunset of May 1. In Celtic days, great bonfires lit up the sky and, especially in Ireland, rites were
womanhood. She understands the mysteries of life and her body is well fit to accommodate them. She bleeds and suffers so life can be restored. She is Woman, past her grief, looking on to better and brighter things that Her body allows to happen. She is female sexual power, personified. In ancient Rome, Minerva, Goddess of wisdom, magick and craft was celebrated during a five day festival called the
Quinquatria, held from March 19 to March 23. Celebrated around the 21th of march as the Vernal Equinox, Ostara heralds the arrival of Spring in all it’s glory so anyone not inclined to celebrate female mysteries can celebrate Ostara by honoring the rise of agriculture and the fertility of the land instead, or focus on the joyous rebirth of the God after his long slumber.
performed to protect inhabitants from beings who could cross between worlds on this night. Cattle was driven between fires to protect them throughout the year. The Irish Tuatha Dé Danann proclaimed Beltane as the turning point from winter into summer and for good reason; Beltane is usually the tipping point for warmer weather. Another custom that was practiced at Beltane were Greenwood marriages; one night stands between strangers or spouses which often took place in
the woods. Children born of these unions were considered blessed. In Wiccan ditheism, Beltane is the time where the God comes into his own as a young man and takes the Goddess as his lover. In Religious Witchcraft and Wicca, this union is often enacted with the Great Rite, although this rarely entails actual intercourse. Beltane celebrates life in its many forms and especially the continuation of life. Beltane is a time to let go (safely!) and enjoy the good life has to offer.
Philip Carr-Gomm - By Calandriel an Cuiileur
hilip CarrGomm was born around 1955 in London where he grew up. He met his first teacher Ross Nichols when he was eleven. At the age of 16 he started training with Nichols who was the chief of The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids which he had founded in 1964. At 18 Phillip Carr-Gomm joined The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids on Glastonbury Tor. In addition he studied meditation in Ireland with Olivia Robertson who went on to found the Fellowship of Isis. He himself founded The Esoteric Society in London, which was a group centered around spiritual tourism especially to Bulgaria and Egypt. In 1975 when his first teacher Nichols died Philip CarrGomm went on to study with a Bulgarian teacher Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov who was spreading the teachings of the Universal White Brotherhood. The Universal White brotherhood is a new age religious group that practices Christian esoterism
characterized by a number of practices, including prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, nutrition and specialised dance. Philip studied with Omraam for seven years in which he gave talks on his teachings and helped him translate his work into English. He also studied the works of the founder of The Universal White Brotherhood and traveled annually to Sofia (Bulgaria’s capitol). He taught the Brotherhoods specialised dance Paneurhythmy in England and at Findhorn in Scotland. In his thirties he studied Psychology at University College London where he received a Bachelor’s degree, he also studied Jungian analysis as he planned to work in this field. Then he discovered Psychosynthesis, an approach to psychology, it differs from the usual practice of psychology in that not only the personality and self is explored but attention is
also given to the soul. Phillip Carr-Gomm changed his plans and studied Psychosynthesis psychotherapy for adults. He also studied play therapy for children with Dr. Rachel Pinney. Furthermore he trained in Montessori education with the London Montessori Centre, and founded the Lewes Montessori School. In 1988 he was asked to lead The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. He organized the Order’s teachings into a distance-learning course, and edited Nichols book, The Book of Druidry, with John Matthews. Since that time, the Order has grown to become the largest Druid teaching order in the world. He currently resides in Sussex and combines this role in the Order with his writing (previous books include The Druid Mysteries and The Druid Way), and giving talks and workshops.
http://philipcarrgomm.druidry.org | http://www.druidry.org
Hoodoo: Southern Conjure: Part 3 - By Strata
n the previous two Little Witch magazines, we have described the intricate workings of hoodoo as well as the added benefit of it to any Neo-Pagan practice. In this issue we delve into what hoodoo is not. Contrary to popular mainstream belief, hoodoo is not Voodoo. It is also not a denomination or aspect of Voodoo. Some people would claim that Voodoo is the religion and hoodoo is the magical practice. This is simply not the case. Voodoo, a religion, has its own distinctive set of practices, rituals, and beliefs originating from West African folk magic. Hoodoo, on the other hand, is derived from the Congo region of Africa. This makes perfect since if you look at the way in which the two systems arrived in American practice. Voodoo came to America through Caribbean slaves originally from West Africa, whereas, hoodoo practices originated with slaves in the South brought over from the Congo region of Africa. The
two systems have similarities due to their African heritage, but they have enough differences to make them distinctly separate entities. So why do so many people believe that they are one and the same? Primarily, most nonpractitioners are familiar with both Voodoo and hoodoo through exposure to New Orleans practitioners. In New Orleans, Voodoo, hoodoo, Santeria, and other traditions have become so interwoven that they are almost an entirely new entity. This is not the case, so much, outside of Louisiana. However, that matters little to authors and publishers who wish to sell their works to curious nonpractitioners across the country. New Orleans’s exotic culture and mystique have mainstreamed the term “Voodoo,” and authors and publishers have used it to lend the same feeling of taboo and intrigue to their works. Hoodoo practitioners have been slow to correct them. Therefore, to really understand hoodoo, one has to move outside of the glamour and charm of New Orleans and step into the often obscure hoodoo
culture of the backwoods rural South. While hoodoos are generally not limited by the Wiccan Rede and are therefor ethically allowed to inflict harm, this is usually done in self protection. Within hoodoo, it is possible to work with animal sacrifice. It is not a requirement but it is part of the practice. To some, this may be off-putting but remember that hoodoo is a folk practice and a hen, a usual sacrifice, was, and is, a very valuable one. Death is a valued and respected state within hoodoo and hoodoos work with it with the uttermost respect. We hope this series has explained some of the fundamentals of hoodoo and with this article, we end our hoodoo series in Little Witch. Hoodoo is strong magick and if you feel attracted to it, feel free to contact me for help on how to get started or read my blog, listed below. Strata is a long time practicioner of hoodoo and keeps a blog of her workings: http://tiny.cc/stratablog
Practical Pagan Runecraft - By Elani Temperance
here are very few branches of NeoPaganism that work without a divinatory system. Most practitioners have at least a tarot deck or oracle stashed away somewhere. While runes are often used for divination, they can be used for so much more. Runes have their basis in Norse Mythology and the creation myth. The Edda describes how Odin sacrificed himself on the Yggdrasil Tree and found wisdom, joy and prosperity, as well as the runes as he came back to life. Every rune represents a letter of the alphabet but also a condition like ‘ice’ or ‘cattle’. Their esoteric meaning is derived from these conditions where ‘ice’ becomes ‘stillness’ and ‘cattle’ becomes ‘prosperity’. It are these esoteric meanings we can use in spell work. Due to their diverse meanings, runes can be used for spells of nearly all purposes; from protection to healing to love,
to money, to bindings. Simply adding an appropriate rune symbol to a votive candle or a paper with a wish on it, imbues the spell with additional power. Meditating on an appropriate rune prior to spell work is also a valued use as it helps get you in the right frame of mind and focuses your attention to the task at hand. Especially in healing magick, runes work wonders. Keep in mind, though, that in the time the runes might have actually been used for healing, sickness was seen as a possession of the body. Illnesses were driven out instead of cured. This means that the runes aimed towards combat were probably more often used than the ‘softer’ runes of joy and wealth. One easy way of working with rune healing is to (temporarily) inscribing runes upon the body so their energy seeps into the affected area. Rune workers who have been practicing healing for a long time often have intricate runic systems in place of single runes, binding runes and verses which, when aimed at specific body parts, organs and illnesses
work almost instantly to relief pain and start the healing process. Binding runes aren’t runes that bind but runes that are bound together. These runes are seals that combine two or more runes to represent a complex condition or something infinitely more powerful, like a God or Goddess. You can also create a personal symbol this way which you can carry with you as a talisman. To the right is a seal of personal design. It literally means ‘to bind’ and seals secrets or binds people. It’s made up of Algiz (protection), Nauthiz (need/restriction), Othala (seperation) and Isa (stillness). There are many more ways to work with runes but these are some of the most fetching. Runes can work for everyone and the basics are easy to master. It’s just a matter of time and effort, the information is readily available online and in books.
By the firelight Blessed Be Beltane - By Ragnild
e are so old that time seems lost to us. Yet, once there was a time that even we were young. We do not know from whence we came, but we know our purpose. We could not bear to be alone and so we created the Earth that all life walks on, we created you. We have taught our first children to celebrate the unity of marriage. They have upheld our views and taught their children, who in turn taught their own children. Over time we were considered to be the First Parents and while these children believe in us, they cannot see us. Yet they continue to celebrate our union as though it was their own. Every full set of seasons, when Spring turns to Summer, our children come together for the feast they call Beltane. It marks a happier time, it marks change; it is a celebration. The nine ritual woods will be gathered for the great bonfire and we bestow our
blessing with love. We know that this Beltane, the feast will be joyous. This cycleâ€™s fire is even greater than the previous one and many couples will find happiness while dancing around the flames. A big feast will be prepared in honor of our matrimony and while some of the food will be put aside for us, our children enjoy most of it. It always brings us great joy and love to see our children so carefree and happy. For this special day we have grown the most wondrous flowers in the fields around the village and the young ones are eager to pick the most beautiful specimen as gifts for their loves. They decorate the houses of the girls and women alike, showing just how far their affection goes. Every girl and woman tries their hardest to look their best and receive the prettiest flower. We have made this hard of course; all flowers are equally beautiful, just as all our daughters are equal in their beauty. With colorful fabrics they show their joy, with intricate patterns on their skin to match their dress
they show their devotion to their First Parents, with their playful or coy looks they show their interest in each other. From this play couples will form and our children will give the lands their own blessing. The colorful paint will smudge and mingle on skin and from these unions new life will come. While we bless all our children, these young ones hold a special place in our hearts. They will have been born out of love for us and the love their parents hold for each other. They will not be just the child of their parents. They will be the children of us, the parents and their community. When the young share their passion with us in the fields and groves, the elders gather to decorate the holy Oak. The women choose the most colorful ribbons they can find, they choose ribbons and colors that remind them of who they were when they were young and passionate, they choose the colors that they believe suit the current young. They choose the colors that will inspire.
After the decorating is finished, and the women have reminisced about their youth, the men come and place the pole in the center of the village, securing it thoroughly in the soil that we created, like the tree it once was and we can feel an echo of the life it once held. Pair by pair, young people come trickling back as the girls giggle and the boys laugh raucously. The girls will choose a ribbon and dance around the holy oak. A May King has been chosen, a handsome young man, representing my husband in the prime of his life. The last girl dancing will be his May Queen. She is my embodiment, my avatar amongst the children. All the girls are beautiful and while there all deserve to be a queen, there can be only one May Queen at a time. And then, when the young dancers have been exhausted, the sacred fire is lit and we bestow our blessing on those that walk and dance around its flames. We grant not only them, but also their produce, fertility.
Long may our children flourish with the blessings we give them. The dancing and feasting will continue long into the early hours of the next light. Those left awake can see that this ever brighter growing light is our love for them, our children. We are as old as time, yet we do not always claim to understand our children. Their love for us continues to astonish us and it is truly humbling. Their love, freely given, is a great gift and we honor it dearly. For this we bestow our blessings with care and love. As every parent, we wish the best for our children and we try to guide them as best we can. We try to guide you the best we can. As long as the love for us shines, they will be blessed. We are the earth you walk on, we are the air you breathe, we are the life around you. We are your First Parents, blessed be you and yours.
Pagan agenda Activities by the Silver Circle (NL) http://tiny.cc/SilverCircle Activities by the Cirkel van de Godin (NL) http://tiny.cc/CirkelvandeGodin
Beurzen en fairs (NL) http://tiny.cc/MagicalFeeling Litha Celebration LWM & Lunadea.nl June 23 - Time to be set
(Your Neopagan schedule or activity here? Contact us!)
Our Imbolc Celebration - By lunadea
he fourth of February, the day we had been waiting for, had finally arrived: today we would hold the first open wheel of the year celebration organized by Little Witch magazine and Lunadea.nl! The day before the celebration it had started to snow and immediately the Dutch railway system flat-lined and traffic jammed completely. Because of this, many were not able to reach the location. Yet some did. When a small group of people had formed, we started welcoming our guests. We raised the circle and invited the elements and the Goddess Brighid to join us. We asked everyone to honor the spirits of the land with warm solar milk—milk with honey and cinnamon—so we would be allowed to perform magick on their land. Lunadea is High Priestess of coven Salix, priestess of Diana and keeper of a wonderful pagan website: www.lunadea.nl
When everyone returned to the circle, we turned the fire into a Brighid’s fire with birch branches. We had asked everyone to take an offering with them for the fire; an old skin to leave behind. This we sacrificed and watched as Brighid slowly consumed our offerings. Then we celebrated Imbolc with an ancient Celtic custom; waking the Primordial Snake. The snake is a hibernating animal in many cold areas and when you see a snake at the end of winter, it is a sign that spring is on its way. That’s why we sing, dance and stomp loudly at Imbolc to wake the Primordial Snake who sleeps at the roots of the Tree of Life. We sang and danced around the fire. Most of us had brought an instrument and soon we were making as much noise as we could, shouting down towards the snake. “Wake up!! We need warmth! Sun! Wake up!!” Let me assure you, the snake heard us. After we had caught our breath’s, we thanked Brighid for overseeing our ritual and thanked the elements as well. We lifted the
circle and grounded ourselves with good food, hot drinks and very pleasant conversation. All in all, fifteen people came to the celebration of the fifty we had planned on. Under the circumstances, we hadn’t expected more than ten to make it. The people that did come were wonderful people who made the experience a lasting memory. As the sun went down, people left for home. All for the best because with the sun, the precious little warmth there was soon faded and the temperature dropped to -10 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes. A near-full moon rose over us as we cleaned up the site and although nearly twenty people had just trampled all over it, it was still as beautiful and snow covered as when we arrived. There were many cancellation messages waiting on e-mail and already a lot of people who signed up to be there when we host our second celebration at Midsummer. Because after this experience, there will definitely be another celebration!
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 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) Aurelia Bellis (Aurelia@Littlewitchmagazine.com)
nd so we once more come to a conclusion of an issue of Little Witch Magazine. As always, it was wonderful to write and create it for you all. We hope you have enjoyed it and if you have any feedback, positive or negative for us in general or for a writer specifically, do not hesitate to contact us by using the contact details given with the articles or to the left of here. As always, we’d love to hear from you what you would like us to write about or in which direction you would like Little Witch to go. In the next issue, we talk about the warmth of Summer and the festivals of Midsummer and Lughnasadh. We give you pointers on how to make your own divination set from scratch in Practical Pagan, discuss the seven types of magick in Witchy Things and give you a portrait of Wicca and Witchcraft Elder Doreen Valiente in Merry Meet. We also discuss our favorite witches in popular media in the Goody
Bag, bring you a love story fit for the season by the light of our fire and much, much more. We hope you will join us again for that issue and, of course, we also hope you will join us at Midsummer to celebrate Litha. Just like our Imbolc celebration, it will be held at the artist’s village of Ruigoord, Amsterdam. The date is set on June 23 but we haven’t set a time yet. We also can’t tell you what we will be doing as we honestly don’t know yet. Keep track of the Little Witch website and Facebook page for more information. Here we will also share the Facebook page where you can sign up. If you don’t have Facebook, no worries. We will Twitter it as well and you can always send us a message at email@example.com for more information. Thank you for reading and hopefully we will see you next issue and at Midsummer! Have a wonderful Spring!
The sixth English LWM, Spring 2012