Little Witch Summer 2011
Litha Lughnasadh Writing Pagan Poetry The Beltane Rituals of Glastonbury The Top Ten Magickal Mobile Applications
Out of this wood do not desire to go: Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no. I am a spirit of no common rate; The summer still doth tend upon my state; And I do love thee: therefore, go with me; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll give thee fairies to attend on thee, And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep, And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep; And I will purge thy mortal grossness so That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
William Shakespeare-A Midsummer Nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream Titania Act III--Scene I
This Little Witch I
can’t believe it’s summer already. Where did the time go? Where did Spring go? Somehow the run through Spring always seems so short. There is so much to see and so much to enjoy that time passes by remarkably fast. Yet Summer has much to be enjoyed as well; the sun, the flowers, get togethers in parks and the shameless joy of ice cream are my favourites. At Little Witch we kick the summer off with a brand new magazine which focuses on the possibilities of the summer. I’m really happy we are able to feature Lunadea’s beautiful account of the Beltane celebrations in Glastonbury as well as her take on the difficult decision to practice solitary or in a coven. Aurelia talks about her experiences in writing Pagan poetry now she’s working on her Druid degrees and Bear, our resident storyteller, tells the story of Lugh, the key God of Lughnasadh. Besides Lughnasadh we also discuss
In this issue:
Litha, or Midsummer, adopting practices from other branches that fall under the Neo-Pagan umbrella—and some sources that don’t. We talk about becoming or not becoming a parent and about the top ten magickal applications for mobile phones a modern Neo-Pagan can’t do without. We at Little Witch magazine look forward to the coming months and we hope this issue of our magazine gets you in the summer mood as well. We wish you a wonderful holiday and hope you get to spend time in the sun with friends, family and our magazine. Have a blessed summer and we’ll see you in the Fall!
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The Goodie Bag Top Ten Magickal Mobile Applications Examining the season The Warmth of Summer Pagan world Flower Magick Witchy Things The Art of Poetry Discussion Alone or in a Coven? Litha Lughnasadh Branching out Adopting Practices Practical Pagan Yes or No to Kids? By the firelight The Life of Lugh Visiting: The Beltane Rituals of Glastonbury
Blessed be, Elani Temperance
The Goodie Bag
TOP TEN MAGICKAL MOBILE (AND IPAD) APPLICATIONS - By Elani Temperance
n the modern witch world, you are just as likely to run into a Neo-Pagan with a pentagram around his or her neck as you are to see them hold a mobile phone. This is why this issue of the Goody Bag focuses on witchy applications for the iPhone, the iPad, Android based phones and even the Blackberry. Applications are free unless otherwise noted. 1. Compass (iPhone/iPad/Android) Compass is an easy to use, no nonsense compass app. Incredibly useful for any ritual. 2. Pagan Calendar (Android) Pagan Calendar is a bit of a cluttered and messy application but with very useful information about a host of Pagan festivals and events, including lunar cycles. 3. Google Sky (Android/iPhone) / Starwalk (iPad) / Planetary Positions (Blackberry/ iPhone/ iPad)
All three applications show you the sky and/or calculate the current positions of the planets, the zodiac signs and the stars.
Pick a tarot card or rune stone a day, create spreads and read up on meanings of the cards and stones . Both very user friendly.
4. E-book reader (iPhone/iPad/ Android/Kindle) (varies) E-book readers allows you to take your favorite Craft books and guides with you wherever you go and access them at any time.
8. Meditation Helper (Android) Meditation helper allows you to set a timer as well as write down your experience when you meditate. You can also schedule recurring events.
5. Voice recorder Record your own meditations and play them back while on-the-go, take quick notes after rituals or meditations and record bits of poetry, songs or chants you are struck with.
9. Relax Melodies HD (iPad) / Bloom (iPhone/iPad) (3.99) / Relax and Sleep (Android) These applications help you put together your own meditation music without fuss or hassle.
6. Memoirs: The Diary (Android) / Momento (iPhone) (2.99) / Chronicle (iPad) (2.99) Carry your Book of Shadows with you wherever you go with these personal journal applications. The applications can also be used for dream journaling or for keeping track of meditations. 7. Galaxy Tarot/Runes (Android)
10. DisasterAlert (iPhone/iPad/ Android) This application shows natural disasters around the world on a map. Send prayers to remote locations or to keep track of trends occurring in the natural world.
More applications? Add them to our blog post on mobile applications: http://tiny.cc/mobilemgc
Examining the season the warmth of the summer - By Elani temperance
ummertime and the living is easy...’ Clara sang to her baby in the opening act of the musical Porgy and Bess and while the musical didn’t have a Pagan theme, the lullaby was definitely right. Summer is a time of fruitfulness and leisure. It’s also the time of the year where the God takes centre stage. We celebrate the hight of His power but also commiserate His passing. This season focusses on the sacrifice the God makes to save the harvest. Without His sacrifice, the earth would burn and the harvest wither, leaving all creatures to starve.
For those who do not believe or worship Gods, summer is a time of plenty. The sun is strong and it’s a time of high energy. Rituals undertaken in this season are often strong and filled with positive energy. Ritual acts like dancing, drumming and singing are encouraged to stir the energy which can lay on the land like a blanket of heat. Most rituals in the summer period are performed during the day, when the sun reaches its height. It’s at this time where the energy is strongest and the Sun God rules. This is a season of life. Like Spring, this is a time for herbalism and gardening. Even simply sitting in the garden can feel like a magical experience during this
season. As the Summer wanes and makes room for the harvesting season of Autumn, we say goodbye to the bright beaming sun. As days get shorter from the Summer Solstice on, we are once more urged to remember the cycle of the seasons. Where we were building to the high of Summer energy, we now decline once more into the low of winter, a time of contemplation and recharge. But first we celebrate, we get together, we eat, drink and are marry. Summer is a season best spend together and activities in this season, both ritualistic as well as recreational are generally more enjoyable when undertaken as a group.
Activities for Summertime Summer is the perfect time for outdoor activities like picknicks, get togethers and late
night campfires with friends, good stories and rituals. Summer is the time of the first grain
harvest. Home-made bread with creamy butter and honey are special summer treats.
Pagan World Flower Magick - By Elani Temperance
ummer is the season of flowers. Everywhere you look they pop out of the ground, looking for rays of sunlight to help them grow. They come in all shapes and colours, in the wild or in your back yard and summer is the best season to use them in your magickal workings, your meditations and your herbal remedies. Careful though, not all flowers are eatable and some are even poisonous to humans
or pets. Make sure you read up on what you put into your garden, your mouth or even on your skin or in your burner. Flowers are often forgotten when we practice magick. Sure, there will be a flower on the altar as an offering to the Goddess but flowers are extremely potent and can enrich your magical working quiet a bit. Flowers grow nearly all year round. The crocus signals the beginning of Spring and flowers continue to blossom well into the Fall. Dried flowers can be used
in magickal and herbal workings come Winter, making flowers a wonderful addition to any NeoPagan garden. Besides their usefulness, flowers also brighten up any garden and truly reveal the beauty of nature. Flowers draw insects like butterflies, bees and spiders and these little critters will keep the rest of your garden strong, potent and vibrant. Flowers are beautiful focal points to practice visualisation and to meditate on. A very simple meditation can be found on the next page. By visualizing a specific
Soothing Elderflower cough medicine Put a pot on a very low heat and put in it 10-15 elderflower heads and three cups of boiled water. Add two tablespoons of linseed and twelve eucalyptus leaves and leave for about an hour. When the liquid starts to have a similar consistency to egg white, the mixture is done. Break a cup of Gum Arabic into very small pieces and add three tablespoons of dried elderberries. Makes sure the elderberries are completely smashed. Add the mixture to a cup of hot water and stir until the mixture is the consistency of jam. Strain the infusion, and add a cup and a half of it to the Gum Arabic mixture. Next, add one cups of icing sugar and mix. Place it on a low heat and stir continuously for about half an hour until it gets to a really thick, syrup-like consistency. Bottle the mixture so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s air tight and take a spoon for an immediate cough relief.
type of flower or picking a flower shape with a specific colour, we can train our mind to focus and visualize what we want to achieve in our magickal workings. The simple practice of opening and closing the flower in your mind can have a very calming effect and strengthen your abilities. In magickal work, flowers work like herbs do. They can be burned, made into oils, simply added to the altar or sprinkled around the circle to release their scents when stepped upon. They can be sacrificed to the God and Goddess or woven into clothes or hair as decorations. For a reference to the magickal correspondence of flowers go to the link provided on the next page. Different flowers bring different elements into your rituals. Flowers, when taken as a whole, are usually representative of the element of water. Just think of the flowers we keep in vases and the amount of water they consume in even a day. Their stems are full of it. Flowers can represent earth. Especially flowers that grow low to the ground like narcissus, viola
and the flowers of several species of moss can be connected to the earth. Long stemmed flowers like chrysanthemum or petals of any flower fit well within the element of air. Even the element of fire can be represented by flowers. Just look at some fiery versions of the tulip or the rose. Flowers have been largely forgotten in herbalism over the last few decades. Before that time we ate flowers in salads or used them in dishes. Most flowers grow relatively fast so they provided a constant source of nutrients from spring to fall. There are heaps of herbal flower recipes out there for just about every single illness. A great recipe for throat soothing elderflower syrup which is adapted from botanist and TV celebrity James Wongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recipe can be found on the previous page. This syrup lasts about half a year in the fridge which means youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have it ready when the winter months come round again. Enjoy the plethora of ways flowers can be an addition to your Craft!
Meditation Find a calm place where you can relax. Pick a flower with significant meaning or colour and picture clearly why you made this choice. Close your eyes and visualise the flower as a bud in your mind. The shape, the texture, the colour and a tiny hint of the smell. When you have that picture solid in your mind, try to picture the flower as it blossoms and the scent increases. Let the light play of the leaves. Repeat this until you can picture the flower clearly in your mind within seconds.
More information: Original recipe: http://tiny.cc/jameswong Magickal correspondence: http://tiny.cc/mgc_flower
Witchy Things The Art of Poetry - By Aurelia Bellis
riting poetry and stories was and is of crucial importance for Druids. History is captured in stories and poetry. This is why the first degree in Druidism is Bardhood. In the olden day, Bards were required to remember 250 legends by heart and be able to recite them any moment of the day. Bards were the memories of their communities, like Philip Carr-Gomm describes in his beautiful book, ‘Druid Mysteries’. Writing and reading poetry brings us closer to ourselves as well as the natural world around us. Writing poetry is closely related to the eight annual festivals and the four elements for Bards. Every element represents a different aspect of life and nature. Earth represents the practical and all we pick up with our senses. Water represents our ability to feel and get touched by the feelings of others. Air represents analytical thinking and fire represents intuition and enthusiasm. Writing poetry opens your mind
I call upon thee, stone of earth. Formed by fire, sculpted by water and weathered by wind. Impart the deepest secrets of the earth to me. Teach me how to be silent, how to listen. How to be strong without force. And how to be firm without anger. Lend me your strength. -- Ruby Lavender (http://tinyurl.com/stonepoem) and body to new insights into yourself and your environment. Poetry as well as the process of writing it give you a way to express yourself, your values, your religion and your way of life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Wiccan, Druid or Christian or if you are a bit of everything. You can look at yourself and the world around you with a bit of distance when you write about it. One of the things you will notice is how all paths come close to having a similar goal. Writing poetry can be difficult. Perhaps you are inspired to write a single sentence, sometimes two, before the inspiration goes. What can help is to go outside, alone or with a friend. Walk through the green that surrounds
you and look at what you see. Don’t limit yourself to the large but also turn your eyes to the small. Don’t think, just experience. Listen to the sounds that surrounds you, feel the air moving around you. Sit down if you see a place that draws you to it. Always return to nature if you look to write Pagan poetry; she is the best inspiration by far for anything you will ever hope to write. After a walk you will feel your inspiration return to you. The Druids call this inspiration Awen. Remember that poetry doesn’t have to span pages. Do what feels right to you. The poem above was written as part of a blessing for large stones like the ones used in Stonehenge or similar constructs. Enjoy it!
Coven versus solitary - By Lunadea
here are many kinds of witches but they can be crudely divided into two types; solitary witches and those who have joined a coven. Those practising solitary far outweigh coven workers but there are still many who join a coven. Covens tend to keep their practices within the group. There is a sense of mysticism that is kept intact because those inside the coven feel new members should put effort into the discovery of the coven. Physically finding the coven is considered part of the dedication to the group. But is working in a coven better then alone, is often asked? Practising solitary is pleasant. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone and can work only on those subjects which interest you. But if you’ve been practising for a long time, you might come to a point where you feel you have learned all you can and that you can no longer find new information despite the many books and internet pages on the
subject. Many solitary witches reach this point and often turn to coven work to find new paths, challenges and subjects connected to their Craft. A coven is a collaboration between those of like mind. It’s a group you will develop strong bonds with in a relatively short period. Coven nights are often nights filled with energy, information, love, friendship and special moments. You can learn a lot in a relatively short timespan. Rituals performed on coven nights often have a greater impact than rituals you perform alone because they get infused with the energy of many. You often learn faster and about a broad range of subjects. Often these subjects lie beyond the scope of your interest and therefore broaden your horizons. The study period in a coven is often long. A year and a day per degrees is the standard. A coven often has three degrees but the study time is almost always longer than three years and three days. It’s a symbolic standard which is more often exceeded
than shortened. This means you will have to decide if you are willing to follow the pace of the coven or if you would rather follow your own. Are you willing to let your knowledge and very being be tested by others? It can be very difficult to face and if other who start at the same time as you develop faster than you do, it can be hard as well. Especially if they have started at the same time as you have. It can bring with it a natural competition you wouldn’t have had as you were solitary. This is something you will need to accept. In the end, the choice to join a coven or remain a solitary practitioner is a choice only you can make. Religious witchcraft is based on experiences and it’s up to you to decide which experiences strengthen your path. 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
itha, also called Midsummer, Alban Heruin, the Summer Equinox or the Summer Solstice, is one of the two major turning points in the wheel of the year. Yule, the Winter Solstice, is the second one. Litha focuses on the strength and the sacrifice of the God now he dies to save the harvest. Fire and joy are important themes during Litha. Celebrate the life of the God and the memory of long days with a fire ritual (see right) and prepare for the waning of the solar light by absorbing as much of the fire’s energy as you can. Jumping over the Midsummer bonfires with the person, or people, you want to spend the rest of the year with has been an important custom for hundredths of years and is a great one to keep alive. In addition to the God’s fire element, Litha focusses on the water element of the Goddess. An old Druidistic custom is to go to the waterside of a lake or large pond and watch for the first three rays of light that hit the water. This
is the Awen, the inspiration, of the Goddess Cerridwen who is the guardian of the best known cauldron in history. For whomever is looking for a good time for healing rituals and medicinal herb work, this Solstice is especially potent. Midsummer is the time of awakening for the dragons of old. Prometheus and Helios are powerful Gods for the midsummer celebration. For whomever doesn’t work with the Gods but does want to work with Godesses who are connected to the Summer Solstice, Vesta, Athena and the Golden Aphrodite rule over the sun in these golden days. This magazine started off with a quote from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in which the Faery World collides with ours. At Midsummer, the veil between these worlds is thin enough to travel through from both sides. Welcome the Faery Folk with warmth and respect but be careful never to eat their food! Legend says that whomever does will be forced to serve the Folk forever.
Litha Amulet This is an outdoor ritual for multiple people but can be performed alone or indoors as well. Perform this ritual at daybreak, noon or dusk. Cast a circle if your tradition requires it and light a fire or multiple candles in the centre of it. Call the sun Gods and/or Goddesses of your choice. Make sure you have a flammable offering like dried herbs and sacrifice this to the fire. Think of the sacrifice of the God. Now dance around the fire, feeding it with singing, shouting, drumming or chanting so the fires becomes charged. When you’re exhausted, stop and carefully take a burned branch from the fire or quench a single candle. Carry this charm with you for solar strength in the winter months. Elani Temperance, 2006
Lughnasadh - By Elani Temperance
ughnasadh is named after the Irish God Lugh whose history as well as the history of the festival of Lughnasadh will be chronicled by our resident storyteller, Bear, on page 14. Lughnasadh is also referred to as Lammas; the festival of bread. Lammas is a Christianized version of Lughnasadh but still celebrates the first harvest, the waning of the sun and, of course, bread made from the first grain. Teltown weddings were a common custom in Ireland and signaled weddings that were performed by a bard and lasted a year and a day. These weddings were considered trial weddings and were formalized the year after if the couple so desired. Lughnasadh is a time of contemplation. Like the harvest which is sown and harvested, you can look at your endeavors so far and see what you can harvest at this time and what you need to sow anew. Goddesses who are remembered at this time are Demeter, who
looses her daughter to the underworld anew and starts her period of grief around this time of year, and Lugh’s stepmother Tailtiu, who dies of exhaustion after readying the Earth for agriculture. From Lughnasadh on, which is traditionally celebrated on the first of August, the days will grow noticeable shorter. Therefore Lughnasadh was a time of tension for our ancestors. The winter months were fast approaching and much of the harvest wasn’t ready to be brought in and prepared for storage, leaving everyone to worry if they would have enough food to survive the winter. As Lughnasadh celebrates the first harvest, it is a time of thanksgiving. Especially in our current time where any food item is readily available in our supermarkets in any season, it’s good to remember where that food actually comes from and how much we depend upon the fruits of the Earth to sustain us. This is a great time for cooking and baking. The simple recipe for bread found on the right can be used to make a corn God which can be sacrificed in ritual.
Lammas Bread Warm up a bowl. Mix one package of active yeast and make sure there are no lumps. Melt five tablespoons of butter and add it to the yeast mixture along with 1/4 cup of milk, five tablespoons sugar and one tablespoon salt and stir until even. Add two cups of flour and stir until the flour dissolves. Then add another 1/4 cup every minute or so until the dough is sticky but doesn’t stick to your hands (around three cups). Knead the dough for ten minutes on a floured tabletop. Leave the dough for an hour in a fairly warm place. Beat the dough and form it. Wait another hour then put it in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit for thirty minutes. Pull it out and voilá! You have a bread God which is lovely with butter and jam!
Adopting Practices - By Elani Temperance
s we all share the same religious umbrella term, Neo-Pagans tend to be grouped together as followers of a single, nature loving religion whose members have a polytheistic and pantheistic view of the divine and see nature as a theophany. We are often viewed as animists. At its foundation this homogeneous concept isn’t wrong. We will discuss the intricacies behind the Gaia principle in the Fall edition of Little Witch magazine but no Neo-Pagan can deny we fit much of this description. From there on out, however, the practices of Druids, Wiccans, Witches, magick users, Shamanists, Heathens, Technopagans and followers of the many other branches of NeoPaganism differ greatly. All Neo-Pagan practices have their foundation, even if it’s only in thought, in history. Shamanistic customs stem from the way of life we practiced when we were still hunter/gatherers. While many are now based on Native
American or Aboriginal foundations, all practices go back to a simpler, slower and more honest way of living than practiced now. Neo-Druids trace their lines back to the Iron age Druid vocation of Britain, Ireland and Gaul. The Wiccan view on Deity traces back to Goddess worship of prehistoric times and weaves in a multitude of pantheons from that point on, including, but not limited to, the Egyptian, Greek and Celtic. Their magick system traces back to the 19th century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Witches have much in common with Wiccans in regards to lineage but are less strict in their believes. The witch-hunts are an important time period for many Witches, magick users and religious herbalists. Some Witches or magick users have familial lines tracing back to witches burned in these times. While the main lines don’t borrow a lot of customs, there are many people who follow a combined path. They call themselves Witches, (Neo-)Pagans or refuse to label themselves. It’s here
where the water gets mucky but the greatest freedom is gained. Combining Wicca or Witchcraft with Shamanism is a popular combination—even though removing from or adding to Wiccan practices makes the practice of it no longer Wiccan. Druidcraft, the combination of Druidry and Witchcraft is another favoured one. Then, of course, there are those who spruce up their believes with Buddhist, Christian or Islamic practices, often infusing and filtering their childhood believes with knowledge gained as adolescents or adults. It’s small wonder non-Pagans have trouble keeping our practices apart. In the end it’s all labeling and there is strength in choosing your own label instead of letting others define your label for you. All branches of NeoPaganism have another thing in common; practitioners value their own experiences over those of others. Whatever practice brings you closest to your inner—and ethical—self should be valued and applied. No matter where it comes from.
Practical Pagan yes or no to kids? - By Elani Temperance
ecoming a parent is a life changing experience. You life changes in ways you hadn’t even imagined when you were discussing the possibilities of having children with your partner or, in some cases, yourself. The decision to have children should never be one taken without thought of the consequences and the quality of life one can give a child. Obviously, children are wonderful and our bodies were designed to produce them. Fertility is a major theme in many (Neo-)Pagan festivals and we see what reproduction does to our natural landscape. Without reproduction in nature, everything and everyone would die within a year. Without reproduction in the human species, we would be extinct in about one hundredth years. That’s not to say that children should be and can be in everyone’s path. There are many biological, sociological and psychological factors that prohibit or give pause to having
children. Some people know at a young age if they want or do not want to have children when they grow up. Turning onto the NeoPagan path brings with it another dimension to having children. Raising children takes time. We will discuss the many ways in which combining children and paganism can be done in a later issue of Little Witch magazine but in this issue we only discuss the actual decision to have them or not. Neo-Paganism can be practiced in a variety of degrees, from anything to being more aware of nature, to dedicating your entire life to it and sacrificing everything else in life for it. For those who don’t perform rituals or practice magick, Neo-Paganism won’t really interfere with your desire to have children. If your religion or way of life takes up a good portion of time, you will need to figure out a way in which the two things combine and decide if you can give up some freedom for your kids. If worship and magick take up a large portion of your life, you should seriously consider
if you are willing to make the sacrifices that are needed to have children. Having children will minimize your ability to practice and will slow your spiritual growth as your energy levels will go down and you have a lot less time than you had before the kids. Women have a wonderful stash of feminine energy they can dip into to fuel magick and rituals. The actual birthing process can and will permanently lower this energy level as this is why women have this extra energy stash in the first place. This means that magickal work and rituals might be more difficult to power after given birth. For female practitioners whose life revolves around their religion and lifestyle, this might be a serious reason not to have children. Having children is probably one of the most rewarding, fulfilling and natural things in life. For the large majority, having them is well worth sacrificing a bit of religious time and magickal power. As with everything in Neo-Paganism, it’s up to you to decide what works for you.
By the firelight The Life of Lugh - By Ragnild
h children, how time passes. It seems as though it was only a moon ago since you took your first breaths. Look at you now, my old eyes can scarcely believe it.” The haggard old man eyed the happy young couple standing before him. A full cycle of the seasons ago they had come to him, asking him for his blessing. He had given it without thought; they were so well suited to each other. Ilsa was fiery in spirit and Will was always calm and considerate. Well suited indeed. The days were growing shorter again, and today was the day. Today was Lughnasadh. Today they mourned the death of Tailtiu, the foster mother of the sun God Lugh as well as celebrate new beginnings. There would be a feast tonight. Bear smiled at this. The young couple had decided to stay together, their decision on this day signifying a new beginning for both; a beginning together. Double the reason for
celebration this Cycle now. With the days growing shorter, the grain had started turning its deep yellow colour less than a fortnight ago. The first harvests were taken to the barns today. The feast would have to be prepared with fresh ingredients and the tiny village was bustling with activity. Bear could remember what his grandfather had told him about this time of the year; “Remember son,” the old man had said, “every time we celebrate Lughnasadh, Lugh sacrifices a part of himself for us. We take what we have been given and we offer a small amount to the Gods, so that Lugh may sacrifice himself for us again when the time comes”. When he was a boy, he didn’t think much of what his grandfather had told him. Now, old and wizened as he was, he understood the importance; sacrifice was necessary to be able to start anew. He made sure the young ones in the village were aware. In the evening, they would gather around the customary fire and they would listen to his tales. It
was one of the few occasions that he would leave the comfort of the tavern for a seat outside. “Will you give us your official blessing today Bear?” Ilsa asked. He nodded and smiled, yes he would do that. He would give his blessing after the offering, but before he told his tales of centuries past. The smell of baking bread wafted into the room through the window. He grew wistful on days like these; so many new beginnings he had witnessed. Not all had ended well but Lugh had never forsaken them and today seemed promising and full of hope. That night Bear gave his blessing to the young lovers, joining them in marriage. Then he told the story of Tailtiu and her foster son Lugh. “Many many moons ago, when these Lands were young, and our forefathers’ fathers walked these fields, the Great Mother Tailtiu first came to the people.” Bear said as he looked at the people seated around the fire. “Tailtiu loved the people and she taught them how to care for the
fields, for sowing and reaping of the crops didn’t come naturally to us. As she taught the people, she grew weak. With her energy drained, she grew weaker by the day. Many of the people were worried because Tailtiu had a son; Lugh. Now, Lugh wasn’t Tailtiu’s son by birth; his father Cain had given him to the Great Mother. Now why would a King of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Children of the Goddess Danu, give up his son, you might ask? Well, it wasn’t that he couldn’t take care of his son. On the contrary, Lugh would have lived well had Cain not given him up. Cain was so dedicated to the Great Mother, however, that he gave her his son. Tailtiu was honoured by Cain’s loyalty and took Lugh on as her own son, and thus, he became the Sun King. As the days went by, the Great Mother knew she was going to die. She told the people of her son, the Sun King. She told them that her son would lessen his light so the bright summer sun wouldn’t harm the harvest.
Lugh had to make a great sacrifice in order to give the people the means to survive the harsh winter months ahead; it would weaken the God greatly. Tailtiu knew of this and asked the people to honour her son at the harvesting of the grains for his sacrifice. When the Great Mother finally succumbed, Lugh asked the people to honour his mother as well as their own crops; he wanted there to be a day of making merry and thanksgiving for the harvest’s fruits his foster mother had provided. Our father’s fathers took the God’s request very serious, and since then, Lughnasadh was celebrated on the first day of the harvest season. As you know, young ones, today is that very same day and we celebrate Lugh’s sacrifice and honour the Mother’s gifts to us. Make merry, enjoy the feast, and above all, do not forget what was sacrificed in order for us to live. Many winters will still come and the Sun King’s continuous sacrifice will help us through all of them.”
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 Castlefest 5 - 7 August http://tinyurl.com/castlefest1
(Your Neopagan schedule or acti-vity here? Contact us!)
The Beltane Rituals of Glastonbury - By Lunadea
ime passes differently in Glastonbury. It feels like time doesn’t exist. Glastonbury is a place between worlds and the days seem to last longer. A single day in Glastonbury feels like two. The energy is different, more pressing, more magickal, and everyone who comes there has to get used to it for a couple of days. Glastonbury is also a place where little rituals evolve easily; placing flowers at White Spring, burning a candle at Red Spring, tying a ribbon around the branch of The Holy Thorntree, a meditation at a beautiful spot, releasing a balloon with wishes written on it from the top of the Tor... Everywhere are little altars to the Goddess and The Green Man. No one looks at you oddly if you stop at For the full report (written in Dutch) on Lunadea’s Beltane journey to Glastonbury you can go to: http://tinyurl.com/lunadea
one of them and take a moment to meditate. No one stares at you for wearing a robe and for wearing flowers in your hair. It fits perfectly within the moment. I came to Glastonbury with my best friend and several other from the ‘Cirkel van de Godin’, the Circle of the Goddess, to celebrate Beltane. Glastonbury brings out a lot of emotions in me. Beautiful moments follow each other in rapid succession. Meditations which bring me closer to myself, the pilgrim’s path, meetings with beautiful people, singing, dancing, it all adds to the spirit of Beltane which is almost tangible in Glastonbury. We dance in spirals around the Beltane fire on one of the meadows of Chalice Well Garden. We’re dancing and singing with about a hundredth other people. It’s early in the morning of Beltane day but everyone is happy, full of energy and everyone belongs in this diverse group. We jump over the fire one by one, an ancient ritual to help fuel a new endeavor. Together we tie ribbons around the branches of The
Holy Thorntree. This May day celebration wouldn’t be complete without a Maypole. Strong men carry the pole into the circle. As all the ladies and women cheer, the pole is erected and we tie ribbons around it. Together we dance. Again the mode is festive, aided by the symbolic meaning of the pole. Women with flowers in their hair dance the May dance. People drum the rhythm and everyone sings until the ribbons have been wound about the pole and the celebration is over. On Monday I went home. We had to go earlier than I would have liked but I have no regrets. We saw all we had wanted to see and visited all the beautiful and magickal places Glastonbury has to offer. We took part in rituals, learned a lot, gathered new ideas and witnessed special moments. It was time to go home and sort out all our experiences. Besides, this way there is still a lot in Glastonbury to dream about and look forward too because there is no doubt in my mind that we will go back to Glastonbury one day!
Next in LWM colophon 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 reach the end of the 2011 Summer issue of Little Witch magazine. It’s been wonderful to write, draw and put together. We have tried to capture the summer feeling for you and we hope you have enjoyed reading it and you will be back for our fall issue. As always, you can reach us through our website—www.littlewitchmagazine.com—and our Twitter account—@LWMag—for feedback, a chat or anything else you’d like us to know. E-mail addresses of the writers are in the colophon to the left or can be found with their respective articles. They would love to hear from you! Of course our Fall issue will have a lot to offer the inquisitive reader as well. Next issue High Priestess of her own coven, Lunadea, will try to clear up some of the misconceptions about covens. Elani discusses the Gaia-Theory, Little Witch Magazine goes Halloween with the story of Jack-’o-Lantern and we discuss the practice of adopting Craft names. All this
and much more can be found in the 2011 Fall issue of Little Witch magazine which comes out on the 21th of September. We hope you join us for it. If you want to write for Little Witch magazine, the website, you have a subject you’d like us to write about, you wouldn’t mind being interviewed about something you did for the community or you have Pagan artwork to share, feel free to contact us at contact@ littlewitchmagazine.com. We welcome your contributions! Have a brilliant summer and enjoy nature at her lushest! Don’t forget to use sunscreen while soaking up all that sunny vitamin D!