Little Witch Magazine 07 - Summer 2012

Page 1

Little Witch

Summer 2012

Litha Lughnasadh Pagans and Money Seven Types of Magick The Top Ten Fictional Witches

Magazine


O thou who passest thro’ our valleys in Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer, Oft pitchedst here thy golden tent, and oft Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld With joy, thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.

William Blake-To Summer

2


This Little Witch I

t’s Summer again! Well, hopefully it is where you are because here in the Netherlands, the weather is dreadful. Rain, very little sun, and rather chilly. Yet, Summer has arrived and with it will eventually come warmth and sun. A year has gone by since we last wrote about the Summer. If I remember well, we’d had a hot Spring and we ended up with a dismal Summer. Lets hope it’s better this year. On sunday Lunadea and I host an open Litha celebration. If you would like to join us, please leaf through to page 17 for information on how to procure a place. Like our Imbolc celebration, we host it at Ruigoord, Amsterdam. If you’re in the neighborhood, we would love it if you joined us. As a non-farm girl, I tend to associate Summer with relaxation, something I’m desperately looking forward to. Lets just say I have kept busy in between magazines. The careful observer will therefor notice that many of

this issue’s images have been resampled due to a lack of time. It’s the way it is, unfortunately. One hundredth percent original context promised for the next issue, I promise. The articles in this issue are, however, completely new. Amongst other things, we divulge our favorite fictional T.V. Witches, present a portrait of Doreen Valiente, one of Wicca’s founders and the creator of the Charge of the Goddess, discuss atheism, monotheism, duotheism and polytheism within Paganism and we help you get started with the creation of your own divination system. Once more, I am deeply indebted to my writers and guest writers. Although they were all busy and dealing with tragic and/or stressful events in their own lives, they set time aside to write their articles. Thank you. I could not do this without you. Brightest Blessings, Elani Temperance

In this issue: 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16

The Goodie Bag Top Ten Fictional Witches Examining the season The Warmth of Summer Pagan world Money and Paganism Witchy Things Seven Types of Magick Discussion Where Did God Go? The feasts Merry Meet Doreen Valiente Branching out The -Theisms Practical Pagan Creating Your Own Divination Tool By the firelight Brothers Visiting: The Beltane Fair of the Cirkel van de Godin

3


The Goodie Bag

TOP TEN Fictional Witches - By Elani Temperance

E

veryone loves a good T.V. Witch. So that’s exactly what we give you in this issue of Little Witch magazine; our top ten fictional witches. 1. Elphaba (Wicked) She’s green, allergic to water and comes straight out of the Wizard of Oz. She has her own book and musical and one of the best motto’s: defying gravity. 2. The Halliwell Sisters (Charmed) Three sisters (although one of them changed half way through) discover they are the Charmed Ones; witches with incredible powers who battle evil and meet loads of cute guys along the way. 3. Sabrina (Bewitched) Back in 1964, there was Bewitched’s Sabrina. The tag line reads: ‘a witch married to an ordinary man cannot resist using her magic powers to solve the problems her family faces’

4

4. Willow & Tara (Buffy: the Vampire Slayer) We’re cheating a little here, as you have no doubt noticed. Willow’s slow evolution from geek to witch on Buffy: the Vampire Slayer inspired an entire generation of witches to look into Neo-Paganism and her contribution can’t be left out. Tara still ranks as one of the most beloved witches to ever grace our screens.

brother. She doesn’t sound too epic but she most certainly is!

5. Jenny Calendar (Buffy: the Vampire Slayer) Although she died relatively soon, Jenny gave Willow her start and is still the only fictional TechnoPagan to have been on television.

9. Hermoine Granger (Harry Potter) I doubt Hermoine needs much introduction; she’s smart, she saves Harry and Ron on more than one occasion and although she may be scared, she never walks away from what needs to be done.

6. Minerva (Harry Potter) Named after the Roman Goddess of wisdom, Minerva is one of Hogwarts’ strongest witches and she has stood by Harry time and time again. 7. Morgaine (Mists of Avalon) Based lightly on the Arthurian legends, Morgaine’s story is one of toil, trouble and sex with her

8. Serafina Pekkala (The Golden Compass) In the fantasy world of the Golden Compass, it’s hard to pick which of Lyra’s companions is the most awesome; a talking bear, a shape shifting animal companion or Serafina Pakkala, queen of the mysterious and powerful witches.

10. Eucalypta (Paulus the Woodgnome) We realize not everyone was raised with Paulus the Woodgnome but on those who were, Eucapypta has left a lasting impression as the evil witch with a soft spot for Gnomes and woodland creatures.


Examining the season the warmth of the summer - By Aurelia Bellis

T

he juices of plants and trees flowed hurriedly during Spring. Now that it’s Summer you will see that everything becomes lovelier and flows calmer. The pace visibly dwindles, and very slowly we head towards shorter days. Flowers take root deeply and take more time to open up. The trees won’t grow much broader, but instead will sway in the summer’s slow breeze. The vegetables that have been planted absorb the water and energy slowly through their roots and store it, so they may be of service as food during the harvest months.

There is more peace under the brightly shining sun. The sun, still fragile in spring, has now grown and is a real source of warmth. When you walk through the fields and forests you can feel the difference. In the fields the sun is almost blistering, with a small breeze the scents of trees and flowers come and go. In the forests however, you will only feel the sun’s warmth properly in the meadows. In the forest you can smell the earth thanks to the moist soil and the water evaporating in the sun. Bees are diligently looking for flowers to make their honey comb even bigger. During a walk in the forest you will see deer eating the luscious green grass.

Birds of prey fly through an azure sky and dive down with agile grace. The heat doesn’t seem to affect them. Butterflies flutter happily between flowers and shrubbery. People wear airy, cheerful clothing and go cycling or walking. Any place that has water will have many visitors. In it, on it, it doesn’t matter. Everywhere you can feel the summer. In the water the lilies are blooming, the insects soar across the water and rest on the slightest blade of grass. The power of the sun, everybody and everything can feel it. In the warmth of summer we strengthen ourselves for the period of cold that comes, while enjoying the fruit, honey and herbs.

Activities for Summertime Go for a walk. Visit a beekeeper, if you’re lucky, you might even be allowed to help. If you’re not one

for the sporty activities, go write a poem or story about how you experience your summer. Bake

a nice summer cake with lots of fresh fruit and invite some friends over to enjoy it with you.

5


Pagan World

Money and pAGANISM - By Elani Temperance

P

agans of all denominations seem to have a problem with money. We struggle to bring it in, don’t like to give it away and, perhaps most importantly, we tend to ignore it until it becomes a problem. Most Neo-Pagans get by. They’re not well off, but they manage. Authors, lecturers, workshop organizers, blog writers... all do what they do out of love, devotion and the crafting of skills, but very few actually pay their bills with their ‘pagan job’. There are a few difficulties in the Neo-Pagan community that make ‘profitable Neo-Paganism’ virtually impossible. For one, money is such a terribly mundane thing to be worried about, it takes away from the transcending nature of many (religious Witchcraft) Traditions. As Neo-Pagans, there is nothing worse than going to a retreat, fair or other religious even and coming home to debt. Yet, that is what many of us do regularly; we have our religious

6

and spiritual awakenings somewhere else and then pay interest on it for up to several months. Money is a dirty word within many branches of Neo-Paganism. When you’re striving to leave the toils and troubles of daily life behind and to focus, instead, on the Divine, nothing is more difficult than subjecting yourself to a job you might dislike just for the money to pay for your mortgage, your food, your utilities and still end up with nothing to spend on the things you like and a lot of time seemingly wasted. This is problem number two; most Neo-Pagans have no drive to get rich or even well off because it takes them away from the things they love to do; explore nature, participate in ritual, meet up with friends and the community, work in the garden, and so many other things. Issue number three comes in the form of guilt. As Neo-Pagans, those of us with a skill worth selling will have no problem charging the non-Pagan community but somewhere, somehow, it became a practice to identify with your

Neo-Pagan patron’s plight and knock a bit off of the price of a service of product ‘because we practice the same faith and we should support each other’. It’s a wonderful idea, and if everyone had money to spare, it would even work, but currently this just means that Neo-Pagan artisans, diviners, writers and healers are doing a lot of work for very little money. And they are supposed to be grateful for the little they did receive because it was a gift. Those who do charge a fair and universal rate for their work are often met with little patronage and judgment. They have broken the super secret Neo-Pagan code... because they want to stay out of debt. This code is especially prevalent in (Neo-)Wiccan circles and the majority of Witchcraft Traditions. It’s rarely found amongst the Reconstructionist faiths like Asatru, Hellenismos and Kemeticism. In fact, the Reconstructionist faiths tend to be very open to a monetary reward for services rendered or items bought. That’s what used to happen in the Olden Days; someone crafted a vase,


another person saw the vase and liked it, so they bought it, or they traded it for something of equal value. Everyone went home better off at the end of the day. If the patron could not afford the vase, they didn’t get to take it home. Priests in Ancient Greece oversaw ritual sacrifices and got to take home a share of the meat. They were paid for their services because priests, like anyone else, need to eat. Neo-Paganism doesn’t have paid clergy. This is issue number four and it’s a difficult one to tackle. Research into the (American) Neo-Pagan community has discovered that the majority of questioned Neo-Pagans would like to have paid clergy available to them. Yet, they are are still not there. A major issue seems to be the fact that Neo-Pagans are scrooges when it comes to money. We don’t have much of it ourselves and if we do have it, we will only spent it on things that will buy us something, be it an item or knowledge. Any money we part with needs to be met with an equal pay-off. This is in part

to do with the fact that there are no Temples to tithe to. Most of us aren’t raised with the request to donate money to a religious cause on a weekly or monthly basis. Those that were, often have turned away from those places and any tithing will leave them with a bad taste in their mouth. Because of this, there is no money to pay for someone to take up the role of community priest or priestess. Often, the closest we get to it is charging admission to public rituals and feeling guilty about it. But paid clergy can be so much more and there is no need to model the job the Christian way. Paid clergy is an ever-available listening ear to the beginning Neo-Pagan or the Neo-Pagan with (religiously fueled) marriage problems. Clergy can organize regular rituals, lectures and workshops which tighten the community and push Neo-Paganism forward. They can get certified to legally perform marriage ceremonies and can be hired to see to -Neo-Pagan funeral rites, something that is becoming an issue now many of

the first and second wave Pagans are reaching the age where they pass over. Money can buy a lot and it is not evil, or even mundane. It’s part of our spiritual practice and should be seen as a blessing, not a curse. There is nothing wrong with striving for riches. These riches support your local Neo-Pagan shops, support the information sources you frequent but are charged nothing for, support rituals and fairs you can attend and, mostly, they help you invest in the future of Paganism. A future where skills and crafts are valued fairly so those who can do, get to focus on it full time and teach these skills to others so they don’t get lost (again). Money helps us be better NeoPagans and it’s time we started acknowledging that.

More information: Berger, Leach & Shaffer: Voices from the Pagan Census: http://tiny.cc/pagancensus

7


Witchy Things

Seven Types of Magick- By Elani Temperance

M

agick comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s highly unlikely that any two practitioners practice it exactly the same. Many people have tried to define types of magick but because of the widely varied practices, many categorical systems fall short. Little Witch magazine attempts to offer their own. We start our categorical system by recognizing two categories; spontaneous magick and ceremonial magick. The latter is not to be confused with the type of ceremonial magick practiced by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and their fellows, although this type of magick certainly belongs to this category of magick. In a previous Little Witch magazine (Spring 2011), we discussed the difference between high magick and low magick. This difference is not the same as the difference between spontaneous and ceremonial magick. Spontaneous magick is magick cast without tools or planning; a quick

8

exchange of energy or a word of blessing. Ceremonial magick is any kind of magick cast with tools or or planning. It usually takes longer and is more intricate. Another distinction can be made in the source of power used for magick; the self, nature, or through invocation. As humans, we have our own energy we can use to power our spells. This is a limited supply of power but it’s always there and you don’t need anything to tap it. Spontaneous magick usually comes from within, or from those in close proximity to us. Nature is a primal source of power and can be used as a power source for spontaneous as well as ceremonial magick. Nature is life, personified. A raw and virtually unlimited power source you can tap into if you so desire. Where nature is passive energy, invocation, and it’s associated evocation, is active. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, evocation is generally used to indicate the calling forth of an entity without binding it to the caster while invocation is used to indicate that the entity called forth

is summoned within the caster. Within (Neo-)Wiccan practices, an example of evocation is to invite the God and Goddess into the circle while a Drawing Down of the Sun or Moon is an example of invocation. Whatever the means, summoned entities like spirits, demons, angels or Gods are some of the most powerful energy sources and are only directly petitioned in ceremonial magick. Lastly, magick can be divided between direct and indirect magick. Direct magick is magick which is cast directly and/or towards an available goal or person. Indirect magick is magick which is stored for later use or cast through a medium. Most magick discussed above is direct magick. Indirect magick is most often used in talismanic magick and sympathetic magick. Examples include magick stored in objects (talismans) for release at a later date or over time or poppets used in voodoo. And with these seven types of magick, we round off our categorical system of magick. How would you categorize your practice?


Discussion

Where did God go? - By Elani Temperance

W

ith the notable exception of Dianic Traditions, most forms of religious Neo-Paganism work with at least one God. He’s often the Horned God of (Neo-) Wicca or any of the many male Deities who can be found in mythology; Cernunnos, Pan, or Herne come to mind for Gods of the Horned variety but Zeus, Set, Quetzalcoatl, Frigg and many, many others are worshiped, honored or worked with in the many versions of Paganism that exist. Within some Wiccan Traditions, but mostly in the Neo-Wiccan practices, a great focus is placed on the Goddess and Her worship. Fitting, some say, as there is far to much male oriented worship in the world already. A shame, some say, as Wicca nowadays is made up of polytheists, duotheists and even monotheists, yet in none of their mythology (besides Dianic Traditions) is God absent. For more on the -theists, see page 12. Especially in (Neo-)Wiccan

practice, the God is of great importance. Where the Goddess is ever present, never waning her influence on our world, it’s the God’s cycle of life and death/ rest which powers the shifting of the seasons. From His death during Wintertime to His rebirth at Springtime, His height of strength through Summer and then His waning through Autumn until His death at Wintertime, the God’s life cycle powers all. This article is written by a woman and as such, it can never hold the brilliance of the God’s influence on Paganism and the men it inspires. Yet, from a female perspective, the God sometimes seems to fade to the background in light of the Goddess’ presence. Women are asked to identify more with the feminine aspects of the Divine, leaving the masculine aspects of Divinity for the precious few males in (Neo-)Wicca and, in return, effectively barring men from experiencing the feminine Divine firsthand. While there is beauty in this approach, it can be difficult for solitary practitioners who suddenly

end up with a lopsided belief system. Besides, who says there is not a valuable lesson to be found in Drawing Down the power of the God as a woman? Or the power of the Goddess as a man? Yet it is rarely, if ever, done. Covens which exist wholly out women tend to call on Goddesses only, not always, but often. Men’s mysteries are rarely celebrated in mixed gender covens. There will be a revisit of this article, one written by a man as this article was intended. Neo-Paganism from a male perspective is wildly different from Neo-Paganism from the female perspective, or—more accurately—it adds greatly to it. It focuses on different issues, skills, characteristics and entities. The framework remains in place but, when given the chance, men will fill in the framework differently than women do. Because of this, traditional Wicca covens tend to work with an almost equal number of men and women. This is hard to achieve in modern day but there is something to say about striving for it.

9


The Feasts By Lunadea

W

e now celebrate the longest day and shortest night. The sun is at its strongest and shines brightly. The Oak King and the Holly King battle each other anew, only this time Holly wins. From today onwards, darkness will reign and the days grow shorter as the nights grow longer. Decorate your house or altar with

A

lso known as loaf-mass or Lughnasadh, the entire celebration surrounding the harvest and the abundance thereof, as well as the feast surrounding the death of the God Lugh, is about celebrating this Celtic sun God. The people were busy all day with harvesting the first crops and at night, they laid down their tools and feasted. We honor the Mother for her gifts at this sabbat, and ask

Litha

anything that relates to the sun; sunflowers, yellow tints, gold tints, drawings of the sun or fire, beach gear, anything you associate with the sun. For this feast the gates to the other worlds are open. The Celts believed that the Faery Folk would come to visit our world on this night to create mischief. Celebrate midsummer night with your friends. Make sure you have a fire, because that’s part of the

tradition. Try to let the party last through the night and greet the sun in the early morning. Note the color theme when you prepare food for the celebration; anything will do that’s gold or orange of color, such as carrots, breads, oranges, orange juice, sherry, port and mead. Garnish your dishes with yellow bell peppers or corn and eat summer fruits as a dessert.

her for continuous abundance. People used to make a doll from the last sheaf of corn, which was the symbol of Mother Earth. It would be decorated with scarlet ribbons, the color of the Celtic mother Goddess Cherridwen, and the doll would be hung above the fireplace for the entire winter. The feast is mostly centered on corn and it will therefor feature heavily in the rituals and decorations. In this period clan marriages were celebrated because the weather was dry and it was easier for

people to travel to villages further away. Lammas is the best period to focus on justice, rights, promotion, personal growth and fertility. Decorate your altar or home with corn stalks, bread-dolls, or even better, gingerbread dolls! If you want to show even more dedication, you can make a doll out of straw, ritually cut off it’s head and then offer it to the fire. Never do this inside though, and always be careful with open flames. Nothing ends a celebration faster than an out of control fire!

Lammas 10


Merry Meet

Doreen Valiente - By Calandriel an Cuiileur

D

oreen Edith Dominy was born the 4th of January, 1922, in Mitcham (south London), England. She grew up in a Christian home, and was sent to a convent school which she walked out on at the age of fifteen. If this had anything to do with her early spiritual experiences at age seven seeing beyond the physical world and her early experiments with magick at thirteen it is unknown. At age seven, Doreen was fascinated with the moon. “I saw what people would call the world of everyday reality as unreal, and saw behind it something that was real and very potent. I saw the world of force behind the world of form”. After a short half year marriage at nineteen, which ended when her husband went missing and was presumed dead, she married again in 1944 to Casmiro Valiente, whose name she took and kept for the remainder of her life. In 1952, Doreen was introduced

to Gardner, by a woman who went by Dafo. She was eventually initiated into the Craft on midsummer’s eve 1953 by Gardner himself and got the name Ameth. She noticed that some of the passages Gardner read were taken from other works. When he challenged her to do better, she did. She replaced the derived works with her own and restructured the Book of Shadows, leaving us with what is now known as Wicca. After the rift between Doreen and Gardner occurred (more in the winter 2011 issue), she was initiated into a traditional hereditary branch of witchcraft in 1964 by a man called Cochrane. In this year her mother passed over and while she had always avoided publicly stating her being a witch before this, she would now no longer deny it. However, she still did not seek publicity like some of her contemporaries. Doreen noted Cochrane’s obsession with “witch potions” and was disillusioned by this. Cochrane died in 1966. In 1972, her husband died after

which she started writing books. Her first title appeared in 1973, An ABC of Witchcraft. Later followed by Natural Magic in 1975. In the 1980’s she searched for more information about old Dorothy who, as claimed by Gardner, initiated him into witchcraft in 1939. She found a death certificate of Old Dorothy Clutterback in 1982 after much diligent and painstaking research. In 1997, her partner, Ron Cooke, died and though she was much saddened and grieved by this, she still made time for the Pagan community by guiding, researching, writing poetry, publicly speaking and practicing rituals. She patronised the Centre For Pagan Studies when it opened in 1995 and gave her last talk there. She got cancer in 1999 and died on the 1st of September that same year. Her last wish was granted when her poetry was published in 2000 under the name Charge of the Goddess.

More information: http://doreenvaliente.org/

11


Branching Out The -theisms- By Elani Temperance

N

eo-Paganism has many followers and every follower is different. Within Neo-Paganism, one can find atheists, pantheists, monotheists, duotheists and polytheists. Because of all these differences, finding common characteristics is often tricky. In this Little Witch, we try to explain the different viewpoints on Divinity and give examples on how these apply to modern Paganism. Atheism is found on one end of the spectrum. Atheists generally denounce the idea of Divinity. They don’t believe in a higher power that influences their lives. Within Neo-Paganism, many atheists can be found in various branches of witchcraft. Most would also classify those who believe in Gods as archetypes instead of actual entities as atheists. Pantheism is the belief that Divinity and nature are one and the same. Pantheists can

12

be atheist pantheists or theist pantheists; it depends on the starting point. If the pantheist believes a vision alike ‘God is All’, they are theistic but if they reject a divine influence on the creation of nature or see nature as divinity of itself, they are theistic. Both ideas can be found in NeoPaganism like in Taoism and Wicca, Dianic Wicca specifically. Monotheism is a common stance within Neo-Paganism. Often, this view shows in the belief in a genderless Divine source. All known Gods are fragments of this single Divine entity. Most often this pertains to the duotheistic Gods mentioned below. Monotheism is often found within Wicca, Neo-Wicca and Religious Witchcraft. Duotheism, like monotheism, is prevalent within Wicca, NeoWicca and Religious Witchcraft. It entails the belief that there are only two Gods, one male, one female; all other known Gods are fragments or incarnations of these two Gods and divert back into them. Duotheists don’t believe these two Gods divert back

into a single, monotheistic, entity. Polytheism is on the opposite end of the spectrum. There are two, or three, branches of polytheism; soft polytheism, hard polytheism and somewhere in the middle is middle polytheism. All believe that Gods exist and influence our lives. Soft polytheists believe that Gods with similar portfolios are the same God. An example; Athena, Brighid, Sarasvati, Neith and Minerva rule the virtue of wisdom in their respective pantheons. For soft polytheists, this means they are the same Deity with different faces for each pantheon. Middle polytheists believe that some of these faces belong to the same Deity but definitely not all. Athena and Minerva are the same Goddesses but Brighid, Sarasvati and Neith are so different from each other, as well as Athena and Minerva, that They can’t be the same. Hard polytheism believes that each and every God and Goddess is a separate entity with His or her own powers, lives and story. What fits in with your believes, is up to you!


Practical Pagan

Creating your own divination tool - By Elani Temperance

D

ivination is one of the staple tools of NeoPaganism. Many systems have been around for a long time and are tried and true. Of course, it’s also possible to create your own divination system. It only requires a medium and some thought. The major question you need to ask yourself before you begin is to question how you will cast and read the lots you create. Will you pick one, or a few, and read the outcome? Will you throw the lots? And if you throw them, do you want to divine the answer to your question through the lots or the field? For example; runes can be both picked and cast but they don’t need a field; the symbolism on the stones themselves is enough. There are also oracles that use bones, stones or any other small medium thrown onto a field. This field is made up of a minimum of two fields. In which field specific or most lots end up gives you the answer you seek. As is only logical, the way you

want to read your system dictates how you need to approach creating it. The easiest system to make is one based off of a variety of symbols that together form a complete sphere of thought. The most important part or creating a system like this is balance. For every symbol you select, there needs to be one that counters it. An example; you create an ‘earth’ symbol which will mean male energy. To balance this, you also create a ‘moon’ symbol which stands for female energy, as the two planar entities are in constant relation to each other out in the universe. If the ‘earth’ stands for male energy and stability and you do not feel the ‘moon’ symbol can adequately stand for chaos, choose a new symbol for chaos and so on until you feel you have covered all your bases. You will probably end up between ten and fifteen symbols. When working with a field, it’s important that you have enough fields to ‘catch’ lots; the fields need to be large enough to hold at least a few lots and there need to be enough of them to, like the

symbols mentioned above, balance out and cover all bases. A system that works on fields works best when you use it to find out where the problems the petitioner has are coming from. You could, for example, use a field with three fields; one for outward environmental influences, one for outward relational influences and one for internal influences. In this case, you’d only need a single lot to cast. Another way to divide the field in three is to divide them in short-term, medium-term and long-term and use different lots with symbols on them or of various shapes which stand for different issues. Should we use the three symbols created above, we could throw the lots on the field. This way we could tell there will be a male influence in the petitioner’s life soon. When you make your system, be sure to try it out with any question you can come up with, just to see if you haven’t left any holes. Whatever you do, try to make something that works for you, because that’s who you will primarily use it for.

13


By the firelight Brothers - By Ragnild

T

he place I call my home is a place from which you cannot see the stars. The place I call my home is a place you too, one day, will inhabit. When you grow old and weak, when your body starts to falter and your spirit can’t hold on, you will stand at my gates. I am Hades, and I rule the Underworld. During my reign I have seen many things, and I will never quite claim to understand you mortals, for some of those things I have witnessed were remarkably lack witted. One such occasion concerned my nephew Pollux and his brother Castor. As you might guess Pollux, being my nephew, was immortal. However, his brother, Castor, was not. Pollux is my nephew through Zeus, my brother, but while Castor and Pollux share the same mother, Queen Leda of Sparta, they do not share the same father. Castor’s father was Tyndareus, King of Sparta. Many a foolish deed they

14

accomplished together, but none so spectacularly unintelligent as sleeping with, and marrying their cousins’ fiancées. This action caused quite a bit of bad blood between the two pairs of brothers. Idas and Lynceus were Aphareus’ sons, Tyndareus’ brother. All of the brothers belonged to the Argonauts, but that is a story for another time. What you must know however, is that because they all belonged to the Argonauts, the brothers also knew each other well. They knew how the others acted, fought and lived. Lynceus and Idas didn’t know their nephews well enough however, and it was only a matter of time before disaster struck. The nephews were destined to go on a cattle raid together in Arcadia, and it proved successful, though the nephews were not satisfied. An argument broke out amongst them, this time over the division of the meat. Before the division was made however, a calf had been slaughtered and cooked. Idas, who was quite a large man, suggested to his cousins that

instead of having the herd split in four parts, they should split it in two. Whichever pair finished the meal first would get the herd. Now, Pollux is a vain creature. Give him a challenge, any challenge, and he will accept. This time as well, Pollux accepted the challenge. Idas quickly devoured both his own portion and that of his brother. Pollux and Castor had been fooled. Knowing they had been beaten, the brothers swore that they would get revenge. Their opportunity came when their cousins visited them and their sisters Helena and Clytemnestra in Sparta. A great feast was held and the brothers quickly found a way to leave the banquet without seeming too conspicuous. As all feasts do, the feast came to an end and Lynceus and Idas had to journey home. They had taken their herd with them, and were on their way to collect the animals. Then in the dark, Lynceus spotted Castor sitting in a tree, waiting for them to pass. You may think it impossible to see in the dark, but as you may


not know, Idas was named after a lynx because of this special ability. Idas’ anger ignited, he grabbed his spear and attacked Castor. Castor saw what was happening however, and noticed that his brother did not see his own attacker come close. As Idas’ blow struck home, Castor called out to Pollux and warned him of Lynceus. Thanks to the warning, Pollux was able to evade Lynceus’ attack. He grabbed his cousins’ spear and grappled over it. Pollux managed to take it from his cousin and struck the spear straight into Lynceus’ heart. Of course Idas couldn’t stand by idly as his own brother was slaughtered, and prepared to take Pollux’s life. Zeus had been watching the whole episode play out before his eyes, and he could not just stand by to see his son get killed, the sentimental fool. With all his might, Zeus sent a bolt of lightning to the ground, killing Idas. When Pollux finally knelt next to his dying brother, he did not know how he would survive without his

twin, mortal though the man was. He called out to Zeus and asked if there was anything that could be done to save his brother. Now as you know, all mortal men must die. Castor wasn’t an exception. Zeus took pity on his son and told him: “You may share your immortality and move between Olympus and Hades’ underworld. Or you may come to Olympus, where you belong, and spend the rest of your days with us.” Without a second thought Pollux told his father he would rather alternate betweenthe Underworld and Olympus if that meant staying with his brother. Sad though he was, Zeus granted his son’s wish, and the brothers became the Gemini, which you now see in the sky at night. Foolish is as foolish does, and though important, it isn’t the most important thing in the story. Care for your family and they will care for you. The brothers stuck by each other, and if they had been better to their cousins, who knows what might have been different.

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 2 - 5 August http://tinyurl.com/castlefest1 Litha celebration 24 June http://tiny.cc/lithafb

(Your Neopagan schedule or acti-vity here? Contact us!)

15


Visiting:

The Beltane Fair of the Cirkel van de Godin - By Elani Temperance

O

n April 28, 2012, Little Witch had the good fortune to attend a Beltane Witch’s Fair organized by long time Dutch Pagan organization, Cirkel van de Godin (Circle of the Goddess). The fair was organized in honor of Beltane, a reunion of all the covens following the Cirkel van de Godin teachings and the ten year anniversary of the Tradition which started out under the name ‘Heksenschool’, School for Witchcraft . Features were, amongst others, storyteller Abe de Verteller,

More information: Website of the Circle of the Goddess (NL): http://cirkelvandegodin.nl/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/Godinnen Video with images of the celebration: http://youtu.be/qijVpYXHBz8

16

falconer Thas, fairytale readings for children by Elsheks, singing bowl healings and demonstrations, singers and musicians like Kelsey Hendriks, Elvya Dulcimer and Kees Mook, drumming circles, medieval reenactment and various workshops. As for the truly Pagan part of the day, there was a May Pole and a May Queen election, a special workshop to bring out the fire element in yourself and, of course, a Beltane fire ritual. The location was the Scottish Barn, a favored spot for the Cirkel van de Godin. It was also where they hosted the Yule 2011 celebration. A report on that special night can be found of the Dutch Little Witch website. During the day, we had a chance to catch up with some of the Fair’s organizers when the festivities were finally well underway. They were positively beaming with joy and pride. “It’s wonderful to see everyone together.” Cirkel van de Godin’s founder said. “This is why I founded the Heksenschool: to unite as many Witches in the

Netherlands and beyond as I could. Seeing so many of them here today, ten years later, is more than I could have hoped for.”. The wonderful part about a Tradition-based fair is that most of the people know each other. New initiates get introduced rapidly to the group and soon everyone mingles. Conversations happen easily; some have not spoken since the last major gathering and there is always a lot to catch up on. Conversations ranged from new additions and developments in covens, to the tarot reading just received, to the whole pig being roasted. Children were welcomed and entertained by the knights, battling it out on the field next to the cottage, by wonderful storytellers and by the deer roaming on the far field. From what we could see, the fair was a great success and one which should be repeated for the eleventh, twelfth and every other anniversary onwards.


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)

A

nd so another issue of Little Witch comes to a conclusion. We have discussed a great many things within these pages and we will do so again next issue. We take a look at Reconstructionism in Branching Out, celebrate the fall season and the feasts of Mabon and Samhain which are associated with it and review not one, but two Neo-Pagan books in our Goody Bag; Abe J. van der Veen’s De Symboliek Van Bomen (The Symbolism of Trees) and Sarina Star’s wonderfully enchanting children’s book for all ages, The Magic Pica’s. We also tackle Norse mythology by the firelight. This sunday, the 24th, Lunadea and Elani Temperance host an open Litha celebration at Ruigoord, Amsterdam. For those of you who want to attend, admission is five euro per person and will be collected near the end. During this celebration, we will honor the ancestors in a meditation, witness the fall of

the Oak King and run wild with the Faery Folk. Dress in white or yellows and bring a garland and a gift for someone else. For more information, and to registers as attending, see: http://tiny.cc/lithafb or send a e-mail to: elani@littlewitchmagazine.com. Once again, Little Witch was a pleasure to write and put together and we hope you enjoyed reading it. Now we’re done, we are off to celebrate Summer. Some of us have holidays planned, others Pagan festivals and yet others resolve to do absolutely nothing for as long as possible. Summer is a wondrous time and we hope you get to enjoy some time off as well to experience it fully. Come Autumn, we hope to see you again for another installment of Little Witch Magazine. Keep following us on Facebook for future developments and events. You can find us by searching for ‘LittleWitchMagazine’. We’ll see you again in September!

17