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Ravens’ Call



Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011


the Team State Coordinator Jess Steers 3 4 6

Regional Coordinator Mel Dolliver

Secretary Mandhi Allen

Treasurer Terri Baran

Moot Convenors

Ravens’ Call

Hobart - Allannah Turner Launceston - Rose Dragonwulf North-West - Irene St Helens - Debbie

Editor - Mel Dolliver Proof-reader - Heather Jensen Graphic Designer - Terri Baran Printer - Mandhi Allen

Postal Address PO Box 1127 Launceston TAS 7250 Disclaimer: The views contained within the Ravens‟ Call newsletter are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or members of the Tasmanian Pagan Alliance, Inc. Likewise, the advertisements are placed in good faith and do not signify endorsement by the editor or members of the Tasmanian Pagan Alliance, Inc.

© Copyright 2011 Tasmanian Pagan Alliance, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Editorial Eye of Newt Lammas Report Internet Interest 7 Drinking Your Way through the Wheel of the Year 8 AWC - Update 9 AWC - Workshop Teaser 10 Autumn Equinox 2011 11 Familiar Friends of the Past 12 Coven or Solitary? 14 Luna Journey 15 Never to be Lent, Swapped or Sold 16 Green Practical Magic 17 Pagan Parenting 18 Profiling Tassie Pagans Pagan Ink 19 Compost Heap 20 State Coordinator‘s Report 2011 Membership Renewals 21 PaganDash 22 Moot Reports 23 What‘s On 24 Needful Things 26 The Herb Obsession 27 Alternative Retail Therapies 28 Mandala 29 Membership Invitation Back Page - Membership Renewal Form

The Pagan Alliance Ethic    

Love & Kinship with nature. Reverence for the life force & its ever-renewing cycles of life & death. Each individual is responsible for discovering & developing his/her own true nature in harmony with the greater world, & takes full responsibility for his/her actions. Acceptance of the many-faceted nature of Divinity: Acceptance that divinity exists in many forms, & can be worshipped/respected as male, female, androgynous, or in a form beyond human definition.


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Mel Dolliver - Editor

I‘ve changed my mind. If you ask me, autumn with its deep silence, spectacular colours and still moments when you can just feel the gravity of the earth pulling you down - inviting you to lay amongst red and green foliage, to simply let the minutes idle and gaze into endless sky, is now my most favourite season - spring time the formally favoured one.

issue (pulls rabbits out of hat) Thanx heaps: Zahira for her AWC sponsorship report, Jo for the healing wand article and pic and her Autumn Equinox report, two book reviews - thanx Peter and Cindy who answered many questions without complaint!!! Hehe *evil editor‘s chuckle!!!* Please throw me a line - I‘d love a letter to the editor, comments on articles, advice, suggestions for new topics. Any feedback would be awesome ;-) Enjoy the coming cooler weather and have a yummy Yule feast!

With preparations up, up and away the AWC 2011 is looming closer - while this is indeed exciting its also immensely terrifying!!! But I‘m sure with all the miles of support this event is collecting and Jess‘s many databases and long, long lists we‘ll be more than ready. There will be an AWC meeting for those who want more details and to become more involved on the 11th June in Launceston read on for more info. As usual a fantastic effort to all those wonderful Tassie pagans who have willingly donated articles for this

Goddess Bless,

About the Artist Front cover: Blind Doves E. M. Lawrence is a self-taught, published illustrator. She resides in a story-book style haunted house with her partner, and far too many pets. "The undertones in my work invoke a darker whimsy, my illustrations are created with traditional tools, the feel of paper and pigment inks, paint and water under my hands makes me feel at home. The folklore of a time gone by features heavily as a theme throughout my art; strange young women dressed in elegantly tattered Victorian dresses, whether traipsing through the deep dark woods or inquisitively wandering through tumbled down old buildings filled with tiny beast‘s and strange little fellows are embarking on their individual journeys within a secret world." 3

Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

LEMON MERINGUE PIE Oh yeah – this is a perfect after meal treat and it‟s my latest winter time show off dessert! Crunchy base, tangy and tart soft lemon filling topped with a glossy sweet meringue. Almost better than Birthday cake! Preparation Time: 60 - 90 minutes (although 3 hours chilling time is needed)


1. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Use Cooking Time: 40 minutes

your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Ingredients (serves 8)

2. Add the water and use a round-bladed knife to stir

225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour

until a dough forms. Use your hands to bring the

2 tbs icing sugar mixture

dough together in the bowl. Turn onto a sheet of non

125g butter, chilled, coarsely chopped

-stick baking paper and roll out to a 5mm-thick disc.

2 1/2 tbs iced water

Use the pastry to line a 23cm (base measurement) pie dish. Trim excess pastry. Cover the pastry with

Lemon filling

baking paper. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to

50g (1/3 cup) cornflour

125ml (1/2 cup) water

250ml (1 cup) fresh lemon juice **about 6-8

pastry weights or rice. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.

large lemons are required

Remove the paper and pastry weights or rice. Bake

430g (2 cups) caster sugar

for a further 15-20 minutes or until crisp and

60g butter, coarsely chopped

golden. Set aside to cool completely.

4 eggs, separated


3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Fill the lined dish with

4. Meanwhile, to make the lemon filling, combine the 4

Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

cornflour, water, lemon juice and half the sugar in a saucepan. Use a balloon whisk to stir over medium heat for 4 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for a further 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter and egg yolks. Transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours or until cooled completely.

5. Preheat oven to 190°C. Use an electric beater to beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoonful at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy.


Spread the filling over the base of the pastry case. Spoon over the meringue mixture and spread to


the edge of the pastry. Use the back of a spoon to

1 cup (220g) caster sugar

1 cup (250ml) lemon juice

3 cups (750ml) soda water, chilled

create peaks. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until the meringue peaks are light golden. Set aside to cool completely. Serve. ** Adding the zest of one lemon to the lemon filling


mixture, gives that extra tartness (if you love lemons).


Place the caster sugar in a saucepan with 1 cup (250ml) water and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolved.


Allow to cool. Stir in the lemon juice.


To serve, top with chilled soda water. For a twist, try ½ cup lemon juice and ½ cup lime!

Recipe courtesy of recipes/3941/homemade+lemonade


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

This year the harvest festival of Lammas was held in the Northwest‘s beautiful Forth valley, we came together with tones of laughter, creativity and magic. Thanx to all who attended, it was a fabulous weekend – beautiful feast, awesome chanting and plenty of mulled wine! Cheers to all who held workshops and helped with the clean-up. Let‘s do it again!! Modern traditions of Lammas Pagans today usually look at Lammas as a celebration of abundance, American Indians celebrate a feast of farewell to summer and a welcoming in of the cooler days of autumn. It is also a time of honouring the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Lammas - carrying the theme of breads and grains, modern pagans automatically turn to earthy bread varieties and wholesome foods. It seems traditional to collect and eat fruit and vegetables that are abundant at this time of the year. Lammas is sometimes called the feast of first fruits. This Sabbat all about food! Pagans also spend this time of the year decorating their home or alter with bright autumn tones: yellow, gold, bright orange, rust and tan. Bundles of grains like barley and wheat are tied together to make corn dollies. Produce like grapes, potatoes, tomatoes and peaches are displayed to celebrate the bounty of this abundant season. The ancient Celtic sun God Lugh is represented during the harvest season, with symbols of the sun, pieces of amber, bright yellow sheaves of corn, or a crafty token since Lugh was a craftsman himself. Luckily, with today‘s modern pagan groups incorporating Celtic traditions as well as Native American rituals, along with some Wiccan thrown in, the group can decide exactly what kind of Lammas ceremony they would like to have. Usually, the purpose is simply to gather together with friends and family during the time between the summer solstice and the fall equinox in February and enjoy the changing of seasons together.

Internet Interest

by Terri

I will admit, this is probably a female-centric column this issue, but I think it‘s worth mention. Whether you‘re a maiden, mother or crone, you‘re bound to love the Offbeat Empire - This is a selection of sites, originally founded by Ariel Meadow Stallings, now hosting 3 million monthly pageviews and staff of a dozen editors, moderators and developers. For those planning a wedding, you can check out Offbeat Bride - we mentioned this a few issues back. This site has some fantastic ideas for making your wedding a truly individual experience. Maybe you‘re pregnant, planning for children or already have been blessed with kids - Offbeat Mama is for you! In an effort ―move beyond dogmatic, argumentative approaches to parenting‖, find useful information for raising children, along with other parental experiences. Finally, the Offbeat Home - my personal favourite - making your space truly your own, including hints and tips for environmentally friendly cleaning, decorating and enjoying your home for what it is!


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

...with Mulled Wine Both wine and juice can be become a „mulled‟ drink – mulled meaning spiced and heated. Here I have two recipes one for Samhain and the other adapted for the Winter Solstice. All of my Sabbat mulled wine recipes have eight different ingredients, each variation has a fruit element, a sweetener, a sacred tree and of course spices to give that mellow full mulled wine flavour.

Method: You will need:  1 small saucepan  1 clean empty bottle  1 mulled wine bundle  1 bottle (or equivalent) of red wine/juice Add ¼ of the red wine into the small saucepan, pop in the mulled bundle, then place onto a medium/low heat. Slowly heat the wine along with the mulled bundle – watching carefully the whole time – until your potion is very hot but not boiled, this is a very important step. If the wine is allowed to boil the alcohol content will evaporate! If you have time, let the brew sit for an hour in the saucepan (lid on) for an hour. Then simply squeeze, remove and discard the mulled bundle and pour your mulled wine concentrate into the clean bottle. Top up with the remaining red wine, give a gentle shake.

Samhain 2 Cinnamon sticks [whole - crushed] 10 Cloves [whole] 2 Ginger slices 3 Yew leaves 4 pieces dried apple 10 pepeta seeds 5 black pepper corns 3 table spoons clover honey Yule  2 Cinnamon sticks [whole - crushed]  10 Cloves [whole]  1 nutmeg [whole – crushed]  2 holly leaves  10 juniper berries [crushed]  10 cardamom pods [crushed]  ½ c dried raisins  3 tbsp dark brown sugar

Reheating: Bottles of pre-prepared mulled wine can be stored in the fridge until required, the best way to reheat the whole bottle is to find a tall saucepan (something that at least comes to the neck of your wine bottle) fill ¾ with freshly boiled water, then carefully sit the mulled wine bottle into the saucepan. It is handy to pop a lid on your saucepan if you can. Leave for approx. 30 minutes – or as long as your ritual lasts!

Using a cloth bundle: I always make a pouch or bundle to place all my ingredients in, this is handy for two reasons;  Your mulled wine bundle can be prepared beforehand and will be easy to transport.  The fabric of your mulled wine bundle will also act as a filter – some herbs and spices can be dusty or have small pieces, the fabric will hold everything together.  Mesh, coarse weave muslin or cotton material can be used.  Any sticky or runny ingredient – like honey – would be added straight into your pot, by passing the mesh bundle.  Crush/cut all your ingredients and place onto fabric. Sometime crushing with the aid of a mortar and pestle will help with tougher spices like: nutmeg, cardamom pods or black pepper.  Simply tie your bundle together with ribbon or thick cotton thread.

by Mel 7

Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

The AWC is only four months away and part of making it a


good weekend is to have some fun and interesting


giveaways on hand. The type of prizes that make someone

them to donate was

go ‗wow, I can‘t believe how lucky I am!‘. Their friends smile

my Achilles heel. Of

while gnashing their teeth at having missed out by just a

the businesses I approached, just a few replied and only


one of them wanted to donate something.

Then there‘s the big raffle. I was told it needs to be a big

This was disappointing as AWC 2011 feels it would be a

raffle as it has the purpose of raising much needed funds

great opportunity for Tasmanian food businesses to show off

for AWC 2012.

their product to a largely mainland audience and for

But is big, big enough I wondered?




Awesome or HUGE could be so much better.

Tasmanian Wiccans to take pride in what our state

As the Sponsorship Goddess for the AWC 2011, I decided


to contact as many businesses as I could so that AWC could

sauces or jams for the weekend, would free up money that

not only raise lots of money but so that as many attendees

can be used for other parts of the weekend – or for any last

as possible would have the fun experience of winning a

minute expenses.


I recently decided not to waste any more time writing to

To date I‘ve contacted at least sixty businesses and have

Tasmanian food businesses but when Mel asked me to write

been delighted to have approximately 20 of them respond

this report, I decided I would give it one more go – with

positively (a third of those contacted).

your help.

From oracle decks to ritual robes, psychic challenge board

Do you know of a business I can approach? Do you work at

games, temple beads, massage vouchers, meditation CDs

a business I can approach? Do you OWN a business that

and even discounted car hire for interstate travellers. I‘ve

would like to participate? If you can say yes to just one of

been very encouraged by the generous offers and support

them, please contact me.

my requests have received.

All I need is the name of the business, what they produce

And what do the businesses get in return? Other than our

and their contact details. I‘ll send a sponsorship request to

heartfelt thanks and deeply felt gratitude, participating

them and let you know how I go. Just as the businesses who

businesses will have their details featured on the AWC

have donated items to our raffle, any assistance you can

2011 Facebook page and website and their promotional

give me will be met with heartfelt

materials placed in the official AWC 2011 showbags that

thanks and deeply felt gratitude.

Also a donation of something as simple as the

each attendee will receive. Another part of my role as Sponsorship Goddess is to

You can help us to make AWC

contact Tasmanian food growers and manufacturers for a

2011 the best one ever!

donation of their product for the AWC afternoon and morning teas – items such as cheese, jam, sauce, tea, coffee,


biscuits etc

Sponsorship Goddess

The same benefits as mentioned above were offered to them.

0418 139 826


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Workshop - ―Dark Gods‖

most brutal.

Workshop - ―Dancing the Maypole‖

Host: Frances


They rise up from the Underworld,


hell bent on causing death and


destruction; lurk in the shadows to

dances and how

appear in our nightmares; or


crash into our lives with hard

beautiful maypole

hitting images of masculinity at its

with the fabulous

Justly demonifed brutes or simply

Tom traditional




misunderstood larkins? From Anubis to Zeus. It is time

Tom is from South Australia, and hosted the AWC in

to embrace the power of the Dark Gods before it

2009 with a great team from Pagan Alliance South

consumes you with fear.


Frances has been exploring the occult since early adulthood and came to the realisation that she will








need more than one life time to perform all the rites

Host: Cindy

she wants to do. Describing herself as a Wytch, a

Doodling is a great way to relax, meditate, get

Wiccan and an occultist (but not necessarily in that

creative and de-stress.

order), Frances underwent training in the early 1990s

It is portable and can be

with English occult author David Rankine, before

done anywhere.

establishing the Temple of the Dark Moon and The

I hear you say "but I

Goddess House. She openly acknowledges her book

can‘t draw", It doesn't

addiction, and confesses being partial to the 'odd'

matter, no drawing skills

bottle of red wine. A regular contributor to "Insight"

are required.

magazine since 2002, Frances is also endeavouring to

I will show you an easy

have at least one of the books rattling around inside

way to make amazing

her head published in the not too distant future.


Website: As well as these three workshops (and soon to be featured on the AWC 2011 web site and Facebook page) we have been blessed with numerous offers to hold - rituals, talks and practical hands on workshops, it’s going to be a fantastic weekend. Other workshops include; Tamsin from SA holding a dance in ritual workshop, a chanting workshop held by Spiral Dance, Cecily Cropley from WA will hold a talk “Understanding myself and others and the secrets of happy people”, Mel will be Drinking the wheel of the year with Mulled Wine and Razi will hold Middle Eastern Drumming for Beginners. There are quite a few further workshops in the mix, with details still un-confirmed – so keep an eagle eye on the web site for updates.


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

This year‘s Autumn Equinox event was held at the free camping ground at Mayfield Bay in Swansea. I hitched a ride with Mel on Friday afternoon and we arrived at the end of the sunshine to set up camp. Ed and Janet were the first to arrive and had thankfully staked out a Pagan friendly area for tents on the edge of the motor home city. As darkness fell Janet turned into the flasher, waving arriving Pagans over to us with her flash light. An early night was had by all as conversation by the camp fire was extinguished by the heavy rain. A misty rain arrived with the dawn on Saturday and kept us company on and off throughout the day. The morning was spent catching up with Pagans from around the state, exploring the beach and surrounding area for treasure, making sandcastles and toasting marshmallows over the fire. In the afternoon Mel, Terri and I went for a drive into Swansea to explore the local shops and then back out to Kate‘s Berry Farm for an afternoon tea of jam and scones. The evening meal was a feast indeed with many offerings of delicious food and mead around the campfire. After dark the full moon shone out teasingly, from behind the clouds, before hiding again for the rest of the night. This glimpse drew us down to the beach with drums and chanting to sit for a time on the sand absorbing her energies. Some even chose to become moons themselves and embrace the dark waters for a time. The late night and morning drizzle didn‘t deter us from an early pack up on Sunday morning. Some headed home while others headed for Hobart to see Wendy Rule perform at the Mt Nelson Signal Station. That was where Mel and I headed too via a quick detour into Triabunna for a heavenly 3 minute shower at the visitor information centre. Best $4 I‘ve ever spent! Nicely mud free we found our way to Mt Nelson, eventually, via a couple of wrong turns and were treated to 3 hours of Wendy Rules amazing voice and cello accompanist. The food, scenery and company were also divine, a brilliant way to finish off the Equinox weekend. By Jo Corvinus


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Familiar Friends this season is dedicated to Samhain, where our thoughts are with our dearly departed. On this occasion we are remembering the beloved animals who had become part of our family - without them, our house is not a home.

of the Past

I can still remember that day in March 1997 driving round the dirt roads of a tiny south west WA town called Jarrahdale off to meet a pup I was told would make a great guard dog. A red halo of fluff was passed out of the chook shed upon my arrival and I was asked ‗what did I think‘? My reply was ‗well you aint getting him back now‘ And so this Red Heeler x Mastiff, who was to be named Nelson, (after Nelson Mandela), entered my life and changed it forever. We were inseparable as much as I could manage. If I ever had to fly interstate to visit family, he always came too. He was my best buddy. It was the same year I had joined a local coven and began traditional training in Wicca so I was performing lots of rituals and magick. He always would lay next to me when I cast a circle and watched patiently until I was done. The first time I performed a house cleansing for a friend, he would not stop barking and howling until he was brought inside and allowed to stand by me and follow me happily from room to room. I knew then for sure he was my familiar and I involved him as much energy and astral work that I could. I got involved heavily in dog obedience training as I knew he was going to be a strong dog, both physically and mentally. I eventually was offered to become a trainer, so Nelson and I spent many happy years training what were often last chance dogs (dogs whose only option was to be put down if their behaviour didn‘t change). We also started to do agility workjumps, tunnels, hoops etc and we were featured on the local news and also appeared on a kids Saturday morning cartoon show. He also was very popular at nursing homes when we would appear as a team doing demonstrations and tricks and could never get enough of everyone‘s pats! Alas age started to creep up on Nelson and arthritis meant eventually the physicality of agility got too much for him. He coped well with natural supplements and regular acupuncture treatments. He fell very ill for 6 months after making the move to Perth, WA and after a great deal of time and money spent on vet trips and tests I thought I was going to lose him (even the council got involved as they thought he had caught avian flu from the neighbours chickens!) A University was interested in diagnosing him for a large expense but there were no guarantees they could come up with answers either. I spotted an ad in the local new age Nova magazine and found a holistic vet who had run her own successful veterinary clinic for over ten years before turning only to alternative therapies. I was told to take samples of everything he came into contact with and remember turning up to her house with boxes of plant clippings, cleaning products, toiletries, anything I could think of. In his hour consult Nelson had kinesiology, Reiki, massage and was given Bach Flower remedies. I was told he was grieving (my partner had passed away several years before) and this also affected his immune system, therefore until that was resolved none of the treatments would work as he wasn‘t open to them. His symptoms all disappeared from the time we left her house-it was incredible and made the main steam vets we‘d been seeing very embarrassed but also curious. Unfortunately at almost 13 years old, Nelson passed to prostate cancer (not so common in a desexed dog). Despite numerous operations, his only option was to continue life with no bladder control and I knew that was no quality of life. I hated that he couldn‘t come home to pass and it plagued me. Three weeks later I had a dream. Nelson met me at the front door, all happy and tail wagging. When I woke up I knew I got what I wanted, Nelson had come home. I still miss him every day and have mementos of him still in my backyard and house. His ashes sit on my mantelpiece now where I can see them every day and he will always be my fondest familiar. Rose


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Coven or Solitary? An age-old argument, a timeless question of need and an on-going discussion. A personal musing from Dilali.

At a group discussion last year this was the topic with the majority of the discussion being from the Coveners point of view; due mainly to the Solitaries asking questions of the Coveners. But what didn‘t happen was Coveners asking Solitaries questions. Could this be because they originally began as Solitaries? Probably, and so they had already answered their questions long ago with the decision to work within a Coven. There was the usual stuff about needing a more formal or structured stage to learn, ritualise within etc. which is great for those who need it. For those who don‘t; those who are content to follow or, as in my own case, blunder their way along their own spiritual path, a solitary journey (with, if the need and invitation arises, episodes of company along the way) is quite satisfactory. It is no less a spiritual path to the individual. I had the opportunity to ask a woman from interstate about her particular Coven. Curiosity sake only as she mentioned she was re-forming her old Coven; one that had lapsed, disbanded, folded – or whatever happened to it. This particular Coven was definitely a hierarchal one with Coven members being placed wherever she pleased based purely on her own personal likes and dislikes. Family members especially were given automatic High Priest/Priestess status based purely on their affinity with the moon or their penchant for being ‗night‘ people. Close friends were elevated to High Priest/ Priestess level even though they had not undergone any formal training with this Coven or this particular Coven convenor or worked their way through any levels of initiation. I concede that this may have been due to its reforming and therefore there may not have been trained Coven members from which to choose ‗executives‘ from. This particular Coven was a teaching one and one where novices progressed through levels. Her attitude and opinion of any other spiritual path other than her own was derogatory, offensive, very ignorant of and dismissive; using such words as gobbledygook to describe their teachings and

spiritual paths. Hers was the one and only true path. (Now where have I heard that before?) Her Coven follows a certain understanding of what is what – Earth, Moon and Sun etc., and their way is simple and pure and as ancient as time itself. She then went on to say that her Coven teaches respect for all and that they are not self-righteous nor do they use all that useless and time consuming mumbo jumbo that others use. (?) Her tone was decidedly self-righteous and patronising and I can only wonder at why her Coven lapsed in the first place. Then there are those Covens who are so strict on where their members can and cannot go to learn other things that I find it all a bit restrictive and not in the least conducive to acquiring knowledge unless it is by their Coven leader‘s own offerings which make it very one- sided and very limiting. I know that not all Covens are like this, and I understand the need to have novices, students etc. being focussed and not having their interests fractured or scattered while trying to teach them, but these particular examples would put many of the people I know off ever being part of a Coven. As a Solitary (who occasionally works with other groups if invited and if I wish to) I am protected from such contradictory personalities, answer to no one except myself or my deity. I make the rules, I can break the rules and only I will be affected by 12

Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

anything I do or do not do. I do what I want, when and how I want. There is no hierarchy – there is only me. I have the greatest respect for any other‘s rituals, circles etc. that I may be included in and will follow their ways and means of doing things with reverence and respect. And I expect the same from anyone who may join me in my rituals or circle work. That is how it should be. While I may not agree with some of the things they do or the way they do it, I respect their right to do and have things their way. I do not regard it as mumbo jumbo or gobbledygook. I have felt great love, great power and energy emitting to and from other people‘s rituals and circles. I have enjoyed the experience of something different to my own practices and always learn something from them. It may be something I take back to practice within my own circle or rituals or it may simply be that I understand why it won‘t work for me. But my path – which cannot be given a name other than that which I call it myself – is strong. On my path (which has included working with others at times) I have learned much, I am content and learning still. It is not lesser than anyone else‘s. It creates its own credibility and that credibility only has to satisfy me. I am not on this path to show off to anyone else – that is not what a spiritual path should

be about. However, I am willing to pass on any knowledge I have to anyone interested to learn; the whole exercise being that they will take that knowledge and do with it what and how it suits them best. I am not after apprentices or raising people to levels that I do not ascribe to myself. They say the teacher will always come – but I believe we are all teachers along this path and that we are all students as we all continue to learn. Some will want to learn, teach and work within a Coven format or atmosphere. For some there is a need for structure and collective focus, input and support. They will want to have concrete evidence of growth or level of attainment or initiation to prove their worth, the worth of the path they have chosen and the collective praise and acknowledgement of fellow travellers. And that is good. A Solitary is quite happy within their own journey not to have to prove themselves to anyone else. They may have followed or completed some sort of basic learning module, through books, on-line or within a group to give them grounding from which to develop and evolve their spiritual path. Belief and faith in their own ability to do within and follow their own spiritual path is as strong as it needs to be. The only hierarchal order is – they are the one; they the only, and that is all there needs to be. And that is good. **Thanx Ange from SA‟s Silver Wheel newsletter for the use of an interesting article. And to Dalali for the content. ED Images sourced from w ic ca_ re ligi on _ cov e n s.h tm l an d h tt p: // solitary_witch.jpg

ou no longer jumpers that y 's en m y n a e Do you hav use? If they are in good condition, Zahira is happy to take them off your hands. They will be boxed up with other donations and given to Gran's Van (food van in Devonport) to be given out to homeless people. The Winter cold is quickly starting to settle in and your jumper could bring warmth to someone who really needs it. Jumpers can be brought to the Launceston moots in May, June and July.


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

We feel powerful tides ebb and flow in our emotions, our bodies, depending on the phases of the moon. We feel her push us and then tighten the pull. The energy of the moon is a personal journey... the moon's pull on your own internal waters.

Profile of a Goddess: Ix Chel, Goddess of the Moon Translation: Lady Rainbow Religion: Maya; from about 2600 BCE to 900 AD Form: Ix Chel is a triple goddess, with three forms corresponding to the three phases of the moon. In her first aspect (waxing crescent moon), Ix Chel is the Maiden with flowing hair and full breasts. She holds a rabbit in her arms which symbolises fertility. In the second (full moon) phase, Ix Chel is depicted as the Mother, a pregnant woman dressed in bright clothes she has woven. Ix Chel‘s third aspect (waxing moon) is the Crone, wrinkled and hunched, wearing a skirt of crossed bones. she holds an inverted jar from which water pours. A serpent sits coiled on her head as a headdress or is held in her hand, signifying transformation, just as the snake sheds its skin and emerges renewed. AKA: Chak Chel, Ixchel, Ixazalvoh, Chibilias, Ix Kanleom (Spider's Web Catching the Morning Dew), the Queen, Our Mother, the White Lady, Goddess of Becoming. AKA in other Mythologies: Approximately 70 moon goddesses exist in 38 religions, ranging from Myesyats (Slavic) to Arebati (Pygmy). Polynesian mythology has nine moon goddesses, Hindu seven, and Greek five. The other 35 religions each have one or two moon goddesses. Some represent different phases of the moon's cycle, some provide an explanation for the moon's purpose and its relation to the sun; most represent woman's creative power and fertility. Her Story: In the heavens, Ix Chel fell in love with the Sun God, Kinich Ahaum, and followed him as he journeyed through the sky. She won his love by impressing him with beautiful weaving skills she learned by watching a spider. Her possessive grandfather, angered by this union, hurled a lightning bolt at Ix Chel, instantly killing her. Hundreds of dragonflies congregated and sang over her fallen body for 13 days and 13 nights until she emerged from her death-sleep to reunite with Kinich Ahau. The Sun God eventually became jealous of Ix Chel, accusing her of having an affair with his brother, the Morning Star, who was always near by. He banished Ix Chel from the sky and so she took sanctuary with the Vulture Deity. Kinich Ahau soon returned and persuaded Ix Chel to come back with him. She did, but before long he again became jealous, and so Ix Chel left once more, this time of her own accord, taking the form of a sphere of white light that disappears whenever the sun comes near.

Ix Chel's triple aspects tell us the story of creative powers and the natural flow of existence through the phases of the moon. The Maiden holds the promise of fertility at the beginning of both the monthly and life cycles. Seen as the waxing moon, she is a vessel filling up-she grows, she changes, and she affects all those around her as she pulls the flow of water. The Mother is the full moon pregnant with light; round and encompassing like the womb. We flow in the waters of creation, and we experience the moon's pull, yearning for her when she calls. Ix Chel, our Goddess of the Moon, is the life force within and without. She lies within the pregnant moon, flowing through her own transformation, and yet she holds us within her womb as we flow through ours. The Crone shows us the inevitable end of the cycle as she pours the creative waters from her waning, crescent moon. She rages 'against the dying of the light' (as Dylan Thomas put it). In her fury she empties her vessel into the world through rain, floods and violent storms. Always transforming, ever changing; Ix Chel diminishes in size before her luminescence extinguishes altogether. As always the cycle begins again, whether the ebb and flow of daily creativity or the cycle of a long life. Meditation: Go to a quiet outdoor place where you can view Ix Chel at night in the aspect you would like to meditate on. In the waxing moon phase, you may want to consider promise of the future, hope, fertility or growth. The full moon may invoke creative powers, realization of wishes, understanding of the fullness that your life holds now, moments pregnant with possibility. You may want to fully acknowledge the full moon's pull on your body's fluids. This takes some open awareness and focus, but once accomplished, you become so attuned to the moon that you sense when it is full even if you don't actually witness it. You may want to meditate on the waning moon when you need to focus on the natural process of life and how the passing of one feeds the creation of another. Consider this phase as a legacy of creative forces we share with others. Remember that the crescent moon's beauty is the same whether it's waxing or waning. Honor whichever phase you choose to meditate upon and all it holds in that moment. Music to feel Ix Chel by: sombramenu.html 'Sombra de la Luna' by Scott August Profile by Carol Koleman

Interpretation: Seemingly gentle and unobtrusive, the force of the moon possesses great power. It directs the tides, lights our way in the night and invokes quiet introspection. Observe closely; the moon affects us not only externally; you may feel


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune By Alan Richardson Publisher - Llewellyn Publications ISBN 0738715808

Just before Christmas I got a couple of books from Rosney Library. The First one is called “Where Science and Magic Meet” by Serena Roney-Dougal, and the second is “Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune” by Alan Richardson.

Where Science & Magic Meet By Serena Roney-Dougal Publisher - Green Magic ISBN 9780956188618

The book by Alan Richardson ―Aleister Crowley and Deon Fortune‖ starts not with their births but with their deaths and works backwards. Neither Crowley nor Fortune actually met although they correspond. When Crowley was once asked what would he do if he met her? He said that he would smack her on the backside and bugger her!

The first book ―Where Science and Magic

Meet‖, the chapter called ‗The Subliminal Mind‘ deals with her experience gained as a parapsychologist studying psychical research and medium-ship through the ages. Subsequent chapters deal with the how and why of magic. A useful insight into the practicing of magic is her six points of achieving results. Number one is Attitude; that you are really working toward something that will actually work. The second point is Relaxation; which is self-explanatory. All thoughts of the day, worries of any kind must be dispelled. Thirdly, concentration deals not only with the left brain but with the whole of your being just as a child is engrossed with his play. Visualisation is the fourth point and is the art of imagination. See in your mind‘s eye what you want to achieve. Fifth is emotion, put power into your words and thoughts. Lastly, Zen action is achieved through non action: do not try to force the issue through.

Some of the most fascinating information I found was in the first part of the book regarding the Second World War. Heinrich Himmler was deeply involved in magic. In some ways he could be seen as a new age type, yet he created one of the most ruthless organizations of all time. His headquarters was at Wewelsburg, a medieval castle where the secret inner order met once a year. He created something like the Knights of the Round Table with a huge oak table. Twelve gruppenfuhrers* sat with coat-of-arms displayed behind them. Under the building was the realm of the dead where the coats-of-arms of a deceased member was burnt and worshiped. There are tales of severed heads of SS officers which the group endeavored to contact the ghost of the Saxon king Henry the fowler. Himmler was not the only one who was interested in magic. The man who lay behind Hitler was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni . He hated everything that was western and especially the British who were in control of Iraq at the time. German magicians including the SS used their powers to subvert the group mind of the British nation into surrender. The British however did not just sit back and take it. ‗British magicians rolled up their sleeves took up their wands and in their own quiet ways proceeded to give the Nazis a hammering. A special occult group code named P7 run by commander Denton Soams RN used telepathic powers to deflect German bombers into ambush with the RAF. Both wizards and witches were employed to finally defeat the Nazis on the inner planes.

When it came to the chapter on the pineal gland i.e. the third eye, I was totally out my depth. With discussions on serotonin and melatonin, methoxytetrahydrobetacarboline and monoamine oxidase I was completely lost. A chapter on standing stones within the British Isles I found absorbing. It seems as though they are centered on geological faults mainly to the West and North of the country where as the East of England where I come from, which is very flat, there are none. On page 225, ‗Paganism Today‘, she comes out of the closet saying that she is a witch. She goes on to say that there are many different ideas and opinions out there but if you ask any one of these people why, for example, they wish to congregate at Stonehenge for a Summer Solstice? Only a very few articulate ones will be able to tell you why, and even they will be fuzzy in their logic and rational, because the driving force is not reason or logic, but an unstoppable need to be there then.

At the end of the book are several appendices, the first one being of interest to wiccans. Set out are the various similarities between Crowley‘s work and that of Gerald Gardner. By Peter Seekings

Over all, it is very interesting but not for everyone. On page 224 a reader has highlighted the words, ―mainly men it is interesting to note, men having been the active perpetrators of the worst horrors in the name of materialism‖ - A second reader has written, ―Bloody Dike‖!

(*Gruppenführer became an SS rank and was originally bestowed upon those officers who commanded SS-Gruppen and also upon senior officers of the SS command staff. ED)


Homemade Silver Cleaner To keep our pendants and rings pristine for the next Sabbat or witchy outing, here are some cost effective ideas that are worth giving a try. As you know a dirty film called tarnish builds up over the surface of silver, brass, copper and other metals all caused from being exposed to the air. It is commonly dull grey or black grime, tarnish can also accumulate from oil, perfume and make-up. What we need is a hassle free home remedy, something cheap, chemical free and safe to use on delicate silver chains and gems. Silver cleaner recipe 1 Ingredients:  3 parts baking soda  1 part water Cleaning Directions: Combine the ingredients to make a paste, and apply it to your silver jewellery gently with an old used toothbrush. Silver is a soft metal so be careful not to scrape and rub too hard, but gently rub the paste onto the jewellery to clean it. Next, rinse the paste off and dry the silver thoroughly. *This method is only for silver jewellery, not for porous stones such as pearls, coral, or opal. Silver cleaner recipe 2 Ingredients:  Aluminium Foil  Table Salt  Water

Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

silver you are cleaning. If a large quantity of silverware or large object is to be cleaned, you can use your kitchen sink. Line the container or your sink with aluminium foil (with the shiny side up). Add warm to hot water to your container so that it will cover the piece(s) of silver. Sprinkle a liberal amount of table salt on the foil (about 2-3 tablespoons per cup of water). Add your silver piece(s) to the container so they are touching the aluminium foil and are covered with water. Let sit for 15 minutes then buff with a soft cloth. Tip: If your silver pieces are heavily tarnished, you may need to clean them multiple times. You will want to change the water and salt with each cleaning. Silver Cleaner recipe 3 Ingredients:  Lemon  Soft cloth Cleaning Directions: Slice lemon in half, hold one side of the lemon and rub over the silver, when the lemon collects grime, use the other side of the lemon. Rinse under warm water and buff with a soft cloth Silver Cleaner recipe 4 Ingredients:  1 cup whole milk  3 teaspoons cream of tartar Cleaning Directions: Mix milk and cream of tartar, let soak overnight. Rinse with cold water and wipe dry. Silver Cleaner recipe 5 Ingredients:  1 cup whole milk  1 tablespoon of vinegar Cleaning Directions: Mix milk and vinegar, let soak overnight. Rinse with cold water and polish with a soft cloth.

Cleaning Directions: Select a baking dish or bowl the size of the piece(s) of


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Crafty Yule ideas for Kids (big kids too!) Tea-light table decoration Sometimes all you need is a simple table centre piece for your Yule dinner party or a few cute tea-light holders for a Solstice altar. This craft activity is perfect, easy for kids to create and economical too, most of the equipment needed will be found around the house. You will need  x20 glass marbles  round disc of mirror, metal (a jar lid sprayed silver is ideal)  Hot glue gun + glue sticks  tea light candle  Small piece of blue-tac Adhere the glass marbles to the outer rim of the round disc – using plenty of glue, until the marbles meet, then glue on the remaining marbles for the second row. Use the blue-tac to hold the tea-light candle in place.

... 2 ...


Belly Art Caro is looking for models to paint for free – this is a fantastic opportunity! She is need of some beautiful pregnant bellies to build up her belly painting/body art portfolio. Caro is local to Northwest Tassie, but is willing to travel to your baby bump! What a fantastic idea for a baby shower or birth blessing ritual… She is also available for events, birthdays, functions and has recently branched out into body art. Carolyn Henwood from Caro's Face and Body Painting Facebook page - Carolyn Henwood Phone: 0437 468 067 • Email:


... and 3!

Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Path: I guess I don‘t follow a specific path. If I had to say what would describe my path I would say Druid. I always try to keep an open mind and have looked at many belief systems but find the Druid path is the closest to what I believe. Favourite song of all time?: Hmmmm that's a hard one. I love lots of songs. I would say my favourite Pagan song would be ‗We all come from the Goddess‘

Pagan celebrity [author or artist] that you’d like to meet? Lucy Cavendish. Love her art work! Which is the most regular moot you attend? Launceston Pagans in the pub.

Most recent pagan interest or activity: Would have to be my wedding on Summer solstice. We had an amazing Druid ceremony. I'm trying to get back into a morning ritual of playing my flute in gratitude to the day.

Runes or Tarot? Tarot

Favourite Sabbat and why? Can I have two? I love Samhain and Beltane. I love Beltane as it is when I got together with my Husband Chris and I love Samhain as it‘s near my birthday and appeals to the darker side of me and I thinks it‘s the most fun!

Legs, boobs or bum? Legs.

Wine, beer, mead or spirits? Mead would be my first choice. Favourite movie? Avatar

Got some Pagan Ink to share? Send it to the Editor at

Favourite Pagan Sabbat: Samhain Favourite Ravens' Call article? Love them all

First Pagan you book you brought? I can‘t remember I have so many! I bought my first Tarot deck when I was about 12. What would you like to be remembered for? My art work and my loud laugh ;-) Thank you Cindy for taking part in our Pagan Profile xxx ED

Terri’s Tree of Life. A symbol of grounding, strength, renewal and family.


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

The Compost Heap suggests a venture out into the garden. Something earthy, seasonal and full of worms… Samhain - This is the time of the year we will all (hopefully) be reaping the benefits of our garden – no matter how large or small. Pumpkins of course are well known at this time of the year, both as food and decoration as lanterns. The apple tree has its connections to Samhain. The apple is considered an underworld fruit, food of the Gods and of the dead, they also symbolise love and temptation. In some stories apples are food of the people of the faerie; anyone who would enter the underworld must avoid them or never return to their own place and time. Apple also mean fertility, 13 apples were buried after the harvest had been gathered to ensure next years yield would be bountiful. Apple spells – to ensure lasting happiness in love, cut an apple in half and share it with your lover – for who have shared the flesh (of the apple!) are ever united to the land of dreams. An apple kept under the pillow ensures fertility. An apple can be peeled in a spiral and the whole strip thrown over the left shoulder, without looking. The shape in which the peel falls is the initial of a future love. As the days shorten and the veggie garden slows down, now is a great time to prepare the soil for spring, planting a ―green‘ manure crop such as oats, peas, that are then dug into feed the soil. Manure, kelp and compost will all build the soil up ready for future plantings. There is no need to miss out on health giving veggies at this time. Sprouts are a great alternative, green lentil sprouts are the easiest. Fill a wide necked jar ¼- 1/3 with green lentils, top up with rain water, cover with a gauze/muslin top, leave for 24 hours – drain and rinse. (No need to remove the muslin/gauze – net curtains work well too) repeat in 24 hours as necessary until lentils sprout (keep out of sunlight) These sprouts go well in salads, open sandwiches and soups etc. Blessings Debbie


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Winter is supposed to be a time for rest and hibernation, but even with Jack Frost tapping on my windows things have been busy as ever at Tas PA Headquarters! With less than 100 days until the Australian Wiccan Conference is here, as well as moots and the Raven‘s Call happening as normal, things are definitely not in their winter slumber! Things are going well with the planning of the Conference – check out the report for all the latest goss! In the meantime, there is plenty happening – including, that time of year again, membership renewals! So don‘t forget to fill out the form on the back of this edition with your current details, and shoot it through to us with your $20 (or $30 for joint members). No price rise this year, and we hope that you will continue to be our treasured member for another 12 months. Also, with Yule upon us, we have given you a little Yule gift to say thanks for your support – the Raven stickers were very popular last time, so I hope you enjoy your purple version! Another thing to look out for in the coming months is the Census which is occurring in August. This year PAN are pushing the Pagan Dash campaign harder than ever, so that pagans of all paths can be counted as one. There‘s some more information in here on the Pagan Dash campaign, so be sure to have a read and show the world how many of us there really are! Blessings, Jess

2011 Membership Renewals As the last of the autumn leaves have made their annual descent, it's that time of year again for – membership renewals! $20 for singles, $30 for couples – if you only joined up this year in the months April, May or June, and paid the full $20 or $30 (as opposed to the adjusted amount of $5) then you won‘t need to pay until this time next year. At the end of your Ravens' Call there is a form to complete - either snail mail to our postal address, hand the form into your local moot convener or visit our Pagan Alliance web site and complete the online form. This will help us correct any changed information including new email address etc - also the option for electronic Ravens' Call issues. We hope you‘ll join us for another fantastic 12 months! Don‘t forget that if you pay for an additional year, you receive a $5 discount. TPA Bank account details: Tasmanian Pagan Alliance Inc. Commonwealth Bank of Australia BSB: 067-002 Account: 1034 4140

TPA Snail mail address: PO Box 1127 Launceston TAS 7250


TPA web site address:

Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

What is PAGANdash?

In 2011 there is to be a Census in Australia and we pagans and witches need to stand up and be counted.

 

Due to the way the Australian Bureau of Statistics counts religious affiliation responses, we pagans end up having our number diluted across a number of categories. This means that every time we are asked the question, "How many of you are there?" we cannot come back with a simple answer. We can avoid this! All you need to do is put down your religion as: Pagan - <insert your chosen path> Some examples Pagan - Druid Pagan - Wiccan Pagan - Witch Pagan - Nature/Earth based Pagan - Asatru Pagan - Polytheist Pagan - Pantheist Pagan - Dianic Pagan - Shaman etc Why do we need to "Stand up and be counted?" For too long we have been a culture that is hidden, with each branch going their separate but similar ways. With the modern era pounding its relentless message of conformity our natural ways have been left behind, each of us unsure whether others follow the same principle as we do. Why do we need to know? The simple facts are that there were significant numbers of us who registered our belief structures with the 2001 census -- some 10,052. While this number is significant, in the course of speaking to pagans face-to-face we found there were probably only 1 in 5 who had expressed their beliefs. This leaves a gaping hole in trying to find just how many pagans there are.

Is it Safe? Many people have mentioned to us that they have concerns that if they mention their religion in the census they will be "outed" to their neighbours and the people they work with. Research has shown that there is strict legislation controlling privacy in any census material. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has carefully monitored processes in place to ensure your anonymity. They have directly assured us that no personal information you supply will be linked to you and that there is no way it can be. All name and address data is removed from the forms prior to them being sent in to the Bureau. There are heavy fines and jail terms for any census collector who breaks any of these laws. More information about the privacy act in relation to the census past and present can be found here. If you have any questions please contact The Australian Bureau of Statistics. So, what can you do to help?       

Tell your friends! Download a poster from Download a flyer from Buy a bumper sticker (Coming Soon) Bring it up at your next meet Put a link on your website Give us your ideas about how to get the word out

Help spread the Word! For more information, please head to the website

If the Bureau of Statistics has our true numbers... 

we can apply for our own celebrants, recognised religious leaders and services within our community we can ask for consideration for grants and have your taxes go back into your community Pagan organisations will have credibility when dealing with both businesses and the government to provide the services you need.

we can then be officially recognised as a serious religious choice the government can see that we vote and there are enough of us to make a difference


Moot Report – Launceston, May Its that time of year where everyone seems to have the flu or a cold, and unfortunately the winter bugs managed to find Rose this month! So in Rose‘s absence we decided to postpone the topic she had for us. The cold didn‘t deter too many this month, and over hot soups and other goodies (Alchemy has FINALLY updated its menu, including more vegetarian options, horah! and the food quality is much better too) we chatted about the Conference, upcoming workshops, Zahira‘s continuing fundraiser for the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals. We oooohed and aaaahed over the latest goodies that have been donated for the Australian Wiccan Conference raffle, and Mel was the winner of our monthly raffle, a lovely oracle card set donated to us by moot regular Sandra Snow! Next month we will return to Rose‘s original plan, which is a group discussion on ―Myths & Misunderstandings of Paganism, Witches and Wiccans‖. We will be asking people to write down examples of myths and misunderstandings, putting them into a hat, then drawing them out at random and having a group discussion.

Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

North-West Moot Report When: 2nd Thursday of every month Where: Burnie RSL, 36 Alexander St Start Time: 6:00pm Contact: Irene - St Helens Moots When: First Sunday of every month Where: ‗Something Fabulous‘, Shop 1/7 Pendrigh Place Start Time: 3:00pm onwards Contact: Debbie - Launceston Report When: Last Tuesday of every month Where: Alchemy Bar, 90 George St Launceston Time: 7:00pm onwards Contact: Rose - Southern Moots When: First Thursday of every month Where: New Sydney Hotel - 87 Bathurst St Time: 6:30pm onwards Contact: Allannah -

The next moot will be on Tuesday 28th June, from 7pm onwards in the back area of Alchemy Bar. We hope to see you there, and we hope Rose gets well soon!


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Belly Dancing / Drumming /

Learnt to read Oracle Cards with Jo

Learn to Read Oracle Cards

Oracle cards can provide an insight and positive outlook for

Workshops in Launceston, July 10th







questions. Attendees will learn how to read different oracle card spreads, how to use more than one pack in a

Belly Dancing by the Stars with Zahira

reading and then spend time practicing and developing

You‘ll learn some fun, easy to remember combinations

their intuition by reading for each other. You are

inspired by the element of water and Keti Sharif‘s

welcome to bring your own cards or use those supplied

‗Astrobelly‘. We‘ll then put them together in a

by Jo.


Jo will also bring some packs available for purchase.

flowing routine to live drumming provided by

Time: 10:15am—11:45am

Razi. If time allows, attendees will have the opportunity to heartstorm a water combination together, with

Venue is the Tasmanian Academy of Dance

guidance from Zahira. Bring a hip scarf or some will be available for loan. Time: 12:00pm—1:30pm

Cost is $27 per workshop. Pay by June 20th and receive a $5.00 discount on each workshop. All enrolments must be received by July 5th.

Middle Eastern Drumming with Razi You‘ll learn correct hand technique, how to hit the drum to

Contact Zahira from Zahira’s Belly Dance Bazaar

make different sounds and two Middle Eastern

0418 139 826


You'll then learn a strong, almost hypnotic

rhythm that will remind you of the ebb and flow of an ocean tide. Those who attended the Belly Dance workshop will already be familiar with this rhythm, having danced to it. BYO drum. A small amount of drums are available for hire at $5.00 each. Time: 2:15pm – 3:45pm


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

While for many pagans visualisation and meditation are the cornerstones of their practice and can be done without the need for any tools whatsoever, working with magically charged or energized equipment can enhance rituals and solidify spell casting. You are the conductor of your own personal power, not the moonstone pendant worn during the full moon or the candles alight in honour of the Gods – neither can you generate strength through a consecrated athame…but you can complement magical endeavours and reinforce spiritual belief through creating meaningful implements that work in usefulness and harmony with you.

Cord Magick By Jess

The cord can be used for a range of magical activities. Most people automatically think of the classic binding, but a cord can also be used in the process of creating or consecrating other tools and talismans by wrapping the tool or talisman up with the cord and then ritually releasing it.

Knot and cord magick has been found in art and literature of all cultures and ancient religions. Although not the first witches tool that comes to mind, the cord is a very practical and simple tool, and a great way to make magick.

The binding aspect of cords can be a positive one, consider the act of hand-fasting as a positive binding that weaves lives together.

A cord can be made of any type or rope or string, and can either be purchased ready to go, or hand made in a length and colour that either suits the purpose or the witch whose cord it will be. As with all magickal tools, making it yourself is a much more powerful way of acquiring a tool.

Cords can also be employed in spell work and arguably the most famous example of this is knot magic. Nine knots are tied in a particular order ( 3--7--5--9--1--8--4--6--2) evenly spaced along the cord and a chant can be spoken over each knot as they are tied.

When making your cord, consider the sort of uses it might have. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings, because these thoughts and feelings will be entwined into your cord. A great way to keep focused on making your cord with good energy is with this chant: Made to Measure Wrought to Bind Blessed Be This Cord Entwined Once you have made your cord, it is now ready to use!

Just remember, a spell always remains in a cord, so only release the knots when you wish to release the spell! This is an example of a basic chant used when using cord magick: By knot of one the spells begun By knot of two it cometh true By knot of three so mote it be 24

Ravensâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; Callâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Autumn/Winter 2011

By knot of four forever more By knot of five the spells alive By knot of six the magic fix By knot of seven all under heaven By knot of eight the stroke of fate By knot of nine this thing be mine

of people a cord dance is a great way to give people meaningful participating roles in a ritual without having to learn lines or complicated actions. For a simple cord dance about 8-10 people is about the maximum number as people will not have enough space to move otherwise.

You can bind almost any energy into a cord. Try making a cord at a particular phase of the moon or during different times of the day to capture the energy of those times for later use.

For larger numbers of people and a more dramatic layered effect you can use different lengths of cord in your dance. This gives the effect of several concentric circles of people joined by their cords at the centre.

A method of raising energy to be used during a ritual is the cord dance. The cord dance uses cords looped together and held in a wheel pattern by several members of a group. The cords are held tightly and the group walks or runs around in a circle. This is usually accompanied by chanting or song. At the peak of the dance the participants throw the cords in the air and the energy is focused through the cords and released.

If you want to learn to be more creative with cords you can explore their use within the context of a larger series of rituals. One example of this is to create eight cords one, for each of the Sabbats. Then empower them by arranging them in order and performing a cord dance with them. Use thread colours, numbers or other correspondences when you create the cords to enhance their Sabbat connections. The great thing about cord magick is that because it is simple, you can add into it your own ideas and energies.

The trick to looping the cords for a cord dance is to make sure each cord is looped through all the other cords and not just the one opposite it as this keeps all the cords in the centre and stops them sliding about.

And finally, Wiccan poet Enadus reminds us: A knot is not a useless thing It keeps in place with rope and string Not all kept is hard or soft Knots can keep wishes, hope and thoughts Held by magick knots we make For life and love not to forsake. -Enadus

The cord dance can also be used to empower an object, brew, bowl of water etc. The cords are looped together and danced over the object then at the peak of the dance the cords can be placed over the object and the energy allowed to discharge into the object. If you are ever running a ritual with large numbers 25

Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

White Grandfather Sage - Salvia apiana (white sage, bee sage or sacred sage) So what‘s the big deal? Why does everyone go ‗gar gar‘ over white sage? Right, I‘ll grow some. I gathered loads of advice from various herb growers, some encouraging – some voices of doom. 60 seeds, I was optimistic, and from those seeds only 2 white sage plants eventuated. One I kept in a large terracotta pot and the other I plonked into a garden bed. Both did really well over the summer, reaching a small height of only about 40cm. However I do understand why white sage is very much sort after, especially for smudge stick bundles, the leaves and storks are extremely pungent and feel sticky with oil. I harvested the sage with gloves on! Smudging: White Broadleaf Sage, considered the King of all sages, is used as main ingredient of smudge sticks, when it is bundled up whole and dried. One end of a smudge stick is lit and then blown out, so that it smoulders and smokes, these properties being used for purification and cleansing. White Sage is the prominent ingredient in smudge sticks, but sweet grass, cedar and lavender are also used. If you can grow your own herbs for smudging, it will retain the spirituality of the herb. Or sage can be burnt in an incense bowl or abalone shell, and the smoke brushed around the room, using a feather as a fan. The herb is also an excellent one for meditation and divination. By Mel


Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011

Healing Wand This is the $35 healing wand that I purchased at the Body & Soul Festival this year (March 12-14th) from Gary the Clairvoyant‘s stand. While I didn‘t have a reading with Gary he had lots of other things to catch the eye including sculpted crystals in the shape of angels, hearts and animals. The healing wand was what attracted me though as I had not seen anything like this before. It is made up of 7 semi precious crystals that have been glued together and faceted into the shape of a healing wand. The 7 stones represent the seven chakras and include (from the base) red jasper, carnelian, yellow calcite, new jade, sodalite, blue tourmaline and amethyst. I thought it would be perfect to use in crystal healings to help balance and energise the Chakra‘s. I‘ve since found it handy to use when I just want to give myself a quick 10 minute energy and balancing session as it rests nicely between the solar plexus and heart chakras. For me the Body & Soul Festival this year was all about healing in its various different forms. There were many psychics, healers and healing products available; including aura-soma, reflexology, kinergetics, natural beauty and health products, crystals, clothing, jewellery and books. There were numerous entertainers on the main stage throughout the weekend including our very own belly dancer Zahira and Richard Littlefeather who played the Native American flute and drums. There were also a variety of free workshops, seminars and meditations to attend up stairs each day. For more information about the Body & Soul Festival visit J.P Corvinus

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Ravens‘ Call—Autumn/Winter 2011