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Ravens’ Call

THE TASMANIAN PAGAN ALLIANCE, INC. NEWSLETTER SUMMER/AUTUMN 2012

NUMBER 55


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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

Contents

the Team State Coordinator Jess Steers taspainc@gmail.com Image thanks to katiesevignyart.org

Regional Coordinator

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Editorial

Mel Dolliver melsteers76@yahoo.com

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Eye of Newt

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Luna Journey

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AWC Wrap-Up Report

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AWC Maypole Workshop

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AWC Sewing Bee

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Wendy Rule Concert & Workshop

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Feature: The Power of Woman

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Familiar Friends

Secretary Mandhi Allen

Treasurer

Internet Interest

Terri Baran thegeekwitch@gmail.com

Moot Convenors

Ravens’ Call

Editor - Mel Dolliver Hobart - Allannah Turner Launceston - Rose Dragonwulf Proof-reader - Heather Jensen North-West - Irene/Jo Corvinus Graphic Designer - Terri Baran Printer - Mandhi Allen St Helens - Debbie

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 2011-12 Tasmanian Pagan Alliance, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Green Practical Magic

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Pagan Parenting

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Profiling Tassie Pagans

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Compost Heap

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State Coordinator‘s Report Membership Renewals

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Moot Reports

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What‘s On

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Needful Things

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The Herb Obsession

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Alternative Retail Therapies

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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.

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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

Mel Dolliver - Editor

Woohoo! Yep that‘s right The Ravens‘ Call, you remember don‘t you? It‘s a local pagan newsletter published seasonally with a dedicated team of writers, designers and artists delivering to you interesting articles, reviews and reports as well as coming Witchy events…no? Well if anything can disrupt the flow of a well placed newsletter it has to be the holding an Australian Wiccan Conference! In a mass of excitement and a flurry of organisation the poor ol‘ Ravens‘ Call rested on the far reaches of the inbox, waiting patiently inside a dusty USB! However as we stretch and crack our knuckles we‘re more than happy to fluff the nest, settle in and resume some normality.

We have just attended our annual Summer Solstice event (in conjunction with the December full moon) – The Silver Broomstick awards, always an entertaining event, with an extra element; the AWC 2011 awards, mostly just for fun and always in appreciation. Look forward to photos and a report in next seasons Ravens‘ Call, unfortunately there wasn‘t enough space this time. Enjoy any holidays that come your way during the summer -

A big thank you to those fantastic people who‘ve contributed articles for this edition, it‘s been a collaboration of those with no time to spare, those with low energy, trauma and illness - so thanks again, your efforts are appreciated !!

Goddess Bless,

I‘m keeping my beady eyes peeled for new article writers for the following issue, so if you have a topic you‘d love to share – a book, CD or movie review or a report about either a moot or event you have attended, don‘t hesitate just send it to me – melsteers76@yahoo.com.au. I‘m feeling like a vampire trying to source new blood!! About the Artist Front cover: Lost in the Woods 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


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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

The Making of Chai Tea

CHAI TEA WORKSHOP WITH LISA After a late night (comatose snooze) and early morning (so excited I can‘t eat breakfast) start to the busy workshop day of the conference, Lisa‘s practical demonstration and awesome sample taste test was a welcome relaxing calm before the frenzy, very earthy grounding. Lisa has a natural way with her workshops, she subtlety organises you without being demanding, providing learning and fun and a kick-arse handout including; Chai tea history, equipment and ingredients list, recipes

½ tsp cinnamon powder

½ tsp ginger powder

½ tsp cardamom powder

½ tsp nutmeg powder

¼ tsp cloves powder

½ tsp black pepper kibbled

½ tsp ginger kibbled

½ tsp cardamom pods

½ tsp nutmeg kibbled

½ tsp whole cloves

1 cinnamon quill broken

½ c black tea leaves/green tea leaves/Rooibos

and variations and information on the healthful and magical benefits of chai.

tea leaves 

2 c milk (can be soy/rice/etc.)

1-2 tbsp honey

If Lisa offers another chai tea workshop – race you there!!

Use a mortar and pestle to break up the cardamom pods, cinnamon quill, whole cloves and nutmeg if whole. Add your spices and tea together and mix. Heat 2 cups of milk in a saucepan, add one tablespoon of the tea/spice mix and 1-2 tablespoons of honey. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until all the aromatic flavours soak into the milk. Sieve the spices and decant into mugs.

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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...

Mel & The Moon My inner yearn for the moon has been apparent for a significant time. At present this is my 35th spring, I can remember so clearly the moment I gazed upon the beauty and vitality radiating from a full moon, almost half my life‘s span ago. I was 17 and blissfully in love, my partner and I had slipped away from our noisy group of friends and were making our way through a narrow rocky path towards a known walking track. The night was balmy, perfect for a midnight foray with my sweetheart, hand in hand strolling enjoying the evening and each other‘s company, the track lead us toward a cliff that tumbled steeply into the surf below. And there she was, huge and butter yellow hanging just above the waves reflecting prettily over the ocean. Wow, I was rocked to the core. The impact of the fullness and closeness of the lunar energy was overwhelming, I felt taken over like I had no room in my mind for any other thoughts, like I had no need to do anything other than moon gaze. I remember thinking – this is important, this is real and I wanted to somehow celebrate the feeling to honour the moon in a primal almost tribal way. Finally my partner prodded me along, although the visual was lost I felt the connection was there and I feel it still. If I had of taken this experience and its need to worship or at least share with others, to the local library participating in some research, I would have found plenty of information about moon rituals, goddess, gatherings, groups, meditations, cooking, planting, music, stories, myths and lore. But at 17 I wasn‘t one for following through with anything much, life was about friends, partying, enjoying the freedom of my first car and recording everything through my camera. Maybe I just wasn‘t ready for more. Now life has evolved into a rhythm that is very focused upon both solar energy and the patterns created by the moon they are of great import to me. My emotions wax and wane with each phase, I plant my garden accordingly and I know how to read myself well, through experience, paying attention and recording my

behaviour during each moon phase. I dream deeply while the moon is waning, I become withdrawn at the dark of the moon and get fidgety and restless during the waxing phase and focused just after the three days of the full moon and I know my physical cycle is always harmonious with the full moon. My Goddess and the Moon There is no ‗one‘ particular Goddess that resonates strongly within me, other women I have discussed the moon‘s vibrations and related Goddesses with have felt a strong guiding pull with the Egyptian Goddess Isis or Celtic Goddess Bridget or Greek Goddess Diana. But for me the Moon is all Goddess together, she is the feminine energy of the Maiden, Mother and Crone. The Maiden – she is the beginning, the young Goddess of spring time new growth. She is the seed of an idea that takes hold and is full of potential. She is youth and beauty, of independence and confident of her abilities. She is uncommitted, adventurous and a free spirit. The Maiden is the phase of the waxing moon it is a time for rituals of initiation of new projects, the Maiden‘s energy can be harnessed to launch new ideas, to start a task with a fresh plate, to walk forward with renewed focus. The Mother – she is the ultimate nurturer, the mature Goddess of high summer. She is the harvest and the rose in full bloom; she is the bounty of the physical earth the mother of all. Although she is heavily pregnant and has many children at her skirts, she is wild and passionate dancing in the rain, laughing and loving her life, she is sexy and powerful. The full moon is her aspect and ceremonies at this time are centred on bringing fully formed ideas into manifestation. The Crone – she is the wise one the grandmother, she has a full life‘s experience behind her, she pulls no punches and sees clearly through the superficial surface and into the heart of truth. She has lost the beauty of youth and has turned into the hag, she has birthed many children and has lost those she loves. The Crone harnesses the phase of the waning moon, rituals at this time are of release – to let go the burdens that hold us back, to banish the things that harm us and to discard that which we no longer need.

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The Wrap-Up Report Its unreal to think back on how quickly the results of over a year‘s worth of planning is over and done with when the weekend finally comes around. Unless you‘ve been living under a pagan pet rock of epic proportions, no doubt you have heard that the Australian Wiccan Conference was a brilliant success! The Conference couldn‘t have happened without some very amazing people, some of which I would like to take the time to recognise and thank here. Firstly, is my partner-in-crime, Mel. I always knew I‘d been blessed with an amazing sister, but organising a Conference with Mel was further proof of her limitless hard work and determination. Especially when it came to picking up the ball when I‘d dropped it (for the record, don‘t go splitting up from a long-term relationship and moving home in the midst of planning a Conference, it‘s a real pain! Haha!), and keeping the cups of tea flowing when it was needed most. An equally huge thank you also goes to Terri, not only for her excellent computer skills, endless printing, time and energy, but also for her positiveness, helpfulness and general ―can do‖ attitude. For someone to launch head on into such a project when Terri had never even been to a Wiccan Conference was inspiring, humbling and amazing. Thank you Terri, we really could not have done it without you – you‘re an amazing woman! A big thank you also needs to go to Zahira for her persistence and amazing efforts as our Sponorship Goddess. We easily had the biggest, most interesting, and most profitable raffle ever seen at a Conference, which was single-handedly put together by Zahira. Not only this, but Zahira was not even able to attend the Conference to see the results of all her hard work, yet this didn‘t stop her from making the most amazing impact on the Conference ever - thank you!

Cindy and Chris were absolutely amazing helpers throughout the whole planning of the Conference. Accepting a major part in the ritual, travelling over an hour more than once to help with ritual preparation, and also lending us their amazing artistic abilities by creating an amazing banner for Spiral Dance, and so much more over the weekend, was absolutely brilliant. It‘s no wonder they are the winners of this year‘s Silver Broomstick Award! Thank you so much, the Pagan Alliance is very lucky you have members like you both. Thank yous also need to go to Irene and Jo for your sewing efforts (also despite not being able to attend the Conference), Bec for her help with registrations and the ritual, Troy and Kell for helping with the tea and coffee, and our supply of Serpentine and Stichtite, Shell and Rose for helping organise gigs for Wendy Rule, Alaina for helping with the hired bedding at the end of the Conference, and Lisa for helping organise the raffle at the Conference. No doubt there are many other people who helped out who I may of missed – thank you to you also! A Conference isn‘t a Conference without ritual, workshops and a market, and this also wouldn‘t happen without an amazing amount of people offering their time and effort free of charge. So a huge thank you to everyone who helped with the ritual, hosted a workshop or ran a stall at the market. A thanks also needs to go out to the amazing businesses who helped us also – although paid by us for their work, they not only accommodated all our requests but also were very helpful in making the Conference happen – the team at Gumleaves, Charlotte and her cooking crew, Karen Witt the amazing face painter, Rob from Launceston Lakes and Ida the cute devil, Dave the sound guy, Love Tassie water people, and Brett from Slick Promotions. And last but not least, a huge thank you to our family – without the support of our ―consorts‖ Dan and 6


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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

Shaun, Mel‘s ever tolerant kids Max and Ebony, and our amazing parents Sharyne and Steven, the Conference would never have been as good as it was, so thank you. Sometimes it‘s a bit tricky to know how an event is really going when you‘re helping make it all happen, but the smiling faces and lovely emails, phone calls and texts after is as good a gauge as any. Highlights are too many to list but some wonderful moments for me were seeing everyone‘s smiling faces around the circle at the Opening Ceremony, earwigging on the great things people had to say about the food, hearing from people about how much they enjoyed the workshops, having a quiet moment with Mel in the circle after the ritual once everyone had left to party, and the excitement of everyone after the announcement of being able to pat a real live Tasmanian Devil, and of course raising enough money to name one of our own!

One of the many tokens handed out after this year‘s ritual, hand-crafted by Mel.

Cindy, hard at work on her mural for Spiral Dance!

The Conference was an amazing journey, and I‘m really glad we took on the mammoth task. On the Sunday arvo, when everyone was packing up and heading home, one keen Conference guest asked me, ―So Jess, would you ever do another Conference?‖ to which my answer was ―No way!‖. But now, after a few months have gone past…. well, never say never 

By Jess

Everyone got to take home a small pack of our ritual incense.

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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

As a first timer never having danced the Maypole before I was quite nervous about trying it out. I had known the "theory" of Maypole, but to put it into practice with my lack of movement co-ordination was a scary prospect indeed. However after a glassful of mead I gave it a go.

Maypole Workshop

We were lined up boy, girl, boy, girl, girl pretending to be boy, girl etc, and started with a basic, "girls go left, boys go right" routine. To the tunes of Spiral Dance, we had great fun weaving in and out trying not to run into the person coming towards you. We then turned around and went in reverse to unwind the ribbons to avoid any baby-surprises! We then tried out a more complicated pattern where we paired into girl/boy or girl/girl-pretending-to-be-boy pairs and alternated weaving between and around the other pairs moving towards us. Least to say this was a bit more confusing and ended with several "tie-ups" but it was magickal all the same! At the end of the workshop everyone was pretty knackered after the big workout. I myself now feel more connected to the pagan traditions I had read/heard/seen before but it did not compare to actually taking part in it myself. I look forward to my next attendance to AWC workshops!

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By Mel Ell


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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

The (Epic) Sewing Bee!

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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

In September Wendy Rule and her fiancée Tim Van Diest gave an intimate concert at the Exeter Bakery in the City in Launceston. The venue offered a lounge area where we got to sit privately to hear the delightful music of this talented duo who are currently working on their first album together. The food was lovely and catered for by the former Chef from the very popular restaurant Fee & Me. An altar and scared space was made and it we were especially lucky to just be able to sit and chat with Wendy and Tim (after I rescued him from being locked out on the street :s) during the break. One attendee summed it up perfectly: "It was so beautiful to see Wendy here in Launceston and hear her sing, her voice is incredible and it was such a magical night, very special and auspicious, I felt like I floated away into another world....Thank-you Wendy!!!! " ~ Rose

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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

As if giving two concerts in two days wasn't enough, the next day Wendy Rule held a workshop on Ritual Meditation in Launceston. By using song, music and percussion we got to meditate and go deeply into all of the elements over 3 hours which was an amazing experience for everyone-be they new to meditation or regulars of the practice. As Wendy herself describes it: "Joined by my partner Timothy Van Diest, we create improvised soundscapes to lead us into deep ritual. With each element, I sing myself into a sacred trance, and fluidly move between song and spoken word meditation. As a group, we cast circle, dance, sing and laugh together. A rare opportunity to be in intimate Ritual space together. Truly transformative and definitely magical". A lovely altar was set up in the middle of the area and we enjoyed a wonderful feast provided by everyone who attended at lunchtime. We even got to get in some retail therapy as the workshop was held at Serenity Gongs & Gifts and many of us took home new items that day. With people attending from Deloraine, Burnie and Launceston we really had a fantastic afternoon and it was a reaffirming experience for me to feel so closely connected to the elements and Mother Earth energies again. The wonderful energies from and between Wendy and Tim just intensified the experience of the workshop too. Other participants gave glowing feedback too including: "I found the workshop with Wendy brought a refreshing renewal of my connection to the elements. So easy to get caught up in the work-and-worry whirl and forget to connect - this workshop got me back in touch with the basics!" Another participant stated: "Fantastically magickal...the workshop was completely spiritual and energized!" I personally have attended several of Wendy's workshops over the years and this one has left the biggest impression upon me. I look forward to her next return to our Isle and I'm sure I'm not alone.

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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

The Power of Woman When the Goddess Seems So Far Away By Lisa Bolton (10th Nov 2011) OK, so I agreed to write some articles for RC, Goddess Mel is very persuasive. So I sat around for a day, wondering what amazing spiritual insights I can offer, what deep and meaningful things I can write about while I‘m stuck in a hospital room that has no fresh air or light, and is in no way connected to the real organic world. The Goddess seems very far away when you‘re in such a clinical masculine environment. Then I thought, I‘m having a very different sort of life experience, something just as worthy of being written about, even if I can offer no spiritual insight or deep thoughts. As a woman, problems with one‘s pregnancy are devastating. You feel like you‘ve failed as a woman, failed to protect your growing baby, failed womankind and the Goddess by somehow not being strong enough or good enough to simply breeze through pregnancy. I felt like this after my first Caesarean Section, that my body had let me down at the final hour and that I wasn‘t worthy enough to give birth to my son the ―normal‖ way. I also felt tremendous anger that my pregnancy had been made into a medical condition and had been ―taken over‖ so that my natural instincts were stomped down and ridiculed. When I wanted to walk around the room while in labour, I was strapped to the bed with a monitor over my belly. When I wanted to lie down and sleep for a while, I was made to get up. And at the end of 2 days of labour in hospital I was told ―You‘re taking too long, we need the room for a private patient, so we‘re going to give you a Caesarean.‖ It took me a long time to get over this experience and to even contemplate having another child. My second pregnancy was uneventful, just the usual morning sickness, then another Caesarean birth. This current pregnancy…. Well it‘s pretty eventful. Where to begin? I suppose at the beginning.

After a routine 23 week ultrasound scan, I was informed that I had very little amniotic fluid around my baby and that I had a very low-lying placenta. I was then told that I had to go to Hobart to have a more definitive scan, as the Hobart hospital has better equipment and more experienced radiographers. My doctor then told me to expect to stay for longer and to pack a bag. Oh, and by the way, I had to be in Hobart the next day, as they had already booked the scan for me! Well, here I am. Over 3 ½ hours drive from home, away from my family and friends and missing my sons and fiancé dreadfully. I‘ve been here for 2 ½ weeks now, in the high risk Maternity Ward. I‘ve had every test under the sun, been poked and prodded, scanned and MRI‘d, made to pee in numerous test cups, been scanned with a probe (which was very disappointing, it didn‘t buzz at all), been stuck full of needles and had so much blood taken that my veins have shut down! (They really have shut down!) I‘ve been seen by surgeons, anaesthetists, diabetes educators, neonatal specialists, lactation consultants, paediatricians, dieticians, physiotherapists, endocrinologists, radiographers, social workers and general doctors. And Midwives and nurses, who are a whole other ballgame. There are nurses and there are nurses. On the whole, the nurses I‘ve seen are really great. But there‘s always one. One who delights in telling you the horror stories about the women before you who had the same medical condition, who woke up in a pool of blood and were lucky to survive surgery. One who says things like ―Don‘t worry dear, these hospital blankets are super absorbent and when you hemorrhage, you just throw them over the blood and clean the mess up yourself.‖ Or ―Jee, I‘m so glad it‘s you and not me in here, I‘m really glad you‘re the one lying in that bed, so I don‘t have to go through anything like this.‖ Or, when I say I just want some privacy to go to the toilet, ―Well, I‘ll let the next shift 12


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of nurses know you don‘t want to be disturbed, and I won‘t say that you‘re whinging or anything.‖ It should be amusing. It probably would be if I weren‘t so damn terrified. A couple days ago I met a man coming to see his partner who had just had her prem baby (at 25 weeks gestation). I saw him this morning and asked how his son was doing. He told me that he‘d died early this morning. I could see how devastated he was, and could do nothing for him, but give him a quick hug and offer my condolences. I had never met his partner, I didn‘t know her name, but I sent her a card which said ‗Dear Family, I know there is nothing I can say that will help you to feel any better, so I will not offer any platitudes. I am sad for you beyond words that your son passed away. I hope your family can stay strong for you and give you lots of support so you can heal, and I hope they realise that this will take time. If you would like to talk to someone who isn‘t family, but one who understands what you went through prior to your son‘s birth and who also understands a measure of the pain you‘re feeling now, I am here, to listen.‖ I was very surprised when she came to see me and thank me for the card. She told me about how she had to make the decision to turn off her son‘s life support so he wouldn‘t suffer anymore and how he‘d taken his last breaths in her arms. She showed me the pictures she‘d taken of him, and told me about the records the nurses had kept for her. She told me a very familiar story of a routine scan and being rushed to Hobart. And the weeks of tests, scans, doctor visits and preparing for the worst. I was so honoured that she would share this touching personal journey with me. I was moved beyond words.

Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

woman losing their amniotic fluid in their pregnancy. Now I am hearing ―Oh, that happened to me‖ or ―My sister in law had that happen‖. We need to tell our stories so that other women don‘t feel so alone when they experience loss or tragedy. We need to become good listeners and good sharers. It takes strength and compassion to listen to someone else‘s pain. It makes our own heart hurt, our own eyes cry and our own bodies ache with sadness. It makes us compassionate and it makes life real and poignant. It makes me realise how strong women are. It makes me realise that the Goddess is only as far away as the nearest woman who has a loving heart. As women with strong and loving hearts, we can go through pain like losing a child and still get up and go on with life. We can live with the fear of scars, losing parts of our bodies, having to have blood transfusions, and knowing that our prem baby might not make it. We do it because we are strong. We do it because there is no other choice. I guess that brings me to the part where I offer up my wisdom. I think I‘m having this life lesson because I‘ve been a control freak all my life. I like to be the one in charge of my destiny and lifepath. As I‘ve always been a bit New-Agey, I would hang out in crystal shops and alternative book stores. These places always have packs of Destiny Cards on the counter. Whenever I pick up a random Destiny Card, it almost always says SURRENDER, to which my response is always NEVER! Never surrender! Now I am in a situation where I have to trust others. I have to put my life and the life of my unborn son completely in their hands and trust that they know what they‘re doing. I have to surrender. There is no choice. So the wisdom I have to offer? Don‘t go into New Agey shops and whatever you do, don‘t pick up those damn Destiny Cards!

I felt honoured to listen to her story. Women need to tell their stories. I had never before heard of any 13


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Felidomancy foretelling by the behaviour of cats: Divination by observing the behavior or actions of a cat (or cats), ranging in predictions about changes in the weather to unexpected visitors. Dating from the Middle Ages, many of these have survived as popular superstitions. Washing its face = visitors. Stepping on a cat's tail = bad luck will follow (probably from the angry cat). Abandoning house = bad omen. Stray entering home = very good omen, money to follow. Entering room right paw first = for a question the answer is yes! Sneezing = improved luck. Meowing during travel = be cautious.

Minxi & Thomas

By Rose

Internet Interest by Jess Reuseit.com is a great website I've come across in my travels. Based in the US, its a site full of amazing products aimed to replace disposable items in your home with good quality gear that doesn't add to landfill. What I really liked about this website is that each item comes with a full description of what it's made of, and where it comes from - together with a strong environmental message, good postage, great sale discounts and reasonable postage to Australia. Some of my favourite items include glass drink bottles – no plastic or metallic taste, and they even stock ones with filters and double glass skins for DIY cold or hot tea! I also loved the idea of these bags – they clip into a normal shopping trolley, and are washable. They also appeal to my avoidance of doing two trips – one bag in each hand, voila! These nifty produce bags are great – breathable, washable, and see through for your checkout person to easily see what you‘ve bought! There are so many other great products on this website, all cleverly designed to replace the many things we buy and eventually throw away. Worth a look!

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Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

GARBAGE! I was on a Google journey the other day (you know, when you look at something, that leads you to something else, which then leads you somewhere else, until you are in a place that is totally not what you were originally looking at?) reading an article about recycling, garbage and waste. It said that the average Australian adult generates about 500kg of rubbish a year. That means, if I live until I‘m 85, that I would have generated 34,000kg of rubbish in my independent adult life. That‘s 34 tonnes. The weight of about 20 cars. Holy cow, that is a lot of rubbish! Also, as I was taking the garbage out the other day, I was thinking about the fact that my Nan never had a bin. I remember being a kid, eating a lolly at Nan‘s house, and asking where to put the wrapper, as she had no bin! Nan grew up during the Depression and as a resourceful country lass has always been one to reuse, recycle, and upcycle where possible, before it was trendy. So I‘ve been pondering, how can I make more of an effort to reuse and recycle? Could I survive without a bin? Can I decrease my predicted 34 tonnes of rubbish? Staring into the contents of my garbage, some of it is easy – the Council is nice enough to supply me with a big recycle bin for empty bottles of plastic and glass, cardboard and paper. I probably don‘t sort through things as well as I could however, so the first step is to be a little more thorough about these things. Also, I can make an effort to reduce what I‘m putting into the recycling – reusing cardboard boxes before they get knocked around then throwing them out. I can also put a ‗No Junk Mail‘ sticker on the letter box – although I like to read them, I don‘t really buy anything out of the catalogues anyway, and the amount I receive is just insane!

plastics, such as the tray and wrapping off a packet off mint slice? I found online a great how to guide on making bags and boxes out of chip packets that I want to give a go, but that doesn‘t use all types of plastic. What if we had to deal with every single scrap of rubbish we generate? If there was no land fill, no garbage disposal service, nowhere to put the garbage? Would it alter our buying habits? Is it better to buy chicken from the deli and only use 1 plastic bag and 1 sheet of paper, than prepackaged stuff that leaves you with the absorbent pad, the tray, and the cling wrap? And then, is finding a second use for an object really good enough, when it ends up in the bin anyway? Take meat trays – Mel collects them and uses them as paint trays. I love this idea, and now keep them for the same purpose, however after using them for painting, they just end up in the bin anyway, so is it really helping decrease landfill? And at what point are you just collecting a heap of stuff that you‘re never going to use? I have boxes of jars in the bottom shed, which will no doubt be used eventually for jam or chutney or to hold screws in the shed, but after the 20 th meat tray, I‘m wondering how much painting I actually expect to do in the next 12 months? Or how much screws and chutney one can actually store? I guess it was easier for my Nan to live without a bin – in her day there was no plastic, and she didn‘t have the luxury of garbage collection anyway. But I do want to make an effort not to be wheeling out very full bins every week when I move back into a home of my own – even if I can decrease my rubbish by half, and only need to put out the bin once a fortnight, surely that can make a difference? How do you reuse and recycle and reduce your garbage?

By Jess Food scraps are also easy – I probably need to make more of an effort to eat leftovers, and everything else can go into a compost bin, something I meant to install in my last house Please respond to this article with your recycle and/ over the two years I lived there.

or reducing tips or ideas -

The other bits and pieces are a bit trickier – what about RC editor Mel - melsteers76@yahoo.com.au those foil bags that chips come in, or cat food? Other

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Prayer Flags (AWC Workshop with Kimi Ravensky) This is simply the best group activity to kick-start any pagan event, and one that could easily become a boredom buster for kids during the holidays! There can be as many variations as creative ideas can be brain stormed! Kimi chose an assortment of traditional prayer flag colours – green (symbolising water), blue (for the sky and wider cosmos), red (for the fire aspect), white (symbolising the wind) and yellow (for the earth). Once nailing down the preferred hue it was time to release those creative juices or at the very least try our hand under the enthusiastic eye of Kimi! Looped through balcony uprights our wishes joined together creating the unifying message of community, love, compassion and gratitude - traveling up, out and into the universe. How to make your own Prayer Flags: Depending on how large your group is  2 metres of cotton fabric from the roll  2-6 metres of soft cotton tape or twine  assorted coloured permanent markers  hand held paper stapler + staples Tear or cut the cotton fabric into rectangles – maybe 15cm x 25cm Decorate with the markers Attach to twine with stapler, fold and staple Its time to begin our own Tassie Pagan Alliance prayer flag string – we can add to it at every event, using colours that are themed to each Sabbat. We can admire our work in progress sigil as it adorns the sacred space we create outside of time.

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What spiritual path do you follow? I consider myself eclectic witch, I tend to borrow bits from here and there, and sometimes just go with how I feel at the time.

Witchcraft a beginners guide, by Teresa Moorey. I still have it although I haven’t looked at it for a while, the pages are tattered and falling out from so much use!

Favourite Sabbat? Why? It‘s a close call between Samhain and Yule - At Samhain I get to visit all the cemeteries and tell my kids stories about their ancestors - having done a lot of research into my family tree I have quite a few tales to tell. Yule is the day before my birthday, and I usually have a get together with a feast and lots of Yule pressies shared.

If you could meet a famous Pagan person (author, singer or other), who would it be? Why? Probably Emma Restall Orr - I‘ve only read a couple of her books but I love the way she uses stories to teach (particularly in ―Spirits of the Sacred Grove‖).

Which moot do you most regularly attend? Burnie up until the beginning of this year - now it‘s the Launceston one. Favourite ritual tool? Why? I tend to use very few tools if I‘m working alone candles, incense, water, etc. just the basics.

Favourite Ravens' Call article? It‘s not in the Ravens‘ Call anymore, but I used to love Jilli‘s Hedge! Now my favourite would have to be The Compost Heap. Skyclad, robed or casual? Depends on the company and the weather :) How would you like to be remembered? Fondly! lol

Mead or Mulled wine? Both! :)

Thanks heaps for your pagan profile, Heather xxx ED

Runes or Tarot? I have both, but I definitely use my Tarot much more often. Would like to learn more about Runes though. Favourite movie? Hmm... I‘d probably have to say Love Actually is my favourite movie lol.

Next Issue AUTUMN/ WINTER

Do you have a recent pagan interest/activity? Or an event or workshop attended? I bought a book on Palm Reading recently, which I‘ve been interested in for a long time, haven‘t got very far through it yet.

2012

First Pagan book ever bought? 17


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The Compost Heap suggests a venture out into the garden. Something earthy, seasonal and full of worms…

The Pagan Food Pantry I am a member and elder of the Community Church of Inclusive Wicca and last month we started a ―Food Pantry‖ for pagans. I will be the contact for Tasmanians who need help. I was wondering if we could put something in the next issue of Ravens Call, to let people know about it. The website is www.cciwi.org The following is from the CCIWI website and explains a bit more about it: ―We so often hear that when Pagans are facing tough financial times, they feel uncomfortable going to religious organisations for help because they’re expected to accept the faith of that charitable body, and of course most charitable bodies are Christian based. We’d like to offer a more faith acceptable option for these folks that won’t compromise their spiritual and religious beliefs. From May 1st 2011, CCIWI, (a licenced charity no: CCP1645) will be offering our Food Pantry service where we’ll be providing a bag of non-perishable food or a Woolworths or Coles gift card primarily to Wiccan and Pagan folks and families who are in genuine financial need. If you’d like to donate money to help us, you can do so via PayPal using the address admin@cciwi.org. If you’d like to donate Coles or Woolworths gift cards to us, you can send them to CCIWI, 21 Daveys Road, Flagstaff Hill, SA 5159, Australia. If you’d like to drop off food donations and you live in Adelaide, you can drop those at 21 Daveys Road, Flagstaff Hill, SA 5159. If you live elsewhere, watch this space for the release of our drop off points. 100% of your donation goes straight back to the Wiccan community. If you’d like to know more, please contact us for details at admin@cciwi.org. Please consider helping us by donating money, Coles or Woolworths gift cards or food. Thanks so much for any help you can give us. If you’d like some help with groceries, please contact us on admin@cciwi.org.” Regards, Jan 18


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The past few months have been completely dominated by the Conference, and Conference recovery, so there isn‘t a great deal to report this time around! On Sunday 11th December we hosted our annual Silver Broomstick Awards at the lovely Risdon Brook Dam – our next edition will have a full report and photos from the event! A big thank you goes out to everyone who renewed their membership this year, and also a big welcome to all our new members. Now the Conference is well and truly over, things will be back on track, including Sabbat celebrations that are already being planned for the new year, so please keep an eye out on the website and Facebook page for details. Also, please let us know if you have updated your email address, as we do send out email updates from time to time to keep you in the loop! Thank you again for your continued support of the Tasmanian Pagan Alliance, I look forward to catching up with you in the new year. Blessings, Jess taspainc@gmail.com

2011 Membership Renewals It‘s not too late to renew your membership! $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 Snail mail address: PO Box 1127 Launceston TAS 7250

TPA Bank account details: Tasmanian Pagan Alliance Inc. Commonwealth Bank of Australia BSB: 067-002 Account: 1034 4140

TPA web site address: www.taspainc.com

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Moot Report – Burnie, September Leading up to the Australian Wiccan Conference only our die hard mooters attended to discuss the Spring Equinox and how we have celebrated it in the past. Iain entertained us with stories of different festivals he has attended in Scotland and England. It was great to hear that the old religion is alive and well in certain parts of the UK and Scotland and practiced openly, particularly on the major sabbats. Moot Report - Burnie, October After our hearty RSL dinners and deserts our guest speaker, Pip Colman, gave us pointers on tapping into our psychic abilities and intuition. This knowledge was then put into practice by giving each other oracle card readings. Pip ended the talk with information on how to perform a medium ship reading. This sparked much discussion about our own individual encounters with deceased loved ones and ghosts. Moot Report - Burnie, November This month was dedicated to sharing our crystal friends from the earth. Many crystals were brought along to share ranging from raw crystals that had been sought out and collected from our local environment to beautifully faceted wands and jewellery. We shared stories about the first crystal that caught our attention and the place that crystals hold in our lives now. Each person had great stories and anecdotes to share about the uses of crystals, some of which I‘ve included here. 

Jade (specifically Chinese Jade)– should always be given as a gift and not bought for yourself. If your Jade crystal breaks it has saved your life. You should then thank it and bury it back in the earth. Malachite – attracts money so should be kept in your till or wallet. Opals – are not unlucky, this was a rumour started by the diamond companies in the 1970s when opals became popular. Many crystals are porous and will dry out so they need to be ‗fed‘ by rubbing a bit of Vaseline or vegetable oil into them (only if they are polished crystals) when they are looking dull. If a crystal gets hot in your hands quickly then you really need that energy. If it stays cold then you don‘t need that energy. If you can‘t decide between two stones, hold one in each hand and the one that gets hot first is the one you need. This will also work if you are choosing a stone for someone else.

Ravens‘ Call—Summer/Autumn 2012

Launceston Moot - October

North-West Moots When: 2nd Thursday of every month Where: Burnie RSL, 36 Alexander St Start Time: 6:00pm Contact: Irene - kesha71@comcen.com.au St Helens Moot When: First Sunday of every month Where: ‗Something Fabulous‘, Shop 1/7 Pendrigh Place Start Time: 3:00pm onwards Contact: Debbie - greb2@bigpond.com Launceston Moots When: Last Tuesday of every month (except Dec) Where: Alchemy Bar, 90 George St Launceston Time: 7:00pm onwards Contact: Rose - rosiesgrove@gmail.com Southern Moots When: First Thursday of every month Where: New Sydney Hotel - 87 Bathurst St Time: 6:30pm onwards Contact: Allannah - taspalliance@hotmail.com

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LIVING THE GODDESS WORKSHOPS

Venue: Near Gravelly Beach.

with Jo & Zahira Learn about a different Goddess each month and explore practical ways to incorporate her qualities into your daily life. Jo and Zahira will be your hostesses. Light afternoon tea will be provided. January Workshop

A small number of drums will be available for hire on the day for $5.00 each. Please RSVP so Razi can ensure he has enough for everyone. Cost: $30 (10% discount if paid by December 24th. All enrolments must be received by January 14th).

Date: Saturday, January 21st 2012 Time: 1:45pm for a 2:00pm start. Ends at 5:00pm. Cost: Adults $30 / Children $20 (must be accompanied by an adult). 10% discount if paid by December 24th. enrolments must be received by Jan 14th.

Bring: Drum (suitable drums to bring - djembe, Egyptian table, darabouka), pen & paper.

All other

Payment Options: Paypal, cheque, money order or direct deposit. For more details and to book your spot, contact Zahira on 0418 139 826 / zahira1au@yahoo.com.au

Venue: Near Gravelly Beach. Full details on enrolment.

Heard on the Grapevine...

Bring: A cushion. If you have a drum, feel free to bring it too. There will be a trade table so feel free to bring anything you want to sell. Your surplus item might be someone else‘s treasure.

PEACEFEST, WYNYARD

Wear: Something pink/magenta. It could be a hair tie, a necklace, or come completely in pink! Payment Options: Paypal, cheque, money order or direct deposit.

3rd, 4th & 5th February 2012 Make the trip this summer, and make new friends, reconnect with old friends, follow the rainbow signs, 2 DAYS OF PEACE, HEALING, MUSIC, RELAXATION AND JOY.

Both women and men are invited, as long as you genuinely want to learn!

Tarot readers, aura photos, gems and minerals, kite flying, organic vegies, potted herbs, fire performances, woodwork, reiki healing, meditation, labyrinth workshop, music, the list goes on and on!

For more details and to book your spot, contact Zahira on 0418 139 826 / zahira1au@yahoo.com.au

Visit http://www.peacefestwynyard.com information.

ARABIC DRUMMING with Razi Learn how to correctly strike the drum and to create clean crisp sounds. In next to no time you‘ll be playing a rhythm with the confidence of a professional. Workshop fee includes a handout of rhythms covered. Content is flexible so as to accommodate student needs. When: Saturday, January 21st 2012 Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm

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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.

Sigils The use of sigils is a common practice for most practicing pagans but, may not be considered a ritual or magical tool. After all it‘s simply paper and pen. Sigils can be frequently created - buried deep in the soil, cast adrift upon the tide or caught by flame. Attaching a paper sigil to a Yule log is one of the more traditional methods, it could be a wish for the future or prosperity for the coming year. Your chosen mark can be a complex and creative design or plain and undecorated, whatever has personal and prominent symbolism. There is transformation magic in the crafting of a sigil, our thoughts are manifesting from an idea or desire into the physical world. You are in effect creating something from nothing, birthing a wish that will begin a journey with a purpose towards a distant goal. Sigils are the magical tool that propels me forward, keeps me searching for the next project the next opportunity to build, create, achieve and to experience my chosen path, sigils are the push I need to continue onward maintaining momentum.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigil_(magic) : The term sigil derives from the Latin sigillum, meaning "seal", though it may also be related to the Hebrew (segulah meaning "word, action, or item of spiritual effect"). A sigil may have an abstract, pictorial or semi-abstract form. The current use of the term is derived from Renaissance magic, which was in turn inspired by the magical traditions of antiquity. In medieval ceremonial magic, the term sigil was commonly used to refer to occult signs which represented various angels and demons which the magician might summon. The magical training books called grimoires often listed pages of such sigils. A particularly well-known list is in the Lesser Key of Solomon, in which the sigils of the 72 princes of the hierarchy of hell are given for the magician's use. Such sigils were considered to be the equivalent of the true name of the spirit and thus granted the magician a measure of control over the beings. Sigils are commonly found in Jewish mysticism and Kabbalistic magic upon which much of Western magic is based. The use of symbols for magical or cultic purposes has been widespread since at least the Neolithic. Some examples from other cultures include the yantra from Hindu tantra, historical runic magic among the Germanic peoples, or the use of veves in Voudon. 22


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Unlike with traditional sigils, whose creators made use of traditional lore passed down from generations or from books, modern users often create sigils entirely themselves and devise individual means of "charging" them with metaphysical power. Modern sigils may appear in any medium—physical, virtual, or mental. Visual symbols are the traditional, and presumably still most popular, form, but the use of aural and tactile symbols in magic is not unheard of. In modern uses, the concept was mostly popularized by Austin Osman Spare, who published a method by which the words of a statement of intent are reduced into an abstract design; the sigil is then charged with the will of the creator. Spare's technique, now known as sigiliation, has become a core element of chaos magic. The inherently individualistic nature of chaos magic leads most chaos magicians to prepare and cast (or "charge") sigils in unique ways, as the process of sigilization has never been rigorously defined. The magician is expected to "fill in the blank spots" by himself or herself. Sigils are used for spells as well as for the creation of thought-forms.

Example: My example is ―Ravens‘ Call‖. I then take out all the double letters, clear my mind of every day clutter and focus upon my desired intention. The key it to stop thinking and let your pen take you on a journey - sigils can be elaborate or simplistic.

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Nettle - Urtica Nettle is new addition to the garden plot, this herb almost didn’t make the grade – so wild it grows I thought it similar to growing clover, thistle or rag wort in amongst traditional herbs like rosemary, mugwort or clary sage – too common, a roadside weed. But Nettle has long been recognized for its bounty of nutrition as well as its instant sting. Folk medicine and lore worldwide attributes nettle the powers of protection and fertility, it really is an incredible plant – one I’m proud to point out when garden visitors call. Nettle magic is the magic of Mothering. With a bounty of nutrition, offering us the building blocks we need to be healthy, strong individuals. The flavour of nettle tea has been described as akin to milk or mother's milk; nettle in your life reminds you to take the time to nourish yourself at the most basic levels. Nettle's sting reminds us to value our gifts just as we must honour and protect the work of mothering if we are to remain healthy. Nettle protects herself and space with a mild sting that can last for days. In this, she asks us to recognize and honour the worth of what is given; if you're willing to hazard the sting to gain the treasure from nettle, you're more likely to value what you have taken. When nettle has come into your life, especially around a project you're nurturing, take time to ensure that you and those who might benefit from your work recognize and value your contribution. Nettle is transformation through nurturing and self-worth, like that of a healthy, loving mother. Soggy, wet ground is the favourite rooting place; this herb is an expert at turning hard, clay soils into fertile ground. The ability to undo the effects of an excess of water in the soil speaks of an affinity with water and with conditions of stress, especially of an emotional nature. Just as nettle can turn a situation that appears hard and unloving into one of fertility - so can we, by reminding us of our power to shift our thoughts and deeds into a place of nurturing, encouraging personal and environmental growth, as a mother might shift hers to provide the best possible conditions for her children's growth. Nettle can bring out the mother in all of us, and our world will be the better for it. Gypsy lore says: Nettle, is a strong Jinx-Breaker. Mix with another uncrossing herb, such as Mint, Rue or Agrimony, plus a JinxBreaking Mineral, like Witch's Salt, Graveyard Dust, or Uncrossing Powder, then sprinkle it around the home to cut off curses put on by witches (handy!). Protection tea: one part nettle one part pennyroyal Habitat: Nettle grows in waste places, gardens, along roadsides, fences, and walls. World wide. Description: Singing nettle is a perennial plant. The square, bristly stem grows from 60cm to 2m high and bears opposite cordate (having a heart-shaped outline), deeply serrate pointed leaves which are downy underneath. Flowering with small, greenish flowers grow in axillary clusters from spring until autumn. Health properties and uses: Astringent - Diuretic - Galactagogue - Hemostatic – Tonic. The fresh juice or an infusion of the nettle plant has been used to stimulate the digestive system and to promote milk flow in nursing mothers. As an astringent it is also use for blood in the urine, haemorrhoids, and excessive menstrual flow. Nettle is a helpful remedy for ailments of the urinary tract and is said to reduce susceptibility to rheumatic problems and colds. A decoction of the plant is good for diarrhoea. A decoction of the root is recommended for external use on the scalp for loss of hair. The fresh leaves have sometimes been used as a Rubefacient*, but severe irritation and blistering can result. Nettle can also be eaten as a vegetable, but old plants must be thoroughly cooked to be safe. Young plants in the spring can be used for salad or as a vegetable. By Mel *A Rubefacient is a substance for topical application that produces redness of the skin e.g. by causing dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation.

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It’s Only Natural Hub Arcade, The Mall Devonport

For anyone who grew up or lived in the Devonport area, this place will bring back some nostalgia for you. It is owned and run by Maggie Reeman, who in the 1970s opened the store in the Devonport mall, ―Maggie‘s Bazaar‖. A place that I, for one, spent a lot of time in when I was younger (loved buying the scoops of the tiny crystal chips!), and was devastated when it closed down in the early 2000s. But she‘s back with a vengeance with this beautiful new store. Located where the Anvers Chocolate Shop used to be in the Hub Arcade, Maggie stocks crystals galore, jewellery, handmade goat‘s milk soaps, lovely scented things, artwork and glassware. And everything is SO affordable! Keep an eye on this place – after having a chat with Maggie myself, she said that the lease is only for the short-term and not everything she has is on display. She is ‗testing the waters‘ and if it proves fruitful, she‘ll continue trading, possibly under a different name (something including ―Maggie‘s‖, she told me; ―you can take the kid from the shop but you can‘t take the shop from the kid!‖). Please continue to support local businesses who stock that which we require for our craft – I find this is. It‘s most important that we keep these resources alive because without them, we wouldn‘t have access to the amazingly beautiful and powerful things we currently do.

By Terri

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Ravens' Call #55