Welcome to the Pagan Friends Webzine’s Ostara issue. What with moving the Pagan Friends Forum to a new location and preparing for the Beltane One Year Anniversary issue, we’ve found that this issue is a little smaller than usual; but don’t panic! With content including articles from Jess Howard, Nathan Correlli and T. Fox Williams, a recipe from Fred Cairns, poetry from Suzanna Defoe, Karie McNeley and Audrey ‘Stormy’ Haney and more, this issue may be small but it’s still perfectly formed.

Competitions!

Ostara Egg Decorating Competition

          (Blowing Eggs For Decorating)

One Year Anniversary Beltane Celebration
Articles

Dream Work: The Basics, By Jessica Howard

The Old Ways, By Nathan Correlli

Ostara Crystals, By Beth Holtum

Regular Features

Ostara Moonlore, By Liz

Plant For Spring, By T. Fox Dunham

Recipes

Easter Ledge Pudding

Irish Stew …in the Name of the Law and Herb Bread, By Fred Cairns

Fiction

When Realms Collide, by Linda Gibson

Poetry

Night Poem, by Suzannah Defoe

The Oak And Holly King, by Audrey “Stormy” Haney

A Night Like This, by Dania Ratiba Aldeek

A Dummy, by Dania Ratiba Aldeek

My Little Room, by Dania Ratiba Aldeek

Bugging Me Insectually, by Karie McNeley

The Sleeping Poet, by Karie McNeley

A New Couch And A Rainbow, by Karie McNeley

Haiku, by Rebecca L. Brown

Events

Treadwells Events

Want to contribute to our Beltane one year anniversary issue?

Are you a budding writer, artist or photographer? Do you have something to say to the pagan community? We’re already looking for exciting new content to include in our Beltane issue. We’re interested in your personal anecdotes, poetry and short stories; if its interesting and relevant, we want it.

Since our Beltane 2012 issue will be the one year anniversary of the webzine’s creation, we’re especially keen to include  material relating to celebration; why not send us your photographs and stories relating to celebrations, especially from over the past year, to be included in our special Celebrating 2011-2012 feature?

For more information on how to submit to us, visit our submissions page. We’re looking forward to seeing what you’ve got!

We are now also accepting material for review and events listings for inclusion in the webzine.

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The views and opinions expressed in this webzine are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily represent those of the Pagan Friends team. Any advice given within articles is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice, legal advice or otherwise.

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Ostara Egg Decorating Competition!

Get your paint brushes ready and dig out those paints; we want to see your decorated Ostara eggs and other crafts!

Simpy upload pictures of your work to our Facebook page or tag us in your photo (alternatively, if you don’t have Facebook, e-mail your pictures to our usual submissions address and we’ll put them up for you).

Our favourites will be included in the Beltane issue, along with a feature interview on the people who created them.

Blowing Eggs For Decorating

To prepare your egg for decorating, use a needle to make a hole in each end. Then, with your egg over a bowl, blow (not suck!) into the egg at one end to force the egg filling out. If nothing comes out, you need to enlarge the holes a little more. Don’t waste the egg; you could use it, for example, to make an Ostara cake.

Of course, if that sounds like too much hard work you can boil your egg to paint it instead!


One Year Anniversary Beltane Celebration

Since our Beltane 2012 issue will be our one year anniversary we want to do something special to celebrate the best of 2011 and 2012. We’re asking our readers to send us photographs, stories and images from your Pagan events and celebrations over the past year. Our favourites will be featured in pride of place in the Beltane issue.

To enter, simply post your stuff onto our Facebook page or e-mail it to the usual address.

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Dream Work:  The Basics
By Jessica Howard

For thousands of years, dreams have played an important role in our lives  and our society . Artists and writers use them as a source of inspiration, some use them to help divine answers to important questions, and for many they provide an escape from the mundane trappings of ever day life. In our dreams, we can be anyone and do anything, and whilst it sounds straight forward, the dream world is a deep and complex mystery. The scientific  study of dreams is known as Oneirology, with the earliest examples of dream interpretation coming from clay tablets dating back to the Sumerians in 3100 BC. They divided dreams into two categories, ‘good’ dreams which were sent by the Gods, and ‘bad’ dreams sent by demons. The Ancient Egyptians defined three categories of dreams, those in which the gods demanded some devotional act, those that contained warnings or revelations, and those that came about through ritual. They believed that dreaming was the best way to achieve divine revelation, and even went so far as to build shrines and special dream beds in which one would sleep in to receive messages of comfort or divine advice. The Ancient Greeks also believed that dreams were messages sent by the Gods, or even Gods themselves visiting the individual, and also used dreams to help them in their practice of medicine, sending people to specific temples where they would sleep for up to several weeks until they had attained the dream that would help them back to health.

During the Middle Ages, dreams took on a darker instance and it became common belief that they were visions sent by the devil to convince an individual into temptation, and that they were even portals through which the devil and other demons could take over one’s mind and fill it with corruptive thoughts. This was a belief mainly championed by the protestant leader Martin Luther. However, some prominent Catholics such as St Augustine opposed this view, believing  that dreams were an important part in influencing the path that their lives took.

On average, a person sleeps for 8 hours a night, and during those 8 hours we enter a dream cycle roughly every 90 minutes, each one lasting anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour. So, that adds up to nearly five hours a night in a pure dream state, and over a year that adds up to seventy six days a year spent in the land of dreams. Now, if nature has taught us anything, it is that evolution disposes of whatever does not serve some purpose. So if we spend 20% of our time each year in a dream state, it must be important, right?

Of the many thousands of dreams you will have throughout your life, each of them serves one or more of six purposes:

•To release the mind from the mundane world

•To give a symbolic view of our current lives

•To offer spirit contacts

•To teach

•To solve problems in our lives

•To show us the future

But where does all this dream material come from? Unfortunately there is not a universally accepted definition of dreaming. It is widely recognized that dreaming  occurs most commonly during REM, also known as Rapid Eye Movement. This is the sleep state that is closest to our waking state, but something called REM atonia prevents us from getting up and wandering around as we would in our waking lives. The release of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin and histamine is completely suppressed, meaning that a person’s motor neurons are completely unstimulated, thus avoiding potentially dangerous movements of the body. However, in NERM states, (Non-Rapid Eye Movement), the muscles aren’t paralyzed as they are in REM sleep, but luckily dreaming in this state is very rare.  As of yet, nobody knows where in the brain that dreams originate, whether there is more than one point, or what function dreams actually serve to our body or our minds.

However, studies have pin-pointed that the actual information presented to us in our dreams comes from one or more of the following seven sources:

•The collective unconscious

•A past life

•Various spirits or entities

•Genetic memory of your immediate family or ancestors

•The time you spent in the womb before birth

•Your childhood or earlier adulthood

•Your present and current life

Of course, some of these are scientifically debateable, but nevertheless cannot be ruled out as possible sources.

Studies have also shown us that there ten distinct types of dreams that each of us will most likely experience throughout our lifetimes. These have been pinpointed as:

• Psychological Dreams-These dreams often depict  bodily functions; for example, the classic having sex dream, or feelings of aches and pains, urinating, pregnancy and so on.

• Vigilant Dreams-These are dreams that often contain images that directly involve changes in the environment of the space around you. For example, someone slamming a door shut in the next room; at the same time you hear a loud ‘bang’ like a gunshot in your dream. The actual waking world affects your dream.

• Problem Solving Dreams-These dreams present a symbolic solution to a problem, and often occur during times of confusion or stress. It is these dreams that obviously give the best divination readings.

• Residual Dreams-These are dreams that contain the events of the day you just had and tend to be very mundane, like a recap.

• Contrary Dreams-These are dreams that present the opposite of the feeling that we fell asleep with; for example, during periods of deep sadness we may dream of laughter and joy. These dreams are designed to bring about emotional or spiritual balance.

• Transformation Dreams-In these dreams you change the course of the events unfolding in the dream into whatever you want it to be. For example, someone is chasing you in your dream, and then suddenly you stop and command your assailant to stop chasing you. He does, and so you have changed the course of your dream, and subconsciously changed fear into courage within your own mind.

• Wish Fulfilling Dreams-These are dreams in which your wishes manifest, i.e, winning a certain persons heart or owning the car of your dreams, etc. Although these dreams are designed to bring us pleasure, they also stop us from becoming consciously obsessed with things in the material world. You ‘live out’ the fantasy in the dream and so it does not affect you as much when you wake.

• Recurrent Dreams-In these dreams the same images recur over the span of several nights, or even throughout a person’s life.

• Nightmares-We have all had nightmares. These dreams often still affect people after waking and are presented to instil courage. When having a nightmare, you must try to gain control and turn it into a transformational dream by conquering the horrific image, as these images are often symbolic representations of a problem that you are currently facing.

• Insight Dreams-These are dreams in which images that are new or unknown to the dreamer present themselves in a profound or symbolic way. An example of this type of dream would be dreaming that a certain potion with certain ingredients will cure an illness, then applying the same formula in the waking world to find that it does indeed work.

Interpreting Dreams:

When it comes to interpreting dreams, there are two types of symbolism. There is the Universal Symbology and Personal Symbology. Universal symbology is that which is unchanging; things that remain true for all of humankind throughout the ages. This includes colours, numbers, forms and sexual identity. These come from the super-consciousness and are therefore timeless. A list of these can be found in Raymond Bucklands Complete Book of Witchcraft.  And of course, there are countless of books and websites dedicated to deciphering dream symbolism; however, it may be best to read several interpretations as you can’t trust everything you read on the internet!

Then there are the personal symbols, ones which are specific to you. But how do you discover what these are? Well, there is only one way and that is to record your dreams and study them. Keep a notepad and pen by the side of your bed, and the minute you wake up record your dreams, whilst they are still fresh in your head. Pay attention to details; colours, sounds, etc, as all these could be little signifiers to whatever it is our dreams are trying to show us. Also pay attention to the people in your dreams; for sometimes they may not actually be other people, but representations of different aspects of our selves that we need to confront or are being called in to question.

It is also an idea to keep a general diary of the events of the day; for example, you may discover that drinking wine evokes dreams of flying, or produces wish-fulfilling dreams or nightmares rather than any of the other particular forms of dreams. It is a long process, and it will take time to build up your own dream dictionary, so stick with it. Do it for one week, take a week or two off, then continue for another week, as not to tire yourself out.

But most of all, do not underestimate the power of dreams.


The Old Ways
By Nathan Correlli

We are of the Old Religion, and sired of Time.

For too long the people have trodden a stony path that goes only onward beneath a sky that goes only upward. The Horned God plays alone in the glade, for the people are scattered in this barren age and the winds carry His plaintive song over deserted heaths and moors and into the lonely grasses. Who knows the ancient tongue of the Moon? And who still speaks with the Goddess? The magic of the old Gods has withered in the dragon’s breath; the old ways of magic have slipped into the well of the past, and only the rocks now remember what the Moon told us long ago, and what we learned from the trees and the voices of the grasses and the scent of flowers. Among the people there are those who speak with the Moon and dance with the Horned One. But a true Pagan is rare these days; deep and inscrutable, recognisable only by their own kind, by the light in their eyes and the love in their hearts, by the magic in their hands and the lilt of their tongues and their knowledge of the real.

There are many the world over who worship the Earth Mother and the Sky Father, the Moon Goddess and the Little People in the mists on the other side of the veil. There are those who worship the Goddesses and Gods of Nature, whether by observation or by study, whether by love or adoration, or whether in the sacred rites with the Moon or the great festivals of the Sun.

Many suns ago, as the pale dawn of reason crept across the sky, man grew out of believing in Gods. He has yet to grow out of disbelieving in them. He who splits the Goddess on an existence against non-existence dichotomy will earn only paradoxes, for the Gods are not so divided and neither are the magic lands of the Brother of Time. Does a mind exist? Ask, and they will tell you “yes” but seek them out and they will elude you. They are in every place, and you’ll see their works in all places, but you will not see them. Existence was the second-born from the Mother’s Womb and contains neither the first-born nor the unborn. Show us your mind, and we’ll show you the Gods.

Come with us and the Gods themselves will be our love.

Logic is a closed ring, and the child does not validate the Mother, nor will the dreamer validate the dream. But tell us of your Goddess as you love her, and the Gods that guide your works, and we will listen with wonder, for to do less would be arrogant. The heart of man is aching for memories only half forgotten, and the Old Ones only half unseen. We’ll write the old myths as they were always written and we’ll read them on the rocks and in the caves and in the deep greenwood shade, and we’ll see them in the storm clouds, and in the evening mists, and we’ll hear them in the rippling mountain streams and the rustling of the leaves. We have no wish to bring differences together; differences are like different flowers in a meadow, and we are all one in the Mother.

We hear our teachings in the wind and feel them in the stones and the Moon will still dance with us. For a long time the Divider has been among the people and the tribes of man are no more. The sons of the Sky Father have all but conquered Nature, but they have poisoned her breast and the Mother is sad for the creatures are dying and the night crawls on. A curse on those who have sought only to conquer. But not of us, for they curse themselves, for they are nature, too. They have stolen our magic and sold it to the mindbenders, and the mindbenders tread a maze that has no outlet for they fear to go down into the dark waters, and they fear the One who guards the path.

Where are the shrines? Where do the people gather? Where is the magic made? Where are the Goddess and the Old Ones?

Our shrines are in the fields and on the mountains, in the stars and in the winds, deep in the greenwood and on the rocks where two streams meet. But the shrines are deserted, and if we gathered in the arms of the Moon for our ancient rites to rule the Mother’s land and claim rights of ownership on the Mother’s breast, and make laws of division and frustration for us.

We can no longer gather with our Gods in a public place and the old rites of communion have been driven from the towns and cities ever deeper into the heath where barely a handful of heathens have remained to guard the old secrets and enact the old rites. There is magic in the heath far from the cold grey society, and there are islands of magic hidden in the entrails of the towns behind closed doors, but the people are few, and the barriers between us are formidable. The old religion has become a dark way, obscure, and hidden in the protective bosom of the night. Thin fingers turn pages of books while the sunshine seeks in vain for his worshippers in his leafy glades.

We are the lone figure on the seashore; we are those who worship in the vastness of a mountain range, and those who sing the old chants in the lost valley far from the metalled road. We are the wanderer, and equally the prisoner. We are too, the circle dancers in the light of the full moon, with the great festivals of the sun, and the gatherings of the people. We will build our temples in the towns and in the wilderness, give them to the Goddess for her children’s use, and we will replant the greenwood as it was of old for the love of the dryad’s stillness, and for the love of our children’s children.

We must create a place wherein everyone shall be free to worship the Gods and Goddesses of nature, and the relationship between the worshipper and their Gods shall be sacred and inviolable, provided only that in their love for their Gods they do not curse the Gods of another.

It’s not yet our business to unmake the laws of regression, and, with the Mother’s love, it may never become our business for the shifting tides of dogmatism are at last already in ebb. Our first work, and our greatest wish, is to come together, to be with each other in our tribes for we haven’t yet grown from the Mother’s breast to the stature of Gods. We are of the Earth, and kinsfolk to all the children of wild nature, born long ago in the warm mud of the ocean floor; we were together when, beguiled by the pride of the Sky Father, and forgetful of the Mother’s love, we killed their earlier-born children and polluted the old genetic pool. Man once looked with one eye on the two-faced God when he reached for the heavens and scorned the Earth that alone is our life and our provider and the bosom to which we have ever
returned since the dawn of time.

Our lore has been encrusted over the ages with occult trivia and the empty ramblings of the lost and egotistical. The occult arts are in a state of extreme decadence; astrology is in a state of disrepute and fears to confront the statistician’s sword; unfamiliar creeds oust our native arts and, being as little understood as our own forgotten arts, are just as futile for their lack of understanding, and more so for their unfamiliarity. Misunderstanding is rife. Disbelief looms black on every horizon, and fools abound on the blood of the credulous; it has no place in the heart of the Pagan.

We were old when the first alchemist was a child.
We have walked the magic forest, bewitched in the old Green Things.
We have seen the One become Many, and the Many in One.
We know the Silver Maiden of the moonlight and the sound of cloven feet.
We have heard the pipes on the twilight ferns and we’ve seen the spells of the Enchantress, and Time, stilled.
We’ve been into eternal darkness where the Night Mare rides beyond the edge of the Abyss, and we know the dark face of the Rising Sun.
Spin a spell of words and make a magic knot.
Spin it on the magic loom and spin it with the Gods.
Say it in the old chant and say it to the Goddess.
Say it to a dark well and breathe it on a stone.

Here, then, is our task: to make magic in the name of our Gods, to share our magic where the Gods would wish it and to come together in the ancient festivals of birth, and life, and death and of change in the old rhythm. We will do all in our power to bring the people together, to teach those who would learn, to learn from those who can teach.

When the streams flow clear and the winds blow pure, and when the stones tell of the Horned God and the greenwood grows deep to call back her own; then our work will be ended and we will return to the beloved womb of the Old Ways.


Ostara Crystals
By Beth Holtum

To me, Ostara is a time of year when I can’t find enough room on my altar for all the goodies I’ve collected to celebrate the return of the Sun. From pictures of new shoots and flowers I’ve photographed on dog walks, to potted plants … but I’ll always find space for some crystals ;)

Citrine has it’s place for it’s bright, yellow colour, reminding me of the warmth of the Sun, and it’s cleansing power to revive and regenerate my energy, just as the rays of the Sun are starting to.

Aventurine I choose because of its green sparkle – like light-reflecting dew on new leaves, and for its boost for growth and optimism.

Moonstone brings the joy of new beginnings, and for reflection on the cycles of life, and the turning of the Wheel of the Year.

Sugilite – rich, deep purple goodness that it is, has the energy to kick start plans into action, moving me out of the air space of winter, full of long evenings to think what I could do in the year ahead, and on to the earthly time of Spring, when those plans have to opportunity to materialise.

*****


Ostara & Spring Equinox Week MoonLore
By Liz

Monday 19th March 2012 – Ostara & Spring Equinox Eve,
3 days to Dark (New) Moon,
The Moon will be Waning, in it’s Fourth Quarter, in Pisces.
Mondays are usually all about peace, sleep, healing, compassion, friends, psychic awareness, purification, and fertility,
while Moon in Pisces should fetch dreaming and nostalgia and memories close to mind today.

Tuesday, 20th March 2012 – Ostara & Spring Equinox Day,
2 Days to Dark (New) Moon,
The Moon will be Waning, in it’s Fourth Quarter, in Pisces.
Tuesdays usually fetch to the fore matters of sex, passion, courage, aggression and protection,
while Moon in Pisces would indicate that today is a great day for psychic abilities, instincts and intuition.

Wednesday 21st March 2012,
1 Day to Dark (New) Moon,
The Moon will be Waning, in it’s Fourth Quarter, in Pisces.
Wednesdays are normally all about study, travel and divination,
while Moon in Pisces today tells us it’s a great day for spiritual endeavours, social networks, and building on like-minded contacts.

Thursday 22nd of March
Dark (New ) Moon, in Aries
Thursdays are normally all about cash, investment, generosity and growth
While Dark (New) Moon in Aries today would indicate a good time to start things, but that they will be short-lived.
If folks seem more introverted or argumentative than usual today, treat them gently, or rise to it at your peril.

Friday 23rd of March
The Moon will be Waxing, in it’s First Quarter, in Aries
1 Day after Dark (New) Moon
On Fridays, the emphasis is usually on Love, Friendship, Reconcilliation, and Beauty
While Moon in Aries today warns us of rapid changes afoot, and a trip all around the houses just to get from A to B.

Saturday 24th of March
The Moon will be Waxing, in it’s First Quarter, in Taurus
2 Days after Dark (New) Moon
Saturdays are usually all about Longevity, Exorcism, Endings, Homes and Houses
While Moon in Taurus should be fetching out our search for the sensual, and appreciation for the finer things in life today.

Sunday 25th of March
The Moon will be Waxing, in it’s First Quarter, in Taurus
3 Days after Dark (New) Moon
Sundays are usually all about Healing, Spirituality, Success, Strength and Protection
While Moon in Taurus today gives us the heads-up that anything we start now will be sticking around for a long while, and that it will increase in value.


Planting for Spring

By T. Fox Dunham

Along the East Coast of the United States, my current fox den, we hardly knew this winter. He came as a lithe spirit, carrying little snow in his bag, giving us reprieve from his older brother of last year. His brother of last year blew on us six Nor’easters, as is the common parlance for a turning blizzard that hangs over the coast, drawing energy from the sea.

Though I worry over the lack of meltwaters feeding the reserve, and I’m sure stronger conservation measures will be required, spring comes early this year. I am energized by the spirit, by the nascent life just under the soil ready to burst, to reach high through ancient will to the sun, to call forth again in simple cycle the basic foundation of our vivacious, living world.

Anon, I will be off to the local nursery, to seek out my young herbs for my windows. I no longer have the joy of open ground. I once had old gardens at historic sites where I could run free—herbs and shrubs and peach and quince trees. About this time I’d be in the greenhouse, helping prepare the little ones for the rows while listening to Clannad. Over time, through my own experience and the teachings of others, I developed ceremonies, both agrarian and spiritual, in the commencement of gardens. I share these now with you.

We celebrate renewal in our life cycle, in our holidays, our ceremonies. It is the essence of what we are as a pagan people. We are born of this life cycle and recycle many times in its matrix. We celebrate this now, as the summer furnace ignites and starts to churn, the conflagration of life that starts as a candle.

A popular tradition is the ceremony of Spring Cleaning. This is an airing-out, the relief of our forts fortified against winter. This is healthy for body and spirit. Negativity settles in the home when there is little circulation. It gathers like a black syrup, hardens. To recycle and renew, we must first clean the soil of our own beds. I have found this is best done with a two-pronged method of meditation and metaphysical means. Sea salt and lavender sprinkled around the home has a cleansing effect. It’s best to open all your windows, encourage a strong breeze to blow through. This draws out the ichors encased in the place. Smudging is an old tradition in these lands—the burning of a sage stalk, often using a feather to spread the smoke. A vacuum may then be used to clean up the remaining particles. Then prepare yourself a sage bath or incense. Meditate and envision a bright light cleansing you. Release your burdens. Be free.

Now, sans my gardens, I am confined to what garden guides term as Zone 6, as I’m sure are many of you. I will confine my essay to the use of pots, which is still of use even to those with the luxury of long, dark beds of rich soil at your guidance. I say guidance because we only guide nature and request it to grow to our design. Most of us are confined to flats in brick and steel buildings, but we still might draw soil from the earth and take it with us. In time, we will evolve to turn city buildings into green platforms, to purify the air and grow extra food. As long as there is sun and rain, so a plant will exert will and grow. This is a vital source of our life, our essence.

All born of the same root,

From singularity to weed and knot to singularity again,

The old light that shines to darken only to shine,

Lanterns hung in window and roof, medallions to keep us.

I prefer clay pots. They feel good to the touch, can hold temperature, moisture, yet they breathe. These pots are inexpensive and biodegradable. My herbs love them. Their spirits can spread out. It’s always best to cleanse the pots before planting. Plants are just as vulnerable to disease as we are, especially young ones. If you’re working in a hot greenhouse, treat it with hospital, sanitary conditions. A disease quickly spreads to all the young ones. Wash the pots with soap and water, dish detergent works well. Add a little sage or sea salt to the mix, then rinse them properly.

I go to a local nursery to find my herbs for the summer. I prefer this to growing from seed, as it saves time and can be difficult in an apartment. Professionals with experience staff nurseries, and often they have magick of their own, though they don’t call it that. It is better to go through nurseries than commercial chain stores. Plants often bought through places like Walmart are infected with disease and die soon after. When I search through rows of herbs, I use my left hand to feel above them, the energies. Left hand I use for receiving; the right hand, transmitting. It’s best to touch them as little as possible, for the concern of passing disease to the kids. I like to find the smaller ones, the ones excited for the chance to have a fulsome pot of soil in which to spread out. I plant herbs, the usual mints: Rosemary, lavender, sage, mint, lemonbalm. I also do umbels like fennel and coriander. These I find are also easiest to grow in zone 6.

Picking your growing spot will define the life of the plant. Sunlight nourishes the plant. It’s the most important factor when selecting location. I was blessed with windows with a morning eastern exposure. They’ve made such a difference. As I told a new friend last night, find the windows with the best sunlight in the morning, and that’s your best bet. Enchant the area. Burn a little incense on the spot. Place transparent, fey emblems in the windows. Paint symbols or verse or spells into the wood or scribe them on the pots. There are many ways to enchant a growing space, with words or music or light.

I put down an old blanket to transplant. It’s easier for cleanup. It’s best to do this in the morning to give the plants a full day of sun. I prepare my pots first, filling them with potting soil. I place a little gravel or even glass balls in the bottom of the pot if I want to improve drainage. It really depends on the plant. Also, adding sand might be helpful. It’s best to research the plant first. Carefully pull out the young plant from the container. Usually, its roots will mass and unite the dirt. It helps if the soil is damp. Tease the roots, pulling apart the fibrous clumps. Try not to tear the roots, but if you do, don’t worry; young plants are robust. Place them in the soil and cover the roots, then clean the leaves of soil. You’ll feel the love, the excitement as soon as those confined roots touch soil—all that room to spread out in. They burst. Water the soil. It takes a few days for a moisture level to build in the soil. Listen to your plants. They’ll tell you when they’re content, excited. You’ll see their growth.

These plants are medicine in chemical and in spirit. We bring them into our homes to give us life and light. If we listen, open ourselves to their ancient wisdom, we will find renewal and a new future.

*****

Easter Ledge Pudding (Dock Pudding)

A traditional dish in Cumberland, Yorkshire and the Lake District which is served during the Easter period with lamb.

Ingredients

3 handfuls each of young bistort and nettle leaves
1 handful each of dandelion and cabbage leaves
120g pearl barley, soaked and drained
120g oatmeal
60g butter
8 eggs
1 onion
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
Fat for frying

Wash and chop all of the leaves into a large bowl. Mix in the onion (chopped) and pearl barley, then season. Place the mix into a muslin cloth bag, shape into a rounded pudding shape and tie the excess cloth to seal. Boil for around two hours in a saucepan of water.

Hard boil four of the eggs, chop and allow to cool. Then, beat together the remaining four eggs and the butter. Mix in the boiled ingredients and the oatmeal then add the chopped hard boiled eggs and mix thoroughly.

Shape the mixture into small, flat cakes and fry in a frying pan for a few minutes before serving.


Irish Stew …in the name of the Law
By Fred Cairns

I’d be interested in hearing other people’s Irish Stew Recipes. Here are two of mine.

When I left Belfast in 1973, my Mum gave me her recipe for Irish Stew.
I have since seen a number of Irish Stew recipes, some of them in magazines. There seems to be a general thought that Irish Stew is fair game: anybody can create an Irish Stew recipe, even if they were brought up in Beverly Hills and never lifted so much as a wooden spoon in their lives. Or even tasted Irish stew. Or even seen a picture of it.
One recipe which struck me as particularly pretentious used mutton chops for the meat – presumably the author wasn’t aware there were other cuts of mutton – and used Guinness as stock. Perhaps it would have been more Irish if they had added green vegetable dye. Or a lock of Michael Flatley’s hair. Others seem to have heard Tom Lehrer’s recipe for Hungarian Goulash, and think it applies equally well to Irish Stew. It does not.

Ingredients

8 ounces of Stewing Meat – Shin of Mutton or Hough
1 ounce of butter
1 ½ lb of carrots
1 ½ lb of onions
3 lbs of potatoes
1 pint of water or stock
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon of grated nutmeg

Method

Cut the meat into half-inch cubes.

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter and braise the meat. Reduce the heat as low as it will go. Peel and chop the onions into half-inch cubes. Add them to the saucepan. Peel and chop the carrots. Add them to the saucepan. Peel and chop the potatoes into half-inch cubes or smaller. Add them to the saucepan. You may stir the mixture at this point or you may leave it alone if the heat is low enough. Add the stock, and add water until it is not quite covering the vegetables and potatoes. Add the salt. Simmer on a very low heat for as long as possible. Irish stew was traditionally prepared in the morning and left unattended on a turf fire. Modern cooking ranges produce a more intense heat, even at the lowest settings. If your range is too hot, simmer it for an hour, and then take it off the heat for an hour. Stir it well. Then simmer it for another hour. When the potatoes mush and lose their individuality, it can be served. Add the Pepper and the nutmeg, stir and serve.

Chose the potatoes carefully. Waxy potatoes are not good, and will take forever to go to mush. Floury potatoes are much better. My personal preference is for King Edwards, but we have had reasonable results with Romano.
Beware that these measurements are British Imperial, but approximate. An American pound varies from a British pound, and tablespoons also vary. Use your own judgement.

The Vegetarian Version

Out of sheer cussedness I became a vegetarian and finally decided to update the Irish Stew recipe.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons Olive Oil
Scallions (spring onions) to taste
Garlic to taste
1 ½ pounds of carrots
1 ½ pounds of onions
2 stalks of celery
1 large leek
Spinach
3 pounds of potatoes
1 Teaspoon of Mixed Herbs
½ teaspoon of Basil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Picquante Pimenton to taste
Hungarian Paprika to taste
1 Tablespoon of Ground Nutmeg
7 ounces of “RealEat” Vegemince (half a bag)

Method

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil. Peel and chop the carrots and braise them. I have had better results when the carrots are cut lengthways before being chopped. Smaller pieces of carrot gives the stew a more carroty taste. When the carrot has been braised for five minutes, turn the heat down as low as it will go. Coarsely chop the garlic and add this to the carrots. Chop the onions finely and add them to the mixture, and stir. Chop the scallions and add them. Chop the celery and add it. Clean and chop the leek and add it. Stir the mixture. Add the spinach. I use frozen leaf spinach, and I add about five lumps. This is probably two ounces of spinach. Finely chop the potatoes. Add the potatoes and stir the mixture. Let it simmer dry for a few minutes, then add the stock, the basil, the mixed herbs and the salt. It is best to add the salt at the same time as the potatoes. Add enough water to nearly cover the vegetables. Let this simmer for an hour. Turn the heat off, stir, and let the mixture simmer in its own heat for an hour.
When the potatoes lose their integrity, add the Vegemince. We have tried various vegetarian meat substitutes, with varying results. My wife objects to quorn substitutes in stew. TVP varieties give a better texture. Now add the nutmeg, the paprika and the Picquante Pimenton. Large quantities of nutmeg can have a mild hallucinogenic effect. That is up to you. When all the vegetables are well stewed, serve hot.

Herb Bread

By Fred Cairns

1lb strong Wholemeal flour
1lb strong white flour
1 tablespoon Dill
1 teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon Marjoram
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 pint skim milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried yeast

Warm the milk to hand heat. Add the dried yeast to ¼ pint of warm water and leave to quicken.
Measure out the flour and the herbs and spices and mix together. Add the sugar and honey and mix them in. Add the salt. When the yeast has quickened, add this to the mixture, and add the milk. Knead the mixture into a stiff dough, adding flour to thicken or water or milk to thin. Add a thin layer of oil to the surface of the dough to stop it drying out, and place in a bowl in a warm place for an hour or an hour and a half., until it has doubled in bulk. Knock back and separate into loaf tins. I use two large, two small. Replace the loaf-tins in the warm place and leave for a similar length of time.
Use a moderate oven, about 200 degrees Centigrade. I give my bread twenty minutes before swapping the top and bottom loaves in the oven, then another twenty minutes. Cool on wire racks.

I find our airing cupboard is a good place to rise bread, so long as nobody leaves the door open. That’s right, I’m talking about you. Yes you did. Well who did then?

*****


When Realms Collide
By Linda Gibson

Abby loved Ostara, it was one of her favourite festivals. Apart from scoffing chocolate eggs, she loved the fresh scent of the earth, and new growth blossoming everywhere.
She had made an altar at the foot of a Weeping Willow tree in her garden. Abby always left offerings to the Lord and Lady, and treats for the Faeries to thank them for their guidance, friendship and help with her dad’s garden. Everything he grew was the best in the village, and it was all thanks to the Faeries tending to the plants.

Tonight as a special treat for Ostara, Abby left a tiny glass of honey – a favourite of the Fae – and a nice green apple, cut through the middle to reveal a star-shape like a pentacle in the middle. She left them at the altar, and then recited a charm and sang a little song that she knew the Faeries loved. She realised she was being watched, but not by the Fae.

‘Matt, will you quit spying on me. It’s creepy!’ she said to her next-door neighbour.

At eighteen, Matt was a year older than Abby, and they had quickly become friends when Abby’s parents bought the cottage ten years ago. Matt liked Abby because she took him for who he was, not at all surprised with his Goth look. She never judged anyone. Abby knew Matt had a heart of gold and would help anybody, and those in the village were used to him.

‘I wondered what all of that racket was!’ teased Matt. ‘You know I love to watch you work, I can feel the energy coming from it. It’s wicked!’

‘It’s better when I work alone,’ said Abby. ‘Sometimes they appear to me, and I don’t want to lose that gift, or their trust,’ she explained.

The next morning, as a way of apology, Matt gave Abby a clear quartz crystal for her altar.

‘Thank you Matt, it’s beautiful. The Fae will love it,’ she smiled.

‘You’re welcome,’ smiled Matt. He hesitated for a second, before asking Abby ‘do you really see them, Faeries I mean? I know a lot of people believe in them, but I don’t know if they really exist.’

‘Yes I do see them Matt. They exist, but only show to very few people. And it’s a rare privilege that has to be held sacred to those they trust,’ Abby explained.

Abby walked the mile long journey to college alone. It gave her time to ponder without interruption, and to think of rituals and workings she could use. She didn’t notice anything unusual at first, but then she began to notice that people were behaving very nervously. They were very jumpy and shouting out in surprise at something.

‘What the hell was that? It’s ugly, whatever it is!’ yelled a man nearby.

The same scene greeted Abby when she arrived at college. To say it was chaotic was an understatement.

‘What’s going on?’ Abby asked when she saw John Simmons from her lecture group.

‘Don’t you see them? I don’t know what was in that joint Dave gave me, but I’m seeing Faeries and Elves and the weirdest creatures I never want to clap eyes on again! And I don’t mean Disney type. This is the last joint I smoke.’ He ran off before Abby could reply.

Abby’s blood ran cold. She had thought that there had been more Fae than usual showing up, but they should never be visible to everyone. Something was very wrong.

She ran home, giving the excuse of a migraine. When she got home, waiting for Abby in her bedroom was her Faery guardian, and the exquisite creature was extremely anxious, flitting about the room.

‘Bramble, what’s happened? The Fae are being seen by everyone!’

Bramble flew close to Abby’s ear so she would hear her.

‘Someone has carelessly used a charm, and it’s torn a hole in the portal between our realms. If it’s not closed quickly, it will destroy both of our worlds. The Realms should never mix, ever. You must find a way to close the tear, and destroy the spell so it can’t be used again. Our Queen has put her trust in you, she said you have more powers than you know,’ said Bramble.

Abby panicked. ‘Where do I look?’ she whispered.

‘Trust your instincts Abby. Ask the Old Ones for help, they will guide you.’ Then Bramble flew off before Abby could ask more questions. Abby went to her altar and lit a candle to help her concentrate. Once she was sat in a comfortable position, she began to meditate.

‘Old Ones guide me; show me how to save the Realms. I can’t do it on my own. I need your help, please!’ she pleaded.
Suddenly, Abby’s mind filled with images, jumbled at first, but then clearing. She saw a young man, Paul Booth that she knew from college, and he held an ancient looking Book of Shadows. He was sat in a clearing, Abby recognised the woodland. Paul sat in the middle of a salt pentagram and was surrounded by a circle of candles. Abby caught a glimpse of the page he was chanting from.

Abby heard a male voice, barely more than a whisper, in her mind.

‘Read the chant backwards, and cleans the clearing with Rosemary and Sage at the same time.’
Abby knew where Paul lived, and could catch him before he left for noon lectures if she ran. He was just stepping out of the front door when she arrived.

‘Where’s the book Paul? Abby asked frantically.

‘What book?’ asked Paul, surprised.

‘The Book of Shadows you used in your ritual when you were in the woods. You don’t know what you’ve done, do you?’ cried Abby.

She made Paul bring the book with them, while Abby explained everything on the way to the woods. He admitted experimenting with his grandmother’s Book of Shadows. Paul was devastated by what he’d done, and he promised Abby he would ask his grandmother to teach him the craft under her strict supervision.

Abby felt energy surrounding her in the clearing. She felt the presence of the Old Ones at her side. Her confidence soared. She read the chant backwards out loud as instructed and heard them chanting with her. She scattered Rosemary and Sage all over the ground at the same time. The energy built to an almost unbearable level. Suddenly, the tear became visible, and Fae of all kinds rushed through to the other side. Then the tear was surrounded by a golden glow and began to close. The light faded and the tear was gone.

‘You’ve done it!’ whispered Paul. ‘That was awesome.’

‘Never tell anyone what you’ve witnessed, about my powers or about my path,’ warned Abby.

‘I won’t,’ he promised. ‘I wouldn’t want to cross you with that power behind you. Besides, I may want to pick your brains, and I don’t want anyone to know I’m a Witch either.’

Later that night, Abby left an extra offering of honey for the Faeries at her altar on Paul’s behalf, as a way of apology. The Fae had a surprise of their own. The Queen herself had appeared and thanked Abby for her help, something that Abby would never forget.

*****


Night Poem
By Suzannah Defoe

The moons light shines down on us turning our breath silver in the frosty air,
As the waves crash down darkly against the shore.
Songs mingle, voices soften and laughter ebbs as the fire spirit flickers against the night.
Witches gather, joining hands, joy on their faces and in their hearts.
Frenzied stomping and leaping trace lines in the glistening sand as
Life jolts electric through fingertips that brush in the dance
Energy courses in the circle, hands held high in supplication
Cries and music lift to the stars
The sun rises on bodies sleeping where they fell.


The Oak And Holly King

By Audrey ‘Stormy’ Haney

For more poetry and artwork, visit Audrey at Visions of a Pagan.

In summers months a fight does come
for the oak king with his mighty sword
does fight his brother the holly lord
for right to sit upon the throne
his brother Holly does not win
and at the underworld sleeps within

when leaves turn gold and then fall down
to rest upon and turning ground
The oak king upon his throne
watches as the winter comes
that soon it will be time to fight
when he does hear the hounds of night

Now rests the trees of his gentle kin
are sleeping in the ground within
and lord of oak now knows its time
from underworld his brother climbs
The evergreen of holly bright
brings back the holly king to fight.

The holly lord bows to his brother
he will not bow to any other
lifts up his sword of winters rest
and plunges it into his brothers chest
His hounds of night do howl and bark
as the oak kings face turns dark

And so he falls to the underworld
to heal and rest while in the winters cold
the holly lord is now the king
and on the throne sits there within.
and toasts with mead his brother gone.
and sings aloud the yuletide song

For joyful times winters season bring
to ready for the start of spring.
and when the sun does rise once more
and brings his rays on winters floor
the oak king will rise again
and from his brother  will then reign.

By Audrey 'Stormy' Haney


3 Poems by Dania Ratiba Aldeek

A Night Like This

A Dummy

My Little Room

Dania aged 23, is a poet, she lives in Stoke, Staffordshire. She graduated from university in July 2010. Her poetry has been published on various websites and for the first time in Prototype magazine. She also is hoping to go into translation and eventually write poetry in Arabic.

A Night Like This

The window after hours
in all it’s chilly condensation.
Matted with midnight glisten.
Staring into;
pupils widen to pierce dusk’s cast.

Above, a wire that runs through.
The juice that streams
to bring artificial service and spark.
That intersecting intrusion
blitzing through nature’s scene.

Below,
smoking and soulless.
Vehicles that whir;
their cages skid on.

Then,
came a sudden silence;
enveloping stillness.
And the peace grew and became
the size of all outside.

A Dummy

Religion isn’t my rationale.
Allah hu akbar.
I put a dummy in your mouth,
transcended the torment.
Bismehla.

I cancelled His perpetual wisdom.
Washed away that logic and lifestyle.
Let me stifle the voices.
Ameen.

My Little Room

Silhouette slide shows
paint the wall with past.
In the darkest corner,
the parental appliance is on.
Their spluttering,
swilling.
As I resonate in my little room.


3 Poems by Karie McNeley

Bugging Me Insectually

The Sleeping Poet

A New Couch And A Rainbow

Bugging Me Insectually

the mumbling bumblebee buzz
distorts the kaleidoscope fly eye
and traps it in the shoddy web
of the black and the widowed
sticky like caterpillar feet
crawling in millipedic hundreds
for the mosquito-larvae
growing quick like maggots
in a bath of decaying grasshopper

The Sleeping Poet

I sleep like a brick
every night in my
tired twin bed.

My pillows fall,
my head hits
the wall hard,

but I do not wake
and my bard brain
dreams of poetry.


A New Couch And A Rainbow

leather
BLACK,
soft, rough
and all the in-betweens.
a lit candle,
RED,
the flame vibrant,
gives the couch,
an almost unrecognizable glow.
shimmery highlight
on the left arm
of the Queen’s seat,
softly dented
with the wear and tear of use,
as it beholds
this gorgeous weight,
airy, delightful,
or not.
so unclear
that the clouds,
WHITE
have deemed her person,
“non-existent”
and her personality,
“fraud”,
and they say she,
does not match the sky.
BLUE
eyes she says,
have enticed her.
as she sips
her fine glass of wine,
PURPLE
though experts
would probably
call it otherwise.
they are nots:
not satisfied
not sorry.
this new couch
gives her hope.
the wick burns away slowly,
melting a delightful,
ORANGE
onto the floor,
where it splashes accidentally
onto her bare foot
causing a jolt,
a bump of the table,
a tiny yelp of pain,
a drop of a wine glass,
a hurried panic,
a falling candle,
and searing flames,
YELLOW
burning for three hours,
until there is nothing left.
not even the grass
GREEN
except for the expression
on her face.
once content
but now forgotten,
as naked neighboring eyes,
lay rest upon the remainders,
where only dirt,
BROWN
lies.
and not pointing an inkling more,
towards anything that lie there before
the new couch
and the rainbow.


Haiku

By Rebecca L. Brown

Dawn breaks on the mountains
Flows down into the valley
Pools around the trees.

*****

Treadwells Events

20 March (Tuesday)
Interview with a Magician:
Krzysztof Azarewicz
In Conversation with Christina Oakley Harrington

Krzysztof Azarewicz has been studying and practising Thelema for nearly twenty years, and tonight talks about his experiences on this path, starting with his early experiences in Poland to his years here in the UK. Krzysztof is an active member of the Ordo Templi Orientis and an ordained priest of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. He founded and heads Lashtal Press, which publishes in Polish books by Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare. We are delighted he has agreed to join us here tonight as part of our series, asking long-term esotericists what it is really like to live a magical life, with its rewards, challenges and evolving perspectives.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

27 March (Tuesday)
Interview with a Witch:
Merlyn
In Conversation with Christina Oakley Harrington

What is it like to be a Wiccan priest? How does a person’s life start down that path, and what does it feel like some twenty years down the road? The experiences and adventures that make up the spiritual journey are individual, and this series is dedicated to speaking to individuals about their personal life stories and their own outlooks. Tonight’s interviewee is known by the name Merlyn. He founded the Witchfest annual gatherings in Croydon, and some years ago founded Children of Artemis. He has been in Wicca for over 20 years. Tonight we ask about the lived experience of being in the Craft, and how it’s evolved as a way of life, as well as talking about what it was like for him as a beginner.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

28 March (Wednesday)
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram:
Mini-Workshop Evening

An evening working one of the core individual rites of the Western ceremonial tradition.

If you are starting out in ceremonial magic, and want to get some in-person experience, this evening is for you. This night teaches you the LBRP (as it is fondly called) from start to finish, with lots of practice and coaching, so that when you go home, you can incorporate it into your practice if you so wish. The tutor is a longstanding magical practitioner grounded in Western ceremonial, ritual magic and esoteric kabbalah.

Price: £10.00 Time: 7.30, runs until 9.30 pm

29 March (Thursday)
Rescuing Manuscript Diaries:
Secret Lives from History
Irving Finkel (British Museum)

Other people’s diaries are simply wonderful and important and they usually get thrown away. What are they? Chronicles of truth from real people. The speaker will consider how and why this under-appreciated side of human life and endeavour is so often disregarded, and discuss his plans to form a National Repository to rescue unwanted private diaries for the long-term future when they will be treasured as gold dust. Irving Finkel, in addition to being an assistant keeper at the British Museum and a published author of children’s books, is a passionate advocate for the collection and preservation of personal diaries and journals: see the Independent, the Mail and the BBC. An inspiring and entertaining speaker, so we promise you an unforgettable night.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

31 March (Saturday)
Foraging for Herbs:
A Guided Teaching Walk for Aspiring Hedge Witches
Natasha Richardson

Knowing your herbs is an essential skill in the path of the hedgewitch. Natasha Richardson leads seasonal walks to help you learn just this. She identifies native plants that are important in British folklore and in herbal medicine in this two-hour foraging walk in a part in Central London. Along the way Natasha will share stories, superstitions and also some basic biochemical facts about each. A lively speaker, she is both a hedgewitch and medical herbalist with her own established practice, Rowan Remedies. This walk concentrates on herbs visible in March.

Price: £8.00 Time: 12.45 for 1.00 pm departure, Regents Park tube station.

31 March (Saturday)
Sigil Magick:
A Half-day Intensive
Mark Smith

Making sigils is a way to ensure effectiveness, maximising the techniques developed from Austin Osman Spare to Pete Carroll to hypnosis. This day takes you through the origins, essential qualities and mechanism of the sigil: from intent to inscription to implantation in the unconscious, with the creation of belief and bypassing the conscious censor. The techniques of sigilisation are explored in theory and will be implemented in practice. This is an afternoon for the chaos magician who wants a focussed treatment of this key tech, and for anyone interested in the nitty-gritty of results magic. Mark Smith is a longstanding chaos magician, a professional drummer, and a qualified hypnotist with an established practice in that field. His workshops receive rave reviews.

Price: £25.00 Time: 1.00 pm to 5.30 pm

31 March (Saturday)
Witchfather, Gerald Gardner’s Bio
Book Signing
Philip Heselton

Come by the shop this afternoon to get your copy of the long-awaited biography of Gerald Gardner by Philip Heselton. Entitled Witchfather, this biography is issued comprehensively in two volumes, includes much about the ideas and experience behind Gardner’s Wicca and its formative precursors in the early twentieth century. Philip Heselton is a much-loved author who has shared with many pagans his research discoveries in smaller talks and lectures over the years: here’s the final result! Join us for a glass of wine, a cup of tea, some cake and an informal chat. Pick up your copy of the books and Philip will gladly sign them for you.

Price: Free Time: 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, stop by anytime

3 April (Tuesday)
Beacons of Belief:
Trees in the Religions of Early Medieval England
Dr Michael Bintley (Oxford University)

They say that pagans are tree huggers, and so it is fitting that tonight’s talk is on the importance of trees and woodland in the beliefs of the Anglo-Saxons and their Norse neighbours. He uses current interdisciplinary approaches to sources, so you will be treated to Old English and Old Norse texts, Anglo-Saxon art, sacred landscapes, and ritual objects. And, he argues that the veneration of the tree did not cease with the adoption of the cross; indeed, the shift from paganism to Christianity was a case of gradual assimilation rather than sudden abandonment of old ways. Mike Bintley (Oxford University) wrote his doctoral thesis on ‘Trees and Woodland in Anglo-Saxon Culture’, and has also taught medieval literatures at University College London and Birkbeck. We welcome him to Treadwell’s for the first time.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

4 April (Wednesday)
Your Own Hypnosis and Trance Induction:
Hands-on Techniques for magical practitioners
Mark Smith

A practical evening teaching hypnosis methods to self-induce trance states and to work on unconscious mind patterns, in your magical practice. Techniques will enhance visualisations and pathworkings and intensify your ritual workings — whether you work in chaos magic, shamanic journeying, general meditation or witchcraft. Practical exercises through the evening mean you can immediately apply these methods. Repeated dates due to popular demand. Mark is a professional clinical hypnotherapist, professional drummer, gym addict and chaos magician. An outstanding opportunity from someone with experience and skill.

Price: £10.00 Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 start, runs until 9.30 pm

10 April (Tuesday) and following Tuesdays
Traditional Folk Herbalism:
Introductory Course
Natasha Richardson

Learn the basics of herbal medicine from a qualified herbalist who will combine lectures on principles and methods with in-class practical sessions on making basic preparations and potions. Aimed at those with a calling to the hedge witch or cunning man, this course is full of the rich culture of traditional remedies, underpinned by an holistic approach to healing. Independent work will include research, finding plants, and doing home preparations. Tutor Natasha Richardson is a qualified medical herbalist with a deep love of plants and nature, who has a private practice as well as five years working with Neals Yard Remedies. Eight Tuesday evenings. Price includes materials and handouts.

Price: £170 (£80 deposit, balance due first session) Time: 7.00 to 9.00 pm

16 April (Monday)
Nigredo:
Stage One in the Alchemical Opus
Paul Cowlan

Whatever your angle on alchemy the Nigredo is where it all begins. The dusky flight of the Raven, the intractable stubborness of the Toad, the snarling aggression of the Bear. It is the prima materia, deep down in the dark earth; the scrambled, depressing rag-bag of indeterminate qualities which forms the lead which is to be transmuted into solar gold. Paul Cowlan this year gives a series of four lectures on the four main stages of the alchemical work, with particular reference to the pictorial imagery, and its relevance to the personal quest. This is the first. Paul Cowlan has been working in spiritual alchemy for over twenty years. A lucid and engaging speaker, he is a Treadwell’s favourite for his lectures unpacking the symbolism and meanings of spiritual alchemy from its vivid image codes.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

18 April (Wednesday)
Transmitting the Sacred Fire:
Transformation and Identity in Austin Osman Spare
Michael Staley

A fervent, compelling mystical and magical vision burns at the heart of the art of British occult artist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956). First articulated in The Book of Pleasure, it continuously developed throughout his lifetime’s work. In this illustrated talk Michael Staley explores Spare’s mysticism and magical vision, using drawings and paintings which communicate it especially clearly, and drawing upon his mature writings of the late 1940s and the 1950s. If Spare intrigues and compels you, then this night’s for you. Michael Staley is the founder of Starfire Publishing, who last year published two early sketchbooks by Spare as Two Grimoires. An enthusiastic collector of Spare’s art, and immersed in Spare’s work for many years now, Michael is particularly interested in how this work resonates with other mystical and magical traditions.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 pm start

23 April (Monday)
Waking the Dead in the Middle Ages:
The Tales the Graves Tell
Dr James Holloway

Stories of the walking dead are common in medieval literature, from romances to saints’ lives. Ghouls, ghosts and vampires were said to return from their graves to terrorise the living. But how much did ordinary people actually believe these tales? Can the odd items found in some medieval graves shed more light on these beliefs? Join James Holloway for a tour of some of the stranger burial practices of medieval Europe, and learn about the archaeological evidence for belief in the dangerous dead. Dr James Holloway studied archaeology at Cambridge University, and remains fascinated by the strange things that people are willing to do to dead bodies.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 pm start

26 April (Thursday)
Fr. Achad’s Rite of Isis
A Thelemic Rite Performed

Tonight offers an opportunity to see a Thelemic ritual performance containing pentagram and Hexagrams rituals, litanies, chants, and is performed by four temple officers in full robes, and a temple space appointed with a full complement of Egyptian nemysses, candles and magical weapons. The Rite of Isis was composed in 1914 by two of Aleister Crowley’s magical students in a Canadian Lodge of the O.T.O and was performed there that year. The authors drew heavily on Crowley’s writings, most heavily Rites of Eleusis. It is not in print to the public and has almost never been performed before an open audience. Tonight is ideal if you wish to take a closer look at Thelemic ceremony. Due to space constraints, numbers are limited.

Price: £15.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

28 April (Saturday)
Sigil Magick:
A Half-day Intensive
Mark Smith

Making sigils is a way to ensure effectiveness, maximising the techniques developed from Austin Osman Spare to Pete Carroll to hypnosis. This day takes you through the origins, essential qualities and mechanism of the sigil: from intent to inscription to implantation in the unconscious, with the creation of belief and bypassing the conscious censor. The techniques of sigilisation are explored in theory and will be implemented in practice. This is an afternoon for the chaos magician who wants a focussed treatment of this key tech, and for anyone interested in the nitty-gritty of results magic. Mark Smith is a longstanding chaos magician, a professional drummer, and a qualified hypnotist with an established practice in that field. His workshops receive rave reviews.

Price: £25.00 Time: 1.00 pm to 5.30 pm

29 April (Sunday)
Mysteries of Beltane:
Intensive Day Course on Symbol, Folklore, Magic
Suzanne Corbie

Spend the day immersed in the ancient pagan festival of Beltane, or May Day. You will be treated to folklore, traditional customs, inner spiritual meanings — and for ways in which it is celebrated in the present as well as in the past. It includes illustrated lecture, handouts, exercises, seminar discussion, meditation and some traditional craft work. A ceremony completes the day. You will leave with solid knowledge and experiental workings which you can bring to your personal life. Ideal if you love folk customs, or if you are studying as a pagan. Suzanne Corbie is a practising Wiccan Priestess with over 37 years’ experience. She brings a wealth of information and personal insight on native British folk customs to this workshop.

Price: £35 (£20 deposit, balance due on the day). Time: 11.00 am to 5.30 pm

30 April (Monday)
Shinto:
An Unbroken Pagan Path?
Dr. Aidan Rankin

Shinto, the traditional spirituality of Japan, appears to be an unbroken pagan path that meets the needs of an urban, technological society. Here in the West pagans are connecting to their own ancient spiritual cultures – also urban people. Tonight’s speaker outlines the basics of Shinto which, like other paganisms, can be seen as monotheistic, polytheistic or neither. Also like other pagan religions, it is indigenous, with very specific Japanese cultural and ecological roots. Sp does it have to be ethnocentric? The issues and challenges of Shinto also apply to Druidry, heathenism, Wicca and all western paganism. A talk for all thinking pagans who are concerned about how we think about religion. Aidan Rankin is a researcher on spiritual and esoteric matters. His most recent book is Shinto: A Celebration of Life, and he is now working on Jainism and science.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

2 May (Wednesday)
Floralia Beltane Rite
with Introductory Lecture
With Caroline Wise and Friends

The Roman festival of Floralia, held in honour of Flora, the Goddess of Flowers, took place between 27th April to 4th May. Many European Beltane observances come from it: Flora’s echo is in the May Queen and the garlands of flowers worn in modern Beltane celebrations. Tonight is a talk on Flora and Beltane followed by a Beltane ceremony in her honour, welcoming the coming summer and the flowering of the land. This event is suitable for beginners and those experienced in ceremony alike. Beginners to ritual especially welcome. This evening is led by Caroline Wise, an arch-priestess in the Fellowship of Isis who runs events in the UK, Germany and the USA. For the last 30 years she has been working in discovering and celebrating the goddesses of London. She returns to Treadwell’s by special invitation.

Price: £10.00 Time: 6.45 for 7.00 pm (please note early start time)

5 May (Saturday)
Foraging for Herbs:
A Guided Teaching Walk for Aspiring Hedge Witches
Natasha Richardson

Knowing your herbs is an essential skill in the path of the hedgewitch. Natasha Richardson leads seasonal walks to help you learn just this. She identifies native plants that are important in British folklore and in herbal medicine in this two-hour foraging walk in a part in Central London. Along the way Natasha will share stories, superstitions and also some basic biochemical facts about each. A lively speaker, she is both a hedgewitch and medical herbalist with her own established practice, Rowan Remedies. This walk concentrates on herbs which flourish in May.

Price: £8.00 in advance Time: 12.45 for 1.00 pm departure, Regents Park tube station.

9 May (Wednesday)
Madame Blavatsky:
Magician, Radical, Feminist
Gary Lachman

Say ‘Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society’ and we think of the mystic East; yet Blavatsky’s roots lie rather in the western esoteric tradition. She synthesised Eliphas Levi, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Mesmer, Paracelsus and Neoplatonists into a thrilling mix. And though she worked with spiritualists, she declared herself a magician, able to command elementals and not merely be a medium for the dead. She also espoused left-wing politics, allying with progressive, even radical movements. To top it off, she was a woman, a female in a world where the male magician was the norm. See this amazing character in a new light. Gary’s forthcoming book is Madame Blavatsky:the Life and Times of the Mother of Modern Spirituality.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

16 May (Wednesday)
Hygromanteia:
An Important Byzantine Grimoire
Ioannis Marathakis

Tonight we meet the grimoire which is the father of the famed Key of Solomon. The Hygromanteia is an incredibly important magical text which has languished outside of Western awareness due to its being Greek, but is now at last properly identified and brought to the Western European audience. Editor and translator Ioannis Marathakis comes to Treadwells to bring this wondrous grimoire to life in a breathtaking slide lecture. For all who are enchanted by the books of spirit magic, planetary magic, seals, sigils and angelic beings: this night’s for you. Copies of the book will be on sale.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

21 May (Monday)
Bohemian Occult Subculture in the 1890s:
Artists, Actors & Writers of the Golden Dawn
Christina Oakley Harrington

The Order of the Golden Dawn is an icon for modern occultists: it’s the late Victorian ceremonial magic organization which created the template for subsequent Western mysteries, Kabbalah, Celtic mysticism, and even Wicca. The 1880s to 1920s saw an occult renaissance, sudden and powerful: historians stress the founders’ connection with freemasonry, giving the impression that it was a club of old Establishment men. In fact, the Golden Dawn was driven by a bunch of young creatives – friends working in ad hoc collaboration. Meet these young bohemian women and men, and be inspired. Christina Oakley Harrington repeats this illustrated lecture at the request of those who could not attend the sold out performance last autumn. Early booking advised.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

30 May (Wednesday)
The Triple Goddess:
Her History, Ancient and Modern
Prudence Jones

When is the earliest appearance of the threefold goddess in history? What does it mean to modern pagans who speak of the Moon, and the Goddess of Nature as ‘Maiden, Mother and Crone’? Why should you sing the praises of a Cambridge scholar named Jane Ellen Harrison? Prudence Jones answers these questions and more, in a lively scholarly talk. By the time you leave, you will know why and how the triple goddess lived, and lives again. If you’ve ever gazed at the moon, done a magic spell, or secretly worshipped a goddess, this night is for you. Prudence Jones is a writer and commentator on European Pagan traditions and associated spiritual systems, especially Wicca and astrology, though she began as an academic philosopher at Cambridge. A past president of the Pagan Federation, she is co-author of History of Pagan Europe.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 pm start

6 June (Wednesday)
Learning the Tarot:
Foundation Course for Beginners
Sue Merlyn Farebrother

Learn to read tarot with a gifted, experienced teacher. In an active lively class, progress from basics to more complex classic tarot, grounded in mystical symbolism. Includes homework, handouts, and backup support. By the end of the eight-week course, students can do basic readings and use tarot in meditation. Tutor Sue Merlyn Farebrother has been reading tarot for 30 years. The class runs for eight Wednesday evenings, starting 6 June.

Price: £160.00 (£80.00 deposit, balance due on first night) Time: 6.45 for 7.00 pm start
Outside events

Our workshop space is sometimes used by other groups for their events and meetings. Here below are upcoming events by outside groups. Treadwell’s Bookshop is not the organiser for any of these — we are simply the venue and have no involvement beyond that. Please contact the organisers directly if you have any questions or wish to sign up for any of these below. And. you wish to hire our space, just give us a ring for a quote.

23 March (Friday)
Temple of Levanah

An evening meditative circle led by Chris and Vivianne Crowley. It draws on Western magical tradition, Wicca and Buddhist practice and is open to those of all paths. Spiritual attunement, honouring Goddess and God, and developing visualisation, insight and healing. More on their web page. Please write in advance via BMDeosil@aol.com.

Price: £8 Time: 7.15 pm for 7.30 pm start

22 March (Thursday)
The Druid Order (A.D.U.B), Open Introductory Evenings
Alternate Thursdays through the Spring

The Druid Order is well known for their public ceremonies, most notably the Midsummer rites at Stonehenge, performed in distinctive long white robes. Throughout the year, they hold open evenings for those who wish to learn more about them. Druid Order 020 8659 4879. Future dates: 19 Apr, 3 May, 17 May, 31 May, 14 Jun, 12 July.

Price: £5.00, just turn up. Time: 7.30 pm

9 April (Monday)
Thelema One-Day Conference
“Save the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu”

A one-day conference in honour of the Reception of the Book of the Law, organised by a Greek non-profit organisation, to save the site in Cefalu, Italy. Readings and talks. Speakers confirmed are Paul Feazey of Lashtal, Anna Apostolidou, Michael Staley of the Typhonian Order, Peter Grey of Scarlet Imprint, Katerina Kerasoti. Note: the day of this event is Easter Monday. Full details and booking instructions on the website.

Price: £20 in advance via Treadwell’s