We’re delighted to welcome you to the one year anniversary issue of the Pagan Friends Webzine! We’re celebrating bringing you a whole year of great articles, interviews, poetry and more with a fantastic Beltane issue, including content from Jessica Howard, Robert W. Sullivan IV, Esq. and a beautiful selection of photography including work byBenjamin J. Kirby, Carlo Vella and Cai Thomas.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our webzine throughout the past year as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. Many thanks to all the friends, contributors and behind-the-scenes helpers who have made it possible for us to keep producing the Pagan Friends Webzine.

Thanks, as well, to everyone who entered our Ostara craft competition. We had some great entries and it was really hard to pick out just one, but we managed it in the end (just about!). And here it is:

Winner of the Ostara Craft Competition:
'Munch Egg' by Ira Dracona

We really liked the idea of making a bird egg and thought a budgie was a really original idea; thanks Ira!

And here are a few of our other favourites:

Interview

An interview with the Pagan Friends Forum’s Jess

Celebration: Our one year anniversary special feature!

Recipes

Honey Cakes, By Suzannah Defoe

Articles

Astro-Theology: A New Way of Interpreting the Bible, By Robert W. Sullivan IV, Esq.

Rose & I Go To See The Fairies, By T. Fox Dunham

Gypsy Love Cards, By Jessica Howard

Astroflash Monthly Horoscope for May 2012, By Flash Silvermoon

Poetry

Five Plant Poems, By Hilary Sideris

Nutmeg
Mandrake
Leek
Garlic
Oregano

Events

Treadwells Events

What’s On Elsewhere

Want to contribute to our Summer Solstice 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 Summer Solstice issue. We’re interested in your personal anecdotes, poetry and short stories; if its interesting and relevant, we want it.

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.

Home of 16th Century Cupuchin Friars in Sintra, Portugal
Photography by Carlo J. Vella


An Interview With The Pagan Friends Forum’s Jess

How did you discover your path, and how did you know it was right for you?

For me it started when I was a kid, before I knew what paganism was; I was the kid that would mix spells and potions from things I found in the garden, who believed that God was a woman, that you could achieve things with the power of your mind. When I was 13 I read an article in a magazine from a real life witch, and that’s when I first discovered Paganism. Since then it snowballed. I instantly knew it was right for me; it incorporated everything I had believed from a young age. As a solitary pagan, I have never been trained under one particular tradition, and I have never really found one that I thought ‘Yeah, I want to stick with this!’ So my path is very eclectic, with a strong emphasis on working with nature and self-improvement.

Did you grow up in a houshoad that had pagam/spiritual leanings?

Not at all. My parents aren’t particularly religious, but the school I attended was very Christian.  Whilst Christianity was a religion that made me uncomfortable, as it just didn’t seem right to me, it taught me how to form a bond with divinity through hymns and prayer, which is very important to me.

Have you ever done/experience anything Pagan related which has scared you?

When I first started practising rituals and spell casting, I was quite young, and eager to jump straight in, so I did a lot of work without knowing fully what I was doing. In hindsight I had nothing to fear, but at the time sitting a candle lit room invoking the Goddess was pretty scary. The only real occasion I can recall ever being really scared in was when I was doing some crystal scrying one night during a particularly powerful full moon; it was all going fine, when suddenly I saw a man’s face, so strong and vivid and a voice clear as day saying ‘Beware the man with the moustache’. It really unsettled me for a couple of days afterwards, as I’ve never had a vision so strong or so ominous.

Do you wander from your path? And what brings you back?

I lead quite a busy life, what with work and all the volunteering I do, and sometimes it is quite easy to stray from my path. Sometimes I find that I don’t have the time to even say a little prayer in the mornings. Sometimes stress draws me from my path; I never lose faith, but I always feel guilty about not being as dedicated as I should, or want to be. Sometimes it is hard to get back on the path, but I find that eventually I will feel the pull so strong I just slip back into it. Other times, I need some sort of impetus. There are three main ways in which I bring myself back which always seem to work; I read a pagan book or watch a pagan-related film (sometimes even Buffy The Vampire Slayer is enough to ignite my passion again, as unrealistic as I know it is). Another thing I do is go for a long walk in nature, if I can, to St Catherine’s Hill in Winchester; it has a pretty powerful ley line running through it and I’ve had some amazing experiences up there. My other guaranteed technique is to browse the pagan friends forum; with a wealth of information and friendly people with tons of experience to share, I can’t help but feel inspired by my friends.

have you faced negativity about your path life from friends, family, employers, neighbours, etc ? and if so, how have you handled it?

The main prejudice I faced was at high school, when I was first exploring my path. Being excited about it, and it being a small school, it soon got around that I was pagan. Even my own friends laughed at me for it, which was hurtful; being so young, and having your beliefs trashed for the first time is not an easy experience! It lead me to creep into the closet for several years, until I reached university and met other like-mided pagans. It gave me the confidence to come out into the open about it, and through my openness meet other pagans in my area. My boyfriend laughs at me about it, but that is just because he loves any excuse to wind me up! At the end of the day he is very accepting.

Paganism is something I have broached with my family, and not to successfully; the believe it is all a bunch of nonsense, and so whilst they know I am very into ‘new age stuff’ they don’t really know the extent of it!

I tend to keep my beliefs quiet at work too, after a bad experience in a previous job. I was 19, at university, and working at a call centre for a bit of extra money. My boss noticed the pentacle around my neck, and asked me if I was a devil-worshipper. I replied no, and told her that my nan who was superstitious had bought it for me to protect me when I went off to university, hoping that would be the end of the conversation. It wasn’t, and she then proceeded to tell me and everyone I was working with in the call centre that she went through a ‘phase’ when she was a teenager and studied demonology extensively, and that I was most definitely a devil worshipper. I was so mortified that a boss could take this sort of attitude and behaviour with one of her employees that I couldn’t fight back or defend myself. I left the job a week or so later, but now tend not to wear a pentacle necklace to work; I have a small, silver pentacle ring I wear which is discreet and very few people pick up on.

do you have daily rituals? or is your pathworking more kind-of as and when?

I would love to have daily rituals, and I always start them with the best intentions; and then I find that life kind of gets on top of me and I end up abandoning them, so my pathworking is very much as and when. I do make a point of talking to my Goddess every day, but otherwise I am constantly having to look for chances to perform any sort of working; for example, when making dinner I tend to fuel whatever I’m cooking with a specific intent as I’m stirring it, or if I’m sat in the park on my lunchbreak eating a sandwich, I will leave a bit of it under a tree as an offering. I am currently looking to work daily meditation into my routine, even if it is just ten minutes before bed, as I feel it is something I have been neglecting recently, and meditation is a big part of my personal path.

do you follow the wheel of the year?

I do follow the wheel of the year, and even though I try to plan them days , sometimes weeks, in advance, they still sneak up and take me by surprise! Being a solitary pagan means that sometimes it is hard to find the motivation to keep on top of these things, but just recently I have discovered other pagans in my area and we have begun spending Sabbats together, which is great. However, if I am celebrating it on my own, even if I am short on time will at least light a candle and say a little prayer.

Is there a Sabbat that holds most meaning for you?

My favourite sabbat is Imbolc; I feel empowered by the thought of new beginnings. Also, it is the first of the fire festivals, and my element is fire, so I always feel drawn to it.

how do you normally celebrate it?

I have always celebrated Imbolc as a solitary. If I have the time, I like to go for a walk and gather any bits of nature I can find to decorate my alter. Then I decide on a goal, something I want to achieve that year, and do a ritual to honour the coming of Spring, and ask for blessings in my specific goal, make an offering and then have a merry little feast and leave a candle burning. The alter usually stays up for the whole day. However, if I don’t have time to do anything ritualistic, I will usually just light a candle and meditate on the meaning of Imbolc, give thanks and ask that the Lord and Lady continue to bless me with their presence in my life.

do you have any working tools, crystals, herbs, oils, etc or practices you would call your favourites?

Whilst I am a person who relies on visual stimuli and triggers a lot, I don’t really own that many tools. I still use the same wand that I made when I first started practising in all my rituals and workings, except for the Sabbats when I use a more decorated one I made at a workshop at Witchfest one year. My favourite tool is probably my amethyst pendulum; it took me so long to find a pendulum that I felt I could actually connect to, so it is really special to me. And I couldn’t live without Lavender Oil; it’s a godsend for someone as clumsy as me!

Where do you go to find sacred space? Do you have a favourite location to be in?

Unfortunately there aren’t many secluded outdoor spaces near me, so I tend to create sacred space for workings in my room, and when I’m not working I keep a clear quartz point pointing clockwise on the windowsill to help keep the positive energy flowing. My favourite location, however, is St Catherine’s Hill in Winchester. I went to university in Winchester, and spent a lot of time up here, watching lunar eclipses or meditating or just wondering around. I found out just after I left Winchester that there is a pretty big ley line running through it, which explains a lot! I haven’t managed to find the time to go back there since I left university, which is a shame, so I am hoping to find the time this summer.

Ever been anywhere you didn’t want to stay because it’s vibe was wrong? Any weird happenings?

Not anything to really talk about. I’ve had the whole bad-vibes thing when walking into certain buildings and found that I had to leave as soon as possible, but that is about the extent of it.

What’s your “take” on fate?

I believe that we all choose our own fate. But if we ask our Gods and Goddesses, they will show us the way that is best for us; for example, casting a spell to attain a certain job, only to find out a couple of days after the interview you didn’t get it. To me, that isn’t that your spell didn’t work, that is divinity intervening because they know there is something better waiting for you. If you don’t want divinity’s help, then don’t ask for it, but I reckon I have been a lot better off in life for it!

Has your Path developed/changed over the time you have been Pagan? If so, How?

My path has changed so much over the years, it makes me proud to look back on and see how far I’ve come. When I first started out, I was very Wiccan; the thought of cursing and hexing scared me out of my mind, just the names of certain deities had me trembling in my shoes, and to be honest, I didn’t really know of any other paths or traditions. Since then I have definitely become more open minded and better read. Wicca, although still an influence, is not a major influence of my path anymore. I have thought about and questioned karma and the nature of healing and hexing and reached my own conclusions, and some of those deities that I swore I would never work with have become my patrons. The more I studied, the less I feared, and the more I learnt the more I wanted to know.

Who and/or what in the Pagan World have influenced you most?

Those people who have influenced me the most along my path have been the everyday pagans; my pagan friends, and members from the pagan-friends forum. It is so inspiring to hear and read and see for myself the way that they incorporate their beliefs into their everyday lives, to really see what is possible and what I could achieve for myself if I just studied and practiced and believed. Whilst I find authors are a great source of knowledge and inspiration, they lack the personal touch that you get through friendships, and I think that is one thing that really spurs me on.


Celebration!

Thanks to everyone who sent in photographs of themselves celebrating; our favourites were from the Pagan Families and Friends of West Michigan group.

The group’s next gathering will be on the 6th May; visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pffwm for more details.


Honey Cakes

By Suzannah Defoe
I don’t know about the rest of you but for me honey cakes are an essential part of any celebration. Little wispy fluffy pieces of honey buttery goodness that melt in your mouth go well with any hot or cold drink and are easy to make, transport and of course share! The recipe that follows is my own personal favourite adapted from fairy cakes but please feel free to embroider upon and change to your heart’s content.

Ingredients.

175g unsalted butter (preferably softened).

175g caster sugar.

175g self-raising flour.

3 medium free-range eggs (beaten).

½ teaspoon baking powder.

2 Tablespoons mead (or milk if making for young ones).

3-4 tablespoons of honey.

This is enough to make 24 small cakes or 12 larger muffin sized cakes.

Begin by heating your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and arranging your trays with cupcake/muffin liners. I find it useful to also make sure all my ingredients are out on the work surface before I begin. Take the butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat them together until the mixture is smooth. You can do this by hand if you prefer but it’s perfectly acceptable to use a mixer. Using a sieve sift the flour and baking powder down onto the wet ingredients. Try to keep the sieve at a fair height above to give your cakes a lighter finish. Stir in the flour and add the mead (milk) and stir again. Your mixture should be smooth and fairly thick.

Spoon the mix into the cake cases so they are about half way full giving them room to rise. Bake them in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes for the smaller cakes and 15-20 minutes if you are using the bigger muffin cases. Keep an eye on your cakes so they don’t get overcooked. Ideally they should feel firm but spongy when pressed lightly with a fingertip. Turn them out onto a cooling rack.

While the cakes are cooling heat the honey gently either in a saucepan or in the microwave. You aren’t aiming to cook the honey just make it a little runnier. Use a cocktail stick to put several small holes in each cake and then slowly and gently drizzle over the warm honey. Your cakes are now ready to be eaten. Enjoy!

Forest floor
By Cai Thomas


Astro-Theology: A New Way of Interpreting the Bible

by Robert W. Sullivan IV, Esq.

[Author of The Royal Arch of Enoch: The Impact of Masonic Ritual, Philosophy, and Symbolism. http://www.robertwsullivaniv.com, http://www.facebook.com/theroyalarchofenoch. Release date: May 1, 2012]

In my new book, The Royal Arch of Enoch, I present a “hot button” subject. It is analyzed in Chapter III; it is an Astro-Theological interpretation of the Bible.  I also forge a nexus as to how this interpretation is symbolically carried on in both blue lodge and high degree Freemasonry.  These concepts stem from what are often called “The Mysteries” or “The Ancient Mysteries” which hold that religion is, in a nutshell, the anthropomorphization of the sun, the moon, the constellations, and heavenly bodies.  In other words, the characters in the Bible are not real, flesh and blood people, but are rather symbols representing the sun, the moon, the zodiac, and the cosmos.

Chapter III of The Royal Arch of Enoch begins,

“The Ancient Mysteries were practiced from approximately 6000 – 4000 B.C.E. in some form (perhaps earlier) to 379-395 C.E. when Christian Emperor Theodosius I outlawed the Mystery Religions; the Egyptian Serapeum, the Library of Alexandria, and the Temple of Apollo at Delphi were destroyed while Nicene Christianity and Roman Catholicism replaced (or appropriated) the Mysteries and became the official state religion of the Roman Empire.  The Mysteries consisted of two primary schools: the Egyptian and the Druidic.  From where these traditions come, likely a lost civilization – Atlantis, Lemuria – is left to speculation and open to suggestion.  The Mystery Schools contained initiatory rites where select neophytes were disseminated wisdom through a system of degrees; the truths or knowledge imparted was not available to the general populous and great lengths were taken to ensure the wisdom of the Mysteries was sequestered from them.  It was through the Mysteries – exoterically called “religion” – that mankind was guided, swayed, if not manipulated.  Once a candidate was initiated into the greater Mysteries he could not divulge the knowledge that was imparted to him, usually through allegorical symbolic metaphor. The Druidic Mysteries dominated the British Isles while the Mysteries of Egypt were naturally practiced on the banks of the Nile.  The philosophical symbolic teachings of both the Druidic and Egyptian Mysteries will now be explored.  The Egyptian Mysteries influenced and informed Judaism, the Eleusinian Mysteries, and the Greco-Roman Dionysian/Bacchus cults – all of which predate Christianity. Comparatively, the Persian Mysteries of Mithraism as contained within Zoroastrianism were intertwined with the Egyptian/Greco-Roman Mysteries and ultimately became the Sol Invictus cult which in turn became Roman state-sanctioned Christianity.  These mystery traditions also found their way into Islam seemingly as the worship of the planets – namely Venus.  The Mysteries contained two schools: one exoteric open to all, one esoteric known only to the initiated few.  The incorporation of the Mysteries into the first state backed “non-pagan” religion was enough to create the Mysterion – the Sacred Mysteries of Christianity – or occult Christianity, within which the true symbolic meanings of Christian religiosity and eschatology were contained.  This point was echoed by church father Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150-ca. 215 C.E.) who stated Christianity had, like the Pagan Mysteries, two schools: one for neophytes and one of secret knowledge transmitted to “a small number, by a succession of masters, and not in writing.”[Footnote]  Christianity following the Mystery tradition caused the learned church father Origen Adamantius (ca. 185-254 C.E.) who was a student of Clement of Alexandria to declare:

“The existence of certain doctrines which are beyond those which are  
openly taught and do not reach the multitude is not a peculiarity of
Christianity only, but is shared by the philosophers.  For they had
some doctrines which were exoteric and some esoteric.”[Footnote]

Paul the Apostle (of Tarsus, ca. 5-67 C.E.), in the forth chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians, speaking of the simplest facts of the Old Testament, asserts they are an allegory.  Both Origen and Pope Gregory I (a/k/a Gregory the Great) held that the Four Gospels were not to be taken in their literal sense; and Athanasius of Alexandria (ca. 296/298 – 373, a/k/a Athanasius the Apostolic) admonishes us that “Should we understand sacred writ according to the letter, we should fall into the most enormous blasphemies.”[Footnote]  In other words if we take the Bible – or any holy scripture – i.e. the Qur’an, the Vedas – literally, we are committing sacrilege and offending God.  In this vein it should come as no surprise that each of the Abrahamic faiths contains its own mystery tradition where the true meanings or teachings were concealed in symbolic allegory: the Mysterion within Christianity, Kabbalah within Judaism and Sufism within Islam. The impact of Sufism upon Masonry will be discussed in The Royal Arch of Enoch.  Christianity incorporates all the elements of the Pagan Mysteries only with new names assigned: Isis became Mary, Osiris transformed into her husband Joseph, Horus/Mithras/Bacchus/Dionysus/Apollo morphed into Jesus Christ[Footnote], etc.  One must bear in mind that many – if not all – of the dramatis personae of both the Old and New Testaments are not real people, but rather are astronomical/astrological or astro-theological allegories based upon the sun, the moon, the planets, and their movements through various constellations or relation to the stars or other celestial bodies or arrangements.  As will be seen, Freemasonry also incorporates elements of these Mysteries as a vessel or preserver of the ancient Mystery Schools.  In turn some Masonic historians traced masonry to the Essences (ca. 2 B.C.E. – 1 C.E.), a mystical Jewish sect allegedly responsible for the creation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essenes incorporated many elements of modern day Masonry such as different levels of initiation and vows of secrecy.”

These concepts are not “new” and I am not the first Mason to present this information. Other Masons that spoke on this controversial subject include Godfrey Higgins (1772-1833), Albert Pike (1809-1891), Manly Palmer Hall (1901-1990), Albert Churchward (1852-1925),  and Albert Mackey (1807-1881). However I am the first author to link these concepts which are to be found in The Book of Enoch or I Enoch, a sacred text left out of the Bible.  The influence of this book upon the high degrees of Freemasonry is the primary subject matter of the of The Royal Arch of Enoch as it presents a previously undiscovered historical anomaly.  It should also be pointed out that the influence of the Mysteries on the Abrahamic Faiths, namely the mysteries of Egypt, fascinated a Jesuit priest named Athanasius Kircher in the seventeenth century.  On Kircher I explain:

“Amun Re/Ra, later Horus – the spiritual, not material sun – was also the “risen” deity representing the sun as it “rises” in the east every morning bringing life, salvation and divine light to the world.  In the morning the sun (Amen Ra/Re, Horus) is “born again” as the supreme “Holy Father” defeating the darkness of the night (Typhon), at high-noon at its apex it is a youthful son/sun at full strength, and at evening the sun enters the ghostly underworld beneath the western horizon becoming a “Holy Ghost or Spirit”; the sun thus has three distinct phases: growth, maturity/strength, and decay.  To the Egyptians the sun was a symbol of immorality – it died each night only to be born again in the morning reaching full strength at noon.  This is where the concept of the divine trinity of  “the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” derives from within Christianity – from the Egyptian – as accepted by Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher (1602 – 1680);  the word “trinity” does not appear in the Bible.  Kircher was a Jesuit honored with the title “master of a hundred arts” who published numerous works on oriental studies, geology, and medicine.  Kircher, a hermetist-cabalist, continued the Renaissance tradition of interpreting Egyptian hieroglyphs as symbols containing divine truths; the hieroglyphs on the obelisk of Heliopolis to Kircher contained the fore-runners of Christian symbology including, among other things, the sun placed over a Christian cross seemingly crossifed or crucified.  Although one finds frequent reference to both Hebrew Kabbalah – its Sephirot – and Christian Cabala in his works, Kircher condemned the practice of cabalistic magic.  He published, among others, Lingua Aegyptiaca Restituta, Obeliscus Aegyptiacus, Obeliscus Pamphilius, Arithmologia sive De abditis numerorum mysterijs, Prodomus coptus sive Aegyptiacus, Rituale Ecclesiae Aegyptiacae sive Cophititarum, Sphinx Mystagoga, sive Diatribe Hieroglyphica, and Turris Babel. These texts were the first real studies of Egyptian hieroglyphs and forged a nexus between the Egyptian religion and Roman culture; the Egyptianizing of Rome itself in other words. (insert b/w frontispiece with caption: Frontispiece of Athanasius Kircher’s Arithmologia sive De abditis numerorum mysterijs, 1665, featuring an eye in the triangle inside a cabalistic sun – as God – as the source of knowledge surrounded by nine angels.  A cosmological sphere sits below it representing the heavens while two Persian Magi stare in awe. The magi on the right contemplates the 47th Proposition of Euclid – the future emblem of a Masonic Worshipful Master.)  In Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652- 1654) Kircher compared Christianity to the religion and mysticism of Egypt arguing that Christianity’s origins were born out of the Egyptian Mysteries; he also believed that Moses and Hermes Trismegistus were one and the same. At the end of Oedipus Aegyptiacus, just after the hymn from the Pimander with which he concludes, Kircher places a hieroglyph enjoining secrecy and silence concerning these sublime doctrines. And, in effect, in this survival in seventeenth-century Jesuitism of the most enthusiastic type of Renaissance religious Hermetism we have something like another of those esoteric channels through which the Hermetic tradition is carried on, which perhaps explains why Mozart could be a Freemason as well as a Catholic.[Footnote]   Kircher assisted Gian Bernini in the erection of an Egyptian obelisk in Rome’s Piazza Navona near the Fountain of the Four Rivers as a symbolic gesture to Christianity’s true occult origins.  The symbolism of an obelisk – associated with the spiritual solar energy Amun Ra/Re –  was well known to Kircher.  Regarding the divine trinity Kircher concluded that the Egyptian solar winged orb represented the Egyptian scarab beetle with its wings spread; it symbolized the beetle rolling it’s dung ball from east to west infusing it with it’s new seed – life, just as the sun by rising in the east and setting in the west infuses the earth with life and fertility.  Kircher also equated the Holy Trinity to occultism as inherited from Egypt and practiced by famed alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541): the Holy Trinity was fire, water, air – three elements found on earth but not earth themselves.  They were salt, mercury, and sulfur: the “Holy Trinity” – God – the universal seed of nature. This occult alchemical philosophy was adopted by Germanic theologian, mystic, and sage Jakob Boehme (1575-1624) who called the Trinity The Three Witnesses, by which the Invisible is made known to the visible, tangible universe.”

Within the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the “Sun/Son of God” – the light of the world – who is assisted by twelve apostles. The twelve apostles are the twelve houses of the zodiac that assist the sun on its annual journey.   The break down of the apostles and their respective zodiacs are as follows:

1. As Aries the Ram is the first house of the Zodiac, so is Peter the first leader of Christianity after Christ.  He is fiery, impulsive, yet changeable – he is the rock upon which Christ founds his New Church of the lamb. Etymologically the name “Peter” comes from the Greek “petra” meaning rock.

2. Taurus the Bull is the dogmatic Simon Zelotes – he who is concerned with property and finance – who rebelled against the payment of taxes. Taurus is admonished by God’s Sun: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…..”. Economically it is the sign of Taurus from where the term “bull market” originates.

3. Gemini the Twins is James the Lesser – intelligent but incapable of independent thought. Slow to accept the teachings of the solar messiah, but became an eloquent preacher of the church in Jerusalem and an active evangelist.  Astrologically the city of London, England is aligned to Gemini; its Great Fire of 1666 was predicted by English astrologer William Lilly (1602 – 1681) in 1652.  His hieroglyph shows twins – as London – burning. (Insert Lilly engraving with caption: The Great Fire of London of 1666 showing Gemini/London burning. It was published in 1652 in William Lilly’s book Monarchy or No Monarchy in England.) The English monarchy rules from St. James Palace/Court of St. James as an esoteric homage to Gemini.

4. Cancer the Crab is Andrew the home-body who dwells with his brother Simon Peter (a/k/a Peter). His first thought when he discovered the Messiah was to run and fetch his brother.

5. Leo the Lion is John; as Leo is ruled by the sun so then is John the most inspired and the most beloved of Christ’s apostles.

6. Phillip is Virgo: always precise, calculating, enquiring yet practical.: the decans of Virgo.

7. Libra is Matthew the even minded tax collector who uses the scales to weigh and collect money.

8. Judas Iscariot is Scorpio the Scorpion, the deadly backstabbing traitor who delivers his deadly sting or “kiss” shortly after the autumnal equinox sending the sun of God into death or winter. The “30 pieces of silver” that are paid to Judas in return for his betrayal are an occult reference to the moon and the 30 day lunar cycle.

9. James the Greater is Sagittarius, the wise teacher who along with the other two fire signs – Peter and John – are the most anxious to spread the light of Christ’s solar church.

10 Bartholomew – Nathaniel is dependable Capricorn in whom “there is no deception”.

11. Thaddeus – Jude is Aquarius, the social liberal who sought better living and working conditions and an overall better “state of being”. He interrogates Jesus at the Last Supper as to how Christ would manifest this.

12. Pisces the Fish are Thomas.  The two fish represent both the positive and the negative: just as Thomas believes and is courageous one moment (positive), he doubts the next (negative).  While believing Christ is the messiah he is best known for disbelieving the Resurrection; as such he is a “doubting Thomas”.

The Bible seems to document this symbology based on a phenomenon known as the Precession of The Equinoxes.  Based on the Precessional cycle the earth moves backwards one degree every seventy two years through each house of the zodiac which gives rise to the concept of solar ages, where the sun remains in each sign for approximately 2000-2100 years.  Thus we have the Age of Taurus, the Age of Aries, the current yet waning Age of Pisces, and the coming Age of Aquarius. The Royal Arch of Enoch documents how the adoration of the sun in each of these ages gives rise to the respective religion born out of that age.  In conclusion, one could argue that the Bible is a solar astrological calendar or sun dial more similar to the Mayan calendar than one may initially think.

About the author: Robert W. Sullivan IV is a philosopher, historian, antiquarian, jurist, theologian, writer, and lawyer; The Royal Arch of Enoch is his first published work and is the result of twenty years of research.  Mr. Sullivan received his B.A. from Gettysburg College in 1995, having spent his entire junior year studying European history at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University. He received his J.D. from Widener University (Delaware Campus) in 2000. He studied International Law and Jurisprudence at Trinity College, Oxford University.  Mr. Sullivan is a Freemason having joined Amicable-St. John’s Lodge #25, Baltimore Maryland in 1997; he became a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason in 1999, Valley of Baltimore, Orient of Maryland.  A lifelong Marylander, he resides in Baltimore.  

Copyright Robert W. Sullivan IV, 2012. 

Courroux, Switzerland
Photography by Benjamin J. Kirby

Rose & I go to see the Fairies

True Story

By T. Fox Dunham

As the spring weather comes, I feel the earth’s energy renew my fractured body. In the warm air, the sunlight, the renewing energy of thunder showers, I find rejuvenation. The summer. The spring. These are my times and tides. When winter bullies back into the year, I hide in my fox den and hibernate till the sun comes home.

The seasons have their spirits just as the land. They grow old as the year turns and are born again just as I am. Their children seed the hills, the forests, the tundra, and the seas. They have been given many names—elves, sidhe, erls, kami, the golden ones—and they exist in every folk tradition, often with condign natures. They are the fey. And they are with us.

In my journeys, I have encountered the wee ones—though some are not so small. It is hard not to encounter the folk. They live in most corners and caves, in oak caverns and behind the clay pots on our porches. Shamans encounter these beings as we step into the other world, and they act as guides or tricksters or lovers, all with vital lessons and often fun chaos. They walk in the layers of this world just as we do, and when the conditions are right, when states align, you might even be fortunate enough—or unlucky—to see them with your own physical eyes, real and material. I have seen them in this reality three times in my life sans the aid of shamanic transition. That’s when I knew I’d never be alone.

When I was 20, I went for a stroll at the end of April with an old girlfriend, whom I’m pleased to say became a good friend to me after our love did not survive our maturing. Rose couldn’t win a height contest with a caterpillar standing on its back legs—a little thing, sweet like a violet. The wind blew her hair curly dark. She loved to sing country sings, but she feared anyone hearing her. Once, she let me listen to a tape she’d recorded. I couldn’t tell the difference between her and a professional star. We deny the world much beauty when we don’t believe in ourselves.

My hair had grown back, all blond and curly after chemotherapy. For the three of you who follow my eccentric essays, you know that I’m a cancer survivor, as I often remind you. I professed high spirits and magick, but really a part of me had grown old so fast. I had seen so much, lost so much, even my love, and after I survived my rare cell type of lymphoma, I became a very dangerous thing: a wild fox searching for meaning, for justification to the suffering I had witnessed.

The magnolia trees wore white dresses along the canal. Their white hands fluttered to the trails, carpeting the grass with powdered sugar. I asked Rose to take a walk with me, into the wood behind the canal. I fetched my doctor’s bag filled with my magical wares, including a bag of fennel seeds. I had a special offering with me and a jar of milk.

We crossed over the still canal on a fallen oak. You could still spot hunks of coal that had fallen from barges that horse teams used drag up the canal. My grandfather brought me here to fish often through my life, though they’d stopped stocking it this far up. Carp ruled the shallow waters, fish who would torment my fishing and once even snapped my fly rod. Clever fish are carp. If you ever need wily advice and the fox aren’t coming out, summon a carp spirit. It’ll probably cost you some fomented mulberries.

We walked the opposite trail, the place where four years ago a tick crawled from the bordering wood to drink of my healthy blood. The 1990s were an era of over-development in my area, the coming of the stagnant armies of condos. Construction devoured the farmer’s fields, the woodland, the open spaces. This concentrated the deer populations or drove them off, and the ticks exploded onto the residential area. I was one of many to suffer in the bloom of lyme disease. Poison sumac masked the bull’s eye rash. I remember it so clearly now. When finally found two years later, the disease had wrecked my body, and the treatment triggered my lymphoma. This was a difficult place for me to go. I didn’t blame nature. I blamed the greed of the construction companies who devoured with little consideration of the future.

We crossed through the threshold, through the portals in the sticker bushes and brambles. We followed the trail along the ferns and sycamores and to the creek that split the wood. As we traveled deeper, you could sense the pressure of the forest building, pressing down on you. This is the deep heart of the trees. Every forest has one. It is where they dwell.

The ground sloshed under our shoes. Yellow sassafras grew high in the tall grasses on the edge of the bog. The mocking birds sung in three notes. The earthy smell of rotting wood cleared my head. We came to a tree stump. I knew this was the place. My third eye, my compass, felt it sync.

“Shhhh now,” I said to her. “We wait until the sun goes down. It’s the time in between. The ‘tween places. This where the fey traverse our world. They dance along the shore between the ocean and land.”

The sky ignited in pink, painting the clouds. I could feel the alignment in my chest. I opened my doctor’s bag and removed my wares. I came without any real intention. I just wanted to pay my respects, say salutations. I’ve always felt closer to their world than ours, probably one of this reasons this world has done so much to reject me. In chalk, I drew several symbols on the face of the stump. I called to them in several names. I tossed the fennel seeds into the far bog. Then I made my offering, my sacrifice.

Sacrifices, offerings to fey and gods are often in traditional forms such as golden bread or white milk or burned herb. There is a deeper magick in intent, in a true sacrifice of something that will not return. My gardening teacher would often give the last cigarette out of her pack when she knew it would be some time before she’d refill. This was her sacrifice, and it held meaning, intent. I’d written poem, deeply personal words. I wrote the simple verse on paper, then with a lit incense stick, I burned it on a small cauldron of sand. In my mind, I sung the words. This was my gift, and I’d never write the words again. This was my sacrifice. Then, I poured the milk.

We waited for a time as the sun set. I played my little flute. The energy shifted, and I felt it was time for us to travel back. As I gathered my wares into my doctor’s bag, Rose froze. Her face cracked. I’ve seen a similar look from people in dark places when we’d hear something knock. I followed her gaze to the base of the stump. At first, I thought they were lightning bugs giving us a spectral show, flying low to the ground. As I studied them, their bodies materialized. They had legs and arms. They stood even shorter than Rose. A group of them huddled around the given milk soaking into the mud.

You smile. You grin so wide your face muscles ache. And it fills your heart with a golden light. They were the sidhe, going about their business. The veil had lifted. We could see them with our eyes. I’m not sure if they’d traveled to us or we to them. I might have thought myself mad if Rose hadn’t pointed them out first.

“Sweet Bride,” I said, naming my deity.

“Do you see them?”

I nodded.

Rose darted through the wood. She ran like a hare. Concerned, I chased after her. She followed the trail in the dark, running to the distant lights, the haven of blind civilization. I finally caught up with her, and we left the wood and walked back to my apartment.

We didn’t talk about what we’d seen. It gave her quite a shock. She wasn’t ready to believe. She held the light so close to her heart, the pagan faith, but she hadn’t accepted it as real. She still lingered in the ‘tween places. What had affirmed my world to me had frightened her, and we never spoke about it.

I hope that it planted a seed in her soul just as it had nurtured mine. Magick lived in the world. We had suffered for something true. The fey walk among us.

T. Fox Dunham resides outside of Philadelphia PA—author and historian. He’s published in over 100 international journals and anthologies and was a finalist in the Copper Nickel Annual Short Story Contest for his story, The Lady Comes in the Night. He’s a cancer survivor. His friends call him fox, being his totem animal, and his motto is: Wrecking civilization one story at a time. http://www.facebook.com/tfoxdunham


Gypsy Love Cards

By Jessica Howard

The Gypsy Love Cards are a divination process I encountered when reading Cassandra Eason’s ‘Ancient Wisdom’. I had not long been studying paganism when I picked up the book for a couple of quid in my local Woolworths, and so for a beginner I felt it was an easy way to ease myself into divination. It was the first form of divination I really tried, and even after all these years and having spent time studying practises such as tarot and pendulum divination and scrying, I still count it as my favourite method of divination. Yes; as you will see, it is easy enough to pick up, but once you have practiced for a while and really get to know the cards, you will find the depth you can take a reading to is truly fascinating.

Yes, these cards are mainly used to divine matters of love. However, once you become acquainted with them, you will find that you will be able to read on matters of friendship and family too.

All you need to use Gypsy Love cards is a pack of regular playing cards. It is important that you use the same pack for every reading, and use them only for reading if you wish to build a strong bond with the cards and enhance your readings. Although it is considered bad luck to read the cards concerning your own romantic situation, I have found that it has never done any harm. Readings for friends have also been very successful. Remember, you are not attempting to tell the future; the true purpose of the reading is to use your natural intuitive powers to being all the hidden factors to the surface and discover the best way forwards along a rarely smooth path.

All credit goes to the amazing Cassandra Eason for the interpretation of the cards; I highly recommend you checking out any one of her books.

The Method:

Shuffle the cards and lay out three rows of three cards, one row below the other and the next below that. Turn them one by one, row by row, read them separately, then as a row, and then put it all together to get a complete reading.

Row 1-The Cards of Your Relationship: These three cards concern your current or projected relationship as it is now and any questions or doubts you may have.

Row 2-The Cards of Outside Influences: These cards talk about the influences of others in a relationship or potential relationship, such as an opposition or pressures to marry or have children, and can be the hardest cards to interpret in my opinion.

Row 3-The Cards of Suggested Action: These three cards offer you the way forwards.

The Love Card Meanings:

(Note: These have been modified to reflect the original meanings and to take away the purely fortune-telling aspect that can deny personal choice).

The Suits:

Diamonds-Practical issues in a relationship, such as money or domestic arrangements.

Hearts-Emotional issues, such as passion, jealousy, trust and loyalty.

Clubs-Communication issues in love or the relationship.

Spades-Not bad luck, but challenges or changes. These can arise from the natural development in a relationship, such as whether to move in together or have a family, to unexpected pregnancy or illness that can seem to herald the end but in fact can offer new opportunities and a new path.

The Joker-Listen to other peoples instincts rather than listen to others advice or the old solutions. Take a step into the unknown.

Aces:

These talk of new beginnings and a new approach to an old problem.

Ace of Diamonds-Try new practical arrangements. If you are single, you may find a new relationship begins in a shared activity.                                                                                                                                Ace of Hearts-You may need to learn to trust someone again, despite previous heartache. Or it may be time to begin a new stage or a deeper commitment in the relationship.

Ace of Clubs-You may be uncertain about how to communicate with your partner and need to trust your instincts; you need a new perspective in an old problem.

Ace of Spades-You may find yourself facing a major change, but be confident and see the positive advantages.

The Numbers:

Twos-Balancing things within a relationship. Sort out your priorities, make any choices necessary and accept that you cannot keep everyone happy all of the time.

Threes-Expansion, whether taking on more responsibilities or moving on to a more permanent level of commitment, which means extra input but promises a deeper happiness.

Fours-Take a chance and don’t let the desire for security prevent us from trusting someone and taking a risk. We may be risking the loss of material benefits or rejection, but it is a risk worth taking.

Fives-Accepting that lie and people are rarely perfect and no letting temporary illusion or boredom destroy the benefits or potential positive qualities of a relationship.

Sixes-Harmony and idealism, and not only the outer calm but the inner peace or need for it. It is not a time for action, but for enjoying today and resolving any minor differences.

Sevens-Dreams and searching for something more that life in material terms. This can be a time for discovering what you really want in a relationship and beginning  to make some of your dreams come true.

Eights-Responding to set-backs or limitations. They are full of movement and change,  escaping from negative factors or people that may be bringing undue pressure.

Nines-Place of one’s own identity and separate needs in a relationship and suggest only if you are strong and happy in your own life can you fulfil the needs of others. It can also indicate that one or both partners may be pressurized by demands and needs a little space.

Tens-Completion, total commitment and fulfilment. Whether the card represents a period of material security, contentment in the home, emotional joy, communication on a deep level or making a major decision, when it appears in a reading you can be sure that you are doing the right thing and your relationship is on track.


Astroflash Monthly Horoscope for May 2012

by Flash Silvermoon

The Beltane Fires kick off the lusty month of May on the first of the month. The Eve is also celebrated as we will do here at Moonhaven in Melrose. Earth Religions worldwide enjoy this time of feast and frolic to coordinate with the raising of the sap in nature which extends to our own warming desires and aspirations. A great time for us all to raise the fire within for whatever purpose we mjght require.

In 1976, I had the honor of meeting an Ancient Native Wise Woman by the name of Mello Rye  who shared a May Day ritual with a group of us which I have enjoyed over the years.
She told us to go to the ocean at dawn and as the sun is rising, the group should stand at the water’s edge and stamp our feet all together chanting Awak – nia over and over, this is to awaken the Earth Mother to stand up for Herself and feel the support of Her people.
This is a simple ritual practiced  in one form or another by indigenous people all over the world feel free to enjoy and share.

By May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, the moon will be full in Scorpio which always promises a level of intensity for many of us spiritually and emotionally. We are also experiencing an intensification of changes in the electromagnetic field of the planet, which as I have described in last month’s Astroflash, has been more challenging to us all including our animals.

With the Sun in Scorpio’s opposite sign Taurus, we are once again invited to contemplate our values and what we hold most dear and how does this motivate us to run our lives. The Full Scorpio Moon says, ” Very well, then, how are you willing to transform your beliefs and life to support the times economically, emotionally and  how do you use or misuse power and resources?” Important questions that we all must ponder to make all our lives work better. Because these are fixed signs, the energies may feel more rigid and they are. The issues that I bring up are likely to flare up in one way or another, personally and or globally at this time.

Word to the wise, it is always better to meet the challenge of the changes as you begin to recognize them brewing even if only incrementally rather than wait for the roof to fall on your head. By meeting these shifts before they are full blown you have the gift of meeting the issues on your own terms rather than having them foisted upon you with no alternatives when it is too late.

With Mars in Virgo opposing Chiron in Pisces, the asteroid of the wounded healer, we are being invited to find material ways to make changes that particularly move to preserve and heal our water.With Neptune and Chiron both in Pisces, it will be all about our water for a long long time.
In case you haven’t noticed, the devastation daily being poured into our oceans from  the never healed BP gusher and  hundreds of other oil spills globally and the radioactive leakage from Fukashima, we are in trouble and whoever is in office is going to have to make this a priority. [After I wrote this part, the news  broke through about a huge oil spill in Russia.] When will the oil lobbies take their collective feet off the auto industry and let them economically make the cars that Tesla designed that didn’t need petroleum? Just maybe that time is coming soon as power becomes decentralized. I’m telling you, It’s all in the stars!

As I and many of have said over the last 2 years, there has been a major cover up about this contamination and with a Scorpio Full Moon, the veil will be lifted and is being lifted as we speak. {today Apr 24 right after I wrote this the first BP engineer is being convicted of obstruction of justice for destroying thousands of posts that showed the BP leadership KNEW that  triple the amount of oil per day was leaking into the ocean, see ABC News! Finally somebody in the mainstream is also crying FOUL for BP spending $82 billion to hype the Gulf as being safe as far as food and touristry rather than paying the locals back for destroying their lives and lands not to mention the rest of the world that will inevitably suffer.

Before a healing can begin in earnest, the Powers that Were need to publicly announce and agree that these problems exist thereby ending a media blackout so folks keep your ears to the ground and your eyes to more liberal news to hear the real stories as they trickle out.

Starting in June, I will resume doing musical Full Moon rituals to Heal the Waters here at Moonhaven . Last month we joined with Soulfire4theGulf  to do a series of ceremonies to Heal the Waters of the Gulf which was a global initiative with great result. See their website http://www.turtlewomenrising.com for more info. We were most proud to be involved with such an incredible project and if this turns you on, know that this was just the beginning and  as this movement builds you will see notices on this site and my own.

Remember that no matter how dark these times get, this world runs on vibration and the more that each and everyone of us can become energetic beacons of positive thought and action the more quickly that we can elevate and co create that critical mass to make the kind of world that we want to live in. There’s more to it but that simple and sometimes not so simple practice will keep you being part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Saturn will be retrograde in Libra all month and Pluto will be retrograde in Capricorn and these two intense celestial bodies can really effect the global theater. When planets are retrograde, their energy has to move inward before it manifests changes outwardly so for better or worse, the fever pitch of revolutionary zeal may  slow down for a bit and simmer. Mars is out of retrograde in Virgo so we can expect some wordy saber rattling but not as much “action” as we were seeing some months ago when Uranus and Pluto were in a tighter square with each other.
In a way, this is good because these pauses during retrogrades allow us to integrate and digest the  transformations that seem to fly into our lives jet propelled.

On May 15 til June 27, lovely Venus turns her back and goes retrograde in order that we re evaluate our relationships or our desires for them. Because Venus is in Gemini, this can be a great time for integrating some deeper communication and reviewing past decisions so that more understanding and fulfillment is possible. Talk, talk, and more talk and you will find yourself in the middle of a happier day.

A fun exercise to do with  your partner is for each of you to draw up a Top Ten Turn On list [this needn’t be sexual but can include sexual things too.] You may be delighted by the  things you discover to enjoy together. Have some fun with this we all need to lighten up and enlighten up about now.  Good news is that Venus and Saturn are trine which is a flowing relationship so that some relationships are liable to find an even greater security as a result. Very important under that aspect not to let your love become stale and joyless. Make that list and check it thrice and find out if your honey is naughty or nice!

This IS NOT a great time to begin a new relationship unless you don’t care if its a permanent one as you will simply not have all the information needed to choose the appropriate partner.  If you are just looking for a fling do your thing but don’t look at a Maserati and expect it to turn into a station wagon just because you have a bond OK!
Be that all as it may, it is never the wrong time to OPEN YOUR HEARTS WIDE and that is precisely the energy that will help us all move through these times with more grace and fluidity.

Holy Light Waves gang we are due for a Solar Eclipse on the New Moon in Gemini on May 20. These Eclipses can be quite profound and can signal major shifts personally and politically. Energetically we will be getting a major download of reshaped energy and information. I have noticed that many wars have begun and ended on Eclipses and this can be a time of beginnings and endings. The energetic spiral of change that we are weaving grows ever tighter and hence faster and such times herald this quickening.

Embrace the miraculous as it is quite possible that we will see miracles in many realms this year that we heretofore believed were impossible. We are quantum leaping and if you were to ask someone in 1950 about some of the things that we use everyday like Cel phones etc, they would have told you that you were crazy so, stay open for the miracles as they are coming.
We may also see some intense seismic upheavals near Japan, the West Coast, and  weather or other difficulties in Texas too as this eclipse will connect strongly in these areas.  If you live near those areas it would be good to have a plan for how to contend with potential Earth Changes and for all of us, stocking up on special items and medicines that you want to be sure to have is a good idea just in case.

According to astrologer Stephanie Austin, this Eclipse is conjunct the Pleiades Star Cluster which is venerated in many Ancient cultures. This will surely result in  some amazing and magical occurrences and a major time of reseeding a new consciousness. If you want to hear more about the amazing beings from the Pleiadies you can Utube The Pleiadians and listen to many beautiful videos. As some of you know not all on Utube is worth  viewing so if you find one that doesn’t ring true click it away. Astrologer Barbara Hand Clow also writes some great volumes on the subject as well.

To maintain your balance during these rapidly changing times treasure and seek moments of peace and serenity when you can find them and create them for yourself  as often as possible. Spend time in nature and with loved ones of the two and four legged variety and try to spend your free time with those who bring out the best in you and support the positive new beginnings in your life.  Many alternative healing techniques can give you relief from stress and pain. Be aware of  people who will vampirize your energy and leave you feeling empty, you deserve more and you will serve your best interests by sharing with those who give back. Obviously with illness and age that isn’t always possible but you do get what I mean. Remember its time for more balance…Saturn in Libra demands balance and so does your body, mind, and spirit.

See my suggestions below that are all available at Moonhaven Magical Rocks and Things in Melrose that will offer you healing, serenity and elevation.

Aries – There’s no stopping me now with Mercury and Mars moving forward. I have some Big Plans and I finally have just the right time to put them into place. Seems like I have been spinning my wheels a bit lately and haven’t been in sync either so I may need to recalibrate this brain with the rest of the planet so I can move forward more effortlessly and harmoniously with others. I just love Spring, it brings out the best in me and lifts my spirits just by looking out my window. Flash you did say the sap would be rising didn’t you, well….let her rip!

Taurus – Move over Aries  cause this is at least partly my month and I want to revel in every sensuous moment, every morsel, every warm breadth. The glowing growing greenery that blankets my home and yard evokes such a feeling of happiness and satisfaction that even the difficult things feel better. As the immortal Mae West said, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful” and lately too much works too fine for me. While expansive Jupiter is in my sign, I am really not feeling much like curbing anything but I suppose after awhile, I will have curb everything but my enthusiasm.

Gemini – Oh it’s gonna be my birthday soon oh yes it is, and I’m gonna have a party, uh huh and I’ll invite all my friends and I will  live in a social whirlwind. With Venus in my sign and then going retro right back again, I will be the life of the party. Hmm, this loving little Gemini had better not put too many partners on her dance card or she will find that her popularity might work against her if they all find out about each other. I know this might be all well and good for the single Gemini’s [aren’t we all at least doubles] but if you want to maintain your relationship, it might be best to encourage some role playing and short trips to kick in some variety.

Cancer – I just want to know one thing, why is my system so damn intimate with the planetary process? I mean I don’t mind sharing  some vibes here and there but these earthquakes and tornadoes more than rock my world. Can’t wait to start swimming so I can feel the water in a real way. The waters, they rock me in their arms and clear my energy field of all the junk that I so often pick up from my environment. OK so I’m a psychic sponge. Not much to be done about that but the water is my friend and cleans me up again. Frogs call to bring the rain and fill the Mother where She wanes.

Leo – Not a lot happening for me on this map but I will take my fire where I can get it. Fortunately I am a most creative soul and there is just enough juice out there to make my love light shine. Believe it or not this fixed old lioness is finding new ways to awaken a few interests. Don’t be surprised if you see some new project with my name on it that screams Leo front and center don’t dim the lights!

Virgo – Don’t complain if I am a little grumpy and fidgety at the beginning of the month because both the Moon and Mars are near each other in my sign.Some people thrive with a bit of chaos but it just drives me crazy. I need some order in this asylum we call life. I suppose if I were a groovier type of person I would enjoy this unbounded  more liberated energy but maybe that just isn’t me. With so much in Pisces, my opposite, I feel like I am on  a growth edge asking me to once again let go a little more and to free my mind, and as those funky Divas said, and the rest will follow!

Libra – Damn, I look at the news and my It’s Not Fair Button is pushed to the edge.
I know that somehow that old Karmic Wheel spins true but once in awhile I would like to see that Cause and Effect relationship in front of me and see things set to right.
I also know that sometimes we better be careful what we ask for because that might just be a movie we won’t want to watch in 3 D. I know that I am usually not so serious but its just how I feel right now. Might make me feel better if I knew that someone else felt this way too.

Scorpio – I am feelin’ full of Moon this month I am tellin’ you and it’s actually kind of nice. New love and feeling a new way of loving has got me singing with the radio and putting a spring in my step. Is it just the Spring? I don’t think so but I haven’t felt this relaxed in awhile. The weight of the world somehow got yanked off my shoulders and what a gift that is. I know that I am safe with some special people and that I can  really share my dreams and aspirations without fear or their resentment. What a world I live in! I hit the jackpot never mind the lottery.

Sagittarius – Send in the cavalry. Oh wait, I am the cavalry. How scary is that! Somehow, I am supposed to know just how to navigate this crazy ship of life but nobody gave me a good map or even AAA. My moral compass is pretty good but the rest feels more lost at sea. Thankfully my faith is strong and deep down I do feel like everything will work itself out just fine but between here and there  is a whole lot of territory. More meditation will  give me a more solid  sense of myself and that is just what I need. Somebody give me a piece of smokey quartz the size of a basketball.

Capricorn – By the time 2013 rolls around, I am going to have the cleanest karma
on the planet. This transformation biz is not for sissies and it can be so much easier to just keep my head down and keep a low profile but I know that we are coming closer and closer to a time when I will have to choose which side of the fence I want to support. I feel a sincere desire to become more of a leader and less of a sheep and I am going to find a way to create that opportunity.

Aquarius – Nice to feel so unencumbered. I know this is only momentary but I will take that big release when ever I can. Its time for all of us to run on something other than caffeine and adrenalin. I must confess that I like  the buzz and I would have to be asleep to not notice the increasing intensity all around me. These are the times that  we were born into and on some level we chose this period of metamorphosis, there I go again getting all philosophical but that’s me feeling full of Aquarian Age inspiration.

Pisces – Pleiadians, I hear your music on the meadows, and your whispers as I meditate. I know that help is near and that we are all in this together. I can see kindred spirits everywhere that I look and many others who have worn a cloak that rendered them invisible are standing up and clarifying the mission plan. How to piece that together with life as we know it, now there’s the rub?  I know that I feel most free when music is moving through my fingers on one instrument or another and that is my way to create a link to that wonderful interstellar grid.
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Through My Monthly Astroflash,  I have endeavored to offer more gender neutral astrology to speak to all sexual preferences and identities.
If you know your Rising sign, your personal reading will be more accurate if you read the passage for that sign as well as your Sun sign.
For deeper questions and readings of an Astrological or Psychic nature, feel free to call 352 4752432 for an apt.or contact me through my website www.Flashsilvermoon.com

Modalities To Help Yourself Through These Changes:

For both animals and humans, Flower Essences [Greenhope Farm Essences] are a good source for healing as are Gem Elixirs and I use and make them. Stones and crystals are also a great support at this time particularly those of a more grounding nature like smokey quartz particularly the elestial variety, hematite,carnelian, raw ruby, agate and jasper to name a few. In preparation for these more challenging times, I have made Gem Elixirs called The Shift 2012, Earth Changes, Aura Cleanse, Lithium Quartz, Profound Ground, Fiery Wall of Protection,  Raise the Vibe aka Lemuria Rising and the newest, Deep Peace and there are others. Many are having great results and the animals in the Sanctuaries that I tend to are loving them. They have no scent so they can fly under the radar if need be. Get in touch with me on my website if you like or at my shop here at Moonhaven in Melrose.

Visit Flash’s blog, ‘Flashes of Insight’ at: http://flashsilvermoon.com/category/blog/


Five Plant Poems
by Hilary Sideris

Visit Hilary at http://www.hilarysideris.com for more of her work.

Nutmeg
Mandrake
Leek
Garlic
Oregano

Nutmeg

Ground to powder,
swallowed with
an equal dose

of clove & vinegar,
you chill my wronged
heart’s heat,

keep fever at bay,
sway my daft mind
to right thinking,

mitigate lust, draw
out my weeping
ulcer’s pus.

Mandrake

Adam-like, you
rise from muck,
a human form but

full of Satan’s luck
& contrarian charm.
If a person suffers

in the neck, back,
arm, let him ingest
that part of you

& hang what’s left
over his bed, Saint
Hildegard said.

Leek

On a field of you so
green it seemed blue,
Saxon battled Celt

& lost—your darker,
bitter end is what smart
soldiers steered clear of.

Nero ate your blanched
bulb & chartreuse
Vichyssoise stem,

your hula fringe,
but couldn’t mend his
madness or marriage.

Garlic

Charm against shipwreck
& lovesick ex: old wives would
steep a gargling tea ten hours,

pour your warm oil in aching
ears, snap the hysteric out
of it with one deep whiff.

Great War nurses in a pinch
smeared you on leaves & moss
they wrapped wounds with.

I tie you to crossed sticks
at a crossroads so he’ll
forget me & move on.

Oregano

Joy grew wild on
Greek mountainsides,
a two-lipped, pinkish

flower easing an aging
matron’s sighs. Pliny
advised a poultice of

your leaves for sprains,
scorpion & spider bites.
Bald men applied your

balm to sun-baked scalps,
your hardy, hairy stem
giving them hope.


Treadwells Events

For more information on any of these events, visit the Treadwells Website.
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


What’s On Elsewhere:

5th May 2012, 9.30am

Cardiff Beltane Bash Spring Fayre

The President’s Lounge, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Stalls to include local artists, crafters, pagan supplies, complementary therapies, tarot/oracle card readers and more.

6th May 2012, 20.00

Tales For The Turning Year: Beltane

Chapter Arts Centre, Market Road, Cardiff

Bring in the May, for summer is a-comin’ in and winter’s gone away-o, so there’ll be another night of stories and songs to celebrate the turning of the seasons. Tales of May Eve goings-on and much more from Cath Little, Blanche Rowen & Mike Gulston, Richard Berry, Elinor Kapp, Kate Hibbert, Viv Small, Nimrod Jones and possibly more tbc. A whole evening’s entertainment for a mere three of your earthly pounds.

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