Whispering Winds

October 2005

This Issue Marks our 3rd anniversary as a newsletter.

"Spirituality is not a way of life, it is Life".


The Adityas

The Adityas are a group of vedic solar deities. They were the sons of Aditi and Kasyapa.
Aditi (limitless) is an ancient Hindu Goddess of the sky, consciousness, the past, the future and fertility. She is often associated with cows.
Kasyapa (tortoise) is an ancient primordial God (one of the rishis), father of the devas, asuras, nagas and all of humanity. He is married to Aditi, with whom he is the father of Agni and the Adityas. His name derives from the notion of the cosmos as a giant tortoise.
There is anywhere from seven to twelve Adityas depending on which veda is read. In the Rig veda, they are the seven deities of the heavens. Their chief, who is known as Varuna (he who covers), is the keeper of the cosmic order, a force known as rta (cosmic force). He is then followed in order by Mitra, who was the God of friendships and contracts, Aryaman, the God of contracts and unions, Bhaga, God of wealth and marriage, Daksha, who is known as the sacrificial goat for having his head severed by Shiva only to have it replaced with a goat's head, who is then followed by Ansa, a minor Solar deity, and Surya  (Savitar) who crosses the sky as the sun. Originally there were eight but it is said that the father God, "Aditi", rejected "Marttanda" as a son.
In the Yajurveda, their number is given as eight.
And in the Brahmanas and the Puranas, their number is expanded to twelve, corresponding to the twelve months of the zodiac. In this vedic, the Adityas were originally called the "tushitas". The belief is that the tushitas are preparing to manifest back to earth where they become a "bodhisattvas". This is a Buddhist who has transcended to the Bodhi Mind. This is a state of spiritual enlightment generally defined as the determination to achieve Buddhahood and the aspiration to rescue all sentient beings.
The additional five Adityas are Dhatri (earth), God of health and domestic tranquility, Indra, the symbol of royal power, Ravi (roarer), Savitri (supreme Creator) upholder of law and forgiver of penitent sinners, and Yama, God of justice and ruler of the dead and departed who go to the regions of hell.
All Hindu deities are considered to be aspects of the abstract Absolute. This in fact correlates to my own personal beliefs as a witch that all Gods and Goddess' s are aspects of Spirit or Akasha, the Absolute One.
And yes as is my way I strongly encourage you to research this interesting subject even further. For Knowledge is the Key that opens the Door of Ignorance...



Chipmunk and Bear


Long ago when animals could talk, a bear was walking along. Now it has always been said that bears think very highly of themselves. Since they are big and strong, they are certain that they are the most important of the animals.
As this bear went along turning over big logs with his paws to look for food to eat, he felt very sure of himself. "There is nothing I cannot do," said this bear.
"Is that so?" said a small voice. Bear looked down. There was a little chipmunk looking up at Bear from its hole in the ground.
"Yes," Bear said, "that is true indeed." He reached out one huge paw and rolled over a big log. "Look at how easily I can do this. I am the strongest of all the animals. I can do anything. All the other animals fear me."
"Can you stop the sun from rising in the morning?" said the Chipmunk.
Bear thought for a moment. "I have never tried that," he said. "Yes, I am sure I could stop the sun from rising."
"You are sure?" said Chipmunk.
"I am sure," said Bear. "Tomorrow morning the sun will not rise. I, Bear, have said so." Bear sat down facing the east to wait.
Behind him the sun set for the night and still he sat there. The chipmunk went into its hole and curled up in its snug little nest, chuckling about how foolish Bear was. All through the night Bear sat. Finally the first birds started their songs and the east glowed with the light which comes before the sun.
"The sun will not rise today," said Bear. He stared hard at the glowing light. "The sun will not rise today."
However, the sun rose, just as it always had. Bear was very upset, but Chipmunk was delighted. He laughed and laughed. "Sun is stronger than Bear," said the chipmunk, twittering with laughter. Chipmunk was so amused that he came out of his hole and began running around in circles, singing this song:
"The sun came up,
The sun came up.
Bear is angry,
But the sun came up."

While Bear sat there looking very unhappy, Chipmunk ran around and around, singing and laughing until he was so weak that he rolled over on his back. Then, quicker than the leap of a fish from a stream, Bear shot out one big paw and pinned him to the ground.
"Perhaps I cannot stop the sun from rising," said Bear, "but you will never see another sunrise."
'Oh, Bear," said the chipmunk. "oh, oh, oh, you are the strongest, you are the quickest, you are the best of all of the animals. I was only joking." But Bear did not move his paw.
"Oh, Bear," Chipmunk said, "you are right to kill me, I deserve to die. Just please let me say one last prayer to Creator before you eat me."
"Say your prayer quickly," said Bear. "Your time to walk the Sky Road has come!"
"Oh, Bear," said Chipmunk, "I would like to die. But you are pressing down on me so hard I cannot breathe. I can hardly squeak. I do not have enough breath to say a prayer. If you would just lift your paw a little, just a little bit, then I could breathe. And I could say my last prayer to the Maker of all, to the one who made great, wise, powerful Bear and the foolish, weak, little Chipmunk.
"Bear lifted up his paw. He lifted it just a little bit. That little bit, though, was enough. Chipmunk squirmed free and ran for his hole as quickly as the blinking of an eye. Bear swung his paw at the little chipmunk as it darted away. He was not quick enough to catch him, but the very tips of his long claws scraped along Chipmunk's back leaving three pale scars.
To this day, all chipmunks wear those scars as a reminder to them of what happens when one animal makes fun to another.


"Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. "

Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC), The Bacchae, circa 407 B.C.E



Reflections on

OLD GUARD PAGANISM

by Mike Nichols

(reprinted with permission of the author)

'Old Guard Paganism'. The phrase started out as a joke, but then caught on. This tells us something. It tells us there is a NEED for such a term. It also implies its own antithesis, 'New Guard Paganism'. And it indicates that there is some difference between the two -- a 'difference that makes a difference' -- and thus requires differentiating labels. (It should perhaps be noted that the word 'Paganism' is used in the present context -- however inaccurately -- to refer to modern Neo-Pagan Witchcraft, or Wicca. With grave misgivings, I have adopted this usage here.)
The first time I heard the phrase 'Old Guard Pagan' (used as a pejorative, as I remember) was during the organizing of the first Heartland Pagan Festival. It seems that the festival was being organized mainly by 'New Guard Pagans' who felt they were not getting the anticipated support from the 'Old Guard'. Yet, even after such misunderstandings were cleared up, the phrase remained. Why? And what is the line of demarcation?
I remember a discussion I had at the time with a long-time High Priestess and friend, in which we laughingly concluded that an Old Guard Pagan was any 'pre-Starhawk' Pagan. ( Starhawk's important book, 'The Spiral Dance' was first published in 1979.) Thus, an Old Guard Pagan is any pre- 1979 Pagan. And yet, seniority alone couldn't BE the difference -- although it might ACCOUNT for many differences. (It is interesting to note that Starhawk's book is responsible for a massive influx of people into feminist traditions of Wicca, and this shift in focus may likewise account for key differences.)
I suppose it's time for a bit of a disclaimer on my part. By the preceding definition, I myself am an Old Guard Pagan, having become a Witch in 1970. Thus, my views may be consequently biased toward the Old Guard. Still, I don't intend for this essay to degenerate into shaking my cane at novices and using words like 'whipper-snapper' and 'scalliwag'. On the contrary, I enjoy working with novices and have taught a beginner's Witchcraft course for the past 18 years. No, my real goal here is to examine what I believe to be real and profound differences in attitudes concerning certain key issues between the two groups. Hopefully, this will lead to greater understanding and tollerance on the part of both.
In the following passages, I've tried to distill the differences between Old and New Guard Paganism, presenting them as strict dichotomies. However, bear in mind the vagaries that must accompany all such generalizations and the exceptions that will inevitably be cited.
FEW VS. MANY: Even today, with a substantial Pagan community for support, a newcomer often feels insecure, frightened, and alone when rejecting the religious training of childhood in favor of Paganism. Imagine then, how much more insecure, frightened and alone an Old Guard Pagan would have felt, with literally no one to support such a decission. In fact, no one to talk to at all. When I first became a Witch, I knew of no other Witches anywhere. For all I knew, I was the first human being in centuries to make such a conscious choice. And this, I found, was typical of most Old Guard Pagans.
RESISTANCE VS. ACCEPTANCE: Naturally, only those of extraordinary courage and perception would make such a choice back then. Not only because they assumed they were choosing a solitary path, but also because they were sure to encounter active resistance -- if not outright hostility. Today, of course, Witches have appeared on Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, Geraldo Rivera, and other national TV and radio shows, and the general populace is becoming more educated and, if not totally accepting, at least more tolerant.
SECRECY VS. OPENNESS: But before such positive media PR, most Old Guard Pagans learned quickly to 'keep themselves to themselves'. Usually, there was no one to talk with anyway, and when there was, it was someone trying to dissuade you from your choice. Thus, most Old Guard Pagans are more inclined to secrecy concerning their involvement than New Guard Pagans.
INACCESSABLE VS. ACCESSABLE INFORMATION: For Old Guard Pagans, information was hard won indeed. There were no Starhawks or Margot Adler's back then -- no one to neatly organize and systemitize the beliefs of Pagans. There were instead books by Sybil Leek, Paul Huson, Leo Martello, and Lady Sheba (at best), and books by Hans Holzer and Louise Huebner (at worst). And there were the historical tomes of Murray, Thorndike, Robbins, and others, as well as the disorganized 'linking' work of Gardner, Lealand, and a few more. And there was no one to tell you which book was worthwhile and which wasn't -- so you read them ALL! Typically, an Old Guard Pagan has read (and owns!) a small library of books on Paganism. And, back then, if you HADN'T read the classics (like Murray and Gardner) then you weren't taken very seriously by other Pagans. By contrast, many New Guard Pagans feel that reading one or two books (usually Adler and Starhawk) is quite sufficient. One unfortunate result is that Adler's or Starhawk's version of Paganism is taken as the 'standard' by the New Guard, which is far from the case.
SOLITARY VS. COVEN: Old Guard Pagans used to dream of the day they might meet another real Witche, or maybe even (ecstacy of ecstacies!) an entire Coven! Meanwhile, there was nothing to do but continue studying AND PRACTICING alone, as a 'solitary'. This meant that, since Old Guard Pagans studied and practised the Craft in relative isolation, they developed strong individual concepts about it, an inner sense of theology, and the ability to use ritual and magic effectively alone. By contrast, New Guard Pagans are often introduced to other PAGANS before being introduced to PaganISM. Their first experiences are group-oriented ( Would you like to come to a Circle?), and the group continues to DEFINE Paganism for the novice. Without going through a solitary phase, most New Guard Pagans never develop a strong personal sense of what Paganism means. Worse, when asked to perform magic or rituals on their own, they are brought to a complete standstill, since all their experience has been with groups.
LONG VS. SHORT PERIOD OF TRAINING: Even for the Old Guard Pagan who had managed to find a Coven to join, it was only the beginning of an even longer period of intensive training -- 'a year and a day' was the standard minimum. During this time, the novice might be apprenticed to any number of members of the Coven, to learn what they had to teach. At the end of that time, the candidate MAY or MAY NOT be judged ready for initiation. By contrast, New Guard Pagans are often introduced to Paganism and invited to join their first rituals in the same breath (often at Pagan 'festivals'). From the Old Guard point of view, this is not only wrong but actually DANGEROUS! A person who is untrained in handling magical power has no business inside a magic circle -- for their own sake, and the sake others attending!
JOIN VS. CREATE A COVEN: Naturally, the Old Guard Pagan would much prefer to join a pre-existing Coven -- the older the better. Only then could there be centuries-old secrets passed down through oral tradition for the novice to learn! The New Guard Pagan seems to care nothing for this. It is enough to gather a small group of people interested in Paganism, and start your own group. From the Old Guard perspective, this makes as much sense as a novice mountain-climber being taken on his first climb by a group of rank beginners as green as he is!
ONE VS. MANY COVENS: You may also be sure that an Old Guard Pagan is only going to belong to a single Coven. By contrast, New Guard Pagans often join as many Covens as will have them, collecting initiations as though they were stamps. (This is also a mark of New Guard Covens, because an Old Guard Coven would never consider initiating someone who is already a member of another Coven.)
INITIATORY VS. NON-INITIATORY: And, of course, initiation was the ultimate goal of most Old Guard Witches -- the one moment of transformation that all the training led up to -- the final reward for years of difficult study, work and devotion -- both alone and in the group. Most New Guard Pagans don't believe in initiations, since they claim (and they are often right!) that there is no one in the group more advanced than themselves.
RESPECT FOR ELDERS VS. NONE: This may come the closest to sounding like cane- shaking, but it follows logically from the previous passage. Most Old Guard Pagans would tend to assume that someone who has been a practising Pagan for more years than they have, has more knowledge and experience to draw on, and consequently more to teach. And unless situations prove otherwise, these Elders deserve our respect. New Guard Pagans, often feeling that Elders must first 'earn' their respect, do not seek out the wisdom of the older generations of Witches. The unfortunate result is the loss of much valuable legend and lore.
TRADITONAL VS. ECLECTIC: Granted, there is no such thing as a 'pure' uncontaminated tradition of the Craft, stretching back to the dawn of time. Nor would such a case be necessarily desireable, even if it could be found. Every tradition has borrowed from outside sources and is eclectic to some extent. Yet, while Old Guard Pagans often work to preserve their own traditions, New Guard Pagans are often deliberately eclectic, with a wonderful disregard of cultural heritage. The advantage of being eclectic is that it doesn't require much work, in the way of research. The disadvantage is that one often becomes 'jack of all trads, master of none'.
SKEPTICAL VS. UNCRITICAL: Perhaps because of the value Old Guard Pagans place on traditional forms of magic and divination, they are very often skeptical of new forms. For example, you won't find many Old Guard Pagans going in for the current fad of quartz crystals. In fact, Old Guard Pagans will likely point out that there have been no controlled experiments concerning the psychic property of crystals, that there is no historical precedent for such beliefs, that the use of crystals by Native Americans has been overstated and misrepresented, and that other precious and semi-precious gem stones are traditionally just as effective. New Guard Pagans, however, are often not far removed from New Age Pagans, and go in for everything from crytals, to channeling, to UFO's, without much hint of critical evaluation.
RELIGIOUS VS. SOCIAL REASON FOR JOINING: This is perhaps the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE that exists between the two groups, and it could well account for many other differences. For many Old Guard Pagans, there COULD be NO SOCIAL REASON for becoming a Pagan, since Pagans were so few and far between that most of us didn't know ANY other Pagans anywhere! New Guard Pagans, on the other hand, often become involved in Paganism for purely social reasons. One has the feeling that, if there weren't Pagan groups to join, such people would end up in the SCA, or some other form of surrogate extended family. Not that such a need isn't valid. But if social reasons are the primary motivation for becoming a Pagan, it marks a significant break from the Old Guard, whose motivation was chiefly religious.
Perhaps that is why Old Guard Pagans are often a bit isolationist, and are quite happy with a fragmented, insular Pagan community. In fact, Old Guard Pagans tend to look with grave suspicion on the 'calls to unity' -- to create a homogenous Pagan community -- that one often hears coming from New Guard Pagans.
RELIGIOUS VS. POLITICAL REASONS FOR JOINING: Similar to the passage above, this again deals with one's primary motivation for becoming a Pagan. For Old Guard Pagans, being political was something that grew out of one's religious ideas. But, just as there is much variance in Old Guard Paganism, so too there is much variance in Old Guard politics. From my own friends, I can cite Old Guard Pagans who run the gamut from Socialist to Libertarian. This same political diversity is noticably absent in New Guard Paganism, with most New Guard Pagans sticking to the same party line. Also, there is less tollerance of Pagans who diverge from that party line. More stress is placed on being 'politically correct'.
RELIGIOUS VS. FEMINIST REASONS FOR JOINING: Finally, many Old Guard Pagans have become feminists AS A RESULT OF their Pagan beliefs. By contrast, many New Guard Pagans are Pagans AS A RESULT OF their feminist beliefs. Once more, it's a question of which takes precedent. And although it may seem like the final result would be the same, such is not the case. Pagans who come to Paganism via feminism are often separatists, Goddess monotheists, anarchists, distrustful of both structure and authority, insisting on such ideas as consensus political forms, rotating High Priestesses (often without High Priests at all), and other non-traditional Coven structures. ( Often, such groups disdain to use the word 'Coven' and simply refer to their 'Circles'.) The perenial problems that plague such groups (the lack of focus, the inability to set goals, the endless personality clashes and power plays, and the fact that nothing ever gets done) come as no surprise. Much of this would be unthinkable to Old Guard Pagans, who would no more rotate the position of High Priestess in their Coven than they would rotate the position of mother in their family. ( The New Guard attitude toward authority arises, I believe, from a healthy mistrust of it as it is typically used (abused) in patriarchal society. This perception is particularly acute among feminists. What it fails to consider is how authority may be used positively in a matriarchy.)
NON- VS. PROSELYTIZING: For an Old Guard Pagan, the idea of saying to someone 'Would you like to join our Coven?' or 'Would you like to become a Witch?' would have been unthinkable. Proselytizing was one of the most detested aspects of the religious tradition (usually Christian) being left behind. Those groups who actively recruit members were, to the Old Guard, groups to be shunned at all costs. Witchcraft is not the one, right, and only religion. In fact, it probably appeals only to a select few. And those few exhibit their courage and sincerity when they seek out a Coven or a tradition. When a Coven seeks THEM out instead (Won't you please join our Circle tonight?), there is no guage of the novice's devotion. Perhaps that is why the 'drop-out' rate is much higher for New Guard than Old Guard. (Other mystery traditions, such as the Freemasons, strictly forbid a member to ask an outsider if they would like to join.)
Lest one conclude that there are only differences between Old and New Guard Pagans, let me mention a few things they seem to have in common. First, there is magic -- both in its frequency of use, and what it is used for. Second, the use of drugs by modern Witches has always been a minority position, and seems to remain so. Third, the times of celebration and festival, appointed by the seasons and the phases of the moon, seem constant (although New Guard Pagans often employ inapporpriate names for the holidays). So, while there are differences, there is common ground as well.
If the remarks you overhear made by Old Guard Pagans (and the remarks made in this essay!) seem slighty petulent, tinged with sibling rivalry, it is not to be wondered at. The Old Guard Pagan is in the position of older brother or sister of the family. They often feel, quite justifyably, that the things which they had to fight Mom and Dad so HARD for, are now being handed to the younger brother or sister on a silver platter. They feel that since their freedoms and privileges were so hard won, they value them more. They often feel that the younger siblings do not APPRECIATE all the things the older siblings have done to make such freedoms possible. And, of course, they are right. Such will always be the way of the world -- the march of generations. Still, the thing to remember about sibling rivalry is that, underneath it all, we ARE siblings; we ARE brothers and sisters, whatever forms may divide us; we ARE all sons and daughters of the Great Mother.


"Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."

William James (1842 - 1910)


Triana's Kitchen

Pumpkin Flan

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups undiluted evaporated milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Caramel (see below)

1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/3 cup water

Combine sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add pumpkin and eggs. Mix well. Stir in next 3 ingredients. Mix well and turn into caramel-coated 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan. Place in a pan of hot water. Bake in a pre-heated moderate oven (350 degrees F) 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool and chill. To serve, run a spatula around the sides of the pan, turn out onto a serving plate, and cut into squares. Top with whipped cream mixed with the 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

CARAMEL: Melt 1/2 cup sugar over medium low heat until it forms a golden syrup, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Pour immediately into an 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan, turning and rolling the pan from side to side to coat with caramel. Set aside.

Apple Orchard Punch

Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 cup orange juice
1 (32-ounce) bottle apple juice, chilled
1 (12-ounce) can frozen cranberry cocktail concentrate
1 1/2 quarts (6-cups) ginger ale, chilled
1 red apple, uncored, thinly sliced

Instructions:

Combine orange juice, apple juice and cranberry juice concentrate in large punch bowl; stir to dissolve.

At serving time, add ginger ale; float apple slices on top.
Yield:  24 (4-ounce) servings


The Dumb Supper

The Dumb Supper is a time of reflection and respect for those who have departed this realm. It is a custom that has been observed by many different cultures from the beginning of time on up to the present day. Generally this custom is observed by modern day pagans on the day known as Samhain (Halloween). Within our coven, we observe the Dumb Supper by setting three plates (in observance of the trinity of the Maiden, Mother, Crone) One plate is set at the head of the table with a black candle set before it. Two other plates are set one to either side with a white candle set before each plate. These candles are then lit in order to serve as a beacon for those spirits who may wish to attend this meal which is held in their honor.
The meal is then served and consumed in silence. Around the table are various mementos, pictures and such that represent loved ones who have crossed through the veil. During this meal, participants are encouraged to open up their Third eye chakra and their hearts in order to receive any messages that the departed ones may wish to convey to them. After the meal we gather in Circle and share memories of our loved ones.
In addition we set up a shirt on a isolated bush so that a passing spirit may fill the shirt and converse with those of us who are still walking this realm. Passing through the veil does not mean that there is a disconnect between those spirits and those of us here. Rather it is but a journey to another realm. And through the Dumb Supper we can renew the connection that we once had when we all were within this realm together. May your Samhain celebrations be sacred and spiritually fulfilling.


Divination Section: Entomancy - This is Augury. The method of divining by observing the movement of animals,. Or in this case, Insects.




     Herb Section: Violet: (Viola odorata) Flowers, root





The leaves and flowers of Violets have expectorant properties, and work well in cases of respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, colds, and coughs. One recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of oil in a cup of water to be sipped slowly four times a day.  Alternatively, making a tea to use as a gargle, or making a syrup by adding honey to thicken the tea. Ingesting a tea made of violet leaves is reportedly also effective as a laxative and for insomnia,                 Violet is effective in healing internal ulcers. It is used both internally and externally for pimples, abscesses, tumors, and swollen glands. It is useful in treating malignant growths as well.                                                               The whole plant is used, fresh or dried. The leaves can be eaten as a type of wild spinach, and the flowers are used in salads and desserts. High in iron, the fresh leaf is used internally and externally for cancer, especially of the colon, throat, and tongue. For this purpose, the fresh leaves should be infused daily and taken as tea; using one teaspoon of plant parts to a half a cup of water, steep and take a quarter cup four times a day. The tea can be applied externally as a fomentation.                                                                                                                                  The leaves are used to relieve pain of cancer, especially in the esophagus where other pain relievers have failed. The flowers are laxative; the roots and stems are emetic and purgative. The fresh leaves are used in salves and poultices. Violets have antiseptic properties that may be helpful in relieving symptoms of various skin eruptions and sores when made into an Ointment and applied as needed. When mixed with almond oil and senna syrup, this herb is an excellent demulcent and aperient for children.                                                                                                Native Americans soaked corn seed in an infusion of yellow violet to prevent insects from eating the seeds.

For magickal uses; Put Violet in a pillow to help ease headaches away. Carrying the flowers brings a change in luck, and mixed with lavendar makes a powerful love sachet. Violets are an herb of love and protection. Violet crowns (chaplets) are said to cure headaches, dizziness, bring sleep, and calm anger. Violets are mixed with lavender, apple blossoms, yarrow and roses in love potions. The leaf is protective from all evil. Violets and periwinkle are used to decorate the graves and corpses of children. Custom says that if you pick the first violet of spring your dearest wish will be granted.





                                                     Mugwort:

                                                             (Artemisia vulgaris)



Mugwort, also known as Ai Ye, Felon Herb, St. Johns Plant, Common Artemisia, Chrysanthemum Weed, Sailors Tobacco, Moxa, and Wild Wormwood, is found in North America, Asia, and Europe, including Great Britain. Mugwort, a close relative of Wormwood, is a hardy plant, usually growing to about 3 ft. in height, with stout stems somewhat purple in color. Mugwort is easy to grow and thrives even in poor soil. In North America, Mugwort is considered to be a weed, as it is very hard to eradicate. In Europe and Asia, Mugworts reputation is much better. Mugwort has a long history of medicinal use in both cultures. During the European Middle Ages, Mugwort was known as Cingulum Sancti Johannis. It was believed that John the Baptist wore a girdle made of Mugwort in the wilderness. Belief grew that Mugwort could prevent misfortune from befalling travelers. Mugwort is sometimes called St. Johns Plant because of the tradition of gathering Mugwort on St. Johns Eve to protect against disease and other tragedies. Mugwort was also believed to enhance dreams if placed under ones pillow. In the Asian tradition, Mugwort was used in concoctions to treat rheumatism. Later in European history, Mugwort was used as a nervine to ease the symptoms of epilepsy and palsy. It has also been used as a uterine stimulant and treatment for amenorrhea, especially in conjunction with Cramp Bark. Mugwort has also been used in the treatment of constipation, depression, anxiety, and vomiting. Recently, research has focused on the antibacterial and antifungal properties of Mugwort. In addition to its healing properties, Mugwort is also a good natural source of Vitamin C, beta carotene, fiber, calcium, zinc, and Quertecin.


A Spell to stop the Wind

Gather four feathers ( white, blue, yellow, black ). Tie them together with a thick cord. Place them in the bottom of a bowl and cover it with rock salt. This will bind Earth and Wind together. The wind should soon abate.



            Did You Know ???
That in ancient Celtic mythology, butterflies are the symbol of eternal life.


  



             
                Crick's Corner: Greetings folks: For the most part we agree that spirituality is a individual goal.                                      Indeed we at times gather with others who follow a similar road but in the end it is up to each individual to put one foot in front of the other when walking the spiritual path. This pretty much applies regardless of religion/spiritual path. And yet we have wars over who's path is the right one, why? We wear jewelry and have bumper stickers proclaiming our various paths, why? We have salesmen (TV evangelists, apologists, TV and newspaper ads and so forth) proclaiming this path or that as "the one", why? We have court battles over the placement of religious icons of a particular path on this property or that, why?
If spiritual growth is dependent on each and every individual, then why are we so concerned with what the next person may think of our personal decision? When we cross through the veil folks, there is only one person that can answer for your decisions in regards to your efforts at spiritual growth. And that person is you. The only right religion is the one that works for the individual.

Until next time Cailleachs...


"Gluais faicilleach le cupan là n."

Go carefully with a full cup.


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