Monday, September 20, 2021

Spring Equinox: The Time of Balance

The word equinox comes from the Latin meaning “equal night”, and are the two times of the year when the hours of light and dark are said to be equal as the run rises due east and sets due west. As it is also one of the few days when the earth’s axis is straight as a door post and suggests to us a time of balance has arrived (or almost).

At the spring equinox, the sun crosses the celestial equator from the northern to the southern sky. This will take place on 23 September at 5:21am here in Adelaide and is considered to be the first day of the “astronomical spring” as from this point onwards, the hours of daylight will increase as the hours of darkness decrease as the sun rises and sets further north each day. The warmth of the sun will also increase as we head towards the summer, occurs.

Nature echoes the increasing warmth as blossoms burst forth and new growth makes its presence felt. As the sun’s strength increases, so do the visible signs of activity upon the earth’s surface. It is as if, were you to close your eyes for a moment, you would miss the experience of another aspect of creation being reborn all over again.

As the sun moves into the sign of Libra, and in the skies above us, a lot is happening. Firstly, Virgo,the Maiden is very low in the western sky. This is the second largest constellation and one of the two in which the ecliptic and celestial equator cross. Scorpius is high in the western sky, and in Greek mythology, the scorpion plays a role in many stories, however it is best known for its pursuit of Orion through the night sky. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Beyond the Light: Embracing the Wisdom of the Dark Goddess

It is hard to believe that we are over half way through September already, that spring has well and truly arrived and that the end of calendar year is drawing increasingly closer.  Am I alone in feeling as if I appear to have missed a couple of months?

As I am catching up on news, I am absolutely delighted to announce that my interview with the wonderful Lucy Cavendish was released on The Witchcast With Lucy Cavendish on 26 August 2021 and is now available for your listening pleasure.  Having been recorded back in April, my chat with Lucy occurred just after my Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms had been released.

I was very humbled to chat with Lucy as she was the initial driving force behind the Australian Witchcraft magazine back in the early 1990s and since that time has gone on to write a number of books as well as producing a endless collection of oracle cards.  I have had a great pleasure of circling with her at an Australian Goddess conference as well as attending one of her workshops when she journeyed to Adelaide.  I also contributed to her 2012 anthology Witchy Magic that she co-edited with the wonderful Serene Conneeley.

In my chat with Lucy we discuss the darker aspects of not only the Goddess but also ourselves, delving into the shadow realms, sharing our passion for mythology and the sacred, as well as stories of the Goddesses that are often misunderstood, feared and even avoided.  Yet, when we truly become aware of these Goddesses, when we take the time to get to know them, we discover that within their sacred stories are great tools and teachings, and most of all, true wisdom - the kind of wisdom that can bring to light to these current times of much chaos and yoyoing uncertainty.

You can listen to Lucy's witch cast here.

Extract from "Contemporary Witchcraft: Foundational Practices for a Magical Life"

The following is an extract that I prepared for A Bad Witch's Blog that appeared back in July 2021

It was in the early 1990s that I took my first steps into the world of contemporary witchcraft (then generally mispronouncing the Anglo-Saxon word as “Wicca”).  Back then, the neophyte (beginner) was expected to learn how to render the “veils” between this world and the mystical one by applying themselves to the work in order to understand these mysteries. My initial instruction not only focused on the practical application of ritual and magick, but also the “behind the scenes” information, providing an insight into the psychological changes, as well as what is actually happening on the astral level, the inner planes. It was this understanding that enabled me to gain a stronger belief in the magical work that I was undertaking – a belief that also proved to be most beneficial during dark nights of the soul, the times of doubt when the logical mind saw me questioning what I had been dedicating much of my adult life to. 

These days Wicca has almost become a generalised term for a religious form of neo-paganism, which often also includes an assortment of New Age practices, as opposed to focusing on the initiatory teachings that stem from the vision that the man who instigated the revival of witchcraft, Gerald Gardner, and later, Alex Sanders, had. There are also internet platforms that if you mention that you are a “religious witch”, ie believing in a God and a Goddess as both Gardner and Sanders did, it won’t take long before someone asserts that you are not.  “Real” witchcraft today seems to include a fetish for skulls, jar candles and moon water, none of these things were mentioned to me back in the 1990s, and without any hint of worshipping “the Other”.

The Faces of the Goddess

I have been a bit quiet on the blogging front as I have been working on finalising the manuscript for my next book.  I am delighted to announce that it is "mission accomplished" as  it is now with the proofreader.

Now I can focus on other things like getting back into blogging.

This morning I received notification that I have an article in The Faces of the Goddess ezine, that was produced as a companion to the Scottish Goddess Conference.

While I missed out on presenting at this conference which was held last weekend (10 to 12 September) as I was away undertaking a charity trek in the Flinders Ranges, north of Adelaide, I had submitted an article on the Dark Goddess.  My article can be found on pages 86 to 90 of this huge 123 paged ezine.

You can download you free copy of this magazine here.

With any luck, I am hoping to be able to present at this wonderful sounding conference at a later date.