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WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

2

ISSUE 28

Whispering Grey Matters
Samhain 2010 Issue 28

STAFF

FACULTY ADVISORS:
Moonwriter, Jymi X/0

PUBLISHER: Jymi X/0
Assistant Publisher: Calyxa
COPY EDITOR: silverlocke
GSW
Editor: Sapphire Soleil
NEWS
Editor: silverlocke
Staff Writers: Sapphire Soleil, silverlocke
WIZARDING:
Editor: Jymi
Staff Writers: RavenMage,
Scarlet Flame Lion, Ximera
SCIENCE:
Editor: Calyxa
Staff Writers: Moonwriter,
Drakonya, DolmaDraka
OPINION:
Editor: Sapphire Soleil
Staff Writer: Artemis Gryphon Snowhawk
ARTS, CULTURE & FOOD:
Editor: Moonwriter
Staff Writers: silverlocke, Gamerlife
ART ROOM:
Lead Artist: Jymi X/0
Staff artist: Scarlet Flame Lion
CONTRIBUTORS:
Annachenoa, Ariadna, Fyrewing, Giovedi
StormSinger, Hawkes, Lorewolf, Rainbow
Stonetalker, ShadowDancing, Skywatcher,
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart
COVER ILLUSTRATION:
Scarlet Flame Lion
Whispering Grey Matters is a quarterly newsletter produced by and for the students and faculty
of The Grey School of Wizardry (www.greyschool.
com). All contents herein are © 2010 Grey School,
except where otherwise noted. Copyrights revert
to original authors and artists upon publication.

Literal Magic
CONTENTS

Why Spider Has Only Eight Legs ............................. 3
NEWS
Remembrances of Isaac Bonewits ............................ 5
Interview with Witchvox’s Peg Aloi .............................. 6
New Theory on Mayan Disappearance ...................... 7
WIZARDING
The Hero’s Journey ............................................. 8-11
The Wisdom in the Corn ...................................... 12-13
A New Herb: Dragon’s Eye ..................................... 14
Tarot: The Tower ..................................................... 15
Candle Magic ...................................................... 16-17
La Llorona: The Weeping Woman ......................... 18-19
Milarepa, The Greatest Tibetan Yogi .................... 20-22
Sekhmet: The Lore of the Red Lady ................. 23-24
Gargoyles Galore ............................................... 25-28
SCIENCE
Invasion of the Body Snatchers ......................... 29-31
Spirit Photography .............................................. 31-32
The Lore of Stars & Constellations ................... 33-35
OPINION
Halloween is the Best .......................................... 36-37
Wintering In ............................................................ 37
UFOs: Is Seeing Believing? ..................................... 38
ARTS & CULTURE
Food: Meals of Lore .................................................. 39
Review: Let the Right One In .................................. 40
Review: The Secret of Kells .............................. 40-41
Review: The Fairy Tale Tarot ....................................... 42
GSW NEWS
Captain’s Report ...................................................... 44
House & Lodge Reports ......................................... 44
New York Conclave (Rain? What Rain?) ...................... 45

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

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ISSUE 28

It’s the Lore issue! I’ll give you a nice story this time, instead of my usual paranoid ranting.

Why Spider Has Only Eight Legs

(A Creation Myth from the Land of Grimagix, where both Stories and Mortals Go to Live)

-- by Jymi X/0

Once upon a time, there was nothing at all, nothing but One Thing, and the One Thing had grown
mad with loneliness and despair. It paced the void;
it was the void, It rocked back and forth within Its
own mind, and there was nothing more or less than
that. There was no way for It to escape the nothingness that was everything. Is it any wonder then, that
when It finally began screaming, the void shook and
a piece broke off in
Its mind?
Now there was a
New Thing within
the One Thing:
a tiny spider, her
twelve legs waving gently as she
drifted
aimlessly
through the void,
connected to the
One Thing by one
strand of fine silk.
“Who am I?” Spider
mused to herself,
wondering if there
was anything here
that was nice to
look at.
The One Thing was
pleased. “You are
part of me, yet you
are not me. You
can move among
the points and see
from corners that
I cannot find. You
can sink into time
and find single moments, where I
only know only an
endless
instant.
You
will
search
throughout
the
void. Examine me
from every angle.
Then I will take you back into myself, so that I may
know what you know.”
Spider had owned her own mind for a very brief time,
but it was a clever mind, and had already formed a
couple of opinions. Spider did not like the idea of being taken back into anything, and thought that the
One Thing’s plan was very selfish. She tried to think
of a way to escape.

“I can’t explore a void,” she said, “Each point is exactly the same as all the rest. I need landmarks, so
that I’ll know where I’ve been. I guess this is a good a
starting point as any.” Since there was nothing there
besides Spider, she removed one of her own legs and
placed it in the space before her. The void had never
held so many new ideas and changes at once before,
and the leg at once burst into fire.
The
One
Thing
was pleased. “Now
there is light as
well as darkness!
The light is good,
and it’s mine!”
Spider
wrapped
the silk around
the base of the leg
and let go. Down,
down, she fell, spiraling through the
shadows cast by
the fire. When she
was flying so fast
that the light and
shadows began to
make a noise as
they flew past her
ears, she stopped,
removed another
leg, and placed it
in the center of the
whirling and rushing sound.
The One Thing was
pleased. “Feel the
wind!” It chortled.
“It moves the light
and shadows! The
wind is good, and
it’s mine!”
Spider
wrapped
her silk around the
Jymi X/0 second leg and allowed herself to drop once again, sailing out and
down in a long arc to the opposite side of the void
(which could, strictly speaking, no longer be called a
“void,” since it now contained some things and did in
fact have an opposite side).
She felt herself growing heavier as she sunk to the
bottom of the wind, where the shadows were thick
and rolled lazily over themselves, back and forth,

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

back and forth, making her long to float among them,
feeling the sleepy energy of the shallows, the secrets
of the deep, the passions of the churning storms...
but she held tight to the silken thread and plunged
into the liquid darkness. It was cool, and coated her
skin, and when she removed a third leg to mark the
center of the watery depths, it rushed to fill the empty spot.
The One Thing was pleased. “The light is hot, the
wind is dry; but water is cool and damp! The water is
good, and it’s mine!”
Spider wrapped the silk around this leg and released
her grip once again. It was difficult to float freely
now. The space, no longer empty, was becoming
thicker and thicker. Still, she traveled as far as she
could, holding the silken thread tightly. Slower. Darker. Spider’s skin was scratched raw by the hard, unyielding edges that the substance had become here.
She finally had to press and dig her way through solid rock. When she could go no farther, she stopped
and removed a fourth leg, dug a small hole for it, and
planted it in the earth.
The One Thing was pleased. “Light for warmth and
shadows, air to move them, water to cool them, and
earth to support them! The earth is good, and it’s
mine! All of this is mine! Return to me now, Spider,
that I may absorb your knowledge and memory of all
the things you’ve seen and felt.”
“Half a moment,” Spider said, “I know a short cut.”
She had felt heat beneath the rock, and having
learned something about spirals by now, had an
idea. Summoning the rest of her strength, she dug
with her remaining eight legs and broke through the
earth to find the light of the fire once more! She
quickly tied the end of her thread to the beginning
of it, and before the One Thing could catch her, leapt
into the center of the circle, trailing thread behind
her. The One Thing chased her from Fire to Air, from

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ISSUE 28

Water to Earth, back to Fire and again and again
across the universe (which had once been a void),
until the space was filled with smoke, steam, spray,
mist, mud, and lava, and bolts of fire shot down toward the earth through the air, and liquid fire came
blasting up from the earth to meet it.
At last the One Thing caught Spider and held her in
Its eye. “All of this is mine!” It said, “And you are
mine, too! I created you, and now you must return
to me!”
Spider smiled – the first smile – because she knew
that the web’s spiral tangles entwined the One Thing
neatly. It was trapped within Itself, while she could
move freely along the thread. Spider sank her fangs
deep into the One Thing and sucked it’s essence dry.
It screamed again, one scream that became a multitude of screams as Spider finally pulled the web
taught.
The strong thread sliced the One Thing neatly into an
infinity of pieces. The pieces fell through the light and
shadows, wafted on the wind, floated and sank in the
currents of the water, and came to rest across the
Earth. One by one, Spider wrapped them up neatly in
her silk, punctured them with her fangs, and infused
each one with a single drop of the One Thing’s essence that she had stolen.
“I won’t return my mind to You,” she said, “but I can
return You to YourSelves. Now that you know what
it’s like to be separate, each piece of You can make
the choice that you would have denied me.”
And that is why Spider spins her web in spirals, and
why she only has eight legs.
We still honor her sacrifice when we divide the spirals
of time into twelve segments. Now go be quiet for
twelve hours, and when twelve months have passed,
tell this tale to someone new.

DolmaDraka

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

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ISSUE 28

NEWS

Remembrances of
Isaac Bonewits
by Headmaster Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

Isaac was an amazing guy—just over-the-top brilliant, and utterly dedicated to the Goddess and
the Pagan movement. He was deeply committed to all the highest Pagan causes: social justice,
environmentalism, civil rights, women’s issues, and particularly, scholarship. His motto (which
should be the epitaph on his tombstone) was “Why not excellence?” We corresponded from around
1971, after I read his book, Real Magic, and we first met in 1972.
As editor of Gnostica News, he was at the Gnostic Aquarian Festival in Minneapolis over Mabon of 1973, where I was a keynote speaker. It was
there I met Morning Glory, and at the banquet Isaac asked us
when we intended to get married, and if he could perform
the ceremony. The following Easter, he and our CAW High
Priestess Carolyn Clark conducted our spectacular Pagan handfasting at the Gnostica Spring Witchmoot.
The highlight of the ceremony was when both of
them set their waist-long hair on fire from the altar
candles! Later on, MG and I performed his marriage to Selene Vega, and more recently (July 23,
2004), I performed the handfasting for him and
Phaedra at Starwood.
Over the years, Isaac and I attended many festivals together, hung out around many campfires,
drank a lot of mead, and sang many silly songs
together. We’d have these great conversations
on the whichness of what, and how to unscrew
the inscrutable. We always talked about writing a
book together on Pagan thealogy, and just a year
ago at Starwood—before he was diagnosed with
cancer—he was talking about moving back to the Left
Coast and joining the faculty of the Grey School. I’m
really having a hard time accepting that he’s gone. But
“what is remembered, lives.” And Isaac will always live in
the memories of those of us who have been privileged to
have known him.
In honor of Isaac, and his livelong commitment to magickal scholarship, the
Grey School of Wizardry has just established an “Isaac Bonewits Memorial
Scholarship” to be awarded to the youth and adult students who each year
earn our two “Student of the Year” awards.

Ed: For more details of Isaac’s life:
http://www.controverscial.com/Isaac%20Bonewits.htm

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ISSUE 28

NEWS

WitchVox:

Interview with Peg Aloi,
WitchVox Press Agent
by silverlocke

Let it not be said that the Whispering Grey Matters staff members aren’t
persistent! Intrepid reporter silverlocke originally had more questions for
Ms. Aloi, but after exchanging a few emails, learned that the WitchVox Press
Agent doesn’t have a lot of time to talk to the Press. They must be very busy
over there (maybe she was on the other line with the New York Times)!
We sure do appreciate the paragraphs she was able to give us!
Q: Do you feel the current interest in all things
magical and pagan is a fad, driven by New Age
movements and recent movies and books like
the Lord of the Rings movies and the Harry Potter series? Or is the attraction more because of
erosion and intolerance in the traditional religious communities?

A: I know these are popular with some people, but I
don’t think online learning of magic or other pagan
traditions is the most effective method. I can’t speak
to the quality of these programs through personal experience, but if anyone were to ask my advice about
whether they should do it, I’d probably tell them to
save their money and invest in some good books.

A: The pagan movement has been going on for several decades now; I’d hardly call it a fad. There are
many reasons for peoples’ interest in earth-based
spirituality: the environmental movement, interest in female deities/goddess worship via women’s
rights movements, films like The Craft (1996) which
brought in a lot of teen seekers to modern witchcraft, and in general an interest in becoming more
connected to nature. There may well be “erosion and
intolerance” in other religious communities, but in
my experience most pagans reject traditional religion
because it doesn’t speak to them or engage them as
fully as paganism does.

Q: Do you feel like more unity and homogeneity
is needed in the community? Or is our eclecticism a major source of strength and endurance?

Q: How much weight or lasting benefit to the
pagan community do you assign to the online
schools of magick such as Witch School and the
Grey School of Wizardry?

A: There seems to be a real resistance to trying to
unify the community; a number of online groups
(including The Witches’ Voice) have tried to make
it happen, but individuals are too attached to doing things their own way, perhaps. Eclecticism is a
defining feature of pagan religion and I think that’s
by and large a good thing. But it would be nice to
see the community coming together to see what we
can agree on and maybe lead the way on important
social issues, for example, environmental awareness
and efforts to change legislation. I’ve always been
disappointed that the pagan community could not at
least get together on that.

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NEWS

New
Theory on Mayan Disappearance
by Sapphire Soleil
Several great mysteries roam this Earth. What happened to Atlantis? Who really made Stonehenge?
Were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon real? And also,
Why did the Mayans abandon their cities in such a
hurry?
Archaeologists are a little closer to solving that
strange mystery after new clues were discovered
at the Yucatan ruins of Kiuic. Apparently, around
the year 880 CE, the Mayans were busy building the
city of Kiuic when suddenly they simply took off and
abandoned the area. It is a classic mystery! Why
would an entire city get up and move out leaving all
their belonging, pots on the stove, and half-finished
construction? The other mystery is why did the Mayans do this not once, but several times. They had
abandoned a similar city in what is now Guatemala
almost 100 years earlier. Also, while they left their
cities in “mid-day” they, of course, did not disappear.
A great many people of Mayan descent are alive and
well throughout the world.
The new clues are not so much a reason why as an
elimination of previous theories.
Warfare is long considered one reason why they

might have fled, but archaeologists can find no evidence of fortifications.
Some think a large drought might have made people
move, but if so, why so quickly and why didn’t they
come back because in 1900 years any such drought
would have ended.
Also, many of the homes show evidence of some
carefully planned packing which would rule out
plague or war, but that also leads to more questions
because archaeologists believe that the Mayan ritualistically destroyed their old home when moving to
a new one and these homes are not destroyed, but
rather preserved almost like the ruins of Pompeii;
however, there is no evidence of a massive volcanic
eruption either.
The mystery remains, but the new clues unearthed
in the Yucatan are narrowing the possibilities.
For more information and some interesting pictures
go to the source!
Vergano, Dan. “Archaeologists Find New Clues
Why the Maya Left”. USA Today. August 26, 2010.
<http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2010-0825-maya-pompeii_N.htm?csp=obnetwork>.

DolmaDraka

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WIZARDRY

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day
into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces
are there encountered and a decisive victory is won:
the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure
with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
~ Joseph Campbell

The Hero’s Journey
By Prof. Moonwriter

The hero’s journey is an idea that infuses every
magickal path and ties closely in with the ideas of
study, practice, and initiation. Writer and comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell is credited for his
work in identifying the common threads winding
throughout world mythology and tradition as well
as linking these under
a common idea, which
he called the monomyth. Campbell used
this structure to define
and explain the hero’s
journey, a theme that
appears over and over
throughout ancient and
modern literature, art,
music, dance, and storytelling—as well as in
all types of retreat and
quest. The hero’s journey model also permeates various magickal
traditions, including the
Tarot and all forms of
magickal training, e.g.,
the well known “year
and a day” common
to structured forms of
study. The idea of quest
touches all human cultures and every piece of
mythos, past and present. By being aware of
your connection to this
magickally-infused history, you connect with
both the timeless and
the divine, making your
magickal experiences
all the richer.
In Campbell’s work, the
hero’s journey invari-

ably involves some sort of magickal descent into a
place of “darkness,” and many expressions of quest
in art, film, and story find the hero wandering, wideeyed into a dark forest, cave, or some sort of underworld. Campbell’s theories incorporate a great deal
of Carl Jung‘s work with the human psyche and collective unconscious—
the idea that we are
all born with “memories” of a shared past,
and that these memories may surface with
powerful results. Philosopher Rudolf Steiner
called this a meeting
with the ens astral, a
soul-filling connection
with place and cosmos created through
time, familiarity, and
struggle. These sorts of
magickal bonds don’t
happen without hard
work and without creating intentional time
and space. Each challenge faced becomes a
hero’s quest as we set
foot to path, test or try
ourselves, look inward,
and return, jubilant, to
revel in our new knowledge or accomplishment.
Let’s take a quick look
at the basic structure
of the hero’s journey.
Joseph Campbell divides the full schema
into three main sections and seventeen
separate components.

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WIZARDRY

Phase I: The Departure:
The hero is called to destiny and departs for the journey.
Campbell’s Label

Example

Description

The Call to Adventure

The seeker receives a call to destiny or comes to understand that
she has a destiny or task to fulfill.

The One Ring comes to Frodo.

Refusal of the Call

The seeker typically refuses the
call at least one. She may not believe it, may not believe it possible, may be afraid of undertaking
it, or simply may not care to accept it.

Frodo tries to give the Ring to
Gandalf. Gandalf explains to Frodo
that he must carry the Ring away
from Hobbiton.

Supernatural Aid

The seeker receives guidance from
a mentor; often, this guidance is
magickal, spiritual, or both.

Gandalf provides supernatural aid
to Frodo. Gandalf and Aragorn will
both serve as Mentors to Frodo.

Crossing the Departure Threshold

The seeker agrees to the journey
and sets foot on the road.

Frodo and Sam leave Hobbiton,
bound for the town of Bree.

The Belly of the Whale

At some point, the seeker finds
herself descending or cast into
a place of darkness, danger, etc.
This may be magickal or mundane. It may also be metaphorical; sometimes the place of danger is something we have to meet
within ourselves.

Along the road, the Hobbits are
attached by Black Riders. Once in
Bree, they meet Aragorn. Gandalf
has vanished and Frodo begins to
realize the seriousness of his journey. In Elvandar, Frodo accepts
the Quest of returning the Ring to
Mordor.

Phase II: Initiation: The hero is tested and succeeds.
The Road of Trials

Along the road, the seeker meets
many trials. Each requires him to
demonstrate growing skills and confidence.

The Fellowship is formed and heads for
Mordor. Frodo undergoes many trials
and challenges.

Meeting with the Goddess/God

At some point, the seeker receives
some sort of direct spiritual insight or
support; this will help him when the
going gets rough.

Frodo meets the Elf Queen and receives
a vision of what will happen should he
fail. He comes to better understand the
import of what he must do.

Temptation Away from
the True Path

As the road becomes more difficult,
the seeker considers abandoning the
quest and heading home. Or, he may
deny that he is on the correct path.

On several occasions, Frodo is tempted
to put on the Ring and allow Sauraman
to find him.

Atonement with
Mother/Father

the

The seeker achieves enough competence that shows he no longer needs
the guidance of a mentor. The seeker’s success is now in his own hands.

Faramir allows Frodo and Sam to continue their journey, showing that Frodo
has now been set apart to succeed or fail
on his own.

Apotheosis: Becoming
“god-like”

The seeker appears to be innately
strong, powerful, and capable. Others will look to or follow him without
question. To the opposing forces, the
seeker now represents great danger.

Frodo becomes increasingly resolute as
he grows closer to Mt. Doom.

The ultimate boon

The Seeker achieves his quest and is
gifted with new powers, understandings, knowledge, etc.

Frodo stands within Mt. Doom, holding
the ring over the molten lava and poised
to restore order to the world.

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WIZARDRY

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Phase III: The Return:
The hero returns. The quest—a rite of passage—is completed.

WIZARDRY

Frodo at first refuses to throw the
ring into the fires of Mt. Doom. After a struggle with Gollum, the ring
is cast into the fire.

Refusal of the Return

The Seeker may question her ability
to return. Exhausted from her quest,
she might just prefer to hang out for
awhile.

The Magick Flight

The Seeker receives magickal aid with Frodo and Sam escape death at
her return. (Imagine Dorothy clicking Mt. Doom.
her heels together three times....)

Rescue from Without

Outside forces assist the Seeker’s re- Frodo and Sam are rescued by the
turn.
eagles. (The giant birds—not the
band.)

Crossing the Return Threshold

She returns to her home and/or peo- The Hobbits—and the Fellowship—
ple, coming back to where she be- return to safety.
gan.

Master of the two worlds

She is now “better” than when she Aragorn is crowned King; he then
began. Ceremony and celebration are leads the assembly in bowing to the
typically part of this stage.
Hobbits. Frodo is honored above all
others. Yet in the end, he leaves
the living world and sails off to Undying Lands.

Freedom to Live

Because of the Seeker’s success- Because of Frodo and the Fellowful journey, the world benefits. The ship’s courage, the world of men
Seeker’s new role is to lead, teach, survives.
and inspire.

Campbell’s work leans heavily on work done by psychologist Carl Jung, particularly with Jung’s work in
the “collective unconscious,” a belief that we are all
linked across time by a cosmic thread of shared human experience and that we’re all born intuitively
understanding these shared experiences. This explains why myths, rituals, and quest stories resonate so deeply within us—they help us tap into the

deep magick, a sense of something much older than
ourselves. Looking at the above schema will suggest
how your own magickal experience might parallel
the hero’s journey, making your retreat all the richer.
You, too, will hear and answer the call. You’ll set foot
on the road, listen for magickal guidance, and test
yourself in some way. Tasks completed, you’ll “return” as somehow different than when you begin.

DolmaDraka

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WIZARDRY

The Wisdom in the Corn
by Prof. Rainbow Stonetalker, Dean of Faculty

Selu. Corn Mother. Goddess of the Grain. Even her
name sounds magickal; Selu. Say-Lou. Hers is a story that I enjoy telling time and time again.
“It’s time again,” she urged me. “You know what to
do.” And she is correct; I do. I quiet my mind, and I
open my heart, and I start to write.
Selu’s story is one of the Eastern Cherokee tales of
Creation. She is the Corn Mother, from whom the
nourishment of the kernels of corn is made into soups
and stews and breads. I cannot remember when I
first heard her story, but Selu, and her husband Kenati, have always been the archetypes I turn to when
I think of the origins of corn and the hunt. Their story
goes something like this:
Selu and Kenati had two sons, who they named Good
Boy and Wild Boy. Now, you can imagine that Wild
Boy was always trying to lead Good Boy into trouble.
One day, Wild Boy led Good Boy behind their father,
who was in search of meat for their table. They followed Kenati to a cave, where he rolled away the giant stone, let out a deer, then quickly killed it to take
home for Selu to cook. The next day the boys went
to repeat what they had seen Kenati do, to prove
they were men and not boys, but they forgot to roll

the stone back over the mouth of the cave, and they
let out all the game.
The boys were hungry, but when they returned home
their father told them there was no food, for someone had let all the meat escape. Selu said she would
provide food. She went into the storehouse and
emerged with a basket full of corn that she cooked
into grits. The next night she did so again, and baked
the corn meal into bread. The next night, Wild Boy
urged Good Boy to follow Selu, and see from where
she got the grain. They watched as Selu put the basket down on the floor, and filled it with corn by shaking her hips. Wild Boy told Good boy that his mother
must be a witch, and neither of them ate the food
that she prepared for them that night.
Selu knew that the boys knew her secret, and told
them that now they knew who she was, it was time
for her to die. She told them that when she died, they
must bury her and something tall would grow from
the spot where she was buried. She told them how
to care for the corn as it grew, and that they must
share the corn and feed the people as well as feeding
themselves. “I will forever be the Corn Mother,” she
said. “Never forget where I am buried.”

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WIZARDRY
As a young child, when all the other neighborhood
kids were playing in the streets, I could be found lying in the fields, listening to the corn grow. It creaks
and pops in the summer heat, and the sounds were
comforting to me, as if Nature herself was speaking
to me. Even as a child, before I’d met Selu, I knew
there was something fascinating about the corn. I
strung it into jewelry at Halloween and played hide
and seek with the butterflies in the tall stalks.
Selu grows the corn stalks so tall that we can lose
ourselves in them, as rows of inspiration, labyrinths
of creation. If we really hear Selu’s story, we hear
with ears; ears like the corn grows.
Selu is not just the Corn Mother, but in my traditions
she is the life-giver. She lay down her life that others
might live. She created from her very self sustenance
for her own boys and for generations to come. Selu’s
message is just as appropriate today; never forget
that our nourishment comes from the Mother.
When we listen to Selu’s message, and really hear
it, we hear a story of creation, the heartbeat of life.
When we merge our spirit with Selu’s, we touch the
seeds growing in our own hearts, waiting for the right
opportunities to grow and bear harvest.
Selu’s story is a story not just of creation but of the
cycles of life, death, and rebirth. She reminds us with
every beginning there is an ending. She reminds us

that we are all co-creators of our own destiny and
to be mindful of our thoughts, for they each create
a powerful matrix of energy waiting on the cosmos
to be reinforced. We reinforce those thoughts with
our words. Our words are carried on our breath, and
our breath gives us life. Without our breath we die.
Therefore, when we speak of our thoughts, we literally breathe life into them. Finally, we make those
thoughts manifest by the actions we choose to take.
We are constantly creating the world in which we
live. We are each one of us constantly creating the
future that is destined to come to us.
Much of today’s modern lifestyle has become disassociated with the Earth Mother that sustains it. We live
in an instant and disposable society where we have
instant access, instant credit, and instant coffee. We
have disposable razors, disposable food containers,
and disposable friendships. We are thrusting into the
age of technology at warp speed where virtually everything can be done—and often instantly—via computer or an android mobile phone. It all seems very
removed from creation mythology.
Yet I challenge you. Look to any field, and see the
corn standing tall. See Selu, patiently waiting for
those who take time to seek her. Peel back the husk,
and marvel at the rows of colored grain, the fineness
of the corn silk, and listen for yourself to the eternal
wisdom in Selu’s message.

Photo: Jymi X/0

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Presenting a “New” Herb:

Dragon’s Eye
-- ShadowDancing, Stones Lodge

Title: Herbology101: Fun
Assignment: Create your own fantastic herb. Give it an appropriate (and entertaining!) name. You may write a detailed
description of the plant or, if you prefer, draw a detailed
sketch. Explain what the plant does, how it might be useful,
etc. Or, write a short story or scene that features the plant.
Be creative, and have some fun.
For this assignment, I will be doing a report on
a “newly re-discovered” fantastic herb,
Occularus draconis nobilus, common name
dragon’s eye, a.k.a. dragon’s tear, snake spurge,
scorpion’s bane, eye-clear, and far sight.

A bundle of the eyes is tied over doorways or
tent flaps to keep away flies and other biting insects. A dragon’s eye tied into a camel’s bridle
(far enough back that she cannot eat it) keeps
away flies, ticks, and fleas.

The dragon’s eye is a slow growing, woody
shrub of the deep deserts of northern Africa
and western Asia. It has a short habit (under one meter) with sparse but side-spreading branches and shallow, sprawling roots. The
leaves of the plant are small and oval with a
waxy coating that helps conserve water. What
little moisture is in the air condenses on the
leaves in the cool desert night and drops to the
plants shallow roots to be quickly absorbed.

Medicinal uses: True to its name, the dragon’s
eye can be made into a wash for eyes. If you
care for a dragon, you can treat their cloudy
or irritated eyes with full strength juice from
the ripe but not dried fruit. For humans and
their non-dragon companions, a very dilute solution from the dried fruit has been known to
cure a number of eye ailments, from irritation
and inflammation to cataracts and age-related
hyperopia. Thought no laboratory tests have
been done, it is believed that chemicals in the
dragon’s eye softens the tissues in the eye that
would normally stiffen and cloud with age, restoring them to a more youthful function.

The plant takes its name from its fruit, which
forms a tough membrane around a translucent
resinous middle layer with a large, lozengeshaped seed or pit (similar in shape to a mango
pit, but smaller). As the fruit ripens and then
dries, it takes on a hard, amber-like quality.
The outer membrane becomes papery, splits,
and curls up, resembling eyelashes. The resin
remains translucent and the pit can be seen,
so it resembles a black, slit pupil in a golden
eye. The fruit is about four inches across and
firm but pliable when ripe, and shrinks to about
three inches across and rock hard when dry. It
may be years before conditions are right for the
seed to germinate, but once the fruit is dried,
the seed can stay safe and viable almost indefinitely.
Household uses: Desert natives grate the
resinous outer coating of the dried fruit and
sprinkle it about their campsites to keep
scorpions and reptiles of all sorts away.

Magickal uses: Dragon’s eye is of a hot, masculine nature, and is ruled by Mars. It is commonly used in charms of protection against all
stinging and venomous creatures and as a general home protection charm.
An ancient text of the Arabian Magister Ali Akbar ibn Mustafah (c. 780 CE) was once translated as saying “The dragons gaze frightens away
scorpions.” It has more recently been re-translated as “The dragons eye wards off scorpions.”
This is believed to refer to both the practical
and magickal uses of the plant against such
creatures.
Works Cited
None! This is, after all, a “fantastic” plant.

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The Tower:

TAROT:

Catastrophic Catalyst!

-- Jymi X/0

We’ve seen a couple of cards now that indicate
changes: Death tells of a natural transformation
as the old makes way for the new. The Wheel
of Fortune reminds us that all things will change
as the forces that surround us seek balance and
definition. We know that change is a necessary
part of existence, and it’s natural...it’s beautiful...and it’s happening RIGHT NOW! OH MY GOD
WE NEVER ASKED FOR THIS! LIFE IS GOING TO
BE ALL DIFFERENT NOW! WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED? WHAT DID WE DO WRONG? WE NEVER
SAW THIS COMING! RUN! RUN, YOU FOOLS!
AAAAAUUUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!
Change: lovely from a distance; scary and intimidating when it gets too close. Even the good
changes can cause extreme stress and anxiety
– imagine getting married, starting a new career,
winning the lotto, or going away to college. Major life changes, planned or not, pleasant or traumatic, can make you feel like you’re out of control
and everything is going to be a disaster.
But if nothing ever changed, there would be no
stories. No one would have any reason to do anything interesting. There wouldn’t be any problems to solve, no reason to grow, no sense of
adventure. How many times have you ever felt
like you could be something great, if you just had
a worthy challenge? Yet, when something unexpected turns your life upside-down, do you think
“I didn’t mean THAT kind of challenge!” Alas, we
may get to write our own stories, but we can’t
always direct the screenplay. How we, as characters, respond to the surprise plot points and rewrites defines our roles in the book of existence.
It’s hard becoming a legend!
You can take advantage of the confusion, though.
In the midst of chaos, uncertainties run high and
probabilities fluctuate wildly. If you can keep a
clear head and steer your way through the storm
toward a positive outcome, you’ve got a good
chance of collapsing the wave functions in your
favor. In non-pseudo-scientific terms, it’s a lot
easier to mold reality to your liking when you
don’t have to unmake it first.
When the Tower falls, you might just find treasure
in the mess.

Photo: Jymi X/0

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In the February 2010 WGM, Pratus Ater-Lupus gave us
“Candle Magick,” a history of candles and their use in magic. Here, Hawkes presents some time-honoured techniques
and tips that will allow Wizards to put the candle power to
the test for themselves!
Candles are some of the most common household
items around. We use them on birthday cakes, to
light our homes during power outages, to decorate
rooms, and to light our way in the dark. They are
also very handy items that are used in magick and
magickal workings. They can be used to represent
the element of fire on our altars. They can stand at
the four quarters and be lit as each one is called. But
most of all, candles themselves can be used in the
working of magick. For the most part, this takes the
form of a spell centered on the candle. The candle
then becomes the tool that brings about the success
of the spell that is being worked on.
To begin, candles come in all various shapes, sizes,
scents, and colours. They can be found in numerous
stores and can be purchased online as well. Candles
can also be crafted by hand for each individual purpose. By doing so, the person crafting the candle
can pour their focus, essence, and energy into the
candle from the start.

For the most part, the shape and size of the candle
normally doesn’t influence the magick being worked.
Most people will use a generic size and shape of a
candle if only for the fact that anything else could
distract them from the magick that they’re working.
The size of the candle comes into play when a spell
calls for the candle to be lit for multiple sessions.
Tea light or votive candles probably won’t last if they
have to be lit for five nights in a row!
Colours and scents, on the other hand, play an important role in candle magick. Colours have influenced
our emotions and senses for as long as people can
remember. Seeing a specific colour can bring upon
a desired emotion, memory, or aid in our visualizations. The same is true in candle magick. When you
use a candle that has a specific colour, you are preparing yourself to work in accordance to with what
the colour signifies. For example, you would use a
black candle for a binding spell, green for abundance,
or a purple candle to aid psychic abilities.
While colour affects our visual senses, oils rubbed
into the candle affects our olfactory senses in the
same manner. The sense of smell can be very powerful. A whiff of perfume can bring back the furthest memories in an instant. We use scents to
relax, to help meditate, or to focus ourselves on
the magickal workings at hand. The practitioner
begins by rubbing the oil in from the top down
to the middle of the candle, and then repeats
the motions from the bottom up to the middle once more. This is done if the purpose of
the spell is to draw something towards the
practitioner. For a spell to repel, the reverse
would be done. Begin at the middle and rub
outwards towards the ends.

Candle
Magick

When a scent is added to a candle by rubbing oil onto it, two things are accomplished. First, the practitioner pours their
energy and intent into the candle as they
gently add the oil to it. Secondly, the visualization of the spell begins as this energy
and intent flows into the candle. The scent
will have been chosen in accordance to the
spell that is to be cast. The scents that will
come off of the candle once it is lit will help
calm the practitioner and allow them to focus upon this visualization.

-- Hawkes

Photos: Jymi X/0

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There are a few other techniques that you can incorporate into the candle magick that is being performed. Incense can be used as it is in other forms
of magick and rituals. It can be used in place of a
scent on the candle or in addition to the scent in order to strengthen the power of the intention. Stones
and crystals that will enhance the spell can be placed
around the candle. A message or series of runes can
be engraved into the candle with a knife. In this case
the engraving would follow the same technique as
rubbing oils onto the candle. Begin at the top and
work down towards the middle of the candle and then
switch to the bottom and work upwards towards the
middle. The reverse would be used for messages or
rune work for repelling.
Furthermore, petitions can be added to enhance
what the practitioner is trying to accomplish. These
would be simple messages emphasizing the desired
outcome of the spell. Written down on a blank piece
of paper, folded over slowly, it provides another avenue for the practitioner to pour their energy and
intentions into the spell. The petition is then burned
via the flame of the candle as the practitioner visualizes the desired outcome.
Everything that I’ve mentioned above assists the
practitioner in performing candle magick. What it
comes down to is the following – focus, willpower, and visualization. The colour of the candle, the
scents involved, carvings, stones, or anything else
that is done during the casting of the spell assists
the practitioner in bringing together their ability to
focus and visualize their goals. The main goal is to
be able to focus your will, see what you want to accomplish easily within your mind, and transfer that

energy to the candle so that it will be released as it
slowly burns.
Candle magick was a form of magick that I had heard
of and read briefly of over the last few years. It was
a style that I had never experimented with until just
recently as I began to gather my research for this paper. It’s a fascinating form of magick because it can
range from being simple to elaborate in constructing
the spell surrounding the candle and it draws upon
the focus and visualization of the practitioner to enact change through the burning of the candle.
WORKS CITED
“Basic Candle Magick (The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum)” old.ecauldron.net August 20, 2010.
<http://old.ecauldron.net/candlemagick.php>
“Candle Magic” Internet Book of Shadows August
20, 2010.
<http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos104.htm>
“Candle Magick Introduction” Wicca.com
http://www.wicca.com/celtic/bri/intro.htm
20, 2010.

August

“Color Magick” Coven of the Red Witch, August 20,
2010.
<http://www.angelfire.com/la/redwitch1/colors.
html>
Conclave workshop, Candle Magick, CougarCrimsonTide, July 30, 2010.

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La Llorona—The Weeping Woman
By Prof. Moonwriter

One of Mexico’s best-known traditional tales is that
of La Llorona, the weeping woman. The legend typically involves a restless female spirit who wanders
at night and is heard (or seen) wailing and weeping for her missing children. On the surface, the
legend appears simple and straightforward, but the
legend also shows great societal variation, providing a wide range of functions from an admonishing
children’s tale to an expression of the effects of cultural change.
Folklore comprises the unwritten traditions of a group
of people. It is traditional in nature, undergoing variation as it spreads informally from person to person
or from one community to another. La Llorona meets
the formal definition of a legend, i.e., it occurs in
a recognizable past and a familiar (known) locale,
includes recognizable people, includes (at least initially) human characters, is accepted by its tellers
as true, and is widely known in different places. Its
association with the idea of ghosts, haunted spirits,
revenants, etc., makes it a supernatural legend, i.e.,
a “supposedly factual account . . . that seem[s] to
validate folk beliefs” (Brunvand 201). Furthermore,
La Llorona is part of a cycle, i.e., a “group of narratives relating to one event, person, or theme” (198).
Within a cycle are found everything from complex,
authoritative accounts to fragments of hearsay; this
holds true for La Llorona, which covers the spectrum
from sketchy or brief personal encounters to those
with documented historic precedent.
The legend of La Llorona also extends into the realm
of superstition. Superstitions are defined as a “naïve
popular beliefs, usually concerning change, magic,
or the supernatural, that are logically or scientifically
untenable” (371). The Hispanic culture has long used
La Llorona as an admonitory tale to modify their
children’s behavior, particularly to keep the children
from wandering at night. Children may be told, “If
you don’t be good, La Llorona will come to get you”
(Jones 199); “Don’t go down by the water. La Llorona
will get you” (Shoals);
or “When it gets
dark, you get
home. La Llorona is out looking
for her children.
She’s so crazy,
if she sees you,
she won’t know
if it’s you or her
own child. She’ll
pick you up and
carry you away!
We’ll never see
you again” (Hayes

56). In these instances, the popular belief in La Llorona’s power—the superstition—is used to frighten
children into proper behavior.
Where does the legend of La Llorona begin? Where is
its home? One proposal connects the legend with the
ancient Aztec myth, “Why the Earth Eats her Dead,”
in which the hungry mother Earth not only eats her
children but wails at night (Bierhorst 173). The Aztecs saw themselves as the chosen ones, and human sacrifice served as a type of holy communion (in
modern terms); for them, ritual and repetition were
a type of insurance, a way to keep the world on its
proper course. In the foreword to Folktales of Mexico, Dorson writes of “the Aztec goddess who sacrificed babies and disappeared shrieking into lakes
or rivers” (Paredes A Foreword). Dorson is speaking
of Cihuacoatl (also known as Civacoatl, Chihuacohuatl, or Tonantzín), the Serpent or Snake woman. A
great deal of Llorona’s history and expression may
begin with this legend, which is said to include details from ancient Mexico and from Europe. According
to Dorson, Cihuacoatl carried a cradle on her shoulders. She would stop to mix in with other women
and would then abandon the cradle; when the others
looked into it, they would find an arrowhead shaped
like a sacrificial knife (Dorson 436-437). Following
this, Cihuacoatl would be heard weeping and shrieking into the night as she walked along the rivers and
canals of the city. Cihuacoatl was associated with the
conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, and both the
Florentine Codex and the Historia de Tlaxcala “include the wailing woman as the sixth omen or portent [predicting] the fall of Tenochtitlán” (Mueller).
Tenochtitlán would one day become Mexico City, and
in that way, the old Aztec myths plant the seeds of
the modern Llorona.
Another pre-Llorona manifestation was Cihuateteo
or Mociuaquetzque (the woman god), said to be the
immortal manifestation of the souls of women who
die in childbirth (Hellbom). Childbirth in Aztec times
was felt to be a heroic act, and to die during childbirth was as prestigious as dying a warrior’s death in
battle. However, the Cihuateteo was also feared as
she was thought to attack and/or possess children,
particularly during the night or at crossroads, and
was also believed to lure men into adultery or sexual
excess (Hellbom). In attempts to appease the Goddess and prevent such actions, the people erected
temples and made midnight offerings, scattering
reeds and sand at street crossings and crossroads
(Hellbom). Cihuateteo would eventually be considered the patron saint of childbirth (Castro 153). This
seems appropriate, for at no time in a woman’s life is
she as close to both life and death as during the act
of giving birth.

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La Llorona has also been linked to the legend of La
Malinche. When Cortéz began to move toward the
Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlán, one of the many
“gifts” he received from the Indians was a fourteen
year-old slave named Malintzin, of supposed noble
descent (161). Malintzin not only became his interpreter, but also his lover. At first Malintzin always
spoke to Cortéz on behalf of her Indian people, but
on at least one occasion she tipped him off to an
ambush, an action that led to the massacre of thousands of Indians. After this, the people viewed her as
a traitor and began to call her La Malinche (the Captain’s woman) or la chingada (the violated woman
or, literally, the screwed woman). After Cortéz abandoned her to return to Spain, legend suggests that
Malintzin killed their only son in despair (153).
Many contemporary texts link La Llorona to La Malinche, particularly in relation to themes of the husband or lover who abandons La Llorona for reasons
of class difference, either because she is a mestizo—mixed blood—or because she is a mujer libre,
a woman of the streets. Contemporary Mexican
and Chicano folklore consider La Malinche to be the
metaphorically raped Indian woman who produces
a mestizo offspring. But because she gave birth to
the first Mexican—even if mestizo—she is also said
to be the mother of la raza cósmica, the cosmic race
(162). Today, one who betrays their people in Chicano culture is said to be a malinche, a clearly derogatory designation. Yet for her role in birthing the
culture, she is acknowledged as a cultural hero on
a level akin to Mexico’s grand patron, La Virgin de
Guadalupe. Many regard La Malinche as the indisputable original Llorona and the source of the Llorona
legend. La Malinche herself is still said to wander the
ahuehuete forests near Mexico City, avenging her
anger by luring men to destruction (Miller 64).
Also linked to the Llorona legend is the Mexican tale
of La Infeliz María, the unhappy Maria, who makes
a deal with the devil and drowns her three sons in
exchange for the promise of beauty. Unfortunately,
the devil gives her the head of a horse and the feet
and hooves of a rooster, plus a wailing voice that
sounds like an ambulance siren (102, 105). María is
said to wander the Mexican riverbanks at midnight,
wailing for her dead children. Persons who look upon
her may find their necks stuck in that position, and
require the help of a curandero (folk healer) for relief
(102).
In his doctoral dissertation, Chalquist summarizes La
Llorona’s presence across a wide swath of time and
culture and notes the incredible variation that exists within the “traditional” La Llorona story. While La
Llorona is often spoken of as a young and/or beautiful woman, variations also describe her as ugly,
hag-like, horse-faced, skeletal, a shadowy image,
a mermaid, or as something that could not really

be seen. While she is said to have killed her children, variations also suggest that the children were
killed by someone else, died accidentally, were lost,
or were abandoned. La Llorona’s motivations vary
from such emotional extremes as abandonment by
her husband to her own sociopathic need to escape
motherhood and enjoy a free and unfettered life.
She appears through all of the variations as a consistently restless, wandering spirit, but the location
of her wandering, its nature, and its motive differ
widely, as do her interactions with and appearances
to other people. She might walk the streets at midnight, might float above the water while seeking new
children to drown, or might haunt the local forests,
seducing and killing men. Some variations include
magical components, such as turning men to stone
or salt, frightening people to death, and even turning herself into a serpent. Some themes—such as
the moon, the action happening at or around midnight, and Llorona’s long, flowing hair—appear in
multiple examples of the legend. Others—such as
her scratching at windows, appearing as a mermaid,
smothering her children with a pillow, or the “treatment” of a Llorona encounter with sugar administered by a curandero—occur in isolated instances. It
may be the depth of the legend’s connection to the
human condition that causes the story to endure, an
evolving, engaging, and constantly changing voice of
sorrow and struggle.
Works Cited

Bierhorst, John. The Mythology of Mexico and Central America.
New York: Morrow, 1990.
Brunvand, Jan Harold. The Study of American Folklore. (4th Ed.)
New York: Norton, 1998.
Castro, Rafaela G. Dictionary of Chicano Folklore. Santa Barbara,
CA.: Oxford, 2000.
Chalquist, Craig. “In The Shadow of Cross and Sword: Imagining
a Psychoanalysis Of Place.” Diss. Pacifica Graduate Institute, Nov.
6, 2003.
Dorson, Richard M. Buying the Wind. Chicago: U Chicago Press,
1964.
Hayes, Joe. The Day it Snowed Tortillas. Santa Fe: Mariposa,
1998.
Hellbom, Anna-Britta. “Man-Like Gods and Deified Men in Mexican Cosmolore.” Folk Belief and Media Group of Estonian Literary
Museum. 2004.
<http://haldjas.folklore.ee/folklore/vol10/mexico.htm>
Jones, Pamela. “There was a Woman”: La Llorona in Oregon.”
Western Folklore. 47 (1988): 195-211.
Miller, Elaine K. Mexican Folk Narrative from the Los Angeles Area.
Austin: U Texas Press, 1973.
Mueller, Rose Anna. “La Llorona.” Hope College. (No date)
<http://www.hope.edu/latinamerican/La%20Llorona.html>
Paredes, Américo. Folktales of Mexico. Chicago: U Chicago Press,
1970.
Shoals, Ian. “From Child Murderer to Milk Hawker.” Jewish World
Review. April 24, 2002.
<http://jewishworldreview.com/0502/shoales042402.asp>

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by Drakonya
There are few Tibetan historical characters as loved
and worshipped as Milarepa ; perhaps the story of
his life once served to convince Bön practitioners to
turn to Buddhism, and perhaps not. Mostly, Milarepa’s life shines and gives hope to everyone because
he reached enlightenment in the course of his life,
after spending years spreading evil in blind hatred
for those who had hurt him. The strength of his remorse, and the vastness of his
compassion turned his defects
into qualities, an example that
every single Tibetan tried to
emulate for centuries. Every
Full Moon, in some monasteries, a huge ritual dedicated to
Milarepa is performed, gathering hundreds--at the end
of the ritual, the offerings of
food and drinks are blessed
and then shared, just like the
magickal rituals we perform.
Milarepa was born in 1052 in
a relatively wealthy family.
In Tibet, it meant that you
had a two-storey house and
a herd of yaks, and that you
could hire people to cultivate
your fields. Milarepa was not
his birth name, because over
there your name changes every time you undergo an initiation or want to fool the bad
spirits that might pursue you.
For reasons of clarity, we will
call him Milarepa much sooner than he earned this name.
He led a sheltered life with his parents and his sister
until, when he was seven, his father died. His uncle
and aunt had been jealous because they were poorer,
and saw an opportunity to get richer really quickly:
they moved into the house pretending it was to help
the bereaved family, and soon took over. Nobody in
the village protested when Milarepa’s mother started
being treated like a servant, then little better than
a slave. The uncle beat the children whenever they
misbehaved. Milarepa’s mother started to harbour a
deep hatred for her brother-in-law and his wife--for
several years, she saved whatever she could that
had value, and then one day, she called her son to
her and told him that he needed to go away. He had
to find a master that would teach him Bön, the shamanic magick that allowed to control the elements so

as to get revenge for their unfair situation. At first,
the boy refused -- not because he had qualms about
learning a way to crush his uncle, mind you, but because he did not want to leave his mother and sister
alone. She threatened him with suicide if he did not
go. So he took the valuable objects she had saved as
offerings for his future master, and went away.
After a long quest, he found
a powerful Bön wizard who
lived in a remote cave, and
became his apprentice. Milarepa had a gift for magick.
He could focus his mind easily, and was powerful enough
that soon he scared his first
master, who sent him on his
way to learn from someone
else. Milarepa found a second master, and learnt to
curse and use his art for the
darkest of purposes. When
he was ready, he started the
long walk back to his village.
He got there just as his uncle was throwing a party to
marry his son. Milarepa’s
hatred for the villagers who
had let his uncle enslave his
mother and sister was limitless, and when he saw his
house full of the people he
deemed responsible for his
fate, he was overcome by
a terrible anger and summoned a huge hail storm
to destroy the whole house.
When the house collapsed, thirty-five people died.
Some of the villagers instantly knew that Milarepa
had caused the storm, and set after him with forks
and other improvised weapons. When he received
word from his mother that they were after him, Milarepa summoned another storm to destroy their
crops, effectively condemning them to famine.
The young man’s elation was short-termed. He suddenly understood the extent of the evil he had just
unleashed on his village. Milarepa was an empath
and had not known it until then. His acts threw him
into insufferable anguish and remorse. He decided
that he had to find a new master so as to ask him
(or her) how to redeem his karma. He set on another
long quest until one day, he heard the name “Marpa”
and fainted. When he came to, he knew that Marpa

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was destined to become his new spiritual master.
Now Marpa was not your typical, orange-clad, peaceful lama. He was an extraordinary man who was
nicknamed “the translator” because he had travelled
to India and translated from Sanskrit and Pali many
sacred Buddhist texts into Tibetan. He was known
for his amazing rages, and many feared his temper.
This was his way of pushing people to their limits
until they realized their own potential for wisdom.
No wiser lama could have helped Milarepa out of his
negative karma.

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practiced dutifully the meditations and rituals he was
asked to, but made no progress whatsoever. His new
lama was amazed: he sensed Milarepa’s potential,
but could not find the reason for his lack of progress.
The young man knew, however. He confessed that
his letter of introduction had been forged. The lama
sighed, and said that he could not teach someone
who had come with treachery in his heart. Miserably,
Milarepa came back to Marpa, but before reaching
him, he was so depressed that he considered committing suicide again.

Their encounter was anti-climatic for Milarepa. Marpa had seen that his would-be disciple walked with
a trail of bad deeds like a dark cloud over his head.
He decided to test the motivation of his new disciple
by asking him to build a huge tower at the top of the
hill. Milarepa bowed and set to work. He toiled from
morning to night building the tower, running to the
quarry and carrying rocks up the hill until his feet
bled and his hands tore. He survived on the small
amount of daily food that Marpa consented to give
him; sometimes Marpa’s wife took pity on him and
sneaked out with more food. Meanwhile Marpa’s other disciples received Buddhist teachings every day,
and meditated with advice from their lama.
After several weeks, the tower was almost finished
when Marpa walked up the hill, took a glance at it,
and yelled that the work was sloppy. He wanted the
tower on another hill, anyway, one that had a better view. Milarepa collapsed when he realized that
he would have to demolish his tower rock by rock
and build another one on the next hill. He complied
anyway. At night, he would weep with exhaustion
and the deep desire to learn Buddhism and amend
his ways. He felt he was wasting precious time. Yet,
he obeyed his lama, and built the second tower over
the course of several months. Unbeknownst to the
young man, Marpa was observing him with his inner wisdom, and when he saw that Milarepa was still
trailing part of his negative karma when the second
tower was about to be completed, he sighed, climbed
the hill, got into one of his scary rages, and asked
Milarepa to destroy his work and start anew on another hill.
Imagine the young man’s despair! Yet, he did it
again. The third tower was erected even more slowly
than the others. Milarepa felt like a ghost, surviving
on very little food and spending his days going up
and down hills with rocks almost as heavy as he was.
He finished the third tower, and still Marpa would
not accept him as a disciple. The young man considered committing suicide then. Marpa’s wife Damema
forged a letter of introduction by using her husband’s
name, and sent him on his way to another master.
Milarepa walked away one morning without saying
anything to Marpa, and found the lama he had been
sent to meet. He started receiving teachings, and

Marpa knew it. He also knew that Milarepa was at
last ready to receive his teachings. He greeted his
disciple like an old friend and started teaching him
the most essential and deep teachings he had learnt.
This time Milarepa was making amazing progress on
his path to wisdom and compassion. He had, after
all, enough experience in his lifetime to draw lessons from it and transform his negative emotions
into energy to feed his qualities! After several years,
Marpa told his disciple that he should go to a remote
cave on a retreat, to practice all the teachings he had
received. Milarepa was transformed by then ; there
was no trace of the young man he had been - neither
hatred nor despair. He set joyfully on his path while
Marpa cried quietly. The lama knew that he would
not see his disciple again, for he was dying.
Milarepa found a cave, and survived on nettle soup
while meditating and constantly practicing the rituals and chants he had been taught. It is said that his
skin turned a pale green because of his food. (Now,
as I am a budding herbalist, allow me a parenthesis:
nettles are one of the most nourishing herbs that
exist. They contain many minerals, proteins and vitamins, and the list of their medicinal properties is
quite long. If you want to learn more, take a Formulary class!). Milarepa remained in his cave until he
reached enlightenment. The magickal feats he could
do became limitless. He was one with the universe,
and so matter and spirit had no secret for him. He

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could do amazing things, provided he was moved
by unconditional love and compassion. He was soon
surrounded by disciples, men and women who came
from the other side of Tibet to receive his teachings.
His disciples’ disciples were the ones who wrote the
story of his life and the 100,000 spiritual chants of
wisdom and teachings that he had composed. They
are amazing and are among the most precious heritage of spiritual wisdom. Milarepa died in 1135, and
his disciple Gampopa became the head of his lineage. From master to disciple, the lineage and transmission of teachings and blessings has never been
broken to this day.
So now, you know why Milarepa is so deeply loved.
He had an extraordinary life and explored the depths
of wickedness before reaching the summit of wisdom. If you like, I can share with you the most secret teaching he offered to his disciple Gampopa. I
am sure you are all ready to hear it, although maybe
not ready to put it into practice. Milarepa promised
to Gampopa that he would give him the secret of enlightenment at dawn one morning. All night long, the
disciple was almost feverish with anticipation and expectations. He imagined that he would receive such
deep teachings that he would reach enlightenment
himself on the spot. At dawn, he waited by the river
for Milarepa, who soon came to him. “Are you ready
to listen and memorize?” Milarepa asked Gampopa.

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The disciple, who could barely speak, nodded. “Then,
here is the secret to reach enlightenment”. Milarepa
turned around, pulled up his white yogi robe, and
showed his astonished disciple the place where the
back loses its name - his buttocks ! He had sat and
meditated for so long that his buttocks were as hard
as rock!
If you are disappointed by the secret, imagine Gampopa’s reaction. The path to wisdom and enlightenment is a long, hard one. But as Milarepa showed,
no matter how far we are from the top of the mountain at the beginning, once we decide to be on our
way with motivation and perseverance, we know
that we will eventually reach our goal. I will let him
conclude:
“All the manifestation, the Universe itself,
is contained in the mind;
The nature of Mind is the realm of illumination
Which can neither be conceived nor touched.”

Works Cited:

Milarepa - A Hundred Thousand Songs - French translation by
Marie-José Lamothe - Editions Fayard 2006
Tsang Nyön Heruka, The Life of Milarepa - French translation by
Marie-José Lamothe - Editions Fayard 2006

“Milarepa: The One Who Hearkened” by Nicholas Roerich, 1925

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ISSUE 28

WIZARDRY

Sekhmet:

The Lore of the Red Lady
By Scarlet Flame Lion

The belief that she is in
fact much older than the
other Egyptian Gods can
be seen by some of her
many titles: “Lady of the
Place at the Beginning of
Time;” “One Who Was
Before the Gods Were;”
“Mother of all the Gods.”
She is also portrayed as
the protector of the Pharaoh when he went into
battle. (The White Moon
Gallery, 2010)

I often think that Sekhmet
is a goddess with whom
much if not all of the Western world could stand to
work. This way instead of
starting wars or flying airplanes into buildings, they
would have a safe way
to express their anger. I
have encountered some
who think that whatever
a Goddess’ trait is, that is
the gift she gives you... I
often have to turn aside to
stop myself from laughing
or smiling as I explain to
them that the opposite is
the case. In Sekhmet’s
case, her gift is that anger
and rage. But instead of
giving it to us, she teaches us to overcome our
violent side by witnessing
it for us and helping us to
face it.
Sekhmet was originally
the warrior goddess of
Upper Egypt. However, as
Upper Egypt conquered
Lower Egypt, so Sekhmet superseded Bast as the
dominant Goddess of war. She is often depicted as
a beautiful woman with the head of a lioness. This
made perfect sense as lionesses were the fiercest
hunters known to the ancient Egyptians. The cult of
Sekhmet was dominant in the Egyptian culture to
such a great extent, that when the first Pharaoh of
the 12th dynasty Amenemhat the First moved the
capital city of Egypt to Itjtawy, her cult was moved
as well.
Sekhmet is considered much more ancient than the
other Egyptian gods and is part of what is known
as the Memphis Triad, which also includes Bast.
Sekhmet became seen in later cults as the daughter
of the new sun god Ra when his cult supplanted the
worship of Horus. At one time Sekhmet became an
aspect of Hathor. However, both goddesses eventually evolved back into separate deities.

Serephina

Sekhmet
has
something of a bad reputation, mainly due to the
energy and power which
she symbolizes. Sekhmet
was further associated
with plagues, pestilence
and disease. In addition
to being associated with
violence, war and blood
lust as well as illness and
disease, Sekhmet is also
associated with a love of
intoxicating drink.

Sekhmet’s most famous ritual, which depicts the destruction of humankind, was celebrated on a feast
day which occurred in the month of August. On that
day, the priestess consumed a drink similar to the
one that was made for Sekhmet and then participated in a mass ritual to honor her. People danced,
played and drank in the hopes of soothing Sekhmet’s
fury and lust for blood. Festivals to Sekhmet were
also held after battles to bring an end to the destruction.
Whatever else she was, Sekhmet was indeed sacred
to the Egyptian people. No other deity was as loved
in Egypt as Sekhmet, no other represented by so
many statues as she.
Sekhmet was also a healer. Amenhotep’s funerary
temple on the west bank of the Nile once held more
than seven hundred statues of Sekhmet. It is believed
that the reason the statues were so widespread is
that they were used to invoke Sekhmet’s powers of

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WIZARDRY

healing and as a protector against plagues and disease. Sekhmet was seen not only as the bringer of
illness but also as the healer of those same illnesses.
For this reason, her priestesses were said to be on
the same level as physicians.
Sekhmet has many associations. She is connected to
the color red, the element of fire and the Crone aspect of womanhood. She is connected to blood mysteries as well as menstruation and menopause. From
a Chakra standpoint, Sekhmet is associated with
Kundalini energy as well as with the base chakra via
color association. As a solar goddess, Sekhmet is related to both the sun’s creative and destructive powers. Astrologically, Sekhmet rules the first house of
Aries. In this ancient system which differs from the
one used today, Aries attributes may include: individual willpower; strength; courage and warrior goddess qualities. (White Moon Online Gallery, 2010)
One source I found on the Egyptian Zodiac gives the
corresponding dates for Sekhmet as July 29-August
11 and October 30-November 7. The masculine and
feminine colors for the zodiac sign of Sekhmet are
green and turquoise respectively and the compatible signs for Sekhmet are Bastet and Geb. Those
born under the influence of Sekhmet are said to be
telepathic, observant, authoritative, indulgent and
moral. (Purple Grimoire, 2010)
Sekhmet’s name originates from the word Sekhem
which means strong, mighty, powerful and violent.
During my research I found that her name has a few
different interpretations. Most sources translate her
name as “She Who Is Powerful” though one source
translated it as “One Who Is Powerful”. However her
name is translated, it cannot be denied that it suits
her. One of her other names is Nesert, which means
“Flame,” and is a reference to the destructive force
of fire to which she is linked. As a solar goddess,
Sekhmet is linked to both creative and destructive
powers of the Sun.
However, Sekhmet has 10,000 names, many of which
we know and others which she has yet to reveal
to us. “One Before Whom Evil Trembles;” “Lady of
Slaughter;” “Lady of Knives;” “Destroyer of Worlds;”
“Destroyer of Rebellions;” “Beloved of her Father
Ra” are but a few. Perhaps her best known title is
“Lady of the Scarlet Garment,” which is a reference
to her associations with the color red and blood.
There are plenty of outlines or rituals for releasing
your anger and rage safely in Sekhmet’s presence.
Sekhmet tells us that anger is a part of our power as
women. She tells us not to give it away but rather to
find a way to express it so that it is heard. Sekhmet
teaches us to transform our anger so that it energizes us. The rituals to Sekhmet which my sources
listed included using candle meditation and dancing
with her. One ritual I found in The Goddess Oracle
by Amy Sophia Marashinsky suggested dancing with

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ISSUE 28

her to release anger. Music or a drum can be used
for this. In my experience, Sekhmet has shown me
that she likes electronic music as well as drumming.
(Marashinsky, 2006)
In modern times people may choose to work with
Sekhmet for many reasons: protection; banishing;
dealing with anger, fury and rage; dealing with depression; sexual energy; development of willpower
and courage; menopause and increasing assertive
behavior.
One thing I found interesting is that Sekhmet was
said to have given an ancient healing system to mankind. Appalled at their abuse of it, she revoked it. I
have found at least two books that corroborate this
information. Author Robert Masters in his book The
Goddess Sekhmet: Psychospiritual Exercises of the
Fifth Way notes that both Kundalini and the Chakras
were an important part of this healing process. I
admit, when I read this, it stopped me dead in my
tracks because the Chakras also figure prominently
in Storm Constantine’s book Sekhem Heka, where
they are known as Shefats.
Like Kali of the Pantheon of Indian Gods and Goddesses, Sekhmet is both a destroyer and a healer.
She is a much loved ancient deity whose roots go
deep into the history of Egypt’s culture. Perhaps the
time has come when she is giving mankind back
the ancient healing system so that we may try once
again to use it for our benefit.
WORKS CITED

Auset, Priestess Brandi. The Goddess Guide: Exploring the attributes and correspondences of the Divine Feminine. Woodbury,
Minnesota, USA. 2009 Llewellyn Publications. Page 68 .
Charlick, Patricia. The One Hundred Names of Sekhmet.
http://patbc.tripod.com/sekhmet.htm. Accessed on August 4th,
2010.
Crystal, Ellie. Crystallilnks.com. “Sekhmet”.
http://www.crystalinks.com/sekhmet.html. Accessed on August
3, 2010.
Juniper. The White Moon Gallery Online.
www.orderwhitemoon.org . “Sekhmet: Lady of the Flames”.
http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/goddess/Sekhmet.html .
cessed on August 3, 2010.

Ac-

Marashinsky, Amy Sophia. “Sekhmet”. The Goddess Oracle Book
and Deck Set. US Game Systems, Stanford, Connecticut, 2006.
pp 147-149.
Masters, Robert. The Goddess Sekhmet: Psychospiritual Exercises of the Fifth Way. Llewellyn Publications, 1991 (First Edition,
1988).
Mroczka, Angelique. Angelique Art Studios. Deviant Art.com.
http://angeliqueart.deviantart.com/gallery/#_featured . Accessed
on August 17, 2010.
Relache. The Purple Grimoire. Hubpages.com.
“Egyptian Astrology”.
http://hubpages.com/hub/Egyptian-Astrology . Accessed on August 14th, 2010.
Virtue, Doreen. “Sekhmet”. Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards. Hay
House Inc., Carlsbad, California, 2004. p.99-100.

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25

Gargoyles
Galore

ISSUE 28

WIZARDRY

Story and Photos by RavenMage

In the Summer of 2010, I was in Great Britain, and
among the places I visited were Cardiff Castle in
Wales and Westminster in London. Whenever I encounter old buildings in Great Britain, I check above
for my favorite denizens – gargoyles! And this time, I
wasn’t disappointed. There were Gargoyles galore!
I didn’t know much about these intriguing creatures
until I read Moonwriter’s seminal book, Gargoyles,
from the Archives of the Grey School of Wizardry,
followed by her excellent class, Gargoyles 101. She
taught me to look up and find a whole world of entities clinging to spires, rooflines and eaves of prominent buildings. They are found all over the ancient
world, especially in Europe, and these eerie figures
followed artisans to the Americas to be built anew
onto our own structures. I work within walking distance of the eight gargoyles atop the spire on Grace’s
Cathedral in San Francisco.
According to Michael D. Lampen, the archivist at
Grace Cathedral, the gargoyles are wyverns, (two

legged, winged dragons), “whose
job is to dispel the evil forces, lightning,
plague, war, and other calamities that may
threaten the cathedral and the city.”
What are gargoyles?
Basically, they are drain pipes. Stone erodes as water
drips over the edges, so ancient architects learned
to divert water along a ridge and down a drainpipe,
casting the water away from the stone foundations.
Being artisans, they added a little personally to their
work, thus the humorous to grotesque images in
stone. Some say they were designed to scare away
evil spirits and demons from sacred structures such
as cathedrals; others say they are depicted to remind people of what awaits them in hell if they don’t
go to church and obey church law. Not all gargoyles
are on sacred structures – they appear on government buildings, castles ramparts, guild halls, etc. All
stone images are not gargoyles – there are statues,
grotesques, chimeras, facades, etc. To be a classic
gargoyle they must perform a function, divert water from the stone walls of the structure so that the
stones do not rot and crumble over the years of
rainfall, bringing down the building.
To me, they are alive. Stone given form by human
artisans, they are sentient, eternal watchers and
guardians. The magicians that sanctioned them
gave them an eternal mission: to watch and guard
mankind from his own folly, and from supernatural
forces that might mean us harm.
I now search them out when I travel, to pay my
respects. And I often visit the eight gargoyles up
the street. To these giant stone sentinels, I offer a
gift of poetry, and if possible, I make an offering to
the establishment that supports them (such as a
church or historical site).

Above: Beast, Westminster Abbey
Top Right: Royal Lion, Cardiff Castle

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FF

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You don’t have to go to Europe or search through
a big city in the U. S. for a gargoyle. They are sold
in miniature, and even as a soft puppet by Folkmanus!
Gargoyles, in whatever size or material, are an icon
of protection. You can purchase one for your altar,
or visualize them in your mind, as you chant:

Offering to a Gargoyle

Invocation of Gargoyle Guardians

Magic Being, sentient boulder
Gathering knowledge from the ages
You are my teacher, centuries older
Your every grain, wisdom’s pages

Valiant beasts cast in stone
High above the city wall
Living in your aerial zone
Standing guard over all

I come to you, an acolyte
Seeking what you have to offer
Share with me, your stone’s insight
And these, my bardic gifts I proffer

Whether sitting on a parapet
Or a smaller model on shelf
Gargoyles deal with every threat
With them, we can protect ourself

As I make this holy pilgrimage,
I support your ancient habitation,
To the building that is your stage
I reverently make this donation.

We ask your protection, Fierce One
To act as guard from evil forces
May all malice be undone
As we call upon your potent sources.

A form of magic is contemplation. When you
encounter one of these stone beings, find a
place to sit, relax, and gaze upon them (perhaps with a pair of binoculars for a closer view.
This poem came out of one of my contemplations:
The Gargoyle
I am an aggregate of stone
Without sinew, blood, or bone
Yet I am sentient and alive, and
Throughout the eons, I survive
I stand sentinel through the ages
Bespelled by Masonic mages
Guarding the ancient cathedrals
Talons clutching cloistered walls.
I take the form of the grotesque
Carved into icons statuesque, and
Guarding through the mode of fear,
I am a living stone menhir
My brothers who were carved in wood
Have not through the ages stood
While but slowly stone erodes,
Atop their parapet abodes.
I master the art of being still
Of restraining the human will
And listening to the wheels of time
Revealing music of the sublime
Come, join me on my lonely watch
From all your earthly cares detach
Turn to stone with a magic sigil,
Through the years we shall keep vigil.

Gargoyle Trance Journey
One of my favorite forms of magic is trance journeying, which is a guided interactive meditation. I
decided to create a trance journey featuring gargoyles.
We are going on a journey to a Medieval world.
Close your eyes and count down from ten to one,
feeling your body relax and yet vibrate with a subtle energy starting with your toes and rising to your
crown. Ten . . . nine . . . eight . . . seven . . . six .
. . five . . . four . . . three . . . two . . . one . . .
The journey begins at your front door. In your
mind’s eye, open your door and see what is before
you – whether it is your front steps leading to a
sidewalk, your front yard, a hallway leading to the
building’s exit. Take a step into the world outside
your front door.
Things are starting to change as you step outside. The images before you are morphing from
the familiar to the fantastic. The straight lines of
telephone poles and building edges have become
the ramparts of a castle. You are standing on the
battlements of the fortress, and there are four
massive towers squaring the courtyard surrounding the castle. There are four stone causeways
leading from the ramparts to a door within each of
the towers, which themselves are connected by a
great stone wall, creating a fortified square in the
midst of a vast, mysterious forest.
You long to see what lies beyond the forest, and
know that you must climb the towers for a better
view.

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27

Gaze around you. Note that each
tower has a banner above its door.
The one to the East has a yellow
background and depicts a wyvern,
a flying two legged serpent. Turning south you note a red banner
with a fire breathing dragon. To
the west, you see a blue banner
with a coiled sea serpent. And to
the north, a green banner with a
glittering scaled dragon curled in a
dark cave, guarding her jewels.

gathers at the hole and forces itself through. You hear the stone
wyvern sigh as the wind rushes
through the water channel. Then,
in amazement, you watch as it
moves its wings up and down,
then suddenly detaches from the
building. Pebbles cascade down
the tower walls as the wyvern
takes flight, disappearing into the
brilliant sun. You blink and look
away.

Goat, Cardiff Castle
You take the eastern causeway and
pause before the wooden door under the yellow banner and look up
the tower. You are dazzled by the
morning sunlight, yellow pennants
and note a distant figure extending from the parapet. You push
the door open and begin to climb.
The winds seem to whistle through
this tower and help to push you
up the long climb twisting stairs
around the inside of the tower.
You find that you almost drift upwards, round and round until you
go through an open square to the
crenellated parapet. Looking to
the east you see the vast forest,
and beyond are blue and violet
mountains rising above the mist,
burning off in the morning sun.
Looking down to the floor, you
note a gutter leading to a hole in
the stone wall. Peeking over the
ramparts you find yourself looking
down at the long body of a stone
wyvern, poised with wide mouth
open, wings spread as if in flight.
A wind rushes through the tower
and you feel it at your back. It

You turn around, and the wyvern
is standing before you, massive
stone body seaming to heave with
its breath after a good flight.
What happens now is up to you.
You may ask a question and have
it answered. You may request to
fly with this creature. You may ask
the wyvern its secrets, and it may
tell you.
(pause for five to ten minutes)
Now you must take your leave,
and you thank the wyvern for its
company. The wyvern may give
you a parting gift. Note what it is
and why it signifies. You may give
one in exchange. What are you
willing to give, or to promise, to
this creature of Air?
The climb down is faster that the
climb upward, and you find yourself once again on the ramparts of
the castle.
You take the southern causeway
and pause before the wooden door
under the red banner and look up
the tower. You are dazzled by the

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WIZARDRY

bright noon sun, red pennants,
and note a distant figure extending from the parapet. You push
the door open and begin to climb.
You hear the crackling of fire, and
the air is warm and alive. The energy translates to your own muscles, and you find yourself energetically climbing the stairs, round
and round, until you go through
an open square to the crenellated
parapet. Looking to the south, you
see a vast forest, and beyond is
an endless desert of cracked lands
in some places, dunes of sand in
others. You can see an immense
complex of the ruins of ancient
buildings in the far distance, filling
you with curiosity.

Looking down, you note the familiar gutter and hole, and look over
the ramparts. You are surprised
to see the stone body of a dragon
coiled around the top of the tower, with its dragon neck stretched
outward ending in a triangular
shaped head, mouth wide open as
a channel for the waters. Then, in
amazement, you watch as a spurt
of flame erupts from the mouth,
and the coiled body begins to
move. The dragon slithers over
the ramparts and smoke pours
from its nostrils as it regards you.
What happens now is up to you.
You may ask a question and have
it answered. You may request to
safely explore the fiery realms
with this creature. You may ask
the dragon its secrets, and it may
tell you.
(pause for five to ten minutes)
Now you must take your leave,
and you thank the dragon for its
company. The dragon may give
you a parting gift. Note what it is
and why it signifies. You may give
one in exchange. What are you
willing to give, or to promise, to
this creature?
The climb down is faster that the
climb upward, and you find yourself once again on the ramparts of
the castle.
You take the western causeway
and pause before the wooden

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WIZARDRY

door under the blue banner and
look up the tower. You observe
the glowing afternoon sun, blue
pennants, and note a distant figure extending from the parapet.
You push the door open and begin to climb. You hear the sound
of rain on stone, and the air is
moist. Your body feels fluid, and
you seem to float to the top of
the tower until you go through
an open square to the crenellated parapet. Looking to the west,
you see a vast forest, and beyond
is the eternal sea.
Looking down, you note the familiar gutter and hole, and look
over the ramparts. You are no
longer surprised to see the magic
of stone transforming, and this
time, it is a coiled sea serpent,
with its neck stretched out to
form a channel for the waters.
The stone animal slides over the
ramparts and coils at your feet,
head bobbing from side to side.
What happens now is up to you.
You may ask a question and have
it answered. You may request to
swim the seas with this creature.
You may ask the sea serpent its
secrets, and it may tell you.
(pause for five to ten minutes)
Now you must take your leave,
and you thank the sea serpent
for its company. The sea serpent
may give you a parting gift. Note
what it is and why it signifies.
You may give one in exchange.
What are you willing to give, or to
promise, to this creature?
The climb down is faster that the
climb upward, and you find yourself once again on the ramparts
of the castle.
You take the northern causeway
and pause before the wooden
door under the green banner and
look up the tower. You observe the
soft light of the setting sun, green
pennants, and note a distant figure extending from the parapet.
You push the door open and begin
to climb. You hear nothing; there
is silence as you ascend the spiral stairs around and around the

28

tower. Yet you feel strong, and
the climb is easily accomplished.
You reach the open square to the
crenellated parapet, and climb
through. Looking to the west you
see the fast forest, and beyond it
rolling green hills and blue mountains beyond them.
Looking down, you note the familiar structures of gutter and
hole, and look over the ramparts.
You spot a dragon, covered in
brilliant jewel like scales, its neck
extending in typical gargoyle
fashion, to create a channel for
the rains. The creature comes
alive and clambers over the ramparts to stand, with its massive
body, before you.
What happens now is up to you.
You may ask a question and have
it answered. You may request to
explore the depths of the earth
with it. You may ask the dragon
its secrets, and it may tell you.
(pause for five to ten minutes)
Now you must take your leave,
and you thank the dragon for its
company. The dragon may give
you a parting gift. Note what it
is and why it signifies. You may
give one in exchange. What are
you willing to give, or to promise,
to this creature?
The climb down is faster that the
climb upward, and you find yourself once again on the ramparts
of the castle.
This fortress with its four elemental towers guarded by gargoyles will always be available
to you when needed. You may
now let the scene fade and the
lines morph into the familiar lines
surrounding your home. As you
count from one to ten, you will
come back into your body and return to the place that you started
– your own front door. One . . .
two . . . three . . . four . . . five . .
. six . . . seven . . . eight . . . nine
. . . ten . . . you are home, feeling
strong and refreshed.

ISSUE 28

Gargoyle Ritual
Another way to use gargoyles is in a
ritual of protection. In this, I build an
altar of my magic castle, with four
turrets or towers, each guarded by
a gargoyle. I have printed out pictures of traditional gargoyles (from
the internet), and pasted them on
four candles – yellow, red, blue and
green. The candles now represent
the towers guarded by gargoyles in
the ritual.
I cast the circle, and invoke the four
gargoyles in the sacred directions
for protection:
(Facing East)
Gargoyle of Air
Guard our magic rite
That we may dare
Conjure on this night
(Facing South)
Gargoyle of Fire
Guard our magic rite
That all we desire
Will come to pass this night
(Facing West)
Gargoyle of Water
Guard our magic rite
That we may not falter
On this auspicious night
(Facing North)
Gargoyle of Earth
Guard our magic rite
That our work will be worth
The power raised this night
Resources:
Gargoyles, from the Archives of the Grey
School of Wizardry by Susan “Moonwriter”
Pesznecker, New Page Books, Franklin Lakes,
New Jersey, 2007

D

Gargoyle photos from my 2010 journey:
http://susa-morgan-black.net/zenphoto/gargoyles/
My website: http://www.susa-morgan-black.
net/

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SCIENCE

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS
or

by DolmaDraka

When A Resurrectionist Comes Calling

Samhain, Hallowmas or Halloween, a time where
we face our own mortality and if desired, commune
with those who have gone before us. We look at all
sorts of “scary” things and tell tales of spine-tingling
horror. Vampires, witches, zombies, werewolves,
black cats, and ghosts; all creatures of the night who
populate this evening’s tales. Yet some have another
fear, a fear of the desecration of the body, as they
may call it, a fear of body
snatching or grave robbing.
They are afraid their body
will not remain intact for
whatever comes next after
death. Some parts of the
world people were afraid
of becoming some form
of the living dead; but at
one time there was also
the problem of becoming a
body for public amusement:
anatomy
lectures.
Allopathic medical science
has gotten so advanced
and technical that we
forget the roots and history
that helped to create it.
Healing Arts overall have
had a varied history: some
cultures throughout time
had extraordinary healing
traditions while elsewhere
and other times, you’d
find abysmal practices in
comparison. The works of
Hippocrates (460-378 BCE)
and Galen (129 - 217 CE),
have played a major role in
the west by mostly theorizing human anatomy and
function without getting their hands dirty through
studying human anatomy. Many of their teachings
came from the vivisection of animals such as the
Barbary Ape; they assumed that humans and such
animals were comparable. The study of anatomy was
first found in ancient Egypt 300 BCE; the first recorded
anatomist who dissected bodies was Herophilus,
a doctor who lived in Alexandria at the time.
Without being too tacky, consider what a medical
student, physician, or anatomist had to face before
refrigeration and chemical preservatives. How they
had to work quickly before the body became unusable
and fragrant. It appears that around the Renaissance
came a desire to really see what was inside a human,

to learn by observation rather than be told to trust
what had always been accepted. Back when I was in
the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms Inc.), I
got ahold of a marvelous book of human anatomy by
Andreas Versalius (1514-1564 CE). I didn’t realize
its significance, I just thought it was a cool book.
He dared to openly disagree with Galen and the
other “experts” and did extensive hand-on work in
public to show to students
and his fellows what was
really found in a human.
To add to matters, the
mainstream religious belief
was a literal resurrection
of the body, so very few
bodies
were
donated
for
medical
research.
Prosections, that is the
public
lecturing
and
demonstrating
of
what
was inside the human
body became very popular.
Certified Anatomists were
allowed to do a public
prosection yearly. They
became something like a
medical circus. Dissections,
where students are doing
the cutting themselves,
were not very common
simply due to lack of
bodies.
The
popularity
of
these
prosections
spread throughout Europe
and eventually reached
America. They were usually
held in fall and winter,
mainly because the corpses did not decay quite as
fast. Most of the bodies were condemned criminals
or those who fell in battle and had no family; there
were laws against desecrating the body. There
was just not enough bodies to go around and
on hand when needed, so many resorted to body
snatching. It was not until the mid-1800s that things
changed so that the resurrectionist trade ended.
Anatomists varied on their ethical outlook of where
their bodies came from. Some stayed the course and
used only legally obtained bodies and got permission
from family, friends, and patients to dissect their
recently dead. Some turned their heads and just paid
the price for the bodies, no questions asked and used
their recently deceased without question. Others

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SCIENCE

actively participated in collecting the bodies; and a
very few murdered those who no one would miss
in order to obtain fresh corpses. Most authorities,
as long as the dead were “nobodies,” ignored the
matter as they saw it as necessary though repugnant.
Anatomy schools began to snatch bodies to meet
the rising demand. Some instructors encouraged
students to bring in their own corpses; some students
used bodies to pay their tuition and others snatched
bodies as a mid-night joke. Some of the larger schools
employed both full and part time body snatchers. The
methods of body snatching varied but it was a lucrative
business for the time. Some of the snatchers were
called “resurrectionists” or “resurrection men.” The
methods varied depending what country they were
in, but they were very creative. It was interesting
to discover that in many places stealing the body
was a misdemeanor, but stealing the clothes
or jewelry was a felony, and was considered
“grave-robbing.” After the body was
dissected, disposal became a problem and
rumors flew. Some thought the parts were
buried behind the school, others thought the
parts went to zoos to feed either vultures
or carnivorous animals. Some even thought
they were buried under elephants pens.
One British method was to use a wooden
spade to dig up and expose the head end
of a recently buried coffin. They would then
break open the coffin, put a rope around
the corpse and drag it out. They replaced all
jewelry and clothing so as not to be arrested
for grave-robbing. Sometimes they would
replace the dirt and other times they just left
things the way they were. Another method
was to tunnel to the coffin from about 15-20
feet away. The coffin end was pulled off, the
body pulled out and dragged away and the
dirt replaced. This was often done while family
had watchers on the site guarding against
such activities. People often held vigils over
grave sites until the bodies of their relatives
were decayed and of no medical value.
Those who could afford it used either iron
coffins or iron bars (“mortsafes”) completely
around the coffin so as to prevent theft.
Americans often used a different method.
They placed any dirt they dug up on a canvas
tarp so it could be replaced and show no
sign of entry. They used crowbars to break
open the head part of the coffin, pulled out
the body, removed any clothes and replaced
the dirt. Often women were hired to either
act as the dead’s relatives and claim bodies
or they checked out the burial to see what
kind of trouble the resurrectionists would
have. Servants could be bribed so that

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access to the master or mistress before burial was
easy; they’d weigh down the coffin so as to mimic
the person’s weight for the burial. If you had money
you could hire a policeman to guard your deceased,
however he could be bribed or gotten drunk. You
might place a spring gun in the coffin to protect the
corpse from theft. If you were poor you might place
a plant or sea shell to help you determine if someone
had snatched the body. Potters fields were a ripe
source for the body snatchers harvest. Tensions
rose between the public and the medical schools.
At least 25 riots and public actions against medical
schools were recorded between 1765 and 1884.
Some went all the way to murder to collect bodies
for the anatomist. Scotland had the “West Port
murders” where murders yielded bodies for medical
schools. These were done from 1827 to 1828. The

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Anatomy Act of 1832 put a stop to that. Britain
had the cases of “Burke and Hare” and “Bishop,
May, and Williams.” Burke and Hare had a boarding
house. They sold one of their renters who had died
to Robert Knox in Edinburgh. They got 7 pounds
for the body. They asphyxiated 16 more over the
next year and sold the bodies to Knox. They were
caught. Hare testified against Burke who was found
guilty, hanged and publicly dissected; Hare got off.
Bishop, May, and Williams killed 3 boys, ages 10,
11, and 14 and sold them to an anatomist. The
anatomist was unsettled by the situation, stalled
the men by saying he had to get change to pay
them and got the police. The police arrested the
men. Bishop in his confession stated the following,
“I have followed the course of obtaining a lively
hood as a body snatcher for twelve years, and have
obtained and sold, i think from 500 to 1,000 bodies.”
By the 20th century embalming had made body
snatching mostly unnecessary. However there
are a few here and there, usually found in areas
where the prevailing religion forbids dissection and
medical students have to supply their own corpses
for their classes. Technology’s gotten to the point
where a lot of medical education is computerized
and there are life size plastic models, easing the
need for cadavers. However, there is a rising need
for transplants and that may be a source for real
and fictional snatching now and in the future.

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SCIENCE

Note: The following essay by Skywatcher is a fine example
of student class work submitted to WGM. It comes from
Prof. Rainmaker’s class on Photography, a Level 5 class
in the Alchemy and Magickal Sciences department.
- Calyxa, Science Desk Editor

Spirit Photography
by Skywatcher
The concept of Spirit Photography is to show ghosts
and other spiritual concepts on a photograph.
William Mumler can be thought of as the original
“Father of Spirit Photography”. Back in the early
1860’s, Mumler accidentally discovered the process
of double exposure. He took a photograph of himself
and exposed the film again by taking a photograph
of another person resulting in a double exposure
showing two people in the same photograph.

Want a good scare on Halloween? Imagine someone
is coming to get you as you lie comfortably dead, in
your grave. Sadly you can not even tell them you would
rather be a zombie. Or even worse, you are not dead but
they want you for transplant parts ... Happy halloween.
Works Cited:
“Andreas Vesalius.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
Web. 25 Sept. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Andreas_versalius>.
“Body Snatching.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
Web. 25 Sept. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Body-snatching>.
“Cadaver.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web.
25 Sept. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Cadaver>.
“History of Anatomy.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
Web. 25 Sept. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
History_of_anatomy>.
“Prosection.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
Web. 22 Sept. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Prosection#Use_of_prosections_in_medicine>.
Roach, Mary. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human
Cadavers. New York: W.W. Norton, 2003. Print.

Mumler decided to start making money from his
discovery and posed as a medium. At the time,
he was an engraver who worked for a jewelry
company. He quit his job and devoted his time to
Spirit Photography. He would take photos of people
and, using older photos of their loved ones, use his
double exposure techniques to show these dead
loved ones as ghostly images on the current photos
of his clients. Other photographers soon got into
the action of duping people out of their money by
supplying photos with deceased relatives in them.
He made a lot of money doing this while living in
Boston until he was discovered as a fraud. Now he
can be known as the “Father of Trick Photography”!
Mumler’s most famous attempt shows a picture
of Mary Lincoln and a ghostly picture of Abraham

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SCIENCE

Lincoln in the background.

Actually some of the early attempts of Spirit
Photography were quite good considering the
tools in which they had to work with. Today with
computers and photo programs it is quite easy to
make these types of photographs. With photography
just taking off during the late 1800s, I can see why
people were easily fooled by these early attempts.
Mumler allowed various people to watch his process
for developing photographs. No one could figure
out his method of trickery. Later, the Mayor of New
York City had Mumler arrested and charged with
“swindling credulous persons” by what he called “spirit
photographs”. Although Mumler was found innocent,
the trial brought out doubts of the general public
and eventually he was considered a fraud along with
the whole moneymaking field of Spirit Photography.
These early attempts of Spirit Photography were
actually quite ingenious, but fairly simple to do
for a good photographer. Most of the photos
showed normal people sitting or standing in posed
positions and a spirit floating in the background.
The older film and cameras required the subject
to sit perfectly still for up to one minute to fully
exposed the film of plate. One method was just
to have an assistant dressed like a spirit quickly
appear and then disappear from the photo being
taken. This resulted in an almost transparent ghostly
looking figure in the background of the photograph.
Later, as photography got more sophisticated,
many unexplained photographs were taken. One
of the most famous is the “Lord Combermere
Photograph”. This one was published in 1895. It
was taken by Sybell Corbett in 1891 in the library of

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Lord Combermere’s home. She opened the shutter
on the camera for one hour and left the room. It
does show what looks like a man sitting in a chair
on the left side of the room. No one was in the room
at the time the photo was taken and no one has
been able to explain this photo since it was taken.

I think that many unexplained photos taken during
this period were just due to the nature of photography
and the development of pictures. No proof of actually
photographing spirits exists today, even though
many of these photos are unexplainable. Let’s just
leave them be and let our imaginations wander!
Works Cited:
“HISTORY OF SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY.” AMERICAN
HAUNTINGS: WHERE DEAD MEN STILL TELL TALES.
Web. 10 Aug. 2010. <http://www.prairieghosts.com/
ph_history.html>.
“Spirit Photography.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
Web. 10 Aug. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Spirit_photography>.

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SCIENCE

The Lore Of Stars And Constellations

By Drakônya

Back when I was more inclined to check how I looked
in the mirror rather than gaze at the stars, a friend of
mine zoomed in very near my nose and, pointing at my
beauty spots, exclaimed: “My goodness, you’ve got
Cassiopeia on your face!” I had to check if it was true,
but had no clue as to where I was supposed to look in
the immense night sky to find this constellation. And
who had called a bunch of stars Cassiopeia anyway?
I did not know much at that time, and must confess
I still know very little. To make sense of things
beautiful and unknown, humanity has always given
them names. Being called Cassiopeia or Andromeda
sounds much more fascinating than being called
Gliese 581, however much you resemble the Earth.
So let’s go back in time, when the stars had no name.
We owe the Sumerian civilization so many things.
In 4,000 BCE, they had already founded cities,
then proceeded to develop a writing system, and
an astronomical tradition which were passed on to
the Babylonians, and evolved. Because they relied
mostly on agriculture for survival and needed an
accurate calendar, the Babylonians observed the
phases of the Sun and the Moon, recorded the

equinoxes, and created the first map of the sky (of
sorts) by taking thirty stars as reference points. They
were also the first to name the planets after their
gods, because they brought order and meaning by
marking the passing of time and the seasonal cycles.
For instance, they called the Moon Sin, a masculine
god who ruled astrology and the calendar; the Sun
was Shamash, who embodied justice. Most important
of all was the god associated with Jupiter, Neribu. His
lore survived to this day preserved on clay tablets
filled with cuneiform writing. Jupiter was the main
marker for Babylonian astronomers, and just as
Neribu brought order in a chaotic world by killing
Tiamat the Dragon, the planet was seen as the one
which guided the course of other planets and stars.
There remains a doubt that Neribu was Jupiter, but
most experts agree that the translation is correct.
At that time, astronomy was undifferentiated
from religion or spirituality, and was one of the
fields that helped people make sense of cycles
and events. It was used in divination, and basic
astrological systems began to appear in relation to
the knowledge acquired by those who were called

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SCIENCE

the moonwatchers. The cycles of the planets and the
observation of constellations were then predicted
thanks to mathematical formulas and deductions, and
soon people tried to foresee the future, both for very
practical reasons (survival being linked to farming)
and spiritual aspirations. And, of course, curiosity.
We know what it did to the cat, but we often forget
that it also caused humanity to evolve. The Chinese
civilization was very pragmatic: if astronomy was
primarily meant for timekeeping and divination,
every time a new dynasty appeared, the way their
lunisolar calendar was conceived (and sometimes
even the way it was conceptualized) had to change.
As for the Indian astronomers, they wrote their first
observations in the Vedas, the oldest religious texts
of the Hindu tradition, linking religion with astronomy
and tying together earth and sky by associating
constellations and stars with the myths of their gods.

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was later placed in the sky by Goddess Hera and
renamed Draco. However the origin of the Greek
name is sometimes attributed to other myths which
also present dragons as a threat. As for the Romans,
they say that Draco is what remains of a dragon
killed by the Goddess Minerva, who then tossed it
unceremoniously in the sky. Yet if the Greeks and
Romans shared so many aspects of their cultures,
and influenced the subsequent civilizations so much
that we kept the names they had attributed to the
stars, other civilizations existed with advanced
astronomy and cultural lore that differed from the
mainstream and were forgotten. Our Draco was
called Mother Camels by the Arabic nomadic tribes!
The pattern they saw, and the stars they chose,
differ from the commonly recognized constellation.

The Egyptians were great astronomers as well. Like
the Babylonians, they named the stars after their
gods. They went much further than that. Although
experts still disagree on the precise date when the
Sphinx of Giza was built, it is now accepted that it
might have been as ancient as 10,000 years ago!
This would upset the idea that the Mesopotamian
cultures were the first to have studied astronomy
as a system, science and religion all together.
Archeoastronomers have used computer programs to
generate images of what the sky looked like 10,000
years ago, in the area where the Sphinx was built. To
quote at some length Graham Hancock: “Computer
simulations show that in 10,500 BCE the constellation
of Leo housed the sun on the spring equinox [...]
This means that the lion-bodied Sphinx, with its
due-east orientation, would have gazed directly on
that morning at the one constellation in the sky that
might reasonably be regarded as its own celestial
counterpart.” This theory is further reinforced by the
fact that in later periods, when the sun was housed
by other constellations such as Aries, iconography
and sculptures representing rams have been found
in meaningful numbers. In the same spirit, the
pyramids were built in alignment with the Pole star.

Sometimes, however, what the various civilizations
saw in a planet or constellation converged. The planet
that seems to have the most universal meaning apart
from the Sun and the Moon is Mars. Because of its
red color, it was associated to war gods in ancient
civilizations. The Babylonians called it Nergalin (or
Nergal), the god of war and pestilence, lord of the
underworld, who was partly a solar god as well for he
was associated with the summer solstice and noon,
when the sun is at its zenith. Those were the times
in Mesopotamia where everything died from the heat
and drought. The Greeks later associated Mars with
bloodthirsty Ares, whose sister Athena is known for
her strategic approach of war, while he was disliked
for his spontaneous bursts of violence. Once again
the element of Fire is present both in the nature of
the god and in its attributes or associations: Ares’
chariot is drawn by four magnificent, immortal
stallions that breathe fire to destroy their enemies.
As for the Romans, they took the meaning further
and associated the planet with their god of war and
agriculture - there were more farmers than soldiers but
all seemed to have had a warlike attitude against their
enemies! We kept the name they had chosen: Mars.
He was worshipped with such fervor that Romans, in
their own creation myth, decided that they were all
descended from him. We know what resulted from that!

The Egyptians did not catalog many constellations,
however. One of the five constellations described in a
document dated 1100 BC was Draco, called Tawaret,
the name of the protective goddess of the northern
sky. She was part lioness, part hippopotamus, part
human and part crocodile. Now precisely what did
the Egyptians see in that constellation that other
people associated with a dragon? The fact that
the constellation never set might have led them to
associate it with the constant protection of Tawaret.
The Greeks saw in this pattern of stars Ladon, the
dragon that Hercules had to fight during his Twelve
Labors. Ladon guarded the golden apples of the
Hesperides, and Hercules had to steal a golden fruit
as one of his labors. He killed the dragon, which

As for the constellation that attracted many different
gazes throughout the world and received a similar
name from many of them, it is probably the easiest
to find and recognize in the sky. I am talking about
Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The Greek myth says
that Zeus was in love with a beautiful woman named
Callisto, and his jealous wife Hera turned the woman
into a bear. The animal is about to be killed by a
hunter when Zeus intervenes and tosses her and
the hunter into the sky, forming the constellation.
What is interesting to note here is that the myth
explains the creation of the constellation besides
naming it! Some Native American tribes saw a
Bear in the sky as well, or bear hunters, according
to the myth they attached the constellation to.

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SCIENCE

However in our Western world, with the typical
arrogance of nations which conquered continents and
tried to impose their views on the rest of the world
for a few centuries (some still do, says the French
wizard to her American counterparts!), we often
forget that other cultures had a whole different point
of view, if only because their celestial maps could
not resemble ours. The Chinese astronomers were
already charting the sky when the Mesopotamians
were devising their writing system, and were
attributing a different name to all the visible stars a
thousand years before the Occidental astronomers
conceived the idea. The constellations they saw, the
patterns of stars they grouped have very few common
points with the current universal celestial map. They
divided the sky into twenty-eight Mansions according
to the course of the Moon during each cycle. The
Mansions are grouped under four different symbols
whose name I fell immediately in love with: the
Azure Dragon of the East, the Black Tortoise of the
North, the White Tiger of the West and the Vermillion
Bird of the South. Needless to say, they associated
their constellations to the elements, directions,
colors and animals that are also at the core of their
vision of the world - which is reflected in traditional
medicine and astrology. They grouped the stars that
could be seen all year long in the Three Enclosures.
Now how did they name them? Some literally mean
Hairy Head, Stomach, Legs and Heart. Others are
named after animals such as Crane, Goldfish,
Peacock and Bee. They are all somehow linked to
astrology and mythology, and the human body.

Llew Llaw Gyffes, or Arianrhod, or other gods and
heroes. They saw in Pegasus the Horse of Llyr, the god
of the sea; in Gemini, two men, Gwyn and Gwyrthur,
fighting for a woman... They looked at bright lights
in the night and saw patterns; they drew from their
myths and beliefs, and named the constellations.

Despite what I have just said about Occidental
occasional arrogance, for centuries the Celts were
seen as tribes without the least interest in astronomy,
but for the mysterious and secret studies of the Druids.
Hypotheses were formed that were not backed with
any evidence, from the Calendar of Coligny that was
found in 1897. But recently, paleoastronomers, while
studying coins from the Iceni and Parisii people, and
other Celts from the South of contemporary France,
realized that the patterns that were displayed on
the coins showed the Moon and intricate celestial
symbols. The experts believe that the coins were
meant to educate people religiously while serving
their more obvious function. Finally, astronomy might
not have been a mystery for the Celts at all, since it
was part of their everyday lives. A Celtic vase from
Brno even displays a celestial map, which contributed
to the making of the Celtic calendar which divides
the year in two cycles. And the famous Nebra disc,
made sixteen centuries BCE, presents astronomical
patterns as well. Like every other civilization, the
Celts made sense of the world by linking earth and
sky through mythology. And so it is that when they
gazed at the stars at night, looking up at a sky that
was not quite the same as the Chinese, the Egyptians,
the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs,
to mention but a few, they named the constellations

- Cotterell, Arthur - Encyclopédie de la Mythologie 2004 - Parragon Editions.

So much could be said about the lore of the
constellations. Each one has a different story. Not
to mention the planets! But I forgot to talk about
Cassiopeia, which, after all, put my own curiosity in
motion. Cassiopeia was such a beautiful and vain
woman that the god Poseidon, upon learning that
she had boasted of being more beautiful than his
daughters, decided to punish her by tying Cassiopeia’s
sister to a rock. Poor Andromeda was innocent of all
crime, but apparently Cassiopeia loved her enough to
try and find a solution. I will spare you the details of
their story, but in the end Poseidon killed Cassiopeia
and tossed her in the sky, to be among the stars.
The ultimate trick he played on her was that for half
a year, to punish her of her vanity, the constellation
would be turned upside down. I have checked
and re-checked: Cassiopeia is nowhere to be seen
on my face. And despite all my hopeful research
for a constellation matching my beauty spots, I
have come up empty-handed. I might be called
Drakônya, but alas! I do not have Draco on my face!
SOURCES :
- Ahmad - “Astronomy of Babylon” - 2003 - URL :
http://volker-doormann.org/asssky.htm

- Gaspani, A. - “Astronomy in the Celtic Culture”
- undated - URL : http://www.brera.mi.astro.
it/~gaspani/celtcab.txt
-Griffiths, Martin - “Under a Celtic Sky” - January
2008 - URL : http://www.lablit.com/article/341
- Houlding, Deborah - “Star Lore of the Constellations”
- undated - URL : http://www.skyscript.co.uk/aries_
myth.html
- Keltia Magazine - “Etoiles et Dieux” - issue n°14 Oct./Dec. 2009
- Sample, Ian - “New Earth-Like Planet Discovered”
- 29 September 2010 - URL : http://www.guardian.
co.uk/science/2010/sep/29/earth-like-planet-gliese581g

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OPINION

Halloween is the Best!
by Artemis Gryphon SnowHawk

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Who is the
Great Pumpkin, and why is it of interest to us all?
Why is the pumpkin so great? What does it represent?
Well, I think we all know the pumpkin represents Halloween. Ah Halloween, the time for parties and gathering treats just for the asking. But, why DO people
just hand us treats? Why the costumes? Why is bobbing for apples a Halloween party tradition? Where
do pumpkins play their part in this holiday?
These questions lead me to investigate the history of
Halloween. Why Halloween is so special to so many
of us? Is it the memory of the costumes or the one
tremendous haul we had one year, or the changing of
the seasons? Is it closer to the holiday season, with
memories for some of us of days off from school and
raking the yard?
The Halloween holiday seems to have originated in
Druid times when the Celtic year ended on Samhain
(pronounced Sow-in) (http://www.history.com/topics/halloween). It was celebrated as the day honoring the dead, as it was thought that the veil between
the worlds was at its thinnest, and the dead could
cross over from the other side. Thus the Dumb Supper, when a place is set for dearly departed ancestors. This is a somber meal wherein we can speak
with our relatives and let them know things we didn’t
tell them when they were among us; perhaps they
can talk back and give us assurances that we have
been heard. If you’re interested in holding a Dumb
Supper at your house, here is a link that gives you
an idea of what to do, your duties, what to serve, etcetera: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/samhainoctober31/p/Dumb_Supper.htm
Of course, with the veil being at its thinnest, the
thinking was that demons could also cross over and
want to take you back with them. In order to prevent
that from happening, people dressed up as the dead
in order to blend in with the crowd that was expected.
They also caused untold havoc on the earthly plain,
so the Druids placated them with goodies. They also
built huge bonfires for many purposes, one of which
was to ward-off the ghosts and ghoulies.
The celebration also had people trying to tell the future.
The current holiday of Halloween came about gradually. The Romans conquered parts of Druid territories,
and intermingled with them. The Roman holidays of
Feralia and in honor of Pomona were incorporated
with the Druids. The symbol of Pomona was the apple, which is bountiful in October. Thus the game of
bobbling for apples was incorporated into the holiday

of Halloween. Then, many centuries later, the Roman
Catholic Church came and attempted to persuade
Druids and Roman citizens away from their pagan
paths and incorporated the tradition of Halloween
with the church sanctioned holiday of All Saints Day
on November 1, followed on November 2 with All
Soul’s Day. November 1 was called All-hallowmas,
and the evening before, formerly known as Samhain,
was now to be called All-hallow’s Eve, or Hallow’s
Eve, which later became Halloween. All Saint’s Day
celebrated saints, and All Soul’s Day celebrated the
dead, with bonfires and parties and dressing up as
saints angels and devils. All three holidays were
blended and known as Hallowmas.
What about the pumpkins, you ask? Well, for that
story, you have to return with me to Ireland a long
time ago, when the Devil would visit taverns, hoping
to persuade some poor soul to follow him. The story
goes that one person the Devil spoke with went by
the name of Stingy Jack. Now, Stingy Jack, true to
his name, didn’t want to pay for his drinks, so he
“convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin to
pay for the drinks (http://www.history.com/topics/
jack-olantern-history).” Of course, stingy Jack didn’t
want to give up the coin that was the Devil, so Jack
pocketed the coin into his pocket that also contained
a silver cross. This prevented the Devil from turning
back into his original form.
Lucky for Jack, the Devil was willing to negotiate. So,
the Devil promised not to bother Jack, nor claim his
soul in the event of his death, for one year. The following year, old Stingy Jack was up to his tricks again.
He persuaded the Devil to climb up a tree, wherein
Stingy Jack carved a cross right into the trunk of
that tree. He refused to allow the Devil down until he
promised again neither to bother Jack for ten years
nor to claim his soul in the event of his death. Well,
as the story goes, Jack does finally die, as do we all.
Yet, God would not allow him into Heaven because of
his character. The Devil, true to his word, does not
claim his soul either. However, the Devil does give
Jack a piece of coal to carry about with him to light
his way in the dark days. Jack placed his piece of coal
in a carved-out turnip, which he carried about with
him to light his way forevermore and the Irish took
to referring to this vision as Jack of the Lantern, or
simply Jack O’Lantern (http://www.history.com/topics/jack-olantern-history).
Of course, people began carving scary faces into their
own root vegetables and placing burning coals and
embers inside to ward-off Stingy Jack or other evil
entities. This worked very well when placed in windows and near doorways. Originally, Jack O’Lanterns
were made from beets, potatoes or turnips. Once the

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OPINION

immigrants arrived in the United States and brought
this tradition with them, they discovered the plentiful pumpkins, which made fabulous Jack O’Lanterns,
and the tradition lives on. As does the Great Pumpkin. Our memories live on as well! All of this, and
still...the raking of the leaves continues.
Works Cited:

Author unknown. “Halloween History & Origin.” Halloween Web.
2003-2010. 23 October, 2010
<http://www.halloween-website.com/history.htm>
Wigington, Patti. “The Dumb Supper – A Feast With The Dead.”
About.com. 2010. 23 October, 2010
<http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/samhainoctober31/p/
Dumb_Supper.htm>
Author unknown. “Halloween.” 1996-2010. History.com. 23 October, 2010 <http://www.history.com/topics/halloween>
Author unknown. “History of the Jack O’Lantern.” 1996-2010.
History.com. 23 October, 2010 <http://www.history.com/topics/
jack-olantern-history>
Author unknown. “Demeter, Greek Goddess of the Bountiful Harvest.” Goddessgift.com 23 October, 2010
<http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/greek_goddess_
demeter.htm>

DolmaDraka

Wintering In
by Sapphire Soleil

Winter can be a tough time for some. The enduring
darkness, the cold, the ice and snow, all conspire to
bring the body down. And then there are the holidays. Our modern media-laden world shows us glittering, tinsel-bedecked visions of exactly what we
should do, experience and feel during this time of
year. I’ve got a bulletin for you—the perfect holiday
they tell us to have is not humanly possible! This
was the forbidding future I saw before me last year
as winter approached and, frankly, I was not happy about it. I was tired of thinking about winter as
something to get through in order to get back to
spring. If I am traveling this path of getting more intouch and in tune with Nature and the Wheel of the
Year, then I had better start enjoying each and every
part of that Wheel, the cold and dark as well as the
hot and sunny.

in the cauldron and gingerbread on the sideboard as
the blizzard howls outside.

In an effort to help myself on this journey of discovery I turned to the comfy halls of the Grey School of
Wizardry and jumped into Dean Moonwriter’s Winter Challenge entitled Wintering In. Starting in December, Dean Moonwriter introduces each day with a
nugget of information, lore, challenge or some other
tidbit of wintery fun to entertain, enlighten and enliven the darkness of winter. Like a wizardly version
of an Advent Calendar, the Winter Challenge is a little
gift awaiting the student each day from December
1st to the traditional end of the holiday season, 12th
Night on January 6th. This isn’t the Earth Day Challenge that pits team against team, this is a gentle,
enjoyable sit around the hearth with hot cider piping

Grey School can be a life-changing thing for many.
Finding a place to learn about the practice of Magickal Arts is a wonderful discovery, but sometimes it is
the little classes that can create the most uplifting
and life-affirming experience. Wintering In might just
might be my favorite GSW class because it taught
me to love the dark, cold, beautiful, glorious wondering season called Winter. For the first time since
childhood, I am looking forward to Winter this year. I
can’t wait to decorate my altar. I have a plan to make
a flying Baba Yaga poppet, light my Yuletide candles
and I absolutely intend on joining the Wintering In
gang on the forums. Join me and see if you aren’t
enthralled by the wonders of Wintering In.

The class, Wintering In, is a companion to the Wintering In challenge. With a little pre-planning, it is
easy enough for any participant to get one credit for
their participation. Still, I would have done Wintering
in with or without the credit incentive. For the first
time in literally years I really enjoyed winter. I loved
every day of it. I liked shopping in the crowds, hunting for old-world Santas, learning about Santa Lucia
and Baba Yaga. I made a full-fledge Yule Log cake
and discovered the lovely tradition of the Twelfth
Night cake. I created fire-starters and observed winter birds and berries. I eagerly unwrapped each little
GSW gift daily and hopefully added my own treasures for others.

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OPINION

UFOs:Is Seeing Believing?
by Artemis Gryphon SnowHawk
I’ve often wondered about UFO’s; yes, unidentified
flying objects. There it is right in the description –
unidentified. Once the object has been identified, it
is held out as proof that there are no aliens visiting.
Why, because of one identification? Haven’t these
things, UFO’s been visiting for centuries? I’ve seen
them myself, several times; apparently, I live in an
area that rivals Roswell with visitations. Yet, no one
here talks about these sightings, or visitations, except me. This is how I find out about other people
seeing these things.
Historically, we can go all the way back to the Bible
to see evidence that visits have been made. I found a
site called The Bible UFO Connection, at http://www.
bibleufo.com/introduction.htm, which talks at some
length about the connections within and without the
Bible. Angels and demons have certainly been targeted as the best evidence that other planets have
been here.
There have been claims that ancient Egyptians were
visited, and resulted in, among other things, the pyramids. Shining chariots blazing from the sky bringing
gods with them are there in print for all to read. The
Stealth Bomber, the F117 Nighthawks, even the U2
program are all allegedly the result of visitations by
life from other planets. The History Channel covers
these investigations all the time. A show calls UFO
Hunters specialized in this very topic. The team on
this show included a dive expert, an MIT researcher,
mechanical engineer and an investigative biologist.
What conclusions did they find? Well, to see, you
would have to watch the show, because sometimes
it’s not their conclusions that mattered most, it was
the evidence that was shown as proof that allegations were true.
The Tunguska Event blast event of 1908 is another
mystery that is yet to be solved. So deep in Siberia,
it wasn’t even discovered until 1921. Now, this event
is called such because no one really knows what happened. Those who saw what appeared to be a meteor shooting from the sky also saw smoke from the
impact. There have never been remains or impact
crater that could be found at the site, although it
was such a powerful impact that it was estimated
to be over 1000 times greater that the impact of
the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. There are
many speculations from those ‘in the know’ such as
scientists, to the general population, about what it
could have been. Some reported at the time that “the
unidentified object made two 45 degree angle turns

to avoid harming human life before it blew up, and
that a mysterious, towering human/yeti-like creature
haunted the woods years after the blast.” Check out
this website: http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/
featured/mysterious-explosion-1000-times-greaterhiroshima/3589. It has some fabulous pictures of the
event, as well as what the Hiroshima impact looked
like. The Tunguska blast caused over 80 million trees
to fall in a circular radius of about the area, in size,
of Washington, D.C.
The name of Dr. Nikola Tesla himself has been mentioned as one who believed that the things we think of
as flying saucers, or UFO’s, could be built. There has
been some speculation that the research confiscated
by the government from Tesla’s estate could have
caused the government to create the UFO controversy. Some of the discussion can be found at http://
www.sacred-texts.com/ufo/ufo6.htm or http://www.
sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=68551.
The Roswell crash has enthralled people for over fifty
years, where a crash allegedly happened on a ranch
and a steady story about this event seems to be impossible to find. It is right out of the movie, Men
in Black, which is coincidentally, where this phrase
first appeared. After the crash, witnesses were interviewed, and after being contacted by the military, changed their stories, or just went quiet on the
whole matter, only intensifying the mystery. There
were allegedly government visits to people by men
in black suits. The materials collected at the site in
New Mexico were alleged to have been taken to a
placed with the now familiar name of Area 51. All of
this information can be found on the site of http://
www.ufoevidence.org/topics/government.htm.
All of the mystery, intrigue and questions still existing, one cannot help but come to the same conclusion I have: the X-Files television show was right...
the Truth is out there. Somewhere. After all, I have
seen them myself.
Works Cited:

Haines, Gerald K. “A Die-Hard Issue: CIA’s Role in the Study of
UFOs, 1947-90.” Extraterrestrial Contact. 23 October, 2010
<http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/government.htm>
soniaydong. “Mysterious Explosion 1,000 Times Greater than Hiroshima.” 2009. Environmental Graffiti. 23 October, 2010
<http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/featured/mysterious-explosion-1000-times-greater-hiroshima/3589>
“The True Nature of the Gods of the Bible.” The Bible UFO Connection. 23 October, 2010 <http://www.bibleufo.com/introduction.
htm>

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ISSUE 28

FOOD

Meals of Lore
By Gamerlife, Salamanders House

Lore comprises the facts, and stories of wizardry. It
has taken many generations of people to keep these
facts and stories alive. But what has kept these generations of people alive? It’s easy! It took food and
water. What I find interesting about this is how the
many generations were able to add their bits of lore
to their food in many different ways.
One of the bits of lore involving food was found during
the beginning of Rome. The giving of food to household spirits was very important to their religion. The
household spirits were called penates when protecting the family. Statues, made by the members of the
family, were kept in a household shrine. Food would
be sacrificed to the penates through a fire.
If you want to try this at home, take a dish that is fire
resistant and set it up as you would for a thurible or
censer. When you have finished, cook an appetizer
such as a buttery dinner roll, a small salad, or this
recipe for rumaki.

Rumaki
To make rumaki you
need 2 packages of
bacon (or soy bacon), 2 cans of whole
water chestnuts, 2
cups of ketchup, 2
cups of brown sugar,
and enough toothpicks for each piece
of bacon.
• Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Take an ungreased cooking pan and lay 1 piece
of bacon on it. Add 1 water chestnut on the end of
the slice of bacon. Roll it up and stick a toothpick
through it to hold it together. Repeat this until you
run out of bacon.
• Stand them all up in the baking pan and mix the
ketchup and brown sugar in a bowl.
• When you are done mixing, pour the mix on the
bacon rolls until they are all covered.
• Stick them in the oven for about 10 minutes or
until the sauce becomes darker. And the bacon is
cooked.
• Serve warm. Eat with the toothpicks and don’t forget to slip one without a toothpick into the dish and
carefully light it.
•Remember all safety rules when lighting the offering.

Another two bits of lore attached to food are found
in Ancient Egypt and China. The first of these started in Egypt. After a giant ritual was conducted in
the mornings, the deities were given a food offering
of bread, fish, and onion (or more vegetables). The
food would be left and then later given to smaller
deities. In ancient China, food would be put in pots
and buried with dead bodies. In some religions, people would purposefully share food from their meals
with the dead.
If you want to try this at home, try conducting a
small ritual before or during a meal and leave a plate
of food out for the deities. I am not sure if you want
to bury a member of your family with food, but if you
do, I am not going to give instructions on this. For
a nice meal, you should try something with a lot of
vegetables, bread, or fish, like the Egyptians.

Brocolli Slaw Salad
I have a nice recipe for broccoli slaw salad. For this
recipe you will need: a package of broccoli slaw, 20
grapes sliced in half, one half cup of sliced almonds,
and your choice of vinaigrette.
• Mix the vegetables, fruit, and nuts until fully
mixed.
• When you have mixed it well, add as much of your
favorite vinaigrette as you like to the dish. I usually
pour the vinaigrette until it covers the whole salad.
• When you are done, add croutons or, as the Egyptians did, add a loaf of bread on the side. You may
also put some fish on the side as well.
This meal of lore wouldn’t be complete without leaving some more great food out for the wee ones to
eat. Enjoy your meal and think of the many generations of people that it took to keep this lore alive.
Keep them in mind as you make and enjoy your
meal. Know that there is much more lore than this,
and you can find more ways to incorporate these and
other bits of lore into your life!
Works Cited
Antony, Kamm. “Worship in the Home.” The Romans. Taylor &
Francis. n.d. 25 Aug 2010.
<http://www.the-romans.co.uk/home.htm>
Poor, Robert. “Food and Food Rituals in Ancient China.” Food and
Food Rituals in Ancient China. n.d. 25 Aug 2010.
<http://www.arthist.umn.edu/classes/AH8720/Spring2001/reading2.html>.
“The Daily Temple Rituals.” Per-Ankh the house of life. 2000. 25
Aug 2010.
<http://www.philae.nu/PerAnkh/dailyritualPA.html>.

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ARTS & CULTURE

Let The Right One In

John Ajvide Lindqvist
Copyright @2004
Translation @2007 by Ebba Segerberg
St Martin’s Press, New York
[Note: The Swedish movie has had an American remake as Let Me In starring
Chloe Moretz and seems to be garnering favorable reviews.]
“I’m alone. Probably more alone than you can imagine,” said the silent ruthless 12-year old killer named
after a despairing lament to God who, in order to
survive sometimes burns and mutilates and infects,
consigning her victims to a horrible fate.
Oskar is alone too, although, unlike Eli, he has a
mother and a father and schoolmates. But several
of his schoolmates bully and torture him for fun, his
father absent and alcoholic, his mother unable to
deal with the situation. He lives in a cold, dreary,
featureless, concept-community suburb--a model of
Swedish modularity: “Nine thousand inhabitants and
no church.”
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” were Jesus’ last words
on the cross at Gethsemane and perhaps Oskar sees
in Eli (“If I turned out not to be a girl...?”, Eli once
asks Oskar) someone who will not forsake him. It
isn’t until halfway through the book that Oskar even
dares to admit to himself that Eli is a vampire (“I’m
nothing. Not a child. Not old. Not a boy. Not a girl ...”,
says Eli) and when (s)he offers him money, ostensibly for breaking his Walkman, one wonders whether
that money will be the 30 pieces of silver Judas took,
or an advance on salary for Oskar playing Renfield
to Eli’s Dracula. “What he was scared of was not that
maybe she was a creature who survived by drinking
other people’s blood. No, it was that she might push
him away.” The pronoun used for Eli/Elias shifts from
she to he during the course of the book and it might

be noted by the reader that angels, unlike
vampires, are reportedly sexless and while Eli
denies being the latter,
(s)he never claims to
be the former either.
Lindqvist donates fascinating detail to the
vampire lore with casual-seeming ease and mastery and merely, it seems, in passing. What are the
consequences if a vampire enters a dwelling (“Can
I come in? Yes. Say that I can come in”) without
permission? What physiological changes occur after
being bitten? Why is the heart of the vampire the
vulnerable organ?
Ultimately, all vampire stories are metaphors, so
what metaphor does Lindqvist employ? I think the
key is when a drunken Lacke lashes out at Virginia-the only woman who has ever shown him love--driving her out into the snow where she has the time to
admit why she keeps her relationships brief, “Let a
person in and he hurts you. Don’t let them in,” before
being viciously attacked and infected by Eli.
The plot races to its brutal but satisfying conclusion where shaken witnesses to the bloody justice-judgement swiftly rendered--claim it the work of an
angel, not a beast.

The Secret of Kells

A Review of the Animated Film
By Ariadna, Guest Writer to Whispering Grey Matters

Note: This film is an imaginary piece
about how the Books of Kells—a
famed antiquarian manuscript—may
have come into being. Here is a plot
summary:
“The story is set in the ninth century.
Obsessed with building a mighty wall
to keep marauding Viking raiders
from destroying the Abbey of Kells,
Abbot Cellach expects his young
nephew Brendan to follow in his footsteps. Brendan has apprenticed in
the scriptorium of the monastery and

has heard the story of Aidan of Iona, a
master illuminator. Later, Aidan himself comes to the monastery, accompanied by his cat Pangur Bán. Aidan
has escaped from the Vikings who
have destroyed his own monastery,
and has brought the Book of Kells he
is working on. Aidan shows Brendan
the beauty of art and stimulates his
creativity and fantasy. His eyes and
hands are failing, and he needs Brendan to assist. Brendan is forbidden to
leave the monastery, but Aidan sends
him into the forest to look for gall nuts

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ARTS & CULTURE
to make ink. A faerie/wolf spirit,Aisling, introduces
him to a wider world. Brendan needs to stand up to
his uncle and face his greatest fears in his quest to
complete the book.” ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
The_Secret_of_Kells
The bulk of this film takes place in circa 9th century
Kells. The village surrounding the abbey tower is being fortified by a wall commissioned by Abbott Cellach. Refugees from attacks by Northerners (Vikings)
flee to Kells to seek safe haven. The main character, Brendan, is an orphan boy growing up in the
shadow of his uncle, the Abbott. Brendan is drawn
to a visiting monk from Iona named Aidan. Aiden is
known for his legendary artistic talent in creating illuminated manuscripts, which are said to possess a
host of magical/holy powers. Throughout the film,
there is a recurring theme of bringing light to a world
of darkness. Aidan speaks to Brendan with a twinkle
in his eyes about the wisdom and beauty that he and
his brothers in Iona have found in nature. This introduces another recurring subtext in the film, namely
the stubborn vise grip of religious leaders and fear
of the Other (embodied by the Abbott), to the point
that the wisdom, beauty, and power of nature are
overlooked or avoided. It is not until much later that
the Abbott will realize this shortsightedness.
The illuminator, Aidan, needs oak berries (we know
these as “galls”) to create the vibrant green ink for
the manuscripts, and the forest is the only place to
find them. The forest has always been off limits to
Brendan, a result of the perceived dangers it poses.
Part of the subtext here is that the forest is full of
wild magic, which is unsettling to the Abbott. Boys
being boys, Brendan sneaks away to the forest to
gather the berries and meets Aisling, a sidhe who
watches over the forest and chooses to save Brendan
from a hungry pack of wolves. Assessing Brendan
cautiously, she sees innocence and good intentions
and agrees to help him find the berries as long as
he promises to never return. She is wary of humans
passing through her forest after what she has seen
from them. However, she is intrigued by Brendan,
and definitely warms to him.

Though forbidden to return to the forest by the Abbott, Brendan forges a friendship with Aisling, who
assists him in sneaking out of the abbey to gather
plants for dye making. Aisling eventually helps Brendan take on Crom Cruach, who has stolen a stone
precious to Aisling’s race. Brendan’s quests—and
his growing familiarity with the materials and their
magicks--eventually allow him to become an illuminator himself.
In the course of the film, Aisling morphs into several
different animals. She is at different points a wolf,
deer, salmon, and hawk; this might be a nod to Tuan
Mac Cairhill or to traditional Druid animal-forms. She
is also capable of shapeshifting into Pangur Ban, the
abbey cat, in order to free Brendan after he is imprisoned by the Abbott. Interestingly, the filmmakers
correctly note that being fae, Aisling must avoid the
iron bars on Brendan’s cell and the iron crosses in
the abbey garden.
A later massacre of the village of Kells is not treated
with kid gloves in the film. While characters aren’t
graphically hacked to death, the scene far exceeds
the violence in most children’s films. However, given
the historical basis, I have to commend the filmmakers for not sugarcoating what occurred. In real life,
the heathen villagers of those times were decimated
by Northerners in a number of ways (weapons, burning to death, etc.) The movie does not shy away from
the ugliness of this. Interestingly, Brendan and the
manuscript are protected by the power of the Sidhe,
as it seems the Sidhe prefer the “light” of the Book
of Kells to the darkness of the invaders (or even religion that ignores nature). However, once Brenden
has grown into a full-fledged monk, he and Aisling
seem to part forever.
The movie animators chose to incorporate insular artistic styles into the background. Most scenes evoke
imagery from the Book of Kells, particularly the Chi
Ro page. I really enjoyed the film. I think the story
could be extended to show Aisling and Crom Cruach’s
past, but the film “as is” was very interesting.
Ariadna is a Druid and member of the Order of White
Oak Druids (whiteoakdruids.org).

Note from Prof. Moonwriter: Ariadna is a member of the Order of White Oak, a
reconstructionist Druid Grove. She is not a member of the Grey School. However, I’ve been hearing great things about this film, and when I read her review
on the OWO mailing list, I asked if we could use it, and she graciously agreed.
Learn more about the Book of Kells and this film:
The Secret of Kells (film): http://newvideo.com/secretofkells/
The Book of Kells: http://www.bookofkells.ie/book-of-kells/

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ARTS & CULTURE

Review:

The Fairy Tale Tarot
-- Stonetalker

Jumping with absolute delight -- I have a new toy!
The Fairy Tale Tarot by Lisa Hunt arrived earlier this
month. This new deck is loosely based on The RiderWaite Tarot. One of the few non-round decks with
which I resonate, The Fairy Tale Tarot is wonderfully
illustrated, and being a storyteller myself, I simply
adore what she has done with the cards. The Major Arcana follow the traditional patterns, with some
of the names being changed: ‘The Empress’ becoming ‘The Fairy Godmother’ being my favorite change.
Suits are the traditional Pentacles, Wands, Swords
and Cups, and it is a Swords = Air deck. The court
cards are Princess, Prince, Queen and King. Imagine
Jack and the Beanstalk as the Four of Wands, Goldilocks as the Five of Pentacles, or The Emperor’s New
Clothes as the Devil! I squealed with delight every
time I uncovered a familiar tale. There is absolutely
no card that made me think a different story might
have been more appropriate.
The accompanying 299 page book -- appropriately
entitled, “Once Upon A Time,” includes not just mean-

ings of the cards, but also the fairy tales on which
they are based, and I can’t say enough good things
about this. One reason I am so enthralled with it is
the mixture of stories, the blend of traditional and
modern, from all parts of the globe. The 78 full-color
Tarot cards have no border -- and I do like borderless
Tarot cards! And the images are exquisite, but then,
I’d have expected nothing less from the same artist
who designed The Celtic Dragon Tarot, The Shapeshifter Tarot, the Fantastical Creatures Tarot, and
the Animals Divine Tarot.
With its sturdy cigar-box type case and organza bag
for storing the cards, this boxed set is well worth the
investment for serious students of both Tarot and
Lore. I found it easily available from metaphysical
bookshops and also online booksellers. It caught my
eye immediately, and I am so glad it did. It blends
two of my passions, storytelling and Tarot, together
in such a manner that I am sure we will be living
happily ever after.

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

43

ISSUE 28

ARTS & CULTURE

DolmaDraka

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

GSW

44

ISSUE 28

GSW NEWS

Captain’s Report by Artemis Gryphon SnowHawk
This has been a fast six months for yours truly!
All of the Conclaves and Autumnal Equinox are over
and it’s time to prepare for Samhain.
Lots of new students have wandered our halls looking for the doorway to their first class. Have you seen
them about the halls? I think all of them have managed to find their way nicely, as we all do, and are
now settling in with the process we all remember
well – getting familiar with the procedures, policies,
students and classes, and their way around! Hopefully they’ll soon be looking for a club to join.

The school is seeking help making banners. There is
a thread about it in the GSW business forum. They
believe that the artistic people can help promote GSW
by creating banners. Are you one of these people?
The forums changed over, did everyone survive?
Soon we will be bidding a fond adieu to Aamber Phoenix, who has served us well over the past year, and
greeting Stargazer warmly as the incoming Captain.
A salute to them both, with a job very well done by
Aamber!

House and Lodge Reports Compiled by Sapphire Soleil
Winds by Giovedi Stormsinger
Winds Lodge is pleased to announce that we have
recently had several new winds blow our way. We extend a warm welcome to our newest members: ASapphieMist, Lesard, FaronGW, AmuletHelix, Rhymbel,
and AmberMoonHealer. We also happily acknowledge
the return of old friends: Cabraxusb, Maeb, IndigoJack, and our original Lodge Head, Professor Crow
Dragontree.
We are thrilled that our own Artemis Gryphon Snowhawk has been promoted to Captain this term (even
though that means that we have to share her wisdom and dedication with the rest of the school).
Our departing Prefect, Michael, is following in the
footsteps of our previous Prefect, SwirlsDancing, by
being elected Vice President of the Defense Against
the Dark Arts Club. It would be a mistake to say that
Michael will be sorely missed, only because he has
made it clear that he isn’t going anywhere, and continues to provide valuable assistance to our Lodge.
We appreciate Michael’s contributions during his
term as Prefect, including successfully motivating us
to earn the Lumos award!
The Winds Lodge are sorry to report that our founding
Lodge Head and former Grey School professor Crow
Dragontree is undergoing treatment for cancer. We
wish to ask all of the students and faculty to please
send healing energy and intentions his way while he
is going through this difficult time. Thank you.
Waters by Annachenoa
Hi to all again, Everyone in the Waters is getting
ready for the October holiday and all the beautiful
nature, we are also getting ready to put together a
Waters Challenge and a list of birthdays has been
started. Everyone is also busy at classes in GSW, it is
cooler and much easier to study.

Stones by Fyrewing
The stones are working hard on winning back the Lumos award this term. We already have many students
who have completed one class already and a couple
who have finished two already. As the new prefect
I’m trying to settle into the position and Working on
new challenges for our lodge, some fun and some
that may require some work. We’re excited to begin
the new term! Big thanks to Stargazer for his hard
work as the last prefect and for all the assistance
he’s already given me!
Flames by Sapphire Soleil
The Flames did not take off too much time in celebrating the Lodge Cup award and eagerly got to work
the very next day completing classes and working
on school and lodge merits. Skywatcher did a fantastic job during his time as prefect leading the way
in number of classes completed! We are pleased to
welcome Cordeleann as our new prefect and she is
already working on ideas for a lodge project or two
to keep the Flames on fire! A flamey welcome to our
new Flames too. Remember to feed Torch when you
come into the lodge and you’ll get on just fine.
Salamanders by Lorewolf
The Salamanders are starting to wake up! We’ve had
a few newbies, as well as some AWOL oldbies turning
up, and stuff in the Salamander house will hopefully
be taking off! We’re embarking on a several month
Sacred Places obsession, sparked by our head, Professor Kaen, going on a nice trip around the country.
GO SALAMANDERS!!

WHISPERING GREY MATTERS

45

Rain? What Rain?

ISSUE 28

GSW

by Artemis Gryphon SnowHawk

Sherman, New York, home of the Great Blue Heron
Music Festival site was the place once again for the
New York Conclave. What was the difference this
year? Only ONE day of rain! What were the similarities this year? Familiar faces, tons of fun and tons of
knowledge shared.
We had in attendance a total of 17 people, with 11
GSW members and six non-GSW members. Two of
the non-members were potential GSW professors.
Four of the attendees, also non-GSW members, were
children.
We had two GSW students awarded the ORDO. They
were Giovedi StormSinger and Aurora, both of the
Winds Lodge.
One of the children who attended this year plans to
join GSW upon her 11th birthday.
Our Day-trip was a visit to the sacred site, and one
of the seven wonders of the word: Niagara Falls - on
the American side. We took a ride on the Maid of the
Mist, looked out from the Observatory, rode the trolley, and toured the Cave of the Winds. The torrential downpour the day before helped swell the waters
pouring over the edge. Several of us took more than
one trip to the Hurricane Deck (not for the slight-ofheart), and one of us even lost a lens to the water
gods while on the Hurricane Deck. The former lens
owner looked at it as a well-earned tribute to the

water gods for their spectacular display that day at
the Falls!
Our group took an evening stroll in the woods to
help out with the Festival of Lights being thrown by
the land’s owner. They asked us to dress up in our
magickal garb and walk among the touring people.
We could speak about the school, magick, or just act
as a presence for them. We had a good time with
this event.
The fire twirling lessons, energy work and wand and
staff making were just some of the many highlights
in classes. The nightly bonfires were spectacular.
Our wrap-up activity was to make Lammas bread for
Sunday, August first. We ate that at our last Bardic
Circle, as well as announcing the quiz winner of our
Halloween-themed quiz concealed in our field guides.
The general complaint was that it was too hard, until
the prize was announced. The winner received free
registration for next year’s conclave! Congratulations
Giovedi Storm Singer! This was one prize that was
well-earned indeed!
We are all a closer-knit family for having made the
trip!
Watch the sign-posts, because plans are already underway for the 2011 New York Conclave! To be continued...

Whispering
Grey
Matters
is published by and for
the students and faculty
of the

Grey School of Wizardry.

HEY!

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Like to write?
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Play with Zombies?

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Contact
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