Grey School Newspaper 2

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School of Wizardry

Spring Equinox Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 2
Managing Editor: Lady Ravenweed
Co-Editor: Moonwriter
Published by the Grey School Press
The Vernal Equinox takes place on
Sunday, March 20, at 4:33 AM (pacific
time, USA).

March 20, 2005
“All the quarterly joy that’s fit to print.”
Official weatherworking report:
Wrap up in a warm cloak, and don’t forget the umbrella!

Merry meet, everyone! It's been a wonderful winter here at the Grey School and we’re all
looking forward to spring. In this edition we’re proud to feature a newsletter written almost
completely by Grey School students. Enjoy!
(Please send comments, submissions, or suggestions for future editions to
[email protected].)
What’s New at the Grey School?
The Grey School Store—Magick Alley—is now operating under the leadership of volunteer
shopkeeper Lion Bane (Flames Lodge). If you haven’t visited the store for a while, stop in and
check out the new selections of books, wands, magickal journals, and more!
The Prefect System is underway. All new Prefects will take a special class called “Leadership
101,” offered in the Department of Lifeways. Prefects also have their own e-forum, the “Prefect
Lounge,” created by Aaran (Stones Lodge). Look for the Prefects to have an ever-increasing role
in Grey School operations, and feel free to ask your favorite Prefect any questions you might
The Prefects will soon be running a “Name the Newsletter” contest. Start thinking about this
now, and stay tuned for updates.
A Grey School Handbook is almost completed and will soon be made available to students. The
Handbook details the operations and regulations of the Grey School of Wizardry.

If you’d like to learn more about Runes, stop in at the Great Hall forum and check out the new
Runes Study Group, organized by Stacy (Winds Lodge).
Some great new classes recently uploaded:
Year 1:
Dragon Jewels: Crystal Divination (LeopardDancer)
Conjury 101: Magic without the “K” (Jim Fish)
Core Energy Practices (Lady Ravenweed)
Year 2:
Scrying 201: The Black Scrying Mirror (Skip Ellison)
Meet the Moon 201: The Science (Moonwriter)
Year 3:
Technomagic (Elizabeth Barrette)
Chiromancy/Palmistry (Crow Dragontree)
Grey School of Wizardry Hall of Fame
(Fall Equinox 2004 to Spring Equinox 2005)
As of March 17, the school has 312 students and 33 faculty/staff members.
Current Holder of the House Hat: The Sylphs
Current Members of the Dean’s List:
Student Houses and Prefects:
Gnomes House, Prefect Aedammair Skye
Salamanders House, Prefect Joseph
Sylphs House, Prefect Amalthia
Undines House (Prefect to be announced)
Student Lodges and Prefects:

Flames Lodge, Prefect Hannegal Skye
Stones Lodge, Prefect Aaran
Waters Lodge, Prefect Oakmyst
Winds Lodge (Prefect to be announced)
News from the Houses and Lodges
The Sylphs!
Sylph house is an interesting house, and is definitely more active than similar types of settings I
have been in. At the moment we are currently in a read-off, where each student chooses a book
and posts a short report on why the chose it. Once they finish the book, they post a book report
on what they learned.
The read-off is intended to create more posting on the boards, and it works fairly well. The last
House project we did was to choose the totem animal for Sylph: we chose the Hawk.
Although the forum gets quiet sometimes, the house is still fun. The members that post often
have bonded into something that could be described as friends, housemates or even comrades.
The future plans of the House are always changing, so there is no way to predict where things
will go from here, but all I can say is that it should be interesting to find out.
Amalthia, Prefect, Sylphs House
----The Stones!
About the Circle of the Standing Stones
Motto: Firmitas, Integritas, Magnanimitas
Totem: The Wolf
Element: Earth
We are an active lodge filled with very service-oriented and community-minded people not only
in school, but also in our mundane lives, and our forum is usually full of lively discussions on
any number of topics. You will always find the candy dish full of Chocolate Frogs, Jelly Slugs,
Every Flavor Beans, and more in the Stones Common Room. Our Lodgemistress, Moonwriter,
always presents us with educational and fun Challenges, and we Stones always rise to meet
You may have noticed that our lodge has its own custom crest. I designed and created the crest as
a gift to my fellow Stones to more accurately represent who we are as a lodge within the Grey
School, and in life. What does our lodge crest say about us? The shield is broken up into
quadrants of green and black-our lodge's colors. The wolf on the shield is our lodge totem-a

symbol of many things including, but not limited to leadership, cunning, wisdom, intuition, death
and rebirth, transformations, strong protection, spiritual guidance and meditations. The great Oak
on our shield represents the earth element and stands for strength and protection. Our motto,
Firmitas, Integritas, Magnanimitas means "Strength, Integrity, Greatness of Soul."
Submitted by Aaran, Stones Prefect
----The Waters!
Hail Waterfolk!
If your lodge is the Coterie of the Flowing Waters, you need to check in this week and in the
weeks after as there are important decisions we need your opinion on. If you are not of Waters,
but know someone who is, please pass word that we need the lodge members to raise their voices
in the next month to get things moving!
Oakmyst, Prefect of the Coterie of the Flowing Waters
----The Winds!
Drop by the Winds’ Lodge page to see a picture of their mascot, Myrddin—Professor
Dragontree’s slightly eccentric 3-year-old Quaker parrot.
----Meanwhile, Back on Mother Earth….
The Powerful Sumatra-Andaman Islands Earthquake
Credit: USGS
Explanation: December's 9.0 earthquake has likely shortened Earth's day by about three
microseconds and may also have tweaked Earth's rotational wobble. The megathrust earthquake
occurred as the Indian tectonic plate slid further beneath the Burma tectonic plate. The
earthquake was the fourth most powerful since the year 1900 and triggered tsunamis that
tragically killed over 250,000 people in nearby coastal regions. In the above map, the yellow star
indicates the location of the main earthquake, while circles show the locations of large
aftershocks. The Sumatra-Andaman Islands earthquake's effect on the Earth's rotation was
sudden but much smaller than the accumulated effects of other surface events such as an El Nino.

----What is Spring Fever? (Inquiring minds want to know….)
Spring Fever
The term spring fever originated from the real illness scurvy back in the 17th and 18th centuries.
During the winter, when there was a shortage of fruits and vegetables, people depleted their
natural stores of Vitamin C and come spring, the depletion resulted in weakness with joint
swelling, loose teeth and poor healing of wounds. This listlessness and weakness have probably
continued into our time as the listless loss of ambition that accompanies the first few days of
warm weather in the spring to be called “Spring Fever”. (Submitted by Aaran, Stones Prefect)
----Dear Professor,
This is in response to the Undines challenge #1.
I really couldn't find anything about the history of Spring Fever, but it is defined in Webster’s
dictionary as, "a listless, lazy feeling felt by some people at the beginning of spring weather."
Others say it is a time for romance and love, and some say it is a time for renewal.
Some doctors think it is caused by pollen.
I think it is a time for your mother to say it is time to clean your room.
This may be why the Undines forum is so quiet.
Corey Glover, Undines
----The Random House dictionary defines Spring Fever as "a listless, lazy or restless feeling
commonly associated with the beginning of spring.”
In poetry, it symbolizes prime time for hedonistic indulgence ("Come fill the cup, and in the fire
of spring/The winter garment of repentance fling" - Edward Fitzgerald's translation of The
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam).
"Maybe there's something primal we're tapping into here, from back in the lower parts of the
brain stem: ancestral memories of when we came out of the cave after winter and started looking
for food - not stored-up nuts and berries but real meat - and mates. The sun is warm, the flowers

are blooming, a lot of sensory things are going on . . . things that make it hard for people to do
what they need to do,”-Welsh
Back in the horse-and-buggy era, on farms and in small towns of central or southern Illinois and
Indiana, "spring fever" was the name for a rundown physical condition naturally resulting from
diet deficiencies during the winter months. In those days there were no fast freight deliveries, by
refrigerated railroad cars or by airplane, of fresh fruits and green vegetables from Florida, Texas,
California and other subtropical regions. We rarely saw an orange, for instance, except at
Christmas. From autumn until spring we subsisted mostly on a diet of bread, meat, potatoes and
gravy; supplemented by stuff our mothers had canned and by bins full of apples.
There was legitimate reason for a tired listless feeling and no appetite in spring. We knew
nothing about vitamins, then, but you can see that some important ones were missing in such a
diet. It was commonly believed that, during winter, a person's blood became "thick", sluggish,
and loaded with "impurities". Consequently, every spring, we children were obliged to swallow
nauseous doses of cod liver oil, sulfur and molasses, or bitter tonics brewed from the leaves and
stems, or the seeds, of various plants reputed to be medicinal. Sassafras tea, however, was
fragrant and pleasant.
As soon as the wild leek, one of the earliest woodland plants, attained sufficient growth, we were
sent to get quantities of it for leek soup and, while gathering the leaves, ate handfuls of them. We
had such a craving for green stuff that we also ate tender new blades of grass. Later we gathered
pecks of young dandelions, wild mustard and other greens for use in salads and to be cooked
with ham or sowbelly.
Some scientists claim that spring is not March, nor April, nor May, Instead, they say it is the time
when the nights are getting shorter, the days longer. That is why, they believe, most animals -mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish -- produce their young and multiply in spring.
They suspect that the shortened nights of springtime are also responsible for a change in human
attitudes and that special languor which we call "spring fever".”
Oakmyst, Prefect of the Coterie of Flowing Waters
----Spring Fever…
I’m sitting in my hotel room – six floors above the main lobby – it’s snowing outside – and the
noise of a boisterous crowd of young ballplayers can be heard above the music I have playing in
the background…
I can’t seem to concentrate – too much to do – too little time to do it in…
It must be Spring Fever…

There was a time when Spring Fever was a real disease – a malady caused by Winter’s low light
levels (lack of Vitamin D) and a lack of Vitamin C from fresh fruits and vegetables. Its symptoms
included listlessness, poor concentration, muscle weakness and soreness…
Then… we went outside – more light, fresh foods – and an almost allergic reaction to ‘Spring’.
Literally a Spring Fever…
I spent years aboard submarines – a world of pure air and water and canned food (fresh fruits and
vegetables only last a few weeks)…
Upon completion of our run – and opening the hatches to the real world – every one us got
‘sick’… Much like our ancestors – coming out of their homes after a long cold winter…
Today – we regard Spring Fever as the inability to concentrate, rushes of energy and a mild state
of confusion – blood begins to flow in our veins – like sap rising in the trees.
We’re more interested in play than work – but that’s today…
Spring Fever was once a real medical condition – treated with fresh air and sunshine, an apple
or orange (an apple a day…) and the community’s tolerance – everyone ‘got it’ and everyone
survived it.
Just a thought,
Nicholas Paranelle, Grey School faculty and member of the Waters Lodge
----All About Brigid
One of the most important Goddesses of the Celtic pantheon, Brigid is the traditional patroness
of healing, poetry and smithcraft. She is referred to as Bride, Bridey, Brighid, Brigit, Briggidda,
Brigantia, and of course Brigid. She represents the maiden aspect of the threefold Goddess.
Today she is most widely known as the Christianized "foster-mother" of Jesus, and called St.
Brigit, the daughter of the Druid Dougal the Brown.
Brigid herself is often pictured as a threefold Goddess. One aspect of Brigid is of poetess and
muse, goddess of inspiration, learning, poetry, divination, witchcraft, and occult knowledge. A
second aspect is as goddess of smithcraft, carrying a cauldron for this purpose. The third aspect
is that of healer, goddess of healing and medicine. These three aspects are united through the
symbol of fire; thus she is considered a fire Goddess. In various places she is also know as
goddess of fertility, the hearth, all feminine arts and crafts, and martial arts.
Brigid's festival is Imbolc, celebrated on or around February 1 when she ushers in the spring.
Legend holds that Cailleach, a winter Goddess, drank from the Well of Youth at dawn on
February first and in that instant was transformed into her Maiden aspect, Brigid. Other legends

hold that Cailleach holds Brigid prisoner during the winter and that Brigid elopes with
Cailleach's son at winter's end.
In times past Brigid had a female priesthood at Kildare, in Ireland and an eternal sacred flame in
her shrine. At Kildare there were 19 priestess, each priestess tended the sacred fire in turn,
through a 20-day rotation. On 20th day of each cycle the sacred fire was said to be tended by
Brigid herself. The sacred flame was kept burning even after the shrine became a Christian
nunnery, until 1220 when Archbishop Henry of Dublin ordered it extinguished. However in very
recent times this flame has been relit.
Brigid presides over the fires of inspiration, hearth, forge and healing, some of the most
important aspects of daily life. That as a pagan Goddess, she was able to survive the coming of
Christianity at all speaks of her power and tenacity. That she is one of the most awe-inspiring
figures in Paganism is undeniable.
K, Amber and K, Azrael Arynn. Candlemas: Feast of Flames. St. Paul, Llewellyn: 2001.
Monaghan, Patricia. The Red-Haired Girl From The Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and
Spirit. Novato, New World Library: 2003.
Brigid: A Goddess and a Saint. .
Kalla, Circle of the Standing Stones
(Submitted as class work for “The Wheel of the Year: Yule and Imbolc”)
----Poetic Endeavors
New Awakenings
The blinding ambience of our Father Sun emerges over the horizon,
His energy as radiant as Taliesin’s brow.
The joyous cadence of the birds emerges,
As the last traces of winter withdraw,
Into the newly awakening earth.
The womb-like rise and fall of waves
Distantly remind us,
That it is time for our Earth Mother’s awakening.

And the mighty winds,
Shall once again glide blissfully through Pan’s forest,
Through ancient foliage
For the Green Man
Who, once again, is walking the labyrinth of life
And the length of day and night draw closer,
As the tides of Ostara become once again evident,
The Goddess assures us that the smallest seed may sprout
Into a mighty oak – we are then reminded,
that this is indeed
A time of New Awakenings
Written by Alexander “Wanderer” Heyne, Gnomes
----Merry Meet All! I had a lot of fun while writing this poem for our Lodge. Thanks Moonwriter
for your support and to Valor for your inspiration!
Thus we are the Standing Stones ~
Firmitas, Integritas, Magnanimitas!
We do our best, need not break our bones
of students all 'round, we have thee home!
The best is here, further no need
Just look at us and you will see.
A family, how tall we stand,
with the best Lodgemistress and prefect at hand.
Who could go wrong, with the Moon as our Writer
And Aaran she darling, our Lodge's lighter.
Bring them on, the other Lodges

Dancing Flames, Four Winds and Flowing Waters,
We won't burn, fall nor drown,
We stand strong on our ground.
We're not made of water, flame nor air,
So come forth those who dare!
Do remember we stand as rocks with wizardry in our bones...
...Thus we are The Standing Stones ~
Firmitas, Integritas, Magnanimitas!
Helega, Circle of the Standing Stones
----The Alchemist
He sits on the Tower of Notre Dame,
Waiting for someone to find where he points.
No one has found over the centuries,
It may take even more time.
The one who finds it may be in fact the one to actually transmute
copper into gold and good into bad.
The one to change the world.
Delano The Grey, Sylphs Lodge
(Written as part of course work for the class “Gargoyles”)
----In keeping with the theme of “New Beginnings,” I have written a poem about my awakening to
Celtic Shamanism. Cerridwen's blessings seem to be with me, and I am pleased with the end
result even though I have written it in the past couple of days. I hope you agree.
Llwyn Ddraig, Flames Lodge
When First I Walked
When first I walked fresh into Annwn,
On verdant fields beneath a waxing Moon,
My eyes opened that were unseeing,
Hands that in Abred are unfeeling,
Alive with the touch of Spirit,
Grasp what only the mind could once intuit.
Seeking sight that will my Spirit sate,
As on different plains I wait,
The Tree of Life now is opening,

And so I turn to stairs ascending,
Into the boughs with Rhiannon’s birds,
My heart doth beat by the Goddess’ words.
Spirit transformed takes to winged flight,
As the curtained veil which bringeth night,
Upon Arianrhod’s Caer descending,
Her Wheel of Fate my heart amending,
Towards undone tasks that lie ahead,
And honor amongst remembered dead.
In a silver bath of lunar light,
Enshrouded, I summon an aura white,
Around the astral core my soul revolving,
My mind upon my heart resolving,
To walk this path till day of death;
Homeward I ride on the Dragon’s Breath.
Llwyn_Ddraig, Lodge of the Dancing Flames
First Year/Level
----Magick Lives
Those who worship man's tradition, hear the wailing of my people;
My people lost, and buried in a world of eternal injustice;
Never to be released...
Damned wrongly, by the power of impious bigots...
playing creator.
Hear the cries of my people!
The hands that once used Nature to heal;
You have your ignorance and fear.
The society that once honored the Goddess and God's creations;
You have burned alive in your hatred!
The craft that once lived by the creed, "Harm none!";
You have warped into devils of evil.
Those who worship man's tradition, hear the screams of anguish,
and of pain...
As the flames of your hate melt their moonlit flesh...
from the the water of your torture floods their lungs... death.
As the rope tightens around their necks...listen to the crushing of

God-given breath.
Who are you, worshippers of man's traditions?
To remove the Goddess and God from their thrones?
Hear the weeping of my people, as you spit upon their faces...
As you replace their dignity with shame.
You bathe in innocent blood!
Those who worship man's tradition, hear the silence...hear the
hear the silence...
As wisdom and love dangles lifelessly at the end of a rope.
Listen to the silence.
RedJasper, Circle of the Standing Stones
----New Awakenings
New Awakening is Love, when you look into the eyes of your beloved and see forever.
New Awakening is Sound, when you hear for the first time instead of just listen.
New Awakening is Today, for each day really is unique and special.
New Awakening is the Wizard, who realizes clarity is within instead of without.
New Awakening is your Self, when you realize there are others like you and that you are
not alone.
New Awakening is Hope, when you look past the dark and see the light.
New Awakening is Joy, when you dance uninhibited.
New Awakening is Inspiration, when you let your feelings run.
New Awakening is Learning, when you find your mentor.
New Awakening is Teaching, when your mentor finds you.
New Awakening is your hands, when you allow them to work.
New Awakening is your mind, when it allows you to work.
And New Awakening is You, when you realize some or all of these for the first time.
James Pugh (mundane and magical name), Coterie of the Flowing Waters
First year of study.
With day and night in measure,
The hornéd Ram is king
Who sows with reckless pleasure

The seed that sparks the Spring.
Safe is the Rowan's keepingAll ill it has fast-bound.
The Spring-fire wakes from sleeping
The green things underground.
-Leigh Ann Hussey
----Who Was St.Patrick?
Saint Patrick was the man named the "Patron Saint of Ireland." According to my extensive
studies on this historical man, I've come to the conclusion that he used the mask of the "church"
to fight against Mother Nature's true people; the pagans.
St.Patrick, whose birth name was Maewyn, was born in Wales, around the date 385 AD. He
sought after the position of Ireland's bishop, but almost lost it because his scholarship lacked the
level to hold the job. He led the life of a pagan until the time his village was overrun by Irish
invaders. They took him from his home, and sold him into slavery, around the age of sixteen.
During his stay in captivity, he claimed to draw close to the Christian’s God. He was held
prisoner for six years, living the life a slave. After reaching a higher status with his God, he
escaped to Gaul. Upon his arrival, he found a monastery, where he joined under the supervision
of St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre. He remained a student of the Christian ways for twelve years.
He believed his true calling in life was to convert the people who believed like him, before he
found the chains of Christianity.
He longed to visit his Irish people, to share the light he had discovered, but was replaced in this
task by St. Palladius. His anger was great, until Palladius transferred to take a position in
Scotland. Maewyn, who took the Christian name of Patrick, was appointed second bishop to
During his reign, he angered the Celtic Druids, because of his disrespect for his roots, and the
pagan people. They imprisoned him several times, but always seemed to find an escape.
He set up schools, and churches, in order to teach others how to convert the pagan people to his
"true" God.
After holding bishop for thirty years, he retired to a place called County Down, where he died on
the infamous date of March seventeenth, 461 AD. Hence the name, St. Patrick's day.
Folklore surrounds this day, yet most has no solid foundation. Many people spread stories of
Patrick raising the dead, and ridding Ireland of snakes. One point that is failed to be mentioned,
is the fact that snakes are NOT native to Ireland anyway. St. Patrick's day was originally a
Catholic holy day, but soon became secular, like almost every other pagan holiday.

The green shamrock was actually a religious teaching tool, used by Patrick. He taught that the
three leaves of the shamrock represented the Trinity; the father, the son, and the Holy-Spirit....all
separate entities, yet part of the same.
The holiday first came to America in 1737, where it was celebrated by wearing green, having
parades, and drinking beer. Boston was the setting for the first celebration.
Even though St.Patrick is honored on this day, I believe the true, pagan people should use this
day to educate America on his roots...the roots of a pagan man.
Submitted by RedJasper, Stones
----Saint Patrick was born in 387, and came to Ireland as a Caledonian slave named Saccat in 403.
He single-handed open the island to mass Christianization. He build monasteries over sacred
sites of the Pagans. Shrines were destroyed or Christianized. Patrick instituted the office of
bishop and dispensed one to each clan willing or not. He preserved some of the earlier known
pagan legends, but later he burned many of the known original Celtic works of literature and
religion. He convinced his followers that the Druids got their power from Satan. According to
one source, he died in 493.
Solaris, Coterie of the Flowing Waters
----St. Patrick’s Day—Why Do We celebrate?
We celebrate Saint Patrick's Day each year on March 17th. The festive holiday has everyone
wearing green (so they don't get pinched) and chatting of four leaf clovers, shamrocks, lucky
leprechauns, and kissing some big rock called a blarney stone. Does it all sound a bit strange? It
did to me too but after a bit of research it all made sense. Here's what I found out.
Did you know that Saint Patrick's name at birth was Maewyn Succat? He was born somewhere
near the end of the fourth century and took on the name Patrick or Patricus, after he became a
priest, much later in his life. At the age of sixteen Maewyn Succat was kidnapped from his native
land of Britain, by a band pirates, and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn worked as a shepherd
and turned to religion for solace. After six long years of slavery he escaped to the northern coast
of Gaul.
In Gaul, Maewyn became Patrick (a more Christian name) and studied in the monastery under
St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for twelve years. He came to believe that it was his calling to
convert the pagans of Ireland to Christianity. St. Palladius was appointed to go to Ireland first but
transferred to Scotland two years later opening up the door for Patrick. Patrick was about sixty
years old when he arrived in Ireland and it is said that he had a winning personality that helped

him win converts. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, to help explain
the concept of the Trinity (father, son, holy spirit).
Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland,
establishing monasteries and setting up schools and churches to aid in converting the Irish
country to Christianity. Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland.
Evidently, they all went into the sea and drowned. The snake is a pagan symbol and perhaps this
is a figurative tale explaining that he drove paganism out of Ireland.
Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. He then retired to County Down and died on
March 17 in 461 AD. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. The first
year St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in this country was 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. As the
saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!" Over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick's Day
Helega, Circle of the Standing Stones
----St Patrick was born a Briton under Roman rule - the exact location of his birthplace isn't known
but it was either the north of England or southern Scotland.
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his
death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of
years. It has long been recounted that, during his mission in Ireland, St. Patrick once stood on a
hilltop (which is now called Croagh Patrick), and with only a wooden staff by his side, banished
all the snakes from Ireland.
In fact, the island nation was never home to any snakes. The "banishing of the snakes" was really
a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity.
Within two hundred years of Patrick's arrival, Ireland was completely Christianized.
By the spring of 461, at the age of 76, St Patrick was nearing his end. He died on March 17th
after a long and fruitful life. The clans of Ireland began to bicker over who should receive the
honour of having his final resting place on their land. To avoid this sacrilegious end to his life his
friends secreted away his body to bury in a secret grave. Many believe this to be in Downpatrick,
Co. Down.
Oakmyst, Prefect, Coterie of the Flowing Waters
----The Vernal Equinox

The Vernal Equinox is the date when night and day are nearly the same length (near March 21 in
the Northern Hemisphere), and our Sun crosses the celestial equator moving northward.
In the southern hemisphere, the Vernal Equinox corresponds to the center of the Sun crossing the
celestial equator moving southward and occurs on the date of the northern Autumnal (Fall)
In other words, Happy Vernal Equinox to those above the equator, and Happy Autumnal Equinox
to those below it!
The Vernal Equinox marks the first day of the season of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere!
The right ascension at the Vernal Equinox originally was in the constellation Aries, and the point
of crossing was known as the 'first point in Aries' - now actually in Pisces because of precession.
It entered the constellation Pisces in about 100 C.E. using modern constellation boundaries, and
it will enter Aquarius in about 2600 C.E.
The date of the Vernal Equinox shifts through the Gregorian calendar (the calendar we use),
according to the insertion of leap years.
In 2005, the Vernal Equinox occurs at 7:33am Eastern Standard time on March 20. Next year, the
Vernal Equinox will occur on March 20, 2006 at 1:16pm.
Hannegal Skye, Prefect, Order of the Dancing Flames
[email protected]
----A great web site:
Vivianne Crowley
We invoke thee, O Diana,
Huntress of the wood,
Lady of bright imaginings,
Silver star of our desire,
Crescent moon of midnight clear,
Diana the wild, Diana the pure,
Virgin Huntress white as snow;
Fair thou art as the music of the harp;
Radiant thy smile as the moonlight on the water;
Light thy step as blossom on the wind.
Thy womb is the cauldron of creation,

Which shall bring forth all hope to men.
O lady of the word of power,
Who makes the shadows flee,
Turn thy ear Diana,
As we invoke thee.
Meanings of Ostara (pronounced Oh-STAR-uh):
Ostara comes from the goddess Eostre, "Eastern Star." Eostre was the Saxon goddess of rebirth
and fertility.
Such female-based terms as estrus (referring to the menstrual cycle) and estrogen are based on
Eostre's name. The name Esther is also derived from Eostre.
Other Names (or Spellings) for Ostara:
Alban Eiler (Welsh)
Esther's Day
Lady Day
Spring's height
Spring (or Vernal) Equinox
Easter (the Christianized term)
Ostara occurs on the astronomical Spring Equinox, usually on or around March 21. It is a time
when night and day stand in balance.
Ostara is the second of the annual set of fertility festivals (along with Imbolc and Beltane). The
Earth has awakened from winter's sleep, and life prepares to burst forth. It is a time of birth and
new beginnings.
In terms of earth-based spirituality, one tradition holds that Ostara is a festival that celebrates the
Mother Earth's bearing of two sets of Holy Twins: the Green Man and Maiden, and the Red Man
and Maiden, which together represent all of the plants and animals.
From the Grey School class, “The Wheel of the year: Ostara and Beltane,” by Moonwriter

----Ostara History, & Lore
The winter, harsh and long, is now fading. The Earth is waking from Her frozen slumber and it’s
time to rejoice in life, warmth and a renewal of the spirit. Come celebrate and worship with us as
we give birth to all things fresh and new. Enjoy the hypnotic rhythms of the drum circle, the hugs
of old friends, the laughter of children and the joy of togetherness. Let us reconnect with family,
loved ones and friends, old and new as we turn the Wheel to Ostara.
OSTARA (pronounced O-STAR-ah) is one of the Lesser Wiccan Sabbats, and is usually
celebrated on the Vernal or Spring Equinox right around March 21 (although because of its
origins, may instead be celebrated on the fixed date of March 25). Other names by which this
Sabbat may be known are Oestara, Eostre's Day, Rite of Eostre, Alban Eilir, Festival of the Trees,
and Lady Day. The Christian holiday of Easter is very near this same time, (notice the similarity
in name?), and is determined as the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal
The name for this Sabbat actually comes from that of the Teutonic lunar Goddess, Eostre. Her
chief symbols were the bunny (for fertility and because the Ancient Ones who worshipped her
often saw the image of a rabbit in the full moon), and the egg (representing the cosmic egg of
creation). This is where the customs of "Easter Eggs" and the "Easter Bunny" originated.
The role of the rabbit has two possible origins.
One tale is that the rabbit so loved his Goddess Eostre that he laid sacred eggs in her honor, then
brightly colored them and gave them to her as gifts. Eostre was so delighted; she wanted this joy
to be shared by all, so the tradition continued.
The second tale tells how Eostre found a wounded bird in the snow. To help the little bird survive
the winter, she transformed it into a rabbit, but the transformation was incomplete and the rabbit
retained the ability to lay eggs. In thanks for its life being saved, the rabbit took the eggs and
decorated them and left them as gifts for Eostre. Again, she was delighted and wanted all to share
her joy, so the tradition continued.
Ostara is a time to celebrate the arrival of Spring, the renewal and rebirth of Nature herself, and
the coming lushness of Summer. It is at this time when light and darkness are in balance, yet the
light is growing stronger by the day. The forces of masculine and feminine energy, yin and yang,
are also in balance at this time.
At this time we think of renewing ourselves. We renew our thoughts, our dreams, and our
aspirations. We think of renewing our relationships. This is an excellent time of year to begin

anything new or to completely revitalize something. This is also an excellent month for
prosperity rituals or rituals that have anything to do with growth.
Helega, Circle of the Standing Stones
----Ostara At Your House
Ostara is a time of new beginnings and planting spells for future harvest. Celebrate the first day
of Spring by breaking the dead bonds of Winter. During the week before, you should take stock
of any outstanding bad feelings or arguments you may have with your family and friends. Write
these down on a piece of paper, and seek to settle these with apologies, recompense, or whatever
you need to do to restore the balance. At Ostara, having balanced your Karma, you should burn
the paper to wipe clean your Karmic slate.
Ostara is the time we celebrate the awakening of the Earth. You can dye your own Ostara eggs,
and have someone hide them to be found. (You never grow too old to decorate eggs; I still do,
and we all enjoy seeing how artistic we can make them!) This is also a particularly appropriate
time to begin your Magickal Garden by setting the first plants into the ground. Welcome the
Nature Spirits to your Garden, and charge the seeds you'll soon be planting. Set up a Garden
Altar with colored eggs, bunnies, baby animals and flowers; use a light green altar cloth and
candles. And for a yummy treat, bake some hot cross buns!
Written by Oberon Zell, Grey School Headmaster; from the upcoming Wheel of the Year class
by Oberon Zell and Lady Ravenweed
----Ostaral Alchemy
Here is an excellent project for Wizards of all ages for our spring treats! Please get the help of a
grown up if you are under 16!
Rock Candy
· 1 cup water (distilled water works best)
· 1-1/2 to 2 cups granulated sugar
· 1 tall empty jar
· 1 popsicle stick
· 1 paper clip
· fine string
· small saucepan

1. Pour the water into a saucepan and carefully heat it on the stove until the water boils, then turn
off the heat.
2. Gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, to the hot water and stir after each addition to
dissolve. continue adding sugar gradually until no more will dissolve in the water. If necessary,
heat the solution to make it clear.
3. Let the solution cool a bit and pour it into the tall jar. If the solution is too hot it might break
the jar.
4. Cut a length of string that is about 6 mm (1/4 inch) shorter than the height of the jar. Attach a
paper clip to one end of the string and tie the other end to the center of the popsicle stick.
5. Let the solution cool (e.g. over night).
6. Moisten the string with water and rub some grains of sugar along the string. Let the string dry.
7. Slowly lower the string into the solution, making sure that the paper clip does not touch the
bottom of the jar. Rest the popsicle stick across the rim.
8. Allow the solution and string to rest undisturbed for several days or weeks.
9. Watch what happens!
You should see crystals growing in 2 to 5 days. If not, be patient; it might take longer.
The grains of sugar along the string act as 'seeds' on which crystals dissolved in the water are
deposited as the sugar solution cools. The longer the string remains in the solution, the larger the
crystals will grow.
After a while, the crystals will stop growing. To make them even bigger, carefully remove the
crystals on the string. Pour the liquid into a sauce pan, carefully heat again, add more sugar, and
repeat steps 2 and 3 above. Put your sugar string back into the solution.
All sugar crystals have the same characteristic shape regardless of size.
Please be patient. Remember, growing crystals takes time.
----Eggs are an important symbol of Ostara, and are a great addition to your celebratory menu.
Here’s a simple recipe:
Deviled Eggs
Hard boil 6-12 eggs (see above). Chill well in the fridge.
Peel eggs. Rinse and dry gently, to make sure no shell fragments are attached to the eggs.
Cut eggs in half the long way.
Gently remove the egg yolks and place in a small bowl. (You want the white halves of the eggs
to stay intact.)
When all the yolks are in a bowl, mash them with a table fork.
Stir in a squirt of regular or Dijon mustard. Then add enough mayonnaise (start with 1
tablespoon and add more as needed) for the proper consistency, mixing well. (Note: aim
for a nice, smooth mixture, but don’t add too much mayonnaise.)
Season* with salt and pepper. Carefully pile the yolk filling back into the egg-halves.

Place eggs on plate; cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to eat. For a dash of color,
sprinkle lightly with ground paprika.
**You can add other seasonings, too. Some people like a bit of finely chopped pickle or onion.
----Here’s a fun recipe that’s perfect for Beltane:
Fried Honeycakes
In olde times, small sweet cakes were made by women on Beltane eve; a few of the cakes were
left in the garden to appease the faeries.
Note: This recipe uses a small amount of wine and also involves frying with hot fat. Young
Wizards should get a parent’s permission and assistance with this recipe.
Safety notes: When frying, keep the handle of the pan turned toward the back of the stove, so
that it is not bumped accidentally. Keep a lid on hand so the pan can be covered in case of fire.
NEVER throw water on a grease fire—smother the fire with a pot lid or by applying salt or
baking soda.
1/2 cup sweet white wine
1 egg
2/3 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon (tsp) <U>each</U> salt and cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup honey
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Oil for frying—canola or a light vegetable oil are best
Beat wine and egg in a medium bowl.
Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a small bowl.
Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, blending just until smooth.
Let stand for 30 minutes.
Combine honey and nutmeg in a small bowl and set aside.
After 30 minutes, preheat 1/2” oil in a deep frying pan. Oil should be very hot, but not smoking.
(If it smokes, it is too hot! Put the lid on the pan, turn the heat off. Then wait 10 minutes and turn
the heat back on, but lower this time.)
Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Fry just until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. After about 10 minutes, dip quickly into the honey mixture.
Makes 15-18 honeycakes.

----Springtime + Phenology = Fun!
Phenology concentrates its study on the annual cycles of animals and plants and how they
respond to seasonal and climatic changes to the environment in which they live. These changes
would include things like duration of sunlight, temperature, precipitation, etc. This study is an
ongoing thing. One seeks to compare the same subject, from the same place, by the same person
from year to year to discover more about the cycle.
How would this knowledge be useful? The website at, lists the uses of phenology
Correlation with insect emergence and pest control
Correlation with crop planting dates
Farmscaping with insect refugia (cover crops, hedgerows, strip crops) to attract beneficial insects
and enhance natural biological control
Designing bee forage plantings
Designing orchards for pollination and ripening sequence
Designing perennial flower beds and wildflower plantings
Prediction of global warming trends
5 Phenological adventures in my backyard would include the subjects of grubs, worms, snakes,
bulbs and fungi. I believe these to be earth correlations based on the crash reading course
directed by Draco. To elaborate a little…
Mole hills are showing up in the yard and surrounding area before the grass is even turning
green. This is earlier than usual and not a good sign at all. The fact that the moles are active
indicates that the grubs, their food source, are also up and about. I’m sure that the neighborhood
ground hog will soon be spotted. These cyclical changes would most likely reference influence
from duration of light and temperature.
We had a nice day not long ago, on a weekend, when I don’t work. Guess where I was? Turning
up the dirt in my main vegetable garden, be sure. The earthworms are definitely up and about,
which is another sign that spring is ready to be underway. About on time, though. Light and
temperature change are the most likely influences, although the temperature is still below
freezing at night and sometimes during the day.
This example does not come from my own yard, but my dad’s yard. He lives about two miles
from us, maybe, as the crow flies. He has a small creek that runs through his property. Next to

the creek, he observed an adult snake with two small babies lying across her back and several
other babies around her. He said it was a garter snake, but that is an example of an animal
moving from one cycle to another as the temperature changes. I don’t have a prior reference for
this to know whether or not this is typical seasonally.
Daffodils are about to bloom in my yard, and I saw my first bloomed dandelions today. The
spring bulb flowers, pictured in full color on our website, for example are about to bloom here.
Moonwriter, I suspect that to be a photo from your own garden. How lovely…Ooooh…Aaaah.
The daffodils are the only ones close to blooming in my own yard, although many of my
favorites are sprouting. The problem in our area is that nature fools the plants into thinking it is
spring, and then we get a harsh cold spell that kills the new growth. At any rate, the bulbs that
could have been planted last fall or in prior years are getting ready to bloom. It is time here to
plant the bulbs for summer blooms such as gladiolas, elephant ears, etc.
Fungi, the best, I have saved for last. No signs of anything but dead fungi right now, but the signs
are there to be interpreted for the emergence of morel mushrooms. I love food, and my absolute
favorite is morel mushrooms. I have hunted for them each spring since I have been a little girl.
Right now it is much too cold to entertain the thought of them popping. We need a few days and
nights over 70 degrees and a good bit of rain. Early April at best, mid-April probably, late April
maybe and last year, none at all. That has never happened before. I know my woods and
landmarks. No one shares their mushroom woods location. They are too sought after, and new
construction eliminates one spot after another. I follow the early spring growth, though, to try to
estimate when the first ones will pop, so that I can be one of the first into the woods. The ferns
are just starting to uncurl. When the Mayapples, American Mandrake, come up, the mushrooms
could be along anytime. This is just an answer to a challenge, however, and I would not want
anyone to go out and try to collect these gems unless they were accompanied by someone with
sufficient experience.
Phenology is an exciting subject. It is something I have noticed throughout my life, but I did not
realize it had a name. There is actual software available, referenced on the website listed above,
to help track one’s seasonal observations. It would be interesting to share notes with others in
different areas especially with reference to the morels.
Luna, Circle of the Standing Stones
----The Eleusinian Mysteries
The Eleusinian Mysteries were annual initiation ceremonies, held annually in honor of Demeter
and Persephone, were the most sacred and revered of all the ritual celebrations of ancient Greece.
They were instituted in the city of Eleusis, some twenty-two kilometers west of Athens, possibly
as far back as the early Mycenaean period, and continued for almost two thousand years. Large
crowds of worshippers from all over Greece (and later, from throughout the Roman empire)
would gather to make the holy pilgrimage between the two cities and participate in the secret
ceremonies, generally regarded as the high point of Greek religion. As Christianity began to

spread, the Mysteries were condemned by the early Church fathers; yet the rites continued for
hundreds of years more and exercised considerable influence on the formation of early Christian
teachings and practices.
Mysteries were based on a legend revolving around Demeter. Her daughter, Persephone, was
kidnapped by Hades, the god of death and the underworld. Demeter was the goddess of life,
agriculture and fertility. She neglected her duties while searching for her daughter; the earth
froze and the people starved— the first winter. During this time Demeter taught the secrets of
agriculture to Triptolemus. Finally Demeter was reunited with her daughter and the earth came
back to life— the first spring. Persephone was unfortunately unable to stay permanently in the
land of the living, because she had eaten a few seeds of a pomegranate that Hades had given her.
Those that eat the food of the dead may not return. A compromise was worked out and
Persephone stayed with Hades for one third of the year (winter, as the Greeks only recognized
three seasons, skipping autumn) and with her mother the remaining eight months.
The Eleusinian Mysteries celebrated Persephone's return, for it was also the return of plants and
of life to the earth. She had eaten seeds (symbols of lives) while in the underworld (underground,
like seeds in the winter) and her rebirth is therefore symbolic of the rebirth of all plant life during
the spring and, by extension, all life on earth.
References :
Helega, Stones Lodge
----Eggstra Tidbits
There are some neat egg traditions of which I am aware, but do not have time to research this
evening. We have blown the insides out of an egg and filled it with herbs, potpourri, etc. and
fitted it with a ribbon. You must have permission ahead of time to include someone in the
activity, but you then crack the egg over their head. In old times, it helped people to smell better
and have a "fresh" start.
Recently, I read of an old German tradition that had a person write, draw or somehow represent
on the outside of the egg the thing they wanted to achieve. One is then supposed to bury the egg.
The article did not say, however, if the egg was to be cooked first.
Submitted by Luna, Circle of the Standing Stones
----A Wizardly Dilemma Shared By Many….

There once was a wizzard who wazz
In a terrible trouble becuzz
She had too much to do
And before she was through
She knew not if she did, dood, or does!
By ValorArete, Grey School Faculty and member of the Stones Lodge
----Miss Periwinkle. Grade 1 Teacher Extraordinaire!
It was Parent, Teacher day at my Daughters school. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was! For
the last week now, that was all I had heard about. Amber was so excited that I was finally going
to meet Miss Periwinkle.
Since she had started classes with Miss Periwinkle the chatter had been non-stop. Amber went on
and on about how cool her classroom was and how pretty Miss Periwinkle was. How she looked
like a movie star on T.V. and how every kid in class liked her. “Every kid Mom,” she stressed
following me through the house. “Even the boys, it’s like magic!” Trying to get her going I
stopped in my tracks and turned to face her. She ran smack into my legs. I made my best
“shocked” face and teased, “Yuck, EVEN the boys?” “But they have cooties don’t they?” Taking
in a big sigh of frustration Amber scowled at me and grumbled, “Yes they do but they can still
like Miss Periwinkle can’t they?”
We finally arrived at the school and found a parking spot. As we walked toward the front doors I
was flooded with memories of my days here as a girl. I had loved this school so much and now
my Daughter was here. “Wow time flies,” I muttered to myself. Of course Amber didn’t hear me
as she was still talking, and talking, and talking. Tugging on her arm I remarked, “you have
become quite a chatter box.” Amber looked up at me, opened her mouth then closed it again
without a sound. Sticking out her bottom lip she pouted, “fine I won’t say another word!”
Laughing aloud I giggled, “yeah ok!”
Amber led me to her classroom, which was a buzz of excitement. As I stepped through the door
the awe of the room hit me. Stepping inside I turned full circle and examined the room. Amber
was right it was magical here! Everywhere I looked there was a riot of color! Paper cutouts,
mobiles, origami figures, paper machete crafts, stickers, posters. Along the walls I could see
chalk, pastels, crayons, markers (the washable ones of course), watercolor paints, finger paints,
stamps and stamp pads, and much more. The classroom was tidy but not spotless, organized but
not strict or rigid. Miss Periwinkle had created a perfect balance of reality and magic. I was
beginning to understand Amber’s excitement. I turned to face the front of the room and there it
was! Looking as though it had once been hanging in King Arthur’s great hall was the most
magnificent thing I had ever seen. It stretched from the ceiling almost to the floor and was made
of some material that looked like Merlin himself had woven it. Around the outer edges were

breathtaking figures of knights in armor with their fine stallions, and kings and queens. Scribed
in the center were the words I could have recited with my eyes closed.
Be True to your Faith. Stand up for your Beliefs. Defend the Weak. Love your Country. Show
Courage against Opposition. Oppose Evil. Do your Duty. Speak Truth, and keep your Word. Be
Generous to all. Be the Champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil. King
Arthur’s Code of Chivalry, I was speechless! Amber noting where I was looking pulled at my
pant leg. I came back to reality and looked down at her. Smiling the biggest smile I had ever seen
she said, “Do you like that Mommy?” “It is cool isn’t it?” “I know it by heart, we all do!” “We
even know what those big words mean, Miss Periwinkle told us!” Feeling tears well up in my
eyes I said, “I think Mommy needs to sit down for a moment hun.” Pulling over her very own
tiny chair she shoved it under me saying, “here Mommy, sit in my chair.” Plunking down trying
to collect my thoughts I felt Amber climb up on my lap. Hugging me she asked, “can we go see
Miss Periwinkle now Mom?” Smiling I said, “I would love to.”
As we approached her desk I took note of what was on the desktop. On the left corner lay a
beautifully leather bound journal but the recorded notes were irregular. For instance today’s
entries were: 6:30 am – drop car at garage for oil change. 8:00 am – breakfast with my knight in
shining armor. 9:00 – recite code with class. 1st recess too cold outside so did finger painting
with class. 1:15 pm – got Ralph to smile (1st time in days keep an eye on him) 6:30 pm –
Parent/Teacher event. 9:30 pm – grade papers. Center front was a shiny red wax apple. Sticking
out of the top corner of the apple was a little smiling green worm wearing thick black glasses and
a top hat. On the right corner was a huge hourglass and a beautiful bowl full of polished stones
and crystals.
Looking off to the side of the desk stood Miss Periwinkle. Seeing Amber and I she smiled and
walked toward us. There was something wonderful about her. The twinkle in her eye, the bounce
in her step, the confidence in the way she moved, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Amber did
her best introductions. Shaking hands I could feel the energy passing between us. I was certain
that the kids had picked up on it too. At this point, I wasn’t even sure if she was real.
We chatted about Amber and what great progress she was making. Miss Periwinkle winked at
Amber and announced, “you are a very special little girl who will, as a woman, do great things!”
Looking back at me she smiled and said, “it is her destiny you know.” Smiling back I nodded and
said, “Yes, I knew from the day she was born.” I told Miss Periwinkle that I found her classroom
very special in many ways. “Ah, the Code,” she replied. “I knew that would catch your eye.”
Laughing I asked, “Do we know each other?” With a very wise look she replied, “In another
lifetime, maybe.”
Miss Periwinkle went on to explain that she tried to be a role model for her students. She felt
within her daily teachings of the school curriculum, she could incorporate the important lessons
of right and wrong, good and evil, and trust and respect for all. Teach the children to find their
balance in the world we live in. Smiling and pausing she then asked me what I thought the most
important lesson would be. As I started to ponder, Amber started to squirm in her seat beside me
shouting, “I know, I know!” Smiling Miss Periwinkle said, “Yes Amber, what is the answer?”
Sitting up as tall as she could she replied, “The most important lesson is to learn from others,

even kids!” Laughing and nodding Miss Periwinkle explained to me that this was also one of her
lessons. I learned very early in my teaching that I was also a student and I could learn a great
deal from my children. Their simplicity and honesty can sometimes eliminate the chaos and
baggage that we adults bring to the table, allowing us to see answers we never would have
reached on our own. Children have not learned the self-imposed limitations that we adults live by
and we can learn a great deal from their “anything is possible” world. “It can be quite humbling
actually,” she giggled.
With more Parents in line awaiting their “enchanting encounter” with Miss Periwinkle, Amber
and I said our goodbyes for now. As we left the school I hugged Amber and said,” You are right
sweetie, she rocks!” Amber hugged back and said, “Magic Mommy I told you! Magic!”
Submitted by Enigmafae, Flames Lodge
----My Best Sunset
Gosh, at 54 years of age, it's hard to imagine that my best sunset happened 38 years ago. I was 16
and yet it seems like only yesterday, it's so indelibly imprinted on my mind.
My scout troop was going to be spending a couple nights in the mountains. It was late spring and
the afternoon weather was perfect. Clear and not too hot and not too cold. We set up camp at
Upper Erma Bell lake in the high volcanic alpine forests of Oregon. It was a five mile hike from
the trail-head since no motorized vehicles were allowed on the trails in those days. This part of
the state is covered with thousands of these small lakes. They're small and shallow so the water
gets quite warm from the sun.
The tents were pitched, beds were made (soft fir boughs), sleeping bags unrolled and the fire pit
was completed and made ready for the fire so that dinner could be cooked. The dinner menu was
a hamburger casserole (hamburger mixed with chopped potatoes, carrots and onions and
wrapped in foil) and corn on the cob (in the husks). It was roasted in the coals on the fire. The
nice thing about this kind of meal, was that there was little to wash afterwards. For dessert, we
had banana boats (slice the banana in the skin long-ways, insert squares of milk chocolate and
miniature marshmallows and lay on the coals until hot and bubbly). It's funny how even simple
food can taste so good when it's cooked over the campfire. Yum!
After dinner was eaten and the mess was cleaned up, we all ran to the lake, took off our clothes
and jumped in to swim and clean ourselves up. Of course we were having a blast splashing
around and being crazy like kids can be and having a good time doing it, and that’s when it
I glanced up and was instantly mesmerized by the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen in my life.
(even to this day and I've seen many) I had to pull myself away from the chaos going on in the
water and crawled out on the bank a ways from the guys so I could appreciate what I was seeing.

The sky was totally covered with the whitest fluffy clouds that looked like huge cotton balls
glued to it. The sun had just gone over the horizon and the edges of the clouds closest to the west
showed a hint of the faintest pastel pink. And that's when the show really began and I had a front
row seat. The colors slowly changed like a kaleidoscope. First from the light pink, to vibrant pink
and then to brilliant crimson. Then the colors slowly dissolved into the more muted, but no less
spectacular colors of mauve's, purples and grays as the sun finished setting and dusk descended.
Minutes later as I sat there in my birthday suit on the bank still in awe, I realized I was holding
my breath and I had tears in my eyes. I knew that I had been given a gift. And what a gift it was.
Mother Nature had spoken to me as She often did and I was and am thankful for that picture that
was imprinted into my being. And that my friends was my most beautiful sunset.
Foxman, Coterie of the Flowing Waters
----Thoughts on Aboriginal Fireflies
If any of you ever watched the movie "All the Right Stuff", there is a sequence where the
imagery shifts from John Glenn making comments about the awesome fireflies and a great
bonfire ritual being celebrated by Australian Aborigines. Perhaps, these people noticed the
bright, new blip in the sky and tried to reach it both spiritually and physically. I did a little
research to see if this would be plausible or if it was just a Hollywood tactic.
I found out that the Aborigines have the longest, continual cultural history of any people on
Earth. Experts speculate that their unique identity began between 65,000 to 50,000 years ago.
The Aboriginal religion and culture is referred to as "Dreamtime". It attempts to explain the
origin and culture of the land and its people. "Dreamtime" also is specific to the "time before
time" or "time of creation of all things". "Dreaming", on the other hand, has to do with the set of
beliefs or spirituality of a given individual or group.
The Aborigines believe that spirits came to Earth in human and other forms to create the land,
animals, plants, etc. as we know them today. Once the work of the ancestor spirit was done, it
would be transformed into an animal, star, hill or other object. They refer to Jiva or Guruwari, a
seed power deposited in Earth.
Any meaningful event, activity or life process that occurs at a particular location leaves behind in
the earth a vibrational residue. It takes the form of riverbeds, mountains, rocks, etc. These
geographic components are echoes of events that brought the place into creation. It is said of the
Aboriginal spiritualism that everything in the natural world is a symbolic footprint of
metaphysical beings whose actions created our world.
Of important note was the issue of totems. The place where a person was conceived was tied to
an individual animal totem. The Aborigines identified with their animal totem in their ritual
dances. Dancing was the way in which they could honor the potency of the earth at the place

where they were. It allowed them to link the past to the future, correspond between the earth and
heaven and honor existence.
There can be no future for this way of thinking if the sacred sites are not danced to, revered and
ceremonies done, for their cycle would be broken. The day that John Glenn orbited the earth for
the first time, their dreams reached further than ever before. The sparks from their ceremonial
fire drifted beyond previous boundaries for new boundaries were being explored. The
"Dreaming" continued at a new elevated level of reference.
Luna, Circle of the Standing Stones
As We Say Farewell to Winter….
In the north east and mid-west of America, we have been struck with a violent (yet beautiful)
blizzard. It was awe-striking to witness... has anybody else here been affected by the blizzard?
The snow and wind have stopped. Outside, by the light of a near full moon in a perfectly clear
sky, I discovered my yard turned into a beautiful, magickal wonderland! The snow from the
blizzard stretches infinitely like an ocean, and house and branch alike are adorned with icicles.
The snow frosts the needles and leaves of trees. It makes towers and turrets and walls taller than
me. There is only one path dug in the waist-high blanket, winding from here down to my
grandfather's house through and under trees and amongst bushes. (What's sticking out of them!) I
received a true feeling of magick and sacredness and could do no more than love and thank a
higher power. I felt a presence of peace and serenity and beauty and love... wow, I say...
I felt like I gained so much knowledge from this experience. Has anybody else had a similar
From Joseph, Prefect, Salamanders House
----"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful then the risk it
took to blossom."
-- Anais Nin

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