In the southern hemisphere, Alban Heruin, the tide of the Summer Solstice is upon us and the new civic year has already embraced us not beneath Mistletoe and Holly, but everlasting Oak, the tree once worshiped by Greeks and Romans as sacred to Diana – the Pagan Goddess of the King of the Woods, as retold by J.G. Frazer. That ‘strange and recurring tragedy’ in the Grove of Aricia, on the shores of ‘Diana’s Mirror’ recalls another recurring battle, a challenge for supremacy and lordship over human nature.
Category: Other Contributors
JONATHON JAMES WIGLEY. This story could not be written indoors. I sit on the edge of a small dam and watch wispy cirrus clouds drift slowly across a glorious blue-domed sky. Matching their advance, a thin blue line starts to trace patterns across my page.
Dragonflies hover and dart then drop down to dip their tails into iridescent water. They’re laying eggs that will hatch into nymphs. Half of a dragonfly’s life is spent under water while a slow transformation takes place. After months a deep inner calling draws the nymph out into the bright sunlight; it sheds its skin and out flies a shimmering jewel.
MICHAEL BERMAN. The question of whether Shamanism is a religion, a way of life, or a methodology will be considered, and the implications that this has on the attitude towards, and serious study of the subject. Even acknowledged experts in the field appear to skirt the issue of whether Shamanism can be regarded as a religion or not. It would seem that for some people the word religion has negative connotations and they do their best to avoid it at all costs – partly perhaps because it is unfashionable, partly perhaps because it is so difficult to define. The intention in this paper, however, is to tackle the question head-on, in the hope of contributing something new to the discussion.
LESLEY MADYTINOU. Like no other civilisation, either past or present, the ancient Hellenes institutionalised and refined their expressions and understandings of the ineffable Mystery of the Gods throughout every facet of human life. The Kosmos, the environment and the sophistication of human society all expressed and refined the complex interactions between the Gods of this vast and progressive religion.
SORITA D’ESTE. The system of the four elements, Air, Fire, Water and Earth is a key foundation stone in the development of the Western Esoteric Tradition, and practices associated with it can still be found in almost all the modern traditions of magic and mysticism, including Alchemy, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Ceremonial Magic, and Qabalah through to the Wiccan Tradition, Neo-Pagan Witchcraft and Druidry. Its historical origins can be found two and a half thousand years ago in the writings of the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles. In the fifth century BCE in his Tetrasomia (Doctrine of the Four Elements), Empedocles expressed the view that the four elements were not only the building blocks of the universe, but also spiritual essences.
FRANCISCO FUMAROLA. There are many novel ways to draw upon and send the rune might. You can “eat” runes, “drink” runes (example in the Sigrdifumal, where Sigurdr is offered a draught blended with rune might or in this case inhale runes. Reminds me also of an Egyptian legend where the mage pours beer over the Book of Thoth to consume the magic words in a more direct fashion, albeit a far removed example, magic does have some universality to it) you can also send them by burning or casting.
HIGH PRIESTESS ASPPARA DANTALIAN. I have been on the Pagan path for almost 20 years now, and feel comfortable with my relationship with my patron Goddess Aradia and her consort Cernunnos. I did my initial training with Spiral in 2005, and then I decided that I’d like to do my degrees, so I joined the Temple of Athena as a seeker in 2008. I didn’t complete my degrees, but I learned a lot, and made some lasting friendships. Our coven was established in 2009, at Yule of that year. We chose Yule as the time to inaugurate our coven because of the association with the start of the New Year following the winter solstice. There were three founding members of the coven.
EDITOR. As part of Occult Heritage Month here at PENTON we interviewed Rt. Rev. Raene Packery of the Clan of Kheper Temple to find out more about its beginnings and beliefs.