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Merry Meet Friends

Greetings and Witchy Blessings to you all!

Welcome to our latest newsletter. As the wheel turns past Midsummer and the daylight hours start to shorten although the hottest days of summer are yet to come, we focus this newsletter on this Sabbat.

For those of us who have been experiencing the un-seasonal stormy weather in New Zealand, we can only hope that the Goddess has some warmer times in store for us over the coming months.

Igrewl and Bryce were thrilled to represent the Grove at the Magick Earth Festival last month. They definitely enjoyed meeting those who attended the Festival.

We are pleased to announce that our Shop is now open again and our interactive software product launched at the Magick Earth Festival in November is now available via the website. The software has been designed to be interactive takes you through the Witchaven homestead and garden includes magic room, library, grimoires, candle magic, divination room, potions room, herb garden and heaps of other great information.

We are still offering our 2006 Calendar in a downloadable eco friendly Pdf format for $5.00; orders can be placed by emailing calendar@witchaven.com online payment via paypal or internet banking.

A diary note for next year: Our Auckland Course calendar will be available late January starting late February. We'll also be holding several Women's restorative retreats starting from late April.

Volunteers Needed!

Do you live in New Zealand? the Auckland/Counties area?

We're in desperate need of volunteers to help us with our work. We're setting aside each Sunday as "Volunteers day" if you can spare 5 plus hours a month and would like to come help us further our Mission we'd love to talk to you

Music

For those enjoyed Bryce's music at Magic Earth there is a link to one of his band's songs on the front page of the website.

You can download the single for free personal use. By downloading this MP3 you agree to abide by the copyright statement below.
This original piece of work can not be sold, recorded or aired in public without express permission. All rights to this piece remain with the artists and both music and lyrics covered by international copyright law.

Midsummer Greetings

Litha the Summer Solstice or "Midsummer," the longest day of the year -22 December Southern Hemisphere

Deities: Mother Earth, Father Sun, the fey and fairy folk
Herbs: Roses, Rue, Vervain, St Johns Wort, Chamomile, Lavender and Mugwort.
Stones: Amethyst, Malachite, Golden Topaz, Opal, Quartz and Lapis Lazuli.

Celebrating the longest day of the year, this sabbat is a celebration of service, sharing and of giving due for the planet. The sun is at its zenith now; the energies of nature have reached their highest point. The God and Goddess, now mature in their deepening love, revel in the fertility of the earth despite the knowledge that from this point on, his power will begin to wane.

Keep this day in your memory bright,
To warm you on long winters nights.
May the rays of solstice keep us warm,
All through the year.

At midsummer though not only is the Sun at its peak, but so are the fairies and the fey. And we are the objects of their labour. They flit to and fro greening our hearts and tending our spiritual gardens. They lighten our steps and fill us with the warmth of joy and laughter. So as you honour the Lord and Lady on Midsummer Day, you should also pay homage to the fairy folk on Midsummer Night.

Decorate Altar with an herbal petition packet made up of herbs such as lavender, camomile, St. John's wort, vervain, or any other Midsummer herbs. All troubles, problems, and woe should be pored into this herb pouch, and then tied with a red string; to be thrown into the fire during the rite. Appropriate Foods include fresh fruits

Ways to Celebrate:

    - Try for an early morning celebration and be up to greet the dawn.
- Decorate trees with Solar symbols tied by yellow and blue ribbons.
- Make beeswax candles, combining sheets of wax and herbs. Burn one candle with the change of every season.
- Have a picnic in the outdoors.
- Leave a plate of food outside for the fairies. Drizzle it with honey.
- Kindle a fir of Oak, fir and St Johns Wort and jump over it to bring good health and good luck for the rest of the year.

Energies of the brilliant Sun
Aid all at work or having fun
Fueling growth and passions bright
Strong and true is the solar light.
Solar winds and solar flares
Wash away our hunger and cares.
Keep this day in memory bright
To warm you on long winter nights.

Goddess Lore

EPONA : The maiden goddess Epona is usually portrayed as riding a white mare side-saddle, sometimes with a foal, or standing surrounded by horses. Her symbol is the Cornucopia ("horn of plenty") which suggests that she may have been honoured as a fertility goddess, although she is most commonly known as a goddess of horses and travel. She fed her beloved horses from her cornucopia filled with corn and apples, symbolic of mother-love and abundance.

>From the iron age, the Celtic goddess' faith spread across the whole of ancient Europe, eventually being embraced by the Romans and to a certain extent, Christianity. Epona had a shrine in almost every stable of the Roman empire - in fact, she was the only Celtic goddess to be honoured by the Romans with a temple in their capital city. Her annual festival in Roman times was around the 18th December (in Mantua/Italy), when her images in shrines and stables were draped in rose garlands.

Epona and her white mare accompanies the soul on its final journey to the other world, and in life she is associated with the white mare that brings dreams.

AMATERASU : is a shining example of how adversity can help us to 'blossom and bloom' more at times. She helps us look for the lesson to be learned when the adverse times come into our lives.

In Japanese mythology, Amaterasu (pron: Ah-mah-te <as in 'ten'> -lah-soo) is the radiant and compassionate Japanese sun goddess who ruled the sun, cultural unity, weaving and agriculture. She was responsible for illuminating the world and for ensuring the fertility of the rice fields. The goddess is the divine ancestor of the Japanese imperial family.

Amaterasu's traditional day is the Kiku no Sekku - the Chrysanthemum Festival of Japan. The chrysanthemum blossoms in autumn when other flowers are long past. The chrysanthemum is a plant that flourishes more freely if it is pinched back in spring - this is the process whereby the growing shoots are slightly damaged in order to promote more vigorous growth outwards rather than upwards.
 

Coming up:

22/12/05    Summer Solstice
30/12/05    New Moon - Capricorn
15/01/06    Full Moon - Cancer
30/01/06    New Moon - Aquarius
01/02/06    Lammas

Well on that note we will end this newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts and comments.

Until next Sabbat

Merry Part
Igrewl and Asrteia