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Merry Meet Friends

Greetings and Witchy Blessings to you all!

As the sun's strength begins to wane and the days grow shorter once again. The wheel turns to rest at Mabon, a quarter of the year has once again gone.

Volunteer Day

A successful Grove volunteer day was held in February. A good portion of the main grove garden was harvested for both seeds and for drying. The drying porch is almost completely full and the aroma of drying herbs is permeating the house. Thank you to all of you who volunteered your time, it is very much appreciated.
 
Greenman Festival 2007


A pagan gathering in the Western Bay of Plenty/Waikato, New Zealand that has been set for February of 2007. The Greenman Festival will run for the first time in 2007 with a view to growing it into a popular annual event.

Whilst this event is still in the planning stages, we expect an announcement to be made in early April regarding dates and the venue. So watch this space!!  

However, organisers are currently taking registrations of interest from people who may wish to present a lecture or workshop, run a stall or, most especially, perform on one of the evenings for the entertainment of the festival-goers.

Keep an eye on www.greenmanfestival.org for contact information and more the exciting details as they are announced.
We will be including updates in each sabbat newsletter.

Women's Retreat Weekends Announced
Grove members are thrilled to announce in conjunction with Waikatoa Surf Lodge at Port Waikato, once again we'll be involved in tutoring at the wonderfully popular Women's Retreat Weekend. One each month during May, June, July and August.

If you're interested in finding out more about these amazing value for money weekends away, jam packed with fun, friendship, learning and self discovery.
Check out their website
Waikatoa Surf Lodge http://www.sunsetbeach.co.nz/

Magic Earth Festival 2006
The next Magick Earth Festival will be held over the whole Easter Weekend from the 14th of April to the 17th of April 2006 at Tatum Park, approx 10kms south of Levin, on SH 1, Levin, New Zealand.
This one is being organised by a Levin team, spearheaded by Ginny and Adele.
Below is the programme for Saturday

Saturday
8.am Opening ceremony, conducted by Ashurst Druids

9.am Gathering at the marquee, welcome, hand out finished programme, site directions etc

9.am Workshop with Mandy – Cloak making. See website for details.

10.am Discussion with Polly – Thesis?

11.am Druidic Workshop, led by Ashurst Druids

12.noon Lunch Break

1.pm Workshop with Roger – Song & Chant

2.pm Workshop with Wade - Introduction to Runes

3.pm Workshop with Jimmy – Firestick (All participants to bring a broom handle to work with – 4-6ft)

4.pm Workshop with Murray – Drumming (Participants please bring own drum or noise/ music maker)

5.pm Workshop with Glinda – Belly Dancing

6.pm Dinner Break

7.pm Spiritual Expressions Led by Mithras

8.pm A programme of poetry & prose, song & dance

9.pm Progress to the fire circle for drumming


For further information please go to the website: http://magickearth.nzgate.com/index.htm

 

Mabon Greetings The first day of Autumn, the Autumn Equinox, is known as Mabon. - 21st March Southern Hemisphere

Mabon marks the second harvest of the season, and is a time of rest after hard work. Once again day and night are equal. Nature declines, readying itself for the cold winter dark as the Sun God sacrifices himself to ensure life for his children. This Sabbat is also known as "Harvest Home" and the "Festival of the Harvest Moon." 
We recognise that soon the Wheel of the Year will turn once again to Samhain, as we ready ourselves for the depth of winter and the start of a new turning of the Wheel. Ever it was, and ever thus shall it be.

Associated Deities: Mabon, Modron, Persephone, Demeter
Associated Herbs: Marigold, Sunflowers, Hibiscus, Rose Petals, Myrrh
Associated Crystals: Amber, Clear Quartz, Tiger-Eye, Citrine

This is also a time of thanksgiving not only for all that has been provided in the harvest but for all that we have, all that we are and all that the future holds. Because of this Sabbats ties with the underworld, it is a great time to remember those who have gone before us. To thank them for the gifts that they have given us, that allow us to be the special individuals that we are.

Decorate Altar with acorns, oak sprigs, pine and cypress cones, ears of corn, wheat stalks and other fruits and nuts. Basket with dried leaves of various colours and kinds.
Appropriate Foods include the second harvest's gleanings: grains, fruit, and vegetables (especially corn). Cornbread is traditional, as are beans and baked squash.

 Ways to Celebrate:

* Rise early on Mabon morning and listen to the birds in the trees.

* Bid a fond farewell to those creatures that are now beginning to ready themselves for winter hibernation.

* Honour those who have past before us with a feast, recall times past and how each family member who has past has contributed to who you are now.

* Remember that giving thanks is not just about saying thank you. It also involves giving something back for what you have received. It is not necessarily about the giving of gifts or monetary items, but also includes the gifts of service. They may include volunteering at a support centre, working at a shelter or spending time visiting the elderly. These gifts will not only touch those to whom you give but also yourself.

Goddess Lore: Persephone

Related gemstones: Carnelian, coral, agate, brown jasper (orange stones)

Persephone was the naive daughter of Demeter abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld. In her bleak surroundings she took on a dark and mysterious persona as his new wife. Although found by her mother and freed on the condition that she had eaten nothing whilst imprisoned, it transpired that she had indeed eaten some pomegranate seeds. She was obliged thereafter to return to the underworld thereby dividing her time between her mother and her dark lover, but later chose to return of her own volition.

Practices

Spend today acknowledging truths, honouring those who are trying to help you, and showing gratitude for all the "good" in your life. Come out from the darkness and turn your face to the light.

Today, write down five things you are grateful for. It could be the sunrise you caught this morning, the toast your partner made you, or seeing children skipping to school - whatever it is that makes you feel glad to be alive. When you wake up tomorrow, add to the list with another five things. Keep adding to the list every day until your heart is glowing with gratitude and joy - let the healing energy empower you in your new life!

New Book to watch out for from Llewellyn

Taking Paganism to the Next Level
by Joyce & River Higginbotham

"Has your spirituality evolved over the years? Have your values, worldview, perception of authority and the nature of the Divine varied throughout your life? Have you ever considered how a person's level of development and growth affects their understanding and experience of spirituality? Perhaps you have noticed wide-ranging differences in philosophy, values and spiritual practice even among people who share a faith tradition, and may have wondered how factors such as their age, worldview, maturity or life experience have influenced them. These questions, and how they apply to Pagans in particular, are the focus of Pagan Spirituality.

We became aware of these issues in a concrete way while teaching classes on Paganism. We began to recognize patterns in the types of needs the students brought to class with them and we noticed that what fed one set of needs did not necessarily feed another. In order to understand what we were observing we began to study human growth and development. We discovered that growth -- including spiritual growth -- involves an expansion of capacities, and that capacities unfold in a recognizable pattern as skills build one upon the other. We realized that what modern Pagans think magick is, how it works and what they view as ethical is based on a combination of their beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, and developmental capacity."

Events
Mind Body Spirit - Sixth Sense Expo's

1-2 April - Mt Albert War Memorial Hall, Mt Albert, Auckland $5.00

29-30 April Convention Centre, Palmerston North $5.00
 

Do you know of an event coming up that you would like us to include in this newsletter? Email newsletter@witchaven.com with the details.

Coming up:

21/3/06 Mabon 6.25pm
29/3/06 New Moon Aries Solar Eclipse (10.12pm)
14/04/06 Full Moon - Libra 4.39am
28/04/06 New Moon - Taurus 7.43am

30/4/06-2/5/06 Samhain - Happy New Year

March: Strive for balance

Screen legend Mae West said that too much of a good thing can be wonderful. But in reality, life is all about balance – work and play, compassion and strength, giving and receiving, emotive and cognitive, yin and yang.

You deserve good things, but don’t indulge so much that they stop being special. Remember to do everything in moderation for a healthy mind, body and spirit.

With Winter on the way, goddess Vesta encourages you to maintain care for your body and health. Eating right, staying active, and enjoying the "vices" in moderation will help to keep you healthy and vital during the shorter days.


April: Become a listener

If you feel a sense of foreboding in your solar plexus, it is your intuition trying to get your attention via a bodily reaction. Learn to listen for such signs that your body emits – it is your subconscious telling you exactly what is right or wrong in your life.

Cultivate your intuition so that you have faith to act on the answer presenting itself through your “gut instinct”. Use tools to understand images or impressions that will help you make decisions when you are at a crossroad – crystals, cards, runes pendulums, tea leaves, or psychometry are just some of the tools readily available.

Egyptian goddess Isis lets you embellish on this inner wisdom through divine power. Invoke her to empower your third eye, the psychic eye, to bring you the skill to trust in your own psychic wisdom.

On this note we will end this newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts and comments. We'd love to get any information you like to have put on the site, Donations of information are always gratefully received.

Until next Sabbat

Merry Part Igrewl and Asrteia

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