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Merry Meet Friends

Greetings and Witchy Blessings to you all!

Welcome to our latest newsletter.

There has begun to be a chill in the air in both the morning before the sun rises and in the evening once the sun sets. The trees are still hanging onto their amber coat of leaves in some places, but it won't be long before there bare branches stand tall in the winter sky. The desire to come home to a warm pot of soup on the stove, a fire burning in the fireplace or to brew a warm pot of apple cider is coming to the fore. Winter has begun to knock at the door.

With the coming winter months, which are often the time for inner reflection and a time for focused learning and sharing. Witchaven are proud to herald our winter season of workshops.

Once again we have been fortunate to gain access to the vast wealth of knowledge and experience of Bob Lapworth.

Bob, who's Craft background is of the British Native Tradition path, has over 19 years Craft experience and many years of teaching the Craft to others. Once again he will be leading workshops on interesting Craft topics poignant to our community.

These will include:
Coven work - removing common misconceptions.
The Craft - What it was, what it is now and what it will be in the future.
Ritual - Is it important in modern Paganism?
A journey though the elements - a workshop on each of the elements, Water, Air, Fire & Earth.
Self awareness finding the power within.
Basic power raising.

The Grove are happy to announce that the location for this years season of workshops is Hamilton, and full details of the lecture programme will be announced in a forthcoming special Lecture Newsletter.

As the wheel of year completes full circle turn to Samhain we focus this newsletter on this Sabbat.

Happy New Year!!!!! & Samhain Greetings

Samhain (Sow'-en), is celebrated on May 1 in the Southern Hemisphere.

When celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere also known as Halloween or All Hallows Eve, this Sabbat celebrates the final harvest of the season. It defines the role of death in the cycle of life. It is the end of the year, and a day for tying up loose ends and for putting things to rest.

It is a time when we recognise the passing of family, friends, and those in the community who have passed on within this year and ancestors which have gone before. It is said that at this time that the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest.

This time is of special importance, belonging neither to the old year nor yet to the new one. At such times, communication with those who have passed over and not moved on yet may be possible.
Spirits you are welcome here, Rejoin this home and have no fear, We’re glad to have you - you may stay. Until you need to fly away.

Appropriate items with which to decorate your Altar include: apples, pumpkins, squashes and other late autumn fruits. Autumn flowers like marigolds and mums. Native Korokio berries or the white flowers of the Houhere.

Appropriate Foods to include in your Samhain Feast include: beets, turnips, apples, corn, nuts, gingerbread, cider, mulled wines and pumpkin dishes are appropriate, as are meat dishes.

Ways to Celebrate:
• Since this is the beginning of the dark time of the year. Farewell the sun and wish him well as he rests. Until he is reborn at Yule.

Farewell, Dear Sun, who warms the earth
Who, with your light, brings joy and mirth
Close your eyes now - go to sleep
Rest peacefully in Darkness deep
Until the Yuletide fest begins
And you are born to us again.

• As this is a time of endings, magic is often performed to get rid of unsatisfactory personal characteristics or break bad habits. Write the trait or habit on a piece of paper and burn it.

I burn this trait now from my life,
Upon this sacred Samhain night,
It is gone from me at last
Just a memory from the past.

Coming up:

02/05/07 Full Moon – Scorpio
27/05/07 New Moon - Taurus
01/06/06 Full Moon - Sagittarius
15/06/07 New Moon – Gemini
21/06/07 Yule’s Eve – Winter Solstice
22/06/07 Yule Day

As the wheel turns full circle to Samhain and the year begins anew, now is the perfect time to take the opportunity to clean out, revitalize, renovate and to renew. Take the time to review where you have been, where you are now and then assess where you want to be.

Whether you are just taking the time to re-organise your altar, your sacred space, your home, your garden or even just to re-organise your wardrobe, enjoy and prepare for the new year

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

Merry Part
Asrteia and the Witchaven Team