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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

EDGE OF THE CIRCLE NEWSLETTER, AUGUST 2007

Welcome to the 13th edition of the Edge of the Circle Newsletter. This newsletter has come about as an effort to reach out to the Pagan/ Occult community (particularly in Seattle where we are based) to inform the community of what events are happening at our store. I've got great plans for this newsletter. Hopefully, as time goes by, it will only get bigger and better. Without further ado, welcome, and enjoy. Regards, Erica (Raven) Branch-Butler, Editrix WHO WE ARE: Edge of the Circle Books is Seattle's resource for Paganism & the Occult. This newsletter seeks to provide the Seattle community with a place to list events, post articles, and do a bit of networking. We are at: 701 E. Pike St, corner of Boylston Ave., just two blocks west of Broadway, on Capitol Hill. Edge of the Circle Books strives to be everything that you could want in a Magickal Pagan store. Open 7 days a week, Noon till" 9pm. Call: 206-PAN-1999 ** NEWS: Robert Gets Interviewed By the Seattle Weekly Keep an eye out for our favorite Shopkeeper , Robert Anderson, who makes an appearance in our local paper , the Seattle Weekly. Check out the scintillating interview of the store's earliest beginnings and it grew to become the occult store we all know and love! The article should be published sometime in August. ** SPECIALS: Dryad Design, Ltd Wall Masks: One time only discounted prices: Paul Borda Stone Finish, Cernunnos Wall Mask: Cernunnos, also known by Celts as the Horned One, was the antlered God of the Forest and Prosperity. He often carried a sack that spilled out coins and grain. To symbolize the aspect of Provider, there are seven coins hidden within this piece, each carved with one of Cernunnos' symbols. The right side of his face is decorated with holly, the left side with oak and mistletoe. His classic torc is worn at his neck and his ram's headed snake coils amoung the seven tines of his antlers. Cernunnos depictions are found all over Europe. Available in Stone Finish $86.95 Size: 12" x 12" x 4 1/2" Paul Borda Earth Mother Wall Relief Sconce: The Earth Mother, shows the phases of the Goddess through the foliage around her. The intention is to present a flow from birth with the buds, going through life and ending at death and transformation. She is surrounded by animals, flowers and herbs sacred to the Goddess. The crescent on her brow identifies her not only as the Goddess of the fertile Earth, but also of the ever changing Moon, symbol of rebirth. The torc encircling her neck is a Celtic symbol of Sovereignty. ( Triple Candle Holders) Original carved from butternut. Available in Wood Finish $88.48 Size: 12" x 12" x 4 1/2" ** THIS MONTH'S THEME: DRUIDRY ** DRUIDRY " ‘Druid’ is a specific term, for our educated leaders, expressing our cultural, spiritual and religious lives, which keep and teach the knowledge of and for our culture, its traditions, customs, practices laws and so forth. There is more to a Druid than being a 'preacher.' There never has been, nor is there any separation in our spiritual, religious and cultural practices. In other words, Never to be separated are culture, religion and faith! Contrary to wrong beliefs, Druids have always been and still are religious, not only believing in, but also knowing reincarnation is real. Furthermore, Druids know there are many Gods and Goddesses. One cannot be a 'Christian, Muslim or anything else' and a Druid. They will contradict each other." Cahan Tiarnan. Modern Druidism is one of the Neopagan family of religions, which includes Wicca and recreations of Egyptian, Greek, Norse, Roman and other ancient Pagan religions. Some present-day Druids attempt to reconstruct of the beliefs and practices of ancient Druidism. Others modern-day followers of Druidism work directly with the spirits of place, of the Gods and of their ancestors to create a new Druidism. * CELTIC DRUIDISM: HISTORY & MYTHS History: Since ancient Druidism was an oral tradition, they did not have a set of scriptures as do Christianity and other "religions of the book. 1 " Some Druidic "teachings survived in the Bardic colleges in Wales, Ireland and Scotland which remained active until the 17th century, in medieval manuscripts, and in oral tradition, folk lore and ritual." 2 Druidism and other Neopagan religions are currently experiencing a rapid growth. Many people are attempting to rediscover their roots, their ancestral heritage. For many people in North America, their ancestors can be traced back to Celtic/Druidic countries. Most modern Druids connect the origin of their religion to the ancient Celtic people. However, historical data is scarce. The Druids may well have been active in Britain and perhaps in northern Europe before the advent of the Celts. Many academics believe that the ancestors of the Celts were the Proto-Indo European culture who lived near the Black Sea circa 4000 BCE. Some migrated in a South-Westerly direction to create the cultures of Thrace and Greece; others moved North-West to form the Baltic, Celtic, Germanic and Slavic cultures. Evidence of a Proto-Celtic Unetice or Urnfield culture has been found in what is now Slovakia circa 1000 BCE. This evolved into a group of loosely linked tribes which formed the Celtic culture circa 800 BCE. By 450 BCE they had expanded into Spain; by 400 BCE they were in Northern Italy, and by 270 BCE, they had migrated into Galatia (central Turkey). By 200 BCE, they had occupied the British Isles, Brittany, much of modern France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, North West Spain, and their isolated Galatia settlement in Turkey. Although the Celts had a written language, it was rarely used. Their religious and philosophical beliefs were preserved in an oral tradition. Little of their early history remains. Most of our information comes from Greek and Roman writers, who may well have been heavily biased (the Celts invaded Rome in 390 BCE and Greece in 279 BCE). Other data comes from the codification (and modification) of Celtic myth cycles by Christian monks. The latter included the Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle, the Cycle of Kings, the Invasion Races Cycle from Ireland, and The Mabinogion from Wales. Unfortunately, much Celtic history and religion has been lost or distorted by an overlay of Christianity. The Christian Church adsorbed much of Celtic religion. Many Pagan Gods and Goddesses have became Christian saints; sacred springs and wells were preserved and associated with saints; many Pagan temple sites became the location of cathedrals. By the 7th Century CE, Druidism itself was destroyed or continued deeply underground throughout most of the formerly Celtic lands. There is some evidence that Pagan religions did survive in isolated areas of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the 20th Century. Myths about Druids *Ritual Killing: Many historians believed that the ancient Druids performed human sacrifices. All of these references can be traced back to the writings of one individual, Julius Caesar. He may well have been prejudiced against the Celts because of their continual warfare with the Romans. In war, the enemy is routinely demonized. Some remains of executions have been found in the archaeological record, but it is not obvious whether the victims were killed during religious rituals or to carry out the sentence of a court. There is one reference to human sacrifice in Celtic literature, but it appears to be a Christian forgery. The ancient Celts might have engaged in ritual killing; certainly other contemporary societies did. Modern Druids, of course, do not. *Stonehenge, Avebury, etc.: Many people believe that the Druids constructed Stonehenge, the complex of standing stones in South Central England. Stonehenge I ("Old Stonehenge"), which was composed of the 56 "Aubrey" holes, was constructed circa 3500 BCE. The current formation was completed circa 1500 BCE. This was almost a millennium before the start of Celtic civilization. The Druids may have preceded the Celts in England. Thus, either the Druids or their fore-runners might have been responsible for the finishing of Stonehenge and other monuments. There is no historical proof that they were or were not involved. Even if they did not actually construct these monuments, they may well have performed rituals there, and understood its astronomical meanings and uses. In Ireland and Great Britain, there are many ancient "Druid" altars, beds, rings, stones, stone circles and temples. However, radio-carbon analyses assign dates such as 1380 BCE (Wilsford Shaft) to 3330 BCE (Hembury). Again, ancient Druids may have used these megalithic monuments, but did not necessarily build them. Ireland now has countless wells and springs dedicated to the Christian Saint Bridget. She was obviously descended from the Celtic Goddess Brigid/Brigit. "Finding the cult of Brigit impossible to eradicate, the Catholic church rather unwisely canonized her as a saint, calling her Bridget or Bride." 3 The sacred ownership of the various Pagan holy sites were simply translated from Goddess Brigid to St. Bridget after the area was Christianized. * Celtic God Samhain: This non-existent God is often mentioned at Halloween time. He is supposed to be the Celtic God of the Dead. No such God existed. Samhain is, in reality, the name of a Druidic fire festival. It can be loosely translated as "end of the warm season". * Monotheistic Druids: Some writers have promoted the concept that Druids were basically monotheistic, following a sort of pre-Christian belief system. There is essentially no evidence of this. Druids worshiped a pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. 1. Greywolf, "A little history of Druidry," at: http://www.druidorder.demon.co.uk/ 2. "Ancient Druidry," at: http://www.druidorder.demon.co.uk/ 3. Douglas Monroe, "The 21 Lessons of Merlyn," Llewellyn Publications, (1992). * Celtic Druidism: Beliefs, practices & celebrations Beliefs and Practices: Beliefs and practices of the ancient Celts are being pieced together by modern Druids. Because so much information has been lost, this is not an easy task. Some findings are: *Specialties: Within ancient Druidism, there were three specialties. "A general categorisation of the three different grades accords the arts to the bards, the skills of prophecy and divination to the Ovates and philosophical, teaching, counseling and judicial tasks to the Druid." 1 *The Bards were "the keepers of tradition, of the memory of the tribe - they were the custodians of the sacredness of the Word." In Ireland, they trained for 12 years learning grammar, hundreds of stories, poems, philosophy, the Ogham tree-alphabet. bullet The Ovates worked with the processes of death and regeneration. They were the native healers of the Celts. They specialized in divination, conversing with the ancestors, and prophesizing the future. *The Druids and Druidesses formed the professional class in Celtic society. They performed the functions of modern day priests, teachers, ambassadors, astronomers, genealogists, philosophers, musicians, theologians, scientists, poets and judges. They underwent lengthy training: some sources say 20 years. Druids led all public rituals, which were normally held within fenced groves of sacred trees. In their role as priests, "they acted not as mediators between God and man, but as directors of ritual, as shamans guiding and containing the rites." Most leaders mentioned in the surviving records were male. It is not known whether female Druids were considered equal to their male counterparts, or whether they were restricted to special responsibilities. References to women exercising religious power might have been deleted from the record by Christian monks during the Celtic Christian era. *Goddesses and Gods: The Celts did not form a single religious or political unity. They were organized into tribes spread across what is now several countries. As a result, of the 374 Celtic deities which have been found, over 300 occur only once in the archaeological record; they are believed to be local deities. There is some evidence that their main pantheon of Gods and Goddesses might have totaled about 3 dozen - perhaps precisely 33 (a frequently occurring magical number in Celtic literature). Some of the more famous are: Arawn, Brigid, Cernunnos, Cerridwen, Danu, Herne, Lugh, Morgan, Rhiannon and Taranis. Many Celtic deities were worshipped in triune (triple aspect) form. Triple Goddesses were often sisters. *Afterlife: They believed that the dead were transported to the Otherworld by the God Bile (AKA Bel, Belenus). Life continued in this location much as it had before death. The ancient Druids believed that the soul was immortal. After the person died in the Otherworld, their soul reincarnates and lives again in another living entity -- either in a plant or the body of a human or other animal. After a person has learned enough at this level, they move on after death to a higher realm, which has its own Otherworld. This continues until the individual reaches the highest realm, the "Source." A Druidic visitor to this web site wrote: "All things are created from the Source, including the Gods. We are just sparks from its flame." At every birth, the Celts mourned the death of a person in the Otherworld which made the new birth possible. *Creation Myth: No Druidic creation story appears to have survived, although there are numerous accounts of the supernatural creation of islands, mountains, etc. *Baptism: There is some evidence that the Celts had a baptism initiation ceremony similar to those found in Buddhist, Christian, Essene, Hindu, Islamic, and Jainist sacred texts. Other researchers dismiss baptism as a forgery by Christian scribes as they transferred Celtic material to written form. *Moral code: Druids do not follow the Wiccan Rede which states (in modern English) one is free to do anything, as long as it harms nobody. The closest analogy are the Celtic Virtues of honor, loyalty, hospitality, honesty, justice and courage. "Daven" briefly describes the Virtues as follows: "Briefly stated the virtue of Honor requires one to adhere to their oaths and do the right thing, even if it will ultimately hurt others or oneself in the process. A Druid is obligated to remain true to friends, family and leaders thus exhibiting the virtue of Loyalty. Hospitality demands that a Druid be a good host when guests are under one's roof. Honesty insists that one tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth to yourself, your gods and your people. Justice desires the Druid understands everyone has an inherent worth and that an assault to that worth demands recompense in one form or another. Courage for the Druid does not always wear a public face; it is standing-strong-in-the-face-of-adversity, alone or with companions. Sometimes Courage is getting up and going about a daily routine when pain has worn one down without complaint or demur." 2 *Divination: Druids used many techniques to foretell the future: meditation, study of the flight of birds, interpreting dreams, and interpreting the pattern of sticks thrown to the ground. Ancient symbols: *The Celtic Tree of Life, as interpreted here by Welsh artist Jen Delyth, shows a concept if the cosmos in which the universe is in the form of a tree whose roots and branches join. *The flag of the Isle of Man, as interpreted here by Stuart Notholt, contains a triskele. It is an ancient Druidic symbol consisting of three curved branches, bent legs or arms radiating from the center of the symbol. 3 *The Sun wheel or Wheel of Taranis honors the Celtic sun god. It is in the form of a wheel with six spokes. *Modern symbols: These include: *Wreath and staves consisting of a wreath with two vertical staves. *Awen symbol: This is a symbol drawn in the form of three pillars, in which the outer two are sloped towards the center pillar, as in the center of the above symbol. Sometimes, one or three dots are added above the pillars. The symbol has been in use since the 17th century; it recalls the Druidic fascination with the number three. "Awen" means inspiration in Middle Welsh. The left ray represents female energy; the right: male energy; the middle: the harmonious balance of male and female Seasonal Days of Celebration: Druids, past and present, celebrate a series of fire-festivals, on the first of each of four months. Each would start at sunset and last for three days. Great bonfires would be built on the hilltops. Cattle would be driven between two bonfires to assure their fertility; couples would jump over a bonfire or run between two bonfires as well. The festivals are: *Samhain (or Samhuinn) Literally the "end of warm season". November 1 marked the combined Feast of the Dead and New Year's Day for the Celtic calendar. It is a time when the veil between our reality and that of the Otherworld is most easily penetrated. This fire festival was later adopted by the Christians as All Soul's Eve, and later became the secular holiday Halloween. *Imbolc (or Brighid) Literally "in the belly". February 1 marked The Return of Light. This is the date when the first stirrings of life were noticeable and when the land might first be plowable. This has been secularized as Groundhog Day. *Beltaine (or Bealteinne). May 1 was the celebration of The Fires of Bel. This was the peak of blossom season, when domesticated animals bear their young. This is still celebrated today as May Day. Youths dance around the May pole in what is obviously a reconstruction of an earlier fertility ritual. *Lughnasad (or Lughnasadh, Lammas). August 1 was The Feast of Lugh, named after the God of Light. A time for celebration and the harvest. There were occasional references in ancient literature to: *the winter solstice, typically December 21, when the nighttime is longest *the summer solstice, typically June 21, when the nighttime is shortest Copyright © 1997 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance http://www.religioustolerance.org/druid2.htm Latest update: 2007-MAR-30 Author: B.A. Robinson Hyperlinks last checked: 2007-MAR-30 ** LOOKING FOR GIFTS FOR DRUIDS? RAVEN'S SUGGESTIONS: Looking for a gift for your Celtic Pagan friends and Druids ? We have quite a few items that would be suitable: How about beautiful Celtic Pagan art including God and Goddess plaques from Maxine Miller, or statues of the Goddesses Maeve, Danu and Cerridwen from Keltic Jackalope? We also carry Paul Borda's “ “Triple Brigit” statue. Other gifts may include items like these, one of our Celtic themed t-shirts, chalices and other items. ** NEW BOOKS ON DRUIDRY GODDESS ALIVE!: INVITING CELTIC & NORSE GODDESSES INTO YOUR LIFE by Michelle Skye (Author) Book Blurb: The seasons, moon phases, and even our personal experiences can be linked to the Divine Feminine. They have a face . . . they have a name . . . they have a goddess! Meet thirteen vibrant Celtic and Norse goddesses very much alive in today's world. Explore each deity's unique mythology and see how she relates to Sabbats and moon rites. Lyrical meditations will guide you to otherworldly realms where you'll meet Danu, the Irish mother goddess of wisdom, and Freya, the Norse goddess of love and war. As you progress spiritually, you'll begin to see Aine in the greening of the trees and recognize Brigid in a seed's life-giving potential. Goddess Alive! also includes crafts, invocation rituals, and other magical activities to help you connect with each goddess. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Skye (Massachusetts) is a Pagan Priestess with over ten years' experience following the Path of the Wise. An active member of the Wiccan and Pagan communities, she teaches classes, leads workshops, and has founded Massachusetts Pagan Teens and Sisterhood of the Crescent Moon. Her articles have appeared in Circle Magazine and SageWoman, and she's a regular contributor to Llewellyn annuals and Renaissance Magazine. ** THE DRUIDS by Ronald Hutton BOOK BLURB: Ronald Hutton’s latest book is the first comprehensive study of what people have thought about the ancient Druids and why. Written in a racy and accessible style, it is essential reading for everyone interested in exploring our mysterious past. Most books written on the Druids hitherto have been by archaeologists specialising in the Iron Age, who have occupied a great deal of space trying to find things to say about the ‘original’ ancient priesthood. Most have then devoted a final section of their books to people who have called themselves Druids since 1700 – until recently with contemptuous dismissal. Hutton’s contention is that the sources for the ancient Druids are so few and unreliable that almost nothing certain can be said about them. Instead, he reverses the traditional balance of interest to look at the many ways in which Druids have been imagined in Britain since 1500, and what this tells us about modern and early modern society. In the process, he achieves many new insights into the development of British national identities, established and ‘alternative’ religions, literary culture, fraternal organisation and protest movements. He also suggests new ways in which the discipline of archaeology can be perceived – which will delight some practitioners and enrage others. Hardcover: 240 pages Publisher: Hambledon Continuum (May 1, 2007) List Price: $29.95 ** WAY OF THE DRUID: RENAISSANCE OF A CELTIC RELIGION AND ITS RELEVANCE by Graeme K. Talboys (Author) Book Blurb: A thorough explanation of Celtic history and beliefs is followed by an analysis of their view and its modern relevance. After all, it's the religion we all used to follow in the West. Massively comprehensive but very accessible, all students of religion and serious seekers will find this definitive guide to what Druid means and how to be one today. List Price: $29.95 Paperback: 424 pages Publisher: O Books (January 25, 2006) ** SACRED CELTIC ANIMALS by Marion Davies Book Blurb: Animals affected the everyday lives of the Celts. The Celts saw animals as representations, representatives and messengers of their deities. They took animal names for themselves and their tribes and saw portents and auguries in animals' movements and behavior. Animals featured extensively in Celtic legends and decorated their weapons, houses and accoutrements. Celtic shamans linked with animals and their warriors and hunters invoked the power of totem animals to help in their endeavors. This book details the myths, legends and correspondences linking the Celts and the animal world. Brilliantly illustrated by Simon Rouse. List Price: $23.95 Paperback: 260 pages Publisher: Capall Bann Pub (November 2001) ** THE ISLES OF THE MANY GODS: An A-Z of the Pagan Gods & Goddesses worshipped in Ancient Britain during the first Millenium CE through to the Middle Ages (Paperback) by David, Rankine , Sorita, D'Este Book Blurb: THE ISLES OF THE MANY GODS : An A-Z of the Pagan Gods & Goddesses worshipped in Ancient Britain during the first Millenium CE through to the Middle Ages By David Rankine & Sorita D'Este The British Isles have long been seen as a place of mystery & magic. For many thousands of years successive waves of invaders each brought their own gods & goddesses with them, often assimilating the beliefs of the tribes they conquered. The Celtic races merged with the indigenous people, they were conquered by the Romans, who brought with them deities from all over the Roman Empire (including Greece & Egypt). After them came the Saxons & other Germanic tribes, further adding to the rich tapestry that forms part of our spiritual heritage today. The Isles of the Many Gods brings together, for the first time, information on the worship of these deities in Britain, in an easy to use A-Z. It includes both the native & immigrant gods & goddesses, from well known gods like Apollo, Brigit, Freya, Herne, Isis, Mars & Woden to lesser known ones like Abandinus, Arianrhod, Genii Cucullati, Midir, Vitiris & the Wheel God. There are more than 240 entries providing information regarding the evidence of their worship in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland & the Isle of Man. Drawing from archaeology, architecture, art, artefacts, currency, place-names & literature thereby providing an excellent reference work for those interested in the spiritual beliefs of our ancestors. About the Authors Sorita D'Este and David Rankine are internationally recognized for their research and writing on mythology, spirituality and magickal practices of both ancient and modern times. They have collaborated on a number of projects in the past, including "The Guises of the Morrigan" and "Circle of Fire". Between them they have authored more than a dozen books, sometimes working with other authors with expertise in a particular area. In addition to books, Sorita and David have also contributed many articles to magazines, journals and websites over the years. Notably they were major contributors to the very successful D'Agostini "Enhancing Your Mind Body Spirit" partwork. They live and work in Wales (UK). For more information visit: www.avalonia.co.uk Product Details List Price: $32.99 Paperback: 308 pages Publisher: Avalonia (January 24, 2007) ** NEW BOOKS COSMIC MEDITATION by Michael Bertiaux This new edition of Cosmic Meditation is the first in a series of forthcoming works from Fulgur by the philosopher and occult author Michael Bertiaux. An introduction to a way of thinking, Cosmic Meditation explores the universe from the standpoint of the spiritist philosophy. Through a simple, but multi-layered narrative the author guides the reader on an inner journey of exploration, making connections between the metaphysical and spiritist philosophies. The original work was privately printed and first appeared in limited numbers nearly thirty years ago. In this new edition the text has been revised, corrected and augmented with a new introduction and many illustrations drawn especially for this edition. The paperback edition is limited to 700 numbered copies, 669 of which are for sale. List Price: $33.95 Paperback Large 8vo, 230mm x 148mm 100 pages, tipped-in colour frontispiece, printed in red and black, blocked card covers ** THE QABALAH – THE TESTAMENT OF SOLOMON by Steven Ashe (Editor) Book Blurb: The oldest surviving copies of The Testament of Solomon were written in the same grammatic form as New Testament Greek and have been dated by scholars as originating from the period of the first to fourth centuries (C.E.). This English translation of the work ascribed to the authorship of the Old Testament King Solomon of the Book of Kings the work describes how Solomon is enabled to build the Temple by commanding demons by means of a magical ring and its five pointed seal entrusted to him by the Archangel Michael. Solomon states that he wrote his testament before his death so that the children of Israel would know the powers and shapes of the demons, and the names of the angels who have power over them. A self-help manual against demonic activity. With a foreword by Steven Ashe, author of Qabalah of 50 Gates: 2002 (Mandrake of Oxford). List Price: $25.50 Paperback: 88 pages Publisher: Lulu Enterprises, UK Ltd (February 16, 2007) Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.8 x 0.4 inches ** SINISTER FORCES-THE NINE: A GRIMOIRE OF AMERICAN POLITICAL WITCHCRAFT by Peter Levenda , Jim Hougan (Foreword) Book Blurb: The roots of coincidence and conspiracy in American politics, crime, and culture are examined in this book that exposes new connections between religion, political conspiracy, and occultism. From ancient American civilization and the mysterious mound-builder culture to the Salem witch trials, the birth of Mormonism during a ritual of ceremonial magic by Joseph Smith, Jr., and Operations Paperclip and Bluebird. Though not a work of speculative history, this exposé is founded on primary source material and historical documents. Fascinating details are revealed, including the bizarre world of "wandering bishops" who appeared throughout the Kennedy assassinations; a CIA mind control program run amok in the United States and Canada; a famous American spiritual leader who had ties to Lee Harvey Oswald in the weeks and months leading up to the assassination of President Kennedy; and the "Manson secret." List Price: $29.95 Paperback: 395 pages Publisher: Trine Day (June 1, 2007) ** THE HERMETIC KABBALAH OF ANNA KINGSFORD by Anna Kingsford (Author) Book Blurb: The Hermetic Kabbalah of Anna Kingsford, The Credo of Christendom & other addresses and essays on Esoteric Christianity, by Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland represented for the 21st century enquirer. In 1883 Anna Kingsford was made President of the Theosophical Society, promoted a Western, Christian and Hermetic Esotericism. She claimed to receive mystical insights in trance states and sleep, she was an advocate of women's rights anti-vivisection & vegetarianism. Mahatma Gandhi is said to have sold her books. List Price: $21.95 Paperback: 232 pages Publisher: Lulu Enterprises, UK Ltd (May 22, 2007) Language: English ** PSYCHIC ENERGY CODEX: AWAKENING YOUR SUBTLE SENSES by Michelle Belanger Book Blurb: An authoritative manual for psychic development, The Psychic Energy Codex explores the roots of modern metaphysical beliefs, including the doctrine of the subtle body in the Western tradition, the origin of belief in the chakras, and core principles behind time-honored techniques such as meditation and creative visualization. Like Belanger's Psychic Vampire Codex, The Psychic Energy Codex makes esoteric topics accessible and understandable. The Psychic Energy Codex . . . - De-mystifies psychic experience, taking a practical, rational approach to phenomena from psychometry to spirit communication with a style that will engage beginners and experts alike - Provides many hands-on exercises that encourage readers to develop their own beliefs based on direct personal experience - Teaches readers the underlying principles of psychic phenomena that can then be applied to any interaction with the subtle world Written in Belanger's engaging, almost novelistic style, the parts of this book that tell her own story draw readers into the possibility that they, too, can develop their own innate abilities. * Try this at home: Grow your own psychic energy. Learn everything there is to learn about subtle energy bodies-- our own and others. * A step-by-step guide through the metaphysical wilderness and a plethora of material on all things psychic. * Contains a full chapter on how to form a Psychic Study group. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Belanger is an energy worker and psychic vampire who has been studying magick and metaphysics for twenty years. Founder and head of House Kheperu, she has been leading workshops on magick and energy work for nearly a decade. Michelle has been featured on various radio shows and television documentaries, including Peter Anthony Holder's Soul Call, the X-Zone, XYTV's American Vampires, and WE's Night Bites. She is a recognized expert on the gothic and vampire subcultures and is the author of Psychic Dreamwalking, The Psychic Vampire Codex, and The Black Veil. Michelle lives in Brunswick, Ohio. List Price: $19.95 Paperback: 288 pages Publisher: Weiser Books (August 2007) ** QABALAH - THE COMPLETE GOLDEN DAWN INITIATE by Steven Ashe Book Blurb: This is a mammoth work of monumental importance to the student-participant's understanding of the Golden Dawn knowledge system. An insightful approach to the evolved Golden Dawn tradition that will delight the intermediate to advanced student of the Qabalah whilst providing the serious enquirer with a detailed insight upon the bare bones of the GD system revealed by Regardie, Crowley and Francis King. History of the Golden Dawn Tradition from seed-sources (1875) to Quantum Chaos Magic (2000). The Astral Sephiroth - Full text of Qabalah of 50 Gates. The Talismanic magic of the 72 Angels of the Shemhamphorash & the Birthchart. Key Texts from the Zohar of direct relevance to Golden Dawn's philosophical model of the Tree of Life. Initiated Tarot Lore ( ... not the standard speculative essay but real insight into the development of Tarot iconography) Enochian Magic (illustrated). Appendices: Detailing the Symbolism of the GD teachings (illustrated). List Price: $43.50 Paperback: 588 pages Publisher: Lulu Enterprises, UK Ltd (March 28, 2007) ** THE GARDNERIAN BOOK OF SHADOWS by Steven Ashe Book Blurb: : This is a Gardnerian Witches Book of Shadows for the practitioner of Wicca. Book of Shadows includes: Casting the Circle Drawing Down the Moon The Charge of the Goddess The Sabbat Rituals Wiccan Chants Wiccan Healing The Priestess and the Sword The Warning The Eightfold Way The Sight Astral Projection The Working Tools Working Skyclad The Witches Rune Consecrating Tools The Old Laws List Price: $19.50 Printed: 62 pages, 6" x 9", perfect binding, black and white interior ink Publisher: Steven Ashe Copyright: © 2006 Glastonbury Books Standard Copyright License ** SECRET SYMBOLS OF THE ROSICRUCIANS Vonda Park Folio Edition Book Blurb: This 18th century compendium, drew on 17th century alchemical sources such as Adrian von Mynsich, with mystical pieces from Valentin Weigel, and Abraham von Franckenberg's works on Jacob Boehme. It was an important and influential source of Rosicrucian ideas, albeit filtered through an 18th century perspective. List Price:$16.95 Complete version. Quality Paperback Journal ** NEW TAROT DECKS: * AFRICAN AMERICAN TAROT by: Lo Scarabeo List Price $19.95 The culture of two continents blends together in this one-of-a-kind tarot deck-creating a fresh perspective on what it means to be African-American. ** TAROT OF THE ELVES KIT by: Mark McElroy List Price: $29.95 Do the Elves have something to teach us? These realistic, opulent figures-not unlike computer animated characters from the popular Lord of the Rings film-will capture your heart and mind. Mark McElroy's fun, creative approach to tarot brings the Elves' fairy tale to life as you seek out insights in this whimsical world. FROM MARK MCELROY'S SITE: http://www.tarotoftheelves.com/ Introducing the Tarot of the Elves The Tarot of the Elves is a revolutionary new way to experience the depth and beauty of Tarot. Created by writer Mark McElroy and artist Davide Corsi, the Tarot of the Elves is the first contemporary deck integrating Tarot's themes and structure with a fully-realized fantasy mythology. The Deck. While preserving the traditional meanings of the cards, the Major Arcana depicts the epic journey of Prince Alberich, a foolish and irresponsible son of the Royal House of King Oberon. Dokkalfar, a treacherous Dark Elf magician, murders the king and Queen, shattering Alberich's sheltered life. The rest of the Majors follow Alberich's quest to bring Dokkalfar to justice -- and retrieve four precious magical implements that possess the power to restore the Royal Parents to life. Each suit of the Minor Arcana tells the story of how the Elven people came into possession of the Four Implements: the Wand of Victory, the Cup of Contentment, the Sword of Consciousness, and the Disc of Desire. Illustrations for each card suggest familiar meanings ... but also depict fresh, new stories from the Elven mythology that informs Prince Alberich's world. Subtle use of color makes suits easy to identify at a glance ... and, to showcase the brilliant artwork, the cards are free of keywords or titles of any kind. The Novel. The Tarot of the Elves is the first Tarot deck published with a companion novella -- a 30,000-word adventure that brings the stories of the cards to life. The novella relates the story of Panopael, a spoiled Elven schoolgirl, whose encounter with her grandmother's Tarot deck sends her on a magical journey back in time. Soon, Panopael finds herself face to face with half-forgotten mythic figures: wise King Oberon, the mysterious Queen Alva, and the panicked Prince Alberich. As Panpoael lives through the story of Dokkalfar's attack, her experiences reconnect her with a rich heritage of myth and magic. And as the story follows the path of the Major Arcana, card by card, Panopael discovers her own ability to use the Tarot for divination and inspiration. Along with the novel, a wealth of information -- the history of the deck, a divinatory dictionary, the four suit stories, and special spread -- are also included in the companion guide. The Experience. Though the stories behind these cards are entirely original, the meanings of each card mirror those assigned to the popular Waite-Smith Tarot -- so anyone already familiar with that delightful deck will be able to read the Tarot of the Elves with ease. And while the cards may be read intuitively, reading the stories in the companion guide is a delightful way to enhance your connection with the cards -- and experience the Tarot in a vivid and exciting way. I created this website to introduce the deck, expand on the material provided in the companion guide, and help you make the most of your personal copy of the Tarot of the Elves. It's my sincere wish that you'll feel as much a bond as I do with the Elves of Alfheimr ... and that these cards can become a trusted and powerful tool for personal meditation, inspiration, and divination. Be sure to check out the official Tarot of the Elves blog for insights into how you can apply the deck to your personal, professional, and creative challenges. And, as always, I invite you to contact me with your questions, ideas, and impressions! Peace and prosperity, Mark McElroy ** THE HIDDEN PATH by: Raven Grimassi & Stephanie Taylor & Mickie Mueller List Price $19.95 Raven Grimassi, Stephanie Taylor and Mickie Mueller - creators of The Well Worn Path-introduce another innovative system exclusively for Pagans, Witches, and Wiccans. Steeped in Pagan tradition, practice, and symbolism, The Hidden Path guides you to the tenets of this nature-based spirituality. Sensuous, vivid artwork by award-winning Pagan artist Mickie Mueller captures the Sabbats, the Fates, Karma, Centers of Power, the Great Rite, and other Pagan practices and beliefs still relevant today. Use this multi-faceted tool for celebrating seasonal rites, creating ritual experiences, pathworking, and accessing the hidden Mysteries of the Craft. You'll also find a story woven throughout the deck for creating mystical alignments between you and the spiritual keys in the card imagery. The enclosed guidebook features interpretations and keywords of each card, divination spreads, and suggestions for incorporating the cards into your Sabbat celebrations. IN DEPTH DESCRIPTION: THE HIDDEN PATH What treasures does the Hidden Path hold for you? Insights into the ancient wisdom of your craft— a beautiful way to align with mystical realms and magical energies— a powerful tool for receiving guidance about the possibilities ahead on your life's path? The gifts that await are as unique as each person who embarks on the journey. Multi-faceted and magical, The Hidden Path can be used by those on a nature-based spiritual path for divination, pathworking, celebrating seasonal rites, creating ritual experiences, and accessing the hidden Mysteries of the Craft. Bestselling Wiccan author Raven Grimassi and High Priestess Stephanie Taylor have collaborated once again with award-winning Pagan artist Mickie Mueller to create these transformative cards that can be used alone or as a complement to their popular Well Worn Path kit. The Hidden Path kit contains 40 cards, a 216-page guidebook, and a black organdy bag. ** NECRONOMICON TAROT by: Anne Stokes & Donald Tyson Price $26.95 Donald Tyson strikes again with another innovative tribute to renowned occult writer H. P. Lovecraft. Tysons trilogy of works—inspired by the magical adventures of the mad sorcerer Abdul Alhazred—achieves brilliant completion with Necronomicon Tarot. Gruesome gods, sinister monsters, and other strange creatures lurk throughout this fully functional tarot deck. All seven rulers of the Old Ones from Tysons Necronomicon star among the decks trumps, including the great amphibian deity Dagon as the Hierophant and the ancient witch Ithakuah as the Hermit. The symbolism of these vividly illustrated cards corresponds with astrology, the elements, and the Golden Dawn, while the decks structure honors the boundaries of traditional tarot. The enclosed book features detailed descriptions of the cards and the meaning for both upright and reversed positions. Tyson also offers divination guidance and a special divination spread. IN DEPTH DESCRIPTION: NECRONOMICON TAROT Grim Agents of Cosmic Forces... In the early twentieth century, legendary horror writer H.P. Lovecraft described an ancient tome as "the unmentionable Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred . . . a book which I had never seen, but of which I had heard monstrous things whispered." In the early twenty-first century, best-selling author Donald Tyson wove the myriad rumors and whispers of Lovecraft's dread grimoire into the epic fantasy novels Necronomicon and Alhazred. Intended as a trilogy, this tarot completes Tyson's formidable work. The Necronomicon Tarot brings the phantasmagoric desert wanderings of Alhazred to life in a stunningly visceral deck and companion book. Seventy-eight captivating illustrations by fantasy artist Anne Stokes capture the mythic and monstrous world of Tyson's Necronomicon while remaining true to the underlying structure and tradition of tarot. Prepare to enter a world where the accursed and tormented poet wanders in search of the greatest and darkest magic — divination with the dead. This kit includes 78-card tarot deck with a black organdy bag and 240-page companion tarot book. ** CALENDAR: AUGUST/SEPTEMBER Upcoming events from Horizon Oasis Summer Classes at Edge of the Circle Books: August 1st : Shaman Meet Up Call for 206-726-1999 for information and more details. August 8th : O.T.O 7-9 PM. See below for more information. August 18th : Class: Intro to Druidism, taught by Oscar: 4PM. $15.00 per person. August 19th : Pagan Potluck 2-4 PM. September 5th : Shaman Meetup Call for 206-726-1999 for information and more details. ** ONGOING: HORIZON OASIS O.T.O ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS Horizon Oasis is a local body of Ordo Templi Orientis, the Order of Oriental Templars, or Order of the Temple of the East. We are located in Seattle , Washington. HORIZON OASIS O.T.O. PRESENTS: LIBER XV: THE GNOSTIC MASS Second Saturdays of each month, 6PM . Doors close promptly at ritual time. Horizon offers a public performance of Liber XV, the Gnostic Mass the second Saturday and fourth Sunday of each month. This ceremonial pageant of the lance and the grail is a great opportunity to observe Thelemic ritual firsthand, as well as to meet with others who may share similar interests. For information on attending Gnostic mass, see How To Attend a Mass, or contact mass@seattle-oto.org. HOLY WELL CIRCLE Open Circle, Wiccan Meets at the Edge every Sunday from 5PM -8PM cybra@earthlink.net Subject Line: Holy Well ** SERVICES AVAILABLE AT EDGE OF THE CIRCLE BOOKS TAROT READINGS /SPIRITUAL ADVICE UnCommonSense Tarot Tarot readings Erica (Raven) Branch-Butler Please inquire about Tarot Parties, classes and other events Available every day except Wednesdays, 12:30-8.30PM. ** CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS Edge of the Circle Newsletter is looking for writers and artists! Our Focus has been on the Pagan community, Sabbatic Witchcraft, Hoodoo, Western Ceremonial Magic, African Traditional Religions, Asatru and Heathenry, Wicca, Celtic Paganism and more obscure aspects of the Occult. If you have an article or art to share, please email golanv1@yahoo.com with "Newsletter" in the subject line. Please send only original material. All Copyrighted material will be honored and credited to/as the property of the original writer. ** This concludes our Newsletter for this month. Look for us again on the first of September. Sincerely, Raven