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Friday, February 1, 2008


HAPPY CANDLEMAS!!!!! Welcome to the 19th 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 ** ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Special thanks to : Erynn Rowan Laurie for permissions to use her lovely poem, and for the interview I did with her which will be featured on the Edge Blog, which has been overhauled for readability. POEM: Brighid Dreams the Poet By Erynn Rowan Laurie I want a poet with words of honey and bitter dregs of red Hungarian wine dressed in the bones of birds with wild ecstatic eyes and feet that dance the bonfire's rim I want a poet with many souls souls of mice and tigers souls of ravenous hungry ghosts and the singing souls of rivers of wallowing, bellowing buffalo souls of moths, and geckos I want a poet with eyes of crystal shards that see through flesh and spy the hearts of trees and mountains' bones with thin, strong fingers to pluck the hawthorns' bloom in Beltain's dawning dews I want a poet with ballads for breath and chants to scatter fear from the deeps of night or call the wren from her nest with spells to lay children to sleep and bind the rising moon I want a poet with fur and claws and hot, panting tongue thirsty and seeking the spring About Erynn: Erynn lives in Everett, Washington and has been involved in the Pagan communities of the Pacific Northwest since 1984. An independent Pagan Scholar and one of the founders of the Celtic Reconstruction movement, she writes and teaches on many aspects of Celtic Paganism, Druidism and Filidecht. She offers readings, consultations and other services by appointment. If you're going to be at Pantheacon, check out Erynn's workshops: Filidecht: Poetic Madness and Healing Friday 03:30 PM Santa Clara Erynn Rowan Laurie discusses the Gaelic mystic poetic tradition of filidecht and its relation to holymadness and healing work. Ogam for Divination and Magic Saturday 03:30 PM San Jose Join Erynn Rowan Laurie, author of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, for an exploration of the early Irish Ogam alphabet. Discussion of techniques for divination and magic. Erynn will also be hosting a Celtic Reconstructionist study group at Edge of the Circle Books: The next one is Thursday, February 10th from 7-9 PM. Please call 206-726-1999 for more information. LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION FOR CANDLEMAS? RAVEN'S SUGGESTIONS: BOOKS FOR CANDLEMAS: OGAM: WEAVING WORD WISDOM by Erynn Rowan Laurie Paperback: 312 pages Publisher: Megalithica Books (July 31, 2007) Book Blurb: Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom is a breakthrough in Ogam divination and magical studies. Rather than working from the commonly known tree alphabet paradigm, Erynn Rowan Laurie takes us back to the roots of each letter's name, exploring its meanings in the context of Gaelic language and culture. Like the Norse runes, each letter is associated with an object or a concept -- "sulfur", "a bar of metal", "terror". These letters are deeply enmeshed in a web of meaning both cultural and spiritual, lending power and weight to their symbolism. With two decades of experience with the Ogam and over thirty years of working with divination, Erynn offers insights into the many profound meanings hidden in the Ogam letters and their lore. She explains each letter in context and shows how to expand the system in new and innovative ways while acknowledging and maintaining respect for Ogam's traditional language and culture. In this book, you will find ways to use the Ogam for divination, ideas on incorporating Ogam into ritual, discussions of how Ogam relates to Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, and instructions for creating your own set of Ogam feda or letters for your personal use. From Green Wolf: Numerous books have been written on Celtic Ogam. What many don't realize is that there's a lot more to Ogam than memorizing trees. Erynn Rowan Laurie (The Cauldron of Poesy, A Circle of Stones: Journeys and Meditations for Modern Celts, Not Your Mama's Tree Ogam) presents a much broader, deeper view of Ogam. Stemming from years of experience and a Celtic Reconstructionist background, Erynn writes with authority and impeccable scholarship. However, this is no dry, boring read. Her writing style invites the reader to join her as she explains the history of Ogam (including some of the misconceptions and mistakes commonly found in modern sources), introduces us to each one of the Ogam and their origins, and offers ideas for divination layouts. There's plenty more to the magic of Ogam than divination, though, and Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom makes it quite clear that if you thought you knew everything about Ogam--you're in for a big surprise! Table of Contents (abbreviated) Acknowledgments Foreword: Walking the Path to Ogam Preface: Seeing the Ogam NOT for the Trees Chapter 1: Introduction to the Ogam and Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism Chapter 2: Weaving Word Withies: The Letters Chapter 3: Working with the Feda Chapter 4: Basic Ogam Divination Chapter 5: Three Cauldrons Meditations and the Dragon of Breath Chapter 6: Using Ogam in Ritual Chapter 7: Creating Your Feda Chapter 8: Advanced Divination Techniques Afterword Glossary and Pronunciation Guide Selected Bibliography Index ** CANDLEMAS: FEAST OF FLAMES by Amber K List Price: $16.95 Paperback: 244 pages Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (December 1, 2001) Book Blurb: Beyond the darkness of winter, there is an oasis of light and warmth on the journey from solstice to spring. Known as Candlemas, Imbolg, Brigantia, or Lupercus, it is a hope-filled celebration held in early February to welcome the returning light and the promise of spring. Candlemas sheds light on the origins, lore, and customs of this ancient holy day with: Myths and stories: Brigit the Goddess, Brigid the Saint, and her meaning today Candlemas magick and divination: flame scrying, hearthside divination, candle magick, and protection magick Late winter goodies and feasts: Brede's Braid Bread, Guiness Stew, Bubble and Squeak, Mulled Cider or Wine February festivals and traditions: rituals for purification, blessings, and renewal, from the Irish, British, Scots, Welsh, Norwegian, Greek, Roman, and Chinese cultures Seasonal crafts and games: Brigid's crosses or sun wheels, "Begging for Biddy," and a Brigit corn dolly ** NEW STUFF: Due to numerous requests, we are now carrying books on Rastafarianism, including the Kebra Nagast. ** NEW BOOKS: ** ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE: QUEEN OF THE TROUBADOURS by Jean Markale List Price: $16.95 Paperback: 272 pages Publisher: Inner Traditions; 1st U.S. Ed edition (October 23, 2007) Book Blurb: A comprehensive view of the mythical and historic significance of the great medieval queen • Explains that courtly love was not a platonic and intellectual affectation but an initiatic process of male transcendence akin to Tantra • Shows that Eleanor’s embodiment of divine power undermined the pattern of patriarchy • Reveals how Eleanor inspired the powerful influence of the Arthurian cycle’s figures Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) has been long noted for her political and cultural achievements that profoundly shaped twelfth-century Europe. Culturally, beyond her role as wife of kings Louis VII of France and Henry II of England and mother of kings Richard and John, she inspired the huge diffusion of the Arthurian cycle and the Celtic myths underpinning it. Without Eleanor, figures such as Merlin, Arthur, and Guinevere (for whom Eleanor served as model) would never have assumed the enormous symbolic value they now possess. Politically, she embodied divine power that ended the dark age of patriarchy, playing a crucial role not only in the development of the Plantagenet Empire, but also in the granting of charters to merchants and craftsmen that led to the birth of the modern middle class. But her greatest influence, still shaping modern sensibilities, was her role as the symbol of courtly love, which was not a mere diversion of the aristocracy but a process of male initiation and transcendence that bore a close resemblance to Indian Tantra. While the Virgin Mary was restoring a feminine face to medieval religious life, Eleanor embodied the adulterous queen who incarnates sovereignty--the woman who shares authority with the men who act in her name, but only after that power has been transmitted to them through an initiatory process leading to sexual union. ** LOVER'S GUIDE TO PALMISTRY: FINDING LOVE IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND by Jon Saint-Germain List Price: $16.95 Paperback: 209 pages Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (January 1, 2008) Book Blurb: Never mind the eyes . . . try gazing at the hands of a potential lover to see what he or she is all about. Jon Saint-Germain takes hand analysis to sexy new heights in this one-of-a-kind palmistry guide to finding true love. Discover how to spot a mate who's romantic, good in bed, sensitive, adventurous, kinky, philosophical, or down-to-earth. Simply by studying their hand shape, fingers, palm, and lines, you'll be able identify the passionate lover, the faithful partner, the good provider, and the nurturing parent. This book also outlines the six elemental hand shapes—fire, water, earth, air, metal, and wood—and reveals the distinct personality traits of each. Thanks to a handy compatibility profile and plenty of illustrations, it's easy to figure out who is right for you. About the Author: Jon Saint-Germain (Indiana) is a professional palm reader who grew up in a family of psychic readers. He appears at corporate events, on the radio, and elsewhere. His extensive knowledge of magick and the occult led him to become a consultant for the Learning Channel. He is the author of Palmistry 101 and Runic Palmistry.Saint-Germain's interest in palm reading began when he was just six years old. Having learned the ancient art from his mother and grandmother, he soon realized that his family's palm reading techniques were far different from traditional methods. He set out on a quest to find the origins of their palm reading system, and what he found was a mystery-it had been passed down to them generations ago by a Scandinavian friend of the family. But who this person was remains unclear even today, despite the digging he and his family have done. Saint-Germain began to incorporate Norse runestones into his palm reading technique. ** THE KEBRA NEGAST: THE LOST BIBLE OF RASTAFARIAN WISDOM AND FAITH FROM ETHIOPIA AND JAMAICA by Gerald Hausman (Editor), Ziggy Marley (Introduction) List Price: $22.95 Hardcover: 208 pages Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st ed edition (October 15, 1997) The Kebra Negast is the Bible of the ancient people of Ethiopia, which incorporates the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and depicts Jesus Christ as black. Banned in parts of the Caribbean to keep down insurrection over the centuries, this history has been handed down orally by the people of Jamaica, Haiti and the West Indies. This volume incorporates this oral tradition and the single extant English translation, published by Egyptologist Wallis Budge in 1922, with an introduction by Ziggy Marley. Because the subject of the text presents an African view of the Old and New Testament, the Kebra Negast has long been prohibited in many Caribbean nations and this ban is enforced even today. However, it has survived through the spoken word, as the cornerstone of the Rastafarian religion and was a significant influence on the lyrics of the late Bob Marley, among others.60 line drawings. ** YOUR ALTAR: CREATING A SACRED SPACE FOR PRAYER & MEDITATION by Sandra Kynes (Author) List Price: $ 18.50 Paperback: 197 pages Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (Dec 1 2007) Book Blurb: A reminder of the Divine, a space for spiritual encounter, or a focal point for meditation—the altar is a powerful tool for people of all faiths. Sandra Kynes demonstrates how to create personal altars and empower these sacred spaces according to your needs. Discover how to harness energies to manifest change, make decisions, receive wisdom, find balance, explore your soul, and grow spiritually. Kynes's unique approach provides nine overall matrices—each one corresponding to the number of objects placed on the altar—and the numerological significance of each. You'll also find suggested meditations and a wealth of helpful information—spanning chakras, colors, days of the week, elements, gemstones, gods/goddesses, runes, and more—for choosing appropriate symbols and objects that reflect your needs. About the Author: Sandra Kynes is an explorer of Celtic history, myth, and magic, and is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Her curiosity has taken her to live in New York City, Europe, England and New England. Spiritually, her inquisitiveness has led her to investigate the roots of Pagan belief and study ancient texts such as the Mabinogion. In addition to leading healing circles and women's rituals, she is yoga instructor, massage therapist and Reiki practitioner. Sandras writings have been featured in Llewellyn's Magical Almanacs, Spell-a-Day and Witches Calendars under the name Sedwyn. Her books include: Gemstone Feng Shui (2002), A Year of Ritual (2004), Whispers from the Woods (2006), and The Altar: Place of Meditation and Transformation (2007). ** THE WRITINGS OF AUSTIN OSMAN SPARE: AUTOMATIC DRAWINGS, ANATHEMA OF ZOS, THE BOOK OF PLEASURE, AND THE FOCUS OF LIFE by Austin Osman Spare List Price: $12.99 Paperback: 100 pages Publisher: Nuvision Publications (November 2007) Book Blurb: This wonderful book contains four of the most popular writings of Austin Osman Spare, including Automatic Drawings, Anathema of Zos, The Book of Pleasure, and The Focus of Life ** THE GNOSTIC FAUSTUS: THE SECRET TEACHINGS BEHIND THE CLASSIC TEXT by Ramona Fradon List Price: $19.95 Paperback: 384 pages Publisher: Inner Traditions (November 23, 2007) Book Blurb: The Faust legend seen as a transmission of core Gnostic teachings disguised as a morality tale • Shows the 16th-century Faust text to be a coded, composite Gnostic creation myth • Identifies the many Hermetic, alchemical, and Tantric symbols found in Faust that signify worship of the divine feminine through sacramental sexual practices • Reveals a mystical process of spiritual salvation, as distilled from esoteric traditions In The Gnostic Faustus, Ramona Fradon shows the legend of Doctor Faustus to be a composite Gnostic creation myth that reveals the process of spiritual salvation. Nearly every element of the original 16th-century text is a metaphor containing profound spiritual messages based on passages of Coptic and Syrian Gnostic manuscripts, including the Pistis Sophia and The Hymn of the Pearl. Fradon identifies many Hermetic, alchemical, and Tantric symbols in the Faust Book that accompany the story of Sophia, the goddess of wisdom, whose troubled journey to salvation is a model for human spiritual development. Extensive line-by-line text comparisons with these Gnostic manuscripts show that Faustus’s corruption by the Devil and his despair parallel Sophia’s transgression and fall, and that his tragic death is a simple reversal of her joyful rebirth, so written in order to make an otherwise heretical story palatable to Church authorities at that time. Fradon demonstrates that the Faust legend is a vehicle for transmitting antiquity’s secret wisdom. It provides an account of spiritual initiation whose goal is ecstatic revelation and union with the divine. The elements of alchemy, sacramental sex, and worship of the divine feminine that are encoded in the Faust Book reveal the same hidden goddess-worshiping tradition whose practices are hinted at by the writings of Renaissance magi such as Cornelius Agrippa and Giordano Bruno. ** CALENDAR: FEBRUARY/MARCH FEBRUARY FEBRUARY 1st AQUARIAN TABERNACLE CHURCH PRESENTS: Public IMBOLC (Candlemass) Ritual 7 PM. FEBRUARY 2nd, Ghosts class, with Kelly FEBRUARY 3rd , Sunday CHAOS MAGICK STUDY GROUP We still host a Chaos magic study group at Edge of the Circle Books in Seattle, on the first Sunday of each month at 3:33 pm. As always, anyone may attend, no experience is required, there is no charge, and you will not be asked to purchase anything or join any organizations; you can just sit there and be quiet if you like, or meet and talk with other like-minded people in the area—as you wish. FEBRUARY 10th, Thursday, Celtic Reconstructionist Study Group , 7-9PM FEBRUARY 21st , Tarot Study Group 7-9 PM Additional community Events (Not necessarily at Edge) THE CASCADIAN SEAN CIALL COMMUNITY PRESENTS: The Sean Ciall Intensive and Fires of Brigid Ritual When: Sunday the 3th of February, 2008 Where: The Long House in Redmond, Washington RSVP: Please contact Cheryl ( to RSVP and for directions. Schedule of Events: 11:30AM: Doors open (Please plan to arrive at this time) 12:00pm-12:45pm: Opening Circle and Intro to Sean Ciall: Who are we and what do we do? 12:45-1:00pm: Dedications for newcomers 1:00-2:00pm: Into to Gaelic 2:00-3:30pm: Intro to Sword Circle 3:30-4:00pm Break 4:00pm-5:30pm: Intro to Song Circle and Intro to Brigid 5:30-7:00pm: Intro to Spell Circle 7:00-7:30pm: Potluck 7:30-8:30: Fires of Brigid Ritual 8:30-8:35pm:Closing Circle 8:35-9:00pm: Clean up More Information: Who's invited? The Intensive is open to ALL interested people from age 18 and up; minors aged 13 to 17 are permitted with signed informed parental consent form, contact Cheryl ( for details. Please be aware that all of our energy work and rituals are done skyclad (naked). Cost: Suggested donation of $10 to cover site fee and workshop materials. Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. ABSOLUTELY NO FOODS CONTAINING PEANUTS OR SEAFOOD ARE PERMITTED AT THE INTENSIVE. We have members who are deathly allergic to the aforementioned foods; please check labels of all packaged foods before bringing them. Please label all foods with a complete list of ingredients. Who may attend the ritual? All Sean Ciall members may attend the Fires of Brigid Ritual. Newcomers to the Sean Ciall community may ONLY attend if they have been present for the entire Intensive, or past Intensives. More information about Sean Ciall is available at Questions? Please contact Cheryl ( with any questions. ** MARCH TUESDAY, MARCH 10th , Celtic Reconstructionist Study Group 7-9PM FRIDAY, 28th , Skiing the Magickal Bunnyslopes 7-9PM ** ONGOING: HOLY WELL CIRCLE Open Circle, Wiccan Meets at the Edge every Sunday from 5PM -8PM 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 and Thursdays, 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 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 March. Happy New Year!!!! Sincerely, Raven

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