Review: Forbidden Science

Edited by J. Douglas Kenyon

Reviewed by C. Leigh McGinley

This book is a collection of articles from “Atlantis Rising,” a bi-monthly journal by the editor. The articles cover everything from aliens to ESP to physics to paranormal phenomena. Alternative medicine and astronomy are also included. These are theories and postulations that are not accepted by mainstream science, and in some instances even challenge the status quo.

For instance, in the article entitled, “Is the Big Bang Dead? A Maverick Astronomer Challenges Reigning Theory on the Origins of the Universe,” the author, Amy Acheson, asserts that an astronomer in the 1960s, Halton Arp, made a discovery about galaxies concerning how they are born and how they progress. Instead of being celebrated because of his discoveries, he was systematically drummed out of astronomy. They denied him telescope time and they censured him until he finally gave up and retired. The problem was that the direction of Halton Arp’s discoveries revealed a major flaw in the currently accepted theories of the origins of the universe.

In the section entitled “The ET Factor,” there are two articles that discuss alien technology making its way into our lives. The first article proclaims that the government participated in a cover-up and gave alien technology to certain companies to figure out how it worked -- companies that consequently sold the technology as their own inventions, thus making billions of dollars. For instance, the author alleges that Bell Laboratories did not invent the transistor, as it has been portrayed in history, but that Bell was actually given part of the downed alien spacecraft from the Roswell, NM site. It is assumed that all the technology discovered at Roswell has not been released yet, and the second article explores a small computer company’s claim that the government is blocking them from exploiting the technology from Roswell.

There is an interesting section called “Medicine of Another Kind,” wherein the article “The Malady in Heart Medicine: a Doctor Shatters the Myths Behind Popular Treatments for Heart Disease” by Cynthia Logan discusses Dr. Charles McGee, who wrote a book called Heart Frauds: Uncovering the Biggest Health Scams in History. Dr. McGee alleges that many Americans undergo unwarranted heart procedures under pressure that amounts to scare tactics from their attending physicians -- in other words, “Have this procedure or you will die.”  He asserts that the tests we use for detecting heart disease are highly inaccurate and the interpretation of the results varies radically, depending on the doctor. For instance, he claims that cholesterol isn’t the number one factor causing heart disease, nor is it an indicator of subsequent heart disease.

There is also an article about one of my favorite people, Dr. Masaru Emoto, and his pioneering work with water crystals. Dr. Emoto has done extensive testing of the emotional reaction of water crystals to words, music, phrases, and concentrated energy such as prayer from humans.

Overall, I found the book to be an interesting read. They broke the biggest technical aspects down into layperson's terms rather well and made it fairly understandable for those of us who aren’t scientists. Many of the theories presented are very plausible and the articles seem very well-researched. There are even websites given for further research. This book has something for everyone, including conspiracy theorists! Recommended for those with an inquisitive nature.

    • [amazon_link id="1591430828" target="_blank" ]Forbidden Science: From Ancient Technologies to Free Energy[/amazon_link]
    • Paperback: 336 pages
    • Publisher: Bear & Company (February 22, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 1591430828
    • ISBN-13: 978-1591430827

From Garrán an Eich Órbhuí – Imbolc 2011

At the beginning of October, TopazOwl, founder of Garrán an Eich Órbhuí, received an official-looking envelope in the mail addressed to “Rev. C. Leigh McGinley.”  When she opened it, she found an embossed invitation from the Chancellor and President of Syracuse University to the celebration of the Installation of the New Dean of Hendricks Chapel at the University, being held over October 25th and 26th. Since Druids are rarely (if ever) invited in their clergy capacity to the installation of Deans of colleges, this seemed a momentous occasion, and she decided that she should accept.

It was a special occasion on many counts. Reverend Tiffany Steinwert would be the 6th Dean of Hendricks Chapel since opening its doors in September 1930, and its first female Dean. And though Tiffany is a Methodist minister, she is very accepting and even embracing of the Pagan community in the greater Syracuse area. Hendricks Chapel itself has a history of serving all faiths, and there is a Pagan chaplain on campus, but this is the first time Pagan clergy from the surrounding community have been asked to attend such a prestigious event at the University. Needless to say, we were very excited.

The event was very nicely organized. There was a formal procession into the Chapel that consisted of the Chancellor, University Deans and former Deans of Hendricks in their various scholar gowns, and the invited Clergy in all their varied religious regalia. There were Christian clergy of every denomination, along with Hindu priests, Buddhist monks, Wiccan high priestesses, Druids, Islamic Imam, and Rabbis of several sects. It was a colorful group, seated front and center (a place of honor) in the Chapel for the ceremony.

The Deans, Chancellor, and Chaplains took their places on the altar/stage. The ceremony was opened with a Native American Thanksgiving prayer by Regina Jones of the Oneida Nation. The Reverend Kevin Agee of the Hopps Memorial CME Church gave the Invocation, and Jikyo Bonnie Shoultz, the Buddhist Chaplain of Hendricks Chapel, welcomed us all to the event. There were greetings from representatives of the Board of Trustees, the University Faculty, and the Students, along with stirring musical tributes performed by both the Hendricks Chapel Choir and the Syracuse University Black Celestial Chorale Ensemble. Tanweer Haq, Assistant Islamic Advisor and Counselor of Hendricks Chapel, gave the Benediction.

Rev. Tiffany Steinwert addressing the Gathering of Clergy at Hendricks Chapel

The response from Reverend Tiffany Steinwert was eloquent and warm, and it was easy to see why the University had chosen her for the position. She thanked everyone, and spoke of unity between faiths and working together. Topaz-Owl remarked, “Reverend Tiffany’s exact words are lost on me now, but I remember at one point she turned to the multi-faith clergy seated there before her, and with an inclination of her head, indicated and spoke of her “fellow clergy” -- and at that moment I felt so proud to be there representing the Henge of Keltria, so gratified to at last be recognized as an equal among the clergy of all those other recognized faiths.”

Fellow Druids Skip Ellison of ADF and TopazOwl attending the installation of the Dean.

After the Installation of the Dean, the University held a reception in another building where flavored waters, juices, and soft drinks were served along with several different kinds of hors d'oeuvres. The new Dean of Hendricks Chapel was at the door to greet everyone with a friendly handshake and a warm smile. TopazOwl remembers, “When I introduced myself as Reverend C. Leigh McGinley, Druid, Henge of Keltria, Reverend Tiffany’s smile got even brighter and she said that they had received the best response to the event from the Pagan community, and that she was so glad I had come. She also offered the use of Hendricks Chapel for any Keltrian religious services or rituals.”

Our Grove was honored that our Chief Druid was given the opportunity to represent Keltrian Druids in our local community. We feel that the more of these events we can attend, the better it will be for Druids (and Pagans in general) concerning our desire to be accepted as a valid part of the religious community and society at large.

Druidism: The Druid and the Littlest Unitarian

By Tony Taylor & Wren Taylor

Photo of Wren & Tony Taylor

Wren & Tony Taylor

The small, dark haired girl eyed me owlishly. Her mother stood directly behind her with her hands resting lightly on the child’s shoulders. She explained that her daughter’s classmates told her that Druids were evil, and if she ever met one, surely she would be sacrificed to Satan in an instant. This is the reason that she brought the child to my presentation. The woman wanted her daughter to see for herself that people who follow a different religious path are nice, normal people, with jobs and kids.

I received an invitation to speak at a Unitarian church in suburban Minneapolis. The congregation was interested in learning more about paganism in general and more specifically Druidism. Dressed in a sport coat and tie, I focused on our similarities rather than our differences, and continued that theme into the question and answer period. The queries were intelligent and pointed.

As the end of the session neared, a gentleman said that I made my point regarding similarities; however, he was more interested in the differences. In a space that was just more than a heartbeat, I blurted out, “Dominion over the Earth.”  That’s when the fun began.

Relationship to Nature.

Druids of all types develop a personal relationship with the Earth. Understanding the three Celtic Worlds of Earth, Sea, and Sky is fundamental to Keltrian Druidism.  Also, developing a close relationship with all creatures, seen and unseen is important to many Druids. Within Druidism, nature is not separate from man nor was it given to man for his domination nor even stewardship. Nature is not something to be subdued nor overcome; people are a part of nature and need to live in harmony with it.

Archdruid Karl summarized it extremely well.  “One of the essential differences between mainstream Christianity and Druidry is traditional Christianity’s vision of self-fulfilling alienation: in alienating itself from the world, it also alienates humankind not only from direct contact with Divinity, but also from the natural world and from themselves as well. In that unnecessary chasm, “redemption” occurs only within a narrowly defined relationship with their nominally singular god and that god’s exclusive chosen people (or church). Thus, mainstream Christianity lives out a mythos of exile along with hope for only a partial redemption. It can never be whole because the wholeness of each human being is not admissible. It is a distortion of an ancient myth of incarnation that should result in ever-widening circles of soul-expansion that lead not only to a higher state, but a deeper one as well – roots growing not only into the heavens, but deeply into the earth as well.”

The connection that Druids have with the earth and all its creatures is a defining characteristic of Druidism.

Relationship to Divinity

Christians and Keltrian Druids have complex views of divinity.  Many Christians believe in one God; however, polytheism underlies much of Christian thought when describing the Trinity.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are often viewed and treated as individual entities. Druids embrace a wide range of perceptions regarding deity from monotheism to polytheism and even panpolytheism. Others hold the concept that individual gods and goddesses are aspects of or manifestations of a single, unifying, unmanifest deity.

One key difference is Keltrian Druids are not told what they must believe; rather, if they follow the ritual formula, they are practicing Keltrian Ritual. In Keltrian Druid practice, the individual is free to experience the gods and goddesses in a way that suits his or her sensibilities. The idea is that deity is flexible.  We do not dictate dogma.

Relationship to Life

Keltrian Druid belief #4 states, “We believe that all life is sacred and should neither be harmed nor taken without deliberation or regard.”  Druid practice encourages us to live life in its fullness and develop our spiritual relationships with this world, the Otherworld, and everything in our universe.  Animals and plants are not resources to be exploited nor dominated.  Rather, we seek cooperation with them.

As mentioned previously, man is not separate from the world.  Keltrian Druids interact with the divine and its endless aspects and manifestations in the natural world. We are not dependent upon external redemption nor a Messiah for salvation.  Each individual must cultivate their own growth and evolution through the development of personal, social, and spiritual relationships with all life and with all spiritual entities. Life is a wonderful thing.  It should not be filled with terror, pain, and suffering.

Wisdom

 

Photo of Wren Taylor

Wren Taylor

One of the key goals of Druid life is the mastery of wisdom. A Christian approach to viewing the world usually limits perception to two options such as yes/no, good/bad, black/white.  To gain wisdom, Keltrian Druidism encourages practitioners to employ triads in problem solving.  The Druid looks for alternate ways to understand the Earth, her inhabitants and the universe.  There is always a third perspective to consider and understand; sometimes there are more.  Certainly there are some techniques that can be used to simplify the process. For example, how does a particular issue affect Mind, Body, and Spirit?  Employing the specialized disciplines of the Bard, Seer, and Druid, how do these perspectives enhance the understanding of a particular issue?  A dualistic view of a situation or question creates argument and righteousness.  A triadic view creates discussion. compromise and creative solutions.

As an exercise, try to balance a playing card on the tips of two fingers extended in a peace sign. It can be done, but it is unstable.  Now add a third so that your fingers resemble the legs of a three-legged stool. The card is now stable.  This demonstrates thinking in triads. Referring to the black/white example of dualistic thinking, the third leg of the stool - the triad - is not grey.  Grey merely continues on the same line, the same path.  The triad is pink, or sunset. Perhaps it’s a coffee pot. It needs to be a totally different perspective.  This is difficult to master; however, you will succeed with practice.

Religion Evolves

Druidic religion changes; the beliefs, practices, and relationships of modern Keltrian Druids would be unfamiliar to Druids of a hundred years ago and alien to the Druids of the ancient past.  Druids adapt to a changing environment as the relationships between them and the spirits around them evolve.  Codifying beliefs into creeds in response to millennia-old heresies is not in the Druidic playbook.

Texts are not sacred because they were handed down by the divine; rather, they are sacred if they produce the effect of making our spiritual relationships with others stronger. Likewise, a place becomes sacred when its effect is to foster stronger or better-defined spiritual relationships with others.

For example, although my relationship with trees is significantly different from  an ancient Druid’s, we both would have a profound experience encountering a giant sequoia for the first time.  The way in which we experience such an encounter may be very different, but the importance and the impact of the experience would significant for both of us.

The Henge and Keltrian Druids adapt to new discoveries and scholarship. If recognized experts agree on an aspect of a new discovery, which affects our practice, we embrace it.

Cyclical Time

Most Druids see time as cyclical. It is a world without end; there is no “end of days” nor a linear creation of all. Was there a “big bang” which started it all? Probably. Could it have been the aftermath of another universe, which collapsed into a singularity to start the cycle of our universe? Quite possibly. All things come into existence, have a life, and then cease to exist only to nourish the birth (and become part of) of something new.

Three Foundations in Keltrian Druidism

Keltrian Druidism is a complex set of beliefs and practices. Individuals are free to interpret the information gleened from the required reading and come to their own conclusions as long as they are in direct support of the three foundations of Keltrian Druidism:

  • Honor the Ancestors.
  • Revere the Nature Spirits
  • Worship the Gods and Goddesses of our Tribe.

In my preparation to speak with the Unitarians so many years ago, I focused upon the similarities of our traditions. How were Druids the same as other traditions the Unitarians would know and understand? Persecution exists today, but twenty years ago the atmosphere was extremely hostile. We wanted to demonstrate that we were not all that different. We merely had a different perception of the universe and our relationship to it.

During my visit I grew in my understanding of the differences between Druids and other religions and learned much of what makes those differences important.  And the little Unitarian learned that Druids may be a little different, but they don’t have two heads and really aren’t very scary.

 

A TREATISE ON NATURAL LAW: PART II

By Autumn Rose 

Autumn Rose

Autumn Rose

In Part I of this treatise we reviewed a sampling of law codes representing societies around the world and covering almost 4000 years of history.  From this review we discovered that all the codes prohibited a uniform set of destructive acts.  All punished violations of those prohibitions with greater or lesser severity.  All regulated commerce, the use and transfer of property, and sexual conduct and marriage.  All of them assumed the existence of a Deity or Deities, and all attempted to be fair in formulating and applying the law, with one exception: Until recent centuries no law code recognized the equality of all human beings, and modern codes still struggle with the concept.

Given the uniformity of the concerns expressed in legal codes in all times and places, it seems logical that those concerns must have a single source, and equally logical that that source must be humanity’s shared social nature.  But what is the source of our social nature?  The thesis of this work is that we are part and parcel of the larger natural world, that we respond to the same imperatives operating in the rest of Nature, and that those imperatives are the source of our social nature.  What, then, are these imperatives -- these “natural laws” in which human social law is embedded?

The most fundamental natural laws are those of mathematics, physics and chemistry.  These laws govern all matter, both organic and inorganic -- but our concern here is with the organic, with life.  What we are seeking are the laws (in addition to mathematics, physics and chemistry) that apply to all life, both animal and vegetable, and from the simplest to the most complex -- including us.  In the course of this search we will speak of groups and individuals, groups being anything other than individuals - e.g., species, ecosystems, kin groups, communities, nations, and so on.

The first and most basic law of life is simple: Survive! This imperative applies to both individuals and to groups.  For individuals, of course, survival is ultimately a lost cause.  Most lifeforms live only for a season or less, and even among more complex species individuals rarely survive beyond their useful life.  At its simplest, “useful life” refers to the ability to procreate. In socially organized species it includes as well the ability to contribute work for the good of the group, which ability diminishes with an individual’s age.  But however hopeless their quest for survival may ultimately be, individuals are programmed to extend their lives as much as possible and frequently fight hard to do so.   The impulse to survive is undoubtedly the strongest biological impulse.

What are the methods of survival?  We have mentioned procreation, which is the chief means by which groups survive --and then there is acquisition.  There can be no survival without nourishment, shelter from the elements and protection from danger, and means must be found to acquire these necessities.  For plants, acquisition is almost entirely a passive process.  A plant can stretch roots down into the ground and leaves up into the air to collect nutrients, but it cannot relocate under its own power from the place where it is rooted.  If that place does not supply its needs, it probably will not survive to reproduce.  Animals, with their power of locomotion, can venture abroad in search of sustenance and safety.

And what are the methods by which lifeforms acquire what they need?  By competition and cooperation.  We sometimes hear the expression “It’s a jungle out there,” which is based on the premise that life in the wild is a state of unbridled and brutal competition.  There is competition, of course, but also a great deal of cooperation occurring in Nature.  Some of it is unintentional.  A honey bee probably has no plans to assist a plant with its reproduction, but it does so anyway in the course of flitting from flower to flower to feed.  Plants likewise probably have no idea that the oxygen they expire enables animals to breathe, and we have only recently understood that the carbon dioxide animals exhale helps to support plant life.  In the more complex forms of animal life, however, at least some cooperative acts may be consciously chosen.  We used to believe that all non-human behavior was instinctive, but studies in the past few decades have revealed that more animal behavior than we imagined is learned, either from parents or from individual experience.  Do wolf packs organize themselves to run down their prey in a certain way because they are genetically programmed to do so, or because they remember that that’s the most efficient way to do it?   Whatever the answer, there is no question that animal groups in the wild practice cooperation. On the other hand, such groups usually have an alpha male, a position that has to be competed for. This is only one example of how competition and cooperation both contribute to a group‘s survival.

It hardly needs saying that we find innumerable examples of both in human society.  Each has its positive and negative applications.  Competition among individuals has the positive effect of elevating the ablest among us to useful positions, but when it goes awry it can be destructive, as in the case of war.  And cooperation loses its usefulness when it becomes mere mindless conformism. Ironically, social groups sometimes organize (cooperate) for the purpose of competing.  War is one example of that.  Politics is another, and team sports another still.  It often happens that an individual may be in conflict (competition) with the very group or groups on which he is dependent.  When an individual’s personal interest conflicts with the interests of those around him, or with the common good, he may commit acts that are disruptive of life in his vicinity, sometimes even criminal.  Obviously the interplay of competition and cooperation in human society is complex --more complex, perhaps, than elsewhere in Nature.  Nevertheless, it is an expression of the same impulses that operate in the rest of Nature.

But what is the connection between these natural impulses and the legal codes we cited in Part I?  To answer that, we will return to a consideration of our fundamental imperative, survival.  Like individuals, groups seek to survive, and the most cursory examination reveals that social groups regard a measure of order as essential to that survival.   Order brings with it an expectation of predictability and safety, which produce in turn a sense of security --and the more secure an individual feels, the less likely he is to disrupt the social order.

Repeatedly in human society, instances occur where cooperation is desirable but absent, and other instances occur where competition is undesirable but present.  Both situations are destructive of order and need to be remedied, and manmade laws have been the answer for thousands of years.  So societies have a goal, survival; a strategy, the maintenance of order; and a tactic, laws that maximize cooperation and minimize the harmful kinds of competition.

One question remains: Is the human desire for order really a reflection of Nature?

Contemplating such natural phenomena as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, we may well wonder if Nature and order have anything to do with each other.  But then there are those previously mentioned laws of mathematics, physics and chemistry.  Even hurricanes and earthquakes and the like unfold according to these most fundamental of natural laws.

We began Part I of these reflections by citing the will of the Gods and Goddesses, and we will finish here by doing the same.  In view of the undeniable truth of the observation that concludes the previous paragraph, we may fairly say that the Gods and Goddesses of Nature do indeed ordain order --but not too much of it.  (And even in this we humans reflect Nature at large.)

Hotfoot from the Gods:

Resistance and Ritual

By Jenne Micale 

Jenne Micale

Jenne Micale

“I hope Brighid isn't angry at me,” I fret.

My husband smirks. “No, Brighid is laughing her ass off,” he replies.

It's Meán Geimhridh, and yet again I've swallowed my inherent dislike of snow and darkness to organize an appropriately solemn rite, one that has us pondering our blessings, rolling around on the metaphysical floor in abject gratitude and making fervent vows to repair the inherent brokenness of human culture. No sublimation of guilt there, no, not at all.

And the mishap happens, right on cue – just as it does virtually every midwinter, in one form or another.

This time, it's the mysterious chimney damper, which floods the entire house with woodsmoke. Then there was the year the candle flame shot up four inches high, refused to be doused and cracked the glass; I had to drown it in the sink after the rite. Then there was the time I set my sleeve on fire during the ceremony and a fellow priestess patted it out.

While I've had my share of ritual faux pas, I usually put on a meaningful ceremony for the Kindreds and the Druids in attendance. Meán Geimhridh, however, eludes me every year.

Oddly enough, it's the unsuccessful rituals that offer the deepest lessons. One-time failures can point to gaps in the planning process, the organizer's knowledge and skill, or the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Repeated failures, however, are signposts of another type, pointing the way to truths that the group or the individual priest or priestess refuse to face.

Repeated failures needn't involve an actual holy day, in the case of Meán Geimhridh, although that's fairly common. They can involve practices such as meditation, daily worship, even particular types of spellwork. Addressing the situation comes down to a few simple questions: What am I resisting, or refusing to see? What really turns me off, whether it's rational or not?

In my case, I've long had a marked resistance to the winter solstice. In part, it's the connection with what we know as Christmas traditions: gift-giving, greenery, silly music, feasting. The winter holiday is all shiny joy, something that I tend to interpret as shallow. Instead, I'm trying to steer us back into the darkness in all its Gothic glory and atone for the commercialism of the season. Coupled with that is a thirst for something ecstatic: drawing us outside the boundaries of our own beings, to drink at the well of cosmic truth.

No matter which way I slice it, Meán Geimhridh -- Yule, Winternights, whatever name you choose -- is as sweet as a slice of fruitcake, which makes perfect sense.

Merriment -- the gathering of loved ones, gifting, feasting, song -- truly is key to the meaning of solstice. In winter's depths, a community requires some levity to survive. Laughter lightens the darkest night. Companions warm the cold road. You don't survive the winter alone by denying loved ones, silliness, or cake in favor of a dour utilitarianism. By the same token, you can't just ecstatically trance the winter away; you need planning and grounding in the cold realities of the storehouse, whether that's finances in a down economy or the actual food in your root cellar.

Solstice is a dance between survival and celebration, seriousness and joy. After all the preparations for winter's rule, the balance starts to tip on the darkest night. Yes, the coldest months are ahead -- but so is the light.

Celebration is a kind of ecstasy -- the kind that draws you out of yourself, cracking a smile from ear to ear as a loved one rips through colored paper. Solstice is a liminal time when we forget our rules: the social rules of master and servant, the eggshell-walking boundaries of family life and power dynamics, the rules of diets and propriety. We act like children, rejoicing in food, fun, ridiculous songs.

Which is why Brighid laughs at me in this season and sets my sleeves on fire, “You're so damned serious. Lighten up!”

 

Angelica

By Nione

Photo of Nione

Nione

Angelica is a genus of the family ammiacea, of which there are several species native to North America. It can be found growing in fields and damp places, as well as all around my property.  This is a beautiful plant, which really makes a statement in the garden. It is a beautiful backdrop for the color of the flowering plants. My neighbors think I am a little nuts to let weeds grow in my flower beds, but they would be appalled to find that most of those lovely flowers are actually weeds. Technically a weed is a flower growing where we don’t want it to.

This is a tall bright green perennial, usually reaching in height from 4 to 6 feet. The stem is stout, fluted and hollow with multiple small branches sprouting from about half way up the stalk to a full spread at the top. The leaves are finely toothed, and the flowers at the top are small and yellowish to green in color. The flower groups, which form in umbels, are similar in appearance to Queen Anne’s lace.  The odor of Angelica is peculiar though not unpleasant. Flowering occurs from July to August, when it begins to go to seed. This plant is easily cultivated in the garden; however, it can get out of hand if not controled. Because of its aromatic qualities, in France angelica is a cash crop grown on farms for use as a flavoring for liquors, candies and hops bitters.

This plant should be dried or candied quickly to retain its medicinal qualities. Once dried, as with all herbs, it should be stored in a glass container; plastic containers leech the flavaniods from the herb rendering it useless.

How Angelica is harvested depends on the intended use of the plant. Taken as a young plant it can be candied; the taste is mild and somewhat like anise. I generally harvest Angelica in early summer for candies.  Here is the process for candying Angelica if you wish to try it. It is a little involved but worth the effort.

Candied Angelica

Cut the stem into 4” pieces. I usually split the stem as well. Boil these in water until somewhat tender.  Remove from the water and strip off the outer skin, return it to the pot with fresh water and simmer until bright green. Remove them from the water and pat dry.

Using equal parts of sugar and angelica, add a layer of sugar, then angelica, then a layer of sugar until your container is filled or you run out of herb.  Cover with a towel or cloth and let it sit for a couple of days.

Next, put the contents of your container into a pot. There may be enough juice from the angelica or you may need to add a little water.  Slowly bring this mixture to a boil until the sugar begins to form syrup. Let it boil a few minutes longer and then strain through a sieve and scatter on a plate or a cookie sheet to dry. Sprinkle a little sugar on your plate to prevent the candy from sticking.

Angelica flowers are harvested for medicinal purposes and so are the seeds. Be sure to keep some of the seeds for reseeding in the spring.  The roots are taken in the fall after the plant has died back to the ground.

Illustration Angelica archangelica

Angelica archangelica

This plant is an astringent and generally used for menorrhagia (abnormally excessive menstruation), diarrhea, and dysentery. It is also good remedy for colic, gas, sore stomach, heartburn, angina and high blood pressure.   The medicinal properties are easily extracted in water. Dosing is one teaspoon of the dried herb to one cup of boiling water. Drink one to two cups a day.  Externally, angelica is used for ulcerations of the throat and mouth, the tea is gargled warm 3-4 times a day.

Angelica is an herb which should be avoided by pregnant women as it is a strong emmenagogue. (Induces menstruation.)  Diabetics should not take this herb due to its ability to cause weakness.

Magically, Angelica is an herb of Imbolc. It is either spread on the floor or used in incense to purify. According to “[amazon_link id="0875421229" target="_blank"] Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs [/amazon_link]”:

Its gender is masculine, Planet is the sun, its element is fire, and  the Deity is Venus
Powers: Exorcism, Protection, Healing, and Visions.

Magical uses: This is a plant grown for protection; it is used in all protection and exorcism incenses. Sprinkle the four corners of the house with Angelica to ward off evil or sprinkle it around the perimeter of the house. Added to the bath, angelica removes curses, hexes, and any spells that may have been cast against you. The root was carried in the pocket as a gambling talisman among some American Tribes. Angelica is also used in healing incenses and mixtures.

 

The Fawn

Lessons to an Aging Druidess from the Natural World

By C. L. McGinley

Photo of C.L. McGinley

C.L. McGinley

Two summers ago, I journeyed to Boston by train to attend a week-long intensive that resulted in certification in Harner Method Shamanic Counseling. It was a fascinating and sometimes grueling 5 days of shamanic journeying and self-evaluation. On the final day of the seminar, I met a new spirit on my culminating journey – a woman named Morning Glory, who was accompanied by three animal spirits: a doe, a yearling doe, and a doe fawn. I touched noses with all three deer, establishing a bond, and Morning Glory told me she was to be my teacher for a time. She admonished me to return to her as soon as possible, for she had many things to teach me.

Life being what it is, I did not get a chance to return to that glade in the deep woods where I had met the woman and her deer (a place I had accessed from the Upper World, much to my surprise at the time). I did journey, but it was for other people and animals. I once received a message on a journey for another (several months later) -- a message through my spirit horse, who told me that Morning Glory wanted me to come to visit her. I said that I would, and fully intended to, but other things kept getting in the way and I did not find the time.

I was busy building my shamanic life & wellness coaching business, you see, and I was working in the Otherworld to find lost dogs and help people heal in body, mind, and spirit. I had no time for journeys to Spirit for myself. On the physical plane, I traveled to an equestrian trade show on Memorial Day weekend with my good friend, Ravendancer, to promote my business in person and give a presentation. The day after my return home, I received a phone call from a young man. He told me he had a fawn that he wanted to bring to me. I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, so I asked pertinent questions and found out that he and his buddy saw a doe dead on the side of the road who had obviously been hit by a car. On closer inspection, they discovered a small fawn standing by the body, and so they picked the fawn up and took it home. They were told by neighbors that, without a license, they could be arrested for even having the fawn, and so they wanted to bring the fawn to me. I agreed that they could bring the fawn to me, and I went out to the barn to prepare an empty stall between two of my horses.

I was not prepared for this fawn, as much as I tried to be. Oh, I had everything I could possibly need for her comfort: goat milk replacer, hay bedding, a heat lamp for warmth, baby wipes, three different sizes of bottles and nipples. Still, I was not prepared. When the boys brought the little deer to me, I determined immediately that she was a doe fawn, but she could not have weighed over 5 pounds, and I estimated that she was not two days old yet, because she still had her umbilical stump. I had never seen such a tiny fawn before. I removed the fawn from the car and I carried her, kicking and bleating, into the barn and then into the stall I had fixed up for her. I placed her carefully on the loose hay bedding and sat down to be at eye-level with her. We were left alone, she and I, and we looked into each others’ eyes, each assessing the other – and I was not prepared for the sorrow I saw there in those big, brown, long-lashed eyes. It came to me then that her name was Deirdre, for her sadness was palpable. The loss of her mother, and the witnessing thereof, had affected her deeply.

And it came to me quick as a flash as my heart went out to the little creature that this fawn was sent to me by Morning Glory, and was perhaps even the physical manifestation of the spirit fawn with which I had touched noses in the Spirit World. I did not know if the plan was to send her to me even as I met her in the Spirit World. I only knew that with the arrival of this fawn, Spirit was at work in my life once again. Our connection was instant and powerful. From the moment we locked eyes, I became Deirdre’s mother and she, my child.

Deidre in her pink coat

She trusted me implicitly, because, well, she already knew me. For my part, I groomed her and fed her the bottle every 4 hours like clockwork, getting up at least twice a night for the first month and a half. It amazed even me that I could do that, that I could get myself out of bed and go out in the cold night to feed a tiny baby that was not really mine. I was surprised that it wasn’t some chemical instinct that drove me, a result of oxcytocin letdown or other maternal hormone. No, it was the knowledge that I was the only mommy she had now, and the love I felt for this small, helpless baby from the start. That was what drove me to sleep in fitful bursts of 2.5 to 3 hours at a time, to mix formula and heat bottles to just the right temperature in the microwave, and to spend most of my waking time sitting on a mounting block or on the floor in a stall in the barn, snuggling and playing kissy-face with a doe fawn that wore a little pink dog jacket sized for a Chihuahua as insulation against the chilly spring evenings.

After a rough and scary two weeks of scours (diarrhea), I finally got her on a very expensive fawn replacer formula (instead of the goat formula) that I ordered online, and adjusted it so that she could tolerate it. She never did tolerate even the fawn formula full-strength. But fawn formula wasn’t the only thing she ate. From the first week, she experimented with just about everything green or brown from the earth. Her “playpen” was my fenced garden yard, where lovely raised-bed garden boxes beckoned with such fawn-ish delights as peas and beans and red chard, where trees shaded the well area in the heat of the day, providing a cool hiding place. Her favorite things to eat were fallen leaves from all kinds of trees: willow, aspen, oak, alder, ash. Grape and rose leaves were a favorite as well, and for some reason, she loved geranium petals.

She learned the meaning of the word “no” fairly quickly, as most toddlers do when they get into trouble. She got on well with all the other animals, taking a liking to the dog and to Alf, the old horse, especially. One of her favorite things was breakfast with Mommy on the terrace, and she shared bits of cantaloupe from a fork with delicate grace. She soon had the run of the house, and discovered that bottles could be had on the terrace, in the kitchen, or in the barn – wherever the Mommy was. She started to understand going outside to do her business.

Her sadness began to evaporate. Her legs grew strong and agile. She played and jumped about like a goat, and bleated in loud complaint like one as well. And one of the things she complained about loudest was restraint.

This brings me to what Deirdre has been teaching me. For all the basic life lessons I have taught her, she has taught me much more, things both precious and profound.

She has taught me that love is a bond that cannot be broken, but that holding someone against his or her will breaks trust and frays the bond – and that restoring that trust may take some time. Deirdre and I traveled from barn to garden yard each day, and on that short journey, there were a great deal of scary things that instinct told her to run away from. I realized that in the wild, she would run away from, not toward, her mother at the first sign of trouble. It made sense in the wild: the fawn would hide in the woods or tall grass while mother led the predator away from her. However, it would be dangerous at my farm, where roads and traffic and farm vehicles were always a danger, and should she run in the wrong direction – well, I didn’t want to think about it. So I bought a small dog harness and walked her on a retractable lead from barn to garden, where she could then be turned loose to play within the safety of the fence. This worked wonderfully for a few months, but as she grew older and stronger, she began to fight the restraint, and got herself in quite a tangle a few times. She began to fear and resent the harness, until eventually, I couldn’t even get near her with it. She once got all four feet and her neck caught in the harness and immobilized herself. Filled with terror at not being able to move, she let out the most heart-wrenching sound I have ever heard from an animal. It was a sound of desperation, and of finality –it was a death cry. I hope to never hear such a sound again, for it broke my heart. She would approach me with fear after that, fear that remained and caused conflict within her for days.

Photo of Deirdre the deer at 4 months

Deidre - 4 months old

I tried an adjustable dog halter. It was not feared like the harness, and she was easier to control, but she still fought it with all of her heart, and threw herself on the ground like a drama queen when I asked her to wear it. I realized that fawns were not like foals, who eventually got used to the idea of being lead around by a halter. Deirdre, after six months, is still not used to such things. Her spirit is wild and free, and restraint does not work with her. As Mommy, I am able to guide her where I want her to go with a push from behind, and now she has her own turnout behind the barn and I don’t have to lead her anywhere. Consequently, she follows me everywhere.

So she has taught me that sometimes protection and prison are the same, depending on how you look at it.

She has taught me that fear is a dangerous thing – sometimes more dangerous than the thing we fear. It can make us do foolish things that might jeopardize our safety. For this reason, children of any species still need boundaries for their own safety, until they develop the wisdom to understand and reason.

She has taught me that gentle and quiet does not mean weak or ineffective. Ask my cat, Moby. One day he decided he had had enough of Deirdre licking his face while they were in the garden, and he swatted at her face with one clawed paw. Her immediate reaction to his threat was to strike at him rapidly with both front hooves. He reacted the only way he could: he ran! This was no helpless fawn!

More than anything, she has taught me how to be a real mother, and to know what it is to have someone depend on me for everything – food, shelter, warmth, love. I’ve had baby animals before, especially foals, but this was different somehow. The bond the others had was with their natural mother first, and then with me. This fawn thinks that I am her mother. She has taught me a capacity for love and an infinite patience that I never knew I had. She has taught me that I have more strengths than I ever knew, and that some of them are the quiet, unassuming kind. She has opened my heart and my soul to the healing power of love. She has saved me.

I do not know what the future will bring for Deirdre. I do not know if she has the savvy to be turned out in the wild; after all, she has never really been wild – and yet I have seen her instincts kick in at the most crucial of times. I do not know if she will decide one day to leave here and live the life of a doe, or if she will stay protected for the rest of her life. When she is old enough, I will let her decide, because I love her.

But I thank Morning Glory every day for sending me Deirdre. Those lessons she promised to teach me are still being learned, every day, through the doe fawn, and I am guessing that there are more to come. There is one thing I know for certain, though: I have never been so blessed.

The Lyke-Wake Dirge, A Druid version

(Lyrics adapted by Phil Hutchens)

Phil Hutchens

Hear the words of our Gods,
Enter Tir na Nog
Love is the hand that turns the wheel,
and round the wheel doth turn.

Know that you must from this life pass,
Enter Tir na Nog
Beneath the Earth to seek your rest,
and round the wheel doth turn.

When the First great gate is passed,
Enter Tir na Nog
Your Shoes you must lay down at last,
and round the wheel doth turn.

When the Second great gate is passed,
Enter Tir na Nog
Your Staff you must lay down at last,
and round the wheel doth turn.

When the Third great gate is passed,
Enter Tir na Nog
Your Sickle you must lay down at last,
and round the wheel doth turn.

When the Fourth great gate is passed,
Enter Tir na Nog
Your cords you must lay down at last,
and round the wheel doth turn.

When the Fifth great gate is passed,
Enter Tir na Nog
Your Robe you must lay down at last,
and round the wheel doth turn.

When the Sixth great gate is passed,
Enter Tir na Nog
Your Sigil you must lay down at last,
and round the wheel doth turn.

When the Seventh great gate is passed,
Enter Tir na Nog
Your Fears you must lay down at last, and round the wheel doth turn.

The Dark Mother will be waiting there,
Enter Tir na Nog
With Her dark lover, the Comforter,
and round the wheel doth turn.

They sit upon an ebon throne,
Enter Tir na Nog
Her crown is ice and His is stone,
and round the wheel doth turn.

Their love brings forth both fruit and death,
Enter Tir na Nog
There is no other way to life,
and round the wheel doth turn.

For life is death and death is life,
Enter Tir na Nog
And love is the greatest mystery,
and round the wheel doth turn.

Hear the words of our Gods,
Enter Tir na Nog
Love is the hand that turns the wheel,
and round the wheel doth turn.

Note:  Wiccans also have a reclaimed version. Some believe the song should only to be sung to completion when magically intended, so as to not have its magic diminished when used as a Rite of Passage.  When teaching or learning this song, I suggest that the last stanza be omitted.

The Christian version was first collected by John Aubrey in 1686, who also recorded that it was being sung in 1616, but it is believed to be much older. To hear the some, a midi file is at http://www.canasg.com/midi/lyke.mid.


Editor Notes:

Sheet music is available at: Traditional Music Library.
[amazon_link id="B00007KK91" target="_blank" ]Present: The Very Best of Steeleye Span[/amazon_link] contains their version of Lyke-Wake Dirge.  Also it is available for mp3 download from several sources including:

[amazon_image id="B0026GVMAI" link="true" target="_blank" size="medium" ]The Parson's Tale: the Lyke-Wake Dirge[/amazon_image]

 

Paradox

By Jenne Micale

Photo of Jenne Micale

Jenne Micale

Look: the weathered wood of the barque rides the leaf-green sea.
Look again: the white foam streams in the wind, mane of mares.
A chariot skims the grass-heads.
Birds fly silver-scaled.

Another mystery of the road poured out from a bag of crane skin.

Speak false, and cracks splinter the cup, the mead splashing out.
Speak true, and wounds heal in metal and flesh, silver bells sound on the branch, bringing laughter, sleep, surcease from pain.

Another mystery of the cloak he shakes between us and other.

With meadow grass, we pay the rent to Fand's beloved.
Yellow blossoms, a cask of ale where the foam touches the sandy shore, echoing cliffs or the fall of mist.

Another mystery of the gray at the joining of dusk and day.

Son of Lir, all land is your fabled isle, all seas your sea, the changing of light in the depths.
All is mystery.
Look and look again: flowers, fish, grass
What is and is not.