August 2014
BBI Media News
Publishers of Crone, SageWoman, and Witches&Pagans magazines.

Feature Article
Ancient Potatoes.  
May There Be Peace:
Putting Magic to Good Use

by Danu Forest
Edited and adapted from her article on her blog “Danu's Cauldron” on PaganSquare.com

Over the last few weeks, and not for the first time, I have found myself weeping at the news. There is so much horror in the world. We are left as helpless witnesses to the atrocities of the few wreaking destruction on the many- innocent children, men and women- with little hope of being able to make a real difference. While so many of us are losing faith in our political and other power structures, our awareness of each others perils and tragedies is greater than ever before. What is there to be done? When it comes to the wars and violence that rage over our planet, large and small, ( though is any act of violence ever small?) I no longer care about the arguments, ideaologies, histories, the endless tit for tat- I, like so many others just want the violence to end.

It is time we had a sea change, and moved beyond this endless cycle. Children are dying. If we are spiritual people, then it is our children out there. We are not removed by our physical distance. Our future is growing up in bomb shelters, and refugee camps, starving, traumatized, and without hope. We are slaying our innocence, our future, even by doing nothing. There is no excuse.

I am tired of the anger I feel. I find I want to pour retribution upon those who did such deeds, I want the fury of the mothers to tear them to pieces, I want the Morrigan to reach into their hearts and give them such terror that they would never dare to even risk endangering another child ever again...but what use is my anger? Another heart filled with grief and fury in the world...

Instead I would rather be one heart changing...in the hope that there are more of us, and we can make a difference. We can tip the balance.

If we are spiritual people, if we are magical people- what is our magic, our power, our wisdom for? What use are we if we do not try to serve the whole, as best we can, when we can? Sure we need to begin with peace inside, but that doesnt absolve us of responsibility. We can have an agument with someone and still oppose war. We are human, but we are also spirit, and can make small acts of magic that ripple across creation.

So each night, at 9pm (GMT for me, 9 at your own timezone is fine) I ask you to join me in whatever way suits you, and works within your practice, your tradition or otherwise, to pray, weave magic, set intentions... join me and let us call to the Great Mother by any name to cast a circle of protection around all the children- All of them, all around the world, may they be safe from all harm, this night and day, and every night and day! May the hearts of those who make war change, that the children become the priority they should be. May they lay down their arms and find a way to peace. May the energy in their fury be transformed to find a way beyond war, beyond violence...may all that energy instead go into our evolution away from this horror.

As the Morrigan, that most misumderstood of goddesses herself says after the slaying of Balor at the end of the second battle of Moytura

'Peace up to heaven, heaven down to earth!'

This is a wonderful mantra that I use, repeating for a few minutes each night. Another is the druid's call to peace:

'May there be peace in the north, may there peace in the south, may there be peace in the east, may there be peace in the west! May there be peace across the whole world! '

I then focus my magic to specifically protect the children, wherever they may be, and to change the hearts of those who perpetuate violence, that lasting change may occur.

I have a large white candle that I light each night for this purpose, lighting it in my inner vision in the spirit world at the same time. If I am unable to light it for some reason, when I am away from home, busy with my child or something, I take a few breaths, call in my spirit allies and gods, and light the candle in the Otherworld just the same.... A few minutes magic, each night.

Since posting about this on facebook I've been overwhelemed at the response, and the numbers of people joining me. You dont have to call the Morrigan, or Brighid, or even the Great Mother- call the angels if that works for you, call Buddha, call Odin, Frigg, Holda, Call White Buffalo woman, call Isis, call Yemaya -- call them all!

Its important when doing this sort of work, to separate from it consciously after a set time, so that we do not carry the sorrows of the world so heavily that they harm us. I snuff out the candle after an hour, raise my arms open to my shoulders and then bending at the elbow cross them over my chest, to seal it off when I'm done.

It is not enough, and we need to follow up the magic with deeds, with actions, but please, join me. This is what magic is really for.

Blessed be the children!

ImageDanu Forest wisewoman, witch, seer, walker between the worlds, healer, druid, priestess, teacher, writer, gardener, herbwife, stargazer, faery friend, tree planter, poet, and wild woman lives in a cottage near Glastonbury Tor in the midst of the Avalon lakes, in the southwest of England. Exploring the Celtic mysteries for over 25 years, and noted for her quality research, practical experience, as well as her deep love of the land, Danu writes for numerous national and international magazines and is the author of three books: Nature Spirits, The Druid Shaman, and (coming soon) Celtic Tree Magic. You can find out what Danu is doing at her website.

The Latest News

SageWoman #86 is ready for download or purchase. SageWoman #86 mails August 6th!

SageWoman 86 “Renewal & Rebirth” is on-press and will mail to all paper subscribers on August 8. Please allow 1-3 weeks for delivery.

Digital subscribers, your issue is available now. Check your email from August 2nd for your coupon code and download instructions.



PaganNewsBeagle Blog Launches

ImageExploring the wilds of our amazing, interconnected world, the Pagan News Beagle sniffs out and fetches stories for our communities of Pagans, Witches, Wiccans, Heathens, Polytheists, Gaians, and Goddess-worshippers. We try to concentrate our resources on bringing a wide variety of positive stories to you.

The Beagle publishes Monday-through-Friday on PaganSquare. You can also follow the Beagle on Twitter@PaganNewsBeagle or via the WitchesandPagans Facebook page.

A special note: many thanks to artist extraordinaire Shirl Sazynski for the PaganNewsBeagle logo. Thanks, Shirl! She does logotype and lots of other work: http://shirlsazynski.com/galleries/

August Freebie Drawing:
“Fairy World 5: Part 1”

Win this book.For this month's freebie drawing we are offering the DVD Collection Fairy World V: Part One, a sampler of European Fairy music from French label Prikosnovenie.

To be entered in the drawing, please use our contact form or send customer service a note with your name and postal mailing address and the words “Fairy World V.”

The winner's name will be chosen at random on August 25, at 5 p.m. Pacific time. Good luck!

P.S. Congratulations to Amanda Lonsdorf who won our July giveaway and received a copy of Moon Affirmations.

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We need rituals. We need ways to mark the milestones of life, all the important changes that make up our journey. In this classic issue of PanGaia, we feature articles which delve into the rituals of Paganism, both ancient and contemporary.

Our cover story “Gifts to the Gods” investigates the topic of Pagan sacrifice in the ancient world while “Sun Dance” is a detailed look at this traditional Native American ceremony. There’s also ideas for lovespells, instructions on building a outdoor altar, a ritual for a “dumb supper” (to commune with our beloved dead,) a detailed look at Canaanite traditions, an encounter with Pan, a discussion of teaching underage Pagans plus MUCH more.

Let our authors sweep you away to far-flung worlds and inspire you to re-invigorate your ritual practice. 80 pages, originally published in summer of 2006.

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We love the moon: who has not looked up and gasped in wonder at the first bright silver sliver of the New Moon shimmering in the twilight. A song, a dance, a magic spell — She weaves back and forth in our lives like a fragrant flower; budding, bloomly, and dying in stately motion far above us.

Lunar lovers, rejoice! This entire issue of SageWoman is dedicated to that luscious, luminous, lovely satellite of the Earth Mother — Luna. We begin with editor Anne Newkirk Niven's musings on the moon — including some startling observations about Luna's place in that very partriarchal religion, Islam, and thoughts about the how Luna connects with our natural biology. But it is women’s special relationship to the moon which is the center of this issue.

Joanna Powell Colbert (author and artist of the Gaian Tarot) begins the feature section with her personal and informative essay "The Moon in Tarot, the Moon in Me” which analyzes the imagery and meaning of the Moon in traditional (and alternative) Tarot decks. Next up is Olapetun Orisatolu’s meditation on women's circles honoring the Yoruban Goddess of the Moon Yemonja “Ase! The Power of Women's Blood Mysteries."

Kara Spencer discovers the springtide pull of the moon in "Maia's Moon,” and Gretchen Brown’s startling and moving description of her ritual performance piece in “The Serpent and the Moon” combine to bring lunar wisdom right into our bodily experience. Astrologer and columnist Bee Smith describes lunar cycles in astrology in "The Goddess of Correct Timing" and shares new moon affirmations for each zodiac sign, while Alice Rose relates how the Moon led her back to her primal nature in "Dreams of Home."

Getting into the practical aspect of lunar lore, Leni Austine describes how to bring the power of the moon’s cycles into your spellwork with "Moon Magick" while loremistress Diana Paxson enlightens us with the myth, legend, and ritual of that quintessential European moon goddess in "Artemis: Hunting the Moon."

Columnist Carol Christ salutes Rachel Carson, Elizabeth Barrette discusses offerings and sacrifice and Waverly Fitzgerald describes bringing lunar magick into your monthly practice, as well as columns with recipes for homemade spa products, revelations of the mysteries of rosemary, and discussions of the ways in which the moon can help us overcome outworn emotional patterns. Lunar rituals abound, including a ritual for lunar healing and affirmation and moon correspondences for spellwork of all kinds and a charm for gardening by the moon. Plus poetry saluting the Mayan Moon goddess Ix Chel, Moonrise on Penobscot Bay and Mother Moon; and, of course, a rousing discussion in the Rattle.

96 illustrated pages, edited and published by Anne Newkirk Niven in spring of 2002.

P.S. This is the first issue of PanGaia under that name, but as it is a (co-gender) relaunch of our Pagan men's magazine The Green Man, it's actually number #13. Sorry for any confusion; it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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