Lunar Pearl Pagan Newsletter Issue 2

Lunar Pearl Pagan Newsletter -- May 2002 #2

A Publication in conjunction with the Lunar Pearl Pagan Website http://ravenSilvering.tripod.com

In this Issue: ALL ABOUT MOM"S!!!!!!!!

[00] Letter from the Editors [01] Pagan News [02] A Mother Ritual [03] Mother's Day History [04] A Pentacle Garden [05] Another Mother's Day History [06] 10 Keys to Mom's Happiness on Mom's day [07] Have a great Mothers Day [08] Your questions [09] Answers to your questions [10] This months HOT links [11] Newsletter and Forum Info (Including How To Subscribe/Unsubscribe)

*Submission Deadline for next issue: May 27

[00] A letter from your Editors With Mother's Day coming up, I thought I would put a special addition together for celebrating all of our mothers. If you think about it, in some way we all reflect the mother aspect of the Goddess. We all nuture someone or something. Our children, our friends, our pets, plants, and sometimes even our own parents. So when we honor the mother aspect of the Goddess, we are honoring ourselves. So on this Mother's Day, think about everyone you have loved and nutured and the rewards you have been given for your effort.

[01] Pagan News Opinion: Planetary show eases earthly ills By Phil Berardelli UPI Deputy Science and Technology Editor From the Science & Technology Desk Published 5/4/2002 5:41 PM

WASHINGTON, May 4 (UPI) -- Once in a while, the night skies put on displays that can dazzle our eyes, lift our spirits, fuel our imaginations and, for a few moments anyway, cause us to forget our earthly concerns.

Sunday and Monday evening after sunset, five of our planetary neighbors will do just that. Venus, Saturn and Mars will pop out of the darkening twilight as a near-perfect triangle. The other two "naked-eye" planets -- tiny Mercury and mighty Jupiter -- will bracket the trio.

If the sky is clear and if you are located in the middle northern hemisphere, the sight will be impossible to miss.

Watch for Venus, practically blazing with reflected light, dominating the sky to the west-northwest and flanked by Mars and Saturn, much dimmer but still distinctive.

Mercury also appears, nearer the northwestern horizon. Brightly shining Jupiter, closer to Earth now than at any time in nearly 250 years, looks down on its lesser neighbors from higher up in the western sky.

On May 14, a crescent Moon will join the formation, passing near Venus, and on June 3, Venus and Jupiter will provide a "finale," appearing in close tandem.

For as long as human beings have looked up at the night sky, these five objects, along with the Sun and Moon, have carried a range of human emotions -- wonder, awe and even fear. The strange wanderers that moved night to night among the fixed background of stars -- the name planet comes from the Greek word meaning "wanderer" -- mesmerized ancient peoples. They named the objects and gave them godly attributes based on their appearances or behaviors.

Ancient Babylonians believed the movement and alignment of the planets affected many facets of everyday life. They created a practice based on planetary movement that holds millions of followers to this day -- astrology.

The Romans called Mercury their god of commerce, travel and thievery, while the Greeks named the object Hermes, the messenger. This made sense, because Mercury seemed to zip across the night skies.

Venus, unforgettable as the beautiful evening and morning star, took on feminine characteristics to the ancients and became the Roman goddess of love, as well as the Greeks' Aphrodite and the Babylonians' Ishtar.

Least loved by the ancients, Mars' noticeable red color imbued it with a warlike cachet for centuries. Jupiter became beloved, however. To both the Romans and the Greeks, who named it Zeus, Jupiter was king of the gods. And Saturn -- its dazzling rings unknown to ancient skywatchers -- was treated as an ordinary denizen of the heavens, a second-class citizen. Its only real distinction in history is as the origin of the word "Saturday."

It took the invention of the telescope and, at first, some courageous public reports by early astronomers to set the record straight a bit. The planets, it turned out, were not supernatural creatures but separate worlds, albeit very different from Earth. Yet scientific discoveries about them have never succeeded in dampening the public's appetite for new planetary legends.

We now know, for example, that lovely evening/morning star Venus resembles hell a lot more than heaven. In the 1970s and '80s, several Russian Venera spacecraft landed on the planet and returned images and data revealing atmospheric pressures that rival the depths of Earth's oceans and a surface temperature hot enough to melt lead.

Mercury, which has been visited only once, by the Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1973, may be slightly less hotter than Venus but just as uninhabitable. It has no atmosphere to speak of and its surface spends long periods either fried by solar radiation or plunged into icy darkness.

Jupiter and Saturn are visible from Earth only because they are so large. The "gas giant" planets have no solid surfaces and atmospheres composed mostly of hydrogen and ammonia. Most of their moons are frozen solid and so far away from the Sun that you could never experience an earthly bright day.

That leaves Mars, loathed and feared by our ancestors, but ironic as it seems offering the best possibility to fulfill the fantasies of neighboring life that have captured people's imaginations for 125 years -- ever since Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli trained his new telescope on the red planet and wrote down a word that resulted in one of the biggest misunderstandings in history.

Schiaparelli observed what appeared to him to be strange lines across the Martian surface, perhaps channels carved by water. So he wrote the Italian word for channels in his journal -- canali.

When Schiaparelli's report reached the English-speaking world, it caused a sensation. His canali were thought to be canals, trenches connecting the Martian oceans dug by intelligent beings.

Before long a sort of Martian mania gripped America and Europe. People could not learn enough about the Red Planet. Legend has it a newspaper publisher, desperate for material, sent the following telegram to a noted astronomer: "(Send me) immediately 500 words on whether there is life on Mars." The astronomer replied: "Nobody knows," 250 times.

Twenty years later, the Martian canals idea inspired H.G. Wells to write War of the Worlds, which began: "No one would have believed in the last years of the 19th century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than our own...(that) regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

The book became an international best seller and the fascination with Mars persisted for years. It ignited once again on Halloween in 1938, when Orson Welles produced his legendary radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, which relocated the Martian invasion to a small town in New Jersey.

The broadcast caused a panic because many people who heard it did not realize it was fiction. They believed it was real -- mainly because for so many years, they had heard stories about warlike Martians and the possibility of an invasion from the sky.

During the past quarter century, due to some spectacular successes in planetary missions, we have learned more about our solar system than in all previous human history. The United States and the former Soviet Union have sent about a dozen spacecraft to Mars alone. In 1977, two Viking spacecraft landed on the surface and beamed back photographs. So did the Pathfinder in 1997 -- 100 years after Wells published his novel. The twin Voyager missions of the 1980s to the outer planets and the recent Galileo mission to Jupiter collectively have sent back thousands of stunning images and enough data to take scientists years to interpret. No doubt the Cassini probe to Saturn, due to arrive in 2004, will add to the wealth of information.

Despite all the flybys, orbits and landings, despite the photos and data, thus far none of these worlds has shown signs of life. The five lights in the twilight sky are barren and inhospitable places. But they can remind us how unique our little planet is and how precarious the human life that lives upon it.

As for Mars, far from being a place that resembles Earth, it is a cold, cruel world as well. Its red dust is everywhere, except at the two poles. They are covered with ice, but they are much colder than our polar regions.

Do not rule out the possibility of life on Mars, however. There are no canals, but there is water, and where there is water, there can be life -- just probably not the kind of life envisioned by Wells.

The late astronomer Carl Sagan probably best described how those famous canals could one day finally appear on Mars. In his immortal television series, Cosmos, he said, "If the planet ever is terra-formed, it will be done by humans beings whose permanent resident and planetary affiliation is Mars. The Martians will be us."

Copyright 2002 United Press International

[02] Mother Ritual

To heal and honor your mother self. Construct a pentacle. Make it out of sturdy materials that can be cut out and colored. Color each point in accordance with its element. I suggest gold for spirit (or white), pale blue for air (or yellow), red for fire, deep blue for water, and green for earth. Or make up your own color system. Write in the qualities of each point. When you are done, set it upright upon your altar, so that it is facing you. Copy, color, and cut out a mother goddess image. place this upon your altar.

At the full of the moon: do this ritual by yourself out in nature. If it is safe and feasible, prepare to camp out overnight. Pack an altar bag as part of your equipment, containing: a red cloth, a red candle (with sturdy, fire resistant holder), two smaller candles, one black and one white, the pentacle you have made, the goddess image you have colored, a bell, some dried rose petals to burn, and anything else you consider essential to your mother rite. If you have children, bring pictures of them, or something they have made. Also pictures of your mother, grandmother, grandchilren or things they have made or given to you. Bring your magical journal along to keep notes of your experience.

When you select your campsite, look for a special place for the altar. Have your campfire close enough for burning magical herbs dunng your ritual. Situate your bedplace so that you can see your altar when you are lying down. Lay the wood in place for your campfire. Cast a magic circle by walking clockwise 'round the site and declaring it sacred space.

Arrange your altar just before sundown, placing all the objects with care. Add a few friends from the environment--a rock or two, a pinecone or leaf. Be aware that you are in the presence of the Goddess and that you have come to honor Her. Open yourself to the beauty and power of nature. Watch and listen for Her sounds and signs. Record any significant visions or apparitions in your Book of Shadows. Often She will speak to us through Her wild creatures, Her plants, Her breath of wind...

As the full moon rises, light the red candle, saying:

"Oh mother, I dedicate this altar to you. I dedicate this day and night to you. Come to me now and enclose me in your protection and love."

Light the white and black candles, saying: "As the maiden and the crone are contained within you So do I light their flames also."

Light your campfire, and when it is blazing well, throw same of the rose petals into it. Take up your bell and ring it steadily, chanting:

"Awaken O loving spirits of the earth Of the sky Of the waters And the fire Awaken before me, behind me, To the left and right of me Above and below me And deep within me Awaken loving spirits of the Mother Come to me now Surround and protect me in this space Heal me of all hurts and wrongs Make me at peace with all creation ..."

Ring the bell a little longer, and then listen to its reverberations fade. Replace it upon the altar and chant MAAAAAAAAAA for as long as you like. (Ma is the universal mother call, and is a filling replacement for the male "om" chant.)

Direct your attention to the goddess image on your altar, and meditate in silence for awhile. Open yourself to any visions, realiazations or messages from the goddess within and without. Mentally take her image into yourself, and say the Goddess Blessing. Close your eyes and ground the energy. Snuff out the candles and prepare to sleep. Keep your journal beside you, so that you can record your dreams upon waking.

In the morning, relight your candles and burn some more rose petals. Write down your dreams and anything else you consider significant. At the altar, concentrate on the pentacle, turning each point upward in turn as you ponder the meaning of the live elements they represent.

For the rest, improvise. Let your imagination take over and create your ritual. The best rituals are spontaneous, and therefore alive with immediacy. Write down your inventions, that you may use them again in the future. When you ready, conclude your ceremony, pack up your equipment, douse your campfire thoroughly, and open the magic circle.

Written by Shekhinah Mountainwater

[03] Mother's Day History

from www.theholidayspot.com I'm not sure if you can use this or not. I thought I'd pass it along just the same. Blessings, ~Elfgurl~

The observance of Mother's Day has not turned even a century old. Yet, the nature of the holiday makes it seem as if it had its roots in prehistoric times.

Historians, holiday enthusiasts, and students of folklore have claimed to find the antique pagan root. Again many others relate the traditions as a direct influence of the "Mothering Sunday", observed by the early Christian churches.

But viewed in the very secular nature of our Mother's Day observance, it can be said that Mother's Day is indeed unique in all sense, and spirit. A very endearing day for all of us. To let our mothers know how special they are!

Historians claim that the holiday of Mother's Day emerged from the ancient festivals dedicated to mother goddess.

In the ancient Greek empire, Rhea, the wife of Cronus, and mother of Gods and Goddesses, was worshipped.

In Rome too, Cybele, a mother Goddesses, was worshipped, as early as 250 BC. It was known as Hilaria, and it lasted for three days, called the Ides of March, that is from March 15 to March 18.

However, neither of them meant for the honoring of our immediate mothers, as is done in our Mother's Day.

Rather more closely aligned to our Mother's Day, is the "Mothering Sunday". England observed "Mothering Sunday", or the "Mid-Lent-Sunday, on the fourth Sunday in Lent.

In the United States, Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948) is credited with bringing in the celebration of Mother's day.

[04] A pentacle garden

A Witches Garden - Witches Pentacle

The pentacle, the witch's symbol, makes a simple shape for a garden of mixed perennial and annual flowers. To construct such a garden, find a sunny spot of any size and dig out a circular bed. Within it, "draw" a pentacle by stringing twine among five posts, set equally distant around the circle. This will create a central pentagon. Fill it with plants whose names express your craft: Diana; the daylilies named Merry Witch and Wicked Witch, Witch's Thimble and Moon Witch; andMagic Lilies, whose flowers bolt surprisingly directly from the ground, to bloom with extravagant fragrance.

Plant the arms of your starry pentacle with light green chamomile around a filling of darker green mint; then place round clumps of Dianthus Essex Witch at each point of the star. Surround this whole design with a circle of green parsley,and densely plant dainty sweet alyssum as the pentacle's background.Your pentacle is now ready to shine back at the night's stars-and at you.

[05] Another Mother's Day History

from http://www.holidays.net/mother/story.htm

The earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday". Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter*), "Mothering Sunday" honored the mothers of England. *(For more information on Lent/Easter check out - Easter on the Net) During this time many of the England's poor worked as servants for the wealthy. As most jobs were located far from their homes, the servants would live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday the servants would have the day off and were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often brought along to provide a festive touch.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honor the "Mother Church" - the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration . People began honoring their mothers as well as the church.

In the United States Mother's Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) as a day dedicated to peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother's Day meetings in Boston, Mass ever year.

In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day. Ms. Jarvis persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.

Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day. It was successful as by 1911 Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May.

While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year, there are some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium which also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.

[06] 10 secrets to happiness on Mother's Day

By Lois Wyse From ThirdAge.com

Will Mother's Day bring out the best in your grown-up children? Not likely! It's up to you. These ten tips will help you treat your babies like fellow adults.

1. Never start a sentence with, "Of course, when my children were small, what I did was..."

2. Whenever you visit an adult child, close your eyes to dust, unmade beds and unwashed dishes.

3. Don't chide grown children for forgetting your (or Dad's or Sister's or Grandma's) birthday. Just remind them a week or so in advance (email is easy and casual): "I know I don't have to remind you, but next week is Grandma's birthday. I'm sure you'll have the children send her a card. It means so much to her."

4. Offer to baby-sit or pay for a baby-sitter as an anniversary or birthday bonus for your grown child.

5. If you're a long-distance grandparent, start trading email with each member of your grown child's family, including your son- or daughter-in-law.

6. Don't count the phone calls, expressions of love, and gestures of attention other mothers you know receive on Mother's Day. Instead, think of the good things your kids do even if it's for themselves.

7. Give your grown child's spouse the recipe for at least one thing you made that your child loved.

8. If you don't have a mother or child available to help you celebrate Mother's Day, turn the holiday into a family-of-friends affair. Find other friends who don't have a family and have a potluck supper.

9. Don't stay at home alone and feel sorry for yourself. Volunteer for the day at a shelter or help serve food to the homeless at a local church or synagogue.

10. On Mother's Day and every day you're in touch with your grown children every communication with the same three words: "I love you."

Lois Wyse has written more than 60 books, including Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother . Her most recent book, Just Like Grandma Used to Make, is a collection of kitchen favorites from many families.

[07] MOre Mothering Rituals

Rituals of Motherhood By Andrea E. Feeser *Note: This file may be distributed freely, so long as it remains intact and credit is given to the author. *The Full Moon of the Mother ritual is pending publishing in Circle Network News, as of 1994. *(C) Copyright 1995 Andrea E. Feeser *Comments welcome: revblue@aol.com

Divinations for the Child If you wish to do a divination for the child, it is best if you already feel mentally and spiritually connected to him/her. Prepare as you usually do for divination, laying out the tools you will use. Now, relax and center. Open your mind to that connection. You should feel an openning of the Third Eye chakra. Visualize a stream of light connecting your Third Eye with your awareness of the child in the center of your body. When you feel you have made this connection, proceed with your divination while maintaining this altered mental state.

Birthing Sachet Here is a birthing sachet I devised. It should be held during meditations of peaceful childbirth. You should also have it with you during the actual childbirth, so that the associations with a peaceful and easy childbirth are awakened in your sub-concious.

Take some leaves from a willow tree (for ease of birth), lavender (for peace) and clove (for protection). Place them in a small bowl and empower them. Do this by building up energy in your body and concentrating it out through the palms of your hands (which you should hold over or around the bowl). Visualize a peaceful and easy childbirth. Then, send all the energy out into the bowl in a final burst, while gently breathing onto the herbs (if you breath to heavily, the herbs will not be in the bowl anymore!). Now, place the mixture of herbs into a white bag or cloth and tie it up. You should immediately use the birthing sachet while meditating on a peaceful childbirth.

Full Moon of the Mother When I was pregnant with my second child, I felt a need to experience my pregnancy in a spiritual vein. I set out to find rituals, meditations, myths-anything I could in connection with pregnancy and motherhood. Much to my surprise, I found very little modern material specifically focused on the spiritual experience of pregnancy. This lead me to do my own work in visioning and research in order to come up with practical ideas. I was quite blessed by the Goddess and experienced a depth of the divine within that I had not previously thought possible.

I would like to share a ritual I created. It is a celebration of motherhood and a means of exploring the spiritual implications of motherhood. It is most effective toward the end of pregnancy (the last month or two), but it can also be used by a mother who is not presently pregnant. This is a solitary ritual, but it can be easily adapted for group use.

The Ritual You will need your basic altar setup for your tradition, milk or juice for the toast, and a personal anointing oil. Relax, ground and center. Then, cast the circle according to your tradition. Invoke the Elements:

"Hail! Thou Element of Air, Lord of the East! May you bring the knowledge of the Mother, And watch over this Circle."

"Hail! Thou Element of Fire, Lord of the South! May you bring the energy of creation, And watch over this Circle."

Hail! Thou Element of Water, Lord of the West! May you bring the gift of rebirth, And watch over this Circle."

Hail! Thou Element of Earth, Lord of the North! May you bring the promise of the Child, And watch over this Circle."

Invite the Lord and Lady:

"Come Thou now, I pray, Great and Dark Lord Cernunnos with power of seed. Bring me strength in body."

Come thou now, I pray, Mother Goddess, divine, Selene, Woman, full and complete. Bring me wisdom in mystery."

Now, raise the cup in salute the Lord and Lady, and drink a toast in their honor.

At this point I usually do an exercise to open the chakras and build-up the flow of energy. You may wish to do the same, or use another method of building up the flow if energy in your body. Then, stand in an adoration position and call to the goddess (this may be used for drawing-down the Goddess-energy, or simply aligning yourself to the Goddess).

"Hail to You, Great Mother! Wisdom of the Ages, Gateway of life, You who are at the beginning And the middle and the end, Let Your great power shine through me. Inspire me with Your passion. Give me Your strength and gentleness. Grant me Your wisdom and power. Lead me through worlds unknown. Reveal Yourself this night, I pray." Spend time communing with the Goddess and receiving any messages she has for you. When you are ready, make the affirmation in preparation for the self-blessing. Speak in a strong, assured tone:

"Let me claim my power now. As Woman, whole and complete, I possess the power of Life, I possess the power of Death, I possess the power of Rebirth, And I am the Threshold." For the self-blessing, take the oil and anoint each area as you speak the blessing. Anoint crown:

"Blessed be the Crown In wisdom and inspiration." Anoint third eye (above and between your eyes):

"Blessed be the Jewel In sight and inner knowledge." Anoint throat:

"Blessed be the Flute In pure communication." Anoint heart:

"Blessed be the Door In love and understanding." Anoint solar plexus:

"Blessed be the Light That shines within the temple." Anoint navel:

"Blessed be the Child (or Anchor, if not pregnant) In strength and fortitude." Anoint pubis:

"Blessed be the Gateway Between Death and Life." You may wish to spend time in meditation or divination. When you are ready, close the Circle according to your tradition.

This may seem to be a simple ritual, but I have found it immensely helpful in opening myself up to communing with the Goddess as mother and receiving visions in connection with that Mother- Goddess- energy. I hope that it will bring some fulfillment to other mothers. Blessed be!

Offering Thanks for Safe Childbirth This is a mini-ritual of thanksgiving to be offered sometime after childbirth. It is in the form of pouring a libation in honor of the Goddess. You may wish to offer some of your lochia or breast milk as the libation offering.

Raise the cup, saying:

"Hail and thanks to you, Great Mother! You who have guided me through the darkness. To the gates of Death you brought me. And safely have I returned With s/he who was waiting, in love, To be reborn. For this, Great Mother, I give thanks And honor you this night." Pour the libation.

[08] Your Questions

[09] Your answers

[10] Have a great day

[11] Newsletter Info.

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