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Yule - Silver Chalice Wiccan 'Zine #54
December 01, 2016

Silver Chalice Wiccan 'Zine #54

The Earth Element
Lost in Non-Spiritualism

December 2016 / January 2017

Editor's Note

Merry Meet! Welcome to the Silver Chalice Wicca 'Zine!

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If you follow me in social media (Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc.) you may have seen a little post about a spider. I'd like to share the whole story with you here, because I'm still fascinated by what I experienced!

My Own Charlotte's Web
- or -
What I Learnt from the Spider at my Door

 Spider Weaving Spiderweb  ©
It started out very innocently. A spider built her web in the corner of my balcony, just outside the sliding glass door. It was a beautiful web; I couldn't bear to clear it away. (Besides, I wanted to try to photograph it — it was in a perfect location for that.)

The first night I brought out my camera, slid the door carefully open, and stuck my camera out. The spider took one look at it and ran for cover! As well she might — I can imagine the lens looked kinda scary. I wanted to get a picture of her on her web, but she was too fast!

The neat thing is that, as I did this night after night, trying to get a better and better shot, she eventually lost her fear of me. I could walk right out there, stare at her close up, and bring up the camera, and she'd just ignore me... going on with what's really important (i.e., building her web).

I spent a couple weeks watching this spider... for the rest of her life, in fact. It became a very meaningful interlude in my day.

I'd watch as bugs flew in and tattered the web. I learnt how far she'd let the web deteriorate before she took action. She always did her work at night. I'd go to bed with her web in shreds, and wake up to a beautiful, pristine piece of arachnid art.

Sometimes I got up in the middle of the night, to watch her re-spin the spiderweb.

1   As far as I can discover, no one really knows what they do. It does seem like they eat their webs, but it's not verified by scientific inquiry yet.)

One thing I learnt is that she starts by dismantling the messy parts! I don't know how she did that — it looked like she must have eaten it, because I didn't see any evidence of it falling away.1

Once she's torn it back to a good starting point, she begins to spin again. It's fascinating to watch how deftly she manages those sticky threads! And multiple arms all going at once!

Maybe it's just a measure of my impatience and frustration with housework and setbacks Wicca-School Winking Witch © , but I was impressed by her unflappable, serene repetition of the task, night after night. If it'd been me, I'd've had a fit every time the house was torn to pieces, and moan over having to do it all over again, before I even set to work.

Not this spider, though. She just calmly disassembled any torn parts and rebuilt, as if it were the most peaceful and pleasant of pastimes.

As our relationship (admittedly mostly/completely on my part) progressed, I was struck by a profound significance. Somehow, watching this small being was important to me.

 (940x788)   ©

I began to wonder why. Why did this feel so meaningful?

My mind started to explore all I knew about the meaning of Spider, all the symbolisms involved. But I started to lose the moment in all the thinking.

My friend Colombe tipped me to the fundamental issue: Being present with this creature, in this moment — that was what mattered.

Perfect sense!

I had to laugh. While I know that everything that happens is a message from the Divine in various forms, sometimes it's important to step outside of our self-involvement — thinking that we're the most important aspect of any situation — and simply be present with What Is. And especially, be present with others.

My viewpoint changed. My focus turned to the relationship I had with this creature. Even though I can't know what her relationship with me is, if any, I could be the loving witness of her life.

That brought a joy all its own!

I realised that just being present for another being -- witnessing, honouring, and loving -- is the greatest value of my interactions with her.

I also noticed that without my normal helping/rescuing mode engaged (I certainly couldn't tell her how to improve her web management!), I felt a lot more at peace, a lot more pleasure and intimacy with her than in many of my relationships.

This is what a spider taught me... or what I taught myself with her for an example. I hope to carry these new insights with me into other relationships, and all my interactions with the world. With Yule season upon us, the timing is perfect. Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

Have a lovely Yule, dear Wiccan! I'll see you at the next turn of the Wheel.

With Bright Blessings,

dragonsong signature; click to write to erin

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Table of Contents

Events & Announcements 2017 Wiccan Class Is Starting Soon!
Wicca Students Speak Out How Does This Course Compare to Other Wiccan Training?
Website Highlights Religion And Spirituality
Sabbats & Esbats & Other Wiccan Rituals The Earth Element
What's New on the Site Feedback Page
Best Resources Yule Prayer Song link, & Pagan Songbook
Ask The Priestess Lost in Non-Spiritualism
Fave Quotes


Word on the Street Tears to my Eyes and Bliss into my Life
Energy Field Barometer Minimum Magick, Hitting "the Wall" of Change, Fear for the World, the Shadow
Silver Chalice Details  

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Events & Announcements

Wiccan Class 2017 Is Starting Soon!

Are you ready to learn Wicca? Now is the perfect time to join the Wiccan School.

The 2017 class begins in January.

Of course, your Year-and-a-Day can begin whenever you like. But now is the ideal time, I think, because this course is designed to lead you through the year, the seasons, and the Sabbats in order. Starting now, you’ll learn about Beltaine in late April, Samhain in October, Yule in December, and so on.

  (940x788)   ©

Is This Wiccan Course For You?

If you’re looking for a quick-fix, insta-Wicca, this is not the course for you. It’s in-depth and incredibly thorough.

While it does show you how to start right away, it's not a quick sketch or Wicca for Dummies.

It's Wicca as a potent spiritual path, and you want step-by-step guidance to make Wicca the glorious, magickal, awesome experience that it's truly meant to be… then this is definitely for you!

This course is an incredible adventure not only into Wicca but into your own spiritual development and personal growth. It's a transformational life experience.

You can find out more about the course and what's within it here.

The course begins in January, so that you’ll be ready in time for your Wiccan Dedication ritual on Feb 2nd — the traditional day for Wiccan Dedications.

So if your loved ones want to buy you a Yule gift that keeps on giving, that'll be perfect timing. Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

Please check it out today, and join us on the best Wiccan adventure there is!

NOTE: If you're not sure whether this class is for you, you might want to see what others are saying about it...

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Wicca Students Speak Out

Wicca School for Wicca Beginners ©

Want to hear what our students
are saying about
A Year And A Day:
53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan


* See What More Students Have to Say... *

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Website Highlights

Spotlighting some of the Wicca Spirituality articles you may not have seen yet!

What Is The Difference Between 
Religion And Spirituality?

Are religion and spirituality the same thing?

Not really. Religion is a subset of spirituality.

Just as Wicca is part of Paganism, and Anglicanism is part of Christianity, religion is contained within spirituality.

Spirituality is direct communion, or the seeking of direct communion, with the Divine.

Or more accurately, realising that you are already One with the Divine, indivisible and eternal.

That is the entire purpose of spirituality. However, the purpose of religion is somewhat different...


A Comparison of Religion And Spirituality

What is the difference between religion and spirituality? Here's a handy chart, comparing religion to spirituality.

Spirituality is...


The Essence Of Wicca Spirituality

Wicca Spirituality is Wicca, all grown up.

When Wicca started out as a religion, it incorporated spiritual and mystical elements. But it didn't fully develop them.

That may have been because the spiritual potential back then was more limited. Today, though, the potential in each human to fully access the realm of the Divine has skyrocketed...


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Sabbats & Esbats & Other Wiccan Rituals

The Earth Element

Sneak Preview from Upcoming Wicca School Course ©
Excerpt from A Year And A Day: 53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan
(Please Note: This material is protected by legal copyright)

“Nature The Earth Element!

The living ground beneath your feet! The carpet of grasses, and wildflowers’ sweet scent, clover and meadows.

Healing herbs and nourishing plants. ...

Winter is the season of the Earth Element, and it's associated with the Direction of North.

The Earth Element represents everything that has taken physical form.

. . .

  Continue to article on the Earth Element . . .

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What's New On The Site

This may not be thrilling to others, but I’m totally stoked! Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

As you may know, I’ve been backlogged with computer and email problems, not to mention upgrades on the Wiccan course, so there hasn’t been time to devote to new site articles. But I DID manage something…

TOTALLY UPDATED praise-from-students page!

It used to be a confusion of dozens of testimonials, some really long. Now it’s simplified and tidy and with graphics! (I’m kinda graphics-challenged, more a text-heavy type. Wicca-School Winking Witch © )

Someday I'll put a second page up with the rest of the testimonials, but for now, this is WAAAAY more fun to look at.

Sorry I don't have new articles up... when I learn to clone myself, though, hold on 'cs I've got TONS waiting to go up! Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

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Best Resources

> Yule Prayer Song

Here is a special Yule Prayer Song and Winter Solstice Ritual you can use.

Totally free: you can download it to learn the song, or play it for your Yule rituals!

 Pagan Yule Chants Songbook ©

> Also: Yule Songs & Carols for a Pagan's Solstice

Just in time to tune up your voice and practice for Winter Solstice, you can get this ebook of Pagan holiday songs and yule carols.

Now when the songs come on the radio, you can sing along in celebration of the Pagan season! Wicca-School Smilie Witch ©

Check it out here.

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Ask The Priestess:

Lost in Non-Spiritualism

Dear Priestess,

Ex-JW., Ex-Christian, recently studied (not in depth) Noahide and Judaism. I am lost in my Non Spiritualism.

I see so many conflicting teachings and of course all saying I am lost to any future life, if I don't believe their way.

I'm old and tired and just giving up. So I'm not studying anything now.  Take care, TJ

Dear TJ,

I wanted to reach out to you; your plight touches my heart!  I understand how confusing and frustrating it is, all these different religions preaching contradictory things... and each swearing that theirs is the one and only truth.  

I’d just like to offer you a bit of encouragement.  And it is this:

Every religion has a piece of the Truth.  If you look deep -- past the “don’t run with scissors” kinds of rules, which are different in each religion -- there are common threads in all.  

Those threads are guides to the real Truth.  If we could piece all of those — and only those — together, we’d come pretty close to a True religion.  (As true as a 3-dimensional mortal mind can perceive, anyway.)   Wicca-School Winking Witch ©

So it doesn’t truly matter which religion you want to follow.  

No religion can claim sole ownership of something that is as far beyond them as an ocean is to a grain of sand.

Or follow no religion but Kindness (which is the Dalai Lama’s stated religion) or Love (which is Amma’s), or Peace, or Divine Light... that will lead you just as surely!  That singing, that heart, that kindness, that love, that peace... that IS the essence of the Divine.  

You can follow any one that sings to your heart.  Overlook the shallow teachings, and follow the heart and soul of any religion, and you will find what you seek. 

And it’s not your future life that will be lost; no worries on that score!  Nothing can change the fact that you are eternal.  It’s only your fulfilment and peace in the present that can be lost.

I’m sending angels for you, TJ.  You can ask them for whatever you like; they’ll help you.  

With Bright Blessings,

dragonsong signature; click to write to erin

*   *   *  

Do you have a question you'd like answered? Email the Priestess and your question could be answered in a future issue.

(Note: questions may be edited for brevity or clarity. No real names will be disclosed. For reasons of legality, all questions become the property of

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Fave Quotes

My belief is that the truth is a truth until you organize it, and then becomes a lie. I don't think that Jesus was teaching Christianity, Jesus was teaching kindness, love, concern, and peace. What I tell people is don't be Christian, be Christ-like. Don't be Buddhist, be Buddha-like.

~ Wayne Dyer

Religion is orthodoxy, rules and historical scriptures maintained by people over long periods of time. Generally people are raised to obey the customs and practices of that religion without question. These are customs and expectations from outside the person, and do not fit my definition of spiritual.

~ Wayne Dyer

The ultimate and highest leave-taking is leaving God for God, leaving your notion of God for an experience of that which transcends all notions.

~ Meister Eckhart, Theologian

It would be a contradiction in terms to assume that the attainment of transcendent meaning consists in comprehending a notion... Our words do not describe it, our tools do not wield it. But sometimes it seems as if our very being were its description, its secret tool.

~ Abraham Joshua Heschel, Theologian

Ultimate meaning is not grasped in the form of a timeless idea, acquired once and for all, securely preserved in conviction. It is not simply given. It comes upon us as an intimation that comes and goes. What is left behind is a memory, and a commitment to that memory.

~ Abraham Joshua Heschel, Theologian

The soul has a private door into divine nature, where all things become nothing to her.

~ St. Augustine

I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.

~ Henry Ward Beecher

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Word on the Street

What People Are Saying About Wicca-

I just wanted to express my gratitude for you Erin!

I found this website and have been a part of your emails for years! At least 4. But I'm sure it is more than that.

It's been a while since I actually sat down to read a silver chalice email and I am ecstatic it was this one about Samhain! When you wrote about the new and old paradigms, the first thing you said was too look at your emotions. And love them.

I don't know why this took me the way it did but immediately brought tears to my eyes and bliss into my life.

I just wanted to tell you thank you Erin. This universe is blessed to have you. Thank you for everything you do, day in and day out for our collective consciousness. Blessed be ❤

~ A. in USA

~ ~ ~

Erin, your website was my beginning and is my foundation of my spiritual journey.

The knowledge, strength, power, spirituality, and love that continues to overflow in my life is a precious gift that I am forever grateful. Your prayers, mantras, and affirmations are included in my daily practice of prayer, worship, kundalini yoga, and meditation.

There aren't enough words to express my gratitude to you and Wicca Spirituality. You're amazing. Thank you!

~ K. in USA

Thank you for sharing this with me!! It's hearing stories like this, that make it worthwhile to keep going! : )


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Energy-Field Barometer

Brief notes this issue...

Minimum Magick

Sometime after the great Supermoon in November, the Magick stream petered out for a while it seems -- so if you've been having trouble doing magick, you're not alone. It's like the clarity as well as the magickal power have faded temporarily. Should pick up around Yule, I'm guessing.

Hitting the Ol' Wall Again

Also a lot of "hitting the wall" in terms of relationships and situations that are unproductive. There's often a feeling of being fed up and not willing to take any more guff! (This has actually been happening now, in waves, for many months at least.)

What might not be seen is that what we're really fed up with, is our choices and our responses to things -- the automatic thoughts and beliefs and patterns that are getting triggered.

We want to change everyone around us, or our relationship to them, so they'll stop tripping our buttons, rather than changing ourselves so we don't HAVE the buttons.

(See more below on this topic.)

Fear for the World

There's also a lot of feeling like the world is breaking apart -- the fear and frustration and anger that causes, as well as an overwhelmingly powerful desire in many of us to DO something about it... without knowing what we can do.

Well, there are always things to do. Surprisingly, perhaps, one of the best ways to start heaing the world is to love ourselves and have more compassion for ourselves. Being kind to ourselves changes things in the world more than we tend to believe is possible!

We also need to love our "shadow" side -- our pains, our fears, our traumas. Not in a way that feeds them and increases them, but breathing into them, creating space around them, and loving the part of our bodies that feels those things.

The Shadow Knows (insert eerie music here)

In the world outside ourselves, we can see the World Shadow rearing up and seeming to take over. We may want to scream and rage and fight -- understandable reactions -- but the most potent transformative response is to see the part of that Shadow that lives in us, and love ourselves through it.

After all, we ARE the society. As we ARE the world. Change ourselves, and the society/world can't help but be changed, if only a little bit.

And if a lot of us are changing en masse, the world is changed significantly!

The Shadow coming up in daylight can be pretty scary! But that's a crucial first step! When it's hidden in the dark of the subconscious, we can ignore it... we may not even know it even exists! Once it comes to light, and we can identify it, we can take steps to deal with it more effectively.

The Shadow points the way to our healing! (Let's try to remember this, as it continues to terrify us. Wicca-School Winking Witch © )

Not wanting to see the Shadow, not wanting to deal with it... this is another version of "hitting the wall." We think it's outside of ourselves, and we just want to kill it.

And here's what we need to remember about that...

The "wall" we're hitting is actually ourselves -- the limitations of how far we are willing to grow; the line where we have defined "this is who-I-am; this is how-I-am, and I shouldn't have to change."

We get stuck in our ideas of how life is supposed to be and what we want and don't want. And the world around us starts poking at that rigid line, encouraging us to get more flexible... and to look deeper. To let go of the restrictions we've created for ourselves. And to bring love to the situation, and the other people involved, as well as ourselves.

So mote it be!

*   *   *  

Notice or suspect an energy field going around? Can you confirm this reading, or shed more light on it?

I'd love to hear what's happening for you! Please let me know.

What to do about being caught in an unpleasant energy field? Click here for tips.

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