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The Silver Chalice E-Zine, Issue #15, Dec 2009 * The Twelve Wild Swans Book Reviewand
December 01, 2009

Silver Chalice Wicca E-Zine #15

Our Magickal Reality
The Twelve Wild Swans Book Review

December 2009 / January 2010

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Editor's Note

Merry Meet! Welcome to the Silver Chalice 'Zine!

Winding down into the darkest point of the year, the deepest inward journey, we take time to explore who we are now and where we choose to go.

Theoretically. wicca-spirituality-winking_witch

It seems to be getting harder and harder to slow down enough for deep reflection. (See the Special Offer below for a sale on something that takes you deep, fast, and fun.)

Somehow November has gotten co-opted into the Xmas rush, and the whole Yule season has turned from celebration, sharing, and gratitude into a feeding frenzy in the shopping malls.

From Samhain to Yule, the Xmas Craze. From Yule to New Year, the drunken feasting revelry. (Not complaining: probably the most authentic part of the seasonal celebration!) From New Year to Imbolc, the burnt-out exhaustion and refocusing on good self-care... and SO ready for Spring!

Well, let's see if we can do it a little differently, this year.

What would Yule be like, if we focused completely on sharing and celebrating ...

  • the Earth's eternal cycle that brings life,

  • the security of being part of our community,

  • the love shared between hearts?

Imagine it. And live it. And see if this season doesn't become one that refreshes and revitalizes you, instead of draining you and your bankbook.

I wish you the best of the season! See you at the next turn of the wheel.

With Blessings,
erin dragonsong

Make Yourself Heard!

If you have any comments, opinions, or content ideas we'd love to hear from you. Please write!

wicca-spirituality Mandala Starter Kit self-gift

Table of Contents

Special Offers -- 15% off Pre-Yule Special
What's New on the Site -- New Store, Wicca FAQs, and more
Events & Announcement -- Solstice Ritual, Podcasts & Publishing
Book Review -- The Twelve Wild Swans, by Starhawk & Valentine
Magick Book In Progress -- Our Magickal Reality
Ask The Priestess -- What Wiccans Can't Do
Word on the Street -- My Life Was Changed Today
Silver Chalice Details

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Special Offer: Pre-Yule Sale

In this time of year, the Divine invites you on an inward journey to ...
  • rediscover yourself,

  • refine your aims,

  • define your ideals,

  • and celebrate!

To help you with these worthy goals, I'm offering a special discount on something that helps will all of that, and more — drawing mandalas!

The Personal Mandala Starter Kit provides everything you need to draw a beautiful mandala right away, and for decades to come.

It offers a fun, sure-fire way to ...

* Draw creative, attractive mandalas with ease

* Relax and feel good with inner peace

* Focus and clear your mind

* Feed your spiritual side with an easy meditation practice

* Increase self-awareness and access Divine guidance

Find out more here.

Now you can get it at this special discount . . . 25% off! This offer is available only to subscribers, and only for a limited time. It's a way of helping you get into the spirit of the season: self-knowledge and celebration.

HOW TO GET THE SPECIAL PRICE -- The code for your discount is... " PreYuleMandalas " (one word). Simply type the word, PreYuleMandalas , in the Discount Box before Dec 22, 2009, to receive your discount. You can find the Discount Box just above the Download It Now button at the BOTTOM of this page.

Find out how easy and enjoyable it is to draw your own mandalas.

And what a wonderful spiritual practice mandalas can be!

With Blessings and wishes for a magickal Yule,

signature; click to write to erin

P.S. 10% of the profits go to charity, so you're doing a good thing for others as well as yourself.

This sale ends on Dec 22, 2009.

So don't put it off... it's too easy to forget things at this time of year. Get yours now, and save!

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What's New On The Site

It's been a quiet couple of months, new-articles-wise. But the few new ones are very exciting!

Wicca FAQs, for example. At last, here is a page that answers the most common questions I receive about Wicca.

This page was written in self-defense, because I am getting so many email questions these days that I simply can't keep up. So now I refer people to the Wicca FAQs page first, and if the question is answered there, I don't send another reply.

(I really regret not being able to answer all the emails personally anymore. I'm hoping to find a way to fix this situation... but it's a ways off.)

So if you have questions, check out the FAQs page first!

Another exciting development is our very own Wicca Store!

So many people have asked about what they need to get started in Wicca and where to find it, that I finally decided to set up a mini-store to help.

I've found some great starter items, and I walk you through them with comments about them. It's like I'm your personal shopping coach, walking you through the process of choosing the best Wiccan tools for you!

So come check out the store today!

And if there's something not there, that you would like help with, please email me to ask.

We also now have a page -- long overdue! -- on Wiccan activism: how being a Witch is being an activist ... and simple things you can do for the Earth.

This is such a vital component of Wicca that for a long time I didn't realise it needed to be specifically stated. I thought it would be assumed.

Thank goodness I figured it out! This is such an important subject, I hope you will check out this article.

Lastly, we have a new page on Animal Spirit Guides. This is something more and more people are interested in... and confused about. So here is an introduction to the subject.

That's all that's new on the website. But there's constantly things happening on the Facebook Fan Page and WiccaSpirit onTwitter.

Come check these out for quotes, ideas, insight, and inspiration on the Wiccan Path.

Hope to see you there!

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Events & Announcements

A special idea for a Yule / Winter Solstice ritual will be announced in our Blog, Facebook Fan Page, and WiccaSpirit onTwitter.

The focus will be to buy humanity time to progress in its spiritual evolution before the Earth shakes us off for good. (So hopefully we can change that outcome!)

There are already two locations where this ritual will be happening.

The goal is to have Witches all over the world, as many as possible, working with the same ritual idea ... so that the spell will be particularly powerful!

Please stay tuned to the online community for more information.

* * * * *

Other Upcoming Events include some podcast / internet radio interviews with erin Dragonsong ... bringing knowledge of Wicca Spirituality to the world wide web in another fun format.

Also, sometime next year you should see an article by erin in a new book from Llewellyn publishers. Her submission has been accepted for a book on coming out of the broom closet.

Another article for publication in a collection on Wiccans and Jesus will also be coming out next year, I believe. You should see a contribution from yours truly in that as well, on how Wiccans actually follow Jesus' teachings more than most Christians do!

You'll have seen quotes from both articles, if you've been following on Facebook or Twitter.

And if not, why not?!

There's lots of great stuff happening, and an interactive community. Please join us!

Stay tuned to our Blog, Facebook Fan Page, or WiccaSpirit onTwitter for more details on when you can hear the podcasts and read the books.

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Book Review

The Twelve Wild Swans :
A Journey to the Realm of Magic, Healing, and Action

The Twelve Wild Swans, by Starhawk and Hilary Valentine, is a groundbreaking workbook for Wiccans who want to develop their skills and go further in their connection with the Earth and Spirit.

It's a fantastic beginner's book, covering the greatest range I've seen on a whole range of Craft basics such as ...

  • casting a circle,

  • guided visualizations to access inner wisdom,

  • creating a protective shield,

  • getting to know the Wheel of the Year,

  • and other vital Wiccan skills.

Yet The Twelve Wild Swans is just as great for advanced Witches too, offering insight into profound levels of the Craft, lessons in power and energy awareness, and developing deeper spiritually.

The Twelve Wild Swans works for Wiccans of all levels because of its unique concept . . .   See More

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Wicca Magick -- Book In Progress

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The Magick Of Reality
And The Reality Of Magick

Before you can do any magick there is one thing you must understand completely:

The physical world that you see around you is only ONE level of reality

— and not even the most fundamentally true one!

There are other levels of reality that are even more "real" than the physical world.

What does that mean?

It means that everything your body and senses tell you is real, is barely more than a phantom. And much that IS real, your mind and senses tell you is impossible.

The World of Illusions

We'll start with the last level of reality, because that's the one we interact with directly: the tangible, physical world.

The physical world only SEEMS to be solid and real. That's because all of our senses are calibrated to be weak enough not to pierce this veil of illusion. The book you're holding: science knows that it is 99.9% empty space, with only a few infinitesimal specks of something flying around at incredible speeds.

As Nick Herbert says, "If the electron were really a point particle moving around in its spatial realm, it would reside in a space so vacant it would make the solar system seem crowded." (Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics, 123-4.)

In other words, everything we think of as solid is made up of atoms, and atoms are made up of so little material that we could easily say they barely exist.

Not only that, but the flying bits are popping into and out of existence, constantly.

Mental Shorthand

But you usually just think of things as solid, right? It's easier. It makes navigating in the world much more efficient. It's a kind of mental shorthand.

Things act "real" so we treat them as real, and sometimes we forget that this is just a convenient fiction and we think they actually are real.

Our senses are very convincing!

But they are extremely poor judges of reality.

In another example, do any of your senses convey the truth that you are standing pinned by nothing but a force no one understands (gravity) to a whirling, wobbling rock that is swinging through the galaxy at unimaginable speed? Of course not. The world seems perfectly stable and still, doesn't it?

It's hard even to really comprehend that the sun doesn't rise and set. Obviously (to our senses) the sun travels around us, not vice versa. You can remind yourself, you can shift perspective enough to almost perceive it when you concentrate, but as soon as you relax you fall back into seeing the sun rise and set.

This is natural. It's part of being human.

You Are Not Physical or Stable Either

Same with your body. You think you have the same body you've always had, right?

But not one single part of it was there seven years ago: not one cell, not one atom, not one electron. And not one bit of you will be there seven years from now!

You are completely made over, from scratch, every seven years.

Many parts of you changes even faster. The epidermal layer of your skin is replaced every day, for instance. Two and a half million red blood cells are destroyed and replaced every second!

This is just as true of inner reality.

We tend to believe that our emotions are real. They aren't something we're making up: they come upon us (from somewhere) because of things that happen to us.

It takes a fair degree of consciousness to realise the illusion of these processes!

Even with conscious awareness that we are not only creating but choosing our emotions, it can take years to gain command of the process. Heck, it can take years just to accept that as a possibility.

The idea that your emotions are out of your control is another kind of handy mental shorthand. They SEEM that way, so we go along with the illusion.

(Ironically, we don't believe that thoughts are real but mere figments of the mind... when in fact thoughts may be the only reality there is. We'll get to that later.)

If the material world is not real, what is?

. . .

What Do You Think So Far?

I'd love to hear from you… Please write and let me know!

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Ask The Priestess

What Wiccans Can't Do

Dear Priestess,

Is there any lifestyles Wiccans have to stop like drinking, any sports, etc?

P. in United Kingdom

Dear P,

Pretty much the only "rules" to Wicca are the Wiccan Rede, the Three-Fold Law , and the Law of the Goddess: the Law of Love ...

The Rede states: Do as you will, as long as it does no harm.

The 3-Fold Law states: Whatever you send out (in thought, action, speech, etc), the same will come back to you many times over.

The Law of the Goddess states: "For My law is love unto all beings. By naught but love may I be known."

They apply equally to lifestyle as to what happens in ritual. After all, in Wicca, there is nothing that is "outside" of it. Wicca IS a lifestyle.

Other than that, you will find as you progress that alcohol and other intoxicants limit your abilities. The same is true for any destructive behaviour, whether towards yourself or others or the world around you.

But it is always your choice.

This is the essence of free will.

We are more successful and happy and healthy, more magickal and connected to the Divine when we follow these guidelines. But no one says we have to follow them, or that we have to be successful or happy or healthy, etc.

Thanks for asking. Bright Blessings to you!

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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Word on the Street

Thanks for writing!! I appreciate hearing from you!

What People Are Saying About

How do I begin to tell you how much this site has done for me these past two days... I've been on almost nonstop. The quiz made me realize that I have been a witch (walking around as a nurse) for most of my 40-some years. Now I understand why many days I feel as if I am bombarded with draining energy and can barely get up.

I have always known that there was so much more out a child I spoke to people that no one else could see... as a nurse I always attracted the sickest patients and my intuition fairly vibrates sometimes. I thought I was going crazy and have never truly felt at home.

I wish you could see my heart glow with light after reading the instructions for the Divine light I know there is something I can do to make myself stronger.

I am rambling I know and I wish I could speak with you but please know that my life was changed today.

Abundant Blessings, -- I.R. in USA

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© erin dragonsong 2009. All rights reserved worldwide. Reprinting any of this is forbidden unless you obtain my written permission: karma and the law agree on this one. And Copyscape is keeping an eye on these things.

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