Dear all,

It seems like just yesterday I sat down to write the last newsletter,
but its been a while! I hope that you all had a wonderful Autumn
Equinox celebrations on the weekend past, certainly the Sun shone
brightly on our part of Wales the entire weekend, so that was a nice
and unexpected blessing!

::::: Mabon or Modron?

Of course there is the great debate about alternative names Mabon and
Modron which are sometimes used by Pagans for the festival they
celebrate at the Autumn Equinox. Now looking at the myths of these
two Welsh deities it is necessary to conclude that for a festival in
the Northern Hemisphere at this time of the year when we are
celebrating the bounty (if its been a good year) of the harvest Modron
would in fact be the better choice.

Mabon (meaning “Son”) is first mentioned in the White Book of
Rhydderch, he is the son of the goddess Modron, but was stolen from
her when he was three days old and is eventually rescued after the
Salmon of Llyn Llyw reveals his location. He appears in a number of
myths, including that of the tale of Killhwch and Olwen. Modron is a
goddess of sovereignty whose name is derived from Matrona, meaning
“Mother”. She is referred to as “Modron the Sincere” in Englynion y
Beddau and is also mentioned in Cad Goddeu. Modron is said to have
been the wife of Urien, with whom she has a son named as Owein best
known for his game of chess with King Arthur in the “Dream of
Rhonabwy”. She also has close associations with the “Washer at the
Ford” making her one of the possible guises assumed by the Morrigan.
It is clear that Mabon is a unsuitable name, unless for some reason
the myth cycle being celebrated includes the “son” at Autumn Equinox ?”
which is of course usually a theme associated with Yule or the Winter
Solstice! Personally I prefer simply calling it Autumn Equinox ?” its
simple and says what it does. Alternatively, why don’t we all start
calling it The Devil’s Nutting Day?

::::: The Devil’s Nutting Day!
Actually I am serious! The 21st of September is also St Matthew’s Day
and is alternatively known as “The Devil’s Nutting Day” a name which
originates in a story which is recounted in the book “Maypoles,
Martyrs and Mayhem” referring to a mound off the A422:
“Once upon a time the Devil was out gathering nuts in Warwickshire,
this being Devil’s Nutting day. He had gathered a sackful when he ran
smack bang into the Virgin Mary, who commanded him to stand and
deliver. The Devil dropped his load and fled. The resulting
nut-mound soon became a grassy hill, and the story explains why it is
known as the Devil’s Nut Bag, but not why it is also known as the
Devil’s Night-cap, a name which suggests an alternative legend out
there somewhere.”

::::: St Matthew’s Day
But going back to the weather, with it having been rather sunny in our
parts on the weekend it is good news for the vineyards on the hill up
the road from us, because “Matthew’s Day bright and clear, brings good
wine the next year” ?” which is a good tip for those of you brewing
your own!

::::: New from Sorita & David
David and I have been very good lately and have been sticking to our
commitment towards completing unfinished projects before moving on to
the many new ones we want to tackle next year! Towards the Wiccan
Circle, a self-study course book based on the homestudy course by the
same name we used to offer on Avalonia.co.uk is now available.
Details can be found at
http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=283 ?” this book contains
many new exercises and workings which was not included in the original
homestudy course and has been carefully adapted to suit selfstudy. I
would also like to point out that the cover image used on “Towards a
Wiccan Circle” of “Blodeuwedd” (which I think is stunning), was
painted by the artist Emily Carding. Emily has also just had a very
different Tarot deck published called “The Transparent Tarot” which as
the name suggests, is … well… transparent! Details of this new
Tarot deck and her other work can be found at http://www.childofavalon.com

::::: Review of Wicca Magickal Beginnings & other Book Reviews
“Wicca Magickal Beginnings” our book on the possible historical
origins of Wiccan ritual has just been reviewed by Cardiff Pagan
Society’s Kim Huggens – http://ritualmagick.co.uk/reviews/?p=168 for a
copy of the review. There are quite a few interesting recent reviews
posted there, including another by Kim looking at the Enchanted
Oracle. There are many more reviews due out soon, so if books are your
thing, make sure to bookmark the site!

::::: Forthcoming from Avalonia Books & Golden Hoard Press
There is a list of our forthcoming titles available at
http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalog/?page_id=40 which should make the
very curious content for now. Practical Elemental Magick should be
available for pre-order early next week! David has just written a
short update about the Veritable Key of Solomon he is co-producing
with Stephen Skinner as part of the Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic
series for Golden Hoard Press on his website blog ?”
http://www.ritualmagick.co.uk ?” which is also a good place to visit
for other interesting magickal contemplations.

::::: Through the Worlds: Qabalah Workshop (4th October, London)
Though this is only a couple of weeks away, there are still places
available on this unique workshop. Going beyond the basics of
practical Qabalah, David will introduce, discuss and facilitate
advanced techniques for working with the magickal Qabalah. Details
can be found at http://www.avalonia.co.uk/events/index.htm or you can
contact Atlantis Bookshop directly on 020 7405 2120. Please note that
this is a workshop for people with a prior knowledge of the Qabalah
(though you don’t need to be an expert you will need to know your
Yesod from your Geburah!)

::::: I will leave you with this poem by fellow author and priestess
Yvonne Aburrow:

::::: MABON :::::
By Yvonne Aburrow

A salmon leapt from the river’s dark depths
A bright flash of silver in the sunlight

A hawk wheeled in the eye of the sun
His shadow moved on the ancient green mound

A fox gleamed russet in the margin of the forest
His eyes glinted in the twilight realm

A maiden sitting silent held
Two crossed swords, the equinoctial balance

A man sat musing by a deep pool
His clever fingers plucking the strings of a harp

Chained by one ankle to the rock
Yet he smiled, as one who slips the bonds of time.

http://beautenebreux.blogspot.com/search/label/Mabon (for the
original, included here by kind permission of the author)

:::::: :::::: ::::::

Well, whatever you get up to this Autumn I hope you enjoy! Lets cross
our fingers and hope for a little bit more of an Indian Summer here in
the UK. At least you can rest assured that you have an entire year to
decide what to call the Autumn Equinox when it comes round again next
year ?” and maybe we will all be calling it “Devil’s Nutting Day” by
then!

Many Blessings
Sorita d’Este

::::: Expanding the Esoteric Horizon
http://www.avaloniabooks.co.uk
::::: Let Your Imagination Roam Free
http://www.avalonia.co.uk

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