Soul of the Earth

by Naphana

I walk forward on my path.
Though the path takes twists and turns,
It’s all there for a reason.
Straight, Bent, Crooked
Step to step
Heartbeat to heartbeat
Breath to breath 
I walk with my guides and guardians
Along this path we call Life.
There are whispers all around us 
From far without 
To deep within.
I look to the spirits around me. 
I’m a soul of the earth,
Connected through 
Earth, Fire, Air, and Water.
Take a breath and you will see 
we are all connected eternally.

Naphana is a graduate of WC1 currently enrolled in WC2. She has also completed the TOW Wheel of the Year class and the TOW Astrology class. She loves poetry, writing, and photography, and is looking forward to her continued studies.

How Speaks the Wind

How Speaks the Wind?

by Christopher Crittenden

How speaks the wind through willow tree?
Like a beached fish gasping, in terror spent?
Its mind a ball of tangled string,
For fear and dread shall ne’er relent.
Or speaks it thus; an ancient knowing?
Like a stone upon a field of war,
Where men died, grain they now are sowing,
And banshee’s cry is heard no more.
Perhaps it whispers like a lover
To calm the soul with passion’s fire
Upon the skin, caress of clover
Aching dance of heart’s desire
For me, the wind a strange friend be
And I, too, stranger become
Full sails, slipping ‘pon the sea
Forever bound for home…

Christopher Crittenden has been a pagan and witch since 1983. He was initiated as a Priest into Seahold Sanctuary Coven in Waveland, MS, which manifested into the Covenant of the Labyrinth. Christopher is a member of The Temple of Witchcraft, the Ancient Order of Druids in America, Ar nDraoicht Fein and the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.

A shamanic practitioner, his practice is based on his experience of Eclectic Wicca, Traditional British Isles Witchcraft, the Western Mystery Tradition, Chaos Magic, Shamanism and Druidry. As a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with an MA in Teaching Language, he speaks several languages and he has published an essay in the anthology To Fly By Night.

Elemental Freedom

dragonfly 2

by Naphana

There’s a pull
A Call
I hear it all around me.
Come to that place
To that place where you feel safe
I can feel the elements emanate all around
North, east, south and west
The circle never really gone
It’s always there
Call upon us
When you need us
Call to that which you know you need
Walk outside to the place you feel free
No judgment comes your way
Walk the path you’re familiar with
Listen to nature as it doesn’t judge
Walk the path skyclad
The very way you were born
Spread your wings
Let the world see
The true you, the you locked away
Show them the beauty that’s inside
You love so very much
No matter what you have been dealt.
You’ve been there crawling, banged your knee, scraped your elbow
You have almost let go
What keeps you going?
Anger, judgment, hate, and lies
You have seen it all
What makes you forgive time and time again?
Forgiveness always there.
Come child please tell me
You walk the path, no matter where it has led
Kept going, playing, jumping, swimming, dancing, moving, laughing, crying.
Come my skyclad friend
What keeps you going?
What keeps you forgiving?
What keeps you casting?
What keeps you giving?
What keeps you dancing?
What keeps you laughing?
Your pen’s doing it again
Dancing and dancing across another page
Beneath your hands
Can you feel me there beside you?
Helping you, feeding you, pulling from you word after word?
Inspiring you to keep going
Eyes getting droopy almost time for bed
After another word after you get this out
Your passion and I know it
You have always been the one to try and inspire those around you
Giving and giving
Never ever expecting anything in return
Keep going and going
It’s what makes you smile day to day
It’s what pulled you through the darkness it’s what lit your way
Keep marching to the light of your soul
Dance and dance
And dance some more.
Dance to the steady beat, the rhythm of your heart
Walk and spin.
Dance and sing.
That which comes from within.
Shout to the world why you do what you do.
And shout to the world you do it for one beautiful reason.
You do it because of the reason you are here.
You do it because of that which pours forth from your soul.
You, always willing to give to those who are willing to except it
You do it because of one word you do it because you

Naphana is currently a Witchcraft I and Wheel of the Year student. She loves all kinds of art, but is especially drawn to poetry, short stories, and photography. She has been practicing witchcraft for a little over two years.

New Born

by Naphana

I wake in the early
morning hours.
I quietly get ready
for the hustle and bustle
of my daily life.
Greet the night lady
and wish her sweet sleep
as she sets below the horizon.
She heralds the coming of her love.
There I see it.
He stretches and yawns
from his night slumber,
safely tucked in her loving embrace.
They dance.
Two in one, night and day
loving each other
though barely seeing.
My heart quickens. It races. Soon it will
be there,
the first light of the new day.
It was born from love.
He rises on a steady path,
just as you walk the one set before you,
guided by those around you.
You dance the Wheel.
Day to day
you feel it
deep within you,
an awakening.
You hear it
deep within your souls.
A breath, a heartbeat.
A flame has been lit.
You hear the music all around
and wonder if you are the only one.
No, you smile.
This melody has been gifted to many.
Those willing to silence the
loudness around them.
You set forth,
step by step.
Beneath the snow,
can you feel it
There you feel it.
It calls to you.
You quicken your pace.
There’s an urgency.
It pulls you forward,
guided by unseen forces:
guide, guardian, spirit, intuition.
You don’t know.
You fall to your knees.
You dig
through ice cold shards.
No fear,
just the push that you are needed,
the feeling of urgency.
You find what you were led to find,
the first flower of Spring.

Naphana is currently a Witchcraft I and Wheel of the Year student. She loves all kinds of art, but is especially drawn to poetry, short stories, and photography. She has been practicing witchcraft for a little over two years.

What Remains

by Daedalus

Sometimes we are put in the position of being “what remains,”
what remains still standing after a powerful storm has blown through
what remains on the beach after the tide has receded
what remains visible as the fog rolls in,
or when the light fades. [continue reading…]

A Summer Evening Reflection

by Tracey Frink

As my husband and I walked home, the sun set in the west, fire meeting water. A house finch trilled for its mate, and she came flying across the road to join him whilst the pungent aroma of summer and green, ripening earth hung in the air. To feel our feet touch the earth and to be joined with the elements in this way was, itself, magickal. As dusk draped her soft cloak around us, the cicadas were softly singing. The air was rife with life.  A fire had been lit, and the fire faeries were dancing. The smoke rose, carrying with it our hopes and our dreams to the waiting ears of the Divine. The cares of the day were transmuted to peace and serenity, our conversation, consecrated.

Tracey R. Frink is a modern mystic, healer, equestrian and faery lover. She lives on a small horse farm in North Carolina. She has studied all the great world religions and is forever trying to throw her arms around the world. She is enrolled in her second year in TOW and is looking forward to her studies. She holds a Master of Divinity and is currently a Masters Student of Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Equine Assisted Mental Health. She is a Reiki Master and an avid barrel racer.

b and w foxby Tina Whittle

I’m a mystery novelist — it’s my profession now, my nine to five, and I enjoy it very much, especially the part where I get to slip into points of view far more exotic than my own. I enjoy reading speculative fiction for that same reason, especially the genre where talented witches vanquish evil doers with their mad magickal skillz.

But as much as I enjoy watching Harry Dresden shoot fireballs from his fingertips, I found myself longing for a detective story where the crime-solving witch was someone more like . . . well, me. I cannot conjure flaming spheres of destruction. A full Patronus spell is beyond my pay grade too, as is levitation. Like most witches, however, I work with magick every day, with great success. How would a witch like me solve a mystery?

The result of that pondering was the short story “A Fox in the Hand.”  It was recently selected by Crime City Central to be featured in their podcast. It’s a rather gentle bit of crime fiction — no corpses, just a stolen ceremonial dagger — and it features a witchy protagonist armed with only her wits and a rather nice Lenormand deck. There’s also a Siamese named Puff Daddy and a cute cop and some musings on holding on and letting go and the magic that lives in the heart of the mundane.

If you’d like to download the story, or listen to it on streaming audio, you can find it here: http://crimecitycentral.com/crime-city-central-no-102-tina-whittle/

Tina Whittle is mystery novelist/freelance writer working in the Low Country of Southeast Georgia. She is a recent W5 graduate and serves as co-editor of The Temple Bell. You can learn more about her and her writing at http://www.tinawhittle.com.

Journey of Five Hallows


Colour Spiral by Deatant2, shared under a Creative Commons license

by Rachel Mueller

The veil was rent beyond any mending;
when sight, thought blind, began transcending.

Sacred fire seen dwelling within
Flora, Fauna, Lapis; and men.

Called to know, myself, my craft
applying knowledge with Wisdom at last.

See with Sight betwixt, between
Energy flows to weave the unseen

The veil was rent beyond any mending;
when body, thought separate, began transcending.

Sacred flesh and exalted bone;
the keep, the cauldron, the living tome.

Moving, attuning with cycles of Earth,
So words in good order perchance to birth.

The grail, the sword, the wand, the stone;
The journey of Four Hallows, will lead to a throne.

The veil was rent beyond any mending;
when shadow, thought buried, began transcending.

Dig deep into Fear, the Anger, the Shame;
Hear their voices, needing to blame.

Expose those parts, once hidden, tagged demonic;
Gently transformed, by Knowledge made pneumonic.

Oh, Heal the Soul and sing It back home,
when love is expanded, one’s never alone.

The veil was rent beyond any mending;
when mind, thought secure, began transcending.

Rise on the planes, perception clears;
Undulate through Paths; journey in Spheres.

Alchemy, Qabalah, Hexa’, Pentagram;
Work the process, to learn of your “I am.”

Contracting for balance, then expand to learn
Mapping our reality, to know what we yearn.

Once lauded veils, recessed and now shelved;
Purpose bids sacrifice, myself to myself.

Descend through gates, paying each toll,
Facing my Eriskigal, in my own rabbit hole.

Transcending my mind, my body, my heart;
My True Self, my Work becoming my part.

Who does this grail serve, if not the Kingdom;
Flowing aware now of Divine Love, Will and Wisdom.

Rachael is a recent graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft Mystery School, currently serving as the Teaching Assistant for the Witchcraft Four class starting in May.  She also teaches an in-person Inner Temple Study Session in St Louis as well as several other classes at a local metaphysics store. This summer, she will be overseeing the Temple Booth for the St Louis Pagan Picnic.

Into The Woods

by Mark Bilokur

The huntsman goes into the woods. The huntsman follows animal tracks, footsteps of beasts that lead him deep into the woods. The deeper into the woods he goes, the wider the trunks of the trees around him. The deeper into the woods he goes, the taller the trees, the more branches and leaves, the darker it gets around him. The darkness grows, and soon the huntsman can no longer tell if it is afternoon, evening or if it is just the darkness around him.

He keeps moving, deeper into the woods. In the growing darkness, the huntsman loses sight of the tracks, but still he keeps moving. There are wolves in the woods. He feels, he knows this. He circles around, looking around, searching for the light of the open sky but finds none, sees only leaves, branches and darkness above him. He tries heading back, but the huntsman is no longer sure of which way is forward, which way is back. He circles around; he keeps moving. The huntsman feels, knows he is lost. In the darkness of the woods, he can no longer tell if it is twilight, if night has already fallen or if it is just the darkness around him.

The huntsman keeps moving, deep in the forest. He gathers branches from fallen trees. He finds a clearing. In the center of the clearing, he makes a circle of stones, piles the branches inside the circle and lights a fire. He sits in the glow of the fire, in the circle of light. There he feels safe from the shadows, the darkness, and he sits there, stays there, still.

As the huntsman sits in the circle of light, he starts telling stories to ease his fears, stories and fairy tales about the woods and the wild. He tells a story of a wolf who puts on the skin of a sheep. The wolf wears the skin as a disguise, to get closer to a flock of sheep, to make his hunting easier. The hunter tells how the wolf is taken for a sheep and taken away by the sheep herder, away from the flock.  As the hunter tells his story, he sees a pair of eyes appear outside the circle of light. The hunter continues his story, tells how the wolf, mistaken for a sheep, is taken into the house and cooked in a cauldron for the family dinner.

Outside the circle of light cast by the fire, the hunter sees another pair of eyes appear, and then another. Then another, and another, and another. Soon the huntsman is surrounded by a circle of eyes. The huntsman sees light in the eyes all around him, eyes reflecting the light of the fire or burning bright from within.

The huntsman sits there, and the huntsman stays there, the huntsman goes on telling stories. He tells the story of a girl in the woods who meets a wolf. The wolf asks where she’s going and she naively tells him, she’s off to visit her grandmother’s house. When the girl starts picking flowers at the wolf’s suggestion, the wolf runs off to get to the house first. The huntsman tells how the wolf sneaks into grandmother’s house, kills the grandmother, and then cooks her for supper. He tells how the wolf puts on grandmother’s clothes, crawls into grandmother’s bed, and lays in wait for the granddaughter to appear. When the girl comes into the house, the wolf offers her the supper still cooking on the fire. When the granddaughter is ready for bed, the wolf asks her to remove her clothes and throw them onto the fire. The girl notices how grandmother doesn’t look like grandmother, with such big eyes, much bigger than grandmother’s, with such big ears, with such big teeth. He tells of a huntsman who comes and saves the girl, cutting open the wolf and filling it with stones, so when the wolf stumbles out of the house, it falls into a well and drowns.

The huntsman turns to look into each pair of eyes, one by one, as he keeps telling stories. The huntsman tells the story of three pigs and the houses they build, and of a wolf that tries to eat the pigs. He tells of how the wolf knocks down the house of straw, and knocks down the house of wood. He tells of how the wolf tries knocking down the house of brick, and tries, and tries, and the house stays standing, still. The huntsman tells how the wolf sneaks into the house of brick, down a chimney, only to fall into a big pot of water and be boiled for the pig’s dinner.

He tells the story of two giant wolves, Skoll and Hati, who will swallow the sun and the moon when it comes time for the end of the world. He tells of their father, the giant wolf Fenrir, caught and bound by the gods of the North at a lake called ‘pitch black.’ He tells of how Fenrir is bound there until the world ends, until the sun and the moon are swallowed and the stars disappear from the sky. When the world ends, the huntsman says, the ground will shake violently, the trees will be uprooted, the mountains will fall and all the bindings around Fenrir will break. When the world ends, he says, only then will the giant wolf be free. When the world ends, he says, then and only then will Fenrir go forth, the upper jaw of the giant wolf touching the sky and his lower jaw touching the earth, and flames coming out of the wolf’s eyes and nostrils.

The fire burns in the center of the circle; the earth is quiet, the trees seem to bend down to listen. The huntsman sits there, still. He doesn’t notice the darkness beyond the circle of light, beyond the leaves and branches; he sees only the bright circle of eyes around him.

One bright pair of eyes moves closer, steps out of the darkness. Surrounding the eyes, the hunter sees the biggest, blackest wolf that he has ever seen. The wolf moves towards the center of the circle, to the fire and to where the huntsman sits. The huntsman stays there, still. The big black wolf walks close to the huntsman, close enough to feel the huntsman’s breath. The wolf sits.

“Thank you for your stories,” says the wolf. “We have not heard such tales as these before. As you have honored us with your stories, we would honor you in return. If you wish, please allow us to share with you.”

The huntsman sits and stares. Such things only happen in fairy tales, he thinks, fairy tales and dreams. Surely this wolf, so big and so black, seems to be a beast born of nightmares, and yet this big black wolf speaks with more respect and courtesy than most men, something not so clearly seen or reflected in the stories he’s been telling, the stories and fairy tales. Such things only happen in fairy tales, he thinks, and yet the tales he’s told are not so true as this. The huntsman sits there, still.

After a few moments, the wolf bows his head politely. “As you will,” says the big black wolf, and starts to move, to leave.

“Yes! Yes, if you please,” says the huntsman. “I will! I wish it.”

One by one and one after another, the wolves come out of the darkness and come closer to the fire. Some sit, some stand, some lay down, and one by one the huntsman sees and recognizes each pair of eyes he has looked into, wolf after wolf after wolf. He is surrounded by the wolves as he was before, only now more closely, much more closely, all of the wolves in the circle of light. The huntsman is close enough to hear their breath.

Some of the wolves close by the fire start panting, and the big black wolf begins to tell of a leaf in the wilderness. He tells of a leaf upon a branch, a branch with many leaves, a branch upon a trunk with many branches, each of these branches with leaves. He tells of a thick-trunked tree with branches that reach through the sky and roots that go deep into the earth, a tree as big as the world, one among the many trees in the wood and the wild. He tells of the many trees, their leaves and branches, tells of their roots, of how they grow and how they dance and sway while rooted to the earth; he tells of how they sing. The huntsman recognizes the oaks, the cedars, the pines in the story of the big black wolf, only the names are different, and the descriptions are much more full and vivid than any he remembers hearing, as if the wolf had learned from the trees, is speaking for the trees themselves.

As the huntsman listens to the big black wolf, he hears the panting of some of the wolves by the fire, hears a rhythm in their breath that the words of the big black wolf seem to follow. The huntsman follows the words and the rhythm and the breath of the big black wolf, and another wolf joins in the breath, in the rhythm, telling of some of the plants in the woods, their leaves and flowers, their stalks and roots, and how the many plants sing.

Another wolf joins in, and tells of the birds who live in the trees, and the words of this wolf weave in with the song of the trees from the big black wolf and the song of the plants from the other wolf, and the huntsman realizes the wolves are not just telling stories, they are singing, and every song is true. Another wolf joins in, singing of the rocks and stones and earth all around, and another wolf sings of the rivers and streams, and another joins in, singing a song of the stars, and another, and another, until all the wolves are singing. As the huntsman listens to their song, he hears and learns so much more than he ever dreamed about the woods and the wild. The world as he once knew it seems upside down and backwards. Such things only happen in fairy tales, he thinks, and yet the tales he thought he knew are not so true as this.

The huntsman closes his eyes to listen, and he follows the songs of the woods, hungry to know more, to learn more. He begins to notice other rhythms in the singing, other patterns in the words, the melodies, the harmonies, all weaving and flowing together. He listens, and as the songs turn into dreams, he follows them, tracks them. He listens, and he can no longer tell if he is awake or asleep. The words, the world seems to glow with a light that shines, that flows through everything like the song. He opens his eyes, he closes them, he no longer knows the difference.

More and more wolves join in the song, and as the huntsman follows, he recognizes more of the flowers, the plants. The huntsman recognizes more of the trees, the branches, recognizes the song as the place they are in, deep in the woods, in a circle around a fire. The song circles around and the huntsman follows, around and back to the fire. He doesn’t know if the song has been moving or if it was just him, and yet he sits there, still. The huntsman sits by the fire, and the big black wolf sings of a leaf upon a branch, of branches on a tree, of a tree deep in the wild.

As the huntsman listens to the songs of the wolves, he hears one of them sing of the wolves themselves, and it dawns on him that there is no song they sing that tells of the huntsman, no song that tells of him or describes him. The trees, he hears the trees themselves now, the trees are singing. The trees, the plants, the birds, they are all singing along, and there is no song of the huntsman; he does not hear himself in their song, yet he hears, he feels, he knows he is a part of the song. The huntsman opens his mouth and then…

The huntsman hears a howling, something howling in the woods. The huntsman opens his eyes, and the howl stops. The fire has turned to ashes, and light is streaming through the leaves and branches. He realizes the howl was coming from his own open mouth. The darkness has moved on, the rest of the wolves are gone, but he hears them, he feels them, the wolves. He hears the song, the songs, remembers the dreams, so different from what he has heard before, from what he thought he knew, from what he used to know.

He yawns, stretches, rolls to his feet. He sees the remains of his old clothes in the ashes of the fire. The fur he now wears for a skin is more than enough. He smells the air and listens. He is no longer a huntsman, simply a hunter.

He follows the dreams, the tracks, follows the songs that lead deeper into the woods. The hunter feels the warmth of the light inside him, a light that shines in his eyes. The hunter goes into the woods to join the circle. The hunter joins the song.

Mark Bilokur is a graduate of the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy, has a Masters degree from the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont and is currently the Leo lead minister for the Temple of Witchcraft. He is also a student of author and Celtic reconstructionist Sharynne MacLeod NicMhacha. He infuses his spirituality and humor into his art and art and humor into his spirituality. He can be reached at [email protected].

Last Days of Summer

by Shea Morgan

Heat-filled days carrying the hint of cooler days to come

Summer begins its slow wind down into Fall

We can feel the crisp Fall air whispering in our ear

Beckoning us to follow the path below

As the sultry summer days continue, sunflowers in bloom

Flowers bend heavy heads circled by dancing butterflies and bees

Golden finches searching out seeds

Birds greeting each other in the welcome water of the bath

Yet Fall’s deep embrace is calling.

We feel the chill near.

As footsteps fall on fallen leaves.


Crinkling with each step.

We hear the whisper of nature’s call for the Winter’s sleep.

But it is not yet time.

Sunlight still warms the Earth,

Green leaves blow in the trees on the Summer’s air

challenging the stillness to dare make its approach.

Shea Morgan is a graduate of Witchcraft IV with a 20+ year career in gov’t/public affairs. She is a founder of Spirit’s Edge: A Seeker’s Salon, Priestess of the Morrighan, ordained minister (ULC), teaches Witchcraft classes and has been on the path of a Witch since 2001. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her cat, and enjoys gardening, coven, friends, family and the family farm.

Temple of Witchcraft