Welcome to this first issue of The Temple Bell, the official newsletter for The Temple of Witchcraft! We are very excited to see this newsletter come to fruition, and what better time of year than Lammas, the celebration of the first fruits of harvest!
A blustery hot wind moves through the full and rustling trees in such a way as to make the same sound as the ocean as it breathes back and forth, and the tall stems of queen anne’s lace, thistles and bee balm are doing their heat-wave dance in the empty lots that pass for meadows in the city where I live. And let me not neglect to mention: the chicory is in bloom – those small blue stars on jagged stalks, harbingers of the Midsummer to Lammas burn and blaze. Arguably my favorite flowers of the season.
In addition to these wild friends, our porch garden has also erupted with summer’s natural enthusiasm. The tomato plant is almost as tall as we are, having rocketed its way up from a seedling in what seems like only a little minute, and we harvested an armload of skullcap this weekend to dry for tea. My intrepid spouse has enterprising visions of growing some potatoes in a five-gallon bucket, and so far it seems to be on task. The peppers are almost blooming, and the anise hyssop is as big as a house. I’ve been hovering worriedly over the rosebushes, afraid that those first gorgeous blooms were also our last, but I’ve been assured that there will be more before summer’s end (and there’s even a rose hip or two on the way).
Summer is prime woolgathering weather, a time for taking lots of time for sitting on the porch at the cusp of thunderstorms, watching the white and pale periwinkle colored moths wing upwards, where a trick of the light and a moving tree branch makes it seem that they have magically turned into birds flying high above the city buildings. But it’s not all thunderstorms and iced tea!
Like those green friends in the garden, the Temple Bell writers been hard at work as well, and we have the fruits to show for it.
This first Lammas issue contains a rich variety of articles, interviews, and creative meditations to give you a sense of what the Temple is all about. In the Founder’s Corner, Christopher Penczak discusses the foundations of the Temple and the theological and practical history that has gone into forming the Temple’s basic architecture. Christopher also discusses the history and use of the Lorica prayers in his article “The Temple Lorica.” For more about the ministries offered by the Temple, check out the Pillars of the Temple section, where you can find excerpts from each of the Temples 12 ministries’ mission statements. Interviewer Tina Whittle talks with Adam Sartwell of the Temple podcast Voices of the Temple in this first column in the interview series, Reverberations. Emily K. Jones talks about the importance of the epagomenal days to those worshiping the Egyptian gods, and Liz Casper interviews author Raven Grimassi regarding his latest book The Caudron of Memory. In addition to these great articles, we hope you will also enjoy Raye Snover’s review of Avalon Within by Jhenah Telyndru, as well as Summer Song from Stevie Grant, a Lammas meditation by Jenna Bernardi, and a Tarot invocation from Emily K. Jones. An excellent first harvest! Many reasons to celebrate this first offering from the newsletter team!
Blessings of the season!