Archive for the ‘circle of the dark moon’ Category

Following is a Dark Moon ritual written by one of our second-degree students. This ritual was performed by our coven on October 7th, 2010.

Dark Moon Ritual

Oct 7, 2010

Circle of the Dark Moon Coven & School of Wicca, Wytchecraft, & Magick

You will need these items:

General Items:

Altar facing East

Bell

Incense

Ritual Cakes

Wine or Ale

God/Goddess Candles

White Goddess Candle

Illumination Candle

Quarter Candles – Green (North), Yellow (East), Red (South), Blue (West)

Matches or Lighter

Athame, Sword or Wand

Besom

Chalice

Libation Plate

Cauldron

Ritual Specific Items:

Paper

Pen

Cleansing Sacred Space

(Maiden sweeps – with circular widdershins motions _ widdershins about the ritual area.  When she is satisfied that enough negativity has been removed, she sets the besom aside.

Next, she lights the white Full Moon Mother Candle.

Finally, the maiden checks the layout of the altar making sure that the altar is divided between male objects on the right – God Candle, censer, incense, HP’s athame/sword/wand, and besom – and female objects on the left- Goddess Candle, cauldron, bowl of water, bowl of salt, chalice, libation plate, bell, and the HPS’ athame/sword/wand.  The pentacle should be placed forward and between the Goddess and God Candles.  The maiden also ensures that the chalice is filled and the “cakes” are on the plate.  When these tasks are completed, she assists the HPS in any other way deemed necessary.)

Attunement

All:

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,

Whose breath gives life to all the world.

Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice

Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.

Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me.

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others.

Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy

Myself.

Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.

So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

Charge at the Pentacle

(HPS and HP stand before the altar, the HP is on the right and the HPS is on the left.  Both of them place their right hands on the pentacle, asking the Goddess and the God for strength, wisdom, and guidance.)

Call to the Circle

(HPS rings the bell to call everyone to the circle.)

HPS: This time is not a time; this place is not a place; this day is not a day; and this night is not a          night.  I stand at the threshold between the                 worlds.  I stand ready to part the     veil of mysteries.  May the Great Spirit help and protect us on this journey.  May the Buffalo,            Guardian of Spirit, show us the sacred path and may Hecate protect and bless us all.

Blessed Be!

All: So mote it be!

Consecration of the Elements

Blessing the Salt

(HPS places the dish of salt upon the pentacle)

HPS: I consecrate thee, creature of salt, seasoning of the hearth, gift of Mother Earth.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignancy, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

All: So mote it be!

(HPS removes the dish of salt from the pentacle and then places the dish of water upon the pentacle.  Then she takes the salt, and using her athame, drops into the water three measures of salt.  She stirs the water three times with the tip of her athame.  HPS sets the salt aside.)

Blessing the Water

HPS: I consecrate thee, creature of water, vessel of our emotions, gift of Mother Earth.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignancy, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

All: So mote it be!

(HPS removes the dish of water from the pentacle.)

Blessing the Fire

(HP places the censer upon the pentacle.)

HP: I consecrate thee, creature of fire, that which brings  our passions and desires, a gift of Father Sky.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignancy, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

All: So mote it be!

Blessing the Air

(HP adds the incense to the censer upon the pentacle.)

HP: I consecrate thee, creature of air, who carries our thoughts and words to the stars, a gift of  Father Sky.

I cast from thee all hindrance and malignancy, so that in my works of magick you may well serve me.

All: So mote it be!

(HP sets aside the censer.)

Circle Casting

By Earth

(HPS draws her athame, HP and HPS proceed doesil around the circle, beginning in the East, with the HPS holding the athame pointed at the perimeter of the circle.)

HPS: I conjure thee, O Circle of Power, to be a meeting place of love, joy and truth.  A boundary between the worlds of men and the Realms of the Mighty Ones.  A rampart and protection against all wickedness, that shall both contain and entertain the powers that shall be raised within.  Wherefore do I consecrate thee, in the names of Lugh and Hecate.

Strengthening the Circle

By Water

(Sprinkles the salt and water mixture around the Circle.)

Witch 1: Rain of water and salt sprinkled upon the ground, protect us from wickedness and make our magick sound.

By Air

(Takes the incense around the Circle.)

Witch 2:   Into the night sky, incense smoke roil, rise and writhe.  Sunder us from the mundane like a scythe.

By Fire

(Takes the candle around the Circle.)

Witch 3: Fire shine true and bright.  Aid, grant clarity of sight.  Mayest the Gods be with us this night.

Calling the Quarters

East: Hail and welcome, Hawk, Guardian of the East, messenger, protector and visionary of Air.  You, who awakens vision and brings our creativity to bear.  Come to our Circle on this New Moon night, to witness and protect our sacred magickal rites.

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Air.)

North: Hail and welcome, Tortoise, Guardian of the Earth, symbol of goddess energy and eternity.  You , who slows down the pace of life and supplies limitless energy.  Come to our Circle on this New Moon night, to witness and protect our sacred magickal rites.

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Earth.)

West: Hail and welcome, Otter, Guardian of the West, bringer of joy, laughter and sharing.  You, who awakens our inner child and leads our burdens to bury.   Come to our Circle on this New Moon night, to witness and protect our sacred magickal rites.

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Water.)

South: Hail and welcome, Wolf, Guardian of the South, protector, teacher and Spirit if Fire.  You, who brings intuition and inner strength to our life.  Come to our Circle on this New Moon night, to witness and protect our sacred magickal rites.

(Draw the invoking pentagram of Fire.)


Drawing Down the Moon

Invocation to the Goddess

(HPS assumes the Goddess position.)

HPS: I invoke thee and call upon thee, Mother Earth, bringer of light, the Triple Goddess, Hecate.

On this New Moon Night we celebrate you and the gathering in of the harvest.

Hecate, please come unto me with your light, and grant me your wisdom’s might.

(HPS lights the Goddess Candle.)

(HP stands before the HPS.  HPS draws the invoking pentagram before the HP.)

HPS: Of the Mother, darksome and divine,

Mine is the scourge and mine is the kiss;

The five-point star of love and bliss-

Here I charge you in this sign.

(HP stands aside.)

Charge of the Goddess

HP: Now listen to the words of the Great Mother,  who was of old also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine,       Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride, and by many other      names.

HPS: Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place, and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all witches.

There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these I will teach things that are as yet unknown.

And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.  For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and mine also is joy on Earth; for my law is love unto all beings.

Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it, let naught stop you    or turn you aside; for mine is the secret door which opens upon the land of  youth, and mine is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality.

I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man.  Upon Earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before.

Nor do I demand sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the Earth.

HP: Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess: she is the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, whose body encircles the universe.

HPS: I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon upon the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe, from me all things proceed and unto me they must return.  Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.  And you who seek to know me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery:  for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

Drawing Down the Sun

Invocation to the God

(HP assumes the God position.)

HP: I invoke thee and call upon thee, Father Sky, Lord of the Sun, Lugh.

Keeper of the harvest and guardian of the gates of Death, we celebrate you this New Moon night.

O Lugh, please come unto me, and grant me your wisdom’s might.

(HP lights the God Candle.)

(HPS stands before the HP.  HP draws the invoking pentagram before the HPS.)

HP: I am the stag of seven tines,

Lord of the Underworld, darksome and divine,

Mine is the realm of shadow sublime.

Mine is the scourge and mine is the kiss,

The five-point star of love and bliss-

Here I charge you in this sign.

(HPS stands aside.)

Charge of the God

HPS: Listen to the words of the Horned God, the Guardian of all things wild  and free, and the Keeper of the Gates of Death, whose Call all must  heed:

HP: I am the fire within your heart… The yearning of your soul.  I am the Hunter of Knowledge and the Seeker of the Holy Quest;  I who stand in the darkness of light; I am He whom you have called Death.  I am the Consort and Mate of Her whom we adore, call forth to Me.

Heed my call beloved ones, come unto me and learn the secrets of death and peace.  I am the corn at harvest and the fruit on the trees.  I am He   who leads you home.  Scourge and Flame, Blade and Blood, these are mine own gifts to thee.

Call unto me in the forest wild and on hilltop bare and seek me in the Darkness Bright.  I who have been called: Pan, Herne, Osiris, Cernunnos, and Hades, speak to thee in thy search.  Come dance and sing; come live and smile; for behold, this is my worship.

You are My children and I am thy Father.  On swift night wings, it is I who lay you at the Mother’s feet to be reborn and to return again.

Thou who thinks to seek me, know that I am the untamed wind, the fury of storm, and the passion in your soul.  Seek me with pride and humility, but seek me best with love and strength.

For this is my path, and I love not the weak and fearful.  Hear my call on long Winter nights, and we shall stand together guarding Her Earth as She sleeps.

Statement of Purpose

Good Evening and Welcome to our New Moon Ritual.  Tonight we are going to face our fears and magickally rid ourselves of at least one.  Fears are the biggest stumbling block to our spiritual progression.  They inhibit our being able to become the best person we can be.  Overcoming our fears and working towards strengthening ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually is our lifetime goal.  So we are going to go outside and meditate on our greatest personal fear, then we are going to come back in, write it down on a piece of paper and banish it in smoke, fire and ash.

Power Raising

(HPS & HP lead the coven in the Witches Rune)

WITCHES RUNE

Darksome night and shining moon,

Hearken to the witches’ rune.

East then South, West then North,

Here, Come, I call thee forth.

By all the powers of land and sea.

Be obedient unto me.

Wand and Pentacle and Sword,

Hearken ye unto my word,

Cords and Censor, Scourge and Knife,

Waken all ye unto life.

Powers of the Witches’ Blade,

Come ye as the charge is made.

Queen of Heaven, Queen of Hell,

Send your aid unto the spell.

Horned Hunter of the night,

Work my will by magick rite.

By all the powers of land and sea,

As I do say “So mote it be”.

By all the might of Moon and Sun,

As I do, my will be done.

(IF she likes, the HPS may have the coven chant the Eko Eko chant three times)

All: Eko Eko Azarak

Eko Eko Zomelak

Zod Ru Koz E Zod Ru Koo

Zod Ru Goz E Goo Ru Moo

Eeo EEo Hoo Hoo Hoo

Eko Eko Azarak

Eko Eko Zomelak

Eko Eko Lugh

Eko Eko Hecate

Main Working

Banishing Fear

The HPS opens a door in the Circle for the coven to exit and then closes it from the outside.  The coven proceeds to go outside and choose a spot away from others in the dark to sit and meditate on their fears.  When they have chosen the fear that they wish to banish the coven returns to the Circle.  The HPS opens a door in the Circle, the coven enters and then the HPS closes the door to the Circle again.  The Maiden hands out the pens and pieces of paper.  The members write down the fear they want to banish and folds the paper in quarters. One at a time the coveners light the paper with the Illumination candle, and place it in the cauldron, as they say:

COVENER: With Fire and Flame, Smoke and Air,

Take away the fear I bear.

In its place I see the light,

Return to me the power of might.

With Fire and Flame, Smoke and Air,

Take away the fear I bear.

In its place I see the light.

Return to me the power of might.

With Fire and Flame, Smoke and Air,

Take away the fear I bear.

In its place I see the light,

Return to me the power of might.

The Great Rite (symbolic)

(HPS takes the Chalice and the HP stands before her holding his athame over the chalice.)

HPS: You are the Spear of Lugh.

(HP lowers his athame into the chalice.)

HP: You are the Goddess of the Moon.

HPS/HP: And together we are one.

Consecration of the Wine and Cakes

(HPS places the chalice on the pentacle and lowers her athame into it while saying…)

HPS: May this offering to the God and Goddess keep us from ever knowing thirst.

(HPS removes the chalice and replaces it with the libation plate.  Touching the cakes with her athame she says…)

HPS: May this offering to the God and Goddess keep us from ever knowing hunger.

Simple Feast

(HPS takes the plate of cakes, HP takes the chalice.  They serve each covener and then each other using the following words and responses.)

HPS: May you never know hunger.

Covener: Blessed Be!

HP: May you never know thirst.

Covener: Blessed Be!

(When everyone has been served the HPS places the cakes that are left into the chalice with the wine.  HPS raises the chalice in both hands, saying…)

HPS: To the Gods!

All: To the Gods!

Closing the Circle

Release of the Goddess

(HPS faces the altar.)

HPS: Hecate, Mother of the Earth,

Triple Goddess, our time with you has passed too soon.

We thank you for the blessings of this night,

For friends and mentors, who show us the light.

For all that You are,

For all that we may one day be,

We salute and thank Thee.

Alas, our time together now is past,

We bid thee farewell.

Stay if you will and join our repast.

Leave us if you must.

Ere you leave us, know that all who met here

Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.

(HPS extinguishes the Goddess Candle.)

Release of the God

(HP faces the altar.)

HP: Lugh, Father of the Sky,

Mate of she who lights our night, our time with you has passed too soon.

We thank you for the blessings of this night,

For your guidance and strength, and your wisdom’s might.

For all that You are,

For all that we may one day be,

We salute and thank Thee.

Alas, our time together now is past,

We bid thee farewell.

Stay if you will and join our repast.

Leave us if you must.

Ere you leave us, know that all who met here

Did so in perfect love and perfect trust.

(HP extinguishes the God Candle.)

Release of the Quarters

South:   Hail, Wolf, Guardian of the South.  We thank you  for witnessing and protecting our Circle on this New Moon night.

Merry we met, merry we  part, and merry may we meet again.

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Fire.)

West:   Hail, Otter, Guardian of the West.  We thank you for witnessing and protecting our Circle on this New Moon night.

Merry we met, merry we  part, and merry may we meet again.

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Water.)

North:   Hail, Tortoise, Guardian of the North, we thank you for witnessing and protecting our Circle on this New Moon night.

Merry we met, merry we  part, and merry may we meet again.

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Earth.)

East:   Hail, Hawk, Guardian of the East.  We thank you for witnessing and protecting our Circle on this New Moon night.

Merry we met, merry we  part, and merry may we meet again.

(Draw the banishing pentagram of Air.)

Opening the Circle

(HPS walks around the Circle widdershins three times while saying the following words.)

HPS: O Circle of Power, as I have conjured thee; I now release your energies  into this blade.

Where there was once a rampart between this world and the Otherworld, the rampart is no more.  Once again, our realms are separate.  However, the love and joy with which we met here tonight remains undiminished.

(HPS grounds the energy from the athame into the Earth and then rejoins the HP at the altar.)

HPS: As the Night gives way to Day,

As the Winter Must yield to Spring,

As Youth must turn to Age,

And as the Magickal returns to the Mundane,

So must tonight’s ritual come to an end.

We met here tonight in love and joy,

Take that love and joy with you when you depart.

May you always walk in Beauty.

The Circle is open but remains unbroken.

Blessed Be!

All: Blessed Be!

26
Aug

Demons: 1 – Pastor: 0

   Posted by: Scrivener

At last, I get to return to writing articles which are at least tangentially connected to Wicca and Magick. I’m sorry if the last few of my posts sounded as though they’d been written by Gordon Ramsay after a particularly bad day in Hell’s Kitchen. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately with a failed job search and the resultant financial anxiety, my wife’s illness and my own health concerns, the day-to-day rigors of running a coven, and just having to put up with stupid people doing idiotic things (and I thought we’d corralled all the idiots in Florida.)

Today’s lesson is about those bible-thumping, hallelujahing, forever trying to find Jesus with their GPS, Christian Radicals. In fact, there are so many of these aberrations in and around Warner Robins, that I’ve coined a new word: WRadical. ‘W’,’R’, Warner Robins—get it? Or I suppose the ‘W’ ‘R’ could also stand for Wacky Religious Right. Okay, so that’s two ‘R’s. Perhaps we could use WR2 then. Don’t get me wrong. As Wiccan, and especially as a Wiccan High Priest, I am and expect others in my coven to practice likewise, tolerance for all spiritual paths. Besides, if for no other reason, we should keep Baptists around for entertainment value.

As Wiccans, wytches, and warlocks—oh my—we’re expected to dress up in robes, chant, and dance about the occasional cauldron. But we’re Wiccan (Dark Moon Tradition to be exact) and people expect us to be on the fringes. However, just like in the song, Crosby is a member of ‘mainstream’ religions and “look[s] like a fine outstanding young man, I think [he’ll] do”. Therefore, like the tea party and all tea baggers, the wingnut right, fundamentalists and all repug-nicans, Crosby has focused on a non-issue and tried to make it of national import all for the sake of increasing the size of his flock. “[Picket] signs, [picket] signs, everywhere there’s [picket] signs fuckin’ up the scenery, breakin’ my mind. Do this [follow me], don’t [use that plywood demon], can’t you read the sign?”

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to school, a war for your very soul is being fought by fanatical fundamentalist Baptists against the forces of evil. That Evil— you must say it as though it were really evil—is to quote Mike Myers in “So I Married an Axe Murderer“, “Eee-vil as in Frui-its of the Dee-vil”, or as in Pastor Donald Crosby’s case, a demon. Just not any demon, mind you, but a spark shooting from his pitchfork, six foot tall, plywood high school football mascot.

That’s right—plywood. I bet your soul feels safer just knowing Crosby is on the case. Apparently, he’s an ‘ordained’ minister from the RAPP Bible Study Correspondence School. I didn’t make that up; see gkbministry [dot] com for his resume. From what I’ve found, the RAPP program is a literacy outreach program sponsored by the Calvary Baptist Church.

Even though RAPP sounds a bit like a correspondence school, as Wiccan clergy I don’t have a problem with that. Our own (Wiccan) history is filled with people of the like of Alexander Sanders and Gerald Gardner who if they couldn’t find a coven that suited them began their own tradition, or who sometimes cut corners as in filling missing parts of old rituals with ceremonial magick excerpts from the Golden Dawn. Therefore, realizing that religion is dynamic and not static and not always sanctioned by the status quo, and that all religions at one time were considered a cult (yes, even you holier-than-thou Christians—yes again that means you Baptists), I don’t have problem with Rev. Crosby’s ordination.

Below is a quoted summarization of the macon [dot] com article by Becky Purser.

WARNER ROBINS — A pastor who wants to get rid of the Demons mascot at Warner Robins High was arrested while picketing in front of the school on the first day of school Monday.

Donald Crosby, pastor of God’s Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ in Macon, was charged with disorderly conduct and picketing without a permit, both misdemeanors, after he refused to comply with officers requests to leave, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police.

Crosby, 36, was free on $650 bond.

Officers were dispatched to the school at 401 S. Davis Drive shortly after 7 a.m. in reference to the picketing, according to a Warner Robins police news release. Pugh said Crosby was among a group of about 30 people picketing against the school’s use of Demons as its mascot.

The group did not have a permit to picket, which is required by city ordinance, Pugh said. Crosby was told this, and officers offered to help him with the process of obtaining a permit but Crosby declined and would not leave, Pugh said. Crosby was arrested.

Crosby has been circulating petitions to have the mascot removed, he said, because demons represent evil and the mascot “gives evil a good face,” Crosby said. “Prayer had to leave but the demons can stay?”

Crosby said he has guardianship of a young man he considers a son who lives with him in Warner Robins and who is enrolled at Warner Robins High School. Crosby said the boy did not attend school the first day but is expected to start soon.

The police report stated that Crosby declined an invitation from Warner Robins police Maj. Harry Dennard to come back to his office where he would help Crosby prepare a request form for a permit.

According to the police report, Crosby declined the invitation and stated, “You’re just going to have to lock me up.”

The report also stated that Crosby told the crowd of picketers, “Let them lock all of you up.”

Crosby was arrested a second time a few days later and released after paying a $36 fine and posting yet another bond for $150.

The mascot mentioned is a red devil with horns wielding a pitchfork. A large version of the mascot is wheeled out to the end zone during football games. Sparks shoot from the pitchfork when Warner Robins scores. The mascot was named for the Air Force’s 7th Fighter Squadron when the school opened in 1946. The squadron was nicknamed the “Screamin’ Demons.”

I believe that as a religious leader (like me—High Priest and headmaster of the Circle of the Dark Moon School of Wicca, Wytchecraft, and Magick, I’m still getting over that one; just goes to show that the Gods do have a sense of humor) Pastor Crosby should choose his battles more carefully. If he wants more publicity for his church—fine—I can relate to that. But there are more positive ways to do that than attacking two of Warner Robins sacred cows: High School football, and the Air Force. For instance, maybe he could’ve taken that $850 and opened a food pantry to help the area’s hard hit unemployed. Perhaps he could’ve spent or donated that money to a local environmental group for cleaning up the Ocmulgee River. Finally, he could have taken that money, put on a little church open house/barbecue where he could’ve delivered a real spiritual message instead of tilting at demon windmills like a frocked Don Quixote.

However, the way he chose to instead spend that money did nothing to bolster the size of his flock, increase his credibility as a spiritual leader, or even to achieve his stated ends. In gamer parlance, he was ‘pwned‘ and failed—sort of like crashing and burning. Instead he’s been labeled the WRadical fringe so far to the right that it makes Rush Limbaugh look like a liberal and Fox like an unbiased news reporting network. For all the good that money did, Crosby may as well have used the money to wipe his rear end. Welcome to being a pariah, Preacher. We Wiccans, wytches, wizards, and warlocks have your back.

I wonder whether Crosby knows that in the game, World of Warcraft, a warlock can summon demons to do his/her bidding. Or for that matter, there are summoners among the WRadicals of Warner Robins who regularly call and consort with all manner of beings, demonic, angelic, and otherwise from the Far Planes and astral realms.

Q. How much do classes cost?
A. There is no cost for classes.

Q. Where do I attend classes?
A. We hold both in-person classes (we’re located in Warner Robins, GA) and online classes.

Q. Do I need any books?
A. Both the online and in person classes we use the following books:

The Real Witches Craft by Kate West,
The Inner Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher Penzak,
Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland,
Wicca: the Complete Craft by DJ Conway.

The book list varies by year to year and depends on the degree program. It’s not necessary buy any of the books. I rarely give
reading assignments. While I base my lectures on the above listed books, lecture content is not exclusively from said sources.

Q. How do the online classes work? You just email me a lesson and then maybe I get to hear from an instructor once in a while–
right?
A. No, teachers and students interact just as though they were in a classroom. The online classes use Skype. Skype is a program which
allows student and teacher to converse and to see each other over the internet. To use Skype, you’ll have to download the client
program from http://Skype.com.

Q. When are classes held?
A. The in person classes are held Saturdays at 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

Q. What time are the online classes held?
Online classes are held Sundays at 3:00 PM Eastern Time.

Q. What else can you tell me about the classes?
A. Class duration is usually one to one and a half hours long. The class format is a mixture of lectures based on reading material, and
our own experience coupled with teachings specific to the Dark Moon Tradition, and student participation. Additionally, we try to be
as hands-on as possible when it comes to things like herbalism, divination, and other ‘crafty’ types of activities. Additionally as part
of their training, our second-degree students will from time to time teach a class. One of the students will also be assigned to
mentor you. Not to say you won’t be able to email or call me with questions should you want to do so.

Q. How do I get setup for the online classes?
A. After you’ve downloaded and installed Skype, you’ll also have to register an account with http://skype.com. The software and
registration is free. Once you have your account set up, execute the Skype program and sign in—via the program not the web—and
send a request to add CircleOfTheDarkMoon as a contact. When we receive your request, we’ll add you as a contact and add you to
our class group and then on Sundays at 3:00 PM ET, we’ll initiate the call. So what you need to do on Sunday is load Skype, log in
via the program, and wait for a call from CIRCLEOFTHEDARKMOON and then answer it. After that things work pretty much the same
as any other conference call except we’ll be using computers, web cams, microphones, and earphones or speakers.  computers,
web cams, microphones, and earphones or speakers.

Q. Do I need any special hardware to participate in the online classes?
A. Even if you don’t have a web cam, you can still use Skype with just speakers and microphones or a headphone/microphone combo set.

However, we recommend getting a cheap headphone/microphone combination set available at Best Buy or similar stores for around
$40. The reason for that is with headphones, we don’t have the problem of feedback from the PC speakers.

Q. Does it cost anything to use Skype?
A. No, don’t worry about buying Skype credit or any of the other crap they want to sell you. The part of Skype we’re using is a free
service.

Q. How do I set up Skype?
A. You will need to tell Skype what type of microphone/webcam/speakers you’re using. You do that via the options tab on Skype. The
Skype website has fairly good instructions for setting up your hardware. If you’re having real difficulties, contact us and we’ll assist
you.

Q. Anything else?
A. Be sure to register with this forum. The Wytcheboard page is part of the Circle of the Dark Moon web site, and such is where we put
upload class handouts and where you can ask questions of all the members.

Q. What if I want to attend in person classes?
A. Contact us for registration for in person classes.

Background

This spread was a remote reading for a friend. I’ll refer to her as ‘R’. Typically when asking a question about a situation, I like to use the Celtic Spread. I use the full 78-card deck for readings; therefore, I sometimes yet need to peek at the card interpretations. However, I look at the symbolism on the card and add my own thoughts as well. One must do that otherwise, there would only be a finite number of unique readings possible (albeit still a large number—something like (78! / [number of cards used]) if my memory of statistics serves me.) The deck I currently favor is the Gilded Tarot.

R is a fellow guildmate of the online game I play. She asked me for a reading and I consented, curious to find out how accurate I’d be without being close to the querent. She lives in Texas with her boyfriend who recently lost his job. I also know that things have not been all quiet on the home front.

The cards definitely echo her situation and unfortunately, unless R alters her present course, I don’t see much improvement of her situation. For a card-by-card analysis, see my comments below each card listed.

The Reading

Significator (Self)

The World

This card, usually chosen by the querent represents how they see themselves. Since this was a remote reading, I chose by cut of the cards using my left hand since the left hand represents spiritual matters.

A woman stands atop a pedestal surrounded by a wreath. Her demeanor is proud and confident. She wears a lion mask and her hair is blown back as though it were a mane. She holds in each hand a silver wand. The wand is a symbol of air and intellect. The two wands together suggest mastery of the unconscious and conscious.

R believes that she is captain of her own ship and master of all she surveys. This card could also indicate a victory or a completion of task. But does the reflection in the mirror always tell us the truth?

1. Self (Present Situation)

The Emperor (reversed)

The emperor is a leadership card. In this position and reversed the card indicates that the querent arrived at the present place through some poor judgments or miscalculations. Possibly, because the querent was too stodgy and unwilling to let go of autocratic rules or adhered to strongly to ingrained habits.

2. Self (Immediate Influences)

Five of swords

A man holds aloft a sword in triumph on a battlefield strewn with the dead, dying, and injured. The sword is the symbol of fire and passion.

Was whatever victory R won worth the cost? Sometimes the best battles are those waged in the halls of diplomacy.

With the Significator, this card also suggests that R is at an end of a cycle or period in her life.

3. Self (Recent Influences)

Ace of Cups (reversed)

The cup or chalice is the symbol of feminine nurturing and is of the element water. Water signs such as Cancer are homebody nurturers. The chalice or grail is also a symbol of the depth of universal gifts of romance, love, and idealism.

Because this card is reversed, (the cup is upside down and hence emptied), it means that R’s journey for whatever this particular grail stands for is at an end and combined with the previous card’s influence it would indicate possible dissatisfaction with a quest’s result.

Whatever R was looking for, she didn’t find it or it wasn’t worth the price she paid. The moon phases depicted above the cup, again point to feminine influences but since they are ‘below’ the reversed cup it could mean that the moon’s pull is at a low ebb as are R’s feelings. She must feel as though the bounty of the universal grail’s gifts have all ‘run out’ on her.

4. Self (Past Influences)

Four of Cups (reversed)

This card echoes the negative side of the Emperor and in conjunction with the previous card indicates that R may be seeking an ideal that does not exist. She ignores what has been laid at her feet while following an internal dogma that dictates that something better is out there but she’s not exactly sure what it is. This is a negative manifestation of the truism that the grass is always greener…

5. Self (Possible Goal or Outcome)

The Sun (reversed)

This card is never negative—even when reversed. Reversal merely diminishes the Sun’s effect. The sun is pictured above a zodiac circle with Jupiter and Saturn figured prominently. The other planets in the orbits are also pictured.

It’s important to this reading that Jupiter is pictured since R is currently under some financial distress and Jupiter is generous and expansive when it comes to money matters.

If Jupiter is expansive, then Saturn is restrictive. Saturn is the astrological taskmaster that admonishes us to knuckled down and get to work.

As a possible goal or destination, and in combination with the previous card, I’d say that with a little hard work, R can reverse her economic misfortunes but maybe not to the degree she’d like.

6. Self (Future Influences)

Two of Pentacles (reversed)

The two of pentacles shows a man effortlessly balancing two pentacles. This card relates to having mastery and balance in one’s life—especially where work is concerned. As I see it R is lacking in this balance. The ship and the dolphin in the background of the card indicates travel. I see R moving to some place where she can achieve balance in work and home life.

7. Fears

The Lovers (reversed)

This card is not always about relationships. Actually, it deals more with choices. The original card depicted a man choosing between two women.

However, in R’s case, I think it is about a relationship. In the fears position, this card tells us that her biggest fear is damage to their relationship because of economic turmoil or decisions they’ve made in the past.

8. Outside Influences

Three of Pentacles (reversed)

The three of pentacles is about career and pride in workmanship. R feels unappreciated or at least under appreciated in her job. This card shows a craftsman admiring his work. He takes delight and joy in his work or his creation. I feel that R has lost this joy in her work and needs to try to recapture that feeling or move on to something else.

9. Hopes and Ideals

Eight of Swords

A maiden (appropriate since R is female—this goes double for the Significator card) blindfolded, and bound is surrounded by eight swords. This would seem a predicament for most people, but the maiden exhibits a calm, if not confident air.

If the Significator shows how the querent views themselves, then, this card shows the reality of that perception. In this case we have a match between self-perception and reality. If only R can find it within herself to let go of past influences, unrealistic expectations, and yes even a stubborn clinging to romantic ideals which can never come to fruition, she’ll soon find her bonds broken.

10. Outcome

Four of Pentacles (reversed)

The four of pentacles (pentacles are an Earth suit concerned with career, wealth, and possessions) is an extreme or intensifier of the Emperor (which was drawn for the present position card.) When the emperor (in the upright position) provide authority and order for the betterment of life, all is well. However, when reversed, as is the case for this reading, it is merely order for orders sake.

Rather than a warning about an impending financial loss (that’s already occurred), the card seems to echo the Three of Pentacles drawn in the outside influences position. This draw reinforces the fact that R has lost sight of the fact that money / jobs are mere abstractions and only a means not an end. Also she should not be so fixated on current financial difficulties as to miss some opportunities (remember the Sun drawn in possible outcome position?) that will present themselves. She just needs to be flexible enough to recognize these opportunities and open to taking an unexpected (or even unwanted) path.

Overall Analysis

Since at least four major arcana cards were drawn for this reading, that fact indicates strong forces are at work.

The preponderance of pentacle and cups cards drawn is also interesting. These cards indicate trouble at home and at work and or trouble with financial matters. Moreover, since there is actually a run of cards from the pentacles suite (two, three, and four) However, with a little hard work, these difficulties can be overcome.

Another bit of good news for R is that while she may still hold some unrealistic expectations (Three of Cups and Five of Swords) her basic perceptions of herself are spot on as indicated by the Significator, and Eight of Swords. She is a strong and confident person and if she can marshal the strength necessary to change her current course then her situation will improve.


27
Jan

About Us

   Posted by: Scrivener

The Circle of the Dark Moon (CotDM). CotDM is a teaching coven that follows the Dark Moon Tradition. The Dark Moon Tradition is described as a,

“…mix of Alexandrian Wicca, and Ceremonial Magick, with a bit of British Traditionalism, and Gardnerianism ideals included for good measure.”

However, ours is not an eclectic tradition. While we have borrowed ideas from other traditions, we’ve only borrowed similar ideologies, and our teachings reflect a defined path and philosophy.

In circle, and in-group workings, we follow a Celtic pantheon, but encourage our members to form relationships with their own Deities.

We are organized into an outer circle (for casual members), and an inner circle (comprised of initiated members, and members who have a special relationship with us.)

What’s it like joining the ‘dark side’? Well, for one thing, we have better cookies. Of course, we meant the previous remark tongue-firmly-in-cheek. However, we say seriously, be prepared to better yourself, your magick, and your spirituality. We believe you’ll find many advantages to registering at our website, http://circleofthedarkmoon.org for membership. We believe some benefits to registering include the below list:

  • Open Rituals
    • Where all are welcome who come with a sincere desire to honor the Lord and the Lady.
    • Rituals usually start at 8:00PM, and last about an hour with a following potluck.
    • See our calendar page at http://circleofthedarkmoon.org/calendar.asp for more details.
  • Classes in Wicca & Magick
    • Currently we have First Degree & Second Degree classes in session.
    • We also hold online classes via the internet and TeamSpeak software.
      • These are live classes with a teacher which includes lectures, and question & answers sessions.
      • These classes may be applied toward initiation requirements.
    • See http://circleofthedarkmoon.org/classes.asp for more information about our curriculum and registration for classes.
    • Classes are free of charge except for the purchase of books and materials.
  • Group Mind Exercise Sessions (GME)
    • GME is our newest activity. It is a non-ritual, non-magickal, but hopefully still spiritual gathering for socializing and exercising at our covenstead every Saturday at 2:00 PM.
    • Activities include: gentle Yoga, T’ai Chi Chuan, Nature Walks, Guided Meditations, and hopefully in the future more vigorous exercises such as short runs and bike rides.
  • Field Trips and Other Learning Experiences
    • Annual trek to the Georgia Renaissance Faire.
    • Visits to herb farms.
    • Community Outreach programs.
  • An informative website — http://circleofthedarkmoon.org
    • Upon becoming a registered member,or becoming a student,
      • You will have access to our Online Book of Shadows.

      • You will have access to our Wytchboard Forums.
      • You can read about the latest Circle of the Dark Moon news, or just his latest rant in, Scrivener’s Scribblings, our weblog and newsletter.

Finally, we are pleased to announce affiliation with the Aquarian Tabernacle Church.

If any of this information sounds interesting, please avail visit our website at http://circleofthedarkmoon.org or reply to this email for more information.

Brightest Blessings,

Scrivener

23
Jan

Warp Drive & Transporters are back online—sort of

   Posted by: Scrivener

Figure 1: This graphic was done in Photoshop 7 (yeah, that's right 7--we don't need no 'steenking' CS3/CS4 here.) The PC pictured is an actual custom-built PC. Its picture was taken from the internet. The PC’s image was then overlaid upon a standard Star Trek type background used so often to show the Enterprise in orbit. Finally, the PC image layer was corrected for perspective so that the computer appears to actually be in orbit.

Figure 1: This graphic was done in Photoshop 7 (yeah, that's right 7--we don't need no 'steenking' CS3/CS4 here.) The PC pictured is an actual custom-built PC. Its picture was taken from the internet. The PC’s image was then overlaid upon a standard Star Trek type background used so often to show the Enterprise in orbit. Finally, the PC image layer was corrected for perspective so that the computer appears to actually be in orbit.

“Mr. Scott, I need warp drive now!”

Warp drive and transporters are back online—well, sort of anyway.

Some of you may remember that our coven and magick school website, http://circleofthedarkmoon.org has been down since late October. During that time, and since then, I’ve been using a Star Trek metaphor—to say nothing of alliteration—to describe my technical travails.

I’m pleased to announce –whom am I kidding, I’m freaking ecstatic—that three days ago, full functionality was restored for the Circle of the Dark Moon website. Boy, I’ve been waiting awhile to make this announcement.

As I said earlier, the trouble started last October, however, the hard drive had been acting up for months. For at least six months prior to the great disk crash of 2009, sluggish performance, system freezes, and boot failures had been a fact of operational life for my aging server/development/gaming platform. Therefore, I had ample warning, and many opportunities to backup the system, which I did religiously every few weeks.

The machine in question was activated in 2005, at a little shop of horrors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which built custom PCs. The computer contained an ASUS motherboard with a Celeron dual processor, 2 GB of memory, the highest-end graphics card that its antiquated data bus and AGP graphics port could support, and a stereo sound card. It ran Windows XP SP3, was used to complete my novel, ran my IIS web server, it also ran a MySQL server, and was my personal portal to the World of Warcraft. In its day, this PC was the Enterprise of computers; sadly, today it is a garbage scow, or even worse, an overly large door jam.

So why would a hard disk crashing on my personal PC affect the uptime of a web page you ask. A few words about the topology of the Circle of the Dark Moon web site are in order. Back when I first chose GoDaddy as my domain registrar and web host, I was delighted that they supported a good selection of databases: SQL Server, Access, and MySQL. I was also pleased that they supported .net and IIS web servers as well as Apache. Finally, the price was right and they have actual people you can talk to (and whose native language is English, and are from the United States and not some offshore call center) for technical support and to answer questions. All of these factors led to me choosing GoDaddy as the home for our coven and magick school website.

However, there was a hitch. There always is. Actually, there were two but we’ll speak more of that later. The BIG hitch was that GoDaddy’s implementation of MySQL doesn’t support non-deterministic queries. For those of you who aren’t DBAs, a non-deterministic query is a query that given the same parameters doesn’t always return the same result set. For instance, a query that calls to list all first-degree students, and the current date is a non-deterministic query because if ran on two different dates the query would return different results given the difference in the date values for current date.

Then, I got the bright idea to see if I could manage to circumvent my ISP’s draconian practice of blocking port 80, and learn how to configure a router, and set up a MySQL server and thus serve some of the pages from an offsite server (offsite from GoDaddy’s perspective.)

The other hitch concerning GoDaddy and MySQL is that at that time, GoDaddy did not allow direct access to database management functions. Even now, you’re stuck with using phpMyAdmin, the crappiest control console in the universe, or SSH tunneling if you happen to be on a UNIX server. Therefore, if I have to run a local copy of the database anyway, and then FTP any database updates made to the local copy to the GoDaddy servers, I may as well run my own MySQL server and eliminate the extra steps.

All of these technical meanderings lead us to the near present and the great crash-and-burn of 2009. The hard disk died, and any pages on the site requiring database access, suddenly erred and flared because there was no database to connect to and retrieve information. Yes, for security reasons of my own, I coded the pages to crash ignominiously if a database error occurred.

Post crash 2009, was spent ensuring that the database backups were current and reloading any information that was lost, and trying to come up with a solution that would get the website up again fast so that our search engine ratings wouldn’t tank. Well, they did anyway. During the intervening time span, I managed to get a few of the pages up but for the most part the web site was FUBARed until it could connect to a database.

About that time, to be frank, I just gave up for a while. I was discouraged. I felt that nobody really cared whether the site was up or not. Moreover, why was I doing any of this stuff anyway? What possible difference did I think I was making? I was unemployed. I had no money for a new hard drive let alone a new server; and, porting the entire site (including the pages previously served locally) up onto GoDaddy just seemed fraught with more problems than solutions. I knew that using the old configuration of the website, the code was solid; it worked, and it was secure. I had no idea of what coding changes I would need to make to accommodate GoDaddy’s implementation of MySQL (well, I did and it worried me), and what other ‘gotchas’ (I could imagine) I would encounter following that path. Besides, I figured that if nobody cared about the site, I didn’t need to care either, might as well go play some WoW.

Time passed up to about three weeks ago. After working a couple of spells to ensure a continuation of our meager sustenance funds, I combined some birthday and Yule gift monies and bought a new 500 GB hard drive. The new drive sat on my desk for a few days while I attended to some other neglected websites. I finally installed the drive, formatted it, installed Windows, and hit yet another snag. Apparently, either I misplaced the little blue-green piece of paper with the endless alphanumeric product code, or it was lost in the house fire (Sept. 2008), or possibly I threw it out, mistaking it for a similar piece of paper for a now defunct copy of Office. At any rate, I couldn’t activate my bloody copy of Windows—curse you, and your money-grubbing-damn-the-ease-of-reuse-but-let-no-dollar-go-uncollected minions, Bill Gates. Merrily, it was on to plan ‘B’.

Plan ‘B’ was not without its moments either.

I came up with the bright idea to run the website pages requiring database access from another computer while I fiddled with the original server to get Windows to activate. That idea was okay as far as it went. However, since I’m never one to leave well enough alone; and since I was already mucking about in the database; I thought, why not upgrade to MySQL 5.1 while I was at it. What a great idea, I concurred—not. I was about to break Terry’s prime directive of software development #1,024: when you’re original intent was merely to drain the swamp, and you’re already up to your ass in alligators, don’t go looking for more alligators.

The upgrade to MySQL 5.1 did not go well. Migration tools that were suppose to assist in the effort instead migrated south, corrupting tables, and dropping stored procedures while they went. Then it was time to use the “special” tools to repair what the migration tool had done.

Tell me, why is it everyone of these oh-so-special tools have little to no documentation. On the other hand, if they do have documentation, the documentation is written in such a way that the instructions depend upon having read another document that is no longer included with the current release. In addition, why is it that all these tools can only be used from a C :> prompt and have tens, if not hundreds, of slash command parameters that are only vaguely explained? I’ll tell you why. In programmer/hacker/slacker subculture, the feeling is that if it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand and use as well. Sounds to me like a recipe for techno-has-been job security, even if that ‘job’ is writing open source software for no pay.

The people who write these tools (and are probably very gifted programmers) need to understand that while real men code only at the C:> prompt, and assemble bytes through sheer force of will and their bare hands, that real design work is done with the aid of a visual interface.

One MySQL rollback to version 5, an installation and configuration of IIS, and router reconfiguration later and the Circle of the Dark Moon website is finally up again. So while work continues on the original server, at least the coven has a website again. Users may notice the computer being used as a server now (a laptop), may be a little slower than the previous machine when serving pages. But, eventually, we’ll move the site back onto a dedicated server, and then we’ll have a mirror site to boot. Top that you corporate HR pinheads of little imagination who that said, that because of my background, I couldn’t possibly be hired as a system administrator. After all, I didn’t have a piece of sheepskin that said I had paid the required extortion (tuition) to an institute of higher earning (er, I meant ‘learning’) and as result, they gave me a worthless piece of  paper with nice lettering, and thus deigned to knight me as a DBA/Sys Admin. Remember, the best and the brightest are always self-taught. That fact is paramount to the hacker credo.

Do you want to know something ironic? After all this miscarriage of software engineering, all the battling the slings and arrows of outrageous technological misfortune to resurrect this site, all the pulling one Rube Goldberg software solution after another out of thin air to make things work, do you know who the first visitor was to the site?

It was some pond-scum slime of a spammer from Romania.

Go figure.

24
Oct

What exactly is a Dark Moon?

   Posted by: Scrivener

I had someone write me and ask,

I’m probably looking in all the wrong places, but I’m writing to ask the significance of the ‘ dark moon’ as it’s been driving me nuts for many months.

I feel drawn to the dark moon and I don’t know why…”

First, let’s begin by discussing what a dark moon is. Astronomically, the dark moon is a period of about three days: the day before a new moon, the day of a new moon, and the day after a new moon. A dark moon occurs when the moon is in conjunction with the sun. What being in conjunction means is that the moon is between the Earth and the Sun. You can’t see the moon during the dark moon period—hence the term, “dark moon”—because essentially, the moon is lost in the glare of the sun. See the diagram below this paragraph. moon phases

What is now referred to as a waxing gibbous moon—the first crescent sliver that is visible of the moon as it once again grows larger—used to be called the new moon, and the period when you couldn’t see the moon was called the dark moon. However, over time, the dark period of the moon—no crescent visible—became known as the new moon instead of the crescent sliver.

But, I’m sure you didn’t write me for an astronomy lesson. You’re probably wondering about the magickal properties of the dark moon. I’ll see if I can’t help you there as well. Let’s refer back to the diagram above for a minute. If you notice where the Moon is in relation to the Sun, you’ll see that the two are in line, and if you were to look a this configuration headon, you’d see our tiny Moon inside the Sun—at least that’s how it would appear to an observer on Earth. Magickally what this configuration signifies is nothing less than the union of the psychic energies of male and female. In many systems of magick, witchcraft especially, it’s important to maintain a balance of male and female energies. In our tradition—the Dark Moon Traditon—for example we worship both a Goddess and a God.

What other significance can the Dark Moon hold for us magickally? The moon is both  mysterious and triune (as in the triple-aspects of the Goddess where she is Earth Mother, Maiden, and Wise Crone.) The moon stands for all that is ethereal and mystical. It allows one to enter the realm of imagination, intuition, and wonder—the seeds of magick. The Moon’s element is water, meaning that the Moon heightens   emotional, nurturing,  aspects of magick. However, despite all these warm and fuzzy feelings, the dark moon is a powerful time for working banishing magick (magick where you want to rid something or someone from your life.) During the dark moon one can also call upon the wisdom of the Crone who is the Queen of all Sorceries. This magick can be a powerful force for effecting change in your life.

Remember I mentioned that the Dark Moon is a the product of the Sun and Moon being in conjunction? So, let’s look at the Sun for a minute (metaphorically of course since I wouldn’t want you to go blind.) Whereas the Moon is all mystery and mysticism, and misty thoughts, the Sun is all about the blinding light of truth and manifestation of will. The Sun’s elemental fire brings warmth and light to the world of dreams that Moon rules. While the Moon may bring the imaginings of dreams (or the need for something) the might of the Sun brings to fruition the axiom of “As above so below.”  Or to say it another way, “As so we send our intentions or want to the astral plane these same intentions or wants are sent back to Earth and are fulfilled in our reality.” To state it in a very overly-simplified sense, the Sun and the Moon complete each other.

Another thing that is signifigant about a Dark Moon (or a Full Moon, or any celestial alignment for that matter) is that anytime there is such a conjunction, there occurs a thinning of the veil between this world and the Otherworld. When this happens many wonderful things may occur: psychic phenomenon, “ghost” sightings, or other occult manifestations. During this time it is especially a good opportunity to practice divination (tarot, scrying, dark mirror gazing, etc.), spirit communication via séance or witch board, and for working magick. Of course this is true during a Full Moon. But it is especially true during a Dark Moon or a sabbat such as Samhain. This is because the Dark Moon is more closely allied with the Crone and as such it is a good time to channel her power and wisdom.

As to why you’re drawn to the Dark Moon; there could be several reasons. Perhaps you’re coming of age magickally, and you’re beginning to feel the first stirrings of your own magick. Maybe the Dark Moon plays prominently in your astrological chart. Without knowing your birth date, time, and place, it’s hard to say. Or perhaps some Godform, who has an affinity with the Dark Moon, has selected you for patronage. All who walk this path, will at one time or another find themselves inexplicably drawn to something without knowing why. However, when the time is right, you will know why you were drawn to a thing.

I hope I haven’t bored you too much and more importantly, the information here has helped you understand what a Dark Moon is, what its signifigance is, and why you are drawn to the Dark Moon.

This announcement has been a long time in coming.

Effective July 20, The Circle of the Dark Moon Meetup sites in Warner Robins, GA and Akron, OH will no longer be available. All further group activities, for that matter any activities, announcements, or class scheduling will be coordinated through http://circleofthedarkmoon.org.

As I said at the first, this announcement has been a long time in coming. The original time frame for the changeover was May/June of this year. However, problems with the database implementation offered by our ISP eventually led to us having to host the database on our own servers. That solution took longer to arrive at than we hoped.

Why are we making this change?
There are several good reasons that we’re shifting all activity to our domain.

1. It’s been a lot of work maintaining three sites: the Warner Robins meetup, the Akron meetup, and our own domain site, which ultimately suffered because we spent too much time maintaining the meetup sites. The biggest chore was maintaining accurate calendars of activities for all three sites. The new calendar page that lists activities for both Warner Robins and Akron (including class times) is located at http://circleofthedarkmoon.org/calendar.asp.
As you will note, the calendar widget is powered by Google and is free—always a good price in these hard economic times. Sorry, everyone else is overusing phrase for his or her own ends so I thought would too.

2. It’s been expensive maintaining the meetup sites. We’ve been paying meetup.com $19 USD / month essentially for the privilege of using free tools wrapped in a website and a UNIX CHRON job. By dumping Meetup.com, we’ll have more time and monetary resources to expand the functionality of our own website. Planned enhancements to the http://circleofthedarkmoon.org website include the following:

a. Add the ability to upload your picture or an avatar.

b. Add a member list page along the lines of meetup.

c. Addition of a forums page. In fact we’ll be using the same forum engine that meetup uses. This is a free forum application. It’s as I said earlier, meetup essentially cobbled a bunch of free applications together in a website wrapper and charges $19 a month to use the site. Well, good for them but we refuse to pay them any longer.

d. Add a page to edit your account settings This is the next enhancement and should be complete no later than the first week of August.

e. Overhaul some of the content.

f. Begin assigning email addresses to registered users from our domain so they don’t have to use their personal email addresses.

3. We think it’s important for us to increase our web presence and search engine popularity by moving our content back onto our own domain instead of having our content make meetup more popular in web searches.

What does this mean to me?

The most important thing for you to do is to register at http://circleofthedarkmoon.org. Go to our homepage, and click “Membership” on the menu. You’ll be taken to a page where you can register your information—note that we require very little personal information. Registration is easy and shouldn’t take as long to complete as reading this post.

Aside from having to register at our site, nothing else really changes. We are not dissolving or going away. We’re still going to be the most active teaching coven in Georgia; we’re still going to hold in-person and online classes; and we’re still going to be holding open circles for all sabbats and esbats. And, all registered users will continue to receive email updates about upcoming events and other items of interest. We’re just not going to be listed on meetup any longer.

What happens on 20 July?

We’ve spoken (well emailed) Meetup.com about this and the only way they will delete a meetup group (even group owners cannot delete their own groups) is if a meetup group has no members.

WTF?

If I merely step down as organizer or leave meetup, meetup.com will open up the sites to be taken over by anyone with $19 in their wallets. Apparently, meetup is more concerned about getting their monthly extortion than protecting the privacy of meetup members. By allowing any Tom, Dick, or Johnny-joined-lately spammer (and yes spammers watch meetup for groups that are open for new organizers) all of your personal information is at risk.

Therefore, in order to get meetup to shut these groups down, we are going to delete all the members from each meetup group on 20 July. You will receive an email to that effect and the reason for being removed from the group will be something to effect that this meetup group is being moved to Circle of the Dark Moon domain.

Please don’t take offense at being removed. It’s not because you did anything wrong. We’re doing this to protect your privacy. Belief us we’d rather not do it. It’s going to be a pain manually removing almost 200 members.

Yes, I’m finally done with this long post.

We don’t want to leave anyone dry-docked as it were especially the Akron area members. We’d been working with a couple of assistant organizers there to facilitate local meetings and possibly even arrange for group rituals. We can certainly still use the help, so any interested parties including current assistant organizers should contact us via http://circleofthedarkmoon.org/ContactUs.asp.

In closing, there are just a couple of things to remember:

1. Register at http://circleofthedarkmoon.org. (if you’ve already registered there you don’t have to register again.

2. Please don’t take offense at being removed from the meetup groups.

3. And please accept our apologies concerning the “last minuteness” of this announcement. We thought we were paid up through the end of the month with meetup since they’ve been charging our credit card the first of the month. This would of given about a two week notice before the shutdown, but according to meetup we’re only paid up until 20 July.

On behalf of myself, Duir, my wife, and fellow coven sisters and brothers, we hope to merry meet all of you again at our/your site: http://circleofthedarkmoon.org.

This announcement will be repeated this weekend and on the day of the 20th. In addition a copy of this announcement will be placed in the forums and our website blog.

Meetup is dead.

Long live The Circle of the Dark Moon. HIP HIP HUZZAH!

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