The Standing Stone Newsletter The Standing Stone Newsletter
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"An Nuachtlitir Cloch Seasta"  (The Standing Stone Newsletter)

Volume 1, Issue 1, April/May 2011

Welcome to The Standing Stone Newsletter

 Welcome to the inaugural issue of An Nuachtlitir Cloch Seasta, The Standing Stone Newsletter.  This is the official newsletter of the Circle of the Sacred Forest of San Marcos, Texas.

I am Rev. Raven Goldenseal and as High Priest I hope to enlighten readers about our form of Celtic Wicca and the Elements.  There are many various topics a reader could find in these newsletters:  spirituality, the elements, astrology, numerology, divination, God/dess legends and lore, upcoming events and festivals.

Until there are more readers subscribing, all articles will be written by me.  As circulation increases, I will screen and print articles as they are submitted.

I hope every issue is a learning experience for everyone!


Circle of the Sacred Forest

The Circle of the Sacred Forest is a newly forming Wiccan coven in the San Marcos, Texas area.  It is an eclectic Celtic Wiccan group focusing on the Elements and how we humans can interact with them for the benefit of all.  We celebrate the Sabbat festivals, Esbats, and occasionally will work for special circumstances, such as healings and energy work.


Rev. Raven Goldenseal, High Priest

Rev. Raven Goldenseal, born Billy W. Mitchell, was raised in southeast Texas and currently lives in San Marcos, Texas where he attends Texas State University as a Geography: Resource & Environmental Studies major. 

He began his Wiccan journey in April 1994 while living in Upstate New York.  He was briefly co-High Priest of the short-lived Dragon Moon Coven in Watertown, NY.  When he moved back to southeast Texas the coven disbanded, though the coven members are still in contact with each other.

In July 2005, he met his soulmate, DoveSong, on the popular Pagan website and have been together ever since.  They are now happily married and look forward to spending the rest of their lives together.

He received his Credentials of Ministry and Master of Wicca Certification in March of 2009 from the Universal Life Church Monastery after 15 years of study and practice in the faith.

As Billy W. Mitchell, he is a poet and author.  In November 2005 his first poetry collection, “Schisms of Reality” was published.  His second poetry collection, “Schisms of Reality 2: Love, Spirituality, and Politics” has just been accepted by his publisher, PublishAmerica, LLLP.  The release date has not yet been determined.  He has several novels that he is working on including a pagan teen fiction 5 book series entitled “Taliesin Island”, a fantasy novel entitled “Renaissance Magic”, a science fiction novel entitled “Red Rover”, and a gothic teen fiction series entitled “Lore, Texas”.

Some of his hobbies include writing, reading, playing the bass guitar, camping, hiking, attending renaissance festivals, and  listening to various genres of music including: rock, heavy metal, black metal, alternative, blues, jazz, celtic folk, pagan, and gypsy.


Introduction to Celtic Wicca

By: Rev. Raven Goldenseal

The glossary in Scott Cunningham's “Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” defines the word ‘pagan' as "the Latin paganus, a country-dweller' or ‘villager.' Today it is used as a general term for followers of Wicca or other polytheistic, magic-embracing religions. Pagan's aren't Satanists, dangerous, or evil"(203). ‘Wicca,' in the glossary of “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner”, also by Scott Cunningham, is defined as being a humanistic religion which holds nature as sacred. Wiccans believe in "[a] reverence for the Goddess and the God; reincarnation; ritual observances of the Full Moon, astronomical and agricultural phenomena; spheroid temples, created with personal power,' in which rituals occur." (203-204).

Pagans believe in the Goddess and the God, and a Creator that they call the One' or the 'All'. To a pagan, nature is a source of personal power. Scott Cunningham defines personal power' in “Living Wicca”, as "That energy which sustains our bodies." (203). Wiccans hold their rites and rituals in this circle of power. This is where all higher magic is performed. The circle is raised in ritual with a combination of Personal and Divine Power through visualization.

Paganism started with shamanism thousands of years ago, even before mankind organized into civilizations. The pagan synagogue is nature. Pagan worship groups are called coven[s], grove[s], or circle[s].[and consist] of 10 to 20 members. Wiccans also believe in magic. They believe magic is the focusing of energies through ritual to affect a desired change in their lives and in the lives of others.

Even though Christianity has been ‘bashing' paganism, there are some things that they do not understand about their own religion that were influenced by paganism. First of all, the roots of many Christian and American holidays can be found in paganism, such as May Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas. Wiccans, because of their attunement with nature, hold their rites and rituals on a schedule based on the cycles of the sun and the moon. The holiday May Day is known as May Day or Beltane, and celebrates the renewal of life the season of Spring brings to nature. Thanksgiving is known as Lughnasadh, which pagans celebrate on August 1st. "This is the time of the first harvest.  Lughnasadh [is] also known as August Eve, Feast of Bread, Harvest Home, and Lammas" (Cunningham, “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” (67). This is the time when pagans give thanks for their bounty. The Catholic's All Hallow's Eve, or Halloween, is practically unchanged for the pagan Sabbat Samhain. Pagans view this Sabbat as the Witch's New Year, a time to reflect upon the past 12 months and work high magic" (Melton, 22). Pagans "feel that on this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is thin" (Cunningham, “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner”, 68). The Christian holiday of Christmas is almost a direct derivative of the pagan holiday of Yule. Yule, otherwise known as the Winter Solstice, is believed by pagans to be the day of birth of their God by the Goddess (65). Wiccans also gather bi-weekly in attunement with the extreme movements of the moon: the New and Full Moons. These are also known as "Esbats".

Wiccans believe in reincarnation, or the Spiral of Rebirth. This is the belief that we are born, we live, we die, and then we are reborn. It is believed that when we die, we go to the Land of Summer (or Summerland), which is comparable to the Christian "Heaven", until we are reborn.

There are only two major laws in Wicca: the "Wiccan Rede" and the "Karmic Law" (also called the "Threefold Law" or the "Law of Three"). The Wiccan Rede states: "An ye harm none, do what ye will." The Karmic Law states: "What ere ye do, whether for good or for bane, shalt come back to ye threefold." To Wiccans, life is sacred. There is nothing to fear from them.

Keep in mind that, although Wiccans can be called Witches (Pagans or Wiccans who cast spells), they are in NO way "Satanists". Wiccans do not believe in a supremely evil power or the Christian "Satan". Also, in the same light, the magic that a Wiccan performs is not "black magic". In reality, there is no such thing as "white" or "black" magic. It is all in the manner that the magic is used. It is important to heed the "Karmic Law" and the "Wiccan Rede".



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