A new beginning for Coven Life’s Coven

Our gatherings are open to any Witch or Pagan that would like to attend, with the exception of when we have an initiation, we try to keep the ritual itself to 30 minutes.

After taking into account the answers below and those I received by email the coven gatherings meeting time will stay the same.

The social time for the gatherings will begin at 6:45 PM CT instead of 7:00. Please take the social time to meet new people, ask questions about our novice and/or adept lessons or just to say hello to someone you have not had a chance to talk in a while. Everyone is encouraged to join in the discussion during this time. Please stay around for a bit after the ritual is done to share how you felt about it, if there is something you would like us to include in future gatherings or leave out. But the main reason is getting to talk with your brothers and sister in The Craft for a while longer. Please stop all socializing during the circle. Thank you!



Courtesy Guidelines for All Coven Gatherings

Before the sacred circle starts at 7:15 PM Central Time in the USA anyone entering the chat room is welcomed to socialize with anyone else that is there. Ask Lady Beltane questions about lessons or anything else.

Once the circle starts ALL SOCIALIZING AND COMMENTS unless asked for in the ritual must stop. You will get one warning if you break this guideline. If you do it a second you will be asked to and expected to leave the gathering immediately. There will be no exceptions to this guideline.

No one should enter or leave the chat room between 7:15 until the circle is finished. To enter or leave the chat room (computer knocking you out of the chat room during this time is the only exception for re-entering the circle) during this time breaks the circle and whoever is leading the circle needs to take their time and energy to close it up again.

All electronics in the room you are in during the gathering should be shut off except for the device you are using to access the chat room.

No one will be allowed to use foul and/or rude language in the chat room either before or after the sacred circle. Anyone not following this guideline will be blocked from the chat room and no second chance will be given to attend another gathering.

Anyone attending a gathering is welcome to stay after the circle is done to visit with the others and/or offer other ideas for the ritual performed at that gathering.

These are simple guidelines and show courtesy to all coven members and visitors. If you have any questions about them please write to Lady Beltane at ladybeltane@aol.com

Priestesses of the Bee: The Melissae

By Linda Iles
Isis, Lotus of Alexandria Lyceum
The Melissae, also known as The Thriae (also Thriai), a triad of divinatory Priestesses in ancient Greece, were originally Nymphs. The Thriae were able to see the future, interpret signs and omens provided by Nature and the Earth. They taught the God Apollo this art. Their names are Daphnis (Laurel), Kleodora (Famed for Her Gift) and Melaina (The Black).
“And not of every water do the Melissae carry to Deo, but of the trickling stream that springs from a holy fountain, pure and undefiled, the very crown of waters.”
– Callimachus, from his Hymn to Apollo
The Bee and the Great Mother
Ancient Greece and Crete

In the time of ancient Greece, and particularly in the temples of Artemis, Aphrodite, Demeter but also of Cybele, Diana and Rhea, priestesses were called the Melissae, which translates as ‘the bees.’  The Goddess as the Great Mother was sometimes titled Melissa, literally, ‘the Queen Bee.’ Some classical sources describe these priestesses as young and virgin, others tell us the designation of Melissae was a title of honor, bestowed due to devotion and labor for the Great Mother by a certain individual, which was above and beyond the ordinary.  The Pythian oracular priestess at Delphi was known as the Delphic Bee, and the emblem of a bee was placed on Delphic coins in her honor.  Bees sometimes appear on the statues of Artemis, and the officiates at Eleusis during the celebration of the Mysteries were called Bees.

Porphyry (AD 233 to c.304) writes: “The ancients gave the name of Melissae (bees) to the priestesses of Demeter who were initiates of the chthonian goddess; the name Melitodes to Kore herself: the moon (Artemis) too, whose province it was to bring to the birth, they called Melissa, because the moon being a bull and its ascension the bull, bees are begotten of bulls.  And souls that pass to the earth are bull-begotten.”

Archaeologist Marija Gimbutas (1921 – 1994) writes of this passage by Porphyry: “…we learn that Artemis is a bee, Melissa, and that both she and the bull belong to the moon.  Hence both are connected with the idea of a periodic regeneration.  We also learn that souls are bees and that Melissa draws souls down to be born.  The idea of a ‘life in death’ in this singularly interesting concept is expressed by the belief that the life of the bull passed into that of the bees.”

How did these titles of Melissa for the Great Mother and her priestesses as Melissae come about?  The Melissae may have inherited their title from an old order of nymphs – to this day the larva of bees are called nymphs! The myths of ancient Greece link the Melissae with the god Zeus and the island of Crete. Zeus was born in a cave of bees and was fed by them.  Another form of the myth says that Melisseus, king of Crete at that time, discoverer of honey and inventor of bee-keeping, had two daughters, Amalthaea and Melissa, who nourished the youthful Zeus with goat’s milk and honey.  Melissa was eventually appointed by her father as the first priestess of the Great Mother and from that time those who served the Great Mother were called Melissae.

The bee-keeping activities of the Minoans of Crete is documented not in myth but by many other ancient sources, including hieroglyphs, representations of actual beehives and engraved images.  The Greeks eventually took up bee-keeping due to the example set by the Minoans, and also presumably inherited the mythical image of the Great Mother Goddess as the Queen Bee. She was corresponded with regeneration, divinity, healing, purity and magic potency.  To the ancients, the honey bee was not only a messenger but a direct representative of the gods and goddesses of heaven and the airy realms.

In Old Europe

Marija Gimbutas included illustrations and photos of artifacts which depicted goddesses and bees in her book, “The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe.”  Her detailed research provided ample evidence of a Bee Goddess and many examples of bee symbolism dating well back into the Neolithic period.  She believed that bees were held in high esteem by the Cretans from possibly as long ago as the beginning of the Neolithic period.

Eastern European languages, especially Hungarian, contain root words for mother, like ‘anya’ or ‘méh’which can be found in their words for bee, womb, uterus, to conceive, hive, bee sting, queen bee, cervix, fruit of the womb, apiary, embryo, bee swarm, fetus, and many more similar definitions.  In Lithuania, an ancient method of divination was performed by women who poured melted beeswax into cold, pure water.  Then they would interpret the fortune of the applicant through the resulting shapes taken on by the wax as it solidified.

The ability of bees to create honey was believed to be magical or divine – a kind of natural alchemy. The bee-keepers of Europe believed virtue was required for the production of honey, as bees would never produce unless the keeper was honest and good. It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that scientists could explain how properties of flower pollen and the enzymes produced by bees could combine to make honey.  


To continue reading please click on to the link bellow



Blessings on Ostara and Happy Spring Equinox

May spring bring you a balance of warm and cold, light and dark, and more positive energy.

May Ostara bless you with a time to get seeds, intentions, and goals ready to plant and grow.

Blessings of love, light, peace ,and all good things dear ones!

Blessed Mabon and Happy Autumn Equinox

May you be blessed with abundance from the fruit of your labors!

As you enter the darker time of the year may your thought and actions stay positive, may you find joy in this time of rest and recharge your batteries.


Blessings dear ones of warmth, light, rest, and comfort!

Mabon in Australia

Mabon or Autumn Equinox (Approx. 21st-22nd March, check calendar)

Mabon falls at the Autumnal Equinox, when nights and days are of equal length, but light bends increasing towards darkness, and winter is on its way. It is a time of balance, and a time of looking forward to and preparation for the winter.

At this time food is prepared for storage, jams and pickles are made, and fruits are candied and preserved. Maple syrup is a traditional food for Mabon, as are all long-keeping plant foods, and honey, which is a natural preservative. Special foods to celebrate with include traditional Greek baklava (honey cake), and anything preserved or that involves fermentation. The colors of the season are brown and gold.

In Australia, Mabon falls close to the end of Daylight Savings time, and the change in the time that evening falls makes us very aware that winter is on its way, and that summer is well and truly over. It is at Mabon that the Cauldrons are first lit again, the last of the summer fruits are eaten in thanks, and summer ribbons and garlands are put away in preparation for the colder months.

Mabon is the second harvest, and the Goddess is mourning her fallen consort as he has been cast down, but the rebirth found in the seeds of harvest gives hope for the future, and the continuing circle of hope. Mabon is a time of gathering, of preparation. It is also a time to walk among the gum trees, smelling the resin and the eucalyptus oils in the air, and gathering oils, barks, plants and herbs to be dried for culinary, medicinal and magickal purposes.

To read the rest of this article please click on the following link: Southern Hemisphere Mabon

Autumn Equinox, Mabon: Southern Hemisphere

Midway through Autumn!
Mabon is the second of three harvest festivals.
This is the time of equal day and equal night, the balance of light and dark,

and so at this time we have the chance to invite balance into our lives

as we move deeper into the descent to winter. Add this to the energy of Autumn, and as we see in our gardens, we also have the opportunity to see and enjoy our ‘harvest’, the fruits of our labours – literally and metaphorically.

Autumn sits in the west on the wheel of the year, and represents all the same energies and qualities of dusk, sunset, and the energy of early evening, the move toward and into the darkness.

The descent is happening. We move now into the yin part of the circle in the cycle of the seasons.

To read the rest of this article please click on the following link: Southern Hemisphere Mabon

Herbs and Their Witchy Names

One of the things you might notice when working with spells is they call for some different ingredients. For example, eye of newt, wool of bat, toe of frog. To some who happen across these spells it can help lend to some of the fear surrounding witches. However, none of these ingredients are literal. For example, if you see eye of newt in a spell, you are not going go out and get an actual eye from a newt. It actually refers to mustard seed. The reason we have these names, stems from ancient times when it was not safe to keep spells about. So to protect the craft these names would be used instead. Some of them are just Old English, and some even date back to ancient China. A lot of times it will be based on what the herb resembles. Many witches still use these names to this day. So I wanted to provide you with a basic list that you can use to work with. As you find more you can add more to it. :))


Astrological Herbs

The process of using herbs based on astrology is an ancient system that has proven that many physical ailments correspond to our astrological signs. My fascination with this started quite some time ago and I’ve been collecting information on this in my Book of Shadows over the years. This list is a collection of herbs that I have found in my travels in a variety of books and articles.

I am not familiar with all of the herbs listed, so before using them please be sure to research the herb and become familiar with it to find the best way to incorporate it into your life. You may find that some herbs are great for seasonings or teas, while others may make amazing salves. Some you will find make amazing incense and others you may find you just want to display in your home to have their energy surrounding you. Please also check for personal allergies. As always if you are pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant or have any chronic illnesses please check with a doctor before using any herbs.


The Runes of Odin (12. Jera)

Element : Earth

Star : Sun

Tree : Oak

Plant : Rosemary

Meaning : Harvest

“ You shall reap what you have sown”

Galdr : http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/galdr.html

Pathwalking with the Rune : http://www.northernshamanism.org/pathwalking-with-runes.html


Comfort, harmony with others, this rune symbolises the proper thoughts and actions that lead to the proper results. It is good for gardening and farm work, for a happy home and welbeing. Draw Jera with long lasting ink over the front door at New Year Eve and the good fortune will stay in the home until the ink completely fades.

This is the rune of the Harvest, of the gathering of the crops.  It is used in all legal operations and processes. Jera is connected with justice. It can be used for positive outcome after you have spent money , time and effort to achieve something.

Jera is fertility, creativity, peace, harmony, enlightenment. It symbolises the ever lasting movement of the cycles in the Universe.

Jera is used for manifestation into material world, for the fruition of our plans . It is a prise for the efforts that have been made in the past.  Jera symbolises the 12 months of the year and the natural cycles and the change of seasons. Basically this is a positive rune, but it can be also regarded as the outcome of past deeds that means justice.

Jera does not have reverse meaning

Divination : now you are harvesting the results of your actions or efforts, it is a time to celebrate, a time of abundance and joy. But do not forget that winter comes after the summer / autumn. You should gain wisdom for the next challenge. Expect new challenges. You should prepare the soil and plant the new seeds.

The rune is drawn with the thumb starting from top to bottom.

“Jera is a rune of patience and movement with the harmony with natural tides of life. Moving with such life rhythms brings abundance and plenty. The cyclical recurrences in the biosphere and of the astronomical procession spirals through time, and contains many more profound secrets than does our common involvement with linear time, calendar dates and the clock.

Jera has to do with right timing. Jera is in the maxim “This too shall pass”, the proverb, “As you sow, so shall you reap”, and in the modern adage, “time heals all wounds.” Using this rune is the key to understanding the mysteries of time and the psychological importance of dividing and managing time.  Deadlines bring out the best in us and motivate us to grow to levels beyond our present ability. It also moves us to strategically taking action when the time is right. Take advantage of the ups and coast through the downs.

Jera can magically speed things up or slow things down, and manipulation of subjective time in this manner is governed by this rune. In this rune we see the most stark western counter-point to the maxim ‘time is an illusion’. If a person sows no seeds, does no work, plants no goals and desire in his or her thoughts, Jera will bring about situations which reflect that lack. The ultimate consequences of past human action unfold into the future.

“Time and I Against Any Two.” “


“Jera means “season” or “year”, this rune relates to the cycles of the life. Jera announces the coming in due course of a good harvest if the good gestures were done at the right time. However due to its cyclic action, Jera announces however that it is only temporary, quite as the seasons which pass and follow on infinitely. Everything is in movement and everything returns to the same point because of the Nature’s cyclic movement. Furthermore being connected with Freyr and Freya, the twins gods male and female, Jera symbolizes the mystic union between the Earth and the Cosmos.

This rune can be written of two ways: the one is a rhombus which surrounds a mast, which symbolizes the realization of a stable state, but also the Cosmic Axis surrounded with four seasons. Jera rune also represents, written in this way, the mast carrying the garland of the harvests. Under this shape it means the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new.

The other shape of writing of Jera is the one of two Kenaz which interpenetrate without contacting. Under this shape, Jera is dynamic and symbolizes the change which goes towards the fulfillment.

Jera told us that all which is useful for our progress lies within us. It is just enough to sow according to the rules

Divinatory value : This is the time to harvest what was sowed. An expectation period, a cycle to be completed. If the present is difficult, a better cycle is going to come.

Spiritual value : Jera indicates the end of a negative cycle in the knowledge of oneself, and the beginning of a positive phase.

Physiological value : Influence on the blood circulation, the vertebral column and the intestines.

Wisdom guidance : ” You can reach the harmony only in the acceptance of the inevitable change ! Every thing begins to decline arrived at its peak. When you are at the lowest, you can only go up. All that you will have gained, will be resumed you one day.”


Until we merry meet again

Blessed Be

Mistress of the Mountains



Ostara/Spring Equinox Crafts


Ostara Seed Cards

These are a lovely idea for greetings cards, you could adapt them and use them for birthday cards too.

You will need:

Card or pre cut card templates


Seed packets

Glue (pva is best, not a glue gun as the heat can damage the seeds)


If using a plain sheet of card fold it over to make a card shape.  Using the glue stick a seed packet to the front of the card.

Using pens of your choice write your message inside the card.

Ostara Tree

You will need

Several large twigs (use wind falls collected from the ground around the tree)

Florists foam

A flower pot



Paint the flower pot with spring designs, be creative adding butterflies, eggs or flowers or just paint it a spring colour.

Fit a piece of florists foam into the flowerpot and then stick the twigs into the foam so that it forms the shape of a tree.

Then decorate!  Hang painted eggs or chocolate treats onto the branches.

Home dyed eggs

Simple but very effective!

What you need


A pan of water


Natural ingredients for making the colours

Start with your pan of boiling water with a teaspoon of vinegar added, make sure there is enough water in the pan to cover the eggs and it works best if you only boil 3 or 4 at a time.

Then carefully add your eggs to the water.

To colour the eggs add one of the following items, try different amounts to get different shades, but it will take about 20 minutes of simmering to get the colour to set into the shells.

Red/Pink – Paprika, pomegranate or cranberry juice, beets or red onion skins

Purple – Grape juice

Orange – onion skins

Yellow – lemon or orange peel, carrots or cumin

Gold – curry powder or turmeric

Brown – coffee or black walnut shells

Green – spinach

Blue – blueberries or red cabbage

Yellow/green  – apple peel

Once they have achieved the colour you want carefully remove them from the pan and place them on a paper towel to dry.

Keep the eggs in the fridge  until you want to use them for your egg hunt.   You can also paint the egg shells with a little glue and sprinkle with glitter too.

Drawing a design on the egg shell before you dye it with a wax crayon also creates a good effect.

Crystal Eggs

These are wonderful and great fun for the children (and the adults).

What you need

1 cup plain (all purpose flour)

½ cup salt

½ cup sand

1 cup used coffee grounds

¾ cup warm water

Small crystals or gems

Non stick cooking spray

Paint (acrylic works best)

Mix together the flour, salt, sand and coffee.  Gradually add the water and knead until you have a thick dough (it will obviously feel a bit gritty).

Select a crystal and spray it with non stick cooking oil and put it in the centre of a small ball of the dough.  Shape the dough around the crystal and mould it into an egg shape.

Bake the eggs at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes and then allow to cool.

Once they are cool they should feel and look like a rock, if you wish you can paint them in different colours.

The eggs can be used in an egg hunt or just given out for cracking open to reveal the hidden crystal.

Eggshell Candles

What you need

Uncooked eggs

Wax beads

Birthday candles


Make a small hole in the top (the pointed end) of the egg, chip away careful to make a small hole so that the raw egg inside can be tipped out.  Chip away about ¼ of the egg shell.

Rinse the inside of the egg shell very carefully with warm water, and set them to dry.

Fill the shell ½ to ¾ full with wax beads, insert a birthday candle into the centre ( you might need to trim the bottom of the birthday candle slightly to make it the right height).

Sit in an egg cup or candle holder.

Eggshell plant pots

You will need


Egg carton


Cotton wool balls



Plastic spoons


Make a small hole in the top (pointed end) of the egg shell and chip away about ¼ of the shell and allow the raw egg to pour out.

Wash the shell carefully in warm water and set to dry.

If you want to paint a design on your egg shell do so at this point, or draw a smiley face.

Put the egg shells in the egg carton with the hole at the top.  Place a cotton wool ball into each eggshell.  Spoon in fertiliser to each egg shell.  Sprinkle your seeds onto the soil, then sprinkle on a small amount of water, adding a trickle of water each day to keep the soil moist.  Leave the egg planters in their carton on a sunny windowsill.

Once the seedlings are too big for the egg shells, crack the bottom of each shell so that the roots can grow through and plant in the garden or a plant pot, complete with the egg shell as this will break down and provide nutrients to the soil.