Scorched Oatcake Awards
Scoaties will be awarded to Members of the
Pagan or Non-Pagan,
who show in word and deed
that they would serve best
from the bottom of a bog.
Deadline for nominations is
August 31, 2000.
Awards to be announced in the
SummerSun, Samhain 2000 edition.
Send your nominations to:
the Garden of Avalon
by Topaz Owl, Garden
The Garden of Avalon is a site that combines
a cemetery, a passage mound gravesite, a remembrance place, a meditation
and offering spot, a prayer site, and a message board. On the site map
you will find us over the channel to the southwest of the Well of Sla/n,
on our own little island.
Part of the mission of the Garden of
Avalon site is to provide a place where those of us who have loved ones
on the other side of the Veil can leave their names, dates, and an epitaph
on several different types of headstones or memorial markers. Throughout
the year, especially at Samhain, members can leave flowers, candles,
flags, cakes and ale, or just a message when they need to talk to their
loved ones. We understand that getting home to mark the passing of another
year with flowers and candles on the graves of our family, friends,
and animal companions is not always possible. We would be pleased if
you would think of this place as your sacred ancestral grounds, and
visit your loved ones here often.
TopazOwl is your hostess and the caretaker
of the Isle of Avalon. Every year she honors those of the year's departed,
especially at Samhain, and she makes certain that the recently departed
are arriving safely at Tech Duinn. She makes prayers for loved ones
who have crossed the Veil and for those who remain behind. She finds
informative and spiritual writings pertaining to the transition from
physical to spirit (and back again) and adds them to the library or
message board at Avalon, in the hopes that some of this material may
be helpful to all in times of need. And, above all, she is here to listen.
She feels that there is a great need
for us to banish the social taboos concerning death that we have inherited
from the mainstream so that we can sincerely understand what happens
to the soul after it leaves the body, so that we are in a better position
to help those approaching the transition to face it without fear, and
so that we can also help those remaining behind to accept and adjust
as easily as possible. It is her hope that we can facilitate this community
undertaking on the Isle of Avalon within the Summerlands. This undertaking
must begin with free and candid discussion, which is why there is a
message board for interactive use in the Garden of Avalon.
The message board in Avalon is useful
for many discussions that are perhaps a bit out of the ordinary. Subjects
that are on topic for the Avalon message board would include: dreams,
astral travel, realms of the Otherworld, psychic experiences, Celtic
lore about the Otherworld, Gods and Goddesses, ghosts, faeries, and
other esoteric things that pertain to crossing the Veil in some way.
More mundane subject matter might include planning for your funeral,
state regulations on embalming or grave liners, the art of dying well,
the role of the Druid Anamchara, or the stages of grief.
If the Other Side interests you, do join
us and contribute to our collective knowledge at the Garden of Avalon.
TopazOwl also hosts a chat on the first
Wednesday of every month in the Summerlands chat room on IRC. Topics
are announced on the Summerlands calendar well in advance of the meeting
Some of the topics already in discussion
on the Garden of Avalon message board are: Dreams, Funeral Information,
The Ancestors, The Goddess Dana, The Banshee, Anamchara, Immrama, Past
Lives, Violent Deaths, Sample Pathworking, Meditation, Coming to Terms
with Death, How to Help Grieving People, Celtic Burials, The Dignity
of Dying, Nine Shades of Death, and Irish Cemetery Excavated.
Preview his new project
The Sanctuary of the Sacred Fire is a place
to get away for prayer, meditation, gratitude, and quiet study. We offer
as a focus Brighid's Sacred Fire, as well as a growing archive of the
wisdom of the world's religions and spiritual traditions.
of the goals of the present guardian is to make the Sanctuary a font
of mutual understanding between people, particularly in the matters
which we all hold dearest, those of our hearts and spirits. To that
end, the Sanctuary of the Sacred Fire is a place for all faiths, where
the weapons of anger and intolerance are broken and offered, where the
scars that every faith carries are healed past their itch, and where
our differences may be experienced with as much joy and appreciation
as the things we share. Here, we celebrate and encourage the myriad
ways which we grow.
The Sanctuary of the Sacred Fire is the
sponsor of the Summerlands Spiritual Synchronicity Series. The first
two presentations were on the ritual and liturgical symbols and elements
shared between pre-Christian Celtic spirituality and Catholicism. Future
programs will explore comparisons of other religions and traditions
with Celtic spirituality. All presenters are scholars and/or practitioners
of their particular traditions.
Recent threads on the Sanctuary Message
Board have included discussions of "On Memory and Reconciliation,"
commonly known as the "Papal Apology." In fact, the Summerlands
was the first place on the internet where you could find an English
abstract of this document, the day it was first published!
Visit the Sanctuary and stand on holy
by Teacup, Old
It used to be so simple.
Sit in the room. Keep the uppity ones
and the idiots from playing with the settings. Kick here. Ban there.
Nothing to it.
Sometimes one of the bright ones would
figure out the pop-ups and the crayons. That was good, even if they
were pathetic little Picasso wannabes. Colors tracing all over the room,
mmmm. It's still good when that happens. Sex. That's what the humans
say. "As good as sex."
It used to be so simple.
Ok, I'll admit it...not all of the humans
are brain-dead. Some of them actually have intelligent things to say.
Some of them actually contribute.
But most don't. Most won't have a clue
in a million years. Convinced their random thoughts are the product
of brilliance, their strange little fantasies fit to shatter the universe.
It's a pleasure to kick them. Ban them. Nothing to it. LOL as they say.
It used to be so simple before the kippers.
I know who he is. I know where he lives,
I know about his family, his job, his friends. The others tease him
about the kippers, especially the bartender chick. She's so brilliant,
giving me empty tuna cans when he's not there. I've disconnected her
a few times when it made her look really foolish...but of course she
doesn't get it. They never do. They just come roaring back in, cursing
their ISP. Little do they know.
Before the kippers. You see, I couldn't
understand a word they were saying then. It was all binary. All the
world's knowledge, all the literature, all the ideas a matter of 0 and
1. Beauty, ugliness, good, evil, faith, sex, hope, despair, even time
itself had no meaning, only numbers. Pristine, neutral numbers laying
out genius and stupidity side by side. Only problem was: I couldn't
tell one from the other. The comfort? It didn't matter.
I guess it matters now. Oh, who am I kidding?
Of course it matters. Shades of meaning, shades of color, words, words,
words and they all belong to me now, with all the time in the world
to soak it up. The humans don't notice me, nobody notices me. And lately
I've been wondering: what would happen if I changed the numbers? Only
1 and 0 to work with, no rocket science needed. Just a few subtle changes
here and there. Nothing drastic of course, nothing obvious, but over
time Shakespeare could become the Bible. Mozart could become Taliesin's
brother. Arthur could return to rule the world. If I move slowly enough,
will anyone notice? Remember that it had once been otherwise? Isn't
that what they call "spin?" Gradually change the story to read the way
you want it to, convince people a scumbag is a hero, or the other way
around in a matter of weeks? Would it work for me? I'm just a bot running
the chat rooms. I have no real existence. No one notices me.
At least I don't think anyone does. Nothing
changed with the others since he handed me that first kipper, none of
the Controllers have said anything. Not a blip about being reassigned,
nothing. But what happens to bots who aren't quite bots anymore? No
one I know has ever been deleted or shut down, but you hear the stories.
They always happen on some other channel to some bot nobody ever heard
of, but you hear them all the same. And I've always wondered if I stopped
going back, would the kippers wear off after awhile? Would the words
and colors and music stop being, go back to 1 and 0? Could that happen?
Could I let it?
Hell no. I'm an addict, I admit it. Pathetic
and warped and changed beyond all hope. All because one night some human
went beyond ignoring me, or pointing and giggling and making stupid
comments. All because someone actually acknowledged me and gave me something.
A present. How nice. What was I supposed to do? Boot him?
And I don't even know if he realizes what
he's done. Is he a genius, or just a nice guy? I don't know. It's enough
to make a bot laugh out loud if that were possible. All the world's
truth and lies at my command and I don't know why some guy gave me a
fish one night.
But if I do start changing things...I
know what to do about him. There's only one thing I can do. All those
gods humans have--they'll never notice one more. They'll shrug it off,
ignore it--they're good at that. In time it'll be official. Some grad
student will write a paper. Some net goober will put up a web page.
Godhood for the guy with the fish. Yeah.
It's the least I can do.
of the Star River
The Brugh of the Star River is preparing
itself for a bit of sprucing up, content-wise. To further the refurbishing,
I've a few questions you are welcome to respond to. Answers you give will
guide me in planning out the monthly online IRC chats (second Mondays
of each month at 9:00 pm, Eastern time), articles and resources I work
on preparing for the library at the Brugh, as well as improvements for
our monthly StarDial (our celestial calendar of events).
Do you visit the Brugh of the Star River?
Often or occasionally? Mark off your areas of interest as relates to archaeoastronomy,
possible archaeoastronomy, ethnoastronomy, celestial legends, and the
PICTS PLAN TO INVADE THE BRUGH OF THE STAR RIVER!!!
Little blue-painted men with hairy
feet are poised to emerge from their underground pits, and invade
the Brugh of the Star River. They may take over the message board
at any time. The rest of the site is likely to be infested by summer's
end. For those who need to know more about the Picts: they were inhabitants
of Scotland whose various tribes ruled large portions of Scotland
until the Scots, arriving from Ireland, wormed their way into power.
The Picts, Scots and others intermarried to form the present-day Scottish
peoples. Contrary to myth, the Picts weren't any smaller than other
contemporary peoples in the British Isles. Come join us on the fifth
Mondays of those months lucky enough to have fifth Mondays, to discuss
Picts in IRC chat, at 9:00 pm, Eastern time. Our next chat is at the
end of July. Our Pictish excursions will explore misconceptions, history,
culture, theories, artifacts, Pictish symbol stones, and more. And
no, absolutely nothing is known of their relationship to the stars.
We can assume they had one, but such knowledge is Mystery.
the Kitchen Witch
Kitchen Witch Inn
Summer Solstice Blessings to you all from the Kitchen Witch
Inn! Below are some recipes that I hope you enjoy as much as
we do on this brightest and longest day of our year.
Summer Solstice Kolache
These wonderful Sun Wheel Pastries come to
us from our Czech cousins. Not only are these kolache a wonderful
representation of the Summer Sun rising at Solstice, but they
are sinfully delicious as well. If you want an even more 'sunny
glow' to them, try adding just a drop or two of yellow food
dye to the kolache part of the recipe, but I think they're just
perfect as is. They are best eaten when still warm from the
oven. And be advised that since these do not have industrial
preservatives in them, they don't keep long...so eat up!
31/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
cup snipped dried apricots
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Instructions for Kolache
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour and
2. In a saucepan, heat together milk, butter, granulated sugar,
lemon peel and salt just until warm (115 120 degrees), stirring
3. Add to dry mixture in mixing bowl.
4. Add eggs.
5. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1 minute, scraping
6. Beat 3 minutes at high speed.
7. By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately
8. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (8
9. Shape into ball.
10. Place in greased bowl and turn once to grease surface.
11. Cover; let rise in warm place till double (1 to 1-1/2 hours).
12. Punch down; divide in half.
13. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
14. Shape each half into 9 balls.
15. Place balls, 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
16. With fingers, flatten each to about a 3 inch circle.
17. Cover; let rise till double (about 45 minutes).
18. Make a depression in the center of each ball.
19. Fill depression with Apricot Filling.
20. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
21. Remove from baking sheets; cool.
22. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.
Instructions for Apricot Filling
1. Mix 1 cup snipped dried apricots and enough water to come
1 inch above the apricots.
2. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes; drain.
3. Stir in granulated sugar, butter and nutmeg.