I am so pleased to bring you new content. Because of problems experienced by our host ISP, we've had no access to our site for two months! We're back, though, with new stories, new reviews, and new illustrations from Scott.

Here in North Carolina the frogs are peeping and the leaves are showing on the trees. A bush willow down by the pond is fully leafed out and the maples in front wave their delicate, dusty flowers. The poor little dogwood in back, held together by a bandage of rope, blossomed despite wounds from an ice storm earlier this year. Like the oak at our Massachusetts cabin, it has become our feeding tree. Birds fill its branches, awaiting their chance at the feeder—from cardinals and the occasional jay to a flock of bickering house finches, Carolina wrens, sparrows of every persuasion, garrulous goldfinches, with a pair of mourning doves scavanging seeds on the ground.

The birds are fun to watch, but unlike trees, they seem only wary of human activity. Trees, on the other hand, feel overtly curious about people—peering over our shoulders to peek at what we're doing. What would such a being, wise many times beyond my years, get out of chronicling in its vast, still memory the events of my daily life?

A tree, however, could tell me many things:

about the people who have leaned against its bark, shaded under its leaves, rested in its branches;

what birds see from their nests;

what it's like to dream for the winter under soft, silent snow, how the sap rises in spring like a column of ecstasy, of the harsh gaiety of summer, the sadness of leaf fall, standing naked and near to dreaming once again;

how the years pass like months and full moons come each upon the last like another day;

how the rain feels like crystal on leaf and bark, the fog an envelope of silk, the wind like a demon lover, now sweet, now cruel;

lightning making all electric, thunder voicing the desire of gods.

What can I give this tree—except perhaps to surround it with the stuff of memories from which to weave long dreams for those lonely winter nights?

Our Stories theme until June 1st is Trees. If you have a story about trees, share it with us. And check out our updated themes. Tell your friends so they'll share their stories too. And if you've got suggestions for our stories, write to me.

Spring's officially here, so take a look at Scott Fray's photoessay on spring called Flora Sidhe.

Obsidian has lists, and we want to make sure everyone knows about them. Sign up for our Announcement List for monthly updates on what's new on the webpage and what's happening with the magazine. Our Discussion List, moderated by Obsidian's staff, will be a place for people to talk about magic: its practice, theory, and repercussions in the world. Magic is a vital part of our lives, and we want the list to reflect that vitality; enthusiastic, energetic conversation will be nurtured by people who live magic, study magic, know magic.

Check out our fourth issue. Dedicated to the glory that was ancient Egypt, Issue No. 4 includes:

Obsidian 4 Cover

  • An overview of ancient Egyptian society, customs, myths, and magic;
  • An interview with Normandi Ellis, author of Awakening Osiris, her lyrical translation of The Egyptian Book of the Dead, how she came to write it, and her views on ancient Egyptian magic;
  • An article about the real names of the Egyptian gods, not the Greco-Roman names we know them by today;
  • Two articles on mummies—one detailing the rituals and customs surrounding mummy-making, the other following the mummy's long and infamous career on the silver screen;
  • An article looking at scarabs in ancient Egyptian myth and modern magic;
  • A photographic journey through Egypt.
  • A dowloadable PDF sample of Issue No. 4, featuring 20 actual magazine pages.

I'd love to hear what you think about Obsidian. Write to me.

Myrriah Lavin, Editor

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