Newsletter for February, 1998 ce


New month, new spring, new editor. Welcome to the latest incarnation of the Hearthstone Community Church newsletter! I don't know where this journey is going to take us. Won't you come along for the ride? By the way, I still have laryngitis, so I may be looking for a volunteer "mouthpiece" for the announcements so they can be heard.



Thanks to Coven of the Wild Wood for their lovely full moon ritual. I enjoyed the plant and animal guardians for each of the quarters, as well as trees as sources of living energy and "connectedness with all that is."



The February Open Full Moon will be on Friday, February 6, 1998, at 7:30 PM, at the First Unitarian Church, 1400 Lafayette, Denver, CO.

Southwynde will present this month's Open Full Moon ritual. The theme will be "Hope and Help," for ourselves and for our communities. He plans to begin on time, with announcements at 7:30. Please arrive on time.


With gypsy's journey to the Silicon Forest, we've had to rearrange the officers of the church. Southwynde, gypsy, and I will remain as the members of the board, but gypsy has surrendered her offices. We therefore need two officers for the church: secretary and treasurer.

The secretary will take notes at our highly infrequent officer and board meetings and publish them to the officers and board. The secretary may also be requested to do additional correspondence. The treasurer will be responsible for church funds, accounting for and depositing donations to the church. Disbursements will be made with the knowledge of the treasurer, but not necessarily by the treasurer. (We really need help on this one, folks -- I've been trying to do this part lately, and it isn't exactly my cup of tea.) The treasurer should have either transportation or easy access to me so deposits can be made in a timely fashion. (The bank is a small one on Arapahoe road in Englewood.) Both officers may be drafted to work on the newsletter. We will consider individuals interested in one of the open offices or in both offices. Please express your interest in writing, preferably via e-mail. If you do not have access to e-mail, please contact me so I can give you my home address. That will get your application before the board more quickly. In your letter, please let us know what office you are interested in, and why. Give us any relevant experience, but we sure don't need a resume. We have not set a firm cutoff date; however, when we have a good candidate, we'll stop looking, so please don't delay applying if you are interested.

Another form of help we need is contributions to the newsletter. We're interested in art and columns, either regular or occasional in nature. We do have a sort of "Guest editorial" column - if something's on your mind, you are welcome to write about it. If you'd rather write about something else, we'd be happy to have that too. If you'd like to discuss your tradition, or muse about something that has you wondering, that would be great, too. Keep in mind that we wish to foster community, and tailor your writings toward that end.



Last year, when our finances were tight, I started carrying a couple of extra dollars in the car to hand to the individuals who stand by the side of the road asking for money. I thought that by increasing their good fortune, I could sympathetically increase mine. And it worked. (I'm sure there are people that find handing out money to panhandlers counter-productive. That's OK - I'm the one that's doing it!) This past month has been a bit of a boot to the head for my family, and I realized that although I have still been carrying the spare cash in the car, I'd gotten a bit lax about actually handing it to people. It's time for me to start paying attention again. I do make various types of contributions, including support for Hearthstone, but the small additional effort of actually handing the money to someone seems to make a big difference. I remember discussing encouraging financial support for our pagan organizations at a leadership conference once. A priestess (who shall remain nameless, as she doesn't know I'm writing this about her) mentioned that when she tithes to causes she feels are worthy, her life runs more smoothly, and she seems to have the money available for what she needs and wants. If she forgets or neglects that self-imposed duty, her life doesn't go as smoothly.

So, have you been tithing lately? I don't mean you should necessarily be donating a chunk of your income to Hearthstone, or even that you should take the biblical ten percent of your income and pass it on to someone or some organization that you feel is worthy. But I just realized that I had stopped consciously raising the level of good in the world, and Mom and Dad got out the boot to remind me. So I'd like to propose that those of you reading it take this idea under advisement. Based on my experience, and that of the nameless priestess, mindfulness makes a difference.



by Deb Hoffman

The cold and flu season is in full swing and everywhere I go I hear hacking and coughing. Last year about this time I shared the herb Horehound with you, and I would like to bring one of my favorite herbs round again.

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) is one of those wonderful herbs that seems to cure everything. Over the years it has been used to relieve hepatitis, tumors, tuberculosis, typhoid, snakebites, jaundice, improve eyesight, cure earaches, break a fever, and of course the most well known use, soothe a cough. The Greek physician Dioscorides (AD40-90) recommended it to his clients, as did herbalist John Gerard in 1597 as he praised it as " a most singular remedy against the cough and wheezing".

There is actually scientific backing to some of these claims. During the extraction process a bitter substance called marrubiin is produced. Marrubic acid has been shown to increase bile flow, which accounts for its use in treating liver ailments. Also, being a bitter, it stimulates gastric action and promotes digestion and elimination. As a very weak sedative, it has been used to normalize and regulate irregular heart rates.

Horehound is an excellent and reliable cough soother and expectorant, making it a valuable plant in the treatment of bronchitis where there is a non-productive cough, or to sooth that irritating tickle and cough that accompanies a cold. The herb causes the secretion of a more fluid mucous, which is more easily cleared by coughing. Horehound combines the action of relaxing the smooth muscles of the bronchus while promoting mucous production and thus expectoration. Horehound is easily grown in Colorado because it prospers in dry soil and easily reseeds itself. (Actually, as a member of the mint family it sends out runners and will take over the garden if left unrestricted!)

You can find horehound in many commercially prepared lozenges, candies, teas, capsules and tinctures. In England it is sometimes used to replace hops in beer and horehound ale is sold in Europe. It is easy and fun to make your own old-time cough remedy, especially using plants you have grown yourself. To make a simple cough remedy, first make an infusion of horehound by steeping 1 oz of fresh or dried horehound leaves in a pint of boiling water. Allow steeping for 10 minutes and strain off the leaves. Measure the quantity and add twice as much honey as liquid, mix well and bottle.

To sooth a cough, take 1 teaspoon at a time as needed. This is subject to spoilage, so plan to use it up in several days. If you want a cough syrup with a longer shelf life, try this variation:

Horehound Hibiscus Cough Syrup

Add the hibiscus and horehound to the water and boil until the volume is reduced by half, usually 10-20 minutes. Cool until warm, and add the honey. When room temperature, add the marshmallow powder, tinctures and brandy. The brandy acts as a preservative so you can make larger batches of this recipe.

Horehound syrup is soothing not only to your cough, but also to raw throats and nasal passages. It is easy to make and would be a fun project on a wintry afternoon. This syrup is safe and effective for kids, but ONLY over the age of 18 months (it is not recommended that children under that age be given honey).

Horehound is abundant and easy to grow (and easy to find at Wild Oats or Alfalfa's) usual the Mother provides what we need from the most common of weeds.

The Chocolate Ritual

(This is the original -- Alia was there!)


* Following our usual schedule, December 25 would be the next OFM. However, we know from experience that a great many pagans still have late-December obligations of one sort or another, so we've elected to skip the Open Full Moon for December.

Standard Disclaimer:
Please note that information and opinions contained in the articles in this newsletter are the responsibility of the authors only. No endorsement by Hearthstone Community Church, Inc. is implied.

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