Newsletter for November, 1998 ce


It's an interesting time of year for me. Especially this year, when I don't know from day to day whether I will wake up to snow on the ground or 60 degree weather. In the past week I've been caught without my coat when it was cold, and suddenly realized that I was way too hot while wearing the same coat. But Winter will be here in full force quite soon. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe and warm.

We have the dates for the Open Full Moons for next year. They are in the events calendar at the back of the newsletter. We need lots of officiants for next year!

And one last bit of administrivia: Remember that there will not be an OFM next month due to the holiday season. So the newsletter will also be taking a month off.



Thanks to Vanaheim Hof for their Nordic journey to see the land of the dead. The journey was engaging, and it is always a pleasure to hear John's music!

—Alia and Southwynde


The November Open Full Moon will be on Friday, November 27, 1998, at 7:30 PM, at the First Unitarian Church, 1400 Lafayette, Denver, CO.

This ritual's theme is family and paganism, presented by Children of the Wolf.

by Southwynde

Passion. Emotional surges. Secrecy. Guilt.

Sex? Politics? Nope, at least, not this time.

Moola. Dinero. Ye Coyne of Ye Realm, in RenFest terms. "Green energy" is how some pagans refer to money. But almost all of us, under whatever name, recognize the concept. Why are we so passionate about the stuff? After all, it is only a symbol of value. For example, one cannot eat it. Alas, it won't directly warm us in the winter or cool us in the summer.

So, why such passion over a symbol? Because of what that symbol represents. Lucre, whether clean or filthy, can purchase goods and services. Food, fuel, clothing, air conditioning, et cetera, help to satisfy our wants and needs. Currency may also allow us to fulfill half-forgotten dreams, to feel joy at financial gain, or to despair over market downturns.

In our culture, that symbol has great power. Money, and the forces it both represents and enables, shapes our lives. Whether we buy a house, rent an apartment, or scrounge on the streets relates to our income. The neighborhoods in which we live, the schools we attend (if, indeed, we do), the friends we make, often depend on the size of our wallets.

The might of the purse can be surprising. A number of utilities around the country, including PSC, are offering a different take on "green power." The companies propose to generate some electricity in a clean, "green" fashion, if enough customers will agree to pay a premium to support the environment. In fact, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, so many customers have been willing to buy "green power" that it has become a marketing point for some of the utilities!

Years ago, the original Mother Earth News noted that plain, unscented paper tissues were less polluting than their fancy colored and perfumed counterparts. Apparently, enough people changed their buying habits to influence the paper-making industry. It finally began advertising those less-polluting choices as eco-friendly. More and more people have chosen to use their money as a tool. They cause good things to happen with their shekels.

One of those "good things" (Here it comes; get braced!) we'd like you to consider doing with your money is supporting the Open Full Moons. In a way, this is necessary because of our growth. When we drew only a dozen or so participants, meeting space was not a problem. Once we regularly starting pulling in over 50 persons, we ran into difficulties.

Most of us would like to celebrate our rituals in a natural setting. Unfortunately, few yards can handle crowds of 50 to 100 humans doing a spiral dance. Even fewer have neighbors who can handle such an event. Legally, the Parks Department requires permits, deposits, and fees for group events. It's over $500 for the first month, and that doesn't include the liability coverage which "event promoters" should have. (Which was $425 per event five years ago. -Ed.)

Our current arrangement with our Unitarian friends was and is the best deal we could work out, given the fact that we need room for several dozen adults. However, the charge for that meeting space is $100 each use. Postage runs about $50 per mailing, and printing charges have been $25 or more. Luckily for the church, Alia brought about a free web page.

Still, as one can see from the figures we just mentioned, Hearthstone is spending close to $200 each month. This does not include any of our out-of-pocket expenses as clergy/board members, by the way. These are merely the direct costs for hosting and publicizing the Open Full Moons.

Were this a perfect world, we could cheerfully report that the donations were keeping pace with the outgoes. Unhappily, this realm and time are far from perfect. According to the latest Treasurer's Report (Blessed Be our illustrious Treasurer!), we are averaging $88 in donations per OFM.


People, that is less than the church rental, never mind the other expenditures. Is this good?

Alia has been using her own money to support the OFMs as large public gatherings. Is this good?

We suggest a small donation of a few dollars each lunar cycle. $2 for students, and $3 or more for other people. That way, we would be using that "green energy" to do good. Of course, if you wish to include Hearthstone in your Yuletide gifting, we would be grateful and appreciative. Glad, even.

Thank you.

May the Lady light your path with her smile.


by gypsy

(I have no idea where the idea for this title came from; there is some apparent aberration in my brain….)

Aaron likes to keep a container of some kind of snacky thing on his desk. His latest is Jelly Belly's. The container came with a brochure that contains (I kid you not) "Menus and Recipes." One of the recipes is as follows: Café Mocha (16 calories) 2 Cappuccino plus 1 Chocolate Pudding plus 1 A&W™ Cream Soda. Some people take their candy entirely too seriously…

Some candy should be taken seriously. That is the stuff we make ourselves. And the approaching holidays are an appropriate time for such candy-making. The following recipe is from one of my newer books, Home Made in the Kitchen, (Bluestein & Morrissey) which was in the cheap books section of Borders. It is a delightful book, with lots of neat ideas, although some (like the recipes for homemade sausage and homemade soda pop) require equipment most of us don't have on hand. But Walnut Toffee uses only what most of us have right in our kitchens, and it would make a marvelous Yule gift.

English Walnut Toffee

Lightly butter a baking sheet and set it aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in the sugar, water, and rum. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the walnut pieces and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil until syrup registers 285 on the candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.

Pour the toffee onto the prepared baking sheet. With a flat spatula, work it into a narrow end of the sheet, squaring off the outer border, until it fills about 2/3 of the sheet. Let the toffee cool for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the chocolate chips into a glass bowl and microwave them for 2 minutes at 50 percent power, then stir until smooth. (If unmelted bits of chocolate remain after a few seconds of stirring, microwave for an additional 30 seconds.)

Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the toffee. Scatter the chopped walnuts on top and put the baking sheet into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Lift the toffee off the sheet with a spatula and break it into pieces.

The toffee will keep for about 2 weeks in an airtight container. Yields about 2 pounds.

Or, you can always give folks a Jelly Belly Lemon Meringue Pie. (2 Lemon plus 2 Coconut. 16 calories.)

by Deb Hoffman

I am by nature a "shower" person, but sometimes there is just nothing better than a warm, relaxing bath after a stressful day at work, on a frosty day when even turning up the heat won't shake a chill, prior to a ritual, or just for no reason at all as a treat for myself. Adding herbs or oils to a bath heightens the experience and can make it even more enjoyable or therapeutic.

Herbs can be added to your bath in several ways: In combination with bath salts, as a "tea", or as aromatic oils.

A basic bath salt recipe is: 3 parts Epsom salts, 2 parts baking soda, 1 part borax. Mix these thoroughly. I make a large batch and use it as a base for a variety of additives. ½ cup of salts is the usual amount to add to a tub of water. Customize the salts….add color or essential oils.

If the tub is for ritual use, visualize the energies within the colors or oils merging with the salts. Keep the magical goal in mind while you stir.

If you want to add herbs to the salts, grind or chop the herbs (fresh or dried), mix them in the salts and place them in a small mesh or muslin bag and put under the bath faucet. The salts will dissolve, the fragrance and energy of the herbs will disperse in the water and you won't clog the drain with the soggy plant material!

An herbal "bath tea" can be done in 2 ways. You can simmer your chosen herbs in a pan on the stove for 10 to 20 minutes and add the liquid to the bath water, or you can place the herbs in a muslin bag and "steep" them in the bath water. I prefer the latter because I can rub the bag over my body and direct the energy to specific areas. Squeezing the bag also releases the aroma whenever you want a little extra boost as well.

For dry or itchy skin put a pound of oatmeal in cheesecloth or a porous bag and add to the bath…rub your skin with the bag to smooth away the dryness and soothe irritations.

Mugwort can be used for the relief of muscle aches and pains and chamomile relieves tension. Lavender, rosemary, bay, thyme and rose are also good tension relievers. Add aromatic oils or herbs such as peppermint, eucalyptus or sage to relieve the congestion of a cold. Marigold and nettles will improve and increase circulation.

I don't have the time and space here to list all the herbs, oils and colors and their uses, but would suggest "The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews" by Scott Cunningham, or any books on aroma therapy as most of them will give you the medicinal (and sometimes magical) uses of herbs. Any shop that sells herbs and oils should be able to assist you in choosing what you need.

Whatever the purpose for you bath: magical, ritual or just plain ol' relaxation, visualize your goal as you soak in the warm, soothing water. Invite the energies of the herbs inside you, receive the positive energies, release the negative. Add to the experience by turning off the lights, lighting a candle, perhaps some quiet music. Enjoy!!

This month, I received an open letter to all of you. The letter speaks for itself:

My name is Patrick Ryan, I am secretary/newsletter editor/webmaster for the Denver Astronomical Society. The purpose of this letter is to invite you to Denver's historic Chamberlin Observatory for one of our Public Open Houses.

Each month, the Denver Astronomical Society, in conjunction with the University of Denver, gives the public an opportunity to visit and tour Chamberlin Observatory, declared an Historic Landmark in 1994. Members of the public may also view the heavens through the Observatory's 104 year-old Clark 20" refractor, twelfth largest of its type still operating in the world. Moreover, Chamberlin Observatory is only one of seven professional observatories in the world that lets the public use its instrumentation. Thus, the Denver area is quite fortunate to have this observatory as a resource.

At each Open House you may find members of the Denver Astronomical Society, one of the largest amateur astronomy societies in the world. We man the Observatory and its telescope, give talks, provide information, and set up our own telescopes on the south lawn of the Observatory, so that members of the public may view the sky through them. The dates for the remaining 1998, and the 1999 Open Houses are given here. Each Open House begins at 7:00 p.m. I hope to see you there sometime.

1998; Nov. 21, Dec. 5.

1999; Jan. 23, Feb. 20, March 27, April 24, May 22, June 19, July 17,Aug. 21, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 11.

We also have Public Night Viewing most Tuesdays & Thursdays. Please call 303-871-3222 for reservations. Please feel free to post/circulate this letter.

You can call Chamberlin Observatory's information phone #; 303-871-5172.

--Patrick Ryan
Secretary to the Denver Astronomical Society Webmaster & newsletter editor

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