I’ve had a busy and delightful summer this year, and it has definitely been a hot one. I’m happy to see the Wheel turn to cooler weather. Just about any of my endeavors will be easier when the heat abates.
We survived quite well the Dragonfest of No Fire. And had a lovely time at it. It’s always difficult for me to return to the mundane world after a good festival. And gypsy even made an appearance in Denver!
Latest Creature Count in this house: Two cats, one snake, and three bassets. We now have three permanent basset residents because one of the pups we fostered returned. We felt that three homes were enough for a nine-month old dog, and kept him. His name is now Gromit. His nickname is Destructo Dog, or DD for short. Once he gets past the chewing phase, I’ll be in the market for a new couch and loveseat.
Damien, age 12, and Sierra, age 14, proved competent officiants for the July OFM. They asked us to remember the feeling of being "outcast", then shared that as young Pagans, raised in Pagan homes, children like themselves are different, sometimes outcast among other children. Yet this is more understandable than their feeling of also being outcast from the adult Pagan community. They ask adults to welcome Pagan youth and to teach them.
Circles of worship and learning include all ages. Damien and Sierra, thank you for a well-done, thought-provoking ritual.
The August OFM was a ritual developed that very evening, and presented by Hearthstone Board members and last-minute volunteers. This resulted in a wonderful, focused meditation by Hawk Shadow on being fully conscious of the divinity within each of us, and everyone else. We are One People, upon One Earth.
Blessed Be to all. Please join us at our continuing series of wonderful monthly rituals. And please volunteer to lead us in a ritual in the future!
The September Open Full Moon will be on Friday, September 8, 2000, at 7:30 PM, at the First Unitarian Church, 1400 Lafayette, Denver, CO. The doors of the church open at 7:00. We like to begin at 7:30.
This month’s ritual will be presented Kestrel and friends, and will celebrate Mabon.
We have determined that our break-even point is about $3 per person.
We aren’t going to start collecting at the door, and no one will be turned away for not having a donation. However, we would like to suggest a donation of 3 to 5 dollars per person. (The extra is to cover the pagans that can’t swing $3.) If you can’t afford it, you are still welcome – if you can afford more, we’d be delighted to accept it.
NOTE: Hearthstone is a church and your donations to Hearthstone are tax deductible. If you would like to write a check so you can keep track of your donations, we can certainly handle that as well. And if it simpler to write a check occasionally rather than come up with a few bucks every month, believe me, we understand!
Web of Life
Ours is a nature-based religion. We respect persons of varying hues, sizes, shapes. Some of us literally worship the Earth, for she is truly Mother To Us All. Our highest creed is the Wiccan Rede: "An it harm none, do what ye will."
It comes down to appreciation for, and cherishing of, life. Nature is the wellspring of life. We are part of the web of Life. Our species has accumulated much knowledge over the centuries, and this has lent us great power. We have greatly affected the very web upon which we depend for life. Many times this has been to our own long-term detriment. The Sahara desert, for example, is growing ever larger because of the actions of human beings. Giant mammals that once roamed North America were likely wiped out by over-hunting. The passenger pigeon was destroyed in historic times by short-sighted persons. Over-fishing threatens huge areas of marine ecosystems.
What can we do? Whatever we can. We can remember, reduce, re-use, recycle, restore.
We can educate ourselves in less wasteful ways, and adopt them. We can learn which rituals restore balance and energy to our planetary home, and utilize them. We can investigate political candidates, and spend our votes wisely.
We can think upon how to "Live Lightly upon the Earth," and then do so.
We need the Web Of Life, and the Web Of Life needs us.
Two and a half years ago I promised I'd be back in town for Dragonfest 2000. I'm not saying I always keep such dramatic promises exactly as made, but this time I did it. It was fantastic to see all those old, familiar faces, even though my main objective for the first couple of days was just to keep breathing.
Cooking at festivals, no matter where they take place, is different from cooking on a mundane camping trip. Granted, there are certain things that are almost always part of the outdoors culinary experience, but many groups (covens, circles, whatever the group calls itself) camp and eat together, resulting at times in a rather massive number of diners. This can create either a sudden lack of food, or a sudden surplus, depending on how well all contingencies were planned for. And when the idea is to create not just a meal, but, in keeping with the festival atmosphere, a feast, things can get really out of hand.
This year I found myself with a surplus. I had thought, when I started out, that I was feeding eight adults and two children. In the end, there were seven adults and no children. But even had all those anticipated showed up, I would have made much too much food. Chicken with cheese dumplings is filling, and I had made enough to feed a small army and any camp followers it might have dragged with it. Needless to say, dessert was unnecessary.
But, having made dessert, I was loathe to throw it away. Wasting food is ecologically shameful, and I was pretty darned proud of this particular dessert. So we stuck it in the RV's refrigerator (which never did work and which was being powered by judicious additions of dry ice) and went about our business that evening.
The next morning, a little worse for wear, we decided to eat the dessert as breakfast. It made some sense, as we figured the sugar high would last long enough for us to get something protein rich to eat, thus balancing it out. We never got that protein rich bit of food, but we discovered that something magickal happens to food at Dragonfest. Even sugar-rich empty caloric desserts have value as foods there. (The yogurt might have helped a little...)
(Serves at least 4 at breakfast)
Combine the yogurt with the pie fillings. Mix thoroughly. Put mixture into serving bowl and add angel food cake cubes. Mix well, so that the cake cubes are distributed evenly. Refrigerate 2 hour or overnight. Serve with whipped cream if desired.
This can be made nominally healthy by substituting a can of lemon pie filling for the strawberry pie filling and serving it with fresh fruit, such as blueberries. And remember, it's a nutritional wasteland (except for the yogurt) unless eaten at a festival.
The Witch’s Ball is October 28 this year. Jackie is looking for a group to do the ritual this year, for a musical group to hire, for volunteers, etc. Anyone interested, please contact Jackie.
If you have something to say, and are willing to let Alia edit it slightly, (generally for grammar – I have the soul of an English teacher) please feel free to submit your writing. Content will not be edited. We can usually make room for more voices.
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.
Of all the trees
that grow so fair,
Old England to adorn,
Greater is none
beneath the sun,
Than Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.
Sing Oak, and
Ash, and Thorn, good sirs,
(All of a Midsummer morn!)
Surely we sing
of no little thing,
In Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Oak of the
Clay lived many a day,
Or ever Aeneas began.
Ash of the Loam
was a Lady at home,
When Brut was an outlaw man.
Thorn of the Down
saw New Troy Town
(From which was London born);
Of Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
is old in churchyard-mould,
He breedeth a mighty bow.
Alder for shoes
do wise men choose,
And beech for cups also.
But when ye have
killed, and your bowl is spilled,
And your shoes are clean outworn,
Back ye must speed
for all that ye need,
To Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Ellum she hateth
mankind, and waiteth
Till every gust be laid,
To drop a limb
on the head of him
That any way trusts her shade.
But whether a
lad be sober or sad,
Or mellow with wine from the horn,
He will take no
wrong when he lieth along
'Neath Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Oh, do not tell the priest our plight,
Or he would call it a sin;
But--we have been
out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring Summer in!
And we bring you
good news by word of mouth --
Good news for cattle and corn --
Now is the Sun
come up from the south,
With Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Sing Oak, and
Ash, and Thorn, good sirs
(All of a Midsummer morn)!
England shall bide till Judgement Tide,
By Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
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