It’s been a frantic month. I got a call from the Unitarian church where we meet requesting that this month’s Open Full Moon date be moved. I spread the word the best I could, and asked the church to post a notice. Doug, who works at home, has been fielding phone calls from people who thought they’d missed the newsletter. So we’re running a week late this month due to schedule conflicts. Many thanks to Mary, this month’s officiant, who rolled with the punches and got everything rearranged for the new date.
We still need more officiants for 2001! We need someone for next month, for the beginning and end of June, and for September, November, and December. Please let Southwynde or me know if you are interested.
I went to Chicago this month to meet some of my Internet friends. We had a lovely time, and it was far too short. It was a case of “(old friends you’ve just met.” (Jim Henson) We talked and swam and talked and ate and talked and put on sparkly, outrageous makeup. Did I mention we talked? We would start talking and realize that three hours had passed. We didn’t want to go to sleep for fear we might miss something interesting – heck, we didn’t want to go to the restroom for fear we might miss something interesting!
While I was there, I saw Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex and other delights at the Chicago Museum. I was shrunk to the size of a bug and wandered around underground looking at all the life teeming in the dirt. (Oh, all right – I went through a large model of underground. But they did make us pass through two “shrinking chambers” to get there!)
I also saw one of the Great Lakes – Lake Michigan. From the airplane, I thought I was over an ocean, and had a few confusing minutes trying to figure out why we were over an ocean flying from Cincinnati to Chicago! Lake Michigan is a lot of water, especially for someone like me who lives in a semi-arid climate. I stood on the shore of the lake and could not see the other side. Truly an awe-inspiring sight for me.
I flew Delta, which meant that I had to connect in Cincinnati. On my way to Chicago, I flew for three hours east and landed in Cincinnati. I had some time to spend before boarding my next flight, so I wandered around the airport a bit. I went into one of the gift shops and browsed. This is the main airport for part of Kentucky as well. Among the various Kentucky Derby and horse racing souvenirs, I saw a T-shirt that said, “Cincinnati: Queen City of the West.” I stood and contemplated that shirt for a while. I thought about the three hours east I had just flown to get to this airport. I thought about the physical location of Cincinnati in the United States. And I stood in that gift shop and laughed. Loudly. No one tried to ask the crazy lady what was so funny, though.
I’m going to plant a garden again this year, so between reports on the couch-eating dog and the other pets (I finally bought the doormat I’ve been wanting since Gromit came to live with us. It says: “This House is Dog-Broken. Come. Sit. Stay.), I’ll give you reports on what I grow or can’t get to grow. I’m sure you all are just waiting with bated breath for those reports.
Thanks and a Tip of the Hat to Kestrel, who led a lovely memorial for Nancy Roesch and celebration of Spring. It was a moving and lovely ceremony, where we were reminded that death is not an ending, but another beginning.
The April Open Full Moon will be on Friday, April 13, 2001, 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 is a celebration of the Full Moon in Libra. The beauty, harmony, and balance of the Moon in this sign echo these qualities in Ostara, which has just passed. Our ritual also celebrates the planets in transit, with messages from the gods and goddesses (more goddesses that you think!) associated with the heavenly bodies.
Unfortunately, because of the date change this month, by the time of our ritual, the Moon will have moved out of Libra and on into another sign which we're not going to mention because the Moon doesn't like it very much – but never mind! We'll still have Full-Moon-in-Libra energy, which pervades this time of year, and we'll celebrate with music and dance and joy.
You don't have to know anything at all about astrology in order to enjoy the ritual. However, if you have a chance to look at your own astrological natal chart before you come, the messages from the planets in transit may be more meaningful to you. It's interesting that no planet except the Moon changes sign or direction between the actual time of the Full Moon on April 7 and the time of our ritual on April 13.
The chant we will use is:
Air moves us,
Fire transforms us,
Water shapes us,
Earth heals us.
And the wheel of the year
Goes round and round.
The wheel of the year
The ritual will be led by Mary Reeves (aka Marbitha, aka Chaliceseeker). Also participating are Laughing Owl, Jean, Adrienne, Kestrel, Kathy, Michael, Carol, Helen, Catherine, and Dragonhorse.
John Baker says, "After the OFM, come to the PNO (Pagan's Night Out) held monthly on the 13th at Las Margaritas at 17th and Downing."
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.
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, although it may be refused. We need more voices for the newsletter!
Your column could be here!
I recently purchased a book entitled Goddess Meditations by Barbara Ardinger. Within it, she says that new times call for new goddesses. For example: "General Terminatrix and Her Haz-Mat Crew" to call upon when you need to "dump the trash" in your life. I thought it was cute and funny, but why would I need new goddesses to call upon when I already have so many to choose from? Trust a child to show me just why.
My daughter was having a recurring nightmare in which her grandfather was being eaten by a crocodile. She was afraid to go to sleep and worried that her dreamcatcher wasn't working anymore. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts at recharging the dreamcatcher, she declared that she was no longer going to sleep and that Pops (her grandfather) was never going swimming again. I hit upon the idea of a hero saving the day and told her to imagine the Crocodile Hunter taking the crocodile and wrestling it away from Pops. She agreed to try sleep one more time.
The next morning I asked her how her dreams were. She excitedly told me how the Croc Hunter saved her Pops from the crocodile and made it safe to swim again. She asked me if that made the Crocodile Hunter a god. I started to say no, but then remembered the new book I was reading. Yes, in our household, the Crocodile Hunter is a god of safe dreaming. We ask for his blessing every night before going to sleep. We still blow kisses to the dreamcatcher, but it's nice to have a backup waiting in the wings.
A Faery Blessing for a child’s garden
To the Faery Folk
High and Low
Blessed Be and Blessed go. In perfect Love
In perfect Trust
You may depart if you must
But pray, stay if you will
All aglow and peace be still.
by Cerridwan Cerrifaery
Okay, I have a confession to make. I have no concept of time whatsoever. You know how they say that all witches can tell, just by the feeling in their bones, when the moon is full? Well, I’m walking proof that this is untrue.
By the same cruel twist of fate that left me unable to feel the moon’s phase, I am incapable of feeling the day’s weather from indoors. I dress inappropriately for the weather at least half the time, if not more often. So here it is, early spring when sudden ice storms are virtually guaranteed, and I’m dressed in a summer weight dress and sandals. Is it any wonder my body is craving warm, filling dishes?
This recipe is from a restaurant in Portland that is known for innovative cuisine. (Guess what? They stuff mushrooms with French cheese, fennel and – if you’ve been reading my comments about northwestern cuisine for a while you’ll have guessed this one – hazelnuts.) The Pumpkin Custard Crab Cakes are the chef’s signature dish and they only sound warm and hearty. They are actually light and very flavorful. But just reading the title makes me feel all nice and happy inside. And I think that makes them magick.
Laslow's Pumpkin Custard Crab Cakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter six 4-ounce custard cups or soufflé dishes. In a colander, carefully press all water from crab. Pick through so as to remove all traces of shell and cartilage. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks and curry paste. Add cream and pumpkin, mix well. Mix in crab, chives and cilantro. Spoon mixture into cups and place in a baking pan. Pour warm water into pan so that water depth is half the height of the cups. Bake on the center rack for 35 to 40 minutes or until cakes rise in the center and are golden. Remove from water and let cool for several minutes. Run the blade of a small sharp knife around the edges and tap out. Serve as is, or coat top and bottom in bread crumbs and sauté until lightly browned. Salt and pepper to taste.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.
This month, the Jewish festival of Pesach, or Passover, takes place. It is an important time of the year for our Jewish friends. The ritual combines the springtime renewal of the land with the remembrance of events that took place long ago. In fact, the events occurred so long ago that even experts argue as to exactly what happened and when.
But Jews and their friends are celebrating their release from slavery in ancient Egypt centuries ago, pretty much as they have since before any of us were born. The central theme is remembrance. "This happened to our ancestors, and has effects on us even today. Remember!" Pesach is a long and complex ritual, with many layers of meaning. This is to ensure that each person attending, including the non-Jews or the children, is likely to find something meaningful and memorable in the celebration.
Naturally, the arrival of Spring is worth celebrating. Freedom is also worth celebrating. Positive identity is worth celebrating, too, especially when it is done in an inclusive manner. They are all worth remembering, for these things nourish our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. They are, in a sense, gifts from our ancestors, and from Mother Nature and Father Time.
Yet, what will we do this year that will be worth remembering? What will our children's children remember of our lives, our deeds, that they will pass on to their children?
What gifts of remembrance will we pass on?
I received the following note from Jackie Weller, and am passing it on to all of you as written. –Alia
Hello, friends and colleagues. I am sorry to announce that I will not be organizing the Magickal May Festival this year. I have had a very challenging and stressful spring, and have had neither the time, the energy, the investment capital, nor the response from volunteers that would enable me to do this. I apologize to anyone disappointed by this news. I am disappointed, too -- and also relieved. I will be calling any volunteers and vendors who may have not yet heard, and posting this notice on the Net. I had intended to let you all know this two weeks ago, when I realized that I would not be able to do Mayfest, but the last two weeks have been among the worst yet.
I am still organizing the Witches' Ball for this year, which will be on the Saturday night before Samhain (October 27th, 2001) as it has been for the past ten years. I am continuing my search for a larger space that would suit the needs of the event, so the site is not yet confirmed. By the way, let me clarify that the Witches' Ball name is part of my intellectual business property. It is a name that I have been using for my Samhain/Halloween event for the last ten years, and I ask that no one else use this name locally. Thank you all, and Blessed Be, Jacqueline Weller, Living Goddess Productions.
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 expressed or implied.
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