Well, we have volunteers for the rest of the 2001 OFMs. Everything but the OFM nearest to Imbolc is available in 2002. Please contact Southwynde, Catherine, or me if you would like to present a ritual to the group.
Last month’s Children and the Goddess column was written by Flame, but her byline was inadvertently omitted.
And, related to that column, Ken Cannon wrote us a note about poison ivy:
FYI -- Just logged on and got the early Aug. Hearthstone newsletter. [Flame] mentioned in it that someone named Lyon said that poison ivy does not grow in Colorado. That's what I believed until a couple of years ago when I saw some alongside a trail at Red Rocks. This summer, I'm working as a trails tech. for Jefferson County Open Space, and have seen lots of it in a number of Open Space parks, mostly along the east slopes of the foothills, although some at a bit higher elevations. I don't think poison ivy is much of a problem at all higher in the mountains, at least I can't recall ever seeing it above, say, 6500 feet.
I grew up with the stuff, back in the midwest, and know that reactions to it vary. Those who react strongly might want to consider keeping some vinegar handy if they are in areas of possible exposure. The oil of the plant is alkaloid., and if you can wash the area with vinegar before much of the oil is absorbed, you can alleviate the irritation. If not, then the only palliative I know of is that ocean of calamine lotion.
Just thought you'd like to know.
The late August Open Full Moon will be on Friday, August 31, 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 ritual celebrates the 10th anniversary of Hearthstone! gypsy is visiting us from Portland, and she and I will officiate. We’re drafting as many of the folks around at the inception of the church as we can find. If you have memories from the beginning of the church, we’d love to hear them at the ritual!
The early August Open Full Moon had a Lughnassad theme, and was presented by Kilsharion and the Hearthstone Board members. After beautiful invocations of the God and Goddess, offered in the Lycian tradition, participants contemplated themes of sacrifice and harvest. Thanks to Catherine for bringing her harp and sharing "John Barleycorn Must Die."
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 is simpler to write a check occasionally rather than come up with a few bucks every month, believe me, we understand!
Night-blind elder Wiccan living in SW Denver needs a dependable ride for the OFMs. Will contribute toward gas money. Lives near Hampden and Sheridan. Contact Virginia.
This will of necessity be a short column. I have a wiccanning to attend in a few hours, root beer to start so it’ll be ready for Mabon, a kitchen to clean after an abortive cheese-making session, laundry to do, and a suitcase to pack. I’ll most likely be in Denver by the time you read this.
So I don’t have time to make a point about magick or nature or even the subtle (and dramatic) differences between the regions. All I have time for is to panic and whine that I didn’t get enough pickles made for the potluck after the wiccanning.
It’s not like this is a tough recipe. I just didn’t make a second jar. With only one jar, those who want them will have to try to steal them from my spouse, who loves garlic dills and hoards them. And he’s a goddessfather to the baby, and will be armed, at the request of the mommy, with a sword. So there’s just no way anyone else is going to eat any of these today.
But they take seven days, so if I start them before I leave they’ll be ready when I get home. Of course, this assumes he doesn’t put a lock keyed to his own DNA on the jar. On the other hand, if I start some now and keep an eye on them en route I might be able to bring them to Colorado with me, where he won’t be able to steal them from me. Gotta check on airline regulations.
Garlic Dill Pickles
Put a dill flower, chili if used, and 2 half cloves of garlic in the bottom of a 1 qt Mason jar. Add the cucumbers, packed as tightly as possible. Fill any holes between the cucumbers with sprigs of dill. Add remaining dill flower and garlic. Top with salt. Fill jar with cold water to within 1/8 inch of top. Seal the jar, and shake a few times to dissolve the salt. Place jar upside down, out of direct sunlight and away from heat. For 4 days, flip the jar rightside up, then upside down, at least once per day. (Rightside up the first day, upside down the second, etc, or more often so long as it spends approximately the same amount of time on each side. For an additional 2 days, leave the jar upright and do not turn it. After 2 days, place the jar in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving. These pickles will keep for 4 or 5 months in most refrigerators. I’m lucky if they last 4 or 5 hours in mine!
I hope to see a whole lot of you at the Open Full Moon on the 31st. I’ve missed the community camaraderie of the Denver OFM and, even without pickles, I’m really looking forward to it as a homecoming.
The Advantages of Tradition
On encountering the traditions for the first time, one is informed by tradition members that belonging to a tradition is better than being a solitary. They have been taught the true way, and as such that they have more power than the lowly solitary.
This opinion of theirs does not always hold water, as anyone who has encountered a powerful "orphan" can attest. There are some solitaries that have always been solitaries, who have never had a teacher, and have never been a member of a tradition. But on the whole, these individuals are extremely rare; those really powerful practitioners that one encounters are quite often a member of one of the traditions.
The traditionists claim to be the recipients of the "One True Way." This statement does not hold water on examination. Once one has advanced far enough and has had the opportunity to examine several traditions, it becomes obvious that:
1) All traditions are attempting to describe the same forces, and in most cases, that they are just using different descriptive definitions for the forces involved.
2) Each tradition has its own strengths and weaknesses, which are rooted in that tradition’s preferred mode of working.
3) That the terms used to describe and control the universe, such as the assignment of symbology to the four quarters and the points of the pentagram are arbitrary.
Therefore, one set of symbols are, in theory, as good as any other and the traditions are merely a group of people that have decided upon a mutually-agreed and used set of symbology and techniques.
This being the case, why do the traditions (for the most part) wield more power than the systems that were thrown together “five minutes ago?” A system that is newly created can be and normally is quite powerful in the hands of its creators, but not so powerful in the hands of outsiders. The older and more used traditions tend to be more powerful overall than the new creations. Why?
There are some legends that the old traditions were received by humans from superior other-worldly beings. For instance, the word Kabbala means "to receive." Kabbalah is said to have been given to various historical persons by the archangels. When one ignores the myth and examines the historical documents, one finds vast evidence of a system that has been evolving for hundreds of years.
So ignoring the myth of divine origin for the traditions, what is the truth? The answer is surprisingly simple. Thought is energy and energy cannot be destroyed. Energy can be transmuted into other forms, but it cannot just disappear. The energy underlying the thoughts of our earliest ancestors is still out there someplace; if we knew exactly where to look, we could recreate their very thoughts.
The traditions stumbled upon this fact and used it to their mutual advantage. Thought is energy, and several people thinking the same thought generates more energy than just one individual can. The more intense the thought, the more energy. The more people initiated into the thought, the more energy. The more energy that a thought generates, the more energy that you have to transmute into other forms. It is all quite simple, in both practice and theory.
Which is why the traditions have secrecy oaths, to safeguard the traditions; preventing outsiders from tapping the power generated by the tradition. Also to prevent the abuse of the energy raised.
Does the average person need to belong to a tradition? No, there is a place for the orphans, and the outsiders. The traditions demand a certain level of commitment, a level of commitment that nowadays is rare.
©July 2001, Morgan Drake Eckstein
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