I didn’t give November permission to move this rapidly! Sometimes I think that having a child is the most effective way to accelerate time. Because of the swiftness of time passing, I don’t have any of our regular columns this month, but I did persuade Arwen to allow me to publish one of her musings.
The collection for Hal was quite successful. We collected $308.00 at the OFM, and Hearthstone is adding an additional $100.00 to that amount. We still plan to hold a fundraiser, but considering how busy December is for many folks, we will schedule it for early next year. Any place that would like to host the fundraiser, please contact me.
Most of the year 2002 is still available if you wish to officiate at an OFM; we have January and February committed but no officiants after that. However, as people start planning the upcoming year, the dates will rapidly be claimed. If you have an idea for a ritual, do call us. Please contact Southwynde, Catherine, or me if you would like to present a ritual to the group. If you have not done group ritual before, I would be happy to provide advice and counsel.
The November Open Full Moon will be on Friday, November 23, 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.
Merlyn and Willow will present this month’s ritual. They are of Scottish/Celtic descent and as such the ritual will be based on the Celtic Wicca Tradition. Songs and chants will be very much in evidence in this ritual so bring any drums, rattles, etc. and feel free to join in.
For the next several months, we will be sharing the church with the CUUPs drumming circle. We will occupy the community room, and the drummers will occupy the sanctuary. We are welcome to join the drumming after the ritual. Joan informs me that they usually drum until 9:30 or 10, but if there is interest, they can stay later.
Thanks and a Tip of the Hat to Oak Haven and friends who offered a Samhain ritual at the Oct. OFM. The rite focused on remembering people of courage, and innocent lives lost through the ages. Stories were illustrated of the first oath maker, first crop planter, and first funerary priest. At the Samhain time of remembering we chanted, "When we are gone, They will remain, Wind and Rock, Fire and Rain. They will remain, When we return, Wind will blow, and Fire will burn." We turned the Wheel of the Year with encouragement to live fully in the present. Thank you, Oak Haven and friends for all the thought you clearly put into this rite.
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.
Llewellyn is a disease!
Recently it has become treś fashionable to bash Llewellyn and all authors who dare publish through Llewellyn. Let me caveat this editorial by saying that Llewellyn publishes a very dear friend of mine while Harper & Rowe publish another. I have seen crap as well as good from both these publishers. But, I think it is the signal-to-noise ratio that bothers most people about Llewellyn.
The complaint I hear over and over again is that there are no "201" books and a plethora of "101" books that anyone could have written and besides half of those are rife with crap anyway. If you say that out loud, whining, and very fast, you will sound like most of the people who go into automatic overdrive about Llewellyn. As I said, it is the thing to do, darling.
Personally, I prefer the way I learned – first by reading every book I could get my hands on (this was limited since my real studies began in 1980) and then with a teacher who was a 3rd in the Tradition I joined. The books she gave me were not "witchy" books at all.
I have read things like Margaret Murray (discredited to some extent but still some useful stuff) and M. Esther Hardin (incredibly hard to read psychological stuff) and many books on anthropology, history, sociology, and archaeology. And then there are Joseph Campbell’s journeys into mythology. I built a firm solid ground for myself while beginning in Wicca. I still read these books and others recommended to me by friends.
All beginner books are useless if you don't have a good foundation in reality. The definition of reality I would use here would be the accepted norm. Otherwise you might read Douglas Monroe's 21 Lessons of Merlyn and think that his mindless meanderings were real. This would be a bad thing since one of the things he suggests is to make a potion of mistletoe and drink it. He also tells of the Druids in Merry Olde England using pumpkins. Had he done any research and had he been grounded in reality, he would have known that pumpkins are a New World plant. Many authors do this. Silver Ravenwolf in To Stir A Silver Cauldron confuses Frigga with Freya. That is not a life-altering error, but Mr. Monroe's suggestion of drinking mistletoe can alter your breathing abruptly.
A foundation of knowledge based on fact is the key. Anyone can write a book and people prove that daily. It is the reader's responsibility to pay attention and back up their beliefs with fact.
Please don't ever tell me that you (generic) believe something because your HPS told you. ;-) I have truly heard that before and it wasn't in jest. Scary. I can see why there is a strong call being answered for Traditionalists to go back in the woodwork where you have to truly do some soul-searching within yourself before you even think about looking for a teacher. Then finding a teacher should be work as well. I have had too many lackadaisical students. I find that I am a lackadaisical teacher to them.
Llewellyn isn't the disease. Llewellyn is a symptom.
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.
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.
All writings are copyright to their respective authors. Please obtain permission before reprinting anything here with the exception of the Open Full Moon Dates. Those may be copied and transmitted as needed.
June 21 (summer Solstice)
August 16 (subject to change due to Dragonfest)
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