I spent the weekend in Leadville. It was an interesting and educational experience. One bit of education I got was that my asthma doesn’t appreciate my attempting to function at 10,200 feet above sea level. Sigh. Another thing I learned is that I can write a three-minute speech in half an hour, then give it to a room full of strangers without getting stage fright! I know I don’t get stage fright at the rituals, but I’m in my element there. I wasn’t in my element last weekend.
Locally, an amazing thing happened. A barn was raised! (Okay, a shed.) Please read Anie Minogue’s and Joe Dellea’s perspectives on that event.
May's Open Full Moon Ritual, on Friday, May 24, will be presented by the ritual group 9and3Quarters.
We are proud to announce that on this occasion we have been invited to Hogwarts for a special Deep Magic Ritual. We will assemble at Platform 9 3/4, and Mrs. Weasley will help us get through the pillar to the Hogwarts Express. During our train ride we will receive some specially treated Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans, and when we arrive at Hogwarts we will meet Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Sprout, Madame Hooch, and a Visiting Professor of Deep Magic. Harry Potter himself has some important information to give us, as do his friends Hermione and red-headed Ron Weasley. Peeves may also put in an appearance. A special magical implement at Hogwarts that you know about will be available to us for Deep Magic learning. Magic harp music by Catherine will aid in the revelations. So be with us as we go to Hogwarts -- to enjoy and to learn!
Ritual participants include Jackie, Carol, Gabriel, Robin, Mary, Cynthia, Manea, Helen, Annabelle, Lohr, Hamilton, Brittany, and Josh, ranging in age from 11 to -- well, never mind how old!
Once again, the CUUPs drumming circle will be in the sanctuary at the same time. If you wish to participate in the drumming circle, they do request that you bring a snack to share.
Thanks and a Tip of the Hat to Orianna, Gary and friends for offering Hearthstone's April OFM. The ritual portrayed a youth seeking contact with the Goddess, yet not recognizing Her in the bird, thunder, or butterfly that answered the youth's pleas. We were reminded of those times we fail to listen to Her voice. The Goddess Herself finally reassured the youth; "I am always by your side. I have been with you from the beginning." We contemplated the cocoon to butterfly transformation, and listened to the beautiful Charge of the Goddess. "And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without."
**Updated March 2002**
We have determined that our break-even point is about $4 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 4 to 7 dollars per person. (The extra is to cover the pagans that are unable to donate.) 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.
Needed for the Food Bank:
Not needed at this time:
Thank you for any help in restocking the Food Bank shelves. Please realize that you do not have to donate several cans or jars. If all you can donate is one can or jar then that is fine. Thank you again.
Two recipes this time, to make up for all the columns I’ve missed lately.
Living so close to the Pacific coast, I get to eat a lot of fish. Most of it is dreadful. We still have our Red Lobsters out here, and they aren’t any better for being closer to the source. But in my travels I’ve come across a few gems and here are two of them. (Brain food at it’s finest!)
1) Cut cod into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Rinse scallops with running cold water to remove sand from crevices; slice each scallop horizontally in half. Shell and devein shrimp; rinse with running cold water. With stiff brush, scrub clams and mussels under running cold water to remove any sand; remove beards from mussels. Rinse leeks to remove sand; cut into 3/4-inch pieces.
2) In 8-quart Dutch oven or saucepot over high heat, heat 1 cup water to boiling; add clams and mussels; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook until shells just open, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. With slotted spoon, remove clams and mussels to large bowl. Rinse each clam and mussel in cooking broth to remove any sand. Let broth stand until sand settles to bottom of Dutch oven. Pour clear broth into bowl; discard remaining broth. Wipe Dutch oven dry.
3) In same Dutch oven over medium heat, in hot salad oil, cook leeks and garlic until leeks are tender. Add tomatoes with their liquid, salt, thyme, saffron, 2 cups water, and reserved clam broth; heat to boiling.
4) Add cod, shrimp, and scallops; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered, 5 to 8 minutes, until fish flakes easily, shrimp turn pink, and scallops are opaque. Add clams and mussels; heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.
This second recipe comes complete with a story that begins “It was a dark and stormy night.” It really was a dark and stormy night in November. A friend of mine had been suffering from a need to see the sea so four of us and a baby piled into a mini-van (shhhh…don’t tell!) and drove an hour and a half to a deserted beach where we stood in the misty drizzle and drank a toast to the sea. Then we piled back into the mini-van about ten minutes ahead of a raging downpour. We pulled off the road at the first restaurant we saw. This is what I had. I went back on a warm, sunny day and had it again. It wasn’t just the cold and wet that made it taste so good.
1) In a large frying pan combine butter, celery and shallots over a medium heat. Cook until the shallots are translucent.
2) Pour half-and-half into a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the butter, celery and shallot mixture; stir continuously. When the mixture is almost boiling pour the oysters and their liquid into the pot. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir continuously until the oysters curl at the ends. When the oysters curl the stew is finished cooking; turn off the heat and serve.
This last weekend, May 18 and 19, were a transformative experience for me. I had been left with a partially finished building and no money to hire another contractor to finish the job. I was at a loss for what to do. I felt not only cheated but victimized, frustrated, angry, alone and helpless. At the urging of a friend I put out a call for help. I wasn't sure it would do much good, but I figured I had nothing to lose. Little, if anything, in my life prepared me for what happened next. People responded! People I knew, AND people I did not know.
These folks began showing up at my house at 8:00 A.M. on Saturday morning, some armed with hammers or ladders or tool belts and expertise in building things, and some with nothing but their willingness to help out however they could. Some came early and worked all day, some worked until they had to leave to take care of other business. Some came later, feeling apologetic for not being able to be there earlier, not realizing how valuable their infusion of new energy was at a time when the energies of those already present were beginning to flag.
Many returned on Sunday, and more new people came Sunday to replace those who couldn't return. While we did not quite manage to finish the project in the two days, an amazing amount of work did get accomplished. The roof shingling is nearly done, the siding has only a few very difficult pieces left to finish that need a longer ladder than we had available, and we only had enough trim boards for part of the trim and must wait to get in more to finish the trimming. But the thing that happened this weekend that was even more amazing that the amount of work accomplished on a barn, was the incredible sense of community – no, family – that was experienced here. This was something I have never, ever experienced to this degree at any other time in my life. And for that I offer my most heartfelt thanks and gratitude to everyone who came.
We spent this past weekend at a "Barn Raising". More accurately, "A shed completion" or something, but the idea is the same.
A couple in the local pagan community hired a Contractor to build a two story garage-like structure in their backyard. The structure was planned as an art and crafts area in one part, with a ritual area/covenstead upstairs. They have a really tiny house and need the room.
The Contractor turned out to have a certain lack of ethics and left the job uncompleted. The couple tried all forms of reasonable recourse to get him to complete the job, and failing that- took the weasel to court.
They won a judgment on the case- and the contractor was supposed to give the money back. Some people are unethical on the surface, but know what "The right thing to do" is. This fellow was not so troubled.
What this comes down to is that this couple had a partially completed structure in their yard for about two years, and no remaining funds to hire another contractor. Like most of us, they are of modest means. They are a little on the "Not so spry" side, and a project like this is a heck of a lot of work.
The building was partially up, but exposed to the elements, and after about two years of chasing around trying to get the contractor to do the right thing, it was getting to be time to finish the thing or give up. One thing led to another, and the idea of a barn raising came up.
This past weekend at least twenty members of our community came together and finished getting the building enclosed. Actually, as I sit here on Monday, on my butt, nursing some muscles that definitely need to get out more, and a mild early season sunburn, there are at least one or two folks getting off their day jobs early to go over and put the last 50 or so shingles on and do some last detail work.. But, damn it, we got that building enclosed. Another member of our community is able to have a place to work on their stuff.
It benefits the community because the woman of the couple makes some beautiful artwork, and creates some wonderful rituals and does a lot of other tangible and intangible things to benefit out community. It benefits the couple, because it gives them storage, helps their equity and all that sort of stuff.
It helps those of us who worked on the project on a bunch of levels:
We had a great time doing some thing tangible – those of us who do a lot of mentally oriented work deal with a lot of intangible stuff – I’ll driving by that "barn" for the rest of my life cracking a smile thinking about the folks who were there this weekend; thinking "Hey – we built that!" and smiling at the memory of noticing that five or six people in the "siding gang" were all singing along to a particularly good song on the radio.
Later we all had a big meal together and were able to see that we had done a good thing.
I'm expressing this in an inarticulate manner, but I'm proud as hell of the folks who showed up and did this. A lot of us spend our time working on intangible stuff, both in Magic and in our conversations of how to be good Pagans, Witches, Shaman, Druids, Faeries or whatever. A lot of the things we talk about will never add up to anything as tangible as that building we built this weekend. Some talk only leads to more talk. That building will be there for a lot of years.
If the purpose of Magic(k) is to cause change, it seems to me that community efforts like this are very magical.
It was a lot of fun to have all of these folks stopping by for as long as they could, contributing the work that they could. Some people (like myself) couldn't be induced to climb out on a roof at gunpoint. Some folks were scrambling around up there like maniacs. Some folks had never hammered a nail in their lives and learned. People did whatever they could to get the job done; each according to their skills and abilities.
There were folks preparing food, cutting trim, framing, watching children, carrying materials to people nailing them in place – you name it.
Some things got done really well, and a few folks got the chance to show off skills and talents that you wouldn't have guessed they had, or taught others how to do things that they had always wanted to learn. Some things got done in sort of humorous fashion; like the saw horse that got cut in half, or "the learning curve" (a course of shingles from the early hours of the roofing) that will be the things I grin about when I drive by there years from now.
But it got done.
And I am proud as can be to be a member of a community that can come together to do something like this for its people.
You’ve worked hard all day at work, taken the kids to soccer practice and dance classes, cooked dinner, picked up the toys, and just as you begin on that pile of dishes in the sink, you see the Full Moon shining down on you and realize that tonight you should do something special. Homework still has to be checked, laundry needs to be done, and you need a couple of hours of sleep before starting all over again tomorrow.
Just what is a busy witch to do?
Many of us find ourselves in just this position. Life is demanding and leaves little room for free time to do a lot of magickal working. I spend ten hours of each day in my office, not to mention the time I need to spend with my daughter and other family. But you have more at your fingertips than you think!
I’m one of those busy witches! Work with your children. Encourage them to write “chore” chants to help make the chore go by faster. I know some of you may groan at the mention of that big giant purple dinosaur, but even he had a clean up song:
Clean up, Clean up
Clean up, Clean up
Everybody do your share
Show your children how everything they do can have a touch of magick. These are just a few things I do daily to keep my connection with the Goddess and God open and flowing. I pass this on to my daughter and she has come up with a few ideas of her own.
Do you have an herb cabinet in your kitchen? If you cook, then sure you do! Why not charge those herbs with a little magick before cooking with them? Add a pinch of garlic to that dish and charge it with good health for the family. Most of us cook with salt and it is known for it’s grounding properties. Why not charge it to do so when you eat a meal! Many herbs for cooking are also used in magick and can be found at any grocery store. Find a good book or resource on the web and make a list of what you have in your kitchen. Have the kids join in and give their own ideas as to how an herb could be used. You can teach them cooking magickally and herbal lore at the same time. It only takes a few moments while stirring a pot (clock-wise!) of food to charge it with your energy.
Can you make your laundry magickal? Why not? It may sound silly, but why not place a little spell of “cleansing for the body” or “comfort on the soul” on the laundry detergent before washing the clothes. Make up a chant while you pour in the laundry detergent (pour it in clockwise!). Remember what you did as you pull the warm clothes out of the dryer. Think of the lint as all the negative energy you’ve picked up while wearing the items and toss it all away in the garbage.
Want to protect your children while they are at school? Add a small charm to the book bag or a special treat in their lunch box charged with protection. Or charge that lunch with inspiration to do a good job on a test. You can even encourage you child to do it themselves.
The workplace can be made magickal without anyone ever knowing it! Keep a colored candle at your desk to meditate on to relieve stress (I don’t recommend lighting it… bosses frown on fire in the office) for just a few moments in the day. Place a quartz crystal on your desk charged to send you calm and peace when things get hectic. Keep your favorite oil scent in a drawer that brings a smile to your face every time you smell it.
Stuck in traffic on a Full Moon or New Moon and know you won’t have time to get a ritual in to your schedule? Take a moment, especially if it is at night, to look up to Mother Moon and thank Her for the many blessings in your life. This is the opportunity to empower your car with protection from the moonlight.
When my daughter is with me around the Full Moon, I don’t have time to plan out a full ritual. Instead, we drive out to the country, look up at the Moon, and say, “I see the Moon and the Moon sees me. Goddess bless the Moon and Goddess bless me!” This is a special way for she and I to spend time alone together and a way for me to teach her about my religious beliefs without offending the rest of my family and ex-husband.
Remember that busy witch in the beginning who just realized it was a Full Moon? That was me not too long ago. As the moonlight shone down on me, I directed its energy through me and into the dirty dishwater. I felt it cleansing me and empowering me to make it through one more busy day and felt all of the negative thoughts and energy flowing into the dirty water. After the last dish was done, the water went down the drain along with all the icky stuff I had sent into it. I felt refreshed and recharged, ready to tackle homework, laundry, and still find time to sleep.
I challenge you to take a look around at your busy life and see if you can’t find a way to add a little magick to everything you do. I bet you a nine year old who chants at the mop before cleaning the kitchen floor that you can!
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)
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