Yes, there was no newsletter for a few months. With no income into the house, I was unwilling to exert energy toward anything that would not provide income, so the newsletter fell by the wayside. But Doug is now employed, so I’m willing to stop the endless and somewhat futile search for employment to create the newsletter. Sorry for the interruption – I hope you missed the newsletter, and I hope it will be back for a while now.
I am very seriously looking at a career change at this point. I’ve been tentatively accepted into grad school in January if I can get all my ducks in row, so I’m in the process of grooming ducks now. I guess this can count as my midlife crisis, eh? I always rather figured the midlife crisis to be emotional rather than financial.
This month’s Open Full Moon falls upon the same weekend as MileHiCon, which I have been attending since before I realized I was pagan. I’ll be in a couple of panels on Friday evening; if you too are at the con rather than the OFM, look me up. Catherine and Arynne will be at the ritual; Southwynde and I will be at the Con.
October's Open Full Moon Ritual, on Friday, October 18, will be presented by AdAstra Encampment, OrdoTempli Orientis. We meet at the First Unitarian Church on 14th and Lafayette in the Capitol Hill area. The church doors open at 7:00 pm and we start at 7:30 pm.
The ritual is based on an eclectic blend of Thelemic and Neo-Pagan traditional concepts and will focus on an evocation to the Lady Artemis. AdAstra Encampment and friends like to include a celebratory nature to their rituals. Participants will be invited to dance and feast at will during the course of the ritual. If possible, please bring food (finger foods) and drink (non-alcoholic) to share. Attendees are also encouraged to bring drums and other instruments to add to the celebratory aspect of the ritual.
Thanks and a Tip of the Hat to many officiants while the newsletter was on hiatus.
Thanks to Carol Lyon and her friends for the wonderful recounting of the birth of the Egyptian Gods in July. The characters were vivid and lovingly portrayed, although Geb’s acting was a little on the “stuffed” side.
And thanks to Jessica and her Sisterhood (which I became part of for the night, for a lovely ritual and...
Thank you, Manea and Ellen, for showing us that with our feet on sacred Gaia, and Sunlight on our faces, we are always in the embrace of our divine parents. We are well-loved children of the gods. May miracles of Love and Light be ever ours.
And thanks to all of you who joined me in September for a genuine WingIt production and for accepting the challenge I gave to meet someone new. I truly believe that some of the best magick comes from spending time with friends, both old and new.
**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.
To the Community,
To start off with I would like to say "Thank You" to everyone who has donated to the Food Bank. The "Thank You" comes not only from me and those who use the Food Bank, but also Margaret (owner of Wings and provider of space for the Food Bank).
I visited the Food Bank a couple of weeks ago. I don't think I will say "We don't have shelf space" again. According to Margaret "the flood gates opened". There is shelf space and we are in need. If you happen to be holding items for the Food Bank, please bring them. If you would like to help us out, please take a look at the following list:
First I will let you know that due to previous donations the following items are not really needed: Dried Beans, Rice, Ramen Noodles, Kidney Beans, Peas, and Cut Green Beans.
Second are items that only a few donations of the following items are needed: Macaroni and Cheese and Soups.
Third are the items that are really needed:
These are guidelines for what is needed. If you can think of something else that people might use please bring it. Remember that some people who use the Food Bank might have limited cooking items or supplies, so think simple and easy preparation. Also, you don't have to bring several items to donate to the Food Bank. If all you can bring is one or two items, then that is one or two items that we did not have.
Thank you for any help you can give the Food Bank. Thank you for your time and cooperation.
Caretaker of the Food Bank
I’ve made some pretty darned impressive friends here in the Pacific Northwest. (Which is in no way intended to imply that I don’t have darned impressive friends in the Rocky Mountain region, but just that I’ve managed to find the same kind of people up here.)
One such friend, Anna, has redefined Asatru for me. I had a mental picture of the Asatruar as big, burly Vikings and Valkyries (in their own minds, at least) with limited senses of humor, serious drinking habits, and no tolerance for other paths. Imagine my surprise when at least this Asatruar turned out to be a perky short-haired blonde who seems always willing to give someone a ride or a loan (the ride thing she explains as, “I have a lot of ride karma to work off from my youth.”) and who cooks lowfat and drinks in moderation. She’s married to a man who describes himself as “Wiccan because there’s no other word for it, and that at least comes close” and the two do a lot of ritual together. While she is from a Scandinavian part of the country (North Dakota, and she refuses to tell Ole and Lena jokes, which I understand are an integral part of the culture up there) she is about as cosmopolitan a person as I have ever met; she has worked in news radio in Washington, DC and has traveled through a great deal of Europe.
Anna is the person who bullied me (bribed or blackmailed might be a better choice of verb here) to go to a Billy Idol concert with her. I think that took ten years off my outlook on life. She just grinned and said, “Told ya.”
Whenever we drive anywhere, if Anna is at the wheel there is a hawk somewhere in the vicinity. No matter what the time of year, unless it’s late at night, we are almost guaranteed a hawk sighting. Several weeks ago, Anna and I drove south to Corvallis to attend the local Renaissance fair. The directions provided by the fair’s organizers were hopelessly poor and without a street address it wasn’t possible to use Mapquest or one of the other Internet map providers. Consequently, we got lost. When we saw a sign announcing we were approaching the cutoff for Eugene, we decided to turn around and head back. As soon as we’d changed directions, we saw a hawk. After perusing an atlas for a few minutes I figured out a route that seemed to make sense. I looked up. There was the hawk. We took the obscure cutoff I had noticed that would cut a great deal of time out of our trip back north if it worked. There, again, was the hawk. We made a terribly wrong turn and the hawk was gone. Anna reasoned that this meant we had to turn back. Sure enough, we spotted the hawk. For the rest of the trip to the fair site we spotted the hawk every time we looked. When we arrived at the parking meadow, we saw the hawk dip once, then fly away. Anna called out, “Thanks, Freya!” and explained that the hawk was Freya telling us which way we were supposed to go. I wasn’t entirely sure I believed her until, on the way home, we came to a confusing intersection. There, on a sign pointing in one of the directions we thought we should be going, was a hawk (I can’t swear it was the same hawk, but it sure felt like it was!) We followed the hawk’s advice and arrived home on time and without any confusion. I have since concluded that Anna does, indeed, have an in with Freya. So now, whenever I see a hawk, I have to determine if it’s a red-tailed hawk sent by a friend in Denver (you know who you are!) or one of Freya’s hawks, following me or us around to be sure we’re safe.
Anna brings light things to not-a-coven potlucks. I’m most likely to show up with a full cream seafood chowder or a buttery pumpkin-pear pastry. Our Thelemite tends to bring store bought bread or some kind of yummy cookies from a local bakery. Our Reclaiming contingent bring roast chicken or sometimes something Hungarian and heavy. Our family trad groups bring lots of whatever they bring. (I have previously written about Dameon, who can’t attend often due to his schedule but what he brings is usually gourmet and invariably high calorie.)
Anna brings soups with veggie broth or skim milk in the base. She brings pasta salads with more vegetables than dressing. Or she makes up a really yummy salad like this one, that she served at her own housewarming. The recipe is in her own words, as we all asked for a copy of it. I think it’s important to note that no lutefisk was harmed in the composing of this salad.
Anna’s Yummy Asian Style Salad
"I used a mix of spinach and spring salad for the lettuce. You'll need a can of mandarin oranges and crunchy chow mein noodles.
"For the dressing I used about a teaspoon or so of dijon mustard, salt and pepper, olive oil, juice squeezed from an orange, oregano picked from my yard, and some fresh parmesan cheese. Mix it all together and taste it. You can add stuff from here. Toss with the salad. It's really easy and really good!"
So make it, take it to a potluck, and see if Freya follows you around disguised as a hawk.
Who are we on Blessed Samhain?
Samhain is, after all, an awe-inspiring holiday. It is said that the thin veil between the living and the no-longer-alive grows even thinner at this time of year. Some claim that, on this day, the quick and the dead can interact easier and more thoroughly than at any other point on the Wheel.
Is that not an impressive thought? Does that not encourage us to examine our lives. After all, we've friends, relatives, mentors, teachers on the other side of the darkest of all doors. Who are we? Now, we are among the living. Some of us are mentors. Some are parents; all of us have been children. All of us have been teachers to one degree or another, whether or not the lessons were officially recognized as such. Eventually, we’ll be on the other side of the veil. What will be our legacy?
Life is a process of change. Am I the same person I was a year ago? No, for I am still among the living. I have changed over the last 12 months.
As I meditate on the meaning of Samhain, on that veil, I realize that life is a gift. The fact that the gift is temporary makes it more important that we who have been given that gift gratefully work toward the enjoyment and beautification of life. Yes, gratefully work toward. We naked apes have the capacity to understand more of ourselves, our world, our universe than any other known species.
Why should we be grateful? To paraphrase Bill Cosby's Noah imitation, "How long can you hold your breath?"
During that meditation, I tried exhaling as deeply as I could. I emptied my lungs as far as possible. Then, I resisted inhaling for as long as I could. I didn't last very long (less than a minute). However, I was suddenly reminded of just how important breathing is to human life. For most healthy people, the ability to breathe is taken for granted. We ignore this gift.
How many other gifts and blessings do we ignore? Sight? Hearing? The ability to walk? The ability to care? The ability to read? The ability to think?
Who are we? Do we appreciate how the universe has blessed us? Or do we practice ingratitude? Do we give thanks to those persons and those powers who have helped us?
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.
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