Imbolc has passed and Valentine’s Day has arrived. Presidents’ Day is around the corner. February seems to be a month of holidays. Chinese New Year began last week. It seems like we’ve tried to squeeze all sorts of special days into our shortest month.
I have a friend over here right now preaching on the evils of excess. But I don’t think we have an excess of holidays in February. Maybe being short, February is just trying to overachieve.
Hearthstone meets the Friday before or the Friday of the Full Moon at the First Unitarian Church at 14th and Lafayette in Denver. The church doors open at 7, and we like to start at 7:30. (We are NOT big proponents of Pagan Standard Time, but if there is weather related driving trouble or a problem on the freeway, we've been known to wait a bit longer.) This month's ritual is Friday, February 18.
Remember, please, that the policy at Hearthstone is not to enter in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, as there are people you don't know there, but to enter with a willing heart and an open mind, and leave your differences at the door.
February’s Ritual: Water of Life—Mayim Chiam
Water moves us, transforms us, heals us. Come talk about water in the world and how it interacts with our bodies and other elements. Understand the political—and spiritual—aspects of water in new ways with Deena, Tzvi, Cece, and Catherine.
Thanks and a Tip of the Hat to Alia and Catherine for leading a song-filled January Open Full Moon. We started with the song "All My Life's a Circle"; other songs included "Cat in the Cradle" and "Inch by Inch, Row by Row." With guitar, singing and meditation we celebrated Imbolc and the theme of the many circles/cycles in which we participate, from universal to life-cycles to seasonal to atomic and everything in-between. We each received sprouting seeds of wheat and sunflower. The flame was lit on a central candle of Hope for the coming year. Despite the freezing night outside, it was a mellow, warm evening for our Hearthstone community. In the coming year, may our individual lives continue to be blessed with mellow evenings of laughter, hope and friendship. Blessed Be!
I've been calling on everyone I could to light candles, pray, talk to, or help Southwynde, aka Rex, in whatever form each individual could help. His health is improving, he sounds much better, and he is now focusing on his healing again. Thanks for all the community support, from both Southwynde and me. And I request that you all keep it up; he is still ill, but better able to work on his healing now. One of the things that helped him a great deal was the realization that so many people care about him.
There's a lesson there as well; it's important to remember to let the people you love know it on a regular basis, because if you don't they tend to forget. And it's important for each of us to accept that love, and acknowledge that we all deserve to be loved. Don't wait until the situation is dire; tell the people important to you that you love them now, and repeat the exercise often.
And contrary to the "evils of excess" Catherine mentions in her opening note, I don't think it's possible to have an excess of love or loved ones in your life. This isn't an ad for polyamoury; I'm talking about the broader sense of love, not just the bedroom side. We should be able to love those dear to us as friends as well.
Many of you may not know Rex well, but he was instrumental in the founding of Hearthstone. In 1991, Rex, gypsy, and I incorporated Hearthstone Community Church, Inc. as a non-profit in the state of Colorado to provide an umbrella organization for the Open Full Moons. It's apparently worked rather well, since we celebrated the church's 13th birthday this past August. The incorporation has allowed us to keep continuity within the church, even when the people doing the work have moved or had to pick up where another person had to let something they were doing go, such as Catherine taking over the newsletter.
Rex is also a very dear friend of mine, one of the people I have known the longest in Colorado, and I am delighted to hear more life and energy in his voice than I have heard in a long time. It wouldn't have happened without everyone pitching in, and for that I am very grateful. Again, my thanks to you all.
We appreciate that many of you donate to the church. With your contributions, we have reached the point where the church is preparing to set policies for assisting those in need. The more you can spare, the more we can help those who need it.
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.
by Deb Hoffman
Many years ago a friend sent me a card in the middle of winter. It showed a rather forlorn little person bundled up in winter garb with snow flakes falling all around. The message was "If you help me get through February, I'll help you get through March!". Indeed, we are now in the time of year when many people suffer from depression. Some of this can be related to external factors: the shorter days, less sunshine, cold and snow which keep us inside, and the holiday let-down. Some depression can be an internally created state of mind or often a combination in internal and external factors. In the Wise Woman Tradition we know that health/ wholeness/ holiness is of the void and ever-changing, we accept the uniqueness of our beings, and we see "dis-ease" or problems as an ally to help us grow. We do not ask "why is this happening to me" but rather "how can this experience transform me?" There are some herbs which can help lift depression and create the space and ease of mind to get beyond the "why" and into the "how".
Nourishment is the keystone of the Wise Woman Tradition, so the first step is to feed and nourish our nervous systems. The best nerve tonic to feed nervous tissue is OATS (Avena sativa). Oats can be taken in the form of tinctures, teas, and infusions or can simply be eaten in the form of old fashioned oatmeal (not instant). Oats and oatstraw helps regulate nervous system and charka energies. Take avena sativa baths while sipping your oatstraw infusion. To make and infusion, put one ounce of oatstraw in a glass container and add a quart of boiling water. Let the infusion soak for at least 4 hours, then strain out the oatstraw. The result is a slightly sweet, very soothing and nourishing drink. Drink a quart a day, especially if dealing with chronic tension, stress and depression.
Other anti-depressive herbs are Damiana (Turnera aphrodesiaca), Ginsing (Panax ginsing), Kola (Cola vera), Lavender (Lavendula officinalis), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Vervain (Verbena officinalis), and Skullcap (Scutallaria laterifolia). St. Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is excellent for mild to moderate depression but SHOULD NOT be used if you are currently taking prescription anti-depressants.
Due to space limitations, I can't go into details of the effects and dosages, but a good reference book on herbs (such as The New Holistic Herbal by David Hoffmann) will allow you to make a good choice. Or better yet, consult an herbalist…it just might help to talk to someone about your feelings and a qualified herbalist will be a good listener.
Remember, Imbolc is past and we can really see now that the days are getting longer and warmer, and soon the earth will begin to stir!
Earth Temple meets at Small Gatherings which is located at 66th and Wadsworth (NE corner) unless otherwise noted. The start time will be7:30 pm. The dates have changed from Saturday to Friday. The dates are as follows:
Mar. 11 - Open Esbat
Mar. 18 - Open Ostara
Apr. 8 - Open Esbat
Apr. 29 - Open Adult Beltane
May 6 - Open Esbat
Jun. 3 - Open Esbat
Jun. 17 - Open Litha
Jul. 8 - Open Esbat
Aug. 5 - Open Lammas
Sep. 2 - Open Esbat
Sep. 16 - Open Mabon
Sep. 30 - Open Esbat
Nov. 4 - Open Adult Samhain
Dec. 2 - Open Esbat
Dec. 16 - Open Yule
Dec. 30 - Open Esbat
WSLA invites you to join us for another Community Forum Discussion. Members of the pagan community are invited to discuss topics that concern us as individuals and as members of a minority religion. We look forward to having you at our “round table”.
WHEN: Sunday, February 27, 2005
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
WHERE: Cameron Church, in the basement 1600 South Pearl Street
TOPICS: Paganism and Popular Culture: How does the presentation of paganism in popular culture affect the actual practice of the religion? Is it helpful for attracting serious people to the community? What effect do these media forms have on youth and on adult practitioners?
Paganism and the Younger Generation: As paganism in general and Wicca in particular become more popular among the general public, we are faced with new issues. In addition, as we raise our own children, new questions arise. How do we deal with very young seekers? Teens who are still minors? Is there a way to counteract some of the “Harry Potter” notions that abound? Do we train our own children? Should children be welcome at every public ritual? How do we integrate the younger folks into our practice in a way that is meaningful to them? What are our experiences dealing with our children’s schools? Just what shall we make of this younger generation of pagans?
OUR APOLOGIES: This building is old and does not have an elevator. It is not easily handicapped accessible. Regretfully we are not able to rent an accessible facility for this no-fee event.
WHAT TO BRING: Yourself, a notebook and pen, a beverage for yourself, your contact information. This is a great place to meet like-minded people.
There is no cost for this event, but donations are accepted to help defray associated costs.
If you have something to say, and are willing to let Alia or Catherine edit it slightly, (generally for grammar – Alia has the soul of an English teacher and I want to be one) 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.
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