This month seems to have been, as usual, a bit disrupted by a certain festival. Some of the information we needed we did not receive until today, so once again it is too late to get a snail mail edition of the newsletter out, so please get the word out to people who don't have e-mail.
I understand quite a few of you got a bit damp this year. May this newsletter find you warm,comfortable, and possibly even mostly unpacked.
We are still definitely looking for officiants for 2006. However, since I know that there will be interest and some folks need to plan Friday evenings well in advance, the April OFM will be a Drawing Down the Moon. The most likely date will be April 7; when we have confirmed dates they will be published in the newsletter. I have determined 3 good spaces for Deity that allows for room for those who are waiting; if there is anyone who wishes to join me in Drawing Down, please contact me.
One side note: I have become a "part time" wheelchair user, where "part time" = almost any time I leave the house. Some of you may have noticed the chair a couple of months ago when I was consulting with Deena on ways to make the chair easier to use. I tried to be on my feet for the OFMs, but my life is much easier with the assistance of the chair. Nothing catastrophic has happened; I have severe osteoarthritis in my knees and neuropathy in my feet from damage caused by the arthritis, which means there are days that the chair is the only thing that keeps me going. My brain still works, I still don't remember names, but other than that everything should be just the same except sometimes I'll be rolling rather than walking.
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, AUGUST 19, 2005. Remember, please, that Hearthstone doesn't expect everyone 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.
Some traditions are more controversial than others, or may contain a component that disturbs someone attending an Open Full Moon. It is one of the risks of exploring different traditions. Should anyone be uncomfortable, unsettled, or upset about any ritual psented by Hearthstone, please contact Alia to discuss -- and hopefully resolve and heal -- the issue.
On August 19th, Val invites you to join her for the Open Full Moon, saying: "This month's OFM will focus on letting go of conflicts. August's moon is the Dispute Moon in Celtic tradition, so we will untie the knots of conflict in an area of each participant's choice."
Thanks and a Tip of the Hat to The C/Katies, a duo of young priestesses who led Hearthstone in a simply delightful celebration of Summer at our July OFM. Circle was cast by having participants pass a bouquet of flowers and a spoken blessing from person to person around the circle. We celebrated Summer by playing together, with hula hoops, bubbles, jump rope, paddleballs, and dancing to the classic musical hits of Summer. Everyone leaped in without hesitation - my guess is we don't play nearly enough! When we tired and regrouped into a circle, we all felt much more relaxed and free of the heaviness of life. We refreshed with lemonade, and smiled. The ritual was unlike any OFM before - have you ever dodged Frisbees in church? - but then, EVERY OFM is unlike any before! Our thanks to Caitlin and Kaitlyn for making sure we didn't miss the joy of Summer!
We appciate that many of you donate to the church. With your contributions, we have reached the point where the church is setting 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.
Empathy (noun) 1. to understand another’s feelings. (Encarta Dictionary). Empath (you won't find this word in the dictionary): a person who is able to identify and understand another’s feelings.
The Wiccan path (this is not the only religion that recognizes Empaths, but for the purpose of this essay, I am explaining my experiences and my path) embraces a number of people who are extremely sensitive (to one degree or another) to other peoples emotions, pain and pleasures. These people are usually called Empaths. Everyone (with the exception of sociopaths) can usually empathize with someone else’s feelings but a true Empath actually feels what people are experiencing. Most of us spend years thinking we are crazy or just extremely good at reading people. We are also accused of reading minds (we don't, but sometimes the emotion is so strong that we can only express it in words). We usually learn to shield ourselves from others at a very early age and during our training discover that we have a gift (or curse) and learn to channel that gift in a conscious way.
I have heard over and over "gee it is like you know exactly how I feel", "so and so are really good listeners and really get it". Sometimes even "It's like you were reading my mind!" Yes – we do "get it" (sometimes more than we want to). The first thing an Empath needs to do is learn to really shield. I didn't, with disastrous consequences. I was picking up the emotions of even the neighbors upstairs – ALL the emotions (yep – even when they were fighting AND making up).
We are also drawn to amethyst in all its forms. This can cause problems. Amethyst is a great stone for enhancing empathy – not good if you don't have really good shields. I usually wear hematite unless I want to be able to “read” people.
Most Empaths I know don't like to be touched without warning. Just coming up and grabbing us makes us very uncomfortable. We aren't being snobby or standoffish. We are trying to protect ourselves and you. Touch can put us in direct link with your emotions and we will “read” you without meaning to. This poses a threat to our well being and an ethical problem. Frankly, I don't want to be a “lurker” in your mind and I’m sure you don't want me “snooping” either.
If you have an Empath in your group – ask before touching and be sure to give them Chocolate (ok, the last has nothing to do with being an Empath, but …..)
[Note from Alia -- I highly endorse this article; although I am not as sensitive to touch most of the time because of highly developed shields (years of practice with the Church), it really is common courtesy to anyone, empath or not, to ask before touching. And I echo the last sentence. Especially the Chocolate part.]
Earth Temple meets at Small Gatherings which is located at 66th and Wadsworth (NE corner) unless otherwise noted. The start time will be Friday at 7:30 pm. The dates are as follows:
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
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 Catherine wants 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.
Blessed Be, Y'all!
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