Wednesday, October 10, 2001

How Are You Folks Doing?

This note was sent out to to the membership on 10/10 via the newsletter. Frankly, we were scared that we'd loose our shirts, as the Witches' Ball was only a few weeks away and we'd spent $8,000 renting the hall for this annual charity event. But the most important thing just then was to take care of our own, and I'm glad to say that we made that our focus.

P.S. Over 600 people came to the ball that year, more than we had ever seen before - fantastic! And we raised a wonderful amount of money for the Humane Society.

But...we had no idea that would happen. We thought that people would stay home in grief. Here is the note we wrote just after 9/11 and a few weeks before the ball took place.



So…How are you folks doing. Are you OK?

We’ve done what we could to see you through this (see essay below). Today, I am sending you a website that discusses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

They have a new section titled “Managing the Traumatic Stress of Terrorism”. That section includes a page on “Self Help and Self Care following a Disaster”.

You may be experiencing depression, sleeplessness, crying jags, periods of anger, guilt, despair and hopelessness as well as other symptoms. I want you folks to read that page and then go easy on yourselves for a while. Take a bath, read a book, listen to some music. Stay away from the TV and radio news for a bit. It’s OK, to do that – you probably need a break. The world will still be there when you get back.

And to all you Pagan Parents: Right now you can also go into any ToysRUs, KidsRUs or Imaginarium and get a free workbook titled “First Aid for Feelings”. This is a children's workbook created by Denise Daniels, founder and director of the National Childhood Grief Institute, and an expert in counseling children suffering from grief, loss, and trauma. This workbook is designed for use by parents and teachers to help children cope with recent tragic events. This will aid you and your children get through this difficult time. A downloadable copy of this workbook is also available via Acobat Reader through

Please, folks, go easy on one another. The political & magickal arguments have already begun and they are beginning to get heated. If Falwell’s hate filled remarks accomplished nothing else, they reminded us how important it is to stick together as a Pagan community. We have a fundamental right of discourse as citizens of this great country, so go ahead, disagree with one another all you want, but please do so with respect – we are your brothers and sisters and we all need each other right now.

Don’t isolate. Do something life affirming. See friends. Get outside. This is a bad time to sit alone in your room. Those of you who are in groups or Circles may want to get together. Have lunch in the park together or just sit and drum. Go to a bookstore as a group and make fun of the latest Witch books - that’s always fun.

Some people find that it helps to work on a craft project or a hobby. My friend Crystal has been spending extra time with her SCA friends in her sword fighting classes. She says that whacking people with sticks makes her feel better. I believe her.

Don’t cancel your plans. Hearthstone Circle had scheduled a Renaissance Feast for 30 people last weekend for the Fall Equinox. They decided to hold it anyway and we’re all very grateful that they did. Everyone there had a wonderful time. We all needed to be with other people just then and it felt good to laugh again and to watch the kids play. This was originally designed as a fundraiser for Hearthstone Circle, but Molly and Uncle Jon donated all the money to the Fireman’s fund, instead. Isn’t that wonderful?

They say a good deed is it’s own reward but sometimes, you get something extra. As my part of the feast, I brought a huge rectangle sheet cake decorated as a Flag from my favorite bakery. Chocolate with butter cream icing. When I say huge, I mean it – these sheet cakes can feed 60 people. As it turned out, there was so much good food there and so many fine desserts that I had lots of cake left over. So, I took it down to our local firehouse the next day and offered it to the (incredibly good looking) men and women there. I explained about Molly’s fundraising event and gave them the cake. Little known fact: Firefighters REALLY LIKE cake. Hey, Molly! Let’s bake them some cookies for Yule!

So, folks, let’s all take some time and check in with one another. Write a note. Make a phone call. See how your friends are doing. If we don’t take care of one another, no one else will.

yours in this sad time,


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