I haven't looked at LiveJournal for months, and I'm quite enjoying my life in reality. I like all of the folks who read this, but this doesn't seem like the right medium to me anymore. I'm not going to delete my journal, (and I'm still payed until May) but consider this my last post. Send me an email, give me a call, or better yet, stop by.
Also, I just sent an email to all my friends who live in town or are particularly interested in dinner parties/feasts. Or, rather, I sent email to all of them that I had email addresses for. In case you fit that description, but didn't get the email, here's the letter:
There is an Imbolc feast at our house this Friday, February 3!
In preparation, we had an open meeting at our house last Thursday to
talk about operating procedures for feasts in general and also specific
plans for this one.
For those who don't know, our house, 214 W. Eufaula, sponsors a feast on
the night of each full moon and also on the eight Sabbats of the
neo-pagan calendar. Feasts are pot-luck, so everyone is encouraged (but
not required) to bring food or drink. Many of us are vegan/vegetarian,
so we prefer food without meat or other animal products, but guests may
bring anything they want. Alcohol is also great, but in moderation;
it's a feast, not an all-night booze-fest.
At the meeting, we discussed some of the classic dinner party dilemmas,
and also made a precedent for issues to be discussed at open meetings
rather than arbitrarily decided by me (Brendan). Here are our conclusions:
1. The feasts are now held on astronomically determined dates, and so
they are scheduled as far in advance as anyone might require. Here is
the list of dates for this year; the method of calculation is available
to anyone who wishes to inquire.
Imbolc/Groundhog Day: February 3
Ice Moon: February 12
Worm Moon: March 14
Ostara/Spring Equinox: March 20
Pink Moon: April 12
Beltaine/May Day: May 5
Tornado Moon: May 12
Mead Moon: June 11
Litha/Midsummer/Summer Solstice: June 20
Hay Moon: July 10
Lughnasadh: August 6
Green Corn Moon: August 8
Singing Moon: September 7
Mabon/Fall Equinox: September 22
Harvest Moon: October 6
Frost Moon: November 4
Samhain/Halloween: November 6
Winter Moon: December 4
Yule/Midwinter/Winter Solstice: December 21
2. People are encouraged to gather starting at or before 6 o'clock, and
we start to eat between 7 and 8 o'clock. This means everyone attending
should make a genuine effort to be present and have their food ready by
7, but that delays of up to an hour are to be considered "reasonable."
In order to ensure that we will be able to start before 8, we ask that
no-one *start* to cook food at the house after 7, and any food which is
not expected to be finished before 8 should be saved for dessert or a
3. Each person who prepared a dish chooses whether it is to be
eaten during the main course (when everyone is present and words have
been said), as an appetizer (whenever it is ready), or as a dessert
after dinner. There will be separate, labeled areas for each of these
categories, and people may place their food where they choose.
4. The new house has a lot more space than any house we've had dinner
parties/feasts in before, and we can seat a significant number of people
around our tables. However, guests are encouraged to bring their own
chairs and, if convenient, folding tables.
5. Cooking at our house is fine, but our space is limited. We have two
kitchens, including 8 stove burners, 3 microwaves, two conventional
ovens, and enough counter space for four or five people to work. Anyone
planning to cook at our house, including those who live there, should
reserve required space and equipment sometime in the week ahead of the
party. There is no deadline, but reservations are first-come
first-served. Those making reservations should be somewhat liberal with
their time and space estimates, so that there is enough of each to finish.
In addition to these rules for feasts in general, we also discussed
special holiday activities for Imbolc. We don't want to strictly follow
any particular pre-existing traditions, but we would like to develop
meaningful holidays for our own time and place. We didn't come to a lot
of conclusions, but here is some background on the holiday, and some
suggestions. Anyone else who knows or comes up with some good ideas
should bring them to the feast!
Imbolc is the pagan name for the point halfway between the winter
solstice and the spring equinox. It was absorbed into the Catholic
Church as Candlemas, and into general American culture as Groundhog Day.
It is a holiday for the second half of winter, when Spring is on the
Both Imbolc and Candlemas traditionally use candles, and so we plan to
eat by the light of many candles. Anyone with candles in stable holders
is encouraged to bring them.
Imbolc is a time to cast off darkness in the heart and mind as well as
in the sky, and so people may wish to write their fears and regrets on
pieces of paper to burn.
Here is a summary of some traditional foods for Imbolc. These are only
ideas, and people are free to bring whatever they like, as always.
Traditional foods for the Imbolc celebration include those made with
seeds, (to symbolize growth), raisins (a fruit of the Sun God), pork,
poultry, or lamb, with sides of potatoes, cabbage, onions, and garlic.
Imbolc is the mid-point of the dark half of the year, and though stored
foods are running low, it is a celebration of renewal and preparation
Poppy Seed Bread
Irish Soda Bread
Pannekoeken (German Pancakes)
Rosemary Cheese Biscuits
White Bean Hummus
Creamy Potato Soup
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Rose Hip Wine
Hazelnut Ice Cream
Liebkuchen (Honey Cakes)
Irish Cream Truffles
Cannariculi (Honey Cookies)
I hope to see everyone on Friday!
All future Feast news will be disseminated by email, word-of-mouth, or perhaps someone else's LJ/mySpace.