Hearthstone Community Church, the “OFM Folk” as they are occasionally called, announced the scheduled dates for the 2009 Open Full Moons. The Open Full Moons are public rituals for wiccans and pagans. They are held at the First Unitarian Church at 14th and Lafayette in Denver, Colorado.
Usually held the Friday night before the full moon, the OFMs are meant to serve as a way for the pagans and wiccans in Denver, Colorado (and the surrounding areas) to be able to meet others with the same spiritual beliefs, and to learn about and experience ritual in a friendly environment.
Alia Denny, one of the members of the board for Hearthstone, says that Hearthstone doesn’t require you to enter the circle with Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, as there are people that you don’t know present, but to enter with an open mind and willing heart instead. The rituals are a time to leave your differences at the door.
The rituals are written and performed by volunteers. Each month a new group presents the ritual. In the space of a year, a regular attendee can be exposed to six to twelve different styles of ritual. The volunteers range from lineaged groups and individuals, like Gardnerians, to newly formed groups. Occasionally, a single individual will conduct the ritual and ask for the help of volunteers drawn from the audience to help them call quarters.
The Open Ful Moons are a place for members of the local pagan and wiccan community to meet fellow believers. The doors open at 7 pm, with the ritual starting at 7:30 pm, which allows the attendees to make friends in the community.
Community announcements are made before every ritual. Any audience member can make an announcement if it would be of interest to the local community, such as a class on wicca or a Reiki circle.
Newcomers to Wicca can ask for a more experienced member to explain the ritual to them. Before the ritual begins, the experienced members who are willing to explain the ritual are asked to raise their hands, so that newer members of the community can move nearer to them and ask questions.
The Open Full Moons are kid friendly. Alia believes that children of wiccans and pagans should be allowed to know the ways of their parents’ religious practices and beliefs; otherwise as she notes, they will have no idea of the spiritual context of the religion and will likely end up in other religions instead when they become adults.
The suggested donation is five dollars. The money collected is used to pay for the cost of renting the space for the ritual. Because Hearthstone Community Church is a church, donations are tax deductible; Hearthstone does accept checks if one wants to keep track of one’s donations.
Due to the lack of parking space near the church, attendees occasionally have to park a couple blocks away. (The closest parking lot is off-limits; it belongs to a business; attendees are advised not to use it to avoid having their car towed away.)
The Open Full Moon dates for 2009 are:
There is no OFM for December 2009.
The final 2008 Open Full Moon date is December 12, 2008.