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Our Yule Ritual & Feast Is Tonight!

December 8, 2017

Yuletide

Join us for Hands of Change’s annual Yule feast and ritual
Tonight, Friday December 8th 7PM at the USNB church in East Brunswick!

Cerridwen and Evergreen will be hosting a ritual Yule skit with the feast to follow!

Our Yule ritual is kid-friendly and we’ll have a potluck feast to follow!
We ask that everyone brings something to share – be it cookies, a favorite holiday dish, etc.! Vegan and gluten free dishes appreciated!

From those able, we ask a donation of $5 per adult in order to cover rental of the space and supplies. Children are free.

 If you have any questions, email us directly here!
 If for some reason you are unable to attend,
we wish you a Merry Yule and a Happy New Year!
Brightest Blessings, Hands of Change
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Gratitude

November 22, 2017

Although for Pagans, the harvest is technically over with Samhain, the third harvest festival, we can’t help but think of gratitude as Thanksgiving rolls around. After all, this is a national spiritual non-sectarian holiday – we might as well adopt it.

I like to think that every day is a day to reflect on gratitude, not just the day that we eat turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Being thankful to Spirit for the abundance in our lives – for the riches of family, friends, experiences, kindness, and yes, for the prosperity that we as Americans often take for granted.

There are many reasons for practicing gratitude. It puts us in a better mood and keeps us healthier. Psychologists Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami found that people who write a few sentences each week on what they are grateful for are happier, exercised more, and have fewer trips to the doctor. Physically, gratitude has been shown to strengthen our immune system and to decrease stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate. Gratitude also positively impacts sleep quality, reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the length of time people stay asleep.

According to the Law of Attraction, the more we focus on all of the good things in our lives, and on our good fortune, the more we draw that energy to us. In the Gratitude Diaries, journalist Janice Kaplan spent a year practicing daily gratitude. By the end of the year, her relationship to her husband was better, and she was happier and more satisfied with her life.

Instead of making a new year’s resolution this year, make this Thanksgiving the beginning of a year-long practice in finding ways to be grateful by keeping a gratitude journal, saying thank you more often, and appreciating all the goodness life holds.

-Crow

The Importance Of Samhain

October 31, 2017

First and Foremost, I’d like to wish you all a Blessed Samhain and a Happy (Witchy) New Year!

For many witches, this time of year seems to be a favorite. Cooler weather, changing leaf colors, pumpkin and apple cider flavors, and dressing up in various costumes become popular and often celebrated. But what makes it so special to us witches? This time of year is a time where our differences become popular in modern society and the topic of modern witches often gets published. I find that more people ask me about my practice and witchcraft more during this time of year than any other, even though I widely celebrate all the sabbats. Why is that?

Witches are being portrayed in the media and have been for many years. From movies such as The Craft and Practical Magic to books such as Witches in America by Alex Mar; more people are curious about what it is that witches do and if we’re often portrayed like the roles they read and watch. And with that curiosity brings in the ability to have the discussion of what Wicca, Paganism, Witchcraft, etc. is to you. It opens the door to others and brings more tolerance and understanding to people who would not have the chance before.

Aside from that importance, Samhain is a way to keep alive those who have passed within the last 12 months. Being able to say the name of a loved one who passed helps to keep their energy and their story alive. The veil between our world and the spirit world is thinnest at Samhain; by using this timing with honoring those who have passed (or our ancestors) we can remember where we came from, what they did in their life that inspired you and what you could learn from their life or their actions. There’s a reason you loved them so. Remember to light a candle for them, reflect on your time together (if you wish), or even talk to them. You might just get an answer.

I want to share what happened to me this past weekend in hopes that it would inspire someone who is reading this. Hands of Change had a Semi Private Samhain Ritual at G3 this Saturday (for more information on Semi Private status, click here) where we went into the underworld and connected with our loved ones. It often is an emotional ritual and I have never been disappointed by what takes place at the event. I had a relative who passed away November last year and was specifically looking out for him. I felt he was there and received some messages, leaving me a bit emotional but cleansed afterwards. Then last night at a friend’s house, a group of friends and I gathered (this was not a HoC event) and used an Ouija Board (click here if you’re not familiar with this object). We asked if anyone wanted to talk with us and after receiving a few tricksters, who came through? My grandfather. The message I received?

You judge yourself too much. I’m at peace with no more pain and with my lovely wife.

This to me is the main reason why I love this holiday and this time of year. Of course, the spooky scary skeletons are fun and the thrill of the holiday along with the atmosphere of this time of year makes it magical, but this holiday always reminds me of what I have lost and in turn, what I have gained.

With that said, I hope you have a wonderful holiday with those you cherish.
Ganshmi
Communications Coordinator for Hands of Change


 

We have events coming up! Don’t miss out!

Full Moon Ritual @ G3 – Friday, November 3rd @ 7PM
Please join us on Fri, Nov 3rd at G3 for an adult-focused Full Moon ritual with cocurrent kids’ class. After ritual, we’ll enjoy potluck snacks & goodies. Please feel inspired to bring food or drink to share! Chiron and Glowchylde will be in service. From those able, we ask a donation of $5 per adult in order to cover rental of the space and supplies. Children are free.

NFP Class 7 @ G3 – Tuesday, November 14th @ 7PM
HOC Principals and Practices (Required to take before applying to HoC)
Join us for Class 7, HoC Principles and Practices – this class is required for those seeking membership. This class will enumerate HOC Principles, Practices, and Tradition. It includes a discussion on magical ethics and the origin of HOC’s charter in The Book of the Law. A brief historical perspective on Wicca will also be included. Class Fee $10.

Please email Register@HandsofChange.org to register our attendance!

South Jersey Pagan Pride Day

October 2, 2017

Join Hands of Change at the 14th annual South Jersey Pagan Pride Day in Cooper River Park, Pennsauken, NJ on October 7th!  Free to attend and all are welcome!

There will be workshops, rituals, entertainment, local vendors and crafters, kids activities, and like-minded company.

Hands of Change will be hosting the main ritual at 3pm – and we hope you can join us!

They will be collecting nonperishable food items for the Food Bank of South Jersey … and also collecting spiritual items and/or toiletries for the Pagan Troop Donation Drive!

 

HoC Celebrates 20th Anniversary!

June 24, 2017

20It’s time again, for the Pagan Picnic! If you have been to our picnic before we look forward to seeing you again! If not, we look forward to meeting you! Come on down and meet like-minded folks and make some new friends. This year’s theme is

OLD TRADITIONS, FRESH PERSPECTIVES – as well as our 20th anniversary since our coven formed in 1997!

We will have classes with common themes, varying from *you guessed it* Pagan traditions with new perspectives to reach out even further to those in the community who want to learn and develop on their spiritual path. The Pagan Picnic brings together folks from different backgrounds to perform and participate in rituals, classes, and community sharing. Vendors will be on hand, offering a range of products and services. We will have a Kid’s Track for fun for the little ones. If you bring children, we ask that you stay at the picnic while your children are here.

And this year, our main ritual will be hosted by the founders of Hands of Change!

Please bring a dish to share for Potluck!

If you are not sure what to bring this may help.
If your first name begins with:
A—G – bring dessert
H—M – bring drinks
N—S – bring a salad
T—Z – bring main course

PLEASE mark your dish “Veggie, ” “Vegan, ” or “Meat, ” and make sure you LABEL & LIST all ingredients in your dish so that people who have allergies know what they’re eating.

Vegetarian & Vegan Dishes are greatly appreciated.

*NO ALCOHOL PER PARK REGULATIONS * NO WEAPONS OR WEAPON REPLICAS*

Event Location: Johnson Park in Piscataway Township
Event TIME Details: 10am – 8pm

Hope to see you then!
Cerridwen

Break out the Drums!

May 10, 2017

Drumming-CircleHands of Change will be hosting their first drum circle of the season on May 27th, 6pm, at our covenstead (G3).  Bring your drums, shakers, noise makers and dancing shoes for an evening of great company and music!

Drumming gives us an experience where we can be free to connect with ourselves and others, in order to release, restore and heal. It is a universal language where all people can be a part, free from words and concepts so we can experience life with an open heart.

Drumming also supports individuals, families and communities during times of joy, sadness and change. As we drum together the rhythm can bring us closer to one another with respect and courage as we move towards healing wounds and restoring hope.

Gaia will also be facilitating a blessing for the drums!

Need more info?  Send a message to info@handsofchange.org!

From those able, we ask a donation of $5 per adult in order to cover firewood and supplies.  Hope to see you there!

Have You Registered For SumerFaire?

April 10, 2017

WE HAVE LOTS OF EXCITING ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE THAT ARE NEW THIS YEAR:

– Famous Speakers featuring Elspeth, Owl, Robin & Terry Power
– Music from the band Ishtar
– Butterfly release

Tickets are available now!

This ”Renaissance” Festival is from June 9th til June 11th in Central New Jersey. Get your tickets here.

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