Increasingly over its last two years our resident Unicorn, Andrius, had been worrying in print about the diminishing number of paid subscribers. The Unicorn newsletter completed 42 years, a remarkable history. I could not bear the thought of simply closing it down and declaring its life to be over. The history of The Rowan Tree Church has been tightly woven into that of The Unicorn.
Andrius has difficulty understanding how neopagans and Wiccans spend money at Starbucks frequently but a good neopagan newsletter which costs, say, four Starbucks a year is “too expensive.”
This frustration has not been felt only by The Unicorn as over the years we have seen dozens of other newsletters lose out to the internet. The Unicorn used to exchange subscriptions with as many as 40 other publications at the peak of the pagan post office box world 35 years ago. Many of those ran our of ink (a publishing ‘bit the dust’) because it takes a real commitment to keep a newsletter going, but there were many which were terrific but they couldn’t compete with the ‘free’ internet. The same holds true with major newspapers and magazines.
Meanwhile, The RTNews was undergoing some shifting demographics as well. For many years it was a major venue for Members to communicate with each other. That type of communication followed the current changes in technology as well. In the Pacific NW people communicated with each other at rituals and events. Communication with others in the Church moved more and more to Facebook and text messaging. An informal poll found that many Members had found the RTNews to have grown boring.
By August, 2019 the decision to shut down The Unicorn was nearing. I was beginning to write the announcement. It had not been an easy decision. The Unicorn was very instrumental in the formation of the Church.
Then, a moment of inspiration, and I thought about just combining all three newsletters. The more I thought about it the better a solution it seemed.
The decision was made in mid-August. At that time The Unicorn had about 30 readers. The Hermit’s Lantern had about 50 readers.
Within two months the readership grew to over 90. We have had nothing but positive feedback for the combined newsletter format.
Today ‘subscribing’ to the combined newsletter, The Unicorn and Lantern, is easy. If you are able to get your copy each month sent to your email address as a pdf file, there is no cost to the subscription at all. Sent us an email and ask to be added to the mailing list. Your privacy will be respected and your address never shared.