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  • Freedom to Marry rally seeks clergy involvement

    FreedomtoMarryDayMinnesotans United For All Families hosts a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol building to support legislation allowing same sex couples the ability to marry.  The rally is titled the Freedom To Marry Day and is scheduled for February 14th.  Organizers are also seeking interested clergy to take a greater role in the rally.

    Minnesotans United says this event is, “a key first step in working with state legislators to ensure that in 2013, Minnesota state law is changed to reflect our shared belief that loving and committed same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry.”

    Organizers wish to show that support for enacting laws to legalize gay marriage is broad-based and diverse so attendees are encouraged to display religious, political, or group affiliation while at the rally.  PNC readers can find more information, to RSVP, or for Pagan clergy to contact Minnesotans United, here.

    Circle Sanctuary joins in Interfaith Awareness Week

    Madison, WI – This week, people of many faiths and traditions are joining together to celebrate religious diversity at Wisconsin’s Annual Interfaith Awareness Week.

    Circle Sanctuary's Rev. Selena Fox

    Circle Sanctuary’s Rev. Selena Fox

    “A variety of religions have holidays in December, and it is a perfect time to celebrate together and learn about Wisconsin’s considerable religious diversity,” said Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary, one of the participating religious communities. “We are pleased to again be part of this important celebration through our participation in the World Religions of Wisconsin exhibits in the Capitol all week and with our Interfaith Open House at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve near Barneveld next Saturday.”

    This is Wisconsin’s 15th annual Interfaith Awareness Week. Educational displays will be in the Rotunda of the State Capitol Building from December 3 to December 7, and a multi-faith presentation, the annual Capitol Celebration, will be held at Noon on December 5.

    “After 15 years, I see we still have interfaith awareness needs,” said Rev. John-Brian Paprock of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Chapel, founder and co-director of Interfaith Awareness Week. “We need to invite one another continually to the common ground in our communities. We need to invite one another to our houses of worship being good hosts and good guests. We have a need for regular ongoing education about the variety of religious/spiritual groups locally to enable any successful dialogue when crisis occurs. We continue to need multifaith service responses to our community needs.”

    In addition to having displays in the Rotunda, a variety of Open House events will be at houses of worship all week.

    “We join with people of many religions, spiritualities, and philosophies in praying for peace, understanding and cooperation this month and year-round,” said Rev. Fox, who has been part of the interfaith team organizing this event since it began. “I invite everyone to join us at our Open House and at the Capitol this week to learn, share and celebrate Wisconsin religious pluralism.”

    Interfaith Awareness Week (IAW), was founded in 1998 by Rev. John-Brian Paprock, and is coordinated by him and Rev. Anne Wynne of the Madison Eckankar Community.   This year’s IAW began with Open Houses held on Sunday at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Chapel, Madison Eckankar Community, the American Hindu Association and the Wisconsin Sikh Society – Middleton Gurdwara.  There will be Continuing Dialogue with the Sikh Community on Wednesday, December 5, at 6 pm at Prairie UU Society, 2010 Whenona Way in Madison. The Madison Eckankar Community will be holding a Community HU Prayer Song at 7:30 pm at the Gates of Heaven, 302 East Gorham Street, in Madison’s James Madison Park. The Madison Baha’i Center Open House will be on Thursday from 6:30-9 pm at the Baha’i Center at 324 W. Lakeside St. in Madison.

    Circle Sanctuary’s Open House near Barneveld will begin with a potluck lunch at Noon on Saturday, December 8th,  followed by a multicultural & interfaith Happy Holidays traditions talk by Rev. Selena Fox at 2pm.Circle Sanctuary also will be sponsoring its 34th annual interfaith and multicultural Winter Solstice Pageant this month. It will be held in the New Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society in Madison on December 21st from 7-9pm.   Call 608-924-2216 or email events@circlesanctuary.org for directions or for more information.

    Local Pagan stores host Small Business Saturday deals

    Major retailers aren’t the only places looking to attract early holiday shoppers, local Pagan retailers are also offering bargains and specials on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
    Black Friday:  Eye of Horus is having a Sunrise Sale on Black Friday 7am to 11pm with hot tea, nibbles and deals for Sunrise Shoppers. The Smitten Kitten, next door,  is also opening early.    At the actual moment of sunrise, 7:21 am, Thraicie will do a Sun Salutation.
    7:00am-11:00am ONLY
    Spend $20 and get a FREE mojo bag (valued at $10)
    Spend $50 and get 10% off your entire purchase

    Small Business Saturday:

    All day, Spend $20 or more and get a FREE mojo bag (valued at $10), while supplies last.
    (On Sunday Eye of Horus is hosting their last, and biggest Psychic Fair of the year.
    Small Business Saturday:  Keys of Paradise is celebrating Small Business Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM at our St Paul location.  The following items are on sale:

    20% off Fair Maiden Fusions Skin Care and Cosmetics

    40% off all cast iron products in the store, including our 15 gal and 55 gal jambalaya pots
    50% off all Mystical/Ritual oils
    50% off all essential oils
    50% off all herbs and resins
    All cone or stick incense – Buy 5, get 2 free
    Sacred Blends Loose incense – Buy 1, get 1 free
    Free Bath Salts with a $25.00 purchase
    Marshmallow Leaf – $5 per pound
    Coltsfoot Leaf – $5 per pound
    Mention PNC and this ad and get 20% off our new Florida Water!
    All sales, while supplies last.
    Black Friday:  We are open from 10am to 9pm for Black Friday and are offering 20% off all books, statues, jewelry, and incense.
    Small Business Saturday:  We are open from 10am to 6pm for Small Business Saturday and are offering 20% off all books, statues, jewelry, and incense.


    Build a Willow Lodge with your Son Day October 28

    For parents looking for a spiritual activity to engage boys next weekend, the Boys Mentorship Collaborative has a way to keep them busy. On Sunday, October 28 between 1 -4 pm parents and their sons are invited to work together to weave willow a lodge. Once built, the participants will join under the lodge to hear a Rite of Passage story, the passage of birth, as presented by midwife Kate Saumweber Hogan. The event is intended for boys ages 3 through 14; boys under age 10 must be accompanied by a parent. Cost is a sliding scale of $20-$40.


    10/25/12 Revisions made 10:24 pm to reflect correct name and day for organization and event.

    Free Chronic Illness Management Workshop – Friday 7pm, Oct 12th


    Sherry L.M. Merriam, a Pagan and a therapist serving the Twin Cities Pagan Community at Franklin Family Services is offering a FREE workshop:    Take Back Your Health:  Power Tools for People with Chronic Illness, Their Caregivers, and Health Care Providers.

    When: Friday, October 12, 2012, 7 PM to 8:30 PM

    Location: Adler Graduate School – 1550 East 78th Street, Richfield, MN 55423

     People with chronic illness and their care providers frequently feel dis-empowered – even helpless – when facing an ongoing medical condition or pain.  This workshop will provide participants with empowerment through encouragement and practical tools to manage any health condition. Please register for free online .

    Sherry Merriam has offered presentations of interest to Pagans at Paganicon, MARScon, CONvergence, and Minicon.

    Standing Stones Mabon – Interview

    I had the honor to attend the Coven of the Standing Stones community Mabon celebration last weekend. This is a private, by invitation event, but those for whom it is needed, or appropriate for, always seem to find an invitation (or you can ask for one). If you ask; “What is this coven known for?” , most would say they excel in the ‘craft’ of the Craft, they put together a solid ritual experience. They are the most welcoming group you will find, and take pride in their diversity and inclusiveness.  Standing Stones has been supportive of many community groups and events over the years, particularly helping the local Covenant of the Goddess raise needed funds for survival a few years back, and ongoing help cleaning the highway with the Upper Midwest Pagan Alliance (UMPA) and raising funds for that group. If you can’t find them at Magus Books offering free classes, look wherever you see Pagan community growing and they are likely somewhere involved!

    Standing Stones is a coven of leaders.  I got a chance to corner three of the most visible. Don, John, and Tamara, and ask some questions.

    How long have you been doing a community Mabon?
    John: This is the eighth year we have held this event as a community Mabon.

    How many folks do you have attending?
    John:  By our count, close to 120. A pretty good turnout! It’s a large family.

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    Why do you hold this event?
    John:  It is a way we give back to our community. By giving back some of our bounty, we help build our community. Our community gives to us and we have to give something back.

    We started inviting our community to celebrate Mabon with us about eight years ago. About 70 people attended. Some in our community have been at every one. We feel honored by that. We used to hold both a community Ostara and a Mabon, because we liked honoring the balance of light and dark at both times of the year. But they got so large and came up so quickly that we decided it was best to just offer one. We picked Mabon because it is a time of abundance. We thought, let’s feed everybody and pick a time when we can all be outside and enjoy some great weather.

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    Coldwater Spring – The New History

    Coldwater Spring is being replanted tomorrow (see Paganistan Weekly below), and how can restoration not be a great thing?  How this sacred place has gotten to its current condition, a bulldozed and denuded site, ready for the National Park Service (NPS), to “restore” is a very long story.  Susu Jeffrey tells it better than most anyone, and her recent article in the  “Southside Pride” community newspaper gives you an update (reprinted in full at bottom). There remains an ongoing struggle to have this site declared, as the Minnesota Historical Society supports, a Dakota traditional sacred site,  a “Traditional Cultural Property (TCP)”.
    About Saturday’s NPS restoration event. Susu adds:

    The National Park Service told the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community that they could not hold a pipe ceremony on opening day at Coldwater Park, Saturday, September 1, 2012. The community held a pipe ceremony anyway while the National Park Service brought in an armed man in a bullet proof vest. People considered this disrespectful at a sacred site. The park service refuses to honor the Traditional Cultural Property/sacred designation at Coldwater.The National Park Service clearcut most of Coldwater and now wants volunteers to plant toothpick trees where NPS wants new trees. NPS has solicited donations for new trees: $1,000 for a dozen; $100 for one tree. It’s an extremely dry year for new trees.  Survival is iffy.

    Other Coldwater Spring events:

    Offerings for the Sacred Spring on the Harvest Full Moon, Saturday, September 29, 2012

    Gather at the entrance to Coldwater Springs, 7 PM – This is a crafty, child friendly gathering.

    Native elders have asked people to leave offerings  “for the ancestors” at Coldwater. We will make natural offerings from the beautiful “weeds” around the front gates. The federally recognized Lower Sioux Indian Community Council declared Coldwater a Traditional Cultural Property and “sacred” in 2006. Unfortunately the National Park Service refuses to acknowledge Coldwater Springs as a sacred site for Native Americans and others.

    Traditional group howl!  Full Moon celebrations at Coldwater have been observed every month since 2000.

    Sunset 6:56 PM (55-minutes earlier than last full moon) Moonrise 6:27 PM (1-hour, 6-minutes earlier)

    Solstice 2003 at Coldwater Spring

    DIRECTIONS: Coldwater Springs is between Minnehaha Park & Fort Snelling, in Minneapolis, just North of the Hwy 55/62 interchange. From Hwy 55/Hiawatha, turn East (toward the Mississippi) at 54th Street, take an immediate right, & drive South on the frontage road for ½-mile past the parking meters, through the cul-de-sac and into Coldwater to park free.

    This gathering is free and open to all. Note: This is not a “special event” since the National Park Service is not issuing any special use permits for Coldwater Springs until late spring of 2013. Info: http://www.friendsofcoldwater.org


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    Candidate Gary Johnson Announces Debate Exclusion Civil Suits at Macalester College

    Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for President, appeared yesterday at Macalester College, Kagin Commons,  in Saint Paul, MN.  Organized by Macalester Young Americans for Liberty, there were approximately 200 interested voters attending, a mix of mainly students and  “third-party” supporters.  In a brief interview with PNC-MN as he left for the airport, Gary Johnson announced he had just learned he was officially excluded from the upcoming  Presidential Debates. He stated his campaign already had plans to file lawsuits in at least three states to contest the ruling.  Civil suits were reportedly filed late yesterday against both major parties and the Commission on Presidential Debates  based on violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which prohibits monopolistic practices.

    Opening the afternoon was Murphy’s Midnight Rounders, a local folk pagan band, who were well received by the crowd. They played two songs with “hemp” themes which got a rise from supporters of the Grassroots Party , Libertarians,  and other groups who support decriminalization of recreational drugs.

    Andrew Ojeda, a Macalester undergraduate running for office  in district 64A as a Republican, and Ms Yer Lor, a representative from “Minnesotans United for All Families” , both gave opening remarks. Lor implored Minnesotans to defeat the marriage amendment. Several local Pagans are supporters of this group,  and the group was active soliciting signatures at Twin Cities Pagan Pride.

    During the band performance Gary Johnson slipped into the audience front row, to little notice from the sizable media contingent present. Later, as former Governor Jesse Ventura arrived and sat near the PNC-MN contingent, the main stream media all shifted to front stage, to get shots of the colorful former wrestler in his Jimi Hendrix  T-shirt. It appeared main stream media saw the story as Ventura’s appearance and implication of a 2016 run for President as the prime story over the visit of an existing candidate, polling 6% nationally at this point, Gary Johnson.

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    Ventura spoke next and praised Johnson’s efforts as a third-party candidate, and for his Libertarian, fiscally conservative but socially liberal, views.  He suggested Presidential candidates should be required to wear “NASCAR style suits”, with “patches from all their biggest donors, their biggest bribers” .  He said voters  should know, “Who owns them, who has bought them off?”  Ventura encouraged young Libertarians to fight for a constitutional amendment to remove a corporations ‘personhood”,  from having rights of free speech and spending in political campaigns. He said the American political system was threatened as long as unlimited and undisclosed money can flow into political campaigns. He tells people who say a third-party candidate vote is wasted that  “a vote for a Democrat or Republican is a wasted vote, because you are going to get the same thing. ” He encouraged the audience to support free speech even if the content it is not popular, because  the  protection is there to protect unpopular speech. He chided main stream media as being controlled by four major corporations, and no longer a  “watch dog'” of the three branches of government. While he personally is not a technology or even a cell phone user, Ventura supported the internet as the last place where the “truth” can get out, saying, “Thank goodness for the internet”. He encouraged Americans to get out and vote, and stressed the importance of voting for Gary Johnson who is paving the road for future candidates.

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    Magus 20th Anniversary and Williamson Retires

    On Saturday, local metaphysical store Magus Books & Herbs, celebrated 20 years in business and owner Roger Williamson retired.  Business partner Joseph Amara continues the Magus tradition and has plans for the next 20 years.  PNC-Minnesota interviewed Williamson to learn about the store’s past and what the future holds for him.


    Roger Williamson and Joseph Amara of Magus Books & Herbs

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    Twin Cities Pagan Pride this Saturday, September 8th

    Twin Cities Pagan Pride (TCPP) takes place this Saturday, September 8th, 2012 from 10am to 6pm. This is a free event, returning to Minnehaha Falls Park,  in the area around the band shell. The 2012 TCPP event will again focus on public education in an outdoor site that has tons of public walk through traffic.

    TCPP  has a full schedule, with alternating music and ritual offered by local groups, individuals, and area talent. TC Reclaiming is offering a labyrinth walk all day. A community drum jam is scheduled for the last half hour, beginning at 5.30pm.  New this year is a 15′  x 15′  tent central to the vendor area and adjacent to most of the organizational spaces that is being set aside specifically as a place to sit and have conversation.

    TCPP encourages  donations for their food shelf partner, charity donations, and for TCPP to support future events. volunteer help is always needed. Please stop by the information booth when you arrive and help out!


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