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  • Cara Schulz – Burnsville Candidate Attacked in Letter to Editor

    Cara Schulz

    Cara Schulz

    Cara Schulz, past PNC co-editor, has been a door knocking candidate for the Burnsville City Council the past year. After qualifying in the primary to oppose the two incumbents up for election, she has risen steadily in the local polls.October 23rd an incumbent supporter posted a letter to the “Sun” Paper editor (also check the commentstitled “intriguing information on cara schulz”.  I have to wonder what the “intrigue”  was?

    Cara responded: “The letter wasn’t explicitly degrading towards Pagan religions, but it’s clear the motive was to induce fear and sensationalism about my religious beliefs and encourage people to vote for my opponents specifically because they aren’t Pagans. “

    “Ms. Erickson also intimates she uncovered my religion through research, as if my religion is something I’ve tried to hide. That’s a laughable position to take, especially after listing how openly involved I am in my religious community. What I haven’t done, which many persons running for office feel compelled to do, is to make my religion part of my campaign. Religion is irrelevant to a person’s fitness for public office and is private. I view this similar to not giving out much information about my husband or son in my campaign. This doesn’t mean I’m not ridiculously proud of my family, just that they aren’t running for office and their ages or accomplishments are irrelevant to my fitness to serve on Burnsville’s City Council.”

    “I called on my opponents, incumbents Dan Kealey and Bill Coughlin, to denounce the letter as it was written on their behalf by their supporter. So far Mr. Coughlin has not only refused to denounce it, he appears to be promoting it by emailing it to his supporters immediately after it was published. Mr. Kealey has remained silent on the matter. “

    ‘This tactic appears to be backfiring as some of Mr. Coughlin and Mr. Kealey’s supporters have contacted me to say they have withdrawn their support for them and will now vote for me. One person contacted me and told me he had removed Mr. Coughlin’s sign from his yard. Burnsville residents have always been welcoming of different cultures, faiths, and ideas. It’s one of the things I love most about Burnsville.”

    “It’s true I’m a religious person and I’m active in my religious community. Freedom of religion is one of the freedoms our country was founded on and it’s one of the freedoms I defended while serving in the US Air Force during the first Gulf War. I’m proud to continue pushing back against religious bigotry where ever I find it. Burnsville residents can be assured I will not discriminate against them or treat them as second class citizens based on their religion, race, gender, or social status.”

    ” Mr. Kealey and Mr. Coughlin need to make a clear and public statement that bigotry, as demonstrated by Ms. Erickson, is not welcome in Burnsville’s government and the Sun This week should apologize for choosing to print this particular letter.

    Twin Cities News Talk featured a radio interview with Cara discussing the matter and her candidacy: starts at Around the 23:30 mark and Part 2 here. After her interview ended one of the radio how hosts tried to diminish the significance of religion being brought up in the campaign as not rising to the level of bigotry. Bigotry isn’t measured by the level of hate speech it includes. For a candidate’s supporter to bring religion up in this context is at best poor taste. When an incumbent then forwards and refuse to denounce such a statement, it indicates some fear and worry over the success of Cara’s door knocking campaign  regarding the issues. Let’s hope it stimulates voter turnout on the 4th!

    Nels Linde

    And Wherever You Live. Get Out and Vote Tuesday!

    Barebones presents Metamorphosoup- by Lisa Spiral Besnett

    BB1

    Photo by Bonita Blumenauer

    In the Twin Cities we are blessed with a wide variety of performance art options. Some of my favorite events are community based, like the May Day Parade. At this end of seasonal cycle Barebones Productions puts on its Halloween Extravaganza. This is an evening event, outdoors in a park late in the fall in Minnesota. For the 21st annual production Barebones presented Metamorphosoup.

    This year the weather has been perfect for this kind of event. Sunday night when I
    attended the temps were in the cool, but comfortable 50’s. Much better than some years, but still nice to be bundled up. This year’s presentation seemed shorter than some. There is often a theme or story associated with the production. This year seemed more pageant than play.

    photo: Lisa Spiral Besnett

    photo: Lisa Spiral Besnett

    The audience entered through the mouth of the great whale and found their seats on hay bales under the trees. We watched the new moon setting over the trees as we waited for full dark, for the audience to settle, for the main show to begin.

    BB3Actors/street performers dressed in Halloween visions of carnival characters directed people to seating and kept us engaged. There are 5 performances with a total attendance around 8,000 people (maybe more this year due to the fine weather). Complete with puppets, aerialists, fire spinners, dancers, singers and musicians we watched the cycle of birth and death and rebirth play out before us.

    This was the story of the cosmic soup, the great cauldron of creation. This was a pageant of evolution and destruction, of limited resources and greed, and the bounty of stone soup. There were moments of profound loss and grief and  moments of awe and joy. There was an acknowledgement of ancestors lost and of remembrance.

    BB4

    Photo by Bonita Blumenauer

    That description hardly does justice to the wonder that is the Barebones. There were dinosaur puppets, bones perhaps not to scale, but certainly representative of the size and scope of actual dinosaurs. The great wave of water brought
    the scene to the ocean filled with floating luminescent creatures lighting up the darkness. Fire spinners dances in glorious numbers, circles and forms. Each time they appeared the fires beneath the great cauldron seemed to glow brighter and the cauldron grew bigger and bigger. In the end there were the ancestors, and the stars.

    Photo by Bonita Blumenauer

    Photo by Bonita Blumenauer

    BB6Even after the presentation there is still production happening. This is not just a play, but an event, a community ritual.
    There is a beautiful Hungry Ghost Altar set up around the tree for people to spend time honoring their ancestors, beloved dead and unknown dead alike. There is paper to leave notes and messages, candles available to light, offerings made with the great tree as witness to all that happens at its feet.

    Photo by Bonita Blumenauer

    Photo by Bonita Blumenauer

    The Jack Brass Band (the Brass Messengers on other nights) played music into the night. The brass band echoing on the wind is reminiscent of a New Orleans style funeral procession, somber on the way in but joyous and celebratory on the way out. Sisters Camelot had hot food available for those who stayed and needed a warmup.There was also some merchanting, another source of funding for this amazing production.

    Still playing October 30-November 1
    7pm at Hidden Falls Regional Park (North Gate Entrance)
    1305 Mississippi River Blvd. S., St. Paul  (arrive early for parking)
    Suggested donation $10-$20 – new this year they will accept credit cards!

    For more information:
    Barebonespupets.org

    Lisa Spiral Besnett

    Harmony Tribe, Inc. Annual Meeting Sat Oct. 18th

    Harmony Tribe is holding its Annual Meeting Saturday, October 18th at Black Bear Crossing in Como Park on Oct 18, from 2 to 5 PM in the Larry Kito Community Room.  This is the first annual meeting after receiving a 501c3 federal tax exempt designation as a religious and educational non-profit. This is an exciting time to get involved with this group because many changes are taking place.  New members are joining and a new location and vision for Sacred Harvest Festival is being developed. Harmony Tribe has been a place for nearly twenty years where Pagans of many traditions and paths work together to create community events, educational workshops, and community rituals.
    HTBanner
    Harmony Tribe has developed a clear set of values (at the bottom of each of their web pages), and a process covenant that each member agrees to and is held to. These, and an efficient task based structure has helped the organization move to a drama free atmosphere with efficient monthly two-hour meetings.  Transparency is really important to build trust and hold each person accountable. Once you become a member you have access to organizational communication, a member forum, and an archive of historical documentation.

    To become a member of the council a person needs to attend at least two meetings, take on a significant task or role, and ask to be voted into the council.  Many organizations require years of involvement, taking on a titled directorship, and standing for election to help guide the group. In Harmony Tribe a demonstrated commitment and interest is all that is required. You can review all the Harmony Tribe organizational documents.

     

    Pagans can gain many leadership skills and “people” skills by working within a group that shares a few basic values, but also has a broad and inclusive membership. Check out the annual meeting Saturday and see what Harmony Tribe has to offer you!

    Nels Linde
    Nels is currently a Harmony Tribe Council Member.

    Minneapolis Collective of Pagan Artists – Art Show Opening

    mcpa“Doorways to the Underworld”, the debut exhibition of the Minneapolis Collective of Pagan Artists (MCPA) will celebrate the shows opening reception Saturday October 25th, 2004 7:30-11pm.

    Stevens Square Center for the Arts (SSCA)
    1905 Third Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

    There will be live music performance by Comets Ov Cupid  and a dance presentation by Alana Mari.

    This group of artists considers this time of year to be sacred for remembering loved ones who have passed away. In this exhibit, Halloween is explored through the eyes of those who experience the season as a profound time to commune with the ancestors and the spirit world. For these artists, the work is an extension of their spirituality, allowing a glimpse into what is often an unseen tradition.

    Featured MCPA artists are Ali Beyer (Artemis Namaste), Anne Marie Forrester (Helga Hedgewalker), Paul B. Rucker, Roger Williamson. The show includes guest artists Ellie Bryan, Katie Clapham, and Rmay

    MCPA is a collective of artists who work in a variety of media and styles with a shared spiritual philosophy.  To them making art is a way of connecting with and paying homage to the Divine.  They use their artwork to create further dialogue about contemporary Pagan culture with those who may not be familiar with this spiritual path.

    Gallery viewing hours
    Saturdays and Sundays 1pm – 5pm through November 15th

    Closing Reception: Saturday November 15th, 2014 7:30-11pm Live Music Performance by Crow Call

    Twin Cities Pagan Pride this Saturday September 6th!

    TCPP Entrance

    TCPP Entrance

    The Twin Cities Pagan Pride (TCPP) Fall Festival is being held at Minnehaha Falls Park on Saturday, September 6th from 10:00 – 6:00pm. Pagan Pride is a free fall event, open to the public, that offers education about Paganism to the larger community. Twin Cities Pagan Pride has offered a fall event since 1998 that includes a ritual focusing on the harvest, a food and charity drive, along with other rituals, discussions, vendors, and entertainment.

    TCPPimg6

    Labyrinth Station

    Paul Eaves, the amazing labyrinth designer, will be back putting up another of his walkable works of art.  TCPP is partnering with the Groveland Emergency Food Shelf again this year to give back to the community, please bring non-perishable food items!.

     

    There are over 25 vendor booths for merchants and representing area groups to visit. Something for everyone!

    Saturday’s schedule :

    10:00am-10:30am – Opening Ritual (Steven Posch)

    10:30 Crow Call

    11:00 Standing Stones Ritual

    11:15 Dance 1 – Mystic Siren
    11:25 Kamala Chaand Dance Co
    12:00 Blue Star Ritual – We’ll be singing, celebrating the season, and honoring the gods.
    1:00 Mark Digitono
    1:45 Kamala Chaand Dance Co
    2:05 Bourgeois Bohemians
    2:25 Kamala Chaand Dance Co
    3:00 Our Lady of Celestial Fire Ritual
    3:45 Beth Kinderman and the Player Characters
    Located at Minnehaha Falls Park, in the area around the bandshell. There are both paid and free parking options in the area (the link includes map and parking details.) The park is not far from the 46th Street light rail station and a wide variety of bus lines (and you can find out more from the MetroTransit site.

    Nels Linde

    Eye of Horus Metaphysical Store Faced with Relocating

    Thraicie and Jane

    Thraicie and Jane

    You would never guess from the business-as-usual appearance at the Eye of Horus Metaphysical Store that the owners are faced with the sudden challenge of relocating it by the end of this month and finding the funds to do so. As I enter “the Eye”, I am still greeted by the customers browsing, buying and getting their questions answered by upbeat staff. Stones of all types glisten beside cards stating their magical properties. A client seeking spiritual guidance exits into a room with one of the divinational readers. In the background a CD plays musical selections from an upcoming Wendy Rule concert being held there this Sunday. Thraicie Hawkner, her long silver hair flowing down her shoulders, and Jane Hawkner, with a short, cute pixie cut, approach me from across the busy room with undaunted looks on their faces.

    Their confident appearance shouldn’t have surprised me. They have been running The Eye of Horus since October 31st 2003 in a previous location just a few blocks from their current space and even earlier as an internet business with booths at community gatherings. Meeting the challenges of entrepreneurship over the years has made them seasoned businesswomen with a fair amount of mettle. But, even so, finding out the first of July that they would need to find a new space and move the store into it by the end of July, would have been enough to make even experienced business owners sweat.

    “During this crunch time it has been particularly motivating to remember how many times people have come in and said things like, “I did not know there was a place like this, I feel like I have come home” or “Your store is the reason I was able to reconnect to my faith”, said Jane. It keeps us tuned into the reason we are here and to what the Eye of Horus means to so many people. Knowing that we have been of meaningful service to the community has been fuel for problem solving through this challenge.”

    “We have found a perfect size space for us that we can move into,” Thraicie said. She explained that the challenge has been raising the funds for the move. “We just found out July 1st that we would need to move, so we had no money to secure the new location, or any money to cover the closing of the store during move time, a rental truck or other moving expenses. So we developed the current fundraiser.”

    Eye of Horus has a GoFundMe website  that enables people to either purchase “perks” or make a straight donation. The perks are in the form of discounted services such as divinatory readings, therapeutic massage, discounted gift certificates, or a book shelf in their name.  In this way, people can choose to donate or purchase “perks” at attractively discounted prices.

    Continue reading

    Shoe Shrines in West Wisconsin

    photo: George Adams

    photo: George Adams

    On a backwater road in West Wisconsin there are shoes. Shoes nailed to guard rail posts, hanging from trees, even planted with flowers. Work shoes, dance shoes, running shoes, prom shoes, they are all on the roadside.  There are many possible explanations from ghosts to magic, a traveler’s shrine to a teenage prank. Their presence at the road side could be all of these reasons, or none. What you see for sure is amazed people slowing or stopping to look in wonderment.

    Shoes have always been a potent vehicle and symbol used in magic.  Shoes are very personal.  Over time they take the exact shape of the wearers foot, and are a reflection of who they are.  There are forms of Southern “conjure work” where the magic is activated through contact with shoes.

    In many cultures there existed a prehistoric custom of killing a person and placing the body in the foundation of a new building to insure that the building holds together. Later as this practice lost favor shoes were used as a substitute for a human sacrifice.

    In early American and many European homes renovation has discovered many shoes placed within walls. About half the shoes found were children’s shoes and may have been intended to bestow fertility on a female member of the household.  Women’s shoes are more commonly found than men’s. The shoes are almost invariably well-worn, perhaps because the donor didn’t want to waste an expensive new shoe on the project, or perhaps because a well-worn shoe is more likely to retain the shape of the wearer’s foot and hence his spirit.  They may have been concealed as magical charms to protect the occupants of the building against evil influences.

    A rancher will sometimes put boots on the fencepost to honor the passing of a beloved horse, a hired hand or fallen comrade.  A rancher would indicate he was home and the workday was over by hanging boots on the fence at the start of his lengthy entry road. When dating, a single woman in a trailer court would often place a suitors boots outside the door as a sign no gentleman callers were appreciated at this time!

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    The above shoes are from March 2004, a Saint Patrick tribute?

    Why all these shoes, and why here, on a low traveled highway in Wisconsin? The obvious explanation is that these roadside shoes are a living shrine to travel. Shoes represent us leaving home, getting on the road, and moving.  I observe these shoes nearly each time I leave home. When I see them again, I am almost back home safely. But how did they all get there, and who put them there?

    I have observed this shrine for over fifteen years. At one point there were over fifty shoes on one guard rail. It is ever-changing because the highway maintenance crew periodically removes them all.  This was a shock the first time I noticed their absence. Now the mysterious petitioners nail the shoes on so they are harder to remove.  Recently they began appearing as tied together pairs hanging from the roadside trees, twenty feet in the air!

    My kids passed on two local explanations circulated by the teen population. The shoes are “trophies” from the high school prom season. If you got “lucky’ on prom night a couple’s shoes (or their friends may choose representative shoes) would be stolen or donated to add to the highway shrine. You may notice an increase of shoes in May each year, and some brightly painted high heels are often included.

    The other local story is a ghost story spread by the teens. It is “reported” that in the late 1800’s two children (boy and girl) were lost in a snow storm (some say from the house just round the corner on the north side of 64) . No one ever heard of them again until their shoes were found near the current shoe bearing hilltop the following spring. Since that time the ghosts of the two children have made appearances to local folks (well teens mainly). As the story goes, people place shoes there hoping the children’s spirits will take a pair and they will move on. Another version is the children were murdered and their spirits keep adding the shoes to remind us the killers were never caught.

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    Renee, a local woman for fifty plus years now, contributed this authoritative explanation. This was started by some neighborhood kids having a little country fun back in the late 70’s early 80’s.  It eventually became a larger neighborhood game. At a birthday party teens were sometimes asked to bring an old shoe. It was part of the party fun to go nail another shoe to the post.

    What these shoes represent to you is defined by your perspective and inclination. They night be a simple prank, or a deep magical act. I do know they catch my attention each time I pass, and that is no coincidence!

    Nels Linde

    Shoe shrines are all located along Wi. State Highway 64. A few boots appear on fence posts just East of New Richmond, Wi, then a guardrail shrine and tree hung shoes appear just 100 yards past the Saint Croix County Line entering into Dunn County. A third guardrail shrine with flower planted shoes appears on Hwy 64 between State Highway 25 and Hwy 53 near Bloomer ,Wi.

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