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  • Veterans Honored at Paganicon

    Ceremony Begins

    Ceremony Begins

    Last Sunday, March fifteenth,  during the afternoon tea at the conclusion of Paganicon,  seven veterans who served in various branches of the armed forces were honored.  In a community ceremony of recognition and appreciation, Selena Fox presented the Pagan Military Service Ribbon to Pagans who have served or are serving in the US Armed Forces.

    Honored Veterans, Selena Fox at left

    Honored Veterans, Selena Fox at left

    Pictured from top, clockwise are Wayne Sears, John Farrow, Herbert Cook Roy, Celeste Proe, Shawn Burns, Debbie Olson, and Tamia Finnegan. They received their pin to the applause of appreciation and support from the over hundred community members present.

     

    The Ribbon pin, created by Circle Sanctuary in 2011, is being presented to Pagan veterans and troops around the country who request it. If you are a veteran please visit the ribbon website to participate in the honoring recognition.

    Please congratulate these service members!

    Nels Linde

    Appointed Officials Set To Okay Illegal Coldwater Spring Project

     

    Ducks at Coldwater Spring as it was...

    Ducks at Coldwater Spring as it was…

    Two sets of appointed officials are lined up to okay a project that explicitly violates the law. The Metropolitan Council is promoting sewer replacement construction that contravenes the Coldwater protection law by threatening the flow to this 10,000 year old spring.

    UPDATE: * The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District meeting to discuss & vote on the sewer project permit  was postponed to Thursday, March 26 to allow more time for the public to comment.

    The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is set to permit the project with assurances about “contingency plans” for unforeseen circumstances, “restoring” Coldwater Springs after “temporary” dewatering, and orders to monitor the spring daily during the 2-year construction project.

    Take action. Ask that sewer construction be redesigned to the location of the current pipe without tearing up the north end of Minnehaha Park and threatening the flow to Coldwater Springs:

    Adam Duininck, Chair, Metropolitan Council, 651-602-1390 or adam.duininck@metc.state.mn.us

    Lars Erdahl, Administrator, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, 952-641-4505 or lerhahl@minnehahacreek.org

    National Park Service, 651-293-8438 or http://www.nps.gov/miss, click on Coldwater and follow prompts

    THE LAW – Section 1.  [PROTECTION OF NATURAL FLOW.]

    Neither the state, nor a unit of metropolitan government, nor a political subdivision of the state may take any action that may diminish the flow of water to or from Camp Coldwater Springs.  All projects must be reviewed under the Minnesota Historic Sites Act and the Minnesota Field Archaeology Act with regard to the flow of water to or from Camp Coldwater Springs. (passed in 2001)

     The language of the law is specific, forbidding “any action that may diminish the flow.” Not “temporary” dewatering, not permanent dewatering—no “action that may diminish.” The language of the contingency planning (below) is slippery.

    Coldwater is the last major natural spring in Hennepin County, is where the soldiers who built Fort Snelling lived (1820-23) and where a civilian pioneer community gathered to service the fort. Some consider Coldwater to be the birthplace of Minnesota. The spring furnished water to Fort Snelling 1820-1920.

    THE PROJECT: Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) project 1-MN-344 Tunnel Improvement:   A sanitary sewer pipe is scheduled to be replaced at the north end of Minnehaha Park. It is an underground construction, about 45 to 50 feet below the surface, with two 18-foot diameter access shafts cut through bedrock at either end, and a 44 by 60-foot subsurface vault. Groundwater “will just flow around” these subterranean buried structures after construction planners reported at Minnehaha Creek Watershed District board meeting (1/29/15).

     A replacement 1,000-foot pipe would run horizontally below Minnehaha Creek, the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit line and Highway 55 to replace a 1930s-era sanitary sewer pipe. The project is scheduled to run for two years from this summer to June of 2017.

     Both groundwater and deep well dewatering is planned that is, pumping water out from above the limestone bedrock and below in the sandstone. Daily monitoring at Coldwater is called for.

    Assurances by experts of “no loss of flow” from the Highway 55 reroute resulted in the permanent loss of nearly a quarter of the flow to Coldwater. MnDOT was court-ordered to monitor the spring flow for 20 months post-construction. Despite the Coldwater protection law a permanent, daily loss of flow of 27,500 gallons was reported.

    Before Highway 55 reroute construction the flow to Coldwater was measured at about 130,000 gallons a day. Now the flow rate is about 84,000 gallons daily. Adding the 27,500 daily dewatering lost to Coldwater to the current flow of 84,000—there is a mystery loss of more than 18,000 gallons

    Coldwater Spring

    Coldwater Spring

    CONTINGENCY PLANS FOR PROBLEMS 

    Consultants at the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District meeting admitted that the “contingency plans” are unknown, that conditions are “unforeseeable,” that an observer will be on site to come up with “reasonable solutions.” 
    Continue reading

    Selena Fox – Paganicon Guest Interview

    Selena Fox

    Selena Fox is a well-known priestess, environmentalist, religious freedom activist, writer, teacher, and psychotherapist. Also known as Rev. Selena Fox, she is senior minister of Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin, which has been serving Nature religion practitioners worldwide since 1974.

    Selena will appear at Paganicon March 13-15, 2015 and offer several workshops, participate in panel discussions, lead a ritual, and facilitating the Military Pagan Honoring Ceremony . Tickets are available at the door for the day, weekend, or for special events. Selena responded to written questions:

    Nels: Tell me about your Cauldron Magic workshop?

    Selena: I have been studying folklore and folkways for many years, and old folk traditions are an essential part of the Circle Craft tradition that I practice. In my Cauldron Magic workshop, I will share some of the ways that cauldrons have been used in ceremonies as well as in daily life through time and across a variety of cultures and spiritual traditions. I also will share some of my own experiences working with different types of cauldrons as well as ways that Pagans today can use them as ceremonial tools and symbols for celebrating the seasons, home blessings, and other sacred work. In addition, I plan to facilitate some Cauldron meditations and experiences during the workshop.

    What will you include in the Pagan Death Passages workshop?

    Selena: Creating and guiding Life Passage Rituals is an important part of my services to Pagan community and has been since I began priestess work more than forty years ago. In addition to creating and performing weddings, baby blessings, coming of age into adulthood rites, cronings and sagings, I also do several types of end-of-life passage rituals. The Pagan Death Passages workshop emerged out of my experiences working with individuals and their family and friends prior to, during, and after death. I realized that there was a need to do end-of-life preparation education as well as facilitate crossing overs, funerals, and burials when the need arises.

    In my Pagan Death Passages workshop, I share ideas and information about ways to support end of life planning and processes for family and friends, and I also express the importance of considering your own needs and making your own end of life plans. This workshop also is designed to help facilitate community discussions and considerations about dying and death, topics that some are reluctant to talk about with others.

    In the workshop I not only present some information about types of end-of-life ceremonies but also give practical tips on end-of-life planning. We will explore ways to support a loved one at the time of being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, and discuss approaches to maximizing quality of life in the time remaining. We will talk about working with life review during the last part of life. We will examine crossing over support, including the use of music, touch, presence, readings, and ritual. We will also look at post-death rites, including customizing wakes, funerals, memorials, and celebrations of life. In addition, I will be talking about natural burial as a death passage option.

    Part of my work with Circle Sanctuary includes being the director of Circle Cemetery, a national Pagan cemetery and one of the first Green cemeteries in the USA. It is located at our headquarters near Barneveld, Wisconsin and this year we will be celebrating our cemetery’s 20th anniversary. We inter cremains at our cemetery and also do full body natural burials. Natural burial, also known as Green burial, is an ancient Pagan practice – it is placing an un-embalmed body in the earth in a shroud or other biodegradable container. In the workshop, I will describe some of our work in doing burial rituals at our cemetery, as well as things to consider in selecting a cemetery as part of end-of-life planning.

    Is the Goddess Brigid one of your personal patrons?

    Selena:  Yes, and I’ve been working with Brigid for most of my priestess life. I keep a Brigid Shrine at my home and also am among the caretakers of Brigid’s Spring, an outdoor healing place dedicated to Her at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve.

    I had already been working with Brigid for many years, when I discovered while reading a book on Scottish history that I am descended from some who were caretakers of a Brigid site in Fife, Scotland.

    In addition to doing personal Brigid work, I also facilitate Brigid rites for small and large groups at various conferences and festivals across North America. The Brigid Healing Ritual which I will be facilitating at Paganicon has evolved over time as my own work with Brigid has deepened.

    In this rite as well as in my own person work, I work with Brigid in a variety of forms. In addition to honoring Brigid as the Triple Goddess of Inspiration, Healing, and the Forge, I also work with Her as a Sun Goddess, and a Goddess connected with the Land, Oak, Swan, Flames, and Waters of holy wells and sacred springs. Included in the Brigid Healing Ritual are invocations and chants drawing on these different facets of Brigid. We will be doing different types of healing during the ceremony — healing for ourselves, healing for each other, and healing for loved ones at a distance. And we also will be doing a community working for the well-being of Planet Earth and will energize Brigid crosses, charms, necklaces, and other items participants place on our central altar during the rite. I am looking forward to bringing the Brigid Healing Rite to Paganicon.

    Continue reading

    Beloved High Priestess Passes – Mary Kay Lundmark

    Mary Kay Lundmark

    Mary Kay Lundmark

    Mary Kay Lundmark passed over at age 52 on Thursday, February 19, 2015 in her home holding husband Patt’s hand, after a hard fought battle with cancer.

     

    She was born November 26, 1962 the daughter of Claude and Janet (Thompson) Lundmark. She was a graduate of Virginia High School and St. Olaf College in Northfield. Mary Kay married Patrick Germer in St. Louis Park, MN in 1994. She grew up in Virginia and lived in Minneapolis prior to returning to Virginia in 2005.

    Services will be held 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, February 26, 2015 in Virginia, MN

     

    Husband, Patt has requested contributions to help cover extensive medical costs Mary Kay incurred be sent to patt@owlsfoot.net via Paypal. The need is dire.

    With Husband Patt at Jay Cooke State Park

    With Husband Patt at Jay Cooke State Park

    Mary Kay Lundmark was a passionate reader and loved to go travelling and camping.She belonged to “The Honorable Order of American Co-Masonry”, and the “Sons of Norway”Haarfager Lodge #40.

    Described as a most loyal and caring friend and priestess,  Mary Kay chose to avoid the lime light.  She took a major supportive role in many peoples craft and online spiritual paths, and was known to many who never met her in person.

    Mary Kay Lundmark was raised in Virginia, Mn- up on the Iron Range- by a nice Scandinavian- Lutheran family. She was always a deeply religious person- and was very involved with Christian groups, Bible study, missionary trips, etc. up through her college years and into her mid- twenties.

    At some point, she got deeply interested in Christian mysticism, which lead to study of ecstatic states, and eventually to the Craft. She was deeply intellectually curious about all things shamanic, traditional craft, historical craft, etc. Her first teachers were Gardnerian, and thus she stayed with the Gardnerian tradition for the rest of her life.

    Mary Kay with Helga

    Mary Kay with Helga

    Mary Kay always had side studies in pre-monotheistic practices of many cultures: from Ancient Greek, to Old Welsh Folk Magic, to Ancient Peruvian and more. She had an astoundingly large personal library of books including all things psychic, shamanic, historical, tantric, Goddess and God related. Mary Kay had the largest collection of traditional Gardnerian and other British Traditional Craft Books of Shadows that I know of.

    Mary Kay was also an extrovert who LOVED talking Craft to anyone and everyone she could meet. She ran several e-mail lists for different witch groups, and was active on most of the rest. Thus, the entire trad-craft community in the upper-Midwest came to rely on her as THE PERSON to contact with questions about Oath-bound materials, making connections with other witches in America or around the world, or clarifying a question about how certain practices are done, or who to ask next.

    Mary Kay loved ritual more than just about anything else in this world. It was fun to circle with her- because she brought such joy and passion to the worship of our Gods. I have never met a person more fiercely in love with Craft than her. I feel her loss very deeply. I think she had a lot of very important things yet to contribute– and now those beautiful ideas and deep knowledge have gone with her.

    Helga Hedgewalker –  Mary Kay and Patrick’s second female initiate, but still only one of many, many people proudly “down-line” from them in the lineage. Continue reading

    Through Time – A History of Belly Dance in America – Saturday Jan 24th

    Belly dance is an empowering daBDTimence form that has been embraced by the Pagan community for many years.  Women of all ages and backgrounds join together in classes and troupes to explore  the range of styles and expression drawn from diverse cultures around the world. This Saturday the Twin Cities gets a chance to see it all on one stage!  Originally produced in 2006, “Through Time – A History of Belly Dance in America” is returning bigger and better!

    Saturday Jan 24th

    Four Seasons Dance Studio  1637 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
    DOORS OPEN AT 6:30 – SHOW STARTS AT 7:00  Purchase Advance Tickets

    BDTR1

    Alana Mari


    The key purpose of this show is to educate how belly dance was introduced to the American public, how it was perceived and evolved to the variety we have today. Starting with Little Egypt at the World’s Fair in 1893, we travel through time to present day; watching as this art form which was introduced as exotic and mystical grew to become about empowerment, creativity and strength.

    Amina Beres

    Amina Beres

     

     

     


    In this show, a variety of belly dance artists from the local dance community will be bringing their interpretation of periods of time and where belly dance was or was perceived by audiences; from ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ lounges to Gothic Fusion Belly Dance; from the Silent Screen with Rudolph Valentino to the creation of American Tribal Style within the streets of San Francisco.

    The Bourgeois Bohemians

    The Bourgeois Bohemians


    And to add to the madness, this show will be a multi-media production. Music, video, dance and a presentation on Little Egypt are all in store for this evening.

     

    Come join us on this journey. Learn, explore and enjoy.

    Visit Through Time  website for more information,  full cast  list and performer websites.

    Kamala Chaand Dance Company

    Kamala Chaand Dance Company


    Lesley Inman  (Producer, Show Director, Performer)

    Lesley Inman
    (Producer, Show Director, Performer)

    BDT6

     

     

    Holiday Handfasting

    PB1

    Penny and Brian

    This past Saturday, November 29th, Penny Mixhau and Brian McNee became handfasted at their home in Prescott, Wi.  Brian and Penny met almost 5 years ago when she was working at Bandana Chiropractic. Good friend (and wedding photographer) Kjersti Kronstedt worked behind the scenes to set them up. Not exactly on the same spiritual path,  they do share much, including common values and philosophies, a love of spiritual growth, art, history, travel, and offbeat movies.

    Brian and Penny  host several events during the year at their home, including MayFest at Beltane, and an annual Turkey Free Thanksgiving, where they welcome Pagan friendly individuals from a wide variety of Pagan and other paths. This same mixture of long time Pagan friends, family relatives, and folk of open hearts gathered for this ceremony.
    guests

    A few Guests

    Yeshe Rabbit Matthews

    Yeshe Rabbit Matthews

    The handfasting officiants were Yeshe Rabbit Matthews and Joe Schumacher. Nels Linde provided the music and props for the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance processional and Kjersti Mortenson Kronstedt of Mortenson Photography was the photographer.

    lamb

    Lamb Roasting

    A  lamb for the following feast was a gift from Lou, Bob, and Otter. Alan Snow was the fire master. His helpers were Jude Kroutil and Jaimie Zaugg. 

    Family

    Family

     

    Penny and Brian added:
    “We are blessed with amazing friends. We had close to 30 helpers – kitchen witches, pyrotechnics, parking, concierge and facilities. The most beautiful rings I’ve ever seen were designed and crafted by Judy Olson and Nels Linde. We don’t have a final head count yet – my mom (who recently passed) usually did that. The unofficial number is somewhere in the neighborhood of 80.”

    It was a really fine ceremony to experience and a joy to celebrate the happiness present in this union. The ritual was elegant and brief, yet allowing all present a chance to speak blessings to the couple. A bountiful feast and fireworks display culminated the days events.

     firewkiss

    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!

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