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  • Grandmother Elspeth – Interview

    Grandmother Elspeth has been conducting workshops on spiritual growth and enrichment since 1991. Ordained by Pete Pathfinder, founder of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, and certified as a Shamanic Practitioner by The Church of Earth Healing, Elspeth is opinionated and outspoken, she is a great-grandmother, environmentalist, healer, teacher, pastoral counselor, and irrepressible storyteller. As an honored elder in the Neo-Pagan movement, she is a living example of the timeless truths that she teaches.
    Elspeth travels today with John Grastorf, speaking on the complex challenges of the time. Elspeth, frequently called “The Crone on the Road,” is just turning age 86, and still traveling. I spoke with them at Heartland Pagan Festival.

    You are probably one of the few Pagans that have seen most of a century and into a new century. What are your thoughts about where we are going now?

    Elspeth:

    What the Pagan movement has done for a lot of people is break them out of the mold. It has caused two   generations of people to say, “That does not fulfill me”, about the conventional religions.  “I don’t know what I want, but I know it isn’t this”.  It has led to a belief and acceptance of the Nature Gods, and that is really what we are talking about.  That is “divine beings”, the thought forms and archetypes using the Jungian definitions. We relate more to these because we’re of the earth too.  People frequently ask me,  “What is the future of the Pagan community?”  I think that individual choice of spiritual path will become part of all of the other things that have to be done, it will become a way of life, not just a “religion.” We will wake up in the morning and  rejoice in that day and give thanks for that day to do the work we need to do.

    I love ritual and I love planned ritual, the glories of a formal processional, but that is only the surface of your spiritual life..  I see for a lot of people that the spiritual is combining more and more with the other aspects of our life and becomes the underlying  thing that we do.

    John:

    We are not so much about the religious side or spiritual side alone, it is about what goes on in society and politics. As we are in a time of challenge right now. This is very important for all of our society.

    Do Pagans need to be activists?

    Elspeth: 

    I would say in one form or another definitely because somebody has to be there to help move this out of the machine, the military industrial complex, the consumerism the whole thing that we are overwhelmed by. Yes, we need to be an activist even if we never march in anything. We need to express ourselves very strongly on the issues that are facing us. Cause a ruckus! Get people to stand up and say no, no, we can’t do that and then you can talk to them and help move them on to the next thing.

     How did you become involved in this Pagan world?

    John:

    I came to this movement late, mainly for my daughter who was a marine. A lot of  the folks from the military have found Paganism because if you’re going to war, you are facing death. You want to talk to your gods face to face. You don’t want to so talk to a priest that is telling you the same old story.  I thought it made a lot of sense. The whole idea of nature as a part of what is divine is not new.  My father and grandfather who were raised on the farm thought when you are in the forest you feel like I am in church.  I am a bit of a leader and scholastic, and it felt right.

    Elspeth:

    As far as John and I doing this together, we had known each other for years up at Brushwood. He plays wonderful guitar and makes some great music and he would come over and hang out in my space and join in when I did Storytelling. He would come to play and sing for the children and we gradually began to realize that we were thinking in the same lines, seeing some of the same picture. It occurred to me that since I go to as many gatherings as I can because marketing Nybor’s work is a large part of our income.   We live on Social Security but this enables us to be a little more comfortable. I am getting too old to drive long distances and John said, “ I’m young and agile, I am only seventy-five. I can do this!

    At that point I was traveling in the Harvey the RV and getting eight miles to the gallon. With John’s suggestion I sold Harvey and we travel with a pop-up camper now. I quit living in tent many years ago I can’t do that anymore.  We’ve learned in this three years or so that this works. If we can inspire or open up a number of people to the possibilities of their own power.  Our message is “Wake up, take charge of your life. You have the power to alter the reality around you.”

    Is it more important for Pagans to be strong and work together, or to integrate with the rest of society?

    Elspeth:

    Yes and yes! We have got to integrate into society because we are the yeast to change society, but we do have to stop this, “My priest is better than your priest”, or “My path is superior because it’s older”. All of that hogwash.  It’s not about that, it is about finding your piece of the truth. You may find people to walk along with you because they feel that they have the same path. It’s not about finding one way. The Pagan movement poses a great example if we can overcome our divisiveness.  We can be a great example of showing the rest of the world you don’t have to agree on everything to be able to work together, that diversity is necessary  It’s vital that we come out of our provincial view; “Those people have a different God or their slightly different from mine, and therefore they’re wrong and I’m right.”  Nobody is wrong. Everybody has a piece of the truth that they need to work.  I’m  speaking of  positive, life affirming paths.  This country , under the present government is a death affirming path. It does not exist to enhance the life and the well-being of the people of the whole society.

    I feel strongly that what started with the hippies was a very important place in the development of human beings. They said “Make love not war,” and had the peace symbol. When they smoked recreational drugs it was because they were trying to break out of the mold. Anything that would take them out of that was good. Sure there were extremes, there always are in any movement. We needed the bra burners in their time. We need the extremes, we need our fanatics. What the extremists provided becomes mixed with what the rest of the people are, and it turns out to be a forward life-affirming movement. We don’t burn bra’s anymore. We have evolved beyond that.

    In several classes I use a Margaret Mead quote. “You are the agents of evolution. Choice came into the world with you, You have the burden of freedom.”  It is very important for us to realize we incarnated at this time because we are the people to make this change.

    When did you become a Pagan?

    Elspeth: 

    I discovered Paganism when I discovered Nybor. Earlier that year one of the founders of Lothlorien came to me with my second beloved who was dying and he sat and talked to us and said, “The old gods are alive.” My Joseph was so thrilled, he always wanted to travel with Pan. It was a very simplistic approach but I forgot about that through the next year or two as Joe finished his passage. When Nybor  came to me and we became friends and he said. “The natural world is full of magic.” He said more than once that the thing that he did most important for the movement was to introduce Elspeth to it.  I don’t know that that’s so, but for me it was a revelation.

    Do you to live in a community on the land?

    Elspeth: 
    We had a group that we called Haven for a long time. The intent was to have land eventually but because I didn’t have the money to get the land and people wandered in, and wandered out we never got to that point. Nybor and I have three-quarters of an acre and if I had enough physical health I could plant enough food to feed about four families. I do not have help, I have to just my own strength and  I can’t cover a lot of ground. I have visited a number of intentional communities, some of them Pagan many of them not. When they work you have the same kind of connection that you would have in a coven or Grove.

    Do you see people of color as under assault in this country ?

    John:

      Yes, they always have been. I am a musician and I have played blues and back up for black performers back in the 60’s. There treatment was terrible. There was some movement, society tried to straighten some things out,  and bring some fairness. Lately it has absolutely been an assault on people of color.

     Elspeth:

    I see this current thing about the media taking these horrible shootings of black people and using it to force black and white people further a part. The media is doing this. I am not denying that it happens and I’m not denying that too often law enforcement officers are too quick to shoot. It’s being used by the media to forces us apart into two groups. It is not the only place that the media is trying to encourage divisiveness, but it is one of the major places. I don’t think we can any of us can claim to be colorblind. It is a fact that we have skin of different color. Where I take exception is saying and that it makes an enormous difference. I’m from Alabama originally and when I moved to New Jersey, way back when, I was raising my children.  I had made some good friends who were people of color and we talked about why their families left the South and where they came from.  I remember one woman saying to me in the South we were abused as a people, but individually very much-loved and cared for. That is really what happened. It was a patriarchal approach. I have heard many people say, that was terrible.  Mary worked for my mother for many, many years and she came to daddy and says, “Mr. OJ my boys in jail again, got into trouble again, can you help?”  He would go down to the police station and find out what it was, how he could help and get something good happening for the boy. She would come to me and say the children need their tonsils out. He felt, and that’s the tradition with a lot of middle class, or fairly well-to-do people, and they feel  “These people are my people too and I am responsible for their welfare.”  We talked about this and she said,  “My people left the South and came north and they found that the law up here is with us but the people hate the individual.  With dark skin there’s no easy way out. It’s got to be handled on an individual basis, but the law has to be changed and the disrespect offered to people simply needs to change.  Educational opportunities change the individual’s perception of skin color.

    John:

    I try to step back from society to face what is really happening now. We come from small villages in remote locations that never moved. The stranger who came in could be a real danger, someone to fear. We all inherited this in our evolutionary process.  You have to really consciously do what is ethical, and overcome that fear.  I did some research when I first turned to the political, and I noticed all these people from multi-billion dollar industry funding pundits to sow discrimination.  What the hell is going on,  why are they doing it?   It is to separate society, keep us in conflict so we don’t notice what’s going on with major issues in society and react.

    Elspeth:

    This is a spiritual thing that we are doing here (festival) , right?  I have an idea that our approach may be not close to a lot of what you doing.  I think spirituality must be involved in every moment of your life. You come to me and you say I’m a good Pagan,  I’ve got three athames, five ritual robes, and I attend every full moon. I want to look those people in the eye and say, “If you are honoring your Gods, what are you doing to change the world?”  We, having made a break with the conventional world, are the ideal ones to continue that and to say, “Up with this I will not put.”,  and begin to make the world different. We have Gods/Goddesses, divinity figures that are very related to everyone’s grass out there. What can we do to make it different for people, living in a manner more related to the natural world.

    Have Pagans have been slow to react to the outrage they have seen?

    Elspeth:

    Yes, unfortunately. You can get more Pagans involved with agitating for the transsexual or the LGBT community and yet we are not involved emotionally in the assault on people of color.  An interesting question, I wonder how we could make changes?

    Will Pagans truly change until people of color have more involvement in alternative religion ?

    Elspeth:

    We get a lot of Asian people in Paganism. Over the years the biggest part of Paganism is middle-class white people and that is a limitation that is not useful to us. We’re a little afraid of some of the racist fringe elements.  If it’s going to be worthwhile, it must be expanded to involve everybody.  I see it as a way of life.  I know we can work power, we can raise power, we can touch divinity.  I think the much larger question is how we involve our relationship to the God/Goddesses in everything we do, not simply at the moment that we actually do ritual . I feel very strongly that is a way of life, it’s not simply a religion.

    John:

    We are mind, body, and spirit, and it is all one. There is only one way to reach divinity, but fortunately it is everywhere.

    Is there anything that we haven’t talked about that you’re thinking about?

    John :

    Well working politics, delay the collapse. Trying to establish good people in representative positions so that we have time to evolve. Bring forth alternative political structures and smaller decentralized communities, and evolve. We have not been allowed to evolve our society except in the interest of big money.

    Elspeth:

    I have a different message. I run with Turtle when I’m storytelling, and Turtle has an extremely important message. Don’t let anything stop you. When you pick up Turtle, turn her on her back, turn her around, as soon as that turtle gets straightened out she will go the way she was going. Turtle refuses to the separated from her goals. The other thing that turtles teach us is “You never get anywhere unless you stick your neck out.” Turtle cannot walk with the head still inside the shell.  We’ve got to take risks. We’ve got to stand out there and say, “This is about all of nature, It is about the  moving worms that are off in the trees there. It is about the trees themselves.” Whether you mark yourself as an activist or not, that’s not the important thing. It is not important where you are exerting your efforts, you may be going to the local PTA meeting and encouraging. It’s vital that we act as the yeast. We are the nervous system of Gaea.

    Elspeth and John

    Elspeth and John

    Elspeth wrote this back in 2004, and it has been widely read and distributed:

    The Challenge

    I challenge you, by Mystery and by Majick, to become the person
    you were meant to be –
    to cherish the sacred earth –
    to honor the blowing winds –
    to nourish the healing fire –
    to drink deeply of the living waters.

    I challenge you to live Life more fully –
    to awaken to the infinite possibilities around you –
    to know that you are the only limiting factor in your life.

    I challenge you to free yourself from both nation and race –
    to recognize all humans as your family –
    to know that war is not the answer.

    I challenge you to become more aware of the other-than-human beings –
    to share habitat and nourishment with them –
    to acknowledge them as your teachers.

    I challenge you to truly view this planet Earth as a living organism –
    to understand that She is divine, as are all living things –
    to find your purpose in relation to Her’s.

    In time to come there will be darkness and dissolution,
    There will be raging anger, pain, and deprivation,
    There will be loss and there will be violent death.

    I challenge you to continue in your chosen path, living joyously.
    Be deaf to the words of the unawakened;
    lest they give you unease.
    Let not fear immobilize you,
    nor despair make you weak,

    For the Eternal Ones are with you, now and forevermore.

    Elspeth of Haven – 2004

    Nels Linde

    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
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