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  • Follow the Moon: Astrology of Mindfulness and Intentio

    by Teri Parsley Starnes

    Teri’s interest with astrology lies with helping people see how following a practice of intention and self-awareness leads to a fuller relationship with Mystery. Astrology is a wonderful tool for this. Her weekly column orients readers to the seasonal energy of
    each month’s Sun sign in order to set magical/mindful intention for the lunar month beginning at the New Moon.

    Each week Teri will write about the unfolding energies that support and challenge our intentions. The ebb and flow of the lunar cycle resides deep in our souls. Through following the phases of the Moon, we remember the natural cycles that guide us.

    Continue reading

    Steilneset Memorial to the Witches burned in Finnmark – Victoria Slind-Flor

    Victoria Slind-flor

    Victoria Slind-Flor


    Victoria Slind-flor last visited our region in 2005 when she was guest at Sacred Harvest Festival – ” Folk Medicine, Folk Magick “. Her extensive knowledge of all things Scandinavian and her love of craft work enchanted all who met her. For many of us she became our Pagan grandmother, and she still refers to us as the Minnesota relatives.  I followed her recent trip to Norway with delight, and below is a story of one adventure.   Reprinted with permission,          …. Nels


    I wanted to wait until today, Oct. 31, to write about this part of my trip to Norway. That’s because it is the custom in my coven that on this day we remember those who were persecuted and burned for witches, both in ancient times and the present day.

    One of the main reasons for my trip to Norway was a chance to visit the Steilneset Memorial on the island of Vardø in Norway’s far north. Vardø is an island in the Barents Sea, reachable only by ship or a 2.9 km tunnel under the sea.

    To reach Vardø I had to fly into Kirkenes, rent a car and make a 250 km drive down the length of Verangerfjord and back to the fjord’s mouth on the other side, and then along Norway’s arctic coast. Because the trip took so long, I had to spend two nights on the island, which is a rather bleak place with a declining population (now below 2,000), and perpetually gloomy weather.


    Continue reading

    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!

    Paganistan Reclaiming Tradition Fall Events

    photo: Donald L. Engstrom-Reese

    Reclaiming Tradition has a series of fall events in the Twin Cities. A series of six monthly introductory classes begins Saturday. Paganistan Reclaiming will for the first time host a tradition “Dandelion Gathering”, and sponsors a public Equinox ritual which takes place during the gathering.


    Elements of Magic 101, Six Sessions in Six Months begins this Saturday, Sept 13th.   “All are welcome to join us. If you are new to Reclaiming and wish to be a more active participant in our practices and understandings this will be a very good way to learn the basics of our Tradition.  We will meet once a month over 6 months exploring, learning and deepening the foundational arts, magics, and practices of Reclaiming. Some of the topics that we will be looking at are; grounding, shielding, personal practice, shaping intentions, spell crafting, divination, ritual format and skills, prayer beads, labyrinths, the Seven Sacred Voices, nurturing our relationships with Mystery, altar building and an overview of Reclaiming’s history. We will also closely examine our one core document that informs everything that we do, The Principals of Unity. We will explore all of these topics and more, using the tools of conscious thought, trance journeying, discussion, rune and tarot work, song, chant, and other voice skills, and the mystery that we are bodies, and that all of the magical tools that we need our already a part of our beings.”

    A Dandelion Gathering is a tradition-wide Reclaiming reunion. At the last Dandelion Gathering of 2012 in Portland, OR, those meeting decided to encourage bio-regional Dandelion gatherings to be held in communities across the globe.

    Our intention for the gathering: We joyfully gather, with the heart of the Fool, near the Sacred Mississippi to celebrate, sing, dance and heal in community. ”

    I talked to Paul Eaves as he tended his annual Pagan Pride labyrinth about Dandelion last week. “This event is co-created by our community and rather than have a highly scheduled event we have planned a series of events people can select from. A full schedule of events and locations are available online.”

    The Saturday events at Hidden Falls Park include workshops on building a Labyrinth, and connecting with fossil allies.  Participate in an Open Listening/Discussion Session about Winter Witchcamp with some of the event Weavers.  At 2pm, before the equinox ritual, an introduction to Reclaiming discussion is scheduled with a brief background about Reclaiming Tradition and question and answer session.


    photo: Reclaiming Quarterly

    We are celebrating the turning of the wheel with an Autumnal Equinox Ritual at the park pavilion of Hidden Falls Regional Park on September 20. We will start gathering at 3:00 p.m. and begin ritual promptly at 3:20 p.m.
    Our intention: “We name our flames to honor this hearth.”
    We ask that you consider coming to this ritual with:
    1.  A seasonal oath to name aloud while in the hearth of community
    2.  A non-perishable food item or items to donate to The Exchange’s Queer Community Food Shelf
    Money donations are also welcome to cover ritual expenses, but please note that no one will be turned away for lack of funds or food items.
    Please bring a chair if you need one and weather-appropriate clothing as we will be outdoors.
    ALL ARE WELCOME including children and folks from other traditions. This is a sober event. We also invite you to refrain from the use of perfumes, lotions, and other scented product to ensure increased accessibility.
    We look forward to seeing you!
    Saturday, September 20, 2014
    3:00 p.m.
    The park pavilion at Hidden Falls Regional Park, 1313 Hidden Falls Drive, St. Paul, MN 55116

    Tony Mierzwicki, Guest at Sacred Harvest Festival – Interview

    Tony Mierzwicki

    Tony Mierzwicki is one of three national guests appearing at Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF)  beginning Monday, August 4th near Albert Lea, MN.  Tony is the author of “Graeco-Egyptian Magick: Everyday Empowerment” and was also a guest of  SHF in 2008.

    Tony is from Austalia but spends much of his time writing and lecturing in Southern California. I talked to him by phone.

    Your expertise is in Greek Religion, what have you been up to lately?

    I have a book coming out in December called , “Hellenismos: Practicing Greek Polytheism Today” . It is a book that reconstructs the practice of Greek religion and updates it to the current day. It is the first book to come out from a main stream publishing company. Every other book has either come out as an academic text or has been self published. This will be a practical text published with Llewellyn. I am a student of Greek religion and I am trying to make it more accessible for those people who are interested. There does seem to be a fair amount of interest in Greek religion at the moment. There are all sorts of Hollywood movies coming out, like Herakles and about other figures of Greek mythology. There would be people out there wondering how the Greeks venerated their Gods. This book will allow people to venerate the gods in a spirit of how the ancient Greek went about the process. There are a number of things that the Greeks did that we cannot do. We are not going to bring back public animal sacrifice, or slavery, or the subjugation of women. Every religion modifies and changes as time goes on. What I am trying to do is look at ancient Greek religion and come up with my best guess of what it would look like today if it had continued since ancient times. That is the spirit behind the book.

    This is based on my own experience, but I also lurk on many Greek based electronic forums to see how other people practice Greek religion, and the issues they are having. There are a number of misconceptions that people have, and I have tried to address those issues. The book is heavily based on source texts, with over 400 footnotes that people can refer to as my primary and secondary sources. I look at the book as “factual” but different folks looking at the same data and material will look to other directions or disagree with the practice outline.

    Is Greek  reconstruction a growing part of the Pagan movement?

    It is a slowly growing part of the Pagan community . People who are drawn to the Greek religion tend to be very scholarly. They tend to consult original texts and get very passionate in their interpretations. There are many intelligent people practicing Greek polytheism. There are some people who believe you go through the motions, performing rituals perfectly, but do not expect any personal interaction with the gods. Others believe you it is all about a personal interaction with the gods. That is my belief. Unless you can feel the presence of the gods you are not really getting the most out of your practice.

    The Greeks did not have a word for religion. In this day and age we tend to think of religion and secular life as two separate things. We go about our daily lives and may get involved in some religious practice occasionally. Christians may go to church on Sunday, but the rest of the week they are indistinguishable from the rest of the community. Pagans may venerate their gods on certain days, full moons or the eight Sabbats, depending on what they are into. For the Greeks, venerating the gods was something they did everyday. They would not think of beginning any venture unless they called on the gods first. The practice of Greek religion was integrated seamlessly into everyday life. We think of religion as being separate, but then it was considered a crime to disbelieve in the gods, or be an atheist. Everyone went to temples constantly and engaged in various sacrifices. There were particular rituals that took place on a city level. Household performed their own rituals, Guilds and trade groups performed their rituals. They were all varied and different. The principles remained the same but the nuts and bolts of how they did ritual varied.

    The description of how Greeks practiced religion in all aspects of life sounds a lot like much indigenous practice?

    One of the early theories of how religion developed is that it started off as a shamanic practice that became more institutionalized and then turned into religion. If you look at many indigenous tribes their gods have a very real presence. The gods are around them constantly and interact with them frequently. The tribes depend on the gods for everything that is good in their lives. The gods provide sunshine and rain and produce a bountiful harvest for them. They are constantly working with the gods, there is no idea of separation from the divine. This is something you also see with the Greeks.

    What are you bringing to Sacred Harvest Festival next week?

    The heart of my presentation is a series of three workshops that begins with The Practice of Ancient Greek Religion Today.

    The second is on Greek Nature Deities and Gaia Consciousness .  It is about the interconnectedness of us and everything around us. I wanted to bring in the idea of Gaia consciousnessbecause it is a thoroughly modern concept that talks about how everything is interconnected and integrated.

    The third workshop pushes that further and talks about how all of this impacts our health. The things we do in everyday life have an impact on ourselves and everything around us. One of the problems in modern society is that many see themselves as separate from the world. They think they can exploit the riches of the world and not suffer the consequences. I will be pushing the idea of working in harmony with the world, working with sustainable faming practices, sustainable energy and the like. I will talk about how this then also impacts on our health. The workshops form a cohesive series together and I am very grateful to be able to offer these three workshops as a series.

    Will this be of interest to those of many different paths?

    Absolutely, I will try to talk in generalities about these topics, but when it comes down to it one of the things that most Pagans have in common is a deep connection with the planet, the world around them. Regardless of the gods that they may feel closest to, most of us realize that we are integrally connected with the planet and that our decisions effect everything that happens around us – the butterfly effect.  This proposes that every little thing that we do, can wind up having a much larger effect around us. The more people become responsible in how they act, the better things will turn out in the long term for us. A precipice is approaching where we start running out of fossil fuels, and pollution is so bad we can’t breathe the air or drink the water.

    My fourth workshop will be about ancient curses and bindings. This will be an overview from an academic sort of viewpoint. It will give people an idea about what kind of activities took place so they can see the darker underbelly of our community from the vantage point of the past.

    The last workshop will be about the god Set. For a lot of people Set is thought of as an evil god, a prototype of the Christian devil. He has been demonized over the years. When one people conquers another they demonize the gods of the other. In this case Set was a very significant god in ancient times. There are various texts which talk about his importance and describe him as a benevolent deity. Once the worship of Osiris came to the ascendancy, Set was demonized. I hope to present some balance and provide another way of looking at him. He is a powerful god, but not really evil. I want to share what I have found in my research about him.

    When were you last a guest at Sacred Harvest Festival?

    This was in 2008 and had a fantastic time! I was made to feel very welcome. One of the things I really liked was there wer activities for all ages. There were many children and there wer activities for kids, teens, and adults. There was a strong family environment for people who attended with their kids. It was nice to have a festival where you could actually sleep!. Many stayed up late but it was around campfires, singing, enjoying stories and a drink or two together. The whole event had a very family kind of feel to it and I felt blessed to be there. I feel blessed to be coming out yet again!

    I firmly believe that whatever path you choose has to be the path that resonates with you, the path that feels right for you. Unless you have found a specific path you absolutely don’t want to deviate from, it is always good to see what other people are doing and perhaps learn little things that you can integrate into your own practice from them. I am simply bringing things I have learned in the past couple of decades in the hopes that attendees can get something out of them to integrate into their own practice. There may be people interested enough in what I am doing to engage in the practice of Greek polytheism or perhaps Graeco-Egyptian magick – the subject of my previous book. What I have found from running workshops based on my first book is that very few people will choose to practice exactly as it is presented in the book. People tend to pick out bits and pieces from it and integrate it into what they are already doing. That is fine because it is all about finding things which resonate with you. When I was starting out I was trying to learn everything I could from those around me. There were things that would just feel right, and others that didn’t quite feel right. This approach ensures that eventually you end up navigating your own path.

    There are so many gifted speakers this year sharing their experiences and knowledge. That is what it is all about, learning from each other and sharing our experiences. We can then all pass what we have learned and pay it forward. I can’t help those who helped me in the past but I can help those who come after me, and I encourage others to do the same.

    Tony will join Yeshe Rabbit and Crystal Blanton  for a week of workshops and rituals at Sacred Harvest Festival, August 4-10th near Albert Lea, Mn.  Advance registration closes this Thursday, July 31st, but is available for a week, weekend, or day pass at the festival gate.


    Nels Linde

    ~ Nels is a council member of Harmony Tribe, sponsor of Sacred Harvest Festival

    Sparky T. Rabbit Passes

    Spark T. Rabbit at Sacred Harvest Festival 2004

    Sparky T. Rabbit – Bruner Soderberg of Rock Island, Il.,  passed over Monday June 2nd, 2014.

    Born February 3, 1954 he was a prominent Midwest heathen,  singer, song-writer, rite-maker, gadfly and friend of Freyr.   Sparky;  “I critique and satirize neopaganisms,monotheisms, and any other-isms that seem appropriate.”    Handfasted [married] to Ray Bayley since 1984 (Sparky: “That’s 93 anniversaries in straight years!”)
    Sparky was a nationally known singer, bard, master ritualist, and pot stirrer.  His recording “Lunacy”, done as a duo, is still one of the most prized pagan recordings of all time.
    Sparky was often quoted for his wisdom and satire;



    Words from his friends and  colleagues:

    Sparky T. Rabbit’s voice is intertwined with the roots of my development as a witch, and we still use the chants that he wrote and the chants that he popularized within our covens today. I played the cassettes for his two albums so often that I wore them out and had to buy replacements twice. I cherish the one time that I had the opportunity to sing with him. It is still a luminous fan boy moment for me. I grieve the loss of such a beautiful man and his beautiful talents, but I also grieve that so many in the current generation of Pagans have not heard of him. What is remembered lives. Take the time to look him up and find copies of his music which is finally available again in digital formats. Then you’ll feel the joy of discovering his music, and also share my sense of loss as well. May he go forth shining.

    – Ivo Dominguez, Jr. Elder, Assembly of the Sacred Wheel

    Sparky was my dear, dear friend for many years.  I am heartbroken at his passing.  A ritualist extraordinary, singer and songwriter, Sparky was a world-class cauldron stirrer, and a giant of Pagan culture….  My life has been enriched immeasurably by my long and deep friendship with Sparky.  His talent was sparkling.  He contributed much of great value to the Pagan movement and to the world.  In love may he return again.

    – M. Macha NightMare (Aline O’Brien)
    Witch at Large

    May his gentle heart and spirit-filled voice live with us always.

    Thanks to Steve (Posch), I got to meet and exchange enthusiasms with this wonderful man. I am shocked to hear of his passing, and I truly hope that his music and other works will live on with us.
    – Paul B. Rucker
    Sparky T Rabbit Bruner Soderburg

    Sparky T Rabbit – Bruner Soderburg – Feb3, 1954 – June 2nd, 2014

    “Coven brother, teacher, friend. Wicked Witch. Master rite-maker, singer, altar builder. Trouble maker. Sitting across from you at a kitchen table in Minneapolis, I found my life’s work.
    You have left us so many gifts. We will carry them forward, Bruner. We will remember. “– Frebur C.  Moore

    Nels Linde

    PNC-Minnesota Sunday Cartoon

    Our apologies for publishing this a bit late!

    0144resized (1)Noland Comics by Shea Thomas


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