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  • T. Thorn Coyle – Interview and Discussion

    T. Thorn Coyle is a magic worker and Pagan committed to love, liberation, and justice. This started out as an interview, but  Thorn was so fascinating to talk to, and such a good listener it turned into a discussion.  We talked at Heartland Pagan Festival.

    T. Thorn Coyle

    How have you, your community in Oakland and local Pagans responded to the Black Lives Matter movement?

    Thorn:
    The San Francisco Bay area where I live is pretty racially diverse, though San Francisco itself is growing less and less diverse each year. The more white money that comes in the more people are pushed out and that’s now effecting the East Bay where I live.  I do a lot of work in Oakland and Berkeley. Oakland has more traditionally African American and Berkeley is a university town. In the Pagan community, a lot of us have been out on the streets working with various grassroots community groups trying to get local change. I’ve been an activist most of my life, and have been engaged with police violence and brutality issues since 2012.

    I first became aware of this issue on a deeper level when Oscar Grant was killed. He was clearly unarmed, and it was caught on videotape. Oscar was handcuffed on the ground and a cop shot him in the back of the head. That really put the issue in my mind. That was in 2010. In 2012 another young man, Alan Buford, was killed by police. Something about that case struck me. I recall distinctly when I heard his family speak. It was my day to volunteer at the soup kitchen and I was heading back home to a spiritual direction client. I had another meeting later on, too, but there was a city council meeting at 6pm and knew Alan’s parents were going to speak. I knew I had to be there. Hearing Alan’s mother Jeralynn speak changed my life. It was one of those moments, and I became committed to the struggle.

    I started doing a lot more work locally around issues of police brutality, including organizing around “Urban Shield” which is a conference that ostensibly trains first responders for disaster relief. What it really does is trains first responders in crowd control, and gives them military training. Their big vending show is all military weaponry. Urban Shield is basically about the militarization of our police. That was a lot of work I was doing. The highlight reel that Urban Shield itself puts out is pretty horrifying for me as a citizen.  It looks like war games to me.

    I’d been doing some of that community work and then Ferguson hit.  I thought, “Oh my gosh those young people in Ferguson, they’re not going home.” They started a movement for which I am grateful.

    Continue reading

    Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

    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

    Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

    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

    Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

    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

    Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

    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

    Community Member In Need: Lola Fundraiser and Healing Ritual

    [Disclosure: This is more of an editorial than an article as the author is friends with the subject and was unable to be unbiased and objective.]

    Lola is one of the kindest, sweetest, most positive people you will ever meet. And a few months ago she was diagnosed with terminal Stage 4 Melanoma.

    Here is her story in her own words:

    Lola was welcoming to me when I first came to Paganistan. She was unfailingly kind, and always available to hang out when I needed a friend. Lola gave me an incredible gift when after not being able to give for a long time she let me offer her hospitality to her when she needed it. Being able to offer her a meal and a place to crash on occasion was a huge boost to my self-esteem and spirituality and I am so grateful to her for that. She is one of the finest people I know.

    When I spoke to Lola for information for this post she was cheerful and happy. She was helping her sister’s children prepare a Mother’s Day surprise for her sister. She never mentioned her pain, her needs, or her personal desires. She spoke to me of the financial commitments she had made to her sister, of her love for her sister, and of her desire that her sister not suffer financially while Lola copes with terminal cancer.

    here

    Lola and Katie celebrating getting the keys to the home they currently share.

    Lola told me about how she and her sister were roommates years ago, and how close they have remained over the years. Her sister is a single mom who wanted a better place to raise her children and needed help to do that, and she and Lola were so excited to be living together again. Before she realized she was sick Lola told me about how excited she was to be there for her family, to be more present in their lives, and to be creating this new future with her sister. You can hear the love in her voice when Lola talks about her family, and you can hear that for her the most devastating thing about this dire prognosis is the impact it will have on the people she loves.

    Lola was told at one point that she might not make it past May, but she is looking forward to attending EarthHouse’s midsummer festival and finally making it to Pagan Spirit Gathering. She is a fighter, and her spirit is indomitable. She is living wholeheartedly in spite of her advanced cancer. She is still working as a massage therapist. She is still devoted to her family. She is still a positive influence on her many friends. She is amazing and she needs our help.

    Lola is trying to raise funds to help her bridge the gap until her disability kicks in this August. She can no longer work full-time, her sister depends on her help to make rent and pay utilities, and she is facing losing her car within the next week. She needs love and support, but she also really needs cash to make it through the next few months. She’s not even really asking as much for herself as she is to help honor the commitment she made to her sister.

    A fundraiser and healing ritual for Lola is being held Saturday, May 30th, 2015 at Michael Servetus Unitarian Society in Fridley, MN from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. From 11 to 1 is a “buy a bowl” fundraiser potluck with an all-you-can-eat bowl for $5, and the healing ritual will take place from 1:30 to 2:30. There will be a silent auction and lawn games for both adults and kids. A beaded necklace is being made for Lola and you are encouraged to bring a bead to add to it. The dinner is a potluck and you are also encouraged to bring a dish to share.

    To contribute an item to the silent auction, or for any other questions, you can e-mail Nikki at nikki.wakal@gmail.com.

    If you can’t attend but would still like to contribute to the fundraiser you can make a donation on Lola’s YouCare page: Help My Sister After I Pass On.

    For updates or to RSVP to the fundraiser you can join the Facebook event: Lola Fundraiser and Healing Ritual.

    If you can’t attend or donate online sharing this information via social media is a great way to help out.

    It is my hope that Lola isn’t only able to raise the funds to meet her needs, but that the community can support her in living to the fullest as she battles terminal cancer. I hope Lola can to go to the festivals she wants to go to and over the next few months feel the love and support of her community.

    My thanks to PNC:MN for sharing this with the community.

    Follow the Moon: Astrology of intention and mindfulness

    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

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