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  • 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

    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

    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

    Paganicon Guest Lupa Greenwolf – Interview

    Lupa Greenwolf

    Lupa is a pagan author, artist, eco-psychologist and amateur naturalist living in Portland, OR. She has spent her life being utterly captivated by the natural world around her, a fascination that led her to earth-based spiritual paths. She is the author of several books on nature spirituality, including “New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism” (Llewellyn, 2012) and “Plant and Fungus Totems: Connecting With Spirits of Field, Forest and Garden” (Llewellyn 2014).

    Paganicon 5 will be Friday, March 13, – Sunday, March 15, 2015  and registration is still available at the door.

    I interviewed Lupa by phone recently.

     

    Nels: Is this the first time you’ve come to the Midwest ?

    Lupa: I am very excited to attend! I grew up in the Midwest, but this is only my second time visiting Minneapolis.

    Where did you grow up?

    Lupa:  I grew up in rural Missouri. Then I lived for two years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania which some people consider the Eastern edges of the Midwest.

    What is bio-regional totemism, the subject of one of your workshops?

    Lupa:  A bio-region is a particular area of land that has the same basic types of animals, plants, and fungi. The same geology and the same climate. For example I live in the watershed of the Willamette River and for the most part the living beings that you find here, the types of geological formation are similar throughout the area. This is one particular bio-region I spend time in. Bio-regional totemism is a way to connect with the land that you live on. Similar to the totems of the beings that also live there. Using the bio-region as a way defining that space of land.

    Will an animal present as a different kind of a totem in a different bio-region?

    Lupa:   No, not in my experience. I have worked with animals indifferent bio-regions, for example a red tailed hawk I’ve worked with both in the Midwest and out here in the Pacific Northwest. It is still a red tailed hawk in both locations. The setting that we meet in during my meditation is a little different. It is still the same being, it just may have different things to say about a particular piece of land as I’m living on it.

    Are you using your own personal gnosis and meditation in your spirit work, or where does this information come from?

    Lupa:  I am self taught as far are my knowledge and work goes. I am a white girl from the Midwest. While I have known a few folks who practice indigenous paths I am not a part of those cultures and also not part of the cultures of my ancestors, Czech and German and so forth. I grew up primarily here in the US and that is the cultural background that I came from. I grew up in a Catholic household and didn’t have an animistic tradition to are draw on already, I had to create one from scratch based on my own experiences and trading notes with other practitioners .

    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

    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

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