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  • Susu Jeffrey – Community Elder Marks Seventy Years at Coldwater Saturday

    Highway 55 encampment, Susu's birthday 1999

    Susu Jeffrey is an elder in many spheres, and in our Pagan community. She is a visionary, writer, and poet. She is a percussionist, singer, and ritualist. A social activist and advocate for human, water, environmental, and Native American rights. Once a reporter for a major daily, she has contributed to PNC-Minnesota. This month Susu turns seventy and invites you to join her celebration!

    Come to Susu’s 70th Birthday Party at the entrance to COLDWATER SPRING Sat., Dec. 10, 2011, from 2-4 PM.
    Bring a biodegradable vision gift for the last natural spring in Hennepin County-to tie onto the 30-foot locked fence. Coffee, hot chocolate & ice- cream-cake: Full Moon-traditional group howl!

    Coldwater is between Minnehaha Park & Fort Snelling, in Mpls. From Hwy 55/Hiawatha, turn East (toward the Mississippi) at 54th Street, take an immediate right, & drive South on the frontage road for a half a mile past the parking meters, to the cul-de-sac. Dress for the outdoors.
    www.FriendsofColdwater.org  … BYO Chair !

    I interviewed Susu today. Many know her, but many also don’t know much about her. Susu can be maddeningly irritating, persistent, loving, and deeply profound all in the same conversation. However she makes you feel, you know she has wisdom. I usually include my questions, but with Susu just state a subject, and she will share her thoughts!

    Susu:

    I have three degrees, five books, and thirty or forty non violence civil disobedience arrests. My first Pagan gathering was in 1979. It was a Pan Pagan gathering and it was like coming home, ya, this is what I believe. I asked my mom when a child, “What do you believe in?”, and she said, “I don’t know honey, I guess the sun”. My parents didn’t believe in a deity, you would call ‘god’, but they did believe in social justice. My father was in Congress, and I am very proud of what they both did, particularly my father. He was in Congress in 1942-44, one term, and he was one of the authors of the GI Bill of Rights. He was a poor kid, his parents were gypsies. They had no social standing at all. He put himself through school and became a lawyer who always remembered his roots. He always said, “You know honey, if you haven’t given away more money that you are allowed to on your income tax, you haven’t given away anything.” I grew up in the era of being part of a community, with the ethic of accepting obligations in being a part of a community.

    Continue reading

    Pagan Sweats – News? No, an Interview!

    Jim Esralian, and Karen have been leading Sweat Lodge ceremonies at Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF) for many years. He is so unassuming many don’t know his connection to this ceremony. I interviewed him at SHF.  He first off declared proudly he was Armenian, “A conquered people as well”.

    Traditional Sweat Lodge

    You have a pretty deep connection to Native American traditions?

    Back home I live in central Michigan, near the Saginaw Chippewa reservation. In addition I have become friends with folks from Turtle Mountain reservation, and other places, that have brought traditions from that area, to Michigan. They are actually mixed traditions themselves. They are combinations of Metis, Cree, Ojibwe, Ashinabe, and Lakota. A lot of the medicine that was passed down was already fairly multi-national. Turtle Mountain is in North Dakota, in an area where several tribes border each other and their cultures inter-mingled. People came from that area bring with them what is called the ‘Thirsty Dance’, very similar to a “Sun Dance”. They also brought some of the Lodge traditions, as well as some of the songs. Continue reading

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