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  • SHF Guest Joy Wedmedyk – Interview

    Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF)  is coming up beginning Monday, August 2nd and many are wondering about the new site 90 minutes North of MPLS./St.Paul near Finlayson,MN.  Festivants will find many of the popular activities continuing with the move, some new additions, and a packed schedule of workshops, entertainment, and rituals contributing to the family atmosphere this festival is known for.

    About the festival site, Paul Ferrise, Atchingtan Director reports:

    “Atchingtan is happy to report that site for this year’s SHF is near complete. The electrical will be done by this weekend. Showers will be assembled on Sunday and the gravel required for the various areas, such as access road and RVs is coming in daily with the intentions to finish early next week. The main festival area is ready and final touch up will take place next week. We are excited to be hosting Sacred Harvest Festival this year. Atchingtan will continue to increase it’s event capacities for the many educational events planned for this year and the future. It has been a honor to be working with the Harmony Tribe team in preparing for the event and look forward to working with them in the future.”

    Joy Wedmedyk

    Joy Wedmedyk

    SHF Featured Guest Joy Wedmedyk is offering workshops each day and a special “White Table Misa” , Spirit Mass Friday night. Joy has studied Mediumship, Divination, Symbolism, and Shamanism for over 35 years. Initiated in Regla de Ocha, Native American and African Shamanic traditions. Joy is an nationally recognized teacher, Medium, Shamanic healing practitioner and artist. I talked with her by phone from Cleveland.

    How has your spiritual path developed since your appearance at Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF) in 2007?

    Joy:   I have done a lot of work on my medium-ship skills and shamanic healing work. I have a shamanic healing practice now that is pretty steady. I continue to study with my elders. I have learned a lot more about spirit attachment and release and the underlying causes of unwanted possessions and illness. I believe my divination skills are much improved and developed. I have worked a lot more with the Spirit Mass, which I will be offering at SHF. I have been studying the cosmology and the divination system in my Lucumi Orisha worship. I have also been working more with the plant spirits and have created a line of my own spiritual baths and oils. I currently have a number of students that study with me privately.

    Are you practicing within your tradition?

    Joy:   I am connected with an Ile in Michigan and I travel there to work and learn. An Ile is a house, and I also have my own house because I am crowned to Yemaya. I work within my own Ile and then work helping the Ile in Michigan with their initiations. It takes about 20 people to perform an initiation to become a priest so I haven’t done them at home except for the smaller initiations such as the giving of the beads. As a priest of Yemaya I am responsible for the spiritual progression of the people that have come to study with me.

    You are offering a Spirit Mass Friday night, what can you tell me about it?

    Joy:   The Spirit Mass is a syncretized tradition from Allan Kardec, raised a Catholic who founded Spiritism in Europe. In America this was called the Spiritualist movement. His books were translated from French to Spanish and arrived in the Caribbean. The slaves there picked up on the séance aspect, very popular at that time, to speak with their ancestors and the séance was adopted into their traditions. What I offer is called a “White Table Misa”. We set up a white table with water, flowers, candles and cigars. We will recite some of Kardecs original prayers and I have added in some more Pagan style prayers. We will also sing gospel songs. We believe this service allows the spirits of our ancestors to receive “light, evolution, and progression”. Later we open up the service and anyone present may get or transmit a message, unlike events with a single medium present. We pass rum and smoke cigars (optional) and sometimes people are called out for a blessing or a healing. We may use a sheet to lift a spirit off a person. People usually receive very useful information and may hear from one who has crossed over. It is not a possession ritual, per-SE, though it can happen. There are particular spirits which are connected with the Misa, who may appear.

    What is the Initiation workshop about?

    Joy:   This is a presentation covering general styles of initiation, like going on a spiritual quest, or confronting the roles of good and evil, among others. We talk about the main aspects included in most initiations, such as the enclosure, a change, and a rebirth. I will offer tips and guidelines for the Pagan community on how to perform successful initiations and avoid common pitfalls. It is important to have your whole community involved. When any one person is initiated in a community, everyone goes through a change. This workshop is also very helpful for healers to understand how people move through the world spiritually.

    >What is the “Art of the Question?”

    Joy Wedmedyk

    Joy:   This is for people already doing meditation or praying at an altar or are wanting to learn to connect, and have been trying to get answers or information. It also covers making connection with the ancestors because the belief in my tradition and many others is that they are the ones that care about you, and want to help you the most. I cover how to ask better questions to get the information you need. People may ask a question and get one answer, and then go with that when further focused questions may better define the situation. If you are doing a reading and can’t quite figure out the answer, being able to ask questions in a different way is helpful no matter what system you use.

    In healing or shamanic work you may have some information about what the person needs but knowing what comes first?, what does it look like?, what does this do? etc.. and using good questioning can offer more helpful and useful information. It helps to stick with the questioning process and fine tune the information you are working with to get the answers you need or the results that are desired.

    How did you learn Mexican folk healing?

    Joy:   I had my shamanic awakening in the mid-eighties and about 2007 it became more important in my practice. I had a call to do a shamanic healing on a man, and he brought his wife from Mexico. I did a reading for her to, and I was told to do a healing for her with flowers. We did the healing and it was beautiful, by the end she was covered in flowers. After the healing she was asking me questions about my practice. She said, “You heal like my grandmother from Mexico”. She used many of the same practices. I got very interested and the first book I picked up opened to Mexican flower healings! The next book I opened talked about the practices used in Curanderismo, Mexican folk healing, and I realized I used most of them and fit that example. I studied more and found it is similar to my work. They use flowers to deal with things like grief. The spirits of the flowers help with healing. I had already used flowers in spiritualism as a reading tool, and I already had that relationship with them. It was easy for me to integrate this new information.

    Are you comfortable identifying as a shaman?

    Joy:   The reason I use the term “shaman or “shamanic practice” is because when I described to people what I do, they responded with a blank stare. I work with people’s ancestors to bring healing through their lineage. If there is a story there, abuse, illness, or such, the first thing I do is speak to the ancestors and try to resolve any conflicts in that lineage. In Native American tradition I learned we heal for the seven generations after us. From my work with the indigenous traditions of Africa I learned we also go back seven generations to do that healing. That is what makes us whole. When I tried to explain, I just ended up saying. ”I do shamanic work, I journey for answers to help with health and family.” This people were willing to accept, that is why I use it. It is a simple way to explain the mix of practices I use. I am not a “shaman” in any one tradition but use many tools that shamans use.

    What should people know about your appearance in Minnesota?

    Joy:   I want the people who attend to know the reason I teach is because I want people to have as much information as possible to be able to move forward spiritually and to know prosperity and abundance in all levels of their life. I love to encourage people to develop their own skill set, and perhaps offer them a different perspective about a practice they may already be doing.

    Sacred Harvest Festival runs from Monday August 2nd – Sunday August 9th, at Atchingtan Education Grounds – 14730 135th Ln, Finlayson, MN, 55735 .  Advance Registration ends Thursday July 30th at midnight, but gate registration is available for a day, weekend, five days, or the full week.

    Nels Linde

    Nels is a member of Harmony Tribe.

    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?


    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.


    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?


    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?


    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.


    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?


    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?


    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?

    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 ?


      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.


    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.


    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.


    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?


    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 ?


    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.


    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.


    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

    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

    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

    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


    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)




    Eye of Horus Metaphysical Store Faced with Relocating

    Thraicie and Jane

    Thraicie and Jane

    You would never guess from the business-as-usual appearance at the Eye of Horus Metaphysical Store that the owners are faced with the sudden challenge of relocating it by the end of this month and finding the funds to do so. As I enter “the Eye”, I am still greeted by the customers browsing, buying and getting their questions answered by upbeat staff. Stones of all types glisten beside cards stating their magical properties. A client seeking spiritual guidance exits into a room with one of the divinational readers. In the background a CD plays musical selections from an upcoming Wendy Rule concert being held there this Sunday. Thraicie Hawkner, her long silver hair flowing down her shoulders, and Jane Hawkner, with a short, cute pixie cut, approach me from across the busy room with undaunted looks on their faces.

    Their confident appearance shouldn’t have surprised me. They have been running The Eye of Horus since October 31st 2003 in a previous location just a few blocks from their current space and even earlier as an internet business with booths at community gatherings. Meeting the challenges of entrepreneurship over the years has made them seasoned businesswomen with a fair amount of mettle. But, even so, finding out the first of July that they would need to find a new space and move the store into it by the end of July, would have been enough to make even experienced business owners sweat.

    “During this crunch time it has been particularly motivating to remember how many times people have come in and said things like, “I did not know there was a place like this, I feel like I have come home” or “Your store is the reason I was able to reconnect to my faith”, said Jane. It keeps us tuned into the reason we are here and to what the Eye of Horus means to so many people. Knowing that we have been of meaningful service to the community has been fuel for problem solving through this challenge.”

    “We have found a perfect size space for us that we can move into,” Thraicie said. She explained that the challenge has been raising the funds for the move. “We just found out July 1st that we would need to move, so we had no money to secure the new location, or any money to cover the closing of the store during move time, a rental truck or other moving expenses. So we developed the current fundraiser.”

    Eye of Horus has a GoFundMe website  that enables people to either purchase “perks” or make a straight donation. The perks are in the form of discounted services such as divinatory readings, therapeutic massage, discounted gift certificates, or a book shelf in their name.  In this way, people can choose to donate or purchase “perks” at attractively discounted prices.

    Continue reading

    Ivo Dominguez Jr at Paganicon – Interview

    Ivo Dominguez Jr

    Ivo Dominguez, Jr. is a visionary and has been active in Wicca and the Pagan community since 1978 and teaching since 1982.  Ivo was a founding member of The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, a Wiccan Tradition.  He has taught at many gatherings, conferences, and venues across the United States. Ivo is also a professional astrologer, a well known as a ritualist, and author of many chants and songs. Ivo lives in Delaware, where he one of the owners of Bell, Book, & Candle, Delaware’s largest metaphysical shop. One of his passions has been to be one of the driving forces behind the New Alexandria Library project, which is rapidly approaching completion!

    Ivo is a special presenter at Paganicon this weekend. Registration is available at the door, per event, per day, or for the Saturday ball. He was national guest at Minnesota’s  Sacred Harvest Festival in 2004 where he made his initial connections with this area.

    How is the Alexandrian Library project proceeding?
    Yes, it is being built. The weather has not been kind to us. The building is progressing as the fund raising is progressing. We have been clear all along that we want this built without a mortgage, with no debt on the project. If all goes well, and the weather holds, we will be ready to start painting and preparing the interior at the end of June and later this summer moving books into it. It is progressing slower than we would like, but in the long run for the sake of survivability, not having a monthly payment is primary.

    In 1990 four of us bought the land and moved down there. The land is paid off. Groups take a long time to mature. We have deeded over the thirty acres that the library occupies. We are are progressively deeding over the balance of the property through life estates, so once we are all gone the entire property will remain with the library. Currently there are four houses on the land and the organization will inherit them all piecemeal over the course of decades. Once we owners are all passed there will be no real estate tax as Delaware doesn’t collect tax on 501c3 property. We as a group have several decades to ensure that there is a viable group within the non profit to keep and maintain this property.

    Ivo Dominguez Jr with Macha Nightmare in 2004 at Sacred Harvest Festival

    You were a Sacred Harvest Festival back in 2004, it will be great to have you back in our area!
    I am looking forward to attending Paganicon. I start the morning with a panel discussion and then my voice workshop. In the afternoon I have the book signing, a ritual, and then another workshop.

    What is the panel discussion about?
    The early morning panel is called surviving in dispersion. This is I think still being defined. Part of it is how to survive as a Pagan in a non-pagan world, but part of it is also how to survive and thrive if you are say, in a rural area, or an area with a small Pagan community, or one with few resources. I am guessing we’ll also cover what it means to be the “other” within the broader community.

    Do you experience community as an “other”?
    No not at all. I think I was considered because being from Delaware, it is not considered a Pagan hot spot like Paganistan! What I hope to bring is some insight into how you create your own community, your own enclave. How to interact and engage with the local community that may or may not be Pagan. I have been active in my community for a very long time as one of the owners of the local metaphysical shop. I help organize the local Pride event and have contact with the local political organizations. I will bring the perspective that even if you are a very small percentage you can have everything you need if you engage with the larger community. The role of public Pagans in communities where there are not many with a public face may come up. Having a local shop if the police ever find something strange they always come to me to ask,  ”Do you know any thing about this?”. Where this discussion goes will depend on what questions get posed to the panelists. I would like to focus on how the survive and thrive in a small community.

    What is the magical voice workshop about?
    This will be a lot of work on how to use chanting, spoken runes,primal sounds, and why the voice is so powerful. Before we jump in we will talk about magical hearing,learning to listen magically. The only way to join your voice with other people is if you are really listening. I am looking forward to this workshop, I really enjoy it, People leave very energized from this workshop.

    The Four Minds workshop is a ritual?
    Yes, “The Four Minds Ritual” is a sort of meditative ritual. This will not require a whole lot of mobility. In the beginning we will walk the to set boundaries for the space doing some free form toning. For the bulk of the time once they have in mind what they wish to explore or contemplate we will be seated or on the floor with eyes shut and traveling inwards. The ritual is a guided journey through the four elements and then back to spirit with the intention to explore a particular aspect or seek guidance on a particular thing for each person. It is a ritual, mainly internal but with some external portions of it.

    What is the Karma workshop about?
    The Structure of Karma is about exploring the mechanics of, not so much what karma is, but what karma does. Which things cause it to work or not work. The celestial mechanics of karma, lifting the hood to check how the laws of hermetics work to create cause and effect, causality and synchronicity. It sounds strange but it is an exploration of the engine driving karma, as opposed to whether something is good, bad, or indifferent or how do I escape or alleviate karma, or is it punishment or fate? We will explore individual and collective karma. What we do creates ripples out there. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in karma or not, this is cause and effect and change. If you make choices, if you have emotions or thoughts, you are putting into play a whole chain of cause and effect on the linear side. You are adding a whole web of synchronicity on the non-linear side that will pop up into the world as things that manifest. Karma is just a catchall word for the things we do that drives the engine of manifestation.

    Construction of the New Alexandrian Library

    What is your vision of what we need to accomplish in the next twenty years?
    What matters to me is that we leave behind a viable culture and a real infrastructure as Pagans. Infrastructure  is the single most important next step. Things that are tangible and real in the physical world are infrastructure. It could be a building, be land, be a library or a shrine or temple. A large event like Pantheacon is infrastructure too. It takes a large number of individuals, money, time, and energy to create this Brigadoon type of event that lasts only a few days. Three thousand people intersect in a great Pagan crossroads, like a Pagan United Nations session. This is also fragile, it takes very little to destroy an event. It take a lot to maintain, and requires cohesiveness of a group to continue.

    How we hope to maintain things like this is by this example. We put on an event every few years called Between the Worlds. In 2015 it conflicts with a smaller annual event in the Mid-Atlantic area the Sacred Space conference. We could just go forth and divide the teachers and participants between the two events. The smaller group would probably suffer financially and possibly become less viable. Our two boards met and decided to hold a joint conference. Both events will take place in the same hotel and admission to one gets you admission to the other. We have worked it out to be fair and keep both events, the infrastructure viable.  Cooperation is possible, it is not easy. It is messy, but it can be done.

    Ivo speaking at library ground breaking.

    Paganicon Begins THIS FRIDAY   March 14th  7pm – Sunday March 16th 4pm at the Doubletree Park Place St. Louis Park , MN. Ivo Dominguez will be presenting at four events Saturday, plus a book signing.  Registration is available at the door, per event, per day, or for the Saturday ball.

    Nels Linde


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