Community Notes; July 18-24

Wow, I’m still processing from Sacred Fire Circle in Paradise. Night after night immersed in powerful ritual experience; SFCiP is an astounding event, with really nice camping. The people were beautiful every one. There was some rain, but mostly during the times when we were trying to sleep, and the sound of the rain on the tents seemed to enhance the sleeping experience. Hopefully you’ll join us next year.

Meanwhile, there are reports about Summerland Spirit Festival in Wisconsin which was flooded, some people lost personal possessions, cars were unable to start for being in too much water for a while, and some participants had to be evacuated by rope because the bridge washed away. Hopefully positive energy will be sent to those who suffered through that hardship.

The Sacred Paths Center has raised over half of the money they need, but they still need to raise quite a bit of money by the end of the month to stay open. They are accepting donations online, so even if you aren’t in the area you can donate to keep the dream of a Pagan community center alive.

Community Notes is reprinted courtesy of Twin Cities Pagans Yahoo Group.

Editor’s Note:  The second paragraph was changed to add in the name of the festival and make the copy fall into line with what our Fact Checker suggested.  5:12pm Tuesday

31 thoughts on “Community Notes; July 18-24

  1. Mark Digatono says:

    Sad and Tragic, you can’t even name our festival out right. We are the “Festival that shall remain nameless” but nameless only in your little corner of the world. The editor who shall also remain nameless doesn’t realize what those of us who attended witnessed. A true Community, not the twisted version of community that is bantered about. In the midst of two catastrophic events people rose up and overcame, people helped one another and shared supplies and equipment, people kept one another safe and warm and fed. The flash Flood? that was an example of what a community is made of. One young man carried his daughter to safety then immediately went back into danger to help others. He did not follow, he was joined by half a dozen others to ensure the safety of people overcome. At the same time many others were doing the same elsewhere so all in all each and every member of this community stepped up and showed their character, and their Spirit. With the exception of two or three people, the Entire Community rose to overcome the situation. I am proud of what I witnessed and proud to count myself among their number. Change is a force of nature more primal and less temporal than a Flash Flood, the Twin Cities Pagan community needs to change its definition of Community. What I saw this past week, and over the course of a few hours made that abundantly clear to me. Sad that you cannot even give our festival the credit it deserves by naming it out right. We Are Summerland Spirit Festival.

    • Vonnie says:

      I do not see anything negative in what was reported, in fact the “unamed” author stated at the very end that they wished everyone well. I do not believe the leaving out of the name of the festival was disrespectful in any way. I suspect that the reason Summerland Spirt Festival was not named was to avoid the impression that the author was trumpeting others’ misfortune.

      • Mark Digatono says:

        A, the fact that, the TC Pagans published this is bush league, no quote or first hand account? A good example of the whisper network a lot of our community still takes stock in.
        B, the fact that the editors here support that behavior is tragic, stop treating any member of the community as if they are not worthy of being named. The same goes for groups too. If you question that see the comment by Margret Blaylock comment below. She is quoting the PNC Charter.

  2. Muse says:

    Ouch! What happened to unbiased writing? Since, as a new reader, I have no idea who wrote this, and the fact that I really don’t care for drama, I think I can say I am a relatively unbiased reader, but clearly that second paragraph seethes with “negativity” compared to the first one. ‘Hopefully’, those who ‘suffered through that hardship’ receive positive energies that obviously you are not willing to impart on them.You make it sound like a hell hole, WHICH it was NOT. I am assuming you were at SFCiP, since you are ‘still processing’.

    Well, I was at Summerland and I HAVE processed already. Perfect strangers came together and walked away through a vortex, a flash flood, and heat warnings… INTACT, under there own power, and with smiles on their faces. Why? Perhaps we are in awe of Nature’s power, and value our health a little more. Or that we came away with new family and friends. Or watching the greater goodness in the community being giving instead of being self-absorbed. Having been at PSG this year through similar weather (albeit a little less powerful and destructive with only 2″/hr. rain and 70mph. winds), I witnessed little of this bonding when a young merchant couple with an infant lost everything, but their lives. While there were some absolutely beautiful rituals held at Summerland as well (I have a new favorite now), it is the energies of selflessness and sharing that are ten times more powerful than any I’ve rituals I’ve been a part of…it bonds immediately and deeper, lending strength and courage and creating the best of all gifts…hope.

    If you had laid blame on the weather conditions, and not at Summerland’s feet like that, I would most likely have not replied. Summerland went through some bumps and bruises and expected growing pains, yes, but as a first year festival these were minor compared to the adversity which faced it. Considering that no one was hurt and required hospitalization (PSG had four), that no one died (another festival had one, my friend by the way), it’s fair to say that perhaps some credit is actually due. Oh, and if further facts were checked, in the whole 20+ year history of the property there has never been a flash flood like that. You might want to check that with the county that was quite busy themselves, reeling and being in homes not tents. I wish for you, dear author, deeper insight, forgiveness, and peace.
    A Guardian of the Sacred Circle

  3. Mark Slone says:

    Mark, thank you for your post. Heard from a person who attended the Summerland Spirit Festival, and stated somewhat the same thing. She stated that it was wonderful despite the weather and the hardships it caused.
    I am not attending any of the “local” Festivals this year. To many drama hardships in the personal life and really don’t need to deal with the “pagan” community drama’s. My partner has offered both “festivals” help with insurance, but this year it seems that her help is not needed. In a way it is her way to help to the community from behind the lime light. The light that some so want to be center stage and the light so directed on their agenda.
    I know that “PNC” seems to be “PPPC”(pagan personal promotion center). Yes the events at Summerland Spirit Festival is news! PNC should have reported the news to the pagan community, about the weather and the heroic individuals that stepped up to the challenges of the weather to help fellow pagans. But I do understand that Cara has her hands tied in reporting the “news”.
    Months ago I raised the question about ‘PNC” appearing to be one sided in reports and editorials. Cara’s response was that it is all volunteer reporting in our community. Cara indicated that any help would be welcome. So I guess that this community has no unbiased journalist that are willing to donate their time. So we get what we get!

    • caraschulz says:

      Hi Mark,
      I do remember that exchange. I second the notion that this is an all volunteer organization and we could certainly use more people who are interested in either writing on a regular basis or writing once in a while. I’m hopeful that we will soon have another person joining PNC-Minnesota. I disagree that we don’t have a single unbiased journalist willing to donate their time.

      I would like to add this: In order for us to cover an event that we can’t personally attend, we need people who did attend to help out . We would love to have a PNC journalist at every single event out there. We can’t. What we do when we can’t be there is find out if someone who attended could write something or is willing to be interviewed. We had a few people lined up for Summerlands who agreed to do a short write up and send us a photo that we could incorporate into a story. We are still hopeful this will happen. We also have Diana Rajchel working on this story. Diana is truly excellent journalist. We are hopeful this will happen, as well.

      A final note about Community Notes. Community Notes is an editorial product reprinted courtesy of Twin Cities Pagans Yahoo group.

      • Mark Slone says:

        Hi Cara,
        I am looking fore ward to any articles about the summerland experinces.
        I understand your view that PNC has not any single unbiased journalist willing to donate their time. But I do agree to disagree. Community notes from a yahoo group is what it is! If PNC will not note that this a outside source and is not the views of PNC, then it would be noted that PNC agrees with all views presented by this yahoo group. If one follows this sacred fire link that is posted and dig a little deeper, one will find a commercial website selling the drum you can bang on after coughing up a $110.00 fee to attend this sacred fire thing. Sold to you on the property owners “festival” site, in their shop at their home.
        So you see, to claim that their is not a unbiased journalist is treading water, or here in Minnesota, “skating on thin Ice”.
        just a view point on Journalism! In high school I hung out at my friends house, his father was Harry Golden of the Chicago Sun Times. So I know the smell of a yellow journalism!
        Mark Slone

      • Mark Slone says:

        Hi Cara,
        I did not realize Jrob is on the board also. It is very clear why PNC, has no remark disassociating it self from the yahoo group. To remind you of some journalism principles. Jrob, Nels and who ever is associated with this Twin cities pagan group, has the choice of denying anyone who wish’s to join their yahoo group. This principle alone should indicate that PNC, needs to make a statement that the views expressed by twin cities pagan group, is not the views of PNC.
        A courtesy for whom?
        Mark Slone
        Yellow means slow down prepare to stop!

    • Mark Slone says:

      Hi Cara, Ok not on the board, Jrob is a reporter, whatever!
      Still connected with a yahoo group you freely post as a “courtesy”, without a full disclaimer that the views expressed are not of PNC. Or are they?

      • caraschulz says:

        JRob has written articles for us – the latest was about the EarthHouse MidSummer Gather. He is listed as a contributor of PNC-Minnesota. JRob is also the admin of Twin Cities Pagans Yahoo group. This group allows us to report both the Community Notes and the Paganistan Weekly. This is a courtesy by TCP to PNC-Minnesota. That is what is meant by the disclaimer “Community Notes is reprinted courtesy of Twin Cities Pagans Yahoo Group.”

        Yes, we could do a blanket disclaimer about all editorial content, we haven’t done so on the premise that readers are educated enough to know the difference between editorial content and hard news. That certainly could change in the future to fall more in line with most major news organizations as a legal CYA move.

        However, if the community note is in error – let us know what is incorrect and it can be edited.

      • Mark Slone says:

        Cara, I am disheartened to read your editor note on how this topic thread has de-evoled.
        The very point for a disclaimer for PNC to add to a outside source that is printed.
        The story that started this thread, being from a yahoo group, is unedited. It is one thing to print as a “courtesy”, but is still a unedited view from a outside source. But is it? We all know who wrote this piece, even though a name is not assigned to it.
        PNC is dancing on a conflict of interest. For a editor of PNC to bypass the internal editing process of PNC, and be able to stir up a hornets nest and post a “article” via this yahoo group is unethical by all standards. OPPS, FOX news and anything owned by Murrdock, their own set of journalism standards these days. I pray to the goddess’s and gods you are above that and have at least some ethics still.
        Do you want to appear to have some ethics and unbiased journalism?
        Pause and think very deeply about this. How can a editor of PNC, go around what should be a internal editing process, have a obvious biased viewpoint printed in the very news source, by submitting through a yahoo group that is printed with out editing?
        The other question I pose to PNC readers in the Minnesota area, how is it that this individual, an editor of PNC, has this much power to commit such audacious acts?
        Mark Slone

      • caraschulz says:


        I ascribe to the idea that a lack of a specific disclaimer such as you desire leads to threats of violence as much as I ascribe to the idea that short skirts lead to rape.

        I will again ask, is here anything in the Community Notes that you feel is incorrect? If so, please let us know. We would then correct it.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Thank you, Mark. It was a humbling experience to see everyone working together in the face of adversity.

    Our seed is planted, now we must tend and nurture it that it may grow and mature. I am very proud of all the folks who worked so hard, and am very blessed to be able to serve in my small way.

  5. CC says:

    It really was amazing how the community at Summerland came together to take care of each other.

    It gave me goosebumps to think of how EVERYONE pitched in to help each other. Yes, it was a tough week…but it was a week full of magick and friendship, and bonds forged that will last a lifetime.

    The Gods made themselves known to us and we are they.

  6. Tracy Jarvinen says:

    PNC editors- You were not there!! How dare you make note of a festival that you will not even give name to. Our Festival name is Summerland Spirit Festival. We are not a “camping event”. Summerland Spirit Festival is a nine-day experiential spiritual retreat for followers of a nature-based spiritual path. “… another Pagan camping event in Wisconsin”, of which no one from your staff attended! What persons experience is your report based on?

    I can’t tell you how many people stated upon leaving the festival what great time they had. In fact, we have people already registered for next year.

    This biased reporting was obviously intended to slant the view of future participants. I am sorry that your reporters / editors are unable to follow your (PNC’s) mission statement.

    Tracy Jarvinen
    Vice President
    Summerland Spirit Festival

  7. Margret Blaylock says:

    “The Pagan Newswire Collective working groups will be committed to the principle of human equality, and will not discriminate based upon race, spiritual belief, gender, age, class or sexual identity. Working groups are committed to the ideal of building diversity within their activities.”
    This is a a statement made on this very site, It is a promise to be a unbiased source of information in a pagan/heathen/wiccan community. My question is when will this stop, my life is surrounded by people who seem to say “I am all about pagan community and growth.” But when it comes to actions and the basic principles of perfect trust and love it is evident that people would rather find things to perfectly hate and untrust each other. This post may make me unpopular abd unliked but I am sick of watching friends and loved ones squabble over petty things when that energy could be used for so much more. I have alot of love for pagan community and i am grateful for the metro area being as pagan friendly as it is. But enough is enough, kiss and make up or just forgive. or something….

    Margret Blaylock

  8. Jenny says:

    I had friends who attended both events, I attended neither. I’m not sure what the editorial process is at PNC Minnesota, but that article really had no focus at all and I’m not sure why a yahoo group update is posted on what is supposed to be a news driven site seeking to maintain journalistic integrity. Perhaps articles such as these need to go through editorial review before being posted.

    Cara, interviewing attendees would certainly work as an alternative to having a “reporter” on site. It is definitely newsworthy and I would love to see a full length article on people’s experiences at both the Summerland Spirit Festival and Fire Circle in Paradise.

    Blessed Be,
    Jenny Green

    • caraschulz says:

      Hi Jenny,
      The Community Notes isn’t an article, it is quick one or two sentence blurbs about things going on in the community written by Twin Cities Pagans. This is the same group that allows us to reprint the Paganistan Weekly, which is a calendar of events. Both the Community Notes and the Paganistan Weekly are heavily viewed areas of PNC-Minnesota and we reprint them because readers find great value in them. As with any editorial or opinion based content, there will be times when people will agree or disagree with what is written. Community Notes is very similar to what’s in the metro section of any US newspaper.

      We have been attempting to interview persons who attended the Summerland Spirit Festival along with the festival organizers so we can do an article on the outcome of their first event. We may finally have a person who is willing to be interviewed. We are also working on a story about Sacred Fire Circle in Paradise,so stay tuned.

  9. caraschulz says:

    Comments that cross the line into personal attacks or are sent with a ‘throw away’ email address will not be published.

    Comments that threaten violence are being turned over to police.

    Keep it civil and legal, folks.

    Thank you.

  10. Gordon says:

    Ah, there seems to be some very passionate responses to a pretty neutral paragraph. But Cara has pointed out that other voices are welcome. I agree with Nels on very little, but he sought me out and asked me to write for PNC, just because he wanted to see other viewpoints (it’s not Nels’ fault that I’ve been too lazy tp do so). On one prominent issue earlier this year I directly challenged his interpretation of an event, and my comment was posted without delay (as all of your comments have been).

    So tell your story. I’ll bet Cara publishes it quickly. Tell us about your rituals and workshops, and how they affected you. Tell us about your new friends and those who you missed. And tell us about the problems. From what you’ve written, it should be gripping with stories of rescue, and overcoming adversities.

  11. Gypsy Beattie Nilsen says:

    I am sorry but I have to call B.S. on the defending of the Twin Cities Yahoo group. Summerland Spirit Festival tried on several occasions to get a promotional blurb out there like the other Festivals…it never happened. When confronted we were told “there is not much I can do about it now” by JRob. However, less than 24 hours after our Festival closed, the TCP managed to get that blurb out to your readership and make it a very passive aggressive announcement. He refused to advertise us but when he saw something he thought he could use to make our Festival look bad, he was Johnny on the Spot.

    It is biased.

    Your articles that Nels wrote for Sacred Harvest Festival sound like infomercials.

    It is biased.

    You, Cara, wrote: “We have been attempting to interview persons who attended the Summerland Spirit Festival along with the festival organizers so we can do an article on the outcome of their first event. We may finally have a person who is willing to be interviewed.” Our event only ended yesterday and I myself did not get home until the evening. The organizers were a little busy packing up the site and their personal stuff You make it sound as though we have said no we won’t talk to you which is not true nor should you imply it. Besides, Todd was the only one contacted as far as I am aware.

    It is biased.

    Spin it all you want, but ultimately the PNC is responsible for all the content on their website.

    I am not being petty. I am tired of seeing lies touted as truth and garbage being touted as news.

    Gypsy Nilsen
    Ritual Director
    Summerland Spirit Festival

    • caraschulz says:

      PNC has no power or authority over what Twin Cities Pagans allows or doesn’t allow on their Yahoo group. If you are having issues with them, I suggest you contact them to resolve the issue.

      The interview with Crystal Blanton is one of many interviews we have done when nationally known Pagans come to Minnesota. It makes no difference if they are coming to a festival, a Pagan store, or the community center. If the speaker is made available to us, we interview them and we include information such as where they are speaking and if there is a cost and how to register. For examples of this, please see


      and here is the interview with Crystal Blanton:

      As for where you quoted me saying that we are trying to interview people for a story, I’m not sure how that is offensive or biased. I am letting readers know that PNC is working to get interviews and hopes to have a story out. We realize that some readers are impatient for this to happen and it may seem like we are dragging our feet or not doing anything.

      We contacted attendees before the festival to see if they would be willing to write something or be interviewed, and two agreed, but that didn’t pan out yet. We’ve had some back and forth on if interviews would or wouldn’t happen with organizer(s). That looks to be a go now. We now have one attendee who will be interviewed and perhaps another one. If just a bit more patience can be shown to allow these people to be interviewed by Diana, it would be greatly appreciated. There are also a few things that need to be fact checked before the story runs.

      As tempers are high comments are going to be disabled tonight while I sleep and can’t monitor them. They will be enabled again in the morning.

    • caraschulz says:

      I contacted Gypsy last night by email and asked her to forward what she feels are the inaccuracies so our Fact Checker and Web Mistress can review. She did so promptly. If changes are then merited, they will be made. That is the process used by PNC-Minnesota when readers question the factual content of an article.

      Open, specific, and direct communication is always appreciated and helpful.

  12. Loren Anders says:

    Why are people are so mad about this article? The festival didn’t sound so bad until I read the comments from people who attended and then it sounded very scary!

    “catastrophic” and “One young man carried his daughter to safety then immediately went back into danger to help others.”

    Looks like the community did pitch in and help one another and that’s good. Can’t wait for the story PNC is working for this.

    Just don’t understand all the anger. Can’t we stop attacking one another? And why are festival directors being so harsh. That reflects badly on a group when the leaders say things that way in public.


  13. Mark Digatono says:

    The anger is directed at an attitude that we are nameless and less than worthy of mention.
    To quote
    “Meanwhile, there are reports of another Pagan camping event in Wisconsin”
    The person who publishes this report would not mention our Festival prior to the event, even now they choose to make us nameless with less than status.
    The anger is that PNC seemingly endorses this behavior.

  14. Rosemary says:

    I agree the anger is over being nameless, but also the fact, that the person writing the article wrote what they wrote based on “reports from others” or in otherwords- hearsay.

    There is also a history and a pattern of behavior in this preson’s style of writing, that has been inaccurate in the past and some people have been on the recieving end of such writing. So, they easily see the pattern and become angry about it.

    Anyway point is:

    How can hearsay or writing a few sentences about a festival they didn’t attend be considered accurate, truthful reporting? Do they even know if their sources were being truthful or had agendas of their own?

  15. Star Foster says:

    I agree that the comments on this post actually make the festival sound worse. Even more, it doesn’t make the defenders of the festival sound much better. I’m glad the post was updated so I know which festival not to include on the list of events I want to attend next year.

Comments are closed.