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.

At Paganicon 2013

At Paganicon 2013

“I so miss having Mary Kay in this world. I met her in the nineties when I made a set of coven pendants for her, and those meetings about symbology and design turned into recurrent long lunches about the craft, BTW, it’s  practice and history.   I learned a great deal from her in what was never nearly enough time.  She touched many lives with her down to earth knowledge and wicked sense of  humor .”

Judy Olson-Linde

“The Twin Cities and greater Minnesota pagan community have lost a valued and highly respected High Priestess.”

John Stiteler

Mary Kay and Veronica Cummer

Mary Kay and Veronica Cummer

“Mary Kay was my coven-sister and confidante for over 20 years. Kind, supportive and big-hearted, whatever she put her mind to, she was sure to accomplish. I’ve never known anyone so dedicated and devoted to the Craft, which led to many late night conversations full of revelations and insights that has certainly furthered my own spiritual path and that of many others.

May the Ancestors welcome her home. A bright star has risen in the night, one that will undeniably, continue to inspire and guide us.”

Veronica Cummer

 

“Twenty years ago, when I first met Mary Kay, she told me proudly, “I’m a religious fanatic.” This unsettled me a bit since I don’t have positive associations with that phrase, but before long I realized that Mary Kay loved the Craft more than almost anyone I know. She was an insatiable learner, and her heart’s desire was to capture those fleeting, transcendent moments where we touch the divine. She was “fanatical” in the sense that gaining this understanding was the foundation and driving force behind nearly everything she did.

Mary Kay was raised Christian on the Iron Range in northern Minnesota, and she threw herself first into that faith, even traveling to Haiti to do missionary work. But once she was introduced to Wicca by a friend, she felt as though she’d come home. She was initiated into the Gardnerian tradition, and together with Patrick–the other love of her life–she eventually started her own coven. I was lucky enough to have a front-row seat for most of it, and I became their first initiate.

As a teacher, Mary Kay thought of her students as peers, and believed that everyone, regardless of experience, could bring good ideas and insights to the table, and that each person she taught had things to teach her in return.  When she asked us what we thought about something, she actually wanted to know. She understood that the process of teaching is really the process of learning.

She and Patrick both absolutely hated the idea of coven as cult of personality or as a group of seekers blindly following a guru. Mary Kay could be fierce and stubborn when she felt injustice had been done, and fought hard, almost until her death, for people she felt had been wronged by their coven leaders or the greater Gardnerian community. This made her some enemies, and it would be wrong to say she didn’t care about that, but she strongly believed standing up for someone without a voice was more important than her personal political capital.

Mary Kay was endlessly curious about the origins of her tradition, and she loved a spirited debate about any aspect of the Craft. She did a tremendous amount of research on it, chasing down obscure writings and seeking out and corresponding with Gardnerians from around the world. This required crossing some political lines and breaking some cultural taboos, which was a little intimidating to her at first. But she had a very strong sense of fairness, and by breaking the unwritten “rules” about who talks to whom, she helped punch holes in ridiculous and artificial boundaries between Gardnerian groups and empower others to do the same. This work by Mary and others and the blossoming of the Internet have allowed us to share things in ways we never dreamed of before.

She was extremely generous in sharing what she learned with her students as well. After I left Minneapolis, she would call me, excited, and tell me about her discoveries, and email me the new treasures she’d found. And when I had my own students, we had “Stump Mary Kay” nights, where we’d get her on the speakerphone and my students would try to come up with questions about the tradition she couldn’t answer. They almost never succeeded.

Perhaps most important, Mary Kay loved with her whole heart, without reservation, and in a way that was utterly authentic. She adored Patrick, and anyone else who was fortunate enough to be her friend gained a steadfast ally. When she was hurt or betrayed by those she loved, she didn’t let that stop her from putting herself out there to love again. She had no guile–what you saw is what you got–and she had no qualms about making fun of herself. We often teased her about her love of butt rock, ability to reduce us to hysterics by invoking the quarters in her creepily accurate impression of South Park’s Eric Cartman, and her oft-stated desire to be the filling in a Supernatural Winchester brothers sandwich cookie. But even in her goofiest moments, her love of Craft was ever-present.

As Mary Kay died, Patrick held her hand, I held his, and my husband held us both, so she was surrounded by people who loved her. I feel I’ve lost one of the best friends I’ve ever had and one of my life’s anchors. I know that if the Summerlands exist, she is already enfolded in the arms of her beloved gods. But I’d give just about anything to hear her tell me one more time to get my hands off of her Cheesy Poofs.”

Thea Sabin

Mary Kay Lundmark

Mary Kay Lundmark

“There isn’t really words to describe what it’s like to lose someone like Mary Kay. She challenged me to be a better person and showed me my own worth. She taught me to stand up for myself and helped me find my confidence. Having her as a high priestess, friend, and mentor changed my whole life. I found home. She didn’t look at people and see their faults. She celebrated the best in every soul she met. She could command a room with a smile and a laugh. Her initiates delighted in calling her The Encyclopedia, knowing that no matter the question she would help us find the answers. I find myself now wishing I could confide my pain and troubles in her once more. She would know what to say to heal the wound I feel at her passing. I just hope to live up to the person she saw me to be. I’ll never know another like her. It was a true honor just to know her, and a much bigger honor to love her. She was such an outstanding woman with an amazing legacy.”

Misty Hunter

Please add your thoughts and experience of Mary Kay Lundmark as a comment below!

Nels Linde

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2 thoughts on “Beloved High Priestess Passes – Mary Kay Lundmark

  1. Christina Eckstine says:

    I met Mary Kay about two years ago when I attended a Twin Ports Pagan meeting for the first time. I remember how passionately she spoke about craft and I sat there completely captivated. I could have listened to her talk all night long. She and Pat welcomed me to meetings, then outercourt and eventually she became my high priestess. She saw something in me, she believed in me, encouraged me and everyone in our coven. She would often ask what it was that we as students wanted to get out the craft and I never seemed to be able to form the right words to tell her. I wish I could have. What I really wanted was to be just like her. I wanted to learn everything I could, never stop believing I could learn something new, love with an open heart, and I wanted to one day help other people learn, the way that she did. She touched so many lives in countless ways. I would be honored to become even half of the woman and priestess that she was in this world.

  2. Danielle says:

    THANK YOU! This is a beautiful part of my amazing cousins life. She was the first women I looked up to other than my mother and grandmother. She will always be in my heart. Those who really know her know she has a heart of gold. Much love to all who’s life she touched. We are all better people because of knowing her.

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