Largest Upper Midwest Pagan Festival opens in 10 days! – Interview

Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF), located in southern Minnesota near Albert Lea, opens Saturday, August 6th, The last day to register online  and before gate rates is Sunday, July 31st.  I had the chance to interview Bress Nicneven, festival site director and board member of Harmony Tribe , the event’s sponsor.

Why do people continue to return to Sacred Harvest Festival?

SHF has gained a national reputation for quality and timely speakers and musicians. Celia’s video for the song ‘ Symbol’ was filmed at SHF, before the Pentacle Quest  became a household Pagan word. It is known for having a defined theme each year, and presenting profound rituals and speakers that all build on that theme for a complete experience. One of the few festivals that does this each year. In stressful financial times, this festival offers the cheapest per day rates of any festival in the country for the quality of the programming and activities.

It is a really reasonable family vacation for Pagans. It is an upper Midwest tradition, going on 14 years. SHF is really a place for everybody. There is a Kid’s cauldron, operated by parents and volunteers, that keeps kids happy all week. Families get the time and space to worship together as a family. They get time together and also adults have time for individual experiences. It is really strengthening for both families, individuals, and our community relationships. We have a great location in a shady oak grove with easy access from Des Moines, Madison, and the Twin Cities.

What is this year’s theme about?

Forest Family, Roots and Branches Intertwined  is our theme this year. It encompasses the roots of the Tribe itself, the thousands of people who have grown this festival over the years. We come each year to celebrate at this magical grove, and this year we specifically want to connect with the marvelous shady and protective trees there. Trees are an appropriate symbol of how we are also all connected, and essentially like the forest that we camp under. Like the burr oaks, we are still growing, and changing, and each season together we reach out within the festival and our home communities to integrate our spiritual experience back into our foundation, our roots. Continue reading

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UMPA Annual Meeting and Anniversary Celebration

The Upper Midwest Pagan Alliance celebrated it’s fourth anniversary Saturday evening with a capacity crowd at the Sacred Paths Center.  Not only was the event packed with people, it was packed with activities.  Attendees were treated to entertainment by the ever popular Murphey’s Midnight Rounders and tribal dancing by Kamala Chaand.  UMPA held it’s annual meeting, where they ratified new by-laws and elected their officers for the next two years.  New officers are Bonnie Hanna-Powers, Gary Lingen, Bress Nicneven, Grace Morgan. and Joshua Adam Blesi.

The community also settled a long simmering dispute – who makes the best red sauce, Don from the Coven of the Standing Stones or Mistress Judy Olson?  Don won the competition handily, but many at the event said if you mix the two, it was better than each sauce alone.

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Coldwater Spring:Amazing Double Sky Event Dec.20/21st

Celebrate an Amazing Double Sky Event at Coldwater Spring:  A Full Moon—Winter Solstice Eclipse!

Join us this night in a  “Devotion to Sweet Darkness,” Monday, December 20 at midnight into Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the darkest night of the year, celebrate the full moon lunar eclipse—an amazing double sky event, outdoors, at the last sacred spring in Hennepin County. The eclipse, visible here, begins at 12:32 AM Tuesday morning and is full at 2:13 AM. A special permit from National Park Service has been secured for this rite. (Normally Coldwater Park is closed at sundown.)

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IMAGINE PEACE – Tues Dec.14th, Rochester, MN

IMAGINE PEACE WINTER SOLSTICELEBRATION

Dec. 14th from 6-8:30 p.m.

First Unitarian Universalist Church

1727 Walden lane s.w. – Rochester, Mn.

In the deep of Winter we remember our losses and what endures. Join us on this years longest night for a “Winter Solsticelebration” of dance, poetry, song, story telling.  Ritual to convey the concepts of peace, love, transcendence, creativity; understanding to create a deeply moving journey into imagining peace all year long. We encourage colorful dress !

Please bring 1 can of food to donate to Channel 1 food bank. Hope to see you there.

Recognition Ceremony for Elder Ken Ra

A Recognition Ceremony to acknowledge Ken Ra ‘s nearly forty years of service to our community is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 14th, at 3:00pm in Harmony Park, near Geneva, MN. The ceremony will consist, in part, of testimony and offerings by many of his students and friends describing Ken’s dedication and service, and in his honor. A potluck celebration will follow. Located about an hour from the South Metro, guests can arrive after noon. This event takes place within Sacred Harvest Festival’s last full day, however guests will not be charged admission to attend this celebration.

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