Paganistan Weekly; June 4-10

The Walker Community United Methodist Church burned down. This was a gathering place for many progressive groups, and its loss is mourned by many in our community. You can read more about it at

Transit of Venus is Tuesday. This wont happen again in your lifetime. There will be a gathering in Powderhorn Park at 6:30 to note this significant event.
Transit Begins at 5:04 pm
Ingress Interior Contact 5:22pm
Transit Center 8:27pm
Sunset at 8:57pm (viewing ends for us)
Egress Interior Contact 11:32pm
Transit ends: 11:50pm

The Eye of the Boar coven will be featuring a singing bowl workshop this Saturday at their monthly free healing Circle. Stop by the Eye of Horus Saturday between 7pm & 9pm to experience these good vibrations.
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National Ancestor Shrine Opens in Paganistan

Sacred Paths Center opens national public ancestor shrine and sacred spirit altar.  Names of Honored Dead from around the globe can be inscribed on plaques and pilgrimages to make offerings welcomed.

Ancestor shrine and Spirit altar at Sacred Paths Center in St. Paul, Minnesota

“We hope people will treat the shrine like the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.,” said Mr. CJ Stone, a board member at Sacred Paths, “a pilgrimage to hand down as a tradition, a place where they can go and see the names of their significant dead and honor them. And not just humans. We hope people will remember their animal friends and family, too.”

“People talked a lot about having a shrine like this,” said Teisha Magee, executive director of the Sacred Paths Center. “An altar where anyone could come and light a candle, burn incense, put up a name plaque, or otherwise honor those who have passed the veil. Three of our members—Volkhvy, Ciaran Benson, and CJ Stone—came together with one mind and created exactly that.”

The shrine was designed and built by Volkhvy, who has been working in wood for over 30 years. He put over 120 hours into constructing the shrine. “I built this entirely of wood—without metal of any kind— to reflect the Shinto aesthetic that informs it. It has an ample altar area to use for offerings and to leave
memorabilia. It also has a large vertical area for name plaques.”

“I was very impressed with Volkhvy’s design,” said Ciaran Benson, a Shinto priest who spent two weeks finishing the shrine. “I was right up against this thing, sanding it, so I know intimately every aspect of it. It is beautiful, graceful, large without imposing. I’m proud to have the names of my family, friends, and pets displayed here.”

“Well, I hardly did anything,” said Mr. Stone. “Volkhvy and Ci put their sweat into this and their blood—literally. I just listened to our members and brought the idea and the money to Volkhvy and Ci. But I really can’t say how glad I am to have this. My wife was a prominent figure in Paganistan. When she died, there was no place to memorialize her. Now there is. Hers was the first plaque to go on the shrine when it was finished.”

“The shrine is open to everyone,” said Ms. Magee. “We aren’t checking your Pagan credentials at the door. Candles and incense are available on the altar. Some folks like to leave flowers, food, or other offerings. For a small donation, Sacred Paths Center will inscribe an oaken plaque to go on the shrine. It’s like a small headstone, you get to choose the text and you can include a special message. There’s a plaque request form on the Sacred Paths Center’s website.”

Sacred Paths Center (SPC) is a member-supported, non-profit community center serving alternate religions in Paganistan (the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region) and is the only Pagan community center currently in operation in the USA.  SPC emphasizes Earth-reverent spirituality, but their goal is to provide quality metaphysical merchandise, intuitive services, education, and practice space for seekers of all paths.

Editor’s Note:  To read an excellent editorial on the value of honoring your ancestors, please read Galina Krasskova’s article, Indigenous Heathenry.


Let me be very clear. The first thing monotheism (and colonialism) did was disconnect us from our ancestors, from our roots, from that precious, precious knowledge of who we are and where we come from. It gave us instead a filter of disconnection, repression, over-intellectualization, excessive stoicism, fear, greed, and confusion. It did this so well that, as I noted above, many of us don’t even realize that we come from indigenous roots; we don’t recognize the filter. Today many Heathens and Pagans talk about reconstruction and restoration, but what does that truly mean? I think reconnection is a far, far better word, and that reconnection begins with the dead. It begins with our willingness to work at that connection. Most of all, it begins with a return to our own indigenous worldview.

So how exactly do we reconnect? As one wiser than I said, one ancestor ritual at a time, one offering to the Gods, one prayer, one thread at a time. Each time you honor your dead, you’re doing something revolutionary. You’re subverting the status quo, a status quo based in colonialism, oppression of our folk ways, and greed. Fight that system. Be subversive.

Pantheacon Thoughts: Walking Your Talk

This years Pantheacon, in San Jose, Ca. had a thought provoking theme, “Walking Your Talk”. Rhetorically asked was, “What are we doing individually and as groups to take our vision of Earth Centered Spiritually out into the world?”. As Pagan sub-culture develops in communities like Paganistan, we may find ourselves asking the same question.

I asked nine attendees,  mostly presenters and authors, but also a couple involved partic ipants the same three questions hoping to get at the essence of west coast thought on the matter.  You may find their answers not far from yours!

Victoria Slind-flor (right) dressed for Poma Gira Devotional, Nels and Judith Olson(left)

1) What does ‘Walking your Talk’ (WYT) look like to you?

2) What aspect of WYT is most important for Pagans bring to their relations in the mainstream community?

3) What area of accountability in WYT do Pagans most lack, or is your biggest complaint in Pagans WYT?

Victoria Slind-flor – Victoria is a Dianic crone Witch and Artist. She is a journalist and teaches at Cherry Hill Pagan Seminary, and is a member of The Pagan Alliance.  She is known to many in Paganistan from a 2005  SHF guest appearance. Continue reading

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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PNC-Minnesota – a year of growth – Editorial


PNC-Minnesota began about five months ago (we had five initial posts in July). We believe we have had a substantial impact within our community, region, and nationally.  Our readership is mainly Pagan, but our audience ranges the whole spectrum based on subject. We have had just over 99,000 page views since we began on July 28th, 2010

Our top viewed post with 12, 542 views in one day on Nov. 9th, (   Rape Survivor Devastated by TSA Enhanced Pat Down by Cara Schulz ), has completely skewed our stats, but that is the nature of the internet.   Cara saw an emerging issue, and knew the additional impact it could have for victims of assault and jumped on the story. National blogs (including mainstream news like ‘Newsweek‘ and even Wikipedia ) linked to her article and resulted in that one post generating 84% of our page views this year!  Cara’s past media experience and her  ‘nose for news’ that she brought to PNC-Minnesota has been invaluable. Cara also writes for PNC’s Pagans and Politics.

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