Kenny Klein returns to Minnesota – Interview

Kenny Klein is  an author, musician, and an elder and a High Priest in the Blue Star tradition of Wicca.  He will be appearing Aug. 2-4th at Eye of Horus, and at Sacred Harvest Festival Aug 5-11th. I spoke to him by phone from Brushwood in New York state.

You are touring now, but how long have you been a New Orleans Resident?
Kenny :   Before Katrina I would winter there every year, as a lot of musicians do in December- Feb, and then go out on tour. When Katrina hit I was in California. About four years ago I felt the call to go back, and have been there ever since. This is the first time, since 2010 that I actually have a leased apartment in New Orleans! I usually leave in May and don’t return until September. This year I toured in April and May, Came back for an appearance at the “Gryphon’s Nest” a Pagan camp ground outside of New Orleans. Fishbird played there in June, then flew up to a pagan festival outside Wasilla , Alaska, where Sarah Palin is from.  I came back to new Orleans, and then took off for New york in July and will be on tour until September.

You are into your second week at Brushwood?
Kenny : Yes, arrived a week ago today. I come to Brushwood every year as both a presenter and a performer.  Each year i offer about six workshops and a couple concerts. This year we did the kickstarter campaign in order to bring the full band, Fishbird  along to here.  This is the first year we have the full band up here. We are doing something most Pagans have never seen me do. Solo I play acoustic guitar and fiddle and sing. In this band I play electric jam dark Celtic rock .I do this down in New Orleans and now with this live recording Pagans will be able to listen to it wherever they are.

Is this what you enjoy playing?
Kenny : I love it, I have a sensational band. The bass player in the New Orleans band didn’t want to come on the trip, so at first I was bummed, but my life long friend Carl Smith, who used to play bass with “Kenny and Tzipora” back in the eighties  was able to come up from Tennessee and play.  We have our drummer and Rachel Maxann my singer from New Orleans are both up here and we doing some awesome shows here. We have complete one of our main stage shows here and will be doing another one  Thursday. There is a small cafe at Brushwood and we have an independent contract to play at their cafe every day.  People are getting a short mini concert each day, and then the two main stage concerts.

How is the recording going?
Kenny : My newest CD, which I should have at Sacred Harvest Festival, is my concert from last year here, recorded live from the stage. That gave me the confidence to bring Fishbird up here to record for a CD.  Except for the “Griffin’s Nest” a Pagan camp ground performance this spring, this is the first time ever that Fishbird has performed for a Pagan audience.

Then you are leaving the end of the week and headed to Minnesota?
Kenny : That’s right, I have three days of performance and workshops at Eye of Horus (event info at bottom), and then right after the weekend I travel down to Sacred Harvest Festival for the week Aug 5-11th.  There I’ll be offering five workshops and a concert on Friday Night.  At my last appearance ar SHF I connected with some local musicians at the festival, and hope to again.

Tell me about your new book .

Lauren Devoe, my girlfriend, and I just finished a new book for Llewellyn. It is a follow up to Fairy Tale Rituals, called Fairy Tale Magic. The previous book looked at Grimm’s fairy tales and elements that could be culled from them and used to create ritual. This book is looking at non-Grimm fairy tales .  We explore Russian tales like Baba Yaga, Briton  and English tales, like Jack in the Beanstalk and Goldilocks.  We look at the elements of magical theory that are contained in these tales. We touch on Qabala and Tora Magic .  We explore Wicca, Pagan, and Ceremonial magic and how the elements of all these different magical forms can be found in these fairy tales. Lauren, who is an academic librarian at Tulane University did a lot of the research through the university to contribute information and obscure tales that we may not have otherwise found. It will be out next spring  from Llewellyn.

Kenny Klein and Lauren Devoe

Kenny Klein and Lauren Devoe

Do you still practice Blue Star Wicca?
Yes, Iron and Cypress, is our coven in New Orleans. We just elevated to neophyte two students into our coven. This took place, here at Brushwood.  I will also be guest priesting an open Blue Star ritual hosted by Hearth Stone coven of Minneapolis on Wednesday night at Sacred Harvest Festival.

Kenny Klein at Eye of Horus:
Friday August 2nd at 7:30 – Kenny Klein, Live in Concert Tickets $17

Saturday August 3rd
2-3:30pm – Book Signing/Meet & Greet Free Event
4-5:30pm – Grimms Fairy Tales: What Your Mother Didn’t Tell You (mature content) Class $20
6-7:30pm – Lost Secrets of Wicca with Kenny Klein – Class $20

Sunday August 4th 2-5pm: Mojo and Magic in Blues & New Orleans Music – combined double-workshop – Just $30

Kenny Klein at Sacred Harvest Festival Aug. 5-11th  – Workshop Schedule

Nels Linde is a Council Member of Harmony Tribe which sponsors Sacred Harvest Festival, and an initiate of the Blue Star Tradition.

Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone – Interview Part 2 Deity and Trance

Part two of this interview series with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone ,  guests at Heartland Spirit Festival , this continues from the first portion of our interview. This section of the interview focuses on the current practice of  Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, what they have experienced with deity work and integrated.

Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone

Nels (N) :Is it easier to speak to the deities now?

Gavin (G) : Something interesting is going on, as Pagans we have been waking the gods since the 1950’s. Voudon and the Caribbean traditions has a few hundred years on us! When you go to a Voudon Bembe, with its ecstatic drumming and dancing,  they come through really strong, riding (possessing) the participants. We are now reaching the point where this beginning to happen now in modern neo-paganism, even though it has only been fifty years.  This is because we have been waking the gods up. We have noticed something interesting as we have done the work. We are forming a Neo-Pagan pantheon. We only have a finite amount of energy to give the gods as spirits as they wake up.  You see the same gods and goddess coming up all the time in our community. Hecate, Brid, Isis, Morrigan, Freja, Odin, Diana etc.  Because there is only this finite amount of energy for them, they are congregating and forming a  new pantheon.  All awakened gods from different cultures forming a pantheon, and redefining roles.

Hecate Photo: wikimedia

Over the years as we done trance possession we have kept having Hecate appearing, even though neither of us have felt inclined to work with her,  but now it seems we haven’t got much choice! As we did the trance prophesy she started coming through at almost every event and  public workshop. We had strange occurrences.  On one occasion we started  conversation wither her in Connecticut through a priestess in trance, and she finished with us, unprompted with a priestess in California.  Now it has reached a point where when she comes through somebody, I will know if it is Hecate, because she will burst into fits of laughter when she knows it is me!

Janet (J) :  The last time it happened in America she turned around and said to Gavin, “Oh God, it’s not you again”.

G:  She has been developing and evolving and  has taken on the role of teaching trance with in this new ‘pantheon’.

J:  She is taking on the role of a psychopomp for trance, quite fascinating.

G:  This does  mimic what happens in voudon. She is taking the same role as Elegba/Ellegua.  You also have other deities fulfilling other roles as well. That is what is starting to occur, as simple as that. You see it where Brid is taking over the healing role. Brid is forming into three Brid’s, the triple goddess Brid consisting of the original Celtic Brid, Saint Bridget, and Maman Bridget from Voudon. Every priestess we know who works with Brid has found that is what is occurring. Suddenly they get this dark aspect of Brid, this dark earth goddess, the Maman Bridget from Haiti. It is getting drawn to them to balance the other two aspects.

J:  There is the Brid of fire, who says right, you are going to be my priestess but I am going to put you through hell, put you on my anvil and beat the shit out of you! She is an initiatory type of goddess.

G:  The Morrigan is a protective type of goddess, the Macha.  We are also seeing that Freya, who is taking on a different type of role. She is a goddess of journeying.  Which is how this all started for us, by working Freya.

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Tribal Dance Performance and Workshops Feb 1st-3rd – Interview

ATS Master Wendy Allen

Kamala Chaand Dance Co and Bohemian Underground Workshop

and Fuse: A Tribal and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Magazine  present

Something Tribal This Way Comes…

Wendy Allen of FatChanceBellyDance ®
February 1-3, 2013
Workshops and Performances at
St. Paul’s Wellstone Center ***

With Special Guests: Kelly Holder, Cassandra Shore & Tim O’Keefe

Gala Show Spectacular February 1, 2013  featuring

Wendy Allen, Kelly Holder, Cassandra Shore
Kamala Chaand Dance Co, Bougouis Bohemians, Luna Rouge
and STTWC Instructors

Editor’s note:  ***Venue change

Something Tribal This Way Comes will take place at Minneapolis’  Old Arizona at 2821 Nicollet Ave.  The  Gala Show Spectacular and Participant Showcase are combined into one Friday night event. Registration for the workshop and tickets for the Gala can be purchased online at http://somethingtribal.com or at the door.

Please check the event website and Facebook page  for programming additions and changes prior to the event !

All forms of belly dance have had an explosion of popularity in the Pagan and Twin Cities community the last few years. I talked to Tasha Rose of Kamala Chaand Dance Co  about the event:
What is unique about this event?
Tasha:   It is the first Minnesota workshop setting bringing together a collaboration of  three great talents and aspects of the Tribal Belly Dance world;
American Tribal Style (ATS) Master Wendy Allen of FatChanceBelltDance®
Kelly Holder who is an up and coming teacher in the Tribal fusion dance world
Cassandra Shore, a local but world class dancer and teacher who is versed in the tribal roots and history of Tribal dance and the rich folkloric heritage of the Middle East. Continue reading

Restorative Justice II at Sacred Harvest Festival – Editorial

Thursday, August 9th, the second community Restorative Justice (RJ)  circle was held at Sacred Harvest Festival,  a year after the first. The festival was a lot different place this year, it was observable that an immense amount of grief resolution and healing had taken place over a year. A focus on the festival theme of the sacred in our lives, and the power of love, had seemed to replace a sense of anxiety, hurt, grief, and fear that many had felt a year ago.

The Circle was much smaller this year, down to 15 participants, with 6 having their first experience with RJ at this circle. The feelings of the nine who returned were softened,  and reflected a feeling of a return to normalcy, which in this case is defined by the tribal sense of family this festival has generated based on the feedback of thousands of individuals over fifteen years.

Crystal Blanton had offered to facilitate this RJ circle again.  Crystal began with establishing a talking stick. This year she used a personal Phoenix tradition piece because:

“What we are doing in this community. We are rising from circumstances, regardless of what those circumstances have been, and where everybody falls in that. Taking where we are at, and using it as a catalyst to grow into something beautiful and bigger, and in some ways unimaginable.”

Crystal solicited;  “Any questions before we begin?   None were asked.

Crystal Blanton

Crystal:

“We open with two pieces to set the tone for where we have been, and where we are going :”

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence, when mindfulness embraces those we love they will bloom like flowers. “

And from an article: “Contact beyond the Gods”

Crystal read a quote about the spiritual importance of connection, and the connection we all have with each other. Acknowledging the importance of the process we are in, how we integrate the lessons we have learned into our spiritual being, and into the path before us. Not only learning how to work in community, but teaching how to work in community, for our children. Preserving what we have worked so hard for here.

Crystal begins the RJ circle offering two values she brings, asking each participant to state a value they bring to the circle.

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Ubaka Hill at Women’s Drum Center – Interview

Ubaka Hill

Ubaka Hill is appearing in Minnesota this week, sponsored by the W0men’s Drum Center.

CONCERT: Rhythms for the Trees: A Concert of Percussion, Poetry, Song and Vision

Featuring Ubaka Hill and with Drumheart. Open to the general public Saturday, August 25, 2012

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for the Marketplace , Performance begins at 7:00 p.m.

Jeanne d’Arc Auditorium, Whitby Hall, St. Catherine University 2004 Randolph Ave., St.Paul, MN

Ubaka’s 2-day Workshop: Drumsong: the Art and Spirit of Drumming

(for women and girls)

Friday, August 24, 2012, 6:30-9:00 p.m. & Saturday, August 25, 9:30-1:30p.m.

At Carondolet Center, 1890 Randolph Ave., St.Paul

Register for workshop ($60) at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/258804

Ubaka arrived Monday to prepare for a week of appearances around Minnesota, we talked by phone.

What brings you to Minnesota?
The Women’s Drum Center ( WDC ) is responsible for brings me out and setting up the workshops and concert, and setting up the Million Women Drummers Gathering 2013 , what we call, “Meet and Greets”. One of those will include a workshop but these are primarily to speak about the Million Women Drummers Gathering 2013 initiative/movement and how local and global communities and individuals can be a part of it.

What is the Million Women Drummers Gathering 2013?
It is a two tiered, tow levels, and two phased program. There is a gathering planned for October 11-13th, 2013. Between now and that date it is about raising our consciousness, and becoming more awake and aware that our wooden musical instruments are trees. As simple as that is, it is quite profound to become aware that we are participating in the deforestation of our old growth forests, our third world local woods, and of our wooded areas within the US and around the world. I have been drumming on the wooden drum for over thirty years. There was a point where I was not as awake and aware, and mindful of my participation indirectly, by being a consumer of drums, in the deforestation and the senseless cutting and disrespect of the trees, and the woods. In the sustainability of our future. Around 2007, something awakened inside of me. That awakening had to do with our unconscious consumption of wooden instruments. I am including all wooden instruments, from acoustic guitars, to upright bass’s; pianos, marimba, clarinets, flutes, violins, cellos harps, all the instruments. If we do not sustain the trees that our wooden instruments are made from, we do not have a future for those instruments that we love to play, and listen to, that we enjoy dancing to. We won’t be able to sustain the music of those trees and so won’t be able to sustain the folkloric traditions of our various cultures. Generations that will follow us, will also not have the trees or the wooden instruments for those trees to play.

The Million Women Drummers Gathering 2013 initiative is essentially about creating a new mindful model as musicians and listeners, and players of wooden instruments. This call is coming from the leadership of women who love drums and who love trees. The Gathering in 2013 is a celebration of our new awake and aware selves, and our effort to create a new mindful model through planting trees, through having conversations about trees and creating a sustainable future, and to celebrate this by creating local rhythm circles including all players of wooden instruments while we plant trees and while we begin to create new technologies, ideas, and new approaches to a sustainable green policy for manufacturers, new traditions and new ways to approach the trees and the forest with gratitude and appreciation and the their replenishment.

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