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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Paganistan

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Doing the Minnesota Shuffle

First, and most importantly, keep your elbows tucked in tight against your body.

Now wave your hands and forearms helplessly around. Think flippers or penguin wings, but keep those elbows pressed in. Good!

Now you're ready for the feet. Pull them close together. Now slide one forward: not too far. Now the other. Now the other. Now the other. Now the other.

There you go: you're got it! You're doing our sacred dance: the Minnesota shuffle, also known as the Minnesota Duck-Walk. You want to look like you're penguin-stepping along on smooth ice, afraid to fall down.

In fact, that's exactly what you are doing.

But wait, we're not done yet. The exciting part is yet to come.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagan Prayer

Broom in hand, my neighbor stands looking mournfully at his snow-mounded car.

"Another lovely day in sunny Minneapolis," I deadpan.

(This is irony: we haven't seen the Sun for days.)

Steve shakes his head. "I just got home from ten days in Jamaica, and this is what I come back to."

"Welcome home," I say, wryly, then add: "More coming, I hear."

He begins to sweep the snow off of the car.

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'2019 May Day Parade Will Be the Last,' Says Heart of the Beast

Minneapolis, MN

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to publicly celebrate a pagan holiday in a pagan city, Bealtaine 2019 may be your last chance to find out.

Heart of the Beast Mask and Puppet Theater in Minneapolis announced yesterday that this year's May Day Parade and Celebration, the 45th, will be the last.

For 45 years, people of every religion and ethnicity have danced down Bloomington Avenue on the first Sunday in May to celebrate the end of Winter and the Coming of the Sun. It has become one of the signature celebrations of our year, to Minneapolis what Mardi Gras is to New Orleans.

For 45 years, May Day has been the one day a year when everyone becomes an honorary pagan.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer says #
    This sounds like something I really need to do before it is no more
  • Helga Hedgewalker
    Helga Hedgewalker says #
    The Heart of The Beast May Day Celebration is the very center of Paganistan! It is heart-breaking to think of this treasure of the
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    Everyone loves the arts, but everyone forgets to support them...sigh... It would be a cultural tragedy to lose this tradition...le

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Bridge Dyed Red with the Blood of a Poet

Yule morning. A friend and I are driving back from singing up the Sun out of the Mississippi River valley.

Each year, as we have for decades, on Yule morning we sing the Sun up from a bridge once dyed red with the blood of a poet.

Surely such a bridge must stand forever.

My friend gets a text from his partner, who has decided to forgo the annual cold and discomfort of the river valley's microclimate, and instead has proceeded directly to the Sunrise brunch location towards which we're currently heading.

“Where is everyone?” she writes.

In fact, the singing was particularly good this year, and we lingered long to savor it. You could feel our songs calling up the Sun out of darkness. You could feel us calling the trees into bud, the apples into blooming and fruiting, all in their own proper season.

“'Minneapolis Bridge Collapses, Coven Killed,'” I intone in my best self-important banner-headline tone.

We riff off of this scenario for a few minutes, laughing.

“They'd still be telling stories about us a hundred years from now,” I say.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Urban Procession: Harvest Moon

I hear the procession before I see it.

They enter in at the front gate, with rattle and drum. I join them, and together we wind around the house and back to the garden.

All summer the little goddess has presided over the growth of tomatoes, eggplant, beans, beets, kale, and collards, sunk to her knees in the ground.

Now we stand her instead in a bowl of wheat grains, wheat that we will eat (cooked in almond milk, sweetened with honey, perfumed with rosewater) on the year's longest night. We garland her with harvest marigolds.

Lastly, we cover her over with the same veil of night-blue silk that will enwrap her through her winter slumber in the pantry. We're about to process her down a public street, on which she will duly bestow her blessing, but this is, after all, a goddess: not everyone is privileged to see her.

The procession reforms. I walk this street every day of my life; tonight it becomes a sacred route, a processional way. People arriving for choir rehearsal at the corner church stop to watch.

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Record Attendance at Twin Cities Pagan Pride Leaves Stomachs Rumbling

Minneapolis, MN

Well, it was a beautiful late summer day at one of the great local beauty spots, so there were plenty of non-pagans at Minnehaha Falls regional park yesterday, too.

Even so, pagans turned out in such numbers for the 17th annual Twin Cities Pagan Pride celebration on Saturday, September 8, that the only food vendor in attendance had run out of food by mid-afternoon, leaving behind plenty of hungry pagans.

Numerous merchants reported record sales.

Reportedly, Pagan Pride organizers had originally contacted a second food vendor, who had declined to participate on the grounds that such an event would not generate a large enough turn-out to be financially worthwhile.

Moral: Pagans turn out. Pagans like to eat. Pagans spend money.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Saturday I went to the 60th annual Armenian Festival. Armenian refugees wanted a church of their own and raised the money to buil
Pretty Much Everything That You Really Need to Know About Paganism

Bealtaine 2008, Hidden Falls Park.

Maybe 100 people are gathered in two concentric circles. The Great Man-Woman Dance is about to begin.

Our coven kid, of course, wanted to be in the midst of all the excitement, but at three he was a little small for the dancing, and I didn't want him to get tromped.

As it happens, I was standing in the middle of the circles, leading the singing, so I scooped him up and set him on my shoulders. There he sang along happily, drumming on my chest with his heels, and watched the wheeling of the Men's and Women's Circles, their parting and their coming together.

Afterward, over the food, we discussed.

“The presiding priest spent much of the ritual with a child sitting on his shoulders,” air-reviewed my friend Sparky T. Rabbit.

He laughed, then added:

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