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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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  • 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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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witch Watch

Alley scene in Paganistan.

Warning with enforcement clause.

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Practical Time-Travel

Have you ever Gone Back and Entered Into a particular ritual?

They say that when it wasn't safe to attend the Sabbat physically, this is exactly what they used to do, with or without benefit of flying ointment.

Some years back, I was priest at the May Eve celebration of one of the local Wiccan churches. It's the custom hereabouts to observe Beltane with the Great Rite, and we'd designed the ritual so that three symbolic Great Rites were enacted simultaneously: Male-Female, Female-Female, Male-Male.

I was on blade, John on (drinking) horn. At the moment of Union, there was this funny little extra zing to it, a soupçon of je ne sais quoi which, at the time, I couldn't quite figure out.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Great Lammas Massacre

It's gone down in local pagan lore as the Great Lammas Massacre.

Lammas 1985. One of the local Wiccan churches is holding their August Eve in a city park.

In mid-invocation, the high priest looks up and sees police approaching, so he picks up his athame and starts to open the circle.

Bad idea.

Anyway, no one got shot, and, in the long run, what opened up instead was a conversation that has resulted in a pretty good ongoing relationship between local law enforcement and the pagan community.

I talked a while back with a woman who had been there that night. She'd been a neophyte at the time, and had been wearing a white robe and a crown of flowers.

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  • M.T. Noah
    M.T. Noah says #
    I wish I knew more about this.... ly. Thank you.
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    That police officer from the mainland was very lucky that she didn't lead him on a frenzied chase through a cave to meet the...
An Open Letter to the Editor of 'City Pages'

Dear Editor,

This concerning your coverage of Paganicon 2018 (“The Twin Cities—AKA Paganistan—Will Host a World Gathering of Witches”).

In the vocabulary of modern Witches, the word cowan (rhymes with plowin') refers to a non-Witch. It is not necessarily a derogatory term.

Not necessarily.

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