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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Greenways

i.

They call them the greenways.

They're prehistoric trackways that thread their way across the landscape. The famous Ridgeway, which follows the line of ridges across the heart of southern England, is said to be more than 5000 years old. It is part of the old Icknield Way, named for the Keltic Iceni tribe of more than 2000 years ago. (Boudicca was queen of the Iceni.)

In fact, such greenways exist all over the world. I live just a few feet from one myself.

These days Lake Street isn't very green. It looks pretty much like any four-lane main drag in America, lined with mom-pop eateries (where these days you can get tripe soup, corn fungus tacos, and whole roast guinea pig), convenience stores, and halal groceries.

But beneath the pavement runs the old Indian trail that led from the Dakota summer village on Bde Maka Ska ("White Earth Lake," latterly known as Lake Calhoun) down to the Mississippi. The old tracks often lead to water.

The greenways were the true ley-lines of old. Beneath the asphalt, they still pulse with ancient power.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witches Against Reagan

"Steve?"

It was Burtrand, head of Minnesota Church of the Wicca, which meant that something was probably seriously wrong. He'd never called before. 

"Were you guys out at the demo last week?"

It was February 1982, the early years of the Reagan Era. The Teflon President himself had stopped at the Minneapolis Airport and, activist coven that we were, we had gone out to give him the un-welcome that he deserved.

WITCHES AGAINST REAGAN, read our sign. Note the acronym. Hey, they were un-subtle times.

"Yeah," I said, "How did you know?"

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bealtaine in the Streets

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to experience a pagan holiday in a pagan city, well, you don't have to wait until your next incarnation to find out.

Just come to pagan Minneapolis for Bealtaine.

For 42 years, the magic and artistry of Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater has brought the joy of May to Witch City. 50,000 people line Bloomington Avenue for the Parade and then follow it, dancing, in unbridled celebration of the Coming of the Sun and the melting of Winter's icy heart.

In Powderhorn Park, we call the Sun, which sails to us across the lake in its winged boat. By its power, the Tree of Life rises renewed, and the city-wide party begins.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagans in the Hood

Gods. There really are pagans everywhere.

Back around Yule I happened to be walking past a house on the next block when it was dark enough for the lights to be on, but early enough that the blinds were still open. I noticed the great big Sun face hanging over the fireplace. 

There was another Sun in the front window, and a metal cut-out Sun standing in a snow-drift in the front yard.

Hmm, I thought.

I've lived in the South Minneapolis pagan neighborhood for more than 30 years. You can hardly swing a dead cat around here without hitting a pagan.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Besom Brigade

Time was, here in Paganistan, the Besom Brigade used to show up at the Heart of the Beast May Day Parade, black steeple hats and all, doing our precision broom drills down the middle of Bloomington Avenue.

There's no need to be afraid:

we are the marching Besom Brigade.

Schmeering on that herbal lube,

riding all night on our brooms.

Sound off.

Thir-teen!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Summerland of the Snows

Regular readers of this blog no doubt ask themselves from time to time: So, is Paganistan really the matchless Summerland of the Snows that Posch makes it out to be? (Paganistan is the Secret Witch Name of the 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul metropagan area.)

Well, shown above is a sign that I saw while driving to work this morning. It's 4 blocks from my house.

You decide.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
North Country Samhain

On Halloween weekend writer, witch, and ceremonial magician Frater Barrabbas hosted a gathering of Traditionals and friends at his home here in SE Minnesota. I swear, I’ve never seen so many stangs and black cloaks in one place before.

It’s been a warm, golden autumn here in Lake Country. We drove out to Barrabbas’ on Saturday afternoon (I’d spent the night before with my group here in Minneapolis, dancing with Old Hornie around a 150-year old white oak in a river meadow down by the Mississippi) through a landscape newly naked. The cottonwoods, birches, and maples had only recently shed their gold, leaving behind the oaks’ brown and russet, and the smoky green of Northland pines and cedars.

Barrabbas’ land is bounded by woods, a lake, and a cauldron bog. We found there a crowd of almost 40, some from as far away as Illinois and Georgia, subtly fueled by our host’s lively batches of homebrew: the rich, spicy Oktoberfest was especially beguiling.

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