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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Paganistan
Church Decides to Return Sacred Boulder to Lakota

In traditional Lakota lore, it is well-known that powerful spirit beings—what some contemporary pagans would call wights—reside in certain large stones.

One such sacred stone—called in Lakota Eyá Shau, “Red Rock”—is located in the town of Newport, about 10 miles south of the city of “St.” Paul, on the grounds of the Newport United Methodist Church.

And thereby hangs a tale.

Red Rock is a granite glacial erratic boulder measuring about 2 x 3 feet, weighing roughly a ton. In this sedimentary landscape of sandstone and limestone, its unusual composition marks it out as mysterious and powerful.

For centuries, traveling Lakota would stop at Red Rock, then located near the banks of the Mississippi, to make offerings and pray; the rock was named for the custom of ruddling the rock with red ocher.

In time-honored Christian tradition, Methodist missionary to the Lakota Benjamin Kavanaugh set up shop beside the Red Rock in 1839. (Religions come and go, but holy places tend to stay the same.) The town that grew up around this mission—later renamed Newport—was in fact originally called Red Rock. In later years, the church that Kavanaugh had founded changed location several times. Interestingly, with each subsequent relocation, they took Red Rock along with them.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Opening Lines

It's still one of the best opening lines that I've ever heard.

A buddy and I had gone over to 'Saint' Paul to check out the new Ethiopian restaurant.

While we were there, I noticed at a nearby table a woman with very intense eyes, giving the waiter a hard time.

Tough customer, I thought.

About halfway through the meal, I looked up to see the tough customer standing at our table. Those intense eyes were on me now.

“I like your pentagram,” she said, then paused. “I have one too.

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Rename the Falls of 'Saint' Anthony Now

Minneapolis, the capital city of Paganistan, has the great good fortune to be home to two sacred waterfalls.

The better-known of the two is Minnehaha Falls, on Minnehaha Creek as it approaches the Mississippi River. This year for the seventh year running, the local pagan community will process to the Falls and make the traditional offerings to her as we kick off our annual Pagan Pride celebration.

The other is the falls on the Mississippi River in the heart of what is now downtown Minneapolis. (In fact, the city of Minneapolis was originally sited where it is precisely because of the falls.) This is the Mississippi's only waterfall; it loomed so large in local lore that in Dakota the Great River itself is known as Hahawakpa, “the river of the falls (haha).” In the whirlpool at the waterfall's foot lived Wanktehi, god of waters.

In 1682 Belgian explorer and missionary Louis Hennepin “named” the falls for his patron saint, Anthony of Padua. They've borne this imposed name ever since.

Well, it's time and high time to lose this imperialist name, which has absolutely nothing to do with the falls themselves.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Urban Coven: Strawberry Moon

If you didn't know it was a ritual, you wouldn't know it was a ritual.

An hour before moonrise, we gather at the coven bench in the park.

We swap news, laugh, eat fruit and cookies. Our newest member is just now back from five months in the Middle East; it's Sun and Moon to my eyes to see her again. She's giddy with the freedom of it all: public paganism. Being second generation, she'd never experienced the broom closet before: the pagan generation gap.

We toast her return with (ahem) iced tea from the thermos.

Somewhere behind the tree line, the full Moon is rising unseen. We sing to her, then go downhill to the lake.

Each has her own intent. Silent, we circle the already-dark water, its surface stippled with south wind; soon the Full Moon will shine from its midst. The power builds as we go.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I hope so too, Thesseli. Thanks.
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    For women, going outside into the open on our own for this kind of thing is dangerous...for us, we need others to come with us, fo
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    Utterly lovely. I wish I could ever experience something like this.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
All Acts

Don't let familiarity blunt the impact.

These are revolutionary words.

All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.

No circles, initiations, or Drawings-Down necessary.

Wiccanly speaking, that's revolutionary.

And—audacity of audacities—it's a revolution built right into the system.

 

Some years back, one of the local Wiccan churches (living in Paganistan, I get to say such things) held a Beltane ritual with three simultaneous Great Rites: male-female, female-female, male-male.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In Horns We Trust

What do you mean, “who's that”?

Haven't you ever seen a priest of the Horned before?

Well, duh. Of course they're ram's horns. When's the last time you saw a bull's horn shaped like that? Or an antler?

For gods' sakes. Of course they're tattoos. What did you think, he was born with them?

Where are you from anyway, Cowanistan?

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In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Takes a Moment to Savor Life in the Irony-Free Zone

“I work with Ereshkigal, Oya, and Tlazolteotl,” she tells me.

Then she pauses for my reaction.

Welcome to the Irony-Free Zone.

Gee. The Sumerian Goddess of the Underworld, Santeria's Lady of Storms (mispronounced), and the Aztec 'Eater of Filth.'

Clearly, I'm supposed to be impressed.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    She didn't happen to mention what projects they might be working on did she?
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm stating my own opinions, N5. As do we all.
  • N5VRMRE
    N5VRMRE says #
    Poverty due to a "crossover"; so eclectics are not good enough? If you mispronunce a name you've only ever seen written down you'r

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