I'm back home after several days and many scintillating conversations with my Paganistani pals. For readers who don't know where Paganistan is, it's the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, alleged to be 15% Pagan. I suspect that figure, if indeed it is accurate, includes Native Americans, Southeast Asians, Hindus, practitioners of African diaspora religions and others as well as contemporary Euro-Pagans; regardless, there's a thriving NeoPagan presence there.
I was invited to give the keynote speech for Twin Cities Pagan Pride Day on the theme of Bridging the Worlds. I spoke of several ways that theme might be approached, then chose to focus on interfaith and collaborative green efforts. If I can manage it, I'd like to refine and expand my notes into an article that can then be read by people who weren't there to hear.
I have nothing but praise for the organizers and all their supporters. Dealing with them was a pleasure. They were always gracious, professional and standup. I thank especially my old CoG friend Gary Lingen (since the very first MerryMeet at Rodeo Beach in Marin County in 1981) for suggesting my name and contacting me, as well as local coordinators Margaret Eastman and Shannon Fairbanks, CoG friend Bonita Blumenauer of the Paganistan Besom Brigade, pursewarden Wendy Seidl, publications Keith Campbell, and webmistress Nora Lundquist. They surely must have been exhausted at the end of the day because it was non-stop activities, from workshops to vendors to food to rituals, with lots and lots of people coming and going. I don't know the final tally, but everyplace I went was crowded.
I took advantage of this opportunity to come early and visit people I always have the most stimulating conversations with. I stayed with Steven Posch and Wren, spent a morning being interviewed by Todd Berntson and his assistant Cindy for their Witchy Films project, schmoozed with the "meddling elders," circled an old oak along the banks of the mighty Mississippi with Prodea Coven and the unquiet dead under a gorgeous Autumn Full Moon, and dined and shopped with my old pal Sparky Rabbit. On my last day there Steven, Sparky and I enjoyed sukkot breakfast under the sukkah shelter Steve, Wren and I had erected earlier, where Steven recited Hebrew prayers and we three sang to Asherah.