Paganistan Reclaiming Bioregional Dandelion and community building 03/26/2013
Present: Max, Glimmer, Bird, Leora, Eli, Teri, Jenn, Paul, Song, Mark, Donald, Alex.
We sang Maggie Shollenberger – Small Brown Seed (Thank you, Max, for teaching it!) http://gnosiscafe.com/gcblog/2012/05/02/small-brown-seed/
- Upcoming events, website and calendar of events for Paganistan Reclaiming (30 mins allocated)
We have a barebones website (thank you, Leora!) It is locked and not visible right now but should be ready to go live next week! There is a calendar embedded. It is a Google calendar, and it is a public calendar so people can add it to their personal Google calendar view if they want to.
Discussion of ‘Paganistan’ term and how it had been discussed in several community contexts. The intention behind it was to include people who might feel they are part of our community but do not live in the Twin Cities.
Teri talked about the origins of the term ‘Paganistan’ and how it was originated within the Pagan community of the Twin Cities. Mark added how this term is also already used in published research and in a literary context. It ties us to a bigger body of work and to larger, local community, as the term has been used for our larger Pagan community for the past 30 years. Donald said Murphy has a good geographical definition.
Leora would like a core group of people to work on populating and update the website. Alex and Colleen had previously volunteered. We would love for Leora to ask for what she needs as this work progresses.
Alex volunteered to buy the domain this year and then figure out longevity long-term.
Events: Oct 4-6 it might be the Death and Dying workshop. It might be the weekend before that depending on venue.
We talked about meeting quarterly as a teaching group and to let people know when we are meeting so that people who are teaching, or would like to teach, can attend those open events. We agreed for the next meeting to be on June 5th at 7pm at Casa Eugene (3011 17th Avenue South, Minneapolis).
- Bioregional Dandelion (45 minutes allocated)
Teri caught us up with the decision consensed at the last Dandelion meeting. There will be smaller, Bioregional dandelions between International Dandelions, which will occur every 3-4 years. At WWC, there was a dinner meeting with people from Detroit and Chicago, as well as the TC, about what is reasonable, sustainable desire to do. Jason had a place north of Milwaukee, and Galadriel had a place in Chicago. At camp, we agreed that we would have community meetings before Beltane and then check in with the other Bioregional groups. There is also the possibility to have multiple bioregional meetings with connected magic, intention and agendas. The next bioregional dandelion would fall around 2014. Donald talked about how originally dandelions were about being a ‘family reunion’/’gathering of the tribes’.
Questions: what do we want to happen as Paganistan Reclaiming? What is the interest in organizing this? Cost?
Round of responses:
- Max felt that at the Portland Dandelion the intention was to be more regional and would love to see us expand beyond Paganistan to include the larger region. Max would like a central location and has energy to make this happen. Maybe we could do preregistration for the folks who can put some money upfront to sustain the meeting.
- Glimmer had similar feelings about gathering the region and has energy for it. Glimmer would like to use some of the model from freecamp.
- Bird has also some energy for it and likes the barebones model to make it as ‘accessible’ as possible and include fundraising.
- Leora thinks that pragmatically we need to think what our region is and what is practical for people. Traveling far is not easy for some people. Leora also thinks that having concentrated time together as a Paganistan Reclaiming could be powerful, and being specific about geographical Bioregion could be helpful. Would love to support other organizers, particularly in technological ways.
- Teri feels there was a desire at camp from smaller communities to have us involved with theirs. Teri is willing to make it larger and see how big we can get it with broader participation, unless it does not work. Teri is happy with concurrent dandelions with connected agendas, intentions, etc. That cold be really powerful and closer to the model of how we might need to work in the world.
- Jenn is excited about us building community very intentionally and I see us needing time, energy, and resources. She is worried about being a community that does not take time for ourselves, and it is focused on producing such a large event which could take time and energy away. Jenn is also still putting energy into organizing the international Dandelion and it is not easy.
- Paul likes the idea of the bioregional and what is there energy for? He likes the idea of concurrent meetings, for practical components: travel, cost, and comfort, especially for aging folks. Paul has energy for a bunch of different things. Song’s main concern is economic accessibility and that for Song ties into the idea of travel. Traveling includes taking time off work as well as having money to travel and visit somewhere.
- Song wants to tie economic accessibility into what we decide. Also camping whereas cheap is also physically not always accessible. Building community here and having it be sustainable is really important too.
- Alex agreed that a more local Dandelion would be more accessible on multiple levels and has some energy to put into an urban Dandelion in Paganistan. We could connect technologically as well as through intention and magic.
- Mark agrees to focusing on local Reclaiming community. He feels that pieces are coming together and that nurturing local community before expanding further could be important, owing that personal experience is coloring his filter at the moment and that he currently has no energy to organize this.
- Donald is also for an urban Dandelion for both personal reasons but also because per thinks this is a prime time to develop community here and our group is so diverse within ourselves. We have had small bits of community but we have not had something besides small, intimate group and it appears we are stepping into that next layer as a local Reclaiming community. Since Donald has lived here, per has not seen community having time for ourselves, and spaces/times like retreats. If people want to come and join us, fine. Per feels per could help more if the gathering was local, through hosting and sharing resources. Donald really thinks it would be a wise thing for us to do to have a local Dandelion in 2014. If we had a Dandelion for ourselves, we would have better representation for our own community.
- Eli felt the sustainability issue is forefront on their mind, environmentally, economically, energy-wise. Eli is struggling because many folks who are not in the TC are family to them but, no matter what we decide to do, we need to be forthright about boundaries. Not to exclude others, but to be clear for ourselves and for people who are looking to see what we are doing and what our intentions are and why.
Proposal for consensus: We propose to hostess an urban Dandelion gathering in 2014, graciously inviting all of our connections to join us, with clear guidelines around resources.
The people in the room achieved consensus.
Max clarified that we could also use outside spaces in Minneapolis (e.g., parks, Mississippi River, Fort Snelling, etc.)
Max and Teri to anchor the working group for the local Dandelion. Leora and Alex interested in joining.
- Community! (45 minutes allocated)
Jenn suggested doing a round and then anchoring a larger gathering, after sharing notes with the rest of the community.
Possible things to discuss: values; decision-making; structures for accountability (e.g., feedback, etc.)
- Alex suggested setting the container first, so we know how to make decisions. For example, meeting every year or quarter for ‘business’, skills sharing and magic.
- Paul thinks the PoU form the basis and we can have a Paganistan addendum of values.
- Teri loves value statements and is willing to dig out what we had in the past so we can revisit that too. Teri is really interested in teaching the community class and really working on nurturing sustainable communities.
- Leora would like to read the intention from prayer beads: “We declare heart to heart, dream to dream, hearth to hearth, we hold each other in solidarity and delight” and repeater bead “we are weavers of change, we revel in the abundance of our diversity”. For Leora this touches on how different we are, and how there is always change in each other and the work we do. It touches in the connections we have and they joy we take in our work. Would also like to see regular meetings, as that would feed accountability and feedback, as well as connection.
- Bird: process is most important part, filled with intention, building community knowing that you can have relationship. Clear process around discovering values and boundaries.
- Max: we are coming into this process with many years of Reclaiming community here, and there has been an ‘unspoken’ power structure, and dynamics. Max would like time to process this at a future meeting within a solid container of compassion and honesty. Openness, transparency, accessibility are important values for Max. Like Teri, Max is interested in teaching the healthy, sustainable community class.
- Donald: noticed the community as the guru emerging and becoming more obvious locally. Would like not to get stuck in one decision-making process as there are moments when different processes might serve. Still with an overtone of collaboration. We don’t want to throw away any tools we might possibly need. Donald doesn’t think there has been any codified leadership or structure before so this is very exciting. Let’s not refine it to the point where we loose possibility.
- Song: has been in many groups with a clear decision-making structure and it can have a reverse effect of making it difficult for people to come in when necessary. They think we are going to have quite a few meetings as all those questions are tremendous questions but at our next meeting I would like to decide what is our process to hold all of these questions. Song has energy to participate in this process.
- Jenn is excited about us making time to build community. She is hoping we can steal time in our busy lives to have retreats and have outside facilitators to train us in facilitation skills, giving feedback, consensus process, etc. Jenn believes we can have a functional community if we R intentional in building it and taking time to do so.
- Eli is focused on values as they feel that is where all else stems from, and that we will need to keep our hearts open and be ready because it ain’t always going to be pretty.
- Glimmer would like to include also magic and embodied work, rather than just heady meetings!
- Teri wanted to make a moment of personal pride in this moment as a rich and luscious manifestation of the work, she has been doing, together with Paul, and Donald. So, let’s share history, and what we have done, so we can open up to amazing new things that we never knew could happen. Teri is going to try to develop a class around giving feedback, connected to the idea of ‘four levels of reality’.
Proposal: to meet again and to be more inclusive we picked some dates:
- Thursday May 2nd, Monday May 13th, Wednesday May 15th
Jenn will send a doodle poll. Donald proposed that we send the PoU to the whole community and ask for people to reflect on it. As people are able, let’s disseminate the PoU. Leora has already placed those on the website.