In early August, my family had the pleasure of attending the Sacred Harvest Festival in southern Minnesota. We figured that it was our ninth time attending (though we took a few years off prior to this year). It is always a great place to spend a week with the Gods, spirits, and other Pagan friends. This year, the Gods and spirits directed me to re-focus on some old things I had set aside years ago.
One of the main things the spirits directed me toward was a workshop held by Wade Mueller discussing what it takes to create and be part of a Pagan intentional community. Wade is the caretaker of Deeply Rooted, a Pagan intentional community in central Wisconsin.
His talk, along with the messages from the spirits there reminded me of a dream I had years ago to be part of such a community. Then I allowed the modern consumerist lifestyle to distract me from it, but after being reminded I had a new hope that this dream may eventually come true.
I have to admit that I like my central air conditioning, automatic garage door openers, hot showers, and electric lights. But I know that this lifestyle is incongruent with my faith. As Andras Corban-Arthen said at another workshop at Sacred Harvest, these elements of modern lifestyle work to separate us from the rest of nature. They take the parts of nature we don’t like and either suppress them or make them disappear (at least in our minds).
Such a change as would be necessary to live in such a place is not something to take lightly. My wife is interested in it as well, which is great. But I’m a very cautious person who likes to know everything possible before diving in. Once I make a decision, though, then I dive in with both feet.
As a result, this is a period of transition for me. One step at a time in reducing my separation from nature and the spirits around me. My first step was to start making sourdough to make bread. I started that a few weeks ago and all of the bread I’ve eaten since is my handmade bread with all wild yeasts and bacteria that were already present in the flour. We also brew our daily coffee in a coffee press (french press) and use a mechanical hand grinder to grind the beans.
My next step is to get a wheat grinder and grind the wheat myself for bread. Each step is to get me closer to the elements that support my life. Closer to the food. Closer to the trees. Closer to the weather.
At the same time, we’re learning as much as I can about intentional communities, so that when the Gods and spirits present the opportunity, we can grab on and go with it.
At his workshop, Wade recommended the book, Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change, which I am reading now. It is a great book about the United States losing electricity and gunpowder in one fateful moment, and people recovering and growing from it. It’s an exciting read and Pagans are the good guys. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in this idea.