ReAlive Metaphysical connects anew with COVID-19 precautions

MARION — “No-touch air hugs,” new hours, and a plexiglass barrier between staff and customers are part of the changes you’ll find at ReAlive Metaphysical & Repurposing since the coronavirus crisis. ReAlive is now open noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 2 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. ReAlive will offer curbside pick-up and private in-store shopping by appointment. Additional changes include: Hand sanitizer in the front and back of the store, to be used by customers upon entering and leaving  Floor markers showing six-foot distances…

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Velvet Lotus Tattoo cautiously approaches reopening Friday

IOWA CITY — Velvet Lotus Tattoo plans to re-open Friday with a new way of operating that includes masks, disinfecting resources, and focused scheduling that is also more flexible, says owner Michelle Balhan. The shop is open Friday and Saturday noon to 7 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday noon to 6 p.m., with flexibility to stay open later if needed.  The goal is an environment that follows guidelines to prevent disease transmission, and to keep staff and clients safe, Balhan said.   Here are the changes you can expect to find…

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The pagan holiday of Beltane holds meaning for everyone

In this time of coronavirus, money can be tight. More than ever, as a modern world, we are focusing on the things we purchase, collect and forage (can you say toilet paper) to fulfill our own personal needs and desires. But amid this frenzy, we can still find rituals that help us recognize things like the hope in the busy work of the bees, the budding trees, and the songs of the birds.  Paganism and wicca are filled with these kinds of rituals, that guide us to honor the Earth…

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Honor 50th annual Earth Day online this year

Today is the 50th celebration of Earth Day, and as I researched through the cancelled events, I felt a sadness that this historic day could not be celebrated in the way it deserves. But even though we are sheltering in place and can’t get together for Earth Day, this is a great chance to reflect on how we as individuals can reduce harm on the planet.  What are you doing from inside your own home to push for change this Earth Day? What will you to do to ensure clean…

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“Pass that virtual blunt!”

Those of us old enough to remember “Pass that virtual blunt” on our flip phones probably have also participated in 4/20 in many ways: perhaps going over to a combustion connoisseur’s house, or using acrylic gas mask bongs, or passing around ornate glass pieces, or rolling up whether or not it could smoke. Growing up in Iowa, 4/20 was a day of driving around back roads, visiting nature, and gathering in groups.  Today, as we all adjust to the coronavirus crisis, celebrating 4/20 needs to be more solitary — and…

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Shelters focus on a good night’s sleep

Shelters across Iowa are taking different approaches to try and ensure the homeless people they serve are able to get a good night’s sleep and not just food and shelter. In Iowa City, Shelter House is seeking to raise $40,000 to purchase at least 75 higih-quality mattresses likely to last for almost a decade. They’ll be seeking the public’s support and grant applications to raise the needed. “The mattresses for our emergency shelter are 9-plus years old,” says Mark Sertterh, executive director of the shelter, which served 930 people in…

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OC Pride drag show survives city censorship

ORANGE CITY –– In eastern and central Iowa, you can take in a sultry drag show several days a week without worry of any hassle from government officials or conservative activists. But in northwest Iowa’s Orange City, at the 3rd annual OC Pride celebration, city officials censored a headlining drag show, imposing a list of conditions for the performance including “no gyrating of buttocks, genitals or breasts” and “no physical contact” between performers and spectators. The city of Orange City announced its censorship of the show days before the performance…

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On the anniversary of Woodstock, a look back at Camp Euforia 2019

“The sunsets here are some of my favorite,” texts a friend before I head to the last night of Camp Euforia near Lone Tree, Iowa. My car was all set in the back, and I had my bag of nuts and White Claws in tow. I trudged through the festival field like a packhorse, in my Bonnaroo galoshes that I’ve had for over five years. After running into a high school buddy at the festival gate, I wove through and headed to a familiar campsite in the same spot as…

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The anti-woman vibe of witch hunts

Being a practitioner of witchcraft has been a part of my life since I was a young girl. I always found comfort in the earth, singing in the rain, soaking up the sun, and  cleansing my spirit with warmth and light. Today, I continue to educate myself about non-conventional religious practices, learning new things about myself along the way. With this unique personal context, I am painfully aware of a new trend to exploit “witches” like me. I’m seeing headlines complaining about “witch hunts,” Geico commercials staging witches as broomstick…

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