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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Home-schooling: tips from a parent who started a year ago

Many families are forced now to home-school their children. But just over a year ago, I voluntarily started home-schooling my three children. It had become clear to me that, for my children, public school was not a good option. My kids were constantly worn down to the point of lashing out. The people in charge of their public school were constantly at my back, acting like I wasn’t good enough. Every summer, all the issues the schools attributed to my kids would go away, only to return again during the…

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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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Iowa City, New York join list of Pride cancellations

Iowa City Pride has made the painful decision to cancel its 50th anniversary Pride celebration, originally scheduled for June 19 and 20. “We know this comes with many disappointments, cancelled plans and one less thing to look forward to,” said Anthony Sivanthaphanith, Iowa City Pride president, in a press release. “It breaks my heart and the board’s heart as well.” However, Sivanthaphanith said, “ultimately, the safety of all our communities is the most important…. The board looks forward to planning more events soon and some creative ways, virtually, to celebrate.”…

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Six more LGBTQ Pride celebrations cancel 2020 events

Six more Pride celebrations throughout Illinois and Iowa have cancelled this year’s events because of the coronavirus crisis. The cancellations include Pride in the Park Chicago which was anticipated to attract 15,000 people to Grant Park June 27 and 28. The event would have been in its second year. In addition to Pride in the Park, other cancellations include: • Key City Pride in Dubuque, Iowa, which was to take place June 20 to 27. • Quad Cities Pride Festivals, originally scheduled for May 29 and 30, is cancelled. The…

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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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Shadowloss: a new understanding of loss and grief

As COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, we are faced with the very sudden and very real concept of loss. Loss, as it is associated with illness, often revolves around the idea of death. And while the thought of losing loved ones to the virus is without a doubt in the forefront of many people’s minds, it is not my intention to discuss that kind of loss.  Instead I want to talk about a different kind of loss: a type of loss that, until recently, did not even have a name.…

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Waldo’s Forever Fest, Pride events among the Illinois and Iowa events adjusting to coronavirus crisis

Saturday’s Waldo’s Forever Fest in Chicago is one of the biggest events to adjust this month to the coronavirus crisis by going online or rescheduling. Waldo’s Forever Fest will actually be doing both, converting its planned street festival this Saturday to an online event featuring musical performers, drag performers, cooking, glass-blowing and neon bending. Use hashtag #420inplace. “We believe cannabis brings people together, and that’s exactly what we’ll do,” organizers Dispensary33 said to Block Club Chicago. The actual street festival has been rescheduled for Sept. 26 and will take place…

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The many sides of furries

Remember the 2016 Disney movie “Zootopia”?  Those cute anthropomorphic characters captured our hearts and taught us valuable lessons of tolerance and determination.     For many, this was also an introduction to Furries.     Furries are everywhere, and they can be anyone — from a high schooler to an older adult, of any gender or sexual orientation, in a full fur suit, in normal clothes, or anywhere in between.     The only common factor is an interest in anthropomorphic characters, and an acceptance of all kinds of people.…

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