Changes and Welcoming a New Path

IMG_1754Very soon, this blog will evolve into a new site called Northern Indigo.

Like all things that evolve, this evolution has been brewing for some time.  Since the beginning of 2014, I’ve felt an expansion of my spirituality flowing through me.  It has been at times like the gentle ripple on a lake, and at other times it feels like a rushing river that carves away at the landscape of the shore.

I’ve been told in the past the phrase, “You cannot push the River.” 

The symbol of water ever flowing, finding its own path, winding around landscapes of the heart and mind, carrying with it new life, wandering around boulders, and washing away the old to make way for the new – I’ve been feeling this rush lately.  And, as an evolving spiritual being inside this “earthly experience” – it’s only natural that this happens.

To all of my friends in the Druidry realms, I am not leaving you necessarily.  My connection and love of nature, the woods, waters, people, and places in “the mist” is always ever-present.

But I am expanding the light, both for myself, and to include others.

Doors have opened in my heart that have allowed me to reach back into my earlier roots of Christianity and also the body of work on Indigo Children and Indigo Adults.   I’ve long believed myself to be a part of this age of “The New Children” and new spiritual adults who look to usher in a new time of greater spiritual awakening, greater love, greater forgiveness, and a new way of being in the world.

Dualities are melting away.  I do not believe those who may say that Christianity and Druidry cannot coexist.  I also don’t believe that God exists solely in the small boxes we’ve placed him in.  We exist in streams of consciousness and dimensions that we’re just now discovering as beings on this planet.  We’re waking up to see ourselves – the Universe looking in the mirror – the Consciousness of God in every seed, every cell, every thought, and every moment.

There is more to talk about.

Much more.

Will you join me?

Many Blessings to you all,
Scott Schumacher

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Europe’s Last Pagans

I wanted to share a very profound video that I was made aware of through Ellen Evert Hopman’s blog. A very interesting look at what might be the closest thing to traditional European Pagan practices.

It’s interesting to me to see what’s included in ceremony and what is not. There also seems to be a stronger tie between everyday life, traditional practices, and spirituality. While the use of waterfowl sacrifice to me isn’t appealing (I’ve been a vegetarian now for 8 years), I realize that in our western culture, we cut out the middle-person and go to the grocery store (not very ‘honoring’), and at the same time I know of hunters today who give deep thanks and reverence to any animals that they kill during a hunting season (and I honor and respect these individuals).

These places of dissonance, discomfort, and at the same time – respect, give me a lot to think about, and also give a nice critique to modern culture now in my own mind. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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What I did the Summer of 2013

Winter TreesIn keeping with my tradition of summarizing my experiences over the Spring/Summer/Fall months up at “the farm”, I’ve finally compiled this year’s “download” of learning and doing.  I know that I’m not so good in talking about these things in the moment since I’m always too busy absorbing myself in the moment. Since today’s a wet and snowy day in Minnesota, I thought I’d share the accomplishments this past season:

What I’ve done this year (2013):

* Straw Bale Gardening experiments!
* Re-structured my Medicine Wheel at the farm
* Purchased Crystal Bowls and began using them at the farm for meditation
* Created a Plant Spirit Essence, blessed with Reiki and Crystal Bowls
* Started my new business entity – Autumnbridge Media LLC
* Got Married!
* Tennis – started lessons Feb. 2013 and continued all year!
* Games with Michael! Fun Board Games!!
* First Membership and Affiliate sites created with my business.
* Started contributing to my Roth IRA (and I may be able to max it out this year!). Focused more on Saving than Spending.
* Cut WAAY down on working in coffee shops and “coffee spending”.
* Created a better office space for me to work in at home.
* Joined coaching organizations – IAC and IAPLC. (Dropped IAC membership to focus on more training for same cost)
* MUCH MORE Farm Time!! We went almost every weekend from late April to Mid-November!
* Visited Grand Marais last May. Hiked Artists’ Point, drove up the Gunflint Trail.
* Read and studied 3 Artist’s Way Books by Julia Cameron!

Other things of note – I’ve been studying Robert Moss’ “Lightning Dreamwork” and I’m hopefully starting a dream journal (again) soon. I’ve become a little more active lately in educating folks about Agenda 21, and I’m getting more involved with the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

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Always after Samhain, I slow to reflect

Cabin and Polaris RangerThis past spring and summer season have brought so many things to my life. It’s difficult to know where to begin speaking about all of the events. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I divide my time in the “non-wintery months” between home in the suburbs of the Twin Cities of Minnesota, and a 53-acre cabin retreat called “Wasafarm” in Northern Minnesota.

Today Michael and his parents traveled “up north” to close up “the farm” to prepare for winter. I stayed home babysitting Junebug, our wonderdog, as it also was the opening weekend in Minnesota for Deer Hunting (yes it is capitalized here! LOL.) Junebug’s little brown body running through the woods – well – we don’t want to take chances with our precious family member like that…

But now once again we shift into a darker time of nesting, where we may only visit the cabin once per month to check on it, replace the birdseed and suet, tromp through the snowbanks, and ring the red harbor bell that hangs from an oak tree. I start reflecting about deeper questions.

“Are the weekends at the farm my real life?

Winter LabyrinthIt’s definitely been the most consistent “home” for Michael and I, even as we’ve changed addresses five times in the last 8 years.

It’s connection and deep love that keeps us coming back to Pine County. The land, the people, our small rituals, the board games in the cabin, the local “radio auction”, and reading the local papers. We slow down and we take it all in – much more than we take in our life near the cities.

Samhain marks the day between years in the Celtic tradition. It’s the quiet and still pause where the veils between worlds are thin. That stillness always brings me these deeper questions. And even though I know I will return for more great times in Spring after the snow melts, I often stand at the edge of the North Meadow and ponder.

“How many more seasons at Wasafarm will I get to see in my lifetime?”
“Will the five labyrinths we’ve made here last a hundred years or more?”
“Who will feed the birds when I am old and frail?”
“Will the trails that have been maintained here for nearly 40 years still exist?”

Through the Cabin WindowIt’s about our legacy with the land – and right around Samhain, I always feel like this stillness reminds me that I too will pass away into the still thin darkness someday.

Between Samhain and Winter Solstice I will often blog more, take a class or two, read the books I’ve been meaning to read, record a podcast or two if I’m lucky, and maybe engage more with my fellow Druids through various social media outlets. I guess it helps me pass the time while I can’t be “up north” in our little slice of paradise.

So I guess you’ll be hearing from me some more again.. probably until Spring. I always feel like I have a lot of catching up to do with my blog and “All things Druidry” in these wintery months.

Then again…which time is my “real Druid life?”

These are the things I think about after Samhain, in the thin stillness between years…

 

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Resources will be back in 2014!

Well, when one door closes, another one opens it seems!  Starting in early 2014 (and possibly sooner), I will be providing my “Resources for Druids” listings in various categories once again!

I stumbled across this open letter from Barnes & Noble, to all of us “Jilted Amazon Affiliates.”

I’ll have to re-code all of my links, but no worries.  I’m happy to provide links to hand-picked resources that I feel help folks on an individual path to Druidry.  With regard to books especially, I try to find the best resources that are both educational and free from dogma from any particular Druidry organization.

It’s learning and discovery that matters most!

I’ll also be adding a category or two to the mix for good measure, and will be expanding the Outdoors/Camping and Survival listings.

Stay Tuned!
-Scott

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Resources Removed – Time to Re-Group

Today I received a notice from Amazon.com that they were terminating my affiliate agreement because of the new Minnesota Affiliate Marketing Law and Affiliate Nexus Tax.  Here’s what I received.

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account will be closed and your Amazon Services LLC Associates Program Operating Agreement will be terminated effective June 30, 2013. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional Minnesota state tax collection legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Dayton on May 23, 2013, with an effective date of July 1, 2013. As a result, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon Site after June 30 nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Minnesota residents.

Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to July 1, 2013, will be processed and paid in full in accordance with your regular advertising fee schedule. Based on your account closure date of June 30, 2013, any final payments will be paid by August 30, 2013.

While we oppose this unconstitutional state legislation, we strongly support the federal Marketplace Fairness Act now pending before Congress. Congressional legislation is the only way to create a simplified, constitutional framework to resolve interstate sales tax issues and it would allow us to re-open our Associates program to Minnesota residents.

We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates Program, and look forward to re-opening our program when Congress passes the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Sincerely,

The Amazon Associates Team

This is tough news. I really prided myself for having an extensive resource of books and products available to folks in their study of Druidry, and 90% of the products were books with Amazon links.

Some folks would say, “Well what’s the problem? You could just list the books anyway.”

To me, what little kickback I might receive from Amazon provides money to keep the website going, pay my hosting fees, and have a little bit of play money. Everything in this world has a pricetag, and it was just nice to be able to offset even a portion of these things as I stepped forward to offer knowledge, ideas, etc. (Plus the investment of time I put into the website, taking photographs, recording and publishing podcasts – all of it adds up and none of it is paid work).

So for now, I’ve unpublished all of my resources. It’s kindof a sad day. I feel for some of the bloggers out there where this is their livelihood. Obviously, to me, the Minnesota legislature and governor did the wrong thing here.

The new law, effective June 30, 2013, requires businesses (like Amazon) to collect and pay sales tax on orders shipped to states where it has an established presence of affiliate marketers that exceeds $10,000 in gross referral-based purchases. The bill is based on the idea that affiliates act as extensions of a retailer’s sales force and are sufficient in themselves to establish a physical presence or nexus.

$10,000. That’s it. So even if the next greatest novel or course or product is a hit in the marketplace and everyone wants it and they rely on affiliates to spread the word, they must now keep track of sales in Minnesota, and if they reach just $10,000 or more, they MUST pay the State of Minnesota at the rate of 6.875%. I know well-respected authors who don’t see 6% of sales from their publishers for their books.

So in the State of Minnesota’s attempt at “leveling the playing field” between online and brick-and mortar retailers, they’ve given a huge blow to the bloggers out there who will now be forced to consider possibly moving their business out of state.

Moving can’t really happen for me, since I blog and podcast about the beauty of Minnesota and my experiences here. I have roots in Minnesota.

So, back to the drawing board. Time to re-think the income making paradigm. I’ll keep my resources handy for those who are looking for mentoring, and I may consider some subscription-based content in the future. We’ll see.

Hopefully the federal Marketplace Fairness Act can speed through congress (where that $10,000 limit becomes $1,000,000 – a more fair limit for us little-guy bloggers). But like most government processes – I’m not holding my breath just yet.

Blessings to you all!

-Scott

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Journey Into Dreams Workshop


RESCHEDULED
August 21, 2013 (tentative date)
6:30pm – 8pm

West Side Perk
7700 West Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55438

$5.00 Online Registration
Coming Soon!

What if instead of asking “What do you do?” when we first met someone, we asked, “What do you dream about?”

Join us for an evening of exploring our nighttime dreams and what they might mean to us in the waking world. Hosted by Scott Schumacher, this will be an interactive “Dream Circle” where we will journey into a dream, draw and color (supplies provided), and discuss our nighttime dreams and visions in a safe and confidential “community of dreamers.”

Cost is $5.00 per person. You may register in advance or in person at the door.

For adults 18+ only please. For more information, contact Scott Schumacher at scott@northerndruid.net

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Straw Bale Gardening

Finlayson CafeThe Finlayson Café


Straw Bale Gardening, a set on Flickr.

This Spring (2013), we’re attempting a Straw Bale Garden at “Wasafarm” in Pine County, MN. Much inspiration comes from the book, “Straw Bale Gardening” by Joel Karsten.

Via Flickr:
Experimenting this year (2013) with a Straw Bale Garden!

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Let Beauty Awake Mini-Cast

I thought I’d share some photos from “Wasafarm” with me singing “Let Beauty Awake” by R. Vaughn Williams. This is my first “mini-cast” from Podomatic. Enjoy!

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Northern Druid Podcast #9

The podcast is back!  I’ve moved it though, so look for it here:

http://northerndruid.podomatic.com/

Old episodes will be added to Podomatic soon!

In this episode:

Back at “the farm” in the Northern Druid Studio/Yurt.

Recap of Winter visits.

Spring starts this year – Planting trees, Straw Bale Gardens

** Music:  “Dip, Dip, and Swing” by Katy Tessman

Recap of trip to Grand Marais, MN and drive up the Gunflint Trail.

Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls

** Music:  “The Bird Tribe” by Leigh Ann Phillips

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