In addition to the interview with Garfield (see the main article here), freelance journalist Sandor Slomovits contacted a few other people who have been associated with the Ecology Center in the past fifty years and asked them to discuss the history and accomplishments of the organization. To provide a multifaceted picture of the EC, he got in touch with people who worked at the EC during various points in its history, and who held different positions and served in a variety of capacities, from staff and leadership, to volunteers.
You see it in Newsweek, CNN, and other news websites that report on spirituality and esoteric culture like Quartz and Gaia. You see it through phenomena such as Instagram’s 300k+ subscriber feed to Hoodwitch, Youtube’s explosive growth of tarot readers, and gray or shamanic witches offering online tutorials and looks into their family traditions of Celtic witchcraft, and Wiccan seasonal ceremonies. Wicca, witchcraft, and paganism have long had an important perch within Crazy Wisdom Bookstore’s book sections, and local Wiccans, witches, and pagans have long been written about in The Crazy Community Wisdom Journal, but all these related areas are experiencing exponential growth, both locally in earth-religion-friendly Ann Arbor and on the national scale.
Feminism. Beauty. Queer. Art. Patriotism. Democracy: A Conversation with Local Artists John Gutoskey and Jen Talley
The election of President Trump has had an unexpected outcome: vigorous art production. Expressive signs, creative slogans, snappy comebacks, elegant visuals, perceptive one liners, parodies, comedies, dramas across all art forms, expressing particular values, have emerged, especially among social groups the President mocks, degrades, and denies. In response, artists celebrate their existence, dreams, loves, goals, aspirations, and an expansive idea of “freedom and justice for all.”
In the twilight hours of early evening, three women gather around a bedside. Their voices are gentle and soothing; their lyrics and harmonies weave a spell. The lines on the face of the man in the bed smooth out a bit; the family members in the room visibly relax. This is the magic created by Threshold Singers of Ann Arbor, and Threshold Choirs in more than two hundred locations around the world. The Threshold Choirs sing to people in the midst of a transformative life event: most often dying, but also recovering from illness or surgery, going through difficult emotional times, or being in chronic pain. They sing in hospitals and hospices, at nursing homes, in private homes, and once in a while, for the general public.
I posed many similar questions to different spiritual leaders in our community in an effort to educate myself about the Ann Arbor goddess scene. They all recognized the dominant masculine energies which pervade our society and still they were hopeful, funny, erudite, and, most importantly, wise. They helped me see that I wasn’t confused, but that the grander cosmos was unaligned.
The Healing Touch Center in Farmington Hills has been offering healing sessions to the general public for two decades, providing those who enter its serene healing environment the opportunity to balance their body, mind, and spirit. Represented around the world, and endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association, Healing Touch uses a gentle, light, or off body touch to balance chakra energies, reduce pain, and relieve mental and physical stress. It is a holistic model of care, working in tandem with modern medical practices, which encourages the client to participate in their own healing process. The practitioner is ‘the straw’, channeling high vibratory energy to the client for their highest and greatest good.
When Damien Lamberti, more commonly known as D, first decided to open YPSCITY, it was to be a custom sneaker shop (there’s a major market for upcycled, custom designed tennis shoes in the Sneaker Culture, and they’re fetching incredible prices) and graphic design business, but it quickly grew into a broader concept which included providing a space for artists, home crafters, and creators to display and sell their work. As D put it, “I wanted to create a space in which artists are taken seriously and can be fairly compensated for their creations, rather than accepting the minimal amounts often offered for the piece they spent weeks or months creating.”
Crysta Coburn visits crazywisdom-esque people and happenings around Ann Arbor.
Three years ago, Laura Robinson moved to Scio Township with her husband and two children. For five years before the move, they lived on Berkshire Road, within walking distance of central campus in Ann Arbor. But they wanted a more rural setting. They chose the township for its tranquility, a quality that attracts many township residents. Two years after their move, West Bay Exploration came looking for oil.
When Joan and Will Weber founded JOURNEYS International 35 years ago, the term “eco-tourism” did not exist. Today the Ann Arbor company is widely lauded for its environmental consciousness and its meticulous planning. National Geographic’s Adventure magazine ranked JOURNEYS International among the best adventure travel companies on earth and set JOURNEYS on its list of top ten tour operators.
By Rachel Urist | Photos by Susan Ayer
Cantor Annie Rose will retire in July 2014. By then, she will have been the cantor at Temple Beth Emeth (TBE) for twenty years. She has trained countless bar and bat mitzvah students and created and conducted the Temple’s adult and youth choirs, Kol Halev (Voice of the Heart) and Shir Chadash (New Song).