By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
A troll named Turkll asked a human couple named Marilyn and Thomas Twintreess to put on Festival. When he made this request, Turkll was speaking--as he often does--through Marilyn's body.
"Turkll told us that Spirit would like to have Festival," says Marilyn, speaking, at the moment, through her own body as herself. "We didn't know what that meant, but we said yes."
(Just as the British say "hospital" instead of "the hospital," Twintreess refer to themselves as "Twintreess," their upcoming event as "Festival," and their favored Godlike entity as "Spirit." Which sounds singular but is actually plural in an overall multiple cosmic being sense.)
Twintreess, whose headquarters are in Tucson, have big plans for Festival, slated to happen August 23 and 24 in Willow River, Minnesota, their home state. And this is not to be just any festival.
It's Festival of the Little People.
The Little People being feted include elves, gnomes, sprites, angels, fairies and, of course, trolls. Thomas and Marilyn consider themselves "open channels," and practice a lifestyle they call "listening." This involves communicating with not only the aforementioned beings, but, as they write in their book Naturespeak, "our listening experiences have ranged from furniture and toilets to planets, stars, and solar systems." They also chat with rocks, lakes, rivers and, once, a toxic oil spill.
Before meeting Twintreess, I had thought that elves, fairies, sprites, etc., all looked like the Lucky Charms cereal guy, or those ceramic garden gnomes. White beards, red felt hats, pointy-toed shoes, that sort of thing. I had no idea how naive I was.
"Most of those type of beings have been relegated to myth for one reason," Thomas explains, "because cultures have tried to prevent people from being empowered. So those are the constant [images] that most people have. Which is why Festival has been asked by Spirit to be put on, so that Spirit can present itself from its own perspective. So, for instance, Turkll wants to come as a troll and just present his trollness to people."
I looked up "trolls" in a heavy text called Mythical and Fabulous Creatures to attempt to get a handle on exactly what "trollness" might be.
In Scandinavian mythology, trolls were gigantic beings associated with the subterranean world. . . . They craved human flesh and blood; but because they were dim-witted, human beings were often able to outwit them. In later traditions, trolls were represented as dwarflike beings . . . the dwarflike trolls were not bloodthirsty monsters like the giant trolls and lacked their strength, but they posed a threat to human beings because they had a fondness for stealing women and children and because they were more intelligent than giant trolls.
It was obvious to me that Thomas was right. Any culture that would have me believe outrageous vital stats like these about trolls--either giant or dwarfish--would clearly be out to deny my personal power.
This is important: Festival will host not only Turkll and his "buddies," the actual entities, but the Little Persons in all of us. Toward this goal, Twintreess ask that anyone working Festival be costumed as "the sprite, gnome, elf, etc., that they will be."
So how do you know what a sprite looks like?
"I think you have to look into that part of you," Marilyn advises. "We feel that each of us is a part of everything else, so we all are part gnomes and whatever. All of us are co-creating it together, so all of us have to find out for ourselves what those things are."
"Our experience is that the designation is often a human invention because those other realms don't use words as much as we do," Thomas offers. "They don't relate to naming things. This is much bigger than a festival. It's about a new way of living on the Earth with respect to all life. So it's not about Thomas and Marilyn saying, 'Okay, Peter, this is what a sprite looks like.'"
So how do you know what a sprite looks like?
"A good way to do it is get real still," Marilyn says.
Thomas elaborates: "What we've asked people to do, if someone wants to come as a sprite, we've asked them to be with that and write a sprite story out of their own heart and dress however they feel about that. What happens at Festival is [people] will be capable of sharing their spriteness with other people."
"Yeah, we're talking very multidimensional," Marilyn marvels.
Twintreess are going to make this perfectly clear for me.
"It's kind of like me trying to tell you what Peterness is about," stresses Thomas. "I can give you my perspective, and that would be based on my own experience . . ." Then, as if the two are speaking as one teacher, as one learned voice, Marilyn finishes the thought.
"But would it relate to any other Peters?"
For Twintreess, "relating" is a key concept. Thomas often begins an answer with "The way I relate to your question is . . ." Now, he reveals how he relates the roles of himself and his wife to you and me.
"I relate to Marilyn and I as shamans for our culture. We're not trying to be Native American shamans or indigenous shamans or people from any other culture. We're blond-haired and blue-eyed, we're shamans for this culture, and I think it's very important that Spirit asked for [Festival] to be put on in this country . . . we're just amazed how it's taking off."
Marilyn has something to add.
"You know, the funny thing is that the land has told us that it's already celebrating Festival. It's celebrating that we've said yes."
Festival is set to include things like organic food and drink, sacred geometry, a 20-acre labyrinth, group body movements, massage, reflexology, storytelling, rituals, singing and drumming, and celebration of "all life and expressions of the heart . . ."
If you think this sounds like yet another crystal-dripping New Age love fest, you are wrong. That's because Twintreess do not define themselves as New Agers.
It may seem confusing; despite that they run a thriving mail-order business called the TwinTree Press, selling meditative power headbands, quartz crystal singing bowls, CDs of "Earth music," tee shirts of their dog Ogallalah (who has a really big aura), regeneration/meditation tapes, "whimsical, lovable gnome necklaces" featuring a "colorful cloak and cap"-clad gnome hugging a tiny crystal, no way are these people New Age.
"That relates very well to Festival," says Thomas. "We do not define ourselves. So many people in our society want to be able to understand something, so when we don't define ourselves, people have to really trust, and we have to trust also.
"So specifically with Festival, it is not a New Age festival, it's not a Renaissance festival, it's not a flea market, it's not anything that's ever been. It's a totally new thing that the Earth has asked us to do to heal. So we try very hard not to define it and label it. Same with ourselves."
"It keeps people guessing, but it really creates an environment where we can be clear, and we can also be treated as responsible for who we are, which frees other people up to be responsible for who they are in relation to us. Which is really important when you're talking about concepts like we are . . ."
Now do you get it?
All right, then, let's continue.
"The thing that may be different with us when you look at what's commonly called channeling and a lot of the other New Age things is that we're extremely grounded, and the weirder we get, the more normal we are," rationalizes Thomas.
"We don't deal with good; good to us is a judgment just like bad, so everything around us isn't just angels and fairies and happy stuff. It also includes all of our emotions as human beings. So if that's anger, frustration, confusion, we bring them along. So if someone doesn't like what we present, we actually take that as an affirmation, and we try to support them in that."
I know Thomas would support my decision to allow him to keep talking.
"Sometimes, people that are very New Age may be least likely to embrace us because so much of the New Age is geared toward what's good. If you bring a full spectrum of emotion and also don't judge good or bad, then if they're attached to good, then bad is usually very fearful for them.
"Our greatest teachers have been the animals and plants and trees," he explains. "I used to live in the national forest, and everything would speak with us. I've never met a tree that apologized for being a tree or was ashamed for being a tree. Same with a wild animal."
No need to feel left out. Yes, you, too, possess the power to speak with beings you thought were mere household pets, or porcelain objects used to rid your body of waste matter, or even common shrubbery. You, too, may utilize your hidden powers to, as Twintreess do, enjoy congress with the extraordinary.
"Everybody has miracles in their lives; it's just that they try and explain them away," Thomas acknowledges. "For example, you say, 'Oh, there's nothing behind me.'" He spins around to illustrate. "Then why did you do that? You made it go away. So what we do is, 'Hi.'" He calmly turns and raises his hand in greeting. "After you practice doing that enough times, all of a sudden it's not just, 'Hi,' but you start to hear voices, you start to see shapes, you start to have conversations."
"It's a conscious choice for us to allow for the possibility that there're things that we can't quite understand or see, but I won't deny that they're there," Marilyn states.
It is this kind of open-mindedness that has let Twintreess' unique relationship flower since they met years ago. I was unable to find out exactly when that was, as the couple practices "timelessness."
"I pretty much decided that I was not going to practice memory," Thomas tells me, "and that I would practice experience. So for me, when those questions happen, I don't have any answers. I don't know how old I am, I don't really know how this happened. I can re-create those experiences, but that doesn't have a lot of validity for me."
Still, rest assured that Festival will start right on time.
It doesn't really matter when they met, though, as Thomas and Marilyn have been together forever.
"Third-dimensionally, in these two lives, we've had parallel experiences from the day of birth," Marilyn says. "So to relate to when did we meet, to me there never was a time when we hadn't met."
"Marilyn has one real nice story," says Thomas, who proceeds to tell her story. "She always remembered having an angel in her room as a child and being fascinated with it and talking with it and actually calling it a Thomas angel. We went back to that time, and she had gone through a very traumatic experience and I appeared on another dimension to her and she had no framework to understand that, so she related to me as an angel, a Thomas angel."
I sit there and listen. Marilyn speaks.
"I was raised Catholic. Ha, ha, ha!"
Make of that what you will, but here's an example of how the Little People can enter one's everyday life. As they do with Twintreess.
"We were up in Minnesota doing a Festival fund raiser, staying in a woman's house," says Thomas. "We made some supper, it was late, I cleaned up, I did all the dishes in the sink and went to bed. Got up in the morning, and the very first thing I did was go to the kitchen to get a drink of water. There were four glasses that had been used, washed and placed upright in the sink drying pan, placed in a geometrical pattern. Nobody had been in the house, nothing had happened.
"But we just knew that somebody had been there, so we checked in with our spirit guys and they said, 'Yeah, the hobbits came and they had a party and they were nice enough to clean up after themselves.'"
Yes, hobbits were made up by J.R.R. Tolkien, but let's not worry about that detail.
"What I could have done was just gone on my busy day and forget it ever happened, which is what most people do," Thomas reasons. "Instead of that, we stopped, talked about it and made it an instance that was real. It's a multidimensional miracle that is now a part of our lives."
Since we're on the subject of miracles, let us now meet Turkll. He's the troll who's behind Festival, the being who frequently speaks through Marilyn. You can also purchase the Turkll Delight: Enter the Adventure video for $15.88 plus shipping and handling, and the Turkll tee shirt in natural earth tone and raspberry ink for the close-out price of $8.99.
Thomas tells me if I'm interested, they'd be "perfectly willing to let me meet Turkll."
"It'd be cool," says Marilyn softly.
I'm sitting only a foot or so away from her, and she bows her head. Takes a deep breath. Seconds pass, and Marilyn looks up. Except it is no longer Marilyn. I mean it is, but it isn't. She--sorry, Turkll--speaks in a rat-a-tat-tat, high-pitched voice, kind of like Lou Costello when he's scared by a mummy or a werewolf and can't find Bud Abbott; or early, zany Jerry Lewis.
Turkll is exceedingly friendly, almost childlike.
"Hi, buddy! I'm Turkll!"
I introduce myself. Then Turkll tells me how he tried to get on Oprah. Then Turkll tells me some more things.
"I'm an inner-Earth being, I'm simultaneously everywhere, just like you humans are. You know what, if you don't remember that it happens in your dream-time activity. You guys visit me, otherwise you wouldn't even be talking to me right now . . .
"I'm six. I didn't say years, I just like the number six.
"Part of my service is being around humans while the planet is evolving very, very rapidly."
I ask if Turkll thinks the millennium will bring destruction.
"I certainly hope so!" he gushes. "Like it's working now? People say it's falling down, it's all coming to ruin. I say, yeah, good. Did you want to save any part of it?"
"I think you're listening and that you're intrigued and generally your life does not support this."
I ask for spiritual advice.
"You have around you a great deal of beings that are very much associated with what I would call inner-Earth beings. I will give you some general characteristic. They are beings that know how to manifest, they are beings that understand form and they understand honoring form and structure and how that is a place for Spirit to operate from. And it's important that you know that about you because sometimes you get frustrated with that part. Even if you are making obstacles for yourself, perfect! Nobody can do it better than you. Celebrate that!"
All Hitler got was "embrace."
Finally, as we bid Turkll adieu, Marilyn returns, seemingly unaware of what has transpired. But what has transpired? I don't know; after all, my life does not support this. That hardly matters, as Twintreess tell me their work, their Festival, has the backing of all plant life.
"Most of all, they tell us messages of affirmation," says Thomas. "They say, 'We support all that you are, and we invite you to co-create with us. The Earth is an amazing place and we know you are unlimited.'"
And that, of course, includes all of you out there who are making this whole thing possible. You--the Little People.
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