DULUTH – When Aaron Tank sought a holistic release, the Twin Ports failed. So, Northland style, he threw his own.
The Vessel is a free quarterly publication that graces the stands of coffee shops, grocery stores and healing centers across northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“My first impulse was to explore and document people’s mystical experiences,” he said, but in his two years on newsstands The Vessel’s content spans soul contracts, meditation , past life regression and plays written by pastors, painters and authors.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of metaphysical spiritual content people provided. It seems like a surprisingly relevant theme in people’s minds,” he said.
Tank was inspired by Twin Cities
Magazine when he started The Vessel, a one-person home business, where he edits and produces the print product and pre-records his radio show, which airs on Two Harbors Community Radio.
The Vessel strays from his work on chemical addiction and music, but merges his early interest in journalism with the spiritual and metaphysical.
Tank said he doesn’t identify with just one religious system, he draws inspiration from many and is constantly evolving. “There is spiritual value in every experience,” he said.
Tank took the time to talk about managing The Vessel during a pandemic, what he’s reading right now, and his dream dinner date with Rumi.
Q: The ship includes submissions from a wide range of people. Tell me about the community approach to content and why you chose it.
A: There are many in the Twin Ports community and beyond who have wonderful talents, incredible experiences and insights on various topics, both spiritual and otherwise. I wanted to create a platform for people to share them.
The ship gave people a place to showcase their stories, ideas and practices where they may not have had a place to do so before.
Many who have appeared in The Vessel have published books or been in other publications, but I love that The Vessel was sort of a first opportunity for many to be in a publication. Also, various people have discovered each other through the journal, and it’s great that The Vessel has helped bring people together on some level.
There is a lot of division in our society, so I hope the newspaper and radio show will help create more understanding and acceptance among different groups and factions.
Q: Has your participation in this publication and radio show introduced you to any new concepts or ways of thinking? If that’s true, what are they?
A: I have come to realize more fully that people can have mystical or spiritual experiences regardless of their background. Religious, spiritual, atheists and agnostics are all capable of experiencing somewhat inexplicable and mystical things.
Ironically, I’ve discovered that so-called paranormal events are actually quite normal.
Q: Tell us about the name of your publication.
A: I had considered several names, but The Vessel kept coming back to me as a general term that could encompass several notions.
For example, a ship can be a means of transportation: the implication being that the content will transport the reader to new territory. A vessel can also be a container, especially a sacred container for sacred material.
Also, we have big ships (ships) regularly coming into the twin ports, which seemed like a good overall name for the post that would tie several different ideas together.
Q: You have included cultural and social diversity and sustainability issues in The Vessel’s mission. Do you see them as spiritual areas of interest? If so, how?
A: Personally, I don’t really distinguish between the divine and the mundane; I believe that the divine is essentially infused into everything.
If everything has a divine spark, then every person and everything in the universe involves a spiritual element. I believe it is a sacred duty to pay attention to environmental issues and create a more sustainable world.
I also believe that learning about different cultures and celebrating diversity, as well as holistic health and artistic and creative processes, is very important and enhances spiritual life.
Q: You work and play music in addition to managing this post. Has this project been a blessing or an added burden during the pandemic? Or both?
A: The start-up phase was difficult: I just defined my approach, my designs, my distribution and my layout. I produced the very first issue during the initial shutdown in 2020 and it was a bit stressful.
Overall, however, it has given me meaningful activity at a time when isolation and global stressors have increased. It’s been kind of a therapeutic outlet and a way for me to connect with people on a deeper level.
From the feedback I’ve received, it appears the document has been enjoyed by many who find it to be a little inspiration or a healthy, enlightening escape during difficult times, and it does me good.
Q: Any spiritual lessons to be learned from leading this project?
A: Everyone has a valuable perspective and experiences worth sharing, regardless of their fate in life. I’ve received a lot of great content from people who have professional or established credentials and I’m very grateful for that, however, some of the best content comes from people who don’t have those credentials. , or don’t have a big resume – but still have a unique and compelling perspective, an impactful practice, or perhaps experience that’s nonetheless very deep.
Q: What are you reading/listening to/watching right now?
A: Fossil Men, written by Kermit Patterson, is a book that recounts past efforts to find the first human fossils and in turn rewrite human evolutionary history. (There were also several women involved in this effort).
And, “Primitive Mythology,” by Joseph Campbell, explores the formation of early human mythology and attempts to uncover the origins of archetypal ideas in early human thought.
Q: If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
A: Rumi, 13th century Persian mystical poet; Muhammad Ali, late boxing prodigy and activist; and prominent songwriter and activist Neil Young.
Between these three, I’m sure the conversation could get quite interesting and I could find myself sitting and listening in amazement!
Q: Do you have anything else to add?
A: When I started producing The Vessel publication and the radio show, I had doubts about whether it would resonate with people and wondered about my ability to successfully produce something. of value in these fields, of which I had little experience. Despite some initial apprehensions, it turned out to be a very rewarding and meaningful activity.
It feels good to produce something that people enjoy and enjoy participating in. I feel like everyone involved benefited from it.
I encourage anyone who has an idea or project in mind to take this leap of faith and pursue it, even if it may seem strange or “offbeat”. If it comes from the heart and involves good intentions, it will likely improve your life and the lives of those around you.
I would also like to encourage people to share their views and experiences, even if they may seem different or strange. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that many people also have unique perspectives and strange experiences.
You might find kindred spirits in unexpected places!
“People of Faith” focuses on Northlanders and their walk with spirituality and community. If you have a suggestion for this series, contact Melinda Lavine at [email protected] or 218-723-5346.
For more information:
- Visit the ship on
- Radio: The Vessel airs on 99.5 FM, Two Harbors Community Radio, 7-8 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month; it plays again from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. the following Friday. The show airs on
- E-mail: [email protected]