Latest News and Relevant information on Wicca,Witchcraft, Druidry, Paganism and more

Latest News and Relevant information on Wicca,Witchcraft, Druidry, Paganism and more

Latest Witchcraft, Wicca and Pagan News

All the latest witchy news from around the world. On this page you can find the latest news and relevant information for Pagans, Wiccans, Witches, Druids, Heathens and all walks of the Pagan Community.

  • Pagan ministers debate merits of reintegration
    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Pagan clergy, prison ministers, and members of the Minnesota Sex Offenders Program (MSOP) took part in a panel discussion at a Midwest Pagan conference on Sunday. The panel was created to assist MSOP members in understanding Pagan communities’ concerns and suggestions about reintegrating ex-sex offenders after they have served their prison terms and completed a lengthy rehabilitation process. The discussion also touched on other persons released from incarceration for felony offenses. Front Row: Ian Keller-Heikkila, Kelly Keller-Heikkila, Rev. Diallo J Mudd, and Don. Back Row: Clio Ajana at Paganicon 2017 [Photo Credit: C. Schulz] The panel was moderated by Clio Ajana at Paganicon, the yearly Pagan conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prison ministry panelists included Ian Keller-Heikkila, a Pagan prison minister since 2004. Her wife Kelly Keller-Heikkila, also a Pagan prison minister. Rev. Diallo J Mudd, representing EOCTO, Don with Mother Earth Ministries and a prison minister in Arizona. There were two representatives with the MSOP, who requested they not be named or quoted as they had not been given media clearance, who were there in primarily an information gathering function. The panelists first discussed the need for more Pagan prison ministers as the fastest growing religion in prisons is Paganism. They then outlined why Pagan ministers are needed, in particular, in programs that rehabilitate sex offenders. “Many rehabilitation programs are faith based and you need to accomplish extra steps to be released,” said Don. He noted the lack of Pagan clergy meant that those offenders who had embraced Paganism weren’t able to complete those steps while Christians had extensive resources. Those challenges don’t end once ex-inmates of any type leave prison. In most states, ex-felons can’t have any contact with the clergy that ministered to them while in prison. They have to find new clergy and new Pagan groups to join. Yet many Pagan groups shun ex-felons, and that is especially true of ex-sex offenders. One of the audience members was a former prison inmate. He said that he’d been out of prison for ten years and remembers how badly he needed to find a spiritual home. He said that he was always open and honest about his incarceration and finally found a Michigan- based group that welcomed him. “For those who have never done a day in your life, when you walk into a Pagan event you are shunned. Most of the time you aren’t given a chance,” he related. Concerns raisedOne audience member pointed out that Pagans often meet in peoples’ homes rather than in public places. Another said some Pagans have already encountered predators and, as a group leader, they want to make sure they won’t be re-victimized. Ian Keller-Heikkila responded, “When you think of a sex offender re-offending, that is very scary. But it’s more likely someone will re-offend if they have no support. If we don’t help them, who will?” Don noted there is a less than 5% recidivism rate among Pagans incarcerated in Arizona. National recidivism rates for all ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-21By Cara Schulz
  • Pagan Community Notes: Interfaith Partners of SC, Pagans in the Park, Claire Hamilton and more!
    COLUMBIA, S.C. — After the rise in reported cases of vandalism and threats made against U.S. Jewish Community Centers and temples, the Interfaith Partners of South Carolina (IPSC) took immediate action and reached out to the area’s Jewish community. Pagan priestess Holli Emore is on the board of IPSC and attended a February meeting between the organization and a local JCC management team. “As it happens, they are very worried, as nearly all JCCs are, about enrollment for the summer children’s programs. Without that income, their budget becomes very challenging, and without being able to serve children, there goes their mission, too,” said Emore. The JCC representatives informed IPSC’s board that Jewish centers around the country have had “so many parents pull their children out of the preschool that they are facing closure.” In response, the IPSC will being help the local JCC with an April festival to show support to the local Jewish community. Emore said that IPSC is also planning to use the event to promote peace and to recommit to its statement “condemning all acts of hate speech, vandalism or violence.” Emore is no stranger to interfaith work and has been active with IPSC for many years. In fact, it was her Pagan temple that led ritual events outside the South Carolina statehouse during Interfaith Harmony Month. Last year, she organized an event for IPSC called “Facing Fear in our Houses of Worship,” which was precipitated by the Charleston shootings. The event had special guests, including an FBI specialist, the local sheriff, and a Dept. of Homeland Security person from Washington. Emore said, “The FBI is talking to us about organizing more of these presentations.” “While it sickens me that we must be putting our energy to such activities,” she went on to say, “I am so gratified to be in a position to organize meaningful dialogue, training and publicity that I hope will help mitigate the current wave of nationalistic hatred that is sweeping the U.S. in a way I’ve not seen in my 60+ years.” *   *   * VICTORIA, Aus. — Despite any concerns expressed by Australian Pagans after the release of Robin Fletcher, the local community is not letting the news get in the way of their own celebrations and spiritual work. This past weekend Victoria saw its very first Pagan Pride Day.The event was hosted by the Pagan Collective of Victoria (PCV). It included a picnic, an autumn equinox ritual, short presentations on various traditions, and time to socialize. According to the website, PCV is “the only non-profit, incorporated association dedicated to providing state-wide community building and networking opportunities for Pagans.” It hosts a variety of events throughout the year, and Pagan Pride is now being added to that robust calendar. Held Mar. 18, the new daylong event was titled Pagans in the Park, a name that corresponds with other PCV events like Pagans in the Pub or Pagans in the Cafe. On the same day, PCV also hosted an evening concert featuring Spiral Dance and KC Guy at a local Melbourne ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-20By The Wild Hunt
  • 4 Simple Steps to Receiving Angelic Guidance
    Many of us may feel that even though we ask for angelic guidance, we don't seem to receive it. Lucinda Gabriel, author of the new How to Talk To Angels believes that that is not the case, that our angels are constantly speaking to us, but that we have to learn their language to understand what it is they are saying. Here she provides four simple steps to receiving angelic guidance. ... read more
    Source: Llewellyn JournalPublished on 2017-03-20
  • A blessed spring equinox
    This week marks the celebration of the vernal (spring) equinox and the astronomical beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. The actual equinox occurs Mar. 20 at 6:29 am EDT (10:29 UTC). At the same time in the southern hemisphere, it will be the autumnal equinox, and the beginning of the fall season. [Photo: J. Pitzl.] Many Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists celebrate the spring equinox as Ostara, Lady Day, Shubun-sai, or simply the coming of spring. Within their own varied and diverse traditions, they find ways to honor or recognize the warming days and renewed growth, as winter makes its slow departure. In addition, Apr. 1 brings the celebration, so to speak, of April’s Fools Day, which reportedly has roots dating back to the 1500s in Europe. In 1957, the BBC published its famous spoof video documenting Switzerland’s early Spring spaghetti crop. The video reportedly garnered mixed reactions. If nothing else, the video demonstrates the levity that the season can bring. While the exact roots of April Fool’s Day are unknown, there is some speculation that the tradition is tied to the spring equinox with the season’s changeable weather and unpredictable weather patterns. In addition the day has also been linked to the story of life’s journey found in the progression of the major arcana of traditional tarot. April corresponds to the first card, the Fool, which is considered the point of life’s beginnings. Other early springtime festivals and holidays celebrated include Holi or the Hindu festival of color, Higan in Japan, the Naw-Rúz or New Year in the Baha’i faith, the Christian Easter, and Purim and then Passover in the Jewish tradition. There are many others both secular and religious. The spring equinox also marks the beginning of the U.S. Pagan festival season with the opening of Equinox in the Oaks held in Florida. While much of the country is still shaking off winter and even experiencing snow, Florida’s early spring weather is ideal for an outdoor camping and ritual event. Equinox in the Oaks, now in its third year, launches the festival season, which then expands north across the country as temperatures rise and winter recedes completely. Here are some quotes celebrating the seasonal holiday…. “However March manifests, it’s one of my favorite months of the year. The Earth feels like she is taking a long, languid stretch after the cold winter. Life begins to stir. It’s time to till the soil, to plant seeds, to make ready for the growing season.” – Susan Harper in Energizing Ostara! “There’s no way to know how the ancient Anglo-Saxons would have felt about [Eostre], but to me she strongly retains the dawn goddess imagery. Crowned by the light of the rising sun, she ushers in the day. And what is spring but dawn writ large? As Pagans and Heathens, much of our concept of time runs in circles rather than in a straight line. Straddling the gap between day and night, summer and winter, Eostre is the goddess who turns the wheel from dark to light.” – Molly ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-19By The Wild Hunt
  • Column: Animism and the Eternal Recurrence of Myth
    The fourth century C.E. Neoplatonist Sallustius, a friend of the Roman Emperor Julian (who revoked Christianity’s status as state religion and attempted to revive polytheist worship), wrote in On the Gods and the Cosmos that the myths told in religious initiations “never happened, but always are,” and that “as the myth is in accord with the cosmos, we for that reason keep a festival imitating the cosmos, for how could we attain higher order?” (section 4) Sallustius wrote that myths which mix both psychic and material interpretations particularly “suit religious initiations, since every initiation aims at uniting us with the world and the gods.” Kybele [Public Domain] As an example of a “mixed” psychic and material myth, he cites the story of Kybele and Attis, putting forth the interpretation that Kybele “is the principle that generates life,” that Attis “is the creator of all things which are born and die,” and that “the creator who makes these things casts away his generative powers into the creation and is joined to the gods again.” Kybele’s priests, the Galli or Gallai (the latter term, of feminine linguistic gender, found in a fragment of Callimachus), were known for re-enacting Attis’ self-castration in their own ecstatic rituals. There is also a cave in at Hierapolis in Phrygia, of which Daniel Ogden writes in Greek and Roman Necromancy: “The … fumes supposedly killed all but eunuch-priests (galli) and mystery-initiaties. As an initiate, Damascius ventured into the cave in the sixth century A.D., and subsequently dreamed that he was the gallus Attis, that he had been ordered by the mother of the gods to celebrate the Hilaria, and that he had been delivered from Hades.” (26) Damascius’s experience shows that even for non-galli, the myth had the power to re-enact itself in the realm of underworld-connected caves and dreams. The connections between myth and mystery initiation run even deeper, however. Following Gregory Nagy, Richard P. Martin writes in “The Myth Before Myth Began:” The root underlying the noun form muthos is that found in the Greek verb muô meaning ‘to close’ the eyes or mouth. From the same root we have the words mystêrion (mystery) and mystês (initiate), in both of which the notions of closure, and of being closed off or excluded, are operative. (4) Furthermore, in Homeric poetry, μῦθος had the connotation of “authoritative utterance,” specifically a “unitary speech-act term comprising subcategories of rebuke, command, and recollection.” (2) Thus, it should come as no surprise that myths do indeed continue to unify speech and action, to violently reenact themselves in the material world and then to be recollected through storytelling. Hermes slaying Argos, rawing of fifth-century B.C.E. Athenian vase [Public Domain] Argeiphontes Argos was a hundred-eyed giant, surnamed Panoptes: all-seeing. According to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Zeus transformed his lover Io into a milk-white heifer in the hopes of deceiving Hera, but when Hera asked for the cow to be given to her as a gift, Zeus acquiesced. Hera then set Argos as a ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-18By Heathen Chinese
  • DruidCast – A Druid Podcast Episode 120
    Shownotes for DruidCast Episode 120 Heron Valley (Daughter Song) - Nigel Shaw and Carolyn Hillier - www.seventhwavemusic.co.uk The Life of Iolo Morganwg - Kristoffer Hughes - www.angleseydruidorder.co.uk The Mabon - Dreow Bennett - www.facebook.com/dreow.bennett Creatures and Demons - Lucy Ward - www.lucywardsings.com Wikka Woman - Inkubus Sukkubus - www.inkubussukkubus.com The Three Noble Strains - Claire Hamilton - www.hamiltonharps.co.uk DruidCast Theme - Hills they are Hollow - Damh the Bard - www.paganmusic.co.uk For further information on Druidry and the Order of Bard Ovates and Druids - www.druidry.org ... read more
    Source: DruidcastPublished on 2017-03-17By Order of Bards Ovates and Druids
  • Column: When the Gods Hide in Songs
    In the history of European Paganism and Polytheism, it is known that numerous Pagan concepts, gods, spirits, and ideas remained part of the people’s psyche even long after the beginning of the conversion process. While these figures did not necessarily retain their original religious place and spiritual function over the centuries, many managed to nevertheless survive by being carried on, if not through religious traditions, then through popular culture. The Norse-Iceland sagas are a good example of this phenomenon. Even though there likely weren’t any Pagan Icelanders around after the 11th century, their descendants kept on compiling, adapting, and writing down tales of Þórr, Óðinn, and countless Pagan heroes all the way to the 20th century. While these figures had left the purely religious sphere of the Icelanders’ worldview, they nevertheless remained latent characters about which tales were told, and even created, until being finally spiritually and religiously brought back in the late 20th century. Jens Christian Kloster and Gaute Vikdal in Bronze-Age garb at Tromsø’s protestant cathedral [Lyonel Perabo, 2017]. While the gods, the old ways, and everything surrounding them have indeed been brought back to their earlier status by some, there is no doubt that many more individuals still know of them not in a spiritual-religious sense but rather in a cultural one. Nearly anyone in the West can name at least half a dozen deities from the classical Graeco-Roman pantheon, Scandinavians know what a Jötun is, and every Frenchman who read Asterix as a child can name the Gaulish god of thunder, Toutatis. This underlying Pagan presence within the Western worldview has become increasingly noticeable in the past couple of decades as the global entertainment industry has continued to grow and influence popular culture. While this process is maybe most apparent within visual media such as movies, series, comics, or video games due to the colorful and diverse imagery of the ancient pagan world, one could wonder if a similar process is also taking place within other media such as music. After all, music has always explored a rich variety of topics, and masterful works such as Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring or Wagner’s Ring Cycle have managed to sublimate ancient myths and concepts. Yet such examples do not really fit into what one could be called popular culture per se. They cater instead more to the intellectual and cultural elites of their times. Those songs represent a learned tradition that, even given time, will likely not slip back into the general culture to an extant similar to “genuinely” popular music designed by and for the general public. To illustrate this point, one could compare Stravinsky’s and Wagner’s works with highly introspective and hermetic contemporary cinema such as the movies directed by acclaimed, yet largely unknown, Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov. While on the opposite of the cinematographic spectrum, one can also find blockbuster pictures such as Marvel’s Thor, or Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson. How can one explain the dearth of similarly popular Pagan-inspired art within ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-17By Lyonel Perabo
  • Saint Patrick, Druids, Snakes, and Popular Myths: 2017
    [Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, so we are once again revisiting one of our most popular articles. Some conversations never go “out of vogue.” Here is the 2017 edition.] In 2012, Wild Hunt founder Jason Pitzl-Waters published an article called, “Saint Patrick, Druids, Snakes, and Popular Myths.”* To this day, it remains one of our most popular posts. Every year as March approaches, and even as March leaves, the article is read and re-read and read again. So today, we revisit that article with updated links, information and quotes. [Courtesy Pixabay] “[Tomorrow] is St. Patrick’s Day, a yearly holiday celebrating Ireland’s favorite patron saint. While it’s a big event in Ireland (and used to be a very solemn occasion), in America it’s a green-dyed bacchanal where everyone is ‘Irish for a day’ (let’s not even start on the horridly stupid ‘unofficial’ St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on college campuses). For some modern Pagans (whether Irish or not), St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a day of celebrations, as they see Patrick, famously attributed with converting Ireland to Christianity, as committing something akin to cultural genocide,” Pitzl-Waters began. This idea is based on a theory that the “snakes,” which St. Patrick (387-461 CE) allegedly drove out of Ireland in the 5th Century C.E., are actually a symbol for the Druids and their religion. This is not a far-fetched idea considering that the serpent is a common symbol for the Christian devil. Additionally, according to scientists, there weren’t any real snakes in Ireland at that time. In fact, there haven’t been snakes in Ireland for over than 8,500 years. The Ice Age performed the reptilian eviction, or the slaughter as it were, not St. Patrick. Therefore, the offending serpents had to be something other than actual snakes. And, many modern Pagans have taken this snake as Druid metaphor to heart. For example, as Pitzl-Waters noted, “author Isaac Bonewits called the day All Snakes Day and penned songs calling for the return of the “snakes.” [Photo Credit: Jon Sullivan / Public domain] But that theory has also been up for debate and, at this point, completely debunked. In 2012, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, a Celtic Reconstructionist Pagan and scholar with extensive knowledge of Irish myth and folklore, said: Unfortunately, this isn’t true, and the hagiographies of St. Patrick did not include this particular “miracle” until quite late, relatively speaking (his earliest hagiographies are from the 7th century, whereas this incident doesn’t turn up in any of them until the 11th century). St. Patrick’s reputation as the one who Christianized Ireland is seriously over-rated and overstated, as there were others that came before him (and after him), and the process seemed to be well on its way at least a century before the “traditional” date given as his arrival, 432 CE, because Irish colonists (yes, you read that right!) in southern Wales, Cornwall, and elsewhere in Roman and sub-Roman Britain had already come into contact with Christians and carried the religion back with them when visiting home. That idea was corroborated, in part, by a 2014 television special featured on the Smithsonian Channel. In Sacred Sites: Ireland, documentary filmmakers interview several scientists and Celtic scholars ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-16By Heather Greene
  • Interview with Abby Willowroot, Pagan artist and writer
    SAN FRANCISCO –When members of the Wilmington city county approved a new prayer for opening meetings, there was some interest in the Pagan priestess who penned that prayer, Abby Willowroot. While that name is not well-known to Pagans and polytheists who have come of age since the dawn of Facebook, Willowroot was shaping the Neopagan movement for decades. She agreed to talk to us about her many contributions. Abby Willowroot [courtesy photo]. “I was really thrilled to hear about Delaware,” she said, where one of her prayers will be used to open meetings for at least the next four years. Willowroot wrote a series interfaith prayers for public meetings because she was frustrated by the non-demoninational prayers that are frequently offered; the term “non-denominational” refers to denominations of Christianity, and therefore are not inclusive of anyone following a non-Christian path. “They all started out ‘dear Lord’ or ‘Jesus,’ and I didn’t think you can address a specific deity” and be fully inclusive, she said. This is not an issue just for the polytheists in attendance either; many Buddhists don’t revere any deity, she pointed out as an example. As part of a larger project of interfaith prayers that were compiled into a book titled Life Changes, Willowroot wrote a handful specifically for use at public meetings. They’re intended to bolster decision-making, collaboration, and the intention to serve the greater good. One of them was adopted by a Michigan nonprofit group, but Wilmington may be the first place where one of her prayers is being used to open a governing body’s meetings. Willowroot has considered herself Pagan for 56 years, since she was 15 years old. However, that process began when she was much younger. Growing up Roman Catholic, she recalls hearing stories of the religion’s deity and being skeptical. “If God was that powerful, he would not be that petty,” she said, adding that, as a little girl, “I was convinced I was being lied to.” She had other influences as well, like her babysitter “Mrs. Julia,” who she said, “brought us to the salt marshes and taught us about nature.” There was also a grandmother who instructed her in the ways of the “wee folk,” and why it’s never appropriate to rush back into the house for a forgotten item because that will offend them. “To this day, if I have to go back inside, I sit down, read a book, or otherwise occupy the space so that they recognize that I am not an intruder, and don’t hide my keys on me.” However, those various influences didn’t stop Willowroot’s artist father from turning her into a cover girl for Catholic Miss magazine. This being the 1950s and 1960s, the first organized Pagans Willowroot encountered were Gardnerians, when she was coming into adulthood. They stood in stark contrast to members of her Catholic faith from whom she learned that women were “unclean” and limited in their participation. In her mind, goddess spirituality and second-wave feminism alike were spurred ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-15By Terence P Ward
  • Just How “Silent” Should a Witch Be?
    One of the central tenet's in some Witchcraft traditions is "to keep silent," but just how silent do we have to be? ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-03-15By Jason Mankey
  • New site dedicated to Pagan bloggers poised to open
    TWH – A new website devoted solely to Pagan bloggers is set to open its doors Mar. 21. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, founder Jamie Morgan was able to begin the project. Since that time PaganBloggers.com has attracted the attention of over 60 writers, musicians, and artists, all of who will begin sharing their work on the new site designed by Pagans for Pagans. Morgan said in an interview with The Wild Hunt, “I hope that [Pagan Bloggers] becomes another destination for readers, because we are all readers, in the pagan community to hear our voices, debate questions, think and learn.” The site came into being after news of the Patheos contract spread through the blogging community. Morgan explained, “Rhyd Wildermuth had posted to Facebook about the latest contract fallout from Patheos Pagan and in the comments someone wondered why there wasn’t an alternative. I commented back that I could do that then I did my own post and it was off to the races.” The contract issues divided the online writing community with some staying with Patheos and others moving off. Patheos, now owned by Beliefnet, did amend the contract after complaints, however the change did not appease everyone. Morgan said, “There were half a dozen people who immediately commented they would like to be authors if I did it, and it snowballed from there.” In the days after making those comments, Morgan noted the commentary that was free flowing in social media, saying that people were frustrated that the site was being “managed outside the community.” Even though the channel manager is and has always been Pagan and part of the blogosphere, she noticed that, for many people, that was not enough. “Reading the blog posts around the contract issue I kept seeing over and over the concerns about BeliefNet and how the content was being managed outside the community. It’s a reality of Web 2.0 that content generation of ‘free’ sites means money for someone else.” She wasn’t surprised by these complaints. However, Morgan added, “I do think sometimes the Pagan blogging world can get caught up in itself and whip up a tempest in a teapot. It’s really easy to feed into that energy when you have a lot of persuasive and provocative speakers who know how to write to get responses.” Regardless, Morgan recognized that she had the skills to make a new site happen. She has a professional IT background and has worked with Windows servers, managed a fiction story archive, and has been a social media consultant and community manager since the 1990s. “I have the technical know-how, the community manager background and the time in the pagan community to make it work.” She added that she’s been doing work like this for quite some time, although not directly within the Pagan community. The PaganBloggers crowdfunding campaign began in early February, and it raised 12% of its goal within the first 24 hours. The IndieGoGo page proclaimed, “There is a need for a new Pagan portal, ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-14By Heather Greene
  • The Hearth Witch in March
    Spring is a busy time for the hearth witch. It is time to prepare the ground, plant seeds, and gather the early flowers and greenery of the year for food, remedies, and magical use. In this article, The Hearth Witch's Compendium author Anna Franklin takes us on a morning walk through the English countryside, gathering flowers and plants to use in everything from teas and tinctures to soaks and salads. ... read more
    Source: Llewellyn JournalPublished on 2017-03-13
  • Pagan Community Notes: Robin Fletcher, the Pagan Collective of Victoria, Pagan candidates and more!
    VICTORIA, Aus. – It was decided Friday that convicted sex offender Robin Angas Fletcher would be released from his court mandated supervision. As we reported in February, Fletcher was convicted in 1998 of five different counts of sexual crimes. After serving his jail sentence, he was released to live in Corella Place, a special community with mandated supervision. On Feb. 8, Supreme Court Justice Phillip Priest ordered Fletcher’s supervision to be revoked. That decision was challenged by the Secretary of the Department of Justice Greg Wilson, who said that “the offender posed an unacceptable risk.” However, on Friday the Court of Appeals affirmed the Supreme Court’s ruling and released Fletcher. The justices noted, “The criminal justice system imposes punishment on sex offenders and, in the ordinary course, an offender who has served his/her sentence is entitled to be released.” *   *   * VICTORIA, Aus. — The Pagan community in Victoria, and Australia in general, has continued to watch this case with deep concern. Fletcher has always maintained that the acts for which he was arrested were part of Wiccan ritual. In reaction to Friday’s announcement, The Pagan Collective of Victoria (PCV) told The Wild Hunt, “We are going to work with other Pagan organisations, such as PAN to put together more safety documentation and to try to start co-coordinating with the community to have more events to help make the community safe.” When asked if they were going to reach out to Fletcher, PCV said, “Absolutely not. He is a dangerous individual to open any doors with, and we don’t want [him] to get a foothold in anyway.” PCV organizers stressed that they will have more safety information at their events and it “will be holding meeting specifically targeting newbies later this year.” TWH also reached out to others in the community. However, they declined to comment at this point, stating the need to talk to lawyers before making official or public statements. We will update this story as needed.  *   *   * UNITED STATES – Two different Pagans announced last week that they would be running for public office: Cathy (Catt) Moritz and Tasha Rose. Cathy Moritz is running for a trustee position for her local public library district. In an interview, she said, “I see it as a primary channel to increase community engagement. The library, as our tagline says, is the heart of the community. We have the ability to reach out to everyone, regardless of age, education, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or religion.” Moritz didn’t think that religion would be an issue in her bid for the position. She added, “Even though it’s a mildly conservative suburb, being on the collar of Chicago provides a fairly liberal base overall.” She believes that her “non-mainstream perspective” might actually help her in the election process, adding that her unique perspective provides her with the ability to be “more understanding and build trust.” Just to the west, in Minnesota, Tasha Rose is running for a position on the St. Paul School ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-13By The Wild Hunt
  • A closer look at the Johnson Amendment
    WASHINGTON – On Feb. 2, President Donald Trump returned for a brief moment to a recurring issue facing his administration: the Johnson Amendment. At the National Prayer Breakfast, he told the attendees,“Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid of, and totally destroy, the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that — remember.” [Public domain.] Repealing the Johnson Amendment has been one of the main focuses of Trump’s campaign, and it continues to find its way into current political discourse with regard to religious freedom. Trump began speaking out against the tax code early in his bid for the presidency. Then, during his acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, he said: At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical and religious community in general who have been so good to me and so supportive.You have much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans. What is this Johnson Amendment, and what is its relationship to religious freedom? How does it affect the greater Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist communities in the U.S.? History of the Johnson Amendment The now-famous tax code change was implemented in 1954, after being passed by a Republican congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It’s name is taken from Lyndon B. Johnson who, at the time, was a senator from Texas. As the story goes, in 1954, Johnson was running for reelection against 30-year-old Dudley Dougherty. While Johnson had only won the previous election in 1948 by 87 votes, he was reportedly expected to easily to beat Dougherty in the primary race. However, during the campaign process, Johnson vocally opposed the ongoing McCarthy trials and its related fear-mongering. Contrary to that, Dougherty was running on platform that supported the trials and the government’s aggressive attempts to stop the spread of communism in the U.S. During the campaign, several large nonprofit organizations stepped in to back Dougherty, including Fact Forum and the Committee for Constitutional Government. These wealthy secular groups avidly supported the government’s anti-communist efforts and, as result, they publicly engaged in electioneering on behalf of Dougherty. Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Texas) 1954 [Public Domain] It was at this time that Johnson proposed the tax code change, and it is assumed by most historians that he did so to stop Fact Forum, CCG, and other nonprofits from backing McCarthyites. The effort also helped to ensure his own win. In that light, his motive appears to be one of personal political profit and not one based on ideology. At the same time, the move does demonstrate Johnson’s distaste for ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-12By Heather Greene
  • Column: The Seminary and Witchdom Balancing Act
    [A very common question asked within Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist communities is “How did you get here?” or better yet “How did you find this spiritual path?” People love telling and hearing the tales, and we all have them. This is mainly because our collective religions are made up of people who have adopted these paths, rather than having been born into them. While there are some second generation Pagans, they are still a minority – perhaps not for long. Either way, everyone has a story, and these stories are all unique. Today The Wild Hunt welcomes Pagan and Witch Dianne Daniels, who shares her journey and how she has come to a spiritual place where Witchcraft and Unitarian Universalism meet.] I’m a frequent reader of The Wild Hunt for it’s interesting and unique perspective on Pagan life, principles and learning; I’ve learned quite a bit and been introduced to different aspects of Pagan worship and study, finding perspectives with which I both agree and disagree. Reading and learning about the diverse thoughts and practices has helped me in my own journey as I weave together my Pagan and religious lives, which are not always the same thing, and as I create a unique perspective and path that is solely mine. Why Paganism? Simply put I have an affinity for the world of Witches. I consider myself an eclectic Witch, incorporating the principles and wisdom of Witchcraft. I began my studies as a teenager, looking for something “more.” As a child, I attended the church located at the end of the block where I lived, and I enjoyed it. However, one Sunday, I was shushed by an older lady sitting in the pew in front of me who then told my nephew and I to “stop making so much noise.” We had been patting our feet in time with the music and clapping our hands… We never returned. As a teenager, I discovered Wicca and the loving principles of that faith and wanted to learn as much as I could, but – and I’m dating myself here – this was long before I knew of or had access to the Internet. There was no one in my community, as far as I knew, who could be my teacher, so I was limited to books and my imagination. After about 5 years, I set aside my interest in Wicca and most religious topics on the back burner, got married, had a child, and tried to live the best life possible while not attending services. My first husband was not a church goer, and by habit, neither was I. After the marriage ended, I found myself inspired by The Daily Word. My mother received them in the mail, and I liked the positive messages and the lack of condemnation in them. I was happy to have a practice that we could share for a while, until I remarried and relocated. After moving to New England as an adult, I renewed my interest in Witchcraft, ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-11By Guest Contributor
  • Column: The Venerable Bede
    I am standing at an overlook outside the rail station in Durham. Mist covers the city, and slow rain leaves slicks along the path to my right. Past the lines of brick houses and motorways stands the newer Catholic church, Our Lady of Mercy and St. Godric. It’s barely a century-and-a-half old; I suspect the mortar between the stones is still wet. In the distance, on a cliff above the unseen River Wear, stand the ghostly white towers of Durham Cathedral. For a moment there on the overlook, I find myself wondering: isn’t it a bit perverse for me to be here? I am a Witch and a Heathen, after all; what use do I have for churches? But I had no idea if I would ever return to the U.K., certainly not with a spare day and a spare punch on my rail pass, and I hated to turn down the chance to walk stones in waking that I have only walked before in dreams. Overlooking Durham, England, with Durham Cathedral off in the mist [photo by E. Scott]. I take the puddled steps down and cross over a highway bridge, then go down again, past construction sites and roundabouts, past shops with names like the Velvet Elvis and the Fighting Cocks Public House, and down to another bridge, this one spanning the Wear, before I look up. Durham Cathedral, and the castle standing to its left, abut the cliff. I had seen this image before in photographs, the cathedral waiting atop the valley, the river lined with trees hiding the modern city. I take a photograph many others have taken before me. It’s unoriginal, perhaps, certainly inferior to the shots taken by professionals with actual cameras instead of cell phones, but their photographs would not be my photographs. Theirs could only be art, never memory. Up now, into the market district, where brass Poseidon stands watch over the square; back now, in search of the hidden road to the cathedral. I find an alley off Silver Street, next to a building marked the Nine Altars Café, which leads up a long and steep hill parallel to the river. At least it’s a pleasant place to be out of breath. Eventually I come to the top, and the reality of the place sinks in. Statue of Poseidon in the Durham Market Square [photo by E. Scott]. I have never been a Christian, and for the most part I have little use for Christian trappings. I have always preferred my religion to focus on the small, the oblique and personal: offerings of candy, cigarettes, and dollar bills at the shrines of the loa in the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple; weather-worn hammers and eggshells at Herne’s Hollow at the Gaea Retreat outside of Kansas City; coffee tables set as altars in the living rooms of my parents and their coven, lined with dishes of salt and water, incense, black iron swords. But cathedrals have their own kind of power, and despite ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-10By Eric O. Scott
  • Pagan shop owner feels targeted, ignored in Canada
    WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Until she turned to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation last week, Dominique Smith did not feel like she was being heard. Now, the story of her Pagan-themed shop being vandalized is repeatedly being shared widely, and she’s found allies in Pagan communities. What she’s yet to gain, however, is an investigation of these incidents as hate crimes. Smith owns Elemental Book & Curiosity Shop in Winnipeg, the provincial capital. It caters to the needs of local Pagans and polytheists, but she’s also become an “unintentional social worker,” pointing locals to resources for addiction, food insecurity, and other issues. She’s been told that her issues might have more to do with poverty in the area, but she disagrees. “We’re open about who we are,” in the store, she said, and Winnipeg is “in a Bible belt.” Harassment of a religious nature started almost immediately after the doors were opened, some six or seven years ago. Smith recalled being handed Chick tracts and finding pamphlets in the door decrying the Pagan nature of the Easter bunny. There are also reports that people will come to the shop just to pray for her soul. The business improvement zone, in which Smith’s store is located, has a security team which handles that sort of thing. But the issues didn’t escalate to outright vandalism until 2012, which saw the first of three times the store’s window was broken. No other businesses have reportedly had damage during that same period. Sable Aradia picked up Smith’s banner, writing on her blog, “She can’t afford to replace her windows, which cost thousands of dollars, every year. If the bullies who are attacking her store are trying to drive her out of business because they don’t like what she’s selling, they’re succeeding.” Dominique Smith [courtesy photo]. Damage like this has led to police reports being filed, but Smith told The Wild Hunt, “If I had called them every time I was harassed, it would have been hundreds of phone calls.” The store has been egged, garbage has been shoved through the mail slot, and one night an enterprising individual covered the entire front window with spit. “It must have taken them ten minutes to do that,” she said. Despite the fact that some of the harassment has had a distinct religious character and that no other businesses have been damaged, the vandalism has not yet being treated like a hate crime. This designation brings stiffer penalties, because it is believed that the perpetrator is targeting a particular, minority group of people. There are several perspectives on why the harassment hasn’t been called a hate crime. The one that has elicited the strongest reaction was the reason suggested by a Winnipeg police spokesperson, who told a CBC reporter that “witchcraft is not covered under religion.” Leaders of the Wiccan Church of Canada have been concerned with the hodgepodge of religious protection laws found from coast to coast for some years. In an article by Richard James posted on the church’s web ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-09By Terence P Ward
  • International Woman’s Day brings celebration and protest
    TWH — On Tuesday morning, visitors to lower Manhattan were greeted with a new sculpture facing the famous Wall Street bull. With hands on her hips and her hair in a pony tale, a little girl stairs defiantly at the charging creature. Titled “The Fearless Girl” and created by Kristen Visbal, this new art installment was placed overnight by advertising agency McCann New York and its client State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). For what purpose? To celebrate International Women’s Day and to send the message that women play a vital role in the workforce. [Photo Credit: Frederica Valabrega] In a Mar. 7 press release, SSGA said that it is “calling on the more than 3,500 companies that SSGA invests on behalf of clients, representing more than $30 trillion in market capitalization to take intentional steps to increase the number of women on their corporate boards.” While SSGA’s focus is on gender equality in corporate culture, it joins a number of other businesses, organizations, and individuals that are using this Mar. 8 International Women’s Day to send a message about gender equality and to celebrate the lasting and critical contributions that women have made to society. One of the more well-known efforts has been the International Women’s Strike, or a “Day Without a Woman,” which was organized by the same group that staged the women’s march in January. On the website, organizers explain, In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women’s March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system–while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. We recognize that trans and gender nonconforming people face heightened levels of discrimination, social oppression and political targeting. We believe in gender justice. The organizers are asking participants to wear red, to not engage in paid or unpaid work, and to not make any purchases. 30 groups, including the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, Black Women’s Roundtable, and Moms Demand Action, are endorsing this effort. It has reportedly created some problems around the country. For example, as reported by a North Carolina CBS affiliate, the entire Chapel Hill-Carboro school district in the eastern portion of the state will be closed to students Wednesday. In a news release, the school board confirmed that it “values its female employees.” However, the shutdown was not “an endorsement of the demonstration.” The board press release said that “the decision was made solely to avoid operating school on a day when there are insufficient staff to provide instruction and basic school services.” According to the district’s blog, teachers and staff started asking for Mar. 8 off weeks ago. As the date came closer, it became obvious to the board that the “number [of these requests] was significant,” and there would not be enough staff to “to safely run [the] school district.” The Chapel Hill-Carrboro area is not the only one reportedly affected by the boycott. There are ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-08By Heather Greene
  • Witchcraft and Wicca Can Be the Same Thing
    It gets old hearing from certain segments of the Witching World that I'm not allowed to use the word Witch to describe my practice or that I'm somehow using it improperly because my definition doesn't quite fall in line with theirs. Witch is a word with many definitions, and if someone says they are a Witch they most likely are! ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-03-08By Jason Mankey
  • Trademark application for “Yule” spurs controversy
    TORRANCE, Calif. — A dispute over product packaging and branding has been raised to an unusual level for the intertwined Pagan communities, with one party filing an application to trademark the name Yule in an attempt, as reported, to protect its product from copycats. The response, which is largely driven by a that many common uses of the word would be forbidden if the trademark is approved, has come in the form of a campaign to educate the trademark examiner on the issues before any final decision is made. [Public Domain / Pixabay] The companies at the center of the dispute are Sage Goddess, Inc. and Wyld Witchery. Sage Goddess Inc is described by one of its principals Dave Nicely, as”family owned and operated.” Wyld Witchery is a “micro business” according to partner Lila Ellwood in an interview for the Pagan Business Network blog. Ellwood and her partner received a letter directing them to cease and desist selling two perfumes called “Yule” and “Amatus,” because the name and appearance infringed on trademarks owned by Sage Goddess, Inc. The letter was dated Feb. 14, 2017, and the trademark applications were filed the following day. “They copy a lot of our products,” said Nicely when reached for comment. This is the why he reported taking the step to file this and other trademark applications. In a further written explanation provided by the company’s attorney Scott Shabel, trademarks are necessary to file a complaint with the platforms Etsy and Shopify. As recounted in that letter, many Wyld Witchery products were too close for their comfort: “The bottle, cap, sari silk, stones, ingredients, and labels for several products were in most cases, identical to ours, including products we’ve had on the market for years. The marketing and descriptive copy used to sell this competitor’s products were, in some cases, lifted verbatim from our website. “When a number of our customers wrote to us saying they were confused as to whether our products were being sold by another shop, we had no choice but to take legal action to protect our trade name, trade dress and other intellectual property rights.” Charissa Iskiwitch, who runs the Pagan Business Network site, also received a letter herself from attorney Shabel after the interview with Elwood was posted. In it he decried various factual errors, and requested that the offending piece be taken down. Iskiwitch’s response came from attorney Courtney Lytle, who represents trademark clients and teaches that area of law. After Lytle remarked that registering Yule as a trademark for a perfume could easily prevent any scented products to use that name, Iskiwitch started organizing the resistance. Her goal was to alert the trademark examiner — who has yet to be assigned — that this is in effect a common word, which cannot be trademarked. Her tactics include talking to business owners whose products could be impacted, and to circulate online petitions. However, Iskiwitch took pains to make clear that she was not interested in dissecting or ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-07By Terence P Ward
  • No. 137 Magic : Is it real or did I imagine it
    Source: Tylluan Penry – Youtube ChannelPublished on 2017-03-07By Tylluan Penry
  • Four Ways Your Energy Animal Can Appear to You
    Animals. We share our world with them, we have them as pets, and they can be a source of comfort and love. Animals can also be spiritual guides for us during times of need or to help us grow on our spiritual path. But how do we know when they are trying to tell us something? Melissa Alvarez, author of the new Animal Frequency, provides four ways our spiritual animals make contact. ... read more
    Source: Llewellyn JournalPublished on 2017-03-06
  • Into the Coven: Five Essential Coven Tips
    A coven is more than just a meeting or a sabbat gathering involving Witches, ideally it should be a group of people so close that you'd call them a chosen family. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-03-06By Jason Mankey
  • Pagan Community Notes: Matt Schofield, Johnson Amendment, Prayer in Delaware, and more
    MILFORD, Utah — The ADF community woke up to shocking news as word spread that member Matt Schofield (1989 – 2017) had committed suicide Mar. 4. Schofield was veteran of the Marine Corps, and reportedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Recently his beloved therapy dog, Bear, had gone gone missing, which was reportedly a devastating loss for Schofield. Friends have said that the grief must have been too much to handle. Born Nov. 27, 1989, Schofield was originally from Milford, Utah. His family moved to Salt Lake City, where Schofield attended Olympus High School, graduating in 2008. He then attended Snow College for one year before joining the Marine Corps. In 2013, Schofield took a job with Marine Corps recruiting, and then eventually moved back to his hometown of Milford. In recent years, he was working as a chef and taking courses through the Academy of Art University, based in San Francisco. Schofield was a solitary Druid practitioner and was not well-known throughout the national ADF scene. However, he kept online friendship with other Druids, and followed the community happenings. Despite any connection he had made spiritual or otherwise, it did not completely alleviate his suffering. A close friend posted on his memorial page, “Matt fought hard to stay here in this life as long as he could. He had a brave heart and courage to fight as long and as hard as he did. I love him, and will always love him for the spectacular human that he was and his spirit will always continue to be.” ADF members and others are now sharing phone numbers for support hotlines and organizations that specifically deal with suicide, PTSD, and veteran care. Quoting information from Schofield’s friend Lindsey Smith, Rev. Sean W. Harbaugh, Public Relations Director of ADF posted this statement: “PTSD is real and needs the same amount of attention physical wounds do. If you or someone you love is fighting with PTSD please call the Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.” Harbaugh also added, “While most ADF priests are not licensed counselors, part of our training is to have a list of resources available to refer you in times of crisis. You’re never alone. Reach out.”  What is remembered, lives.  *   *   * UNITED STATES — A statement has been released by members of Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition on the proposed removal of the Johnson Amendment, the tax code that prevents non-profit organizations from engaging in certain political activities. The statement reads, “On Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, at the National Prayer Breakfast, newly-elected President Donald J. Trump stated that he would ‘totally destroy’ the Johnson Amendment. . . . The leaders herein undersigned oppose any effort to rescind, reverse, and/or repeal the Johnson Amendment. Since 1954 it has been a bulwark in the tax code where it has reinforced both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.” The coalition is made up of a group of “leaders and liaisons of national Pagan organizations and publications ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-06By The Wild Hunt
  • South African Witches face obstacles in the public practice of magic
    [The following article is a joint project between The Wild Hunt and Damon Leff, a human rights activist, Witch, and editor-in-chief of Penton Independent Alternative Media. Leff is also the director of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance, and owns his own pottery studio called Mnrva Pottery. He is currently studying Law at the University of South Africa, and lives in the Wilderness, Western Cape, South Africa.] SOUTH AFRICA — Michael Hughes, the unofficial face of the recent February 24 mass binding ritual against the 45th President of the U.S. Donald Trump, described it as a tool for political resistance against “the Devil.” In the wake of the numerous international headlines around the world, South African Witches were left wondering whether such public magical resistance against a sitting head of state will in any way influence, or reinforce their own government’s existing negative perception of Witches. South African Witches live in a country that is still hostile to any notion of “witchcraft” as a valid spiritual pursuit. For most South Africans, including influential Traditional Healers and Traditional Leaders, Witchcraft is viewed as a wholly negative practice. Pagan Freedom Day in South Africa 2009 [Photo Credit: Ginney May / Wikimedia] Most forms of magic of this type remain taboo in communities around the country, and even beyond in other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. This bias often finds expression in unexpected places, and the response by authorities to allegations of Witchcraft remain largely reactive. In 2012, a leaked South African Police memorandum revealed that provincial commissioners had been instructed to appoint detectives in every province tasked with investigating alleged harmful occult-related crimes. In addition to investigating actual cult related activity, newly appointed detectives are now required to also investigate spiritual intimidation and astral coercion, curses intended to cause harm, and alleged offences relating to Witchcraft (identified as “black magic” by the SAPS). To date, no practicing Witches have been charged with any of these crimes, but the existing underlying bias permeates virtually every aspect of civil life. Therefore, when the call to bind Trump went out internationally, South African Pagans had to not only consider the ethics of such spellwork, but also had to weigh the situation within the context of South African law. Politically and ethically speaking, the reactions found in the South African Pagan community varied just as in any other community. The responses ranged from active support for political magical activism to criticism of both the use of magic to bring harm and the assumed common intention of the participants. Pierre Doubell, a Reiki Master and the High Priest of a small Wiccan coven in Port Elizabeth believes “magic can be harmful if used in the incorrect way.” Doubell said, ” If the intent is to change someone’s free will or to intentionally bring harm, then that act is classed as being negative or harmful, as we are imposing our idea of what should be on others or the world at large. “The proposed binding of President Trump by ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-05By Heather Greene
  • Column: Aradia Inspires a New Generation of Resistance
    Within 24 hours of President Trump’s inauguration, resistance movements exploded onto the national, and even international, landscape. The Women’s March on Washington was so large that attendees could not march because they filled the entire marching route. The same was true in Los Angeles, and sister marches attracted hundreds of thousands of people all across the country and around the world. Within the first week, the new president started a war with the National Park Service, suspending their social media privileges. The NPS fought back by creating “rogue” Twitter accounts assigned to unknown federal employees and quickly gained thousands of followers. This pattern was followed by a number of other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, and U.S. Customs. According to NPR, there are now over 80 of these accounts actively tweeting facts about science, climate change, and other topics that administration would prefer to silence. Other examples of resistance abound. A science march is scheduled for April 22. Airport resistance placed a snag in the administration’s travel ban. There is even a ballot initiative in California with the intention of seceding from the United States. Last weekend, witches across the globe participated in a collective hex on the president. The resistance is not limited to the courts, the streets, and social media. Witches and other magickal practitioners are plying their craft and organizing movements for magickal resistance. One of these efforts is the We Are Aradia movement. Born from the idea of Storm Faerywolf and the work of Laura Tempest Zakroff, We Are Aradia works with the energy of a vital piece of Witchcraft lore toward the goal of resisting the oppressor. Aradia, Gospel of the Witches by Charles Godfrey Leland is a foundational piece of Witchcraft lore. It is one of the inspirations for the practice of Wicca and Witchcraft. Aradia, daughter of Diana, is sent to teach methods of magickal resistance to those who suffer at the hands of oppression by the church. “Thou shalt make them die in their palaces,” Aradia is told. “And thou shalt bind the oppressor’s soul…For I have come to sweep away the bad, The men of evil, and I will destroy!” (pp. 4-5). With this inspiration, the founders of We Are Aradia hope to organize Witches and others into a magickal resistance against what they perceive as the oppressive policies of the Trump administration. Author and Faery teacher Storm Faerywolf began the idea with a tweet. Concerned with “our government lurching abruptly to the (alt) right,” Faerywolf felt that many people are “legitimately scared and a wondering if [they] will continue to be safe in our country.” After reading a post stating that someone was “feeling like we need a real life Aradia right now,” Faerywolf responded, “I guess we need to be Aradia for each other right now,” and initiated the hashtag #WeAreAradia. “As we in the United States are finding ourselves on the very precipice of totalitarianism,” says Faerywolf, “now more than ever is the time ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-04By Tim Titus
  • Who Should Be In Our Circles? On Minors, Children, and People Who Don’t Want to Be in Ritual
    When it comes to kids and ritual the most important thing is (probably): do they want to be there? ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-03-03By Jason Mankey
  • Column: Convention Season and a Question of Pagan Identity
    As winter gives way to spring, we are in the midst of, what I term, “awards season” for Pagans, in other words convention season. Every year, the number of Pagans who attend Pantheacon, Paganicon, ConVocationSacred Space or others rises. We go to meet, to see, to be seen, and to discover. We step outside our comfort zone. We observe and participate in rituals that we might not otherwise experience, hear opinions during discussions that reinforce our own core beliefs, and even, if we so dare, discover what repels us. For the curious, this annual convention season is one-stop shopping for the many varieties of Pagan thought and practice. For some people, convention season is the opportunity to be as religiously-oriented as desired. For others, it is just a social event with those people we only get to see once a year or every two years. For still others, it’s both. If we are publishing in the community, we can interact with readers and fellow writers who might like to continue a discussion, which mentally began on the page, over a meal, coffee, or in the hallway. Like an awards show, the Pagan convention circuit also showcases current celebrities, honors those who are no longer among the living, and highlights the relevant political issues of the day. These events also allow some people, who perhaps are not quite ready to identify as “Pagan” or associate with a particular  tradition, to see how others choose to present themselves publicly. But what exactly is a “Pagan” identity? What does it mean to self-identify as Pagan? This might seem to be a straightforward question, but I find lately during these uncertain times that meaning has become a bit murky. Is being Pagan a strictly social identity, dependent upon one’s immediate and present choice of community, family members, and friends in social situations? Or, does being Pagan mean that you live a certain lifestyle 24/7?  Are you Pagan if you only come out during “awards” season when it is cold or during the summer’s festival season in your area? The decision behind one’s choice to identify as “Witch” or “polytheist” or “Heathen” or any of the various methods of publicly aligning with the Pagan community is complicated for one reason: our name implies meaning. Recently, I have been listening to conversations in which the Pagan identity of an individual or of a group was defined by what someone would or would not do. For example, if you are defined as being “rainbows and light,” does this mean that you will not do any spell work that might harm someone? If you are a Pagan who has no qualms regarding using spells to improve your life, does this only extend to defense and protection, or does this include going on the offensive in order get what you want, when you want it, and how you want it? Ethically, does identifying as a certain type of Pagan mean you will use spell work only for the protection of your immediate family and no one else? Or does ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-02By Clio Ajana
  • Michigan’s successful 2017 Pagan conference opens with tributes and tears
    DETROIT, Mich – Last weekend at the Dearborn Double Tree Hotel, more than 1,000 delegates gathered for the 22nd annual ConVocation convention. The theme this year was “The Seeker of Wisdom Must Release the Illusion of Knowledge.”ConVocation was founded in 1995 by the Magical Education Council (MEC) as a way to bring together practitioners of various spiritual paths and faiths for teaching and the promotion of promote fellowship among all esoteric traditions. Last May, the Detroit community was shocked to learn of the sudden and untimely death of ConVocation chairperson Michael Wiggins. The MEC board had charged him with the task of shaping the theme for this year’s event. Instead of replacing him with a new con chair, the team decided instead to keep him present in spirit as ConChair-in-Memoriam. The event kicked off on Thursday evening Feb. 23 with an opening ritual led by members of the MEC board. In a heartfelt and emotional ceremony, the presence of Michael Wiggins was brought through by one of the cons featured presenters Michelle Belanger. Belanger channeled the spirit of Wiggins as she entered the ritual dressed in Wiggins’ hat, carrying his walking stick, and belting out a jazz classic. She was greeted by tears and applause from the crowd in the hotel ballroom. Michael Wiggins [Courtesy Photo] “I don’t often get nervous, but this was a huge responsibility,” said Belanger in an interview with The Wild Hunt afterwards. “Even if I was able to fully allow him to have a presence in that space, he meant so much to so many of those people that if any part of it felt disingenuous, it would hurt the magic and the weekend for them. “I pushed that aside and let the magic flow how it needed to flow.” MEC board member and ConVocation organizer Cindy Wiggins, Wiggins’ wife, spoke a passionate tribute to her late husband. She was surrounded by the rest of the ritual team, who were all dressed in blue – a significant color to Wiggins. “It was Michael’s traditional public color,” Cindy Wiggins explained after the conference. “His personal inner color actually was yellow, because he was driven very much by his will and so his will chakra and that yellow, dominated his internal energy. But what he generally put on for the public was blue. “And when he chose a color for almost anything that he was doing on behalf of the community, he chose blue. Partly because he worked so much energy through his voice, and partly because of the calming nature of the color.” Through this ritual, new comers to ConVocation were able to meet the man who had been such a vital part of the Detroit community, and regular attendees were able to come together as a community to share a moment to honor his memory. Cindy Wiggins added “It was a very emotional moment, not difficult. This community is so loving and so supportive. I knew they were all holding me up, and helping ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-03-02By Dodie Graham McKay
  • No 136 Using a foreign language in a spell
    Source: Tylluan Penry – Youtube ChannelPublished on 2017-03-02By Tylluan Penry
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