Pagan Community Notes: American Mystic, Patrick McCollum, Rachel Bevilacqua, and More!

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  September 27, 2010 — 2 Comments

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, a new series more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So lets get started!

American Mystic West Coast Premiere: The new documentary film “American Mystic”, which focuses on the beliefs and practices of a Lakota sundancer, a Spiritualist, and Pagan priestess Morpheus Ravenna, is set to have its West Coast premiere in San Francisco on October 23rd.

“Save the date for the long-awaited West Coast premiere of American Mystic! The film will be coming to us on the weekend before Samhain, with a one-night special screening Saturday October 23, 9:30 pm at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater.  After-party to follow. More details will be coming on that, so mark your calendars for this not-to-be-missed event, and we’ll post the details here!”

The Wild Hunt will have an interview with director Alex Mar of Empire 8 Productions, a full review of the documentary, and more details about the DVD release in the near future. What I can say at this point is that this is a powerful film, and if you’re in the San Francisco area you shouldn’t miss this opportunity to see it on the big screen.

Patrick McCollum at the UN: Pagan chaplain Patrick McCollum,who just received the Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism, and was honored at the 25th anniversary of the Lady Liberty League, was invited to participate in the 2010 International Day of Peace at the United Nations in New York on September 21st. Rev. McCollum began the morning by blessing the Peace Altar at the center of the UN compound, and then later participated in the opening flag ceremony during the ringing of the Peace Bell, which marked a world-wide cease fire for one day.

“It was a powerful day,” said McCollum, “a time signifying hope and equality for all people, World Peace, and a reverence for our planet.” Following the International Day of Peace, Rev. McCollum participated in 4 additional days of meetings as a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the United Nations NGO, Children of the Earth.

Rachel Bevilacqua/Rev. Magdalen Custody Case: Long-time readers may remember my previous reporting on Rachel Bevilacqua (aka Rev. Magdalen) a member of the Church of the Subgenius who has been fighting a long and bitter custody battle with her former boyfriend. Now, it seem like the fight is finally over according to a comment sent to me by Modemac at The High Weirdness Project.

“The final deadline of September 22, 2010 came and went without any last-minute attempts by Rachel Bevilacqua’s former boyfriend to appeal the custody decision. This means that the custody case is now officially CLOSED IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK. Any further attempts to disrupt Rachel’s relationship with her son would have to be filed in the state of Georgia. This means that he would most likely have to SPEND MONEY to do so. In other words: After four years of hell, IT’S OVER.”

Keep in mind that this “victory” came at the cost of thousands of dollars, personal bankruptcy, and a still-standing ban on exposing her son to any Subgenius materials. I recommend reading the exhaustive run-down of this case at Modemac’s The High Weirdness ProjectPart 1Part 2Part 3. Cases like this are indicative of the struggles faced by parents who are adherents to minority religions. As more parents use religion as a “wedge” in custody battles, Reverend Magdalen’s case threatens to become a mere statistic in a larger trend of parents having to defend their faith in court.

RDNA on Bonewits: The latest issue of Reformed Druids of North America’s (RDNA) newsletter, the Druid Inquirer, features lengthy remembrances of Isaac Bonewits, who recently passed away after a struggle with cancer.

“As leaves fall, so do Druids. This issue is focused on the life and career of Isaac Bonewits (1949-2010) who died on August 12. You can separate his life into period into four quarters. First growing up a disgruntled but curious Catholic 1949-1965. Then he was most active in the RDNA from 1968-1983 and then became the founder and first Archdruid of ADF from 1983-1996. The last quarter of his Druid career was a focus on his family, the internet growth of Druidry, dealing with health problems, publishing books and the nurturing of the various projects from his youth. As with his mentor Robert Larson’s passing in 2005 and Norman Nelson in 2009, we are devoting this issue to providing you more resources in understanding the scope of Isaac’s Druidical influence.”

You can download part one, here, and part two, here. This is vital reading for anyone wanting to understand the evolution of Druidry in America, and Isaac Bonewit’s place in that history.

Welcoming PNC-Heartland: In a final note, I’d like a welcome another new addition to the Pagan Newswire Collective’s bureau’s project, PNC-Heartland, serving Kansas, Western Missouri, and surrounding areas.

“The PNC-Heartland Bureau was launched on 23 September 2010 by two Kansas City and one Wichita Pagan who are committed to gathering Pagan news in the Kansas and western Missouri region.  They have established a blog at http://pncheartland.wordpress.com.  If you have questions, news or would like to be part of this effort, please contact us at pncheartland@gmail.com.”

Yet another forward movement in creating a news infrastructure for the Pagan community, I wish them the best of luck. Stay tuned for announcements regarding the launch of PNC-Main’s web site and our official “coming out” at Pantheacon.

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Crystal7431

    Me too. : (

  • Crystal7431

    If you don't mind, I'll light a candle for you and your son. Hang in there.