Pagan Community Notes: Witches & Pagans, Cherry Hill Seminary, Treadwells, and more!

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  January 1, 2011 — 11 Comments

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, a 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!

Selena Fox & Southern Pagans: The latest issue of Witches & Pagans is now out, featuring a cover story on Circle Sanctuary’s Selena Fox and an in-depth look at modern Pagans living in the American South by Hank Eder.

But it’s not just the stars of the movement that deserve our recognition and support. Hundreds of thousands of Pagans live — quietly, passionately, devoted to their faith — in every part of the Western world. Some may believe that its impossible to be Pagan — especially out of the Broom Closet — in the so-called “Bible Belt” of America. But, in fact, there are many thousands of Pagans that live — and thrive — in the American South. Meet them, and learn more about what it’s like to be Pagan in a deeply Christian region in our 13-page story “Southern, Pagan & Proud” (complete with a directory of over 100 Pagan groups and stores in the Deep South.)

The piece on Southern Pagans is worth the price of admission alone, the kind of in-depth work that print publications should be pursuing in this era of instant and immediate news. You can browse a preview of the issue, here. You can also purchase a PDF download version of magazine, or become a subscriber.

Cherry Hill Seminary Names New Academic Dean: Preeminent online Pagan learning institution Cherry Hill Seminary has appointed academic and sociologist Wendy Griffin, Ph.D. as their new Academic Dean.

Perhaps the first American academic to be openly Pagan, Wendy has published numerous academic articles on Pagan women’s groups and is the editor of Daughters of the Goddess: Studies of Healing, Identity and Empowerment, a 13-essay survey of contemporary Feminist Witchcraft and Goddess Spirituality by British and American writers.  She is a founding co-chair of the Contemporary Pagan Studies Group in the American Academy of Religion, and serves on the editorial board of Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. Wendy recently completed work as co-editor of the first scholarly series in Pagan Studies published through an academic press, AltaMira.

Griffin said of her appointment, “I am excited about being part of Cherry Hill Seminary and making a contribution to the growing reputation and professionalization of the Seminary. When I entered the academic world as a brand new Ph.D. 26 years ago, I had no idea I would be able to end my career helping to build an institution that would serve such a diverse and committed international community.”

Fellow Pagan academic Chas Clifton says on his blog that CHS “made a good choice,” and praises Griffin’s ability and acumen. This is certainly a major recruiting coup for CHS, one that places them in an excellent position as they move forward towards accreditation and building a robust faculty. Congratulation to both Griffin and CHS (full disclosure: I have both taught and worked with CHS in a professional capacity).

Treadwell’s Big Move: First-rate esoteric London book shop Treadwell’s is moving into a bigger space in February.

“Treadwell’s will Moving in February 2011! It is good news, as we move to a slightly larger place in Bloomsbury, north of the British Museum – 33 Store Street, WC1. Do come and pay final visits to the much-loved (cosily cramped) shop in Tavistock Street in the next weeks. We’ve been filling the shop to the hilt with new books, rare books, featured books and gifts. We warmly invite you to visit in person. And friends overseas, we will gladly post mail orders to you of special books. We do vouchers, too, which are a favourite gift.”

You can see a video of the old shop, along with owner Christina Oakley-Harrington, above. Congratulations to a worthy business on their success and expansion!

Patheos Begins Wiccan Series: The Pagan portal at Patheos.com will be focusing on Wicca in January, the beginning of new series that will focus on a different Pagan tradition every month in 2011. Many noted thinkers and practitioners within Wicca will be participating, and readers are invited to send in their responses as well. Portal manager Star Foster has already posted the first question for the start of the Wicca series on January 3rd.

We will be launching a similar series on January 3rd as part of our monthly focus on different Pagan traditions in 2011. We will be putting the spotlight on Wicca in January and here’s our first question: What makes someone Wiccan? Dedication? Initiation? Practice? Belief? If you’d like to weigh in just e-mail me your short response (250-500 words) before Jan 3rd. It’s sfoster at patheos.com.

I look forward to seeing the responses, as well as the future series on other Pagan religions.

That’s all I have for now, I hope all of you have a great 2011!

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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