Quick Notes: Pagan Japan Relief Project, More Madison Protest Interviews, and the Magic of Treadwell’s

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  March 16, 2011 — 7 Comments

A few quick news notes to start your morning.

Pagan Japan Relief Project a Success: As of this writing, the Peter Dybing-initiated drive to raise money from within the Pagan community for Doctors Without Borders’ work in Japan has raised nearly $10,000 in three days. Here’s a message from Dybing about the drive that was posted yesterday.

“Pagans from all over the country have donated and stepped forward to endorse the project. We received donations from individuals as well as organizations. To all those who stepped forward THANK YOU. We still have been unable to generate significant numbers of small donations. It continues to be the goal of this project to engage the entire Pagan community in a unified effort. If you are concerned that you do not have the funds to donate consider just a few dollars. Each of us can only do so much in these tough economic times. What is important is participation not the donation amount.”

The Pagan Japan Relief Project is working towards a goal of $30,000, and it looks like this target may be reached sooner than anticipated. Major figures within modern Paganism like Selena Fox, Thorn Coyle, and Starhawk have already been spreading the word on Facebook, and Peter Dybing says that statements from well known Pagans about this effort will published today. This is a hugely positive cooperative effort, one that we can all take pride in. So continue to spread the word, and be sure to read about the work Doctors Without Borders is doing on the ground in Japan.

You can find all The Wild Hunt’s coverage on this issue, here.

ADDENDUM: Please see this update on the Pagan Japan Relief Project from PNC-Minnesota.

More Pagan Voices From Madison: Nels Linde at PNC-Minnesota has posted more interviews with Pagans taking part in protests against anti-union initiatives enacted by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and state Republican lawmakers.

“I’m a teacher and I’m here because I am very passionate about what is wrong with our democracy today. I am a Druid, I have been practicing for about 12 years now, with a group out of the Twin cities. It is very powerful to be here today because the energy is just so intense. There is so much pride and hope. People are coming together, it brings tears. I have already signed my petition to recall my Senator, Sheila Harsdorf, and also for Walker. I am involved in some local community protests, next in Hudson on the bridge, Sunday. I have been through all the emotions, you know, shock, anger, and despair. I’ve cried. You start with one group and target, demonize them and once they are taken out, there is another group. Most Walker supporters do not like non-Christians, so it is very, very scary.”

Nels has been doing amazing and essential work covering Pagan involvement in these protests, and I urge everyone to head over to PNC-Minnesota and catch up on his reports. Here’s his installment on Saturday’s events. More is promised on Thursday.

You can find The Wild Hunt’s previous coverage on this issue, here.

Checking In With Treadwell’s: In a final note, the Guardian interviews Christina Oakley Harrington, proprietor of the well-regarded esoteric bookstore Treadwell’s, about her shop and the unique spirit of London that makes its success possible.

“London is a place for unusual people who need to find other unusual people. Cities are where misfits always go. If you can’t manage in the village with the curtain-twitchers – if you can’t live like that because you’re gay, or you’re massively artistic, or because you have to talk to angels and demons and spirits … Where else are you going to go to find others who might be like you? You go to London. Could Treadwell’s exist anywhere outside of London? No.”

Treadwell’s recently moved to a larger space, the very building where Mary Wollestonecraft wrote Vindication of the Rights of Women. Congratulations to Christina and Treadwell’s on their continued good press!

That’s all I have time for at the moment, have a great day!

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • caraschulz

    I'm not in Wisc – but I'm just across the border and people here live and work on both states. I don't think the government in Wisconsin is any more (or less) pro/anti-Pagan than they have been in the last 10 or so years. I think emotions are running pretty high there, protestors are frustrated, and that can translate into a general "OMG – they're out to get me" feeling.

    • Grimmorrigan

      They are out to get you, but they are after everyone's rights, not just Pagans. Solidarity now, solidarity forever.

  • Kelly Dugery

    Out of curiosity, has anyone looked to see if there are Pagan going out *in support of* the Governor Walker and his legislation?

    I'll admit I'm at 6's and 7's on the issue. Growing up as the daughter of a union coal minor I am well versed in both the benefits (better pay and benefits, safer work environment) and the liabilities (wildcat strikes, union protection of incompetent workers) . Sometimes I wonder if unions have outlived their usefulness, other times it seems there is still work to be done protecting the rights of the working class.

    In either case, I don't think the issue is as black and white as it may appear. I would be interested to hear the views of any Pagans on the opposite side of the issue if there are any…

    • caraschulz

      Yes there are. But I have been unable to convince the two that contacted me to agree to an interview. One, because this issue has created so much emotion in the coven she is part of that she may be pushed out and she is hoping things can be worked out within her coven – the other because they don't want their other coreligionists to know they are actually working on a recall effort of one of the Democrat Senators who left the state (fears repercussions). In both cases they aren't receiving push back from GOP or Walker supports who know they are Pagan. I would LOVE for Nels to interview them.

      Those are the two that I know of in Wisconsin. Outside of Wisconsin there ARE Pagans on various sides of the issue. Heh…but most of them are keeping publicly quiet.

      • Kelly Dugery

        Thanks! I figured there had to be some Pagans on the pro-Walker side. It's really a shame that they are afraid to speak out not so much in fear of retaliation by their political allies, but by their Pagan brothers and sisters.

        As I said before, I have no real position on this one way or another since I really can understand where both sides (pro- and anti-union) are coming from. I would simply like to be able to hear BOTH sides equally without one or the other having to fear personal retribution from those whom they are supposed to be able to hold in "perfect trust."

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          I have met a number of conservative Pagans, and never one afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation by fellow Pagans. Where, exactly, do you get this idea?

  • Peter what a fine organization Doctors without Boarders is i feel honored to do my small part your friend Zaracon