Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing 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!
Pagan Spirit Gathering Breaks Registration Records: Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG), one of America’s oldest and largest Pagan festivals, begins in less than a week. On Saturday, Selena Fox, senior minister and high priestess of Circle Sanctuary, the organization that sponsors PSG, announced that they will set a new record for attendance at the event.
“Breaking News! Pagan Spirit Gathering 2012 is going to be the most attended PSG yet! Just learned that we now have over 1000 people (all ages) registered. [...] This is the first time we have had more than 1000 people at a PSG!”
This is a remarkable achievement for the event, which has been held since 1980, and in several different locations over the years. A testament to the sense of community built during the 10-day-long festival. This year’s featured presenters include Margot Adler, author of “Drawing Down the Moon,” Crystal Blanton, author of “Bridging the Gap,” and chaplain/activist Patrick McCollum. There will also be musical performances by Damh the Bard and Arthur Hinds, among others. Representatives from the Pagan Newswire Collective will be there, and I have no doubt we’ll be hearing much, much more about the event in the weeks to come.
Temple of Witchcraft at Boston Pride: June is LGBT Pride month in the United States, and Pride parades and marches are happening across the country. This past Saturday was the 2012 Boston Pride Parade, and in addition to local politicians and local celebrities, several religious groups also took part. One Pagan religious group marching in the parade was the Temple of Witchcraft, an organization that was co-founded by author Christopher Penczak.
“Many thanks to all those who came out to march behind the Temple of Witchcraft banner in the Boston Pride March — our largest group of Pagans ever! — and thanks to those who supported us (and continue to do so) from afar!” – Steve, Gemini minister
The Temple, founded by gay men, marched to proclaim that “All Acts of Love and Pleasure Are Our Rituals.” You can find more pictures and commentary on their participation at the Temple of Witchcraft Facebook page. Later this month the Temple will be holding their own TempleFest gathering in in South Hampton, NH.
Witches & Pagans Magazine Adds Bloggers: In recent months Witches & Pagans Magazine, a publication that emerged from the merger of PanGaia and NewWitch, has been stepping up their web presence. The Pagan periodical has been reprinting older articles to their website, hiring new columnists (like Raven Grimassi), and now adding a fleet of Pagan bloggers to their site.
“I’m pumped up by our new bloggers at WitchesandPagans.com. My DH Alan had to drag me kicking and screaming (sometimes literally — the screaming, I mean) into doing this for our magazines, but now I’m as jazzed as he is. There’s been a lot of ego-stripping going on around here, but I believe it’s all to the good.” – Anne Newkirk Niven, Executive Editor, Witches & Pagans Magazine
Active bloggers at Witches and Pagans Magazine include Cat Treadwell, Diotima Mantineia, Kenaz Filan, Selina Rifkin, Tess Dawson, and WitchDoctor Joe. In addition, if you look at their contributors page, it seems like they have more bloggers coming soon. I’m happy to see W&P take this step into providing exclusive, regularly updated, content for their site. A healthy Pagan media is one where several outlets thrive, interact, and yes, compete. As such, I wish Anne and the W&P team every success, and look forward to following their output.
In Other Community News:
- Here at the Patheos Pagan portal, two new bloggers have just been added! Aidan Kelly, author of “Hippie Commie Beatnik Witches,” and Jason Mankey, (in)famous for his Dionysus/Morrison ritual (among other things). A hearty welcome to both writers, I’m sure they’ll enrich an already impressive lineup of Pagan columnists and bloggers here at Patheos. So be sure to check out Aidan Kelly: Including Paganism and Raise the Horns today!
- Two new Pagan albums are about to be released into the world, “Avalon is Risen” by Leslie Fish, and “Crow Magic” by the acoustic vocal group Crow Women (a follow-up to 2006’s “Crow Goddess”). Both are expected to be shipped later this month. For those going to PSG, the Synergy Beads booth will have exclusive copies to sell.
- Speaking of Raven Grimassi, he’s decided to start posting instructional videos on Youtube. The first is a talk on the book “Cauldron of Memory: Retrieving Ancestral Wisdom & Knowledge.”
- At PNC-Washington DC, David Salisbury reports on the Open Hearth Foundation’s DC Witches’ Faire.
- This past weekend was Troothmoot, the annual festival/gathering of The Troth, a group “dedicated to exploring, practicing and promoting the pre-Christian religion of the Germanic peoples.” One of the largest Heathen/Asatru organizations in the United States. During the weekend Troth business was conducted, including the election/reelection of Steven Abell (a Patheos columnist), Dave Carron and Dennis Ford to the Rede, the organization’s leadership body. Congratulations to them!
- Since I brought up Pagans in the Middle East yesterday, I thought I’d point out a lovely video montage of a secret Pagan ritual held in Beirut, Lebanon, in honor of Eshmun, Phoenician god of healing. Thanks to Adon for bringing it to my attention.
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!