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 let’s get started!
In Memoriam: Dennis Presser (1958-2013): Circle Sanctuary has announced that longtime Circle and Pagan Spirit Gathering community member Dennis Presser passed away last week from natural causes. In a memorial posted to their site, Circle Sanctuary said of Presser that they “honor his Nature-loving spirit, his devotion to sacred Rhythm, and the friendships he made so easily and widely. What is remembered lives.”
“Thank you, Dennis, for friendship over the years. Thanks for your environmental education and preservation work, your community drumming and celebrations, and for your wisdom, humor, and support. Condolences, love and support to Laurie, Hunter, and Allegra, and to all of us mourning his death. May we take comfort in knowing that this world is a better and greener place because of Dennis.” – Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary
Friends and acquaintances are encouraged to post their own memorial remembrance at the Circle Sanctuary site. You can read his official obituary, here. You can read an editorial from PNC-Minnesota, here. What is remembered, lives.
S.J. Tucker Readies New Album: Singer-songwriter (and Pagan) S.J. Tucker has announced that she’ll be digitally releasing an album of new material on March 5th, with physical copies to follow. The songs were developed for the soundtrack of “micro-budget” fantasy/action film “Ember Days,” also being released on March 5th.
“I got you all a Valentine’s Day present. It’s still cooking, but it’s on its way to being fully formed and tasty. I have been a good little songwriter/producer this month. Early in February, I went to work in my Pixie House and finished up the first project of this year. Last week, on St. Valentine’s Day, I put that project into the hands of my mastering engineer, Mr. Mark Yoshida. He’s working on it now. When I get it back from him, and when Mr. Wiley and I settle on the album design, it will all go to printing and replication. When that’s done, I’ll have it in my hands…and soon after that, I hope, so will you!”
According to Tucker this material will be a departure from her normal style, mining “goth/industrial or dubstep-influenced” sounds. Once released, you’ll be able to buy the album on the music page of her website. In the meantime, you can catch S.J. Tucker performing this weekend with Tricky Pixie at FaerieCon West in Seattle.
More Pagan Responses to Fox News Wicca Comments: The Pagan community is still responding to insulting comments made about Wicca on the Fox News channel by Tucker Carlson and others. While Carlson has issued an apology on Twitter and on FishbowlDC, many are still urging an on-air apology from the network itself. In a statement released this past Wednesday, the Clergy of Come As You Are Coven, an Interfaith Pagan community in Northern California, requested “that this issue be addressed by Fox News Network via an immediate, prominent, on-air apology.”
“We request that this issue be addressed by Fox News Network via an immediate, prominent, on-air apology; significant on-air retraction of specific comments with factual corrections; visible dialogue with practicing Wiccans and Pagans conducted in a respectful manner; and appropriate commitment by the Network to providing the individuals responsible with a mandatory professional course of diversity training in religious and sex/gender sensitivity.”
In addition, prominent Salem, Massachusetts Witches Laurie Cabot, Lorelei, Christian Day and Leanne Marrama issued a press release this past Tuesday on the matter. Day, who owns the Salem shops “Hex” and “Omen” said that “America is a bubbling cauldron of different peoples and faiths and it is to our credit that our nation goes out of its way to respect those days that are sacred to us. Witches believe in respect for all faiths and Carlson’s divisive rhetoric is out of step with American values.” Whether these, and other efforts, results in an on-air apology from Fox remains to be seen.
In Other Pagan Community News:
- The Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater has succeeded in raising over $5000 to continue their ongoing tax battle with the Town of Catskill, New York, a battle centered on whether their building should be afforded a property tax exemption. The most recent round of this fight, before the New York State Supreme Court, did not go well for the Maetreum, though they feel their case for appeal is strong. We’ll keep you posted as this story continues to develop.
- The third issue of Abraxas, a journal that “aims to represent the best of the international esoteric movement in a high quality printed format,”has been released. This issue has a special feature on the art of infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. More on this, here.
- Coru Cathubodua, a Morrigan Priesthood, has announced that their blood drive initiative (in partnership with Solar Cross Temple) at this year’s PantheaCon in San Jose was a complete success. Quote: “Coru is completely thrilled to announce that the “Blood Heroes” blood drive at PantheaCon was a gigantic success! 90 people donated blood and scores of people – page after page – signed the petition! We turned away a whole blood mobile’s worth of people who wanted to give!” A larger initiative is being planned for next year.
- PantheaCon isn’t the only Pagan convention you know! ConVocation in Michigan starts today and runs for four days. Featured presenters can be found, here. After that is the Sacred Space conference in Baltimore/Washington DC, and Paganicon in Paganistan (Minnesota).
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!