Pagan Community Notes: Pagan Spirit Gathering, Cherry Hill Seminary, The Pagan Voice, and More!

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  February 11, 2013 — 6 Comments

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!

Pagan Spirit Gathering Announces Location for 2013: Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG), a Midwest Pagan festival that’s been running for more than 30 years, and broke attendance records last year, has announced that their festival will be held on the same lands in Illinois as the previous year, albeit under new ownership.

Solstice Fire at Pagan Spirit Gathering

Solstice Fire at Pagan Spirit Gathering

“We are absolutely thrilled to be holding PSG at Stonehouse Farm,” said Sharon, PSG Manager.  “This will be our third PSG at this location, and we are excited to work with the new owners of the property to make this event a success and to grow PSG.” […]  “Our goal for PSG has always been to create a community where like-minded people can meet one another, learn, and develop tools and ideas that they can take home with them to deepen their spirituality in the year to come,” said Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary’s founder and Executive Director.  “This year our theme is ‘Connections’ and we hope to incorporate many ways for participants to connect with Community, connect with the Land and connect with the Divine!”

Stonehouse Farm was previously Stone House Park, whose owners had come under fire from locals over noise and complaints about illegal activity. This was the second PSG site to suffer from such complaints, though they never originated from Pagan Spirit Gathering. PNC Minnesota has the full story about the sale at their site.  With the site secured for another year, registration is now open!

Cherry Hill Seminary Joins Youtube:  Wendy Griffin, Ph.D., Academic Dean of Cherry Hill Seminary, has alerted me to the official launch of their Youtube account for the Pagan seminary. It will, in the words of Dr. Griffin, be used “to show people the caliber of teaching our students receive.” The first video in this new series is a talk by Sabina Magliocco, Ph.D. (who has gotten quite a bit of attention here lately) entitled “Folklore, Culture & Authenticity.”

2012 saw two major accomplishments for the Pagan learning institution: the awarding of its first Master of Divinity in Pagan Pastoral Counseling, and graduate, Sandra Lee Harris having her credentials examined and accepted by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification, Inc., the credentials-examining body for the Association of Professional Chaplains. No doubt 2013 hold even more in store for them as they journey towards accreditation and partner with The University of South Carolina for the “Sacred Lands and and Spiritual Landscapes” symposium.

The Pagan Voice Holds Fundraiser: Pagan Living TV, a non-profit media organization that seeks to create a world “where Pagan spirituality and philosophy is an influential voice in mainstream culture,” has launched a new IndieGoGo campaign for their weekly video news program “The Pagan Voice.” Dr. Todd Berntson, Executive Director of The Pagan Voice, said in a press release that the money raised will be used “to fund the purchase of equipment and build-out of our new studio space.”

“Up to this point, we have relied on borrowed equipment that is not well-suited for television production, such as digital cameras, cheap floodlights, and a mix of whatever microphones we have available to us at the time. This has made the production process very challenging and stressful. In order for The Pagan Voice to continue to grow, it is necessary to have the proper equipment.”

They are trying to raise $33,500 in 40 days, an ambitious sum for a newly launched organization and media outlet. Still, you never know, they have certainly raised the bar in production values for Pagan-oriented video programs, so perhaps The Pagan Voice will find the supporters it needs now. Check out the perks, and how they plan to spend the money raised, here.

In Other Community News: 

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

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • KhalilaRedBird

    For the record, [I am the aforementioned Sandra Lee Harris, etc], so far APC has granted that my MDiv from Cherry Hill Seminary is equivalent, for their purposes, to “a graduate theological degree from an accredited seminary”. That’s all so far. I’m still in the process of finishing my application for certification as a chaplain — to the tune of 1 autobiography, 4 essays, and 2 verbatims. So I’m not there yet, but the way is clear.

    • cernowain greenman

      Blessings to you all the way, Sandra. I join with your hope of becoming a member of APC and getting your “BCC” certification.

  • cernowain greenman

    It is such a relief to hear that PSG has found a home for the gathering this year. Many of us have been holding our collective breath, waiting for months to hear this wonderful news. Congrats to PSG and Circle for this accomplishment that came with much hard work and prayers to the Gods.

  • I admire what A Pagan Voice is trying to do– I cannot trust Todd. He raised funds for A Hero Denied only to eventually give that money back to the donors because he could not deliver. I never saw mine. I **INVESTED** into the movie. Just beware of who you give your money to so freely. Invest is something that has a good track record such as Cherry Hill Seminary, The Pagan Pride Project, Circle Sanctuary. That is all I can think of off the top of my head this morning.

    • Todd Berntson

      Just to clear the record on this issue with A Hero Denied, since this keeps coming up. No one invested in the Hero Denied documentary except for me. I put in approximately $40,000 of my own money to purchase equipment and shoot this documentary film—and I traveled all over the country to document this historical event for the Pagan community without asking anyone for anything. In 2007, I was out of money to continue shooting the film, so I asked for some donations from the community to help complete the project. Jill donated $250 and a few other people made donations as well at that time. The total of all donations received throughout the entire history of the project was less than $2000.

      Shortly thereafter, Roberta Stewart took my footage and refused to return it. When I threatened to sue her in Federal Court, I was asked by Selena Fox not to pursue the lawsuit as it could have a negative impact on other discrimination cases. Other people, such as Patrick McCollum, attempted to reason with Roberta to give back my footage, but she simply stopped talking to him.

      In the end, I ended up spending a small fortune of my own money, my footage was stolen, and I was never able to finish the film. To make things worse, I was made out to be the bad guy. I became so disillusioned about the Pagan community after this, that I almost left entirely.

      I have kept every single receipt, donation form, and letter from Roberta’s attorney so that I may shed some truth on this situation when the time comes.