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!
The Open Halls Project, an organization serving military Heathens, has announced a letter writing campaign to urge the U.S. Army and Department of Defense to expedite allowing Heathens to choose “Asatru” or “Heathen” as their religious preference (which they currently can not do). Quote: “We’ve already processed this request twice, with the support of the Asatru Alliance and the Troth. That was over two years ago now and we are being told we will have to wait even longer. The OHP would like to initiate a letter writing campaign to our legislators, in the hopes that putting congressional pressure on the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense will have some positive effect. We specifically are calling on those who live in a district run by a member of either the House Armed Services Committee or the Senate Armed Services Committee. These are the folks that can really bring some political muscle to bear for us!” You can download and edit a sample letter, here. With the recent publicity over the approval of the Thor’s Hammer for veteran grave markers and headstones, now seems like opportune time to press this issue forward.
The Lammas edition of ACTION (plain text version), the official newsletter of the Alternative Religions Education Network (AREN), has been released. This edition has a special focus on Pagans in South Africa, and according to editor Christopher Blackwell “deals with the development in the community from coming out until today.” Interviewees include Dr. Dale Wallace, who wrote her doctoral thesis on South African Pagans, Damon Leff, director of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA), Donna “Darkwolf” Vos, founder of Circle of The African Moon, and more. This is a rare, in-depth look at Paganism in South Africa, and these interviews deserve to be read widely. Here is a quote from Dr. Dale Wallace’s interview: “Far more than Paganism per se, it is the witchcraft issue that affects almost all religions in South Africa with many divisions arising over differences of opinion, experience and interpretation. Where these become really important is in finding some consensus over a definition of the terms in light of the repeal or replacement of current legislation, and also the very real possibility of this not being adequately addressed. Different outcomes will have some serious consequences for many communities.” In addition to the section on South African Paganism, this issue of ACTION also features an interview with Taliesin Govannon, director of “Dark of Moon.”
The Chicago-based performance troupe Terra Mysterium, who create “experiential works of music, theatre, and performance art that are rooted in the Earth mysteries,” has launched a new IndieGoGo campaign to fund their 2013 season. Quote: “This year we are looking to add even more exciting elements to two wonderful new productions – a full-length play that will feature animations and light mapping, as well as a touring production – and, as a stretch goal, two more music videos. In addition to these artistic projects we will incorporate this year as a non-profit theatre company with the intent to achieve a 501 (c)(3) status in the near future. Both these actions will help to make Terra Mysterium a sustainable troupe.” Terra Mysterium is trying to raise $6,500 in 30 days, and have raised nearly $2000 dollars so far. You can see samples of Terra Mysterium’s work at their official Youtube channel. I’ve embedded their official 2013 fundraiser pitch video below. You may also want to check out Terra Mysterium’s official Facebook page for further updates.
In Other Pagan Community News:
- Speaking of fundraisers, the San Francisco Bay Area Tarot Symposium (SF BATS) is holding one at IndieGoGo to fund their 22nd annual event. Quote: “SF BATS is a currently a two day event featuring workshops, presentations, experiential activities and entertainment, all constellated around Tarot and Divination. This year we’re including more Lenormand and other oracles to shake up the mix even more! The speakers are a mix of local favourites, up-&-coming talent, and some of the most respected and venerable members of the Tarot world.” If you love tarot, you might want to get behind this!
- The deadline is fast approaching for those who want to contribute to “Shades of Ritual: Minority Voices In Practice,” a follow-up to “Shades of Faith: Minority Voices in Paganism.” Quote: “This anthology will focus on people of color working in magical communities and their spiritual practices. This anthology will provide another opportunity to get the voices and experiences of minorities within the Pagan community out to the world and address some of the challenges, stereotyping, frustrations and the beauty of being different within the racial construct of typical Pagan or Wiccan groups.” August 15th is the deadline, though editor Crystal Blanton says that she may extend it.
- The August edition of the Pent O’ Clock news is now out, focusing on coverage of the Faerieworlds Festival, Seadogs Nights & The Gypsy Caravan, and Portland’s Pagan Family Picnic. Quote: “In the August 2013 episode of The Pent O’Clock News, families, fairies, and pirates are the order of the day. In this month’s episode, The Pent O’Clock News offers a complete rundown of international, national, and regional news that impacts the Pagan Community. The Pent O’Clock News also covers local Pagan news from around the state of Oregon.”
- Coreopsis: A Journal of Myth and Theatre has left Concrescent Press and will be resuming shortly as an independent entity. According to Editor-in-Chief Lezlie Kinyon, Ph.D, the Summer 2013 issue will be published shortly, and all archives are safe. For those who have further questions, you can email Coreopsis for more information.
- The latest Inciting a Riot podcast features a discussion with Sophia Catherine, of the Divine Community podcast, about the upcoming “opt-out” adult Internet filters coming to the UK, and whether Pagans should be concerned that esoteric material will be included. You can read The Wild Hunt’s recent reporting on this issue, here.
- The Spring 2014 – Spring 2015 edition of The Witches’ Almanac is now out. Quote: “The theme of Issue 33 (Spring 2014 – Spring 2015) is Mystic Earth. Also included are articles on Ganesha, graveyard dust, Italian cimaruta amulets, veiled witches, and the legend of the Wicker Man.” You can order the Almanac at their official website, and also for the Amazon Kindle.
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!