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!
On February 5th, it was reported that Stanley Modrzyk (1945 – 2014), founder & High Priest of the first Temple of the Craft of W.I.C.A., had passed away. Modrzyk was the author of two books on Wiccan practice, and was one of the founding members of the Midwest Pagan Council and of the Pan Pagan Festival, one of the first and oldest running festivals in the Midwest United States from which Pagan Spirit Gathering and Chrysalis Moon got their start. A longtime activist for his faith in the Midwest, Stanley made many media appearances, and organized to stop faux-witch-burnings during Halloween celebrations in the Chicago area. A wake will be held on Feb. 14th from 2-8pm at Joseph Nosek and Sons Funeral Home, 6716 W. 16th Street in Berwyn, IL. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that people donate to JDRF -Junior Diabetic Research Fund or The Chicago Lighthouse. The family is asking those that cannot make the wake to light a candle for him on Friday, Feb. 14th at 7pm. Stanley Modrzyk is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and daughter, Lizzy, who are both active within the Craft. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary and Pagan Spirit Gathering said that she is “thankful for his many positive contributions to the Craft & Paganism.” What is remembered, lives.
A new Pagan organization has formed, one dedicated to supporting infrastructure and developing small Pagan institutions. Quote: “Announcing the Pantheon Foundation: building 21st Century Pagan infrastructure. We are a California non-profit religious corporation applying for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. Our mission is to provide IRS group exemptions for Pagan organizations through fiscal sponsorship, develop Pagan ministry, study the history, promote the culture, and advance the social welfare of Pagans and the Pagan community.” Pantheon Foundation will be holding a reception at PantheaCon 2014 this weekend, Saturday, 9pm, in Suite 1060. One of its main functions, providing fiscal sponsorship, will directly benefit The Wild Hunt, and once final paperwork is done, donations to this site will be tax-deductible. Co-founder Sam Webster says that, quote, “we have finally built a Pagan religious non-profit organization to serve the many needs of our community and provide legal coverage for our small organizations.” More announcements will be forthcoming, for those who can’t be at PantheaCon.
Last week I mentioned that a proposed Polytheist Leadership Conference was moving forward, now, co-organizer Galina Krasskova elaborates further on plans at the Witches & Pagans Magazine site. Quote: “The Polytheist Leadership Conference will take place Friday, July 11th through Sunday, July 13th – though we’ve made arrangements so that you can get the block room rate if you want to come in earlier on Thursday. We’ll begin on Friday at 3:00pm with an opening prayer to our collective dead and polytheist predecessors and then have a lecture and roundtable discussion with the rest of the evening devoted to socializing and networking. We’ll start at 10:00am on Saturday with a full day of workshops, lectures and roundtable discussions ending at 8:00pm. There’ll be half hour breaks between each session and an extended lunch and dinner. Sunday begins at 10:00am and has two sessions with a social lunch and then a closing ceremony at 3:00pm.” An official website is now up so attendees can register. You can also find further details there about the conference.
In Other Pagan Community News:
- FaerieCon West in Seattle is coming up the weekend of February 21st – 23rd. Pagan-friendly guests include T. Thorn Coyle, John Matthews, Lupa, Raven Grimassi, Stephanie Taylor Grimassi, artist Maxine Miller, and Pagan-folk band Faun.
- Love shopping for Pagan/occult stuff online? Treadwell’s in London has launched a new online store for those who can’t make the trek across the pond. You can find back issues of the amazing Abraxas Journal there, if you need a reason to go and browse.
- At the Witches & Pagans Magazine site, Heather Freysdottir proposes creating a Pagan social services database. Quote: “Said contacts don’t have to be Pagan, but they need to be Pagan-friendly. We need to network and support each other. The discrimination against Pagan charities is less likely to continue as we show solidarity and as we do more work, because then the public begins to understand that we’re not scary – we’re the people who help the needy.”
- John Beckett reviews Brendan Myers new book “The Earth, The Gods and The Soul – A History of Pagan Philosophy from the Iron Age to the 21st Century.” Quote: “The Earth, The Gods and The Soul is the philosophy book I needed to read. It gave me a good introduction to classical philosophy, taught me some key ideas, gave me references to follow for more in-depth reading, and perhaps most importantly, showed me the philosophical heritage of many of the ideas I live by and promote here on this blog.”
- Meanwhile, Jason Mankey reviews: “The Wizard and the Witch: Seven Decades of Counterculture, Magick & Paganism” Quote: “The Wizard and the Witch works as a Pagan history book because of the participants and it’s honest documentation of events, but it works on several other levels too.”
- Speaking of PantheaCon, you can now download the entire program guide in PDF format. Enjoy!
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!