Pagan Community Notes: Our Freedom, Occult, Adocentyn Research Library, and More!

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  May 27, 2014 — 13 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!

Ellen Evert Hopman

Ellen Evert Hopman

Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition, has released an anti-abuse statement, signed by eight members of the coalition, including Ellen Evert Hopman and Patrick McCollum. Quote: We absolutely condemn the practices of child abuse, sexual abuse, and any other form of abuse that does harm to the bodies, minds or spirits of individuals. We offer prayers, therapy, and support for the healing of the victims of such abuses. In recent years the victimization of children has been brought to light in a manner not seen in the past. Efforts are underway in schools and other youth organizations to teach children and adults to be aware of and respond proactively to violence against others. Examples of victimization have also come to light in religious circles and many victims’ rights groups have emerged to advocate for and support those who were abused as children. We stand strongly against the victimization of children, students, women and men. We call for persons who have witnessed such atrocities to speak up and actively seek to protect the powerless and prevent further abuse.”

10333636_300691860099884_3714864147161992297_oLast year saw the debut of “OCCULT,” an arts-based event/salon held in Salem, Massachusetts and co-founded by Aepril Schaile (you can read our 2013 interview with Schaile here). Now, the event returns in 2014 this September, featuring a number of presenters, performances, and workshops. Quote: “To recognize that, especially together, both Magick and Art are greater than the sum of their parts, and each in dwells the other; they are rooted together. To raise consciousness, challenging false perceptions of separation between these so-imagined opposed sorceries. Though art as entertainment has its place and time, this Esoteric Salon moves us well past materialist commercialism. We recognize the power of Art to create spiritual movement and full expression to the divine Will–dancing, singing, painting, acting, sculpting, filming, poeting the ineffable. We confront the notion that the meaning and content of Art is not as important as its form and materials. With OCCULT, we seek to challenge old beliefs through the juxtaposition of beauty and magick, of art and ritual, blending the ingredients to make an event of highest harmony, a conjunction of non-opposites.”

P2150159-bAdocentyn Research Library, a Pagan-run library located in the San Francisco Bay area, has reached a new milestone. According to Adocentyn board member and co-founder Donald H. Frew, the institution has now catalogued over 6,500 books. Quote: “The Adocentyn Research Library has passed another milestone with over 6,500 books on our shelves and in our online database (6,558 to be precise)! You can see what we have at [their Library Thing page] and use the “tags” to find books of interest. Our goal is to collect, archive, preserve, and make available 1) information on every subject Pagans might study as part of their Paganism, and 2) materials useful for the study of Pagans, our diversity, and our history. (We use “Paganism” in the broadest sense, including indigenous, tribal, polytheistic, Nature-based, and/or Earth-centered religion, spirituality, practice, and culture, around the world and throughout human history.) We are centrally located in San Francisco’s East Bay, easily reachable by public transit, and close to many restaurants and cafes. While our max capacity in this location is about 13,000 books, we’ll be opening once we have our core collection – about another 1,000 books – in place. We look forward to serving the Pagan community!”

In Other Pagan Community News:

  • The Pantheon Foundation’s crowdfunding initiative for The Diotima Prize has crossed the 50% mark in its goal. The prize will “support the educational goals of one Pagan student who is currently in at least their second year at an accredited seminary program.”
  • A crowdfunding campaign is underway to produce a play about Robert Anton Wilson. Quote: “Daisy’s adaptation recounts the period of Bob’s life around the inspiration for, writing of and theatrical culmination of Illuminatus!, a period where he also met iconic countercultural figures like Timothy Leary, Alan Watts and William Burroughs, all of whom feature in the play. The narrative slips in and out of Illuminatus! itself and the production employs song, music, projections and stagecraft to evoke the real-life hallucinogenic trip through conspiracy, paranoia and enlightenment that transformed Bob from a simple Playboy editor into the influential countercultural figure he is today.”
  • Singer-songwriter Sharon Knight has launched a membership support circle called “Ring of Enchantment” that offers exclusive content in exchange for direct fiscal support. Quote: “This insider circle is my experiment in creating a culture of mutual support. Winter and I get some really great gigs. We also need to fill the gaps between those great gigs. This doesn’t always go according to the ideal scenario! In the old music industry, record labels offered tour support to help their artists through rough patches. In the new music industry, this doesn’t exist. The Ring of Enchantment was created to generate tour support for us while bringing inspiration and beauty to you.”
  • PaganSquare is now on Tumblr. Here’s the official announcement. Quote: “Although this may seem a bit sudden, we’ve actually been considering this move for several months, though we’ve only recently gotten all of our ducks in a line. We look forward to becoming a part of the wider Pagan community on Tumblr and hopefully even finding new content of interest to our readers.”

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

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

    So the Diotima Prize won’t go to someone studying at Cherry Hill, then?

    • http://dashifen.com/ David Dashifen Kees

      The CHS website reports that they’re still working on accreditation so evidently not.

      • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

        Yeah, that’s kind of what I was referencing.

      • kenofken

        I’m kind of on the fence about this initiative as a result. I mean, it’s great that we want to help one or more of our own at seminary, but given all of the internal and external criticism about the state of pagan infrastructure, shouldn’t we be focusing on building some of our own institutions first?

  • Guest

    While I don’t doubt the good intentions behind yet another anti-abuse petition, I wonder how well those words translate into action. Or as my celebrity doppleganger puts it:

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Exactly.

      A petition is all well and good, one certainly can’t fault the intent of those who start such things. At the same time, though, don’t the statistics on “purity pledges” and “promise [to abstain from pre-marital sex] rings” show something like 50-60% of the time, the kids who make those pledges break it within a year or two? Now, don’t get me wrong, I know rape is more violence than sex, I’m just using this to illustrate that just because someone signs their name to something doesn’t mean they’re going to take it as seriously as the person who thought up the pledge, in the first place.

      • kenofken

        Things like petitions and public statements are what I would call “necessary but not sufficient.” You are quite right in that statements, pledges etc. mean nothing if they don’t reflect the core values of those making them. At the same time, those values never take form until people have the sorts of discussions that lead to statements and petitions. Until the recent dust-up in Florida, we really hadn’t, on any large scale, articulated any unambiguous bottom-line values around this issues. We’ve taken that first step, and its significance should not be underestimated. Nor should we fool ourselves into believing the work is anywhere near done. It is just beginning.

      • Ellen Evert Hopman

        I am actually very heartened by the number of such petitions that have appeared of late. In the past when I brought up these kinds of concerns I was often told to just keep quiet or go away. With the growing awareness of predators within religious institutions its good to see people speaking out and not being attacked for doing so. As Fritz Perls (Gestalt therapist) famously put it “Awareness is in and of itself curative”. First we have to recognize the problems, then we can take action to heal them.

  • Franklin_Evans

    Wilson’s (and Shea’s) Iluminatus trilogy has a stage adaptation that was performed in London a while back. I dream (total fantasy, I know) about producing it here in Philly, but a play about Wilson would be just as good and much more likely to happen.

    • http://www.walkofthefallen.com Labrys

      And I am green with envy for London-dwellers!

    • http://www.cosmictriggerplay.com Cosmic Trigger

      In fact, this adaptation is written and directed by the daughter of Ken Campbell, who produced the stage adaptation of Illuminatus! back in 1977. We want to bring the production over to the States. Philly should be on the list!

      • Franklin_Evans

        I’m connected to the Philly theater community. If I can be of any assistance at all, please contact me. My public email is madfedor@yahoo.com. I don’t have a “name” here, but I know several who might be interested.

        This is very exciting. Do at least keep posting on TWH with news.

  • DverWinter

    I’d love to donate copies of my books to the Adocentyn Library, but unfortunately their website inexplicably has no contact information whatsoever. Anyone know how to do this?