Heath Status of Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Patrick McCollum: We start off with the news that two prominent Pagans who have had recent health problems, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Patrick McCollum, are both doing much better. Zell-Ravenheart, who was diagnosed with colon cancer, has successfully made it through surgery, and doctors seem confident that the cancer hasn’t spread.
“His surgery was on Friday and it went well; they removed a large section of his descending colon and adjacent mesentery, his doctor is confident that he took out all the cancer and any pre cancerous lymph nodes. He said that he did not see any swollen or discolored nodes. The tissue was all sent to Pathology and we should have the results later this week since the Lab is shut down for the holiday. We will know that the surgeon successfully removed all the cancer when we receive that report. Until then folks the coin is, magickally speaking, still in the air.”
“Patrick was released from hospital this evening, with brace and cane and orders not to leave the house for two days minimum. He will have a long recovery. He remains heavily medicated to relieve intense pain. In spite of these difficulties, Patrick’s recovery has been amazing, no doubt helped in great part by the workings and prayers of many Pagans.”
The friends and family of both McCollum and Zell-Ravenheart request continued prayers and healing work as they recover.
Starhawk and the RNC Police Raids: Since I first reported, more information on warrantless police raids and arrests has emerged in the Twin Cities (including the arrest of journalists). While the RNC has been muted due to Hurricane Gustav, around 20,000 people are protesting outside (and yes, occasionally damaging property). Starhawk continues to post updates on her web site about the protests.
“All day we’ve been getting news that the police have been raiding houses, breaking down doors, arresting people, with or without warrants or warnings. We hold the morning meeting in a public park, because our Convergence Space has been raided and closed the night before. Someone says, “We’re a community that includes children—we can’t clear them out of their own living spaces. Remember if the police raid your space it’s important to have someone negotiate with them to get the children out.” I am a tough person. I’ve been through a lot of these things and in spite of all my efforts to stay open I’ve grown something of my own protective scales. But those words pierce through them, and I find tears welling up in my eyes. It just hits me, that we’re standing here in the United States of America, in the liberal city of my birth, talking about how to protect children from armed police.”
Ellinais Acropolis Protest: Since I first mentioned it a few days ago, Ellinais’s planned (illegal) ritual to Athena at the Acropolis has made international news. Being covered by CNN, ARTINFO, The New York Times, The Guardian, and several others.
“Dressed in crisp white apparel, the pagans gathered before the east wing of the temple’s imposing Corinthian columns and prayed to Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom and patron of Athens, asking her to protect the Parthenon from further destruction. “Oh, goddess,” roared high priestess Doretta Peppa, her hands extending over an offering of water and olive oil. “We are ready to defend your grounds. “[But] we ask of you to protect this site, this city and its civilization, and to rid it of all evils such as the deconstruction of the Acropolis.” The Greek Culture Ministry forbids ceremonies of any sort at archeological sites. But in January, the pagan revivalists used a second century temple of Zeus in Athens to stage the first known ceremony of its kind in 1,600 years.”
In perhaps a sign that the gods approved, Athena’s father Zeus provided a thunderstorm for the 13-minute ritual. The protest-prayer comes in the wake of plans for a massive new Acropolis Museum which the remaining Acropolis statues will be moved into. Ellinais priestess Doretta Peppa calls the new structure an “architectural monstrosity” that will erode Greek culture.
“The new museum,” Peppa said, “is a monumental eyesore, an architectural monstrosity within the most traditional and archeologically-rich part of Athens. It is an insult to our heritage, and if we start deconstructing our monuments for the sake of filling up a museum, then what will we be left with?”
Greek officials are hoping the new space will boost tourist income and pressure the British government to release the Elgin Marbles, which they claim were obtained illegally, back to Greece.