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!
Yesterday was the funeral for slain teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Throughout the country, vigils were held in solidarity with Brown’s family. Among them was #HandsUpDC in Washington DC. Quote: “Join us for a candlelight vigil as Michael Brown’s family lays him to peaceful rest. We’d like to stand in solidarity with #Ferguson and demand the de-escalation of the police and military.” A group of local Pagans took part in the event, carrying signs that said “Justice for the beloved dead.” Pagan author and activist David Salisbury, who lives and works in Washington DC, also organized an informal ritual at the vigil which “will invoke the justice goddesses: Libertas, Justica, Columbia, and Themis.” For more on Pagan responses to Ferguson, please see Crystal Blanton’s Wild Hunt post from this past Sunday.
There’s been a huge viral outpouring of support on the Internet for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in which participants in the challenge are doused with ice water to help raise money and awareness for those living with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease. At this point in the campaign an immense assortment of prominent individuals (including an assortment of non-human individuals) have participated, so it stands to reason that there have been Pagan who’ve accepted the challenge as well. Notable Pagans who’ve taken part include author and Pagan Unity Festival co-founder Tish Owen, Pagan children’s book author Kyrja Withers, Llewellyn Worldwide authors Deborah Blake and Melanie Marquis, and ADF Archdruid Rev. Kirk Thomas. Those are just the ones I could easily produce links for, I know there are more out there, so feel free to share them in the comments. As for myself, I prefer Patrick Stewart’s utterly sensible response. I’ve embedded the video featuring Archdruid Kirk Thomas below.
This past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, the Covenant of the Goddess (COG) one of the largest Witchcraft and Wiccan organizations in the United States, held their annual business meeting, known as the Grand Council. Our own Heather Greene will have more about the Grand Council and the accompanying public event Merry Meet on Wednesday, but I can report on one piece of news today: the organization has adopted a formal policy on environmental issues. Quote: “The CoG environmental statement was originally proposed and developed by longtime member and national CoG interfaith representative M. Macha NightMare (Aline O’Brien.) She said, ‘It gives me a great sense of accomplishment that we, the Witches of the Covenant of the Goddess, have crafted a statement about our beloved Mother Earth that reflects our shared values and expresses our mutual concern for our planet, as well as our responsibilities for its current state and our hope for the future. Having this official statement on behalf of the entire membership will be immensely helpful to those of us who work in interfaith arenas. I am proud to have it to share.’” You can read the entire policy statement, which includes a section on climate change, here.
In Other Pagan Community News:
- The Pagan band Tuatha Dea, who recently crowdfunded a new album, has released the first video from that album, “Long Black Curl.” The new album, “Tufa Tales: Appalachian Fae,” can be purchased at their official website.
- Yesterday we mentioned Maya White Sparks and her quest to get an old fortune telling ordinance in Front Royal, Virginia removed from the books. It seems that vandals, unhappy with local Catholic activists, have defaced a Catholic gift shop in the town. This prompted Sparks to issues a statement condemning the action, saying “it would be more effective, I think, for people to stand with signs or walk with signs bearing their message rather than to deface property.”
- German Pagan-folk band Faun has a new album coming out in September, “Luna,” and you can catch a preview of the songs at their official Facebook page. You can also check out the official video for the song “Walpurgisnacht” there too.
- We are happy to pass on the news that Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the publishing arm of Neos Alexandria, has been awarded 501(c)3 status. This means there are now a federally recognized nonprofit charitable organization. Our congratulations go out to them! You may also want to take a gander at their current titles.
- Pagan singer-songwriter SJ Tucker and illustrator Elizabeth Leggett have launched a Kickstarter campaign to offer song-art collaborations so that Leggett can send her daughter to Europe to play in a select statewide-chosen orchestra. Quote: “Artists supporting artists is something I believe in very deeply. Sharing ideas, inspiration, time and encouragement can sometimes be the crucial difference that is needed to make a good work great. It is a privilege for the veterans in these fields to get the chance to help the younger generation express their talents.”
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!