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. Our 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!
In recent weeks, we reported on the Facebook name controversy that hit the drag queen community in September. The issue highlighted a problem with the social media giant’s name policy – one that that could affect anyone who uses a non-legal name. Despite the company’s Oct 2 apology, accounts continue to be frozen. Over the last two weeks, Pagans have joined the ranks of people who have been adversely affected.
Author Silver Ravenwolf ‘s personal account has been flagged and she is now forced to use her legal name. On her public author page, she wrote, “FaceBook is going through and telling magickal people that their pages with friends are not legit because they are not using their legal names. This is causing great harm to our community.” Ravenwolf is asking that anyone who uses a non-legal name to unlike her fan page or unfriend her. She is worried that her connections will be used to flag others. She also encourages people to sign a Change.Org petition.
Another person affected was Storm Faerywolf. He told The Wild Hunt:
I choose to use the name Storm Faerywolf publicly as both a magical and political act; magical, because it reminds me that I have chosen to be an open resource for the Craft, and political because it is my work to help others to live a magical life. Being forced to use only the name on my official ID interferes with my ability to freely express myself and my work.
Storm contacted Facebook immediately but has received no response. He also contacted Sister Roma, who is currently acting as a liaison for anyone dealing with this problem. Since making that contact, he has been informed that his account will be fixed within the next 48 hours but he’s not holding his breath.
According to various reports, the Facebook controversy has not only affected drag queens and Pagans, but has also hit the Native American community. Sister Roma told the Guardian that “every time one or two get fixed, a handful get suspended … So we really feel like we’re swimming upstream, and while I’m hopeful that Facebook is doing the right thing, it’s discouraging.”
For anyone who has been affected by this ongoing problem, LilHotMess, one of the activists working with Sister Roma, has extended her offer to help restore accounts. The instructions on how to reach her are listed here.
In other news:
- During a recent book signing, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was challenged by a group of environmental activists concerned with hyrdraulic fracturing (fracking). Among those activists was Courtney Weber of the Pagan Environmental Coalition of New York City. Rather that protest outside, Weber and others attended the signing with the mission of getting a message directly to the Governor. Weber was quoted by several news outlets as saying, “If all things are possible, so is a statewide ban.” Her statement plays off the title of Cuomo’s book: All things possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life.
- The Interfaith Observer featured an article on Greg Harder, the social media manager for Covenant of the Goddess and PNC-Bay Area. Calling himself a media detective, Harder touches on trends and best practices. He also manages accounts for People of the Earth, United Religions Initiative-Multiregion (URI) and North American Interfaith Network (NAIN).
- Also making news in social media is Tuatha Dea, whose Facebook account was recently converted to a fan page. While the conversion may have been triggered by the crack-down on non-legal names, the situation is slightly different. The band is not a single person. Tuatha Dea is not entirely upset with the change. However, it has lost contact with all of its 5000 “friends.” Band member Danny Mullikin says that the band has asked Facebook for help in converting those friends to likes. However, Mullikin has also put out a call for all their fans to come LIKE the new page.
- On Sept 10, Dmitry Galtsin, a researcher in the Library of Russian Academy of Science and a member of Association for the Study of Esotericism and Mysticism, launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund his trip from St. Petersburg to November’s meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego. His paper “The Divine Feminine in the Silver Age of Russian Culture and Beyond” was accepted but the Russian Academy doesn’t have the funding to pay for the journey. Galtsin has turned to crowdsourcing to help finance his travel to the meeting so he can present his work in person.
- The Patheos Pagan Channel has launched the new blog Ride the Spiral, which will be “focusing on issues of intersectionality and social inequality.” As noted by Manager Christine Hoff Kraemer, “Writer Nornoriel Lokason will be sharing tales of faith and perseverance from the point of view of a queer, trans, disabled Pagan living below the poverty line.”
- Also from Patheos, the Pagan channel will be participating in a month-long project called, “Remembering Ancestors of Blood, Spirit, and Place.” Each Pagan writer will be teamed up with a non-Pagan writer to, as Hoff Kraemer explains, “to develop a practice they can do in tandem.”
- The Doreen Valiente Foundation is holding an “open competition to provide the book cover art for the Centre For Pagan Studies latest publishing project.” Information and instructions are listed on the website.
- Finally, here at The Wild Hunt we reached our Funding goal! Thank you! Your continued support has made that possible and for that we are grateful. However, our campaign is not over until Nov 2. If you haven’t donated yet, please consider doing so. All donations beyond our budget will be used to grow The Wild Hunt, which will only serve to provide you with more coverage, more news, more commentary. By donating, you become a part of that growth and all that makes The Wild Hunt an amazing resource. Donate today!
That is all we have for now. Have a great day.