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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!

Morning Glory Zell

Morning Glory Zell

As mentioned in last week’s installment of Pagan Community Notes, Pagan elder Morning Glory Zell is currently in the hospital due to kidney problems. Her partner, Oberon Zell, has posted an update on her status, saying that “she had a double-dose of blood extraction and filtration: phoresis all morning, and dialysis all afternoon. By the time they were done, she was really wiped out, and she had a very rough night. Today she was due for another phoresis treatment, and then they were going to alternate days of phoresis with days of dialysis. But she begged them to let her have a day off, and they agreed. So tomorrow she’ll be back on phoresis.” As treatments continue, a fundraiser has been organized to help cover costs associated with her long hospital stay. Quote: “Money for Morning Glory Zell is accepting donations to offset living and medical expenses for our Pagan Priestess.” As of this writing, over $4000 dollars of the $5000 dollar goal have been raised. Our best wishes go out to Morning Glory, her family, and loved ones.

Deborah Ann Light (photo via Anna Korn)

Deborah Ann Light (photo via Anna Korn)

It has been announced that Deborah Ann Light, a Wiccan Elder who has been heavily involved with the interfaith movement, has entered hospice. A Facebook group has been set up for those wishing to send messages or share remembrances as she prepares for this next stage in her journey. Here’s a short quote from Andras Corban Arthen of EarthSpirit on Light and her contributions to modern Paganism. Quote: “Deborah has been a great benefactor to the pagan movement over the years, and helped to open many doors for us, especially in the area of interfaith. At the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions, when, after much negotiation, the Parliament agreed to give one seat at the Assembly of Religious Leaders to be divided among the three co-sponsoring pagan organizations — EarthSpirit, Circle and COG — Deborah (as a member of all three organizations) became our joint representative and signed the Global Ethic document on our behalf. As a philanthropist, she has given substantial funding to many pagan organizations and causes, never wanting public credit or fanfare, only the satisfaction of knowing she had been able to serve her community.” Our best thoughts and wishes go out to Deborah Ann Light, her friends, family, and co-religionists.

Wendy Rule

Wendy Rule

Pagan musician Wendy Rule has just released a new album, entitled “Black Snake.” Rule calls the album one centered on “transformation.” Quote: “Black Snake is an album of transformation. It follows my personal journey of the past couple of years – of stripping back and letting go of everything that was holding me back, and of reaching a point of vulnerability that allows for true growth. It’s an album of great optimism, and although some of the songs are soft and dark and sad, many are full of the great exhilaration of Life and Nature and the incredible Universe. Even though the 12 songs explore my own journey, they are really celebrating universal themes of death and rebirth, of descent and re-awakening. It’s your story, too! And it’s Mother Earth’s story.” You can purchase the new album at her recently re-designed website, or at CD Baby. A launch party for the Australian singer-songwriter’s new CD will be held in March.

In Other Pagan Community News:

  • “Entering the Sacred Grove,” the 2014 Summer Intensive from Cherry Hill Seminary, will be held July 10th-13th in Butler, Missouri. Quote: “Myth signifies a story which encompasses deep meaning and insight into the human situation and life on this Earth. The sacred grove is a place where we may explore the interfaces where what is mundane and domesticated in us confronts the wild divine within and the transformation that results. The authentic spiritual life embraces both, searching for an alchemy that will move the seeker beyond the mundane.”

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  • “The Wizard and the Witch: Seven Decades of Counterculture, Magick & Paganism,” which focuses on the lives of Oberon and Morning Glory Zell, written by John C. Sulak, will be released on February 1st from Llewellyn Wordwide. Quote: “Telling the stories of their singular lives in this unique oral history, Oberon and Morning Glory—together with a colorful tribe of friends, lovers, musicians, homesteaders, researchers, and ritualists—reveal how they established the Church of All Worlds, revitalized Goddess worship, discovered the Gaea Thesis, raised real Unicorns, connected a worldwide community through Green Egg magazine, searched for mermaids in the South Pacific, and founded the influential Grey School of Wizardry.” Looks like a must-own for Pagan scholars and historians.
  • Chas Clifton notes that the funeral rites for Jonas Trinkūnas, the krivis (supreme priest) and founder of Romuva, can now be viewed online. The Lithuanian news site has also posted a lot of photos. You can read The Wild Hunt’s obituary for Jonas Trinkūnas, here.
  • Pagan musician S.J. Tucker has entered the “Song of Arkansas” contest. Quote: “New Song! Hope you all enjoy this. Pretty well sums up how I feel about the positive aspects & beauty of the place I came from. I wrote this for a song contest which closes today. The pro judges will pick the top 5 entries over the next two weeks, and then general voting begins on February 10. We’ll see if I make it into the top 5!” Good luck! I’ve embedded the video below.

  • The Imbolc 2014 issue of Pentacle Magazine“the UK’s premier independent Pagan magazine,” is now available for order. Offerings include: “Green Man: Albion Fracked!,” “Thoughts on Being Called a Heretic,” and “By Spellbook and Candle: a Guide to Cursing.”

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

 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!

Elk_River_WV_mapSince I’ve started tracking Pagan responses to the West Virginia water contamination crisis, the fundraiser set up by Solar Cross Temple to aid locals has raised over $1100 dollars. Quote: “Since the 15th, Solar Cross has received $1165 in donations for this cause. We will be sending money to West Virginia tomorrow. We give thanks to everyone who spread the word, and to Crow, Ellen, Kristina, Shannon, Christine, Jenya, Samara, Marian, Laura, Helene, Mary, Fortuna, Jody, James, Tony, Sean, Joan, Lily, Karen, Denise, Rebecca, Rosalind, Kimberly, Elizabeth, Jason, Gerald, Lezlie, Kimberly, Justyna, Christine, Rhiannon, Jennifer and Misha.” In addition, organizers of the CUUPs ritual in West Virginia, which drew support from Pagan leaders like Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary, said that “the energy surge we felt came from folks all over the U.S., as well as Italy, France, & Australia.” Events and actions in West Virginia, and other affected areas is ongoing. Recent commentary highlighted here from Anne Johnson and Sara Amis give some much-needed perspective as this story progresses. We will keep you updated.

Oberon (Tim) Zell, an important figure in the early Pagan councils.

Oberon Zell.

Back in December, I spotlighted efforts by Oberon Zell and a coalition of Pagan scholars who are advocating capitalization of the word “Pagan” by journalists when referring to the religious movement. Now, Zell and his coalition have sent out a new press release, and are promoting a Change.org petition, which they hope will garner 500 signatures. Quote: “To address this issue, a coalition has been formed of academic scholars in the field of religious studies, who have done research into contemporary Paganism, and written books on the subject. Their purpose was to create a simple petition to the Associated Press and Chicago Stylebooks to capitalize “Pagan” and “Paganism” when speaking of the modern faiths and their adherents in future editions. The petitions were mailed off to the Stylebook editors on Monday, Dec. 2, with 60 extremely impressive signatures. Many people concerned with religious equality subsequently asked to sign the petition, so to facilitate further signatories, the coalition has created an online master version in Change.org.” You can see the original appeal and signatories, here.

Christine Hoff Kraemer

Christine Kraemer

Christine Kraemer, a scholar and Managing Editor of the Pagan Channel at Patheos.com, has launched a new initiative for, quote, “building Pagan intellectual culture face-to-face.” The concept is simple enough, an organized book club with a local face-to-face component. Quote: “Each month, we read a book: popular fiction (dystopian and utopian novels are a favorite genre); literary fiction, like Candide; modern social or historical commentary, like Neil Postman’s Technopoly; or classics of philosophy, like The Symposium (which we actually repeat once a year). Next, we gather in person with a set start and end time – no Pagan Standard Time here. Once gathered, we sit around a table so everyone can see each other, books in hand, pitchers of water in the center, and glasses for each of us. Alcohol consumption and snacks are put off until the formal discussion is finished. To open the seminar, a participant offers an opening question (usually a different person each meeting). And then we’re off!” You can read more about the initiative, and how to participate, here.

In Other Pagan Community News: 

 

PSG 2014 Logo White Small for Web

  • Hey Pagan Spirit Gathering fans, the popular Pagan festival has unveiled its official artwork for 2014. Quote: “While we have been holding Pagan Spirit Gatherings for over thirty years, each year’s gathering has its own unique character and energy,” said Selena Fox, Executive Director of Circle Sanctuary. “To help guide that energy we give each year has a theme that explores different aspects of the celebration and our community. This year’s theme is ‘Heart and Harmony’ and I’m thrilled our beautiful new logo that so perfectly captures the spirit of that idea.”
  • As mentioned in our latest Pagan Voices, Morning Glory Zell is currently in the hospital due to kidney problems, with doctors re-starting chemo treatments. A new update on her status (which seems to be improving) and a suggested visualization for those wanting to do healing work has been posted on Facebook. Quote: “Please visualize a huge IV bag, larger than the hospital, hanging above the hospital. It is filled with pulsating, rainbow, glittering, swirling vortices of energy. A silver tube runs from the bag to MG’s left arm, where it joins the IV. MG is using this visualization – and is feeling the energy coming from ALL OF YOUR PRAYERS, CANDLES AND RITUALS. MG has asked that I thank everyone who is working on her behalf. She knows you are there.” May her recovery be swift and complete.
  • Just a reminder that the Maetreum of Cybele is still trying to raise funds to fight an appeal of their win in the Appellate court. Quote: “The well pump for the Maetreum died last Sunday and we are still trying to raise the 3000 needed for the last legal fees of our battle. Please contribute if you can via paypal to centralhouse@gallae.com. The contributions stopped over the weekend.”
  • Phantasmaphile has news of an upcoming London exhibition of channelled artworks by Ethel le Rossignol. Quote: “Huge kudos to Mark Pilkington and his Strange Attractor for putting together an astounding-sounding show of Ethel le Rossignol’s channeled paintings.  A spirit medium in the early 20th century, she and her teeming, mystical visions fall into vibratory lockstep with the Hilma af Klints, Wassily Kandinskys, and Emma Kunzes of the era – though hers appear to be decidedly more figurative.”
  • Pagan chaplain and activist Patrick McCollum will be speaking at the “Life, Death, Near Death and Beyond: An Exploration” event in March. Quote: “Together we will look at the issues of life, death, near death and beyond. All at a gorgeous eco-retreat center and certified organic farm on Maui.” The event headliner is Ram Dass. You can see a promotional video, here.

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

Yesterday, on Facebook, Holly Allender Kraig announced that her husband, author and magician Donald Michael Kraig, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. They are asking for prayers and magical assistance to help get rid of the cancer.

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I was able to contact Holly Kraig directly, and she sent this statement for Wild Hunt readers.

“Don was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in late 2013. It’s a diagnosis, not a death sentence. It is possible to put this into remission. That is the goal, remission. Don is a fighter and is adamant that beating this is already a done deal. I stand beside him as his wife and best friend to help ease him through the battle he’s facing. The community support is amazing. I know he will be healed through all the love, support and healing energies coming his way. This is a done deal!”

For those unfamiliar with Donald Michael Kraig, he is a very influential author and thinker in the realms of ritual magic(k), magical theory, and related practices. Kraig is perhaps best known for Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts, which was dubbed a “modern-day classic” by Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero. Other recent works include a remembrance of author Scott Cunningham, and an occult-themed thriller novelHe’s also an acquisitions editor at Llewellyn Worldwide.

Donald Michael Kraig

Donald Michael Kraig

Donald Michael Kraig is not only a noted author and thinker, he’s also a charming, funny, and supportive individual. When I was invited to my very first festival as a newly minted “Big Name Pagan” I was very nervous, and felt completely out of my depth. My first talk during that weekend was attended by, like, 4 people, and very few people there had heard of me. Luckily, Don was there, and was very supportive. He attended my second talk (which was better attended) and afterwards praised my performance, saying I was a natural at public speaking. Now, whether this was true is up to debate, but perhaps he helped make it true by saying it to me, reminding me that I had done the work to be invited there, and that I did have something to contribute (magick!).

Just as Don had helped me, so he has helped many other people in his life, which is as good an argument for extending his remarkable life as any (that, and the amazing stories of his rock-n-roll past). Also, to be frank, the Pagan community can’t bear to lose a wit of his caliber. So, whatever your practice, belief structure, or method, let’s get in gear to help beat this cancer. Because cancer sucks, and I want to buy Donald Michael Kraig a drink at PantheaCon.

Word has come to us that Peter Paddon, author of “A Grimoire for Modern Cunning Folk,” and founder of Pendraig Publishing, suffered a serious heart attack on Monday. Here’s the official press release sent to me by a member of his tradition:

Peter Paddon

Peter Paddon

“Well known Pagan publisher, podcaster, teacher and Cunningman Peter Paddon suffered a serious heart attack on Monday. He was admitted to a local hospital in Los Angeles and underwent a successful surgical procedure but is still in critical condition in the CICU. His wife Linda and members of his tradition request prayers and healing from the Pagan community to help speed his recovery.”

As the release notes Paddon is still in critical condition, and prayers for his recovery are appreciated. We will keep you updated on further developments, and would like add our voice to those hoping for his quick and speedy recovery. For those wanting to learn more about Paddon and his work, please visit his official blog.

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, a series more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce 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 lets get started!

Pagan Japan Relief Project Reaches Finish Line: The initiative started by Peter Dybing for the Pagan community to raise 30,000 dollars for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières has almost reached its conclusion! As of this writing, there is less than 1,400 dollars left to raise, and the hope is that this goal will be reached by the end of the weekend.

“When disaster strikes, it means that the Earth is finding Her own balance. But it is our job to feel compassion, lend aid, and support our fellow creatures that they may survive this terrible time and regain wholeness. And while we do this, let us also remember that it is this life that matters – the next will take care of itself. So as we come to the aid of our fellow beings on Mother Earth, let us live as though each day is our last, and let every day be a blessing.”Rev. Kirk Thomas ADF Archdruid

Today, there is a joint Patheos and Pagan Newswire Collective (via PNC-Minnesota) article up interviewing various Pagan leaders about the initiative, and why the success of this project is so important. If you haven’t donated yet, and wish to show that serious fundraising for worthy causes can happen among our interconnected communities, please head to the Pagan Japan Relief project FirstGiving page. I’m hoping that before Monday I’ll be able to post about our collective success in meeting our fundraising goal!

Paganicon Opens Today: The first ever Paganicon conference near Minneapolis, Minnesota starts today, and PNC-Minnesota has interviewed Elysia Gallo from Llewellyn Worldwide, one of the sponsors of the event, and Guest of Honor John Michael Greer.

“There are two ways you can take a talk about Paganism and the future. One is what is going to be the future of Paganism, the other is how is Paganism going to deal with the broader future, that is breathing down our necks at this point. I will be talking about both. We are moving into a future that a lot of people are going to find very challenging, especially if they have bought into the attitude, that “Our ancestors were stupid. We are smart, and we are going to go zooming off to the stars.   We know the truth, and no one else has ever done so.”

Stay tuned to PNC-Minnesota for more updates from the conference.

Independent Pagan Film Shooting: Morrighan Films in Canada is shooting a new film “99% made by Pagans” entitled “Our Pagan Heart.” After a small article ran in a local paper about one of the actors, film producer Laurie Stewart contacted me with a short synopsis and some stills from the production in progress.

Still from the film.

“Our Pagan Heart is an independent film, being shot over the course of a year.   It follows a village outside of time (neither truly Norse nor quite Mad Max) over the nine sabbats followed by my Druid group.  We added the ritual for Fallen Warriors at Remebrance Day (Veterans Day) because so many of us are military, ex-military or base rats.  Each 10-12 minute episode not only tries to show the reason for the sabbat, but also to explore one of the nine virtues of Celtic-Norse tradition.

As the villagers face challenges ranging from the death of their only healer, to a radical change in leadership and the resulting change in priorities, we see the heart of our faith.  What does it mean to live these virtues, these beliefs, the result of believing in ever-present, personally committed Gods who touch every aspect of your life.  There are real struggles for meaning, real questioning of their faith in the face of devastating loss.”

You can find more film stills and information, here. Between “Our Pagan Heart,” “Dark of Moon,” “Tarology,” and other independent film productions with Pagan and occult themes, it almost seems like a small grass-roots industry is emerging. It could be a trend worth exploring as it develops.

In Solidarity with Madison: Pagan singer-songwriter Sharon Knight, a member of the excellent band Pandemonaeon, recently participated in a gathering of Oakland, California musicians to record a song showing solidarity with the Madison, Wisconsin labor protesters.

“This week I joined a group of my fellow musicians to create a music video in support of the protesters in Madison, Wisconsin. The song, “Madison”, was written by my friend Mark Vickness of Glass House, and spoken word artist PC Munoz. It was produced start to finish at EMB Studios, the studio Winter and I share with Paul Nordin. I was proud and honored to be a part of this project and thought I’d share it with you all here. Enjoy and may it bring you hope and good cheer!”

Thanks to Sharon for sharing this with the Pagan community. For more on Pagan participation in the Wisconsin labor protests, click here.

Health Updates: I have an update on the condition of Pagan chaplain Patrick McCollum, who underwent surgery on Wednesday. I spoke with him on the phone yesterday, and while he’s (understandably) experiencing some pain, is mobile, alert, and active. He says that there won’t be word on test results regarding what was eating the tissue in his jaw until early April. He also expressed his thanks to everyone who has been sending prayers and energy his way. Meanwhile, Selena Fox has an update on Circle member Ed Francis, who recently suffered a stroke.

“Ed Francis is doing better & has begun speech, physical, and occupational rehabilitation at a hospital in St. Louis. Please continue to send healing to him & support to his partner Linda & other caregivers. Share words of encouragement for his rehab at this Healing page. Thanks much!”

Circle has also set up a healing page for Patrick McCollum as well. Please continue to send both your healing thoughts and prayers for their swift recoveries.

Theologies of Justice: In a quick final note, I’d like to point my readers to an essay just posted by T. Thorn Coyle about developing and acting on “(poly)theologies of justice and connection.”

“If everything is holy – imbued with divine power – how do we relate to that holiness? We pay attention. We find connection. We give back. One definition of sacred is “set apart and dedicated to a deity.” How do Heathens act in ways that are dedicated to Thor or Ing? How do Thelemites act in concert with the energy of Nuit? How do Celtic Reconstructionists honor the ever abundant cauldron of the Dagda? I could go on, but the implications of these questions should be clear: we bring everything in our lives into alignment with our worship and our practice. We can give food to the hungry as an act of devotion to the Dagda. We can offer protection to the weak, in Thor’s honor. And we can remember: Nuit is everywhere, the circumference of all that lives.”

There’s a lot there, so I hope you’ll read the entire essay, and use it to spark discussions on your blogs, social networks, and within your communities. As modern Pagans start to act within the world in an increasingly prominent and public manner, how our theologies drive and inspire our actions is something that we’ll need to hold close to our thoughts.

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

In the process of preparing an upcoming guest post from Pagan chaplain and activist Patrick McCollum I discovered that he’s undergoing surgery on Wednesday afternoon for a worrying condition he contracted while overseas on his recent trip to Thailand.


Rev. Patrick McCollum

“I’m having kind of a hard time right now, as it seems I have gotten some rare tropical virus/bacteria from my trip which has settled in my mouth.  It has aggressively eaten a hole through the soft tissue and muscle and is now attacking the bone in my jaw.  It’s really painful.  I go in for surgery tomorrow morning where they will try to cut out the infected area and grind out the affected bone in an attempt to stop it.  So far, antibiotics aren’t having any affect, but they will send the tissue to a tropical disease center for testing to try to find a way to stop it.”

For those who don’t know who Patrick McCollum is, he is one of the founding members of the Lady Liberty League, and has been involved in numerous legal struggles involving modern Pagans. In recent years McCollum has given testimony to the US Commission on Civil Rights, met with Obama administration officials, was installed to the Executive Board of Directors of a United Nations NGOhonored by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) with the Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism, attended the first World Forum of Spiritual Culture in Astana, Kazakhstan, and perhaps most importantly, is fighting the discriminatory “5 Faiths” policy in California’s prison system, a case that has been in litigation for over five years, and is currently before the 9th Circuit. In short, McCollum is one of modern Paganism’s most important and vital voices active today.

Please send healing energies and prayers towards Patrick’s swift and complete recovery. His surgery on Wednesday is scheduled at 2:00 PM PST for those who want to coordinate times.

The Passing of a Pagan Music Pioneer: PNC-Georgia reports that Steve Collins, better known within some Pagan circles as Lord Senthor, passed away on Monday. Collins was a musician who played in the band Moonstruck, and served in the Ravenwood Church of Wicca for over 30 years.

“He was a pioneer in the world of Pagan music. He started when there were very few folks singing songs for the Old Ones and he inspired many others to walk that path. Everyone in pagan music owes him a debt. I will miss him.”Arthur Hinds, Emerald Rose

“I am very thankful for his years of service to the Pagan Community through his teachings, his music, and his leadership. I, like many others, mourn his passing, but take comfort in knowing that he lives on in our memories and in the many lives he has blessed.”Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary

Plans for a public memorial service in the Anniston, Alabama, area are currently under development. For more testimonials and remembrances, please see the PNC-Georgia obituary. Further updates and news will be posted there. My condolences to Lord Senthor’s friends and family, may he rest with his gods and return to us again.

A Request for Healing: In other news, I’m saddened to report that Circle Sanctuary and Pagan Spirit Gathering Community member Ed Francis has suffered a stroke and a large blood clot was found on his brain. A healing request has been issued.

“On Wednesday evening, March 16, Ed was rushed to a hospital and he remains hospitalized. He had a stroke and has a large blood clot on his brain. There also has been some bleeding on his brain. Please send healing blessings to Ed: that the blood clot be safely dissolved, that the bleeding on his brain stop, and that he heal and recover from the stroke. Also send healing support to his partner Linda and his other loved ones.”

Ed Francis, in addition to his work within the Pagan community, is a local radio personality in his native St. Louis. I had the pleasure of meeting Ed at last year’s Pagan Spirit Gathering, and he’s one of those people who fully commits himself to building community, doing the work, and creating bonds that last a lifetime. His loss would be a staggering blow to his local Pagan community, Circle Sanctuary, and the PSG family. So please send out healing, and lets hope Ed recovers from this stroke.

You can hear a short interview with Ed, here, where he shares a memory of PSG from 1999. You can also read expressions of healing support, here.

Well-known Pagan author and lecturer Isaac Bonewits, who was hospitalized on October 21st, has apparently been diagnosed with a rare form of colon cancer.


Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits

“Isaac is doing much better with his white cell count still going down. However, they have confirmed that one of the three tumors is cancerous; there will be more biopsies on Monday as they want to make sure all three have been biopsied individually. …Good news, it’s a rarer form of cancer that responds well to chemo and radiation. No surgery!”

In addition to sending healing energies and prayers, they will no doubt end up needing help with their medical bills (not to mention lost income). If you wish to make a contribution to the couple to help defray the costs of this hospitalization, there is donation information here. For up-to-date news and information, you can follow their Facebook fan-page. We here at The Wild Hunt wish Isaac a full and speedy recovery.

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.”

Meanwhile McCollum, who suffered from complications after back surgery, is now out of the hospital and beginning the slow recovery process.

“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.”

For continuing updates about this issue, check out the Coldsnap Legal Collective web site, their Twitter feed, the Twin Cities IndyMedia site, and Pacifica Radio.

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.

(Pagan) News of Note

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  August 22, 2008 — 3 Comments

My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.

We start off with a request for healing for Pagan chaplain and activist Patrick McCollum. Patrick recently underwent spinal surgery, and due to recent complications has been moved to the ICU.

“The reason I’m writing all this about Patrick — and I am only scratching the surface — is to tell you that he is dealing with a medical condition for which I’m asking your help. On August 15, Patrick underwent surgery for a long-standing problem with his spine. The surgery itself went well, but two days later Patrick suffered a complication that necessitated further surgery on August 18. He has been in ICU at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, California since then, and remains there, although much improved. Patrick welcomes healing. Given what I’ve told you about him, and that you have a photo and know where is is, I ask that you remember him in your prayers and rituals, light candles, appeal to his Lady Brigit, and do whatever else you can to hasten Patrick’s relief from extreme pain and his ultimate recovery.”

McCollum, due to his extensive work with prison chaplaincy, recently appeared before the US Commission on Civil Rights in Washington. A first for any modern Pagan. We here at The Wild Hunt wish him a speedy recovery.

Christian blogger and academic John Morehead, editor of the recently released “Beyond the Burning Times”, reviews the new book “Generation Hex: Understanding the Subtle Dangers of Wicca” so I don’t have to.

“…in a chapter where the authors discuss the surprises they encountered in their research for the book, one of the authors (Burroughs) addresses one of the surprises he encountered in terms of alleged links between Wicca, Satanism, sexual promiscuity, and child abuse: “I’ve found these assertions to be unfounded (at least in mainstream Wicca).” I italicized the last portion of the quote to draw attention to the issue I’m raising here. While Burroughs was pleased to discover that Wicca does not engage in the worst of its stereotypical associations, nevertheless, for Burroughs this appears to be the case with “mainstream Wicca,” which appears to leave room for non-mainstream or underground Wicca, whatever those may be.”

If you want to hear many of the routine (and often sensationalist) Christian criticisms of Wicca from “Generation Hex” co-author Dillon Burroughs, you can listen to an interview with him on Debbie Chavez’s Christian radio program (warning, this is a Christian echo-chamber, listen at your own risk).

An Irish and Canadian paper each run their own version of the standard “meet the Witches” article. The Belfast Telegraph interviews Sarah Cavanagh of Co Armagh about her journey into Paganism.

“Years ago, I would have worried about what people thought and would not have told anyone I was a witch. Now there are so many people like me, that I simply think that the people who matter don’t mind and the people who mind, don’t matter.”

Meanwhile the Nanaimo Daily News interviews the organizers of an upcoming Pagan Pride Day event.

“Anyone hoping to see animal sacrifices or disemboweling during Pagan Pride Day Saturday, will be greatly disappointed say two spokespeople for the Pagan church which is hosting the Nanaimo event at Kin Hut Park in Departure Bay. “One of the main reasons we hold Pagan Pride Day each year is to debunk myths like that,” said Kam Abbott of Nanaimo’s Temple of the Green Leaf Cauldron Church.”

So sorry folks, no disemboweling here, move along!

A double “witchcraft” slaying I covered back in January is finally coming to trial, and the prosecutors want to enter a Satanic bible and an affidavit from a Satanic high priest as evidence against Lawrence Harris, who murdered his two step-daughters.

“Prosecutors say Harris was practicing satanism and that the killings were part of a ritual from a satanic bible. Harris’ attorney, assistant public defender Michael Williams, said during a court hearing on Wednesday that prosecutors are seeking to link what Harris says and does to satanism. Casting spells and practicing witchcraft is not proof of satanism, Williams said. “(They) want shock value, sensationalism and knit-pick analysis of religious text in order to satisfy an inference,” Williams said.”

Needless to say, I would LOVE to read this affidavit from the alleged Satanic high priest (and know his identity). Lawrence Harris is pursuing an insanity defense. Trial is set for Oct. 14.

In a final note, medievalist and blogger Bo was shocked to hear Old Irish in the recently released Hellboy II.

“I went to see Hellboy II: The Golden Army last night, and to my slack-jawed disbelief, the elves were speaking Old Irish (or an awkward version thereof). It was like being a twitcher who draws the curtains one morning to see a pink flamingo standing on the windowsill. It was oddly accented (Balor was the best) and I’d need to see transcriptions to be sure that it was correct, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that they were trying to use the language … Nothing in all the film’s wonders moved me so much as hearing the meaningless preverbal particle no- with a 2nd singular Class A infixed pronoun (leniting).”

More proof of how awesome Guillermo del Toro is? Yes. Yes it is.

That is all I have for now, have a great day!