Archives For Jonathan Z. Smith

DETROIT, Mich. — Applications are now being accepted for the Michigan Pagan Scholarship. The annual contest awards a $500 amount to a “Pagan high school senior, at least 17 years of age, enrolling in a two/four-year degree, or a current full-time college or university student who resides in state of Michigan.” The student must have a GPA of 2.8 or above.

All funding for the scholarship comes from the local community, both organizations and individuals. Some organizations that have contributed in the past include: the Magical Education Council, Witches of Michigan, Candle Wick Shoppe, Coventry Creations, Midwest Witches’ Ball, and Wolf Run Sanctuary. Past winners include Arianna Napolitano, Rebecca Phoenix, Pete Shoda, and Miranda Owen. The fund is a direct descendant of the Tempest Smith Foundation, which closed its doors in 2014.

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UNITED KINGDOM — Lois Bourne, who went under the craft name Tanith, reportedly passed in late December. Bourne was once high priestess of the Bricket Wood coven founded by Gerald Gardner. She held that position during the 1960s and, later, wrote several books, including Witch Amongst Us – the Autobiography of a Witch (1979).

Bourne was among the earliest British Witches to be public about their practice; she was being interviewed about Witchcraft as early as 1961. In one interview, Bourne described Witchcraft as a “pantheistic mystical religion,” and opined, “I can’t be a Christian and a witch.” However, she brought her sons to church because “there’s a great deal of good in the Christian religion.”  In her mind, Witches were set apart largely due to their psychic powers.  What is remembered, lives.

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Wendy Rule

SANTA FE, N.M. — Australian musician Wendy Rule offered a free, live-feed concert Jan. 1, the night of the full moon. The concert was performed from her living room in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rule posted on Facebook, “Thanks so much to all who tuned in to watch my Full Moon Live Streamed Concert. Despite tech issues at the start, it ended up being a great success”  She has since posted the recording on her site for those who want to watch; it reportedly begins an hour into the actual video.

Rule will continue to offer these free concerts over the next year. On her website, she says that she “will be live streaming an intimate acoustic concert straight from her living room […] or whichever exciting destination her international touring schedule takes her.” Rule adds that the concerts will be “more than just music, each concert is a ritual experience, weaving together mythology, meditation, storytelling and songs, themed around the astrological sign that the Full Moon is in each month.”

In other news

  • Word is circulating the Jonathan Z. Smith, religious historian and scholar, has died. Smith obtained a doctorate in the history of religions at Yale in 1969, and was the first candidate for that degree at the school. His dissertation focused on the Golden Bough which is well-known to many Pagans, and how author James Frazer went about comparing religions on that work. What is remembered, lives.
  • La letra del año 2018 (the Letter of the Year) has been released. According to one site, this year over 700 babalawos from Cuba and around the world met together with “the members of the council of the high priest of IFA at the cultural association in La Habana city, Cuba.” As of this time, it has been released only in Spanish. We will have more on their predictions for the coming year.
  • January will reportedly contain the first blue moon total eclipse in 150 years. The celestial event will happen Jan. 31, on which we will see the second full moon in the month. According to the site, “The eclipse will take place during the middle of the night, and the Pacific Ocean will be turned toward the moon at the time. Central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and most of Australia will get a fine view of this moon show in the evening sky.” The rest of the world will get only glimpses of the event, or not see it at all. Such events often inspire special Pagan events, magic, or ritual. Will you be doing something unique Jan. 31?
  • A conference on the occult, to be held in the Welsh town of Montomgery Powys, has been announced for June 2 of this year. Speakers already confirmed are Jake Stratton Kent, Sian Humphries, Mrs Midian, and G. StM. Nottingham, with more in the works.

Tarot of the week with Star Bustamonte

Deck: The Archeon Tarot by Timothy Lantz, published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Card: five (5) of cups

The week ahead is liable to be a mixed bag when it comes to how one is feeling. The year 2018 is all shiny and new, but you may find yourself feeling a bit let down or disappointed after the mad rush of holidays and all the hype of ushering in a new year. You may need to revise your expectations. A wise person will have a list of checks and balances to guide them through this week, and for the weeks to follow.