GLENWOOD, Mass. — EarthSpirit Community announced that co-director Andras Corban-Arthen and member Donovan Arthen have traveled to North Dakota in an effort to help the protesters at Standing Rock camps. According to a press release, EarthSpirit “sent its delegation in response to a call to religious leaders from Chief Arvol Looking Horse.” While at the camps, the delegation “met with some of the organizers of the camps and [performed a] ceremony with some of the indigenous Elders.”
Additionally, they carried EarthSpirit’s own statement of support as well as documents of support from the Parliament of the World’s Religions and the European Congress of Ethnic Religions. Corban-Arthen gave all of these solidarity statements to the elders personally. EarthSpirit’s own statement reads, in part, “The EarthSpirit Community expresses its solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation as its people who defend and protect their sacred lands and water. […] We ask for a halt to construction, for the demilitarization of the police force in the area and for a peaceful solution that respects both the Sioux Nation and our mother the Earth.”
Corban-Arthen serves on both the council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions and the board of the European Congress of Ethnic Religions. The PWR statement reads, in part, “The desecration of sacred sites, for profit or otherwise, is both an unjustifiable practice and a violation of the basic human right of religious freedom. This desecration is especially unacceptable when, as in this case, it is perpetrated against peoples who have weathered a long history of abuse for the sake of material wealth, land, and resources in both the recent and distant history of the United States.” The ECER statement begins, “The Dakota Access Pipeline is an environmental disaster waiting to occur.”
EarthSpirit is the most recent in a long line of Pagan organizations to publicly respond to the Standing Rock call for assistance. Corban-Arthen told The Wild Hunt that he is currently en route back home, and that he will share his reports publicly in the coming days.
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PENSACOLA, Fla. — Rev. Katharine A. Luck, an ordained minister at Fire Dance Church of Wicca, published a post-election article at the Huffington Post. Luck is not only a Wiccan minister, but also the president of STRIVE, a local transgender advocacy organization. In her article, Luck begins, “Listen up, y’all. Not a damn thing that matters has changed,” and then she goes on to say that the problems showing themselves now through the election, existed prior.
On Saturday, Luck organized and spoke at local rally. She told The Wild Hunt that, immediately following the election, she spent much of her time counseling people who were frightened. “There’s a great deal of fear in the trans community in the wake of the election,” Luck said. “There has already been an increase in violence against various minority groups. We will remain strong in the face of adversity and support one another as we always have. We will overcome.” This was her weekend message.
The Huffington Post article ends on a similar positive note, saying, “I call upon my fellow healers, protectors, and advocates. You are hurting, but I know you are strong, and you are needed more than ever. Uplift those around you, especially those who for so long have done the same for others. Support one another, and we will thrive as we always have. I’m not sitting down, I’m not hiding, and I am not leaving. I intend to fight for as long as I’m able.”
Luck is now preparing for a local vigil to be held Sunday, Nov. 20, Transgender Remembrance Day.
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KILLEEN, Texas — It was reported that,on Nov. 2, a member of the local Killeen Pagan community had been the victim of vandalism. After coming home from a Wed. evening class, she found the words “Exodus 22:18” scrawled in marker on her front door. The Pagan woman, who asked to remain anonymous at this point in the investigation, lives alone in her duplex apartment and was surprised by the vandalism. She immediately contacted the local police to report what she considers a “hate crime.” However, the incident was recorded as “criminal mischief,” despite the implied message in this particular scripture. Exodus 22:18 is the verse expressing the infamous phrase: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
Prior to the Nov. 2, she had experienced only one other similar incident. On Oct 29, while the woman was attending a Pagan retreat, someone slung mud on her front door and covered it with boot prints. Neither she nor the police know if the two acts of vandalism are connected. Local officials told The Wild Hunt that there are currently no suspects and no one is in custody. We are following this story and will have more as it becomes available.
In Other News:
- Aquarian Tabernacle Church archpriestess Belladonna Laveau and high priest Dusty Dionne reported that they made a successful supply run to Standing Rock. The two delivered a trailer filled with firewood to the camps on their way to Ohio. Laveau and Dionne reported on the experience over Facebook live as they drove out of the area. The video report is available to the public.
- Since the election, mainstream news reports have been filled with post-election demonstrations and rallies. Adding to that story, Salem Witch and elder Laurie Cabot reportedly published a post-election call to action. Through social media, Cabot allegedly asked all Witches to use magic to help “neutralize” the incoming administration. According to the now popular Facebook post, she said, “We as a group need to neutralize Donald Trump and Mike Pence immediately! Especially before the full moon…” Cabot then goes on to provide a spell with complete directions. Near the bottom, she added, “I am reminding everyone, we do not wish/do harm to anyone.”
- Cró Dreoilín and the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans at Jefferson Unitarian Church announced that they will be hosting their annual Paths and Traditions Fair Jan. 14, 2017. The fair is a “day-long open house for those who are new or seeking info on Pagan and Polytheist paths to come and meet representatives of various traditions.” The organizers are currently looking for “Pagan and Polytheist groups or individuals who are interested in making connections with new people or who would like others to know more about their traditions.” This includes the leaders of “covens, kindreds, groves, or other groups, teachers of classes or workshops, organizers or managers of Pagan or polytheist groups or anyone starting a new Pagan or polytheist group, path, or tradition. The event will be held at the Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colorado.
- Canadian Pagan and Wiccan Chaplain Samuel Wagar has recently been appointed as “scheduler for the new Multifaith Prayer and Meditation space” at the University of Alberta. He said that this new expanded role will benefit Pagan students studying on campus. Along with this position, Wagar said that he will be hosting a “Tarot Table […] as a way of reaching out and meeting new Pagans on campus, and will be supporting the continuation of interfaith discussions on campus.
- The New York Times published a video report Nov. 8 called the Historic & Emotional Vote for Women. A familiar Pagan face leads the Times report. As it opens, Rev. Selena Fox stands at an altar, holding a wand. She says to the viewers, “Be informed. Be empowered. Vote.”
That’s it for now. Have a great day!