SAN FRANCISCO — The Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe, a division of Come As You Are Coven (CAYA), joined Planned Parenthood, Good Vibrations, and others to help sponsor the 2016 San Francisco Trans March, held June 24. The group set up a booth and offered “blessings for good health, love, home, abundance, and tarot readings on the spot.” They also provided interested marchers with “protection charms, handmade and blessed by members.”
Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe Dedicant Root Holden said, “People were curious and a bit shy in coming up to the booth, but once they saw that we were just part of the community, all of us are queer, non-binary, and/or trans, they were really interested in what we had to offer. This may the first time many of these folks have been in contact with priest/ess/exes from a tradition that fully embraces and celebrates them.”
Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe is a “Mxgender Mxtery Tradition within CAYA Coven.” As noted on its website, the group is “devoted to exploring and honoring sacred mxgender Mysteries. Our Priestxes embody the experience of identity beyond the gender binary, and celebrate the glittering prism of Divine existence that is Powerful, Delightful, Enthusiastic, Playful, Transformative, Magickal, Compassionate, and Reverent.”
Holden said, “The group’s priest/ess/xes provided marchers with a chance to meet the many queer, transgender, mxgender, non-binary witches next door, and get a taste of what CAYA Coven has to offer.” From its booth, CAYA members offered a variety of blessings including ones for health, prosperity, love, and home. They also had a glitter blessing to “shine with your own inner sparkliness.” Melissa ra Karit said, “Blessing people with glitter was magical and very queer.” The group considered their work a success.
* * *
DENVER – Hesperides Garden, a Pagan community located in Denver Colorado, has launched a Facebook event asking for people to help them define the world “Pagan” in modern terms. On that page, the group writes, “For too long the word ‘Pagan’ has been defined by outsiders, the time has come for Pagans to define the word that describes us collectively. With respect to all the many paths ‘Pagan’ is..?”
The group is asking for Pagans everywhere to post in the page’s discussion comment area a definition of Pagan. On July 15, the event page will close and the group will “compile the responses,” generating a full report. Organizers said, “In an effort to create the most accurate representation we will then take your feedback on creating a unified definition through compiling and voting.”
Hesperides Garden defines this effort as a “coming together” and asks for respectful discourse within any online discussions. The group is also collecting definitions through a Google + account.
* * *UNITED STATES – Today many people around the U.S. will be celebrating Independence Day with fireworks, picnics, and other outdoor activities. As has been written here in the past, “The United States of America that we know today, for better or worse, was built and shaped by an incredible diversity of lives, experiences, religions and cultures; by every person that has walked on its soil and stood beneath its skies.”
The holiday weekend means different things to different people within American subcultures, birthing many discussions concerning the concept of freedom. American Pagans, Heathens and polytheists often use this day to be thankful specifically for the ideals of religious freedom written into the early documents. “Neither Pagan nor Mahamedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, quoting John Locke.
At the same time, Americans continue to face difficult challenges, witness profound social changes, confront new problems as well as old ones still not yet resolved. And, together with the world, they continue to look into the face of unthinkable violence. The U.S. is not a country of perfect. But, as a nation, its people continue to try, to debate, to rebel, to speak out, and to evolve.
In Other News
- As we noted in Unleash the Hounds, it was announced Sunday that film director Robin Hardy had died. Hardy is best known for his direction of the The Wicker Man, a film that has long captured the imagination of many viewers and is considered one of the top horror movies in the world. Blogger Peg Aloi has published a detailed post about the director, the film’s history, and its meaning within the Pagan sphere. She wrote, “I can’t imagine my early years in the pagan community without having this evocative film, its scenery and its music, making an appearance in my subconscious on a regular basis.”
- In October, Moon Books will be releasing editor Trevor Greenfield’s anthology, titled Goddess in America. According to the publisher’s site, the anthology “identifies the enduring experience of Goddess Spirituality through a four-part discussion focused on the Native Goddess, the Migrant Goddess, the Goddess in relation to other aspects of American culture (Feminism, Christianity, Witchcraft etc.) and the Goddess in contemporary America.” The book includes the voices of nineteen different writers. It will be released Oct. 28 in both paperback and e-book.
- Also coming in October is a “new type of theater experience directed by co-founder and co-producer of OCCULT, Sarah Jezebel Wood.” Titled Sub Rosa, the theatrical performance is a “multimedia production featuring the talents of LUNARIS” and various guest artists. It includes dance, ritual, music, singing and visual art. Sub Rosa tells a “darkly feminine tale of pathworking through the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.” The performance will be held Oct 7 and 8 at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn, New York.
- The Dallas Observer posted an article featuring the work of feminst and witch Dr. Susan Harper. The article captures not only her practice of Witchcraft, but also her strong feminist views. Harper is quoted as saying, “‘It’s an incredibly powerful political act for anybody, women in particular, to put female images and feminine pronouns on god, because the idea that god is male has been used to justify the oppression of women and queer folks and gender nonconforming folks for a long time.”
- The editors of Walking the Worlds have announced a submission call for issue number five. As noted, “The topic for Issue 5 will be Ecstatic Practices and we’re looking for essays and articles dealing with traditional and perhaps not so traditional ecstatic practices, ways of achieving an altered state throughout the vast array of our polytheisms.” The deadline is Oct. 1.
- Coming soon… The Wild Hunt will be bringing back its popular Pagan Voices feature. On one Sunday every month, we will be sharing a groups of quotes, opinions from the many diverse voices found in the online Pagan community. TWH’s Pagan Voices will return on July 24.