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!
On Thursday Nov 6, Wiccan Priest Blake Kirk returned to the Huntsville Alabama City Council chambers to deliver the pre-meeting invocation. As we reported last June, Kirk had been removed from the schedule due to complaints by various citizens. After that news was made public, the Huntsville city council opted to continue opening meetings with invocations that reflect the city’s religious diversity.
Kirk was placed back on the schedule and, last week, delivered the prayer before the council meeting. He opened with, “Let us pray. O gentle Goddess and loving God, we thank You for the beauties and the wonders of the day that You have given to us, and for the opportunity we have this evening to assemble here and work together to make Huntsville a better city for all of its residents. We ask that You grant to the councilors and other officials present here tonight the wisdom they will need to make the best decisions that they may for the governance of our city.”
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From Nov. 12 to Nov. 20, a “group of radical trans activists and spirit workers” will be holding a nine-day ritual to honor beloved transgender dead. Others are welcome to participate. Organizers say “Our dead deserve to be remembered and elevated, and we are humbled by and grateful for the encouragement we have received so far.” They have set up a tumbr blog with specifics and suggestions for participation. They also welcome questions and submissions of photos and prayers.
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The Pantheon Foundation has made two new announcements regarding its upcoming online activist Conference, PACO. The weekend event now “includes an Earth Activism panel, to be held on Friday, Nov. 21.” This bonus panel will include Celia Alario, Andy Conn, Laurie Lovekraft and Starhawk.
Organizers have also decided to cut the conference ticket price. In a statement, they said, “We’ve had a few sensitive queries about the ticket cost of PACO … A few folks have let us know that this cost is just too far outside the means of an activist’s budget for their comfort … We have decided to cut the ticket cost for this event dramatically, to allow more people to attend. Starting today, tickets for the entire event will be $40 instead of $100, with individual panel tickets being $10 instead of $20.” PACO 2014 will be held the weekend of Nov 21-23, completely online. More detail on the new panel and the ticket price change can be found on Pantheon’s website
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Tomorrow is Veterans Day in the U.S. and Circle Sanctuary has launched its annual Operation Circle Care program. In a recent release, the Circle organizers state, “For the eighth year in a row Circle Sanctuary will be sending Yuletide gift packages, including pentacles, CDs, crystals, copies of CIRCLE Magazine and other items, as spiritual support to Wiccan, Heathen, Druidic, and other Pagans on active duty in the US Military who are stationed overseas and on deployment.“
They are currently calling for donations of both funds and items to support the yearly Yuletide care packages. However, a more urgent need is the contact details for Pagans serving overseas or on deployment. To ensure a Yuletide delivery, organizers have asked that this information be sent by Nov. 29. Further details and instructions are listed on the OCC website.
In Other News:
- On Nov 2., people gathered at Circle Cemetery to honor “Pagan elder, musician, ritualist Peter Bruner Soderberg (aka Sparky T. Rabbit)” and to inter his ashes.The ceremony was part of a larger Samhain ritual, which included memorial services for others buried or honored at the Pagan cemetery and a “ritual sweeping of the gravestones.”
- Israeli PhD candidate Shai Ferero has launched a new blog to share his academic research on subjects relating to Feminist spiritualism and Modern Paganisms in western culture. His work has won him scholarships, awards and academic distinctions. Although not Pagan himself, Ferero is a strong supporter and involved with the Pagan Federation International and its new Israeli chapter. Through his website, those interested can follow his work. His pending dissertation title is “The Priestess, the Witch, and the Women’s Movement: Women and Gender in British Magical and Pagan Groups, c.1888 – c.1988.”
- The PantheaCon 2015 program guide is now available, including event descriptions and presenter bios. Organizers have also launched an improved Personal Schedule Tool that “allows you to to customize your schedule by selecting only those events that you want to attend.” This year’s theme is Pagan Visions of the Future; Building Pagan Safety and Social Nets. The event will be held at the San Jose Doubletree Hotel from Feb. 13-16.
- Patheos Pagan Channel has launched a new blog called Between the Shadows – The Craft of a Liminal Witch,which features the thoughts and writings of Sable Aradia, “a licensed Wiccan minister and a Third Degree initiate in the Star Sapphire and Pagans for Peace traditions.”
- Recording artist Ruth Barrett will be performing at the Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Montclair,California for the Spirit of the Solstice evening concert. The event will take place on Dec. 5 and will also feature percussionist Jenn Valleley.
- This week the bohemian PaganFolk band Omnia begins its European Earth Warrior Album tour 2014. The tour begins at The Garage in London and will continue through December.
That is all for now. Have a nice day.