[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 Oct 24, Brian Dragon (Tony Spurlock) passed away. He was a beloved member of the Feri Tradition, an active participant in many Bay Area Pagan groups, an occult scholar and talented Bard, who loved to sing and tell stories. The loss has been felt by many in the local community.
To help fund funeral expenses, his friends launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay “for the cost of an urn and cremation so that Rhiannon can find comfort amongst family and friends and closure as she mourns the passing of her partner in life and magic.” Less than 3 days later, the goal of $2000 was reached and exceeded. This show of support demonstrates the true coming together of community for the care of a family and in tribute to a treasured friend and spirit. Organizer Maya Grey expressed her heartfelt thanks on the funding site.
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On Oct 21, the New York State Court of Appeals began hearing oral arguments in the Maetreum of Cybele case. As we have reported in the past, the Maetreum of Cybele has been caught in an eight year legal battle with the town of Catskill over its property tax-exempt status. In 2013, the Appellate Division of the state’s supreme court ruled in favor of the Maetreum, but the city would not relent, and appealed once again.
The day after the oral arguments were heard, the organization said,“The Maetreum exists because of one miracle from the Goddess after another. We never should have been able to buy the property but did … never should have been able to stay in the legal battle to the end but did. We view the property as belonging to the Goddess.” Currently, the Maetreum reports that it still owes $1360 in legal fees and its fundraising efforts are ongoing. However, once those bills are paid and legal processes are over, the organization hopes to return to the project of getting its “community low powered FM radio station on the air.”
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The Pantheon Foundation will be hosting the first annual Pagan Activism Conference Online (PACO) Nov 22-23 2014. The conference will take place entirely online, allowing for global participation and attendance. According to the website, “The goal of the Conference is to equip Pagan activists from all over the country with the tools necessary to advance the goals and aims of their own activist efforts, and to build bridges between Pagan activists for mutual support.” The keynote speaker will be T. Thorn Coyle. Registration, information and a schedule of events are currently listed on the site.
* * *With frustration mounting, Silver Ravenwolf has responded to the Facebook name controversy with a new blog post. A few days earlier, she told The Wild Hunt, in part, “As the days progressed I’ve received many e-mails and posts about individuals who have been targeted — radio show hosts, tattoo artists, writers, singers, Native Americans, etc. — but, more worrisome? Many of the individuals indicated they fought and lost, that the experience was painful and upsetting, and that they were treated unkindly by FB employees.” Ravenwolf added that she will fight this because, “FB is purposefully putting the safety and security of individuals at risk — and that is unconscionable.”
In Other News:
- Peter Paddon’s family members have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his services and family travel expenses. They wrote,”Not only did Peter’s untimely passing catch us all by surprise, there was no time to adequately prepare financially.” They are asking for donations in lieu of flowers.
- This week Starhawk announced that she has just finished writing the sequel to her popular book, The Fifth Sacred Thing. She added, “Don’t get too excited–it’s still a long road before it’s out and you can read it. But it means that I get to come out of a three-year trance and get out from behind the computer for a bit.” Fans will certainly be looking forward to its publication in the near future.
- A new Pagan club has been launched at Loyola University Chicago, a Catholic institution. Organizer Jill Kreider told the College Fix reporters, “Loyola already has a Muslim Student Association, a Hindu Student Organization, as well as other non-denominational or Protestant Christian groups on campus … Including a Pagan group does not go against the ideas held within the mission of the university.”
- From the Pagan blogosphere, Morpheus Ravenna published a post called, “Theurgic Binding: or, ‘S#!t just got read!,'” which inspired a number of other written discussions on the topic. In response, Morpheus added a header to her original post, including links to a few of those reactions. She also said, “The point of this post is to share real and useful guidance on how to do this work rightly and well, rather than rashly and poorly – but the point of this post is not to tell you that you can’t. You can, and I hope I make that clear.”
- The Syracuse Post-Standard publishes a regular “Inspiration Column” on its news site Syracuse.com. One of the writers is Pagan Chaplain Mary Hudson. Her short “inspirational” paragraphs have included subjects such as “Finding Trust” and “The Gift of the Trees.” The column is a joint project of The Post-Standard and the Interfaith Works of Central New York.
- On her Patheos Blog, “Word to the Witch,” Sara Amis recounts her experiences handling the stress that has come since her significant other, George Chidi, has run into some legal entanglements. A local politician has targeted Chidi, a blogger and journalist, after he published a scathing report about that politician’s alleged behavior. After Chidi was issued a restraining order, national media outlets picked up the story pointing to potential First Amendment violations. As stress from this situation rose, Amis turned to her ancestors for help, saying: “My “community” is not just the human one, nor yet merely the living. And our relationship of interconnection and support is mutual; the strength of it rests not only on my willingness (or need) to ask for help, but my maintenance of ties and reciprocity.”