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. My 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!
Starhawk, noted activist and author of “The Spiral Dance,” took to Facebook to speak out on the verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder trial, and to also speak more broadly about race, and “stand your ground” laws. She initially posted: “I’m enraged and heartsick at the injustice of the Zimmerman verdict. I stand with the black leadership and their allies calling for a Department of Justice investigation, for an end to racial profiling, and the end of the dangerous laws that encourage vigilantes to target anyone they consider ‘other’ with impunity! So much work to do!” Then, followed up to expand on her previous statement. Quote: “I am indeed heartsick and enraged at how many young women are given long sentences for fighting back against their abusers. But people, both those cases underline one of the core ways racism and patriarchy work–by defining who gets to use violence and who does not [...] I advocate nonviolence. But nonviolence is not passivity. It calls us to actively acknowledge that racism and patriarchy are deep, inherent, endemic forms of perpetual violence that infuse our society deeply, and will take much thought and work and courage to transform.” She finished by addressing critics who would rather she focus on “spiritual stuff” rather than her activist work by noting that “this IS my spiritual stuff.”
A new Pagan-themed community television program and videocast has launched, with a mission of serving Pagans in Oregon while also covering national and international Pagan news. Called “The Pent O’Clock News” the 30-minute program will air on Salem’s CCTV Channel 23 and Corvallis’ CCAT 29 television stations. Quote: “The monthly show includes stories on the national and international level that impact our Pagan Community. The focus of the show is on news about the Pagan Community in Oregon. Hosted by Oregon Pagans Carl Neal and Michelle Hawkins [...] The show is an opportunity not only to more deeply connect Oregon’s Pagan Community, but it is also an opportunity to introduce ourselves to our non-Pagan neighbors. Understanding begins with knowledge and it is hoped that both Magick Moment and The Pent O’Clock News can help to provide that knowledge.” The Pent O’Clock News joins other Pagan-themed community television programs like Keepers of the Flame in Connecticut, along with several ongoing Pagan videocasts.
Pagan singer-songwriter Sharon Knight has released her new album “Neofolk Romantique.” Quote: “A collection of Celtic traditional and original songs ranging from romantic and fanciful to dark and brooding. Faery lore, lively jigs, and haunting ballads of pirates, murder, love, death, and the quest for poetic inspiration, sung by a feisty redhead. Comes with a 21-page booklet of lyrics and song notes.” This is Knight’s first solo album since 2005’s “Song of the Sea,” though she’s hasn’t been idle in those intervening years, releasing an album with her band Pandemonaeon in 2010, and two album of chants with T. Thorn Coyle in 2008 and 2009. Sharon Knight will be hitting the road to promote her new album at the end of July, which includes a stop at the Faerieworlds Festival in Eugene, Oregon, where she’ll be sharing a stage with Pagan-friendly artists like Omnia and S.J. Tucker. In a recent interview Knight said that she’s already working on her next album, a collaboration with her husband Winter. Quote: “I am finishing up my next album with my husband Winter. He is my main collaborator and a fantastic musician [...] over the years we have developed such an outstanding rapport, we practically read each others’ minds in the studio, it is such a great working relationship, I can’t imagine doing this without him.”
Back in March I reported that that Circle Sanctuary Priestess, Death Midwife, chaplain, and Green Burial advocate Nora Cedarwind Young is terminally ill, and wasn’t expected to live for much longer. However, Young has beaten the estimates and predictions, and is still with us. This happy news has created a financial crisis for Young and her family as they deal with ever-increasing medical bills and a fundraiser has been started to help them cover the costs. Quote: “One of Nora’s favorite adages, “The gift you give is the gift you get!” is the theme for our efforts here. This amazing and beloved priestess has stayed with us much longer than anyone thought possible! Nora has been somewhat stabilized with a strict routine of medicines and wound care, but the cost of such endeavors, as you can imagine, has been quite a burden on the couple, even though they have insurance. The intent of this fundraiser is to alleviate the extreme stress they have been under by providing some financial help for the non-covered costs that have accumulated, and cover additional treatments, like intravenous vitamin and mineral therapies, that Nora says really make a difference in how she feels.” If Nora Cedarwind Young has touched your life, please consider helping out.
In Other Pagan Community News:
- The Pagan Accessibility Project, a forthcoming book anthology that will assist Pagan event organizers and Pagan members of the disabled and Deaf communities in improving accessibility, is looking for contributors and for individuals to answer a survey about “your festival experiences as a person with a disability, illness, or addiction, or someone who is part of the Deaf or Blind Community.” This project is being coordinated by Janet Callahan and Tara “Masery” Miller. The survey is open until August 1st.
- For those of you following the paganism-as-slur meta story that I first mentioned at the beginning of this month, the mainstream media has slowly picked it up, first by political snark-blog Wonkette, then by the Religion News Service, who interviews Pagan chaplain and activist Patrick McCollum. Quote: “What pagan has come to mean in modern times is people who are more attentive to our connection to the Earth, the world we live in, and our interconnectedness with everything in it.”
- At the beginning of this year The Pagan Voice launched, hoping to create a world “where Pagan spirituality and philosophy is an influential voice in mainstream culture,” and launched an ambitious fund-raising drive soon after. That crowdfunding initiative did not succeed, and now The Pagan Voice has announced that they are shutting down, citing poor fundraising and a stalled non-profit application process as the primary reasons. Quote: “Because we began as a relatively unkown startup with only minimal support through donations, we simply didn’t have the resources to hang on for another 12-18 months while the IRS decided whether it was going to approve our application for charitable status.” The production team behind the project has announced a new initiative called TangleTown Media.
- Tarot expert Mary K. Greer announces that she has found a missing link in the history of the development of tarot cards. Quote: “It’s been thought for several years that the Lenormand images were derived from Coffee-ground fortune-telling or Tasseomancy. This work is the missing link that proves this theory. It has been curious that several of the Lenormand images were not found in the old lists of coffee-ground emblems, but now we know that several cards were added to the original set. The reason for the expansion of the deck to 36 cards probably came about when Hechtel decided to combine “Les Amusements des Allemands” with the German 36-piece playing card deck, which was then more popular than either the 32-card Piquet deck or the 52-card deck.”
- Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried of The Norse Mythology Blog is calling on Heathens to make their displeasure known with a short radio segment on PRI’s The World which covers the acceptance of the Thor’s Hammer for veteran’s grave markers. Dr. Seigfried is unhappy with the flippant tone taken, and the fact that no actual Heathens were interviewed at any point in the story’s progression. Quote: “Why in the world did NPR not call an actual Ásatrúar? Why did they not call Josh & Cat Heath, two solid heathens who were actively involved in this issue & who have made repeated public statements on the subject over the years?”
- Damh the Bard shares a couple videos from PaganCon 2013 which took place July 13th in the UK.
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!