Archives For Voices of Pagan Pacifism

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, a new series more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce 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 lets get started!

The Bonewits Papers: On their official Facebook page, Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits have announced that Isaac’s personal papers will be donated to the American Religions Collection at the library at University of California, Santa Barbara.

“It’s been a rough week, but we’d like to share one piece of good news. Isaac’s personal papers will be going to the American Religions Collection at the library at University of California, Santa Barbara. So all you researchers will be able to rummage through his stuff :-)”

Bonewits has been, and continues to be, an influential author, ritualist, theologian and thinker within modern Paganism. It is heartening to know that as he continues to struggle with cancer, his rich legacy will live on for future generations to benefit from. For those who’d like to support Isaac and Phaedra during this trial, you can still donate to offset their mounting medical bills.

Pagan Pacifists Speak: A month ago I announced a new initiative, the Voices of Pagan Pacifism project, and now their first issue of interviews, essays and articles has been released.

“Part monthly newsletter, part educational archive, part resource directory, the VoPP project hopes to further the causes of peace, nonviolence, social justice, ecological balance and creative living. By providing a forum for conversation and connection, VoPP seeks to dispel misconceptions about the philosophy of pacifism and the spiritual traditions of modern Paganism. To encourage Pagans and non-Pagans, pacifists and non-pacifists alike in pursuing the challenging work of confronting and engaging authentically with that place in all of our lives where the political meets the spiritual, and both are transformed.”

Contributions include an interview with Dana Rose, an article on pacifism in ancient Greece by Jeff Lilly, a meditation from Alison Shaffer, and more. This looks like a strong start to the project, and I look forward to many more issues in the future.

Exploring Pagan Theology: The Pagan Portal at Patheos has posted three new essays exploring Pagan (poly)theology from different angles. First, portal manager Star Foster looks at the challenges of discussing and exploring theology in a pluralistic (and polytheistic) manner. Then, Alison Shaffer examines the problems of relating to the gods through an American capitalist framework. Finally, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus (boy that name sounds familiar) discusses syncretism, Process Theology, and “polyamorotheism”.

“The insurmountable divide that people put between humans and gods in terms of our ability to understand them (e.g., “the Gods’ ways are not our ways” — a passage here paraphrased from the Hebrew Bible!), and of our abilities to communicate and negotiate with them, therefore, is not necessarily in operation. The gods may have a great deal more power, or knowledge, or freedom due to their position and their conditions of existence, but if they cannot be understood, communicated with, or related to, then the entire enterprise of religion and spirituality is useless entirely.”

All are well worth the reading, and should provide some food for thought (and discussion). Kudos to Star Foster and Patheos.com for working to bring us quality Pagan content at this multi-faith religion site.

AREN’s Action: The latest issue of the Alternative Religions Education Network’s (AREN) newsletter, ACTION, is now out, and features a wealth of interesting interviews. This includes Selena Fox, Brian Ewing of the Pagan Pride Project, and Cathryn Platine of the Maetreum of Cybele.

“Throughout this mess the “reasons” for denial have been almost impossible to pin down. Apparently the Town attorney is under the mistaken impression that I am the religion and my not living on the property for a short time is significant. He also has argued in his legal opinion that the fact we have always done charitable work, even before formal incorporation, housing women in need is some sort of proof of not being an exclusive religious property which is absurd given that the New York tax law covering mandated exempt classes is quite clear that charitable work, education and other activities are all equal and any two or more activities on the property are still in the mandated exempt class.”

Christopher Blackwell at ACTION is like a Pagan interviewing machine! Seriously, his efforts really do deserve more attention, and I hope that the ACTION archives can be saved for posterity since they provide such a fascinating snapshot of modern Paganism in the last decade.

Finding Eleusis at Fringe: The Chicago-based Pagan/magical performance troupe Terra Mysterium will be performing their new Fall show “Finding Eleusis”, an urban and modern take on the Eleusianian Mysteries, at the Chicago Fringe Festival September 1-5th. Here’s a clip from their previous show, “Professor Marius Mandragore’s Salon Symposium regarding Spirits, Spells, and Eldritch Craft”.

If you’re going to be in the Chicago area, you can buy tickets for the performances now. I wish I could afford to jet-set to the Midwest and catch this show!

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

As a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, I’m starting a new series more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce 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 lets get started!

Patrick McCollum at the World Forum of Spiritual Culture: Cherry Hill Seminary has announced that Pagan chaplain, Circle minister, and CHS instructor Patrick McCollum will be presenting at the World Forum of Spiritual Culture in Kazakhstan this October. McCollum is the first Pagan invited to address the forum.

“The World Forum of Spiritual Culture is hosted by the Kazakh government, the International Association of Peace Through Culture, the Congress of Spiritual Concord, and other other Kazakhstan, European and Russian organizations. McCollum will become the first Pagan leader to address the World Forum of Spiritual Culture, his remarks becoming part of the international journal published following the event.

The World Forum hopes “to find a solution to the systemic crisis of the modern civilization by realizing the priority of spirituality and culture above all other public values.” The Kazakh President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, will address the group during the conference.”

McCollum will be joining luminaries like Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter to search for solutions that will “cure our modern civilization from the virus of greediness.” McCollum, whose star is rising across the globe as an ambassador for modern Pagan faiths, is still fighting to get equal treatment for Pagan prisoners in the state of California and across the US.

The World of Witches Museum Opens in Salem: The Witch School-backed World of Witches Museum in Salem is having its official opening today (Friday). Salem’s Mayor Kim Driscoll will be cutting the official ribbon to the museum.

“In celebrating this Independence Day weekend we are reminded that our founding fathers fought for our freedom. In honoring this American tradition, on Friday, July 2nd, The World of Witches Museum will officially be opened in Salem, Massachusetts. This will be a unique museum as the focus will be on the history of Witchcraft from a positive point of view. As part of the opening the Mayor of Salem, The Honorable Kim Driscoll will officially cut the ribbon at a noontime ceremony along with members of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Staff of the Museum, Bewitched in Salem, and many other friends and supporters. This will be a major milestone for the Wiccan and Pagan community as this will be the first time that their history will be shared with mainstream society in such a public way. It is a showcase for the community that is fighting for the right to practice their religion in modern America.”

Among the displays will be one focusing on Witch School’s travails in Hoopeston, Illinois, which eventually drove them to the more welcoming arms of Salem, Massachusetts. Rev. Don Lewis, Curator of the Museum, says that this project represents “a coming of age for the Witch movement, which allows us to recognize that we do have a history worthy of sharing”.

Voices of Pagan Pacifism: A new initiative from Alison Shaffer, the Voices of Pagan Pacifism project, is working to spotlight voices of pacifism and peace-making from within the Pagan community.

“We hope this website will become an archive of helpful resources, inspiring stories and challenging essays available to the Pagan pacifist community, as well as the larger community of Pagans, Witches, Druids, Heathens and others interested in pre-Christian and earth-centered spirituality. It’s important to know that we are not alone, and to showcase the work and lives of our fellow peace-makers and social activists!

We conceive of this project as providing a showcase and permanent archive for the many voices of Pagan peace-making in the modern world. For this reason, we gladly accept submissions that have already been published elsewhere, provided they are submitted by (or with prior permission from) the original author and are accompanied by appropriate references and credit to the original publication source (including a link, if available). We also welcome new and original work never published before, by aspiring and previously-published writers alike!”

I’ve long thought that pacifism within modern Paganism needed a clearing-house so that conscientious objectors could use it as a resource should the need arise. Kudos to Alison Shaffer for getting this started. They are looking for writers and interviewers now, I recommend checking it out.

Making Mischief With SJ Tucker: Pagan singer-songwriter SJ Tucker’s new album “Mischief” is due to be released on July 16th and is now available for pre-order from her web site. On her personal journal, Tucker has been talking about the process and meanings behind the songs on the new album.

“Love changes us all, makes us broken, makes us brave, makes us deny ourselves and our very breath, makes us refuse to listen when our hearts tell us that the time has come to move on, to break the surface. “Neptune” is the story of what can happen after you’ve drowned yourself willingly in someone else’s hopes and dreams, and you find that saltwater and shadows no longer sustain you. “Neptune” is the story of what can happen when you’ve lived in sin with a god for long enough that the respective piles of dirty laundry and broken promises have started to really get on your nerves.”

Tucker is currently planning a big Fall tour, but you can catch her this Summer in Oregon as part of Tricky Pixie at Faerieworlds.

A Fundraiser for Joe Credit: Musician Joe Credit, a member of the Pagan band SONA, is trying to raise money to remove a a grapefruit sized hernia in his groin area.

“Joe Credit has a grapefruit sized hernia in an especially uncomfortable location on his body. Imagine getting kicked in the groin several times a day. This is his life. He is having trouble finding a way to get the operation because he is currently without insurance. He is slipping through a very unfortunate loophole. Unable to really work because of the hernia, yet unable to get disability or medicaid. He is expected to live with this hernia until it is “life-threatening” at which time he will be able to get an operation with no problem. Joe’s family does not want him to have to wait until his hernia is life-threatening. I wish we could somehow come up with the money ourselves but times are tough. Hence this fund-raiser. Joe has a lot of friends. If we could all pitch in maybe we could raise enough to get him the operation. Or at least get him enough money to be evaluated by a real doctor, not the emergency room. Thanks!”

Living without health insurance, living in pain until a problem is “life-threatening”, is no way to live at all. If you have a few bucks to spare, why not help out one of our own to have a better life.

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!