Pagan Community Notes: Lightning Across the Plains, Max Dashú, Military Pagan Network, and More!

The Wild Hunt is 100% reader supported by readers like you. Your support helps us pay our writers and editors, as well as cover the other bills to keep the news coming to you ad free. If you can, use the button below to make a one-time donation - or become a monthly sustainer. Thank you for reading The Wild Hunt!

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!

Heathens on the Plain: PNC-Heartland covers Lightning Across the Plain, the largest heathen gathering in North America, which took place September 24-26.

“On Saturday morning, the Chieftains of each tribe gathered to formalize an agreement on how they should work together to establish strong tribes in the Midwest.  This was the first time that so many Midwestern tribes had met face to face and everyone participating was ecstatic with the results.  The result was several general laws were agreed upon to ensure the autonomy of each group but established procedures that would enable mutual support.”

The event included and estimated 170 adults and 70 children, which is quite impressive for an event that’s only in its second year. It will be interesting to see what the long-term ramifications of these gatherings will be for Asatru and Heathenry in the Midwest and America.

Max Dashú Receives Honorary Doctorate: Artist and writer Max Dashú, famous for founding the Suppressed Histories Archives, and her presentations on female power through history, has been awarded an honorary Doctorate in Ministry by Ocean Seminary College.

“Ocean Seminary College is proud to confer onto Max Dashú the Doctorate of Ministry in honor of her significant and founding contributions to the fields of thealogy and Goddess iconography, as well as to women’s history.

Since the 19070s, Max Dashú has continuously explored, shared, and collected the rich iconographic history of the Goddess. Yet Dashú’s work is not limited to the religious sphere; rather her erudition extends into a critical global examinatoin of the underlying sociopolitical relationships between men and women and a restoration of knowledge of women’s essential role in human history. She has pulled these often disparate academic fields into a cohesive whole that has become the seminal Suppressed Histories Archives. This visual archive and its associated analysis has and continues to inspire women throughout the world to find their roots and reclaim their silenced historical contributions, while fostering renewed womancentric spiitual traditions.”

Ocean Seminary College was founded in 2005, and has a nature-based and interfaith focus in its curriculum. Congratulations to Max Dashú on the honor.

The End of MPN? The Military Pagan Network has released a statement that asks, with time and resources in short supply, if their mission has been accomplished, or if they should continue.

“The question now is MPN’s future. MPN’s ability to inform, educate, and network depends entirely on volunteers to make it happen. The current staff feels that we have done all that we can for now. Given our current resource pool and acknowledging the work of many other organizations, we feel that MPN may close its doors with a sense of “mission accomplished.”

However, given the magnitude and finality of such an action, it is important to us to make one final appeal to those whom MPN represents. If you are a military Pagan (A/D, veteran, or dependent), and you feel strongly that MPN truly needs to stay active, please step forward. Send a message through our online contact form stating your interest in keeping MPN running and how many hours/week on average you are willing to devote to making it happen. We realize that your military mission comes first, but it is up to you to decide whether MPN’s mission can and should continue. If a pool of truly dedicated fresh volunteers comes forward, the outgoing staff will gladly transition the duties and management of the organization over to you. If not, we must take this as a sign that MPN’s mission has been fulfilled to the best of our ability, and MPN will be closed.”

The deadline to contact MPN about their future is Samhain (October 31) 2010. While attitudes have changed within and without our communities about Pagan military personnel, many challenges still lay ahead. If you have an interest in revitalizing and helping the MPN move into the future, I would step forward now. You can contact them on their web site, or at their Facebook page.

Expanding on Theurgicon Coverage: Over at his Beliefnet blog, Gus diZerega expands on the recently held Theurgicon conference in Berkeley, California. First with an exploration of Tony Mierzwicki’s historical presentation, and then on Brandy Williamspresentation dealing the Chaldean Oracles.

“I am constitutionally suspicious of hierarchical understandings of reality.  They have had nasty political consequences, feed a lot of egos that believe they are “more evolved,” and I suspect constitute an attempt to apply models of relationship from agricultural societies that viewed nature and people as something to control to a spiritual realm.  Consequently I am most sympathetic to the less rigid models of dimensions that is a possible interpretation of this reality.

I believe this less hierarchical interpretation also fits better with my and other peoples reports of mystical encounters in their various forms. I would hope that less hierarchical forms of description will come to predominate.  My own working model is of a multidimensional tapestry where the closer one approaches “the One” the less differentiation exists and the farther one goes the more differentiation can be seen, maximizing the opportunities for love to manifest.  But it is all one tapestry.”

I look forward to reading his write-ups of the rest of the speakers.

More on Druid Charity Status: As I reported on Tuesday, The Druid Network in the UK has been granted charity status, the first Pagan group to gain such status under the Charities Act of 2006. Now the mainstream media is picking up on the story, including the BBC.

“After a four-year inquiry, the Charity Commission decided that druidry offered coherent practices for the worship of a supreme being, and provided a beneficial moral framework. The decision will also mean that druidry will have the status of a genuine faith. Referring to the tax breaks, Mr Ryder said: “For us that is a very small consideration because we don’t really have that level of income to make that even an issue.” He said what was more important was that it would make administrative tasks a lot easier for the organisation. “It does give recognition with local councils and people who provide premises and services to charities, who will only deal with registered charities,” he said.”

More coverage here, and here, and here. It’s looking like this accomplishment is making waves, and may signal an increased level of respect for the Druid religions in Britain. Congratulations once again to The Druid Network on their accomplishment.

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