King Arthur vs. Archeology: British Druid leader King Arthur Pendragon (no, not that Arthur Pendragon) has failed in his attempt to force reburial of human remains found at Stonehenge, claiming the 5000-year-old cremated remains were of a royal “priest caste,” potential founding fathers of Britain.
“Mr Justice Wyn Williams refused to give King Arthur permission to launch a judicial review action – ruling at a High Court hearing in London that there was insufficient evidence to show that the Ministry of Justice might have acted unreasonably. The judge heard that the cremated remains of more than 40 bodies – thought to be at least 5,000 years old – were removed from a burial site at Stonehenge in 2008 and ministers gave researchers from Sheffield University permission to keep the bones until 2015.”
While King Arthur was calling for a “day of action” to protest this decision, another group, Pagans For Archaeology, were pleased that scientific exploration of the remains will continue uninterrupted.
“The very reason we know what we do about Stonehenge and the people buried there is due to archaeology, without it you would know naff all about it, the people and the relationship between the two.”
At their website, PFA makes their case for why the retention and study of human remains is important. As for King Arthur, he insists that this “is not a Pagan argument, it is not a Druid argument. It is a matter of common decency.” Stonhenge is matter of great emotional, religious, and psychological import for many Britons. With the London 2012 Olympics fast approaching, you can be sure that the treatment, preservation, and study of this site will continue to be a newsmaking issue.
Maetreum of Cybele Sends Out a Call for Help: The Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, in an ongoing tax battle with the Town of Catskill, New York, have sent out an urgent plea for funds as what they hope will be the final trial in the matter approaches.
“All along the Town knew they would lose this battle if we could just get it to trial so they have attempted to bury us under legal motions to break us financially and have spent somewhere between 100 to 150 thousand dollars to do so. I am sad to report that unless we get significant help in this final stages, they might succeed. Donations so far have helped but we have had to hire a new attorney at about three times the cost as our original attorney. She is much more experienced and worth the expense but has informed me that the rest of our case will cost us an approximate additional 10 thousand dollars which simply is impossible for us to come up with ourselves at this stage.
Our priestesses have stepped forward to the point of tens of thousands so far but now we are all broke. Please, this case is important, a milestone for minority religion rights. If this can be done to us, a legally incorporated religious charitable organization with full IRS 501 c3 recognition, it literally can be done to any minority religious group. A victory, which is fairly well assured if we can finish the battle, is especially important when political groups are pushing back against non Christians, clean air and water and the basic concept of taking care of each other and our common planet home.”
The law in this case seems pretty clearly on the side of the Maetreum of Cybele, but Catskill is going to wage a scorched earth legal campaign in hopes the Pagans run out of money and energy first, stating that “the town was already too deep into the case to give up and that significant dollars could be saved by preventing exemptions for illegitimate religions.” A court date is set for November 15th. We’ll keep you updated on further developments. For those wanting to an make a tax-deductible donation, you can do so directly via paypal to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can contact them through their website.
In Other News:
- Over at PNC-Minnesota Cara Schulz writes an excellent essay on the trials and tribulations faced by the organizers of Sacred Harvest Festival, and how they have persevered and survived.
- The Dogwood Local Council of the Covenant of the Goddess has announced that they will sponsor a Pagan Prayer display at the Unity Church of Gainesville, part of a 24 hour prayer vigil to celebrate unity in prayer. The event encourages people of all faiths to experience how others worship, with displays from many different religions and sects.
- Just a reminder that the 1st Annual Conference on Earth-Based, Nature-Centered, Polytheistic & Indigenous Faiths is quickly approaching. The theme for the one-day conference on September 24 in San Francisco is “Gender & Earth-Based Spiritualities”. Speakers include Vicki Noble, T. Thorn Coyle, Joi Wolfwomyn, Lady Yeshe Rabbit, and Diana Paxson. Acclaimed poet and social theorist Judy Grahn has just been added to the program.
- Head over to Get Religion to check out the Pagan edition of their “guilt files,” religion stories they have been meaning to cover, but haven’t found the time to get to.
- For those of you who were at the Morrigan devotional ritual during the 2011 PantheaCon, or wished they were at that ritual, you may want to check out an upcoming weekend intensive entitled “Answering the Call: Battle Goddess in Times of Change”. Led by Morpheus Ravenna, T. Thorn Coyle and Sharon Knight, the intensive promises to answer “an urgent call to rise up, prepare ourselves for times of change, help our communities become strong and resilient.” You can find out more about this event, here. The Facebook event page can be found, here.
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!