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On September 29, the Interfaith Network of the United Kingdom (IFN UK) admitted both The Druid Network (TDN) and The Pagan Federation (PF) into its organization as members. Previously, both Pagan groups were denied membership because they did not represent “one of the big nine faiths.” According to The Druid Network, “This refusal resulted in TDN becoming involved in dialogue with IFN, with a view to reviewing their membership policy to become both more inclusive and to remove any suggestion of discrimination against minority faiths.”
The Pagan Federation and others were also involved in the talks, which eventually led to a presentation before the House of Lords. TDN says, “The eminent human rights lawyer, John Halford, from Bindmans LLP publicly issued a legal opinion for the event.” After that official meeting, IFN began a “strategic review” of its membership policy that has resulted in revised criteria by which both the PF and TDN are eligible. Additionally, Rev. Prudence Jones of PF will be serving on IFN’s executive committee. She marks the first Pagan to hold such a position within that organization. TDN says:
This is an historic achievement on many levels, it is the fruition of the work of many people seeking to find resolution within conflict, those people coming from many diverse backgrounds, professions and faiths. The Druid Network extends its appreciation and thanks to all who helped bring about this momentous.
The 11th Conference on Current Pagan Studies will be held January 24-25, 2015 in Claremont, California at Claremont Graduate University. This year’s theme is “Fecundity and the Richness of the Dark.” Conference organizers explain, “Monotheistic notions over the past two millennia have separated and polarized our manner of being in the world into realms of light and darkness, positive and negative, holy and desacralized, valued and devalued. Polytheists, Pagans, animists, et al view differently the interplay of light and dark, and seek to revalue, re-sacralize, and retrieve the dark. How do we interpret the Darkness?”
This year’s keynote speakers will be Viviane Crowley and Orion Foxwood. The deadline for submissions is now October 15. They say, “We are looking for papers from all disciplines. A community needs artists, teachers, scientists, healers, historians, philosophers, educators, thinkers, activists, etc.”
The Minneapolis Collective of Pagan Artists (MCPA) is holding its debut exhibition at the Stevens Square Center for the Arts from Oct 25 – Nov 15, 2014. The public exhibition is titled, “Doorways to the Underworld” and will feature Ali Beyer (Artemis Namaste), Anne Marie Forrester (Helga Hedgewalker), Paul Rucker, and Roger Williamson. MCPA says, “In this exhibit, Halloween is explored through the eyes of those who experience the season as a profound time to commune with the ancestors and the spirit world. For these artists, the work is an extension of their spirituality, allowing a glimpse into what is often an unseen tradition.” The opening reception includes a dance performance by Alana Mari and live music by Comets Ov Cupid.
In Other Pagan Community News:
- On Nov 1, the Reclaiming Tradition will hold its 35th annual spiral dance ritual at the Kezar Pavillion in San Francisco, CA. It was first held in 1979 to celebrate the publication of Starhawk’s book The Spiral Dance. It is held today “to honor our beloved dead and dance the spiral of rebirth.”
- A new school of magic will be opening its doors on October 31. Ars Viarum Magicarum: A Magical Conservatory is advertised as a non-denominational learning center for magical practices.”Our curriculum is divided among five spheres and includes fascinating and engaging subjects taught by an experienced faculty who value the teaching of “real magic.” Our school emphasizes the use of ethical practices and the formation of collaborative, intentional community.”
- Factory Hollow Press has announced the release of a new Tarot deck based on the poetry of American writer Emily Dickinson. Each of the suits is designed by a different artist; 3 of whom reside in Dickinson’s hometown of Amherst, MA. The Major Arcana was designed by a fifth artist, who also is from that region.
- Galina Krasskova’s new book, Devotional Polytheism: an Introduction, is being released this week. She describes it as a “a step by step guide toward developing a devotional practice within a polytheistic framework.”
- The producers of the popular Gerald B. Gardner or “GBG” Year and a Day Calendar have announced the availability of the 2015 edition. They say that this year’s edition includes “Edith Woodford-Grimes,the witch who first introduced Gerald Gardner to the Coven into which he was initiated.”
- Athame, an Italian Pagan blog and publication, recently interviewed me about Paganism in the United States and more specifically about Covenant of the Goddess. With the help of Greg Harder and Rachel Watcher, I answered a variety of questions about CoG‘s history and structure as well as the legalities of religious practice in the U.S. The article, published in Italian, was conducted by Davide Cronos of the newly formed Unione Comunità Neopagane (UCN).
That’s it for now, have a great day!