As first reported on Nov. 26, T. Thorn Coyle, Marissa Evans and twelve other religious leaders were arrested “for trespassing at the Alameda County Court House.” The group was protesting the charges faced by another set of protestors known as the Black Friday 14.
Last week, on Dec. 4, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced that she would drop the charges against the Black Friday 14 group. According to the SFGate.com, O’Malley and “the protesters agreed to participate in a restorative justice process.” In a statement, the Interfaith leaders responded, “On this day, love is victorious. We pledge ourselves to the ongoing effort to ensure it”
While the charges have been dropped for the original protesters, the religious leaders are still facing their own charges for trespassing. According to Coyle, members of the religious group have been given several different court dates. Coyle’s will be on Dec. 29. However, she said that their volunteer attorneys may try to consolidate all of the hearing dates into one.
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The Doreen Valiente Foundation (DVF) has released the cover art and announced the presale of the long-awaited biography called Doreen Valiente Witch. DVF organizers have described the book as such:
“Author Philip Heselton draws on firsthand testimony and Doreen’s own personal papers to reveal previously unknown details of her life with fascinating and sometimes startling insights. Adding to the still-emerging story of how an underground cult, described by some as Britain’s only living indigenous religion, became a worldwide spiritual movement in the course of a few decades.”
In a video slip posted to YouTube, John Belham-Payne talks more about the writing of the book and about the launch.
Although the book itself will not be released, until February 22, 2016, the presale has already begun with limited edition options, including signed and personalised copies are available. All proceeds go back the Doreen Valiente Foundation and to helping fund the creation of its museum, scheduled to open next year.
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On Dec. 12, residents of Philadelphia will gather in Liberty Lands Park to celebrate Krampuslauf. In its fifth year, Krampuslauf Philadelphia is a family-friendly folk festival that culminates in a “parade of spirits.” Founder Amber Dorko-Stopper said, “My original purpose in creating Krampuslauf Philadelphia was to experiment with grassroots folkloric festivals within the community. I started out without a community to do it in, and so everything I hoped Krampuslauf would be — having never been to a “real” one in Austria or Germany — was based around what I would want to see and participate in with my then three-year-old children.”
Dorko-Stopper has welcomed the local Pagan and Heathen community to participate, and many have been doing so since its inception. According to Robert L. Schreiwer of the Delaware Valley Pagan Network, “From the Heathen perspective, the Parade of Spirits is a depiction of the Wild Hunt.” He added that, “The Heathen Contingent for Krampuslauf Philadelphia every year presents themes or characters that align with the multicultural presentation of the event. German, Austrian, Pennsylvania German, Manx, Scottish, and Irish characters have a regular presence at the event.”
This year’s Krampuslauf Philadelphia will be held on Dec. 12 and begins at 3 p.m.
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The big summer festival, Pagan Spirit Gathering, has just announced the opening of registration for its 2016 event. With that, organizers announced that the event will be switching locations. As we reported, the 2015 PSG festival came to a screeching halt when attendees found themselves and their gear underwater, literally. Torrential rains flooded the campsite, forcing organizers to close the event.
Since that time, PSG has located and contracted with a new 200-acre site called Tall Tree Lake. The location already hosts a number of large events and can easily handle the size and operational needs of PSG. Organizers explained, “The decision to move PSG is always difficult. This year, after careful consideration and review of our community feedback, we realized that the PSG community needed more space to grow and thrive, and we feel that Tall Tree Lake is the larger home we’ve been seeking.”
They also said that this site will allow them to make some “infrastructure changes and innovations, including more private ritual space, an improved system for trash and recycling, a ‘food court’ for our food vendors, and other services.” More information on what to expect during the week long solstice gathering will be provided as the event gets closer.
In Other News
- Last month, we reported on a campaign to save the waters in the Canadian town of Elora. Author Brendan Myers pledged all profits from his November book sales to an organization working to protect their local waterways from the corporate giant, Nestle. On Nov. 28, Myers announced the results with only two days left to go in the month. He raised $100 for the Elora campaign. He said, “For a self-published writer, this is a very, very good result: and compared to my usual showing, it’s about four times better than usual.” He added that he hopes to run another similar campaign in the future.
- Mills College, located in Oakland California, is looking for a new Chaplain and Director of Spiritual and Religious Life. Pagan student and activist Kristen Oliver has been invited to serve on the committee to select the new person. She said that she is “representing the student body,” and that she will “be intimately involved in the entire process.” Oliver also said that “as long as the candidate is qualified, there is no reason that Pagans cannot apply.”
- The Occult Humanities Conference 2016: Contemporary Art and Scholarship on the Esoteric Traditions is coming to New York City in February. The conference presents “a wide array of voices active in the cultural landscape who are specifically addressing the occult tradition through research, scholarship and artistic practice.” Our own columnist, Christina Oakley Harrington, has been selected as one of the featured presenters. Her presentation is titled, “Bohemian Occult Subculture in Britain’s 1890s: How Artists, Actors, and Writers Made the Golden Dawn.” Hosted by Phantasmaphile, the event will be held Feb. 5-7 on the New York University Campus.
- Conference season will soon be here. The Conference on Current Pagan Studies, held in Claremont, California, opens the season in January. PantheaCon, held in San Jose California, runs from Feb. 12-15. Its program guide is already available on line. ConVocation runs the following weekend, Feb 18-21, in Detroit. It has announced its guest’s of honor. Paganicon runs from March 18-20 and is held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This event’s programming was just made available. And the list goes on.
- And, lastly, for some holiday cheer, the Pagan Alliance Network has posted an original Yule story for kids, called “Jölnir’s Ride: a Norse Pagan Yule Story.”