Pagan Community Notes: Taylor Ellwood’s Open Letter, The Pagan Marketplace, The Golden Dawn and more!

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DMP_Taylor4mediumPublisher and author Taylor Ellwood has posted two open letters to Pagan convention organizers asking for, at least, partial expense compensation. In the first open letter, he writes, “In my pursuit of self-respect, one of the realizations I’ve been having is that how I allow my work and myself to be treated professionally is indicative of the respect I’m giving to myself. And if I don’t set standards and boundaries for that treatment then I’ll get walked all over.”

Ellwood goes on to say that he will no longer present at conferences with the exception of three already scheduled in 2016. He argues that his presence as a guest helps bring people to the conference, and that the promised exposure received in return doesn’t pay his bills. This lack of some compensation is, in his opinion, unacceptable. He writes, “It also tells me that the people putting on the conference don’t respect my contribution.”

In the second letter, Ellwood calls for transparency on the selection of the presenters. He writes, “Each year you select who the guests of honor are at your event, but you don’t tell us how it happens. It’s treated as a secret and it’s time for the secrets to come out. I have queried different conventions about how they select their guests of honor and I usually don’t get answers.” Ellwood emphasizes that, in the end, he wants more than anything a “consistency” in the treatment of presenters.

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paganmarketlogo2small-300x92In June, we reported on the startup of a new website called “The Pagan Marketplace,” which was born out of the continuing struggles to sell metaphysical items on Etsy. Founder Blake Greenman Carpenter spearheaded this new venture geared specifically at Pagan artisans. At the time, he said, “We all need a break from the outside world sometimes and this site can give us that small clearing in the forest away from the pressures of those who don’t think like we do.”

This week, Carpenter announced that the Pagan Marketplace would be closing down indefinitely. In a recent announcement, he wrote, “Sorry to those who showed interest but the few of you that did will not be enough to hold it afloat at the moment. I hope to bring it back at a later date but there would have to be some major improvements in my status to do it. Thanks for your show of support and interest, I wish there were more like you.”

The Amaranth Marketplace, created to serve the same artisan population, is still in operation.

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9780738743998Llewellyn Worldwide has announced the publication of the 7th edition of The Golden Dawn. First published in 1937, The Golden Dawn was originally created by Israel Regardie, infamous for breaking his oath by publishing the society’s secret material. However, in recent times, Regardie has been somewhat forgiven, because his work helped preserve the society’s practices. Regardless of recent debates, he remains a controversial figure in the Golden Dawn’s history.

Despite the background, it has been claimed that Regardie’s book is “the most influential modern handbook of magical theory and practice.” And, that it “started the occult movement.”

The newest edition, which took three years to create, boasts 960 pages “with added illustrations, a twenty-page color insert, additional original material, and refreshed design and typography.” According to Llewellyn, “Scholar John Michael Greer has taken this essential resource back to its original, authentic form.” The bookseller is taking pre-orders now. The book will be officially on sale in January 2016.

In Other News

  • Yule has arrived, and many people around the world have spent this past weekend celebrating. Everglades Moon Local Council (EMLC), the Florida-based division of Covenant of the Goddess, has uploaded its most recent seasonal podcast. For every sabbat, the organization produces a new downloadable podcast with the goal of celebrating and connecting is community. This year’s Yule podcast includes an interview with Wild Hunt contributing writer Cosette Paneque; discussions on holiday spellwork, medicinal herbs, “FooDoo” and Pagan craft projects.The “Reaching for the Moon” podcast is rounded off with music from Emerald Rose and Mama Gina.
  • The 12th annual Conference of Current Pagan Studies is looking for vendors and program advertisers. As we reported last week, this conference, held in January, begins the Pagan indoor conference season. The 2016 event, held the weekend of Jan 23-24, is themed “Social Justice.” While proposals for presentations are no longer being accepted, the conference organizers are still looking for vendors and program advertisers.
  • Another late January event is EarthSpirit’s A Feast of Lights, held annually in Amherst, Massachusetts. As described on the site, “A Feast of Lights is a weekend of warmth at the coldest time of the year – a festival of Earth spirituality and the arts, of community and hope, of tradition and creativity. The weekend is intended to nourish our hearts and minds, bringing together a collection of teachers, performers, artists and merchants who join with all of the gathering’s participants to kindle the fire within during the dark of winter.” Wild Hunt reporter Terence Ward was in attendance last year and wrote, “Winter is indeed a universal truth, an indivisible portion of the cycle of seasons which many Pagans acknowledge or revere. It is often unpleasant, sometimes even dangerous, but so long as there are events like A Feast of Lights held in the coldest days, there will be opportunities to dream again of spring.” A Feast of Lights will be held Jan 29-31, at the Hotel UMass, Amherst.
  • astrologybookivoThis January, Wiccan author Ivo Dominguez Jr. will be releasing his new book, Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans. Published by Red Wheel/Weiser, Dominguez’ book explores the “sacred science” and symbols behind Astrology with the aim of applying the knowledge to ritual, herbalism, crystals and other similar work. “This is a practical handbook for any practitioner of magic to use in building individual rituals and creating the most effective magic.” Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans will be available in paper and ebook formats.
  • In other publishing news, Joanna van der Hoeven has published a new book titled The Stillness Within: Finding Inner Peace in a Conflicted World. It is a “collection of writings on finding inner peace, based on Zen principles, meditation” She told The Wild Hunt, “This little e-book is a collection of writings designed to find peace even in a world that seems to going to pieces. All proceeds from the sale of this book are going to charity: The Woodland Trust UK and the UK Orangutan Appeal.” In addition, van der Hoeven has recently released an “online Zen Druidry course, based upon her Pagan Portals introductory book of the same title.”
  • For those readers who like dark folk music, Nemeur, a duo from the Czech Republic, has released its second album titled Labyrinth of Druids. The music is being used as the official soundtrack for a video game of the same title. “The [Labyrinth of Druids] is set in a maze of nightmares and its main aim is to provide extremely strong atmospheric experience combining fantasy and horror.” The group’s sound is described as “minimalistic and dark,” and “if there is a project that can disrupt the walls of mainstream, it is Nemuer.”