Pagan Community Notes: Aquarian Tabernacle Church, Piedmont Pagan Pride, John Beckett and more.

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Logo Aquarian Tabernacle Church

INDEX, Wash. — The Aquarian Tabernacle Church is joining the ranks of Pagans and Heathens who are actively participating in supporting the protesters at the Standing Rock camps. Archpriestess Belladonna Laveau and high priest Dusty Dionne will be leaving their home this week to make the journey to North Dakota.

Laveau said, “The Aquarian Tabernacle #NoDAPL group has been put together to show solidarity with those at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, and to help collect needed physical resources in the Seattle Area to be taken to North Dakota. The ATC believes in protecting the Earth and keeping the balance. We believe standing next to those who are protecting the Great Mother that is our Earth, falls in line with that mission.”

Before leaving, Laveau and Dionne are calling on their community to offer donations, monetary or otherwise, to assist the effort. Prior to launching this call to action, the two said that they spent weeks listening, doing research, and talking to others about what is most needed at the camps, especially as the winter months arrive. Their list is based on that research. When they have enough supplies to fill their car, they will leave their Washington home and head east.

“The plan is to take everything we have gathered and take it to Standing Rock,” explained Dionne. “We will also be taking pictures and video of what is going on on the ground, and if it would please the elders and they approve, we will have an energetic working to do.” Laveau added that the supply gathering has been slow, but their hopes are high and plan to leave Wednesday with a full car.

ATC is not the only Pagan or Polytheist organization that is assisting in some fashion. To name a few, it has been reported that Rev. Patrick McCollum is in the Standing Rock area, several of Covenant of the Goddess’ local councils have made public statements in support of the Great Sioux Nation, and smaller local groups, such as New York-based Coven of the Star and Crescent Moon, are following suit. Additionally, as previously reported, Solar Cross Temple continues to collect supplies for shipping from their local community.

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d35a202ddf71b5cba728c83ffe93a7beGASTONIA, N.C. —  The board of Piedmont Pagan Pride Day, an organization based in Belmont, N.C., has issued a public statement regarding the arrest of co-organizer Scott Holbrook. The organization said, “The Pagan Pride Project is an inclusive organization. However, in light of recent events, we feel compelled to address the arrest of Scott Holbrook. Although the case is in its initial stage and Mr. Holbrook has not been convicted, our events are family events and safety is our primary concern. Scott Holbrook has been removed as a local coordinator for Piedmont Pagan Pride Day in light of his arrest earlier this week.”

Piedmont Pagan Pride Day takes place in September and is held at Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park in Belmont. This year Holbrook and his protogrove hosted the opening ceremonies.

While the board members did choose to remove Holbrook from his leadership position, they added, “We do not presume or mean to imply that we believe Mr. Holbrook is guilty, but we are taking this step as a precaution. Along with the rest of the community, we will watch the progress of the case against Mr. Holbrook.”

Since the news made public, TWH has also learned that the family and close associates are unable to respond to our questions at this time. We have also learned that many in his immediate community, including the other Druid groups, were “shaken to the core” by the recent news. We will continue to follow this story.

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John Beckett

John Beckett

MCKINNEY, Texas — Popular Patheos Pagan blogger John Beckett announced that his very first book will be available May 2017. Published by Llewellyn, The Path of Paganism: An Experience-Based Guide to Modern Pagan Practice will reportedly “provide practical advice and support for living an authentic Pagan life in our mainstream Western culture.”

Beckett told TWH that his new book was written for advanced beginners and intermediate practitioners. “We often complain about a glut of 101 level books – this is a 201 level book. It’s a book for people who want to build a vibrant Pagan practice on a strong foundation of experience,” he explained.

Why did he move from blogging to book writing? Beckett said, “I wrote it because there are very few books like this, and nothing exactly like it. And because a certain Goddess of Poetry and Inspiration insisted that I write it.”

The Path of Paganism can currently be pre-ordered, but will not be available until spring. Until then, Beckett’s writing can be found at his Patheos blog, Under the Ancient Oaks. Beckett is a “Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, and a member of Ár nDraíocht Féin. Locally, he serves as the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and is a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental.”

In other news

  • A new polytheist community dedicated to Antinous was born Oct. 30. “Naos Antinoou [was] founded by Sister Krissy Fiction, Merri-Todd Webster, and Duffi McDermott, the 3 former Magistrates of the Ekklesía Antinoou, as well as Otter and Jay Logan, who had been appointed by the Magistrates of the Ekklesía to function as Mystagogues.” The new organization welcomes all who are devoted “to Antinous to join [them] in creating an inclusive community that honors the Beautiful Boy from Bithynia.” They also noted that the organization Ekklesía Antínoou, founded in 2007 by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, is no longer in operation. The group said, “As Foundation Day [Oct. 30] is an appropriate day for fresh starts and transformations, the 3 Magistrates and 2 Mystagogues of the Ekklesía Antinoou decided to re-establish ourselves and move forward with a completely new start as Naos Antinoou.”
  • The new Atlanta-based Pagan conference Mystic South is seeking proposals for its academic track: PAPERS. The acronym stands for Polytheist and Pagan Educational Research Symposium and was coined by board member Ryan Denison. While the conference is not solely geared toward academic presentations, it will have a dedicated lecture room for this type of work and discussion. The deadline for submissions to PAPERS is Jan. 15. The submission deadline for non-academic presentations submissions is March 1. The conference itself is scheduled for July 2017 and will be held at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta, Ga.
  • Popular Pagan Celtic folk band Tuatha Dea is back in the studio recording their next album titled Kilts and Corsets. As noted on its site, “It’s been 2 years since this little Appalachian Steampunk Family released the defining Tufa Tales but now we’re ready! This full length project is scheduled to cover the bands evolution including revised revamped versions of requested songs from the past and [new] music developed specifically for this album.” In order to finish the project, the group has launched an IndieGoGo campaign with a goal of $8,000.
  • The Feminism and Religion Blog project has an opening for an unpaid internship position. According to the website,”Feminism and Religion is seeking a creative, industrious, responsible, and highly-organized intern interested in working for a community-oriented collaborative online feminist project.” Applications are due Dec. 15.
  • Lastly, The Wild Hunt is happy to report that we met our fundraising goal once again! We would like to thank all the people who donated, shared our campaign, and spoke out in support of the work we do here every day. We would not be here without you. Going forward, The Wild Hunt will continue to be the same news-focused online journal that strives to capture the opinions and happenings within our collective communities. Sunday through Thursday are news days. Friday and Saturday we publish opinion columns and stories. We hope, as the years go by, our growth allows us to build on that model, delivering more news and sharing more voices and special features from around the world. Remember, if you have a news tip, a press release, or want to submit an article, contact us. We want to hear from you. The Wild Hunt is your community news journal. Thank you!