Pagan Community Notes: Ohio State University, Standing Rock, Wildwood Tradition and more!

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ohio-state-logoCOLUMBUS, Ohio — News broke this morning of “an active shooter” on the campus of Ohio State University. At 9:56 am, the OSU Emergency Management Team tweeted, “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall.19th and College.” The campus was quickly locked down, and some students tweeted images from inside their barricaded classrooms.*

At noon, the campus emergency team announced that everything was secure, but all classes would be cancelled and areas of the campus would be closed for further investigation. At this point, not much more is known. One suspect was allegedly shot dead, and ten people were reportedly sent to the hospital with stab wounds and other injuries.

We spoke with local Druid Rev. Michael J. Dangler who works on staff at OSU. When he read the emergency announcement, he stayed home and called in safe. Dangler is a Senior Priest in Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF) and a Grove Priest of Three Cranes Grove, ADF. He said, as far as he can tell now, everyone that he knows and works with is also okay. However, he was quick to add that the situation is still not settled.

Rev. Dangler is also the co-owner of the local Columbus metaphysical store The Magical Druid, which serves OSU’s Pagan community. While it is too soon to know what will “need to be done” in terms of healing, Rev. Dangler did say, “We’ll probably do something at the shop. I’m waiting on details.” In the meantime, he noted that his store maintains a community altar, which is always available during regular business hours, and it will be there for anyone who needs it at this time.

UPDATE 11/28 4:38pm: The community altar at The Magical Druid was open today from 3-4 pm. Rev. Jan Avende and Rev. Michael J Dangler of Three Cranes Grove, ADF, “were there to offer prayers.” They recorded in a live-stream for those who can’t make it down to the store. Watch the video here.

UPDATE 11/28 4:38pm: It has been reported that the “active shooter” was not a gunman. The suspect reportedly hit people with his car, and then stabbed several others with a knife.

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CANNONBALL, N.D. — As we reported yesterday, tensions continue to mount at Standing Rock as the Dec. 5 deadline looms. According to Reuters, “U.S. authorities said on Sunday they had no plans to forcibly remove activists.” Any remaining activists will be reportedly subject to citations. At the same time, the protesters have made it clear that they will not be evacuating. Additionally, reports indicate that over 400 veterans are now planning to arrive at Standing Rock Dec. 4 to join the protests and support the Water Protectors.

As we have been reporting, Pagans and Heathens also continue to remain active in this ongoing struggle. Solar Cross Temple announced this weekend that, with funds raised, it sent $1,085 worth of supplies to the medics at one of the protest camps. The remainder of the funds will be used to supply the general camp or another smaller spirit camp. Solar Cross is currently talking with people in the area to assess the needs.

Since first speaking with us in September, Casey McCarthy, a member of Mountain Ancestors Grove, has revisited Standing Rock and reported back that “logistics have improved.” This includes areas such as training (e.g. cultural sensitivity, direct action 101, and more), medical and mental health care, construction, and legal consultation. He said, “All of these fall under a council of elders and work in conjunction with each other.” However, McCarthy added that there is “tons of trauma.” He said, “The struggle is real; people are getting hurt, and witnessing horrifying things. I volunteered with the mental health group and heard a lot of horror stories.”

McCarthy also noted that some people are arriving at the camps thinking it’s just a big party. He said, “There is a lot of tension between the native folks and the white people showing up, and treating the place like a festival. I heard some very racist and privileged stuff. White people must understand that the protest is a sacred space and a battle ground, not Lollapalooza.”

Two other volunteers who hope to return soon to Standing Rock are Aquarian Tabernacle Church leaders Belladonna Laveau and Dusty Dionne. They are not sure when and if they can make the journey yet, but they would like to be there when the veterans arrive to support their effort along with bringing more of the needed supplies.

We will continue to bring you weekly updates on this story direct from Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists involved. 

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photo broadlyBRISBANE, Aus. — As noted in yesterday’s edition of Hounds, Broadly published an article on an annual Australia Beltane festival sponsored by the Wildwood Tradition. This article, as we noted, was filled with vivid photographs of members enjoying the popular springtime event. However, that article, which was published Nov. 7, sparked anger in the community itself, due primarily to inaccurate information. While this problem may not be surprising, as it does happen frequently within mainstream reports on modern Witchcraft practice, this time tradition members decided to take matters in their own hands. They didn’t simply let it go.

In an email, member Fio Aengus Santika told The Wild Hunt: “[the] article came out without any member of our Tradition being aware it would come out, and it was entirely images of our biggest Beltaine event which happens to be in Brisbane where our Tradition was born.” He added that the questions all “seemed to hinge on [their] Tradition with a Pagan and a Witch not of our Tradition answering for us.” That is how the original article was received.

Santika reported that they immediately contacted the Broadly writer who was at first “quite hesitant to engage.” But the site eventually made the requested changes. Santika said that they removed “all mention of Wildwood,” and removed all photographs of “individuals who did not consent to their images being used in this way.” He added, “Basically, all the information about the Wildwood Tradition that was originally on there (now changed) was given by a Pagan / Witch not of our Tradition so was all entirely incorrect, but thank the Gods and our own our own actions that it’s all gone now.”

In Other News

  • Pagan Blogger John Halstead announced that a hearing in the “Whiting 41” case has been scheduled for Jan. 13 at the Lake Superior Court in Hammond, Indiana. As we reported last May, Halstead and 40 others were arrested during a climate change protest at the local Whiting Oil Refinery. Earlier this week, he and those arrested put out a call for a peaceful protest to be held at the courthouse during the hearing.The Facebook event page reads, “Join us […] to lend your support to the Whiting 41. […] Bring your singing voices. There will be singing and chanting and some street theater (as well as hot coffee).”
  • The blog Thrillist recently shared a story on Minnesota-based Sidhe Brewery. In May 2015, we talked to the Wiccan owners as the business got off the ground. Our article focused on the magical aspects of the brewery, its launch and operation. The new 2016 article focuses on the business as a safe space for the local LGBTQ community. “We’re not trying to advertise ourselves as ‘the queer bar,’ because we’re not, we’re a queer space,” said head brewer/co-owner Kathleen Culhane. “But we’re making it more in the forefront when we put ourselves out there. This is an LGBTQIA — whatever, alphabet soup — friendly bar. We are committed to diversity in all things.”
  • Blogger Heather Awen has recently put out a call for submissions for a new non-profit project that will result in a book titled Steel Bars, Sacred Waters: Celtic Paganism for Prisoners. The book will include rituals, guided meditations, and deity information rooted in Celtic tradition and creatively tailored for polytheists in prison. Why? Awen feels that many inmates learn about Paganism in prison, but there is very little material on Celtic-based practices. Submissions are due May 15, 2017.
  • Many Gods West has opened registration for the 2017 conference held in Olympia, WA. The event is a “gathering of peers to support the growth and practice of Polytheism. […] Join us for three days of discussion, devotion, ritual, and theology! We are now open for registration and for programming proposals.” The 2017 event will be held Aug. 4-6.

That is it for now. Have a nice day.