Pagan Community Notes: Canadian Declaration, Oak King Letters, Tuatha Dea, and more!

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leafCANADA — The Canadian Pagan Declaration on Intolerance was officially launched on Saturday, Dec. 10 in honor of International Human Rights Day. Within the first 48 hours, the document quickly went viral, and saw 60 organizations and more than 380 individuals sign on in support. The majority of Canada is represented, with signatories on board from seven of the ten provinces.

Jade Pichette, coordinator of this initiative, was also pleased to report that Pagan businesses have also been signing on and that private groups and covens, who previously had kept low profiles, are surfacing to join in solidarity. In addition to uniting Canadian Pagans against intolerance, many hope that this initiative will also form a way for groups and individuals to network and share resources into the future.

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12318385_885872808186297_1190857742_oMONTREAL — With the winter solstice just around the corner and the Holly King getting ready to pass the torch to the Oak King, the Solstice Dispatch Service has opened for business and ready to accept letters from Pagans of all ages and traditions. The dispatch service, which was launched by “Postal Elves” in 2015, received its first letter in October of that year.  The letter began, “Hail to the Oak King! It has been quite the year while you slept…”

Now in its second year, this free service aims to please. After receiving some correspondence addressed to Odin, the service has established connections with other deity forms, so if your seasonal letter needs to be directed to a figure other than the Oak King, the Postal Elves can make sure that it gets to the right place, and that you (or your child) get an appropriate response. The website also features some seasonal stories and updates on the activities of the Solstice Kings. All letters should be addressed c/o The Oak King, 5890 Monkland, Suite 16-0612, Montreal, Qc, Canada H4A 1E9. Remember to include your return address and name.

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tuatha deaGATLINBURG, Tenn. — Tuatha Dea produced a video about the writing of its new song “Appalachia Burning,” inspired by the recent Gatlinburg fires. The video begins with a series of interviews in which band members share tearful reactions and personal experiences from the evacuation. “We were lucky,” says Danny Mullikin in the video.

Mullikin then goes on to explain that when you are sitting in hotel for days with nothing to do except think, “you become very introspective.” This sitting led to the writing of the song. Singer Rebecca Holman said that when she first heard it, she cried. The video ends with an acoustic version of ‘Appalachia Burning’ recorded in the band’s Gatlinburg-based studio.

In Other News

  • The Minneapolis Collective of Pagan Artists will be hosting a new exhibit titled “Mother Night: The Goddess in Winter.” Featuring MCPA artists Bonita Blumenauer, Helga Hedgewalker, Rmay Rivard, and Paul B. Rucker, the new exhibit will reportedly “weave the themes of myth, Goddess reverence, and creative renewal in the winter season, with an invitation to our audience to celebrate and connect with their matriarchal lineage.” Opening night will feature a  ritual theater performance titled “Mother Nearta and the Child of Promise,” and closing night includes an immersive sonic ritual by The Idisi. The show is being held at the Leaping Laughter OTO Lodge from Dec. 17 through Feb. 18.
  • Feraferia will be celebrating its 50th birthday next year. In a recent Facebook post, the organization and tradition announced that it will be hosting a birthday party to celebrate this milestone. As the organizers explain, “Feraferia received her incorporation on August 2, Lammas, 1967 – 50 years ago!” They are asking all members and friends to join them to celebrate Aug. 5, 2017.
  • The Tarot Association has recently announced the candidates for its annual “Tarosophists Tarot and Divination Awards.” Among those decks up for an award are the English Magic Tarot by Rex Van Ryn, Steve Dooley and Andy Letcher, and the Modern Spellcasters Tarot by Melanie Marquis and Scott Murphy. Additionally, there are awards given to indie decks, Lenormand cards, Oracle cards, and books on the subject. According to the site, “2016 has been a watershed year for divination decks and books…” The winners are chosen by the readership, and voting will be open through Dec. 24. Winners will be declared over the week that follows.
  • T. Thorn Coyle and Sharon Knight are offering a “pay what you can” CD download of their album Songs for the Waning Year. Knight said that they are doing this “because this year has been so rough, and because it is in its waning phase, and because so many could use a song to lift their spirits […] You can get the album for free if that helps, and you can kick in a little if you want. It is a simple thing we can do to help lift spirits. You are welcome to share this link with all who have need.” Here is one of the songs from the album:

  • Chicago’s Terra Mysterium has once again produced its popular holiday-inspired play A Midwinter Mummer’s Tale. As TWH has reported in the past, Terra Mysterium is made up of a “collective of performers who create, produce, and perform experiential works of theatre that are rooted in the Earth Mysteries” In this particular theatrical piece, the group “seeks to bring [its] audience into the unique, warm embrace of these midwinter folkways and rekindle an interest in honoring (or even creating our own) traditions for the current time as we descend into the dark half of the year.” Performances run through Dec. 18 at the Pentagon Theater at Collaboraction Studios.