Pagan Community Notes: Pagans for Trump, Starry Nights, conference season and more!

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trump protection

Trump protection spell [Lori Lyttle]

UNITED STATES — After the widespread attention given to a binding spell action against President Donald Trump, members the Facebook-based group Pagans for Trump began talking about doing a counter-spell. At the same time, it was reported in various media outlets that a group of Christians were planning to “pray the hex away.”

In describing her own work to counter the binding, Lori Lyttle, a member of Pagans for Trump said, “It’s a blocking and protection spell.” She used black and white candles, incense, and “many, many gems,” which were all laid out on her altar.

Trump supporter Katie Roberts was also planning to work against the mass binding spell. She said, “The collective spell [to bind Trump] will literally be a huge mess. Not to mention they are also attempting to do the same to ‘all who abet him.’ That would be anyone who supports or helps the President.”

“That’s an awful lot of people,” Roberts added. “Their spell has a massive chance of going awry and backfiring.”

A video posted to The Daily Mail caught this politically-driven spell conflict unfolding in front of New York City’s Trump Tower. As the binders start their work, a Witch brandishing a mirror begins chanting to reflect it back upon them. Later in the same video and rife throughout its Facebook comments, devout Christians invoke the power of their own god.

Within the greater Pagan community, this entire episode has revived conversations about the ethics of binding, hexing, and other similar magical work. The Wild Hunt highlighted the various arguments in the article President Trump attracts magical ire.

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13902831_1013686345411220_894801844649231546_nCANADA —  Author and astronomer Charles Ennis, known to many as Kerr Cuhulain, is featured in a new film short called Starry Nights. The film joins Cuhulain, who is the president of the Sunshine Coast RASC, in an exploration of the night sky, reminding us to turn out the lights and look up. The film’s description reads, “Since time began, humans have had a connection to the stars. The heavens shaped our art, philosophy, religion and culture, and gave us a sense of place in the universe.”

The film offers an introduction to astronomy through the eyes of Cuhulain, who ties nature and the stars to his own Pagan spirituality. Starry Night‘s director is Wild Hunt journalist Dodie Graham McKay. She said, “Many thanks to all of the amateur astronomers who we met along the way, for letting us peek through their telescopes.”

Starry Nights is now available for viewing via the BravoFact website if you live in Canada, and available internationally on YouTube.

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TWH – The U.S. Pagan community is currently in the heart of convention season. PantheaCon, Feast of Lights, the Conference on Current Pagan Studies, and ConVocation are now finished for the year. The next two big conferences to be held are Sacred Space and Paganicon.

Sacred Space is hosted by the Sacred Space Foundation and is held each year in the D.C. region. Organizers describe the event as an “annual esoteric conference […] for intermediate to advanced practitioners.” They add that the conference specifically features teachers “who offer a wide variety of workshops and rituals developed for a more advanced audience.” Some of this year’s instructors include: Apetha, Rev. Patrick McCollum, and Judika Illes. Sacred Space will be held Mar. 9-12 in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

The following week, Paganicon opens its doors in Minnesota. Hosted by Twin Cities Pagan Pride, Paganicon is now in its seventh year. As we reported in December, this year’s conference will play host to two special guests: Arvol Looking Horse and Sharon Day. The two speakers will help to guide conversations concerning indigenous rights, the conflict at Standing Rock, and other similar topics. Additionally, Paganicon will be welcoming Laura Tempest Zakroff, Michelle Belanger, the Nathaniel Johnstone Band, and Wendy Rule. Paganicon runs Mar. 17-19 in St. Louis Park, near Minneapolis.

In other news

  • The Firefly House, located in the District of Columbia, is inviting people to celebrate what they have named Margot Adler Day. A journalist, priestess, and author, Adler penned the famous book Drawing Down the Moon, published in 1979, and was an instrumental force in the the growing Pagan community from the 1970s on. Adler died in July 2014 after a long battle with cancer. In spring 2015, Firefly House first proposed the celebration of Margot Adler Day to be held on her birthday, Apr. 16. Organizers saw it as a way of honoring her global contributions to the movement. The group has been encouraging the celebration ever since through Facebook and local events.
  • Two submission deadlines are coming up on Mar. 1 for those people interested in presenting at 2017 conferences. The Pagan Studies Unit of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) is looking for paper proposals for its upcoming fall meeting in Boston. This year the topic is focused on witch hunts “rhetorical, historical, and contemporary.” Similarly, the Mystic South conference to be held in Atlanta is looking for presenters for its non-academic programming track. Organizers say that they are looking for all types of workshops and presentations. The new Atlanta-based conference, which is scheduled for July, just announced the presenters for PAPERS, its dedicated academic track. Those names can be found on its website. Both Mystic South and AAR will accept new submissions through March 1, and both groups say that extensions will not be accepted.
  • Popular Pagan singer and songwriter Mama Gina is back in the studio again with a brand new 10-song CD. After a brief break during which she found herself in the hospital and losing a toe, Mama Gina became inspired and has since birthed a muse called Nine Toes the Bard. The new album tells her story. On her crowdfunding campaign site, Mama Gina writes, “[Nine Toes’] world is amazing, her companions are genuinely strong and humorous, the music is astounding!  We are quite healthy now, and as I’ve toured this year, Nine Toes has taken the stage … and she’s ready for her very own first full length CD.” The album will be released in spring, and the crowd funding is helping to pay for its production.
  • Author and blogger Angus McMahan will be publishing a series of recaps of PantheaCon 2017. He writes in part one, “On Thursday the early birds of Pantheacon shared the Doubletree hotel with the San Jose Police Departments Awards Dinner.” He recalls one encounter in the elevator, saying “I shared an elevator with eight men, all 5’5” to 5’10”, all bald or balding, all in good shape and all wearing dress shirts and open suit jackets. I remarked ‘You guys should have called each other – you all wore the same thing.’ and they all laughed at once. Just once.” McMahan has already published two parts of his 2017 experience to date.
  • Lastly, tomorrow is Mardi Gras. For those readers that are celebrating: Laissez les bons temps rouler.
[Public Domain]

[Public domain]