Pagan Community Notes: EarthSpirit Community, Florida senate race, solar eclipse and more

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BOSTON — The weekend’s scheduled “Free Speech Rally” was overshadowed by thousands of counter-protesters. According to reports, there were only a “few dozen” rally attendees, who were eventually escorted out of the area to the sound of the crowd cheering. The event’s organizers have claimed that the rally was not related to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, but protesters were unconvinced and showed up in force.

Among the crowds were a number of people from the Pagan community. Specifically, members of the EarthSpirit Community, which is based in Massachusetts, were on hand with their own signs. Posting live, one member wrote, “Lots of passionate people on the Boston Common today. We are glad to be among them.”

Moira Ashleigh documented the march in photos, which are all posted on EarthSpirit’s Facebook page. After the rally attendees left, EarthSpirit members reported that “the counter-protest has become a celebration and ‘love-fest’ of 30,000. Gratitude to those who represented our community in Boston today and those of you acting elsewhere to demand justice for All Beings of the Earth. ”

There are reportedly a number of white nationalist rallies planned throughout the country over the coming month, including New York, Berkeley, San Francisco and beyond. With that will come more counter-protests and similar actions.

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ORLANDO — In a not completely unrelated story coming out of Florida, Augustus Sol Invictus, who was one of the “Unite the Right” organizers, has announced that he will make another run for the U.S. Senate in that state. This time around, he is running as a Republican. In 2015, Invictus ran for Senate as a Libertarian and lost. However, in July, Invictus left the party, which he has reportedly claimed is an “organization devoted to losing.”

Invictus has since joined the Republican party and, in an August video announcement, said that he will be making another run for the U.S. Senate from Florida. In that speech, he says that “new leadership is needed,” and he promises to “restore the republic […] if God wills it.” Along with organizing rallies, Invictus is also the publisher and founder of the Revolutionary Conservative, a reported member of the Proud Boys, and does identify as a practicing Pagan. He is also currently on the SPLC watch list.

The next U.S. Senate election in Florida will be held in November 2018.

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A solar eclipse occurs in the U.S. today. Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists around the country are preparing to witness this rare and spectacular event. In some cases, people will be engaging in rituals, spell work, and meditations.

As astrologer Diotima Mantineia told The Wild Hunt, “We’ll have plenty of inspiration to work with, but some of us may get carried away with enthusiasm — or anger. Both are very much in the air.” Mantineia sees fire and transformation. She offered, “it will help to keep in mind that sometimes, when you’re in the middle of a transformative event, things can get pretty scary.”

For those that are not able to get outside to experience the astronomical event, NASA will be live broadcasting beginning at noon EDT with a “pre-game” show followed by a second program that “will cover the path of totality the eclipse will take across the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina.”

In other news:

  • Many Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist organizations have published reactions and statements with regard to the violent events that occurred in Charlottesville. The Troth is no different. However, the organization also produced a video titled Inclusive Heathenry. After images and music demonstrating what happened in Virginia. a title card says that witnessing the weekend’s events “can leave anyone feeling helpless or alone. Especially those in the Heathen community. Seeing our symbols used for hate.” The video then goes on to showcase the Troth’s community, its people, its mission statements, and its work.
  • Solar Cross Temple is hosting an eclipse ritual event titled “A (Re)Statement of Faith” as presented by Jacki Chuculate. The ritual, as written, can be performed anywhere and is meant to be done in coordination with the eclipse, but can be done in the surrounding days. Chuculate writes as part of the ritual, “As the eclipse grows and peaks, we notice all the ways and means in which our essential work has been challenged. How we as people and people of the work have been challenged, depleted, struggled, and face a world and realms that are literally and figuratively, toxic.”
  • Sarah Kate Istra Winter, also known as Dver, has just released a new book. It is titled A City is a Labyrinth: a walking guide for urban animists. Winter writes in a blog post, “After many years of exploring my city on foot, visiting all the numinous places and finding spirits in every corner, performing rituals in urban environments, and using walking as a means of trance-induction, I decided to collect all my experience and ideas in a little (4×6 inches) pocket guide.”
  • CalderaFest Pagan music festival tickets will be subject to an eclipse sale. The announcement reads, “get your general admission tickets for $50 off Aug. 20-27.” CalderaFest, which was first held in May 2016, is a three-day camping event dedicated to Pagan music. Due to the weather, organizers moved the event to the fall. CalderaFest’s second year will be kicked off during October in the mountains of north Georgia.
  • Priestess Starr Ravenhawk has announced the lineup for 2018 WitchsFest USA. New for next summer’s event will be Queen Mother Imakhu, Elizabeth Ruth, Sharon Day, Austin Shippey, Gregg Sicarri, and Kenya Coviak. Returning presenters include Rev. Donald Lewis, Christopher Penczak, Lady Rhea, Rhonda Choudry, Lilith Dorsey and Krystal Madison. WitchsFest is held mid-July in New York City’s west village.