Pagan Community Notes: Jaime Johnson, Coru Cathubodua, Llewellyn Worldwide, and more

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Vir. — It is being reported that 37-year-old Jaime Johnson was killed Aug. 2 in her home on Sutter Street in Virginia Beach. There is currently a police investigation underway, but officials have not yet released any specific details about the case.

Originally from Minnesota, Jaime was well-known across the American Pagan community. She was a member of Morrigu’s Daughters, which is part of the larger Tuatha de Morrigan group, a tribe of Morrigan devotees who attend the Morrigan’s Call retreat each year.

Vyviane Armstrong was in the process of helping Johnson plan a retreat to Ireland for 2018. Armstrong said, “Jaime was a brave, kind and beautiful soul. Like so many others I fell in love instantly upon meeting her. I am heartbroken at our loss.”

According to official reports, the local police “responded to the [Sutter Street home] regarding a request to check on the welfare of the occupants. Upon arrival officers located an adult female and an adult male, deceased.” The murder is currently being “investigated as a homicide/suicide, domestic in nature.” Family and friends are reporting that the adult male was Johnson’s boyfriend, and that the couple lived in the home for only a few months.

We will have more on this story in the coming days.

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MINNEAPOLIS —  Lewellyn Worldwide has a new acquisitions editor. A former editor of Circle Magazine and Pagan Spirit Gathering organizer, Florence Edwards-Miller has joined the team at the Minnesota-based publishing house. Edwards-Miller said, “Pagans have often been described as a ‘people of the library,’ rather than a ‘people of the book.’ Llewellyn Worldwide has done really amazing things for our Pagan community, particularly in the past several years.”

Edwards-Miller will be joining current and longtime acquisitions editor Elysia Gallo. “I’m extremely excited that they’re interested in expanding their offerings for our community and truly honored to be asked to help,” said Edwards-Miller. “I think that Llewellyn recognizes that our spiritual community is growing and becoming more diverse, and I’m looking forward to being a part of producing books that will meet our needs.”

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CALIFORNIA — The Coru Cathubodua, a priesthood dedicated to the Morrigan, announced that the organization has become an incorporated church in the state of California. Communication chief Patrick Garretson wrote, “This Lughnasadh was a big stepping stone for our priesthood. In addition to bringing on a new Coru dedicant priest [Barbara Cormack] and establishing the Hearth with two new members [Addy Street and Leah Samhain], we are also happy to announce that as of August 1, we have taken the first step towards being a 501(c)(3).”

The organization  has been working toward becoming a church and eventually earning full tax-exempt status for quite sometime. Garretson told The Wild Hunt, “This will help us serve a broader membership base, receive tax-deductible donations, and have a legal structure and protections to help facilitate the growth of our order.”  The organizations leaders “foresee broadening [their] presence to communities outside the Bay Area in time and being able to offer more clergy services to the Morrigan devotees and other Celtic polytheists.”  They want to build a lasting tradition and community.

Garretson said, “Establishing our church status and broadening membership will enable us to do that.” While there are still many steps to take before earning tax-exempt status, he said that the “timing of this official change seems fitting. Hail Lugh!”

In other news

  • Many in the U.S. Pagan community continue to offer support to the Grimassis, who lost their home in a fire in July. The organizers of the Magickal Marketplace teamed up with A Sacred Place, both based in New Hampshire, and held a benefit concert Aug. 5 to help raise money for the couple. Performers included Jenna Greene Band and Myschyffe Managed, as well as the Mike OJ the Magician. Raven Grimassi has since offered thanks, saying “I feel very grateful for the support and blessings of this great community.” He also praised the organizers, adding: “There is something greater here. It’s the fact that in our community we have people who uplift others in times of hardship. We have people who step outside of their own lives to make a positive difference in the lives of others. We have selfless light-bearers.”
  • The Foundation for Shamanic Studies has just released a new film titled The Way of the Shaman: The Work of Michael and Sandra Harner. “The movie honors and celebrates the Harners’ pioneering work in the history and development of core shamanism. It is a […] look at the people behind the evolution of a groundbreaking spiritual healing methodology that honors and builds upon the ancient knowledge of the world’s shamans.” The movie is free to watch online.
  • Covenant of the Goddess kicks off its annual Merry Meet event Aug. 10 beginning with a full-day leadership institute. This year’s theme is With Visions of the Past and Memories of the Future. The organization invites “all Witches to participate.” CoG’s annual business meeting grand council begins the next day, Aug. 11, and continues through Aug 13. This year, Merry Meet is being held in Ontario, Calif.
  • Another Pagan organization, the Temple of Witchcraft, is getting ready to host its annual event TempleFest. The four-day festival, which is now in its eighth year, will be held at the “beautiful Sargent Center in Hancock, New Hampshire.” This year’s special guest is Ivo Dominguez, Jr. TempleFest will be held from Aug 17-21.
  • Aug. 21 is getting nearer, bringing with it a full solar eclipse. Pagan around the country are planning rituals and meditations on that day. Are you planning something religious or spiritual during this time? Let us know.