Pagan Community Notes: Conjure Gala, Tuatha Dea, #GivingTuesday, and more

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[We are in the final days of our fall Generosity fundraiser. Please consider donating today to support your Pagan-owned and operated, nonprofit news organization. The Wild Hunt is here each day with original content, bringing you news and commentary relevant to the Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist communities. As season of giving begins, consider a donation to help keep the lights on and support our writes. Donate today today to The Wild Hunt. #GivingTuesday ]

DENVER — The mile high city played host to the first ever Conjure Gala Oct. 28. The one-day conference was sponsored and organized by Candelo Kimbisa and held at the historic Lumbar Baron Inn. After the event, Kimbisa recalled, “What was at this Gala that was not found anywhere else. There were real rootworkers teaching their craft and sharing their gifts.”

Speakers included Co. Meadows, Professor Charles Porterfield, Michelle Jackson, Ambrozine LeGare, Elaine Bryant, Brother R.J. James, Professor Ames, and Kimbisa. The day included classes, ritual, “Dinner of the Dead,” and a gala with DJ entertainment. “It was classy, intimate and filled with a depth of soul that I have not experienced at any other festival that I have been to,” wrote Kimbisa.

He added that he is looking forward to the next Mile High Conjure Gala set for 2018. In addition, Kimbisa has reportedly said that there will be another Conjure Gala held in New York in April. When we learn more, we will update the story.

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. — The popular Celtic folk band Tuatha Dea will be releasing its song “Appalachia Burning” and a corresponding video on the anniversary of the historic Gatlinburg fires. “On Nov. 28, 2016 rampaging wildfires tore through our hometown of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. [Members of] Tuatha Dea, like thousands of others, [were] evacuated and we are fortunate to say we were some of the lucky ones having lost nothing but time,” the band members collectively stated.

A local Gatlinburg journalist shared Tuatha Dea’s work calling the music, which was written a week after the fires, a “heart song.” Band members said, “[It is] a song of sorrow but more importantly a song of strength, courage and hope. It has always been our intent that the song be a gift to our mountain community and that it be a source of healing for all of us.” The video and the song will be released Tuesday, Nov. 28 after 5 p.m. Eastern time.

In other Tuatha Dea news, the fires brought ounexpected luck. The band was asked to contribute a song to the forthcoming LP, “1927 Jubilee: the New Bristol Sessions,” and lead singers Rebecca and Katherine Holman performed backing vocals to Dolly Parton’s contributed song.

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MORAGA, Calif. — The Patrick McCollum Foundation has joined the #GivingTuesday #GivingPeace movement to encourage people to donate to nonprofits on the last Tuesday of November. The movement follows and is partly a reaction to the more well-known and quite often infamous Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two days that encourage consumer holiday spending. As noted on its site, it “kicks off the charitable season of giving.”

Over the years, Rev. Patrick McCollum has worked on behalf of Pagan within interfaith communities; he has fought for Pagan religious rights, and more recently has been a voice of freedom in global interfaith forums. His foundation supports these ideals and projects. “After millennia of failed attempts, it’s clear that peace is something that doesn’t just naturally evolve, and that the same old pathways that have been tried over and over again … are not the answer. We need to change both our story and our approach in order to achieve true peace. ”

For #GivingTuesday #Giving Peace, the goal set by foundation leadership is to raise $25,000 to “develop and expand our Foundation for Peace workshop into a four-day program, train nine facilitators, and produce training manuals, videos, and marketing materials to teach in cities, organizations and colleges at home and abroad to become the next generation of peacemakers. Peace is possible.”

In other news:

  • As we reported in spring, the University of Alberta has its first Wiccan Chaplain; Rev. Samuel Wagar is also as the chair of the university’s Chaplain Association. Wagar was recently interviewed by a reporter from a local Toronto news site. As the writer notes, Wagar has recently started offering students free tarot readings. “Every Wednesday afternoon, [Wagar] sets up a table on the main floor of the University of Alberta’s student union building, spreads out a brightly coloured cloth and a deck of tarot cards and waits for students to stop by for some spiritual guidance. “I love being of service to the university community,” Wagar told the journalist.
  • Order of Bards Ovates and Druids (OBOD) will be hosting a live video conversation with writer Philip Carr-Gomm Nov. 27 at 8pm UTC. Carr-Gromm said, “I’ll be talking about the goals of Druidry and why these are of value today.” The even will be live-streamed on Facebook.
  • Who is thinking about summer when winter is just arriving? The Coru Cathubodua priesthood. The group has announced a new weekend retreat that will be held in July, 2018. The event will focus on “Celtic polytheist devotion and community building in the beautiful California redwoods.” It will be held at Earth Matters Sanctuary in Ben Lomond, California during the weekend of July 19. More details and registration will be available in spring.
  • Mat Auryn published an interview with author, Gardnerian high priest, and Patheos Pagan Channel manager Jason Mankey. In the article, Mankey discusses his personal practice, his thoughts on Pagan history and the modern community. Auryn writes, “Jason is an encyclopedia of knowledge, particularly when it comes to occult history. What is refreshing about that is that he’s also probably one of the nicest guys I know and on top of that he has a great sense of humor, despite his questionable taste in ‘dad rock’ music.”

Weekly tarot with Star Bustamonte

Deck: the Sacred Circle Tarot by Anna Franklin, Illustrated by Paul Mason, published by Llewellyn Publications
Card: three of cups

This card can reflect the conclusion of a project or event, and seems rather appropriate considering much of the U.S. is returning to work after a one of the most self-indulgent holidays of the year. Conversely, it can also suggest overindulgence and personal excess. In either case, it calls us to be mindful of our habits, with a focus on acknowledging the things that have been or are about to be completed.