Pagan Community Notes: Ma’at Temple, Maetreum of Cybele, Ken Laukant and more

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WICHITA, Kan. — The Ma’at’s Temple of Kansas has officially closed its doors.  The temple was a public facility for use by the local Wiccan and Pagan community since its establishment in 2013. It held a library, ritual space, “permanent circle,” and meditation facility.

According to temple caretaker Bruce Blank, the temple was cited by the city’s zoning officials in 2016 for “not having separate utilities, restrooms, and lacking A.D.A. accommodations.” The cost to bring the temple up to code was “more than the lot owner and members could absorb, so the decision was made to sell the property.”

After the physical site closed down, community interaction reportedly waned, and Blank decided to shut down the organization’s corresponding online sites as well.

Blank has written a memoir for “detailing the birth, growth and demise of the temple.” The book is titled In H/er Many Names: the Ma’at’s Temple Archives 2013-2017 and reportedly “chronicles not just the [temple’s] successes but also [its] moments of struggle, conflict and … divisive issues.”

Blank notes that a new group, Circle of the Stag, has since formed to fulfill some of the spiritual needs of the local community.

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The Maetreum of Cybele's building.

PALENVILLE, N.Y. — It’s been several years since the Maetreum of Cybele was embroiled in a property-tax fight with local officials who maintained that the organization was not, in fact, a church. Tuning in to activities there is now as simple as turning the radio dial to 102.9 FM, but as this is a low-power station, that’s only possible in portions of Ulster, Greene, and Columbia counties of New York.

According to Viktoria Whittaker and Cathryn Platine of the Maetreum of Cybele, the station started broadcasting over two years ago, in July of 2015, fulfilling a dream which had long been stalled due to the legal wrangling over property taxes. The site proclaims that the “Goddess’ voice of resistance” is “low power to the people,” and thanks to membership in the Pacifica network, they have been supplementing Pagan-focused news and music with programs such as Democracy Now!

Billed as the “first and only Pagan-owned, operated, and FCC-licensed radio station in America,” WLPP-LP is funded by Maetreum members and through donations from listeners. While streaming was originally an option, that’s currently not available as they need to get a new server to support that functionality. For now, driving to the picturesque Hudson Valley is the only option for listening.

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WONEWOC, Wis. — Circle Sanctuary has said goodbye to one of its members. Kenneth L. Laukant, age 47, died Nov. 9, 2017 in his hometown.

Laukant was born Dec. 17,1969 to George and Lucille in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. He was an active member of Circle Sanctuary since 2011. As is written in  a memorial post on that site: “[Laukant] will be remembered for his humor, congenial nature, and quiet, steady service … He was always ready to lend a hand to raise the village and keep it lit.”

According to the local news, a celebration of Laukant’s life will be held Nov. 14 at Zion Lutheran Stone Church in Rock Springs. The family is asking that, in lieu of flowers, people contribute to a fund that is being established to help support his two children. What is remembered, lives.

In other news:

  • Solar Cross members continue their periodic “devotionals for the people.” This Sunday, Nov. 19, they are hosting one called Hecate Remembers led by Sarah Clark. “In the space between Samhain and solstice, time can feel out of joint,” Clark explains. “With all the anger and separation in our political cultures, we can feel marginalized and out of place. And within ourselves, in all our beautiful complexity, we can have pieces that feel stuck in time, forgotten, or out of place. Let us remember them, and re-member ourselves.” The devotionals are open to anyone, anywhere. Instructions are posted online.
  • Correllian Nativist tradition leaders have announced that they will be sending a delegation to the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions to be held in November of that year. Press secretery Lori Blackman said, “In preparation of this event, the Correllian tradition has begun creating dialog with the breakdown of the parliament theme for discussion and possible resolution.” Witch School, which is a division of  the organization, will host a “Global Wicca Summit” in September 2018 to discuss the question: “Is Wicca a global faith?”
  • University of Bristol published a video in which Professor Ronald Hutton answers questions about witches and witchcraft. “The history of witches and witchcraft is something that has fascinated and frightened people throughout history. But who were witches and why has society been so wary of them?” Published on Halloween, the video was created in the wake of the publication of Hutton’s new book The Witch, a comprehensive look at the same topic.
  • NILVX has opened up submissions for its summer 2018 edition. The theme is tarot. Editors offer this prompt: “Use one of these six windows as inspiration:  I Magician, II High Priestess, III Empress, X Wheel of Fortune, XVI Tower, and XIX Sun. Create your own image for these cards. Tell a story about the characters you see. Provide an in-depth interpretation from one of your favorite decks. These are basic suggestions to get you going, but take this theme and create what you will.” The submission deadline is Feb. 1, 2018, and details are available online. NILVX is “a quarterly anthology of magic(k), mysticism, and the occult.” It brings “together the work of writers and artists from around the world to amplify magical themes and symbols through poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and art.”

Tarot of the week with Star Bustamonte

Deck: Crow’s Magic tarot by Londa Marks published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Card: major arcana, #18, the Moon

The Moon is a complex card, stacked full of meaning with a strong feminine impression. It can reflect a cyclic approach or influence that may seem like either genius or madness. The week ahead is liable to offer some of both, especially where women’s issues are concerned. A landscape illuminated in moonlight can appear much different than when lit by the sun. This is a caution to verify what is being presented. Sometimes, a more powerful light source is called for.