Pagan Community Notes:, Greening of Religion, Mountain Magic, and more!

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DEVENTER, Netherlands — The online resource, a repository of information about Hellenic myth and practice derived from ancient sources, will be sold rather than shut down. That’s according to site creator and owner Aaron Atsma, who reports getting a considerable amount of email when he briefly announced its closure or sale via a banner on the site. Atsma intends on selling the site through a broker later in the year.

“People have been emailing me directly about the sale of the site over the last week which has caught me a bit off guard. Most boil down to, ‘I might be interested, how much?'” he wrote. “However, this defeats the purpose of using a broker, which is to avoid having to try to negotiate a price myself with a lot individuals and then vet potential buyers to weed the serious ones out from those who are simply curious,” he added.  The site is not for sale yet, and he asks the interested parties stop emailing him directly. He has chosen a broker that is based in Boston with an office in London. Any more information will be announced via the site. Atsma added that he wants to go to someone who will maintain it and care for it as it is.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — A collection of papers, titled The Greening of Religion, has been published and made available to the public. The new book is the result of a 2016 conference by the same name, a symposium on the intersection of religion and environmentalism which was sponsored by Cherry Hill Seminary in conjunction with the University of South Carolina in Columbia. The collection includes “responses to global warming as a spiritual dilemma from a wide range of viewpoints: Paganism, Eastern-Buddhist thought, Salvationist, radical activist Judaism, Druid, humanist, environmental politics, [and] economics,” among others.

The symposium itself received high marks from attendees, except for the low turnout at the event. With papers now published, more people — including Pagans — will have the opportunity to learn from the event than were in attendance.

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1909 original (left) and 1971 revisions (right) of the Rider-Waite tarot.

RICHLANDS, Va. — Members of the town here will be deciding whether it’s permissible for tarot readings to be given at the esoteric shop Mountain Magic, and those local to the area are being encouraged to attend a meeting scheduled for Feb. 13. It’s being framed as a religious-rights issue for shop owners Jerome VanDyke and Mark Mullins.

“There is a huge crowd expected to be there, so If you’re the type of person who wants to vent over free speach[sic] and religious expression, now is your time to shine,” wrote organizer Aaron Bryant in a Facebook post. “I personally plan to speak, and ask many questions at the same time.” He further counsels, “be kind and courteous, but be bold and tell it like it is.” We’ll have more on this story as it unfolds.

In other news:

  • The 14th Conference on Current Pagan Studies will be taking place Jan. 27-28 at Claremont Graduate University. Don Frew has been confirmed as a keynote speaker. Other speakers, as well as a call for papers, are expected to be released in the coming days.
  • Continuing the conference season, the Earthspirit Community’s midwinter event A Feast of Lights is scheduled for Feb. 2-4 in Sturbridge, Mass. It includes a variety of presenters, a plenary session entitled “Changing Shape, Changing the World,” concerts, art salon, a clothing swap.
  • A call for submissions has been released for a new anthology edited by Alexeigynaix, to be titled Surpassing All the Stars: Queer Disabled Witches Speak. The editor is seeking essays, poems, memoir, fiction, spells, art, songs, chants and related material from Witches who are queer, disabled, or both. Deadline is Feb. 18.
  • The next session of the European Congress of Ethnic Religions will be held in Rome, Apr. 19-22. The theme is “Heathenism rituals and their sources.” The program includes presentations on that theme, a religious ceremony, and visits to the August Forum and Pantheon.
  • Protestant minister Chris Highland interviewed Aline “Macha” O’Brien for the Asheville Citizen Times, and recounted how his own views about Wicca and Witches changed through such interactions and teaching about chaplaincy at Cherry Hill Seminary.
  • Don’t forget: January began, and will end, with full moons. In modern parlance, the second one in a calendar month is called a blue moon, and some attach spiritual or magical significance to that event. What are you doing?
  • And lastly, word comes in that a Druid has caused some consternation by practicing yoga near a busy highway in England. Police received muliple reports of a dead body in a field near the roadside; but they later discovered it was simply the “druid doing yoga in a field.”

Tarot of the week with Star Bustamonte

Deck: Tarot of the Pirates by Bepi Vigna, artwork by Michele Benevento, published by Lo Scarabeo
Card: ace of pentacles

The week ahead can offer ample opportunities financially, and for inspiration. However, before charging off into the wild blue yonder, you may want to confirm your core values and objectives. It is very easy to get caught up in the moment and exceed not only your own capabilities but also your finances. A little reality check never hurt anyone.
Decks provided by Asheville Raven and Crone