Pagan Community Notes: John Slade, American Conservative magazine, March 31 and more

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John Slade [courtesy].

ST. PAUL, Minn — Reclaiming member John Slade, who was seeking a party endorsement to run for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives, fell short in his bid in three rounds of voting on March 10. Slade was seeking to replace retiring incumbent Sheldon Johnson as representative of the east side of the city.

The decision was made at a convention of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, the local affiliate of the Democrats who have selected winning candidates in the district for decades. Had no candidate reached a 60 percent majority in the voting, a primary would have been called pursuant to the complex election system in place in Minnesota.

Slade said in a Wild Hunt interview that his spiritual practices would inform his decisions as a representative of the racially-diverse district, but that he believed being openly Pagan would not be a factor in voting.

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TWH — Over at the American Conservative, blogger Rod Dreher has been posting about Paganism. Specifically, he was contacted by a woman who wanted to share her story about moving politically rightward while also leaving Paganism to become a Roman Catholic. While Dreher frames it in the context of transgender activism, one post deals specifically with transitioning from Paganism to Catholicism for the anonymous contributor.

“I struggled with [P]aganism for 18 years. It was a bad marriage. I stayed in the conversation, I endured a lot of spiritual pain, and I wanted it to work so badly that I was willing to endure abuse,” she wrote. “In a world of moral and philosophical relativism there are no depths but only surface. . . . when you hold the transgressive as your highest ideal, not only do you never belong but no boundary is ever sacred. This is the crux of the sex abuse scandals, and the justifications of the abuse, rocking the [P]agan community in the past few years. . . . Ask any [P]agan why following their religious tradition is any better or worse than other traditions, and you will invariably find the answer disappointing. Quite likely they will find the question offensive, because you should do what feels right without imposing value judgements.”

She also questions the idea that Paganism is actually inclusive, writing, “Show up at a [P]agan event in a MAGA hat and see how inclusive they are. Express admiration for capitalism at a [P]agan event and see how well you are received. Advocate for spaces for biological women at [P]agan events and see how quickly you are banned. The military issue has evolved, but it isn’t hard to find [P]agans who refuse to go to events that include honoring veterans. Should you speak up about being a religious person, you will find that the foundational atheism of modern [P]aganism isn’t very inclusive at all.”

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Coming up this week is Transgender Day of Visibility, which occurs each March 31 and “is a time to celebrate transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination trans people still face,” according to information on the Human Rights Campaign web site. “In 2017, advocates tracked at least 28 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded,” and transgender people also continue to face many forms of legal discrimination, including a military ban.

In other news

  • A Pagan is now on the board of Trans Lifeline. The organization announced that Elena Rose joined the board last month.Trans Lifeline is a service organization, the volunteers of which are dedicated to the well-being of transgender people, primarily providing support through a hotline staffed by transgender people.
  • The fourth annual Equinox in the Oaks is due to begin April 5 in Pierson, Florida, signaling the beginning of Pagan festival season as the warm weather creeps northward in the United States. While the full schedule of events is not yet available, Amy Blackthorn is being touted as a special guest.
  • Jupiter and Mercury are going retrograde retrograde at the same time, and astrologer Lisa Stewart provided some context: “Jupiter, the great benefic’s energy is slowed as it retrogrades in Scorpio, asking us to look at how we have been treating ourselves and others. Mercury is retrograding in Aries, so along with the usual miscommunication and misguidedness, we have to consider that Scorpio and Aries are both ruled by Mars. Things could get heated and out of control more easily than usual, so do your best not to say something in anger that you will live to regret.”
  • Covenant of the Goddess just announced the registration and plans for their upcoming annual meeting and conference, Merry Meet. This year’s event will be held in Fort Lauderdale, August 9-12. As always, the event will begin on Thursday with what the organization calls a Leadership institute and will continue with the business of the organization as well as entertainment and workshops. The 2018 event is being hosted by Everglades Moon Local Council, the Florida-based chapter of CoG.

Tarot of the week with Star Bustamonte

Deck: Fantastical Creatures Tarot, illustrated by Lisa Hunt, written by D.J. Conway, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Card: three (3) of cups

This week may provide opportunities to uncover truths that can allow you to resolve or move away from emotional situations that are either problematic or unproductive. Energies that have blocked or clouded your ability to see things clearly will likely dissipate. The week may also herald the arrival of news of a success or a cause to celebrate.

[Decks provided by Asheville Raven and Crone.]