Pagan Community Notes: solidarity statement, Mother Grove, Sandy Artisfair Kucyk and more

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logo v12CALIFORNIA — On March 17, several organizations located in the Bay Area published a solidarity statement that addressed the allegations reported against Yeshe Matthews by her former coven, CAYA. “We have watched with concern as word of this misconduct has spread,” the statement reads. They go on to call the handling of the situation and the reported lack of public clarity or of accountability by “spiritual leaders” and Matthews as “dismissive” and “unacceptable.” The entire statement is available on Facebook. The organizations represented are Solar Cross Temple, Strong Roots and Wide Branches, Coru Cathubodua, and Black Rose Witchcraft. The group ends the statement calling for change and asking others to step forward in support of the “survivors.”

In response, Matthews says she “refutes the statement as a transparent and ill-favoured attempt to damage [her] reputation, but it is not rooted in anything credible.” She adds, “I find it interesting but unsurprising that no representative from any of the organisations that co-signed the most recent statement has reached out to me at any point to ask a single question, schedule a discussion, or have any type of clarifying communication. If their definition of leadership includes accountability, wouldn’t it follow that accountability demands fact-checking and thorough research?”

As of publication, CAYA has not issued a response to the joint solidarity statement, and its board has remained quiet on the situation in general since the initial public statement in February. TWH has been investigating this story for several weeks, and we will be bringing you that story in full on Wednesday. 

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Mother Grove Goddess Temple, a a non-denominational goddess temple and church based in North Carolina, issued a strong statement this weekend regarding the school shootings in wake of the March 14 protests. The statement begins, “The recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was another horrific reminder of the inability or refusal of our elected officials to come to terms with the problem of gun violence in our country.”

The organization leaders go on to say that they “stand in solidarity with those courageous and determined students who have raised their voices and marched to the seats of power to demand action on this issue which directly affects their lives and safety.” Mother Grove is calling on others to join them in the upcoming March for Our Lives, an organized event taking place Saturday, March 24 around the country. The organizers seek to draw further attention to school violence issue. Mother Grove will be at the action held in Asheville, North Carolina.

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ILLINOIS — Circle Sanctuary lost one of its members; elder Sandy Artisfair Kucyk died March 12 from cancer. Kucyk was born in 1948 and lived in Illinois. She put herself through school working two jobs, eventually earning her nursing degree and moving into hospital administration.  Kucyk was a co-founder of a home health business, and also worked in elder care. As part of Circle Sanctuary, Kucyk helped to coordinate the Crone Temple of Wisdom, part of the organizations annual event Pagan Spirit Gathering.

Kucyk’s son posted on Facebook, “I realize now how lucky I was to have her as a mom. She dropped out of high school and got a job to support me. She never gave up . . . . She was always happy energetic and compassionate. Never asking for anything and always giving her all. . . . Our family and friends will have a big hole to fill. She was the center of our world and I will miss her so very much. I love you mom!” A family memorial was held March 17, and Circle Sanctuary members will be holding another service July 29 on the property in Barneveld. What is remembered, lives.

In other news

  • Aquarian Tabernacle Church leaders have announced a “World Love Tour” that will include 39 stops in the U.S. in April, May, and June. Archpriestess Belladonna Laveau says that she will be bringing a special message from the goddess Demeter through ritual to several festivals and events on the tour.
  • Oberon Zell is calling on the community, once again, to help preserve Morning Glory Zell’s statuary collection and library. After the Academy of Arcana shut down, the collection was moved, and Zell is finding it difficult to maintain it. The collection is being transferred to Sonoma County until a permanent home can be found. Donations can be made through the ongoing GoFundMe campaign.
  • The Society for Ritual Arts, which produces the Coreopsis Journal of Myth & Theatre, has need for a fundraising chair.
  • Hellenion is growing again. A new proto-demos has formed in Indianapolis. The new group is called Temple Xenia. Hellenion describes itself as a “diverse group of Hellenic polytheists, sharing the common goal of living a life, both common and individual, of piety and proper respect for the gods of Olympos and ancient Hellenic tradition.”

Weekly tarot with Star

Deck: The Parrott Tarot Deck by Margaret Parrott, published by s.s. adams co.

Card: six (6) of wands

This week may offer some rewards for those who have been working hard towards a specific goal. It might also indicate a victory in matters where there has been conflict. A word of caution: winning at any cost can easily end up being turning into a defeat.

[Decks provided by Asheville Raven and Crone.]