Pagan Community Notes: Storm Faerywolf, John Bennett, the Valknut and more

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TWH – Author and teacher Storm Faerywolf was recently publicly accused of engaging in sexual misconduct and abuse by a Maryland-based member Faery tradition, but the allegation was soon proven false. The accusations spread through social media, prompting reactions from members of the tradition as well as others, both in support of and against the accuser, who is known as EckoPup Roberts.

Faerywolf published a statement May 5 on his own blog that reads in part: “It has recently come to my attention that there is a man in the Maryland area, going by the name ‘Awen’ who is misrepresenting themselves as one of my initiates. Not only have I never heard of this person they are adding injury to insult by propositioning students for training in Faery tradition and then informing them that in order to be dedicated or initiated then they must engage in unprotected intercourse. This is an affront to the tradition that I hold dear, not to mention basic decency.”

Roberts reported Sunday that he had fabricated the story. Several outspoken members of the Faery community have since come forward and apologized for publicly sharing the falsified story. Monday, Roberts himself published a public apology stating that he never had any sexual contact with Faerywolf and that he had lied to friends about the entire situation. “I am deeply sorry for all the chaos I caused. I know I don’t deserve forgiveness but in time I hope for it,” Roberts writes. Why did he make up the story? He wrote, “I just wanted to fit in. It seemed as if this group of people had a mutual dislike of Storm . . . so when I saw this I thought that is how I could bond with them. . . . sick as it is, it actually worked. I finally had people talking to me and interacting with me. I felt wanted and felt like I belonged.”

Update 7:36pm 5/14: The public apology is no longer available via the link above, and the Facebook account has reportedly been deleted. Click here to read the public apology.

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John Bennett [Facebook].

ALDERHOLT, England —  Druid John Bennett, who goes by the name of Bearheart, was attacked by neighbors Mark and Anne Denyer, who had reportedly become “fed up with his noisy rituals every full moon.” Bennett and his partner were reported to be members of the Clan of the Pheryllt, which was founded in 2008. According to its site, the group was built on traditions learned through the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids and also a “desire to practise the Old Craft.” However, they are not members, but known to the community. Bennett himself hosts his own rituals outside in his backyard complete with drumming and chanting.

As also reported in the local paper, the Denyers moved to Bournemouth in February 2017. They complained about the backyard rituals to local officials but didn’t confront Bennett until November 2017, when the incident occurred. Ms. Denyer reportedly hit Bennett over the head with an umbrella and Mr. Denyer stabbed him in the abdomen with a carving knife. Bennett’s wounds were superficial, according to the reports.  The case went to trial last week, and the couple was convicted, but neither will do jail time.  Both have received suspended prison sentences with unpaid work hours.  TWH will have more on this story in the coming weeks.

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Valknut [Nya and Liftarn].

UNITED KINGDOM – A statement issued through the Pagan Police Association touches on something called the ‘B logo,’ a symbol allegedly used by pedophiles to identify each other. The B logo, which is said to stand for “boy lover,” is comprised of a series of triangles. Several websites, including Slate, share a 2007 FBI document concerning the B Logo.  However, that document is not, or no longer, published in the FBI’s own library of digital documents. It is unclear if this document is genuine or not.

Regardless, Pagan Police Association director Andrew Pardy issued the statement today due to a recent uptick in internet chatter about the B Logo, most of which include the alleged FBI document. Pardy wrote, “Whether [the document is] genuine or not, one of the aforementioned symbols, known as the ‘B logo’ bears a striking resemblance to an existing Pagan symbol known as the valknut.” He then goes on to explain in detail the difference between the reported B logo and the valknut, which is a sacred symbol in modern Heathen practices.

Pardy’s statement, which is intended for U.K. officials, ends by urging police to contact the association when in doubt. He writes, “Whilst there are notable differences between the ‘B logo’ and the valknut, well-meaning members of the public and operational police officers may confuse the two, and the recent circulation on social media may cause a documented rise in reports to police. Therefore all police staff and partner agencies are urged to familiarise themselves with this document when utilising their powers of stop and search, and when developing intelligence in relation to individuals of interest, and to know the difference between the ‘B logo’ allegedly worn by paedophiles, and the valknut, worn primarily by law-abiding members of the Pagan faith.”

In other news

  • The Solar Cross Temple online devotional series continues. This month, the ritual is dedicated to healing waters. “This devotional is a call to honour the water that surrounds us, that is within us and others, and a call to protection. It is meant to take place outside, near your largest body of accessible water,” explains the author of the ritual, Jade. “It includes an optional vow to protect the water, should you feel called to do work in your area for water protection with organizations or community groups.” The event, posted online, calls for the action to take place on May 20. Solar Cross Temple hosts monthly devotionals written by different people on different topics.
  • May is a busy month for many Pagans. Dallas-Fort Worth region will play host to the annual DFW Pagan Unity Festival this weekend, May 19. In Massachusetts, EarthSpirit’s weeklong Rites of Spring festival begins Wednesday, May 23. Further south, Tennessee-based Pagan Unity Festival, commonly known as PUF, opens its doors on May 17. Those are only three of the many events happening around the U.S. in the coming week.
  • The Covenant of the Goddess’ annual event will be hosted in Florida this year. Organizers in the Everglades Moon Local Council, the Florida-based chapter of CoG, have put out a final call for vendor applications. Merry Meet is the organization’s annual conference that contains Grand Council, the annual business meeting.
  • Beltane was Webster’s word of the day on May 1.
  • Today marks the final day of the Wild Hunt spring fund drive! Please consider making a one-time donation to our YouCaring campaign, or joining the many others who have become members of the Sustainers Circle by pledging to donate monthly. The Wild Hunt cannot exist without the loyal support of its readers. Donate today!

Card of the week with Star Bustamonte

Deck: Pagan Tarot by Gina Pace, artwork by Luca Raimondo, colors by Cristiano Spadoni, and published by Lo Scarabeo
Card: elder of wands

This week’s card is a reminder that no matter how spiritually evolved one might be, or think they might be, there is always something new to learn and teach. Spiritual growth and evolution require change and are rooted in the commitment to strong ethical standards and values. This card asks us to examine how we can further our own path by expanding our learning, and the sharing of those experiences and knowledge.

The decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.