Pagan Community Notes: Italian Druid speaks out, special edition of the Pomegranate, Solar Cross and more

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BIELLA, Italy – A well-known Druid in Italy is speaking up for Pagans after several cemeteries were desecrated. Luigi D’Ambrosio, also known as Ossian, has told the local media that the damage was most likely done by vandals and not by Satanists or Pagans. He said, “It was [done by] disturbed young people looking for attention.” The damage occurred at the Catholic cemeteries in Oropa and Cosilla. According to the report, skulls and other bones had been extracted from grave sites, but left close by. This is not the first time it has happened there, nor in other parts of the country.

D’Ambrosio, who organizes a Celtic festival and been active in Pagan circles for over 30 years, urges people to not jump to conclusions that suggest Satanic Witchcraft. He suggests that, if not misbehavior, then it could be a type of necrophilia or fascination with the dead. He noted that “black harvesters” eagerly seek human bones, particularly femurs and tibias. However, as noted in the report, the recent vandals left the bones in the cemetery.  D’Ambrosio said that this incident did not look ritualistic in a religious way, and said that “it is ridiculous to say that there is an organized network of Satanists in Biella.”

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TWH – The Pomegranate: the International Journal of Pagan Studies has put out a call for submissions for a new special issue to be published in 2019. The subject will be art and fashion, and it will be edited by Caroline Tully. “Is it (still) the season of the witch? Luxury fashion house, Dior, has a tarot-themed collection; witchcraft featured in recent issues of Vogue magazine; young witch-identifying women perform ‘fashion magic,’ and an alchemist-fashion designer has invented colour-changing hair dye, inspired by a scene in the 1996 movie, The Craft,” she said in the announcement.

Tully goes on to note the increase in art shows on occultists, the “luxurious sex-positive feminism,” and the movement to hex the Trump administration. “How are Paganism, modern goddess worship, witchcraft and magick utilised in the service of creative self-expression today?” Editors of the Pomegranate are looking for submissions, which will be due in June 2019. Details on how to submit are on the journal’s website. Tully writes that topics might include aesthetics, dance, fashion, film and television, internet culture, literature, music, and visual art.” The Pomegranate is published by Equinox Publisher, located in the United Kingdom.

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Solar Cross will begin a special three-part series in its monthly devotional offerings. The focus of the series is “immigration in the U.S., particularly the actions of ICE and the complicity of federal and local governments.”  The first of the series is written by Sharon Knight and is called “Hekate Bear Witness.”  Knight’s prayer reads in part: “Beloved Hekate, let cooperation triumph over competition. Let us emerge from this nightmare and awaken to the knowledge that lifting one another up is the most fruitful way to live.”

Solar Cross, based in Oregon, is a “temple dedicated to pan-magical practice, worship, education, outreach and bringing justice to the world through spiritual service. It welcomes Pagans, Heathens, Witches, ceremonial magickians[sic], mystics, and other sincere seekers.” The temple has been hosting monthly devotionals, on and off, since 2012. The current run of devotionals are supported through a Facebook event site, on which the directions to participate are listed. For this month’s devotional, Knight says, “Gather whatever feels needful to say [the] prayer out loud.” The devotional work is set to begin Sunday, July 15. The second and third parts of this work will be posted in August and September.

In other news

  • Circle Sanctuary will be hosting the Green Spirit Festival on its own land. This is a three-day festival to “celebrate the height of summertime, the Celtic fire festival of Lughnasadh, and the start of harvest and reaping the bounty.” It contains rituals, workshops, family activities, magical marketplace, music, bonfires.”  The workshops will include on with Dr. Nancy Vedder-Shults, UU Pagan author of The World is Your Oracle. The Green Spirit Festival will take place July 27-29 in Barneveld, Wisconsin. Rev. Selena Fox noted that the event will also host a “memorial for Sandy Kucyk, who was co-coordinator of our Crone Temple of Wisdom and Croning Program at Pagan Spirit Gathering.”
  • Mother Grove Goddess Temple, located in Asheville, has published a cookbook filled with recipes, both edible and magical. The temple, founded in 2008, is a community-focused organization located in the mountains of Appalachia. The organizers state that the missions is to “create and maintain a permanent sanctuary where people of all faith traditions may openly and safely celebrate the divine feminine.” The cookbook was a group project and is now available to the general public only through local bookstores, such as Asheville Raven & Crone. Contact the temple for more information.
  • The Adocentyn Library, located in the Bay Area of California, now has over 12,000 volumes, according to an announcement yesterday. “We had recent large donations from some excellent libraries, such as Dr. Dana Kramer Rolls, the estate of Sarah Ripley, and the New Wiccan Church. Touchstone Local Council of the Covenant of the Goddess has been generous with both books and financial support, as have a group of friends of the library,” reads the note. The board of directors thanks its donors as well as the small group of volunteers continue to catalog the incoming material. Adocentyn is one of several Pagan research libraries in the United States.
  • The indoor conference Mystic South kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday. It is hosted in Atlanta, and features headliners, rituals, vendors, and evening entertainment. Wild Hunt staffers will be hosting a Thursday night meet-and-greet, and a group of TWH writers will be presenting. Come say hello!

Tarot of the week with Star Bustamonte

Deck: Tarot of the Druids by Giordano Berti & Bepi Vigna, artwork by Antonio Lupatelli & Severino Baraldi, published by Lo Scarabeo

Card: ten(10) of chalices

The week ahead seems to be offering up a chance for some tranquility, and maybe even a little peace. Be mindful that there will always be those who are void of gratitude, and that sometimes, feelings for someone are simply not reciprocated. Take advantage of serenity when and where it is found.

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.