Pagan Community Notes: Warrior Rites podcast, Pagans In Need pantry, Shellmounds, and more.

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BARNEVELD, Wis. — Circle Sanctuary will be celebrating the service of those in the Armed Forces with a special call-in internet radio show during the Pagans Tonight Radio Network broadcast on Tuesday, September 11. “During this special broadcast, some of our Circle Sanctuary Military Ministers and DRGLs will be talking about experiences creating and facilitating support ceremonies for Pagans who have served and are serving in the US Military,” said Rev. Selena Fox. “We will talk about Pagan Warrior Blessing, Honoring, Healing, Deployment, and Return rituals.”

In addition, Circle will offer audio presentations of the Pagan Military Service Ribbon during the show. Those who call in for the ribbon ritual will receive their ribbon and a copy of the Powers of Nature Warrior Blessing card by mail. The ribbon program is one of many services that Circle’s military ministries offers to support Pagan members of the U.S. armed forces and their families. Other programs include Operation Circle Care, prayer cards, Wreaths Across America, and more. 

The “Warrior Rites for Military Pagans” show will air at 8 pm. ET.  

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LANSING, Mich. — Billy McClish is raising money to help fund the design and installation of a handicap accessible entry way for the Pagans In Need food pantry in Lansing, Michigan. McClish is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout and has to complete a community service project. The entryway is his project. Supported by his mother, Michelle McClish, Billy McClish is working with pantry organizers to accomplish the goal of making the site more accessible. He writes, “The project includes a sidewalk with retaining walls and landscaping leading to a door that is to be installed into the basement that houses the pantry.”  He says that the expenses are estimated to be between $4,000 to $5,000.

“Any extra money raised is to be donated directly to the pantry for their use to stock the shelves for their patrons,” McClish adds. The project will also need people willing to donate time and equipment. Located in in the office basement of the Inner Ascended Master Ministry, the Pagans In Need food pantry has the mission to “ensure that anyone who needs a healthy meal can get one.”  Its tag line is “May you never hunger; May you never thirst.”  McClish’s project will make the site, which is now only accessible by stairs, open to more people so that the pantry can come closer to that mission.

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WEST BERKELEY, Calif. — Developers drop a controversial housing project and reportedly “give rights back to the land owners.” As we reported in June, members of Reclaiming joined protests to stop development on the site of the Ohlone Shellmound in West Berkeley. Reclaiming made a statement urging Pagans to stand up and join them in protecting the land. Reclaiming member Abel Gomez told TWH in June that the Ohlone and other native people are “defending their sacred places and creating futures.”  He added, “As settlers/immigrants/visitors on their lands, it’s important to both recognize this, and follow their lead to create a truly just world. This is why working with Ohlone families to protect the West Berkeley Shellmound is so important.”

The developers proposed a multi-use facility with housing, parking, and shopping space. The project was turned down by the city because it failed to meet qualifications that would have fast-tracked construction. One of those issues was that it was located in the center of a shellmound and its construction would impact a historical area. Gomez explained the significance: “Like other native peoples, the ceremonial practices of Ohlone peoples are place-based. The land holds language, history, myth, culture, memory, knowledge, and sacred power. The ancestors and other spirit presences are alive in the landscape.” According to reports, the developers did say that they would abandon the project if a shellmound was found by archaeologists, which did not happen. Despite that detail, protests continued, and the developers have now abandoned the project.

In other news

  • The Irish Network for the Study of Esotericism and Paganism (INSEP) will be hosting a “Magick and Festivals” conference in October. The keynote speaker is Professor Ronald Hutton. He will speak on the history of Halloween. Founded by Dr. Jenny Butler, INSEP has a mission to “provide a forum for networking and collaboration among scholars who are based in Ireland and those based abroad who have research interests in the subject areas of esotericism and contemporary Paganism as they relate to Ireland.” They welcome scholars to join the one-day conference, which will take place October 26 and is being held in association with the religion department of University College Cork.
  • Another event recently announced is the Magickal Women Conference 2019. According to the website, the event will “honour the women of occulture by offering a day for magic(k)al women’s voices to be heard in debate and celebration.” The event is being organized by teacher and scholar Sue Terry and artist and publisher Erzebet Barthold. The speakers will converge on the event from many practices and regions, and the list includes headliner Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki and keynote speaker Christina Oakley-Harrington. One of the many presenters is TWH‘s own Liz Williams. The Magickal Women Conference will be held in London, June 1 2019.
  • Writer and artist Laura Tempest Zakroff is editing a book titled The New Aradia: A Witch’s Handbook to Magical Resistance. According to the site, “The New Aradia is a handbook is designed to serve as a collection of ideas to teach, share, inspire, empower, protect, and guide. Within its pages are sigils, spells, recipes, essays, invocations, rituals, and more, all gathered from experienced magical practitioners. At your fingertips is an arsenal of tools to aid you on your path.” Over 20 people have contributed to the collection, and for every sale, Zakroff writes that “$1 will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center and $1 to Emily’s List.”  The book will begin shipping in late September.
  • Storm Constantine has announced that there have been changes at Immanion Press. Non-fiction editor Taylor Ellwood has moved on. Constantine said, “Taylor was with us since almost the beginning, joining the press to manage the non-fiction list, which became the Megalithica Books imprint. […] Taylor was a good person to work with and will be missed.” Immanion is now looking to expand the scope of its non-fiction offerings. Constantine said, “I’m looking for interesting and colourful works on magical thought and practice – whether that’s studies and workbooks on particular deities or systems, or else the creation of new magical systems. I want books that provide experiences for readers and a means to expand their spiritual and magical knowledge.”
Tarot of the Week with Star Bustamonte
Deck: Tarot of a Moon Garden by Karen Marie Sweikhardt, published by U.S Games Systems, Inc.
Card: Four (4) of Pentacles
This week’s card reflects a need to examine how much importance we place on material wealth. There is also the potential for financial setbacks, and delays in funding. Recognizing that money is merely a vehicle and not the actual destination might be pertinent.
Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.