Pagan Community Notes: exorcism and hexing, Canada Pagan community, Michigan Scholarship Fund, and more.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Catland bookstore that hosted the Oct. 20 hex action against Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh found itself the target for an exorcism. According to reports, Father Gary Thomas, the exorcist for the Catholic Diocese of San Jose, California, scheduled two masses prior to the hex event in order to stop it. Father Thomas told The National Catholic Register “that he has witnessed people in the satanic world becoming bolder.” He said that the more confident these so-called Satanists become, the more “the general public will be more accepting of the demonic.” Thomas said that this is not about free speech or religion, it’s about “conjuring of evil.” He added, “Satanic cults often commit crimes; they murder and sexually abuse everyone it their cult” (sic).

Despite the media attention, protests outside the store, and the threats of exorcism, the owners of Catland books continued with their hex action. The ritual was live streamed over Facebook, and has had over 17,000 views and 137 shares as of publication. According to reports, there were 60 people in attendance and more tuned in over the internet.  The owners reportedly considered their work a success.

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CANADA — According to several reports, there has been continued fallout from a blog post published in September by Sarah Anne Lawless. Sam Wagar, who was named in the article, has announced and tendered his resignation from the University of Alberta. Wagar served as a Wiccan Chaplain, helping students with the spiritual needs. Although Wagar continues to deny the allegations, he says that he is resigning to protect the “good work” that he has done there and to protect the Chaplains Association “from this mess.”

In addition, the longtime leaders and co-founders of the Wiccan Church of Canada have stepped down from their positions. Richard and Tamarra James created the organization in 1979 and have been running it ever since. They reportedly decided to step down after Mr. James made several unpopular statements within the comment section on the Lawless post. Despite the alleged conflicts over those words, the couple’s resignation still came as a shock to the Canadian Wiccan community. Based in Toronto, the Wiccan Church of Canada will now be run, in the interim, by the High Priestess Janice Cardie of the Hamilton Temple of the Wiccan Church of Canada and Ross Carter.

Carter and Cardie told The Wild Hunt, “We are all saddened by the resignation of Tamarra and Richard as the leaders of the WCC.  They will still be active within the Church and the greater Pagan community and for that we are all grateful. New Leading Priesthood of the WCC will be elected within the next two months. The strong foundations and love of the Gods and our community that Tamarra and Richard have instilled in many, will serve us well as the WCC moves forward to a new chapter in its existence. We can’t thank them enough.” A member vote for new leadership will take place Dec. 9.

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DETROIT — The administrators of the Michigan College Fund have announced that, as of Oct 31, the fund will have new managers. Wolf Run Wildlife and Spiritual Sanctuary (WRWSS) will take over the management of the fund from Gordon Ireland. Ireland, who retired from public work last year, said, “WRWSS brings a devoted group of individuals, a 501c3 and a desire to give to our Pagan community. They draw folks from across the spectrum of Pagan paths. The WRWSS group continuously endeavors to work together within the community towards Education, Understanding, Acceptance and Equality for all Pagan spiritual paths and to be a positive enduring presence statewide.”

The fund awards a $500 scholarship to a Michigan-based Pagan student each year. The 2018 winner was Kristen Newcombe.

In other news:

  • Reports have been coming in that author and Pagan Wendy Griffin is making steady and slow improvements after she suffered a major stroke. Griffin is the former dean of academics at Cherry Hill Seminary. According to sources close to Griffin, she has moved from ICU to a rehabilitation facility that will enable her to continue making progress on recovery. Friends and colleagues reportedly continue to send prayers and hold healing rituals toward her benefit.
  • Circle Cemetery will be the host of the memorial and burial for Welsh Bardic Priestess Kathryn Hinds. The ceremony will be held Sunday, October 28 at 11AM. Rev. Selena Fox will facilitate the ritual, assisted by Arthur Hinds and others present. According to Circle’s reports, the ritual will include a blessing of her grave, a burial of some of her ashes, and the dedication of her memorial marker.
  • The Religious Studies project site has posted an interview with Áine Warren about the Dark Goddess and how she has become a “contemporary Pagan feminist figure being fed into by women from all over the world and from many religious backgrounds.”
  • Peter Bebergal, author of Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll, has a new book coming out that looks at technology and the supernatural. Strange Frequencies, as the book is titled, is a historical journey of how artists, scientists, and others have tried to communicate with other worlds through the use of technology from cameras to radios and beyond.

Tarot card of the week with Star Bustamonte

Deck: The Vampire Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Card: Temperance, Major arcana XIV (14)

This week has the potential to be transformational, but will require focus and the ability to find the balance point. Moderation is the key. If a situation that is unclear or confused presents itself, take a step back, review the facts, and choose to respond rather than react.

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