TORONTO — The Parliament of World Religions kicked off its 2018 conference in Toronto last week. The theme for this year is “The Promise of Inclusion & the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change.” In a statement on its website, the Parliament states that theme was partly inspired by this year’s host city and its focus on inclusiveness and how the programs it endorses reflect the values of the Parliament’s practices and ideology.
Among the notable keynote presenters are Alisa Starkweather, founder of the Red Tent Temple Movement, and Priestess Path Apprenticeship, and Phylis Currott author, Wiccan Priestess, and founder of The Temple of Ara.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the conference. TWH will have a full story on the conference next week.
SALEM — Last week Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, made posts on Twitter and Facebook announcing intent to take legal action against Netflix for the use of their copyrighted monument design of Baphomet in their new show “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” which premiered last month.
In the comment thread of the same post, Greaves went on in part to say, “Our Baphomet monument is a unique design that developed over the course of a year and a half of deliberation and hard-won financing. We are not claiming copyright over all interpretations of Baphomet, but we’re certainly claiming copyright over the one we’ve designed and which has become an iconic central image of our organization. I dictated the design elements of this monument, and I simply can’t laugh off its use to portray a patriarchal cannibalistic cult, or see it hereafter known as “Sabrina monument.””
The show has generated controversy among some Pagans for the way it has mish-mashed Witchcraft, Voodoo, and Satanism together in way that they feel implies these various religious practices are all the same or interchangeable.
In an article on Refinery29.com, set designer Lisa Soper, who identifies as a Pagan, defended how the show has used various beliefs and melded them together, “We are taking from some parts of reality to help sculpt this to make it more layered and textured and creative and interesting for people that might have a hand in a certain belief or not,” she explained. “None of it’s[sic] made to offend. It’s all made to try to elevate…and again, I myself as a Pagan, I think it’s funny.”
This is a developing story, and as of the time of publication, no suit has yet been filed by Greaves on behalf of The Satanic Temple against Netflix.
ANAHEIM — Covenant of the Goddess released a statement last week supporting members of The Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and denouncing anti-Semitism.
A number of Pagan groups have issued similar statements. The Facebook group, Heathens Against Hate, made a post with a link to The Troth asking for donations for Achieva an agency that assists residents with special needs and that victims Cecil and David Rosenthal were actively involved with. ADF issued their statement on Facebook, as well.
Selena Fox, founder of Circle Sanctuary posted on Facebook her support for victims and the Jewish community.
In other news:
- West Virginia House candidate, Lissa Lucas has been attacked by conservative news outlets for practicing Wicca, and alleging leading a “cult.” TWH will have a full story on this tomorrow.
- Last week Circle Sanctuary held a gravestone dedication and burial ceremony for Kathryn Anne Femquist Hinds as part of their Cemetery Samhain Rites
- In the early morning hours last Thursday, David Salisbury posted on Twitter alleging he had been denied entry to a Greyhound bus traveling home to Baltimore from DC due to religious discrimination. He had also posted video of interaction with the desk clerk and security on Facebook, but that post has since been removed.
- Last week MSUM’s Women’s Center Coordinator Dana Bisignani presented “Witches & Wild Women in Pop Culture” which illustrates the history of Witchcraft and its ties to feminism.
- A review of “Physical Evidence for Ritual Acts, Sorcery and Witchcraft in Christian Britain: A Feeling for Magic” by Ronald Hutton by Debora Moretti was posted on Muse.
- Michael Hughes published his Blue Wave Spell earlier in October, with the mid-term election tomorrow, it is of particular interest.
Tarot of the week
Deck: Fenestra Tarot by Chatriya, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Card: Death, Major arcane XIII (13)
This week has the potential to offer up changes, endings, and rebirth. Embracing a major change or transformation is the key. Attempts to avoid doing so are likely to result in stagnation and stasis.