Pagan Community Notes: Lunar eclipse, Native American elder and Covington students, and more!

The Wild Hunt is 100% reader supported by readers like you. Your support helps us pay our writers and editors, as well as cover the other bills to keep the news coming to you ad free. If you can, use the button below to make a one-time donation - or become a monthly sustainer. Thank you for reading The Wild Hunt!


UNITED STATES – The Connecticut Post ran a story on Friday about Wiccans and Pagans and the full moon eclipse that occurred last night. While reporting on any celestial phenomenon is fairly routine in the news cycle, reporting on what Pagans and Wiccans are doing during one is not. Rev. Alicia L. Folberth, president of the Panthean Temple of Connecticut was interviewed for the article on what kinds of activities Pagans and Wiccans might schedule.

The lunar eclipse is only one to occur in 2019. From an astrological viewpoint, eclipses can have a big impact and forewarned is forearmed. TWH reached out to astrologer Diotima Mantineia, owner of Urania’s Well about the 2019 eclipse. Mantineia had this to say, “The chart of this lunar eclipse speaks to shocks, surprises, distractions, deceptions, and lots of drama. The key to handling it well is to stay grounded, focused on the practicalities, and cautious about believing anything you read or hear before you have all the facts.

There are more than a few tight aspects to the chart of the USA, and when the eclipse chart is cast for Washington, DC we find the Moon prominently placed at the top of the chart, suggesting that the people of the country will be speaking up loud and clear. There’s a lot of fiery, explosive energy afoot, maybe enough to break up the current political logjam. We can hope!”


*   *   *


TWH – Social media platforms erupted over the weekend erupted with condemnation for Covington Catholic High School students after a video went viral of the students appearing to stare down an elder Nathan Phillips, an Omaha tribe elder, Vietnam veteran, and co-founder of the Native Youth Alliance. Phillips was part of the Indigenous People’s March which was wrapping up when the Covington students, who had participated in the March for Life, a pro-life event, are shown in the footage surrounding Phillips and the other participants. Phillips continued to drum and sing despite the students apparently taunting him. The video contained in the initial reporting by The Washington Post shows Phillips drumming while being stared down.

Other videos have since been posted to YouTube that give a more complicated perspective of what was happening. New videos show several African American men who identify as Black Hebrew Israelites reportedly taunting the boys with racist and homophobic abuse. Phillips and several other drummers and marchers moved in between the two groups in an attempt to defuse the situation.

The Washington Post published an updated article late on Sunday reflecting the new videos and new information about the conflict. Other media outlets, like CNN and the Detroit Free Press have provided additional coverage and statements from Nick Sandmann, the teenager shown in the videos, attempting to clarify his behavior and the situation. Meanwhile, Covington Catholic High School and the Catholic Diocese of Covington released a joint statement condemning the students’ behavior and apologizing to Phillips and all Native Americans. The story is still unfolding.


*   *   *


In other news:

  • Louis Nickens, a member of Sierra Madrone Grove and ADF, passed suddenly yesterday. Please remember his family in their time of sadness. May his journey to the Ancestors be smooth. Hail the traveler! What is remembered, lives. 
  • Cherry Hill Seminary’s  Paganism and its Discontents registration is still open, entry fee $115. The conference runs March 15-17, 2019. This is an unusual opportunity to hear Michael Strmiska, Diana Paxson (The Troth) and others address the problem of rising nationalism and racism among Pagans. Additionally, CHS is offering a new online course on “Racism in Ásatrú and Heathenry” taught by Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried, Theology and Religious History Faculty. The course can be taken as a continuing education class or for master’s credit.
  • Reuters reports Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, led members of her religious movement, Kinnar Akhada, to bathe at the confluence of the holy Ganges and the Yamuna rivers on the first day of the ancient festival, Kumbh Mela, making them the first transgender group to participate in a ritual that has traditionally been reserved for Hindu priests who are mostly male. Reuters describes Tripathi as “a…transgender leader and a former reality TV star.”
  • Oxford University group Piers Gaveston Society apparently noted for its drunken revelry, reportedly held a Pagan & Witch-orgy themed winter ball at an AirBNB in Cadmore, Buckinghamshire and drew complaints from neighbors.
  • Elin Kåven, a sami singer and joiker, and Jungle Svonni who works with shamanic teachings started a new blog last year that focuses on Sami myth and culture titled, Beneath Northern Lights – Stories from Arctic Natives.


*   *   *

In entertainment news:

  • Netflix will release Siempre Bruja, (Always a Witch) an original series they have produced on February 1, 2019 for streaming. The show features a 19 year old witch who was sent to a time where & when, present day in Columbia, no one believes in witches to save her from being burnt at the stake. Of course there is a catch; she must not use her magical abilities.
  • A Discovery of Witches, based on the All Soulstrilogy by Deborah Harkness, which premiered on Britain’s Sky One in September of last year is now available for viewing the U.S. on Sundance Now and Shudder. TWH did a reviewed the television series  yesterday.
  • Variety announced last week that Anne Hathaway will play the role of the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis and Warner Bros.’ film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1983 novel, The Witches. The dates of when production will begin have not yet been announced.
  • The famed Paris Fashion Week included designs by Hiromichi Ochiai for FACETASM Collections in a show titled “I’VE PUT チチンプイプイ ON YOU.” チチンプイプイ (“chichin ppuipui”) or “magic spell” and featured Witches and wizards with a playfully witchy theme informing prints of owls and moths.


Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte


Deck: Bleu Cat Tarot by Beth Seilonen, published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

Card: Major arcana, II (two), High Priestess

This week would not be a good time to make assumptions about much of anything. Make sure the facts back up any theories or ideas you have before expending a lot of energy on them.


Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.


*   *   *

We’d like to announce some forthcoming changes at The Wild Hunt. This is an opportunity to inform our community about what we are doing and where we are going.

First, as everyone knows, news isn’t free. We pay our writers, editors and staff; even though a couple do prefer to donate their time and effort. Paying staff is a priority. Beyond payroll, we have additional cost centers in technology and administrative services (accounting, fees, professional services and the cost of fiscal sponsorship). We will cautiously be implementing a mixed-revenue model that keeps us as a non-profit project of the Independent Arts and Media while looking at expanding income using different forms of advertising. We will not be doing sponsored stories or any form of advertising that raises editorial concerns. We will continue to invite your participation in our Sustainer’s program as well as the usual funding drives; and, we will be looking at revenue generating spaces on the site to mitigate costs.

Second, in order to execute some of these changes, there will likely be some site upgrades. We will try to minimize any disruption as we deploy upgrades. It is possible that we will be down for a few hours right before Imbolc on February 1st.

Third, implementing any additional advertising or similar revenue changes may affect our relationship with Disqus and the service it provides on our site. Currently, comments are free of advertising, but Disqus reserves the right to use that space commercially from which all revenue is unshared while we additionally we have no control over the data. It is possible that we will likely have to migrate away from that service. Of course, we will keep you posted n changes and what new technology we implement for comments.

Fourth, we will be complying with GDPR requirements because of any potential advertising. Of course, that raises the issue of data privacy. TWH will not be keeping any personal data of this sort; but because we have visitors from around the world, our compliance with this requirement will be necessary for upgrades and possible adverting.

Finally, we want to once again thank everyone for your readership. TWH team is grateful for your support and the time that you spend on our pages. We will remain focused on news- that is our mission.