Pagan Community Notes: Reported “Wiccan” accused of human trafficking, COMISS Network, and more!

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FREESTONE COUNTY, Texas – Last week, charges of human trafficking were filed against a woman that centered around a minor in her care in Mexia, Texas. The initial bond being set at $25,000, and one day later was increased to $250,000. There are reports that Amber Michelle Parker, allegedly had ties to a Witchcraft or Wicca groups. A Facebook account under the name Zhoe Singer displays a picture of Parker as well a number of memes and photos that contain “Witch” and “pentacle.”

A report from news station KWTX contained a statement that Parker’s husband had given to deputies investigating the case, “Mr. Parked explained that at some point during the year his wife had created an anonymous Facebook page to where she could secretly communicate with strange men associated with the Wicca organization,” the document reads. “During the year his wife had left to go to Louisiana to meet with her healer and again to Waco to meet with someone in her group.”

The news story goes on to say that members of the Wicca religion have come forward to dispel any connection to their beliefs and practices and the actions Parker is accused of, sex trafficking. The KWTX story did not list who contacted the station or reporter as representing the Wiccan or Pagan community. This is a developing story, TWH will continue to follow and report on any updates.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia – The 2019 COMISS Network Forum, a national chaplaincy and specialized ministries conference is being held January 13 and 14 in Arlington, Virginia. Several Pagan leaders participated in the conference: representing Sacred Well Congregation–Rev. Ryan Adams, Officer-at-Large from Louisiana, representing Circle Sanctuary–Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister and Endorser from Wisconsin and Rev. Tim (Cern) Staker, Board Certified Hospital Chaplain from Indiana.

COMISS Network is a network of professional organizations, institutions, and faith communities engaged in theological and clinical education and competent practice of interfaith spiritual care through chaplaincy and spiritual counseling and research in specialized settings. Rev. Selena Fox also attended the Association of Religious Endorsing Bodies conference held January 11 and 12 at the same location.

[Courtesy Circle Sanctuary – Rev. Ryan Adams (left) Rev. Selena Fox (center) and Rev. Tim (Cern) Staker, (right)

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In other news:

  • Gregory Tillett, a native of Australia and a noted academic in Religious Studies, also holding a degree in Law in Australia, has died. He is best known for his research in Occult studies, particularly his work concerning C.W. Ledbetter and Theosophy. He was also a recognized authority on conflict resolution. He was ordained as a Priest in the Orthodox Church. When he retired from university work, and from an Australian federal appellate Tribunal, he became a hermit in the Orthodox tradition. What is remembered, lives.
  • The Pagan Heart of the West: Embodying Ancient Beliefs and Practices from Antiquity to the Present, Vol I. Deities and Kindred Beings by Randy P. Connor is the first of five volumes and due to be released next week by Mandrake of Oxford.
  • Waking the Witch exhibit to open on January 19 at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe in the UK. The display will highlight the British Isles’ strong relationship to magic and the occult. “…it looks to the importance of craft, ritual and land on the practice of the ever shifting figure of the witch.”
  • In the Heart of the Beast (HOBT) Puppet and Mask Theatre announced last week that this year would mark the final May Day parade in Minneapolis. This will be the 45th year for the event. Corrie Zoll, HOBT’s executive director said it was possible that the festival might continue beyond this year but that HOBT could no longer financially afford to be sole sponsor of the event. An online petition has been created in attempts to save the festival.
  • Circle Sanctuary announced that the 2019 Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG) has officially opened registration for the Summer Solstice Festival, occurring June 16 – 23 at Hannon’s Camp America, near Oxford Ohio.

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Black Cat Tarot by Maria Kurara, published by Lo Scarabeo

Card: Five (5) Wands

Look for opportunities to gain greater understanding of one’s own skills and deeper nature this week. There is emphasis on fairness in competition with an eye towards building the future.

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.