Pagan Community News: More Concerns over Stonehenge, Hindu Temple Vandalized, and more!

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Stonehenge [Photo Credit: garethwiscombe/Flickr]

WILTSHIRE, UK – The proposed tunnel to placed the A303 road below ground has brought new protests from a Druid John Collis, who goes by the moniker “King John” announced last week that if the plan is green-lighted he will file a formal appeal to the High Court for judicial review. Collins is quoted saying in a report from the BBC:

“Stonehenge is an ancient site which many of us druids respect and worship.

“We need to protect this ancient site from being ripped apart and destroyed by greedy government developers who are in the process of examining the plans.

“We pray, meditate and worship at the stones which are very sacred and need to be respected.

“Stonehenge is an ancient site which many of us druids respect and worship.

“If the Government and an independent planning inspector are not going to listen, then we will take the action to the court.”

In the same the report, the Druid Order of Avebury also cited concerns the tunnel might impact Blick Mead a nearby area known for its ancient springs which are dated to 4000 BC.

Actor Harry Shearer of This is Spinal Tap fame, and voice of many of the characters on animated sitcom The Simpsons has voiced his concern and disapproval of the plans for A303. He believes the roadway should be moved further away from the site. In article published by The Daily Mail he is quoted as saying, “The act of standing near the stones and enjoying the silence of the site would be severely depreciated by the existence, and sound, of a nearby motorway. I should think this internationally-known monument would be deserving of more respect than this!”

TWH has reported on the proposed changes to the A303 in December concerning the arrests of Pagan protesting, and in an update on the project. This is a developing story we are following.

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State Seal of Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Hindu Swaminarayan Temple was vandalized and desecrated last week. Multiple windows were broken out, and shattered glass littered the interior of the temple. In a report by Courier-Journal, black crosses and messages proclaiming: “Jesus is the only Lord,” and “Jesus Is All Mighty,” were spray painted on the walls, a religious icon was also defaced with paint, and a knife was left on a chair inside.

Thursday afternoon Louisville Police arrested a 17-year-old, whose name was being withheld, and charged him with third-degree burglary and first-degree criminal mischief. Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has called it a hate crime, but the state or federal authorities will decide whether to treat it as such. While the criminal complaint lists “a bias with (the crime) being (of) a religious nature,” it will be up to judge whether to add a hate crime enhancement to the initial charges. Kentucky’s hate crime statute allows a judge to deny probation or shock probation to an offender found guilty of intentionally acting “because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation of national origin” of the victim.

A number of public officials spoke out against the incident, including Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who denounced the vandalism and described it as “reprehensible and inexcusable”.  While the number of hate crimes against Hindus have been relatively small—five in 2015, and 15 in 2017—hate crimes overall have been on the rise with 8828 cases reported in 2017 with a little over 20% of those cases being religion-based according to an FBI report.

On Saturday several hundred members from the surrounding community showed up to help Swaminarayan Temple members clean and restore the temple by painting over the defacements on the wall, repairing the broken windows and other signs of the vandalism. An interfaith gathering also took place in the temple’s sanctuary and included state officials like Gov. Bevin and State Attorney General, Andy Beshear. The US population of Hindus is roughly 3 million, and over 1 billion world-wide. The vandalism has allowed the public to learn more about the Hindu religion and what they believe.

 

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Obituary

Robin (Beket) Arnhold (1944-2019) [Courtesy]

The Wild Hunt is saddened to hear of the loss of Pagan elder,  Robin “Beket” Arnhold of Circle Sanctuary. Beket was a Pagan Elder, writer, editor, merchant, astrologer, and Weather Witch.  Beket was closely aligned to the Celtic God Lugh and Goddess Brigid, and reflecting her lifelong love of Cats, also honored Bast, the ancient Egyptian Cat Goddess. Beket loved Nature and supported environmental preservation endeavors, including Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve and its Green cemetery, Circle Cemetery. She was a member of the Circle Sanctuary Community since its founding in 1974. She wrote  Circle Network NewsCIRCLE MagazinePagan Spirit Alliance Newsletter, and Pagan Spirit Journal.  Beket was a founding member of the Pagan Spirit Gathering. She was an activist for Pagan civil rights and religious freedom through her work with the Lady Liberty League, which included supporting the successful quest to have the US Department of Veterans Affairs add the Pentacle to its list of emblems that can be included on grave markers it issues for deceased veterans.” Her full obituary is viewable at Circle SanctuaryWhat is remembered lives!

 

 

In other news:

  • Last week in Southern Wales it was reported that fragments of a manuscript from the Middle Ages was uncovered in the University of Bristol’s special collections by librarian Michael Richardson. The script found has stories of Merlin and King Arthur that are somewhat different from previously cited works. TWH will have full coverage of this story later this month.
  • A Pagan Pop-up Market was held last week at Armadillo Ale Works in Denton, Texas. It is the first event of this type and was hosted by Brujaus, Armadillo Ale Works, Horror Freak and Marrow & Moss. More than 20 vendors, live music and food were featured, as well as a silent auction and the opportunity to for attendees to have their tarot cards read while mingling with other members of the community.
  • Archaeologists and researchers at the University of Manchester and University College London in the UK believe that three carved chalk cylinders referred to as the Folkton drums may have been used to as a way to measure the layout of some Neolithic monuments. The drums are currently on display in the British Museum and thought to be approximately 4000 years old.
  • Forbes published an article by anthropologist David Anderson that suggests the imagery we associate with cats in ancient Egypt is likely not how cats of that time period actually looked. In addition to various tomb paintings, he also cites a recent genetic study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution that supports the idea that ancient cats likely had a coat currently described as tabby.
  • The discovery of two temples to the Goddesses Demeter Chamyne and Eileithyia near the Olympian Hippodrome in Greece may change theories about the ancient Olympic Games. Previous research has claimed no women were permitted to attend the games, but this is now in question with the recent find of these two temples.

 

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck:  Everyday Witch Tarot by Deborah Blake, artwork by Elisabeth Alba, published by Llewellyn Publications.

Card: King of Wands

The week ahead calls attention to the need to act, and making sure one is in charge of their own destiny. Moving forward with purpose and determination, and recognizing the areas where more elbow grease is required are key issues.

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.