Pagan Community News: Odinists with ties to Neo-Nazis holding rituals in UK, Southeast Wise Women Conference for sale, and more!

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Image credit: MikPeach – Wikicommons

TWH – Last week The  Daily Telegraph in London published an article reporting that an Odinist group, Woden’s Folk, has been conducting rituals designed to “take back” ancient sites in England.

The group has reportedly conducted rituals at both Avebury Circle in Wiltshire county, and Wayland Smithy, near Ashbury in Oxfordshire county. The two sites are less than 20 miles apart.

Woden’s Folk appears to be aligned with the ideology of white supremacy, and members from the Neo-Nazi organizations, Combat 18, and the banned National Action group, which is listed as a terror organization by the British government, attended rituals by the group.

Wayland Smithy is a Neolithic burial chamber whose construction dates to between 3590 and 3400 BCE. It is one of the best examples of a type of both oval and long barrow architecture that is specific to the region of south-west of Britain, now known as the Severn-Cotswold group.

It was reported that swastikas were carved into some of the trees near Wayland Smithy, and The Daily Telegraph published at least one picture of tree that has been defaced with the symbol.

The National Trust which oversees the management and maintenance of both Avebury Circle, a World Heritage site, and Wayland Smithy, an English Heritage site, plans to increase the frequency of ranger patrols around Wayland Smithy. Avebury Circle poses a much larger challenge to police considering the circle and standing stones span a considerable amount of land. The outer circle alone has a diameter of 1,088 feet (331.6 metres), and the entire site, including the West Kennet Avenue of paired stones, encompasses roughly 28 acres with the town of Avebury being inside of the circle.

Asatru U.K. issued a statement on their Facebook page in response to The Daily Telegraph’s article that said, in part, “…is categorically opposed to fascist movements, or any movements, using the symbols of our faith for hate. We welcome exposure of the thin veneer of faith such groups use to attract and subvert those who would follow the gods.”

The Pagan Federation is also a signer of the statement and has shared it on their Facebook page, as well.

TWH will have full coverage later this week from our correspondent in England.

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BÆRUM, Norway – A man, identified as Philip Manshaus, 21, and armed with several shotgun-like weapons, and a pistol, attempted to enter the Al-Noor Islamic Center in Bærum located approximately 12 miles (20 km) from Oslo, the capitol of Norway.

Manhaus shot through the glass of one of the doors to the mosque to gain entry, but was prevented from doing any more harm by Mohamed Rafiq, 65, who managed to disarm him and then subdue the shooter with help from fellow worshipper, Mohamed Iqbal.

Manshaus had made a number of posts on a relatively new messaging board platform known as Endchan, and on 4chan, a similar, older platform, that reflected his ideology being similar to Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter, referring to Tarrant as “Saint Tarrant.” He also praised the El Paso shooter, and his final post to the platform  cited Vahalla, similar to Tarrant who used the the term in his manifesto,“It’s been fun, valhall venter [Valhalla awaits].”

This most recent attack comes just a week after a string of violent shootings that resulted in the deaths of dozens of people in Gilroy, Calif., El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Today also marks the second anniversary of the death of protester Heather Heyer, who was killed by a white supremacist in a vehicle during the “Unite the Right” event in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Flower [Pixabay

HENDERSONVILLE, North Carolina – Southeast Wise Women’s Conference is looking for someone to take over leadership and ownership of the event.

In a statement made last week on their Facebook page, Corinna Wood, Southeast Wise Women Director issued the following letter to the wise woman community:

Wonderful women, I am reaching out to the wise woman community to share an update on changes moving through me in relation to the women’s herbal conference.

As I journey through my menopausal metamorphosis, I feel my energies and focus shifting. I find myself at a crossroads as I near 50, where I am deeply called to explore inward aspects of the wise woman ways. I am developing a system, “Wise Woman Within,” for supporting women of all walks of life to develop effective strategies to meet their needs–through a lens that is woman-centered, earth-based, and trauma-informed. Students have been asking for more and more, and I am eager to expand my teaching and develop printed materials on this topic. I am being called to make room in my life to incubate this new body of work in addition to my herbal classes. All this has led me to reflect on my relationship with the conference.

I have made the difficult decision that after this fall’s 15th anniversary event, I will transition out of my role as director and owner of the conference to focus on my teaching and writing. It is my hope and desire that this thriving conference continues for generations of women and girls. I am looking for a qualified and passionate woman (or group of women) who are interested in taking on the commitment of purchasing the conference business and carrying it on.

My decision comes with a mixture of emotions, of course. The conference has grown and evolved beyond my wildest dreams in the early years, and that is because of you. I am grateful to all the women who are part of building the “wonder woman island of happy herbalists”–each participant bringing her open heart and mind, the teachers sharing their wisdom, the willing volunteers, and the talented staff who work year round behind the scenes.

And I’m very excited about the 15th anniversary weekend–complete with a song, dance, and drumming evening extravaganza under the full moon! Please encourage your sisters to join us this October 11-13 to celebrate our wise woman community . . . if you know women who have been thinking about coming to the conference, this is the year!

Thank you for being part of the magic of weaving this beautiful web together!

~Corinna Wood, Director, Southeast Wise Women

The annual event will celebrate its 15th year, offering a wide variety of earth-based workshops featuring everything from herbal medicine, wellness, spirituality, and music.  In the past the conference has hosted herbal luminaries such as Rosemary Gladstar and Susan Weed as keynote speakers. This year their featured speakers include, Sally Fallon Morell, Karen Rose, Dr Judy Noe, and Gina Breedlove.

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COLUMBIA, South Carolina  –  Cherry Hill Seminary issued the following statement regarding the recent violence:

Making A Statement With Our Lives

Once again, CHS has been faced with the dilemma of whether to issue still another public statement decrying gun violence, mass shootings and racism. The inanity of trying to keep up with the increasing frequency of such incidents illustrates the gravity of the problem.

Having responded to several such shootings as a volunteer chaplain, I well know the feelings of helplessness, the inability to get it all sorted out in the mind of a still-stunned victim or bystander, the anger of a community unsure whether to be afraid or move forward as if life has not changed.

Worse, this virus of fear, anger and grief lives on in the psyche of any who were traumatized; they carry this out into the world, whether returning home from an ill-fated trip to Vegas, or just going back to work in City Hall after the crime scene is cleared. As a country, we have sunk a deep well of grief which threatens to rise up and spill over when we least expect it, not with healing water, but with a flood of pain.

Much of the CHS experience is about growing our spiritual roots in such a way that we are not uprooted when all around us seems chaotic and dangerous. Not only do our courses inform and teach the skills needed for spiritual leadership; they also become the fertile field in which we cross-fertilize, blossom, bear fruit, and immerse ourselves in the life-death-rebirth cycle.

With our lives, we make powerful statements – our spirituality grounds us, enabling us to be attuned to the needs of our communities, to find our best place in that network. CHS will continue to offer the best possible education to help us meet a dramatically changing world head on. — Holli S. Emore, Executive Director


In other news:

  • Last week a federal court of appeals ruled that Lehigh County in Pennsylvania could keep it seal, which features a cross, intact.  The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled against  the Freedom From Religion Foundation and four of its local members who objected to the cross being the sole religious symbol on the seal. The ruling is the first to apply the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on American Legion v. American Humanist Association over a cross on federal land in Maryland.
  • Eleventh House, a Miami based organization that seeks to help locals connect with a variety of magical practitioners, announced the launch of its online database of practitioners in the South Florida region. The site currently lists 11 practitioners of various traditions and skills, and hopes to continue to add more.
  • In an update to story we covered last month, Drew Sinton, owner of the Haunted Bookshop in Melbourne, Australia posted on Facebook that David Yu, who refused to renew his lease for the Haunted Bookshop is in mediation with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission over the matter. We will continue to follow this story and report any new developments.
  • The Satanic Temple announced plans to host the first, public “black mass” in Ottawa, Canada on August 17, 2019. Nicholas Marc, national coordinator for the Satanic Temple in Canada said, “To (the Satanic Temple’s) knowledge this will be the first organized public black mass in Canadian history.” Meanwhile, the San Francisco Bay Area Satanists, First Church of the Morningstar, have the protest, “Close the Camps” scheduled at I.C.E. Headquarters for Thursday, August 15, 2019.
  • This week marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock which took place August 15 – 18, 1969 in rural New York some 80 miles northwest of New York City. For many, Woodstock became somewhat of an icon for a new era, symbolizing the beginning of a shift away from more conservative values and war, and moving towards greater equality and peace. The Associated Press published a retrospective piece today with comments from a variety of people who were there.
Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte


Deck: The Urban Tarot by Robin Scott, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Card: The High Priestess, Major arcana

This week may call for a need to trust ones own intuition, as well as looking deeper within and having trust within ourselves. Be mindful that sometimes refraining from action can be more powerful than any movement.


Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone