Pagan Community Notes: Elizabeth Graham injured, Cherokee Nation pursues delegate in Congress, and more!

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Image courtesy of Temple of Witchcraft

SALEM, N.H. – Last Thursday, Elizabeth Graham, an author for Llewellyn Worldwide publications, and who writes the blog, Hawthorne and the Rose for Patheos, was involved in a serious automobile accident that left them with broken ribs, a collapsed lung, lacerations to their spleen and liver, and internal bleeding.

Graham is also an initiate and leader within the Temple of Witchcraft, has been pursuing the life-long dreams of a writing career, and is a also a self-employed crafter.

As of this morning, doctors report that Graham has survived injuries that usually are fatal. Graham underwent life-saving surgery at Catholic Medical Center and then was transported to a larger hospital via helicopter. Graham experienced additional surgery and is now recovering.

Visitors have reported Graham is somewhat conscious, able to squeeze hands, wiggle their toes, open their eyes and even indicate their awareness by attempting to smile. Graham has also indicated a desire for music and audiobooks. Attending staff members have indicated that Graham is stable and improving. Doctors believe while Graham will have a long recovery, they can make a full recovery.

The Temple of Witchcraft has set up a fundraiser to help cover Graham’s medical and recovery expenses.

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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Late last month the Cherokee Nation announced that it intended to pursue the option to have a delegate claim the seat in Congress offered in the 1835 New Echota treaty.

Under the treaty which included the land where  many of the Cherokee Nation were relocated to in Oklahoma, under Article Seven, there is a provision that entitles the Cherokee Nation to a delegate in the House of Representatives:

 

ARTICLE  7. The Cherokee nation having already made great progress in civilization and deeming it important that every proper and laudable inducement should be offered to their people to improve their condition as well as to guard and secure in the most effectual manner the rights guarantied to them in this treaty, and with a view to illustrate the liberal and enlarged policy of the Government of the United States towards the Indians in their removal beyond the territorial limits of the States, it is stipulated that they shall be entitled to a delegate in the House of Representatives of the United States whenever Congress shall make provision for the same.

Cherokee Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. has nominated Kimberly Teehee for the role. Teehee served as the first deputy director of Native American Outreach for the Democratic National Committee and director of Native American outreach for President Bill Clinton’s 1997 inauguration. From 2009 to 2012 she served as a senior policy advisor for Native American affairs in the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. She currently serves as a vice president of special projects for the Cherokee Nation Businesses and as the Cherokee vice president of governmental relations.

While the language in the Treaty of New Echota might be viewed several ways legally, it will ultimately be up to the U.S. House of Representatives to vote to give the Cherokee Nation a seat for Teehee as a delegate, similar to those who represent U.S. territories.

In an interview with Michel Martin for NPR, when asked what the deeper meaning behind being seated as a delegate, and what that might for other members of the tribe, and especially tribal young women, Teehee had this to say:

Sure. I think, first of all, it’s not something I dreamed of being when I grew up. I’ve exceeded anything that I ever thought I would be or could be as a kid. And I was mentored by the late Wilma Mankiller, who was the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. She was the one that encouraged me to go to law school, and she was the one that encouraged me to go to D.C. and to gain experiences that I could ultimately bring back to the tribe. So I’m well aware that whenever, you know, you achieve something really wonderful and meaningful what that means to young people.

TWH will continue to follow this story.

In other news:

  • TWH has learned that one of Canada’s premiere Pagan campgrounds is likely to come up for sale in 2020. There will be a meeting for potential investors at Mythwood Campground on Saturday, Sept 14, at 2pm, The purpose is to try to determine if there are enough investors with enough money to buy the place and keep it open for the Pagan community. Mythwood is located just west of Dundalk, Ontario.
  • ‘The Sabbath Project’ started by witch, graphic artist, and photographer Allan Spiers, who co-owns The Vodou Store with his husband, has expanded the project to include the creation of a tarot deck. The deck will feature some of the most popular images from the photo project as well as some exclusive shots. Last week Spiers’ Kickstarter for the deck was released and will run until September 30th. The deck is described as “celebrating the power and eroticism of male witchcraft, the Divine Masculine, and the folklore surrounding witchcraft through the ages.”
  • The magazine, Bitter Winter reports that Buddhist and Taoist temples in China are being destroyed by government officials and workers at odd hours to prevent drawing the attention of protesters or those who would obstruct the destruction. While the official reasons cite that such temples are “unlicensed” and taking up “arable land,” in at least two cases there was consent given to rebuild an older, existing temple, and in another case, the builder had signed a land-use agreement with the village council. According to the reporting, despite having legal grounds, the builder was told by legal counsel to not pursue the case for concern over “offending the Communist Party.”
  • The deaths of three adults and two children atop a cliff in Fiji has authorities puzzled, and the community frightened after the estranged father of the two children claimed the family was practicing “witchcraft.” The bodies of Nirmal Kumar, 63, his wife Usha Devi, 54, their daughter Nileshni Kajal, and granddaughters Sana, 11, and Samara, 8 were discovered by a farmer who responded to the cries of a baby that was found crawling on or around the bodies on the morning of August, 26. Salvin Singh, 40, has given several interviews where he accused his dead wife and her parents of “practicing witchcraft” and including the children in their practice. Authorities believe the family consumed some toxin that caused their deaths and are waiting on toxicology results. They are also seeking an alleged “witchdoctor” and his wife who are said to have visited with the family.
  • Williams Lake in British Columbia, Canada has a new Witch store, Bell, Broom, and Cauldron that was opened in May by Vicky Ortiz. Ortiz told The Williams Lake Tribune, “When the Hobbit House [another local shop] closed its doors in 2018, she seized the opportunity to fulfill her lifelong dream and open a ‘witch store.’” Bell, Broom, and Cauldron is located in a building that was moved from nearby Wells to Williams Lake and had been a hardware store and then a saddlery. The shop now carries everything from herbs and incense to tarot cards and statuary.
  • An interesting article titled, The Trouble With Witchcraft Today in the Big Issue North, an independent street paper that serves the Manchester, England community shines a light on some of the recent “witch hunt” activities in the United Kingdom and highlights how the laws in other countries have had a positive impact on reducing accusations of “witchcraft” and the killings that too often follow. The article also recognizes that many Britons identify as practitioners of Wicca or some other form of Witchcraft, and clearly delineates between those forms of practice and charlatans.

 

 

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

 

Deck: Ciro Marchetti’s Tarot of Dreams by Lee Burston, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Card: Justice, Major arcana XI (eleven)

 

This week is a reminder of the principle of fairness and to resist the urge to be overly judgmental. It also reflects the need to represent or fight for those who have been disenfranchised or dispossessed.

 

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.