Pagan Community Notes: Protests threatening two Witch events fail, “Real Witches of New Hampshire,” stolen Pachamama idols, and more!

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[Pixabay

RICHMOND, Va. – The Witch’s Market event held on Saturday and co-hosted by RVA Coven, and Fallout RVA, a local venue, received advance notice that a protest was planned. RVA Coven posted on their Facebook to make participants who planned to attend aware of the potential protest.

One of the women who was allegedly the organizer for the protest reportedly regularly participates in protests at Planned Parenthood on Thursdays when they offer abortion services.

According to comments on the post warning of possible protests, the number of demonstrators were few and they left even before one of the organizers could make it out front.

RVA Coven hosts a variety of events all year long, often in partnership with Fallout RVA. This weekend their raffle at The Witch’s Market raised over $500 for a local charity, Side by Side, that provides community support for LGBTQ+ youth.

 

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Pentacle labyrinth [Google Maps

LAKE HARMONY, Penn. – The Poconos Witches Festival & Ball was also slated to be protested by members of The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property–America Needs Fatima group, who planned to recite the Rosary of Reparation according to flyer that was circulating.

Byron Ballard, who was one of the headliners for the Poconos Festival & Ball, told TWH that only five protesters showed up and they were gone as quickly as they had appeared.

This was the first year for the Poconos Festival & Ball. The event featured workshops, a Magickal Marketplace for vendors, several paranormal events that included a séance and a paranormal investigation, and of course, the Witches Ball.

 

In other news:

  • Carl Shatley, an artist, lecturer and educator with an M.A. from Duke University in history, and a B.A. in art from Greensboro College will be offering a presentation on the Salem Witch Trials on October 31, 2019 at the Unity Place on the Piedmont Crossing Campus in Thomasville, North Carolina.
  • Golden Gate Park in San Francisco was host to the second annual Modern Witches Confluence in conjunction with the  Sorceress Sabbath Witchcraft Film Festival this past weekend. The Modern Witches Confluence featured a variety of workshops, including a presentation by Pam Grossman, rituals and magical marketplace. The film festival was held on Saturday at the Balboa Theatre and showed seven movies from the ’60s and ’70s with “witchcraft” themes, and featured a special guest speaker, Maja D’Aoust.
  • Circle Sanctuary will host a Memorial with ashes burial & gravestone dedication for Nora Cedarwind Young, Circle Sanctuary Minister from Washington State on October 26, 2019. Young was a Pagan Elder, nationally and globally known for her work as an End of Life Educator, Green Cemetery advisor, Death Midwife, and one of the first Pagans to work professionally as a Hospice Chaplain in North America. The following day, October 27, a memorial with ashes burial & gravestone dedication for Robin Arnhold, also known as Beket Asar Edithsdatter will be held. Arnhold was a Pagan Elder,  founding member of Circle Sanctuary & the Pagan Spirit Gathering, as well as a founding member of ADF, and edited its newsletter Notes from Taychopera for a time.
  • The first installment of a three-part series titled, “The Real Witches of New Hampshire,” aired on New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) last week. This first segment focuses on two women, Eunice Cole and Jane Walford, who were charged with practicing “witchcraft” two decades before the famous Salem Witch Trials began. Both women were each separately accused of “witchcraft” three times. Their two stories have very different endings. The second installment, which airs October 30, will focus on the New Hampshire Witches of today.
  • A company named Liquid Death has officially launched its canned water with a campaign designed to capture the imagination and attention of the masses during the spooky season of October. Their slogan for the campaign, “Certified Cursed Liquid Death,” and the video promotion boasts a “real witch doctor” by the name of Mystic Dylan who proclaims, “I call on the waters of Liquid Death and curse it with a witch’s breath,” he intones. “Curse this place, invade this product, invade those who would consume.” A disclaimer at the end of the video says “Liquid Death does not advise drinking cursed water,” and “is not responsible for what the demons do to you if you decide to consume it.” It seems counterintuitive to sell a drinkable product that you advise people not to drink. Though, they do offer a curse reversal cure for $.99 in their merch store on their website.
  • The Southside Daily published an article that focuses on Grace Sherwood, also known as the “Witch of Pungo.” Sherwood was accused of being a “witch” and subjected to a “trial by water” where she was  bound and tossed into the water. Sherwood allegedly managed to untie her binds, swim to shore and yelled at onlookers,“before this day be through you will all get a worse ducking than I.”  Newspaper reports from that time claim that a huge storm blew up and rain was so intense it washed people off into ditches. As for Sherwood, her only likely crime was being a widowed woman with children, who had audacity to farm her own land and commit such crimes as wearing pants when she worked, and refusing to drown when tossed into the water hog-tied. Pretty shocking for 1706. Sherwood served seven years, but eventually recovered most of her land, and her children. Today there is a memorial for her on the property of Sentara Hospital, as well as a pumpkin flavored, Belgian style ale named the “Witch of Pungo,” produced by Back Bay Brewing in her honour.
  • Pachamama Pagan icons were stolen from a church near the Vatican and tossed into the Tiber river by two unidentified men. A video was posted to Youtube that shows the theft and the statues being thrown into the river. At least one of the statues, considered to represent fertility and life, was used in Way of the Cross for the Amazonian peoples and martyrs in the Vatican according to EVTV News.

 

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

 

Deck: Black Cats Tarot, by Maria Kurara, published by Lo Scarabeo.

Card: The Hierophant, Major arcana, V (five)

In the week ahead, look for the spiritual essence of faith in actions taken. The reflection of moral strength and decency in behavior helps in avoiding temptation to veer off track and into darker territory.

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.