TWH – Today is Veterans Day in the U.S., designated as a federal observance to commemorate the end of major conflict on 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 and signaling an end to World War I. Originally called Armistice Day in the U.S., it is still observed under that name by many of the Allied Nations who fought together in World War I, and as Remembrance Day by the Commonwealth of Nations which is comprised of 53 member states, most of which were former British territories.
Many Pagans choose to serve in the military, and Circle Sanctuary is one of the Pagan organizations that offers support to them through their Military Ministries, which provides services and resources.
Circle established its Military Ministries in 1974. Circle’s work in the Veteran Pentacle Quest was pivotal in establishing the right of veterans to have the pentacle as symbol of their faith on their grave markers.
In celebration of Veterans Day, Circle Sanctuary invites Veterans, and those who support Veterans, to share and network on their Pagan Military Association Facebook page through today.
Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister & Chaplain Endorser, Circle Sanctuary, led a “Pagan Veteran Honoring” during the Community Ritual at the Pagan Pride in Las Vegas this weekend, and it was partially captured in coverage by Las Vegas, ABC affiliate, channel 13. The Pagan Pride Las Vegas posted the footage to their Instagram page.
Rev. Selena Fox shared these comments with The Wild Hunt:
On this Veterans Day, and every day, let us remember and give thanks to those who have served and are serving in the US Military as well as their families and other loved ones. On Veterans Day as well as through the year, may Pagans of many paths and places reach out and express appreciation and support to members of the Pagan community who are veterans and military service members for their service.
On this Veterans Day, may we take time out to honor, and give thanks for service of Pagan veterans, and may we also remember that some important advances in quests for Pagan civil rights have come from Pagan religious freedom work involving Pagan veterans and troops — the presence of Pagan Open Circles and ceremonies at US military installations & training facilities in this country, on ships, & abroad; Wiccan, Druid, Heathen, & Pagan designations being included as options for religious identification for service members; and the inclusion of Pagan emblems of belief, Pentacle, Thor’s Hammer, and Awen, on VA-issued memorial markers at public and private cemeteries across the nation.
To all those who serve, TWH honors your service.
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NEW YORK- November 10, marked the kick-off of World Science Day for Peace and Development.
The theme for 2019 was, “Open science, leaving no one behind,” and is reflective of the overall following objectives:
“Strengthen public awareness on the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies; Promote national and international solidarity for shared science between countries; Renew national and international commitment for the use of science for the benefit of societies. Draw attention to the challenges faced by science and raising support for the scientific endeavour.”
The International Week of Science and Peace was first celebrated in 1986 as part of the observance of the International Year of Peace. The United Nations General Assembly formally adopted a resolution in December 1988, proclaiming that the observance occurs annually during the week in which 11 November falls.
The ideology behind the annual observance of the International Week of Science and Peace is that “through encouraging greater academic exchanges on subjects of universal importance and generating greater awareness of the relationship of science and peace among the general public…” it encourages both cooperation and understanding among the various countries of the world, and helps foster bonds of peace.
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VALPARAISO, Ind. – In an update to a story we covered on October 14, regarding the status of the request for space at an annual event, Holly Days, by the Northern Indiana Atheists (NIA) based in South Bend, the Porter County Commissioners rendered a decision last week.
NIA had submitted a requested for space at Holly Days, which takes place on December 6, 2019, at the August 8th meeting. At that meeting, Porter County Commissioners requested additional information, photographs and the dimensions of the signs NIA intended to display, which NIA submitted to them on August 14.
At the September Porter County Commissioners meeting, a vote on the NIA space was not taken. The reason given by the commission was that no representative of NIA was present at the meeting to answer additional questions. When NIA representatives asked the administrative assistant, Kathy Merle, what additional information was needed, Merle said the commission had all the information it required to take a vote and render a decision.
The October commissioners meeting was attended by NIA representatives, President Troy Moss and Vice President Dan Dick. They were informed that the space they had requested was not available as “the entire Courthouse grounds” had been giving for use by Valparaiso Events, who had submitted their request after NIA had submitted theirs. Their request was not for “the entire Courthouse grounds.” Additionally, NIA was also not requesting “the entire Courthouse grounds” merely a space during the Holly Days event.
Valparaiso Events had in previous years had sponsored on a live nativity scene, which they did not intend to do for 2019.
The October meeting became tense when NIA representatives Troy Moss and Dan Dick objected to their request for space at Holly Days being denied. Several of the commissioners made derogatory comments directed towards NIA, which prompted an animated exchange. At that meeting, the commission did approve Courtside Ministries for space. NIA alleged that they were being discriminated against and that Christian faith groups were being given preferential treatment.
A day prior to the November 5 meeting of the Porter County Commissioners, the American Atheists Legal Center (AALC), sent a letter informing them that the board’s handling of NIA’s request, as well as the public statements made by several commissioners, raise serious concerns that the board violated the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of NIA and its members. The letter also pointed out that the board violated Indiana’s Open Door Law when they rushed to add Valparaiso Events’ request to the agenda while denying NIA’s request on the same agenda for the August meeting.
November’s meeting of the Porter County Commissioners meeting proved to be less contentious, and NIA was approved for one of the spaces available during Holly Days, and allowed to choose which of the available corner spaces they would like.
Additionally, NIA expanded their request to include also being on the property whenever Courtside Ministries is present, which the board granted.
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In other news:
- It was reported earlier this month by The Independent an Amazonian forest guardian, Paulo Paulino Guajajara,was shot in the face and killed within Arariboia Reservation in Maranhao state in Brazil, by illegal loggers. Another member of the Guajujara Tribe was wounded by the same attack but managed to escape. Guajajara was one of the leaders of the Guardians of the Forest, which was created in 2012 by the Guajajara Tribe to protect the rainforest from intruders. Guajajara’s death has occurred while tensions and concerns are elevated over statements President Jair Bolsonaro has made regarding protected indigenous lands, and the prospect of opening those lands up to development. Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation (APIB), a group that represents many of the country’s 900,000 native people, stated, “The increase in violence in indigenous territories is a direct result of his [President Bolsonaro’s] hateful speeches and steps taken against our people.” The Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB) expressed their solidarity with the Guajajara tribe and issued a statement repudiating violence against indigenous peoples.
- In June, The Satanic Temple filed a complaint with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia (CPBC) against a Canadian therapist, Alison Miller, for what they outlined as promoting conspiracy theories that involved ritual abuse being done by Satanic cults, and global efforts of mind-control. Miller, who retired from practice in 2018, has authored at least one book and given numerous presentations on ritual abuse. The CPBC conducted its own review and found that many of Miller’s statements were “unusual and do not reflect mainstream beliefs about abuse, trauma, and mental health.” The CPBC requested Miller surrender her non-practicing license, and she voluntarily complied with the request. If Miller were not already retired, it is quite likely that there would be more investigation and other actions against might have been taken.
- The Trump administration announced last Friday that televangelist Paula White will head the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative. White is also part of a group of religious rights activists who have started the One Voice Prayer Movement, that seeks to join with other conservative members and ensure Trump is re-elected in 2020. In a prayer call last week to protect Trump from those who might attempt to undermine him and his presidency, White specifically cited Witchcraft. “…Whether it’s the spirit of Leviathan, a spirit of Jezebel, Abaddon, whether it’s the spirit of Belial, we come against the strongmen, especially Jezebel, that which would operate in sorcery and witchcraft, that which would operate in hidden things, veiled thing, that which would operate in deception. We come against it according to your word.”
- Michigan State University professor, Mark Waddell began teaching a new course in the Spring semester of 2019, HST 293: Witches, Demons and the Occult. Waddell was looking to bolster both interest in history and the humanities, as well as the number of students enrolled. The class has required a slightly different approach than his usual classes. “When you study the history of science before the 1700s, which is what I do, everything kind of melds together,” Waddell said. “Science, and religion and magic — they’re all part of one big melting pot. I was exposed to a lot of that history very early on in my training.” In addition to covering magical practices and their histories like witchcraft, astrology, and alchemy in Europe, Waddell also covers the overall culture of premodern Europe.
Editorial Correction: In the reporting on a story we published last week, “Michigan group seeks funding to buy land” there were numerous errors due to some of the details in the story being originally reported incorrectly or presented in a way that did not best reflect the details. Corrections are being added at the foot of that article. We apologize for the misinformation.
Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte
Deck: Tarot of White Cats, artwork by Severino Baraldi, ideas and graphics by Pietro Alligo, instructions by Sofia di Vincenzo, and published by Lo Scarabeo, Torino, Italy.
Card: Five (5) of Pentacles
This week may offer some serious challenges, and revelations. Be mindful that the character of a person or organization is frequently reflected in how they respond to a crisis.
Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.