Pagan Community Notes: GA white supremacists have possible ties to Paganism, ATC State of Church address, and more!

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SILVER CREEK, Ga. – On Friday, the Floyd County, Ga., Police Department arrested three men, Luke Austin Lane, 21, Michael John Helterbrand, 25, and Jacob Kaderli, 19, for plotting to commit murder.  The three individuals are allegedly involved in a white supremacist group called “The Base” which advocates violence and overthrowing the government.

Court documents outline the trio’s detailed plan to murder a Georgia couple who they believed were affiliated with the anti-fascist movement.

A fourth person connected with the same group in Ga., Yousef O. Barasneh, 22, was also arrested on Friday. Barasneh was charged with “conspiring to violate citizens’ rights to use property free from threats and intimidation” in connection with the vandalism of the Beth Israeli Sinai Congregation in Racine, Wis.

In a report by NPR, court documents filed in Wisconsin list all four men, Lane, Helterbrand, Kaderli, and Barasneh as being present at a gathering on Lane’s property in November 2019 for “firearms training, grappling, medical training and a pagan ‘blot’ ritual where a goat was sacrificed.”

Atlanta Antifa page on Facebook posted pictures in their post announcing the arrests that contain runic symbols and the valknut () which is associated with Norse mythology and Heathenry.

Robert L. Schreiwer, former Steer of The Troth and founder of Urglaawe, put out a call for unity and for Heathens to work together against extremists who identify as Heathens.

Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia, had issued a state of emergency ahead of today’s pro-gun demonstration in Richmond due to a threat assessment by federal law enforcement. The FBI arrested three other men connected to “The Base” in Maryland earlier last week on illegal gun charges and harboring an illegal alien. The men arrested in Maryland and those arrested in Georgia intended to attend the event in Richmond.

Editorial note: TWH inadvertently listed Schreiwer as the current rather than former Steer of The Troth. The article has been corrected and updated.  

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SEATTLE – The Aquarian Tabernacle Mother Church (ATC) near Index, Washington was in crisis due to severe weather and heavy snowfall last week.

According to Facebook posts by Archpriestess Belladonna Laveau, the Mother Church was without utilities for nearly a week, and no one could in or out of Index and the surrounding area. Falling tree limbs due to high winds kept several members that live onsite confined indoors.

By Thursday, power had been restored but the full damage to the church and grounds had not yet been fully assessed. Laveau and Archpriest Dusty Dionne, had been traveling and returned to the area on Wednesday, but were unable to reach the property until Friday.

On Sunday, Laveau presented the State of the Church address in a Facebook live event, which outlined the ATC’s level of progress for the past year, plans for 2020, and the elevation of High Priestess Mary Malinski of Circle of the Sacred Muse, as Archpriestess of ATC Canada to take place during Spring Mysteries Festival in April.

 

In other news:

  • Mat Auryn posted online that flyers for a protest of Austin Witchfest in March were being circulated by an unidentified group of Christians. In a blog post, he pointed out how the language used in the flyer contained “magickal verbiage” and not very different from many spells that a modern Witch or Pagan might use. How many people might show up to protest remains unclear.
  • The Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) has reported that vandals have destroyed several 3,000-year-old rock carvings on the Pangaion Hills near Kavala in northern Greece. According to reports, a wire brush or similar tool was used to scrape the depictions of daily life that contained animals, humans, and plants off of the rock face. It is unclear how many images were either damaged or eradicated.
  • The statue of Ebisu, Japanese God of Fortune, that was washed away during a tsunami in 2011 was recently recovered. The god represents prosperity and good fortune and honored by fishermen for providing a good catch. The copper statue, which is about five feet tall was located by a construction crew working near the city of Kesennuma about 80 feet from the shore last November. Last week, a crane lifted the statue out of the ocean after divers managed to place a net around it. Other than the fishing rod the god holds in his right hand being broken, the statue appeared to be in good shape. It will be placed in the Isuzu Shrine for visitors to the shrine to see.
  • An Italian produced series, “Luna Nera” is scheduled to be released on January 31 on Netflix. The series explores the journey of a young woman accused of practicing witchcraft in 17th century Italy. The name “Luna Nera” translates to English as “black moon.” A black moon in astrology refers to when two new moons occur in the same calendar month and only happens about every two and a half years. The next one to occur is on April 30, 2022.
  • A Missouri bill, HB 2044,  the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act, seeks to add provisions that would create “parental library review boards” whose purpose would be to evaluate and determine if any books or other media available through the library contain “age-inappropriate sexual material.” The board would be composed of five individuals that would be elected in a town meeting by a simple majority vote. Librarians would be barred from being eligible to serve on such boards. The bill also specifies that any library found to be allowing access to minors of such materials could be stripped of its funding, and librarians fined and even imprisoned for up to one year. The deputy director of Free Expression Research and Policy at PEN America, James Tager said, “This is a shockingly transparent attempt to legalize book banning in the state of Missouri. This act is clearly aimed at empowering small groups of parents to appoint themselves as censors over their state’s public libraries. Books wrestling with sexual themes, books uplifting LGBTQIA+ characters, books addressing issues such as sexual assault—all of these books are potentially on the chopping block if this bill is passed.”

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Ancestral Path Tarot by Julie Cuccia-Watts,  published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Card: The Sun, Major Arcana XIX (19)

This week may offer illumination equal to that of the sun. Be mindful that while the warmth of the sun that is most welcome on a winter’s day, is also the same sun that can be unbearable in the heat of the desert on a summer’s day.

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.


The Wild Hunt wishes you a meaningful Martin Luther King Jr. Day.