Pagan Community Notes: Cedarsong Grove announces dissolution, cryptocurrency & Witches, 30 curse tablets found in well in Greece, and more!

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Cedarsong Grove profile  [Facebook]

LANSING, Mich. – On Friday, Cedarsong Grove posted to their Facebook page that they were severing their ties to druid group Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF) and dissolving their grove.

The grove released a statement signed by the Cedarsong leadership detailing the reasons that led to their decision.

The full statement follows:

We, the members of Cedarsong Grove, have come to the conclusion that association with ADF is no longer beneficial to our growth. Our members have left the organization, until we have too few to maintain even Protogrove status, for a variety of reasons:

We see an organization where the leaders simply walk away from their positions, not responding to urgent requests for months.

We see at our festivals, our leaders sit away from everyone else, not reaching out, not being part of the stories or conversations, instead forcing others to come to them. At others, we hear of our leaders walking away from new members, avoiding conversations, and breaking eager young hearts.

We see Preceptors ignoring work being submitted to them for grading and evaluation, with no recourse for substitute evaluation.

We see Council leaders abandon their responsibilities on council, even when told face-to-face that things need to be done.

We see people being privy to private conversations that are supposed to be private from any not currently sitting on the Mother Grove.

We see young, pretty faces being warned away from certain living Elders because “they like them young”, and not just those Elders who have gone Beyond the Veil.

We see leaders who we have to badger to get responses to issues members find important, be they issues of immigration Horrors, Mass death, or even natural disasters, causing others to drift away because we do not value them.

We see leaders afraid to say we condemn human rights violations, because they are afraid we might lose members.

We see concerns being brought to our leaders, and ignored. Or worse, a stopgap thrown out to quiet us, until the issue drifts away once more.

We see our clergy literally decimated, and not a peep in response to their near identical concerns.

We see a third of our governing organization resign in protest in less than a month, and not a word since on what could be done to address the issues stated. In fact, as of this writing, two of those positions are still unfilled.

We see group scholastic efforts referred to only by somebody with a prominent name.

We see people volunteering professional skills, certifications, and long experience be ignored, with others with no experience being placed in charge, or no work being done in that direction at all.

In all, we see an organization that has clouded its Vision, has shown poor Hospitality, and it’s Integrity is suspect. We see an organization with no Fertility, instead stagnating and declining. We see those with the Courage to speak when something is not right be ground down and silenced.

We know we are not the only ones who see it, but we cannot wait for others to act, but must act for the good of our friends and family of Heart, Blood, and Spirit.

As such, Cedarsong Grove, ADF formally announces it’s dissolution. Any member of the Grove is of course welcome to continue to maintain their membership in ADF, but the Grove itself will be no more.

Our Hearth Fire shall be become once more just a campfire; Our Well shall once more become but a bowl of water; Our Tree shall once more be but a pillar of cedar wood. Friends and other family, you are ever welcome at our hearths and hearts’ fires, but this path is no longer ours to travel.

Comments made by Cedarsong page administrator(s) indicate their intent to continued participation and support of their local community but emphasize they will not be doing so as Cedarsong.

The reasons cited by Cedarsong Grove reflect many of those made by four priests and one initiate who resigned in November of 2019.

Editorial Correction:  In an earlier version of this story, TWH reported that four of the seven recent resignations were priests in Cedarsong Grove. In fact, two were priests, and two were non-clergy members of Cedarsong Grove. We regret the error.

Four of the seven priests who resigned were members of Cedarsong Grove.

TWH reached out to ADF for comment, and Archdruid Jean (Drum) Pagano responded with the following statement:

“I offer Cedarsong Grove my best wishes on their path forward. As a former member of that grove myself, I know they are a talented group of individuals and I wish them well. For the members that remain, please let us know what we can do to help. May the Kindreds guide you to a bright future.”

TWH will continue to follow this story, and report on any new developments.

 

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[Image credit: voytek pavlikWikiCommons]

TWH – Cryptocurrency, a digital asset that can be used in a variety of online transactions and exchanges may be the latest tool in some Witches’ practices.

A recent article on coindesk.com examines the similarities between cryptocurrency and Witchcraft.

Claire Gallant, who is a fan and user of Ethereum, a type of cryptocurrency, draws a connection between technology which she describes as “a little bit magic to us,” and the empowerment of Witchcraft. Cryptocurrency offers the ability to purchase or conduct transactions for a variety of goods and services that traditional banking might restrict or make more challenging for women in some countries–like the purchase of ritual tools or birth control.

A variety of e-commerce sites like Etsy and Ebay have in the past restricted or banned sellers who made and sold anything connected to Witchcraft and occult practices. Transaction sites like PayPal and Square have also been reported as disabling or canceling accounts that are used by Witches and other Pagans to sell their wares.

In December, TWH reported on The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions being denied by a credit card processor that appeared to be based on the fact they were an occult store.

Sophia diGregorio features an article on her website, Why Witches and Occultists Need Bitcoin and is the author of a free e-book The Occult Files of Sophia diGregorio Bitcoin and Altcoins Patronage Program.

While some Witches and Pagans may see cryptocurrency as having an important role in preserving religious freedom, not everyone is familiar with the technology.

Understanding the varieties of cryptocurrency, and how blockchain operates can be a bit complicated. Many Pagans, especially those with backgrounds in finance and banking may be less inclined to trust a financial system that they perceive as unsecured or backed by large institutions.

 

In other news:

  • The Ásatrú Temple in Reykjavík, Iceland received a sizable donation from religious leaders in Thailand. According to an article inVisir, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson confirms that “They had thousands of euros they had collected. Then you see that the gods are doing their work in a mysterious and inspiring way.” The original estimates for construction which was slated to begin in 2010 were 127m króna (ISK), approximately $1,005,230.00 (USD). Due to the banking crisis, construction was delayed until late 2017. The current cost is estimated at around 300m ISK ($2,374,558.00 USD). Hilmar also said, “But we’ve come a long way. We are equipped with more than 60 percent. We are moving into the office section this year and we will try to start building the dome next year. The dream is to be able to open it on the first summer of 2022 when the Ásatrúarfélagið (Ásatrú Fellowship) turns 50.”
  • Archaeologists have found 30 lead tablets inscribed with curses at the bottom of a well in Greece. The 2,500-year-old well is in Kerameikos, the burial grounds of ancient Athens. The small lead tablets have ritual curses scratched into them, calling on the gods of the underworld with the intent to cause harm to others. Curse tablets made of lead, stone, and wax have previously been found in tombs of the dead. However, researchers believe the reason these curse tablets were found in the well directly corresponds to the period between 317-307 B.C.E. during the Athen’s reign of Demetrios of Phaleron, who outlawed the practice of leaving curse tablets in tombs. Other items discovered in the excavation of the well: clay lamps, drinking vessels, cooking pots, wine mixing vessels, a wooden trinket box, and a number of bronze coins, among other common tools and even part of the pulley system used to draw water.
  • The site The Talko published an article titled, “10 Best Tattoo Artists For Witchcraft Imagery
    that features tattoo artists from around the world with images of their work.
  • Glastonbury Tor has become the site of a dispute over a person drumming who some are complaining “ruins many people’s visits, both locals and tourists.” An anonymous note written in three shades of ink and addressed to the equally anonymous drummer had been affixed to the gate leading up to the Tor protested the drummer’s playing. Apparently, the dispute has been ongoing for a couple of months. Glastonbury Tor posted about it last week on their Facebook page last week.
  • Pop music star, Marc Almond said in an interview The Daily Star that he now identifies as a Druid. Almond said he has always been fascinated with ancient nature-based religions, but really began to feel drawn towards some form of Paganism while working on his 2015 album, “The Velvet Trail.” Almond also said, “I’m anti-religious, but I’m looking for a spiritual aspect to my life to put in where I feel that lacking.”

 

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: ViceVersa Tarot by Massimiliano Filadoro, artwork by Davide Corsi, published by Lo Scarbeo

Card: Nine (9) of Pentacles

The week ahead may call for a focus on fortune, vision, and finance. The ability to look ahead, and plan for future expenditures balanced against expected income could be of particular importance. Luck and chance may also be factor, so listening to gut instincts is equally important.

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.