Pagan Community Notes: More Cancellations, Pagan organizations statements on COVID-19, flying penises and more!

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TWH – As more countries declare a state of emergency, more events are being canceled or postponed, and various groups are issuing public statements.

The CloudCatcher Reclaiming WitchCamp in Australia announced its cancellation for the 2020 Camp yesterday.

CloudCatcher Reclaiming WitchCamp

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

It is with deep remorse and great sadness that we make this announcement today.

The Organisers of CloudCatcher WitchCamp have decided to cancel the 2020 Camp.

We will be organising to refund your registration fees as soon as possible.

Please read our full statement (below) for details on how to receive your refund.

CLOUDCATCHER WITCHCAMP 2020 IS CANCELLED

By now, you are probably all aware of the growing pandemic, COVID-19. While the situation is still developing, dynamic and difficult to predict, we consider it our first responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of the CloudCatcher community, including our most vulnerable members. We have not come to this decision lightly, and have been continuously revising and reappraising our response to the situation, guided by the best advice from health care organisations globally. As such, we are making the most centred and compassionate decision that we can, based on the information that we have at this time–and that decision is to let go of CloudCatcher 2020.

Our plan moving forward is to offer this Camp in 2021: holding to the same intention, and deepening into our work with the story of Vasilisa the Brave and the Baba Yaga.

What does this mean for you as a Camper?

We will be offering full refunds to all Campers.

In order to process your refund, it is important that you provide your name & bank account details to the CloudCatcher email address (cloudcatcherwitchcamp@gmail.com). Although we will work to process your refunds as quickly as possible, please approach this with patience and kindness; the organisers are all volunteers, and we expect there to be a large amount of work to do in the next few weeks as we respond to this cancellation.

Perhaps though, you might consider the following:

Because this Camp will be offered in 2021, you might want to hold your place for that Camp with the payment you’ve already made.

OR, you might want to consider the option of using all or part of your Camp fees as a financial offering to CloudCatcher, to assist in the continuation of camp.

Let’s take a moment in full transparency. CloudCatcher WitchCamp is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run community event, and although we will almost certainly still be able to continue Camp into the future, the cancellation of this year’s Camp will have a significant impact on our budget (a full budget outline will be posted in the following weeks as this cancellation resolves).

There is no obligation to do either of the latter options, but please inform us of your choice (REFUND, HOLD PLACE, or FULL/PARTIAL OFFERING) when providing your bank account details to the CloudCatcher email address.

We would like to thank you for your understanding and patience in this. We hope you all are taking the precautions necessary to get all our communities through this time, and we wish you all the best in staying healthy and safe.

In honour of the magical work you’ve already been doing in preparation for Camp, we invite you to continue this month’s work with the Flaming Skulls, to share any insights and gnosis you’ve had over the past months, and to reach out on the event page and connect with other Campers by sharing your stories and engaging in discussions online. Perhaps, this is an opportunity for all of us to slow down, to go small and local, and to take stock and be in gratitude with what we have.

With much love and many blessings, the CloudCatcher Orgs.

The Temple of Witchcraft in Salem, New Hampshire also issued a brief statement announcing that all Temple events, including their Ostara ritual are canceled, but some events, like their Mystery School classes, would be available online.

Thor’s Oak Kindred‘s Vanir Blót in the Chicago area, usually held on or near spring equinox is canceled.

Paganicon canceled its event scheduled for this weekend and has rescheduled it for September 4th-6th. Organizers made the announcement in a post on Facebook to the combined Twin Cities Pagan Pride and Paganicon page, “As you may already know, Twin Cities Pagan Pride usually hosts our Twin Cities Pagan Pride Fall Festival the weekend after Labor Day. Due to the circumstances of this year, we intend to combine the two events for 2020. Look for more info on public programming in the coming weeks.”

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church has opted to take a slightly different approach rather than canceling. In a post on Facebook last week, Archpriestess, Lady Belladonna LaVeau said, “…we are moving Spring Mysteries to Virtual Space and moving forward with an Online Virtual Event available to as many people as possible.”

Covenant of the Goddess released the following statement yesterday:

COG EXPRESSES CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY OVER COVID-19

Covenant of the Goddess (COG) recognizes the extreme circumstances we find ourselves and our families as we navigate through the concerns and challenges surrounding COVID-19 Coronavirus. Our nation and the World must alter how we live and work through the suspension of schools, working remotely, canceling major events or seeing businesses suffer as we self-quarantine our nation.

Recent announcements by the World Health Organization (WHO) designating the COVID-19 virus a global pandemic and calling for specific measures to combat the spread of the virus have had an impact on all of us. As the world tries to contain the spread of this disease, COG members are encouraged to follow local country and municipality recommendations for maintaining health personally and in your community.

  • During the foreseeable future through Beltane we support Local Councils and our members postponing COG-sponsored public events. This will be revisited to determine if additional time is needed.
  • We suggest that all in-person meetings/rituals, including small group and one-on-one meetings, should be changed to Zoom meetings when possible. If face-to-face meetings need to be held, practice social distancing of a least 6 feet.
  • All COG members are encouraged to follow healthy self-care practices to prevent infection and the spread of the disease.

Health care practices shared by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) include:

  1. Washing your hands. If you’re tired of singing Happy Birthday twice while you wash your hands, find a 20-second prayer or reflection that works for you. It takes 20 seconds to recite the first round of a loving-kindness meditation — I do this to strengthen the community. May we all be healthy and safe; may we all be happy and peaceful; may we be free from suffering and be free from the causes of suffering; may we cultivate love and kindness for all living beings.
  2. Avoid close contact. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at a higher risk of getting very sick.

Most important of all, practice compassion. Before responding to stressful circumstances take a step back and put yourself in the other person’s situation. While we find ourselves in similar situations we are all unique human-beings and should have patience and compassion towards each other.

Organizers who have an event that is canceled or postponed,  or have updates on their events should contact us using the news link.

In other news:

  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak has approved and given the go-ahead for the proposed A303 by-pass tunnel that could impact Stonehenge. A variety of archaeologists and environmentalists have opposed the tunnel and members of the Stonehenge Alliance delivered a petition with over 50,000 to Downing Street in February. Kate Mavor, chief executive for English Heritage who supports the tunnel said, “This is an important step towards finally doing justice to Stonehenge and the prehistoric landscape within which it stands. Placing the A303 within a tunnel would transform Stonehenge, reunite the landscape and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”
  • Imagery captured by the satellite, Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor, shows that pollution levels in the atmosphere over Italy have dropped, in particular, nitrogen dioxide emissions. Researchers accredit the drop to the shutdown in attempts to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Europe. Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, says, “Copernicus Sentinel-5P Tropomi is the most accurate instrument today that measures air pollution from space. These measurements, globally available thanks to the free and open data policy, provide crucial information for citizens and decision makers.” Just a few days of restricted activities, and without emissions may illustrate how much of an impact can be had by following some of the suggestions of climate activists. The canals in Italy, as shown in a video posted on YouTube, have also cleared since the only water traffic allowed for a few ACTV water buses (the public-transportation authority in Venice), and service vehicles.
  • Egypt’s Step Pyramid reopened to the public on March 5 after a 14-year renovation project. The pyramid is believed to be one of the oldest,  making it approximately 4,700 years in age, and a World Heritage Site recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It was constructed during the era of Pharaoh Djoser, one of Egypt’s Third Dynasty kings, in the 27th century B.C.E. The pyramid was in danger of collapse after it sustained damage from a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in 1992. The extensive renovations included using similar blocks of stone to fill in gaps in the mastabas (rectangular-shaped tomb with sloping sides). The cost of the renovation is 104 million Egyptian pounds ($6.6M USD).
  • While there are lots of suggested folk remedies for the prevention of contagion and disease being touted, The Sun published an article on Saturday that highlighted ancient artifacts that incorporated a variety of flying phalluses. Winged phalluses to be worn or hung as wind chimes have been found by archaeologists from Rome to Israel. Phallic charms were called “the fascinum” and consider to be the embodiment of the divine phallus in ancient Roman culture, and give the wearer divine power and protection.

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Tarot of Druids, by Giordano & Bepi Vigna, artwork by Antonio Lupatelli & Severino Baraldi, published by Lo Scarabeo.

Card: Two of Swords (2)

The week ahead may offer a conflicting competition of ideas or ways to move forward. There may also be situations that test the patience and possibly even seem unfair. Be mindful that utilizing knowledge of what is true can be used to light the way forward.

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.