Pagan Community Notes: Two new Pagan events, TST protests at the Wa. state capitol, and more!

[image courtesy of Mystical Minds Facebook page]

NEWARK, Calif. – Mystical Minds convention is set to hold its first event on March 28 – 29. The convention bills itself as “a new Pagan, Paranormal, and Metaphysical convention created to expand our minds as well as our networks!”

The event seeks to incorporate a fairly diverse range of presenters. The list of presenters covers a wide spectrum, from well-known Pagan and Witches Jason Mankey and Tommie Starchild, to rootworkers Fredricka Turner and Hexeba Theaux, to paranormal investigators the Alameda Paranormal Researchers, and just about everything in between–even a ufologist, Don Bierey. Other presentation topics include astrology, numerology, self-development, meditation, tarot cards, spellcasting, properties of crystals, synchronicity, ancient Druids, abundance magic, dreamwork, ghost hunting technologies, and more.

The event is being produced by Melanie Marquis who writes that she “was inspired to create this convention in hopes of providing a space for mystical minds and spiritual seekers of wide variety to come together to exchange ideas and enjoy good times!” Marquis is a well-known and award-winning author of a number of Pagan books, and the Modern Spellcaster’s Tarot. She is also a local coordinator for the Pagan Pride Project.

Marquis said in a press release, “I’m excited to provide a new and different convention experience that will give a greater variety of mystical seekers a welcoming space to come together for mutual benefit.” She elaborated on the idea to combine the various types of practitioners, “We have metaphysical fairs, we have Pagan festivals, we have Paranormal conventions–but until Mystical Minds was born, there didn’t seem to be any events designed specifically to bring all these different groups together. So I decided to create Mystical Minds, and people are ready for it. We’re ready for something new. We’re ready to put differences aside and make new friends. We’re ready to open our minds and grow our communities.”

The event location in Newark is part of the tri-city area along Fremont and Union City, and 36 miles southeast of San Francisco. Due to concerns over the Novel coronavirus, COVID-19, attendance is being limited to 150 people, and the event has a page dedicated to protocols and practices designed to keep everyone healthy.


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[Credit: Sowlos / CC via Wikimedia

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Thea coalition of five organizations, the Neshoba Church CUUPs, along with Sapphire Current Camp, OTO, First Polestari of Marion, The Fellowship Of Avalon Memphis – ATC Church, and, Summerland Grove Pagan Church plan to host a new event, Pagan Memphis Fest.

The one-day festival is scheduled for June 6, 2020, and will include rituals, and workshops, vendors, and other activities designed to celebrate the many pagan paths in the local community. It is also listed as “kid-friendly.”

The deadline for vendor registration is March 15, and the cost is $30 per table with extra table space for $15. Information tables are free but require filling out an application and the deadline for submissions is April 1. Submissions for presenting a workshop or ritual are open through March 31.

Prices for attendance have not yet been listed on the event page.

In other news:

  • Heathens Against Hate (HAH) has organized a team and is actively looking for sponsors to participate in the 10th Annual Anti-Defamation League Philadelphia Walk Against Hate which is scheduled to take place on May 17th at  Philadelphia Navy Yard from 8:30 am until noon with the actual walk beginning at 10 am. The walk is two miles long and is a “rain or shine” event. Early bird prices for sponsorship are effective through March 15.
  • Cherry Hill Seminary director, Holli Emore recently organized and participated in a meeting by representatives of Interfaith Partners of South Carolina with a State Department-sponsored group of visiting religious leaders from Algeria. The 8-year-old program is intended to build friendships and support networks around the world. According to a press release from CHS, Emore said, “The conversation was profound and moving, and reminded her of how precious is our religious freedom in the United States.”
  • An exhibit on display at the Jeffrey Deitch gallery in Los Angeles titled, “All of Them Witches” organized by Dan Nadel and Laurie Simmons showcases the art that expresses an occult aesthetic. “The art touches on spells and incantations, wishes and curses, though it needs a dose of adolescence to make sense in the context we’ve created. This crosses into works about or employing notions of gender, puberty, sex, the historical occult, cartoons, ritual, landscape, and fantasy. This iconography offers a recognizable foothold for makers and viewers alike in otherwise traditionally challenging subject matter and allusive poetics. This was the matrix we used to discern artists who shared an affinity with what we thought of as a “witchy” sensibility.”
  • The Velvet Witch Boutique which was started in the business incubator Selden Market in Norfolk, Virginia has done so well it is moving to a new location in Ghent. Velvet Witch owners Ashley Branton and Brooke Miller plan to offer tarot readings, workshops and other events, in addition to her independently produced home decor, spiritual items, jewelry, books, and other gifts. Branton and Miller also seek to showcase the products and art from up-and-coming women artists, both locally and nationally.
  • The Seattle Washington chapter of The Satanic Temple (TST) held a public “Infernal ritual” on the capitol steps in Olympia. Previously, members of the Seattle chapter had reached out to state legislators in hopes of being invited to offer an invocation at the capitol. When no invitation was offered, TST members applied for and received a permit to conduct their Infernal ritual on the capitol steps in support of religious plurality. The ritual drew protests from Christians. One protest group held a banner that said, “Satan has no rights.” Among those protesting was Matthew Shea, conservative Republic Washington State House representative who serves the 4th Legislative District, and might be best noted for his “Biblical Case for War Manifesto” and was accused of domestic terrorism in a report released by the Washington State House of Representatives in December of 2019.
  • As reported by ENews, Lady Gaga told Apple Music reporter, Zane Lowe, that she talked to the “fairies” about what needed expressing in her music. “Sometimes you have to move your body and your spirit and your soul that really even access what you’re actually feeling and I was feeling so down so many days when I was, you know, before I went into the studio to work, and then I would go in and I would just, I, I would sit there with [producer] BloodPop and go, ‘Okay, I’m gonna open the portal, I’m gonna listen, I’m gonna talk to all my fairies,'” Gaga said. “All the fairies that help me write music and I’m gonna ask them what the world needs to hear.”
  • In a recent article on Vice about his new endeavor of mead making, actor Dylan Sprouse spoke about his spirituality and that he identifies as a Heathen. He cited his interest in making mead as being connected to his spiritual path. “For me, and for many Heathens…I don’t think you ever really divorce yourself from your spirituality, what you are is your spirituality, and a lot of the times the things that I do are spiritual in nature just because I’m doing them.” In the interview, he made a point to acknowledge that he and his team at All-Wise Meadery were aware of how some white supremacists have tried to co-opt Heathenry and that All-Wise intends to take their business in a “different direction,” and create an “open-minded, melting-pot establishment.”
  • A new book, Cat Women: An Exploration of Feline Friendships and Lingering Superstitions by Alice Maddicott examines the relationships between women and cats, and how negative stereotypes are connected to terms like, “crazy cat-lady,” and how the myths of cats and “pagans” have also helped to fuel negative images of women and their cats. In an interview with iNews’ Kasia Delgado, Maddicott outlines her experiences that lead her to writing her book. 



Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: The Sacred Rose Tarot, by Johanna Sherman, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Card: Major arcana, sixteen (XVI), The Tower

This week will likely hold a fair amount of disruption, and possible major shifts due to forces beyond anyone’s control. While the potential for disaster is present, it would be prudent to remember that in order to usher in new growth and expand on new ideas, the removal of obstacles and things that no longer serve is necessary.

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.

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