The email sent out by National First Officer (NFO), Lord Verderius read, in part:
We all know that difficult times ~ call for difficult measures…
On April 12th the National Officers and the Governing Board Reps met for one of our more solemn and difficult meetings to discuss the need for change this year in the way the Covenant does business. The Covid-19 virus is here and a viable threat to everyone’s health and our way of life. We acknowledge that this virus will not be going away anytime in the near future. For the safety, protection and wellbeing of all members of the Covenant, we have collectively decided to cancel our in-person Grand Council / Merry Meet this August of 2020 in Santa Ana, California.
We firmly believe there is a vital need to host this year’s Grand Council proceedings “Virtually” so that all participating members remain safe and healthy for this Grand Council and future gatherings, once this global pandemic has passed. However, this task poses many challenges for all of us, as we work to find a suitable solution that will properly meet the needs of the Covenant members to attend and participate in the “virtual” Grand Council meeting.
The NFO went on to urge patience as he would be working closely with other National Officers and Governing Board Representatives to detail how various aspects of a “virtual” Grand Council and voting will take place.
TWH will continue to follow this story and report back with updated details as they become available.
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WILLIAMSBURG, Mass. – The Earth Spirit Community announced last week it would be postponing its Rites of Spring celebration until Labor Day weekend due to concerns of health- and safety-related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Earth Spirit community issued the following statement:
EarthSpirit will offer a variety of online programming during the week of May 20-25th. Although it cannot replace being together, the seasons continue to turn and we will do our best to celebrate the coming warmth in Rites of Spring spirit. More information about these offerings will be posted in the next couple of weeks.
All registrations submitted for May 2020 will be rolled over to the fall. Those who already registered should keep an eye out for an email in the next couple of days with details on pricing and other relevant information. A new registration link will be shared soon for the fall event for those of you who have not yet registered.
We are disappointed to make this announcement and will sorely miss being together in May. However, we are confident that this is not only the right but also the only choice we can make to keep each other safe during this unprecedented time. Though we are isolated physically, our web of connection with each other and the Earth remains strong and will sustain us until we can be together again.
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TWH – Protests in multiple U.S. cities against the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continued for a second week, and some contained elements of white supremacy. Photos taken at two protests showed some participants wearing symbols connected to Heathenry.
One photo taken of the two men carrying an anti-semitic sign at protest last week in Columbus, Ohio was wearing a Weisser Wolf shirt with the Wolfsangel, and the other who was later identified as Matthew Patrick Slatzer, 36,
At a protest in Pittsburgh, several members of the Iron City Citizens Response Unit were wearing jackets with valknut patches, at least one valknut patch had a runic border on it. While online searches for the group revealed a Facebook page and a website, there were no overt references to Heathenry.
However, the logo on the header of their website, which appears to be under construction as it only has one page with no content, clearly includes the valknut. Whether this group has ties in any way to some form of Heathenry or has just co-opted the symbol is undetermined.
According to the FBI and researchers who track extremist activity, some extremist groups view the current pandemic as a new opportunity to proliferate their messages of hate, recruit younger members, and call for violence.
A number of the protests around the country the past few weeks have seen an increase in armed participants garbed in paramilitary gear. Exactly what, if any, ties to white supremacy and or fringe Heathenry these various groups have is unknown.
Crossings of the Veil
We are saddened to hear that Cori Taylor has been welcomed into the arms of the goddesses and gods she served. Cori was deeply involved in the Pagan community including the Morrigan’s Call and Harvest Gathering. She was a graphic designer and fine artist who worked in a variety of media including mehndi or henna. Friends referred to Cori as a force of nature; heavily involved in the New England community.
Stephanie Woodfield shared “Cori was a brilliant soul. The world is a lesser place without her in it. She could light up a room with her smile, her love of life and her infectious unforgettable laughter. She was kind and generous, a leader, a priestess, a mother, and the most amazing friend. The Morrigan welcomes a warrior and daughter home, another ruby for her nest. There won’t be a day that goes by that I don’t miss this beautiful soul.” Cori was a mother, sister, daughter, and Priestess and joins the Mighty Dead.
What is remembered, lives!
In other news:
- In what might be one of the stranger competitions online, various museums have been posting using #CURATORBATTLE and #CreepiestObject. Creepy doll heads, snuff boxes for pubic hair, and fiji mermaids all made the list of postings by various museums. The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall got a mention in a recent news article when they tweeted a picture of their taxidermy fox wearing a wax human death mask.
- Major universities like Yale, Notre Dame Harvard, and MIT have all begun offering more opportunities to take massive open online courses (MOOCs). While MOOCs have been around since 2008, the recent pandemic and shutdown have prompted a variety of universities to widen the range of courses they offer this way. Harvard is offering one class that may be of particular interest for Witches and Pagans — Magic in the Middle Ages: Study how alchemy, geomancy, and witchcraft were viewed by various countries and in different time periods through medieval Europe. Taught on Coursera by Godefroid de Callataÿ and Sébastien Moureau of the University of Louvain, Dr. Pau Castell Granados, and Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel of the University of Barcelona, Dr. Gemma Pellissa Prades of Harvard University, and doctoral candidate Blanca Villuendas.
- Israeli archaeologists studying the three oldest stone arrangements of monoliths at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey have discovered an underlying architectural plan that involves a hidden geometric pattern of an equilateral triangle. The new discovery suggests earlier theories about the site may have been incorrect. The use of geometric principles and the ability to apply them to construction suggests that the culture of the time was somewhat more complex than previously thought. The placement of the stones at Göbekli Tepe dates to between 12,000 and 11,000 years ago. The new findings suggest that at least three of the stone circles were constructed in tandem and contradicts previous ideas that they were built successively. Researchers believe the undertaking of such a massive project is unprecedented in what they previously knew about the typical hunter-gatherer societies. The site contains at least 15 other similar structures in the surrounding area that have not been thoroughly excavated.
- A pendant dating to possibly the 7th or 8th century is reminiscent of the famous Glenorchy Charmstone which is in the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh. The polished clear stone is believed to have been remounted in a silver setting somewhere during the 17th century and possibly may have been part of a reliquary. “Charmstones” were used as amulets to protect against witchcraft, and even cure illnesses. The charmstone pendant was recently auctioned by Sotheby’s and sold for £17,500, many times its originally offered price of £150-200.
- A newly discovered venomous green pit viper found throughout South and Southeast Asia has been named Trimeresurus salazar by scientists in India where the snake was first discovered. The name is a nod to the Harry Potter character, Salazar Slytherin, and the Hogwart’s Slytherin house. Trimeresurus salazar is a subgenus of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède which includes at least 48 other species of vipers. The team that named the snake has suggested its common name be “Salazar’s pit viper.”
Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte
Deck: The Divine Canine Tarot by Zack Loup, printed by Wheel of Fortune Tarot.
Card: Ten (10) of Wands
The week ahead is liable to require skills in gauging the number of commitments that can safely be carried, and how much must be handed off to others to manage. Conversely, some of the burden carried may no longer be worth the effort and may need to be set aside or purged.
Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.