Pagan Community Notes: Video of Hecate flash-ritual at the MET, two more festivals shift to online access, Earth Day turns 50, and more!

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NEW YORK – Last week, the Witches of New York published a video of a “pop-up” ritual to Hecate held at the Metropolitan Museum and performed by The Temple of Hecate of NYC.

The ritual was performed last year on March 9, long before the current health emergency hit and social distancing restrictions were in effect.

According to the description on the Witches of New York’s YouTube channel:

“[T]he Temple of Hecate Inc. Priesthood converged on the Hecate mosaic room and held a short ritual in the middle of the Greco-Roman art exhibit!!! The ritual was a secret with the actual location disclosed the last min to those who showed up. It was the in-and-out, guerrilla-style ritual lasting less than 2min – what a rush!!!”

The flash-ritual took place in room M of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale, a recreation of the room which was buried when Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupted in 79 C.E.

The room features images of the frescoes that were discovered and excavated in 1900 C.E., and considered to be some of the finest examples of Roman art ever to be found.

The villa itself was believed to have been constructed in the first century B.C.E., and while the room bears the name of Publius Fannius Synistor historians now believe it was more likely that it belonged to Lucius Herennius Florus.

The Metropolitan Museum offers a virtual tour of the room that is free and was created in part by using the model created by King’s Visualisation Lab at King’s College in London.


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Beltane Fire Society Fire Priests practice fire handling 2012 Samhuinn by Raini ScottTWH – Two more major events announced they would be offered as virtual, online experiences.

The Beltane Fire Society has announced that due to efforts to “flatten the curve” and spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, they have canceled their annual Beltane Eve event that takes place each year atop Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The event draws as many as 12,000 people from around the globe each year. This year the event will be free for anyone who has internet access, though the group is seeking donations to help offset the cost and the loss of funding due to cancellation of the on-site event.

The virtual program seeks to replicate the annual journey that leads to the top of Calton Hill by utilizing photographs, video, poetry, and messages from volunteers that the Fire Society feels reflects and resonates with the festival’s purpose.

The online program begins at 7:00 pm (GMT) on April 30 and can be streamed via the Beltane Fire Society’s website and multiple social media platforms. The group will also have the contents available for viewing on their website after the event is over.

Pagan Unity Festival is joining forces with Three Gates Gathering to produce a joint, virtual event. This will be the first time in its 23-year history that Pagan Unity Festival has had to cancel its on-site event.

The pairing of the two events has created a larger than usual and more diverse lineup of content that boasts 24 presenters and 10 bands. Presenters include Christopher Penzcak, Mat Auryn, Alfred WillowHawk, Oberon Zell and Byron Ballard, with musical guests including Gina LaMonte, Lou Garou, Krista Chapman Green, and Brian Henke among many others.

They have titled the joint event, “Now We Change The World.”

Three Gates Gathering is A Mystery School event and lists their school mission as: “to provide an educational opportunity for individuals from every tradition and at every level, to learn and grow from each other in a stress-free environment while also accommodating adult needs. Encouraging each individual to create their own path in every aspect of their lives. To Respect and Honor themselves, each other and the world.”

The virtual event is scheduled for May 28 and runs through May 31. Pages on both websites promise that a schedule is forthcoming.


In other news:

  • Circle Sanctuary plans to hold their annual Earth Day celebration online via Facebook on Thursday, April 18. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am (CDT) and run until 2:00 pm. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and Selena Fox who participated in the very first one has continued to offer ritual celebration every year. Fox will be offering a number of workshops and other environmentally-focused events that are listed on Fox’s Facebook page Notes.
  • The village of Kepuh on the island of Java in Indonesia has incorporated an unusual tactic to encourage people to stay in their homes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They have utilized the efforts of a youth group to create “pocong” patrols. “Pocong” in Indonesian folklore are similar to ghosts and represent trapped souls of the dead. The youth group coordinated with the local police in hopes of tapping into old superstitions to deter people from going out. Initially, their patrols had the opposite effect, and caused people to venture out in search of them. The patrols have since shifted their tactics and now conduct surprise patrols.
  • Wildfires burning in Ukraine near Chernobyl where, in 1986 one of the worst nuclear power plant disasters occurred, have reignited and the wind had shifted direction on Friday and began blowing smoke and particles in the direction of Kyiv. Chernobyl sits in the middle of what is called the “Zone of Alienation” a perimeter which consists of an 18-mile radius out from the destroyed plant. While there was concern over the spread of radioactive particles to Kyiv which has a population of three million people, officials have stated that radiation levels in the city are within normal range. Radiation readings taken within the forest where smoke was swirling registered much higher. There was also concern that the winds could spread the fire to the plant site and the remaining cleanup equipment. So far the fires have burned over 8,600 acres of land.
  • Last week it was reported that conservators at Perth Museum and Art Gallery had discovered images of the Egyptian Goddess Amentet or Imentet painted on the interior of a 3,000-year-old coffin belonging to a priestess or princess of Thebes, Ta-Kr-Hb. Imentet/Amentet is also known as She of the West or sometimes as Lady of the West, and believed to be one of the Goddesses who welcomed the dead to the afterlife. The discovery was made as conservators were preparing the mummy for display at the new City Hall Museum in Perth. It was the first time the mummy had been moved in over 100-years, and is in fragile condition from damage inflicted by ancient tomb robbers and Victorian enthusiasts. The mummy was donated to the Perth Museum by the Alloa Society of Natural Science and Archaeology in 1936.


Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Fenestra Tarot by Chatriya Hemharnvibul,  published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Card: Two of Pentacles (2)

The week ahead is likely to feel a bit like a balancing act. In making choices or decisions it is vital that data and information are collected and analyzed prior to rendering a decision. Conversely, acting without proper preparation could result in being overextended and off-balance.

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.