Pagan Community Notes: Klein dies in prison, Oklahoma Supreme court ruling, Cairril Adaire crosses Veil, and more!

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[Pixabay]

 

WASHINGTON PARISH, La. – It has been reported that Kenny Klein, who was convicted on charges of child pornography and sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017, has died from pancreatic cancer while in custody.

Klein ex-wife, Dr. Tzipora Katz, who testified during his trial released a statement via Facebook inviting others to share as needed yesterday regarding Klein’s death:

I know that there are people waiting for me to make some sort of statement about the passing of the creep. I’ve been trying to craft something to say about it for the past few hours. I’ve decided to simply share what I sent to my therapist in lieu of anything else.
I got the call yesterday that the creep died on Saturday evening. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer only a week prior. I cannot imagine the pain he endured in those last days, the loneliness he faced as he died alone. Or how is mother is feeling, now having to bury her second child from the same cancer.
I’m numb and conflicted with the relief of knowing that he can never hurt another person again and the myriad of human rights he was denied while in prison. I’m not yet sure what life without the fear of his retaliation will be like nor what it will be like the next time my doorbell rings unexpectedly and I can breathe easy knowing that he can never again try to sue me and destroy my financial situation. This is all new territory and I’m going to attempt to be kind to myself and focus on my work and my family.
I thought you should know. You should also know that I’m able to write this because of your amazing support and skills over these past few years. Never doubt that you made the right choice in your profession. I’m sure many people are walking this earth because of you and the help you’ve given all of us.
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If someone you know wants to know what I’m feeling or if I have a statement, you are free to copy and paste this as your reply.
I hope that the people whose lives he touched are able to find peace as well. Even the ones that supported him to the very end. Their faith in him was misplaced (like the people who support #IQ45) but they are still human beings and should be allowed to mourn in their own fashion. Preferably as far away from me and mine as they have always been. May our paths continue to never cross.

Klein was serving his sentence in the B.B. “Sixty” Rayburn Correctional Facility in Washington Parish near Angie, Louisiana. Klein was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just a week prior to his death. As of this morning, the Louisiana Department of Corrections had not updated their database to reflect Klein’s death.

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INDIAN SPRINGS, Nev. – In a letter to members and patrons of the Temple of Sekhmet, founder Genevieve Vaughn announced a series of changes on June 27 noting:

“Women and their values have been sacrificed throughout history by men (and systems) with patriarchal aggressive and exclusionary power-over values and women have not been able to give to the world the benefit of their other-oriented and peace-loving ways because patriarchal men have dominated the public mind at all levels – local, national, international, religious, moral, philosophical, economic, academic and military etc. In the last century or so many women, especially white women in the North have been assimilated into capitalism and have been liberated to some extent from the sacrificial drudgery that had been their lot. However, paradoxically, in doing so they have often assimilated and validated Patriarchal Capitalist values. Instead of changing the system they have been used by it.”

Vaughn’s statement is available at the Temple’s page on Facebook.

The following day Vaughan clarified the statement noting that others have asked about trans women and men: “In order to try to tell you what I think about gender I have to start from infancy and talk about how all babies are first raised in the gift economy and then some have to give it up. I think we have left out a binary that is deeper than the gender binary. It is the coexistence of two opposing economies – gift and exchange.” 

Vaughn goes on to describe an economic gifting-vs-exchange model adding, “I believe that much of the LGBTQ movement is an unconscious attempt to subvert and heal this situation individually without recognizing the connections sexuality has with the economic and cultural struggle of the gift vs the exchange paradigm… Nevertheless, I think we feel it in our bones and in our bodies. Trans people ( M to F) who become physiologically women may still often want to engage in one-up one-down power games with each other and with women, now even about who is more feminine or more enticing to cis men. Some have also appropriated the power-over of definition, often not even allowing women to claim their own category. ”

Vaughn closes, “So to conclude this long discussion, when I talk about women’s leadership according to women’s values I am talking primarily about women-born women and th gift economy values that are in deep and continuing contrast with the values of capitalist patriarchy, and have been for many centuries.”

Reactions in support of the trans community were swift as were several resignations from Temple leadership and repudiations of Vaughn’s position in the comment sections on Facebook. Some members of the temple expressed their sadness and confusion about the decision.

The Wild Hunt contacted various members of the Temple of Sekhmet who either refused comment or chose to comment anonymously. They told TWH that they always affirmed that the Temple would be women-led and guided by women’s leadership with men having participatory rather than leadership roles. But they were disappointed at the Temple’s direction regarding the LGBT+ community and excluding trans women from leadership.

 

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Noclip at en.wikipedia

The Front of US Supreme Court at dusk [Wikimedia]

WASHINGTON – Last week the Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling in the McGirt v. Oklahoma case. Justice Gorsuch sided with the more liberal justices, Sotomayer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Breyer, and wrote the opinion of the court.

The case centered around the jurisdiction of federal criminal law and hinged on whether the Muskogee (Creek) Indian Reservation still existed.

The court ruled that the Muskogee (Creek) Nation does indeed still exist, and therefore so does the reservation per the 1833 Treaty which defined the borders of the Creek Nation. The boundaries of reservation encompass nearly half of the state of Oklahoma and include the city of Tulsa, and comprises 19 million acres.

The ruling also affects four other tribes within the state of Oklahoma, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole tribes.

The Muskogee (Creek) Nation issued the following statement shortly after the ruling was handed down:

“The Supreme Court today kept the United States’ sacred promise to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of a protected reservation. Today’s decision will allow the Nation to honor our ancestors by maintaining our established sovereignty and territorial boundaries. We will continue to work with federal and state law enforcement agencies to ensure that public safety will be maintained throughout the territorial boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.”

While many celebrated the 5-4 decision, how it applies is complicated. The ramifications for civil and criminal crimes that occur within the boundaries of the reservation will shift how cases are prosecuted and where they are tried. Minor or lesser crimes that are committed by a Native American within the boundaries of the reservation will be tried in tribal courts. Major crimes committed by tribal members within the boundaries will now be handled by the federal courts rather than the state courts.

This ruling does not, however, affect who owns the land, only who has jurisdiction.

University of Iowa, law school dean, Kevin Washburn explained to NPR, that the ruling “doesn’t mean the tribe owns all the land within the reservation, just like the county doesn’t own all the land within the county. In fact, it probably doesn’t own very much of that land. That’s not what a reservation is these days.”

“For Indian people, their land is really important, and treaties are really important. They’re sacred. And this reaffirms the sacredness of those promises and those treaties.”

“Now and then there’s a great case that helps you keep the faith about the rule of law,” Washburn said. “And this is one of those.”

Moving forward, the precedent set by last week’s ruling could have far-reaching effects, and the conservative members of the court voiced those concerns in their dissent written by Chief Justice Roberts:

“Across this vast area, the State’s ability to prosecute serious crimes will be hobbled and decades of past convictions could well be thrown out. On top of that, the Court has profoundly destabilized the governance of eastern Oklahoma. The decision today creates significant uncertainty for the State’s continuing authority over any area that touches Indian affairs, ranging from zoning and taxation to family and environmental law.”

The ruling will also open the way for those convicted in the past and tried by the state to challenge their convictions using the argument that the state did not have jurisdiction to try their cases.

It is important to note that at least three other states, Arizona, New Mexico, and Montana, have a similar arrangement.

 

Crossings of the Veil

Cairril Lee (Adaire) Mills  December 23, 1967 – July 8, 2020

Adaire identified as Celtic Witch and priestess of the Goddess Brigid.

Among her many talents, she was an entrepreneur and owned her own web design company. She was also a singer and passionate about the performing arts, as well as being a history buff, a feminist, and political activist.

Adaire founded the Pagan Educational Network (PEN) in 1993 to educate the community about Paganism and build community with non-Pagan communities. One of the major campaigns that PEN took on was the “Dictionary Project” whose goal was to encourage major dictionaries to change their definitions for “Paganism” and “Witchcraft” to reflect more contemporary Pagan meanings. PEN’s efforts were successful in convincing dictionaries to update their definitions, though most still include more negative and derogatory meanings.

It was through her work on the Dictionary Project that Adaire would go on to co-found the Our Freedom Coalition: A Pagan Civil Rights Organization (OFC). In 2001, Adaire organized the Pagan Summit in an attempt to bring together a variety of leaders from various groups and areas that often did not see eye-to-eye, but who were all involved in the Pagan movement.

Pagan Summit of 2001

The OFC was created to both continue the goodwill and cooperation of the Pagan Summit, and for Pagans to mount a coordinated response to civil rights actions and violations.

Adaire inspired many to do more and take a more active role within the Pagan community. Remembrances that have been posted on her memorial page, and those that have been shared all over the internet, highlight the impact she had on those who knew and loved her. Friends describe her as a fiercely loyal, brilliant and sharp of wit, hilarious, and the lovely quality of her singing voice and her laughter.

Services for Adaire were held in Bloomington, Indiana, today with a memorial scheduled for this evening in McCormick’s Creek State Park. Donations in her name are requested to be made to Lady Liberty League.

What is remembered, lives!

 

In other news:

  • The N.F.L. team in Washington, D.C. announced that it will remove its current derogatory name. In a statement, the team said they are retiring the name and logo upon completion of their review and selection of a new brand. Suzan Shown Harjo, a Native American activist told The New York Times “This day of the retirement of the r-word slur and stereotypical logo belongs to all those Native families.” She added that the name change of the Washington team represents a victory for people who “bore the brunt of and carry the scars from the epithets, beatings, death threats and other emotional and physical brutalities resulting from all the ‘Native’ sports names and images that cause harm and injury to actual Native people.”
  • Last month attorney Lynn Fitch, acting on behalf of The Satanic Temple (TST), sent a letter to the Mississippi Department of Justice that warned he would take legal action against any flag designs that include “In God We Trust.” While legislators passed the law that removed the old flag which prohibits the use of the Confederate symbol, they also included in the bill that the new flag must contain the phrase, “In God We Trust.” In the letter Fitch sent, he outlines the tenets of TST and states, “As you can see, none of the tenets should be controversial with respect to representing all Mississippians. On the other hand, we can imagine that there would be some Mississippians who would be a bit put off by the words “In Satan we Trust” on the state flag. If you can imagine that, then you might imagine how atheists, Satanists, and other people of nontheistic faiths could feel excluded by the addition of ‘In God we Trust’ to the state flag.”
  • A new museum curator battle on social media revved up last week, the battle of the butts! What followed involved a certain amount of hilarity and inspired hashtags like #BestMuseumBum by the Yorkshire Museum which challenged other museums in a Tweet to “Beat This!” which featured a picture of a Roman statuette with a slightly marred posterior. Soon after the Ota Memorial Museum of Art posted a picture of Sumo wrestler bare bums, followed by The Andy Warhol Museum, and many others. Notable mention to Aberdeen Uni Museums and Special Collections for their creative addition of what they termed a “weaponised bum” a medieval work of art that featured a bull that is clearly releasing gas in attempt to fend off armed knights.
  • A newly discovered comet, named Comet C2020 F3 NEOWISE is currently viewable in the wee hours of the morning, just before sunrise in the north-eastern part of the sky in Northern Hemisphere. Beginning this Saturday, Neowise will be viewable shortly after sunset and will become more viewable throughout July as passes closest by the earth on July 22. The comet is roughly about 3 miles across in size and made of particles that scientists believe date back 4.6 billion years and the beginning of our solar system. While it is not as bright as the 1997 Hale-Bopp comet, it is certainly something to see. If you miss it this month, you’ll have to wait 7,000 years before it returns.

 

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Dreams of Gaia Tarot (Pocket Edition) by Ravynne Phelan published by Blue Angel Publishing.

Card: Four (4) of Earth

This week calls for a commitment to the process of a slow and steady forward momentum which may feel a bit like an endurance test. Be mindful that taking time to rest and recharge will help to prevent poor decisions made in haste, and keep fears and doubts at bay. The way forward that offers a positive outcome calls for perseverance and measured approach.

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.