Pagan Community Notes: Wellspring Coven updates statement on Klein, Portland protests, Greg Harder crosses the Veil, and more!

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MINNEAPOLIS – On July 15, the Wellspring Coven added an update to their original statement concerning Kenny Klein and his recent death.  They shared a message with The Wild Hunt, “In a note originally published on April 21st, 2017 we publicly condemned the actions Kenny Klein was convicted of and stated our belief that justice was upheld in his conviction. We believe the victims. As a group, we declared him unwelcome in our circles and unfit to pass on the tradition. While updating this statement to reflect his passing we felt the need to reach out to the wider community with this message in light of the other messages that have been spread.”

Blue Star shared a longer message on their website, part of which is below.

Statement And Update On Kenny Klein

July 15, 2020

Update On An Old Note Published On Our Facebook Page In April Of 2017, You May Read The Old Post Below.

Saturday July 11th, Kenny Klein passed away due to complications from pancreatic cancer. Our stance, outlined below, regarding the crimes he was convicted of has not changed. We condemn these actions and any like them from every quarter. At the same time, we recognize that he influenced many people’s lives, so many people are experiencing complex emotions at his death. We hold compassion for those who are grieving for the man they thought they knew, but also for the people who will now never find closure from the damage he did.

Lady Miel, 3rd Degree of Wellspring Coven and Grove

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Over the weekend, protests over racial inequality and the presence of federal militarized continued. One particular demonstration drew harsh criticism from members of the Black community who have been at the center of organizing the protests.

A photo and accompanying video bearing the hashtag #NakedAthena on Twitter showed a woman wearing nothing but a mask and a beanie standing before a police line and performing yoga poses.

The woman was not connected to the group organizing the protest, and Black community leaders felt her performance detracted from their message.

Other Black community members took to various platforms to outline why her demonstration was both problematic and harmful.

Sarah Penn, a Black, eclectic practitioner had this to say on social media:

I’m sharing some feelings, turn back now if not interested (definitely about to talk about naked protest lady):

I’m already really tired of this image of the naked white woman who did yoga and sat down at a protest. everyone’s cheering her on in amazement that the police turned around and left her alone. It’s like you all woke up today and forgot that police often value the white female body higher than other races (especially black women). Much higher. There was never a question that they were never going to hurt her, they were not. Absolutely, never was she in danger.

I feel some sort of way about this. Everyone’s calling her a goddess and a warrior. do y’all realize that there are black women that are the front of this movement every single day that are getting harmed. Are they not amazing warriors? Are they not goddesses? Do you not have a hundred names to raise them and exalt them? I don’t hear them.

Every time that I look at that picture I think that things would be so different if it had been a naked black woman sitting there with her vagina on display to those officers. What if it has been a fat woman? Or someone with a physical disability? I think different things would be said.

I appreciate that she’s making an effort to try to further the movement. But I’m already getting tired. This is not the greatest leader that we’ve seen in this movement. And I think we need to ask ourselves some questions about why we feels this way about it. It’s one of the biggest acts of centering I’ve ever seen. She put herself in the center of the issue. And all the conversations about her have literally centered on her nudity, and not even about what she was there to do, which is to protest racism and police brutality against the black body.

Lastly, I think often about injecting help where it has not been requested. You know there is absolutely a consent issue there. And I really have to wonder where she got the idea that that would be what black people really needed in this fight was for her to sit naked in front of those officers. I really think on what the thought process must have been her to decide that the best way to keep black bodies safe and and shift the viewpoint on black bodies was to Bear her own. I have not heard a single black person state that they thought this is what would bring us to Freedom. To have more white women get naked in front of the police.

I’m sitting heavy with the remembrance of what happens when black women show their bodies in public and the things that are said about them. Megan the[e] stallion is a great example. She can’t even go to an award show without being slut shamed. And that’s just one of many.

These are just my thoughts. I’m glad that the movement continues to move on and that people are showing up for protest everywhere. But this one is sitting heavy with me. As far as me personally as a black person, this is not what I want as far as allyship. I want instead to see allies holding my sister’s bodies as precious, seeing us in the fight and recognizing us as peaceful delicate warriors.

Penn cites how rapper Megan Thee Stallion has been treated by media, and in another comment, mentions the blowback that Serena Williams received when Vanity Fair published an article that included partially nude pictures of her while pregnant taken by Annie Leibovitz. Beyoncé also received backlash for the photo array that she released in 2017 when she was pregnant with twins. TIME also published an analysis of the photos of Beyoncé.

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Cancellations

LokiFest 2020 announced last week the in-person event has been moved to an online format. The conference is scheduled to take place on August 1, utilizing the Zoom platform and is designed for Lokeans and Pagans interested in the discussion of spiritual paths and practice that pertain to the Norse god, Loki Laufeyjarson.

The theme for Loki Fest 2020 is community and relationship and will feature presentations by Dagulf Loptson, Ky Greene, Randolf McClain, John Story, Justin Nichols, Madison Seale, Stacey Woodward, Amy Marsh, and others. The conference is free, but those wishing to participate must register in advance to receive information necessary for access to the workshops and presentations.

 

Crossings of the Veil

Greg Harder

The Wild Hunt learned that Greg Harder Crossed the Veil on June 17th, 2020. The announcement was private until recently.

Greg was a Witch who was extensively involved in the Pagan community as a quiet and gentle leader since the 1970s. He was an Elder of the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn as well as a Gardnerian Elder.

Greg was also very involved with the Covenant of the Goddess which he had served as National Public Information Office and National Second Officer. Greg is remembered in CoG as an elder who, as mentioned in a newsletter, was a person who “tirelessly worked to improve the face of CoG to the public and it shows. In the 21st century, social media is the way and Greg has made sure to keep CoG at the forefront.” Greg started CoG’s presence on Facebook.

Greg received the Covenant’s Award of Honor is 2016.

Greg was dedicated to strengthening intergroup bonds. He launched a Facebook page called People of the Earth, a project to discuss Indigenous issues and Earth-related problems. He also managed the social media presence for North America Interfaith Network (NAIN) and the United Religions Initiative-Multiregion.  The United Religions Initiative, wrote “His dedication to interfaith outreach was fueled by his sincere desire to break the barriers among people who fear one another.”

Greg was also an extraordinary photographer and generously donated those talents to many Pagan groups and organizations.  His artwork and images can be viewed on Flickr.

As a videographer, Greg made a documentary called “Between the Worlds”, that included a series of Northern Californian Craft and Pagan rituals, events, performances and performers, and excerpts from Goddess Television Productions.

Greg was involved as a photojournalist via the Pagan News Collective and The Wild Hunt sharing his images numerous times. He covered not only Covenant events but also events like Pagan Pride Los Angeles and Parliament of World Religions from a Pagan angle.

Greg is survived by his wife Rachael Watcher.

May he rest in the arms of the Goddess and may he return with renewed strength and passion.

What is remembered lives!

 

In other news:

  • On hiking trails near Port Coquitlam in Canada, about 25 miles north of the U.S. border, several lemons were found tied to trees with twine. The lemons had been sliced in half and then pierced with pins and needles to hold them back together. The people who found the lemons removed them and placed them in the trash. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were notified, but say the removal of the evidence (lemons) is likely to hinder their investigation. Police say they have received two separate reports of lemons being left in trees between June 22 and July 14. They have also publicly asked whoever has left the lemons to “stop, and then talk to us to explain what you were doing.” A lemon used in the fashion described could be a spell to produce any number of effects including souring a relationship or restraining an abusive person.
  • The Star Tribune reported that the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) had purchased an abandoned Lutheran church in the rural Minnesota town of Murdock, a little over 100 miles west of Minneapolis. Named Baldurhofs, this makes the third Hof the AFA have established. The other two, Óðinshof in Brownsville, California, and Þórshof in Linden, North Carolina. According to the article, residents of Murdock were not exactly enthusiastic about the AFA’s purchase of the church or moving into their community. We will continue to follow this story.
  • The Satanic Temple reported that the Adopt-A-Street sign that bears their name as sponsoring the street was defaced in Missouri. Members of the Ozarks Legion managed to remove the black paint obscuring their name, and restore the sign. No word on who might have been responsible or whether a police report was filed.

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: The Housewives Tarot by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum published by Quirk Books.

Card: Major arcana, (six), The Lovers

The week ahead holds the potential for many distractions and hazardous conditions for those who do not pay attention. Whatever is held dear in the heart–be it another person, place, or even a cause–it would be wise to remember the responsibilities and even repercussions that often accompany those loves.

 

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.