Pagan Community Notes: Crossings of the Veil, Indigenous voter impacted election, and gray wolves win ballot initiative and other news

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TWH – As details of the election are being better understood, one important fact that has emerged has been the impact that Indigenous voters had on the election.

In states like Montana and South Dakota, the ballot tally from counties that encompass tribal land, the percentage of voters and their choice for president was significant. In Montana, Glacier county which is where the Blackfeet Nation reservation resides, 64% of the vote went for Biden. By comparison, in the neighboring county of Toole over 75% voted for Trump.

In Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, which overlaps with the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Pine Ridge reservation, Biden won with 88%. And in Todd County, which overlaps the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, Biden won 77% of the vote compared with the rest of the state which voted for Trump at a rate of 61%.

While the Indigenous vote in northern Plains states did not change the end result when it came to who the state selected for president, in the Sun Belt states it may have had had much more of an impact.

In states like Arizona, the impact of tribal voters is what may help tip the state for Biden. Three counties- Apache, Navajo, and Coconino- which overlap with the Navajo and Hopi Nations, 97% of the Indigenous vote was for Biden. Within the Tohono O’odham Nation, which spans Pima, Maricopa, and Pinal counties, most precincts were reporting above 90% of the vote for Biden.

The numbers of Indigenous peoples across the nation may be relatively small, but how their votes made a difference in Arizona and New Mexico cannot be dismissed. In elections where the margins are thin, like Minnesota, where Biden won by a mere 20,000 votes, the Indigenous population of a little over 90,000 can make a big difference.

This election also saw six Native candidates win their races for seats in the U.S. Congress, with New Mexico to be the second state to be represented completely by women of color, two of whom are Indigenous.

Indigenous candidates also ran in and won more races in state, county, and local races than ever before. Stephanie Byers, Chickasaw Nation, is poised to become the first transgender woman in the Kansas Legislature. Democrat Ponka-We Victors, of the Tohono O’odham, and Ponca Nations, who was the first Native woman to be elected to the Kansas statehouse 10 years ago, will return for a sixth term.

Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Isleta Pueblo Nation, who was appointed by Washington state’s governor to replace a retiring state Supreme Court judge won her bid for election and will keep her seat.

The potential for Native voters and candidates to have an increasing impact on elections can be easily imagined when looking closely at the results of 2020’s returns.

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Crossings of the Veil

Cristina Perales, aka Jana de Madrid, priestess of Iberia and Avalon, and co-founder of the Templo de la Diosa en Madrid (Madrid Goddess Temple) is reported to have crossed the Veil after complications from surgery last Friday.

Jana de Madrid is remembered as a feminist, delegate, teacher, and friend by her colleagues at the Madrid Education Federation.

The Templo de la Diosa en Madrid Facebook page offered a remembrance of her as “a great teacher, a convinced activist, and the heart of a tribe, who cries her departure across the veil today. Her presence has always brought light everywhere. We remember her laughter, her joy, her vitality as well as her great knowledge and wisdom.”

Jana de Madrid first trained under Argentinian Priestess, Sandra Román, and then went on the become a Priestess of Avalon through the Glastonbury Goddess Temple in England.

She was the co-creator of the Madrid Conferences of the Goddess in 2010 and 2011, and one of two reference tutors for the Iberia Mystery School in Spain. Jana de Madrid also taught Spanish Language and Literature classes at a public institute in the Community of Madrid.

Loving and heartfelt remembrances from Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and the U.S. were posted on the Templo de la Diosa en Madrid Facebook post.

Due to pandemic restrictions, the Templo de la Diosa en Madrid is limiting the entry of those who wish to honor her memory to six persons at a time during the week of November 9 between the hours of 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 5:00 to 8:00 PM local time.

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Anne Erika Farrenkopf Colinco Kennedy, author of a number of books on holistic health and aromatherapy passed away suddenly on November 1.

Kennedy was born in Loveland, Colorado, and grew up in the Bitterroot Valley, which helped to inspire her great love for horses, animals, and wildlife.

She served in the Coast Guard as a radioman in Alaska, and after leaving the service worked as a dispatcher for the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and helped them to implement the new 911 service during her time there.

Kennedy eventually left the West Coast to settle near Mathias, West Virginia, and create a home that included gardens and quite a variety of pets, some of which others might consider livestock. She listed animal advocacy as one of her focuses on her Facebook profile, and often posted about the land that she lived on and loved.

After relocating to West Virginia, Kennedy focused on her work as a freelance writer, penning everything from ad copy to travel blogs and books.

She is likely best known for her book, Herbal Medicine Natural Remedies: 150 Herbal Remedies to Heal Common Ailments (2017) but also notably authored, The Portable Essential Oils (2016), Essential Oils Natural Remedies (2015), and Essential Oils for Beginners (2013).

A memorial service is scheduled for November 18, 2020, and a celebration of her life will be held at some point in the future on the land she loved.

What is remembered, lives.

In other news:

  • Cara Schulz, a former TWH colleague,  won her re-election bid to keep her seat on the council of the city of Burnsville in Minnesota and congratulate her continued success.
  • Circle Sanctuary will host an online Veteran’s Day Celebration on November 11 at 12 noon EST on their Youtube channel. The ceremony will include the presentation of the recognition award of the Pagan Military Service Ribbon (PMSR)  for veterans, as well as active-duty Pagans serving in the Military. Anyone who is eligible to receive the PMSR can be recognized by completing Circle Sanctuary’s application. Selena Fox will also speak about Circle Sanctuary Military Ministries over the years on this special program of her weekly Nature Spirituality podcast on Circle Sanctuary’s internet radio network, CSNP, on Wednesday, November 11, at 6 pm EST. Additionally, Circle Sanctuary is facilitating the Veterans Day Networking via their Pagan Military Association Facebook page.
  • On October 29, 2020, The Satanic Temple (TST) filed a motion requesting the Supreme Court to disqualify newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett from ruling on TST’s lawsuit challenging Missouri’s abortion laws which they assert discriminates against the religious beliefs of TST members that abortion is not murder. TST’s motion is based on public statements made by Justice Barrett that reflect her hostility to abortion, her religious belief that a human being comes into existence at conception, and her stated opinion Roe v. Wade was a “barbaric” decision that has caused the loss of millions of lives. The motion cites federal law (28 U.S.C. §455(a)) which reads in part,  “[a]ny justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The case TST will bring before the court revolves around around “Judy Doe” who sought to terminate her pregnancy in the state of Missouri, but was subjected to a number of legal restrictions that Doe felt deeply conflicted with her own religious beliefs and violated the Establishment clause of the first amendment. The 8th circuit court declined to hear the case which prompted TST to appeal to Supreme Court.
  • One of the possible environmental triumphs of the 2020 election was a ballot initiative to reintroduce gray wolves to Colorado. Proposition 114 directs state wildlife managers to bring wolves back to Colorado’s western mountains by 2024. The ballot initiative was a simple yes or no vote, and it passed by a razor-thin margin, and means that Colorado will become the first state where voters have directed the reintroduction of gray wolves rather than the federal government. The Trump administration removed gray wolves from the endangered species list. The new proposition could make it easier for Colorado wildlife officials to implement the initiative since they would not have to have permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage the project. Unfortunately, they also might not be eligible for federal funding to help with the project either if the wolves are no longer protected under federal law.


Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Modern SPellCaSteR’s Tarot, by Melanie Marquis, Illustrations by Scott Murphy, published by Llewellyn Worldwide.

Card: Two (2) Wands

The week ahead could find some feeling hollow, discontent, and unfulfilled despite having achieved a measure of success. The key is to stay focused and on course despite distractions. Conversely, feelings of dissatisfaction that are deeply rooted and cannot be overcome may require a careful re-examination of the path forward and adjustment of goals.


Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.