Pagan Community Notes: Week of March 22, 2021

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Scottish Pagan Federation Logo

EDINBURGH – The new Pagan tartan the Scottish Pagan Federation (SPF) designed and commissioned that  TWH reported on in February has been woven. The new tartan coincides with the  SPF’s 50th anniversary.

SPF made the announcement of the tartan’s completion last week on Facebook.

Scottish Pagan Federation Tartan [Courtesy]

SPF also noted that Gemini Aspect, the designers and distributors who will be making a range of products featuring the tartan–tarot bags, altar cloths, cloaks, and robes trimmed with the tartan–will be placing a large order once the mills reopen their books. SPF also suggests those interested in obtaining a measure of the fabric contact Gemini Aspect directly either through their website or Facebook page.

The new tartan is 100% wool, contains blue to represent the Picts, white for their priesthood, the early druids, as well as representations of the five elements of earth, air, fire, water, and spirit in their traditional colors.

Additionally, yellow and white lines link to the past, present, and future of all Pagans, and are representative of the sun and white for the moon,

SPF’s purple and green colors were also added, and an additional green representing nature, the land, and the natural world, and purple represented Scottish heather, which too reflects a deeper symbolism within magic, wise women, and folk healers. The combined colors of green and purple also represent Scotland’s national flower, the thistle.

One last shade of blue was added to complete the tartan and tie all of the various elements together, and represents Scotland’s lochs, rivers, and watercourses.

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TWH – As the number of violent attacks on Asian-Americans has continued to escalate,  last week the murders of 6 Asian-American women in Atlanta have galvanized national attention. Tribe of the Oak issued the following statement condemning the unjust and unwarranted attacks.

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TWH – Parliament of the World’s Religions has also issued a statement regarding hate crimes against Asian Americans and the Atlanta Shooting.

It reads, in part:

The Parliament of the World’s Religions condemns the violent and racist attack perpetrated in Cherokee County and Atlanta against the Asian American community that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent. Our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers for the victims and their families of this horrific attack.

While authorities still investigate the nature of the crime, we cannot ignore the hate and xenophobia which has motivated the increase in violence against the Asian American community. The Parliament of the World’s Religions is committed to a culture of non-violence and respect for life, as agreed upon in our signature document Towards A Global Ethic.

“To be authentically human in the spirit of our great religious and ethical traditions means that in public as well as in private life we must be concerned for others and ready to help. We must never be ruthless and brutal. Every people, every race, every religion must show tolerance and respect–indeed high appreciation–for every other.”

Towards A Global Ethic: A Declaration of the Parliament of the World’s Religions

A Recognition of the Hate & Violence
There has been much debate regarding the nature of the shooting but what cannot be debated is that Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the United States and countless victims of Asian descent around the world have faced growing attacks of hate speech, harassment, violence, and domestic terrorism. Rampant racism against these communities, which has existed for generations, has been made worse by the ignorant views that they are to blame for the COVID-19 pandemic.

We cannot continue to ignore the hate, violence, and terrorism that the community is facing. We invite friends and colleagues in the interfaith movement and all peoples everywhere to commit to actions of peace, love, and understanding as antidotes to all acts of hatred and violence.

Click through to read their full statement.

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BRISTOL, Penn. – An updated version of Declaration 127 v. 2.0  was posted on Huginn’s Heathen Hof, thought the statement is published by Der Urglaawe, LLC, along with the following statement:

As in the past, today we are confronted with challenges and choices. Among the most difficult of these is how to respond to those who intentionally cause harm. As Heathens, our religion gives no basis for discrimination of any kind. Unfortunately, that has not stopped certain actors from trying to do so. Their actions force the wider Heathen community to adopt the qualifying word “inclusive” to define ourselves, and to stand against bigoted people who continuously twist the ancient Germanic religions towards exclusionary, hateful, and violent ends. It is illogical to place exclusionary limits on Heathenry.

We decry the damage the Nazi Party, their allies, and those of similar ideologies have caused historically. We also recognize the damage their ilk continues to inflict. They continually weaponize ancient Norse and Germanic symbols for use in campaigns of exclusion and terror against anyone who does not fit their fantasy. They dishonor our deities.

We hold that the deities themselves created and celebrate diversity. We hold that respect is an inherent right of all human beings. To violate those rights is to forfeit the community’s good graces. There is no greater dishonor.

The signatories listed below represent a diverse set of voices within modern Heathenry. They are national organizations, resource centers, authors, community leaders, local kindreds, and individuals. They come from every branch of our religion and walk of life.

These signatories have signed this Declaration to state their complete denunciation of, and disassociation from, any and all organizations that include any form of discrimination as described below as part of their policies and practice.

Declaration 127 signatories shall not promote, associate, or do business with any organization or entity so long as they practice discriminatory policies and exclusionary ideologies. Discriminatory organizations do not represent our communities. We do not condone hatred or discrimination carried out in the name of our religion and will no longer associate with those who do.

We hereby declare that we will not maintain silence just to keep the peace, especially with those who would use our traditions to justify prejudice on the basis of: age, ability, health status, race, color, ethnicity, national origin (including ancestry), veteran status, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, or any other form of bigotry.

We stand together in defiance of unjust discrimination. Oppressive and exclusionary institutions shall receive no support from us. We will actively work against them in favor of a more welcoming faith community and society which embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Signed,
The Declaration 127 Team
March 17, 2021

The post also notes, “that we will begin to take new signatories once all of the signatories to v. 1.0 have been contacted.”

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Stonehenge

SALISBURY, England – Angel Grace who was arrested on trespassing charges at Stonehenge in 2018, and then found guilty at trial in 2019, released a statement via her solicitors, Bindmans LLP in London, regarding the matter.

Angel would like to say that she is very disappointed by the judgment, but not completely surprised. Angel – who is a Druid – would like access to Stonehenge for religious reasons.

There are solstices, equinoxes and moon ceremonies twelve times a year. These are ancestral traditions that she wishes to be allowed to celebrate and for which she wants the Stones protected.

She feels that those who wish to worship there should be permitted to do so on their religious days, given the degree of access that tourists are given to the site. Angel compares this with the access permitted to buildings devoted to other religions, for example churches

Grace was incorrectly identified as a “Witch” in media reports at the time. TWH has since corrected and updated past articles to now identify her as a Druid and bard.

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Cruz Machine logo

The group Cruz Machine has released a tribute to the NYC Occult Shop, The Magickal Childe.  The shop was owned by Herman Slater who first opened the store as  “The Warlock Shoppe”, the oldest witchcraft store in Brooklyn, and then moved to Manhattan under the name of “The Magickal Childe” and became the center of the NYC Mmagickal community as well as a road trip destination for many.  The store closed in 1999.

 

 

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In other news:

  • Parliament of the World’s Religions recently announced that its 8th annual conference would be held virtually, October 17-18, 2021. The interfaith event draws participants from around the globe from a variety of spiritual disciplines and practices. Taking the event virtual due to pandemic concerns will also allow many people who might be unable to attend. The Parliament was originally slated to be held in Toronto, Canada. Super Saver prices of $50 are in effect until May 31.
  • Saturday was National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). NNHAACD is designed to help promote “a national mobilization effort designed to encourage American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get involved in prevention and get treated for HIV.” Sixteen quilt blocks of the AIDS Memorial Quilt that commemorate and honor loved ones of the American Indian, Alaska Native, and the Native Hawaiian communities were part of the National AIDS Memorial special virtual exhibition to honor Native Americans lost to AIDS.
  • Last Friday, the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland experienced a volcanic eruption, the first to happen on the peninsula in 781 years. Mt. Fagradalsfjall volcano had been dormant for 6,000 years. The Icelandic Meteorological Office reported substantial seismic activity–thousands of earthquakes over the past few weeks, with over 3,000 recorded just on the Sunday prior to the eruption. No evacuations were because of the remote location of the eruption and it is situated in a valley about 3 miles inland from the coast. Unlike the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010, which disrupted air travel from Europe due to the amount of ash released into the atmosphere, this eruption will have little impact outside of the Reykjanes Peninsula, and 20 miles away from Reykjavik.
  • One of the benefits that were contained in the second COVID Relief Bill passed in December of 2020 and that has been largely underreported is the funeral reimbursement plan for low-income families that will be overseen by FEMA. FEMA will begin accepting applications for reimbursement of funeral costs beginning in April. Funerals that occurred in the U.S. and U.S. Territories between January 20 and December 31, and have a death certificate that lists COVID-19 as the cause of death are eligible for up to $7,000 in benefits.

Crossings of the Veil

On March 17, 2021, Dolores Nabors, 88, of Denton, Texas crossed the Veil. Nabors was actively involved in the Denton UU chapter, serving as congregational president 2008-2009, and served on the Worship Committee for a number of years.

Nabors also served as Education Officer for CUUPS for several years, as well as leading a variety of seasonal circles and celebrations up until a few years ago.

She is remembered by friends and family as a deeply kind and spiritual person, who believed strongly that we are all connected. Nabors was a friend and mentor to many and will be greatly missed by the community.

What is remembered, lives!

 


Positively Noteworthy

Ostara, the celebration of the Vernal Equinox and the end of winter for the northern hemisphere was Saturday. Composition by Miguel Berkemeier.


Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Ostara Tarot, by Molly Applejohn, Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard, and Julia Iredale, published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

Card: Nine (IX) of Cups

The week ahead may offer some opportunities for reflection on a job well done, and a slice of time to rest, with a side order of indulgence. Conversely, being too self-indulgent or overly prideful could come at a cost.

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.