Pagan Community Notes: Week of April 12, 2021

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House of Grimassi Logo

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The House of Grimassi Living Legacy Museum is finally open, which coincides with what would have been Raven Grimassi’s 70th birthday.

Stephanie Taylor, widow to Raven Grimassi has listed two private rooms as being available for booking on Airbnb. Taylor began work on the museum after Grimassi’s death in March of 2019.

Taylor identifies the Living Legacy Museum project as being “to preserve and provide a home and resource for people interested in the life of the author, teacher, Witch, and occultist, Raven Grimassi.”

The three-story Victorian home was built in 1898 and purchased by Grimassi and Taylor in 2012.

Taylor has dedicated a portion of the first floor as museum space and displays many of the items that were important to and cherished by Grimassi. One cabinet contains a variety of items connected to the practice of Strega, another contains other items he collected or were gifted to him.

Grimassi was an avid researcher and collected many antiquarian and first-edition books which are also on display. Taylor lovingly refers to him as having been a “self-professed bibliophile.”

The Living Legacy Museum offers five levels of membership that include a variety of perks. Subscribers of membership to the Living Legacy Museum also gain access to the extensive Sanctum Sanctorum Library, which is housed on the third floor of the house.

 

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Seal of Clark County, NV

LAS VEGAS – A man reports described as a transient, and who has been arrested numerous times over the past eight years was arrested last week for starting a fire near a large trash compactor which caught on fire and then spread to a Kohl’s department store.

According to the police report, Bruno Niedrauer, 33, told officers “he lit (a) notebook on fire … (so) he could draw a flame from the notebook in order to practice witchcraft.”

Niedrauer was seen starting the fire by a store employee and then observed walking away from the area and crossing a footbridge immediately after the fire was started.

After Niedrauer was located by a police officer at a camp nearby, he told the officer he ignited the notebook and thrown it to the ground, but the fire quickly spread the trash container “… and it got out of control.” Once he realized he could not put the fire out, he fled the scene, fearing he would be in trouble.

Niedrauer has over 40 citations or arrests on his record, with charges ranging from vagrancy and trespassing to resisting a public officer, and including lewd conduct and battery on a protected person. The majority of charges in the past against Niedrauer were either dismissed or not pursued prosecution.

Niedrauer was charged with first-degree arson, and being held at the Clark County Detention Center. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, April 8.

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In other news:

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church released their annual “State of the Church” address over the weekend. Archpriestess, Belladonna LaVeau detailed the challenges and accomplishments of the organization over the past year, as well as outlining goals for the coming year.

 

Cherry Hill Seminary is offering two new courses that begin in early May: Indigenous Religion and Culture which will feature Native American religions, Afro-Caribbean traditions, shamanisms around the world, Hinduism, Australian aboriginal traditions, and Judaism; and, Pagan Reconstructionisms that will take a close look at Roma, Slavic, Kemetic, Hellenic, Minoan traditions and more.


In “witch-hunt” news:

Articles in this section may contain graphic descriptions of violence. We use lowercase letters and quotation marks around “witch” and “witchcraft” to denote those who are not Pagans or Witches but are accused and frequently murdered as a result of being labeled as such.

  • A married couple,  Tabeth Chiumba, 71, and her husband Tayero Santumiya, 72, were both murdered by a relative, Freddy Makanganya, 45, in Denya village, Mhondoro, Zimbabwe. On April 1, Makanganya returned to his home after an evening of drinking, and while there shouted accusations that Chiumba kept goblins and he intended to beat her. He also threatened to kill his own mother. He then went to the home of Chiumba and Santumiya brandishing an ax and a knobkerrie, a type of knobbed club used as a weapon in Eastern and Southern regions of Africa. Makanganya assaulted Santumiya who fled, possibly in an attempt to get help, and was found in a field nearby two days later with deep cuts to his legs and severe bruising to his back. Chiumba died in the early morning hours of April 2 possibly from wounds to her head, but also had severe bruises over much of her body where she was beaten. Several of Makanganka’s family members tried to stop his attack on Chiumba but were driven back since he was wielding the ax.
  • Two men had initially been sought on charges of attempted murder, have been arrested and charged with the murder of Jostina Sangweni, 58, after she was brutally beaten and then set on fire in Mapetla, Soweto in the South African province of Gauteng. Sangweni’s family on March 26 had reported her missing to the police, who had also received an alert of “mob justice” and arrived while the assault was still in progress. Sangweni was transported to the hospital but died from her injuries on April 5. Sangweni had recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia and those who attacked her accused her of practicing “witchcraft.” The names of those charged have not been released. The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) has stated it will begin an investigation into the killing.
  • On March 29, Dharma Naik, 75, was stoned to death in Dhinirikanpal village in the Ganjam district of the Indian State of Odisha by five people who have been arrested by police. The five arrested confessed to killing Dharma Naik and said they believed him to be a “sorcerer.” Those arrested ranged in age from 23 years old to 40, and all had the same surname, Naik, as the victim, and it is unclear from news reports if they are related. Police recovered a bloody stone, among other property that was confiscated from those arrested.
  • On March 22, the bodies of Felix Taona Chiodza, 87, and his sister, Angela Bhunu, 89, were both found murdered in their homes from what appeared to be wounds inflicted by an ax or similar implement. Chiodza lived in Marumisa Village and Bhunu in Chidziva Village, both within the Murewa township in Zimbabwe. Chiodza and Bhunu were also both being cared for by younger family members. Denford Nyamande, 35, a younger son of Chiodza was arrested for the murders, and other family members said he had previously threatened to kill their father and accused him of being a “witch.”
  • Ranthu Munda, 70, was dragged from his home by six or seven men carrying axes in Nawatoli village in the Jharkland State Gumla district. Munda was beaten and then struck with axes until he was dead. His son, Ramachandra Munda, and another family that lived with him were locked inside the house to prevent them from interfering in the murder. Sudhir Munda and one other person have been arrested. Ramachandra Munda told police that Sudhir believed the elder Munda had used “witchcraft” to kill a relative who had died from an illness.

 


Positively Noteworthy

Maintaining and increasing biodiversity is a part of addressing climate change that often is overlooked or glossed over in discussions and published news articles outside of science journals and academic forums. However, most researchers agree that the two issues go hand-in-hand, and addressing the loss of biodiversity and climate change together offers the best hope of preserving more species, the planet, and human lives.


Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Celestial Tarot, by Kay Steventon and Brian Clark, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Card: Major arcana, (XXI) The World

This week the potential for completion, the end of a journey, and possible resolution of situations that offer growth, wholeness, and spiritual evolution. Conversely, refusal to accept change and participate on a level that embraces the world can result in being left outside the cycles of growth and expansion.

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.