Pagan Community Notes: Week of August 16, 2021

Covenant of the Goddess

Covenant of the Goddess Logo

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) held its annual Grand Council business meeting on August 14-15, 2021. CoG was “founded in 1975, [and] is an advocacy organization that seeks to foster cooperation amongst Wiccans and Witches; to secure legal protection; to provide education through outreach and to nurture its members through dialog and community.”  CoG remains one of the largest organizations of Witches and Wiccans in the world.

After the conclusion of the meeting, CoG’s National Public Information Officer, Janine Nelson issued the following press release calling for action by members and includes their statement on climate change:

Members in attendance expressed their concern with the state of our climate regionally and throughout the world. The situation requires immediate action from CoG’s leadership in the Pagan, Wiccan, and Witchcraft community and urges individuals to engage in positive climate actions.

Based on their concern, and the United Nations recently released a landmark climate report that details scientific consensus and political consensus about climate change. The report concludes that global warming is progressing, worsening, and cannot be stopped or reversed over the next 30 years. An increasingly hotter future with all its consequences is basically sealed according to scientists involved in the report.

The members of the Covenant in attendance unanimously agreed to release the following statement:

Given the conditions of the planet and the science in understanding Earth’s climate change, The Covenant of the Goddess is joining with the United Nations statement on climate change and declaring a climate crisis and urges all Witches to support, materially, spiritually, and magickally, the conversion to sustainable energy resources.

The United Nations (UN) released their report Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, compiled by Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was covered by TWH last week. The report was stark in its assessment of the continued warming of the planet and offered a truly dire forecast for the future if serious efforts were not immediately implemented to mitigate the effects of changing climate.

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Llewellyn Worldwide Logo

ST. PAUL, Minn. – This year marks the 120th anniversary of Llewellyn Worldwide founded in 1901 by Llewellyn George, an astrologer, and immigrant from Wales. George started the company in Portland, Oregon, and then moved it to Los Angeles, California in 1920. George published a variety of books, newsletters, and perhaps his most famous works, The Moon Sign Book (1905), and The Daily Planetary Guide (1909) both annual almanacs that Llewellyn continues to produce for each calendar year.

After George’s death in 1954, the company was briefly owned by a printing company before it was purchased by Carl Weschcke in 1961, who moved the company to St. Paul. Weschcke was noted for his interest in a variety of practices like astrology and tarot and used his skills in marketing to re-establish the company name.

Perhaps one of his greatest successes was when he opted to publish the first work by Raymond Buckland, The Complete Book of Witchcraft. The “big blue book” as many Witches and Pagans refer to it, has sold over a million copies since it was first released in 1969.

Weschcke also sponsored festivals and events that focused on Paganism and occult practices as a way to promote the Llewellyn label and the titles the company published.

Many classic books on Witchcraft that were written by authors like Scott Cunningham, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, Dan & Pauline Campanelli, Ted Andrews, D.J. Conway, Robin Wood, and Raven Grimassi were all initially published by Llewellyn. They continue to bring attention to extraordinary contemporary authors and teachers.

Under Weschcke, Llewellyn grew and evolved into one of the world’s largest publishers of books that focus on spirituality and occult practices. After Weschcke’s death in 2015, his wife, Sandra Weschcke, and son, Gabe Weschcke, took over ownership and operation of the company.

Today the publisher employs over 70 people and publishes an average of 135 titles each year, with close to 15% of its sales coming from international markets.

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In other news:

    • On August 4, a Hindu temple in Punjab province of Pakistan was partially burned down and saw many of its statuary damaged when a mob of angry Muslims assaulted the temple. According to local authorities, the attack was in retaliation for the desecration of a Muslim seminary library that occurred when an eight-year-old Hindu boy urinated within the library. The child was initially arrested by police on blasphemy charges but was released on bail since he was a minor. The attack on the temple in Bhong City of the Rahim Yar Khan district was partially motivated by posts on social media calling for retaliation and resulted in a mob forming outside of the Hindu temple. Police were slow to respond which resulted in considerable damage being done to the temple. Once Pakistani Rangers arrived, they dispersed the crowd and set up a perimeter to protect what remained of the temple and to ensure no more conflicts arose, protecting the minority Hindu neighborhood that is home to approximately 100 Hindu families. No arrests have been reported and a search for those who incited the attack is ongoing.

    • Chewy, the online pet supplies store, is offering a Halloween calendar for cats and their owners similar to an advent calendar. The 13-day calendar that culminates on October 31st, features a new cat toy–everything from a spider with wiggly legs to crunchy balls to eyeballs on a string–each of the 13 days leading up to Halloween and includes catnip. This is just the latest addition in the growing product line of seasonal and spooky items catering to cat owners in recent years.

    • A new mini-series released for streaming by Netflix last week, Brand New Cherry Flavor, employs a variety of flavors of occult magic, witchcraft, and the supernatural showcased in a dreamscape of nightmares. The series, set in 90s Los Angeles, follows the journey of the main character, Lisa N. Nova (played by Rosa Salazar) a filmmaker in pursuit of directing her first movie. After Nova’s work is basically stolen by a well-known but unscrupulous producer played by Eric Lange, she embarks on a course of revenge that incorporates elements of ritual magic and cursing. The series is based on the book, Brand New Cherry Flavor: A Novel of the Occult written by Todd Grimson, originally published in 1996 and re-released in 2011 by Schaffner Press, Inc.

    Positively Noteworthy

    A parade of elephants began an unexpected migration in March of 2020, leaving their home in the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in Yunnan province near China’s southern border with Myanmar and Laos and heading north. Their journey has captivated people around the globe, providing an opportunity for researchers and casual observers alike to witness the animals’ behavior often not usually seen.

    Authorities monitored the progress of the elephants by using drones and CCTV carried a 24-hour live-feed to help protect the towns and cities in their path. The herd was somewhat undeterred by the attempts of officials to alter the elephant’s course. In the course of their 807-mile (~1300 km) journey roughly 150,000 people were evacuated to prevent conflict with the elephant herd which consumed agricultural crops and damaged buildings that were in their path.

    Last week, the elephants were headed back south, crossing the Yuan river and moving towards a nature preserve that is overseen by the city of Pu’er. As of Saturday, the herd was within 100 miles of the preserve they left over a year ago.

    Wildlife officials were uncertain what motivated the migration of the herd. The lack of reliable food sources within the preserve, and the increase in the wild elephant population were both cited as possible reasons for the herd’s journey.

    Since 1978 when state conservation and preservation efforts were enacted, the wild Asian elephant population has increased from 180 to about 300. Natural habits for the elephants have continued to shrink and conservation efforts require maintaining a delicate balance between the needs of the wild herds and the growing human developments.

    Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

    Deck: Afro Brazilian Tarot, by Alice Santana, artwork by Giuseppe Palumbo, published by Lo Scarabeo.

    Card: Nine (9) of Swords

    The week ahead is likely to hold elements of concern, mourning, pain, and separation as the result of crisis. Recognition of resources and implementing available tools can help provide navigation of the path forward.

    Conversely, mitigation and reconciliation of past trauma offer opportunities for healing and unification.

    Decks generously provided by Asheville Pagan Supply.

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