Pagan Community Notes: Week of April 11, 2022

TWH – Last week the Coalition of Visionary Resources (COVR) announced that voting was open for the COVR Award entries. COVR is a non-profit trade organization that was formed in 1996 describes its purpose as being “to help facilitate and support business in the Mind Body Spirit industry,” and is “dedicated to supporting independent retailers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and publishers of visionary books, music, and merchandise.”

Each year a number of authors, artists, and other content creators submit entries in one of four categories for a COVR award – Audio & Visual, Books, Jewelry, and Products. Each category contains a number of subcategories and entries, and all entries pay a fee per submission.

With the rise of interest in Pagan and Witchcraft practices, the COVR awards have seen more entries along those lines. For instance, this year’s entries under the heading of Wicca, Witchcraft & Magick included authors: Laura Tempest Zakroff, Ivo Dominguez Jr., Thorn Mooney, and TWH’s own Jaime Girones.

Two series of books published by Llewellyn were submitted, The Elements of Witchcraft series which is comprised of four books, and their “Little Books” series which is currently made up of fifteen books that range in topic from Sabbats to various practices.

Witches can be found in most categories, like Heather Greene’s new edition of Lights Camera Witchcraft in the category of Art Books, Eclectic Witch’s Book of Shadows by Deborah Blake for Best Book Illustrations, and Christopher Penczak’s Inner Temple of Witchcraft in Iconic Books as just a few examples. The lone book connected to Norse ideology is Gypsey Teague’s Norse Divination.

The voting guide for this year’s COVR Awards can be viewed on their website. Voting closes on April 25, and the winners will be announced at the COVR Banquet Awards dinner at the International New Age Trade Show (INATS) on June 11.

Congratulations to all nominees!

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Image credit: Blogtrepreneur – CC BY 2.0 

WILLIAMSBURG, Pa. – Last Friday a 74-year-old grandmother, Celestia R. Barker III, appeared in court before Magisterial District Judge Benjamin F. Jones on the charge of threatening unlawful harm to influence the judicial process, a felony.

According to reporting and court records, Barker called the Hollidaysburg Police Department and requested to speak with the officer handling her grandson, Scott Baker’s case. Barker’s grandson charges are part of a drug case and carry both felony and misdemeanor charges.

Barker in a phone call asked the officer if he “had it in his heart” to drop the felony drug charges against her grandson, according to court documents. In the affidavit filed, when the officer responded that he had not given it any thought, Barker then told the officer that she practices “witch” activities and that he would be in jeopardy if he didn’t drop the felony charges against her grandson. She suggested that he should be careful as he could have a car accident, or fall down a flight of stairs.

She also faces a misdemeanor count of communications with Blair County 911, three summary counts of harassment, and one summary count of disorderly conduct for subsequent calls she made, all being of similar content and intent.

Barker told state police investigating her calls as threats that she was not threatening the officer, she was just giving him an ultimatum just like he gave her grandson, according to police reports. During questioning by state police officers about her calls requesting the officer in charge drop charges against her grandson, Barker asked if that was illegal. When the officer responded that it was indeed against the law to do so, Barker told him, “Well, I did.” She also reiterated to investigators that she had special powers and practiced “white witchery.”

Barker is due to appear in court again on April 26 for a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Paula M. Aigner. She was released on unsecured bail of $10,000.

Announcements: So far the world has not ended–otherwise, no announcements.

In other news:

    • Right Wing Watch tweeted footage of white nationalist Patrick Howley appearing to call for the trials and jailing of “witches.” He also states that “black magic” practice is at its highest level in history.

    • According to news reports, an unnamed 25-year-old female domestic worker was sentenced to a month in prison by the Misdemeanors Court in Dubai on charges of practicing witchcraft and sorcery against her employer. Her employer, who is also unnamed in reporting, stated that they became suspicious after hearing murmuring when the maid was in the bathroom in the middle of the night. The maid was required to allow her phone to be searched and images of a doll or poppet were found, as well as text messages with someone who was advising the maid on practices to help her employer treat her better. A search of the maid’s room was reported to have allegedly revealed “pictures of witchcraft, voodoo, and a piece of cloth with blood hidden.” The maid said the items were connected to her husband and part of her spiritual practice to ensure he stayed faithful while she was abroad. While practicing magic in the U.S. and other western countries is not criminal, countries like the United Arab Emirates definitely view it as such. In this case, once the woman has served her 30-day sentence, she will be deported back to her country of origin.

    Positively Noteworthy

    As Russia continues its assault on Ukraine, two music releases by high-profile artists occurred last week to help raise awareness and funds for humanitarian aid.

    Pink Floyd released “Hey Hey Rise Up.” The song was performed in Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square by Andriy Khlyvnyuk from the Ukrainian band Boombox and posted on Instagram. It is a Ukrainian protest song that was written during the first world war, and entitled, “The Red Viburnum In The Meadow.” Pink Floyd chose to use part of the last line of the song, “Hey Hey Rise up and rejoice” as the title of their new release.

    The new release features Khlyvnyuk singing. He had left the U.S. concert tour with Boombox to return to Ukraine and join the Territorial Defense and fight for his country. Khlyvnyuk was injured by shrapnel from a mortar shell and recovering in the hospital when Gilmour was working on the song and the two communicated by phone.

    Pink Floyd guitarist, David Gilmour, had seen Khlyvnyuk’s post on Instagram and reached out to him about incorporating the footage in a news release. Gilmour has ties to Ukraine–his daughter-in-law is Ukrainian and has three children. All proceeds from the song will go to humanitarian relief.

    Warning: The video contains images of war.

    Julian Lennon, musician and son of John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia Powell Lennon, released a video performing one of his father’s most famous songs, “Imagine,” for the Global Citizen’s Stand Up For Ukraine. Lennon was accompanied by Nuno Bettencourt in the performance.

    Lennon had previously said he would not perform the Vietnam-era protest song, but outlined his reasons for doing so now on his YouTube channel:

    “The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy… As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could.

    “So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, IMAGINE.

    “Why now, after all these years? – I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing ‘IMAGINE’ would be if it was the ‘End of the World’…

    “But also because his lyrics reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide. Because within this song, we’re transported to a space, where love and togetherness become our reality, if but for a moment in time…

    “The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for…”

    Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

    Deck: The Dreamkeepers Tarot, by Liz Huston, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

    Card: Two (2) of Wands

    This week is liable to offer opportunities requiring the ability to assess risk. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained,’ is likely to apply and careful consideration should be applied to any decisions, be they large or small.

    Conversely, a fear of failure can result in stagnation, while repeating the same choices are likely to yield the same or similar results.

    Decks generously provided by Asheville Pagan Supply.

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