Pagan Community Notes: Week of May 23, 2022

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The “Wilma Mankiller Quarter Release and Celebration” event will kick off with a limited public release on June 6 in Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation. The reverse or tails of the quarter “depicts Wilma Mankiller with a resolute gaze to the future. The wind is at her back, and she is wrapped in a traditional shawl. To her left is the seven-pointed star of the Cherokee Nation.”

Courtesy of the U.S. Mint

The quarter features the work of sculptor Phebe Hemphill, and designer Benjamin Sowards.

Her surname, “Mankiller,” in the Cherokee language, Asgaya-dihi (in the Cherokee syllabary: ᎠᏍᎦᏯᏗᎯ), refers to a traditional Cherokee military rank, like a captain or major.

Mankiller was first elected as chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985 and was the first woman to hold that position within not only the Cherokee Nation but also of any major Native American tribe. She faced strong opposition due to her gender when she was named by the incumbent chief, Ross Swimmer, to run as his deputy chief in 1983.

Despite death threats and other incidents of violence and intimidation, Swimmer and Mankiller were both elected. However, she fought an uphill battle since one of her main duties as deputy chief was presiding over the 15-member Tribal Council governing body, which many of the members were opposed to a woman holding the position.

Rather than constantly battle the council members, Mankiller focused her energy on other issues that would eventually transform many of the policies and practices of the tribe. She succeeded Swimmer as chief when he was appointed as assistant secretary of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. She ran for election as chief in 1987 and won.

She was a strong advocate for Native rights and worked to help engender pride in Native heritage while bringing awareness to both tribal members and others of the cultural significance of the Cherokee people.

Under Mankiller tribal member numbers increased dramatically during her time in office–from 68,000 to 170,00. She expanded the Cherokee Heritage Center and the Institute for Cherokee Literacy and changed how council members were elected, allowing for better representation from newly created districts.

Throughout her career, and even after she left office, Mankiller was honored with honorary degrees from Darmouth and Yale and also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. Her approach to education, providing access to medical and healthcare services, and continually fought for Native rights to manage their own federal grants and helped to establish other streams of revenue for the tribe.

Mankiller died on April 6, 2010, from pancreatic cancer. Over 1,000 people attended her funeral a few days later.

“Chief Mankiller was the voice that first elevated Native American tribes and tribal issues in this country and served as the first female Chief in a role dominated by men during a time that the Cherokee Nation was first getting its footing after decades of suppression by the U.S. Government,” Chief Hoskin current Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation said.

“While we defend our sovereignty today, she was the pioneer who stood firmly for tribal sovereignty and treaty rights four decades earlier. She fought for civil rights and equality, and self-sufficiency for the Cherokee people, and was the anchor establishing what has now become the largest tribal health care system in the country. We are so proud she is forever honored on this coin by the U.S. Mint.”

And now, thanks to Mankiller’s likeness being on the reverse side of a U.S. quarter, young people can possibly find they carry the embodiment of her inspiration in their very pockets.

♥          ♥          ♥

GENEVA – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, released in a statement today, “The number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution has now crossed the staggering milestone of 100 million for the first time on record, propelled by the war in Ukraine and other deadly conflicts.”

“One hundred million is a stark figure – sobering and alarming in equal measure. It’s a record that should never have been set,” said UNHCR Grandi. “This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes.”

While the figure of 100 million is only slightly more than 1% of the world’s population, the number constitutes roughly the equivalent of the 14th most populous nation in the world.

While the reasons people have been forced to flee their homes and even countries varies, over half, 53.2 million of those displaced within the borders of their countries were a direct result of conflict or war. The unprovoked assault on Ukraine by Russia has led to over 8 million people being displaced and 6 million leaving the country to get away from the war.

“The international response to people fleeing war in Ukraine has been overwhelmingly positive,” Grandi added. “Compassion is alive, and we need a similar mobilization for all crises around the world. But ultimately, humanitarian aid is a palliative, not a cure. To reverse this trend, the only answer is peace and stability so that innocent people are not forced to gamble between acute danger at home or precarious flight and exile.”

23.7 million people were displaced in 2021 as the result of natural disasters and weather-related events like storms, floods, and cyclones. The majority of those displacements occurred in the Asia-Pacific region.


  • The deadline for submissions for the next issue of Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies titled  Pagan Response to Health, Disease, and Healing” is May 31, 2022. Details and requirements for submission can be found on the journal’s website.

In other news:

  • Historic England and the Cornwall Archaeology Unit have discovered an underground circle inside the Cornwall Castilly Henge, near Bodmin. According to Historic England, the 225 feet long by 205 feet wide (68 meters by 62 meters) oval enclosure is believed to have been built during the late Neolithic period, 3,000 to 2,500 BCE, forming an amphitheater-like setting for gatherings and ritual activities. Historic England project bosses had been concerned about maintaining the integrity of the site due to much of its earthworks being overgrown with vegetation. Researchers believe that the circle, which is made up of seven points, as well as the henge, was likely “used for ritual activities.” The underground circle was discovered using ground-penetrating radar and earth resistance techniques, which utilize passing small electric currents through the ground. Once the vegetation covering the area had been removed, the monument is fully visible again. This latest discovery has helped further the researchers’ understanding of the complexity and importance of the history of Cornwall.

Crossings of the Veil

Paul Edward Clinco – April 16, 1948 – May 1, 2022

Paul Clinco was a man of many talents and interests. Born in Santa Monica, California he developed an interest early on in theatre, attending the University of California for drama and graduating with a theatre degree from UC Riverside. However, he then went on to get his Doctor of Medicine from UCLA.

He served his medical residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Clinco relocated to Tucson, Arizona in 1977 with his wife, Judy Briggs. He was an early advocate for medical marijuana and was also a hypnotherapist.

Clinco was a doctor by day, but he never left his love of theatre and performance behind. He continued to perform in plays, and regularly played music in local clubs under the name “Professor Paul.”

According to an article in The Arizona Daily Star remembering his life, “during a stint as a traveling ER doctor at small-town clinics in the Midwest, he would spend his downtime in Chicago clubs, playing blues and boogie-woogie music alongside some of the city’s greats.”

Clinco was Wiccan, a third-degree in the Gardnerian tradition, and a member of the Church of All Worlds.

He was also a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA), and knighted as Sir Gareth of Bloodwine Gorge.

Clinco loved storytelling and wrote a number of screenplays and short stories. He won first place in the 1987 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. He also produced and directed the first of two feature-length films, “Death Magic,” (1992) and “Sweet Love and Deadly” (2008).

Clinco’s interests were broad and encompassed a deep love for history and the esoteric. His ability to combine his flair for drama with whimsy, allowed him to share his love of culture and fascination with many hobbies with those he loved.

What is remembered, lives!

Positively Noteworthy

As part of Education Africa‘s plan to create an awareness worldwide of the educational value of marimba playing, in 2012 the organization launched The International Marimba and Steelpan Festival. The festival created an international platform for marimba and steelpan players in South Africa.

While the history of where the marimba originated is somewhat debated, it has a deep connection to African countries. According to the instrument maker, Yamaha, “The Zulu tribe of South Africa is said to have legends of a goddess named Marimba who created a xylophone with gourds attached.”

Other lore cites a story of Queen Marimba presenting an instrument to a child who was blind and had physical impairments but had the gift of foresight, with a hand xylophone or mukimbe.

The beauty of the marimba is found not only in its melodious sounds, but also in its accessibility as an instrument that virtually anyone can learn to play. Children with disabilities who might be unable or excluded from learning to play other instruments can learn to play the marimba.

This footage from 2019 of the primary school Goede Hoop Marimba Band in Boksburg, South Africa displays the joy of the students performing Vivaldi at The International Marimba and Steelpan Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: The Transparent Tarot, by Emily Carding, published by Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit.

Card: Queen of Swords

The week ahead offers the potential for rational thinking, “high principles, and strong ideals” to drive the narrative. Be mindful to not allow logic to dominate to the point that it obscures sensitivities and compassion–balance is essential for progress.

Conversely, fabrications and even outright lies are likely to be deployed to manipulate for personal gain, to avoid accountability, or to attempt to bring down an opponent.

Decks generously provided by Asheville Pagan Supply.

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