RALEIGH, North Carolina – As we approach the Fall academic term, a recent doctoral dissertation in the higher education opportunity, equity, and justice doctoral program at North Carolina State University conducted by Dr. Gordon W. Maples, highlighted a stark lack of religious accommodation on campuses. In a survey of 122 colleges and universities from different regions of the USA ranging from public and private, rural and urban, secular and religiously affiliated, and varying in sizes, the research finds that less than half of them have stated religious accommodations policies for their students. In universities where a policy does exist, those policies are not comprehensive.
Among the issues included scheduled prayer time, holiday observances, dietary accommodations, and other restrictions that can impact not only class attendance but also holiday observances and dietary restrictions. The research made special mention of minorized religion and non-dominant faiths -including Muslims, Hindus,
Pagans, Jews, Sikhs, and Jains- in the USA affirming previous findings that “Christian hegemony is largely unacknowledged and unchecked.”
The study noted previous research that “Pagan college students were far more likely than non-Pagan students to perceive pressures to conceal or change their [religious affiliation reporting] and were similarly far more likely to report tense and hostile interactions on campus than their nonPagan peers, which points to a less-welcoming perception of campuses among college-going Pagans.”
The research also suggested that Christian authority figures should be diversified across college campuses particularly in the role of spiritual leaders and especially when dealing with stigmatized religious denominations such as Pagans or Satanists.
We want students to be their whole selves when they’re at our institutions,” Maples said to Inside Higher Ed. “We don’t want to have them compromise a part of themselves and have to make the choice between observing an important religious holiday or following their dietary needs according to their religion and being able to participate in their classes or having to sacrifice their grades potentially.”
State legislators have also taken up the cause of religious accommodations. A new Maryland bill requires the development of religious accommodation policies. Joining Washington State (2019) and Utah (2021) on laws regarding campus religious accommodation, the State of Ohio passed legislation this year allowing students three excused absences to observe religious holidays.
The University of Missouri, however, does list the religious diversity of Pagan events, identifying dates and events such as “Samhain (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid).” It adds about Samhain that is is “one of the four ‘greater Sabbats’ and considered by some to be the Wiccan New Year. A time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, welcome those born during the past year into the community, and reflecting on past relationships, events and other significant changes in life.” The site notes “General practices: Paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died.”
The study concluded that “mass renovation of religious accommodation policies is mandatory if higher education institutions are genuinely invested in pursuing equity and justice for students.”
Lansing, MI — Weavers of the Web, ATC is a welcoming and inclusive spiritual community that embraces the many paths of modern paganism. With a deep reverence for diversity among people and a commitment to respectful inclusivity and safe space, the church provides a home for individuals and families to explore pagan spirituality, celebrate ancient traditions, and forge meaningful connections. Through seasonal rituals, community events, and more, Weavers of the Web aims to nurture personal growth, foster a sense of belonging, and promote harmony with the world around us, so that none need ever be alone in their spiritual path.
Weavers of the Web, ATC, a vibrant and inclusive spiritual community founded in 2018 and dedicated to creating a spiritual home for all in the greater Lansing pagan community, is thrilled to announce the release of their new welcome video. This heartwarming production shines a light on the rich tapestry that makes up modern paganism, providing a glimpse into a small but growing mid-Michigan community.
Titled “Welcome Home: Meet Weavers of the Web,” the new video offers a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of how this community celebrates the beauty of nature and the warmth of friendship and family bonds while honoring and revitalizing ancient traditions.
The video provides a vivid and intimate portrait of Weavers of the Web, showcasing some of the ritual practices and seasonal ceremonies that mark the foundational holy days of their shared faith. From joyous dancing and celebration to visibly heartfelt prayers, “Welcome Home” captures the essence of modern pagan spirituality and the genuine connections forged within the church’s close-knit community.
“Welcome Home” also highlights the commitment of this church to safe, inclusive community. Through cameos and personal interviews, members of the clergy and congregation share their personal journeys and the transformative impact of their involvement in Weavers of the Web. Viewers will gain insight into the church’s core values of inclusivity, acceptance, and the celebration of diversity, all of which foster an environment where individuals and families of all kinds, from all backgrounds and levels of ability, can find solace, support, and spiritual growth.
“We are incredibly excited to present this video to the public,” said Lord Solinox Silverstar, the High Priestx of Weavers of the Web in a press release. “We hope that, though this production, we can dispel any misconceptions others may have about pagan spirituality, and open a window into our beautiful and thriving community. Our church is a place of love, acceptance, and deep spiritual connection, and we want to share that with as many people as possible.”
- The Texas Local Council of Covenant of the Goddess announced that they will be hosting Merry Meet from Friday, July 28 – Sunday, July 30, 2023, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. MerryMeet is the annual gathering for Covenant of the Goddess and includes two days of workshops, rituals, lectures, local vendors, and entertainment. This year, visiting author Raven Kaldera will be presenting workshops and offering a book signing. Wendy Rule, a pagan musician and visionary, will be performing on Saturday, July 29. Friday night will include a ritual presented by the local council followed by a drag show presented by the United Court of the Lone Star Empire. Concurrently, during MerryMeet the Covenant conducts its annual business meeting known as Grand Council (GC). Grand Council is the forum for its members (covens and solitaries) to engage in a consensus process to discuss issues relevant to the operations of CoG, review national bylaw changes necessary in a changing world, to decide matters which require deliberation by the full membership, and to elect the national board of officers. Grand Council provides a unique opportunity to observe the process of decision-making utilizing the consensus process. Additional details and registration are available at the Merry Meet website.
Southern California Divination Conference
Join us on August 19, 2023, for Southern California’s newest Divination Conference!
Presented by COMPASS, the Southern California Divination Conference will include presentations, discussions, and panels on many forms of divination from reading oracle and tarot cards, keys, geomancy, astrology, runes, and so much more. A curated selection of vendors awaits our attendees. DiviCon will take place at the Holiday Inn Santa Ana-Orange Co. Airport, 2726 South Grand Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92705
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