Pagan Community Notes: Week of November 23, 2023

TWH – Today is Thanksgiving, a holiday largely celebrated in the United States, some U.S. territories, and Brazil. There are 15 other countries that have a similar holiday celebrated at different times of the year. Canada celebrates it on the second Monday in October.

There is also a very painful side to Thanksgiving. The United American Indians of New England recognize it as the National Day of Mourning and one of protest since 1970.

For Native Americans, the myth of the first Thanksgiving that is spoonfed to most Americans reflects the deep disparity between American ideology and the actual history of vicious treatment meted out by Europeans to Indigenous peoples initially and in the subsequent four centuries.

The mythology around the holiday and the pilgrim-Indigenous contact has fueled vast revisionism of history that favored the colonists and, until recently, erased the lived reality of Indigenous peoples in North America. The very real experience of Indigenous communities in North America must be learned and acknowledged as it is as much a part of the Thanksgiving holiday as pilgrim arrival. That is the unfortunate historical reality.

Thanksgiving Turkey


While many stores are closed for the national holiday, not everyone has the day off.  Many restaurant workers are expected to be at their jobs, as are health care workers, first responders, law enforcement, military, TSA, flight staff, and other essential workers. Let’s remember them and their work with gratitude.

Here is a brief list of what’s opened and closed in the US:


  • Most retail chains including Walmart, Target, Kohls, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.
  • Most retail pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid) but some 24-hour pharmacies will remain open under limited hours and staffing.
  • Publix, Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s
  • Banks
  • US Postal Service with the exception of specialized package delivery (Express Critical)
  • Government offices and related institutions like libraries and services like DMV.


  • Albertson’s stores that include Safeway, Tom-Thumb Acma, Jewel-Osco, and Vons
  • Kroger stores are open under limited hours, check local stores

Despite the many challenges in the world today, there is still much to be thankful for: the little victories like handfastings, graduations, elevations, and personal discoveries.

We remind our readers that Mercury enters retrograde on November 25, 2023.  Last year, the event occurred during Thanksgiving and we shared some advice on the matter in Mercury Retrograde visits Thanksgiving Dinner.

At TWH, we want to thank you, our readers, for your support, your comments, and for sharing our work through your networks.

We also offer our thanks here to all who have donated to our work. We want to especially recognize those who support us through our Sustainers Circle with a monthly donation. As a reader-funded news site, it is your support that makes this magic possible, and we thank you for that support.

If you are not part of our monthly donors and contributors, please consider a donation if you can comfortably make a gift. As a reminder, we are non-profit and fiscally sponsored by Independent Arts & Media.

We are grateful to our readers for your support however it manifests. Right now, we really do need readers who can help fund Pagan journalism and help TWH continue serving the community.  This is how to help:

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We remain one of the most widely-read news magazines within modern Paganism- together as reporters and columnists dedicated to a vision of journalism for and about our family of faiths.

TWH wishes everyone a brush with gratitude today. May we all have peaceful gatherings and may we each find something to be thankful for, even if we sometimes have to look a little harder.


TWH-  The Troth is organizing an International Pagan Day of Prayer and Action for Peace, a call to foster global harmony, understanding, and unity.  It is inviting other Pagan traditions to join in the event.

On the 30th of November, individuals and communities from diverse Pagan traditions will come together to harness the power of intention, prayer, and positive action to promote peace.

This day is not about one conflict but about embracing the interconnectedness of all life and affirming our commitment to creating a world where diversity is celebrated, conflicts are resolved with compassion, and kindness becomes the guiding force in our interactions.

Further, through acts of generosity, promotion of social justice, donations to organizations that promote peacemaking, and volunteering of time toward peace-building: participants will demonstrate the commonality within our diverse Pagan spiritualities lies in building community and nurturing a profound harmony with the giving Earth and all of those who share it.

The International Pagan Day of Prayer and Action for Peace invites individuals to reflect on and within their spiritual practices and to transform that intention to engagement in making the world a better place.  Join us on this day of shared reflection, intention, work, and prayer for peace.

Groups interested in joining the event are invited to contact international relations or

NEWBURYPORT, Mass.-  Red Wheel/Weiser, is well-known in Pagan circles.  It is a leading independent publisher specializing in “books to live by,” mind-body-spirit subjects, Hampton Roads Publishing, New Page Books, MUFON Books, and Career Press. RWW also serves as the full-service distributor for select independent publishers.

The company announced in a statement the acquisition of Quest Books, New Distribution Clients, and New Hires/Promotions Ahead of 2024.  Last week, RWW released a statement that is had entered into a Letter of Intent to acquire Quest Books, of Wheaton, IL, and has added three new distribution clients: Crossed Crow Books, Moon Dust Press, and Womancraft Publishing.

Founded in 1966, Quest Books is the imprint of the Theosophical Publishing House, the publishing arm of the Theosophical Society in America. They are dedicated to publishing works that promote fellowship among all peoples of the world and encourage the study of religion, philosophy, and science so that we may better understand ourselves and our place in the universe. The acquisition of Quest Books will be completed in January 2024.

“Red Wheel/Weiser has been a trusted distribution partner for many years. In addition to meeting our business needs, their vision and mission have always been in alignment with our own. We are heartened that the invaluable books in the Quest Books catalog will continue to reach new audiences through Red Wheel/Weiser’s thoughtful stewardship,” said Barbara B. Hebert, PhD, former president of the Theosophical Society in America.

Crossed Crow Books is an independent publisher of occult books specializing in magic, rituals, spirit work, and the overall practice of witchcraft. Moon Dust Press was established to bring books about modern witchcraft for kids into the world. Founded by children’s book author Andrea Stein, this press is dedicated to creating resources for children raised in homes practicing nature-based spiritualities. Womancraft Publishing was founded on the revolutionary vision that women and words can change the world. Womancraft acts as a midwife for transformational women’s voices that have the power to challenge, inspire, heal, and speak to the silenced aspects of ourselves. Red Wheel/Weiser began distributing Crossed Crow Books and Moon Dust Press in September. Womancraft Publishing goes live on February 1, 2024.

“We’re very pleased and honored to take on the stewardship of Quest Books from the Theosophical Society of America. We’ve been distributing Quest since 2015, so we’re very familiar with the list. Quest will be an imprint in our Red Wheel Group, which also includes New Page Books and Hampton Roads. Initially, our plan will be to revitalize their backlist titles along the line of what we’ve been doing with our Weiser Classics series,” said Michael Kerber, president and CEO of Red Wheel/Weiser. Kerber added, “The acquisition of Quest Books is part of our ongoing strategy of growth through acquisition while also building on our well-established publishing program. We couple this with offering our sales and distribution expertise to independent publishers. The addition of Crossed Crow, Moon Dust, and Womancraft Publishing fits perfectly with our other distributed clients and will be welcomed by our thousands of direct customers.”

In addition to the acquisition and new distribution clients, Red Wheel/Weiser has also announced a reorganization of the marketing team with the hiring of John Hays as the director of business development and community engagement. John has extensive publishing experience in the mind-body-spirit area, most recently at Inner Traditions, where he worked for over fourteen years. Along with John’s hiring, Eryn Eaton has been promoted to director of publicity. She has been with Red Wheel/Weiser for ten years, most recently in the role of marketing manager. This reorganization will provide a more forward-facing approach with an emphasis on community engagement.

“I’m thrilled to join the dedicated professionals at RWW who share with me the same passion for bringing together writers, readers, and members of the spiritual community through the creation of high-quality books and card decks. It is especially exciting to come on board at this moment as we prepare for growth and expansion,” said John.

In other moves, Amy Lyons will join Red Wheel/Weiser as a senior acquisitions editor beginning December 4, 2023. Amy has over twenty years of publishing experience and served for many years as an acquiring editor at Globe Pequot. Brittany Craig has also been promoted to associate designer, working alongside creative director Kathryn Sky-Peck.

“The last few years have been, for everyone in publishing, a time of crisis and transformation. Red Wheel is fortunate to have emerged stronger than ever,” said Kerber. “As we move forward, we will face inevitable new challenges with confidence and will embrace the opportunities ahead of us. Our focus going forward is ‘community.’ We are a community of employees, authors, customers, and, most of all, readers who find meaning, purpose, and direction through the publishing programs of Red Wheel/Weiser.”



PHILADELPHIA, PA: The Parade of Spirits organizing team has announced the 13th Annual Parade of Spirits beginning in Liberty Lands Park on Saturday, December 9, 2023.


Liberty Lands Park, Philadelphia, PA, Saturday, December 9, 2023, 16:00/4:00 PM

PARTICIPATORY PARADE: The Parade of Spirits is a family-friendly, grassroots, community-led event rooted originally in Alpine Germanic and Pennsylvania Dutch traditions, but we encourage participants to share expressions from all cultures and backgrounds. Participants are to dress up in costumes reflecting the shady, shadowy, or downright dark-side characters from lore around the world. Please review the rules.

Costumes may be as simple as donning ghoulish makeup to appear as a spirit on the Wild Hunt to as elaborate as a full-on Krampus costume. Hand-made or hand-assembled costuming is preferred, though commercial Krampus costumes are welcomed. BRING NOISEMAKERS! This is most certainly not a quiet event!

Assemble in Liberty Lands Park (913 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA) anytime around 16:00/4:00 PM. Opening remarks begin just prior to sunset, and the Parade steps onto the streets just after sunset (16:35/4:35 PM).


Before and during the Parade, come hear the evocative harmonies of Philadelphia’s own Sing Slavic Choir!

After the Parade has finished its route, please join us in the park for entertainment provided by Squidling Brothers Circus Sideshow (also from Philadelphia!).

Between the end of the Parade and the Squidling Brothers’ performance, the Urglaawe community will present some community-created words honoring Saaga, the Germanic deity associated with history and folklore, as the Parade of Spirits is a revival of Colonial Era Pennsylvania Dutch pre-Yule celebrations.

Yuletide Sock Drive:
Donations are passed out via direct handouts to communities in need or to shelters throughout the area. Please donate new, unworn socks and/or underwear for any size or age! Donations are via direct handouts to communities in need or to shelters throughout the area.

Do you have news to share with our community? Elevations? Events?

Let us know at


Ayu Putri Kenyo Jati of Indonesia, the teen category first-place winner of the 2014 Midwinter Art Contest [via Norse Mythology Blog]

The Norse Mythology Blog Announces Midwinter 2023 Art Contest

Ten years after the website’s first international art contest and three years since its most recent one, the return of the event features the theme “Gods and Goddesses Gather at Midwinter.”

This year’s guest judge is UK comics artist Lee Carter, best known for his intense and often terrifying work for the British weekly 2000 AD and its monthly sister publication, the Judge Dredd Megazine.

Age categories for the contest are kids (twelve and under), teens (thirteen to nineteen), and adults (twenty and up).

Past winners and runners-up have come from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and all over the United States.

Past judges have included authors (Joanne Harris, Utkarsh Patel), academics (Helga Hlaðgerður Lúthersdóttir, Kendra Wilson), musicians (Joris van Gelre of Heidevolk), artists (Richard Elson, Erik Evensen, Steve Parkhouse, Anker Eli Petersen, Liam Sharp), and Icelandic elf whisperer Ragnhildur Jónsdóttir.

Entry deadline is 11:59 pm (Chicago time) on December 23, 2023 – Details and rules.

Upcoming Gatherings:

Open Coven is running the following in-person events in Western North Carolina this Fall and early winter. Open Coven is run by TWH writer Liz Watkin, a fiber artist and educator with an online learning background.

Open Coven provides resources on using fiber art for magick. This includes embroidery and fiber art kits, classes, and online workshops. For more info. visit their website:

  • 11/25 – Magick Talisman Class: 2 – 4 pm at The Well (3 Louisiana Ave, W. Asheville)
  • 12/9 – Tarot Bag Class: 2 – 5 pm at The Well (3 Louisiana Ave, W. Asheville)
  • 1/13 – Altar Cloth Class: 1 – 5 pm at The Well (3 Louisiana Ave, W. Asheville)

The Troth announced this week that Frith Forge 2024, the International Conference of Inclusive Heathenry, will be hosted at the Hotel del Bosque in Costa Rica from April 13th to April 16th. Frith Forge is an international conference among inclusive Heathen organizations, kindreds, and individuals. The broader inclusive pagan communities and interfaith allies are welcome to participate as well. This year the Frith Forge will be the Asociación Ásatrú Yggdrasil.

The Troth wrote that “International Relations and Exchange was founded as a program to facilitate and support international collaboration and education by creating Frith Forge, an international conference for inclusive Heathens. We didn’t just find groups that shared our values, but groups that had already started this work overseas, with long histories of their own, struggles of their own, and problems that we could solve better together than apart. We continue to nurture these lasting alliances and true friendships. We value the chance to participate in such high-quality educational and frithful exchange. This connection helps us all weather the storms together that affect us all.”

More information regarding Latin American Heathenry is available on the Frith Forge YouTube channel:


Positively Noteworthy

North Rustico is a charming fishing village nestled on the northern shore of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Known for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant community, North Rustico attracts visitors with its red-and-white lighthouse overlooking the harbor. The town embodies a quintessential maritime atmosphere, with colorful fishing boats bobbing in the water and seafood restaurants lining the waterfront. Its sandy beaches and scenic trails make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The annual Fisherman’s Wharf Day celebrates the town’s maritime heritage, offering a glimpse into the local fishing industry. North Rustico invites travelers to unwind in its serene coastal ambiance and embrace its maritime spirit.

It just became a little more charming.

Reports from the dodo say that North Rustico resident Lisa Sandoval was strolling the waterfront when she hard someone speak to her.

“I heard someone call out to me, ‘Hello! Hello!” Sandoval told The Dodo. “I turned around and no one was there. Then I heard the voice again. ‘Hello! Hello!’ I got a little scared, then thought to myself, ‘Am I hearing things?’”

There were no humans around her.

via The Dodo

“I stopped and said, ‘Hello?’” Sandoval continued. “And to my shock, he answered me back. ‘Hello! Hello!’”Crows are well-known as highly intelligent and social birds and are renowned for their remarkable mimicry abilities. Studies have revealed that crows can mimic specific voices, displaying an impressive level of cognitive flexibility and memory. This mimicry isn’t merely for entertainment; crows use it for communication, learning, and even to deceive predators. Their adeptness at replicating sounds showcases the complexity of their communication skills, elevating them beyond common perceptions of corvids as mere scavengers to creatures with sophisticated vocal prowess.

“He talks but doesn’t caw,” Sandoval said.  Rumors are that the cross may be vocalizing a local resident who passed away.

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Tarot of the Week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: The Wild Unknown Pocket Tarot, by Kim Krans, published by Harper One, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.

Card: Major arcana X (10) – Wheel of Fortune

The incoming week has the potential to offer a major shift or change in the path forward that is liable to be unexpected or surprising. The ability to embrace and respond accordingly to changes will be key.

Conversely, it could be a great week for breaking old cycles, but resistance to change is likely to prolong the process and make integrating changes more difficult.

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