ATC leaders carry sacred message around country

TWH –Belladonna LaVeau and Dusty Dionne of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) are on the road right now, bringing a message from Demeter out from their Washington state headquarters to Pagans as far and wide as they can reach. At its core, it’s a message to step up efforts to care for the planet, and it’s being delivered in ritual form at venues ranging from living rooms to festivals. It’s been dubbed the “World Love Tour.” Belladonna LaVeau, the church’s archpriestess, explained that several threads were woven together in creating this plan. She and Dionne had been planning to visit a number of ATC groups this year as a way to help members of this wide-reaching organization maintain a common culture.

SCOTUS ruled in Masterpiece Cakeshop case: Pagans react

TWH –As was reported Monday, justices of the Supreme Court of the United States ruled this week in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. et al. v Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et al., in which a baker asserted he had the right to refuse to bake a same-sex wedding cake due to his religious beliefs. In the majority seven-to-two opinion, Justice Kennedy wrote that “the government has no role in expressing or even suggesting whether the religious ground for [baker Jack] Phillips’ conscience-based objection is legitimate or illegitimate,” and that “religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.” The law, justices found, must be applied more neutrally with respect to religion.

Pagan Voices: Thenea, Yvonne Aburrow, Byron Ballard and more

Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media or a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice or artist you’d like to see highlighted? Contact us with a link to the story, post, audio, or image. If you hear a Polytheist going on about how a deity has had to break their will, or how one has to “give in” to the gods to bring about a cessation of suffering, they are expressing a Puritan theological concept, adapted to Polytheism.

Goddess Brigid invoked in efforts to lift the abortion ban in Ireland

IRELAND –Voters in the Republic of Ireland came out in force this week to roll back the clock to 1983 – a time before abortions were effectively banned in this heavily Roman Catholic country. The “once in a generation vote,” as it was framed by prime minister Leo Varadkar, brought out people across the age spectrum to support the repeal; the movement even garnered the support of Brigid. Article 40.3.3 of the Irish constitution establishes “the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother,” calls for that right to life to be vigorously defended. Under the language approved by voters with a two-to-one margin, the article now reads, “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.” It will fall to legislators to decide what new laws to that end actually get passed.

In wake of witchcraft accusations, concerns rise over religious regulation in South Africa

PRETORIA, South Africa –A self-styled prophet and leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering is being sued because he accused a businessperson of being a witch on live television, and some South African Pagans fear the case may bolster a push to regulate religion. If that were to come to pass, members of minority traditional and Pagan groups may be disproportionately affected in this country. Witchcraft is a complicated topic throughout Africa. Witch accusations can lead to violence, arising out of negative associations made to traditional practices. The emergence of Neopagan movements such as Wicca make the use of the word “witch” all the more confusing.