JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. — Ten years ago, a group of Pagans in northern New Mexico created a Pagan school and retreat center called Ardantane. Since that time, students have enrolled in 1,275 of Ardantane’s classes. To learn more about the success and operations of this unique place, The Wild Hunt spoke with two members of Ardantane’s staff: Rowan and Amber K. Rowan serves as dean of the School of Magick and Witchcraft. Amber K, who is also a prolific Pagan author, serves as executive director of Ardantane. Both Amber K and Rowan follow the Our Lady of the Woods tradition.
SACREMENTO, Calif. — Activist and witch Andy Conn died unexpectedly Feb. 2. Conn was an active member of the Bay Area Pagan community, involved with the Church of All Worlds and activist movements such as Occupy Sacramento and Earth First!. His son Nick wrote in a memorial, “My father was a complicated, dynamic man that shone so bright in his short life.
On Thursday June 18, Pope Francis is scheduled to release a “teaching letter,” also called an encyclical, on the environment. This highly anticipated document will most likely become big news of the week as the Pope enters the debates on climate change. A recent New York Times article suggested that, through this work, he is “seeking to redefine a typically secular discussion within a religious framework.” Many activists, around the world, stand ready to applaud his efforts to publicly engage in the global Earth Stewardship conversation and, thereby, hopefully increase pressure on communities, businesses, organizations and governments to enact change. To some Pagans and others, who already position the Earth or a connection to natural systems of place, at the center of their spiritual practice, the need for such a document might seem superfluous.
This year, the Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) held its annual business meeting, Grand Council, in the southern city of Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting was sponsored by Dogwood Local Council (DLC), the Atlanta-based chapter for the national organization. The two-day meeting is the center-piece of a full four-day conference event called MerryMeet. Before I continue, I must divulge my affiliation with the organization and event. I have been a CoG member for years, and I am currently serving as its National Public Information Officer (NPIO) – a position that I will hold until Samhain 2014.
One fact that hasn’t sunk in too deeply to those on the outside looking in on modern Paganism is that our culture includes many different points of view on the topic of spiritual eclecticism. While some groups and individuals feel free to incorporate “whatever works”, others try very hard to find or reconstruct a singular tradition and are loathe to incorporate elements that they see as outside their cultural/religious boundaries. Today, many modern Pagans (myself included) fall somewhere in between these two poles. So I found it interesting that Pagan author Amber K seemed to take a shot at Pagans with a traditional bent in a recent article on Yule.”People drawn to paganism tend to be “spiritual mavericks” because it’s a religion that is open to incorporating many beliefs, she said. “The fact is, if anything seems useful or true or good to us as individuals, we’ll incorporate that into our spiritual practice,” she said.