Pagan Community Notes: Mountain Magic, Raleigh Pagan Pride Day, Vanessa Goldman, and more

RICHLANDS, Vir. —  Mountain Magic and Tarot Shop will not be offering tarot readings within the store any time soon. The shop owners, Jerome VanDyke and Mark Mullins, challenged a local zoning regulation that prohibits “fortune telling” in the store. They asked the city council to consider changing the code so that divination would be permitted. At a standing-room-only meeting Feb.

Column: Ancestors of Hope and Purpose in Black History

Many people might wonder why I write so much about the cultural experiences of blackness on The Wild Hunt. Besides this helping to provide a clear understanding of my own blackness, it is also a subject that is so underrepresented within the overculture within modern Paganism and polytheist communities. Even though our circles are becoming more and more reflective of differences than years ago, there is still a huge disconnect in how people of different cultures experience our religious circles, groups, practices, and ancestral connections. It is especially significant this month when I am attending the yearly pan-Pagan convention of PantheaCon, which happens to be on opening weekend of the groundbreaking movie Black Panther during Black History Month. In the community celebrations that are so significant to Pagan conventions like PantheaCon, I have come to recognize the importance of speaking power to truth concerning the significant role that my ancestors hold in my connection to spiritual practice and community.

Column: Black August

The dog days of summer are here, marked by the rising of the star Sirius in the morning sky, “the star they give the name of Orion’s Dog, which is brightest among the stars, and yet is wrought as a sign of evil and brings on the great fever for unfortunate mortals.”¹ On August 13, Sylville Smith was killed by a Milwaukee police officer. In the following two nights, eight businesses and numerous cars were burned, rocks and bottles were thrown at the police, and guns were fired on multiple occasions, resulting in at least one hospitalization. Meanwhile, the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center has alleged that the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) prison gang may be planning “to kill correctional officers and Aryan Brotherhood gang members” in commemoration of Black August. Black August originated in the 1970s following the August 7, 1970 deaths of Jonathan Jackson, James McClain and William Christmas during a prisoner liberation and hostage-taking at the Marin County Courthouse and the August 21, 1971 death of George Jackson during a prison rebellion in San Quentin. Prisoners participating in Black August “wore black armbands on their left arm and studied revolutionary works, focusing on the works of George Jackson.

Culture and Community: Amplifying Voices For Black History Month

Black History Month in 2016 is coming to an end as the last day of February looms just around the corner. Despite the extra day this year, for many people this time of celebration and remembrance is too short. Twenty-nine days just is not long enough to celebrate Black people in this country. Black History celebrations happen throughout the month of February every year. Whether we see lessons of history or moments of pride on television, posts of memes, or Black history commercials, this month is about more than just a few moments of reflection to those within the Black community.

Culture and Community: The Significance of Black History

“To Know, To Will, To Dare, To No Longer Be Silent – by Tanisia Greer
Today is the last day of February concluding Black History Month for 2015. Each year the U.S. celebrates the legacy, and influence of Black people whose stories have historically been omitted from history books. It was in 1926 when Carter G. Woodson first founded Negro History Week. In 1976, it was expanded into Black History month. One week or an  entire month, this celebration has held a lot of meaning for many of over the years. While the elevation of African American voices during this one month does not erase the disproportionate lack of celebrating these voices throughout the year, it it does bookmark a consistent time where we are mindful of the contribution of Black people in this country.