ENGLAND — Members of the U.K.’s Pagan community made the mainstream media in an effort to dispel myths and misconceptions with regard to a recent rash of witchcraft reports in the region. According to reports, some parts of Nottinghamshire have had “125 [complaints] of witchcraft in two years.” Local paranormal experts allegedly claim that “some of the reports could be ghostly activity which relates to, or has been caused, by witchcraft carried out in the past.” The press turned to Ashley Mortimer, who director of Nottingham Pagan Network and also a trustee of the Doreen Valiente Foundation. Mortimer is quoted as saying that 38 “reports out of 44 [paranormal incidents in Ashfield North] says more to me about the level of reporting than necessarily does about the level of witchcraft activity.” He went on to explain that Witchcraft has had bad press for years and none of this is new.
BIRMINGHAM, England — It was announced that Wiccan high priestess Ophidia Kalendae died June 25. Ophidia had previously been diagnosed with cancer and was being treated. In late June, her condition worsened and she was taken to the hospital June 16 after a painful biopsy revealed the cancer had spread to her bones. Kalendae, who was also known as Wendy the Witch, had been a practicing for more than 30 years. In 1989 founded the Templi Kalendæ in 1989 and another before even that.
It was announced last week that blues musician and activist JD Taylor has died. Taylor was known to the Bay Area Pagan community, performing at the Berkeley Pagan Festival, PantheaCon, and Elderflower. Although she wasn’t Pagan herself, Taylor was heavily involved in regional “women’s and LGBT activist communities.” As noted by the Bay Area Reporter, “some would remember Ms. Taylor as the small woman who was the subject of a photo showing her being beaten by a very large SFPD officer during the Castro Sweep police retaliation in the Castro on October 6, 1989.” Taylor was born in New Jersey in 1946, moving to San Francisco in 1975.
MILTON, Del — Heathens and mead often go hand in hand, but as of yet, no modern Heathen in the U.S. has made brewing mead a career. In Spring 2016, all of that changes. Jon Talkington is opening The Brimming Horn Meadery in Milton/Lewes, Delaware. In an interview with The Wild Hunt, Talkington said that brewing mead and finding his way to Heathenry have also gone hand in hand. He said, “I made my first batch of mead in high school, a Finnish style lemon mead made with honey, sugar, raisins and baker’s yeast.