CALIFORNIA — On March 17, several organizations located in the Bay Area published a solidarity statement that addressed the allegations reported against Yeshe Matthews by her former coven, CAYA. “We have watched with concern as word of this misconduct has spread,” the statement reads. They go on to call the handling of the situation and the reported lack of public clarity or of accountability by “spiritual leaders” and Matthews as “dismissive” and “unacceptable.” The entire statement is available on Facebook. The organizations represented are Solar Cross Temple, Strong Roots and Wide Branches, Coru Cathubodua, and Black Rose Witchcraft.
GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Tuatha Dea band member Tesea Dawson ended up raising $4,660 for her “Gatlinburg Wildfires Christmas Fund.” She launched the campaign in the days after fires destroyed her home town, and hundreds of people were left with no home, and the children with no toys. Dawson spent the weekend shopping for new toys and other related needs to give to the local families most affected by the fires. She wanted the children to, at the very least, still receive holiday presents.
UNITED STATES — On Tuesday morning, Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was shot in the chest and back by a Louisiana police officer outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, La. By Tuesday night, protests and vigils began in that capital city. While many people were still examining the video of the shooting and processing what happened, another shooting occurred. On Wednesday evening, Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man, was shot by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While an official police video of the shooting hasn’t yet emerged, a video of Castile’s death was livestreamed on Facebook.
The English language is in the midst of a gender revolution – one that began the first time someone questioned why the default state of every noun and pronoun was masculine. Since that point, “humankind” has gradually replaced “mankind,” and the male-centric generic “his” has given way to “hers or his” or (the still grammatically incorrect) “theirs.” Gradually, the language has moved toward treating both genders equitably. However, the preceding statement presumes that there are only two genders, and highlights a very real gender gap remaining in the language: the presumption that gender has only two variants, and thus requires two, or perhaps three, pronouns to reflect reality. Like the generic “he,” the use of these gendered pronouns is so commonplace that it’s all but invisible, except to the people who don’t fit either one and their allies.
[Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. Our hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started!]
On Dec. 4, Crystal Blanton, Wild Hunt columnist, Priestess, writer, and long-time activist, issued a challenge to the collective Pagan communities, saying “This is an opportunity to stand up and support the people of color within the Pagan community, and society, by saying…