Pagan Community Notes: Margot Adler’s Memorial, Time Magazine, Religion in Politics and more.

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! 

We’ll start off Pagan Community Notes with a big thank you to all those people and organizations who supported our 2014 Fall Fund Drive. You helped us meet and exceed our goal, and for that we are very grateful.

Pagan Community Notes: Tragedy in Michigan, Gus di Zerega’s New Book, Wreaths Across America, and More!

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. My 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! Last week Lansing, Michigan resident Chris Keith, and her son, Isaac, were murdered by Keith’s estranged husband, who then killed himself.

Post-Samhain/Election Pagan News Catch-Up

The last couple of weeks have been pretty crazy, what with all the Samhain/Halloween coverage, followed immediately by election night, so lets catch up with some Pagan news of note we may have missed. A Pagan Burial at Circle Sanctuary: The Wisconsin State Journal covers Circle Sanctuary’s green cemetery dedication, which coincided with the cremains burial of Circle Sanctuary Community member Bruce Parsons. Nora Cedarwind Young, a green burial educator based in Washington state, participated in the burial and open house Sunday. She said that in modern-day burials, the casket is placed in a grave lined with a concrete and steel-reinforced vault. “The body is never truly returned to earth,” said Young, who also identifies as a Wiccan or pagan. “In a green burial, we are not only reducing the unnecessary use of resources and chemicals, we are preserving open spaces and greenways.” Death is a sure thing that’s going to happen to all of us, Young said, adding that today consumers want sustainable choices. “If I eat organic food for 30 years, why would I want to put chemicals in it at the end?” she asked.

Quick Notes: Thresholds of Life, Satanic Goats, and the Bad Witch Condos

I’m on the road today to visit family, but here’s a few quick notes for you. Thresholds of Life: Over at Patheos.com, Star Foster shares her audio interview with Pagan priestess and Death Midwife Nora Cedarwind Young, recorded at this year’s Pagan Spirit Gathering. “Before Pagan Spirit Gathering I had never heard of a death-midwife but it makes perfect sense. Midwives were healers of body and spirit, they guided people through the transition of birth, death and even marriage by matchmaking. While birth midwives have been making a comeback since the 1970’s, midwives who help families with the transition of death are still uncommon. Along with sharing her stories and thoughts about PSG, Nora Cedarwind Young told us about death-midwives: what they do and how she became one.”

Circle’s Cemetery and other Pagan News of Note

Top Story: Circle Cemetery, located at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, just north of Barneveld, Wisconsin, has become America’s first National Pagan natural burial ground and contemporary Green cemetery to be platted and recorded in Wisconsin. Selena Fox at a memorial for Marion Weinstein. “For its first fifteen years, Circle Cemetery took the form of an area on a ridge top where cremains were placed and Green funerals were conducted.  In 2005, Selena, along with her husband Dr. Dennis Carpenter, Circle Sanctuary church attorney Chip Brown and others in the Circle Sanctuary Community began the legal process of permitting body burials and expanding the size of the cemetery to 20 acres.  Circle Sanctuary minister Rev. Nora Cedarwind Young of Washington State assisted with Green cemetery platting research. In Spring of 2010, Selena, Dennis, and Chip took the expanded cemetery proposal before local government officials through a series of meetings.