UNITED STATES – November 11th – the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” as noted by former TWH journalist and veteran Cara Schulz – is a federal holiday in the United States for reflecting upon the sacrifice and honoring the work of those who have served the country in the US Armed Forces: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marines. Prior to being formally named Veterans Day in 1954, during the Eisenhower Administration, the day was known as Armistice Day. Armistice Day continues to be celebrated around the world in commemoration of the end of World War I. 2018 marks 100 years since that cease fire. Today is often celebrated with poppies. Poppies symbolize eternal sleep, as present in Hellenic and Roman religions; this symbolism is echoed in The Wizard of Oz where magical poppies were used to cause sleep.
TORONTO — The Parliament of World Religions kicked off its 2018 conference in Toronto last week. The theme for this year is “The Promise of Inclusion & the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change.” In a statement on its website, the Parliament states that theme was partly inspired by this year’s host city and its focus on inclusiveness and how the programs it endorses reflect the values of the Parliament’s practices and ideology. Among the notable keynote presenters are Alisa Starkweather, founder of the Red Tent Temple Movement, and Priestess Path Apprenticeship, and Phylis Currott author, Wiccan Priestess, and founder of The Temple of Ara. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the conference. TWH will have a full story on the conference next week.
TWH – September 21 marks the International Day of Peace as declared by the United Nations in 1981. International Peace Day, as it is also called, has been celebrated for 36 years as a tribute to, recognition of, and call for peace worldwide. The 2018 theme is “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres writes, “It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race.” The U.N. is calling for the world’s citizens to take action, no matter how small, toward peaceful resolutions of conflict, ending injustices through non-violent solutions, and promoting human rights. On September 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the Secretary-General will honor the day in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters by ringing the Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence.
BARNEVELD, Wis. — Circle Sanctuary will be celebrating the service of those in the Armed Forces with a special call-in internet radio show during the Pagans Tonight Radio Network broadcast on Tuesday, September 11. “During this special broadcast, some of our Circle Sanctuary Military Ministers and DRGLs will be talking about experiences creating and facilitating support ceremonies for Pagans who have served and are serving in the US Military,” said Rev. Selena Fox. “We will talk about Pagan Warrior Blessing, Honoring, Healing, Deployment, and Return rituals.” In addition, Circle will offer audio presentations of the Pagan Military Service Ribbon during the show.
BIELLA, Italy – A well-known Druid in Italy is speaking up for Pagans after several cemeteries were desecrated. Luigi D’Ambrosio, also known as Ossian, has told the local media that the damage was most likely done by vandals and not by Satanists or Pagans. He said, “It was [done by] disturbed young people looking for attention.” The damage occurred at the Catholic cemeteries in Oropa and Cosilla. According to the report, skulls and other bones had been extracted from grave sites, but left close by. This is not the first time it has happened there, nor in other parts of the country.