Pagan Community Notes: BBC petition, Cherry Hill Seminary, Arnold Crowther, and more

As we reported in the past, a U.K.-based petition has been making its way around the internet. Its mission is to urge the BBC to be more considerate of Pagan religious views. Created in January 2018 by Druid Stuart Jeffrey, the petition, which is titled BBC should make Pagan voices heard, has garnered closed to 2,000 signatures. Jeffrey believes that the station should contain occasional programming that explores Paganism and that “they should feature a Pagan voice on Thought for the Day at least once a year.” He writes, “The BBC recently published a review of its religious programming however despite getting the views from a range of religious leaders, no Pagans were consulted. Thought for the Day (T4tD) goes out on Radio 4 and despite it being multi-faith it has no Pagan voices on it.”

In a press release, Jeffrey announced that the petition will be delivered to the BBC Tuesday, July 17 at 11am. He said, “Almost 2,000 people have call [sic] on the BBC to make Pagan voices heard.

Doreen Valiente Foundation gains full charitable status

U.K. — It is arguable that Doreen Valiente was one of the most influential women in British Wicca during the 20th century. A magical practitioner, writer, and recipient of a commemorative blue plaque on her home in the south coast city of Brighton – the only Witch in the world to be so honoured – Doreen’s legacy also lives on in the form of the Doreen Valiente Foundation. This foundation has now attained full recognition as a charity, providing an opportunity to look back at Valiente’s life, the work of the foundation, and its transition into charitable status. Valiente was born in 1922 in Surrey. She became interested in magic as a teenager, running around the household on a broomstick and being sent to convent school as a consequence.

Pagan Community Notes: Memorial Day, Pagan college scholarship, Witchcraft conference and more

TWH – Today marks Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day to honor the many men and women who have died in military service. The departments of Defense and  Veterans Affairs together reportedly state that over “1.2 million people have died fighting for America during its wars dating back 241 years.” The VA has a breakdown of the losses per conflict since the American Revolution. In a 2016 blog post, Druid John Beckett wrote, “Let us remember our warrior dead. Let us remember those who answered the call to do what had to be done and who sacrificed all they had. It is right and good to celebrate their courage and valor.”

Many Pagans, Heathens and polytheists have served or are serving in the U.S. military, and still others are members of military families.

Review: three Pagan poets for National Poetry Month

If, as is proclaimed in the Charge of the Goddess, “all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals,” then the pleasure of poetry is among those rituals, too. April is National Poetry Month in the United States. Here’s a look at the works of three female poets: a Wiccan priestess, a pioneer in the modern women’s/goddess spirituality movement, and a priestess in the Welsh Bardic Tradition. The Charge of the Goddess: the Poetry of Doreen Valiente
Doreen Valiente Foundation in association with the Centre for Pagan Studies, expanded edition 2014, 142 p.

Ironically, the Charge of the Goddess included is this collection by the acclaimed “mother of modern witchcraft” is not her rhyming, poetic rendition but rather her far more famous prose version. The late John Belham-Payne, a friend and “working magical partner” of Valiente’s, shepherded her poetry into publication following her death in 1999, thus fulfilling a deathbed request by the Wiccan priestess who had been initiated into Gerald Gardner’s coven by the man himself in 1953.

Pagan Community Notes: California wildfires, Frith Forge 2017, Doreen Valiente and more

CALIF. – As is being reported throughout mainstream media, the California fires still burn. The death toll is at 40 and multiple fires continue to rage with the worst ones in the north. Despite the devastation, officials are now saying that firefighters are beginning to get control of many of the fires, and promise of cooler temperatures is helping. The California Pagan community has not be left untouched by the destruction.