UK — The organizers of Britain’s biggest Pagan event, Witchfest, announced last year that it would not be hosting the festival in 2018. The announcement was made in October during the 2017 event, and it was stated that the cancellation was due to financial constraints. Merlyn said an “unexpected and sharp decrease in attendance was to blame for a lack of funds to finance the conference for 2018.” He told TWH: “Final numbers aren’t in yet, but we think our losses are in the thousands [of pounds].” Witchfest itself is run by its parent organization, the U.K.-based nonprofit organization Children of Artemis (CoA).
GLASTONBURY, England — How did a little market town with a population of 8,000 become, what is considered to be, the Pagan center of England? Glastonbury’s fame is twofold. Firstly, it’s known as the Pagan equivalent of Mecca, somewhat popular with not only British Pagan visitors, but also with members from esoteric communities from all over the world. The town regularly sees groups of Spanish and Mexican Witches, Druids from New Zealand and Italy, Heathens from Germany and Russia, and all manner of Pagans from the States and Canada. So how did this come about?
ENGLAND — : An open letter was sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby by the UK-based Odinist Fellowship asking for the return of sacred sites now occupied by Christian churches. These ‘stolen’ buildings must be returned, writes The Odinist Fellowship leader Ralph Harrison. The Fellowship, established by Harrison (“Ingvar”) in 1996, was formed after a split with the Odinic Rite, an Odinist group originally established by John Yeowell. As a result of the 2006 legal case Royal Mail PLC v Holden, the Odinic Rite reportedly became the first Odinist group to be granted charitable status in the UK in 1988. On its website, the current Odin Fellowship states that it seeks to increase awareness of one of the original faiths present in the UK, as practiced by the Saxons, Angles and Jutes.
CAMDEN TOWN — An historic Spiritualist temple is under threat from developers. The building, whose foundation stone was laid by Sherlock Holmes’ author and noted Spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has become the subject of a debate spurred by a new proposal by development group UrbanLab. The company reportedly seeks to demolish the 90-year-old temple and replace it with nine flats and a gallery. The building is currently owned by the Spiritualists’ National Union, which owns 350 spiritualist churches across the country. The Rochester Square temple is particularly historic.
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. According to a news report on ABC, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs together state that at least “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 and are serving in the U.S. military, and still others are members of military families.