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CLAYTON, Wis. — The popular Minnesota camping event Summerland Spirit Festival has been cancelled for 2018. According to the event website, the organization has lost its venue. Since its maiden voyage in 2011, Summerland Spirit Festival has been held at Turtle Creek Glen in Clayton, Wisconsin. While that first festival was a stormy one, Summerland has grown to become a popular destination on the Pagan festival circuit, attracting recognizable speakers and performers. In fact, Summerland was listed as one of the top summer festivals to visit to “revitalize your soul” by Antonia Blumberg in a 2016 Huffington Post article.

We reached out to the 2018 Summerland Spirit Festival board for more details. At this point, all they said was that the board has scheduled a vote on the “dissolution of the organization.” The spokesperson would not say anything further. Whether or not that means an end for festival is unclear at this time. Publicly, the board has suggested that it would be organizing other festivals; those events will reportedly be listed on the Facebook group site. In the meantime, attendees are lamenting the loss of Summerland, as this would be the week that they would be camping at Turtle Creek Glen with their beloved Pagan and Heathen community members. We will be following up on this story to learn exactly what happened and report back as we get details. 

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Asheville, N.C. [S. Bustamonte]

TWH – This past weekend saw more protests regarding the Trump administration’s immigration policies. According to Time magazine, the number of protesters marching in cities and small towns across the country was in the “hundreds of thousands.” 600 women were arrested Thursday after staging a protest in the Senate building in Washington. D.C, reports Vox. Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists were among those numbers from Boston to Miami, from New York City to Los Angeles and in between. They joined with others calling for an end to the separation of children and parents.

In addition, more Pagan and Heathen organizations have issued public statement over the weekend on the same topic subject, and those are still being newly published. We will have a detailed account of these reactions, statements, and events tomorrow. 

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Facebook [courtesy].

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — Lisa and Anton Stewart, owners of the Awareness Shop, were among the early adopters of the Facebook store functionality. They use it to feature their custom-made, hand-cast deity statues. Within the past two weeks, four of the statues (Cernunnos, a set of elementals, and two versions of Rhiannon) were removed from the online Facebook store of the Awareness Shop.

The notice on each indicates that the item has been rejected, continuing on with, “It looks like we didn’t approve your item because we don’t allow the sale of adult items or services,” which include “sexual enhancement items” and “adult videos.” The Cernunnos statue has been in the Facebook shop for some three years, the Stewarts confirmed. The couple has appealed but does not expect to hear back.  The did say that, despite the removal the states from Facebook, they are all still for visible and for sale on the store’s web site and via got-deity.com.

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ATLANTA – Mystic South Conference is less than two weeks away. The Atlanta-based conference opened its door for the first time in 2017 and, while it was a successful event, it will be remembered by attendees as the conference without air conditioning. A water main broke early Saturday morning, leaving the completely booked hotel with no water and no air. The maintenance crew was able to temporarily get the water working long enough to allow Mystic South to finish on schedule. After the last vendors left the hotel on Sunday at 4 p.m., the building was shut down for repairs.

This year, MSC board members report that the event planning is running smoothly and that they expect over 300 guests. The featured presenters are John Beckett, Sangoma Oludoye, Ivo Dominguez, Gina LaMonte, Yaya Nsasi Vence Guerra, and the Night Travelers. The three-day conference will also include panels, rituals, entertainment, and both an academic track and a general workshop track. In addition, Cherry Hill Seminary will be hosting its annual retreat seminar within the Mystic South event, including a graduation ceremony. All events, including the CHS seminar, are open to every attendee. Mystic South kicks off Friday July 13 and runs through July 15 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta.

Special note for fans of the Wild Hunt: staffers will be hosting a meet-and-greet Thursday evening at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to come meet some of their favorite writers and columnists, all of whom will also be speaking throughout the conference. TWH writers in attendance include editors Terence P Ward and Heather Greene as well as columnists Clio Ajana and Manny Tejeda-Moreno.

In other news

  • Yesterday was Canada Day and people as always are celebrating in many ways. In that celebration, Canadian Pagans, Heathens join others in not only celebrating the birth of their nation but also the diversity found within it. The future site for the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Toronto, played host to a multi-faith pre-Parliament event called Many Voices, One Spirit, which honored the diversity in the nation. On social media, along with many #HappyCanadaDay posts, Canadians have shared the ever popular video created in 2017 by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.This playful video, titled “The Canadian Anthem We Never Knew We Needed” is a celebration of the many types of people that make up Canada’s population and the collective commitment to living peaceful. And, the organization even included Jenny the Witch.
  • Wendy Griffin has a new book published. Griffin is the academic dean emerita at Cherry Hill Seminary and an experience author.  Her latest work is fiction and titled The Fifth Sun. As Griffin says, “The Fifth Sun is a powerful story of love and loyalty set during the final days of the mighty Aztec Empire.” It is book one, as advertised, of a new series The Crystal and the Cross. Griffin writes under the name Wendy Lozano.
  • Musician Todd Alan has a new album available. It is titled Earth Changes and features ten original songs.  Alan has seven previous albums and has been recording Pagan-inspired music since the mid 1980s. One of his past albums is a live recording from PantheaCon.
  • One military chaplain and Baptist minister believes that “even Witches” are protected by the first amendment right to religious freedom. In an opinion piece for the Elmira Star Gazette, Rev. Norris Burkes writes, “I find no greater meaning for Independence Day than in our constitutional right to freedom of worship.”  He then goes on to recall his first encounter with a group Wiccans who were being targeted; this happened while deployed in Iraq.  Rev. Burkes goes on to say that he and his boss agreed that they would stand with the Wiccans. He writes, “Why stand with those whose faith practice is so drastically different than ours? Because at the end of the day, if we refuse to stand with them, we will most surely stand alone in future days.”

 

Tarot of the Week with Star Bustamonte

Deck: The Vampire Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by US Games Systems, Inc
Card: Six(6) of Pentacles

The week ahead is liable to have its fair share of uncertainty, and potentially feel a bit heavy, as though the proper solution to a pending issue has yet to present itself. The best advice for getting through the week is to be aware, open to discussion, and generous when you can. Not paying attention can cost you by missing an opportunity.

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.