Column: Spirit is Free, but Community Priceless

DARLINGTON, Md. –Free Spirit Gathering is one of a growing number of festivals which has been held for more than 30 years, making it a touchstone for Pagans and polytheists seeking to connect with like-minded people. That kind of longevity also means that loss is part and parcel of the community. After several beloved members left this life behind in a short period of time, this year’s coordinators sought a ritual team specifically to aid in the grieving and honoring of those blessed dead. I always go to festivals with my reporter’s pad at the ready, but I attended this one of several priests from the Hellenic Temple of Apollon, Zeus and Pan who were tasked with providing an opportunity to venerate community ancestors, including those freshly minted.

Pagan Community Notes: The Green Album, Witches at COP21, Scott Walters and more

This fall, a new music project was officially launched called “The Green Album.” The project will result in a single album featuring many popular Pagan music talents sharing songs “themed toward celebrating and drawing awareness to the World that nurtures us.” It is “a collaborative concept album featuring Tuatha Dea, Wendy Elizabeth Rule, Sj Tucker, Sharon Knight, Winter JP Sichelschmidt, Celia Farran, Bekah Kelso, Ginger Doss, Damh The Bard, Kellianna Girouard, Spiral Dance, Spiral Rhythm, Murphey’s Midnight Rounders, Brian Henke and Mama Gina LaMonte.” On the project’s Facebook page, Mama Gina wrote, “I am so excited to be part of this amazing collaboration! I have a brand new song that I’ll be recording […] – but it’s still a secret.” Each of the contributors will be sharing one song, either new or old, for that is inspired by the theme.

Pagan Community Notes: Penczak Takes COVR, Valiente’s Blue Plaque, 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! On Monday in California a resolution introduced by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett was unanimously adopted by the State Senate.