In this week’s Pagan Community notes, The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions metaphysical shop receives a threatening message, the US West Coast fires continue with confusion about the BLM abbreviation, a highway project in Egypt may impact historical sites, and more stories affecting the Pagan community.
PORTLAND, ORE. –The stabbing attacks on a Portland train Friday, which were preceded by a hate-filled tirade by the assailant, have raised tensions in the Muslim community and, at the same time, local area Pagans have lost a beloved friend and family member. Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, one of two men who died trying to stop what police are describing as “ranting and raving” and “hate speech” directed at two teenage girls, had close ties to the Pagan world, although it is not yet clear what is own religious identity was. Namkai Meche grew up in Ashland, Oregon, where he graduated high school. A childhood friend, Christopher Landt, told a reporter for the Oregonian, “If he knew he was going to die, he still would have done what he did.”
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Until she turned to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation last week, Dominique Smith did not feel like she was being heard. Now, the story of her Pagan-themed shop being vandalized is repeatedly being shared widely, and she’s found allies in Pagan communities. What she’s yet to gain, however, is an investigation of these incidents as hate crimes. Smith owns Elemental Book & Curiosity Shop in Winnipeg, the provincial capital. It caters to the needs of local Pagans and polytheists, but she’s also become an “unintentional social worker,” pointing locals to resources for addiction, food insecurity, and other issues.
TWH – Now that the season has turned and we are nearing the end of the 2016, we look back, one last time, to review this extraordinary year. What happened? What didn’t happen? What events shaped our thoughts and guided our actions? In our collective worlds, both big and small, what were the major discussions?
SILVER SPRING, MD. –In the wake of one of the most contentious U.S. presidential elections in history, a rising number of hate crimes are now being reported against people of color. When an extremely multicultural Episcopalian church near the nation’s capital was targeted, nearly 30 local Pagans showed up at the following Sunday service to make it clear that the victims do not stand alone. According to reports, a banner advertising Spanish-language services at the Episcopal Church of Our Savior was slashed, and on the back was written the message: “Trump Nation. Whites Only.”