The beginning of August is the heart of summer in the northern hemisphere. We soak in the sun, enjoy picnics with our families, and find ways to get outdoors as often as we can when the weather permits. There are just enough days left before fall to forget that eventually the temperatures will cool and the nights will grow shorter as we head toward winter. Many of us will celebrate a sabbat of abundance, featuring a table piled high with the gifts that nature provides: flourishing fruits and vegetables, mouthwatering smells from foods grilled outdoors, and the feel of lush green grass beneath our feet. During this time, we give thanks for what we have gained, both from our toil in the field and from our internal labors.
Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio. “The Renaissance Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, a recreation of a 16th-century medicinal garden, is so lush and colorful, it only takes a stroll through to absorb its good medicine. The garden, part of a summer exhibit called Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, is a small-scale model of the 16th-century Italian Renaissance Garden in Padua, Italy, Europe’s first botanical garden. The landscape includes Mediterranean flowers in multiple colors, fountains and odd plants that many people have never seen, like the opium poppy, with its unusual seed pods. The garden in Padua was created in 1545 as part of the University of Padua medical school, one of the earliest and most important medical schools in Europe.
As the recent Ninth Circuit Court decision in Patrick McCollum’s case against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reverberates through our community, those familiar with the law (and “legalese”) are weighing in. Yesterday I quickly pointed out Rhett Aultman’s commentary on the McCollum decision, in which he explains why he thinks the decision was sound and what steps we should be taking from this point. I’d also like to point my readers to the comments made at this site by Alley Valkyrie, a paralegal who works for a lawyer that specializes in federal civil rights litigation. She also thinks the ruling on standing was appropriate. Now, fellow Pagan blogger Hecate, herself a lawyer, gives a clear breakdown of what the ruling is, and where McCollum, his legal team, and the larger Pagan community (and its allies) should go from here. “Judge Schroeder sets out a clear path that shows how to build a successful case.
I’m on the road today, making a normal post difficult, but I do have a quick item I wanted to share with you. A couple bloggers have been discussing a brand new book from the controversy-loving mail-order-Witchcraft mavens Gavin and Yvonne Frost. While Chas Clifton found much to admire in “Good Witches Fly Smoothly: Surviving Witchcraft”, fellow Pagan blogger Hecate found at least one passage troubling. “Any initiatory sex should be with a “stranger” — an initiated Witch of the coven [that] the neophyte plans to join. .