Column: The Shrine in the Surgery Ward

For the most part, I spend the hours of my life allotted to religious devotion at my altar or outdoors, working in the spaces I have built and in the spaces provided by the Goddess herself. I do not usually need much: a table and some candles, or even just a quiet path in the woods. But every so often I feel the need for something else, and in those times, I find myself entering museums, seeking a window onto the past. Today I am sitting on the floor in front a glass case in the University of Missouri’s Museum of Art and Archeology. The museum building housed the university hospital a few years ago; I am told that this room, which holds the collection of materials from the ancient world, was once the surgery ward.

Patrick McCollum in Jordan and other Pagan Community Notes

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note series, more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce 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 lets get started! Top Story: Pagan chaplain and activist Patrick McCollum has recently returned from the first International Conference on Transforming Conflict in Amman, Jordan.

Pagan Chaplain Speaks Out on Native Sacred Lands, Heads to Amman, Jordan for Cross-Cultural Dialog Conference

Pagan chaplain and activist Patrick McCollum, who is involved in a high-profile case involving the rights of Pagans and religious minorities in California’s prisons, participated at a demonstration in Vallejo, California to protect a Native American sacred gathering place and burial ground called Glen Cove (or Sogorea Te in Karkin Ohlone language). The City of Vallejo is working to develop the land into a recreational park, something that the local Native American community has been opposed to. Patrick McCollum with demonstrators. On July 12th, over 100 people converged on the steps of Vallejo City Hall to bring a strong and clear message to City Council, which was holding closed session meeting regarding the future of the sacred burial ground known as Sogorea Te (Glen Cove). Demonstrators arrived an hour before the scheduled meeting, gathering together around the drum to sing before entering the council chambers.