DETROIT – While a Witch Ball is not uncommon in October, it is uncommon to find one dedicated to children. Members of Michigan’s Pagan community are doing just that. The Detroit Conjure Folk Magic Festival, together with the Michigan Witches Ball, will be hosting a Halloween party just for kids. Little Witches Ball Hocus-Pocus, as it is called, will be held in Roseville, Michigan, on October 12 at the American Legion East Detroit. Organizers write, “Merry meet, Little Witches and Pagans of all faiths, this is going to be a blast for the children this Halloween Season.” They also note that they will be serving soft drinks and pizza, and have music for the kids to enjoy.
The Little Witches Ball will also serve as a vehicle for several other projects of the associated organizations. The team will be collecting food for Pagans In Need and toys for Yule. “Please bring a new unwrapped toy to donate,” organizers write. In addition, there will be a 50/50 drawing to benefit the Michigan Pagan College Fund, another youth-focused project. The ball is being spearheaded by longtime Witch and Pagan leaders Gordon Ireland and Kenya Coviak, who have both been working actively to help build and sustain Detroit-based Pagan community efforts for over a decade.
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SAN ANTONIO – The funeral in honor of Troth elder Dianne Luark Ross was held August 25, 2018 at VFW Post 76. Ross was born October 5, 1948 in Hollywood, Florida, but was raised in Texas. She graduated from University of Texas with a degree in criminal justice. According to a memorial tribute, Ross was “passionate about civil rights work.” She provided legal aid to those who could not easily afford it for over 30 years, working with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Texas Rural Legal Aid.
Ross was, as noted in the tribute, the “heart and soul of the Ring of the Troth in its early days,” including serving as the original editor of Idunna. She died June 27, 2018, at her home in San Antonio. At the request of her family, Troth steer Robert Lusch Schreiwer officiated her funeral, assisted by many of her friends. “Dianne was a pillar of the inclusive Heathen community, and her influence was felt by many, including those who no longer share these beliefs,” writes Troth spokesperson Lauren Crow.
* * *DAPHNE, Ala. – Rev. John A. Kilpatrick preached to his congregation that witchcraft is what is haunting our current political scene. According to AL.com, the Alabama pastor said, “What’s happening right now in America, is witchcraft’s trying to take this country over. It’s witchcraft that’s trying to take America back over.” The video showing the portion of his August 19 sermon concerning witchcraft has gone viral with over 100,000 social media hits.
Kilpatrick, who founded the Church of His Presence, told AL.com that his comments are not connected to Trump’s recent statements about a witch-hunt. He said that he didn’t put those two things together. It’s not one witch after him, he explains, but rather the spirit of witchcraft. “I’d say the source of it is evil. It’s manipulative, it’s controlling, it has its own agenda. I think it’s just a strong spirit of manipulation and control that doesn’t want to give it up.” While no Witchcraft organizations have spoken out against the speech, the social media comments are predominantly negative, including comments from Christians, Pagans, and atheists, as well as those viewers bringing up Johnson amendment violations with regard to tax-exempt status.
In other news…
- Pagan Fest is scheduled to be held Labor Day weekend, August 31st through September 2nd at the Escape Ranch Health and Wellness Center in Dover, Arkansas. Now in its third year, Pagan Fest is growing in scope and focus. “Pagans of many paths will be joining together for rituals, workshops, concerts, bonfires, and celebration,” write the organizers. “This year’s Pagan Fest will feature more than 20 Pagan vendors.” Musical guests include Celia, Mama Gina, and others. Rev. Selena Fox will be the featured speaker, and she will be facilitating the opening ritual and several other workshops. Organizers say that free camping is available on site for registrants and vendors. More information is available on its website.
- Polytheist and spirit worker Dver Winter has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her oracle deck. Winter writes, “Unlike the more common Tarot-based divination cards, [my cards] rely not on imagery but on story – in particular, the story archetype I call Girls Underground.” The Girls Underground Oracle deck is derived from stories and mythologies that “contain deep truths that are applicable to our everyday lives, and especially our spiritual journeys.” Winter says that she has been working on this project for two decades.
- The Global Wicca Summit begins Tuesday, September 4th. This landmark event will bring together Wiccan and Pagan influencers from around the world to talk about the state of Wicca and Witchcraft practice today. Sponsored by Witch School International, this cyber-conference will use “a series of resources, including live broadcasts, video and audio, allowing anyone, anywhere to participate.” The event is being held in advance of the seventh Parliament of the World’s Religions.
- Although not explicitly Pagan, Dragon Con kicks off Thursday, August 30th, and runs through Monday, September 3rd. This annual Labor Day weekend conference turns Atlanta’s downtown into a marvel of pop-culture fun. Famed for its Saturday morning parade, Dragon Con has hosted its share of familiar Pagan presenters and performers. In the past, this included Arthur Hinds, Emerald Rose, Tuatha Dea, S.J Tucker, Laura Tempest Zakroff, and others.
Tarot of the Week with Star Bustamonte
Deck: The Vision Tarot by Tim Thompson, published by Carta Mundi
Card: Ace (1) of Coins
Money and finances are liable to be a focus this week. While the stock market hit an all-time record high on Friday, and is enjoying its longest run without a major correction (loss), don’t expect that to last forever. It’s important to remember that money is merely a tool, and not the end all, be all.