TORONTO, Ont – On March 30, the news was announced that 37-year old Murali Muthyalu was being charged with fraud over $5,000, extortion and “pretending to practice witchcraft.” This last charge is an unusual occurrence in Canada and invokes Section 365 of the Canadian Criminal Code, which refers specifically to the false practise of witchcraft and other occult or “crafty science.” Muthyalu, who also goes by the name “Master Raghav,” is a citizen of India that has been a visitor to the country for less than a year. He was advertising his services as an astrologer and psychic in the Toronto area throughout February and March. It is alleged the Muthyalu attracted the attention of a 44-year old father, whose daughter is apparently suffering from a mental illness. Muthyalu reportedly told the father that his daughter was possessed by evil spirits and convinced him bring her to multiple healing sessions.
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.
DETROIT, Mich – Last weekend at the Dearborn Double Tree Hotel, more than 1,000 delegates gathered for the 22nd annual ConVocation convention. The theme this year was “The Seeker of Wisdom Must Release the Illusion of Knowledge.” ConVocation was founded in 1995 by the Magical Education Council (MEC) as a way to bring together practitioners of various spiritual paths and faiths for teaching and the promotion of promote fellowship among all esoteric traditions. Last May, the Detroit community was shocked to learn of the sudden and untimely death of ConVocation chairperson Michael Wiggins. The MEC board had charged him with the task of shaping the theme for this year’s event.
UNITED STATES — After the widespread attention given to a binding spell action against President Donald Trump, members the Facebook-based group Pagans for Trump began talking about doing a counter-spell. At the same time, it was reported in various media outlets that a group of Christians were planning to “pray the hex away.” In describing her own work to counter the binding, Lori Lyttle, a member of Pagans for Trump said, “It’s a blocking and protection spell.” She used black and white candles, incense, and “many, many gems,” which were all laid out on her altar. Trump supporter Katie Roberts was also planning to work against the mass binding spell.
TWH – In the wake of Tuesday’s U.S. Presidential election, talk of racism, bigotry, misogyny and hatred has been sweeping conversations, both public and private. In some circles, the rise of President Elect Donald Trump has been compared to the rise of Hitler, and the phenomenon of his success has been compared to that of the Nazi party of the 1930s. With this energy feeding public discourse around the world, Pagans and practitioners of similar earth-based paths are preparing to deal with the possible changes that could come from such a seemingly dramatic shift within the government of the world’s leading superpower. As a response to the increasing frequency of hate and hate crimes in North America, the New Mexico-based Ardantane Pagan Learning Center invited Canadian Pagan Kerr Cuhulain, to deliver a two-part online class, “Dealing With Hate Crimes”. Cuhulain lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.