Pagans and Heathens in elected office: an update

HIGH POINT, NC – Megan Longstreet, an openly-Pagan candidate running for High Point City Council, lost her race to Monica Peters. While the the incumbent did not seek reelection, she endorsed Peters, who won with 80% of the vote. While disappointed by the results, Ms. Longstreet had kind words for her supporters, “I thank everyone who helped me throughout my campaign and everyone who came out and voted for me.”

Longstreet ran as a Democrat on a platform of what she calls progressive values. That platform included LGBTQ rights, creation of a living wage, ending systemic racism, ending the war on drugs, and universal single payer healthcare. Longstreet says she plans to run for elected office again in the future.

Charlottesville: events, reactions, and aftermath

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Vir. – It began with online organizing among nationalist groups to protest the removal of a Confederate statue from a local park. It ended with street battles, three people dead, and an unknown number injured. While most Pagans watched the events on the news or through live streams, there were Pagans and Heathens present at the weekend riots.They were protesters who lined the streets around the park, and they also participated in the Unite the Right rally as members of the self-described “alt-right.” And one well-known Pagan even helped organize the rally and was scheduled to speak.

Two Pagans run for re-election in local government

Pagan voters in two U.S. regions have the opportunity to do something unusual –  vote for a fellow Pagan. In Virginia, Lonnie Murray was successful in his bid for re-election as Director of the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (TJSWCD). And, in Maine, Thaum Gordon is up for re-election as Supervisor for Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District. The Wild Hunt spoke to both men about their experiences as elected officials and what advice they have for Pagans considering running for office. Mr. Murray, who identifies as an Animist, was first elected as Director of TJSWCD in 2011. His bio lists his past experience serving on the Charlottesville Citizens Committee on Environmental Sustainability, the Albemarle County Natural Heritage Committee, and the Biscuit Run State Park Master Plan Advisory Committee.

Virginia Community Mourns Loss of Metaphysical Bookshop

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – For decades and maybe centuries, the metaphysical bookshop has provided far more than reading material, statuettes and candles. The independently-owned store becomes a veritable community center for a local population of people, many of whom must hide their interests in occult practice and other minority religious beliefs. Whether the store is labeled New Age, Occult or Metaphysical, such shops become treasured institutions within their environment. The attachment can be so strong that when one must close down, the community mourns its loss. This is exactly what has happened in the town of Charlottestville, Virginia. The Quest Bookshop, owned and operated by Kay Allison since 1978, is slowly preparing to shut its doors. In August, Allison, who will be 84 next month, has decided that it is time to retire.

Guest Post: Spirits of place

[The following is a guest post from Lonnie Murray. Lonnie Murray is a naturalist, local environmental activist and part-time politician. For many years, he was a leader of the NatureSpirit group at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church (Unitarian Universalist), and currently lives with his two daughters and wife in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.]

Beneath the concrete, steel and asphalt of our cities there are ghosts gurgling whispering and moving nameless beneath us. An anthropologist, Loren Eiseley once wrote that “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water”. Many people never stop to think what happens to the streams when a shopping center or housing complex is built, but the secret is beneath our feet in large pipes.