There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, more than our team can write about in depth in any given week. Therefore, the Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Scott Cunningham, one of Wicca and Witchcraft’s most prominent figures. Over his career, Cunningham authored more than 30 books of which the most well known is Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Through that work alone, he made solitary Wiccan practice more visible, more credible, and more accessible. Cunningham died in 1993 of an AIDS-related illness.
On the last day of February and the first day of March, the corpse of evangelical Christian minister Billy Graham was presented for public viewing in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building. Graham was only the fourth private citizen whose body was honored in a ritual normally reserved for presidents, elected officials, and military officers. The only other exceptions to the rule have been civil rights icon Rosa Parks and two Capitol Police officers who died in the line of duty, Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson. Graham is the first religious leader to be awarded this honor by the government of the United States of America. The first clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Laying out a preacher’s dead body in the central building of the nation’s legislative branch does not establish his form of Christianity as an official federal religion, of course, but it is a bold break with 166 years of tradition at the Capitol, and it clearly gives an official stamp of approval to a man who made his living selling one branch of one faith.
UNITED STATES — On this day each year, the U.S. honors Martin Luther King Jr. Public schools, government offices, and many businesses are closed in order to recognize his work and sacrifice, as well as the staggering influence that his message has had on American society. Many Pagans, Heathens and polytheists across the country participate in local activities, both small and large, and privately in ritual to recognize Dr. King and his influence. In honor of this day, we publish these timeless words written by King in 1963 in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, which has since become the focal point of an artist’s 2018 meme: “I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, California’s Bay Area played backdrop to a number of different events as part of the second annual #96Hours action organized by the Anti Police-Terror Organization. Many of these events were attended by local Pagans, Polytheists and Heathens. The weekend action, consisting of everything from protests to vigils, culminated in a march through the city of Oakland. T. Thorn Coyle, who had been involved with the Anti Police-Terror Organization all year, helped to coordinate the first #96Hours action in 2015.
Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. Our hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started!
For Americans, today is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday during which the country acknowledges and celebrates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Due to the current social and political climate, this year’s events have been or will be bigger, and far more poignant than in the past. Several Pagan and Heathen activists have indicated that they are participating in and even organizing public demonstrations, marches and vigils.