TWH – Author and teacher Storm Faerywolf was recently publicly accused of engaging in sexual misconduct and abuse by a Maryland-based member Faery tradition, but the allegation was soon proven false. The accusations spread through social media, prompting reactions from members of the tradition as well as others, both in support of and against the accuser, who is known as EckoPup Roberts. Faerywolf published a statement May 5 on his own blog that reads in part: “It has recently come to my attention that there is a man in the Maryland area, going by the name ‘Awen’ who is misrepresenting themselves as one of my initiates. Not only have I never heard of this person they are adding injury to insult by propositioning students for training in Faery tradition and then informing them that in order to be dedicated or initiated then they must engage in unprotected intercourse. This is an affront to the tradition that I hold dear, not to mention basic decency.”
ST. PAUL, Minn — Reclaiming member John Slade, who was seeking a party endorsement to run for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives, fell short in his bid in three rounds of voting on March 10. Slade was seeking to replace retiring incumbent Sheldon Johnson as representative of the east side of the city. The decision was made at a convention of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, the local affiliate of the Democrats who have selected winning candidates in the district for decades. Had no candidate reached a 60 percent majority in the voting, a primary would have been called pursuant to the complex election system in place in Minnesota.
This year, the Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) held its annual business meeting, Grand Council, in the southern city of Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting was sponsored by Dogwood Local Council (DLC), the Atlanta-based chapter for the national organization. The two-day meeting is the center-piece of a full four-day conference event called MerryMeet. Before I continue, I must divulge my affiliation with the organization and event. I have been a CoG member for years, and I am currently serving as its National Public Information Officer (NPIO) – a position that I will hold until Samhain 2014.
Covenant of the Goddess (COG) is one of the oldest and largest credentialing bodies for Wicca and Witchcraft in the United States. Originally founded in 1975 by 13 original member covens, the organization today boasts 121 member covens and a growing number of solitary members. The work of COG is done by a national board of directors, and fourteen regional local councils that engage in much of the grassroots organizing and direct activism in service of Wiccan rights. For example, it was the Dogwood local council in Georgia who responded to a story about religious harassment of a Wiccan student in Bowden, forming a coalition of local and national Pagan groups to make sure the student’s rights were respected. Representatives from these councils, solitary caucuses, and the national board gather each year in a different city to hold a Grand Council, a two-day consensus-run meeting where national elections are held, business is discussed, and Witches from across the country spend hours envisioning the future of the covenant.
This weekend Covenant of The Goddess, one of the largest and oldest Witch and Wiccan associations, held their 2011 Grand Council. This year the council, part of the larger yearly event known as MerryMeet, took place in Irving Texas and was hosted by the Texas Local Council (click here to download an audio interview with Chuck Peart of COG’s Texas Local Council). In a historic first for this national Witchcraft organization, their traditional opening invocation featured an interfaith blessing with Tatiana Androsov, Russian Orthodox, of the Thanks-Giving Foundation, Bill Matthews, Methodist, of the Dallas Peace Center, and Revathi Srinath, Hindu, of the Sanatana Dharma Foundation. Speaking with Greg Harder of the Pagan Newswire Collective COG First Officer Peter Dybing called the invocation “a beautiful testament to the work our interfaith representatives have been doing over the years” (Click here to download the audio interview with First Officer Peter Dybing). “Today we saw an example of other faiths blessing the work of Witches on a national level and that is a beautiful thing […] I found it a very touching moment and I think it’s historic.”