Pagan Community Notes: Druid ritual, Gods & Radicals, Stan Newcombe, Memorial for Las Vegas victims and more

ATHENS, Tenn. – The Wayist Druid public Samhain ritual was successful despite threats of mass protest and violence. Due to threats the week before, the city posted warning notices to citizens that stated that it was illegal to disturb or interfere with any person or event that had been giving a permit. According to ritual host Archdruid Angela Wilson, Saturday’s event attracted more than 250 people. She said, “I want to personally thank everyone for coming yesterday it was a beautiful thing.”

Michigan’s successful 2017 Pagan conference opens with tributes and tears

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.

Heathen Matthew Orlando running for U.S. Congress in Michigan

MICHIGAN — Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists living in Michigan’s 9th Congressional District have a candidate they may want to take a closer look at. Matt Orlando is an Ásatrúar running for Congress as the endorsed candidate of the Libertarian Party of Michigan. And one of his campaign stops is at the All Hands Together Harvest Festival hosted by Ancient Faiths Alliance. Orlando is facing off against incumbent Sander Levin (D) and Christopher Morse (R) in the general election November 8, 2016. Orlando said his platform is focused on jobs, gun rights, freedom, privacy, and federal taxes and expenditures.

Pagan scholarship winner aims high

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As we previously reported, this year’s recipient of the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fun is 18-year old Pete Ryland Shoda III of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is the third scholarship awarded by the fund since it was created as the Tempest Smith Foundation closed its doors. Eligible scholarship applicants must be a high school senior or equivalent, and must be able to demonstrate that they have been a practicing Pagan for at least a year. They must submit two essays, one that is on a scholarly topic of the applicant’s choice, while the other discusses how Paganism has impacted the applicant’s life.