Pagan Community Notes: Masterpiece Cake ruling, Phyllis Curott honored, OBOD changes hands, and more

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court of the United States delivered their opinion Monday, June 4 on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Justice Kennedy delivered that opinion, which holds that the “Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s actions in assessing a cake shop owner’s reasons for declining to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding celebration violated the free exercise clause.” This overturned previous court rulings. The vote was seven to two, with justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor filing a dissenting opinion. The ruling suggests that the commission did not uphold neutrality when dealing with the baker’s conscious-based objections, stating there was a notable bias expressed against the baker’s religious beliefs.

Pagan Community Notes: Lady Cybele, American Academy of Religion, PantheaCon and more

HOLMEN, Wis. — The Wisconsin Pagan community lost one of its elders last month. Carol Lee Wiggins Olson Gainer, known as Lady Cybele of Rowangrove, died Nov. 26 at her home. Lady Cybele followed the Family Tradition Craft, was a longtime member of Circle Sanctuary and the Society for Creative Anachronism.  She regularly attended Pagan Spirit Gathering until her health made it difficult.

Lady Cybele was born in 1942 in Winona, Minnesota to Leland Edward Wiggins and Mabel Cecilia Johnson. After high school, she earned a bachelor’s degree from LaCrosse State University and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison.

Pagan Community Notes: Conjure Gala, Tuatha Dea, #GivingTuesday, and more

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Druid studying Pagan views on death

DURHAM, England — A graduate student at Durham University has launched a survey aimed at better understanding Pagan attitudes to death, funerals, and ancestors. Thus far, Jenny Uzzell reports, the participation has been much more widespread than she might have hoped, meaning it could lay a foundation for more scholarship around these areas in the future. Uzzell is herself a Druid, and the bulk of her scholarship has been focused on British Druidry specifically. However, she’s looking for broader participation in this survey. “I am interested in building up as complete a body of research as possible, into the attitudes of Pagans to a range of subjects related to death and memorialisation, as well as beliefs about what happens to a person when they die,” Uzzell explained.

Column: Druidry in Australia

AUSTRALIA — Druidry is on the rise. The 2011 census recorded an all-time high of 1048 followers of Druidry or Druidism in the country. That number is expected to be larger in the latest census data, which will be released in the coming year. In recent decades, OBOD and ADF groves have been springing up, along with individuals practicing more eclectic, non-denominational forms of the religion. Anecdotally, many of the statewide Pagan not-for-profit groups have also seen the interest in Druidry increase.