ATHENS, Tenn.— Local Archdruid, Angela Wilson has scheduled a public Samhain ritual for Saturday, October 27 at the Market Park Pavilion. Her intent is to unite Pagans, as well as to educate non-Pagans, by allowing the community to observe the ritual to honor the ancestors. Wilson was trained by former Archdruid, Father David Springer, and shared to the event’s Facebook page a post explaining the doctrine of The Way that the Wayist order follows. In part, the page says:“The Wayist lifestyle, that we chose as our way of life, helps bring us into our future, and for some of us, a truly new way of life that includes, Doing the Right Thing, Fallowing Virtues, and keeping our Word, no matter how hard that might be, as well as understand the Truth.”
Soon after the event was publicized, Wilson began receiving threats of physical violence. On Tuesday, October 23, a group calling itself McMinn County Christians released on Facebook an announcement of plans to protest on the Athens courthouse steps.
Asheville, North Carolina – A Gardnerian coven recently posted a video of its 1996 public Samhain ritual that it claims was made by local police. The video is one of an estimated 100 surveillance videos that the Asheville Police Department recorded of various political rallies and religious gatherings since the early 1980’s.The High Priestess of Oldenwilde Coven says the lack of transparency and accountability, on the part of the local police department with regards to the tapes, combined with the chilling effect knowing that this was happening, is a cause for concern. http://youtu.be/ILBEGKlrhaU
Over the past 30 years the Asheville police department has regularly video taped tax rallies, environmental protests, and street preachers. The practice of video taping by police came to light when a local newspaper, The Citizen-Times, filed a Freedom of information Act lawsuit to make the tapes public. Oldenwilde Coven, however, has known about the tapes since sometime before 2008.