HARTFORD, Conn. — Dianne Daniels was honored Friday as one of the top 100 women of color who have impacted communities in the Northeast. Daniels is a practicing Witch and Unitarian Universalist, who recently took over as president of her local NAACP branch. In a December interview with The Wild Hunt, Daniels said, “I feel very strongly that I must give back to my community. The principle of EOROTO – Each One Reach One and Teach One – is a great way to ensure that the wisdom that I’ve gained, that we all gain throughout our lives – does not disappear when we make our own transition out of this world.” The honor was awarded by June Archer and Eleven28 Entertainment.
In part one of this series, The Wild Hunt looked at several successful infrastructure projects in order to see what they have in common. Today, in part two, we examine a Celtic temple and a Pagan community center to see what went wrong and what we can learn, along with a few other examples of infrastructure that appear to be doing well, but may face challenges in the future. “I’ve been running a ‘pagan’ organization complete with a paid clergy and a permanent temple building for 15 years. Is it because I don’t identify as Pagan or go to this ‘pagan community’ for membership and support? Or is it something else?
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. My 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! An Appreciation of Nora Cedarwind Young: News has come from several sources that Circle Sanctuary Priestess, Death Midwife, chaplain, and Green Burial advocate Nora Cedarwind Young is terminally ill, and isn’t expected to live much longer.
A bright and ongoing success story in the Pagan community has been the utilization of crowd-funding sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter to collectively raise funds for important projects. Starhawk raised over $75,000 dollars to help fund a pitch-reel in order get a feature film based on her book “The Fifth Sacred Thing” made. Peter Dybing helped raise $30,000 dollars for Doctors Without Borders in the wake of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. Pagan singer-songwriter SJ Tucker was amazed when a Kickstarter campaign for Tricky Pixie’s European tour more than doubled their initial goal in a matter of hours (and kept on growing). In addition, several smaller initiatives have managed to collectively raise thousands for Pagan projects: The readers of The Wild Hunt funded the proposed budget of this site for a year, Chicago-based Pagan/magical performance troupe Terra Mysterium raised funds for their new show “The Alembic,”and the Goddess community funded a documentary film in honor of Merlin Stone. Crowdfunding sites allow an easy mechanism for fundraising in communities that may have social networks and organizations, but not the robust money-raising infrastructure of already-established mainstream institutions. This is a place modern Paganism is in today, and more and more of us are turning to these sites as a solution to our “money problem.” There are hundreds of thousands of Pagans out there, millions around the world, and they desire to see our projects and initiatives advance just as much as any other faith community.
While we have discussed Haitian religion, specifically Vodou, quite a bit in the wake of the massive earthquake that has decimated Port-au-Prince, there are many other important aspects we haven’t talked about. This was partially due to the immediate need to get aid and donations rolling, but now that we are two weeks into the crisis, some are looking at the vast cultural damage that has been done to Haiti. “With dozens of galleries, museums and other venues badly damaged in the quake, Haiti’s arts community is sick at heart. Had the nation’s rich cultural patrimony, a testament to joy and beauty in a land that has seen tragedy and despair, been lost? Since the quake, gallery owners have been trying to pull together a list of artists killed, injured or missing.