Pagan Community Notes: Awen-inscribed gravestone at Circle; Starhawk calls for action; Caroline Tully and more.

BARNEVELD, Wis. — Circle Cemetery, a national Pagan cemetery located at Circle Sanctuary, will dedicate its first Awen-inscribed veteran gravestone. In January 2017, the Awen was added to the official list of approved symbols by the U.S. Veterans Administration, joining the pentacle and Thor’s Hammer.  The upcoming memorial will be for Druid Dan Moeller, who was known as Oakbear in the Pagan community. While Moeller has the distinction of being the first to be honored with the inscribed Awen gravestone at a Pagan cemetery, he is not the first in the nation. That distinction goes to Wayne Laliberte of Texas (1954-2013), who is honored at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Texas in 2017.

Pagan Community Notes: California wildfires, Frith Forge 2017, Doreen Valiente and more

CALIF. – As is being reported throughout mainstream media, the California fires still burn. The death toll is at 40 and multiple fires continue to rage with the worst ones in the north. Despite the devastation, officials are now saying that firefighters are beginning to get control of many of the fires, and promise of cooler temperatures is helping. The California Pagan community has not be left untouched by the destruction.

From conjure to coloring Books: 45 years of the Witches’ Almanac

NEWPORT, R.I. — When Elizabeth Pepper first started publishing the Witches’ Almanac in 1971, information on Wicca and Paganism was not easy to find. Most of it came in the form of newsletters and word of mouth, or through copies of the magazine Green Egg, where were read over and over again. Pagans had not yet begun to network in any meaningful way. The Witches’ Almanac was one of the earliest publications to cater to practitioners of these emerging religions, modeled to some extent upon the Farmer’s Almanac in that it provided useful information in an annual format. With the exception of a ten year personal hiatus from 1981-1990, Pepper published The Witches’ Almanac consistently year after year.

Pagan Community Notes: Military Heathens, South African Pagans, Terra Mysterium, and More!

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! The Open Halls Project, an organization serving military Heathens, has announced a letter writing campaign to urge the U.S. Army and Department of Defense to expedite allowing Heathens to choose “Asatru” or “Heathen” as their religious preference (which they currently can not do).

Pagan Passages: Barbara Stacy and Lady Svetlana

Lady Svetlana 1934 – 2010

Word has come from Jo Carson that Lady Svetlana, co-founder of Feraferia along with her partner Fred Adams, passed away last week due to complications from pneumonia. Lady Svetlana, born Svetlana Golubeff, was instrumental in keeping the traditions of Feraferia alive, and wrote many essays and liturgical pieces for the faith. “Feraferia emerged from a utopian California subculture of simple living, minimal clothing, and “natural” foods that predated the better-known 1960s counterculture by at least thirty years … Feraferia’s theology celebrated humans’ erotic union with nature, expressed through an annual ritual cycle … To Feraferia … the Maiden aspect was most important – Kore Soteria, the Holy Maiden Savioress. The unique characteristic separated Feraferia, Adams wrote, from other Pagan groups…” – Chas Clifton, “Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America”
“Plagued by occasional panic attacks since a frightening dream in her teens, Svetlana was increasingly fearful during her last eight years. However after Fred died in 2008, she gradually lost her fear of death, partly due to dreams wherein she saw Fred sitting by the gates of a Feraferian Paradise, urging her to come on over.