Pagan Community Notes: Little Witches Ball, Luark, Alabama and more

DETROIT – While a Witch Ball is not uncommon in October, it is uncommon to find one dedicated to children. Members of Michigan’s Pagan community are doing just that. The Detroit Conjure Folk Magic Festival, together with the Michigan Witches Ball, will be hosting a Halloween party just for kids. Little Witches Ball  Hocus-Pocus, as it is called, will be held in Roseville, Michigan, on October 12 at the American Legion East Detroit. Organizers write, “Merry meet, Little Witches and Pagans of all faiths, this is going to be a blast for the children this Halloween Season.” They also note that they will be serving soft drinks and pizza, and have music for the kids to enjoy.

Pagan Community Notes: the Troth, Baphomet in Arkansas, Solar Cross Temple and more

TWH – The Troth announced Tuesday that Freya Aswynn, a longtime member and elder, violated its inclusiveness policies  and was removed from the organization. In a public statement, the High Rede explains:  “Aswynn was observed making remarks on social media which belie the spirit of inclusiveness the Troth strives to foster.” The board said that it tried to intervene privately but Aswynn’s posts allegedly continued with “increased islamaphobic rhetoric,” as described in statement, which is available on the Troth site. “The High Rede of the Troth must honor our oaths and condemn this behavior,” the board writes, “[We have] determined that our relationship with Freya as an elder is no longer appropriate, and we have rescinded her status as elder and have terminated her lifetime membership.” The decision has led to intense social media debates.

Column: Heathen South – Interview with Ryan Denison

Pagan Perspectives

For three days beginning on July 13, Atlanta hosted Mystic South: Theory, Practice, and Play. According to the convention’s Facebook page, the Pagan event “highlights the Southern flair and mystic spirit of our own part of the country.”

Headliners this year included John Beckett, Ivo Dominguez, Yaya Nsasi Vence Guerra, Sangoma Oludoye, Mama Gina, and the Night Travelers. The conference schedule included rituals, workshops, papers, panels, presentations, and a live podcast. Several events centered on Norse material and Heathen religions. To get a sense of the conference from a Heathen perspective, I spoke with Ryan Denison of the Mystic South organizing committee.

Why does white supremacist Odinism thrive in prisons?

TWH – Some people believe that religious beliefs necessarily transform people and eliminate bad qualities such as prejudice. However, prejudice forms one of the core beliefs of white supremacist Odinism. Mass incarceration has provided white supremacists a place to recruit alienated white prisoners, which has created a toxic mix. Recently, The Wild Hunt interviewed Rory Bowman about white supremacist Odinism in prison. Bowman is the chaplain liaison for Heathen Prison In-Reach Services of the Troth, an international organization that promotes inclusivist Heathen traditions, or those that do not endorse such prejudice or similar beliefs. What is white supremacist Odinism?