The Slavic feast of Kupalo/a

Our Spotlight on Traditions explores the varied traditions of Pagan, Heathen and polytheistic practice. In this installment just after Lughnasadh and the Day of Perun (the thunder god) on August 2, we look back at the summer season in the Slavic faiths.

Pagan Community Notes: Patrick McCollum, PFI-Ukraine, Mills College and more

Patrick McCollum has announced that he will be awarded the 2016 Ralph Bunche Medal For Peace by the International Human Rights Consortium. He will be receiving the medal at the UN’s Commission for the Status for Women held in March. McCollum explained that the Peace Medal was named after Ralph Johnson Bunche, who was “an American political scientist, academic, and diplomat who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late 1940s mediation in Israel.”  It was designed and sculpted by Alex Shagin, the world-renowned metal sculptor and coin designer best known for designing Olympic medals and other similar items.

In his announcement, McCollum also said that he will be the last recipient of the award and that he is thankful to “the many friends and colleagues who have supported and encouraged [his] work for World Peace over the years.” He added, “I share the honor of this award with all of you.”

Ukrainian Pagans, Shamans, Witches Schedule Walpurginacht Public Peace Prayer

KIEV, Ukraine –On April 30, two thousand witches were expected to gather publicly to work for peace in a land that has been rocked by Russian-backed rebellion. Despite the size of the event, only minimal information about it made its way out of the Ukraine. Fialkora Mykytenko, national coordinator for PFI Ukraine, posted an announcement of it in her native Ukrainian. Here is a translation:
On April 30, Walpurgis Night, a (witches’) sabbath will be held in Kiev, with the official approval of the Defense Ministry, and with two thousand people in attendance. The organizers’ web page indicates that this will be the first such massive gathering of practitioners of magick, psychics, healers, and representatives from a wide range of esoteric cultures.The ceremony will be directed toward the restoration of peace and harmony in the territory of Ukraine and the adjoining nations, and be based on the time-honored rituals of civilizations throughout the world.

Ukrainian Idol to Perun Destroyed by Vandals

At the beginning of this month, a wooden idol of the god Perun, installed in the Ukrainian city of Kiev by Slavic Pagan reconstructionists/revivalists (known as Ridnovir), was destroyed by unnamed vandals. According to the Native Faith Association of Ukraine (ORU) this was a coordinated effort that required machinery and multiple people to accomplish. This desecration comes after a Ukrainian Pagan temple was attacked at the end of 2011 in Poltava.
The European Congress of Ethnic Religions (ECER) released a statement saying that this event “rocked all those who respected the ancient Slavic faith.” This event rocked all those who respected the ancient Slavic faith.

Ukrainian Pagan Temple Attacked and other Pagan News of Note

Top Story: A Pagan temple under construction in Poltava, Ukraine, was vandalized, and its keeper hospitalized, at the end of September, sparking waves of sadness and outrage among the global Pagan movement. M. Horatius Piscinus at the Patheos blog Religio et Pietas had the first report on October 1st, identifying it as a Nova Roma temple dedicated to Jupiter Perennus. “The Kalends of September proved long and full, and now another Kalends comes upon us.  The Ides (13 Sept) celebrates the anniversary of the dedication of the Temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva atop the Capitoline Hill of Rome. It is therefore especially sad to learn that the Temple of Jupiter Perennus that is being built for our community in Poltava, Ukraine, was attacked last Monday night by a group of Orthodox Christians.