TWH — Paganism, together with the polytheistic and other religions with which it is often lumped, might be characterized as standing apart from conventional cultural and legal institutions. A not-entirely-undeserved stereotype is that of fierce independence from the over-culture, if not outright contrarianism, which can be witnessed in everything from an early acceptance of same-sex marriage to a rejection of the building of infrastructure that might result in hierarchy and rules. Even within Pagan and polytheist traditions wherein opposing cultural norms is not in vogue, it can be challenging to establish institutions and best practices for the sacred work of priest-craft and ministry simply because the faith traditions involved often don’t have enough in common for practitioners to overcome their small numbers by working together. We spoke with several Pagans and polytheists who have professional training related to the work often undertaken by members of the clergy, in order to better understand the challenges faced by those who are called to this service, particularly when it comes to providing any type of spiritual or emotional support which might be thought of as “counseling.” For the sake of simplicity, throughout this article the word “priest” refers as well to priestesses; this is not to suggest that one gender is preferred or superior over any other, but instead follows the deprecation of such words as “authoress” in acknowledgement that such roles can be filled by persons of any gender.
DETROIT, Mich. — Pagan high school students in this state have a college scholarship just for them, which is at best a rare and unusual opportunity. The Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund has its roots in the story of a young girl who met a tragic end due to bullying, and her mother’s determination to transform that legacy into a something positive. At this moment, the idea of Pagan scholarships is on the cusp of becoming a movement which could transform lives throughout the country, and perhaps beyond. It’s an appropriate time to remember the history which led to this moment, celebrate this year’s winner, and look at where the building momentum may lead in the years to come.
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On Nov. 8, the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Inc. (CUUPS) has announced its new structure and officers. Long time member, David Pollard, was hired as executive director, and the organization welcomed Jessica Gray, Maggie Beaumont and Martha Kirby Capo to the new board. Nominations are being sought for the position left open by Pollard. The organization says, “If you are a currently paid member of CUUPS for a year and would like to serve on the board please contact President, Amy Beltaine.”