Wicca Emerged as Controversy in West Virginia Election

CAIRO, W. Va. In a race for the West Virginia House of Delegates, the Wiccan writings of one candidate emerged as issue. Mr. Jason S. Hashbarger (Rep.) currently holds the seat in question. On October 24, Representative Harshbarger posted  an article on Facebook from The Daily Caller, a right wing website. That post alleged that his opponent, Lissa Lucas failed to disclose her Wiccan practice and writings.

Unleash the Hounds (link roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, more than our team can write about in depth in any given week. Therefore, The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. 

A “seismic political week”

As has adequately been reported throughout mainstream media, the Trump administration generated a number of executive orders and memoranda that are now creating significant backlash and raising concerns in many communities. These orders include, but are not limited to, the revival of the North Dakota Keystone pipeline project, immigration restrictions, and actions to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. To see read more about what the administration has done in what some are calling a seismic week of executive action, read the White House website’s weekly report. While Trump’s first week as president has been punctuated by seemingly non-stop protest and rallies of one kind or another, the pipeline memorandum and immigration orders have generated the most immediate public reaction.

Pagan Community Notes: Cherry Hill Seminary; Tarot Ban Lifted; TWH Fall Fund Drive and more!

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Cherry Hill Seminary (CHS) has announced the launch of a new Community Ministry Certificate. In partnership with the Sacred Well Congregation, the new 15-month program is designed to lead to ministerial credentials. The program covers such topics as ethics, leading ritual, diversity understanding, family dynamics, addiction and more. As we previously reported, CHS has recently found itself at a crossroads. Director Holli Emore has said, “Unpredictable cash flow has compromised our ability to be sustainable.

West Virginia Man Arrested in Sex Abuse Case Tied to Wicca

On Monday, police in Bluefield, West Virginia arrested James Irvin on multiple charges of sexual abuse and sexual assault against children. Local West Virginia media say that according to the police report, Irvin allegedly promised magical feats of healing and even resurrection of the dead so long as the children complied with his requests. “According to the criminal complaint, two of the victims lived with their mother and stepfather in Irvin’s home on Giles Street when the alleged offenses occurred in 2007. The complaint states the alleged sex acts were performed under the guise of Pagan/Wiccan rituals, of which Irvin was a follower. One victim testified that Irvin forced her to perform the sexual acts, described as ‘magic’ to ‘make mommy well,’ the complaint states. […] A third victim — a friend of the family — has also come forward to report that she was sexually abused by Irvin on four occasions at his home. She told police, according to the criminal complaint, that Irvin told her the ‘magic’ acts could ‘make her recently deceased father come back.'”
As news of this arrest spread through the Pagan community, anger at Irvin’s alleged crimes were evident, with some asking how anyone could distort Wicca, which places an emphasis on not harming others, into something that could encompass the sexual abuse of children.

Pagan Community Notes: West Virginia Water, Capital-P Paganism, Intellectual Culture, 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! Since I’ve started tracking Pagan responses to the West Virginia water contamination crisis, the fundraiser set up by Solar Cross Temple to aid locals has raised over $1100 dollars.