PAGANS IN THE NEWS

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Note: Some of the news links may have expired over time.
Articles are in reverse chronological time order (most recent).

Pagan Pride Around the World
(National and international PPD events)

Pagan Radio


Articles:

Christianity's Pagan Influence

Candle, Incense, Ritual, and Black Pagan Women Dealing with Racism

Air Force Academy Dedicates New Pagan Chapel

Pagan Chaplain Appointed at Syracuse University

Goddess Worshipers and Tax Authorities Clash in an Upstate Town

Romania’s “Witch Tax”: Magic Meets Bureaucracy

Hindus welcome inclusion of Paganism

"A Teaching Moment" re: Christine O'Donnell

Solstice at Stonehenge

UK Pagan police officers get time off for Pagan holidays

Millions of women attend Kerala Festival in India

Iceland Heathens work for country's benefit

Evangelicals attack Vodou ceremony in Haiti

Burning Times 2010: Witchcraft in India

Pagan holidays approved in New Jersey

Earth religions get worship area at AF Academy

 

The Wild Hunt Blog (Pagan religious freedom watch)

Pagan Radio


 

Discovery of world's earliest Christian engravings reveals religion's ties to mysterious pagan sect
By Gavin Allen, The Daily Mail Online
Last updated at 3:21 PM on 5th October 2011

The discovery of the world's earliest Christian engraving has thrown light on the life of a pagan sect and its relationship with the more orthodox religion.

Researchers at the Capitaline Museums in Rome believe they have finally translated and dated NCE 156, an inscription carved into stone in Greek.

It is now believed the stone, housed at the Capitaline, dates from the latter half of the second century when the Roman Empire was in its pomp but pagan teachings seemingly mingled with the Christian doctrine.

Click here for rest of article.

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Candle, Incense, Ritual, and Black Pagan Women Dealing with Racism
Patheos Blog Authors
July 29, 2011 by Nouvelle Noir Goddess

Psychology of Women Quarterly recently published a report citing the ineffectiveness of the coping strategies of black women dealing with racism in June. The black media outlets are debating this recent study and I thought to interject my personal opinion on this topic, on Daughters of Eve, since many of us have used incense, candles, and rituals as part of our way of life and/or spirituality...

For black pagans, (I will use the term Pagan to define outside the 3 Abraham religions, or blending of one of the three religions with non-Abraham tradition, with respect). When burning candles, there is intention that goes into the selecting the color of candles and/or selecting a candle for specific purpose (decrease anxiety, welcoming positive energy, healing candles, binding, banishing, 7-day candles, etc.), and scent (if you use scented candles). Many of us don’t simply pick out a random candle without intention. The small act of lighting the candle and extinguishing the candle is sacred and thought out thoroughly for some of us. The process is active.

For black pagans, incense is also an “active” process, pending if we believe in deities, energy, and/or spirit. Each incense and/or fragrance is symbolic of a deity, a day of the week, a festival day, a cause (to bind, to cure, to heal, to ease pain, and to invoke passion, etc.), and energy. The process is active.

The use of symbols (pentacle, ankh, chaos, the wheel, crescent moon, etc.) holds power. All around, many of us believe that all that we do and use for our rituals and/or “work” holds power and intention.

Click here for rest of article.

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Air Force Academy Dedicates New Pagan Chapel
Deb Stanley, 7NEWS Producer
POSTED: 7:13 am MDT May 4, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy has dedicated its pagan chapel. The outdoor worship area is for cadets who practice Wicca, Druidism and other earth-based religions.

"It's just a place where I can go and be myself," said Cadet Nicole Johnson, who calls herself a pagan. "It's outside so we can see the stars at night, we get to be closer to nature. Now, when we have full moon rituals you can see the moon."

Johnson and several others are part of the pagan worship group at the academy. Cadets of all religions also came out to support the new chapel.

There was some controversy last year when someone left a large wooden cross in the chapel. Some called it desecration.

"It's just kind of annoying," said Johnson. "This is our space. We're trying to call a space our own."

Click here for rest of article.

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ABC News on Campus reporter Matt Markham blogs:

Syracuse University has tapped Mary Hudson to be the school’s first pagan chaplain.

That makes Hudson, 50, the second pagan chaplain appointed at a U.S. college. The only other known school to have a pagan chaplain is the University of Southern Maine. Internationally there are a few in Canada, Australia, and the UK.

But, what is a pagan? "It's not an easy word to define," said Rachel Ousley, a senior at Syracuse University and practicing pagan. "'Pagan' is basically an umbrella term meaning anyone who follows a polytheist religion, so you can have a whole load of religions or paths or faiths under that. Generally, pagans are polytheists that have more than one deity, or animal spirits, and they're also nature-based."

The pagan religion includes many different branches, such as Wicca and druidism.

Click here for the rest of this article.

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Goddess Worshipers and Tax Authorities Clash in an Upstate Town
By PETER APPLEBOME, New York Times/Religion
Published: February 9, 2011

During Palenville Pagan Pride Day in August, the agenda reflected the goddess-centered theology of the Divine Feminine, which members say has its roots 12,000 years ago in the Goddess Cybele in Central Anatolia, in Turkey.

So after the opening ritual at 9 a.m. and sandwiched around “Lunchtime with the Priestesses,” the schedule at the old Central House inn included “The Goddess in Antiquity,” “Pagans in the Mundane World” and sessions on sacred drumming patterns, dragon rituals and the Cybeline Revival.

Click here for rest of article.

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Romania’s “Witch Tax”: Magic Meets Bureaucracy
By Joseph Laycock, Religion Dispatches
1/26/2011

On January 1, Romania implemented new tax codes that, among other changes, added the occupation of “witch” to the nation’s labor codes. Those charging clients for tarot readings, curses, and blessings must now pay a 16 percent income tax and make contributions to health and pension programs. The ire of the witches, some of whom responded by performing rituals to hex the government, has become fodder for scores of offbeat news stories throughout the west. But there is a deeper story to the witches of Romania. With Romania’s entry into the EU, an indigenous folk practice that was once persecuted under communism has come face to face with a global economy. The Romanian “witch tax” is a fascinating study in how the forces of modernity and globalization are shaping an ancient tradition.

Click here for rest of article.

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Hindus welcome inclusion of Paganism in UK’s Lincolnshire County schools
newKerala.com, Nov. 11, 2010.

Hindus have welcomed the reports of Lincolnshire County Council in United Kingdom (UK) allowing its schools to teach Paganism to students along with six other world religions.

Welcoming the inclusion of Paganism, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that all religions were different ways to relate to the Divine, different responses to the Reality and were a positive sign of God’s generosity.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that a more inclusive understanding of religion was needed and we should learn to live together with mutual loyalty despite our seriously different faiths. He urged world religious leaders to leave behind selfish motives and work together for greater ideals.

Click here for rest of article.

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Wiccan Community Upset With O'Donnell, Calls Witchcraft Comments 'Teaching Moment'
by Sam Stein, The Huffington Post
9/20/2010

Christine O'Donnell's mercurial candidacy for the United States Senate has elevated the issue of witchcraft to uncommon political heights. But not everyone associated with the religion is pleased.

Last Friday, remarks emerged from an appearance the Delaware Republican made during a 1999 taping of "Politically Incorrect," in which she acknowledged that she had "dabbled into witchcraft" but "never joined a coven." O'Donnell immediately distanced herself from the quote, asking whether it was fair to hold candidates responsible for the "questionable folks" they hung out with in high school. The clarification may have been the only sane political move for O'Donnell to make. But it had the side effect of angering an already politically sensitive pagan community.

"Yes, this was 11 years ago she said that," said Reverend Selena Fox, the High Priestess & Senior Minister of the Circle Sanctuary a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting paganism and nature spirituality. "But the kinds of things she is saying now, saying 'well in high school you are with despicable characters' or some such thing, she is actually defaming Wiccans. Whether she intends to do that or not as a way to try and get herself out of this political problem she has created for herself, the fact is America really needs to be a place where you can celebrate diversity and practice your religion without getting ridiculed or defamed."

Click here for rest of article.

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New Agers, neo-pagans see Stonehenge solstice
Los Angeles Times
June 21, 2010

SALISBURY, England —
Thousands of New Agers and neo-pagans danced and whooped in delight Monday as a bright early morning sun rose above the ancient stone circle Stonehenge, marking the summer solstice.

About 20,000 people crowded the prehistoric site on Salisbury Plain, southern England, to see the sunrise at 4:52 A.M. (1152 EST), after an annual all-night party.

The event typically draws thousands of alternative-minded revelers to the monument, as they wait for dawn at the Heel Stone, a pockmarked pillar just outside the circle proper, which aligns with the rising sun.

Article link has expired, but archives may be accessed here.

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Pagan Police Officers granted days off for religious festival
By Sean Williams, The Independent
Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Britain's pagan policemen and women have been given the right to take time off to celebrate their ancient festivals. The Pagan Police Association (PPA) has been recognised as a 'diversity staff support organisation' by the Home Office, a move which has polarised the force.

The PPA is thought to have up to 500 members, including Wiccans and Druids. Co-founder Andy Pardy has hailed the group's progress, which will see members allowed time off to observe dates like the recent Beltane Fire Festival and Spring Equinox at Stonehenge.

Click here for entire article.

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Millions of women throng Kerala festival
By John Mary, BBC News, Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Trivandrum, Kerala

India's southern state of Kerala may have hosted the largest gathering of women ever seen on the planet.

Clad in traditional Kerala saris and bearing offerings of food, more than two million women—perhaps more—thronged the state capital Trivandrum on Sunday.

The women braved searing heat to offer a special meal at the Attukal temple to Hindu goddess Bhagavathy—one incarnation of the potent goddesses Kali and Saraswati.

Click here for entire article

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Don’t Mess With Heathens in Iceland
Wild Hunt Blog, 2/24/10

The Iceland Review reports on an act of sorcery against Iceland’s enemies, and high chieftain Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson (a friend of both Bjork and Sigur Ros) claims that the working is, well, working.

“An act of sorcery against “Iceland’s enemies,” undertaken by members of the pagan society Ásatrúarfélagid in Iceland at the beginning of the economic crisis, finally seems to be delivering the desired results, as high chieftain Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson pointed out on the news yesterday—the Dutch government has collapsed and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s political career is hanging by a thread.”

You can read more about the initial ritual, here. The moral of this story? Don’t mess with the Asatru in Iceland, unless you want your economy to crumble and your politicians to falter.

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Voodooists attacked at ceremony for Haiti victims
The Associated Press, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010, 1:57 p.m.

Angry crowds in a seaside slum attacked a group of Voodoo practitioners Tuesday, pelting them with rocks and halting a ceremony meant to honor victims of last month's deadly earthquake.

Voodooists gathered in Cite Soleil where thousands of quake survivors live in tents and depend on food aid. Praying and singing, the group was trying to conjure spirits to guide lost souls when a crowd of Evangelicals started shouting. Some threw rocks while others urinated on Voodoo symbols. When police left, the crowd destroyed the altars and Voodoo offerings of food and rum.

Link to rest of article has expired.

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The Burning Times 2010: Witchcraft in India
Paula Jean West, Pagan Travel Examiner,
February 22, 2010

Last October 2009, according to BBC news, five women were paraded naked, beaten and forced to eat human excrement by their neighboring villagers after being labeled as witches. All five victims were Muslim widows, according to the local police. The incident occurred in a village in Pattharghatia. India. In parts of India, there are people who believe that certain women in their village posses a "holy spirit" and this gives them the ability to identify those who practice witchcraft. These "holy women" identified five women in the village of Pattharghatia who they alleged were bringing misery to the area. The real outrage came when it was found that footage of the incident was captured and aired on television in India causing country-wide outrage. The police investigated the incident and eleven villagers have been indicated, six of whom are women. Four people have been arrested as a result of this incident.

Click here for complete article.

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Pagan holidays approved for excused absence in New Jersey
From Amie, PPD Nationals, 2/20/10

I just got a call from the NJ Board of Education. They are adding 8 Wiccan/Pagan holidays to the "official" BoE calendar! They just wanted to double check the dates with me, in response to my letter to them in December. They said it will be adopted as official policy next month at the March BoE meeting!! our holidays plus a couple Jewish ones they apparently missed.

For those of your that were unaware, this issue came up in November/December of last year, when a Salem County School and then the BoE denied my friend's child the excused day off for Yule. A few of us took up a letter writing campaign in response...

Never underestimate the power of a strongly worded (but polite) letter!

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Earth religions get worship area at AF Academy
DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer Dan Elliott, Associated Press Writer
Mon Feb 1, 5:53 pm ET

DENVER – The Air Force Academy has set aside an outdoor worship area for Pagans, Wiccans, Druids and other Earth-centered believers, school officials said Monday.

A double circle of stones atop a hill on the campus near Colorado Springs has been designated for the group, which previously met indoors.

"Being with nature and connecting with it is kind of the whole point," said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, who sponsors the group and describes himself as a Pagan. "It will dramatically improve that atmosphere, the mindset and the actual connection."

Click here for complete article.

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Pagan Radio


Pagan Warrior Radio

Tuesday nights, 8 - 9 PM CST
CALL IN: (347) 308-8222 and/or join Live Chat during the show.

Pagan Warrior Radio is a new internet radio show serving Pagan veterans and those on active duty in the United States Military, plus their family, friends, and supporters. Sponsored by Circle Sanctuary Ministries.

Pagan Perspective Radio

Host: Tim Workman

Sundays from 2-4 p.m. EST. A place to listen to discussion and theory about Paganism.

Voices of the Sacred Feminine, hosted by Karen Tate

From your home altar to the voting booth, relearn and rethink the ideals of the Divine Feminine with scholar, speaker, sacred tour leader, and workshop presenter, Karen Tate, author of Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations and Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth.

Every Wednesday night Karen hosts "Voices of the Sacred Feminine," which features interviews with women and men who discuss Goddess as deity, archetype and ideal, the rising interest in the Feminine Consciousness and Right Brain Thinking. At the bottom of the hour, hear WHAT'S THE BUZZ, the insightful and sometimes controversial, always timely news segment relevant to our shifting values and ideas embracing the Sacred Feminine.

For more information or to listen to the show on Blog Talk, go to Voices of the Sacred Feminine Radio.

 

 


Pagan Pride Around the World
National and international PPD events

 

Pagan Pride Day in Rhode Island

Pagan Pride in Nottingham, England

Fargo's (ND) First PPD

Pagan Pride Day in Utah

Southern California PPDs

 

 

Photo Gallery: Pagan Pride Day
Memorial Park hosted the free event on Aug. 20.
By Gale Carroccia, Sept. 7, 2011
Johnston.Patch.com

The 13th annual Rhode Island Pagan Pride Day took place on Aug. 20, the fifth year that the celebration has been held at Memorial Park, according to coordinator Jane Driscoll.

There was no admission fee for event; organizers asked visitors to donate a non-perishable food item for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in Providence.

Donations of a different kind were being accepted by the Rhode Island Blood Bank, which parked the Bloodmobile at the park for the day.

More than 40 vendors participated, from makers of hand-made jewelry to sellers of all-vegetarian food and the Witches Almanac.

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In pictures: Nottingham hosts Pagan Pride festival (as featured on BBC News online on August 8, 2011).


First Pagan Pride Day
By: Bill Schammert, WDAY
August 7, 2011

A beautiful Sunday afternoon brought hundreds of people to parks, but it wasn't all picnics and fishing. Many celebrated Fargo's first ever Pagan Pride Day.

Joy Zeidan has been a practicing Pagan for years, and after months of work, today her dream of a Fargo Pagan Pride day became a reality.

Joy Zeidan – Pagan Pride Day Coordinator: “We're just here to educate the community about paganism and different avenues of paganism. We're pretty much everyday people and there's really nothing to be scared about.”

Click here for rest of article.

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Pagan Pride Day to offer Utahns a peek at low-key but growing community
By Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune

They wear multicolored robes in a highly choreographed ritual. They read from sacred texts. They sing their praise, chant their truths and hoist their hands to the sky. They kneel before heaven’s mystery.

Though their worship includes elements from early Christianity, these practitioners are not Christians. They are pagans.

And they are part of a growing body of believers who have moved away from monotheistic faiths such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam into the wide world of syncretic spirituality.

More than a million Americans now practice some form of Wicca, or traditional witchcraft, Ceremonial Magick, Hermeticism, Shamanism, Asatru (German/Nordic religion), African religion such as Voodoo, according to patheos.com, a multifaith website.

Unfortunately, modern pagans often are quiet about their beliefs, fearing ridicule or, worse, outright discrimination.

Click here for entire article.

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Southern California 2010 Pagan Pride Day Events
by Rachel Mohan
September 4, 2010, 9:44 a.m. EDT
www.CultureMob.com

Pagan Pride Day in San Diego is September 11th, 2010, Pagan Pride Day and Harvest Faire in the Inland Empire is September 25th, and Pagan Pride Day LA is September 26th in South El Monte.

If you like psychics, tarot, dragons, stones, incense, brooms, ritual clothing, and similar things, you’ll have fun at the annual Pagan Pride Day, held in September on different days in different regions. All of the September Pagan Pride Day events are a part of the International Pagan Pride Project.

Although Orange County does not currently host its own event, residents are likely to be able to attend one of the surrounding events with little trouble.

[Webmaven's note: "The OC" is a wealthy/Republican stronghold.]

For rest of article, click here.

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