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Discussions

Original Link: https://wildhunt.org/2021/06/pagan-community-notes-week-of-june-7-2021.html 



Image credit: Wokandapix from Pixabay


TWH – Yesterday several Heathen groups posted public statements denouncing a prominent Heathen after private messages filled with racial slurs and threats were made public by the recipient of the messages.

The Heathen Underground page was the first to publish a post on Facebook denouncing Ivy Mulligan with screenshots of messages from her account. TWH has opted to not include screenshots of the hate-filled and threatening messages, but they can be viewed via the link to the Heathen Underground’s post.

The messages appear to be in response to the public statements issued last month by the Venezuelan Heathen group, Alþing de Venezuela and the Kvennathing Asatrú México (Assembly of Women of Allthing Ásatrú México) regarding Lars Magnar Enoksen and allegations of harassment and abusive behavior.

Within a couple of hours of the first public post denouncing Mulligan, The Asatru Community Inc.-TAC, A Contemporary Vitki, and Awaken The North had all issued statements on Facebook denouncing Mulligan.

The Asatru Community Inc.-TAC acknowledged that while Mulligan has served on the organization’s board and been involved in various projects in the past, she had little if any recent involvement with the group:



Jesse, host of the Midgard Musings YouTube channel issued an Emergency Press Conference last night to address the recent news regarding Mulligan:

Jesse, who identifies as a Tribalist Heathen, expressed his shock and anger over racist and threatening language revealed in the messages.

Mulligan had been featured on Midgard Musings just a couple of months ago and exhibited none of the behavior or language revealed in the messages made public yesterday. During the press conference, Jesse was unsure whether he would remove the segment with Mulligan or link it to this latest news to make viewers aware of her racist stance.

Jesse told TWH, “I believe in heathenry working best at the tribal level, and am welcoming to all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality/identity.”

♣          ♣          ♣


TWH – The Rev. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary has been named to serve on Americans United (AU) for the Separation of Church and State’s new interfaith initiative, the Faith Advisory Council (FAC). The FAC will be focused on highlighting the voices of spiritual and religious leaders across the country who support the separation of church and state and to help clarify how that separation protects religious freedom.

According to a recent article in this month’s Church & State Magazine, “The FAC will be composed of religious leaders from across the country who represent a diversity of faiths, gender identities, races and theological and religious expressions.”

Also serving alongside Fox on the council are Rabbi Thomas Alpert, Temple Etz Chaim, Franklin, Mass.; Rabbi Robert Barr, Congregation Beth Adam, Loveland, Ohio; Sabrina Dent, senior faith adviser at Americans United; the Rev. David Key, Lake Oconee Community Church, Athens, Ga.; the Rev. Alex Patchin McNeill, More Light Presbyterians, Ashe­ville, N.C.; Maggie Siddiqi, senior director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Prog­ress; the Rev. Lori Walke, senior pastor, Mayflower Congre­gational Church, Oklahoma City and the Rev. Naomi Washington-Leap­heart, adjunct professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University, Villanova, Pa.

Fox  is quoted in the publication and highlighted her ongoing work on a number of fronts:


“Through my work as executive director of the Lady Liberty League, I am on the frontlines of the quest for religious freedom and equal rights for Nature religion practitioners and groups in the United States and other countries. Since my undergraduate student days at the College of William and Mary in the 1960s, I have been an activist for social justice, racial and gender equality and environmental pres­ervation.

“I have worked with Am­er­icans Uni­ted for Separation of Church and State in various ways for more than 15 years and look forward to serving on the Faith Advisory Council. I appreciate, celebrate, and support AU’s long history of converging those of diverse religious, spiritual and phil­osophical orientations and political affiliations to uphold religious liberty and church-state separation.”


The outlined goals of the FAC encompass three main points. First, to shape AU’s work so it reflects inclusiveness and will resonate with a broader audience.

The FAC will also “help AU strategize in the organization’s movement-building through opening new doors to influential faith leaders and their communities.”

And finally, to help illuminate the importance of AU’s work to not only faith communities, but also make the organization’s work more visible to media, government, and those who support religious freedom.

The inclusion of Fox on the council reflects a desire for true diversity by AU that is often hard to find on the boards of other organizations.


Announcements:


  • Cherry Hill Seminary announced it is hosting Wiccan mystic and ordained minister, Katrina Messenger for a live interview and conversation that will explore the negative spiritual impact of white supremacy, capitalism, and the patriarchy on June 26 at 3:00 pm via Zoom.


In other news:


  • A new report conducted by the American Alliance of Museums and reported by NPR shows that roughly 15% of museums within the U.S. could be in serious trouble and at risk of closing for good as a result of the pandemic. Out of 1,000 surveyed for the study, over three-quarters reported a 40% decline in operating income in 2020, and half of responding museums said they reduced staff by approximately 29%. The U.S. has over 35,000 museums, and they collectively contribute over $50 billion annually to the economy and employ more than 750,000 people. While larger museums seem to have been able to weather the financial storm of being closed or operating at a reduced capacity, smaller museums could end up closing their doors. While 15% does not sound like a large number, it would constitute over 5,000 museums closing their doors.

  • Last year the Castle Fire that burned 175,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains last year is estimated by researchers to have consumed roughly between 10% and 14% of the world’s giant sequoia trees. The loss is staggering since redwood forests are some of the most efficient when it comes to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  Researchers are concerned that such a large loss could have far-reaching consequences. In addition to their ability to remove CO2 from the air, sequoia groves provide a  habitat that is critical for wildlife and also provide protection of the watershed for the San Joaquin Valley that sustains the communities and farmers. This most recent research was done using satellite imagery and modeling based on previous fires and has not yet been peer-reviewed. Sequoias require fire to cause their pine cones to release their seeds and some of the redwoods are over 2,000 years old, 30 feet in diameter, and over 250 feet in height. “Five years ago, we had never seen anything like this. The sequoias are so huge and fire-adapted, we thought they might fare better,” said Amarina Wuenschel, an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service. Researchers plan to begin surveying the fire-damaged areas starting this week.


Positively Noteworthy


A new documentary Under a Pagan Sky premiered last month at the Darwin International Film Festival (DIFF) on 8 May. It has also been selected to be shown at the Revelation Film Festival in Perth on July 2, as part of a Documentary Double feature along with Cry of the Forest.

Under A Pagan Sky was directed, produced, and edited by Helen Browning and focuses on both the powerful experiences and challenges experienced by Australian Pagans.

The synopsis for the film is described on the DIFF website as:


“In a time when Western culture has lost its sense of transcendence, dramatic rituals celebrating the turning of the seasons, and the mysteries of sex, death and human existence, provide deeply meaningful experiences to Pagans in Australia. But there are great challenges inherent in practising this nature-based religion south of the equator.

Australia is Aboriginal sacred country. It is a vast continent with distinctly different seasons and ecosystems to those of the Northern Hemisphere. In ‘Under a Pagan Sky’, Druids and Witches navigate these difficulties to experience the sacredness of Mother Earth through community and ritual.”


The public release/broadcast date for the documentary has not yet been set.


Under a Pagan Sky ~ Official Trailer from Helen on Vimeo.




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