PERTH, Australia – The Perth Suburban Newspapers/ Examiner Newspapers declined to run an ad submitted by Kundra Wyrd for her business, Traveling Tarot, that provides divination and spiritual services. Wyrd explained that the reason the advertising sales representative gave for declining the ad was that the owner of the newspaper is Christian and would not approve of the ad.
Wyrd told TWH, “We have had issues for years in getting advertising in the local papers for this same reason but I have not had to look at doing this since the late 90s so it came as a surprise to me when the guys that called me came out and said plainly it was because the owner of the paper was a Christian.”
“When I told him I was a bit shocked …. he went on to tell me he [the owner] takes his faith very seriously and would have issues with the words in the ad,” Wyrd said.
Wyrd identifies as an eclectic Witch but is also a traditionally trained 3rd degree who runs a coven with one of her heart sisters, and co-founder of Combined Covens Social Club which has been running for about 23 years, putting on affordable events for the Western Australian Pagan community.
She also stated, “I am pretty certain it is illegal, but am going to read the laws to make sure and make a complaint to the ACCC [Australian Competition & Consumer Commission] and the Equal Opportunity Commission.”
The legality of a media outlet refusing to publish any advertisement on the basis of religious beliefs or practice seems to be covered under the Western Australia Equal Opportunity Act 1984, which Perth is under the jurisdiction of, and reads as:
Discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation (including by
association), marital status, pregnancy, breastfeeding, race, religious or
political conviction, age (including by association), impairment (including
by association), family responsibility or family status, gender history, and
publication of relevant details on Fines Enforcement Registrar’s website.
Sexual harassment and racial harassment are also prohibited under this Act.
And is stated as applying to the following areas:
Discrimination in employment, including against applicants, commission
agents and contract workers, partnerships, professional or trade
organisations, qualifying bodies, employment agencies, application
forms, advertisements, education, access to places and vehicles,
provision of goods, services and facilities, accommodation, clubs, and
“I told him I would speak with my business partner to see if we would take it further,” Wyrd said, implying possible legal action and filing a complaint.
According to Wyrd, “He quickly changed it to ‘oh if we change the words he was sure they would find a way to get it in.”
She responded to the advertising sales representative with, “I take my faith very seriously and tarot and spells play a role in my faith. So [I] was not ok in changing the wording and that depending on my conversion with my business partner, we may take it further.”
Wyrd said that the sales representative “wanted to let me know these were not his views” and that she replied, “[T]hey may not be your views but he was the one enforcing them by not putting in our ad.”
Wyrd said that while the conversion ended there, she intends to follow up and see exactly what her options are under the law.
TWH will continue to follow this story and report on any new developments.
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TWH – Several events that were either canceled during the pandemic or chose to offer virtual experiences have announced a return to hosting in-person events.
Pagan Pride Day Los Angeles/Orange County recently sent out press releases announcing their 2021 event, set for November 7th at the Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach. This will be their 23rd annual PPD event.
The event is listed as family-friendly and will offer children’s activities. The site allows picnicking, but food trucks will be available for part of the day and the event notes that there are restaurants nearby. There is a fee for parking.
The organizers also note that there will members of the media present and filming will occur but attendees can decline to be interviewed, photographed, or filmed. Full information on the event is available on their website.
Sacred Space and Between the Worlds recently announced they would be holding a virtual “Launch Lunch” on Saturday, July 24 to celebrate the upcoming opening of the conference’s registration on August 1.
A select number of presenters and board members will be discussing via Zoom the many reasons why they enjoy the joint event and what presentations will be offered. Attendees can ask questions and participate in the discussion.
Currently scheduled guests for the Launch Lunch include Najah Lightfoot, Robin Fennelly, Clio Ajana, Ivo Dominguez, Katrina Messenger, Jhenah Telyndru, Thorn Mooney, Diana Paxson, Ann Sheffield, and Jim Dickinson.
Mystic South Conference announced last week that the conference would be returning to the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Dunwoody, Georgia in 2022.
The dates for the in-person event are July 15-17 with early bird registration opening on August 1, 2021, and submissions for workshops, papers, and vending opening on October 1. Headliners will be announced later this summer.
In other news:
- Oprah Daily published a list of 27 literary works both fiction and non-fiction that feature Witches. While some of the titles are classics and will be familiar to many readers, like Newberry winner, The Witch of Blackbird Pond and Chocolat by Joanne Harris, others are brand new, like the YA fiction by Rachel Griffin, The Nature of Witches, and then Zoraida Córdova’s Brooklyn Brujas series that begins with Lost Labrinth and the Akata Witch series by Nnedi Okorafor. In non-fiction, Mat Auryn’s Psychic Witch made the list, as did The Green Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock, and Voodoo Queen: The Spirited Lives of Marie Laveau by Martha Ward.
- The city of Salem, Massachusetts is hoping to attract more workers by offering a chance to win $400 in the form of a Visa gift card for people who were hired between June 1 and July 23 in positions with Salem restaurants, hotels, attractions, and retailers with fewer than 25 employees and who work at least 15 hours per week for six weeks are eligible to enter. Another $400 will be given away to an employee who holds the job through Halloween.
- The Seymour Connecticut Library will be offering an online and virtual workshop on Green Witchcraft presented by the Grounded Goodwife duo of Velya and Ehris Urban. The workshop titled, Dare to be a Green Witch is based on their recent book by the same name and will focus on using Green Magic for personal health and wellness. The workshop is scheduled for Monday, July 19 at 6:30. The link for the event is on the library’s Facebook page.
- In honor of the anniversary of the Grace Sherwood, dubbed the “Witch of Pungo,” a Richmond media station, WWBT published an audio session with historian, Nancy Egloff from Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. Egloff has a focus on telling the stories of women in history. Sherwood was the last woman to be convicted of practicing “witchcraft” in Virginia on July 10, 1706. On July 10, 2006, and the 300th anniversary of Sherwood’s conviction, the Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine acknowledged that Sherwood was wrongly accused and convicted and granted an informal pardon to “restore her good name.”
Archaeologist Mate Parica of the University of Zadar, discovered what appears to be the remnants of a Neolithic settlement submerged off the coast of Croatia. Parica stated that he first noticed a large shallow area on the coastal ocean floor while viewing satellite images.
The artifacts recovered during dives to examine the area included ceramics, tools and flint knives that point to the settlement dating to around 4500 BCE. Parica said they found hundreds of walls and while they have only explored a tiny portion of the site, “The fortunate thing is that this area, unlike most parts of the Mediterranean, is safe from big waves as many islands protect the coast.” Parica continued, “That certainly helped preserve the site from natural destruction.”
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