Tags: sabbats

goddess and god

Christine O'Donnell's "Witchcraft" Comments Rebuffed by Satanist

I was wondering when the Satanists would chime in.

Christine O'Donnell's "Witchcraft" Comments Rebuffed by Satanist
by Stephanie Condon, CBS News, Political Hotsheet, September 21, 2010
"Some Wiccan leaders complained that witches do not believe in Satan. Diane Vera, the founder of a group called "NYC Satanists, Luciferians, Dark Pagans, and LHP Occultists" added today that O'Donnell's anecdote also misrepresents Satanists.

"As far as I am aware, no serious practitioner of any variant of either Wicca or Satanism would have a picnic on one's altar," Vera said in a press release.

Vera also cited a 1997 Washington Post op-ed O'Donnell wrote as head of the Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT). O'Donnell wrote about proselytizing to concert goers in the Washington area.

"Walking through the crowd I also noticed more pentagrams than crosses around the teenage necks," she wrote. "'Satanism is the religion of the '90s, I was told."

Vera responded that O'Donnell "has a tendency to confuse Satanism with not only Wicca but also rock fan culture.""

It's Not Devil Worship! Local Wiccan Skeptical of O'Donnell's Witch Date
Daniel Nester, Albany Times Union (blog), September 21, 2010
"Last night I spoke with The Reverend High Priest OakLore, founder and senior clergy of the Fellowship of Anamastia Coven based in Albany. OakLore and his congregation practice a form of Earth-based neopaganism known as “Druidic Wicca,” which he characterizes as “a celebration of the Divine as expressed in Nature and inspired by ancient Celtic tradition.”

A published writer and editor who outside of the Pagan community is known as E.J. Haley, OakLore is managing editor of Voyages Magazine, the official publication of the International Federation of Trekkers, or IFT. This makes our Rev. OakLore one very cool nerd. What makes him cooler still is that he teaches computer skills to veterans, and it was on the way home from that job that I spoke to him by phone. Who knew witches took CDTA?

But enough of my yakkin’. Let’s talk Tea Party witchcraft.

OK, Rev. OakLore, I assume you have seen the clip from Real Time, in which Bill Maher played a 1997 clip from from his old show, Politically Incorrect. In the clip, O’Donnell claims to have “dabbled in Witchcraft,” by means of having been on a date with a supposed witch. Do you think she’s telling the truth?

No. No way. The fact that her statement uses the terms ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘Satanic’ interchangeably tells me that she has had absolutely no exposure to genuine Witchcraft. There is no ‘Satan’ or ‘devil’ in witchcraft. The characterization of a single personification of evil, such as ‘Satan,’ is purely an invention of the Judeo-Christian mythos and is not a part of Wiccan belief or practice.

O’Donnell has since backed off from those comments and cancelled her appearances on a couple of last Sunday’s morning news shows. She’s since made light of it. How do you feel about her recent statements that she, like others in high school, “hung out with questionable folks.” Do you feel like a “questionable folk”?

That statement is wildly insulting. It suggests—and not at all indirectly–that practicing Witchcraft is a reason to call a person’s character into question. It casts a rather large and spectacularly unfair dispersion on an entire religion. Would it be reasonable to say the same thing about someone who practices Buddhism? What about Islam? [pause] Christianity?

Witchcraft is not devil worship, people! And the practice of it does not make a person evil! Witchcraft (and/or Wicca) seeks the illumination of human condition and aims to restore our inherent, transpersonal connection with the Divine as expressed in Nature. It seeks to uplift and empower the human soul and teaches us to be better people, working toward the betterment of ourselves and all our fellow beings. Indeed all life that shares this Earth with us is sacred. What is so ‘questionable’ about that?

And at a time when there is so much argument and vitriol over the wisdom—or lack of it—of building a mosque near ground zero, with all that has been said about the need for religious tolerance in the world, I cannot believe someone seeking public office would say something so disparaging of an entire belief system. Not to mention that said remark would pass without raising a single eyebrow! I mean…really?"

A Time to Reap: Fall Equinox Events Around the World
Molly Mann, Divine Caroline, September 21, 2010 ‎
"A Bewitching Celebration
Perhaps the best-known tradition surrounding the fall equinox in the United States is that of the neopagans, mostly Wiccans. Wicca is loosely based on ancient Celtic beliefs, symbols, and practices, with the addition of more recent Masonic and ceremonial magic, according to ReligiousTolerance.org. Wiccans view time as circular—as opposed to the linear time of monotheistic religions—and the equinoxes are part of the solar (yearly) cycle.

The autumn equinox, usually called Mabon (after the Welsh god of the harvest), is the second and main Wiccan harvest festival. Wiccans may celebrate Mabon the evening before, at sunrise on the day of, or at the exact time of the equinox. As witch and Wicca expert Dianne Schure explains, “Modern pagans (and I’m using that term as a catchall) are a group with sufficiently varied traditions. Not all of them would celebrate in the same way.”"
lunar clock

Summer Solstice, Litha 2010

Groups celebrate Wheel of the Year festival
by Cheryl Anderson, Appleton Post Crescent, June 19, 2010
"The summer solstice is Monday. It's the celebration of the sun at its zenith and one of eight major festivals on the Wheel of the Year, a neo-pagan term for the annual cycle of the Earth's seasons.

"One of the difficult things about talking about just one of the festivals is that they are all very much intertwined," said Robert Aikins, 40, of Little Chute, a following druid for nearly 20 years and seeking ordainment for the last two years. "And it's all based on the circle, as the sun makes its circle around the seasons … what's going on with us during the year and how they're interconnected."

The Gathering Circle pagan group at Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Appleton, Winter Wolf Seed Group and Fox Valley Pagan Unity Council will celebrate the summer solstice at 7 p.m. Monday at FVUUF, 2600 Phillip Lane, Appleton."
Welcoming the season of summer
Terry Smith, The Town Talk, June 19, 2010
"Happy summer solstice, Litha 2010!

Flowers smell their sweetest, colors are their most vibrant, trees are their greenest, and berries are their sweetest. It is a time that Nature's lavishness has reached a pinnacle point.

The 2010 almanac states that the sun enters the constellation of Cancer on 06/21/2010 at 7:28 EDT. It's "Hump Day," as the Tasmanians call it, for the sun is at its highest peak for the entire year.
Here in Louisiana, there are historical recordings of New Orleans celebrations that were held on St. John's Eve at the Bayou St. John, the natural waterway that once connected Lake Pontchartrain, popularly known as St. John's Lake, with the Mississippi River and the heart of the Vieux Carre.'

The records state that Marie Laveau presided over these celebrations at the Bayou St. John for a number of years.

They included bonfires, ritual bathing, drumming, dancing, singing and a communal meal. We pagans observe Litha Eve and the day, being mindful of the Sun's waning into the harvest days of Fall."

The Baltics in Midsummer mode
Compiled by Ella Karapetyan, Lelde Benke and Lasse Felsen., The baltic Times, Jun 17, 2010
"Midsummer or Jani in Latvian, Jaanipaev in Estonian and Jonines in Lithuanian is a traditionally pagan festivity marking the summer solstice on the shortest night of the year on June 23 - 24. John or Janis, Jaan or Jon is a deity of fertility. His day is celebrated as an end of the spring sowing season and beginning of the summer harvest."
FACTBOX - Stonehenge hosts Summer solstice revellers
Reuters India - Kieran Doherty, David Cutler Sun Jun 20, 2010
"Stonehenge is a celebrated venue of festivities during the summer solstice - the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere - and it attracts thousands of revellers, spiritualists and tourists.

Druids, a pagan religious order dating back to Celtic Britain, believe Stonehenge was a centre of spiritualism more than 2,000 years ago.

The site is open to the public throughout the year but the solstice allows visitors a rare opportunity to touch the stones and walk among them."

goddess and god

World Cup Magic, Finnish Magic, Gardening by the moon, Summer Solstice, Pagan youth service

A magical World Cup team? It just might be the magic powder
By Michelle Kaufman, Miami Herald, 06.15.10
" SOWETO, South Africa -- Deep in the heart of this dusty township of three million people, not far from Nelson Mandela's former house, around the corner from an arts and crafts market, behind a modest but well-kept brick house, sits what looks like just another corrugated tin shanty.

Turns out it is a ``Ndumba,'' a sacred hut.

Take a peek inside, and you find Kenneth Nephawe, a 63-year-old electrician-turned-Sangoma (traditional/holistic healer). He has removed his shoes and is seated on the floor on a reed mat, elephant tusk chunks in his hands, 40 jars of herbal powders and concoctions by his side. The remedies, called ``Muti,'' are made of African bushes, and are housed in old Nescafe and mayonnaise jars.
Traditional healers -- don't call them ``witch doctors'' -- have been known to sprinkle special powders over fields and have teams swim in crocodile-infested waters to ward off evil spirits. But what they mainly do, Nephawe said, is act as holistic healers and counselors.

Their practice is based on the belief that the spirits of dead ancestors guide and protect the living. Patients are asked to blow onto eight pieces of elephant tusks and throw them on the mat. The Sangoma interprets how the pieces lie. Each ``bone'' represents a family member."
Seitas, sacred places of the indigenous Sámi people, have become subjects of renewed interest
By Jussi Konttinen in Inari, Finnish Lapland, Helsingin Sanomat, International Edition, 13.6.2010
"Seitas, or the old sacred places of the Sámi people, have become the subject of renewed interest. The name varies, depending on the local Sámi dialect, and the places are also known as sieidis or Storjunkare.
The Academy of Finland is funding a four-year research project, in connection with which six seitas have already been examined. The archaeologists from the University of Oulu have performed small-scale excavations in the vicinity of the seitas.

The studies have already produced some results.
“Based on radiocarbon dating, the oldest findings have been dated back to the 12th century”, says archaeologist Tiina Äikäs.
Next to most of the examined sacred places the bones of animals, such as reindeer, goats, sheep, or various types of bird and fish species have been located.
Animal offerings were presented to seitas in hopes for better luck with fishing or hunting. Sometimes such proceedings included brushing the stone with blood or fat."
Gardening by the moon
by Lila Das Gupta, Gardeners' World (blog) Friday 11 June 2010
"In a nutshell, people who garden by the phases of the moon believe that its gravitational pull on the earth’s water (i.e. tides), has a bearing on plant growth. They never plant anything when the moon is waning in the last quarter because it’s believed that the earth’s water table is receding. After the new moon, the water table rises again and planting can resume. Farmers on the continent have been using moon phases to guide them for years, as indeed have many gardeners in the UK."
Summer Solstice: Celebrating the benefits of sunshine and how the sun supports our lives
by Debra Dadd Redalia, The Daily Loaf (blog), June 11, 2010
"Last year, I was talking with some friends about green living and got all excited that Summer Solstice is coming up that weekend. One of them said, “I’m not very interested in Summer Solstice. What does it have to do with living green?”

For me, it has everything with living green, because acknowledging the passing of time in Nature is part of what aligns me with the natural world.

When I first became interested in “living in harmony with Nature” (read my story of how this occurred at “The Windfall”), the very first thing I explored was the concept of natural time.
For me, in the twenty-first century, honoring seasonal changes with a celebration is a way to periodically tune in with the time system of nature and honor that nature is the source of everything that sustains the material aspect of my life."
Alternatives to Stonehenge: 10 Places to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
by Sean Williams, Heritage Key, 06/11/2010
"1. Avebury Stone Circle, Wiltshire
2. The Rollright Stones, Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border
3. Glastonbury Tor, Somerset
4. Golowan, Penzance, Cornwall
5. Sighthill, Glasgow
6. Pendle Witch Camp, Trawden, Lancashire
7. Orkney, Scotland
8. Castlerigg, Cumbria
9. The City of London
10. Your Own Home"
If you read the description you will see that they are doing a standard American eclectic Wiccan ritual.
Pagan youth service uses world of Avatar to pray for our own
By Kathy Nance, stltoday.com, Post-Dispatch, 06.11.2010
"At this weekend’s St. Louis Pagan Picnic in Tower Grove Park, the young people from Four Winds Fellowship will dedicate their annual youth-led service to healing the Earth. The ritual begins at 1 p.m.

Martha, the adult who helped the children and teens put the ritual together, said that the intent is both to heal the planet and to help people rediscover and strengthen their connection to it.

The kids decided to frame the ritual around the movie Avatar. It’s something they’ve all seen, Martha said, and something they thought would be familiar to anyone who happened to come to the ritual, whether they are Pagan or not."
goddess and god

Calton Hill Beltane Fire Festival, Witches’ Night, and Beltaine 2010: A Pagan Odyssey

Festival fights fire with fire
By Sue Gyford, news.scotsman.com, 01 May 2010
"A FEAST of flames, flesh and fertility came to Calton Hill with the annual Beltane Fire Festival.
Organisers estimated that 11,000 people flocked to the hill for the pagan-inspired celebration last night, watching 350 performers in costumes and body paint dance and drum the hours away.

As night fell, 16 black-clad figures with flaming torches mounted the National Monument and set light to three huge images of spring which hung between the pillars, before guiding the May Queen on a procession around the hill.

Trailed by a cortege including dancers sporting nothing but red body paint and thongs, she and her suitor, the Green Man, stopped to perform several pageants around the hillside."
Bonfires, broomsticks and barbecues: Czechs mark Witches’ Night
by Sarah Borufka, Český rozhlas, 30-04-2010
"April 30 is Čarodějnice, or Witches’ Night. In the past, this date was believed to bring the arrival of spring. People would gather to burn bonfires in order to dispel evil spirits. Nowadays, the celebration is still popular among Czechs, and the organizers of Prague’s biggest witches’ night celebration at Ladronka park are getting ready for a night full of magic and fire."
Beltaine 2010: A Pagan Odyssey in Oxford, CT is a wonderful festival
by Paula Jean West, Pagan Travel Examiner, www.examiner.com, May 1, 2010
"The festival "Beltaine 2010: A Pagan Odyssey" is positioned on Schreiber's farm in a beautifully wooded area on a small lake in Oxford, CT. The area is lush with spring green and and located just down the road from Southford Falls State Park in Southbury, CT. Driving along routes 188 and 67 to the festival site, you expect the Green Man to jump out at every turn. "
Pagan Festival - Connecticut Post, www.ctpost.com "Beltaine 2010: A Pagan Odyssey" slide show.
Pictures: Beltaine Festival at Schreiber's Farm, Oxford - Courant.com, www.courant.com
Pagans gather in the woods of Oxford
by John Burgeson, Stamford Advocate, Friday, April 30, 2010
""When you talk about pagans, you're talking pre-Christian religion," said the Rev. Alicia Lyon Folberth, who is a member of the pagan clergy and the coordinator of the event, now in its 12th year. "The maypole is symbolic, for it represents the unification of the masculine and the feminine."

"There's been a lot of misunderstanding all around about witches or pagans dating back to the witch trials in Salem," Folberth said. "That remains part of our mindset, even though we're in modern times. People have this idea that Satanism is part of our mindset, but we don't have anything to do with that. It's completely outside of what we do.""
goddess and god

Happy Eostar

What happens at the Vernal Equinox?
by Elton Gahr, Helium, March, 20 2010
"Twice a year the tilt of the earth's axis matches perfectly with the sun. This means that on the equinox the sun is directly over the equator, but this is more than a symbolic. Because of the position of the sun in the sky the sky the equinoxes are the days of the year when day and night are most equal. This is not to say that day and night will be perfectly even but they are as close as they are likely to get. The Vernal Equinox is also the official change of season from spring to summer
Among the ancient artifacts that demonstrate this ancient understanding of the equinox is the 4500 year old Egyptian Sphinx which faces due east on the vernal equinox and across the world the 3000 year old Stonehenge which marks the position of the rising sun on the vernal equinox and even in central America the Mayan Caracol Tower and the temples of the sun and moon have alignments that match with the sun's position on the Vernal Equinox.

In the modern world there are still many celebrations on this day. Among them is the somewhat silly, and untrue belief that this is the only day in which you can balance an egg. In fact you can balance an egg just as easily on any day of the year. More serious celebrations also occur on this day. The Japanese celebrate Shunbun no hi by setting the day aside for honoring nature and family while in Wicca it is one of the eight major sabbats and of course the first day of spring.

In addition to religious holidays and celebrations this is also a significant day for astronomy and many schools and observatories have lectures and stargazing events on this day. This is an excellent excuse to look at the beauty of the stars even if you don't particularly care about the length of the day."

Spring Equinox Linked to Religious Celebrations
MyFox Nepa, Friday, 19 Mar 2010
"In the religion of Cybele the Phyrgian fertility goddess had a partner believed to have been born "via a virgin birth." The consort was Attis, said to have died and been resurrected each year between March 22 and 25, when the vernal or spring equinox fell in the Julian calendar.

Early Christians would celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ around the same time. Easter Sunday now falls between March 22 and April 25. The Roman Catholic Church and Protestant denominations celebrate it on the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 20.

Schooloftheseasons.com remarks that the month of March contains holidays dedicated to the mother goddesses, including Astarte, Isis, Aphrodite, Cybele and the Virgin Mary."

Orlando Wiccans celebrate the beginning of spring
Orlando Sentinel (blog) by anika palm on March, 20 2010
"The Wiccan Religious Cooperative of Central Florida will celebrate from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, 1901 E. Robinson St., Orlando.

The WRCF also will have a picnic from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (rain or shine) and egg hunt on Sunday at Langford Park in Orlando.

Yes, an egg hunt. Per the WRCF, the Spring full moon “is sacred to Eostre, the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility (from whence we get the word estrogen), whose two symbols were the egg and the rabbit.”

If those things sound familiar, it’s because early Christians are said to have adopted some pagan traditions for Easter (sounds not unlike Ostara, or Eostre, right?), the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

Traditionally, Wiccans eat leafy vegetables and nuts during Ostara events and activities can include planting or tending gardens.

Wicca is a pantheistic, pagan faith — often called witchcraft — that began to be popularized in the 1950s."
goddess and god

Asheville Mother Grove Goddess Temple to celebrate spring equinox, SU Chaplain

Asheville Mother Grove Goddess Temple to celebrate spring equinox
by Carole Terrell, Asheville Citizen-Times, March 19, 2010
"Saturday officially marks the first day of spring, being the day of the spring equinox.

Members of Mother Grove Goddess Temple will celebrate at 7 p.m. Saturday with A Breath of Appalachian Spring: A Ritual in Celebration of the Spring Equinox, in the parish hall of the Episcopal Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village.

Saturday's event is open to all faith traditions, said Byron Ballard, wiccan priestess and a member of the temple. Mother Grove “isn't a wiccan group, though some of us are wiccans,” she said.

“Mother Grove is an outgrowth of the work of several people in the goddess/earth religions community,” Ballard said. “Its goal is to create a permanent sanctuary, where people of all faith traditions may openly and safely celebrate the divine feminine, the goddess.”

Wicca is a modern religion built on the ancient agricultural religions of Europe, she explained. “Wiccans may also refer to themselves as witches.”
The celebration will consist of raising a circle, singing, “whistling up the wind” and flying prayers written on paper airplanes. Ballard will lead the ritual, explaining that it is a joyful expression of the beginning of spring and coming together as a community.
Ballard said that “whistling up the wind” is an old English and Appalachian tradition. March is usually the windiest month, so the element of wind will be emphasized at the celebration. One person will whistle while three others honor the elements of earth, fire and water.

“It's a lovely holiday for children,” Ballard said. “The first chance to get out and see what's growing, to welcome baby chicks and lambs, to taste the first little green bits of chickweed. All pagan and wiccan holidays are family-friendly. Many Earth religionists choose to honor their spiritual traditions as a family group.”"
Syracuse University's newest chaplain is pagan priestess Mary Hudson
by Glenn Coin, The Post-Standard, Syracuse.com (blog), ‎Mar 12, 2010
"No dark makeup, no Goth clothing here: In her small office in the basement of Hendricks Chapel she shares with the Catholic chaplain, Hudson, 50, wears faded jeans and a powder-blue knit top.
Hudson is a third-degree priestess -- the highest rank -- in the Church of the Greenwood. She served for nine years as adviser to the SU student group Student Pagan Information, Relations and Learning. SPIRAL meets every Monday night and holds outdoor rituals on campus on some of paganism's eight annual "Great Days."
Former interim dean Kelly Sprinkle said the pagan chaplaincy "helps us expand the direction of how we look at religious life, and it helps us understand religious pluralism."
Hudson's appointment reveals a growing acceptance of pagans and their beliefs, said Jannae Lehman, the secretary of SPIRAL.

"People question the validity of our religion, which we as pagans can't understand because we as pagans don't question somebody else's religion," Lehman said. "If someone believes in their religion, then it's valid.""
goddess and god

New Jersey State Board of Education approves Pagan/Wiccan holidays

New Jersey State Board of Education approves Pagan/Wiccan holidays for the 2010-2011 school year
by Kris Bradley, Domestic Witchery Examiner, Examiner.com, ‎Mar 17, 2010‎
"This morning, the New Jersey Board of Education voted to approve their list of religious holidays permitting pupil absence from school for the 2010-2011 school year. Included for the first time on this list are the eight Pagan/Wiccan holidays, or sabbats. This marks the first time any state has approved Pagan holidays to a state calendar, and will set a precedence for other districts and states across the country."

I'm a bit disappointed but not really surprised by the initial response she got from the online pagan community.

Elena Ottinger on Facebook
Elena Ottinger on PaganSpace.net
goddess and god

White House Easter Egg Roll to Be Environmentally Friendly

White House Easter Egg Roll to Be Environmentally Friendly
Fox News, Monday, 08 Mar 2010
"This year’s White House Easter Egg roll will be eggs-actly what the bunny ordered. The environmentally concerned bunny, that is.

A White House announcement Monday said the eggs at this year’s April 5 roll will be made from paperboard that contains no wood fibers from endangered forests, is recyclable and features vegetable-oil based inks and a water-based coating.

What’s more, they’ll come in purple, pink, green and yellow and feature the stamped signatures of both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The eggs, produced and sold by the National Park Foundation, are given as a souvenir to all children under 12 who attend the annual roll. And if you can’t make it to the White House, the orbs are available online.

This year's theme for the roll is "Ready, Set, Go", part of Mrs. Obama's plan to promote health and wellness in the United States and combat childhood obesity."

White House Easter Egg Roll Honors 'Mother Earth'
by Tom McGregor, Dallas Blog (blog), ‎Mar 8, 2010‎
"For some Americans, Easter is a religious holiday to pay homage to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, whom they consider to be the Son of God. But for President Barack Obama, this is a day to worship the environmental pagan goddess of 'Mother Earth.' No word yet, on whether the government-sponsored pagan worshippers at the Air Force Academy have been invited to attend ceremonies at the White House Easter Egg Roll ceremonies this year.
Nevertheless, it hasn't been determined if every single ingredient to manufacture the eggs, comes directly from the United States, or perhaps China. If some portion of the green-friendly eggs were made in China, then Obama may have to cancel the 'Mother Earth' event, since Sen. Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) is pushing for legislation to outlaw the use of stimulus funds to finance environmental products that were not 'Made in America.'"

Air Force Pagans "Not Invited" to White House
by Tom McGregor, Dallas Blog (blog), ‎Mar 13, 2010‎
"In a stunning rebuke to the pagan worshippers at the Air Force Academy, President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama did not invite them to the eco-friendly White House Easter Egg Roll this year. Perhaps, the Air Force pagans do not participate in ceremonies to honor the environmental goddess of Mother Earth, which may explain the disinvitation.

In an e-mail response to the Dallas Blog, Pagan Priest Brandon Longcrier, who was featured in a Fox News article, had written, "No, we (the "pagan worshippers at the Air Force Academy") were not invited. Maybe next year ... and can we not get into whose holiday came first and where from? Christians have Easter, so let them have it and let them enjoy it for what it means to them. We have Ostara, which we celebrate at a different time and for a completely different reason. "Can't we all just get along?" ... Many Blessings to All ... Brandon Loncrier"

Comment written by Brandon Longcrier, March 14, 2010
For the record....I'm not a "Priest" and I we didn't expect to be invited to the White House. There are Pagans much higher up than me that I'd hope would be invited before I was. But I wouldn't turn it down of course. :O)

Brandon Longcrier -"
goddess and god

New Jersey Board of Education has Wiccan/ Pagan holidays on the agenda for meeting


New Jersey Board of Education has Wiccan/ Pagan holidays on the agenda for meeting

March 4, 8:29 AMDomestic Witchery ExaminerKris Bradley

The buzz around the internet these days has been on whether or not the New Jersey State Board of Education will be adding the eight Wiccan/Pagan holidays to it's calendar at their March 17th meeting.  The board's calendar includes a list of holidays that they have approved as possible excused absences for students around the state.
goddess and god

SU Chaplain, Ostara approacheth, Tomb of High Priestess of Zeus

Pagan Chaplain Appointed at Syracuse University
by Matt Markham, ABC News Campus Chatter (blog), March 11, 2010
"Mays said that education is Hudson’s strong suit. “She’s good at that, and mentoring -- that’s a big thing, especially working with a group of college students. That’s a leap of faith.”

Promoting diversity is another goal pagans and their chaplain hope to accomplish. “Hendricks Chapel is dedicated to continually recognizing the diverse world that we live in. In this case it happens to be diversity within religious belief. I also hope that it gives people (non-pagans) the ability to ask questions about a set of beliefs which they may have a very little information about,” Hudson said. She said her door is always open to anyone who wants to stop by and just talk. “Conversation is the only way to create understanding,” she said.

Mays praises the university for making the appointment, saying that “any step that’s away from the mainstream is a step in diversity, and Mary’s another resource for students, another person to be able to talk to on campus.”"
I actually don't mind this kind of article. He is mocking us, but not in any way we don't mock ourselves. I prefer the articles that call us "goofy" to the one's that call us evil.

Barking up the wrong sacred tree
By Rick Koster, The Day, New London, CT, 03/09/2010
"I think we have some pagans living in our part of town. Several, actually - and not all in one big, leafy communal house, either. They're sprinkled about the neighborhood like elf-dust.

Which is fine.

Pagans on the whole are a fairly interesting if occasionally goofy set of folks - whereas I'm just sour-tempered and my car is ugly and smashed into the backyard fence at a comical angle on a bed of empty beer cans. By comparison, "occasionally goofy" isn't a bad thing at all.
OK. Back to what the neighborhood pagans might do as Ostara approacheth.

There will be bark-crusted wooden poles erected in the front yards of their quaint pagan dwellings, covered with vines and wildflowers. Altars will be assembled and draped with mats of woven field grasses and there will be candles and bowls of fresh soil and flutes. Magic Power Circles will be formed of sprinkled wheat chaff. A man in a hat like the Jolly Green Giant wears - Moonking (aka Cody) - will ring a bell calling to order the Spirits of the Garden."
'Archaeology': Priestess tomb unearthed on Crete
By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY,
"In an Archaeology magazine report, writer Eti Bonn-Muller details the results from last summer's excavation of a tomb at Orthi Petra at Eleutherna on Crete, where a team found the burials of a high priestess of Zeus and three acolytes this summer.

"People then may have considered them sorceresses, or intermediaries with the gods," Bonn-Muller says. Led by archaeologist Nicholas Stampolidis, the team dates the four burials to 2,700 years ago. Earlier digs had discovered the remains of other women, buried together in large "pithos" jars from 2,800 to 2,600 years ago. All of the women appear related, based on distinctive features of their teeth, the team reports. "What's really remarkable is the find shows these women were a dynasty that lasted at least 200 years in this location," Bonn-Muller says.

The burial site is near Mount Ida, where in Greek mythology, Zeus, the king of the gods, was sheltered from his father in infancy. Artifacts from the tombs show trade with Egypt, Greece and the Near East took place on Crete at the time. "The finds have the potential to change how we think about the roles of women during this period of time," Bonn-Muller adds. "Archaeologists had thought of the era as an empty period but we are seeing a lot took place then.""