Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lady Liberty League Responds to Controversy Over Pagan Festival In Florida

The Lady Liberty League  has issued a press release regarding issues surrounding a Summer Solstice Festival to be held June 19-23 near Pahokee, Florida. The event is the subject of  controversy among local residents, with opposition coming from a number of local churches, as reported by a local news site,, in a story headlined "Summer Solstice Pagan Festival has Pahookee Residents Outraged," and showing a group of raqs sharqi  (aka "belly") dancers in traditional (and I must say, quite beautiful) attire. The article quotes a local resident as saying, “We are opening ourselves up to things we should not, like belly dancing and magic spells....”

The following news release was issued today by the Lady Liberty League of Circle Sanctuary:

May 30, 2013
For Immediate Release
LibertyFlorida - The Lady Liberty League has formed a Task Force to address community concerns surrounding the Summer Solstice Pagan Festival near Pahokee, Florida.
The planned Summer Solstice Festival at the Lake Okeechobee Resort and Marina in mid-June was the target of anger and protest at a Pahokee City Commission meeting on Tuesday, May 28, by several Christian pastors and community members who objected to the festival being held in the region.  On Wednesday, May 29, participants and coordinators of the planned Pagan festival appealed to the Lady Liberty League for assistance.   
Also on May 29, coverage of the meeting appeared on local news website, and was soon picked up by Pagan news sources.  Many Pagan individuals and organizations have expressed support for a unified effort to address the misinformation and lack of knowledge shown by individuals quoted in the article. 
"This is an opportunity not only to bring about better public understanding about Paganism, but for Pagans of many paths to work together,” said Rev. Selena Fox, Executive Director of Circle Sanctuary and the Lady Liberty League (LLL).
LLL is currently working with festival organizers to resolve the situation.  At this time, both the local government and the owners of the festival site have expressed support for holding the festival as scheduled.  Efforts are focused defusing confrontation with the local Christian community, and engaging in education and compassion-based communication to create a safe and positive event. 
A special LLL Task Force has been created by concerned members of the Pagan community to work toward a thoughtful and measured response to the situation.  Members of the LLL Task Force are presently involved in interfaith discussions to increase understanding about Paganism in the local community.  "It is an honor to be in service to our community and help coordinate this effort that seeks to both educate the public and protect the religious activities of our community,” said Peter Dybing, the primary coordinator of the LLL Florida Fest Task Force. 
The support of the entire community in sending positive energy, volunteering for the Task Force and offering technical support is requested and appreciated.   It is very important to focus on unified effort and to avoid any action that might be perceived by members of the local community as intimidating, as that would undermine the ongoing communication and education efforts.
At this time, Lady Liberty League asks that those who wish to help:
  1. Communicate with LLL in advance about ideas, by emailing, including your contact information and what kind of help you wish to contribute,
  2. Avoid independent actions that have the potential to complicate efforts,
  3. Send spiritual support to the Festival organizers and other Pagans affected, and to the success of the LLL Task Force’s communication, outreach & support efforts,
  4. Stay informed through LLL’s Facebook page (
  5. Share this release with others who may interested in helping.
Press Release on

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In Memoriam: Laura Janesdaughter

[updated 12:20 p.m. 5/29/13]
We join in mourning the death of Laura Janesdaughter, founder of the Temple of Isis/LA, priestess in the Fellowship of Isis, Arch Druidess in Hazelwood Grove in the Druid Clan of Dana, and member of Long Beach (CA) Womanspirit.  She died of cancer on May 27.

She was ordained as a Priestess of Isis in the Fellowship of Isis on September 28, 1990.

The following information is taken from the Long Beach Womanspirit public Facebook page:

"Laura took her last breath at 5:03AM while the sun was rising in the east and the moon setting in the west. After a few moments of silence the first morning bird began to sing through the window behind the altar.

"Encircled in red ribbon, wings draped across her breast and torso,
Catherine, Cat and I at bedside read together, 'To Isis, Wings - En Iset, Denhwy' from Offering to Isis by Isidora Forrest, spoke the Hymn we have heard Laura speak in ritual for over 20 years:

"Open Heaven's Gates, draw back the bolts

We have come to sing for Isis!
We have come to praise Your Name, O Flame!
We have come to adore the Great Speaker of Spells.
How beautiful Her Face, happy, renewed, refreshed
As the day Her Mother first fashioned Her
All Praises to the Queen of Heaven and Earth.
All Hail the Goddess Isis
All Hail Laura"

In Laura's memory, we share a video of her in ritual at the Isis Birthday 2010/Heal the Waters.  

Two memorial services are being planned, one in October in Long Beach CA, and another by her family in Grants Pass OR.

 May she rest in the arms of the Goddess and be renewed.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Buzz Coil: May 2013

A look at some posts of interest from our blogroll and sometimes beyond.

Casa della Dea: In an April 29 post in Italian, La Chiamata di una Sacerdotessa/Sacerdote della  Dea , Eilantha Redspring tells about Glastonbury Temple Priestess Kathy Jones' workshop in Italy a few days earlier. With pics and video of the group Kelliana singing the song, "I Walk with the Goddess," in English

HecateDemeter: Hecate's May 5 post, Constantly Reveal Them (As If), tells of "the Mysteries" revealed and the influences of ancestresses felt while she was doing what many would consider prosaic work involving parsley and sunlight. If, like me, you are following Hecate's novel-like story, "A Place Without A Witch,"  (so far) this month Gemmy's adventures include a budding romance in Chapter 13 on May 4; a Beltane invitation in Chapter 14 on May 11; a conversation with an ancient tree in Chapter 15 on May 16; and an attempt to ignore a text message with a unique icon in Chapter 16 on May 23.  

Annelinde's World:  Annelinde Metzner's May 23 post, her poem, Community garden, begins:
Do you love your little patch of Earth?
Does She feel you kiss her warm brown skin as you step?

With pic of a community garden in Black Mountain N.C. 

Feminism and Religion: Here's a look at some of the posts this month on this blog of many paths and many bloggers:
Jameelah X. Medina's May 26 post, Tug-of-Warring over the Female Body (Part 1 of 2) discusses a variety of issues facing Muslim women. She writes:
"On one side is essentialized feminism and patriarchy on the other end with both sides pulling hard. Both sides have Muslim women on their team, but both sides also harm them."
One example she gives is:
"Questioning the headscarf and certain covering practices is mostly a healthy endeavor in which many Muslim girls and women engage before and after deciding (if they do) to wear a headscarf. However, questioning the headscarf can also be an oppressive and even dismissive strategy that is disrespectful to Muslim women and to all women in general."
Deanne Quarrie, using poetry and prose, explores the element of air in her May 25 post, The Breath of Goddess.
Judith Plaskow writes about Deciding to Leave or Remain in the Religion of Your Birth on May 20 in the second installment of a 2-part series that is a response to an April 29 post by Carol P. Christ, to whom she directs this opening remark:
 "Your central challenge to me is how I can commit myself to a tradition in which God is imagined as a violent warrior when these images have harmed and continue to harm women and the world. How can I not recoil from using such images in worship? Why is the power of symbols less important to me than to you?"
Oxana Poberejnaia gives us Part II of her series  Are Buddhist Women Happy? in her May 18 post that discusses the relevance of men's initiation rites.
Gina Messina-Dysert discusses Rape Culture, Sexual Violence, and Spiritual Healing on May 15.
Carol P. Christ writes about why she celebrates Greek Easter even though she no longer considers herself a Christian in her May 6 post,  Rituals Of Spring and Greek Easter.
Jassy Watson writes of the relationship of a destructive tornado in Queensland, Australia, to ecology in her May 3 post, For the Love of Gaia, which also includes art she painted
" in response to my overwhelming grief, as I witnessed the tornado’s destruction and contamination on our doorstep."

The Goddess House: In her May 21 post, "A Mantle of Stars" update, blogger As't Moon discusses submitting to an upcoming anthology and  the various figures who have been given the title, "Queen of Heaven."  

Love of the Goddess: Blogger Tara writes about Enheduanna, Ancient Priestess of Sumer in her May 5 post and in her May 16 post tells of Gyhdeptis, Native American Goddess of the Forests.

Return to Mago: Among the this month's posts in this well-illustrated blog are:
A May 22 post showing Lydia Ruyle's stunning Yeowa banner, with the artist's explanation, and a May 5 post has Ruyle's Goddess icon banner, Mago, for whom this blog is named.
 A May 20 post, The Body – Essential or Not? is  "an evolved version of an excerpt from Chapter 2" of Glenys Livingstone's book PaGaian Cosmology. The excerpt begins:
All knowledge is an experience of body – what else can it be? Mind is body, body  is mind. Humans know enough these days – including empirically – to end the dualist notions of bodymind.
A May 17 post, Toward the Primordial Knowing of Mago, the Great Goddess   by blog owner Helen Hwang is a "modified version" of Hwang's paper presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Academy of Religion.
In a May 11 post, Harita Meenee discusses Women, Power, and Religion in Ancient Athens.
A May 10 post contains a long poem, Creation Myths, by Donna Snyder.
Hearth Moon Rising's May 3 post, The Linden Prophesy,  looks at the Linden tree and the Goddess Laima.

Women and Mythology announces in an undated post on its home page, The Association for the Study of Women & Mythology's Third National Conference March 28-30, and also gives a summary of its 2013 Symposium that just took place. 

The Wild Hunt: On May 22, Jason Pitzl-Waters posted Anti-Pagan Wikipedia Editor Outed by, giving background on the on-going controversy surrounding, among other things, actions taken by a Wikipedia editor called "Qworty," and coverage, which also touches on similar problems with sexist editing. 

Witches and Pagans: Many bloggers from many Pagan paths participate in this offshoot of Witches and Pagans Magazine.
In a May 23 post, Byron Ballard writes about Walking Between the Worlds--Pagan Conference and Pagan Festival.
In a May 21 post, Rebecca Buchanan recommends a number of books On Isis.
Also on May 21, Kenny Klein writes about Wikipedia Vs. Pagans: A New Hope, including the role of "Qworty."
In a May 20 post, Jen McConnel writes of a trip to China where she found that Quan Yin's Quiet Presence persists despite the "religion no longer being dominant" in China.
In a May 15 post, Diane Morrison interviews Dominque Smith about Gaian Gathering: The Canadian National Pagan Conference.
On May 14, Tess Dawson tells us about a New Israeli Blog on Canaanite Polytheism.

Dirt Worship: Starhawk's post on May 9 gives the latest on , The Fifth Sacred Thing Movie based on her novel of the same name. Post includes links to videos about the film project.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Global Goddess Oracle's Beltane Issue

The Beltane issue of the e-zine, Global Goddess Oracle, is published. Among its articles you will find:
"Artwork by Majak Bredell," which tells, in words and pictures, of the artist's transition from "patriarchal Calvinism" to Goddess.
"Beltane and Liminal Time," by Deanne Quarrie, discussing the history of the holy day. Includes poem and a discussion of the meaning of "liminal."
"Breathing Meditation" by Molly, both a meditation and a poem.
"Honoring Maia at Beltane with Ritual" by Dawn "Belladona" Thomas, explaining the relationship of Beltane to the Goddess Maia, her history in a number of cultures, and offering a Beltane ritual. Dawn's additional ritual ideas can be found in "Ritual Ideas for Beltane."
"Pagan Every Day Inner Gardening" by Barbara Ardinger describes, with humor, how she "gardens" with a minimum amount of outdoor contact, and also explains why she rarely goes to outdoor rituals. In another article, "Tending Our Gardens," she describes her garden and asks about yours.
"The Blessing" a poem by Laura Stamps, tells of goldenrod in the spring, as well as other plants and critters.