Pagans and Indigenous Religions: “Nourishing the Balance of the Universe”

[The following is a guest post from Rachael Watcher, Public Information Officer at Covenant of the Goddess (COG), part of the Pagan Newswire Collective's Bay Area bureau, and a trustee of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN).]On February 29th I begin a trip to Haridwar India to attend a conference produced in part by the International Center for Cultural Studies with participation from the Council of Elders of the Sacred Maya, the European Congress of Ethnic Religions and many others. It was being held from march third through seventh of this year on the university campus of Dev Sanskriti Vishwa Vidyalaya. Its theme of four this year was Nourishing the Balance of the Universe, … [Read more...]

Modern Paganism’s Role in Interfaith

While the concept of interfaith, constructive interaction between representatives of different religions, is truly ancient, its modern conception was largely birthed by the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions (re-dubbed the Parliament of the World's Religions in more recent times) where representatives of "Eastern" religions (Hinduism, Taoism, Jainism, Buddhism) created lasting contacts with representatives from the "Western" traditions of Christianity and Judaism. The star of that parliament was Swami Vivekananda, credited by many for bringing Yoga to America, who spoke to a rapturous audience of over 7000 about the end of religious fanaticism and intolerance."Sectarianism, b … [Read more...]

COG Grand Council Elects New First Officer, Meets at MerryMeet

This weekend Covenant of The Goddess, one of the largest and oldest Witch and Wiccan associations, held their 2011 Grand Council. This year the council, part of the larger yearly event known as MerryMeet, took place in Irving Texas and was hosted by the Texas Local Council (click here to download an audio interview with Chuck Peart of COG's Texas Local Council). In a historic first for this national Witchcraft organization, their traditional opening invocation featured an interfaith blessing with Tatiana Androsov, Russian Orthodox, of the Thanks-Giving Foundation, Bill Matthews, Methodist, of the Dallas Peace Center, and Revathi Srinath, Hindu, of the Sanatana Dharma Foundation. Speaking with … [Read more...]

Quick Notes: Protecting Sacred Lands, The Interfaith Observer, and Teenage Clergy

A few quick news notes for you on this Sunday morning.Protecting Sacred Lands: The Environmental News Network reports that the Biodiversity Institute at the University of Oxford, in partnership with the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and World Database on Sacred Natural Sites (SANASI), is creating a world map that will display sacred and holy places, including forests in an attempt to raise awareness for biodiversity conservation.A team of scientists from the University of Oxford are working on a world map which shows all the land owned or revered by various world religions. This "holy map" will display all the sacred sites from Jerusalem's Western Wall, to Masjid al … [Read more...]