Wiccan Denied Clergy Status in Virginia

[The following is a guest post from Literata Hurley. Literata is a Wiccan priestess, poet, and theaologian. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and  periodicals, including Mandragora, Queen of the Sacred Way, Anointed, Witches & Pagans, and CIRCLE Magazine. She blogs regularly for The Slacktiverse and her own site, Works of Literata. She is an ordained High Priestess of the Order of the White Moon, a women's spirituality organization. In between leading Rose Coven, reading Tarot, and communing with nature, she is writing her Ph.D. dissertation in history and enjoys travel and spending time with her husband and cats.]The Arlington County Court refused to grant me the right to … [Read more...]

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.Virginia’s Board of Social Services has approved a truly audacious list of new adoption rules that authorize agencies to discriminate on the basis of age, gender, political beliefs, family status, and religion. This is ostensibly to prevent same-sex couples from adopting, but could be used to discriminate against religious minorities, like Pagans, in the state. Lawsuits are already being geared up to challenge these new guidelines. We'll have more on this story in the future, … [Read more...]

Virginia Pagan Wins Conservation Post in Tuesday’s Elections

It was election night this past Tuesday, and while the media has largely focused on hot-button political issues like fetal "personhood" or collective bargaining rights, our faith communities took a quiet political step forward in Virginia. There, local Unitarian-Universalist and Pagan Lonnie Murray won a seat on the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (TJSWCD), a body that provides natural resource assistance for Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson Counties, as well as the city of Charlottesville. Murray now joins the ranks of Dan Halloran and Jessica Orsini as openly Pagan/Heathen elected officials.While Murray is openly Pagan, describing his theological views as … [Read more...]

Virginia Court Says Divination Not A Religious Practice

In the beginning of 2010 I reported on the case of Patricia Moore-King (aka "Psychic Sophie"), a psychic practitioner/spiritual counselor who challenged Chesterfield County's onerous zoning regulations designed to discourage tarot readers, psychics, astrologers, and other practitioners of “occult sciences” from opening up a shop. King maintains that she wasn't a "fortune teller" but engaged in a form of religious counseling, and therefore the regulations didn't apply to her.The County of Chesterfield’s laws classify Ms. King’s activities as “the occupation of occult sciences” and therefore defines her as a “fortune-teller” (she does not identify herself as such), which subjects her to … [Read more...]