Paganism

TikTok witches are accusing each other of being toxic, gatekeepers, and misinformation spreaders

April 16, 2022

Last October, a TikToker uploaded a short instructional video in which she claimed to teach a technique to "make someone think of you 24/7." All a person needed to do was follow a few simple steps: Write the name of their unrequited love on a piece of paper three times, fold the paper three times, and put it under their pillow. Subsequently having a dream about them would mean it had worked, she said.

The TikTok, which is one of hundreds on her account teaching followers simple "spells," has since been viewed more than 20 million times and received 1.4 million likes, but the...

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Sikhs Sue Marine Corps Over Restrictions on Beards

April 11, 2022

A Marine artillery captain named Sukhbir Singh Toor has been on a mission over the past year to become the first Sikh in the United States Marine Corps allowed to openly practice his religion while in uniform.

During that time he has won a string of victories against the strict dress standards of the Marine Corps, and he can now wear the beard, long hair and turban required of a faithful Sikh while on duty. But recently, the Marine Corps dug in, refusing to allow him or any other Sikh to wear a beard on a combat deployment or during boot camp, saying that beards would hinder...

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Druidism now recognized as distinct religion at DOC

March 17, 2022

The Indiana Department of Correction is now allowing followers of Druidism to study and worship as a distinct religion pursuant to a court-approved consent decree.

The Indiana Southern District Court on March 11 approved a stipulated judgment between inmate Isaac Felton and the Indiana Department of Correction providing that, “Defendant, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Correction — along with his officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and any other persons in active concert or participation with these persons — is hereby permanently enjoined to allow for...

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Pagans and witches offer prayers for peace in Ukraine

February 25, 2022

“We stand here helpless under this crescent Moon. We stand here helpless as the inevitable happens,” reads the beginning of a pagan prayer for Ukraine and its people, written H. Byron Ballard. 

After news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spread, pagans and witches joined thousands of other faith leaders in praying for peace and for strength. Ballard, an Asheville-based witch and priestess, shared her personal prayer and a photo of her altar, welcoming others to join her in holding space for the Ukrainian people.

Her prayer continues: “Holding in our...

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Omicron takes a toll on pagan community's vital conferences

January 20, 2022

Pagans are a decentralized community, comprising largely independent, small temples, covens and kindreds, with many people operating as solitary practitioners, without even a common doctrine to bring them together.

What they do have is conferences. “In person events are our crossroads, agora, United Nations, Brigadoon, block party, state fair, and more. Friendships and alliances are created and deepened. Issues are explored and sacred techniques are shared,” said Ivo Dominguez Jr., an elder in the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, in a...

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Inmate wants permission for hairstyle based on his religion

January 19, 2022

An inmate at the Adult Correctional Institutions is suing the state Department of Corrections because it has sanctioned him for his hair style, which he says is based on his religious beliefs.

Christopher Banks, 24, of Westerly, seeks in the suit filed in U.S. District Court to remove penalties he’s been given for wearing his hair short on the sides and long on top, the Providence Journal reported ...

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Goat heads and pagan rituals? Board of appeals rescinds permit for religious observance

January 5, 2022

By a 4-0 vote, the St. Mary’s County Board of Appeals on Dec. 16 rescinded a temporary permit that a county department had issued for a pagan observance.

The land use and growth management department approved the permit on June 3, 2021.

Deputy Director Harry Knight and alternate board member Ronald Payne Sr., who was filling in for board member Guy Bradley, recused themselves.

Source:...

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Why are women becoming witches?

December 24, 2021

Seattle-based Bri Luna, aka @thehoodwitch, has 472,000 followers on Instagram. On her website, thehoodwitch.com, her profile picture shows an attractive young woman wearing a black dress that reveals both tattooed cleavage and one tattooed thigh, holding a crystal ball in a ring-bedecked hand. The image is fiercely sexual and deliberately powerful, but this is a power that is linked to magic, which, she says, is open to all who choose to claim it: “The universe is vast, and we need as many healing information sources as possible. It...

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Tarot cards are having a moment with help from pandemic

December 10, 2021

She won’t read your fortune like a psychic might, but 29-year-old Skye Marinda will guide you through a tarot reading to try to find clarity in the present. A self-described “tarot coach” who lives near Capitol Hill in D.C., Marinda began reading tarot decks on her own five years ago and hoped to start publicly reading for others in early 2020.

“I did one event in person at a bar in D.C., and I was like, ‘This is fun, I should keep doing this,’ ” she said. “Two weeks later, everything shut down.”

...
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Feds prompt Michigan to revise religious practice restrictions on prisoners

November 4, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday it has reached a settlement with the Michigan Department of Corrections to change the state's policy limiting worship and religious activities for prisoners, as well as the kosher diet fed to Jewish inmates.

Under the agreement, Michigan corrections officials agreed to eliminate its policy that required a minimum of five people for religious services or activities. It will also remove a prohibition on group religious practices for Hindus, Yorubas, Hebrew Israelites and Thelema practitioners, unless there's...

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