Shave or be Shaved. Aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, sailor Edmund Di Liscia faced a stark choice. According to his lawyers, he was told to either shave his beard voluntarily or be held down by his bunk mate and forcibly shaved. For Di Liscia, a practicing Hasidic Jew who had not shaved for more than two years, it was a choice between his loyalty to the U.S. Navy and his religious faith.
Di Liscia is one of several sailors and marines who are seeking religious accommodation to wear beards while in uniform.
DANVILLE, Va. — Danville may be the City of Churches, but a growing community of New Age spiritualists is quietly choosing meditation over prayer, and crystals over communion.
A paradigm shift When 23-year-old Briana Pierce was a teenager at Chatham High School, she had to travel to Greensboro to visit a metaphysical shop and explore her Pagan beliefs. Now, there are three in the City of Danville alone.
"I have always been interested in the idea of things like magic," Pierce said. "That definitely always pulled me off of the religious beaten path. As a child, I...
(RNS) — When the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing the Obergefell v. Hodges case that eventually made marriage equality a reality across the nation, pagans held rituals on the high court’s steps in Washington.
Led by Firefly House, a local witchcraft community, these public rites called forth the “spirit of justice and revolution” and attracted pagans from around the country. When the decision was finally handed down, the community celebrated.
HURST, Texas – Some residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth suburban city in northwest Tarrant county came to the realization that a controversial church had moved into their town at some point during the pandemic.
The new resident is Stedfast Baptist Church (SBC) which had formerly been in nearby Sansom Park has been listed on the Southern Poverty Law’s Hatewatch list since 2014 for its promotion of anti-LGBTQ+ ideology.
Beginning on June 27th an interfaith group, No Hate in Hurst, organized by Teri Pate began protesting the services held at SBC on Wednesdays and...
(RNS) — To Lidia Pradas, the summer solstice “always recharges my energy and makes me want to start new projects,” she shared on her popular Instagram account, Wiccan Tips.
Usually, Pradas celebrates by watching bonfires burn and people jump the fires where she lives in Zaragoza, Spain, she told Religion News Service in an email.
This year, with those gatherings canceled by the continuing pandemic, the Wiccan witch said she’ll probably enjoy the sunrise from her rooftop with some tea and cherry cake. Dandelion tea is her favorite — she picks the flowers and dries...
(RNS) — In 2017, witches around the United States, and a few around the world, turned their magic to political activism, performing a spell to “bind” then-President Donald Trump “and all who abet him.”
While the former president had this politicizing effect on many pagans, the spell was not the first pagan mass action aimed at furthering progressive causes. Over the past decade, pagan groups have vocally participated in the People’s Climate March, rallies for marriage equality and Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
If you walk in and smell incense, herbs, and candles, you’re in the right place. This is especially true at Motown Witch, a metaphysical supply store that recently opened in a beautiful open space at 16844 Schaefer Hwy. on Detroit’s west side.
Painted a bright yellow, the store is spacious with a large display of herbs like jasmine, lavender, and hibiscus in glass jars behind the counter that immediately beckon to customers. Scents like Wild Berry incense permeate the air and seduce the senses.
Robin Morris has lived in Toledo for 13 years, but she only opened her store at 2455 W. Sylvania Ave. about 18 months ago. While Power of 3 is only the latest of many metaphysical shops that local Pagans and Wiccans have seen over the years, she envisioned it as one for all faiths.
More than a decade before the Farley Center was founded — and just 20 miles down the road — Selena Fox built one of the nation’s first natural cemeteries. Fox is the founder and director of Circle Sanctuary, a nature spirituality church nestled on a 200-acre preserve in Barneveld. In 1995, Fox set aside 20 acres for scattering ashes. Fifteen years later, the church completed the local requirements for full-body burials. Fifty-eight people have chosen Circle Cemetery...
The turning of the wheel has brought those of us in the northern hemisphere to the celebration of Imbolc, and in the southern hemisphere, Lughnasadh or Lammas.
This wintry season in the northern hemisphere is celebrated by different traditions under a variety of names – the twelve-day observance of Entschtanning (the emergence), the Shinto Festival of Setsubun (February 3), the feast day of Saint Brigid of Ireland (February 1), and of course...
Although the internet has been around for decades now, many are calling 2020 the “Year of the Internet” as the entire country has moved huge portions of our lives online.
While encountering a large and diverse Pagan community online is certainly nothing new, COVID-19 restrictions and concerns have forced even local covens, groups, and meetups to find alternative ways to share rituals.
“Yule” is an oft-used word during this festive season. The classic Christmas tune "Deck the Halls" gushes about “yuletide carols.” YouTube Yule logs bring crackling joy to those without fireplaces. And many companies are on the real Yule log train with their own weird twists to the holiday staple. But what does Yule mean? How did it become associated with Christmas? The history behind the word Yule, what it celebrates, and how people enjoy Yule today is a trip worth taking. Let’s dive into Yule’s interesting past.
Portlanders have been leading protests against racism and police brutality for more than five months after the death of George Floyd. Organizing months of ongoing direct action is one challenge, but keeping each other safe—physically and mentally—is another.