Paganism

Diversity of Winter Solstice Rituals

December 21, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 21, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that during the holiday season of December, "Pagans (of whom Wiccans are probably the most prominent group in America), Druids (derived from Celtic traditions) and others who belong to Earth-based religions will celebrate the solstice as a high holiday called Yule. (The freshly cut yule log is originally a Druidic practice distilled from Norse and Teutonic customs, a wintry counterpart to summertime bonfire celebrations)... 'Yule is really a Norse holiday,' says Liz Guerra,...

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Wisconsin Learns More About Wicca

December 20, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

http://www.jsonline.com/lifestyle/religion/dec01/6854.asp

On December 20, 2001, The MIlwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that "Wiccans and followers of other nature-based faiths across Wisconsin are reaching back to the dawn of time today to celebrate the winter solstice with sunlight, songs, flames, feasts and prayerful reverence... The Wiccan religion has caught the public's attention in recent weeks because of controversy over...

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Winter Solstice in Connecticut

December 20, 2001

Source: The Hartford Courant

On December 20, 2001, The Hartford Courant reported that in Manchester, Connecticut, the "Unitarian Universalist Society's... Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans -- ahead of the popular curve -- has been celebrating winter solstice for a dozen years. This year's event will celebrate solstice in the Norse tradition, using animal totems... For pagans, wiccans and other earth-based religions, the winter solstice marks the start of a new year. The winter equinox occurs when the Western Hemisphere is tilted farthest from the...

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Utah Church Celebrates Solstice

December 15, 2001

Source: The Deseret News

http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,355012326,00.html

On December 15, 2001, The Deseret News reported that the "First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City... will hold its 10th annual Solstice... The Rev. Silvia Behrend said the event is more than just a fun celebration for the church — it is also a religious-oriented event that welcomes the renewal of life... She believes the solstice event can bring additional Christmas meaning...

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Pagan Festival Site Denied Renewal of Permit

December 10, 2001

Source: The Kansas City Star

On December 10, 2001, The Kansas City Star reported that the Gaea Retreat Center is a "170-acre private camp - which allows nudity in certain places and is host to an annual pagan festival - is the first Leavenworth County operation in recent memory that couldn't get its special-use permit renewed... The pagan festival attracts about 1,200 participants. The total number of visitors approaches 4,000 a year... 'I can't think of a time in the four years I've been here that we've denied a renewal,' said county Planning Director John...

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Growing Acceptance of Pagan Winter Solstice in Boston

December 9, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 9, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "the holiday season means something a little different over at Allston's Ritual Arts store. Every year, as the days grow shorter and the nights colder, the store caters to Bostonians who partake in the ancient, pagan celebration of the winter solstice... Toni Fanning, 45, the store's owner, says that most of her customers draw heavily upon the Celtic celebration of yule. Its traditions echo many Christmas mainstays such as evergreen plants, seasoned wine, and the burning of a yule...

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Uproar Over Wiccan Chaplain Hired at Wisconsin Prison

December 8, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On December 8, 2001, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that "in response to the state's hiring of a Wiccan as a prison chaplain, a state lawmaker said Friday that he plans to draft legislation making the percentage of prisoners who practice a certain faith an eligibility requirement to be a chaplain... Rep. Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa), chairman of the Assembly's Corrections Committee, questioned the wisdom of Waupun Correctional Institution in hiring the Rev. Jamyi Witch of Mount Horeb as one of its two prison...

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Uproar Over Wiccan Chaplain Hired at Wisconsin Prison

December 6, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/dec01/witch06120501a.asp

On December 6, 2001, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured an article on Jamyi Witch, the new Wiccan chaplain at a Wisconsin Prison. "Out of 1,200 inmates at the institution, 30 are Wiccan, 400 are Christian, and the rest are either non-religious or practice other religions, including those in the Islamic and American Indian traditions, said Gary McCaughtry, the...

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Uproar Over Wiccan Chaplain Hired at Wisconsin Prison

December 6, 2001

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

http://www.wisconsinstatejournal.com/local/8446.html

On December 6, 2001, the Wisconsin State Journal featured an article on Rev. Jamyi Witch, the new Wiccan chaplain at Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin. "Rep. Scott Walker, R-Wauwatosa, head of the assembly committee that egulates prison, said he was 'offended' by Witch's religion and was looking into whether she had been hired in defiance of the state's hiring freeze... At...

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San Diego's Many Faiths Share Season of Holidays

November 30, 2001

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On November 30, 2001. The San Diego Union-Tribune featured an article on the diverse and numerous religious holidays that take place at this time of year. The article included a description of the following holidays: Ramadan - the Muslim holy month, Bodhi Day - the anniversary of Buddha's enlightenment, Hanukkah - "the eight-day Jewish festival of lights commemorates the victory of the Maccabees, Jewish warriors who overthrew their oppressors in about 165 B.C.", Yule and Winter Solstice - the Wiccan and Pagan holiday...

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New 'Domestic Terroist' Act Concerns RLLN

November 3, 2001

Source: Religious Liberties Lawyers Network

On November 3, 2001 the Religious Liberties Lawyers Network issued a press release saying it "pledges to monitor the impact the recently enacted USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. Law No. 107-56) has on the rights of minority religious." The Religious Liberties Lawyers Network is "a national organization of Wiccan, Pagan and civil liberties attorneys, paralegals and law students... The RLLN provides legal counseling and support in cases of religious discrimination, educational information on First Amendment rights, and a highly...

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Pagan Community of Arkansas

October 27, 2001

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

On October 27, 2001, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, featured an article on Wicca and Paganism. The article discussed the diveristy of Neo-Paganism saying "Wiccans and Pagans have as many traditions as the Christian faith has denominations." The article also explianed that "Pagans view the Earth as sacred and believe the divine can be found in nature" and that the traditions incorporate the feminine divine noting "the concept of a goddess or goddesses...attracts many to the religion." The article also touched on "some of the...

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At Halloween Time, Article Explores Paganism in US

October 25, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/298/at_home/Air_spirit_fire_water_earth_nature_death_rebirth_Paganism%2b.shtml

On October 25, 2001, The Boston Globe featured an article on Paganism. The article explains, "Paganism goes under many names, including 'wicca,' 'goddess traditions,' 'Earth-based spirituality,' 'neo-paganism,' and 'the craft.'" It continues, "Pagans base their ritual...

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Wiccan Prohibited from Exposing His Daughter to His Religion

August 1, 2001

Source: InPgh Weekly

http://www.inpgh.com/html/2001_08_01/news/feature.tmpl

On August 1, 2001, InPgh Weekly reported that Pennsylvania resident "Conon Brewer may be held in contempt of court this week for allowing [his daughter] to see...anything...that hints at his personal sense of spirituality. He stands accused of violating his 2000 divorce decree, which orders him not to expose his young daughter to books with 'spirits and ghosts' or to the teachings of his...

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