Pagan Community Notes: Week of December 6, 2021

Comet NEOWISE – Image credit: SimgDe, CC BY-SA 4.0

TWH – December a few notable celestial events proposed this year. the comet Leonardo (Comet C / 2021 A1), discovered in January of this year, makes an appearance in the northern hemisphere until December 11 and will start to be more visible in the southern hemisphere around December 12 until the beginning of January.

Comet Leonard is named after senior research specialist Greg Leonard at the Mount Lemmon Observatory near Tucson, Ariz., Who first discovered the comet on January 3, 2021.

While Comet Leonard will not be as bright or as easily visible as last year’s Comet NEOWISE, if the current forecast is correct, the mornings surrounding Thursday, December 9 will provide the best opportunities to see Leonard in the Northern Hemisphere. . At that time, it will be higher and brighter in a dark, moonless sky.

Although the comet does not reach its peak brightness for several days, its location one-third the height of the eastern sky, and near the circle of stars that form the head of Serpens Caput (the serpent’s head), should allow good observation with binoculars or a telescope and perhaps even with the naked eye.

On the morning of December 9, Comet Leonard will rise in the southeastern sky at around 3:30 a.m. EST, but sighting attempts are expected to take place before 5:30 a.m. as the dawn sky will begin to darken. lighten. After December 12, Leonard will be visible after sunset in the southwestern sky.

While comets are notoriously unpredictable, sky watchers have high hopes for a great performance from Comet Leonard.

The annual Geminid meteor shower occurs from December 7 to December 17 with peak viewing on the nights of December 13 and the morning of December 14. The waxing moon will obscure the fainter meteors, but the Geminids are considered to be one of the brightest and most prolific meteors. showers throughout the year, sometimes with up to 120-150 meteors per hour.

The annual Ursid meteor shower will also occur from December 17-26, with an observation peak on December 22. However, the full moon on December 19 will likely make most of them invisible, especially since the Ursids typically only offer between 5 and 10 meteors. one o’clock.

Sandwiched between the two meteor showers and after the full moon, the December solstice occurs on December 21 at 3:50 p.m. UTC (10:30 a.m. EST), marking the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere and the early summer in the southern hemisphere.

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Image credit: Basspildstelle – CC BY-SA 4.0

LONDON – The debate over the bypass of the Stonehenge tunnel, A303, appears to be the subject of retaliation. Last week, according to the BBCUK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps issued a ‘statement of the facts’ calling for the three-kilometer Stonehenge tunnel to be redone.

A High Court ruling in August upheld two of the objections submitted; the impact on heritage assets and the failure to take into account alternative schemes, suspending the project plans.

Of TWH article written by Liz Williams:

The decision depended on points of law and not on the archaeological or heritage basis of the claims made. Justice Houlgate ruled that the Secretary of State did not have sufficient legal elements to carry out the assessments required by law.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was forced to consider alternative proposals, including the much longer tunnel and a covered trench option, but failed to do so: the omission marred his decision in the eyes of the Court. The main reason why these options were not considered is probably the cost: the cut and cover option would cost an additional £ 264 million; extending the tunnel would cost £ 578million.

The Court also said that Shapps had not given sufficient weight to the impact on individual heritage assets within the site, was “unlawfully” in disagreement with the Planning Inspectorate (who advised him to reject the proposal), had also “misinterpreted” Historic England’s advice, and “took an illegal approach” to the degree of damage the project would cause to the site.

On Tuesday, the Department of Transportation invited National Highways to provide additional information on why the tunnel should be reviewed, in particular new information regarding the tunnel’s impact on government carbon budgets and climate change targets. .

Wiltshire Council had backed the plan to build the A303 bypass to reduce traffic jams and speed up travel in the south-eastern and south-western sections of the country.

The legal challenge that suspended plans for the A303 tunnel in August was brought by the Stonehenge Alliance (a collaboration that included the British Archaeological Trust, the Council for British Archeology and the Consortium of Archaeologists) and the Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site Ltd. .

The Stonehenge Tunnel has been a much contested and controversial issue in the UK, with locals, heritage and archaeological communities, and the pagan community all being somewhat divided. It is difficult to say what new challenges and divisions are likely to arise if a new plan to build a ring road or tunnel becomes reality.

The deadline for sending new information to the Ministry of Transport is January 11.


In other news:

    • In News of the Absurd and Debunked, a recent conspiracy circulating on the Internet claimed that “science” spelled backwards “Ecneics” was a pagan word or name for “Satan”. Although the original post is riddled with misspellings, including “Satan” spelled as “satin.” Snopes.com did a quick job to dispel this idea and mark it as false. They also noted that they could not find such a word in any English language dictionary, nor was it mentioned in searches of “The Dictionary of Wicca, Witchcraft and Magick”, ” A Popular Dictionary of Paganism, ”“ The Wiccan Dictionary of Prophecy and Omens ”and“ A Dictionary of Pagan Religions ”.
    • An article published by the Norwegian media site NRK explored the rise of the practice and beliefs of witchcraft in Norway as part of the international trend of pagan beliefs. Two Norwegian witches, Sandra Nystad Johansen, 22 from Fredrikstad, and Nelly Alapnes, 23, from Sørreisa were interviewed for the play. Johansen said: “We are taking back the power of the word so that it is not patronizing. It is very conscious. Alapnes explained that being a witch means taking control of your own life: “I really want to be successful at loving myself and others. basic for some, this may not be the case for everyone. Historian Rune Blix Hagen from the University of Tromsø noted that the trend seems to be “about independence, pride, quality and power” and that “I feel it strongly in my work as a historian, that there is a growing interest in witchcraft and witchcraft in music, cinema, theater and especially literature. We obviously have a new wave of witches going on.
    • A new museum in Japan, the Tokyo Tarot Museum opened November 16 and features rare and unusual tarot cards from the novelty company Nichiyu’s collection of over 3,000 cards. The museum is also managed by Nichiyu, the first Japanese company to sell tarot cards, which it started doing in 1974. It will also have an ongoing display of 500 out of print and hard-to-find cards, which will be for sale. Additionally, there is an adjoining library with original catalogs featuring the many cards the company has offered over the years, as well as books on tarot and related topics. The museum is located in the Yanagibashi district of Tokyo, known for its fortune tellers and which was once one of Tokyo’s geisha districts. According to Japan today, the museum plans to eventually offer events that will include lectures and workshops all focused on tarot.
    • Graubünden Archaeological Service (ADG) is exhibiting for the first time the incredible finds unearthed by an amateur archaeologist in 2019. Lucas Schmid used a metal detector near the Crap Ses Gorge and the mountain village of Tiefencastel in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland when he discovered an ornate Roman dagger known as the “pugio. ” Schmid’s discovery led to the discovery of hundreds of artifacts, from coins and horseshoe nails to parts of Roman shields and slingshots that date from 15 BCE. When research teams began to search the site, they discovered a veritable treasure trove of Roman and Rhaetian artefacts. Researchers knew that the Rhaetians, or Raeti, a confederation of tribes who lived in the Alpine regions at this time clashed with the Romans when Emperor Augustus ordered his troops to take control of the Alps.


    To note positively

    On the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, FAUN released a second song, Galdra from their next album, Pagan. Galdra presents Lindy-Fay Hella from Wardruna who appears in the video with actress Freya Bergander, and of course the members of FAUN. Word “galdra” comes from the Norwegian Nynorsk and means “to do magic, witchcraft, witchcraft”.

    The band plan to release a new song from the album. Pagan every month until the full album is released in April 2022.

    The video was shot on location in Norway and Germany (Bogenwald and Jurlund Village), and produced by Kilian Keuchel & FAUN Phoenix GBR. The group’s performance was filmed and directed by Matteo vDiva Fabbiani and Chiara Cerami for VDPictures.ch, the story was filmed by Nico Lindner and directed by Kilian Keuchel, with Lindy-Fay Hella filmed and directed by Ferruccio Goia.



    Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

    Platform: Dream of Gaia Tarot, Pocket Edition, by Ravynne Phelan, published by Blue Angel Publishing.

    Menu: Major Arcana (XXIII), Integrity

    The coming week is likely to highlight the elements of ethics and honesty and the principles of fairness and sincerity. There may be many opportunities to oppose dishonest, unfair and hypocritical behavior and ideology.

    Conversely, watch out for behaviors that have the potential to cross the line into deceptive and harmful territory. “Check yourself before you break the bank” seems like solid advice.

    Bridges generously provided by Asheville Pagan Supply.

Mary I. Bruner