Strange times and the riots’ new legacy of musical magic in Detroit

The magick is changing in Detroit. Some of it is good, and some of it is not very good at all.  The music of the times is changing and the melodies of protest new generations of practitioners making it are emerging in an era that sees the division of the different spiritual groups self segregating again. Their music may change some of that. The anniversary of the riots has only served to add body to the growing school of thought that the tone of the spiritual landscape is cycling back to a possibly dark place.

The tensions and divisions continue into every aspect of life, and the magickal landscape of practitioners is not different in many ways. The 8 Mile boundary, made famous by Eminem’s movie, is still a very real phenomenon. The reality of “White Flight” affected the families of many.

Pagans active  here today are mostly in outlying areas. The fellowships of the “Pagan” communities in Metro Detroit are often dotted around the city like random sprinkles on a donut. The poverty left in the wake of the rebellion, the loss of businesses and the homes of spiritual workers, a school system struggling (today, due to the constant redirection of funds by the powers that lobby for development instead of education), the vile myth of the unemployable nature of the population of minorities who are stake-holders in the community, all mixed together to create the playing field of a city that saw a rebellion five decades ago.

Those circumstances are repeating themselves today.

But so are the good things. The sound of music and melody made paths out of obscurity and manifested the dreams of hardworking groups from Motown and other independent companies. Artisans, barbers, beauticians, tailors, seamstresses, and other industries that supported our musicians rode this wave. The big factory workers let their hair down and lit their candles to the songs that told of life how it could be, despite constant harassment. Candle shops and readers in Eastern Market, off Grand Blvd, and on the West Side of McNichol’s served all races and creeds and the music tied them all together in the auric energy of the bardic craft.

Image: Kenya Coviak, all rights reserved

But even the music of a generation could not stop reality from being right outside that door. Segregated places still existed. The legacy of Dr. Sweet, even now, is still in the minds of Detroit’s children. The families that were engaged in that battle never left the city, and their children’s children lived to see the rebellion as a city was on fire while the music played.

Many stayed, but many more left.

A great migration from the city took with it the young. It took away the chances for them to learn the names of the stores and the streets where spells were spoken and offerings left. Many never bought their first dream/number policy book, but had seen them in their parent’s dresser drawer. Some even may have seen some Anna Riva books, but not understood why those books were not on the shelves at the corporate bookstores …. and why that was the case. An entire cultural oral history stolen from a new generation due to systematic racism, class warfare, and the resulting explosive reaction left a disconnect from the historicity of the magick in the Motor City.

Every section of the city has some aspect of magickal community. No area is untouched and unaffected by the ripping apart of neighborhoods, societies, and businesses that lie embedded in the dust beneath the Trees of Paradise that mark their resting places on the landscape. Known as the City of Churches, Detroit also is known as a City of the Unseen, both in powers and peoples. The first spellcraft so many of us learned was how to sing a song to spark a spell. Those songs are part of who we are and they were passed along in oral tradition.

Right now, the biggest ambassador of popular media regarding the culture of mixed magicks here that is of the common person and not a BNP (Big Name Pagan) is our music. Again. Because music can reach beyond the visions of flesh that divide us by skin color. So we have again found the magick in the music.  From 7 Mile Road, we have anthems for our street practitioners of a new generation from the mic of BIG HOODOO,  an artist signed with iconic ICP’s Psychopathic Records.

WARNING EXPLICIT LYRICS

The spiritual spectrums are myriad. We have a new generation of artist magickians who are looking for ways to express themselves that can reach beyond the street names and the color lines. Day Oshee Maatin is one younger magickian who has ventured past the enclaves. She visited ConVocation, performed at the Ancient Faiths Alliance Harvest Festival, and will grace the stage at the Detroit Conjure and Folk Magic Festival. She saw a long time ago that these divisions are beneficial to no one.

WARNING EXPLICIT LYRICS

In the music, there is hope that a new generation will come forward to heal the divides in the groups. In the New Detroit, there is just enough of the GENUINE OLD DETROIT that can be resurrected for its magickal communities to once again transcend the burdens and biases that divide us. But to the new generation of gentrifiers, I have one thing to caution you about as you strive to change the city into your new BOHO.

Detroit is not Brooklyn. Detroit is not New York. Detroit is not Harlem.

Detroit is Detroit.

If you don’t learn that soon, you may need to deal with a certain Red Dwarf that will teach you the hard way. Your Blues are not like ours, and we have a lot more songs to sing that are not. Do not seek to bring back those bad times of division in magick and society here, the land has a memory. The spirits here have memories. And sometimes, they smell like saltpeter and sulfur.

 

 

 

Ancient Faiths Alliance holds its first harvest festival is this Sat

Ancient Faiths Alliance hosts its All Hands Together Harvest Festival this Saturday Sep 17, 2016. Their second community festival, the first being the Community Earth Day Celebration in Madison Heights in April, this their first harvest event. Set on to coincide with the Autumnal Equinox, it takes place from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm in Green Acres Park, Hazel Park, MI.

All Hands Together Harvest Festival
All Hands Together Harvest Festival

 

They have selected multiple charities to support at this event. They are the Hazel Park Promise Zone college scholarship fund, Pagans In Need food bank, and the Michigan Pagan Scholarship. In addition to these, they are collecting new and pretty printed pillowcases for a pillowcase dress project for children.

A full day of programming awaits the public. Vendors, classes, activities and special events of interest to Pagan and non Pagan, Heathen, Christian, and other paths and faiths are part of the festivities. A county fair feeling is what the All Faiths Alliance seems to have heard is the way the people in Southeastern Michigan offer as unofficial feedback about the day.

The classes for presentation are listed on their website as Jerry “Casper” Mckinney’s Runic workshop, Fool Proof Tarot, Herbs for Harmonizing a Happy Home, The Spiral Circle Pagans In Recovery, A Witches Thread, Basic Crystal Healing, Unscript Yourself!, Numbers and Magick!, and Essential Oils 101.

Store Poster for Fest
Store Poster for Fest

A rather dynamic marketing campaign has set this group apart. Flyers, online adverts, and multiple media outreach has gained a large supportive swell of non Pagan based businesses and Heathen based groups that have not customarily been forthcoming to area events of this nature.  Multiple ads customized to various demographics have generated buzz.

All Hands Together - DJ AD
All Hands Together – DJ AD

Music plays a huge part of this event. Local DJ phenom DJ Brutal donated his services as Master of Ceremonies to act as ringmaster to the talent. Bands include Blackmail, Day Oshee Maatin, Agenda 21, and acoustic group Rebel A’s.  A special performance by Adam Arcana of the Doppleganger Circus Sideshow is also on the playbill.

 

The band 21 Planets Away was scheduled to perform at this event, however they have suffered a personal loss. This writer speaks in good faith that the Southeastern Michigan communities extend their deepest sympathies at this time and lift them up in ritual and love.

Children are not left out of the fun, since a midday children’s dance party gives parents a much-needed time to relax and enjoy the food while the little ones burn off some energy. Sponsored by the Little Witches Ball, it promises to be a good time.

Children's Flyer
Children’s Flyer

Because all of the organizers are parents, there is a strong emphasis on inclusive family programming. Children’s activities and Harvest Games are proper for participation at various age and ability levels. Even the layout has the youth programming area centrally located for easier monitoring and safety.

Dani Cakes

A Quest Master leads two scavenger hunts during this event. Michigan Renaissance Faire Tickets for four, donated by Dani Cakes,  are the prize of the family track. The adult hunt is for a gift bag donated by the Midwest Witches Bazaar

The Phoenix Cafe is also in on the fun with an all day Pokemon Party. This includes Pokemon themed art by local area artists, which is entered into the art show competition. They have an after party to the event that evening.

Family classes and activities are listed as Kids’ Suncatcher Painting, A Witches Thread (crocheting), a Hammer Toss, Ring Toss, Fish Bowl game, Pin the Tail on the White tail buck, Broom Races, Hokey Pokey: Festival Edition, Pudding Pie eating contest, a water balloon relay, and an old favorite from when these folks were with Pagan Pride Detroit Inc’s Pagan Pride Detroit Days, The Pickle Roll. Ancient Oak Scouts will also be recruiting at this event.

Rituals for those interested in the spiritual side of the event are Dream World Connections, Fears & the Dream Warrior presented by MeKailia Nimue of Owls’ Grove Coven; Waters of the World ~ a gift of the Covenant of the Goddess presented by Oberon Osiris of Covenant of the Goddess, and a midday HandFasting ceremony officiated by Minister Enafae Moore-Sweet.

For the Waters of the World Ritual, the presenter has requested folks to bring containers of waters from all over the area to mingle together.

 

So many more features at set to happen. And it all happens this Saturday in Green Acres Park here in Michigan. Hope to see you there.

 

 

 

Michigan Wide Pagan Pride!

ppd_logo-300x300

Looking for somewhere to celebrate your Pagan pride this weekend? If you’re in Michigan you’re in luck. There are three different events going on this Saturday, September 17, 2016; in Hazel Park, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids.

How do you decide which event works best for you? Is location truly everything? Or are you looking for something that is more family friendly than most? Or something that has even more events going on than just in celebration of our Pagan spirit? Let me try to help you out a little bit with that. This article is just to focus on the main events sponsored by each of these Festivals. Not every single one of them, my hands can’t type THAT much without cramping up and I need to get prepared for the festival myself. But, I will add the links so that you can investigate further for yourself. For those of you that had planned on going to the Lansing Pagan Pride & LGBT Day, most of the vendors that would have been there will be at these various Fests’ since we were literally washed out.

In Hazel Park Ancient Faiths Alliance will be hosting the All Hands Together Harvest Festival (I’ll be at that one.). This one seems has the most variety, and will probably have the most children and teens present since there will be other separate events taking place. There will be a Scavenger Hunt where  a lucky family will receive a grand prize of a family night out. And trust me when I say that is worth more than you truly realize, family outings are so expensive these days they rarely even take place anymore. For all of those out there still trying to catch ’em all, The Pheonix Cafe will be having a Pokemon GO party with multiple pokestops at the park. Plus, more kids’ games, classes, contests, and a dance party! So there will be plenty for the kids, pre-teens and teens to do as the adults enjoy the rituals, attend classes, and of course SHOP! (Be sure to stop by GothicMoms DarkCharms to see the Tiffany with the black box, not the stinking blue ones.)

https://www.facebook.com/events/574404769391146/?active_tab=posts

 

Ann Arbor will be hosting their very first Pagan Pride this year. They will be featuring a Peruvian fire ceremony that will be officiated by James Stovall. They will be having workshops for Druidry, Hood Magick, and even Belly dancing. This one unfortunately doesn’t seem to have any events specifically targeted for the children. So, this will be perfect for those without any to attend and enjoy at a more set back pace (and without all of the kids, probably much quieter). And of shopping! There will be vendors there so you can shop til you drop.

http://annarborpaganpride.org/

 

Grand Rapids theme for this year is A Spiritual Experience. They seem to also be very family oriented, with rituals to include the entire family. For those who have an affinity for the elements they will be having element based workshops throughout the day. The opening ritual will be done by Sanctuary of the Winds. And don’t forget to shop!

http://sanctuaryofthewinds.org/2014-pending-workshops/

I can’t express this enough, vendors need your business more than Walmart ever will. Also, please bring in a canned good as a donation. Thank you everyone!

 

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again! Hope to see at least some of you this Saturday.

Heathens, Pagans, and Burners put ethos before egos in Detroit

On August 14th, Detroit was again the site of the powerful Street Store phenomenon. In the shadow of the Masonic Temple, volunteers from various areas of  Southeastern Michigan came together to put forth their hearts and hands in providing good clothing and material needs in service to the homeless residents of Detroit. This time, the event was at Cass Park, 600 Ledyard Street.

Matt Orlando and Kyle Coviak added their hands and hearts to the Street Store Image: Kenya Coviak, all rights reserved
Matt Orlando and Kyle Coviak added their hands and hearts to the Street Store Image: Kenya Coviak, all rights reserved

Matt Orlando, of Ancient Faiths Alliance and Northern Mist Kindred pitched in to lend an arm. A busy man, he found time to come in and put feet to the street to get to know the people who may not get to speak to candidates up “close and personal”. He is running for Representative to U.S. Congress under the Libertarian ticket this election. And though the folks who live in this district are not his constituents, he expressed his belief that people don’t stop having needs at the edge of a voting boundary.

The good Reverend Gerrybrete Leonard-Whitcomb, of Universal Society of Ancient Ministry dashed off before I could get an image of her dropping off a fresh batch of clothing. She put out a call on the Pagans In Need Facebook page for men’s clothing in larger sizes in the week leading up to the event. Though sick, she still made it a priority to drop and dash back for some needed recovery time.

 

Modest beginnings lead to big things. These racks below look like they are very thin. However, within minutes they were groaning under the weight of hundreds of donated, clean garments. Bins and boxes waited in readiness as they were continuously emptied by all who came.

Burners Without Borders set up the store across from the Wobbly Kitchen Image: Kenya Coviak, All Rights Reserved
Burners Without Borders set up the store across from the Wobbly Kitchen Image: Kenya Coviak, All Rights Reserved

 

Kyle Coviak, of the GLWC of Michigan, and Ancient Faiths Alliance, also hit the park site with strength and energy. He is known as one of the faces of volunteerism in the local spiritual communities. Working in tandem with a system of constant flow, he kept the clients happy and the lines stocked with clothing and home wares. Neat and tidy is his watchword and it showed.

 

Lifting and loading. Image: Kenya Coviak, All Rights Reserved
Lifting and loading. Image: Kenya Coviak, All Rights Reserved

*Full disclosure: He is my husband, and at this time we shall all ask for prayers, as I am definitely NOT neat and tidy. His struggle continues.*

 

In addition to these items, hygiene kits were available as well.  Food items were on hand and ready to go. This seemed to work hand in hand with the mission of the good folks across the green.

The Wobbly kitchen, as a gathering and an institution, is all about good feelings, good folks, and food. The smells coming from the buffet were mouth-watering, and the music was jamming. If you want to see more, catch them the 2nd and 4th Sundays.

The Burners Without Borders Detroit chapter plans to do this again. If you want to volunteer, you can go to their WordPress to keep yourself in the loop. The place may change, but the mission remains the same. Be a part of a growing momentum and give of yourself. It feels good. And you might just get to share ice cream at the end.

Burners Without Borders Detroit, Matt Orlando, Kyle Coviak Image: Kenya Coviak, all rights reserved
Burners Without Borders Detroit, Matt Orlando, Kyle Coviak Image: Kenya Coviak, All Rights Reserved

 

On the record with Matt Orlando, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

PBN News was able to score an interview with Matt Orlando, Michigan’s Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and a proud follower of the ancient faiths.  In fact, he is the President of the Ancient Faiths Alliance, a job he manages when not looking for ways to make a difference in leadership on the national level.  Being a candidate of a non major party and a follower of a non majority faith in this nation is a tough job, but grit and determination seem to be no strangers to this man and his vision.  So, let us take a moment and hear the words of the candidate himself.

Matt Orlando (L)Candidate - Michigan's Congressional 9th District
Matt Orlando (L)Candidate – Michigan’s Congressional 9th District

KC: Who is Matt Orlando? If you were describing yourself from the perspective of another, what would you say about yourself?

MO: I am an educated American that is a passionate husband, father, son, brother, philanthropist, political activist and seeker of knowledge.

KC: What makes you want to run for the U.S. House of Representatives?

MO: For many years I have watched our representatives squabble over how to best take care of our country and fail. Like many I’ve watched as party infighting, greed, and special interest groups have eroded the American dream, and our constitution.

As an advocate to get politics back in order, and remove greed where it has festered. I’ve grown tired of receiving half-hearted form letters from representatives about the issues they are not willing to address.

KC: Your campaign is not being controlled by the two mega parties. What party do you represent?

MO: I am a member and proud supporter of the Libertarian party, which is the third largest party. Our core belief is to seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives

KC: Can you describe your platform a little?

MO: While I have many stances on current events the four I’ve chosen for my campaign platform are jobs & economy, gun rights, freedom & privacy, and federal taxes and expenditures.

 

I encourage anyone interested in learning more about the rest of the platform to visit the Libertarian Party of Michigan page  or to send an email to me through my web page Matt Orlando for U.S. Congress or MattOrlando4USCongress@yahoo.com . I will gladly address questions.

KC: So, how much of this resonates with you as a person of the Asatru ways?

MO: It resonates deeply. Facing the problems with the current system I feel that I must step up and take action, and to speak for my fellow Americans.

KC: Do you find the Virtues resonate with what you stand for in your candidacy, and hopefully, your tenure as an elected official?

MO: Yes I do.

KC: What experience and insights do you bring with you that will empower you to represent your state in a way that separates you from other candidates?

MO: I did not come from money. Everything I have I’ve worked extremely hard for so I have a good understanding of what it’s like to be on different parts of the spectrum. Between school and professional experiences I have learned a great deal about politics and business and feel that those experiences will be beneficial to me as a representative.

KC: Being a grass-roots candidate, what challenges have you faced?

MO: One of the biggest challenges that I face is that while my party is the third largest in the country we don’t have the ear of most of the media to be heard fairly. But as a Libertarian I want the big money out of politics so I knew I would be facing an uphill battle and I’m good with it.

KC: Your support is growing everyday. Where would you say this groundswell of backing can be attributed?

MO: I would say it comes from a couple of places. First my friends and family that believe in what I am doing and helping spread the word. Secondly being a common man who is in touch with what is going on in our country as well as in our state is driving support my way. I know the direction the people want to go in, and if elected as the representative I will fight to bring about the changes the people want.

KC: Many of the issues you are speaking about are hot button ones for Michiganders. So let us look at a few of them. Where do you stand on gun legislation?

MO: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

MO: To understand what our founding fathers meant when they wrote this we simply need to look at what was happening to them at the time, and from this we can ascertain what the intent was for when they wrote this. This doesn’t mean we can’t establish laws to ensure that those that shouldn’t have guns don’t.

Part of the problem I see is between federal, state, and local municipalities we have approximately 20,000 gun laws on the books. The other part of the problem is that they are not consulting the experts such as the NRA, Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, and law enforcement when putting together common sense gun laws. As the representative for Michigan I would introduce legislation to go through the federal laws and remove any obsolete laws, and to ensure we are enforcing the relevant laws.

I would also work with subject matter experts like the NRA, state organization’s such as the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, and law enforcement to see where we can improve. Furthermore I would introduce legislation to stop frivolous lawsuits against manufacturers of firearms. It is not the manufacturers or gun shops fault that someone committed atrocious acts.

KC: Individual vs. organizational policies in the state fall where within your view regarding firearm regulations?

MO: I believe an organization has the right to tell people that they cannot carry on their premises, however, I also think if they do so than they have the responsibility to protect the people.

KC: How do you feel about the current laws on CPL regulation here in the state?

MO: In regard to the approval process we have come a long way since the first time I applied for a CPL. In regard to cost and process I think we still have a ways to go. The cost is absurd for processing and taking finger prints, though they have recently changed the finger printing rules so we’ll see how that plays out. To get through the process it can take a half day, which is a bit excessive.

KC: Where do you stand on the National Rifle Association’s lobby system in government today?

MO: I’m not against organizations lobbying, as this is one way our representatives learn about issues and their pros and cons. From this they are able to determine if action needs to be taken.

KC: We are a hunting state, but this matter is not just about that is it?

MO: No, the second amendment existed long before any government was created. However, it was written into the Bill of Rights to ensure that the people have the means to protect themselves from atrocious acts committed onto them by individuals or a tyrannical government.

KC: Personal liberty and constitutional application seem big with the Libertarian outlook. Is that a correct assessment?

MO: Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility. We believe that people have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal rights of others. We endorse the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reserves to our state and its people all powers not expressly delegated to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, or prohibited from the states or the people by the U.S. Constitution. We seek to restore a necessary check on federal power, and to return power to the states and to reduce the size and reach of the federal government to the powers set out in the Constitution.

KC: Many often generalize that the Libertarian vote is a wasted vote. How would you counter that argument?

MO: Voting Libertarian is never a wasted vote, as we are the only party that truly seeks to cut wasteful spending, reduce the size of the federal government, and maximize personal and economic freedoms. I would encourage folks to take a closer look at the party, and would encourage those that do not partake in voting to know and understand how their votes have purpose.

KC: What do you believe is the real reason that the mainstream coverage of the primary races has neglected your party?

MO: I think it is because they think we don’t have a chance of winning, and because they feel we have nothing to offer them in return for their coverage.

KC: How do you differ from your Democratic and Republican rivals on the issues of using federal taxation measures to fund what are being promoted as the pressing infrastructure issues facing Michigan, and the country overall, right now?

MO: Where I differ from my rivals is that I don’t think the federal government should have their hands in the States affairs. The federal government brings miles of red tape and bureaucracy to the process. I would fight to remove the federal government from this process and let the states handle it. Some states want to rely on raising funds themselves by setting up toll roads, but here’s the problem, new tolls are banned on interstates, except for a federal pilot program that allows only three states to use tolling to replace worn-out roads. Furthermore there are federal laws that prohibit states when it comes to contracting and grants.

Bridge-building-w-cranes

KC: This ties to expenditure policies as well. How would you go about trying to reform what is in place now? What would your successful policy changes look like?

MO: The federal government is involved in many aspects that should belong solely to the states. They have set up many departments to handle their overreach into the states’ affairs and each one brings costly regulations, red tape, and bureaucracy. Many of these departments are inefficiently run or unnecessary. I would seek to audit the federal government and all the programs and expenditures that are in place now.

For departments that belong in the federal government and are relevant and/or in need of repair I would work with subject matter experts to make them efficient. For departments that are obsolete or irrelevant I would seek to shut them down re-appropriate monies where they would be most useful.

 KC: And this would benefit Michigan specifically in what ways?

MO: The major benefit to Michigan is that the state would be free to find alternate ways of funding projects, and negotiate the best deals to get their infrastructure up to date. Local businesses could get the jobs whereas under the federal guidelines they may not meet certain qualifications and be disqualified.

KC: For the person working two jobs, making ends meet, and just trying to keep their heads above water, what change do you offer them?

MO: Two of the four issues I’ve chosen to take on will have a direct impact on this question. First, in regard to the corporate tax rate and laws. I would work to make our country competitive on the global market, which will keep corporations here and make our country the place they want to set up shop. I would do this by reducing the corporate tax rate, modifying rules to curve corporate inversions, and close tax loopholes. For small corporations I would lower their corporate tax rate so they can grow their operations and offer better wages.

Second, federal taxes and expenditures. My goal with this is to ensure the federal government is being fiscally responsible, ensure transparency in spending, reduce the size of the federal government by conducting an audit of all federal programs and reducing and/or eliminating programs, and lastly by reducing the federal income tax, which will put more money back into the people’s pockets.

KC: You are known for your straight talk and equal attitude toward all religions and races here in Michigan. How has that hurt and helped you in this pursuit?

MO: I do not believe it hurts, as anyone who knows me knows that truly believes in equality for all, and in-turn helps in spreading the word.

KC: If elected, what is the first thing you will do when you hit the hill?

MO: Capitol hill, that is. Introduce bills to end the war on drugs, legalize marijuana, and to fix the corporate tax system

KC: Where can we find out more about your campaign and how to support you?

MO: Anyone who is interested in seeking more information about the issues please visit my website . Or simply send in your questions to MattOrlando4USCongress@yahoo.com. To learn more about the Libertarian party go to http://michiganlp.org/

KC: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you want to speak on right now?

MO: Not at this time.

KC: Lastly, if your campaign had a theme song, what would it be?

MO: Thank you Revolution Calling by Queensryche.

Platform | MichiganLP.org
The Libertarian Party offers you an alternative to the broken 2 party system in America. Libertarians support your freedom on all issues, all of the time.
michiganlp.org

Big News at the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund

On June 11,  the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund announced its 2016 Scholarship Winner Pete Ryland Shoda, III.  An intelligent and thoughtful young person, his essay was just what the board looks for when making their decision.  It was reasoned, expressive, and genuine.  He, and his Father, were there to accept the check at the Magical Education Council’s annual Pagan Picnic. The check was presented by Rev. Gerrybrete Leonard-Whitcomb and Paula Ireland.

By Cory W. Watts from Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America (Lake Michigan) [CC BY-SA 2.0
By Cory W. Watts from Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America (Lake Michigan) [CC BY-SA 2.0
Hailing from Grand Rapids, Pete recently completed his studies at the West Michigan Aviation Academy.  He intends on continuing his education at Grand Rapids Community College and Northwestern College.  His studies in Michigan offer the best education for flying, since our weather has sudden climate changes.  His ultimate goal is a degree in Bachelors Degree Aviation Operations.

 

His winning essay:

WHAT BEING PAGAN MEANS TO ME

What being Pagan means to me, it means I have the ability to walk in the woods, talk to the Divine, become part of Nature, and most of all, it gives me the choice to worship where, when and how I want.

Most people would say that being Pagan means they worship the Goddess.  While this is something that I do as well, it also has allowed me to worship much, much more.  People that go to church go one time a week, a couple hours, then that’s it, they go home. Not Pagan’s, not me.  Being Pagan means that I have a lot to live up to.  The God’s and Goddesses are watching me, Mother Nature is watching me, and the wind is listening to me, carrying my spells, chants and requests to the Universe.  Always helping, always taking care to leave a small mark, always being a good person to others, taking care of the Earth, giving back when I can.  These are some of the things that being Pagan means to me…… (you can see the complete essay by going to the MPSF Winner’s Page.

The MPSF gave its heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the sponsors of the fund this year.  Every year the list seems to grow.  This year, they are Universal Society of Ancient Ministry, Magical Educational Council, Witches Of Michigan, Candle Wick Shoppe, Coventry Creations, Midwest Witches’ Ball, and a first time donation by the Ancient Faiths Alliance.  Also included are the many shops, individuals, and organizations that each contributed to the future of our young Pagan scholars here in Michigan.

Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund
Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund

A surprise announcement was also made this year.  The MPSF has been under the masterful guidance and administration of Gordon Ireland since its beginnings.  Through his leadership, he and Paula have seen it grow, thrive, and ensure that the money is there for our young Pagan students.  However, he announced last year he would be stepping down and search was on for someone to step into the position, not his place (no one can fill those shoes).

The new administrator was announced to be Kenya Coviak.  Yes, that’s right. That is me. So here is your full disclosure, I am the new administrator for the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund.

It is time to plan for a new year and a new season of financial aid will be upon us soon. I urge all who read this to contribute to our children’s future by supporting the fund in any way you can.

 

There should always be a Pagan Scholarship Fund in Michigan. 2017 is coming.

 

Michigan Pagan Scholarship accepting applications for 2016

Michigan Pagan Scholarship accepting applications for 2016

by Kenya Coviak

The Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund has opened its applications process for the 2016 year.  The opportunity is open to high schools seniors, undergraduates, or graduate students.  They are looking for students aged 17 years or older, with a GPA of 2.85 or higher, and be a Michigan resident.  They must also be accepted to an accredited four year college or university, and be a full time student and, of course, identify as Pagan.

Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund Logo
Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund Logo

This is an essay style competitive scholarship, meaning only one winner will be chosen from a pool of applicants.  An impartial panel of judges awaits a fresh crop of submissions, identities hidden for fairness.  A recent transcript must accompany the submission in order to verify GPA and residency.

The process is fairly straightforward.  Applicants are asked to “state the reason for applying for this scholarship in 250 words or less and submit a 500 word essay about what being a Pagan means to them.”  Anyone who meets the criteria may apply.  And what is really great is that it is open to those who have been homeschooled, have a GED, or are involved with Alternative education.

So far, two students have won the scholarship.  The first was Miranda Owens in 2014 from Bay City, her scholarship can be seen here.  The second winner was 2015’s Rebecca Phoenix from Ferndale.  Her essay can be read here.  2016’s winner may be YOU, if you apply.

The scholarship is entirely funded by the generosity of donors.  Without them, there could be no continuation of this dream.  Many will recognize the 2015 roster of contributors. They are the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry, Magical Educational Council, Witches Of Michigan, Pagan Pride Detroit, Back 9 GraFX, and the  Midwest Witches Ball.

Also, drawings at the Gatherings of Pagans by the Witches of Michigan, contributions by individuals, Paula & Gordon Ireland, and stores that have allowed drop boxes continually assists in this work.  This year, Coventry Creations ,Candle Wick Shoppe, and Ancient Faiths Alliance will join the proud company of sponsors for 2016.

Parents, for those who like to shop, you can also show your support by purchasing your heart’s desires through the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry’s online store.  A portion of the sales help to fund the scholarship.  You can also donate directly as well.

So fire up those pens and set your sites on applying.  Applications are being taken now.  There are no fees and the only thing keeping you waiting is you.  Follow this link to apply at  Michigan Pagan Scholarship Application.

If you would like some perspectives on being a Pagan college student, check out the Pagan at College YouTube series by paganperspective.