Re: News from Cherry Hill Seminary
- ----- Original Message -----From: Cherry Hill SeminaryTo: gireland@...Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 12:55 AMSubject: News from Cherry Hill SeminaryEditor's CornerHappy Imbolc to everyone from Cherry Hill. "Imbolc" literally means "in the belly of the mother" and it is just as well that Imbolc symbolizes the rebirth and the heralding of Spring since this is also the year of the Dragon in Chinese lore. The dragon symbolizes the embodiment of all the we fear and this is the year to to overcome that fear, to be reborn as a spring bud, from the belly of the Goddess. May we all grow strong and ride the dragon's breath as we overcome our fear and remake the world. Have a joyous Imbolc!Featured ArticlePantheaCon is almost upon us. I always look forward to attending this event. The classes and rituals are great but it is more. This gathering, like others throughout the year, brings together a larger community. There are people who I only see once a year, new friends, and important news. Yet, it is more. There is a comfort within the community; a safe place to be. We are among friends, even ones we disagree with. I remember a time when our gatherings and festivals were, and I think still are, so very important in the development of Paganism. Perhaps, I should say important for the development of religious communities.
When I first heard of Cherry Hill Seminary at one of these gatherings, I was intrigued. My academic studies have focused on philosophy and religion, but it was more. Many of my family members have been called to service in their religion. It was a family vocation but one from which I was barred because of my own religious convictions. So I went into another kind of public service; yet, here was a seminary for Pagans.
Our community had something new in the development of our religious communities. Now, in all fairness, there were, and still are, many groups working on community development including leadership, ethics, and keepers of learning, but my heart lies with academic organizations.
I will attend PantheaCon 2012 knowing that I will see friends, many of who are students, staff, and board members of Cherry Hill Seminary, and be part of our ever growing communities. The gathering brings me to community but Cherry Hill Seminary feeds my heart and soul. Our strength is in building communities and the means of growing into ourselves. Cherry Hill Seminary has given to me the means to grow and to share with other communities. What feeds your soul?The Hypatia Society
Join The Hypatia Society and become a part of the growing Cherry Hill Seminary family. A true passion for learning and service light these virtual halls. As a member of The Hypatia Society, you carry the light of knowledge further and higher.
Benefits for joining The Hypatia Society and supporting Cherry Hill Seminary are as follows:
$20 Astronomer - Vinyl CHS logo decal 5" square
$45 Mathematician - Enamel CHS pin 3/4" round, plus Astronomer benefits
$95 Philosopher - 10% discount on one Foundations course, plus Mathematician benefits
$150 Teacher - 20% discount on one Foundations course, plus Philosopher benefits
$250 Mystic - Free registration at any CHS one-day event, plus Teacher benefits
$500 Beloved - Glass Yule commemorative ornament, plus Mystic benefits
$1,000 Divine Guide - Online link as sponsor, plus Beloved benefits
Cherry Hill Seminary gratefully acknowledges the kind permission of artist Max Dashu to reproduce her haunting painting of Hypatia. Click here to order a printed poster of Dashu's painting.Important Dates
February 11 - End Foundation Courses 1
February 13 = Foundation Classes 2 Begin
February 25 - Foundations 1 grades due to office by instructorsCHS announces the new Director of Pagan Community Education - Valentine McKay-Riddell, Ph.D.
Valentine McKay-Riddell is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute and a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, where she earned a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology. She has a private practice in shamanic healing and wellness counseling in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Descended from Scots, Irish, French, and Native American ancestors, Valentine developed a combination of shamanism and art making (Healing Art©) to heal herself from cancer and later founded a nonprofit organization, Orenda Healing International (OIH), devoted to promoting individual and community health and wellbeing. OHI umbrellas many of her research projects, which currently include the influence of the Goddess in Navajo spirituality; filmmaking as a catalyst for intergenerational healing among Native American youth and elders; the possibility of genetic inheritance as the inspiration for shamanic practice; and shamanism as a root philosophy for many of our modern professions, including medicine, religion, and art. She has taught art to young people and adults and Healing Art© to HIV-AIDS and cancer patients, challenged youth, developmentally disabled adults, and women in transition for over twenty years. She is a certified Reiki Master in the Usui Lineage. She has lived in Mexico, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, California, Nebraska, Oregon, and New Mexico, and has traveled in England, Ireland, the Virgin Islands, and the British West Indies.
A prolific writer, Valentine has published a number of articles in popular and scholarly journals and is celebrating the release of the first two books of her fantasy series for young adults, The Alyssa Chronicles: The River Goddess & Other Stories and Starfriends - to be released in 2012 by Cool Well Press.I had the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. McKay-Riddell. She is an eclectic, motivated, and inspiring woman who is going to bring a wealth of attributes and experience to Cherry Hill Seminary. We are so pleased to have her on board! Valentine's vision is to inspire both Pagans and non-Pagans alike to see Paganism and Pagan Education as part of a continuum and a lifestyle of connecting to source and living with purpose. She sees the Pagan Community Education Program as part of a life-long learning process and as a set of life skills that allow us to evolve over time; she envisions a procreative effort towards community building.
Ultimately, Valentine plans to bring her experience as a shaman, a cancer survivor, and a transpersonal psychologist to breathe a new vitality into the PCE Program that can serve as both a gateway to degree programs at Cherry Hill and as a lifelong endeavor with learning to live in peace and harmony with the earth and the self. Welcome aboard, Valentine!A big thank you to Jennifer Bennett for her interim role chairing PCE!
Pagan/Witch/Heathen Community Needs Assessment Survey 2012 Now OpenIn an effort to assess the needs, challenges, barriers, and perceptions of risk faced by Pagans/Witches/Heathens that influence their ability to practice and to determine variations within different segments of the community, Dr. Gwendolyn Reece of American University is conducting the Pagan/Witch/Heathen Community Needs Assessment Survey for 2012.
Dr. Reece is a Witch who has been practicing since the mid-1980s and a faculty member at American University. Dr. Reece says, "The primary intention of this study is to get information back out to the community so that we can figure out how best to build structures that support our practices and help us overcome barriers that we face as Pagans/Witches/Heathens."
The goal is to have at least 2,000 Pagans/Witches/Heathens age 18 and older who reside in the United States take this survey to provide quality data for assessment. Dr. Reece notes, "The more respondents I receive from across the country, the better the information will be and the more useful the analysis that I will share."The survey is anonymous and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. It can be accessed here.Call for Submissions for Brigit: Fire of Womanhood, edited by Patricia Monaghan and Michael McDermott
It is with great enthusiasm that we invite you to submit a proposal as a part of an anthology of work to be published by Goddess Ink.
To submit: for prose submissions, please send 150-word abstract outlining your approach to the subject; other submissions should be sent complete, with limit of 3 poems or chants per author. Include 150-word biography.
We are seeking submissions in any printable form, including but not limited to:
· Scholarly essays
· Personal essays
· Interior artwork (including small line drawings in black and white).
· Cover and Back artwork (color)
Deadline for submissions: July 1, 2012
If you know of someone who might be interested in contributing to this anthology, please contact us here.The Director's Desk
Next in our series on what is needed for accreditation -- Evaluations. In today's world it's no longer good enough to give an opinion; you need measurable results in order to show progress. When CHS applies for accreditation we will need to show a regular practice of evaluating our classrooms, then applying what we learn from the evaluations. That's why it is so important the each of you complete the course evaluation at the end of your course - both students and instructors. You might be surprised at how
closely we examine those results and take to heart your feedback. If you are curious, learn more about DETC accreditation here.
And about that new web site - thanks for your patience while we've been transitioning. Thanks again to Cosette for launching the new platform, moving much of the content, and being available to advise me with tech support. It's far easier and faster now to add or change content, so you'll probably see more frequent changes. For now, be aware that there are lots of resources, downloadable files, e.g., at www.cherryhillseminary.org, including flyers and brochures that you may wish to print out and share.Call for AbstractsThe The Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition is calling for abstracts for the 2012 edition of the periodical.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Esoteric traditions such as Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Martinism and chivalric organizations
- Ritual magical practices from organizations such as the Golden Dawn and the Aurum Solis and modern initiatory Paganisms
- Esotericisms from earlier periods, such as alchemy, Gnosticism and Neoplatonism, the magical work of John Dee or the medieval grimoire traditions, and their re-emergence and relevancy to modern praxes
- Theoretical, paedogogical, and methodological approaches to the study of the western mysteries
- The relation of the esotericisms to orthodox and mainstream practices and society at large.
They welcome presentations, panels and practices focusing on methodological and theoretical issues in relation to the contemporary study and practice of the various western esoteric currents. The conference encourages an interdisciplinary approach and welcomes perspectives from the disciplines of religious studies, theology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, history, political science, as well as active practitioners. Papers should last 20 minutes, with time for questions and answers. Panels and practices will be scheduled for up to an hour, with time for questions and answers afterwards as necessary.
Please submit abstracts (approx. 200 words), proposals for a themed panel (with three presenters, moderator as necessary, and short description) or proposals for a ritual practice and discussion to conference@....
Deadline for submissions is April 15, 2012.
Cherry Hill Seminary provides quality higher education and practical training in Pagan ministry.
Cherry Hill Seminary is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organized in the state of South Carolina. Web site copyright by Cherry Hill Seminary in 2010, all rights reserved.
Contact us at P.O. Box 5405, Columbia, SC 29250-5405, 888.503.4131or by email
- ----- Original Message -----From: Cherry Hill SeminaryTo: gireland@...Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:16 PMSubject: News from Cherry Hill SeminaryFebraury 15, 2011Editor's CornerPantheacon rapidly approaches and I am struck by the rich diversity of academic, ritual, and experiential offerings. Druids, Witches, Heathens, and all manner of Contemporary Pagans meet to celebrate their commonalities and to explore and learn from their differences."America's strength is not our diversity; our strength is our ability to unite people of different backgrounds around common principles. A common language is necessary to reach that goal" - Ernest IstookIt might be said that the common language of Paganism is our love of ritual, nature, and the imminent presence of our deities. While Pantheacon explores these themes once a year at a lavish festival, Cherry Hill Seminary explores these concepts every day.We are a diverse community of Contemporary Pagans with a passion for education, leadership, and community. We use the common language of ritual, theological exploration, and academic preparedness to help foster unity, growth, and transformation in the Pagan Community.Pantheacon reminds me just how proud I am to be both a student and a staff member of Cherry Hill Seminary. We are working hard to challenge ourselves, to enhance our spiritual connections, and to grow in leadership and knowledge that foster the development of a strong Pagan community. I am proud to call myself your brother and thank you call for everything you do to make Cherry Hill what it is!Student Profile- Bryan BagnasI am a M.Div. student at Cherry Hill Seminary. I have a wife, three children, a dog, and plants who don't appreciate being at the suffering end of my marginal gardening skills. Many years ago, I grew tired of having religious discussions and arguments with myself and sought out others. In the local pagan community, I met two people to help form a druid grove. Since that time, I have met some truly wonderful, kind, and diverse people.
My Paganism, like most, is an individual sort of thing. It is rooted in animism, channeled by 'fairy tales' and 'mythology', and topped-off by anthropology. I take the mantle of Druidry since that seems to fit most comfortably. My Druidry takes the form of building relationships with my tribe and the local land and river; however, doing anything well requires training, research and practice. In short - a seminary for pagans.
Two things stand out regarding Cherry Hill Seminary. First, it is academically rigorous requiring thought, research, and scholarly persuasiveness. Second, it does not force the student down a single denomination or tradition's belief system. The seminary provides things Pagan religious folk need - ministerial training and theological exploration. The learned ministerial skills can be used by any faith group. They are skills I use often in my own community. Learning, sharing and interacting with other belief systems has helped me understand not only my own faith better but also the beliefs and views of others. It has extended my community of friends well beyond the borders of my city.The Hypatia SocietyJoin The Hypatia Society and become a part of the growing Cherry Hill Seminary family. A true passion for learning and service light these virtual halls. As a member of The Hypatia Society, you carry the light of knowledge further and higher.Benefits for joining The Hypatia Society and supporting Cherry Hill Seminary are as follows:$20 Astronomer - Vinyl CHS logo decal 5" square$45 Mathematician - Enamel CHS pin 3/4" round, plus Astronomer benefits$95 Philosopher - 10% discount on one Foundations course, plus Mathematician benefits$150 Teacher - 20% discount on one Foundations course, plus Philosopher benefits$250 Mystic - Free registration at any CHS one-day event, plus Teacher benefits$500 Beloved - Glass Yule commemorative ornament, plus Mystic benefitsCherry Hill Seminary gratefully acknowledges the kind permission of artist Max Dashu to reproduce her haunting painting of Hypatia. Click here to order a printed poster of Dashu's painting.Important DatesFor StudentsFebruary 23 - End Foundation Class 1March 10 - Foundation Classes 2 EndMarch 12 - Foundations Classes 3 BeginFor FacultyFebruary 25 - Foundations 1 grades due to office by instructors
The journey of transformation starts on Thursday evening, covering these key leadership topics:
- Personal Boundaries and Ethical Pagan Leadership
- Effective Leadership and Group Dynamics
- Passing On Our Traditions - Our Work As Teachers
- Building the New Pagan Community
- Our Place in the World of Interfaith
This will be a combination of group discussion, teaching, participatory exercises, and ritual, led by faculty who exemplify the excellence of Cherry Hill Seminary.
Austin attendees will participate in the Sunday morning "Earthbound" service at renowned Trinity United Methodist church, a creation spirituality and fully welcoming congregation.
"Transforming Our World" earns conference credit towards CHS certificates. Master's students will receive an announcement about the opportunity to complete additional online coursework to earn intensive credit.
Location: Austin, Texas, March 22-24, 2012
Presenters: Christine H. Kraemer, Ph.D., and Holli S. Emore, CFRE
Location: Interfaith Chapel of Trinity United Methodist Church, 4001 Speedway, Austin, Texas.
Cost: $150, Includes conference registration. Meals on your own, many nearby restaurants, some walking distance.The Wild Hunt's own Jason Pitzl-Waters will be teaching a Foundations Class on Communicating with the Pagan Press. If you don't know Jason or his extraordinary work with the Wild Hunt you can check it out here. Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to learn from one of our community's brightest stars.Class: Communicating with the Pagan PressStart Date: March 12, 2012
Instructor: Jason Pitzl-Waters
Class meetings: Monday 8 pm ET
Description: As Pagan media outlets grow and diversify, it can be confusing to navigate and effectively communicate your goals and values to the very people you hope to serve. In this 4-week course, we will discuss and explore how to engage with Pagan media outlets, what to do, what not to do, and why this sort of outreach matters.
Required Texts: TBACHS Honors Outgoing Dean of StudentsFormer Dean of Students Maggie Beaumont has been honored by naming her Dean of Students Emerita.
Beaumont's relationship with Cherry Hill Seminary began with her matriculation as a student in early 2006. By 2008, her experience and acuity had gained the attention of the administration, resulting in the invitation for her to become Dean of Students for the Seminary. In that role, Beaumont has advised students for the past nearly four years, but has also taken an active role in the growth and development of Cherry Hill Seminary programs, particularly the creation of the first student catalog in 2009. Beaumont holds a Master's degree from the University of Santa Monica.
"Maggie has served selflessly, with integrity, compassion and a deep well of wisdom," said Holli Emore, Executive Director. "As she retires, it is only fitting that we should recognize her generous contributions.
Congratulations to Maggie! Her dedication and tireless effort are an inspiration and we are pleased to honor her as Emeritus.Gender and Transgender in Modern Paganism
The Circle of Cerridwen is very pleased to announce the the anthology is now released! Please see our release page here.
For any of you that will be at Pantheacon, we are doing another Gender and Transgender in Paganism open discussion on Sunday at 3:30 PM in the Santa Clara room. We will have a very limited number of books available during that time. If any authors are interested in setting up a signing table, please let us know as soon as possible at am@...
HEAVEN ON EARTH:
TEMPLES, RITUAL, & COSMIC SYMBOLISM IN THE ANCIENT WORLDThe Oriental Institue of the University of Chicago is hosting a symposium on cosmic symbolism in the ancient world. It is being held at:The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637March 2-3, 2012
This seminar addresses interconnections between temple topography and architecture, ritual practice, and cosmic symbolism. The participants are archaeologists, art historians, and philologists working all across the ancient world (Mesoamerica, Greece, Egypt, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Iran, South Asia, and China). The main goal of the meeting is to facilitate communication between scholars of different fields in
order to share questions and methods to provide new avenues of research or enable the use of comparative data.Find more information here.
Nature and the Popular Imagination
The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC) is pleased to announce its next conference in Malibu, California at Pepperdine University in August 2012. The conference theme will be "Nature and the Popular Imagination."
For generations, the interconnections between religion and nature have been expressed, promoted, and contested through the incubator of popular culture, including films produced in nearby Hollywood. As a global and symbolic center that reflects and invents nature/religion representations, Malibu and its environs provide a fantastic venue for critical reflection on the religion/nature nexus in the popular imagination. Along with keynote addresses and other scholarly sessions, a number of special events and excursions are in the works, including a scholar-led tour of The Getty Villa in Malibu and opportunities to enjoy the beautiful and famous Malibu coast. Some of these may be offered before or after the official conference period. Affordable on-campus housing will be available to conference participants.
We invite proposals about nature and religion in diverse expressions of popular culture, including films, television, comics, fiction, music, sports, graffiti, clothing, and festivals. As always, while we encourage proposals focused on the conference's theme, we welcome proposals from all areas (regional and historical) and from all disciplinary perspectives that explore the complex relationships between religious beliefs and practices (however defined and understood), cultural traditions and productions, and the earth's diverse ecological systems. We encourage proposals that include theoretical frameworks and analyses, emphasize dialogue and discussion, promote collaborative research, and are unusual in terms of format and structure.
Proposals for individual paper presentations, sessions, panels, and posters should be submitted directly to Sarah Pike at spike@.... It is not necessary to be an ISSRNC member to submit a proposal. Individual paper proposals should include, in a single, attached word or rich text document, the name and email of the presenter(s), title, a 250-300 word abstract, and a brief, 150 word biography (including highest degree earned and current institutional affiliation, if any). Proposals for entire sessions must include a title and abstract for the session as a whole as well as for each individual paper. Proposers should also provide information about ideal and acceptable lengths for proposed sessions, and whether any technology, such as data projectors, are desired. Most paper presentations will be scheduled at 15-20 minutes and a premium will be placed on discussion in all sessions. Proposals will be evaluated anonymously by the Scientific Committee, but conference directors will be aware of proposers' identities in order to select for diversity in terms of geographical area and career stage. Student proposals are particularly welcome.
The deadline for proposals is 1 April 2012. For more information, see http://www.religionandnature.com/society/