Friday, March 15, 2013

Supporting the Community

Community. A controversial topic. Do we have a community? Are we simply divided? Is there anything that ties Pagans with ATRs, Asian and Native religions? If you ask me, I'd say yes and no. However, I'm not going to analyse this subject now. I want to draw your attention, my readers, to something else, yet still connected to the idea of "community".

Projects. Research projects. Practical projects. Efforts, from outstanding people among us, to give, to provide, to develop and help grow. Projects like new books that satiate needs and fill gaps in our religions. Projects like new stores that supply us with much needed ammunition: both ingredients and materials and human connections. Even in this era of the Internet and insta-information, people still use stores, moots, cons and other physical places to hold events, meet people and further relationships and community spirit. It's irresistible, the allure of face-to-face contact.

Why am I telling you all this though? Ah, because I want to bring attention to certain wonderful efforts from people I recently "met" but who captured my interest and my mind. One of these is completed and you might ask, why bother mentioning it then? Because it's an excellent example of how much projects can succeed when they have our support - our collective support.

First is Tamara Siuda, an Egyptologist as well as founder and leader of Kemetic Orthodoxy, a reconstructionist branch of Kemeticism. Her project, the Ancient Egyptian Daybook, will be the accumulation of her long research on the ancient Egyptian calendar. Truly a marvelous book, both for academia and actual followers of the Kemetic religion. Her Kickstarter fundraiser concluded today with an astonishing $17,144, multiple times its original goal of $3,000! This unbelievable success was realised through the wider (Pagan and non-Pagan) community's efforts. We banded together, we spread the word, many donated. This shows that despite all our issues, problems and obstacles, we can be supportive, we can provide new, valuable material and more than anything, we are invested in our future.

And with this success, I want to inform you of a new project. Three amazing people are coming together to open a Hoodoo/Conjure store in Kansas City, Missouri. I personally know one of the three (sadly, only through the Internet - for now), the extraordinary Houngan Matt. However, I am also aware of Professor Ames and his work with Papa Matt on the Traditional Conjure Podcast. Unfortunately, I don't know Mambo Julie. I am certain though, that for Professor Ames and Bozanfe (Houngan Matt) to work with her, she must be a true and amazing person.

Donating to this fundraiser will help these three powerhouse practitioners open their shop (which will also have an online presence, if you're worried you won't be able to buy from them!). If you can't donate though, don't fret! Spreading the word is just as important!

Go then! Donate, promote, spread the word. Let us support and aid those among us who begin such aspiring projects! Let's all help make our community better and better!

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