Victoria has already told readers about the hillside across from the Lafayette BART station that's covered with crosses, Mogen Davids and crescents. Yesterday pentacles were mounted on three markers, for Pagan soldiers. Nevadan Sgt. Patrick Dana Stewart, a member of Circle Sanctuary in whose name the pentacle quest was pursued, died at 37 in Afghanistan. North Carolinian Stephen Snowberger, III, of Sacred Well Congregation was only 18 years old when he was killed by an IED in Iraq. James Price of Kentucky, a member of Aquarian Tabernacle Church, wasn't much older, only 22. These three are not the only American Pagan war casualties. I suspect the selection of whom to honor might have been because these are three whose families Victoria was able to contact and speak with before the event. In any case, I hope this gives them some sense of how much their soldiers' lives were appreciated and are now mourned.
I was deeply honored to have been asked to read a bit about PFC Price, a radar communications specialist, in the ceremony. Since her son's death, his mother has become a Pagan.
Thorn has described this ritual in more detail. I, too, was taken aback to hear Druid Taliessen say that their deaths were not in vain. Yes, they can have a pentacle on their grave, as they should. But no one dies or is killed simply to have a pentacle on his or her tombstone. What is the value of this war that's claimed so many innocents? I see none.
In addition to the folks from the Pagan Alliance, who sponsored the event, there was a sizeable contingent from the Association of United Pagans who'd come all the way down to the Bay Area from Modesto, plus three Dianics and three Reclaiming Witches, Pagans you might not necessarily expect to see at such an event. Many of us are parents ourselves, and all of us know someone, or many people, who serve in the military and have been injured or killed in this immoral action.
Jason from the PA took lots of photos; he says they'll be viewable on the PA website but they're not there yet. I saw others with cameras and one reporter from the Daily Journal, a local San Francisco legal paper. I was disappointed not to see more press coverage of this important milestone. I'm sure more will appear in due time.