CIRCLE SANCTUARY WINS (FIRST) ZONING BATTLE
"Five to Ten Year Fight" Predicted
The Brigham Town Board and the Iowa County Zoning Commission
both voted unanimously to extend a church permit, and a church
zoning variance, to Circle Sanctuary. Circle is celebrating with
a series of private dedication rituals (both personal and for the
land) from Friday 29 January through Tuesday 3 February. Selena
Fox claims that hers is the first Wiccan Church (to her
knowledge) ever to be granted a church permit after such lengthy
public, government, and press scrutiny.
Unfortunately, the harrassment of "The Witches of Barneveld"
(as some of the town-folk call them) is continuing, and could
take up to five years or more to finally resolve. The Brigham
Zoning Commissioner, with the support of the Town Board, has
reportedly filed a complaint alleging that Circle Sanctuary is in
violation of their church zoning. At the heart of the complaint
(which has not yet been forwarded to Circle or to the ACLU) is a
claim by the Zoning Commissioner that Circle's national
networking efforts and living quarters for non-family assistants
exceeds permissible activities for a "local parish" and would
require an "office" classification.
The American Civil Liberties Union will continue to provide
legal assistance to Circle Sanctuary in resolving this matter, so
the worst of the legal fees are over (however, contributions to
the ACLU are certainly not un-called-for). Press coverage has
almost without exception been favorable. However, the outcome in
uncertain and there are hints that even if Circle wins this
round, the Town Board has other forms of harrassment in mind.
Pagans and magical folks should NOT send letters or
petitions to any of the principles in this case, Selena Fox
insisted, as the she feels (and the ACLU concurs) that outside
political pressure on local politicians is the worst possible
thing that could happen to this case. If you have in mind some
way to help Circle with these matters, please send a letter to
Circle Sanctuary, Box 219, Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin 53572, USA, so
that it can be discussed first with their lawyers.
Selena Fox expressed her thanks to all of the "wonderful
folks" who have beamed supporting energy to the Sanctuary, and
claims that without that magickal support, they could never have
survived the grueling negotiations and legal and political
battles. She asked that all magical folks who care about
religious freedom please continue to send magickal support,
especially (if possible) as a part of the upcoming Imbolc
celebrations. (If a precise time is desired, Circle will be
holding a special dedication ceremony and energy-raising session
for the upcoming fight starting at approximately 1:00 PM Central
Time on Sunday, February 2nd.)
One unfortunate consequence of this fight has been that
Circle has not had time or energy for their regular fund-raising
efforts, so financial support will be welcomed.
OTHER NEWS FROM CIRCLE SANCTUARY
Secretarial Opening at the Sanctuary
Circle has an urgent need to fill an upcoming vacancy on the
staff, especially as correspondence related to the zoning fight
and other Pagan Rights cases snowballs. Any Pagan or person on a
Pagan-oriented path with good typing and secretarial skills who
is interested should apply immediately. Send a resume and a
letter explaining why you are interested in the position to
Circle Sanctuary at Box 219, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572. Due to space
problems and issues related to the zoning fight, no one with pets
or dependents will be considered (sorry!). For more information,
please call the Sanctuary at (608) 924-2216 on a Tuesday or
Thursday between 1:00 and 4:00 PM Central Time.
Planning for 1988 Pagan Spirit Gathering Begun
Contrary to some rumors which have been distributed by
unknown parties, there =will= be a 1988 International Pagan
Spirit Gathering. It is scheduled for June 21-26, at the same
location where it has been held for the past several years,
approximately one hour's drive from Madison, Wisconsin. If you
wish to lead a workshop or a ritual at this year's PSG, please
try to have your proposals in to Circle Sanctuary at Box 219, Mt.
Horeb, WI 53572 by March 1st.
* Origin: WeirdBase* St. Louis * 1-314-389-WYRD * (Opus 1:100/523)