In September of 2019, Australia began experiencing raging bush fires (many of them set by humans who have been taken into custody by authorities). At the time of this post going live, large rain showers have finally hit land, extinguishing all but 69 of the fires that once formed a ring around the entire land mass, blocking off access to the oceans and incinerating over 10 million hectares of land. Over 25 people have died, more than $3 billion dollars of property damage has occurred, and a staggering 500 million animals have been injured or killed.
As a Pagan, it is difficult to watch the news and see the video footage of koalas on fire, baby joeys who have lost their parents, wombats that have changed their behavior to help shepherd other species into their burrows, and so much beautiful wild land scorched by arson. Fire fighters and humanitarian aid groups have flooded into the country to provide assistance, and wildlife groups are trying desperately to heal the injured animals they've rescued. Millions of dollars have been contributed to relief funds, but there are still numerous small non-profits that have only seen a small percentage of that.
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So, after discussing the issue with the Greater New Orleans Pagan Pride Project (our charity recipient for the past 7 years), we are re-allocating our proceeds from ticket sales and cash bar to Australian bush fire relief. As we get closer to our event at the end of April, we will announce a specific charity recipient (once we identify where funds would be most useful at that time), and hope that you will share our event with family, friends, and coworkers who might help support the event and relief efforts.
2019 has seen more fires in the public eye than any time I can remember (California, the Amazon, Africa, Notre Dame, and now Australia). It's difficult to look forward to Beltane, knowing how much devastation our planet experienced in the previous year; yet, I hold in my mind that fire is both destructive and cleansing at times. Even the plant life of the Australian bush has begun to grow, weeks after fires have ravaged it. At the heart of Beltane is the knowledge that life finds a way, nature persists, and new growth comes from even the most burnt ash. I hope we can send some helpful funds, along with healing energy, to all those affected by Australia's fires. Thank you so much for supporting our efforts with your ticket purchase.!!