A Blessed Yule and Saturnalia to you all! Here’s an update on our legal situation. Thanks to our October missive to the larger pagan community, we now have a lawyer and the means to continue our legal battle. Once again, I would like to offer thanks to Jason Pitzl-Waters, author of the Wild Hunt Blog for helping to spread awareness of our plight. I would also like to offer thanks to my old friend, Ed Hubbard of Witchschool and the Pagan Newswire Collective for allowing Cathy and I to call in to the internet radio show Pagans Tonight to tell the whole story to the community. We would also very much like to thank the mother and daughter who each gave us an incredibly generous donation that made it all possible! Our situation as it stands is this: right now the judge is reviewing our case and deciding whether or not to issue a summary judgment restoring our exemption, or whether the town has a strong enough case to take it to trial. As of now, it's all in the judge's hands and we are playing the Waiting Game - and hoping that this all ends soon.
We also have a special request to anyone and everyone who ever participated in an event at the Maetreum. Our lawyer has requested that we obtain as many affidavits from people who have attended events here as possible. Yes, I know, it's kind of ridiculous and insulting that we should have to do this, but just remember, we have been placed in a ridiculous sitiuation of having to actually prove that we are a religion, and that means proving that we have engaged in religious activities here that people have actually participated in.
As for the more mundane goings-on at the Phrygianum, this past fall we re-decked half of the front porch and will continue with the other half in the spring. We also reinforced the underdecking, because a lot of it came loose over the years, although the only real rot that we found was at the edge, where rain and snow came into contact with it. We used Southern Yellow Pine wood for the new decking and with weather treatment it has the look of amber shellac over pine. Not only is it harder than regular pine, it's also much more rot resistant. This new porch should last another hundred years!
We have also finally completed the kiln room, which has consisted of rebuilding the floor in that shed (the old floor was rotted and had termite damage) as well as putting on a new roof using salvaged timbers from the porch. We fire-proofed the inside of the room with corrugated metal and put the kiln into place. All that’s left is to hook up the kiln at its ready to go!
Thanksgiving was lovely, with Caillean and her daughter Chessie attending as well as Marina and Laura. It had been Laura's first time up here in many years and it was good to see her at last. She took a lot of wonderful pictures, including my cat, Shadow, helping himself to leftover turkey. Unforunately, even though she submitted it to icanhascheezburger.com, Shadow did not get enough votes to become an LOL cat. :(