Spotlight

Capricorn Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Paliechesky

In the midst of one of the most challenging years in memory, the Capricorn Ministry would like to spotlight the extraordinary work of volunteer Mary Paliechesky in southern California.  Mary is a stalwart and dedicated volunteer in the pen pal program, supporting a number of incarcerated pen pals in their spiritual journeys. In particular, her pen pal ministries in Texas prison facilities have led to an explosion of new Pagan inmates in Texas requesting spiritual support through the pen pal program. She also knits shawls for donations to the Temple’s Shawl Ministry through Cancer Ministry and offers ancestor in the Scorpio Ministry. Thank you Mary for your incredible work for the people who are challenged during such difficult times. Blessed be!

Sagittarius Volunteer Spotlight: Naphana

The Sagittarius Ministry Spotlight this month goes to Naphana. Naphana is a third degree initiate who is continuing onward to the fourth in the coming year. Though unorthodox for the Sagittarius Ministry, which usually focuses upon education, Naphana has earned this spotlight due to her tireless efforts in the Temple gardens in Salem, New Hampshire, over the last year, as a volunteer working primarily in the poison garden, but really wherever she has been needed. Her work has been consistent, tireless, and lovingly meticulous to make sure she kept all the plants needed in the garden during times of weeding and harvest. Time in the garden is its own form of education, directly with the green teachers, and Naphana’s care and rapport with the plant world has been clear.

Along with her work in the gardens and in the Mystery School, Naphana is an active member of the New Hampshire community of the Temple, as well as the online community, and has a love of both photography and music.

Thank you Naphana for your community work and magickal presence! We look forward to your continued contributions as we all grow together.

Scorpio Volunteer Spotlight: Lori O

For the Scorpio Month Volunteer Spotlight, the Scorpio Ministry would like to thank Lori O for her work in hospice volunteering, crossing over mediation, and ancestor veneration. Lori is a Temple Mystery School student who has completed Witchcraft III and is an active member of the Temple community in Connecticut.

The work of Scorpio includes providing service to the community in the area of hospice as a companion to the dying so that no one is alone at this time of transition. Lori’s involvement with hospice and our ministry started when she sought support from us around a loved one’s death several years ago. Her experience inspired her to seek out opportunities to help others and provide comfort and companionship to those facing death.

Lori started her volunteer work just over a year ago at her local hospice where her mother was cared for before she died. She has become a key volunteer there in the ministerial program. She brings her compassion and intuitive nature to this work and it has been recognized by the pastoral care staff at the hospice. The Hospice Chaplain has offered to personally mentor Lori to perform clinical assessments and she is receiving a lot of great encouragement there. She has been able to continue to serve in safe ways during the Corvid-19 pandemic by providing support to the Hospice pastoral care team in other ways since in-person volunteering is on hold.

In addition, she has a very strong ancestor veneration practice and recently taught a class on ancestor altars to her local Connecticut Temple community. There she is a wonderful community member, always willing to step into ritual or other support when needed.

She has stepped up many times for the Scorpio ministry and has become a key member of our team very quickly. Once we can hold in-person events again, she looks forward to offering other Scorpio related activities to her local community.

Thank you, Lori, for your dedication to the work of companioning the dying, easing their transition, and honoring the ancestors. We look forward to your future contributions.

Leo Volunteer Spotlight: Nikki Valliere

During the month of Leo, we would like to thank Nikki Valliere for her service in the New England Temple of Witchcraft community. In 2016, Nikki joined our wonderful group of musicians and has provided drumming, percussion, and vocals for our sabbats and workshops ever since.

Shortly thereafter, she began volunteering for the Cancer Ministry. What began with the creation of crafting projects for the children’s sabbats evolved into the longer term work of guiding the next generation of witches through ritual, lessons, and seasonally-based crafting. Over the years, our little witchlings have created talismans, beaded window crystals, simple percussive instruments, and herb-infused oils. Nikki also supports the Shawl Ministry, weaving shawls for community members in times of celebration, grief, and healing.

For the past three years, Nikki has coordinated children’s activities for TempleFest. She develops crafting projects for Family Day based on the ages of children in attendance, ensuring that everyone has fun, engaging, and age-appropriate projects. She also assists in the arduous work of pre-event set up and post-event take down. With TempleFest being held virtually this year, Nikki has come up with projects that can be done with basic supplies at home. She’s also providing printable templates for these virtual projects.

We’re so grateful for all of Nikki’s creative work, as she inspires both children and adults to embrace the art and craft of witchcraft.

Aries Volunteer Spotlight: Lisa Jade

From Aries Lead Minister Michael Cantone:

I am delighted to announce that my choice for the Temple Volunteer Spotlight for the solar month of Aries is Lisa Jade!

Lisa has been extremely helpful to all the ministries as Social Media Coordinator and especially with Aries ministry, where I feel she goes above and beyond my expectations, helping us out with our social media posts this month.

Lisa recently stepped-up to the plate in March with the creation of the Aries Protection Web Facebook group, as co-administrator with me. Almost seconds after the creation of the Facebook group Lisa initiated a care worker protection list which she has now distributed to all of us in the Aries Protection Web. Lisa is a great volunteer and an endearing asset to the Temple of Witchcraft and I am delighted to recognize her for all of her work and contributions to the community.

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