The Pagan Carnival

Welcome to the third edition of The Pagan Carnival, a bi-weekly summary of the best writing in the modern Pagan, Heathen and occult blogosphere. Help spread the word and strengthen our online community by posting a link back to this entry. Don’t forget to submit your nominations for the next edition! Now on to the carnival!

Both Sage from “Goddessing” and Inanna from “At The End of Desire” have re-posted Starhawk’s “A Pagan Response to Katrina”. Starhawk makes it clear, that in her mind no vengeful divine power had a part in destroying New Orleans.

“We prayed, speaking personally in the way humans do: “Please, Mama, we know what a mess we’ve made, but if there is any way to mitigate the death and the destruction, to lessen it slightly, please do.” That same night Christians were praying and Orisha priestesses were ‘working’ Oya, and the hurricane did shift its course, slightly, and lessened its force, down to a Category Four. And New Orleans survived. Not without loss, and death, but without the massive flooding and destruction that was feared. We all breathed a sigh of relief. And a day later, the levees failed, and the floods came. They failed not from an Act of Goddess, but from a lack of resources. The Bush Administration had systematically cut funding for flood control and for repairing and increasing the strength of the levees. The money went to Iraq. Much of the Louisiana National Guard was also in Iraq. FEMA, the Federal Agency responsible for responding to natural disasters, had been gutted, defunded, refocused on terrorism, and its directorship given to a Bush political crony with no experience in disaster response.”

Switching elements (and themes) we come to the Burners. The Burning Man festival for 2005 has just ended and the reports are trickling in from this very Pagan-friendly event. Paul from “Future Hi” has perhaps one of the most exuberant I have read so far.

“Burning Man has become the Mecca of the New Aeon. There is nothing anywhere in history that comes close. Each year tens of thousands of people come to the Playa and its vast expanse and express themselves with total freedom and complete community support. You can’t help but become an embodiment of your true higher self. There is tremendous healing and transformation that takes while there, and I believe it has become a crucial event in our time. The sense of community and connection becomes so deep that it changes your perspective on just about everything… so much at times you can forget your old life entirely. I will NEVER be the same after this year’s burn…we headed down 4:30 to the playa. When it came into view I ran with all my might towards it – embracing the spectacle that was before me. The first thing I saw was a very large neon psychedelic flower – a crane of immense proportions with people partying while driving it around, and on the flower itself. I was overtaken with the beauty of all that was before me – the celebration of life and liberation – I fell to my knees an emotional wreck from the life I’ve left behind and wept tears of joy, relief and redemption to finally be home. Utopia is here.”

In other Burner-related news be sure to check out the new anthology “AfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man” co-edited by one of our favorite Pagan/Burner bloggers Lee Gilmore.

While I’m on the subject of anthologies there is a new one called “Generation Hex” coming out that focuses on the next generation of occultists, shamans, and magic(k)-users. Several of the contributors have started a group blog to further the conversation started in the anthology. Here is but one clip from an entry from looks to be an interesting new blog-destination.

“If the aetheric seas of humanity are darkened by suffering, then produce compassion. Bring the waters to greater clarity by cultivating peace and equality in every occasion. Fear cowers under community and connection. We are social creatures, destined for love. The most evil among us are victims of love’s absence in their lives. Pitiless parents and sadistic peers beat evil into the tormented soul. Those who know compassion, who know peace and equality and optimism and hope, make it manifest further in their world…I had this vision of death as a boat. Through our lives our boats are at port, tied to the dock. With our actions, our thoughts and dreams, hopes and fears, we load our boat, day in and day out, preparing for the journey ahead. Finally at death, it’s time to set sail off into the Great Sea. As we sail, we slowly unburden our vessel, jettisoning the cargo of our lives into the deep blue waters of creation. Imagine all of the millions upon millions of boats plying the tides, getting lighter and lighter as the sea fills with their memories received and absorbed into the saline solvent of the Great Mother…Wouldn’t we live more lightly if we considered every thought and action as a memory to be offered to the Sea of Life? This is the greatest weapon against the archons.”

Moving into a more political line of thinking the Lycian witch Seshen talks about the realities of “under God” and not participating in the Pledge when you are different.

“If my kid has to stand and say the Pledge with “under God” and she does not want to, she has two options. One, to suck it up in silence, or sit down and mark herself. Either way, her right to religious privacy has been taken at that moment. Include a Deity she does not follow in a sacred pledge, OR reveal herself. If you think that sitting down is a harmless alternative, I give you my husband’s experience in high school. He refused to stand for the Pledge, and a classmate physically leaped over a desk and attacked him. Within the pagan community, we have many stories of direct and subtle threats in relation to this.”

Meanwhile Maggie at the “Arrows” blog discusses big cars, the reptilian brain, and soccer moms.

“How should companies develop and market their products? With an appreciation that the Reptilian always wins out and that there is a subtle but vital connection between the reptilian need for survival and an inherent emotional connection. This really shows up in marketing to American moms whose desire for survival connects to their emotional need to protect their children at all costs. Could big SUVs driven by aggressive American moms be merely a need to control their environment and ensure the survival not only of themselves, but also their children? reptile mom? If so, then perhaps American moms are one of the most potent target markets. This whole idea of the ‘soccer mom’ came up in the last presidential election when demographic suddenly became interesting to a number of analysts. Did soccer moms vote for GW. Bush because they are so reptilian?”

WindReader from “Rants and Chants” discusses the different branches of modern Judaism including Revisionist Judaism which he is involved in.

“one of the most controversial aspects of Revisionist Judaism is the emph
asis on Shekinah. in the Jewish mystic traditions God’s presence on Earth is called Shekinah and is understood to be feminine. there are many aspects of Shekinah including the Torah and the Sabbath (the Shabbot Queen). in stories, God occasionally interacts with people and often does so in the guise of a woman. Shekinah is understood to be the feminine aspect of God. the purpose for doing mitzvoth – any of the 613 commandments called for in the Bible (Old Testament to you non Jews out there) – is to reunite God with Shekina and bring forth the Messiah and God’s kingdom on Earth.”

Victoria Slind-Flor at Driving Audhumla sings the praises of Midwestern Pagan Dudes.

“A common cliche in the Pagan movement is highly evolved men in such a feminist environment sometimes surrender their power and quit being regular guys. They may well be “cultural creatives” , but if sometimes feels like they get locked into loops of endless processing that drive me right up the wall. But that’s not what I found with this tribe. I saw men who were tender and gentle with their kids, and believe me, the daddies were just as proactive in caring for all those Pagan babies as the moms. At the same time, they did go out in the woods and do their drumming and wild cavorting on their own.”

Anne from “The Gods Are Bored” and Oak from “Roots Down” discuss dealings with the Devil. Deborah Oak says that the pre-Christian origins of Lucifer are too long gone to be worked with meaningfully and that the current Christian consensus rules the day.

“The battle between Lucifer, the light bringer, and Satan/the Devil, master of all evil, was lost years ago. Satan and the Devil have won, hands down. The name of Lucifer overwhelmingly conjures up the master of all evil, not the beauty of the morning star, of love and light. I worry about those I know who are drawn to feeding the god Lucifer, and especially those who do so while not believing in the Devil. That seems like a perilously slippery slope. Why couldn’t Lucifer have stayed away from people I like and love and Elvis come into them and their buildings instead? Now there’s a god worth feeding, and my, the dude has a huge appetite!”

Meanwhile Anne has a message from the dark prince himself.

“I will say this in my defense, however. There’s ample evidence in the Bible that I am a lesser angel. In short, I take orders. The first order was to go head the satellite office, and my, it does keep me hopping! So if you want to believe that some sweet little girls get possessed by moi, you must also believe that it’s not done by my free will. I signed a contract, and it’s a job, and I do what I’m told. Just so we’re clear on that. Every now and then these movies come out about satanic possession, further damaging my reputation in the celestial sphere, and I frankly resent it. I don’t know what bothers me more – some pedophile priest using “satanic possession” as an excuse to fondle a teenager, or some chimp-IQ cretin and his drunken buddies performing a “black mass” in a graveyard in my honor.”

Finally, Chas Clifton warns us that “The Crazy Season” is soon upon us. What is “The Crazy Season”?

“the weeks leading up to Hallowe’en when the news media rediscover Witchcraft.”

Also known as “Jason doesn’t have to work as hard at finding stuff to blog about” season. Also check out Chas’ coverage of the latest upset over Pagans having equal rights in the small High Plains town of Ramah.

Thanks for reading, if you have submissions for the next Pagan Carnival or are interested in editing an edition drop me a line. Remember to post a link to The Pagan Carnival in your blog and spread the word!

Carnivals Past: First Edition, Second Edition

Jason Pitzl-Waters