Around the Pagan Blogosphere

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  October 10, 2008 — 1 Comment

Articles, essays, and thoughts of note from the Pagan blogosphere.

We start off with some sad news. M. Macha Nightmare and T. Thorn Coyle have posted moving tributes to their friend Tara Webster, priestess of Hecate, and Soror Adessa of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn. Webster passed away on October 8th after a long struggle with brain cancer. Thorn, who was at Webster’s side during her passing, recounts how Hecate came to claim her.

“After a couple of hours of singing, the call came inside of me. A chant arose to one whom I have barely met. Your Matron tapped my shoulderblades. I wrote a chant for Her, for you. We sang that chant. We sang and sang. I left the room to grasp the counterpoint. When I came back in to sing it, S. said “Her breathing has really changed. We need to get someone.” I paused. You were not breathing. The spaces between breath were big enough to hold the stars. All gathered, we chanted the Heart Sutra. Over and over, as you crossed. Hecate took you. Your spirit opened the door we had closed. Literally. It swung open and out you went. Mighty priestess. So skilled. So gorgeous. You lay in state in your rhinestone tiara, naked, as we blessed you.”

Macha recounts Webster’s participation in the Goddess 2000 project, and their shared connection with an old Pagan cartoon.

“…when Tara and I first met, we discovered we had a lot in common in terms of both approach and praxis. My experiences with my first coven, the Holy Terrors*, paralleled hers in many ways. I spoke of a cartoon published in an East Coast Pagan rag, Harvest (defunct), in the ’80s that we Holy Terrors couldn’t believe was so like we were. When we HTs first discovered this cartoon, we rolled around laughing. No one we knew subscribed to Harvest (if it even had subscriptions). We treasured our photocopies of the few episodes we’d found; later I found an opportunity to mail away for better copies of a full set. The cartoon was the Death Crones, and Tara was part of the Flaming Crones, the circle from which this cartoon arose!”

May Tara Webster rest in the arms of Hecate. We here at The Wild Hunt offer our most sincere condolences.

Over at Letter From Hardscrabble Creek, Chas Clifton reports on the publication of a book that will be sure to please many long-time Pagan community members.

‘Green Egg Omelette: An Anthology of Art and Articles from the Legendary Pagan Journal’ will be shipping soon and can be pre-ordered from Amazon with the link above or from the publisher. Oberon Zell did the heavy lifting: tracking down long-lost contributors, making editorial decisions, and laying out the pages. I wrote a general introduction and shorter introductions for each chapter.”

A sure treasure-trove of classic Pagan writing. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. As for the Green Egg itself, while the print magazine is long-gone, it still survives as a online ‘zine. Also, while you’re at Chas Clifton’s blog, be sure to check out his post about water witchery.

Author Sarah Kate Istra Winter (aka Erl Queen on LJ) links to an interview she gave for the online e-zine Sequential Tart.

“I do think the myths are important. For one thing, they are usually our first introduction to the gods. Sure, it’s extremely important to begin forging relationships yourself, to learn of the gods directly, from experience. But that’s a long process. And many people have a hard time relying on that type of experiential knowledge. The myths tell us about the collective beliefs and experiences of the people who first worshiped our gods. Even if the stories often conflict with each other, even if one can’t take everything literally, an overall picture emerges of the gods’ traits, likes and dislikes, mannerisms, etc. It’s an important foundation. From cult practice (of course, another important foundation for the modern religion), we might learn that Apollon left Delphi each winter and the oracles ceased. But it is from myth that we learn why, and where He goes (Hyperborea), and what that place is like.”

You can find more information about Winter’s book, “KHARIS: Hellenic Polytheism Explored”, at her web site.

Medusa Coils reports that the Glastonbury Goddess Temple has succeeded in acquiring St. Benedict’s Church Hall from the Church of England for the purpose of Goddess-oriented worship and rites of passage.

“Glastonbury Goddess Temple was able to come to an agreement with St. Ben’s Parish Council regarding the previous restrictions on the use of the Hall, which was owned by the Church of England and persisted even after the sale of the Hall. St. Ben’s Parish Council has agreed to allow use of the Hall “without let or hindrance” for Goddess activities including ceremonies, courses, workshops, and other community activities, as well as a dedicated space for Pagan marriage ceremonies and handfastings.”

You can read more about this story, and the plans Glastonbury Goddess Temple has for the space, here.

In a final note, The Pagan Prattle rightfully mocks “what passes for sane in some parts of the world”. Specifically the recent story of a college student who accused an English teacher of blasphemy, and threatened to set her on fire for being a witch.

“A 20-year-old male student has been expelled from an adult education college after he poured liquid over his English Literature teacher and threatened her with a lighter and a cigarette. He accused her of being a witch. According to another report, Najor allegedly told police that he was trying to kill her by pouring holy water over her. More detail about the incident is given, suggesting that Najor was inspired by his Christian faith…”

The young man in question, Darin Najor, while initially detained in a psychiatric hospital, is now facing assault charges. One wonders if he attends some sort of church, or if this was his own special blend of crazy.

That is all I have for now, have a great day!

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Jane

    May Tara Webster pass freely and swiftly to a place of rest and freedom from pain. FYI, Harvest magazine was published for many years by a group of New England Pagans led by Morven Westfield, who is now writing a series of vampire novels set among the Pagan community of the late ’70s and early ’80s amid the nascent technology industry near Boston.