The Pagan Newswire Collective, an open collective of Pagan journalists and writers who are interested in sharing and promoting primary-source reporting from within our interconnected communities, is proud to announce the launch of two new group blog projects. These new blog projects will join the already launched Pagan+Politics site, and provide more topic-focused coverage and opinion on subjects of special interest to modern Pagan readers.
Warriors & Kin: A Blog of Military Pagan Voices
The first new group blog project, Warriors & Kin, will give a voice to Pagan men and women who are serving, or who have served, in the United States military. Military Pagans have often been at the front lines of many Pagan rights issues, and their honorable service has endured prejudice and misunderstanding from politicians, government agencies, and even the Pagan communities they call home. We are hoping that this project will not only shine a light into the struggles of both Pagan veterans and active duty personnel, but serve as a tool to build bridges within our faiths between those who have served and those who have not.
In addition, the blog will also see contributions from military spouses, family, and supporters, including a Pagan mother whose son is entering the armed forces, a military spouse who wrote an award-winning book concerning Pagans in the military, and a volunteer with Soldier’s Angels, a nonprofit personal support group for deployed troops overseas.
Participants of note include Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, a teacher at the Air Force Academy who helped create a Pagan worship area for cadets, gaining national attention in the process, Lorie “Sunfell” Johnson, an Air Force veteran who was one of the first active-duty Pagans to be open about her faith back in the 1980s, and author Erynn Rowan Laurie, a Cold War era disabled Navy veteran who is a speaker on Military Sexual Trauma and women’s issues in the military. They join active duty personnel in the Marines and National Guard for this project.
The Juggler: Arts, Culture, and Pop-Culture from a Pagan Perspective
The second new group blog project, The Juggler, will explore the arts from a Pagan perspective. While modern Paganism has waged high-profile campaigns for equal treatment in the military, in our schools, in the public square, and even in our prisons, it is often within the arts and popular culture that we have gained the most attention. Not all of these depiction have been fair or balanced, but few can deny that television, movies, novels, theater, the visual arts, and even fashion have been inundated with pagan themes, both ancient and modern, in recent years. In a world where “The Wicker Man” and “The Craft” get name-checked on a regular basis by those commenting on modern Pagan religions, where sexy vampire dramas invoke Maenads, and a critically acclaimed science fiction series portrays conflicts between polytheists and monotheists, a sustained critical engagement with the arts is increasingly vital.
This site will provide reviews, editorials, analysis, and coverage, both local and abroad, of the wide and varied world of the arts. No medium or format will be off-limits, everything from reality television to gallery exhibitions will be within the scope and reach of this project, providing a steady stream of up-to-date and gloves-off Pagan perspectives.
Participants of note include Peg Aloi, Media Coordinator for The Witches’ Voice website, and long-time film critic who has written for The Boston Phoenix, Art New England, and Cinefantastique online, Sara Adrian, a fine artist and illustrator who holds bardic grade in OBOD, Lauren Bernauer, a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, Australia, who specializes in the portrayal of pre-Christian and minority religions in Popular Culture, and New York Shakespearean actor Zan Fraser, author of “A Briefe Historie of Wytches”, a review of the Elizabethan/Jacobean Witch-Plays. They join several other talented writers and journalists with a background in arts coverage.
I hope you’ll support both of these projects by subscribing to their feeds, commenting on their posts, and spreading the word to your friends, family, and co-religionists. These topic-focused group blogs are a vital first step in the PNC’s larger goal of building a primary-source journalism collective for the modern Pagan movement. Please warmly welcome all the participants as they start this exciting new endeavor.