A Few Quick Notes and a Quick Holiday

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  April 1, 2011 — 18 Comments

I’m taking a personal day today as it’s my wedding anniversary and we’re headed out to the coast for a bit of celebration. But before I go here’s a few quick news notes to tide you over until tomorrow.

First off, Stone City Pagan Sanctuary has started a memorial fund for Fay Campagnola, an active part of the Pagan community in California who helped with several important events, and worked for years as live-in caretaker at the Annwfn sanctuary.

“Due to the suddenness [of her passing], the family is struggling with funeral costs and Fay’s memorial service, which was planned for earlier this month, had to be postponed due to a lack of funds. Stone City is now collecting donations from the community to raise the funds needed to hold Fay’s memorial and help her family through this difficult time. We feel it’s important for the community to honor Fay’s life and service by providing a proper memorial rite. It would be tragic both for her family and the community if a dedicated community builder such as Fay could not be properly memorialized at her passing simply because of a lack of funds.”

Stone City is looking to raise $600.00 to cover memorial costs, and help support Fay’s family. All donations are tax-deductible. If your life has been touched by Fay’s work, or if you want to help out a family in need, do consider making a donation.

Over at HuffPo, religion professor Ramdas Lamb writes about polytheism and monotheism from a Hindu perspective.

“The purpose here, then is to make the case for the inclusion of polytheism as a legitimate belief system, for it has animated people throughout the world since ancient times and has often provided an understanding of divinity and reality that is more rational than Abrahamic monotheism and has been the cause of far less violence in the world. Hinduism will be used as a primary example, since it offers a good example of polytheism and how it can be blended with the Hindu understanding of monotheism into a useful and practical theology.”

For more Hinduism-related content from the Huffington Post, click here.

Yesterday I mentioned  the new Arthurian-based Starz series “Camelot,” and how one reviewer found it “almost completely devoid of ideas or values.” However, perhaps this interview with actor Joseph Fiennes, who plays Merlin in the series, will make you want to check it out for yourself?

“…we wanted the magic to be something very organic, elemental, true to [Merlin as] a pagan character. He’s not of this newfangled Christian age. He has a very different belief system and also, we both decided that it’d be great to look at the magic where it wasn’t, you could just wield it and walk off, but actually, like all of us, if we have a power, whether it’s with our pen, the microphone or whatever, there’s a level of, you know we can’t abuse it. The moment we step up, we know that abuse comes back to haunt you. So with the magic like that, [it can’t be abused without a price]. Even in politics, you can’t abuse politics.”

As for positive advance reviews? Well, the more fannish-oriented sites seem to think it’s OK. Once it comes to Netflix, I’ll certainly give it a chance.

That’s all I have for now, have a good day, and watch out for the April Fools posts!

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    I love this. A reflection on magickal integrity from Voldemort…

    • Star Foster

      Voldemort's brother. The cute one.

  • Chris Boydston-Taub

    I saw a sneak preview of Camelot on Starz a couple of weeks ago. It's a premium channel service so like HBO they add boobs and cussing to the plot and call it gritty and original. Not interested.

    • Crystal7431

      I don't know. Boobs and cussing make almost anything better.

  • Neville Thunderbelly

    Holding up Hinduism as a positive example….I dunno. It seems I see more than a few stories about human rights abuses and cultural closed-mindedness in India.

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

      India is not only the largest democracy in human history, it is larger than all the other democracies on earth put together (well, close, anyway). And unlike the US, India has a truly multiparty system, and not merely a two party duopoly.

      India has freedom of religion and genuine religious pluralism. The largest religious minority, Muslims, enjoy far greater freedom in India than they do in any Muslim majority country. Christians and Jews have lived unmolested in India since antiquity, and Zoroastrians and Tibetan Buddhists have fled to India as a safe haven from religious persecution.

      Women played a prominent role in India's Independence movement, and the Indian Constitution, unlike that in the US, guarantees full equality before the law for women. Women are by law guaranteed 33% of all elected seats in local governments, and a bill now before the the Indian Parliament will guarantee women 33% of all elected seats as the state level and in the lower house of Parliament.

      There are of course inequalities and injustices in India, just as there are everywhere on earth. But there is nothing in Indian history or in contemporary Indian society that justifies glibly positing that Hinduism is somehow the cause of these inequalities and injustices. That kind of "logic" is of course a stock-in-trade of Christian missionaries and others with an anti-Hindu agenda.

      • Ursyl

        What non-Hindu system was the source of purdah (hoping I spelled that correctly) or the strict caste system?

        I figure it's like everything else: good and bad aspects, abuses justified and abuses attempting to be corrected.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          Wikipedia articles on Purdah and Caste both leave vague the actual origins of the practices. Both articles carry editors' skeptical flags. In both cases, non-European peoples were found engaged in the practices by European discoverers — Purdah in Persia by Greek historians according to a Moslem scholar — with no knowledge of which came first, the practice or the religion in which it is found embedded. The Caste article is clear that India harbors the bulk of practitioners but also has the more dour editorial flags. Purdah seems much more widespread than India, again with the editor's eyebrow raised.

        • Rombald

          I was under the impression that purdah was originally a Muslim custom – it's much more prevalent in Pakistan than in India. Having said that, almost all of India has at times been under Muslim rule, and it is difficult to unravel which customs are native-Indian, and which are Muslim introductions.

  • Pitch313

    It's tough for a lifelong fanboy and one-time but still unreformed worker gremlin in the pop culture entertainment industry–creating, producing, and selling at the edge of the KEWL envelope as well as whatever gets stuffed inside–to give up evaluating my own Pagan magical practice against the representations of magic and its practitioners in pop culture.

    But, following a number of rituals, lots of visualizations, conversations with co-practitioner friends, endeavoring to keep myself grounded, and heeding the guidance of the Deities and Guardians–I have come to the realization that Paganism and magic in the pop culture have nothing whatsoever to do with me living a Pagan life or the magic that I do!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke

      If you go by the movies, nearly every Catholic priest is an exorcist who does battle with the devil regularly. I wouldn't expect them to treat other religions any better.

  • A.C. Fisher Aldag

    Happy anniversary, Jason!

  • http://greattininess.wordpress.com cartweel

    I wrote on the history of April Fool's Day (and many pagans hypocritical stance toward the day) — here:
    http://greattininess.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/mor

  • http://www.tigerseyetemple.org/ DanMiller

    Being that Showtime is free for a year on DISH, I'll give it chance. The pilot was okay, but disjointed. I was ready to hate it about 5 minutes in, but by the end I look forward the next one.

  • She Szimanski

    I hope the coast is lovely this spring day and that you and your beloved have a memorable day. Thank you for giving us your time and effort.

  • http://mommysmidnightmargaritas.blogspot.com Susie

    Happy anniversary Jason! Hope it was wonderful!

  • lynn

    Hey Jason, happy anniversary! Enjoy it.

    I have been watching the BBC series 'Merlin' on Netflix streaming. It's kind of corny (follows your typical 'villain of the week' plotline) but it does have its charm. One thing I like is that the actors in it don't all look like models.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke

    Speaking of media-based Paganism, I'd recommend 'Wake Wood'. It's a Hammer horror in the tradition of "The Wicker Man" and IMO it was quite good (if a bit bloody at times.)