There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.
- We have two new high-profile endorsements for Pagan Coming Out Day on May 2nd. The first from T. Thorn Coyle who invokes the memory of Tempest Smith and Harvey Milk, and the second from Phaedra Bonewits who notes that “by coming out, we are affirming our right to love ourselves for what we are.”
- I have to say, the trailer for Tarsem Singh’s movie “Immortals” is very, very, pretty. I will be seeing it for the eye candy alone, if nothing else. Hey, it can’t be as bad as the “Clash of the Titans” remake.
- Over at Killing the Buddha writer Eric Scott (a Wiccan and second-generation Pagan) gets some criticism over his latest essay, “Valhal-Mart,” first from a Christian who points out that Christians get exploited in cinema too, and then from author Alex Rose, who calls Scott a “phony” because “there is no chance he actually believes (choose any sense of the word you like) in norse mythology, much less actively worships Thor.” Mr. Rose obviously hasn’t heard of that whole “modern Paganism” thing.
- The New York Times reports on efforts to have a atheist/secular military chaplain appointed. They note that “a Hindu, possibly even a Wiccan may join their [military chaplain] ranks soon.” But the institutional resistance to a Wiccan or Pagan chaplain has been rather effective in not making that happen.
- PNC-Minnesota‘s special series on Pagans in prison concludes with comments from Pagan inmates and an editorial from reporter Nels Linde. Essential reading, and some of the best reporting done this year for the Pagan community. (Part 1, Part 2,Part 3, Part 4 Part 5 Part 6).
- Time Magazine travels to Sedona to experience the post-James Arthur Ray sweat-lodge deaths atmosphere and finds that “even tragedy won’t keep the seekers from Sedona.” Meanwhile, the James Arthur Ray trial continues.
- Tropaion notes the creation of a “legal vacuum” as different factions fight over re-burial of the Altar of the Twelve Gods in Greece. You can read my coverage of this story, here.
- The Croyden Guardian reports on trial of William Lambert, accused of raping four girls (aged between 11-15) under the pretext of “initiation ceremonies” to pass on the next level of his “witch powers”. There doesn’t seem to be any real connection between Lambert and the existing Pagan community in the area, and he told the girls his powers came “from the black floating monk” that apparently haunted the church yard where he worked.
- At Think Progress, commentator Alyssa Rosenberg notes the “challenges in making gods-come-to-earth movies.” The first is the modern resistance to an approachable deity, and the second is that superheroes “have basically taken on the roles of Greek-style gods in our movies.” I’m sure Grant Morrison would agree.
- Arizona police officers are receiving training in looking “for indicators of underlying criminal activity” in part via “religious “saints” or icons that might be found at crime scenes where Mexican drug cartels have a presence.” In short, that Santa Muerte statue might be an indicator of illegal activity. Some may mock this, but these trainings could be problematic for individuals not involved in the drug trade who happen to follow a religion misunderstood by law enforcement.
- David Briggs notes the growth of Hinduism in America, mainly through immigration. As this population grows, they are finding their political voice, and challenging Western narratives concerning India and Hinduism.
That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.