Quick Notes: Playing Morgan, Paganism in Lancaster, and Dead Can Dance

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  May 14, 2011 — 6 Comments

Just a few quick notes for you on this Saturday.

The Ramifications of Playing Morgan: In a recent interview actress Eva Green, who currently plays the role of Morgan in Starz new series “Camelot”, admitted to “reading extensively” on the subject of magic.

“Real magic is everywhere,” says the 30-year-old actress. “It’s in the winds and the sun and the moon; the earth and the trees.” [...] she had no interest in magic before she began work on the series, but has now read extensively on the subject. She urges others to do the same. “People are not connected to nature any more. My character in the series is trying to restore the pagan ways.”

I’ve long been a fan of Morgan Le Fay in all her aspects, and I’ve developed a working theory that actresses playing her find themselves more interested in magic, mysteries, and pre-Christian religion than before. Most famously would be Dame Helen Mirren who played Morgana in Excalibur and recently took on the role of Prospera in a gender-bending version of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” In an interview during the run-up to that film Mirren noted that women with any interest in education are persecuted for being witches, herbalists, evil. I thought of all these women, now and throughout history, as I was playing Prospera. Perhaps Mirren and Green should meet up and chat.

Religion Journalist Looks at Modern Paganism: Former Get Religion contributor and religion journalist Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans has started a series in her religion column for the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal concerning Pagan and New Age religions.

“American religious history has always included those who marched to the beat of different drummers, and those who tried to shoo them back into line (happily, they no longer cut off their heads or subject them to torture). American religious practices reflect the diversity of our history, our democracy and our culture, confounding those who believe in “pure” heritage passed on from one generation to another. In the weeks to come, we’ll step back and take a look at the wider context of American religious life, and where New Age and pagan denominations fit in.”

I’m quoted in the column, as is a local Lancaster-area Pagan. It should be worth checking out and keeping tabs on future columns. Evans also passed word to me that she tried to capitalize “Pagan” for this piece but was overruled by her editor, so don’t be too hard on her for it. On the whole, this is a pretty balanced and fair initial look at our family of faiths and I look forward to seeing where she goes with it.

The Return of Dead Can Dance: A massive favorite among many Pagans, and an influence on several bands embraced by the Pagan community, the duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry, more popularly known as Dead Can Dance, are planning to put out a new album in 2012.

I have been talking with Lisa Gerrard this past week with regard to recording a new DCD album this coming winter. We hope to complete the album by the summer of 2012 and then embark on an extensive two month world tour in late 2012. I will be posting updates from time to time with regard to our progress……. and remember….. you heard it here first and yes it is official!

The band’s last full-length album of new material, “Spiritchaser,” came out in 1996. In the interim, both Gerrard and Perry have put out solo material and collaborated with other musicians (Gerrard has become particularly well-known for her soundtrack work). At my music blog TheSkysGoneOut (a companion of sorts to my A Darker Shade of Pagan project) I recently discussed the massive influence DCD has had on a generation of musicians. I’ll keep you posted once I know more.

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Ursyl

    I look forward to hearing what Dead Can Dance creates.

    Also finding it fascinating how some who manage to reach the post of Editor think they get to (not so) randomly ignore and rewrite the rules of grammar. If I thought it would be noticed by the world in general, I’d suggest we do the same: no more capitalizing of the names of religions. I suspect the point would go over the heads of editors like that.

  • http://dandalionsworld.blogspot.com/ dandalion

    I too look forward to what Dead Can Dance has made. They have been one of my favorites for a long time!

  • Pitch313

    Morgan Le Fay seems to balance many of the old ways and some of those ways that were and are newly emerging. That's one reason I, too, am a long-time fan of Morgan.

  • Daniel

    Morgan La Fey, An Morrighan, The Great/Phantom Queen–good to see strong, active female divinity and literary, mythic figures that are assertive, active, and defy the stereotypes and historicity of the patriarchal metaphysic.

  • Kullervo

    Great news about Dead Can Dance!

  • Kullervo

    Eh, if we're going to insist on using "pagan" to signify/describe a broad collection of different kinds of spiritual movements, ideas, and organizations, then I don't think it should be capitalized. We use "pagan" as a common noun or as an adjective derived from a common noun, so like other common nouns (like "monotheist"), it should get the lower-case treatment. "Wicca," "New Age," "Druidry" and "Asatru" are proper nound, and thus should be capitalized. "Pagan" is not a proper noun, and we don't use it like one.