Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  May 27, 2011 — 40 Comments

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.

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. Oh, and do check out the Witchtalk Conjure podcast/radio show tonight, I’ll be making a special appearance.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Angela Pippinger

    As of right now Mrs B Is #2 with only 40 some odd votes from being tied for #1 spot, I sit at #7, 3 more pagan moms at #11, #12, and #13, 2 more at #15 and #16, another at #20. Pagan Moms are REPRESENTIN' Y'ALL!

    What this basically means is that the Top 25 at the closing of the voting ( June 8th) will be interviewed and featured to over 6 million subscribers. With 11 pagan blogs in the contest and 8 already in the top 25, more of us will be able to showcase paganism in a very mainstream sort of way. I am hoping this will be key in making us less "taboo" or "scary".

    • Star Foster

      That is awesome! I didn't realize the stakes were so high!

    • http://military.pagannewswirecollective.com/ Lori Dake

      Just checked – Mrs. B is now Numero Uno! http://www.circleofmoms.com/top25/faith

      Let's keep it up!!!

  • spiderlady

    Yay for Pagan Moms being on the list. While pagan/wicca is acknowledge by the military/government, in day to day life, esp. with moms, pagan/wicca moms are knock back constantly. Lets hope this stays a positive (for the most part) experience and isn't created into a big mess by others.

  • http://paganpresence.blogspot.com Em Graves

    I think it's a wonderful thing for our faith to be represented by such bright and bless-ed souls as Mrs.B and the other Pagan Moms featured in the Circle of Moms contest. Shame on those individuals that sought to spread an attitude of hate throughout a Top25 that should have been overrun by love and devotion — afterall, isn't that what FAITH is all about?!?!

    Em Graves http://paganpresence.blogspot.com

  • Ursyl

    The Supermommy blog is a great one too. She sure has a way with a story. And I can so relate to finding the toddler's dramatic tragedy of pajamas at bedtime funny.

    It's so difficult to stifle the chuckles sometimes when the child is truly being ridiculous, even as I know that from their perspective, this is indeed tragedy.

  • http://www.bringingupalamanders.blogspot.com Nydia

    Thumbs up fr Mrs. B.! She's an awesome lady who has always been one of the kindest souls in the pagan blogs community. It's such a shame all this happen, but free advertisement is always welcome, and it was one more good cance to debate faith and make it clear paganism is as valuable as any other's. I'm a witch and proud of it. Thanks for all the links, food for thought! :)

  • HarleySB

    It looks like Pagan Soccer Mom is in first! Great job! Nameste!

    • grimmorrigan

      She is an still ahead by a few hundred votes.

  • jaundicedi

    Vote for the two Muslim women too. I'm sure they are feeling the same pressure.

  • Pitch313

    I'm thinking that if the Neo-Pagan movement had not been as successful as it has, there wouldn't be all that many folks who find the term "Pagan" such an inadequate descriptor of their spiritualities and world views.

    Myself, I am fine with "Pagan."

    • JoHanna M. White

      I find it easier to say I'm Pagan, than to explain my personal mixture of Animism, Erisian magick and faery faith.

  • http://www.magickal-media.com A.C. Fisher Aldag

    Wow, look at all the Pagan Mom blogs, that is wonderful! Mrs. B. is awesome… yet it's good to see so many. Nice to see tolerant Christian Moms and Muslim Moms, too… slice of apple pie.

    About the religious labels: We have found more acceptance in the greater community with identifying with ethnicity, rather than the P-word. Yet the majority of folks find "Indigenous European Nature Spirituality" too darn hard to pronounce, and well, it sounds rather pretentious. "Earth-based Religion" is good. Yeah. I'll stick with that.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    "The real fear of the faithful is that when religions are held up to rational scrutiny each is as irrational as the next."

    Makes me wish this guy was an American.

  • Delphi01

    I am a big fan of Mrs. B on Confessions of a Pagan Soccormom and have been voting for her since the beginning. Good work and Good luck on the continuing contest!!

  • http://norsealchemist.blogspot.com NorseAlchemist

    I've long considered the whole rational/irrational real/illusion thing with religion. What I've finally come up with (for me, at least) is this: Who cares if it's an irrational illusion, if it makes me feel good.

    Is it rational to worship and walk with a bunch of gods and goddesses who supposedly were crushed by an all powerful middle eastern deity who's going to send us all to hell for not bowing and scraping? Hel no it's not rational, but I don't care.

    Is it rational to believe in gods and fairies and all manner of creature and spirit, when modern science says they're nothing but make believe? Hel no, but I don't care.

    Is it rational to dream of glory and honor in a world where such concepts are out dated, and worthless in a 9-5 grind-work economy, where war is frowned upon and being confrontational will get you outcast and even sued at best? Hel no, but I don't care.

    I don't care if I'm irrational in my beliefs. I don't care if they're all just an illusion of a messed up man with dreams of being a Viking like his ancestors. Call me crazy, call me Insane, call me a fool, but if it's what gets me up in the morn to actually live in the world rather than exist, then i say the joke is on all those rational realists! :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lady-Whitewolf/1836979601 Lady Whitewolf

    I just voted for Mrs. B. What a wonderful person she is. Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom is awesome. Good luck on the contest. Blessed Be and have a magickal day.

  • JoHanna M. White

    We're really excited about the http://genderandpaganismconference.eventbrite.com… which is shaping into an amazing event. It grew out of the gender controversy at Pantheacon and we needed to give all those issues a bigger chance to dialog and discuss.

  • river

    I just went and voted for all the pagan moms for the second day in a row. They are making a good showing!

  • lynn

    I recently weighed in on this topic on my own blog a couple of weeks ago. I don't mind the word pagan to describe who I am but I refuse to capitalize it:
    http://www.blackpagan.com/

  • http://pagancollegestudent.blogspot.com WarriorPrincessDanu

    Just checked in one the mom blogs contest. Mrs. B is number one!

  • lynn

    Sorry, that should have been: http://www.blackpagan.com/2011/05/pagan-or-pagan….

  • Ursyl

    Cool blog.

  • Ursyl

    Wonderful!!!

    Shame on the "Christian" blogger who posted such hatefulness, (how dare Pagan moms think of themselves as having a faith!) but look what she started! LOL

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    lynn, thanks for the URL. I went to it and read it.

    You implicitly described European-derived Paganism (or, as you would have it, paganism) as "Eurocentric." My understanding of that word is of an unwarranted European dominance. It does not apply to European-derived P/paganism, that being an attempt to revive and valorize what Eurocentrism first rolled over and oppressed and tried extinguish, before being imposed on the rest of the world. IMHO.

  • Nick_Ritter

    I don't think one needs to go as far as that, nor does religion need to be an exercise in anti-rationality.

    The empiricist position that religion is irrational is based upon a supposition that it is irrational to believe in anything not directly tangible, but this leaves aside the very real *feelings* of contact with divinity that many people have, and is therefore a kind of mobile goalpost, in my opinion. Another critique against the irrationality of religion is that it is irrational to believe that anything is irreducibly inexplicable; that is to say, assuming as I do that gods are really gods (that is that gods are not reducible to anything else that is more easily explained).

    In fact, though, I think it is quite rational to think that some things are inexplicable if, in fact, they are. It is rational to think that the being of the gods is not explicable if, in fact, it is not. I would even go further and say that it is rational to think that rationality itself is limited, albeit a useful tool of thought, if it in fact is limited.

    I think you might enjoy and be edified by Collin Cleary's essay "Knowing the Gods" from volume 1 of TYR.

  • http://badocelot.com badocelot

    As a neopragmatist, I sort of vote for both of your responses. NorseAlchemist is right because no one has found a argument showing that religious belief is irrational that wouldn't apply equally well to belief in objective values. But if there are no objective values, then rationality is not an objective value, either. Faced with nihilism or an enjoyable life, I take the latter, too.

    But you're right that we don't need to go that far, because the traditional worries about the rationality of religion aren't coherent, anyway. Empiricist epistemology in particular collapses once you remove its three dogmas (Quine's two and Davidson's third).

  • lynn

    You make a good distinction about the different shades of the meaning of 'Eurocentric.' That's not really a meaning of the word that I'm familiar with; we black folks tend to use it as "European-focused" which may or may not include the implication of dominance, and Merriam-Webster seems to agree with me:

    "Eurocentric: centered on Europe or the Europeans; especially : reflecting a tendency to interpret the world in terms of western and especially European or Anglo-American values and experiences"

    Paganism capital P is a phenomenon very often framed as being purely a revival of pre-Christian religions as they were practiced in Europe. I'm sure you can understand how people whose practices lie outside those traditions would have trouble identifying with that title.

    This reminds me of the endless argument about the definition of the word 'racism.' Is it a synonym for mere prejudice or does it also have to take into account systemic, institutional oppression as well. But thanks for weighing in.

  • lynn

    Thanks! Just getting it going but so far it's been a lot of fun. Ya'll come back again now ya hear. :-)

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

    lynn: "Paganism capital P is a phenomenon very often framed as being purely a revival of pre-Christian religions as they were practiced in Europe."

    That is not really accurate. Many Pagans emphasize the African and Asian connections that modern Paganism has. And ancient Pagans did not consider themselves "European" in the modern sense at all. In fact, the modern concept of "Europe" is intimately and inextricably tied up with the birth of Western Christendom in the 8th century AD.

  • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com kauko

    "In fact, the modern concept of "Europe" is intimately and inextricably tied up with the birth of Western Christendom in the 8th century AD."

    This. I've had the very same thought many times, that the whole idea of Europe as separate from Asia and North Africa is completely the result of Christianity and would have been unknown to pre-Christian peoples.

  • lynn

    >>Apeleius: Many Pagans emphasize the African and Asian connections that modern Paganism has <<</i>

    That has not been experience at all and I can tell you that the majority of other pagans of color I know feel the same way as me. Blackwitch, a longtime pagan who blogs at http://thisblackwitch.wordpress.com/, just posted about this very issue yesterday. The emphasis is usually on Celtic, Asatru, Hellenic, Strega, etc.

    As an example of this, here's Star Foster on an NBC news show answering, for a national audience, Jane Hanson's question, "What exactly is a pagan?"

    STAR FOSTER: "I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT PAGANS ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE REVIVING AND RECONSTRUCTING THE NATIVE RELIGIONS OF EUROPE, FOR THE MOST PART."

    (Sorry to shout, I just wanted to emphasize that quote and wasn't sure how to bold it."

    This clip is at: http://www.patheos.com/community/paganportal/2011… around 1:32

    Of course, this definition of paganism has come about because the majority of people who self-identify as Pagans are people whose ancestries hail from those regions which are now a part of Europe (regardless of what ancient peoples actually called those geographical areas themselves).

    And that's fine. More power to them. I'm all for people labeling themselves in whatever way seems authentic to them. And I don't mean to disparage Star, who's doing a fantastic job over at patheos.com, for identifying the pagan "movement" in this way.

    I just point out such thing in an effort to explain WHY those of us whose practices don't encompass the aforementioned traditions might be a little uncomfortable including ourselves in that definition of paganism.

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

    When people claim that either ancient or modern Paganism are "European" they are simply wrong.

    Christianity is the religion most closely associated with Europe and Europeans. It is a really, truly bad idea for modern Pagans to continue to promote the ridiculous and obscene notion that Paganism is an "ethnic" religion specifically for white people.

  • Ingus

    Reconstructionisms (Hellenism, Heathenism, Rodnovery, Romuva, etc) are primarily ethnic-indigenous religions. The only Pagan religions which are not ethnic are Wicca and Stregheria; they're universal but they're based on European Ethnic Religions.

    Paganism is definitely "the Ethnic Religions of Europe".
    http://parliament.pagannewswirecollective.com/200

  • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com kauko

    So people using a reconstructionist methodology toward, let's say, Egyptian, Canaanite, Babylonian paganisms are 'the Ethnic Religions of Europe'?

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

    Ingus: "Reconstructionisms (Hellenism, Heathenism, Rodnovery, Romuva, etc) are primarily ethnic-indigenous religions."

    Hellenism is not European. The two largest Greek speaking cities in the ancient world, which were also the second and third largest cities in the entire world at the time, were Antioch (in Asia) and Alexandria (in Africa). Hellenes worshipped Cybele and Isis, and the Athenians in particular were famous for their xenophilic and cosmopolitan tastes in religion.

    Heathenism is very strongly colored, so to speak, by Asiatic influences, especially classical "Siberian" Shamanism.

    One of the most important characteristics of Romuva is the degree to which it preserves ancient Indo-European traits that it shares very strongly with Hinduism.

    And you didn't mention the Romans, who also figure prominently in modern day "reconstructionism". The founding mythology of the Roman people proudly proclaimed them to be a nation born out of the merger of an Asiatic people, the Trojans, and a European people, the Latins who lived along the Tiber. The Romans were even more eager than the Athenians when it came to adopting "foreign" religions as their own.

    Too often, modern would-be "reconstructionists" anachronistically impose 18th and 19th century notions of nation and race (masquerading as "ethnicity") on ancient Paganism, where these ideas have no place.

  • Ingus

    The religions of the Near East can be considered Pagan since they have had a common history and cultural exchanges with European-proper religions since remote times.

  • http://kauko-niskala.blogspot.com kauko

    In a technical sense, if there were such a thing as indigenous 'European' religions it would be the religious beliefs of the first humans to inhabit what we now call Europe. Groups like the Indo-Europeans and Finno-Ugric people didn't arrive until much later, and both of them likely came from what we would now call Asia. Genetic testing among Finno-Ugric peoples strongly indicate a Siberian/North Asian origin and of course the place of origin of Indo-European peoples has long been a subject of debate. The religions of all the peoples throughout the Eurasian continent and north Africa (and beyond) have historically been so intertwined and influenced each other so much that any reconstructionist claiming to limit there focus on some concept of a single 'ethnicity' to the exclusion of any 'foreign' influence, as you point out, owes more of their ideology to modern racist psuedo-science than to the actual religious lives of ancient peoples.

  • Ingus

    I already said that the Near Eastern religions can be considered Pagan. As for Romuva, yes it has exchanges with Hinduism as other Pagan religions which have a common root with Hinduism in Indo-European culture, but this doesn't make Hinduism Pagan or European.

  • Ingus

    Maybe you Americans cannot understand the "ethnic" discourse in your multi-multi society, but here in EUROPE Reconstructionistic Pagan religions have a cultural and ethnic nature, and you cannot impose your dispersive definition of "Paganism" here in Europe too.