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.
- The home of traditional 19th century Irish healer Biddy Early is up for auction. Current property owner Billy Loughnane is hoping that someone with a strong interest in Early will purchase the land, restore her cottage, and preserve it as a tourist spot. Biddy Early is perhaps one of the most famous of the female cunning folk, and her legend has only grown over the years.
- In June a new group blog, Feminism & Religion, launched. The main contributors are all feminist theologians and scholars, and was founded “in the hope that feminist scholars of religion — and all who are interested in these issues — will use this forum to share their ideas, insights, and experiences, so that this community of thinkers will be nurtured as we explore diverse and new directions.” Plenty of posts of interest to Pagans, Goddess worshipers, and feminist theologians to be found.
- Slate’s legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick, referencing a recent 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, explains why you can’t simply vote for sectarian prayers at government meetings: “It doesn’t matter if only 4 percent of the community is expressly excluded by references to a certain deity. It also doesn’t matter if only 1 percent of the community feels that way, or even if only two “hypersensitive” non-Christians object. The Bill of Rights is not subject to popular referendum. That’s why it’s called the Bill of Rights and not, say, American Idol.”
- Scholar danah boyd explains why “Real Names” policies on social networking sites are an abuse of power. She notes that: “people who most heavily rely on pseudonyms in online spaces are those who are most marginalized by systems of power.” Considering the large number of Pagans who operate under pseudonyms on the Internet (and in their day-to-day lives) I can see this becoming an issue for our communities. For more on this check out the “My Name is Me” advocacy site, explaining the number of reasons why individuals should be free to choose their own names on the Internet. More from boyd on “radical transparency.” I’ll be following up on this issue soon.
- Here’s your Pagan facepalm for the weekend: two inebriated Odinists in the UK climbed up the scaffolding surrounding a Christian church, claiming they were holding a protest. “A witness said he heard police telling the pair it would have been a more effective protest had they not been drunk.” The younger of the two protesters refused an offered ladder and jumped down from ten feet, hurting his leg in the process. No one was arrested, and no damage seemed to have been done (except to the one Odinist’s leg).
- Shock Till You Drop interviews writer/director Robin Hardy about “The Wicker Tree,” the themes running through it and its spiritual predecessor “The Wicker Man,” and the upcoming third film “The Wrath of the Gods.” The last film sounds very Wagnerian, and “the gods themselves get sucked into the melee.”
- The perfect storm for sensationalist coverage: A porn star gets busted for animal cruelty by leaving animals he was planning to sacrifice in a Santeria ceremony inside a hot van. Here’s the TMZ version of the same story.
- More on the Hindu America Seva Charities (HASC) first-ever White House conference.
- Starting yesterday, a week of actions are planned to protest the expansion of the Snowbowl ski resort on the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, which includes the pumping of treated wastewater up the mountain to make fake snow. A coalition of local indigenous groups and Tribal Nations see this as a desecration that would be “like putting death on the mountain.” You can read my recent coverage of this issue, here.
- Here at Patheos, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus explains the dangers of one-stop shopping, especially when it comes to religion: “For polytheists, and I would suggest for Pagans more generally, there are no shortcuts. One never gets, in a metaphorical sense, to kill two birds with one stone with one’s daily activities and one’s spiritual life. And, I would argue, this is a very good thing.”
- Also at Patheos, columnist Gus diZerega responds to Christina Oakley Harrington’s talk on Pagan in Britain today, with some thoughts of his own.
That’s it for now! I may not be near a computer for much of today as I’ll be visiting one of Oregon’s sacred sites, so please forgive me if I don’t respond to comments or emails in a timely fashion. Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.