Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  October 8, 2011 — 58 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.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • That whole cross thing in Utah is so weird. I see those all the time when we are at our home in Utah & I have always thought it was mysterious why they chose a cross when the LDS church does not generally approve of using such symbols. I have to assume that most of the fallen troopers have been LDS, so why wouldn’t they come up w/something else? Calling them “secular” must be a way of getting around the prohibition on symbols & idolatry. Still, bizarre.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    ‘In related Values Voters Summit news, they have a simple message to attendees: “Don’t be the weird one.”’

    Too late.

  • Anonymous

    “The group says this is the first dedicated, group-owned, public heathen Hof (temple building) in North America.”

    Really? I would have thought that that was Gladsheim Hof in Columbia, Maryland.

    • dang. beat me to it. gladsheim is even listed in the wikipedia entry for “Heathen Hofs“.

    • Cara

      What I have been unable to establish is if the Gladsheim Hof is owned by an individual who allows the group to use it full time – or if the Kindred there own it as a group. Also, if it is open to the public, or if it is private.

      • Anonymous

        My understanding was that it was public, which I assume is why they post a schedule of events and directions to the hof on their web site. I am not aware of the particulars of how it is owned, but in any case it seems the important point in this context hardly has to do with whose or what’s name is on a deed and more to do with the idea of a building dedicated exclusively to the heathen religious functions being open to the public.

  • kenneth

    The whole attempt to spin religious symbols as secular is clever legal strategy, but it’s ended what respect I had for evangelicals. They don’t even have the courage of their convictions anymore. They deny their own god just for the sake of a chance to slip state religion under the tent flap…..

  • I have friends who are down at Westlake Center right now who are actually helping facilitate Occupy Seattle. I have a friend in the NYC police department who is currently assigned to crowd control at Occupy Wall Street who is doing her best to side with the occupiers while trying to avoid losing her job for it. There are people who have been staying out in the rain or foul weather with minimal shelter, people who are being pepper sprayed, people who are being beaten and arrested because they are putting their bodies on the line to speak up.

    All I did was show up and carry a sign on a march. It’s really not that much, Jason. It’s the bare minimum of what anyone could do.

    • You showed up in solidarity with everyone who marched. You did what you could, and that is admirable to me.

      • Thank you. I never feel like it’s enough.

        • Can someone tell me what the explicit goals of these occupy groups are? I’m getting conflicting reports and wish to make an informed decision about where I stand on this.

          • The major themes that I see emerging from the movement tend to be these:

            End of corporate personhood — corporations should not be legally regarded as persons with all the rights and none of the responsibilities of human beings.

            Access to jobs that pay a living wage.

            Access to affordable health care.

            Environmental justice.

            An end to racism, sexism, and other oppressions.

            You can see a lot of what people are frustrated about and the situations they’re dealing with in their own words here:


          • What is their concrete, step-by-step plan to create these situations, Erynn?

            How will they end corporate person-hood without ending the functionality of a board of directors, public purchase of stocks, and indemnification in the event of a frivolous lawsuit?

            How will they provide access to jobs that pay a living wage? Will someone invent something, incorporate, sell stock and pay wages to workers to produce it… as now, or do they have something better in mind?

            How will people get access to affordable health care? Will people work, earn wages, buy insurance, or will there be more “nanny” plans, where taxpayers will be expected to provide everyone with all their health needs, and wants?

            All of these ideas sound laudable. Not to many of them seem plausible without a realistic workable plan. I really don’t think that carrying placards and shouting slogans is equivocal with creating a viable plan.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Alice, Occupy Wall Street doesn’t need step-by-step plans any more than the Tea Party did. What OWS needs is to be adopted by the Democratic Party the way the TP was adopted by the GOP. The Dems have plenty of plans that rectify the current economic situation through tapping into the top 1%.

            This appears to be happening. I got a petition solicitation email from the Dems to send encouragement to OWS. I did so, not so much to boost OWS but to encourage the Dems to keep this up.

            The AFL-CIO is also interested in OWS. Their president showed up and was interviewed, according to the daily paper I read and the daily news show I watch.

            OWS is enough like the Sixties to induce nostalgia — currently leaderless and thus a bit rudderless, but imbued with a lot of energy.

          • Don

            Baruch, the last thing OWS needs is to be adopted by the Dems. Did we recall what happened to the TP when it was adopted by the GOP? It was a disaster for them.

            If the OWS is to have any success, then it must remain opposed to the establishment.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Don, the Tea Party would have drifted to the back pages and into the memory hole by now if it hadn’t been adopted by the Republican Party. Their “disaster” consisted in having their ideas actually influence legislation (or deliberate lack thereof). I regard the result as a disaster for the GOP but I doubt that’s what you meant.

            What the Democratic Party needs is passion from places on the left of Obama. Occupy Wall Street has the passion and at least its center of gravity is to Obama’s left.

            Of course OWS might organize itself and field its own candidates. That’s a formula for Republican victories, as I learned from my own decades-past voting behavior.

          • Alice — The exact, concrete, step-by-step plan isn’t what this is about. Pointing out the problems is important right now. If lawmakers are intelligent about this, they will step up with proposals for actual solutions. The government, when it has not been actively serving the interests that have created these problems, is in desperate denial that the problems even exist.

            This is not our parents’ protests. This is something being organized and dealt with very differently.

          • Further information about goals and methods of the occupy movement are examined here: http://www.rushkoff.com/blog/2011/10/5/think-occupy-wall-st-is-a-phase-you-dont-get-it.html

        • Lwfiedler

          Yes! More information on this please!

          • Check my reply to Norse Alchemist, above.

  • “An Australian wedding ends in a local Witch being attacked by her drunken neighbor (who was also the bride).”

    Err… not here, mate. Much as I hate to spoil the image of Australia as the place where all the weird pagan stories originate, the wedding in question was in Yorkshire, England, as following the links reveals.

  • The Bony Man

    “Jesus Ween” just sounds vulgar to me…

  • fyreflye

    Thanks for the story about Aldous Tyler. As one unprepared to vote for either set of sellouts in the coming Presidential election I was desperately hoping to find a third choice I could support and will write Mr Tyler in on my ballot in the Democratic (that’s with a capital D, PNC Minnesota) primary and the general election and I urge all politically disaffected pagans do the same. We need a polyamorist in the White House.

    • I’d still say go for Ron Paul. Yes, he’s a christian, but he’s a libertarian who has never sold out in his political history that I know of, and from everything I know, would leave us Pagans alone and respect our rights.

      • Jack

        “The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life. The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation’s history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government. This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people’s allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before putting their faith in the state. Knowing this, the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation’s Christian heritage. Christmas itself may soon be a casualty of that war.” Ron Paul

        In my mind he’s disqualified for President on the basis of being unable to uphold the oath to protect the Constitution. Why would I accuse a man so seemingly committed to the Constitution of being unable to protect it? To anyone who has read it the answer is obvious: no where in the Constitution does it mention “God”. Not once. Furthermore if he’s unwilling or unable to realize that freedom of religion means all religions than he’s a man who should never have held public office. Period. If you truly believe that he will protect your interests, or at least leave you alone, then by all means vote for him. But he’s not qualified and you’re not doing yourself any favors by putting a man who doesn’t understand the Constitution into the highest office in the nation. Oh, and he has less chance to win the Republican nomination than Aldous Tyler has to win the Democratic nomination, whoever that guy is. Just sayin’

        • I think the god part might be in relation to the Declaration. Not sure, just a guess. That said both you and he are allowed your views. However, as much as you may feel he is disqualified, he is certainly the friendliest that I’ve seen in the Republican party, and personally I haven’t seen much in the way of Pagan Friendly behavior from the Bringer of Change, Obama himself. So I can guess who you’re going to vote for, but in the above quote from Ron Paul, however christian and religious it might be, I saw more willingness to work in terms of interfaith tolerance and cooperation than I’ve ever heard in all of Obama’s pretty little speeches.

          The Alchemist Abides.

          • Jack

            I’ll grant you that he might be the friendliest among the Republican candidates with any hope at all but that’s not saying much considering who he’s sharing the field with.

            As for Obama: I didn’t vote for him and I don’t intend to start during the next election cycle.

            When it comes to Paul’s interfaith credentials I think the best we can hope for is to be ignored which seems to be his approach. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on him to be actively tolerant and/or cooperative though.

          • Idk, the man says he’ll legalize pot and get us out of our wars in the middle east, something tells me he’s likely to ignore us and leave us be. The man’s not even a rep, I think this is the first time I’ve seen him on that ticket, normally he’s third party.

    • Jack

      “We need a polyamorist in the White House.”

      That’s an interesting selection criteria for President. Personally I’m going to go with someone qualified regardless of the details of their personal life but maybe I’m just old fashioned that way.

      Oh and in case anyone is interested in who I imagine to be qualified I’ll leave it simply at this: I don’t expect to be voting. Period.

  • Daniel Kestral

    When I hear “Jesus Ween,” which is supposed to emulate “Jesus Win,” I get a distinct image of indecent exposure. Not the way I want to picture the Christian Lord.

    However, I often wonder what all this underlying, latent and manifest desire to Jesusfy Halloween is all about. For one, I know the Pagan history is vulgar to Evangelical spiritual sensibilities, but I often wonder, too, about the Catholic connection–if part of this is also a reaction against the Catholic veneer of the Pagan Holiday of ancient Celtdom…that if, perhaps, the fact the Catholic Church adopted Samhain themes, and be meeting Pagans “halfway,” so to speak, Evangelicals see All Hallow’s Eve, Soul’s Day, Saint’s Day as abominations to their Christian interpretations. Is it a hatred for both Pagan and Catholic spiritual practices?

    • Jack Heron

      I think there’s probably a component of that, yes. It’s often said that the greatest ire is reserved for those who almost, but not quite, agree with us. There’s also a fear among certain Evangelicals that Catholicism is a particular evil because it provides a Christian veneer for pagan ideas – that is, it’s paganism masquerading as Christianity and hence more dangerous than self-confessed paganism.

    • Fvrnite

      Part of it may be intolerance, yes, but I think some of it is trying to alter the festival to make it ” acceptible” for their children to participate in. To them the various Halloween things are all ” occultic” and therefore evil traps of their Satan, so they basically neuter the holiday for the sake of their children, who might rightly feel cheated because of their parents.

  • guest

    those chick tracts are really messed up

    • Merofled Ing

      “Some tracts are designed for young children, while others are better suited for older kids and teens. Chick tracts are $.16 each or $4.00 per package of 25. (Discounts begin at quantities of 1,000 or more.)” Who could resist such an offer!
      While I would not recommend handing them out to children (that probably violates some protection of minors laws, or so it should) – do check them out. I first wanted to post excerpts, but that might contravene copyright laws (and so it shouldn’t), so I won’t. My favourite comic is “Night of the Walking Dead”, recommended for older children. Pay attention to Aunt Emily’s eyes when she tells “Danny, Honey” about God warning him in his dream! And please note the arrow when Jesus goes to the world to save it. I love the arrow. Evangelical science probably means you need one to find ”Earth“. Starship ahoy! And you can learn a lot about Zombies, that’s us, and (nearly) everybody else.

      • Anonymous

        We had those tracts in the house when I was growing up. “This Is Your Life” is exactly the same as it was in 1977. Still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

        I think my favorite part of the website is where they say “If the Lord Jesus knew that one night each year a steady stream of unsaved children would come to His door asking for a treat…” So are they saying he doesn’t? You’d think he’d be more on top of things.

        • Merofled Ing

          He probably needs some big white arrows to point him …

  • AQ

    Umm…. I thought Gladsheim Kindred’s hof in Maryland was the first, since it was opened about three-plus years ago.

  • Pitch313

    I am actually much more in favor of another alternative-to-customary-holiday–pretty much of an overall secular and Earthly character–CRUST-MAS!

    Crust-Mas celebrates the largesse of the wealthiest 1% through the annual distribution of crusts to some of the remaining 99%. The lucky ones who receive crusts enjoy their meagre caloric addition to their insufficient yearly caloric intake.

    Santa Claus could become involved in the jocular distribution of crusts on a basis of who in the 99% has been most uncomplainingly supportive of the 1%.

    The common salutation could go–“MISERLY CRUST-MAS!”

    • Right, because it is Morally Laudable to steal from people that which they have earned by lawful means. Because Theft is not criminal, but honorable, as long as those you steal from have more than you do.

      I can’t help but wonder, Pitch313, if you will be so eager to sing the praises of the redistribution, when it comes time to harvest from your wallet for those who have less than you.

      • Quite frankly, yes. I would be happy to be a part of that redistribution.

        I live on a veterans disability pension. I’m already redistributing that — in the years I have been living on disability I have offered shelter to at least 15 people, friends and strangers, who have needed a bed for the night, for a few weeks, even for a couple of years while they looked for work or otherwise got their lives back together. I have given rides to friends without vehicles when they needed them. I make donations to various charities every month in the hope of making other people’s lives better and in support of causes I believe in.

        I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with wealthy people being asked to pay their fair share in taxes to make sure that no one is starving to death in the streets, and that we actually have streets to drive on to get to work if one actually has a job. I refuse to sanction “I have mine, screw you” as a philosophy of life.

      • Anonymous

        No it’s much more morally laudable to claim that the people whose industries make greater use of and profit from our communications, energy and transportation infrastructure, whose factories and offices are constructed and staffed by those educated in our public schools and protected by our police and fire services should pay less towards all of those things than the rest of us do. “Taxation is theft!” makes for a nice, emotionally-driven bumper sticker slogan but in actuality without that “theft”, these wealthy parasites wouldn’t be where they are now. Like many people, I am perfectly okay with working, earning my keep and having property that is mine alone. I am not okay with the idea that I must remain silent and not criticize my betters or demand that they pay their fair share to maintain a civilized society when they have used their wealth and their power to rig the game to avoid doing just that. They want all the benefits and none of the costs of society and they’re perfectly fine with wealth redistribution as long as it’s being distributed up. I’ve got a news flash for you: your wallet is all ready being harvested to the tune of billions to feed the wealthy in subsidies and no-bid contracts. They tell us it’s necessary to create jobs, yet we sit at 10% unemployment while they ship jobs overseas and tell us it’s our fault because we stubbornly insist on things like worker safety and an environment that’s not a scorched clear-cut full of stripped bones with a river of poison flowing through it. That they are “lawful”, the actions they engage in, makes them neither moral nor honorable. You’re not even just shaking your fist at the beggar in the gutter while the guy in the suit cleans your wallet out. You’re turning to the man in the suit and thanking him for relieving you of your burden.

      • Anonymous

        Also, perhaps you can tell us what part of “earned by lawful means” this is.

        “From 1999 through 2003, Koch Industries was assessed more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments. In December 1999, a civil jury found that Koch Industries had taken oil it didn’t pay for from federal land by mismeasuring the amount of crude it was extracting. Koch paid a $25 million settlement to the U.S. ”


        These are the kind of people Pitch313 is talking about. Not you, not me, not 99% of the people in this country. The people who do their cheating, bribing, thieving and murdering on a scale far grander than the welfare cheats and petty thieves and gangbangers folks like you usually carp about. You can raise your shield for them to “earn” your crusts if you like but that’s all you’re going to get from them without a fight.

        • You raise interesting points, but tell me, in terms of these 1%…you speak of them as if they were parasites who never did anything but feed upon the populace.

          Yet I wonder…

          Let us look at some of these 1%

          Steve Jobs (may his soul find peace in the afterlife of his choosing) was certainly one of the 1%. Yet I fail to see how he was a parasite upon society. Rather, I think he will go down like Edison as one of the greatest innovators of our time, who certainly has changed the world to an amazing degree. So much of the tech we not take for granted came about because of him and his “parasitic corporation.”

          Bill Gates. Are you viewing this site? It’s likely to be on a computer that runs off of a windows OS. He is also one of the most active philanthropists in the entire world.

          Oprah. Her gifts and philanthropy are legendary.

          Donald Trump, same thing.

          Yes, there have been criminals who embezzled and stole and were parasites. But the vast majority of this supposed 1% that you are complaining about, are also the top philanthropists in the world who give back to their communities, states, nation, and planet. With the money they “parasitically” draw from the world, they often do more to help than the 99% who are “fed upon” by them, many of whom they employ and pay, often well above a “living wage.”

          So you’ll forgive me if I don’t jump head first into demanding that they pay “their fair share.” Because frankly, I’m not sure what a “fair share” is. is it 99% of their income? If it is, what incentive do they have to work and earn money? What incentive do they have to employ millions, in turn creating business for which billions of jobs are created to support? What ability will they have to give back to the community, to give to charities, or to environmental protection?

          You’re words are pretty and passionate…but I do not see rainbows and kittens down that path. I see something far darker, which has played out in places where “fair share” and the like have become the words of nightmares.

          • Anonymous

            You name a handful of people out of the much larger group and some of those, like Trump and Gates, have their share of skeletons in the closet. Their charity would be more laudable if it were not trumpeted often and loudly enough that it seems to be less done for the 99% and more to drown out the rattling. You make it sound as if we’re proposing to take all that they have and turn them out penniless into the streets. You do realize that someone like Gates could be taxed at 50% of his overall worth and still have enough money that he could spend hundreds of millions per day and never exhaust what he’d have left? You keep raising this specter of state communism but that’s not what anyone is asking for. They’re asking for the wealthy to play by the same rules that the rest of us are expected to and not buy their way around them. Not rainbows. Not kittens. A representative democracy the way it was meant to be, not an oligarchy where the dollars of the wealthy mean more than the votes of the people. Liberty and justice for ALL, not just the few that can afford it. And if that means that some pampered would-be American royalty can’t afford their third mega-yacht, too damn bad. They can tighten THEIR belts a bit instead of scolding people whose belts are all ready cinched up against bone.

          • I could easily name more than just a handful. I didn’t because I figured naming the most well known would work, and didn’t have the time last night.

            I suppose we have different views on what is acceptable in charitable practices. Yes, many who give trumpet their gifts. There is a long tradition of boasting of one’s deeds in Western Society, dating all the way back to Pagan times. I see nothing wrong with the wealthy proclaiming all that they give. But I suppose that you are entitled to feel that such is a bad thing.

            I think we also differ on what is a “fair share” in terms of taxes. To me, a “Fair Share” means that everyone contributes equally to society. This is fair. If one man pays 9% of his earnings in taxes, and everyone else pays 9%, that is fare. You say Gates could easily pay 50% in taxes and live well, and this is true, but in order for him to be paying his fair share, by my reckoning that means everyone should pay 50% (all things being equal in fairness) and I don’t think I could live on 50% of what I earn.

            Seeing as you have not given what you think is the definition of a “Fair Share” I have difficulty grasping how your advocacy for insisting the 1% must “pay their fair share” when my understanding of fair play seems to be running counter to your understanding. Now, if you can clarify, please do.

          • N.A. – People keep asking what would be a rich person’s incentive to make money if they’re taxed for 50% of their income. How about this: 50% of their annual income is still way more than any of the rest of us posting here are ever going to make in our entire lifetime.

            Taking 9% of the income of someone making $5,000 a year is a far greater hardship for that person than taking 50% of Bill Gates’s billions.

            Gates and the people like him are never going to have to worry about going hungry, never going to have to worry about going bankrupt to pay medical bills, never going to have to worry about whether or not their heat is going to be turned off in midwinter because they can’t afford the power bill, even if they’re paying a 50% tax rate.

        • Koch and other corporations did not pay their full share of taxes, true. Last year, the Mexican Mafia took in an estimated $250 million dollars in drugs, and paid NO taxes. Nada. They are estimated to have killed more people than American soldiers who’ve died in both wars last year.

          So NO, the ‘bangers” that I carp about did NOT cause fewer murders and less thievery than a small handful of dishonest corporations. And the bangers paid NO taxes or fees for their thievery.

          How about we enforce existing laws, change the tax code, and guard our border? That will fix both problems, thievery from a few dishonest corporations and thievery from thugs.

          • AQ

            Could you provide me with a source for that $250Million figure?

      • And, to set the record straight on who’s paying how much in taxes as percentage of their income: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3505

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      Santa Crust: Bwo-Ho-Ho!

    • Fvrnite

      Otherwise known as ” trickle down economics”. Remember that crap?

  • Pagan Puff Pieces

    Iesuween would work better. Hallowlujah? So much missed opportunity there.

    (But, if you ask me, it’s not that Halloween has a Pagan side, but that it actually moves people without specifically being explicitly Jesus-centered. There’s nothing more evil than something that stirs up emotions and enjoyment for no apparently decent reason)

    • Jack

      Since when does Christianity and/or Jesus have anything to do with stirring up positive emotions and enjoyment in peoples’ lives?

      • Pagan Puff Pieces

        It’s possible! It’s totally possible to have emotions and love of life even WITHOUT all the eccentric non-canon, cultural oddities and Pagan artifacts. It just takes…. training.


        And lots.

        Of training.

        • Jack

          So what you’re saying is it’s just not an inherent part of the state of being Christian, especially as regards the more traditional forms of Christianity. Couldn’t agree more.

  • “Jesus Ween” is a reallllly unfortunate choice of a name for their movemet. Really.

    And re: the bride vs. the witch, in one article the victim of the assault says they’ve never spoken, while in the other it was claimed they had a long-standing feud, which I can’t see how you can have a feud if you’ve never exchanged a single word… ?

    • Crystal Kendrick

      It makes me think of that viral youtube video entitled, “Jesus Take the Wii” for some reason.

  • Crystal Kendrick

    “Jesus take the weeeeen…” Sorry, it’s been in my head since reading this.