Unleash the Hounds! (Off to the AAR Annual Meeting Edition)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  November 18, 2011 — 66 Comments

Welcome to The Wild Hunt’s semi-regular round-up of news and opinion, unleash the hounds. As you read this I’ll be on my way to San Francisco, California to attend the American Academy of Religion’s Annual Meeting. The AAR is the world’s largest association of academics who research or teach topics related to religion, and their annual meeting has become a vital place to hear about the latest scholarship in the field of Pagan Studies (and just about every other religious and philosophical tradition as well). This year will feature an abundance of Pagan-friendly events, including the Contemporary Pagan Studies Group’s stellar-looking line-up of presentations. I’ll be attending as many Pagan-oriented presentations as I can, and will report back with some initial thoughts, photos, and hopefully some interviews.

In the meantime, here’s some links of note to tide you over!

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.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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

    Syncretism is probably not the right word when it comes to Vodun and Catholicism in Benin (or elsewhere).

    The important thing, though, is not the terminology, but the reality. And the reality is that the two religions are separate and function separately from each other, and there is very little in the way of syncretic inclusions of one in the other. The two religions are also very separate and distinct in terms of their openness to and acceptance of other religions (in fact this is one of the most stark contrasts).

    In 2007 Max Beauvoir (a well known Haitian Houngan) stated: “No, contrarily to what even good scholars have stated, I don’t believe there is any significant Christian-Vodou syncretism or Christian inclusions in the Vodou religion. To the best of my knowledge, I have not found any incorporation of Christian materials in Vodou. Jesus Christ in not a Lwa or Expression of God, meaning an important figure of the 401 divinities of Vodou. I have never seen or heard of someone who had ever been possessed by Jesus Christ, possession being an important characteristic of the religion. Neither has any one been possessed by the father, the son, or the Holy Ghost, meaning by one of the major figures of the Christian faith.”

    That quote is from a Johns Hopkins University publication: Haiti: Understanding Conflict 2007 (see footnote #30).

    • Anonymous

      The only thing with that, Apuleius, is that it is one person’s opinion and experiences – within any un-organized/decentralized religion, there will be those who make their own way, whatever that happens to be.

      • Jack Heron

        And, I would add to that, even within organised religion. With one billion Catholics in the world, many of whom do not listen to the Pope if they can help it, there’s room for all sorts of views and practices. Many of these views and practices are frowned upon by the Church orthodoxy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

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

    What the Pope needs to be working on is practices which are labeled witchcraft which harm children and albinos to gain power to fuel spells, rather than wiping out tribal religions. The latter help to form cohesiveness in African societies. He also needs to speak out against the horrible practice of murdering women and children who are accused of witchcraft. However I’m doubting either is gonna actually happen.

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

      The stories about “horrible practices of murdering women and children who are accused of witchcraft” have to be examined very closely in order to understand what is really going on.

      First of all, the majority of such stories are almost certainly National Enquirer type material. But sometimes even the National Enquirer is right – just ask John Edwards.

      Second of all, there are multiple examples of stories of this type that have appeared in “respectable” media outlets that turn out to be complete rubbish. The “sources” for these stories often later recant everything they have said, and state that they lied because they were given money by the “journalists” who were looking for sensationalistic stories about “child sacrifice”, etc.

      Third of all, the most well documented and widespread examples of violence against people accused of witchcraft in Africa originate from (surprise!) Christians, not practitioners of any form of African Traditional Religions.

      • Anonymous
        • http://www.magickal-media.com Alice C. “A.C.” Fisher Aldag

          A conference was recently held about “witchcraft branding” which means stating that women and children are witches. The writer of this blog attended.
          http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/1521-a-conference-on-witchcraft-branding-spirit-posession-and-safeguarding-african-children.html

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

            One has to be careful about how this issue is “framed”. The problem is not belief in magic and Witchcraft. Believing in magic does not lead to the abuse of children. Believing that magic is evil leads to the abuse of children and other forms of violence.

            Traditional religions in Africa (with no exceptions that I know of) all teach that magic is part of the natural world, and like any other force of nature it can (and should) be used for benefit, but, in the wrong hands, it can be misused to cause harm.

            Christianity teaches that all magical powers (other than those deriving directly from the Holy Spirit) are inherently evil and harmful. This explicitly includes such obviously beneficial forms of magic as divination, healing, finding lost objects, and even protective magic against curses!

            The write-up is written by someone who is actually far more hostile to traditional religious beliefs than he is to Christianity.

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

            I would say that believing “I can get away with criminal activity” is the root of the problem. BTW, some of the people lynching, beating, and burning accused witches are Christians, and some are Muslim, Hindu, or indigenous religions.

          • Jack Heron

            Actually, belief in magic *can* lead to the abuse of children – if one believes that the body parts of certain children have magical properties. This is what Eran_Rathan has been talking about. The Catholic Church is wrong to say that all beliefs and ideas referred to as ‘witchcraft’ are malign, but that does not mean that there are not unpleasant activities associated with certain forms of witchcraft which should be spoken out against (although the Pope is probably not the best figurehead for this).

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

            @Jack: when you point out that there are “unpleasant activities associated with certain forms of witchcraft” that is simply a matter of people abusing spiritual powers to do harm. This has nothing more to do with “Witchcraft” or “magic”, per se, than bomb making has to do with physics and chemistry. Any form of power or knowledge can be abused to do harm to others. This is even true of plain old mathematics. You can use very straightforward mathematics to justify all kinds of monstrous things. This is called “actuarial science”.

            The problem arises when magic (or simply belief in magic) is singled out as the source of violence in African communities. This kind of selectivity reveals that what is really going on is religious bigotry against traditional religions, which see magic as something positive, but which can be abused. (And, to repeat myself, traditional African beliefs accept that such abuse is possible for any forces of nature, not just magical ones. Even a simple rock or a stick can kill. Obviously.)

          • Anonymous

            @Ap:
            “This has nothing more to do with “Witchcraft” or “magic”, per se, than bomb making has to do with physics and chemistry.”

            Yes, it does. The _only reason_ these albinos are being killed and attacked are because of the belief that their body parts have _magical properties_. Really, I don’t think I can make that MORE explicit.

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

            Eran sez: “The _only reason_ these albinos are being killed and attacked are because of the belief that their body parts have _magical properties_.”

            Wrong. If someone has a lot of money, and I want that money, that by itself does not cause me to kill that person to take their money. The belief that it is acceptable to kill someone for their money (or for part of their body or for any other reason) is completely independent of belief in magic. If anything, belief in magic reinforces (1) our sense of connectedness with all living things, and also (2) our sense that the consequences of our actions play out on many “levels”. Both of those realizations (which are closely connected with “magical thinking”) tend to discourage committing acts of violence against any living thing.

          • Anonymous

            Ap –

            The mental disconnect here is truly astounding. The only reason that these people, the albinos, are being attacked, is because certain people believe that their body parts are useful in magic. Period. If that belief was non-existent, they would not be attacked. Ergo, the belief in this particular practice of magic is the reason these people are being attacked. QED.

          • Nemesis

            “Believing that magic is evil leads to the abuse of children and other forms of violence.”

            Believing that human body parts can be used in magic leads to abuse of children and other forms of violence.

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

          The highest concentration of violence against accused witches in Africa (by far) occurs in Nigeria, Angola and DR Congo. These cases (estimated in the thousands or higher) involve children accused of being witches by Pentecostalist preachers and their followers. This situation has been extensively researched and reported on by Save the Children, Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, Mother Jones magazine, and UNICEF. For an overview, including links to all those reports and more, look here:
          Pentecostalism, Spiritual Warfare & The “Witch Children” of Africa.

          Eran, if you knew anything whatsoever about the issue of violence against people accused of Witchcraft in Africa, you would already know about this.

          • Anonymous

            Ap –
            I wasn’t speaking about violence against witches, per se, I was responding that the violence perpetrated against albinos is in general due to the belief that their body parts have magical properties, and their use in some traditional religions, however corrupted – If you knew anything whatsoever about reading comprehension, you might’ve noticed that we weren’t speaking about the same thing.

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

            That is not entirely correct. Ghana is the place where there is the highest amount of violence against accused witches, followed by Jakarta India. Most of the cases are elderly women, although a goodly share of men have been targeted.

            You are absolutely correct about the Pentecostal ministers accusing children of witchcraft in these other countries. It is also deplorable.

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

        Um, no. I’ve been following this issue in reputable newspapers from around the world. There really are people in Africa and India who believe themselves to have sorcerous power, and they really are kidnapping children and albinos and using them for so-called magickal purposes. Just as there are people kidnapping children here for nefarious purposes, mainly sexual. There are also native populations who are murdering, beating, and evicting women and children accused of witchcraft. I get one or two every day on the news feed. Most of them, it seems, are disagreements between neighbors, or someone who wants to inherit granny’s money, yet they are still making accusations of witchcraft and getting away with murder.

        • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

          We should also take into account that many of these accusations and killings of witchcraft and witches might be religiously motivated. Christianity and Islam are both growing in those areas and it is rarely the Pagan natives that kill their “witches”, at least in comparison to the Abrahamic followers from what I’ve read.

          • Nemesis

            Norse Alchemist, re: your comment “it is rarely the pagan natives that kill their ‘witches'”, that may (or may not) be true in Africa, the region dealt with in the original post. However, If you look at India, where witch hunts still occur among an overwhelmingly polytheistic population, you’ll see a different story.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            I will admit I don’t know the situation in India that much beyond the fact that they are getting rather nationalistic about their religion and culture and starting to attack the Christians and Muslims, who have long attacked them.

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

          Have you also been following how these stories tend to implode? Have you followed the story of the photographer who used staged pictures of the corpses of children – corpses that he paid people to dig up? Have you followed the scandal that followed last year’s BBC report about “child sacrifice” in Uganda, when the main witness relied on by the BBC turned out to have been paid, and he admitted that he made it all up?

          Or have you followed the criticisms from anthropologists who have spoken out against the misrepresentation and denigration of traditional religions?

          Let me make it easy for you: no you have not “followed” this story at all. You have uncritically believed the sensationalistic garbage spoon fed to you by the mass media.

          • Nemesis

            Thanks for clearing that up, Apuleius. It’s reassuring to know that the dirty, filthy Christians are behind everything, and that there’s no truth whatsoever to the dozens of stories about people wanting body parts for witchcraft. No true pagan would ever do anything like that.

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

            Yup, I have followed this story. There was just a big conference in the UK with testimony on both sides of the issue.

            Are you denying that any murders, beatings, or evictions have occurred due to accusations of witchcraft? Are you denying that any deranged person has perpetrated crimes because they believe they’re practicing witchcraft?

            Let me make it clear, I am NOT in favor of what the Pope is doing. These folks need education and law enforcement, and it’s not likely to come from Papal edicts. It’d just be really swell if he’d speak about the actual problem, and the actual consequences.

      • Charles Cosimano

        And of course the worst excesses are perpetrated by folks who would consider the Pope to be an Agent of Satan. Not exactly the kind of people who would care very much what the Pope says about anything.

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

          The Catholics are playing catch-up, for sure, but don’t count them out just yet.

          In the real hey-day of witch-hunting, it was the Catholic controlled areas of Europe that saw the most action. Some scholars even resort to referring to “super-hunts” for the worst cases, and these were in areas where Archbishops were literally earthly princes as well.

          The truly frightening part is that these super-hunts were carried out in Germany, where the competition between Protestants and Catholics was very fierce, and the Catholics were, in essence, asserting themselves on the Protestants home turf. (See “Germany’s Superhunts” on pp. 22-29 of “The Period of the Witch Trials” by Angkarloo, Clark and Monter.)

          • Nemesis

            Fear of witches predates Christianity, and actually began with pagans.

            The Code of Hammurabi from circa 1780 B.C. states that “If a man charge a man with sorcery, and cannot prove it, he who is charged with sorcery shall go to the river, into the river he shall throw himself and if the river overcome him, his accuser shall take to himself his house”.

            The Roman Laws of the Twelve Tables states from circa 450 BC that “Anyone who annoys another by means of magic incantations or diabolical arts, and renders him inactive, or ill; or who prepares or administers poison to him, is guilty of a capital crime, and shall be punished with death.”

            There may be other examples.

            Of course, this doesn’t mean that all magical practice was forbidden. However, unless you believe that these people had perfect justice systems, it’s hard to imagine there being no abuses. Pity the accused Babylonians who had to throw themselves into the river.

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

            Nemesis, Pagan societies differentiate between harmful and beneficial magic. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam demonize all magic whatsoever. When the Bible says “thou shall not suffer a Witch to live”, this is explicitly inclusive of magical practitioners who practice healing, divination and other beneficial arts.

            The example you give from Roman law actually states this explicitly: only those who practice harmful magic are considered to be criminals, and they would also be considered criminals if they were bringing about the same harm through non-magical means. So it is not magic itself that is criminalized, but the causing of harm to others.

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

    Most everyone knows that I am skeptical about the “Occupy” movements. Interest rates haven’t fallen one point, bank policies and fees are not being revised one iota. Nobody has received a mortgage revision. Jobs aren’t being created. People are not ceasing to invest their retirement accounts in stock, because, well, investments are a good thing.

    And I feel that the lawlessness, the filth and squalor, and the interference with good people trying to just go to work, nullifies any possible benefit the movement may have originally had.

    This opinion is formed not just from the media interpretation of events, but in hearing from people who live in large cities where protests are ensuing. Protestors defecating and urinating everywhere, including the lobbies of public buildings. Incredible amounts of garbage strewn in streets and parks. Theft from small businesses and street vendors. Beating those same vendors, when they refuse to give handouts to occupiers who do not pay for goods. Protestors spitting on and even assaulting average working people who are merely trying to make their way to their jobs. Not to mention the assaults, rapes, thefts, drug abuse, robberies, child abuse, and even murders that have taken place. Several people have voiced concerns about a potential riot.

    Ms. Coyle, Starhawk and others seem to be looking at this movement through rose-colored glasses, the same way that people in their 50s idealize the hippy movement of the sixties, conveniently forgetting the drug addiction, squalor, welfare dependency, school dropout rate, diseases and general trepitude of that time period. OWS has accomplished nothing, except that while police are distracted in removing trespassers from private land, the crime rates of occupied cities has skyrocketed.

    People who disagree with me have “unfriended” me over this, as it seems that we must be in lockstep agreement with the liberal mindset in order to be considered Pagan. However, I am still reporting both sides of the issue on Magickal Media, both pro-OWS and against, depending on the particular news story. The statements above are MY opinion based on MY observations and from hearing reports from individuals who are actually there.

    • http://twitter.com/ThornCoyle T. Thorn Coyle

      Thanks for your opinion. I certainly would never expect all Pagans to support Occupy. For me, the movement makes sense in the light of the huge economic disparity that people are facing. The Millennials have a right to be upset (as do workers of all generations) with 50% of the graduating college classes of 2010 unable to find work, while simultaneously being saddled with debt because college costs have increased prohibitively in the last decade. This isn’t a ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps like I did’ moment. The deck is too stacked.

      Just a few points for clarification:

      I’m Gen X not a Boomer. I’ve been out at Occupy a lot.

      From my own experiences with Occupy first hand: Our local camps have taken in and fed the homeless populations of the cities, giving haven to people who are otherwise sleeping in doorways.

      Most small businesses in Oakland have either seen increases in business, or no change in business.

      Every time I’ve been at the encampments, there have been well organized clean up crews picking up garbage.

      The land is not private land in most cases, but public land. That is certainly the case in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland.

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

        Tell ya what, please keep us posted about your views on Occupy, and your participation, and I will write about my part in the class-action lawsuit against Chase Bank, and we’ll see if any difference ensues from either endeavor.

        • Crystal Kendrick

          Your pre-programmed to disapprove, Alice, regardless of how non-violent these people are. Watch the live- feeds. They’re enlightening.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            So Crystal, care to explain how Alice is “per-programed” to disapprove of the Occupy movement without doing so in a manner that shows you are “per-programed” to approve it?

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

            Not particularly, I would really like to see non-violent, effective change.

        • Lonespark

          Yes.
          Change takes time, and we need to be pressing on a lot of different fronts.

      • Lonespark

        In a lot of cases it seems parks are private land administered by private companies or public-private partnerships. Still public land, though.

        I would like to see more information on how small local businesses are doing. It would behoove Occupiers to really support them, and I think they are doing that to some extent, but I haven’t seen much reporting on it.

      • henry

        think it’s bad now? wait til next year lol.
        Gen X? 40 years of “buy now pay later”visa gold and platinum mastercards, designer everything….easy credit terms.
        Not just governments, not just banks, but everyone.
        well now, it’s “later” and time to pay.And sure the banks were dastardly, even “Wall Street” despises what they did to the markets.But like Barnum said “there’s a sucker born every minute”.
        Government of the people, by the people, for the people….. interestingly the first republican president said that…
        But if the government went wrong, the ‘People’ are just as accountable for letting it happen.
        “May you live in interesting times” lol

    • BlackCat

      Whoa, hold on a minute there. I have heard people against the Occupy movement say that rape has occurred in the encampments, but never have I never heard anyone say that more than one murder has been committed. Could you please link me to where you got this information? ‘Cause I remember a person dying near an encampment, but they were not involved with the movement and neither had they been murdered. (You would think all the first-hand bloggers and anti-Occupy news organizations would be all over such a story, but alas, I have seen not a peep about murder… or rape for that matter.)

      • Harmonyfb

        The only death I’ve heard about is the one where a protester got hit by a car. Hardly an indictment of the entire movement, there.

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

          Please read the list of news articles above. This came out several days back. There may’ve been more crimes since.

    • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

      Not to mention the increasing violence that started just yesterday all across the country. It seems that Occupy has gone from “Let’s occupy the parks” to “Let’s occupy where ever we please, and damn your laws that say otherwise.”

      Indeed, while the media has covered the large scale violence, they do tend to be hiding the personal violence. I saw a couple clips recorded at various sites (one of which had Danny Glover of all people, screaming about taking back and the revolution and stuff. And here I thought he was too old for this shit :P). A lot of the language of their speakers is growing more violent and radical, at least in tone, and having sat through a fair number of vids in my history classes, I can tell you they sound depressingly like the rhetoric of many a revolutionary around the world who later went on to create blood baths.

      @Coyle, your occupy things might be different from the others then, but @Alice is not mistaken in how many of the Occupy movements have been acting.

      I wonder if we are approaching (or have reached) the sparking point where all of this turns.

      • Harmonyfb

        It seems that Occupy has gone from “Let’s occupy the parks” to “Let’s occupy where ever we please, and damn your laws that say otherwise.”

        I believe that any public space qualifies, and as long as it is peaceable, it should be permitted as per the Constitution. The right of the people to peacefully assemble and seek redress of grievances are Constitutional rights, after all.

        • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

          Fair enough, but if the news reports are to be believed, they are starting to not be as peaceful. Also, they have been blocking roads and bridges in an attempt to halt traffic to certain areas, which I find a debatable tactic. I’ve also heard that some members of the movement have been harassing normal people who were just going to their jobs, so again, questionable.

  • Mia

    Asatru, sure, know the lore. But heathenry, no, it’s not all about the lore. A better place to start would be to get to know where you come from; i.e. your family and your background. No Germanic/religious requirement necessary. Save the lore for when you better understand the context in which the lore was created and you can weed out the unnecessary or misunderstood concepts within them.

    • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

      I don’t think you can really separate it. One needs the lore to know the gods. One needs the sagas to know the people. Knowing one’s history and family is vital, but no more or less than knowing the history and ways of our ancient kin and godkin.

      • Mia

        Why on earth would I need to know the gods of people I am not related to? Iceland and Scandinavia has no connection to me. I am of Austrian and Hungarian descent, my “ancestral gods” are mostly unknown and do not appear in a pantheon list. MAYBE a few are manifesting as current cultural symbols and whatever remnants we have left in literature and folklore. As for the people, Central Europe’s been a home for humans for many millenniums, and there’s no nice, neat list of sagas to describe them all.

        And furthermore, why would I need to know the gods period? They certainly do not need to know me and I highly doubt they do know me. If there’s anyone who actually cares about my welfare or what I do, it’ll be my ancestors and maybe the local wights, not gods in a far-away land. The only time I would be honoring those gods would be like my ancestors did, which is within a community/group setting.

        My heathenry is culturally and historically motivated. I do not need to know “the gods” in order to be heathen any more than I need to be purely Germanic or any other nonsense associated with heathenry.

        Obviously gods are important to some people, but that is why I said save it for later when one has a better understanding of the context surrounding the stories. Meaning it should not be the first thing to focus on in order to be heathen. When people do that before getting rid of their Christian worldview, like so many unfortunately do, then misconceptions occur. They think that they need to have one of the gods be their patron, or they treat the lore as a sacred text akin to the Bible.

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

          “If there’s anyone who actually cares about my welfare or what I do, it’ll be my ancestors and maybe the local wights, not gods in a far-away land.”

          This tends to be the idea in my practice as well (and most Finnish Pagans I’ve encountered). Maybe it’s a Finno-Ugric thing vs. an Indo-European thing since the latter seems to be more deity focused than the former.

          • Mia

            Maybe. Personally, I think it’s the Christian, Classical Greek and Roman influence on modern paganism though. It makes sense, given how widely available the texts are from them, but it can mean some misunderstanding of other cultures as a result.

      • Mia

        My earlier response was rather rambly, my apologies.

        The point I’m trying to make is that heathenry is about what you do, not what or who you believe in. In pre-Christian times it was just a given that you’d worship whom or whatever with your family and community, you didn’t have to KNOW the one you’re worshiping in order to do so. It was just a part of the culture they lived in.

        So I disagreed with the idea of getting to know the lore first, and instead advocated getting to know the peoples/ancestors and their worldviews first.

        • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

          Well, that’s like your opinion, man.

          And honestly it came across as rather hateful. :P

          I didn’t say know the lore first. I intended it to be learn the lore at the same time you’re learning all the other stuff. Now, you’re free to practice your Heathenism the way you please, but please do not insist that other forms of Heathenism aren’t just as right as yours because they put more of an emphasis on the Gods. As for why I think it is important to know the Gods, it is because they are our kin, as much as our grandparents or their grandparents or so forth, because if you read the lore, you find out that not only did they create mortals, they interbred with us, thus tying the bloodlines.

          Now, as for Scandinavia having nothing to do with you, you’re free to figure that way if you like. But to my knowledge the Austrians and the Hungarians were from Teutonic people, of which the Germans, Saxons, Angles, Norse, and several others were also part. We shared a very similar language, culture, and belief system. So I don’t see a reason to be all exclusive and what not.

          The culture is important. The Ancestors are important. Pure blood lines are not important. But the gods are also important, at least by my thinking. Now, I don’t know why you seem all angry and what not about that, and you’re free to do as you please, just be aware and don’t let that hostility guide you.

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

            The Hungarian language is in the Finno-Ugric language family and not Germanic (or even Indo-European).

          • Mia

            I wasn’t angry, but I was irritated at yet another example of someone considering the lore/saga/etc. to be all encompassing for heathenry, when they don’t actually always apply. Only for certain purposes might the lore actually be a NEED.

            As for not being connected to Scandinavia and Iceland, Austrian and Hungarian lands have been settled by humans since the Neanderthals’ times. There have been migrations through or to Central Europe, particularly the Pannonion plain, since then, and the Germanics didn’t come down until late in antiquity. So there’s quite a lot of absorption and cross-cultural influences that are not Germanic.

            There are similarities, of course, but the similarities are not going to make the eddas and sagas useful. Those were made in and for particular Germanic cultures, not all of them.

            Also, if you read my post, then you’ll see that I didn’t not insist that other forms of heathenry are not as right as mine. I made no references to any other forms of heathenry, actually. I referred instead to worldviews and context.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            Okay, well I don’t think you fully read my comment, because I said they were all equally important, not that the lore was a be all end all.

          • Mia

            NA, you used the terms “need” and “vital” in your initial response.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            right, to the same level that the history and cultures re needed and vital

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

    This is for whomever asked me about articles pertaining to crime at OWS. There are many, many news articles online. Google: “crime” + “Occupy Wall Street”. Here are a few:

    From the uber-liberal “Huff Po” from a few days ago: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/occupy-wall-street-security_n_1069597.html Telling quote: “There have been multiple incidents of assault, drug dealing and drug use, rape and attempted rape, according to conversations with numerous protesters. And the problem, they say, is getting worse.

    “In the past several weeks, the cluster of tents at the west end of the park — the farthest section from the bustle of working groups and activity near Broadway — has grown increasingly dangerous, many say. The sanitation team has reported finding needles in tents, and reports of crack and crystal meth use have surfaced. But the most serious concern most protesters say, is the risk of assault, especially for women and at night.”

    There have been four suspicious deaths besides the shooting in Oakland. One was a heroin overdose, the rest are as yet unsolved. Here is one article about that topic from NBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45258539/ns/us_news-life/#.Tsayrlbn_8k

    A New York Post reporter called it “Anarchy” and noted how a protestor assaulted a fast food worker: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/my_in_tents_night_amid_anarchy_of_ush5s5NscUZincUN0tF0yO

    There have been so many sexual assaults, the NYC chapter had to set up a women only tent, and the mayor thought it was deplorable that these crimes were not being reported, but “handled from within”. http://abcnews.go.com/US/sexual-assaults-occupy-wall-street-camps/story?id=14873014#.TsUEcICfBh0

    Medical personnel, including ambulance crews, were not allowed to go through the crowd after some assaults in NYC, and police officers were assaulted when they tried to get the crowd to disburse. http://news.yahoo.com/occupy-wall-street-consumed-crime-wave-194500180.html Yahoo news, so take it with a grain of salt. In the NY Daily News, this girl puts herself at risk, then acts like it’s the cops’ fault she was assaulted by one of the hobos. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/occupy-wall-street-protesters-odds-mayor-bloomberg-nypd-crime-zuccotti-park-article-1.971741

    One article about the crime wave from a business magazine: http://www.businessinsider.com/truth-about-crime-at-occupy-wall-street-2011-11 One from the very liberal NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/nyregion/at-occupy-wall-street-protest-rising-concern-about-crime.html and one from the Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/AP4ef2a04f0cba48ffb6bab5c27a599ea7.html

    A protestor was arrested recently after making a threat of terrorism: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/zuccotti-park-protester-nkrumah-tinsley-arrested-threatening-burn-city-article-1.978770

    This is in addition to reports I am hearing from friends, family members and police officers about robberies, assaults, thefts, drug activity and vandalism, not to mention the unsanitary conditions and spitting on those who actually work for a living.

    • Anonymous

      I “actually work for a living.”. Sixty hour weeks, most of the time. I have been at as many Occupy events as I can. Never spit or been spit on.

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

      This is really pathetic. It is just a string of transparently propagandistic smears. Is your brain directly connected to Bill O’Reilly’s or something?

      • Anonymous

        Lots of ad hominem lately – your responses have gone downhill fast, man. Lots of stress at work?

      • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

        Uh, AP, kinda hate to burst your bubble, but those are pretty much all “Liberal” News outlets. Certainly the Huffington Post, MSNBC, and ABCNEWs are. I think one of those NY ones is too, but I tend to get my news from alt sources so I have no idea if it’s the times or the post, but one of them is considered highly liberal. The few times I’ve pass O’Reilly while channel surfing, he’s generally been bashing them, so I don’t think you can say that AC is a ditto head or whatever they call themselves these days, when she’s getting her news from the Liberal, not the “Conservative” media.

        Also, AP, I had thought you a man who didn’t denigrate those who didn’t agree with him. You certainly didn’t use to. I wonder what has happened to change you so.

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

          I used all media, and deliberately did not post more conservative papers and shows. The two most conservative was the NY Post and WSJ, which are for balance.

          There is a lot of positive press, too; my question was about crimes, and my response was to posters who flat-out denied there were certain crimes being committed.

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

        Actually, I see some pretty liberal papers in there, NY Times, Huff P. Um, did you actually READ any of these articles, Apuleius? Or are you in denial?

  • http://www.MethAddictions.net Meth adiction

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

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  • Anonymous

    Now all of this assumes there is such a thing as magic, magick,etc.. and that gods exist and act in the world. Can you point to a single undisputed documented intervention of a divine entity into the world? Otherwise we are talking about people’s beliefs which can be twisted and false, see Third Reich, and USSR.