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.
- Was “PaganDASH” a success in Australia? Last year I reported on efforts in Australia and Britain to encourage more accurate census counts of Pagans by asking respondents to use a uniform Pagan-[tradition/faith] format. Now, the preliminary numbers for Australia have been released, and while the total number of adherents to Pagan religions has grown, that growth rate has remained stable since the 2001 census (around 3-4 thousand new adherents every 5 years). That said, some think that results are distorted due to the way the religion question is formatted, and the Australian Human Rights Commission noted “widespread” distrust and “hostility” toward modern Pagans and other minority faith groups in the country, which could also be suppressing the official count. Still, growth is growth, and Paganism in Australia shows no signs of shrinking or fading away. (Thanks to Mark Williams for the heads up!)
- Reports from the ongoing Pagan Spirit Gathering festival are being posted over at the PNC-Minnesota site, and it seems like questions over transgender inclusion at women-only rituals has become an issue, just as it had at PantheaCon the past two years. However, the tone seems very different at PSG, perhaps due to how the event is historically run, and the process is ongoing. Peter Dybing urges Pagans not in attendance to let PSG have its process before controversy erupts. We will no doubt be hearing more about this in the weeks to come.
- Pagan author and activist Starhawk has contributed some thoughts on the Summer Solstice at The Washington Post’s On Faith section. Quote: “Today, we’re at a crossroads. We can continue to feed unbridled greed, destroying the fabric of community and the life-support systems of the planet, or we can learn the lessons of the cycle: that we are all interconnected, that for anyone to thrive, we must respect the balance, share the abundance, and protect the web of life that supports us.”
- Yesterday I mentioned the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, and the role played by Grove Harris, a Pagan, in highlighting religious voices for a sustainable future. In a similar theme, Survival International highlights indigenous voices at Rio+20, who note that “we understand sustainability better than anyone.” Quote: “Sonia Guajajara, of the Guajajara tribe, said, ‘We have come here to raise awareness about our fight and to show that this model of development is not realistic… We want to show the world what it really means to live sustainably. Nobody understands sustainability better than indigenous people’.”
- Not to be upstaged by Grant Morrison’s recent MBE honor, writer and practicing magician Alan Moore (“From Hell”, “Promethea”), has announced that he’s writing a series of short “occult, noir-flecked” films, directed by Mitch Jenkins, and debuting at The Creator’s Project event this October. The first, “Acts of Faith,” stars Siobhan Hewlett. In other Alan Moore news, the last installment of his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic was released in Britain (and soon will be in America), and is making quite the splash for some of the references it makes regarding the Moonchild (caution, spoilers!).
- Chas Clifton notes that Archdruid John Michael Greer and the Four Quarters Sanctuary are highlighted in an article on “doom time religion.” Quote: “…there’s nothing touchy-feely about the way Whiddon and his board of elders runs Four Quarters. Full-time residents are required to live under strict rules, including the merging of their finances, in a lifestyle that Whiddon calls monastic and which requires a commitment to an ascetic counter-cultural lifestyle that hearkens back to Whiddon’s other inspirations, the Benedictine brothers and the Buddhist sangha.”
- The latest edition of the Alternative Religions Educational Network (AREN) newsletter ACTION features an interview with John Morehead, editor of “Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and Christian in Dialogue.” and Director of the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. Quote: “I think there’s something of benefit in dialogue for everyone, regardless of one’s religious or irreligious convictions. We all benefit from understanding, accurate representation of the views of another, civility, relationships, tension-reduction, and peacemaking.”
- Photographer Lisa Levart, who produced the book “Goddess on Earth: Portraits of the Divine Feminine,” writes about men and the Divine Feminine for the Huffington Post. Quote: “As we women learn to embrace our power to lead, create a better world and manifest change, the men in our lives are also an integral part of this equation. Fathers, brothers, lovers, husbands and sons; these men are with us on our journeys yet often don’t have the opportunity, emotional freedom or interest to allow themselves the benefit of being informed by a spirituality that practices a balance between the feminine and masculine divine.”
- This Monday is the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling Engel v. Vitale, which prohibited public schools from composing and encouraging the recitation of a “school prayer.” Americans United has an appreciation: “Engle, in fact, established the framework for secular public schools that welcome students of all faiths as well as those who have no religion. These schools can teach about religion in an objective manner, but they’re out of the business of religious indoctrination. Thanks to Engel, our schools must stay focused on teaching, not preaching.”
- The Unitarian-Universalist Association’s General Assembly is underway, and UUWorld has a special page devoted to coverage of the event, including the effort to pass a resolution repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery. Of course, our friends at CUUPs are there, making sure Pagan voices are heard.
- The Bay Area’s TheurgiCon is coming in July!
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!