Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  July 21, 2012 — 13 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.

Design by Jeff Leiboff.

Design by Jeff Leiboff.

Actors portraying Angela Sanford and Joel Levya.

Actors portraying Angela Sanford and Joel Levya.

  • Angela Sanford, a Wiccan who killed Joel Leyva in what some media described as a ritualistic sacrifice, has had a request for a reduced sentence denied. Sanford has been sentenced to 20 years under a plea agreement, her story was recently dramatized on the show Fatal Encounters.
  • The Pagan community has been in the process of having a debate/discussion over the issue of obesity. It started with a post by Peter Dybing, and has been raging ever since. Notable responses have come from Star Foster,  Iris Firemoon, and  Kitsune Yokai at the Fat Pagan blog, with Margot Adler, Crystal Blanton, and Shauna Aura adding their voices in the comments of Peter’s blog. The most recent commentary on the question of health and obesity comes from T. Thorn Coyle: “There is some real dialogue, some hurt feelings, some anger, and some derision. Bottom line is this: we all have ways in which we do not walk our talk. Bottom line is this: we cannot know what another’s life looks like on the inside, by observing it from the outside.” As this conversation  no doubt continues, I hope we can steer clear of judging bodies, and instead focus on building a more supportive community for everyone.
  • At The Revealer, Alex Thurston writes about syncretism in Islam within the context of Mali and the destruction of Sufi shrines. Quote: “The alternative – and the greatest challenge to Ansar al Din’s program – is not to assert Islamists’ hidden love for the things they say they hate, but to assert the reality, the desirability, and the possibility that there is more than one way to be a real Muslim. Timbuktu in 2012 is not Mecca in 630. African Muslims are Muslims, full stop. And the loss of shrines in Timbuktu is a loss not only for world civilization and for locals, but also for Islam.”
  • PNC-Minnesota recently published two interviews, one with M. Macha NightMare, and one with Lady Yeshe Rabbit, who will be appearing at Sacred Harvest Fest. Quote: “I am bringing an open mind. I am interested in learning and sampling from you all the regional flavors of your community. I am bringing my own classes and rituals that I will be leading. One is a project that has been dear to my consciousness, called American Sabbats. It is looking at the secular, bank holidays of this country and their history, and the amount of energy that is generated within them. How the energy of those holidays, which many of us celebrate in addition to our Pagan holidays,  might be channeled toward the greater good of our country. There are many changes needed in our country in order to be healthy. I am curious to go and sample what the opinions and thoughts are of all of you who have a unique experience of America from your vantage point in the Midwest.”
  •  The US Dept. of Justice is supporting Native American inmates in their quest to have a South Dakota ban on using tobacco in religious ceremonies lifted. You can read the DOJ’s supporting brief, here.
  • Nicholas Campion, author of “Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions,” shares an excerpt of his book at HuffPo’s religion section. Quote: “The ancient zodiac signs survive in the modern West because, uniquely, in an age of aggressive consumerism, media-overload and scientific materialism, they encourage people to reflect on themselves and their inner worlds; their hopes, fears and secret motivations. In mass culture, astrology replaces the remote scientific language of relativity and light-years with stories of love and luck. In an era when we are now aware that we live on an insignificant planet on the edge of a minor galaxy, astrology restores each individual to the center of their own cosmos. According to its practitioners it provides a sense of personal meaning and purpose and, sometimes, a guide to action. Both astrology’s advocates and its critics find rare agreement on this point. This has nothing to do with the truth of astrology’s claims, but it does explain its survival in the 21st century.”

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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  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    I’m delighted the President has turned down Rick Warren’s invitation to an inquisition. “Fool me once…”

    • kenneth

      He had nothing at all to gain by such an appearance. It has nothing to do with exploring the nuances of candidate’s positions or leadership qualifications. It’s an ambush for culture war conservatives and an exercise to try to extract a “loyalty oath” to the evangelical agenda. Appearing before such a tribunal hands these fools the power they crave. They want to hold a position equal to the mullahs in Iran where they have the first and last say over everything that goes on in politics or culture. 

      • Daniel SnowKestral

        Huzzah, Kenneth!  Well-said, and true!

    • Nicole Youngman

       Indeed, especially in light of Warren’s tweet that Jason links to above. Utterly despicable, and not in the amusing Daffy Duck sense.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XNZVSPPB4KLTVXFNV6T6KCHLDA Jennifer

    “  The US Dept. of Justice is supporting Native American inmates in their quest to have a South Dakota ban on using tobacco in religious ceremonies.”

    Er…do you mean, having the ban lifted?

    • http://www.wildhunt.org/blog/ Jason Pitzl-Waters

      Indeed. I’ve fixed the language! 

  • kenneth

    As to the Colorado tragedy, I agree that now is not the time to score policy points or debates. My gut fear, however, is that we have decided as a nation that there is no proper time to have that discussion and never will be. Gun issues in particular are so polarized in this country that there is an almost universal consensus so simply not talk about it at all in any substantive way. I don’t think the issue even comes down to “banning guns” or not. There are some big issues that involve both weapons access, and really even as much or more so, how this country simply has no effective approach at all to mental health issues as a public health matter. The second tragedy in all of this is that we won’t use this horror as a potential opportunity to try to prevent a next one. We’ve resigned ourselves to the idea of this sort of mass shooting as a random act of nature, a perfectly natural way for some people to die, like typhoid or tuberculosis was in the 19th Century. 

    • ChristopherBlackwell

      I think giving so much attention to the perp, is a big mistake. Often mass murders want to be famous and this is the one sure fire way to become internationally famous.

      Instead of the media feeding frenzy giving us endless speculation about the perp and digging up every possible detail about the perp, I would only mention his name twice. Once in the article about the original crime murder and once in the article about the outcome of the trial, and no pictures. I would also keep it a local article with no national nor international play and focus only on the victims and their families.

      While this might not do anything about the gun issue, it would be a great discouragement for publicity loving perps. There is really nothing worthwhile that we the public can learn about the perp and there is no reason to encourage building up of a sick fan club for him, or making him the ideal for copying for some future murdering nut case.

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

    Although he may not have intended it as such (or, more precisely, may not have intended for it to be received primarily as such), Nicholas Campion’s two volume “A History of Western Astrology” is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the historical roots of modern Paganism, and, in particular, a resounding endorsement of the view that modern Paganism has a significant degree of religious continuity with the pre-Christian religious traditions of the ancient world.

    In essence, Campion presents a case for the continuity of Astrology as a spiritual phenomenon, where the broad cosmology behind Astrology takes precedence over the details of the practice of Astrological prediction (although that subject is of course of great interest to Campion as a practicing Astrologer himself). In his own words, “the central theme of my narrative is religious” [from the Introduction to Volume II].

    I haven’t yet read Campion’s new book, but the excerpt at HuffPo prodded me to go skim it at Amazon. It looks like his concluding chapter on “Theosophical, New Age and Pagan Cosmologies: Nature and Transformation” is full of provocative insights about current state of homo religiosus, and, fittingly, where we go from here.

  • http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com Entdinglichung

    http://ww4report.com/node/11289

    The government of President Evo Morales announced July
    17 that it will invite heads of state and indigenous leaders from around
    the world to Bolivia on Dec. 21, South America’s summer solstice,
    believing that this day will mark “the end” of capitalism and Coca-Cola,
    and the beginning of a time “of love” and a “culture of life.” Exterior
    Minister David Choquehuanca, who made the
    announcement, said the date was chosen because it marks the “end of the
    Maya calendar,” and a ceremony will be held, to be presided over by
    Morales, on the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca. Choquehuanca
    elaborated: “December 21 of 2012 marks the end of egoism, of division.
    December 21 will be the end of Coca-Cola, and the beginning of mocochinchi.”
    He added that on this day, “the planets will line up after 26,000
    years,” but rather than meaning the end of the world it will mean “the
    end of hatred and the beginning of love.”

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      “…rather than meaning the end of the world it will mean “the
      end of hatred and the beginning of love.”
      The annoying thing about that is it won’t happen. Not because the prophecy is nonsense, but because people will not let it.

      All it need to come to fruition is for people to want/let it.

      • Obsidia

        Lēoht – It is not necessary for EVERYONE to let it happen…let LOVE rule…but only for a “critical mass” to get the wheel turning!  So, let each of us, in our own lives, welcome the love into our hearts.

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    Got a news article that may interest some:

    http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/9834622.EPPING_FOREST__Pagans_deny__ridiculous__abduction_claims/

    “PAGANS have dismissed ‘ridiculous’ claims they plan to kidnap a member
    of the public as part of festivities in Epping Forest next week.

    An anonymous leaflet stuffed through letterboxes on Epping High
    Street on Monday (July 23) warns of a Pagan ‘plan to abduct a male
    member of the public for use as part of their rituals’.”