The Wild Hunt is Leaving Patheos

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  October 6, 2012 — 153 Comments

Last night I gave my contractually obligated 60 days notice to Patheos, informing them that I would be leaving their site. This decision has come after a lot of soul-searching about the future of The Wild Hunt, and what it should be to our community. While Patheos has certainly grown into a powerful hub for religious expressions and news, I also think their goals and my goals differ in some important ways. I have come to the conclusion that becoming independent again is the best course of action.

I could give you a laundry list of the little things that contributed to my decision to leave, but it would simply re-litigate the matter publicly, something that I don’t want to do. Suffice to say that I believe Patheos places the growth and survival of Patheos first, and while I can’t blame them for having that view, it has often made me feel as if I were simply a page-view generating cog in their drive to become a profitable venture. This drive to constantly increase page views has, in my opinion, led Patheos to make some partnerships and decisions that I find questionable. So rather than become a silent endorser of their system I’ve decided it’s better to go before my name is associated forever with them.

I would like to apologize to the bloggers and writers who I helped Patheos recruit, and who may now feel mixed emotions at my leaving. I can only say that I expressed my opinion of Patheos to them as I experienced it at the time, and that this experience has changed for me. No doubt many will still feel quite happy and comfortable at Patheos, and I am glad for it. I have no desire to poison the well here, as I think religion journalism and religion writing needs powerful advocates. Whatever my personal moral qualms, I have no expectation that everyone else should share them.

So having said all that, please bookmark my old address:

For the moment it will simply redirect to The Wild Hunt at Patheos, but it will eventually house a re-launched Wild Hunt with new features, additional contributors, and zero ads endorsing Mormonism or Liberty University. When this transition happens will very much depend on negotiations happening behind the scenes with Patheos now. They could make me wait a full 60 days before I’m allowed to be independent again, but I hope they’ll release me earlier and allow me to start working.

There’s a lot for me to do, including finding alternate modes of funding The Wild Hunt, but for now let me thank each and every one of you for sticking with me, reading my work, engaging in intelligent and thought-provoking commentary, and helping to tackle serious issues that affect our interconnected communities. It is my hope that you’ll follow me once again back to being an independent media outlet, and that you’ll be as supportive and generous as you’ve all been in the past.

My blessings to you on this day, you’ll hear from me soon!

Jason Pitzl-Waters, The Wild Hunt

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • I feel Patheos is going to be losing out on this, and not the other way around.

  • Star Foster

    This makes me very sad, but like all your other readers, I will support you wherever you go.

  • Thanks for letting us know Jason-I still have the old page bookmarked so I’m ready to see you there again!

  • Aisling the Bard

    I will find the Wild Hunt wherever it runs (giggle) and I want you to know I applaud your decision. My opinion of Patheos of late parallels your own. Well done!

  • Iris Firemoon

    Good luck, Jason!

  • I never got rid of the old bookmark 🙂 When you go independent again, I know that I and some others will be happier and reading more often. Patheos does some strange things to some peoples computers, one friend has her virus blocker alarms go off whenever she comes here so she had to stop reading Wild Hunt. She’ll be *very* happy.

  • I’m happy for your decision, though I did comment the other way on your facebook post asking if you should. My concern, though, is Patheos going to let you take your archive with you when you leave? I have not read all the way through, and I don’t have enough free time to get through all of it in the next 60 days. And if they don’t, will they still host an inactive archive? You might want to find out sooner rather than later.

    • I have the rights to everything I’ve published here. So it will all be coming with me. No worries.

      • AprilAyers

        Yay!!!!!! ^_^

    • Yeah, that was a concern that was addressed when the site first moved to Patheos about a year ago.

  • Don’t know the deep background, don’t need to. Best of luck in the transfer, Jason – hope all goes well and Wild Hunt gets stronger & better as a result.

  • Best of luck in going solo, Jason. I know you’ll do well.

  • feels more like home to me. Patheos was starting to feel like a high rise office building of some sort.

  • I completely understand your reasons for pulling Wild Hunt from Patheos if their vision and yours do not mesh. As for funding, I am certain the community will support it. A good Indiegogo or other crowdfunding campaign can definitely make that happen. I will update my links to reflect the changes.

  • A wise choice, I think. I will continue to follow and read as you return to an independent place.

  • As always, we will follow you Jason. You have been a sorce of inspiration for many of us and will be for many years to come. I, for one, will be happy to meet you again in your old home 🙂

  • About the only thing I can say is that I support your decision to leave; I too have been bothered by the same ads, and although I understand economics, I still don’t appreciate them. Having said that, there is still the hope that Paganism,and Witchcraft and Wicca will still be represented here at Patheos in some form. It bothers me that this is pretty much the only part of Patheos that I have read, and I don’t know if there are other pagan blogs like this here at Patheos. I hope so, but I will bookmark and follow your links, as I love the engaged conversations that are always here 🙂

  • Good luck Jason! I’ve been a silent reader for a while, and I can definitely understand the reservations. I’ve already changed the bookmark on my compy and will see you at the new site!

  • Shelby

    Best of luck to you, I know I certainly will follow. Will you continue posting links to your articles on Facebook?

  • Bellatrix S

    I too am glad to hear this news. The ads were the least of my concerns here on Patheos. I had looked around at some of the other religion portals, it felt a lot like the sites I tried to stay away from. I followedThe Wild Hunt. From your own page to here and will follow you back again. Thank you for continuing your work!

  • “zero ads endorsing Mormonism or Liberty University”. Good for you Jason! It always felt a little odd to me, seeing the religious ads on the sidebar. I look forward to following you at your new site!

  • Congrats on the decision, Jason! I’m quite glad to hear it and just the other day I as thinking about how little I was starting to like Patheos with some of the points you and other posters have raised. I was wishing to myself that it was an independent news site again and this morning I wake up to find this.

    I wish you all the best and will be updating my bookmark.

  • Yvonne Rathbone

    I don’t really know anything about Patheos other than the blogs I read so nothing I say is about that organization or your situation with them. I’m glad you are staying independent. I agree you give the community something invaluable as an independent voice. I also suspect it’s part of your true nature to stand a bit outside so work thy will, etc. I will read your blog wherever it is.

  • Z54

    I will continue to watch for and share your links…

  • I hope this works out for you. Just as you leave Patheos, I look forward to being a part making regular contributions to hopefully shape evangelical opinion on interreligious engagement. Your gain will be Patheos’ loss. Best wishes.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    Good luck on your solo path. Will we once again be notified by email of new comments?

  • Patheos draws a lot of readers. I can’t help but feel that leaving allows the proselytizers and 700 Club types to have the louder voice. Sincerely hope it works out.

    • They pretty much have the same voice they’ve always had here. I mean, you see the adverts, right? How often do they actually wander over to the Pagan Portal, really read the blogs, and then make a comment or two along the lines of “wow, I had you wrong all along, I’m so sorry for all the proselytising, and hey, live and let live.”

      I just don’t see how a so-called “Pagan Portal” has done any real “interfaith understanding”, at least no more than the Atheist blogs here have done any good in that direction. This is a Christian site, and one on the conservative side of moderate, at the very least, and pretty much always has been. I don’t count on it becoming anything but, in the future.

  • thehouseofvines

    This is the best news you’ve reported here all year Jason. I look forward to a stronger and more independent Wild Hunt once again. And if that means the pagan and polytheist communities have to step up and foot the bill from time to time, so be it. You do important and valuable work – your people should show just how much that work means to them.

  • Chas

    I did some editorial work for Patheos when the site was new (summer 2008). They seemed like OK people, and they paid me, eventually. But after my earlier experiences with BeliefNet, which you blogged about, I did not want to have Letter from Hardscrabble Creek associated with a big site under someone else’s control, so I did not even ask about that.

    Likewise, I think that you are making the right decision to go back to your own domain and total control. That approach is more in keeping with the entire ethos of blogging, and it certainly gives you more flexibility about how to structure what you do.

  • So sad to see you go. Between you and Star leaving, it’s going to be a bit lonely. Sure can’t blame you for standing up for what you are comfortable with, though. Best of luck, Jason!

    • Foster is leaving? Cos her most recent post said that she was just stepping down from managing editor of the Pagan Portal. That’s not the same as quitting.

  • This will be a test for the Pagan community in terms of raising the money to keep the Wild Hunt going. I predict we will rise to the occasion.

    • Genexs

      Yup,remember the clueless town officials in Palenville of upstate NY said we won’t support or defend our own. Folks, remember to hit the tip jar. Btw, Patheos is not getting a cut of our donations—I hope!

      • Why would Patheos get a cut of the maintenance donations for an independently-hosted blog?

        • Genexs

          to make money

          • But dear, if the blog is *independently hosted*, what makes you think Patheos would be entitled to any maintenance donations? Like, I host my blog independently, it is not, nor has it ever been, one of the blogs Patheos hosts. Therefore, Patheos does not get any of the money people might donate toward my maintenance fees. The same principle would hold true for any blog Patheos doesn’t host, even if the blogger used to have that blog on the Patheos site.

            When Jason Pitzl-Waters moves The Wild Hunt back to his own servers, Patheos is not entitled to any maintenance fees.

            Does this make sense to you, now?

          • Genexs

            Oh honey, I understand what ‘independent’ means. But thanx anyway. I also understand what ‘hosted’ means. On the other hand, I don’t know how things are worked out here money wise. I was just wondering if Patheos got a percentage of TWH’s tip jar (when it was hosted here). I did not think so, but I’ve been screwed so many times when dealing with Xtains, I had my worries.

          • “If you’re doing business with a religious son-of-a-bitch,
            Get it in writing.
            His word isn’t worth shit.
            Not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.”

            William S. Burroughs, “Words of Advice for Young People”

          • “If you’re doing business with a religious son-of-a-bitch,
            Get it in writing.
            His word isn’t worth shit.
            Not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.”

            William S. Burroughs, “Words of Advice for Young People”

          • Genexs

            heh, Xtains are lucky because the are forgiven for their sins in advance.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I think Genexs was referring to the tip jar on Patheos, not on any independently hosted blog.

    • I dunno, call me a pessimist, but if one of the largest “real life” pagan communities in North America, couldn’t keep a brick-n-mortar pagan community centre open, even after making on-line appeals for money, I don’t see why “the Pagan community” will rise to the occasion to rebuff the costs for a news blog. Like I said, I’m willing to admit that this sounds pessimistic, but it’s only after years of watching “the Pagan community” get really excited about either gaining or simply retaining a major resource for “the community”, and it’s more often than not that not enough, if anything happens to obtain or maintain a community resource.

      • thehouseofvines

        People have peculiar priorities. You never know what they will or won’t support ahead of time.

        • I know, right? I developed a latex allergy and needed new tranny-boy cocks, I made a post, and in less than 72hours, had three times the money I needed to replace them with silicone. When my hands got borked up to the point I couldn’t do my badges anymore, which has been my only consistent work for the last seven years, I practically had to pull teeth for weeks to get people from “the community” to donate money for a circle punch I could just press a lever on.

          I mean, OK, to an extent, I can understand the reasoning some people may have had in the amazing reaction to the first money drive, but I dunno, I thought I’d stressed plenty that the latter was just as important to me, cos it gives me my own income, and you’d think people would be all for self-sufficiency, even if only a tiny bit more than before.

  • Francesca

    Oh, good. Maybe I will actually click over to your site from my reader to make and read comments now. I didn’t like the ads.

  • Grace Okezie

    Thank you Jason for all that you have and hopefully willl continue to do we need more people like you talking and writing about important issues can’t wait to see your own site back up again.

  • David

    I actually stopped reading Wild Hunt when you first moved to Patheos because I was spammed more than once by Patheos when my email address was submitted by someone who gleaned it from other lists and was trying to beef up their Pagan forums. I am more likely to make an effort to read and support Wild Hunt as an independent blog than I would be to put money in Patheos’ pocket so this news is favourable from my perspective.

  • Yeah, she not writing for Patheos anymore, either.

    • Fair enough. Her post didn’t really indicate that, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I was the only person confused too see other people making statements that she had just quit Patheos, altogether. I mean, if someone who wasn’t you said tomorrow in the comments of, say, Sannion’s blog, that you were giving up writing about the news for just podcasting, I wouldn’t take that at face value, either –cos you’re not the one who said it, and your blog, in its current state, gives no real indication that you would quit writing altogether.

  • Signy Ragnvaldsdottir

    I support you in your choice. The ads DO bother me: right now it’s that deeply closeted Mormon guy Robert.

  • Castus


  • Star Foster

    Sorry I didn’t spell it out in simple terms you could understand.

    • It’s not my problem that you didn’t say what you meant to say. But if you need to take out your anger on me, that’s fine, you’re not hurting me.

      • MartyrInMyPants

        Martyr much? How very Christ-like of you.

  • fryreflye

    I totally support this move; I much preferred the old site anyway. However, I don’t really understand all these complaints about ads. Don’t you people know about internet ad blockers? Or are such devices unavailable to Internet Explorer users? If you’re running a Windows OS you can still change your browser to Firefox or Safari and download their ad blocking extensions. I use the Mac OS X and haven’t seen an online ad in years.

    • Safari is a Mac-only browser, and my experience with FireFox Ad Blocker and No Script is that they can affect the functionality of some sites, especially when there are elements on the site, like the DiscUs comment panel, that are pretty flash-heavy, and require certain scripts and services that tend to get blocked until whitelisting. Whitelisting scripts, I gotta say, is pretty tedious. It’s not just a “do it once, and you’re done”, cos scripts get updates, and more often than not, in my experience, the whitelists have to be updated. Some people don’t want to deal with that, and sometimes even the most scrutinous whitelisting will still let adverts through. It’s a really imperfect solution.

      • fyreflye

        There’s been a version of Safari for Windows for several years now. Why would I recommend it to Windows users if it didn’t exist? As for your experience with Firefox AdBlock Plus, the only trouble I’ve had has been with occasional blocking of some embedded flash items but that has been fixed in recent versions. I’ve never had to whitelist any scripts because there’s no such function in AdBlock Plus. If you want to whitelist a site you just click the icon in the extensions bar to turn AdBlock Plus off. At this very moment I’m using Firefox 15.01 with Adblock Plus enabled to read this Disqus thread with all ads on Patheos blocked.

        • People recommend incompatible software to people all the time –trust me, my house-mate has a BlackBerry tablet, and is sick of people recommending apps to him that won’t work because they’re only for Android or iPhone.

          As for your experience with Firefox AdBlock Plus, the only trouble I’ve
          had has been with occasional blocking of some embedded flash items but
          that has been fixed in recent versions.

          I’m using the current versions of everything, and yeah, things are better *now*, but how do I know that it’s not cos I’ve been using this software for seven years, and the blocks I’ve lifted (a.k.a. “whitelisting” —that’s how old I am, and yes, I still often refer to “blocking” some-one’s e-mail as “killfiling” or “plonking”) are now archived?

          I’m not getting adverts at all right now, either, but until DisqUs updated their software (about two updates ago), I still had to temporarially whitelist everything in NoScript on a blog that had DisqUs comments, just to get the comments to load properly –this occasionally let adverts slide in under the radar.

  • Tellingly, it’s not the ads for the Huffington Post that bother you.

    • Tellingly? Come on!

      I’d rather have ZERO ads. Since when is complaining about Mormon and Liberty University ads a partisan thing?

      • Other than the fact that the overwhelming majority of Mormons are Republicans, and that Liberty University is universally known as a bastion of conservatism (not to mention being founded by Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority)?

        Note that you didn’t say there would be zero ads for Head and Shoulders shampoo, or the Huffington Post when you take back the blog. You said it will have “zero ads endorsing Mormonism or Liberty University.” The implication is clear that it was the conservative-leaning ads that were not going to be found on the new blog. Not ads in general.

        Are you saying the new (well, restored) blog will be completely ad free? If so, don’t blame me for actually taking what you say at face value. You could have said “zero ads endorsing Head and Shoulders shampoo and”. But you didn’t, and don’t pretend that the examples you gave just happened to be at random. You lean left, and the fact that there are right-leaning ads on the site bug you. It’s okay to admit it.

        FWIW, I had to crank up IE (which I haven’t used in years) to even see the ads you’re talking about. I use Chrome, and before that Firefox, which have excellent ad-blockers. And I haven’t seen a single ad for Liberty University. The ads don’t seem to ever go away, though…

        • Star Foster

          The simple answer is they are both Christian. But make it a conspiracy theory instead.

        • MartyrInMyPants

          WH was ad-free before Patheos, but you’d know that if you reading it then.

        • Are you at all familiar with probability and Occam’s Razor? Cos you’re starting to sound a lot like Dale Gribble.

          Also, you’re probably the first person I’ve encountered in at least five years who seems unaware that is a well-known Mormon business.

          • DonnaB

            Reminds me more of someone I used to know by the name of Rusty Shackelford…

          • Some say he moved away, but only Dale knows he died.

        • Help, help, I’m being repressed!

          As others have already pointed out, the most obvious answer to bringing up those two examples is that they are both Christian, and, moreover, Christian groups known for their hostility towards Pagans, Heathens, polytheists and the like. Your entire comment reeks of desperately looking for an excuse to call Jason out on something to make you feel better about that huge chip on your shoulder. Only someone with laughable name of GOPagan would need to have it explained to them why most non-Christians would be uncomfortable with advertisements for Mormonism or Liberty University on their blog.

        • DonnaB

          I’ve don’t recall adds, myself, though I don’t doubt you’ve gotten them. Head and Shoulders, and Huffington post (also ads that I have not seen often or at all, your mileage varies, I’m sure) are not attempting to draw my attention from my religion to look at their religion.

          Every page of Patheos has Christian ads, though. While I respect their right to sell their ad space to anyone they choose to sell to, I do find it especially onerous to have ads prosthelytizing for other religions while I’m trying to read about the news for my religious community. I have very little doubt of the kind of reaction we would get if there were “I am a Pagan” ads and videos all over the various Christian pages.

          Having said that, this is Jason’s blog, and he’s not required to keep it neutral on anything, including political opinion. If, for some reason, he was just too fed up with the political climate of Patheos, or if as you suggest, the ads were from companies and organizations that were too far right politically for his comfort, he still has every right to move his blog. There would be no need for conspiracy or to hide his intentions in any way. He could just say “I want my blog to be somewhere that better reflects my political views”.

          He also didn’t say the ads were the only reason to move his blog, but that he didn’t want to publicly air the behind-the-scenes issues he’s having. That’s pretty classy of him, actually, and it sucks that his discretion get’s him accused of some kind of mysterious politically motivated ad conspiracy.

          • ONCE I saw a banner in the sidebar for Hinduism Today magazine. ONCE in the two years and some I’ve been reading the Patheos Pagan Portal. More often, if I’ve seeing a religious advert, it’s for Christian Mingle, or, or several Evangelical institutions. So yes, ONCE in 24-30months, amongst the overtly religious ads have I ever seen one nan-Christian.

          • Nothing is stopping Pagan businesses from buying ads on Patheos as far as I know.

          • While most likely true, for some reason, they aren’t –at least not enough to make significant impressions on this website.

      • Lynn Hayes

        I write an astrology blog that was carried by Beliefnet. Patheos solicited me and I made the decision to go with them because the site was a marked improvement over the trashiness of Beliefnet. The editors threw me under the bus when bnet threatened them with a lawsuit. I’m glad to be independent again – the whole experience was jarring. I’ve enjoyed your blog for many years and wish you all the best.

    • Spoken like someone who didn’t start reading TWH until it moved here.

      • Actually, not true at all. In fact, I was remarking on Jason’s left-leaning partisanship, completely evident despite his protestations to the contrary, way back before he joined Patheos. Nothing has changed in that regard whatsoever.

        • So, pray tell, what compels you to keep reading? His political lean clearly bothers you, and yet, like a masochist, you keep coming back. I mean, if that’s your kink, have a blast with that, I even know a Domina who has a Red Army uniform I could introduce you to, but don’t you get tired of reading something that clearly angers you?

          • Pish. I am neither bothered, nor angered. I merely point it out. I find that the Wild Hunt is, on the whole, an excellent source of news regarding things that effect the Pagan community. I don’t get angry over Jason’s left-leaning tilt on things. I am merely… disappointed that he isn’t as objective as he claims to be.

            That doesn’t (and won’t) stop me from reading, and I reserve the right to comment just as you do, both on things with which I agree, and those with which I do not. After all, isn’t that the point of having comments; to have a conversation? And what sort of a conversation is it if everyone agrees with glassy-eyed and uncritical approval?

            The Pagan community is a diverse bunch. There are Pagans and Heathens, Druids and Wiccans, men and women, rich and poor, veterans and peaceniks, and, yes, conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats. Sorry if being reminded of the diversity of Paganism annoys you; such is life.

          • Oh, please. If Fox News can clai themselves “fair and balanced”, why can’t JP-W claim TWH is objective? He does a far better job of meeting that mark than Fox.

          • ::Shrug:: We disagree.

          • You can disagree all you like, it’s an objective fact that JP-W DOES, in fact, do a far better job of presenting the facts with objectivity and non-partisanship than Fox News does. If I had the time, I’d do a spreadsheet to prove it, or maybe a YouTube video, but eh, I’m behind enough on my work as it is.

          • Genexs

            Yes, I think I see now the things that trouble you. But everyone knows reality has a left-leaning bias.

          • Charles Cosimano

            It does? Only if one cares about the things the left cares about.

          • Genexs

            Yeah, sometimes Jason has even let slip common sense, and–dare I say– human decency. Damn those left-leaning Pagans! What next? Empathy!!!

          • I truly wish people would quit telling me which “side” various ideas/ideals are leaning to – left or right.

            I clearly lean toward the side of “stuff that has meaning to me and resonates for me” and don’t give a rat’s butt how it fits into the political spectrum. People are a lot more complex than that.

          • DonnaB

            My only problem with your comments on this thread is that they don’t really seem to relate to the conversation anyone else is having. It’s like you walked in on a conversation about someone quitting their job and tried to turn it into a conversation about politics.

            I’m glad my community encompasses such a wide range of ideologies and beliefs, but not everything is about politics.

            To my knowledge, Jason never claimed to have a super-human ability to be able to thoroughly and equally represent every belief and opinion of everyone in our collective communities. He has stated that he does his best to be unbiased and even handed. You may not believe that his best in that regard is enough, and you’re entitled to your opinion on that point. The fact that you have that opinion doesn’t mean you’re right, or that everything he says proves your point in some way.

          • It’s like you walked in on a conversation about someone quitting their job and tried to turn it into a conversation about politics.

            Pfft. It’s not “like” that, at all —that’s exactly what GOPagan is doing. It’s a common troll tactic known as derailing.

          • DonnaB

            It’s true, and I should have taken “It’s like” out of the sentence. I started to change it but kiddo #1 got out of bed so I just posted my comment as it was.

          • Suuuure…. Blame the children –just like I blame the cats. 😉

          • Genexs

            Agreed. One of the irritaining things here has been the increased incidence of such posting, since the move to patheos.

          • I’ll have to disagree. Like, Robin Artisson has been disturbingly quite this last year, in comparison to TWH’s pre-Patheos days. And Apeulius is just as obnoxious as he’s ever been. There are just some posts or topics that will trigger the far-right to start whining about how bad they’ve got it. Maybe I’ve just been reading the comments less in this last year, but the neocon whiners have always been a staple of TWH, at least for as long as I’ve been reading.

          • Genexs

            For me, it’s the religious right I find to be the most off-putting. From time to time some post here has hit one of their many buttons, and they’ve decended on the comment section like a swarm biblical locusts.

          • Maybe a lot of that was happening on a day I was ignoring comments, but the closest thing to that which I can clearly remember was from only just this year and was actually a time when a Christian came here and decided to inform us all that she only objects to same sex marriage because real Christians should believe in the nanny state, cos marrying one’s own gender is only hurting the people who do it. And yeah, a lot of people handed her arse to her, but I wouldn’t say that was a moment of when the Christians “descenced … like a swarm of locusts” on TWH’s comments.

          • Genexs

            Boy, have you missed out! Thanx for the link, but I’d rather be passed thru the eye of a needle, than read more of it. You are
            correct, a ‘swarm of locusts’ was not the best choice of words. It was more like a plague of festering boils, or perhaps a horde of mouse-like things (wind scorpions?) biting at our tender bits.

            I remember one of the more milder incidents of this, when one of the phony “I’m an ex-(fill-in-the-blank)! Now I’m saved by jebus” books was thoughtfully brought to our attention here. This time the poor fallen lost soul had claimed to be a Wiccan, or something. Btw, I seem to recall some of the more scholarly Christians were suppose to report back to us on the author’s claims, once the ‘facts’ in the book were rightfully called out. (I believe that report was not forthcoming. But I’d like to know.)

            However, some of the nonsense (I suppose framed as ‘outreach’ by some Christians) seemed to abate once the ‘you need to be saved’ crowd had their heads handed to them. Then again, I’ve always enjoyed the Dance of Solome, more than the Spiral one. Heh!

    • Folcwald

      What is the religious affiliation of the Huffington Post?

      • Officially? None, but GOPagan’s beef is the fact that HuffPo is kind of the Liberal answer to Fox News –and I say that as a Socialist. While HuffPo seems to have set the journalistic bar a little higher, it’s closer to Fox News in standards of factuality than NPR.

        • Your jaundiced opinion of the relative quality of their reporting aside, you are correct. It’s not their religious affiliation that’s the issue. It’s their political affiliation. That, and the fact that when I deliberately reloaded the Wild Hunt page about ten times in IE (so I could see the ads that so offend Jason), I got nothing in the top bar except the Huffington Post. At least according to my little experiment, there are much more relevant examples that could have been cited, if the issue was simply “all advertising”.

          • Oh please. You poor persecuted conservatives. Go cry me a river.

            Did you notice that even JP-W is careful about his words even how? That’s he’d PREFER for TWH to remain ad-free? If the issue was ever advertisements, as a whole, why would he have explained, back when TWH moved to Patheos in the first place, that it was the advertising revenue that Patheos offered that was necessary to sustain TWH in the first place? Trust me, that old post was REALLY easy to find via search engine.

            What’s really ridiculous is that you want to play the Poor persecuted Conservative, when you yourself point out that Jerry Falwell was one of the people behind Liberty University. Do you know how easy it was to source the quote wherein Falwell blamed, among many others, “pagans” for the 11 September 2001 attacks on the WTC? Do you know how little extra work was needed to find other quotes from him on the topic of pagans and how the pagan and, implicitly, polytheist communities are one of the sources of what’s “gone wrong” with the United States, or indeed, the whole world? Why would a PAGAN journalist want to appear to be endorsing that filth? I couldn’t give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock about the fact that Falwell was a “conservative”, what I care about, and what apparently JP-W cares about, are the hateful things he’s said about the audience he wants TWH to reach.

            If that doesn’t make any sense to you, I’m going to assume that you’re being deliberately obtuse, because it really can’t be more obvious, even without my explanation. But hey, I guess when you came in here, guns a’blazin’, with your elaborate ideas about the “real reasons” that JP-W mightn’t want or Jerry Falwell’s Liberty U advertised on his blog, when the simplest answer is clearly the obvious and correct one, I knew I was wasting my time on you.

          • Folcwald

            Funny, I keep getting ads for Lysol and Staples office supply store. You do realize that the ads are tailored to your web history, right? You must spend more time on HuffPo than I do.

          • Genexs


          • I know that’s true for Google AdSense, but is it true for the advert service that Patheos uses? Looking at my blocks on NoScript, I’m only seeing Google Tag Services, which the Internet tells me is not the same thing as AdSense. I know Project Wonderful, which is popular with a lot of the web comics I read, lets the site owner / manager / etc…, control the adverts visitors see.

          • Folcwald

            I don’t know the details, but for me the ads on this page clearly follow my web use. Sometimes it is really kind of stupid. For instance, after I ordered a power strip from Staples I got ads from Staples for that very same power strip. You’d think they’d go with related items rather than the same item you just bought.

          • The only time I consistently see adverts on Patheos is when I’m on the tablet. Right now, I’m seeing California Psychics, and the Maharishi University of Management. Hell if I know how this is related to my recent search history, as I looked up local yoga studios about three or four weeks ago, and in the last twenty four hours, I’ve looked up the african civet, foursquare badges, and trivia, mostly about Danny Thomas, who was Catholic and was heavily involved with St Jude’s hospital. Oh, and pictures of monkeys.

          • Yeah, that’s really odd. Going by the various anecdotes here, I can’t really discern what the advert service here is using to generate ads for visitors. And yes, what you’ve described sounds pretty borked.

        • Folcwald

          I was trying to make a rhetorical point. While I by no means think Jason is without bias (who is?) I think that focusing on the political outlook of the ads he specifically refers to rather than the most obvious fact about them, which is that they are those that most obviously push a religious message inimical to any kind of Paganism and thus to the message of this religious site, shows a rather jaundiced view on the part of GOPagan.

  • I support WH no matter what venue it is hosted in. Patheos was a nice opportunity to try, but think getting back to the roots of being independent is the way forward.

  • I’m delighted with this news, Jason. Although I bear no ill will towards Patheos, I feel you’d be better off as in independent. I’ll pledge $20 monthly towards TWH. Be well!

  • Like I said, the pagan community has given, what I feel, is plenty of reason to be pessimistic about the any kind of fund-raising, no matter how much of a benefit to the community, so I really hope I’m wrong. If JP-W has to resort to adverts on TWH, just to keep it going, though, there are options to maintain control over adspace.

    • Deborah Bender

      I would not object to ads on the blog site, if the majority of the ads are relevant or at least not offensive to the majority of the readers most of the time. I said “most” and “majority” because my sensibilities are not so tender that my day is often ruined by an ad I don’t like.

      Advertising is not necessarily exploitative. It can be one means of community building. Well-targeted ads give viewers information that they actually want, and connect them with businesses that they are willing to support. Moreover, marketing to any identifiable group generates demographic information that can and often will be used to show that the group is worth paying positive attention to–this was done by the gay movement in the 1980s and 1990s.

      I think this blog deserves financial support from within our community as well, but it is in competition with other blogs and projects for a limited pool of contributors. I would rather read (or ignore) ads than to have this blog be dependent on a single underwriter or be subjected to the kind of pledge drives that public radio stations hold.

      • Oh, I agree with you here. I’d rather see relatively unobtrusive adverts in the sidebar than the blog dependent on an editor or, like you said, regular pledge drives. Of course, my aversion to blogs, PBS, or NPR hosting fundraising drives annually is, for me, along the lines of the same discomfort from seeing those Humane Society advertsvon the television –I feel for the need, but I’m too poor to do anything about it, and being reminded of this just fills me with anxiety. An unobtrusive Project Wonderful banner in the sidebar isn’t pressure, and it’s one of the better ad services.

  • Patchouli Autumn

    I enjoy the Wild Hunt wherever I have to go to find it. It’s also sad, but regretfully inevitable that your announcement is followed by comments that,which is all too common on the Internet, break down to infighting between posters. It is the Internet version of jumping up & down yelling “look at me.” Best wishes Jason!

  • If I donate to the tip jar to help you get started on your own again, will all that money go to you, or does Patheos take a cut? How can I give 100% to you? Thanks.

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    Since finding the Patheos website through Google News (how lazy am I?), I have followed three blogs. The Wild Hunt, Pantheon and Raise The Horns.

    I guess I will be visiting Patheos less often now…

    I’ll follow you on your independent site and would be quite happy to subscribe.

  • Bravo, Jason! Like many others, I followed you over when you came to Patheos, and your old website is still listed in my favorites. You as an independent journalist just feels right and makes sense, so I wish you all the best of luck! I actually think it’s going to be a good move for you.

  • Wdayton

    Good luck with the move. I’ve been following TWH since before the move to Patheos and will continue. Thanks for the work you do. You will have my moral support always and my financial support when possible. I feel this is an important thing you do here and should be supported in whatever way we can.

  • kittylu

    I’m just glad that you will continue doing the work you do. You give us so much to think about.

  • Liriel

    Even though I recently discovered TWH, I have found so much here and will continue to follow when you move. If support is needed to keep doing what you do, I will do what I can.
    I feel it is blantant disrespect for all of us Pagans who come to Patheos to be displaying ads for other faiths on a Pagan blog but then this isn’t the first time and won’t be the last. I have not checked out many other blogs on Patheos, so I think I will do some perusing and see what others are saying.

  • Didn’t mean to downvote this 4 times. Eesh – shouldn’t be attemping to ‘lil’ on my (alleged) smartphone. Sorry!

  • Pitch313

    If I had my druthers–and I realize that I don’t in the ever-changing (Pagan) blog-O-sphere–then I’d prefer to see something like the old MetaPagan endeavor revived and revivified.

  • Obsidian Hawk

    I’ll be honest with you, my feed reader never changed from in the first place. “The Wild Hunt” has always earned my eyeballs, not the network it moved to.

  • Deborah Bender

    Patheos hosts some other Pagan blogs that I didn’t know about until my link to this blog stopped working in the aftermath of the site remodel a few weeks ago. In order to find a path back here, I had to go through the “pagan channel” link, which helpfully aggregates links to all their Pagan blogs in one place.

    I don’t read those other blogs as faithfully as this one, so it’s convenient to have one place to look them up. It would be even more convenient if various other Pagan blogs of quaIity that are currently elsewhere were linked to a single location. I think there is a business opportunity for someone to create a Patheos-type service that caters specifically to Earth religions and related interests.

    Selling advertising for such a site would be easier that selling ads for a single blog, and it would be interesting to see which businesses and organizations would market to Pagans if there were enough pairs of eyes to make it worth their while. It wouldn’t just be tchotchke catalogs and music, though those are worthwhile. There would be ads for Pagan-oriented tours and cruises, festivals, conferences, libraries. Maybe pagan-friendly retirement communities and cohousing. CSA farms, solar energy installers, Fair Trade coffee and chocolate, wildlife refuges and animal rescue operations. Scholars looking for a survey population. The community is beginning to build institutions; an independent blog portal would help.

    I presume such a portal doesn’t exist or The Wild Hunt would be on it now.

    • Anne Newkirk Niven

      Deborah: we are developing such a blogosphere, but the last time I tried to post its address my post didn’t go through. No worries. Email me at to find out more. (BTW — I tried to contact you off-list due to conflict of interest, but couldn’t find an email address to do so.)

      • Is there a link for that on the bbimedia site? I’d love be a reader (and maybe someday contributor) for that blogosphere!

        • Anne Newkirk Niven

          Yes, follow the link to (which is where PaganSquare is hosted.)

  • Sunweaver

    Whither thou goest, there shall I follow.
    I wasn’t really pleased with the remodel and while the ads for Mormonism on the side don’t bother me overly much, the flashy popup sweepstakes ads that get past my popup blocker rather do. Ergh. I went back to my own, much neglected blog partly for that reason.
    I do love your work and will keep reading.

  • Liriel

    All of the Channels on Patheos air ads from from different faiths. I saw Confusionism ads on the Evangelical Channel so at least they are dissing everyone equally. The biggest issue currently being discussed is what Romney said about Big Bird.
    Big Bird and The Wild Hunt have something in common and that it is clear we are not going to let that which we hold dear just disappear.

    • Deborah Bender

      Confusionism sounds like the religion for me.

      • Nick Ritter

        “In the beginning was… hell, I dunno, man. It just *was*, OK?”

  • Gwendolyn H. Barry

    Totally get it my friend. Thank you, btw, for all the good stuff you post and report. It’s appreciated.

  • Being a cog does many weird things on multiple fronts.

    Kudos for your decision, Jason!

  • Raksha

    I’m very happy to hear this news! I had heard some things around Teh Interwebz (such as this post at Cat Valente’s LJ) that made me kinda unhappy about TWH moving here in the first place. Still, I am sorry that it seems at least some of what I’d heard appears to be true and this Patheos thing didn’t work out like you hoped.
    I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next with TWH and you can count on my support!

  • CrystalK

    Exactly. Same sentiments here. That and I really hate Disqus. I never log into it anymore and always post as a guest.

    • Any particular reason why you dislike it so much? I’m just asking out of curiosity.

  • Tara

    Good for you, Jason.


    hm, well, I can see your point. I used to have a number of my website pages over on Associated Content. They had a lot of problems although the fact that one of my biggest advertisers was Scientology struck me as hilarious. Still when they crashed, I went to Yola which is free but it’s a scam and then when they were hacked, I went to a private webpage. Mine is only $15 a month and it is blessedly free of ads. Well worth in my opinion, and the capability and flexibility is a huge improvement over the other services I’ve used. Good luck with your new system.

  • I am really happy to read this today. *hugs* to Jason.

  • Gitana

    I’m glad. I was not happy that you went to ptheos to begin with. Will be very happy to see the Wild Hunt back at it’s own address. 🙂 Cheers, Jason, and all our love and support for your excellent work!

    • As you’re pretty far from the first person I’ve seen here voice being unhappy that TWH went onto Patheos in the first place, I went on a search for reasons people wouldn’t like this site, and I’m really surprised to see that, in spite of all the positive press, there are even Christians with grievances.

  • Luis Abbadie

    It was about time! Cheers!

  • Lilly

    I love the “wild hunt” as it keeps me updated about Paganism in America. But I disliked the Mormon Ads. Thank you for this decision.

    • Yes “I too” love this “wild hunt” thing and its “updates” about “Paganism” in “America” and “all over the rest of the world”.

  • rainadelmagick

    I will continue to read your articles and your expressed thoughts no matter where they generate from Jason. I now feel the urge to ask if I may contribute articles from time to time as well. I did not feel comfortable to do so in the venue of Patheos. Congratulations on reclaiming your independence. Your integrity remains high and your ethics a constant.

  • I will happily follow you back and try to kick a few bucks into the till every month…independent is better.

  • So this means no more articles until you are free and clear of Pantheos? Well, your work is an incredibly important contribution to our community. You are the best journalist out there, in my opinion, and I am grateful for the information you bring light to for the rest of us. I totally support you doing what you need to, and will be happy to donate to help keep you running and sovereign.

  • Dawn Love

    I found your wonderful blog just recently through a link on another Pagan blog so I’m unfamiliar with the goings-on here at Patheos. Regardless, I will still be a reader and will contribute as I can so you can keep up the great writing on behalf of our community. 🙂

  • Please be sure and put up your “donate” button as soon as you’re back so that we can support you and the great work you do on Wild Hunt. Found your blog before you were here on Patheos and will gladly follow you back to your old site. Cheers and good luck.

  • If ad clicks are how Patheos makes money, one wonders how/why the site owners thought it was a smart business decision to feed Mormon and Christian fundamentalist advertising to a pagan audience. (???) Whatever. I’ll be following you back to your own hosted site. The great work you do is much needed.