Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  April 9, 2013 — 27 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.

Journalist Barbara Dreaver

Journalist Barbara Dreaver

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


  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    I very much doubt that employers will allow Pagans time off for their religious rites. I say this from the point of view that there is a very simple get-out clause:
    “The EHRC says that requests for religious observance – like a Jew
    leaving early on a Friday or a Muslim praying five times a day – should
    be allowed if it does not adversely affect other team members.”

    Many places have ‘holiday embargoes’ at certain times, notably Christmas and Easter. As such, they would either not allow someone time off at those times for religious reasons as it is ‘unfair to the other employees’ or would simply not employ a person with such restrictions to working. Trust me, I speak from first hand experience.

    As to the ‘Goth Hate Crimes’ concept, it has been a long time coming. For many people, religion is not a particularly important facet of their life, whilst some other cultural aspect is. I think that any crime where hate is a primary motivation should be included as a recognised ‘Hate Crime’.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1186404199 Crystal Hope Kendrick

      It would be nice not to have to use vacation time for holy days but I do concede that this would place a hardship on my employer. I celebrate a plethora of holy days. Wiccans have it a bit easier with only 8 holy days.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        Only eight? What about the full moons?

        (Before anyone complains about 12 or 13 full moons a year, I should point out that Christians can’t be forced to work on a Sunday, and there are 52 of those a year.)

        Over here, we get 28 days holiday a year, by law (based on someone working full time 40 hours a week, can be more). Bank (national) holidays are included in this. This means that Christmas and Easter are taken from our holiday entitlement, whether we want it or not. (Very few places open on those two days.)

        • Franklin Evans

          I’ve been away from it for a long time now (secondarily affected still, rather than on the front line), but I spent 14 years dealing with US labor and tax laws, and the merger of custom and legal sanction has never in my opinion done much to alleviate the sense of chaos there. Just as a possibly trivial example: Long beyond the days of couriers and the telegraph, regulations concerning stock transactions imposed a 5-day delay on any buy or sell transaction because that was the amount of time it used to take to carry the stock certificates from point A to point B.
          As for the rest… I’d cynically put it under the category of “tyranny of the majority” and put it rather far down the list of battles I want to fight. Shrug.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1186404199 Crystal Hope Kendrick

          That’s the difference in the U.S. Here, you’re just lucky to get any holidays. Seriously. Although there are laws in the books here that say a Christian can’t be forced to work on a Sunday, just try getting a Sunday off for religious purposes if you work retail. Probably isn’t going to happen.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            We are still a theocratic state, essentially.

    • Cat C-B

      My public school permits me to take my religious holidays off. Of course, I am already sensitive to the hardship imposed on the school if a teacher is out near the time of any school vacation–it’s hard enough for the regular teacher to maintain order, let alone a sub. So I do not typically request either the winter or summer solstice off. Likewise, if my community tends to regularize celebration to the nearest weekend (as with Beltane) I don’t request the day, and I don’t request any of the sabbats that are not of major importance to me.

      Probably because schools are in the crosshairs of the culture wars on a regular basis, I have never been asked to document what religion I belong to, or what the rationale is behind the days I’m requesting. My school has simply granted the days without any further comment.

      One caveat: not only am I a teacher in the liberal Northeast, but I very cautiously did not request any religious holidays until my fourth year, when I achieved full contract protection. Up until that time, I could have been dismissed without a reason given–and while my school is fully aware that religious discrimination is illegal, what does not have to be cited would have been hard to prove. (Up until that fourth year, I scheduled medical appointments for the holidays I celebrated, and took them off as sick time.)

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        “if my community tends to regularize celebration to the nearest weekend (as with Beltane)”
        I’ve never been a fan of that practice. I much prefer to stick to the astronomical calendar. (I am not a particularly tolerant individual.)

  • Ursyl

    That is truly a sad statement about the state of civics education, as well as thinking skills, in whatever generation(s) that 32% would favor essentially repealing the First Amendment.

    • Charles Cosimano

      But it also says 68% wouldn’t.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      It’s simply consolidation of power by those who feel threatened by the perceived loss of the ‘traditional way of life’.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1186404199 Crystal Hope Kendrick

      Yeah, I’d never imagined it to be so high. I always thought it would hover around 10% max. It’s deeply troubling.

  • Deborah Bender

    This poll frustrates me because there is no way to correlate the responses with any characteristic of the respondents. If most of the people who think state-sponsored Christianity is a good idea are Evangelicals, that’s not news. If some of them are Catholics, it’s a more interesting result.

    Those who favor a state church have not thought about the fact if churches are established by majority rule or by the state government, as they were in the original thirteen colonies, the state churches of New Mexico and Puerto Rico would be Roman Catholic and the state church of Utah would be LDS. Unless of course the RCs and Mormons are to be deprived of their voting rights.

    Enjoyed the dance video.

    • harmonyfb

      This poll frustrates me because there is no way to correlate the responses with any characteristic of the respondents.

      Exactly. Whenever I read statistics like this, I always wonder: who did they ask? How many? Where? After all, we could survey the Wild Hunt readership and come up with a very different set of stats.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        Let’s do it!!!

      • Deborah Bender

        If you follow the links to the original story, it says that a statistically balanced sample of the US electorate was polled. I’m willing to believe that. I want to know what distinguishes the people who favor making Christianity the official state religion from the nearly two-thirds majority who do not. That would require more questions in the poll, and perhaps a larger sample size, both of which would make the poll more costly.

        • harmonyfb

          I followed the links, but it still doesn’t answer my questions. A thousand people is a drop in the bucket for US populations, and you’d get a very different answer if you polled NYC than if you polled backwoods LA – so where did their sample come from? It didn’t say.

  • Robert Mathiesen

    The article on effective cursing doesn’t go as deeply as one could into the science behind effective curses. Barbara Lex, a medical anthropologist, described other physiological mechanisms involved in two articles, “Voodoo Death” [in the journal _American Anthropologist_ 76 (1974), 818-823] and “The Neurobiology of Ritual Trance” [in the collection _The Spectrum of Ritual: A Biogenetic Structural Analysis_ (1979), 117-151]. See also a rare book by a forensic psychologist, J. Finley Hurley (a pseudonym?), _Sorcery_ (1985), which gives a solid popular treatment of some of the factors involved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1186404199 Crystal Hope Kendrick

      Thank you for the serious reply. The second article looks like something I’d like to investigate. However my first thought (having never been the serious type, unfortunately for everyone I meet) was that I am already proficient in cursing. My husband just said a few days ago that I had been on an f-bomb roll the past few weeks. ; P

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

    Two things concerning the story about the “sorcery” related violence in Papua New Guinea.

    1. Stories about sorcery, witchcraft, human sacrifice, sex cults, and, of course, cannibalism, in Papua New Guinea are often not what they appear at first. For example, the most famous of all these stories was the one about the “human sacrifice cannibal sex cult” that menaced Papua New Guinea up until the capture of Steve Tari, the head of the cult, in 2007. But it turns out that Steve Tari was a former Lutheran Seminarian, and his “cult” was supported by a secret underground group of Lutheran pastors. Lutherans make up about 1/5 of the population of Papua New Guinea. In fact, when Tari was first arrested in 2005 he escaped thanks to the collusion of one of the prison’s Lutheran pastors! But for some reason one never hears reference to the “Lutheran human sacrifice cannibal sex cult”, does one? For more about this, look here: White Explorers versus Black Magic (And Black Jesus versus White Jesus).

    2. In this most recent story, the main perpetrators of the torture and murder are described as “the family of a school
    teacher who had died in the village of Lopele”. I’ll bet (and I’ll give you odds) that this “school” was a missionary church school (probably one based in Australia).

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

      It turns out that the current wave of “sorcery” related violence in Papua New Guinea might actually be somehow related to the “Lutheran human sacrifice cannibal sex cult” led by Steven Tari (see comment above). While a great deal of attention has been focused on the recent spate of violence against people accused of sorcery, much less news coverage has been given to the fact that Steven Tari (aka “Black Jesus”) broke out of prison on March 21 of this year (along with almost 50 other prisoners). See this story from the Japan Times: Black Jesus Killer Flees PNG Prison.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        Time to make Black Jesus a martyr, methinks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.wilson3 Cindy Wilson

    RE: The new Roswell Incident – The very vocal church (cult) involved and their student group ‘Relentless’ have caused more than one disturbance in the high schools. The second case they have pending involves delivering donuts to the Teacher’s Lounge (without prior approval) with bible verses. This happened after the fetal doll event. The students involved were disciplined and another lawsuit filed. They have threatened to bring in some national group to make noise and support them.

    As a resident of the ‘Alien City’, most of Roswell is disgusted with their antics. The school district put a moratorium on all materials to the schools as a result of their actions. Punish everyone for the actions of a few.

    So, one down and one to go. Maybe then we can return to educating our children and leave any particular religion out as it belongs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1186404199 Crystal Hope Kendrick

    Very sorry to hear that things have gotten so much worse in New Guinea. I hope something can be done soon. I’ll keep a candle lit for these women and hope that they find their way through the veil swiftly. May their gods guide them and their ancestors receive them.

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

    Here is an update on the Papua New Guinea “sorcery” story: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10876884

    According to this story, published today in the New Zealand Herald. A woman and her two daughters are still being held captive by the same people who murdered the two women discussed in the article already linked to by Jason.

  • Malaz

    2 items:

    Native American Masks Auctioned: Natives Restless


    Indonesian Guvt Considers Banning Witchcraft: Reporter Uses Stock Wicca Photo: