Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  April 16, 2013 — 29 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.

Selena Fox's healing altar for the victims of the Boston attack.

Selena Fox’s healing altar for the victims of the Boston attack.

I’d like to begin by sending out my thoughts to all those who were affected by yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. There have been many Pagan responses to this still-unresolved tragedy, but I think Ár nDraíocht Féin Archdruid Rev. Kirk Thomas’ statement may be the best:

“We in ADF participate in a public religion. The gatherings of the folk are important for our communal worship of the Kindreds. Terrorists, such as those who bombed the Boston Marathon today, are counting on the fear of the people to disrupt our sense of community, that we may be isolated from each other, and thus lose our way. I believe that it is our duty as civilized people to resist this impulse, to find our courage, and so defy these enemies of Good, that our relationships with the Kindreds and with each other will continue to thrive.”

May the perpetrators be caught, may justice be done, may the wounded find care, and may the grieved find comfort.

Babugeri, Bansko, Bulgaria, 2010–2011 Charles Fréger, courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

Babugeri, Bansko, Bulgaria, 2010–2011
Charles Fréger, courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

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.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    “I’d like to think that Pagan theology will have a place in the Pagan studies”

    I honestly can’t understand how it isn’t already.

    • Raksha38

      Because far too many academics can’t trust people to understand what’s going on with their own lives and beliefs. They believe only super educated outsiders can describe what’s *really* happening.

      I know not every academic is like that, but far, far too many of them are. And it’s not just religious studies that have this bullshit attitude problem. Most of the social sciences are full of this crap. I have absolutely no patience left for it anymore.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        There was me thinking it was the other way round – “Paganism can be what you want it to be” type stuff.

        I call bull on that. If someone claims to have an experience of a god that doesn’t match up with any other reference, I’d suggest that their understanding of the experience was flawed or that they didn’t have a genuine experience.

        I’m happily elitist like that.

        • Robert Mathiesen

          That may work, Lēoht, if the Gods really do deal honestly with people, without deliberate deception. I think it would be a huge mistake to make that particular assumption, or the related assumption that all the Gods are either benevolent or indifferent toward mankind. If the Gods are many and quarrelsome, surely it follows that some of them simply use and exploit people to score points against other Gods.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I never said I trusted the gods.

            That said, to have cohesive worship, or even belief, there has to be an underlying theology, surely? Otherwise everyone is following their own, personal gods. Not a great way to channel group energies.

        • Luminous_Being

          That would almost be an understandable position if deities’ representations through history and recorded mythology didn’t shift quite so often. Is Aphrodite the daughter of Dione or did she spring from the sea after the castration of Uranus? Weren’t the Romans practicing “Paganism when can be what you want it to be” when they worshiped her as Venus Genetrix the mother of the dynasty of Caesar?

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I don’t think the Romans did much for theology other than bastardise other myths, anyway.

        • Kenneth

          That’s mighty Catholic of you! 🙂

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Or of them…

    • The real answer is that until so-called “Pagan scholars” start reading (with at least some comprehension) Homer, Plato, Cicero, Vergil, etc, then we will never have anything that can seriously be called an academic study of Pagan theology within the so-called sub-sub-discipline of “Pagan studies”.

      It would be like people claiming to study Christian theology but who had never bothered to read the early Church fathers or Augustine, etc. The totally bat-shit crazy part is that some would-be Pagan scholars apparently have some interest in studying Christian theology but can’t bring themselves to study Plato.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        I couldn’t agree more.

        Personally, I find there is more to be had from reading the Eddas and Sagas than from any contemporary book on the matter. (Many of which are very much ‘new age’, regardless of what anyone says.)

        • Absolutely. Personally I think there is a lot to be learned by studying Christian theology (“know thy enemy” and all that….), but there is such a fantastic wealth of primary-source material out there on non-monotheistic religious traditions, and that is where Heathens, Hellenes, Pagans, Witches, and so forth, should (and one would think this would be obvious) be focusing our attention. And this includes also non-European traditions as well.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Considering how often modern ‘Pagans’ make the claim of worshipping historical (pre Christian) gods, you think that there would be much more interest in the source material of knowledge for those gods (and others).

  • A good link for info on the timeline, known information, and situation regarding the Boston Marathon bombing yesterday:


    As for the Papacy doing what the Papacy does, really not surprised by that. The Pope is a creature of his institution first and Francis has his own skeletons in his closet suggesting he’s probably more interested in protecting the Church’s legitimacy than in improving the Church’s standing in the modern world. Shame that he probably sees any concession on women’s issues as something that would fatally undermine the Catholic Church when, in my opinion, it would probably be one of the better ways to bolster its standing.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      I disagree with your summation of the Catholic Church.

      I disagree with the notion that they need to ‘evolve with the times’. They are set up a specific way, I don’t see how they can support such a radical change without admitting previous fallibility of doctrine. To make that admission would greatly undermine their credibility.

      Religion should not be about inclusion and political correctness, after all. It should be about sincerity of belief.

      • In my opinion the things that are wrong with the Church were already wrong 2000 years ago. And “the modern world” is as full of inequality and injustice as the ancient world ever was.

      • Medeina Ragana

        What is being practiced in the 21st Century has zilch to do with the teachings of Yeshua Ben Yussef. Although it was in the process of changing during the early years of “Christianity”, it certainly radically changed when Constantine made it the state religion and the councils of Nicea came to codify belief. Out went his teachings, and in came politics. Oy!

        • Nothing changed with Constantine other than the fact that Christians now had the power to act out what they had previously only been able to fantasize about.

          Merging the Christian Church with the Roman state did not corrupt
          Christianity. Rather it was the other way around.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I wouldn’t blame Nicea so much. Paul had much more negative impact, if you ask me.

        • I believe that would be ‘Yeshua ben Yosef’; don’t know where you’re getting ‘Yussef’ from.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Various transliterations have been given for that one. I’ve seen Yahushua Ben Yusuf given, before.


          • I can say with confidence, having studied both Hebrew and Aramaic, that ‘Yahushua’ is a completely invalid transliteration. There is some obscure group of Christians who have gone through all the Biblical Hebrew names and added ‘Yah’ to everything to fit their own agenda, even though it is historically inaccurate. His name would more appropriately be transliterated either Yehoshua (for the older form of the name) or Yeshua/ Yeshu for shortened, post-exilic forms of Yehoshua which are already in use in the later books of the Hebrew Bible (particularly Ezra and Nehemiah).

            Yusuf is also inaccurate, that’s the Arabic form of the name, but the Hebrew and Aramaic form clearly sounds more like Yosef (יוֹסֵף).

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I wasn’t saying it was right, just that it has been given. For those of us who haven’t studied the languages, we have to somewhat guess which (conflicting) opinion is the better one.

    • “Shame that he probably sees any concession on women’s issues as
      something that would fatally undermine the Catholic Church when, in my
      opinion, it would probably be one of the better ways to bolster its

      I’ve always thought that one of the more brilliant things that Joseph Campbell ever said was that Vatican II did the exact opposite of what it should have done: they should have kept the Latin Mass and chucked the all male/celibate priesthood.

  • Ursyl

    Let me see if I understand this correctly: it was the 19th century thieves who preserved Hopi culture, in the form of a few masks, rather than ohhhh, the living Hopi themselves who still live their own culture?

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    Not directly a Pagan topic, but one that could provide a fascinating debate, I found this news article:

    Applicants wanted for one way trip to Mars

    I am one of those people who believes in geographical gods – the gods are tied to certain areas and do not have an omnipresent reach. How does this work with multiple worlds?

    • Medeina Ragana

      One of my neighbors who owns a local grocery store and from whom I buy gasoline has applied as is in one of the first groups to be interviewed. I’m so friggin’ jealous of her! Too bad I was born 40 years too early. 🙁

    • Lupa GreenWolf

      But do you need 900 empty Burma-Shave jars?

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        Is that a cultural reference?