Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  December 27, 2013 — 10 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.

Akhenaten's daughter (Tutankhamun's sister). from Mallawi Museum in Mallawi town.

Akhenaten’s daughter (Tutankhamun’s sister). from Mallawi Museum in Mallawi town.

  • One ongoing issue relating to the political tumult within Egypt (which is ongoing) has been the fate of art and antiquities looted during these times of crisis. So, it’s a small ray of light that French officials are returning five pieces that were spotted by Egyptian officials at auction. Quote: “Five antiquities looted and removed from Egypt after the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 have been returned by the French government to the Egyptian authorities. “Egyptian officials in charge of monitoring antiquities sales abroad spotted five Ptolemaic dynasty objects [323BC-30BC] for sale online, including two that were posted by a Toulouse-based auction house,” Ali Ahmed, an official at the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry, told the French newspaper Le Figaro. A head, torso and arm, which were part of a glass sculpture of a man, were among the stolen items.” Egypt’s vast and rich archeological heritage has been an engine of it’s once-booming tourism industry (currently hobbled by the chaos), and the preservation of this legacy a key component of recovery. For now, it’s a hunt to restore priceless treasures of one of the ancient world’s greatest civilizations.
  • If you wanted to know more about the painting of famous Voodoo/Vodou Queen Marie Laveau’s tomb in New Orleans being painting pink, The Art of Conjure has a very good round-up of the story. Quote: “Whether it is vandalism or devotion is not the issue here, however. Rather, according to Morrison, it is the fact that it was apparently done without Mam’zelle’s consent. At least, that’s what Morrison expressed after being there in person and informing Mam’zelle that her tomb had been painted pink. Traditionally in New Orleans Voudou, Marie Laveaux is associated with the color blue, perhaps because of her association with water.” On Thursday I featured Lilith Dorsey’s views on this incident.
  • NPR has a deeper look at the recent controversy over the auction of Hopi sacred artifacts, and the struggles in general of preserving Native/indigenous sacred lands, places, and objects. Quote: “‘Indians in Arizona and elsewhere continue to be guided by religious traditions that have been handed down by the Creator,’ said James Riding In, a member of the Pawnee Nation and Indian Studies professor at Arizona State University. He adds it’s difficult for those who are not Indian to understand the spiritual connection many tribes have with their land and with items such as the Hopi sacred objects.” A nice summary of several stories that I’ve touch on over the years here at The Wild Hunt.
  • The New York Times profiles Kumar Natarajanaidu, a Hindu priest who set up a temple in the back of a retail space in Queens. Quote: “To pay the rent, Mr. Natarajanaidu uses the front portion of his temple to frame pictures and sell videos, flowers and religious apparel. But beyond the DVD counter, the temple begins, pieced together by his untrained hand. It is a hodgepodge of cleverly rigged curtains and shrines made from stray planks, tape, string and ornate wall coverings. The carpet segments are duct-taped together, and overhead is a water-stained drop ceiling. But as if by divine intervention, it all comes together as a glowing, opulent holy place, with a seductive mélange of colors and a flood of fragrant incense.”
  • Here’s BBC coverage of the Druid leader Arthur Pendragon-led protest against the display of human remains at the new Stonehenge visitor center. Quote: “Mr Pendragon said that until the bones were taken off display and reburied, he would continue a campaign that will cost English Heritage money and turn the public against them. He has claimed the bones discovered in 2008 are the remains of members of the royal line and wants them reinterred. ‘Today was just a shot across the bows – it was just a taster,’ he said.” For another perspective, I spotlighted a review of the new center, here. Here’s an excerpt from his announcement to protest.
The reality television family at the center of the Utah polygamy decision.

The reality television family at the center of the Utah polygamy decision.

  • The (much-reported) decision in Brown v. Buhman may not have legalized polygamy, but it is a victory for polyamory (and privacy). Quote: “The problems with this statutory language under the right to privacy most recently re-established in Lawrence v. Texas should be obvious. On its face, the law would prohibit not only informal consensual polyamorous relationships—problematic in itself—but any kind of intimate cohabitation between unmarried partners. Based onLawrence’s recognition of the fundamental right consenting adults have to engage in same-sex relations, it is very hard to argue that this section of the Utah statute doesn’t violate the right to privacy guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.” Is this the beginning of the end of morality laws?
  • Would you like to know what author Dan “The Da Vinci Code” Brown’s superpowers are? Quote: “Given the powers of ‘Inferno’, showing a glimpse of hell with every three line poem he writes, that reflects the future in 33 minutes.”
  • You know you’ve arrived as a minority religion when conservative Christians call you out. Yes, it’s from the Duck Dynasty dude. Quote: “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero,” Robertson explained. “That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.” Charming, isn’t he? He should get his own TV show! Oh… wait…
  • Here’s the backstory on how the Annenberg Foundation saved those Hopi and Apache sacred items at a French auction.
  • Here’s the complete “American Gods” soundtrack, if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and “The Dark Knight” screenwriter David S. Goyer are producing an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” at Warner Bros. What could possibly go wrong? For the record, Gordon-Levitt was brilliant in “Brick.”

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

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  • Medeina Ragana

    So, returning Egyptian antiquities is okay, but selling Native American antiquities is also okay? Anybody see anything wrong here?

    ::fumes::

  • Medeina Ragana

    The other thing that annoys me is when “journalists” call any type of statue of a non-Christian religion an “idol”. You wouldn’t call the Pieta an “idol” would you? So why call a statue of Kali, or Isis and “idol” other than shear ignorance? It’s too bad NY Times doesn’t allow comments. ::fumes::

  • Josh

    Guess the great Reverend Phil, forgot about the pesky Salem witch trials & the equally pesky Albigensian Crusades. Good ole Jesus was there.

    And why do these fools keep forgetting that Hitler’s shenanigans where due to a lack of Jesus? The man was a Christian. And the ones who weren’t, did do what they did because of a lack of Jesus. It was a combination of politics and tactics.

    Take Japan for example. If I’m going to attempt to take over part of the world, I’m not going to do it when I have a neighbor capable of ending my ambitions of world conquest. I’m going to cripple said neighbor first, then move on with my plans.

  • Raksha38

    Sandman movies are cursed. This one is going to end up stuck in development hell, just like the rest. I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an actor, but I’m having a hard time picturing him as Dream.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      I don’t think it could be made into a series of movies, anyway. It just will not work in that medium.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    Shinto–yes, that ancient and venerable religion that has been around for a WHOLE EIGHTY YEARS…wow, this piece of work makes him and his brand of religion look better and better with every word out of his hair-encrusted oral orifice.

    • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

      Now, now, let’s not resort to pogonophobia.

    • Franklin_Evans

      From my reading, admittedly superficial, Shinto as a describable practice was reliably established in the 8th centure CE, with roots in traditions back to the 7th century BCE. If you are being sarcastic, I apologize, but if you are rejecting those descriptions I’d be very interested in reading your sources for that.

      • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

        Yes–very sarcastic indeed.

        I’m a regular attendee of a Shinto shrine which is a branch shrine of the Tsubaki Okami Yashiro in Japan, which has a recorded history of something like 2018 years at this point. I’m well aware that Shinto is far older than eighty years, and was suggesting that the ignoramus who made it sound like it was “new” just before Pearl Harbor was as non-sentient as a bag of clippings from his beard (if such a bag exists). And the fact is, Jesus *IS* in Shinto, as are some Christian saints, it’s just that they’re considered kami like any other, no more important or less than any (other than perhaps Amaterasu-Omikami). So, scratch two, Duck Dynasty dummy.