Pagan Community Notes: Pagan and Polytheist Portals, Abraxas, I:MAGE, and much more!

The Wild Hunt —  September 15, 2014 — 13 Comments

Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started!

Let’s start off this week by taking a tour of the ‘big four’ Pagan/Polytheist portals.

10513320_1519749801581160_4666587913269014328_nFirst stop is the recently launched Polytheist.com (see our news story about the launch), which has debuted columns by P. Sufenas Virius LupusConor O’Bryan Warren, Niki WhitingTamara L. Siuda, and many more. Helenic Polytheist artist Markos Gage (aka The Gargarean) captures a bit of the general buzz and excitement of the launch of this new site. Quote: “Something like the PLC is a privilege, a gift. Although you dudes went to some hotel in a town with a weird name, gave lectures to one another for a weekend and went home, it has affected people outside. Reading and hearing the fallout of this event has really set a spark in my heart that makes me *want* to be part of the community. This is why I am honoured to be invited to write on this site and sincerely hope I contribute some insight to the beauty of polytheism into the future.” From what I’ve heard, this is just the beginning, so be sure to keep an eye on this site as it develops!

PatheosLogoDarkBG_bioAt the Patheos.com Pagan channel, John Beckett writes about the commodification of humanity, Sarah Thompson shares a prayer of compassion for Z. BudapestSterling shares on de-colonizing ourselves so we can help others, and T. Thorn Coyle writes on becoming leaders. Quote: “We can surround ourselves with a cloak of righteousness, or with sycophants, or just friends who won’t be honest with us, in hopes “oh please oh please oh please” that we won’t be honest with them, in turn.Sometimes I say that my primary work as a teacher is to help those who work with me to become better adults. A martial arts instructor I know often comments that what he really wants to teach is adulthood. I think he does. It just takes a long time. Why? Because of the process of becoming. We learn a little bit today, and the rest slides by, until an event happens, or we learn enough other things, and then all of a sudden, that thing we saw or heard four years ago makes sense. And those of us who are teachers or leaders or parents are involved in that same process. Continuously.”

376350_10151961862130725_916104467_nAt the Witches & Pagans hosted PaganSquare, Steven Posch shares a proverb from his favorite dystopian novelsKai Koumatos describes being a Witch in seminary, Taylor Ellwood talks about anthropomorphic assumptions that show up in magical work, Deborah Blake extolls basil, and Aline “Macha” O’Brien discusses when consensus decision making is not truly consensus decision making. Quote: “The most common problem I’ve encountered is what I will indelicately term the ‘bully factor.’ It’s always deliberate, if perhaps unconscious. It’s simply a fact of life that some voices carry more weight than others. And it has nothing to do with volume. I’ve just experienced, once again, decision-making by the ‘bully factor’ trying to pass itself off as consensus. When there is a call for a sweeping decision that doesn’t allow for individual voices to speak on different perspectives on an issue, it’s extremely difficult for one or more individuals to voice an objection. Even when the facilitator asks for any objections or concerns, anyone voicing such concerns risks derision and disdain, resulting in one’s concerns being dismissed. That person (or persons) may be viewed as being an antagonistic malcontent rather than a valued contributor to the process. Hence, alienation and a breakdown of communal trust.”

witchvoxFinally, at The Witches’ Voice, the normal selection of weekly essays is replaced by a special response to the “New Atheists” by Mike Nichols, author of “The Witches’ Sabbats.” Quote: “In this essay, I plan to analyze the following TWO questions: “Do you believe in God?” and “Do you worship Nature?” Although in my culture, the first is usually asked with reference to Christianity and the second is usually asked with reference to Paganism, I have come to realize the two questions are eerily parallel. And they both share the same crop of problems. Let’s start with ‘Do you believe in God?’ I have been asked that question with surprising regularity for almost as long as I can remember. It didn’t take me too long (high school, perhaps?) to come to the conclusion that this was one of the most absurd questions anyone could ever ask me –or anyone else. What could such a question possibly mean? In order to answer whether or not I believed in ‘God’, I would obviously need to know what my questioner meant by the term.”

In Other Pagan Community News:

  •  Óski’s Gift, a scholarship funded by the household of Galina Krasskova and Sannion, is quickly nearing its deadline for submissions. Here’s what Sannion had to say about the initiative: “Óski’s Gift is a scholarship our household is contributing $300 towards twice a year, awarded to people who are doing work on behalf of their gods and communities. All that one has to do to be eligible is send a short (900-1300 word) description of what that work is to Galina at krasskova@gmail.com. Anyone, from any polytheist tradition, can enter. If you would like to contribute money in addition to what we are offering for the scholarship contact Galina.” Deadline is September 20th.
  • The Emergent Studies Institute is holding a webinar on the subject of eco-spirituality featuring Luisah Teish, M. Macha Nightmare, ecopsychologist Ginny Anderson, and several others. Here’s a quote about Luisah Teish’s presentation: “Examining the myths that have shaped our attitudes toward Woman as representative of Nature (Goddesses, Mermaids, Demons etc.) and to physical environment (Forest, Ocean or Earth). We delineate the ways that these myths have impacted our lives as individuals and as members of the global community. After exploring alternative myths from variety of cultures we discuss the worldview they represent and their effect on Woman and Nature.” The webinar takes place on October 4th.
  • Just a reminder that the I:MAGE London 2014 show is coming up at the end of October. Quote: “In most magical and esoteric traditions the end of October is a sacred time of year, a time for honouring the dead and communicating with the spirit world. It is a time to acknowledge the winter months and delve into the darker part of the year and of the self. The boundaries between the familiar and what is Other shatter. The veil is thin. The magic begins. For I:MAGE 2014, artists will explore what it means to communicate with spirits through art. They will give us a glimpse of a unifying theme across different esoteric practices and offer us the perfect opportunity to introduce you to a truly international show.”
  • September 26th will see the release of a new issue of the always excellent Abraxas Journal. Quote: “Abraxas journal Issue #6 offers more than 160 large format pages of essays, poetry, interviews and art. Printed using state-of-the-art offset lithography to our usual high standard, contributions for Abraxas #6 include an interview by Anna Dorofeeva with the artist, Penelope Slinger, who also kindly designed the cover for this issue; an evocative photographic essay by Victoria Ballesteros of Marjorie Cameron performing a Chen-style sword form of tai-chi, published here for the first time; Matt Marble explores the Hermes of Harlem, Robert T. Browne; Kelly Hayes shares with us a powerful series of images documenting the spiritual lives of an Afro-Brazilian community just outside Rio de Janerio; and we are especially pleased to offer a special feature on Leonora Carrington, with essays from two leading scholars; Susan L. Aberth and Wouter J. Hanegraaff.” 

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That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

The Wild Hunt

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The Wild Hunt is a daily, nonprofit news journal serving the collective Pagan, Heathen and Polytheist communities worldwide. Follow us each day to stay up to date with the latest news and commentary.
  • Crystal Hope Kendrick

    Fracking really terrifies me. Susquahanna County is not that far from where I live and my home state is desperate for jobs- any jobs. We are already downstream and I fear it’s just a matter of time before fracking is in my backyard. Fracking would be the completion of the devastation that already exists in WV.

    • Lēoht “Sceadusawol” Steren

      Don’t get scared, get angry. That would be my suggestion to anyone with concerns about hydraulic fracturing, and its associated health and environmental hazards.

      There are numerous anti-“fracking” groups in the UK and, so far, they seem to be winning the battle for public opinion, thankfully.

      It is extremely telling that most politicians refuse to speak out at the practice when it is so easily proven just how toxic to the environment it is.

      The short term gain from hydraulic fracturing really does not outweigh the long term problems it undoubtedly causes.

      As a Heathen, I feel it is extremely important to be opposed to the process,as it is a severe damaging of the land, which is home to many Ƿihta. You don’t upset the Ƿihta, unless you enjoy the loss of your luck.

      • Crystal Hope Kendrick

        I swing from frightened to angry to sad and back again. Living in a National Sacrifice Zone it’s really hard to keep the anger fueled forever. It comes in spurts, but I hear you. http://open.salon.com/blog/steve_klingaman/2011/06/07/whats_a_national_sacrifice_zone

        • Lēoht “Sceadusawol” Steren

          Anger comes easy to me. :p

        • ELNIGMA

          If you see a way for those outside to help – who local to you to get a letter or email campaign, or whatever, please speak up.

          Or if you don’t know, if someone reading this does know what they can do – please comment.
          Fracking shouldn’t be legal.

          • maple

            If you live outside a fracking region and want to help, I would say join an environmental organization that’s opposing it, such as the Sierra Club, as they have campaigns and ways to get involved. I do live near Frackland, and we have a lot of small local organizations that are resisting on the local and state level. Especially, on the national level we need to resist the plants that will be built to liquify the gas for export.

          • I have a very hard time with my state’s Governor and my nation’s President advocating it as a way to wean us off foreign energy sources. There ARE other ways, and they do not depend on non-renewable, rapidly declining petroleum sources.

          • ELNIGMA

            I’m not an expert yet can think of a few obvious tells that proves that stated aim is false.
            1. When they frack for oil in the Dakotas they literally BURNED off the valuable natural gas rather than retain and sell it. Space missions could see the pollution and fires of this huge environmental disaster from space. The natural gas wasn’t going to earn them a profit enough with the shipping costs to bother saving and selling, so they were only keeping the oil, leaving everything else wasted and destroyed.
            2. These corporations are trying so hard to grab approval or subvert the legal system to build pipelines through Maryland, etc. from where they’re fracking in other states to bring it to port to sell most of it overseas.
            3. Third – Energy companies aren’t generally paying taxes which would help pay for anything, including developing energy alternatives.

  • ELNIGMA

    Love the cover of that magazine. Maybe the artist will offer posters? 🙂

    • ELNIGMA

      I just realized that the artist is Penny Slinger, who did the Secret Dakini Oracle, one of my favorite working decks!!
      I love that deck, too.

  • Rev. Brian J. Schrader

    I grew up in the area affected by the fracking going on in PA. Fortunately for me, I left the area long before fracking moved in. At first, many people I knew in the area were all for it because the area is in a major financial decline. Many of my family members were trying to get me to move back to the area due to the fact that they knew I was having problems finding work in Maine, were I have live for 20+ years. They were all happy with the money that was coming into the area. I refused, and always will refuse, to support the fracking industry. Therefore, I still live in Maine.

    • Crystal Hope Kendrick

      “At first, many people I knew in the area were all for it because the area is in a major financial decline.” They hit financially desperate areas first. They feed off of them knowing that communities that are stable would have absolutely nothing to do with this stuff. It’s simply vile.

      • Rev. Brian J. Schrader

        Agreed. Prehaps you heard about the idea they had for some sort of “Barney” like dinosour that was to be called a “frac-o-sourus”? They also instituted a lot of social programs to help the local community and show just how helpful they are. I know the pizza and soda didn’t go over too well after the gas well explosion.