Archives For Armenia

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.

That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of them I may expand into longer posts as needed.

My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.

British Druid chief Arthur Pendragon is running for a seat in parliament as an independent candidate. Pendragon’s platform is one focused almost solely on the issue of Stonehenge.

“A Druid chief has announced his intention to stand in the next general election to fight what he describes as the “disgusting neglect” of Stonehenge. King Arthur Pendragon, titular head and chosen chief of the largest independent Druid order in Britain, will stand as an independent candidate in the Salisbury constituency and take on the mainstream political parties. He is campaigning for the construction of the E510 million A303 Stonehenge road tunnel, which, he says, is the only way to protect the ancient monument and was backed up by a lengthy public inquiry in 2004.”

Pendragon has run for a seat in parliament four times previously, there isn’t any polling data so I can’t make any predictions if the fifth time will be the charm.

A group of North Carolina Pagans are getting “barbarous” in defense of a magnolia tree that is scheduled to be cut down by developers.

“Reaction to the potential loss of a single magnolia tree has left developer Stewart Coleman baffled. “It’s one tree,” he said Monday after hearing a group of Wiccans plan to cast spells to save it. “More than 40 trees – including six flowering cherries – have been destroyed for the park construction.” … But Wiccan priestess Dixie Deerman of Coven Oldenwilde in Asheville says the line has to be drawn somewhere, and this is it. Deerman, also known as Lady Passion, has invited Pagans, Wiccans and others to encircle the tree Friday evening and chant spells to protect it, “and Barbarous Words of Power to thwart the developer.” Wicca, also known as Paganism, is a faith that worships nature.”

The developer has offered to have the tree moved to a different location, though the shock of moving the tree may kill it, and questions the logic of Lady Passion in her spirited defense of this magnolia tree.

“Coleman said he doesn’t understand why people are so upset when developments outside downtown are destroying many more trees. ‘If I were to develop 40 homes … say, on a ridge top, how many trees would have to come down?’ he said ‘And you would need to build roads and water lines. It would be a lot worse.'”

But I guess you can never tell what your radicalizing moment will be, for Lady Passion it is the cutting down of that single tree. One hopes this is only the tentative start for a more involved life of environmental activism.

A British mother who is serving a life sentence for smothering her infant son is bringing litigation against the prison for not allowing her a ritual drum.

“I am a Shamanic pagan. I do not believe in violence. I have respect for all life and individuality. This prison, like many others, has an unwritten policy of pagan persecution. I have been refused and denied possession of religious items. I have faced hostility and disregard over my religious practices and festivals, and I have encountered bullying from inmates and staff due to my faith. I am not abusive to staff or inmates. So why should there be so many difficulties facing me? Either some members of staff see me as a threat because of my perceived intelligence, or they see me as a threat because they do not understand the way I choose to live my life.”

Leaving aside the bitter irony of a mother who killed her son (for refusing to breastfeed) saying she “respects” all life, prison officials don’t seem too keen to give her a drum, claiming that prison is a place of correction not recreation. So I guess we’ll soon see where the line in the UK regarding access to religious items will be drawn.

SperoNews, a Catholic-run news agency, reports on the persistence of paganism in Armenia and attempts to hint at dire political consequences if such behavior continues.

“At Garni, pagan priests placed sacrificial knives in fire, as well as rose petals in earthenware jugs of water, before reading aloud from the Ukhtagir, a collection of pre-Christian folk stories and legends immortalizing Armenia’s pagan gods written by Slak Kakosian, the founder of the Pagan Covenant, one of Armenia’s main pagan organizations. Founded in 1990, the group now claims it has over 1,000 members. In the group’s events, nationalism and paganism mingle equally. “We are pagans,” said 43-year-old Zohrab Petrosian, Kakosian’s successor. “We are Armenians, but we don’t know our true religion. Simply lighting a candle in a church or wearing a cross around our necks does not make us Christian. I’ve been a member of this organization for 10 years, but as an Armenian I’ve been pagan since the day I was born.” At the Garni Vardavar observances, one of the highest-profile attendees was Armen Avetisian, leader of the ultra-nationalist Union of Armenian Aryans, who received a three-year suspended sentence in 2005 for inciting racial hatred against Jews.”

You see, if any racists show up to your gatherings, then this must be the beginnings of a new fascism! But participants in the rituals don’t quite see it that way.

“Armenian pagans tend to dismiss the concern, though. Many at the Garni observances said politics wasn’t a factor for them … The hordes of children drenching pedestrians and motorists with water usually overshadow any such quests for meaning on Vardavar. Even so, Armenia’s pagans might take comfort in the fact that torrential rains unexpectedly hit Armenia at the festival’s end on July 15. As the rain poured down in the days that followed, one can only wonder if Astghik wasn’t listening, after all.”

No doubt Spero will keep looking for proto-fascists everywhere except in the mirror.

That is all I have for now, have a good day!