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.
- The Chicago-based Pagan/magical performance troupe Terra Mysterium is in the midst of a IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for their new show “The Alembic,” an alchemical Steampunk fantasy. Quote: “The clockwork of fate is a tricky matter. In this Steampunk musical tale, an alchemist undertakes the work of transmutation. A Goddess responds to his call. Within the realm of humanity, she forgets that she is a Goddess and will pay the ultimate price for her innocence.” They are less than a $1000 dollars from their goal, with 10 days left to go, and will premier this new production at the Chicago Fringe Festival. For more on the wonderful work Terra Mysterium does, check out this 2010 guest post from their artistic director Matthew Ellenwood, and another from troupe member Ruby Sara. If you want to support Pagan arts, this is a great way to do it!
- Speaking of Pagans and fundraisers, the band Tricky Pixie, which features singer-songwriter SJ Tucker, just launched a Kickstarter campaign for their European tour, and have already more than doubled their initial goal in a matter of hours. A testament to the intense loyalty of Tucker and Tricky Pixie’s fanbase. There’s still plenty of time to contribute if you’d like to take advantage of some of the pledge incentives. Here’s a video of SJ Tucker and Betsy Tinney of Tricky Pixie cavorting with glee after they reached their goal in about an hour.
- Earlier this week I reported on how Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, in an ongoing tax battle with the Town of Catskill, New York, lost their exemption battle before the New York State Supreme Court. Now the local Watershed Post brings their report, with Catskill’s lawyer intimating that he “does not expect much protest from pro-pagan groups now that a judge has carefully analyzed the evidence.” Quote: “I do this all over New York State, the reaction is the reaction. You get the decision. That’s the law. That’s what you have to abide by.” Rev Cathryn Platine says she will appeal and ask for protection from foreclosure, but this legal struggle is becoming increasingly difficult as the legal bills pile up. Catskill is hoping to out-spend, and out-litigate the Maetreum out of existence, a wider battle against tax-exempt buildings in the area. We’ll keep you posted as this story continues to develop.
- I was interviewed at the Current network’s news blog about the struggle for acceptance by religious minorities in America, and how the media plays a role in that process. Quote: “Journalistic coverage of minority faiths has huge impacts on how we are perceived and accepted by the mainstream [...] Every minority religion has gone through this crucible of being demonized in the media or willfully misunderstood, and having to create their own media and become proactive before they’re able to shift discussions.” Also interviewed is Yeshe Rabbit and Matt Deos/Bozanfè Bon Oungon, be sure to check it out!
- Fantasy artist Jessica Galbreth, creator of the Enchanted Oracle, converted to Christianity back in 2010, shifting her body of work to angels and Christian-approved imagery. Now, the Tarot Pals site points out that Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network has done a profile of Galbreth’s conversion, showing the artist destroying her old work and claiming to being possibly “demon possessed” while creating some of her old work. On her blog, Galbreth says she wants people who “dabbled with the occult in their past” to know that God’s mercy is
all that and a bag of chipsthere for them.
- In another update of a story I’ve previously reported on M. Macha NightMare (Aline O’Brien), a co-founder of the Reclaiming tradition, who recently publicly split with the tradition, is sharing her reasoning at her personal blog. Quote: “When I get home and begin reflecting on my experiences, I feel battered. I truly do. I don’t really know how to process it. During the following months I do tell some of my Reclaiming colleagues who weren’t there about my experience. I vow never to go again.”
- At the Religion in American History blog, Christopher Cantwell considers the recent shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, and examines American pluralism in its wake. Quote: “How do we, as scholars, educators, and advocates of American religious history approach and address such incidents as well as the larger issues of hate and misunderstanding they reveal? How do we utilize our classrooms, research, and writing to create spaces that recognize and understand the fears and vulnerabilities of a Wade Page while simultaneously diffusing them?”
- In another piece relating to the Sikh Temple shooting, religion scholar Stephen Prothero reminds us that bigotry towards religious minorities is nothing new in the United States. Quote: “We Americans flatter ourselves as citizens of a “land of liberty” where religious freedom is sacrosanct. And we have much to brag about in this regard, not least a First Amendment that guarantees religious liberty and the separation of church and state. Yet the United States also has a long history of religious bigotry.”
- I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning, it smells like victory. Right Wing Watch lets us know that anti-Pagan hater David Barton is having a very bad week, first NPR tears his credibility to shreds, and now his publisher is pulling the pseudo-historian’s Thomas Jefferson book due to losing “confidence in the book’s details” (in other words he just made stuff up and distorted the facts). It should be noted that it was conservative Christian historians who really let the air out of Barton’s tires, tired of his culture-war posturing masquerading as history. Barton came to the attention of the Pagan community after he opined in a legal document that Pagans aren’t covered by the constitution’s religion clause, and aren’t entitled to its protections.
- New polling states that people are getting less and less religious, but do they really mean less Christian? As more and more people shift away from the dominant monotheisms, there will naturally be a time of realignment, perhaps Pagans and other minority religions will benefit during this time? Sometimes those “nones” are pretty Pagan in their behavior and inclinations.
- Does New York Democratic congressional candidate Grace Meng’s father becoming embroiled in a bribe scandal mean the long-shot win of Heathen candidate Dan Halloran become less of a long-shot? It seems a possibility.
That’s it for now! Happy Friday! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.