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!
After 13 years of operation The Pagan Radio Network, one of the most prominent outlets for Pagan and Pagan-friendly music, shut down suddenly on July 21st. Owner Lew Wirt gave the following explanation for the sudden closure: “Not enough time, money, or energy to keep it up. I won’t bore you with a long-winded explanation, except to say that I attend college and raise a special-needs child. This leaves very little time or money to devote to my hobby of Internet broadcasting (as enjoyable as it was). Thank you for tuning in for nearly 13 years.” While there are other worthy streaming Pagan-oriented stations, few rivaled PRN’s size and scope, showcasing an amazing breadth of music. Currently, the domain names and IP are being auctioned off, and Wirt is recommending alternatives (plus new stations are popping up). As someone who had a show hosted on PRN, I’m saddened to see this essential resource go, and I wish Lew all the best in his future endeavors. Whether this is an isolated and personal development, or something that augurs a larger discussion on money and support within our communities is, I think, something that is still up in the air.
PaganSquare, the blogging portal hosted by Witches & Pagans Magazine, has added a new writer: Dan Halloran (who is going by Dan O’Halloran). Halloran, currently serving on the New York City Council, has been indicted in a massive political bribery scandal, and is facing trial sometime in 2014. While the matter of his guilt or innocence awaits due process, Halloran seems to be publicly re-embracing his Heathen beliefs (and the wider Pagan/Heathen community) by writing about Germanic polytheism. Quote: “Now it’s my turn to kick back in life after politics and discuss the things that matter to me from an academic and philosophical perspective. It may stir up some controversy… but that’s half the battle of ordeal, the crucible process of Wyrd. I’m looking forward to the journey….” I questioned editor Anne Newkirk Niven about bringing Halloran on board and she said that she was aware of his history, and was not looking to make any political statement by having him write for PaganSquare. That Halloran “just seemed to fill a gap in our PaganStudies section.” It should be interesting to see how Halloran’s new engagement with the Pagan community is received. You can read all of The Wild Hunt’s coverage of Dan Halloran, here.
This past weekend was the Faerieworlds Festival in Eugene, Oregon. As I said in my post this past Friday, it is a very Pagan and mythic event, and also boasted the first American performance for the Pagan-folk Netherlands band Omnia. On their official Facebook page, the band said they are “so very happy that the AMAZING audience here has such a strong reaction to our pure PaganFolk musick, seeing as it’s our first time here in the USA.” Meanwhile, featured workshop presenter T. Thorn Coyle said that she “had a grand time. Blessings of magic, mirth, and music to you.” Standout performances this year (aside from Omnia) included the mythic Pagan neo-folk of The Wicker Men, ethereal singer-songwriter Mariee Sioux, the transcendent world fusion of Stellamara, and a brief Kan’nal reunion featuring guitarist Tierro and singer Kurt Baumann. Also of note was the fact that American Pagan band Woodland officially released their new album “Secrets Told” and closed out the event on Sunday night. There’s a lot more to tell, and many more Pagans of note who participated (S.J. Tucker, for example, who, as always, was universally beloved), but suffice to say that this is an event that more Pagans should discover. Here’s the opening spiral dance for a small taste. Tons of photos at the official Faerieworlds page. [In the interest of full disclosure, I work for Faerieworlds, but I thought the festival was awesome even before I did.]
In Other Pagan Community News:
- Diana Rajchel, author of the forthcoming book “Divorcing a Real Witch: for Pagans and the People that Used to Love Them,” is looking for participants in a documentary about divorce. Quote: “I’m working on a documentary about Pagans and divorce and I’m seeking folks comfortable going on camera via Google hangout to talk about their divorce experiences.” If interested, you can contact Diana Rajchel, here.
- PNC-Minnesota interviews musician, author, and Wiccan elder Kenny Klein on his return to Minnesota for a series of shows. Quote: “My newest CD, which I should have at Sacred Harvest Festival, is my concert from last year here, recorded live from the stage. That gave me the confidence to bring Fishbird up here to record for a CD. Except for the “Griffin’s Nest” a Pagan camp ground performance this spring, this is the first time ever that Fishbird has performed for a Pagan audience.” Klein recently held a successful crowdfunding initiative to fund a tour and new album for his band FishBird.
- Chas Clifton notes that Pagan Studies co-founder Graham Harvey has a new book out entitled “Food, Sex and Strangers: Understanding Religion as Everyday Life” which “offers alternative ways of thinking about what religion involves and how we might better understand it. Drawing on studies of contemporary religions, especially among indigenous peoples, the book argues that religion serves to maintain and enhance human relationships in and with the larger-than-human world. Fundamentally, religion can be better understood through the ways we negotiate our lives than in affirmations of belief – and it is best seen when people engage in intimate acts with themselves and others.”
- Pagan author and activist Starhawk has plugged a Kickstarter campaign for an “experimental teen drama” film to be directed by Lyra Hill. Quote: “What happens when Witchy kids grow up? They do amazing creative projects, like this film project that the awesome Lyra Hill is funding on Kickstarter. Lyra is the daughter of Anne Hill, my cowriter on “Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Tradition.” Great job, Anne! If you can help Lyra out, you’ll contribute to something truly original!”
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!