Archives For Dark of Moon

In my recent round-up of 2011’s top stories there were many topics I wanted to cover, that I thought were important, but couldn’t include for the sake of brevity. One of those stories was the rise of independent Pagan filmmakers in 2011, a phenomenon that Pagan media critic Peg Aloi mentions in her own round-up of 2011.

Indie Pagan Cinema makes its mark. From the ambitious music-based SPIRIT OF ALBION (with songs by Damh the Bard) to the spooky, blood-soaked, folklore-laden horror flick CALL OF THE HUNTER, there’ve been a lot of great attempts to bring paganism into the theatres. There is also AMERICAN MYSTIC, a fascinating documentary by Alex Mar (interviewed here by Jason Pitzl-Waters) about alternative spirituality which profiles an African-American Spiritualist, a Native American Sundancer, and a Caucasian Wiccan priestess.”

Perhaps the highest profile Pagan-produced film might be the still-in-pitch-phase adaptation of Starhawk’s novel “The Fifth Sacred Thing,” a project that managed to raise over $75,000 in small donations from supporters. At the kick-off of that fundraiser I noted the growing number of movies produced and directed by Pagans and occultists.

“Films made by and for modern Pagans is a newly emerging phenomenon. Recently, film projects like “Our Pagan Heart,” “Dark of Moon,” “Tarology,” “The Spirit of Albion,” and the recently completed “To Dream of Falling Upwards” have woven explicit Pagan and occult themes into visual storytelling. Considering the popularity of Starhawk’s novel, this may be the biggest project of its kind to ever be undertaken. We’ll keep you posted as things develop on this project.”

Now, at the beginning of 2012, there are three projects, out now, or being released soon, that we’ll get to consider as we look at the growth of indie Pagan and occult film-making. First, Taliesin Govannon’s “Dark of Moon,” which was released on DVD at the beginning of December. Govannon describes “Dark of Moon” as film “about friends, lovers, and choices. It’s also filled with Pagans.”

Next up, scheduled for its premier in February, is Antero Alli’s “Flamingos.” An “outlaw romance noir” that features “two enigmatic entities from the Bardo interzones” who “take interest in” the fates of the main characters.

Alli, a prolific indie director, released the well-received Thelemic-themed occult comic drama “To Dream of Falling Upwards” in 2011 (and which I was supposed to review, but it somehow kept getting pushed aside, a condition I’ll try to correct soon). Finally, we have a trailer for “The Spirit of Albion,” due out on DVD in May.

“The Spirit of Albion” is an adaptation of a stage play, and is built around the music of Damh the Bard.

The question isn’t when there will be an oeuvre of independent “Pagan” of “occult” films made or overseen by practitioners, as it is happening now, as we speak. The real question is will these film resonate with our interconnected communities, and will these directors, producers, and performers, find enough support to continue doing this work? If, like Starhawk’s planned film, we are willing to support these efforts, we could see a real flowering of films that speak our language, understand our concerns, and reflect our struggles. A healthy culture needs vibrant artists to help shape our sense of ourselves and our values, and while the budgets may be small, these films seem to be moving us in the right direction.

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, a new series more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce 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 lets get started!

Celebration of Life: Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF) recently held a special memorial service at the Summerland Gathering in Ohio for their founding Archdruid Isaac Bonewits who passed away on August 12th. Now the ADF has released video excerpts from the ceremony for the public to view.

“The following are a list of videos taken during the ADF Memorial Service for Isaac Bonewits. A full-length version of the entire rite will be available from the ADF Store soon. The videos below are roughly in order to fit the ADF Order of Ritual, except that the one entitled ‘Ritual’ is a compilation of a variety of ritual scenes.”

Here’s a clip featuring a eulogy by Rev. Ian Corrigan.

Here’s a clip featuring the closing song, “We Won’t Wait Any Longer” by Gwydion Pendderwen, a song that Isaac Bonewits loved.

I’d like to thank Ár nDraíocht Féin for sharing these moving videos in tribute to such an important figure within our movement. You can find links to all the videos released so far, here.

An Ordination at Summerland: Also at the completed Summerland Gathering in Ohio, at the Unity Rite for the Druid organization Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF), Michael J Dangler was ordained within that tradition. The rite was captured on video, and uploaded to Youtube.

“The ordination rite of Rev. Michael J Dangler at Summerland in 2010. The rite was done during the ADF Unity Rite, and just as he is called forward, the heavens opened up into a downpour. Just as he was proclaimed by Rev. Kirk Thomas (Archdruid of ADF) as a Priest, the rains stopped.”

Despite the ubiquity of video today, it’s still rather rare to see modern Pagans capture their rites and rituals on video, so it’s a real treat to see an ADF ordination shared with the public. Congratulations to Rev. Dangler on his ordination.

Strowling Towards StrowlerFest: A new music and culture festival in St. Louis, Missouri, StrowlerFest, named after a bit of old thieving slang for traveling vagabonds and entertainers, is featuring a veritable who’s who of established Pagan and Pagan-friendly bands.

Tricky Pixie – (Saturday night) – Gypsy Celtic Folk Rock for Naughty Punk Faeries, Traveling Fates – (Sunday night) – A genre hopping musical ride skirting the edges of Alt-Rock, Americana, Jazz, Folk-Hop, and Mythpunk, DreamTrybe – (Saturday night) – The original headlining inspiration for the Festival of Pagan Music that Doesn’t Suck – re-united specifically for StrowlerFest 2010, Wendy Rule – (Friday and Saturday) – Dark, sensual, sonic theater – our very special guest from Australia, Sharon Knight – (Friday and Saturday) – Music, Myth, and Magick, Big Bad Gina – (Friday and Sunday) – Funky Goddess Folk Fusion, Heather Dale – (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) – Celtic music for the 21st century, GB Mojo – (Friday) a duo of solo artists, they combine rootsy soul-folk and piano rock moxie, urban wit and ancient wisdom, Alexander James Adams – (Friday and Sunday) – the Faerie Tale Minstrel Himself; heir to the legacy of Heather Alexander, Louise Cloutier – (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) – virtuoso vocal instigator, also offering holistic voice lessons throughout the weekend…”

The event happens the weekend of September 10th, and is brought to us by singer-songwriter SJ Tucker and author Laurell K Hamilton. Other Strowler events are planned  in Boston and Seattle in October, check out the Strowlers web site for more details.

Movie Featuring Pagans Set to Start Shooting: A low-budget Pagan-themed indie comedy entitled “Dark of Moon” has announced that it will start shooting on September 2nd. Directed by Taliesin Govannon, the film focuses on five friends, and the chain of events that unfolds when one of them leaves their eclectic group to join a Gardnerian coven.

“True Alternatives media is pleased to announce that the first shooting day of it’s new Pagan-themed comedy “Dark of Moon” has been set. It’s september 2nd, 2010. On that day, the lights will glow, and tape will roll, setting into motion 22 days of shooting spread over 5 weeks.

“Dark of Moon” is a dialogue driven comedy in the tradition of Woody Allen and Kevin Smith, and the first film to feature 100% realistic Pagan characters. It’s being directed by Taliesin Govannon (who also wrote the script), a Wiccan with 23 years experience in the Craft and modern Paganism. The film is set to feature the music of legendary Pagan musician Gwydion Pendderwen, amongst others.”

Is this the beginning of a new era in Pagan film-making? Will we soon see a crop of indie Pagan-themed films? If so, I can only hope they are more like Hindu-themed films in India than contemporary Christian films in America.

Green Egg Goes Free: Legendary Pagan magazine Green Egg,once a print journal and now online-only, as decided to go completely free instead of offering subscriptions to access their content.

“ALL OF THE CONTENT ON GREEN EGG IS NOW COMPLETELY FREE!!!! You will need to register only if you would like to comment on the Forum. We have been hard at work revamping our website, with Forum registration having just been made active again. Please check back often to see the new content and pages we’re adding!”

You can access all of their recent (now free) back-issues, here. For a taste of Green Egg at the height of their influence check out  “Green Egg Omelette: An Anthology of Art and Articles from the Legendary Pagan Journal”. I wish them luck as they move forward with this new change!

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