Archives For Green Egg

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!

hexenfestHexenfest, a “festival of magick, music, and dance” is coming up on April 26th in Oakland, California. Featured musical performers include Ego Likeness, Pandemonaeon, Tempest and Nathaniel Johnstone, and Unwoman. The event will also feature dance performances from Anaar and Morpheus Ravenna, with DJing by Daniel Skellington. The event, now in its 3rd year, hopes to “create a San Francisco Bay Area festival that caters to the mythic imagination in a way that appeals to adults. Sensual and fierce, and willing to explore darker themes, Hexenfest seeks to awaken inner archetypes in all their aspects. To our knowledge, this is the first festival devoted specifically to the arts in the Neopagan revival. We believe that a culture’s art is both shaped by, and a shaper of, the identity of its people. As such, the inclusion of the arts in the Neopagan sphere is very important. As our young movement both rebuilds ancestral traditions and grapples with a modern identity, the arts will be essential to the legacy of our spiritual community.” Were I in the Bay Area of California I would surely be there. You can buy tickets to Hexenfest online.

Alyxander Folmer

Alyxander Folmer

Last week two different essays, from two different Heathens, tackled the issue of race, and racism, within modern Heathenry. First was from Alyxander Folmer, an anthropology student who wrote a piece for Patheos.com entitled “Drawing The Line – Heathens Against White Supremacists.” Quote: “Like it or not, there is a small segment of the modern Heathen community that not only buys into this kind of blatant racism, but co-opts our faith and uses our religion as an excuse to do so without having to admit that they ARE racist. These people twist the idea of ancestor veneration and cultural pride as a way to justify and mask their hate, as if using religious reasoning for their behavior somehow exempts them from the consequences of their actions. I refuse to allow them to abuse and dishonor our faith, our community, and our gods. We have the power to speak up and strip away that religious mask they wear. We CAN expose these people for what they are and show the world that they do NOT represent us.” Then, on Tumblr, the writer known as ‘Grumpy Lokean Elder’ posted a much-shared essay critiquing “Folkish” Heathenry. Quote: “You can be a very intelligent person, you can have the best intentions and not want to be racist at all, and when you’re starting out in Heathenry, Folkish recruiting can still hook you and reel you in.” Both of these essays come in the wake of talk at PantheaCon (featured in the most recent Elemental Castings podcast) that focused on racialist/white supremacist Paganisms. Is this all coincidence, synchronicity, or is the Heathen community gearing up for a new conversation on these issues?

FPGIn an update to Sunday’s story on controversy at Florida Pagan Gathering, Gavin and Yvonne Frost, the authors of “The Witch’s Bible” (reprinted  later as “The Good Witch’s Bible”) have posted a long response at their blog defending themselves. Quote: “If your group practices the Great Rite, then surely it is better to state that fact plainly than to hide behind euphemisms and try to blame others for things that those others have not done. And, surely, you do not have active members in your group under the age of 18. Living in the Craft means that you work daily to realize how sick and twisted are the ‘norms’ of the culture in which you find yourself.” It should be noted for clarity that the “Pagans For Change” group, in their public statements, never accused the Frosts of sexual impropriety, or illegal actions, only that they objected to their content on sexual initiations and didn’t wish for them to teach at FPG. Meanwhile, in the wake of the renewed debates and controversy over this issue, the Frosts have decided to not attend the upcoming Michigan Pagan Fest. What the long-term ramifications are of this decades-long issue within the Pagan community resurfacing once again remains to be seen.

In Other Pagan Community News:

  • PMPChannel and Green Egg/Five Rivers hosted a conversation on Friday with Jo Pax and Tzipora Katz. Quote: “Ariel Monserrat and Michael Gorman, the hosts of Green Egg/FiveRivers, have Jo Pax and Tzipora Katz join them on the air. Jo is the biological son of Kenny Klein and Tzipora is his ex-wife. The topic is a tense and emotional one, they will be talking openly and honestly about their experiences as Kenny Klein’s son and ex-wife.”
  • A new service, Pagan Broadcasting International, is starting to emerge. Quote: “While we’ve got a basic station begining to function, to turn this into a world-class Internet station will still take a bit of work – and a bit of money. So later this week, we’ll start a campaign to help fund the equipment  and software that it will take to make this happen. I haven’t decided exactly what form that campaign will take, but check back here for details!” Interested in helping out? They have a Facebook group.
  • Damh the Bard has a new songbook coming out on April 17th, “The Four Cornered Castle,” now available for pre-order. Quote: “This chord book contains the chords from my last three studio albums, The Cauldron Born, Tales from the Crow Man and Antlered Crown and Standing Stone. As with Songbook 1 there is no musical notation in the book – I don’t read music myself – but the chord shapes and locations within the lyrics will show you more about my writing process, and how to play the songs as I do. As with my last songbook, I hope you enjoy singing these songs around your camp fires, in your covens and groves, or simply on your own or with friends. Get strumming!”

CoverEarthWarriorshopbig

  • European Pagan-folk band Omnia’s new album “Earth Warrior” is out now and available for order from their website.  Quote: “OMNIA’s 14th independant production is a studio concept-album all about the Living Earth and the fight against her destruction by humanity containing 14 OMNIA compostitions written in varying acoustic-musick styles, from classical, country, bluesgrass, hard rock, jazz, native american,celtic-folk, Balkan all the way to OMNIA’s original PaganFolk.” For those of us in the United States, Omnia will be playing at Faerieworlds this Summer, and FaerieCon in November.
  • Star Foster has issued a call for participants in a book on doubt, belief, and spiritual struggle in polytheism. Quote: “I am writing this book because I think it will help people. If you have experienced a spiritual struggle, then I hope you will share your story to give others comfort and hope. I will be collecting stories until June 1, 2014.”
  • Happy 20th anniversary to Murphy’s Magic Mess on KZUM in Lincoln, Nebraska. Quote: “Thank you for all the well wishes as The Mess reaches 20 years on air. loved the ‘bumps’ musicians sent [and it] was a very fun show. We started with Buffy Sainte Marie’s “God is Alive, Magic is Afoot’ because that is the music with which I began my very first show. My how time flies. It doesn’t seem like 20 years.”
  • A few weeks back, I mentioned that The Temple of Witchcraft in Salem, New Hampshire would be holding a Spring Open House on April 6th. Now, you can see the pictures!

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

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!

TFST_Guilds_1-300x300The team behind getting Starhawk’s novel “The Fifth Sacred Thing” turned into a feature film have announced that they are seeking volunteers to become a part of their new guild production system (one that takes its inspiration from the book). Quote: “Here at TFST, we’ve been very busy creating legal, financial and creative infrastructure for the development of the film. This includes concept art, original music, perfecting the screenplay, fostering connections with green businesses, pitching the film, and creating our promotional video (watch it here). We’ve designed the foundations of a green, sustainable film project from the ground up, building important alliances and this includes you. The outpouring of support was so profound we decided to create Guilds (yes, like the novel!) to activate participants. Each Guild will operate like a team, with a Leader who will oversee tasks and report to the producers for effective communication.” Those interested are pointed to a contact form on the film project’s website. In 2011, Starhawk raised over $75,000 dollars through Kickstarter to help fund a pitch-reel in order get a feature film based on her post-apocalyptic 1993 book made. You can read all of my coverage of this project, here.

b26b6501f8c7ce428e52cf912ba6aeeeThe historic Pagan periodical Green Egg, which re-launched 2007 as a digital-only publication, has announced that they have signed on with a print-on-demand magazine self-service platform so that their content can be made available in print, and at stores, once again. Quote: “Green Egg, the famous Pagan magazine which was first published in 1968, proudly announces that it is now back in print. The popular Pagan journal was founded by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and has featured articles by such luminaries as Jacques Vallee, Robert Anton Wilson, Starhawk, Joanna Macy and many articles by Oberon himself, as well as articles and poems by his wife, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart [...] The new print version will also be available in i-Pad version for 2.00. The print version is available for purchase for $8.00. Both versions include a digital version.” You can find the new issue in this new venue, here. As announced previously, Green Egg continues to work behind the scenes to digitize their extensive back-catalog, which they now estimate will be done come the Summer. For a best-of retrospective of the magazine, check out “Green Egg Omelete.”

TShirt_black_Coven_Oldenwilde_lo-resThe Asheville, North Carolina-based Witch/Wiccan organization Coven Oldenwilde announced that they have signed a contract with a reality television production company. Quote: “We’ve signed an agreement with a reputable California production company that has previously filmed series for the History channel and the Discovery channel, etc., to be filmed for a TV series showing how we teach magical apprentices, and exploring what attracts Seekers to Wicca, as well as their experiences while aspiring to the Priest/esshood. No contest, sensationalism, or monetary compensation involved; rather, this is an opportunity to present the Craft well to a national and international audience, and to show viewers how folks from all walks of life can master magic. The series will likely be filmed in our Covenstead in West Asheville, NC, and if it gets the go-ahead for production, the filming could commence anywhere from 4 to 6 months or so from now. We would teach apprentice/cast-members material from Coven Oldenwilde’s upcoming online School of Witchcraft courses.” I’ve made my feelings about Paganism and reality television rather clear, so I will simply wish them the best of luck, and hope that the program is as positive as they portray.

In Other Pagan Community News:

http://www.gbgcalendar.com

http://www.gbgcalendar.com

  • The 2014 Gerald B. Gardner “year and a day” calendar is now available for order. Quote: “Since 2010, this unique calendar project has shared photos, news clippings and quotes from Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, Patricia Crowther, Eleanor Bone, Monique Wilson and Lois Bourne, covering five decades of Craft history.” If you’re of the Wiccan persuasion, it makes a neat gift. I’ve embedded a sample image above. For each calendar sold, a donation will be made to the Doreen Valiente Foundation, and England’s Museum of Witchcraft.
  • I recently pointed to photos of Guatemalan Mayan elder Apolinario Chile Pixtun’s visit to California, where he interacted with several local Pagans. Now, COG Interfaith Reports features a write-up from Don Frew and Rachael Watcher about the visit. Quote: “This first ceremony was for Tata to introduce himself to the spirits of this place – my home, the Bay Area, California – and to the spirits of the people who have lived here, especially of the various native tribes.  This was to be polite and make sure that there would be no resistance to the work he would be doing.” 
  • Congratulations to Wiccan author and musician Kenny Klein on starting his own blog at the Huffington Post. Quote: “I plan to do a lot of speaking on this venue about life in New Orleans: our celebrations, our lifestyles, and the hardships we still suffer in the wake of Katrina, eight years later. But as a professional musician, I tour frequently, and speak about the things I see on the road.”
  • Pagan writer Jason Mankey is raising some money on IndieGoGo to fund his expenses for when he goes on the road this Spring. Quote: “Maybe you want to donate some cash because you enjoy Raise the Horns or like my workshops.  Perhaps you want to support one of the hardest working guys in all of the Pagan Blogosphere (that would be me).  I’ve been giving my all to greater Pagandom for the last several years and I want to be able to continue to do that without worrying about bouncing a check.” He’s raised $420 dollars of his $600 dollar goal so far. So if you appreciate his writing/speaking, send a few bucks his way.
  • The annual Reclaiming Spiral Dance was held this past Saturday in San Francisco. Reclaiming co-founder Starhawk noted after the event that it was “another beautiful Spiral Dance! Thanks, everyone, for the hard work, the creativity and the inspiration–dancers, musicians, altar builders, organizers, trance leaders, invocations, and of course, the indispensable cleanup crew!”

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

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!

Patrick McCollum

Patrick McCollum

The Association of Correctional Food Service Affiliates (ACFSA) international conference in Reno Nevada is this week, and Pagan chaplain Patrick McCollum will be addressing them to give guidance about requests for special diets from Pagan inmates. Quote: “Rev. McCollum will share information about basic Pagan practices and beliefs, and the give guidance to the Association on how to accommodate religious diets for Pagans. In the past, Pagan traditions have not been considered legitimate religious practices in correctional facilities and as a result, Pagans have not been been afforded equal accommodation in this area. Many practicing Pagans are vegan or vegetarian, but are forced to eat meat while other mainstream faiths are offered alternatives. The ACFSA has decided to utilize Rev. McCollum’s expertise in this area to change prison policies worldwide to be more receptive to Pagan beliefs. This is a huge step forward toward equality for Pagans, and bodes well for a better future for all minority faiths.” According to McCollum, this is the first time that a Pagan has addressed this body. Here’s hoping this will lead to a better understanding of our diversity, and the valid needs of Pagan inmates. You can find all of my coverage of Patrick McCollum, here.

41SC-bWNDqL._SY346_Professor Ronald Hutton, author of “The Triumph of the Moon” and “Blood and Mistletoe,” has a new book coming out in November of this year in the UK ( and February of next year in the United States) from Yale University Press entitled  “Pagan Britain.” Quote: “Britain’s pagan past, with its astonishing number and variety of mysterious monuments, atmospheric sites, enigmatic artefacts, bloodthirsty legends and cryptic inscriptions, has always enthralled and perplexed us. Pagan Britain is a history of religious beliefs from the Old Stone Age to the coming of Christianity. This ambitious book integrates the latest evidence to survey our transformed – and transforming – understanding of early religious behaviour; and, also, the way in which that behaviour has been interpreted in recent times, as a mirror for modern dreams and fears. From the Palaeolithic era to the coming of Christianity and beyond, Hutton reveals the long development, rapid suppression, and enduring cultural significance of paganism. Woven into the chronological narrative are numerous case studies of sacred sites – both the well known Stonehenge, Avebury, Seahenge and Maiden Castle, and more unusual far-flung locations across the mainland and coastal islands. Celebrating the powerful challenge and stimulus offered to our imagination by relics of Britain’s deep past, this rich book reveals much about archaeological and historical endeavour and our modern quest to know.” Hutton was host of the recently aired documentary about Gerald Gardner entitled “Britain’s Wicca Man,” and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy last month.

Philip Carr-Gomm at the fracking protest.

Philip Carr-Gomm at the fracking protest.

The process of hydraulic fracturing to harvest natural gas, infamously known as “fracking,” isn’t only controversial in the United States. Fracking operations are underway in Britain, and several Pagans, including musician Damh the Bard, participated in a protest against a well in Balcombe, Sussex. Quote: “This afternoon’s visit is not a happy return to a childhood stamping ground, but rather a way of supporting brave people in their fight against the madness of greed. What can I do? Add myself to the numbers, add my voice by taking my bouzouki with me and playing Sons and Daughters (of Robin Hood) at the top of my voice!” Other Pagans of note at the protest were Druid leaders Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm. At his blog, Philip Carr-Gomm penned an open letter in opposition to fracking. Quote: “The same story is repeating itself with fracking. Although people like money, when the chips are down they don’t want their countryside ruined, their roads clogged with lorries, their water and air risking pollution. They want to protect their country – if necessary from the government who promised to be the ‘greenest ever’. Remember your party has 130-177,000 members, the National Trust has 3.8 million. People really care about the countryside.” You can watch a video of Damh the Bard performing at the Balcombe, Sussex protest, here.

In Other Pagan Community News: 

  • The annual Festival of The Dead in Salem, Massachusetts is coming up! That includes the official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball, and presentations by authors and teachers like Christopher Penczak. Quote: “The Witches of Salem honor this time with Festival of the Dead, an annual event series that explores death’s macabre customs, heretical histories, and strange rituals. Presented by Salem Warlock Christian Day and hosted by the foremost authorities on the spirit world, Festival of the Dead beckons guests to step through the veil into a realm where spirits await.”
  • The fist issue of the Melbourne-based magazine The Green Man Quarterly is now out and available for order. Quote: “The Green Man Quarterly is a new project based in Melbourne, Australia that aims to present an in depth exploration of Pagan, Witchcraft and Occult issues. Our ambition is to produce an affordable, high quality resource that is able assist in the promotion and growth of our diverse community.”
  • Speaking of magazines, a Starwood 2013 themed issue of the venerable Green Egg has been released. A direct link to the free PDF is here. In the introduction, the editor has announced they they plan to finish scanning all the back issues of Green Egg, to make them available as a resource. Quote: “When all the issues are put up, hopefully by one year from now, if not sooner, I plan to send out a mass email mailing to university departments and teachers about a wonderful resource for them and for their students. And it’s free!”
  • Congratulations to the Covenant of The Goddess Facebook page on surpassing 15,000 “likes”! 
  • Pagan Pride Day season is fast approaching, and press releases from local events are starting to be sent out. Here’s one from Philadelphia Pagan Pride, being held August 31st. Quote: “Entry to the event is free, but we do request the donation of a canned food item or other provisions for our beneficiaries. This year, our beneficiaries are the food bank at the Mazzoni Center, Forgotten Cats, and In-Reach Heathen Prison Services.”
  • Speaking of Patrick McCollum, the issue of American Jails that he contributed an article to won an award for journalism! Quote: “The issue that Patrick wrote the featured title article: Keeping the Faith – Religious issues in Jail, just received the Apex Award for Journalism, the top award for a print magazine in 2013!” You can read the article he wrote, here.

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

Recently, the magazine Witches & Pagans, a print periodical that has served the Pagan community for many years (albeit under a different name), added the feed for this site (with my permission) to their website. I see this as somewhat momentous, as it cements, at least in my mind, the new normal of Pagan-oriented media in the 21st century. There will always be a place for print magazines and journals in our community, see newer efforts like Modern Witch Magazine or Abraxas as proof, but of-the-moment breaking news and updates on developing stories has moved to the Internet. This isn’t a criticism of magazines, simply a statement that our strengths lie in different directions. Today, a large percentage of Pagans find out about what’s happening regarding their co-religionists online, either from blogs like mine, or on email lists and social networking sites.

This rapid change in the way we get our news has happened in less than a decade. When I started The Wild Hunt in 2004 there were only a handful of Pagan blogs, and most of them were more personal journals than news sources. While message boards and e-mail lists had been a growing source of news-sharing for years (not to mention the amazing Witches’ Voice), periodicals still acted as the official “record” of our community, a hold-over from a earlier time when that form of media was truly the only way Pagans in California could find out what was happening in New York (and vice versa). While a lot of attention has been paid to the magazine Green Egg’s important role in our community, it should be noted that they didn’t exist in a vacuum. It was preceded by small newsletters like The Pentagram and The Waxing Moon (publicized in magazines like Fate), and by the 1970s, Green Egg co-existed with Llewellyn’s Gnostica and Herman Slater’s Earth Religion News.

Earth Religion News (1974)

Earth Religion News (1974)

For a blast from the past, you can read the entirety of volume 1, issue 4 of Earth Religion News, here. In it are articles like “Wither Witchcraft? Spiritual Leadership or Oblivion,” “My Satanic Adventures” (by Isaac Bonewits), a report on the (short-lived) California Pagan Council (an anti-sexual discrimination stand was on the agenda), and book reviews (because all Pagan magazines are contractually required to include a book review section). It’s the next best thing to time-travel in finding out what Pagans were thinking, fighting over, and planning a generation ago, without the filter of hindsight or revisionism.

While I think that Pagan media has only gotten better and better, creating a culture of news, interview, and commentary that is surprisingly mature for a community that is still as (relatively) small as we are, we must also ensure that this treasure-trove of knowledge, this archive of our own history, is not lost. There should be a digital indexed archive of these periodicals, one easily accessible to scholars, historians, and curious members of the Pagan community. We’re lucky in that magazines like PanGaia (the precursor to Witches & Pagans) have made digital versions of their entire run available for purchase, but there are huge gaps with the older magazines. As the creators of these magazines age, and pass on, it becomes harder and harder to create such an archive.

I’m hoping that as initiatives like the New Alexandrian Library Project and the OHF Pagan Library mature, perhaps a joint initiative between Pagan organizations and learning institutions can be created to make real headway on this before the task becomes insurmountable. Likewise, I think that those of us creating news and media now should look to how will will archive and make accessible our own work for future generations. There should be an agreed-on standard for how we’ll do this, and how we’ll make it available to researchers. Things are moving pretty fast, and what form our media will take in 20 years may be radically different from how we consume it now. These proposals may seem like huge tasks, but the longer we wait, the more we risk losing. How Pagans get their news, and what news they feel is important is a vital window into how a community, a movement, functions. As Pagans, we know that preserving our history is important, let’s not lose sight of that.

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!

The latest issue (#3) of Thorn Magazine is now out, featuring wonderful writing from Thorn Coyle, Sannion, Erynn Rowan Laurie, Phillip A. Bernhardt-House, Lupa, and yours truly (among many others). Of special note is an article on the future of Pagan journalism and magazine publishing by Jack Lux and Michael Night Sky. In it, the authors interview Ann Newkirk Niven about her recent decision to merge PanGaia and newWitch (into the new Witches and Pagans), Oberon Zell about the up-and-down history of Green Egg, and Keter Elan, former editor of the now-defunct Mezlim magazine. In their conclusion, Lux and Night Sky wonder if Pagan publications are stuck in a transitional time due to the influence of the Internet.

“…the purpose of a magazine changes to suit its audience, and Pagan journalism may be fixating on a role for which it is no longer useful … perhaps the most useful goal of Pagan publications is no longer to disseminate information about outer limits, but to delve deeper into the ideas of the past forty years and fill the gaps between them. With the Internet and the growing festival network, magazines are best suited not for community building, but for culture building.”

In these recessionary times, where niche magazines are folding left and right, it may be hard for the surviving Pagan publications to successfully re-position themselves and weather the economic storm. Which brings us to the sad news that Thorn Magazine is ceasing print publication after its fourth issue.

“…perhaps inevitably, certain market forces have caught up with us at last: the declining economy and the ailing state of print journalism in general. Despite strong enthusiasm for and interest in the work we’re doing, businesses have been unable to afford extra expenses for advertising and potential readers have had their pockets stripped by the Great Recession. Coupled with the usual enormous cost of printing and the spiraling postage rates, these circumstances have finally cornered us into an inescapable conclusion: we no longer have the cashflow available to continue printing this quarterly magazine. The October 2009 issue, Vol 1 Issue 4, will be our last in print.”

They do note that Thorn will survive in an online-only format, with quarterly “issues” and monthly updates, but it remains to be seen how successful that new incarnation will be. As a columnist for Thorn I certainly wish them all the best but the question has to be raised, if a Pagan magazine of such high quality can’t survive for more than a year, what does that say about the appetite for new magazines among the larger Pagan community, and the ability of Pagan businesses to support such endeavors with ad revenue? How many full-size quarterly magazines can our community feasibly support? Will the revamped Witches and Pagans push to the forefront of Pagan publications? Or will it too run into problems?

While I’m certainly a proponent of the Internet for disseminating information and generating discussion, I would find it sad if the world of Pagan publications were to continue to contract. Not everyone reads the Internet, and without a high-quality and well-edited inter-generational touchstone publication we could see the level of discourse within our communities suffer. This doesn’t mean I excuse publishers who remain hostile or obtuse to the new economies and realities of a post-Internet publishing world, only that print vehicles do serve, and should continue to serve, a purpose to modern Pagans. So good luck to the new online-only Thorn Magazine, and the soon-to-be-launched Witches and Pagans, it looks like they’ll need it.

The print medium is changing irrevocably. Any clear-eyed assessment concerning the state of magazines and newspapers would see a widespread and unforgiving culling taking place. So many magazines are going under that a regularly updated blog has been created to keep track of the carnage, while digital-age pundits predict that the surviving niche publications will soon have to make hard choices about their future. While I’m no futurist, I’ve seen some of these changes coming for some time now, the struggling economy only hastening a transition already underway. It is part of the reason that the bulk of my writing is focused on this blog, rather than in the more “traditional” outlets for a writer/journalist (though I do admit to a certain romantic attachment to being in print, and I currently write for Pagan publications like PanGaia and Thorn).

Given these shake-ups in the world of print, I think it is entirely timely that I recently received a review copy of “Green Egg Omelette: An Anthology of Art and Articles From the Legendary Pagan Journal”. This book, a compliation of excerpts from one of the most influential Pagan magazines ever printed, shows just how vital and necessary the format once was. While books published for Pagans usually stuck to the “101-isms” of Wicca and other Pagan faiths, it was in the magazines that this loose network of Witches, Pagans, magicians, free-thinkers, and philosophers started to communicate, hash out ideas, argue, and push the boundaries of what they knew. It was a place where Pagan filk could rub shoulders with treatises on magic(k) by Robert Anton Wilson, and initial attempts at describing a Pagan theology could have a place next to explorations of polyamory. It is little wonder that even today Green Egg is remembered fondly by almost all who came across it in their journey.

I suppose it is at this point that I should share my own “discovering Green Egg” story, but I fear there is little to tell. I came across it in the 90s, after it had returned from a 12-year hiatus. I had heard famous stories about the legendarily volatile letters column, but as the Internet age dawned, most of the good (and bad) arguments were moving online, and the ones that remained made it seem like you walked into a dinner party at 1am (completely lost on what all the fuss was about). Still, I did like many of the editorials and articles, and picked it up whenever I could. When I discovered that it had folded, I was already fooling around with my first blog, and starting my journey towards what would eventually become The Wild Hunt. I had obviously missed out on something.

Receiving this “omelette” fills in for me why Green Egg was so important and pivotal. To say that this is an essential collection really doesn’t do it justice. So many BNPs (big-name Pagans) and influential thinkers have contributed to this magazine that reading this collection is like watching a time-lapse movie of our history. If books like Chas Clifton’s “Her Hidden Children” or Ronald Hutton’s “Triumph of the Moon” give you the essential outline of our history, “Green Egg Omelette” fills in many of the questions about who these people were. What did they think about? Who did they love? What kind of jokes did they tell, or songs did they sing? What (and who) were they passionate about? This is an invaluable document that rescues our living history from the memory hole, and presents it to a newer generation unfamiliar with where many of the ideas they hold (and argue about) come from. So consider this my endorsement to run out an buy several copies.

As for the future of Pagan magazines, I wish success on all that survive, but I believe an era is ending. I don’t think something as vital as Green Egg can come around again (the magazine’s recent attempt to re-launch on the Internet seems to somewhat miss the point of the new medium), and the magazines that do survive aren’t as influential as they once were (sorry guys, it’s just my opinion). Thanks to blogs, podcasts, social networking, and message-boards a savvy reader could get a “Green Egg” every week (complete with an assortment of “big names” and big arguments) for free without trying too hard. The challenge now for publishers and content creators wanting to venture into this brave new world is to find the magic formula for making a living while reaching their audience, a problem that many are now trying to solve (and a problem I have faith we’ll eventually solve). While that happens, amidst the “death pools”, and (possibly) folding newspapers, why not read “Green Egg Omelette” and remember why magazines and newsletters were once so darn important to our development.

Articles, essays, and thoughts of note from the Pagan blogosphere.

We start off with some sad news. M. Macha Nightmare and T. Thorn Coyle have posted moving tributes to their friend Tara Webster, priestess of Hecate, and Soror Adessa of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn. Webster passed away on October 8th after a long struggle with brain cancer. Thorn, who was at Webster’s side during her passing, recounts how Hecate came to claim her.

“After a couple of hours of singing, the call came inside of me. A chant arose to one whom I have barely met. Your Matron tapped my shoulderblades. I wrote a chant for Her, for you. We sang that chant. We sang and sang. I left the room to grasp the counterpoint. When I came back in to sing it, S. said “Her breathing has really changed. We need to get someone.” I paused. You were not breathing. The spaces between breath were big enough to hold the stars. All gathered, we chanted the Heart Sutra. Over and over, as you crossed. Hecate took you. Your spirit opened the door we had closed. Literally. It swung open and out you went. Mighty priestess. So skilled. So gorgeous. You lay in state in your rhinestone tiara, naked, as we blessed you.”

Macha recounts Webster’s participation in the Goddess 2000 project, and their shared connection with an old Pagan cartoon.

“…when Tara and I first met, we discovered we had a lot in common in terms of both approach and praxis. My experiences with my first coven, the Holy Terrors*, paralleled hers in many ways. I spoke of a cartoon published in an East Coast Pagan rag, Harvest (defunct), in the ’80s that we Holy Terrors couldn’t believe was so like we were. When we HTs first discovered this cartoon, we rolled around laughing. No one we knew subscribed to Harvest (if it even had subscriptions). We treasured our photocopies of the few episodes we’d found; later I found an opportunity to mail away for better copies of a full set. The cartoon was the Death Crones, and Tara was part of the Flaming Crones, the circle from which this cartoon arose!”

May Tara Webster rest in the arms of Hecate. We here at The Wild Hunt offer our most sincere condolences.

Over at Letter From Hardscrabble Creek, Chas Clifton reports on the publication of a book that will be sure to please many long-time Pagan community members.

‘Green Egg Omelette: An Anthology of Art and Articles from the Legendary Pagan Journal’ will be shipping soon and can be pre-ordered from Amazon with the link above or from the publisher. Oberon Zell did the heavy lifting: tracking down long-lost contributors, making editorial decisions, and laying out the pages. I wrote a general introduction and shorter introductions for each chapter.”

A sure treasure-trove of classic Pagan writing. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. As for the Green Egg itself, while the print magazine is long-gone, it still survives as a online ‘zine. Also, while you’re at Chas Clifton’s blog, be sure to check out his post about water witchery.

Author Sarah Kate Istra Winter (aka Erl Queen on LJ) links to an interview she gave for the online e-zine Sequential Tart.

“I do think the myths are important. For one thing, they are usually our first introduction to the gods. Sure, it’s extremely important to begin forging relationships yourself, to learn of the gods directly, from experience. But that’s a long process. And many people have a hard time relying on that type of experiential knowledge. The myths tell us about the collective beliefs and experiences of the people who first worshiped our gods. Even if the stories often conflict with each other, even if one can’t take everything literally, an overall picture emerges of the gods’ traits, likes and dislikes, mannerisms, etc. It’s an important foundation. From cult practice (of course, another important foundation for the modern religion), we might learn that Apollon left Delphi each winter and the oracles ceased. But it is from myth that we learn why, and where He goes (Hyperborea), and what that place is like.”

You can find more information about Winter’s book, “KHARIS: Hellenic Polytheism Explored”, at her web site.

Medusa Coils reports that the Glastonbury Goddess Temple has succeeded in acquiring St. Benedict’s Church Hall from the Church of England for the purpose of Goddess-oriented worship and rites of passage.

“Glastonbury Goddess Temple was able to come to an agreement with St. Ben’s Parish Council regarding the previous restrictions on the use of the Hall, which was owned by the Church of England and persisted even after the sale of the Hall. St. Ben’s Parish Council has agreed to allow use of the Hall “without let or hindrance” for Goddess activities including ceremonies, courses, workshops, and other community activities, as well as a dedicated space for Pagan marriage ceremonies and handfastings.”

You can read more about this story, and the plans Glastonbury Goddess Temple has for the space, here.

In a final note, The Pagan Prattle rightfully mocks “what passes for sane in some parts of the world”. Specifically the recent story of a college student who accused an English teacher of blasphemy, and threatened to set her on fire for being a witch.

“A 20-year-old male student has been expelled from an adult education college after he poured liquid over his English Literature teacher and threatened her with a lighter and a cigarette. He accused her of being a witch. According to another report, Najor allegedly told police that he was trying to kill her by pouring holy water over her. More detail about the incident is given, suggesting that Najor was inspired by his Christian faith…”

The young man in question, Darin Najor, while initially detained in a psychiatric hospital, is now facing assault charges. One wonders if he attends some sort of church, or if this was his own special blend of crazy.

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

One of the most influential Pagan magazines is making a come-back. Green Egg magazine, was founded by the Church of All Worlds and Oberon Zell-Ravenheart back in 1968 as a one page ditto-sheet. The magazine soon evolved into a full-sized journal and acted as a primary hub for communication within the Pagan community before the rise of the Internet.


Cover of Green Egg number #90.

“It is popular today to talk about ‘synergy’-a combination that has a greater effect than the simple addition of its components-and that perhaps best describes the effect of GREEN EGG. It connected all the evolving and emerging Goddess and Nature religions into one phenomenon: the Neo-Pagan movement.”Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon

The magazine came to an end in 2001 due to financial problems, but not before several other Pagan-themed magazines entered the market (and the Internet allowed more open communication between modern Pagans). It is still fondly remembered by many within the Pagan community.

The new “magazine” will not be in print format, but a regular web-zine set to launch on March 1st. The address of the new web-zine is www.greeneggzine.com (there isn’t anything up yet), and it looks like it is going to be some sort of pay-to-view-model since they are taking inquiries for subscriptions and ads.

It should be interesting to see how things will turn out. Will they be paying contributors? Can a pay-model work when some of the best Pagan writers are already giving it away for free? Can a new Green Egg forum gain prominence in a Pagan web that encompasses thousands of forums for modern Pagans? Questions that will probably remain until after the launch. In any event, I welcome Green Egg back, and wish them the best of luck in their efforts!