Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, a 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!
Rending the Veil Goes on Hiatus: The occult e-zine Rending the Veil has announced that it is going on a year-long hiatus, citing a lack of time and burnout as contributing factors.
“…due to this lack of time and to serious burnout, I am putting the magazine on hiatus following the Autumn issue. I am planning on a year-long break, but it may be shorter than that or I may decide in that year to shut it down. For now, the hiatus is to give me a chance to restore the archives and to work on any other aspects of the site that may occur to me, such as the once-planned art gallery that never got off the ground. I debated about shutting the site down, but several people have urged me not to do that, so the hiatus is the alternative.”
While Pagan and occult e-zines once thrived on the Internet, their numbers have been shrinking. Burnout being a major factor, especially when the budget for such ventures is usually zero. Then again, the current economy hasn’t been kind to Pagan print publications either, leaving many wondering what kind of publishing model will be sustainable in the coming years. As some Pagan magazines test the waters of digital distribution, and other outlets engage with an “NPR” model of funding (all part of a larger discussion on money within our communities), we’ll have to see what our community is willing to support in the longer run. As for RtV, it remains to be seen if they emerge from their hiatus, but I wish them the best of luck.
Pagans Want to Be Handfasted on Facebook: On the popular social networking site Facebook, Chantal Clement is starting a “pseudo-campaign” to have the service add “handfasted” as a relationship status option.
“Having been handfasted to Andrew for almost 5 years now, I feel that we’ve been misrepresenting our relationship on Facebook merely because of an imposed convenience of having limited relationship status options. It’s always bothered me because I feel like I’m totally not expressing who we actually are, but I’ve stayed quiet. I’ve finally decided to do something about it.
Handfasting represents something that does not apply to what most people define as “marriage”. Marriage is a different situation than a Handfasting. It’s a commitment ceremony made between two people whether for “a year and a day” (with a renewal option :P) or “for as long as the love shall last.” It’s about honoring that your lives are bound together, and it’s about celebrating that love and commitment. I’m not saying one is superior to the other, but just that both deserve equal legitimacy.”
This isn’t the first group to ask for something more nuanced than “it’s complicated,” polyamorous groups have long rallied for the ability to list multiple partners, though whether the company is open to any of these proposed changes remains to be seen.
Is Modern Paganism Ready to Accommodate Disability? Pagan author Patricia Washburn (aka “Jane Raeburn”) has started a new blog called “Vulcan’s Sister” about being a Pagan living with a disability; in one of her first posts she lists the problems that a largely outdoor festival-based culture will have as our community grows and its leaders age.
“As the Pagan community grows and its leaders age, we ARE going to have more people among us with disabilities. There may, indeed, be more than we think already – I know more than one Pagan with disabilities who simply stays away from community events because he or she does not feel welcome. That makes me sad – and, because it’s now my problem as well, it makes me angry.”
I’ve long thought that we’ll see more indoor events and hotel-based conventions as the Baby Boom generation hits retirement, and we start to see a significant number of individuals with mobility or accommodation issues. Being welcoming towards Pagans with disabilities is going to be a significant issue in the near future, and I think that Washburn’s essay is a good starting point for conversation regarding how we should move forward.
The Red Lotus Library Begins: P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, a contributor and friend to this blog, has announced the publication of a new work entitled “The Syncretisms of Antinous”.
Antinous, the deified lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138 CE), was syncretized to a large number of deities and heroes in his ancient cultus, and the process didn’t stop when that cultus ended in the fifth century. Archaeologists, scholars, artists, and admirers of male beauty continued to link him to a great many figures from Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology. In this book, you will find out about the familiar as well as the more obscure syncretisms of Antinous, from Hermes to Herakles, Dionysos to the Dioskouroi, Apollon to Apis, Adonis to Attis, Pan to Poseidon, Achilleus to Aristaios, Endymion to Eunostos, Eros to Echmoun, and many more! You will also find resources to guide you in getting to know these syncretisms further, and ideas for devotional practices based upon them.
Lupus is one of the founding members of the Ekklesía Antínoou–a queer, Graeco-Roman-Egyptian syncretist reconstructionist polytheist group dedicated to Antinous, the deified lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and I anticipate, based on his past writings, that the book will be extensively researched and well-written. This book is the beginning of the Red Lotus Library, the publishing arm of Ekklesía Antínoou.
Political Survey Results: The Political Pagan blog has published the results of a recent survey on political attitudes in Asatru in America, with a second survey on non-Asatru pagans in America.
“Overall, I think the survey, despite its flaws, does manage to highlight some distinctive patterns. Ásatrú Pagans tend to trend more conservative and/or libertarian, and to be more involved in and supportive of the military, with less support for government programs, interracial relations, and helping the disadvantaged, all of which are in line with the views and values of conservative and libertarian political ideology in the USA. Non-Ásatrú Pagans tend to trend more towards the liberal end of the spectrum, and to be less involved in and supportive of the military, with more support for government programs, interracial relations, and helping the disadvantaged, all of which are in line with the views and values of liberal-leftist political ideology in the USA.”
Blog author Maelstrom calls the findings on racial attitudes within Asatru “troubling”, and a debate has already started in the comments regarding methodology and sample size. It will be interesting to see how accurate the Heathen community thinks his results are, and what, ultimately, will be done with this gathered data.
That’s all I have for now, have a great day!