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.
- A new documentary produced in Germany, “The United States of Hoodoo,” looks like a must-see for anyone interested in Afro-diasporic religion and traditions. Quote: “[Darius James] immerses himself in the fabric of urban creativity where he encounters artists, musicians, writers, spiritual leaders and scholars. He finds out that the African gods have taken on new forms since their arrival on North America’s shores. Their spirit now manifests itself in turn-table wizardry, improvisational skills and mind-blowing collages, performances, and rituals. He also finds out that an age old figure from the voodoo pantheon, a divine trickster who comes with many names, plays a major role in all of this.” Germany theatrical release is scheduled for July, international release is TBA. Follow the film’s Facebook page for updates.
- Luisah Teish, author of “Jambalaya,” and a contributor to the recent “Shades of Faith” collection, is currently raising funds so she can attend the Pan African Spiritual Grassroots Assembly at the Oyotunji Village in South Carolina (she’s been invited to attend as a Cultural Ambassador). The event takes place June 29-July 1, 2012, and will feature a “gathering of Awon Iyanifa [...] women who have initiated into the highest order of the priesthood.” You can donate, here. Considering the important role Teish has played in building bridges between modern Paganism and the African diasporic faiths, her presence at this assembly would be fruitful and constructive towards future cooperation.
- Paul Louis Metzger, author of “Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths” (more about that here), who co-wrote a guest-post for The Wild Hunt on an offensive Beliefnet article about witchcraft, explores the importance of transparency of wrongdoing in interfaith relationships at The Christian Post. Quote: “Regardless of how people respond to our confession, we still need to make confession for the wrongs we have personally and corporately done as the church. We can never build healthy relationships and cultivate civility in society if we do not seek after relationships that entail our own transparency on a personal and corporate level.”
- All reality television distorts. Period. All of them edit to emphasize drama, all of them “feed” the participants with lines and scenarios, and all of them have a primary agenda of creating ratings, not educating the public about your faith/lifestyle/whatever. That’s secondary, at best. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Pagan or a Hutterite.
- The Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny) on Ireland’s Hill of Tara was vandalized, hammered repeatedly on each side, chipping the stone. I would really not want to be near the guy (or gal) who did this when the Tuatha Dé Danann comes calling.
- Christian hate-monger Bryan Fischer is laid bare in a New Yorker profile that shows him to be a hateful extremist that few people actually like. Surprise! Fischer has a long track-record of spouting off increasing intolerant and hateful screeds, and (wrongly) believes the First Amendment guaranteeing religious freedom in the United States applies only to Christians. Here’s hoping that this is the string that will unravel this man’s influence in our country.
- So, once the “.church” top-level domain is approved, and assuming it will be “open to all” as one applicant quoted in USA Today asserts, which Pagan organizations will be first in line to grab up prime urls like “pagan.church” or “wiccan.church”? I foresee a mini feeding frenzy!
- Sarah Whedon, founding editor of the Pagan Families site, has just released a new ebook through Patheos Press entitled “Birth on the Labyrinth Path: Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year.” Quote: “As you know, it’s hard to find thorough resources on Paganism and pregnancy, so I’m really celebrating having convinced the folks at Patheos Press to add my book to their list of mostly more mainstream religion topics. You can show them they made the right choice by downloading your copy. And let me know what you think!” For more Pagan content from Patheos Press, you may want to check out “The Future of Religion: Traditions in Transition,” which features contributions from Pagan scholars.
- While I’m on the subject of new Pagan ebooks, Pagan scholar K. A. Laity has just released a compilation of Pagan-themed writings entitled “Rook Chant.” Quote: “It includes everything from short pieces for pagan/spirituality journals like The Seeker Journal, The Beltane Papers, Circle and New Witch, papers delivered at academic conferences or published in academic journals as well as a few reviews and translations of old magical texts.”
- Druids and tree-hugging (no, really) in Austria.
- Anne Hill shares a talk she gave at the recent Pagan Alliance festival in Berkeley on the intersection of progressive politics and Pagan activism. Quote: “Fighting a religious war is no way to maintain a democracy. It’s not even a great way to maintain a religion. The challenge for Pagans, today and over the long haul, is to use our spiritual beliefs to galvanize us to action, but to stay focused on the goal: a country in which politics and spirituality are NOT unified. Where the separation of church and state is intact, and everyone’s basic civil rights are valued and protected.”
That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.