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.
- Some folks really don’t want Godsmack to play the Jackson County Fair, apparently part of the opposition comes from lead singer Sully Erna’s Wiccan beliefs. Quote: “Sully Erna, the lead singer of Godsmack, has acknowledged he is a practicing Wiccan. Critics have called him a devil worshipper, to which he has said: ‘We also don’t worship Satan; he is a Christian creation and they can keep him. Wicca doesn’t work with fear. It’s about your own consciousness and doing what’s right.'” Luckily for Godsmack fans, strong ticket sales beat out Christian moral hand-wringing. So enjoy! Here’s your obligatory link to the “Voodoo” video featuring cameos by Laurie Cabot and other Salem Witches.
- Philosophy professor Gary Gutting argues for the existence of Zeus at the New York Times. Quote: “I’m inclined to say that an atheistic denial of Zeus is ungrounded. There is no current evidence of his present existence, but to deny that he existed in his Grecian heyday we need to assume that there was no good evidence for his existence available to the ancient Greeks. We have no reason to make this assumption. Further, supposing that Zeus did exist in ancient times, do we really have evidence that he has ceased to exist?”
- Chika Oduah at The Grio asks: Are blacks abandoning Christianity for African faiths? Quote: “While syncretism has occurred throughout history, what is relatively new is the heightened interest of West African-derived religions in the United States. ‘Since the ‘50s and ‘60s there has been an increase with more African-Americans embracing these religions,’ said Sylvester Johnson, associate professor at Indiana University’s religious studies department [...] while increasing numbers of African-Americans are denouncing religion for atheism, others are adopting African religions, especially those from West Africa. A growing dissatisfaction with Christianity among African-Americans seems to reflect disenchantment with the tradition of the black church.”This is a very interesting article, one that modern Pagans should pay close attention to.
- A study notes that Christian missionaries are disproportionately sent to countries where Christianity is already established, as opposed to places where non-Christian faiths are dominant. Quote: “Most missionaries continue to go to mostly Christian nations. ‘The ‘top nine’ receiving countries were home to only 3.5% of the world’s non-Christians but received more than 34% of all international missionaries,’ notes the CSGC. ‘All nine have Christian majorities, and they were home to over 34% of the world’s Christians in 2010.'” Guess which country gets the most missionaries? If you guessed the United States, you’d be right! Quote: “The country that received the most missionaries in 2010? The United States, with 32,400 sent from other nations.” Do you perhaps think that America’s Christian population is only propped up by constant and well-funded missionary work?
- As I mentioned earlier this year, a television adaptation of the popular “Witches of East End” book(s) is coming to cable television this October (naturally), and Entertainment Weekly has posted an exclusive photo of Julia Ormond as witch-clan matriarch Joanna Beauchamp.
- Witches & Wicked Bodies, an exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, has just opened. Quote: “Witches and Wicked Bodies will be an investigation of extremes, exploring the highly exaggerated ways in which witches have been represented, from hideous hags to beautiful seductresses.” Highlights of the show can be found, here. Wish I could go!
- A warrant for the arrest of Satanist who did a graveside ritual to turn Fred Phelp’s mother gay in the afterlife has been issued. Quote: “Greaves said nine satanic church members from New York and other states descended on Mississippi for the ceremony. He insists that no physical damage was done. ‘Desecration, by all the legal definitions I’ve read, usually involves digging up the grave,’ he said. ‘But we left it as we found it.’ The charges have sparked a huge amount of interest in the Satanic Temple. ‘The news of the gravesite ceremony was very slow to get out at first,’ he said. ‘But now it’s really gaining momentum. They’re threatening to arrest me. What it has done is rally support behind us. It keeps snowballing.'”
- There should be Humanist chaplains because Wiccans! Quote: “Fleming’s rationale was that ‘there is no way that an atheist chaplain or atheist whatever can minister to the spiritual needs of a Christian or a Muslim, or a Jew, for that matter.’ I’d like to ask Fleming whether an atheist chaplain would be less preferable than a Wiccan (i.e. pagan) chaplain, inasmuch as Wicca is recognized as a religion by the military. In fact, Wicca has to be so recognized, under the Free Exercise Clause of the of the Constitution. It’s because Americans are guaranteed the right to practice their faith — and serving in the military makes that more difficult — that the hiring of military chaplains does not represent a violation of the Establishment Clause.” It’s always weird when your faith is used as prop in someone else’s argument, don’t you think?
- Stop trying to curse the IRS, I’m sure they’ve got whole teams of magicians working around the clock to counter-act the constant spiritual bombardment aimed at them. Plus, you no doubt risk getting audited. Quote: “Internal Revenue Service agents found an unwelcome surprise — and a possible witchcraft curse — on Friday when unknown individuals left a trio of charred, headless chickens outside the agency’s McAllen offices.”
- A Catholic rants against flameless candles, and no doubt echoes the sympathies of many Pagans. Quote: “But in the holy place, the flameless candle preaches a gospel of irrelevance. The simple flipping of the switch extinguishes the profound semiotic value of the votive candle. The flameless candle says that there is nothing significant in a flame’s dance of ascent, or in wax itself produced by the labor of bees and utterly exhausted by the peaceful but consuming flame.”
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.