Archives For Robert Anton Wilson

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!

Ellen Evert Hopman

Ellen Evert Hopman

Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition, has released an anti-abuse statement, signed by eight members of the coalition, including Ellen Evert Hopman and Patrick McCollum. Quote: We absolutely condemn the practices of child abuse, sexual abuse, and any other form of abuse that does harm to the bodies, minds or spirits of individuals. We offer prayers, therapy, and support for the healing of the victims of such abuses. In recent years the victimization of children has been brought to light in a manner not seen in the past. Efforts are underway in schools and other youth organizations to teach children and adults to be aware of and respond proactively to violence against others. Examples of victimization have also come to light in religious circles and many victims’ rights groups have emerged to advocate for and support those who were abused as children. We stand strongly against the victimization of children, students, women and men. We call for persons who have witnessed such atrocities to speak up and actively seek to protect the powerless and prevent further abuse.”

10333636_300691860099884_3714864147161992297_oLast year saw the debut of “OCCULT,” an arts-based event/salon held in Salem, Massachusetts and co-founded by Aepril Schaile (you can read our 2013 interview with Schaile here). Now, the event returns in 2014 this September, featuring a number of presenters, performances, and workshops. Quote: “To recognize that, especially together, both Magick and Art are greater than the sum of their parts, and each in dwells the other; they are rooted together. To raise consciousness, challenging false perceptions of separation between these so-imagined opposed sorceries. Though art as entertainment has its place and time, this Esoteric Salon moves us well past materialist commercialism. We recognize the power of Art to create spiritual movement and full expression to the divine Will–dancing, singing, painting, acting, sculpting, filming, poeting the ineffable. We confront the notion that the meaning and content of Art is not as important as its form and materials. With OCCULT, we seek to challenge old beliefs through the juxtaposition of beauty and magick, of art and ritual, blending the ingredients to make an event of highest harmony, a conjunction of non-opposites.”

P2150159-bAdocentyn Research Library, a Pagan-run library located in the San Francisco Bay area, has reached a new milestone. According to Adocentyn board member and co-founder Donald H. Frew, the institution has now catalogued over 6,500 books. Quote: “The Adocentyn Research Library has passed another milestone with over 6,500 books on our shelves and in our online database (6,558 to be precise)! You can see what we have at [their Library Thing page] and use the “tags” to find books of interest. Our goal is to collect, archive, preserve, and make available 1) information on every subject Pagans might study as part of their Paganism, and 2) materials useful for the study of Pagans, our diversity, and our history. (We use “Paganism” in the broadest sense, including indigenous, tribal, polytheistic, Nature-based, and/or Earth-centered religion, spirituality, practice, and culture, around the world and throughout human history.) We are centrally located in San Francisco’s East Bay, easily reachable by public transit, and close to many restaurants and cafes. While our max capacity in this location is about 13,000 books, we’ll be opening once we have our core collection – about another 1,000 books – in place. We look forward to serving the Pagan community!”

In Other Pagan Community News:

  • The Pantheon Foundation’s crowdfunding initiative for The Diotima Prize has crossed the 50% mark in its goal. The prize will “support the educational goals of one Pagan student who is currently in at least their second year at an accredited seminary program.”
  • A crowdfunding campaign is underway to produce a play about Robert Anton Wilson. Quote: “Daisy’s adaptation recounts the period of Bob’s life around the inspiration for, writing of and theatrical culmination of Illuminatus!, a period where he also met iconic countercultural figures like Timothy Leary, Alan Watts and William Burroughs, all of whom feature in the play. The narrative slips in and out of Illuminatus! itself and the production employs song, music, projections and stagecraft to evoke the real-life hallucinogenic trip through conspiracy, paranoia and enlightenment that transformed Bob from a simple Playboy editor into the influential countercultural figure he is today.”
  • Singer-songwriter Sharon Knight has launched a membership support circle called “Ring of Enchantment” that offers exclusive content in exchange for direct fiscal support. Quote: “This insider circle is my experiment in creating a culture of mutual support. Winter and I get some really great gigs. We also need to fill the gaps between those great gigs. This doesn’t always go according to the ideal scenario! In the old music industry, record labels offered tour support to help their artists through rough patches. In the new music industry, this doesn’t exist. The Ring of Enchantment was created to generate tour support for us while bringing inspiration and beauty to you.”
  • PaganSquare is now on Tumblr. Here’s the official announcement. Quote: “Although this may seem a bit sudden, we’ve actually been considering this move for several months, though we’ve only recently gotten all of our ducks in a line. We look forward to becoming a part of the wider Pagan community on Tumblr and hopefully even finding new content of interest to our readers.”

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

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.

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.

 

My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.

For those of you who have been missing pioneering acid-house band The KLF since their retirement, it seems that “New Rave” act The Klaxons are here to pick up the slack.

“Pogoing behind the banks of synthesisers is, instead, a band steeped in art rock, soft pop and science fiction…That old rascal Aleister Crowley gets exhumed once again. ‘Do what you will,’ urges ‘Magick’, abetted by an irresistible on-beat.”

You can find the lyrics to their Thelemic ode, here. For some samples of their musical wares, try The Hype Machine.

Cambridge Classics scholar Mary Beard criticizes the Greek Pagans who made the news recently for their lack of blood sacrifice.

“True, the worshipers last week poured a libation of wine and incense over a copper tripod. But where was the animal sacrifice? As almost everyone who studies ancient Greek religion insists, the key centre of the whole religious system was sacrifice: it was the ritual of killing and sharing the animal that was, if anything, the “article of faith” that defined the ancient community of worshipers. And it was through sacrifice (rather than ecology) that ancient Greeks conceptualized their own place in the world – distinct from animals on the one hand and the superhuman gods on the other. Until these eager neo-pagans get real and slaughter a bull or two in central Athens, I shan’t worry that they have much to do with ancient religion at all. At the moment, this is paganism lite.”

Pagan scholar Chas Clifton fires back with a resounding “so what”?

“Her slightly patronizing tone aside, so what? Religions do change–even while their adherents insist on continuity with the past. I have great respect for Beard as a Classics scholar–I own one or two of her books–but I suspect that she has not given much thought before to new religious movements until she decided to give her opinion on this new development in her blog.”

This caused Mary to get a tad defensive in the comments…

“I think I was really responding to the claims made by this group that they WERE reviving ancient paganism. I am absolutely OK with the idea that religions change. I was reacting to their claims to be a modern version of ANCIENT ‘paganism’.”

For quite a bit more debate on if blood sacrifice is a necessary component of a revived Greco-Roman paganism, check out the comments on Beard’s blog.

In case you were wondering, supermodel Naomi Campbell is not a witch.

“Naomi Campbell called the other day — no jokes about flying cell phones, please. The supermodel was a perfect lady, even as she made her complaints about newspaper stories in Brazil, England and here that she is interested in Brazil’s African-based Candomble religion, which has rituals some have likened to witchcraft.”

I was going to bring forward a witness who said she turned him into a newt, but sadly he “got better” before I could alert the tabloids. No word on if she weighs as much as a duck.

If you can make it to Santa Cruz, I couldn’t think of a better activity than attending Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Meme-Orial & Lasagna Levitation Celebration on February 18th.

“Celebrate the life, work and continued multi-dimensionality of Robert Anton Wilson by joining us in a giant, jammin’ Translation Celebration and 8th Circuit Soiree! Be a part of Bob’s Raucous Processionary Send-Off as his ashes sail out of the cove and rejoin his beloved’s in the Pacific!”

Organizers are still accepting contributions for their media presentation. Send your photos of Wilson or creative graphical tributes as 300 x 600 jpegs to the e-mail address listed here.

Finally, the newspaper of my old hometown in Champaign-Urbana Illinois covers the possible Witch School reality program in Hoopeston.

“The witch school that moved into Hoopeston’s elephant building three years ago may soon be the site of a reality TV show on the Sci-Fi channel. “We’re pretty excited even though we don’t know that much about it yet,” said Don Lewis, who is the Witch School’s chancellor…A spokeswoman for the network confirmed that a reality series to be filmed in Hoopeston is in development. “We don’t have a production timetable as of yet, nor do we have additional information on the details of the production,” Adrienne D’Amato wrote in an e-mail.”

Doesn’t sound like anything is in stone at this point. You wonder if they’ll insist on a photogenic cast of teachers and students?

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

“Please pardon my levity, I don’t see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.”Robert Anton Wilson, 01/06/07

Famed underground philosopher, author, mystic, and underground visionary Robert Anton Wilson passed away this morning in his home. Wilson had been suffering with post-polio syndrome for the past few years and was receiving in-home hospice care.


Robert Anton Wilson

Wilson is perhaps best-known for his work on “The Illuminatus! Trilogy” with co-author Robert Shea. The books incorporated elements of Discordianism, conspiracy theory, magick, and various 60s counterculture references to create a “fairytale for paranoids”. Since then Wilson published several books exploring philosophy, science, and religion. Most notably his “Cosmic Trigger” series. RAW’s blog has posted this final message from his care-givers.

“Robert Anton Wilson Defies Medical Experts and leaves his body @4:50 AM on binary date 01/11. All Hail Eris! On behalf of his children and those who cared for him, deepest love and gratitude for the tremendous support and lovingness bestowed upon us.”

A memorial is being planned for February.

Addendum: From RU Sirius:

“Robert Anton Wilson taught us all that “the universe contains a maybe.” So maybe there is an afterlife, and maybe Bob’s consciousness is hovering around all of us who were touched by his words and his presence all these years. And if that’s the case, I’m sure he’d like to see you do something strange and irreverent – and yet beautiful – in his honor.”