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.
- Noted children’s and young adult author Margaret Mahy passed away last week due to complications resulting from cancer. The New Zealand author wrote several acclaimed titles, and was beloved in her home country, my personal favorite was “The Changeover,” a story about Witchcraft, initiation, and growing up. That title won the annual Carnegie Medal in Literature from the Library Association, and is worth seeking out, as are many of her works. What is remembered lives!
- With Olympic fever at full pitch National Geographic weighs in on the ancient pagan Olympics, reprinting an interview with Tony Perrotet, author of “The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games,” about the “Woodstock of antiquity.” Quote: “Today’s Olympics is a vast, secular event, but it doesn’t have the religious element of the ancient Olympics, where sacrifices and rituals would take up as much time as the sports. And there were all these peripheral things that came with the festival: the artistic happenings, new writers, new painters, new sculptors. There were fire-eaters, palm readers, and prostitutes. This was the total pagan entertainment package.”
- Richard “Full Blown Paganism” Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, the second-largest Christian body in the United States, has announced his retirement. Americans United says to keep the champagne corked though, since they “fear that this is a mere change of personnel, not policy” for the Southern Baptist Convention.
- There’s a engrossing ongoing multi-part entry on the COG Interfaith Reports blog about Don Frew’s trip to Guatemala to meet with Apolinario Chile Pixtun (“Tata”), the President of the Mayan Confederation of Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. In the latest entry, Frew talks about participating in a Maya ceremony with Wilma, Tata’s wife. Here’s a video of Apolinario Chile Pixtun for those curious about him. Here’s another with him debunking some of the “Mayan 2012” prophecy hype. Speaking of Frew, there’s an interview with him featured in the latest edition of AREN’s ACTION newsletter, so go check it out!
- A Good Morning America report conflates Satanism with Palo in reporting on a grave robbery in New Jersey, and Palo is only mentioned because a relative of the deceased did “a lot of research” into who might want bones. Reporter Alyssa Newcomb manages to find an actual expert of sorts, Rick Ross, who says that “the likelihood they would go into a mausoleum and drag out a body seems remote.” Too bad they didn’t talk to an actual expert on Palo, or Satanism for that matter, but I guess it’s better than nothing.
- Dead animals show up in a Utah park, and for once, they don’t blame it on Santeria! It’s progress of a sort, though undermined by the fact that they ruled on Santeria because these chickens didn’t match other dead animal that they thought WERE left by adherents to that faith. The misinformation on Santeria (and related faiths), often disseminated by “cult experts” (usually conservative Christians masquerading as experts), is something I’ve written about here again and again.
- Neoshaman Kelley Harrell, author of “Gift of the Dreamtime,” writes at HuffPo about the “shamanic narrative of Tigger’s bounce.” Quote: “Pooh then deduces that Tigger’s bounce had been startled out of him. Having an aspect of the soul leave in times of duress is a classic feature of soul loss. Often in trauma one can articulate the feeling of a part of self leaving, afterward feeling fragmented or that something is missing. In this case, Tigger’s bounce was missing. In being faced with a deep fear, his power had left him.” Is there anything that can’t be explained with Pooh?
- I recently reported on the plight of Chico Goddess Temple, which has been struggling to regain the necessary permits to stay open after complaints over noise, building without permits, and an illegal festival held on the grounds. Now, the Butte County Board of Supervisors has rejected owner Robert Seals’ appeal on the matter, and he is now planning to move the temple, sell the land, and relocate to Santa Cruz County.
- PNC-Minnesota has an interview up with Andras Corban Arthen of Earthspirit, a guest at next week’s Sacred Harvest Festival. Quote: “In the modern world, when people talk about Paganism, they typically frame it as part of a dichotomy between polytheism and monotheism. That’s certainly one way of looking at it, but it isn’t the only way. And it is actually a Christian construct, it’s how Christianity, as it came into power, defined Paganism, particularly in reference to the Romans and the Greeks. But the older, original definition of Paganism placed it in the context of a very different dichotomy, one between rural and urban cultures.”
- This film looks amazing. Samsara is a “non-verbal guided meditation,” a continuation of the 1992 film Baraka. Updates on showings can be found, here.
- Boing Boing spotlights Erik Davis‘ article on psychedelic poster-maker Rick Griffin.
- Finally, do check out Devin Hunter’s Modern Witch podcast, where he interviews Michael Lloyd, author of “Bull of Heaven,” and yours truly. If you wanted an hour+ of me talking about Pagan media and The Wild Hunt’s role in the Pagan community, there you go. If not? Well, check out Michael Lloyd’s segment, he wrote a really great book.
That’s it for now, have a great day! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.