I’m back from FaerieCon! First off, I’d like to thank all the wonderful folks who stepped up to do guest-posts while I was away: Sharon Knight, Star Foster, T. Thorn Coyle, Teo Bishop, Laura LaVoie, and Eric Scott. They all did an excellent job of providing interesting, informative, provocative, and inspiring pieces for you, and I hope you’ll follow them at their own blogs and projects in the future. As for me, I’ve returned to an avalanche of stories of interest to our communities, so I’m going to unleash the hounds in an attempt to get caught up.
- Former COG First Officer and Officers of Avalon president Peter Dybing has issued a request to the Pagan community for donations to 100 Percent for Haiti, and organization founded by artists looking to assist Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Quote: “Today I am placing the call. Can you please support this worthy effort? We are not seeking large sums of money. It is in fact our small size that makes us so effective. We have no fancy fundraising materials, no adopt-a-child program, no tear jerking commercials, only real people making a difference with what little we have. Please consider joining us, committing to give a little in support of this effort. If you find that you can not commit funds to this effort, please forward this to others who may be able to assist.”
- Anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann writes about her time studying occultists in the 1980s for Freq.uenci.es (which led to the infamous book “Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft”). This leads Pagan scholar Chas Clifton to explain what made Luhrmann’s work controversial in the first place, and how it partially inspired the book “Researching Paganisms”. Also, check out Chas Clifton’s post on the necessity of the Iliad for modern polytheism.
- This Friday, Veterans Day, a new Pagan podcast entitled Pagan Warrior Radio will launch focused on serving Pagan veterans and those on active duty in the United States Military. This new weekly internet radio show will be hosted by co-founders Pamela Kelly, facilitator of the Sheppard Air Force Base Pagan Circle, and Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary. Quote: “Pagans have served and are serving in each of the branches of the US Armed Forces. We are creating Pagan Warrior Radio as an additional way to support Pagan veterans and troops and their loved ones, and to be a forum for networking, education, and dialogue. Shows will be a mix of news, information, music, reflections, ideas, and call-in discussion.”
- The Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle is now accepting proposals for next year’s conference. Deadline for proposals is January 15th, 2012. For more on the EBC, check out the recent guest-post from Dr. Amy Hale on the event.
- The Huffington Post looks at the important role botanicas play within the Latino community in the United States. Quote: “This is an old tradition that in part is a response to the lack of more formal resources, such as physicians, that Latinos have continuously utilized,” said David Hayes-Bautista, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the UCLA School of Medicine. “The tradition has been buttressed by the fact that Latino communities have usually had very poor access to formal medical care.”
- A rabbinical court in Haifa, Israel has fined a woman for the practice of witchcraft. This included a polygraph test, and consultations of texts to find an alternative to stoning her dead (no, I’m not joking). Quote: “The wife denied her husband’s charge that she practiced witchcraft, but she failed a polygraph test, leading the court to determine that she in fact had been practicing witchcraft. Death is the punishment for witchcraft in the Torah, but the rabbis found a source that instead allowed them to mete out the financial penalty.” Oh, and did I mention the husband cheated on her, and that they were trying to get a divorce? Yeah, stay classy Haifa rabbinical court.
- Is the fantasy genre inherently Christian? DG Myers thinks so, but ED Kain rebuts that it’s far more pagan than Christian in its outlook and orientation. Quote: “I think that fantasy is not founded in Christian themes so much as it is rooted in distinctly Anglo-Saxon mythology. And not just the mythology of the Medieval, feudalistic period, but the pre-Christian myths of the faerie-folk as well.” More here, and here.
- Tomorrow is the Thai festival of Loy Krathong, a time to honor the goddess of the river, and ask “her forgiveness for man’s polluting of the water and to thank her for fertility.” More on this at the Washington Post.
- Broadmoor Hospital Chaplaincy Service in Berkshire says it is “responding to requests for pagan and Rastafarian input” for its in-house chaplaincy team.
- Sentencing in the James Arthur Ray sweat lodge deaths case has finally begun. First witnesses in the six days of hearings were very critical of Ray and his methods.
- So this has to be one of the most bizarre claims I’ve read in awhile: six ‘Curse of Tutankhamun’ deaths were actually murders perpetrated by Aleister Crowley according to Mark Beynon, author of “London’s Curse: Murder, Black Magic and Tutankhamun in the 1920s West End”. The Telegraph breaks down the accusations and there seems to be no hard, credible, evidence (something the author admits). In essence, if Crowley, or anyone he knew, crossed paths with a “victim” he could have done it. The whole thing is a smear-job designed to sell books to the gullible.
- Remember kids, practice safe Satanic sex.
That’s all I have time for today, expect a write-up of my FaerieCon adventures in the near-ish future. In the meantime, do check out my interview with Qntal’s Michael Popp at A Darker Shade of Pagan. As always, some of these stories may be expanded upon in future posts.