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.
- Shortly after I posted yesterday’s entry on the passing of Russell Means, David Godwin, and Paul Kurtz, I learned that noted dancer and musician Gabrielle Roth died yesterday. Roth was a proponent of ecstatic, shamanic, and therapeutic dancing and movements, most famous for her 5Rhythms practice and her many albums produced as Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors. Of her mother’s passing, son Jonathan A Horan said: “Our Mama Raven’s wings have lifted her spirit from this lifetime and she is in flight to her next journey, where she will dance in our hearts forever.” The family ask that donations to her charity be made in lieu of flowers.
- The ex-Witch market never seems to completely dry up, this time its “Escaping the Cauldron: Exposing occult influences in everyday life” by former “solitary eclectic Christian witch” Kristine McGuire. McGuire gets some one-sided puff-story coverage from a local Michigan paper, and like all converts cashing in these days she’s been on the 700 Club. Remember, she wrote this book, and regurgitates the anti-occult/paranormal/witchcraft talking points for YOU! Don’t you feel better? I know I do.
- Maria Bustillos writes about her Santeria-practicing grandmother for The Awl, and paints a portrait that is both damning and redeeming of a women she experienced through a child’s eyes. Quote: “I shan’t bore you with the things that drove everyone nuts about my grandmother, that wicked witch whom I loved so dearly. Why should I dwell on all that? The humiliation and fear, the refusal to let my beloved cousin T. go to UC-Irvine because girls are meant to find a nice man and have babies and maybe work at a bank? The tears. Instead, I shall tell you that when you went to my grandmother’s house you would find on various surfaces, on tables and shelves, little wasp-waisted shrimp cocktail glasses full of water and sometimes roses from the garden, set before photographs of the dead. There were many painted plaster polychrome saints with coins piled before them. One had a boat filled with supplicants beneath her, struggling through plaster waves. Coins in the boat. The scent of flowers and food, the sound of voices. The warm and perilous embrace of a witch.”
- Nicolas Cage, the man who ruined a remake of “The Wicker Man”, and a remake of “Wings of Desire,” is in talks to star in a reboot of the “Left Behind” movie franchise. This explains everything.
- The saga of Chico Goddess Temple, which I’ve reported on here before, isn’t quite over. While the Butte County Board of Supervisors revoked the temple’s permits after complaints over noise, building without permits, and an illegal festival held on the grounds, they’ve now apparently reversed course after owner Robert Seals filed a civil rights lawsuit. If this succeeds keeping the temple where it currently stands is anyone’s guess at this point.
- The religiously unaffiliated (“nones”) are more likely to vote Democratic in a presidential election, but that doesn’t make them easy to classify or cater to. Quote: “But the internal diversity of the religiously unaffiliated presents a challenge to candidates and campaigns who are seeking to court this group’s votes. PRRI’s recently released American Values Survey profiled three distinct subgroups of religiously unaffiliated Americans: atheists and agnostics, seculars, and a newly identified group, “unattached believers.” Importantly, these subgroups vary widely in terms of race, education, and even religiosity. There is considerable distance between atheists and agnostics on the one hand and unattached believers on the other, with seculars generally falling in between.” Meanwhile. Juicy Ecumenicism gives the testimony of a former “none.”
- The Quietus interviews Hexvessel’s Matthew McNerney, who talks about his band’s unique mix of metal, jazz and psychedelic folk, and also opens about Paganism, the natural world, and practicing magick. Quote: “I was brought up a Catholic, so I know about organised religion. I’ve always been interested in the occult and magick. I don’t know how much you can say about practising magick, because I think it’s something that’s very personal and very subjective and I think this album is about that. It’s about “When does magick become objective? When does religion become an objective thing? What does it mean to be holy?” It’s all connected with nature and how we see ourselves in relation to the world around us. It’s definitely the theme of the album, and I believe that we’re creating and practising magick all the time.”
- Gina Athena Ulysse, Professor of Anthropology & African American Studies at Wesleyan University, writes about defending Vodou in Haiti at The Huffington Post. Quote: “In recent years, defensive tactics have included the formation of umbrella organizations (such as Zantrayand Bode Nasyonal) that brought practitioners together to address common concerns. It must be noted that these groupings are not necessarily representative of all Vodouists and are not without controversy. Nonetheless, with the persistent presence of protestant missions and increasingly aggressive spiritual cleansings and other attacks especially since the 2010 earthquake, Vodouists have become increasingly vulnerable and have to be on the offensive.” Ulysse also notes the recent controversy over the amended Haitian constitution, and the fear that it may have removed protections for Vodou practitioners.
- Boing Boing’s Gweek podcast interviews Lisa Morton, author of “Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween,” about, well, the history of Halloween. Quote: “Have you ever wondered about the origins of Halloween? Where does the word Halloween come from? What is the origin of the term trick or treat? Why do we carve jack-o’-lanterns? And how did costumes come into play?”
- Tourist-trade witch, living in cave, seeks potential suitors. Seeks someone less “goody-goody” than Merlin, but not as evil as Voldemort.
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.