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.
- Duke Divinity School professor Mark Chaves, author of “American Religion: Contemporary Trends,” explores why a growing number of Americans are willing to say they don’t belong to a religious tradition. I recently mentioned Chaves in an earlier post about the decline of religon, and what that might mean for modern Pagan religions.
- British shaman/Vodou initiate Peter Aziz has been jailed for 15 months for distributing brews of ayahuasca at a retreat in 2007. Aziz’s lawyer said at the sentencing that “It has caused him a considerable amount of worry as far as his personal beliefs are concerned. He has learned what can be learned from this and will not be before the court again.” Ayahuasca contains DMT, which is an illegal controlled substance in Britain. In the United States it is legal to import and use ayahuasca so long as you are a member of one of the groups, like O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, who has established that the drink is an essential and central part of their religious practice.
- A memorial benefit celebration for influential author and art historian Merlin Stone, who died earlier this year, is being held on September 24th in Clearwater, Florida (Facebook event link). Stone was author of the seminal book “When God Was A Woman,” and a successful Kickstarter campaign was recently held to produce a memorial documentary project in her honor.
- Tombo Studio, a boutique run by Feri Tradition and sacred dance instructor Anaar, has unveiled a new website design for its current line of handcrafted costume clothing, modeled by some well-known West Coast Pagan luminaries (Morpheus Ravenna, Sharon Knight, and T.Thorn Coyle) and photographed by Paul Nordin.
- It’s Pagan Pride time again! That means many local Pagan groups are getting their one dose of media attention for the year (maybe two, depending on how media outlets cover Halloween). So far we have reports from Ontario, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Texas, Connecticut, and many more to come.
- If you’re in the Pacific Northwest this month, you should check out Faerieworlds Harvest on September 16th-18th in Eugene, Oregon. All the fun of Faerieworlds, but with milder weather! Pagan favorites SJ Tucker, Faun, Woodland, and Stellamara are all slated to perform. Also of note is the Esoteric Book Conference this weekend in Seattle, Washington. I’m planning to attend both, so expect to hear more on these events in the near future!
- Religion Dispatches is featuring an article on Burning Man from Jay Michaelson entitled “Burning Man in the Age of Rick Perry.” In it Michaelson says that “a dogmatic religionist cannot abide the inspiration of another. Unless it is within the same religious system, it is damned, or confused, or pagan, or worse. Thus the dogmatist is only left with data which confirm her existing categories of thought. All contradictory data is removed from consideration. Whereas, any religious/spiritual progressive must be inspired precisely by the plurality of revelatory experiences.”
- Also at Religion Dispatches is a review of Kevin M. Schultz’s book “Tri-Faith America: How Catholics and Jews Held Postwar America to Its Protestant Promise.” Reviewer Edward J. Blum says that the book “helped explain how and why at seventeen I used the language of “Judeo-Christianity” for conservative evangelical ends, while remaining intellectually and morally open to civil rights and liberal crusades.” For more on this topic, check out The Wild Hunt’s interview with Kevin M. Schultz.
- The latest volume of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture is now out, and it features some articles that should be of interest to my readers. These include “Sacred Nature: Earth-based Spirituality as Popular Religion in the Pacific Northwest” by Mark A. Shibley and “Cinema of the Not-Yet: The Utopian Promise of Film as Heterotopia” by Adrian Ivakhiv. There’s also a review of Bron Taylor’s “Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future”.
- This just in, gluing mirrors to campaign signs isn’t a calling-card for Santeria.
- Theology matters on the campaign trail now more than ever.
- The debate over banning black magic in India.
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.