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.
- I’m not saying this from any kind of religious perspective, but dang “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” looks terrible. OK, to get into it a little bit, let me say that I have no problem separating the idea of a folkloric/fantasy witch from other kinds of real-world witchcraft (I’m a savvy consumer of pop-culture). But you know what? Real, innocent, people were tried, convicted, and killed for being “witches” in our collective history, and it still goes on today. So you gotta walk a real fine line if you’re going to make your protagonists witch-hunters and you’re going to mix-and-match fantasy witches with the witch-trials in Early Modern Europe. I don’t see that here. Also: it looks really terrible.
- A theistic Satanic group in Florida (The Satanic Temple) is planning to hold a rally on January 25th in solidarity with Gov. Rick Scott’s support of a school “inspirational messages” law (in essence, a school prayer law). Quote: “The Satanic Temple embraces the free expression of religion, and Satanists are happy to show their support of Rick Scott who — particularly with SB 98 — has reaffirmed our American freedom to practice our faith openly, allowing our Satanic children the freedom to pray in school.” I have no idea if this is serious, or if someone is engaging in some next-level trolling. Whichever the case, the Huffington Post is on board, and local media is paying attention.
- Chas Clifton responds to P. Sufenas Virius Lupus’s recent Patheos column, “Bringing Back the Gods,” by pointing out that Gerald Gardner wasn’t very spiritually inclined towards deity worship. Quote: “Think about that, the chief founder of a new Pagan religion who never had one of those knock-you-down experiences with the gods that convinces you that She, He, or They are really there.” It should be noted for clarity that Clifton is all for brining back the gods. Lupus responds to Clifton’s response at his personal blog.
- Last week was Benin’s annual Vodun festival,the Associated Press has a report. Quote: “Though Benin appears to be where slaves brought to America and the Caribbean learned about Voodoo, the nation itself has a mixed history with the religion. Mathieu Kerekou, a one-time Marxist dictator turned elected president, banned Voodoo practices during the Cold War [...] Now, the religion has its own national day Jan. 10. It coexists peacefully with Islam and Catholicism, the other major religions in the country.”
- Sam Webster, author of “Tantric Thelema” and founder of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn, is now writing for a column for Patheos entitled “Pagan Restoration.” Quote: “The world will be a better place if the ancient religious cultures of Europe, the Mediterranean, and Mesopotamia are restored to their glory, suitably updated by what we have learned in the last two thousand years. This column is dedicated to achieving this end. We shall call this project Pagan Restoration. To do so, the Pagan community must mature into a healthy, sustainable religious movement.” It should be a thought-provoking journey!
- Indian Country Today columnist Duane Champagne asks: How should Native Americans best attempt to protect sacred land? Quote: “A new and promising movement, however, may be afoot. Lately, various nonprofit land-conservancy organizations have used federal and state law to buy land and put it into conservancy trust. And Indian tribes have organized and joined such conservancies, e.g. the Native American Land Conservancy. These groups have also used existing law to remove sacred places from the market and taxation, while preserving plants and animals thereon. Under this approach, the land can be protected from intruders. In many cases, tribes don’t have to explain why they want to preserve the land—as long as they can make strong environmental arguments.”
- Senator John Kerry has introduced “The Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2013” (S.3686) which would, “prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of religion specifically in the areas of ‘garb, grooming, and scheduling.'” If passed, it would mean Pagans could get their holidays off without fear of getting fired or harassed.
- Alison Boland, a film graduate student at the University of Texas, has made a short documentary entitled “Under One Sky” about the Austin-based group Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT). Tom Davis, the Public Information Officer of the Live Oak Local Council, of the Covenant of the Goddess is interviewed in it. (Hat-tip COG Interfaith Reports)
- The PNC Bay Area bureau is conducting a series of interviews in the lead-up to PantheaCon in San Jose. So far they’ve interviewed David Salisbury, Lisa Spiral Besnett, and Joseph Merlin Nitcher: “Pantheacon is a truly amazing thing, it offers such a large variety of activities, events and opportunities, I therefore have numerous motivations to attend and am drawn by the full spectrum of interests. I find the diverse assortment of presentations both spiritually and intellectually stimulating, no matter what your interest or flavor, there’s something there for everyone. I particularly love the interaction, attending various rituals allows me to exploring different traditions, meet new people and make new friends. The social aspect is also a big motivation; there are some friends I only get to see at Pantheacon, which makes the whole experience that much more meaningful.”
- A secret history of women and tattoo.
That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of them I may expand into longer posts as needed.