There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than our team 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 naturalist and author Peter Matthiessen died on Saturday after battling leukemia. Mattheiseen, a Zen Buddhist, wrote over 30 novels, was an environmental activist, co-founded the Paris Review, and famously wrote “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,” which chronicled the story of Leonard Peltier. Quote: “Matthiessen is held in such high regard as a nonfiction writer by nonfiction writers that they sometimes say, ‘How is it possible that this guy can be such a virtuoso fiction writer, and give his equally substantial body of nonfiction work such short shrift?’ Because all the rest of us are trying to do what we can to mimic his nonfiction work.” What is remembered, lives.
- Two people in Western Kentucky have been arrested on charges of committing sexual offenses against children. One of them, Jessica M. Smith, allegedly described herself as a Witch and threatened the children with her powers. Quote: “Prosecutors say the two threatened the children with ‘hexes and curses’ [...] Police said Smith described herself as a witch and told the kids ‘she was going to put a spell on them’ and that ‘if they told anyone, something bad would happen to them.’”
- A federal appeals panel has ruled that New York City has the right to block religious services in public schools. Quote: “The decision does not mean that the city must force religious groups out of the schools, but merely that a city prohibition on religious worship services in schools would comply with the Constitution.” Appeals are expected.
- It seems that “real housewife” Carlton Gebbia isn’t the only reality television star who has practiced Wicca. It seems that Millionaire Matchmaker star Patti Stanger was a “real Wiccan” for six years. Quote: “I’ve studied Kabbalah, I’ve studied Wicca, so you can’t be like that. You can’t throw stones at people, because karmically it’s going to come back to you even worse then you threw it at them.”
- Is the Internet destroying religion? A new study makes the case that the rise of the Internet has been an important factor in individuals abandoning traditional forms of religious practice. Quote: “Today, we get a possible answer thanks to the work of Allen Downey, a computer scientist at the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, who has analyzed the data in detail. He says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet. He concludes that the increase in Internet use in the last two decades has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.” Of course, correlation is not causation, but Downey says that “correlation does provide evidence in favor of causation, especially when we can eliminate alternative explanations or have reason to believe that they are less likely.”
- LIFE Magazine recently pulled some pictures of British Witches from 1964 out of their archives. Quote: “Just about 50 years ago, in the fall of 1964, LIFE magazine published what must have felt to the venerable weekly’s long-time readers like a strikingly weird feature. Titled “Real Witches at Work,” the piece included photographs of modern-day British pagans — doctors, housewives, nurses, teachers — celebrating their ancient rites, dancing around fires and generally behaving like perfectly normal, faithful worshippers of the sun, the moon and Mother Nature have been acting for thousands of years.”
- The Columbia Faith & Values website features an editorial from Ci Cyfarth on building Pagan community. Quote: “In Columbia, we have all of the raw materials we need to build a genuine, thriving, robust Pagan community. We’ve got a diverse array of working groups and solitary practitioners, an open weekly meet-up, a Pagan-friendly campground and festival space, an esoteric bookshop and a street fair. If my grove wanted to celebrate the Eleusinian Mysteries, we would face some tremendous roadblocks in terms of space, resources and hands to do the work. While I have no doubt we could do something beautiful about life, death and agricultural cycles, how much more amazing would it be to gather up hands and tools and expertise from a wider pool and put on an actual participatory ritual drama during Pagan Pride?”
- Pat Robertson surprises absolutely no-one by telling Wiccan he’s going to hell, even if he is “nice.” Quote: “I may also say that witchcraft — white witchcraft or black witchcraft — is sinful [...] We are forbidden to deal with those who are witches, those who deal in occult arts.”
- It isn’t just Pagan clergy who have to work a regular job to support themselves. Quote: “Some ministers are answering the call to care for their families and tend to their flocks by working two full-time jobs. It’s a growing trend in Tennessee, with nearly half of the state’s Baptist churches being led by a pastor who also has another job.”
- If you work in environmental policy, anything that you do that might be construed as Pagan will forever be used against you as proof of idealogical extremism. Quote: “The United Nations Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres is waging war on Texas oil and gas executives. And when she’s not working at her desk, she howls and prays to the moon. No kidding, she’s an ardent worshipper of a jaguar goddess called, Ixchel, who allegedly transforms into a moon goddess at night.” I actually wrote about people freaking out about this back in 2010.
That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these we may expand into longer posts as needed.