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.
- The Greek (and very Pagan) band Daemonia Nymphe has announced that they are in the studio recording a new album, and that it’s due to be out sometime in 2013. It’s been five years since their last album, the amazing “Krataia Asterope,” so this is welcome news indeed. I’ve embedded the video for their song “Divine Goddess of Fertility” above.
- WIth the release of the new census data for England and Wales comes some bizarre hysteria regarding the number of Witches and Satanists living in various regions. A Congregational minister has worked himself up in a lather about the “83 witches and 93 satanists”living in Wales, telling tales of malevolent witches and evil eyes. Quote: “Rev Felix Aubel claims occult practices in rural Wales have been increasing during the two decades he has been working in the area [...] He said there was an “unusual connection” between Christianity and witchcraft in some chapel circles in Wales.” He is, naturally, writing a book about it.
- For those of you who are fans of the Greek god Zeus, his affairs, and his many offspring, Visualizing.org has posted a helpful visualization of the data.
- A former archdruid of the Gorsedd of the Bards at the National Eisteddfod Welsh cultural festival made the news when he refused to pay the clerk at a local store until she said the total in Welsh. Police were called, and finally, a Welsh speaker intervened and Dr Robyn Lewis paid his bill. Dr. Lewis said that: “All I wanted was an answer in my own language, in my own country.” For the record, the BBC reports that the clerk did speak Welsh, but simply gave the final total in English.
- Over at his blog Chas Clifton reminds us that debates over “traditional” Witchcraft have been raging for almost as long as religious Witchcraft has been a public matter. Quote: “The term ‘traditional’ is tossed around a lot more now than in past decades, but the clashes between various forms of revived Witchcraft started quite some time ago — in the 1960s, at least. Some of the infighting appeared in a short-lived publication called Pentagram, arguably the first English-language Pagan zine. Note the headline, ‘Before Gardner—What?’”
- Penton: Independent Pagan Media, based in South Africa, won in the religious or spiritual category for the 2012 South African Blog Awards. Congratulations!
- This just in: walking in the woods is good for you! Quote: “In an effort to benefit the Japanese and find nonextractive ways to use forests, which cover 67 percent of the country’s landmass, the government has funded about $4 million in forest-bathing research since 2004. It intends to designate a total of 100 Forest Therapy sites within 10 years. Visitors here are routinely hauled off to a cabin where rangers measure their blood pressure, part of an effort to provide ever more data to support the project.” Those of us who love to sojourn into nature regularly can most likely attest to the salubrious effects of wooded terrain.
- Religion Clause reports that the USDA has “released a lengthy report titled USDA Policy and Procedures Review and Recommendations: Indian Sacred Sites.” Quote from the summary: “[The report calls] for USDA and the U.S. Forest Service to work more closely with Tribal governments in the protection, respectful interpretation and appropriate access to American Indian and Alaska Native sacred sites on national forests and grasslands. The report recommends steps the Forest Service should take to strengthen the partnerships between the agency, Tribal governments, and American Indian and Alaska Native communities to help preserve America’s rich native traditions.” This seems a welcome step forward after some recent incidents involving sacred lands.
- Moral panics often help promote the very thing they (sometimes literally) demonize. Quote: “The most common way for music to blow up from a small scene into global pop is for a controversy to erupt. Music history is littered with examples of “moral panics”: be-bop jazz was blamed for white-on-black race riots in the mid-1940s, just as rap music was blamed when riots erupted in Los Angeles following the Rodney King trial. In both cases, sensationalized news reports and especially a focus on the “dangerous” elements in the music attracted young people in droves. Moral panics, like magnets, repel and attract.” That quote is from Jennifer Lena, whose book “Banding Together: How Communities Create Genres in Popular Music,” looks very interesting. To give this a Pagan spin, one wonders if the “Satanic” panics of the 1980s and 1990s actually drew people into the occult and modern Paganism? Yet another factor to explore in the “teen witch” boom?
- Remember folks, reality television, all reality television, distorts its subjects.
- In a final note, Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish is going independent, and will subsist on reader donations. Which makes me wonder, will the future of media not be with massive ever-expanding content hubs, but with smaller, curated, islands that are more responsive to the communities they serve? Or, at the very least, will the new media ecosystem allow for both to thrive?
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.