The Pagan Carnival

Welcome to the second edition of The Pagan Carnival, a bi-weekly summary of the best writing in the modern Pagan, Heathen and occult blogosphere. Help spread the word and strengthen our online community by posting a link back to this entry. Don’t forget to submit your nominations for the next edition! Now on to the carnival!

First off, my prayers and best wishes go to those currently suffering due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. For those wishing to help you can send donations to the Red Cross or participate in some modern Pagan efforts to raise money or provide temporary housing for refugees.

Several Pagan blogs have added their own voices of sorrow and outrage about this horrendous event.

Anne from “The Gods Are Bored” has channeled the goddess of chaos to deal with the unkind words of those around her.

“Anne is so furious she can’t type. And my attention span is short, so here’s her problem in a nutshell: One of her “Christian” friends complained that the hurricane survivors in New Orleans were whiners “looking for the government to take care of them.” The “Christian” friend added: “I guess every society has people looking for handouts.” Anne channeled me, and the bail hearing is set for two weeks from today.”

T. Thorn Coyle turns her thoughts to those who suffer.

“The tragedy in MS/AL/LA is terrible. The tragedy in Iraq is terrible. There is tragedy on my own streets, lesser in scale, but terrible too. To New Orleans (hometown of my Father) I’m sending money. To San Francisco, I continue to volunteer every week at the soup kitchen. To Iraq? I don’t know what to do. I sit. I watch. I pray. I call upon the golden light. I keep my heart open. I send a breath to everyone who is trying.”

Noddy from “Numenous Thoughts” (who is volunteering near the area) talks about poverty, violence, and how the media is spinning the aftermath.

“Why is the media handling this disaster differently from the Murrah Bombing in Oklahoma or the May 3rd tornado (also in Oklahoma) or the Towers and Pentagon attacks? In those, they showed the kindness of people, how people were helping one another, focused on the heroes of the moment. Why are they zooming in on people they call “looters” and not the ones who bring water and shelter and food to the victims? I say the people who broke open locked stores to scavenge water and food and diapers are heroes. The people who filled shopping carts with supplies and wheeled those carts back to people huddled under bridges are heroes. Where’s that coverage?”

Turning from the Katrina coverage we come to a blog post from someone who isn’t a Pagan at all but requested to be included in the Carnival. Nathan Nelson a blogger and gay Catholic activist. Nathan was horrified by the Pope’s recent characterization that the Nazi movement was sprung from “neo-paganism” (as commented on in the last Pagan Carnival) and decided to write about it.

“From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to our Pagan brothers and sisters in the One Human Family who have been persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church and by the Christian Church in general. From the bottom of my heart, I apologize for Pope Benedict XVI’s recent taking up of the “blame game,” in which the Roman Catholic Church can apparently do no wrong. From the bottom of my heart, I pray for the day when the Roman Catholic Church will put an end to its long and continuing history of bigotry and intolerance. May the All-Father have mercy on us, bring us to true repentance, and forgive us our sins against all of our sisters and brothers. Amen, and blessed be.”

He also has some pretty blunt things to say about those who would call Katrina God’s judgement on a sinful town. Now then, since I’m already in controversial territory, why not tackle sexual freedom and reproductive rights?

Lilith Saintcrow at “God and Consequences” and Andy Ternay from “Searching For A Better Way” discuss our cultures attitudes towards sex, controception, abortion, and property rights.

“So keep in mind that the next time you hear a woman being run down in conversation for her sexuality, whether that woman is a friend, coworker or classmate, Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, a runaway bride, missing woman or even a porn star, that woman is simply a human being doing the best she can with what she has. Don’t subscribe to the cultural and religious message of disapproval; consciously reject it. Because quite often, sluts are wonderful people too.”Andy Ternay

…this really, when one gets right down to it, isn’t about women at all. It’s about property rights. The attitude toward women that our society endorses today can be boiled down to this: chastity before monogamy, monogamy with horrific penalties for adultery or sexual freedom. This is a holdover from the Middle Ages (and before) where the great obsession in passing a man’s property down to his progeny was predicated on making sure whatever pups the woman squeezed out were definitely his.”Lilith Saintcrow

Speaking of sex (and who doesn’t enjoy that) LaSara Firefox has a rebuttal to an uptight reporter for SF Bay Guardian who covered an book release party for “Sexy Witch”.

“The bespectacled soccer-mom and octogenarian in question are, in fact, neither, and are flattered to have been noticed. And I don?t mind at all being compared to Neko Case, but my friends say Ms. Chun is off the mark on that one. TJ (aka Black Byrd) is MOST emphatically NOT a blond, and the magick was profoundly NOT Wiccan. I never said it would be. Far as I know, Ms. Chun didn?t actually talk to anyone, but we all feel it was her loss. I hope that next time she heads out into the boonies she avails herself of some country-style hospitality, stashes her city-slicker attitude at the door, and sits herself down long enough to be welcomed and entertained.”

The infamous J. Brad Hicks
has posted an interesting three-part article on what Americans won’t do because of high gas and oil prices. Part 1, part 2, part 3.

“But when the SUV came along, people discovered two paradoxical things. First of all, the higher up the driver sits the better the driver’s chance of seeing a hazardous situation in time to avoid a collision. And secondly, if that fails and
there’s a collision anyway, the person with the higher bumper “wins.” It’s profoundly undemocratic and anti-liberal to auction off the right to survive an automobile accident to the highest bidder. But it’s profoundly capitalist, and therefore ever since Reagan taught us that (contrary to what the Christian scripture says) it is morally OK to hate the poor, profoundly American.”

Be sure to check out his journal for his extensive coverage of Katrina-related issues as well. Considering all the Katrina coverage does anyone remember Cindy Sheehan? Well the trials of this anti-war mother inspired Maggie from the Arrows blog to come out of hiatus early to talk about the place of women in political discourse and the long history and mythology of that place.

“The rage is, of course, about the War in Iraq. It started when I began to see images of Cindy Sheehan standing in the dust outside Mr. Bush’s ranch. Here in one image, I saw the rage and grief of mothers for eons who are expected to produce citizen soldiers for the polis and are not allowed to publicly mourn. In Athens, where public mourning was under the jurisdiction of the state, women were not allowed to display their grief. Personal grief did not belong in the political system because women, with their fluctuating emotions and their connection to a fluid body where not hard. So here we are 2000 + years later, and once more, a woman?s grief is dismissed because what she has to say is irrelevant to the political concerns. She is dismissed as a looney, an instrument of propaganda for the left, a betrayer of her son’s death and all the soldiers left in Iraq for daring to make public her grief and rage.”

On the lighter side “Secrets of a Witch” has the top ten things to be heard in a Pagan store.

“Q. What is that thing called?
A. A Pentacle
Q. What?s it for?
A. It?s a Pagan symbol that represents the elements and the spirit
of the faith upon which we?ve built our religion, our lives, and
our concept of God.
Q. Oh, okay! I?ll take it! Look Honey, I?m buying a Pentathingy!”

Also on the lighter side, you can read my parody entry on a recent Focus on the Family conference which two of my readers were kind enough to nominate for inclusion in the Carnival.

Tim Boucher interviews Gnostic priest Jordan Stratford (an ordained minister in the Apostolic Johannite Church) and tries to get to the bottom of this whole Da Vinci, Magdalene, divine feminine thing.

“Did an historic Mary Magdalene marry an historic Jesus, move to France and crank out little Merovingians? Of course not. I don?t think any credible historian is claiming this, only that some people in history assumed this to be the case and acted accordingly. I?ve described this myth as a ?marriage? of two complementary traditions, Christian and that of the Divine Feminine. It?s not meant to be taken literally.”

Here’s hoping that Isaac Bonewits gets his blog back up soon after a hacker messed up his domain and he had to take it down.

I would like to end this edition of the Carnival with a link to a new blog I just discovered (thanks to Chas Clifton) called Driving Audhumla which documents the travels of a Pagan journalist as she travels the country. A very unique additon to the Pagan blogosphere.

Thanks for reading, if you have submissions for the next Pagan Carnival or are interested in editing an edition drop me a line. Remember to post a link to The Pagan Carnival in your blog and spread the word!