Around the Blogosphere

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Some great Pagan and Pagan-friendly content has been popping up lately in the blogosphere, so I thought I would take some time to highlight some posts that I found particularly interesting.

Feorag, of the venerable Pagan Prattle, dissects a recent article on a English Vicar who wants to debate the Church of England’s use of Harry Potter to attract younger members. It turns out that the press-hungry Vicar has a notorious “Satanic Panic” past.

“Anyone old enough to have been involved in neopaganism in the UK in the 1980s will remember the Rev. Kevin Logan (a.k.a.Kev. the Rev.). The Anglican vicar spent a lot of time and effort promoting the Satanic Abuse Myth, and propagating outrageous lies about neopaganism. He fell from grace after a seriously disturbed woman, Caroline Marchant, committed suicide while in his care. Well, he obviously thinks no-one can remember him after 17 years, and is back having a go at Harry Potter. Nor does he seem to have spent the time learning anything about neopaganism, as he strangely seems to think that Rowling’s books have something to do with it.”

Logan is looking to forge a comeback in the anti-occult market (reinvigorated by all the fuss over Harry Potter) by releasing a new edition of his Satanic Panic-supporting book “Paganism and the Occult: A manifesto for Christian Action”, a work that Feorag describes as “a load of complete bollocks.”

Perhaps gearing up for Halloween festivities, the mega-popular Boing Boing has featured quite a few Witchy and occult-oriented posts recently. There was the post on making “witches’ jars”, a look at a flying witch arcade game, and most recently a post on the organization “English Heretics”, who are commemorating the “psychohistorical environment of England”.

“England’s buildings are littered with blue plaques placed by English Heritage, commemorating the birthplaces of important people, famous architecture and so on. English Heretics put Black Plaques up to commemorate an entirely different kind of heritage: ‘The Black Plaque scheme was instigated in October 2003. Its purpose is to commemorate and draw public attention to historical figures in such diverse fields as sorcery, the Royal Art, left hand path occultism and witchcraft, as well as the mentally infirm: tortured poets, psychopaths and village idiots.'”

With a little funding “English Heretics” could really become something interesting (not to mention, fun).

Over at the TheoFantastique blog, John Morehead interviews Bill Ellis (author of “Lucifer Ascending: The Occult in Folklore and Popular Culture”) about religious and occult themes in Japanese animation.

“Much of anime can be appreciated purely as story-telling, and as the studios know that their productions will be viewed all over the world, they do make an effort to stress universally engaging plots and characters and minimize the purely esoteric details. Still, myth and religion always lie very close to the surface, and many plot twists that seem odd to the Western eye are ‘just right’ for an Eastern audience. Likewise, many of the plot details are the sorts of folk beliefs that the Japanese accept as part of everyday life, such as the belief that the number four is unlucky (it’s pronounced ‘shi,’ which can also mean ‘death.’) So if something happens three times, then the audience is set up to expect that the fourth time will involve some kind of danger or misfortune. Also, butterflies are cute in Western decorations but signal some uncanny and possibly scary twist when they appear in anime, because this creature is associated with magic and a pathway into another world.”

Also discussed are the works of Hayao Miyazaki, and how Buddhist and Shinto themes manifest within anime features.

M. Macha NightMare, at her blog Broomstick Chronicles, discusses a recent interfaith meeting on the topic of serving the senior community. In the post she discusses who is considered “clergy”, and what the responsibilities of Pagan clergy are when tending to the elderly.

“If there is one thing I want Pagans to take away from this is the knowledge that if we encounter anything resembling elder abuse, we are mandated reporters. Most of you probably know we are mandated reporters for suspected child abuse, but the law requiring ‘clergy’ to report suspected elder abuse is recent. So now you know. May you never have to do it.”

If you need to report a case of elder abuse, the Elder Abuse Center gives you quick links to the State Adult Protective Services.

Finally, there are two new blogs of note I wanted to pass along. Witchvox staff member, movie reviewer, and author, Peg Aloi formally enters the Pagan blogosphere with the well-written “Orchards Forever”. Meanwhile, Lupa, author of “Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic”, has started a new blog entitled “Therioshamanism” which aims to document her journey towards creating her own Neo-Shamanic path.