Quick Notes: Glastonbury Thorn Cut Down, Jim Morrison Pardoned, and Mundane Goat Heads

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A few quick news notes to start your weekend.

Glastonbury Thorn Cut Down: The town of Glastonbury in England, a place held as special and holy to both Pagans and Christians, suffered a tragedy yesterday as vandals cut down the Holy Thorn tree on Wearyall Hill. The tree was a place of pilgrimage, and thought to be planted there by Joseph of Arimathea (the uncle of Jesus).

Photo by Matt Cardy / Getty Images

Police are trying to establish a motive for the attack, in which vandals hacked off the branches of the tree, leaving only part of the trunk remaining. They have not ruled out a religious motive. Katherine Gorbing, director of Glastonbury Abbey, said: “The vandals have struck at the heart of Christianity. Like the whole town, we are shocked and appalled.”

So far, no one is sure why vandals attacked the tree. Some claim it could have been done by some sort of neo-Puritans, hearkening back to the Cromwellian “Roundheads” who cut down the original tree during the English Civil War, other think it might be due to the recent collapse of Crown Currency Exchange (the owner of Wearyall Hill is a major stockholder in the company). Whatever the case, this is a tragedy to those who love the history, tradition, and unique atmosphere of Glastonbury. One can hope the tree will be replaced by a surviving off-shoot, the perpetrators caught, and the wounds healed over time.

Jim Morrison Pardoned: The late Dionysian rocker/poet Jim Morrison has been pardoned of his 1970 indecent exposure charges by outgoing Florida governor Charlie Crist, calling the conviction a “blot” on his record. This move was blasted by Morrison’s widow, author and  Celtic Pagan Patricia Kennealy Morrison.

The pardon isn’t enough for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, who says she married Morrison in a ceremony that was never made official. She wanted the convictions expunged and called the pardon “a complete cheap, cynical, political ploy.” “I have a real problem with the semantics of a pardon. The pardon says that all his suffering and all that he went through during the trial, everything both of us went through, was negated,” she said […] Kennealy Morrison said Morrison’s convictions led to his demise, and that of the band. She said he felt like he “had been made a scapegoat of the counterculture movement.”

The issue of a pardon has been something of a debate among Doors fans, with some preferring a more raucous image of the singer. For many Pagans Morrison has become “the 20th Century incarnation of Dionysus,” complete with rituals done in his honor.

Goat Heads That Aren’t Occult: Three homes in Cincinnati had severed goat heads placed on their door-steps, but for once it isn’t being blamed on practitioners of Santeria, Satanists, or occult practitioners.

“Police currently do not believe there is any kind of occult connection. “Usually when satanic or cult worshipers do this kind of thing they leave a mark they want you to know exactly what, who and why this was done,” said [Cincinnati Police Detective Charles] Zopfi. Police interviewed all three families to see if they are connected in some way and so far the answer is no. “Right now it could be anything from a teenage prank to a very nasty prank to somebody who is just targeting these people for a specific reason and right now we don’t know why,” said Zopfi.”

Gold star to Detective Zopfi for not rushing to judgment, or falling for those horrid “training videos” for “occult crime.” Now if only more law enforcement and animal control officials would follow suit.

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!