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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 Atlanta Independent Media Center reports on a 11-year-old child harassed at his school due to his family being Pagan. Christopher Turner of Bowden, Georgia has been singled out, lectured on religion by teachers, and given suspensions for seemingly trivial reasons since knowledge of his faith has come out. Quote: “Christopher’s teacher, Mrs. Ross, pulled him out of class and proceeded to drill him about Paganism, ending the conversation with “Paganism is not a religion.” Remember, this is an 11 year old student, with no parent present while being harassed about his religion by someone who is suppose to be an educator.” At this point the parents are planning to home school Christopher for now, and are looking into legal action.
- Performance artist and sex educator Annie Sprinkle, in an interview with PopMatters, weighs in on the recent arrests of the Phoenix Goddess Temple members in Arizona. Quote: “For the people arrested, this was with out a doubt their religious practice, and not prostitution. So they are avoiding contact with sex worker rights organizations. So, whores don’t want to support them. There are tantra people that don’t want to support the PGT (Phoenix Goddess Temple) workers because they feel that they weren’t really practicing tantra and are bringing bad publicity to their wholesome image. It’s really shocking to me how so many in the tantra community were so whorephobic.” It should be noted that Annie Sprinkle uses the term “whore,” not as a pejorative, but in a context of reappropriation.
- Witches in South Africa are blasting South African Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe for defending the Sunday Tribune’s use of the term “witch” in describing a murderer. Quote: “Real Witches, which he condescendingly calls “self-styled”, are regarded by Thloloe as attempting to use the office of the Ombudsman to proselytize their religion, not defend their collective right to dignity. According to the Press Ombudsman, any notion that actual Witches should wish to appeal against the defamatory stereotyping of witches in the South African media is ridiculous and can never merit anything but contemptuous scorn.” We will no doubt be hearing more about this from SAPRA.
- Phaedra Bonewits has announced that she is beginning to auction off some of the possessions of her late husband, Druid leader Isaac Bonewits. Quote: “That does mean going through a lot of Isaac’s stuff, too. I kept so much of his, both because I wasn’t ready to part with it for myself, and because I thought other people might like to have something that once belonged to him. I have boxes and boxes of magical memorabilia, as well as boxes and boxes of books and music. And boxes and boxes yet unsorted. My winter will be busy.” The first batch, featuring mostly vintage Pagan music cassettes, is up on eBay now. It should also be noted that Isaacs papers are safe and sound, donated to the University of California, Santa Barbara for future scholars to access.
- Religion Clause reports that members of the indigenous religion Sunda Wiwitan in Indonesia are fighting to have their religion listed on official identification. Quote the Jakarta Globe: “We have to choose between the six religions. We’re confused that we can’t put ‘Sunda Wiwitan’ on our IDs,” Dainah said. “We went to the Home Affairs Ministry in Jakarta to ask about this but they recommended we go to the Constitutional Court.”
- Would you like to bid on a designer Gaia?
- New Age guru James Arthur Ray, now in prison for the negligent homicide of three sweat lodge participants, has settled the civil lawsuits with the victim’s families for more than 3 million dollars. Quote: “Both prosecutors and defense attorneys tiptoed around specifics of the civil settlements during Ray’s criminal trial because those involved were bound by a confidentiality agreement not to discuss it. At one point, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk suggested that by settling the civil case, Ray was admitting fault for the deaths. Ray’s attorneys quickly denied that; the settlement includes no admission of guilt.” More lawsuits against Ray are pending.
- For those who missed, religion journalism criticism site Get Religion weighed in on the recent Village Voice Dan Halloran piece. Quote: “I don’t share the Village Voice’s politics in toto but this otherwise well-researched piece leaves a bad taste in the mouth solely because of the unnecessary mocking tone.” You can read my own take on this, here.
- Bloody Disgusting reports that the official trailer for Robin Hardy’s “The Wicker Tree” is now out. “The Wicker Tree” is a forthcoming companion film to the classic 1973 Pagan-themed horror film “The Wicker Man.”
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.