Pagan Voices: Dawn Hunt, Porsha Williams, T. Thorn Coyle, and More!

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Pagan voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio.

Dawn Hunt

Dawn Hunt

“It was a cool October morning and I had just finished a mediation to draw abundance and growth into my work. The phone rang and a lovely perky voice said “Hi Dawn! We have heard about you and think your website is wonderful!” She then went on to say that she worked for a large TV network and that they were looking for someone to represent the Pagan community on the show this year. With disbelief I listened intently. She described how she had called around and heard of Cucina Aurora Kitchen Witchery. Would I come down to Boston to cook for the preliminary judges? Hummmmm. Lemme Think….HELL YES!” – Dawn Hunt, owner of Cucina Aurora Kitchen Witchery, documenting her journey towards competing on the new season of Gordon Ramsey’s MasterChef (press release here).

Sannion

Sannion

“The first thing that I would tell them is that if all you’re going to be doing to honor the god is throw a party – then throw a huge party! Do it up right. Bed sheet togas and faux Classical decorations and the occasional “Hail Bacchus!” as someone slurps down jello-shots like brightly colored slugs? That’s fudging child’s play. He deserves better than that. Put some real thought and creativity into the proceedings. If you’re not giving him the fruit of genuine worship the least you can do is put on a decent show for his entertainment. Let your inner Martha Stewart loose. Torches and masks and swaths of fabric everywhere, grapelights and dildos and a giant ivy-decked idol in the center of the room … that’s a good start. But keep going. You’re only limited by your imagination. Aitch ee double hockey sticks, why not try something really fun and transgressive and have folks come in drag?” – Sannion, a Dionysian, on the question of what he’d do if frat boys came looking for advice on how to throw a party for Dionysos.

Joseph Bloch

Joseph Bloch

“One thing I often see, both from the reconstructionist and non-recon sides of Paganism, is a blind spot when it comes to sources that derive from Christian writers. I see this a lot particularly in Ásatrú and related Heathen faiths: when there’s a debate on something in the Sagas, or the Eddas, someone will inevitably chime in with the fact that most of the written lore comes down to us from Christian writers, who were writing after the official conversion from Heathen beliefs to Christianity, as if to shut down the discussion by impugning the sources. The reality, of course, is that without the written sources, we would know next to nothing about the religion of the Norse. Indeed, much of our knowledge of Roman Pagan religion also comes to us from Christian sources, and the watchword from a Pagan or Heathen point of view could be, ‘If the Christians were against it, it’s probably a good idea.'” – Joseph Bloch, at his Witches & Pagans blog, arguing the Pagans can learn a lot from the Christians.

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

“The stories of the Christian tradition being built “on the blood of the martyrs” is a shaky notion at best from a historical viewpoint. Yet it has been used to assert the “Truth” of the Christian faith: no one would show the kind of courage it takes to die a martyr’s death if the undeniable “Truth” of the Christian Gospel were not true. It is, therefore, a kind of axiom that if one is persecuted for one’s Christian faith, then that demonstrates how “right” one is and how “true” one’s faith happens to be. In light of Moss’ historical investigation, this is a completely untenable position. Why, then, can’t the truth of Islam be claimed by the fact that various Muslim terrorists decide to blow themselves up on behalf of it? Double standards do not work in this case, or in any case where martyrdom is used as proof of a religion’s veracity. While there is much more of value in this book to explore and contemplate, it is this point that I think is the most important—not just for us as Pagans (and queer people!) to know in our dealings with Christians, but to know in our dealings with the rest of the world as well.”P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, citing the work of Candia Moss’ “The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom,” and noting how it hold lessons for modern Pagans.

T. Thorn Coyle

T. Thorn Coyle

“When we work toward our own healing, everything changes. Things ebb and flow – there will be times when we retreat from our interactions with the world in order to do some deep re-assessment or healing work that can’t be done during too much engagement. But then we cycle back out: we bring our healing selves into the world of change, into the world of joy, into the world of pain. […] I won’t list everything that feels like it is going wrong in the world: all you have to do is check out the BBC, or Al Jazeera, or your Twitter feed to see it. I just want to remind us all that everything we do to counter injustice, dis-ease, hatred, or isolation, is a victory for the impetus of healing. The personal is political. The political is personal. We are interwoven. Re-member.”T. Thorn Coyle on becoming healers. 

Porsha Williams

Porsha Williams

“But Paganism – when you say the word ‘Pagan,’ ‘Kemetic’ or otherwise, their immediate thought is devil worship, they don’t see that there is any other religion, other than that, they don’t recognize it. Everyone goes to church every Sunday, you either go to the Methodist, church, the Lutheran church or the Baptist church. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. And everyone knows and sees everyone, so not to see me there, knowing that I was raised in that church, and then to realize why, because I’m very open about it – that was hard on my parents … and it was hard on me because it alienated me more.” – Porsha Williams, speaking to a NPR Missouri affiliate about her conversion from Christianity to Kemeticism.

Frater Barrabbas (left) with fellow magician Tony Mierzwicki.

Frater Barrabbas (left) with fellow magician Tony Mierzwicki.

“However we judge Brian Daniels, he deserved to live out his full life without being murdered. It is an object lesson to all occultists that we need to ensure our own safety and well-being, despite the capriciousness of fate and that bad things do happen every day. It is also sad because even though Brian was one of those individuals who delighted in the “ooky-spooky” aspects of the occult, he was essentially harmless. Whether or not he was ever able to deal with his lifetime of mental problems and serious psychological defects will never be known. His story will remain basically untold, but one can assume that such troubles are never fully eliminated, and they may have contributed to the obvious poor choices that he made in regards to the affairs of the heart. Those poor choices prematurely ended his life; but I suspect that he was likely also lonely and without family support and care, and this can lead nearly anyone to make bad choices as far as friends and lovers are concerned. May whatever Deities were in alignment to Brian Daniels at the end assoil his troubled spirit and keep him in a place of peace forever.  All of this is, of course, quite sobering to me, and it shows that human nature is fragile, relationships and trust must be given to those who are truly worthy, and that life is precious. We must guard ourselves from the iniquities of those who would do us egregious harm, and seek the blessings of the Gods to ensure that this state is maintained.” – Frater Barrabas, on the murder of Brian Daniels, an occultist with whom he was acquainted.

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