Unleash the Hounds! (link roundup)

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There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, more than our team can write about in depth in any given week. Therefore, the Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. 

  • A self-proclaimed “Mexican card reader” has been charged in the murder of local Galveston man Francisco Esparza. According to reports, he was allegedly performing “sexually-charged religious rituals with the murder victim’s teenage relative,” to rid him of demons. The attack on Esparza was reportedly in response to complaints about the practice. Esparza had tried to end the abuse on behalf of the 19-year-old. The case is now in court.
  • On the morning of June 24, museum curators at the Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo, Hawaii arrived to discover that their beloved sea goddess statue had been decapitated. According to reports, “The sculpture [which sits outside the museum] depicted Hawaiian goddess of the sea Namakaokahai, elder sister of fire goddess Pele, riding a sea turtle.” The heads of both “Namakaokahai and the turtle were removed from the sculpture.” Museum staffers are now asking the public’s help in finding the missing parts, and the police are asking for any tips that could lead to the vandals.
  • According to CNN, the caves housing the oldest human art have been given UNESCO heritage status. “Items dating back more than 40,000 years — to a time when modern humans first arrived in Europe — were hidden at the site in the Swabian Jura region of southern Germany.”
  • Lonely Planet published an article on a blooming Lavendar Labyrinth located at Cherry Point Farm in Oceana County Michigan. As explained by owner Barbara Bull, “The labyrinth is an ancient spiral pattern which, when walked, is thought to be a spiritual journey symbolic of your path in life. At the centre is the stone circle, which is designed in accordance with the principles of sacred geometry, with the 12-point vesical pattern defining our 36 herb beds.” The labyrinth is open the to public and the farm has other amenities and products as well.
  • According to USA Today, some Pagans might be fashion-forward this year. “Somewhere in between Lana Del Rey casting hexes on President Trump and Khloe Kardashian hawking zodiac sweatshirts on Instagram, pop culture reached peak witch.” Witchcraft-inspired high fashion is not new thing; designers have always flirted with what they considered to be an edgy sub-cultural style. However, this year there appears to be a slight upswing in that dance, at least enough for USA Today to notice.

Pop culture notes

  • You can’t say “God” on Star Trek. In a recent article at Entertainment Weekly, journalist James Hibbard reports that actor Jason Isaccs, of Harry Potter fame, ad-libbed “for God’s sake” during a take for Star Trek: Discovery. Shooting was stopped and writers had to explain why you can’t say “God” in the Star Trek world. As told, “Star Trek is creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a science-driven 23rd-century future where religion basically no longer exists. ‘How about ‘for f—’s sake’?’ [Isaacs asked,] ‘Can I say that?’ ” The writer replied “ ‘You can say that before you can say ‘God,’ ” Read the entire story.
  • Are you a Game of Thrones fan? There is a tarot deck on the way featuring the characters and narratives of the popular franchise. To be released in November, the deck was created by Liz Dean, who previewed her creation at San Diego’s Comic Con 2017. As described, the deck melds “the oracular power of the tarot with the deep archetypes of Game of Thrones. […] fans will pore over a treasure trove of much-loved characters, scenes, and stories depicted in a style both surprising and true to the world of Westeros.”