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. 

  • Now that September has arrived, it won’t be long before the mainstream media increase their interest in exploring modern Witchcraft practice. A television news outlet in New York state got a jump on the rest sharing a story titled “Speak No Evil: Witchcraft’s popularity on the rise in Hudson Valley.” As noted on the site, journalist Tara Rosenblum  spent “four months exploring and gaining access to a mysterious, secretive world that most people don’t even know exist: a thriving underground community of witches.” The video opens with haunting, fast paced music over four Witches wearing dark hooded robes and standing with an outstretched arm by an altar.
  • Across the country in Arizona, The State Press published an article on a similar topic: “Range of alternative faiths find community under pagan umbrella.” Journalist Andrew McKenney for the campus-based news site interviewed Druid Mark Bailey about practice and community. The article also shares opinions from Pagan students at Arizona State University.
  • Australian Pagan artist Michelle Driver has received some attention from the local mainstream press. In article titled, “Hallett Cove artist Michelle Driver creates art to connect to her pagan religion,” journalist Michelle Etheridge explores Driver’s art and religion, and how she weaves the two together. “I used to go to groups but now I concentrate more on solo work. My artwork is my form of meditation in practice.” The article notes that one of Driver’s works, As Above So Below No 1, is “a finalist in the Gallery M Open Contemporary Art Prize.”
  • The BBC published a note and video reporting that “Paganism is the second most popular faith in southwest England.”  As the text reads, “In the 2011 census, 3,339 people identified as Pagans in Devon and Cornwall, making it the fourth-largest faith in the region. But the Pagan Federation thinks the true number of Pagans is closer to 40,000, making it the second-biggest faith in the region.”
  • Around the world, the South China Morning Post reported on the popularity of occult shops in Singapore.  In a detailed article titled “The occult shops of Singapore: talismans, corpse oil and witches,”  writer Lestari Hairul speaks with users, magical practitioners, and the shop keepers in the region. “As long as the vagaries of life continue to confound us, and our desires for love, wealth and meaning mount unabated, the occult, it seems, will continue to exist in its various forms, even in the world’s most modern cities.”
  • According to Haaretz writer Ariel David “The Real Ark of the Covenant May Have Housed Pagan Gods.” According to the report, the last time that the Covenant was seen was 2600 years ago. Now, archaeologists are “exploring the ancient town of Kiriath Jearim, where the Bible says the ark was kept for 20 years before being taken to Jerusalem.” In that work they have “made discoveries that shed new light on the history of the ancient Israelites.” This includes the possibility that the ark does not fall into the well-known narrative, but contributes to a “more complex and diverse” history of the region and of the development of Judaism.
  • “The rites began at dawn, as they do every year on the first morning of the Mongolian spring. By noon, hundreds of faithful were gathered around the master shaman Byambadorj as he channelled the spirit of the tree into his body.” This the opening sentence of an article exploring Shamanism in Mongolia.  Published by The Economist 1843, the article, titled “Animals spirits” takes an in-depth look at the revival of the traditional practice in modern society, its reception and use.
  • Today has been declared World Goddess Day. The project’s website lists events and celebrations registered around the world.