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. 

  • The Iceland Monitor has reported that the long-awaited Ásatrú temple in Öskjuhlíð in Reykjavik will be completed by summer 2018. The article states that this information was confirmed with the Ásatrú organization’s head chieftain Hilmar Örn Himarsson. The construction proved to be more difficult than planned; however, the work is ongoing.
  • The United National Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added to its “Memory of the World” registry 130 Roman curse tablets that “bear messages from the Roman occupants of Bath seeking revenge from a goddess.”  They are the “only artefacts from Roman Britain,” reports UNESCO. “The Roman curse tablets represent personal and private prayers of individuals inscribed on small sheets of lead or pewter and cast into the hot springs at Bath, UK. The tablets are believed to range in date from the 2nd to the late 4th century AD.” The registry began in 1992 with the mission to “guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination.”
  • A multinational group has sponsored the recreation of the Palmyra Athena statue that was destroyed by ISIL in 2015. The collaborators included “The UAE, the Italian mission to the UN, and the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA), and the statue was put on display at the UN for a special ceremony called ‘Spirit of the Stone” exhibition. Why cooperation by IDA? The statue and other lost artifacts produced by the group were made using 3-D projection printing. Many see this new technology as a way of preserving artifacts and ancient cultures.
  • Not all “artifacts” are man-made. As reported by the BBC, the Old Knobbley in Mistley, Essex, England is a tree that was known to be a sanctuary for “hunted witches.” The tree is said to be “more than 13ft (4m) tall and 38ft (11.5m) wide” and is described as having its own personality. The infamous witch-finder general Matthew Hopkins lived in Mistley and would chase alleged witches into the woods. The accused would hide near the tree. The article quotes a local Mistley resident: “If Hopkins was the terror people made him out to be and women were being persecuted, it’s not unreasonable to think women who knew the wild wooded area could have hidden and sought refuge there.”
  • TWH’s own columnist Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried was recently interviewed in several mainstream articles about Ásatrú and Heathenry. The Boston Globe published an article titled, “The Norse gods’ unlikely comeback.” The other article was published in the Atlantic and is titled, “What To Do When Racists Try To Hijack Your Religion.” The mainstream media’s continued interest in Heathenry and Ásatrú demonstrates an increase in awareness as well as a likely increase in the population of people identifying as Heathens and Ásatrúar or, at the very least, exploring the mythology.
  • Have you ever seen the iconic “Witch’s House” in Beverly Hills? Los Angeles Magazine shared an interesting story about a real estate agent who lives in a “witch’s house” right out of a children’s story book. Originally built as a silent movie set, the “Witch’s House” became a landmark in the Beverly Hills area with its original owners pulling out all the stops for Halloween festivities. Agent Michael J. Libow bought the house in 1998 and began renovations, inside and out, maintaining the fairy tale witch theme throughout. He now says “I can’t imagine living anywhere else. My home is irreplaceable.”
  • Speaking of Witches, October and November bring many articles of interest about all things Witchcraft. This year Vulture published an article titled, “Black Witches: why can’t they get respect in pop culture.” The article is not about modern Witches, but rather about the depiction of black witches on television and in the movies. The writer concludes: “It may very well be naïve to expect historical truths and cultural sensitivity when it comes to filmmakers approaching black witches, whether they practice Wicca, hoodoo, or New Orleans voodoo. But as black political identity has become a vital criterion for how pop culture is judged, it seems foolish to ignore this lineage.”
  • Speaking of television witches, Sabrina is making yet another comeback on television. The show, which will air as a Netflix original, will be a spin-off the show Riverdale. The new Sabrina series, which is yet untitled, is based on more recent darker comic series called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. According to reports, the story “finds Sabrina struggling to reconcile her dual nature (being half-witch and half-mortal) while protecting her family and the world from the forces of evil.” The teen witch Sabrina made her debut in Archie comics in the early 1960s and has come in and out of popularity since. The new Sabrina show was reportedly picked up by Netflix for 2 two seasons.
  • Finally, for some holiday and cold weather fun, someone has created a Krampus hat pattern. While the article calls Krampus a “Christmas demon,” the hat is quite festive and unique, and the article includes the directions and free crochet pattern. Happy crafting!