Column: Pagans Share Hurricane Stories and Struggles

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were two of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit the mainland United States. Each storm carried its own unique brand of destruction. Harvey smacked into southern Texas, then stopped moving, flooding the Houston area with 51.88 inches of rain before it finally dissipated. Irma, which some news stations reported as being over 300 miles wide, scaled up the west coast of the Florida peninsula, devastating the length of the state with winds that topped out at 185 mph. Both storms ravaged local infrastructure, flooded residents’ homes, and caused misery to all who had to endure them.

Column: Nocked! Refreshes the Legend of Robin Hood

There is an undeniable overlap between the Pagan community and those who love video games, fantasy and science fiction stories, mythology, and role-playing games. Often, it seems like the more of those elements one can work into a product, the better. Earlier this year, game designer and self-published science fiction author Andrew Schneider stepped directly into that zone when he published Nocked!, a text-based choose-your-own-adventure style RPG, for for the iOS mobile platform. Based on the legends of Robin Hood, Nocked! immerses its players in the story of Robin and his merry men from the very beginning of the legend, allowing each player to begin Robin’s story, build the legendary thief into the cultural hero he became, and take on the Sheriff of Nottingham and other Sherwood residents in a battle of wits, resources, and arms. Set against a rich backdrop of mystical and medieval styled artwork, Nocked!

Column: Pagans Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter

On June 26, the wildly popular Harry Potter book series celebrated its 20th anniversary. Written by J.K. Rowling, who was a struggling single mother prior to skyrocketing to fame and fortune, the children’s fantasy series gained plenty of adult fans and has spawned a media empire. Eventually, Rowling published seven books, which led to eight high-grossing feature films with A-list actors in many of the roles. Even after the films ended, the series maintained a strong internet presence and has been given new life with the opening of two interactive Harry Potter themed “lands” at Universal Studios theme parks in Florida and California. Pagans, especially those who identify as Witches, are often drawn to any work of fiction that includes witches or pagans as characters.

Column: Pride After Pulse, Gay Pagans Reflect on a Tragedy

In the LGBTQ+ community, the month of June is the season of pride. While pride has its seeds as a protest movement spawned from the Stonewall riots of 1969, the trajectory of the movement has followed the trajectory of society’s inclusion of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and other sexually nonconforming communities. As the arc of society bent toward inclusion, pride evolved into a celebration that echoes the cry of some of its trailblazers: “Gay is good.” Within one human lifetime, the movement has evolved from protest to party. An act of rebellion against police brutality and discriminatory laws has turned into a joyful parade that often includes local law enforcement. But on June 12, 2016, everything changed.

Column: Empirical Meets Spiritual: the Intersection of Science and Paganism

In April, scientists and supporters in cities across the United States marched in a unified protest. “In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery,” states the March for Science website, “can we afford not to speak out in its defense?” Pagans across the country joined scientists, whether in spirit or in the flesh, and supported the march. This demonstrates a general support for scientific work in the Pagan community, yet that support can take different forms depending on one’s particular spiritual practice. The Pagan umbrella is large, and the practices that claim space beneath it are diverse; each practitioner has a different relationship with the scientific community. This can vary based on your beliefs, your professional life, and your understanding of scientific inquiry.