Twenty-One Years of PAN: An Interview with David Garland

The Pagan Awareness Network inc (PAN) recently celebrated 21 years’ service to Australia’s Pagan community. Our Australian Correspondent Josephine Winter recently sat down with president and founder David Garland as he reflected on the organization’s many achievements over the years, discussed the current climate of the community and looked to what comes next for the Network, which has become a cornerstone of Australian Paganism.   

 

The Wild Hunt: Tell us a bit about your path and practice. To what extent is community service part of your spiritual path? David Garland: My beginnings were as a solitary, skirting around what I later found out was Stregha, from my grandmother.

Pagan Community Notes: Satanic Temple files Lawsuit, New Dead Can Dance Release, Black Witches Convention, and more

NEW YORK – Last week The Satanic Temple made good on its statement it would sue Netflix and Warner Brothers over the use of a Baphomet statue that bears a striking resemblance to the statue commissioned by TST by filing $150M lawsuit in a New York district court. Court documents filed last Thursday cite copyright infringement, trademark violation, and injury to TST’s business reputation according to a report by CNBC. In a news story published by USA Today, the complaint filed states in part:

“What makes this case particularly striking and significant is that it arises in the context of Defendants who are highly sophisticated media production and distribution companies which blatantly misappropriated Plaintiff’s unique expression of an idea even though they have a long history of vigorously protecting their own intellectual property,”

As we reported last week, TST had threatened legal action against Netflix and Warner Brothers over its use of the statue of Baphomet in its new series, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” Lucien Greaves, co-founder of TST, was unable to provide us comment or a statement upon advice from legal counsel due to the pending litigation. TWH will continue to follow this developing story. *   *   *
AUSTRALIA– On November 2, 2018, Dead Can Dance released its first album, Dionysus, in six years.

Folklorist shares the untold story of Australian fortune teller, Mary Barrell

AUSTRALIA – An academic has recently pieced together the story of Mary Barrell, which is among the earliest documented cases of Witchcraft and fortune telling in the country. Historian and folklorist Dr David Waldron made the discovery when conducting research in Victorian-era newspapers. He found letters to the editor spanning over three decades. “I first became aware of Mary Barrell when looking for writing on fortune tellers, phrenologists and mystics in 19th century Ballarat.” Waldron told The Wild Hunt. “Castelmaine, Ballarat and Bendigo were all described as a mecca for spiritualism and attracted the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who engaged in correspondence with Ballarat Spiritualist leader James Curtis.”
The Methodist and the Spiritualist
According to a recent article by the Ballarat Courier, the letters published in newspapers complaining about Barrell and her fortune telling were at least in part caused by and demonstrative of ongoing friction between two notable and influential Ballarat pioneers who had very different sensibilities: Wesleyan Methodist and town council member James Oddie and Freemason and Spiritualist James Curtis.

Australian Pagan Alliance to be dissolved

SOUTH AUSTRALIA – The Pagan Alliance of South Australia recently ceased to operate as an incorporated association, citing a significant drop in membership and financial difficulties as reasons for the decision. With the Tasmanian branch of the Pagan Alliance facing similar issues, an end to this organisation – once a nationwide cornerstone of the Australian Pagan community — is becoming increasingly likely after almost 30 years. History
The Pagan Alliance was founded in 1991 by Wiccan Julia Philips at the height of the “Satanic Panic,” partly as a response to the widespread fearmongering and misinformation about Paganism during that period. According to a 2006 article, Phillips was staying with Wiccan friends in Canberra early in 1991 when the first seeds were planted. “One of these manipulative people appeared on TV, spreading the usual unsubstantiated claims that pagans and witches were conducting black masses, child sacrifice, and so on,” she remembers.

Pagan scholarly journal to focus on art, fashion

MELBOURNE, Australia — Witchcraft, says Caroline Tully, an honorary fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, “has become glamorous – and I’m not talking about its traditional faerie glamour, but fashionista glamour.”

That glamour, as well as “Witches of Instagram,” painters, fiction writers, film, music, and more will be explored in a special issue of The Pomegranate: the International Journal of Pagan Studies focusing on Pagan art and fashion. Tully, a Witch and Pagan priestess, will be the guest editor of the issue, and she has put out the official call for papers for that edition of the peer-reviewed journal; submissions are due June 15, 2019. “Paganism is inherently creative because of its this-worldly, rather than other-worldly, focus,” Tully said in an email interview with The Wild Hunt. “There is a wide spectrum of aesthetic expression that manifests in the materiality[sic] of Paganism, in the ritual objects we use, the way we design rituals, our robes (or lack thereof), direct — bodily — contact with deities, ecstatic expression, sexuality, and the general artistic legacy of all forms of ancient pagan religions that we are able to draw upon in order to create our religion and rituals.”

Tully is well-credentialed for her role as guest editor of the Pagan art and fashion issue. Along with being a Witch and scholar, she’s also an artist and writer.