Today’s column is by your humble weekend editor, Eric O. Scott, who has written for The Wild Hunt since 2012. The Wild Hunt is always open to submissions for its weekend section. Please send queries or complete submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Earlier this week, BBC News reported that a burial chamber designed as a replica of Neolithic-style long barrows had been designated as a Druidic place of worship. (The Wild Hunt covered the story in our regular Pagan Community Notes feature on Monday.) The barrow will eventually hold hundreds of urns, housed in dozens of small niches built into the walls of four burial chambers.
When I began to write for The Wild Hunt, one of the first things I was asked by friend outside the Pagan community was, “What exactly is ‘Pagan news?'”
My answer was, “You wouldn’t ask that question if the word ‘Pagan’ was replaced with ‘Jewish.’”
At least in my Miami circles, there’s no doubt what our Jewish newspapers cover: news about Jews and Judaism that comes from or impacts the Jewish community. That might include commentary about events and it might include some related stories, but every story emerges from or intersects with the Jewish community. That could be stories about sampling Ashkenazi DNA or a reflection about the Shoah and contemporary refugee crises or work-arounds for electricity use on different days of the week (In some Jewish denominations, the use of electricity on Shabbat is generally forbidden as interpreted they interpret Halacha). In our community, it could be stories about traveling to Iceland, representation of Witches in media, or Pagans are conducting food drives. How then could “Pagan news” be a confusing term?
Our Wheel of the Year is a path of constant transition. It reminds us, at times, how nature – all things in fact – are in flow. At times, it feels uncomfortable that flow is real; and, at times, unbearable, that change must happen. One of our deepest mysteries is how impermanence is our bedrock. My colleagues and I at the The Wild Hunt have been in dialogue about our transition for weeks, and yet, Heather Greene’s departure from the team still seems unreal.
ATLANTA – The editor and publisher of The Wild Hunt, Heather Greene, has announced her retirement as of October 31. Greene started with the organization in 2012 as a weekly news writer and took over as editor in 2014 from founder Jason Pitzl. After six years of service to the community as a journalist and editor, Greene has decided to step down in order to spend more time with family and pursue a new career path.
Or, that is how I imagine the news story would start if I or someone else were to write it in that style. But let’s try something a bit more personal. After six years of writing and editing for The Wild Hunt, I have decided to retire and hand the baton over to a new administration.
An intimate pointed out to me recently that when it comes to literature, I have a distinct preference for a specific sort of narrative: that of an unbeliever coming face to face with the possibility of a religious awakening, and then, after staring long into that profundity, choosing to turn away from it. I protested this idea at first, but after she pointed out the kinds of writing I point to as my personal models for writing about religion, I had to concede that she had a point. For example, take Next Year in Jersualem, one of my favorite essays, published in Rolling Stone in 1977. Ellen Willis writes about her powerful attraction to orthodox Judaism after seeing her brother embrace it; she goes so far as to move to Israel and take up studies under a Hasidic rabbi. Willis finds, however, that as much as the religion appeals to her, and more than that, makes sense to her, she cannot reconcile it with the feminism that is the foundation of her ethics.