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.
In recent weeks, a round of discoveries were made concerning the uploading and sharing of digital versions of occult books. The collection, in this case, resided in a closed Facebook group named “Free Occult Books.” Since the group was discovered and reported by members of the watchdog collective Pagans Against Plagiarism (PAP), the group’s administrators appear to have made the group secret; it is no longer easily accessible, and the corresponding Dropbox account is either now private or removed. The reported 900+ books, however, which are listed in a PDF file posted in PAP, are still allegedly being shared in violation of copyright laws. The “Free Occult Books” Facebook group is not the first site to illegally offer digital books, nor will it be the last.
UNITED STATES –Today is July 4, which is celebrated as Independence Day in the U.S. It’s characterized by parades, fireworks displays, family cookouts, and widespread displays of regalia in red, white, and blue, evocative of or centered on the American flag. There may be no other flag which is as widely revered and reviled as the one representing the United States of America. It’s a flag with unparalleled ritual significance; the complex rules for its display are enumerated in a flag code, within which are also laid out strategies for its desecration. The flag is the country, and for many that means that its display is indicative of support for the country’s present leadership. “I won’t hang the flag, because I’m not proud of what’s happening in this country,” one Witch recently remarked in conversation.
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This year as we celebrate the 48th annual Earth Day on April 22, hope is a resource that’s coming up short for many environmental activists. Environmental regulations are being rolled back, U.S. governmental departments like the EPA and the Department of the Interior face huge cuts, and land and monuments that have been held in the public trust for a generation are being slashed. April 21-29 is also National Parks Week in the United States, with all national parks offering free admission on the 21st.
This is a great week to enjoy our national parks; what we have is actually a rarity among most of the countries on the planet.