Today’s column comes to us from Storm Faerywolf, whose column covers the intersection of Paganism and queer identities. Storm is a professional author, experienced teacher, visionary poet, and practicing warlock, and is author of “Betwixt & Between” and “Forbidden Mysteries of Faery Witchcraft.” He lives with his two loving partners in the San Francisco Bay area and travels internationally teaching the magical arts. For more, visit faerywolf.com. The Wild Hunt always welcomes submissions for the weekend section. Please send queries or completed pieces to email@example.com.
Yesterday, columnist Ross Douthat wrote The Return of Paganism for the New York Times. As the essay’s subtitle commented, “Maybe there actually is a genuinely post-Christian future for America.”
As I read the article, what I find myself focused on is the incredible disservice this essay did to the – writ large – Pagan community around the world. Mr. Douthat reduces “Paganism” to a series of disconnected beliefs in spiritual and supernatural forces that focuses skeptically on moral standards, although he correctly points out that Paganism generally centers on immanent reality as a manifestation of the spiritual. At the same time, Mr. Douthat becomes trapped by the philosophical perspectives of pantheism of Nietzsche, Spinoza, and even Walt Whitman. He plays with the cultic aspects of a Pagan world, and finally does his greatest disservice by engaging in an ever-present, and frankly ignorant, need to link together “New Agers and neo-pagans [sic].” He exposes his ignorance of the Pagan and polytheist community by noting that he has “in mind the countless New Age practices that promise health and well-being and good fortune, the psychics and mediums who promise communication with the spirit world, and also the world of explicit neo-paganism, Wiccan and otherwise.” He ultimately laments that “there may soon be more witches in the United States than members of the United Church of Christ.”
The 24th annual Conference of the Parties, commonly called COP 24, began last week as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCC) Change conference in Katowice, Poland. The conference began in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, then called the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, whereat the UNFCC was adopted as an international treat to “”stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCC is also the eponymous secretariat of the United Nations that organizes the conference. To place the activities of the UNFCC in perspective, terms such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, the Copenhagen Accord and the Bali Action Plan are all agreements and activities that have emerged from prior conferences and now have entered common lexical use when discussing climate change. The COP 24 conference is expected to finalize the implementation rules around the Paris Agreement that was adopted by consensus in December 2015. Broadly, the Paris Agreement is an international and inter-agency plan to mitigate the effects of global warming by addressing greenhouse gas emissions, the economics of development and societal adaptations to climate change and the financial structure of assets and liabilities that are impacted by the global warming and its potential outcomes.
Today’s offering is by columnist Luke Babb. Luke is a storyteller and eclectic polytheist who primarily works with the Norse and Hellenic pantheons. They live in Chicago with their wife and a small jungle of houseplants, where they are studying magic and community building – sometimes even on purpose. The Wild Hunt always welcomes submissions for its weekend section. Please send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Note from the Editors Regarding Loki in the White House
December 2nd, 2018
Dear Readers of The Wild Hunt:
Since the publication of Loki in the White House, the column has been discussed at length across the Pagan internet. To say that its portrayal of Loki, and its comparison of Loki to Donald Trump, has been regarded as controversial would be an understatement. The Lokean community in particular has strongly criticized the column, with many feeling that it was tantamount to a call for Heathens to cut ties with Lokeans altogether. (A group of Lokeans sent a letter to The Wild Hunt calling for amendments or a retraction to the column; that letter can be read here.)
At The Wild Hunt, we are proud to have writers from many different backgrounds represented in our roster of regular columnists, including multiple writers of color, writers from outside the Anglosphere, and writers of queer identities – not to mention writers from many different approaches to Paganism. We see our commentary section as a place for these voices to have the freedom to analyze, critique, and debate issues of interest to Pagans in deep and challenging ways.