Column: Ásatrú Ritual and Climate Change Ethics, Part One

The Ásatrú religion can offer new perspectives on climate change ethics via examination of the modern practice of historically grounded ritual known as blót – a rite that foregrounds reciprocity with the earth, inherent value in the natural world, transtemporal human relationships, global connectedness, and the consequences of human action. In addition to discussing Ásatrú textual sources and examples of ritual, this column offers a new ethical model for responding to issues of climate change. Ásatrú is a religion with a life that already relates to reality in a way that addresses major issues raised by climate change ethicists. Practitioners are both certain and competent in a life-practice that directly engages relationships within the transtemporal human community and with the wider world. Through study of lore and celebration of ritual, the practice of Ásatrú reinforces understanding of reciprocal relationships with the natural world, inherent value of living things, connections to past and future peoples, interrelatedness of all human actors, and consequences of human actions.

Prison Samhain ritual brings together Druids, Wiccans, and Heathens

CONNEL, Wash. — On Nov. 4 – 5, 2017, ADF members and prisoners hosted a pan-Pagan Samhain, ritual and mini-conference at Coyote Ridge Correctiosn Center in Connel, Washington. This mixed minimum- and medium-security prison has a capacity to house 2,468 prisoners. About 60 Heathen, Druid, and Wiccan prisoners participated.

Accusations of abuse surface against ADF founder Isaac Bonewits

TWH – In her newly-published book The Last Closet: the Dark Side of Avalon, author Marion Zimmer Bradley’s daughter, Moira Greyland, offers a tell-all account of her harrowing and abusive experience growing up, including how she eventually came forward and put her own father, Walter Breen, in jail. Included in those detailed and difficult accounts are accusations that ADF founder Isaac Bonewits, who died in 2010, participated in the sexual abuse. “When I was at Greyhaven I had some unfortunate run-ins with an individual from the Pagan community someone named Isaac Bonewits,” Greyland writes. “Some people called him the Pagan pope […] I hated Isaac, and refused to be in the same room with him, even if the only way I could articulate my objections to him was to say ‘he tickled me.'” (Chapter 13)  Greyland recalls being six years old. Greyland then goes on to recall in non-specific terms the sexual abuse.

Pagan Community Notes: Hugh Hampton, Mexico City, Dan Halloran, and more

TWH – Ar nDraiocht Fein: A Druid Fellowship lost one of its long times members: Hugh Hampton (1956-2017). Hampton was best known as ADF’s office manager, and had been serving in that position since 2003. Due to that work, he was known, even if only by name, to a good portion of the Druid community nationwide. According to Archdruid Jean ‘Drum’ Pagano, Hampton was “tireless,” “served with distinction,” and “could be found online seven days a week and at many different times of the day and night.” Hampton reportedly received a number of ADF service awards.