Column: Psychogeography

Psychogeography is the effect of place upon the psyche and the importance of the psyche within the landscape. The term was first discussed in the early 1950s by Guy Debord of the Situationist International, who attributed its coining to “an illiterate Kabyle.” The concept itself is simple, ancient, and foundational to an animist view of the world. In his essay “Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography,” Debord defines the term rather dryly and pseudo-scientifically as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” The occultist and writer Alan Moore (who explores psychogeography in his graphic novel From Hell and in his novels Voice of the Fire and Jerusalem) adds another layer of nuance to Debord’s definition by emphasizing that consciousness also embeds itself into the landscape in turn: “in our experience of any place, it is the associations, the dreams, the imaginings, the history—it is all the information that is relevant to that place which is what we experience when we talk about a place.”

Pagan Community Notes: Gerald Gardner, Journalism, HUAR, and More!

Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started! Last year a commemorative blue plaque was erected in England to honor the life and work of Doreen Valiente, considered by many to be the mother of modern religious Witchcraft.

Pagan Voices: T. Thorn Coyle, Wendy Griffin, Alan Moore, Michael York, and More!

Pagan voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio. “To me, whether or not to have professional ministry is the wrong question. We have one even if we don’t call it that.

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Was “PaganDASH” a success in Australia? Last year I reported on efforts in Australia and Britain to encourage more accurate census counts of Pagans by asking respondents to use a uniform Pagan-[tradition/faith] format. Now, the preliminary numbers for Australia have been released, and while the total number of adherents to Pagan religions has grown, that growth rate has remained stable since the 2001 census (around 3-4 thousand new adherents every 5 years).

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Early reviews of “The Wicker Tree” from its Fantasia 2011 screening are emerging. Fangoria says it “can’t match the impact of its predecessor.” Twitch opines that it “is going seen as horrific and blasphemous to those who saw the original film as an act of horror and blasphemy.”