Voodoo Doughnuts: just fun or the commodification of a minority religion?

TWH — The Portland-based doughnut company Voodoo Doughnuts announced earlier this year that it was expanding its brand to Orlando, Florida and would be offering its unique take on doughnuts at the Universal Studios theme park. Its regular doughnut offerings have names such as Voodoo Doll, Memphis Mafia, Gay Bar, and Cock-N-Balls. They also serve the ubiquitous powdered sugar cake doughnut as well. The store opened last week with limited hours, and will hold its grand opening sometime this spring. Voodoo Doughnuts is the brainchild of Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon. According to their site, the two were friends and wanted to start a business that would “fit into an extraordinary Portland Oregon business climate.

Pagan Community Notes: Women’s March, Coru blood drive, Nigel Bourne, and more!

TWH – Saturday’s historic Women’s March on Washington has reportedly set records for attendance around the world. The estimated numbers are still being tallied for both the main march and the reported 673 sister marches. News media is currently reporting that the organization’s original prediction of 200,000 marchers in Washington D.C. alone was more than exceeded with numbers now estimated to be around 500,000. Similarly, other cities are also reporting larger crowds than predicted. Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists were in attendance across the country, reporting in throughout the day over social media.

Honoring the body through the occult with artist Allan Spiers (part two)

CHICAGO — Photographer Allan Spiers is a self-taught artist whose life began in Peru surrounded by the magic and religious beliefs of its culture. After moving to the United States at the age of 13, he carried a natural call and love of Witchcraft and the occult into adulthood and, eventually, into his professional career. As highlighted in part one of our interview, Spiers recently merged his artistic talents with his spiritual beliefs to launch several multi-image projects, allowing for a new level of artistic freedom. In his newest project The Sabbath, Spiers explores both the male form and occult expression. In part two of our interview, he talked with us about the specifics of the project, its inspiration, and how his unique and evocative imagery fits into the extensive canon of traditional western-based Witch visuals. TWH: Considering the attention given to the female body and sexuality with regard to Witchcraft imagery, your use of male fitness models creates an irony.

Honoring the body and the occult with artist Allan Spiers (part one)

CHICAGO — Looking across western culture, women and women’s bodies have dominated mainstream depictions of Witches and the practice of Witchcraft. In a famous drawing from 1798, two nude elderly witches fly on a broom over trees and fields (Francisca Goya, Linda maestra). In 1497, artist Albrecht Durer depicted the meeting of four nude young witches (Durer, The Four Witches). Far more recently, in popular films like Witches of Eastwick (1987) and the cult classic The Craft (1996), the transformation from average woman to witch is depicted visually with increased displays of female sexuality and body exposure. For better or worse, the woman’s body has had profound meaning within traditional western-based visual witchcraft narratives.