Column: Heathen South – Interview with Ryan Denison

Pagan Perspectives

For three days beginning on July 13, Atlanta hosted Mystic South: Theory, Practice, and Play. According to the convention’s Facebook page, the Pagan event “highlights the Southern flair and mystic spirit of our own part of the country.”

Headliners this year included John Beckett, Ivo Dominguez, Yaya Nsasi Vence Guerra, Sangoma Oludoye, Mama Gina, and the Night Travelers. The conference schedule included rituals, workshops, papers, panels, presentations, and a live podcast. Several events centered on Norse material and Heathen religions. To get a sense of the conference from a Heathen perspective, I spoke with Ryan Denison of the Mystic South organizing committee.

Mystic South participants rise to challenge when water fails

ATLANTA –The first Mystic South conference may be remembered as a time when Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists came together to put their collective best foot forward. It may be remembered as the year when the hotel lost all running water, and its staff had to go far beyond the normal call of duty to keep the environment safe and comfortable for guests. It may even be remembered as the conference with the free ice cream. The conference ran July 21-23, and attendance topped out at about 250 people. That was confirmed by Star Bustamonte, the self-described “chief bottle-washer and lightning bug herder” for the conference, which was her way of saying that she was in charge.

Atlanta Heathen Hof breaks ground

ATLANTA, Ga. – Although it was delayed by a year, this weekend the Vör Forn Siðr began clearing land for what will eventually be a Heathen Hof, or worship temple, along with a hall. The nine acre property is located 10 miles from the Atlanta metro area. A building suitable to be converted into the hall is already onsite while the Hof still needs to be built from scratch. Rangvaldr Marvinson Yngvi-Martin heads Vör Forn Siðr and is the sole financial backer of the project.

Pagan Tara Denison steps out of the darkness to talk suicide

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