Column: Doing the Gods’ Work – a Conversation with Ben Waggoner

Pagan Perspectives

Back in 2013 and 2014, when I was getting ready to start gathering sources for my masters’ thesis in Old Norse Religion, I realized something: while the vast majority of medieval Norse-Icelandic sagas were readily accessible in Old Icelandic, quite a few of them were hard to get a hold of in translation. Sure, I could have soldiered on, armed with only my trusty Old Icelandic-English dictionary and go through every single saga in the original language, but it would have taken such a long time that, had I done so, I’d probably still be at it today. What I needed were more general editions and translations, with enough notes and index-entries to quickly find relevant information. When it came to the more popular sagas, such as the so-called “family-sagas” (Íslendingasögur), I had little problem finding good versions. In my excessive exhaustiveness, however, I found a severe lack of material related to the more obscure sagas.

Eyeing an independent California

CALIFORNIA — A new proposal to cut California loose from the other 49 United States has been getting more traction than most similar past suggestions, prompting the question of what consequences of an independent California might be for Pagans. Under the banner of “Yes California,” proponents of the so-called “Calexit” have secured the right to collect petition signatures. If they succeed in obtaining 365,880 by October, there will be a vote in 2020 on whether or not to open a secession discussion. A second vote a year later would be to declare California an independent country. The Pagan residents of the state reached for comment have no expectation that the measure would ever pass, but some of them were willing to imagine what it might be like.