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.
BARNEVELD, Wis. — In January 2018, Paganism reached another milestone in equality for Pagan religious bodies. A Pagan institution has gained equal status in endorsing chaplains with that of the institutions of other more dominant religions. The Association of Professional Chaplains accepted Circle Sanctuary as an endorser Jan. 4, and the COMISS Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings accepted Circle Sanctuary on Jan.
There it was: the pointless question on the hospital admission questionnaire, “What religion are you?” It was followed by a sea of Christian denominations, four choices under Jewish, and a unitary category for Islam and three Eastern faiths thrown in. That’s it: no Pagan, no Witchcraft, no “Santeria” or “Lukumi” or “Ifá;” did I mention this was Miami? Summer 2017? But they included “Jain.” Gotta give ‘em that – I’m impressed. OK, there is a Jain Center in Miami with about 150 families, so I’m glad they did include it. But no Lukumi, in Miami?
BUTLER, Mo. – The Sacred Well Congregation (SWC), a universalist, independent, non-evangelical Wiccan Church, announced it ise an Ecclesiastical Endorsing Organization (EEO) for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This designation means they are now able to endorse qualified clergy from Wicca and Earth-Centered Spiritualities who wish to apply for chaplaincy positions with the VA. This marks the first time that any Pagan group has been approved as an Ecclesiastical Endorsing Organization for the VA. In a message on its official Facebook page, SWC said, “This is a tremendous breakthrough, and will enhance our standing with professional chaplains organizations such as COMISS [The Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings, formerly known as the Coalition on Ministry in Specialized Settings] and [Association of Professional Chaplains], as well as strengthen our position as we move forward in our endeavors to secure status as an EEO for military chaplains.”
Rev. David L. Oringderff, Executive Director of Sacred Well Congregation, said that due to his military background, most of his work and advocacy for religious freedom has been with the DoD and VA.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Mary Hudson made waves when she became the second Pagan chaplain at a higher education institution in the United States, continuing a service that began with the advising the Syracuse University student Pagan club. Two years after that chaplaincy appointment, Hudson decided to attend the Global Conference for Chaplains in Higher Education, which was being held at Yale that year. Unfortunately, the experience left a decidedly bad taste in her mouth, which she shared with the conference organizers. They took her feedback to heart, and asked her to return this year as a presenter. Hudson would like very much to return to the conference to do so.