The shovel’s blade cuts into the rich wet earth. As soon as it lifts its burden of dirt from the ground, brown water slips into the hole. The dirt falls to the ground and then the shovel bites into the firmament again. Do this again and again, bringing along six other shovels with six other sets of hands, and bore a channel into the muck, an empty line that stretches between the lake and the muddy trail at the edge of the woods. The work is hard, especially for hands and backs not used to shoveling, but we reward ourselves with camaraderie and club sandwiches during our breaks.
It is Monday morning, Memorial Day. Another Heartland Pagan Festival has come and gone. At the moment I am sitting in the muddy nook I picked for a campsite, looking up at the canopy and wishing that my tent would simply put itself away, perhaps animated by a helpful djinn. My wife suggests that it’s better off that tents don’t do this; even a helpful tent-spirit might sometimes get the notion to pack itself away with us still inside. I do not hear her voice when she tells me this.
[Today The Wild Hunt welcomes back religious studies scholar, author and instructor Christine Hoff Kraemer. In November, she, along with other Pagans, attended the American Academy of Religion’s 2016 meeting in Texas, and she has joined us to share her impressions. ]
The American Academy of Religion held its annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas from November 19-22. The meeting is held concurrently with the Society of Biblical Literature, and the two organizations combined bring together nearly 10,000 educators and scholars of religion for a packed weekend of lectures, workshops, and events. AAR’s Contemporary Pagan Studies Group has been in existence since 2005.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tex.– On Feb 9, a grand jury indicted David Brown Jr., the man arrested for the murder of Wiccan Marc Pourner. As we reported in November, Pourner went missing for three days, after which police found his strangled body deep in the woods inside his burned-out truck. He was known as Axel within Pagan circles, and helped run the now-defunct Wiccan World Social Network. Pourner was also instrumental in creating and moderating the popular Facebook group, “The Cauldron – A Mixing Place for Witches, Druids, and Pagans.” When news broke of his death, that group lit up with stories and memorials coming from users who live all over the world. As was recently reported in the local news and by the Montgomery County Police reporter, court records have now revealed more about what actually happened to Pourner.
CHICAGO. — On Feb. 6, a performance collective named WITCH will be hosting a ritual protest in Logan Square in support of local housing rights.The organizers describe the event as a “hexing and protective spell action,” which will include recognizable elements of Witchcraft practice. Due to this design, the protest has been attracting both mainstream media attention and social media backlash. We spoke with the group’s founders to find out more.