Column: the Way We Weren’t

Steampunk is awesome (/squee!). If you have never visited one of the major events, I highly recommend adding them to your list of coolness to be experienced. The steampunk cons are carefully imagined, orchestrated and implemented. The participants approach their costuming with amazing dedication, and the mechanical props created are dazzling; they are also often useless, but that’s not the point. The point is the remarkable enthusiasm within the subculture to manifest a temporary world that speaks to them for a weekend at a time.

Wicca in the Cultural Spotlight

Four suburban mothers are standing at the corner bus stop awaiting the afternoon return of their elementary-school children. One of the women says, “Did you meet the new family that moved into the Smiths’ old house?” The others shake their heads. They had not. The first woman continues, “They’re a young family from England with two children. The dad travels a lot and the mother is Wiccan.

Institutions vs Counterculture in Modern Paganism

In 1983 something different happened within the world that we call modern Paganism. The organization Circle Sanctuary, which had been involved in activism, publishing, and throwing events since the 1970s, began the process of purchasing a plot of land after four years of fundraising in the (still nascent) community. “Circle Sanctuary land manifests. After four years of fund raising and land hunting, land is found in southwestern Wisconsin and purchase begins. Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve becomes the first Pagan land project to be supported by Pagans from many traditions and from Paganism as a whole.