Pagan Voices: Reflections of Yule

Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media or a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice or artist you’d like to see highlighted? Contact us with a link to the story, post, audio, or image.  

“Perhaps most of all, however, it is our expectations of ourselves that are the most difficult to deal with. There is much to be done and it all must fit into the time we have, regardless of the fact that life does not come to a halt at Christmas time.

Pagan Community Notes: the Binding, the Unnamed Path, Cherry Hill Seminary, and more

TWH – The NRA Institute for Legislative Action published an article in reaction to a documentary film titled the Binding that depicts modern Witches performing a binding spell inspired by Michael Hughes’ work. First reported on by The Wild Hunt, the film, which was produced and directed by Patrick Foust, features members of the Firefly House and includes author and activist David Salisbury. Foust told TWH that the inspiration for The Binding came when [he] saw news footage of Witches conducting a binding ritual on President Trump in February 2017. The NRA ILA reaction to the film was published June 15, and has since triggered a number of other media articles, including one in Fortune magazine and another at Raw Story. After the NRA writer discusses the film’s content, he or she reports that the organization “has not experienced any uptick in paranormal activity or supernatural suppression of [their] affairs.”

Pagan Community Notes: Damh the Bard, Nature’s Path, Mountain Magic and more

GLASTONBURY, England — Popular musician Damh the Bard made mainstream headlines last week after delivering a talk at the Occult Conference in Glastonbury. During that talk, Damh discussed a ritual that he once co-led during a weekend camp back in 2005. The Daily Express published the story synopsis with the headline, “Top druid ‘slit people’s throats’ in bizarre Pagan sacrificial death ritual held in U.K.” Writer John Austin writes that Damh said in his talk that the attendees “were left convinced they had died after his mock execution,” which was done when Damh ran his fingernail across their throats. The Wild Hunt contacted with Damh to find out what exactly happened at the conference and what he said in his talk. In an email interview, he told us that the reporter sat quietly, observing the entire conference without asking questions.

Witchfest International 2018 cancelled due to financial challenges

BRIGHTON, U.K. – Organizers of Witchfest International, the largest Pagan conference held in the UK, announced last Saturday that they were cancelling the 2018 event due to financial challenges. The announcement was made by Merlyn, one of the organizers, directly before headliner Professor Ronald Hutton presented at this year’s conference. Merlyn said an unexpected and sharp decrease in attendance was to blame for a lack of funds to finance the conference for 2018, but he added that plans were in the works for the conference to return in 2019. “Final numbers aren’t in yet, but we think our losses are in the thousands [of pounds],” said Merlyn. Witchfest International, run by The Children of Artemis, typically attracts around 3000 attendees and is held in the Brighton Centre in the seaside town of Brighton.

Pagan Community Notes: Great Pagan Roast, CalderaFest, Pagan Pride Day, and more

ONTARIO — The Great Pagan Roast Series was once again celebrated at this year’s HearthFire Festival  Aug. 17–20. The 2017 honouree was Brian Walsh, a storyteller, teacher, Pagan chaplain for the University of Toronto and member of Céilí Sídhe. Walsh has worked as a hospital spiritual care provider for 11 years and counting. He is mainly known for his impressive list of accomplishments and contributions to the Pagan community, and is also loved for his winning smile and rather large collection of vests. The Great Pagan Roast Series is hosted each year by Crystal Allard and Khaman Mythwood.