TWH — Both the United Kingdom and United States are well known to have thriving Pagan, Heathen, and polytheists communities in one form or another. A few of the most commonly found Pagan religious practices, such as Druidry and Wicca, can locate their origins in one or both of those two cultures. Furthermore, for those people living within those two countries, it is often fellow community members and co-religionists who are most commonly given voice in the mainstream press, at local events, and even within the Pagan media sphere. This reality can make it difficult to see beyond one’s own national borders into other cultures where Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists may thrive. Over the years, The Wild Hunt has gone in search of such practices beyond the U.K. and the U.S., asking how ritual, belief, and community differ within those other societies.
For many pagans, books are the gateway to knowledge. They are our first teachers of magic and offer a new world of esoteric lore and knowledge. If you enter the home of just about any modern pagan you will no doubt find a bookshelf (or many bookshelves!) piled high with books written by English authors such as Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente or the Farrars. There will no doubt be more than a few by high profile American writers, names like Margot Adler, Isaac Bonewits and Scott Cunningham or maybe the more contemporary Orion Foxwood or Christopher Penczack. Both Britain and the United States both have successful and high profile publishers of pagan books, Minnesota based Llewellyn Worldwide LTD.
Two weeks ago, I reported on the production and release of the film The WinniPagans by Dodie Graham McKay. Shortly after that article was posted, Covenant of the Goddess’ North California Local Council (NCLC) offered to host a screening at PantheaCon. The screening will be held in presidential suite 1054 on Sunday, February 17 at 10am. Dodie will be on hand to field questions and take comments. Last week I was fortunate enough to receive my very own copy for review. It wasn’t long after my trip to the mailbox that I was comfortably settled into to my seat, popcorn in hand, to watch the film. In anticipation of the U.S. premiere of The WinniPagans, here is my review:
Film Review: The WinniPagans
The twenty-five minute documentary is a gentle examination of Pagan life through the eyes of the WinniPagans. Dodie takes us on a journey into their personal lives, their homes, their workplaces, and their social spaces. On camera, the WinniPagans share stories, reflect on experiences and discuss the unique regional challenges that they face in Winnipeg. The film feels like a sampling or an appetizer, if you will, to something much greater. It gives us a peak behind a curtain into something that seems foreign but, yet, at the same time very familiar.
Winnipeg is a city of 691,800 people nestled in the Southern portion of Manitoba, Canada. It is the capital of this central providence and the 8th largest metropolis in the country. On the map, Winnipeg is about 90 miles north of the U.S. border and 650 miles NW of Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to the tourism industry, Winnipeg calls itself a “little big city” and the “cultural cradle of Canada.”
Within all its hustle and bustle, Winnipeg is home to a group of people who call themselves the WinniPagans. It’s a catchy term; the origins of which are unknown. However, it is used endearingly to refer to a small, tightly-knit community of approximately 600 Pagans who live in and around Winnipeg.