Unleash the Hounds (link roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, more than our team can write about in depth in any given week. Therefore, the Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Scott Cunningham, one of Wicca and Witchcraft’s most prominent figures. Over his career, Cunningham authored more than 30 books of which the most well known is Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Through that work alone, he made solitary Wiccan practice more visible, more credible, and more accessible. Cunningham died in 1993 of an AIDS-related illness.

UK Pagans respond to questions on the origins of Easter and Ostara

[Please welcome Liz Williams our new UK correspondent and journalist.]

UNITED KINGDOM — You can always tell that it’s spring when the UK online Pagan community starts linking to articles by writer Adrian Bott, also known as Cavalorn. Bott came into prominence a few years ago with his blog posts regarding the origins of Ostara. Rather than taking on board the received wisdom about this festival, he began a rigorous examination of the actual origins of the holiday’s name. Bott began by linking Ostara back to an obscure reference in the writings of the Venerable Bede called The Reckoning of Time, which was then picked up by the Brothers Grimm. His posts were often contentious, challenging the accepted idea that Ostara was an ancient Germanic goddess of the dawn or of springtime, or that she had anything to do with hares, eggs, or indeed chocolate.

Pagan Community Notes: Scott Holbrook, Florida Pagans, Robin Fletcher, South Africa march and more!

GASTON, N.C. – Druid Daniel Scott Holbrook, also known as Cú Meala, pleaded no contest last week to the charge of the “dissemination of obscenities.” Holbrook was arrested last fall after police allegedly found “nude photos of children” on his computer. After several dates were postponed due to schedule conflicts, Holbrook saw his day in court Apr. 4. Since the arrest, Holbrook has always maintained his innocence publicly, saying that the photos were placed there by a downloaded BitTorrent. As he explains, he and his family were attempting to download a movie and the photos were hidden in that file.

Column: The Goddess Rises Everyday

“Why it was wonderful!  Why, all
At once there were leaves,
Leaves at the end of a dry
Stick, small, alive
Leaves out of wood.  It was
Wonderful,”
Librarian of the Congress, Pulitzer Prize winner, and Modernist poet, Archibald MacLeish reminds me, “It was Wonderful!” Leaves alive out of wood! This is the moment of Spring, the moment for which most have been waiting. This is also for many a holy moment in the year.

Column: 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising

“All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.”
—W.B. Yeats

On Easter Monday (April 24) of 1916, the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizens’ Army and Cumann na mBan launched an armed insurrection against British rule, seized the General Post Office in Dublin and several other locations, and proclaimed the Irish Republic. The Easter Rising, as the rebellion is now known, was suppressed by the British Army and sixteen of its leaders were executed. One hundred years later, numerous commemorative events have been scheduled in Ireland for Easter Week (Easter Sunday falls on March 27 this year) and following months. I interviewed P. Sufenas Virius Lupus and Morpheus Ravenna, two Polytheists living in the United States who worship gods and heroes of Irish origin, to ask their thoughts about the centennial of the rising. I also contacted two Irish Pagans who I was told had expressed interest in participating in the interview, but as of time of publication, have not yet received responses to my questions.