Column: Reflecting on the Mighty Living

Pagan Perspectives

Reverence is the way of radical respect. It recognizes and honors the presence of the sacred in everything — our bodies, other people, animals, plants, rocks, the earth, and the waters. – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
As the seasons change and we move into the fall months, discussions of ancestor reverence and the Mighty Dead become more prominent. Seasonal ancestor altars are erected and many practices engaging our connection to those who have transitioned from their physical existence become the focal points of our traditions. These very practices are a part of many different cultures, and are not exclusive to Paganism or Polytheism by any means.

That’s Me All Over (Plus some news links)

I hope you’ll forgive me while I briefly chat about some media I’ve been appearing in lately. First, I was interviewed by Steve McManus for his Forbidden America podcast, you can listen to that, here. I then appeared on the Witchtalk Conjure podcast/videocast, hosted by Karagan and Indigo Astrea. Both of those interviews were inspired in part by the ongoing initiative to get me on The Daily Show (something I didn’t initiate, but am flattered by). You can find the latest push in that effort, here.

Pagan Community Notes: On Faith, Pagan People, Prisons, Surveys, and More!

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, a series more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So lets get started! On Faith Adds Another Pagan Voice: I’m pleased to announce that The Washington Post’s On Faith site has added me to their panel of religious specialists and generalists.

Who are the Elders?

(by Brendan Myers)
In the last few years I’ve started to hear more and more about Elders in the Pagan community. The people who first joined the movement back in the 60’s are in their 60’s now (in terms of age, if not a decade!) and many of them have done so much work for the movement in that time – running a festival, writing books, managing a shop, teaching new people – that the word Elder is more frequently being attached to them. In the spring and summer of 2006 I worked as a contract researcher for the branch of the government of Canada responsible for peacekeeping and policing in the First Nations. During this job, I came into contact with 50 traditional indigenous Elders from all across Canada. I think that as the Pagan community begins to acknowledge Elders of its own, it would benefit from a look at the way Aboriginal people understand their Elders.