PORTLAND, ORE. –The stabbing attacks on a Portland train Friday, which were preceded by a hate-filled tirade by the assailant, have raised tensions in the Muslim community and, at the same time, local area Pagans have lost a beloved friend and family member. Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, one of two men who died trying to stop what police are describing as “ranting and raving” and “hate speech” directed at two teenage girls, had close ties to the Pagan world, although it is not yet clear what is own religious identity was. Namkai Meche grew up in Ashland, Oregon, where he graduated high school. A childhood friend, Christopher Landt, told a reporter for the Oregonian, “If he knew he was going to die, he still would have done what he did.”
In January 2014, Pope Francis—the Pontifex of Rome—released a pair of white doves after a prayer for peace in Ukraine. The doves were immediately attacked by a crow and a seagull. It doesn’t take a weatherman to see which way the wind blows. Nor does it take an augur to interpret this omen, especially in retrospect. Almost two years later, the Institute for the Study of War reports that “Russian-backed separatists intensified attacks along multiple frontline positions in Ukraine in early December 2015,” and the war shows no signs of abating.
St. Louis summer: not just hot, but humid, sticky, “muggy,” as we, the low-born of the south side, tend to call it. The world seems to glow orange under the proud gaze of Father Sun. On August days like this, sometimes the death of the Sun King doesn’t seem so tragic after all. He has it coming.