SUNNYVALE, Calif –Jason Mankey credits his public visibility as a Pagan to the blog he writes on the Patheos Pagan channel, Raise the Horns. He is also currently that channel’s editor, a position which has put him in the crosshairs during the sometimes-tense ownership transition to BN Media, a company with a strong Christian influences. He has been praised as a devoted priest of Pan and derided as a corporate minion. In the following conversation, a portrait emerged which is more nuanced than one can often glean from blog posts for and about an individual. The Wild Hunt: Do you do anything with your life other than manage a blog channel at Patheos?
OHIO — Raymond Buckland is known in Pagan circles as the man who brought Gardnerian Wicca to the United States of America. His name graces the cover of more than 40 books on Pagan and occult topics, published over the last 47 years. That history is more than enough to cover in the course of just one interview, but despite his prolific writing and years of teaching, Buckland has also found time to keep busy with quite a number of non-Pagan activities. These activities are wide-ranging and include, in his own words, “acting and the theatre, music (jazz, ragtime, bluegrass, etc.), art (illustrating books, cards, filmstrips, etc.), comedy (both writing and performing), ultralight flying, sports cars, screen-writing, all types of writing, especially fiction and non-fiction,” not to mention occasional stints of stand-up comedy. Given the vast number of things that continue to keep Buckland’s days full, narrowing the scope of conversation to just his Pagan activities seemed, at the very least, to be a kindness to the reader. Indeed, the fact that he was able to respond to questions at all suggests that some powerful time-bending magic might be at work.
Asheville, North Carolina – A Gardnerian coven recently posted a video of its 1996 public Samhain ritual that it claims was made by local police. The video is one of an estimated 100 surveillance videos that the Asheville Police Department recorded of various political rallies and religious gatherings since the early 1980’s.The High Priestess of Oldenwilde Coven says the lack of transparency and accountability, on the part of the local police department with regards to the tapes, combined with the chilling effect knowing that this was happening, is a cause for concern. http://youtu.be/ILBEGKlrhaU
Over the past 30 years the Asheville police department has regularly video taped tax rallies, environmental protests, and street preachers. The practice of video taping by police came to light when a local newspaper, The Citizen-Times, filed a Freedom of information Act lawsuit to make the tapes public. Oldenwilde Coven, however, has known about the tapes since sometime before 2008.
Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing 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 let’s get started! In Memoriam: Kyril Oakwind (1951-2013): Word has come to us that Gardnerian and Church of All Worlds Priestess Kyril Oakwind passed away on March 9, 2013 after a long struggle with metastatic breast cancer.
There’s a rather entertaining “top 10” list of grimoires (both fictional and authentic) in a recent Guardian article that has been making the rounds on the Pagan web. What interested me was the entry (coming in at #10) for “Book of Shadows”. “Last but not least there is the founding text of modern Wicca – a pagan religion founded in the 1940s by the retired civil servant, folklorist, freemason and occultist Gerald Gardner. He claimed to have received a copy of this “ancient” magical text from a secret coven of witches, one of the last of a line of worshippers of an ancient fertility religion, which he and his followers believed had survived centuries of persecution by Christian authorities. Through its mention in such popular occult television dramas as Charmed, it has achieved considerable cultural recognition.”