TWH – Now that the season has turned and we are nearing the end of the 2017, we look back, one last time, to review this historic year. What happened? What didn’t happen? What events shaped our thoughts and guided our actions? In our collective worlds, both big and small, what were the major discussions?
On June 26, the wildly popular Harry Potter book series celebrated its 20th anniversary. Written by J.K. Rowling, who was a struggling single mother prior to skyrocketing to fame and fortune, the children’s fantasy series gained plenty of adult fans and has spawned a media empire. Eventually, Rowling published seven books, which led to eight high-grossing feature films with A-list actors in many of the roles. Even after the films ended, the series maintained a strong internet presence and has been given new life with the opening of two interactive Harry Potter themed “lands” at Universal Studios theme parks in Florida and California. Pagans, especially those who identify as Witches, are often drawn to any work of fiction that includes witches or pagans as characters.
TWH – Muggle. Ravenclaw. Azkaban. These are familiar words to the millions of Harry Potter fans around the world. With more than 450 million books in print in over 200 countries, the Harry Potter franchise, including films and other marketing tie-ins, make it one of the most successful in history.
There are many articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans 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. At this time of the year, perhaps more than any other, it becomes very apparent that we live in a multi faith world. Whether the shows of diversity are in public displays leading to debates on religious freedom or the variety of holiday wishes and celebratory rituals, December brings a very visible demonstration of the breadth of religious belief in the U.S. and, even, worldwide. With that spirit, we have collected a number of religious news stories that have been making headlines over the past few weeks.
Top Story: The CNN Belief Blog has a story about Hinduism in America, and how some younger Hindus are trying to “forge a distinctly American Hindu identity that’s more tightly woven into the national fabric.” “Our parents had to build everything from scratch to make a united Hindu community in this country,” said Tejas N. Dave, 17, a high school junior who volunteers with a project bringing yoga to unprivileged Americans. “Now we’re trying to reintegrate it back into society,” he said, “to make people realize that Hinduism is a religion and a way of life and a philosophy that’s not too different from what a lot of others believe. We’re all trying to make a better society.” Some young Hindus are envious of the attention that American Muslims and Mormons have received in recent years – even if not all of the attention has been positive – and are trying to raise Hinduism’s national profile. The article mentions the Hindu American Foundation and its work, an advocacy group that has done outreach to the Pagan community in recent years, and profiles younger Hindus who want to take their faith “outside officially Hindu spaces.” Yet [Kavita] Pallod, 23, has spent a good deal of time thinking about how to apply her faith to her life.