A Note from the Editors Regarding Loki in the White House
December 2nd, 2018
Dear Readers of The Wild Hunt:
Since the publication of Loki in the White House, the column has been discussed at length across the Pagan internet. To say that its portrayal of Loki, and its comparison of Loki to Donald Trump, has been regarded as controversial would be an understatement. The Lokean community in particular has strongly criticized the column, with many feeling that it was tantamount to a call for Heathens to cut ties with Lokeans altogether. (A group of Lokeans sent a letter to The Wild Hunt calling for amendments or a retraction to the column; that letter can be read here.)
At The Wild Hunt, we are proud to have writers from many different backgrounds represented in our roster of regular columnists, including multiple writers of color, writers from outside the Anglosphere, and writers of queer identities – not to mention writers from many different approaches to Paganism. We see our commentary section as a place for these voices to have the freedom to analyze, critique, and debate issues of interest to Pagans in deep and challenging ways.
In June of 1981, Israel bombed a not-quite-active nuclear power plant in the suburbs of Baghdad, Iraq. This was the second time in a year that the power plant faced attack from the air: Iran struck at the end of Sept., 1980, in a mission the name of which dripped with warrior-poet self-mythologizing: “Operation Scorch Sword.” That mission damaged the reactor, but the technicians were able to repair the damage. The Israeli strike, on the other hand — this one code-named “Operation Opera” — managed to disable the facility for good, though perhaps Iraq might have resurrected the project again were it not enmeshed in the Iraq-Iran War that dominated the country’s attention throughout the 1980s. At the time, Operation Opera drew nearly universal condemnation from the international community. The Iraqi nuclear reactor would not have been powerful enough to make materials for nuclear weapons, and the deal to provide the reactors, the fuel to power them, and much of the technical knowledge and workforce to install and operate them, had been brokered not by some infamous rogue power, but by France.
There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Not too long ago hardliner Iranian clerics accused associates of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of “witchcraft” and “summoning genies.” If you’re President Ahmadinejad how do you respond to that? By launching a “non-governmental organisation to identify those engaged in divination and exorcism as well as ‘deviant schools of thought and false Gnosticism'”. They are hoping an attack on “nonconformist youth culture, Sufi sects, [and] non-Islamic Gnostic groups such as popular Indian theosophical cults” will distract the public from their own “occult” scandal.
There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. How do you fight Muslim extremism? With Bollywood! As Chas Clifton says, “Aphrodite will not be denied,” but perhaps it would be more appropriate in this instance to say Parvati will not be denied.
Yesterday, a group of prominent Pagan organizations and individuals sent out a press release concerning the possibility of preemptive military action in Iran. The statement, spearheaded by M. Macha NightMare, Ellen Evert Hopman, Maureen Duffy-Boose, and Nancy Machin, calls for political leaders to use diplomacy as the primary means of dealing with recent tensions between the United States and Iran.”We are an ad hoc group of Americans who practice diverse Earth-based religions. We affirm the wisdom of peace, tolerance, and justice. These principles are consistent with the values and beliefs of our Pagan religions. We seek to exist in goodwill and fellowship with all peoples, cultures, and nations.