MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Twin Cities Pagan Pride will host Paganicon 2018 in the Minneapolis area from Mar.16 -18. This indoor Pagan conference will have workshops, rituals, and music. Becky Munson, its programming director, emphasized its community aspects. “It’s the community coming together, teaching, and sharing.” This year will differ from past Paganicons; conference organizers will introduce a training program, “Healthy Boundaries.”
Political conventions are designed to entertain us while they mount a grandiose manipulation of the viewer. They are spectacles of power. And they give us insights into the American political machinery, which ranges from the hopeful, to the patriotic, to the bizarre. And yes, I did it. I watched the broadcast portion of both major political conventions.
[The Wild Hunt is pleased to welcome Tim Titus to our monthly team. Titus’ column will appear on the first Saturday of every month, beginning in August. He will be sharing his own perspective on life, community and religion. Check out his full bio for more on his work and interests.]
The notions of freedom and personal spiritual authority are driving factors that bring people into the practice of a Pagan religion. Many modern Pagan practitioners are fleeing the older, more dogmatic and hierarchical forms of religion offered by the mainstream in favor of seeking a spiritual practice that speaks to them and is controlled by them.
Odùduwà is the power of the womb, the well of existence in the Yoruba religion. He is the progenitor of the Yoruba people, brother of Orisha Obatalá (the justice bringer) and, in some stories, the first ancestor. When the world was covered in water, it was Odùduwà who first descended from heaven and laid the spell that pulled up the land up from the sea, finishing the work of his brother, Obatalá, who had become inebriated partly through the work of Orisha Eshu. The first bit of land that rose from the waters would become the city of Ile-Ife, Nigeria, the spiritual center of the Yoruba religion and the gateway to heaven. When human forms were later molded by Obatalá, Odùduwà became their first emperor, the Oba, of Ile-Ife.
How do we know if a Pagan leader is any good, is ethical, or if they are qualified to teach or lead? Today we have their writings and their reputation. This can be a lot, but the standards are inherently subjective and some kind of objective verification would be beneficial. Some matters, like lineage and certification, can be strictly factual. Can these be verified with confidence?