Column: Psychogeography

Psychogeography is the effect of place upon the psyche and the importance of the psyche within the landscape. The term was first discussed in the early 1950s by Guy Debord of the Situationist International, who attributed its coining to “an illiterate Kabyle.” The concept itself is simple, ancient, and foundational to an animist view of the world. In his essay “Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography,” Debord defines the term rather dryly and pseudo-scientifically as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” The occultist and writer Alan Moore (who explores psychogeography in his graphic novel From Hell and in his novels Voice of the Fire and Jerusalem) adds another layer of nuance to Debord’s definition by emphasizing that consciousness also embeds itself into the landscape in turn: “in our experience of any place, it is the associations, the dreams, the imaginings, the history—it is all the information that is relevant to that place which is what we experience when we talk about a place.”

Pagan Community Notes: Covenant of the Goddess, hex ritual, Pagan copyright issues, and more

ONTARIO, Calif. — Covenant of the Goddess members elected a new First Officer Saturday. Canu, who has been a member for 25 years, will be moving into the position Nov. 1, along with the newly-elected board. Canu said,”My goals include drawing on CoG’s deep combined experience to: support our local councils’ and solitary members’ needs and goals, such as intrafaith interaction with the broader Pagan community; review our membership processes and barriers to joining the Covenant; support our interfaith work and plan for the periodic costs of interfaith representation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions and North American Interfaith Network events; and engage all of our members to make CoG more focused on, and communicative about, what we have to give directly, like community events, philanthropy, and networking.”

Column: Living in a Material World

I think we have a money problem. I’m not really sure. Yes, we’ve been through the Great Recession, and it did take a serious toll. And yes, I agree that the deck is stacked in favor of the wealthy, but I think it’s more serious than that. I keep witnessing a deep reluctance to understand wealth and money, and I think we — as a community and to our detriment — have anathematized wealth.

Column: To Make the Voice of the Criminal Audible

Jean Genet’s text “The Criminal Child,” previously unavailable in English, was translated and published in December 2015. An anonymous commentary on the text, included as an afterword within the same pamphlet, reads “The Criminal Child” as an intricately coded set of instructions for magical initiation and ordeal. “The Criminal Child” was originally written in 1948 as a speech to be read on a radio show in order to address reforms to France’s youth prisons that had been proposed at the time. It was rejected and never read on the air. When Genet published the censored text the following year, he wrote in his introduction, “I would have liked to make the voice of the criminal audible.

Artist Questions Copyrighting of a God’s Name

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MELBOURNE, Austrailia — Hermes is a god of communication and lies; commerce and thievery; craftiness and trickery. Some people equate him with Mercury whose eponymous planet challenges communication when it moves retrograde. Therefore, it may not be surprising that Hermes is now at the center of an imbroglio that pits corporate interests against an individual artist seeking to sell drawings of the gods.