The beginning of August is the heart of summer in the northern hemisphere. We soak in the sun, enjoy picnics with our families, and find ways to get outdoors as often as we can when the weather permits. There are just enough days left before fall to forget that eventually the temperatures will cool and the nights will grow shorter as we head toward winter. Many of us will celebrate a sabbat of abundance, featuring a table piled high with the gifts that nature provides: flourishing fruits and vegetables, mouthwatering smells from foods grilled outdoors, and the feel of lush green grass beneath our feet. During this time, we give thanks for what we have gained, both from our toil in the field and from our internal labors.
For three days beginning on July 13, Atlanta hosted Mystic South: Theory, Practice, and Play. According to the convention’s Facebook page, the Pagan event “highlights the Southern flair and mystic spirit of our own part of the country.”
Headliners this year included John Beckett, Ivo Dominguez, Yaya Nsasi Vence Guerra, Sangoma Oludoye, Mama Gina, and the Night Travelers. The conference schedule included rituals, workshops, papers, panels, presentations, and a live podcast. Several events centered on Norse material and Heathen religions. To get a sense of the conference from a Heathen perspective, I spoke with Ryan Denison of the Mystic South organizing committee.
As we reported in the past, a U.K.-based petition has been making its way around the internet. Its mission is to urge the BBC to be more considerate of Pagan religious views. Created in January 2018 by Druid Stuart Jeffrey, the petition, which is titled BBC should make Pagan voices heard, has garnered closed to 2,000 signatures. Jeffrey believes that the station should contain occasional programming that explores Paganism and that “they should feature a Pagan voice on Thought for the Day at least once a year.” He writes, “The BBC recently published a review of its religious programming however despite getting the views from a range of religious leaders, no Pagans were consulted. Thought for the Day (T4tD) goes out on Radio 4 and despite it being multi-faith it has no Pagan voices on it.”
In a press release, Jeffrey announced that the petition will be delivered to the BBC Tuesday, July 17 at 11am. He said, “Almost 2,000 people have call [sic] on the BBC to make Pagan voices heard.