OBOD Members Travel to 2019 Southern Hemisphere Assembly

MANAKAU, NEW ZEALAND – Members of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids are travelling to New Zealand this week to take part in the eighteenth annual Southern Hemisphere OBOD Assembly. 2018 marks the first time the Assembly has been held in New Zealand. Hosted by Grove of the Summer Stars, the Assembly will have many New Zealander and Australian OBOD members in attendance, along with OBOD Chief Philip Carr-Gomm, Scribe Stephanie Carr-Gomm and newly chosen Chief Eimear Burke. The Grove of the Summer Stars is based in Pukerua Bay, north of Wellington on New Zealand’s north island. The Assembly itself will run for six days in Manakau, a suburb of Auckland, but attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Grove during a “magical mystery tour” on the Saturday.

Welcome to Post-Christian New Zealand

The island country of New Zealand has just released data about religion from its 2013 Census, and the figures point to a nation where the religiously unaffiliated (the “nones”) are the largest grouping, with Catholicism trailing in the distance. “According to Census 2013, 4 of 10 Kiwis have said they follow no religion which makes New Zealand one of the most secular countries in the world. The data revealed that a Christian majority in New Zealand is uncertain with less than 1.9 million Kiwis affiliated with a church compared to more than 2 million in 2006. Paul Morris, a religious studies professor at Victoria University, said New Zealand was moving into “new territory” with Christianity no longer a prominent part of society. Mr Morris said Christianity is not the clear majority when it comes to religion since 1901.” Anglican Ink notes that the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church in New Zealand have both been shedding numbers, and another Anglican site points out that the Christian population is getting older and older.

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

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. More women in Papua New Guinea have been murdered for the crime of “witchcraft” despite the international outcry that resulted from the death of Kepari Leniata earlier this year. Quote: “Two elderly women in Papua New Guinea were tortured for three days receiving deep knife and axe wounds before being beheaded in front of police after being accused of sorcery.” In addition, another six women were reportedly tortured, though authorities are uncertain if they were killed. Journalist Barbara Dreaver noted that “a lot of it is just finding someone to blame.