UNITED KINGDOM — Over the past month, there have been a number of memorial celebrations dedicated to Olivia Melian Robertson, one of British and Irish Paganism’s most enduring figures and the head of the long-standing Fellowship of Isis (FOI). Olivia was often seen around and about in London and Glastonbury, as well as in her native Ireland and the US. The recent celebrations were held around the world in British, Irish, German and American locations. Born April 13, 1917 in Reigate, Surrey, Olivia and her clergyman brother Lawrence moved to the 400 year old Huntington Castle, also known as Clonegal Castle, in Ireland when her father inherited it from a relative. “The IRA had occupied the castle, and treated it very well,” Olivia recalled, “although they locked the cook in the dungeon, and court-martialled the butler.”
Olivia’s childhood was spent at the castle where her family entertained a number of early 20th century luminaries, including Robert Graves and W B Yeats.
AMHERST, Mass. — Ellen Evert Hopman first collected the interviews in her new book, A Legacy of Druids, in 1996. She did so using methods that might seem antiquated in today’s fast-paced world: by having conversations in person, and by asking questions by mail. The fact that it took twenty years to publish the results of her work echoes the words of the late Isaac Bonewits, “as fast as a speeding oak.” Some things simply should not be rushed.
Every year, in retrospect, can seem impressive (condensing 12 months of articles into 10 highlights will do that). However, 2013 seemed like an especially notable year for stories involving or affecting modern Pagans. Here are the ten stories that I feel were the most relevant, the most impactful on our day-to-day lives. That said, I would encourage folks wanting to get a taste of where we were at in 2013 to read through my Pagan Community Notes and Pagan Voices archives to track the conversations and achievements that marked our community. I also want to quickly note that I’ve decided not to number the stories, or rank them in any order.
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. I want to begin this week’s edition of Unleash the Hounds with a quick announcement. Columnist Teo Bishop will be stepping down from his position at The Wild Hunt effective immediately. I sat down to speak with Teo personally on Tuesday, and we both agreed that his spiritual journey had changed his relationship with modern Paganism, and that it would be best if he concentrated his writing at his personal site, and on the Huffington Post.