Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. Our hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started! Last week, it became official that the U.S. Army has added Heathen and Asatru to its religious preference list.
[The following is a guest post from Dr. Kimberly Kirner. Dr. Kirner is a cultural anthropologist specializing in applied cognitive anthropology, working on issues in political ecology and ethnoecology, medical anthropology, and the anthropology of religion. She is interested in understanding the relationships between cognition, emotion, and decision-making; the construction of identity, place, and community; and the way cultural knowledge systems interact with policy and large-scale systems to impact human behavior. Her research has focused on the political ecology of the American West and the medical anthropology of minority religious traditions in the United States. In addition to Dr. Kirner’s academic work, she has worked as an applied anthropologist in program design, evaluation, and fund development.]
Some of you know me as the cultural anthropologist who began the Pagan Health Survey Project, which collected responses a large dataset from Pagans across the United States in 2010 and 2012.
Back in 2010 cultural anthropologist Kimberly Kirner, PhD (formerly Hedrick), launched a Pagan health survey to, quote, “help policy-makers and service providers understand our needs and beliefs.” The data collected from that survey was presented at the annual meeting of The American Public Health Association (APHA) in November of that year. Now, Dr. Kirner is launching a follow-up survey to explore some of her initial findings in greater depth. “Why should you take the Pagan Health Survey II? I am Pagan Druid and a cultural anthropologist at California State University, Northridge. I started the Pagan Health Survey in 2010, which provided a snapshot into the Pagan community, including our beliefs about healing and wellness and the choices we make in navigating the health care community. From the first survey, we learned that our community shares some strong common models about healing and wellness and that we have particular challenges in obtaining optimal health care.