Celebrations for the outcast dead

LONDON — The Southwark district has long had an association with the esoteric world, being the home of 20th-century occultist Austin Osman Spare and (before the fire which ravaged it) the Cuming Museum, which housed the Lovett collection of magical artifacts. More recently one of its hidden gems has become the focus of a small but dedicated following among British Pagans, occultists, and indeed Christians and members of other religious groups. This is an example of several events and gatherings which are not part of any organized inter-faith movement in the U.K., but which have developed organically across Pagan, Christian and other religious groups. This particular place is the cemetery of Cross Bones, dating from the medieval period. It is a graveyard for the outcast dead; mainly the medieval prostitutes of Southwark who were known as the ‘Winchester geese’ (as they were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester) ,and who worked in the area known as the Mint, one of Southwark’s worst slums. They were licensed to work in the Liberty of the Clink, which lay beyond the law of the city of London.

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.

Moonhenge in Cambridgeshire was recently dedicated and blessed by local Pagans. Quote: “For Jo-Ann Childs, a druid from ­Huntingdon, the experience was ­particularly spiritual because she said she had dreamed about the henge during a trance three weeks before the artist Derek Massey’s design appeared in The Hunts Post. She said: ‘It was exactly what I saw in my dream – tonight is a dream come true.’ Ms Childs, 72, a retired anaesthetic technician, has been a druid for many years. She explained that by blessing the site, druids hope it will be a sacred place for everybody, no matter what their religion.” Moonhenge is a wooden replica of Stonehenge built in honor of the land owner’s late wife, and featuring 19 outer trees representing a lunar cycle.

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. According to a Gallup poll, confidence in organized religion has reached an all-time low in the United States. Only 44% of those polled had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in “the church or organized religion” today. Quote: “Two major findings apparent in Gallup’s confidence in the church and organized religion trend are, first, the long-term decline in Americans’ confidence in this societal institution since 1973, and second, the suppressed confidence among Catholics relative to Protestants starting in 1981, and becoming more pronounced by 2002.”

Updates: Phoenix Goddess Temple, Santa Muerte, New Apostolic Reformation

I have some updates on recent stories covered here at The Wild Hunt. Phoenix Goddess Temple Arrests: Since my report on Thursday, this story has hit the national and international newswires. It is now revealed that charges include prostitution, pandering, and conspiracy. Most reports I’ve read seem pretty confident that this was nothing but a brothel with a veneer of spirituality painted on as a legal smokescreen. I’ve never seen so many scare quotes being used in a mainstream newswire report before.