Scottish historians calling for memorial to witch trial victims

SCOTLAND —  A recent call for a memorial to the women who were executed in Scotland’s witch trials raises concerns in the UK Pagan community. Between the 16th and 18th century, nearly 2500 women were executed in Scotland. They were burned at the stake, strangled, or hung, principally as a result of their healing practices or because they were seen as traitors to the Presbyterian cause. The trials began in North Berwick in 1590 following the Scottish Witchcraft Act in 1563, which was enacted as a direct result of King James VI’s difficulties in bringing his 14 year old bride Anne of Denmark to Scotland by sea. He blamed magical practices for the problems.

His insistence that the issue of witchcraft should be addressed gave rise to a spate of witch hunts, involving both men and women.

Unleash the Hounds (link roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, more than our team can write about in depth in any given week. Therefore, the Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. 

For those readers following the Dakota pipeline story, the Standing Rock Sioux were handed their first legal victory June 14. Judge James Boasberg “said that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to perform an adequate study of the pipeline’s environmental consequences when it first approved its construction.” However, that is not the end of the struggle. The court did not stop construction altogether, but rather paused it until a proper study was done and could be evaluated.

Winter fire festivals in the UK celebrate Viking heritage

UNITED KINGDOM — Winter in the UK is often a dull and dreary affair. The winds are cold and biting, the skies are grey and loaded with drizzle. Any snow, with its temporary sense of wonder and magic, tends to be short-lived. So what do we have to get us through the Winter Fire festivals! Britain, Scotland in particular, has a long history of winter fire festivals to mark the end of Yuletide and welcome the returning spring and days of more sun.