The tattoo has been an important sacred trial for individuals across multiple cultures for generations. The path of pain, identified in Western Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner and other early 20th-century esotericists, has a long history of altering consciousness and manifesting changes in people’s lives. Native cultures around the world have been utilizing the tattoo to mark sacred life passages for centuries, and those of Western heritage have been doing so for almost as long as they have had contact with outside cultures. Whether it is a sacred mark of a warrior initiation, or a mark of military service, sacred ink that tells a tribal person’s life story or a mark of one’s alma mater, tattoos have long represented what is important in the narrative of people’s lives. As often happens when indigenous ceremonies get translated into new cultures, the sacredness of the tattoo became diluted as Western culture embraced it.
[Today journalist Nathan Hall reports on a national concern that is affecting Pagans and magic-workers. If you enjoy articles like this, please consider donating to The Wild Hunt. We are now at 43% with 11 days left. You make it possible for us to continue to provide a platform for our communities’ important news. What better way to celebrate the October season: Donate to a news organization that is, in part, for and about modern Witches.
SEATTLE — Over the weekend, the Pagan community in the pacific northwest learned that one of its beloved members, a fellow teacher, talented artist, and close friend, had committed suicide. Since then, shock has rolled through the community, turning into expressions of deep sadness. Writer Rhyd Wildermuth posted, “The last time I saw you, you gave me a huge hug and called me ‘big brother’ like you always did, and then said, ‘I feel like I’ll never see you again.’ I smiled and laughed it off. Of course we’d see each other again […] I was fucking wrong.”
[Today, guest writer ZB continues her conversation with author Patricia Keneally-Morrison. ZB is a poet, author, and a journalist for the San Francisco Herald. Her work focuses on feminism, radical outcasts, surrealist art, social activism and the esoteric.The first part of this interview (side A) was published last Sunday. ]
“Patricia Kennealy-Morrison was one of the first female rock critics and journalists, having begun her career in the 1960s […] Along with her own work, Patricia was also the wife of the rock legend Jim Morrison. Her bestselling memoir Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison commemorates their life together and love for one another, and is one of the most candid and definitive books on Jim Morrison. […] Her prolific writing continues with the murder series The Rock & Roll Murders: The Rennie Stride Mysteries, the latest of which is set for release at the end of 2015.
Modern shaman and best-selling author S. Kelley Harrell’s new book, “Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism,” out May 30 from Soul Rocks Books, is a light-hearted and informative handbook introducing shamanism to today’s young adults and beginning seekers. Author and journalist Beth Winegarner’s latest book, “The Columbine Effect: How Five Teen Pastimes Got Caught in The Crossfire and Why Teens Are Taking Them Back,” addresses how certain interests — including alternative spiritualities like shamanism, neopaganism and others — have been unfairly blamed for teen violence. Kelley and Beth got together for a chat about alternative faiths, cultural misperceptions and the importance of trusting youth as they find their own paths. Beth: I know practitioners within Santeria and Palo Mayombe who say that those paths are gaining in popularity among teens. Are you seeing anything similar with shamanism?