Review: it’s Druids vs. Romans — and history — in TV series Britannia

TWH — In the new TV series Britannia, a Celtic sorceress in ancient Britain draws a large pentacle on stone and casts a spell, saying, “Dark mother, send me a demon to do my will!”

Early in the series, top-dog Druid Veranm and his Druid tribe, who live in a rocky, mountainous hollow apart from the warring native tribes they serve, capture an invading Roman soldier. Veran performs some sort of ritualistic soul-sucking thing which causes the soldier to reanimate as a zombie under Veran’s control, after being tossed over a waterfall to his death. The zombie soldier shows back up in the Roman camp and delivers a verbal get-the-hell-out-of-our-land message to the general, Aulus Plautis. The general and Veran then trade notes back and forth by placing messages in the mouth of the dead Roman soldier’s severed head. Later Veran, who looks like a cross between Skeletor of He-Man fame and Richard O’Brien’s characters Gulnar (in the Robin of Sherwood TV series) and Riff Raff (in the Rocky Horror Picture Show), has a Vulcan mind-meld with Aulus Plautius, who has decided to seek the Druid’s help to go on a vision quest to the underworld..

Review: American Gods

Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel American Gods is a popular read in Pagan circles, and the new Starz television series was greeted with excitement by many of the book’s Pagan fans. Debuting on April 30, the series has aired three episodes as of this writing. The story revolves around the riveting premise that the old gods, being immortal, still exist. However, due to a lack of worship in the modern world, they are old and haggard and blend into American society, having arrived there when their followers immigrated, sometimes involuntarily. At the same time, America’s new gods, or the gods that represent the targets of modern worship such as media, computers, and globalization, are strong, vibrant, and at war with their predecessors.

Column: Whims of the Father

(Author’s note: The following attempts to capture a recent four days in time and about time with as much accuracy as possible. Minor details have been changed to protect privacy.)

I walked from my apartment to the elevator, going past a dozen or so doors on the way. It was early afternoon, and I could hear a TV blaring in nearly every apartment as I walked past. In a typical apartment building, most folks would be at work, but here in this building a noticeable number of the residents are home all day with little to do other than to watch television. I was used to the sound of TV as I walked past, but right then it was much more noticeable than usual.