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. Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Scott Cunningham, one of Wicca and Witchcraft’s most prominent figures. Over his career, Cunningham authored more than 30 books of which the most well known is Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Through that work alone, he made solitary Wiccan practice more visible, more credible, and more accessible. Cunningham died in 1993 of an AIDS-related illness.
Back in high school in the late 1980s, my friend Dan really liked the band Stryper. He cut the sleeves off his jean jacket, drew the band’s logo in Elmer’s glue on the back, then threw gold and black glitter at it to make the only Stryper vest any of us had ever seen. We teased him mercilessly. Why? Because Stryper was a totally cheesy Christian glam metal band from Orange County that sang about Jesus while wearing mascara and yellow spandex, and that seemed the most un-metal thing possible to a bunch of teenage hippies and metal-heads in 1986.
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.
As some Pagans attempt to revive ancient or indigenous religions they often rely on the work of historians, primary texts, and archaeologists. For this reason, when something new pops up which challenges long held academic ideas on cultural or religious practice, we pay attention. Here are some of the new(er) finds making waves in archaeological circles. Alexander the Great in a synagogue? While uncovering a 5th century synagogue in Huqoq, Israel, archaeologists found something very unusual: a mosaic appearing to show Alexander the Great meeting with a Jewish high priest.
The figure stands, unsteady and misshapen, only a few centimeters tall. It lacks its left arm, and its bronze form has become so weathered that I cannot easily read its face; the head rises to a point like an arrowhead, and two curving lines beneath the nose suggest a mustache. Its right eye is just a slit in the metal; a protruding oval marks the wide left eye. A nearby sign lists the figure’s provenance: Lindby, Skåne, Sweden, created sometime during the Iron Age – there’s no more definite date given than that. Because the figure is missing an eye, it is usually interpreted as the god Odin.