Review: Finding Magic by Sally Quinn

Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir by Sally Quinn. Published by Harper One (416 pages). 

“There was always a part of me that could not deny the psychic energy I had been brought up with and the magic I believed in.” – Sally Quinn (p. 119)

In September, HarperOne publishers, an imprint of HarperCollins, released Sally Quinn’s book Finding Magic. Quinn is a respected journalist, author, television commentator, and Washington insider, who eventually helped to launch the Washington Post’s religion site On Faith. The book is a memoir tying various aspects of her life’s journey together with a search for meaning, more specifically deep, spiritual meaning.

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. An Indonesian politician is opposing a law that would effectively outlaw the practice of witchcraft in the name of preventing fraud. Quote: “Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party politician Permadi, who claims to have psychic powers, disagreed with Andi’s argument, saying the article fails to protect the rights of psychics and witches. He said that not all people who could perform magic and cast a spell on someone else use their power wrongly, as some witches use their power in a positive way.” Permadi went on to say that “if you want to make this law perfect, you should involve people who understand witchcraft.” Seems perfectly reasonable to me. 
Religion Clause’s usual round-up of prisoner free exercise cases includes one that involves an Odinist, and one that includes a practitioner of Native American religious practices. 
Lisa Miller at the Washington Post looks at efforts to keep polyamory advocates quiet within the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Starhawk on the Occupy Movement

Author, activist, and Reclaiming co-founder Starhawk has been attending several Occupy gatherings in California and writing about those experiences at her blog. In addition, she has also written about Occupy Wall Street for the Washington Post’s On Faith section. “At its essence, the message of the Occupations is simply this: “Here in the face of power we will sit and create a new society, in which you do count. Your voice carries weight, your contributions have value, whoever you may be. We care for one another, and we say that love and care are the true foundations for the society we want to live in.

On Faith: Gary Johnson and the Pagan Media

I have a new piece up at the Washington Post’s On Faith section examining the importance of the recent video Pagan media press conference with Republican presidential candidate, and former New Mexico governor, Gary Johnson. Here’s a short excerpt:
“What does it all mean? I think it represents two opportunities. First, there’s an opportunity for politicians to realize that America’s religious diversity isn’t simply a stock phrase to pull out when describing the virtues of our country. According to the Pew Forum, 16.1 percent of Americans claim no formal religion, while another 2.3 percent are part of religious tradition outside the Christian-Jewish-Muslim monotheistic paradigm.

Pagan War Widow’s Truck Vandalized, and other Pagan News of Note

Top Story: A local Nevada television station is reporting that Roberta Stewart, widow of Sgt. Patrick Stewart, had her truck vandalized. The Stewart’s were at the heart of a campaign to grant Wiccan soldiers the right to have the pentacle engraved on their military tombstone or marker after ten years of stonewalling by the VA. While the act is attributed to local vandals, the report does explore the possibility that the brick thrown at her truck was connected to anti-Pagan sentiment. But there’s another more remote, but more disturbing possibility: Roberta Stewart’s very public dispute with the Veteran’s Administration following her husband’s death. Although the Army recognized Patrick Stewart’s religion, it took a lawsuit against the V-A and government intervention to get the Wiccan faith’s symbol, a pentacle, placed on his marker at the veterans cemetery in Fernley. She won that fight, but the marker was vandalized shortly after it was installed. Roberta has continued to be a vocal advocate for religious tolerance and slain soldiers’ families.