Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. Today’s edition focuses on Earth Day, which has been celebrated annually since 1970 and has attracted Pagans since that first one.
The first Earth Day celebration took place in New York City in 1970, which (perhaps not coincidentally) was around the time that a recognizable community was coalescing around this thing we today call “contemporary Paganism.” Pagans today have legal rights and cultural recognition which were denied to Pagans in 1970. At the same time, our relationship with Mother Earth has become even more precarious than it was in 1970. We have a responsibility, to those who have gone before us, as well as those who will come after us, to use our hard-won freedoms to fight for a healthy home.
TWH — Tomorrow marks the 46th anniversary of the celebration of Earth Day. This holiday is considered to be the largest secular celebration recognized throughout the world, with “more than a billion people” honoring the day every year. It is considered to be “a day of action [to] change human behavior and provoke policy changes.” While Earth Day has always had its detractors and critics, it is regularly acknowledged in many diverse ways, both small and big, around the globe. And, in that way alone, it could be considered an Earth Day.
The American Academy of Religions held its annual meeting in sunny San Diego, California from Nov. 22-25. The event attracted thousands of professors, students, writers, religious leaders and others from across the globe to participate in workshops, lectures and events related to religious studies and theology. In attendance and presenting were a growing number of Pagans. “The AAR annual meeting is a huge intellectual energy infusion, not to mention a social occasion with Pagan Studies scholars from around the world,” said Chas Clifton, co-chair of AAR’s Contemporary Pagan Studies Group.
[This tribute to the life of Layne Redmond was written by academic, activist, and performance artist, Wendy Griffin. Wendy Griffin is the Academic Dean at Cherry Hill Seminary and Professor Emerita from California State University in Long Beach. She and Layne have been friends since the early 90s.]
Layne Redmond, author, mythologist, teacher, historian and drummer par excellence, passed over early Monday morning on October 28, after fighting breast cancer for several years. Born in 1952, Layne lived her early life in Florida, graduating from the University of Florida and doing Master’s work in art. A move to New York put her in touch with well-known drummer Glen Valez, who promised to teach her how to play the hour-glass drum known as the dumbek.
Pagan voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio. “To me, whether or not to have professional ministry is the wrong question. We have one even if we don’t call it that.