The Man Behind The Wild Hunt
Patheos chats with Jason Pitzl-Waters
about Pagan media.
By Star Foster
You may not know the name but you certainly know his work. Between The Wild Hunt, A Darker Shade of Pagan podcast on Pagan Radio Network, his work with the Pagan Newswire Collective or his contributions to PanGaia, Thorn, newWitch, and Patheos, he's been persistently seeking to raise the bar for Pagan journalism. He was kind enough to share some of his story and give us his thoughts on the future of Pagan media.
Most of us know you as "the guy that writes The Wild Hunt," but you wear quite a few hats. You're also involved with Warriors and Kin, The Juggler, Darker Shade of Pagan podcast, and Pagan Newswire Collective. Did you plan to become so involved with Pagan media, or did it sort of evolve on its own?
I would love to say now that this was all a part of some ambitious ten-year plan, but I got involved in the wonderful world of Pagan new media almost by accident. I certainly never thought I would be where I am today, writing an influential blog, speaking at festivals, and coordinating media projects. Sometimes, on reflection, it seems rather strange, but I also feel incredibly blessed to be where I am. A very good friend often joked that I'm "fate boy," in that life seems to guide me toward paths I would never have consciously suspected.
I'm among a growing number of Pagans who have to get their daily Wild Hunt news update or they get cranky. What was your original vision for The Wild Hunt? Did you ever expect it to become such a must-read site for the Pagan community? Was there a particular milestone where you realized "Hey, this is getting big . . ."?
I started The Wild Hunt as something of a hobby, a writing project born out of my frustration that there wasn't a Pagan news site like The Wild Hunt for me to read in the morning. The first couple years of the site, which I urge everyone to ignore, were a long process of me finding my voice, becoming a better writer, and ultimately, deciding that what I was doing was too important for me to stop doing. I never expected it to become any one's must-read site. In the beginning I was just incredibly flattered that anyone read it, and I'm touched that some of my original readers and supporters are still around and still commenting. It's hard to pin down a single milestone, but I think that from 2006 to 2007 The Wild Hunt went from "just some blog" to a going concern in the wider Pagan media landscape.
As The Wild Hunt has become popular, your opinion has gained weight in the community. Do you feel free to express yourself, or do you feel a responsibility to provide a more objective viewpoint?
I do feel a responsibility to provide an objective, albeit "pro-Pagan," viewpoint when I write my blog. That doesn't mean I never interject my opinion or write editorials -- that does happen -- but I do strive to avoid using The Wild Hunt as a personal bully pulpit. Because of that I do put limits on how I express myself, otherwise I wouldn't be serving the wider community, I'd only be serving myself.
A hopeless movie junkie, Star Foster believes that good movies are the mythic narratives of our times.