Did Oathbreaking Lead to the Dark Ages?

I'm busier than a house-elf at Yule today, so here's a blast from the past. Enjoy! History is written by the victors. This we all know well, yet there is a portion of our history that I don’t hear Pagans talk about a lot. The fall of the Roman Empire is generally seen as a failure of Paganism and Pagan culture. The “fact” of Paganism collapsing under it’s own decadence has been repeated so often that it would be surprising to hear it contradicted. Yet if you put on your “Pagan … [Read more...]

Recording Pagan History: Your Stories Are Worth Telling

I've had Pagan media folks comment on my ability to get folks to tell stories without my actually recording the stories. I'm a bad journalist. I become too interested in the story to grab my audio recorder. That fault was apparent yesterday. One of the elders of my tradition invited me to join her at a Pagan event she was hosting an info table at in Atlanta. It was a lot of fun, but the best part was hearing all these stories from her. Stories of shady folks from the distant past, of funny … [Read more...]

Irish Snakes Survive and Thrive: All Snakes Day

The Irish love a good story. They are a lyric, storytelling people. Their storytelling tradition is full of the improbable, impossible and likely not quite so. So although I appreciate those whose commitment to veracity in historical matters leads them to be St. Paddy's Day debunkers each year, I feel they miss the point of the story of Padraig and the Snakes: it's a good story. What makes it even better is that in true Irish fashion, the story continues and evolves. The snakes survived. I … [Read more...]

Wicca Series: History of Wicca?

Every Monday and Friday in January we will be asking people questions about Wicca. Want to weigh in? Find the next question at the bottom of this post! What do you believe the origins of Wicca to be? Does academic research affect your views on its history? Rua Lupa responds: The Origins of Wicca? It really depends on what you mean by this question. What Wicca is based on or who started its traditions? Does academic research affect your views on its … [Read more...]

Wicca Series: Is Wicca a “new religion”?

Every Monday and Friday in January we will be asking people questions about Wicca. Want to weigh in? Find the next question at the bottom of this post! Should Wicca be classified as a new religion? Johnny Rapture responds: Yes, because of the simple reality that it is, in fact, new. Gerald Gardner created Wicca in the middle of the 20th century out of a heavy dose of esoteric Christian Neoplatonism and a smidge of British folk traditions. Of course Wicca … [Read more...]

Book Review: Trials of the Moon by Ben Whitmore

Title: Trials of the Moon: A Critique of Ronald Hutton's "The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft Author: Ben Whitmore Publisher: Briar Books Genre: Religious History Year: 2010 Pages: 100 ISBN13: 9780473174583 Binding: Paperback Price: 11.00 Just as I was planning to sit down with Ginzburg, Frew, Hutton and an array of others over the Thanksgiving holiday, The Wild Hunt announced the publication of Ben Whitmore's Trials of the Moon: A Critique of Ronald Hutton's "The … [Read more...]

Guy Fawkes and Revolution

Remember, remember the 5th of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I can think of no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot. It's Guy Fawkes Day in England and revolution is on my brain. I've loved Guy Fawkes Day ever since I first saw V for Vendetta. The film was a good tonic after all the hyperbole following 9/11. Between fear that was real, fear that was imagined and fear that was invented, it was so good to see a film that left you feeling open, empowered and strangely … [Read more...]

13 Songs for Samhain

Seems strange that we began the 13 Songs series with Beltane and here it is already Samhain. What an important holiday, and an important milestone for us here on Pantheon. We've spent seven months together as of Samhain, the entire Goddess half of the year. I hope the God half proves as interesting and rewarding. I thought I would do something a bit different this time. Instead of 13 random songs to fit the season, I attempted to put together a liturgical set of music. From Joan Jett to set the … [Read more...]

Pantheon Book Club: The Secret History of Rock ‘n’ Roll by Christopher Knowles

Music and religion go hand in hand. Maybe it's on a dance floor, moving to syncopated drums around a campfire or locked in your room transported by the sounds flowing from your headphones. At some point, you've probably had a religious experience that was fueled by music. No genre has exemplified the ecstatic power of music as rock 'n' roll. From Chuck Berry to The Beatles to The Ramones to The Cure to Green Day, rock music feeds our soul. It's no surprise then that Christopher Knowles was able … [Read more...]

Dying To Make Men Free

I'm a Southern girl, born and bred. I've had family serve during almost every military conflict from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam. I grew up on Gone With The Wind, trips to Fort Sumter and watching the laser show dance across the faces of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson at Stone Mountain. Despite this, I have no love for Southern romanticism regarding the Civil War. In fact, although I am a history buff, I tend to not dwell on it if I can help it. It carries deep emotion and infinite … [Read more...]