Archives for January 2012

Wiccan Pentacles at Arlington, and Why Litigation Was Necessary

In April of 2007 the Bush Administration agreed to a settlement that paved the way for approval of the Wiccan pentacle to be engraved on government-issued headstones and markers, bringing to an end a campaign that lasted a decade, one that saw casual anti-Pagan demagoguery morph into government policy. Nearly five years after that historic settlement, the number of grave markers with the pentacle emblem, according to iPad-formatted news magazine The Daily, has risen dramatically."Since its addition in 2007 to a list of recognized tombstone icons, the pentacle has begun popping up on grave markers at Arlington and other government cemeteries alongside crosses, Stars of David and Mus … [Read more...]

Should Witch-Hunter Helen Ukpabio be Allowed to Visit America?

The United States has a strong ethic of not interfering with the internal affairs of religious organizations. The recent unanimous Supreme Court decision affirming the right of "ministerial exception" sent a clear signal that our government is limited in what in can demand or regulate. In America, religious institutions aren't taxed, and our constitution enshrines a secular ethic that prevents one faith being raised up above any other. However, freedom of religion does not place clergy and religious leaders above the law, individuals have been imprisoned when their teachings have led to the abuse or deaths of others. Now, the question is if the United States should act to keep a religious le … [Read more...]

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.If I'm reading this right, it looks like Jessica Orsini, Alderwoman in Centralia, Missouri, and a Hellenic polytheist, isn't running for reelection in 2012. Quote: "Ward 3 incumbent Jessica Orsini is not a candidate; Landon Magley is the lone candidate for that two-year term." Orsini is in her third term as an Alderwoman, and one of the few openly transgender and Pagan elected officials. I'd like to thank Orsini for her public service, and wish her well in future endeavo … [Read more...]

The Wicker Tree and The Wicker Man’s Legacy

One of my favorite films is the 1973 cult-classic "The Wicker Man." Set in a remote Scottish island, it pits a priggish Christian police officer against a population that has rejected Christianity in favor of a revived Paganism. As the policeman slowly unravels the mystery of a missing girl, he's drawn ever tighter into a conspiracy that will seal his fate. While the slow-burning plot is serviceable, it's really the atmospherics, songs, and attention to detail that make the film transcendent (by the way, if you aren't watching the restored extended version of the film, you are truly missing out). Many modern Pagans have embraced "The Wicker Man" over the years for transmitting an idyllic v … [Read more...]