Passings: Mike Gleason, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Anne Ross

Three personages who've had an impact on our interconnected communities passed away recently: one a Wiccan Elder, and two scholars whose works have been cited repeatedly by Pagans, and indeed helped shape how many of us perceive ourselves. All three should be honored and remembered for their contributions, for what is remembered lives.Mike Gleason (1951 - 2012): A beloved Elder within his community, Mike Gleason was an Alexandrian High Priest who distinguished himself as an early supporter of pan-Pagan festivals in the 1980s, and as a strong advocate for Pagan rights. This included serving as the head of WARD's (Witches Against Religious Discrimination) Massachusetts chapter, the Witches … [Read more...]

AAR Day One: Western Esotericism, Extremism, and COG Hospitality

One thing is certain, the American Academy of Religion’s Annual Meeting is overwhelming in its scope and it's easy to get lost among the hundreds of panels, discussions, and lectures on offer each day. On Saturday I was lucky to attend two very thought-provoking panel presentations that should be of interest to Pagan and esoteric practitioners. The first was a sprawling forum entitled: "Demons In The Academy? Renouncing Rejected Knowledge, Again." The panel centered on the study of Western Esotericism, and asked a central question: Is it possible to practice esotericism while also engaging in its research within an academic context? Also discussed were issues of interdisciplinary approaches t … [Read more...]