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.
- NME and LAShTAL are both reporting that Led Zeppelin guitarist, and noted Aleister Crowley fan, Jimmy Page, is releasing his unfinished soundtrack to Kenneth Anger‘s film “Lucifer Rising.” The album is being released on vinyl, in three formats. The first 93 copies (of course) of the “Deluxe Edition” will be signed. Release date? March 20th, the Equinox (of course). Want to know what it may sound like? Here’s a bootleg excerpt on Youtube.
- Author and magician Donald Michael Kraig alerts us to the fact that Lisa Peschel-Hoerter, author of “A Practical Guide to the Runes: Their Uses in Divination and Magic,” is waging a battle against breast cancer and needs our help. Quote: “If you could do anything to help here–even just sending her good wishes, prayers, and magick, it would be deeply appreciated.”
- Theologian William Hamilton, part of the Death of God / theothanatology movement, died on February 29th at the age of 87. His views, and the views of his movement were spotlighted in the now-infamous 1966 Time Magazine “Is God Dead” cover. At Time Magazine, Jon Meachum offers a remembrance of the theologian. For Pagans, the theothanatology movement is important for popularizing the idea of a post-Christian culture. Today, Hamilton’s idea of a Christianity, a religion, as a “possibility without the presence of God” has born fruit in a more more praxis-oriented postmodern world.
- Paul Lehner, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), revisits the idea of natural resources having inherent legal rights. Lehner notes that Christopher Stone’s influential 1972 article “Should Trees Have Standing?” came out one year after Dr. Seuss’s Lorax (now a major motion picture) claimed to “speak for the trees” and wonders if one influenced the other. Quote: “‘Trustee,’ importantly, is very specific term used in law to describe a situation where an entity has a right of its own but cannot speak for itself (e.g. an infant or a disabled person) on behalf of that right. The Lorax, again, seemed to be invoking this principle when he said: “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” […] So, while the Lorax is a parable (and perhaps now a commercialization of a parable), there is still a profound legal issue beneath the colorful pictures.”
- Conservative Heathen politician Dan Halloran, currently serving on the New York City Council, and a delegate for Ron Paul, is weighing a run for Congressman Gary Ackerman’s seat in the wake of his surprise retirement announcement. Halloran is expected to make a decision next week on whether he’ll run, saying that “Ackerman’s decision has thrown everything into a tizzy.”
- In an editorial, Maryland Governor Martin O’ Malley explains why he signed Maryland’s same-sex marriage bill into law. Quote: “We are a people of many different religions and many different faiths. The only way forward in a pluralistic society of diverse faiths such as ours is to have laws that protect and respect the freedom of all, equally.” O’Malley also stated that “the heart of religious freedom is respect for the freedom of individual conscience,” which includes faiths that want to marry same-sex couples just as it includes those opposed to it.
- Politics and a famous bust of Anahit, Armenian goddess of fertility, collide. Quote: “Holding posters of the goddess and chanting “Anahit, come home!” roughly a hundred young people gathered on March 7 in front of the British Embassy to present Ambassador Leach with a petition of 20,000 signatures.” Critics of the Republican Party of Armenia’s recent goddess-populism say it’s a ploy to distract from issues like unemployment.
- The Associated Press reports on the Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming Cuba and Mexico visits, noting the challenges he’ll face in each country. The report talks about Benedict’s opposition to Mexican “pseudo-saints” like Santa Muerte, and the challenge to insert the Catholic Church into “the future of Cuba and preparing for a future without the Castros.” R. Andrew Chesnut, author of “Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint,” says the Pope will encounter an increasingly diverse and pluralistic religious landscape in both countries. I recently reported on the Pope’s planned Cuba visit, and how he doesn’t meet with “non-institutional” faiths.
- Turning to Native American/American Indian matters, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week issued a permit allowing the Northern Arapaho tribe to kill up to two bald eagles for religious purposes (sparking much discussion and debate). Meanwhile, Ojibwe tribes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota opposed a Wisconsin bill that would allow wolf-hunting. Anishnaabe elder Dave Courchene Jr. talks about prophesy, saying the the “new age foretold by the elders is already upon us,” and three sites important to Native history were named National Landmarks. Finally, Duane Champagne reminds us that maintaining culture is not an act of violence.
- Heathen bait: Thor’s goat made out of scrap metal, and Ullr Fest.
- Ben at The Pagan Perspective digs into Caroline Tully’s opinion piece, “Researching the Past is a Foreign Country: Cognitive Dissonance as a Response by Practitioner Pagans to Academic Research on the History of Pagan Religions” in the latest issue of The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies, and stresses “the importance of transparency and open dialogue between academics and practitioners.” Lots of great citations, links, and discussion.
That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of them I may expand into longer posts as needed.