Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup) June 1, 2012

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.

David Chaim Smith, Blood of Space 2, 2009. Graphite/ink on digital print. 18x22” NFS.


That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.

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17 responses to “Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)”

  1. Regarding the book list, I wish “essential” had been “recommended” or “informational” or some other descriptive term. Oh well.

    Edit – Dang it! This is David Dashifen Kees. Disqus won’t let me sign out of this account regardless of how many times I try. Stupid internet.

  2.  A Cranberries tag?  Seriously?  =P

    In regards to the zombie thing: Dear Gods, I wish people would shut up about zombies.

    In regards to the “essential” book list, I’d like to find a good list which I could direct people to that want to learn about Paganism from an observer’s perspective.  I was recently asked what books could be read and I found myself at a loss of which to say. 

  3. The decision of the Tennessee judge was based on a technicality about informing the public of the meeting at which the mosque was approved. That may or may not be a fig leaft, and the technicality may or may not be uniformly applied (likely not if it took a lawsuit to activate it), but as a matter of good practice we should want public-notice rules to be followed. The alternative is decisions affecting the public made in secret conclaves, which the whole sunshine-in-government movement of the last thirty or so years has been trying to efface.

    Of course it’s a wry twist when the public involved acts as a quicksand of prejudice rather than the loam of democracy. At least the judge did not totally revoke the decision but sent it back down for a re-hearing with proper notice. Now that the waters have been roiled by the lawsuit, that re-hearing is likely to be a circus. Perhaps the mosque builders should have a lawyer on hand to object to irrelevant “testimony.” Or get to the approval body and ask that comments be limited to written submissions.

    “Pagans […] should be concerned about [this].” I agree. Yes, Islam is another monotheism that shows the baleful face thereof where it has power. But in the US it’s another minority religion, like ours, and the objections to it in controversies like this are not Enlightenment-based objections to religious rule but the deceived bleating of those Christians who think they’re being persecuted when they no longer hold 90% of the allegiance of their fellow Americans — bleating they direct at Paganism when the occasion is ripe.

  4. If we’re having “choose the method of your demise” moment, I’m just going to sit here thinking of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

  5. The essential books of paganism missed some significant elements as any list caught like a fly in amber might.  So I would add Emma Restall Orr’s Druid Priestess, R J Stewart’s The UnderWorld Initiation and insert Thorn Coyle’s Kissing the Limitless in place of Evolutionary witchcraft. 

  6. I’d add that book by Stewart, too. Correct me if I’m wrong (the interface was confusing) but I didn’t notice books by the likes of Thorsson, Crowley, Valiente, Mathers, Anderson, Gray, Leland, Dee, Regardie, Hyatt, Ashcroft-Nowricki, Starhawk, any old grimoires, or story books like from Briggs or books of mythology. Anybody else see the pattern of promoting filtered “beginner” books with no advanced end in sight? I’ve seen people read from some of these other books quotes that are from books far more succinct and informational. Skip the nonsense, go to the source, it’s the way to get the truth.
    (I’d give Huson’s book a thumbs-up. )

  7. A lot of the filtering is already done by the publishing industry itself. Low-brow “how-to” books filled with easy to follow recipes and aimed at the lowest common denominator are what sell, or at least that’s what gets published. This isn’t just limited to books on Paganism, either. The whole area of “serious non-fiction” (along with serious fiction, for that matter) has been slowly strangled by the publishing industry for decades now. going back to the 80s.

    Of course some solid material does manage to get published, and some of the for-beginners stuff is pretty good. But it is frankly embarrassing to look over these “essential reading lists”. Unless “essential” has changed its meaning to “random crap”.

  8. If someone can read Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, or Mark Twain, there isn’t a book by any of the authors I listed above too tough for them to read a majority of their content.  There will be controversial viewpoints, and words and viewpoints with whom one disagrees, which often doesn’t mean said authors will be completely wrong in every chapter, all books. There will be ideas that aren’t comforting.  Somebody will have to work out some ideas themselves and try within their lives unfamiliar practices and techniques, build new things, and find what works for them. Readers don’t need false comforts all the time or treated like they need many translators of 10th grade English to 3rd grade (American) English.  They can read the stories before they’ve been bowdlerized and rewritten so as not to offend anyone.  What about a booklist that assumes their readers could qualify for a GED?


  9. I figured I’d respond to two questions Jason poses about the mosque story:

    ‘Exactly how much “warning” and input should locals have in the building of churches, temples, or houses of worship? Do you want the Christian majority “voting” on whether you can have a Pagan community center?’

    Taking the second one first: Community hearings are not votes. They are an opportunity for members of the public to register comments and responses to plans for their neighborhoods. In my days as a community activist I did so repeatedly, most vehemently regarding for-profit building projects that could blight their surroundings physically — making a busy intersection dangerous for pedestrians, or shutting off winter sunlight for neighbors down a hill. A Pagan community center in an existing building would obviously not raise such problems (though whether it has adequate parking is a legitimate question) but, again, we don’t want a Star Chamber deciding what projects are worthy of public notice.

    As to the first question, planning and zoning law often provides an answer. Clearly one new building has less of an impact than setting up a new mini-mall where there used to be under-utilized commercial buildings, and the law often demands wider public notice (in terms of X hundred feet from the proposed project, eg) when the impact is going to be broader. From the instant report it looks as if the plaintiffs are exploiting a poorly drawn public-notice law to try to stop the mosque, but even a poorly drawn one is usually better than none.

    As one may gather from the bit of personal history above, I regard public notice law and public hearings as a way for the little guys like neighborhoods to protect themselves from more powerful players who often want to tear down a neighborhood for profit or moralistic reasons — ie, as a good thing that, like any political process, is always open to abuse.

  10. As for the rash of ultra gruesome incidents, I’ve been loathe to read any article about them fearing there might be pictures involved.  I find the older I get the less I can tolerate gore, particularly of the true variety.  But all this talk of zombies has had me worrying about mass consciousness and thought forms.  I hadn’t thought of hypersigils.  Yuck.
    As for the list of top 27, that’s less of an essential Pagan list and more of an essential Witch list, don’t you think?