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.
- Yesterday, herdsmen and women in Germany celebrated their annual cattle drive down the alpine mountains. According to Getty Images this tradition “dates back through centuries, and in countries like Germany, Switzerland and Austria alm culture has a deep resonance in folk history.” If the entire herd survives, the lead cow is decorated with flowers on the return journey. Paganism: Sometimes you get to decorate a cow with flowers.
The Salem Gazette reports on last Sunday’s re-dedication of Salem, Massachusetts’ famous Witch Trials Memorial, originally dedicated in 1992 (I posted about this previously). Salem Award Foundation chair Meg Twohey said that the memorial “reminds us of the trials and inspires each of us to stand up against injustice in whatever ways we can.”
- At NPR World Cafe profiles Cuban singer Janet Valdes who gives a tour of Havanna, including The Church of Our Lady of Regla, where the singer practices Santeria. Quote: “…she offers a glimpse of Havana’s premier jazz club, La Zorra y El Cuervo, as well as The Church of Our Lady of Regla, where Valdes studies to become a priestess of Santeria — the Cuban religion which combines Catholic influences with those of Yoruba saints or “orishas” from Africa.”
- A new occult-themed television show? Yay! Produced by Michael “Transformers I, II, and III” Bay? Um, yay? I guess? Quote: “The show, which is still in its early stages, centers on an FBI agent who returns to work after an extended absence, stemming from a breakdown he experienced while investigating his wife’s disappearance. Upon his return, he’s placed on a new occult-centric task force with a new partner, who specializes in the subject.” Who knows? Maybe it’ll be good?
- Did temporal lobe epilepsy cause monotheism? That’s the speculation of surgeon Hutan Ashrafian who has been studying the corpses of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun and his family. However, not all scientists are convinced, quote: “Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at the New York University Langone Medical Center, thinks the theory must remain speculative. ‘The exact timing of Akhenaten’s religious conviction is not so clearly documented, and most cases of sudden religious conversion are not due to epilepsy,’ he says. ‘Monotheism could be related to epilepsy, or bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, or drug intoxication from a fungus – but this paper does not sway me to any of these options.'”
- Exorcism Magazine: For when you got the demon in you (and you’d like to get it back out again)! The best part? According to Father Aleksander Posacki Capitalism is feeding occultism, which feeds exorcisms, which will no doubt help sell more magazines in a capitalistic system! Quote: “It’s indirectly due to changes in the system: capitalism creates more opportunities to do business in the area of occultism. Fortune telling has even been categorised as employment for taxation.” Catholics, folks, you can’t make this stuff up. I can’t wait until we get an English edition!
- MTV is seeking students of the occult for a reality program, what could go wrong? Quote: “The casting call calls for anyone who practices Wicca, Satanism, alchemy, astrology, ESP or other mystical sciences” or those who feel they can “tap into unseen spiritual forces.” Those who are interested in the study of “the Kabbalah or Esoteric Christianity” are also invited to participate; the show is presently seeking males and females ages 17-29 who take their occult practices seriously, regardless of societal views.” For the record, I take a dim view of Pagans doing reality television, but that’s just, like, my opinion, man.
- Sometimes believing in Voodoo gets you out of trouble (well, at least some of the trouble).
- Indeed: “As Canadians, we all expect and deserve the protections afforded by the Charter. Why shouldn’t witches enjoy the same right?” Also: “It is sad that our government remains so spiritually superficial and narrow minded, like many people in our society.” More on this story, here.
- The altar of art: “The faithful who came to meditate on a fresco of Giotto’s or a painting by Caravaggio sought a personal experience of the divine, the feeling that they themselves were present, witnessing the mystery being represented, a miracle that was being enacted specially for them. At the MoMA show, the artist’s presence offered transcendence through communion and intimacy, in the privacy that Abramović was able to create in a crowded atrium. Watching the documentary, I thought: This is the moment in which we live. Alienated, unmoored, we seek our salvation, one by one, from the artist who brings us the comforting news: I see you. I weep when you weep. The mystery, and the miracle, is that you exist.”
- This is awesome. So is this.
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.