Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note series, more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So lets get started!
“I decided to live the Heroic Life after many years of telling the myths of the ancient heroes. One day I realized that although their stories are fun to read or hear, they would be more fun to live. So I’ve begun to change my entire life to be able to travel and do great things. To live the Heroic Life means taking action, living for high ideals, charging fearlessly into new and grand plans, building a name around your art or skill, and using your life to change the way the world works.”
Jacob will begin the walk in the Spring after months of training, including a martial arts intensive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He said that “I believe in a life of travel, traveling freely and finding your purpose in life. I believe in doing amazing things.” Drew Jacob will be blogging his trip and experiences, here.
“Treadwells and Fulgur are delighted to announce the second issue of the esoteric journal ABRAXAS is now available to pre-order. As with our first issue, writers and artists have kindly submitted material from across the globe: Argentina, Australia, the United States, Mexico, Finland, Poland and the United Kingdom are all represented. Substantially larger than the previous issue, Abraxas 2 offers over 210 pages of essays, poetry, interviews and art, much of it published for the first time. Uniquely produced in a large high quality format, printed on a variety of papers, richly illustrated in colour and monochrome, and offering our first free audio supplement, we hope this issue of Abraxas will provoke and inspire.”
In honor of Labor Day Weekend, The Wild Hunt is taking off until Tuesday. Expect some “best of The Wild Hunt” reprints on Sunday and Monday. For today, here are some posts from across the Pagan blogosphere that you should check out.
“Mantras, Malas and the Witch’s Ladder” by Christopher Penczak. Quote: “If you keep any kind of regular spiritual practice over a long period of time, you’ll find that you can hit a wall. The tried and true technique just doesn’t do it for you like it once did. In my experience its not so much that the technique is at fault, or that you are at fault, as you’ve been sincerely using it as a part of your practice with regular frequency, but that you’ve hit a plateau or even made a permanent shift.”
“Where are the Missing Gods?” by Drew Jacob. Quote: “Even if you believe all the gods are totally individual beings – not faces of a single force – it still makes sense that, for example, the soul of the sun is going to appear quite different to people in the Sahara than to people in the Yukon. Much of divine personage is human trappings, or trappings used to communicate with humans. If a tribe never once has to worry about lack of rainfall, it makes sense that they won’t make a big deal out of the rain spirit. But I usually think of the plurality of gods (and their cultural adornment) as different perspectives on an essentially equivalent set of beings.”
“Pagans Among Wild Geese” by Teo Bishop. Quote: “Progressive Christian and Pagan communities have very different identities, and very different positions in relationship to mainstream culture. That said, I think it is useful for us to make note that these conversations are taking place at Wild Goose.”
“Rites of Community” by Ivo Dominguez Jr. Quote: “To return to my statement that rites of passage are an important part of the maintenance of lasting organizations and communities, well conducted rites of passage create weighty collective emotional memory. By definition, rites of passage are held to celebrate and to anchor pivotal times in the lives of individuals. And though Pagans are prone to emphasizing the individual at all costs, rites of passage are as much about the community as they are about the individual.”
“Stirring the Cauldron” by M. Macha NightMare. Quote: “I think the stirrer of the cauldron performs an important, even vital, role. Someone, preferably more than one, in every community should step up to the cauldron and stir it now and then, especially when the fire beneath the cauldron gets too hot.”
“Book review: Lord of Mountains” by Cara Schulz. Quote: “Every time I introduce a Pagan to the Emberverse series by SM Stirling, they curse my name. This is not an unusual reaction and it’s one shared by non-Pagans, too. I’ve lost seven copies of the first book in the series, Dies the Fire, because the persons who borrowed them from me lent them out to others. And so on. Then they all curse my name for turning them on to such an addictive series. The series is addictive to Pagans because it spells out one of our fantasies – what would it be like if our religions were dominate in the community we live in? Or at least one of the dominate religions? If our rituals, our ethics, our Gods were unabashedly the norm and seen as positive and vibrant and diverse.”
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.
A new film, The Sisterhood of Night, aims to tell the Salem witch-trials story in a modern context. Quote: “We’ve heard this story before: The Salem Witch Trials. All based on suspicion, jealousy, heresy, and accusation. But in our modernized version, gossip surrounding The Sisterhood of Night is circulated by immediate forms of communication, namely the internet and cellular phones. All-too revealing Facebook pages, low-resolution cell phone photos, and anonymous chat room babble add to the hysteria: Are the girls doing the unspeakable in the dead of night?”
The territory of Gibraltar has arrested a gang of drug smugglers who allegedly consulted with two Santeras (“witches”) to help them make decisions about their operation. Quote: “The gang relied on in-house Santeria “witches” to advise on whether drug runs would succeed or not. Sometimes smuggling operations were aborted at the last minute on the word of the witches, with huge economic loss to the gang.”
Gary Wills at the New York Review of Books looks at the myth of marriage, noting that Christianity didn’t have anything special to say about the matter until the 13th century, and that the institution was a civil arrangement in Roman times. Quote: “Before the eleventh century there was no such thing as a Christian wedding ceremony in the Latin church, and throughout the Middle Ages there was no single church ritual for solemnizing marriage between Christians.” For more on civil unions and Pagan marriages, check out this essay in the OB Rag.
Deenps Bazile, a practitioner of Vodou in New York, is upset that a 12-foot totem carved into a fallen tree in Prospect Park suddenly disappeared, noting that“it wasn’t a log anymore, it was a piece of art!”The Parks department is investigating.