Margot Adler, most widely known as a journalist and New York correspondent for NPR, passed away this morning at 10:30 am at the age of 68 from complications related to endometrial cancer, according to a Facebook post from her son Alex. In addition to being a successful journalist and correspondent, Adler was a Wiccan priestess and a member of the board of advisers of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. Adler is well known in the pagan community in America for her seminal 1979 book Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America. [more inside]
How New World Wine Resurrects Old Religion
I used to be a regular at a wine bar in San Clemente, a beach town in California where my wife and I lived when we were first married. The ‘Tuscan’ decor of the place was a little too vivid for my taste, but the wine was priced right and the owner was a great conversationalist. He would tell us stories from behind the bar about his travels to vineyards in Chile and New Zealand, and he had a charming populist streak. When people got too pretentious about the wine, he would roll his eyes and say: ‘Relax, it’s just a beverage.’ He was wrong about that, of course. Since its invention more than 8,000 years ago, wine has always been more than just a beverage.
Fans of history, mythology, language, and music: allow Metsatöll's Lauri Õunapuu to present his arsenal of traditional Estonian instruments. Then continue below the fold for an introduction to the world of folk metal. [more inside]
It's pretty widely known that there have never been snakes in Ireland, so who did Saint Patrick chase out? The case has been made that the story of Saint Patrick chasing out druids (snake-tattooed pagans) is also a myth (and Patrick wasn't even Irish). But that doesn't mean there are no reptiles in Ireland. The only native land-based reptile is the viviparous lizard, though there are other reptiles that are semi-inhabitants of Ireland. And this brings us to the the amateur survey of Ireland's lizards, newts, frogs and slow worms, one of a number of such surveys hosted by Biology.ie, "Ireland's premier Biodiversity Awareness portal."
"The cinema was made for horror movies. No other kind of film offers that same mysterious anticipation as you head into a dark auditorium. No other makes such powerful use of sound and image. The cinema is where we come to share a collective dream and horror films are the most dreamlike of all, perhaps because they engage with our nightmares." And so Mark Gatiss opens his three-part series, A History of Horror. "One of the great virtues of this series is that it is thoroughly subjective. Gatiss does not feel any particular obligation to give us an A to Z of horror, but instead lingers lovingly over his own favourites," taking the viewer with him from the Golden Age of Hollywood horror through the American horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s. [more inside]
The following items are also being added to the prohibited items list: advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers; blessing services; magic potions; healing sessions; work from home businesses & information; wholesale lists, and drop shop lists.With their new 2012 Fall Seller Update, ebay has banned the sale of magic services. A discussion has commenced on the impact of these new rules on the magic-practicing community.
Midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice is Belatane, when the dark half of the year ends and the light half begins. Some celebrate the spiritual. Some the social. For some Beltane stirs more earthy observations.
Winter holiday traditions change with time and location, with their current forms retaining little of their old forms, wassailing (rhymes with fossil-ing) possibly more than most. The modern interpretation of wassailing has been simplified to singing carols, though it was born of much more diverse traditions, from a cheer of good health before battle to scaring evil spirits from apple orchards. From these origins come wassail the drink, and that's just one of the many foods of the winter season (Food Timeline prev., 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). A few more are covered below the break. [more inside]
Ya'll remember Johnathan "The Impaler" Sharkey, Minnesota gubernatorial candidate for the Vampires, Witches, and Pagans Party? Of course you do. But have you seen Impaler, the documentary about him? hulu
We've discussed Tom Harpur's The Pagan Christ before. Now, the CBC is going to air a documentary exploring the questions raised in Harpur's book. [more inside]
You never hear about a psychic winning the lottery, but apparently witchcraft is worth a shot.
Why waste time on playing roleplaying games or writing pastiches when you can actually worship Cthulhu? Join an existing Cthulhu cult or form your own!. They've got a book and everything! (though it may contain big chunks of wiki-plagarism). As ever, the ability to rock a traditionalist shaved-head-and-goatee satanist look considered a plus.
He is the world's tallest cast iron statue. He has a long and sometimes troubled history. His enormous bare buttocks have offended local prudes and religious leaders for decades. He was disassembled in 1999 for refurbishing, but now once again, from atop his lofty mountain perch, this pagan colossus reigns over Birmingham, Alabama, the virtual buckle of the Bible Belt. Behold, Vulcan!
Every year the The Burryman makes his appearance at the Ferry Fair Festival. It has now been revealed how he copes with all that whisky.
"I won't let my husband be blank on a wall for too long." Patrick Stewart (no, not that one) gave his life for his country. Normally his family should expect quiet, peaceful surroundings, and ... an atmosphere of respect and dignity. But because his faith lacks "a viable organization", he is being denied his choice of emblem of belief. His wife is waiting for justice before any marker is set. [via]
Celebrate the most underappreciated holiday of the year! February 1st is St. Brigid's Day or Imbolc or Candlemas. St. Brigid of Ireland, the woman who some make a good case that she should be the Patron Saint of Ireland before Patrick. Others say she was the pre-Christian fertility or fire goddess of the Celts and that the Catholic Church co-opted her day as they did with many pagan pre-Christian holidays. Whether one celebrates Candlemas as a Catholic holy day or as a one of the Pagan cross-quarter days, it is also the Festival of Lights. Regardless, I have loved February 1st and 2nd since college as Groundhog Day is the most whimsical holiday of the year, thankfully it does not have a 2 month retail buying season building up to it. Tomorrow, I shall take a photo to Puxsutawney Phil to St. Brigid's Well in Kildare to celebrate properly.
Spiral Scouts are the wiccan/pagan answer to Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts, since they're not a gender specific organization). And since pagans are apparently the new black, the scouts have been getting some recent attention. Although the Spiral Scouts started through a wiccan church, they've made a point of including all religions and/or non-religions (as opposed to the Boy Scouts). And while you can imagine what the conservative response might be, the left has found enough dirt on the Boy Scouts over the years that the Spiral alternative seems to be getting a fairly warm response so far.
Sharkey's wife/friend may not be able to do her job anymore. You remember Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey, the undead, bloodsucking candidate for Minnesota governor, don't you? Julie Carpenter's association with her husband/friend and Wicca affiliation makes her unsuited to drive the school bus, according to the Princeton Schools Superintendent. [by]
Voters in the US state of Minnesota may find a self-proclaimed vampire on the ballot for the office this year when Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey of the Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party announces his plan to run for Governor, expected later today. Acknowledging that "politics is a cut-throat business", Sharkey has let voters know that whilst he is a Satanist, he dosen't hate Jesus, "just God, the Father."
The Real Story of Christmas ...Many who are excitedly preparing for their Christmas celebrations would prefer not knowing about the holiday’s real significance. If they do know the history, they often object that their celebration has nothing to do with the holiday’s monstrous history and meaning. “We are just having fun.”
Who Pagan Bullies Are and What Makes Them Tick "Bullying is a compulsive need to displace aggression and is achieved by the expression of inadequacy (social, personal, interpersonal, behavioural, professional) by projection of that inadequacy onto others through control and subjugation (criticism, exclusion, isolation etc)."
As God Is My Cleaning Lady: Crypto-Fado For Bohemian Pagan Popsters. They can't play their classical Fado guitars very well; they have a punky drummer and the Fado singer not only smiles pouts and shakes her hips, but actually seems to enjoy herself! What's become of this country? Are they mad? Reckless, certainly. They call themselves A Naifa and what they've done is taken a massive, ice-crunching Waring Pro blender to all the sacred potions, fruits and flavours of Portuguese traditional music and poured out a vulgar, shameless, disrespectful and utterly delicious shambles of a Pop cocktail. Heresy in old Lisbon? I nearly choked on my 30-year-old aguardente velha, but then realized I was dancing merrily and had already spilt most of it anyway. [Probably not fun for those unfamiliar with the Fado. QuickTime required.]
The final and most refined form of pre-Christian paganism - Mithraism, an ancient religion found throughout Europe and Western Asia before the time of Christ. It is suggested that this religion provided the source of many practices and beliefs recognized in contempory Christianity; baptism, the concept of a holy trinity, the last supper, and the date of Christmas to name a few.