Welcome back to Fiery Tuesday, our weekly dive into politics-related news on behalf of the Witches&Pagans community. This week we're going to talk about the place of Pagans within the political world. What can Pagans do to advance the cause of transgender acceptance? Why is sacred violence or violence against the sacred so much more provocative than regular violence? And are modern polytheists "anti-choice?" All these questions and more will be addressed this weak for the Pagan News Beagle.
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
2015 was going to be the last Ravenwood. Prudence has been putting on Ravenwood since the early 90s, with her local group Freya's Folk, and at first under the umbrella of the national organization The Ring of Troth, and then the American Vinland Association, which was one of the two successor organizations to the old RoT, the other one being The Troth. Using a state park for heathen festivals had always been intended as temporary, and Prudence had bought land farther north years ago. She has been slowly improving the land at Folkvangr over the years and is almost ready to pass it on to someone who will start holding festivals on it. This campground in the redwood forest held a glow of nostalgia, but it was time for the last one.
I was very invested in going to the last Ravenwood, both emotionally and literally. Emotionally invested, because Ravenwood had been my first experience of the heathen community. It was the place where I first met other Asatruars, after having only known Wiccan Pagans in high school and college. Ravenwood was a heathen festival held on Mt. Tamalpais in California, near where I used to live in Sonoma. I had not attended since I had moved to Nevada in 1995. Literally invested, because I intended to sell my books there, I had bought copies of my new book No Horns On These Helmets, and of my nonfiction books, to sign and sell at a vendor table at the festival....
I read my first fantasy book when I was 7 or 8. It was The Hobbit and it conjured up a magical world of adventure that I was fascinated by. I didn't stop at The Hobbit. I read the Greek Myths and then I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and later the Dragonlance sagas. Inevitably my favorite characters were the magicians or the people who somehow or another got some magical object that gave them an advantage in the adventure. As I grew up, I never got over my fascination with magic or fantasy books for that matter. And as I read each book, I thought about magic a lot and wondered if it was real or just some element of fantasy. Yet it was because of fantasy books that I discovered that magic was real.
When I was 16, a fellow student in my high school sat me down and told me about his experiences on the astral plane. He later admitted that he told me his experiences because he noticed I liked to read fantasy books and he was hoping to freak me out. The last thing he expected was for me to ask, with baited breath, if I could learn myself and if there were books on the topic. The next day he brought me a couple books and I eagerly read them and did the exercises, to see what would happen. At last, I had found out magic was real and more importantly that I could do it myself. It wasn't the same magic as what I read about in fantasy books, but it was something and I took that to heart. I read every book I could find and talked with whoever else was interested in the same topics. I tested everything I read, eager to see what I could do and how far I could take it....
In Part 1 and Part 2, we looked at Team Intrepid as it began an event planning process for a Pagan event without creating any structure for decision-making or establishing any goals, and diving right into minutia of the event. And making the wrong decision first can have a lot of impact on later planning.
Event Venue Choices
Let's say Team Intrepid assumes we'll be doing the event at Green Tree Park. They aren’t making this decision for any strategic reason, it's just that the team leader lives near the park and is familiar with the park....
I'm a storyteller, so in the natural course of things I often find myself telling stories about the gods.
Incest. Murder. Sexual Coercion. To name only some. All the things you're not supposed to do.
The Church Fathers made much of the immorality of the pagan gods. (Considering how their god is said to behave, this strikes me as pretty damned chutzpadik.) But it's no real surprise to hear that the Church Fathers didn't understand gods, not even their own.
They're gods, in another category of being. They don't operate according to human law. They have their own.
It’s good to get out of your bubble sometimes. A few days ago I was listening to a podcast called “Sawbones.” It’s a humorous take on medical history hosted by a Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin. The episode was on the history of acne treatment, and boy was there some crazy stuff people used to do to get rid of their zits.
Welcome back! We hope you had a great weekend. This week for Pagan News Beagle's Airy Monday section we take a look at what is arguably the biggest pop culture phenomenon of our times: Comic Con! We share a number of stories from the cross-media extravaganza held at the end of last week, including new details about Once Upon a Time, The Legend of Korra, and Warcraft. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!