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Pagan News Beagle - PaganSquare - Join the conversation! Fri, 30 Jan 2015 05:10:01 -0800 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb PaganNewsBeagle Fiery Tuesday Jan 27

Today's Pagan News Beagle concentrates on politics, activism, and how our Pagan culture connects (or doesn't) to issues of social justice. SCOTUS case on religious attire at work; civil marriage under attack; the Covenant of the Goddess under fire (from Pagans); are the gods moral?; how do we juggle social justice and our Pagan faiths?

US Supreme Court already decided one religious rights case this year. Another case pits Abercrombie & Fitch against the EEOC on a case involving the right to wear religiously-significant attire at the workplace.

Same-sex couples can now marry in the state of Oklahoma. But if a state legislator gets his way, only Christian ministers and rabbis will be able to marry couples (of any gender.)

Wondering what the recent Covenant of the Goddess vs. #BlackLivesMatter controversy is all about? The Wild Hunt's Terence Ward lays out the history of this complex situation.

Pagan academic and writer Chas. Clifton’s recent blog post posits that 1) great magicians don't have to be "good" people; 2) the gods don't conform to our morality; and 3) that social justice campaigns like #BlackLivesMatter have no relevance to Pagan organizations. In short, he believes that Paganism is not about morals. What do you think of his position?

Activist, writer, and priestess Crystal Blanton reflects on balancing her many identities, including her recent encounter with Chas. Clifton. (Cf immediately preceding post.) What's your personal experience in reconciling social justice with your Pagan beliefs?

]]> (Anne Newkirk Niven) Pagan News Beagle Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:39:34 -0800
PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday Jan 23

In today's Faithful Friday post, the Beagle brings you stories from many faith traditions. Next Monday, Jan 26, has been dubbed "Blue Monday" and is supposedly the most depressing day of the year, so in this Beagle installment we concentrate on the interaction of mental health and religion, especially in Paganism.

The Wild Hunt featured this well-written article on Paganism and depression last week, including perspectives from a wide variety of Pagan therapists, activists, and advocates.

Nornoriel Lokason seems to have hit a chord with this (self-described) rant on Pagan concern-trolling about mental illness. Do you resonate with this post? Have you experienced unwanted (and ill-informed) advice on this topic?

This post on Spiritual Emergencies and Mental Illness (sometimes overlapping, yes, but mostly *not*) by Camilla Laurentine discusses how Pagan/polytheist societies of the past treated mental illness.

Natural disasters leaves deep sorrow, and often, mental illness in their wake. The new book "Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye" (reviewed here by the New York Times) examines how one woman wove together healing from the complex threads of Japanese spirituality.

Medical doctors in India are collaborating with local faith healers to reach out to the huge numbers of mentally ill people there in need of care.

]]> (Anne Newkirk Niven) Pagan News Beagle Fri, 23 Jan 2015 09:49:39 -0800
PaganNewsBeagle Earthy Thursday Jan 22

In today's Earthy Thursday post, we've got: biggest British chestnut tree; amazing nature photos; big trouble for California's Big Trees, discovering America's forgotten tropical-style fruit; native American bees.

Check out this 300-year-old horse chestnut tree, declared the largest in Britain.

This photo gallery of award-winning nature photos comes from Wired magazine.

A new study finds that the largest trees in California are in trouble: a problem that existed even before the current drought.

Ever had a paw-paw? Thomas Jefferson loved this exotic native American fruit, bu they aren’t sold in stores, so most of us have never seen one.

Learn all about these amazing native American bees at this article from Mother Earth News.

]]> (Anne Newkirk Niven) Pagan News Beagle Thu, 22 Jan 2015 09:10:30 -0800
PaganNewsBeagle Watery Wed Jan 21

Howdy Pagan News Beagle fans! Today we are going to concentrate on stories about the actual Element of Water. (I know, revolutionary!) Today we've got atmospheric rivers; melting glaciers; growing sea ice; heavy surf; and a (possible) Saturnian lunar ocean.

This new scientific study focuses on the atmospheric rivers that arise off California (and provide much of the rainfall for the entire West Coast of North America.

Melting glaciers (due to climate change) have previously unrecognized side effects: increased carbon dumps into the ocean.

At seemingly the other end of the spectrum, the rapid growth of Antarctic sea ice (which, unlike land-based ice, doesn't directly affect sea level) *also* is an indicator of climate change.

Nothing like gorgeous photos of heavy surf for a cold winter's day. (California dreamin' anyone?)

Surf might be up on Saturn's moon Mimas, according to NASA. An underground ocean there would certainly explain puzzling features of that moon's unusual gravitational wobble.

]]> (Anne Newkirk Niven) Pagan News Beagle Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:40:32 -0800
PaganNewsBeagle Fiery Tues Jan 13, 2015

In today's Fiery Tuesday post, the Pagan News Beagle brings you: victory for religious rights in Holt v. Hobbs (U.S. Supreme Court); first British gay Pagan marriage; Scotland leads in fossil free electricity; what are the free speech limits of mocking religion?; Heathens supporting #BlackLivesMatter.

The case of Holt v. Hobbs was decided yesterday in the Supreme Court. (See Justice Ginsburg's explanation here.) The decision was another victory for religious rights, even if the petitioner isn't a model plaintiff nor a member of a majority religion.

A luverly first: UK's first gay Pagan marriage was just celebrated in Scotland.

Scotland's doing another thing right: taking the lead in the fossil-free electric grid race.

When does mocking religious beliefs go too far? Most Americans seem to favor broad protections for free speech even if it insults their chosen faith.

San Francisco-based Heathen group Hrafnar has published a statement in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

]]> (Anne Newkirk Niven) Pagan News Beagle Tue, 20 Jan 2015 09:42:46 -0800
PaganNewsBeagle MLK Jr Day Special Edition Jan 19, 2015

PaganNewsBeagle MLK Day Special Edition: today the Beagle features stories of the intersection between Pagan communities of all kinds with the ongoing legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (Today is MLK Day in the U.S.)

Jason Pitzl-Waters, founder of the Wild Hunt blog, offered this editorial (in 2014) as to why Pagans should honor the civil rights leader.

Everyone knows that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Christian minister. But did you know about his views on Gnosticism and ancient (Classicial) Paganism? John Beckett uncovers some fascinating tidbits.

The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, a Wiccan-based Pagan group best known for its work on the New Alexandrian Library, released a public statement on Saturday showing solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter campaign.

The Pagan Newswire Collective (Minnesota) announced Pagan participation in the #ReclaimMLK march scheduled for today.

Pagan blogger and Voodoo priestess Lilith Dorsey wonders whether about the "canonization" of "Saint" Martin Luther King, Jr. is deserved in this post on her blog at Patheos.

Activist and Pagan blogger Crystal Blanton links to the discussions of racism in Paganism that took place at Pantheacon last February. (Crystal's site is an excellent place to find detailed discussions of this issue, as well as of racial and social justice activism generally.)

]]> (Anne Newkirk Niven) Pagan News Beagle Mon, 19 Jan 2015 09:09:16 -0800
PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday Jan 16

In today's Faithful Friday post of the PaganNewsBeagle, we have Voudou mental health in Haiti; Siberian shamans; the "Better News Club"; boom in online ordinations; is religion a force for good?

In Haiti, Vodou priest/esses are now delivering mental health services (in coordination with international health NGOs).

Check out this amazing photo essay of a Siberian shamanic gathering.

Got an child-evangelizing "Good News Club" in your school? One atheist parent group responded by starting a humanist "Better News Club."

Online ordinations have been used by would-be Pagan ministers for decades. Apparently, the practice of being ordained online is spreading, especially with the popularity of spiritual ceremonies among the "unchurched."

The Washington Post offers a philosophical question: is religion a force for good? (For that matter, how do we define "religion" and "good"?)

]]> (Anne Newkirk Niven) Pagan News Beagle Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:37:00 -0800