Pagan Culture - Interviews
Knight for Right: Kerr Cuhulain and the Warrior’s Way
Kerr Cuhulain practicing with a Japanese staff (bo) in the Garden of the Other of Scáthach Motherhouse in Surrey, British Columbia.
photo ©2010 Ian Carter
Article by Satyros Phil Brucato
There is right, and there is law.
The two are not necessarily the same thing. Those of us who share a path that remains, in many ways, an outlaw creed know all too well the gulf between the two. Yet ideally, laws nurture the best in us by protecting us from the worst elements of our nature. To Kerr Cuhulain, balancing these two worlds has become the center of his world. An author, a teacher, a mentor, and a retired cop, Kerr holds the archetype of the Pagan Knight as both a challenge and a way of life.
Born Charles Ennis in the middle of the last century, Mr. Cuhulain embraced Neopaganism in the late 60s. “I got into Wicca,” he says, “at the age of sixteen. Until then, I was a seeker, though I wasn’t sure what I was seeking; once I found Diary of a Witch by Sybil Leek I knew what path I was on.” Following a stint in the Canadian Air Force, Kerr found himself in the Vancouver Police Department in 1977. “The Air Force pilot thing was my father’s dream for me, not mine,” he notes, “and I decided that law enforcement was my dream. Here I am, still in law enforcement, three decades later.”
Patricia Lafayllve of The Troth
of The Troth
Victoria L. Clare
Patricia Lafayllve is a godwoman, seidhkona, and long-time contributor to, and leader of, the Asatru organization The Troth. The author of Freyja, Lady, Vanadis: An Introduction to the Goddess and Njal's Saga, Book One: Fanning the Embers, Ms. Lafayllve is a proud member of Two Ravens Kindred and Bjornsal, earned her Master’s of English from Southern Connecticut State University. She lives with a loving husband and the World’s Smallest Pit Bull in New Haven, CT.
W&P Most readers of this magazine who know you have seen you at Pagan gatherings such as Pantheacon. Would you tell us a few things that you enjoy about attending such gatherings?
The Cases of Patrick Stewart (We Won!) & Donald Larson
• Sgt. Stewart, a veteran of Desert Storm, was killed in 2005 when his helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan. Despite repeated efforts to secure a pentacle on his memorial, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs would not allow the symbol to be used. The official reasons featured endless rounds of bureaucracy red tape. In September of 2006, the Attorney General of Stewart’s home state, Nevada, overruled the Veteran’s Administration and the pentacle was installed on Stewart’s grave in November.
Pagan at War
photos by Duncan Brennan
Hundreds, even thousands of Pagan men and women are serving in warzones around the world. This is the story of one of them.
interview by Phil Brucato photos by Duncan Brennan
War is in our blood. As Pagans, citizens, and human beings, our inheritance is war. None of our Pagan forebears — not the Greeks, the Norse, the Vedics or Lakota; not Romans, Egyptians, Babylonians and especially not the Celts — had pacifist cultures. Still, the catastrophic effects of post-industrial warfare force us to confront War’s allure. When life on earth can be ended within days, we need new tools for old disputes.
Still, we need soldiers, too. It’d be great if everyone just got along but the brutal fact is, we don’t. Occasionally, even the most peaceful cultures require warriors. Army Specialist Duncan Brennan is a warrior. An American. And a Pagan.
As a soldier of the United States Army, Duncan is a Pagan warrior for an Evangelical Christian administration fighting militant Islamists. While many of his fellow Pagans dispute the validity of a Pagan soldier in the modern military1, Duncan puts on a uniform, picks up weapons, and goes into harm’s way. Why?