Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, April 6

The New York Times takes a look at the collection of Doreen Valiente. The way in which gods have "evolved" over time is considered. And the debate over politics within polytheism continues. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on new about the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

A well-respected English practitioner of Wicca, Doreen Valiente has sometimes been called the "mother of modern witchcrat." Now, seventeen years after death in 1999, her collection of occult works and artifacts is going on display in public. The New York Times has more here.

When one thinks of modern Paganism, they may be more inclined to think of Britain or the U.S. than Mexico. That's probably doubly true if they're thinking of Heathenry. But the Norse gods are not without their appeal in the land of the Aztecs and The Wild Hunt has a story on how a community of Mexican Heathens are banding together to launch a new magazine.

Are the gods set in stone? Or do they change as our culture changes? The latter is the argument made by Laura Tempest Zakroff at Patheos, where she contends that mythology and practices always have and always will change to fit new environments and cultural circumstances.

Is there a prototypical ritual which can be seen at the basis of all the variants throughout the world? Maybe so, maybe not. But if there is such a thing it might resemble this attempt to reconstruct Gaulish religious practice.

Controversy erupted late in March when Rhyd Wildermuth of Gods & Radicals wrote an article describing what he believed to be the vulnerability of certain strands of Paganism to infiltration by authoritarian movements. Many felt Wildermuth's approach unnecessarily lumped all Pagans of a certain stripe together (which he says was not his attention). But is the reaction to Wildermuth's post actually indicative that there is a problem? Maybe, writes one blogger for The Twisted Rope.

Top image by Marcello Casal Jr/ABr

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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