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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, July 22

Welcome back to Watery Wednesday, our weekly foray into news about the spiritual, religious, and cultural communities we all play a part in. This week we take a look at new in the Heathen community, including a recent bout of controversy in Iceland over one Heathen group's plans to build an official temple. Additionally, we've gathered a story about the Catholic Pope's declining relations with political conservatives in the United States as well as a piece about what it's like to grow up in an Alaskan Native community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

First up, The Wild Hunt discusses the controversy surrounding Icelandic Heathen organization Ásatrúarfélagið after it announced its plans to construct a temple in downtown Reykajavik last February. However, if you thought the fuss was about the temple you'd only be half-right; it seems a large amount of the negative attention (mostly from other Heathens) stems from the organization's support of same-sex marriage, which many of their critics oppose.

Do any of you remember the Norse Mythology art contest we spoke about awhile back? Well, the adult winners have been announced, as you can see here. Congratulations to both the winners and all of those who put so much hard work into contributing to the celebration of the Midsummer!

Almost since his coronation as the Catholic Church's prime vicar, Pope Francis has been a figure of controversy around the world. Many love him but many also are critical of the direction he's taken the Church. One group which has soured considerably upon the Pope are American political conservatives, who feel deeply uncomfortable with Francis' opposition to "rampant capitalism" as well as his public stance on global warming and environmental science.

Have you ever wondered what it's like to grow up as an Alaskan Native? Aderyn, a commenter and contributor to the community-run blog known as the Observation Deck recently hosted an AMA in which he asked any and all questions about growing up in rural Alaska as an indigenous person. You can check it out here.

Lastly, we return to the issue of Heathenism and the battle for its heart. Over at Patheos, writer Molly Khan discusses what it means to be a Heathen and what hope there is for a future of inclusiveness within the broader Heathen community.

Top image by Rebecca Radcliff

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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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