Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, June 15

Our writer Laura Tempest Zakroff discuses the magic of genderbending. Australian Pagans meet for a conference this autumn. And the Poetic Edda, one of the most commonly cited sources for knowledge on Norse mythology, is examined. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about and commentary from the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Loki, Set, Vishnu, Zeus... the number of deities who've bent or broken gender norms is enormous. So it should come as no surprise that genderbending is considered by some Pagans to be something of a magical or sacred act. At Patheos, Laura Tempest Zakroff talks about the fluidity of gender identity, the politics of gender within the Pagan community, and how it all ties into magic and faith.

Much has been written recently about Doreen Valiente, one of the founding mothers of modern Paganism. Valiente passed away in 1999 but the recent release of her occult collection to public viewing has inspired many to speak about all she did for the movement during her life. At Pagan Dawn, Kate Large reviews a new book about the witch by Philip Heselton.

Have you ever taken part in a large-scale ritual? Have you ever wanted to? If so you might find Terence P Ward's take on the book Taking Sacred Back interesting.

It's fair to say that most modern Pagans live in the Northern Hemisphere (there's just more people living up here in general!). But plenty live in the Southern Hemisphere and while it's often difficult for them to take part in rituals or conventions hosted in the north, that hasn't stopped them from setting up their own events. If you're an antipodean Pagan then you might be interested in checking out Goddess Conference Australia, taking place later this autumn.

When it comes to Heathenry there is no Bible or Qur'an; the old faith was too disorganized and decentralized (and society too illiterate) for such things to matter. But that hasn't stopped modern Heathens from utilizing something in a similar fashion: the Poetic Edda. But what is the Edda? And does it really serve an equivalent purpose? Hüginn's Heathen Hof takes a look.

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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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