Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, October 21

Pagans lament some of the "witchy" fashions in vogue in October. Heathens make a strangely secular comeback in Norway. And the problematic aspects of the famous Europa myth are considered. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly take on news about the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

For most of the year, witches aren't exactly popular. But suddenly, as the calendar approaches Halloween, everyone wants to be one. At Patheos, Peg Aloi talks about some of the more lamentable attempts by non-Pagans to imitate so-called "witchy" fashion.

At the dawn of the Middle Ages, Vikings ruled the North Sea. Could they be staged for a comeback one thousand years later? The New York Times looks at a kind of secular Heathenism, wherein rural Norwegians attempt to resurrect some of the folk traditions of their ancestors within modern (and Christian) Norwegian culture.

When we share the stories of ancient Greek mythology, we're mostly celebrating the human (or demi-divine) heroes, who vanquished monsters and founded kingdoms. But as this article by Markos Gage indicates, a lot of the heroes' triumphs resulted from them taking on aspects of the monsters they slew, gradually becoming less human in the process. An interesting and potentially provocative analysis.

It's not easy to acquire a religious education as a Pagan: most ministerial programs in the West are aimed at training Christians, Jews, and Muslims (roughly in that order). But a few alternatives do exist and one, the Druid College in the U.K., just opened for its first term.

The myth of Europa's abduction by Zeus, disguised as a bull, is one of the most famous from the ancient Greek religion. It was a foundational myth for Minoan Crete (or at least the Greeks' interpretation of it) as well as the Greeks themselves and Europa's name has been inherited by Europe itself (as well as a moon of Jupiter). But many of the myth's aspects read as rape to modern eyes. What does that say about our ancestors and our heritage? Gods & Radicals's Linda Boeckhout considers.

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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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