Okay, so this is completely off the topic from what I usually post in this blog, but I am a proud Canadian, and like all Canadians, I watch when our team is at the gold medal hockey final. It's kind of like Americans and the Superbowl. I think it's a Canadian law or something.
I read a blog called "The Honest Courtesan" written by a retired call girl named Maggie McNeil, that discusses sex, sex workers and our attitudes about it. I don't always agree with everything she says, but she wrote an article recently that I've been ruminating on. The long and the short of it is this:
For many years, prostitution has been decriminalized in Canada; but everything around it has been illegal, from the keeping of a place of business to "living off the avails" of prostitution (so if, for example, a hooker hired a driver/bodyguard to protect her, he could go to jail.) On September 28, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that, at least in the province of Ontario, these laws were against our Charter of Rights and Freedoms (our equivalent of the Constitution) and the government was given a few months in which to try to appeal or to draft a new law.
This weekend, which is a holiday long weekend north of the 49th Parallel, Pagans from all over the vast expanse of the Canadian landscape will be meeting in Gatineau, Quebec (which is just across the river from our capital city Ottawa) to discourse on what it is to be Canadian and Pagan, exchange ideas, study workshops, exchange chants, review scholarly works in our field, and of course, socialize. It's called the Gaia Gathering (the Canadian National Pagan Conference,) and I believe this to be the most exciting thing currently going on in the Canadian Pagan community. I made an epic journey to the 2010 conference in Montreal to present at a couple of panels, as well as one of their first workshops, and it was a life-changing experience. This year, I am unable to attend but I was able to interview "Winnipagan" Dominique Smith, the current Chairperson, via Facebook about this outstanding event:
Question: So from your perspective, what is Gaia Gathering all about?
Because I released a new CD in these past two weeks since my last blog entry here, I have had music on the brain, and it occurs to me that Canada has a few talented Pagan musicians who deserve recognition. Because we have a smaller population than the US, it’s harder for our musicians to make a living. Let’s face it; it’s a niche market, and our market is smaller, so most Canadian Pagan musicians make US appearances too. If you’re a Pagan music fan you might want to check these folks out. Disclaimer – I have learned that music is very subjective and these are strictly my opinions. But because I like these artists and I want you to check them out, I will provide as many links as I can to their music so you can listen for yourself, and maybe support also if you share my love.