Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, October 5

Black Americans discontented with society and Christianity turn to ancestral religions. A look at the reliability question regarding oral histories. And an examination of what Heathenry may (or may not) be "missing." It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment about news in the Pagan community. It's all this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Among some of the most devoted Christians in the United States are the country's black population, who've embraced the faith for centuries. But not all African Americans are contented with the church and the inability or unwillingness, as they see it, to combat the social ills which confront them. Vice shares a story on the defectors from Black American Christianity, who are turning to the ancestral faiths of Africa for inspiration.

It's the so-called digital millennium and just about everyone is using the internet in some way to connect with one another. One of the most popular ways of doing so is through Facebook and Pagans are no exception. Gizmodo's Bryan Menegus takes a look at how witchcraft on Facebook is bringing people together... and helping them come to terms with loss.

Are oral histories reliable? Scholarship tends to favor written records over those transmitted orally but over the years the oral tradition has gained some acceptance as well. According to an account shared by Alley Valkyrie, writing for The Wild Hunt, a refusal to consider oral histories can sometimes lead to lost knowledge... or even lost lives.

The science fiction series Star Trek and the franchise it begot recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. What does that have to do with Paganism? More than you might think, at least for Tom Swiss, for whom Star Trek was a major spiritual influence.

Heathenry is one of the most popular forms of Paganism extant. But sometimes, people leave it. Is it because there's something wrong with the religion? Some have said Heathenry is damaged because of how much lore has been lost to the past, but Heathen blogger Xander argues that's mostly illusory and that Heathenry's interrupted tradition does it make it worse or even that unusual.

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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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