Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Sacred Ground

Rediscovering America's Sacred Ground, subtitled "Public religion and the pursuit of good," will be on my reading list as soon as SUNY Press releases it. The author is Pagan scholar Barbara McGraw, who "examines the debate about the role of religion in American public life and unravels the confounded rhetoric on all sides. She reveals that no group has been standing on proper ground and that all sides have misused terminology (religion/secular), dichotomies (public/private), and concepts (separation of church and state) in ways that have little relevance to the original intentions of the Founders."


Thursday, April 10, 2003

Voudoun gets official recognition in Haiti

This story comes courtesy of Gina Oboler on the Nature Religions Scholars list. It quotes Haitian President Aristide as saying, "An ancestral religion, voodoo is an essential part of national identity."

Priests and priestesses are now asked to register with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which will allow them to conduct officially recognized marriages, etc.

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Sunday, April 06, 2003

Pokemon the Pagan

Here is a scholarly controversy that I had been unware of: whether there is a conflict between the teachings of Wicca and of Pokemon. That assumes that Pokemon has "teachings," of course.

Meanwhile, getting ready for a workshop on traditional European entheogens next summer, I'm enjoying revisting Eliot Cowan's Plant Spirit Medicine.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Wicca's appeal among the young

Wicca's Wicked Appeal among the Young

The Catholic news agency Zenit offers this interview with journalist Carlo Climati, author of a book called "Young People and Esotericism," on the growing menace of Wicca.

Sample quote: "If one wants to succeed in atttracting a girl, one doesn't have to buy an amulet but give her a bunch of flowers."


Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Wiccan books need "earth tones"?

A couple of months ago, Judy Harrow, author of several worthwhile books on Wicca, mentioned to me that publishers--or at least one of her publishers--have decided that such books' covers require (1) a pre-Raphaelite female and (2) earth tones. Check out the cover of Devoted to You, an anthology on the Pagan deities that she recently edited for Kensington Books. See what I mean?

In my darker moments, I wonder if Wicca has gone from being a mystery religion to a fashion statement in fifty years. If you're young, unconventional, angry at the world, you announce, "I'm Wiccan." You don't, however, want to say "I'm a witch," because then people expect you to "do things."

As for larger Paganism, check out this page of so-called Pagan blogs. Exactly what's Pagan about it?

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