Thursday, May 29, 2003

The cold breath of history

Working all week on Her Hidden Children, my book on the early decades of the American Pagan movement, part of the AltaMira Press Pagan Studies series. I've written history before, but somehow, writing about events in which I participated makes me feel at death's door. I turn for inspiration to my beau ideal of a dignified old age, William S. Burroughs.


Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Pagan World Report

Here's a site collecting Pagans-in-the-news articles from all over the place. I started doing the same thing with scissors and photocopier in the pre-Internet 1970s, but it was impossible back then to have this kind of scope. My stuff went into a series of file folders labeled "Witchcrap," since that's what most of it was.


Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Paganism: A Reader

What I hope was the last paper work for Graham Harvey's and my new anthology, Paganism: A Reader went into the campus mailbag today on its way to Routledge, the publisher. The book is a collection of mostly primary sources, so in that way it's somewhat different from Graham's earlier anthology, Shamanism: A Reader. The selections in it begin with Classical materials, including "The Hymn to the Moon" (attributed to Homer) and the famous address to Isis from Apuleius' The Golden Ass, in Robert Graves' translation. What I regret not being able to include (for reasons of space) was Sappho's poem to Aphrodite, which I always find to be heart-wrenchingly good. But the Emperor Julian's "Letter to a Pagan Priest" was included, as well as some translations from Celtic and Norse sources that have been important to the Pagan revival.

We have tried to show just a few of the literary influences on the Pagan revival as well, such as Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, and Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon, as well as many well-known contemporary Pagan authors (Gardner, Valiente, Adler) and some new writers: Judy Harrow, Michael McNierney, and myself.

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Friday, May 02, 2003

Daniel C. Noel

I was shocked two days ago to learn of the death in late 2002 of Dan Noel, a friend and sometime mentor. I had the privilege of reviewing his book The Soul of Shamanism: Western Fantasies, Imaginal Realities (Continuum, 1997) for Gnosis. He taught me the difference between "imaginary" and "imaginal."

Here is an interview with Dan about the ideas in that book, including the "lure of the archaic" and the "democritization of the sacred."

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