Thursday, July 31, 2003

Wiccan autobiography, lack of

I have been reading High Priestess: The Life & Times of Patricia Crowther, which, admittedly, is a reworking and revision of two earlier autobiographical books by this English Wiccan priestess, Witch Blood! and One Witch's World.

Why do American Witches never write their memoirs? The nearest I have seen is Margot Adler's Heretic Heart, and even it is more about her "Red diaper baby" childhood and adolescence, dealing with the Craft only toward the end. Are we afraid of being put down for being "self-centered"? I can think of some people whose memoirs I would love to read, frankly.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 21, 2003

The Parrot Trainer

I feel as though I've written my guts out today, and then I check and it's only a little more than 2,000 words. My breakfast and lunchtime break reading is Swain Wolfe's The Parrot Trainer, a novel set among Southwestern archaeologists, but definitely not in the Tony Hillerman mode. Wolfe is much more given to "tweaking academic and knee-jerk political correctness," but he knows where the genuine controversies are. And he's read Christy Turner, clearly.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 18, 2003

A quiz on civil religion

Quiz: The removal of bronze plaques bearing Bible verses from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a defeat for Christian hegemony and a victory for

A. Secular humanism
B. Covert federally supported nature religion
C. The American Civil Liberties Union
D. Fundamentalist fundraisers
E. All of the above
F. None of the above


Tuesday, July 15, 2003

More mammoths!

Bringing back the woolly mammoth would be a good thing. I want animals to go with my religion.


Australian "nature religion" grows

And in Australia, self-identified followers of nature religion grew 140 percent between 1996 and 2001, say census officials.

Labels: , ,

Scottish Pagans seek recognition

Scottish Pagans are seeking increased civil recognition for their religion.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 10, 2003

The Paganism Reader

A telephone call from Graham Harvey on the 9th confirms that our anthology of important Pagan texts is going into production at Routledge. Here is the latest version of the cover--really, Graham's name should come first, as it was his idea to collect important texts from the Pagan revival, reaching back to the Homeric Hymns, the Eddas, the Mabinogion and others, and also collecting such things as Rudyard Kipling's song that begins "Do not tell the priest of our art," from Puck of Pook's Hill, which when I first encountered it was presented to me as a genuine relic of underground Pagan religion! (I had not read that particular book of Kipling's, and I did not know better.)

Labels: , ,

Saddam's Goddess Art

How does Saddam Hussein appear in a Pagan blog? Simple--he or one of his accomplices ripped off the art of Jonathon Bowser, who works with images of the feminine divine, to illustrate a novel published over the Iraqi dictator's name and found in one of his presidential palaces.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 07, 2003


I've been working on a section about American Pagan Druids today. First, let me say that I am so glad that I do not have to do anything on British Druids, since in the UK there are two hundred years' worth of self-proclaimed various Druidic groups of all sorts, from the merely fraternal to the seriously Pagan to the almost self-parodying sort. Fortunately, Ronald Hutton has a new book out, Witches, Druids, and King Arthur, which I now have on order.

The best resource that I know of remains Isaac Bonewits' web site. Although he did not become involved until six years after the "We're not really a religion" Reformed Druids began at Carleton College, he remains the central figure of the revival in this country, having devoted more nearly forty years to it--editing journals, writing songs, creating organizations, creating ritual, networking and more networking, creating Web sites. . .

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Psychedelic Venus Church

I had read Hans Holzer's rather sniffy assessment of the Berkeley-based Psychedelic Venus Church back in the 1970s in his book The New Pagans, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it listed under entheogen-based groups by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Michael Marinacci wrote a more detailed history.

Chief founder Jefferson Freedom Poland, a/k/a Jefferson Clitlick a/k/a Jefferson Fuck Poland and other things, is apparently keeping a low profile after doing some prison time for having sex with underaged persons. MAPS doesn't mention that part.

Another figure of the times, Sam Sloan, mentions the PVC in his history of the Sexual Freedom League at the U. of California.

Sloan, no doubt a certified genius whose main interests seemed to be sex and chess, maintains two complicated sites here and here. Having been kicked out of the securities industry by the SEC, he apparently is now a New York City cab driver and chess journalist who spends his time on byzantine conspiracy theories. Short version: Everyone from Sen. Hillary Clinton on down is out to get him


Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Darksome Thirst

Darksome Thirst comes advertised as a novel about "witches and vampires and computers" by Morven, editor of the Massachusetts-based Pagan journal Harvest during the 1980s and 1990s. You can learn more from the author's website. My copy is on order!