Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm Not Here, I'm There

Guest-blogging today at The Wild Hunt blog.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Process Theology and Feminist Wicca

In her new book, Hidden Circles in the Web: Feminist Wicca, Occult Knowledge, and Process Thought, Denver priestess and theologian Constance Wise argues that process theology is uniquely appropriate for Paganism.

When we speak of the "Web of Being," she writes, "the interconnectivity of events posited by process though is so expansive across both time and space that it can scarcely be grasped by human thought. On the other hand, process cosmology provides a clear way to talk about the Web (114)."

Process thinkers' understanding of deity leans towards the abstract. It is not "hard polytheism." But process thought does offer a useful and challenging way to think about inter-connectedness and the Goddess.

It is the fourth book in AltaMira's Pagan Studies series.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nazi Archaeology and the Holy Grail

There really was a Nazi archaeologist who sought the Holy Grail and wrote a book about it, Otto Rahn:

There was more in a similar vein -- a lot more. To the untrained ear, this has a note of desperate flannel about it. However, Himmler loved the book and ordered 5,000 copies to be bound in the finest leather and distributed to the Nazi elite. By now it must have dawned on Rahn that he was swimming with some extremely nasty sharks. It must also have dawned on him that he was trapped -- especially when he read the proofs of Lucifer's Court and found that one blatantly anti-Semitic passage had been inserted by someone else.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Theoi Project

The Theoi Project is a site for "exploring Greek mythology and the gods in classical literature and art. The aim of the project is to provide a comprehensive, free reference guide to the gods (theoi), spirits (daimones), fabulous creatures (theres) and heroes of ancient Greek mythology and religion."

Want a family tree of the gods? It's here. And here is the cultus page for Hekate.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Things Black Bears Like

We have several of these gopher-deterring gadgets in the vegetable garden and flower beds, hoping to deter the pocket gophers. (The jury is still not in on whether they work as advertised.)

I came outside this morning and found one of them plucked from the ground and inverted, spike pointing into the air.

There were largish circular impressions -- about six inches across -- in the soil next to it.

Curious bear, I think. It must have heard the high-pitched moans that the "moler" makes and come to investigate, in the way that bears investigate something--by swatting it.


Astrologers on the Presidential Race.

Astrologers meeting in Denver talked a lot about presidential politics. One of them said McCain will win.

If predicting elections is your thing, here are some birth data from the linked articles:

Barack Obama: Aug. 4, 1961, at 7:11 p.m.

John McCain: Aug. 29, 1936, at 11 a.m.

The astrologers seem to blame the Clinton campaign for concealing her birth time. Surely it is public record somewhere. Conference website here.

UPDATE: Other astrologers attending picked Obama. What, you expected unanimity?


Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Man of Faith (the brochure says so)

Barack Obama drapes himself in his Christian credentials.

Apparently when Mike Huckabee (a former pastor) did much the same thing, he was appealing to the worst impulses of the Religious Right. When Obama does it, there is no problem. Apparently.

I want to see Obama posed on the steps of the Parthenon -- the one in Nashville -- speaking about classical values. A little speech about arete. Then I would vote for him for sure.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

A Day for Desk Work

It is a damp, grey day here on Hardscrabble Creek, with the temperature struggling to climb out of the 40s F. It's a good day to be indoors editing Pomegranate articles. Were the weather warm and sunny, I would want to be doing chores outdoors--all the little jobs that built up over the winter.

Meanwhile, some links:

¶: Articles on Pagan infiltration of Quaker meetings and other creeping Paganism from Christianty Today and Modern Reformation. Via Cat Chapin-Bishop, who is quoted in the former, being one of the infiltrators.

¶ Beyond mere steampunk: Building a Victorian computer. Via Mirabilis.

¶ Bablestone posts on the difficulties of deciphering Ogham inscriptions. What looked like a description of a battle might in fact be a simple grave marker.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gallimaufry with Bells On

These women know how to dress for an outdoor festival.

¶ Jason links to articles and web sites for new, nontraditional Morris sides. I am not sure if I would call what they are doing "reclaiming" -- nor do I know if Jason chose that word for its this-side-of-the-pond connotations. Any folk tradition changes with time, even as its practitioners insist that "we've always done it this way" or "we are just going back to the way that the old-timers used to do it." Lots of good links.

¶ Hecate has a Wiccan landscaping question. I have already contributed my two cents' worth.

¶ The US Postal Service is piloting a program to make it easier to recycle inkjet cartridges and small electronics. (Via Lupabitch.)

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Pointy Hats and Pacifism

My favorite Bay Area witchy bloggers seem curiously quiet about the appropriation of witchy imagery by the antiwar protesters at Code Pink.

I don't normally get into politics on this blog, but whatthehell.

From a rhetorical standpoint, I am not sure if anyone's set political views have been changed by street theater -- giant puppets and all that stuff.

You can see from the comments that the Code Pink women are not doing the Craft or the larger Pagan movement any good.

Do you think they would have chosen to dress up as Catholic cardinals or Shiite mullahs? How about some big-nosed Jews?

Or how about dressing in buckskins and feather headdresses, while waving rubber tomahawks in an "antiwar dance." Oh no, they would never do that. It might be offensive.

No, they pick the stereotype green-faced Halloween witch instead. They parody our religion for their futile cause. Somehow I don't feel the compliment.

One ex-military Pagan wrote to conservative columnist Michelle Malkin to say he was embarrassed by Code Pink too.

And that is the thing about today's Pagans: for every lefty pacifist there is one (or probably more) military Pagan.

I wrote a paper on this topic once, during the flap over Wiccans at Fort Hood.

UPDATE, 13 May: One commenter suggests that the green faces may have been PhotoShopped in on Malkin's page. He could be right; and if so, image manipulation hurts her credibility. However, a photo from the Berkeley Daily Planet, certainly no right-wing source, does show pointy hats and cloaks--but it is from an earlier Code Pink protest. Newer photos seem harder to come by--I suspect that the Berkeley news media by now regard Code Pink as just part of the weather and turn instead to stuff like fraternity stabbings.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Another Serving

¶ A body-art slideshow, beginning with the signs of the Zodiac. (Probably NSFW.)

¶ Read the comments and see where you fit in.

¶ For your polytheistic bookshelf: Dancing In Moonlight: Understanding Artemis Through Celebration, via Executive Pagan, who is reading it and other books.

¶ Info on an article on Jack Parsons, ceremonial magician and rocket scientist.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Gallimaufry for Many Moons

Malleus Maleficarum collector figures.

Women of Esoterica blog: "On women involved in the paranormal, esoteric, Fortean, strange, magickal, supernatural, anomalous, symbolic, UFO, ghostly, chupacabra-y, Nessie/Sasquatch, world of really weird things."

¶ I would like to have walked out under these skies.


"Hearing Voices"

My series co-editor Wendy Griffin and my editing collaborator Graham Harvey (The Paganism Reader) appear on the BBC Radio 4 to discuss hearing voices and Paganism. (Real Player download -- you will hear some BBC news first.)

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Good Timing?

Maybe I am getting out of higher education at a good time. Community colleges might still be hiring, though.


Gallimaufry and the iMac

¶ Metaphysical writer Louise Hay is profiled in the New York Times: "Queen of the New Age." (Hat tip: Jordan Stratford.)

¶ I can tell that you are reading only 20 percent of my blog.

¶ Ten years ago, the look of personal computing changed forever. "As far from the cable-twined tangle of beige boxes as you could imagine, its smooth-as-an-egg blue-and-white all-in-one shape was compelling and futuristic."

¶ When I saw Jason's post about people choosing to have Pagan weddings for what amount to aesthetic reasons, I was reminded of a news article I linked to in 2006 about Westerners performing fake Christian ceremonies in Japan.

Back in our days as active coven leaders (20+ years ago), M. and I did marry a sort-of Pagan American guy and the daughter of a Thai UN official. Her family treated it as an unusual ethnographic spectacle, but we got a great Thai dinner out of the experience.

No, the marriage did not last. I think we are 1 for 3 on handfastings. You had better choose someone else.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

"Still Life with Screwdriver"

Still life with screwdriver. Photo by Chas S. Clifton

All done. New adventures await.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Cora Anderson

Cora Anderson, co-founder of the Feri (Faerie) tradition of Witchcraft with her late husband, Victor, has left this life at the age of 93.

Jason Pitzl-Waters links to some tributes to her. There is more at the Andersons' LiveJournal community and at Thorn Coyle's blog.

Her book Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition is still available. I think I will take another look at my copy.

I did not know the Andersons, except for hearing stories from Gwydion Pendderwen of his apprenticeship with Victor. One major source of the Feri Craft was Max Freedom Long's take on Hawaiian huna magic. (Wikipedia entry here.) From what Gwydion said, the Andersons were wildly eclectic, typical of Craft teachers of the mid-twentieth century. Bear that in mind when you read her book.

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