Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Scandinavian Style, 1400 BCE

The acidic peat surrounding this grave of a Bronze Age girl, labeled a “priestess” for her elaborate jewelry,  preserved her clothing and hair but not her skeleton. The burial was found in 1921, but only this month did analysis reveal that, for instance, the wool in her skirt came from the Black Forest region of […]

Pagan Academic Online Conference Tomorrow (25 May)

Just a reminder: The 3rd Online International Conference of Pagan Academic European Associates Network occurs tomorrow, the 25th, from 1800–2100 hours Central European Time. The theme will be “The Future of Contemporary Paganism: Challenges and Developments.” The conference is in cooperation with Pagan Federation International This conference focuses on the different aspects of the future […]

The Persistence of Runic Memory

Why buy a book on learning runes from Llewellyn or Weiser when you can learn from the people who clung to them the longest? But you say that they stopped using them a century ago? That is nothing in the spiritual tourism market. “My grandfather taught me the secret tradition that he preserved!” If they […]

Call for Papers: The Occult Imagination in Britain

Christine Ferguson and Andrew Radford, both of the University of Glasgow, seek contributors for an edited collection, The Occult Imagination in Britain, 1875-1947. We seek proposals for an essay collection entitled The Occult Imagination in Britain, 1875-1947, to be proposed to Ashgate’s new Among the Victorians and the Modernists series. Focusing on the development, popular […]

This is Not a Film for Your Wicca 101 Class

On 4 December 1969 a press party was held for a documentary film on Witchcraft, Legend of the Witches, directed by Malcolm Leigh. Among the media types attending was a magazine writer on assignment, a fifty-something man named Stewart Farrar, but that is another story. Legend of the Witches offers a very Margaret Murray-style reading […]

Is the Internet Killing Paganism?

I have not been keeping up with my blog-reading, so I just encountered this provocative piece by Sannion at House of Vines: “There’s a reason why Zeus is king of the gods and Hermes isn’t.” He speaks of Hellenismos mainly, but what he says — as the commenters note — is broadly applicable. Briefly, his […]

An Alfred Kinsey-Aleister Crowley Connection?

Liam Neeson starred in the 2004 movie Kinsey. A casual mention of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey’s interest in the sex magic diaries of Aleister Crowley sent me down an Internet rabbit hole. Kinsey (1894–1956) was studied biology, particularly entomology, but while teaching at Indiana University in the 1930s turned to the study of human sexuality, […]

We Might as well Wear Lineages on our Chests

Academic bloggers Megan Kate Nelson and Elizabeth Covart are re-thinking the way that we wear badges at conventions—and other forms of labeling. What might work better than NAME and INSTITUTION (or for the non-affiliated, CITY)? In Nelson’s post, I like “Academic lineage, a la Game of Thrones. Everyone always asks anyway (which I find bizarre […]

The Slut, the Priestess, and/or the Poet

A recent article in The New Yorker, “How Gay was Sappho?” re-examines two questions about the famous poet of antiquity: 1. Was her poetry really “personal,” as opposed to something like the Iliad, which clearly was created for public performance? 2. Although she lived on the island of Lesbos, was she really a small-l lesbian? […]

Ancient Precedents for a Norwegian’s Pro-Psychedelic Campaign

A campaign to legalize LSD, MDMA, and other psychedelics in Norway reaches for ancient precedents. Didn’t the Sami (Lapp) shamans maybe use entheogens? What about those Viking who allegedly chewed on Amanita muscaria? (Via law-blogger Ann Althouse)