Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

In Praise of Harvest Time

Some (Northern Hemisphere) Harvest/Lammas celebrations, only not called that. This one, I think, is from Iran: This one comes from the island of Cyprus: And while we’re in the mood, let’s not forget Whitman McGowan’s “White Folks Was Wild Once Too,” with video that is NSFW if you work in a monotheistic or cultural-marxist environment: […]

Why Pagans Aren’t at Home in “Interfaith” Groups

In 2009, the CESNUR organization for the study of new religions held its annual international conference in Salt Lake City. The panels, papers, and speaker events ended with a dinner at the historic Alta Club, which is drippingly gorgeous in a sort of late Victorian/Arts & Crafts style. I would have skipped the roast beef […]

Can You Help Your Ancestors Instead of Rejecting Them?

A few weeks ago I was asked to write a cover blurb for a Llewellyn book, something that does not happen very often. It was a pretty good book. Some people might have found the title obscure, but that was not my decision. But one thing stopped me in my tracks. The writer tried to […]

“Witches of America”: Sitting at the Cool Kids’ Table

I finally read Alex Mar’s Witches of America, and it is better than I thought, based on some of the reviews that I had seen, like this piece of negativity, for example: “[a] sordidly pornographic and self-aggrandising narrative” or this one: “extremely judgmental,” or the Complete Hurt Feelings Wrap-up here. First, this is not a […]

Demons! Swastikas!! Witches in Ireland!!!

¶ The Washington Post runs a non-snarky article about a psychiatrist who thinks that demons are real. So began an unlikely partnership. For the past two-and-a-half decades and over several hundred consultations, I’ve helped clergy from multiple denominations and faiths to filter episodes of mental illness — which represent the overwhelming majority of cases — from, literally, […]

Still Enchanted After All These Years

The Guardian, a British newspaper, profiles Enchantments in Manhattan,  which “after 34 years in business in the East Village, with the recession and the rising rents of gentrification claiming so many small businesses . . . might make anyone believe in magic.” Read the whole thing. (Thanks to Mama Fauna.)

Good Butter and Good Cheese . . .

If you take a class in the history of the English language, you probably learn the phrase, “Good butter and good cheese is good English and good Friese.” This video takes it a little farther: can a speaker of Old English and a speaker of Friesian talk about the cow that gives the milk/milch? Kind-of […]

Minor Middle-Eastern Monotheists — And the Last Pagans in Pakistan

One god, one or more recognized prophets, a preoccupation with female sexuality — are we talking about Islam? Not this time. Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East is a religion-nerd’s tour of “disappearing religions” such as those of the Iraqi Mandaeans or the Zorastrians of Iran. Some, it must […]

If You Had a Drone in Ancient Rome, This Is What You Would See

A virtual flyover of Rome in 320 CE, when Constantine I was in charge. Or how about a Google Streetview of Pompeii (as it is today)? Or step back about three thousand years and consider this animation of how they built the Pyramids. This is even fancier.

More Conformation about Bigfoot

I read this article in the Colorado Springs Independent and a paragraph jumped out at me: She learned about her [Nepalese] people’s animistic prayer traditions, and had shamans explain to her that yeti aren’t the silly abominable snowmen of cartoon legend, but actually shape-shifters and guardians of the mountains. At their urging, Lepcha now carries […]